thankful thursdays 2/18

Feb 18, 2021 by

Today is a good day. A tender day. A day my mind is drawn back to nine years ago on February 17th, 2012 when I was able to run and do back handsprings and had no idea what was coming in the next few days. Today my heart is full of gratitude for all of it. I know I have some amnesia regarding the pain and the anger and the sheer hardness of it all, but my heart is full of gratitude nonetheless.

  • I’m grateful for the opportunity to experience exquisite pain and see that it’s possible to come out the other side. Many times I didn’t know if that was possible. But now I do and that knowledge will strengthen me forever.
  • I’m grateful for the love that has been showered down upon us regularly. I cannot adequately describe how much the notes and hugs and meals and money and smiles and encouragement have done to carry us through.
  • I’m grateful for stem cells – what a gift these have been in my life. They have helped my body heal from so-called unhealable injuries and given me hope of having functional life again.
  • I’m grateful for Tami, who has taken me to Mexico fifteen times. I would not have been able to go without her. Her sacrifice for me can never be repaid. Every time you see me living and doing think of her and how she took care of me trip after trip.
  • I’m grateful for Plexus. These supplements have helped my body feel like me again. Priceless!
  • I’m grateful for the utter desperation that drove me to God because I had no where else to turn. My relationship with Him is sweet and soul-filling and completely worth the hard.
  • I’m grateful for my friends and family who have been there for us each step of this journey. So many times I had nothing more to give to this fight and someone would show up with a hug or a smile or a plate of cookies or a meal or money for treatments and my courage would be refueled. Thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you who have lifted and loved us along this journey.
  • I’m so grateful for our children. They have had to do hard things, face big fears, and carry a big part of the workload. They are each remarkable humans and I’m so grateful for their courage and tenacity and love and patience. May they always know how dearly I love them.
  • Last of all, I’m grateful for Richard. This man, oh, there are no words to describe how good and strong and kind he is. He has loved me without frustration and served without even a hint of complaint…and instead serves me with joy. He has cried with me, held me, cheered me on, and helped me stay sane. He is my superhero and my dearest friend. Oh, I love him!

Tomorrow I’m thinking of trying to do a back handspring at gym to commemorate the day. I just don’t know if I dare.

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thankful thursdays 2/4

Feb 4, 2021 by

Today is gloomy: overcast, cold, and full of a big to-do list. I don’t love to-do lists. They feel restrictive for this carpe-diem loving soul of mine. I got on here to update the Swim Camp Registration page and read through a few posts and remembered how dear this space is to me. I’d like to rekindle it and I think I’ll start by focusing on Thankful Thursdays once again.

  • I reread Charlotte’s Web this week for the umpteenth time. Oh, my goodness, I love this book. The simple days in the barn, tranquil days of childhood, Wilbur’s pure soul, and Charlotte’s rescue of his life always bring me joy. Last night as I finished the last little bit and Charlotte died and her children were born and then flew away, I cried and cried. I’m so grateful for this beautiful story of friendship, childhood, and wonder.
  • I’ve been rereading a biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe for a while now for my WUBA class. Oh, how I love this woman! Her courage, tenacity, and faith inspire me to live more fully and with more dedication. Her book changed the course of America and I’m forever grateful for her writing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
  • Speaking of WUBA, oh, it’s such a privilege to mentor my students! They blow me away with their humor, goodness, and determination to learn and grow as scholars.
  • Today I’m really grateful for a warm home, food, and working vehicles. One of our vehicles broke down today and while I’m hoping it isn’t a huge deal, I’m just so grateful to have other vehicles that are working.
  • I’m grateful for the everyday moments with our children. Fisher asking me to help him with something, writing papers with Annesley, hearing them laugh, or Annes coming in for morning snuggles, oh, I love these little moments of connection. I’m so grateful for each of our children and as they grow, I feel like every moment gets more precious.
  • We gave Annesley a ukulele for her birthday in November. She plays and plays and plays. Our home is full of music again! Ever since Blythe moved out, I have been missing her music. It is so wonderful to hear Annesley create magic with her voice and strumming!
  • Back in October I started reading to my mom most nights. I’m so grateful for the nightly check-in and that she wants me to share our family read-aloud time with her.
  • Today is World Cancer Day. My mom was diagnosed with bladder cancer on September 30. A few weeks later we found out it was high-grade. It gutted me. She has completed her first round of treatment and is doing really well. Soon we will find out how her body responded and if the cells are still multiplying rapidly or if her body is winning the battle. I’m so grateful she is thriving spiritually and emotionally and nourishing her body physically – giving it all sorts of fantastic stuff to kick cancer to the curb.

Time to get to work on taxes and laundry and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I really need to leave my house and run errands today, but it’s so dreary, I think I’ll just keep working on my big to-do list here at home.

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thankful thursdays 3/5

Mar 5, 2020 by

We have survived the first week since Richard’s brain tumor removal on February 27. It has been rough. And wonderful. And exhausting. And tender. And everything in between. Today is also his 50th birthday and there is something about birthdays, especially big, round numbers like fifty that bring on the introspection, at least for me.

  • I’m so grateful he is alive, that he made it through surgery and we were able to bring him home! This surgery doesn’t generally cause death, but thoughts of him dying have been quite present in my mind since his diagnosis.
  • This time with him is a gift to both of us. We haven’t been able to spend a lot of time together for a long, long time because of his working hours. Sitting with him, reading to him, laughing with him, and just watching him have been so wonderful. We love being together and spending time together is comfortable and soothing to both of us. It’s really nice to know we actually, factually like being together.
  • My heart is full to bursting with the good in this world. So many people have reached out to us with donations of money, food, words of encouragement, gift cards, hugs, and many other kindnesses. Piles and piles of goodness!
  • I’m so grateful to be a wife and mother. These were not roles I wanted to have, but oh, the soul-filling richness of loving these people is such a gift! I’m so thrilled God gave me this privilege even though I didn’t know enough to want it.
  • A few days ago, my friend, Jodie, came to the hospital with all sorts of yummy goodies and yes, that chocolate has gotten me through many a hard moment in the past few days, but more importantly, she brought her heart. She let me cry and talk about our babies. She listened while I tried to sort out the past few months in my mind. She gave Richard a hand & arm massage and me a foot massage and it was heavenly. HEAVENLY. She inspired me to show up to someone’s hospital room and give them a foot massage. Someday soon I will do just that.
  • Prayers. I’m so grateful to know people are praying for my husband and for our family. I’m grateful to hear our children’s prayers. I’m grateful to be able to pray and pour my heart out to God.
  • Orchids. I’m not really a flower person and I’ve never successfully kept a plant alive. My friend, Lisa, brought over two orchids for our babies we miscarried a few weeks ago and I gave Keziah the task of keeping them alive (and she has!). Coming home from the torture chamber of the hospital was a strange experience. It was as if everything in our lives had changed and that an entire lifetime had been experienced while we were gone. I didn’t know how to recalibrate to our new lives. Seeing the orchids on my kitchen windowsill brought me back to center. Somehow they helped me reintegrate this new post-surgery family with our pre-surgery family, my new role as caretaker of my husband with my old role as pregnant mama of twins and mother of young adults and teenagers. Somehow they helped me remember who I am and that these babies are ours forever even though it feels like a lifetime ago that we lost them instead of four short weeks.
  • I’m grateful for sunshine. We aren’t getting out in it much, but it sure is nice to see it shine through the windows and start melting the mounds of snow in our yard. It reminds me that the new growth is coming and we won’t be living in the cold, hardness of this winter forever. We will regrow as a family and figure out our new normal.

My heart is full. And broken. And growing. And aching. But mostly full of gratitude.

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thankful thursdays 4/25

Apr 25, 2019 by

Glorious day! Banner day! Exactly what my soul needed type of day. The sun is shining, we had a wonderful day homeschooling, a visit with a friend, a one mile bike ride around the (empty) lake, and I made dinner, actually we all made dinner together. Me making dinner is not a consistent, regular occurrence at our home, but I really like it when I do. Days like this feed my soul. They remind me of why I do what I do in my mothering and why it is so important to me to be home with them soaking in the hours of my children’s fleeting childhoods.

  • I made it one whole mile on my Elliptigo around the lake on Monday and though my thighs were burning and I had to stop every quarter-mile to rest, I made it! Today I tried again and this time I made it a half-mile before I had to stop and rest. I’m so grateful to be able to start building muscles, for the equipment to do it, and for children that load all the stuff up and ride along with me very slowly so if I have fall off my bike or have a seizure, I won’t be alone.
  • Yesterday was our last day of iFamily for the year. While I was more than ready to be done teaching my three classes and all the prep work that they entail, my heart was chock-full of joy to see my Math Alive and GRIT students on fire about what we have been learning. My math students built AMAZING catapults for our catapult contest and my GRIT students have totally taken the growth mindset lessons to heart and made changes in their approach to life. Mentoring students feeds me. Seeing the impact my influence has in their lives electrifies my soul. The cherry on top is our amazing community. We have loved and served each other for so long that the result is a love beyond words.
  • Fisher has been giggling during math. Not that he enjoys it, but because it is his new coping mechanism. I’ll take giggling over grumpiness every day.
  • Our Keziah girl was given a huge blessing this week to have her track at college switched to Fall/Winter instead of Winter/Spring. This will enable her to get more credits in before next year and will allow her to come on more of our summer adventures. WAHOO!
  • Our oldest has been sick this week, which meant I had some precious hours with our grandson. This baby, oh my, he has my heart.
  • Laughter. Healing this knee and dealing with piles of big decisions, my mom’s recent surgery and subsequent blood clots, long days, full schedules, and very little down time over the past few months has about done me in. But laughter, dark chocolate, and read-alouds with our family have got me through the hard days weeks.

Now it’s time to play our new math games!

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thankful thursdays 3/28

Mar 28, 2019 by

After several days in a row of overcast skies, there is a bit of blue shining through this afternoon and something about blue skies lifts my spirits and helps me fill right up with gratitude.

  • Keziah is off on a babysitting job for five days so I get to take over her usual duties here, which means a lot of driving for me. There have been months (years, really!) where I have been unable to drive because of various injuries and it is SO wonderful to be able to do this for my family right now. My knee doesn’t enjoy it, but I CAN do it and that is quite magical.
  • Last night I won a painting from my favorite artist! Jenny Loughmiller of the Hundred Hearts Project is taking her family on a 500 mile journey on the Camino trail in Spain. As part of her project, she is selling 100 paintings over 100 days to earn money for their seven week adventure. Every day she posts one painting and the first person to comment “sold” gets the painting. I have tried and tried and tried to win the race, but I have missed out by seconds every single time. Last night, by some miracle, NOT A SINGLE PERSON had commented on the post by 36 mintues AFTER she had posted it. This just doesn’t happen. All the paintings have been sold within seconds of her posting. But last night, on her 88th painting, 36 minutes after the post went up, I commented and won! Isn’t it lovely?

  • My mama is ALIVE. She has had a rough few weeks with a hiatal hernia repair back on March 11 and then a few days after the surgery, her oxygen saturation was down to 70% and it was discovered she had formed blood clots that had passed through her heart and into her lungs. This is the second clotting episode she has had in the past two years and is also what her father died of when I was 18, so my heart has been all mama bear trying to protect her.
  • Red quinoa chips. Yummmm.
  • I get to speak at an event this weekend on Growing Grit and I am silly excited to share my message about strengthening families, building resilience, and finding courage. It is going to be AWESOME!
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman is now on Amazon Prime and I decided it was high time Annesley learn all about this brave, inspiring woman. About once a week we snuggle up and watch an episode. I’m so grateful to be able to share this story with her! Dr. Quinn, Sully, and cuddling with my girl all at the same time? Yes, please!
  • Fisher is taking a fly-tying class right now and I am SO happy for him and grateful he has this opportunity. He has long been obsessed with bugs and now he gets to put his amazing observational skills to use and make fake bugs to catch fish. He has big smiles every time he talks about it and I love to see all the smiles I can on that boy of mine.

I’m so grateful to be alive at this time and to able to mother my children. The last six weeks since I went to Mexico for stem cell treatments have been really hard, incredibly busy, and full of heartaches and heaviness, but I feel myself pulling out of it and soaking in the small, ordinary moments of joy that come each day.

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thankful & blessed

Jan 31, 2019 by

Full heart today. I have made two kinds of delicious soup, cleaned my house, worked on our taxes, sent my kids to the temple, and spent sacred hours with my girl.

Blythe is in labor with our first grandchild. I have been preparing for this day for pretty much her whole life and now it is finally here. During our hard years of me not understanding her or her needs, I didn’t know if she would ever allow me to be at her births. And for me, a doula and childbirth educator who loves being with birthing mamas with my whole soul, that thought was deeply painful. Many mornings I would do a visualization technique where I would picture her in labor and envision our relationship at that future date. Then I would think about what I needed to do in the current time to have a future relationship that would allow me to be at her birth. It was one of the most powerful ways I was able to curb my harsh words and be the mama she needed me to be.

