Tuesday, November 30, 2010
2. I am thankful that it is the start of December tomorrow. Advent here we come.
3. I am thankful that this is my last post of the month. I won't lie and say doing this every day is easy because there have been days where it's taken me 30 minutes of soul searching to come up with something that is genuine. But it's worth the effort as I said.
4. I am thankful for the friendship Nathan and Spencer share. Tonight I could hear them laying in bed talking quietly to one another. Eventually I had to go downstairs and tell them it was time to go to sleep but it brought back some treasured memories of Rachel and I talking late when we shared a bunk bed together.
5. I am thankful for the internet. Often I have complaints but overall it has done a lot to shrink the world for me and help me to be able to reach out to others and in turn to feel connected to dear friends and family who would almost be lost to me otherwise.
Monday, November 29, 2010
1. I am thankful for Gary who is now doing the dishes. I guess that's not lame but I've said it before.
2. I am thankful I got some pressies wrapped today.
3. I am thankful for a couple of hours in which I get to do nothing if that's what I want.
4. I am thankful that I managed to get to Wal-mart before 9 this morning. It was so nice not to encounter lots of people. I DID NOT want to see people first thing this morning.
5. I am thankful that something I thought was going to cost $14 turned out to be only $4. Sometimes it's the small things.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
2. I am thankful for the opportunity to go to church without Oliver. Whilst I'd love to say that I want to spend every waking minute with my lovely baby, it's just not true. Since Gary was staying at home I left Oliver with him and was actually able to enjoy the meeting a little more. Church is during naptime and Oliver won't settle so he is often grumpy and squirmy. Leia, Spencer and Nathan are pretty well behaved these days and once upon a time I wasn't sure if I'd ever say that.
3. I am thankful for my normal routine again tomorrow. I love celebrating but I appreciate the everyday things as well.
4. I am thankful for a sprinkling of snow. Nothing else makes me feel quite as Christmassy.
5. I am thankful for a sweet note of appreciation from one of my little class members today.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Anyway we're finally settled in for the evening. Gary is battling a fever and other lovely symptoms so I am getting my leftover Thanksgiving food on, just in case I am next. Bring on the pie!
1. I am thankful that Oliver's grandma bought him a play yard for Christmas. No more Christmas ornament casualties and I can get things done around the house without worrying that Oliver is going to ingest or worse, choke on a piece of lego.
2. I am thankful that we have friends who offered to watch our children so that we could go to the Temple, even if we didn't really do what we set out to.
3. I am thankful that our kids love their Nativity playset so much. It's so hard to teach kids about Christ, his birth, his life, and what it means when Santa and presents take center stage. I enjoy seeing the wooden figurines all scratched and bashed up from use.
4. I am thankful it was in the mid 50s today and sunshiny. The kids had fun at the park.
5. I am thankful that my sister lives close to my Mum. I know that when my Mum experiences the ups and downs of life, she has Rachel there to share them with. A phone call is not the same thing.
Friday, November 26, 2010
2. I am thankful that going out on Black Friday was surprisingly stress free.
3. I am thankful for Disney. Tangled was amazing and perfect entertainment for a 9 year old who is so often bombarded by inappropriate things.
4. I am thankful for leftovers.
5. I am thankful that my tired children are in bed and I can now spend some time with the hubs.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving to us!
But the day has actually been lovely. We feasted and played games and watched Christmas Movies.
1. I am thankful that Oliver is sleeping peacefully now. I will be even more thankful if he keeps down the 2oz of formula I coaxed hom to drink after he threw up the last time.
2. I am thankful for a husband who is happy to spend time with three small boys so I can take Leia out shopping tomorrow.
3. I am thankful for my beautiful family and holidays spent together. Of course I love to see my extended family but a day spent with Gary and the kids is enough and more for me. Hearing them laugh during Home Alone gives me a huge sense of peace and contentment. They are appreciative of my efforts to make the holidays special and they are a lot of fun to be around.
4. I am thankful for my home. Renting for two years recently was fine but not the same as living in a house that is yours. It's easy to take it for granted as we did during the 8 years we lived in houses we bought. I am really enjoying living in a house that's ours again. It's a big blessing.
