Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: What My Grandchildren Remember

Parents and grandparents have hopes of what kind of legacy they will leave their posterity--not so much in a physical sense, but more in a values and traits sort of sense.  I'm no different.  Today, I had the chance to spend most of the day with my grandchildren, and we enjoyed the time together.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Six Sentence Story: Can

I love the Six Sentence Stories prompts, and the challenge of telling a story in six sentences.  Often (though not always) I like to base my stories on true events.  Such is the case this week, when the prompt is "can." 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Another Dose of Deedee: Not Just a Walk in the Park

One of the primary jobs of a puppy raiser is to help the future guide dog become accustomed to all sorts of sights, sounds, smells, and other distractions.  What might seem like just another stroll around the block is actually a great opportunity for training.  

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: Happy with a Box Edition

I know that title is a bit strange, but it came from my thoughts after some observations at Disneyland today.  I noticed a little boy, not yet even to the security check-point, excitedly pointing out to his even littler sister, three circles in the shape of Mickey Mouse.  His parents chuckled and tried to get their children to hurry up, so they could see the real Mickey Mouse inside the park.  A little bit later, I noticed a young child and her parents near a decorative water fountain.  She was enthralled with the splashing, dancing water, and her parents seemed in no rush to leave.  

I use those observations not to pass judgment, nor to say that one set of parents was right and one was wrong, but to reflect.  I understand that the first set of parents probably had limited time to spend at Disneyland, and that it doesn't make financial sense to spend hundreds of dollars to ooh and aah over 3 little circles that could probably be duplicated at home. However, observing those children and their parents got me to thinking.  Am I too quick to dismiss the beauty, wonder, and joy of something only because I know there is something more beautiful, wonderful, or joyful out there?  
Children (and cats!) can spend hours playing in cardboard boxes before they are ready to explore the actual contents.  Am I thankful for the boxes in my life?  

Friday, January 15, 2016

January 2016 Visiting Teaching Message

I was so excited to see that this month's visiting teaching message is all about The Family:  A Proclamation to the World.  You might remember that I did a series of posts about the proclamation last year; a link to most of those posts can be found here, and the final two posts are here and here

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: It's Gonna Rain

Figuratively and literally, rain comes to us all eventually.  This week, I've experienced moisture from the sky.  Also this week, losses have come to friends and acquaintances.  I'm happy for puddles, and saddened at tears, but thankful:

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: 975 Posts Begins with One

As I began to write this post, I noticed that this is my 975th post--not for the TToT (although hopefully the TToT will continue for that long), but for this little blog.  Wow.  Regardless of my inadequacies as a blogger, I can't argue with that number.  I'm going to refrain from making any quality v. quantity comparisons, and just be delighted for a moment.

(1) I'm thankful for blogging.

For the past few weeks, my mailbox has been filled with greetings from far-flung friends and family.  I like seeing photos of smiling faces and catching up on the events of the year.  

(2) I'm thankful for connections.  

After the full house of Christmas, we had the just-the-three-of-us house of the New Year.  For reasons we still don't know, oldest daughter's original return flight was canceled, so we got to enjoy having her for an additional day.  

(3) I'm thankful for time together.

Deedee is old enough to venture out in public now.  She's accompanied me to the pharmacy, to an office supply store, to the grocery store, and to the church for a New Year's Eve party.  In all of those settings, she has behaved well.  She's a confident puppy who seems to enjoy working.  

(4) I'm thankful to be a puppy raiser, and (5) I'm thankful for a wonderful co-raiser who shares Deedee with me.

John is starting to feel a little better--so much so, that we went for a run yesterday.  We traveled 2 miles at an extremely slow pace. John's goal was to be able to breathe.  Mission accomplished!  He still calls his illness a cold, because after yesterday's run, "walking pneumonia" would be a misnomer!  I don't care what he calls it, as long as he continues to feel better. 

(6) I'm thankful for improved health.

While on our run, we noticed a B-2 bomber flying overhead.  We stopped for a moment to watch it go by.  We learned later that it was on its way to the Rose Parade.  

(7) I'm thankful to live in a place where I can see military planes frequently flying, but (8) I'm thankful that I live in a peaceful place, where those planes are not engaged in combat. 

This week, we also took care of some household tasks.  We made great strides in de-cluttering the attic, we updated our "here's how to run the household" file, and we talked about future goals.  

(I highly recommend having a hard copy of a spreadsheet or file that lists everything-- financial, social media, etc.-- including user names and passwords. That way, if one person becomes incapacitated, the other one could easily know what to do. And, go over the information every so often.  You never know when you might find that you have forgotten to add something--like a retirement account from a previous employer that was somehow overlooked. Just sayin'.  Happy New Year!)

(9) I'm thankful for the newness of the New Year.

John and I went out to see a movie last night--Love, the Coopers.  It was an interesting character movie.  Not the best movie ever, but enjoyable and better-than-average, with a good cast.  What we loved most about it, though, was that we couldn't relate to the characters of Diane Keaton and John Goodman.  They had been married 40 years, and were ready to call it quits. One of John's (my husband, not John Goodman) most brilliant ideas was in establishing consistent, regular date nights in our marriage from the beginning. Yes, it is easy for parents to get caught up in parenting issues, but weekly dates go a long way to remind us that we are first a husband and a wife.  (I recommend weekly dates even more than I recommend a hardcopy of the above-mentioned file!)

(10) I'm thankful for John, and for his great idea about date night!

And with that, the 975th post is a wrap!  What are you thankful for this week?

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Reflections on Resolutions

As one year draws to a close, and another begins, thoughts turn to resolutions. Goals are set, motivation is high, but often, after some time passes, resolve fades, and feelings of inadequacy are all that is left.  Sometimes the discouragement sets in even before resolutions are made!  Despite the inevitable failures, though, people seem compelled to seek self-improvement. As I've considered my own goals for this new year, I've realized that, left to my own devices, I could make unrealistic or even unimportant goals.