Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November: A Month of Giving Thanks

I decided that since Thanksgiving is coming up soon, and I often speed through this month so quickly that I often forget to stop and be thankful. What is this life all about unless we can pause and be thankful for all that we have....? It doesn't mean much, if it doesn't mean much, right? (Profound, huh?) Anyway... I wanted to be in a more grateful state of mind this month, so I came up with one thing every day until Turkey Day that I am really and truly thankful for in my life. So, here they all are, my month of THANKSGIVING....

November 1: Today I am thankful for daylight savings. I am so grateful for that extra hour of sleep, and for a really good excuse to put my darling babies in bed an hour early. "Look, the clock says it's bedtime." seems to go a lot further than "It's bedtime because mom needs it to be so."

November 2: I am thankful for my free Monday Mornings. Twice a month I volunteer at the kids school on Monday mornngs and the other mornings of the week I teach preschool, and on Fridays I make all my appointments, so these wonderfully quiet mornings only come the other two Mondays. They are my only big block of quiet time throughout the week to do whatever I need to do. I get from 8:30-11:30 ( while Brooklyn is at kindergarten) to go grocery shopping, clean house, laundry, OR climb back in bed and read a good book for an hour or two. Not very often does that happen, but it doesn't matter. I can have time to think and ponder even on quiet laundry days, or while grocery shopping all by myself. Love those rare Monday mornings!

November 3: Election Day... I love that we have the right to vote. I love that we live in a country that has that freedom. I LOVE OUR COUNTRY! I'm so grateful for all of the people who have made those rights and freedoms possible.

November 4: I'm thankful for the "buy 9, get the 10th lunch free"punch card at Cafe Rio. FREE LUNCH Day. I'm thankful for Brooklyn as my lunch date out about once a month, even if it did take us about a year to get a free lunch. Yummmmmmmy -- that Pork Barbacoa Salad! Even if Brooklyn eats all my black beans.

November 5: I'm thankful for Utah's four seasons. I love to watch them change. From summer to fall is one of my favorite (one of my four favorites). Brooklyn and I went in the backyard today and played in the leaves. We love to rake them up at the bottom of the slide and then watch the kids slide down and disappear in a huge pile of foliage. Canyon had fun climbing trees tonight. I love the smell, and the sound, and the sight of fall leaves!!!!

November 6: Today I am thankful for simple pleasures. We built a campfire in our firepit in the backyard. Invited the neighborhood kids over. Cooked hotdogs over the fire, added a little Jello and Kool-Aid and Cheetos (3 foods we rarely eat because mom hardly never buys them -- overload at boy scout camp for so many years I suppose) and played hide-and-seek in the twilight. LOVE the smell of a campfire, and the magic it has on me, and the mezmorizing effect it has on all who look into the light.

November 7: I'm thankful for the Ensign magazine and for the gospel pricipals it teaches us. It came in the mail today. I've been anxious to read it because of the lack of info I actually gathered from conference. Something to do with "Mom, she's breathing on me" and "Mom, he's in my space" and "Mom, I was there first" and "Mom, I'm hungry" and "Mom..........". The written word read in quiet moments somehow sinks into my brain a little bit deeper. WOW! Do you know how lucky we are to have these wonderul words of wisdom in writing delivered to our front door? And while I'm thinking of it.... I am truly thankful for the Postal System. I really marvel at what a miracle it really is to put a letter in an envelope, and it gets to where it's going, along with 500 million other pieces of mail, within a day or two! WOW!!!! Somehow it amazes me even more so than e-mail. Does that date me?????

November 8: I'm thankful for a patient big brother teaching a not so patient litttle sister to ride her two wheeler bike without training wheels. Jaxon took on the duty for about 15 minutes today. Brooklyn ran out of patience before he did. Way to go, buddy.

I'm also thankful for a rogue rose on my rose bush today -- in NOVEMBER! The last lingering flower in my garden. An absolutely beautiful one, too. WOW!!!!! It made my day. It smells even prettier than it looks!

