Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 30. My Life. Today is the last day of A Month of Thankfulness. I won't say it was always easy to think of things to be thankful for, but it was a good exercise. I think I'll end the month by being thankful for my life and all the things in it. I've shared throughout the month the things in my life that I am thankful for, but there are so many other things - people, events, places I've been, trials, tragedies, joy - that have made my life what it is. The Bible says to be thankful in everything, so I do need to be thankful for even the tough stuff because those things are part of who I am and where I am right now. So, to end this month of Thankfulness and head on in to the Advent Season, I want to thank God for my life and how He's guided me and shaped me and how He promises to continue to do that until I am with Him in glory. Amen.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Delightful Afternoon!

Yesterday my sister-in-law and her little girl accompanied me and my little girl to the ballet. We got all dressed up and had an absolutely delightful time. We saw "The Nutcracker", which is a must-see for all children, in my opinion, but especially for little girls. The two cousins were enthralled. They loved the dancers and the pretty dresses and the music. The dancers were in the foyer both before the performance and during intermission, so I was able to get some pictures of some of them with the girls.
Here the girls are with Clara. She was such a sweet little girl and did such a good job in her role.
Here they are with, I believe, the Rose from "The Waltz of the Flowers", which is my absolute favorite dance. The music just carries me away.
Missy Lou has not been able to stop talking about the ballet, and yesterday afternoon we stopped by Costco to pick up our Christmas cards and she did pirouettes all the way down the parking lot! We had such a wonderful afternoon, my daughter and I.

A Month of Thankfulness

My deepest apologies for not posting the past several days. It's been a crazy busy weekend. But, I do want to keep up with my Thankful Things so.... here are the make-ups!

Thankful Thing - November 26. A Wonderful Thanksgiving Season. I know that a lot of people don't have very happy holidays. Some people have memories that haunt them of holidays past that were less than ideal. Some people have relatives that bring conflict with them wherever they go, so family gatherings are something to dread rather than anticipate. Some people place too high of expectations of the holidays and put too much pressure on themselves and collapse of stress by the end of the whole thing. I don't have those problems, and for that, I am thankful. We had two wonderful family dinners. Everyone got along. A lot of laughter was shared and pleasant memories were made.

Thankful Thing - November 27. The Rain. We need it so badly in this desert valley of ours. And it rained today. But we were inside, cozy and warm. The fire was going. The kids were quietly playing games, or watching football on tv. And the rain fell. Thank you, God, for the rain!

Thankful Thing - November 28. Sisters (in-law). I didn't have a sister growing up. I really wanted one badly, but that wasn't what God had planned for my life. But, I grew up and got married and inherited some wonderful sisters. They are the sweetest women and I feel like I can tell them anything. I am thankful for my sisters.

Thankful Thing - November 29. My Appliances. Yes, yes, I know. You're probably thinking, this gal has had too much eggnog already and it's getting close to the end of the month and she's getting desperate for things to be thankful for. Well.... no. I haven't had any eggnog yet, and when I do it's the non-alcoholic kind. And I'm not running out of things to be thankful for. In fact, I could go another whole month of Thankfulness and still not run out of things to be thankful for, so there. But, I am thankful for my appliances. Especially on a cold frosty day like today. I don't have to haul water in from the well, or go out and hang my laundry on the line. I suppose our pioneer fore-mothers probably washed less than we do, but I am thankful for my washer and dryer. I am thankful for my water-heater, so I could take a warm shower this morning. I'm thankful for my oven and stove, which makes cooking so much easier. And for my microwave, which takes ease of cooking to a whole new level. Yes, I am truly thankful for my appliances.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 25. Well, today is Thanksgiving. And I am thankful for nothing in particular this day, but rather Thankful for all things. I am trying to cultivate a heart of contentment and gratitude. God has blessed me tremendously, I lack for nothing and I have everything I need. Praise the Lord. He is good. His lovingkindness is eternal. Praise the Lord.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 24. My Oldest Son. I might have mentioned before that I have two boys and they are as different as day and a pineapple. This is the truth. Whereas my second son is smallish and cuddly, my older son is tall and lean and muscular. I stopped being able to pick him up ages ago and he's only 7. He doesn't look heavy, but he is. Believe me, he is. Bubba loves sports, and this year he has really excelled in soccer. He's gotten some really good coaching and has proven himself at the position of goalie. It's not a position he really loves, unless the ball is always coming at him. But, when he is paying attention, and that is the operative phrase, "paying attention", the ball can't get by him.
He's also one of those smart, logical people. He loves math, although he thinks he doesn't. I found a math program that makes him really think things through and he does so well. It's fun to watch those wheels turn in his head. Although he always claims, "It's too much work!"
Bubba is not always the easiest child to get along with. He's pretty high strung and his favorite phrase is, "That's not fair!" But, God has been teaching me a lot through this boy of mine and I love him. Today I am thankful for my oldest son.

