This has been a financially challenging year for the Rhyneer family -- our house is under contract for a short sale (originally purchased in 2006 when I was 6 months pregnant for $417K and now selling for the bargain price of $170K -- we bought our first home in one of the hardest hit real estate markets), and Tom's employment has been sketchy and he's been unemployed for nearly two months now which has further stressed our financial situation. However, we have much to be grateful for...we have our health -- and Lucas didn't need open heart surgery (yeah!) -- I have a steady (if stressful) job, Lucas is growing and thriving, Tayler is graduating high school and soon on her way to college, and we have each other and so many wonderful, loving family and friends both near and far. As a matter of fact, our dear friend Mike sent us a Thanksgiving card that puts it best: "Treasure the love you receive above all. It will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished" (OG Mandino).
For Thanksgiving, we enjoyed the company of one of my dearest friends, Armando (Lucas' godfather) and his family, who are like my own. Huge props to Tom who saved my turkey feast...when I was crushed because there was no stuffing on the menu (what is Thanksgiving without stuffing?!?!), he made stuffing out of Cuban bread and ingredients available at Pepe and Haydee's house...it was AWESOME! Here is Lucas helping Tom make his amazing sweet potato casserole, Lucas with Mandy, and Mandy and Jorge (who made the yummy fried turkey). The weather was cool and just lovely. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yourselves and have as much to be thankful for as well!