Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012: Enough is a Feast

I heard this saying on facebook today:

"Enough is a feast."

I thought to myself how true that is.  The Lord has surely given us enough, and that is as good as a feast.  I know He's blessed me ten-fold with more than enough, and I am thankful.

Right now, I'm sitting with my laptop, typing away, and thinking about what I should say I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving day. The fact that I can sit in my warm home with cozy socks, a blanket, and a hot cup of coffee in the quietness of my home early in the morning is reason alone to be thankful.

I'm thankful for my husband and four precious children who make me laugh every day and who bring me to my knees often.  Nothing like parenting to keep you on your knees before your Heavenly Father.

I'm thankful for my parents and the fact that I can just talk to them, share my concerns and happiness openly.  I'm thankful for my in-laws who are some of the most selfless people I've ever met.  I'm thankful for my siblings and my married-in siblings.  They are a joy to be around, and they set an amazing example for me.

I know many people have lost their loved ones, and it makes me want to throw my arms around my sweet family and show them how much I am thankful for them, how much I love them.

I am thankful for my church and church family.  Let me not ever take them for granted.

I'm thankful for this nice, warm home when I know that there are so many people with nothing. No home. No heat.  Dirty clothes, and very little, if anything, to eat.  I am so very thankful for what we have.  More than enough.

I am thankful for being able to be at home with my children and having a husband who supports my desire to do so. Even on the rough days when too much togetherness abounds, I'm thankful.  It's a blessing and a gift of time.

I am blessed beyond measure, and I pray that I am grateful.  He has surely blessed my life with more than enough.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Our calendar has magically filled up to capacity. I don't know how it happened.  I'm normally the calendar guardian.  I ensure that it doesn't get terribly busy and that no one overdoes it.

Not this month.  Not next month.  We are busier than we've ever been.  It's been a good busy, and I think we'll be okay.  Thankfully, we've managed to preserve mornings and early afternoons for schoolwork and Sundays for church and family time.

The kids are participating in "A Christmas Carol" this year, so play practice and all things Christmas are on everyone's mind.  We have practice almost every day for two weeks after we get back from Thanksgiving, and I'm very happy that all of our practices are in the afternoon/evening.  The play is December 6th and 7th at 7:00.

At some point after our Saturday, December 1 practice, we'll go to get our Christmas tree and decorate the house.  I am normally a "let's not talk Christmas til after Thanksgiving" kind of person, but this year, it seems necessary to do some early planning.

After the play, we have Christmas crafts and cookie baking parties with friends.  We'll have our annual gingerbread house making party and our annual trip to Lights of the South.  We'll go to family gatherings, and we have plans with church family.  We'll travel to visit with Deron's side of the family for three days and come back for Christmas at our house with my side of the family.

I don't like being too busy.  I don't recharge in a group of people.  I get tired and nervous and I tend to put my foot in my mouth, repeatedly.  I recharge in the quiet, mostly early morning hours, but even still, I'm excited to do all these things.  I'm thankful my kids have the opportunity to participate in drama, an opportunity we wouldn't normally have.  I'm thankful to have friends who want to do crafts and bake cookies.  I'm not a craftsy mom, but I have craftsy girls!  Inviting friends over ensures that they'll get to make crafty ornaments.

I'm looking forward to cookie baking and hot cocoa. Christmas carols and cuddling on the couch.  My job is to make it happen, and enjoy it!

However, my plan is to make January boring. Super boring.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Playing to my Strengths

Deron went into the office for three days straight a couple of weeks ago.  It's quite a commute for him, but he learned a great deal during his employee council conference.  He came home and had me watch parts of the same seminar he had to watch.  The video was very interesting.  It was all about playing to your strengths.

The gentleman in the video says that only two out of ten people really enjoy what they do.  Two out of ten. That number is shockingly low.  Now, as an adult, if you're in a job you don't enjoy, it's not like you can switch jobs...just like that.  He suggests really evaluating your strengths and finding ways to incorporate what you enjoy and what you're good at into your day.

He suggests going back in your memories and thinking about what you enjoyed doing as a child.  Most of the time, your interests don't change. Your strengths don't change, and you have the same weaknesses.  He details several myths, as well.

One of which is this:  If you focus on what you struggle in, you'll get better at it and enjoy it more when in reality, you might get better, but you probably won't ever be great at the things you don't enjoy.  He suggests balance in study.  If your kid has 2 As, 1 B, and 1 F, don't focus solely on the F.  Continue a balanced study.

So what did my husband enjoy doing as a child?  Designing things, making things...He gets to incorporate that into his work on a regular basis.  He doesn't like documentation or finishing the projects.  Sometimes he still has to do those things, but he gets help from his co-workers who do enjoy taking the spinning top of a project and finishing it.  He gets me to proofread documentation.  He enlists the help of people who enjoy doing the things he doesn't enjoy doing. In a sense, they are able to work together to get the best traits out of one another.

Even when you find where you want to be, will there be things you don't enjoy doing? Yes.  Will you have to do them anyway? Yes.  But if you can find ways, even small ways, to incorporate things you love to do into your day, you might turn into one of the two. If you can find ways to incorporate things you enjoy doing that make you lose track of time, maybe, just maybe, you could be one of the two.

That seminar took me back to my childhood dreams of being a mom and a teacher.  (Granted...I didn't know I would be a homeschooling mom.)  So thinking about what I envisioned for myself as a little girl, I think I'm in a position to really enjoy trying to do the best I can where I am.  You know...bloom where I'm planted.  The grass is greenest where I water it and all that...

I'll still have to do the not-so-fun jobs around here, but hopefully, I can tip the scale toward what I really want to be doing.  Being a mom and teaching my kids...investing the best of my efforts and the bulk of my time into the things I really enjoy.  And I hope Deron and I can keep these things in mind as we raise our children, as we help them grow into teenagers and into adults.  How can they incorporate what they really enjoy into their futures?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween and whatnot

Yesterday was Halloween.  The kids petitioned, eagerly, for a holiday.  They petitioned hard but to no avail.

We don't take off school for Halloween.  I did let them dress up in costumes all day.  We ate caramel apples dipped in peanuts and chocolate chips and drank apple cider for a snack.  We did read aloud a little more than normal while they built a Lego castle.  We played outside a little extra.  And our neighbors stopped by to make sure we were coming to their houses for candy.

Later, after the kids bounced around, anxious for us to head out, after we took pictures, after they had to wait "for-e-ver," we took the kids down the road to a few neighbors' houses.  When we got home, we ate pizza and watched a movie while we passed out candy to the very few kids that came by the house.  A good day. Fun times.

Recognize the bag, Mam-ma?!