Family galore!

A week off!  No alarms for school, no after school activities!!  Thanksgiving week is upon us.  My crew is looking forward to some down time, family time, making memories, and decorating and some shopping for Christmas! I love the holidays!  I love the time we spend with family and the laughter we share.

I come from a large family!!  Like 7 of us 4 girls, 3 boys, add in parents, spouses, nieces and nephews and we are a small army!  That is only my immediate family.  Adam was the oldest of 6, add in his siblings, parents, spouses and nieces and nephews and we could serve a decent sized country!  Ha!  Then Matt married into this craziness!  He came from his parents, one sister and himself.  We are bit overwhelming to them!  Thank the sweet lord, my husband loves people and family! I know not everyone has the mass quantity of family that we have.  I am so beyond thankful that I have them.  Every last one of them! I am even more thankful that, for the most part, they all live right here within a 30 minute drive of us.  We get to celebrate holidays, and birthdays all together quite often.

Adam’s family accepted Matt, Joseph and Susan instantly.  They have always treated them as if this was how it has always been.  I am forever grateful for their open hearts and home.  They made something that could have been so hard, so easy for us.  They embraced and honored Adam’s wishes for me to remarry and find love and happiness again. Matt has always been open and willing to participate in all of the family functions. He has also accepted them as family. Joe and Susan now have cousins galore, we love spending time together with all of our family.

Thanksgiving was Adam’s most favorite holiday!  All his favorite foods are served and now we try and make sure there are still all of those dishes to eat, as my kids now hold some of those same sides as their favorite foods too!!!  We have added new things for others favorites.  I make sure each kid has a dish that they will always remember being at the Thanksgiving table.

If you are reading this and find yourself alone during this holiday season, know that our door is always open.  We are known to have lots of extra people for our holiday get togethers. Share with someone you know is going to be alone.  Be present where ever you are.  You are never alone, God is always with you.

Make memories this year, laugh, cry, and enjoy being in the moments. Calm, crazy or otherwise!

Psalm 126.3 “The Lord has done great things for our family and our hearts are filled with joy.”


By Laurel Austin Henson

Laurel spent 8 months caring for her first husband after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He passed away at 33, leaving behind a daughter of 7 and 5 year old twin boys. After sowing millions of tears, Laurel sought out God daily and began to plan for a life of being a single mother, but ready to raise their children in faith, hope and love. God gave her more than she could have ever imagined when she brought Matt into her life, along with his 2 children. He was recently divorced and the providence of God had been leading up to this life for more than 20 years! Now Laurel is reaping joy with Matt and their 5 beautiful children. Thanks be to God for all the beauty created from the ashes of death and divorce.

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