Thankful Thursday

Today was my kids’ last day of school.  They went to class for all of two hours.  It’s day that marks the end of one routine and the beginning of another.  The end of alarm clocks and the beginning of pajama mornings.  The end of rushing and the beginning of lazy days.  The end of class time and the beginning of family time.  The end of someone else teaching my kids and the beginning of my time to teach them.  The end of school and the beginning of summer.

It is a good day.

We try to make it special because it’s a big deal to spend a year learning things.  And my kids did fantastic this year.  They made new friends, they became helpers, they learned how to communicate and solve problems, they loved people and did their best work and showed compassion.  They treated people with respect.  They excelled.   I am so proud of how they’ve grown.

First Day of School, September 2010


Last Day of School, June 2011

When Shiloh and I picked them up we brought them each those balloons they ask for whenever we check out at the grocery store.  You know, those tiny ones on a stick.  They said “Congrats”.  I wanted to find ones that said, “I’m so glad you’re mine again!  Let’s do crazy things all summer!”, but they didn’t have those.

Leaving school for the last time this year, report cards and autographs in hand

Our first and last day tradition has become a highlight for my kids.  We celebrate these big days with donuts.  Usually I pick some up and leave one on their seat in the car for them to enjoy on the way home.  But I wanted to spend time with my kids, so we went to a local donut shop and they got to pick from the yummy selection.

Apple Fritter


Glazed Cinnamon Twist


Glazed (Their raised donuts were egg free!! Yay!!)

I could not believe how Plain Jane my kids were.  I got a Coconut Creme powered sugar concoction.  I’m a daredevil.  And it was fabulous.  Then we walked to Tully’s and got a coffee for mommy so Ellie could use the potty and my kids reveled in the freedom of summer.  What a glorious morning with no commitments, nowhere to go, no clock to watch, no hurry.

Makes me feel all wrapped up and snuggled tight in a down blanket of grace.  I want to shout my gratitude today.  In a happy way, of course.

136. Kids working in the garden

137. Loud and joyful restaurant laughter

138. Fancy hotels pillows

139. Waking on vacation with sun spilling in the window

140. Imagining Paris

141.  Having no where to go and no time to mind

142. Powell’s Bookstore

143. Children who smell like graham crackers

144. Lightening of loads lifted

145. Running around a tree

146. A bright moon in the morning

147. Trees blown wild in the wind

148. The smell of lilac in bloom

149. They are home, we are together

150. Reveling in summer’s freedom

This is going to be one fun summer...

Thankful Thursday…Ten Years and Counting…

Today I am especially thankful.  Ten years ago right now I was laying in my bed, surrounded by my best friends in the whole wide world, with my freshly written vows laying beside me on my pillow.  I was just about to get up, get dressed, stop for coffee at Union Block Coffee with my sister (16 oz. non-fat white mocha) and get my hair pinned and sprayed and curled.  In a hairstyle, mind you, that my soon-to-be-husband had suggested.  I was excited and nervous and oh so ready for this day.  I was trying to capture every moment in my mind so I’d never forget a single second of this day I’d planned for so many months.  That day.  That perfectly wonderful day.  Ten years ago.  I am so very thankful for that day.


Today I am also thankful for the first year…when we had no idea what we were doing but were together.


I’m thankful for the second year, when – much to our surprise – we found out we were going to be parents.


I’m thankful for the third year, when we welcomed our son and found out our daughter was coming.


I’m thankful for the fourth year, when we became a family of four.


I’m thankful for the fifth year, which – compared to the last few years – seemed relatively uneventful.


I’m thankful for the sixth year, which was full of toddler fun – and in which we spiritually grew and changed a lot.


I’m thankful for the seventh year, which was the hardest and best of our marriage.  I’m not sure I’d have made it through that year without him.


I’m thankful for the eighth year, when we got to meet our surprise blessing.


I’m thankful for our ninth year, when we settled in to our new home, as a complete family.


I’m thankful for our tenth year.  It just keeps getting better, stronger, safer and more blessed.


Here’s to another ten.  And another, and another, and another……..

