Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our Thanksgiving...

As I prepared my family for Thanksgiving this year I pondered on how thankful they really are. I especially wondered if they were thankful for their Catholic faith and being part of a crazy big family. Thanksgiving in our home is more than just a day. This year we started our preparation on Tuesday as we rushed through our school work and got in over our heads in crafts and decorating for our guests on Thursday. I thought of the many families who had family away due to military assignments and those who lost loved ones this year. How hard it would be for them to be “Thankful”. It made my own sadness at not having my son with us for the first time, who is in the seminary this year, a little less upsetting knowing he is in a safe and wonderful place discerning God’s will for his life.
The crafts took over the house and I kept thinking “Are we Thankful?” Thank God for my 12 and 14 year old daughters who took over the projects as I tried to set the table for 25 and figure out who would sit next to whom? My poor husband was working from home that day and at one point walked into our crazy mess of scissors, glue, and paint. I couldn’t help to think “Is he Thankful?” do we make him glad to be the father of 11? I looked around the kitchen at craft central and wondered why I started this mess?! As homeschoolers we do the bulk of our crafts during holidays and around the liturgical year. My husband always jokes that if the kid’s college diploma doesn’t land them a job, they can always get jobs as camp counselors doing crafts all day! The funny thing is that the three oldest actually work at a kids camp in the summer!
Tuesday night ended with rearranging the kitchen furniture, making sure all the kids were happy with the person they were sitting next to. Hmmm…”are they Thankful?” about the relationships they have with their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents? Then to add to the excitement, (as if we have a boring life), my teenage son decided to have some buddies sleep over a tent in the backyard in 34 degree weather!!! They were bound and determined to make it through the night, and they did make it till 6 am until their feet were half froze.
Wednesday was cleaning day so I got up early, got on the treadmill, went to 6:30am mass, and hit the grocery store before all the crowds got there. My wonderful husband decided to surprise me and work from home again. It was nice to just have another adult around to support my craziness…and “I was very Thankful.” I wanted to start the cleaning right away but I was serving waffles and hot chocolate to the teenagers as well as my other darlings….”Am I Thankful?” crossed my mind over and over again, as I wiped up syrup off the floor, wall, and everywhere else!!! My 12 year old took over finishing the crafts so I could concentrate on all the kids cooking for the Family Bakeoff, where each person brings a dish (appetizer, side, or dessert) to be judged by all for overall favorite!!! My teenage son and his buddies played football all day with the little boys, which kept them outside and out of my hair. It was nice to be so “Thankful” for my teenager…or any teenager for that matter!
That night I took my son to boys club with my two little girls and my husband decided it would be smart to just pick up pizza to help with the “kitchen situation”. So we laid a table cloth on the playroom floor and ate pizza and watched 101 Dalmatians. It was really exciting especially since the four youngest hadn’t seen it before. We were all “very Thankful!” Then off to bed for the kids and back to work for momma who had lots of last minute kitchen stuff to do! The little guys clothes were all set out and rooms cleaned. I also got to utilize one of my favorite rules about kids coming out of their beds and having to do a job for me…so I got both dishwashers emptied by those dawdlers and some extra work too!!! I was “very Thankful” to finally get to bed at 1am. Not my usual 9:30pm bedtime by any means, but I felt happy to know that everything was set for Thanksgiving Day.
Thursday the baby woke up around 6:30am and I was on the move. I said some quick morning prayers of Thanksgiving and that we would have a good day and all would be “Thankful!” Grandma knocked at the front door around 8am to bring some last minute stuff like dinner napkins, her dish, and other fun goodies! As usual I was and always will be “Thankful” for this wonderful friend and mother-in-love who is my right hand! Thanksgiving morning means getting to our favorite 10 am mass at our parish Sacred Heart in Bowie. It is an amazing mass full of all of our favorite people. This year we had one on the altar serving, one in the children’s choir, and one sitting with the group of altar servers. Of course I got to hang in the foyer with the one year old that just can’t seem to keep quiet in church! After a quick hello to all our friends after mass we rushed home to get the big guys off to the 20th annual Turkey Bowl Football game down the road with family and friends. I actually think that is one of the most “Thankful” things my kids are grateful for on Thanksgiving Day. I stay home with the little guys for naps and touch up all that last minute stuff. After the game they come home to clean up and wait for the family to start to arrive. We start to eat, play more football, watch football, eat, play more football, have our Thanksgiving dinner, lay around watching football and whatever movies are showing, and start eating desserts! Than time for the little guys to go to bed and the rest of us lay around in front of the TV till we have to drag ourselves off to bed. My mom used to have the house perfect after the holiday crowds left but I left the leave the kitchen still pretty messy and get off to bed anyway!
Friday we usually just recuperate from the day before until we all go cheer on the teenagers at the youth group Turkey Bowl football game. The little guys decided that it was the best Thanksgiving ever! I was again “Thankful” for my sweet hubby who made Turkey soup. The crazy mom in me said yes to the little boys and my 12 year old daughter, to sleeping out in the freezing tent before it was put away for the winter. It was pretty comical. I felt like the princess in the pea with 20 blankets, pillows, comforters, and layers and layers of clothes! My seven year old had on 10 pairs of socks! I know they were “Thankful”; I appreciated the memory, not the lack of sleep, just the time with them.
Saturday ended our Thanksgiving as we headed up in the attic to get out the Advent stuff. Thank you God for this time of preparation for the coming of Your son. Thank you too for a family that learned once more the importance of being “Thankful”.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

And Thank you God for Sam..for showing us of the importance of being "Thankful"!