Tuesday, December 18, 2012

3 Gifts Miraculous

Miraculous seems like such a heavy word.  But if I take it down to the "every day" miraculous of life the beginnings of the list would be:

1- Marriage.  I don't know that I'm one who's really "built" for marriage and one who didn't really think marriage would be something I'd do.  But my marriage to LK is, while I'd don't believe in "the one," a miracle from God that I am very much thankful for.

2- Motherhood.  Like marriage I don't see myself as a Susie-homemaker and so motherhood is something that doesn't come naturally to me.  But the miracle of it is how much I enjoy it.  It's a miracle, the whole birthing process and giving life, but more than that it's a miracle to watch the boys as they grow and learn and discover and know that I'm playing a role in their lives.

3- My career.  My job, how I'm able to do it from home, how it's successful, and how much I love it are all wrapped up in the miracle of a job that I found because I was stuck in a horrible job whose only benefit was free breakfast and a free paper (with the want ads included).

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Trying to Do Better

While it seems the majority of everyone else I know cataloged 30 ways they're thankful in November, I've been silent here since late October.  But here's to trying to do better.  And one way I'm going to try and make that happen is to follow the Joy Dare. So here you go.  December 15.

I'm going to take liberty and go with golden.  Silence, which is golden.  The boys ran errands with LK today and I had time to myself.  Time to finish up a few things in silence.  I love my busy house, but every once in a while, moments of silence are truly golden.

I'm not someone who likes overly scented things so this is hard.  Hmm.. I suppose I'm thankful that when I went into Lowes today they were unscented and didn't have all the pine scented Christmas decorations right at the door.  This meant I didn't have to shop with a headache.  

Bent Low
My pride.  My haven't spoken to my uphill neighbors since late April when we had the falling out about them drilling a huge hole through our retaining wall to drain their rain water into our yard (yes, I'm still working to get over it).  But I promised ISH, who asked why we were upset with each other, that if given the chance I would bend my pride low and treat her with kindness.  We haven't seen each other really or been in a situation where I could follow through with that until this morning.  She was out speaking with another neighbor who in turn started talking to me, which put uphill neighbor and myself in conversation with one another.  We spoke, kindly and politely, and I didn't even mention the retaining wall. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A request for a kiss

I had lunch with Geo yesterday. I'm thankful for a job and a stage in life where I can go and eat with each boy once a month. However I'm also thankful that, while he now calls us Mom and Dad (so grown up), as he was heading back to class and was about to leave without even a high five- he can back and not only gave me a hug but requested "Kiss?"  And then he offered up his sweet, still boyish cheek right there in front of everyone. I thankful that, at least for now, he's not too big for that.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Being able to help take care of Dad

Thankfully Dad's rotater cuff surgery went well and thankfully he continues to heal well.

And today I'm thankful that I'm able to come and spend the day with him helping do the little things he can't do on his own right now (like put on his shoes). It's been a blessing to be able to help out and a blessing to spend the day together just the two of us.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Coffee with Mandy

We aren't able to get together as much as we did a few years back- additional kids, jobs demands, life, etc. But today we scheduled it- coffee time. She enlightened me on all the new there is for babies (since it seems I had my last baby during the dark ages), and we laughed, and talked, and enjoyed each other's company.

It's a blessing to have friends like her.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The man whistling at the gas station

I don't really enjoy filling up the tank but today was a special treat as I was entertained by the man at pump 2's lovely whistling. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dad's Surgery, Recovery, My In Laws

I'm thankful my dad's surgery went well on Wednesday and that he's at home recovering.

I'm thankful that, while sitting at home not even lifting a laundry basket or anything else has been incredibly dull, I have been able to do so and that all things with me and the baby continue to go well.  I'm hoping that by being an uber good girl this week, I'll get off light duty next week and into more of a medium duty.  But even if I don't, I'm thankful that I have job and a family that allows for light duty living.

Which brings me to my in laws.  I could have done light duty without their help this week, but it wouldn't have been nearly as easy as it was.  I'm thankful that they were able to take the boys and give them a fun fall break while I was at home resting.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

God's care

I had a bit of scare with my pregnancy my last 48 hours in Brazil.  But I am thankful beyond words for my teammates who pulled together and prayed for me while I was off experiencing the joys of a small town Brazilian "hospital."  I'm also thankful for the wonderful hotel staff at the Beach Hotel Cambury who cared for all of us as we were concerned about what this scare meant. I'm thankful that Lisa was on the team- an RN and midwife- who was able to help us have a better handle on what was going on and knew what to do.  And I'm thankful for Becky and Rachel, fellow teammates and Portuguese speakers, who came with us to the hospital so we could communicate.  Thankful too that rules were broken and Lisa and Becky were able to come back with me so I was not alone while at the hospital.

Now being back, having gone to my doctor, having been monitored and release with a "you both look good, just take it easy,"  I'm thankful for God's care through this scare and thankful that both myself and baby are doing well.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Today as I was walking around the hotel Babi, one of the Brazilian women, caught me.  She put her hands on my belly and began to rub the baby (a very Brazilian thing to do) and said there is a song she loves to sing to the babies in the womb.  And then she began and blessed me and my unborn child with the most beautiful lullaby-
She sang to me, in Portuguese, the words of Psalms 139:
For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

 In Brazil they call giving birth, para dar a luz (to give light).  What a beautiful thought.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Time In Brazil

By this time tomorrow our time with the women here at CCC 12 will be half over.  I'm so blessed to be here with them, to learn more about their lives on the mission field, to share my heart with them as well. 

I'm also greatly blessed by the wonderful cards and encouragement my Prayer Warriors have sent to me while I'm here.  You have no idea how wonderful your words are- true gifts of the spirit to my soul.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Safe Travels and Small Ankles

I'll admit, the last few weeks have not only seemed like race to the finish with trying to get ready to come to Brazil for the Great Cities Missions Continent Care Connection but it's also been a week of emotional ups and downs as I've questioned if coming on this long flight, this far along in my pregnancy is a good idea.

I'm thankful that over these two weeks LK has been supportive, and loving, and encouraging.  He never once made me feel like I had to go, but he always helped me feel like this is something I can do if I want to.  I'm thankful for such a wonderful partner on this road of life.

I'm also thankful I came.  It's just the team here right now, in a lovely hotel near Sao Sebastian Brazil in the state of Sao Paulo, and already I can see great ways God is blessing us.  I cannot wait to see the missionary women when they come on Monday.  I've come to bless them and offer them renewal but I know I will not be leaving without being filled by God's Spirit shared with me through these women.

So we have arrived safely at the hotel and not once on the flight did my feet swell (a big deal when you're almost 7 months pregnant) and not once did I feel uncomfortable or worried that something might be wrong with me.  The baby kept on moving and I even got some sleep! 

I'm thankful for my time here, and looking forward to getting to work!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I'm about to head to bed when I've realized it's been two weeks of silence on my end.  So tonight I'll break that and say sleep.  I'm thankful for sleep.  As my belly gets bigger and sleep comes in more of three hours spurts (I call it pre-season training before the baby arrives) I know how blessed good deep sleep really is.

I'm also thankful that as I'm typing this the little guy is getting his soccer kicks on inside my belly.  It really is an amazing thing to watch and realize that, before we know it, we'll be meeting this little man, this new HartMan, face to face soon.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

LK and His Support of All My Little Projects

It's a good man who allows his wife to be who she is and LK does that so well with me. He gets me (and gets that he simultaneously never will even "begin to believe he knows me") and that's something I can say for very few people. And I love him for that and am thankful for him because of that.

As I've posted before, I'm also thankful that when I look at him with that wild look in my eyes that says "let's re-arrange the whole house" he doesn't complain as I have him disassembling and hauling beds and more from one side of the house to the other.

