We had a great Thanksgiving holiday (can’t really call it a vacation when you’re more tired after the long weekend then before) visiting family, cleaning house, and Christmas shipping. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Lord had put the theme of gratitude on Jenni and my heart this month, and I’ve been reminded of how easy it is to be selfish and greedy when I have much to be grateful for.
We Got The Fever
The week before Thanksgiving, we all got the flu–starting with Kadie and continuing through Jenni, then myself, and finally, Violet. I stayed home from work for four days to make sure I didn’t pass it along. I hope it was the H1N1 flu virus just so I have an immunity from it. The doctor said it might not have been the flu, just a nasty bug, but from the lay-down-in-a-stupor fatigue, upset guts, fever, chills, and body aches, I am pretty sure it was a flu bug.
Even though it was pretty miserable for a short while, I was thankful for the flu. There had been several projects at home that I got done when most of the big symptoms went away, mainly putting together new furniture from IKEA for the kids’ room and organizing our home.
I had been having back pains from poor posture at work, so having the four days off helped me recover. When the pain was getting stronger before the flu, I wished I could take a vacation to get the pain down and give my body some rest. God answered the desire, though not the way I had imagined.
I got to be with my kids and see what their daily routine has been like lately. Sometimes it was challenging trying to figure what Kadie was suppose to eat, but I enjoyed watching her learn about the world. However, since I was around more, she picked up the habit of calling me “David” instead of “Daddy” since Jenni calls out to me with the former.
Spending more time with Jennilyn helped us reconnect. The kids keep us busy enough that we had been neglecting alone time with each other. So being sick together reminded me how well she takes care of me and the kids. We enjoyed some movies together and had more time to talk.
One guilty pleasure from being home sick was the release of Left 4 Dead 2, the sequel to my favorite zombie game from last year. My friend Clark and I gave the game a spin the night before the official launch as well as some game time during the day while my girls napped.
I didn’t particularly care for Thanksgiving when I was growing up because I often got into big trouble during that holiday. Not sure why, but something about that holiday, I always got in big trouble. Looking back, it probably was the stressful tension family gatherings bring. Thankfully (pun intended), I’ve had better Thanksgiving memories associations in the past ten or so years, especially the crazy amounts of mashed potatoes we’ve made the previous two years and recognizing that time with family is not infinite.
For the week of Thanksgiving, I had a short 3-day work week. I took my dad out to a Blazer basketball game Wednesday night before Thanksgiving with tickets from Vernier. My brother was kind enough to pick me up from work, drive my dad and I to the game, watch over my mom, who just had surgery Monday, while we were at the game, pick us up before the game ended to avoid crowds, and drive me home afterward. My dad had a great time and it was great to be able to spend time with him.
Our first trip to Longview for the extended weekend was to join Jenni’s grandparents for Thanksgiving. We enjoyed a homemade turkey meal and hung out with family for the day. We took a small excursion to Lake Sacajawea and took some fun photos in the rain.
For Friday, we got involved mid-morning with the aftermath of Black Friday shoppers to take advantage of some sales and run errands. I couldn’t believe how long the lines were at Old Navy. I stood and waited in line while Jenni shopped. Twice. I got to the cashier before Jenni finished shopping, so after we ate lunch, we went back to Old Navy so she could finish some Christmas shopping. Kadie was a very good girl and stood by me the entire time telling me about all the “cute clothes” while I held Violet.
We also visited the Verizon shop to get Jenni’s new phone set up. Sometimes, it’s the small needs that God meets that makes me marvel at how wonderful He is. Jenni mentioned earlier in the month how her neck hurt from pinching the phone between her head and should when talked on the phone while managing a toddler and baby. I thought a bluetooth headset would be a great solution except that her phone does not support bluetooth.
Of course, being the gadget-guy I am, I started investigating possibilities of upgrading our phones (can’t let her have all the upgrades), but a cellphone comparison site BillShrink reported that we had the best cellphone deal with no contract currently. I had been pining for a smartphone, but I can’t justify a data plan just for fun.
Our friends Leah and James recently had James’ upgrade his phone to a Droid (initially jealous, but no, I don’t need a smartphone), and he had no use for his previous Palm Treo 755p. He was kind enough to pass it along to us to see if we can make use of it. It didn’t really meet my requirements for a smartphone being a Palm OS device, but it works for Jenni since it has bluetooth. Sweet, problem solved and no money spent on a new phone. Thanks Lord!
Back to Thanksgiving, Saturday, we went to dim sum with my family at a new dim sum restaurant in Northeast Portland. It was previously a Wells Fargo bank branch building and also a LAN gaming center, so it had an odd atmosphere, with tinted windows and odd layout inside. We kept the rest of the day simple by going home and cleaning up. We cuddled to the movie “I’ll Be There” to finish off the night.
On Sunday, we trekked back to Longview to Jenni’s uncle Steve’s house for a praise and worship gathering. Steve is dying of cancer with two weeks to two months to live and he gathered us to worship God for His creations and faithfulness. We watched slideshows of photos of families and sang praise songs. We stayed a bit longer to watch a video sermon by Louie Giglio about the greatness of God, and there was some amazing stuff there, especially about Laminin, the cell-adhesion protein molecule, that holds all our cells together, is in the shape of a cross.
It didn’t feel like four days really, but my body felt it. While I’m tired from Thanksgiving, I’m too thankful to be anything otherwise.