Thanksgiving Prayer

DSC00725For most of the last few years, I have posted this prayer that my grandfather wrote in the 1950s. It has and continued to move me.  So many small things that we often take for granted are to be remembered and celebrated.

In light of the world today, I thought it was especially special to those of us with children.

“Our Father-God we thank thee…

• For the ringing laughter of our children playing, for their giggles, and the moist throaty chuckles of our babies
• For the tender weight of a sleeping child in our arms, and the trust of a tired son who rests his head upon our shoulder, and sleeps
• For the joy we feel in baby’s first tooth, first word, first step, and the thrill of the grown-up child who marries
• For the exultant communion with our teen ones when we dive together into the clean cold surf at dawn, and stand with them silently at sunset drinking glory from the cloud-studded sky
• For small boys on tricycles, or on hands and knees in the sandbox pushing toy trucks and making man-noises
• For tomboy girls streaking across the lawn, swinging on rings, or whirling like pinwheels on turning bars
• For the wonder on the sensitive face of a half-grown child as she listens to a great organ for the first time, or watches a symphony orchestra
• For the fun of family picnics, and vacation trips, and going fishing together
• For the thrill we feel when a daughter stands before us in her first formal gown, and we realize that she is beautiful
• For the joy of a child’s recovery from illness, and the relief we feel when we see an accident almost happen, but not quite
• For the pressure of a timid child’s hand in ours as we walk together in the dark
• For parenthood we thank thee.
• And, our Father-God, to thee we pray for peace. If it be thy will, grant that we may continue our lives together in the precious years to come.   Amen.”

Honestly, this prayer gets me every time I read it. So many things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving — my family, my friends, my home, our community, our church, Ian’s school, and so much more.  I am so blessed.

May you and yours be blessed this Thanksgiving Day!  Hope you have a great day!

Happy Thanksgiving

POD_March.6_Chair-Happy Thanksgiving to you!  May you have a wonderful day with family and friends and celebrate what you are thankful for.  I am thankful for many things and many people.  I am blessed beyond measure and so very grateful.

We recently found out that we had ancestors come over on the Mayflower and helped settle Plymouth. The knowledge that someone from our family was there at the first Thanksgiving is so very special.  It has made the story much more real for Ian and for all of us.

These people were Ian’s 15 great grandparents, if I counted it correctly.  Mom discovered this amazing news during the update of our family history.  I have been helping her with it and am having a blast.

My favorite Thanksgiving prayer is one that my grandfather wrote back in 1951.  This photo is of me sitting on his lap many years ago.  As my regular readers know, he was and remains my favorite storyteller.  He taught me so much and for that I am thankful.

In light of the world today, his prayer is still quite poignant and special.  After all, family and friends are still what is most important.

“Our Father-God we thank thee…

• For the ringing laughter of our children playing, for their giggles, and the moist throaty chuckles of our babies
• For the tender weight of a sleeping child in our arms, and the trust of a tired son who rests his head upon our shoulder, and sleeps
• For the joy we feel in baby’s first tooth, first word, first step, and the thrill of the grown-up child who marries
• For the exultant communion with our teen ones when we dive together into the clean cold surf at dawn, and stand with them silently at sunset drinking glory from the cloud-studded sky
• For small boys on tricycles, or on hands and knees in the sandbox pushing toy trucks and making man-noises
• For tomboy girls streaking across the lawn, swinging on rings, or whirling like pinwheels on turning bars
• For the wonder on the sensitive face of a half-grown child as she listens to a great organ for the first time, or watches a symphony orchestra
• For the fun of family picnics, and vacation trips, and going fishing together
• For the thrill we feel when a daughter stands before us in her first formal gown, and we realize that she is beautiful
• For the joy of a child’s recovery from illness, and the relief we feel when we see an accident almost happen, but not quite
• For the pressure of a timid child’s hand in ours as we walk together in the dark
• For parenthood we thank thee.
• And, our Father-God, to thee we pray for peace. If it be thy will, grant that we may continue our lives together in the precious years to come.   Amen.”

Thank you Grandpa for your amazing and touching prayer.  You had a way of capturing events in life that are easy to take for granted.  Many people who have lost loved ones may never know these joys and thrills.  May we be a comfort to others in their times of loss.

I have found as I get older that it is the little things and normal things of daily life that I cherish the most. The daily routine and things that I can count on are so very special.  I hope and pray that I never take them for granted.