And now that day is here. Right now. And it is glorious.

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thankful thursdays 1/17/19

Jan 17, 2019 by

This is the last week of our lovely winter break from iFamily and all its attendant responsibilities. I thoroughly enjoy our time with our homeschool group, but I also thoroughly enjoy the weeks between Thanksgiving and the end of January that we do not meet together and have more time to explore and create and let’s be honest, sleep. So, I’ve been savoring it. Reading books I don’t normally have time to read, letting Annes and Fish watch documentaries they have been wanting to watch, but haven’t had time for, and playing lots and lots of games. It has been delightful. It is time to really start getting ready for next week, but right now, I’m still in savoring mode.

  • We have finally found a dentist that will work with us on payments for Richard’s horribly rotten, broken tooth. He is getting it extracted and bone grafts put in on Tuesday. Then we will have to work hard to come up with the money for an implant over the next few months. I’m so hoping the smell of death that has been pouring out of him for two months will be gone and I will be able to sit near him…and kiss him again. And of course, I hope he feels better as well. That is the top priority.
  • I’m thankful for children who love to play games together. As I lie in bed and snuggle with a good book, they are laughing as they play another game together. It is more than music for my ears, it is balm for my soul. Sometimes I join them, sometimes I just listen to them play.
  • I’m so grateful for this talk, Teach Them to Understand by David A. Bednar. I have read and reread it this week in preparation for a discussion I am leading on it tonight and oh, my goodness, I love his message!
  • Keziah’s blinkers on our 20+ year old Subaru haven’t been working for weeks and despite Richard’s best efforts, he has been unable to figure out why. She has almost been hit multiple times because she is unable to signal. Combine that with icy roads and I have been pretty scared for her. All of a sudden they have started working again. We have no idea how or why, but we are sure grateful.
  • We are reading a hilarious book for family read-aloud and it is absolutely wonderful for me to hear my family laughing together. My children are growing up and I never know when a book will be our last read-aloud so I am savoring each one. If you want to a super fun read-aloud, check out Wilderking Trilogy. Book 1, Book 2, Book 3.
  • I have been asked to speak at The Winter Homeschool Conference. I was supposed to speak back in 2015, but I was having so many seizures, couldn’t digest food, and could not stand up for more than a few minutes at a time, so I can cancelled. This year, I am finally able to participate again! WOOT! I’ll be part of a panel discussion on formation of a homeschool group. I am pretty passionate about iFamily’s structure and am excited to share what we have done so that more people can benefit from it.
  • I’ve also been asked to speak at our local homeschool conference in February. My mind has been swirling with ideas of what to share for a few months and I’m finally solid on what the message is that God wants me to share. It is going to be fantabulous!

Life is good. It is full and beautiful and hard and transformative and I’m so, so grateful to be living this life of mine.

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thankful thursdays 1/10/19

Jan 10, 2019 by

As I look out the windows at the snow-laden trees, my heart is somehow calmed. It’s kind of the feeling of being under a thick, warm quilt of my grandma’s, cozy and heavy and safe. This morning someone got stuck in our driveway and I was able to pull them out with our Suburban. My heart welled up with gratitude that one, I was able to pull on some snow boots and walk outside and help someone and two, that I had a big, tough Suburban that could do the job. We haven’t always had reliable vehicles, in fact, many times we do not, but right now, on this very snowy morning, my 15 year old Suburban was able to help someone and that my friends is a cause for celebration.

I have been weighed down by a wide variety of stresses lately and at the same time have been filled with so many tender mercies. It is a strange place to be living in both worlds. Today I’m going to focus on the blessings.

  • Our Blythe is 36 weeks pregnant and after some worrisome test results last week, she is doing much, much better today. I can’t even tell you how concerned I have been for my girl and our little grandbaby. It has been a rough week and today I am savoring good test results and soaking in the peace.
  • I started driving this week after months of not. I have only driven twice, but just knowing I can is SO freeing. I often feel like a prisoner in my house when I am dependent on other people to take me where I want to go.
  • I have been having a hard time breathing lately. It seems my vagus nerve is struggling to communicate well with my digestive system and my respiratory system and the result is gagging, choking, aspirating episodes that scare all of us a bit. I have to be very careful to swallow in just the right way and to not laugh at all while I am eating. Last night I had quite a few of these episodes and while I’m not grateful for them, I’m grateful Richard was able to leap out of bed multiple times to help me and that I was able to eventually fall asleep with enough oxygen running through me.
  • Miss Annesley was able to attend the temple for the first time last Friday. My whole soul filled up with joy to see her bright, smiling face as she was baptized for our ancestors. All of my children were in the temple at that same time that night, Blythe and Travis in one temple and the rest of us in another. So much peace.
  • Today Annes and I started reading Anne of Avonlea together. I love reading to my girl and am so grateful she loves it too. Snuggling up under her quilt and reading will always be one of my favorite mothering memories.
  • This is a hard, tender week for me. Six years ago, on January 8th, 2013, I had my first seizure. I’m so, so grateful for the people who helped me that first day and through all the seizures since. While they are much less frequent now that I have been blessed with human mesenchymal cells, they still happen and I still need help. Knowing I have dear friends who have walked this path with me and who continue to stand by my side and carry me literally and figuratively is a blessing without measure. Thank you, each of you, who have carried me.
  • Richard got an eensy, weensy raise this week. It’s his first one in many years. I’m so grateful for the possible extra hundred bucks a month.
  • Keziah started at BYUI this week. I’m proud of her for having the courage to step into an unknown world and try new things. I’m so grateful she has been blessed with amazing jobs and has the funds she needs for her education and other dreams.

We are throwing a onesie painting party for Blythe this weekend and have a houseful of guests coming tomorrow and Saturday, so it is time to clean and get everything ready. So grateful I can do this for my girl.

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thankful thursdays 11/15/18

Nov 15, 2018 by

Today I’m thankful for love. My heart is hurting for lots of reasons right now. My little six-year-old nephew is in an immense amount of pain and is most likely dying. His family is exhausted from caring for him and trying to find answers and all of us are heartbroken they have to walk this road. Many of my dear friends are facing big challenges in their lives and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to help. My son is struggling with figuring out who he is, what his strengths are, how to conquer his weaknesses, and how to become a good man. My siblings are hurting with the recent divorce of their parents. It is all heavy and hard and I’m about cried out. At least I think I must be. And then more tears come.

But in all of this, there is love. One of my favorite books is When We Don’t See Eye to Eye by J. David Pulsipher. He says,

Most of us share a common handicap – our greatest resources, weapons of love, remain either sheathed or only timidly employed. This is unfortunate because the weapons of love aren’t wimpy. They don’t involve surrender to aggression or disengagement from conflict. Love resists. Love engages. But it resists and engages according to a different dynamic because love is the greatest force i the universe. Really. It’s stronger than hate or greed or fear or malice. Most of us have glimpsed its emotional and spiritual potential, but at its most vibrant and divine, love is also material and forceful. It is a physical force – perhaps even a primary force that organizes and binds the cosmos – and a growing body of scientific research is cataloging its characteristics and effects. Similar to light and sound, love reverberates in tangible, measurable ways. it has physical effects on our bodies and our relationships, and its influence can be traced through our homes, our communities, and our world.

I’m so grateful for love. The love that has been shown me on a has made all the difference in my life and has carried me through gut-wrenching challenges. I’m trying to unsheath my weapons of love in the lives of those around me so I can help carry them right now when they are hurting so deeply.

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thankful thursdays 11/8/18

Nov 8, 2018 by

I taught a lesson this week at my GRIT class on being grateful. I read my students The Quiltmaker’s Gift and then we played Gratitude Pictionary. I hope the power of gratitude really got into their souls. It has made all the difference in my life. In my bullet journal, I tak time almost every night to jot down the tender mercies of the Lord, the things I am grateful for that day. It changes my heart that day by helping me remember the goodness and over the course of the year, I am able to flip through it and quickly see piles of blessings in my life. Gratitude is one of the most important things for my sanity.

  • DRUM ROLL! Today we got a new couch! I’ve been saving up pennies for a looooonnnnnggggg time to get new furniture and today was the day. It is so exiting! We now have more seating for our expanding family and I can seat 14 people comfortably at my monthly book discussion groups. WAHOOOOOO!!! I’m incredibly grateful for the blessing of this couch and I’m already savoring the many memories we are going to make as we snuggle up together and read delightful stories. First read-aloud on our new piece of heaven will be happening tonight!
  • I like to help my children start their own businesses and Annesley has decided she’d like to try her hand at a sourdough bread baking business. Today was her first day making bread. We had a lot of mishaps. Dough flying out of the mixer, running out of accessible wheat when we needed a bit more flour to get the dough to the not-sticky stage, having an oven full of burnt stuff that made our house stink when we turned it on to preheat. There was a bit of frustration and a few tears, but she stuck with it. I’m so grateful to be able to teach my daughter how to make bread. Sharing these moments with her in the kitchen is magical…and messy…and oh, so worth it.
  • Strong kiddos. My kiddos have some serious muscles. I’m grateful they have them since they are incredibly important with our Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Aside from that, they can lift and move all the heavy things in our house. They are lifesavers!
  • I’m currently reading The Book of Mormon in about 85 days and marking all the verses that talk about Christ. It is not easy for me to develop an every day routine, but I am trying hard to make this a priority in my mornings and I am really loving my time alone in the scriptures. The peace and calm it gives my day is a beautiful thing.
  • My husband warms up my middle section of the bed every night. He lies in my spot and gets it all toasty for me and then when I come into bed he moves over onto his side and the sheets which are freezing cold. So, so thoughtful and something I take for granted all too often.
  • My boy is sometimes grumpy. But sometimes he is super sweet. Last week he earned a candy bar in one of his classes and he saved it all day long to give to me because he knew I would love it. It may have been a small thing, but it gave me enormous piles of hope for our relationship.

I know I won’t, but I always want to remember this moment. My girl is in the kitchen in her fleece zebra sweats and Irish Dance leotard taking her bread out of the oven for the first time. Priceless.

p.s. It’s delicious.

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thankful thursdays 10/25

Oct 25, 2018 by

Today I’m breathing in the sunshine and the richness of my life. I’m trying to let it permeate every cell of my body. This afternoon we went to the lake to play with friends and it was so, so lovely to get out and breathe in the crisp fall air. I haven’t been outside nearly as much as I would like to be this fall and my soul is suffering for it. After a summer spent on the water and on my bike, I’m feeling all sorts of cooped up and need to make sure I get outside at least once a day. Truth be told there are many days I don’t leave my family room at all and that is not working for me.

So today Annes and I went and played for a few hours and drank in the goodness. And my heart is filled up with gratitude.

  • I’m thankful for parsley-pineapple smoothies. It’s like sunshine and happiness in a glass. I love it.
  • Good friends who travel this journey of motherhood and homeschooling with me.
  • Right now not a single joint in my body is braced or taped and that is an amazing feeling. I’m trying to get in a good exercise routine to build muscles during this time of no-massive-injuries.
  • Prayer. Opening my heart and mind to God is sooooo good for me. And not super easy for my mind that jumps all over the place. This week I had a small impression to pray for something specific for our dear Dallin who is serving a mission for our church and later found out it was something he was struggling with – experiences like this remind me that Heavenly Father is walking with each of His children.
  • Laughter. Tonight I could not stop laughing during our family prayer. And then we were all laughing and full of love for each other. And then I peed all over the kitchen floor and we laughed some more. Oh, it so good for my soul to laugh with my family.
  • Today I’m focused on gratitude for my mama. Some dear friends lost their mama this past week and she is the same age as my mom. As I have prayed for them, I have felt their heartache and pain and grief. I’m grateful for who my mom is and the relationship we have. We talk multiple times every day. We laugh and cry together. We help each other. We forgive each other. We love. It’s a beautiful thing.
  • Today I was doing family history work and I found my 3rd and 4th Great-Grandmothers! I have been looking for my 2nd Great-Grandma’s parents and family for the past 6 1/2 years and today I found them! I cannot even tell you how excited I am and how grateful I am that God asked me to do this work for my family.
  • When I was a teen and didn’t have a date on Friday nights, a group of us girls would get together and watch Man From Snowy River and Return to Snowy River. Annesley found one of the DVDs at grandma’s last week and brought it home and has been begging to watch it so the last few days we have been working our way through the two movies. We finished tonight. Ahhhh, sooooo good to share Jim Craig and his rock-solid character with my girl.
  • Taking time to soak in the goodness of my life is just what I needed today. Life is good. Really good.

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thankful thursdays 9/13

Sep 13, 2018 by

I have been saying for 3+ years, “I really want to start regularly blogging again.” But I haven’t done it. I haven’t figured out how to add this practice back in to my life after letting it go and filling that space with other things.

And that makes me sad. There have been countless experiences, insights, and adventures I wish I had blogged about. There are things I have needed to process through writing. There are lives I have needed to touch with my words.

