Friday, November 30, 2012

Five for Friday...

This week we participated in parent-teacher conferences!  Woohoo!!  I do love hearing how the children are doing and learning about how things are functioning for them in their classrooms.  We get specific feedback on how we can help each child perform better in their class.

I bring paper and pencil so I can jot down notes, positive and negative, so I remember what I want to share about the conference with each child.  This year, Sun's teacher wanted her to attend her conference.  She was very nervous (only because that is her nature).  He was extremely complimentary and praising of her.  It was very fun to watch her beam as he lathered on the compliments.  She really needed it.  The other thing he did that I hadn't seen before was he had each of the children evaluate themselves in their classroom behavior and social interactions.  He gave them a list of things like:  I always get my work done; I am kind to others;  I follow the teachers instructions;  I am respectful;  I turn in my homework on time; etc...  Each child was suppose to grade themselves, 1 being never, 2, meaning sometimes, 3 meaning most of the time, and 4 being always.  On the back he gave space for writing things like:  My goals for the year are:,  I think I am good at:, stuff like that.  Then during the conference, he went over their self-evaluations and gave us his opinion of those areas.  In most areas he felt like Sun did better than she gave herself credit for.  That was important information as her mother, to realize that sometimes she undervalues herself.  (It was actually my husband who pointed it out, as I was explaining our conference to him....thanks Dear!)  So that will be something we will be working on at home, to help her come to a more accurate self-image.

I found out that even though Shorty is on top of all of his classwork, he hasn't turned in any book reports which are due once a month.  Why? you ask.  Well, that was my question too.  So I asked him.  The answer:  Because I don't know where the book report forms are in the classroom.  REALLY?!  OK so today's only task was to ask where those papers are located.  Did it happen?  Nope, not today either.  So tomorrow if he doesn't know when he gets in the car, I'll send him back in to retrieve one.

And Smiley.....well, I already told you about his homework habits (HERE).  That was the only negative thing on his report card.  His teacher even told me how difficult of a time she has disciplining him because he seems to have such a good attitude, and it genuinely bothers him when he doesn't have his homework to turn in.  Well, that isn't how it appears at home.  Read the link to find out his reaction.  Anyway, we have implemented some consequences at home that appear to be working and motivating enough for him to remember to turn in his homework.  Whew!

I cleaned the shower!!! Will miracles never cease??!!  It was disgusting!  You did not want to see a before photo, trust me.  And yes, the entire bathroom is pink tile, see:
The toilet is pink too, but you don't want to see that either.

The winter weather is upon us:
Have you ever had a really bad thing and a really good thing happen in the same day?  Yesterday was like that for me.  One of my children attended a college banquet to receive an award.  I didn't get to attend because he is far, far away.  But just the fact that he received it was a great honor.

Later that night we received some sad news, not horrible, manageable.  But I was just sad for one of my kiddos.  It is just so weird to have really happy feelings and really sad feelings all in the same day about totally different events and people.

Number 5 was suppose to be the best-----the big finale!!!  I was going to post on how awesome it was to decorate for Christmas.  I had plans to bring the children home from school, pull all the decorations out and go to town.  But alas, my plan was foiled!

Service is so inconvenient sometimes!  One sister needed a ride to the department store to exchange pants.  Another sister needed to have her car jump started.  I am sad to say I was annoyed they needed my help instead of being able to decorate the house.  What kind of a Christian am I?  Sad!  I am going to have to change my attitude.  Speaking of which, my sweetheart now needs my assistance and I cannot even finish this blog.  Oh well, such is life :-)

Linking in with Heather today!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Home Improvement Projects--Let the Phoof begin!

Our family room has lovingly been referred to as 'The Man-Cave.'  It is ghastly ugly and has driven me crazy  since we have moved in, mostly because it is so dark.  I have had ideas for how I would like to decorate it and they are constantly being upgraded.  I have wanted to really soften the walls, carpet, drapes, light fixtures....all of it.  The boys have decided that if I am allowed to do all that I want to the room, they will lose 'The Man-Cave' because I will have 'phoofed' it with my feminine tastes!  I just keep reminding them they live here on a temporary basis and they can express their desires for decorating, but decisions will be made by the parents.

