Category Archives: Family


The kids are at Grandma’s, and we have had a glorious time relaxing after the holiday. Yesterday after we dropped the kids off we stopped at the indoor shooting range. This is our idea of a date, because we both enjoy shooting. Mike is good at it, and has done well in competitions. In fact, I think he won the last one he competed in. I, on the other hand, am not so great. I just don’t get enough practice, but also the impaired vision doesn’t help. Though I surprised us both yesterday. I did a lot better than we expected. My reward? An early Christmas present purchased from the gun store, registered in my name.

After our time at the range, we headed to the local Italian restaurant for a good, Chicago-style pizza. Mike had been craving it, and I am always up for pizza. Even the day after Thanksgiving. We always like to order the largest sized pie and bring the leftovers home. Mike and Luke both just love cold pizza for breakfast. Silly boys.

So, this morning I had pizza for breakfast, and now I am enjoying the turkey day leftovers for lunch: pumpkin pie and coffee. We haven’t even touched the leftover turkey yet.


Thankfully the house wasn’t destroyed from the festivities, so it didn’t take much to clean up. Dishes are done, extra table and chairs packed away, floor mopped. Mike even got his voice back!

I have to say I was quite amazed and pleased to see so many people giving thanks on Facebook this year. And not just any thanks, but thanks for the simple, genuine things like family and friends and God’s blessings. There was a bit of a trend of hard times for many of my friends and family this past year. Many of us were struck with extreme challenges like major illness and even death, some happening on this very week of Thanksgiving. I honestly believe the devil was trying extra hard this year to bring people down, but if my personal Facebook feed is any indication, it didn’t work. People are still seeing the good in life, and thanking God for it. I pray that continues, and that we are all able to see God’s hand at work in our lives.

All in all, it was a pretty perfect holiday. I am still learning to cope with change and enjoy every moment of life I am given. I pray the same for whoever is reading these words. Now… on to Christmas!!


Thanksgiving 2014

What a success! I was so nervous about today, but all my fears were for naught. Of course, there were moments and situations that on normal days would have fried my nerves and sent me into a tailspin, but today was certainly not your normal day.

My son woke me up at 6:30 (he’s a morning person) so I could prepare the turkey. Only I had trouble from the start. The turkey still had some thawing to do, and I was unable to pry that stupid plastic thing off the legs. I really didn’t want to wake my husband, who had come home from work early yesterday with a horrendous case of laryngitis. At least that’s my guess anyway, since he says he feels fine and his throat doesn’t hurt. So he didn’t mind, because he clearly understands the importance of The Turkey. All was well and it finished thawing, and I was able to successfully season and butter the bird before placing it in the oven.

When the kids and I settled down to eat breakfast, my son asked us each what we were thankful for. Such a charmer, that boy. I usually joke that he’s going to grow up to be an attorney, with all his negotiation tactics, but today I could see him growing up to be a pastor. We each agreed that we are most thankful for each other, but he added that he is thankful for his school. 1-because his aunt is the principal and 2-because he’s learning Chinese. It was great breakfast table conversation, to be sure.

I didn’t have a lot to do after breakfast as I had been making preparations along the way, but there were a few tasks left to do and the kids both a tremendous help. Just as I had reached a stopping point and was ready to take a short nap, there was a knock at the door.Our first guest had arrived – mother-in-law! And thank goodness she was here because I could not have put the rest of the meal together without her help. Having hubby quarantined to the basement sort of left me in the lurch, but he didn’t want to risk infecting the grandparents, who arrived shortly after.

We had wonderful conversation, ate delicious food, and just really enjoyed each other’s company. We did not try on hats, so that part of my dream did not come true, but it was memorable nonetheless. I even got a short nap before dessert, and both were heavenly. Oh, and the bonus was that mother-in-law asked me where my Dutch oven was, because we needed a giant pot for the potatoes. What Dutch oven? I asked. “Well, the one I gave you at Christmas last year, of course.” I had zero recollection of this gift, until she went downstairs to ask my husband about it, and he quickly retrieved it from storage. Brand new, still in the box, a beautiful bright red. Gorgeous. And almost instantly I remembered. How could I have forgotten? Well, we talked about me losing my mind last year, remember?

