Skip to main content

Ten Things of Thankful: Cousins and Other Family and Friends

I haven't yet learned how to stretch time, nor how to write well when I'm exhausted, and so this poor little blog has been neglected for the past month. The neglect is taking its toll on me. Throughout the week, I'll think, "I'm thankful for that!" but I miss the process of getting my thoughts out of my head and onto the screen. There is something very stress-relieving about listing items of gratitude.

I noticed today that Dyanne has jumped back into the blogging world, and that inspired me to do the same. Thanks, cousin! (Dyanne and I used to discover we are 11th cousins, and Christine is a cousin, too. If you'd like to see how you might be related, too, read the posts here and here, then ask me about our Thankful Us group.)

1. I'm thankful for cousins. One of my cousins is currently on hospice care. Cancer has returned, and an infection has claimed an eye and her eyesight in the remaining eye. Her coworkers started a can drive to raise money to help her, only to have thieves steal the cans.  It just seems to be one thing after another. I'm sad for her, but thankful that she can be home surrounded by her husband, boys, siblings, and mom. I'm sad for my aunt as well, because just one year ago, my uncle passed away. At that time, we all commented on how we needed to get together more often, under happier circumstances. Miles separate us, and I'm afraid that I haven't seen those cousins nor my aunt since last June, but I am thankful that they are gathered together and sharing time together now.

I imagine that, despite the unknown future, there is a lot of laughter at my cousin's house now. When I think of times spent with my cousins, I picture smiles and laughter.  

2. I'm thankful for humor. When I checked on my blog today, I noticed a comment in my spam folder. It was written in Vietnamese. Though I suspected it was spam, I thought I'd run it through Google Translate to make sure. I'm not sure it is any more clear. I'm just glad my piano is the old-fashioned kind, and not a pulsed electric one that might cause inflammation of the esophagus!  Here's the translation:

Buy yamaha electric piano at tphcm all the details please contact us for specific advice to buy the Casio electric piano at tphcm to help you buy the best guitar. How much is the cheapest piano? Condotel Cocobay Danang's price list of investors The total investment capital of VND3,200 billion, including the development of 3,200 hotel apartments, 156 townhouses and a 27,000 square meter commercial and service center. The difference between villa and villa The landscape of this land still retains majestic beauty with white sand stretching along the cliffs of all shapes, attracting the eyes of visitors. Medicines Metronidazol 250mg Five days After stopping the drug, the secretion back to normal, but no increase in acid secretion. What is Panangin used for? Colonoscopy, the incidence of scarring of duodenal ulcer is 65% after 2 weeks of treatment and 95% after 4 weeks. 500 mg of amoxicillin should not be treated with duodenal ulcer or gastric ulcer. , Inflammation of the esophagus due to pulsed electric piano commonly used

Speaking of humor and Google Translate, have you watched this Studio C episode? 

3. On a more serious note, I'm thankful for a new family member. My 4th grandchild (2nd grandson) was born three days ago. He shares a birthday with my grandma--my dad's mom, who passed away several years ago. Mom and baby are doing fine, and I enjoyed holding the little guy.

Photo: 3-day-old grandson sleeps with his hands crossed against his chest, holding a blue pacifier in his mouth. My hand cradles his tiny, brown-hair-covered head.
4. I'm thankful that while his mom was in the hospital, I got to have my other grandchildren stay with me.  I love hearing them speak, which gives me insight into their understanding.  Sometimes I have to explain further.  For example, when I told them that their Grandpa was on a trip, they were concerned that he had fallen.  I'm not sure they understood "vacation" any better, but I hope to have convinced them that no one was hurt. Another time, I was gently chided for not wearing an apron while baking:  "Grandma, where is your big bib?!" As messy as I can be, we might as well just call it a bib. 

Photo: Oldest granddaughter pushes oldest grandson in a red kiddie car, while youngest granddaughter rides a pink and purple trike on the brick patio in my backyard. Two big bouncy balls--one purple, one blue, are also present in the picture.