This weekend, we ordered the curtains and lamps for the family room.  They are exactly what I would want.  Here are some before photos of the things that drive me crazy:
Nasty, old curtains
Medieval light fixtures
 (Notice the brown walls!!)

Orange SHAG 70's!
naked wood ceilings with plastic beams

Now it will not all be done at one time.  Curtains and lamps this Christmas, maybe paint over the summer, maybe not until next Christmas, and at some point, carpet.  Here a little and there a little.

Here are the curtains we ordered:
Paint selections:
Anyway...........I cannot wait!!  I'll post updates as they happen!  Hooray!  The Phoof has Begun!
Also, my sweet husband changed out the faucet in our bathroom:
I don't have a before photo......but trust me, this is much, much better!  We still have orange Formica.  One thing at a time right?

The funny thing is, I have decided that I really like wearing orange. I have it on today!  I just don't want to live in it anymore!

Happy home improvements!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Noises

Last night during family scripture study and prayer, I heard fun giggling.  Looking around, I caught our two little ones reading a different book:
Our little Spike, Spike has really begun to interact with the other children.  He laughs at himself now, so cute!  When we SKYPE with his older brother, he hogs the camera and he has long conversations on the phone, though none of us know what he is saying.  It is just so very fun to watch them grow and see them enter each new phase of development.  Maybe in a few years, he will actually pay attention during family scripture study!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Previously I posted my bread recipe (link here).  I also use that recipe for hamburger buns and bagels.  The hamburger buns are super easy.  Just make the bread as posted.  When shaping the dough, roll it into a ball, then flatten it between your palms to the shape of a four-inch pancake, about an inch thick.  Spray your pan.  Place shaped dough on a cookie sheet.  Let them rise about 20 minutes and bake them at 350 for about 20 minutes, 30 if you like them toastier.  After the buns have cooled down a little, cut them in half.  Voila.........hamburger buns.  Now that I have started making them, we don't ever buy them.  They are just too yummy, especially if you top them with butter!

OK, on to  bagels.  Make the bread recipe as posted.  Let the dough rest for only 10 minutes after mixing.  Divide dough into 20-24 pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball.  Use your fingers to poke a hole in the middle of the dough.  Insert both index fingers and stretch the hole to the size of a quarter.  Place shaped bagels on a greased cookie sheet.  Mine fit about 8 bagels per sheet.  Now comes the fun part.
shaped dough


  • Broil bagels for 1 1/2 minutes on each side.  So each pan will be in the broiler for 3 minutes.
  • On the stove top, begin boiling 3-4 inches of water in a large frying pan, with 2 TBLS of sugar.  As soon as the bagels come out of the broiler, place in the pan of boiling water.  Boil bagels for 3 1/2 minutes on each side.  I just use tongs to flip mine over.  Remove from the boiling water and place on cookie sheet to dry.  The recipe said to place them on paper, but mine stick to the paper and it is obnoxious, so I just put them back on the cookie sheet they came off of.  Let them rest for 10 minutes.
  • Now bake your bagels for 30 minutes @ 350.  Let them cool.  When cool, slice them in half.

We love them hot, in lunches, toasted, with cream cheese, for egg and ham sandwiches...........whatever, wherever!  I have not experimented with flavors or other recipes, mostly because I am so busy, and the children love these ones.  The thing I particularly like is that I can make them whatever size I want.  I can make mini-bagels for little ones, or large ones for sandwiches.

Oh!  I forgot this little tid-bit of information on the bread page-----humidity plays a role in how much flour you will need to add to your dough.  A day with more moisture, you will have to add more flour to the bread to get the same texture that you would on a drier day.  Just so you know.

Anyway, happy bagel making!!

Monday, November 26, 2012


Shannon and I have been friends since the sixth grade! It is so wonderful to have friends who even though you may not have spoken for months or years you can just pick up the conversation as if you hadn't lost a day. Shannon is that kind of a friend.

I loved seeing her family and how the children have grown.

We have been friends for 30 years!!  That is amazing to me.  We have been through so much together that it would take an entire book!  She will always be dear to my heart! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sweet Service

Giving service always makes me smile and I feel happy inside, even when it wasn't a service I initially wanted to give.  I have hoped that as my children have also participated in such service, their hearts would feel the same joy and peace.  Today, I was the recipient of such a service from one of my children.

