We have our tickets! We are going to spend this Thanksgiving week with daughter # 2 and then have an extended visit with #1 on the way home. As the holiday approaches I have begun to think about giving thanks. It is so easy to become wrapped up in daily chores that although I do have a grateful heart most of the time, I often forget to say "Thank You" out loud.
Sure, God knows everything and He knows my heart, but He still likes to hear me say it! So I am enbarking on a little exercise that I found on a homeschool site, http://chocolateonmycranium.blogspot.com/2008/10/thanks-and-giving.html The writer of the blog says, "Autumn is my favorite time of year. One of the main reasons is because I LOVE Thanksgiving. I think it's wonderful to celebrate all the bounteous goodness God has blessed us with. To gather round with family and friends and enjoy good food and great company. It also helps that Thanksgiving is not so commercialized as other holidays have become.
When my oldest was 4 we started a little tradition that has helped my children focus on not only being grateful but on giving as well. We call them our Thanks & Giving trees. I print off two bare trees for each child. Every evening starting November 1st we put one leaf on each tree. On one leaf we write something we are grateful for and stick it on the Thanks Tree. On another leaf we write something we have done to serve or give to others and place it on our Giving Tree. Serving can be as simple as smiling at someone, singing a song to a crying baby, sharing a toy, or writing a letter to Grandma."
And then she gives the PDFs for making a "thanks and giving tree." Each day you write what you are thankful for and add a leaf to the tree. Even though all the kiddos are out on their own I think it will be good for Grandpa and me to actually see some of the things we are thankful for. I encourage you to give it a try!