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How was your Saturday, friends? I wasn’t feeling great, so the long list of tasks I intended to accomplish remained untouched. I felt guilty, like I was squandering the day, but Russ assured me it was okay to rest, so I did. The day turned out to be a gift.

This Wednesday Annarose is once again putting on a community Thanksgiving dinner for hundreds of people. Last year, Share Thanksgiving was a huge success, and this year we expect it to be even bigger. Word got around that that there was turkey and all the yummy foods that go with it. And homemade pies — lots of pies.

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It’s 7:00 am and I already need to turn my day around. I’m a little frazzled with kids stuff – normal kid stuff, and that right there is something to be thankful for.

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a comfortable bed to sleep in, even if my kids wake me up multiple times in a night

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In the nearly 28 years that I’ve been a mom, I’ve seen my share of toys come and go. I’m not a fan of toys that break easily or only hold a child’s interest for two days. I want toys and games that will last for years.

I hope you enjoy our family favorites and find new toys and games your children will love.

I miss these faces!

I miss these faces!

I’m on my way home to Russ and my sweet ones this morning. This time with my extended family has been very dear to me and I’m glad I came. I’m in that funny space of being sad for this to end and totally ready to be home again and jump back into life. Too bad it takes so many hours to get all the way back across the country.

With all of this vacation fun, I forget to post a reminder of my giveaway for Mary Ostyn’s new book Forever Mom: What to Expect When You’re Adopting.

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Hannah and Mimi

I woke up this morning in Richmond, Virginia. I won’t complain about the delayed flights (even the one that departed three hours late) because I’ve flown to Africa more than once, and those are looooooong flights and very tiring days.

My nephew is getting married tomorrow; he is my sister, Laura’s, oldest son. I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to come, but as I thought about my parents being here and both of my sisters, it seemed wise to take the opportunity to spend some special time together. Plus we get to celebrate Drew and his new wife.

As a super bonus, Mimi traveled with me and Hannah is flying in tonight. We’re even going to do a little sightseeing all together after the wedding. This is such a rare and sweet time.

photo credit: samuel qualls

photo credit: samuel qualls

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a Saturday that stretched before us – no travel, meetings, or appointments

warm weather while we worked in the yard 

Russ’ happiness at a day spent outdoors

kids cheerfully (for the most part) working with us

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major progress on prepping for our garage remodel

folks from our care group who spent hours working with us yesterday

a nearly empty (for the first time in 15 years) garage

storage bins on clearance

gathering as a family last night to celebrate Little Man’s 8th birthday (which is tomorrow)

 

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I have this thing about writing with pencils. I used to write everything with black ink, but the more children I had, the more necessary it was to make adjustments, rearrange, reschedule, and sometime scratch things right off my calendar and to-do list. When I couldn’t stand the mess of changes continually happening in my life, I began to write with pencils; at least with a pencil, I could erase and write in the new plan.

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As always, I have so much to be thankful for. It’s an unusual Sunday because all of our older kids are out of town with their group of friends. Only seven kids home for dinner (we’re borrowing one for the day) and somehow it feels like I have the week off from cooking. I had better give dinner a little bit of thought or I’ll have an unhappy crew on my hands.

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sisters braiding hair while waiting for the bus

supper club – friends gathering around one another’s tables for many years

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Some people plan couple’s massages. Not us, we like being a little different (as you may have noticed), so we scheduled couple’s colonoscopies. One of the perks of turning 50 is paying better attention to our health. Having an oncology nurse for one of my best friends hasn’t given me wiggle room with things like mammograms or now this – the dreaded colonoscopy.

We could have done our colonoscopies separately, but we chose to have them “cheek to cheek” rather than lose two weekends to this loveliness.