30 November 2009

one word tag

I was tagged in a meme by Hannah...it looked like fun, answering everything with one word, so here you have it... (by the way, I did this twice already, and the computer crashed so I have left my answers as they were the last time I answered this!)

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your hair? desparate
3. Your mother? genuine
4. Your father? fun
5. Your favorite food? chocolate
6. Your dream last night? wierd
7. Your favorite drink? coffee
8. Your dream/goal? overcome
9. What room are you in? kitchen
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? contamination
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? learning
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren’t? punctual
15. Muffins? pumpkin
16. Wish list item? mp3
17. Where did you grow up? georgia
18. Last thing you did? clean
19. What are you wearing? jacket
20. Your TV? gift
21. Your pets? bird
22. Friends? wonderful
23. Your life? busy
24. Your mood? blueish
25. Missing someone? Mick
26. Vehicle? minivan
27. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
28. Your favorite store? Target
29. Your favorite color? grey
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? today
32. Your best friend? husband
33. One place that I go to over and over? grocery
34. One person who emails me regularly? Sonlight
35. Favorite place to eat? Mexican

I'm not usually a big tagger blogger, but today I'm breaking out of my norm. So, I'm tagging you:


Mrs Lemon



. . . . and whoever else wants to play - just let me know you did and I'll come read it!

26 November 2009

thankfulness - my mom

Today marks the end of my little thankfulness series, and I think it appropriate for me to go back to the very beginning of me...being thankful for my mom.

Today also marks the the beginning of my mom - for it's her birthday!
My mom was born the day before Thanksgiving, the 10th of 11 children. She talks about how one of her older sisters had to make the turkey that year and it burned...and one brother in particular still likes to teasingly blame my mom for ruining that Thanksgiving. I have always loved hearing this story. It seems so normal and warm and cozy and precisely what family is all about.

My mother is one of those people who thinks very little of herself - she is always surprised when someone from many years ago remembers her, and not only that but specifically remembers her because of her genuineness, her gentle sharing and ministering, her simple ways of meeting needs, her always, always open home. She is equally surprised by the people who meet her once or twice, then seek her out.

Her support of me in the choices I make is that of a mother who knows when it's time to let her child learn to fly - she never tried to stop me from moving 3,000 miles away from home at 20 years old. When I wanted to get married at 21, she felt I had the right husband and was therefore behind me 100%. (She has often been heard saying she kept me because I married him...)

She has been down many roads in her lifetime. High roads, low roads and in between roads. And she is constant no matter the road she is on. She never pretends to be perfect, and is exactly who she seems to be.

One thing people have never understood about her is perhaps a favorite trait to me. She has been known to lie about her age quite often. But rather than say she is younger, she rounds up, indicating she is older. In her early forties, she'd say she was 45, then it was 50, and so on. She gets a kick out of doing this...but deep down it says something about her. She told me that aging is a privilege. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. By saying she is older rather than younger, she is embracing life, not hiding from it. We all got a good laugh several years back when she had to stop and think of what year she'd been born...she'd forgotten her real age!

I like to think my mom has had a large part in shaping who I am. She is a great comfort to me when the going gets tough. She reminds to call on the One who can hear me and answer me best. She loves me so unconditionally.

Happy birthday Mommy!

I'm thinking about having "Thankful Thursdays" as a part of my regular blogging as I've enjoyed this so much. Perhaps some of you will join me!

25 November 2009

Beware: it's an allergy-related posting. But oh, I'm feeling thankful!!

Little B and Miss C cannot have dairy products. There are about 2 different margarines that I can find in a typical grocery store that are safe for them - UNsalted Fleishmann's Margarine (sticks) and some Smart Balance Margarines (tubs) - I have to be very careful to get the right one with this. One way is to look for the word "parve" on the package. I believe there is one other more costly choice, Earth Balance, but this keeps it simple - the sticks for baking, the tub for a spread on bagels, etc.

Baby J cannot have soy. Let's keep this simple: all margarine has soy. That means it's virtually impossible to make baked goods safe for all three kids. Fun, I tell you.

