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Ten Things of Thankful: Wait, is it the Weekend Already?

I am rather strange.  Whenever there is a deadline, or a significant marker in time, I feel the need to have everything organized, in place, completed.  August/September is back-to-school time. Granted, I no longer need to pack lunches or buy backpacks, but there is still a part of me that thinks, "OK.  Changing of the seasons.  I need to settle into a better routine, and it needs to be done now." Never mind that August is one of my least "routine" months of the year; August is the month that my brain tries to remind me of all the little (or big) tasks that are "desperately important".  I should:  organize the foods in the freezer, and write out a month-long meal plan; make home-made Christmas presents; have my walk-in closet look like something out of Better Homes and Gardens; run harder/longer/faster; have blog posts pre-written and ready to post daily. . . . That is just the short list.  

Fortunately, I've been around long enough to realize that life continues even when we eat breakfast for dinner, when Christmas presents are just an idea, when "walk-in" is a misnomer, when a day goes by without a run, and when blogging takes a backseat.  

Breathe, Kristi, breathe.  

There are certain practices that help me focus on what really matters.  Prayer, scripture study, service, gratitude--thinking outside myself makes life rewarding.  Last week, I taught a lesson in Relief Society on Sabbath Day observance.  In preparing for that lesson, I came across the idea that Sabbath Day observance is similar to monetary tithing.  That rang true for me.  I know that my financial situation is seemingly illogically, but truly, better when I donate 10%.  Similarly, my time stretches and I get more done when one day out of the week I set aside the worldly do-to list and concentrate on worshiping and serving the Lord.  

And so, with that long introduction, I'm ready to look back over this week and consider the things that made me pause and count my blessings.

1-3.  Monday night, after our Family Home Evening lesson, we went to the local minor league baseball game.  I didn't take my camera nor phone, but John took photos for me.  The aerospace industry is big here, so one of the between-innings entertainment events is the footrace between Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, and Pete Knight. Not only do the bobble-head costumes crack me up, I love the fact that Neil Armstrong wins every time.  
Thanks for fun family outings, whimsical entertainment, and astronauts.

Photo: A person in a white bobble-head costume, portraying Neil Armstrong, races from the outfield toward home plate on the first base side of the field.
Photo:  A person in a blue bobble-head costume, portraying Pete Knight, races ahead of a person in an orange bobble-head costume, portraying John Glenn.
Photo:  Orange-costumed "John Glenn" grabs blue-costumed "Pete Knight"

4.  I got a haircut this week.  It had been a while.  A couple of inches off, and my curls sprang back to life.  My hair has a mind of its own, and I've learned that just letting it do its own thing works best for my wash-and-wear personality.  So basically I've learned to embrace the same (hair)style I wore at age 2. 
Thanks for finding something that works.

Photo:  Curly-haired girl, wearing red plaid dress with mustard yellow tights, and fingers indicating "2", stands in front of birthday presents. 

5.  When I was waiting for my turn at the hair salon, one of the stylists heard my phone beep the "low battery" sound.  She offered to loan me her charger.  
Thanks for those who notice a need and volunteer to meet it.

6.  I wasn't the only one who got spiffed up this week.  Drexel got a bath and nail trim.  I used to bathe him and trim his nails, but now I let him go see his buddy, Sasha.  She does a great job, and he loves her!
Thanks for Sasha.

Photo:  Close-up of yellow lab, Drexel, standing with his red jolly ball.

7.  Thursday's guide dog puppy report informed me that Willow has now made it to phase 1 of formal training!  It has been a long process for her, and I won't rest easy until she actually graduates, but seeing that she's made it out of phase 0 and is making progress gives me hope.  She really is a great worker, so I am cautiously optimistic.  (On a related note, I spoke with another person in my guide dog puppy club recently about the possibility of co-raising a puppy this fall, so I'm starting to get excited about another wiggly bundle of fur!)
Thanks for guide dog puppies.

