Sunday, November 18, 2012


DAY 17
(Sitting on the couch, watching the Packers...I'm sick!  And so are some of the kids!  I really don't feel very thankful...but I don't want to goes...)

I am thankful for the Hello Mornings Challenge and the ladies with whom I have shared different seasons of the challenge.  I think I have mentioned it here before, but if you haven't checked it out already, you really should.  I know not everyone can get up early, but you could do it at any time of the day, really...this past season was the first time I participated in the Bible study they offered.  I am really glad I did!  I got so much more out of it and I think I will do that every time from now on.  It helped me stay disciplined too.  I was chicken  - thought I couldn't keep up before so I always read whatever was on my mind.  For years I have wanted to be a part of a women's Bible study but I just couldn't seem to fit it into my schedule.  I have only met one of the ladies in my group since we do things online and they are from all over, but I am so grateful I can participate in my jammies and not have to leave the house that early in the morning!  

DAY 18
(This cursor has been flashing at me for a while...)

I am thankful for my cousins.  I am fairly close w/some of my cousins and it always seems weird to me when people my age say they don't even know who their cousins are!  I have been so blessed to see my cousins a lot growing up.  I suppose this post should extend to my aunts and uncles too, b/c they helped make it possible for all of us cousins to see each other often.  It is truly a beautiful thing when a family like mine has invested the time and energy to build and maintain relationships between the different branches and generations of the family.  Now that we're older and a little bit more spread out, I enjoy calling, skyping and yes even facebooking my cousins!  I love you cousins!  Here's to many more years of sharing our lives w/each other in healthy relationships!

Friday, November 16, 2012

A house full of Georges!

DAY 15
(Once again doubling, up on posts...)
Today I am thankful for the curious minds of my children!  Just a smattering of the topics we have discussed today: how and where to start when gutting a deer, the current map of Israel and why it doesn't have clear borders, what type of people the banks are willing to give loans to and why, pineapples and how some were designed to open at night so bats can pollinate them, how the word Palestine comes from the Hebrew for Philistia, how a combination lock works (still investigating that one), where does the water go when you hang laundry outside, the average weight of a wild turkey (one sat on an electrical line and today an entire small local town and large plastics plant were w/o power!!), why germs are called bugs, etc...They also wonder things like what would happen if they put the mesh hamper on their heads, how can they use couch pillows to build a castle, and what kinds of cool things can you do when you string a strong rope between your awesome fort and a nearby tree branch?  The answer to the last one, if your mom sees you anyway!, is NOTHING!  But it's still neat that you were curious =)

DAY 16

Today I am thankful for the orchard nearby.  I stocked up on apples, blueberries and apple cider donuts!  The kids love dried apple chips and I make a lot to throw into oatmeal too.  I'd be willing to bet about 4 apples a day are eaten in this house!  I have made applesauce a few times.  One thing Dave's brother taught us was to eat apples w/peanut butter as dipping sauce.  MMMMmmmmm good!  If I'm feeling permissive, I pour out a few chocolate chips too =)  I keep meaning to bake w/the apples but everyone eats them so fast!!  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Once upon a time...

    I met this girl the summer after 8th grade.  (Side note:  I went to a private school.  I didn't have a lot of friends, thanks to cliques and me being a wallflower.  Going into a public HS was kind of a big deal.  I wasn't really sure I would make many friends but c'mon, there had to be someone like me!  Going from a class of barely 30 to a class of almost 600?  Odds were that I would find a friend.  Or two.)  My mom worked in a hospital and they were having like a health fair, so I was going along to get service hours or something.  My mom saw a group of girls in these pom pom/cheerleader uniforms, about my age, and just walked right up to them and asked them what grade they were high school.  (Another side note: as I've said before, my HS was really 2 on the same campus.  So it was common for people to ask which one you went to and then heckle you for being the from the other one.  It was obvious from the uniforms that these girls went to the other one.)  She proceeded to tell them I was going to be in the 9th grade at the other school, but maybe we could still talk to each other.  As it turned out, there was a girl named Dawn who was going into 9th grade too.  I was embarrassed, I'm sure of it, but what teenaged wallflower isn't?  I think we walked around a bit together or something, or maybe someone gave us a project to do together.  I don't remember!  But I do know that when I arrived at the first day of HS, I knew at least one other person who hadn't gone to my grade school.
    Dawn and I had band class together.  We were band geeks.  I don't think we had any other class together, ever!  As most high schoolers do, we found ourselves spending free time w/other band/choir type people.  We had the same lunch hour and saw each other every day as a bunch of shared a table.  (Side note:  despite being a band geek, Dawn was also in the popular crowd, due to being on the pom squad.  But she ate lunch w/us.  No idea why.)  I have to admit, I didn't really talk much to Dawn and honestly?  We laugh today about how annoyed I always seemed to be at her.  She coughed a lot and I always glared and covered my drink!  At one point Dawn was dating my friend Kevin - who made fun of the way I ate.  At any rate, b/c we traveled in the same circle, Dawn and I were frequently hanging out w/each other and all of our other friends.  I don't remember when, but we got a little closer through band and sometimes even rode the bus to functions together.  Did we room together when we went to FL?  I think so...but we hung out a lot then.  Dawn and my boyfriend got along, too, so that was nice.  So the 4 years of HS rolled by and we were in each other's lives a bunch, but I wouldn't say we were best friends or anything.  Graduation came (side note: graduation ceremonies for the 2 different high schools were separate.) and I played in the band for hers and I'm pretty sure she played in the band for mine.  I went off to college and I was rooming w/my best friend (not Dawn).
    So...move in day.  I made up my mind not to be a wallflower.  I talked to people, made an M over my head so they would remember me and probably embarrassed my best friend.  (Side note:  after about 2 weeks on campus, meeting people and going to class, I'd be walking down the main mall and people would go, "HEY I KNOW YOU!!" and make the M over their heads.  Not surprisingly, I had no idea who most of them were.  See people, this is why you do silly things - so people remember your name when they meet you!)  Dawn and my boyfriend were both back at home and apparently they were keeping in touch.  They came to visit me a few times and when I broke things off w/him, I'm guessing Dawn was getting a clue about the bad decisions I was making in my life.  (Long story, I'd be happy to share it some time, but I was valuing the wrong things.  That pretty much sums it up.  Feel free to ask if you want to know more.)  At the same time, Dawn had met a guy and was interested in him.  He was a Christian.  She told me about him and I told her about the Christian girl who lived across the hall from me.  Tracy had invited me to some stuff...but I hadn't gone.  Dawn was talking about how this guy was teaching her some things and causing her to really think about her life.  She 'got saved' one night and I think I snorted when she told me that.  Saved from what?  Godzilla?  Being swept away at sea?  I had no clue.  Things w/my roommate were going south (due to my stupid choices), I got wrapped up in some other dumb stuff, it was hard being that girl who put the M over her head, yadda yadda yadda...I felt like a double agent.  Go home and be me.  Go back to school and be the other me.  I was getting exhausted!  School was easy so tons of other stuff easily distracted me.  Dawn kept calling, telling me about the Bible and asking why I wanted to do the stuff I was doing.  She came up once and while we were sitting around I remember thinking that she was my only HS friend left.  It was a pretty big deal so I told her a bunch of stuff you would tell a best friend.  She spoke to me pretty harshly (so I thought) about my choices.  When she was gone I told myself she was a hypocrite.  It was like we switched personalities a little bit!
  I was stressing out about everything but felt like I had a handle on it.  Dawn kept calling.  I felt like the world was spinning too fast and why did she want to hang out w/me if I made such bad decisions?  She encouraged me to go talk to Tracy and her boyfriend had some classes at UWO....I met him and he gave me some rides home on weekends.  Over time, I realized I couldn't keep going at the pace I had set for myself.  I cried out to God and wanted what Dawn had.  I started attending Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship w/Tracy and some friends and it wasn't long before things got better.  I realized that Dawn was a better friend than any I had ever had and I didn't want to lose her the way I had lost others.  Don't misunderstand me, I didn't go from one extreme to the next and I certainly didn't immediately snap right out of my bad decision making streak.  It took time...I learned...I listened...but I did stop being the girl who had to work at being someone.  I wanted to be the person God intended me to be.  It took a while to figure that out, and of course I didn't really trust Him yet.   At Christmas, Dawn and Tom gave me my own Bible.  That thing went a lot of places w/ fell apart.  I still have it all rubber banded together!
    Dawn and her boyfriend got engaged and my for 3rd year of college, Dawn and I moved in together off campus.  Those were the days!  So many funny stories!  We had a blast.  In the beginning we had no TV.  We moved in during the summer and spent a bunch of time being lazy and not getting up until noon.  Dawn would listen to VCY on the radio.  At first all the Bible talk and hymns annoyed me but I gave up and came to enjoy it =)  If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have heard my now favorite hymn.  I cried when I heard it for the first time!  I don't think Dawn even knows that.  "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow..."  The whole 'facing tomorrow' was a big deal to me.  For a while, I hadn't wanted to face tomorrow and at that point, living w/Dawn, I was the happiest I had been in a long time!  Even if we had no TV!!  At the end of the summer, I was re-introduced to a tall skinny guy w/big curly hair that also went to IVCF.  He laughed so loud and I secretly had a crush on him.  I told Dawn I was 'over' boys and was just going into the semester 'solo'.  Turns out the loud laugher and I had at least one class together that semester, in which he would bring the newspaper opened to the cross word puzzle.  I would sneak it off his desk before he got a chance to sit down.  He offered to give me a ride home after a few classes and said it was on his way home.  "Well, if you're already going that way...."  (Side note: it wasn't really on his way.  Not that it was far off his path, but...not on the way.)  Eventually we would sit and talk in the car outside my apartment.  That always ended by our stomachs grumbling for dinner and he said he would have to go.  I started inviting him to stay.  He'd come in and us 3 would eat.  We found out quickly that we were all comfortable enough to burp and fart in front of each other!  (Don't be embarrassed, Mom, it was funny!)   =)  I remember later in the year the skinny guy told me that Dawn had asked him what his intentions were w/me.  That's a true friend!  After 4 months or so, that guy proposed to me and 6 months later, both of my best friends stood right next to me at my wedding.
  Obviously I have left out so many things to make this long story shorter...but it was Dawn's birthday and I really wanted to write about her.  I am so thankful for her!!!  God used her in my life and I know it would not have turned out the same if she hadn't been willing to remain my friend.  There really aren't any words I can use to describe how I feel about that...but 'joy' comes close =)  Happy Birthday friend!

Location, location, location

DAY 12
(I'm falling behind - in order to catch up, I'll include 2 here!)
I am thankful for our pediatrician!  I remember when Moses and I were in the hospital and we saw a fair # of them.  It wasn't that I didn't like the others (there was a really neat guy w/a thick German accent, that would have been cool), I just feel like she is someone I would be friends w/anyway, so seeing her and talking to her about my kids feels natural.  I am grateful to her for helping us so many many times when Colleen first came to us - there were so many medical things we needed to figure out!  The first doctor we picked moved away before Moses was a year old, I think...she was awesome too and we were sad to see her go.  But I am thankful to feel just as comfortable w/this doctor!

DAY 13
I am thankful for books.  Have I said that one already?  I haven't been able to read as much for entertainment lately...but I noticed there is a new Charles Martin book out.  I'll need to restock the tissue supply before I pick it up, but hopefully soon!  Some other books that I am thankful for would be When Love is Not Enough, The Connected Child, and pretty much every book I read about pregnancy and basic baby care.  That stuff can be scary and if you're like me, you need to read about it in a book to feel really ready!  We also have leaned on the Healthy Sleep Habits book too.  In this house, the Bible and various Bible story books get read a lot too.  Over the past year, some books that really impacted me were Kisses From Katie, The Mission of Motherhood and 7.  Some books I would like to get my hands on would be Get Wisdom, Long Story Short, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, Learn Your Letters - Learn to Serve.  If you want to know more about any of the books I talk about here, just ask!  Or I suppose you could look them up on your own...=)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sticks and stones

DAY 11
Today I am thankful for this house!  There are so many times I wish for a mud room, more space, a second bathroom...etc...and I see a house in an area I like...etc...but seriously?  We've been here 10+ years and it is home.  I remember pulling up wet soggy carpeting, scraping mold from between what is now gorgeous hard wood floor boards, painting, and figuring out where stuff went.  I remember laying on the floor upstairs when I was pregnant.  I remember falling asleep in the green room (that my girlfriends painted to be a nursery for us!), a sleepy infant in my arms.  I remember demo-ing the kitchen/LR wall and watching our new kitchen being installed.  I remember watching my family and friends help to fix up our garage.  We have been so blessed to share family meals here and host friend gatherings!  I think the thing that I love the best is that every kid who has lived in this house has their height measured on the nursery door frame.  I think part of that might need to be pried off when we move!  

A feast for a giant!

