Wednesday, November 30

{30} Thankful...

I am thankful for the time spent with my family bringing out the Christmas Cheer.  My sweetheart found where I had stashed the Christmas CDs (why, oh why, do I not have a good system for where I put those each year), the tree and all the decorations were brought from the attic, and the unorganized... but wonderful... task of decorating the tree began.  I will be adding to and tweaking for the next whole month because I love to fiddle with everything, grin.  I am so thankful for this time of year!  There are no words to adequately describe my gratitude for the birth of my Savior.  I hope everything in December 2011 is truly Merry and Bright!!

Tuesday, November 29

{29} Thankful...

I am thankful for the change in seasons.  I took the kids to seminary this morning and sat in the car in total silence (Ty was snoozing in the back seat) and just watched the snow coming down.  A few of the youth couldn't help themselves but to come out of the church and run around in the first snow of the season.  Having the temperatures drop so low makes me feel more in the spirit for the upcoming Holiday.  Can't wait to welcome in December. 

Monday, November 28

{28} Thankful...

I am thankful for dinner in town with my family.  And Christian actually turned his phone off for a whole hour... shocking... and made the rest of us feel so important, snicker. 

{27} Thankful...

I am thankful for quiet time.  It rarely 'just happens'.  Today I found it for quite a while on my back porch.  We had just returned from town, and I was still bundled up in my coat and had just let the chickens out of their coop.  I plopped down on a chair on the porch and let my mind drift off for awhile.  We took last week off of school and so today meant we needed to jump back into school.  I just needed a bit of quiet time before officially starting our school week.  Quiet time does a world of good.  Thankful!

Sunday, November 27

{26} Thankful...

I am thankful that I have all I need.  Ohhh, those 'wants' can sure crowd out the picture, distort things, cause my vision to go blurry... but I know I have all I need.  I truly do.

Friday, November 25

{25} Thankful...

I am thankful that today I was able to get a ton of my Christmas shopping done.  I didn't dare venture out on Black Friday... but I did go online.  I had some wonderful discount/free shipping codes and it was a joy to have a bulk of the gifts ordered and on their way.  I normally have 99% of the shopping done well before now, but that just wasn't possible this year.  So today was the beginning and I hope to finish by next weekend.  I'm optimistic.  The detailed list is made, older kids are party poopers and are asking for cash and some gift cards (boo!, but I guess that comes with their age), so I shall be on the hunt and hope all ends well and I am victorious.  I love to snuggle in by early December, decor done, presents wrapped, fire roaring, hot cocoa... and very few reasons to ever leave home.  I love being a December hermit with my family.  Hurray!

Thursday, November 24

{24} Thankful...

I am thankful for my brother, Nate, and my sil, Alisha.  Each year, they invite family and friends over for Thanksgiving.  Crazy.  I think there were over 40 folks there today.  It is always incredibly yummy and fun!  So much work is involved in such a huge undertaking.  Thankful!

{23} Thankful...

I am thankful for my 'fellas' and their willingness to work on my studio.  The studio will be solely for me.  It serves no purpose for anyone else in the house.  It has taken many years for me to get the gumption to even suggest that I have a space all to myself... to create.  And then when I didn't face any opposition on my very selfish exile space, I ran with said gumption and sketched a few ideas and asked them to create it for me... pushing my luck, grin.  But they HAVE worked away on it.  Little by little, any spare moment.  It is going slow, but when it is done it will be just what I envisioned!  I love them so much and this means so much to me.
 I wanted a 'planked' wall look but didn't want to spend the money on actual boards, so then we got this thin material that requires an extra step to be cut into strips.  Big ole pain.  But CHEAP!
 And here is how it looks so far..
 All the walls and ceiling will be painted out white.  The floors will get the same treatment but with a wider strip... not sure what color I will then paint it.  We will then build built in storage on one short wall and also a forever long work surface, and, and, and..... it will be amazing!
 And this right here may just be the reason the fellas are so willing to get this space completed.  I have piles upon piles of 'stuff' in every nook and cranny of the house.  I try to keep it neat.  But the fact is that piled stuff just looks messy.  Soon it will be all behind closed doors.  That will be an exciting day.
Thankful.  My fellas.

Wednesday, November 23

{22} Thankful...

