Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gratitude - Day 28

I actually did it, I wrote a blog of some sort or another for 28 days straight!!

Today I have left the best for last. I am grateful for God. I am grateful for knowing Him early in my life. For trusting and believing His words and for miraculous things that He has done. I am thankful for all that He has provided for me and my family. I am grateful for His love and mercy and for the sacrifice of His son.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gratitude - Day 27

Today I am grateful for pain relievers. I have a massive headache today but I took something so hopefully it will be gone soon!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gratitude - Day 26

Today I am grateful for love. I am grateful that I was loved as a child, loved by my husband, loved by my children and friends and most especially loved by God. I am grateful to be able to give love to my family, friends and even to people I don't know. I want to live my life in a spirit of love and to have everyone who comes in contact with me to feel loved. Some days it is easier to be loving than others, but it is a goal. Here is a song that I heard that made me think about being grateful for love.

Love Never Fails
Brandon Heath
From the album What If We

Love is not proud
Love does not boast
Love after all
Matters the most

Love does not run
Love does not hide
Love does not keep
Locked inside

Love is the river that flows through
Love never fails you

Love will sustain
Love will provide
Love will not cease
At the end of time

Love will protect
Love always hopes
Love still believes
When you don't

Love is the arms that are holding you
Love never fails you

When my heart won't make a sound
When I can't turn back around
When the sky is falling down
Nothing is greater than this
Greater than this

Love is right here
Love is alive
Love is the way
The truth the life

Love is the river that flows through
Love is the arms that are holding you
Love is the place you will fly to
Love never fails you

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gratitude - Day 25

Today I am grateful for my sisters. I feel kind of sorry for women/girls who don't have sisters. I guess if you don't, you don't really know what you're missing but I can't imagine not having sisters. My sisters and I are all VERY different. I was thinking about this the other day and I realized that I am the type that makes myself crazy planning things. I worry that I won't make the right decision or that what I am doing won't work right or whatever. I end up planning so much that I have a hard time starting something or making a decision but when I do, it turns out pretty awesome.

My next younger sister is also a planner but she gets in and does things easier that I do. Her issue is perfection. She spends so much time trying to get everything perfect that she makes herself a little crazy but everything she does turns out beautiful.

My youngest sister is not so much a planner as a doer. She just jumps in, full steam ahead. Which can be good and bad. Sometimes she makes the rest of us crazy because of the lack of planning but she does get a lot of things done and isn't afraid to try new things.

So, today I am thankful for my sisters. We are there for each other and all our assorted children and I can't imagine my life without them! And, happy 40th birthday today to my "baby" sister!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gratitude - Day 24

Today I am thankful for my house. First, I am thankful to have a house. I'm thankful that our children all have grown up with a yard to play in, a place to ride bikes, and great neighbors. We moved into our house in November of 1984, one month before Lindsay, our oldest, was born. My in-laws purchased the house as an investment and we rented it from them until they retired 8 years later. Then in February 1992, we bought it from them. We lived here for another 9 years and then did an extensive remodel. We added a second story, doubling our square footage and going from 3 bedrooms, 2 baths to 6 bedrooms, 4 baths. Thankfully my dad and my husband (and I) did a lot of the work so our cost wasn't huge and now we have this great house with lots of room and we didn't have to leave our wonderful neighborhood!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gratitude - Day 23

Today I am grateful for my grandson, Holden. He is 13 months old and I just love him so much! Being a grandparent is so different. You can just have fun and love them without all the pressure of the raising of them. He is such a sweet, funny, happy, busy, smart and totally adorable baby boy! After growing up with two sisters and having five daughters it was quite a surprise to have a grandson. I only wish that he didn't live so far away but we've made the best of it. Either I've gone there to visit or they have come here about every three months or so. He's coming to visit next month and I can't wait!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gratitude - Day 22

Today I am grateful for the signs that Spring is close at hand. The crocuses have bloomed, the daffodils are starting to bloom and the tulips are coming up out of the ground. The grass is starting to grow, the birds are singing and the sun is shining (for today at least)!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gratitude - Day 21

