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The Thankful List! (2014)

I started doing this the very first year I blogged (in 2008, which in blogging years is sort of like the paleolithic era.   Or something.)

pumpkin with bokeh

I’m not entirely sure what made me think of it, but I wrote down 50 things I was thankful for.   50 is a good number, it turns out.

It’s not so high that you end up writing things like,

#934-I’m thankful for zippers.

(Not that zippers are chopped liver, but you know…they’re not usually in my top 50.)

On the other hand, a list of 50 gets you past a simple, “I’m thankful for God, friends, and family.” kind of list too.

I have a policy of not looking at any of my previous lists before writing this year’s lists.   But somehow, there are some things that pop up every year, even if I don’t remember writing them down before!

(Spoiler: zippers are not one of those things.)

Things on the list are never in any significant order, other than how they happen to pop into my brain.

Ok, and I do sometimes rearrange them so that the pictures are evenly distributed.   Because we all know you will not read a list that’s not broken up by photos.

(It’s ok. I wouldn’t either.   😉 )



I’m thankful:

1. for friends who think differently from me and thus help me see things differently.

2. for the crazy amount of information available on the internet. I can learn about and see so many different things with the click of a button, and this is super awesome for homeschooling purposes.

3. for the love of God, shown to me in Jesus. I love because He first loved me.

4. for my church family, who truly is like a family to us.

5. for my little group of girlfriends from church. In my adult life, I haven’t had a lot of close friends, but I now have a little group and I love them to pieces!

6. for texting. This could not be on last year’s list, because I didn’t have a smartphone yet! But I seriously love texting for keeping up with my friends, asking for prayer, and sending little bits of encouragement to people I love.


7. for blogging.   I love to write, I love to share pictures, and I love to help and encourage people, and blogging enables all of that so nicely!

8. for a lovely group of blog readers. Sometimes when I see the community (if you could call it that!) on some other sites/blogs, I’m sort of horrified.   I am so, so thankful to have a group of readers who maintain a pleasant atmosphere here and who don’t find joy in snarking about me.   You guys are the best!

9. for my husband’s love.   I never, ever have to wonder if he still likes me because he wants to hang out with me, he tells me I’m beautiful, he laughs at my jokes, and he says, “You’re the best, babe.” almost every day.   😉

10. for avocados. An instagram follower suggested that I check into AA (Avocados Anonymous) because I eat so many. 😉 I actually used to think I didn’t like them, but a few years ago, my eyes (or taste buds??) were opened, and now I buy them at Aldi pretty much every week.

11. for photography. Taking pictures of things is one of my very, very favorite things to do, so I’m really grateful to have been born in an era where photography is an attainable hobby.

12. for heavy cream. I mostly pour it into my tea, but I’ve pretty much never met a food that wasn’t improved by cream, whipped or not.   I did a serious happy dance when Aldi started carrying it as a regular item.

13. for my height. I’m 5,8″, which is kind of tall, but not crazy tall.   It’s a sweet spot in the middle and I love it.

14. for my confidence. I’m not sure how much is attributable to the home I grew up in and how much is just innate, but I really do think that I can do almost anything I set my mind to, and I’ve lately been realizing what a gift that is.

15. for the flexible jobs I/’ve had/have. Except for a stint of working at Nordstrom, I’ve always had some kind of self-employed gig going, which means I’ve been able to contribute to our family’s financial well-being while still being in charge of my schedule and working hours.

16. for my great teenagers. 2/4 of our kids are teens now, and despite people’s dour warnings about the teen years (“You think being up all night is terrible?   Just wait until they’re teenagers!”), I have to say that so far, having two teenagers is waaaaay better than being up all night.

17. that my big kids are kind to little kids.


18.  for live-in babysitters,  which are pretty stinking awesome.

19. for my camera. And my 50mm lens. I love them dearly and they are possibly my most prized personal physical possession.

20. for my minivan. I probably need to just write a post about this to get it all out, but I love my van with the passion of a thousand burning suns and I will love it even if the whole world around me drives SUVs instead of vans.


21. (related)  for sliding doors on vans. I really, really, really appreciate that my children physically cannot ever open the car door and whack the car parked next to us.

22. for Joshua’s hilariously cute drawings. His little guys make me smile.

23. for pools and rivers to swim in.


24. for the music that comes from my household.   All six of us make music in one way or another, and that makes me happy.


25. for my home. It’s not my dream home by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s got enough space for us, it’s affordable, and for heaven’s sake, it’s an airtight dwelling with a roof and climate control and electricity.

So, you know…pretty luxurious.

26. for tea.   And more specifically, for chai.

tazo chai bag

27. for kids who like to read. Good reading skills make school so much easier in pretty much every other subject!

28. for dark chocolate. 86% from Aldi, to be specific.

29. for Aldi. (it’s come up so many times on the list so far, I thought I’d better throw it in there!)   Aldi makes it so much easier to keep my grocery bill down while still purchasing lots of unprocessed foods.

aldi shopping carts

30. for my piano teachers (and for the lessons my parents paid for!)   Besides being a lot of fun, knowing how to play the piano has allowed me to serve at every church I’ve been a part of, and it’s also been helpful on the money-earning front, given that I taught piano lessons for so many years.

31.  for  my health. I don’t care how cliche it is….good health makes everything else in life so much more enjoyable.

32. for healthy children. I know I’ve said this in previous years, but the internet has made me so much more aware of how many children face health challenges, so I appreciate the good health of my kids all the more.

