Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Ten Things I'm Thankful For

Happy New Year!

It's time once again for another installment of my
"Ten Things" to be thankful for, always varied, always random bits in positively NO particular order.

It's January already, and a brand new year of 2011 is now upon us. Whoosh! How this past year flew by! And how wonderful it is to have a fresh start with new beginnings for another year ahead.

I'm thrilled to get a few moments to assemble this post, and as I often find gratitude something so many forget to seek out in their daily mundane routines of life's often overwhelming priority lists, I want to encourage you to begin a new habit of doing this.

My own personal habit began so long ago now, mostly as a way to get through some very difficult times. I continue to make a list of "grateful things" I want to recognize and remember each and every single day. It assists in maintaining a balance of sweetness for all things in my life, and for seeing the forest through the trees, to sift through the important and the trivial, and for allowing the stressful to be bound up and thrust aside - even for just a few moments.

During those times of taking special note importance, I always manage to find the simple treasures in my every day, and the love for all those who I'm honored to have in my life.
Even if only for just a moment or two, making my lists always brings a smile to my face and fuzzy lovely warmth into my heart. May you too be able to take a few thoughtful minutes to find and note the simple pleasures in the moments of your day, and recognize them before they are so easily forgotten.

Without further ado, let me present my "Ten Thankful Things", just sparks of thankfulness appearing in my days this past week.

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 little treats when least expected. My husband and I recently found out about the fabulous great deal website called; "Groupon" (click to see). If you've not yet heard of this website, please check it out! Once signed up, you will receive "deals" via email for various businesses in your city area, coupons if you will, for almost anything you can imagine!

In only two weeks, we've discovered a few interesting venues in our locale, including a cheese shop, a Dutch store (FINALLY!), a fabulous bakery owned by a mother/daughter team which can rival any cake show in television today, and other services will begin to surface in the future we may require such as hair cut deals, oil changes, carpet cleaning and so forth. It's always great to find a bargain!
The lovely German apple/raisin strudel above was purchase with our "Groupon coupon" when we shopped for 40.00 worth of bakery items for half the price paid for coupon of - 20.00. Not normally something we would bring home, it was definitely a treat thoroughly enjoyed by all, especially my husband who really loves this treat.

- 2 - I'm thankful for blogging friendships that have grown over the years, particularly meeting a family with similarities and kindred everything.

The goodies above, plus a few not shown (hockey pucks and golf balls) were a wonderful surprise in our mail a few weeks ago. It never amazes me to know there are special people living all around our globe we can connect with via online meetings, something that fast becomes a treasure to hold on to. Thank you dear friends for these treats and for the blessing of your fabulous friendship.

- 3 - I'm thankful for
three young men who were a bit hesitant, though not afraid to take on the challenge of "dressing up" for a recent outing. And how special it was when a man took my husband aside to comment on all of them. He asked if they were hockey players because he noticed they all had ties on and black jackets, that he himself used to play junior hockey and he dressed like they did back then. A smile broke out on my hubby's face, realizing what a great compliment that was to pass along to the guys, and he just replied that they all did play hockey.

We weren't at a hockey function though, just out for the evening all together, dressed up, the whole bunch of us, something way too often and sadly outside of a young person's usual comfort zone today, but all complied and then lapped up the special compliment after the fact. We could easily observe shoulders raise, confidence boost, and big smiles broaden across their faces, beaming at the thought of being recognized as the gentlemen they were.

- 4 - I'm thankful for
finally, absolutely and at LONG last, getting together my second craft/office room since our move here. With such a large home, I was utterly and insanely lost in such a "big space" when we first allocated one room downstairs to be such a spot for me to take over.

My usual rooms in other homes were about the size of a walk in closet, so I switched to a smaller space and I'm very, very happy here. I'll show and tell more soon.

- 5 - I'm thankful for schooling at Starbucks when daddy is off for a few vacation days and the younger ones can tote along a few subjects, working while sipping on a peppermint hot chocolate. They love the change of pace. We love the coffee date. Everyone is always happy there in that little corner of the world, especially when their work is complete and we all venture into the "Chapter's Book Store" it's attached to.

Oh yes, books and coffee --heaven!

- 6 - I'm thankful for
fun little goodies (rare though they are around here) through the seasons around the year. These were decorated and shaped in colorful and fun ways to surprise everyone with. Festive and sweet, and so good to dip in a fresh cuppa hot something or other. Yummy!

Now we're off sugar again, gotta keep our immune systems strong and those white blood cells dive so poorly with too much sugar flowing through our bodies. They were great while they lasted and sure didn't last long with six people reaching for them.

- 7 - I'm thankful to
have "my girls" together again. With one living away while attending University now, it's become rare for all to gather and spend time.

This horse loving trio has been a staple here since one month after our move to this new area, meeting and deepening friendships at the horse barn. I love having them all over, welcomed anytime and they know that.
Here they were at an after Christmas sale in the Greenhawk store! Horse lovers everywhere know this store! Oh yes they do!

Haven't heard of it? Check it out by clicking HERE and request one of their fabulous catalogs.

- 8 - I'm thankful for
more of our grandchildren's works of art as they have become more acutely aware of our absence and begun to increase their artistry gifting towards us. It's always so charming to find a piece of mail awaiting us entitled; "Grandpa and Nana".

I had completely forgotten to post this photo a while back, and our little ones asked eagerly if we liked theirs too. Posting these pieces of art means the world to them, so no doubt there will be more on the blog in the future.

As I also have a dozen certificate-sized picture frames empty at the present moment, I am going to begin framing them and displaying them in our schooling area downstairs, on a wall which will become our family artwork hall of fame. I love the whole idea already! Here we go...

- 9 - I'm thankful for these three lovely nieces of ours. This photo was taken in Niagara Falls right after a half marathon race. Last summer three nieces who were all runners decided to meet and run this race together.

One living in Florida (not present) wasn't able to come in the end, announcing her pregnancy beforehand. The one on the left was to also run but endured an injury the week before. The one in the center was the only one who could continue on with her original goal of running, having just moved to the area a few months beforehand from Alberta with her lovely little family. The gal on the right is her sister, who along with the other injured niece and her husband also came to watch and cheer from the sidelines.

I just love these gals! They naturally radiate sunshine and have always maintained contact with us through the years. Congratulations (!), and maybe next time we'll see all of you running together in another race someday in the near future. Hugs.

- 10 - I'm thankful for our family's tradition of birthday breakfasts! This year I realized even though we have done this for years and years with our children, with the timing of my own birthday during this time of year, I've never had one before myself.

It wasn't intentional, and then it was, when my husband invited me solo to accompany him a few days before Christmas and breakfast out was on the agenda for the day - my birthday breakfast. Where else do we like to go for this special time? But, Cora's restaurant of course... Thank you hubby!

Bonus....just in....

As he entered the doorway and removed his coat, mother was there snapping photos of his great big happy smile! After a two day hockey tournament, and with eight players down with the flu, they played all four games with such grit and positive determination, bringing home the title of first place winners. Exhausted from playing double shifts both days, sleeping naturally came easily after this away tournament.

The preferred motto was there; Play Hard and Have Fun.

And they sure did.

I'm so pleased for this group of boys, their coaching staff who thought they were goners and all the parents who routed and cheered for their boys. So grateful for all the good sportsmanship displayed by all. But those smiles? They beat everything hands down!