Happy Thanksgiving

We’ve had a great day celebrating Thanksgiving!  I was a little nervous about it because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I knew I would miss my family, friends and traditions.  Not to mention, I have never cooked a turkey, let alone an entire Thanksgiving meal, by myself!  With all of those pieces I was worried that it was going to turn into a disaster of a day.  

But it didn’t.  I cried, several times, but it was OK.  While there were some sad tears, there were a lot of joy and happy tears mixed in.  I am so thankful to be here, to be well taken care of, to have family and friends support us in our decision, and to have a full life here.  

The turkey was an adventure, as we found out yesterday when we attempted to check the turkey that our meat thermometer is broken beyond repair.  This is the first thing that will be purchased to make turkey cooking easier!  Instead of mashed potatoes we always eat cheesy potatoes, and those are made with frozen, shredded hashbrowns.  Frozen hashbrowns aren’t sold here, so I had to make my own.  To make life easier I cubed instead of shredded them.  It was a different texture, but the taste was the same.  The stuffing was a little sweeter than I am used to, due to the cornbread mix available here, but it was still good. 


This is the only uploadable picture of our table that I have right now.  The others are locked in my phone until I can get to a wireless connection to download them to the computer, sorry!  (Photo by Andrew Jaentschke) 

And the best part?  Turkey sandwiches taste the same no matter where you are. 

We had a table full, and everyone was very gracious.  Turkey and stuffing isn’t a favorite here but almost everyone ate it and seemed to enjoy it.  Kids that had classes during the day came over afterward to get their plate.  We finished off the evening with a prayer time for the kids that are leaving this month for college (four in all) and it was a powerful, Spirit filled time of praise and encouragement. 

As I reflect on all I have to be thankful for, I am overwhelmed with joy.  I am blessed beyond measure.  Thank you for being a part of that blessing. 


Happy holidays, 


PS I realize Happy Holidays is a phrase many people hate, but I will explain quickly why I love it so much.  I don’t just think of one holiday this winter season, I think of ‘holidays’ as including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.  I love each of them for what they represent, and I think they are most beautiful when combined together.  I am Thankful for everything, especially the birth of Jesus my savior and Lord, and will focus on embracing and changing the aspects of my life that are in the way of having a great relationship with Him.  This is how I view the plurality of ‘the holidays’. 

About mjstearns

We are Mark, Jenni, Tate and Theo Stearns. We currently live in Beaverton, Oregon, but are planning to move to Nicaragua within the next six months. We'll be serving as missionaries to Verbo Church, a non denominational church with several Nicaraguan locations. Specifically we'll be working at Casa Bernabe, an orphanage run by the church, assisting in vocational training and transition programs for the older boys.
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2 Responses to Happy Thanksgiving

  1. Getha Tidrick says:

    It sounds like you had a great day. The feast looks great. Rhonda and I went shopping today, Black Friday and looked at curtain, drape material. She is sending you some photos on e-mail to consider. The light colored material can be dyed. I go brown for my room. More later. Nana

  2. Alison says:

    I love your reasoning for liking the phrase “happy holidays”! I use the phrase because it is all encompassing and if we are to love and accept one another, why can’t we wish others well for their holiday of choice during this time of year as well. Sounds like you adapted your traditions well, started some new ones, and shared your tradition with the boys. That sounds like a great holiday to me, even when you can’t be with all the family, a part of them was still there in those traditions.

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