Trying desperately to catch up!!!!  But having fun doing it – I think the Joy Dare is, itself, a gift.

Day 1 ~ Three things about myself I am grateful for:

  • Four sets of stretch marks. . .
  • Every gray hair. . .
  • The love of a good book. . .

Day 2 ~ A gift outside, inside, and on a plate:

  • Red berries that brighten up gray winter walks. . . 
  • Daddy-Daughter play. . . (pic)
  • Warm baked oatmeal in a shallow pool of milk. . . 

Day 3 ~ Three lines you overheard that were graces:

  • “Do it again, Daddy!” (Mary)
  • “Mary is in the story of God and Jesus.” (Mary – she is so tickled at how often her name has come up in Bible readings in the last month or so)
  • “You’re a grown-up kid, Mom.” (again, Mary)

Day 4 ~ One gift old, new and blue.

  • The recipes that a bunch of loving women passed on to me at my wedding shower 12 years ago. . .
  • My camera. . .
  • Bud-Jack’s eyes. . .

Day 5 ~ Something you’re reading, you’re making, you’re seeing

Day 6 ~ One thing in your bag, in your fridge, in your heart

  • Burt’s Bees lip balm
  • Lots of ham. . .  Dinners and lunches galore. . .
  • All the old hymns I memorized as a child. . .

And other things I’m thankful for:

  • A fever that only lasts the night
  • Sleeping in after a long, sleepless night
  • Big brother defending little sister – the same sister he regularly torments
  • Kids running around the house, being loud, playing together
  • Crumbs everywhere!
  • A little 3yo girl who just wants me all night long
  • Getting to watch the sky go from stars, to green, to pink, to snow flurries
  • A shelter from the cold
  • A warm fire in the stove
  • Four loaves of bread about to go in the oven
  • Scrabble for school
  • Kraft mac’n’cheese hidden in the back of the cabinet
  • The third sleepless night in a row (oh, how I need His strength)
  • Fevered little boy who’s old enough to communicate with me this flu season, saving me the mental pain of guessing midnight guessing games
  •  Sleep – one of these nights I will get some sleep, and I know it will feel sooooo good
  • Dr. Pepper and dark chocolate
  • That, ulitimately, my strength for this day comes from an almighty God in whatever form He chooses to give it to me. So glad my confidence can rest in Him and not in myself or another human being
  • My kids and all the love they show me: hand made do-dad gifts and requests for hugs and love
  • Bed under the window so I can see stars at night and sunrise in the morning
  • Fevers
  • Shriveled up tissues
  • The whole family in the living room – sleeping, coughing, shivering, singing, chewing plastic eyes off stuffed animals (that’s the dog)
  • Almost as good as Indian Summer, this weather
  • Saturdays!
  •   Little hands joining me in line for communion
  • Clementines in cranberry sauce
  •  Sleep through the night (for the most part)
  • A cat who can open the back door all by himself