Saturday, November 24, 2012


We've been doing a lot of reflecting during this month, about what we're thankful for. There is so much. We are so blessed in so many ways. The kids and I made lists of "Our Thankfuls", and here are a few:

1. Our father God, and his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
2. Life and Salvation.
3. Our little family.
4. Our parents.
5. Our in-laws.
6. Our sisters and brother-in-law.
7. Our grandparents, great-grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.
8. Our friends (especially the ones that are more like family than friends).
9. Our church.
10. Our health.
11. Our house.
12. Our land.
13. Our vehicles.
14. Our pets.
15. Access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
16. Our jobs.
17. Music.
18. Dancing.
19. Singing and our voices.
20. Our country, our freedom, and the men and women that have fought for it.
21. Cold weather days.
22. My camera and laptop.
23. Cell phones.
24. Electricity, appliances, the Internet, air-conditioning and heat, running water.
25. Fresh air, flowers, sunshine, rain and clouds.
26. Fishing.
27. Fire pit fires on the back porch and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.
28. Chili.
29. Coffee.
30. Pumpkin Yankee candles.
31. Clothing.
32. Princess kitty-cat, Douglas the shark, and dog-dog.
33. Home cookin.
34. Eating out.
35. Cookies from England.
36. The ability to homeschool our kids.
37. Time spent with family and friends.
38. Holidays and celebrations.
39. Parties.
40. Our marriage, our spouse, and our commitment to each other.

On Thanksgiving Day, we went to my parents house in Melbourne. The kids were so excited, and I was really looking forward to a little mini-vacay. My super mama did all the cooking, all I had to do was show up with my children (believe me, I offered many times to bring something). We enjoyed a delicious classic turkey lunch, complete with all the fixins, and enjoyed getting to spend some time with friends as well.

After lunch, I surprised the kids with something special that I've been holding onto for a few weeks, waiting for this day. My sweet grandmother, father and friend Millie all collected bags of fall leaves from Pennsylvania and Boston, and brought them back to me. My dad climbed up on a ladder, and let the kids pretend that they were standing under real falling leaves (like from a tree). They piled them up, and chased them around, they collected and re-collected them, and loved celebrating a little piece of northern fall.

Thursday night, my mom and I whipped out our newspapers, and started planning our Black Friday attack. We cut, and taped, and made notes, and planned our strategy.

And a little before 8pm, I said "goodnight" to my kids, and "good luck" to my dad. And my mom and I headed for the hills. Or Toys-R-Us. My dad was amazing. He read to the kids, and handled the getting-out-of-bed, and crying, and constant talking, etc.. with patience. And at some point, I think they all fell asleep.

And we saw something new this year. Pizza and water sales, while you wait...

...and wait.

A little before midnight, we were going strong. I dropped my mom off in the Kohl's line, and made a quick stop for some much needed coffee and tea.

And then a little after 3am, we got a call from my dad... Bella had woken up, noticed I wasn't home yet, started crying, and then woke up Grady and Lilly, and all three of them were up and crying.. Oh, bless my dad. So we hurried home, slept for a few hours, and went back out Friday morning. The good news is, I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping, and my mom and I had a blast.

We came home, unpacked and went out to choose our tree. I LOVE this whole Christmas tree tradition. I love picking it out, bringing it home, and decorating it. I love the smell, and the homey feel of a lit tree in the dark, and vacuuming needles up at least once a day... well, maybe not that part.

While I was working on the tree, I let the kids set up the nativity.
For the picture below:
 "One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?"

And then we decorated the tree.

 As I was moving the couch back towards the wall after decorating the tree, I smooshed my ring between the wall and the corner of the couch. My ring was pinched to my finger, and we eventually had to cut it off. Oh, my heart was sad.

As long as we have been married (9.5 years), I have wanted my rings soldered together, and both of our rings engraved, but I never got around to doing it. So today, when I went to the jeweler, I had my engagement ring fixed, rings soldered and both of our rings engraved.

I wanted to put something meaningful on the inside, and something different than our initials and wedding date. I chose the verse Mark 10:9. My ring says "What God has joined" and Bryan's says "Let no one separate".  And I love them.

And so tonight, I'm thankful all over again for our wedding rings, and the physical symbol of our commitment to each other.

What are you thankful for? Even though Thanksgiving is over, I'd love to encourage you to sit down and make a list, include your kids if you have any, and read over it often.


  1. I love your blog. Your rings turned out really nice.

  2. Thanks for the Thankful list challenge. You have such a great blend of fun Mama life and cute family stories, and thinking about the larger world and life experience of others around you.