21 November 2010

There is much with which to be Grateful...

Yes, the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Yesterday I compiled the grocery list for the upcoming week and festivities. Know what my first thought was after finishing? Honestly. I looked over the list and realized most of this food was going to be consumed by the end of the week, and it was twice as much food as I normally would buy in a week! :)

Even so, this brings me to my point. I am so very thankful that I have the means to acquire these things and share them with my family and extended family. It's not a lot, not extravagant by any means, but we will not be hungry this week. After a few rough years, you have no idea what that means to me.

And with that spirit of gratitude, we will be having the children help us with service projects this week with our ward. We have extra to share this year, so we will be paying forward what has been done for us in the past. Because, you can't have thanks without giving. And I want my children to understand that. I want everyone to understand that!

The very first Thanksgiving Day, the settlers were simply grateful to be alive, to have survived the year so far after loosing more that half the people who traveled with them. They were grateful for their new friends, who helped them survive. And thus started Americans love affair with food and celebration :)

This year, I am grateful I can pay it forward, however small and meager, to give someone else hope... And then work together to make a difference. These experiences will be what teach my children more than I ever could.

Be happy Giving Thanks, everyone! :)

15 November 2010

To Try Men's Souls

So, the last book I read, he also authored this one, To Try Men's Souls, along with Newt Gingrich. The duo has also co-authored other historical books about Pearl Harbor, WWII, the Civil War, and now, the beginnings of the Revolution.

As if anyone could really truly understand the desperation and suffering in those weeks and months as the British and German armies pushed the colonial militias back and back and further back; starvation, cold, storms, desertions, loss of morale...

I really enjoyed reading this and getting another view on George Washington, but also on the men of the militias. The writing really drew me into the stories behind the stories. More than one time I was overcome with a huge sense of gratitude for the people who have done and suffered so much so we can have the freedoms we enjoy today. Never again will I take my freedom, all of my freedoms, for granted. And, because of Washington's example and determination, he has shown all of us that freedom is not won and lost by just a few, but of an entire collective. Yes, some with think it easier to go along with the current situation. That requires less effort, emotion, work, heart. But, to fight for the good of nation, to fight for what is right... that takes courage and determination. Because of these, we will never be the same:

"These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: ~~'Tis dearness only that gives everything its value." (Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, Number1, December 19, 1776).

I will never be the same

09 November 2010

What ever happened to...

I think, next Sunday, I will put together a "Countdown to Christmas" calendar. I'm just so excited for the Holiday Season to get started! But, since I've had time to think about it, I don't want our Christmas countdown to overshadow Thanksgiving.

I feel bad for Thanksgiving; it gets completely and consumerly bypassed. Yes, I just created a new word : consumerly. And, since I created it, it IS spelled correctly and I AM ignoring the red underline.

Anyway, my point. Eliza asked me today when Santa became a part of Christmas. We talked about what Santa represents, serving others. And what happens when we serve others? And I pray my children will learn this through our struggles... Gratefulness. Simple gratitude. When we do things for other people, we learn to be grateful for what we have.

But why do retailers completely bypass this holiday? Because consumers don't buy presents for it? I guess we could start... :) Hey, Bro, here's a bronzed cornucopia for your display. Enjoy! :) Yeah, probably not. BUT, that doesn't mean I have to bypass it and just completely JUMP to the crazy part of the holiday season. I cherish the slow-down before the frenzied crayz of the end of the year. November truly slows down; time even moves back an hour :)

So, here I am, slowing down, counting my blessings and trying to bring my children along to realize those same blessings. Thus, The Annual Count Your Blessing Month. Join me! And pray I have hair left to style :)

08 November 2010

Greatful for Patriots' Dreams

So, I've started riding the train to work again, with mixed emotions, especially at 4:30 in the morning... Anyway, gas is money. Enough said. So, with all that extra time in the morning, I've blissfully gone back to reading!! I downloaded this book on a recommendation from this food storage website.

In September, the website did an emergency preparedness drill. Each day for 7 days, they gave a challenge and you had to function in that challenge for the day. And, for the whole 7 days you weren't to go to the store, spend money (other than work needs) or buy gas (again, unless you were traveling for work, etc). Very interesting stuff!! Honestly, I wasn't in a situation where I could follow all the challenges, but I read them each day :) and were needless to say, thought provoking. I've added many things to my emergency preparedness room and list of future things to add.

After it was all over, they started a group book discussion on this book. I'm not participating in the Group Discussion, but I did want to read the book. And boy, am I glad I did!! Holy cow, have you ever thought about living, completely living, without electricity? None! In an instant, gone?!? Wow. Reading this book not only gave me thought to things I need in my storage, but also was such an emotional roller coaster! It literally brought out the worst in humanity but also the best. I read it much faster than I intended, not just my 3 days commute to and from work, but I would read at night and every other free minute I had! :) Highly recommended!

After I finished, I looked up other books by the author. Low and behold, he's written and co-written a handful of historical and historical fiction books! Sweet! Next up: To Try Men's Souls, about George Washington and the Christmas March across the Delaware, the last stand of Washington's men, "Victory or Death" was their battle cry... I'm only in the first chapter, but can tell I will relish my commuting time.

03 November 2010

Well, why not?

I guess I can shoot for once a month, right? Eh... sure, why not!

I guess I can at least post once a month :)

I'm just super glad Halloween is behind me and I can move on to the Holiday Season! :) I've never really liked Halloween...don't like painting my face (just makes it itch)...never liked getting dressed up (thinking of costumes gives me head aches)...and all that walking, in the cold, just to beg for candy that will eventually make me sick?!? Naw. I can live with out it, and I don't like dragging the kids through it, even though, yes I'm sure they have fun... but it's a ton of effort on my part that I'm not terribly excited about.

However, I don't want to pass my prejudices onto my children, so I participate in the obligatory Halloween holiday activities. Much to my dislike, we usually carve just one pumpkin. This year, for some reason, I was feeling spirited and we carved two :) Then, I even roasted the seeds! Never done that (don't know why) but maybe that will help ease the carving burden because they were fantastic! As for costumes, yes, I buy costumes. Well, expect this year. E wanted to be a witch again, and since I saved her costume from last year (which was about 2 sizes too big!), score! Then, I talked L into being a ghost :) Bring out the white sheet! 2 for Mom!

As for the whole begging-for-candy thing, we went to the ward Chili Cook-Off (to which I brought potato soup because I figured my children weren't the only children who don't like chili). There was to be a Trunk-or-Treat to follow, but the downpour brought it inside the church :) Ghouls and Goblins Trick-or-Treating inside a Church...hehehe. Anyway, because of the cold and rain it didn't take much convincing of the children to stay home and enjoy the spoils while watching a movie with popcorn and hot chocolate. 3 for the lazy Halloween Mom :)

And now, I can start counting all my blessing, because this is the annual Count Your Blessing Month. Or so I will name it. For now, I'm grateful my husband has found another job, with a reputable company. He'll be gone a lot, but it will be worth it in the long run.


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