Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Happy Thanksgiving!  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch yesterday with the students from my English class and a dear family from our church.  It was such a blessing to have my students share a special day with us in our home... we are so thankful for all our friends around the world who have become family. 

We also finished our "Thanksgiving Tree" yesterday, so here's the final list of all the things we were thankful for this last month.  We had so much fun doing this together every day at breakfast...  I'm excited to make this a tradition every November. :)
Woolery Thanksgiving Tree 2011
(in no particular order)
Thank you God for...
the Bible
singing and dancing
our oven, washer, and dryer
the cars on the road
family days
our family
hearing us
your peace that surpasses understanding
our beds
old friends and new friends
your peace
macaroni and cheese from Ms. EmiLou
our bathroom
opportunities to serve
trees and branches
talking cars
our Thanksgiving tree
gifts of food
our food
candy and costumes
our 2 little pumpkins
Noah and Justin
the leaves on our Thanksgiving tree
Giraffe and Lamb

Now, it's time to decorate for Christmas! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Giving Thanks

November is a month to celebrate Thanksgiving, and this year we are trying to be good representatives of our passport country by not decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving... please understand this is very difficult for us.  After living in the Philippines, I feel like all our Christmas decorations should have been up for at least a month now (Christmas decorations hit the malls in September in Manila!).  And even here in Japan, all the stores transition from Halloween to Christmas promptly on November 1.  We're also not used to celebrating Thanksgiving on the actual day... in the Philippines, we celebrated on the weekend, because the actual holiday was just a normal work day....but since most of our congregation here gets to celebrate on the actual day, we're slowing getting back in the correct mindset. ;)  But, I recently read a book that encouraged me to cherish this special time of year even more...

If you haven't read this, I HIGHLY recommend it... it's the story of how a woman's life was changed by intentionally and habitually thanking God, every day, throughout the day, for all the big and little things in her life.  I haven't started my "One thousand gifts of thanks" journals yet,  but our family is starting a new tradition this year, thanks to this book and my recent obsession with :)

Justin calls this our "Thanksgiving Tree."  Every morning at breakfast we write one or two things we want to thank God for that day and hang them on the tree.... this is how it looks so far!
 It's been so great starting every day with this, and it's so much fun to see how Justin has embraced it and looks forward to it every morning... I'm really impressed that he's also trying to remember what has already been written down so he can think of something new every morning.  We're also really looking forward to Thanksgiving day this year.  Since the English class I teach normally meets on Thursdays, we are just going to have class at our house and practice English conversation as we eat a Thanksgiving meal!  Some wonderful friends from our church are going to help us get the food and share in our time together.  The six Japanese ladies in my class are so excited to experience this holiday, most for the first time, and I am so excited for them to be in our home, meet Brian and the boys, and share our family's traditions as we give thanks to God for who He is and what He has done in our lives... please pray for our time together, and pray that I remember how to cook traditional Thanksgiving dishes. :)  What do you thank God for today?

The amazing Justin SUPERHERO

Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon....