Thankful Thursday

5/7/09

Lately, my daughter’s quirky comments have really made me smile.

Usually in the shadow of her clowning brother, 8-year-old Hayley is normally under the radar. But this morning, she put on her new glasses, combed her freshly (and drastically) cut hair, changed backpacks, and put together an outfit that’s not in her normal fashion milieu. Then she said, in all seriousness, “When I get to school, I bet no one will even recognize me! My teacher will probably introduce me as a new student!”

Also this week, Hayley masterfully covered up the fact that there was a Mother’s Day flower sale at school. I saw the flyer lying face-up on her backpack, but when I asked her (in code) whether that was something I needed to see, she non-chalantly and without giving anything away said, “No. It’s just something I need to discuss with Dad.”

That little rascal. I guess it’s better for me to know now what a good liar she is.

4/30/09

bless-this-mess

I’m so thankful today that my children have turned a corner on the messy room front.

Last week my son was crying hysterically and nearly breaking out in hives over the thought of giving away, reorganizing, or, essentially, moving anything in his room even one inch to the left. Thankfully, yesterday was a much better day.

I don’t know what the magic words were, but somehow the attitude changed, for both of the children. They were eager to straighten up their rooms last night, and they even said they enjoyed it. They graduated from shoving all the miscellaneous knick knacks into the closet, and actually made organizational strides. They added new, fun elements to their spaces, including a music shelf and a “Book Shack” fashioned out of a foldable play tent. Cool.

Click here to read the post, “It’s a Miracle–I Can See the Floor!” in its entirety.

4/23/09

cookies

Today I’m thankful that my home has become a prime destination for the neighborhood kids!

This may be because (a) I serve afterschool snacks and (b) I enforce almost no rules.

Sure, our kitchen floor is often covered in mud. And our living room rug is often covered with Dungeons & Dragons set-ups (or Pokemon cards…or legos, legos, and more legos). And right now our backyard is recovering from the two giant holes that the kids went ahead and dug this week…in the rain (images of Goodfellas came to mind, but let’s not go there).

And it wasn’t so easy concentrating on dinner yesterday with 9 kids in my house, one of whom planted herself on a chair, then proceeded to pop the cork on our little wooden cork gun about 57 times in a row (if she really wanted to see my cork pop, she should have done it a couple more times). As hairy as it can be, though, having the kids over has kind of grown on me.

The children in my neighborhood are spunky (but not sassy), friendly (though not always cheerful), creative (if a little competitive), and usually willing to go along with bringing to life my kids’ latest duct tape, cardboard box, or sidewalk chalk fantasies. And, to date, none of them has broken a bone, gotten run over, or been eaten by wild dogs on my watch. Who could ask for more?

These good times may not last, but, for now, I’ll take the mud, clutter, and craziness, and, no matter how stressful it may be for me, I’ll try to keep my cork firmly in its place.

4/9/09

I’m so thankful today that Thursday is finally here. Considering that tomorrow is the first day of spring break, it’s less like a Thursday and more like a Friday—yahoo!

So thankful too, for friends (Ann and Paul, this is you) who care enough to support me and my family through our “extra grace required” times; they may not be pretty, but at least they’re temporary.

I’m very, very thankful for Tuesday’s missions open house at Grace Church—the simplest ever that I’ve coordinated, but perhaps the best vibes yet. With an ace in the hole like Flora, it all just seems to work out.

One last thanks—to my readers…thanks for sticking with me!

-Cheryl

4/2/09

biggs-museum1I enjoyed 2 wonderful art experiences yesterday. The first was the Art & Poetry reception at the Biggs Museum in Downtown Dover. This very casual and low-key event (the best kind of event, in my opinion) featured readings of poems inspired by pieces in the museum collection; all but one poem was presented by its author. One of the poems presented was based on this Frank E. Schoonover painting, entitled “The Pirate.” My son who, as you may know, is a budding poet himself, attended the reading/reception with me, and gave positive reviews on every piece. The poets were so gracious to speak with him and to encourage him in his continued participation in and study of the arts.

Also wonderful was last night’s “Musical Jokes” concert, presented at Dover’s Schwartz Center for the Arts by ensembles of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, along with the orchestra’s enchanting director, David Amado. My daughter attended with me, and we were happy to be seated accidentally beside a haiku poet from the Biggs reception of earlier in the day! Our favorite piece by far was the String Bass solo entitled “Failing,” which featured a scripted narration, read by the bass player…while he was playing. I also loved my first live hearing of “The Swan,” a heartbreakingly lovely accompanied cello piece which is absolutely heaven on earth.

So, today I’m thankful for accessible art–literal poems with visual connections and expertly played music with a sneaky sense of humor. What a wonderful way to enjoy with my children and to feed my own soul.

3/19/09
I am so thankful for National Public Radio–really! Just today I heard stories about the anti-shampoo movement (known as “No Poo,” it advocates once per week–or less frequent–hairwashing with conventional, plastic packaged shampoo), singer Elvis Perkins (son of Psycho star Tony Perkins, and the gloomy troubadour that I think I always wanted to be), and Senator John Lewis’s Civil Rights pilgrimage. Home run today, Morning Edition. I laughed, I cried, I reflected on the consequences of racism, and I considered the relationhip between my personal appearance and the sustained health of the environment…all before 9 am. Thanks.

3/12/09
This is so domestic, I swear, but I am so thankful for my jumbo muffin pan!! I just made banana nut muffins the other day, and they are so light–I love ’em! Brings me back to a year I spent in Chapel Hill, NC, where I enjoyed a little place called Not Just Muffins. (What was that place on Letterman, way way back? Just Shades, I think. Oh, I am in a strange state today!)

Anyway, I got my pan at Kohl’s, and I just google “jumbo muffins” once in a while to come up with a new recipe. One of my other favorites is s’mores muffins.

3/5/09
I’m so thankful today for my book club!! Amy, Betsy, Cynthia, Jennifer, Jody, Terri, and Helen–you are the absolute best! The books are one thing, but the food? Delicious, and abundant! And the conversation? Insightful and enriching, even if it does stray to who’s haunting the Loockerman Exchange or where polygamy rates on the ick-o-meter. It was just what I needed last night to pick me up after a hard day. Rock on, ladies!

2/26/09
No one revealed the Top Chef winner to me before I got a chance to see it on TiVo–thank you world!!

2/19/09
What am I thankful for today? That I made tonight’s dinner last night (wahoo!). Sometimes it’s the little things that matter, right? Click on “Thankful Thursday” whenever day 5 out of 7 rolls around, and I’ll tell you something else I’m thankful for! I’d love to hear what you’re thankful for too, so go ahead–post a comment!

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