Nov 21, 2012

Domestic Tranquility

It's Thanksgiving.

After the year we have had it practically feels like a duty to come up with a list of things to be grateful for.   After ruminating on it for a while, feeling terrible for having that attitude, and then asking forgiveness as usual, I have come up with quite a few.

I start at home, as always. 

I have 4 beautiful, healthy children who think for themselves and love each other, two of the sweetest dogs who love us all the time no matter what, extended family who are all healthy, friends who are faithful, a bonus daughter and her husband, and my beloved pretend grandchild Abigail has been joined by a brand new baby, Adriana.  I am humbled by this, as I should be.  I quickly add all the other babies who have come into this world this year, it seemed from out of no where, dropping like jewels to brighten our whole world.  Many of my friends are now grandparents for real, and all the new babies have given us reasons to on, do better, keep the faith, as God no doubt designed.

Adriana Rose.  I've loved her since the day she was born.  I got to be there!!  I will take a picture of my own children tomorrow when we are all together.  Until then, enjoy this.

Despite spending many months in a drought, causing most of the farmers to get rid of their livestock, the roses were inexplicably wonderful.  The colors were so rich and they even looked velvety from a distance, and lasted well into the fall.  I, who feel like I can't really see anything anymore, noticed this for months on end until just the last few weeks.  It was wonderful, even with all the other heart stopping action going on in the world.  For that I am thankful.

I met some of the best new friends, who have shored me up and commiserated with me, and one of them even made me a quilt!!  For that I am thankful and touched and, well, I really just don't even have words.  Suffice it to say that I keep this on my bed and no boy or dog has ever touched it.  They are too afraid to!!

Patricia Dorman ROCKS!!

The fall leaves were gorgeous this year and they lasted for several weeks.  I think the poor trees were confused, as most of them had pretty much shut down during the drought and then when we got some rain in the late summer, they played catch-up as long as they had the sun.  I noticed on one tree in October that the berries were out as they should be, but also there were a few blossoms, born by accident, thinking it was already spring again.  These things God gave to us every single day.  I took time to notice them.  I hope you did also.  For that I am thankful.

I bought an electric heater that looks like a wood stove, and the effect upon both children and dogs has been hypnotic.  They gather close around it and feel relaxed and safe and warm.   For that, I am thankful.  Also, the gas bill is down.  The blessings just keep piling up.

See the stove?  It's electric but don't tell anybody!

Abigail turned 4 this year.  I'd be lost without this child, she brings me unspeakable joy every time I so much as think of her, and this girl has turned into a singer and a dancer.

Dancing on a chair after cooking scrambled eggs.  Do not try this at home.

Also, she is brushed my hair to within an inch of it's life and offered to turn Jack into a "rainbow horse" with fingernail polish.  Which I did not allow, alas.

Sorry for the bad quality, but the flash was showing in the mirror, plus every time I moved my head an inch she would sternly tell me to stop moving with her sweet little hands on each side of my head, pointing me back to the front.  Little seeds, people, little seeds.

In times of stress I find it very calming to bring my focus down to what is right in front of me.  My grandparents had an old saying, "Save up the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves".    I mention this not only because we are on the verge of another depression fiscally, but because it translates perfectly to the spiritual realm of our lives.  

The pennies saved turn into dollars you can spend toward your needs, or just save to feel safe and prepared.  In this same way we should start and pay attention to the gifts God gives us and the lessons to be learned from Him.  There may be nothing we can do to halt the steps our government or others take in the larger world, but we can make sure we are informed and teach our children the truth. We can set an example of having honor and principles that we will defend to the death, and not bow down or live any way but free.  When we do this, we plant little seeds that grow and reach fruition and multiply.

The important thing to remember is that no matter what you do, or don't do, as a parent, plants little seeds (or saves the pennies) and multiplies (and hopefully adds up to dollars).  We now have to face the fact that we as parents are responsible, whether we look away and let them spend hours each day in front of  a television screen or turn it off and talk to them about their day, or our world.  It all counts.  Whether it adds pennies into dollars or runs up a big deficit, it all counts.  It all multiplies.  Are you raising children who think things through and take responsibility, or kids who spend hours in fantasy land and think the rules don't apply to them?  These are the people who are going to be in charge for the rest of our lives.  This thought may make you rejoice or weep.  It's a crap shoot, to tell you the truth, but do not despair.  There are a lot of kids out there with no one looking out for the adults they are going to become.  It's not hard to influence them, one way or another.  Think of the future, picture it bright and good, and show them how, tell them why, listen to how their minds work.  If you don't, someone else will. 

They are very easy to influence.  It is this thought that can stop a parent's heart.  Make sure your influence is the best it can possibly be.   It can feel like a war that will never end, but end it will.  One day you will look back and see what your influence was, one way or the other.  Make every day count, and take time to be thankful.  Take time to teach them how to be thankful.  It's a good place to start, anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving America.  Let us be truly thankful for our blessings, of which we have many.

I just spent the best evening with my only daughter making lasagna, PW's Olive Cheese Bread, two pumpkin pies and a brownie cheesecake to be covered with raspberry sauce.  She left the evaporated milk out of one pie and I slopped the other one all over the counter, but aside from that, I think everything will be great.  All we have left to do is make the salad and put stuff in the oven.  When we discovered the missing ingredient left out of the pie, we just laughed and wondered if the boys would notice.  We will see.  I told her "That's all right.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  That's how memories are made!  And I'll tell you another thing,  you will never make that mistake again, no matter how old you live to be."  We will never forget this Thanksgiving, and it hasn't even happened yet.