Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 30 - You, My Readers

Take a peek in the mirror. I am thankful for you!

Today, November 30, I am thankful for you, the readers of this blog.

Thank you for taking time to read what I write about the happenings in my life. I love sharing pictures and tales with you, frustrations, challenges, successes, and much more. You are the inspiration for my muse.

Some things I love to share with you ~

funny stories
differences of opinion with my man
the kitties
the grands
the children
the parental units
travel adventures
my faith

Thank you. You make it all worthwhile.

P.S. If you enjoyed my Month of Thanks, with a few extras thrown in, sign up to receive future blog posts in your email inbox. Thank you!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 29 - Lotions & Creams

Snow fall from last winter

I don't know about you, but my hands are already suffering the winter time blues.

Cracks. Chips. Bleeding. Alligator patterns. Hangnails. Flaky. Scaly. DRY.

Today, November 29, I am thankful for lotions and creams!

Some nights, I have to wear bandages and Bag Balm on the cracks near the tips of my fingers. Lotions and creams are being put on constantly. I'm even considering digging out my hot wax tub and giving my hands (and the hands of my honey) some special treatment tonight.

Or we will not survive the winter!

Cold, dry weather. Lots of hand washing. What else? Summer does not seem to be as big of an issue when it comes to dry skin.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE WINTER.

I'm just having problems with extremely dry skin on my hands. At my last appointment with the dermatologist, I asked what type of lotion and sunscreen I should use.

"Whatever you WILL use," he replied.

Here's to whatever I will use.

Come on, Winter Warlock, blow us some winter snow!

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 28 - Rubber Stamps (& Hobbies)

Today, November 28, I am thankful for rubber stamps. And all things hobby.

I have several favorites when it comes to crafting and hobbies. Rubber stamping is at or near the top of the list. But I also enjoy

water color painting
making pottery
eating (hey - that can count as a hobby, right?)
looking at Pinterest (yes, now I have to count this, since I spend so much time doing it)
walking (I really need to move this one to the top of the list)

oh, I could go on and on,
but not enough hours in any given day
or year
for me to enjoy all of the
things I love to do

So, let's just say, hobbies are an excellent outlet for creativity.

And at Thanksgiving dinner, rubber stamps and a create station occupied three very energetic children after the eating-of-the-turkey was complete.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 27 - Happy Thanksgiving!


That's what our son used to call Thanksgiving. Thanks-for-giving is the perfect rendition of what Thanksgiving is all about. Giving thanks. For what we have received. From God the Father, Who knows and loves us. He provides everything we need.

a place to put down our heads at night
food on our table
clothes on our backs
heat and cooling, as needed by season

Though not necessary, He also provides hobbies, opportunities for recreation, free time.

Necessary, but still a choice, He gives us chances to worship, fellowship, pray, and study His Word. He gave us the best gift ever, His Son, Jesus.

What else could we want or need?

I know. I am guilty of wanting more. But I have exactly what I need. It is contentment that I should be requesting through prayer. Contentment and peace for each day.

Today, November 26, I am thankful for Thanksgiving.

For Thanksgiving allows me pause to stop, reflect, and give sincere thanks. For without giving thanks, how can I truly enjoy that which I have been freely given?

Happy (peace-contentment-thanks-joy-love filled) Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 26 - Traditions

I love traditions. So much in fact, that I have to remind myself that it is okay to branch out and try something new or go a different direction. We have (aghast) even considered traveling over certain holidays. That would mean we would be out of town and not participating in our traditional this and that. Oh my, we are getting bold. And sometimes we start new traditions. Like our annual (unless, like last year, Arctic temperatures, necessarily change plans) Christmas tree hunting trip to the mountains.

Maybe a part of my love of traditions is that it connects us to the past and the future. In the old days, we always decorated the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving dinner. We watched a Christmas movie the same evening. The dad and the kids put up the tree and lights. The mom and the kids added ornaments and made it pretty. We each had our part to play.

Thanksgiving dinner has traditionally been at my house. For years. This year we are going to my sister's home. The stress is off of me and onto her. It will be lovely. But I do bemoan the fact of no leftovers in our fridge. How do people survive without Thanksgiving leftovers?

We have the usual - turkey (prepared a variety of ways), relish trays, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, corn, green beans (this year I am making green bean casserole), pumpkin pie and a few other desserts. Oh, and olives. Black olives. Cans of black olives. In memory of the little boy who could consume an entire can by himself. That boy is now grown and still loves olives.

