Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving

I have so much to be grateful for this year. I can't even begin to express how full my heart is and I'm sure if I started I could go all night and into tomorrow, and still find things I had missed or forgotten.
Our Heavenly Father is so gracious and so kind. He has blessed me 10 million fold and given our family incredible blessings and opportunities for growth.
This year is truly one of giving thanks - where others I often feel consumed with the thoughts of food, parties, and what is yet to come (I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS. I can't state that enough). However, this year has been full of trials and full of growth. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father and Savior for all I have been given; including the hardship. I have learned so much and have received more than I am sure I realize.
Fifty dollars and a card from family here that means we can buy another weeks worth of groceries, an overdue baby there which meant she was safe inside my belly during our accident, and a trip across country to strengthen our relationships here and there. Plus, millions of big and little things between.
But most importantly I am grateful that prayers and heard and answered. Always. You may not be able to see it during the storm, but He is always there and he does not turn away. Ever. This year has been one of nearly constant prayer. Even when I wasn't aware I was praying; if I stopped and listened I could feel my heart pleading with our Heavenly Father for strength, for protection, and for our little family. And if I became ever so still I could often feel and hear His response and was given courage to continue on and keep moving. He truly is there and our Savior lives. No doubt about it, He was resurrected and He stands by our Heavenly Father's side watching, protecting and guiding us.
Have you noticed anything that has stood out this year that you are grateful for? Or do you just love pie? I do. I love most all food. Plus, who doesn't love pie?!

Inspired by a pin a few weeks ago - I decided to create a new tradition. Thanksgiving being so focused around the table what better than a table runner? But how can a table runner be a tradition you ask? Like this...

I used scraps I had laying around and made a basic runner out of muslin because it is cheap and never goes out of style so as our family grows I can add to it and it will grow and grow.

I salvaged pieces to make 3 panels; 1) 17.5' x 24' and 2) 17.5 x 32'

On the smaller rectangle I needlepointed a favorite scripture which reminds me of thanks; Alma 26:2 (read the chapter, it's excellent). But you could easily substitute in any saying or a simple "Happy Thanksgiving." Keep in mind you should measure the center and make a grid or lines to help you maintain a even size and spacing. Mark your lines and write your phrase with a fabric pen (washable) so that you can easily follow along as you stitch.

My words turned out a little off center and I decided to add a turkey on the side with a spare button I had from making Mr. Sam into Samwise the Brave for Halloween. But feel free to use your imagination and make it your own (it's for your family after all).

After I had stitched on the phrase I sewed the final two panels onto each side so that the phrase would be central and sewed a half inch in on all sides so that I could finish the edge and control the fray. I then hired a little help from Mr. Sam and he snipped the edges at about 1/4 ' about 1/4 ' in so that the edges would fray and fluff when washed.

Now here is where you can choose whether you are going to wash your runner or not. If not then you can continue from here on out with markers and paints. I wanted to be able to wash it as much as messy gravy calls for so I used fabric.

We traced our hands on scraps and sewed them on (again we clipped the edges for a soft effect - you do not need to. If you want to use fabric but don't want it to fray out you could try a simple blanket stitch around the hands to secure them. It is beautiful, one of my favorite stitches).

I then proceeded to stitch the year, locale, and our names with what we are most thankful for this year. And you're done!

Now as we go from year to year we can watch as our family grows, and the little hands become larger and their hopes and spirits grow larger as well. And we can look back at what are thankful years and what are turkey years and remember the things most important to us as a family and individuals.

Now get started! You still have time before Thanksgiving comes - and when I come back we'll have a tutorial on homemade yogurt and I'll share some of my favorite things about the Christmas season and some of our families traditions incase you are looking for something new!

Happy Pie-Eating Day! I mean Thanks. Right...Thanks!

“Where there's life there's hope.”
―   Tolkien, The Hobbit