November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving at Lala's

1 thing this trip showed me was that a habit of thankfulness changes my outlook on a lot of things. For starters: Lucas wanted me to drive (so he could do some work - 2 sermons in a short week is a lot!). I was tired, I didn't want to drive, but I knew that getting work done was important for him to enjoy the trip, so I did it without complaining (which I would have normally done excessively). About an hour into the drive I missed a turn. Normally I would have been frustrated with myself and gotten so grumpy that it would have ruined the trip, but I decided to just relax and enjoy the detour. After it became apparent that the detour was going to add more time to the trip than the original 10 minutes the Garmin predicted, Lucas became agitated (we both are big on being ON SCHEDULE). Normally I would have snapped back about how I didn't want to drive in the first place and it would have ignited a fight. Instead I reminded him that I couldn't change the past, and suggested we enjoy the scenic route. We did - the small towns, the place that sold sprayers just like Papa, the yard FULL of large wooden cutouts for Christmas (superheroes, cartoon characters, Biblical figures, Santa and his elves, you name it!), and the large woman who (for reasons unknown) came out to meet family wearing a t-shirt and underwear...and then bent over. These are the sights we would have missed had I not passed our exit! We arrived an hour later than we expected, but relaxed and without the normal fights and stress that type of trip would have produced!
Nana had been cooking for days, and after the twins took a nap, we got to enjoy the bounty of her work!
The turkey - my favorite part is Ryan's hand waving above!
For the past 5 Thanksgivings we have been too far away to be with family (with the exception of one where they came to us). We had friends in MA who became like our family and spent every Thanksgiving with us. We missed them terribly, and sent a few texts throughout the day. But, part of moving was to be close to family for occasions such as these, and it was WONDERFUL! Here is the group - Nana, Ry-guy, Lala, baby cousin (not yet visible), Lucas, Grant, Allie, & me. This picture is especially for Poppy, who not only was without any family on Thanksgiving, but even missed the meal because they served it too early on the boat. We missed you, Poppy!
After enjoying a feast (of which the twins ate tons. More than I've ever seen them eat before! They were like bottomless pits!), those of us who didn't cook cleaned up while Nana played with Allie

and Ryan played with a very patient Indy. My children LOVE this dog! Not sure that Indy is as much of a fan of them...but she never showed it and let them give her many hugs.
Sadly, Nana had to leave early the next morning for a funeral. But we stayed and had a fun day with Grant and Lala.
The twins loved the big exercise ball!
Despite the cold we went outside. Lala was worried they would be bored without toys, but they spent a good 20 minutes joyfully running up and down the neighbor's driveway!
We went to the park (which turned out to be a dreadfully cold trip). The twins (and dogs) had a blast despite the cold!
Ryan laughing so hard after going down the slide.
Allie and Chance. He loved her, and she loved finally being loved by a dog!
Daddy helping the twins break the wishbone. They never pulled hard enough, and Allie lost interest. So Daddy ended up doing it with Ryan - who won! Now if we can explain to Ryan how to make a wish...

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Grant & Lala. Grant is a fabulous brother-friend, full of energy, always looking out for everyone. Our tire was low and he took it and filled it up, checked it for nails and leaks, all without us asking. He drove out of his way to find something that someone wanted on Black Friday, and he made sure that we got a taste (literally!) of Ohio before we left. And Lala, who is such a loving aunt, finally got to hear the twins say her name (note: they haven't stopped since we got home and all day all I hear is "Bye, bye, Lala"), received an impromptu hug from Allie, and became a preferred person :) Once worried that the twins didn't like her, this trip clearly solidified her place in their hearts!

I am Thankful For:


Lucas' family: I am privileged to have in-laws who always treated me as one of them, who let me know they truly love me - despite my many flaws, who clearly love my children and desire their best, with whom I can spend a happy and truly stress-free Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the man my parent-friends raised, and the amazing husband and father he is. I am so naive as to believe that everyone is as lucky with in-laws as I am, and I am truly grateful.

Modern technology: That connects us to family, and friends who are like family, when distance separates us. The day was more special because of the "family" in MA we were able to talk to, and our family members spread out all over with whom we were able to talk to throughout the day via phone and text.


Amazing sleep: I feel confident it is the pillows. The twins, who never sleep well in other places and were especially terrible the last time we spent a night at Lala's, slept incredibly! They went willingly to naps (and slept just as well and even better than at home!), and bed at night. Sure, we ended up with Allie in our bed both nights - the second earlier than we had hoped - but it was like night and day compared to our last trip!


A safe trip home!