This year I also pray for peace.  Sometimes I wonder if we will ever have it again.  May we truly have peace on earth and goodwill towards men.  And I pray for good health and safety.  May those who are in pain or sickness be healed and become stronger.  And may we take care of one another.

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and family.  For all of you, I am really and truly thankful. And I am looking forward to time together to eat, laugh, chat, and make new and wonderful memories.

Winter Thanks

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThis week we have seen three systems of snow, ice, and freezing rain move through.  It has been cold and below freezing for most of the week.  It is unusual weather to say the least and school has been out all week.  You’d think we’d have cabin fever by now, but thankfully we don’t.  Or at least, not much.

For a short time yesterday, we got out and did some shopping and had lunch.  It was nice to be out of the house for a short time and get recharged.  Then last night before going to bed, the snow started again.  We got several more inches of both snow and sleet, and some freezing rain.

Thankfully, however, changes are on the way.  It is supposed to be in the 30s or 40s later today.  Honestly that will feel like spring since it has been so extremely cold.  Despite all of this, we have had a good week and had time to play out in the weather and take a lot of photos.  All in all it has been good.

And, it has made me realize that there are many things that I take for granted.  In extreme weather, these necessities can stop working. These are some items that I am more thankful to have and to have working, and some other things that I am also thankful for.

  • Cold running water that is drinkable
  • Hot water for showers and baths
  • Electricity that turns on lights, the radio, and our computers
  • Gas for our heat that has kept us warm
  • Having a garage that has kept our cars warm and free of ice and snow
  • A refrigerator and pantry stocked full of food and drinks
  • Water pipes that have dripped water all night in hopes of pipes not bursting
  • Cabinets in bathrooms around the house that are open to keep the pipes warm
  • Smoke detectors with working batteries
  • Satellite television that has worked for the most part enabling us to keep tabs on the weather and be entertained
  • A DVD player that played Busytown Mysteries one evening — we all laughed and enjoyed it
  • A stove, oven, and microwave that we have used to cook our meals
  • Telephones for keeping in touch with the outside world
  • Blankets, fuzzy socks, pajamas, scarves, coats, and boots to help keep us warm
  • A school system that puts the safety of kids and adults first
  • Working at home and being able to continue to do so each day

I wonder when the winter wonderland will start to melt?  I hope that it is soon as we are ready for warmer and less messy weather.

A Thanksgiving Prayer

img116Happy Thanksgiving.  Here is a prayer that my grandfather wrote and was published in November 1951.

Here I am pictured with him in 1990.  He was and still is my favorite storyteller and an amazing writer, educator, father, and grandfather.

He wrote a newspaper column for many years called “Parent’s Corner.”  It sums up the perfect Parent’s Thanksgiving Prayer to me. Each time I read it I am in awe of the pictures that his words so vividly describe and I tear up over them.

“Our Father-God we thank thee

  • For the ringing laughter of our children playing, for their giggles, and the moist throaty chuckles of our babies
  • For the tender weight of a sleeping child in our arms, and the trust of a tired son who rests his head upon our shoulder, and sleeps
  • For the joy we feel in baby’s first tooth, first word, first step, and the thrill of the grown-up child who marries
  • For the exultant communion with our teen ones when we dive together into the clean cold surf at dawn, and stand with them silently at sunset drinking glory from the cloud-studded sky
  • For small boys on tricycles, or on hands and knees in the sandbox pushing toy trucks and making man-noises
  • For tomboy girls streaking across the lawn, swinging on rings, or whirling like pinwheels on turning bars
  • For the wonder on the sensitive face of a half-grown child as she listens to a great organ for the first time, or watches a symphony orchestra
  • For the fun of family picnics, and vacation trips, and going fishing together
  • For the thrill we feel when a daughter stands before us in her first formal gown, and we realize that she is beautiful
  • For the joy of a child’s recovery from illness, and the relief we feel when we see an accident almost happen, but not quite
  • For the pressure of a timid child’s hand in ours as we walk together in the dark
  • For parenthood we thank thee.
  • And, our Father-God, to thee we pray for peace.  If it be thy will, grant that we may continue our lives together in the precious years to come.

Amen.”

May you have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!  And, may you be thankful for those special to you.

