I kept pushing Rick to settle on a plan for Thanksgiving. We talked about a lot of possibilities… Take-out, frozen pizza, and homemade gourmet hamburgers, among other things. We joked about “Thanksgiving in a Can,” which would include canned soup, ravioli, spaghettios, and so on. I even suggested a “Pie Thanksgiving,” which would consist of nothing but pies in all flavors. But no matter how much we joked and talked, we never settled on a plan.
Rick had to work on Thanksgiving Day so we knew we needed to celebrate on Wednesday instead. By Wednesday morning, Rick decided that he wanted to do a simple, but still traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Then we spent the day waiting for the man to come take a look at our heater. It was the “perfect storm” as far as that was concerned. Our heater wasn’t working (Rick had tried a few things, but couldn’t get it to start), one of our two space heaters was broken, our gas fireplace was smoking whenever we turned it on, and the low temperatures dropped significantly lower than they had all season. So there we were with no heater and no alternative heat sources, on the coldest night of the season. We bundled everyone and put our one working heater to good use, but we were eager for the heater to actually get fixed.
We waited all morning and most of the afternoon for him to come. Finally he showed up. He spent a while looking and fiddling around and then he found the problem. It will cost $600 to fix. I sobbed when I heard the news. Our budget is already a little tight and $600 is a lot of money.
I feel better now though. Things will work out, they always do.
After the heater-man left, Rick convinced me that we should still do a small Thanksgiving. He took a few of the younger boys and bought a few things. Then he came home and we whipped up a dinner in about 45 minutes. The kids helped and I did too (but I stayed sitting). It was nice to be involved.
We had a roasted chicken (from the deli actually, because it was cheap and already cooked), mashed potatoes, asparagus, green bean casserole, fruit salad, and biscuits, with a pumpkin pie for dessert. It was a simple meal as far as Thanksgiving goes, but it was delicious and we felt like we were truly feasting. We talked about the many, many things that we were thankful for and I loved hearing my kids express their gratitude. Even little Asher announced, “I thankful… Asher!”
After dinner, Rick insisted that I go back to bed while he and the kids cleaned up dinner. Then we all gathered in our bedroom with all the warm blankets we could find. We snuggled up and watched Elf together.
It was a cold night, but the kids were bundled up in several layers of pajamas and thermal underwear. We put the space heater into the big kids’ room and most of the kids slept in there together. Asher and Braden slept with us because we knew they would be afraid of the dark (we wanted the door closed to keep the room warmer all night). The four of us were cozy as we snuggled together under about five big blankets, and the other kids were kept warm and toasty by our space heater.
This morning has been a little… not good. I haven’t obeyed my bedrest rules very well today. But sometimes there are things that only a mommy can do… like changing two explosive diapers. I ended up on my feet for longer than I should have because of the diapers and other various things, but I didn’t feel like I had any other options.
We are cold here today. The heater is not fixed (we have to wait for a part to come in and the Thanksgiving holiday isn’t helping the process). It was about 9 degrees outside this morning and around 9am our thermostat read 45 degrees inside. Brrrrr. I told everyone to stay in multi-layered pajamas rather than getting dressed and a few kids are even wearing their winter coats.
Our lone space heater has been blasting upstairs. We usually spend our days downstairs, but I figured the upstairs would warm up faster and would stay warmer longer. So we’re warming the upstairs as much as we can and staying up here for a while.
My girls both got into leotards this morning. Yes, nothing but leotards in our 45-degree house! I ordered them right back into warm clothes. They took it to the opposite extreme, putting on about 5 layers each, and pulling out a bunch of hats and gloves. Um, we need to find some middle ground, I guess.
Asher, my toddler who loves to strip naked, slipped out of his layers of pajamas until he was down to just a diaper. He was shivering and crying, “Asher so cold!” pretty quickly, but still insisted that he didn’t want to get dressed. Despite his protests, I zipped him back into two pairs of fleece pajamas and then added a sweatshirt over the top. He hasn’t tried to strip again so I think he learned that it’s better to be warm than naked on a morning like this one.
It’s noon now and the inside temp is up to about 50 degrees. We’re making progress! I never thought I’d think that 50 degrees was warm, but it feels warm compared to earlier this morning.
Our freezing house has certainly changed my perspective on things! Instead of being upset that we have to pay $600 for the heater, I now feel very thankful that we can pay $600 for the heater. I mean, at least we can get it fixed, right?! I guess life is all about perspective. I am so looking forward to having heat again; I hope it doesn’t take too long.
We’ve spent the morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. The kids wandered in and out, but enjoyed the parts that they watched. There was a part with hundreds of cheerleaders performing and Maddie insisted on watching it several times. She loved it!
I did throw in a load of laundry. I know, I’m breaking the rules again. But we’re running out of clothes; someone has to get a few loads washed. We need clothes, especially when we are layering 2-3 pairs of pajamas each day. My sweet 8-year-old has been taking on so much lately, but she can only handle so much.
Joshua was pretty annoyed that I was out of bed. He kept insisting that I go back to bed like I supposed to. He’s been very helpful this morning, working on lots of chores in an attempt to keep me from doing them. He’s such a sweet little boy. I love how protective he is of me, and how much he wants to help.
