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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful from A - Z

Katy Lin at The Great Adventure has been doing a daily post listing things she is thankful for, using all 26 letters of the alphabet. I wanted to join in, but put it in one post for you to read today. (I've been working on this all month! And doing this is not as easy as it seems!)

This has been a roller coaster kind of year. At the beginning of the year, when Rick made my calendar, he put a little inspirational phrase at the top that said, "Peace is MINE in 2009". It hasn't been a very peaceful year, I'm afraid! (In fact, I told him to put this phrase on my 2010 calendar: "Kick you in the shin in 2010!" I thought maybe some reverse psychology would work this year!)

Even though my year has not been overly peaceful, I still have had so many things for which to be thankful. In fact, as our LifeCoach has told us, "God cannot heal what has not been revealed."

So here is my list of things for which I am thankful this year ~ 2009:

A ~ Apples. Yes, I have been thankful for apples! My kids love them and I feel so good feeding them a nice, fresh, sliced apple for a snack instead of something sugary and fattening. I also learned how to make yummy homemade applesauce this year! I wish I had an apple tree!

B ~ Blogging. I have found a forum where I can express myself daily! I love to write and my blog has given me a place to do that in all of the crazy forms I love! I have also made some of the most amazing friends by blogging, and have received amazing support in the form of comments, e-mails and prayers this year. Without blogging, all of this in my poor head would have remained bottled up inside and I might have imploded.

C ~ Coffee. Seriously thank you Lord for deciding, in your infinite wisdom, that on the 3rd day you should create coffee bean plants! For that, you completely deserved that day off on the 7th day!

D ~ DVR. We very rarely watch television shows anymore in "real time". In fact, if we do someone inevitably says, "FF" (fast forward), when it comes to a commercial! DVR is especially helpful with a busy family! It allows me the opportunity to spend time with my kids during the evening without being annoyed that I'm missing a show. And it allows us to plan getting things done in the early evening, even though a show has already started, so we can sit down a little later together as a family and watch it. And it keeps us from being in 12 different rooms to watch 12 different things because we all have different things we want to watch. We watch things together, and then watch the other things at a different time. Best of all, Rick and I can sit down after the kids all go to bed and watch a show together, thus creating time just for us. It's a win-win all the way around (unless I go to watch something and realize that it hasn't recorded because the memory is full due to 76 recorded episodes of Hannah Montana and Tom and Jerry.)

E ~ Easter Sunday. Just one day's reminder through the year that Jesus paid the price for my daily sins so that someday I can rise as He did to live eternally with my Father. Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice and thank you, God, for loving me so much that you would allow your Son to endure such atrocities. I am loved!

F ~ Fathers. Both my earthly one and my heavenly one. I love my dad, Bill! He has always been the life of the party! And, he's such a softy under all that tough exterior! And, he is the best cook! And I love my Heavenly Father for always loving me unconditionally no matter what stupid things I do.

G ~ Good genes. I like the other kind of good jeans, too, but I'm talking about genes passed down from my parents. Thankfully, there are no real hereditary health issues in our family. And, we have been blessed with a good metabolism. Those things make keeping ourselves healthy as a family much easier. I really try not to take that for granted because I know so many people who struggle with health issues that are beyond their control, including weight issues that are hard to fight.

H ~ Hope. What always gets me through tough days is the hope of better days to come.

I ~ Individuality. I absolutely love the differences in my kids. I look at them and wonder what they will end up doing with their lives. And it's the things that others think are strange or not normal that I know will be the driving things that make my kids do great things as adults!

J ~ Jesus. My friend. When all other friends fail me, and they can't help but do it, Jesus is always there walking through the muck and mire with me. Heck, sometimes he even carries my heavy load so I don't have to. Without Him I would be so lonely.

K ~ Kids. My kids .. dear God I would be lost without them. I am so thankful that I have the privilege of being their mom. They teach me more about love and mercy and patience and humility that anyone else on this planet. Every gray hair I have on my head is 100% worth it. I am so proud of the people they are becoming, and I cannot wait to see what paths they take in their lives.

L ~ Legacy. We are in imperfect family. Can you believe it??? A lesson I have learned this year is that even imperfect families deserve to be loved for who they are, no matter what! And I have family members who have taught me that. There's my mom and dad who, even though they have imperfect parents, still take the time to do what's right by them even when they don't really feel like it. And there's my second cousin Charla (aka Sarge) who has her own elderly mother and elderly aunt (who are both in their mid-80's) living with her and working at her antique shop just to be a help to them in their last days. I am grateful for these examples in my family of how important we should remain to each other.

M ~ Mom
. My mom. I love her. We are so much alike that, at times, that can be a bad thing. Way independent, we are! But she has ingrained in me a love for my children and my home. She accepts me just how I am, but isn't afraid to interfere when she feels it's necessary. She has taught me that being anything but frugal is ridiculous. And she has taught me this year that people are who people are, and all I can do it accept that and love them anyway and just move on. Good lesson learned.

N ~ New Friends. Life changes and paths go in different directions sometimes. Old friends go different ways and new friends arrive. I am so extremely thankful for the new friends I have made this year! Many of you are women I have met in this crazy blogging world! Some of you I have met at my childrens' school. Each of you has given me fresh perspective on my life and where it's going. Thank you!

