Living, learning, and loving in the heart of Texas. Enjoying my wonderful husband ("The Professor") and our three bundles of energy. Writing almost daily on family, faith, homeschooling, domestic delights, great reads, and all the little ordinary miracles that tickle my fancy -- because writing this way helps me to find humor and joy in each day. If something here tickles your own fancy, I'd love to hear from you!
This is turning out to be a fantastic exercise, because it's forcing me to be thankful on a day when it's the hardest. I don't know about you, but we seem to have re-entry issues on Monday. After a weekend of relaxed routine and Daddy's presence, Mondays are bumpy.
11. The two girls down the street, who play hours of imaginative games with my two daughters. This pack of four has a diner called "Nature's Nachos," plays "going to church" with Eliza as the featured speaker, gives each other art lessons, etc. As a result, my girls are now playing hours of imaginative games with just the two of them when the Thompsons are in school.
12. The friendly folks who work for the Austin Public Library. Tonight I brought back a loose CD -- we'd returned the case last week minus one CD. "I did that thing," I confessed to the guy behind the desk, holding out the disc. He promptly described just how many people had made that same mistake, himself included.
13. My next door neighbors, who cheerfully tend our chickens whenever we need to dash out of town for the night. Even when it involves a showdown with a 'possum in the dead of night.
14. My brother-in-law Allen, who could take anyone in a Excel Spreadsheet Smackdown. For the past three years, he's applied his skills to making hour-by-hour schedules for my father's 24/7 care -- usually from 2000 miles away, and often scrambling to fill the gaps. Truly, he took my sister for better or for worse -- and my family is so much the richer for it.
15. The time change, which gets us all into bed earlier. Now I don't have to run at O Dark Thirty in the morning. It's more like O Sunrise Thirty.
16. My space heater. Its presence makes emerging from the warm shower bearable. Long may it live.
17. The knowledge that no matter how glowing someone's perfect life may appear on the Internet, we're only seeing the small fraction that's for show. I've recently become friends with a woman whose beautiful blog used to shoot me through with pangs of envy. In the areas where I felt weak (or my children seemed weak), she and her family seemed so polished and strong. In coming to know her in person, I've seen that she's a beautiful-but-normal person with normal kids, normal struggles, and normal blogger-envy.
Many times and for various reasons, we who share ourselves online cannot share the whole enchilada. We share what we most want to remember, what we don't mind our kids stumbling upon, what we think might entertain or uplift others. We try to keep it real, but readers don't always see the friction, the messes, the sighs and tears.
18. Thanksgiving, because it's inspiring lots of folks to count and share blessings, one by one.
19. Philippians 1:20 -- According to my earnest expectation and [my] hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but [that] with all boldness, as always, [so] now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether [it be] by life, or by death.