Thanksgiving Story Bracelet

story.bracelet0002Hi and happy the day before Thanksgiving! I don’t know about you but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Good food, great family time, catching up with friends, and being thankful.  What can be better?

This year is even more special since we found out a few months ago that we are descendants of people who arrived in the United States via the Mayflower.  To think that my relative was one of the first to arrive is truly amazing.  And that this woman who is 10 generations before me was one of the pilgrims that I have learned about in school.  WOW!

Ian recently asked me, “Do you think there was turkey at the first Thanksgiving?”  I told him, “That is a very good question Ian.  We should look that up and figure out the answer.  If there was, it more than likely was wild since they couldn’t go to the store.”  He stopped to think about that, grinned at my answer, and then went back to playing.

Yesterday, Ian brought home a booklet and bracelet that they’d worked on at school — My Thanksgiving Story Bracelet.  In the booklet, they colored the picture with each explanation of bead color, and read the story.  My scan of it didn’t turn out very well but you get the general idea.  Hope you enjoy it!

  • Black is for the Pilgrims who left England searching for religious freedom
  • White is for the sails of the Mayflower
  • Blue is for the big ocean the Pilgrims traveled across
  • Dark green is for the new land the Pilgrims reached
  • Silver is for the long-snowy winter the Pilgrims faced
  • Lime green is for the fresh, new spring that gave the Pilgrims hope
  • Tan is for the Indians who helped the Pilgrims survive
  • The last four colors are for the first Thanksgiving feast
  • Orange for the pumpkins, brown for the turkey
  • Yellow for the corn, and red for the cranberries
  • This is the story of Thanksgiving

What a wonderful treasure for his first grade class.  This is such a great way to learn history because it’s fun and interactive. Thanks to his teacher who worked on this with the class!

The pilgrims were a hearty and brave group of people.  Knowing that the pilgrims grew all that they had or shared with the Indians is incredible to me.  I will think of them and their struggles as I am shopping this afternoon.

The fact I can shop for what I need at the grocery store or farmer’s market is one that I feel blessed to have.  Then I can come home, store the food in the refrigerator, use our running water to prepare the food and then clean up, and use the stove and oven to prepare it.  What an amazing blessing!  I am honestly and truly thankful for all of those amazing luxuries.  I do my best each day not to take them for granted.

Blessings and being thankful, that is what is about.  That and the breaking bread with loved ones.

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One of my favorite magazines has a quiz about Thanksgiving.  Here are my answers.  What are yours?

  • Best Thing About The Holiday? All day with family, great meal, and fabulous leftovers
  • Host Dinner Or Go Elsewhere? We are going to my parents to eat
  • White Meat Or Dark Meat? I like both of them
  • Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish? This is a toughie since I love the stuffing with cranberry, my sister’s sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes
  • Favorite Thanksgiving Dessert? My favorite pumpkin dessert is pumpkin bread.  I also like pecan pie with whipped cream
  • Cranberry Sauce: Canned Or Homemade?  I do like the canned and plenty of it
  • Sweet Potatoes: With Marshmallows or Without? I like a few on top for extra flavor
  • Best Leftover? Turkey sandwiches with cranberry and stuffing
  • TV Time: Parade Or Football? Parade first and then football
  • I’m Most Thankful For: My family, my friends, running water, and a kitchen full of food
  • I Should Be More Thankful for… my comforts, my health, freedom, and my loved ones

May you have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Throwback Thursday / Thankfulness

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday! For today’s Throwback Thursday photo, I decided to include a photo of Ian’s first day of preschool last year.

When he started preschool, he had never been away from home for very long.  He went part of the day that year and learned to love it.  Now he is an old pro and loves going to school each morning.

Today and tomorrow are Ian’s last days of kindergarten.  And then it’s summer time!  Yeah!  We have had a great year and are now ready for some fun time together.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the week, it is hard to believe that his first full year of school is nearly finished.  The time went by so fast.  Each day he learned new things and grew as a little man.  I am so proud of him and how well he has done.

Starting this weekend our routine will be different and we will have more time to enjoy being together. I always love the summer and am looking forward to another good one.

Today I am thankful for:

  • The excitement a boy has at the start of summer
  • A chance to sleep in
  • Ice cream treats after walking home
  • Bubble baths
  • Playing Monopoly and other games
  • Swimming at the pool
  • Watching Kirk and Ian ride their bikes around the neighborhood
  • Late night chats
  • Joining the reading club for the summer at our library
  • Movie and popcorn night with my guys

Have a great day!