Enter Spectrum's shortening made of palm oil only. No dairy. No soy. Not even cross contaminated with any of the other allergies. Sounds like it solves the problem, right? I should be so thankful. Right?? NOT.

It took two tries - using it in some icing on a cake (gluten free for hubs and baby) and attempting some Chex Muddy Buddies (modified w/sunbutter versus peanut butter, etc) to discover that John apparently had some issues with palm oil. So....not a good substitute after all.

I was feeling forlorn trying to figure how to solve this dilemma. I have a completely allergy safe pumpkin pie recipe and dug for a gluten free/safe crust. BUT could not figure what to use to replace the need for a butter/margarine/shortening ingredient. Forlorn, indeed....

Then, at the grocery store I ran across coconut oil. To be fair, I'd seen it by Spectrum but theirs was cross-contaminated, so could not be used for my family. But this one does not seem to have any hindering factors. It just has coconut oil. AND, since this whole crew of mine can easily and often drink coconut milk, I simply cannot foresee a problem.

Woohoo! Yeah, very thankful. 8-)

24 November 2009

thankfulness - librarian of the year

I've been pondering what I am thankful for today...as in what thing to I tell you about? And today, well, let's just make it a bit lighter, huh?

I love my favorite librarian. She's so much kinder about lost books and late fees than, say, my lesser favorites or my least favorite. We keep a LOT of books out at a time. Little B can easily devour a book a day, and if they are simpler books, a dozen in a week plus some serious re-reading time. I vary...during the summer I inhaled them like oxygen because I could. I knew once school started that would need more attention, being my first year with it. I've enjoyed some since then, but not so many. My husband listens to books on CD since he can't find time to read them. And then there's Miss C, bed time stories, and my nonfiction "wow that looks interesting" books, and any homeschooling books we need at the time (we get what we can from there for our Sonlight and random unit studies), plus some kids movies and science or history DVDs, etc...get the picture? On average, 50ish books at a time are out (rarely less than 30, though I've seen it hit 81), and I am a huge fan of the online renewal that lets me do it twice in row.

Friday is library day. It makes my kids simply pant with anticipation for the new books ("If you only turned in three, you can only check out three" . . . "But MOOOMMMY, I really like this one!"). Baby J, well, he gets a thrill, too, removing DVDs and books from the shelf and stacking them on the floor by his stroller.

And "my" librarian. She likes my kids. She enjoys their love of all things book. She makes sure I know on "those" days (when I can barely contain varying issues (who us?) among sibling treatment, books I don't find appropriate, antsy waiting in line, or me with migraine) that she likes us, that it's gonna be fine, that my kids are always welcome in that library...the list goes on. I seek her out, I wait until she's available if I have a question or need help.

Little B has his own library card. He's uber proud of it, too. But, it's a responsibility. If you have three "claims returned" (missing but you thought you turned it in) books on your card, it gets suspended. Little B reached the point of 2 this summer. And then it happened: a third went missing. Fortunately, it wasn't due yet. I made sure I was talking to her when I wanted to discuss my options...the "least favorite" had been less than helpful or kind (contrary to what the fave had suggested) with another incident and was less than computer savvy on two occasions...so, my fave said she'd renew the book and give us time to find it. She also priced out the now-three books and suggested that if he had to pay for one to keep his card going, to pay for the cheapest. The weeks ticked by. It was due last Friday and we still could not find any of those books to help us out. I asked if she could renew it once more (twice in a row is allowable as long as no one has it on reserve). Alas, someone had it on reserve....but you know what?? She renewed it for us anyway! What a librarian! We got a little more time to find it...(and that person couldn't have had this copy anyway, so why not!?).

Today, a miracle happened. We found the most expensive of the books in the dark caverns beneath the playroom couch. Woohoo! Nothing like cleaning out some corners. Little B was elated - "I'm safe!" Of course, ideally, we could find the other two as well, but at least now he can "claims returned" the current one if need be and not have a penalty...whew...

