thankful thursdays 7/8

Jul 8, 2010

Oh my goodness, my heart is full this week. So many things to be thankful for!

* First up is a recap of our Independence Day Weekend activities. My mom and sister arrived here on Thursday to watch Blythe, Keziah, Eve, and Fisher sing in the America’s Hope choir. We had a great time watching and listening to this great children’s choir sing with joy for liberty. We nearly laughed our heads off watching Fisher make hilarious facial expressions, play with his flag, and sing louder than everyone else so that Keziah felt the irrepressible need to SSHHHH! him during the performance. All of the children did a great job and I am so grateful for the women who came together to make it happen for our community.

Then about six families went to Dairy Queen and got dipped cones to take to the park and let the children run, slide, and swing till dark. By the way, I have never had a dipped cone before and it was much better than I imagined. I should have one of those more often!

Friday was full of fun, but it started out with my mom crashing on my awesome recumbent bike and has a row of bruises to show for it. I showed my short sightedness by asking how my bike was before I asked how my mom was…eeeeekkkk! Mistake!

Then we had a visit from a recent doula client and their adorable little boy!

Then we went to the lake and swam, played in the sand, went down the slide, ate gobs of food, got sunburned, and delighted in watching Annes go back and forth from the water to the towels, water to the towels over and over again. At dark we enjoyed the first of three nights of fireworks. The best part? Annes yelling after each explosion, “That freak me out!”

Saturday we went to a parade with temps way low and the wind briskly blowing. My mom was wrapped up in her blanket the entire time and tried using her umbrella as a wind break. Definitely not 4th of July weather! The kids got lots of candy with Eve teaching them how to step on two pieces while using both hands to gather everything else around her. Then we went to our favorite hill to set up our camp for the fireworks. We have been going to the same place since Blythe was three and LOVE it.

Then we went to the much anticipated Toy Story 3. Fisher and Grandma have been planning this outing for over a year and thankfully they let the rest of us join them. It was a great movie and I admit it, I cried at the end. It worked out for Buzz and Woody and was a perfect ending to the saga that started years ago.

After a stop at the grocery store to replenish our food supplies (a quick stop for turkey turned into a watermelon-toting, pie-laden adventure), we were back to our spot on the hill to play football, redneck golf, explore the river, and laugh ourselves silly.

The fireworks arrived amid hundreds of glow sticks wrapped around our children, cousins, and friends, and they were bigger than ever. Afterwards we stayed and watched a movie projected on to the pavillion wall until all the traffic was gone and we could drive home without the bumper-to-bumper ordeal that accompanies massive public events.

Sunday we attended church and then rushed out the door to attend The Tribute to the Constitution, which is a wonderful event put on by Celebration of Liberty. Blythe sang in two different choirs and did a fabulous job. She looked so grown-up up there on stage! Keziah and Fisher sang “The Hope of America” and Annesley sang right along with them from the jam-packed auditorium. Ted Stewart, the author of the book The Seven Miracles that Saved America, was the keynote speaker and received a standing ovation. I want to read the book, but am 21st on the list at the library.

Monday the children sang again with the America’s Hope Choir and I think it was their best performance yet…all the pressure was off and they just sang their hearts out. That night we went to a third night of fireworks, which were much better than we thought and had a great time visiting with friends and getting Frostys at Wendy’s.

We had a fabulous time with family and friends and are so grateful to have been able to have a wonderful four days with those we love while celebrating the miracle of America.
* We spent Tuesday afternoon at the splash park with some friends and were grateful for sunshine, water, and good, clean fun.
* My room is cleaner than it has been in years…I can actually walk without stepping on anything! I was able to clean out boxes and boxes of stuff to go to DI and part with loved clothing that hasn’t actually been worn in years. This was very hard for me because I can always come up with darn good reasons of why I need to hang on to things, but it was time for it to go. I will probably not be a size 6 again, right? Now, I just have to keep it clean!
* Our new dog, Sadie, has already brought us so much JOY! She is a bajillion times fabulous. She is calm, obedient, full of love, gentle with babies, loves to snuggle, can go out in public with us, is a perfect passenger in the car, lets Annesley crawl all over her, sleeps with Keziah, goes everywhere with Fisher, and listens at family read-aloud time better than anyone else. I am so grateful we found her! She is the perfect addition to our family and although it has only been two weeks, we already can’t imagine life without her. Mikelle fell in love with her while she was visiting and understands why I drove over two hours to get her.
* Reading. I love reading and always have. I learned to read long before kindergarten and have been seen with a book in my hand ever since. My life has been more than greatly enriched, it has been formed by my reading. Books change me. They teach me. They touch me in ways I can’t express. There was a period of time when I lost the ability to cry…for years. I could not cry about real people, real events, real crises, real joys. But I was able to immerse myself in a book and cry for the characters. I was numb to feeling the pains of the real world, but being able to feel the pains in an imaginary world gave me hope that I was still a functioning human being and that I would one day be able to feel real emotions again. I remember the first time I read The Hiding Place. Corrie ten Boom’s faith and determination to do good rubbed off on me and I yearned to be like Corrie. I remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird and how Scout’s story became my story and how my thirst for justice was tempered by a great desire for mercy. I remember reading The Little House series till my copies were torn and tattered and loving the simple stories of a family’s struggle to survive, cooperation, a father’s leadership, and a mother’s love and hard work. I love reading. I love learning of other lives, other cultures, other ways. I love learning who I am by discovering myself in books.
* Family reunions. I have always loved reunions and the feeling of security they gave me as a child. They were a place full of love, fun, stability, and people who knew who they were and what they stood for. I can’t even tell you how much I yearned for a happy family as a little girl. I wanted a family that loved and served and laughed and worked and going to family reunions showed me it was possible. When I was little we would always sing “I Have a Family Here on Earth” and Camille and I would cry through the song because we both wanted to have a mom and dad that loved each other.

This weekend we have a Rollins Reunion, which is where I met my 2nd cousin Tami when we were 12 years old. Having her in my life has been one of God’s great gifts to me. She and my other cousin Camille, have been my best friends for nearly 25 years. We have been through EVERYTHING together and I am so grateful to have them as such an integral part of my life.

This reunion will be the second one we have had without my grandma and it is not getting any easier. I want to play Canasta with her. I want to get her food for her. I want to hear her giggle. I want to feel her lips on my cheek. I want to watch Fisher talk to her. I want Annesley to know her.

In spite of all of that, I think family reunions are one of the best things ever and am so grateful to have a family that keeps holding them year after year.

And tomorrow????? I get to see Tami and Camille and spend the whole weekend having fun with them!
* Richard’s sister and family came over last night to light sparklers and let the cousins all play together. So fun! They filled up balloons with water and intended to have a water balloon fight (at 11:30 at night, no less!), but the balloons wouldn’t pop! They bounced around like playground balls, jiggling their water to and fro. The kids were throwing them hard at the cement, bouncing them across the deck, and sending them careening off the deck and still they didn’t pop! It was crazy and oh so fun!
* Blythe was blessed to go make-up shopping with her grandma and auntie and her skin already looks a million times better! Thanks ladies – you are life savers for that young lady!
What are you thankful for today?

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  1. Anne


  2. Kari

    I have The Seven Miracles That Saved America! You can take it anytime you want! No one is reading it right now!

  3. tracy

    Woohoo!!! Thanks!

  4. Tami

    Wow!! What a great time we had. I love reunions as well. Thanks for filling me up again!! Love you