Our sukkas are up and we've had a great feast so far. It certainly is different than us going away and camping with friends, but we are still trying to make the most out of it and see what HE has for us to learn. Our week has been primarily centered on Thankfulness. I am reading a book that talks about the author writing down 1000 things she is thankful for and how each one of those things are a gift. The children each have a book that they have been challenged to write 1000 things in throughout this week that they are thankful for. They thought it would be an easy task, but they're finding that it's harder than they thought. Last night we talked about finding thankfulness in even the challenging situations or trials. That was after we read Psalm 15. Who does the Father want to tabernacle with? Those who are clean and pure and want to obey Him. How much more would He want to tabernacle with us if we are thankful for all He has given to us, both good and bad. Every thing in life is a gift. It just takes a little more work to see the bad things as that and what they are really doing that's good in our life.
So, here is our first part of the week at a glance.
Jonathon helped the boys build the TP that was supposed to be the main sleeping quarters. Well, the first night they all ended up under the stars because the fire was too smokey and smoked them out. After I found a burnt hole in his pillow, that he had no idea was there, I think he decided to put up the regular tent for sleeping. :) The TP has provided much fun for them though, The story of Alegra's night under the stars with the dog taking the toy Benaiah was sleeping with, and then taking her hat is quite funny though, She wasn't impressed with his dog slobber all over it. :)
While the children enjoyed getting the tent all set up with sleeping bags and the room divider, Jonathon played some music and just relaxed.
Because he is such a good dad, he set up the pool we originally purchased for our birthing pool. It was way too big, so we opted for a smaller one. Since we still had this on hand and the day was to be lovely, Jonathon blew it up and filled it partially with water for the boys to play in. They had an absolute ball playing and doing tricks. All laughter from the yard after swim suits were put on.
Then it was lunch time and we wanted to get that done, so we could go over to a friends house to feed their birds while they are gone and enjoy the lake that they live on. But after lunch, Benaiah decided that we couldn't leave until we watched his pool show. What a show! That boy is hilarious and dangerous and so adventurous in living life.
Off to enjoy the lake......
The book I am reading this feast season. Getting it read is my assignment while the children work at writing down the things they are thankful for. Every day I help Benaiah write his things down and help the children think outside the box of what they can write down. It's harder to think about the little things or the things that really don't matter in life. But what if they do matter? What if being thankful for them adds an ounce of joy to my life? Will that joy allow me to extend grace to another person? And then I read the words on the page about it all being a gift and how His love is towards me just as my love it is towards my new daughter. Wow, what a great comparison!
After all the fun at the lake, we came home, and Saphi decided to continue her fishing play at home with the pool. She caught a big rock bass as Uncle Jeff called it when he came over for a visit. That girl has the best imagination!
We ended our day with a wonderful camp fire, making smores, enjoying watching the orange moon rise up into the clouds, the children played on hay bales in the dark with flashlights, and then Jonathon ended playing his guitar and singing a little. What a spectacular first day of the feast!
The children all had certain things they were wanting to do while on our staycation for the feast. Alegra wanted to ride on the pumkin vine trail. She really wanted to take the longest ride possible, but time didn't permit that and the rain clouds blew in quickly while in Middlebury. They rode from Shipshewana to Middlebury, where my mom, me, Saphira, and Hadassah met up with them at Dairy Queen for lunch. On the way back, Diella and Benaiah rode with us while the other 3 busted tail to get back before getting poured on. They did get sprinkled on, but enjoyed not having to wait for the slower ones.
After the bikers got back to my mom's house, we went to the mercantile in Shipshe to use up some tokens that the girls found in one of my old purses. They all enjoyed riding the carousel...especially Jonathon. ;)
Today was another beautiful day, although the wind made it just a little chilly. Thankful for that sun to shine to heat things up a bit. We rounded everyone up and headed to the library to return books and get new ones. Josiah had been asking to play tennis, so Jonathon loaded up the rackets and balls so they could play at the park next to the library. After lots of books were found and checked out, we all walked over to the park to play and enjoy the fresh air. Some played on the playground while the others played tennis. I just walked around and enjoyed being outside.
The boys had a great time playing with Jonathon. I would have loved to join in, but I don't think that's on my list of things I can do during recovery time. :) I might have to wait til spring now for that kind of activity.
Alegra and I enjoyed walking around and looking at other things in the park. This carved tree was done by a good friend of ours, and we had never seen it before when visiting the park. It caused us to miss our friends who are keeping the feast up north as a family.
We have things that we love doing during the feast but will miss doing them with those we usually hang out with. It's great to have Jonathon home helping and making memories with us during this week, but we all do miss everyone that we so love feasting with. Some of the children have colds, so we won't be spending time with our other friends in Elkhart either. Enjoying this week as a family. Thankful that we can all be together. Thankful that we have had more food than we have room for in the frig. Thankful that we can make memories that we'll hang onto for years to come. Thankful that when we can keep the feast with others again, we'll appreciate it more after spending this one without our pals. Being thankful in ALL things!
We gathered pretty leaves while at the park and I showed the children a craft that I always did every fall when I was younger. We put leaves in between wax paper with shaved pieces of crayon, then used an iron to melt it all together. What a beautiful pieces of art they all created. Their masterpieces are hanging in the window for the sun to shine through. I felt a little bit of my childhood while helping them create works of art. It's been a great feast so far. I have so much to be thankful for!