Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving

One of our Thanksgiving traditions: orange
cinnamon rolls with OJ and homemade hot cocoa. 

So, today is Thanksgiving Day. One of my favorite holidays, because of the family togetherness, the traditions, the focus on being thankful and counting our blessings. Caitlin and I worked hard last night to get food ready for today. I used to do it all on Thanksgiving morning, but for pity’s sake, you can guess what a “fun” day that would always be for *me*. ;) So I started preparing as much as I could the day before, and it sure made the holiday a lot more relaxed. Oh I’m so thankful for that! ;)

Anyway, Caity and I got most of the food ready. She actually did  the bulk of it, peeling and chopping the turnip, butternut squash, and potatoes. I was making supper, a new soup and basically winging it, as I had never made cream of cauliflower soup before. In other words, making it up as I went along. ;) So I was pretty busy myself, but what was so good about it, what was so enjoyable, was that we were working together. Due to her work schedule, we haven’t had much time to spend together, and even though you could consider preparing food “work,” doing it with someone you love makes it so much more funner that it never seems like work or a chore. 

Our Thanksgiving traditions are important to us. They’re what binds us together as a family, and they are the anchors that make our lives feel safe, the earth beneath us more secure, throughout the year. Whatever’s going on in our lives, holidays come along and we spend the day in the familiarity of our traditions, and even if it’s just for that one day, even if we have to face something difficult in our everyday lives the very next day…that holiday gives us a reprieve as the traditions give us comfort, a sense of peace, and a chance to immerse ourselves in the love we share as a family. 

One of our traditions on Thanksgiving has been to go around the table and share what we’re thankful for. Some years we’ve placed 3 kernels of corn on each person’s plate and shared three things, other years we’ve just said three things, and some years we just say whatever we think of that we’re thankful for. Ryan and Timmy have been at the ages where they don’t really like being the center of attention right then, so they usually say they’re thankful for the food, or that Christmas is coming, and they want someone else to take their turn. Eh, they’re young yet. ;) 

As the years go by, Thanksgiving becomes more meaningful to the kids, and also to us adults. It’s not that we’re not thankful any other day, I want to make that clear; every day I think of the blessings in my life, and even if I don’t say them out loud or share them with others, it’s the feeling of thankfulness, the gratitude I feel, that swells in my heart until sometimes I feel my heart will just burst. I am so incredibly blessed… 

I am alive; 

I have a personal relationship with Jesus, my Savior; 

I have a bazillion wonderful memories of the best childhood a girl could ask for;

I have been blessed…incredibly blessed, with 4 wonderful children who are here with me, and one in heaven. God actually gave these children to me!  I‘m still amazed, and so very thankful for the gift of being their mother; <3

I have a man in my life who is my best friend, my perfect companion, my soul mate; <3

I was blessed with a mother and father that are awesome, and I love them so much, and I’m especially thankful that even with all the health scares my mom has had the past two years, she is still here, and we are very close; <3

And finally, I’m so thankful for the life God has given me. I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities in my life to experience things I never imagined when I was growing up, that have enriched my life in ways I never knew they would. I’ve been blessed to realize many dreams of mine that I wanted to do “someday”…like being a foster parent, writing and being published, and so much more. I still have more dreams I hope come to pass for me someday, and I know they’ll happen when the right time comes along. I’m just so thankful for the life I live, my life. I truly have been so blessed. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. <3


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mornings, Humor, and Mostly Timmy


Timmy and Caitlin

So, I was washing dishes this morning and Timmy came into the kitchen. He was ready for school with shoes, backpack on, etc. just waiting on Megan to get out of the bathroom so he could use it.

He went to the scale in the hall and weighed himself, then said to me, "That scale must be broken. Yesterday it said I weighed 72 lbs and now it says 84. No way could I gain 12 lbs in one day!" I pointed to his backpack, and he said, "Oh." and giggled.

Going back to the bathroom door right near the kitchen doorway, he knocked again and Megan shouted out that she was hurrying. Timmy came back in the kitchen with me and I called out to Megan, “You need to hurry, Megan; Timmy has to go to school.”


Ryan

So Timmy says to me with a grin, “I can just go outside and pee in the woods!”

“No you can’t; you know that,” I said with a chiding voice. “ How about you hand me those dirty cups over there?”

Timmy handed me the cups to wash and, eyes sparkling, said, “I’d be doing that, and the bus would pass right on by me!”

Now he raised his hands like he was going to do a double fist pump, and said gleefully, “That would be the hap-piest day of my life.”

And was grinning to beat the band. I couldn’t help but laugh with him and tell him he was a goofball.


Our times in the morning before school are sometimes my most cherished. While Ryan is more reticent and introverted, Timmy, Megan, and Caity are more chatty. Caity is more like Ryan when around strangers, but when we have time together, the two of us are gabbing away like magpies.

Timmy, having turned 10 a couple of weeks ago, has really been developing his sense of humor, and feeling very comfortable with it. It’s something I do notice because I truly value a sense of humor, for many reasons. Ryan seems to still be feeling his out, still trying to figure out what is appropriate humor and what is not. But Timmy is settling into his like a big comfy beanbag on a lazy Saturday morning.

Megan
And boy, is he funny! You just don’t know how many times we turn our heads into our shoulders to hide our amusement at the things he says, if it’s something we don’t exactly want to encourage but it truly was funny, and the times we just outright laugh with him.

And laughing together…it’s such a bonding thing. The times we spend working together in the house, cooking together, which Timmy is taking more of an interest in, talking about this and that, they are all times of bonding. But there’s just something about humor, when you laugh together about something one or the other has said, it’s just somehow different. Like it’s really sending the message that you understand the humor, irony, or whatever behind the joke or pun, and “getting it” is sharing something special together. It’s an affirming “you’re okay” message.

Laughing together over something they’ve shared is like throwing little spider webs of connection between me and my children; and they build up day after day to form strong cords, binding us together. It’s just a really special thing, and I am so glad my kids do like to find the humor in things, the funny side of life. It makes our home and family a really fun place to be, a place we want to be. And that’s nice. Very nice. :)