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Ten Things of Thankful: A Spring Valentine's Day Edition

At least in this part of the country, the groundhog was right; we are experiencing an early spring.  
1.  I'm thankful for warm weather and beautiful blossoms.

Photo:  Close-up of apricot blossoms
2.  I'm thankful for my oldest son, whose birthday was this past week.  His childhood firsts were my firsts as a parent, but my love for him isn't dependent on his first-born status.  The bright, inquisitive child has grown into an intelligent, hard-working man and I'm proud of him.  Happy birthday, son!

Photo:  Oldest son, in his toddler years, wears glasses with a funny mustache and "reads" the newspaper
3.  I'm thankful that guide dog puppy Willow (after having her training with a client postponed) is finally going to begin in-home training with her person!  She should graduate on March 5th and be a working guide dog.  I'm so glad to be a puppy raiser with Guide Dogs for the Blind.  I'm impressed with the organization, and happy that they offer their dogs at no cost to the clients.  

Photo:  guide dog puppy Willow, in her green puppy vest, looks up at the camera

4.  I'm thankful for finishing touches.  John and I painted our bedroom in January and hung up new drapes.  This week, we put pictures back up on the walls.  It's nice to see things coming together.  

5.  I'm thankful for the women that help me in Relief Society at church.  Change is inevitable; people serve in callings for a period of time, and then releases come.  Last week, many of the organizations in our ward experienced change.  I am still the Relief Society president, but I have one new counselor and a new secretary. I'll miss the close association of the previous women (who have received new callings), but I'm thankful for the chance to work with the new sisters.  I'm always impressed with how smoothly transition goes; like flying geese, the church goes forward, even as one leader falls back to allow another to fill that leadership position.

6.  I'm thankful for a fun day at Disneyland with my youngest daughter.  I had a day free of commitments, so we headed down to the Happiest Place on Earth for several hours.  She told me before we started, "Mom, I'm going to outlast you today!"  Not once did I hear a complaint, and we had a thoroughly delightful time together. 

Photo:  Youngest daughter and I at Disneyland.  Despite her pouty face, we had a great time!

7.  On a similar note, I'm thankful for my youngest daughter's help this week.  I love, love, love it when, for example, I come home to find the kitchen and bathrooms cleaner than how I left them.  What a nice surprise!

8.  I'm thankful for garage sale bargains.  Despite John's repeated fixes of the treadmill, he never was able to completely restore it to a reliable condition.  It would work well for a run or two, then start acting up again.  On Friday, we found a treadmill that had all the features we were looking for, at a price we were willing to pay. I'm looking forward to getting back into a regular running schedule.  

9.  I'm thankful for the stake conference we had at church today.  It was a broadcast from Salt Lake, and sent to 281 (if I remember correctly) stakes in the western United States and Canada.  I particularly enjoyed the talk by Elder Renlund.  Often, when I am asked a question about the church, I feel like I need to give a bunch of background information in order to answer the question thoroughly.  Elder Renlund helped me understand that the basic background needed boils down to:  In 1820, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith wanted to know which church to join.  He read in the Bible that he God answers prayers, so he prayed for an answer to his question.  In response, God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph and told him to join none of them. The basic, underlying idea to any aspect of the church is that we believe in revelation.  Why do we not drink coffee?  Because we believe in revelation, and the Word of Wisdom revealed that we should not drink coffee.  Why do we believe in abstinence before marriage and complete fidelity after marriage?  Because we believe in revelation, and the importance of families as revealed in the plan of salvation.  I'm thankful for Elder Renlund's concise way of explaining, which will help me answer questions in a more understandable way.  (I might add, while general church leaders receive revelation for the church, it is the responsibility of each member to receive personal revelation of the truth of the doctrines.) I'm thankful for prayer and study, which leads to revelation.

10.  On this Valentine's Day, I'm especially thankful for my Valentine, John.  While chocolates, flowers, and a card are always appreciated, what I really appreciate are the daily acts of love:  the repairing of (or attempts to repair) broken items; quietly getting ready in the mornings to allow me a few more minutes of sleep; the opening of my car door--even though we both realize I am perfectly capable of getting it myself; supporting me in my interests, and even joining me in them; pitching in with household chores; and most of all, truly seeing me as an equal partner in our marriage. He's truly my best friend!

How was your week?  Did the groundhog predict correctly for your area?  

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  1. Frist!
    I truly love the picture of your son in the fake nose and glasses, and I especially love John peeking over his newspaper in the background!
    Good girl, Willow! Good dog!
    I wish I could run out to Disneyland for the day! But I have Silver Dollar City, although it's closed for the season, and it's one of my happy places. I took pictures for a post this fall. Maybe I should get around to writing that?

    1. Frist you are! That's one of my favorite pictures, too.

      I'd love to read about Silver Dollar City!

  2. Here in Iowa we have over a foot of snow on the ground with temps in the teens. Spring is not even on the horizon yet. I'm flying to San Diego this week to thaw out with my Dad who still lives there.

    1. San Diego always seems to have perfect weather! Enjoy your week!

  3. the groundhog is currently undergoing treatment for hypothermia…lol but, as I mentioned to someone this weekend, as cold as it's been the last couple of days …well, since Friday, it's been a milder winter than last year. Last year the entire month of January was this cold, at least we're halfway through Feb.

    great photo of the undergrad

    1. Poor Phil! Hopefully the east coast will find spring soon.

  4. Snow is gradually melting and the ice disappears during the day and seems to be less numerous the next day. Hopefully in another month, signs of Spring will start to appear.

    1. I'm a bit nervous that we will get a freezing night that will kill the apricot crop.

  5. That apricot blossom is gorgeous! Great photo. I thought of you the other day when I saw that someone who was moving had a treadmill that needed a good home. It would have cost way to much to ship. :-( The conference talks were great!

    1. I didn't realize until Sunday that conference included so many stakes! I thought it was just southern California.

  6. congrats to Willow - here's to daughters that help and you can fun with - happy birthday to your son... have a wonderful week and enjoy the early spring...we are thawing out a bit :)

    1. I don't mind an early spring, but I really hope that summer holds off!

  7. Glad the pup is on the way to becoming a full fledged guide.
    Glad there are those, like you, who take an interest and do what you can to help. It really gives people back their freedom.
    Sounds like a fun filled Disney mother/daughter day as well.
    Happy Valentine's Day and (from here in Canada) Happy Family Day to you and yours.

    1. Raising puppies is a lot of fun, and I'm happy to help such a good organization.
      Happy Family Day to you, too! I like the sound of that holiday!

  8. Happy Valentine's Day Kristi! Be very glad you aren't at Disneyland today. It is 91 here -- I think the ground hog may have just skipped spring for us!

    1. Yikes! That's too warm for February!

  9. Spring still seems a long way away here in Indiana. It is cold, cold, cold.
    Awesome photo of your oldest! Happy birthday to him!
    Glad you and your daughter were able to have a fun day at one of your favorite places.

    1. I love looking back at photos that really capture the personality of each child, and this photo is one of those. :-)

  10. Your posts are always such a great blend of fun and faith and family, Kristi. I love them. It was pretty cold here over the weekend but 50 degrees yesterday and not too bad moving forward. I'd be OK with staying in the 40s or higher until spring. Absolutely.


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