Day 13 family night

Today I’m thankful for our family time…when we’re all together in one place with nothing on the agenda except to have fun and do a little something out of the ordinary.

And I’m thankful for cheap places to go have fun for large families! Like $2 Tuesdays at our local McMenamins. Where else can a family of 7 get into the movies for less than $15??

{excuse the horrible iPhone pics…I didn’t want to use a flash and disturb everyone}

Even little Josie got to attend her first movie at age 7 weeks!

What did we see? That’s tomorrow’s post 🙂

Day 12 our list

Today I’m thankful for our “list”.

{Did you know that people who write down daily what they are thankful for are actually 25% HAPPIER than those that don’t? True fact.}

You should try it. Even just committing to type out what I’m thankful for each day for the month of November is HUGE…because all day I’m thinking about what I’m thankful for; what I’ll be documenting this day for all to read, and most importantly, what my children will read later on.

There are 10 more days till my favorite holiday…Thanksgiving. Today we started our list of things we’re thankful for as a family. I told the kids that we could do 10 things a day, with a goal of 100 at the end of 10 days.

At 36 I had to stop them. Pace them.

It’s hanging in our {very boring} dining room right now so we can see it pretty much 24/7 and add to each night at dinner. And just today I found a “happy” little plaque that says, “A Season of Thanks” and stuck it up there.

Don’t worry. I know it’s crooked. There’s nothing perfect about it actually…except that it’s ALL perfect because my kids were saying words of thanks faster than I could write!

Do you have a wall of thanks? I’d love to hear about it.

 

Day 10…our agency

“Our” agency…like they are my PERSONAL agency.

I’m talking about Christian Family Adoptions Agency here in Portland.

They were the only agency that would work with our “too large” of a family.

They believed us when we said that we felt it was the Lord calling us to adopt.

They agreed with us that there must be a baby out there that was supposed to have our last name.

And they were right. And I’m thankful they were right.

Today we went to CFA’s adoptive parent training and sat on the adoptive families panel with all 5 of our children. We got to share our story with couples who are in the process of adopting, share our hope with couples that if you feel God calling you to adopt then have faith to keep going.

We drove an hour and a half to sit on the panel for 40 minutes. They didn’t pay us.
It was just our way of being THANKFUL and giving back to the agency that believed in us and helped us find our forever Josie.

{Just had to include this pic…I have no idea what I’m saying, I just love the expression on Tad’s face about whatever I’m sharing. Priceless.}

 

Day 9 the library

Yep. We LOVE the library. It took me a long while to convince my kids (knife the heart) to love the library! Anyone who knows me, knows that reading is a passion of mine and when they didn’t naturally love reading…well…we had to fix that.

So, we went to the library every week and I showed them genre after genre to try to convince them they had worlds awaiting them! But, the honest truth? The boys just wanted to go straight to the movie section. For real.

Do you know how embarrassing it is to walk out of the library with your boys behind you holding their stack of {movies} and NOT books?? Granted, many “learning” movies. Still. Do you feel my pain?

Yet, I knew that even if they chose movies, that eventually they would fall in love…right?

YES! I was right. Now, a few years later, they each hold their own baskets, filled to the brim with BOOKS and yes, still movies.

Now? Now it’s semi-embarrassing to walk out the library doors with each kid “trying” to hold their own stacks (yes, I know we should remember to bring library book bags) without dropping them (which always happens) before we leave the premises.

But it’s all worth it, just to see them falling in love with books! And for that I’m THANKFUL!! Truly.

Day 8 dinner time

I know that in 25 years I’m going to miss this time.

Dinner time.

When we’re all sitting around the table, together.

Talking.

Laughing.

Interrupting each other.

Sharing about our favorite moment of the day.

And don’t forget the burping and farting…I wish I could lie and say that this never happens around our table…but, I can’t. {I really don’t want anyone thinking that we’re a perfect family…we’re a LONG way off}

So tonight I’m thankful for every night we get to sit down and be with each other. After all, in just a few years we will start sending them off into the world and dinner time with all 7 of us will only be a coveted memory.

 

Day 7 memories

Today I’m thankful for memories.

The sweet. The bittersweet.

This is our memory board in our home. Right now it is full of pictures of our little guy that we lost last year to another adoptive family. None of us want to forget him. None of us can forget him.

I’m not sure if this is even a healthy thing for us to have…a bunch of pictures that remind us both of pain and joy? We’re talking about whether it would actually be better for our kids to take these pictures down for awhile…not that they will forget him, but that it won’t be a constant reminder of loss to them.

Either way, I’m thankful for all the memories that the Lord gifted us with of this fun, spirited, cuddly boy who would daily wrap his arms around our necks and squeeze tightly in his best bear hug ever. Oh how we miss those hugs.

“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! For his mercy endures forever!”

! Chron. 16:34

Day 6 my bible

When I get enough sleep I try to wake every morning about an hour before the kids and this is what I love my table to look like…


I am actually a little stingy in the morning with my time…I send people back to bed (or I used to – now I have to go get them out of bed) if they get up during “my” quiet hour.

I’m thankful that on the mornings I sleep in, forget or rush out of the house without my time with the Lord that He is gracious to forgive, willing to wait for me to come to Him and full of new mercies each morning.

I am so thankful that we still live in a country where we are free to own and read this book as much as we want.

I am thankful for the new Truths that are in it for me everyday that I seek them.

I am thankful God has given me sight to see His words written, and the mind to digest them.

Colossians 3:17

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”.

Day 5 my best friend

I’m obviously not posting my days of thanksgiving in order of importance, or this would have beat them all!

Today (and everyday) I’m thankful for my best friend; my confidante; my husband.

He’s an amazing father to our kids (and 37 other foster kids). He thought (of course) that when we married 17 years ago that 2 children would be perfect for him. He was only a few off. He loves our kids and has a heart for adoption, which makes me love him even more.

 

He takes time to carve pumpkins with his kids while his (very tired, baby-fogged-brained) wife lay on the couch watching and taking pictures.

He appeases his crazy wife and buys old bicycles at garage sales, fits them in a mini-van, with the intention of cutting it in half and using it as home decor.

 

He hears my “creative” ideas and then turns them into reality. Here he is getting an old, non-working tractor, into place for a photo shoot. Oh. And in the pouring rain. And at the same time, he’s teaching our sons how to love their wives (in the future) in this same way. I love him!

 

And so much of the time…he just makes me laugh. He makes others laugh. It’s what drew me to him 19 years ago when we were seniors in high school. Yes. Goofiness. I knew as a 17 yr old that this man would never allow me to have a boring life, and how right I was.

Psalm 69:30

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.”

Day 4 solid rock

Today is Sunday, a fitting day to be thankful for our church and all the leaders within. Solid Rock is a place where we love going as a family. In fact, our kids really don’t ever want us to “skip” for any reason. If you’re a parent and value your kids’ having a growing faith in Jesus, then you know how priceless that is to hear your kids begging to go to church.
All churches have their own “personality”, often reflecting the pastor and leadership, and all have a purpose and fill needs in unique ways. That’s the beauty actually. Jesus didn’t call us all to be robots living out our faith in exactly the same way, but he created us uniquely and with different gifts, all a part of the body of Christ.
So today, we are so thankful for our church and how God has used it this last year to speak so clearly to our hearts, bringing so much healing along the way as we have grieved our little man leaving our family last year.
Here is a sermon from just a few weeks ago that was one of those that you hear and then noodle on for the rest of the week…so good. It’s called The Secret. Praying you’ll be blessed by it!
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(Psalm 107:1)