I am thankful for creative thinking, snicker.  Case in point:  I asked Christian and Ty to please take the pumpkins and gourds from the front porch and give them to the chickens.  That would have probably been carried out in a very boring uneventful way.  But when I added... "bust 'em up a bit so they can get to the innards"... well, that was where I got them to thinkin'.  Savannah was kind enough to document the very precise, articulate way they carried out my parental command.
 I threw my 'mommy RED penalty card' on the use of the hatchet.  There was mumbling but eventual obedience... the hatchet was removed from their artillery.
Plan B:
 Ummmm.  son?  If you bat the pumpkin clear to the back pasture, I don't think the chickens are going to benefit from that.  Please.  Do not splat pumpkins guts on the carriage house!  What was I thinking sending them out to do this without very strict parameters.  Sometimes I'm not completely on top of my mommy game.
 The chickens have been a'cacklin' ever sense.  I think they approve of the methods used to make their job much easier to devour some grub!

Monday, November 21

{21} Thankful...

I am thankful for trials.  There.  I said it.  I am really struggling with a trial that I desperately want to fix.  I want to make it all better.  I want to take it and shake it and convince it that it does not have to be this hard.  I can't.  It will be a difficult lesson learned.  I must sit back and let it be.  I can not control it.  I won't make promises that I can keep my eyes open, a smile on my face, or not have the terrible urge to plop myself down in what could be termed a tantrum.  I have so much to learn about enduring trials gracefully.  The Lord promises growth.  I will hold on. 

We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us;
we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.
C.S. Lewis

Sunday, November 20

{20} Thankful...

I am so incredibly thankful for the upcoming week.  No school.  Shawn is only working Monday and Tuesday.  The Christmas tree and decorations will officially be brought down from the attic.  We get to spend time with family for Thanksgiving.  Eat leftovers all weekend.  Pick and choose what projects we want to work on or maybe even boycott all things productive and be lazy.  The possibilities are endless.  And this little hiatus from all things normal and necessary has come just in time.  The past two weeks have been packed to the rim with 'gotta getter doneness' and I so need this week to rejuvenate and sleep in!  Yippee!!  So excited about getting this week started that I think I will go to bed early... I am quite the party gal.  

{19} Thankful...

I am thankful for running water.  Because when I don't have it for an entire day I get irritable.  I'm sure my family would state their gratitude for running water also since they were actually the ones that had to put up with me when I had to get ready for a girls night out and could not shower.  Forced to use water storage bottles from the garage did not make a happy girl out of me.  Spoiled?  Yes.  Thankful the water is back running?  You betcha!

Friday, November 18

{18} Thankful...

I am thankful for promises kept.  Finally.  Clear back at the beginning of the summer, Ty and I had a plan to turn all of his baseball jerseys/uniform tops into pillows.  Honestly, I'm not trying to blame the kid in this duo... but I thought this was a project that we would do together.  But whenever I suggested that we work on it, he was less than enthusiastic.  I thought I was forcing this whole idea on him.  But last week he mentioned the incomplete pillows again.  He finally helped me understand that he had hoped that I would do them for him... frankly, he had no desire to sew.  Ohhhhhhhh.  So, today after we finished school, I pulled out the tshirts once again and gathered any miscellaneous pillow inserts I had because I needed this to be a free project, and got to sewing.  I have never sewed tshirt knits and whatever the slick fabric is for his allstar tops.  The pillows aren't perfect, far from it in fact.  But they are all done and my youngest guy is ecstatic.  He plopped them up on his window seat.  I need to make a long cushion for the seat too because he loves to sit up there and the views are amazing.  Now if I can only stay on top of converting his tshirts into pillows as the upcoming seasons come and go then I will be a hero.  I sure love my baseball fanatic of a son and I am glad he loves his lumpy/less than perfect pillows.

Thursday, November 17

{17} Thankful...

I am thankful for the moments at the end of a l.o.n.g. day, sitting on the couch talking to Shawn alone.  Discussing the challenges and successes of the day.  Burdens shared and celebrations doubled, these talks rank as huge blessings to me.  It is comforting.  Thankful.  Marriage.

The cream of marriage... the nightly turning out of the days pocketful of memories,
habitual sharing of two pairs of eyes, two pairs of ears...
in a sense, it gives you the benefit of living two lives.   

Wednesday, November 16

{16} Thankful...