But today I'm thankful for the man who stayed up well past 1AM to help me reconcile PTO shirt orders.  Who turned page after page of forms trying to get it all to line up.  Who when it wasn't reconciling looked at me and said "I'll start the kettle.  You get the forms."  Who did it all even though he was the one who still had to go to work this morning while the boys and I had a day off.

It reminded me of the time in the summer of 2000 when I had summer school finals to cram for and he drove 2 hours in the middle of the night to help me stay awake and study.  And that was back in the day when what we have now wasn't even something I thought I could do.

I am extremely blessed to have him.

Monday, September 3, 2012

AT&T's Personal Hotspot

Today's the last day our neighborhood pool is open. Many days of summer are spent with me juggling the kids wanting to be out and about and me knowing I have work to do. School year days are easier as I have time to work but holidays, as today is, is a mix of wanting to take the kids where they want to be and knowing that tonight would be a mess with work to catch up on. Enter AT&T Personal Hotspot stage right. Today I get to spend time with the boys at the pool, knowing I can be connected as needed. And that is by far a blessing.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Monarch butterflies and stinky boys

I saw my second monarch fluttering past today. That means September and cooler weather is around the corner.

I'm also thankful for the stinky boys clothes I put in the washer today (and thankful for the washer). I'm thankful because the clothes are stinky as a result of running and playing and being healthy boys. As two people I know have young children starting chemo this week, the fact that mine are currently healthy and able to run and stink and be boys is very much present in my mind.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Completion of Eye Therapy

Today ISH was cleared from eye therapy.  February 26, 2010 began this journey of admitting that something wasn't right with his eyes which lead to September 2011 and the start of full-on 1 hour and 20 minutes at home eye exercises 4-5 days a week with 1-2 days in office therapy with Dr. Damon White

There are times none of us wanted to be doing this and times when it seemed like it was never going to end, but today ISH was cleared from therapy.  He has depth perception and his eyes can focus together.  One eye is no longer working while the other rests- they are working together now!

You should have seem the happy dance ISH did when he heard the news (and yes, there were happy dances from mom and dad too). 

As I commented back in April, I'm thankful that while the time and money haven't been fun to spend this way, it hasn't been a burden.  I'm thankful that my mom and MIL kept the therapy going this summer when they had the boys even though summer would have been way more fun without trying to fit the exercises in.  Not to mention the trips down the turnpike this summer just so mom could bring ISH back for his appointments (what a trooper!) And I'm thankful for an understanding little boy who could see the big picture in this- who was willing to do the work and understood that this, while not fun, had life long value.  May he continue to see the value in hard work that is not immediately rewarded.

And I am thankful that, barring changes to his vision that none of us can predict or yet anticipate, he is done!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Prospect of Rain

And not just because we could really use some down here but because the forecast of rain has lead to a cancelled cub scout camp out.  And while this little prego mama was more than willing to sleep in a tent to have shared experiences with her boys, I've got to admit I'm thankful that tonight will involve me and my Tempurpedic.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


She walked in this morning and did her little back-scratch spasm on the floor and then sat up and watched me get ready and I thought- I'm thankful to have her.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summertime and Gentle Nudges

I'm going to blame the perfectionist within me for not writing in a while. Blame that something inside that says to begin again I must account for all 64 days I've missed between now and my last post back in June. But just like I've learned that leaving dishes in the sink does not a wrecked house make, I'll come to peace and say that not listing those 64 days is okay and move on from there.

But I have been thankful this summer even if I don't have a written account for it. I am thankful for the travel I was able to do alone, with LK, and with my extended family. I am thankful for all the new places I was able to see and the memories and pictures I have to remind me of those time.

I'm thankful for the days my mom and my MIL took the boys and spent time with them. We've joked before that we don't parent in the summer and this was a case in point. But I'm thankful that the boys were able to spend time with extended family they don't often see and that I was able to have some downtime, which with the baby on the way, I won't have again for a while.

And of course, I'm thankful that the baby is growing bigger and stronger and that HE will be born sometime between Christmas and New Year. And yes, even though I already have two of them, I am thankful the baby is a boy. I figure there are a shortage of good men in this world and I am thankful I get the challenge to try and raise up at least three of them.

And today I'm thankful for the gentle nudges to write again that have come recently. I had truth spoken over me this weekend that God has given me the gift of story telling. I love that my new friend said that to me and I will keep that truth with me and see this as my story of thankfulness. And for the nudge that came today from someone taking the time to drop me an email encouraging me to pick this up again.

And thankful that this post in and of itself is at least some small triumph over my perfectionist tendencies.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I had a baby doctor check up today (12 weeks now!!).  It should have been a short visit, quick with the heart monitor and all is good.  But after 10 minutes of not being able to find a heartbeat we were headed down to the ultrasound room.

There was a moment of standing in the room, alone, waiting for the doctor that I had to come to terms with the fact that this may not turn out well.

And so I took a deep breath and prayed- thank you that I have been able to carry the baby this far.  Thank you that this will be okay, even if it doesn't turn out like we thought it would.  Thank you for modern science that gives a shot at knowing better what's going on.

I want to believe that if it wasn't okay, if it was that what we were hoping was not to be the case, that I would still be able to sit and write something about thankfulness.  But I'm thankful today that I don't have to do that.  Thankful that when we turned on the machine, this is what we saw:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Honesty, Time, Wisdom, and Clothing

I was preemptively thankful for a safe drive home on Saturday but what I really am thankful for (now that I've lived Saturday) is the honesty of a stranger who kindly shut our van doors when the boys left them open and none of us noticed as we walked into the gas station.  He didn't take the iPads sitting in the boys' seats or the bags or the camera or my laptop.  He just shut the doors and found us inside to let us know.  He said something similar had happened to him in Hawaii and he was thankful he could repay the favor.  I'm thankful he did.

I'm thankful that this week the boys are at a scout day camp.  They're able to run around and have fun and shoot arrows and be boys and I have time to get things together at home during this week that is sandwiched between a week in Texas and my upcoming week in France.  And yes, it's nice to have enough time to grab a nap as well! (Silly pregnancy tiredness)

I'm thankful that as Geo was lamenting about one world terror or another, or maybe it was just the hard choice of which tennis shoes he wanted (it felt so Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day-ish) I was able to share the wisdom that thankfulness has been to me.  I was able to explain that at times when it's hard, that the thankfulness always precedes the miracle.  I was able to get him calm and have him repeat thankfulness that we have a Walmart (which is actually something I'm thankful for no matter other people's opinions of the place), that we have money to buy shoes when the old ones wear out (from the abuse put on them by a young boy using them as bike brakes, dragging his feet down the road), that we live in a place where shoes are common and thus protect our feet.  I hope this can be a start of a way he can view these struggles.

And I'm thankful today that my very fashionable SIL loaned me some very cute maternity clothes.  Fashion isn't everything (or even a major thing) but it is a thing and I'm thankful that I will feel put together as the growing belly pushes my standard clothes out of the closet.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Our Week At the Beach

I'm thankful for our 7th year to come down to South Padre Island with LK's family.  We've had changes over the years- LK's grandmother is no longer here, babies born, condos moved- but the family time together still continues to be a blessing.  I'm thankful we both have families we enjoy being around.  I know that is not a reality for everyone but I'm thankful it is for us.

I'm thankful for our safe drive down here, and will preemptively be thankful for our safe drive home tomorrow.

I'm thankful for the fabulous way the boys' hair curls tightly in the sea air.  For the way it bounces as they run into the water (so fearlessly brave these days).  Thankful for their first signs of summer blonde coming out in their hair (may the next baby have good air too!)