All that nonsense to say, SHE MAKES MY DAY! When I feel haggard on a Friday, migrained out, PMSish or tired of dealing with a melt-down week with certain kids...I look forward to her kind face on Friday, knowing she likes my kids even when I don't (well, you know what I mean)and will be nice to me.

Oh yeah, I am thankful for my own personal librarian of the year!

22 November 2009

thankfulness - His ways

I'm not sure who reads my blog and doesn't admit it...or if there are even such people out there. It makes me a little nervous because I have this friend whose wonderful blog I just finally had to comment on - and I know people who read it. Therefore I have a quaking fear of someone clicking "cjoy" and finding my blog and saying, "OMIGOSH ... I know her!" If that's you, please just 'fess up, 'kay? I'd feel better knowing who has found my private haven, even if my anonymity is gone. Thanks.

All that aside . . . or perhaps because of it, I have a post that makes me lose face. It shares the deep and the personal and for a while I could not pinpoint why it made me thankful or how to go about sharing it or even if I should. Today I knew how to go about it at last. Please, bear with me....

I've talked about how my husband's job has offered only decreases in pay for quite some time (40% is a pretty accurate number for the most part). I've told you some of the many issues in our home...
Regarding allergies, Miss C's alternative treatments are not covered by insurance; and I assure you our grocery bills are not pretty, even when I can find a stack of coupons (I'm the only one who has no dietary restriction).
Regarding my oldest, we've paid a lot lot lot on therapies for years now...much out of pocket or deductibles and co-pays by the fistful in spite of choosing the better insurance (which has been great for certain docs and referrals, etc).
There are too many things to list or explain. You get the idea, though.

Around the new year, we slowly had to stop paying on our credit cards. Yes, plural. And yes, it was high. Were we reckless? I don't believe so. Mostly it was to counter the cost of the medical and sometimes to help someone else. I cannot regret either of those choices. (And we paid faithfully for many years.)

I mentioned a few weeks back, when I "returned" to my blog, that there was a practical reason we're selling our house...it's called "can't afford it any more" - and we're attempting a short sale (means the mortgage company will take less than we owe just to get it off their hands). We've had it on the market nearly 3 months. We've shown it 3 times now. At a greatly reduced price. That's not exactly hopeful.

That said, we actually truly feel the Lord has led us to this point. In spite of the stress that should completely suck me under here, I cannot tell you how deeply the peace has carried us. We're even at a point where if we had NOT had debt, we'd be in a hole. The difference being that we'd probably have reduced our house payment by 2/3 and therefore not be able to sell and move where He so clearly wants us to go! Interesting how "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

We fully expect that at any time they could foreclose on us. Most days, as I said, this does not bother me at all. I know. Crazy. Especially when about 2 or so years ago, I was heard saying to my husband, "As long as we never lose our house...."

Now, I'm glad the Lord heard me say that and challenged me on it. I'm thankful he is stripping me of it. Truly, figuring out what to feed my family 3 meals a day, day after day, is much more stressful to me than losing my home. I loathe packing and never wanted to do it again. That is a bigger stress. Yes, it's very humbling and I don't want to share it with the world. But then again, I've had so much of that peace, and this sense of thankfulness...I could not quite pinpoint it until today, when I felt a little lower. The gray months of winter that lie ahead don't feel so promising. Then a song began to play in my head from many years ago...

His ways are higher than mine,
Much higher.

Higher, higher,
Much, much higher,
Higher, higher,
Much higher...

Isaiah 55:9
For as the heavens are higher than the earth
So My ways are higher than your ways,
And My thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Oh, how very thankful I am that my God's ways and thoughts are higher than mine.

thankfulness - in the details

I am so thankful for Bananagrams (I won it over at Hannah's blog not long ago). My son and I have a blast with this game. Definitely a must for any Scrabble fan, which I am. Also, Miss C has taken some strong interests in sounding out randomly chosen words when she wanders in while Little B and I are playing it. She's anxious to learn to read and it simply whets her appetite. While looking through a homeschooling catalog, I saw Pairs and Pears which might just be up her alley. Fun stuff!

