Monday, November 21, 2011

So Very Thankful

He's home!

Jason is back after what felt like the longest month. How could a month feel so long after spending many months apart? Well, I am pretty sure that being in the middle of a big move has something to do with it. We are just so happy to have him home, just in time for Thanksgiving!
When we picked Jason up at the airport, the kids were all excited. We pulled up to the curb and I jumped out to run and tackle him. We shared a long embrace and kissed like a couple of teenagers. Then I opened the van door and Jason was greeted with a chorus of "DADDY!" Even Delmar (our sweet dog) was excited to see him. Just as Jason was climbing into the van, a stranger came up to the door, slipped some money into Jason's hand, and thanked him, wishing us a happy Thanksgiving. In that moment, we both felt so grateful that someone else was grateful. Military families sacrifice a lot and there are thousands of service members that won't be home for the holidays this year. For a perfect stranger to acknowledge that... it was a beautiful moment.
(The picture above is an example of how creative kids can be when they are left to use their imagination. Leila made a princess out of rocks and seashells!)
We've been spending a lot of time at the beach again lately. The kids and I discovered a new secret spot and we've been there almost every day, combing the shore for sea glass, pottery, and pretty shells. The beach has a perfect view of the Olympic mountains, which are covered with snow right now. The leaves are changing and the sea lions play in the water near the island. The kids like to watch the ferry boats and trains pass by and I am just happy to get out of the RV park.
We have been on a lot of adventures in the last few weeks. There have been new parks discovered and we have a little list of the things we want to see before we leave here. There are only days left now before we head out.
When Jason was gone, I took the kids on a lot of adventures. The picture above wasn't taken in Colorado, or even Montana. This was when we got back home to Washington! We took a day trip up to Mt. Rainier again and got to drive through a fantastic snowstorm.
It was really coming down! The kids wanted to stay up there forever, but after I watched a pickup truck drive off the road I decided we should probably head back down the mountain.
This little guy was obviously looking for food. He came right up to our van and watched me as I took pictures of him. The kids were thrilled!
And in between the snow and rain, we even had some sunshine! We hit the park behind our old house and burnt off some energy.

Of course, sometimes we just need to get out and go somewhere. Target is a favorite stop for us and Matthew had a few birthday gift cards to spend, so we have been there a lot lately. The other day we were stopped by a couple that just adopted their seventh child and have four toddlers. We chatted for awhile, right there in the housewares aisle. Sometimes adult conversation is such a blessing and this husband and wife had no idea how much they made my day. After we left, I wished that I'd gotten their names so I could contact them. It's not often that I come across other big families around here!
(Can you believe the size of this leaf? Matthew was finding leaves bigger than his head!)
It feels strange that this week is already Thanksgiving. We've been so focused on the move, the TDY assignment, and handling the houses, that we almost forgot to pause and be thankful. As I watch things work themselves out, the way they always do, I am very thankful. I let myself worry too much about things I can't control and when I just finally relax and give it up to God, it always works out better than I could have planned.

2012 is going to bring some big changes for us, and I'm going to do my best to write more, worry less, and just enjoy life.

To anyone who is still reading my neglected little blog, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you spend the day with those that you love and that you are able to count your blessings. To my friends with loved ones serving overseas, I'm praying for you.
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