I'm thankful for the beach sunrises I've seen this week.  Waking up early at the beach is not something I really ever do.  And maybe it's the pregnancy or just a new stage in life, but I've been up before the sun every day this week.  And I'm thankful this has allowed me quiet time on the deck watching the sun come up over the water.  Oklahoma sunsets are the best hands down, but sunrises over the ocean are hard to beat.

I'm thankful for Geo and his adding one more candle on the cake.  How did 9 years go by already!  I'm also thankful for the special relationship we've been able to form this year.  I know as he gets older it will be more basketball and guy time and I'm thankful for that.  But I'm also thankful for the way he'll come and have chats with me (even if they are sometimes about his fear of the abuse of coal-- no, I'm not kidding).  I'm thankful that he sees me as someone to confide in, someone who's advise is worthy of considering, thankful that even on the weird things, he's willing to talk.

And I'm thankful for my work.  I've had a lot of calls this week and several emergencies to walk clients through.  It's been busier than it normally is for me this week. And I'll admit there's been a moment or two of wishing I could just shut off my phone.  But really, I am thankful for my job.  I counted up that by the end of the year I will take around 50 days of vacation.  And while I'm working on most of those days, there's rarely a job that allows one to go and do as she pleases the way I can.  Especially since those 50 days don't include the day at school for field day or Friday mornings at the kids' Eagle Beat.  So I'm thankful that even at the times this can seem like a shackle- I'm able to remember how freeing it actually is.  And I'm thankful for the blessing of it.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Husband

I'm thankful that when I come to him (even before he's had breakfast or coffee) with kitchen sheers in hand (the only thing I could find) and ask if he wants to help me in a "hair cutting adventure."  He not only smiles at me, and not only goes along with it, but does a pretty fair job as well.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Small Victories

I wrote a few days back about my frustrating neighbor and how I'm trying to be thankful for her.  She's forbidden her kids from playing with mine now and it's so hard not feel like she's forming a hate-party when I drive by and see her talking to other ladies in the neighborhood (I know, get a grip right- I'm not that important). But it feels like she might be at least sometimes.

So I've been praying that if talking with her and trying to explain the misunderstanding would be helpful- for God to move in ways I've already seen him do so many times before- to orchestrate an opportunity where I can have that conversation with her.  So far- none has happened (and no, it's not because I'm holding up inside my house avoiding her-- God could fix that too if I was. And I know he would).

But today I was given two small victories in regards to her.

First- at the Y a lady from the neighborhood whom I've never met, that I know to be friends with my neighbor took the time to meet me.  (And nicely meet me at that- not as one meets the enemy in an effort to scout them out).  She introduced her kids to mine and we politely chatted.  I feel like it was God saying- even if she is talking--- not everyone will believe her.  Not everyone will even care for that matter.  (Again, I'm not that important. I know).

Secondly- my dog got out tonight.  She's a good dog, but she's also a stupid schnauzer without a sense of direction so when she's gone- she's gone.  But my neighbor's children- the ones who can no longer play with mine, got her for me and brought her home (well tried to anyway.  They at least cornered her and didn't let her get away).  They were kind and I was (and am) very thankful for their work in not letting her get away.  It seems like a small thing I'm sure, but I feel like it's God letting me know- this too shall pass.

Survival (Wednesday's Post That I Was Too Tired To Write Yesterday)

And really it's more than survival.  I'm thankful for thriving through it all.  Because if you have told me the first day of school all that would transpire this year, I probably wouldn't have believed you.  W

Well, maybe I would, I mean we'd already ridden some pretty rough rides up to August 18, 2011- but I don't know that I would have really gotten it had I been given a preview.

But here we are- the last day of school.  May 23, 2012.  And we not only survived the adventures of the last nine months- but we grew stronger threw them.  We learned how to grieve together and love others together.  We learned so much about ourselves and I learned so much about letting go (a lesson God keeps having to drive home to me "Have you got it now Kate?"). 

I'm thankful for the adventures of the 2011-12 school year- as hard as some of them were.  As gut-wrenching as some of them felt.  Because through them- we have become more of us.  All four of us together.  And LK and I too- closer as a couple.  Closer as a family.

I'm thankful for God being willing to turn this year into beautiful life lessons.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Busy Week

It's been a busy week indeed.  And above all I'm most thankful that while I have been a bit tired here or there, overall I've felt really well which is exactly what I needed for such a busy last-full-week-of-school week.

Monday- LK.  I'm thankful for the many many ways he's involved as a parent.  He's a great father and very much a part of the boys' lives.  Tonight he spent lots of time (after a long and busy day at work) helping Geo study for his EOYI exams. A sweet little memory of them on the couch together studying vocabulary and types of writing.  I am thankful for him and the role he has in our family.

Tuesday- The hard times and God's power in using them.  I met for coffee with a girl today who's going through some hard times.  And while I haven't walked her exact road, she called on me because of the lesson I gave last fall on how God has lead me through difficult times.  I'm thankful that God has healed me from those times, made me stronger and given me boldness to testify about them.  I'm also thankful that this person was brave enough to call out when she needed help.  I believe God has orchestrated this relationship and I'm thankful that I can share my walk with her and thankful for God's willingness to teach me as I walk beside her through this journey.

Wednesday- Unpacking the Boxes class.  It's almost the end of our "Newcomer's" class.  It's a class we offer to church members and community members alike when the move into our community.  We give them suggestions of things to do and see in our town and we give them practical steps they can take as they work through the emotions moving to a new place brings.  But more than that, we also give them our prayers and our encouragement.  Each time I participate in this class I'm reminded how lovely it was for me when we first moved here and thankful for each of the women and their new beginnings in our community.

Thursday- First baby appointment.  Today was my first official doctors appointment.  I'm thankful for my doctor- she's so positive and bubbly.  I'm thankful to have found her and thankful to have her with me through this pregnancy.  I'm thankful all things are going well and progressing along even in their earliest of stages.  And I'm thankful that, while she does reserve the right to change her mind, based on past pregnancies and deliveries- she's given me the go ahead for Brazil!

Friday- A bit of time at home.  Well a bit of time at my parents' home that is (which will always still be home to me).  I'm thankful that LK and Dad were willing to drive 1/2 way to drop me off/pick me up so I could help mom with her Senior Tea on Saturday.  I'm thankful my parents live close enough that visits home (while not altogether that frequent) are easy to achieve when the time allows.  And thankful that I have a great relationship with my parents where going home for a visit is an enjoyable thing.

Saturday- Common ground.  I was blessed today by a conversation with a member at my parents' church who has adopted two children and has two biological mixed in as well.  We were able to talk birth moms, foster children, and adoption waiting lists.  It was such a re-validation of our desire to still adopt even though I am pregnant.  It re-solidified in me the passion, the reasons.  She understood what I mean when I say- we may never be chosen-- but we want them to know we're willing.  I'm thankful that she was running late to drop off the food which made our window of conversation possible.

Sunday- Giving to one another as we've had need.  I gave away many of my maternity clothes because I knew people who needed them.  I had been blessed to have many of mine given to me and so I wanted to share that with others.  I'm thankful that this time around the same kindness has been shown yet again.  And thankful for our Sunday night small group that looks to the interests of one another.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bike Rides

I have to admit I thought this day would never (and I do mean NEVER) come.  I thought by the time Geo was remotely interested in riding a bike he would be old enough to just drive himself there instead. But today, just a mere 24 hours after taking off the training wheels, we were headed to the park as a family with Geo racing ahead and looping back.  Riding fast down hills and zipping around the place. 

