Because I need to do this…

On Thanksgiving day, I usually write a list of 50 things I’m thankful for, and this was the first year that I’ve not done that (It might have had something to do with the fact that I actually hosted Thanksgiving this year, so I needed to make more than rolls! And I had kind of a busy week aside from that, so I couldn’t really have gotten it done ahead of time.)


Gratitude is like a muscle that grows the more you use it, and I think gratitude is a huge part of being content, and that contentment is a huge part of cheerfully living on less.

At the moment, I’m not feeling particularly grateful or content. So, I’m gonna type out some random things I’m thankful for, just because I need an attitude adjustment. I don’t have time for 50, but I’ll just type until my blogging time is up.

I am thankful…

-for the imaginative make-believe play that happens in our house every day.

fuzzy bears

-for a husband who cares if I’ve had a hard day, and who does his best to cheer me up (yesterday, he brought me a large peppermint patty and a cute poinsettia plant…which I will hopefully not kill!)

-for the lovely-smelling Christmas tree in my living room (no lights or ornaments yet, but we’ll fix that soon. We just got it yesterday!)

-for cute kitchen helpers. Zoe helped me make some knotted rolls the other day, and Sonia helped me make some tortilla chips just last night.

kitchen helper

-that I am able to homeschool my kids. There are hard days, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to educate them this way, especially since I know it’s not an option for everyone.

-for the Christmas break from school that is coming up in a little less than two weeks. ;)

-for Pandora internet radio. We use it here and there throughout the year, but we wear it out in December!

-for my van. I know minivans aren’t the hippest thing in the world, but I love mine passionately. You just can’t beat the space/price ratio a minivan can offer, and that thrills my practical heart.

-for tea parties and kind friends from church who love my kids.

tea party

Okee-doke. I’m feeling more cheerful now, and it’s time for me to go start my day with the kids.

If you’re feeling down (or even if you’re not!), feel free to share a few things you’re thankful for in the comments. It’s pretty darn uplifting!

Thankful List, v. 5.0

Since my blog is working on its fifth year of existence, this is my fifth thankful list.

For those of you just tuning in, every year on Thanksgiving Day, I make a list of 50 things I’m thankful for. They’re in totally random order, and I have a no-peeking-at-last-year’s-list rule, until this year’s list is finished.

(I always like to look at my old lists once I write the new one, though, because it’s interesting to see which things pop up again and again.)

So! Here we go.

I am thankful for:

1. The love that God has for me because of what Jesus did for me…a never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love, as Sally Lloyd-Jones likes to put it.

2. My church family.

3. In particular, the love my church family shows to my children. It usually makes me cry when I think about it (yep. tears alert!)

4. Joshua’s three guy friends. They’re all quite different, and yet each of them complements Joshua in their own unique way (and they provide relief from his heavily female household!)

5. The many privileges I’ve been given in life.

6. Eyes to see those privileges for what they are, which helps me to view others with a more gracious eye.

7. My equestrian boots. Every time I wear them, I feel all happy inside, which makes me think they were a really good splurge.

8. Steady employment for Mr. FG.

9. A mom and dad who helped me learn to work hard and who gave me an, “I can do this.” attitude.

10. The people in my life who love me. I don’t mean that in a bragging sense, like, “Oh, I’m so great and I have oodles of people who love me.” (And I can’t figure out how to word it better even after sitting here for a while.) I just mean that I am grateful that God has put so many people in my life who care about me.

11. Mexican/Tex-Mex food. Oh, yes.

12. A husband who loves me through and through and who makes sure to faithfully communicate his love.

13. Mr. FG’s best friend. I’m so glad that he’s had such a faithful friend for so many years.

14. The way my girls play together. Is it always sunshine and roses? Nope. But in general, they love to do things together.

15. The unintentionally hilarious things Zoe says.

16. The equally hilarious stories Sonia makes up.

17. Contact lenses and glasses. I’d be nearly useless without vision correction.

18. Mr. FG’s raises. It’s pretty lovely to have a little more money to be frugal with! ;)

19. Children who love to read. We’re four for four, and that makes me incredibly happy.

20. The library. Because #19 could get expensive awfully quickly without it!

21. The nightly read-aloud sessions Mr. FG and I have. It’s fun to share a book together this way.

22. The relationship Mr. FG has with Joshua. I like that they share common interests that they can enjoy together, like hockey and live music.

23. What Zoe recently wrote in a journal entry about her favorite sound (she said it was the sound of her daddy’s car pulling into the driveway, and that made me smile.)

24. My 7d camera body and my 50mm lens. Love those two together.

25. My many nieces and nephews.

26. My latest nephew’s good health (he had a scary start in the NICU.)

27. Abundant food. Even in the leanest years of our marriage, we never had to wonder where our next meal would come from.

28. Joshua’s musical bent. He plays piano, of course, but in the last year, he’s started to play drums at church, and he’s picked it up amazingly quickly (he didn’t get that from me, because I can’t even play a shaker!)

29. The opportunity to play music at church with my family.

30. The flexible schedule the kids and I have, which allows us to adapt to Mr. FG’s varying work schedules.

31. The ability to homeschool my kids.

32. The learning I get to do along with them.

33. The artwork that’s always being produced around here.

This is Zoe’s New York City watercolor. The cars totally crack me up.

34. Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen. Our meals wouldn’t be nearly as good without them!

35. The computer Mr. FG built for me. It’s got mirrored hard drives, which means I don’t have to manually back things up (woo!) and my pictures are safely backed up at all times.

36. Lisey’s dependable nature. It’s nice to have a kid who can get their tasks done without lots of reminders.

37. Sunday afternoon game sessions with our kids.

38. Opportunities to bless other people by taking pictures for them.

39. The stage of parenting where children do not need me at night, except on rare occasions. It’s pretty lovely to sleep all night!

40. The happy memories I have of the times when my children were babies. From Lisey on, I savored each baby like she was my last, so I know I enjoyed those years as much as possible. And that helps me to look back without regrets.

41. The not-being-pregnant stage of life I’ve been enjoying for a while now. I’m super grateful for my babies, but pregnancy didn’t treat me very well, and I’m glad I’m done with that.

42. The ability to sleep well. I’m pretty on the go during the day, and then at night, I generally sleep like a rock.

43. The opportunities my blog sends my way. I kinda have to pinch myself whenever I get packages in the mail straight from America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated. It’s pretty awesome.

44. Thin medical files at the pediatrician’s office. There’s almost nothing in those folders except for well-child visits, and I am grateful for that.

45. Reliable vehicles.

46. Sunshine. (I’m pretty sure I’d die if I had to live in a rainy climate!)

47. My niece, Miss Calli. She is such a happy ending to a story with some pretty sad chapters.

48. Digital cameras. I love that I can take as many pictures as I want without worrying about the cost of film and processing.

49. A healthy body. I have a few minor aches and pains (and my eyesight is horrible!), but for the most part, I face very few physical limitations.

50. This blog and the way it allows me to share with so many of you from right here at my little desk. The internet is a crazy thing, isn’t it?

If you made a thankful list, do feel free to leave a link in the comments.

And to all of you that are celebrating today, Happy Thanksgiving!

Joshua made a thankful list today.

And here are my past lists:

2008 Thankful List

2009 Thankful List

2010 Thankful List

2011 Thankful List