days 15-20: catch up

We are truly blessed in our country. Lately I have been more and more convicted about what life is like for my brothers and sisters around the world. I was blessed to be born to the family I was born in, and to have these blessings around me. This Thanksgiving I want to appreciate the things that really matter. And more importantly, I want my kids to learn what really matters. The following is catching up on some more things I’m thankful for, in no particular order..

15: thankful for a roof over my head.
Many people around the world, and in our own backyard, are homeless. I’m so grateful for a home to live in and raise my children. A safe place where they know they are loved and protected. It saddens me that people live in cardboard boxes with dirt floors in some places. Closer to home, some people might even live in their cars these days. God calls us to help the poor and widowed… I’m so burdened by this.

16: thankful for shoes on my feet.
It’s as simple as that. Some people don’t have shoes. I’ve seen photos of people who tie plastic bottles to the bottoms of their feet as shoes in some places. Ive also seen photos of kids wearing shoes with their toes sticking out of them because they are too small. There are organizations that donate shoes around the world. Such a great cause.

17: thankful for warm clothes when it’s cold.
I cannot even begin to imagine how frustrating it must feel to be cold because you don’t have warm clothing. As a mother, I couldn’t stand seeing my children cold. Pray for the many mothers and children that are cold. There are organizations that help with getting coats and blankets to those who need them, too.

18: thankful for clean drinking water.

One of the years that Ian went to Guatemala, his team installed a water purification system. Everyone deserves to have clean drinking water. However, it is not always available. I’m thankful for water.

19: thankful for medicine and my access to it.
Gosh. Where would my family be without medicine right now? Ian wouldn’t be here.. That’s for sure. Kids in poor countries don’t get proper immunizations or medicines for simple illnesses. I am grateful to have the ability to see a doctor when my kids are sick… Grateful that I can swing by the drive thru pharmacy 15 minutes later to pick up medicine, and that for the most part, it is reasonably inexpensive. Many around the world don’t have that.

20: thankful for food to eat.
My fridge has food in it. The grocery store is down the street and I have money to buy food. It breaks my heart that people in this world don’t. Can you imagine going to bed hungry? Can you fathom seeing your children hungry and not being able to do anything about it? I really struggle with this. Why do I have more than others? Why me and not them? God has put me in a place where I can help others.

Let’s be grateful for what we have. Let’s find a need and fill it. Let’s teach our kids what really matters.

days 13 & 14: thankful for coffee and dr. pepper

It seems silly to be thankful for these, but I really am thankful for them, and I will fail at these 30 days of being thankful if I don’t write…  So, sorry its such a lame post, but with Ian in rehab this week, my time has been limited.


What would I do without my coffee these days?  Its the mere thought of coffee that gets me out of bed in the morning sometimes.  If I were smarter, I’d set the timer on my coffee maker so that my coffee would ready when I got up.  But I’m not, and I always think of a reason why I will set it tomorrow.   I walk to the kitchen, straight to the coffee maker and scoop that yummy powder in.  Then I sit at my kitchen table with my Bible open and wait.  Choosing a mug for my coffee is just as fun.  I have my favorites…  one that Emma painted for me for Mother’s Day one year, one that Ian bought me on a trip he took to Santa Barbara, and my old Sweet Eugene’s mug.  Love.  Then bring on the cream and Splenda.  Lots. Of. It.  Aaaaaaah!  I love how the warm mug feels in my hands.   I love how it smells.  I love how it tastes.  I’m not crazy.  I just love my morning coffee.  And the perk, it helps me stay awake!


Dr. Pepper…  Hmm.  Most people either love it or hate it.  Those who love it really love it.  Those who hate it really hate it.  I happen to REALLY LOVE it.  I admit that I have probably had way too much Dr. Pepper the last few months.  My jeans will agree.  The other day when we were at Emma’s soccer practice someone offered me a bottle of water…  “No, thanks,” I said.  Ian looked over at me and said, “She only drinks Dr. Pepper.” HA!!  I had to laugh.  Its kinda true.

So, I’m thankful for Dr. Pepper.  I’m thankful for caffeine.  Without it, I’m not sure that I could keep up with my kids these days.

days 10, 11, 12: thankful for emma, jack, and luke


I couldn’t break these up and make one of my kids seem more special than another. They are equally special to me and I love them each unconditionally!

My grandmother used to show me the fingers on her hand and tell me that her children were as different as each of her fingers. She then explained that she loved each of them the same. What a simple way to explain love to a kid. It made sense then and still makes sense now.

I’m blessed beyond measure with my three beautiful children. I’m humbled that God is trusting me with their precious lives. I pray that I can guide them and love them as God would have me do. I love these little souls dearly!

day 8: thankful for prosthetics

I’m grateful for how far prosthetics have come in the last several decades. When we discussed options with Ian’s doctors, every single one of them said that the prosthetic legs available today are phenomenal. They encouraged Ian to go ahead with amputations and move on with life as soon as he could. We knew at the time that we really didn’t have another choice so we moved forward.

