Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for: family

We managed a decent family photo last year on Thanksgiving:

And one the year before, also on Thanksgiving:

We completely dropped the ball this year, but had a great day anyway. I'm so thankful for my family. I love spending time with them, and coming home to them when we're apart. I'm thankful for our extended family and the chance to spend time with them—this weekend we had a great time with Rob's family in St. George, and even got to meet our Atlanta cousins for the first time. 

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven." ~George Bernard Shaw

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankful for: my faith

"...thy faith hath made thee whole."  ~Mark 5:34

This pretty much sums up how I feel about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has made me whole. I'm grateful for knowledge of God's plan, and I feel his love in my life. I hope to be "an example of the believers," especially to my own kids, so they'll develop their own faith and the joy that comes with it.

Thankful for: books

"A house without books is like a room without windows."  ~Heinrich Mann

It's no secret that I love to read. I consider it a strength and a weakness. After a very productive and busy couple of months remodeling, I've retreated to one of my favorite places, book-land.  As Rob and the kids will attest, when I'm there, I might as well be in another country. I like to think that I return a better person, relaxed and (if it's a really good book) even inspired. And they don't have much right to complain—luckily, they love book-land as much as I do!

Thankful for: things

I know, I know. Life is not about things. I'm thankful for them anyway. Here's an incomplete list of the little things I appreciate:

my running shoes • toilet paper • method pink grapefruit hand soap • audiobooks • costco • the office • my library card • lucky jeans • automatic garage door openers • light • brownies • my mac • target • our furnace • my bed • mountains • fresh fruit • my camera • lockers • a new pantry • colors • my marked-up scriptures • cereal • disposable diapers & wipes • fleece • rice bags • wait wait don't tell me • fireplaces • turtlenecks • toenail polish • aveeno lip balm • cardstock • my ipod • extra gum • rei • dansko shoes • christmas cards

"First things first, but not necessarily in that order." ~Doctor Who

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thankful for: art

Today I went to a baby shower for my sister-in-law, and her aunt had some great Chinese artwork. It's not something I spend a lot of time thinking about, but I love to look at beautiful things. It's hard to beat nature, but there are some pieces of art that take my breath away too. Someday it'd be fun to make a "Top 100" list of my favorites, but for now, just appreciating it all in general.

"Great art picks up where nature ends."  ~Marc Chagall

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thankful for: candidates

 If anyone is bored, just make a public commitment to post everyday...your schedule is bound to become crazy. 

But, if I had made time to blog on Wednesday or Thursday, I would have expressed this: I am thankful for people who are willing to run for office. I may not agree with all of their stated positions, but I'm amazed that they are willing to endure a campaign. Even the local candidates have to deal with criticism, long hours, fundraising and rejection. It's something I have zero interest in ever doing.

Thank goodness our house runs a little more like a monarchy than a democracy—I'm pretty sure there are days that the constituents would happily vote me out of office and take over themselves. :)  

"A politician should have three hats. One for throwing into the ring, one for talking through and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected."  ~Carl Sandburg

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Laugh with me

Alright, I was trying to be funny with that last gratitude post title, but Rob tells me it still sounded pretty bold and presumptuous. Let me assure anyone bothering to read this that I really have an entirely unhealthy and insecure opinion of the way my body looks. I'm just grateful for what it does, for which I take no credit whatsoever. 

This just in

Sorry, I'm going from not posting at all to posting way too much. But I'm very excited to have this new, super-comfortable sectional. Rob, forget what I said about cleaning out the garage today—I'll be taking supervising from the couch to the next level. There is some danger that I may become permanently welded. :)

Thankful for: my amazing body

Ha ha! Just though I'd give you all something to laugh about on election day. No, my body is not amazing in the way that a swimsuit model's is. But, as much as I complain about its size, shape and increasingly, it's unreliability, I am truly grateful for all my body does. When I posted the last entry about fall, I was struck by how much joy I have thanks to my senses. I'm grateful that 80% of my senses are fully functioning, and also very grateful to science for correcting near blindness. I'm awed by what my body has done: it has carried and delivered four beautiful babies, come back from life-threatening infection and finished four marathons without too much protest. But I'm especially thankful for the daily functions and health that I take for granted, allowing me to enjoy every other good thing in my life.

"A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy state in this world."
~John Locke

Monday, November 3, 2008

Copycat gratitude

This summer I had a cool experience while swimming at the tennis club. There was another mom there with her kids who asked me if my name was Michelle. It turns out she had read a comment I left another friend's blog and clicked through to my blog. I'm still shocked that anyone would bother, but I'm so glad Julie did! I love to check out her blog, she's the optimist and fun mom I'm trying to become. I especially loved this recent post about gratitude. So I'm not only plagiarizing her idea to post my blessings each day during this month of Thanksgiving, I'm copying the first thing on her list.

Fall is my favorite season for many of the same reasons. I love the bright colors of red and yellow leaves against a bright blue sky. I love the crisp, cool air and putting flannel sheets and a warm comforter on the bed. I love the anticipation of a new school year, and even the homework doesn't get old for a couple of weeks. :) I love the family birthdays and the holidays. I love hot chocolate and curling up with a good book. I'm always happy to make soup again and to bake. And I'm so grateful to be living near the mountains again. I love what I see out my windows in the fall!

"The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man." ~Joseph F. Smith

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The New, Revised (and Improved!) Dictionary

This morning our power was out until after 11:30 a.m. Since we have a tankless (electric) water heater, we put off baths and showers, hoping the power would be back on before church at 1:00. We lucked out, and I told the girls to hustle into the bath. Ellie informed Ainsley "Yeah, it's Fast Sunday...that means we have to hurry!" 

Catching up

As much as I love daylight savings time, I must admit that I love to "fall back" and get an extra hour. And with that hour to spare, really I have no excuse to be so behind here. So I'm backdating the highlights of the past few weeks and hoping to do a better job staying caught up now that our remodeling is finally at the touch up stage—minor stuff that usually doesn't get done for months if not years. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween insanity

Since Halloween Scrooge has already covered the negative aspects of the day, I'll share the highlights:

The kids love halloween. They love to dress up. Thanks to the Stringhams for outfitting our little duck and granting Ellie's wish to be a witch this year. Joey was a fairly friendly looking vampire (I only got one photo with the fangs). Robbie took the easy way out as a soccer player.

They also love the parade at school. Except for one sad little duck, who really wanted to be in the parade too.

And of course they love the class parties. This year I was in charge of Robbie's class party, so it was a crazy morning—I had to have all the kids (in costume) and party supplies at school by nine, and finally got home around noon, long enough to pick up a few things before heading back to pick up the kids at 1:05.
Then we headed to the church for the cub scout party. Robbie and Joey got to be mummified, plus they played games, had a treasure hunt and decorated cupcakes.
After that we headed to grandparent's houses for trick-or-treating. Of course Ainsley fell asleep in the car, but woke up at the last stop, Great-grandma Clayton's. It was all I could do to not fall asleep too.
By the time we made it home for dinner I was almost agreeing with Halloween Scrooge. After some Jamba Juice, I caught my second wind, and enjoyed taking the kids to a few favorite neighbors for trick-or-treating. One of our neighbors hands out freshly made scones, and another makes flowers or swords out of balloons.  It really was fun. Best of all, the kids knew they were leaving their candy out for the great pumpkin, so they were content to head home and watch Scooby Doo and the Goblin King. Sure enough the great pumpkin came and traded all their candy for some small toys—Ellie & Ainsley got Polly Pockets, Joey got an Iron Man action figure, Robbie got the latest installment in the Alex Rider series, and we got a candy-free house!