Monday, June 13, 2011

Family - The Ultimate

The common thread running through my family this month, this beautiful month of blatant, unmitigated, joyfully felt GRATITUDE is FAMILY.  We all mention it several times a day.  We can't get past it.  It's kind of annoying.  Everyday has been a love fest but I want MORE!  I've put my 6 and 4 year old under the Spanish Inquisition spotlight and demanded a more specific answer to the question - For what do you give thanks!?!?!?!?  They just giggle and say "I just like being with you."  or "My favorite is when we are all together."   Awww...  OK, great, but it's getting redundant.

So my 6 year old said last night, after I forced encouraged them to delve deeper, "Mom, it's OK to be thankful for the same thing every day if it's a really good thing".

He is right.  Here I am grilling them about being thankful for the joy of our family and insisting that they delve deeper, but when I lay my head down at night, that is the one constant for which I thank God. 

So, I guess I should be glad that everyday isn't  about being thankful that Wii and TV were invented.  It's about family, the ultimate gift.

There is a double dose of  gratitude on this one!
I am thankful for:
Little Girl - Movie night with the whole family & playing ping pong with mommy, daddy & brother.
Little Guy - Extra time on Wii and playing ping pong with mommy, daddy and sister.
Him - My mom and dad and wrestling with the kids on the front lawn.
Me - The good man who raised my good man and being able to catch a nap! Woo Hoo!
Nonna - Celebrating a good man and spending the day with the kids.

I think I learned
to appreciate and treasure each day,
because you don't know
how many you're going to be given.
- Sandra Day O'Connor

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Long Live Love

We went to a wedding today!  What a blessing to see two young people so in love and so excited to embark on their life together. 

Weddings are always a beautiful reminder of one of the greatest gifts I've every recieved.  My husband. 

I am today, was yesterday and will forever be grateful for the love of this wonderful man.

The kids were so exhausted today that we didn't get to thankful ritual after dinner.  So, I've decided, since I am the Grand Pooba of this blog, that I will pick one  (of many) things that I'm thanful for about each of these special people.

I'm thankful for:

Little Girl -  The daily affirmation of her love which starts like this "Mom, do you know what I like most about you..." It usually ends with "everything!"
Little Boy - The decision he makes daily to make it a good day.
Him - His long arms and tight hugs.
Nonna - Her constant support.

People who live the most fulfilling lives
are the ones who are always rejoicing at what they have.

Richard Carlson, PhD,
"Shortcut Through Therapy"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friends and Starry Nights

We have just spent the evening with friends.  A lovely evening under a canopy of lights (don't get jealous it was an easy-up with a string of lights around it)  We ate, we talked and shared, we laughed, the kids played - it was a beautiful evening.  I always find it amazing that I end up with the coolest and most wonderful friends.  What an amazing happy accident.  Throw some twinkling lights on it and boom...perfection.

I am THANKFUL for:
Little Guy - Playing with my good friends.
Little Girl - Playing with Benjamin, Bryce and John.
Him - Having beauitful children and being proud of them.
Me - Friends who love me just as I am.
Nonna - This beautiful dinner and good company.

"Every time we remember to say "thank you", we experience nothing less than heaven on earth"
- Sarah Ban Breathnach

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thank You, Sir, May I Have Another

I'm finding that making a conscious effort to find all the blessings in your life leads to more blessings.  It's like magic.

I am thankful for:
Little Girl:  My mommy laying down with me at night.
Little Guy:  My mom laying down with me at night.
Him: My kids giggles.
Me: The goodness of my family and friends.
Nonna: My coumadin check going so well.

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.  ~Eric Hoffer, Reflections On The Human Condition

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Magic Is in the Details

We are in breakdown mode.  (Well, I am.  The kids just want to watch Phineas and Ferb.)  I'm breaking down the goodness.  If we are open to it, every moment is a moment to be grateful.

We see.  We hear.  We communicate.  We touch.  We feel.  We walk.  We Breathe.

We Rock!!!  Life is good.  Thank you, God.

Little Girl - Going on a walk with Gracie and Daddy!
Little Guy - Daddy!
Him - Feeling better.
Me - Time to rest my eyes this afternoon.
Nonna - Having a nice dinner together.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
-William Arthur Ward

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Transformation of Gratitude

It's amazing how asking the question  "For what do you give thanks?" has altered the landscape of our family and has created change in our dialogue thoughout the day.  My 4 year old and 6 year old, now challenged to look for the goodness of thanks, can't seem to get past it.  All those little gifts throughout the day seem obvious.  How cool is that?

I am THANKFUL for:
Little Guy - Dinner.  (he thanked the farmers for growing the veggies!)
Little Girl - Everything and being with you (mom). 
Me - The kids getting along so well today!  (here's hoping the same for every day of summer!)
Him - Antibiotics.
Nonna - To have (Little Guy) home today, we had a good time together.