A few weeks ago, Clark asked in a blog post: "So my compliment-in-a-question to those readers who have children is, ‘Given my example of the power of a mother (or father) in shaping a child’s mind, how do you work up the nerve to say or do anything with very young children?!!' " When I read that question, I chuckled. My daughter told me a while ago that my youngest granddaughter had been talking in her sleep.  And what do you think she said while asleep? "Don't be scared of chickens!  Don't be scared of chickens!" While I did, in fact, give my granddaughter that advice, I never imagined it would make such an impact!  I only hope that other, more important, lessons stick as well. Anyone who interacts with young children has to put fear aside and prepare to be quoted!

5. I'm thankful that the radio on my car seems to be working now. For months, it has randomly turned on, then every 30 seconds or so, automatically attempts to load a CD. It's been annoying to say the least. A week or so ago, the car was in the shop, and we asked the technicians to please check out the radio problem while they had the car. They told us it was not a car wiring problem, but a problem with the stereo itself, so they couldn't fix it. Well, one day as I was driving and the car wanted me to listen to a CD, I decided to heed its advice. I popped in a CD and listened to the entire album. Do you know that since that time, I can listen to the radio whenever I want to without having the car try to load a CD? 

6. I'm thankful for friends.  Preparing to sell a house and move to a smaller one is a daunting task.  I have had offers of boxes, help setting up a garage sale, many folding tables loaned us for the garage sale, help painting, etc.  I felt a bit like Tom Sawyer asking friends to help me paint, but it really did make the task go quickly!

Photo: Three friends and I smile after painting a bedroom in my house. The formerly bright pink walls are now a more neutral grayish color.
7. I'm thankful for friends who work, and also for friends who play. It's always fun to spend time with friends at Disneyland! One friend needed to use up the last day on her pass, and invited me along. Another friend allowed youngest daughter and I to celebrate her birthday with her.

Photo: My friend and I (and a stranger whose face I disguised with a Superhero sticker in this photo) race in a green car at Radiator Springs at California Adventure
Photo: My friend, dressed in a blue Mickey Mouse shirt, meets Mickey on her birthday.
8.  I'm thankful for family. So much has happened since I last blogged!  My parents were able to come and stay with us for a while, and they got to meet their great-grandchildren for the first time. 

Photo: My parents sit on a garden bench in front of blooming roses.  My oldest granddaughter sits next to my mom, and my mom holds grandson while my dad holds my youngest granddaughter. My dad looks at the camera, while everyone else looks up to the sky.  My grandson points at something.
Mother's Day has come and gone, and as always, I am thankful for my mom, my mother-in-law, my grandmas, my children, and my grandchildren. 

9.  I'm thankful for digital cameras, which make documenting moments easier than in the film days. It doesn't necessarily mean any one shot turns out any better than in years past, but it does mean I have more to choose from! 

Photo: Oldest granddaughter sits on her dad's lap, while my daughter holds youngest granddaughter and grandson. Everyone is smiling, and the adults and grandson and even looking at the camera!
10. I'm thankful for John. Life is crazy busy.  I feel like it's just been go-go-go from 5:30 in the morning until 9:00 at night.  He keeps me sane and helps me remember what we have accomplished when I'm feeling overwhelmed by how much more we have to do. 

It might be another month before I post again. I hope to post sooner than that, but I also don't want to promise something and then not deliver.  The nice thing is, this is a no pressure blog hop, and I know I can join in anytime. Go check out the Ten Things of Thankful blog and see what others have posted this week. Who knows, you might just read something from a distant cousin!