Oh...I cannot forget - a fixed-again toilet is also at the top of my gratitude today. We've bought new parts once before, then rigged those when they failed repeatedly. Needless to say, I was quite weary of reaching into the lid to make it flush.

And now, I'm going to brush my teeth and wash my face and try to convince myself that staying up late to finish reading The Actor and the Housewife is really not a good idea....

21 November 2009

thankfulness - Miss C

Today I got out to the grocery store...alone. And then I came home, ate lunch, put Baby J down for his nap and left the boys in the dust; I took Miss C to go shopping. Target (yes, again) and Kid to Kid (2nd hand kid's stuff). She never whined, complained, felt annoyed...wait, is this sounding redundant?? She savored every drop of her soy hot chocolate from Starbucks, was thrilled with the clothes we found for her at Kid to Kid (and tried them on like a champ in a chilly dressing room), and when I thanked her for spending the afternoon with me shopping, she squealed in delight and thanked me for letting her come!

I'm so thankful for my Ladybug.
She is strong. Her allergies control her life in a thousand ways and while it can be disappointing, she is amazing through it all. In recent months we've been getting her alternative allergy elimination treatments that have made great strides in her immune system and health as well as healing some of the allergies...we definitely still have a ways to go, but during these last months we've seen so many changes in her. In the beginning, she was quiet, more shy than not, and almost "lethargic" - though not in a medically alarming way, just not very active. "Mousy" may well have been an apt description of her. As the weeks of treatments have progressed, she has become bolder and more chatty (and not just with us), her sparkly, glowing personality has emerged, something we'd only barely seen glimpses of before now. Her skin is prettier, her hair a bit thicker...generally more healthy. It has made me so thankful we found these treatments for her. Miss C's case is especially complex and has required several re-treatments. But she has clearly begun feeling better. And with that, we have so much more of our little girl to enjoy.

Miss C has a gorgeous singing voice (she SO did not get that from me...but her daddy can sing with the best!), her big brown eyes sparkle with humor and can I just say that still waters run deep? The observations this girl can point out startle me sometimes.

She totally made my day today. And my heart is full and overflowing with thanks for her!

20 November 2009

thankfulness -

I slacked - well, my computer's operating system crashed, so I kinda couldn't get online for posting my thankfulness posts. That made me sad. I was so looking forward to them.

However, it's back and functioning and I'm going to do a quick summary of thankfulness for all the days I missed...can't back down on what I'd planned, ya know?

I woke up being thankful for my husband's extra hours at work. Since over a year ago his job has provided a lot of pay cuts, lay offs, and hour cuts. Things are no longer just tight around here...they're cutting off the circulation. HOWEVER. He does have a job still. And the past two weeks he was given opportunity to work a lot of extra hours. Now, when I say a lot of extra hours, I mean he worked over 70 hours in one week. He pulled an all-nighter. He would come home long after I was able to stay awake to see him. The kids and I just kissed him goodbye again each morning - if he wasn't already gone when we woke. Truly, it was a really bad week around here. But those hours were so desperately needed that I couldn't be upset about them. Yes, my thankfulness had some low moments, but overall, thankfulness won. And, as of Wednesday, he's back to working a bit more normal of a schedule, though there's a possibility of another rush after Thanksgiving.

I wasn't feeling very thankful on Monday. Or Tuesday. And only a little bit on Wednesday. Though really it seems that stretched much further than a few days; I can't remember any more. I was struggling very hard with meltdowns (mine and not mine), migraines (just mine...the multi-day kind), missing my husband, not being able to use my computer (just the icing on top, really)....it was one of "those." And in the midst of the fog I was barely surviving in, I kept thinking about my thankfulness posts and how I would need to be able to write something for those days. Because I was determined to be thankful in spite of it all. And so I am. I am so, so, SO thankful that I am not a single mom. Truly. And, I am thankful that in those days I still have Someone supplying me with mercy and grace. Because boy-howdy, I NEEDED it. Too, I was thankful my mom and dad came down to be part of that mercy and grace through my evening. It eased the burdens so much.

