Friday, November 28, 2008


John reminded us at our Thanksgiving dinner today about why this holiday was first started. We all know about the Pilgrims & Indians and their first Thanksgiving, but...about 150 years ago, a few days after the Civil War ended, Abraham Lincoln made a proclamation that the forth Thursday of each November should be a day of national celebration.

I love what Elder David Bednar said in October's conference: "...we should remember that “in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments” (D&C 59:21). Let me recommend that periodically you and I offer a prayer in which we only give thanks and express gratitude. Ask for nothing; simply let our souls rejoice and strive to communicate appreciation with all the energy of our hearts."

A couple of months ago I was over come with self pity. It was a real pity party. I was feeling bad about Peter's situation, and mine. I was feeling sorry for myself. I started to let the challenges consume me. A fussy and crying 2yr old. Being in doors all day. Not being able to go to the store. Shopping. No visits from friends or family. No play dates for the other children...and many many more. As I tried to figure out how to feel better about things, I came across something: "The Lord wants you to have a spirit of gratitude in all you do and say. Live with a spirit of thanksgiving and you will have greater happiness and satisfaction in life. Even in your most difficult times, you can find much to be grateful for. Doing so will strengthen and bless you."

This was an answer to my difficult situation. I made up a little game for myself. At the end of each day I would go over in my mind the happenings of the day and think of the one thing I was thankful for that day. The first day it was Fruity Pebbles. Peter's appetite at that time was very diminished. He needed to eat but wouldn't because of the nausea or effects of chemo. He was very fussy and unpleasant. But he liked Fruity Pebbles. He ate it for every meal. I was truely grateful for Fruity Pebbles that day. After a few days of this new little game my pity party ended. I was strengthen and blessed.

It's so good to have a day that we all can reflect on our blessed lives and think of the things that we're grateful for. But try doing it every day...It's fun.

A few pictures of our Thanksgiving...

Meagan & Addie helping with the chocolate pumpkin pie. Very serious work...They really were having fun. Those are the looks of focus and concentration when you're cooking.

Sydney & Andrew having a contest on who can eat the most rolls.

Uncle Gary taking his turn at telling what he was thankful for this year.

Kendall enjoying mashed potatoes.

Forget the pumpkin pie.

The party needs to be over, but it's just getting started. Grandma, this is where you would've wanted to take out your hearing aids. Addie & Maddie were putting on a play or dance. Andrew was pushing Sydney all around the house in the dump truck {watch out!} Peter was happy.

Not in photo: Meagan at the piano playing the Can-Can. Dad and Gary at the T.V. volume up to 50. Thys deliriously happy. Cheryl & Kendall nursing. Me, Mom, yes I can can.


Ms. Kristen said...

I am in tears. Just got off the phone with you. I feel your worry. I feel your motherly love. I wish I was there to tell you , "You can do it". I have a new sign in my house...."YOu can do Hard things." Heavenly Father knows you, He knows Peter, He knows John. He will watch out for you and your family. You have always been such a strong pillar to me. And once again you will be a strong pillar through this challenge.
I love all the pictures of Thanksgiving and The Wild Animal Park. I am so glad that Peter was able to do that. What another blessing.
I love the fruity pebbles blessing. I am going to buy some fruity pebbles today.
We have been born of goodly parents. We are so lucky to have you in our Hallen family. You carry on the name proudly.
You and Peter and the rest of the family are always on my mind and in my prayers.
We love you so much!
Love, Auntie Kristen

Cheryl said...

The feast was awesome. I don't know if I have had such a most turkey before and the play-time that went along with it was much overdue. Infact when Sydney woke up this morning the first she said was are we going over to Andrew's today too? We always have such a great time together. Thanks for everything. You are an inspiration to me. Love you. Cheryl

carmen said...

Thanks for this, Nola, I needed it! You are such an inspiration to me in so many ways!! I am thankful for you blog. Reading it is one of the best times of my day. It's full of words of wisdom and humor and I can feel the love that you have for your children and your Heavenly Father. You are wonderful. I always share with my husband and family the things that you've written. We appreciate the updates on your family and how things are going. I am glad that you had such a wonderful thanksgiving. May Heavenly Father continue to bless your family. Love you!

Amy Strong said...

The pictures are GREAT Nola! You're getting to be a professional photographer. Seriously! I loved your ending description...I imaged all your Hallen Happenings and laughed. Have a good day!