Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pink Pajamas, Penguins on the Bottom

This is what we sing to the "Lion King" song. I'm fairly certain the words are African. But it's much more fun to sing, pink pajamas, penguins on the bottom.

Go ahead, try it. 

It's catchy.

I am finding myself singing it more often these days since I was given a pair of pink pajamas for Christmas. 

I may have picked them out, ordered them and let Bill wrap them.

The point is they are pink.

They do not have penguins on the bottom. But my slippers are black and penguins are black, so I could think outside the box and say my slippers are my penguins. It's a stretch, but it works.

Back to the musical. I'm fond of it not only because it came out when I was in high school, but we also played the musical score my senior year in band. Then, I went with the band as an adult chaperone on their New York City trip. We went and saw the musical, on Broadway. 

It was amazing. Actually it was better than amazing. Words cannot describe sitting in the theater, a theater on Broadway, as the orchestra played the opening notes. Needless to say I had goosebumps and tears. Then you have this movie that was a cartoon turned into live-action, costumed theater as only Disney can do and, again, amazing. Wow. I think I sat there for the entire show with my mouth hanging open.

I don't know if it's still playing anywhere, if it is, go see it. It's worth every penny whether you saw the movie or not. You might want to have a small interest in music, since it is after all a musical.

And remember to hum along to Pink Pajamas, Penguins on the Bottom.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Detroit, Motor City

The designs that come out of that city are beautiful.

If you like cars. Or can at least appreciate them.

Since Bill and I met, fifteen years ago (!), we have been to the North American International Auto Show many times. At least half a dozen, which doesn't sound like much until I point out that we didn't live in the midwest for five years (since we've been married). And, actually, Bill has been every year except for those five.

There have been good years and there have been blah years. Cars that didn't impress, manufacturer's displays that were bland, technology that didn't wow or impress. 

But the years that have been good, are really, really good.

This year was a good year. A really, really, really good year.

I appreciate the small details and when it's a good year the displays are superb. Every last detail is thought through. From the floors of the displays, to the backdrops, to the style of the information booths. It's all there and it's all impressive.

This year, we parked on the roof of Cobo. That was a first for me. We got there early enough, and as you can see, it was a good day to park on the roof (this of course was a completely different picture when we left the show three hours later).

No, this is not a concept car. Well, not for the 2015 year. It was back in 1962. It's the Mustang I. Remember your history, remember where you came from. That's forward thinking from Ford (I'm being serious, not sarcastic when I say this).

The badge. How American is that?

This is a 1932 Lincoln KB Deitrich Coupe (part of the collection from the Gilmore Museum in Kalamazoo, a trip that we need to take soon). Another car company remembering their past (yes, they're a part of Ford, so there's probably a reason they are both remembering their history, it's still an important lesson). 
Those white walls are gorgeous!

Again, it's all in the details, like the signage.

It's a show room for each car manufacturer. While Bill drools over the cars, the performance, the size of the engine, liter, etc. I am impressed by the big picture. That all of these small details work together to make up this uber impressive show.

 I realize these signs aren't giving a great perspective. They are on the display walls, and are probably anywhere from two to three feet tall, at least.

And there's always the Corvette. What a machine.
 I appreciate the technology, the artistry, the design, and the love of and for cars that Detroit has maintained.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

the lake house

I'm thankful for our friends Jenny and John. While Bill works at his office in St. Joseph, I get to stay at their lake house. We've done this a couple of times since last fall. It's a lovely retreat for me. They have a dishwasher! It's wonderful. The above photo was taken from their front porch (from inside, it was -8 degrees) this morning.

Today it was actually warmer in Grand Rapids then it was here. But we had sunshine, Grand Rapids did not (according to the news). 

I opened up the curtains to let light in. It was so nice to see the sun. Then when Bill got home from work he told me to bundle up, we were going outside.

We walked over to the lake because it was quite beautiful. Now, I almost brought my camera to the house, but since I had several other bags, a cooler, two grocery bags and my work bag, I decided I didn't need to lug my camera with me.

My phone worked well though. Here are a couple of shots of the lake. We have sat here a couple of times and watched the sun set. Today was not going to be one of those days.
Can you see the piles in the middle of the picture, down at the lake?
Those are piles of snow, drifted into snow dunes.
Here's a picture looking north. The lake is frozen as far as the eye can see. 
This is me. Bundled up. We came right back to the house and warmed up with a chili dinner.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Forecast: snow!


