Gratefulness 20

I have several projects that I would love to get done. Material waiting to be cut, cut out pants waiting to be sewn, felt waiting to become functional and decorative, yarn waiting to be knitted, patterns waiting to be followed, pictures waiting to be captioned and placed, letters waiting to be written, decorations waiting to be switched out and displayed. Then beside the fun relaxing projects are the drudgery projects like a basement that needs rearranged, organized and (ack!) cleaned, a garage awaiting similar treatment, closets and cabinets galore…I feel like I will never get it done.

Especially with BOB. Baby On Boob. Kevin says it’s a wonder she isn’t 25 pounds as much as she nurses.

Today, my sister-in-law graciously and generously invited the olders over to decorate her tree and to spend the afternoon with her. I thought I might get a little sewing done while Elivette slept and before Denton woke up. Didn’t happen. And so it went, one or the other or both of them interrupting my plans with their needs and desires.

But I am thankful. Thankful for the chance to spend some time with my littles. Denton and I made “ooey gooey chewie cookie bars” while Elivette slept in the wrap. He felt so special being my only sous chef. Thankful I can nurse and give my girl all the nutrition she needs.  Thankful for her sweet smelling breath as she musters up her “ah-goooooo” with all of her might. Thankful for her long lashed gaze as she waits for me to make eye contact so she can grin at me with her whole body. th
Thankful for her dimpled fists tucked under her chin as she suckles enough milk to sustain her for several hours of the night.

We might not all have matching pajama pants by Christmas and my new shelves in the basement may just stay empty for another season, because for right now, I have a BOB, a nursling who needs me. This stage will soon be over. So I am trying to treasure these moments. These moments make up a lifetime and I want to look back and be well pleased with how I spent them.

So thankful for that opportunity.

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Gratefulness 19

Thankful for friends who don’t care if you’re unkempt and crazy eyed. They come into the bathroom where you’re dealing with a screaming sling baby and another toddler wet pants accident and rescue you from the ear splitting shrieks.

Thankful for friends who are gracious and welcoming. They invite you and your brood over and make you mocha and serve tea and pass an amiable afternoon.

Thankful for friends who are knowledgeable. They enlighten you about things like Tea Tree Oil and Libertarianism and God and circumcision. They just talk, and don’t judge.

Thankful for friends who listen.

Thankful for friends who just are. Who love. Who are mine.


When I first left teaching and stayed home full time with my adorable but very high needs baby, my friendships started changing. Most of my friends still worked and lived pretty far from me. I felt bereft. Lonely. Sad. My mom and I prayed I would God would give me some girlfriends. Friends to challenge me to be better and who were like minded and who I could walk alongside in our life journeys.

He has answered those pleas abundantly. I’m so thankful!

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Gratefulness 18

So grateful my middle girl got baptized yesterday. She’s six. She committed her life to God last March 22. In the Bible, people came to the Lord and were baptized that same day. We don’t really do that in our church culture so she had to wait. It was a very long wait. Yesterday the day finally came.

 I’m so very glad she committed to follow Jesus all the days of her life.

Now thank we all our God, 

With hearts, and hands, and voices 
Who wondrous things hath done, 
In whom His world rejoices 
Who, from our mothers’ arms, 
Hath blessed us on our way 
With countless gifts of love, 

And still is ours today. 

O may this bounteous God 
Through all our life be near us, 
With ever-joyful hearts 
And blessed peace to cheer us, 
And keep us in His grace, 
And guide us when perplexed, 
And free us from all ills 
In this world and the next.
All praise and thanks to God 
The Father now to be given, 
The Son, and Him who reigns 
With Them in highest heaven: 
The one eternal God, 
Whom earth and heaven adore; 
For thus it was, is now, 
And shall be evermore
–Martin Rinkart, 1636
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Gratefulness 16 and 17

I am thankful for deep breathing. I don’t always remember to use it, but pausing, three ddddddeeeeeep breaths breaks the stress cycle. Try it.

Last night, Kevin and I got into a fight over…wait for it…boric acid. Actually the fight was because as usual, two pride filled sinners misplaced their expectations and got defensive.