Bread Baking Mania!

I've kind of been in a bread-baking frenzy the last several days. We're having company for Thanksgiving, so of course I'm making lots and lots of zwiebach.
That's just in case the turkey is a flop. You can't go hungry when there's bread and jam around, I always say!
And then I decided to experiment. I have this awesome bread making book.

It has all sorts of yummy recipes in it. Monday I made sweet potato bread. This is all that is left of it. It was really really yummy. We had some for dinner, and then the next morning toasted with peanut butter. I can't even begin to describe how delicious it was. Yesterday I made buttermilk/rosemary bread. See, I even have my own rosemary.

It grows in the backyard. It's a great little shrubbery and it is very aromatic. Once my cat took a nap in the rosemary and I just sat there and held her and smelled her. She smelled so good. Anyhow, growing your own rosemary is a very good thing. So, I made the buttermilk rosemary bread. It was ok. I put too much of the herb in and it was pretty strong. But, it was still good. I made two loaves. We ate one for dinner last night and will serve the other for Thanksgiving. I think I'm done baking bread for a while.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bonus Thankful Thing...

Today as I look outside and see the remnants of yellow leaves on the Chinese Pistasche out the window and the rain falling, I am thankful for a warm, dry home. I am thankful for my cheerful (somewhat...most of the time ... but sometimes not) children. I am thankful for my husband who's at work right now so we can pay the energy bill. I am thankful for my warm cup of tea (Constant Comment, my favorite). There are so many people who have so much less than I do. People who are cold on this cold morning. Children who live in households filled with conflict and violence. When I look at all I have, I cannot ever in good conscience before my God who has provided me with so much, complain again!

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 23. My Middle Boy. I have two sons and they are as different as day and a pineapple. My second son was four months old when we brought him home.
He was a chubby little thing. Resembled Jabba the Hut from Star Wars. But, he was cute. He's always had a sensitive and gentle nature. He's the first one to share his candy or toy when he sees someone else doesn't have any. He's very empathetic and just down right sweet. He'll talk your ear off and then look up at you with those big brown eyes and big ol' grin and he really can get away with anything. He can be quite a nut and doesn't really care what other people think about him. He's his own person, and because of that, he's really quite popular. Other kids like him a lot. So, today, I am thankful for my second son, Duh-duh!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 22. My Daughter. Right now she is throwing a tantrum. And boy howdy, can she throw a tantrum. She's pretty amazing. However, even in the midst of her tantrum she is being obedient by not pounding on the door. I know I said I am thankful for my kids, but there's something very special about a daughter. And this one is truly a gift from God because He gave her to us in a miraculous way. When you adopt from foster care it is highly unlikely that you will get a newborn or even a very young child. I had reconciled myself to that, and yet I still prayed that God would somehow give me the experience of having a newborn. And He did. And one day in early March, shortly before noon I received a call from the County saying they had a two day old baby girl for us and could we pick her up that afternoon? Wow! My world turned upside down. I dropped the boys off at Grandma & Grandpa's, made a quick stop at Walmart for some essentials and then hubby and I raced off to the hospital. I still remember walking into the hospital. We were scared to death. The social worker took us where the babies were and I remember hearing a loud crying and thinking, "Boy, I hope that's not her." It wasn't. We signed a few papers and walked out with our baby girl on that blustery March afternoon. That was almost five years ago. She's not a baby anymore. Actually, she thinks she's 16 years old. She has been such a joy and a blessing in our family, though. I am truly thankful for her.

