Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

 The tree has been delivered...

The presents are all wrapped...
(yep, we're going a little non-traditional this year...from the Charlie Brown style tree, to me, letting go of control and letting the boys pick our their own wrapping paper...gasp?  Black...ok, if that's what you want oldest Thing..and the younger one giggled with delight when I said yes to the hello kitty paper he picked out)

A few cookies have been baked..
(these were made by the Younger Thing...who has discovered the joys of baking...and he seems to be showing real talent!  Now  granted, these particular cookies were destined for a friend at school...he did let us sample his treats)

With our only four wheel vehicle temporarily off line for the past few weeks...
(off line and bent, but fixable...so yes, Hubby has been released from the dog house)

We had to get a little creative in accomplishing regular chores

But in the end...we seem to be ready for Tomorrow's Big Day...
with only one last thing to do...
Sending Merry Christmas wishes...cyber style to all our friends and family!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful for Day 21

Thankful for the bun warmers on the BMW and the short commute...
And of course, Thankful that despite the rough road conditions, Valencia managed to get my man to work without too much trouble.

Today was really the first rough-weather commute of the season.   Oh how I come to dread these days.   No, not because of my commute (3 stop signs, 2 stop lights, and 1 mile), but because of the antics of others. 

From the fools that feel the size of their vehicle allows them to take excessive risks on icy roads, to a climate change that I see happening with students and staff.   It just gets to me.   My filter starts to fade, and well, let's just say Captain Blunt had reported for duty today!   (thankful that my supervisors tolerate my occasional blunt and filter-failing days....as my principal remarked today with a grin "that's one of the things we really like about you!)

But looking towards the gratitude in all of this:   we've had our first....now everyone can settle into a routine that yes, it's approaching winter time in the Rockies.   Anything is possible....to include the hope that tomorrow will bring clear skies and bright sunshine!  And, honest I promise to make sure I pack my friendly smile tomorrow for work!  

Thankful for Day 20

Promises Kept....now that's worth a shout of thanks for sure.

Earlier this Fall, my employer met with myself and some colleagues.   Facing a significant shortage of nurses, they asked for our help in helping solve a staffing crisis.  Close to 20% of the schools in our community did not have an assigned nurse, nor were there any applicants wanting to take on the challenges of school nursing.   As we talked, we helped them realize that the biggest obstacle is financial compensation.    It really boiled down to salary.

Today was pay day....the first pay check with my newer rate of pay!   Yeah Baby....a pay raise is always worth giving thanks for!

Thankful for Day 19

 Big Sis and I circa 197? Athens Georgia, Green Acres Swim team...
A few weeks ago, I challenged myself to improving my overall physical fitness.   After a visit with a friend, where we walked the mall, I couldn't catch my breath.   The bathroom scale was either broken or I had really lost my way in terms of managing my weight. 

Uh oh, time for change.    And since that day, I've been committed to finding my way to a healthier and fitter self.
Mighty Mighty North Star, circa 1982
I'm thankful that now, 3 weeks into this change of attitude when it comes to taking care of myself, I've found my happy place....in the lap lanes of the pool.   Oh sure, I swim a lot slower than I did some 30+ years ago, but that feeling after a great session in the pool....priceless.

What a gift it is to have rediscovered a past favorite, and one that is healthy for me as well!
I'm hoping this remains a habit, because it really does feel good to be treating my body better!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thankful for Day 18

"Nuff Said!

Nah, all things considered, it wasn't too awful of a Monday...and while I'm not really a football fan, I'm thankful that the local team, Denver Broncos, won their late night game last night.

We had enough tired kids who stayed up to see the end of the game..
tired kids who mistake fatigue with illness...
had the team lost, we would  have had
 tired and cranky kids...
on a Monday
tired is about all
I can handle!

Thankful for Day 17

I continue to be a day behind....but am determined to plug away and complete this gratitude challenge.

Yesterday, I decided to plug away and finish up this book.   And, I'm thankful I did...it proved to be a pleasant read, even if the topic is unsettling and sad.   Spanning several years, this book tells the story of Andras, who leaves his home in Hungary to study architecture in Paris.   Unfortunately, with Hitler's rise to power and as the world starts to gear up for WWII, he is forced to return to Budapest where he is called into service in one of Hungary's work camps.   Yes, the material is heavy and sad but the author does a very good job of creating characters that are interesting and likable.  

I so enjoy escaping with a good book....and thankful that I make this is a priority in my down time.   Completing this book marks the 64th book I have read this year!   So, I guess I should add in a double gratitude...I'm thankful that my husband and boys put up with me having my nose stuck in a book for many lazy weekend afternoons!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thankful for Day 16

Last night we learned that this lovely young lady
is now engaged to this young man..