But I'm not only thankful that this weekend with both the boys (ISH with his "anything you can do Big Brother I can do better spirit) taking off the training wheels I was able to etch into my mind a memory of the joy of boys on bikes- but I am also thankful for the reminder that Geo will do it in his way and in his time. He was the same with walking, talking, reading, you name it.  When he was ready, he was ready- but don't mention it before then.  I'm thankful that God has created each of my children to be uniquely them.  To be able to (as one dear friend put it) glorify God in a way specific to them.  As no one before has been able to and as no one after ever will.

(and may I reminder to tuck away this sweet reminder so as not to be blown over if, at 25, he comes home engaged having never before been on a date).

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Mother of a Brunch and ...

I'm thankful for year # 8 of the family-wide brunch we call "A Mother of a Brunch."  It's been a fun tradition to get both sides of the family together and eat (and eat and eat) and laugh and be together and celebrate on the moms among us. 

Today I'm also thankful that God was faithful to my request.  I woke up at 7:20 with food still to cook before our 10am feast-call.  But the last week morning sickness has been so bad I didn't know how I would make it cooking while feeling pukey.  So I asked God- God, can you please let me not be sick this morning?  I'll be sick all night if you want, just get me through today.  And I'm happy to report that it's almost 10pm and there have been very few moments of even queasiness today.  Hooray!  I'm certainly thankful for that!

Oh and yes, I did say morning sicknesses.  Which means I'm thankful for one more very big surprise due to arrive December 31, 2012!

(ISH says the picture looks like a nostril!)

My Mom and My Marriage

Thursday May 10- My mom.  I was talking with LK as my parents drove their 1.5 hours home from ISH's school performance having spent more time on the road round trip than time watching ISH, how amazing my mom is.  This isn't one of those socially obligated mother's day posts (that might come Sunday).  But it's one where I'm thankful that my mom takes the time to be actively involved in my kids' lives.  Whether that's 3 hours round trip for a 10 minute Sonshine School moment, or volunteering the their field day, or any of the wonderful ways she participates in their lives (and in mine) even with a bit of distance between us.  I'm thankful that she takes the time and thankful that she is willing to drive here to help make memories with them.

Friday May 11- My marriage.  11 years ago, a Friday actually, at 7:00pm the rain let up and the music started and I walked down the aisle to marry a wonderfully Godly man.  I'm thankful for the way LK encourages me.  For the way he spurs me on to be what God intended me to be.  For the way he supports me and helps me and wants me to succeed in my business.  I honestly couldn't do what I do without his help.  I'm thankful that he takes on the gross jobs at home, like cleaning the toilets and making the bed because he knows I like them done but that I don't want to do them.  I'm thankful that is a great father and a loving, and amazing husband.  I'm thankful for him.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

ISH's Postive Eye Check Up

ISH had a re-check with Dr Todd today. Just vision not vision therapy. I'm thankful that things are going well. That at 6 his contacts are still working well. Thankful that we have (do far only lost one). And that from Dr. Todd's perspective things are looking really good.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Community, Time, Phone Calls (and lack there of)

I feel like this last week has been the beginning of the sprint that is the last few weeks of school.  I honestly don't know how it's May 8 and not May 1.

But as life is flying at me full speed- here is my "thankful for"s for the past week.

Tuesday May 1- LK's job.  We attended their annual faculty/staff appreciation dinner tonight.  It is a wonderful community to be a part of.  I'm thankful for the 5 years LK has been able to work there and for the people that encourage him and support him in his job.  (And with the closing remarks my dad gave, I have to add that I'm pretty thankful for him as well.  Yup- my dad's a stud.)

Wednesday May 2- Wednesday mornings.  Every other school day we have to constantly tell ISH- get ready.  Let's go.  We have to get eye therapy in.  And eye therapy is important.  And I'm glad we make time for it.  But on Wednesdays- it's our day off.  And ISH and Geo can take the morning at a more relaxed pace.  And they have time to run around outside before the day starts.  I'm very thankful for Wednesday mornings.

Thursday May 3- We got a call today.  I'm thankful for that.  We got a call that a birth mom is interested in us.  She likes us best.  It's a delicate situation and under contractual obligations we can't actually even say anything in detail about it- but by this time tomorrow we may have (as the boys call it) an a-doc-table baby with us.

Friday May 4- No phone call.  Nothing.  No information from birth mom. No thoughts no tied up solutions.  My phone has been with me all day- but nothing now.  I'm trying to be thankful that I get to go out with LK tonight.  We wouldn't do that if we had just picked up a baby.  I'm thankful we'll spend time together talking and celebrating our soon-upon-us-anniversary.  I'm trying to be thankful and enjoy and live in each moment I have with just the four of us.  And not try to understand where God is leading now.

Saturday May 5- For the E family.  They are part of our small group and have twice now come to the boys' sporting events.  It's nice to be part of this small community group with them and to share the ups and downs of life with them as well as the fouls and trick shots.

Sunday May 6- Fiddler on the Roof.  We went as a family today to see it today (my first time to see it live).  I love this musical.  I love (and have always wanted to play) the role of Fruma Sarah.  But one of the reasons why I think I love the musical is because of the people this musical brings to mind.  I can remember a college student we "adopted" through a church program.  I was, oh 8 or 9 maybe.  Less than 12 for sure.  And we sat in my parents' room and watched it together.  She, a college student, taking time to be with me and tell me all the reasons why this was a powerful story.  And for Sondra, my amazing vocal coach my junior and senior year high school.  The one who coached me on so much more than scales and breathing.  She told me how in college, when her roommates were away, she would turn up her Fiddler record and dance around the house. I'm thankful for the memories of these two lovely ladies.

Monday May 7- Still no phone call.  Still no word.  So today I will be thankful for being able to run in to the grocery and grab all 27 items on my list and be out in less than an hour.  I doubt I would have been able to do that so quickly if there was a new little one in tow with me.  And I'm thankful that the boys and I made slime and that their hands turned blue from the food coloring and that I was there with them- 100% theirs.  This would not have necessarily been had the phone call come.

Tuesday May 8- Being able to go to the Philharmonic with Geo's class (could not have easily done if phone calls had come).  I'll be honest. I've had a few words with God today- why open my heart to this mission!  Why call me down this road! Why bring chances to me that never fully mature! But, I'm trying to not recoil.  I'm trying not to control the situation.  I am instead trying to be thankful.  Thankful for the children I have met on this path.  And how in that moment I was able to care for them.  I'm thankful that on numerous numerous numerous occasions I've been given the chance to pray for a child- by name.  By situation.  Thankful that my faith has had to grow as the majority of those times I've never seen how it's gone.  And so I'm trying to be thankful for the journey.

Monday, April 30, 2012

School, Safety, Friends, and Frustrating People

Thursday was our big school auction. It was my first time to be front and center as the PTO treasurer and I'm thankful it went smoothly.  I'm thankful it was successful, but mostly I'm thankful for my mom who came down (with a hand-tied throw for a donation) and worked the check out table with me.  It's the only reason I wasn't drowning by the end of the evening.

We went camping on Friday night and I'm always thankful when we're with the a large group of young boys (aka the cub scouts) when we all come back with all eyes, fingers, toes, teeth, organs, etc, in the same place they were when we left.

I'm thankful on Saturday that we had to pack up camping early to be back for the OKC Memorial 5k the next morning.   It meant that when the huge storm hit that night, we were safe in our house and not in nature.

For Sunday I'm thankful for our small group.  We've been meeting together for a while now but Sunday night was a step up to the plate moment.  My MIL ended up going to the hospital (all ended up okay- and for that I'm thankful too) and we were suppose to be hosting the study that night.  When the group showed up, they prayed for us and for my MIL, one couple offered to watch the boys so I could go to the hospital with LK and then they washed dishes that were in my sink.  The group in that moment was Christ with skin on.

