I have not forgotten to post! Spring is our family's busiest time of year and therefore, I have had to make a difficult choice to limit my writing and computing time even further so that I am not taking on too much at once. However, I found a few extra minutes this morning before church service, so I thought I might share with you ten things I'm thankful for (in no particular order) on this beautiful, sunny, spring morning. (There, that doesn't count as one of the ten - thankful for the season and the weather - even though I truly am.)
1. Our new (to us) 14-passenger van! We found a heck of a bargain on a 2000 Dodge van, which we've affectionately named: Vannie White (it's a white van, as it seems most large vans are). This is a great way for us to be able to travel around with more than just our family of seven; also to help out with youth retreats or other church driving needs; also ... see #2; and more...
2. Our upcoming summer trip to Florida! Nope, no Disney World. C has a conference for work to attend there and so we decided to make it into a family road trip and vacation. We'll be traveling through many southern states that we have yet to visit, which excites me. I'll be able to bring my personal list of states visited up to 42!! Anyway, our new van will provide comfort and room to stretch out on this journey and this alleviates a lot of our kids' concerns (we're always dragging them around the country on long road trips and their big complaint is having to cram together for hours on end ... now they can spread out more and complain about something else.)
3. The recent discovery that there is a place in Florida called The Holy Land Experience. Have any of you been there? I am hoping that on one of the days C is at his conference, I can take the kids here for fun and learning. But the cost is not extremely low, so if any of you have experienced the Experience and have suggestions or advice steering me away from there, please let me know. If not, I'll be sure to take some photos and share them here later in the summer. I'll also be taking the kids to the beach, of course. So don't you worry.
4. Hearing that our extended family members who are now living in their own place nearby (also thankful for that) are finally feeling GLAD to be here in New Mexico. Not everything has been worked out with them and life is not all peaches and cream, but their attitudes have shifted. They are starting to see God's blessings each day as we knew would happen as God honors their step out in faith to come here at all. It's good to see the positive attitudes flowing from them and happy faces and hearts when we get together (almost daily, even if just for a minute or two).
5. Our son, H, playing in his flag-football game yesterday better than he's ever played! This is his second season and it has been filled with injuries and game losses. He took two weeks off for his latest knee injury, but was able to get back to the game yesterday and gosh! the break did him wonders. He played his very best and overall, the team won their first game this season by a fair margin. Yay, team! H was just beaming after the game, too, because he knew he did a great job.
6. Being told how naturally athletic our son, O, is after demonstrating perfect cartwheels and handstands for his WuShu Kung-Fu teacher yesterday. We have known this about our son, but it's always nice to have suspicions confirmed by people more qualified than ourselves. Not to mention how thankful I am that O was able to teach himself these perfectly formed maneuvers by watching his older siblings do their best to demonstrate with slightly less than perfect abilities. God uses everyone!
7. My husband's servant heart. He has worked so hard this week at his job and still has made time to take care of home and family responsibilities. He even took our youngest three children to a birthday party yesterday afternoon at a chaotic pizza and arcade place, while I took our oldest children to a football game and prom dress shopping (well, that's two opposite ends of the spectrum, but anyway...). This leads me to #8...
8. Our daughter and I agreed on a dress for her prom! What's even more, we found the dress at the first store we visited at a decent price. It's really cute and flatters her figure so well. Shopping for clothes with our teen usually results in tantrums and bad attitudes -- and after that happens to me, it really sets her off on some of her own. More often than not, we leave without anything. But we got along well and nobody cried or yelled, so I felt like the whole trip was a complete success. We just need to get some shoes this week since prom is this Friday (I'm chaperoning this year since she's still only 15). I pray the shoe shopping goes as pleasantly.
9. J's ongoing and funny commentary. She really is six, going on 26. She wants to demonstrate her independence and grown-upness in so many ways. Early in the week, she was trying to do some kind of backbend-contortionist thing and she exclaimed, "Look how flexitive I am now!" I Googled the word and it turns out, she wasn't just mispronouncing the word flexible, she is apparently just quoting this guy. She is way ahead of me already! Then last Thursday, during school, she was getting frustrated with a handwriting assignment she was doing. With a heavy sigh she said, "If I was gooder at this, then I would be better." Maybe so ... maybe so... how often would I like to get gooder at stuff so I can be better?!
10. And I don't want to come off as one of those people who find a genie in a bottle (does this ever happen for real?) and then proceed to wish for more wishes ... but I found it quite difficult to narrow down my thanksgiving list to ten. So for number ten, I'll just say how thankful I am that I have too many things I'm thankful about! How often can I say that about life? (Probably more often than I do, really.) It doesn't mean there are no challenges I'm facing in life right now, but that somehow, through thick and thin, I'm still capable of giving praise to God and feeling gratitude for my many blessings.
I hope you, too, have a blessed week!
P.S. I didn't forget about our other son, Z, by the way. He's included in several items I've categorized under my #10 item. I'll have to be more specific about him in future posts.