Wednesday, October 10, 2012

31 Days of Gratitude: Hand-Me-Downs

We have been blessed over and over again for the last year by friends who have given us their outgrown clothing.  A friend's sister-in-law has passed on bags of excellent condition clothing for my daughter several times thoughout the year.  Outside of socks and shoes, I honestly don't think I have purchased a single item for her since we moved.  And this summer another friend gave us four big bags of boys' clothes, also in fantastic condition and just what my boys were needing. 

Still, I try to plan ahead and not count on someone else providing my kids with clothing.  Last spring I found a sale on some nice shoes for Anna to wear to church in this winter.  I bought them a size up from where she was so they would be sure to fit. 

And now she can't even get her feet into them.  She she's grown two full sizes since June.  I started to despair just a little.  I'd blown $7 on shoes that never made it out of the box and I'd still have to find another pair and pay full price for them. 

But then I remembered the stash of passed-on clothes and shoes I'd set aside for the kids to grow into.  Down to the basement I went and, sure enough, I found three pairs of shoes that fit her perfectly right now.  Shoes given to us freely by someone I don't actually even know.  How awesome is that? 

It reminds me of the birds that have no need to store up food, but depend on God to provide just what they will need each day.  Surely God provided in this case, through these generous people. 

And the brand new shoes that don't fit Anna?  I gave them to another little girl.  Maybe I can do God's work too.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

So thankful for my mom

My mother had back surgery yesterday.  The little kids and I went to see her today.  She was pretty sleepy, but stayed awake for the hour we were there and was her usual cheerful self.  She chatted with the kids and me.  We even discussed plans for Christmas dinner.  Because laying in a hospital bed at the beginning of October is the time to work out the details of when and where we will be celebrating Christmas. :)

I was so glad to see her acting perky, even if she was stuck in a hospital gown with IVs and oxygen.  I try not to think of such things, but there's always that little bit of worry that something could go wrong during surgery. I know people were praying for her, and for her doctors, and it makes me so glad to know that God had everything under control. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 8 (or is it 6)

Oh, you mean I wasn't supposed to take the weekend off from writing everyday for 31 days? Oops. Just kidding.  I didn't even make it a week.  Not for lack of things to be grateful for; I just let it slide...

So, picking up where we left off....Today I am grateful for kindergarteners.  I helped in my son's kindergarten class last year and I decided to do so again this year.  Today was my first day.  I love that little touch of feeling like I'm teaching again.  And I am, really, just without any of the annoying planning, paper work, staff meetings... Just walk in, sit down, and get busy with whatever project is handed to me. 

But the kids are the best.  A couple of the kids at my table today, like Nick, are "olders" who are on thier second year of kindergarten, so they remembered me from last year and seemed farily pleased to see me again.  Then there are the "new" kindergarteners.  Some of them so tiny and timid, some completely confident in themselves. 

At the end of the hour and a half I always sort of breath a sigh of relief as I leave the room.  The energy those kids put out is exhausting.  I can totally see why I was a middle school teacher, and not with the little ones.  Because as fun as they are, they would wear me out long before the day was over. 

I'm already looking forward to next week. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 5: Thank Goodness it's Friday

I started coming down with it last night.  This morning it was obvious that Anna had it too.  By the time Nick got unpacked from school he was complaining of not feeling well. 

I don't know exactly what "it" is, but I'm achy and headachy and tired.  Anna slept for over three hours this afternoon.  The kids were tucked in by 7:26 tonight.  We even skipped reading Farmer Boy without so much as a comment.  Clearly we all need some extra rest. 

Sadly, I already need to go put Lucas back to bed.

I am so thankful that Ben is going to be home in twenty minutes to help with this parenting thing over the weekend, because I'm just not sure I'd make it through another day on my own. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

78 degrees and Sunny

Yup.  It's October, I live in Michigan, and we almost hit 80 degrees today.  If that isn't something to be grateful for, I don't know what is.

The windows were open so the house is aired out.  I played in the sandbox with the kids.  I wore my sandals without feeling like a crazy person.  The color in the trees is gorgeous.

