Friday, November 18, 2011

Grateful, Day 16.

11/16/2011  I'm grateful for "silly-business". 

Some evenings at bedtime it is all "business" around here.  But there are those unplanned "silly-business" nights that creep into our lives and we LOVE them.  You probably know what I mean...It is the "witching-hour"...7-8ish...and all of the sudden:

One tickle gets the whole family in a wrestling match...
A pile of clean socks that have not been put away starts a "sock war" on either side of our bed...
A ball gets thrown once and then before we know it, we've been playing Keep-Away for an hour...
A pillow is thrown up again and again for "outfielder practice"...
Started by a quick check to see if someone's pajamas glow in the dark the flashlights come out and we are piled in one bed talking in the dark about all kinds of things...
One little girl hides under the bed and a hide-and-seek match starts...
One flip they learned in gymnastics turns into JB doing handstands by the wall and cartwheels in our room (He can do an amazing cartwheel, BTW)...
I am showing JB one You Tube video and we all get sucked into a You Tube marathon...
A laundry basket turns into a "car" or "train" and JB sees how far he can slide the kids across the kitchen...
We notice that Jay's whole outfit is "slick" and JB starts sliding him around the living room to see how far he'll go...
Someone turns on the music on our clock radio and an all out dance party begins!...
We realize that Checkers slide really well across the coffee table and a "mini-airhockey match" begins!...

Well, this week Jay was showing us that he was learning the Macarena in PE and so I pulled it up on You Tube so we could all teach Betsy...which turned also pulling up the Cha Cha Slide, YMCA, Peanut Butter Jelly Time and a few other classics.  We danced HARD and laughed HARDER and it felt SO GOOD.  I'm reminded again and again that the best things in life are free...and "silly business" is one of them!

Grateful, Day 15.

2009 Tailgate

11/15/2011  It is about this time every year that I get "snippy" about my Saturdays being encroached upon by football games.  Since a love of sports is a big part of JB (and Jay!), I have decided that I need to have a better attitude!

I am grateful for tailgates with family and friends.  I am grateful that we live so close to our Alma Mater so that we can be a part of the excitement of Game Day!  We are blessed to be able to include season tickets into our budget.  I am grateful for my in-laws who come into town to watch the kids so JB and I can enjoy a kids-free tailgate once in a while.  I'm grateful that my dad and uncle have season tickets so I can see them extra during the fall!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Grateful, Day 14.

One of my favs!  -Photo taken by JB's sister.

11/14/2011  I am grateful for digital cameras.  The other night I was organizing my digital pictures and got sucked into hours of sweet videos and old pictures.  I'm so grateful I have them...especially since my memory is already failing me!

Grateful, Day 13.

11/13/2011  I am grateful for traditions.  I LOVE traditions...three times and it's a tradition!  This year is our third year of making the same Thanksgiving loop.  We spend Thanksgiving Day with JB's family and then head to my brother's house on Friday (watching The Polar Express in the truck on the way to kick off the Christmas season!) to spend time with my family.  I am REALLY looking forward to it!  I'm also VERY grateful that we live close enough to both of our families to do this with ease!

Grateful, Day 12.

11/12/2011  I am grateful for my faith.  I'm grateful that my husband and I both grew up in Christian families.  We are blessed every week by our church family.  I'm grateful for our humble pastor and our fabulous Wednesday Night Programs.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Grateful, Day 11.

11/11/2011  I am grateful for my house.  No, it is not exactly what I would have pictured for a "forever house", but I am very grateful for it.  I live in a safe neighborhood that is zoned for fabulous schools.  I have neighbors that I can trust.  We have plenty of room, inside and out.

Although I am grateful for my house, I find that it is one area that I struggle for contentment the most...Possibly because I love browsing house magazines/blogs so much!

My grandfather grew up in a New England cottage that was +/- 1,300 sf with 3 other siblings.
My mother grew up in a brick ranch house that was +/- 2,200 sf with 4 other siblings.
I grew up in a +/- 2,600 sf house with one sibling.
My two kids are growing up in a +/- 2,400 sf house.

Although family sizes are dropping, homes are getting bigger.  One thing I have realized now that my grandparents have passed and my parents will soon be putting their house up for sale...It is not the house that you remember when loved ones are gone.  It is the people and the memories of times with them in that house. 