And most important...

our  dear friend is now officially the Father of the Bride...

Congratulations to you all!

I'd say this pretty much sums it all up....

Thankful for Day 15

Parent-Teacher Conferences:   wondering who dreads them more, the parent, or the teacher?

We heard mostly good things about Thing 2...which really isn't that big of a surprise.   He's a good kid, respectful and sincere, maybe not as focused as some of the other kids, but all in all a great kid.

And for that I am thankful...it is hard enough raising kids, I'm grateful that for the most part, my boys are good kids.   I'm not sure I'd have the patience to deal with so many of the kids I encounter at work...Heavy sigh...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful for Day 14

This sight greeted me as I entered campus today....for the past several years, to honor our veterans our school lines the street with flags.  This year they coordinated with the middle school and the flags stretched from both schools, and interspersed where tribute signs completed by the middle school students.

   It's a pretty impressive sight and does indeed leave me with a bit of a lump in my throat as I see the flags flying in the Colorado breeze.

I am indeed thankful that my employer really makes a sincere effort each year to recognize veterans.   One of a host of things that makes me really thankful for my place of employment!

Thankful for day 13

That he's stuck with it...
Thing 2 first started viola when he was in 5th grade.   With a ho-hum teacher and program that required him to get up and get to school an hour early, he came so close to giving up on it.  But instead he agreed to give it a chance in middle school...where orchestra was part of the daily schedule and we had heard awesome things about the teacher.

During the concert last night (yes, I'm a day late)...I found myself enjoying the performance and giving thanks that yes, he stuck with it....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thankful for Day 12

 Thankful that after 18 years
Not only is the rose (or roses) still in full bloom
But the man still appreciates that sometimes simple is the best way to celebrate...

Happy Anniversary Honey!
There is indeed nobody else I'd rather take this adventure with than you!

*and nope, I skipped the 12 on the 12th...a girl can only handle so many challenges in one stretch, so tune in next month for the return of 12-on-the12th

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thankful for Day 11

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it remains the home of the brave  E. Davis

Today is Veteran's Day....a day we pause and give thanks to those willing to serve in our nation's Armed forces.   

I am thankful for the many youth today, who choose to continue the proud tradition of serving in one of our Armed Forces.    It is not an easy decision to make:   as it requires certain strengths and attributes that well, let's face it,we don't associate with the youth of today. 
  Commitment, patience, perseverance, and of course bravery.

I am so thankful that our nation continues to produce young men and women who have this desire to serve our nation!    

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thankful for Day 10

As an adult, I have been so fortunate to make friends along the way that have become like family.  Now granted, I am a social person which of course helps, but the ease at which I welcome others into my home and my personal family life, is something I learned growing up.

Yes, my parents had plenty of extended family that they were close to.    But they also opened their hearts to their neighbors.   With the simple act of starting a friendship, sharing a cup of coffee (or since this was Wisconsin, more than likely it was a beer...or two), inviting strangers into your world, we have all enjoyed a lifetime of friendship from these great families.

So my first gratitude is to my parents, for showing my sister and I through their example, the lifetime of benefits that come with making friends with your neighbors.  
And of course, I also give  thanks to these wonderful people....The Waukesha Crew... Tom and Una, Miss Carolyn and Barb and Obie.   After my mom passed away, these women stepped in and made sure that my sister and I were doing ok.   In ways that only a friend can do.

  I will never forget how Miss Carolyn came to visit when I was expecting my second Thing.    She cleaned my house!   It didn't necessarily need to be cleaning, but as she says "I know how it is when you are pregnant".   Through Barb and Obie, we have continued the friendship to the next generation.  For me,  no trip to Wisconsin is complete without a visit to Auntie Kelly...their daughter!  And Tom and Una:   have this wonderful knack for showing up when we really needed them to be there...and wonder "how did they know?".
Family memories....are more than just the ones you are born into!   

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Thankful for Day 9

Perhaps it is a t.m.i. gratitude, but boy these signs that tell you what to expect at the next exit sure were a big help to me this afternoon.

Backing up a bit, Hubby and I took a little road trip...

The kind folks at Unique Rides in Ft. Collins spent the summer trying to help Hubby sell this spare side car rig (anyone in need of a side car?  call us, we'll talk).   However, with winter arriving, they figured it was time to send Yoshie home and we'll re-evaluate the plan next Spring.

Since we were up in Ft. Collins, I decided to take Judy's daughter, Allie out to lunch.
  While I love being a mom to boys, there are some things I miss out on:   and  one of those things is lunch-and-shopping.   Boys not so into that, but Allie was of course very willing to serve as my stand-in daughter.    We had a lovely time...chatting, laughing and eating.   We both commented that while the restaurant we chose was pleasant enough service, the food itself was ho-hum.