Sninner or Snanner?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn Sunday evening, Ian and I were riding home from visiting family.  We were talking about his evening meal.  He said he wanted a snack.  Since it was very close to dinner time, I told him it would be dinner.

Then he said, “No Mommy, I don’t want dinner. I want a snack.”  I told him that his food would be more like dinner food than snack food.  So, the word “Sninner” was born.

Isn’t that a fun combination of Snack and Dinner?  Then we thought that maybe “Snanner” would be better.   What do you think?  Which do you like better?  Or do you have another idea?

Sninner or Snanner, that is the question. It was fun to realize that we’d made up a word.  I was pretty proud of the two of us.  Ian liked it too.

This photo was taken years ago while Ian is eating his sninner after playing at the beach.  Actually, I am not sure what time of day it was.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Making up words with my son
  • Watching his mind at work
  • Listening to Ian’s ideas and questions
  • Seeing how much Ian loves his daddy and loves to mimic him (in a good and fun way)
  • The beauty of a sunny day
  • The taste of sweet cantaloupe for breakfast
  • Walking to pick up Ian after school
  • Watching Ian explore the neighborhood on the walk home from school
  • Having bath time after school and plenty of time to play with Ian
  • Reading books with a boy who loves them

I wonder if we will create any new words today.  I will let you know if we do.

Happy Thanksgiving!

img267Today is the day of Thanksgiving!  I hope that you have someone to share it with and can truly enjoy it!

This afternoon we will be praying, giving thanks, and eating with our family and friends.  Everyone brings a dish to share.  My contribution is green bean casserole and perhaps a dessert.

It is a great meal, often with a game on the television, chess will be played, and perhaps a card game or two.  And, the kids will play.  The house will be very noisy but we will have lots of fun.

We are so thankful to have this fun, wild and crazy bunch to celebrate with.  Several generations of family and friends will gather together.

This year my mother discovered we are descendants of a family who arrived in America on the Mayflower.  Knowing there is a tie to early Thanksgiving celebrations makes this one even more special to me.

Here are a few things on this Thanksgiving that I am thankful for:

  • A picture of this turkey that my son drew with items he is thankful for
  • Breakfast in our pjs and a lazy morning
  • Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (mainly show numbers now but still fun)
  • Helping in the kitchen
  • A toast and prayers for what we are thankful for
  • My mom’s turkey and dressing
  • My sister’s sweet potatoes, which I am allergic to but will have to try
  • Tasty treats from my aunt and cousin
  • Mashed potatoes – one of my faves
  • Green bean casserole with onions on top and all of the other sides
  • Cranberry sauce with a roll
  • Pumpkin pie and pecan pie with whipped cream
  • Giggles from cousins
  • Seeing my son talk to my grandmother (who is 92 years old)
  • A dog who will be begging for scraps and probably be told no
  • Photos of friends and family young and old
  • A chess game or two or three
  • Cheering and yelling at the television during the games
  • Leftover turkey sandwiches
  • A variety of crafts and electronic devices being used after eating the meal
  • A long afternoon of conversation
  • A turkey-induced nap
  • Leftover turkey sandwiches
  • Watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with Ian

Here are a few quotes that I found for Thanksgiving:

  • “You can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning.” — Albert Barnes
  • “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • “Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.” — W. J. Cameron
  • “Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.” — Robert Caspar Lintner
  • “For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wonder if on this Thanksgiving, we can truly be thankful for the people in our lives who mean so much, what we have and do, and enjoy and appreciate those who we are with.  I am planning to do just that.

God Bless!

People I Am Thankful For

This week I have been doing a lot of thinking and praying, as I am sure you have too!

