It's one funky little tune that always comes to mind when there's a lot of fun activity going on.
Disclaimer :): Just because it's been a couple of weeks since I've posted a "Gratitudes" certainly doesn't mean I'm not thankful!! These are grace-filled days. There is much to celebrate. I just always take the time to note it down :).
These past few weeks have been filled with fun. [Uh - mostly. Some days have been pretty ultra crappy too!!!]
Ten highlights for the Gratitude List are ....... in no particular order ..... except maybe the way the jumped at me from the calendar :) ......
1. Spending time with my sister-in-laws at the local Olive Garden!! It's the first time we've ever ever ever done this (and I've been in the family for 11 years!!). And it was a lot of fun. Great pasta, good laughs and a different perspective on life. What a great way to spend a Friday night!!
2. Care group. We belong to a church family. And within that family, we have discovered and developed a fabulous care group. One night we got together as couples - sans children!! - and had a blast! It was so good to laugh and talk and connect over great food (if you see a theme running through my entries, it will likely revolve around food :P) and continue exploring and appreciating this gift of friends.
3. Wednesday night prayer meetings. Once a month, a group of us get together to pray for things that are "beyond our four walls." Issues that God is stirring in our hearts. Prayer for a broken world, prayer to be broken for the world, prayer to make a difference in a world that is lost and hurting. Sometimes we pray for the practical things and sometimes we pray beyond that, but through it, God is teaching me what it means to come together with other passionate people to seek and serve Him. Truly amazing.
4. I had the coolest opportunity one day. A really great guy made me lunch!! Okay. That sounds a little odd :). My brother, the youngest of our 4-kid crew, had me and my girlies over for lunch one day. We had to go check out his new apartment (the girls were mightily impressed by the larger-than-life tv :). Ah to be young again!!). He made us soup and sandwiches for lunch. In Little M's words "Uncle Mark makes really good sandwiches Mommy!!" Yes. Yes he does. They're definitely not as "toasted" as mine usually are!!! And we had a fabulous visit. I am blessed with great siblings. I was almost 8 when he was born, and I remember it as clear as a bell. He is funny funny FUNNY. And makes great grilled cheese sandwiches. The BEST part, though, was when he asked if I wanted TEA after lunch :). Of course :)! Who could resist!!!
5. As a kid, I loved trick-or-treating. My mom got right into the whole costume thing, and flipping through old photo albums, you'll always see us dressed up as something fun. These year we decided to dress up the girls and take them girls to a few homes (carefully screened, so that I knew nothing scary would freak them out!!). We had a blast! Okay, getting in and out of the van 5 times in an hour was tedious, but Little M caught onto "trick-or-treat" pretty quick! Sweet K was just happy to be holding a pail. Little M was a butterfly bug and Sweet K cuddly care bear. Squeezable!
6. Some of the biggest highlights happen over the phone, actually. Throughout my week I've had an amazing opportunity to connect with a few gals I love LOVE to spend time with, but life and distance makes that almost impossible!! Sometimes it's a day or two, or even a month or two, and those precious conversations just flow on. I cherish those times of connection that happen even while I'm at home, doing the mundane things of at-home-ness (folding laundry, another round in the kitchen...). With the laughter and story-swapping comes clarity, direction, appreciation, love. I'm far beyond my teen years, but I still enjoy the phone :P.
7. Snuggling in with the family. Whether it's playtime after the dishes are done (and that "interesting" stretch of time before bed in which I am totally exhausted and they are just winnnnnding up!), lingering at the table or a movie at the girls are tucked away, I enjoy times together. Just doing normal "family stuff." No pressures. No agenda. Just being. It is good.
8. HAIR CUTS! I could go for a haircut every. single. week. They are sooooo relaxing :). Even with the girls along. This time, Little M got a trim, and Sweet K's hair got a little "help." It was her first "official" haircut. Long bangs are adorable, but slightly impractical in our home, for some reason. Maybe some day. I got tired of looking for all the little clips (and secretly freaking out that Sweet K had stuck it in her mouth, which has actually happened a couple of times!) and her hair is ALWAYS a conversation piece! Soooo, she did splendid for her first time in the "hair chair" :) - and suddenly she looks --- older. Waaa!
9. My mom came to visit. I love my mom's visits! We sit and drink coffee (well, not too much coffee for me these days, because it just doesn't sit well) and talk about all the same stuff we've ever talked about, only it's still fun :). Something new always emerges at some point :P. The kids LOVE grandma's visits. And for the occassion I whipped up fresh buns AND fresh banana muffins to go with home made chicken noodle soup. What a fabulous way to spend the day!
10. Back to care group one more time. Us 6 gals went out for supper ALONE! What a BLAST! Wow. First, conversations without kids are always deeper, better. And conversations without kids AND husbands --- I'm still laughing. And shaking my head. And marveling at this fun batch of girls :). I will never tell some of the secrets I've learned - pinkie swear :P - but I can say this. Girl nights are a lot of fun :)!!!
In amongst all this good ness :) I really DID get some work done :). I cooked and cleaned (and cooked and cleaned!!), "trained children" (aka. we're working on sharing. I tell you, this is hard work!!), met with development therapists and tried to work on their recommendations, boiled stinky diapers so that they are lovely, fresh and squeaky clean :P, scrubbed bathrooms, vacuumed, and tended to a dog that had too close a shave with the clipper. We practiced abc's some music lessons and lots of rhyming :). Sweet K is learning new sign language, which has been fun.
Okay. Sing out loud with me now.... Celebrate good times, C'Mon!!