Monday, February 6, 2012

Capture Gratitude/1000 Gifts

“There is no event so common place but that God is present within it, always hidden, always leaving you room to recognize Him or not to recognize Him.”  Fredrick Buechner               ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So many gifts this week... First and foremost, I am SO THANKFUL we seem to be over strepathon 2012. In case you're keeping track... I started with Tobin 3 weeks ago. And then a week later, we were back at the doctor with Luke. And then this week on Tuesday Micah woke up with a fever. AND Matt decided his pink eye was not just pink eye - he had a double eye infection AND strep. I seriously was wondering if Matt would ever feel normal again. He rarely gets sick, but when he goes, he goes hard.

They are all on the mend, and it looks like I managed to escape. To say I'm thankful for that is the understatement of the year! I AM SO THANKFUL that I didn't get sick!!!

Other gifts this week...


The ship has sailed on this one...but last week we had some beautiful weather. I'm always amazed at how long my kids can be entertained outside - they love it!  That's especially true for our Ugandan dude, who spent over 50% of EVERY day outside in his pre-Nebraskan life. Poor cooped up thing!

I was able to do an impromptu craft with them too,which I'll tell you all about later in the week.


My sweet friend Leah had an extra ticket to see Ladysmith Black Mambazo on Tuesday night. So. Much. Fun. Of course, at this point in the week, anything that didn't involve administering medicine = fun, but I think I would have enjoyed it anytime. LBM are an amazing South African group, whom I am familiar with because they sang this song with Paul Simon. Everyone else knows them because they apparently also sang with Josh Groban, and on the Lion King soundtrack.

Loved having a little African flavor here in Nebraska. And having a reason to wear something besides yoga pants.

The morning after my night on the town with my friends, I was woken up at 4am by Micah, joining his brothers in strepathon 2012. I was a little discouraged. Especially when I realized that Matt - who'd been fighting a TERRIBLE case of pink eye since Saturday - was joining him.

I sent Tobin to preschool music with my awesome friend Julie, took Micah to the doctor, and made an appointment for Matt.

I've had to really practice giving thanks for things I don't feel thankful for this week, taking care of everyone in my house and being stuck at home again.

As much as I love my kids (and I LOVE them), what I really felt thankful for was when they all went to sleep.
In case you're wondering...We caught Micah's strep super early. He was frantic with fever Wednesday morning, which was so so sad (I don't even know how high his fever was because he FREAKED when I tried to put the thermometer under his arm. It was 101.7 just laying on his skin). But we got him on antibiotics so quickly that he only ran 1 other (much lower) fever, and has been mostly himself since Thursday. Matt, on the other hand... was still climbing out of the hole on the weekend.

Choose to give thanks even when you don't feel it, and eventually your feelings will catch up. "You can only feel one feeling at a time. Choose to be thankful." (Ann Voskamp)


Luke had a band concert this week...the first middle school band concert we've made it to (we were in Africa for the Christmas concert.) The elementary concerts didn't really take me back in time - mostly they were just looooooong, especially with small children (band, orchestra, and choir performed together, so for 5 minutes of Luke, we sat through 1.5 hours of performance.)

This was a Soup Supper fundraiser - so we had great seats to watch Luke perform in an ensemble, then got in line for our food. While we were eating dinner, we got to listen to various groups of students perform, they had ensembles throughout the evening. It was lovely... except for wrangling 4 small children through a crowded cafeteria with trays of SOUP. My in laws came with my nieces (it was on a Thursday, so Matt had to work - though this particular Thursday he was near death on the couch at home.) This was definitely an event that will be more enjoyable when my youngest is the middle schooler and everyone else with me is self-sufficient.

I think what really took me back in time was watching Luke interact with his middle school band-friends. Many of my closest high school friends were made through band, and it was fun to watch that playing out all around me. The ensemble that performed right before Luke's was a group of strings, including a bass violin. The kids were AWED by that giant thing (my neice said, "WOW. That's the biggest guitar I ever saw!"), but it reminded me of my middle school best friend Lori, who played the bass. Happy memories.

My favorite part of the evening was as we left though... Luke was walking with Sara, Bill and the girls quite a ways in front of Tobin, Micah & I. We passed some girls I didn't know, but apparently they know Luke - and were saying goodbye to him using a VERY silly nick name. I tried not to laugh, but then Tobin looked at them and then at Luke, and told them, "his name is LUKE." HA! Luke ignored them like a pro. I promised him I wouldn't tell what the nickname is, but I will say that I've gotten a good bit of mileage out of calling him that around the house. Never far from middle school, I guess.


I'd planned some much needed personal time Friday - to spend time alone, with the Lord, and blogging. But Matt really didn't feel well enough Friday morning for me to feel comfortable leaving him to watch Micah Marvin (not that I didn't trust him, just that I knew he felt like garbage and should rest and sleep.)

I had a pity party for myself, poor me.

And then I decided to use my time more profitably and cross one more clutter trap off my list: The linen closet.

While Micah played at my feet with the bin of bath toys we keep in there, I got rid of stuff that's no longer in use and out-of-date medicines (LOTS of out of date medicines). And I moved things around so that everything has a place. As you can tell from the before pic, that wasn't really happening before. I've bought a few extra sets of sheets for Matt & I's bed (jersey sheets are WONDERFUL in the winter here, because they're not freezing when you first get in), plus 2 sets of twins for each of the younger boys' beds. I bought those things but never moved things around so that there was ROOM - so it was  a jumbled mess.

I found a website with great household organization tips (and not even on pinterest!) with the idea (originally from Martha, of course) to store sheet sets in a pillow case to keep everything together. Mine don't look nearly as neat as the ones on, but I still LOVE IT.

It's been all family all the time, once Micah & Matt joined in strepathon. But not really "family time", Mommy-taking-care-of-everyone-and-trying-not-to-raise-her-voice-or-cry time.

So it's been really nice the last few days to get some enjoyable family time. Friday night we made Boboli pizzas...

And the boys enjoyed getting some Daddy-time again (after days of begging for him but only getting brief hugs.) I came out after shower time for the younger two boys to find Luke cuddling with Matt on the couch, and Micah quickly climbing on to be a part of it. While I did Micah's bedtime, Matt read one of my all-time faves to Tobin.
T and I just started reading Junie B a few weeks ago, and I usually just read a chapter or 2 at a time - but Matt read the whole thing, while I finished an organization project in the next room and laughed along. "Wink wink Shy William. Wink wink." This one and "Handsome Warren" are my favorites.

I'm doing the February Photo-a-Day challenge on Instagram (it's not to late to start, would love to see your interpretation of the coming challenges!)

We're just a few days in, but I've liked the challenge to take pictures of not-the-normal stuff. Scrapbookers are always talking about this, but let's face it - I'm not going to scrapbook about my running shoes, or lunch, or my bed or whatever, and I think it's weird that other people do. And I don't have the time or interest to scrapbook right now anyway - I blog instead.

But I like taking these unusual pictures and just posting them. I think day 3's photo will end up being my favorite - day 3 was "Hands."