8.  Yesterday, I received in the mail an advertisement from the Fiat company with a test-drive offer inside.  So, for part of our date last night, John and I visited a dealership.  We are years away from needing another car, but it was interesting to discover just how roomy the Fiats are inside--at least the larger model we test-drove. And my amazon account now has a $50 gift card!
Thanks for unexpected surprises.

9.  Youngest son has been home from college for the summer, and he and John have had lots of time to do guy things together.  I've been the happy recipient of some of their projects.  I'm not a huge fan of smoked ribs, but I think I could eat smoked salmon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Thanks for great chefs!

Photo:  Youngest son and John removing recently cooked salmon fillet from smoker.

10.  And, of course, I'm thankful for John.  He takes photos for me when I forget, he helps me recognize thankfuls I can use on my post (specifically #5 this week), he's a great date, he is a skilled chef, and he's also a master when it comes to texturing foam craft sheets.  

Not only did we take a test drive on our date, we shopped for our costumes for our upcoming Disney run.  We are going to run as the young Carl and Ellie from Up. Out of all the outfits we've run in, I think I am most excited about these.  Of course, we need aviator hats. We found directions online on how to make aviator hats from craft foam.  

While I've been typing this, John has been ironing aluminum foil over craft foam, to create a leather-look to the material.  He's been painting the foam with various shades of brown (to add depth), and just a second ago, he asked, "Do we have a hair dryer?" (I told you I was a wash-and-wear sort of girl. Fortunately, we do own a hair dryer--it comes in handy when one is making aviator hats out of craft foam!)

I'm thankful for John, and for the fun we have together in all our projects.

It's now 10 a.m. (Or at least it was when I finished writing.  For some reason, picmonkey is running very slowly for me today.) I have much to do today, but I've prayed, read some scriptures, and written out this post of gratitude.  I'm happy and eager, not discouraged and overwhelmed.  How about you?  I hope you'll share what you are thankful for this week!

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  1. Hi, Kristi. For some reason the first three photos didn't load for me. Your posts are always quite fun and full of family happiness. That observation of giving your 10% and giving devotion to God on Sunday leads to the providing of abundance of financial stability and time for other activities is a spiritual principle that can be applied to all things - we receive so much more than we give. Good luck in the race, can't wait to see the photos.

    1. I'll see what I can do with the first three photos. I did add them in differently than the others.
      I agree that we can find spiritual principles present in all sorts of settings.

  2. I smiled when you said that walk-in is sometimes a misnomer! I have the largest closet in the house, but if I'm not diligent with myself everything gets piled on the floor right in the doorway.

    Does your dog have dark toenails? I am very uncomfortable trimming dark toenails because you can't see where to cut. My vet has suggested using a dremel tool to file Louie's toenails but then I worry about the furry feet.

    1. Drexel's nails are generally light, though he has a couple that are darker. If your dog would tolerate it, you could use a manual file as well. It would take longer, but would still do the trick.

  3. I can't wait to see what your costumes and your avatar hats look like! Have a great week.

    1. I'll post photos when we run.
      Thanks, you, too!

  4. I remember my guide dog hated having her nails cut.
    Sounds like you guys have a lot of fun over there.

    1. It isn't Drexel's favorite thing, but he's pretty good about it.
      We try to have fun!

  5. I just saw a photo of my sister-in-law's dog (My SIL is a dog groomer.), and it has it's nails painted red. I don't know that Drexel would appreciate that, but I thought it was hilarious. :)

    That John is a peach. You two have so much fun together. I so enjoy reading about the things you do together.

    Congrats to Willow! I look forward to seeing photos of a new little puppy soon!