But the deep breathing…helps to calm down and reassess. I learned something else recently. I learned that the anger hormone washes over your brain as you get defensive or angry or worked up, whatever you call it, and then is out of your system in 90 seconds. So then, after 90 seconds, if you’re still angry, you’re choosing to be angry. You can’t help getting angry, but you can choose wisely.

One of my favorite verses says, “In your anger do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:10) Knowing that it is normal to get angry, but that I have options on what to do then makes me feel more peaceful. Breathing deeply helps me to accomplish that.

So thankful for breathing deeply.


I’m also grateful for making up.

“But the makin’ up can be so romantic.” Truvy Jones, Steel Magnolias 

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Gratefulness 15

I am grateful for learning new.

I have started a new Bible reading plan and am reading in Genesis. I have read it a few times before and yet…am still learning new things.

I started knitting a few years ago and have made my share of duddy projects, and made a few winners too; or at least they turned out similar to what they were supposed to be like. Despite my failures, I just courageously bought a pattern for this shrug…something that needs to fit, something for me! But, I like to try new things!

Elivette is our fifth blessing. You would think I know quite a bit about babies; and yet, she is all new. She is recovering from terrible diaper rash and I am SO thankful I learned new methods of treating her (and thankful to my midwife for all her help).

I was talking with a friend today about Creation magazine and Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum. I am still learning new exciting things about how science backs up Biblical creation and backs up my faith with tangible proof.

So many more examples, but yeah, thankful for learning anew.

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Gratefulness 14

I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for women who understand me, who laugh with me, who hug me when I cry. I am thankful for my Crunchy Mamas and my book club and my ballet buddies and my card club.I am thankful for past home groups and MOMS group and MOPS. I am thankful to be getting reaquainted with high school chums and to be able to stay in touch with friends who have moved away and friends whose lives haved moved in different directions. I am so blessed and so fortunate to have the relationships I have. I am so thankful for friends.

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Gratefulness 13

I am grateful for child training.

Laundry at my house–I start it usually with a four or two year old helper. Depending on what’s in the load, I hang up the things that can’t or don’t go in the dryer. In the summer, we hang everything on the clothesline, but in the winter I use hangers and a couple of big drying racks. I dry all the little stuff that annoys me to hang or that we don’t have room to hang. One of the girls hangs diapers and what not that goes on the drying rack they can reach. One of the girls switches the laundry. One of the girls pulls out the clothes from the dryer. They fold and put away all the children clothing. It’s easy peasy pie with the family closet system.

I am so thankful because now laundry is not the overwhelming chore it used to be, nor is it all on me.

Meals at our house–I have a kid of the day helper–Five weekdays and five kiddlets. I couldn’t have planned it better. We ‘cast lots’ (eeny-meeny-miney-moe) to help with big desserts like the gingerbread pumpkin trifle Brielle is making or extra meals. It pays off in spades to let a two year old help you in the kitchen because then by the time they are six, they can make your and Dada’s panini all by themselves when you get accosted by a ravenous infant.

What? Doesn’t everyone make pizza without pants?

Chores at our house–generally speaking, the chiddlers are just expected to do whatever is asked of them with a joyful heart. Aviana is responsible for care of our rabbit and feeding the barn cats in the morning. Brielle is in charge in the evening. Cadrian and Brielle are responsible for emptying the dishwasher. Aviana, the clean dishes off the counter and loading it. My policy is don’t ask an older child to do a job that a younger child is capable of doing. 
Of course, you have to teach it to them and show them carefully, and it may be faster to do it yourself initially, but I’m telling you, it is worth it! I am so thankful for child training.
***This post is dedicated to Barbara Curtis. She is the one who emphasized to me the importance of child training. She has been a mentor to me ever since I first became a mom. . She died at the end of October due to a sudden and massive stroke. (Now would be a good time to make sure you are right with God because you never know when the ailments and accidents of our fallen world would come to you. Please know that God loves you beyond all measure and wants you to put yourself under His authority–it’s all His anyway but He gave us free will to choose Him. Feel free to email me if you would like to know more.) She left behind a husband, 12 children, four of whom have Down’s syndrome, children-in-law and grandchildren. She also left behind a wealth of knowledge, information, help, advice and truth in her books and blog. She will be sorely missed.***
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Gratefulness 12

