Thursday, December 22, 2011

Three hundred...

300 The Graces to make it through another day focused on what is important.
299 Thankful for conveniences to make life easier
298 Thankful L’s “talking” – fun to try to decipher her speech – so cute!
297 Receiving Christmas cards from old friends with pictures to put us all in a good mood and to see how much everyone else has grown.
296 Finding a deal on gas.
295 E helping to clean up the pieces
294 E is praying hard for the health of her friend.
293 being able to stay out of the drama
292 Langleys to take M Christmas caroling
291 Meat pie success

290 E helping cut onions
289 N confident to make oatmeal cookies by himself
288 Finishing Christmas cards – better late than never
287 L’s sweet kisses – for everyone!
286 M could babysit early for L so I could go with Craig.
285 Craig’s cyst came out fine without any problems (and that’s all it was)
284 knowing my kids are healthy at home tonight.
283 Quick medical help for Dominic and quick diagnosis – sadly of leukemia – praying for a friend.
282 That at least the car is repairable – it’s only money.
281 Finally getting a good Christmas picture – after 52 attempts.

280 Successful art & craft luncheon and visit with new friends.
279 Not having to look hard  for things to be thankful for – waking up to baby snores, warm blanket in nippy morning air, husband sleeping next to me, five darlings upstairs – a houseful of blessings!
278 A day to look forward to – waking up early to get ready.
277Having another driver in the car to take over driving when L needs me.
276 Conversations with my teenagers.
275 Meeting new special people (special to special people ;) ) Angela
274  A quick visit with my mom and dad
273 A night of singing Christmas carols!
272 E and N having a great piano performance! Participating at Sacred Heart this time!
271That Mx helped me get papa’s gift fixed in time to bring tonight.
270 Getting the checkbook balanced and knowing I am not to worry about anything.
269  Pitter patter sounds of gentle rain waking me in morning
268 Craig shopping with his girls for their mama
267 Seeing M’s compassion for a friend in pain.
266 Kids so happy they found lost tweezers because they knew I’d be happy
265 “Babe-e-licious” and all the well deserved nicknames
264 So much accomplished today – happy exhaustion
263  4.0 baby – and a very happy Mx!!
262 Seeing a commercial on tv this morning Ch 2
261 Having a goal for m kids to aim for and a forum to play their songs.
260 Seeing my husband make friends at church – a happy wave to greet him.
259 Craig took care of shooting sports party (so I could stay home)
258 Thankful Julie taught M how to make cake balls
257 Having helpers power clean
256 Being able to vent with my sisters.
255 Thankful the nightmare was only a dream.
254 ”Curse of always being early” beats the stress of being late – and that it works for us.
253  A quiet moment before everyone else gets up.
252  My mom’s generosity – sharing with each granddaughter.

251  Mom’s health so much better after her stroke.
250  Getting everything for Sunday School ready early.
249  Baby sleeping most of the  drive home.
248  Coming home safe.
247  Ornament exchange with all sisters and girl cousins participating.
246  Girls night with my girls  and getting all dressed up.
245 Happy V organized a special night
244 A moment with E on a special errand – E being on alert FWIW
243 Getting into the Christmas spirit – letting go of frustrations
242 Seeing Craig’s excitement at good news earl in the morning.
241 Catching up with Kathy, Proud of her standing firm for her faith when it hard and time other rarely do.
240 For now having a tree tall enough to run the DD JR train underneath. (for being a pain in the ^^^ but making some people happy and getting away with it)
239 For letting men deal with design difference like men  (and me staying out of it).
238 For Mx’s enthusiasm and taking on my project idea!
237 A warm glow from the Christmas lights
236  An A in CalculAs ! And the happy boy he is now!
235 That my homecooking makes my husband happy
234 Not worrying this year – letting go of burdens.
233 Knowing homeschooling is not escaping responsibilities but instead following freedoms – sometimes you do have the choice to do what you want :p
(take that HS PS teacher)
232 So happy we are not in the school system where kids sass their teachers and threaten “you don’t understand society – you will just make us mad.”
231 Listening to an 80+ year old lady who said her 64 year old son still says “Yes ma’am” and always shows respect.
230 A getaway with N for santa shopping
229 Hair cur get away with M
228 Having Mx home – I missed our talks!
227 Brothers building design plans working together.
226 C’s attitude and outlook is always good  - such a lift to others.
225 My daughters trying so hard to help me
224 The reaction was much worse that the injury
223 Christmas tree accomplished