5. I am thankful the kids have so far kept to the morning behaviour contract. Much less bickering has been the welcome result.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
1. I am thankful Leia decided that Daddy was the one she needed to wake last night. Needless to say he has asked her that should she need us tonight when we're in bed, could she please say something like "wake up Daddy" instead of her other approach.
2. I am thankful that the kids got over this virus thing more or less before the holidays. No one likes to be sick over the holidays.
3. I am thankful that the virus seems to have missed Gary, Oliver and I. NO ONE likes a sick man (they are ALWAYS on death's door) or a sick puking baby.
4. I am thankful to have found the time to prep for the meal tomorrow. I should have minimal cooking to do so that I can just relax, which even the cook deserves to do on Thanksgiving right?
5. I am thankful that I got the last lego set on the shelf this evening. Spencer wants a specific set for Christmas, and I decided on a whim that with Black Friday coming up I better get it now before they are sold out in stores for the next few weeks. I'm not the type of person to get up at 4am and race people to get a $5 discount either.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
- Crab Rangoon
- Spinach dip in Hawaiian bread
- Smoked Paprika and Garlic dip with vegetable tray
- Devilled Eggs
- Little Smokies
I'm also putting out pistachios and clementines which will likely get eaten as well.
- Turkey which will have been brined and gravy
- Cranberry sauce
- Cranberry stuffing
- Glazed carrots
- Sweet potato casserole
- Mashed potatoes
- Green bean casserole
- Apple pie and cream
- Prism Cake (a jello dessert that has become tradition in our house)
The kids will also want me to make them pancakes for breakfast and I've also bought some Italian soda from World Market.
I can at least comfort myself with the fact that the leftovers should last us a few days as well, so that I don't feel completely disgusted with myself. I estimate I spent at least $100 on the festivities. Is this normal people out there? I hope someone can let me know. I've done Thanksgiving for years now but not often stopped to weigh in on the excess of it all.
All that being said I LOVE to cook and will thoroughly enjoy the whole day. It's just a pity that it's going to be so cold because Gary won't want to put up the Christmas Lights on the house, something that takes all morning and keeps the boys out of my kitchen and my hair.
1. I am thankful that Gary has a good job.
2. I am thankful that my children have all that they need and more.
3. I am thankful that I've never been hungry unless it was a choice (dieting etc...)
4. I am thankful for the tradition of Thanksgiving. Even though the history behind the holiday makes me want to raise my eyebrows, the practice of giving thanks is commendable and something we should all do more often.
5. I am thankful that although my house isn't as perfectly put together as I'd like, it makes up for it in other ways. I have a centerpiece for the table on Thanksgiving which is an apple dressed up to look like a turkey that Leia made. Even if I don't have a completely matching set of dinner plates or even a gravy boat, the food will taste just as wonderful if not better because I'm cooking for 5 amazing people who I'd rather spend time with than anyone else.
Monday, November 22, 2010
This morning was a case in point. Because I was closing my eyes and trying to block out the chaos and noise - it was only 7am afterall, I don't know exactly how things went down. There was a lot of screaming, slamming doors, and tears. The word "butthole" was used maybe more than once. You see Leia doesn't want to be disturbed in her bedroom first thing in the morning yet she feels it's okay to stand in the doorway of Spencer and Nathan's room and ask them questions etc... This then invites them to engage with her and then all out war ensues.
Mornings have been a struggle for a while. My long running and hardly ever adhered to rule is that little people need to stay in their bedrooms and remain quiet until 7.30am when it is time to get up. We have a sleeping baby and Mommy who don't want to be jarred out of peaceful slumber by slamming doors and insults and/or an all out party. Perhaps I am asking too much but I lean toward the philosophy that I spend much of my waking hours serving my family so the least they can do is remain quiet until 7.30am. Being woken up like that really makes me feel grumpy and it's hard to shake. I was less than nice to everyone first thing and when Leia tried to apologise for her part in the proceedings I got even more angry and she was in floods of tears. Nothing irritates me more than apologies every morning for disobeying my one rule when I know tomorrow is going to be no different. When I was a kid I was taught that saying sorry meant you didn't do it again. The definition's a bit different in our house.