I am thankful for my daughter.  Tonight is Savannah's Young Women in Excellence Program and I am home missing it.  Migraine.  Yet, before she left she showed me what she had done as her assignment for the program so that I would not miss her part completely.  She is such a busy gal right now.  Exciting age and time for her.  She is learning what her priorities are and shuffling less important things around.  I love her honesty when she has thought long and hard about something and needs to propose a different way of doing things.  I am so proud of her.  I love her.  I'm so thankful that she loves me too... even on my grouchy days!

{15} Thankful...

I am thankful for the rain, my love for rain is well documented.  Granted, I was able to stay home all day and didn't have to be out and about in it but I just love the sound, the smell, and look of the farm getting a good soaking.  It calmed my nerves as Ty and I struggled through a long lesson on decimals, grin.  It helped for us both to be able to take a break and sit on the back porch and just veg.  Thankful.  Rain.

Monday, November 14

{14} Thankful...

I am thankful for an exhausting Monday.  Yep.  I should sleep like a rock. Well, once my daughter gets home from a friend's home that is, cause I can't r.e.a.l.l.y zonk until all my 'not so' littles are all accounted for.  But THEN I am out like a light.  ahhhhhh.

Market Monday

I'm sneaking in here between my Thankful Posts to make note that its Market Monday and I went in this morning and rearranged and restocked... introduced a few new items and added more of my best sellers over the weekend.  You can go to my Market Blog if you want to see more.
And now I will return to my regularly scheduled thankful posts... grin.

{13} Thankful...

I am thankful for my recent sense of 'the now'.  While life often demands us to focus on the future, goals, preparation, etc... I feel for one of the first times in my life that I am embracing each day.  I'm sure this is due to my knowledge that life for our little family of 5 will be changing drastically in the next few years.  Savannah is about to turn 17, she has a job, loves to be with friends... and in less than 2 years will be off to college.  Christian is turning 16 in just a few weeks!  And will be leaving on his mission in 3 years. 

Gone are the days of 2 babies, 1 year 2 weeks apart.  The days that I sometimes wished away because of the monotony and the sheer lack of sleep.  I really do credit this 'living in the now' transition to homeschooling.  I have so much more of the kids.  I have their days!  I hear about seminary minutes after they get home from it.  I know immediately if they have a frustration with a class or paper.  I eat lunch with them.  All those very important topics and discussions that we had to rush through during dinner just a few years ago because there was homework or bedtimes to do.  Understandably homeschooling is not for everyone or every family... but I am so glad we attempted it and then loved it.  It has slowed down these past few years and I would welcome the next few years to c.r.a.w.l by too.  Grin.  Of course, my want to go at a snail's pace does not prevent my teenagers from wanting to go forward at break neck speeds.  That's normal though and I am more thankful that they look forward to moving on and finding new adventures than the alternative of never wanting to have any new experiences. 

So last night, as I sat on the couch, Shawn in his usual chair, and the kids all spread out around us as we had family counsel... I am indeed grateful for living in those moments, each  moment, everyday.  I finally have got that right.  And before it was too late.  Whew.  Thankful.  Now!

Saturday, November 12

{12} Thankful...

I am thankful for service.  Service has a sure fire way of taking you by the shoulders and giving you a good shake out of your self-absorbed state.  Service can affect me in so many ways.  I am changed by doing service myself, receiving service from others, and watching others serve and watching the process 3rd person.  It is a powerful thing to behold.

Today, our kids are at the church cleaning the grounds and building.  8am on a Saturday and they were off doing good... love that.  And the fact that there will be other teenagers there doing the same thing makes it more fun and more powerful!

Last night, Christian carried on a tradition of service that my mom started many years ago:

When I was 13, and had started babysitting, my mom came to me and made a suggestion.  She asked me to consider babysitting for free on the occasions when the parents of the family I was asked to 'sit for was doing something church related... for example if they were attending the temple or going to a church meeting.  My mom felt by my doing this it would allow me a service opportunity on a regular basis.  It would also allow certain families that had struggled to participate at certain church events due to tight finances, to then have an opportunity they may have missed otherwise.  I decided to do it.  Looking back, I'm so thankful that my mom handled it the way that she did.  The suggestion was made to me, not forced upon me, and I embraced it and it was a blessing for those families that I served but it made a lasting impression on me also.

