Monday, November 24, 2014

Journey of Thankfulness - Monday Morning Coffee

Happy Monday y'all!

Yes, I know I've been missing for a few days, but life happens & I just didn't get to my daily blogging.
So let's spend some time together this morning & catch up.

My journey of thanks continues each & every day.  I've done so much reflecting & really tried to be more aware of my life & all that is in it.  I realize that I just take so much for granted and this journey of looking for the little things has helped give me a new respect for my life.  It has refreshed me & helped me to take a really close look at all I am blessed with.

Like ~~~~ friends.  Wow.  I am uber blessed in this area.  You know, the people who you may not see for months & months, but when you do, you just pick right up where you left off - and the time that lapsed between your last get together, just disappears.

I had that time on Friday after school with a good friend.  She was my music director at our former church.  Life happened, for her & for me.  But through it all, I have always loved her gentle ways & spirit and we both have a deep love for music.  She has a beautiful voice & the ability to play the piano & take music to a realm I only wish I could reach.  She inspires me.  But we have the common bond of worship through music.  

I'm struggling right now with not having the outlet I need and/or want to worship through music.  We met and talked and she is in a holding pattern right now as well. It was a good outlet.  She gets it - she understands where I am coming from.  I am blessed to call her my friend.

We had a snow day this past Tuesday.  This rarely happens this early in the year.  But the lake affect snow machine kicked in high gear and dumped on us. Thankfully it was nothing close to what the Lake Erie snow machine dumped on New York!  
My word!  We are now in a warming pattern, with a non-stop rain falling.  Our snow is all gone.  This is heading towards New York.  I pray for all those in that region as it could be an even bigger problem for so many of them.  

But the snow brought a special magic to everyone at school.  It brought the spirit of Christmas into my classroom that much earlier.  Yes, the kids were a lot more squirrely than normal, the concentration level was at a maximum low because of the snow, but it also brought a "happiness" to a lot of them as they anticipate the upcoming holiday season.  

Even though they are high school aged, they still act like little kids this time of year.

We spent the day at church on Saturday, organizing & packing 50 baskets to be delivered to families within our community and church neighborhood for Thanksgiving.  

They all received a bag of potatoes, apples, cranberry sauce, corn, beans, gravy, stuffing mix, a frozen pie, jello, butter, dinner rolls and a turkey.  

Every year the need seems to grow, in spite of the economy getting better.  But as several of us were talking about this we all agreed that with the better economy - it seems as though the poor are getting poorer & the rich are getting richer.  

My heart was full as I watched the baskets leave the church to be delivered.  It felt good to be able to help some out, but yet also wishing we could have done more.

We had some friends over for dinner Saturday night (hi Bruce).  Bruce admitted to me that he reads my blog, but doesn't comment on it because he doesn't want people to know he reads it.  His wife labeled him a "stalker".  Well, Bruce. They all know now.

You're welcome.

One of the other things this past week that I have been thinking of reminded of how blessed I truly am, is that 6 years ago at this time, I was facing a 2nd surgery in as many weeks, to remove the remainder of my thyroid.

I had half of it removed due to a large cyst on the left side in mid-November, 2008.  A week later I was told they found cancer and Dream Boy & I made the decision to have surgery immediately to remove the rest of my thyroid.  I had that surgery the day after Thanksgiving.

My cancer was totally removed & I had a radiation treatment 5 months later.  I have since then had follow up appointments/test & scans & was told last year that being 5 years out with no sign of any more cancer that I am cured.  

I know that I could have gone through a lot more in the way of treatment & my heart breaks to watch my daughter-in-law's mom fight her battle.  She has a tremendous spirit & positive attitude, but I know my suffering pales in comparison. 

But I am thankful that I was given that path in my life's journey - it makes me forever grateful for what I have in my life.

So as you head into this week with all your preparations for your Thanksgiving feast and your gathering with friends & family.   As you figure out your plan of attack for Black Friday shopping, and you fill your bellies with your leftovers, remember one thing. 
Remember to give thanks for all of it.  

I wish all of you a very blessed Thanksgiving and prayer that you enjoy it to it's fullest with your family & friends.

Until next time......


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Journal of Thankfulness - Warmth

It's a marshmallow world outside my window today!  

An early snowstorm has caused pretty much every school in our county to call "Snow Day" - including the major colleges/university!  You know it's bad.

Word is that a CBS newsman came into Kalamazoo yesterday & was broadcasting from Candy Cane Lane in Bronson Park last night about the frigid temps & the prediction of up to a foot of snow in some places around here.  It's rumored that he's still hanging out around the park - got stuck in our Winter Storm Warning land filled with lake affect snows.  

