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Our family is in Eastman, Georgia today, celebrating Thanksgiving together. This is where Jody grew up, and we have so many memories of our own kids here. A HUGE Magnolia Tree greets you in the front yard and it has been the site of many tree climbings through the years. In fact, Ella must have climbed it every time we visited. The picture above is Ella Kate high on her perch in that old tree. I look at that tree with mixed emotions now. Even though tears fill my eyes at its remembrance, a smile still stretches across my face.

Our circumstances are often not what we would choose. Life is hard with many unexpected twists and turns. Though we can't always control our circumstance, we can control our response to those circumstances. So today, we choose to be thankful. We are thankful for our friends. We are thankful for our family. We are thankful for our church, who has shown us love in ways we could have never imagined. We are thankful for your prayers, your support, and your little messages of encouragement.

We are also thankful to have received some news this morning of a family we have never met, who is celebrating the birth of a little baby girl. A mutual friend told us that they have been reading this blog and have been inspired by our story. As a result, they decided to name their baby Ella Grace. In their words, "Ella, for what God has done in and through Ella's family. Grace, for what God has done for us."

So, Happy Birthday, sweet little Ella Grace. We celebrate you today and are thankful for God's continued blessings. You have a BIG name to live up to, but we have no doubts that God will bless as you wear it well in this great big world.


#thanks #thankful #2016