Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 26

Thanksgiving: the day we set aside to give thanks.....for the bountiful harvest that we have been blessed with. A healthy family, a warm place to call home, and meal lovingly prepared by someone else (Thanks Ms. Judy!).
Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving 25

For years, I've wondered, what is it about pumpkin pie that I just don't like? I mean, I love the smell of a pumpkin-scented candle. I enjoy a tasty slice of pumpkin bread (thanks MBK, your bread was delicious). But, I just can't embrace the idea of pumpkin pie.
Why is that?

Well, today, thanks to my good friend Fran, I have the answer....

Thanks for the laugh Fran!
We met some 10 years ago at a scrapbooking evening (called a crop for those who don't participate in this obsession). Jokingly, I lamented that I didn't have a friend (as my friend that was supposed to join me had to cancel). Fran jumped right in and replied "I'll be your friend!"

And she was right: she has indeed been my friend through thick and through thin.
And while we don't get to spend nearly enough time together, I know that she'll always be there....with a funny email or an offer to meet at Archiver's for the afternoon. Ready for anything that life tosses her way: that's Fran!
This year, life tossed Fran a couple sharp curve balls. Yet, true to Fran's nature, she faced these losses head on and her strength and determination reminds me that life is indeed what we make it! Thank you Fran, for the laugh and the friendship!
Now, when can you get a kitchen pass so we can go to Archiver's?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving 24

Oh my, am I thankful for this short school week. While I got the Things out the door this morning without yelling, it was close there at the end. Not to mention the supervising of homework and studies. Just don't have it in me this week.

Now if only I had a short week on the mom-student front.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving 23

Oh come on, admit it...somewhere tucked away in all your stuff is a
Glamour Shot picture from the early '90s.
You know you've got one...why not share it?

This morning....I'm thankful that I can look back at my younger self and laugh...
And perhaps I have given you a reason to laugh as well this morning..

Yep, I'm thankful for my ability to make others laugh...even when it occurs at my expense...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving 22

Margaret Mead is quoted as saying that sisters probably share the most competitive relationship within the family, but once sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.

And while I have no brothers to compare the truth of this statement against, I can certainly identify with the observations she has made.

For growing up, there was indeed a "healthy" amount of competition between us. Plenty of arguments and fighting. But as adults, Laura and I enjoy a relationship that is stronger than any other adult relationship I have (short of good old Hubby: he's in it the long haul as well).

I am so very thankful to have Laura in my life: we share so many past experiences, times spent in celebration and times spent in sorrow. And what a blessing it is to have this one person in my life who knew me when...and continues to be there for me!

So watch out you Old Farts in Sun City, "the girls" are coming to town for the New Year...and a good time will be had by all I"m sure!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving 21

Still rather amazed that last night's "sleep over" actually involved the boys getting some sleep.

And while I"m always thankful for a good night's sleep, I'm equally thankful for boys that listened to me, respected my request of "lights out 10 p.m." and they actually went to sleep.

As a result, "the day after" hasn't been nearly as rough as on past sleep over attempts.
We've been happy and productive!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving 20

I have this friend....hopefully you have one just like her...

She's the quiet one (or at least plays that role perfectly? Her family might tell us otherwise).

Rarely does she take center stage in a group conversation (we put her in the center stage, especially after she's been home to NY to visit her parents and their neighbor, Thom Filicia.)

She listens. No, I mean, she really listens. No matter what we're whining about, she's patiently listening. And then ever so softly, she will offer up a perspective that no one else has really thought about. This quiet wisdom has saved the day on problems from getting Things to take better care of their teeth to saving face with a parent-teacher conflict.

Everyone needs a Jacqui in their life and I'm so thankful to call her my friend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving 19

Gotta love a dad that offers to drop his son off at school on his way to work.

Whether it's a hubby driving son to school...
Or oldest Thing helping younger Thing with his math homework
(hello: can you say Partial Products and Lattice Method Mayhem? Round 2 of 4th grade Every Day Math is here)
It makes me happy to see us all working together to get the job done...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving 18

Radio Shack: you saved the day...

If only the rest of life's problems were as easy to fix as a quick trip into Radio Shack.
But, it is also a reminder to be to be thankful for those times when there is a quick and easy solution to a problem.

Today, I am trying not to focus on all the bigger problems and worries that are being tossed our way. Instead, I am going to be thankful that yes, we now have a power cord to run the much loved portable dvd player. And you know what, with the right attitude, I'm guessing that tomorrow even those bigger worries won't seem so huge either...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving 17

Sunrise at Ft. Logan National Cemetery 11.11.09

What a beautiful sight...most mornings here in CO, the sun rises and shines brightly.

Even on the coldest winter-like days, that sun is working her magic: melting snow, warming our homes and lifting our spirits.