About 30 minutes into my drive ho-hum decided to talk back...thus the need for a quick pit stop.   Oh thank heavens for those signs that tell you what services to expect at the next exit!    

But all silliness aside, I am most thankful for having had a chance to spend the day with this young lady....With Allie, I always get  a little dose of what it's like to have daughter (if even only borrowed for a few hours), and I know her momma would be so proud to see how well she's working through some challenges, showing us all what strength and grace she really has!    
Allie, your mama loves you...and so do we!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Thankful for Day 8

Thankful that the presence of the bomb squad unit at work today was not a worrisome event.

Seems they were just visiting.  Ok, more like guest presenters in one of our "you and the law" classes.

I try not to think too much about the school violence situation that continues to plague our nation.   But even I will admit, my heart skipped a beat when my own son, Thing One, stopped by my office to inquire why is there a bomb squad vehicle parked out front?

And well,  my double gratitude is I had the resources to learn what was the situation, vs. a couple parents that received similar texts from their kids.   I cannot even begin to express the gratitude I feel knowing that I have access to the inside scoop on so many things my son may encounter at school.  
It really does give me that added peace of mind, that I consider a "priceless" perk to my job.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Thankful for Day 7

Perhaps tomorrow I'll have something less materialistic for which to give thanks.
But tonight, just thankful for one of life's little things....Flannel sheets.

Yep, toasty warm, cozy and soft.   Helps me get a good night's sleep...which is where I'm headed right about now.   Yes, I know it is just a little bit after 8 pm, but I'm weary and figure why snooze on the couch when the bed is so much more comfortable.

Good Night to all...

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Thankful for Day 6

Thankful for Birthdays...

Your birthday:   That one day out of the year that you are indeed the center of it all.   A day where it really is all.about.you!

  Friends and family send you birthday wishes.   Maybe a gift or two is exchanged.   And but of course, cake, a birthday must always include cake.   (unless you are my boys:   one prefers pie and the other is  happy with a tub of frosting with a candle stuck in the middle and the hubby is more into creme brulee than cake).

There will come a time in all our lives, when those we love are no longer here to receive our birthday well wishes.   Take a lesson from Judy's playbook of life:   Choose Joy, especially on your birthday!

Happy Birthday Judy...we love you, we miss you, and we are forever grateful to have been a part of your life..

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Thankful for Day 5

Thankful that myself, my husband and more importantly my children are what society considers mentally healthy.   Ok, I admit,  we've all got a touch of crazy and quirky going on, but nothing that gets in our way and impacts our lives on a daily basis.

This is the time of the school year, when the mental health starts to crumble for many of our kids.   The approaching holiday is often a trigger, coupled with we're far enough into the school year that if they don't have healthy coping mechanisms, that delicate "house of cards" starts to crumble when it comes to anxiety and other issues.  New kids hoping that this school year would offer them that "fresh start" start to realize that their anxieties and other issues are still causing them to struggle.  

  Today, we seemed to be running a special:
 along with all the Pooh Corner ailments

And so while I am weary, in the end, all I can really do is give thanks...that my day ends, and I head home to a family that seems to be well adjusted.   For so many of the students I helped today....it just isn't that easy.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Thankful for day 4

A shout of thanks to the fella (or maybe lady?) that invented band-aids.   I've got the mother-of-all blisters on my foot and tonight, about all I can muster is  giving thanks for the comfort that comes from Epsom Salts and band-aids!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Thankful for Day 3

Thankful for the extra hour...

I feel like I made good use of this extra bit of time: with an unseasonably warm Fall Day (probably the calm before the storm)...Hubby and I elected to walk to the library vs. taking the car or scooter.

 I'm still in awe of how long we've enjoyed Fall colors this year....is it because of the record rainfall we had in September that resulted in a protracted Fall?   Like the warm weather, I'm not questioning Mother Nature's decisions to treat us to this extra long burst of color....instead...I'm thankful for the day's beauty for..

Winter will be here soon enough...

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Thankful for Day 2

This morning, the boys and I drove across town to visit our good friend, Terri
 *she's the one in the purple...

Each year, her church hosts a huge Holiday Food Drive...
 Collections are then turned over to a local elementary school...
where many families rely on the school-run Food Bank to meet the shortfalls in their own family food budget...

Yesterday, I filled up my basket  at Super Target with a wide range of  seasonal favorites, and donated these items to the Mile Hi's church Fall Harvest food drive.

And now, I look at my own pantry...perhaps a bit messy with more junk food than I should be openly admitting to...but I am thankful that we have the means to feed our family on a regular basis, and that we had enough extra to help support another family enjoy the upcoming Holiday.

Thankful for....my pantry...even with two hungry teenagers, it is almost always filled with choices~