222 A refreshing walk
221 The freedom to be spontaneous
220 Knowing I’m not alone in my struggles and concerns for my kids’ upbringing and futures.
219 Finding something that was lost (Thanks also to St. Anthony)
218 Counting gifts – something nice to occupy my mind after barking dogs and crying babies disturb my slumber and I can’t go back to sleep
217 A house bursting with LIFE!
216.I am so thankful for a great backyard – looking out at the fun the kids are having.
215 Sweet little purple flower picked for me
214 Getting the thing to print- finally
213 Hope
212 Siblings planning Christmas surprises for each other.
211 Help putting away the mountain of laundry
210 Mr. Gattis pizza special makes Tuesday dinner easy!
209 That Mx’s project went well.
208 That it was only a feather she was choking on.
207 Finding wipes in the car!
206 Help to make craft “examples” as school.

205 A day without loosing it!
204 C coming down to invite L up to play
203 Things came out better that I thought.

202 M is adventurous.
201 A hot, fresh Shipley glazed doughnut

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Is being thankful ever selfish?

Is it a strange and selfish human emotional reaction to be thankful for one's own blessings when you hear of tragedy of another? It's on the news all the time: a parent thankful that it wasn't their child that was shot, hit, etc. But the reaction happens involuntarily. Knee jerk empathy inside out.
Today, I learned a friend's son was diagnosed with leukemia after going to the doctor about stomach and leg pains yesterday.How could it all happen so fast? My children keep asking me, how do you catch it? I don’t know, doctors don't know.
This young man is a brave, noble and faithful soul, and I'm sure will strive to cause the least amount of angst for his family as possible. I am sure he will be braver than anyone could imagine a 13 year old could be. He will be because he has to be;he is that kind of young man.

My heart yearns to comfort, to offer corporal assistance, knowing I could never really helpbeyond my prayers. I pray for him, for a miraculous healing, hoped for discovery of a misdiagnoses, it’s only a flu..? I pray for his doctors, his sweet open heartedmother, his loving father, his siblings who must be in pain and shock. Theworld needs this young man and his goodness. Aftery my prayers, I sit back and let it calm in my mind,knowing I have put it in His Hands as much as I can, then I look around andfocus on my blessings. My sweet six babes, healthy, no real worriestoday, life goes on while others are in such pain. Why does it feel a little selfish? Oh, this Valley of Tears…

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Counting Gifts: 100 more...

101. Relaxing in a clean house
102. So thankful for the best Sunday school class ever.
103. Sharing a lamb and visit with Linda.
104. N back happy and safe from erock camp
105. First Christmas gift purchased!
106. A husband who is a good sport.

107. Nice phone call with Mx – looking good on his grades for his first semester!
108. A couple more gifts checked off, so many more to go – no wonder I procrastinate!
109. FSSP parish in Houston – love it! So thankful
110. My first attempt at Kibbi came out great! Yum – made hubbie very happy.
111. Surprise Sonic for everyone.
112. Happy how home cooking makes everyone – so thankful for Mary’s recipes and her memory.
113. Listening to E read
114. Seeing E stick up for C to K
115. thankful that Barney musical toy works as well for the sixth as it did for the first.
116. St Nick’s day secret prep

