Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Thanks Tank #168

Each Thursday I try to make a list of my thankful thoughts. Sometimes I jot it down on paper, sometimes I share that list here, and other times I just highlight one or two things that I am thankful for. This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

It's late on Thursday and I should be in bed already but I'm not. I am unwinding from a fairly busy day. What better way to do that than to make a list of thankful thoughts?

I am thankful for:

1. Teachers: Teachers amaze me. They really do. I am thankful for all of the teachers out there (that goes for the homeschool teachers, too).
2. Flowers: My family gave me flowers on Saturday. They (both the flowers and the thought that went in to them) have been brining me joy all week.
3. My husband: Too many reasons to list. The man treats me well and loves me, dearly.
4. Clearance Sales: I love finding good deals. It's wonderful when you get items 50% or 75% off.
5. A Successful Halloween Party: My Peanut Allergic 2nd Grader had a Halloween party today at school. It was fun. The food was wonderful (and safe for my son). The kids loved it. I am thankful... I was the mom-in-charge, along with the amazing teacher.
6. Exercise: I am becoming a bit addicted - or is it dedicated? - to regular exercise. I haven't felt this good in... longer than I'm willing to admit. I am thankful for exercise and how it makes me feel.
7. Impromptu Family Fun: Last night we blasted 80's music and danced like we were rock stars. It was hilarious and wonderful.
8. Hairbows, fingernail polish, and Hello Kitty makeup ... and everything else that makes my little 3 year old girl girly. She is at such a fun age.
9. Magic mom powers: I have no idea how my kisses sooth a sore arm, how my groggy words comfort a scared child after a bad dream, or how my words give confidence to a child in a moment of insecurity. I have no idea how it's possible but I am thankful for those special mothering moments.

That's my list for today. Remember, time spent being thankful is time well-spent.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Give Me Something Good To Eat

Trick or Treat, Smell my Feet, Give me Something Good Safe to Eat

This is the time of the year when I walk along the aisle at the grocery store, checking labels, fruitlessly hoping for more safe items for my food allergic child. I tend to overbuy candy so my son can have a variety of candy to trade with his unsafe candy from trick or treating.

Tonight there is a Pumpkin Festival at the school and I have to admit, there's a part of me that dreads it. The kids will participate in games and be rewarded with candy. Each child that is attending was asked to turn in a bag of candy. I turned in my some of my son's favorites. I know there are bags and bags of candy that my son cannot enjoy. My son handles it pretty well. We have a candy stash at home where he can trade in any unsafe candy that he gets. But, I still dread the process because even if you know you can trade in unsafe candy, it's isn't that fun being rewarded with candy you can't eat.

With candy on my mind, let me tell you what you can do to help children with food allergies this Halloween:

* Let the trick or treater chose the candy. * When handing out candy, hold out the bowl of candy for children to choose the candy they get. A child with a food allergy will appreciate being able to pick a candy that is safe.

My son loves to pick his own candy out. At 8, he's aware of unsafe candy. Last year, it was always a let down when someone handed him something he couldn't eat. He knows it's going to happen. He knows he can trade it in at home. But, it just isn't fun to be given something you can't eat.

Other ways to help, include:
Provide non-chocolate candy options. The majority of chocolate candies are processed on equipment that is shared with nuts (plus, they are unsafe for those with a milk allergy). Candies such as Dum Dum Lollipops and Smarties are fantastic. Both varieties have an allergy note on the packaging that state they contain none of the 8 major allergens.

Provide non-candy options. This is a highly suggested option by food allergy parents. However, I have to admit that my son doesn't get excited about pencils and stickers. If you do go this route (which is great), have some items boys would love - spider rings, glow sticks, stretchy critters, or bouncy balls.

If you know a child in your neighborhood that has a food allergy, a really kind thing to do would be to find out the child's favorite candy and have it on-hand. One year, a neighbor bought my son his own regular size version of his favorite candy. The look on his face was priceless. He felt special and it was a huge treat on a night that contains a lot of forbidden treats.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Defrightful Friday Fun

My kids think painting is delightful. Today, I surprised them with Halloween puppet painting.

The youngest two are still painting. They've moved on to creative panting on paper. I better get back to them before something really frightful happens.
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Thanks Tank #167

Each Thursday I try to make a list of my thankful thoughts. Sometimes I jot it down on paper, sometimes I share that list here, and other times I just highlight one or two things that I am thankful for. This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

Today was my favorite kind of Thursday because I spent the day thinking off and on about all of the things that I appreciate. Some weeks I simply sit down and make a list. But at other times, like today, I consider thankfulness all day long.

Here is a sampling of what I am thankful for:

1. Being able to be home with my kids. I'll admit that being a stay-at-home mom doesn't come easy to me. That said, I both struggle with the occupation and love it. I appreciate that my husband supports me being at home. I am thankful for his job and his constant encouragement and appreciation. I am thankful that I am home with my kids.

2. Sweet treats. I made chocolate covered pretzels for an afternoon snack today. I love the salty-sweet combo. I made a cranberry apple crisp for dessert the other night. I'm still thinking about that one. So tasty!

3. My hands-free ear piece for my phone. I am happy to say that I finally found an ear piece that is comfortable for me.

4. Sidewalk chalk drawings on my sidewalks and patio.

5. Catching up with friends.

6. My dad. His birthday was Tuesday. His is a great man. He perseveres. He loves. He encourages. I am a better person because of him.

7. My mother-in-law. Her birthday was today. She is a fun mom. She loves. She is easy to talk to. She enjoys life. I hope I will be like her when I am her age.

8. Accomplishments. Last weekend was ultra-productive at our house. We are still trying to get settled in our new place. (You'd think I'd be a pro at unpacking and setting up home after 8 moves but I'm not.)