Catching Up on Thankfuls

After a few requests for new posts, I logged on and realized that in my pre-Thanksgiving posts I forgot to include my thankfuls! So, bear with me as I catch up on what I am thankful for (along with a few random pictures), and then chronicle our holiday :)

I am Thankful For:
Thursday (the 18th...yikes!):
Getting caught up on cleaning. When mama is sick, everything falls behind. The house was a disaster area. Lucas and I had been chipping away at various things, but Thursday I made the big push to get it done. Not perfect, but respectable :) It was a relief!
My little mama. Allie has recently been taken with a desire to nurture her younger brother. This includes gently patting his head when he's tired, giving him books for baby music time, and feeding him on occasion!
Game night with out friends. When I move someplace new, I always worry about finding friends. I am not the most outgoing person in the world (in fact, my true nature is shy), and going about friend-making is stressful. I kid you not that I always have a plan - when I switched high schools I joined a sport with a pre-season so I would have met people my first day. In college I connected myself with Intervarsity and met my dearest friends in our dorm's Bible study. In seminary I joined the building Bible study and the seminary wives group. But when I moved here I had no clue what to do. Lucas and I made intentional trips to the park to meet other couples with kids. The triathlon solidified these friendships, and a sister-in-law of a friend connected me to another friend. Once a month we invite all these friends over for a game night. My face hurt from laughing so hard. An evening with these friends full of laughter, rivalry, food, and fellowship is a blessing beyond description.

An Uneventful Doctor's visit: Without going into too much detail I will say that I have had several doctors appointments recently where I have completely embarrassed myself in some way. I was dreading my appointment on Saturday morning, wondering what on earth I could possibly do this time. Thankfully, nothing! The curse is broken :)
Help: I have sort of been drawn into the world of web consulting and design. I am an extreme novice, and the stress of working on people's professional website occasionally overwhelms me. But I have a friend who is a professional, who could tell me to figure it out on my own (because I am theoretically stealing business), but instead has given me every tool I could possibly need, and willingly invites me over to ask stupid questions and help me out. I am so thankful for this friend (and his wife, who also lets me ask stupid questions about her online work - they have enlightened me so much)!
The promise of seeing the fishies, and the visit to the tanks, is what keeps them sane at the store!

Nursery fellowship: 50% of the time, my children are the only ones in nursery. This means that when I work in the nursery, I am often watching my own kids. Although not when I'm on with my friend who brings E to play with the twins! That was the case this Sunday, and then when they had to leave (we worked the nursery shift, and then I pulled worship service duty to fill in), I got to chat with another friend from church who I don't get to see very often! Even if I'm just watching my own kids, I enjoy our nursery fellowship :)

The library: Growing up, the town library was literally one of my favorite places on earth. I loved the books, I loved the librarian, I loved sitting in the rocking chair by her desk and asking her about books (she knew everything!), I loved her quote board behind the desk (I learned so many famous quotes from that board), I loved the sound of the stamp as it marked the due date on the card, I loved the light streaming through the big windows, I loved the old brick building. I loved everything. To this day my dream is to be a librarian, and I know it is because I loved my librarian and library so much. It was important for me to find a library for the twins, and our local library is wonderful! We made a trip on Monday to pick up new books and dvds for the trip and the twins LOVED playing on the beangbag chairs, coloring at the table, pulling out the puzzles, and looking at the books. But what I loved the most? When they made friends with the librarian. They waved to her, jabbered stories, played peek-a-boo, and called out cheerful bye-byes! I could tell they captured her heart, and that moment captured mine.
Not having to go grocery shopping: Lucas and I did 2 weeks in 1 the weeks before. Not having this day guzzling chore looming over me was wonderful!

Playgroup. The day has been chronicled here, so I'm not going to go into detail. But the friendship of these moms is a blessing to me, and the friendship of our children warms my heart.

Our church: A year ago, we had a super secret meeting with the search committee here to talk about coming back (mentioned very vaguely here). At the time we really weren't sure what would happen. This church was part of a very important time in our lives and ministry and we loved them, but we were afraid our emotions would cloud our judgement. We asked God to clearly show us what He wanted, and doors opened like crazy! A year later I sat in the Thanksgiving Eve service (with more attendees than they have had in several years!), and looked out over the familiar faces of people we love. I am overwhelmingly grateful for our church, for the people, for the ministry we had there and our ministry there now. God is good.

November 25, 2010

After painting and tracing and some cutting and glueing, we created some fun little cards to send out to family :) We would have sent more, but the painting, tracing, cutting, and glueing took up a surprising amount of time to make the few we did! So, here it is in blog form instead :)

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

November 24, 2010


Nothing especially exciting to report, and although I know funny things have happened, I cannot recall a single one. But I'm cleaning out my camera's memory card and wanted to show some snapshots from the last few days:
The twins first time painting with paintbrushes!
We had a special project (not pictured so as to remain a surprise) that required brushes.
They were so excited when I showed them the brushes that they raced upstairs!
They definitely enjoyed trying something different!
The moms' group had this week's playgroup at our house (since we had just moved our outdoor toys inside). Imagine 10 kids (between the ages 3 months and almost 4), 4 moms, and all of the ensuing chaos :) It was a blast! Oddly, the only pictures I got of the twins were of them with E. Oh, well, she's a BFF so that's ok :)

What is this white powdery stuff with which my children are playing (and with which they are completely covered)? Glitter!
We had another poject that called for some glittering, and I thought "it would be less messy for me to do it, but way more fun for the twins to." They had a blast, but the mess was significant (and somehow carried over to the kitchen, living room, and basement...). little man has discovered a new ability. He can, in the wink of an eye, climb up into his booster seat. The last few meals he has used this nifty trick to let me know when he was ready to eat (and I was apparently moving too slow). This morning he used this trick in a different way that was not so nifty. He raced up the stairs for lunch, and by the time Allie and I caught up I found him like this:
The naughty little man had pushed his booster seat over to the wall, climbed up, and was turning the light on and off. Mama had a whole new realm of mischief to keep me on my toes! And now a whole new level, that was once out of reach, that now needs to be babyproofed!