And since today I have a "hot date" with my nursing textbooks, I'm thankful for that sun that is flooding through my basement window. It is making the task of "refreshing my nursing knowledge" seem a little less dreary!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving 16

"Mom, if you think math is funny, then you need a doctor, because there
is nothing funny about this stuff!"
states Thing One

Yep, I sure am thankful that child makes me laugh...because if he didn't there is no way we could survive the homework of a 6th grader.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thanksgiving 15

Today, I'm thankful that I've got nowhere to go
And I have all day to get there...

oh, and bonus thankful thought...glad grilling wasn't part of today's plan!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thanksgiving 14

For the past 4 years that I've blogged, it's pretty obvious that I like my kids a lot. And in many ways, this blog serves as an on-going celebration of that joy they bring to my life: be it through laughter, tears or somewhere in between.

But this morning, as I'm sitting here in the silence of the morning (for some bizarre reason they are sleeping in. That like NEVER happens on a weekend), I'm reflecting on Thing Two and how his arrival some 10 yrs ago, completed our family in ways I never would have imagined.

When Thing One was about 18 months old, he stopped developing. Oh sure, he physically grew but that was about it. Hubby and I noticed but didn't really do much. I consulted with a co-worker at the time, and it was sort of the consensus "eh, all kids develop at their own rate, maybe with the pregnancy and everything..." No need to worry, let's wait and see what happens.

Shortly after Thing One turned 2, we had our first visit with a specialist and we learned that his development had apparently stalled out long before we'd even started to notice. He was 24 months old yet only 9 months old "developmentally".

And as hard as this was to process, we didn't have much time to dwell on what all this meant as I was about to deliver Thing Two.

Thing Two...the tag along brother. The one who sat quietly in the carrier while his older brother had this therapy or that consult. The one whose nap schedule got interrupted routinely as it was time to go pick up brother from pre-school and shuttle him over to afternoon special ed preschool. Occasionally, he would cry, wanting to go with brother to play with all those cool therapy toys. But more times than not, he was just along for the ride.

And that's when I really started to notice: he never expressed jealousy, and to this day, rarely does. He is his brother's biggest cheerleader and greatest peer-role model. We never put him in this position. He took it on himself.

I am not an overly religious person, but I am a woman of faith. I know without a doubt, that when Thing Two joined this family, it was no accident. From the timing of his birth (because trust me, we weren't thinking he'd be conceived as quickly as he was) to the ways of his personality (which aren't perfect. I'm convinced he's going to go into Law: where he will get paid to over-think, and argue/debate every little angle he can think of).

He is indeed "the perfect fit" and completes this family....and that makes me one very proud and thankful Mom!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanksgiving 13

Friday the 13th and headed out to Moms Night Out!
No bad luck has come my way yet....that's worth a shout of thanks, don't ya think?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving 12

Thankful for this handsome man being my husband for 14 years...
He's a keeper, I tell you...and he's m.i.n.e.!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanksgiving 11

Today is the day we honor our veterans...
Hey? That would be me, right?
Better pour yourself something to drink...this is gonna be a wordy one....

December 1983, my dorm room phone rang. It was my mom, saying she and Dad were heading to WI because she needed "surgery". But, no need to worry, she'd be fine. She encouraged me to do well on my first semester exams and she's be home by the time I came home for Winter Break.

By the time all was said and done, yes, she needed surgery, but there was a real reason to worry. She had breast cancer and it was rather extensive. The prognosis was questionable. It was a time of great uncertainty: health and financial worries were unspoken truths that our entire family experienced to some degree.

So, when the junk mail arrived after winter break and there was a letter from the UW Army-ROTC department telling about the nursing school scholarships available , the light bulb in my brain went off....and by later that year, I was raising my hand, taking the first oath of office, joining ROTC.

Yes, it started out as a purely financial decision.
There was really nothing very patriotic about my choosing to serve our nation.

It was practical solution to a attribute I've always been proud of possessing.
But by the time I hung up my uniform for good (Summer 1994), I had gained so much more than "paying for college". I worked with some extremely dedicated health care professionals. We took care of our military community when they were sick, dying or injured. The friends I made in the service are those that you consider your "forever" friends. Oh the stories they can tell (but thankfully, don't!). The leadership experience I was given surpassed anything I would have gained through working in some random hospital, doing random nursing jobs. The training I received was unsurpassed in quality and expertise. It would forever change the course of my career.

I owe so much of who I am today to what I gained while serving in the military!
Today, I"m thankful that I am a veteran!

It was indeed an honor to serve....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanksgiving 10

This morning, I'm trying a different tactic to starting out the day. It involves getting up earlier, having a plan, and being prepared. The Marines would be proud of me...though they are busy celebrating their 234th birthday today!

