1. I am thankful that on his first day back at school after Thanksgiving break, (when kids are typically feeling the most jaded about life) my son came home from school and told me about how excited he was to try to get into a great college. Later when I expected to find him checking out sports scores on my computer I discovered that he was researching colleges. I wish I had been as motivated when I was 14.
2. I am thankful that all my kids received excellent report cards this week. They are all self-motivated and diligent and smart students.I am never nagging anyone to do their homework, I rarely am asked for input or supervision yet they all get their assignments in and get great grades. Again, would that I’d been like that as a kid (I bet my parents feel the same way!)
3. I am thankful that my kids are blessed with the opportunity to play musical instruments. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of friends and strangers who have helped us to procure or borrow instruments, who have inspired and taught my kids, 3 out of the four older kids have already had the euphoric experience of playing the piano and performing on the cello and violin with an orchestra (and thanks to our friend Dallas, as of the last week, Finny is well on his way!) The orchestra program in our school district is truly excellent and I feel so amazingly blessed that my children have been able to take part in it. Each of my kids have expressed “feeling goosebumps” and even crying because they were so moved by the experience of performing beautiful music. It is truly the language of the soul and what an inexpressible gift they (and we as their parents and audience) have been given.
4. I am thankful for the fact that we have a Christmas tree to decorate and lots of beautiful and meaningful ornaments to put on it each year. I am grateful that our basic needs are met to the extent that we can spend time making things festive and pretty. I love listening to my kids talking about each ornament and getting excited as they find the ones they have been searching for. I am thankful for the magic of twinkly Christmas lights and how no matter how old they get, it is still a magical moment when we turn down the house lights and stand in front of the lit tree for the first time.
5. I am thankful for the chance I had to have a fun evening with my friends last night in my home. I guess that is a three part gratitude: I am thankful for friends, for reasons to come together and for a place to come together. I complain so often that it is small, but it is well built, full of character, warm, cute and cozy and there always seems to be a enough space to have people over and have a good time. Having an evening with friends always makes me resolve to be more socially motivated and entertain more often, I always have such a great time.
6. I am grateful to have extraordinarily generous people in my life. I cannot express how kind people have been to us in so many ways. I am actually getting quite verklempt now just thinking about the plethora of ways people make our lives easier and more pleasant by giving their time, talents and material goods to us so cheerfully. Finances have always been tight for us and we really shouldn’t be able to live nearly as well as we do. But because of the generosity of others we have never ever wanted for any basic need and we have received so many privileges and opportunities for our children that we could never have afforded alone. Thank you all, you know who you are…thank you.xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
7. I am grateful for Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It is magic, ok?
8. I am grateful for free stuff on the internet. Talented people who are so generous as to create beautiful, interesting, educational and helpful things and let us download them for free…I am grateful for those people. They rock. They make the world a better place.
9. I am grateful for gummy vitamins. They are almost too good to be true.
10. I am grateful for Shout Colour Catchers. I know I know, that is two cleaning supplies in one list, what am I? A housewife or something?! But listen people, those things will change your life. No more sorting. No more stress. No more pink underwear and socks. Life-changer in a $3.99 box.
11. I am grateful for my ancient yet (amazingly) still comfortable living room furniture. I sometimes dream of getting nice new stuff when the kids are finally civilized and we have a few spare dimes and then I actually think, “well yes it will look better, but I doubt it will be as comfy”. It’s truly unbelievable that our couches are still comfortable considering how much abuse they get but they are, and for that, we are blessed.
12. I am grateful that we now have a TJ Maxx in our town. I’m sorry if that sounds shallow, but it really makes me very, very happy. Just browsing there is a fun little field trip for me.
13. I am grateful for the invention of smoothies, the Magic Bullet and their combined ability to get healthy things down the gullet of an unsuspecting 20 month old.
14. I am thankful for electricity. You only have to go camping to instantly understand how much more awkward life is without it. Electricity you are a beautiful, beautiful thing. Thank you for existing!
15. I am grateful for flash mobs and for youtube for letting me watch them from the safety of my home so that nobody can get my ugly cry on tape for millions of people to see. (Even though I would desperately love to find myself in the midst of one in one way or another one day).