(There are many things going on in my heart and life right now...not sure how to explain all of it yet, but one thing I'm going to be doing, in an effort to glorify Him in all things, is beginning my list of 1,000 (yes, 1,000!) things I'm thankful for - not sure how long it will take me - months, years? - as a part of the Gratitude Community at A Holy Experience. Ann writes that it's "not about the gifts she wants but about the gifts she already has." In one of her posts she shared a quote by John Milton:
"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."
You can read what else she wrote here.
We enjoyed very merry days at our house over the holidays. (I'll back up and write about my family's Christmas and Christmas Eve another day.)
So here goes: 1) I am grateful for a simple, casual day at home with my children and husband.
2) I am grateful that my parents also ventured out that afternoon to see us because they love us.
Okay, our new FAVORITE thing to order online: Kringles. It's been a long, long time (like about 20 years!) since I've had anything similar. We get them from Vegan Essentials. This is what we ate while we opened presents.
They didn't have any of the apple, cherry, or raspberry flavors this time, but we like the almond and pecan, too. Normally, I don't choose the fruity option - I'd go for the nutty choice, but the fruity ones, I think, are even better. These are very dangerous. Last time we ordered them I found myself hoping my kids would forget about them in the fridge so there would be more for me...terrible.
3) I am grateful that not only was I first blessed with two boys, I also got a girl who shares my love of pink, dolls, kitchen sets, and clothes. I would have been happy with all boys and would love to have five more boys, but having a girl was a huge desire of my heart.
We looked over at one point that afternoon, and Dash had already chomped half of his vegan dark chocolate Santa before we even realized he'd opened it. Fortunately, it was hollow. Poor, poor Santa.
4) I am truly grateful that there are vegan, healthi-er, FUN treat options that exist in the world. Like Kringles and chocolate Santas. Seriously.This year we let the boys pick out gifts for each other. They were responsible for wrapping them, and of course, they loved this. Dash picked out the Joke Master 1000 for Tornado, which was PERFECT for him. It was $5, you push the buttons and a joke appears across the screen. Then push Enter again, and the answer appears, along with electronic laughter. Tornado, lover of all jokes, greatly approved. And since Dash asked Santa for a "car," Tornado's gift to him was a cool bamboo racing car. I loved how much tape and love went into their wrapping jobs.
5) I'm grateful that my kids love one another. Even though they fight a lot, I think they hug more often than that.
Award for the most creatively wrapped gift goes to...Daddy! Poor guy waited until the last day to wrap his gifts, and there were only scraps left. He gets mucho points for being inventive.
8) I'm grateful that my husband recognizes that I get a little bored at times, being a housewife...and that he found the perfect remedy...inside this box.
9) I'm so grateful that my children are GRATEFUL people. They oohed and aahed over everything. When Dash got a nice shirt, he gasped and said something like, "Look what I got!" And when he opened this Bug book in his stocking, he said so sweetly, "It's just what I wished for."
We got the kids these "dig it up" dinosaur fossil kits from MindWare. The boys loved them. We only got Sissy one, in case she felt left out. She has picked at it a little bit, but it's a lot of work. The boys have made great progress. Great lesson about patience and how tedious a paleontologist's work really is. It comes with a sponge, hammer, chisel, and brush.