Thanksgiving is a holiday where we overeat the traditional menu items. But within the menu items, flexibility is allowed in preparation style and recipe. But we always get together. Family members that are around are invited and expected. It's just what we do. And we love it.

Today, November 25, I am thankful for traditions.

For traditions make our family remember times together over the years. And traditions lead us forward to embrace times together in the future.

Until the next time.

Traditions keep us going.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 25 - Trees

Baby trees for the front yard

Today, November 25, I am thankful for trees.

Not just any tree. ALL trees. I love their beauty, shade, function, colors, and fragrance. Well, maybe not the fragrance of the ginko tree and its' fruit. Ewww. But on the whole, mmmmm. How refreshing it is to smell and wander beneath trees. Did you know, there is a study that tells how healthy it is to smell pine trees? Really.

Gotta love those trees.

French trees

Trees from friends

Free trees won in a raffle

fake trees
live trees
pine trees
river trees
park trees
tree pictures
tree art
tree paintings


Monday, November 24, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 24 - Health

Generally speaking, I have been blessed with good health.

Sure, there are a few age related issues cropping up. Family heredity influences the way test results are treated. The occasional cold or flu hits my household just as it does the homes of millions of other families. I hurt myself, bruise my knee, smack my head, and close my fingers in things.

But really, the most severe issues I face are dry skin, hot flashes, and sinus headaches. For the most part.

Today, November 24, I am thankful for my health. I am also thankful for the health of my family.

Millions of people worldwide do not have the access to healthcare that I have or even sanitation, clean drinking water, and good-for-you foods.

I am blessed.

May I be a blessing to others with the gifts I have been given.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
~ 2 Corinthians 9:15

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 23 - Giving Hearts

Our little church group, Amplify, will meet today to assemble five Thanksgiving baskets. Five families will receive the baskets, filled with ingredients gathered and given by generous hearts. Though we are small, our people are big where it counts - in their hearts.

Today, November 23, I am thankful for people with giving hearts.

After all, didn't Jesus instruct us to give? The Bible is filled with stories, parables, and examples that encourage us to give outside our means (yet inside of God's riches). And I'm sure you've heard the saying You can't out give God.

So blessings upon blessings to those who have a generous heart and a giving spirit.

May rain showers of love and friendship rain pour down on you.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 22 - Strong Men Who Kill the Rat - Eeeek!

Monet, in her post-rat glory

Do you know, that if you schedule a post, without writing the post, it will still post anyway? Nice, huh?

Today, November 22, I am thankful for strong men who kill the rat. Literally. Kill the Rat.

At my house, we are coming to expect some sort of exciting (and embarrassing) revelation from our kitties during a big event.

Said event happened last night. We had family over for my birthday dinner. Nothing fancy, but a house full of kids and grandkids, two kitties, and a rat.

Yes. A. Rat.

Not only a rat (first kill, or try to kill). But a live rat. Squeaking. Fighting. Trying to escape the ferocious teeth and jaw of Monet, the great leaf hunter.

For you see, before this event, Monet has only been interested in bringing us leaves. Nice, quiet, peaceful, beautiful leaves. The other sister was the live catch and bring in kitty. Worms, but still. They were alive and squiggling.

The scene was set. We were starting to dish up the meal. All of us hovering in the kitchen table vicinity. And suddenly, in comes Monet, her mouth full with a giant rat. At least it was pretty giant for her.

We screamed and all headed for the couch. Standing and perching on it. Except Donavyn. He just toddled around, playing at Nana's. (I did go get him.) This scene strongly resembled the squirrel scene from Christmas Vacation. You know the one I am talking about. It involved a hammer and a pillowcase and plenty of terror.

The strong men rescued us. Kevin and Taylor. Equipped with NOTHING, they trapped the rat, much to Monet's discontent, in the middle of the guest room bedding.

Awesome, right? Shudder.

Finally, with abundant angst and a lidded cottage cheese container (the rat was still very much alive, terrified, bleeding, and trying to escape cat and kin), our strong men captured and disposed of said rat.


I am thankful that I did not have to be the responsible one and take on the rat. I hate killing anything. But I don't want a rat running around my home either.

Now. If you are considering visiting us, you may have just changed your mind.