November 9: I'm thankful for my Canyon and his ability to make my day with love notes on my pillow when I climb into bed. They usually have drawings of sharks biting a swimmer's leg off, or a lion eating his zebraesque dinner, but nevertheless, they always express his love for his parents, and sometimes, they make it to our pillow to surprise us as we climb into bed. LOVE THAT CANYON BOY!

November 10: I'm thankful for late night conversations. It's amazing how when life gets quiet, the lights go out, recollections of the day start to come out, and good talks happen between parents and children, and between grownups too. These quiet little moments are so special. These are the times when important questions are asked, and hopefully answered with care and meaning. These are the moments when thoughts are racing and things are remembered, random and funny and truly meaningful. These are moments when love is declared and tenderness is shown. These are the moments when prayers are said. These are the moments when we hold each other and giggle and snuggle and really feel. I love the moments right before we all are drifting off to sleep. Today I'm thankful for those moments.

November 11: Veteran's Day: Once again I am so thankful for all who gave so much for this country and all the freedoms we have. But I am also so very thankful for good teachers who teach my children about things like Veteran's Day. Brooklyn came home today singing "Oh Beautiful For Spacious Skies" at the top of her lungs, complete with sign language and a thank you note to a veteran. (We'll give it to Grandpa.) Thanks to her teacher, and all the others who pause to teach really important things, even if they aren't necessarily on the SAT test or in the state 's curriculum. Thanks Mrs. Martin!

November 12: I'm thankful for Early Out Week once in a while. I miss my kids when they are at school all day. It's nice to see them come home early once in a while. I love them popping their little heads into my preschool class so I can introduce them to my preschool students. They never get to see each other except on early out days. I had a student that said "I didn't know that you were a mom and already had babies and they grew up!" Yup, my babies are all growing up. :( AND... I'm thankful for having a job that I love. I'm a lucky lady to be able to teach preschool and make a little living at it too!

November 13: I'm thankful for the magic of Disney. Disney has provided us with many magical moments. We were able to go to Disney on Ice with my sister the Painter cousins tonight. Pure magic, once again. The talent these people have to create something so entertaining is really amazing. (If only those darling Disney Princesses could sew sleeves into their dresses to make them more modest. Brooklyn is very concerned about that.) Thanks LaDawn for taking us, and thanks Walt for your talent and your lasting imagination.

November 14: I'm thankful for my children's cousins. We swapped Jaxon for my sister's Brittany for the weekend. I'm so glad my children have cousins around their ages to enjoy and play with make chocolate chilp cookies with and make giant forts with in the basement on stormy and cold November afternoons.

November 15: I'm thankful for good Sunday School teachers who taught me just what I needed to hear today.

November 16: I'm thankful for the wisdom of Family Home Evening and the power it has to bring us all together in one room for 45 minutes every Monday night to talk about important stuff...even if nothing seems to be sinking in when it comes to real life on Tuesday through Sunday...

November 17: I'm thankful for the medical profession, and that there are people out there that dedicate their whole lives to figuring out how to make us healthy when we are sick or hurt. I'm thankful that we can go to a doctor, and get help when we need it . I'm thankful for modern medicine and the miracles it assists. I'm thankful that Sid could go to the doctor today and get some medicine for this ongoing and never ending cold and sinus problems these last three weeks. Hopefully this helps, honey!

November 18: I'm thankful for long lost college friends who accidentally call my number by mistake and make my day by talking with me for 1/2 hour. Thanks Valerie. So good to hear your voice! What a great thing to be thankful for, the ability to make friends. Do you think animals make friends in the wild, or are we just the lucky ones? What a neat thing that is... to have a really good friend.

November 19: Today I'm thankful for clean, running, cold, and SOFT water. It's so nice to be able to turn on the water from a tap and count on it coming out every time. I think I take that for granted, especially since so many people in the world do not have that. And it's clean and won't make us sick. And this time of year it's so cold and satisfying. AND now we have SOFT water to shower with and to wash dishes and clothes with!!!! Sid bought me a water softener this week, and boy is it making a difference in so many things....clean glasses, soft hair, not so dry skin, etc. WOWIE!