Today I am grateful for an unexpected phone call from my husband in Iraq. He normally calls every other day for about an hour. Yesterday he called but had to go to a meeting so our call was a little shorter. He called this morning because he felt bad that we didn't get to talk for very long. Love him!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gratitude - Day 20

Today I am thankful for my dog, Daphne. She is a boxer and she turns 6 today. She makes life interesting, to say the least. She is sweet and lovable and has the cutest face. She can also be frustrating. She gets into the garbage if it's left out, chases cats and barks at other dogs. Sometimes I think life would be so much easier without a dog. We can't leave overnight without either taking her or having someone stay here with her, I get tired of wiping her muddy feet every time she goes outside and sometimes she's just a pain. But, I can't really imagine life without her. She's so happy to see me when I come home, she loves to sleep with the girls at night and she truly lives in the moment. Happy Birthday Daphne!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Gratitude - Day 19

Today I am thankful for answered prayers. My niece is expecting a baby boy in June. She's still a senior in High School so this was hard news to be happy about at first, but now we are excited for this little boy to join our family. She was told that at her 20 week ultrasound that there were some areas of concern that the radiologist saw in the baby's heart and brain so she was sent to Portland for a more comprehensive ultrasound and a meeting with a genetisist (not easy for anyone, let alone a 17 year old!). Well, I spent the morning praying as I'm sure everyone else in the family was and later we got the news that everything is fine! So, thank you God for answered prayers and thank You for little Karter!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gratitude - Day 18

Today I am grateful for healthy kids. I am so blessed that we have not had to deal with anything other than minor health issues with our kids. They've had colds, ear infections, (ear tubes), bladder infections, kidney infections, a broken wrist, strep throat, chicken pox and probably a few more things, but those are nothing compared to what some people face. There is a blog that I read daily about a little girl named Kate. She was a perfectly healthy 4 or 5 year old when her mother noticed her hand shaking one day. When they had it checked out they found that she had a cancerous brain tumor. Every day I read about her and her battle to win against this disease. It's heart wrenching to imagine going through that and it truly makes me grateful to have healthy kids.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gratitude - Day 17

I am grateful today that it is only two months from today that my hubby will be home!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gratitude - Day 16

I am grateful for a beautiful, sunny day today. This morning there were lots of gray clouds but the sun was shining brightly and the steam was rising off the pavement. The fog rolled in for a little while and now it is sunny and gorgeous again. Like they say, "if you don't like the weather in Oregon, just wait a few minutes"!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gratitude - Day 15

You know how you don't appreciate something until you (almost) lose it? Today I am grateful for a healthy heart. It's been a few nerve wracking weeks waiting to find out that my heart is healthy. I've always had an occasional irregular heartbeat and it's never been an issue. After Kelly went back to Iraq after Christmas I started having irregular beats many, many times a day. I went to my regular doctor and she ordered an EKG, bloodwork and had me wear a Holter monitor for 24 hours. When the results came back they showed that I was having PVCs and PACs which means that my heart is missing one pump, letting extra blood build up and then when it does pump I can feel it. So, she sent me to a cardiologist who ordered an ECHO/stress test. They did an extensive ultrasound on my resting heart and then had me on the treadmill, then did another quick ultrasound while my heart was still pumping hard. The result was that when my heart pumps blood to my lungs it sometimes misses one or two pumps. It is apparently not dangerous, quite common and doesn't require any treatment (unless I choose to). So, I was given clearance to go about my life without any restrictions with instructions to come back if it gets worse and having a follow-up appointment in one year. After all this, I am very thankful for my healthy heart!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gratitude - Day 14

Happy Valentine's Day!! I have been saving today to say how grateful I am for my husband. I love him so much and have for the past (almost) 30 years! I knew that I wanted to be with him forever when we first started dating. I couldn't imagine myself with anyone else, ever, and I still feel that way. He is everything that most men aren't typically known to be. He is gentle, kind, funny, thoughtful, sweet, caring, giving, unselfish, loving and romantic. He genuinely likes doing things for me and always encourages me to be the best that I can be. He is truly my best friend and I would rather spend time with him than with anyone else. He makes me feel loved and protected and always wants me to be happy. He wrote me this sweet card and sent it to me from Iraq for Valentine's Day. Hopefully he won't care that I share it here, it just captures how wonderful he is. Here is what he wrote for me.