Oh boy, it’s just so good to be back, you know? I am learning to roll with changes and slowly adjust, but it is not lost on me how much I have been given. How much WE have been given. Hallelujah, praise the Lord.

**I have to make a correction here: My husband tells me we have had that Dutch oven for years, and that he even used it when he was staying home with our kids. He just keeps it downstairs because there is no room for it in the kitchen. This information is really just blowing my mind right now. I don’t even know what to say. Speechless, I am. Perhaps we can chalk it up to plain old aging? Egads.

The most thankful post yet

This morning I had a wonderful, realistic dream that our family was sitting around waiting for Thanksgiving dinner. Mike’s aunt and grandparents were there, and we were trying on hats, comparing head sizes. We were just talking and having a good time. Like the old days when I was a hearing person. In reality, that was only a short time ago. I lost my hearing quickly, but almost as quickly I was given the gift of a cochlear implant. I remember the fear of complete silence, and I still experience that in bits and pieces (bedtimes, showers, etc.). So while it will never quite be the same, dreams like I had today remind me that it’s possible. It is on the horizon.

Almost literally.

My husband’s family, my adopted family, will be here tomorrow for the food-filled holiday of Thanksgiving. My dream – or memory, perhaps – will become a reality. Laughing together, sharing stories, making new and wonderful memories. Redeeming last year’s Thanksgiving when I ran crying from the dinner table. Last year was the first year in over a decade that we had not hosted turkey day, and I am proud and nervous to be reclaiming that tradition after such a challenging year. We have always felt blessed around this time of year, but this year I think more than most. Last year I was such a mess, but over time God has picked me up and held me, and given me peace and patience and hope. When I had nothing to give, and barely the strength to ask for help, He rescued me. He rescued all of us.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found;was blind but now I see.”

Thankfulness challenge #ohforgetitivelostcount

So yeah. I was up north-ish with the children for the weekend, staying with my dad and stepmom. They have no internet (by choice… gah!) so I didn’t bring my laptop and thus did no writing. We played lots of games. I got crushed with a two day long game of Monopoly, played some word games (Bananagrams) and played in the snow (built a snowman, rode on some sleds). We had a great time but it is nice to be back home and back to our routine. Well, the routine will be short-lived since the kids only have school today and tomorrow, and then are home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Speaking of Thanksgiving… this is why I had been posting daily. I need to share something I’m thankful for today but all my ideas are ones I have already shared. It sounds superficial, but I’m thankful for internet service, and the opportunity and freedom to write and share bits and pieces of myself with all of you.

I’ll stop there before I go on to share how nervous I am about this huge meal we will be serving on Thursday and all the preparations that need to happen. Is there a shortcut for peeling potatoes? I will gladly clean the house from top to bottom, and wake early in the morning to babysit the bird, but I think the potatoes are task I’m dreading the most. And, some would argue, the most important. Oh, and the gravy. I should put some pre-made stuff on the shopping list just in case. One of these days I will learn to make it right. Because homemade is the best. Sometimes it’s just not worth it to take the shortcut.

Oops. I did it, didn’t I? Went on about how nervous I am. It’s okay, it will be fine. I have help. It will be just fine. And, thanks to Ema there will be pumpkin pie. ‘Nuff said.

Thankfulness challenge day 15

Today I am thankful that my son is a true and caring friend. His good friend from school, pictured below (the tall one), left today with his family to move to Nicaragua. His parents are from there, but he and his little brother were born here in America. It is a big move, and Luke has been pretty affected by it. He was very sad to see him go, but was very thankful for this last goodbye this morning. The part that I am astonished at is that when we were discussing how much he was going to miss him, he remarked that it would be much harder for his friend because he is leaving ALL the friends he’s ever known. What an insight for a seven year old! I am thankful that I can learn from the innocent perspective of a child.


Thankfulness challenge Day 14

I am thankful for lots of things, but today especially for my sister. She drove up to visit with me and my kids, and stayed through dinner. She got us out of the house, took us grocery shopping, and then lounged with us back at home. She saved me from several “freak out” moments with the kids, just by being there with her calming presence. My husband usually does that for me, but since he was out of town hunting (1st time ever!) it was no small miracle that she was here with me. We have been close throughout our lives, and while the circumstances of life sometimes keep us apart, we always manage to find our way back. We are sisters but even more so, we are friends. So today I thank God for her.