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Top Ten Thanks

Every night, unless he is out of town, Jason and I are a tight team in the bedtime, tucking in the kids, routine.  At this stage, Ryan wants me most times and I won’t lie when I say, I’m eating up every single, “I want Mommy!” moment I can get because I know at some point, it’s possible he won’t choose me.  Em’s cool with whomever will read to her.  I never was in drama, but being a lover of books and stories, especially good dialogue, and maybe a little dramatic in nature, I try to read aloud with a bit of expression…soooo, all that to say, this could be why Em chooses me to read to her most nights, and former engineer PhD, dad, to do the tucking in and praying part.  We are a good team like that.

On the nights I do the tucking in and praying with Em, we lay our heads on the same pillow, because that’s just how we’ve always done it…and she still lets me.  She’ll play with my hair (which I really can’t stand, but I’m soaking in time with my pre-teen, so I’ll take what I can get…) and ask me to tickle her arm or back or the palm of her hand.  She tries to do the same to my arm or hand and that is where I draw the line.  It makes me nauseous.  Am I weird?  It’s almost like frosty freezers or nails on a chalkboard…back rub or foot massage?  Now we’re talking.

Here we are December of 2006, one of the nights I was home with Em while Dad was at the hospital with Noah…we’re sharing the same pillow, AND, Curious George is STILL part of the bedtime routine.  



Anyway, before we pray, I usually ask one of several questions, including:

  • What were your Top Ten favorites of the day?
  • What are 10 things for which you are grateful?
  • Let’s share our Top Five of the day.
  • Name 5 people you’d like to pray for tonight.
  • If you could tell God “10 Thanks” for today, what would they be?
  • Who is someone at school we could be praying for this week?
  • Is there anything specific you’d like to talk to God about tonight?
The list could go on and on, but my desire is to be INTENTIONAL to stop, reflect on the day, and give thanks to our loving God for anything and everything, in general, and specifically.
With Ry, at least with the second bullet point above, he’ll say something to the tune of:
  1. Tank You for horses.”
  2. Tank You for giraffes.”
  3. Tank You for Daddy.”
  4. Tank You for trains.”
  5. Tank You for cars.”
  6. Tank You for my cousins.”
  7. Tank You for Yay-goes.” (Legos)
  8. Tank You for mountains.”
  9. Tank You for CARS.”
  10. Tank You for my cousins.”
He means it about the cousins….
Often Emily says in her Top Ten, “Right now…”  It never gets old to hear her repeat this sentiment.  It’s actually my favorite in a totally selfish mommy sort of way.  I breathe in the “right now” and say, “Me, too!” and tell her, and God, how thankful I am to be her mom.  
Because, HOLY COW, I’m her mom!
Sometimes she tells me her Top Ten, and in my best Nacho Libre accent, I say, “You gotta be kidding me!  Everything you just said is my favorite thing to do, every day!” and we laugh.  Nacho may not be on your Top Ten list, but it’s a family favorite because before Noah ever went to the hospital for the rest of his life, somewhere in his first 7 weeks at home, free of machines and wires, I took him to see it with my eldest nephew.  We speak Nacho around here to lighten things up once in a while.  Sometimes I read our story in Nacho, just to change things up a bit.
Anyway, back to this post on Thankfulness.  I’m thankful Ryan says, “Tank” for “Thank.”  I’m thankful for an amazing husband who is engaged in the bedtime routine.  I’m thankful my daughter loves books as much as her nerdy word nerd mom.  I’m thankful for writers who have taken the time through the ages to scribe stories which we are able to read each night.  And, I’m thankful for comedians like Jack Black who make my stomach hurt from laughing.  
Mostly, though, I’m thankful for the “Right Now.”  When we recognize the “Right Now” as a gift from God, something as simple as a bedtime routine becomes sacred and beautiful, memorable and life-changing.
Tank You, Lord, for Right Now.  Just tanks…

*Heidi is sharing over on her blog about thanks this morning, too.
*Heidi Jo is sharing here.
*Elizabeth is sharing on her blog.

Where are you writing down your thanks?

When Dreams Come True

Jason and I took Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University”class recently.  All I can say is literally every person should take this class at some point in their existence.  There would be no financial issues on this earth or in any government.  Just sayin’.

That being said, one of our cash envelopes is set aside each week for eating out.  I’ve enjoyed this because prior to Dave’s class, we ate out a ton and our monthly budget seemed to be slipping through our fingers.  Plus, my thighs were bigger.

Now we stick with our “Eating Out” budget and it’s like money has magically appeared in our bank account.  Crazy stuff.  I now believe in magic.

And I’m using my treadmill more and lifting weights, so that’s likely why my thighs aren’t as large.

White man overbite, November 2012

Anyway, I love our little “Eating Out” envelope.  Every once in a while when Ryan and I are out on the town running errands we’ll stop for a lunch date at our favorite spot and use about $8.00 of our “Eating Out” budget.  A couple of months ago there was a sunny warm day and Ryan was a hungry little lion, so we headed over to our favorite spot, ordered, got our food, and found a cozy 2-top outside in the sunshine where we shared our plate of goodness.

It didn’t occur to me then.  Nor had it occurred to me all the other times the two of us had shared a lunch date at this same little place…

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when the whole family was running errands.  It was my turn to choose our lunch spot.  We rotate who gets to choose where we are eating among Jason, Emily and myself.

I chose “Garbanzo’s”.

And as I spooned a mouthful of hummus into Ryan’s sweet little lips, I realized a dream of mine had already come true.  And as we shared the last falafel, I knew it had…

He may not have dark hair yet.  And at 3 feet, he certainly doesn’t tower over his mama, either.

But, I am so very grateful that unknowingly, Ryan and I found our favorite spot, and it’s there where we laugh and cry, or whine, over falafels.

My Little Lover

Two exciting things happening in this picture:  One, Ryan is sitting at his big boy table, and two, he’s practicing blowing his own nose.  (Em’s old Jenny Lind table and chairs.)
Ryan and I have been heading out on bike rides in the mornings.  He thinks his sister’s hand-me-down helmet is pretty cool (hula dancer on the back and all…).  He yells, “Neigh, Neigh!” the whole time as we head over to a meadow near or home filled with horses.
Sometimes he wants to wear his hand-me-down froggy boots, rain or shine.
The shirt is wide open because so you can see his hairless chest…no, but really, we had to re-dress after lunch today.  Notice the little black eye!  I’m so sad!  Ry got his first little shiner while climbing up the steps on the playground last evening.  
This is the face I stare at every day.  He knows my name.  He hugs my thighs.  He kisses me and snuggles on my shoulder.  My heart is so very, very full…