My great grandparent's New England cottage would not be in a magazine.  It never had been "remodeled" didn't have a "workable" kitchen.  The wallpapers were floral and the bedrooms were small...the bathrooms were VERY small and you had to watch your hot water usage.  It didn't have central HVAC.  But it FELT perfect.  Memories were made there...we would lay awake talking at night...easy to do since my brother and I were on cots in the dining room and someone was always on the living room pull out.  We would laugh about the "East Wind" that my Great Aunt always spoke of that never seemed to show up on hot summer nights when we came to visit.  Hot tea on the porch...lots of laughs...great family  The house without them in it is just a house.

My grandparent's brick ranch would also have not been in a magazine.  It had not been recently "remodeled".  The kitchen was small.  There was no rhyme or reason to the way the pictures were hung throughout the house.  The everyday dishes were a simple Corelle and the silverware in the drawer didn't match.  At the holidays there were always several people that would have to sleep on the couch.  Again, there were hot water issues when you ran the dishwasher if someone was in the shower.  But it FELT perfect.  Kids, grandkids, great grandkids would pack people in the living room for Trivial Pursuit and we would just make room.  There was great food...and there were always at least three women in the kitchen cooking together.  There were little Snicker bars on the coffee table and Oreos in the pantry.  The dishwasher/shower issue was a running joke.  The conversations were generally sports, current events and politics and they were exciting!  The pool table downstairs was always in use by one of the boys.  We would stay up late with a really good old movie.  I would spend hours playing "make-up" at my grandmother's vanity.  I learned how to play croquet in the yard and we would climb the large crepe myrtle trees.  I was enamored with the "crushed ice" in their fridge.  Their bathroom was always stocked with a big jug of bubble bath.  There were always fresh flowers from their yard and rose garden in the living room.  My grandfather's grandmother's love of fashion!  Oh, the way they would light up when we would come to visit!  The house without them in it is just a house.

So I ask myself...would I trade a perfectly good house for a bigger and better one...straining us financially and possibly limiting our family time and creating stress, or can I Choose to Love my house and make memories right here?

I know I don't need more house to be happy, so I pray for contentment.  After all, my "forever house" is not in a magazine.  It is in Heaven.  I am grateful for that too.

Grateful, Day 10.

11/10/2010  I remember this song from when I was little..."Make new friends, but keep the old ones...the new are silver and the old are gold."  When I think of this song now I realize that the longer you keep friends the more "golden" ones there are.  I am grateful for friends.

Old friends, New friends, High-school friends, College friends, Neighbor friends, Young friends, Older friends, Friends that I've met through my husband, Friends that I've met through other friends, Friends that I've met through work, Church friends, Tennis friends, Family friends, Blog friends...I'm even grateful for the friends that I haven't met yet!

"Good friends are like stars.  You don't always see them, but you know they're always there."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Grateful, Day 9.

11/10/2011  I am grateful for our armed forces.  They are not just nameless soldiers.  They are someone's mother...father...son...daughter...wife...husband.  Selflessly serving our country so that we can live in peace.  I am grateful for peace.  Thank you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grateful, Day 8.

11/08/2011  I am grateful for a healthy family.  If you read blogs, you know the power of words.  You know that you can get emotional over a sentence, or the story of a stranger. 

-About a year ago I sobbed for a week as a read the blog of a family in Chapin that, on an ordinary weekday...headed to pick blueberries, lost both children (the same ages as mine) in a car wreck.  I sobbed as their father blogged about how he used to get frustrated when they would be jibber jabbering in the back seat and he shared that he would give anything just to hear their little voices in the back seat again.  I was inspired by his great faith.  His story will never leave me.  It still pops in my head when I get frustrated on a car ride and it brings me back to what's really important.  I pray for them every June.

-I had a lump in my throat last Christmas when Edie's house (Life in Grace) burned to the ground and I thought about how horrific it would be if we lost all of our earthly things.  I rejoiced with her as she thanked God that her beautiful family was all safe, not even a single hair singed.  I've followed her on her journey of rebuilding and witnessed her enormous faith.

