Giving Thanks

When I look back at the last 12 months, we have had quite a few difficult things to work through.  Continued pandemic, two surgeries, a death in our family, health scares, a wreck…..

I found myself using the word ‘overwhelmed’ often.  Generally, I can take things as they come and make the best of them.  Hasn’t been as easy lately.

In the seasonal spirit of gratitude, here are some of the things that bring thankfulness to my heart:

1) My parents. I am who I am because of their example.
2) My siblings. My brother is two years younger than me and my sister is four years younger. Being the oldest is harder than it looks! Right, D?
3) My salvation. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son …
4) My man. In 1974 he was too old for me (according to my daddy). Funny how by 1977, he wasn’t. He provides me security, wisdom, comfort, and many laughs!
5) My in-laws. They are both living in glory now but gave unconditionally over and over again.
6) Jacob. While it is not what I planned, being able to aim to meet his needs is my greatest privilege.
7) Josh. What a blessing to watch him marry, become a successful entrepreneur, and parent three girls.
8) Sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. We may not always see eye-to-eye on topics but I know I can count on them. And it is super fun anytime we can have a game day!
9) Granddaughters. Nothing like ‘em! Oh, that I could see them every day!
10) Extended family– aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
11) Friends—some go way, way back and some I’ve not known nearly as long. But, the blessing of friends cannot be overstated. Be a friend whenever you can.
12) My small group. Friends are friends forever when the Lord’s the Lord of them.
13) My Sunday School class and church family. We haven’t been able to go as much but it doesn’t mean they aren’t important.
14) Pets. We have two golden retrievers right now. They are our 3rd and 4th of that breed. Yes, there is hair, hair, and more hair. But in exchange, there are snuggles, silliness, lots of love, and bouncing excitement. Every single day those brown eyes light up mine.
15) Neighbors. There’s something special about knowing your neighbors. It takes effort but the reward is great.
16) Sitters. I cannot say enough about dependable sitters. They are a Godsend that makes our lives easier.
17) Jacob’s Day Program. We are so very grateful there is a place where he enjoys going!
18) Health. I’ve had a couple of scares in the last few months but nothing life-threatening. Grateful for that!
19) God’s provision. We have everything we need and more.
20) God’s protection. Nine days ago, a Fed Ex truck backed into the side of my moving vehicle. I didn’t see him, heard it first. While I was quite shaken, I sustained no injuries. Jacob was not with me which was a huge blessing because it hit on the side he rides. Mike was nearby so he got to the accident scene quickly. The vehicle is beyond repair from the damage but we have so much to be thankful for!
21) God’s peace. When I’m overwhelmed, I can call on the Prince of Peace. His spirit lives in me to bring calm to my chaos.
22) God’s promises. Having said goodbye to my dad just 4 months ago, I know that he is in heaven and I’ll see him again.
23) Prayer. God gives a way to talk to him and listen. It’s always the best thing to do in any situation.

If you find yourself alone today, reach out to someone else who may be alone as well.  If you are with friends and/or family, look around and count your blessings. 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

God has been so good to me that my heart cannot help but overflow with thanksgiving! 

November photos from several years in the past to last week. The first one shows Jacob snoozing at his aunt and uncle’s house one Thanksgiving. It’s the only one I could find of him on that day. If there’s a crowd, he’d rather not be in the middle!


No Tricking Him

I like a challenge.  That’s part of why I enjoy being in the kitchen.  Trying new ingredients.  Taking risks.  Mastering anything new things doesn’t usually happen on the first attempt.  Progress happens when I make a mess of the first or fiftieth try.  Starting over if the first experiment doesn’t have the results I expected.   All in the name of learning.

A while back I experimented with two things I was sure Jacob would enjoy:  cinnamon rolls and donuts.   He turned his nose up and would have nothing to do with either.  Was offended I even offered.  I decided he was put off by the crazy colors.  Okay, I can deal with that.  He’s a purist. That’s cool.

Not to be thwarted, I was determined to try again.  Recently I made a batch of yeast dough.  Halved it and made a pan of cinnamon rolls and with the other, donuts and donut holes.  Simple. Glazed.

I was pretty excited about the process and the possibility that my lucky day had arrived.  Maybe I was about to win Jacob over. I wasn’t pleased with how ‘loose’ the dough was and the donuts wouldn’t have won any appearance awards. They tasted soooooooooooooooooo good!

I told my mom, Jacob’s Granny, about hoping Jacob would like the donut holes.  Surely, they were better than the two dozen I’ve purchased at Pillow Donuts.  I didn’t add any food coloring. Not a single sprinkle. Simple and glazed. That’s all. She asked if I had a white bag to put them in.  Why, yes, I did.

I carefully did so and closed the top.  Told Jacob that I had donut holes for him and to come to get some.  He came right away.  He touched the bag and wanted to see what was inside.  I took out two and put them on his plate.  He smelled and took a tiny bite.  And then handed it back to me.  Can you believe it? I was so sad.  His dad wasn’t.  More for him.

I felt a little devious pretending they were from the bakery.  But obviously not much.  He has me figured out.  

Texted Granny and her reply:  Now we know Jacob’s taste buds are very sharp!  Don’t try to trick Jacob.  I think he said,  ‘I like what I like!’

The next morning he did decide to sample a cinnamon roll and ended up eating three for breakfast.   Tiny victory.  I’ll take it. 

Granny is right.  We made them available to him multiple times to the same response.  How, oh how can he have such willpower?!?!?

Don’t try to sneak Nestle’s Quik in place of Chocolate Milk.  He won’t have it.

Jacob knows cheese. Some processed cheese works great for cheese toast. Don’t use the one that is better for a bologna and cheese sandwich. He knows and won’t have it.

Don’t try to sub Honey Wheat bread for Whole Wheat bread.  He won’t have it.

And certainly, don’t try to sneak in homemade donuts for those from a bakery.  He will not have it. 

His lack of appreciation for my kitchen experiments should be enough to make me put away the spatula.  His dad and I sure don’t ‘need’ the calories.  Our grands live too far away to get in on taste testing.  Our friends can only take so many macarons, meringues, and marshmallows.  While I’d love it if he got excited over something I’ve made for him, it’s okay that he’s not.  I’ll probably keep trying.  Who knows but one day he’ll change his mind. A mom can hope, right?  

In the meantime, good for Jacob for knowing what he likes!!!