30 Days of Thankfulness — Part 2

Hi and Happy last day of November.  I am about to run out of month and hadn’t finished my thankfulness listing yet.  OOPS!!!  So, here are my items for Days 16 to 30.

I have so much to be thankful for. I am blessed beyond words and so thankful for all of my friends and family, as well as the experiences I have had, and the items that are near and dear to me.

Most of these categories have more than one answer that I could have included.  These are the ones that first came to mind and ones that I wanted to share.

  • Day 16 – Recipe — Years ago, my mom gave me a recipe for pumpkin bread. It is so good and one of my favorite treats of the fall. In fact, I like a slice of warm bread, with a cold glass of milk, and a slice or two of sharp cheddar cheese. YUM!
  • Day 17 – Store – For food, it is Trader Joe’s but I don’t make it there very often. They have such a great variety and several specialty items as well. My favorite clothing store is Goodwill since I am frugal and love a great bargain. Some trips lead to great finds and others don’t, but I do like to go and see what is there.
  • Day 18 — Quote – One favorite quote was from my grandpa’s stories: “I still wonder where rainbows come from.” This quote always makes me happy and brings up so many memories. As I have gotten older, I have come to believe that it was Grandpa’s way of encouraging us to make the most out of our lives, to discover new things, to always keep learning and striving, and to live our lives to the fullest.
  • Day 19 — Clothing — I have been stumped on this one. In the winter I love my fuzzy socks, warm sweaters, and long-sleeved shirts. I am usually pretty casual and enjoy buying items at thrift shops.
  • Day 20 – Keepsake – Before my grandfather passed away, he gave me his oil painting of his dog Schatzi, a miniature schnauzer. She was such a sweetie and he knew how much I loved her. It was such an honor to receive that from him. Each time I look at it, I think of him and this scruffy dog.
  • Day 21 — Disappointment / Fear – I really wanted to see our friend Malachi grow up and one day go off to college with Ian. But that was not to be since the Lord had something else in mind. Malachi touched so many people in his young life. And, he taught many of us about faith, love, and friendship. We are blessed for having known him. And we are blessed to have learned about loving fully and completely and for making the most of each day.
  • Day 22 — Book — I have a Mom’s Bible that I was given during my time at MOPS.  It is very special and has great quotes for mothers and things that are so special for children. This book is one of my favorites along with our family history book and the collection of my Grandpa’s columns about his family and being a parent.
  • Day 23 — Feeling — I love to see the world through Ian’s eyes. I love watching him learn new ideas, items and concepts. I love listening to what he thinks and his view on the world around us. And, I love seeing him happy. And, my hubby as well. These two are my world, that’s for sure.
  • Day 24 — Photo — I have a photo from 1930 of my grandparents on their honeymoon.They are sitting on a bench in a coastal town and are drinking out of straws from the same ice cream treat. Grandma is holding a cane and they are in almost matching outfits.Grandpa’s curly hair and glasses are shown. I love this view into their young love and relationship that led to 4 children, in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
  • Day 25 — Luxury — I love hot showers and hot baths. I love having a toilet that flushes, heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, an in-home washing machine and dryer, a dishwasher, oven, stove, microwave, and refrigerator. I often taken these items for granted and realize that I shouldn’t. I know that we are spoiled and very blessed to have all of these appliances.
  • Day 26 — Charity — I am a member of the Lions Club and love their motto, We Serve. Lions do so much for the blind and vision impaired as well as those with Diabetes and other health issues. It is so rewarding to be able to help others with vision, what I think is one of the greatest gifts.
  • Day 27 — Song — I have hundreds of songs that I love, love to sing, love to dance to, and that mean so much to me. One of my all-time favorites though is the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. I love to sing it and have on several occasions. With a full orchestra and a choir lifting their voices, it is absolutely lovely and moving.
  • Day 28 — Gift — The gift of love is so very important to me and more important than any material possession. The love of my hubby, my son, my family, my friends, and my savior all mean the world to me. Also cherished are the gifts of forgiveness, trust, happiness, and respect.
  • Day 29 – Something at home — A few years ago, my sister gave me a necklace that had photos on it. One side was our family beach house with a lovely rainbow, and on the other side was a picture of our grandparents. I was touched and amazed. I wore it each day for a while and then decided to keep it at home so I wouldn’t lose it. I still cherish it and wear it on occasion.
  • Day 30 — What are you MOST thankful for?  — I am most thankful to live in a country where I have freedoms, and can think, believe, love, and practice the way I think is right, and that my family also thinks is right. I like being able to disagree with those in authority without harmful ramifications. I am thankful to have such a variety of friends and family members who have enriched my life. And, I am thankful for continuing to learn, change, and grow.

What are you thankful for?  I am sure there are plenty of items.