So today I'm not going anywhere.  I even rescheduled a doctor's appointment so I don't have to leave my humble abode.

I started up some chicken stock in the crock pot for home made chicken noodle soup tonite and I'm huddling around the fire (wood burner) to stay warm.  It currently "feels like" 0* outside - that's a bit chilly for November, about 35 or so degrees colder than the "norm" for this time of year.

Dream Boy started up a fire in the wood burner last Wednesday night & it's been burning ever since.  For this I am VERY thankful.  

We talked about it this weekend how much that wood burner has saved & blessed us through the years.  We know that we will never have to go without heat, even in/during ice storms where the power is knocked out.  The memories of year's past, where we've had major storms barrel through in the later fall months & power is knocked out & the temps drop to brrrrr-cold, we have the wood burner to keep us warm.

I dropped off a load of coats last weekend to the local mission that Dream Boy & I pulled from our closet.  Crazy how many coats 2 people have stock piled.  In anticipation of the predicted weather, we thinned them out & I took them downtown.  I pray that someone is really benefiting from them at this time.

As I sit here in my jammies, looking out the window at the white wonderland, I am again so thankful for the life I have been privileged to call mine.

What about you?  What blessings are in your life right now that you take for granted every day?  That you go about your every day life because it's just that, your every day life and such an automatic to you?

I pray through this Journal of Thankfulness that I will never forget the feelings and realizations I am blogging about - through the WHOLE year, and not just in this season.

I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Journey of Thankfulness - Monday Morning Coffee

I took Sunday off from blogging.

Not that I didn't have anything to be thankful for.  I just took the day off.

But I also spent the time reflecting.  

As Dream Boy and I started our Sunday morning in church, as we do pretty much every week, I listened to the sermon and my mind began working.

I know that all I have is from God.  There is no doubt in my mind that He is the source of my blessings in this life.  Our minister talked about tithing, always a thing I need to be reminded of.

But I also began thinking of all the other blessings in my life.  The one's I've been posting about and the one's I don't even know about.

After church, we spent time having coffee & visiting with our church family & friends.  A time that we both enjoy and our church is SO good at.

Then we headed to the grocery store.

As I'm standing in line watching other's around me, it became even more apparent to me that I am richly blessed - beyond what I should rightfully be.  I can pretty much walk into a grocery store at anytime and pick up what I need or want for food for that day or week.
I take this for granted.  Too much.

I have the ability to walk through a store filled to the brim with food.  I can pick & choose whatever I want and never worry about hunger.

But there are those who can't.  There are those who do.  In countries far away from our Mitten state, but also those right here in my own city, village & neighborhood.  

While my cupboards are full, so many are bare.  I take this for granted.  That I will always have food in front of me, that I will never have to know the pain of hunger that comes from not having enough.

I am, without a doubt, very humbled by these thoughts.  I am very deeply grateful and thankful that Dream Boy & I are able to live our life as we do.  We may not have a mansion or a million dollars, but we are comfortable and we have what we need.

There is a food drive going on at school this week, and Saturday Dream Boy & I are assembling food baskets at church & delivering them to others.  I will be reminded greatly of all that I have and pray for those who do not.

May I never take it for granted again, what I have and what God has provided for me.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Journey of Thankfulness - Double Duty

Again, I am doing double duty on my thankfulness blogging.

I had the day off from school yesterday, so I stayed away from my computer all day!!  I had over 100 emails this morning!  But I didn't miss it.

So - I am thankful for that day off.  I stayed home all day, did not go anywhere except the basement to make sure the treadmill still works.

It does - so I will be.  Working on it more often.  

I spent the day creating…..
I'm working on stocking up for my either Etsy Shop or my Facebook Shop.  Haven't decided the best route to go yet, I've started them both - they just haven't gone public yet.

Aren't the colors fun in this beanie?  I just think they scream "HAPPY"!

I also created these….
Grandma's Sausage Buns.  Oh a happy memory - a happy favorite and so stinking easy to make.  

So I am very thankful for the day yesterday to just unwind, relax, and do what I love to do most!  Create.

Today, I am reminded of how thankful I am of for this girl, the one on the right in the photos of us 3 girls:
This is our Kylie Sue.   Not to be confused with our Kylie Ann.

She's also known as Bubba Toots for reasons only family members will ever understand.

She turned 16 on the 3rd of November & tonite we get together to celebrate her birthday!  

She is ALWAYS ready to hug you, and cook in the kitchen with you & create with you & just be with you.  

I love this girl to the moon & back and am so very thankful she's my niece!  She has a heart the size of the world and a caring way about her that just doesn't quit.