One of my favorite things to do on Thanksgiving is to watch Kev and his mom cook together. Kevin takes his turkey dinner very seriously. He impresses me more and more every year. And when you get a chance to see he and his mom in the kitchen together you instantly know where he gets if from. Since I am seriously out of place and out of my comfort zone in the kitchen, I just stand around and wait for directions (and snap pictures with my phone of course.) This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving sites: watching mom pass on her expertise to her son, so that we have amazingly wonderful meals for many many years to come, and so that there will be SOMEONE in the family that can teach our children to cook later.
Of course we correct the children when they try to feed the dogs some turkey, but mommy waits until no one is peeking to make sure that her fur-babies are well taken care of. SHHH, They had their fair share of the bird, as evidenced by their food comas after dinner.
It is a long-time tradition that after dinner, we write letters to Santa. I treasure these letters. They are always so precious, and I love to look back over the years to see how the kids' Christmas wishes have changed over time, and how their writing skills have progressed. After writing our letters, we take pictures, and "mail them" in our stockings. You'll notice in the letters below that there is a rule in the Mann house that you cannot just start off with "I WANT." You have to write at least 1-2 sentences before a request. That's what you get when you have a writing teacher as a mom!
I love that Jackson decided to illustrate his wish this year. He wanted to make sure that Santa was not confused when he put his presents together. Ive also noticed that the lists get shorter every year. As they grow up and develop more expensive tastes, they have gotten kind enough to give Santa a break. Great kids!
Gracie has remained a great sport when it comes to Christmas traditions. She knows how important they are to Mommy, so she still puts her all into things like Santa letters, Elf on the Shelf shows, baking cookies for Santa and so on. I love that she loves me enough to give me this. It's funny that when your kids get to a certain age, Santa becomes something that the kids give their parents for Christmas rather than the other way around. Maybe we will eventually get to a point where Kev and I can go to bed early, and they will get up in the middle of the night to put out presents?? No, I don't think I can ever turn over those reigns.
It's been a long and trying year for me. There were times that I needed to just let go, and let Him hold me. I needed to focus hard on His will and His purpose for me, rather than my own plans and expectations for my life. It has been a long journey, and I am still very much at the beginning of the road. I am still working hard to put first things first, let things go, and give Him the reigns. However, I have discovered that, through Him, I am much stronger than I could have imagined at this time last year. I have never felt closer to Him before. I am closer to my God, more grateful for the many blessings he has bestowed upon me, and have learned to embrace my family more than ever before. This Thanksgiving I am the most thankful for the rain. I know that blessings come to us through raindrops, and through the rain, I have become a better me, a better wife and mother, and closer to Him than ever before. Happy Thanksgiving!