Speaking of lives being touched, check out The Hundred Hearts Project. I will do a whole post on it soon (promise, promise, promise), but for now I will say that the experiences I have had in the past few weeks with Jenny Loughmiller and her amazing project are why I am super determined to start sharing in this space again.

Eons ago, I regularly wrote a Thankful Thursdays post. In an effort to start blogging again, I thought I would start back with something I know. So here goes, the first of many to come!

  • I’m thankful for working hands. For two long years, I could not use my hands very well at all. I couldn’t write or type or mouse. I have been out of my splints for about a year now and they are regaining their functions. I still can’t type for a super long time and I have to hold my pen a bit skeewampus, but I can write without pain!
  • My children’s growth is making my heart burst with joy right now. They are learning and progressing and making decisions to do hard things. Ahhhh, the harvest is sweet.
  • I have kayaked all summer long and my soul has been fed by the water, the paddling, and the connections with friends. Oh my goodness, I love kayaking. I’ve done the Snake six times this year and each time it has worked its magic and given me nourishment. We’ve also done the Teton, Wade Lake, Buffalo, Green River Lakes, and Henry’s Fork. A day on the water helps me see more clearly and gives me strength to go forth.
  • After 13 years of being unable to sit on an upright bike, my hip has healed enough that with the right bike geometry and a comfort seat, I can do it! I bought a bike in February to celebrate the six year journey with injuries and seizures and have been riding it ever since. HALLELUJAH! Some day, somehow, I’m determined to get back on my beloved recumbent again, but for now, I am soooooo loving riding my Felt Verza Cruz with my family.
  • I’m so grateful for time in my Levitat. My life is full to the brim with wonderfulness and a good afternoon relaxation session in my hammock is the perfect gift to help me stay centered. I look up through my trees to the blue sky beyond and drink in nature for a few minutes. And sometimes I take a nap. That is always good too!
  • Stem cells!!!! They are amazing and are healing my body in countless ways. Such a gift! I travel to Mexico next week for my next round of cells and am so excited to see the progress they give me.
  • Life, oh, how grateful I am to be alive and living and experiencing and learning and loving and making mistakes and crying and facing challenges and soaking in goodness. What a blessing it is to be alive and be able to connect with other souls! What a blessing to love and be loved. What a blessing to suffer and triumph and laugh and learn. I’m so very grateful for this opportunity to be here, right now, and be able to LIVE.

It’s time to focus on learning time with my kiddos, so I’ll stop for now. But I’m coming back. I’m showing up here at Wet Oatmeal Kisses. I’m ready to make this a priority in my life again. Thank you for joining me.

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thankful thursdays 11/9

Nov 9, 2017 by

Boy howdy. This back injury has me reeling. It hurts a whole, whole bunch. I am clinging to faith and hope and love, but often slide into despair and anger. Because it’s hard to hurt this much and have no idea when it will end.

  • Tens units are the best. So grateful I have one.
  • My Rezzimax Tuner is also the best. I alternate between my tens unit and my tuner and if one of them is on me, I can function. As soon as they are taken off of me, I writhe in pain again.
  • I’m so grateful for amazing children who are taking care of me during the day.
  • Blue skies make all the difference for me. If I can see the sky outside my window, my soul feels a million times more hopeful.
  • I’m so grateful for dear friends who drive me to events so I can still participate, make a place for me to lie down, and don’t bat an eye at all the special care my body needs.
  • My children are blossoming. After years of struggling with reading, my little ones are reading and reading well. I’m so proud of the hard work they have put in and the time they have had to develop in their own ways. Miss Annesley is reading Little House in the Big Woods to me and we are having so much fun with it. Hearing her happy voice read about Laura’s adventures makes these long days in bed much more bearable.
  • Two more weeks until I go to Mexico for more stem cell treatments. I am SO, SO hoping for a miracle for my back.

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thankful thursdays 11/1

Nov 3, 2017 by

It is food for my soul to take some time and ponder the blessings of my life.

  • I am grateful for the past many weeks of consciousness. I haven’t passed out fully since I got home from Mexico on September 1. I did have one small episode on September 15 at gym and one almost episode on a trip to Utah on the 16, but I didn’t actually pass out either time and haven’t had anything close to an episode ever since. It is AMAZING!
  • My bed is glorious. I spend far more time in it than one would think is wise, but oh, my it is just so comfy. The past few weeks my back has been hurting something fierce and lying in a comfortable bed has been such a gift to my recovery.
  • I’m so grateful for the human beings my children have become. They are now 21, 17, 13, and 9 (almost 10!) and while we all have character development we could improve upon, I am genuinely pleased with who they are and how they are living their lives. They are kind, caring, honest humans.
  • Warm baths are near the top of my list right now. My back has been spasming for the past few weeks and I’m so grateful to have a comfortable tub I can soak in comfortably.
  • The beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows of the season bring a smile to my soul. As my beloved Anne says, “I’m so greatful to live in a world with Octobers.” Now that it is November, it is mostly drab.
  • I’m grateful to be mentoring Worldviews right now. It is a TON of work for me and I wonder if I am up to the task, but I love discussing big ideas with my students and immersing myself in the mountain of books we are reading.
  • My amazing husband has a new job this year and he is loving it! He feels like he is actually making a difference. I’m so, so grateful he has this opportunity and that his work is being valued.
  • I am especially grateful for the Giver of All Good Gifts. He is ever reminding me of who He is and who I am.
  • This is the beginning of November, the month of Thanksgiving. I hope to open my heart more fully to gratitude and to His bounteous gifts this month…and always.

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thankful thursdays 7/20

Jul 21, 2017 by

Sunshine and blue skies and beautiful trees are oh, so good for my soul. I need more of them in my life. I have spent much of the past few weeks cleaning and decluttering my home while recovering from a brain MRI (the gadolinium contrast made me sick for several days) and it has felt pretty soul-sucking. But yesterday, I went kayaking and remembered just how much I love being on the water. It is medicine for my soul in a way I cannot describe.

  • Today I am really grateful for my Keziah. This girl has worked and worked and worked the past few weeks and has been the muscle behind all the projects going on in our home. She has cleaned the storage room and sewing room and been a decluttering maestro. She has little attachment to things so she was able to help me sort out what really needed to go. This girl is a cleaning wonder.
  • Insurance is on my list today. I am philosophically opposed to the whole Obamacare program and it is terribly disturbing what it is doing to our country as a whole. However, I am one of the few it has been a blessing for and while I still disagree with the program, I feel a need to say thank you. In the past month I have had genetic, brain, spine, heart, and blood tests totally over $10,000. My insurance has paid for all of it except a couple hundred dollars. Such a blessing!
  • My dear husband. I’ve been a bit of a bear to live with lately. Maybe I am always a bear, I don’t know really. In spite of my prickliness, my gem of a man has been kind and forgiving and helped me work through super big emotions. I love this man. So much.
  • My body is doing FABULOUSLY well at the moment. I am making heaps of progress physically and this week I made it into the gym at PT! I believe it is the first time since Fall 2014! I have been riding my Elliptigo on short, little rides and now Jeremy has given me a list of exercises to do at home each day. This is HUGE. Since 2012, I have made it to this point four or five times and then gotten injured within two to three weeks. This time I am hoping beyond hope to stay on the healing side of things and be able to actually grow some muscles.
  • I’m thankful for new bookshelves. Keziah bought them since I have no pennies to spend at the moment. Kat helped me assemble them. And I have been slowly filling them all week. They fit perfectly and hold far more books than our last set-up. I have big plans for Richard to eventually build cupboards below them and add crown molding so they look like built-ins, but I have no idea when that will happen.
  • Last summer Kat planted me some daisies right outside my bedroom window. I love them. They are blooming and those little flowers bring me joy every time I see them.
  • I’ve become a little obsessed with Caesar salad with feta cheese and craisins. While the feta and craisins might not actually be good for me, I have convinced myself that eating a giant bowl of romaine slathered in Caesar dressing and the delicious aforementioned extras is super nourishing to my cells.
  • I’m so grateful for friends who have listened while I have fallen apart over the possibility of something being wrong in my brain. At times it feels really, really big and they have let me cry and rant and rave and have given me big hugs, wise words, and heaps of laughter which makes it a bit more manageable. Thank you, dear ones.

I have received quite a bit of crazy medical news over the past few weeks and I am researching, trying to process it, and sorting out what I want to do with the information. More tests? Submit to various treatment plans? More appointments with more doctors? It is a bit overwhelming. At times I burst into tears. Other times I try to distance myself from it and force myself to think of other things. Some of the most helpful things I am doing are taking the time to think of what I am grateful for, remembering God’s hand in my life, and doing the new exercises Jeremy has assigned. Those are things I have control over and are actually growing muscles and building mental toughness.

Today I started another grow-my-sanity practice. I have a daily devotional book based on the writings of C.S. Lewis that I am going to be reading one day at a time and then writing my thoughts. I think this is going to be both centering and heaven focusing. Creating a new morning routine is pretty challenging to me, but maybe, just maybe, my good friend, Jack (C.S. Lewis) will be a strong enough pull to help me get out of bed and spend some time communing.

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thankful thursdays 5/25

May 25, 2017 by

I met with my geneticist, Dr. Ball, at Primary Children’s Medical Center, on Monday. It is a pretty big deal to meet with him. It is a big deal emotionally, physically, and mentally and I’m still recovering days later. It’s time to take some time to focus on gratitude.

  • I’m grateful there is a geneticist in the intermountain west who knows EDS inside and out.
  • I’m grateful Kez and Dallin took me down to SLC and listened to me go round and round about how maybe the whole thing is in my head. They may have laughed at me, but they listened and helped me sort through the tangled web of thoughts running on repeat in my mind.
  • Sunshine is feeding my soul. Oh my goodness, I love the sun streaming through my windows, shining down on my body, and glistening through the trees.
  • Dallin. This young man has my heart. He is Keziah’s best friend and we love him. His goodness brings me so much joy.
  • We had a crazy windstorm on Wednesday and lost hundreds of branches and one big tree. I’m so grateful nothing came through our windows or roof or smashed our cars.
  • I can feel the stem cells kicking in and energy is starting to increase a wee bit every day. I’m still super exhausted, but I can feel a difference and others are seeing a difference.
  • My dear Richard. He is working so hard, so many hours trying his darndest to make ends meet and to take care of all of us. He comes home wiped out, but still plays catch with the kids, does laundry, cooking, or whatever else needs done, and most of all, he loves us. He is almost done with the school year and it will be so, so good for him to have a bit of a break.
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thankful thursdays 5/18

May 18, 2017 by

Once upon a time I wrote a Thankful Thursdays post nearly every week. Somehow I got out of the habit of writing them (or even blogging in general) and I miss it. I miss my Thursday reflections on gratitude. I miss being able to go back and read my posts. So, I am going to try again to cultivate this weekly habit.

My heart is pretty full this morning. Yesterday I was able to spend the afternoon with Kat and Jessica on a Costco run and buy some much needed food and supplies for my family. Spending time with these dear friends is comfortable and soothing and hilarious all at the same time. Then, last night, we had a delicious dinner of ravioli cooked by Dallin and Kez, and then family game night. We laughed so hard. I must have really needed some laughter because I laughed all night long, through all the games and family discussion of a towel problem we are having and actually all through family prayer as well. (Richard thanked God for the moisture we received and all I could think of was Jessica’s flailing arms whenever she talks about people thanking God for moisture instead of actual RAIN or SNOW. I couldn’t get her voice out of my head and I giggled all the way through the prayer. I think God has a sense of humor and didn’t mind my laughter.)

  • Trees. The trees in my yard are all leafed out and the view from my bed brings me SO MUCH JOY.
  • Stem cells. After last week’s injections, I can already feel them starting to work. The dysautonomia is calming down – yesterday I was able to eat and feel pretty normal afterwards!
  • Speaking of stem cells, I’m so grateful for Tami taking me to Mexico again and again and again and making it possible for me to receive this much needed therapy. There is no way I can get there on my own or take care of myself while I am there. She is such a huge blessing in my life!
  • My mama. We had a pretty big scare with her this weekend having a severe pulmonary embolism. I’m so thankful to be her daughter and that she is still here with us.
  • These precious souls God has given me. I am often at my grumpiest with my husband and kiddos and they have plenty of opportunities to learn how to forgive, but I love them fiercely.
  • Blythe’s music brings such joy to my soul. She is super busy right now, but every day she sits at the piano and plays for a few minutes.
  • My sister. Oh, I love her. She is strong and giving and has a heart of gold. I was just privileged to spend a week with her – what a treasure!
  • I don’t have a green thumb in any way, but there are flowers blooming in my yard and I love their bright, cheerful colors and determination to survive a cold, windy spring.
  • Kat and Jessica. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed yesterday and really didn’t see how I would manage it with as much pain as I was in, but my friends loved me through the pain and took me shopping at Costco. I truly don’t know what I would do without Kat and Jessica. Their commitment to loving me with all my faults and annoying over-the-top craziness has blessed my life in ways I cannot express.