Ten Things of Thankful

Pin It


  1. Kristi! I am so happy to see you finding a little time to write a post and link up this week! We all understand that you are scrambling to get things done and ready for the move, and we are happy to have you join us whenever it's possible! You are absolutely right that there is no pressure here, life has enough of that, and moves are truly exhausting. I've done so many of them, and it's really never fun. Thankful will come when it is over! :-)

    Like you, I find that I really crave writing a TToT post, even when at times I'm struggling to identify thankfuls or when my brain is too dead to remember what they were. The exercise itself, of focusing on that mindset of gratitude, makes all the difference, it is calming and it helps put things in perspective. You came up with a wonderful list to share! :-)

    First off must be that wonderful new grandson, so gorgeous, and he shares a very special birthdate! I know you have fun with your other grandchildren staying with you while their mom was in the hospital. I loved the wisdom imparted "Don't be afraid of chickens!" Small children have been known to repeat far worse, and the "big bib" is precious, I could use one of those too! :-)

    How awesome that your parents got to come and visit and meet their great-grandchildren, I know that filled your mother's heart with joy! I'm sure it was a comfort to have them there for a break from the pressures of moving. It looks like you had a couple fun adventure outings with friends too! Friends who offer assistance when there is work to be done, are the very best kind, it makes things much more fun.

    Your car radio being so determined to have you play a CD was interesting and made me smile, apparently it was on promotion mode and now that you've complied is willing to let you listen to whatever you want! ;-)

    I love digital cameras so much, and often think of how my mother would have loved the ability to send and receive photos of daily life so often. My daughter and I exchange photos of shopping items, things our pets do, new recipes tried, pretty scenery, and on and on, and it keeps us close when she lives so far away. The quality doesn't matter, it's all about the sharing. I remember the days of developing film which was expensive, and then getting copies made and sent out and so often my picture skills weren't great. Papa Bear laughs because I take two or three of everything, at least one is usually passible. :-)

    John is such a wonderful partner for you, so supportive and the calm in the storm, what a blessing! This move will get done, and I know you will be happy in your new home, because home is wherever you are with someone you love. I'll be sending prayers for energy in the days and weeks ahead, and a good sprinkling of reasons for laughter... your Google Translator video is a great example. We Americans have so many expressions which don't translate well!!

    My prayers are also with your cousin, I've been following the posts on Facebook, and I am thankful she is home and surrounded by family. Even in times of struggle and sorrow, there is always the light of love.

    Have a good week ahead, you can do this! XOXO

    1. Thank you for your encouragement. This week I'm trying to get painting done before the flooring gets replaced. :-)

  2. That is so funny about your car's request and how listening and obeying fixed the problem. It was such a little thing to do too. I think this experience could easily work into a talk in church sometime. :-)
    The translation of the Vietnamese message is hilarious!
    I hope some more TToT bloggers check out Relative Finder. I'd love to see if there are any more relatives in your group.
    I'm glad to see your pose and I hope to get my post written tomorrow.

  3. So much family sweetness here. My niece is a few months old now and she doesn't seem to want a soother. We've tried giving it to her, but she keeps spitting it out and so my sister is happy to stop trying. So, a finger to suck on works best. Such a sweet photo there of your newest grandson. It's so beautifully peaceful when they're sleeping, isn't it?

    Don't be afraid of chickens. Good advice right there. Nice to see you posting here again. Things can get super busy.

    1. They really can. I know eventually things will settle down again--at least that's what I'm telling myself! :-)

  4. Congratulations on the birth of your 2nd grandson. I laughed at the things your other grandchildren said. Children can be very literal and so honest about things. I think their level of honesty is one that us adults could do with more often!

    1. Literal interpretations combined with limited vocabulary makes for some interesting conversations!

  5. again there is the 'life-within-a-life' effect of participating in the blogosphere... #8 I was all, "hey! theres Pat from 'A Season and a Time' I know her..." lol
    moving can be such a large undertaking...good to have friends and family to lend a hand in whatever capacity...
    (btw totally admire your photo descriptions.... I've set out to emulate this very cool added feature... and if we need an illustration to contrast the native writing styles of clarks and Its good to have an example of what I would learn to be able to do...)

