Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bring on the Turkey! (and the embarrassing sentiment)

Thanksgiving weekend 2014

Thanksgiving morning our four little pilgrims woke with excitement. Knowing we had plans to do a little holiday bowling, we were eager to eat breakfast, get ready and be on our way. We made our way to Fat Cats, near the Ogden temple, and were surprised to find that we were the only people there. The streets surrounding the temple were likewise empty.
After securing a surprising STRIKE my first roll that morning, I knew it was going to be a good day. :) My strike proved to be a fluke, as I thought it might be, but still deem the morning a success as we made another fun memory with Matt and Allison, my parents and the Chamberlains. 
 Thank you Dad and Mom for keeping this tradition going each year.

Following our trip to Fat Cats, we returned home to put the finishing touches on our souffle while Forrest took a little nap. Finally, it was time to load the car and drive through the pretend woods because we were  off to Grandmother's (new) house to eat delicious food. 

But first! There was coloring. The kids gathered around their table and enjoyed these fun Thanksgiving pages that Nana provided and please note the delicious M and M turkeys Nana made for the kids. That was Eliza's favorite thing.
 It wasn't long after that we gathered around the table to give thanks and eat!
 The children's table 

(I was to busy eating to capture the grown ups)

After dinner, we perused the ads, watched a little Studio C and played a few rounds of Thanksgiving Bingo! Lottie, who was so sad about who knows what, ended up LOVING Bingo. She thought it was fantastic. The kids soon dropped out as they wanted to eat their M and M's rather than use them as bingo chips.
Before Lottie cheered up

I was grateful for a bed to crawl into that night after tucking our children in. Waking up the next morning to do some Black Friday shopping with my Mom, I felt blessed as I took in the beautiful sunrise.
After having our fill of shopping, my Mom went home. I then picked up Eliza who came with me to find some gifts for her school teachers. We ended our morning with breakfast at the corner bakery cafe.

We then turned our attention to the Flegals for our Thanksgiving with them. Uncle Mike and the Green family both flew in for the event. We felt blessed to all be together.
These three cutie pies are darling little friends. They will all be in the same grade! You might feel a little sad for cousin James, Ellie's twin, as he is outnumbered.
But as you'll see in this photo, he has his own crew to play with! Say "Hi" to Forrest. :)

Eliza runs with a more sophisticated crowd. 
 I mean, come on. Check out that grape juice. :)
We are super grateful for these two!
Having had his fill of thanksgivings goodness, Forrest chills back to let it all digest. 
I love that I finally caught a picture of his smile. 
Later that night, Bubba gave him a tour of his fabulous new Christmas tree.
It really is extraordinary, as is their Uncle Mike. 
It was darling to watch as he played with the kids. 

My life isn't as perfect or polished as it may seem on our family blog. We have our share of struggles and weaknesses. It feels, at times, difficult to get a handle on some of these problems. With that being said, I feel incredibly blessed to have and enjoy this family of mine. The joy I have experienced as a Mother is beyond great! My children are so beloved to me. I am thankful that Andrew and I chose this path and that Heavenly Father blessed us with these dear spirits. Attached to this happiness are moments of parental guilt, deep worry, tight lipped frustration transformed into crazy screams of madness! Motherhood is challenging. It's nerve wracking. It's the best thing in my world.

My membership in the {LDS} church gives me so much. Each week I get to take the sacrament and repent for my mistakes. I get to recommit to the promises I made at baptism. When I ask in faith, the Lord blesses me to feel His love. Those moments of reassurance are priceless. I am grateful to know that His promises are sure; if I am faithful in keeping my covenants. The bonds created here are meant to last forever. I'm thankful for the Holy Ghost and the blessings that follow when I am worthy to receive His promptings. The Holy Ghost guides me to help others. He inspires me with ideas to aid and love my children individually and comforts me when I feel overwhelmed or sad. Prayer connects me to heaven and I'm realizing lately, that in all facets of my life, that I need to talk less and listen more. THIS IS HARD FOR ME! Prayer is no exception. The Lord has infinite wisdom that He is eager to give and I often shun this generosity as I fill my life with noise and pointless distraction. But that ability to communicate with a loving Heavenly Father is very real. I know this and would benefit greatly if I took more time to ponder and listen.  

I am thankful for my heritage. I believe in the reality of angels and the heavenly help they provide. Some of these angels, I believe, are our ancestors. It's okay if you think I've boarded the crazy train. You probably aren't alone in thinking this. In part, it's my love and admiration for those who came before that keeps me writing in the over the top, bold to the point of embarrassment, way that I do. As I've read their testimonies, I have been uplifted and encouraged. Maybe someday, a great, great, great Grandchild, with a penchant for being overly chatty and sentimental will connect with me as I have with my ancestors. Maybe they will hold onto that belief that I am close by, keeping watch over the things that they are doing and cheering them on (as reverently as possible) on the other side. I want all of my children and future grand babies to now that their crazy, loud Grandma knows the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. It is here, on the earth! And we are blessed to have a living Prophet and scriptures to guide and uplift us. I feel added strength as I remember the great family I married into. My children descend from amazing men and women, Mormons and non-Mormons alike, whose lives are ours to emulate and admire.

And finally, I am blessed to have a husband who accepts, supports and loves me. We have our days when we challenge, frustrate and drive each other crazy. But, at the end of the day, his hand remains extended toward mine; his heart open to forgive.{Speaking of forgiveness, please forgive me for sounding like a Kays Jeweler commercial. K, thanks!} Marriage has taught me many things; chief among them is that unselfish behavior and doing all that you can to ensure the happiness of your partner is what matters most. Andrew is my best friend. He keeps my secrets, listens (and listens and listens) and makes me laugh all the time. I love him deeply and feel grateful to know that he is truly my match. Where I lack, he is strong. Differences exist but we are learning that they are made complimentary when we dial down the criticism, work together and show respect.

That about covers all of the "turkey feathers" I contributed this year. Thanks for allowing me this space to over share and download my testimony from time to time. It's the most important thing I have and hope I can live it in a way that is pleasing to God and helpful to my kids.


rachel garber said...

I just caught up on your little family and oh my goodness! I love you all. I hope to actually someday meet so my stalking has a reason behind it :) I can't believe how old Forrest suddenly looks. Thanks for continuing to blog when nobody else does. I love it.

*Jess* said...

that is a wonderful Thanksgiving :)