I have so much to be thankful for!
Like these two:

After getting home late from Disney (& Will missing 4 days of school), he really, really, really wanted to go perform at his little school's Thanksgiving Feast.
I really, really, really felt tired.
(And came down with a horrible cough that day & food poisoning the next day.)
We compromised.
We let him go to school and we went to watch him perform, but we all skipped the feast part (no way was I going to be able to throw together a dish in time) & headed to McDonald's for a family lunch.
I had no idea I had such an entertainer living under this roof.
Will was positioned front & center...

And apparently he now plays the air guitar!

 Sweet songs.  I'll try to post a video this week of my favorite songs.
Will & his best little school buddy, Blaire

We have the best neighbors!

A few more things I am thankful for this week:
great sleep this weekend (thanks to food poisoning - my husband took care of bedtime duties & I went to bed early.  Then he took the kids to church the next morning all by himself.  Being sick stunk but the rest was glorious.)

Look what we found on our front porch this morning-
homemade road trip snacks for Thanksgiving drive!

Neighborhood kids to play with outside.
Ellie and a beloved dog to cuddle

Baking homemade bread with these two

a portrait of the head chef, by Will
(in my favorite apron ever- made by Will featuring his handprints as a turkey)

shopping for Christmas gifts for our Operation Christmas Child boxes.
Will picked out this shirt for the little boy with a cape and then he wanted to use his own money to get one for himself so he could match a boy across the world.

he colored this picture for the little boy and asked him to write him back.

stuffing boxes for Operation Christmas Child
This year, both kids got into picking out their toys and Will really loved it.

I asked Ellie to color her name on a birthday card this week.
She responded, "No, Mommy! Write my name."
Ok then.
So I then began to spell her name for her...
and she wrote a real "E" with no help from me!
I had no idea she could apparently write a few letters!
She also wrote the "l"

Will & I have been absolutely giddy this week.
I think I've been somewhat depressed since September 4.
Some moms are better moms when their kids go to school.  
I am not.
School days leave me feeling frazzled and chaotic.  I don't wondering how he is doing all morning.  I miss eating lunch with him or watching him play.  And even though it is half day school, he needs his nap in the afternoon and I don't feel like he gets enough free time.
But this week.
I am just giddy!
A whole week with him last week (except for Friday when he went to school to perform at the feast.)  And this week another whole week!
Plus our neighbor kids are out of school too!!!
Lots and lots of play time around here!

Girls making mud pies for Thanksgiving.

Boys being typical boys.


Swinging with Sophie

Beautiful days mean picnic lunches

And sometimes neighbor kids bring their lunches over too

Catching a ride

Our Christmas gift to each other was to build this in our woods behind our house!
I can't wait to grab flashlights and venture out to the woods at night to make s'mores!
(Or date nights- put the kids down & grab a bottle of red wine, some yummy cheeses, and cuddle by our fire!)

Coloring a chalk city to play cars on

And of course, cooking!
I have been so happy cooking some of our favorite holiday dishes.
We are off to R's Granny's house this afternoon.  It will help break up our drive west to see family.
Since Great-Granny is not up for the drive, we are taking Thanksgiving to her.
(Bonus for us - 2 Thanksgiving meals!)
I've got the turkey ready along with some side dishes & homemade bread.
I have LOVED cooking all week!
My very favorite cookbook - written with love by my mom when I went to college & includes lots of family recipes

My sous chefs making bread this morning

Taking turns adding in ingredients

Will loved playing in the flour

(good occupational therapy time too)

Happily punching/palm striking kneading

Thankful too that I am not hosting the big feast -
so this mess making was fun for me too since I didn't have the stress of having the house look perfect for lots of guests.  Thankful for family to go to and a full table to sit at tomorrow.
Thankful that we could have a lot of fun baking bread together- making a huge mess of flour and seeing what it looks like to make flour clouds...
and oh so thankful to have also found time to make some foods all by myself this week (without all that mess!)

Just giddy this week - loving having my people around me and kids playing in my yard til dark and the laughter coming through my windows and smells of holiday cooking.

Now off to vacuum my car & finish packing!

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