Life is good. Beautiful and hard and frustrating and blessed and joyful. So, so good.

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thankful for

Dec 2, 2015 by

The past few weeks have been full of a lot of introspection. I have spent a lot of time thinking about gratitude and even though Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, I still need to take some time to ponder and write down my list of gratitude.

  • My Heavenly Father and Mother
  • Jesus the Christ
  • Richard
  • Our children
  • The scriptures
  • My mom
  • My dad
  • My siblings
  • My grandma & grandpa
  • Oodles of cousins, aunts, and uncles
  • My dear, dear friends, oh, my goodness, I am blessed with amazing friends
  • A safe home
  • Trees
  • Sunshine
  • Clean water to drink
  • Water to play in
  • Water to relax by
  • Days at the lake
  • Food to eat
  • Ovens
  • Stoves
  • Fire
  • Sleeping bags
  • Snuggly quilts
  • Fleece
  • Wool socks
  • Comfortable shoes that protect feet from elements and owies
  • Mittens and gloves
  • Warm hats
  • Blue skies
  • Gentle breezes
  • Hammocks
  • Read-alouds with our children
  • Audio books
  • Amazing mentors that bless the lives of our family by sharing their passions and loving our children
  • Our homeschooling community
  • Gymnastics
  • Libraries
  • Books, glorious books
  • Book discussions
  • Communication in all its many forms – the spoken word, the written word, email, letters, phone calls, the look in someone’s eye, social media, hugs, tears, the sharing of the soul – I am so grateful I can connect with so many people and share not only information, but also our hearts
  • Music
  • Braces and tape to hold me together
  • Bone, Flesh, and Cartilage ointment
  • Essential oils
  • Herbs
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • Onions, carrots, celery, garlic – use them all the time in my cooking and cannot imagine food without them
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolove Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt bars – totally delish
  • My bed
  • Ice packs and rice packs
  • Swim camp
  • Family reunions
  • Swings
  • Swimming pools
  • Working vehicles
  • Mountains
  • Kayaking
  • Angels
  • Priesthood blessings
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Toilets
  • Running water
  • Snow shovels
  • A flat driveway
  • Contacts
  • Glasses
  • Covenants
  • Washing machine & dryer
  • Refrigerators & freezers
  • Vacuums
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Staedtler pens
  • Photographs
  • My grandma’s aprons
  • Erasers
  • Water bottles
  • Magic erasers
  • Doors to keep the cold out
  • My church
  • My community
  • Goodness
  • Kindness
  • Generosity
  • Big dreams
  • Passion
  • Courage
  • Sacrifice
  • Freedom
  • Determination
  • Love, most of all, love
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thankful thursdays: 4/23

Apr 23, 2015 by

The MRI on my knee today went fairly well in that I didn’t freak out about being stuck in a tube and the loud noises didn’t drive me absolutely batty. While I was in there for who knows how long, I closed my eyes and prayed. I knew if I kept my eyes open I would go into freak out mode, (ever since I was held captive in a sleeping bag as a child, I cannot handle being confined, especially when something or someone is on top of me) so I closed them and naturally started talking with God.

I thanked Him again and again for the many blessings of my life. And then I realized it is Thursday and it has been a long time since I posted a Thankful Thursdays post.

  • My dear Richard. As I lay inside the tube, my heart filled up with deep gratitude for this man who has given his soul to me. He loves me and helps me to be my best self. He serves and sacrifices and keeps us all grounded. I cannot imagine going through this experience without him by my side cheering me on, holding me when I cry, and keeping me laughing with his deadpan sense of humor.
  • I next thought of my children and how dearly I love them. I am so grateful to be part of their lives and to have the privilege of mothering them. Last week, the orthopedic surgeon I met with was surprised I had four children and I was reminded once again how blessed I am to have even one child, much less four children.
  • Then I thanked Him for the technology of the MRI machine and asked Him to help me hold still, stay calm, and for the machine to be able to get clear pictures of whatever is wrong.
  • My mind moved to the many supplements, foods, and treatments I am receiving right now that are helping to calm and heal my nervous system. I am full of gratitude for the vegetables and other foods placed on this earth to fill our bodies with the nutrients we need to thrive.
  • I thought of my free green drink from Jamba Juice this morning and how the act of kindness lifted my spirits immensely and helped me to see the beautiful things in the world today. I don’t completely know why I was so nervous for the MRI, but I really was and the free-smoothies-for-all event at Jamba this morning helped me get refocused on the good things of this world instead of being weighed down with fear.
  • I thought of Jeremy, my full-of-awesomeness Manual Therapist. I started seeing him two years ago this week and he is by far the most important care provider I have. He understands connective tissue – how it works and how it affects the body. Even better for me, he totally understands how *my* connective tissue works (or doesn’t work, however you want to look at it!) and how he can help it to work at its best. He has put me back together hundreds of times, listened to me cry, rant and rave, get super grumpy at the difficulty of injury after injury, and given me solid data to help me make wise decisions and make progress. He needs to be cloned so many more people can be blessed by his phenomenal skills and excellent care.
  • Then I thought about the sunshine and how much joy that radiant light in the sky gives me. I am so grateful for the sun.
  • Then I thought of the many people who have been part of my journey and I started naming them one by one and praying for them as individuals. Each time I thought of someone, specific words would come to mind to share with Father. At this point, I thought my heart might burst and explode all over the MRI tube because I was overcome with gratitude for all the love that has been poured out on me over the past three years.

And then it was over and as I reentered the world of lights and people and conversations, I was a little shocked to be so suddenly back into the world of busyness and I realized what a blessing it can be to have these forced moments of aloneness during medical tests where I can only think and talk with myself and my Father in Heaven. It is probably true that I need to make more space in my life for uninterrupted meditative time, but with four children and a myriad of other things calling for my attention, my prayers are often short and frequently interrupted, so today I am grateful for the many hours I have spent waiting for appointments, waiting for tests to be run, lying on hard tables waiting to be seen, and yes, even lying in a cold, loud, MRI tube where I was given the chance to talk to God for a good, long chat.

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thankful thursdays 6/26

Jun 26, 2014 by

It has been awhile since I have posted a gratitude list and for the good of my soul I need to take some time to do it today.

  • Summer! Oh, how it feeds my soul to see the sun shining and my trees blowing in the breeze.
  • Time with Richard. Because he doesn’t work for the school district in the summer, we get a bit more papa time in the summer. This past Saturday was his first Saturday with us since last September and it was heavenly.  We took Fisher and Annes camping overnight at a campground just a few miles from our house. The kids got to fish right up until dark since the river ran alongside our camp spot. Richard and the kids were up early to hit the river again. It was such a delightful get away and reminded me how much I adore my family and being outdoors with them.
  • Our Happy Jar. I read about it over on Hands Free Mama and decided to give it a whirl. Fish and Annes love it! It is helping all of us to notice the good and be the good.
  • My Aunt Eileen sent me a box full of delicious rhubarb jam! My grandma made rhubarb jam every summer and sometimes I was able to help her. One of my favorite childhood memories is crawling down into grandma’s cellar to get a jar of homemade jam for our morning toast. Now my children get to experience a lil’ piece of my grandma and their heritage.
  • Our homeschool group had a curriculum fair yesterday and for six whole buckaroos I came home with a bag full of wonderful treasures.
  • Read aloud time with my family. Fisher and Annes and I just finished Hanne’s Quest. It has been a fun book with just the right touch of mystery, wonder, and courage. All of us are still plugging through The Red Keep – it is taking us awhile because the big girls’ schedules are so inconsistent. My goal is to reinstitute a solid plan for family read-aloud time.
  • My new website is coming along nicely and I love my adorable tree made by the super-talented Jessica. I should be ready to launch this new change-the-world venture in the next week or so.
  • I haven’t been able to rearrange the furniture all year and it has about killed me. A few days ago Blythe helped move all the furniture over to the carpeted room and the table to the wood room. We were able to deep clean both rooms in just a few hours! My soul needs things to be rearranged fairly frequently so everything feels fresh and new and now that it is taken care of, I feel like I can move forward with a clean slate into my summer projects.
  • Our girls were able to go on trek last week with our old ward. This experience of pulling a handcart through the desolate high-mountain plains of Wyoming has changed them for the better. I am so grateful our former bishop invited them attend and that they were able to work hard to earn the money to pay for it.
  • My jaw is improving. I can talk pretty normally now and the headaches are subsiding some. The bones across my face still ache something fierce, but the lower jaw is not hurting nearly as much.
  • Our car broke down a few days ago, but thanks to my handy husband, we think we have it figured out. The new part should be on its way to us soon and we will have a working car in the next week or so.
  • Last night I finished reading My Name Used To Be Muhammed. My heart broke so many times while reading it. I ached for the harshness and violence of Tito Momen’s life and wanted to wrap his precious little boy heart up in my arms and let him draw to his heart’s content. I wanted to prevent his father from hitting his mother ever again. I wanted to turn a whole culture of control, violence, and fear into a culture of love, patience, and trust. But I couldn’t do any of those things. I CAN mourn with those that mourn and do my darndest to raise my children with the love I wanted Tito to have. I can encourage other families on their paths. I can be a voice for empathic parenting. I can teach and love and serve. The experience of reading this book was painful and I am grateful to have gone though it – my heart is expanded by the suffering and courage of Tito.
  • A few weeks ago when my jaw was in so much pain, my friend Marie showed up unannounced at my house with her seven children, including her baby who has Down’s Syndrome and a whole host of health problems. I tried to send them away with protestations of “We are fine, we don’t need any help!” but Marie looked into my eyes and said, “Please Tracy, let me do something for you. I need to get out of my troubles and do something for someone else. Please let me help.” So I did. I know that dark place of being weighed down by my own troubles and knowing the only way out is to get out of my head and go serve someone else. She and her children mowed my lawn, washed my dishes, took several batches of blankets and towels to wash, and gave me piles of love. They brought carrot juice, delicious herbal tea, and willing hearts and hands. I keep thinking back to the beautiful morning and well up with tears…there is so much love in this world.
  • Tonight we made dinner for the missionaries (Tami’s Famous Chicken Tortilla Soup) and now we are going to have Family Game Night. Such a lovely evening.
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thankful thursdays 2/27

Feb 27, 2014 by

Gratitude is a game changer for me. It helps my brain focus on the precious, my heart enlarge with joy, and my soul to ccccaaaallllmmmm down. Thursdays are my days to think deeply about thanksgiving.


  • If you have read WOK for any length of time at all, you know I have richly blessed with amazing friends. Today is another example of their awesomeness. Yesterday we made a plan for me to stay completely off my foot for 36 hours so I could have the cast-like tape removed and let me skin heal a bit from being wrapped up for so long. Being untaped means no getting out of bed except to crawl to the toilet every few hours. But then at 9:55 this morning, I got my email reminder that today is chicken day – 120 lbs. of chicken were waiting for me to pick up and then do something with…can, freeze, etc. Kat, Sheri, and her daughter helped us freezer pack my huge Zaycon chicken order in about 45 minutes!!! OMSH! They are amazing! It would have taken Blythe and Keziah hours and hours to do all that work by themselves, but six pairs of hands working hard together made the process easy-peasy.
  • Last night I was blessed to attend a wonderful presentation by my friends, Bob and Tasha, on “When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade.” It was exactly what I needed – a kick-in-the-butt to try to see things from an eternal perspective and effective skills to experience peace in the moment of trial.
  • A big, sobbing, sisterhood hug.
  • Minestrone soup brought from a dear friend…so delicious and such a blessing to have delicious comfort food.
  • A big bag of venison – thank you Vanessa!
  • My Annesley was able to start taking piano lessons today. She is so, so happy! And I get to start the process of being a Suzuki mom again. Now that my girls are grown up and practice without me, I have missed those early lessons with my little ones and I am excited to start the journey again with some of the experience I have gained over the years of being a music mom. Surely I will be calmer and far more nurturing this time around, right?
  • I’m so thankful to start off each day with heaps of kale deliciousness in my Keziah-made-green smoothies. I don’t know what I would do without that girlie.
  • While it is hilarious to me that I have to be using one, my walker is a huge gift to my physical well-being. I’m sure taking the weight off my foot when I need to walk on it is helping those ligaments to heal.
  • My sweetheart’s hand to hold while I try to sleep with this walking boot on. I don’t think I could make it through the long nights of foot pain without him.
  • Having Blythe as a driver and errand girl is making staying in bed this time a lot easier. I’m so glad she finally has her license!

I am blessed beyond measure. Life is full of ups and downs and ins and outs and all sorts of cliffs and mountains and valleys and I love it. I am grateful to be able to live this life and have these gut-wrenching, awe-inducing, and soul-streching opportunities to grow and learn and most of all, to love.

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thankful thursdays 2/13

Feb 13, 2014 by

What an emotional day this has been…finally the anger, despair, and hopelessness are all cried out. The resolve, faith, and hope are back and it is time to focus on gratitude.