Every year I wish, hope and pray that it will snow for my birthday.

This year was no different, except that by the time I got around to the wishing, hoping and praying it had already snowed.

It hasn't stopped.

Something said in yesterday's sermon caused me to pause. I gave thanks for the snow that everyone else is tired of.

Why did I give thanks for the snow?

Because it is light.

Snow is white and we all know that black is produced by the absence of light.

The sermon was, "The Light at the End of the Tunnel." And Pastor Tish mentioned a couple of times that we all hope that light is not coming from a train.

But like we hope that the light isn't from a train, we have hope in the light.

Snow is my light. I don't know why I like it so much. Bill would prefer if I liked desert landscapes instead.

But I don't.

I like the snow.

I don't ski, or snowboard.

I shovel and make snow angels.

And I enjoy the quiet that accompanies the snow.

Snow gives me hope for spring.

I wouldn't mind if it melted a little.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

my super hero

I don't know how many posts I'll write about being grateful for Bill. In one year, it will probably be a lot. I've already given him props a few times and I'm about to again.

He helped me around the house today. It was small, simple things. Nothing worth shouting from the mountaintops, or throwing a ticker-tape parade. He ran the vacuum, he took out the trash, emptied the litter boxes, and he cleaned the bathroom. I didn't ask him to do the last chore. He took it upon himself to do that.

I was busy cooking and baking. We delivered dinner (and breakfast) to a family. The mom is an amazing woman. She is battling breast cancer. Both of her youth have gone through our youth groups. They are amazing kids.

Our church put out a call to deliver them dinner and I signed us up. Since we were at the Auto Show yesterday, in Detroit, I didn't have a chance to do much prep. I hurried home from church (hurry is sort of a joke, it hasn't stopped snowing… since November) and got to work.

Bill came home later; he had stayed for a chili cook-off between mission groups. His chili had the most compliments, but since the cook-off is rigged (in a very good-natured way), his mission -the youth, did not come in first place.

He had sat down to read. I asked if he could help me do one thing, run the vacuum. That's when he sprang into action doing all the above mentioned chores. As I was waiting to put the last batch of cookies in the oven, he asked if we would have time to run by the bank. We also needed two gallons of milk. Looking at the clock, I realized the best thing would be if he ran out while I baked the last of the cookies and finished washing the dishes. As I explained all that still needed to get done, he suggested he do the errands, and off he went.

He deserves a super-hero cape.

Friday, January 24, 2014

customer service lives on

Today I'm thankful for kind and nice sales representatives who work hard at customer service.

I received gift cards to Victoria's Secret for Christmas and my birthday. I have started buying clothes through them, which fit nicely and are well-made.

I went in a few weeks ago to use said gift cards. I had picked out a few items and was about to check out when I saw swimsuits.

One-piece swimsuits.

Now, even though I have lost over seventy pounds, I know that I will never look good in a bikini. The day you see me wear a bikini, you need to check me in somewhere because it will mean that I'm not healthy. I know that my body shape is just simply not going to ever look good in a bikini.

They had bikinis. And tankinis. But they also had one-pieces. I was elated. I almost walked by it because I honestly had a difficult time trying to weigh the importance of wearing a swimsuit when it's in single digits outside.

Then I had a reality check and decided it would help me get through winter by looking forward to warmer weather.

I tried it on. It fit, but it wasn't quite a flattering style for my figure.

The lady who helped me with the fitting room asked me about it. When I told her the style wasn't quite right, she told me they had more online and that she was excited there were more one-pieces. I decided to check out the one-pieces online.

Lo-and-behold, they had a one piece that I think will better fit my figure.

I bought it online.

Here's where the trouble began. The sizes in the store ran small, medium, large, etc. When I tried on the swimsuit, I was excited because I knew what size I would need to buy when I shopped online.

When I picked out the suit online, the sizes were numbers.

I clicked the size & fit chart and had two sizes to chose from based on the size I tried on in the store. Well, I picked one based on other clothes I have bought.

I chose poorly.

When the suit arrived in the mail yesterday, I was so excited. I was jumping up and down like it was Christmas all over again.

I went to try it on and… nope. This suit was not going to fit. Ugh.

