Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Days of Thankfulness

I'm a little late getting started on this, but it's been a weird week. The cooler temps have me moving much slower in the mornings, then the days get busy...

1. I'll come back to this post and add something for each day of the month, but I might not get around to doing it each day.
2. I'm not going to put obvious things I'm thankful for. Those go without saying. This is more a list of the smaller things in life. On certain days there might be a more obvious "bigger" thing, so I'll include it as well.
3. I will provide explanations of most things - a story about why that particular thing came to mind that day. To me, that's more interesting than just a list.

November 1 - Laughter
Jacob can be a jokester at times, and he provided me with quite a laugh Monday morning. Each morning as we're finishing our breakfast, the boys and I take our medicines together: me, my vitamin, and them, their allergy pills. This time, Jacob took his early and saved back a Rice Krispy from his cereal. When it was time to take our medicine, he popped his into his mouth and crunched down on it. I thought it was Zyrtec, and I kept waiting for a look of disgust to come across his face. "Does it taste good?" I asked him, to which he replied, "It was cereal!" He got me, and we all laughed about that for a long time.

Biggie thing: Mama. Happy birthday!

November 2 - Soup
Even though we've been having soup nights almost weekly for nearly two months, the weather has finally cooled down enough to make it "necessary". Tuesday was very fall-like with gray skies, gentle rain, and temps in the low 50s. After a quick trip out to vote, it was nice to sit down to a hot bowl of homemade Baked Potato Soup.

Biggie thing: the right to vote

November 3 - Sandwiches and Paper Plates
The kitchen faucet started dripping several days ago. On Tuesday, I noticed water had started leaking from around base the fixture. Billy checked under the sink and found that it was leaking underneath as well. (Thankfully we caught it before it got to be a huge mess!) Then as I was trying to get the last few dishes washed up today, water started spraying out the back of the fixture and I lost pressure in the actual faucet. I managed to get everything washed, then I turned off the water under the sink. It took a few dish towels to clean up all the water that had sprayed behind the sink and spread along the counter. Needless to say, I didn't do any cooking for supper. We had sandwiches on paper plates, saving me a big mess to have to clean up at a sink elsewhere in the house.

November 4 - Growing Boys
...even though I don't like having to go through their clothes every season. The sudden cool snap has me going through their closet and drawers today, seeing what fits and what doesn't. First I go through Jacob's. What doesn't fit him goes in one of two piles: Once Upon a Child (resale) or Goodwill. Then I go through Caleb's and move what doesn't fit him over to Jacob's side. Then I make a list of what's needed so I can buy that when I get a chance. In spite of that hassle, though, I'm so glad they're healthy and growing at a steady rate.

November 5 - Public Libraries
I love to read, but I don't have the space or the money to buy books all the time. It's so nice to be able to check out what I want whenever I want it. I also have a Sony book reader, so I can download books, too! Today I found a perfect reading spot in the children's area: in a big comfy chair in a patch of sunlight. Well, I moved the chair so it would be mostly in the sun, but still...

November 6 - SWIM
I was heavily involved in SWIM (Seminary Wives in Ministry) while Billy was working on his master's degree, and I've missed being a part of it since I left the board a year and a half ago. While I don't want to be involved to the extent I was back then, I am glad that I can still go to the seminars they sponsor - like today's "RX for Spiritual Sleepyheads". Prof. and Jeanne Hendricks taught on Bible study methods, based on Prof.'s book Living by the Book. Great presentation from two great people!

Biggie thing: my handyman husband who fixed my sink!

November 7 - Cubbies
This is my fourth year working with the Cubbies in AWANA and I love it! Every year I get a table full of the sweetest little girls. This year I have Lilia, Caitlin, Hannah B., and Ella. They warm my heart, and I love getting sweet hugs and notes from them.

Biggie thing: godly pastors at my church who effectively teach the Word of God.

November 8 - Stay-Home Days
After busy weekends (or even not-so-busy ones), it's great to have a day or two that I know we can count on being home. It's a good way to kick off our school week and for me to get back on track with housekeeping since I only do the basics on the weekend. Usually.

November 9 - Crock Pots
It's so nice to be able to just put everything in in the morning and leave it to cook all day. And it makes the house smell great, too! I want to find some more great Crock Pot recipes so I can use it more often.

November 10 - Candles
Yankee Candles are by far my favorite, especially their "Thankful" scent. Since I don't have one of those right now, I've been burning one of my Shiraz (Vintage Wine) candles that they've discontinued. Luckily I found some at an outlet last summer in Branson, so I bought 3. :o)

November 11 - Music
I've loved music for as long as I can remember. I used to play the piano, but it's been ages. I've had a guitar for almost 9 years now, but I never really learned to play it. Whenever I hear beautiful music, whether it's classical, rock, or somewhere in between, I always wish I could play. Today I took my guitar out of its case for the first time in well over a year and started relearning a few chords. I don't think I'll ever be good enough to play in front of anyone, but if it gives me pleasure, then that's enough.

Two biggies: life (It's my birthday!) and veterans who have served and are serving our country.

November 12 - Fall Color
Seeing the beauty of the changing leaves each fall is one of the highlights of the season. I love the brilliant hues in all the reds, oranges, and golds. And it's usually right around my birthday that the colors start showing themselves. Thank You, God!