  • Tonight I am grateful for Kat’s wise words of encouragement. She came and lied in bed with me for a bit this afternoon and helped me see things from a better perspective.
  • I am grateful to Sheri for coming with me to my appointment this morning and taking such good care of me. That woman is a rock! She also rearranged her whole day and took my children to the Jazz performance they have been looking forward to all week.
  • Tasha’s dinner tonight was delicious – yams, spinach and cucumber salad, and taco soup. She even brought it to me in bed with some words of encouragement. Best of all, she brought me a big bag of Lamoreaux family popcorn – this stuff is my favorite!
  • All of my children made it to all of their different activities today.
  • My dear husband came home and listened.
  • I don’t know why my body is struggling so much and a HUGE part of me wishes I could wave my magic wand and make it all go away, but I can’t and I am choosing to be grateful for this experience. It is hard and it full of opportunities to grow and it is a blessing in many, many ways.
  • I am grateful for the trees in my yard that I can see out my bedroom window.
  • I am grateful for the fancy tape Jeremy used to hold my foot together. It is really helping.
  • I am grateful for ice packs.
  • I am grateful for birds in the trees and their chatter.
  • I am grateful for my mom and her heartfelt prayers.
  • I am grateful for my Heavenly Father and his abundant love.
  • I am grateful for my iPad that allows me to connect to the world from my bed.
  • I am grateful for water bottles.
  • I am grateful for laughter.


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thankful thursdays 2/6

Feb 6, 2014 by

It’s Thankful Thursday! Wahoo for gratitude.

  • Sunshine and blue skies! It is freezing cold and most of the schools are cancelled, including Richard’s school, but it looks beautiful from my window. Sunshine brings me happiness every time.
  • My new haircut is super cute! I love the color and the cut. I have more bangs than I have ever had and I actually like them oodles and gobs. I usually hate bangs and have only tried them out twice in my adult life, but Mikelle worked her magic and they look really good.
  • My new cute purse! My friend Amy did a Thirty-One show for Moola For Muscles and gave me the purse I was swooning over as a prize! Thanks Ames!
  • Richard’s school was cancelled this morning he was able to sleep in and snuggle me for a couple extra hours this morning. Any extra time with my sweetie is something to be grateful for.
  • Martin Luther and his boldness, fierce dedication to the doctrine of grace, and adherence to his principles.
  • The Holy Ghost
  • Our safe travels this week.
  • Soul-filling conversations.
  • My big bathtub.
  • The power of love.
  • Smiles and hugs.
  • Music lessons.
  • My ancient phone that keeps working in spite of its many, many spills to the ground.
  • My pubic bone is healing and I am feeling great!

We watched The Ultimate Life the other night for family movie night and one of the principles taught is to state out loud ten things you are grateful for each day. I am going to start implementing the practice and help my children to implement it as well.

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thankful thursdays: 1/23

Jan 23, 2014 by

Oh man, my heart is all over the place today. Full to the brim with gratitude for things big and small.

  • I spent some time over at the Sheriff’s office today because Blythe was taking her driving test…yes, for some ridiculous reason the Sheriff and the licensing office share the same space. Anyway, I have spent quite a bit of time there lately as we have been going through the process to get a license for our oldest girlie and everyone I have seen there has been there for the same reason we are there for…testing, renewing, or updating their driver’s licenses. So, when a young boy and his mother were sitting in the lobby chairs I assumed they were waiting for our driving inspector to get back so he could take his driving test. So when the Sheriff came out to talk to them, I didn’t think anything of it. I figured he was answering some driving test question…but I didn’t think about it. Then the Sheriff took the boy away and booked him into jail and the mom fled the lobby with tears in her eyes. The boy and mom didn’t even speak to each other or say goodbye or anything. Well, I burst into tears…the mother’s quick escape and the boy’s aloofness spoke volumes about the pain they were both in and my heart welled up with rivers of compassion for them both. Such heartache. I looked at the back of the departing boy and pictured him as a chubby toddler full of life and love and curiosity and I wanted to rewind his clock and take him back to younger days when he could make different choices. I wanted his mama to be able to see him as that adorable little toddler and remember happier times with her son. Most of all, I wanted to rush home and gather my children around me and tell them how much I love them. Perhaps it seems a strange thing to be grateful for, but I am so, so  grateful I haven’t had to watch any of my children walk into jail and my heart goes out to all of those mamas who have.
  • The last time I went to Costco I found a giant bag of prewashed, ready-to-dump-in-the-blender kale for $4.39 and quickly snatched it up. My green smoothies are a gazillion times better!
  • Also super grateful for Miss Kez who makes my nutrient-packed deliciousness every morning and brings it to me in bed.
  • I am so grateful for the many people who love my children. Last night at the Speech Festival many people, young and old, gave them encouragment and congratulations. It warms my heart to see them supported and cheered on by so many kind people. Thank you world…especially you, sweet Sheri!
  • The delete button is always something to be grateful for. My Mac is dying. It is sooooooooooooooooooo full of email, pictures, and minutia that it can hardly function anymore. It needs a fan blowing on its backside to keep it breathing, can barely handle one program being open at a time, and moves from one command to the next slower than a sloth. But I can’t afford a new one…and even if I had extra pennies they would all need to go to a mattress that doesn’t dislocate my joints…so I am trying my darndest to save it. I have deleted over 5000 emails in the past two weeks. WAHOO for Jess whacking me upside the head with reality and helping me free up some working memory on my trusty steed.
  • My Auntie Beth…my dear grandma’s youngest sister…wrote me the sweetest note of encouragement this week and sent a generous donation to Moola For Muscles. She has lived a hard, hard life and in her twilight years she has chosen peace and happiness – I am thrilled for her and am so grateful she loves me enough to send a handwritten letter full of hope. I love that lady!
  • Jeremy, aka Dr. Jones, is such a fabulous PT. I am so grateful God guided me to him. This morning he put several dislocated ribs back into place and now I can move my neck and shoulder again. He also worked on my angry psoas and I can now stand for more than five minutes without crying.
  • Pillows! My mattress has a lovely nest in the middle where my derriere spends most of its times and while never comfortable, it is completely painful with this new pubic bone injury. So, I have filled in all the saggy parts with piles of pillows and sleep on top of the pile.
  • Sunshine…the last few days have been blue skies and bright suns. WAHOO!
  • Martin Luther is at the top of my hero list this week. I have been studying his life for my WUBA class and want to wrap my arms around him and tell him thank you for choosing to stand on the word of God and His grace against the accepted practice of indulgences.
  • Love. Thank you everyone for blessing me with your love. Your hugs and notes and smiles and donations and laughter and conversation mean more than you can know. Your love gets me through each day.
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thankful thursdays 4/18

Apr 18, 2013 by

  • The sun! Shouting hallelujah for the glorious rays of light shining down today.
  • I’m thankful for music lessons. My daughters love making music and I love hearing it. I am so grateful to have an awesome teacher who comes to our home and helps them grow their skills on piano and violin.
  • The last twelve weeks have been such a blessing in my life. I have had the opportunity to teach a class about the Jewish Festivals and I have learned so much. I love learning about the symbolism God uses to teach us about His ways.
  • Last week at iFamily Annesley locked us out of the car. My friend, Stephanie, drove clear to my house to get my spare keys out of Keziah’s purse AND surprised me with one of those fancy-schmancy gourmet cupcakes. What a dear friend she has been for over twelve years!
  • Blythe made yummy scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning – wahoo!
  • So grateful for Aliysa and Emily and everyone else that transport my children all over Timbuktu. I need to find a way to pay them back! Someday Blythe will be driving on her own, right?.
  • Richard has had a gob of energy sessions this week. I am so grateful he is able to help people heal inside and out.
  • A big thank you to Tamia for her gift of beautiful farm fresh eggs! Used them this morning in the scrambled eggs.
  • I am grateful for my rich network of friends. It seems everywhere I go there are people to give hugs to and catch up with…life is such a beautiful opportunity to connect with people’s hearts.
  • After ten+ days, Fisher and Annesley’s caterpillars came this morning! We will be watching them grow into butterflies over the next several weeks.
  • I am loving the sunrises this week. They wake me up with their pink and orange splendor and then I stay in bed and do genealogy while the world wakes up. It is the perfect start to me day.

What are you grateful for today?

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thankful thursdays 3/14

Mar 14, 2013 by

So, today is Pi Day, always a favorite occasion at our house as I am pretty big into all thing number-y. Yesterday we had a full blown Pi Day at my Math Alive! class. Today we found circles eeevvvvvvverywhere, talked about Pi, had pizza for dinner, and figured out the circumference of our pizza. 51.81 inches, if you are wondering.

My blogging time is so short these days. I have much I want to say and much I want to share, but the time to do so is quite limited. I am being pulled in many areas and almost all of them are more important than my blog. Or maybe my blog just isn’t as pressing as the other matters?

But today, I need to write a Thankful Thursdays post. It has been a few weeks since I have jotted down my weekly gratitudes and I don’t want another week to pass without me taking time to slow down and be in a place of gratitude.

  • I am thankful for holy places.
  • I am thankful for the knowledge that I am a spiritual being.
  • I am thankful my energetic students at iFamily. I LOVE teaching children and exploring new ways of thinking with them!
  • Avocados were on sale this week for .68, so I bought five. Oh, how I love avocados. Especially in a big, green salad with red peppers.
  • Kat’s birthday is this week. I love that girl.
  • I am so grateful for the scriptures. Reading the stories of God’s dealings with His children give me hope, courage, and peace.
  • I am grateful for the privilege of doing my family history. I am grateful God loves me enough to ask me to do hard things.
  • I am grateful for the sunshine this week.
  • I am grateful for Passover. This ancient festival brings us so much joy.
  • Stefanie left her soup here after the Seder last week and I was able to enjoy it for Sunday AND Monday. What a delicious surprise that was!
  • I am grateful for the story of Les Mis. I love the book and now I love the movie and the soundtrack and listening to the songs being belted out by my girls. We have pretty much listened to the music non-stop for the past week.
  • I am grateful for my hip. I am grateful for the pain and the compassion it is teaching me. I am grateful for my body that communicates with me and is being patient with me.
  • I am grateful for grapes. I ate a handful of them today and they were delicious!
  • I bought some spelt this week on a fabulous co-op deal (thanks Nicolett!) and can’t wait to try Jessica’s waffles.
  • I am in a I-hate-daylight-savings-time mood, but today I did enjoy the sunshine at 6:42 and was grateful to see a beautiful sunset as I came out of the temple.
  • I am grateful for all the giggles and dances and stories and imagination and smiles and hugs and rubs that is Annesley. She brings me so much joy and I am so thankful God sent her to me.

Thursdays are lovely days here. We start out with two hours of music lessons in the morning, then have a relaxing school day full of discoveries and with none of the pressure of getting ready for iFamily classes or starting the week off right. I usually have time to catch up on laundry and dishes and our dinner together in the evening is one of my favorite times of the week. It just feels more relaxed – there is no rushed clean-up for Family Home Evening, the girls don’t have to rush out the door to Mutual, and I am not all wiped out like I am on Fridays after gym. I love Thursdays. And today was a wonderful one.

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thankful thursdays 2/14

Feb 14, 2013 by

Two weeks in a row of Thankful Thursdays! Can I have a round of applause, please? Or maybe just some of the Lamoreaux family popcorn? I am so in love with that stuff.

My heart is pretty full of gratitude today. I read through my past posts on Valentine’s Day and realized once again how blessed I am to have the husband I do. Even though he didn’t do anything fancy this morning like he usually does (We are fighting illness and sleep is a high priority for him right now. He hasn’t succumbed to the strep throat that Blythe, Annesley, and I have had and we would like to keep it that way so he can keep going to work!), he creates so much love in this home that it makes up for my occasional prickly-ness.

  • My Annesley snuggles with me every morning. I used to be a tad put out by her intrusion into my warm bed and MY morning time, but now I welcome here in to rub my back, tell me all about her dreams in the night, and fill my heart with all her sweetness.
  • I am grateful for my new jeans. They fit fabulously well and they were super cheap! What a rare combination.
  • Yesterday at iFamily I was given four Valentine’s, including a delicious treat from our local chocolate store! How sweet is that?
  • Today I had a long, hot bath in my magnesium oil.
  • The Lamoreaux’s just brought us some Valentine goodies…so fun and I heard healthy as well!
  • The joy my children had over their goodie bags…erasers, post-it notes, scotch tape, duct tape…so cute to see them excited about such simple items.
  • This afternoon I took all the children to our local Variety store. It is a somewhat rare thing for all of us to go anywhere together in the day. Blythe is usually studying or gone to a class and it was so fun to have all my children together discovering little treasures. Luckily we made it out of there spending only $4.50 on a present for the Pink and Red Party tonight. Then I took them to the chocolate shop for a dollar treat of scrumptiousness and to the Sandwich shop for the best fries on earth. Such a fun hour of magic with my four favorite kiddos. We haven’t been focused on having fun and enjoying each other’s company for quite a while as survival, endurance, and catching up have been the name of the game.
  • I found Blythe’s Economics textbook for $2.99 on the Kindle instead of $25. Wahoo!