    1. "Moving can be such a large undertaking" is quite the understatement! I'm definitely thankful for the help of friends.

      You've been doing a great job with your photo descriptions; I'm sure Kerry appreciates the level of detail you provide.

  6. You've been in my thoughts this past month, and I' was thrilled to see your post this morning. Congratulations on the birth of a healthy grandchild. Good friends are indeed a blessing. I hope the coming month is filled with wonderful adventures and many, many blessings.

    1. Thank you, Nancy. I'm sure there will be many adventures this summer, and then I will be ready to settle down a bit. :-)

  7. I had missed the cousin announcement earlier. None of you knew the connection before? How crazy is that?!
    Hold that baby just as often as you can.
    Meanwhile, I have a natural mistrust of chickens. They just seem a little unpredictable and random in their movements. But I will attempt to heed your words of wisdom....don't be scared of chickens!

    1. No, we had no idea. You should try, too! I wouldn't be surprised if you are related to one or more of us. If you'd like to try, let me know and I can help walk you through it.

  8. I'm thankful to see you back here. Congratulations on the birth of your newest grandson. What a joy! I hope that the fundraiser for your cousin takes on new life and awareness and donations increase with the publicity from the news report. What a sad reality that a thief would cut a lock and steal bottles and cans. Good luck with the big, downsized move. I can't imagine the stress of it.

  9. I'm so pleased I inspired you to write a TToT post! And a fabulous one at that!
    1. I think time spent with cousins is the BEST. Even if you don't see each other very often, you still have that cousin bond (like you and I have - tee hee!). I'm so sorry about your cousin's cancer. I hope her time is spent with much love and laughter.
    3. What a sweet baby! I would hold a baby for hours if I could.
    4. Your grandkids have gotten so BIG! What cuties!
    5. This made me think of Little Shop of Horrors. "Feed meeeee!"
    6. Are you downsizing? I'm so out of the loop!

  10. Good to see you back! I rarely get a TToT post anymore - the weekend just isn't a time I get around to blogging (or reading anyone else's). I do miss it, but it just isn't working lately.
    Moving! I really am out of touch. That must be a bittersweet process. Best wishes to you in your move.


Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things of Thankful: Autumn Edition

It's autumn time, one of my favorite times of year.  I just couldn't leave this weekend as a one-post weekend.  

Ten Things of Thankful: Last Two Weeks

  Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, as viewed from an overlook I apologize for not commenting on your blog posts this past week; John and I took a vacation to Yellowstone National Park, leaving behind our computers and, to a large extent, cell phone service. We escaped the outside world and just spent time in nature. Though we have friends near Yellowstone (who we love to visit) we made this trip just about us, so please forgive us if we were nearby and didn't stop by. The crowds were minimal (though we did mask up whenever we passed someone on the trails) and we spent our days hiking, taking photos, and watching geysers erupt. Today, we are back home and back to work, and, in the case of my computer, back to old shenanigans like not letting me import my photos. (I was able to add the above photo by using blogger on my phone, but that isn't my preferred method.) I want to write about Yellowstone and have photos I want to share, but will leave that for another

Monday Mentions: Equate Crutches

Have you ever needed crutches? I hadn't, until a week ago.  I'm pretty sure I strained a muscle while running a half-marathon.  (That sounds kind of cool, doesn't it? I'm not actually that cool; the last time I strained a muscle it was from carrying too many shopping bags at once.) In any case, I found myself in need of some crutches. I sent my husband to the store to get some. Photo: A pair of crutches leans against a wall  Not that crutches are all that complex, but because I hadn't used any before, I wondered if I could figure out how to adjust them to fit me properly. I shouldn't have worried. John came home from Walmart with their generic store brand of crutches, complete with instructions. First, I needed to take out a long bolt that went through the hand grip. Then I needed to find my height range, push down two metal pieces, and slide the crutches until the little metal pieces came up in the hole near my height range. (Having two people for this