Friday, August 31, 2012


It's been a dry summer. Dry everywhere and I just haven't had time to water the flowers like I should. Today, the deep crimson red caught my eye as I pulled into the driveway.  I see it everyday, but today I really stopped to look and say "thanks". Gifts. 23. Color in a dry, parched spot. Thank you.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Annie - Still Singing

We are still singing songs from Annie around our house. Though Grace would prefer I left the singing and dancing to the cast, I still try. Here's a taste of the show prepared by CMHS. Annie Medley - Summer Theater Enrichment Program. I'm so proud.

21.  emerging gifts and talents
22.  opportunities to craft those gifts and talents through the summer theater enrichment program 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More Gifts & Good News

We've been on the waiting list for the magnet school near our community since Grace was 5 years old.  After 3 years of waiting for a slot to open and many phone calls to check on the progress, I received word yesterday! Thrilled doesn't capture it!  Thank FULL does a better job.  Grace was excited at the news as well.  Wait! Uniforms? Grace realized she must wear her coolest new school clothes in the next 3 days while she had the chance.

What a gift!

13.  caring adults that make kind deposits in my girl - it takes a village
14.  opportunities to serve at Gracie's school
15.  an appreciative teacher
16.  a helpful friend walking me through the dryer hook up process over the phone
17.  sharing pictures with Papi
18.  homework
19.  patience to help with homework

Me: Grace, are you finished with your homework?
Grace: I'm just loving it so much, I want to enjoy it for awhile.

I love this girl! 
20.  baby love

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Giving Voice to My Gratitude - the Beginning

Let's begin, not wasting a single moment more...

Today, I give thanks...
1.  sheer delight in her giggles
2.  her curls around my finger
3.  finding her reading this morning, all tucked up in her purple birthday chair
4.  she still tells me I'm the sweetest mom ever
5.  the ease of popover pancakes - almond chocolate (sweet girl added marshmallows to hers)
6.  friends who pray for me
7.  time to pray for others in these days of grace
8.  work that is not really work, but passionate play with a purpose; I love it still
9.  the gift of a thousand gifts to guide me into this endeavor of gratitude - to live each day fully
10. BC saved enthusiastic birthday message to the Gracie girl. He blesses me over & over again.

Ok, it's a good start. I'm off to install the washer and dryer blessing. I guess that would be # 11 - the gift of doing laundry at home. Yes. Thank you. THANK YOU!  

Something Good In Every Day

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Thank FULL Heart

I'm still soaking in truths from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  Gratitude. A thank full heart. I have revived our bedtime ritual of recounting those things for which we are thankful.  If Grace is going to learn reflect on the good things even in the midst of the mundane or unpleasant, I must model such and live it out loud with her.  Not that I needed confirmation, but look what was waiting in my mail box - yet another admonition by INC. author, Geoffrey James, to cultivate an attitude of gratitude:

Jul 18, 2012

True Secret to Success (It's Not What You Think)

I'm utterly convinced that the key to lifelong success is the regular exercise of a single emotional muscle: gratitude.

People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what's wonderful in their life. Because they enjoy the fruits of their successes, they seek out more success. And when things don't go as planned, people who are grateful can put failure into perspective.

By contrast, people who lack gratitude are never truly happy. If they succeed at a task, they don't enjoy it. For them, a string of successes is like trying to fill a bucket with a huge leak in the bottom. And failure invariably makes them bitter, angry, and discouraged.

Therefore, if you want to be successful, you need to feel more gratitude. Fortunately, gratitude, like most emotions, is like a muscle: The more you use it, the stronger and more resilient it becomes.

Practice Nightly
The best time to exercise gratitude is just before bed. Take out your tablet (electronic or otherwise) and record the events of the day that created positive emotions, either in you or in those around you.
Did you help somebody solve a problem? Write it down. Did you connect with a colleague or friend? Write it down. Did you make somebody smile? Write it down.

What you're doing is "programming your brain" to view your day more positively. You're throwing mental focus on what worked well, and shrugging off what didn't. As a result, you'll sleep better, and you'll wake up more refreshed.

Reprogramming Your Brain
More important, you're also programming your brain to notice even more reasons to feel gratitude. You'll quickly discover that even a "bad day" is full of moments that are worthy of gratitude. Success becomes sweeter; failure, less sour.

The more regularly you practice this exercise, the stronger its effects.
Over time, your "gratitude muscle" will become so strong that you'll attract more success into your life, not to mention greater numbers of successful (i.e., grateful) people. You'll also find yourself thanking people more often. That's good for you and for them, too.

This method works. If you don't believe me, try it for at least a week. You'll be amazed at what a huge difference it makes.

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 Geoffrey James writes the "Sales Source" column on, the world's most-visited sales-oriented blog. His newly published book is Business to Business Selling: Power Words and Strategies From the World's Top Sales Experts@Sales_Source

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bubble Up!

Our local library hosted Bubble Night this week. Oh, what a night! Kids of all ages were enjoying themselves immensely and we learned a thing or too about the amazing bubble. I heart our library!
Who needs a wand?

Dry ice bubbles. Handle with care.

Now THAT was some kind of bubbling

Of course, we need edible bubbles - the root beer float kind!

The Sun Times captured this cool body bubble

The big one

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Deep Gratitude. Great Joy.

There is a book that has been rocking my world and shaking me to the core these past few days. Perhaps not just for me, but to share with others, this fundamental truth to all that we are & want to be as Christians - as good people in general.  The following is from this recommend read: One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp.

Give thanks.

Twelve hours before His destiny on the cross, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, then gave it to the disciples. (Luke 22:19) Just before He endured the cross for the JOY set before Him, Jesus took break and gave thanks. On an earlier occasion, Jesus stood outside Lazarus' tomb, with tears streaming & prayed, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me..." (John 11:41) The miracle of raising a dead man followed offering thanks. In Luke 17:17-19, ten lepers were cleansed, but one returned to to express gratitude - the Samaritan was made well in his thankfulness.  When you search out the root of that word "well", it means saved. A Samaritan was not only healed, but it his heart of gratitude brought salvation. He was made whole. Psalm 50:23 - He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.

Could it be that the height of my job could be determined by the depths of my gratitude?
So, I think if there is a quote - let it be this truth: The height of my joy depends on the depth of my gratitude. Thank you, Ann Voskamp, for sharing your heart & bearing your heart in the journey to find that highest joy through deep gratitude.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

So Long. Hello.

It's been so long since I've stopped to say hello. So long since I've stopped...waited, rested. So long. I've held moments in my mind, but didn't take time to release them.  Let's just start with hello and begin again.