I am thankful we were able to go up to Chicago for an overnight stay. The three hour drive up was not too bad even though Elivette is decidedly not fond of the car. We hung out at my brother and SIL’s until bedtime. My sister and one of her children were able to fly in from Colorado so we were blessed to see four family members we don’t usually get to spend time with. We talked and caught up a bit. Of course the children and Uncle Corydon had to go out into the yard for a game of chase and “take-down roughhouse wrassling”. We also tested ourselves on the state capitals and did miserably. Mrs. Hagedorn, my sixth grade teacher would be so disappointed in me. Corydon made a super yummy glazed ham and green beans and potatoes and Katie made divine pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I’m not ashamed to say I took a couple home with me and ate them alone in my room.

We stayed the night in a hotel which is always a big thrill and as an added bonus, I was thankful the boys didn’t even get up at the crack of dawn. We had a nice (albeit carb filled) breakfast and headed back over to  Corydon and Katie’s. After much discussion and interwebbing, we had decided on the Adler Planetarium.  Elivette shrieked miserably the entire drive there, but I am thankful Leah and I had a wonderful discussion. It was a long and chilly walk there from where we parked by Soldier Field.  It was swell once we got there!

 Cadrian and Corydon simulate a rocket launch. Cadrian is totally all  about rockets right now, so he may have had the grandest time of all, even though everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. Even Katie, who got stuck holding the coats–she said she preferred that over “Denton-wrangling”.
 Denton would have been content to repair rockets the whole time. At one point he had all the tools and was walking around with them clutched to his chest. “Mine” 
Trying to build enough PSI to launch an air rocket. I’m proud to say my launch went the highest. After his rocket did not go as high as mine did, Kevin said there must have been a seal leak …Hmmm.
 Elivette was unimpressed with the view.
(out the window, not my dad. :-))
 Leah and me and the Chicago skyline
The walk back to the cars was about three times as long and twenty times as cold and windy. We made it though with no complaining…(well, little complaining). We had to veg out to some Curious George after we got back. (The extra blonde on the end is my nephew, Titus)

We ended the evening with some Old Town Chicago-style deep dish pizza.
I’m thankful for these girls right here.

The drive home was indubitably more torturous and everyone was cranky tired today, but it overall wasn’t really that bad and I am so thankful we were able to do it!

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Gratefulness 11

I am thankful for change.

This morning getting everyone ready for church, by myself, plus we were leaving from church to spend the night in Chicago, so also getting every one’s busy bags packed and last minute paraphernalia plus trying to pick up so we don’t arrive home to toy bins overturned and congealed porridge on the counter led to … my freaking out on everyone. Like Chuck Norris.

Kevin finally got home and I went all ninja on him too. He was able to calmly tell me that I was out of control. Something I know, but still. can’t. stop. every time. I was able to hear him. I was able to stop.

I am so very thankful for change.

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Gratefulness 10

I am thankful for my midwife. Three of my five babies have been born with her help. She is an amazing woman, personally and professionally. Imagine being on call for so many people, constantly . She tries to maintain a clientele of four births a month, so at any given time she has at least 46 women under her care for pre-natals, deliveries and post-natals. On top of that, she is available as much as she can be to help out medically with the younglings she’s already helped bring earthside. She is a fount of information and an expert in her field. 

I sincerely owe my life to her. I had blood clots after Denton was born and lost a lot of blood. Kathy was there every minute and knew what needed to be done and kept me safe. With Elivette, I lost twice as much and had to be transferred to the hospital in case the situation got worse. But the OB who was in the ER and came to my room next morning told me that they didn’t really do anything; that Kathy was the one who saved my life, at home. Not only that but she did it in such a calm, reassuring manner that Kevin didn’t really even know there was a growing emergency situation until she said we needed to call the ambulance. Her demeanor helped my family so much.

So many things to be thankful for this November, but Kathy is at the top of the list.

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