Days 22-30…ah-hem….

One of my STRONG POINTS is having a vision and running with it. One of my weak points is not always finishing so strong. Darn it! First step is admitting it, right?

And at least it’s still November, right?

Day 22: I’m thankful for TRIPODS – funny, I know…but how else would we get a crazy family picture like this? πŸ™‚

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Day 23: I’m so THANKFUL for this girl! The honest truth is that when I found out I was pregnant with her (while Mitch was 9 months old) I was a slight bit depressed for about an hour…until I accepted that this baby was supposed to be in our family and that God knew what he was doing. I’m SO THANKFUL God is in charge of my life and not me…how could we ever live without this sweet, helpful, loving, full-of-hugs, adorable little girl!!??

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Day 24: I’m THANKFUL that I get to wear my SUNGLASSES in December! Whohoo!! We went and got our Christmas tree the earliest ever (in my recollection) last Sunday because who could pass up getting your tree in Oregon in the SUN??!! And…we didn’t have to traipse through the woods…just hop on the tractor trailer and ride to the trees, pick it out and hop back on the trailer. Loved this little farm/winery!

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Day 25: I’m thankful for this boy. Mitch is certainly our little spit-fire, and often times we think of selling him (for free) but boy does he add character to our family! Here he is mourning because he wanted this cute little tree, but got out-voted by the rest of the family. We love him and know he will be a future leader…after all, leaders are always stong-willed, right? πŸ™‚

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Day 26: I’m so thankful for Kayla…who, may I add is a half inch taller than me now!! Oh dear. She is certainly an extension of me and so helpful around the house and with Josie. Actually, I have to remind her that I’m the mom several times a day πŸ™‚ (Moms of teens, you understand this, right?) Kayla has a sweet, quiet disposition, a fierce love for babies and orphans and wants nothing more than to go live with Katie in Uganda when she’s old enough.

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Day 27: I’m so thankful for Max. This guy gave us a run for our money when he was little and caused us to pray more than we ever had before…and just look at him now. An amazing big brother, so compassionate, loves babies, is eager to help others and is everyone’s friend. He is a joy and I’m so excited to watch him grow into a young man.DSC_0089

Day 28: I’m thankful for this picture that I get to burn into my mind! To watch my amazing husband be such a great daddy, and watch as my “baby” girl is almost tooΒ  big to get on daddy’s shoulders, stretch out to put up that little angel that we scored at Goodwill. Precious. {even if it is a little blurry}

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Day 29: SOOOOO THANKFUL for our lawyer, Meghan!!! She was our lawyer for Gage and when we knew about Josie coming to our family, we sought her out to help us finalize her adoption. She still cries with me about Gage and now she rejoices with us over Josie. AND….she pushed her finalization through in less than 3 months, whereas the average time it takes to finalize is 6 months!!!!! Whohoo!!!

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And last, but not least….Day 30: I thought this summed up our month so well…and it gave me such hope that our Mitchel brought this home from school. At this point he is our toughest nut to crack πŸ™‚ and to know that he told his teacher all these things he was thankful for? Totally warmed my heart. It was just what we needed as an encouragement to keep on keeping on!

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Day 21 our forefathers

I am THANKFUL for our forefathers, who founded this amazing country. May we never forget…or get so far from our roots that we can’t find our way back.

Here is our nation’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation, from George Washington.

Proclamation of National Thanksgiving

George Washington

City of New York, October 3, 1789

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

Day 20 old friends

Last night was 3 hours of pure fun with our friends Dave and Christina and three of their 5 kiddos! Amazing cabbage soup, fluffy, homemade rolls and even E coli contaminated water! (Ok the E coli wasn’t on the menu, but came as an uninvited guest and hopefully one that won’t do much harm!)

I am so thankful for friends, who though don’t live close, can just pick up right where we left off last. We are blessed.

{Just look at those 2 girls…I mean, young ladies! Just yesterday they were running around in diapers together…sigh.}

{I just love that our boys have known each other since being in the womb :)}

{And our little girls just love each other too…}

{Playing a game…they had to mimic each other – too hilarious!}

Day 19 word searches

Thanksgiving word searches. That’s what we’re doing today on our first day of Thanksgiving break. Along with building forts from couches, Legos pieces covering the floor and singing Christmas songs (much to my dismay!).

