Friday, April 05, 2013

Ten Things I'm Thankful For ~ (early) Holy Week edition

Holy Week - 2013

There just aren't enough hours in a day, and of that, I am very sure. Purposely reflecting on life's moments though, always happily becomes time well spent. 

Remaining ever-hopeful, and not always trying to lean blindly on our own understanding, well, that's often so much more difficult, isn't it? 

May you become filled with hope and grace during holy week ahead, spending time searching, praying, and acknowledging all those blessed "thankful things" pouring forth within your quiet, everyday moments. 
Somehow, we giggled over being handed entire branches this year, 
21 fronds on my husband's alone.
 My fridge, with a few favorite things; a countdown on the road to Calvary, a lenten idea calendar, hot cross bun recipe, and a perfect bible verse.

I'm so glad you're here, thank you for your visit today. May you be blessed during this Holy Week, and throughout the Easter season ahead. 

With gratitude;
~ Renee 

Here are my ten thankful things for this edition, in no particular order, always random, and just a very few from a whole boatload of thankful things I attempt to gather each and every day. 

My photos just tend to pop out at me (pick me, pick me) when I review them, thus the lack of exact common sense direction each time I post these "ten things". Choosing items at random, even though it might make no sense at all to anyone else for the reasons why I've chosen them, please be assured they always make perfect sense to me to include them here. 

"Life is full of pains and hardships, but we are lucky we have a great God behind us all the time. Be thankful and count even the simplest blessings..."


- 1 - I'm thankful for the support system our daughter continues to be blessed with, so many kind, caring, and wonderful people have embraced and loved her so much over the past year since having her baby girl. Thankful!

Now, isn't this dress appropriate for this horse loving/owning/riding little mama? The coach/owner of the girls' barn came back from Kentucky thrilled with this bitty dress for our little granddaughter. How appropriate is right!

- 2 - I'm thankful for an Irish bottle of Carolans around St. Patrick's Day, a little coffee additive used for special occasions, like on Sundays during Lent. 

I'm not a fan of the usual types of additives in my coffee, things like cream,milk, or sugar sweeteners, but give me a shot every once in a while of  bailey like creams, and yes, I'm thankful. And, so is my husband.  

- 3 - I'm thankful for so many things actually, and with having my blog posting efforts running a little slower these days, my memory banks are overflowing, and as always, I'm jotting down all thankful things to savor, oodles of moments which provide me with a happy heart when revisiting them later on. There's always so much to be thankful for. Always!

When (mysteriously, we won't point fingers, right? :)) finding this VW collector car in our grandbaby's hands this week, my mind began rolling back to our days of early marital bliss, with thoughts of a neon, bright, yellow Volkswagen beetle car definitely coming to mind, making me break out in a big wide grin. Those were the days my friend....because that was our first car.

- 4 - I'm thankful for impulsive neighborhood pickuup drivebys, when a late afternoon or evening ski date becomes a very fun and serendipitous mini event. Always lots of smiles, and thank yous afterward over a steamy hot chocolate, and a rip roaring fire in the chalet.

- 5 - I'm thankful for teenagers who aren't afraid to bring themselves down to a baby's level, who will crawl under tables and chairs to fetch, or play with our grandbaby, help keep her entertained, and away from the stairways, while dinner is being prepared in the kitchen.

- 6 - I'm thankful for our maple sugaring weeks, where our rookie attempts are actually turning out to be alright. Yes, entire days have been spent boiling sap on our kitchen stove. 

After researching about sugaring, we thought our first year using the indoor kitchen, would be just fine for producing this sweet bottled ending to the sap gatherings, and it has been. It's been extremely handy to have all the action nearby, allowing us to multitask and to pursue other endeavors, and yet still being close enough to keep an eye on things as the bubbling and boiling progresses. 

A general rule of thumb is the 40:1 rule, where it takes 40 cups of sap to boil down to equal 1 cup of syrup - amazing, but true! At first we were so excited to have SO MUCH sap, but then to see how little comes from hours of effort, well, I for one will never, ever, again complain about the cost of purchasing maple syrup from the store. Yikes! 

Next year if we attempt our sugaring again, we already know changes will be in order. We will build ourselves a wood fire sugaring station outdoors, and have a larger production boiling away out yonder in the snowy depths of our back property. We'll be able to save ourselves lots of time and effort from usage of much larger pans, while creating a much more cost effective method to the madness. Meanwhile, I can assure you that pancakes never tasted so good! Yum!  

- 7 - I'm thankful for fantastic pots and pans, and even for having an often crowded stove. When that's the case, that obviously means I'm cooking something up for my family, be it syrup or dinner. 

Actually, the back two pieces of cookware were purchased before we were married, over 36 years ago, and they truly don't owe us a dime! They have sustained years and years of usage, assisting us in providing and hosting big family celebrations, with plenty of food preparations included for their successes. 

Thank you to our frying pan, about ten years old, for you too happen to be my dear, and lovely companion these days! I'm always doubling up the cooking, and enjoy two meals from one foodie making effort.  

- 8 - I'm thankful for Angie and Jane, owners of  the Etsy store called; "Jesse Tree Treasures" . These ladies sure do offer visually meaningful, and gorgeous handmade items, for families to use round the liturgical year.

I love this "Holy Week" set, complete with wooden tree, and scripture study for use with the meanings of each symbol dedicated and represented for use over the week. 

How rich our faith to be able to include these items in our homes, and how wonderful these sames items would be to tuck away into a bride-to-be's hopechest, or for any other type of vocation, for use in their own homes someday. There is something to say about providing the next generation with these types of rich liturgical offerings, especially for use with our future progeny, that makes the investment well worth its weight in gold. 

Thank you ladies!  

- 9 - I'm thankful for another great year with lots of time well spent taking our younger two skiing and snowboarding. Last July we purchased winter passes for a great preseason deal, for this new to us mountain instead of the last one, which obviously became the sole venue for this year's activities.  

Similar to the one we frequented last year, both are not far, just in different directions. The location was sure handy for taking in extracurricular moments, kids fast becoming completely rejuvenated, and better able to handle the assigned algebra for the day. (kidding) 

Everything in due season comes to an ending, and with spring's thaw rightly attempting to claim its grand return, these photos were all snapped on the mountain's very last day, before the "closed" sign was placed the following day, on the slope's chalet doors

With weather always permitting for slope actions, the hours spent in the great wintry outdoors, were greatly appreciated by all. This winter felt extra long compared to previous years, and perfect for all the shushing, jumping, and tricks one could muster on any given mom-designated "slope day". Plus, knowing so many others with yearly passes there like us, or meeting homeschooling or our church groups there for a day of camaraderie and fun, all only added to this year's enjoyable season. Goodbye winter 2013!

- 10 - I'm thankful for other people in our lives who have an obvious knack for getting to the point, and who mentor our children well in our absence. 

If this isn't stating a great fact at the barn, and if this great coach/owner didn't place announcements up like this on the communication board, guess who might instead be having to get after all the girls about important things like this over there? 

I love the mentoring, support, and guidance our two girls have been getting at this barn. I still feel it will be a sad day once September comes, and the barn as we know it, will experience forever changes.

Are you still with me? Thanks so much for reading, and for allowing me to share with you.
To me, only including ten things is so tough. There are hundreds of things I'm thankful for.
What about you?