Ending the Season!

Saturday was the last soccer game of the season. It had been raining, but does that stop our small town's youth soccer league? By no means! Fortunately, it wasn't raining when the kids had their games, but the fields were wet and muddy. I say they were playing a combination of soccer, water polo and mud wrestling. And the funny thing was, when the ball went into the water, it just stopped. It didn't keep rolling. So, then some kid had to be brave and wade into the water and kick it out. By the end of the game they didn't care. They were all soaked and muddy. The boys team had a little ceremony before the game to honor the moms. They gave us each a little carnation bouquet. It was really sweet. Soccer was really good this year for the kids. The boys had some great coaches and they really learned a lot. Duh-duh went from standing in one place on the field last year to actually running after the ball and kicking it. We were so proud of him. Bubba found his niche as goalie. He doesn't like the position all that much unless he's really seeing some action, though. And then, with Jesus' as goalie defender, Bubba never saw any action because Jesus' has a great "boot", as the coach calls it. But, if the Chivas were ahead at half time, Coach would usually let Bubba come out and play offense and he loved that. Missy Lou had a really good first experience at soccer this year, too. She had a sweet little team and a very nice coach, so we were pleased with her experience, too. So, while we had a wonderful time with soccer, and we're a little sad it's over, I am quite happy to have my Saturdays back.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 21. The Rain. We have had a nice rainy weekend. Since we live in an area that is bone dry 6 months out of the year, we need every drop of rain that we can get. I love the way the rain sounds on the roof at night. This morning as we drove to church there was blue sky to the south and the sunlight fell on the yellow leaves of the peach orchards which were brilliant on the black rain clouds to the north. As we drove north to church we drove in to the rain. It was beautiful to see all that color and brilliance. Today I am thankful for the rain.

"He covers the earth with clouds; He prepares rain for the earth; He makes grass grow on the hills." Psalm 147:8.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

November 20 - Thankful Thing. For Being a Good Mom. I sat down to write this post and half facetiously asked Duh-duh what I was thankful for and he looks at me and says, "For being a good mom!". (I melted right then and there and kissed him) Anyhow, I say "half facetiously" because... it's getting kind of hard to think of things I'm thankful for. I mean, I'm thankful for a lot of things, but some things seem kind of hokey and trite and shallow. For example, I'm thankful for our heater on cold mornings, and I'm thankful for Chinese Pistache trees right now because they are breath-taking, and I'm thankful that I got to take a walk yesterday down the "Rails to Trails" with my mom and my kids and we got donuts and coffee after. But, it seems kind of dumb to write a post about those things. But the more I got to think about it, I realized I am thankful that I'm a good mom. Not that I'm patting myself on the back or anything, or saying I'm June Cleaver or Wilma Flinstone or Carol Brady. But, I am thankful that God has given me the capacity to be a good mother to my kids. I don't have a mental illness, or even a physical illness that keeps me from doing all the things for my family that I want and need to do. I am thankful that God keeps teaching me things every day about how to be a better mom.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 19. Our Babysitter. Finding a good babysitter is pretty hard in this day and age. It's not easy to find someone you trust to leave your kids with. Or who would put up with you leaving your kids with them. But, we have found a wonderful babysitter and we are so happy to have her. She is one of my former students, so I can say I know her well. She is in college now (I feel so old) and she's studying to be a teacher. She's great with the kids and they like her because she always brings a new game to teach them. She's responsible and just as sweet as can be. So, tonight I am very thankful for our babysitter.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Livin' on the Wild Side!