I was so tired last night that I decided to go to bed right after I put the baby down.  Usually I bring the monitor upstairs when I go to bed so I can hear when the baby wakes up.  I forgot.  As I was drifting off to sleep, my husband said he would bring the monitor up when he went to bed.

I woke up at 3 a.m. when I heard the baby cry, but noticed that I didn't see the monitor anywhere.  Drew asked where I was going.  I told him that I had heard the baby cry and was going to check on him. 

Drew said, "Don't you dare.  Speedy wanted you to sleep well tonight, so he took the monitor to bed with him and he is getting up with the baby tonight.  Right now, the baby is asleep on Speedy's chest.  He is taking care of him.  Go back to bed."

I am so grateful for husbands!!  I would have gone down there to help him out.  Instead, my sweet boy gave a heart felt and difficult service.  This is where he was at 10:00 a.m.:
Thank you Speedy!!!  I needed the sleep.  
This little face didn't greet me  until 7:30!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pinto Beans....Brazilian Style

So when our oldest was returning home from his mission, I asked him what he would like to eat and if he was interested in eating any more rice and beans or if he was sick of them.  His response, "Mom, if rice and beans aren't on the table, I'm not eating.  But you have to learn to make them right."  There's a right way?

When he arrived home, he taught me the right way.  Here it is:

3 C Dry Pinto Beans.

Cook your beans in 6 C of water.  You can either cook them in a pressure cooker (in which case you will not need 6 C. of water, see cooker instructions for amounts) for an hour before you are ready to season them, or you can cook them on the stove top (begin cooking in the morning and watch the water levels, you may need to add more water), or put them in the crock pot (first thing in the morning, cook on high for six hours).  Because of our cook top, I prefer the crock pot method.  Before we changed out the stove top, I preferred the pressure cooker method, mostly because of the time factor.

After your beans are cooked, start heating 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, in the pot you plan on seasoning the beans in.  Saute 1 medium onion (more or less to your liking), 1 bell pepper (I like the orange, yellow, or red ones), and 1 tbls chopped garlic.  When soft, add 2 tbls salt, and 1 tbls cumin.  To this, add the beans and whatever water is left in them after they have cooked, and 3 bay leaves.

before the salt, bay leave, and beans
Cook over low to medium heat for a couple of hours, to reduce water.  Cook until beans reach desired consistency.  Remove bay leaves.  Serve over rice.  Garnish with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and maybe a squirt of lime.  Enjoy!!
Slim says beans and rice are served every meal in Brazil.  They are made early in the morning and left on the stove top all day.  The main meal is lunch, so they are ready in time to be served then.  Usually they are served with some sort of fried meat and a salad that uses lime juice as the salad dressing.  In our efforts to curtail our meat consumption, we have been eating this dish as the main course, with or without a salad.  We just put them in the refrigerator for the next day.  Sometimes we will have tacos or enchiladas with the left overs.  I also found a similar recipe, but with black beans in the Weight Watcher's cookbook.  It adds chipotle pepper and the cilantro and tomatoes are cooked into the recipe.  It is delicious!  Let me know if you'd like that one and I will see if I can post it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mothering Moment

Yesterday my little man Spike, Spike (16 months) was pretty obnoxious and very demanding.  I could not figure out WHAT his issue was..............and I am very good at reading little people (just ask some of my friends!).  Anyway, he was SUPER in my face about everything.  I could not get anything done. 

I had a goal of getting rid of the last box of apples that I have been putting up.  They have only been sitting on my kitchen table for about 10 days! UGH! 

We had a very busy morning, the dishwasher repairman showed up, I bought airline tickets for college boys and bus passes for home boys, we made laundry soap so we could actually WASH the laundry, made bread, took care of lunch, helped Sun with a sewing project, curtailed indoor basketball (because it was raining outside and Thanksgiving break---a week off of school where we live), and I was FINALLY settling down to tackle the apples @ 4 p.m., when I received a phone call that needed attention.  The baby was going ballistic!  I could not console him.