I can't help but find myself at a loss for words, trying to describe the wave of feelings that rushes through me when I look into the face of the woman that has pledged herself to me, for life.

I ask myself, how could I have been so blessed? What makes me so deserving of this woman's love? I don't know that I could ever have achieved what I have if not for her, her strength, her wisdom, her support and most of all her love.

See what I mean? I love this man so much!

Even though we're apart for Valentine's Day this year he still made my day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gratitude - Day 13

Today I am grateful for Shelby, my fifth-born and the younger of the twins. Shelby...what can I say, she is even more complex than her sister. Every morning waking her up is a challenge. From day care to now High School, every morning she is grumpy and will only mumble when I ask what she wants for breakfast. Yet, after she's up and eaten breakfast she is like a completely different person. She is silly, noisy and goofy at home and with her friends but the comment from every teacher is that she is quiet and shy. She is uncomfortable in situations when she is alone and really relies on Chloey. She definately keeps life interesting and I love her, she's the baby!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gratitude - Day 12

Today I am grateful for Chloey, my fourth-born and the older of my twins. Chloey is very complex. She is calm and pretty level-headed. She can be silly but is mature in a way too. She has always kind of taken care of her sister. When they were little she would always give in and let Shelby have her way (until I realized what was going on and put a stop to it!). She is very loving and (almost) always tries to do what is expected of her but I think she also has a little bit of a sneaky side. You have to watch the quiet ones... She is turning into a lovely young woman and I love her mucho!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gratitude - Day 11

Today I am thankful for Kelsey, my third-born and middle child. After suffering a miscarriage and trying for a year to get pregnant again, she was an answer to my prayers. She was a VERY busy toddler and challenged me immensely but has grown to be a wonderful, thoughtful, caring person. She is such a team player and is truly ok with not being the "star" or the center of attention. She is so curious about everything and loves to learn. Love that girl!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gratitude - Day 10

Today I am grateful for Brittany, my second born. Sadly, she moved away two years ago when she got married so I don't get to see her as often as I would like. She's also the mother of my totally wonderful grandson and she is a great mom. I wish she could be more outgoing and look for opportunities to make some friends where she lives but that's just not her personality (or mine either so I totally get it!). I just want her to be happy and fulfilled whatever she chooses in life and I am grateful to be her mother!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Gratitude - Day 9

Today I am grateful for Lindsay. My first born who paved the way for her four sisters. I heard this song today and it made me think of her.

The Words I Would Say

Three in the morning, and I'm still awake
So I picked up a pen and a page
And I started writing just what I'd say
If we were face to face
I'd tell you just what you mean to me
Tell you these simple truths


Be strong in the Lord
And never give up hope
You're gonna do great things
I already know
God's got His hand on You
So don't live life in fear
Forgive and forget
But don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say

Last time we spoke you said you were hurting
And I felt your pain in my heart
I want to tell you that I keep on praying
Love will find you where you are
I know 'cause I've already been there
So please hear these simple truths


Say from one simple life to another
I will say come find peace in the Father

Be strong in the Lord
And never give up hope

You're gonna do great things
I already know
God's got His hand on You
So don't live life in fear
Forgive and forget
But don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
And thank God for each day
His love will find a way
These are the words I would say

Gratitude - Day 8

Today I am grateful for coffee on a Monday morning! Oh, and kids going back to school after the weekend!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Gratitude - Day 7

Today I am thankful for sunny, warm February days! It makes such a nice break from the rain and cold. I even went out and pulled weeds out of the flowerbeds this afternoon!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gratitude - Day 6

Really quick today because we are off to Kelsey's culinary competition in Portland!

