Being grounded in thanks

In light of today’s feeling of being majorly ignored by some people I would have expected otherwise from, I need to focus on some gifts of goodness today. In an attempt to prevent resentment and bitterness from crouching in and overtaking my thoughts, I need to look for the beauty of this weekend and of today.

32. “Jacob’s Ladder”. Thankful that my friend Marti researched and found this resource  for developing reading comprehension skills and strategies.

33. Thankful that on today’s homeschool day, when I showed Jacob the cover of “Jacob’s Ladder” he was intrigued. Thankful that it led to a beautiful snuggle time on the couch of looking up the story in Genesis of Jacob and Esau……and then the dream Jacob had where God showed him a ladder reaching up to heaven with angels ascending and descending….and God’s promise to Jacob that He will always be with him.  Thankful that as I type this right now, I feel God whispering his encouraging words for me to just sit back and relax. God will be with my son, Jacob, too for all of his days. God will help me figure out this full homeschooling thing. Thankful that Jacob and I could snuggle on the couch and read from the bible today and then transition into this book on reading comprehension. Thankful that this time of reflecting has brought a sweet reminder to me that God will in fact lead me. Thank you God. I’m overwhelmed by who/what to align myself with come 2nd semester. I need to rest in your assurances that you are with us.

34. Thankful that as we finished reading the Aesop fable “The Crow and the Pitcher”, that we could step outside and test out how how dropping pebbles into a cup with a little bit of water could raise the level of water. Jacob had been confused by the crow’s solution of “picking up a pebble and dropping it in…..and then dropping in another pebble…..and on and on and on……until the water rose to a level that the crow could reach and drink from.” Absolutely love it that Jacob’s confusion was replaced with a firsthand experience of how that works. Water displacement in action! 🙂 Love it that his furrowed eyebrows and “I don’t get it” turned into a fun mini-lesson outside. Thankful that we have a walkway of pebbles that made this doable.

35. Thankful for libraries. Thankful for the librarian who helped me today find specific books I was looking for to teach Jacob about making inferences.

36. Thankful for the yummy taste of speculaas cookies.

37. Thankful for the sweet gooeyness of homemade cinnamon rolls.

38. Thankful for my sister. I missed her today. She was able to spend time here at my house Friday, Saturday and Sunday……and today I really missed her. Thankful she was able to come down from Portland. Thankful for my time with her. Thankful for her smiles. Thankful for her sweetness with Jacob and Natalie. Thankful we got to bake together. Thankful for her thoughtfulness in bringing a robust soup mix from Bob’s Red Mill. Thankful for the cute little homemade crafty bag she brought me for my iPhone. Thankful for the thoughtful Christmas presents she brought Jacob and Natalie. Thankful that she too loves logistical management and has such an incredible eye for detail and doing things with excellence. We are like two peas in a pod with regard to our work ethic. Thankful for the fun of being two sisters together.

39. Thankful that my children are safe in my arms. My heart hurts for the families in Connecticut who have lost their children to such tragedy. My heart is so heavy with grief for them. But I’m soooooooooo thankful Jacob wanted to snuggle with me on the couch today during his homeschool day. Thankful that he nestled in close to me. Thankful that he reached over and gave me a kiss on my cheek- totally out of the sweetness of his heart. Thankful that today’s homeschool day went so well and was so sweet.

40. Thankful for Natalie’s zany personality. Thankful for her mega excitement in receiving the super fuzzy pink vest with two pompoms hanging off the zipper! She was ecstatic beyond belief. Love that girl!

41. Thankful for the fun Natalie and I had at the Staples Center last week. Thankful she was eager to sit on my lap. Thankful that at intermission we had fun taking pictures of the two of us making all kinds of faces- happy faces, sad faces, angry faces, surprised faces….. love that girl and all her playful silliness!

42. Thankful for the paintings Natalie has been creating lately. Thankful to see that our homeschooling time spent listening to BrainPop videos on van Gogh, O’Keefe, Picasso, are things that have inspired her to experiment as she paints. She has in particular been inspired by van Gogh’s use of extra paint for texture. And using swirls in her brushstrokes. I loooooooooove seeing that our time spent discovering artist’s different styles is now surfacing in her paintings. Love it! Love it! Love it! It’s as if all of a sudden her paintings have changed and are developing into a whole new sophistication of style. It’s absolutely amazing to me. The one she made today especially caught my eye. So abstract. So colorful. So full of texture. I pleaded with her to please let me have it. She said I can get her next painting. That little stinker! I’m not sure who will get to be the lucky recipient of this one……but I seriously L-O-V-E it!

43. Natalie’s artistic rendition of van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. She baffled me. Completely, totally surprised me and baffled me. She must be an artist deep down to her core. She stood at our short, square coffee table painting quietly. I wondered as I walked past, what that rather large black vertical shaped aspect of her painting was all about in the left third of the painting. I could see the swirls in the thick blue painting. I didn’t say anything or inquire. But then Omie and Tante Mitzi came over. Natalie announced she had made the painting for Tante Mitzi. Wow! Cool!!! She announced she was trying to be like vanGogh. Omie asked if she was thinking of Starry Night while she painted it. Natalie nodded affirmatively, with a lot of excitement for having her artwork resemble such a fancy piece, to the point of recognition by Omie!!! I started to wonder again about that dark vertical piece. I headed outside, unlocked the car and retrieved a book we had just acquired at the kids’ school from a “free books” table. And there on the cover of the vanGogh paintings book, was Starry Night. And, yes, ‘lo and behold there was a prominent, black, vertical piece in the left third of the painting. How had I not remembered that??! How had Natalie remembered that??! She had only received that book this morning when we dropped Jacob off at school at 9:15. She painted this 3 hours prior to picking up that book. It was all in her memory…..from a week prior when we had a conversation about vanGogh’s artwork. WOW! I’m in awe. I am thankful for her mind. I am thankful for her talent. I am thankful for her love of art. I am thankful for the way she quiets herself and focuses so intently while she paints.

44. I am thankful for friends who cheer me up, pray with me and for me, who call and text to inquire how I’m doing, and with whom I can vent. So thankful for those friends.

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