So TV was banned and will continue to be during the morning for Nathan and also after school. I also came up with this off-the-cuff idea that I am hoping will work. Leia and Spencer have Wednesday through Friday off school and I would REALLY like not to have to be woken up early on those days.
I drew up a contract laying out what I expect. All three kids have signed it and dire consequences await those who break their contractual obligations.
Here is the contract.
1. I will remain quiet until Mom or Dad get up to include no shouting, screaming or slamming doors.
2. I will stay out of any bedroom except my own which also includes no standing in doorways to ask questions or make observations.
3. I will not come upstairs and take food or any other items from the kitchen, living room or library.
I have three signatures indicating that they understand the expectations and they are prepared to give up any or all of the Thanksgiving festivities like movie going, cooking, shopping, game playing and Christmas decorating should they decide that bothering each other before 7.30am is more fun. It sounds extremely logical and a total no brainer to me but kids don't always operate logically.
Of course I won't be able to ban all the things I've promised to because I love them too. I am just hoping and praying that having TV banned for the whole of today will convince them I'm serious and that they will make good decisions.
I must say it's hard to guide your children. To help them to respect each other and those around them. It gets harder the older they get because they become susceptible to outside influences as well. I'm glad I have the strength to see this through and the desire. I think it's very easy to begin parenthood lightly with a head full of gorgeous babies but the reality is far from romantic. You have to be committed to the hard work and heartache that accompanies the responsibility. That's not to say it's not rewarding. It's the most fulfilling and joyful undertaking of my life.
1. I am thankful to be the mother of 4 healthy and energetic children.
2. I am thankful for the support of my husband in this journey. Together I think we can do anything.
3. I am thankful for the support of my extended family in the raising of my children. I often call my sister and mother needing desperately that little bit of advice or at least a sounding board for my latest discipline technique.
4. I am thankful that I have blogged about many of the struggles I've had in motherhood. Maybe wisdom will result from all this eventually and I can pass it on when my own children are parents.
5. I am thankful for the way I was brought up. I don't remember the specifics of how I was disciplined at all but what I do remember is the feeling that was in my home. It was unfiltered love and security. One place I always wanted to be was home and now approaching Christmastime I think about it a lot. About my Dad cooking Christmas dinner, about my Mum lifting me up as a very small child to open a door on an advent calendar, about my Dad drawing clues and placing them around the house so we could find an early gift on Christmas eve, and about the treats we'd make on Christmas Eve that I still make to this day.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
1. I am thankful that my husband is rubbing my feet right now.
2. I am thankful for sweet and salty chex mix.
3. I am thankful for hot chocolate and a good book.
4. I am thankful for my down filled duvet and pillows.
5. I am thankful that Gary is now unloading and loading the dishwasher without me having asked him to. I know - don't hate me because I have an amazing husband.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
1. I am thankful for Harry Potter. It has made me laugh and cry over the years. I hesitate to name my favorite book as I love so many but I think the Harry Potter series is a serious contender.
2. I am thankful for a husband who will go along with my whims.
3. I am thankful for a quiet evening to get my lesson for tomorrow prepared. I enjoy having Gary around but sometimes it means I get nothing productive done. Now my lesson is prepped, I can enjoy my Sunday morning by making pancakes for the kids and just relaxing.
4. I am thankful to live in a place where I can drive 20 minutes and be in the middle of the mountains, but also where I can get to Super Target and back in 20 minutes. Sometimes I feel spoiled.
5. I am thankful for a chat about East Anglia with a nice couple in the movie theater. I am always ready to talk about the place I grew up and love with those who also appreciate it. I am always surprised by how small the world is these days. I'm glad it's that way or I might be more homesick.