I took it back to the store today and the woman who helped me exchange it was more than nice. She  cared. Or at least did a good job pretending to care. So did the woman who greeted me at the door. She listened as I poured out my heart. Seriously, the suit not fitting was awful. I was so excited to find a suit that fit my style, I could barely stand it. And then it wouldn't fit. I repeat, ugh.

Now I wait for the new size to arrive.

I hope it fits.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's not so messy as Dick Van Dyke made it out to be

I didn't blog about this the other day…

We had our chimney cleaned and inspected.

I'm pretty sure it's state law to sing "Chim Chim Chimney" when you have a chimney sweep in your house.

Two winters ago, Bill had a gut feeling that we shouldn't have fires in the fireplace anymore. It was on my to-do list to call a chimney sweep. I'm really bad at researching and the last guy we called, pulled up in front of the house, sat in the street for a few minutes, and then drove off.

We'll never know why.

Maybe he knew something.

At any rate, I asked Bill to research who I should call. He found a reputable, local company and I made the appointment.

We don't know when the last time the chimney was swept.

Back to our chimney sweep appointment. They came in and swept. Then they used their fancy camera to inspect the inside of the chimney.

Oh, the cracks. They took photos (I haven't seen them). They also told Bill his gut feeling was right. If we had kept having fires, a chimney fire would have been certain. There are so many cracks that, he told us, our home owners insurance should cover it since we don't have a time frame [from the last inspection, if there ever has been one].

When Bill has the time, he is planning on calling our insurance to see what they say. If they will cover it, we will have it repaired. We've always enjoyed a fire, in the fireplace, and we'd like to continue enjoying them, safely.

I'm thankful that Bill had the gut feeling and that he listened to it.

For now it's not hurting anything to not have a fire.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One small program making a huge difference

Kids Food Basket is an amazing organization here in West Michigan. They serve students in elementary schools where 80% or more of the population is on free or reduced lunch program. Those students receive a sack dinner to take home. They have served over 300,000 sacks meals since July 1, 2013. (I think the number was around 380,000 but since I don't remember exactly, I don't want to give you false information. It's still a lot.)

My Jr. High youth served there one day this last summer during our mission Week of Giving. 
 In the background on the right hand side, you can see a marker board. That is a list of the locations and  counts of how many sack dinners need to be delivered.

During the school year, eighty volunteers come through KFB doors daily.
Tonight, I was fortunate enough to serve there again. This time with our Young Adult Group. There were eleven of us.

The main difference was how many other volunteers there were. During the summer, while there is absolutely still a need for food to be delivered to students, the day we were there was much slower. You can see in the first photo that we are packing sacks. 

Tonight we were part of the assembly that happens to get to the stage pictured above.

That's confusing.

Someone has to make the sandwiches, bag them, and count them before they can be sacked. The Jr. High sacked them. Tonight we made the sandwiches and bagged them. There were three stations of long tables making sandwiches.

Hundreds of sandwiches.

I did not mention the list of schools waiting to join the program offered through KFB.

It's unbelievable the number of kids who need this program. It's even more amazing that volunteers and donations are what move this program forward. 

I'm thankful for the generosity and ingenuity of the creators of this program. I am hopeful for those who volunteer and help make a difference. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An Ode to Winter Sun

And what I forgot to mention in yesterday's post about the new coffee grinder is that KitchenAid is located where?

St. Joseph, Michigan. Where Bill spends 45% of his time. Whirlpool owns KitchenAid.

I just wanted to share that.

There was a brief period of time this morning where the sun was actually shining. There was blue sky. It was lovely.

Incredibly cold, but sunny nonetheless.

At one point, on my short drive to work in which my car never did actually warm up, the sun hit my side view mirror in a very blinding fashion. I squinted, paused, and then smiled because it was so nice to see bright sunlight.

In these dark winter months, I find myself turning my face to the sun when it does shine through the clouds. I give thanks for the sunlight. It's welcome rays are rare and precious. The days are getting longer. And I like to delight in the moment of crisp, glistening winter sun.
(photo from Meijer Gardens, taken on a sunny day...)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Where everybody knows your name

We have a little grocery store right down the street. It's just under one mile, walking distance. At least eight months out of the year.

The little bodega is a weekly stop, and we usually end up there two or three times.

It's a great place to grab our fresh produce (brought in locally when possible), they have organic meats and everything in between.

It was on my list of places to stop this morning, after I had breakfast.

That's when bad things happened.

Or didn't happen.

