I am working hard on my daily entry into my month of gratitude album. Here is a look at what it looks like so far:
November will hold for me a month of reflection. It was Thanksgiving last year when we discovered that my dad's cancer treatment was not having the effect we wanted it to. Thanksgiving was pretty much the last time my dad was feeling pretty well before the cancer took over his body and his life. But I still love photos like this:
It is hard to believe this was a year ago. Each month gets a little better. My mom can talk about my dad now with only a small quiver in her voice. My mom doesn't mind when my daughter asks why gung-gung (Olivia's name for my dad) had to go to heaven. We have finally settled most of my dad's financial affairs - months of documents, faxes and visits to a tax preparer's office to fix up old files and create new ones. And I am thankful we got the time we did get to spend with my dad.
Tonight I got to witness my son being promoted in Karate:
Noah has been working very hard this last year and with my travel schedule, I have missed his last couple of karate tests/promotions. Tonight, I watched as he lead his class by having the honor of calling out the katas and drills since he is now the highest rank in his class. Noah loves it. I can see it in how much work he puts into it every week (he trains 2x a week) as well as how precise he is with his movements. For me growing up, it took me a while to find my passion. I am happy to see my son has found part of it at a young age.
We have so much to be grateful for.
My kids helped me this week pack our annual Samaritian's Purse boxes. Every year, we search out the sales throughout the year and we purchase items to fill at least 20 boxes. I would rather do this than go all out for Christmas presents. We have been blessed with many things as a family and we want to be a blessing to others:
We have been doing this many boxes for the last 5+ years. This year my kids each helped pack 10 boxes. Olivia handled the girl ones and Noah fixed up the boy ones. They wrote a little letter we copied and put in each box. They packed each with love and care and made sure each box got toys and candy equally. I ask my children to look at all they have and remember those who do not have so much. They have prayed that the kids who receive these boxes remember how much love there is in the world no matter what. I am so thankful my kids are such generous and kind souls. They remind me to take a break and breathe and enjoy with them the time we have together.
A month of gratitude. It has provided me the time to reflect and remember how much I have and how much I have to be grateful for.