Friday, November 19, 2010
1. I am thankful for dancing babies.
2. I am thankful that my children will eat a bowl full of green salad and ask for more.
3. I am thankful for baby sleeping bags. Oliver flops around like a freshly caught fish throughout the night and as a result has been tossing off his blanket and waking up early with cold legs even though he's got footie pajamas on. He can't possibly get cold in this fleece sleeping bag I bought for him today. Bring on an extra hour of sleep :)
4. I am thankful that the kids don't get homework on a Friday night. I once thought naively that I would never have to do homework again once I had finished school. Ummm...so much for that.
5. I am thankful that Gary knows computers. My computer decided to show me the "blue screen of death" this morning. But it's no big deal for me. Gary'll sort it. I know you're jealous.
Yesterday at church we had an evening for the sisters based on the parable of the ten virgins from the bible. It was extremely enjoyable with ten sisters posing as either foolish or wise virgins. Of course we are meant to remember and heed the 5 virgins who were wise but the 5 who were foolish gave such funny presentations, I think I might remember them a bit more vividly.
1. I am thankful for humor. I laughed a good deal last night and I felt great, despite being unwell.
2. I am thankful for the way we serve each other in my church. Last night we had a meal served to us and then of course we had the ten little presentations. A lot of work went into last night and all I had to do was show up and be entertained and uplifted.
3. I am thankful for a tender moment with Leia when I got home. Because we had to get dressed up for the evening, Leia was more than usually interested in what I was going to be doing. She had waited up for me and wanted to hear all about it. I sat on her bed with her in her room and told her the parable and what we did during the evening. When I was leaving she said "Mom, I like to hear about the stories Jesus told. Can you tell me another one tomorrow night?" You bet I can!
4. I am thankful that I got the majority of my Thanksgiving shopping done yesterday. I had a $10 coupon for World Market and so I got 6 bottles of Italian soda and some wonderful turkey brine for free. Target was also out of a couple of things so I'm glad I have it sorted early so that I can track down those items before it's too late.
5. I am thankful to have been able to talk to my brother yesterday. I haven't spoken to him in months due to the fact that he only has a cell phone which is uber expensive for me to call and we are hardly ever online at the same time. Yesterday the stars aligned and we were on the computer at the same time and were able to have a little chat. I miss my family and it made me super excited about March when I get to hug everyone rather than just look at them on a computer screen.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Going to the dentist causes me to break into a cold sweat. I'm not exaggerating when I say I would ALMOST rather go through labor again than be worked on at the dentist so you can believe me when I say I did not make the appointment with my dentist without a LOT of inner dialogue with myself and several days of prevarication. It was my imagination etc.....
Well at the dentist today, following an xray, teeth tapping, teeth poking, prodding, air being blown liberally around we came to the conclusion that it is another sinus infection. So I'm back with my good old friend amoxicillin feeling really rubbish, a bit embarrased and a little depressed. Ongoing health problems are just no fun. Whatever way you look at it, facing a lifetime of treatment for anything is no joke. But that being said, I have so much to be thankful for.
1. I am thankful that I didn't have to have any kind of dental procedure done today. The cost of dental work is frightening enough but the way I feel in the chair is indescribable.
2. I am thankful for antibiotics. If I have to go through another week of feeling as if Santa's elves decided that the inside of my head would make a great workshop this year, I am going to go crazy.
3. I am thankful for a small understanding of what my Dad endured each and every day of his adult life. Sinus problems barely scratch the surface of the health problems my Dad had to face yet he faced them with courage.
4. I am thankful for friends who'll come over at a moment's notice to lend a helping hand when needed. What would we do without them?
5. I am thankful that Gary's work schedule allows for juggling. When you have small children, a fixed schedule could be tricky. If I need Gary to take a few hours off at a certain time he can make up for it during the rest of the week.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
2. I am thankful for the bond that Spencer and Oliver have. Leia mothers Oliver, Nathan just gets in his face and makes loud noises but Spencer really plays with him. And the look on Oliver's face when Spencer is talking to him. I'm really looking forward to seeing how their little relationship develops.