And today- it's one of those days when I'm trying to be thankful for the difficult.  I'm trying to be thankful for my neighbor.  Not for the one who brought me peonies this weekend that have my kitchen smelling lovely every time I walk in.  Not for the one who bakes us organic Christmas cookies each year.  Not for the one who comes over and talks travel and kids and life.  And not for the one who feeds my dog treats and for whom I care a great deal.  I'm talking about being thankful for that neighbor.  For the one who makes me want to put my house on the market so I don't have to live by her anymore.  For the one who wants to talk to me about everyone else.  For the one whom I've made mad and now wants to talk about me to everyone else.  For the one who has me missing our wonderful neighbors at the old house.  I'm trying to be thankful for her.  To be thankful that in her words that she is telling to others, I have the chance to self-reflect and see if there is a seed of truth.  And I'm thankful that this morning God really opened my eyes to show me her life.  Moved here from a place she loves because of her husband's work- a place very different from her home.  Hates the schools and is now trying to homeschool a child she has admittedly said she has very little control over.  Hates the city and misses where she was.  Can't move from her home because it's provided by her husband's job, etc, etc, etc.  Today I'm thankful that God showed me that what she says and does on the outside is likely a reflection of the lack of control she feels on the inside.  And let's face- I'm not always the easiest person to live with when I feel like everyone else has control but me. 

Lord, help me to remember that glimpse into her life when I am faced with difficult encounters.  Help me, even when I don't know how (or when I don't want to), to be an instrument of your peace while not simultaneously rolling over to play dead.  Help me know that balance.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I met Amy this past fall after the ladies' class I taught. We had a brief conversation following the lesson about our foster care and her work as a nurse in the pediatric wing of a hospital. Nothing big or monumental- but then God doesn't always do that does He? This was just one of those quiet- "you'll need this later" moments He gave me. And this week- I needed it. We've been facing some tough decisions on our path of adoption this week. And it's been hard to know where we're stopping short on God. Where we're deciding that He might not be big enough. And where we're simply stopping with wisdom- knowing that which we cannot handle. And as all these questions swirled around, I thought of Amy and thought she might know. But our one conversation did not besties make- so I didn't run over and call her. But tonight- as we were walking into church. As I took the other door even though we were running late, I walked in right behind Amy! I'm thankful she took the time to listen to my questions. I'm thankful that she spoke blatant and honest truth about it all. And thankful that she said God is big enough. But that doesn't mean we have to go down this road. I'm thankful that she spoke soul-freeing truth over me that if we choose yes, that is God's plan for this. And if we choose no, that too is God's plan. I'm thankful that she let me cry in front of her, and thankful that she cried with me too. Thankful that she took the time to care. And thankful that she reminded me that some of the best stories have rather unexpected twists.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Small Group, Extra Time and Cowboys

Small Group: Sunday night we had our small group at the G's house. They've been married less than two years and this is their first house. She was so excited to show us around. So excited to open their home to us. I'm thankful for their marriage and the joy they have together. I'm thankful for the blessing of their first home. And I'm thankful for our small group and how we have grown together. May God continue to bless our time together.

Extra Time: I woke up Monday feeling like I had a salad plate sized day and a charger plate full of things to do. More do to than day to do it in. But I stopped and prayed. And remembered to breathe. And remembered to take the time to do what I could do right then. And so I did. And I chipped away at this and that. And I tell you what - I believe God gave me time to clean the showers. I know it because mornings never have that much time. But this one did. And I'm thankful for that time.

Cowboys: Tonight was my last Mother-Son BBQ at church. ISH and Geo have now both outgrown it. But I'm thankful for the years I could go. Thankful for the people who organize it. For Charlie (a real OK cowboy) who entertains. And for the wonderful memories I have with the boys from our adventures there.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

TMc and My Grannie

Friday night we went to hear my friend TMc tell the story of how God has worked in her life. She is an amazing woman not only because of how dedicated she has been over the past three years to letting God rule her life but also because she is bold enough to let others know her story so that they might be able to open their lives and let God have control. I'm also thankful for my Grannie. Saturday night my SILs and I decided enough pinning on Pintrest, let's get to work. We're sooo Little House on the Prairie. ... Or perhaps we're not. The skirt-making that was suppose to take 30 minutes went on for about 3 hours and when all else failed- I had to call Grannie to figure out what the issue was. She saved the day! I'm thankful that Grannie has been and continues to be a part of my life. I have so many wonderful memories with her and it's because she's taken the time to be with us and make memories with us. I'm thankful for life lessons she has taught on how to be faithful even when life is hard- because "God never promises anything different." I'm thankful she can talk me through loosening the bobbin tension over the phone. I'm thankful we will get to go to France together soon and have another trip together for the memory books. I am thankful for her in these and so many many more ways.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Past Three Days

Three days of thankfulness have past. So here they are. Over the past three days I have been thankful for ... That I was asked to be on the PTO board for the boys school this past year. I always feel like the 5 year-old in a room full of adults at things like that-- never really sure who thought it would be a good idea to bring this "kid" in here and let her start making decisions. But Thursday as I was addressing the PTO meeting and making comments on the budget I actually felt like a grown up. But more than feeling more like a big person, I'm thankful that I stopped making excuses and just got involved in their school and have been able to know people better. My friend Anne and that she texted and asked me to come visit. I'm thankful for a mother who is willing to watch the boys so I can go and for a husband who not only agreed that me going to see her would be a great thing but then quickly transferred the needed miles to my account so I can go see her. And again I'm thankful for Israel, but not for the experience so much this time but the lovely miles I earned by going that are allowing me to go and see my friend of ... eeek... almost 20 years!! Coffee with Aubrey today. Life circumstances brought us into a very unique bond that I'm thankful we have together. I'm thankful for the fun new adventures they are starting in their life and the way she graciously lends support for the adventures of mine.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Park

We bought this house just over a year ago. The reasons why we were looking to move didn't pan out the way we thought but in the end, we have this house. A house by the park. The park where ISH and I spent time this afternoon feeding ducks (and squirrels), climbing trees, and playing tag. I spent that time taking mental pictures (as well as a few real ones) of him as he fearlessly climbed to the top. As he road ahead of me on his bike. He's growing up every day. But today I'm thankful for this house, that is so close to the park, where I can spend special time with my children.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A safe night

It was a busy weather night last night. I'm thankful that nothing came near us. I'm thankful that in my approximately 31 years of living in Oklahoma, I've never lost anything in a tornado. Never had any damage. And thankful that as far as I know, no one I know has had damage this go-round either.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Reminder

This is one of those days that was just simply lived.  By that I mean it was just a day. 

It was here and there and appointments and projects.  It was home study updates and lunch on hold with an airline.  It wasn't stressful.  It wasn't leisure. 

Today was in the flow.  Not a rushing flow, not a stressful flow, just a flow.

Nothing amazingly beautiful happened today to be thankful for.  Nothing horribly frustrating happened either- a day where I would try and find something out of the ashes to rejoice in.

It was just a day. 

It's Thursday.  Did I say my prayers today?  Maybe that's why it wasn't surrounded in grace and mystery- because my head woke up focused on tasks at hand and not looking for the mystery, looking for how God was calling me into Him.

But I will not judge it.  Some things are meant to be judge, some things needing to be judged.  But this was just a day.  I can't judge it. Shouldn't judge it.  Just look, learn, and do better tomorrow.

Because today was a reminder day.  A reminder to wake up and seek Him- a reminder of how different it makes everything look.  A reminder to look for the mystery.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ish's Eyes

We met with the eye therapist today.  Our 50 sessions has ended and it was time to assess where to now.

The short of it is that things are progressing, both eyes working more now, almost all the time, getting stronger and learning what it means to get along.  For this I am immensely thankful. 

