Friday, November 27, 2009
The day after Thanksgiving finds our family very thankful.
We had a nice Thanksgiving meal together that was quiet, calm and uneventful. We like quiet, calm and uneventful. :)
At about 10:30 last night Tim and Jacob were in the kitchen and Tim decided to have some leftovers from dinner. His bottle of water that accompanies him everywhere happened to be in the living room while he was in the kitchen. Mistake number one. After deciding he didn't need his water he took a bite of turkey. Mistake number two. Tim then had a major choking episode where, without the help of Jacob, may have turned out very differently. Jacob acted quickly and did the Heimlich method on him. Tim struggled for air and Jacob kept working with him while I called 9-1-1. Thankfully the 9-1-1 call was able to be cancelled because Tim's airway finally cleared. It was a very scary time for all of us but are so thankful that Tim was okay and that Jacob was there to help him.
Then today we got an email from Jordan. He is still in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah until December 21st. At that point if he has his visa he will head to Brazil but if he doesn't he will be sent somewhere in the United States until his visa comes through. We hear from him regularly but today we got a very special letter from him. Here is some of what he wrote:
So it hit me Monday that I hadn't said much about Thanksgiving and I've missed it now but I still want to share a little with you all. Hopefully the spirit of Thanksgiving is still present with you all.
Thanksgiving morning Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife spoke to us. Their love for each other was so great that it made me want to share it with everyone. Sister Holland ended her talk by talking about her husband saying, "He took my breath away when I fell in love with him and now I can't breathe without him". Elder Holland opened his talk with a long silence, and then with tears coming to his eyes simply said, "you just saw the sweetest and most virtuous person I know". Being that he associates with the prophet almost daily, that hit me pretty hard. I am grateful for such love and also for the love of families.
Annah, I love how sweet and innocent you try to be and are. Nobody is perfect all the time but I see the little things you do to make others happy, I see you grow up which makes me sad, but unexplainably happy to watch because I see the happiness you bring to people already with the simple things you do.
Abigail, you're the big sister everyone should have. Its not easy to always be the example (or the one that gets blamed for everything) but I am so thankful for the things you do. I love to see how grown-up you are sometimes. I was so happy I got to see your play and band performance. School doesn't last long so do all that you can while you are there.
Jacob, I would be grateful if you could find it in you're heart to forgive me. Having a little brother should be the coolest thing ever and I don't feel that I ever realized that. You are probably the most interesting Valenta brother the family has (in a good way), I was amazed at what you could do with those computer programs before I left. School is just a passing thing, don't let anyone convince you that anything is more worthwhile than learning and being with your family.
Andrew, you are my brother. Every good childhood memory with family I have, you were present for. I'm thankful for the chance I had to be so close to you growing up, you were my role model. I watched you as I grew up, you were the example of everything I wanted to be. I loved you for what you were, and I love you for who you are. Every time someone comments on a similarity between us, I smile inside that at least a part of me lived up to my childhood dream to be like you. Please be that role model for everyone you meet.
Mom, I am thankful for everything you have given, continue to give, and will give. I didn't inherit all your traits, but I pray each day that I may have a portion of your love, and a fraction of your faith. I am slow to remember the promises of God, while you are slow to forget the blessings he has freely given. I am very grateful to have a mother who knows her Father and Savior so well. God builds us up through trials to fulfill his plans for our eternal joy.
Dad, it has been a long time since you have been absent in my prayers. I am grateful beyond words that I am your son. As I grew up I looked up to you, a man with all the answers, for reassurance in all things and comfort. Less than a year ago though, I looked down on you as you were in a wheel chair, and your body struggled through more than I will ever know, and I only wanted to be your strength and reassure you of all things and comfort you. I was powerless but God knew, as did I, that I could not do what was required of me without you. I am grateful that God has allowed me to bring this comfort of His mercy to more than just our family.
I love you all and hope you had a great Thanksgiving, I enjoyed the cookies (as did the rest of my district). Tchau! That means bye.
Our hearts are truly grateful....