I’m also thankful for:

111. The smell of Shiloh’s hair

112. The way Shiloh says, “my guys”

113. Indoor European picnics

114. Sugar covered cheeks

115. Early morning hugs

116. Sharing favorite comics

117. Children’s excited anticipation

118. We get to be together

119. Little hand, holding mine

120. Children’s questions I have no answer for

121. Nothing needs hurry

122. Curly hair in barettes

123. Books

124. Forts

125. The way Shiloh swings his arms and swivels his hips when he walks

126. The smell of dirt in the garden

127. Riding my bike to the store

128. Mornings that feel like summer

129. Goodbye kisses without hesitation from a boy who’s been refusing kisses

130. Connecting with characters in a book

131. Comforting my weeping child

132. My kids still need my hugs

133. Shiloh’s friendliness

134. Running

135. Ten years is just the beginning

“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23

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Thankful Thursday…on Friday

Sometimes I can lose my brain.  I think it just gets tired and stays on my pillow for the day while my body gets up and starts moving.  I thought today was Thursday.  Yesterday I knew it was Thursday when I woke up but about halfway through the day I forgot.  Then I woke up this morning and thought it was Thursday again.  With my days all messed up I forgot to post my Thankful Thursday List.  So I’m doing it today.  Thursday #2 for me this week.

My hubby and I were talking this week about how this year (which is September to August for us educator peeps) feels like it’s been filled with tragedy.  Kids driving too fast, making poor choices.  Friends getting sick.  Then getting sicker.  Parents losing children.  Children losing parents.  Grief and mourning.  Unexplainable.  Tragedy after tragedy, marking our community.

In times like these I feel silly thanking the Lord for birds.  As though it’s too trivial to mention when lives have been devastated and people are hurting.  And then I think about how I’d handle tragedy if it ever knocked on my door and walked in uninvited.  I hope I’d know how to cope.  I hope I’d be able to continue to move.  I hope I’d know that good things still fill our moments and our days and our lives, even in the midst of utter despair.  I hope I would have learned in these days of joy and peace how to number goodness and see blessing so that it would come naturally, even in my grief.  And so I’ll count, even the trivial, because it is good.

96. Fluttery tiny white butterflies

97. Sun’s glory reflecting off a full moon’s face

98. One more day

99. Brother and sister working together

100. They are children still

101.  Heavenly light illuminating evening storm clouds

102. Jumping in puddles

103.  Tiny boots dripping wet

104. Rain blown sideways

105. Little Man running down the hall

106. 7 year old arms wrapped around me

107. Nuzzling Little Man’s neck while he giggles

108.  Brother’s cuddling while we sing God’s praises

109.  Three generations at the dinner table

110. Grandma reading books to my babies

I am reminded every day that gratitude does not come naturally to me.  Living thankful for the moment I’m in is something I have to practice.  But as the days and weeks pass, though I still have to remind myself to be thankful for each moment, the attitude of thankfulness is invading my life.  I am yelling less.  I am angry less.  I am affected less by circumstance.  I am better able to trust because each moment I offer my gratitude for is an alter I build to remember God’s goodness.  I pray that my life will be littered with these piles of rock, these altars to the Giver of good things.

Thankful Thursday

Today I woke up late and missed my chance to go to the gym. Usually this makes me grumpy. But the blinds were lit up orange with morning light, my husband was reading by my side and I could honestly say, “It is well with my soul.” I awoke to peace this morning. Quiet. Coffee. Psalms. Sunshine. It is well with my soul.

The gratitude list goes on:

77. Neighbors who visit just to chat.

78. Shiloh’s tiny arms.

79. Ellie’s kitchen help.

80. Shiloh’s lisp.  “Thowwy Mommy” (Sorry Mommy), “Thinnamon and Thuga” (Cinnamon and Sugar).

81. A comfortable front yard.

82. Breezes blowing in the open windows.

83. Friends I can be me around.

84. Renewal and change after years of prayer.

85. Ellie’s love of crafts.

86. Birds bold with bright red feathers.

87. Andrew Peterson’s books.

88. Reading stories of adventure and courage with my children.

89. Ellie wearing my hats.

90. How the smell of orange jello brings thoughts of childhood.

91. Having reasons to pray.

92. My husband’s compassion.

93. Sunlight flare through the morning window.

94. Backyard jumping games.

95. Peace that comes with surrendering to God’s lead.

Years ago, as I was leaving the gym early one morning, I was chatting with an elderly woman.  She had just finished water aerobics and I had just finished lifting weights.  I said, “I hope you have a great day!” and she said something I’ll never forget.  She looked me in the eye, winked and said, “Honey, I intend to.”  I still say that to my husband when he tells me to have a good day.  And it is true today.  Today will be good.  I will have a good day.  It is my choice.  I intend to.

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