O ~ Old Friends. Then there are those friends who you haven't physically seen for many years. They read something on your blog and just know. And they have just the right words to say at just the right time. And, all of a sudden you feel safe. You know who you are. And you know how much I love you. What you don't know is that you have saved me this year, when things have been so hard. I have saved some of your words and I re-read them for encouragement often. You bless me!

P ~ Planning. I love to plan, be it parties, crafts, t-shirts, dinners, grocery lists, whatever. Planning has turned me around this fall. I have felt a little lost, a little useless. But this fall I have been working hard and have been distracted planning the fall craft party for Eli's class, planning all four kids' birthday parties, planning Christmas parties coming up, planning frugal meals and grocery lists out of necessity. I feel alive and useful! Tapping into the gifts God has given me has given me back some joy I had lost!

Q ~ Quiet. I am someone who needs lots of quiet! I seriously think I have over-stimulation issues, to light and noise and touch. I have been blessed to have at least two hours a day, each day, to myself where I can just sit in the quiet if I want to. And many days I do. Without it, I think I would go stark raving mad!

R ~ Rick Taulman. The love of my life. I don't want to live a day of my life without him in it. I look forward to our children being grown and living lives of their own so that we can just be together. I think he's sexy, and funny and the best father I've ever been around. With him I know that I am always loved. He is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me!

S ~ Sisters. My blood sister, Kristen, and my sisters in Christ. Kristen and I didn't really care for each other until we got in our 30's. Even now we are completely different. But, our differences are what has made me open my eyes to some really important things this year. I am so proud of her and for what she has done in her life over the past 5 years or so. And for my sisters in Christ, my real sisters in Christ, thank you for praying for me and loving me and accepting me, no matter what.

T ~ Tim. My brother, and his little adorable wife Shawna. (Do you know that they have been sweethearts since junior high?) He lives his life in a way that is completely opposite of the way I live mine. But in visiting him, and being a part of his life for a few days, he taught me a valuable lesson this year. We can do things completely different and still both live a fulfilling life! Life worth living is the one where you do it your way, not the way everybody else thinks you should be doing it.

U ~ Unconditional Love. It's hard to find. But, it's there. I know that I am unconditionally loved by my God, my Husband, my Children, my Family and some dear friends. I don't need to search for it. It's here. I can be me, even with Satan tries to tell me I can't. When I look around and see who is still standing by my side, I know. And I do feel loved. It's taken a lot this year for me to really see that. But, I do!

V ~ Vacations! I love to go on vacation! Not only do I love the destinations (Bermuda, the Caribbean, Grand Tetons, Portland, Oregon, even St. Louis, Missouri, to name a few), but I love to experience those places with my vacation buddies. Sometimes it's Rick and I with the kids, occasionally it's with some friends or my mom and sometimes Rick and I get the pleasure of going on vacation alone. This summer Rick and I are taking a cruise through the Hawaiian islands. I. Can. Not. WAIT!!! Oh, Rick, I cannot wait!

W ~ Weight Watchers Point System. I'm not heavy and neither is Rick. But, at times we get, what I would like to call, "fleshy"! And as we have gotten older we feel the effects of our weight gains more prominently! The Weight Watchers Point System is something I did a few years ago to lose about 15 pounds. Rick has lost weight at times doing it too. What I love about it is that you are deprived nothing as long as you stay within your point goal. It's a healthy way to lose weight and we go back to it often.

X ~ Xerographic copier. Because it gives me purpose one afternoon a week. I love to help out my kids' teachers and their school, but I am just not the PTO type. Too cliquish and junior high for me. I do copies for all of the kindergarten teachers' lesson plans every week and I enjoy knowing that I am being helpful in some tangible way. Our teachers work so hard and put in so many hours that it saddens me to think about them having to stay after school to make their copies. That's time they should be spending with their own families.

Y ~ YMCA. I love going to classes at the Y. I don't like to get up at 5 a.m. to do it, but I am thankful it's there for me. And my body always thanks me for going!

Z ~ Zinc. In September of 2008 I started giving my two little ones a gummy immune boosting vitamin with zinc in it. Not coincidentally, I believe, my now 5 year old stopped having all of his respiratory illnesses and made it through the entire sick season with no more than a couple-day cold. Fluke? Well, we have been taking it for over a year and ne'er an illness from him (other than a reaction to his FluMist). My pediatrician told me about her research on the healing properties of zinc and to keep giving it to him! I have and I will for as long as they continue to make it in a form he can take. I am thankful for the geniouses out there who have determined what vitamin deficiencies we can have from our poor diets, and the environment, etc., so that we can supplement to stay healthy.

I hope that you have a blessed Thanksgiving and cling to those things for which you are Thankful! For me, it's family. Everything else is just extra.


  1. Nicole, I love this:) It is beautiful! I hope you have a wonderfully perfect day today:)

  2. What a wonderful list! Stopping to make a list like this really gets you thinking about your life and all that you are thankful for. I hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving, sweet friend.

  3. Marcus and I are off to volunteer at our church. My husband is in for a long day at Kmart.

    We had our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. Marcus and I made the whole dinner. It was my first turkey! And my husband loved it!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  4. A-Z.. COOL!

    um..don't you have any Classic Rock to play in the background?

    Happy Turkey Day!


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