Tuesday, November 20, 2012

10 More Days of Thankfulness

I kinda enjoyed writing my long list of things I am thankful for.  Grandma's favorite Church song is "Count Your Many Blessings."  In fact, I can't think of many other songs I've ever heard her call out.  That's really what this exercise is all about - in a conscious way to "name them one by one."  Most of us I assume thank God for our blessings and ask Him to watch over those blessings - taking care of our families and Churches each night.  However, if we aren't careful this just becomes a rote habit, rather than a conversation with our Heavenly Father.  This is just a way to take a few minutes to really think about those many blessings we often take for granted.
Day 11 - I am thankful for my father.  Daddy is the best man I know.  He was an example of being calm and together under pressure, I can think of very few times that he lost his temper when we were growing up.  He loves my mother, and puts her first in everything he does.  They were a united front no matter the challenge.  He stands for the truth no matter the cost.  He isn't the most vocal member of the Church, but you always know were he stands.  He worked long and hard hours when we were growing up to give us more than just our needs but most of our wants; however, he was never too tired to sit on our bed at bedtime and talk to us.  He has taught me so much, and I hope he's around a really long time because I'm sure I've not learned it all yet.
Day 12 - I am thankful for my mom.  Mother was with us all the time.  I understand what a sacrifice that is now.  She was there when we woke up in the morning, she drove us to school, we came to her classroom after school, she drove us home, cooked supper, checked homework, and got us to bed at night.  She and Daddy rarely took date nights.  Now that I'm a mom at home with the kids all the time, I can see what a sacrifice it was for her to never have her own time, but to put us first.  She instilled a love of reading, a high priority on keeping things neat and orderly, and to always have a coat.  I find that I need her far more now that I have kids, than I ever thought I did as a kid.  I hope she's around a really long time too.

Day 13 - I am thankful for my brothers... most of the time, haha.  I can't imagine life without them.  I really feel for people that don't have several brothers or sisters.  I didn't always want to be with each of them, but I always had someone there to talk to, play with, and depend on.  No one else understands your crazy family, your overbearing parents, the quirks of your personality like your siblings do.  We are spread further apart these days, Indiana, Georgia, and Alabama, but I know they are there if I need them, even for all their quirks.
Day 14 - I am thankful for our families.  Gary and I both have a huge extended family, so holidays are always alot of fun.  Aside from being alot of fun, and the source of all of our best stories.  These family members have given of their time, their money, and their abilities to help us out.  We have furniture made by two different grandfathers, we have kids clothes from cousins, and of course, I can't seem to say enough we wouldn't have made it through unemployment without their help.  We've learned countless life lessons from them, we were carried to Church meetings by them, and they have been there when we needed someone to talk problems out with.  Our grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles have helped to shape us into who we are today.
Day 15 - I am thankful for modern conveniences.  I've thought about this one alot lately.  It's probably due to the number of Amish we see in the stores or on the road, but I'm really thankful that someone, somewhere had the vision and innovation to come up with so many of the devices that we seem to take for granted each day.  I think I'll share some of my favorites.  My great big Jacuzzi tub - seriously the running water, and the ability keep it hot, and moving are all great in my book.  My washing machine -I do all the laundry on Monday, but it takes no more manual labor than lugging the baskets up and down two sets of stairs.  My dishwasher - we've had a few places without one, but I can't tell you how annoying it is to try to clean out the sippy part of the sippy cups.  The computer - how else would I keep in contact with all of our family so far away?  I can instantly message them on Facebook  see pictures of how everyone else is, and the kids can get on video with them in seconds.  The cell phone - I can have one phone carry it anywhere, and at any need get help.  I can reach Gary in any field in an emergency, get some one if the car where to break down, not to mention all the fun stuff like talking to family, and ordering a pizza.  Finally our nice, safe, dry car - when watching the Swiss Amish drive in their open buggies with it 40 out, the wind gusting at 30 mph, and it pouring rain; I especially appreciate my car.
Day 16 - I am thankful for books.  I love to read.  You can learn just about everything from books.  You can travel places without leaving your couch.  You can learn about people that lived before you were born.  You can imagine life in other places at other times, in other ways.  You can dream of the impossible, and make it real in books.  My life is much richer for them.
Day 17 - I am thankful for the ability to travel.  As great as books are, and I treasure them.  (Just ask Gary, we only moved 22 boxes of books our last move.)  All the books about the history, culture, and people of Scotland with their pictures didn't compare to standing in the room were Mary, Queen of Scots was born.  They didn't fully capture looking over the walls of Stirling where William Wallace won his greatest victory.  They didn't compare to walking through the highlands in the summer time.  They couldn't fully describe the feeling you get when sitting in their Scots Kirks (Presbyterian churches) and talking with the people after service.  That's just one example.  I've been blessed with grandparents who carried me out to Texas and the Smoky Mountains.  With a husband who planned our entire honeymoon around the Shannadoah Valley and seeing the homes of our 5 of our first six Presidents.  I've traveled and seen many places, and meet many people, which once again only make life richer.
Day 18 - I am thankful for holidays, days off, and date nights!  After, about a month without Gary most of the day on Saturday, and him only having 2 Saturdays off since the beginning of September.  I really appreciate days off when he is home.  The kids love to see and wrestle with him, and I love the break from being the primary - breaker up of fights, finder of Monkey, and solver of what in the world are we going to eat next.  I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving for many reasons, not the least of which is someone else to entertain the kids, and a chance to sneak off to the theatre and see the last Twilight movie with Gary with no kids along for the ride.
Day 19 - I'm thankful for yarn.  Ok, now you probably think I'm just a little bit crazy.  I really enjoy crocheting, and I find it to be a great stress relief.  I don't particularly like to just sit and do nothing.  I get antsy to start organizing, or redoing something.  (I rarely get an urge to just clean though, where's the fun in that?)  I love to read, but when I read, I am no longer part of the outside world - small children destroy the house, and Gary has to ask me something 45 times, before he realizes, that he needs to put a hand or something between me and the book.  I crochet in the car traveling, while watching a movie, during the day when the kids are playing in the living room floor.  The bonus is I end up with scarves, toboggans, blankets galore   I've tried selling them, and wish I could make a little money off my obsession, but I especially like making baby blankets for friends and maybe one of these days for some family members.
Day 20 - I'm thankful for yummy food.  Gary is a fantastic cook, and he knows how to make all sorts of yummy stuff.  Before Gary, while I was in college we were living off of ramen noodles and chicken nuggets sometimes.  I'm super thankful for a hubby who cooks.

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