Because DP is teaching summer school, our "free days" have been cut to eight at the beginning of the summer and a few sprinkled at the end of the summer.
So, we are making the most of it!
Here are the ways I've been thankful this week, relating mostly to DP being home:
1. Shopping By Myself: I bought these and a whole host of other cute things while I was able to shop all alone for several uninterrupted hours the other day. All you mommies of many children can feel my joy exploding through the monitor at this treat : )
2. Unexpected Finds: My DP is always willing to set out on an "expotition" ala Pooh -style. Tuesday we went on a jaunt that led us to a lovely strawberry patch. Though it was the middle of the afternoon when we arrived, we decided to take 30 minutes and see how many berries we could gather.
Well, thirty minutes later we had 10+ lbs. of succulent, delicious berries. After sampling some of their homemade strawberry ice cream, we pronounced our venture a hearty success!
3. Freezer Jam: This was a given, considering our haul of the day before. My sweet girls and I spent yesterday morning cleaning, pulsing, and stirring to make a number of pints of fabulous freezer jam.
Then we capped off the day with a movie at home and the most decadent homemade strawberry shortcake you've ever tasted. No offense, but none of those sponge cakes ala cardboard will ever touch the lips of my family. This shortcake was met with "holy cow" and "wow" from all the recipients. Even DP was suitably impressed, and he dislikes strawberries. Paula Deen, eat your heart out!!
4. Family Reading: I mentioned last week that we've gotten rid of our TV reception. Well, that has exponentially increased our reading time as a family. Our kids are all enthralled as we take "trips" together via a good book. We are currently reading about "Darien's Rise", a book written by one of the main producers of "Adventures in Odyssey" from Focus on the Family, Paul McCusker.
5. Summer Reading Program: Our local library is incredible when it comes to the summer reading program it hosts. Prizes abound. Programs to meet the interests of all my children, and an encouragement to read with fun incentives. This library just didn't count on my children joining . . . no TV = lots of reading in a short period of time. My girls have already surpassed the first level, and it's only been three days!
6. Connecting: This week has been full with DP at home, but my favorite part is the time we've had to chat and just spend time unlike during the busyness of a regular work week. He is fresher after not being at work, and I am fresher without the pressures that surround my regular schedule. Though we've not actually left town, the vacation has come to us -- just via our perspective.
7. Disconnecting: I know that seems odd considering #6, but it has been essential to our relaxed mode of the week. We have let the answering machine pick up calls, and we've pretty much disconnected from anything that would interrupt our time with our family. Sometimes that is more valuable than we can measure.
8. God's Provision: I am so incredibly grateful to my Heavenly Father for His continued provision, even of time to be with my family. So many I know are not in my position, and I am all the more thankful for what I have. My life is good. No, my life is great!!
9. Perspective: I was having an emotional pity party yesterday, but as I take the time to be grateful on purpose -- how my little piddly sorrows diminish. God has blessed me abundantly, just as He promised in John 10:10, one of the verses we've memorized this month. His truth abounds . . . as I focus on it.
10. Tender Moments: This photo was captured during a impromptu trip I made to Ohio at the end of last month. My children got to spend some time with their cousin (my brother's son), whom they see quite infrequently. I was touched by how precious my Sweetcheeks was in her interaction with MD or "Doc", as my DP likes to call him. Though they don't see one another very often, there is still a special bond of family that transcends the miles.
My prayer for y'all is that you will take time to be thankful "on purpose" today. Search your heart and see where God has put His fingerprints. If you'd like to share a way you've seen God's indelible mark this week, leave it in the comments. I'd love to hear it. Now, I'm off to spend more time with my family.
Hugs to all!
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