Off to Kat and Jen’s Annual Pink and Red Party. A wonderful adult party with my friends sounds like the perfect ending to this day. Have a wonderful evening with your loved ones!

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thankful thursdays 2/7

Feb 7, 2013 by

thankful thursdays 2/7

It is Thursday and I am going to start my Thankful Thursdays posts again. I haven’t written one since March 1 of last year and am filled with regret that I have missed the last eleven months of gratitude posts. My formatting got messed up in one of my blog overhauls and I just couldn’t write a bulleted post without cute bullets and dashes. It seems a little silly now, but at the time I just couldn’t stand to look at my list of thankful things when it wasn’t wrapped up in cuteness.

Well, Jessica fixed that. She is amaze-balls with all things techie and is hands-down, the best web designer out there. She just redid my mom’s site and while it isn’t quite finished yet, it is looking fabulouso!

Anyway, I am sad to not have a weekly record of gratitude of the past year with this hip injury because I have had blessing after blessing heaped upon me and now I don’t have a really great record of it. But, I will be starting again today and now is certainly better than never.

This isn’t going to be a comprehensive list or anything…no need to list out the 238 million things my heart is full of at the moment…but it will be things that have really meant a lot to me and I haven’t mentioned on here.

  • Kat gave me this awesome herbal tea maker for Christmas. I love it oh, so much. You just pour 1/2 C. of loose tea in the bottom, fill it with boiling water, plunge the tea down to the halfway point, set the timer for 15 minutes, and voila, delicious, perfectly made tea with no mess and no big clean-up. No more muslin wrapped tea! No more herb parts stuck in my tiny strainer! No more tea spilling all over my counter when I miss my tiny strainer. It is utter delight.
  • While I was stuck in bed, Liz came over and cleaned my bedroom. While she was on her cleaning rampage she found a vinyl wall hanging and wasn’t disgusted at all that I have been waiting for four whole years to hang it up. Instead, she got right to work and hung it up! I didn’t see it for a few days because I was stuck in bed, but when I did, I shrieked with joy! I love this saying and have therefore, stocked my house with thousands of books.
  • My girls have been blessed by a wonderful new music teacher. She is teaching them both piano and violin AND she comes to our home. I am so grateful for the opportunity my children have to become musicians and while I have been in bed for the past month I have loved listening to them practice and develop their skills.
  • Yesterday on the way home from iFamily, we stopped at Great Harvest right at closing time. The sweet girl behind the counter gave us two wraps for free! How delicious is that?
  • My classes at iFamily are going really, really well. I love teaching and sharing my passions with others and I have a big group of students who are thoroughly engaged in learning what I have to share with them…perfect scenario!
  • I am in love with my new orange bullets and pink dashes, larger font, bigger line height, paragraphing in my blockquotes, and a brighter picture of me over there on the side. Thank you Jessica!

Tea Maker…if you want one, I think she got it at Ikea.

My dining room wall with my awesome quote…thanks Liz!

Our new music teacher, Emily, teaching piano to Miss Kez.


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a bowl full

Nov 22, 2012 by

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!

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thankful thursdays 3/1

Mar 1, 2012 by

I am spending my days in bed trying to prevent bed sores and boredom from taking over my life. The children come in and do math and handwriting and history and reading with me. We are listening to lots of audio books (Rikki Tikki Tavi and Little Men today) while we snuggle under my blankets.

Hunkering down.

Meanwhile we are being flooded with kindnesses and I am once again filled to the brim with gratitude for my blessings.

  • I am thankful for all the kind words and notes sent my way. Thank you for thinking of me and my cracked lil’ bone.
  • I am thankful for the Roasted Red Pepper & Quinoa soup, Artisan bread, and Homemade Mac & Cheese that Jessica brought over.
  • Amy brought over delicious enchiladas last night – I ate three plates full!
  • These two special friends also came and deep-cleaned my kitchen last night. It is sparkling! We laughed all night long as they scrubbed the grease, dirt, and crumbs away. I thought it was fairly clean, but they still spent three hours to get it spotless.
  • My neighbor, Anna, brought over some s’more treats that were quickly devoured by the children. Sometimes a treat for the kids is the most important thing that can be done to help a house with an out-of-action mama to run smoothly.
  • My friend, Jennifer, taught my classes at iFamily yesterday and Jessica took my children there so I was able to stay in bed all day and give my pelvis a lot of rest.
  • Blythe and Keziah have been working hard running the house and have done it mostly with a smile.
  • I am so grateful for my big bathtub. Soaking in it is the only thing that takes the pain away. I wish I could live in there!
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thankful thursdays 2/16

Feb 18, 2012 by

Yes, it is Saturday afternoon and I am writing my Thankful Thursdays post now. I didn’t have time on Thursday and I never have time on Friday to write, so now that my Adult Worldviews class is over and my babies have been loved on, I have a few minutes to put fingers to keyboard and record my gratitude for the week.

  • I was able to attend a homeschool conference last Saturday. It was wonderful to see old friends and give & get lots of hugs. It was a recharge to my heart to keep on keeping on and to focus on the educational goals we have created for our family. The drive down was squishy, but it was so, so fun to talk with seven other women for six hours while we drove. I love being with other women! I always learn and grow and come home invigorated!
  • I am so grateful for my friend Jennifer. We are serving on a Board of Directors together and have grown to trust one another and love one another. At the homeschool conference, I was ogling an American History book all day long, but forced myself not to buy it (all spending money for the next several months has gone into my new running shoes). On the drive home, Jen gave it to me as a gift! I love it and can’t wait to read the stories in it to my children…and the artwork, ahhhhh! Thanks Jen! For all you are and all you do, thank you.
  • Two ladies from my church stopped by this week with some yummy caramel popcorn and a sweet little note. So sweet! They weren’t assigned to or anything, they just did it and it totally made my day! Thank you Josie and Ali!
  • I just finished up my monthly class with my Worldviews group. We had a wonderful discussion on sociology, what elements should be in the “ideal” society and which should not, the role of agency, the purpose of education, the value of marriage, the sovereignty of family, the nature of man, and so much more. Every month before class, I wonder if I can keep studying and teaching and inspiring and every month after class, I am so grateful I am blessed to have this life, to have these women as friends, and to have a thirst for knowledge so strong that it pushes me into situations that bring me growth. Today three ladies brought food and it was oh, so yummy!!!! Thank you!
  • Yesterday the sun was beautiful!!! Even though I was teaching gymnastics for most of the day, the minute it was over, I strapped on my running shoes and did my training workout in the sunshine. What a treat to run with the sun shining down on me and the cool-ish hour not letting me overheat!
  • On Thursday I was able to watch my niece, Andie, run in the Simplot Games. She loves running…which rubbed off on Keziah…and is now rubbing off on me (Is it rubbing off on me? Will I start loving it? Probably not, but the fact that I am doing it is pretty shocking in and of itself!) so it was super fun to see her compete in the thing she loves.
  • On Thursday, I was also able to see my long-time (16 years!) friend, Robin, while our children played at the park for a little bit. We hugged and talked and laughed and shared our struggles with estrogen and miscarriage and faith and health. I love being with her and don’t get to see her anywhere near often enough…I wish she could be my next door neighbor!
  • As I think about all the varied events of this week and all the different conversations, situations, readings, classes and responsibilities I have been involved in just the past few days, I am grateful for truth. I am grateful for the desire to learn truth. I am grateful to believe truth exists and that we can discover it. I am grateful to have the goal of finding truth in my life and to let that search guide me. I am grateful for those around me who are committed to truth and are humbly seeking it.
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thankful thursdays 2/9

Feb 9, 2012 by

Today I am surrounded by dirty dishes, laundry up the wazoo, filthy floors, whining children, a clogged central vacuum unit (been clogged since last Wednesday and I have spent several hours working on it to no avail), and dreary skies.

I may lose my mind. Not really, but I am a wee bit frustrated with how this day is going…so it is time for me to clear these emotions out and focus on my blessings…otherwise, I really may lose my mind.

  • I attended a fan-ta-bulous scripture study class last night about Jesus Christ. It was exactly what I needed! My mind was going a million miles a minute processing all I was learning and my hands were flipping through the scriptures and taking notes as fast as I could. Then I came home and taught my family what I learned and we had a great discussion. My kind of evening!
  • I am loving my Zing! class. Yesterday we had a blast in class and I can’t wait to read what they write this week at home.
  • Speaking of Zing!, I am grateful for my zany personality, love of knowledge, and passion for sharing it with others. Teaching brings me so much joy and I am thankful my Heavenly Father has blessed me with talents that enable me to do so.
  • I am grateful for a working vehicle. Two actually.
  • I am grateful, oh so grateful, for the mattress set we were surprised with a few weeks ago. My back is feeling gobs better and I no longer resemble the letter “U” when I wake up in the morning.
  • I am grateful for my friends and family that spent the week with us last week. They pampered me and cleaned and fixed things and massaged me and filled me up with love.
  • Tami brought some food she won’t be using before she goes to Australia and we have been using it up! Thank you!!!!
  • I am grateful for my children. Even though three of them are pretty grumpy today, I am grateful to have them and grateful to be able to learn how to navigate this life together with them. There is no where else I would rather be than with these precious spirits.
  • I am grateful for Blythe’s mentors in her play. They have amazing gifts to bring out the best in the youth they work with. They grow them into actors that are confident, joyful, and capable of wooing audiences.
  • I am grateful for my red Danskos. Each time I wear them I am full of joy!
  • I am grateful for my shelves that were hung up by my friends last week. I can’t wait to dive into that room and make it all orderly and useable!
  • I am grateful for the big slice of Asiago sourdough I had yesterday at Great Harvest. It was honkin’ huge and served as my dinner last night in between iFamily and the scripture study class.
  • I am grateful for this space I have on the web to share my thoughts with the world and make connections with people that were not possible just a few short years ago.
  • I am grateful for my body. It may not be the strongest or always work properly, but it has served me well for many years and I am grateful to have it. Starting to run with Keziah this week has taught me much about how wonderful it really is and how blessed I am to have these muscles, bones, and ligaments. Yesterday at a running shop, I was evaluated for pronation, stride length, heel strike and lots of other things. I was told I have excellent technique and that it is obvious I am a sprinter because my heels don’t even hit the ground (no wonder I can’t run longer than a minute!), so now all I need to work on is stamina (which I have NONE of).
  • I am grateful to be a daughter of God.
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thankful thursdays 1/19

Jan 19, 2012 by

  • Today I am grateful that my classes I taught yesterday at iFamily went well and that we are starting a new semester of learning and growing with our friends. What a busy, crazy, fun day we had!
  • I am grateful I was able to sleep in a little this morning.
  • A big thanks to Keziah for washing and baking some potatoes tonight so everyone could eat dinner at a half-way decent hour.
  • Tonight I am grateful for every parenting book I have ever read. I think my Annesley is going to help me remember all the good things I used to know how to do and say. Yes, she is a tad bit exasperating sometimes and I need to figure out how to help her use her words and not her whining-I-am-going-to-die-at-any-moment-voice that drives me bonkers.
  • My front bathroom reeks. Bad. Boy-pee has gotten under the linoleum. It is so bad I can barely step foot in there. Thanks to Liz, it is improving. She told me to cover the whole area around the toilet with baking soda. We did and we keep doing so and in less than a week there is a HUGE difference in the air quality. I used that bathroom today and didn’t even have to hold my nose.
  • Last night I went to the library book sale and got a potato box full of books and a world map puzzle for $4.00!
  • I am so grateful for my husband’s warm body. Every night I stick my freezing cold feet in between his legs and he warms them right up.
  • I am grateful for good books. Keziah and I are reading George Washington’s World and are learning so much about the people and places of the 1700’s. So fun!
  • I am grateful for Blythe’s new art class. I asked a woman to come and teach an Art Journaling class at iFamily and she agreed! Yesterday was the first day and Blythe LOVED it. She is so excited about all she is learning about art and creativity and expression and herself. I can’t give my children everything…nor should I…but I love creating experiences for them that bless their lives.
  • Fisher made a tornado in his Weather Wizards class yesterday. He had so much fun and has been spouting off tornado facts to us all day long. He is cracking me up with his “expertise”. Thank you Megan for a great class!
  • I am grateful for my bed. It is uncomfortable and needs replaced, but it is a place I can sleep soundly and heaven knows I need sleep almost as much as I need air. Tonight I need it in large quantities!

Love to you all…enjoy your Friday tomorrow! I’ll be in the gym flipping and cartwheeling all over the place.

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thankful thursdays 1/12

Jan 12, 2012 by

It has been a while since I posted a Thankful Thursdays post. Since December 8th, in fact. It’s not that I haven’t been grateful during that time, just that I have been focusing on other things.

