Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

How blessed we are each and every day by our God, who gives and gives and gives!  Our 1000 Gifts journal has given us a better appreciation this year to all the gifts around us and that we need to be on the look-out every day for them.  During the month of November, I had a thankful post every day on my facebook account.  I have included some of them below....

Thank you God for my firstborn son, Fone! He was the easiest baby and made me think that it was all because of me being super mom. God humbled me super fast by showing me around the age of 2-3 that Fone is a carbon-copy of Neil's energy and a combination of both mine and Neil's tempers together - phew!! Yes, humbled, for sure. Not a super mom after all. I just had a normal kid - well, maybe not so much...Fone 's super intense personality makes him excel beyond my own understanding. He does amazing with his school work, reads for hours each day, has a very natural talent in playing piano, has written books and stories every since he's been able to form words, and can truly do almost anything he sets his mind on. There are days when I can't believe he's my kid, he's that talented! He also has the highest highs and lowest lows, and being his mom is such a blessing and at the same time, an opportunity for me to grow in holiness and acceptance, if you know what I mean! Thank you God for my son, Fone !!
 Thank you God for Mario. He is my little artist, has the biggest heart, remembers everything, and has an amazing imagination. He is best friends with Fone and plays so well with him, but is also best friends with Ariel, his next youngest sibling... he will get out his G. I. Joe guys and plays along when she wants to play Barbies. He does this out of love and wanting her to be happy. He tries to play "mom" more often than he should, but that comes from having such a big heart. He gets all squirmy when Neil and I smooch and when we smooch him, but deep down we know he loves our acts of affection! What a wonderful gift Mario is to our family!!
 Thank you God for my oldest daughter, Ariel. She is so beautiful, motherly, kind, gentle, tender-hearted, obedient, helpful, and so much more. She gives 100% of herself when she does anything and does it with joy and love. She is unflappable and this particular gift has been given to her to remind me to be calm when much around me is messy and loud. She is so much like me, in that she also loves to clean and organize. What a wonderful blessing God gave me when Ariel was born!! :)
 Thank you God for my spunky monkey, Melody.  She has the highest happiest moments ever - her face lights up with big beautiful smiles and she has the cutest giggles and girly voice. On the flip side, she can let out the most nasty blood-curdling screams ever - eeeek! As my little Kindergartener, she loves doing school and learning to read. She has so much life and joy inside of her; it's truly contagious. I love my sweet Melody SO much!
 Thank you God for my Max, who truly showers me with your love (yes, and pee this past week when he wet the bed -lol). He tells me "I love you" fifty plus times a day, and even will shout it across the house just so I know. He is snuggly, bubbly, happy, and has your JOY, Lord. Other than his fits (maybe 1 or 2 a day), he is a beautiful reflection of you! I am so thankful we listened to your plans, Lord, instead of the doctors and were open to his life. I love my Max!!
 Thank you God for my sweet Pookey, who has made me relax our intensity of school this year, so that I may enjoy the rest of his babyhood. He is super busy and into everything, but I can see his strong spirit and only imagine all that God has planned for him someday. He is so stinkin' cute, not as snuggly as I would like, playful as ever, smart as can be, and has all of us Youngs head over heels for him. I am so thankful that I didn't listen to the doctors when the suggested that I didn't have any more children due to the risks of the 5 c-sections before him. God was with us and kept him safe during the pregnancy and delivery! <><

Thank you God for my husband - who is my best friend, my lover, an amazing father, my spiritual director, a great leader, and so much more! He's a man of many hats and I'm so blessed that God picked him especially for me!! (and just writing this had me blushing - hee, hee!!)

I am thankful for my dad, mom,and my 3 wonderful sisters. I never dreamed that we would all be as close as we are today - love you all so much!!!

I am thankful for Neil's family.... his parents and his brother & wife (and their 8 children), and just like my family, they all live in this area and are such an important part of our life. Love you guys!!

Thank you God for the gift of Father Tom in our life. Every time he comes over for dinner with our family, I don't want him to leave. He brings such a loving, peaceful, holy presence to our lives. He smiles and accepts the noise and chaos with such grace and love. He is so patient with our children. He eats with us, laughs with us, plays games with the kids, truly listens to the kids when they talk to him, sings and plays the guitar, and always, always prays with us! What a blessing he is to our family!! <><

Thank you God for our slow, lazy mornings where we can wake up when we need to, and especially all the snuggle-time I get from the kiddos as they wake up one by one.

Thank you God for opening up our eyes to the family "sport" of Tae Kwon Do that has allowed us to stay together and avoid 4 different schedules of other sports/practices. Thank you God for the life skills, discipline and confidence it has also brought to our family!

Thank you God for Ann Voskamp's "yes" and sharing her own 1000 Gifts (and counting!). Thanksgiving this year means so much more to me than it ever has, because she has been such a beautiful example and witness on how to live a life of thankfulness on a daily, hourly, minutely basis. Love you, Ann!!! <><

 ***  and my husband surprised me with this one on his status  ***
During this time of thanks, I am most thankful for my wife.  She is the conduit from my selfish world to where I need to be. She is a wonderful and nurturing mother, who works her tail off so that her children can have all that they need. Any personal time she has, she devotes to bettering our children's lives, or mine...she rarely takes it for herself. She is the personification of self-giving love. Thank you Lord for Katie. She has made my last 19 Thanksgivings better each year.

And, here are some pictures of our Thanksgiving celebrations with Neil's side and my side of the family....

and then some special visitors we had the day after Thanksgiving....

What a blessed Thanksgiving it was!!  Thank you God!!!!!!!!

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