The whole process of the brain, and vision, and how our bodies compensate to make out of whack things clear is really fascinating and very complicated. I am thankful for people like Dr. White who understand this more than I and who, along with his team, is working very hard to help ISH see better.  What they are doing will have a profound impact on his future and I am thankful that they are here.  Thankful that they are literally just down the road.  Thankful that I am not the mother who drives in from no less than an hour away (one way) with two other kids in toe.

And after assessing it looks like our pockets will be a bit lighter yet again this time next week as we agree to another 20 sessions.  Therapy until September at least.  But I am thankful that this commitment will not mean rice and beans for us.  It's not how I want to spend this chunk of change mind you, but I am thankful that I can spend it on something that will help ISH's future. And thankful that I can pay that and still run the air conditioning the summer, still keep the lights on after dark.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I was pretty sure that by being gone from the middle to end of March that I would miss the excitement that comes for me each spring when I see that my plants have survived another year. (Imagine if I'm that giddy of plants what the boys birthdays must be like!) But I didn't miss it! I have daylillies just starting to bloom and ajuga that has flowered so nicely. And the barberry that I thought had been the victim of the drought is thriving (a lesson in that somewhere I'm sure). I'm thankful that God saved some of the blooms and berries for me when I returned.

Monday, April 9, 2012


We went to our first LTC this weekend and unless you've experiences thousands of kids in one place presenting puppets, drama, art, chorus, poetry, Bible knowledge, and more- it's hard to explain.  Needless to say I walked around wide-eyed the whole weekend. It was a huge event.

But more than giving Geo the chance to work as a group on a project and hone his knowledge of Genesis, I'm thankful because I was able to talk with members from my church that I'd seen around, but never really fellowshipped with. 

I'm thankful for all the adults who told me how wonderful Geo is to work with.  It's nice to know he's not just a great kid at home.

And I'm thankful that we stayed the whole weekend.  Some people go home late Saturday night but we decided to stay and experience the whole weekend.  It wasn't a normal Easter Sunday service as it was very much absent of frilly dresses and bonnets- but instead perhaps the emphasis was placed where the Easter Sunday (every Sunday) emphasis should be- the communion of the body of Christ.  People who don't all know each other, but whom have gathered together because we have one in common- the blood of Christ and the saving power of his resurrection.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Unique Experiences, Answered Prayers, and Family

I'm thankful that on Thursday Geo was able to attend a dinner with my dad where he sat with former and current political figures from our our state.  It's not often that at 8 years old you can have such unique experiences.  I'm further thankful that he carried on conversations with these people and was able to feel comfortable in his skin around them.  I'm thankful that at a young age he was able to conduct himself well in potentially intimidating circumstances.  May he never loose this ability.

I'm thankful on Friday that-- well how to summarize Friday.  I was stressed before it began.  Yup, that sums it up pretty well.  S-t-r-e-s-s-e-d.  And then I tried to remember that stress is something I create when I begin to focus in more than out.  Something that starts to creep in when I begin to assume that I am most important and my control of a situation and having life fall just so is key.  But on Friday I'm thankful that I stepped back to remember I am not the axis and life will go on even if I'm running late.

I am also thankful on Friday that while I was stuck on Broadway because of a stalled car, trying to remain calm as I watched the clock tick closer and closer to the doctors appointment I needed to be on time to so I could be on time to get my SIL so I could be on time in Dallas for LTC-- trying to remind myself that I need not be stressed- I'm thankful I offered thanks for that moment.  Thank you that I live in a town where there are roads- good roads that lead to good doctors.  Thankful for medical professionals and insurance that allows us to have well-child check ups.  Thank you for healthy kids who only really see the doctor on such occasions. Thank you that I have a car to drive. ...thank you ... thank you ... thank you. And as I inched closer and closer to the appointment I'm thankful that the Lord provided (and yes I believe he provided it) a front row spot so that even with all the delays, I wasn't late to the appointment and I wasn't late to get my SIL and I wasn't (even with Dallas traffic) late to LTC.  All without getting stressed.

Today.  Today I am thankful that I was able to spend time with several parts of my family.  My extended family doesn't look like what I thought it would.  And sometimes, in an effort for inclusion, there are tightropes to be walked.  And feelings to maneuver. And it can be difficult.  And it can be messy.  But I'm thankful that my children have people in their lives- people they call family- that we love no matter the ways they were joined in this walk with us.  I'm thankful for watching my parents make lemonade.  And I hope I am able to model the same to my children. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

LK's safe return home

LK ended up with a business trip that he needed to be on right at the end of our Israel trip.  So we flew from Tel Aviv to Newark together and then I left him to come on home and he went to a conference in Baltimore.

But he is home now.  And for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks we were together this morning as a family, back in our routine.

I'm thankful that while he was gone I was able to manage with the boys on my own (it helps that they are great kids) and everyone made it to school, the laundry was done, dinner was had, and beds were even made (normally LK's job).... Though I did forget to make coffee for myself the first morning back (Yes, he brings me my coffee in the morning.  Such a spoiled girl am I.) 

But while I was able to manage it by myself- it is good to have him home.  Good that managing it on my own is not the status quo.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mrs. Paula, my neighbor

I am thankful that I was able to see her today, talk to her about her mother, listen as she was real with me about her loss. Thankful that she was on my mind not more than a hour before. Thankful that I can be there for her. Lord comfort Paula and help me be your hands so that I can show her your love.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Being Back Home

My silence over the past few days doesn't mean I haven't been thankful.  (I have been).  It only means that I've been out of the country and the internet was not always readily available.  So from my counting that's 10 days (including today) that were not cataloged with thankfulness. 

Now it's not that I feel all puritan about this and feel like logging these is to warding off bad luck as is salt thrown over the shoulder.  But still, for good measure- 10 things I'm thankful for-

1. A vacation where I didn't really work.  I think I answered only a handful of emails and successfully passed on clients I could not take care of at that moment.  I use to never do that- work all the way around while I was on vacation.  Sure, not having ready access to internet every day helped (a subset blessing then if you will), but really it was nice just to be on vacation.

2. All the wonderful things I learned and experienced while in Israel.  I will never,  never, read the Bible the same.  It hits me in ways that unless you've been there I don't think I can accurately put into words (there's a shock- me at a loss for words) but it just made the history of the Bible- the backstage knowledge of the stories- come to life.

3. What I learned by watching Alan.  I'll admit, my attitude towards taking an almost 50 year old sometimes mentally wacky blind man to Israel was not what it should have been.  But to see his hands experience the models of the sites, to see him take in moments on his mini-tape recorder, his own "photography" of the trip, to hear him sing at St. Anne's- I was blessed.  And humbled.

4. At the same time I'm thankful Alan did not try to head squish anyone on either side of the Israel-Arab conflict. 

5. Spending the time in Israel with LK.  It was a blessing to be there with him.

6. Climbing the Southern Steps of the temple while reading the Psalms of Ascent out loud with Dad. I'm blessed to have him as my dad.  I'm blessed for the role model he is and thankful that I was able to live that moment with him.

7. LK, Dad and I running in each place we stayed.  It was a neat check box to tick off while we were traveling and a goal I had set for myself back when I first started jogging.

8.  A safe flight home.  When we hit turbulence I still listed to God the reasons why it would be a good idea for him to let me be around and not die in a crash. But this time, thanks to new thoughts stirred by One Thousand Gifts, I also added in there- but if You do decide to let us crash- I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt on it being the best answer for everyone in the long run.  And yet, I'm thankful he didn't see my end of life as best just yet.