I got off of the phone and decided maybe he was hungry since he usually is starving by 4:30.  As tried feeding him several things, with him complaining and pushing everything I put in front of him away, I began to take inventory of what he had actually eaten that day.  I had offered him a muffin and smoothy at breakfast, but he only ate two scrambled eggs and a glass of rice milk.  At 10 he had about 3 crackers and another glass of rice milk.  Before his nap, we tried to feed him spaghetti and applesauce, neither of which he ate more than a few nibbles.  And I hadn't fed him anything since.


He is starving!  He is a picky eater!  And OH YA'!  He is trying to cut molars!  I'll bet his teeth are hurting and he can't eat anything I have offered him without it hurting his teeth.........He hasn't liked my applesauce because I left the peels on the apples for the sake of fiber and it is too gritty for his tastes, picky person!

So, knowing that he loves pot-stickers, I fried several of them, pulled out the stuffing, and cut it up.  He ate the fillings.  I made a pot of rice.  He wouldn't eat it with soy-sauce, but he ate plain rice.  I also fed him a piece of hot bread with strawberry jelly and a little jar of baby food applesauce (no peels), and of course, the ever steady glass of rice milk.  He was happy for the first time all day.  What a piece of work!

Maybe today we will START with ibuprofen!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ode to Bread, for Heather

So Heather asked me to share my secrets in bread making.  Here is the basic recipe:
3 C warm water
3/4 TBL Salt
1 1/2 TBL Yeast
1/2 C Sugar
1/3 C Oil
5 C Wheat berries (makes about 8-9 Cups flour)
2 Vitamin C Tablets (1000 mg)
(Maybe 2 C white flour)

 Tricks of the trade:
  • Water temperature is super important.  If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast.  If the water is too cold, it will not activate the yeast, so it has to be almost perfect.  Don't let this intimidate you.  Once you know the temperature, you'll do it right every time.  It should be so warm that you almost don't want to touch it, but not so hot that it is steaming.  Right in there is the correct temperature.  The good thing is that if it isn't right and hasn't activated the yeast, you can try it again and not have to throw out the whole batch (see later in the post).
  • After the water, always add the salt first.  I guess salt kills the yeast and it sinks, so if you put it in first, it sinks to the bottom and stays out of the way of the yeast because the yeast floats.  
  • Sprinkle the yeast across the top of the water.
  • DO NOT forget the sugar or decrease the amount.  It is the sugar that feeds the yeast and makes it grow.  You need it for the bread to rise.  You may use honey, or brown sugar.  I have never tried agave nectar or sugar substitutes.  I do not know how well they would work.  Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the yeast.  Some of it will sink, that is OK.
  • Add the oil.
  • If you wait a few minutes, the yeast and the sugar will begin to interact and you will know if your bread will rise.  If the yeast becomes frothy, you did it right and it is working.  If it isn't, it isn't working.  Most likely, the water temperature wasn't right.  So either dump it out and try again, or add the flour and wait until the end to add more yeast and water (see later in the post).
  • Grind your wheat and just send the vitamin C tablets through the wheat grinder with the wheat.  Vitamin C is a natural dough enhancer.  There are some significant considerations with wheat.  Old wheat does not rise (20-30 years).  If your wheat is that old, consider purchasing new wheat and mixing it 2 to 1 with the old.  You can still use it and it will work if it has new wheat mixed in with it.  I LOVE using white wheat.  I prefer the texture, the look, the taste, etc....Linzy swears by read wheat.  I have only ever had old red wheat so I have not had much success in that department.  But Linzy is the red wheat master.  She will know!  Also, if your wheat bread is not rising well, consider adding 1/2 C gluten to the recipe.  That may help and Linzy uses it in her recipe.
  • As you add the flour, only add four cups and begin mixing.  Mixing is another key of bread making.  Mix for several minutes with a hand mixer if you do not have a larger mixer.  Continue adding flour and mixing, with the machine, until the dough forms a nice ball and the bowl is clean.  If you need to add some white flour until the dough forms a ball.  Leave the dough in the mixer to rise for about an hour.  If you do not have a larger mixer, continue adding flour until it is too dense to use the hand mixer.  Then mix with a large spoon until that will no longer work.  Then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the rest of the flour by hand.  Continue to push flour into the dough until the dough is no longer sticky.  Spray a large bowl with cooking spray or roll oil around in it.  Place the dough in the bowl, flip it over and leave it to rise for about an hour. 
  • If the dough does not rise, put 1/2 C warm water with 1 1/2 TBL yeast and 1/2 C sugar.  Mix with a spoon and let rest until yeast becomes frothy.  Stir into your ball of dough with the large mixer.  I don't know if you can do this by hand.  I have never tried.  Probably the yeast just didn't activate, so you are adding more in the hopes that you don't have to throw out the entire batch, unless you want unleavened bread :-)
  • After your dough rises, punch it down and shape it into the desired form, let rise 30 minutes, and bake it at 350 degrees.  Loaves bake (3) for 30 minutes, rolls (about 24)--20 minutes, cinnamon rolls (about 24)--15-20 minutes.  When the bread comes out of the oven, run a cold stick of butter over the you have butter topped bread!
  • Variations:  Make white bread by just adding 8-11 cups of white flour; CINNAMON ROLLS, use  less flour so the dough is stickier and the bread will be lighter and fluffier.  Split dough in half.  Roll half of the dough into a rectangle.  Spread 1/2 stick melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.  Beginning at the long end, roll the dough.  Use dental floss to cut 1 - 2 inch thick rolls.  Place in a greased pan.  Rise and bake;  PIZZA DOUGH--add 1 1/2 teaspoons of cardamom to recipe before the flour.  Will make four large pizza crusts.  Roll out dough into desired shape.  Prick dough with a fork, add sauce and toppings.  Bake @ 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes or desired crispness.  I use a pizza stone.  Sometimes the kids make personal pizzas.  Or we will have a build-it-yourself pizza party.  This is always a HUGE hit with guests, from the littlest ones to the teenagers---especially fun date night activity!  Beware the mess.  Our teenagers had flour everywhere because they got into a flour fight.
  • We also make pretzels and bagels using this recipe.  Bagels are a little more intense, so let me know if you want to know how to do that and we'll have a separate post.
  • Sometimes the kids use the bread dough like play-dough and make their own shapes and then we bake those too and eat them.  Just for fun!
  • NOTHING tastes better than hot bread and melted butter! MMMMMMMmmmmmmMMMMMM!
Happy Baking!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Five for Friday---Gratitude Edition

