We also made time to visit a Children's Museum, go on several walks/jogs together, and play games. "Work and then play" is a phrase we say often and we mean it. We work hard first and then we play hard and have a great time together!
The day before Thanksgiving we started cooking for the big day. We got together with two other families and one set of missionaries on Thanksgiving, so we made a third of the items. Thanksgiving morning, Scott and Annabelle made the family apple cider donuts; they've made these donuts for three years now, always in the Fall but not always for Thanksgiving. We ate them for breakfast Thanksgiving morning since we had just finished our sugar fast. Unfortunately, a couple of the kids had tummy aches later from eating all that sugar; I told them to eat something besides donuts and cereal (another special 'treat' dad picked up for the kids for thanksgiving; we had cheerios, mini wheats and granola), but alas, they did not listen to my wise counsel :). But I really have no room to speak because the day after Thanksgiving I went way overboard eating donuts, and several pieces of pie with ice cream and that night I paid for it, in a terrible way. I was on the toilet for awhile at 2am and I was so uncomfortable in bed with stomach aches, back pains, hot flashes and dizziness. The next day as I passed my nightstand and saw the bottle of the Peppermint essential oil and the consecrated oil, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of love, remembering how Scott took care of me in the wee hours of the night(and this wasn't the first time), giving me a Priesthood blessing of healing and then rubbing the peppermint oil over my back and stomach and feet.
Scott made his traditional and wonderful Caramel Apple Pie.
We also made a holiday quinoa salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls and cupcakes for the kiddos.
I loved the pasta necklaces they made. Mandie colored various pasta shapes using rubbing alcohol and food coloring and they looked very festive. We had such a lovely day, visiting with our amazing friends and eating good food. There were 8 adults and 13 children in all.
And last but not least, we need to put a picture up of the Gratitude Tree. This is the same tree I made last year using old brown paper bags. The kids put on new leaves each day with something they were grateful for.
I love these scripture passages on gratitude:
"Counsel with the Lord in all they doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let they heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day." -Alma 37:37
This next one also just so happens to be one of my favorite scriptures; it gives me something to strive to be and to continuously work on and develop in my life:
"And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive." -Alma 7: 23
If I had to make a top ten list of things I'm grateful for, it would look like this:
1.) Jesus and his gospel/Scriptures, the Bible and Book of Mormon/Living Prophet/Temples etc (this is what keeps me on track, brings peace, hope and happiness in my life and really makes me who I am which is someone who is trying to be like Jesus: loving, good, honest, service-oriented etc)
2.) Scott; he's my best friend, husband and the love of my eternity
3.) Children, parents, siblings and other family member; they bring me so much joy
4.) Good health; healthy body, mind and spirit
5.) Food...I just love it; and we need it
6.) A roof over our heads; warm, welcoming home
7.) Friends and neighbors
8.) Scott's job that provides for all our needs
9.) Cars/planes so we can visit family
10.) Internet; helps me keep in touch with family and I have so much knowledge at my fingertips