9.  The memory of Geo seeing me across the soccer field and running to jump into my arms and hug me.  Almost 9 years old but still overtly happy to see me.  When I am old and have forgotten everything including my own name, dear Lord, please let me remember that moment.

10. Playing backyard baseball with the boys tonight.  I can remember DrEAM and I playing it as kids in our envelope-sized yard complete with ghost runners and made up rules.  And tonight I was able to relive that with the boys.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


He is not only an excellent guide but he came through to get it all done. I wonder if all these devotionals he hears will one day turn a faith-light on for him. May I be an example of God's light to him.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ryan's WiFi

While I am, of course thankful for all the amazing things I'm seeing here; I'm thankful that Ryan has free wifi on the bus. And thankful that I am privileged to live in a place were such comforts are second nature for me. Lord may I never take for granted the place you have allowed me to live and may I use my affluence to bless others and use it to work and free them from their oppression.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Checking One Off My List

Because the Israel trip was scheduled when I started running, I've thought how cool it would be to run in Israel while listening to Matisyahu. And Wednesday morning I did it! Check!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Safe Arrival

It wasn't without the expected and eventful "joys" that come with international travel, but we've made it to Caesarea and have joined the group.  I'm thankful that I was able to, despite much turbulence, get some sleep and thankful that in a group of 25- no one was left behind and no one lost their luggage.

I'm thankful for the anticipation of the adventure yet to come.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


For running around the house hiding from the dragon, using our magic force powers, ducking under water, flashing secret codes. An enjoyable last evening with the boys for a few weeks.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I'm thankful that, while I don't leave until Monday morning most everything is packed and ready to go. I'm thankful for another wonderful adventure that is soon to go into my book of travels.

Friday Nights with Good Friends

I stayed up way too late last night and collapsed into bed.  So this counts for Friday and Saturday.

I'm thankful for a mother in law who takes the boys for the night.  Thankful that they live close enough to do that and thankful that we all like each other enough that want them to do that and that they in turn want to.

I am also thankful for friends who come over.  Friends who- how could time have passed so quickly that we've already known each other 3 years?!  Friends who are willing to play all sorts of silly games and make the evening enjoyable.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It being dead

Yes, I am thankful that the spider the size of my thumb nail (not including the legs) was already dead when I found it in the washing machine.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Magical Wishes

The kind you can have when you're six. When you close your eyes really really tight, pause, and then blow the dandelion puff.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Safety of My Town

As some know from my facebook post, LK and I came on a fairly big scene today when we took a later than usual lunch. So today I am thankful that LK was hung up at work and we didn't go as early as we normally do. And I'm thankful that we live in a place that is, for the most part, safe. Where news like this isn't just called Tuesday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Playing Outside with the Boys

Today work slowed in the afternoon (not always a given) and I was able to spend time outside enjoying nature, playing make-believe warrior dragons something (they lost me half-way through explaining it), and playing pool with the boys.  I need to do this more.

I'm thankful for one of the prayers I've been praying lately

O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation.

and that today I wisely used my leisure.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Healthy Kiddos

Following the death of a teenage girl from church who experienced cancer for the past several years, it's overwhelming thankfulness that I have never had to go through something like that. I am thankful for the healthy bodies that live in my house. I am also thankful for the example the Stafford family has been of loving God and worshipping Him through such a time. May I, should a day like theirs ever come, remain faithful to my God. Remain able to attend worship the day after heartbreak, sing songs of worship, and with grace allow others to minister to us as I have seen the Staffords do.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Travels

I was blessed to be able to go and hear Rick Steves speak tonight.  His book on Europe was our go to guide during free travel when I was living in Italy.  We nicknamed it "our boyfriend" because it was always with us.  His talk was good and affirmed many things I love  about travel.

I love watching other people when I travel.  I love watching how they approach life and problems and see how they handle those problems.  Often times I will think "hmm that's an interesting way to do it."  But I try not to think that they're wrong for doing it that way.  Just different.

His talk affirmed my love of new cultures and learning about new people and places.  How my favorite place to travel to is the next place I'm going because there's something to be learned, something new to be experienced.  (A good reminder to get me geared up for Israel in T-8 days and counting)

And so tonight I'm thankful for all the travel I've been able to do.  From my first trip to Europe at age 12 to the many many adventures that followed. 

I'm so thankful for all the amazing travel I was able to do in college.  How I only spent one full year on campus and then was off every other semester to some study program or another after that.  And how while it did prepare me for the job as a travel agent that I would eventually have, more than that, it prepared me to see life differently.  Well, I mean I've always seen it differently, my mother will attest to that.  But I mean through the blessing of travel that I have had over the last (gasp) 20 years, I've met people, heard stories, tasted food, experienced life, and had amazing adventures. And I am extremely blessed.

My Dad's Guitar

I was on hold until well past midnight Friday night getting an answer for a client, so this is Friday's thankful thought.

I stopped for no more than three minutes today to play Lumina- one of the first songs I learned to play.  I haven't picked up the guitar in months.  Probably the last time was to move it to the car when the likelihood of the house blowing away was nigh.  But I stopped today as I moved through the house dusting (yes, honey I do dust) and played.  Not for anyone, just for me. 

I need to take the time to play more, but that's a different post for a different day.  Today I'm simply thankful that I did stop.  Thankful that I took the time as I had it two years ago to learn something I always saw myself doing. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Being Cavity Free

I hate going to the dentist.  I had so many cavities as a kid.  It didn't matter how many times I brushed- always always cavities.  My brother and sister never did- always always fine. 

I can literally feel my body getting into knots when I sit in the chair.  But today I was a big girl and I went to the dentist.  Hooray! Cavity free! 

ISH asked if this means I listened to Bill Cosby Himself last night.

Nope, just a lucky break for me this time.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Humid Okla days that make the boys' hair curl into ringlets

I doubt I need further explanation but these humid days, o how they make the boys', my sweet boys, hair curl even tighter. It reminds me of swimming in the waters off the Amalfi coast with my dear friend Anne on the first day of fall. We swam and we yelled at the top of our lungs (loud Americans) all the things we could think of that made us happy. Me, at 20, called out "curly-headed boys." How blessed I am to have two of my very own.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Delta Agent Kristi

Last night I went to bed with a horrible crick in my neck.  It had been there most of the day and kept me up on and off throughout the night.  So I suppose last night, I was thankful for Advil.

Today, I am thankful for Delta Agent Kristi who pulled strings to make this happy little agent's life easier. 

There are times I question how much God is in the little details of my life, and times when I feel weird saying things along the lines of how I prayed to God about a parking space and got it- but today, when it looked like I was about to have to dive in headfirst into a long and drawn out ordeal that would likely come to head the day before I close down shop for two weeks- I prayed.  I said God, I'll do this if I need to.  And I'll do it with all the grace and kindness you can give me.  But really, I mean really, really, can you please let them give an answer that makes this whole thing easier?

And guess what!  Delta Agent Kristi did!  She did that and more than I could have even thought about asking them to do.  So while I would have tried to sit here tonight and be thankful even if she hadn't, I'm really thankful I don't have to.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Geo and his uniqueness

At this stage it involves things more along the lines of wearing clothes inside-out and/or backwards.  But I hope in times to come it involves him being willing to take the harder, better way, because he is confident in who he is.

And then today someone told Geo he should fix his shirt (which was both inside-out and backwards) because it was "very embarrassing" to her.  (Yes, it was an adult, yes it was in church, yes she should have known better, no I was not there, and no I would not have held my tongue if I was). 

But I'm thankful because that it opened the door to talk to Geo about how it's okay to not be like everyone else.  And it allowed us a chance to explain that different in a way that hurts others, is immoral, or is illegal is not okay but different in itself is.  And we were able to talk about how when our differences bother others it's a good chance to check ourselves and motives but that in the end we don't have to change who we are and what we do just because someone else is embarrassed. 