November 13 - Good Food
I learned how to make baklava today, and I can't wait to do it myself soon. At tonight's home team, Deb had made some scrumptious - and rich! - sopapilla cheesecake. Yum! And last Saturday at the SWIM event, I ate some of the best granola I've ever put in my mouth. It was homemade, and my friend gave me her recipe. :o)

November 14 - Rest and Relaxation
Well, I didn't take my nap today, but I did enjoy spending time at home with Caleb this morning. He was exhausted from his weekend retreat, and a late-night dose of Benadryl to offset a sudden allergy attack did nothing to help get him going Sunday morning. I stayed home from church with him so he could rest up, and it wasn't until nearly 11:30 that he perked up. While he rested and read, I did much of the same.

November 15 - Netflix
We just signed up for Netflix, and the few days we've been using it have been great! I got to watch an old favorite movie of mine - The Man from Snowy River - without having to borrow it from the library or drive to a Redbox rental to get it. It just streamed right through the Wii onto our TV. The boys have enjoyed watching several episodes of some of their favorite cartoons, and Billy has enjoyed watching old episodes of Pawn Stars. Today for science, the boys and I watched the National Geographic Explorer documentary Sea Monsters, about prehistoric marine animals. I can't wait to explore Netflix some more!

November 16 - Afternoon Walks
I finally got out to walk again after I don't know how long. It was nice to be out in the crisp, cool air. My iPod is a great companion when I don't have someone to walk with me. I really need to make this a regular thing!

November 17 - Calendars
Staying home a lot often leads to me getting my days confused. My calendar is a necessity, not only for helping me keep track of what day it is, but also for anything coming up that we've planned to do. Every year after Christmas, when calendars are on sale for 50% off, I choose one to get me through the next year. When I'm transferring important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) to my new one, it's always fun to see all the things we did the past year. And it helps me with my annual "Year in Review" blog posts. :o)

November 18 - Writing Opportunities
I've always loved to write, but I've never done much more than the usual drivel (and an occasional good post) in this blog. In August, I took on the task of editor of my Sunday school class newsletter. I'm responsible for planning the content of each month's issue as well as layout and design, contacting people for submissions (with the help of Deb Chisholm, the assistant editor and proofreader), and occasionally writing something myself. So far we've put out 3 issues and have gotten some great feedback. Last month, one of my former students contacted me about an online magazine she's putting out. I pitched an idea for her December issue that I'm currently working on; submitted an article for January's issue; and am fleshing out an article for February. It's not a paying gig, but it's good experience - and good practice.

November 19 - Short School Days
Every Friday is a short day for us since we have errands to run in town. We typically do language and math, then head out for lunch, the library, grocery shopping, and whatever else we need to do. I like only having to get out (usually) once a week.

November 20 - Good Sales
I'm not much of a shopper. When I need to buy something, I know what I want and where I need to get it - and I'm in and out and done with it. Christmas shopping is another matter entirely. No, I don't like it, but I can't go out armed with a list most of the time. I have to see things to spark more ideas on what to get for the people I'm buying for. After Billy's parents left with the boys earlier today, we went to the outlet mall to check on a few ideas for the boys. Not only were we able to get some good things on sale ($5 fleece vests for the boys!), but I was able to come up with a few more ideas to add to my list of things to buy. Maybe I can get this year's Christmas shopping done quickly...?

November 21 - Quiet
The boys have gone with Billy's parents for their Thanksgiving break. Today Billy and I vegged out in the living room and did pretty much nothing but watch a Pawn Stars marathon all day. I did a few loads of laundry, but it was mostly a do-nothing day - except for AWANA.

November 22 - Dave's Italian Roast
The IT Dept. has a soup day the week of Thanksgiving every year, and every year Billy has come home telling me how wonderful Dave's Italian Roast is. This year I finally got to go and taste it for myself. It's the best roast I've ever had. Well, I love roast with mushroom gravy, but this is different. It's a little spicy and a lot tasty. I went back for a little more - and I found out the recipe. I'm definitely going to be making this soon!

November 23 - Haircuts
It's been since March. Need I say more?

November 24 - Hair Color
Ahhhh, Sangria. It's been too long!

November 25 - Family Time
Every Thanksgiving, my parents and sisters meet us and my husband's aunts and uncles at his parents' house for an afternoon of feasting, visiting, and playing games. It's the perfect way to relax with everyone before the busyness of the Christmas season begins.

November 26 - No Shopping on Black Friday
I almost hate to shop. Need I say more?

November 27 - Naps on Long Rides
Put me in a moving vehicle for more than 30 minutes (sometimes less!), and I'm a goner. Within ten minutes of leaving Billy's parents' house, I was nodding off.

November 28 - Christmas Decorations
I like the bright little LEDs on our tree and the hodge-podge of ornaments hanging on it.

November 29 - Rain
Even though I'd rather drift off to sleep to the sound of rain hitting the roof, it's not too bad a sound to wake up to. It rained off and on for ahout 3 hours this morning. We desperately needed it!

November 30 - Christmas Music
I enjoy the decorations, but it's really the music that draws me in.

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