Saturday, November 14

Our Thankfulness Tree and Other Family Ramblings

It's a cold, gray and gusty day here in Buffalo. The kind that reminds you that dinners on the patio are a far, far thing of the past, and that mother nature is blowing her big breaths of wind to bid adieu to more temperate fall days and usher forth our blustery winters.


But, I have a warm cup of coffee in my hands, nowhere to go and am looking forward to the girls getting off the school bus in just a few minutes. We're laying low tonight-- putting away laundry, putting a bookshelf together, and just hanging out in all of its unplanned glory.

We have the usual items on the agenda for the weekend; gymnastics, one of the girls has a birthday party, Ella has rehearsal for her Nutcracker performance.  Scott and I are going to a fundraiser tomorrow night for an amazing local organization that is raising awareness and money to build wells for clean drinking water in Sierra Leone, Africa. If you have the time, and have not heard about them, you should check them out online and support their efforts ( It's really an incredible story, down to the husband and wife who started it all in the midst of their own crazy family life (they have 4 children!) and how they just keeping moving and shaking to create big changes one small town at a time in Africa.

It's also mid-November (how did that happen?!), which means Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I love Thanksgiving for all that it is, and all that it is not. It is a sweet time to be even more intentional than usual about talking to our children about being grateful, about practicing gratitude, about intentionally speaking about our blessings. I also love Thanksgiving because there is not a ton of fanfare and hoopla leading up to it. There are no crazy lights to put up, or extra reasons to shop (except for cranberry sauce and stuffing mix or unless you're one of those crazy black Friday people, which I am very much not!). For the most part it is a relatively low key holiday-- a time to enjoy some good old fashion comfort food and hang out with our families.

Each year we try to practice gratitude around the dinner table in one way or another. In years past I've created a thankfulness tree out of construction paper and have taped it to the glass door next to our kitchen table. Here is a photo of one of our Thankfulness trees from years past...

In the last couple of years, I've gathered all the leaves afterwards, put them together in a  little collage and have laminated it. This way we have a thankfulness record for years to come.

Last year's tree. I must say, I'm quite thankful there is no   s...n...o... (I can't even say it out loud!)
on the ground yet this year! 

This year I decided to try something required sticks (that Aubrey and I collected), a vase (that I had in the basement), and a leaf template that I found online (I'm sorry, I can't find the website right now! But, if you look "Thankfulness Tree" up in Pinterest or Google, you'll find lots of ideas/templates!).

Here is our 2016 Thankfulness Tree...

We try to fill out one leaf a day with the things we are grateful for. My favorite response this week is that Aubrey has learned quite quickly that "Jesus" is a good answer for just about any question. So cute! Yesterday at dinner I said, "Aubrey, your turn, what are you thankful for?"

"Jesus!" she said with a huge grin on her face, like she had just answered the jackpot question correctly.

Which, I guess, she kind of had (;

Hoping to share a few more thankfulness posts with you before the month is out.