This is one of my favorite times of year.  Crisp air, bright sunshine, autumn colors and a warm breeze. 

Just what we all need as we prepare to hunker down for the long, cold winter.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 3: Blessed with Patience

It is 10 p.m. and I'm just now getting around to writing. 

I also just came downstairs from tucking Lucas into bed again

I put him to bed at 8.  I've put him back to bed four times.  This last time I found all of his blankets, including the top sheet which is fitted at the bottom so that it won't come off easily, wadded up in the middle of his bed. 


So in the almost dark, trying not to wake his brother, I remade the bed.  And tucked him in again.  And kissed him good-night again. 

Thank you God, for the patience to not yell, or threaten, or cry.  Thank you for guiding me instead to keep giving hugs and kisses and reassurance that there is nothing to be scared of.  And please grant me just a little more patience, because I think I hear him on the stairs again.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2: Easy to Please Kids

Don't let the title of this post fool you.  My kids can be as picky and as finicky as all get out.  Meals are complained about before they are even served.  Favorite pajamas in the washing machine at bedtime can lead to an all-out tantrum. 

But sometimes, when presented in the right way, the littlest things make them so happy. 

Over the summer I received three Halloween-type shirts from various people, all second-hand.  I tucked them away, as it was the wrong season.  So to celebrate the first day of October, I lined the kids up in front of me.  I pulled the shirts out one at a time from under my sweatshirt and presented them with a flourish to the new owners. 

They were so excited.  All three of them went back and switched the shirts they had picked out for the new one I'd just given them.  All day long Lucas and Anna talked about their cool (Luke's glows in the dark; Anna's sparkles) new shirts.  And I felt like a supermom for making it a treat and not just sticking them in the dresser drawers.

So today I'm thankful for kids who appreciate and enjoy simple things, like a holiday T-shirt.

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days of Gratitude

So I vaguely remember reading about this 31 Days things a few months ago and thinking, "Yeah, that'd be cool to join in with."  And then I promptly forgot about it.  Until today when FOUR of the blogs I read regularly (I only regularly read seven or eight, so that's a pretty high percentage) are posting exciting 31 Days topics with cute graphics and well thought out ideas.

Um, yeah.  I rarely have well thought-out ideas.  I certainly don't have cute graphics. 

But I do have the next 31 days.  And I have access to this here computer.  And, really, that's all I need, right? 

So for the month of October I will be blogging about Gratitude.  Gratitude for the simple things in a housewife's life.  In a mother's life.  Specifically, in my life.  And while it may or may not be of much interest to anyone else, I know that next October when I look back at these posts I will be oh so thankful that I wrote them down for myself to read and remember and be grateful for all over again.

Too much Time in the Online World

Last night as I was changing for bed I realized I had spent right around three hours online during the day: about an hour at naptime and pretty much every moment from the time I tucked the kids into bed until then, as I was getting ready for bed. 

It embarassed me. 

I have been known to think of other people, "If he didn't spend so much time staring at the TV he could accomplish so much more."  Or, "I don't know how she stands wasting hours every day watching the meaningless stuff they put on the television."  It's not pretty, I know.  Everyone has a right to choose how they spend their downtime. 

Last night I felt like a hypocrite.

It wasn't like I was paying bills, or blogging, or doing research for school for those three hours.  I was just tooling around, clicking from one link to the next.  Watching the meaningless stuff people put on the internet.  Not accomplishing anything.

The list of things that I want to do is long.  I have Christmas projects to get started on.  I love to read.  I've stopped journaling and have been meaning to pick it up again.  I haven't been setting aside time to pray. 

So if I have all these activities that I both should do and want to do, what am I doing sitting in the most uncomfortable chair in our house staring at the computer screen? 

No idea, other than this clicking around aimlessly makes me feel like I'm busy while putting forth almost zero effort.  And sometimes at the end of a hard day, it is nice to have that for a few minutes. But for three hours?  That's a little extreme for me. 

Today I spent an hour online.  That's an improvement I'll take.