I got the coffee maker ready, I poured beans into the coffee grinder, and... nothing. I reset the coffee grinder and tried again. Still nothing.

I tried a third time.


I ate my breakfast, had watered down coffee (that's a longer story that doesn't contribute to this one), and headed out to do my shopping. I headed to Meijer because I needed to stop there anyway.

My choices were very limited when it came to coffee grinders. I chose the KitchenAid, hoping that by paying a little bit more, it will last a little bit longer.

(As a side note: we have gone through at least four coffee makers and three coffee grinders in our thirteen and a half years of marriage.)

I stopped at the neighborhood bodega. I feel like I'm walking into Cheers. They know me and I always get warm, friendly smiles. They will do what they can to help me find what I need.

This morning was no different. I was even given a white chocolate truffle. Yum! That's when I mentioned that the chocolate made up for my coffee grinder breaking. They had a fresh pot of coffee brewed, would I like a cup? Yes, please!

Thank you friendly neighborhood grocery for the coffee, the smiles, the chocolate, and the hospitality.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Today I am thankful for Christmas which we spent at home, then went to my parents for New Year's and held "Christmas part deux". I realized I never posted pictures (really, no one should be surprised by now, at least I finally got the pictures loaded onto the computer).

Without further ado,

Bill with his new mug

Skylar and her stack of gifts (she who says no one cares as much about her anymore…)

Spencer and his new Batman scooter from Grandma and Grandpa.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chili and boot camp

There are a couple of things that I'm thankful for.

First, for Chandra and Meijer Gardens. Meijer Gardens offers classes for many subjects and all ages. There was a Photography Boot Camp class that I saw was being offered for adults. I happened to mention it to Chandra and she said she would enjoy that.

Having a new camera that I know very little about, I thought I could benefit greatly from a class like this.

Having Chandra say that she would be interested in taking it with me, was even better.

Today was the class.

My brain is on overload.

The teacher was amazing. He used superb examples to explain all the different things about the camera.

I could have used more classes with smaller amounts of information. But that's just how I am.

Here is a small sample of what I did learn.

The first photo is the raw, original photo I took of Atticus, a very difficult subject in low light.

Then, with the raw data, I used iPhoto to adjust it.

Again, it's just a very small sample of what I learned. I may have over adjusted it, but I'm lucky I even figured out how to do that.

Small steps.

The other thing I am thankful for today is Bill. I'm thankful for him every day, and I try to tell him that. However, today he went above and beyond. While I was out playing (really, I don't consider taking a class called "boot camp" "playing" but I digress); he ran the vacuum, he went shopping and bought ingredients for chili, and then he came home and made chili. This chili is on the more mild side of Bill's chili, but it has the right amount of seasonings and flavors. It was delicious.

And that makes 1,000.

Friday, January 17, 2014

All about the numbers

Today is my 999th post.


I am a numbers person. I get a kick when the numbers in the checkbook have some kind of pattern. I like catching the clock when it reads 12:13. I watch my odometer on my car too.

This year, my birthday will be 12/13/14.

There will be a party.

Being that this is post #999, I couldn't let it pass without acknowledging it.

That's a lot of writing.

Some of it good, some of it not good.

Hey, I'm not an English major.

The funny part about that fact is that I would probably have the exact same three part-time jobs if I did have an English degree.

On the being thankful note, I am very thankful for peanut butter, chocolate and graham crackers. Put them together (after melting the chocolate very slightly in the toaster oven) and you have a delicious snack. I can't believe I have never thought of that combination before. I like s'mores, but I'm not a fan of a marshmallow that has not been roasted over an open fire. I like peanut butter on graham crackers.

Watch out, it will change your world.

Maybe not, but it really is a great snack. It has every craving; crunchy, chocolatey, salty, sweet, savory… what more could you ask for?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

words of encouragement

I forgot yesterday. And then I had a dream that I realized I forgot to write a post and I got up and wrote one.

But that was just a dream.

Yesterday I had a "me" day.

One of my Christmas presents was a bank gift card. Because it was from the church, I wanted to use it to buy something that might actually come from church friends.

I have been looking at some wall art (remember this?) online, so I went to a couple of stores to see what I could find.

I found a simple cube, with a brightly painted sunflower that says, "Give Thanks". It was on clearance. It doesn't scream "Autumn decoration", so I carried it around the store while I looked at other things.