9. My niece, Sarah. I am thankful for her because she is a sweet girl. But, also (wow, I regret not updating many of you that have prayed so fervently), I am incredibly thankful that after the last surgery she has not been experiencing pain. She has even been released from some of her specialized doctors and really doing amazingly well. Sarah's birthday was Monday. I am thankful for her healing.

10. Soccer. Our soccer season is coming to a close. My oldest had his last game on Wednesday night. The other 2 boys have their last game on Saturday. The season has been fun. I am thankful for the exercise (read that as- a way for them to burn-off energy), the team building, and the friendships the soccer season brought.

11. Fall. Here's a few of my favorite Fall things this week: Pumpkin spice lattes, leaves, pumpkins, costumes, cool breezes and warm dinners. I am enjoying the change of the season.

It's been a great week. I am happy and thankful for many things- big and small.

I encourage you to take time to be thankful. You will be better of for it. It's especially beneficial to write your thankful thoughts down. Check out this research - three studies that show a consistent theme: take the time to write down the things you are thankful for on a regular basis and you can improve your level of happiness: "What's an easy way to be much happier?"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Missive: Dear Body

Dear Body,

I have not been a good friend. I have used you without giving sufficiently to you in return.

I have been active. But, I am exhausted. I jumped in too quickly. I did too much when I was weak. I thought doing more and more would strengthen me.

I feel inadequate.

I want more from you. I am unhappy with different parts and how they perform. I have looked at you in disgust. I have complained.

I tended to your needs. I jumped at opportunities. I always left feeling that the experience could be better.

Please forgive me for being covetous.

I will invest in you.

I will not throw in the towel. Don’t give out on me.



Reread the letter. I wrote it to the church- the "Body of Christ."

This morning during my workout, I drew a parallel between my body and the church. I've been thinking about the way I view church- both my positive and negative reactions. I've been thinking about how my giving. I give but not always in the right ways and not always adequately. It's a matter of the heart. I'm working on it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Oh Lord, I have been away for far too long.

You are not far from my thoughts;

I have been far from dependence.

I want to honor you with my heart and mind.

I long for my actions to represent my faith.

I have failed to recognize, represent, and remember you.

You have not left.

My life is not over.

Today, my God, I rest in you.

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Pslam 62:1-2

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Simple Family Fun

Last weekend, the circus came to town. I love the circus.

I mean, I love the circus. I have a clown collection. I love clowns. I even wanted to be one for a time. The last time I went to the Ringling Barnum and Bailey circus I went early- to see the clowns.

I really wanted to take the kids to the circus. I could just imagine the fun time we'd have. But the weekend was going to be busy. Tickets for a family of six would be costly. Plus we would be tempted to buy souvenirs or snacks. I wanted to go to the circus. I wasn't sure I wanted to spend money on the circus.
The weekend came and went and I never mentioned going to the circus.

On Sunday, we flew kites.

We took turns launching the kites. We took off our shoes and chased each other in the wide open field. We laughed a lot.
We spent hours playing together.

It was the kind of experience that led to the kids saying over and over without prompting, "That was so much fun."

It was one of the best afternoons we have had in a long time.

In the evening, during prayers, my son thanked God for kites, for his brother wanting to go to the field, for the idea to fly kites, for the fun we had, and for kites (again). It was a precious prayer.

Perhaps, the best family activities are ones where the family is active together.

There's no doubt in my mind, the circus wouldn't have meant as much as a simple day flying kites.

The best things in life are the simple things.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Latte Pain

I've decided that ordering a tall, skinny latte won't transform me into a tall, skinny beauty.

This is my third week going to a local gym. My workouts have left me feeling great. I've had a more energy. I've felt more confident. I've gone to bed earlier. It's been a wonderful change.

And then yesterday I went to my first class.

It was called Total Body Fitness. It feels like Total Body Failure.

Every muscle in my body hurts. I've discovered muscles I didn't know I existed. There are over 630 muscles by the way. I had to look it up because all I can think about is my aching muscles.

And, I've decided that I will never make fun of someone for being sore again. All of those years of teasing my husband after his tough Army PT... I feel bad. I feel really bad. It hurts. Oh, it hurts.

I am in a lot of pain. It's a good pain (I think). But, oh, how it hurts!

I treated myself to a pumpkin spice latte this afternoon. I am still in pain but this latte is delightful.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Ta Ta for Now, Hello Real World

The problem with the internet is that is allows you to interface with others in an impersonal way.

I'm over it. It's exhausting me.

I am tired of interacting without really interacting.

I've been a bit frustrated by Facebook lately. The changes haven't irritate me. Instead it's been my own tendency to keep up with others through the medium. I am always lamenting that I am terrible at keeping up with friends. Maybe if I didn't spend time keeping up with them through a social network, I would reach out to them personally.

I've been wondering about that for a while.

Then, today I received a heart-felt email from a friend. While the friend gave the email considerable thought and probably prayer, it pushed me over the edge. The email was meant to start a conversation - I think. It was sent to multiple people. While I'd love to have a conversation, I'm not sure quite how to respond. Reply to all?

I'd love to share my heart... but how can expound on my thoughts? I can work to express my feelings. But something will be lost within the strokes of my keyboard. Any emotion- pain, concern, frustration, elation and expressions of love- will be lost. They might even end up hidden. It's the same if I write a letter, I think.

For effective communication, the person receiving a message has to understand the intent of the sender. Is it possible to fully understand another person through Facebook or email? Possibly not.

I not am sure how to end this except to say that I am stepping away from Facebook and it seems I have a phone call to make.

Beyond that, I'd like to encourage you to reach out to others without using an internet connection.