So when Savannah started babysitting, I made the same suggestion to her.  She embraced it, NOT SURPRISINGLY, because that sort of thing comes naturally for her.  Now that she is working at Shawn's office, and driving and her social calendar is more full, she has edited her babysitting jobs.  She has one very special family that she has always babysat for from the beginning and I can't see her ever not babysitting for them, but overall she is not babysitting much anymore.  So a family called to see if she could babysit last night but she was busy.  She thought maybe Christian would be interested, and he was.  So it was arranged that Christian would babysit for them instead.  This family was going to the temple so it would be a 'free' job.  I asked Christian if he was going to carry on the tradition... he had babysat for free one time in the past but we had not talked specifically about if he was going to 'formally' take on the tradition.  He said, 'of course'.  He babysat 4 kids for 6 hours and came home around 9:30pm.  He had a blast!  The kids were great and the father shared some of the experiences he had at the temple while he drove Christian home.

Now, I know I am biased here.  I look at my 15 year old son and think he is the funniest, good looking, wise cracker I know.  The boy is down right entertaining and our house is happier because he is in it... also much messier.  But this guy just spent 6 hours on a Friday night with 4 kids, 9 years old and younger, and didn't get a dime for it... and "had a blast!"  Thankful.  A tradition of service continues.

Friday, November 11

{11} Thankful...

I am thankful for the genuine and freely offered compliment.  I often THINK kind things about another person and their efforts, BUT I rarely voice those thoughts.  I have always pointed out to my children efforts of others on their behalves... but I need to take it one step further and have them voice that gratitude so they won't be so 'mute' like their mother.  I know I need to voice my compliments more... simply because of the way I feel when complimented.

Yesterday, I spend hours at my Antique Booth preparing for the Open House this weekend.  Vendors were everywhere sprucing up their own booths.  Poor customers that picked yesterday to shop could not have had a great experiences as the aisles were high traffic and the back loading doors were open and quite chaotic.  Yet, as mom and I worked away... customers and other vendors strolled by and were so generous with their compliments.  IT MADE MY DAY!!  A simple compliment is hugely validating.  Yet, after I got home I wanted to pinch myself.  I stayed at the back of Packards all day working away on my little space.  I didn't take the time when I was done to stroll around and meet and compliment the other vendors as they had done me.  Grrrrr.  I want to do better at that.  Open my mouth and return the gift of a compliment.  I think I may have stumbled upon part of my New Year's Resolution!  Thankful.  Compliments!!

I don't want to 'taint' my thankful post, but I promised I would make note.... you can go to my Market Blog and see what my booth looked like after completely adding new furniture and lots of sparkle for the Open House lasting all weekend. I've been told to be prepared to redo the booth on Monday as this Open House will probably clean me out... I can only hope it goes that well, grin.

Thursday, November 10

{10} Thankful...

I am thankful (sweetheart... this one is for you, wink) for my new to me car (sounds so much better than used car, right?).  Sometimes it feels odd to be so thankful for such 'material' things.  But I am trying not to judge my gratitude here, it truly is a huge blessing.

My first car was a red 4door that actually belonged to my parents and I was allowed to use  it.  I don't remember the make or model, it was passed on to me after my brother used it before me.  Mom?  Didn't it have to be junked because the whole bottom of the car was found to be rusted beyond safe driving standards, grin.  It was a heap.  But it got me from point A to point B.  And I was thankful for it.  After that rusty deathtrap, I drove my Dad's Rabbit.  No power steering.  Nuf said.

My second car was a silver 4door.  I know it was a Spectrum, not sure who made it.  Can you tell that I'm a true car encyclopedia?!  I bought it myself.  I was a dental assistant at the time and it was MY car... well until I went to college and was too broke to make the payments so Dad got it sold for me.

Years after being at college without a car and having to bum rides to work and anywhere else I needed to go, I bought a Dodge Colt (i think thats what it was, my lack of memory is proving embarrassing) from my boyfriend's friend.  It was a 2door... I'm a 4door kind of gal, painfully practical that way.  But the price was cheap and I was desperate.  I actually transferred out to the University of Utah shortly thereafter and with my sister, Misty, and my Dad we trekked cross country in this little crackerbox of a car.  Painful.  I was driving this car when I met Shawn.  He fell in love with me inspite of my sad little car.