As for me, I'm thankful for the countless brave men and women who join the Marines. You really do have one of the tougher jobs in our nation's military!

And while I've got no cake to share with them, I will raise my fork as I dive into my breakfast...

Happy Birthday, Marines!

and Thank-you Laura for the yummy apples that I used to make this home-made pie. I fear this was the last of the apples that came fresh from the orchards of MI!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Thanksgiving 9

The morning started a bit rougher than usual (even allowing for the Monday factor).
By the time I sent the older Thing off to school, I knew the day was going to be a total loss if I didn't do something to turn the mood around.

Need I say more?
Yep, 'tis the season for the Red Cup Holiday specials and for that I (and actually my family since they bear the brunt of my cranky mood) am very thankful for that Peppermint Mocha that hit the spot and did indeed turn my mood around!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Thanksgiving 8

Looking through some old photos, I found this cute one of the Things....back on our first trip to Seussland. What a fun adventure that was...

Six years ago...we made a trip to FL. We took in some Homecoming events for Hubby and we took a trip to Universal Studios (not part of the original plan but the weather in Ft. Lauderdale was not cooperating with my idea of a "beach only" vacation).

But for me, one of the highlights was visiting Hubby's uncle and family.
See, it's different: I grew up spending holidays with my extended family. I know all my cousins and can remember most of their children's names....

Hubby? Not so his extended relatives all arrived in the US at different times and settled in different locations.
So, at 40 something, Hubby was still meeting cousins and aunts he never knew he had.
I've been thinking a lot of Uncle Andy and his family these past couple of weeks.

You see, his wife, had a very serious stroke on Labor Day weekend and sadly lost her battle to recover on October 27th. She was only in her late 50s.

Today, I'm thankful for having had the opportunity to meet Aunt Seen Che (Cindy)....I will always remember the warm embrace she had for me when she met me...and the lovely chat we enjoyed while dining at Uncle Andy's restaurant. She welcomed me as family......and I am forever grateful for that visit where I knew I was accepted as part of "the family".
Acceptance....indeed a gift worth being thankful for!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Thanksgiving 7

Google...gotta love it and be thankful for it!

For without it, I hate to think how long it would have taken me to help Thing One with his book report.

And double gratitude that the book was a Newberry Award winner (Maniac Magee for those at are curious) and is well liked by teachers all over the country. Loads of good ideas all within a click of the mouse.

Now, to make it look like he did some of the work...I guess that leaves out using the cricut, eh?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thanksgiving 6

Thankful that it is FRIDAY!

(hey, I never said each and every day was going to be this deeply thought out gratitude essay)

But HEY, did you hear, it is no homework will need to be supervised this afternoon, we can hang out with friends and extend the bedtime just a tad, and if I get my rear in gear and finish up my studies today...I might just make it to the craft table to PLAY this weekend.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thanksgiving 5

A good night's sleep and waking up before the alarm. Followed up by cooperative kids who got ready for school without even a hint of attitude?

You betcha I"m thankful for that! (and curious how I get this to be an on-going event at the House of Chang?)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Thanksgiving 4

This morning Thing Two asked if we could have doughnuts for breakfast.

Hmmm...I like the way he thinks.

So, off I went to the local grocery store and was soon home with a dozen fresh bakery treats.

Yep, I'm thankful that the grocery store is so close that I can fulfill an impromptu request from my son.

The smile on his face was indeed was the one on the carpool buddy's face when we had extras to share!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Thanksgiving 3

Me and my pals, Skills Lab circa 1987...

As you might recall, I'm in the middle of a refresher course for nursing.
Most of it is online.
Except Tuesday, when we have our clinical skills lab.
It is now Tuesday evening.

I've spent the day learning about chest tubes, catheters, IVs and injections...
I've also spent the past six Tuesdays laughing with others in the same predicament as me....we have all taken some time off from the calling of a nurse and now are looking to return to this profession.

So while my head is spinning with wonders and worries about where this adventure will take me,

Today, I"m thankful for being a nurse...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Thanksgiving 1 and 2:

Last year, I did a post a day in November, taking time to reflect on something I am grateful/thankful for.

And while tempting as it is to say "not this year, I don't have time".....I don't think that is the "right" answer for me. Seeing "Christmas" being marketed so heavily already, I feel that if I take November to focus on being thankful, I can hopefully savor the holiday that happens BEFORE Santa shows up next month.

So, November 1st came and went...I was thankful for a large capacity washer and dryer. I tackled Mt. Laundry and made a big dent in the never ending pile of dirty duds. Can you even imagine what it was like before such modern conveniences were available? neither...

Today, November 2nd, I'm thankful for a car that takes me where I need to go. I had a bunch of errands to run and am very thankful to have been able to accomplish them in the comforts of my van, as old and tired as she may be getting.

Join in...if you dare...a month of being thankful...