3.I am thankful to have had Spencer around today for some rare one on one time. When Oliver went down for his afternoon nap I asked Spencer what he wanted to do. I offered him video games, TV, etc... and he decided to cut up a cardboard box and make something else out of it. Sometimes you wonder as a parent if you're getting it right and I am encouraged by my kids' desire to play outside, make things, and build forts out of furniture. It's not as easy for my neat freak self to accept some of these activities when watching the TV or playing video games is quiet and mess free but my kids are imaginative and interesting so who can complain about that?
4. I am thankful that I noticed that Oliver had something in his mouth before he choked today. Spencer had been playing with legos and Oliver had popped a tiny one in his mouth. I did that quick sweep of the mouth (which is quite dicey when your baby has 8 teeth) and removed the offending lego. No harm done. I have nightmares about dealing with a choking baby - enough said!
5. I am thankful for my freezer. I just don't want to cook tonight but I can still have a meal ready in 5 minutes anyway.
Here is a picture of Spencer playing a game of "Marines" with Oliver today. These are the moments I never want to forget.
Monday, November 15, 2010
1. I am thankful for a quiet house by 7.30pm. This normally happens most nights and when it doesn't happen I miss it. With a full day every day I need the time to re-charge and feel able to be that home maker, mother, and wife my family have come to expect. The person that always has meals planned and prepared at the right time, makes sure everyone always has clean clothes in their closets, makes sure no one has to tolerate a dirty toilet, listens and solves all problems, and is always fun to spend time with. Perhaps that homemaker, mother, and wife is a little on the idealized side but that's what I strive for and feel like it's within my grasp as long as I have time to be just Sarah. Tonight I'm fighting a headache and craving chocolate but by the time 11pm rolls around and I have had time to read, watched a bit of tv, had some chocolate, and maybe gone in the hot tub I'll feel as close to Martha Stewart as is humanly possible.
2. I am thankful for a stronger understanding of what my parents did for me and my siblings and sacrificed for us. When I was a child and I asked my Dad what he wanted for Christmas, he would say "peace and quiet". I always thought he was a grump when he said that but I had no idea what three noisy children were really like. Yet despite that craving for peace, we were allowed to be ourselves and my Dad spent coutless hours driving us around to all our social events when I'm sure he would much rather have been sitting at home by the fire reading a bible commentary. He always listened to my often hysterical teenage problems and provided me with just what I needed to hear. My mother and my father worked so hard to give us the things we wanted and I'm sure I never showed them the gratitude I should have. I hope that I will always express those feelings now I am an adult. If my children feel the same way about me as I do about my parents then I will have succeeded.
3. I am thankful to have tracked down a book I once had and somehow lost. I have been wanting to make an advent calendar for my kids, one that's a touch more exciting than the chocolate filled ones and this book had a pattern in it to make one. I was on Amazon last night and I found a copy. I can't wait to get started on the project even though I probably won't get it done for this year.
4. I am thankful for a garage that can fit our vehicles AND store all our stuff. Not having to scrape iced over windows or go out in snow to warm up the car is such a blessing.
5. I am thankful that my kids will be as excited about their $10 stockings as anything else they might get this Christmas.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
2. I am thankful to have been able to spend a little time with Leia in the kitchen today. She helped me make dinner and she loved it.
3. I am thankful for my desire to be creative. It's one of those things that I think is essential to my sense of well being.
4. I am thankful that Spencer, Nathan and Oliver have a strong male role model in Gary. I know that under his influence they are going to be good men just like he is.
5. I am thankful that Oliver sleeps 12 hours a night. I have a sore throat today and the prospect of a good night's sleep to combat aches and pains is so wonderful when I can't take a sick day.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
2. I am thankful that I had time to make a big batch of baby food today. I will be able to feed my baby healthy food throughout the holidays, while we all lay around stuffing ourselves.
3. I am thankful that I also managed to clean my shower and wash my floor somewhere in this busy Saturday.
4. I am thankful that church doesn't start early, at least for the rest of the year. It means that Sunday is truly a day of rest for us. I'm not excited about starting at 8.30 am next year. I think I'll have to come up with an action plan to make that work.