Today Colleen ate 2oz of yogurt in a tube, a 1 oz bag of cheesy puffs (Pirate Booty!), 3 Fig Newmans, a mini bagel w/lots of cream cheese and she drank 8oz of whole milk w/chocolate 'breakfast powder' in it!  I am thankful for that - and the fact that she also drank 4oz at breakfast and ate a cup of cereal for breakfast!  There have been some 'off' days since we were on vacation and she wasn't feeling well, but today?  Today was a good day of eating and drinking =)  I am also thankful for Andre the Giant.  I know, weird, but if it wasn't for me googling him this morning (I wanted to know why/how he died), I wouldn't have remembered how my family used to watch wrestling (the soap opera kind!) and then tease each other...I am pretty sure it was just mostly my brother who watched wrestling, but somehow we all knew enough of the characters.  I remember being in FL one time, on a family vacation, and being silly and laughing about wrestling each other.  I often wonder if my kids will remember things like that!  It probably won't be wrestling though...!!  The other thing I am so thankful for is a son who loves music and frequently makes up silly songs (a la Veggie Tales) on the piano.  "There was a man, named Chulupagus, oh yes...he liked the Indianapolis Colts...and I can tell you, he was a hundred feet you know how much he weighed?  Well, a hundred pounds...was just his ears!"
(published it may appear out of order...)

The sounds of the season

DAY 10
I am grateful for cough drops.  And honey.  I am not grateful for the lack of sleep caused by the sound of others coughing!  I am grateful to be able to play nurse, though.  Hopefully, later I will be able to say that I am grateful for a nap...

Friday, November 9, 2012

I'm not going to waffle anymore.

(Hang on...I ramble a little, but I think you'll get the point...)

Today I am thankful for my infertility.  

(Go ahead.  I'll let you re-read that in case you think you misunderstood me.)

I guess I should clarify that, yes, we do have one child who was born to us naturally, so I agree that it is not a complete infertility.  But before he was born, we did lots of tests and all that and we know of at least one reason why it is not easy for us to have more children naturally.  If you don't already know the story, you're just going to have to believe me that we are certain that the arrival of our son Moses is a miracle performed by God...I am thankful for Moses, in so many many ways!  

Over the years I have gone through many emotions about my infertility.  Confusion, anger, guilt, talking about it, not talking about it, being okay w/it (fake), ignoring it (impossible) and letting it defeat and define me.  I'm done w/all that.  

I have been going through an intensive study of 1 Peter.  I have been doing my best to get up early earlier every day so I could pray and read my Bible.  This is the 3 or 4th time I have attempted this challenge and so far it has been the most successful.  Have you read this book of the Bible?  There's lots of good stuff in there!  So far I have found many verses that have spoken to me, but here's some that really keep rambling in my head.   (I've highlighted some words...I think you'll see why.)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Verses 6 and 7.

You know, I am not a patient person.  I may be reading this all wrong here, but I am pretty sure I just read that there is something big and really special waiting for me.  Whatever is going on down here, heaven holds something really special for me.  I can choose to walk away from God, be impatient and angry, wallow in my infertility-ness or I can choose to rejoice, praise, give glory, etc...I can be faithful, just as He is.

So I'm done.  No more pretending to be okay w/this.  No more acting like it's not an issue.  It is!  And it's more than okay.  B/c I know my God has the best thing in store for me, and even if I suffer grief for a while, I'm going to thank Him.

Thank you, Father!

Thank you for drawing me near to you, Lord!  Thank you for all those nights my husband and I just held each other.  Thank you for the miracle that is our son!  Thank you for the people we have met through the foster care classes.  Thank you for the children who have touched our lives, even if for a short time.  Thank you for our sweet adopted daughter!  Thank you for the adoption and foster care contacts we have made, both near and far.  Thank you for opening our eyes and giving us a chance to serve.  Thank you for my infertility.

(ps - please do not misunderstand me in thinking that I do not want to get pregnant.  If God delivers such a gift again, I will receive it w/great joy and dancing =)  Also, please do not think I have given up hope on that, but understand that I am thankful for where I am/we are on this journey.  It's been a long road.  Also please don't think that I'm upset at my pregnant friends or those that are adopting - I love you ladies (and your families)!  I am truly excited for you even though it may be hard for me to rejoice w/you sometimes.  And like always, if any of you want to talk about this, you know I could talk a blue streak about infertility, foster care, adoption and all that...I'm willing to share or listen.  Thanks for reading my words.)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A purposeful web

Today I am thankful for the connections we have made in our community.  Thanks to the recommendation of a friend's dad, we have a mechanic we trust and appreciate.  Just today he put a new fuse in our brake lights for free!  I am thankful for the former student who does my hair and took our family pictures.  I am so blessed knowing we have friends who are police officers and fire fighters - they've answered lots of our questions about the community and other issues we need info on.  We've been maintaining relationships w/people in other local businesses and fields that have proved useful.  A high school classmate who lives in town did some masonry work on our house and we would recommend him to anyone!  We've had carpenter friends do work on this house, we've had friends give recommendations for other needs and we've certainly enjoyed and learned a lot from the company of other teacher friends.  

