Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Thanksgiving just might be my favorite holiday. Sure it's crazy getting all that food together, but oh the rewards of eating it!

I've been a little disgusted at how Thanksgiving seems to get overlooked more and more each year. It seems as though once Halloween is over, the Christmas season begins, and Thanksgiving just gets lost in the shuffle. Sadly, Black Friday gets more attention.

But, we were determined to get the most out of this holiday because, truly, we have much for which to be thankful.

It totally helped that these special people came to celebrate with us:

We took the opportunity of having a few extra hands around to get a family shot. Not often these happen.

Grandma also came, and it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving at our house without her.

My dad took this one of me and my girl.

The Little Man led us in a Thanksgiving prayer that will go down in the history books for sure. If I can figure out a way to get a sound recording on the blog, I will post it for you here. There's just nothing sweeter than hearing a little voice:

Come Lawd Jesus,
Awr guest to beee,
And bwess deez gifs bestowed by dee.

Bwess awr loved ones evwewhere,
And keep us in yawr loving keeair.

We clapped and cheered like Ohio State had just scored a touchdown or something.

He grinned like he had scored that touchdown.
We had good food (including a seriously juicy, yummy turkey and 2 desserts!) and a good time with family.

Truly, what could be better than that?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Girl Has a Birthday (which also means she grows up. Boo!).

So, something happened the other day.

And, I'm not really thrilled about it.

Someone else, on the hand, couldn't wait for it.

Apparently, she's dead set on growing up.

Little stinker refuses to listen to every argument I present encouraging her to stay little enough for me to snuggle forever. And she absolutely refuses to turn back into a little baby so I can sniff the top of her head and gnaw on her cheeks.

Why is this, I wonder? I mean, my arguments make perfect sense to me!

Seven candles, people! 7!!

There was no nostalgia for my girl. She was all about celebrating her birthday with some of her special friends . . .

her dad, her brother, and . . . and a horse (of course!)

at the place that all little kid's call "heaven" and all parents call . . . well, you know.

That's right.

It was . . .

Chuck E. Cheese's!

"Where a kid can be a kid . . . and some freaky, large-headed mouse makes you wear a silly blow-up crown in front of all your best friends!"


She had a blast though, and so did all of her friends.

Her little brother and her dad did too.

I forgot to ask the horse.

Meanwhile, I'm doing my best to reconcile myself with this getting older business. Apparently, she's going to do it, no matter what I say.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful with Attitude

My girl turned 7 last week.

I'm still reeling from the shock of it all, but I am working on getting a birthday post up someday soon (hopefully before she turns 8 which, at this rate, will be, like, tomorrow. THEY GROW UP SO FAST!).

Okay, I'm over it.

Anyway, I wrote this for our MOPS newsletter and thought I would post it here too. Sorry if you're reading it twice. :-)

One of my mom's favorite "punishments" for her 4 whiny children was to order us to: "name ten things you are thankful for." (really, she probably only made us do it a few times, but to a kid that's a lot!). Sounds like she let us off easy, doesn't it? Seriously, when my 2 start the whine fest, all I want to do is send them somewhere AWAY from me. I have a very low whine tolerance. It's the truth.

As kids, we were usually disgruntled and mad that we didn't get our way, and our typical first few "thankful for's" included things like, "the air," "my pants," "boogers," and other such sarcastic drivel.

But, what eventually happened, what always happened, and what my wise mother knew would happen (or at least she hoped!) is that by number 4 or 5, we really started to name those things that truly mattered, those things for which we were truly grateful - our family, our home, our health, etc. And, low and behold, the earlier gripes were forgotten, and our moods were lightened (usually, anyway!).

As a kid, I used to HATE doing this, and swore that I would NEVER make MY kids do this.

Well, never say never.

While I haven't yet employed the "thankful list" as a punishment per se, I have started to make an effort at encouraging my children to appreciate those blessings around them that they take for granted every day, and as Thanksgiving nears, we have begun a tradition in our home to help us be thankful more than just one day every year.

Two balls of Styrofoam, a pair of googly eyes, and a wattle and beak made from construction paper make up our very own Tom the Thankful Turkey. Every November he arrives in our home, and as each day passes, we fill out Tom's tail with construction paper feathers filled with "thankful for's" as we count down the days until Thanksgiving.

The kids LOVE doing this each night, and the contributions are always entertaining. Ben's "thankful for's" are always my favorite: "homework, the sun, Big Doggy, apple crisp, Popsicles."

My "thankful for's" of course always include my family, my friends, my home, but I also include things like "coffee," "chocolate," and this past week, I included "antibiotics" too. :-)

What are you thankful for, and how do you remind yourself and your family to be thankful every day?

There are many days the whiny little kid of so many years ago still shows her face in my mirror, and I'm always surprised at just how easy it is to forget everything for which I have to be grateful. Hopefully, with a little practice, we can all remember to be thankful for all our blessings without it having to be a punishment.