Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Hannah was out of school for three days last week for Thanksgiving so we all headed to Texarkana Tuesday night.  Thanksgiving Day all of my mom's side of the family came over for lunch.  We all love getting together and it was good to see everyone.  Mama Cille was definitely missed but I heard several different people say that she would be glad we all got together.  I agree.  I love my family!

These are my cousins Wade and Mikayla.  Wade is a policeman for North Little Rock.  He can tell some pretty interesting stories of the things he has done and seen.  Mikayla is a senior at Bauxite.  I can't believe she is a senior.
Aunt Bet holding Emory with Jaxson.
This is one of Hannah and Lincoln's favorite places at Mimi and Pappaw's.  They play with the dirt making all kinds of messes.  Layton is catching on.
We took Dash with us to Texarkana.  He was a great little traveler.  We got a crate for him and he did awesome on the 2 hour drive there.  I think he enjoyed it when all the kids were there to play.  He got lots of attention.
Cutest picture.  Hannah, Ellie, Addison, and Layton.
The boys ran around all over the yard playing ball.
I don't know why this picture is turned.  Uncle Jeff playing with Layt.
Addi and Hannah.  They play so well together.  They had a blast.  They did the cutest thing.  Hannah had the idea to make cards for everyone in the family, about 40 people.  She and Addi made cards that said "Thank you for coming.  Happy Thanksgiving" or something like that.  They handed them out to everybody.  Thoughtful girls!
We all sat around and went through the alphabet and named things that we are thankful for that started with each letter.  Then, we each went around the room and told the latest "news" about ourselves--what we have been up to lately.  This was so good.  Some of us don't see each other that often and so it was great to get to catch up with what everyone is doing.
Wes taking his turn telling about himself.
This is my Aunt Betty Lynn and Uncle Dave, my mom's only brother.

Family picture time.  This is my mom with all her siblings, Aunt Suz, Uncle Dave, Aunt Rosie, and Aunt Bet.
Me with my brothers, Jeff and Wes.
My Aunt Rosie's kids, my cousins, Shawn, Jeremy, Jolie and Linzi.  We missed Aunt Bet's kids.  Amy had to go to her in-laws and Jay is in Kuwait working. 
My uncle Dave's kids and son-in-law.  Wade, Mikayla, Laura and Scott.  Brett is Laura and Scott's baby boy.
All the cousins with the "outlaws" as Kris' calls them.
Me and my outlaw.
Ben and Linzi.
More playing.
Lincoln and Jaxson.  They are about the same age.  They played well together too.

 Layton loves his Pappaw.  After I rode him around for a while on the four wheeler, he wanted to go more, so Pappaw took him.  He loved riding the four wheeler.

Kris and I got to go shopping on Black Friday.  We got up at 3:30 a.m. and went to JC Penney at 4:00 a.m.  We went to lots of stores and got most of what we were after plus some.  It was fun!  Some of my dad's side of the family came over for lunch on Saturday.  I haven't seen them in quite a while.  My Mammaw didn't get to come from the nursing home because it was wet and rainy that day and Aunt Betty didn't want to get her out.  But we went to see her on Sunday.  She was doing well.  She will be 96 in June.  We got to go to two movies while we were home too.  Kris worked outside cutting up wood and burning brush piles--some of his favorite things to do.  Really.  I'm not kidding.  He caught up on some much needed sleep too.  I got my hair cut by my cousin Amy and just did a lot of relaxing.  We stayed till Sunday afternoon.  Thanks Mom for all the yummy food!  We enjoyed spending several days with you guys!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Trying to be Thankful

Thursday is Thanksgiving.  I think in the past I have let myself remember to be thankful on that day, but I don't think I have done a very good job of really getting it and teaching that to my kids.  So, this year I have tried to focus more.  I have tried to do some specific things to get us, as a family, to be more thankful--to think about what Thanksgiving really means. 

I found the idea of doing a Thankful bunting on a blog somewhere a few weeks ago.  I decided this was the perfect way to try to get some ideas across and make our Thankfulness last a bit longer.  I still had some burlap leftover from other projects as well as my scrapbook paper.  I came up with this using the two things.  I thought it was pretty cute.  We hung it up by the kitchen table where we would see it every day.  I wanted about 10 different things to do and planned which days would be best to do each one.  We didn't do something every day because some days are just too crazy.  I think we started this two Saturdays ago and technically won't finish it till the 28th.
Each morning that I knew we had something for that day, one of the kids would pull the little note out that was tucked into the pocket.  Hannah would read to us what it said.
The first one was to take a family walk, collect pinecones or fall leaves and make a festive decoration.  Jimmy had given Kris tickets to the Razorback game in Fayetteville that day so he wasn't able to participate in this activity.  I was kind of bummed because I knew it would probably be a challenge to take 3 kids and a puppy on a walk by myself.  I was right.
We went to Mills Park down the road--the perfect place for our nature walk.  It was so pretty with all the fallen leaves around.  I let Layton walk instead of pushing him in a stroller.  I probably made it harder on myself this way, but I knew he would have more fun.  He did.
I tried to get a group picture a couple of times when we'd come across a bench.  It was almost impossible to get everyone, including Dash, to cooperate.
The individual pictures turned out better. 