Then I found a plaque that says,
"Faith to light the darkened sky,
Strength to carry you on,
Love to touch and heal the soul and
Hope to greet the dawn"

It wasn't on clearance, but it was still within my gift card budget, so I picked that one too.

These words of encouragement are sprinkled throughout the house. I am thankful for the gift that I received to purchase these two signs that will remind me of my faith, family and friends.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Broken and Healing

I am thankful for healing broken friendships.

I continue to learn, grow and gain wisdom.

I learn valuable lessons of life from my parents and my friends.

I have many wonderful friends (see my post about giving thanks for friends), new and from long ago.

I'm not calling my friends old.

I'm saying that we have been friends for a long time.

Over the years, I have learned an important part of friendship is forgiveness. I have also learned to let things go. You may not believe me when I say this but this is how I am; if I am in an argument and I walk away, I'm likely to let it go. I've learned that holding grudges is pointless. All that has done is given me gray hairs.

Wow, I'm really sounding old in this post.

Most likely I am apt to let it go because I chose to forget. Or, I am old and I forget plain and simple.

Ooh shiny!

(I also have the attention span of my Jr. High students, which is probably why I get along so well with them.)

This last fall, I was in the copy room at work and I discovered that a co-worker and I share half-birthdays. We then got on the topic of Monday's child, etc. She is the attorney for JFON (I used to volunteer for her). She is Monday's child, fair of face. How true is that as she seeks for justice for those who have quiet or no voice?!

I'm a Tuesday's child full of grace.

For some reason, I have always thought of graceful. And graceful I am not. I am full of bumps and bruises. It was that day when I learned it's not that kind of grace.

It's the grace of forgiving others.

It's the grace of love.

That makes sense.

I recently reached out to a friend from long ago. I didn't want to reach out to heal myself, but I wanted to reach out because I miss her. I wanted to reach out because that's who I am.

She responded with a reciprocal outpouring of love and forgiveness. It's never to late to heal. To forgive. Or to share with someone that you miss them and care for them.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Remember when we had to go to the Library to look up something…?

Recently I was forced to upgrade my phone. I had already been searching and looking into what other companies had to offer. And then my phone made the decision for me. After almost three years, my phone that didn't even have its GED (get it? It wasn't a smart phone), bit the dust. The screen went kaput.

This, of course, happened during a bad ice storm and I was headed to Detroit. I knew how to call Bill, so I was at least able to let him know. And 9-1-1 could always be reached.

I went with an iPhone. We are a Mac family and I was most familiar with it.

Today, during lunch at the office, we were talking about game shows, hosts and other celebrities. I kept using the app for IMDB (Internet Movie Date Base). Now, with a few taps on the screen, I can answer questions like, how old is Vanna White and what about that game show. You know, the one. With the celebrities. No, not Hollywood Squares. Oh yes, it was Match Game.

While technology doesn't always get along with me; today I am thankful for the people that have put time and research into that simple app.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I am thankful for friends and being able to share time with them.

It may be an obvious choice; I don't know anyone who doesn't like their friends, but it's my blog and my year of giving thanks.

I'm sure you understand.

Sharing food, laughter, good times, bad times, it doesn't matter when you're with friends. We have so many amazing friends. I'm extroverted enough that I could spend every day or evening with friends. I think in high school and college I did. I never liked being alone.

I'm okay with being alone now. (Or maybe I'm not, I do blog, it's my way of connecting when I'm home by myself.) But I still really like the time I spend with friends.

Quality Time is also my Love Language (if you haven't read the book, I urge you to read it, so does Bill). This is the fourth time it has been mentioned today. I need the quality time I spend with friends. It fills me. And don't we all need to be filled with love?

Friends to me are love.

That's what I've been trying to convey with giving thanks. So there you have it. In less than one week, I opened up and have accomplished what I wanted to by giving thanks.

We're all done.

You can stop reading now.

No, I'm just kidding. Don't leave me! I need you.

Oh boy, maybe I need to see my therapist…

In conclusion, friends are great and today I'm highlighting our friendships. I'm not going to list our friends for fear I would accidentally leave someone off the list (that would be awkward). So, if you're our friend, please know that you are included in this post today.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Children of fur

I don't often sleep late. I like to keep my routine and stick to a schedule. Occasionally, usually on a Saturday, I allow myself a few extra minutes to sleep.

Today was one of those days.

Except the cats didn't get the memo.

