Archive from November, 2014
27 Nov
2014
Posted in: uncategorized
By    No Comments

The Abundance of Thanksgiving

Four children baking in the kitchen

I spent yesterday in a kitchen with four kids baking and prepping food for the feast we’ll share with friends today. Christmas music was our soundtrack of choice. The counters were sticky. Crumbs littered the floor. Every single mixing bowl I own was dirty. The sink was full of dishes waiting to be cleaned. It was perfect.

When I give myself time to truly reflect on what I’m thankful for, my breath catches. I live in a house with on-demand water, reliable electricity, heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. We own not one, but two vehicles. If those were to fail, there are six bicycles in the shed. We have the ability to easily get from one place to another. We’re well-enough to walk for miles at a time, even run if we wanted.

I have freedoms other people in the world are willing to face prison time for, or even death. These freedoms are made possible by those who defend our country on a daily basis. Each person in our home owns a Bible, and we attend the church of our choosing without repercussions.  I not only have one refrigerator stocked with food, but there is a second one in the garage, along with a standing freezer. There are cabinets in the kitchen with supplies to cook and bake for my family. I have dishes, utensils, cooking pots, oven and dishwasher. I have never truly been more than inconvenienced by hunger.

Each morning I have choices to make with what I want to wear and the means to wash and dry clothes after they’re worn. We each own multiple coats to wear depending on the weather. There are hats and gloves in abundance. I own more than one pair of shoes.

I have options to educate my children. There are various schools they can attend, or I could educate them myself. We live in a country where I can read the books I want and go to a public library to get them. My kids play on athletic teams, take music lessons, build LEGO robots and dance at a studio. We travel, watch movies at the theatre, eat at restaurants, attend sporting events and visit museums.

All six of us have health insurance and various doctors invested in our health. We have preventative care options with our food and health choices.

I’m even grateful for social media. The big world we live in seems much smaller with a screen to view it through. It amazes me that I can send a message to China or Europe right now and potentially hear back within a few minutes. I could get on a plane and fly to those places. There are people, places and ideas (for better or worse) that wouldn’t be available were it not for the Internet and social media outlets.

I’m grateful today that I will sit around a table with family and friends and share a day of thanksgiving and plenty. I’m thankful for people who had the courage to cross an ocean to the unknown and make it work. It’s not a perfect life in a perfect world, but my daily world is full of abundance in ways big and small. I have much to be thankful for, and not just on Thanksgiving.

 


 
Take a Trip: WaTiki Indoor Waterpark
By     |    Nov 26, 2014
Posted in: travel     |    No Comments

Take a Trip: WaTiki Indoor Waterpark

We travel to the Black Hills of South Dakota a couple of times each year. Several times while we’ve visited Rapid City, our kids have asked to stop at WaTiki Indoor Waterpark. We’ve always managed to avoid the waterpark, until last weekend. Our second oldest chose to celebrate his 10th birthday at WaTiki. It seems most of our friends have driven the four hours to enjoy the water slides in the 30,000 square foot park, so we had a vague... [Read More]

Read more
The Impact of a Decade
By     |    Nov 21, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

The Impact of a Decade

Our second child hits double digits this weekend. We’ve had the privilege of calling him ours for 10 years. Those years hold so much life….accomplishments, laughs, travels, tears, struggles. I’ve caught myself this week involuntarily remembering moments from the last decade of J’s life. I’ll be washing dishes and be caught off guard by a moment from years ago. The night he was born, the nurse brought him to me all cleaned and wrapped like a baby burrito. I held... [Read More]

Read more
Stuck in a Parking Lot
By     |    Nov 20, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Stuck in a Parking Lot

I left the house this morning just before 9 a.m. to drop off my youngest at preschool. I was rocking this Thursday. I had exercised, dropped three kids off at school, done dishes, cleaned two bathrooms, put one load of laundry in the washing machine and sorted a second pile. It wasn’t even 9 a.m. I was riding a supermom high. That feeling is rare in this house. I remembered paperwork to take to preschool, books to take to the... [Read More]

Read more
Enjoying a Needed Dose of Nothing
By     |    Nov 17, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Enjoying a Needed Dose of Nothing

I stood staring at the calendar Friday night. Something was wrong. There was nothing written in the Saturday box. I told myself to think. Think. Think. THINK! Obviously I had forgotten something. There is never a square on the calendar without something written. There is always some place one of us is required to be or some task needing attention on or before a certain date. Saturday was gloriously blank and not because I had forgotten something. It was a... [Read More]

Read more
Brrr…Living Somewhere Cold
By     |    Nov 12, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Brrr…Living Somewhere Cold

Our youngest is not impressed with the recent cold temperatures in Wyoming. She had to be pried from the cocoon of warmth and comfort her bed provided this morning. She scowled as she ate breakfast and stomped off to get dressed for the day. We were bundling up to drive to middle school for drop-off when she exclaimed, “Why do we live here?!” Her brothers and I just stared at her as her rant continued. “I want to wear flip... [Read More]

Read more
Rejuvenation from Prayer
By     |    Nov 10, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Rejuvenation from Prayer

I believe in the power of prayer. A gathering of people praying for the same cause has the ability to bring me to tears. People praying and laying hands on each other renews my spirits. Community is powerful. I went to church this past Sunday morning assuming the motions would be the same. I know where to sit. I know about how long praise will last, followed by any reminders, a prayer, a sermon, a prayer and dismissal with a... [Read More]

Read more
Being Reassured in Parenting
By     |    Nov 7, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Being Reassured in Parenting

This parenting business is tricky. I have entire days that just seem difficult from sunrise to sunset. No one is listening or has apparently never listened to any advice or direction I’ve ever offered. Parenting issues seem to spiral and compound until I’m deflated and exhausted. On any given day, I can fluctuate from completely capable parent to inept 100 times. Then there are days like yesterday. I was gifted with a strong reminder that all the effort required to... [Read More]

Read more
Weeping and Gratitude for Old Photos
By     |    Nov 3, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Weeping and Gratitude for Old Photos

I’ve been sifting through old photographs and making digital copies to preserve what remains from a photo album of yellowing 35-year-old memories. The desire to archive photos for my extended family led me to sitting in front of my scanner weeping for the majority of Monday. I wept tears of sadness for the smiling people in the photos that have been gone more than a decade and some even longer. I wept for all the young people in our family... [Read More]

Read more
Counting Down to Thanksgiving with Halloween Candy
By     |    Nov 1, 2014
Posted in: projects     |    No Comments

Counting Down to Thanksgiving with Halloween Candy

My kids brought 13 ½ pounds of candy into the house last night, and only three of the four kids went trick-of-treating. We didn’t even walk to that many houses, or for very long. I swear every year the candy in their bags increases exponentially. As much as the kids beg to, I don’t let them eat whatever they want on Halloween. A couple of pieces is good. The next morning we sort through what they have. The living room... [Read More]

Read more