The second invitation came from our dear friends, the Harrises, who we've known for a very long time, and we're very happy to be living in the same town with again. Desi and her family put on an amazing spread, that was both delicious and beautiful. We felt very lucky to be in attendance, and had a great time with them.
Here's me with my girls (and pumpkin pie) on Thanksgiving.
While playing with all the kids, Alex started this story about how the Winnie the Pooh bear, that our 2 year old was playing with, was really a secret undercover dark lord syth, or something to that effect. The story took quite the hold of the rest of the evening and blossomed into a saga. Here's the youngest Harris showing off Dark Lord Pooh with his newly fashioned black cape.
This year in preparation for Thanksgiving, and inspired by the many gratitude talks in the last General Conference, we began a new tradition that will hopefully last throughout the year and not just this month. After sitting down to dinner, and before saying our blessing on the food, every person at the table has to say one thing that they are thankful for. This is something my family always did before the Thanksgiving feast my entire life, but we were hoping to make happen more than just once a year.
At first we wrote everything down every night in a "Gratitude Journal" and the first couple nights all the "big" bases were covered (i.e. family, gospel, home, food, etc.) However, as the days progressed (and we lost the journal) it evolved a bit. Now we still say what we're thankful for each night, but it's more a review of that particular day and something specific that we are thankful for that day, like making cookies, or climbing trees, or feeling the baby kick. And not only do we say what we're thankful for at the table, but we're being sure to thank Heavenly Father in our dinner prayer for every thing that was mentioned that night (no matter how silly it may sound to thank Heavenly Father for My Little Ponies.)
At first it seemed a little contrived and trite, and honestly, the tradition probably wouldn't have made it, had Princess M not really loved it and reminded us to do it every night. But now, I LOVE it!!! At the close of each day, we all have a chance to think over our day, count our blessings, and discuss them with each other dinner. I've already noticed how my daughters (even my 2 year old) are more aware of their blessings and thankful for them. A couple times this week, Princess M has stopped in the middle of playing or watching a movie, and turned to me to tell me something that she is thankful for. It's very humbling to see how she is internalizing Thanksgiving this year. I'm very grateful to her for her role in establishing this dinner tradition. I hope it sticks forever.
We have so much to be thankful for! There is no way I could even begin to name the blessings that my Father in Heaven has extended to me. I only hope that I can learn to be more appreciative and find ways to show that appreciation in turn by sharing those blessings with others. I love Thanksgiving for its yearly reminder of how ungrateful I really am. And I'm grateful that God has called prophets in our day to guide us, and to help us recognize God in our lives, and know how we can be more grateful children. I pray for help in bringing His Spirit more into my life; so I may be reminded of how blessed I am, guided in raising my family, strengthening my weaknesses, and used as a tool to bless others by His directions. Maybe then will I be able to even begin to truly show my gratitude and not just voice my "Thank You."
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!