a bowl full

Nov 22, 2012

It is early Thanksgiving morning and I am standing in the kitchen preparing food for our feast. Actually, my mama is preparing most of the food and I am providing the comic relief. So, I have time to type. I can do that and bring belly laughs all at the same time.

As an aside, we both almost peed our pants a few minutes ago when the turkey touched me while I was looking at it and, of course, my gag reflex kicked into high gear and I collapsed onto the couch in a retching fit.

My whole family is here…well, everyone except Leonard, my stepfather…he decided it was too far to drive for just the day…and Andie, my adorable niece that is spending Thanksgiving with her mama. We have been playing Rook, Battleship, Memory, Monkey in the Middle, and lots more.

I am so grateful my brothers and sister drove all the way here to spend the week with us. My little brother, Cameron, even flew in from Wisconsin and is here all week. He brought his girlfriend, Nicole, and we are having a delightful time with her. What a great choice he has made in her! After years of not seeing him, it is wonderful to have him here with us.

We are still trying to figure out Thanksgiving and what our traditions should be now that our Grandma passed away and our huge, day-long Thanksgiving party has been disbanded. I miss that celebration and wish I could convince my extended family to bring it back, but I fear everyone else feels it is time to move onto Thanksgiving within their own families. I miss all the homemade goodness, decorations, table games, family pictures, volleyball, basketball, big hugs, and seeing my aunts and uncles and cousins from far away.

My heart is full of gratitude today. I haven’t been doing my Thankful Thursday posts lately because I need my formatting fixed (hint, hint Jess!), but I have missed my weekly reflections and would like to share my bowlful of thanks today.

1. My Heavenly Father who loves me, hears me, blesses me, and helps me become who He created me to be.

2. My Savior, Jesus Christ, who atoned for my sins and suffered for my sorrows.

3. My husband who has dedicated his life to loving me and does so in such a soul-fulfilling way that I am actually becoming a better wife, mother, friend, and disciple.

4. My children. I love them so, so much. I also mess up all the time and they still keep giving me their hearts and their trust.

5. My family of parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. I loved growing up in such a big family.

6. My inheritance as an American. I am so grateful to the men, women, and children who built this country on principles of individual liberty, self-reliance, the rule of law, and private virtue.

7. My association with fellow human beings. I love interacting with the other people on this planet and giving them part of my soul.

8. My friendships. The women in my life are deep reservoirs of strength for me. I am filled to the brim with joy that I am able to love and serve and be served and laugh and create and laugh and eat and love and hug and stay up all night and massage and laugh and make a difference in the world. The women in my life are amazing. Simply amazing.

9. My community of homeschooling families. We have such a lovely group of families that learn together, put on hilarious theater productions, support one another, and challenge our youth to do hard things.

10. My church community that fellowships our family and gives us opportunities to serve and grow and work together in God’s work.

11. My little community here in Idaho. I love shopping at our grocery store and stopping to talk to everyone I know. I love smiling and waving to people as I drive around town.

12. Books. I have a love affair with beautiful books and love to look at them, touch them, smell them, and most of all, to read from them. I am so grateful for the privilege of literacy. I am thankful to have a mother who taught me to read and then gave me free range at the library to check out oodles of books every week. I am grateful for teachers who encouraged me to read and challenged me to actually learn the deeper lessons from the books they exposed me to. I am continually amazed at the access I have to the greatest books of all time. I can buy pretty much any book I want, check it out at the library, or download it to my iPad with the swipe of a finger. What a world!

13. I am thankful for the sun. Its bright shining rays do so much for my soul. There is something magical about the hope I feel when I feel the warm sun on my face.

14. Cleaning rags. We have cleaned this kitchen a gazillion times this week and I can’t imagine how we could have gotten it clean without the plethora of rags I have stashed in this house.

15. Tami and Camille, my two bestest cousins in the whole world. They have made all the difference in my life and I shudder to think what my life would be without them in it. Right now we are at a time in our lives when we see each other far too infrequently and it hurts my heart to have them so far away.