33. for the freedom to homeschool my kids. There are times I think I will fall to pieces if I have to correct another math paper, but really, I am thankful to have choices about how to educate my kids.

34. for Sonia’s creative mind. She gives everything funny names (this morning she christened a balloon puppy Wescott Candlehead), she writes funny stories, she paints, she draws, she makes crafts, she comes up with games…and we’re not sure where she got it, because Mr. FG and I aren’t the most creative people in the world!   😉

35. for  the library. I seriously do not know what we would do without the library.   We use it SO much for school and also just for fun.   I can’t imagine trying to find the money or the space for all the books we’d need without the library!

36. for public parks. The good ones around here do charge a small annual fee, but it’s still pretty cheap entertainment, and it allows us to enjoy so much beautiful land (some of it waterfront!) that we’d never get to use if it was privately owned.


37. for Mr. FG’s IT skills. I feel pretty lucky that I almost never have to deal with any techy computer stuff. If something breaks or needs upgrading, Mr. FG takes care of it for me.   Yay!

I feel confident I could do this if necessary (see #14. Ha.), but it is nice that it’s not necessary. 😉

38. for our newfound ability to save for retirement. In our leaner years, it took all of our effort just to stay in the black (we were successful!) and we didn’t do a lot for retirement savings.   But ever since we got a little more wiggle room financially, we’ve been able to sock away some money for the future (and we have a matching 401k for the first time ever), so that feels good.   Better early than late, but better late than never.

39.  for  Lisey‘s  friendliness.   She frequently beats me to greeting new people at church, and she’s always anxious to greet new neighbors.

40. for the laughter Zoe brings to our household, often inadvertently.   Sometimes she is funny on purpose, but frequently she is hilarious quite by accident, which makes it even funnier.

41. for the leather couch we now have in the office.   Previously we had to sit on a super old futon with a cushion so thin, your rear felt every bar no matter how you positioned yourself.   We replaced it with a leather sofa from Ikea and it is SO much more comfortable to watch a movie now.

42. for my white kitchen cabinets. Occasionally I happen across an old photo of the unpainted cabinets, and I am freshly reminded of how much better my kitchen looks now!

painted kitchen cabinets over fridge

43. for so many nieces and nephews. I have 14 (counting the one coming in the next few weeks!)


44. for some of the delightful benefits of having older children. They’re more independent, they rarely need me in the middle of the night, they can all feed themselves, I never have to carry anyone, no one needs naps….there’s a lot to love.

Those of you in the midst of the small children days: there are great things about that too (for instance: snuggles! and you never have to do geometry or algebra with toddlers. 😉 )   I think every stage has its ups and downs, so just look for the good in whatever stage you find yourself.)

45. for Saxon solutions manuals. Answer keys simply have the answer; solutions manuals have the whole problem written out.   This is not so necessary for elementary math or pre-algebra, but my soul! These save me SO much time when it comes to correcting high school level math.

46. for our Story of the World curriculum. I’ve been using this with Sonia and Zoe the past two years, and I wish I’d discovered it sooner. It’s so interesting, and I’m learning and remembering way more than I did after going thru the very boring world history book from my childhood.

47. for the help my mom gives me with homeschooling. Once a week, she comes over and helps my kiddos with composition and foreign languages, and I’m so glad.

48. for being born in this era. No era in history is all bad or all good, of course, but I can’t really think of a time in history I’d rather live than now.   And I definitely wouldn’t want to live before the advent of indoor plumbing.   😉

49. for weekends. No alarm clock, no small children, and no early church services mean that I get to wake up on my own.   Which is not usually super-duper late, but hey, I kind of like 8:00 sometimes.   😉

cloudy sky

50. for clouds. Mr. FG doesn’t quite understand my obsession, but I really, really love to look at clouds.   Not nimbostratus clouds, but rather the ones that show up on happy, sunny days. The variety in shapes and textures is so fascinating to me, and I think they make blue skies just that much more beautiful.


Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers!


P.S. If you want to leave a comment with some things you’re thankful for, I’d love to read it.   Or if you wrote a list up on your own blog, feel free to leave a link in the comments.

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Friday 27th of November 2015

I'm thankful for your blog. It's positive and warm...and I learned how to make bread! I think you're awesome.

Elizabeth McDonald (catskill quilter)

Saturday 18th of April 2015

I came here in a roundabout way at a roundabout time from a post at Jo's Country Junction - fascinated by the "frugal" title. I am thrilled that there is SO much more! I loved this post - will site down and make my own list today. I also love your post on seeing things from the eyes of someone who is less fortune, instead of looking at those who have more than you - brilliant! Thanks and of course I will be a new (!!!) happy follower.


Saturday 18th of April 2015

So glad to have you here! A warm welcome to you. :)


Wednesday 25th of March 2015

I am so glad that music made the top 25! I can't tell you how thankful I am of music on a daily basis. Sitting down to listen to, or play music with my family is one of my favorite things on this earth. It is hard to remember any of my favorite memories that did not have at least SOMETHING to do with music! Great list, it was much appreciated.


Tuesday 23rd of December 2014

Great list! I am a new fan of your blog! As a new reader of your blog, I value the positive community. I steer clear of the blogs that end up with a lot of negativity; bashing either the writer or arguing with each other. I love Aldi for the same reasons you mentioned and for the simplicity of shopping there. I know right where everything is at and I can get in and out fairly quickly! I look forward to reading your posts! :)

Cindy S

Saturday 6th of December 2014

Would love some of the bodybutter to try on my grandbaby's rash :)

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