 I am grateful for bread.  A girlfriend and I learned how to make bread when we were married college students.  I had one child and she had none.  Another friend in our ward was a master bread-maker, so we asked her to come over and show us how.  Both of us had tried it on our own and we were miserable failures.  She taught us how, one time, and I have been able to do it ever since.  

I had no idea at the time how much being able to make bread would bless my life.  I make bread every day.  I give bread away.  I make bread for the Sacrament on Sundays.  Several of the boys can make bread.  I have taught many sisters how to make bread.  I have learned from other sisters how to upgrade my bread and make it better (Thanks to Linzy!!!)  Now we make whole-wheat bread with ground wheat.  I only learned how to make white bread in the beginning.   I make all of our dough, rolls, cinnamon rolls, hamburger buns, muffins, bagels, and others.  I basically use the same recipe I learned with.

I am grateful for trees.  We have the most amazing trees!!!  I have grown up with these trees, camped in them, played in them, hiked in them, born testimony in them, prayed in them.  They are sacred and special to me.  At one time, I thought we were moving out of the area.  I cried and cried.  When I really thought about why I was sad, I realized that I would miss the trees.  Though they are not New York trees, they remind me of the grove where Joseph prayed.  (See reference here.)  It is an amazing spiritual experience to be alone in the forest and just listen to the sounds of nature and feel the promptings of the Spirit.
We have evergreen trees.  They shed their needles in the fall, like other trees shed their leaves, but they never lose them all.  They stay green all year round.  Their root system is very shallow.  They grow close together and their root systems interlock which is what makes them so very strong and why they stand for so long without falling down through treacherous weather.  It is a testimony to helping each other to stand strong through the winds of adversity.  There are so many more lessons that can be learned from trees!

Yes!!  I am grateful for grass.  I can recall the day when I was pondering about all of the many blessing I had to be grateful for and I distinctly remember that I was/am grateful for grass.  I love running through the grass barefooted.  I love the way green grass looks against homes in the summer heat.  Grass is usually cool on my feet.  I like to roll in it..............though I cannot too often or I get itchy.   Sometimes in the summer I like to just lie in it, in the evening and look up at the stars.
I am very grateful for where I live.  I love my home!  I love my nation!  I am grateful there are brave men and women willing to serve our country to defend the principles that make our nation great!  I am grateful they are willing to serve in all branches of the armed forces.  Though I may not always agree with decisions that are made, we have an amazing government!  I am grateful for wise men who listened to their neighbors, listened to their conscience, and listened to their God for creating the amazing government which watches over our land.