    1. I hardly ever wear nail polish; I can't imagine having Drexel's nails painted!

      Oh, if only you could see John and I right now! We are currently chaperoning at a church youth dance. Our responsibilities are to sit in the hallway and make sure the young people stay in the room where the dance is going on. We're both on our laptops--he, working on a lesson for next Sunday, and me, writing the Relief Society newsletter for the month. We are enjoying root beer floats while we work. :-) I guess the key is to enjoy everything we do together--whether or not is would traditionally be thought of as "fun."

      Any guesses on what the puppy will be? Male? Female? Yellow lab, black lab, golden retriever, a golden/lab mix? I'll be curious to find out!

  6. Kristi, Im kind of running right now... everyone is gone and I have the chicken and doggie and garden run this morning before I get going... then its off to moms and mystery visitor... so its busy like the beginning of your post... but I love so much of this post... from the prayer to the costumes... and salmon... anyway I am going to take a moment to slow down and be more conscious of my blessings this morning before I move on... thanks for the reminder and the inspiration (as always!)

    1. At Christmastime, it is often heard: "We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle, that we forget the meaning of the season." I think it is easy to get caught up in just doing (at any time of the year) that we forget the reason why we are here. When we take time to reconnect, it's easier to remain calm and enjoy the journey. Hope you have fun with your mom and mystery visitor (I still think of the Goodwill guy every time I read that!)

  7. yeah! Willow! (Drexel is surely styling with the groomationing!)
    I like the parallels (or symmetry or… analogy… never can keep them straight) you make on tithing and self-development. It so often seems that the things that help us the most, appear, at least initially and/or on-the-surface as being 'the opposite of what we think we have to do'…. makes me think of an old adage about 'you need to give it away to keep it'…. I find (this) counter-intuitive, nearly-impossible and yet is clearly the only way to go, if I am to improve as a person.
    (PS I hate those costumes that use the bobble-head… there's something just wrong with it…. lol no! I'm serious! ) good post, as always

    1. Yes, you are right--the principle of tithing can be applied not only monetarily or with time, but also with talents and service. As we share, we grow.

      I find the intensity of your aversion to those costumes rather humorous. Sorry they bother you so much. They amuse me. :-)

  8. Hello - thank you for visiting me. I enjoyed reading your thankfuls. Especially no. 5: it's the little things - anyone can give/help and it need not cost the earth!
    PS. Sorry I failed to get the thankful logo to link back to the other blogs. I'll try and find out how to do this.

    1. No need to apologize! It is gracious and kind of you to display the badge on your post. I think that if you grab the code in the box under the TToT badge, and insert that code in your post (while editing in html mode), that if someone clicked on the badge then, it would redirect them to Lizzi's blog. I think. That was probably clear as mud.

    2. Belated thanks for this! I finally got it done. You were quite right, although my IT abilities are so basic that I did have to get some additional help c/o google. Very happy to have worked this out - easy when you know how! :o)

  9. How darling that John is being all crafty and making your aviator hats! Love it!
    Drexel is looking very handsome, and fingers are crossed for Willow to continue.
    I'M JEALOUS that you are going to raise another puppy! We want to do it so badly!!!

    1. Whatever happened to that organization you were going to contact? If you are unwilling ;-) to move west to a state that has puppy clubs for Guide Dogs for the Blind, surely there is a guide dog organization in your area?

  10. I always enjoy reading your list of Thankfuls. Here's to a great week.

  11. That salmon looks delicious! Can't wait to see those finished aviator hats. Drexel is looking pretty spiffy.:-) How do you co-raise a guide dog puppy? What has worked best for others who co-raise a puppy?

    1. We have several people co-raising puppies in our group. It really depends on the schedules of the individuals, but I'm planning on having the puppy during the weekdays, and having the co-raiser take the puppy on weekends. That's the plan for now; it might change when the puppy is older. Willow was great at church; Drexel, not so much. If the new puppy is like Willow, weekends wouldn't be a problem. If the puppy is like Drexel, it would be too hard for me to give adequate attention to the puppy and try to get my Sunday church responsibilities done, too.


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