In spite of my abundance of grumpiness, this is the day we discovered that the only cost for repairing my laptop was the purchase of an external hard drive. Woohoo! Some networking guys at my husband's office had said they'd try to just restart the operating system and see if that helped...it did! I'm thankful for the lack of repair cost and the new external hard drive which we hope will keep the laptop running a bit easier. That's big in our world. My husband has picked up some extra income testing software and needs the laptop for it. A new laptop would not have been easy to come by right now!

The tears continued, the grumps were in full swing (remember, not all of it stemmed from me), and I just plum wanted out. But, in leaving the house for any errands just draws out the complaints and gripes and overwhelmed-ness that my oldest has been mired in. Stores and Little B have never, ever meshed well. It's been better as he's gotten older, but recently we're experiencing some set-backs (unless we are spending all our time on the Lego aisle...unfortunately, that does not feed us or brush our teeth, or diaper Baby J....you get the idea). So, my efforts to leave the house weren't exactly...positive.

However - by the time John got home, I was thankful for several reasons:
1. On this day my husband did not have to work late. He didn't get home in time for dinner, but he did get home before bedtime for the kids! Definitely a step in the right direction and a strong lift in attitude began for the little people (and consequently, me!).
2. He spent the day downtown in an all-day meeting. When we'd have liked for him to head home, he had to go to the office to chat it up with his boss...well, talk shop. Finally, he headed home. Five minutes into his drive (we were chatting on the phone in my dire need for adult contact and most especially my need to have a real conversation with my love - we'd only spoken in passing or on small meal breaks for too long), he realized he'd forgotten my laptop - it was fixed! So, he turned around to get it.
3. While there, his boss stopped him - he wanted to thank John for his work. And give him a hundred dollars (it was his own money - not company money). Yeah, the tears leaked then. The instructions that went with it were, "Take your wife out to eat." We got take out Mexican since neither of us had eaten yet, but hope to have a time for just the two of us soon!

Last night I went out with my mom to Toys R Us...I think it's just as exciting as when I was a kid looking at those toys in awe! haha! I stopped by WalMart for some cold meds for Little B. And then my mom got me dinner at Captain D's. I want you to notice that the only thing I did for a couple of hours was go to stores and talk to another adult (yes, I talked about my kids, and shopped for them, but they weren't there begging, "annoying", whining, crying or dying to go home). I cherished that time. I needed that time. I was and still am immensely thankful for that time!!

Ah, today. It's here at last. Today I am thankful that I made the decision to take Fridays off from homeschooling (consequently, we'll school year-round, but I love this plan!). I am thankful that the attitudes and meltdowns of a few days ago are beginning to balance out (we're pretty sure that the change in Daddy's hours were wreaking havoc with more than just mommy). I'm thankful for the sweet little lovey kisses Baby J is SO good about sharing with me. I'm thankful the sun is out, the house was a deliciously cold 64 degrees when I woke up, that Little B only needed a few threats to get his chores done and that tomorrow is Saturday.

And a little bonus: I'm thankful to you for reading all the way down here. Even if you skimmed or skipped to get here. Hopefully, the computer will continue to cooperate and I will not have nearly a week's worth next time!

14 November 2009

thankfulness - in everything

Last night I spilled my latte. I was not, NOT happy. In fact, I confess to spilling a few tears after I heard the last of the latte gurgle into the van's dark depths.

To understand this fully you must understand the way my mind works. As you likely can't forget since I talk about it all the time, my kids have allergies galore -the oldest two to dairy, Miss C especially. We have gotten her some treatments that have decreased the severity of her reactions. However. You have to realize the ingrained, gut reaction to any type of cow-by-product spilling or smearing or melting or dripping or cross-contaminating makes my heart pound and my whole being kick into gear - "How can I best clean this up???"

No, my house is far from tidy. Not that kind of cleaning. Just in case you thought I was a clean-a-holic, 'cause I'm SO not.

