Wednesday, November 5, 2008

BE Grateful!

Quarterly, the women of my church meet together at Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment Meeting. At our last meeting, Erin gave an excellent overview of a book written by our church's late president, Gordon B. Hinckley. The book is entitled Way to Be!: 9 ways to be happy and make something of your life. While I listened to Erin remind of us of the simple advice President Hinckely gives in the book, I got the idea of doing a little series on my blog highlighting these practical nine ways to be.

Since it is November, I am going to start with "Be Grateful."

On Monday night, my family and I made a little "gratitude tree." Earlier in the day, I cut out leaves of various colors and shapes (and by "I," I mean I forced my artistic friend Colette to help me). Then, I attached the leaves to a little string. I sent Maia and Mason into the woods behind our house (affectionately called "Terebithia" by my offspring) to retrieve a small, dead tree branch.

During our family night, I gave the kids pens and had them write something they were thankful for on each leaf. (Naturally, I wrote Mackenna's leaves for her.) I loved seeing what the kids came up with! Here are my favorites from each child: Maia's "Books to read," Mason's "Life," Marlee's "Famule" (that's five year-old for "family") and Mackenna's "Big Teddy Bear" (I think it's important to note here that Mackenna also has a leaf that reads "Little Teddy Bear").


Then we talked about why it is important to be grateful. Thinking about all the wish-I-had's just makes you grumpy. When our thoughts are focused on all the wonderful things we do have, we are happier. It's that simple.

I was thinking about this the other day after posting my "Wish List." I was reminded, yet again, to think of about the big, awesome pantry in my kitchen instead of the dated, warping cupboards. When my thoughts turn to my pantry, I am happy.

So, this month I am really going to try to focus on the great things I have and the wonderful people I know and feel grateful for them. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, won't you join me?

25 comments:

Jann said...

What an awesome idea. I love it.

Beckie said...

I love the tree Mendy! It is a perfect way to show your kids gratitude and a great centerpiece too.

Christie said...

Great idea. I have a pal who writes 3 things that she is grateful for at the end of every post. It is nice to see

Corinne said...

I love the grateful tree. I usually do that same idea with some construction paper cornucopia food :) I think I like your tree better!

Cami said...

Nice job. I love that leaf thingy--I need to do it again.

The Loveridge Family said...

What a great idea...we might have to try that! I'm going to be more grateful and happy!!

Sommer said...

What a cute idea Mendy!

The Sechrists Visit the Philippines said...

I am grateful for my family and that I will hopefully be able to get plane tickets to see them at Christmas time!!! I love you all and miss you. We will be on U.S. soil in a week!!!!

SydneyMin said...

I love this idea! I saw something similiar on a blog last year and am glad you reminded me of it! I'm so THANKFUL you did :)

Brenda said...

I like your idea to do all nine Be's! Hmmm...maybe we will do the same thing for Family Home Evening! (:

Rachel said...

Yes, yes...I love it...be grateful for the things you already have! Love the tree/leaf idea, maybe I will have to give it a try!

Deb said...

that's a great idea. we've done a thankful turkey, but i'd like to do something on-going, where we could add to it throughout the month. perhaps i could borrow your friend collette to make mine look so nice!

Amber said...

Very cute idea. Reminds me of your FHE lessons when we were growing up - except shorter!!

I'm grateful to have a sister like you!

Jared & Christina said...

Love your idea! I think we're going to do that for Family Night too! Thanks for making next Monday night a snap! :)

Tracy said...

Is there anything you can't do? You're such a good mom!

Rachelle said...

I am totally copying this for FHE next week.

erin sheely said...

Very cool idea. And hurray for being grateful. You're awesome.

Dawn Bader said...

I love the gratitude tree, Mendy... great idea!!! :-)

supersonicjan said...

Um, why didn't you blog about your gratitude lesson? Kidding! The funny thing is, right before I read this I was thinking how one of the things I'm most grateful for is that I never lived in BYU married student housing.

Susan said...

You inspire me Mendy! I think I will have to use that for our next family home evening. I need to look at what I do have a lot more often!

Jenni said...

We did this one year and it was so neat! I love hearing what the kids are thankful for as Darth Vadar is a frequent pick for Ben!

laura said...

Amen sister. I love the Charlie Brown gratitude tree. Great idea.

Heidi said...

Now I know what we'll do for Family Night next week! Thanks for the great idea!

maia said...

you are greatful for the pantry's size?!? i've alway's wondered why i go to people's houses for sleepovers and seen such tiny pantrys!

Brad, Melissa, Jared, Jessie, & Ryan said...

Fun idea and it turned out so cute! We have done something similar with a Turkey where each of his feathers has the gratitude comment on it.

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill