Thursday, November 23, 2023

Thanksgiving 2023

 My heart is very full tonight with great love and thankfulness for family and fellowship.

I would be fibbing if I didn't say my heart is also full of concern, but I feel the need to record the blessings and the things I am thankful for -before I move on from this day. I already sat down and poured some of my heart into my paper journal while sitting with the "Pilgrims and Indians." I decided a few weeks ago that paper journaling was going to be necessary going forth, so I have taken to pouring my heart out in it once again. 

I am so grateful for the gift of family. I worked very hard the past 2 days working to make the home special and the food special and that all around good feelings for my family. I sense change is coming again. I felt it in December between Christmas and New Year's Eve of 2021 and it did... yes, it did. I was determined to make this one special. The Lord blessed me with more energy than I knew I had and I KNOW it was from HIM. I have cooked special dishes, kept Thanksgiving decor in place in spite of everywhere I looked Christmas coming out. 

Kristan made me feel so good about that decision. She and I agree that people should do what they want as many have good reasons for putting it out early, but for us it seems like Christmas will be cheated if we put it too soon. I know that topic is a hot button these days and I quite frankly don't care what people do. Truth be known, if I didn't have family coming I might give in and put the lights up too. 

Today was a chance to celebrate the things to be thankful for. Our family has taken a lot of hits this last 2 years and we are feeling it for certain, but giving thanks is important. Just when you think you have a sad story you hear a worse one from a friend. We must choose to live and give thanks for the good found in each day. 

I brought Mother over on Wednesday to spend most of the day overseeing the passing of the torch ---the torch being cooking her dressing. I am not convinced she thought I could do it, but I told her she could only oversee and tell me what I was doing wrong. It went well and I think she is convinced I can now pass on her legacy at my ripe old age of 63. I do plan to write it all out so that it can be followed by more than just her telling one what to do. I really knew I could do it. After all, I have watched her do it for years, but I think she needed to feel useful this year. 

The remainder of the post is going to photo heavy, but they tell the story.
I am going back to give thanks all week. 
Let's start with Sunday. 

Look at my sweet boys in large group at church. Palmer is now old enough to come out to the big room for the singing and Bible story. He spotted Tucker right away and went to stand by his big brother.

I love that my kids know how important bringing the kids to church is. I am so grateful for my parents raising me in church so that I might have a great Lord and Savior to guide me through life. I could write for hours about that topic alone, but I will move on.

On Monday, I got to go with my kids and grandsons to the Armament Museum. There have been many trips and photos of this place here along the way, but Katie was out of town visiting her bestie and Tyler was at work. Lindsay and Paul Allen were both off and Mama got to spend time with her kiddos. 

You mamas know what I mean when you see your adult kids enjoying spending time together and conversing. It is a warm fuzzy!!!

Miles decided early on he wanted to walk, then Palmer decided he wanted to walk. As little as they are, they walked pretty much all the way around the museum looking at the planes. My boys all love planes. Since, we live near so many air and army bases it is no wonder planes are a huge part of the skies here.

I got to hold hands...

and watch them take care of each other.

An all around fun day. I don't know if the boys enjoyed the picture taking, but they had fun.

Mimi loved every minute of that morning. She felt compelled to buy them a rocket which was a huge hit with the older 2 when they got home.

Miles was still walking!

Lindsay has taught the boys to say cheese when taking pictures. We thought we were done with the pictures and then Palmer wasn't following and kept saying something. It was finally determined he was saying, "More cheese." Obviously, he didn't feel we had captured him correctly so Lindsay had to go take one more of him with his rocket.

Be still my heart!

Tuesday was cleaning day and preparing the house for the family. Here are the family photos that I try and pull off each time we get together. Kristan and I agree again on something, pictures are important BUT she and I feel like the least photogenic of the bunch. Mother however, is the most photogenic. I had her at 2 doctor appointments this week and quite frankly was worried about her spending the day here today with so many, but pain pills did their job today and she looks amazing in these photos. Truth is....I really worry...well let's try and keep this post positive.

My heart is in that photo below. Oh how richly blessed I am to have these people in my life. 