Never fear. The rat is gone. The bedding has been sanitized. The kitties are being monitored. And the house gutting down the street is almost complete. We hope. That is our suspected source of the first rat we have seen in this house.

So come on over! For surely, if we plan an event, the kitties will supply the excitement and entertainment.

And we have more cottage cheese containers.

Sorry. No rat picture. I was too busy standing on the couch.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Angie's (+ Sharing Friends) Sausage Chili

May I wax eloquently for just a moment?

This chili is so hearty, flavorful, and filled with texture that I really wanted to eat more than one bowl. But I restrained myself. Leftovers are always better on the next day.

This chili recipe came about as I combined resources from several venues, including the gift of leftover (not a bad thing, but as in I-have-way-too-many-mushrooms-take-them-please kind of way) chanterelles and oven roasted chilis I put in the freezer last summer. My only disappointment was the low level of heat. This Angie-lotsa-hot (as called by a Chinese food vendor in Spokane after ordering possibly too many stars of spice) loves spicy foods.

How do I know if my food has enough spice? The sweat factor. Back of neck? Hairline? Facial?

Check. Check. Check. Mmmmm.

Angie's (+ Friends that Share) Sausage Chili

Cook the following in a Dutch oven until the sausage is cooked through. Break sausage into small pieces as it cooks.

1 pound spicy sausage
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 onion, diced
2 small carrots, chopped into small pieces
1 small can fire roasted chilis (or a package from the freezer that was roasted last summer; I divided them into portions for individual dishes like chili)

About 1 cup of chanterelle (or similar) mushrooms, sauteed with garlic and butter; chop into smaller pieces (or use the last package of said sauteed chanterelles, garlic, and butter from the freezer; again I divided them into portions for individual dishes)

Add the following ingredients and simmer over low to medium heat for about an hour. Stir often and adjust heat as needed. Between my Dutch oven and the gas stove, I must constantly adjust my heat as I cook.

1/2 small head of cabbage, chopped
1 T. freshly ground black pepper
2 T. Mrs. Dash
2 T. cumin
3 T. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. oregano (dried)
1 15-oz can chicken broth
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can cannelini beans (drained and rinsed)
1 15-oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 15-oz can hominy (drained and rinsed)

Serve with your favorite toppings. We were going to crunch corn chips over the top, but they were stale. So we dipped rustic, nutty buttered bread in the sauce instead. Too delish.

Sour cream
Grated cheese
Corn chips
Chopped green onions

One of the best things about this chili? Leftovers and plenty to share.


A Month of Thanks - November 21 - Friends Who Share Leftovers

Look at me. It's not even Thanksgiving yet, and I am already talking about leftovers!

Today, November 21, I am thankful for friends. Specifically, for friends that share their leftovers.

Dinner last night was Angie's spicy chili. A new addition to that chili was a package of sauteed chanterelle mushrooms and garlic in butter, which I had prepared last month and stuck in the freezer. Those chanterelles arrived on our dinner table compliments of my friend and her husband. He is such a great and diligent 'shroom hound that she brought (to our girls get-together) a large bag full of extra chanterelles.

Yay for us! Even after splitting it several ways and eating some of the pretty beauties while we were at our weekend away, there was plenty of fungi to go around.

I think perhaps the sharing of leftovers is a special gift. Really. Any kind of leftovers.

Just think. You are home, staring into the empty fridge, wondering what in the world will end up on the dinner table. And then you spot those leftovers from Auntie So and So or Suzy Next Door Neighbor.

Tah-dah. Those leftovers just saved your life. This is especially true if you have starving teenagers.

Or, perhaps, you don't have time to put together a lunch. You can grab that container and head to work, reassured that you will not starve. And you will enjoy a lovely meal.

You may even be securing the sanity of your friend. You know, the one who shared the leftovers. I know by the third day, I am ready and willing to give my leftovers away. To anyone. We are tired of eating that chili, spaghetti, soup, etc. etc.

Nothing goes to waste in this home. No, sir.

Be thankful. Share some leftovers.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 20 - 52 Years

Oh, yes, Happy Birthday to me!

It's not that I am bragging about me and begging for special day wishes. Though I do appreciate each and every kind word. Really, I do.

I am bragging about God and all of the blessings He has given to me over 52 years of life. It's really Happy Birthday to God, the provider of years and the One in charge of the calendar and timeline.

Today, November 20, I am thankful for 52 years of life.

