+[giving thanks]+

Because we have been traveling, then shuffling back and forth as we slowly transition into our new home, this Thanksgiving we opted to be home alone - just the four of us.  Both old (couples we used to be on church staff with) and new (neighborhood and homeschool support group) friends here in Colorado invited us to join them but we opted out, unanimously agreeing that cooking together and relaxing was exactly what we most desired.   It was such a satisfying choice.

One of the goals that Doug and I have always had for the girls is that they could completely run a home by the time they were about 12.  Not that we would ever ask them to, but that they could.  The reason for choosing that age is that we can see biblically where 12 is a delineation marker for maturity and responsibility.  Savannah was successful with that progressive learning and now Peyton is on her last leg of that practice and learning.  Part of that "keeper of the home" training is obviously cooking, including full holiday meals.  This year I merely did the jobs they did when they were very young - "helping" with each recipe, keeping every ones drinks filled, getting ingredients out, finding yet another bowl, grabbing another egg, doing dishes, changing the music - but they cooked (and helped plan)  the entire meal.  Except for the turkey, as Doug is solely responsible for turkey each year.  It was such a blessing to be side by side in the kitchen with them all day today - watching them and realizing how very far we have come and how much they have matured.  Their meal was incredible!  And since cooking is one of their favorite things to do with me (or without), I am still hearing about how much fun they had.  In fact Peyton is sitting right in front of me chattering away about it as I type. 

We have family food favorites which we only make for Thanksgiving - things we crave the rest of the year, things they have been helping with since they were toddlers.  So actually being the one behind the spoon now feels like a natural progression, they say.

Their Thanksgiving Menu:

Dads turkey
Tart Citrus Cranberry Sauce
Moms Southern Cornbread dressing
Garlic Parmesan Smashed Red Potatoes with Gravy
Mrs. Colleens Yellow Squash Casserole
Baked and Whipped Sweet Potatoes topped with Honey, Pecans and Coconut
Sauteed Green Beans with buttered Pecans
Home made Texas Rolls
Caramel Apple Galette
Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Oh, and Peyton was on table decor.  Nothing artificial, of course.

After dinner we all sat by the firepit out back and passed the Thankful Jar.  Doug had  made copies of a few of his favorite Psalms and passed them out for each of us to read inbetween pulling out one our personal notes of Thanks.  We talked of where we are as a family vs where we have been.  In fact, that difference was one of Savannahs thankful notes.  We talked of families and specific friends who have shown themselves faithful over this past year specifically.  There has been much sifting in that regard for our family.  We talked of God and His amazing Provisions since Doug gave us direction to head to Colorado.  We dont want the girls to ever forget this story, which we are right in the middle of!  Oh the family Testimony!  We talked of how nothing in our lives right now is due to our planning, striving or making things work and how glad we are!  Its all His Glory now.  It was such a special way to end a very wonderful day. 

Doug and I sat fireside for a few minutes after the girls had gone in.  Stars above were so bright and the smell of Pinon wood burning as the trees swayed made for a lovely moment.  He commented on how blessed we are to share these days with our girls, how engaging and interesting they are and how rich our family life is in this season.  I wholeheartedly agree.   Many a mercy and provision from God has led to where we are relationally.  All of the best things in our life together have been those we never planned.  We are so very thankful and so very blessed.