Just push on

(This is a day late....)  Yesterday I was thankful for stuff that does the work for me.  The dishwasher, washer and computer were all humming!  We washed sheets and a load of dishes.  The computer allowed me to communicate w/people cheaper and more efficiently (in my opinion) than the phone.  I am also thankful for hair dryers, curling/straightening irons, lamps, the furnace, the toaster, microwave, stove/oven, fridge, freezer and even the TV.  There are lots of other things in this house that do not use electricity but still help me do the work and I am thankful for them as well.  There's the laundry lines in the basement, the drying racks, the can opener, the towels, stamps, the little people and my husband!  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The tiny farmer

Today I am thankful for my garden boxes on the front lawn.  It is Nov 6 - we have no snow (just a tiny dusting that melted quickly the other morning) and I don't think I'd call the ground fully frozen yet.  I have 2 garden boxes still open - one contains Red Russian kale and the other has curly kale and Brussels sprouts.  Almost every week I try to make spinach pie.  Since the kale is so prolific and I need to make 2 pies each time (I probably could make 3 and we'd still have no leftovers!), I have been adding kale.  I'd say that last time the pie was 60% kale and 40% spinach!  Again today I was out in the misty, gray, 40 degree weather cutting kale!  I am so thankful that I can do that.  What's for dinner?  Hmmm....look out the window...what looks good?  =)  I am also thankful today for my friend Tracy, who was the first one to introduce me to spinach pie.  Back then, I really didn't think a meal was a meal if it didn't have a hunk of meat in it somewhere!  Now, we easily eat 3-4 vegetarian meals a week and we are so much better for it.  But I think spinach pie is the most favorite for everyone in my family!  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Say Cheese!

So much to be thankful for today!  One year ago today, we accepted the current foster placement of 2 kids that are still in our house - Curly Sue and Dewey.  A month or so before that we had made plans w/one of Dave's co-workers.  She does all kinds of photography!  We were really excited to be getting a professional picture taken of our family...but then that weekend we got the kids and we went from one box of mac and cheese to two, a half-full van to an all-full van, one cart of WIC stuff to three, maybe one load of laundry a week to I-should-really-be-doing-three loads a week.  Needless to say, our family was happy but a little crazy that weekend!  So of course we canceled the photo shoot b/c how could we ask the co-worker to suddenly wrangle all of us in our new state of chaos?  I must tell you that I was pretty sad.  I know the costs of foster care (I don't mean financial) but I guess it had never crossed my mind that family pics would go by the wayside.  In the foster care circles we joke...You know you're a foster family if every year there are different kids in your family picture!  It's easy to laugh about it and we enjoy having them each year, but the fact that there was going to be no family photo was like getting hit w/the Grinch stick, you hear what I'm saying?  Anyway - (you're wondering where the thankful part comes in, right?  Hang in there...!) this past week, a former student of mine (the only person who is allowed to touch/cut/style my hair!) who also does photography sent me a message saying that she was doing a day of photo shoots on Saturday and would we like to come?  


Did you catch that?  Let me help you connect the dots a bit.  One year ago to the day, we took this foster placement and canceled a Saturday Nov. 4 family photo shoot.  Today, Nov. 4, TODAY!, we were able to get all sorts of family pictures taken!  God bless that girl, I don't think she even gets how huge this is!  God used her to bless us in a really big way...I personally think it is NO COINCIDENCE that this all went down one year TO THE EXACT DAY.