So, yesterday I'm listening to the radio and I hear the weather report. Doug Collins, my favorite weather guy, was saying that this week of beautiful weather was fast coming to an end and today was going to be the last nice day we were going to have for a while. I knew we couldn't be stuck inside wasting our last day of warm, sunny weather so we took a spur of the moment field trip up to the Pine Flat area. We left in the morning and took our breakfast with us. I had to give blood first thing in the morning and it was a fasting blood test. So, I figured we'd just go straight from the doctor's office and instead of having a picnic lunch, we'd have a picnic breakfast. We had muffins and juice and coffee (for me) as soon as we got up there and then we were ready for adventure. First, we threw rocks in the river for a while (we did discuss the fact that these rocks were igneous rocks, formed by volcanic activity), because when you're a kid and there's a river and there's rocks.... well, what else are you going to do?
Then we went for a hike down a very overgrown path. We found lots of big sticks and spent time hitting a lot of things, like trees and rocks and grass. Oh, and the water! After we got tired of that we went back the way we had come and... you guessed it. Threw more rocks in the water.

At about 11:30, we decided it was time to come home. We were getting a little hungry (we hadn't brought lunch) and were a little tired and figured we'd had enough of a field trip for the day. It was a great time, though. Now bring on the rain!

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 18. God's Creation.
"This is my Father's world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings and 'round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas
His hand the wonders wrought."

We went up to the foothills today for an impromptu field trip and it was so beautiful up there. Every time I get outdoors I marvel at the beauty, the strength and the variety of creation.

From the oceans to the mountains, to the rivers. It's all so wonderful and breath-taking. Nothing man could possibly make or even dream up can compare with the Created world.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 17. My house. I really like my house. We've been living here for almost 7 years now. Hubby's brother built our house for us and he really did a good job. It's got a nice floor plan and it's plenty big for our family, though not too big to clean. We have big windows that face the backyard and right now the backyard is just beautiful. The trees are in full color and the leaves are falling when a slight breeze passes by. I'm thankful that our house is in a nice neighborhood. It's quiet and peaceful. Our street isn't a feeder street, so the kids can go out and play in it and I don't have to worry about them getting run over. Today I am thankful for my house.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm Learning to Appreciate Soccer

I never used to like soccer. I mean, really. How exciting is it to kick a little ball up and down a huge field. Dumb game. Right? Well, that's what most Americans think. But, over the past couple of weeks I've really developed an appreciation for soccer. It started one evening when I was at the boys' practice and on the other field was an adult "game" or whatever. I have no idea if they're actually a team that practices for something, or if it's just a bunch of men getting together to play soccer. Whatever the case, I was able to watch them up close. At times... really close. But I started to notice all the little things you don't notice when you casually watch it. Like how these guys can control the ball, and how they communicate with each other and all the little nuances of the game. It's really pretty fascinating. (And, I hope I'm not committing sacrelige here, but... it's even more interesting than watching a bunch of men hit eachother and try to knock eachother down.) And then tonight the boys' coach took them out to watch the high school girls soccer practice. Coach Jaime's dad is one of the coaches for the girls team and Coach Jaime even helps out now and then. So, we went over there and watched and I was quite captivated. We watched the girls for a while and then we went over and watched the boys practice for a while. So, that was my epiphany of late. Oh, and it's a good thing, too, because we'd thought that soccer was going to be over this weekend, but then Coach informed me that he's putting together a team to take to a couple of tournaments and he wants Bubba to play. Seems he thinks Bubba's a pretty good. I tend to agree.