We have been hit hard with the news of Jeff's diagnosis. Not just me, but the kids too. They have been so concerned and so helpful. Paul Allen was over early doing all the turkey stuff before they had to go to Katie's family's house. We moved our feast until 2:00, so they could come back and enjoy us later. Lindsay is working behind the scenes at work to make all the retirement stuff go smoothly and has put together a small reception for Jeff (he doesn't know). She feels it is important he knows how much he means to the district staff (Jeff is like the secret peacemaker there) and the principals at all the schools. He is basically their evaluator and a mentor to so many of them. We are praying that things will be better when he is retired. To make matters hard to see that this week he has a kidney stone and something like a pinched nerve in his upper back. All that has made for someone who hasn't felt well at all on his week off from work. It has been hard to know if the fatigue he has felt was all of that or the Parkinson's. Time will tell and yes, we are scared

His last day of work is December 21st.

Next up is Jeff's sister's family. Donna pictured front row left is not feeling all that well either. She is 12 years older than Jeff and they only have the one daughter. Kristan. Al, her husband has no siblings that had children and so as I have said before, that leaves Kristan, Lindsay, and Paul Allen as a small set of cousins. Kristan is 10 years older than Lindsay but these 3 are very close. We lived across the street from Donna until after Kristan left for college so they got to watch her grow up. Kristan's husband Torrey is on the right with his mom. His parents have done Thanksgiving with our family since they married. Torrey's dad passed away a couple of weeks before last Thanksgiving. Miss Judy was looking a little more herself this year. 

And then we have our younger generation. The twins are getting so big. 14 now....teens. Not sure how that happened so fast.

That is a wrap on Thanksgiving. Lindsay and Tyler went full on Christmas at their house today before heading to the feast:) 

Lindsay sent me this picture after they got home tonight. 

I am going full on Christmas too now. 
The tree is up. I had to buy it because all the good ones would be gone from the place I like to buy from.

I love a tree that has a few imperfections (not too many). I like for it to look real!

I am going to do a couple of things different this year. I only had to buy one thing of ribbon for my idea to happen. Stay tuned. I will share all of it. 

From C.S. Lewis....
Courage isn't the absence of fear but acting despite it. In fact, you would not need courage if you did not have fear. 


  1. Those are the best pictures...everyone looks so happy and thankful!! I do miss the days when my grands were young. It is just not the same now that they are older. I am glad you are journaling. Sometimes it helps to put pen to paper.

  2. What a beautiful post you have written Sandy of your Thanksgiving blessings from the week! The pictures of the family are treasures and what memories they will bring forward. Your tree looks lovely and I look forward to seeing your plan for it. Thinking of you.

  3. What a wonderful post! God bless you and keep you. 💙

  4. I loved seeing your family together, and those little boys are just so precious! So happy you had that day together at the airfield, with the kids just loving every bit of it. Praying for you and your family as you walk a new journey together. God is with you and is already there, preparing the way ahead. So walk in faith, knowing you are never alone. Take care and enjoy every moment to the fullest.

  5. Look at your gorgeous family! I am so glad y'all were all together and that your mom was feeling well enough to join in. I know these moments are so precious. The boys are absolutely adorable as always and looks like y'all had a fun outing! And I love the "more cheese"!! Haha! I sure do hope Jeff is feeling better soon. I can't wait to hear about his retirement party! He sounds like a well-loved employee, and I know they will miss him greatly. I enjoyed seeing all of your pictures and pray that the days leading up to Christmas will be calm and enjoyable for you all.

  6. Your mother looks totally thrilled to be there, beautiful smile. Lovely family
    Keeping Thanksgiving as Thanksgiving isn't easy. Your table is beautiful.
    Happy Holidays & Prayers

  7. I'm just reading this post as I was away at Thanksgiving, Sandy. I'm so glad you were all able to gather together to give thanks for your blessings. I'm sure Jeff's diagnosis is always at the back of your mind, but I know that with the love of your family and your strong faith, that you'll manage just fine. Life may be different as you age, but isn't that the case with most of us? You just never know what lies around the corner... Loved all your family photos especially the one of all of you with your dear mother and those two cuties in front of the Christmas tree in their little pjs. Adorable! Hope you have a wonderful month ahead. Take care now ♥


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