Today I am grateful for WEEKENDS! Nuff said!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Gratitude - Day 5

Ok, today's might seem a little silly but, today I am thankful for my dishwasher. Actually, I'm thankful for all my appliances. I really do not like to wash dishes so I appreciate being able to just pop them in the dishwasher, turn it on and like magic...clean dishes! I've been pretty fortunate that the only times I didn't have a dishwasher were when we lived in our first apartment (about 3 months) and when we lived in the trailer for two years while remodeling our house. Oh yeah, also when we moved back in we had no kitchen at all for about three months and washed the dishes in the bathtub! I am also thankful not to have to cook over a fire and that I have a refrigerator to keep my food fresh. Silly I know but that's what I'm grateful for today!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gratitude - Day 4

Today I am grateful for grocery shopping. I know, wierd! I actually really don't like to go grocery shopping and it takes everything in me to convice myself to go. The idea of putting the stuff in the cart, taking it out, putting it in bags, putting it in the car and then putting it away makes me want to run screaming but I'm determined to be grateful even for things that I don't like.

I am grateful for the opportunity to go to the grocery store. I am grateful for the many choices that we have available. I am grateful to have money to purchase groceries. I am grateful that I can buy and feed my family good, nutritious food. I am grateful that I don't have to stand in a line hoping that by the time my turn comes that there will still be food left. I am grateful that I don't have to face my children empty handed when their bellies are hungry. Grateful...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gratitude -Day 3

Today I am grateful that I live here. Here as in the state of Oregon, here as in the city that we live in. I know that there are lots of jokes that it never stops raining here but I love it! Maybe because I was born here and have only briefly lived anywhere else but I love this place. I find rainy days cozy. They make me want to curl up with a book or just do something inside where it's warm and dry. I love that we have seasons. Winter is usually mild with an occasional really cold couple of days. We don't always get much in the way of snow, but we do usually get some every winter. Spring is incredible! Everything is green and fresh and growing and beautiful. Summer is usually mild with an occasional couple of really hot days. Fall is spectacular! The leaves are gorgeous, the air is crisp in the morning and usually warm in the afternoon.

We are also in a great area of the state. It's only an hour to the beach and an hour and a half to the mountains. You can drive an hour to Portland and forty-five minutes to Salem. The high desert is about four hours away as is Seattle. Our city is small but really offers a lot. So, those are a few of the reasons that today I am grateful for where I live!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gratitude - Day 2

Today I am grateful for my husband's job. I was reading the prayer list from church for this week and was struck by how many people have prayer requests centered around job issues. I think we have been very blessed in the area of jobs. Since we got married (26+ years ago!) there have been only two times that Kelly has not had a job. When Brittany was born (almost 22 years ago!) he was out of work for about 6 weeks, he received unemployment and then was hired at the bakery where he worked for 11 years. Then when the bakery closed he was out of work for about three months and received a severance. Then, when we were getting concerned about the lack of "family wage" jobs he was told about the job he now has. He was hired by the Dept of Defense and works as a desiel mechanic. He started out making several dollars more an hour than the job he previously had! The commute is kind of sucky but it's a small price to pay for a great job. The hours are great, the benefits are great and in just 10 short years he will retire with a government pension. God has provided greatly for us and I feel blessed...and grateful!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gratitude - Day 1

I've seen other bloggers do something like this so I thought I would try it. For this month I am going to attempt to post everyday (yikes)! Since it's February, the shortest month (thank you) and Valentine's Day falls smack dab in the middle, I decided to write about something that I'm grateful for each day. Some days may just be a challenge but here goes!

Today I am grateful for the fact that my kids are almost grown-ups. Sure, some days I miss them being little, but this time in life is pretty nice. The oldest two have moved out and on with their lives and the youngest three are all in High School. This year (except on rare occasions) I don't have to take or pick them up from school, giving me more freedom. It's also nice to be able to leave them home alone and to not have to worry about getting home before school gets out. I can sleep without interruption, don't have to quit what I'm doing to wipe any behinds or get anyone food or a drink. I think if I had only had a couple then maybe I would feel more sad but after having five (and two at once), I feel like it was enough. I do sometimes miss little arms wrapped around my neck and the smell of babies but not enough to do it again and anyway, that's what grandkids are for, right?!