16. A water heater that works! A hot shower with pressure enough to actually wet my hair in one fell swoop is a blessing without compare! We have been without a working water heater since August and it has been a long, cool road…but now we have hot water again!

17. My hip injury. Shocking as it seems to me, I am grateful for it. I am grateful for the pain, for it has taught me to appreciate being pain-free. I am grateful for the dependence on The Lord I have learned. I am grateful for the outpouring of love AND service I have been the recipient of. I am grateful for the month of meals my friends brought to me as I laid in bed. I am grateful for the ozone shots that have helped heal the cartilage and the dear friends who have held my hand while I have screamed and cried in pain. I am grateful for my Uncle Wayne and all the work he has done to help my muscles and ligaments to work properly again. I am grateful for the herbs I have used to aid my healing. I am grateful for the family history project I have embarked on and all the miracles I have been privileged to be part of as I have searched for my ancestors. I am grateful to have been so incapacitated by this injury, for I have learned to slow down and be gentle with myself. I have learned what a blessing it is to be able to move my body and use it to accomplish my goals and dreams. I am grateful for the people who have prayed and fasted for me. I am grateful for the kindness that has been shown. I am grateful for the great goodness of humanity that I have been blessed by. I am grateful for my children’s resilience. I am grateful to have this experience and to be able to be taught from on high exactly what I need to know right now to progress on my life’s journey.

18. I am grateful for working vehicles.

19. I am grateful for a big piece of property that gives us space to explore and have peace and quiet from the world.

20. A sister that cuts hair! She is here for the week and cute-i-fied (surely that is a word) all of us. I have a new do and a new color…so FUN!

21. Trees! Oh, the power of trees to transform my mood. I love trees of all shapes and sizes and colors.

22. Mountains. There are no words for how much strength mountains give me. I love the craggy peaks, the meandering streams, the towering cliffs, the trails through all the different types of vegetation, the meadows, valleys, and wildflowers. I would love to live on a peak in a rustic cabin and go on walks through the woods every day. Wouldn’t that be heavenly??

23. Toilets. I don’t mind disposing of my waste products in the woods, but boy, howdy, indoor plumbing is surely a great blessing in my life.

24. Knee-high socks. Oh, the joy of warm wooly socks that are full of zing.

25. My husband’s big arms that wrap me up in a tight snuggle so I can fall asleep in a cocoon of warmth each night.

26. Music. Music speaks to my soul and gets me to cry more than anything else.

27. Covenants that bind me to my God and to my family.

28. Scriptures that teach me truth.

29. Big bear hugs.

30. Birth.

31. My in-laws. Such good people who let me burst into their quiet family and continue to let me come back even though I am loud and obnoxious.

32. Beautiful fabric. I love looking at fabric and dreaming of creating adorable things for all the people I love.

33. Gator bites. This Idaho potato creation has gotten me through many a grumpy night.

34. Fiesta dishes. I LOVE my colorful dishes. I think they are the best things to eat on and wish I could give them to all my loved ones so they could experience eating nirvana along with me.

35. Sourdough start that rocks! I have so enjoyed making sourdough bread for the past year. My husband LOVES my bread and it makes me happy to make him something he loves so much.

36. Quilts. I love homemade quilts. I love looking at them, snuggling in them, and would like to learn how to make them so I can give them as gifts to everyone I adore.

37. Gym for meals. This is one of my favorite things in the world. I have a few families that can’t pay for gym with cash, so they pay me with meals. I often forget to cook meals for my family so meals brought to me throughout the month is a GINORMOUS blessing!

38. My mama. She is amazing in a million different ways and I thank my lucky stars to be her daughter. On a lighter note, I am so grateful that she has been up since six this morning preparing our scrumptious Thanksgiving feast. I have been writing this post while she has been working her hiney off.

Thirty eight big gratitudes for my thirty-eighth year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Related Posts


  1. Liz

    I am so grateful among thousands of things to be able to read your blog!!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. :)

    • tracy

      Ahhh, thank you Liz! I love reading your warm, encouraging words. How did you ever find me? Was it through Jessica?

  2. Liz

    Yes, through Jessica’s site- I love reading Christian ladies blogs and so appreciate your spirit and wit. : )