5. I am thankful for my calling at church. The little people I teach are so funny. I will be sad to have to lose them all and get a fresh bunch in January. But no doubt the new bunch will also be adorable.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Today has not been the greatest day ever. Some weeks just leave me feeling drained and today was the culmination of one of those weeks. I am TIRED. Oliver is going through a phase where he can just scream for half an hour at a time. This is not upset screaming, this is exercising his voice/exploring cause and effect type of screaming so I'm not upset with him but it does put me on edge and give me a headache. Oliver is also in the throes of a pretty good cold. I think that's a major reason for me feeling drained. He is just fussy a lot of the time and taking care of him is a messy business with all the green snot which gets in his hair when he's sleeping, together with all the drool from all the teething he is doing.
About three weeks ago I decided to try grocery shopping online. I did it for three weeks and it's not the cheapest way to go about things since there's a delivery fee on top of the cost of the groceries but it's certainly convenient. I immediately fell in love with the process. I spend a little time in front of my computer (as I do anyway in the course of a day)and the next morning, along come all my groceries, right into my kitchen with no effort from me. I've done it now three times. Well today was grocery shopping day and I decided that I needed the extra $10 to spend on holiday stuff like stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce etc.. and so I took Oliver and off we went. About half way around I remembered why I turned to online shopping in the first place. Because I HATE grocery shopping with a passion.
Oliver was just not feeling wonderful due to the cold and so he was crying practically the whole way around. I wouldn't give him my shopping list or my pen so he would start to scream. I would give him another pen or another piece of paper but it wouldn't do. He wanted whatever was in my hand and nothing else. I got plenty of sympathy from passers by but any mother knows that's not really appreciated. Nor the "oh poor baby" remarks. Dragging a loaded-down cart to the car in almost freezing temperatures knowing Oliver's cheeks are getting windburned is no fun either. Neither is unloading it all. I think it's back to the online shop next week.
And you know how yesterday, the love the other kids have for Oliver was something to be thankful for. Well today I could seriously do without it. Since he's grumpy he's often best left alone. He'll be quietly sitting there and one of the others will swoop in on him and he's screaming again. AHHHHHHH!
Then Gary walked through the door after work and let me know that he forgot to tell me it was game night tonight and he wanted to leave in a hour. I think how I felt instantly showed up on my face. He later told me he had decided not to go because he had to help a friend out with his resume and that he would do that tonight. I think he knew I was at the end of my rope. So that's what I'll begin my list with. Forgive the other lame stuff. Today I'm stretched a bit thin.
1. I am thankful that Gary could tell that I needed him this evening without me having to say anything. I know without a doubt we are all his priority.
2. I am thankful that the kids will be in bed soon. I need quiet.
3. I am thankful that we got a replacement part for our phone set-up today. The line has been terrible this whole week and it's totally annoyed me. Now the line is crystal clear. May it stay that way.
4. I am thankful for fudge covered mint oreos. It's one of those holiday limited editions that I wait for eagerly each year. It will be just the thing this evening while I'm watching one of my favorite TV shows Medium.
5. I am thankful for locking door knobs. I installed three today to keep my kids out of our storage room, the spare room and the game closet. That's a story for another day. Suffice it to say, I wish my children were always obedient but sadly they are not.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
2. I am thankful for a dentist that makes things fun for my kids. Nathan won a prize today for being in the no cavity club and I'm sure it's going to help prevent the phobia that literally cripples me whenever I so much as think about having to go to the Dentist.
3. I am thankful for being able to buy mangoes all year round, and indeed all kinds of exotic fruit and vegetables that don't grow anywhere near here.
4. I am thankful that I can ask my sister to lend me something and in a matter of a few days it gets from her door to mine - a distance of hundreds of miles. It's incredible.
5. I am thankful that I can stay at home with my baby. Gary suggested I might like to work outside the home today and the chill I got imagining Oliver spending his time in daycare was not pleasant.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
2. I am thankful for the book club I am in. Not only are the members willing to read the books each month, but we have such wonderful discussions. Since joining the book club I am positive not one meeting has ended much before 10pm. I feel renewed.
3. I am thankful for books. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I would have anxiety if I didn't have books in my house and unread books sitting there on my "to read" shelf. This might be a little on the "perhaps I need to talk to someone about this" side but I think of books as my very good friends.