Shortly after getting married, I was driving to work and someone drove up next to me honking and screaming at me.  I thought he was a lunatic.  I need to mention that it was 4:45 IN THE MORNING and I was a tad spooked... not many cars on the rode when I would go to work each morning.  I finally rolled down my window to hear this Good Samaritan yell at me that the rear of my car was ON FIRE.  So I calmly.not and levelheadedly.not pulled off the road.  Ummm...  into a gas station parking lot.  Yep.  I was a blooming genius.  Because everyone knows you should pull right into a gas station with a car that is on fire!!  I am lucky I didn't blow up half of Salt Lake.  A trucker was also parked at the gas station and proceeded to berate me and my less than logical decision to blow up half of Salt Lake with my ball of flames car.  I screamed right back at him.  Don't ask me how I knew this, but I DID know that truckers are required to have fire extinguishers in their cabs, so I not so calmly said to him, "Are you going to continue to curse me and DIE with me or do you want to SHUT UP and help me put out my car!"  Oh yes I did.  Those words are burned into my psyche because I am a mouse when talking to strangers, under ANY circumstances.  Well, any circumstance except standing at a gas station at 4:45am next to a car on fire.  So, the car was extinguished.  It was sold for parts.  We only had liability on the Colt and it was a big loss.  I became a 'bus gal' after that.

We made a terrible purchase of a used Volvo after the car o' flames.  We had it weeks when it broke down and the parts alone would have sunk us.  Shawn's dad went to a junk yard and found what we needed, saved our poor butts, and we sold the Volvo weeks later.  Whew.  Lessons learned.  I was returned to bus gal status.  

Later, Shawn and I bought a 4door red Mirage.  We loved this car.  It was used but in great shape.  We were pregnant and Shawn wanted to have a good car for me and the future baby, awwww.  We pulled that car behind a Uhaul all the way to Alabama to finish our undergraduate work.  Then drove it to Nebraska for dental school.  It also got us to Utah and Alabama every summer for family visits.  It was a great little car, dream.  Then we finished graduate school and sold the car to my mom and dad and it took a nose dive into lemon car.  Sorry mom and dad.  I think it loved us so dearly that its heart broke when we so swiftly snubbed it for a BRAND NEW Dodge Durango.  Such snobs we were.

And so, from that little Mirage til now, we have been so blessed with such good and dependable cars.  Having all those years of metal death traps or no car at all, a good car is indeed something to be thankful for.  Over the years, I have created my car 'bells and whistles' list.  I will not list these items because you would mock me.  I do not care about fancy GPS systems, and fancy DVD players, blah, blah, blah.  I really just need a few key things for my sanity.  And so while my 'new to me' car is not NEW, it was chosen for all the specific bells and whistles that I want/need in a cute little adorable 4door package.  Content Sigh.  Oh and the fact that we had to have Quad middle row seats that move back all the way to the back row,  because if Christian is not driving he can not make his thigh bones bend in half to fit in otherwise.  So thank you honey!  I love the vehicle.  I love that I have always had the newer, nicest car in our family because I am always hauling our kiddos.  I love that you really don't mind driving a truck as your 'car' because we can not NOT have a truck and own a farm... so your vehicle kills two birds with one stone.  I love that you searched high and low for this perfect car for me and all my necessary bells and whistles.  I love you.  Thankful.  New to me Car.

{9} Thankful...

I am thankful for our land and the views out our back windows.  I spend so much time at the back portion of the house.  Ty and I do school at the kitchen table or on the couch in the family room.  When altering the original houseplans before building... I knew the kitchen/family room would be where I would hang out.  So I squeezed in as many windows as the space and budget would allow.  Right now, I see our baby donkey... who is not so happy at the moment because we are weening him and he thinks we are so very cruel keeping him in a different pasture from his mom.  I can also see both our horses.  While I have no desire to ride them, they sure are beautiful lawn ornaments, wink.  The mist has cleared from the early morning and the sky is a magnificent turquoise.  We are so blessed to live here.  Thankful.  Our land. 

Wednesday, November 9

{8} Thankful...

I am thankful for a New Day.  Move on.  Move forward.

Yesterday was a rough day.  The to do list was overwhelming but honestly doable.  But I just did not have it in me.  Nope.  I hit the bed last night in tears.  Exhausted.  Huge list of the 'undone' mocking me.  Interesting how nighttime can make the 'incomplete' seem much more ominous than it truly is.

