One of the MANY things that happened this weekend other than the GLORIOUS weather was this! We finally finished our THANKSGIVING TREE. The girls and I used the di-cut machine at church with our construction paper to make the various leaf and cross and turkey shapes.
The kids had a ball writing what they are thankful for on them. David and I still need to write ours. OK, so you can really make your Gratitude Tree or Thanksgiving Tree any way you'd like but here's how we made ours in case you want step by step instructions.
We found a pretty decorative planter and filled it with styrofoam then the kids found great sticks from the yard (plenty to choose from in ours especially after the crazy rain storm we just had!
Then we stuck them into the styrofoam and covered it with garden moss. The after the kids wrote on the di-cut leaves we hot glued them onto the tips of the branches. It makes a great center piece for the entire fall and next year we will do this just before Halloween and enjoy it through Thanksgiving!
We have always had the family tradition of writing on paper strips what we are thankful for then passing and reading them during the Thanksgiving meal. This year I pre-cut so many leaves, we will use the leaves in a basket for our thanks & praises. They are just prettier than paper strips don't you think?
It seemed easy for the boys to fill theirs out today after the Sunday morning we had. David was with the girls on their first Indian Princess camping weekend (pictures to come!) and the boys and I had a fabulous weekend alone. This morning I told them to put on blue jeans and sweatshirts and we were going to real worship. We headed over to the Harvest Center and skipped church at Myers Park Presbyterian. It was AWESOME and POWERFUL and polar opposite of our normal worship experience. We have been there before so they knew us, but this time it was even better. We sat among the homeless of Charlotte, NC. They are humble and grateful. They are hopeful and trusting. They are thankful for all the small things we take for grated. They believe with every cell in their bodies that Jesus can and will save them, even from themselves. The pastor had been a former drug dealer, had been in prison, had made his former girlfriend have 3 abortions... and the boys had LOTS of questions which I did answer, although I was prepared for none of them. There was clapping, crying, hands in the air, organ playing, shouting, screaming, alter calls... and we were asked to come up front to be prayed for. We were 3 of the 4 caucasian folks in the building and yet it felt so right. They prayed over us and I wept big tears. The boys and I felt guilty for being prayed over when we felt it was they who needed the prayer most but maybe not. It was a 2 hour service, long but intense, then we were whisked into the kitchen to help pass out the desserts as folks left with their fresh fried chicken and sides. It was a holy banquet for sure and the boys asked as we drove away, "Can we please go to the Harvest Center on the Sundays you and Dad do not teach Sunday School?" Wow! Honestly, we have been struggling with gratitude here lately and I think this is just what God ordered...a dose of what most of the world lives like. And the boys went a whole day without bickering and seemed grateful to have spent the morning that way.
And for that I am thankful. VERY!
Have a fabulous start to a great week!