At almost midnight, 52 years ago, my mommy gave birth to her first little baby girl. Since then, she has loved and cared for me. Include my daddy. He didn't give birth to me, for which I am sure he is eternally grateful, but he has always loved and cared and provided for me. My parents have given me the best that they possibly could.

Back to how MANY years of life I have been given. Many, many years.

But am I in control of how many years of life I have? No. Do I choose the blessings I receive, the parents I have, the family I love, the body I try to care for? No.

I am but a recipient for those things. He is the Great Provider. This time of the year is when we think and remember best to give thanks. And thanks is due.

I am thankful for what the Lord has given to and done for me in these 52 years of life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 19 - Mission Friends (aka Preschoolers)

The well-loved (talking) piano

Today, November 19, I am thankful for Mission Friends (also known as preschoolers).

I can't help it. They are so cute, inquisitive, hysterically funny, naughty, inventive, playful . . .

Take my Khloe, for instance. Yesterday we were rearranging the living room to make room for the Christmas tree. She wanted to move the kid piano over to the fireplace. This is the piano that has been loved and ecstatically used by generations of my family.

I told her it would be better to leave it where it was (in my mind, the play section of the living room). She disagreed.

(Insert squeaky piano voice) "No, I want to move over there," said Khloe, speaking for the piano.

Khloe is three. I busted up laughing. She felt quite pleased with herself.

Khloe is not the only preschooler that draws and keeps my attention. They all do. I can't help it. I love preschoolers. They bring out the best and the worst in adults, depending on what type of day they are having. They remind us of the innocence and child-like faith of being young. They love with abandon and absolutely mimic those around them (a lesson and a warning for us, right?). Energy and fun rule their days.

I am thankful for Mission Friends
, preschoolers that exhibit all of the above, and want to learn about people from other cultures and parts of the world. And Mission Friends love those people. And the workers that go all over the world to love. Mission Friends exhibit that love as they learn and experience. They pray. They share. They give.j

What is not to love and be thankful for when I consider these little children?

Mission Friends Leader Mag

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 18 - Blankies!

It has been very cold lately. Said the woman who still has somewhat regular hot flashes, experiencing both icy fingers and sweaty neck and face at the same time.

That being said, let's have a great big cheer for warm, cozy blankies! (That would be blankets for you grown-ups.)

There is nothing like a snuggly, comfy, favorite blanket to toss over your shoulders and across your lap as you thaw out after a cold day. We keep our home cool during the day, even cooler at night. Poor Kevin is literally a human popsicle by the time he goes to bed. Where he has five blankets on his side. Maybe I better make him a pair of fleece jammies with the feet in them. Or maybe no feet and he can use them as long underwear.

Whatever he wears, if you see him with cute fleece sticking out from under his shirt or pants legs, just pretend not to notice. I'm trying to keep him warm.

Today, November 17, I am thankful for warm, cozy blankets that take the chill out of winter weather.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 17 - Music

I absolutely adore music. A musician I am not. But these ears tune in and join any music that is playing on the airwaves. My soul communicates with and through music. I often find what I want to express in the notes and words of a song.

Instrumental and choral music both attract me. But my all-time favorite is Christmas music. Confession time: I have already started listening to it! I usually try to wait until Thanksgiving, but not this year. My excuse is that Thanksgiving is late. That cuts into my Christmas-music-listening time. And I already have my first Christmas card on display. Which the kitties have christened along the top edge with their sharp teeth.

Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la.

Today, November 17, I am thankful for music.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 16 - Chocolate!

How could I go an entire month without being thankful for this delectable treat! Chocolate is, of course, a vegetable, (it comes from a bean), adds a teensy bit of caffeine to my diet, and in the darker, less sweet versions, is considered healthy and full of anti-oxidants.

Chocolate is currently being touted as a part of a healthy diet! Now we are talking.

Just remember to get the darker chocolates, made with at least 60% cacao (dark chocolate) for the maximum health benefits. Mmmm.

Today, November 16, I am thankful for chocolate.

Now who can disagree with that?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 15 - Travel

A lovely old church-turned-reception hall in Snohomish, WA

Another type of adventure that I love is travel. Mention almost any kind of travel, and I will pack my bags and start searching online for things to do when we get there. Wherever there is.

Today, November 15, I am thankful for travel.