117. Effectiveness of the LaLa Song
118. Realizing that you never have this moment with your children again.
119. Family rosary – how I love it bringing us all together for a holy moment at the end of the day
120. St. Nicholas and his love for children – and their love for him.
121. Seeing my husband dole out the goodies and seeing that sweet little girl put out mom and dad’s shoes too! J
122. Lazy mornings when it is cold and rainy outside.
123. Forgiveness
124. Wisdom to realize this isn’t the end of the world.
125. Mx home! Making chocolate cake!
126. Tabouli and Greek mushrooms turned out good. All this cooking is making hubbie happy
127. Quick visit with Marilyn
128. Thankful L can communicate so well without words – powerful expressions and pointer finger.
129. Winter temps in Advent – get you in the spirit of the season.
130. Seeing N so happy to visit with Mx
131. Thankful P may be free of J’s spell.
132. That M sees what she needs to do
133. Christmas wreathes showing up just in time to brighten my door
134. My office mate moved back in and made me clean my side of the office – nice to have a clean space
135. N’s persistence – I know someday it will be good for something big – so all this will be worth it someday
136. A sister to share with who understands where I am right now
137. Crazy happy smile
138.  Goodies to remember a great man who loved children and would fight to save them – St Nick, pray for us!
139. Best back massages
140.  L’s gibberish – practicing talking and whispering – fun to hear and to try to decipher
141. Space heater left on for my shower
142. Help in the kitchen from all kids at different times and in different ways
143. Trusting God has a plan regarding basic :0
144.  Looking forward to our school schedule and driving getting easier in January
145. Thankful that she was ok (only  bloody lip) after a four foot fall
146. Thankful for the attorney’s advice – holding on to it
147. Warm soft snuggly baby skin
148. Secure happy sleep

149.  Mass for the Immaculate Conception – and four well behave kids giving hope for the one that was not.
150.  E helping with directions and paying attention
151. Thankful  cc and dd are telephone best friends
152. Thankful for Christina and her dream to enrich the kids – including dance
153. Thankful to have all my babies under the same roof again
154. A visit with my sister
155. Being busy
156. Grateful for my kids willing involvement in all their outside activities and that sometimes “service” is more fun than anything.
157. Innocence (wishing it lasted forever)
158. Thankful I had a “job” these past three years that helped us over many humps.
159. Musical talent in my kids.
160. My husband who calms my fears.
161. Seeing big sister help little sisters – seeing the love in their eyes.
162. Internet Christmas shopping – ups coming to my door,
163. Sleeping baby to kiss
164.  M’s ability to translate baby language into intelligent commentary
165.  All the December saints and feasts.
166.  Sister love – I love seeing M love on L’s achievements
167.  Sister protectors – E standing up for C to bad influences
168.  Boy scout brothers – neat to see both N and Mx in their uniforms to honor 3 new Eagles.
169. Meeting the N family – nice to meet a healthy family and to be welcomed into their home.
170.  A few hour get away to spend a few hours with my older set of kids.
171.  Seeing Mx study so hard for his grades – trying to help a bit
172.  Christmas decorations always bringing back memories – sharing with the kids.
173. Betsy – new beginnings  - so nice to see her enjoy an encourage M’s musical talents.
174. My star scout - doing his good turn daily -  love Boy Scout oaths

175. Girl talk- too young to talk about boys – but they sure get silly when the subject comes up.
176. Happy for a chance to make old time ornaments and listen to dulcimer carols.
177. Late night low voices lofting from upstairs.
178. Breathing and hearts beating of the people I love under my roof.
179. Word games with Craig & kids. – trying not to be sore losers
180. Quick good first impressions – worth the last minute work
181. Felt board bible stories
182. Turning control over to God
183. Seeing 40 acres and future of church
184. That all there was to criticize was the absence of a tree
185. Hearing of the kindness of strangers to my boy at summer camp
186. Trying to balance surprises with so many eyes watching but with so many so conspirators.
187. Shopping with the girls – we come back smelling so good – with the list checked off
188. The resilience of my children
189. Finding a good deal and a coupon to boot
190. Industry picking up
191. A word waiting for me to solve.
192. How new clothes brighten a mood.
193. Another day to have another chance to live the dream
194. My kids so happy to visit with old friends
195. The way cc prays the Hail Mary
196. The way cc holds herself, her poise, her confidence in everything – so lucky to be her mommy.
197. My little baby running to give me a hug.
198. Thankful – and can’t say why it also annoys me – when my oldest calls me “mommy” (he’s 19).
199. Christmas break from outside classes.
200 . Hubbie’s enthusiasm for justice.