4. I am thankful that my mother has bought my children so many books over the years. Together with the books I have bought, they literally have hundreds of books and could probably read a different book each night all year long. I often see them reading on their own and even if I sometimes have to coax them to reach the 20-30 minutes asked of them by their school teachers each day, I know they are developing something which will give them joy for their whole lives. Sharing books with Leia that I read when I was her age is wonderful.
5. I am thankful for a well insulated home. The snow started to fall today and after my furnace came on in the early morning it hasn't come on since. I remember sitting in the last home we owned and feeling the cold air seeping through the walls. There isn't a single draft anywhere in this house and our energy bills reflect it.
Monday, November 8, 2010
1. I am thankful for the outcome of Gary's chat with the Principal. Contrary to what you often get told by the media, I don't think public schools/the government are trying to fill our children with immoral knowledge. Our school has proved that it welcomes involvement from parents and is not going to support the teaching of topics that parents don't want taught. But what I have taken from this in particular is that we need to remain extremely involved in our children's lives and it is worth flicking through innocent looking library books.
2. I am thankful for change. With daylight savings time making it darker in the evenings, it brings my children inside and closer to us and our influence over the winter. As opposed to the influence of the boy next door they love to spend time with, who has a much more colorful vocabulary than we would wish our own children to have.
3. I am thankful for technology that closes the huge gap that exists between me and my family. An hour's chat with my sister costs next to nothing and with webcams I can soon see her new house for myself in real time without actually being there. It means I can live here happily while still being as close as ever with my Mum and Sister.
4. I am thankful for the opportunity I have had living here to experience different cultures. For example I had never had a cheese quesadilla until I moved here. I could mention tons of other stuff but lately I've just had a thing for quesadillas.
5. I am thankful that when I washed the covers of my sofa cushions today they didn't shrink. That one's a little lame but it's mostly the little everyday things which add up to a contented me.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
2. I am thankful that I got to have a nap this afternoon. I was all excited to get to stay up an hour later last night but even though I technically turned out the light at 11pm my body felt like it was midnight and as such was overtired and I couldn't fall asleep. And then when I did get to sleep, Oliver was messed up and woke up at 4.45am. After trying to settle him down again, I couldn't get back off to sleep until about 6.30am and then we had to get up at 7.30am to get ready to be at the church by 8.30am to then wrestle with the kids all through the meeting. I'm sure you've all got the picture that I was TIRED by about 2pm and my wonderful husband kept the kids quiet while I slept.
3. I am thankful for an evening spent around our firepit with good friends. Our children love each other and played really well together in the dark corners of the backyard while we laughed about all kinds of things. The smores were pretty good as well.
4. I am thankful that Nathan still wants to cuddle with me. Spencer is over it already but tonight around the fire Nathan sat on my knee and wrapped both arms tightly around me and put his cheek next to mine. A sweet moment.
5. I am thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
1. I am thankful that Gary works hard for our family so that we have all the things we need and some things we really really want as well.
2. I am thankful that I will have a 9 year old companion when I fly to England. Last time I went, I was by myself and going to my father's funeral. This time the reason for our travels will be for fun and there's really no one I'd rather spend 10 hours in an enclosed space with than my daughter.
3. I am thankful to have spent my childhood in one place. Long Stratton is an anchor for me. The home I return to is associated with so many beautiful and happy memories.
4. I am thankful that tonight we put the clocks back. I can either choose to stay up an hour later or get an extra hour of sleep - decisions decisions.
5. I am thankful for discovering a completely inappropriate library book that Leia had checked out of the school library BEFORE she had a chance to read it. Gary can now take it to the school principal himself to ask why our 9 year old daughter has access to books that cover topics such as safe sex, masturbation, sexual attraction, and wet dreams unbeknownst to Gary and I. Leia and I have had the "sex" talk on a level which I felt was appropriate to her age. Since she is not likely to enter puberty for about another 4 years (judging from my own experiences) I reserve the right to delay giving her an all access pass just yet.
