December 3, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving starts the season of family 'traditions" in our home and this year we added a few new ones to the mix. --- This first one is definitely my favorite and the kids sure like it as is the THANKFUL TREE. We have been doing this for about 6 years now, I came up with it as a twist on the "Thankful Jar" that I had read about in a parenting book a while back. Each year the kids find a dead branch out in the woods that will bloom to become a tree flourishing with gratitude by time Thanksgiving rolls around. The end result will be revealed at the end of this post.
(Harrison is not pictured as he was working this day)

A new tradition that Wilson and Lila started this year (mostly Wilson) was decorating the whole downstairs with paper chains that they individually colored and hand drawn turkeys that were hung from the dining room light. They were so proud of their work and could not wait to share it with friends and family on Thanksgiving day.

Another tradition we do each year is Plimouth Day at Master's Academy. The eighth grade class puts on an interactive walk through of the Pilgrim's journey to the New World. Each year it is a little different which keeps it interesting.
(There was a woman demonstrating wool spinning.)

(The live animal section is always one of the kids' faves.)

(Eddie arm wrestling Chief Ryan N.)

(Sweet brother Eddie holding Lila so she could jump rope - she was too embarrassed to try it herself.) 

(Mackenzie Williams had a part and the kids were so excited to see her.)

(Squanto JJ)

Another new thing we did the year was the Life In Plymouth Colony History Pockets. Each morning we would add a little to our booklets. We teamed up in groups of 2 (with the exception of Harrison): Eddie & Lila, JJ & Wilson, Jamey & I. We had never done a history pockets book before and I will say it was a success for all ages. They really seemed to enjoy it and learned a lot about the Pilgrims along the way.

Another first this year was our Thanksgiving dinner at church on Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving. It was a fun and crazy evening celebrating with church family.

We hosted Thanksgiving this year at our home again and our guest list count was up to 36 (Our Family & Amah, Uncle Lamar & Aunt Elizabeth's Family, Uncle Joel & Aunt Denaye's Family, Uncle Sam & Aunt Joanna's Family, Aunt Tracee & Vincent, Ampah, The Williams Family & The Brewer Family)! With numbers this high we opted to rent tables and eat outside. Wilson was so excited to set up and decorate the tables, he had been planning it for weeks. It turned out perfect!

It was a beautiful morning, but unfortunately just as guests were arriving and we were about to eat the rain started forcing us to move all the tables inside. We all gathered outside for a quick prayer though.
(Everyone brought a was all so yummy!)

(Moving all the tables into the house was a crazy and tight ordeal, but it worked our just fine.)

(It was so nice to have Rich's sister Tracee and nephew Vincent join us this year fro California...hopefully it will become a tradition!)

(Marcus & Jason's birthday happened to fall on Thanksgiving this year, so Aunt Elizabeth brought cupcakes!)

(Before they left Jedidiah, Abigail, Anna Grace & Esther made sure to add to the Thankful Tree.)

That night Uncle Lamar & Aunt Elizabeth's family and Uncle Sam & Aunt Joanna's family slept over. We woke up and had a lazy morning and a big breakfast together. Baby Jonathan was having a blast with a wooden was quite entertaining!
(Wilson, Gideon & Lila played for hours with the foam Thanksgiving set they had built that I had bought at Michael's.)

(A handful of us girls went for our annual After Thanksgiving was so fun having Lila there, I love having a girl!)

It was so great having Tracee and Vicent join us this year. Although Vincent has been out to visit a few times, this was Tracee's first (of many I hope) time visiting us in Florida. We enjoyed a restful week that included numerous trips to the beach. 

On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving we decorated for Christmas which meant the Thankful Tree had reached full bloom. Not sure why Lila was so upset, but at least Harrison made it in this photo! ♥
(The kids (especially the Littles) were thankful for many things this year. Lila drew as well as write hers and there were a lot of repeats..."Lila & Mama" ♥.)

(This was the tallest branch and the coveted spot to hang your leaf.)

We found out at the beginning of the month that we had lost our sweet Rosevelt Joy who was due in the Spring. This leaf (below) that Wilson drew was so precious, there were a few other leaves that referenced her as well. It is an important lesson to learn that even through very hard times God is still good and worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. "The Lord gives and He takes away...BLESSED be the name of the Lord" -Job 1:21

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