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 16. My Friends. One of the serious things (as opposed to the not quite so serious things) I am truly thankful for is the presence of godly women in my life. Friends are so valuable - to share with, laugh with, eat lunch with, talk about children/husbands with and just to be a woman with. God has blessed me with some very good friends and for that I am grateful beyond words.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 15. Church Potlucks. (and the fact that my children are old enough to take care of themselves!) We had a potluck yesterday after church. No, church potlucks aren't a total thing of the past, although they may not be as popular as they used to be. It always works better if you have a smallish church, too. So, we had a potluck after the morning worship service and it was really good. I had a dab of enchiladas, some bbq pulled pork, a yummy layered salad and some baked beans. And you know what the best part of it was? I got to sit at a table with all adults. My kids are finally old enough to go through the line by themselves and they ate at a table with the other kids. I was so excited. Usually, at these church meals, I don't get to visit with anyone because I'm so busy with my family and no one ends up sitting with us because they take one look at the chaos and walk the other way. But yesterday.... yesterday.... yesterday was different. We sat by the Carpenters and the Gloeklers and the Youngs and had adult conversation that didn't include words like, "No!" and "Look out! You're spilling!" and "Eat 2 more bites and then you can get dessert!" It was wonderful!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 14. Our Interim Pastors. We lost our pastor the Sunday after Easter. I won't go into the details, but it was not a happy separation. In fact, it was very traumatic. Since then we have been under the care of two wonderful men - Paul A. and Paul B. Today I am very thankful for both of them. They have not only ministered to our hurting church through the preaching and teaching of the Word, but they have cared for us through visitation as well. It has been a rough time these past several months, but I have really felt that these two men are not only filling in the pulpit, but they are assisting with the healing of our church and we love them for it. So, today I am very thankful for Paul A. and Paul B.

A Different Kind of Inheritance

What do you think about when you hear the word "inheritance"? Most people think money. That's what most inheritances entail. Someone dies and leaves their worldly possessions to someone else. Well, I got a different kind of inheritance from my grandma. She taught me how to crochet. My paternal grandmother died about 20 years ago. She was a wonderful lady. She was always kind and she always had a song on her lips and in her heart. She had a large family - nine kids, my dad was number eight, and she had a lot of grandchildren. But, she prayed for each one of us. I still remember going to her house and she'd feed us cherry mose and let us pick figs from her tree in the back yard and read to us "Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel". Grandma did a lot of crochet work, too. I don't remember if I asked her to teach me how to crochet, or if she saw my feeble attempts as I tried to learn from a book and decided I needed to learn the right way, but she did teach me how to crochet and I never forgot. Over the years she made many many afghans and I've made a few, too. I started one recently and got to thinking about her, as I do whenever I crochet, and I realized that what she gave to me in teaching me how to crochet is more valuable than any amount of money could ever be. She gave me part of herself, and I remember her every time I pick up my crochet hook. What a wonderful inheritance.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 13, 2010. Hubby's Job. About three years ago Hubby got a call from a former colleague who wanted to know if he'd be interested in coming to work at the company he was working for. Hubby wasn't that unhappy with where he was working, but his position was getting him a little stressed. He knew he would rather be designing things than managing people. So, when this former colleague called, Hubby said sure, he'd have a conversation. Over the weeks that followed, he decided that a change was in order and this new position looked interesting. And so it happened that in January, 2008 Hubby started a new job designing man-lifts, and he's loving it. There has been challenges and he was furloughed this year for about 5 months, working only 4 days a week. But, we got through that and things are picking up. I am thankful that he has a job he likes and that he's good at, and that provides a good living for our family.

Friday, November 12, 2010

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: A study in salt/flour clay

This year in second grade we are studying Earth Science and Space. It's been pretty interesting so far. We've done volcanoes and earth quakes. We've studied weather and I can still ask the kids to look in the sky and they can tell me what kinds of clouds they see and what they mean. That's pretty impressive now that I think about it.
So, anyway, we have made our way to the sea and today we studied all the things that one would find if the oceans were suddenly void of water. We studied ocean ridges and sea mounts (little volcanoes that don't peek up out of the ocean) and the continental shelf.
Then, we made a model of it out of salt/flour clay. It was pretty fun.

