Tuesday, November 19, 2013

the thankful tree and some serious gratitude

Each year at the beginning of November we whip up our traditional "Thankful Tree."

It hangs on the fridge all month and when we think of something we are grateful for, WHAM, we can slap a thankful leaf or two up on that thing.

This year the tree has been slow in coming.  Sometimes life sure gets in the way of best-laid-intentions.  
But it's here.  And boy do we ever have a lot to be grateful for.  

It started like this where Grace was the lone instigator of gratitude.

But last night for Family Home Evening it spread to all of us and we added a bunch of leaves to "catch up" to where we would be had we started earlier.

...and then we played Rummikub and had family trivia with "extra long" Twizzlers for prizes which everyone started whipping around the place and ended with someone in tears...not sure if it was because they got whipped or because they didn't get as many as someone else.

But that's beside the point.  The point is that amidst the mayhem our hearts filled up with gratitude for so much.  

How I adore Thanksgiving and the pause to let our worries and heart-aches get smothered out by the things we sometimes forget to kneel in utter gratitude for.

Lucy was especially into exhibiting her new-found writing and spelling skills.

She came up with some good ones, including "bale eyes" which is translated as "blue eyes."

Which brings me to one of my biggest "grateful for" things today:

All the amazing notes and fund raising ideas and donations that came through for the I Love Lucy fund yesterday.

I got all teary a couple times through the day as they just kept rolling in.

Can I tell you how much it means to have people care about and love your daughter and other BBS kids they have never even met?  It feels like your heart might explode.

Thank you, thank you.  Please keep the ideas and any donations coming.  They are going to make such a big difference.

I have an idea on that I will write about soon, but for today I just want to say, there's nothing like a heavy-laden tree to remind you of all those blessings.

Let's take a closer look at that thing so far:
There we go.

It's off to a good start.

Christmas, I love you, but please let us bask in all this gratitude stuff first before you come marching on in in all your glory.


  1. I love this! This year was the first time we've done a thankful tree with our kids. They are 4 and 2 so the holidays are getting really fun and the purpose behind each one seem to be starting to stick with them, which is why I'm all about starting our own family traditions. You're family is a great example! Thanks ;)

  2. For more Thanksgiving ideas, check out this podcast Shawni and I made a while back: http://powerofmoms.com/2012/11/thanksgiving-ideas/

    And this post has some helpful ideas as well (and more Thanksgiving Tree ideas): http://powerofmoms.com/2012/11/best-thanksgiving-ever/

    We're working on our Thanksgiving Tree as well, Shawni! Thanks for giving me this idea years ago - such an important part of November in our family now.

  3. I have to say that is one reason I love our Canadian thanksgiving in October, I can celebrate THANKSGIVNG, without giving a thought to chritmas, and then focus on each holiday!
    I love the tree, so cute!

  4. such a cute idea to remind us to be grateful for all the little things we take for granted.

  5. Here here! I'm so glad you celebrate Thanksgiving as much as you can too! Our family is holding onto it for dear life, as Christmas trees go up all around us. We do our own version of a "Thankful Tree" with the leaves hanging from twigs in a vase. The kids look forward to it every year. :)

  6. Shawni, my name is Shelly and I live in Ephraim, Utah. I follow your blog quite regularly and have wanted so much to be able to do something to help Lucy. Today while reading your "Thankful Tree" post I think I have an idea. I love to make Raggedy Ann & Andy doll sets. I would love to make a set735 that you could raffle or sell or use however you would like to. I just need to wait until after Christmas to get them made. If I had them to you by mid-January would that be okay? Thanks for all you teach and exemplify as a woman, wife and mother. I have loved your parents books for over 27 years when I became a mom. Keep up the great work, I know it is just that, WORK!! But it helps me so much and I am sure it helps many others too!

  7. This is such a great idea. I am wanting to make one for my family. Do you use construction paper or did you buy a big roll of brown paper and then trace it on that? Also do you keep the tree from year to year or do you make a new one every year? Thanks for the great idea


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