30 Days of Thankfulness – Part 1

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~W.J. Cameron

I don’t know about you but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love the gathering of family and friends, the spread of food that everyone helps to prepare, and the time to give thanks and share what we are thankful for.  The fact that the day isn’t just about presents makes it all the more special to me.

My family has certain traditions that I love and always look forward to — Mom’s special recipe to cook the turkey, Dad’s great carving skills, my sister’s sweet potatoes, my aunt’s rolls and cranberry, my cousin’s pies, my brother-in-law’s mashed potatoes, my sister-in-law’s casseroles, and our green beans.

This week, I look forward to another gathering of those who can be there.  Today, I wanted to write about the items that I have been thankful for this month.  In previous Novembers, I have written each day about items I am thankful for.  This month I am way behind and haven’t written about them yet.

Here are the first 15 items on a list that I saw on Facebook.  It is a variety of categories of things and people who I am thankful for on a 30 Days of Thankfulness list.  I will post the more items tomorrow and then the rest of the month.

  1. Person — One of my many loved ones who I am thankful for is my husband Kirk.  To be on this journey in life with him and our son is so very special. He is my friend, my love, and so much more.
  2. Animal — I loved my grandparent’s dog Schatzi so very much and have an oil paining of her at our house. Now, I love my parents’ dog Riley. She is such a love and quite a character. She is really good is with kids. And, it’s a hoot watching her clean a plate.
  3. Cozy Place — I am thankful for our living room couch.  I love to curl up there to read a good book, to sit and talk with Ian and/or Kirk, to watch television, to eat a snack, and to fall asleep after a long day.  I often like to sit under a blanket and relax there.
  4. Favorite snack — At this time of year, I very much enjoy and am thankful for sharp cheddar cheese, pumpkin bread, and a cold glass of milk.  I enjoy the contrast of flavors and it feels like fall to me.  Yummy!
  5. Place — I am so thankful for our family beach house in San Diego.  This small house has been the place of so much family love and fun.  We have had multiple generations come and go, have had sleep-overs, family sing-alongs, friends visiting day and night, and so much more.  The place is tiny, usually crammed, but is one of my favorite places in the world.
  6. Pair of Shoes — I have a pair of brown flip-flops that I bought years ago at a shop at the beach.  They are still comfortable and I regularly wear them.  They are raised up a bit so they give support.  I liked them so much that I bought a second pair.
  7. Scent — This is more difficult since there are so many to choose from and to be thankful for.  In the morning, I love the smell of coffee as it is brewing.  I love the smell of Ian after he has gotten out of the shower and he is giving me a hug.  I love the smell of Kirk’s cologne.  And, I love the smell of the ocean — the salt water, the wind, and the waves.
  8. Restaurant — One of my favorite places to eat is a true dive and serves the best fish tacos.  It is at the beach and is within walking distance from the beach house.  They also make delicious burritos, cheese quesadillas, and refried beans.  I look forward to my next beach trip where I can walk there and get some food.
  9. Blog / Website — I am thankful for Facebook and the ability to keep in touch with friends and family who live so far away.  I am also thankful for this blog as it gives me an outlet to write and share my thoughts.  I also like blogs that several of my friends write.  Those are fun to read.
  10. Time of Day — Each afternoon, I pick up Ian from school.  We usually walk home and have a chance to talk about our day and what is on his mind.  I treasure these moments and am so very thankful for them.  Next year, he will be at another school that we have to drive to.  So, pickup time will be different but still special.
  11. Tradition — There are a few traditions that I am thankful for.  First is our family’s tradition of reversing our ages on birthday cakes.  So this year, instead of turning 50, I will be 5 years old.  A second childhood. Nice!  I don’t remember who started this but it is fun and something that many people ask about. Next, we always opened just one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning.
  12. Gadget — I still use a real camera and so enjoy taking pictures with it.  People often look at me funny — especially kids since I don’t have a phone that I am taking pictures with.  I am still old school with this I suppose.
  13. Something Old — When I was a child, my uncle gave me a teddy bear who I named Teddy.  How creative is that?  Not very.  He is white with black trim and is still a favorite of mine.  He is ripped in a few places, slightly dirty, but still gives good cuddles.  I have learned with Ian how real our stuffed friends are.
  14. Something New — So much of what I buy is from a consignment shop, that finding new items is a bit of a stretch.  My latest purchase was a new pair of jeans. They are comfortable and easy to clean.  I also like a dress shirt that we bought for Ian.  He looks very handsome in it.
  15. Experience —  I have so many experiences that I am thankful for and have learned from.  The one that is the most special and treasured is learning I was pregnant, having our son grow inside me, feeling him move around, talking to him, and then meeting him after he was born.  The entire experience and every day since has been an amazing blessing that I will always cherish.

May we always remember to be thankful for our blessings and those in our lives.

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!

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.

——-

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!

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!