Thursday, November 21, 2013

The First Thanksgiving (As Retold by a Preschooler)

Today as we left preschool, my daughter was jumping up and down with excitement for Thanksgiving. I'm glad their activities at school has got her excited for it, because Christmas anticipation has already taken over. And though I'm excited to be spending Thanksgiving at home, I'm pretty sure my daughter is just going to eat rolls and whipped cream, so it might not be as thrilling of a day for her.

On the drive home she told me the story of the first Thanksgiving. It went something like this:

"There were some people and they were traveling really far and they didn't even have a GPS! And they were on a big boat and they didn't have a frigerator so they just had to eat dry food. And then they got somewhere and they met some people with different colored skin. And those people taught them to catch fish and plant some food. Then they ate dinner together."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gratitude Now

Last night we had a lesson on gratitude for Family Home Evening. We printed out Count Your Many Blessings trees (which I found here via Pinterest) and some colored circles. After talking about what blessings are we each wrote some blessings down on the circles and glued them to our trees.

I added a few to my four year old's like family and preschool and friends. Here's what she came up with on her own:

- Ella (a cousin)
- squirrels
- M&Ms
- our plants
- painting pictures
- sending pictures to people
- elephants
- flowers

I asked my almost two year old what she loved and she said cars (the toy she was playing with yesterday). Her sister added the beach for her tree (she's been talking about the beach a lot lately). We also put her family, apples, and books. And she added lots of blank circles because gluing is fun.

My tree includes family, friends, technology that helps us keep in touch with family, having a second car, free preschool, my husband's job, personal revelation, and naptime.

My husband's tree includes family, his job, education, hope, the ability to progress, and coming home to hugs and kisses every day.

What are you grateful for today?

Friday, November 8, 2013


November is a time of gratitude. I have tons to be grateful for right now. In church on Sunday we had a lesson on gratitude. And they talked about having gratitude when times are tough. While I have certainly have challenges right now, compared to two years ago, it's easy to find things to be grateful for now. I'll be honest--I did not find much to be grateful for two years ago. I am not good at finding the good when times are tough. But better late than never, right?

Here's the challenge: we lived in the middle of nowhere. In a town of 90 people. And it was at least an hour drive to anywhere. I was a stay at home mom to one child with another on the way. But despite the challenges, there were some blessings.

- We had a huge house. With an awesome fireplace.
- We had a huge yard for our daughter to play in. And it came with raised garden beds, an apple tree, and a peach tree. Lots of room to run and play and fly a kite.
- We had an all-terrain wagon that made it through mud and gravel and snow. It was only half a mile to our downtown where we could walk to the post office every day. And on the way home we would stop at the market and get chocolate milk. And the town was small enough that the everyone at the market knew us.
- Our landlords were our neighbors. And they were the sweetest landlords in the world. In fact, everyone in the town was friendly.
- The bookmobile came to town every other week.
- We had to drive 1 1/2 hours to the doctor. But, my good friend from grad school lived in that town with her children who were born within a couple months of each of mine. So every time we went for a well child check up, we got to visit my friend.
- The fact that we lived so far from anything led us to do a home birth. Which I never would have considered. And turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life.
- We lived three hours from the airport. Which also happened to be in the same city that my in-laws lived in so we got to visit them whenever we needed to go to the airport.
- We spent a lot of time together as a family--whether it was because we lived too far to go anywhere, or because we had lots of time to talk on our long drives to anywhere.
- Every challenge we faced there, has taught me to be grateful for things I used to take for granted. Like stopping to get gas on the way home from dropping my daughter off at school. Or asking my husband to stop and grab something from the store on the way home from work.