I have been thinking a lot about all of the precious people in my life.  I am thankful for:

  • You my followers and readers!  I appreciate those of you who I know and who have been supportive to me.  I also appreciate all of you who I’ve never met and have decided to follow me, like my blogs, and share your comments.
  • A husband who loves me and truly “gets me”
  • A son who has discovered the computer and enjoys playing on it for hours
  • A son who is learning to read and already loves books
  • Parents who taught me what love is and how to share it with others
  • A sister who has been a wonderful friend and confident for as long as I can remember
  • My sister’s great hubby and children.  They are always fun to be with!!
  • A brother who I love with all my heart
  • My brother’s wife who truly is another sister and their great kids.  They are also a lot of fun to spend time with
  • Aunts and uncles who have cared for me and taught me so much
  • Cousins who have been close friends
  • Grandparents who cherished each other and their families and a grandmother who will soon be 92 years old (she is a real spitfire!)
  • Friends who love me and whom I love – several who I’ve known for years and others who I have just recently met
  • (I wanted to add this one which I forgot) — In-laws who have enriched my life. I have a second set of siblings and parents and nieces and nephews who each have special gifts.
  • A Savior who loves me and guides me in my spiritual journey

I hope that you too have many important people in you life!!

Thoughts and Thanks

Another week has come and gone.  Hope it’s been a good one for you!  Mine has been good but quite busy as most are these days.

I can’t believe it’s already 10 days after Ian’s birthday.  We had been so excited about him turning 5 years old and now we are almost two weeks after the big day already.  My time flies.

Today I wanted to share a few random thoughts from the week and a few items that I am thankful for.

————

First is a quote that I read a few days ago.  Socrates said, “May the outward and inward man be one.”  This has stuck with me and I have been thinking a lot about it.  To me it basically means to be yourself and be comfortable in your own skin.

I hope and pray that you are comfortable with who you are and what you believe in and stand for.  I also hope that you don’t feel the need to wear masks or hide yourself.  People who are worth knowing and truly care about you will love you anyway.

It is hard, though, at times, to completely put ourselves out there warts and all.  Hopefully we can figure that out as the times present themselves.

—————

Last night as you know was the Vice Presidential debate.  My mother wrote a thought-provoking item on Facebook that I have to mention.  She noticed that the people who support Obama think that Biden did a better job and the people who support Romney thought that Ryan was better.  No surprise there!

Here are a few of her words, “Intelligent, thoughtful people draw opposite conclusions from watching the same debate, because we see the world through our own perspective and we look for an echo of what we believe in what we hear.  We need to remember that we all have the privilege to decide and vote according to our criteria.

“It is time to ask that the Lord’s will be done in this election, and that loving concern for others, civility, tolerance, mutual respect, reason, and a spirit of cooperation will settle upon us as a nation,” was her conclusion.  Well said Mom!!

It was a lively debate and I must say that I really like knowing that so many people are engaged in the process this year and care about voting.  For many years, a large portion of the population hasn’t exercised the right to vote.  I hope that changes this year!

What I don’t like is when people are mean or attack someone who feels differently than they do. I would like to think that people can present their view without attacking someone else’s, but I realize that is quite naive.  I want to echo my mother’s prayer about our attitude and remembering to respect one another.

————

I love the fall!!  This week we have had to pull out our sweaters when we’ve gone outside and have to wear socks to keep our feet warm.  The weather is changing and with that, the change to gorgeous fall leaves.

Last weekend we made pumpkin spice pancakes on Saturday morning with turkey bacon.  Such wonderful tastes of fall with the syrup on the pancakes!  Ian helped us make this yummy breakfast and it was a blast!

Last weekend, I also had my first pumpkin spice latte and it was DELICIOUS!  Don’t you love the tastes of fall?  I sure do.

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There is so much to be thankful for!   I hope you have some items as well.  Here are a few of mine:

  • After putting on a dressy outfit, Ian telling me, “Mommy, that outfit looks great!”
  • Enjoying an autobiography about Dick Van Dyke.  I will be writing about this when I finish it.  I have liked him for years so it is fun to read about his life.
  • Finding inspiration in a quote or a comment that someone has made.
  • Looking with anticipation at my sister’s choices for a photo a day challenge that she is going with some of her friends.  They are very clever and creative.
  • Watching a friend debut on a new television show this week.  He did a great job, I must say.  The show is “Chicago Fire.”  Please check it out.
  • Cherishing a date night with my dear hubby with dinner out and time to shop.
  • Painting my fingernails and toenails with confetti nail polish for a birthday party.
  • Seeing Ian set up and play with his new train set, which he received at his party.
  • Realizing how precious it is to live in this county and be able to think and believe as we want to.
  • Listening to differences of opinion and learning how other people tick (so to speak).
  • Receiving a hug from my son and husband.

May God bless you this coming week!  Hope it’s a great one!!