Since then we have learned that there are many options and resources available in the field of prosthetics. Amputees can run, bike, snowboard and ski, and do things just like they did before they had their amputations. I’m thankful for technology that allows for that. I can only imagine the frustration that must come along with losing your limbs and then being limited in your activities because of that. Thanks to modern prosthetics, people don’t have to be limited!

Our family has been thrown into this field of prosthetics and we will likely learn more and begin to reach out to others if and when we can. We are grateful for the opportunity!

Today I am thankful for advances in prosthetics!

day 7: thankful for new mercies in the morning

Some days are easier than others. Today was tough. It seems like the enemy is trying desperately to bring me down. But I won’t have it! I’m exhausted, my kids are sick, there are so many dr appts… I am ready for my bed!

Thank you, Lord, for tomorrow! Tomorrow is a new day! I’m thankful for a fresh start.

Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:23 NLT)

day 6: thankful for no crying

Luke is my baby. He is the typical mama’s boy, attached at the hip to me. He thinks life will end if he can’t see me when I go to another room. He can lock his arms and legs around me so tightly that I think I will lose circulation. And of course he only wants mommy when he is sick or hurt.

So it’s no surprise that Luke is devastated when I leave him at his early learning center or nursery at church. He’s great at getting his eyes to water and then blink at the perfect time to show me the tears drop from his eyes. Genius.

Today, however, he did not cry! Halleluiah!!! He actually wanted to let go of my hand before we got inside so he could run in. And he didn’t even look back. It’s such a good feeling to see your child be more independent. I LOVE how comfortable he must feel now if he is anxious to get to his teachers and friends. It sure makes it easier for me to leave for Ian’s appointments or to run errands when I know he is happy!

Today I am thankful for Luke NOT crying when he got to school!

day 5: driving miss daisy.

I’ve learned to be thankful for the little things in life.  God takes care of the little details just as much as He takes care of the big messes…

Today, for the first time since January 24, Ian drove his daughter to school.  This may not seem like much to some people, but to us, this is HUGE.  I’m thankful for getting to stay home with my boys in my pajamas.  I’m thankful for the time that the two of them had together.  I’m thankful that Ian is able to do more and more each day.

I’m thankful that Ian drove Emma to school today.


day 4: thankful for autumn


I’ve often wondered if I suffer from seasonal depression. Most people feel down during fall and winter. The days are shorter, we have less sunlight, and the temperatures drop. Well, I am the exact opposite! Summer brings me down… Those long, hot summer days are dreadful. I even know going into summer that I have to get myself pumped up. I need to plan fun activities and trips just to get through. Summer can be rough for me.

I can barely hang on… then, all of a sudden I can taste sweet relief when that first chilly morning comes in autumn. I’ve survived those long, hot months and I’m crazy enough to pull out my scarves for that 70 degree weather. I’m sure people think I’m crazy but I don’t mind. Happens every year!

I love pumpkins and apples and all things fall. I love taking the kids for walks around the neighborhood to collect leaves and acorns. I love wearing longer sleeves… I love autumn scents like pumpkin and cinnamon. Sometimes I bake something just to fill my home with these sweet aromas. And I LOVE fall eats! I look forward to comfort chilis and soups, roasts in the crockpot, and baking. Yes, again baking! You’d think I’m good at it, but I’m not so sure. I love it, so I keep at it. Practice makes perfect.

Today I am thankful for autumn. I pray that it arrives and stays for good. I feel like fall is teasing me by just allowing for cool mornings and then bringing those 90 degree days. On the bright side, we are closer to fall and winter today than we were back in June, right?? 🙂

day 3: thankful for lazy Saturdays

We had planned on going to our daughter’s soccer game today… It wasn’t even as early as other games have been. But I just couldn’t bring myself to it. Everyone was so tired from a long week (including myself) and the idea of an outing that early with everyone was overwhelming. So we skipped the game (again.) So sorry, Tigers! Fortunately Emma is not the team’s MVP. Sorry, E! Just keeping it real! 🙂

All of that to say that I am thankful for Saturdays. They are the only days when we don’t have to rush out of the house to get someone somewhere. We can enjoy our family’s company and have fun. I usually cook longer meals and we do crafts since we have the time to do it. Today, for instance, we were in our pajamas almost all day. The boys went from last night’s jammies straight to fresh ones after their baths. I didn’t even mind. We had chili, baked a strawberry pie, and made some felt owl bookmarks. So much fun!
(Side note: Don’t leave a glue stick out where a toddler can see it. If he is like mine, he will think its Chapstick and rub it all over his lips and cheeks. That part was not so fun.) 🙂

So, to wrap up, I am thankful for lazy Saturdays. I love to spend them with my little family and friends. They are much needed and refreshing for us all!