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The Thankful Tree

We pulled out our Thankful tree that we made in 2010 (after many years using brown kraft paper!) so it could be reused every year. For years I painted the tree on large brown kraft paper and covered a door with it–but I love reusing the same canvas tree with their sweet little handprints. I posted how we made ours last year–so I’m reposting it…because that’s how much we love it! You can see the kind we used to make here if you don’t want to buy canvas and just want to keep it super simple this year on kraft paper: here. I bought a little die cut a couple of years ago at Hobby Lobby that is shaped like little leaves. Each day my little ones each write ONE thing they are thankful for–and it goes on the Thankful Tree. It is SO MUCH FUN to read them all at the end of the month. I’ll never forget one of Laney’s from two years ago. She was 3 years old and said she was thankful for “mermaid shout”. When I asked her what that was–she said it is when a mermaid is scared–all she has to do is shout. OF COURSE that is what that is!!!

THIS year we are SO thankful to have 4 children…which can keep me on my toes…so I am SO thankful this year to have a “recycable tree”…so I didn’t have to paint another one this year…just pulled this one out!

I bought canvas at an art store a few years ago when it was on sale–I cut it the length and width I wanted and then cut the roll it came on to help support it at the top and weigh it down on the bottom. (Any art store should carry this)

I stitched a seem across the ends of both the top and bottom so I could slide the roll into both…

Then, I slid a ribbon through the top one which helps hang it later…

It’s a canvas ready to be painted:)

I just used a pen to draw my tree before I painted (a normal person would use a pencil…but you can’t find practical stuff like that around here when you need it!)

Then I painted in the lines…for the most part:). (a normal person would also go buy brown paint. BUT I was out…and Parker man wasn’t feeling good today so we were parking here all day. SO…I googled “what colors make brown”…yes I didn’t know…and just in case you didn’t either–it’s Yellow + Blue + Red…or Green + Red…or Yello + Purple…or Orange + Blue. I ran out of yellow, too, by the way…and I googled “how to make yellow” and apparently I’m not that bright b/c yellow is a primary color and you can’t make it…and that’s when I thought to mix orange with blue:). Anyway…here’s the painting in action…and don’t ya think mixing paint to make brown made the tree look cooler anyway b/c you can see some of the different hues? Just sayin’…some times when things require more work…it actually makes it more beautiful in the end:). I think there might be an analogy there;-)

After we finished the tree, we made turkey HANDPRINTS!!! SO FUN! We did the different colors in steps though and had to wait for each color to dry!

NOW…we just have to die cut all of our leaves tomorrow…stick them in our “thanksgiving jar” that Mama Judy gave us a couple of years ago…and the fun can begin!!! The kids look forward to this EVERY day…and it’s so sweet to watch thankfulness cultivate in their hearts!!! I love that some of the stems look like crosses…a reminder of what we are most thankful for.

Today I’m thankful for…

…my Parker, my Laney, my Frankie baby and my Isaac

…a husband who loves me and cares for me…and would do anything in the world for me

…for friends who love me–and serve me…who laugh with me…who understand…who cry with me…who pray for me and encourage me…who draw me closer to Jesus…I have THE most amazing friends…so thankful!

…for God’s plans being bigger and better than my plans…He can be trusted…for that I am thankful.

Last year when I posted this post–this is what I wrote…and it ministered to ME tonight to read it…so I wanted to also share it with you:

So many reasons to be thankful. What are you thankful for today??? How is God blessing you??? How do you see His hand EVEN in the midst of hardship?

A PRECIOUS sister in Christ reminded me tonight–HE KNOWS THE END OF YOUR STORY. Did you hear that??? In the midst of whatever hard thing you are going through–HE knows the end…because HE planned it!!! It will bring Him glory…He can be trusted…and IT WILL BE WORTH IT! Aren’t you THANKFUL we serve a God who knows the END of OUR stories…He knows the END of our trials and their purposes!!! And in Him…it is all finished—because if He can use us to receive praise and glory…it WILL be worth it…and in the end you will come out dancing!!! Psalm 30:11 “You turned my wailing into dancing, you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with JOY.”

Hope you all have a blessed week!


Megan Trader - November 4, 2011 - 8:47 am

Hi! First of all, I LOVE your blog, and have been reading it for a few weeks. Love the pics, stories, and craft ideas. CUTE family! I read your thankfulness post this morning directly after reading this post:
Would you mind stopping by this sweet family’s blog for a moment and offering some encouragement? I loved what you said about God knowing the end of our stories! Right on!

Have a great day!

Lauren - November 4, 2011 - 9:58 am

SO needed to hear those last words today! Thank you!!!!! I love that tree! I will definitely be making one for our family this year! We (as usual) have just oh so much to be thankful for! God is so good! I am so thankful for YOU too – I can’t wait to hug you in January!!! (cue tears) haha

Vanessa Bonner - November 4, 2011 - 2:23 pm

Hi Andrea,

Love this!! I copied your idea last year and actually made them and gave them away to a few friends this year for Christmas. Thanks for the reminder to pull it out of storage 🙂

Ashley Deaton McMakin - November 5, 2011 - 3:54 am

love the thankful tree…you need to sell them for people like me that don’t have the time or talent to make them(:
do you have a favorite kids advent calendar?

Dawn Wright - November 5, 2011 - 12:49 pm

LOVE THIS!! Thank you for your inspiration! Love your tree 🙂

And your crazy photo shoot totally cracked me up!!!!!