Monday, March 5, 2012

Capture Gratitude: Counting 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 

66.  LENT
Our church community doesn't celebrate or observe Lent... Because I wasn't raised with any meaning behind Christmas or Easter, I'm always looking for ways to truly celebrate Jesus in our holidays and traditions. I've found a lot of meaning and value in preparing my heart for Easter through the Lenten season.

This book has been such a help and treasure in that over the past few years. I love Walter Wangerin's writing, he has really helped me to use my imagination as well as my mind. I highly recommend this book as well as his Christmas/Advent companion, Preparing for Jesus. Such a blessing.

 I think I share this as a gift every week, but I'm so touched and thankful for how well my little 2 are getting along (most of the time, at least.) They do spend a fair amount of time either fighting or playing VERY LOUDLY (they get along louder than they fight), so moments like these are treasures:

And because I can't resist sharing this... The other day they were all piled on top of me at bedtime and giving each other kisses goodnight. It was so cute I tried to "capture" my gratitude for that moment. But this is what I got:


 Super awkward, no??

 We have an old compliation of Winnie-the-Pooh stories that Tobin loves. They're abridged and there are just four of them. So I decided to get the full collection of them from the library, and Tobin and I have been reading them together (mostly at bedtime.)

Oh, I love these stories. The language is so rich, and they are funny in such a quiet, smart way. They don't hold M's attention at all, but Tobin just lays and listens, and LOVES them. Luke has sat in on a few of our readings, too, which touches my heart. Love the words. Love the illustrations. And love hearing Tobin as he plays saying to himself, "I'm just a little rain cloud..."

I am so thankful that my boys are getting to grow up with at least one set of their cousins! They are with Betsy's kids every Thursday, and Tobin spends all day Friday with them (at Grammie's) as well...Micah will be joining them soon, as soon as I'm ready to let him spend the night away from me.

I love my boys' relationship with the girls, but it's been especially fun to see Micah fall in love with them. He has probably asked me about them every day this week. Whenever we get in the car, he says, "See Ell-REE? See Anna-LEE?" So cute. And he's taken to calling every picture of a little girl either Ellery or Annalise too... He especially thinks every picture of a little Asian girl that we see is Ellery. Why? Who knows. But it's cute!
My life is filled with a lot of noise and a lot of need-meeting. "Constant intense parenting" as one of my fellow adoptive parent friends calls it. So it sure is a good thing that they're this cute!
 (I'm trying a new do on Micah - we're starting little baby dreads. LOVE THEM. But don't know if I have the patience for this... It takes a long time.)

Some of the best marital advice I got was from my friend Brian, who used to say, "Life is too serious. Marry someone who makes you laugh."

And speaking of that...

Thankful to have a family that loves to laugh. All three of our kids, if they hear something funny going on, will come running from anywhere in the house to be a part of it. And I think for all three of them, one of their primary love languages is tickling.