On the list: Plymouth Rock, Bible, Jesus, Pilgrims and Indians, William Bradford, Miles Standish, corn, Squanto, Prayer, Mayflower, Remember, fish, Cape Cod Bay

{excuse the iPhone pics}

Thankful that the kids actually like to do word searches πŸ™‚

Day 18 hand-me-downs

Shoot. I gotta get with it! A day behind….

So for day 18, I am thankful for hand-me-downs! Within the last 2 days we have been blessed with baby GIRL clothes! So much so, that I will have an over-abundance (I’m pretty sure) and will probably be sharing with our local foster closet.

This is what my living room looks like and we will be having fun going through it all today!

So thankful for friends and family who thought of us and little Josie!

Day 17 my bed

Seriously. Some days are just harder to be thankful than others.

Some days…easy as pie to rattle off things I’m thankful to God for in my life.

And other days? Days when you get updates about how your little guy is doing in his new adopted home. Days when you have to accept that someone else is raising your baby. Those days are hard. I’m not quite sure hard is the right word actually…

And when I have these kind of days, which thankfully are fewer and far between, I am so THANKFUL for my bed; a place where I can crawl into in the middle of the day, lay my aching head and find some rest in my grief.

I don’t type this out to put a negative twist on my thanksgiving posts, but just to be real. Without sarcasm, I truly am thankful for my bed today.

 

Day 16 art

“Drip Art”

Tonight I’m thankful for art. I know what you’re thinking. β€œNikki is thankful for art???”

Yep. I claim to pretty much hate art…I don’t really hate art, but more the mess it makes. I know there are some moms reading this and I can hear the β€œamens”.

But I will admit that when you actually work on a piece of art that you LOVE and that does something to your soul…well, that’s different.

Today the gray skies inspired me to create a happy place in my dining room. I’m going to fight these winter dull-drums with color and joy in my house!

My creative friend, Heidi over at My Beautiful Mess, inspired me to create this spunky little piece for my dining room. (If you want to know how to do it, go there for instructions cuz I’m not really one to reinvent the wheel πŸ™‚ I’m a really good copy cat though!)

Drip art. Who would’ve thought? But seeing it finished and picturing β€œWe choose JOY” written above it on the wall…well, it just makes me smile.

Day 15 well of course…the sun

How can a day pass like today that I’m not thankful to the Lord for the blessed sun?!

I know it comes in limited amounts for the next 4 months, so I feel the need to go capture it today.

{first as it floods into my living room}

{next, as it makes the bamboo next to the house glisten}

{outside, catching a glimpse of my shadow}

{across the creek, looking up into this deep, red berry, decorated tree}

{and finally up…where the jet-streams are}

I love that beauty is all around every day. I find it amazing that unless we are intentional about FINDING the beauty, we lose out on finding joy. Because joy comes through THANKSGIVING.

Day 14 the power of a good movie

Last night we went to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Yes, I know it’s an “old” movie…but people…this family doesn’t go to the theater till it hits the {cheap theater}.

I was warned by my “author friend” {click on the link to read her review of the movie} as I so often refer to her, otherwise known as Christina, that I may very well sob my eyes out at the end of the movie, looking like a blubbering fool in public. {ok, I added the “fool” part}

{By the way, this is a great place for me to tell you to go buy her amazing, first novel that you won’t be able to put down, The Familiar Stranger.}

I so easily get on little rabbit trails today!

Back to the movie. I’m thankful for it. Even though this is obviously a story that could never happen in “real” life…it really could happen in real life. It’s about adoption. It’s about pouring your life into others. It’s about being able to let go of what you love the most.

{if you’ve seen this movie, you understand the leaf pictures…if not, go watch the movie πŸ™‚ )

Timothy Green comes into this family’s life for a season. He touches the lives of so many people…and in a profound way for each of them. He leaves (no pun intended) them all better people, more compassionate people, more loving people than he came to them.

He is one of those people that will always have a special place in so many people’s hearts…simply because he was honest, loving and saw people at a heart level…beyond the surface.

I’m thankful for movies that provoke you to be a better friend, a better parent; movies that touch you at a heart level and cause tears to stream down your face.

Yes, just tears streaming…no sobbing for this mama. I sat through this movie with my family next to me…Josie in my arms sleeping…and thanked God for helping us to let go of what we loved so dearly last year and for opening our hearts to what He had for us this year.

{We never know when the last proverbial leaf will fall…live life to it’s fullest.}

A beautiful little girl who needed a family to love her. And a family who needed a little girl to love.