Today, I am tired and a tad bit overwhelmed. I have six gymnastics classes in the morning that I still need to make lesson plans for, a youth colloquium at my home tomorrow night, an adult Worldviews class at my home on Saturday, two iFamily classes to plan out for this semester, almost daily rehearsals for Blythe’s coming-up-in-a-few-weeks play, a doula client due soon, a sick husband, bread rising on the counter, dinner in the oven, a school room that needs cleaned from a busy week of learning, piles of laundry, and a Relief Society (women’s organization for my church) meeting to attend in a few minutes. I haven’t eaten anything yet today except for some leftover-from-my-stocking Hershey’s Kisses (I missed breakfast because I was putting in a group order for art supplies for iFamily and I missed lunch because I was on the phone and Fisher accidently ate my portion) and I am so hungry I think I could scream. Even though I think I could benefit from tonight’s meeting and I will miss the fellowship with my fellow sisters, I think I am going to skip the Relief Society meeting because I don’t want to be away from my children tonight since I will be away from them tomorrow night and Saturday.

Busy. I hate that word…and yet I am. I am in a busy season of my life. But still, tonight, in order to feed my soul, I must take the time to think of my blessings.

  • My dear friend, Amy, made me a beautiful crocheted matzah cover for our Passover Seder. She reached right into our most meaningful celebration of the year and gave me something to make it even more wonderful. Pictures are coming, but I simply can’t add another thing to my plate tonight. Thank you, dear friend. Thank you for stitching up your heart and offering it to me in something we will cherish forever.
  • I am so grateful for all the amazing kindnesses that were shown to our family throughout the holiday season. We were truly blessed by many Christmas angels who gave us their hearts, their gifts, their presence, and their means. Thank you, thank you, thank you and may God bless each of you.
  • Tonight I am grateful for freezer meals that I can throw into the oven and have a delicious meal pop out 90 minutes later. I could not function without them.
  • I am grateful for the sunshine my children were able to play in today. I love hearing them run around our yard with glee all bundled up in their snow clothes.
  • I am grateful for our morning devotional. Our time together in the morning is so special to me. We sing, read, pray, and learn from our scriptures together. We have this one ritual among the chaos of our lives that makes all the difference in how I feel about our days. If we have an uplifting, spiritual start to our day everything else falls into place and I feel effective and powerful in my mothering role.
  • I am grateful for the library. Right now I have about 40 books checked out to help me prepare for my Zing! class. I don’t know what I would do without my library card for it would surely be a barren world.
  • I am grateful for little boy moments. He is so endearing right now. He still wants to snuggle with me. He still kisses me. He still waits until the last moment to go to the bathroom and does a full-body dance to help him make it to the toilet. He still loves me to read to him. He still wants to show me everything he builds or creates. He still thinks his papa is the most wonderful hero in the world. He still loves Jesus in a simple way. He still tells me about his nightmares. He still thinks I know pretty much everything. These moments will pass all too soon and I will have a grown-up man on my hands!
  • I am grateful for my grandmother’s aprons. I have several of them and I wear them while I work in my kitchen. Just wearing them grounds me and helps me remember what is important and how grateful I am to have a family to cook and clean for. They help me remember how deeply and purely she loved those around her. They help me remember how much I want to mother like she did.
  • I am grateful for mechanical pencils. I love them. I love writing with them and I especially love erasing with them. They are one of my favorite things, which is good, since I have been using one ALL.DAY.LONG.
  • I am grateful for friends and family and God and grass and warm water and long baths and mountains and food and smiles and love. Most of all, I am grateful for love. It feeds me. Daily.
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thankful thursdays 12/8

Dec 8, 2011 by

thankful thursdays 12/8

Gratitude is a funny thing. It kind of reminds me of sourdough, it bubbles up and doubles in size, and then you add a little more flour and water to it and it doubles again. It just keeps growing and growing. Gratitude is the same way. Once I think of one thing I am grateful for, ten more things come to mind, and then for each of those, even more swooshes right into my heart.

  • I am grateful my fridge fiasco wasn’t worse. We lost some super yummy left-overs, 2 gallons of fresh milk, salad dressings, mayo, and few more odds and ends, but because I haven’t been grocery shopping for several weeks, there wasn’t a whole lot in there to lose. I’m thankful it was the relay and not the compressor. I’m thankful for the box of rolls, pears, and oranges our Elder’s Quorum brought over the night it all started. My children were able to eat fresh produce while I dealt with all the mess of a broken appliance.
  • I am thankful for the sunshine shining through my window. I have been cleaning and dejunking all afternoon and it warms my spirit to have sun shining on me while I work. I cannot handle dreary overcast days and if I had had one of those while I was dejunking my laundry room it may have done me in!
  • I am thankful for my friends, Amy & Jessica, who are there for me through thick and thin. This week we had a late night escape and I can’t tell you how fun it was to talk and laugh and share and love. I have never had friends in my own ward that are so sister-like and now that I do, I want it for everyone else as well. Mothers need friends to cry and laugh with and I am so grateful for mine.
  • I am thankful for our nightly Christmas devotionals. I love gathering everyone up to sing Christmas carols, talk about a story from Jesus’ life, turn over a picture on our Advent calendar, and read a Christmas story. These few simple things make our Christmas month seem slower and more connected to one another.
  • I am thankful for burn barrels. Today I finally dealt with the counter in my laundry room. It has been a dumping ground for the last several years and I have ignored it by walking by it as fast as I can and casting my eyes anywhere but at the counter piled three feet high with who knows what. We have been taking loads of papers (Coupons that expired in May 2008, piles and piles of mail, and tickets from a concert Blythe attended several years ago! Really, how unorganized can I get?) out to burn and have made quite a dent in the mess. If I had to put those in the garbage, I would have filled it right up!
  • Speaking of disorganization, I have a sock basket that is overflowing. I love socks, but I hate matching them and I always seem to have only one come through the laundry. It drives me bonkers. Today I told the kids I had a pay job (rare treat at our non-allowance house) and they jumped right on it. Two cents for every sock they match. This is going to be the best couple of bucks I have ever spent!

    Photo 229

  • I am grateful for my husband. As a dear friend just told me today, “You know what it is to love deeply and to be loved deeply. You know what it feels like to have someone in your life who would do anything for you. You have what all of us want.” Sometimes I forget how blessed I am to have the marriage I have. Sometimes I forget what my parent’s marriage was like. Sometimes I forget how empty and depressing my life could be if I didn’t have him in it. I adore him and am so, so grateful for him. I am thankful for the lessons he teaches me, the safety I feel in his arms, and the peace His presence gives me. Last week during the advent calendar sewing session, I called him and bawled my eyes out. I said, “I am so stupid for even thinking I could do this! I am wasting our money by buying fabric for a project that is too hard! I should be home making dinner for my family and instead I am sewing something that is going to turn out ugly and not even be useable! I am so sick of being me! I don’t know what to do! I don’t know if I’ll ever be home. I am just. so. frustrated!!!!” Granted, I was at my wit’s end, VERY PMS-y and my hormones were topsy-turvy…but really what was he supposed to do with all of that? He could have said “Well, how much did you spend on it?” He could have said “Well, don’t finish it then, doesn’t matter to me.” Instead, he said “This is great! You get to learn how to do something new, to improve your sewing skills.” I said “What sewing skills!!!” and he calmly replied, “You are learning. You are overcoming your fears and you have a good friend to help you. Enjoy your time with Kat and I’ll take care of things at home. You can do it and if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay, you will have learned something.” Of course, that whole conversation got me crying all over again. And then I thought to myself “Tracy, you are the luckiest woman alive. Go home and love on him.” And I did.
  • I am grateful for my mom. I can call her day or night and she will help me figure out a recipe, a grammar issue, a math problem, or what food I can save and what I need to throw out. She is am amazing grandma and a wonderful friend to me. I love her and am thankful she is part of my life.
  • I am grateful for all the people who came and got sourdough start from me this week. I was drowning in it and couldn’t bear to throw it out. I gave some away to nine or ten people and so far I have heard that all their bread turned out delicious. Yippee!
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thankful thursdays 11/24

Nov 24, 2011 by

Here it is – my annual Thanksgiving Day Thankful Thursdays post (except it is a few days late – please forgive!)

  • I am grateful for my Heavenly Father. I am grateful to know I am a literal child of God, a beloved daughter of the Almighty. As I have been studying various worldviews the past few months, I have been filled with gratitude for this knowledge. I think it must be rather depressing to believe that humans do not have a Creator or a plan for their lives. I know I was created as a daughter of God to come to earth at this time and learn the lessons I need to become like my Father in Heaven. This knowledge is the foundation of my everything I am and do and I don’t know that I would last one day without this knowledge.
  • I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus the Christ. I am thankful for His willingness to take the sins, sorrows, pain, and suffering of each of His Father’s children upon Him so He could offer an infinite atonement for our sins, succor our sorrows, understand our pain, and be with us completely in our suffering. I am grateful for the opportunity to repent of the things I do wrong and for His gentle voice guiding me to a life of peace, trust, faith, and happiness. I am grateful to know He loves me and to not only know it with my head, but to feel it with my heart. I am grateful to be able to give my burdens to Him. I am grateful for His redeeming love, His endless mercy, and his all-encompassing holiness. These things fill me with a hope that is soul-sustaining and peace that is not explainable.
  • I am grateful for my husband. I cannot do justice to my feelings for him with mere words. He listens to my fears and helps me see through them. He calms my tears with his words of comfort. He sees a vision of what I can be and has devoted himself to helping me see that vision too…and then to become it. He believes in me. He values my ideas. He is committed to our marriage. He keeps his covenants. He loves me. He is so much more than I ever dreamed of. He is kind to others. He is forgiving. He sees the best in the world. He is patient. He is an amazing kisser. He is not dismayed or discouraged by my inadequacies as a wife and mother. He is funny. His heart is pure. I love him.
  • I am grateful for my children. I have been blessed with the sacred stewardship of mothering four amazing souls. Each of them have blessed my life immeasurably. Through mothering, I learn about God’s plan for me. I learn how to love, to serve, to give my life to make their lives better. I begin to understand a little more about Him and His love for His children. I am grateful to be part of a family where we are dependent on one another and we must learn to work and laugh together in order to be happy. I am grateful to be an in-the-trenches mother who is here day-in and day-out and not a career-driven-woman who has a trophy child raised by a nanny or daycare. I am grateful to know I am guided in my mothering decisions by a God who knows my children, their needs, and their missions far better than I do.
  • I am grateful for my mom and dad. They gave me a great foundation for my life in so many ways. They adored me. They taught me. They played with me. They coached my teams, drove me to practices, cheered me on in all my numerous endeavors, believed in my dreams, and helped me achieve them. They taught me that I was something special and I could do anything I wanted to do if I worked hard enough. They still do.
  • I am grateful for music and its power to reach deep down inside my soul and speak truth to the innermost parts of me.
  • I am grateful for a home that protects us from the elements, allows us to acquire books and clothes and food so we can spend time thinking instead of living in survival mode where the next thought is only about how to find food and shelter. I am grateful for the space we have to learn. I am grateful for the land we live on and the great blessing my children have of exploring and playing outdoors. I am grateful to not have neighbors ten feet away from me that can hear all the goings-on of my life. I am grateful to be surrounded by good neighbors that let me borrow some eggs, plow out my driveway, and love on my children.
  • I am grateful for mountains. Not only are they beautiful to look at, they inspire me to greatness.
  • I am grateful for trees. I love hearing the leaves rustle, the birds chirp, and the squirrels run up and down. I love sitting in their shade. I love walking through the forest. I love seeing the trees at my mom’s house. She has tended to them for the last 30 years and they are finally getting big (it is a rather difficult task to get anything to grow in the high mountain plains of Wyoming where the growing season is about 6 weeks and the dirt is rock solid). They inspire me to plant some trees on my plot of land and trust that my grandchildren will get to play in their shade, eat of their fruit, and rake up their leaves.
  • I am grateful for a body that works well. It is such a blessing to be able to walk, run, see, hear, lift, touch, smell, birth, eat, process waste products, taste, sleep, breathe, and laugh…all without much trouble at all.
  • I am grateful to be me. I have gobs of faults and a myriad of weaknesses, but I like myself. I have a heart that wants to do good, a zany side of me that is a lil’ bit hard to take, and a gentle side that does a fabulous job nurturing babies and new mamas. I like to think and I like to be silly, which seems to be an interesting combination. I like doing hard things. I love others. I come face to face with my inadequacies every day and sometimes they get me down, but usually I am able to take them for what they are and make the best of it (or the worst of it, as the case may be!). I can usually laugh at myself. I am stubborn and difficult to live with and have a hard time letting go of an idea. All of these things (and many more!) make up me and I am grateful I am who I am.
  • I am grateful for the meals my gymnastics students make for our family in trade for tuition. These meals make my life SO MUCH EASIER! Thank you to each of you that bless our home with your delicious food!
  • I am grateful for my plethora of friends. It is so wonderful to have people to laugh with and cry with, to create with and work with, to learn with, to change the world with. I am so grateful to be surrounded by women who support my dreams and inspire me to become better. I am grateful to be able to call them in the middle of the night. I am grateful to be accepted, loved, and understood. I am so richly blessed by the women and families in my life.
  • I am grateful for the sun. Not only does it give us heat, it gives us beauty. God could have made our planet get warm in lots of other ways, but He chose to give us a sun that puts on a majestic display as it nears the horizon.
  • I am also grateful for the moon. Right now it is a sliver laying on its right hand side. Looking at it does something deep down in my soul…gives me some measure of peace that all things are in order and in their proper place. Just now Keziah said “Mom, look at the moon, it is adorable.” I should say it is. I also love that my mom has a love affair with the moon. She calls us fairly regularly to tell us to run outside and look at the moon. Because of this, my children all love studying the moon and calling their grandma when it looks interesting to them.
  • I am grateful for Orion. This grouping of stars gives me courage. I can’t explain it, I just love looking at it. I kind of feel like a warrior for truth. Do you love Orion…or is this just something my mom and I share?
  • I am grateful for my big extended family. It is ginormous. I know in 1982, when they did a family census, there were over a thousand people descended from them. Almost thirty years later, I have no idea how many of us there are. When I was little we had an annual reunion down at the homestead of my great-great grandparents and hundreds and hundreds of people would camp out in the fields of their ranch, gather under the giant parachute to eat their meals, dance in the barn, and march in the Pioneer Day parade. My grandma was raised in that little two-room cabin, sometimes with 21 people living in it, and 5000 chickens out back. Growing up nearby that land, surrounded by relatives was one of the greatest blessings of my life. We moved to the town of my pioneer roots when I was seven and I have been thankful ever since. I felt part of something bigger than myself. I felt I had roots that I could count on and expectations to live up to. I had people who loved me….lots of them.
  • I am grateful for flushing toilets and a working septic system. What a blessing sanitation is!
  • I am grateful for washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, heaters, electricity, computers, the internet, and all sorts of other technology that make our lives easier, our communication faster, and our ability to effect change in this world greatly increased.
  • I am grateful for my blog. I am thankful to have a place to share my thoughts; to get them out of head and more fully into my heart. As I write my thoughts down they become more real and more part of me. Additionally, it is a wonderful way for me to record the happenings of my life so my children have a record of who I am and what we did. An added bonus is the connection I get to make with other people and to be part of their lives as they spend their precious time reading my thoughts.
  • I am grateful for the people in my life who love my children and help them, teach them, and encourage them. Mothering is a lot of work and while I reject the notion that it takes a village to raise a child, I believe that families are greatly blessed by the influence of others and I am so grateful for the hearts that have given much to my children.
  • I am grateful for my books! The written word is a magical thing. Education, edification, the transfer of culture, the infusion of courage, and the power of myth are part of that magic. It has an enormous power to change the world. It has and it does…every single day. I am grateful to be living in an era where written language is easily accessible and books can be a such an integral part of our lives.
  • I am grateful to have just had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. We were blessed to have a wonderful meal (and a fridge full of leftovers), loads of laughter, and plenty of time to relax. I am grateful we were able to come (all of us, except for my brother Cameron, boo-hoo!) and enjoy being together.
  • I am grateful for the lessons I learned from my lump. I am still working on that whole situation, but for now, I am immensely grateful it was benign and that I am here on this earth with my family.