Then I wake up this morning... and guess what, as you may have noticed the world did not end because I failed.  Drama gone.  I think daylight just naturally improves my optimism.  Will I get everything done today including what didn't get done yesterday?  No way.  But the absolute truth about the matter is this:  no one outside of me even saw my 'to do' list yesterday!!  No one would have even known what did not get done, if it weren't for my very theatrical melt down.  I'm feeling a tad silly about myself in this light of a new day.  And if you could see my to do list for today... you would notice some 'arrows' drawn from several items listed yesterday... now pointing those 'to dos' to today.  And you know what?  I think the arrows are cute.  The undone to dos are not forgotten, afterall they really do need to get done.  How silly do I feel about my tears of last night?  Very.   So everything did not get done on Tuesday, but instead, as the cute arrows now indicate, they will get done on Wednesday.  And there was no rioting, tantrums, or earth shattering.  Simple.

When all our kids were little I taught them a precious little tid bit.  And that very tid bit has knocked me upside the head today.  When they made a wrong choice, and they came to me in remorse and regret, I would talk with them about it and when all was said and a new game plan was made to move forward, I would ask them this sweet little question:  "Do you want a 'do over'?"  They would leap into my arms, relieved.  "YES!!!"  The 'do over' was never denied.  I  wanted them to understand that the 'do over' could not always fix the mistake completely, but that the do over was permission to leave that mistake behind (repaired to the best of their ability) and they could try again to do better.  And now that the kids are older, the 'do over' is still alive and well in the Callahan household.  Fact is, I am known to request a needed do over too!  An Eternal Concept to be sure!!  How it must thrill Our Father to offer and then see us gratefully grasp the do over... aka repentance/forgiveness.  Thankful.  New Day.

Monday, November 7

{7} Thankful...

I am thankful for Shawn.  I really admire him.  Right now at 9:39pm, after a long day at work and an evening of trading in our old truck to pick up my newer vehicle... he is in the garage figuring out a 'problem' piece that I was hoping to fix and have ready to go into my Holiday Booth this weekend.  I threw in the towel on it, and yet he is determined to 'conquer' the stubborn thing because I have already spent so much time saying ugly words sweet talking it into non-submission.  He can be persistent and his success rate at figuring things out is very high, I can be quite the quitter.  UPDATE:  He indeed solved the problem.  So when I swoon over a specific item in my Friday post about my Holiday Booth, he will get all the credit for it looking so magnificent... but my paint job on this piece is quite perfect too, wink.

I love his eyes.
I am thankful for his strength, both physically AND spiritually.
His ambition is one of his most attractive traits... seriously one of the top 3 reasons I just HAD to marry him!
He forgives me, always.
He loves me in spite of me deserving it.  I can really be a grouch.
When he laughs at movies in the TV room, I can be in a totally different room of the house and I can't help but smile at his laughter.  He laughs freely and with no inhibition.  I admire that.
He is the oldest brother of 4 boys and he loves his brothers immeasurably and prays about them and their families constantly. 
He is a great dad.  He regularly spends separate time with each child doing what they love to do.
He loves to watch movies and play board games.  I do not.  All 3 of our children love to do these things too, so he fills a 'nitch' that I don't.  Love that.
He cooks an amazing Spanish Tortilla.
He kisses me every night and every morning, with out fail. 
I love him.  So very, very thankful for him.

Sunday, November 6

{6} Thankful...

I am thankful for Sundays.  I know I have shared my love of Sundays many times before.  But I really do love this day.  Although today had some twists and turns.  We had an extra large crowd in our Nursery Class.  At one point we thought the kids were going to RIOT, snort.  We weren't sure if the Nursery room was so hot because the heater was on full blast or whether it was that when you have THAT many little bodies in one space... the temps go sky high.  Anyway, us teachers laughed our way through the time slots and in the end, all was well and I bet lots of littles fell asleep on their way home from church. 
Then we had pizza calzones for lunch, huge hit. 
We read scriptures. 
Shawn and Christian went home teaching. 
We had family counsel when they returned.  Our counsels can be hysterical some weeks... seriously!  Coordinating all the to dos, school, we get our new to us car this week, campouts, paintball parties, and, and, and... whew.  And yet week after week we get most of our things done and we regroup and do it again. 
And so now I am cuddled in with my sweetheart. 
Three kids in bed already zonked.  I am soon to follow. 
Content Sigh.   

Saturday, November 5

{5} Thankful...