Since my husband has had a solid week of late nights and will again be working Sunday through Friday super late next week (deadlines upon deadlines that I am actually very thankful for), I decided that to ease my single-parent bedtime routine a little, I'd get everyone ready except for brushing their teeth and take them out for hot chocolate - except Baby J, who I planned to have fall asleep on the drive. He cooperated until we got home.

My son gleefully chugged his entire kid-sized-soy-hot-chocolate before we were hardly out of the parking lot. My daughter has the rest of hers in the fridge to be heated again tomorrow. Go figure. Me...well, I went for a Tall decaf latte. I likenoLOVE plain lattes. With dairy milk. (Soy lattes are gross. I tried. Once.) And I so rarely get them that I was all in a dither over it. But, the hole in the lid was too small to let in air so I could barely get any drink to my mouth. I had decided to wait and make the hole bigger at home. But along the way, I heard the cup call my name and opted for one more effort at a sip - at which time the lid must have popped off because it never made it to my mouth. Rather I heard my van take a deep drink of my latte in the dark of night when I could not see to rescue it.

I pulled over into an empty turn lane but by then the cup had about two drops left. I thought at that moment that I was SO NOT THANKFUL even though it was probably God's way of telling me I wasn't really supposed to order it, that I was just being a glutton. And my heart was racing because I'd just spilled a dairy beverage all over (the mess that is) the front of my van. Technically, it landed in a canvas bag of stuff that was hung between the seatbelts...and all over a slew of papers...and soaked into the carpet. I really didn't feel thankful, except maybe for the roll of toilet paper (I had it in there for our extended colds - better than Kleenex any day!) because it seemed to soak up a good bit of dairy-infested latte.

And that is where my thankfulness began.

"In everything give thanks..." (I Thessolonians 5:18a)

I had to think on it a bit. But I did find things to be thankful for in my lost latte. I was thankful for only ordering the Tall. My preferred Grande would have cost more, spilled way more and caused more dairy-stress. I was also thankful that Baby J didn't wake up until I came IN the house from cleaning up (he was standing at the front door watching me). And, as I cleaned I came across the "foot" to the baby swing I just gave someone; I felt bad giving it to her when I realized that was missing! Besides, a little prompting to clean out the van is always something to be thankful for, right?!

Mostly, I'm thankful that in spite of my spilled latte, it was a pleasant outing with my kids. And, I had an opportunity to say, "Thank you Lord for the spilled latte..."

12 November 2009

thankfulness - homeschooling

As I've mentioned before, we decided to homeschool Little B at the end of second grade. I had never, ever considered it before because I was sure I could not handle it. But by this time I could no longer handle sending him to school each day, only to see him come home in a deep funk full of frustration and anger. Here is a bit of what led up to such a big decision for us:

My son is very sensitive and fairly "high needs." He's also incredibly intelligent. He struggles with the atmosphere a classroom provides and that resulted in a whole lot of difficult days. The first day after spring break probably was pretty typical for him. Most likely, by the time he was asked to do his least favorite assignment ever - log about a book he'd read - he had been picked on and bullied; survived lunch with the intense loudness that accompanies any typical lunchroom, but is especially overwhelming to him; no doubt been reminded to stay on task several times; and was feeling as though he was worthless and couldn't do anything right. His teacher was known to bend over backwards to help him, so she was never the source of his problems, though he didn't understand that at the time.

That is only a tiny taste of what led up to the point in his day when he once again fell apart. I know this sound ridiculous to some, like a lack of discipline to others. But for him, the world truly came crashing down at that moment. That assignment pushed him over the edge and he could no longer handle much of anything after the stressors he'd worked around and tried to cope with all day. Simply put, it was the straw that broke the camel's back.

And so on this day of all days, Little B was yelling at his teacher that he had an escape plan if she wouldn't listen. Now, she did listen - every single day - but logging wasn't something she could waive just for him. I understand that. In Little B's mind, though, he just couldn't handle another day of forced writing about something that was already written down in the book (he thinks that if you want to know, you should read the book...I understand that, too). And he escaped by trying to run away from school.

