Our Thanksgiving With Grandkids
(Check out Noah's Dinosaur Roar-front row)
Another Thanksgiving is past. The house is again quiet and I feel the bigness. Jodi and family of five left Monday morning the same time I pulled out for work. Josh and family of five had left the day before. The quietness greets me as I come home from work. Touches of toddler decorations linger over the house. Two lego race car drivers, their crudely made vehicles, sitting side by side on the dining room table, look ready to speed away. An orange birthday balloon is nestling in the peace plant on the floor. Its airhead buddies of other colors bobble in place on the carpet close by.
A mountain of sheets and towels lie in front of the washer. A menagerie of plastic cups spreads across the kitchen counter, each one marked with a name. The refrigerator holds enough leftovers that I will not need to cook this week. Where bustle had reigned, now there is stillness.
We're working on the cleanup gradually; each remnant remaining of the family visit reminding us of the new treasures we carry in our memory. It was a rich time of having fun and sharing thoughts and doing life side-by-side for a few days.
Like playing card games and starting Monopoly (who ever finishes that game?!). Shopping on Black Friday, not seriously, but just out to experience the adrenaline of this once-a-year craziness. Eating out at our favorite places. Celebrating Dominic's 7th birthday. Playing Scrabble with Jodi and Josh. Taking Jill, Elle and Brayden, with Jodi, out for coffee and hot pretzels. Taking walks and taking pictures with Emanuel's expertise. And counting on Kira to post it all on FaceTime and Snap Chat where I could later download the pictures I missed taking.
Like this conversation with almost three-year-old Noah:
"I love you."
"I love you, too, Noah.
Like Ian 9, playing games with the adults and doing well. Like Nana picking up fashion tips from the teen grand kids.
Thanksgiving Day was perfect. The meal went smoothly thanks to preparing most of the dishes ahead of time, roasting the turkey the week before and heating everything up in the oven just before we sat down to eat. Daughter-in-law, Kristina, brought mashed potatoes, Jodi helped bake the pies the day before and Papa worked hard to create a spacious place in the garage where all nineteen of us could eat at the same table and file through a yummy food buffet lined up on his work tables. What a moment of pride and emotion as I paused before eating to read aloud Psalms 100 and Kevin, to offer thanks to our good Father, for family and provision. Kevin's parents represented the oldest generation among us and were a reminder of the legacy others from previous generations have entrusted to us. May we diligently continue to pass along the reality and truth of the God who woos each of us to his love and intimacy and makes it possible to live forgiven and whole because of the sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ. Indeed Thanksgiving day is everyday! (Thankfully, only a few of them involve cooking for a crowd :) The rest of the holiday provided time for Dan, Kristina, Aubrey, Shawn and Rebecca to join the families staying in-house and get in on some games, visiting and playing with cousins.
Thank you to the families who traveled long distances to be here. "We missed you"s to the families who couldn't come. And thank you to everyone for being our wonderful, beautiful family. You are loved!