-I mentioned Ashley at Lil Blue Boo a few posts ago.  Yesterday she wrote:

And then the dreaded butt shot…..they can’t fit it all in one syringe… I have to get two (one in each cheek). All I repeat to myself is: at least it’s not Boo, at least it’s not Boo. They can do anything they want to me as long as it’s not Boo that has to go through it….I’m so super thankful it’s me. Thank you God for choosing me.

Ashley is going through chemo...a little piece of hell on Earth...and she gives another example of her great faith in thanking God for choosing her to go through this and not her daughter.  Can you imagine?! 

I'm grateful to read stories of others that make me not take my own health, and the health of my family, for granted.

I'm grateful for a good cry. 

Grateful, Day 7.

Everyday Math Computer Game
11/07/2011  I am grateful for afternoons with my children.  Since this part-time schedule is new for me, it is something I don't take for granted.  I am confident that this was the right choice for us.

"America's love affair with materialism has taken its toll on things that matter most...It is the absence of parents, who have nothing left to give...If only Mom and Dad had been there when the passions peaked.  So many of the difficulties that confront our kids come down to that single characteristic of today's families:  There is nobody home...It is my conviction that those who choose to bring a child into the world must give that boy or girl the highest priority for a period of time.  In a very short time, they will be grown up and on their own...I believe the two-career family during the child rearing years creates a level of stress that is tearing people apart.  And it often deprives children of something they will search for for the rest of their lives.  We can only hope that a significant segment of the population will awaken someday from the nightmare of overcommitment and say, 'This is a crazy way to live.  There has to be a better way than this to raise our kids.  We will make the financial sacrifices necessary to slow the pace of living.'"  -Dr. James Dobson, Bringing Up Boys

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Grateful, Day 6.

My first lipstick.  I have this photo on my make-up vanity.
It is me with my Me-Me, Mom and Grammie.

11/06/2011  Today is All Saints Sunday.  I am grateful for the family that has gone before me that makes me who I am.  My Me-Me had four children, her second was my dad.  My Grammie had five children, her fourth was my mom.  I'm grateful for all the hard work and patience that my grandparents went through to make my parents the wonderful people they are today.  Although my grandparents are not around to see me raise my children, and there are a billion questions that I would LOVE to ask them, I know they watch over me and guide me.

"Every mother is like Moses.  She does not enter the promised land.  She prepares a world she will not see."  Pope Paul VI

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Grateful, Day 5.

11/05/2011  I'm grateful for Saturdays at home.  I'm grateful for Paintastics that are all the fun of painting...without the mess!  I'm grateful that I've started to realize that young children (and their parents) get more fulfillment painting together, than going to an art museum...throwing the ball together, than playing in an organized sports game...reading books together, than going to an event at the library...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grateful, Day 4.

11/04/2011  I am grateful for blustery autumn days with brightly colored leaves swirling all around me.  I am grateful to live in a region that experiences all four seasons.  Each year, as the seasons change, I am grateful for the unique gifts and excitement that each brings.  I'm grateful for yearly examples that our world is constantly changing around us, and change can be refreshing and beautiful.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grateful, Day 3.

11/03/2011  I am grateful for my mother.  I'm grateful that she shares her garden knowledge with me and she brings me cuttings of her favorite plants for me to enjoy.  I'm grateful for my Grandpa, who set the example by doing the same for my mother.  I'm grateful that my trumpet flower bloomed late, for with everything else dying back around her she is that much more stunning.  I'm grateful for the beauty of nature, God's free gift to us.

"God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars."  ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Grateful, Day 2.

11/02/2011  As I wait in anxious anticipation for the ultrasound results of a dear friend who has two boys, I am reminded that to have a little girl is a blessing and a gift that some parents may not get to experience.  I am grateful for my daughter.

Grateful, Day 1.

11/01/2011  Tonight I am grateful for a quiet and uninterrupted Family Night.  I'm grateful for the anticipation in my children's eyes as I read a book they haven't heard since last November.  I'm grateful for the smile on my husband's face when I read in "country voice" for Farmer Goff.  I'm grateful for my hometown neighbor, Mrs. Goff, who gave me the book...because it was one of her favorites!

grate·ful Adjective: Feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful.

Inspired by Heidi, who was inspired by 365 Grateful...For the month of November I'm focusing on what I'm grateful for.