I could go on and on for many more lines, but I will close this enormously long post by saying one more thing…thank you for being in my life and for taking the time to connect with me on here. The connections I make with my readers touch my heart and bring me joy. Thank you.

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thankful thursdays 11/17

Nov 17, 2011 by

  • As I sit here drinking my green smoothie, I am thankful for fresh produce. Just imagine not being able to get an apple, banana, peach, cantaloupe, tomato, cucumber, carrots, onions, spinach, romaine, parsley, or celery. When I read stories of war-torn countries one of the things that always jumps out at me is the lack of produce. I kind of live in fear of not having access to fresh food and today I am so thankful I have enough of it to make a green smoothie jam-packed with nutrients my body craves.
  • I am thankful for my Worldviews class. The youth I mentor are amazing! Yesterday we did a simulation and I was so proud of them. They got right into their roles and argued passionately for their viewpoints. I am grateful for the learning and growing we get to do together, for the lessons they teach me, and for the privilege I have to be part of their education.
  • I am grateful for my husband working hard each day and making it possible for me to stay home with our children. Being with them day in and day out is one of the greatest blessings of my life.
  • I am grateful for knee-high wool socks. They make my legs toasty-warm and fill me with joy!
  • I am grateful for violins and violin teachers. Keziah is practicing right this minute. I love how our children fill our home with music. Blythe is in love with her new violin and is improving by leaps and bounds. Yesterday I was able to soak in the bath and listen to her practice and create music of her own. When we started on this journey ten years ago I had no idea where it would take us, I guess I still don’t, but I am grateful for this musical journey and the education it has given all of us.
  • I am grateful for the beans Camille and I canned back in the spring of 2005. We have been eating them several days a week for lunch for the last few month or so. Camille came to my house and taught me how to can beans, an endeavor I was thoroughly intimidated by, and then those beans have sat on my shelves ever since. Well, Kat taught Blythe how to make refried beans out of them and so we have been eating them. Blythe has even figured out how to play around with seasonings to make them taste a lttle bit different each time.
  • I am grateful for my adorable little buttons on the homepage. I had a dream about them and Miss Jessica made them for me…I think they are stinkin’ cute! My website changes are almost complete and when they are I will give you a tour so you can find your way around.
  • I am grateful for the hilarious things my children say and do. They help me keep a smile on my face and I need as many smiles as I can get!
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thankful thursdays 11/10

Nov 10, 2011 by

Today is a busy day…lots of laundry and dishes need dealt with as I have kind of taken the week off of housework so I could work on my blog redesign…and I am getting ready for my Worldviews and YOU! class for adults on Saturday. As I was upstairs washing dishes and listening to a story on the life of Elizabeth I, I kept thinking of things I was grateful for and decided I needed to NOT skip my Thankful Thursdays posts like I was thinking and instead take a few minutes to focus on my blessings.

  • I am grateful for the conveniences of the modern world. I can have a disaster-land of a kitchen and thanks to vacuums, dishwashers, and hot water running into my house, I can get it clean pretty quickly. Same with the laundry. Washing machines and dryers save me and my sanity day after day. I sometimes yearn for the supposed simplicity and slower pace of the by-gone era, but today I am just going to focus on how today’s world makes my life easier.
  • I am REALLY grateful for a sink with a middle divider that is slightly lower than the outside walls. On a fairly regular basis I start filling my sink and then walk away. I did it again today and when I remembered I ran to the kitchen in a panic, but thanks to that handy middle divider, the water was spilling right into the other side instead of running down onto my floor. I can’t even tell you how many times we have been saved from a flooded kitchen by this one little feature…worth it’s weight in gold, it is.
  • Noticed the new changes on here? Well, today I am grateful for my new look on here. When it is done I will do a tour for you so you can find your way around, but until then, just know my heart is singing with joy to have an updated site. I needed something new and fresh and happy and colorful and I am getting it. Hopefully all the changes will be done by this weekend, but who knows? These things take longer than one might think!
  • I am grateful for this lovely fall weather we are having. It has been cold, but most days the sun is shining and except for a few skiffs of snow, the ground is clear. My children have thoroughly enjoyed bundling up and playing outside this week.
  • Quality literature makes my life so much easier as a mom. So many of the lessons I could teach by lecture or discussion are taught so much more powerfully by example in the books we read. This week we are reading The Great and Terrible Quest and the little boy in it has a heart of kindness and courage. I can see my own children’s hearts being touched by his goodness and being inspired to be like him. Priceless lessons that remind me that all the effort to make family read-aloud time a priority is worth it.

Back to my ginormous stack of dishes needed washed.

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thankful thursdays 11/3

Nov 3, 2011 by

* My heart is full with gratitude at the blessing of participating in Make It For Maggie. I am full to overflowing with the goodness of my community. I am surrounded by people who believe in giving and serving and loving and hugging and smiling and crying and giving some more. I am in awe of the people who made Make It For Maggie a success. Kat and I did the conceiving, planning, and carrying it out, but our community made it happen. They came with hearts yearning to serve and serve they did! They taught classes, cooked food, set up tables, gave money, made booklets, shared love, and cheered us on all the way to the finish line.

Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being in my life and joining me in changing the world one family at a time.
* Knee-high socks. I love them. I need a gazillion more pairs because the three I have are getting a work out with the temperature in my house (this morning it was 55…I think I may need to turn on the heat!) Whenever I pull my knee-highs on, I think of my friend, Kate, and how much she loves her knee-high wool socks and then I love mine even more.
* Mikelle made Tami’s famous chicken tortilla soup for Make It For Maggie and she made extra for our family. I can’t even tell you how yummy it is and how lovely it was to come home from church on Sunday and have soup waiting for us. Thank you Mikelle…and Tami for the fabulous recipe!
* I am grateful to be me. Sometimes I think I am crazy and sometimes I really don’t like some aspects of myself. I do silly things and I stick my foot in my mouth and I am impulsive and take too much on and don’t know when to stop and am completely disorganized. But, at the end of the day, I am glad to be me. I’m glad I take on seemingly impossible tasks and dream big dreams. I’m glad I am willing to make a fool of myself. I’m glad I can talk to perfect strangers and become friends with them. I’m glad I have a mind full of ideas. I’m glad I have a love affair with books. I’m glad I’m a doula. I’m glad for so many things about me and even though there is plenty of room for improvement, I’m glad I have been blessed with the personality and skills and strengths and weaknesses and everything else that makes up me.
* Showers-n-Stuff by Don Aslett Cleaning. I am not that frequent of a bathroom cleaner and we have extremely hard water, living in gravel bed and all. I can spray it on my shower/tub/etc and let it sit there for a while and then voila, everything is sparkling clean. Just wipe it off and all the soap scum, hard water, minerals, and grime will be GONE! I can’t even tell you how wonderful it is, you will just have to try it and see for yourself.

Kat tried it last week and then called me raving about how beautifully it worked. I promise your tubs will never be cleaner
Time for morning learning time!

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thankful thursdays 10/13

Oct 13, 2011 by

* My mama bought us some canned goods at the case lot sale this week. She thought she was being all secretive by having them call us and tell us to come pick up an order, but the bleach gave her away. She adds all-fabric bleach to her laundry and when I saw two buckets of it I knew it was her. Thank you mom. My children have been devouring the tuna fish. In fact, Fisher woke me up this morning asking if he could eat some for breakfast! I said no, we are having oatmeal, but he could have some for lunch. What joy a little can of tuna fish can bring him!
* I am so thankful to be part of Make It For Maggie. Katherine and I have been working hard to make it a huge success this year and I have been filled with gratitude that I have a friend who will work on big projects with me and many other friends who support me in those big projects. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who are giving of your time, energy, and resources to change people’s lives. You are all amazing!
* Rice packs. Such a simple thing, but oh, the joy (and the warmth!) they bring. We have all been sleeping with ours this week to help us warm up!
* Are you ready for a lovely tender mercy? I have been meaning to call and order some new contacts for a couple of weeks, but kept forgettting. I finally called on Tuesday and the office manager said that was the last day I could order them since it was the year anniversary of my last eye exam. I had no idea when it was and was silly excited that I ordered them in time. Lucky me!
* Trey. Trey is Fisher’s best friend and Kat’s son. Fisher is shy and reserved and kind of hard to understand when he talks. He is obsessed with bugs. He is sensitive. I think he may be a little bit hard to make friends with. But he and Trey have been friends for several years and they have the best time together. They catch bugs, build contraptions, and have the most interesting conversations. Trey is a genius-kid. He has been reading for eons, writes well, and can hold adult level conversations with just about anybody. Fisher doesn’t understand the way language works, has to relearn his letters every single day, and is pretty much terrified to talk to adults…or anyone out of his small circle…but he and Trey are two peas in a pod. Two different peas, but growing up together all the same. Fisher having a friend, a good friend, brings me so much happiness. I can easily imagine him not having any close friends because of his unique way of seeing the world and I am so grateful he hasn’t had to live a friendless life.

Think about it. Think about those good, good friends in your life. Now, can you see why I am so thankful my Fisher has one?

For Fisher’s birthday a few weeks ago, Richard and I took him on a date and we picked up Trey and let them get frozen yogurts at Orange Leaf. They were so stinkin’ cute! They sat at their own table and giggled themselves silly. They helped each other clean up their spills. They talked and talked and talked while their yogurt melted. Richard and I just smiled…so grateful our boy has a friend.
* My colloquia group. I have been meeting (and poorly leading!) a book discussion group for the past eight years. We read a book each month and then come together to share our thoughts, discuss human nature, apply the lessons to ourselves, and consider what God wants us to do with the information we have read. We have laughed, cried, and everything in between. I love my group and the insights they have shared with me. I love having a place to share my thoughts and learn and grow from their thoughts. I am so grateful to have these fellow readers and thinkers in my life.
Time for morning learning time!

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