Why? Because all he wanted was to go home to his bed, away from the source of his stress, and calm down. That spoke so loudly to me. And during the week of suspension that ensued, I enforced the discipline they chose, but at the same time we began talking about homeschooling. The following Monday he was allowed to go back to school, but we withdrew him instead. And I have never looked back.

I am thankful for a thousand things in this. I'm thankful his class had a door to the outside that tempted him because it made me stop and listen really carefully to how I could meet his needs.

I'm thankful I no longer feel building anxiety as I check my email 5-10 times a day wondering if his teacher has emailed me to let me know of his latest struggle in class (she did that at my request).

I'm thankful that though I must toe the line with him particularly on hard days, a hard day homeschooling (and we have them in spades, believe me) simply doesn't compare to even an average day in public school. In fact, on the hardest days of all, I am more deeply thankful that he is at home with me versus sitting embarrassed and angry at himself in front of 17 other kids and other grown ups.

I'm thankful for:

the increase in flexibility,

the decrease in stress,

the increase in time with my son,

the decrease in time spent on school assignments,

the increase in enjoyment of learning.

thankfulness - my husband

I have the most amazing husband.
My thankfulness for him is deep and wide and overflowing.
My words to express them are not even close to adequate.

When he married me, I had health problems that were yet to be discovered - but before our first wedding anniversary, I'd had surgery and been put on medications that caused drug-induced menopause for 6 months or more. Oh, my friends...no woman should go through such a thing twice, and certainly not at 22 years old! And no man should have to live through that twice -certainly not at 22 years old!! What a time that was. He was a college student and working full time, I was working and going through hormone changes that you cannot begin to fathom yet. At the end of those months, we laughingly said we'd survive anything if we made it through menopause in the first year of marriage.

We've learned together to choose the right perspective on so many issues over the years. We have not had an easy life by any standard. Half our marriage so far, he was working on his degree. We started having kids before he graduated. Food allergies dominate meal times. Special needs of varying degrees sprinkle through the house, some bigger than others. Issues I won't even go into dominate our lives right now. But, you know what? They eventually fall into place and we just move on, figuring it out, working through it, and being glad we're together during it all.

I would not trade this man or the life we have together for anyone in the world. He lights up my days. I am happier when he comes home. I want to grow old with him. He's the best kisser on earth. He makes me laugh. He laughs with me. I am completely myself with him. He works so hard to care for all of us. He even does the dishes for me when I get too far behind (without griping, too).

And he wanted to marry ME! I don't understand that...but I sure won't challenge him on it, either. I'm SO thankful for my husband.

11 November 2009


I've been seeing a lot of "thankful" postings on facebook this week. Several people are doing a thankful post every day until Thanksgiving, which I think is great. But, I'm going to do a thankful blog every day until Thanksgiving. My heart is full to overflowing in so many ways, even on the hardest days of all. So, I can't imagine that this will be a difficult task in the least. Indeed, it makes me sad that someone could even think they'd run out of things to be thankful for.

I had a little mental list of the order in which I wanted to state my thankfulness, but in truth I should share my heart each day, not have a hierarchy of thanks.

So, since today is Veteran's Day, I will start by saying I'm thankful for those who have served in our military and fought for our freedom. It is far from an easy job and no doubt few receive the credit truly due them for their service. I am surrounded by those who serve our country and often don't give enough consideration to what they do for me. I live this life the way I do because of them. There is much to be thankful for in that simple fact.

Today, I have planned a small lesson for Little B about Veteran's Day. He just sat down as I typed this and noticed some of the papers at his counter-top "desk" and began talking about Veteran's Day - he told me that today is for celebrating and honoring the people who used to and do work in the military. The music teacher at his school the past few years was a veteran and each year he spent his class time on Veteran's Day talking about his service. I'm so glad he did - it clearly instilled a respect in my son for our military.

I know I am surrounded by people in my life who serve or have served our country - I am honored to know them and thankful for them to the core of my being. They protect our freedom for so many things, not the least of these is the freedom to openly love and worship my Lord.