I am thankful for our Ward Family.  Especially those that serve with our children.  This morning at 7am Christian met with other Scouts/friends in our Ward and his Young Men Leaders to go on a hike.  To go on a 20 MILE hike!!  And Christian's leaders hike it right along with the boys!  I appreciate that my son has these leaders in his life that care for him enough to serve him in this manner and give their time on a Saturday, 8+ hours, so that he can be one step closer to obtaining his Eagle.  Thankful.  Ward Family.

Friday, November 4

{4} Thankful...

I am thankful for extended family.  Ty is off tonight camping with Nate, Alisha, and kiddos.  He was packed AND dressed to go early this morning... literally before 8am... and I didn't take him to their house until 3PM!!  He even put his shoes on (HUGE, cause he rarely wears shoes even OUTSIDE)  and clomped around the house all day so he was ready to go the split second I gave the signal to load up.  He was a tad excited.  Ty is painful reserved and shy, and extended family/cousins have always been a safe place for him to be, so grateful.  It is Emma's (cousin) birthday... he asked to go to Target to get her something.  He marched back to the toys and chose a StarWars Lego set!?  Huh!!??  I asked him if he was sure.  He stated that she always loves to play with his StarWars lego sets when she comes over.  So I sure HOPE Emma digs her present, snicker.  Ty even chose the gift bag... he said it had to be 'cool'.  So he found one... not too girly... not for a boy... but bright colors and fun.  Sounds like Emma to me!  The weather is amazing for camping.  Ty was threatened that if he didn't bundle up, I had tattletailers/informants that would tell me.  He is my hot blooded child, but even with that understanding... the boy has to be TOLD to wear reasonable warm clothes when it is cold... grrrrr.  I love knowing he is going to have a great weekend with my brother's family.  Thankful.  Extended Family.

Thursday, November 3

{3} Thankful...

I am thankful for the voices of my children, right now playing a game together since they all 3 finished school today in record time.

Over 18 years ago, I was a newlywed living in Utah.  Shawn and I had been married for almost a year and had already been trying to have a baby.  I went in for a physical... and my world crashed in around me.  I had some complications.  Any ONE of these complications would probably not be able to prevent me from having a baby... but the combination of them did not leave my doctor very optimistic.  I was at this follow-up appointment from my physical by myself.  I did not have any indication that I was to receive sad news.  I drove home in a daze.  Shawn was in class, and it was the days before everyone had cellphones.  So I called my mom.  I sobbed.

She let me sob.  Me and my mom, too many states between us to count, no words spoken for quite some time... just me crying.  Then when complete emotional exhaustion took me over, she calmly spoke.  She reminded me of a promise I had received in a Father's Blessing many years before.  I know my very humbled, exhausted state was what allowed me to hear her, to stop my logical thinking and start thinking spiritually.  I immediately remembered the specific blessing which she was reminding me of.  I could even hear the words that were spoken to me then, a mere teenager that had simply gone to her father for a blessing about some teenage drama I was facing at the time... but then was given inspiration from a Heavenly Father that wanted my perspective at that time to be broadened... and gave me a glimpse into my future.  And so many years later, having had all the medical reasons given to me as to why I most definitely could not have children, I knew I indeed would.

Several years later we had a perfect little girl.  It was a rough pregnancy.  Many complications.  A delivery that terrified Shawn and I both.  But the beginning.

Never dreaming that we could get pregnant with out much effort and help... 1 year 2 weeks after Savannah was born, we had a baby boy.  Again, more ups and downs than I care to document here, but two children.  Miracles.  Gifts.

One hard fought for daughter, and our little 'surprise' of a son.  I had no idea what to expect for the next baby.  Cause see??  I wanted many, many more.  We had proved the doctors wrong.  Full speed ahead.

Six long years later.  We are in the Air Force.  Graduate School done!  Dental residency in California done!  Stationed in Mississippi, and only 3 hours from my family.  The dream of more children was... dare I say... gone.  We tried to be content.  We know that there is a plan and that this family of 4 must be complete.  And then I get sick.  I feel awful for days.  I decide I must go see the doctor on Monday.  But I figure out too soon why I am sick.  I have a midterm miscarriage at home.  I did not even know I was pregnant, due to the very complications that are reasons for me not being able to GET pregnant in the first place.  Shocked.  Devastated.  Painful recovery for something that I did not even have the chance to first be happy about.