"Nobody loves us"

When Craig & I were first married we moved to a big city (4,000,000 plus 2). When we would come in from an outing and check the answering machine: no messages, we would always say “nobody loves us”. Silly, but our own little joke. It was coming home to a still apartment that didn’t seem to care about us, no life in the air, but we knew we loved each other and that was enough.
Now when we come home, we are greeted before we park the carby two loyal but goofy dogs; children yelling a welcome running with open arms, busting with stories to tell of their hours without us. Joy welcoming us home. Somebody definitely loves us!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Counting Gifts: Wherever you are, be fully there.....

In honor of Thanksgiving, I installed an iphone app to keep a record of 1000 Gifts; to keep a record of counting my special moments, events and experiences in a way I can reflect, meditate, and be thankful all over again. The app is nice but has its limitations. It opens with a thought reflection, sometimes flawed theology. I do like how a picture can be posted with each thankful thought, but a blog might be a better way to keep up with since apps do have a way of crashing. And after I have counted so many, I do not want them to disappear.

I wasn't that thrilled with the book (that the app was inspired from). It had moving moments, but since it overlooked/misunderstood the true meaning and use of the word Eucharist - Jesus with us, present in the Holy Eucharist,  - I was a little tuned out and didn't even finish it. I am so uncomfortable when someone picks something from the True Church to profit on and twists theology into their own interpretation far away from the Truth. I would not recommend the book. I do love the idea of counting gifts, we all need to reflect and be thankful for God's Gifts.

My children give me thousands of reason to be thankful daily, but actually stop and take a moment to write that thankful thought down does seem to lift the moment to God,  turn to Him and say "thank you". I have my daily prayers of thanks - and petitions - that are quite repetitive, and essential for my existence through my days. I like picking those more unique moments to capture, treasure and see our lives lived in them.

My first 100:
1. So thankful for nursing! And how it calms baby complains.
2. For my husband - who makes Migas for breakfast for me!
3. Little girls who love to learn.
4.Teenagers! I am so thankful to have teenagers to help love and raise up their lucky younger siblings.
5. Divine Mercy!

6. I am very thankful for my sweet parents and their 52 year marriage.
7. Chocolate and babies - and how is puts everyone in a good mood.
8. Chuys!
9. I am thankful for my oldest and all 19 years! And for celebrating in a hotel room with tres leche cake!
10. bath time! It always hits "reset"!
11. Thankful I am here in Austin and well for my 46th thanksgiving with all my family alive and well - C, M, M, N, E, C & L!!
12. Soft hotel sheets! Luxurious - makes me feel spoiled.
13. Big blue Texas sky.
14. Traditional Latin mass now in Houston
15. Miss Karen and her success with N
16. Wildflowers in the fall.
17. ten year old car that keeps on working.
18. The sound of my children practicing piano.
19. New shoes
20. L behaving well!
21. Seven layer bean dip bringing people together
22. Linette: "if every one's kids were like yours, we'd have a great society."
23. Cool Austin evening.
24. Teenage cousins!
25. Getting to know cousins you didn't know you had.

