Wow. I forget, until November rolls around, that the thankfuls add up if I skip a few days of posting. So I'll do a quick catchup...along with pictures from our church's recent hayride/bonfire.
November 7, We Are Thankful For:
Allie: Helicopters. Right behind her love of airplanes is her love of helicopters. She is slowly working her way through her biggest loves...and I love that about her thankfuls.
Ryan: My Caterpillars. Keeping it consistent. I love that about my little man.
Me: Lucas. I've been battling a virus that has settled in my lymph glands. It was going away, and then there were a couple of nights of interrupted sleep and it started to come back. Lucas came home early to help me get some rest (sleep seems to be the key). I'm thankful for a husband who is so caring and thoughtful, who is always willing to chip in and take over, and who has a job that allows him the flexibility to be there when I need.
Sitting on the straw. They couldn't wait for the hayride to start (but we sat and waited for everyone to get there for about 45 minutes).
November 8, We are Thankful For:
Allie & Ryan: I forgot. I have a good excuse...but I completely forgot. And trying to get them to remember just wasn't worth it.
Me: I have to confess, but I was sort of thankful for tv. On Thursday the virus really took me down. I knew I needed to lay low, but Lucas also was committed until mid-afternoon. The twins got to watch more than their usual allotted amount of tv. They were thrilled and I got to rest. Sometimes you just gotta do whatcha gotta do...
Lucas again. My hero. Rode in and saved the day. I basically got to sleep most of the afternoon. That plus a few (really) early nights has helped me get a more solid footing against this virus.
Ry-guy chatting with one of the youth.
Allie checking out the tractor.
November 9, We Are Thankful For:
Allie: Black Siddeley. She has several toy planes (from "treasure" hunting at garage sales). Her black jet is her largest. It had been "missing" and was found on Friday.
Ryan: My 2 Caterpillars. Bumble and Baby Bumble. Oh, Dollar General, won't you please make more of these? My son will be devastated if we ever lose them...
Me: Feeling better.
A chance to minister. One thing about a life of ministry is that you are part of the most intense and emotional parts of life for more people than perhaps is ordinary. Funerals, weddings, counseling of all different kinds - these are all a fairly regular part of a pastor's work week. On Friday evening we got a call from a neighbor about their nephew (and his friend) who was missing and had left behind a suicide note. While we felt pretty helpless, we joined with the family in support and prayer and spread the word for others to pray. While my heart was broken for the parents and family (and I definitely was not thankful for the situation), I was thankful for the opportunity to minister and pour love into the lives of these neighbors during an intense time in their lives.
November 10, We Are Thankful For:
Allie: Baby Siddeley. Her little blue toy airplane. She has a whole family of airplanes that she has collected.
Ryan: My Caterpillars. You will never doubt what is important to him!
Me: Toy House. I realize that our favorite toy store has already made it onto the thankful list once, but it is a favorite destination. On Saturday we met up with the cousins for their special "Neighborhood Toy Store Appreciation" day. We played, and shopped. It felt great to get my Christmas shopping started!
Great weather. Seriously, it was in the 70's...in November...it was amazing. Especially since we had the
Church Hayride. A truly wonderful evening with our church family. A hayride out to a little cabin by a pond on a farm. We ate dinner and roasted marshmallows (with the kids who were chomping at the bit to toast some 'mallows) and looked at the stars and enjoyed great conversations. Such a great time and the weather couldn't have been better.
Answered Prayers. On our way to the hayride we received word that the kids were found safe and sound! What an honor and relief to rejoice alongside the family. My continued prayer is that these kids will see the outpouring of love, support, and effort from their family, friends, and community, and that it will speak into their lives how precious they truly are. Please, join me in this prayer.
Throwing sticks off the dock into the (very shallow) pond. About 2 seconds after this photo was taken, Allie almost fell in, and all dock activity was stopped.
November 11, We Are Thankful For:
Allie: My Babies. She spent the whole afternoon taking care of her babies - putting them down for naps, creating delicious treats for them to eat, and finding special surprises for them.
Ryan: My Caterpillars. At this point, I will be shocked if he is thankful for anything else.
Me: More Answered Prayer. I had been praying for a friend that had sort of fallen off the map. It had become clear that the contact info I had for her was no longer hers, and I was pretty sure that something major was happening in her life. I just kept praying that God would bring her to church or let our paths accidentally cross. I can't even tell you how excited I was when her children walked into my Sunday School class. She was/is going through something major, and it was keeping her away, and then she felt like she should come back, and now I have current contact info to make sure she doesn't fall off the map again!
Beautiful weather. Fall is giving us one last hurrah, and we enjoyed it as much as we could! Though the twins were telling me today all about their favorite snowy weather activities (sledding, looking for animal tracks, and skiing - the last they've never done, but apparently they saw it somewhere and think it's cool).
An easy bedtime. Sure I might have bribed them with money for their piggy banks, but bedtime (and night time) has been ridiculous lately, and it was wonderful to have it easy for a change!
The thankful tree is filling up! I will post a more current picture as soon as I remember to take one :) The twins are really enjoying the hands-on thankful activity and I'm loving the visual lesson of how all our thankfuls add up!