This is not a tombstone of one of my is just a tombstone.  None of my ancestors are buried by where I live.  But I am very grateful for my ancestors.  I am grateful for their sacrifices, for living in an earlier time period with fewer advances in modern technology.  I am grateful some of them were willing to travel in impoverished conditions, to clear land, to bury their children and loved ones before the advances in modern medicine.  I have been doing a little work lately on our genealogy.  I have been reading some of their stories.  I wish I had more.
I feel a great desire to show my appreciation for their sacrifices by making the ordinances of the gospel available to them through services performed in our temples.  I know it doesn't mean they will accept them or even want them, but for those who do, I am grateful that I can show my appreciation for the work they did to pave the way for my family today.  (If you would like more information about this subject, click here.)  
There is my Friday Five Post.  To see Heather's, click here.   Have a fabulous holiday weekend!!  For those of you outside of the United States:
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26.[1] As a federal and popular holiday in the U.S., Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.
The event that some Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621.[2] The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days, and was attended by 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans.[3] The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought, though the 1621 events were likely not a religious observation.[4]  (Wikipedia source)

Although, I am going to take exception with the last statement.  I think the events of 1621 were a religious observation-------an observation of Thanksgiving and gratitude to the Almighty for their safety, and bounteous harvest so they could survive the winter.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!  We all have so much to be grateful for!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gratitude Post

Last night our community hosted our annual Thanksgiving Sing.  It is where all of the churches in the area get together and each congregation's choir sings one number.

I always enjoy going, not for the music, but because I like people.  I enjoy watching them interact, seeing that most of their church choirs in talent resemble most Latter-Day Saint congregation choirs, and hearing the lyrics of the music they have chosen.  What music would you chose to present to others of different faiths in your community?  Would you chose something with a common and shared doctrine?  Something to represent the season?  Or something that expressed a unique doctrine?  Loud?  Soft?  Active? Soothing?

Some of their choirs have only three people, some have 30.  Some use instruments.  A few choirs even had choreography.  Of the performers last night, one choir stands out to me.  Their music was beautiful and their lyrics simple.

Here are the lyrics:
     I'm so grateful.
     I'm so grateful.
     I'm so grateful.
     I'm so grateful.
     I'm so grateful.
     Gratitude in front of me.
     Gratitude behind me.
     Gratitude to the left of me.
     Gratitude to the right of me.
     Gratitude above me.
     Gratitude below me.
     Gratitude within me.
     Gratitude all around me.
     I'm so grateful.
     I'm so grateful.

FOR FIVE MINUTES!!!  I heard their song one time.  I woke up singing their song.  It has been in my head my conscious efforts to replace it!!  The genius behind their lyrics is that I cannot forget them, and you know what?
Straight out of the Camera (sootc)
was the sunrise this morning.  Now we have spectacular sunsets, but sunrises???  Not usually.  On my way out to snap the photo, I almost stepped on this:!  But I didn't!!  One more thing on my gratitude list!!

Today I signed the boys up for community basketball.  I thought I had missed the deadline and they would be placed on a waiting list.  I didn't!  DING!  Gratitude!

Earlier this month, Elle suggested THIS!!!  I wonder if I can get my list done before Thursday.  Montesserrat @ Chocolate on my Cranium has been focusing on gratitude for an entire year.  She has some GREAT ideas!

Watch for tomorrow....I think I might post 5 Things Friday---Gratitude Edition with photos!!  Should be interesting!

One minute AFTER I pushed the post button, the baby shut off the power strip for the computer.......DING!  Gratitude.

While Speedy was babysitting the baby, he opened the front door and escaped before Speedy noticed.  A nice elderly neighbor knew a 16 month old shouldn't be out front by himself.  She kept him busy until Speedy noticed and went to get him.......DING!  Gratitude!  (very, very much gratitude.....we live on a busy intersection.  I guess we will have to start chaining the doors.)