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankfulness Thing - November 12. Homeschooling. I'm not always thankful for homeschooling. Somedays I just hate it. Somedays I just want to pack those kids onto the nearest bus and let some other person deal with the whining and the refusal to do work and the squirreliness. But, in general, I am thankful that I can homeschool a) legally, b) with my husband's blessing and support and c) somewhat competently. There are a lot of reasons why I homeschool. I think I've probably blogged about those reasons before, but it is a good thing for our family and I love seeing the progress my children make. I love watching Bubba do math. I know that sounds weird, but Singapore Math is such a good fit for the way this child thinks that I get a real kick watching how his brain processes the problems and he comes up with the answer. I love doing history with the kids and seeing them appreciate it and like it. I love choosing their curriculum. All in all, as much as it is a lot of work, the house is usually a disaster because the mornings are so intense with school that I'm just wiped out in the afternoon and all that goes along with it, I am very thankful for homeschooling.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 11. Our Veterans. This being Veterans Day I thought it would be appropriate to extend a word of gratitude to all those who have served and are serving in the United States Armed Forces. From those who fought in the Revolutionary War to obtain our freedom, to those who fought in the Civil War to maintain the unity of our country, to those who fought in the wars of the 20th and 21st Centuries to save others from oppression, I thank you. I also want to thank those who have served in times of peace, being always ready if duty calls. Today, I would like to honor and thank the Veterans of the United States of America.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 10. Walmart. I know it's kind of a dumb thing to be thankful for, but I am thankful for Walmart and that it is so close. We just got home from Walmart. We got - eggs and milk, bathroom cleaner, vitamin supplements, a birthday card and two of the kids each had money to spend, so they got a little toy. It is so nice to have an all-purpose store nearby because with three children, it is no easy task to go shopping. So, when you can get whatever you need in one stop - that is something to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 9. My Morning Walk. For the past, I don't know how many years... 4-5 maybe, I've been getting up early and walking. I walk around the neighborhood, taking different routes. It all started one hot summer morning when I was laying in bed at 6:00am sweating and I thought, this is not comfortable. I need to do something else. So, I went on a walk. And it stuck. It's not always easy getting up at 5:30am. In fact, my subconscious is always doing something so I don't have to go. For example, Sunday night it was pouring down rain. It woke me up. In my sleep-stupor I thought, hmm, it will be raining in the morning and I won't be able to go walking so I really should just re-set my alarm so I don't wake up so early. So, I set the alarm for 6:00. Of course it was clear as a bell by morning. But, most mornings I do get up. Once I'm out there it's wonderful. It's the only time of the day that I can put two thoughts together without being interrupted. In the winter it's very cold, but the frost really is beautiful sparkling on everything and I make sure I dress warmly. Many mornings I hear owls and then I look around for the highest redwood tree and sure enough, there's an owl sitting up there. They are my favorite birds. A couple of mornings I ran into coyotes (they just ran away) and I've even seen raccoons strolling up the street. I do all sorts of things on my walk. I mentally work through problems, I pray, I daydream. It's just a great time for me to be by myself, with no demands and just be able to think and quietly enjoy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 8. My In-Laws. What do you think of when you hear the term "in-laws"? Probably someone saying it with a sigh and rolled eyes. Or maybe the stereotypes you see on tv. Well, God has blessed me with wonderful in-laws and I use that term fondly with no rolled eyes. My husband's parents are two of the dearest people around. I'll never forget my first dinner at their house. Hubby and I hadn't been dating long and we went over there for dinner. It was going well, I was a little nervous, but it wan't that bad. Somehow the topic turned to grapefruit and I mentioned that I didn't really care for grapefruit. Then we went on to different things. So, the meal is over, it's time for dessert and Hubby's mom brings out this delicious lemon meringue pie. I mention how yummy it was and she kind of got a funny look on her face and then admitted it was actually grapefruit meringue pie. I about died. After she said that, I could detect essence of grapefruit, but I never would have guessed it if she hadn't have said anything. We all had a good laugh over that. And over the years Hubby and I have been married, his parents have been the kindest and most wonderful parents-in-law a girl could hope for. Hubby's siblings and their spouses are also wonderful. I'd always wanted a sister and I finally have four of them - and we all have the same name.... almost. Well, derivatives of the same name. Except for one sister-in-law. But there are 4 Chris/Kris names in the family. Anyhow, I do have wonderful in-laws and today I am very thankful for each one of Hubby's family.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 7. My Church. It's Sunday, so I think an appropriate thing to be thankful for is my church. We've been going to our church for almost four years now. It's a little Presbyterian church and we love it. We've been having some hard times over the past couple years, but we are coming out of it stronger and healthier than ever. We had an amazing worship service today - the music, the sermon, Communion. It was incredible. We are looking for a new pastor and this afternoon the search committee spent 5 hours hashing things over, but it was good. It was all good. So, today... I am thankful for my church.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Learning to Cook!