So I am so very filled w/thanks today!  Thankful for the bond Ms. Chang and I forged as a teacher and student.  I have no idea why, but from the day I met her, she was more like a friend than a student.  I mean, let's face it, I wasn't that much older than my high schoolers anyway.  But I watched that girl sing, dance, cheer, grow and mature, find her life-mate, cut my hair and just go through life.  She shared things w/me and I shared w/her.  Today I am thankful for her friendship and also thankful she is willing to serve my family in this way.  I am thankful for the timing.  I am thankful for these kids - all 4 of them - and their smiling faces!  I am thankful for my friend's fiancee, who is super supportive and involved.  He was so great w/the kids and he was right!  The squeaky bathtub duck is the best trick!  I am thankful I will have some no doubt gorgeous pictures of my family to hang on the wall, to share w/family and friends and also some pictures of the foster kids to share w/their birth family...I once heard the saying that doing something kind is like throwing a pebble in a pond.  The ripples that of happiness and further kindness spread out farther than we could imagine!  That's a perfect example for this situation...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blood is thicker than...

Today I am thankful for family.  Family that comes together to celebrate and mourn, family that prays for each other across the miles, family that holds you when need it, family that counsels and guides you, family that babysits your kids, family that shaped you/me into who we are.  I don't know what I would do w/o being close to my family, both physically and spiritually.  Today we were able to go 'home' to be w/my mom's side of the family.  There was an auction of some of my uncle's possessions - he was a handy guy and he loved horses, which meant lots of big ticket items.  My family had never really experienced something like this before, although my uncle used to go to a lot of auctions!  I think it's safe to say he may have even purchased some of the tools and such at an auction!  It was an interesting sight...I think for me it was bittersweet, I won't even speak for my cousins.  My uncle is gone and soon, his stuff will be too.  That's happening a lot more as I get sometimes I miss going to Grandpa's house, but other times I think, "Why go, if he isn't even there?"  And then I remember that all this is just stuff.  The best parts I want to remember are the relationship and the impact it had on me.  So yeah.  Today I am thankful for family.  =)  

Friday, November 2, 2012


I am thankful for a God who watches out for 'my kids' when I can't.  I am thankful for people in my life who are supportive and understand me, 'the system' and the crazy way it works.  I am thankful for the chance to share a parking spot w/someone.  I am thankful for bananas that are brown, even more so b/c I am w/o one today!  A PB and apple sandwich is not quite the same...I am thankful for this house.  Sometimes I cannot believe that we have lived here so long and made these changes.  I am thankful for the show 'The Big Bang Theory' b/c Dave and I laugh so hard...I am also grateful it is in syndication b/c we are catching up on older episodes!  I am thankful for 2 very dependable babysitters so we can go out on date nights.  They are such good kids and no I will not tell you their names!  They're too busy babysitting for us!  =)  I am thankful for my phone, which keeps me from getting lost.  I am thankful for breaks and times of rest, especially since we know there will be many changes soon enough.  

This one goes out to Matt Nygaard...

...wherever he may be these days*.  Once, in some random class I had in West** w/Matt, he told me to spark up.  I'm guessing I was spacing out and tired, and I'm also guessing it was an after lunch class.  I have no idea why, but I laughed out loud at the expression, earning us a stern look from whatever teacher.  From that day on, the saying 'spark up' has been in my bank of sayings that I find funny and randomly use on others.  I'm pretty sure I called Matt 'Sparky' for a while after that...
If you are like me, you barely noticed that it's November.  Until, of course, everyone in your F.B. feed started posting 30 days of thankfulness statuses.  If you are like me and don't like feeling left out of something that you have done in the past, you'd want to join, but you would also know that you are not in the mood for that social site right now.  So you'd think of your long neglected blog...if you were like me...and you'd start your own 30 days of things you are thankful for over there!
TA-DA!  I am me, and that is just what I am doing =)
I am thankful I married a man who is willing to cook after a day at work!  I am thankful for painkillers that help take the edge off of sore muscles after foolishly thinking my puny arms could hold my hanging body weight.  I am thankful for a boy who loves to read, a girl who is learning to trust, a girl who is so smart and kind despite her circumstances, a boy who keeps learning new things and just wants your snuggles and tickles.  I am thankful for the YMCA and their programs, I am thankful for the bilingual school and the teachers, I am thankful for the other families and friends who walk this journey of life w/us!

*I could have swore I saw him at a mall near the children's hospital this past summer...but I was too chicken to go up to the guy.  What would I say to him anyway?  I wasn't/still am not that memorable of a person and I don't do awkward.
**My high school was 1 out of 2 in the nation that had both an East and a West (2 separate schools!) in the same building.  We had classes that were on either side, friends from on either side, we could eat lunch on either side, etc...but our sports were completely separate.  Yep...odd...but we were used to it!