Friday, November 5, 2010
1. I am thankful for that moment in Target.
2. I am thankful for amazing weather today. My kids really love playing outside and as I sit here typing I keep seeing Leia in a witch costume streaking past my open front door. Tonight I can sleep with the windows open - something that always promotes a more peaceful and I'm convinced, healthier sleep for me. This is always something that delights me each year here in Colorado. This is our third fall here and it couldn't be more beautiful.
3. I am thankful that Colorado is our home. In the beginning the move was very hard for me. I had to leave behind family and friends and deal with personal and financial issues at the same time. We're now into our third year here and I'm in love. No disrespect to Ohio but there's no real comparison to the beauty that is here. And the weather. Sunshine 300 days of the year, white Christmases, indian summers. Me and Colorado like one another.
4. I am thankful that tomorrow is the weekend. I get my whole family together for two days.
5. I am thankful that Oliver is picking up his pacifier and deftly popping it back in his mouth these days. It's a useful skill for a baby.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
1. I am thankful for modern medicine. 800 milligrams of ibuprofen goes a long way.
2. I am thankful for a nap when Gary got home from work. I just couldn't face the homework/dinner chaos. Gary even cooked!
3. I am thankful that Spencer learned a lesson today. Even though he got a bruised face, he may make a different choice next time and no amount of nagging from me gets that result.
4. I am thankful for the good health of my children.
5. I am thankful that I can grocery shop online tomorrow. The thought of facing King Soopers or goodness forbid Wal-mart when I'm not feeling well is HIDEOUS!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
3. I am thankful that although Oliver is cutting two more teeth to add to the six he already possesses at only 9 months, he goes through this process like a champ. If it weren't for a diaper rash (which in all honesty I can only guess is related to teething) I would hardly be able to tell.
4. I am thankful that Gary is willing to get up and give Oliver his early morning bottle. I hate getting up in the mornings and even though I have to get up an hour later to get the other kids ready for school, Gary usually settles Oliver down for me so that I can get that done without the pressure of a hungry screaming baby.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
1. I am thankful that the election is over. The advertisements have intruded into our lives for weeks now and I don't know how to answer the questions my children have about the character assassination that has characterized them.
2. I am thankful for Democracy. Even though I've said what I have, we have the freedom to cast our vote in peace and in full confidence that our voice has been heard.
3. I am thankful for a place where I can buy a few little English items that make some of my favorite Christmas traditions possible.
4. I am thankful for the anticipation that November and December bring. It means looking forward to gathering around the fire, planning surprises, cooking for and taking care of those I love, music, laughter, games, etc... It's my absolute favorite time of year despite the cliche.
5. I am thankful that I have a husband who has done college level math to help the children when they can't understand their math homework. While I could still complete their homework easily myself I have no idea how to explain the methods in a way that makes sense to them. Without him I'd be at sea.
Monday, November 1, 2010
I am reflecting on the weekend we just enjoyed. Dad and Cinda drove out from Illinois to visit with us. Getting Grandparents and Grandchildren together is always special and this time was no different. It was a really great weekend.
1. I am thankful for Gary's family. With the absence of my own family, it is wonderful to know that if we ever need anything, Gary's family is here for us. Whether it be something as trivial as help fixing seals on the bottom of garage doors or something as important as help when one of our children is sick (They rushed out to help when Spencer was hospitalized at 10 months old), I know they will be there for us.
2. I am thankful that Gary works for a family oriented company and that he enjoys his work. Trick or Treating at his work on Friday was fun.
3. I am thankful that I managed to get Leia to her Play practise this morning. We both woke up late but we made it there in the nick of time. She would have lost her part to someone else if we had missed and she would have been devastated. I would have been even more devastated if I had been the cause of her losing her part.
4. I am thankful to have Nathan home each morning. He is such a sunshiny person. Not everyone can appreciate him as his exuberance and lack of impulse control can be tiring but there is not the tiniest mean bone in his body. He is ready to love everyone and be friends with everyone.
5. I am thankful for this photo. It's not often you can get everyone looking the same way at the same time. It may not be perfect but it's pretty darn close.