Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Ten Things I'm Thankful For

Time for another installment of my "Ten Things" to be thankful for, always varied, always random bits in no particular order. Included are photos, just because I am a hopeless visual type of person and I happen to find it my preference to include a bit of eye candy throughout the post. Well, at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it... :)

Please know for certain that my own personal thoughts on true thankfulness can obviously never be offered, nor delivered in true completeness within one simple post.

And in case you just might find it interesting and want even more today, you can always skip along to view other "thankful" posts by clicking onto the archives located - right HERE.

- 1 - I'm thankful for the season of Advent now upon us, for a new Liturgical Church year offering fresh promises and new beginnings. Of course I'm very thankful for this Advent, for all those possibilities of penitential preparations ahead between now and Christmas.

~ O' Come, O' Come, Emmanuel!

We are also very much enjoying the Holy Heroes daily Advent emails, prompting much dialogue, crafts, prayer thoughts, Jesse tree readings, felt stories, activity sheets, all with sweet children acting as Advent hosts in the videos posted on its website. If you want to check them out, it's not too late to sign up for your own daily emails. They are located right HERE.

- 2 - I'm thankful for gentle and sweet reminders of young girls fast becoming kindred spirits, for dresses with puffed sleeves, and all of the wonderful and loving adventures author "Lucy Maude Montgomery" weaves throughout the stories, especially those ones featuring "Anne with an e", the beloved orphan who happens to win everyone's hearts as she grows older.

We've embarked on another round of this classic read, cuddling up together near the warmth of the fire near the end of the day. With the vast library resources found in our own home, can you believe I had to purchase yet another of this novel as our older daughters have snatched up and removed their own copies from our family library bookshelves to place on their own? Yes, I can imagine. (grin)

- 3 - I'm thankful for firefighters all across the nation who continue to raise awareness during the month of October, proclaiming it to be "fire safety month". Fire safety education becomes highly visible within communities everywhere, and those big burly firemen donate their time tirelessly to assist families and save them from ever having to experience the horror of a house fire and other serious dangers.

I gave a donation by slipping it into the fireman's boot this year, did you too? How about one of their famous fireman calendars? Did you purchase one of those for yourself? (hehehe - wink)

Deep in the heart of our home, this topic remains a tough one for most of us. Having experienced first hand the trauma and sheer panic from the fall out of a house fire ourselves, remembering always those five fire trucks outside of our home in the wee hours of the night, we definitely feel it is imperative to keep planning for fire safety as a family, sometimes reviewing with young ones day to day, and not just during the month of October.

It's always a good reminder when those firemen don their brightest fluorescent gear and begin blocking traffic outside of shopping malls holding up empty boots for possible donations to be dropped into and wave at children everywhere. Firemen are our friends, that's a given. Besides aren't they the ones we rely on when the going gets tough?

With inflation reaching all time highs this past year, some of the firehalls are closing down around countrysides local to both you and I. Personally, I would feel more secure if mine stayed exactly where it is. Nuff said....

- 4 - I'm thankful for new fabric lined baskets used to keep the school books neat and tidy, not to mention at hand in a jiffy when required. I was able to locate only two of these, both identical. They are lovely looking and fit on the desktop perfectly. I am so thankful for the find.

- 5 - I'm thankful for my husband's continued cooking inspiration to get into our kitchen and "create" colorful and nutritional food fare, so tempting at that. Shown in the photo above; warm spinach , onion and tomato salad. Yum!

- 6 - I'm thankful for children who love to celebrate liturgical feast days, who love to participate in craft time while listening to audio stories or to their mother reading out loud while they are busy working with their hands.

- 7 - I'm thankful for good ole fashioned board games, the ones that I would consider utterly "timeless" in nature, the ones I used to play when I was younger, the ones where I haven't necessarily been out of the loop long enough to get hammered with losses game after game.

Actually the Monopoly game above is he Junior edition which was new to me when it first appeared on our game shelves. I still have the game board though that I used to play with my siblings, what more than, um, forty years later. Yikes! Wanna play? I want to pass go and steal all of your hotels!

Yes, these are good choices for parents to sit alongside their children for plenty of ole fashioned entertainment, let alone bonding moments included - for free. When's the last time you sat and played with your children?

- 8 - I'm thankful for good attitudes, and good sports, in all ways.

Our son's last year for minor hockey was last season. He is officially too old to continue in the minor hockey leagues this hockey season. He had an opportunity to play on a college level team which ended when the young coach decided not to take a chance on any of the new players trying out, almost forty of them! Heck he never even made his old team from last year "try out"! Tell me this is ridiculous and just not fair? Guess who paid for the ice time folks? Yep, the newbies who never had a chance in the first place.

Another opportunity came to try out for a Junior level team, and though it was a later tryout timing for him due to the tryouts in progress above, he was thrilled for chance to play the tryout, working hard throughout the dry land session and the ice arena, that is, until he blew out his Achilles tendon and now has to take it easy for a while. This is the first year this son will not be playing ice hockey, a real tough blow for him. Maybe next year then... but in the meantime, i am thankful for his outlook on the whole topic.

- 9 - I'm thankful for lingering moments for continued reflection over how blessed we are for our freedoms and for those who have come before us to keep them intact.

Affected greatly at present is our daughter-in-law and her family as her sister's husband and her young (fresh and new Marine) cousin have been given tour duty notices for a return to the middle east.

One of them has already completed two tours and was promised not to have to return. I guess President Obama changed his mind and thought he wouldn't be bringing home the troops as quickly as he had first anticipated, rather go ahead and send 50,000 more over there. Praying for all our troops all around the globe!

In all things, I'm still thankful and forever indebted for the sacrifice of millions over the years to ensure the freedoms we do enjoy in our countries today.

- 10 - I'm thankful for attending a birthday gathering with friends for their college son, friends who are kindred to us in many ways, offering to take a short detour along the way to introduce us to a beautiful cathedral, complete with historical backgrounds and generational family notational facts. I loved the chance to be a part of an unplanned stop here at "Our Lady Immaculate" in Guelph, Ontario.

Yes, we stopped for an impromptu visit after our rather long journey to arrive in the general location, hoping to tour and make a wee visit within the interior of this beautiful Cathedral, but instead finding an afternoon wedding in progress.

Nevertheless my camera was snapping at the chance moment for discovering yet another - gem! (This is one of those "rewind" posts to come I promised you.)

And there you have it folks, another installment of "Ten Things I'm Thankful For". Check back again when another post will follow this one over time. Let us never forget there is always an abundance of things to be thankful for, if only, we allow our eyes to see....