*my husband's relentless pursuit of his PhD. Only half a chapter, the conclusion, and final editing left!
*my health. My body may be getting a bit squidgy around the edges, but it's pain-free, healthy, and does everything I need it to. I do take care of it, but I am grateful for a body that works.
*my beautiful Christmas tree (pictures coming soon). I love our Christmas decorations this year!
*cars that get us from Idaho, to Utah, to Idaho, to Utah, and back again, in comfort and speed. Every time I think about how long it took the pioneers to make that same journey, with no central heating or a/c, I am so so grateful for our car.
*Thanksgiving food. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, homemade rolls, green bean casserole, pomegranate/poppyseed salad, pie,- I love it all so much! And the season that reminds us to be grateful for it all!
in Grandpa's workshop carving staffs*Richfield. I am so glad Gary's parents settled there instead of some other places they investigated. I love that lovely, quaint little valley, and we have great times there. This time the kids cut wood for staffs they're going to carve over Christmas, played with dogs galore, saw Rise of the Guardians with Gram, got her Christmas tree up for her, went swimming at the community pool, shot some more bb guns, and Maggie went at least twice a day on the four wheeler to take the garbage up to the dumpster. She's getting to be a pro driver! Very careful and prudent. We just wish Grandpa felt better - cancer is such a beast! We tried to cheer him up though.
*Scum!*Sophie's ability to amaze and impress me. I think I try to shelter her more than she needs. She's tender but she can hold her own. She is very smart and strong, and loving and kind. And I love that she believes in Santa Claus! This was her letter to him this year:
*friends who inspire me to be a more creative, involved, organized mom and a healthier, happier person. (yes this means you, Christy! and Sar! and Brenda! and mom and all my sisters!)
*my kids' good teachers. I love Sophie's Mrs. Dennis and Spencer's Mrs. Weekes! They are awesome. I'm glad I live in a place where I don't have to worry (yet) that my kids are being taught an agenda I don't trust or like. I'm glad they're still being taught about the Founding Fathers, the constitution, and the things that used to make America great (hard work, freedom, opportunity, independence, success, education, everything that embodies the American Dream). And I'm glad that I've known that America. No matter what our current and future "leaders" do to corrupt our history and morale, I'm glad I was raised to believe in the greatness of our nation and its unique heritage and destiny.
*fun talks with my kids. Recently we discussed what we would choose for our final meals, if we had to. We were at Maddox at the time, and Gary was luxuriating in his preferred final meal: bison steak, shrimp coctail, good salad and rolls, homemade cream soda. Maggie chose Olive Garden (she craves bread and plain pasta of all things - silly girl), Sophie chose the medieval feast at Bunratty in Ireland (and another week at her school there with her Irish friends - aw), and Spence liked pizza and games at Leo's place. My fav meal of all times is Leilani's at sunest with their new cajun mahimahi with beurre blanc sauce, onion strings and salad, a virgin lava flow, and of course, Hula Pie. It doesn't get any better than that.
*I'm so grateful that I've learned to savor adventure in life. Growing up I was such a homebody, somewhat fearful of change and newness. Through the very unexpected paths my adult life has taken, I've learned not only to accept new opportunities (and the life lessons they offer) but to look forward to them. I've learned to rely on the Lord to know what's best for me and to send me where I need to learn something and/or help someone. I'm grateful for the constants of my parents' (and my dog's)love, my wonderful kids and husband, my favorite books and movies that go with me wherever I need them, and the things I've learned from all our adventures, whether wanted or un-. I've had an amazing, blessed life. Not challenge-free by any means. But a blessed life just the same.