26. Money in the bank.
27. Another day Basic is open - Cody.
28. Humility - the more virtue you have the quicker you overcome daily strife.
29. Gromit & Shela: low maintenance - loyal dogs
30. Spending the day in Austin with some R**s & some B**s.
31. Coming home
32. Rescue remedy cream for calming baby fits
33.Second chances
34. Guardian angels
35. Reunited long separated family cousins exchanging phone numbers.
36. Smiling blue eyes smiling at me
37. Running water/ Air Conditioning/ Washer & Dryers/ - Conveniences!
38. My boys - altar serving.
39. Redeeming hotel points
40. Family portraits
41. Sleeping with warm baby skins snuggles next to me & baby snore sounds
42. Realizing God is in control
43. Holding the gifts God has given me and receiving their love in return
44 Hosting teenage movie nights
45. Seeing people grow up to be wonderful young men! so proud of Seth!
46. Peace from Gregorian Chant
47. Priests, monks, nuns - men and women who have given their life to love and serve God.
48. I am so thankful for all the gifts and beauty of the Catholic Church - its art, music, prayers, saints, sacramentals, liturgical season, Mary, universality, confession,. reverence to our God, loving care of souls, and mostly our sweet Lord in the Eucharist!
49. My oldest and his best traits: strong, faithful, humble, loyal, reserved, funny, creative, dedicated, charming, handsome, friend, peace maker, steadfast, kind, big hearted, fun loving, witty, special, unique, thoughtful, intelligent.
50. My oldest and her best traits: big hearted, artistic, justice seeking, true, honest, imaginative, see beauty in all things,naturally talented, loyal, dedicated, strength, giving, strong willed, dreamer, philosopher, idealist, writer, unique, open, kind, friendly.
51. My sweet boy: giver, gifts, love, dedicated, helper, cheer spreader, happy, calm, confident, courage, sweet, easy going, peace maker, sensitive, compassionate, love for babies, focused, thoughtful.
52. my fourth: sweet soft voice, gentle heart, sacrificial nature, loyal, peaceful, tidy, artistic, tender hearted, persistent, unashamed, resilient, kind, compassionate, dreamer, hard worker, wants to please and bring happiness.
53. the sweet surprise: poised and confident, forgiving heart, persistence, strength, love, artistic, forgiving, joy filled, singing heart and lips, loyal, snuggler, warm, smart, tuned in and observant, undaunted, wise.
54. the bonus flower: love, sacrifice, smiles, curls, ready smile, happiness, agile, ready spirit, friendly, smart, loves her mommy, always hungry
55.Sweet Blessed Virgin Mary
56. sister gossip time
57. pushy neighbor to the rescue - good for bringing people out of their shell.
58. campfire and kids making s'mores to make life long memories. (and living in a place where it can be done as often as we want)
59. I am thankful for a nice warm house when its 32 degrees outside
60. Sleep (when I can get it)
61. Monsgr. G and his unfailing memory, dedication to LIFE and the beautiful church in his care.
62. Completed recharter and Lea's help!
63. Goldfish crackers for a busy one year old.
64. Sweet 12 year old boys - and how much they love one year olds!

65. Six year old ballerina!
66. Thankful for the right to stand up for my kids - (right, ability, desire, need)
67. Angels watching over us while we sleep!
68. Healthy children
69. Brave young adults
70. Patient and forgiving husband
71. Patient, sweet kids open for correction
72. Freedom to choose what is right for our educational goals.
73. no more holy house
74. M's 103 quarter end test
75. Big cloudy Texas sky
76. Boy scout volunteers
77. second changes to spend time with someone who needs that time
78. When its clear you are doing what God wants you to do - making the path smoother and easier!
79. The love and respect of my children who trust me in their life
80. Getting through growing pains! :0
81. My blessing outweigh my challenges
82. Learning along side the kids - not afraid of trial and error.
83. Advent - waiting but knowing all the while Jesus is the gift coming on Dec. 25.
84. Waking up to happy sleep baby smiles
85. Baby dream smiles
86. Rain!
87. Clean floors!
88. E & Mx's enthusiasm for the Christmas Village matches mine.
89. "bulletproof" kids
90. Beautiful L - little girls in dress up

91. Kyle
92. Marilyn thinking of M while shopping!
93. Thankful for the Greek myths enriching our lives & studies.
94. Date night!
95. Chocolate molten cake
96. the moments when L is happy in her car seat
97. E saved the ballet recital performance!

98. King hibachi - as much happiness for all - sushi was pretty good too.
99.A Saturday spent with my family! Breakfast together - ballet recital - Ferris wheel ride - lunch - cut down trees - clean house - ice cream -Veggie Tales
100. The ice cream lady thinks my kids are the nicest kids she knows :)

Wow - so many of thankful moments revolve around food. Quite revealing, makes me wonder if I should share...
Already working on the next 100...