November 20: I'm grateful for good neighbors and great friends for my kids. It's Friday afternoon, and that means early out day at school, and PLAY day with friends. Right now, Brooklyn is headed to a friends birthday party, and Canyon and Jaxon are all playing outside with their friends. There are 11 boys under the age of 10 at my house at the moment.... all making sweet happy boy sounds. LOVE THAT!!!!

November 21: Today I had lots to be thankful for. First of all....MY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED!!!! Don't tell anyone. She's not officially engaged yet. She asked me to go help her pick out a wedding dress today. What a wonderful thing to do! We had so much fun. She picked one out that is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! She is beaming. She is GORGEOUS! I love her. I had so much fun helping her do that today. Thanks for asking, Cindy!

This is a cute picture of Cindy rejoicing as she is coming out of David's Bridal Shop after she found the perfect dress.

I am also thankful for my High School group of friends. All six of us got together tonight with husbands and kids for dinner. We haven't seen each other all together in quite a few years. It was so fun to visit and catch up. We left a little early because Jaxon had that look on his face, a look that says "I'm not feeling too well, Mom." So we rushed home. Which brings me to my third thankful thing today. I'm thankful for Ziploc bags, and that we are wise enough (from years of experience) to keep some handy at all times in the car, and that we could find one in time for Jaxon to use it. Enough said.

November 22: I'm thankful for Christmas and family and traditions. We put our Christmas tree up tonight. It was so fun to all hunker down with the Polar Express DVD and unwrapping each ornament and remember the meaning behind it, and fighting over who gets to put the star on the top of the tree and who gets to put the train around the tree. We had fun making a gingerbread house, some of the candies even made it to the frosting! We even had a beautiful snow storm blow in tonight just for us.

I'm also very thankful for such great parents who are married 54 years TODAY!!! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I'm so glad you found each other and got married! I'm also thankful for Paul and Carmen. Happy Anniversary to you too! Thanks so much for being a part of our lives and our children's lives. Our children are so lucky to have wonderful grandparents in their lives. Today I'm thankful for my children's grandparents!

November 23: I'm thankful for the first real snow of the season, and waking up to it all melted off the sidewalks so I don't have to shovel. Blue sky, bright sun, sparkling new snow=BEAUTIFUL!

November 24: Today I'm thankful for an unexpected day spent with my good hubby. He suddenly and unexpectedly stayed home from work today due to various reasons. And now we get to spend the day together! LOVE THAT! LOVE HIM! He's such a good man! I'm also thankful for my health as the stomache flu is going around the family. I think that's why we're sick, so that we can appreciate our health when we finally have it again, or when we are lucky enough not to get it.

I'm also thankful for good books and the ability to read. As I lugged my great big blue bin out of storage that was full of Christmas books, I excitedly opened it and anticipated reading them all to my children again this season. The Mitten, The Snowy Day, The Night Before Christmas, The Polar Express are a few oldies but goodies. And then the new generation of Christmas books that we are loving too: Santa's New Jet, and Who Will Guide My Sleigh?, and The Cricket's Song, not to mention a whole slew of creative Nativity stories. A book per child per night until Christmas, and we might get through a small portion of them. Good thing Christmas comes around every year. Children's books are weakness of mine. I guess there are worse things to be addicted to. Right?

November 25: Today on Thanksgiving Eve, I'm thankful for so MANY, MANY things to be thankful for. Here is our family's "WALL O' BLESSINGS". We decided to each think of 5 blessings every day at FHE last week and put them on sticky notes and put them on the wall in our kitchen every day so we could actually visualize just how blessed we are. Primitive, but nevertheless, effective. It was kind of fun to see it grow and grow every day. I hated to take them down, but everytime someone walked by, 10 more would fall off. So here is photographic evidence of just some of our blessings. We could do this every day for a year and still not run out of blessings( ... just sticky notes). I'm so thankful to be living MY life, blessings and challenges all wrapped up together. I've sure got a good one!

THANKSGIVING: Today, I am thankful for all that I have. It's been fun to think more about it this year. I have so much to be thankful for. I'm thankful for YOU in my life. Thanks for being part of my life.

November 27: Today I'm thankful for sisters to go shopping with, and for leftovers!

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