But then a switch very soon afterward went off inside me.  I WAS pregnant.  It is STILL possible, I had long since assumed it wasn't.  And just a few months later... I am desperately sick again.  My neighbor and all her kids had just had the flu, I had tried to help them as much as possible.  I assumed I now had the flu.  I went in to see my doctor at the base hospital.  He ordered some tests.  Later he announces to Shawn and I that we are pregnant.  Funny part, I was feeling so desperately sick that my reaction to the news was weird because as I sat there in his office... I was very much needing to go 'get sick'.  Great news though... I am already practically into my second trimester.

And as is 'normal' for me... a 3rd and very troubling pregnancy.  Ambulance visits to the ER. Surgery at 6months pregnant.  Early labor that was thankfully haulted.  But the final result was a baby boy... cannot express the adjustment it was for me to think of our family as 5 instead of 4.  Seriously life altering.  And thankfully (I choose this word carefully) because my Heavenly Father knows me well and knows I would always want more children, complications from Ty's pregnancy and delivery made our family of perfectly FIVE absolute!  Literally because of that 'absolute' of 'no more children', my contentment with my 3 very hard fought for children was enough.  I stopped wanting, and started thanking.  My dreams of many children were released so I could grasp on to the miracle that is our family of 5.  Thankful.  The splendid voices of my children.

Wednesday, November 2

{2} Thankful...

I am thankful for the talents I DON'T have.  Confusing?  Make any sense?

I often see others that because their talents and/or interests do not personally fall into a certain subject... then they have no use or need for that subject.  Not I.  Others' talents.  So Grateful.

I have no talent for music in any shape or form.  My mom fought the fight.  I took piano lessons.  I stopped the second I was allowed.  No regrets really.  I had no interest.  But OH how I love to hear someone play the piano or any other musical instrument. And also to hear someone sing a melody that brings amazing tears to my eyes.  So very, VERY thankful that there are others that their hearts lie in the very center of beautiful music.  I love words... and when words, aka lyrics, are then added to an amazing tune... I pause.  One must respect the talent to combine the two.  And yet you can find me, in Sacrament Meeting each Sunday, singing my heart out... within the safe surrounding of many, many others.  Others whom voices mix with mine and the blending of the two is bearable.

Public speaking is a terrifying thing for me personally.  My vision blurs... tunnel vision is always a follow up symptom.  My heart beat thunders in my ears.  And then there are those that seem so at peace at a podium.  Those that when they speak, draw others to them.  It is a true talent.  I pray those with this talent show gratitude for it as much as I am in turn thankful that they have that gift.  It would be a woeful world if everyone near passed out when speaking in public.

We are told to be thankful for our talents.  I am.  I see my strengths.  I thrill when asked to do something I feel I have a gift for.  And yet I find myself on a very frequent basis... thankful for others' talents too.  Their talents fill me in a way that I could not fill myself.  I would go lacking... without them and their talents.   And I must try harder to not tarnish the precious gift of talent they share by comparing, conveting, envying.  Nope.  Just enjoy them.  Take the gift given.  So uncomplicated.  Others' talents.

Tuesday, November 1

{1} Thankful...

Last year I did 'thankful posts' for the whole month of November.  I loved it.  It challenged me.  I learned that while I can be quite aware of my BIGGIE blessings... blogging daily of my 'thankfuls' caused me to see daily, simple, sometimes little, blessings that otherwise I look past.  So here I go again....

I am thankful for all my responsibilities.  Yep.  Some days all those responsibilities can really weigh on me.  But I know I have a purpose.  I am needed.  I do good things.  I sometimes do very dumb things.  I am loved.  I love.  And I DO... a lot in a day.  I am blessed that, at the end of each day, I know that the things I do and those I do them for MATTER.

Today was laundry day... got it ALL done, folded, hung, & put away.  I homeschooled...learned Saturn has at least 17 moons, diagrammed sentences, rounded decimals, studied Norman Rockwell, read 5 chapter in Lyddie, and learned about the original colony at Jamestown, VA.  I did dishes.  I paid bills and planned on balancing checkbook, but failed.  I called in my VT report.  I made lunch for Ty and I.  I showered, worth noting, not always a given on a Tuesday.  I painted some furniture.  I cooked dinner, never mind that I set the smoke detector off... in my defense I used our stovetop grill and the stove fan just couldn't keep up.  I did more dishes.  I read scriptures with my family and we had family prayer.  Etc.  Etc.  All mundane, every Tuesday kind of stuff.  I wouldn't change it for the world.  Responsibilities