One thing Bubba has really expressed an interest in (besides sports) is helping in the kitchen. He doesn't ask a whole lot, but he does occasionally ask to help me make something and since he asked this morning, I let him mix up the pancakes. Since we were on a schedule, I didn't teach him how to cook them, but he did read the recipe and mix everything up. He did a good job, too.

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 6. My Family (of origin). I had to clarify that, because I could say "My Family" meaning my husband and kids, and I've already said I'm thankful for that. But, today I am thankful for my parents and my brother. (I hope you have figured out that my thankfulnesses are in no particular order, because I'm certainly not more thankful for color than I am for my parents. It's just what I happen to be thinking about at the time.) I have wonderful parents. They did a good job bringing up my brother and me. They provided for us well and gave us a strong, stable homelife. They took us to church every Sunday and Wednesday night and taught us to love the Lord. They loved us and took good care of us. And now, that I am grown up, they adore their son-in-law and their grandchildren. They come to all (or at least all that they can) the kids' sports events and have us over for dinner once a week. Sometimes I joke that before I was married I had the prime position, and then when I got married I moved down a notch and then when the kids came along... well, I'm just chopped liver. But, not really. My parents are wonderful. And I'm thankful for my brother. We never got along well as kids, but I think as adults we are working at our relationship and it's getting better. I like my sister-in-law and niece, too. So, for this day of thankfulness, I am thankful for my family.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing - November 5. Color. This is a tree in our backyard. Every fall I am thankful that God did such a wonderful job combining form and function when He created the world. I understand that from a scientific standpoint, the turning of colors of leaves are simply because the plant stops making chlorophyll, which has the green pigment in it and so then all the other colors are allowed to show through. But you know, God could have made leaves without any other colors. So, as soon the green went away they just turned some weird, nothing, brown type of color and then dried up and fell off. But no... God went and hid all these other brilliant colors under the green, so that when the green went away, we got to enjoy the rest. Sometimes I forget about form and beauty (I'm too practical and pragmatic at times) and go straight for function. But God didn't. He made practical things beautiful - sunrises and sunsets, and beautiful things practical - snow, lakes and streams, flowers. So, I am thankful for color today!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I'm Doing My Best!

Really. I'd like to have a sort of nice home. I like to try to decorate seasonally. And, I thought I did a pretty good job making an autumn arrangement on our little entry table. But then.... things like this happen.
This is not what I had in mind. This does not speak "Elegant Autumn" to me.
Where do these things come from?