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.
-- Willie Nelson

Monday, June 6, 2011

For What We Have Recieved...

may we truly be thankful.
I am GRATEFUL for:

Little Girl:  Going to the Lazy Dog for dinner!
Little Guy:  Getting medicine and feeling better.
Nonna - A trip to the garden.
Me - My kids and the smiles that they give me.
Him - For the medicine that helps my son.

Some people are always grumbling
because roses have thorns;
I am thankful
that thorns have roses.

~ Alphonse Karr

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lazy Sundays

Do you have friends that say "I'm booked the whole month of _____!"  I always look at them like their freaks and immediately dismiss them for being DIVAS.  Who the heck doesn't have an afternoon and evening free somewhere in a 30 day block?  This month I am that person. Grrrr.  I don't care for that person.  Anyway, today, by some happy accident, the day cleared and we had a beautiful RELAXING Sunday! 

I'm thankful for surprisingly fabulous days that just happen!

I'm thankful for:
Little Girl - Being with my family.
Little Guy - (he had a headache all updates from his front)
Nonna - A beautiful day together.
Me - A lazy day at home with the family!
Him - My wife's gentle touch.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thornton Wilder

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Finding The Blessings

Today started out with a misunderstanding which lead to my Italian temper.  Long story short - there are blessings and lessons lurking around every quick temper and mean word.

I'm Grateful for:
Him - A wonderful day with family and friends.
Me - A supportive husband.
Nonna - A wonderful day with the children, watching them both recieve their trophies.
Little Guy - Mama & Dada letting me play Wii a  longer time.
Little Girl - Getting trophies from coach.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm Thankful for the Joy!

Who knew it would be so easy to get a 6 and 4 year old to participate in Gratitude Month!  Gotta love the enthusiasm.  I'm not sure if it's the colored markers or what...but I hope we can keep this party going!
Happy Friday Everyone!  (or just me...I think I'm the only one reading this!)

I'm thankful for:
Little Guy - A play date with Nick!
Little Girl - Daddy getting pizza I like.
Nonna - That the mistake I made forgetting my medication did not hurt me.  Amen!
Me - My Mom always taking care of the laundry!  It gives me time to play Lego, Wii and doggies with the kids.  This is huge!!!
Him - Weekends with my family!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Talk About Your Conversation Starters

Dinner was interesting tonight.  In talking about all the things we were most thankful for we stumbled upon a big old heap of stuff  for which we are definitely NOT thankful!

The disenfranchised of the household wanted to be heard and, boy were they!

Little Guy feels that he gets in trouble twice as much as his sister - he even provided a mathematical equation to back up his theory.

Little Girl doesn't like when she gets shut out of play dates.

Little Guy doesn't like that he gets reprimanded and punished. 

Little Guy feels like Little Girl gets him in trouble and tattle tales so much that it makes him feel less than everyone else in the family.  Little Girl says that the hurtful things that Little Guy says make her feel small and that she doesn't matter to him. 

The Him and I were pulling out all the stops explaining how hurtful words or actions leave a permanent mark and that even "I'm Sorry" doesn't smooth away the damage.    We even used props!  (Props included two pieces of paper - one smooth and new and one crumpled with mean words)

The kids talked, we talked, hopefully we all listened.  I have heartburn.  What a meal.

I'm Grateful for:
Everyone in the whole world! - Little Girl
For Gracie. - Little Guy
For the love and respect of my children. - Nonna
For the love of my wife! - The Him
The joy of having children I genuinely like and who listen with their ears and their hearts! - Me

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June - Gratitude

We are thankful!  Or are we?  When we say "Thank you"  what exactly does that mean?  What does it feel like inside.  Little guy thinks it feels happy inside.  Little Girl says it feels warm.  I liked both of those.

Our challange for this month is to chronicle what we are thankful for each day.  We are using our Gratitude poster..I think we are off to a good start!

Thankful for:
Mom - Being able to see my family every day with clear vision! My eyes!
Dad - Good health!
Nonna - being in California with all of you!
Little Guy - Being with you guys!  (see drawing)
Little Girl - Gracie (our dog) (see drawing of Mommy)

So It Begins...

A few days ago, a friend casually mentioned over dinner that she had started reading a book about teaching your children life values and virtues in one month blocks.  She also mentioned that she'd picked up  copy of the book for me.  Insert one of Oprah's Ah Ha moments here.  I promptly forgot about it and went about the business of enjoying an evening with friends.  When I returned home and cleared out the swimming bag, there it was, a book with a title that called to me.  It took all of twenty minutes reading the forward and introduction to know that I wanted to do this thing!  I recruited The HIM - my husband - and after reading the first two sections, he was on board!

This is an experiment and blog journal of our journey.  We are a family of six.  Me - the Mom , Him - the Dad, My mother  - The Nonna, 6 year old boy - Little Guy, 4 year old girl - Little Girl  and our dog Gracie - Gracie.

Wish us luck.  Say a prayer.  Here we go...