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We pulled off another delicious Thanksgiving meal!
One of my personal mottos for this year has been Make Do and Be Grateful. It’s been a reminder to me that despite the hardships I face personally and as a family, that things are better than they seem, that we’ll get through it, and that we’re exceptionally blessed, even when things are difficult.
I love, LOVE to see my children smiling.

Like most at Thanksgiving, I like to reflect on the wonderful life I’m living. I have a handsome, sensitive, manly, thoughtful husband, beautiful, intelligent, talented, healthy children, I live on a the farm I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid, get to have my horses in my backyard, go to bed every night, worn to the bone from a whole lot of satisfying work, have discovered talents within myself I never knew I had, and have a relationship with a loving Heavenly Father, who constantly reminds me of the concern, charity, and hope He has for me and all his children.

When things appear to be difficult and I get grumpy, the little things sometimes are the biggest reminders of how wonderful things really are. Like watching Zoey scrub Peter’s head, when not that long ago, Henry was washing hersKate was bathing Henry, and Evelyn and Claire were dumping water on Kate.
There’s not much that snuggling with a baby can’t make immensely better.

My family has a great sense of humor. I am constantly laughing with them and writing down some of the ridiculously funny things they say, and plan on using it in future book projects.


I have been on the receiving end of my weight in crafts. I’m blown away by how creative the kids are, and how their sole purpose in creation is to share with others. I go to bed a lot of nights with a surprise trinket or card on my pillow and I can’t help but feel loved.

Scared or fascinated, Peter couldn’t take his eyes off Evelyn. 😂
Nobody here is above being ridiculous and silly if it helps someone else smile.

There’s rarely a time I am in the kitchen that the kids aren’t coming in to see what I’m up to so they can help.


I’ve seen more than one person give another person a leg up. If there’s adventure to be had, teamwork is what makes it happen.


Or when I get overwhelmed with things, I have had of all kinds of service. My favorite has to be when my family randomly cleans and spends their time tidying the ever-present mess having a large family causes so I can have a moment to catch my breath before I keep powering onward.

That graham cracker crust kind of summed up the start of Thanksgiving this year…
This Thanksgiving started off a bit rough, and not just because the very first thing that happened in the kitchen was a broken graham cracker crust. One after one, we heard of difficult, heartbreaking news from friends and family. Unexpected losses of spouses and children, shattered families, scary cancer diagnoses, rare diseases, car accidents, beloved pets’ deaths, job losses, and more. There were so many people who were suffering (and unfairly at that, if good people are meant to have it easy), and our hearts broke for them.
The girls rescued me by offering to help in the kitchen.
It was in the reaction to their struggles that has taught me the most this past Thanksgiving season. Yes, there were tears, shock, and understandable worries, but every single person who was given hardship faced it with grace, dignity, faith, and hope. Each tragedy has been turned into a triumph and a reason to be thankful. I’ve learned so much watching others struggle and mourning with them, because in the end, it was a chance to witness love, concern, and hope for better days ahead.
Harvesting the black walnuts for pies.

Making do and being grateful is true in the hard times just as much, if not more so, than in the good, unencumbered times.


Our holiday week was the same as it usually is–we baked until there wasn’t any more space left in the fridge, we had a house full of visiting family, the kids were home from school, and we ate and ate and ate until we couldn’t eat any more.


The rest of the time, we spent relaxing, getting ready for Christmas, and playing lots of games.


Despite it being cooler than normal, Jack made sure to take everyone to go get a snow cone at his favorite spot in town.


Of course, there were a few meltdowns but they’re kind of expected. In the end, no one was permanently damaged.


After reflecting on our blessings this Thanksgiving season, I’m also recommitted to making do and being grateful in it all. In the end, it all works out, not much is a big deal, we have more than we sometimes think, things aren’t as bad as they seem, we know what matters most, and we’re more blessed than we sometimes remember.


We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, remembering all your own blessings and what makes your life so amazing. 💕


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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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