A Month of Thankfulness

Thankful Thing, November 4 - Good Doctors. Over the past year I have had a couple of health issues. Last Thanksgiving Eve at 5:30pm I was sitting in Eye-Q with my right eye completely inflamed, the pressure was very elevated, my pupil was dilated without explanation and I was scared to death. This thing had just come upon me in a matter of days without explanation. I thought I had pink-eye, my GP gave me antibiotics, but it hadn't cleared up in a couple days, I was very sensitive to light and my pupil had dilated. So, my GP sends me to Eye-Q that Wed. afternoon and I sat and sat. I initially saw an optometrist, who saw that what I had was beyond her, so she tacked me on to the back of Dr. Kim's (an opthamologist) schedule at the end of the day. I was scared, sitting in the dark (because I couldn't stand the light), in pain and just waiting. But, they were so good to me. This initial optometrist (I can't remember her name) actually gave me a hug and said, "Don't worry! We'll take care of you!" And they did. I was the last one there that day, and I got an injection in my eyeball that gave me the most incredible shiner you ever did see, but after a couple of months I was better. Dr. Kim never did figure out what caused this, but she is the most wonderful doctor.
And then, this August a mole I had removed at my GP's came back positive as melanoma. So, I was sent to the dermatologist to have a large chunk of my leg removed. My doctor there is Dr. Storey and I love her, too. She did a beautiful job on my surgery and she's so sweet. When she was doing my surgery we just chatted about kids and hiking and any number of things we found we had in common. She's just the sweetest, most down to earth person and she's also the most incredible doctor.
So, today I am thankful for my good doctors!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Month of Thankfulness!

There's a little "thing" going around, I've noticed called "A Month of Thankfulness", where each day you say something you are particularly thankful for. I think that's a pretty cool thing and I want to get in on it. Of course, I'm getting in late, because it's already the third day of November and I'm not sure if I'd be able to keep up with it because.... I never can keep up with anything. But, I'll give it a shot. I'm even going to do a few make-up Thanksfulnessess, because I'm starting late.
November 1 Thankful Thing.... My Salvation. And the reminder I had this weekend that many Christians, while they acknowledge that their Salvation is an act of God's grace, they do not live out their sanctification as an act of God's grace. We try to work out our sanctification (being made holy) by our own works and the Christian life becomes a drudgery and an impossibility. I've been wondering why I haven't been smiling much lately. I have been focusing on this verse from Psalm 119 "Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments." I am trying not to fix my eyes on myself, on my circumstances, on my own many shortcomings and failures which burden me and bring me down, but rather on God's commandments. And as the Psalmist continues to say throughout the 119th Psalm, "I will delight in your statutes" and "Your testimonies are my delight" and "... give me life according to your Word."
November 2 Thankful Thing... My husband. I waited and prayed and cried out to the Lord for a long time for him. It was worth the wait. He is kind and patient, cute, funny, faithful and my very best friend.
November 3 Thankful Thing... My children. The Lord closed my womb, for His own reasons. However, "He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord." Psalm 113:9. My children are gifts from the Lord.

So, I am hoping to be able to keep up with this Month of Thankfulness. It is a great idea. You can't complain about things if you're trying to be thankful, right?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Recovering from the Day After!

Boy, yesterday was a tough day. Mondays are always hard for one particular little boy, but add in a particularly busy weekend full of late nights, and lots and lots of candy and junk food.... oh my! It was ugly. It didn't help that Missie Lou had a dentist appointment (yeah, I know, who schedules a dentist appointment for the day after Halloween? Although she did get her teeth nice and clean) and then we went to the library, the shoe store and the grocery store. And then to Grandma and Grandpa's house for dinner. Poor Duh-duh was absolutely worn out come 8:00. His little eyes were drawn and he was about falling over on the couch as I read their bedtime stories. I picked him up, put him in bed and heard nary a word after that. In fact, all the children were quiet within 5 minutes of being put to bed. I'm so glad that we have an "at-home" day today. No place to go, just school to do in the morning (learning about how the Visigoths and the Vandals invaded Rome and the emperor had to go live in a swamp where he'd be safe) and cap guns to shoot in the afternoon. It's nice to rest.