2012 (only one little photo in the middle of the post, although looking at the Monday Menagerie was fun.)
We got a late start this year primarily, because I was waiting for the roll of paper to be delivered so I could create our canvas. In the past I have just purchased the frame, flipped the advertising photo/paper over to the blank side and let the children write. My intention was to create a wall with all these frames and things we are grateful for, but the reality is I don't have the space for years and years of huge poster size frames in my house. So I decided to get some nicer paper for the frames and then every couple of years laminate the paper creating a huge book of all that we are thankful for.
Can you imagine the wonderful treasure it will be as the children get old and grandchildren start participating?
It just so happened that Brick came into the room as I was taking the initial photograph and I asked if he wanted to be the first to write on this years poster. He was so excited, besides it was his special day so it was only fitting that he start.
The very first thing he wrote was Whitney. Tears started flowing as I watched him very carefully write his sister's name. Sometimes I think I'm the only one with a small little hole in my heart from missing her. Little man proved me wrong, he thinks about her all the time and she was the first thing he is grateful for. We sure are grateful for her missionary service, even though we miss her.
A couple hours later I came upon sight, Fred had taken the poster and was busily drawing and writing something alone. I was able to grab the camera and capture her quiet reflection. I am so thankful for this simple tradition. I know it means more to me than the children, but I hope in some way they will find greater appreciation and love for all that they have been given.
"The Prophet Joseph said at one time that one of the greatest sins of which the Latter-day Saints would be guilty is the sin of ingratitude. I presume most of us have not thought of that as a great sin. There is a great tendency for us in our prayers and in our pleadings with the Lord to ask for additional blessings. But sometimes I feel we need to devote more of our prayers to expressions of gratitude and thanksgiving for blessings already received. We enjoy so much." (Ezra Taft Benson, quoted in Henry B. Eyring, "Remembrance and Gratitude," Ensign, Nov. 1989, 12-13).