As with most years, I have an incredible list of things to thank the Lord for! We've had some really hard times in our family these past couple of years, but we've also had many sweet victories! God has been faithful all year and I see His hand moving in so many areas of our lives. There still are things that I pray fervently for, but I know he is listening and will answer in the proper time.
Today in church, the preacher said, "I've talked with several mountain climbers and they all say that there is no growth at the top of a mountain. The growth is in the valley." I chewed on this statement a little and found a lot of wisdom in it. When things are hunky-dorey and moving along well, I find myself not crying out to God, well, not just not crying, but sometimes not even taking the time to talk to God. It's not intentional. It's just a natural inclination to forget about my need of Him when I'm not suffering. As I type that, I shudder, it sounds so awful! So not who I want to be, but if I'm honest, it is so who I am. Now-- when trouble comes a knockin', my prayers start a flyin'!
The amazing thing is that God never says, (as I would be apt to), "Oh, well,well, well, now you come to me. Strange it's only when you need something, isn't it?" Nope, He comforts me and I know He hears my pleas. So, it's no wonder that my faith grows in the valleys of life. It's not God's fault that I bolster my faith in the bad times. He's there in all times, good and bad. I'm the one who wavers, not God.
So, on to recalling Thanksgiving 2015... God answered my prayer in a mighty way and Beth, Greg and Evie moved from a nine plus hour drive away to a 2 and 1/2 hour drive from our home!! I can hardly believe it... pinch me!!! As a result of them moving so close to Thanksgiving, they decided to spend Thanksgiving with us and Christmas with Greg's family. (we were supposed to get Christmas this year). But, hey! I put on my big girl panties and realized the truth that they were close to me now and thus I had no room to gripe!
This change, on the bright side, meant we'd have all of our kids together for one day. It's been 2 years since that happened. A great time for a picture, right??? Wrong.....not if you want that picture to be a "good" one of everybody. How many shots does it take to catch one instant where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling (or at least not frowning)? Apparently, more than 7!
Layne's not looking...
Waverly's not looking and Evie is messing with her hair
Close, but Abbey and Layne have strange smiles going on...
Evie has about had it! (Note...she had just participated in a marathon photo shoot with her mom and dad a few moments before we started this one. She had reached her limit of photo smiles)
Evie is still not with the program and Elijah is either picking his nose, or trying out his "Bewitch" skills?
We did get some good pictures of John and I with our precious grandchildren
Evie flat out refused to be apart of this one.
The day after Thanksgiving we went to the beach for a few days.
The weather was beautiful. I was amazed that Abbey swam in November!
I found my first ever whole sand dollar shell
Our house got a new coat of paint. Maybe we should rename it "the lemon peel"? The lesson learned here is to test your painter's sense of matching colors before he applies the paint. (Actually it's kind of grown on me, but at first...it burned my retinas)
With such great weather, it was hard to believe that Christmas was right around the corner!