This was Dash's first time to really use the leash.  He was a handful. 
Another attempt at a picture of everyone together.

We walked a good little ways.  There was quite a bit of complaining.  "When are we going to be done?"  "How much longer?"  I had to yell at Lincoln to slow down numerous times because he was getting so far ahead--we were supposed to be walking together.

Hannah and Lincoln picked up different shapes, sizes, and colors of leaves while they walked.  I tried to have the conversation about what we are thankful for, but it really didn't work.  They weren't in the mood.
I was worn out by the time we got home.  Hannah decided she wanted to make a fall decoration using her leaves and a paper plate.  Lincoln decided he didn't want to do anything with his leaves.

The next activity was a doozy.  It was to have the kids clean out their toys and take them to the local goodwill for less fortunate kids.  I thought this was a great idea.  The kids, not so much.  There was much protest, a few tears, a fit or two, and not a lot of help on their part.  I tried to explain why we were doing what we were doing.  It didn't do any good.  Oh well.  I cleaned out the boys' room, Hannah's room, and the play room, making way for all the new things they will be getting for Christmas.  I threw away 2 bags full of junk and collected one big bin and one regular size bin full of stuff to donate.  Mission accomplished?  I don't know.
Next, we made some cookies and took them to the three widow ladies that live around us.
We fought over who was going to pour in which ingredient and who was going to turn on the mixer.
Hannah helped me make notes to put on the cookies.
Both kids went to Ms. Dortha's door all by themselves and gave her her cookies.  She was so surprised.
Ms. Nita was next.  We missed her the day before, so we caught her coming home the next day.
They did the same thing with Ms. Tommy.  She gave them hugs.
Another day we made Hand and Feet Turkeys.  This was just a fun activity for the kids--so I thought.

Hannah had a major meltdown about something and it kind of turned ugly.  Ugh!
Last Friday night we watched a holiday movie together.  We popped popcorn.  Layton LOVES popcorn.  He is definitely my child.  I love popcorn too!  

Unfortunately our Grinch dvd, the one we all wanted to watch, was broken.  Bummer.  We didn't really have another one and our Netflicks wasn't working.  So, we had to fall back on a video recording of A Christmas Story.  Yippee!  NOT!  I don't care for that movie.  Actually, I have never really watched it all the way through.  I had no idea how much language there was in it.  Wasn't very thrilled about that.  By the way, Hannah had to sit this one out due to her behavior on the previous activity.  Another bummer.
Saturday night we were supposed to go bowling as a family.  Kris and Lincoln got to go to the Razorback game that afternoon in Little Rock and got back too late to go.  (Thanks again to Jimmy for the tickets!)  So, we decided to go Sunday afternoon.  It was great!  We had fun!!!  Yay!!!

The first ball Hannah rolled was a strike!
 This was her reaction other times when she couldn't believe more pins didn't fall down.  Too cute!  Ha!
  I was actually not on my game this day.  I think Hannah beat me the first game and Lincoln was close.  Lincoln beat me the second game.  So, I let Layton have my last two frames.  He gave it a try and loved it!
 This week we made something special for the kids' teachers.  I picked these containers up in the dollar section at Target a while back and they came in very handy.  We filled them with gummy bears.  I found the idea for the message on Pinterest--I'm "Beary" Thankful For You This Year.  Each kid signed their name and took them to their teachers.

Yesterday's activity was to make something special for their Dad.  Hannah came up with the idea of using the leftover gummy bears and another container to give her Dad gummy bears with the message "We love you Beary much!"  He ate them all last night.

Last night we took a Thanksgiving meal of a whole turkey, some canned veggies, a cake with frosting, and some stuffing to a needy family.  PV had a lot of names and addresses of families that needed Thanksgiving meals.  So, we got one of them.  I really wanted us to do this as a whole family.  I'm glad it worked out that we could get it delievered before we leave town later today. 

Well, as you can see, this has not been the easiest, most pleasant attempt at trying to be thankful, BUT we tried.  That is what my mom reminded me of the other day when I was explaining to her that I didn't think the kids were really getting it and everything seemed like such an ordeal.  She said that if I just keep it up, one day they will look back on it and remember what we did.  I am counting on this!

Life is not perfect.  My family is far from perfect.  But I am SO thankful for them and for everything that God has given me.  My prayer is that my kids will see my thankfulness and my attempt at trying to be thankful will mean something to them--even if it is some time down the road!

Happy Thanksgiving!!