Rather than be annoyed, I was grateful that they were concerned enough to try to wake me. That routine I have established has clearly made an impact on their day.

I was head-butted, jumped on, pounced on, climbed on, had a wet nose touch my nose, my ear, my cheek, I was kneaded, and I heard several meows.

When my bladder could no longer handle any more pounces, I gave in and got out of bed.

I managed to squeak out thiry-five more minutes. I'm not sure how and I know it wasn't peaceful. But I'm thankful to know that my cats care enough to make sure I'm okay and that I will get up. Even if it's just to feed them. (And no, that is not what they were trying to get me out of bed for today, they had plenty of food and water.)

Friday, January 10, 2014

backwards thanks

I'm very thankful for our snow blower today.
(This was after I had taken a couple of passes. It's the packed snow at the end of the driveway that the plow put there after several passes. It's tough to see in this perspective, but it was higher than my knees.)

Which means I'm thankful for our former neighbors, Nancy and Glenn, from whom it was bought.

Which means I'm thankful for Bill saying to Glenn that he wanted to buy it from them before they moved (which I am not thankful that they moved).

And I'm thankful that it was filled with enough gas for me to clear out the approach.

It took me one hour and 43 minutes (that includes shoveling other areas of the driveway).

Yes, I still like snow! 

I'm also rocking the guns (triceps, biceps, you name it, it's toned).

It's a great workout for sure.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

for Mom

Today, I'm thankful for my mom.

Not just because it's her birthday, which is reason enough to remind her why I'm thankful for her, but because she is a wonderful person.

She taught me the art of writing thank you cards.

She taught me to appreciate laughter and good times.

She taught me how to get through tough times.

She has shown me unconditional love.

She is an amazing woman in an ordinary world.

She does small things that no one knows about.

She is giving and loving.

I'm thankful for her every day, but today she gets a blog post and recognition for being mom!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

day two, back in the swing of things

There are so many things to be thankful for.

Are those blessings? My mom asked.

They could be. Or just being thankful for simple things.

Like being able to french braid my own hair. I discovered I could do that this summer when I was tired of running with a ponytail that started out on top of my head but ended up at the nape of my neck. I could always (and was always asked to) french braid other girls hair. Especially in Jr. High when I was team manager for volleyball, basketball and track. My braids stayed in no matter how active the game. I could braid. But I could never braid my own hair. It was just one of those things. I knew how, but couldn't reverse it on myself. I was thrilled when I gave it a try back in August and it looked like a french braid (not a giant knot or bird's nest).

I'm also thankful that my hair is long enough to french braid. That's two things for today.

I'm also looking for a sign like the one above (you can visit the website here). I don't know the blogger, I stumbled across the photo when I searched for "give thanks". It turns out that is a theme saved mostly for Thanksgiving. I would like a sign without pumpkins, leaves and fall colors. I want it to be simple. I have found lots of ideas. I'll let you know if I create any of them.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A new start

I'm currently reading, "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. It's for my book "club". We're on the last two chapters. We've intentionally gone slow because the book is pretty heavy. We've also gone slow because everyone in the group with the exception of myself, have children. That means nothing, other than reading an entire book can take longer when you're caring for ankle biters. (They're all great kids, I'm using that term loosely.) Hence our "club". We meet once a month. That's about all we can commit to doing. We've watched a video, we've shared food and coffee, we've read a book or two. Maybe "book" club is how we should describe ourselves.

At any rate, I gave everyone in our group a notebook so that we could each keep track of our one thousand gifts.

I know I'm not alone in our group when I say I have done a poor job of finding things for which I am thankful. I have thought of thirty-some. I bought the notebooks back in October. So it's not like I just started last week.

Last night, as I read a bit more of the book, it occurred to me that I could continue writing things for which I am thankful in a journal but I could also go back to blogging daily. I could use Giving Thanks as my daily theme.

And so I will.

The idea also stemmed from a friend who posted a comment on Facebook back in November. She pointed out that everyone posts what they're thankful for in the month of November, why not be thankful the rest of the year? Thank you, friend. I think I will.

You'll notice I changed my blog. I gave it a fresh new look for my new journey.

I have no idea what sorts of things I'll come up with, being thankful can happen in many different ways. I hope this will inspire you to think of things for which you are thankful.

Today, I am thankful for a blog, with readers (!), where I can share whatever I feel like sharing.