The Lord has blessed Kevin and I with many opportunities to travel. I love exploring new locations, watching people, shopping, eating new things, and taking photos of our travels. All the better to share with you, my dear.

By plane, by boat, by bike, by car, by bus, by trains - just give me a destination. Packing right now...I will be there shortly.

Looking out the window of the old church

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 14 - Thrift Shopping

Look at that cute boy!

There is one thing I love - the challenge of the hunt. Hitting the thrift stores, with equal possibilities of great success or dismal failures, is my type of game.

Today, on November 14, I am thankful for the fun of hitting the thrift stores. And the help received when trying to make a small budget stretch beyond expectations.

The weather turned this week. As in, it was nice and we could really wear shorts or capris last week, to now the pipes are freezing and daytime temps are in the low 30's. Our boy bundled up in his coat from last year.

Except it wasn't from last year. It was his coat from the year before. The arms were too short, the coat was too short, and the shoulders were too narrow.

Nana to the rescue. We hit the thrift store nearest our home. After several failed attempts, we struck gold. He loved it, it fit, and it was in good condition. Add that freshly laundered coat (notice the Seahawk colors) to a warm hat and gloves, and the kindergarten boy was ready for winter.

Sister just inherited a coat from her cousin. But she was in need of a hat. Which we found - pinks, sequins, ear flaps, braided yard, red-neck style, and fake fur. Adorable and cozy.

Let's hear it for thrift stores. Great deals plus the thrill of the hunt.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 13 - Motorcycle Trips

I know. It is November. Cold. Frigid. Snow to fall soon (please, please, please).

And I am thankful for motorcycle rides.

But I am! Riding on the back of our Honda Shadow is a trip into the fresh outdoors. With the visor up, the breeze clears the clouds in my brain, lets me explore nature with my nose and skin as we ride, and gives me joy in experiencing a trip with my man. With the visor down, I sound like Darth Vader when I breathe. But bugs don't get in my eyes and my contacts don't dry up and fall out. Either way, riding is a blast.

Today, November 13, I am thankful for my best friend and our trips together on the bike.

May we always be alert and safe and have fantastic times while riding on two wheels.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 12 - Clothes (and Help)

Mabel, the tightrope walker

So this is why my clothes look the way they do!

I just need a little help from my friends...

I am thankful for clothes.

Especially with the cold (or hot, wet, snowy, muddy, windy) weather coming, I am very happy to have clothes to wear. I am also glad that I do not have to wear my birthday suit as I trot around town running errands or when we go out for dinner. Whew.

Regardless of how my clothes actually look on me - wrinkled? old? out of fashion? - I am so glad to have them to wear. You should be, too.

Monet. The eyes say it all.

Two. I wanted two kittens. TWO.

Double trouble is a reality.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 11 - Veterans

My veteran, Taylor, at his coming home from Iraq

On today, November 11, I am thankful for veterans.

I am thankful not just for my own son, but for all veterans. Thank you for serving our country at great risk and sacrifice. I (we) might not always say it or show it, but I (we) truly appreciate what you have given up so that I (we) can have freedom and live in this great country.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Our hearts.

We love you.

And for all military families, thank you for your sacrifice. Without you, your soldier would not have been able to serve. You have the hard task of being at home. Waiting. Living. Surviving.

Thank you. We love you.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 10 - Long Marriages

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Pop Q!

I am amazed when I read about couples that have been married for 50, 55, 60 or more years! I often think they must have married in grade school in one of those make-believe weddings the kids dream up at recess. What? You never did that? Me neither.

I am thankful for long marriages.

My mother and father-in-law would have been celebrating their sixty-third wedding anniversary today if he had not passed away.

My mom and dad will be celebrating their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary next May.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Pop H!

My husband and I will celebrate our thirtieth anniversary in June.

I am thankful.

Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 9 - The Grandchildren

My grands.

I am thankful for my grandchildren.

Three, soon to be four, exquisite little bodies shouting out, "Nana! Papa!" as soon as they see us. The youngest, well, he has Papa down. But I know Nana is soon to follow.

What else can I say? All grandparents know this love and thankfulness.

We thought our hearts left our bodies and walked around with our children. And then came the grands.

They are too precious. Maybe we appreciate them so much because we are in a different life stage. Maybe we feel we can take more time to talk with them, play with them, care for them. I know I love to invest in their young lives. I can't help myself.

They are simply grand.

"Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children."
~ Alex Haley

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 8 - A Home

I am thankful to have a home.

Notice that I added a photo with snow. I adore snow. On my home.

I am blessed. I could be like the homeless I see walking around town. Homeless. Or I could be living in a country that uses dung as a major ingredient for home building. Or I could live inside a portable tent. Or I could have to live in a hotel (which is fun on vacation, but permanently?). I could be a refugee in a camp, with thousands of others in the same situation. I could be from a war-torn country and have no home at all except a pile of rubble. I could be remembering my home that was destroyed by natural disasters.

The Lord has blessed me. We have a warm, comfortable, safe home that includes running water, toilets, and electricity. And I have a home with people. People are what make a home, well, home.

I am thankful.

"Home is the nicest word there is."
- Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 7 - Autumn

I adore autumn! Fall is my most favorite season.

I am totally thankful for fall. November is the perfect fall month.

My neighbors do not agree, those who have giant towering deciduous trees.

But I love it. The smells, sights, sounds, weather. Walking through crunchy piles of bright colors is the best. Cool mornings, windy days, blowing leaves tickle my fancy.

Three cheers for fall!

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
- John Muir

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 6 - My Honey

My motorcycle partner, my honey

Do you have someone special in your life?

Someone that is peanut butter to your jelly? Ketchup to your fries? Campfire to your marshmallows?

This day, November 6, I am thankful for my husband, Kevin.

He is my partner and best friend. We love each other and are committed to stay together, since waaaayyyyy back in high school. He is my honey.

We go together.

Cue song: "We Go Together" (Grease)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 5 - My Parents

How was your childhood?

We were not rich. Our house was crowded. The six of us lived in a single-wide mobile home. Animals often roamed the house (including the occasional goat, chicken, mouse, hamster, cats, dogs, rats - mostly intentional pets. The horse was even caught peeking her head through the backdoor). The mobile home was indeed mobile. We moved four times with that trailer. Mom made our lunches most of the time. She sewed our clothes and made many Christmas gifts. Dad worked full-time and spent many hours gone. Weekends were filled with church, home projects, wood-hunting, food gathering, and exploration. I don't remember many leftovers, as we probably ate all of the food all of the time. The few leftovers, like grits, mashed potatoes, and cornbread, were recycled into the next meal. Mom tried to convert us to love southern style cooking, but all that really stuck were the grits and eggs, biscuits and gravy, and beans and cornbread.

I had a great childhood. I had parents that loved me and my siblings. They worked hard to provide for us. They sacrificed and got extremely inventive to give us a wonderful childhood.

Spankings? Yes. When needed. Groundings? Yes, but not as popular as now. Chores? You bet. Our own bedrooms? No. Sisters in one room, brothers in the other.

Spoiled? No. Deprived? No way. Loved? Absolutely.

Today, on November 5, I am extremely thankful for my parents.

They are still alive. They are still wonderful. They are still my parents. The Lord has blessed me with wonderful parents.

And guess what? God gave me wonderful parents-in-law, too!

Am I blessed or what?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 4

Oh, what would I do without my church family?

Life is so much better knowing those special ones who gather together in worship of our heavenly Father.

On this fourth day of November, I am thankful for the church family that I see each week when Amplify meets.

I am also thankful for the big family - those who are spread about the world. We are all family in Him.

A Month of Thanks - November 4

Do you know what today is?

It is Election Day.

No, I'm not going to get all political. But I do encourage you to vote and make your voice heard. What can one little voice do? Though it may not seem like it, much.

Today, on Election Day, November 4, I am thankful that I live in a country where I am allowed to vote. I do not have to hide my vote, be shot for voting, or, as a woman, wish I could vote.

I can vote. I am thankful that our country allows us to vote.

We just have to exercise that right and do it.

Just do it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 3


As all pet lovers know, animals warm our hearts and our laps. I am thankful for two crazy kitties, barely six months old. The destruction, energy, chaos, love, and snuggles they have brought into our home is amazing.

Today, on November 3, I am thankful for my kitties.

Maybe I will even turn up the heat for them.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 2

November 2 - I am so thankful for my family!

Generation by generation, my family has grown in number. And with each generation of growth, the love and thankfulness in my heart has grown even greater. They are not numbers, but individuals near and dear to my heart.

My family extends far and wide, though my photo shows only my immediate family.

I love you, family.

I love you.