(And it gave the chance to discuss the difference between face-tattoo-stupid-different and clothes-backwards-different.  I'm sure this conversation will likely come back and bite me in someway when he's a teenager but blue-mohawk-different is still not face-tattoo-stupid-different -- one grows out the other doesn't). 

So I'm thankful for the hurtful words that woman never should have said to my sweet little one because I hope today planted a seed for Geo to see he doesn't have to follow the crowd.  And in the end, I pray that God can take the seed and mold Geo into a mighty man who is able to be unique in a way that serves Him and gives Him glory even if it make others uncomfortable.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My parents

I'm thankful for the time, even if just a little bit, that we were able to spend together today. I'm thankful for the times they held me accountable and helped me learn, allowed me to learn, the hard lessons. I'm thankful for the support they give and the encouragement they show me and my family. I am truly blessed to have them in my life as active participants.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Today ISH spilled bubble solution on the back porch.  There were tears because he thought that would be the end of what he had hoped to spend the afternoon doing. 

But I got down on the porch with him and showed him how to pick up the puddle of solution with the wand (a moment of motherhood ingenuity) and all the fun bubbles blown onto solution can bring.

Giggles.  Lots of them as he moved the bubbles around and stacked them together.  Examining them as he never would have really been able to from the traditional dip-blow-bubbles-into-the-Okla.-wind model we normally go for around here.

I'm thankful for the reminder that some times it's through the spilled bubble solution of my own life that opportunities open up for me to be able to experience something amazingly new.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

ISH's Sweet Little Fingers

Fingers that are still little. While the rest of him gets a little thinner and little more boy-like, a little less preschool- his fingers still are young. I took the time to breathe in the sight of his hands, his fingers this morning. The little fingers that stretched across LK when ISH crawled in bed to say good morning and then sleepily curled back around Blankety, who had accompanied him into our bed. And I felt unexplainably grateful for each little one of them.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

White Tree Tops

The Bradford Pear trees have exploded.  They line the drive to school and on errands.  It is the beginning of spring.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Honest Conversations

And safe, healthy relationships in which to have them.

An Approval

I can't believe it!  We were approved for our adoption-- well the beginning of the adoption.  This means really that we're approved for birth moms and families to view our profile. This is the "green light" we've been waiting for! 

I am thankful for the child that will come into our home because of this.  For the bond between us that God will knit.  For the birth family that will become a part of our family because of the love we both have for the child.

I am thankful that after two years of feeling like this is what God is calling us to do- here we are.  In a different place and about it by a different way than we expected it to come, but we're here.  Having learned from what the Lord has allowed us to experience- having wisdom about the whole processes that we would not have had two years ago.  And now we're here- at a new beginning in this wonderful journey.

Thank you Father.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Moments that I will store up and carry with me. Moments that I hope when I am old and I don't remember my name anymore, that I hope I will at least remember these precious times- not because something amazing happened. No lighting no aha! And yet a moment that is so beautiful you know it's holy. Today I am thankful for the moment of cooking lunch for my family. The window in the dining room open to let in the beginnings of Spring. LK at the piano playing his repertoire of memorized songs. The boys on the floor playing their own version of chess. Giggling and chatting as they go. A moment. Tucked away. A moment when I remembered to stop and breathe in the beauty of it all.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

No Complaining

No bemoaning, not even an eye roll. Only his sweet smile (and the chuckle that says he know me well) when I come up (and moments later implement) a new room arrangement idea.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Seeing Myself A Whole New Way

Today I'm thankful for my participation in Lent.  I'm thankful for how uncomfortable it's making me feel- thankful for what He's teaching me through these feelings.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Time and The Unexpected

I'm thankful for reading at ISH's school today and seeing how proud he was for me to be there.

I'm thankful for playing soccer with the boys out back - none of us too sure on the rules but all enjoying the amazingly mild February weather.

And I'm thankful for the way LK looks out for us in so many ways but today, I'm particularly thankful for his financial sense. It's his good direction that makes the words "the whole systems needs to be replaced" much more bearable.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Learning I Can Do This

I'm thankful for the little kids (18 month olds) I helped teach this quarter. They were wonderfully gracious to this trepid newbie. 33 years old and I'm finally working through my uneasiness of children en masse.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I am thankful for the relationship we didn't have growing up. I am thankful for the void that left me- the way it left me searching for someone to fill your role. Thankful for the amazing women I have been blessed to know through that search. And I am thankful for the times you text me. For the times I feel strangely hopeful that this might be able to work after all. And I am thankful for how hard it is to let you in to know me. And how I feel God working on me as I learn to be open to having you as an active part of my life.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Gift of My Career

Thankful that I have my job.  Which for many in today's climate is hallelujah blessing in itself.  But today I am thankful for it because even on the day I want to chuck it all and go live on a farm because my "grass-is-greener" eyes think there is where I would be a better mother- there I would have all the time in the world for them; I have a job that allowed me to be home today with the boys while they were off school, and to be at home with them since Geo took his first breath.  I have a job that allowed me to sleep in, field emails and phone calls from clients while grocery shopping, clean the showers, book a honeymoon for some lovely new clients, make (failed as the recipe was) rubber bouncing balls with boys, contract group space for a mission trip to Honduras, play Clue, and enjoy the miracle of how beautifully the Lord has orchestrated this very job into my life.  I have a job that allows me to bless my family with extra income for the things we like to, but don't have to do (and I am thankful that I have a husband who on his own can and does fully support our family).  I am blessed.  And at the end of the day, even with my moments of needing to step into the office and do a little work, the thing the boys were most thankful for today was me, being here with them.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Questions Unanswered

Thankful that I have questions- wonderings, itchings to be deeper with God.  Thankful for the mystery that surrounds the questions.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thankful for that ....

Every blog has to have a beginning I suppose.  A place when it's decided- documentation necessary.   And this one begins now.

But really it began years ago.  Back when Geo, our oldest was still small.  Back when we first began to hope he didn't grow up with the feelings of entitlement that we saw so many young kids have.  Back when we wanted to him to know how to be thankful.  Not just polite and please and thank you.  But for him to know how to be thankful

And so we ended each day with saying what we're thankful for.  I'm thankful for that... he would say, still says.

And most of the time, when we go around at night to say what we're thankful for that day it will be more surface things.  Thankful for that we got to read a second chapter of Harry Potter.  Thankful for Daddy helping with the laundry.  Thankful for the rain.

But I'm trying to remember to be thankful in all circumstances.

Like the day, years ago when our back fence fell down.  Rotted off the nails.  LK was a minister at that point, and we didn't have money to spare.  We lived fine and we ate and we had heat and air conditioning, but we didn't have money for a new fence.  I was frustrated that the fence fell in and frustrated that the neighbors hadn't fixed it before now.  Didn't they know the rule- if the pretty side faces you, it's yours to fix?

But that night, as we said what we were thankful for, little Geo said "I'm thankful for that the fence fell in."

Maybe he was just picking up on what LK and I had spent the evening discussing- how to fix the fence as cheaply as possible (and yes, we held it up with bungee chords until we put the house on the market some 18 months later).  Or maybe he was speaking truth.  Maybe, through my child, God was whispering "in all circumstances."

I'm trying to remember to be thankful now.  Not only thankful on the days the when I lay in bed at the end of the day feeling like I owned it.  But thankful on the days when things are left undone.  When mistakes are made.  When the phone call doesn't come.

And so this the beginning.  The beginning of remembering to be thankful.  Remember how I was thankful.

February 18, 2012
-that my mother in law had the boys and LK and I could roam Half Priced Books and talk about spirituality, classic fiction, and world history.