Saturday, January 7, 2012

A quick glimpse of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is truly one of my very favorite holidays - and this year we were excited to be all together.
Amy and Forrest (along with their two monkeys) wandered down from Covington and Colleen and Erik and the girls made the trek from Jackson, Wyoming to share a week with us.  To top it off we also were able to celebrate Sadie's fourth birthday!  This precious little princess warms my heart.  We shared my bed on her birthday and as we snuggled together she was so sweet and thankful for the birthday gifts she had received that morning - her sweet spirit and giving heart are lessons for me to learn from too.

Sadie enjoying tea and scones at a real tea house
For her birthday, we caravaned out to the coast on a beautiful old road (part of which was snow and mud) to be greeted with 60 mile per hour winds and drenching rain.  Tillamook cheese factory was our safe haven for lunch, a tour and of course ice cream!

Colleen at the tea house
The following day, while I was at work, my daughters ventured out to a fancy tea house with the three oldest.   Forrest was working, so Erik and Ryan were left to take care of the youngest two - twenty months old and only two weeks apart.  Raina slept but Selah kept Ryan entertained playing with cars and balls!  I came home for lunch and found him on the floor with her:)  Erik was trying to read but had to abandon it when Ryan also headed to work.

The tea party crowd had a wonderful time savoring cucumber sandwiches, scones and cookies.  They
also had a hat room where some wonderful wide brimmed and classic numbers could be tried on and worn while sipping tea.

Ephraim also enjoying the tea party

Elisa Joy

Amy and Ephraim

Michelle and Ephraim

Beautiful Elisa modeling her red bonnet

Entertaining guests especially little ones offers challenges sometimes:)  I came home one evening to a crazy game of follow the leader - only crazy dance moves or somersaults were encouraged.  On both of Colleen's last visits, Oregon provided only cold and drizzles and downpours each time we wanted to be outside.  Being from Wyoming they are used to playing outside in the winter - but it is usually sunny and cold or snowing - both more fun than being drenched.

Crazy dance moves

Five little munchkins!

Forrest attempting to teach Erik to juggle fruit!

Ryan sharing his talents with his nieces.
Ryan is a very talented pianist and spent time sharing some music with Elisa and Sadie.  Both will start piano with Colleen when the piano arrives at their house.

Thanksgiving was a wonderfully relaxed day - with all of my talented daughters helping out in the kitchen we sat down to quite a feast - Ryan rushing home from work to join us and get our family photo taken! We have so much to be thankful for -  the joy of being all together and recognizing how we are truly a blessed family enveloped by our love for each other and God's grace over us.
Elisa and Sadie wanted to make a trip to Willamette National Cemetery to visit their Boppa.  Only Elisa was born before Alvis died - she was not even three yet.  Amy and Colleen both are wonderful about sharing moments about their dad with their children.  Ephraim's middle name is Alvis, too.  While we gathered around his head stone I remember how tenderly Amy explained why his Boppa was here and all the others surrounding him.  She shared how Jesus had carried Boppa to heaven.  I loved that image.
May we all be carried to heaven this way.  Elisa and Sadie traced his name over and over.  I wish with all my heart that they could have really known their grandpa.  He was pretty amazing and was quite enamored with Elisa - he had a picture of her on the front of his locker in the physician's lounge:)

Visiting Boppa
All too quickly our week was over.  I wanted time to stand still - at least slow down a little.  I remember as a child my dad would talk about wanting a big house someday with all these different wings branching off of a center point - one wing for each of his five daughters and for him and mom.  I really understand this dream and claim it as my own now.  As God prepares a home for us in heaven, I relish the hope and dream that maybe it will still come true - with God at our center.

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