This is Rick’s last week working his old shift. Next week he moved to his new Monday- Friday job. I am dreading it, if I can be honest. I am so excited about the new job, but the timing is absolutely terrible! For one thing, we could really use 3-day weekends while I am on bedrest. In fact, as he transitions between shifts he’ll have one day off in the next two weeks, which means I am basically on my own- on bedrest- for the next two weeks. He can’t take time off with his new shift either, at least not right away. Plus, he was scheduled to work Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years on his old shift… and he would have been paid for all of them. We could certainly use that money right now. So, like I said, I really wish he weren’t starting his new job for another month. The timing is terrible.
But in spite of having no heat and Rick’s schedule being terrible for the next two weeks, I feel okay. We have so much to be thankful for!
*I am thankful for my sweet husband. I never imagined that marriage could be this amazing. Even after nearly 10 years and soon-to-be seven children, our relationship is better than ever. I am thankful that I feel so safe with my husband, that we are best friends, that we love each other so much. I am thankful that we can laugh together and cry together, that we can always say what we’re feeling and that we both put our spouse ahead of ourselves.
*I am thankful for almost seven amazing children. They truly are incredible. I love how unique of my kids are. They make our lives full and happy!
*I am thankful for Brenna, for her maturity and wisdom. I’m thankful for the little notes she leaves for me. I’m thankful for her happy smile. I love listening to her play the piano. I love watching her love and nurture her younger siblings. As the oldest child in her family, I am especially thankful for her great example.
*I am thankful for Joshua. He is an incredible little boy! I am thankful for his strong spirit, and for his courage and leadership. Josh has an amazing work ethic and he is always so willing to help. I am thankful for the passion that he lives his life with, and for his sweet, tender heart. Joshua strongly desires to do good always and I love that about him.
*I am thankful for my sweet Madalyn. She is such a delightful girl! Maddie is so empathetic towards others. She wants to take care of everyone and make everyone happy. She is such a selfless little girl. I am thankful for her cheery, whimsical, innocent personality. She brings so much joy to our home.
*I am thankful for Braden. He is such an obedient, sweet little guy, with a streak of independence in him as well. He is smart and imaginative. I am thankful for his hugs and cuddles. He needs a lot of attention and affection and I am thankful for that because I love spending time with him. I am thankful that Braden is such a good big brother and that he loves to be a good example for the younger boys. At the age of four, Braden is just starting to really define himself and I am thankful that I get to be a part of that.
*I am thankful for Asher. He is a bright spot in our home. He loves to play and he loves to laugh and he lives life with such constant enthusiasm. I am thankful that he makes me laugh all day long. He is so much fun! I am excited to see the kind of boy he grows to be, but for now I’m thankful that he is still my little snuggle bug and still my baby.
*I am thankful for Jacob. He is a lot of fun. He is happy and playful. He has the best smile and the sweetest personality. He is such a sweetheart and such a blessing! I am excited to see what he will grow to be as well, but I hope that it doesn’t happen too fast.
*I am thankful for our seventh baby as well, due to arrive anytime, but hopefully not for another week or two. I am eager to meet this little boy and so thankful that we are being blessed with another precious son.
*I am thankful for two fun dogs. Sophie and Tucker are great additions our family and we really enjoy having them.
*I am thankful that even though money can be tight sometimes, we always have enough for what we need.
*I am thankful that we also have enough money to let our kids participate in the sports that they love. This is important to them and important to us, and I am so thankful that we can give the kids this gift.
*I am thankful that we homeschool. It is such a privilege to have my kids home with me all day. I love homeschooling them and I am thankful every single day that we made this decision to educate our children at home.
*I am thankful for our home. It’s suited us well over the past few years. I feel blessed to have a home that is comfortable and that we can afford.
*I am thankful for our 12-passenger van. We’ve had it for a year and I love it more now that I did when we bought it. It’s been a great vehicle, has been very reliable so far, and gives us plenty of room to grow.
*I am thankful for the four seasons. I love the snow right now, just as I loved the changes of autumn and the heat of summer and the beauty of spring. I love living in a place with four distinct and beautiful seasons.
*I am thankful for good friends. I have been blessed by many good friends over the years. I am thankful for all they have taught me, for the love and support they have given me.
*I am thankful for family. We have wonderful parents, great siblings, amazing nieces and nephews. It’s so fun to spend time with our extended family. I love watching my kids play with their cousins and interact with their grandparents.
*I am thankful for the promise of more children that will join our family. I don’t know how many more kids we will have, but Rick and I both feel strongly that we aren’t done yet. I feel thankful for the precious, unique, amazing spirits that will join us in the future.
*I am thankful for prayer. I love praying to my Heavenly Father. I know that He listens to me and that He always answers my prayers in the best possible way.
*Most of all, more than anything else, I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am thankful for the Atonement in my life; without it, nothing that I wrote about above would even mean anything. I am thankful for the Plan of Salvation and that, through the Atonement, I can be with my husband and children for all of eternity!