Passing Another Mile Marker

Can you tell what is different?
Look closely!
If the twins cribs look a little more like big kids beds to you, you would be right! We've added pillows.

I noticed that the twins LOVE laying their heads down on pillows, and when sick would willingly cuddle up if there was a pillow present. Since the sickness, sleep has been intermittent and I was desperate for a change, so we decided to try pillows.

They have been amazing! The twins now love going down for naps and the nighttime sleep has been better (including a few nights where they have slept all night cuddled with their pillows)!

Of course, this is just another mile marker that tells me we are getting farther away from the baby days and closer to the kid days. I would shed a nostalgic tear...if I wasn't so busy sleeping :)

November 18, 2010

Taking Art to New Levels

Since steam is good for sickies and stuffiness, I have been trying to get the twins to take showers before bed...but they aren't always interested in staying in for very long. So, I pulled out what was supposed to be a Christmas Present and gave it to them as a "Sorry You're Sick" present instead. Bathrub Crayons!

They are a hit!
They colored every surface. They colored as if it was their job.
For the first time ever I had trouble getting them out of the shower! Even brushing their teeth (normally the ultimate favorite) didn't entice them more than coloring!
The worst part is that I bought the crayons thinking it would make me clean my showers more because I would need to wipe the crayons off...instead I love their artwork so much I found myself working not to rinse it off (and it actually comes off easily with a rinse, so that's hard!).
I am Thankful For:
I know I already did Monday, but the day wasn't finished. Monday evening I spent an hour laughing with a good friend. At one point so hard we were almost on the floor! I am thankful for a friend with whom I can shar my most embarassing stories and then laugh until we cry.
The Moms' Group - When my friend and I decided to stat the moms' group we hoped it would be a group that would reach out to all the other moms in the community who felt a little trapped at home during the winter. So far, we rarely have more than 3 of us there...but we have fun! I so enjoy time every week to get together and talk with these women, and that my children get time to play with their new besties (but not this week because they were sick...).
Sweet, funny children.
A Package from Papa & Gigi - With an item inside that literally made the twins dance :)
My Husband & the Floor - The twins have a tendency to throw all their food off their tray when they decide they are done. This means our dining room floor (baseboards...walls...) have a tendency to get pretty disgusting. Lucas and I are constantly bargaining to not be the one who has to clean it up. Since I was home along the last few evenings (and had to do all the daily cleaning and maintenance on my own), Lucas offered to do the floor last night. It looks amazing!

November 15, 2010

Keeping the Crankies Occupied

We're all cranky when we're sick, but children (and I think especially toddlers) are more honest about showing it to others. The twins aren't feeling up to their normal running around, but endless time periods of tv drive them (and me!) bonkers. So I've been trying to come up with things that aren't super active, but will keep them engaged. Folks, we've been getting crafty!
I saved you the pictures of them painting (because you've seen enough of those you get the gist), but here is the overflowing outcome!

Today we moved on to phase 2:
I love Ryan in the background studying his painting!

While I was tracing her brother's hands, Allie got ahold of the camera and took a dozen pictures...the girl is a shutterbug!

Ryan thought it would be fun to try his hand at photography. This is me trying to stop him (the timer was set and captured this moment). I love Allie looking on at the trouble she inspired!

I am Thankful For:
Energy: Not up to full speed yet, but I was able to do the largest chunk of the day by myself!
My husband and the laundry room: Lucas was literally possessed with the need to clean the laundry room (something that was desperately needed, but easy to be neglected). I thought he was spending a ridiculous amount of time in there until I saw the results. He washed down the machines and vacuumed out all the corners. He cleaned every inch! It is AWESOME!
Lucas for grocery shopping: Monday's I do my grocery shopping. This involves a 20 minute drive each way, 2 stores, a mini parade as I push the twins in the stroller and pull the cart (while checking things off my grocery list and keeping track of the cost with my calculator), and often me singing "Wheels on the Bus" to keep the kiddos pacified. It is exhausting to say the least (although people seem to appreciate the entertainment we provide! Today, Lucas' schedule changed at the last minute and he was able to go with us in the morning (because he had to be gone all evening). Having help with the grocery shopping was an incredible help!
Milkweed: Strange. I know. The twins decided that they didn't need a nap today, and I felt otherwise. So we set out on a walk in an attempt to lull them to sleep. It didn't work. In fact, they ended up pinching each other and crying 2/3 of a mile from home. If I can find something to occupy their hands I'm golden, but that was much easier in the summer (with grass and flowers in abundance) than now. BUT, I found some milkweed plants - with the great pods filled with the silky seeds. I showed them how the pods opened and the seeds fly away in the breeze, gave them each a pod, stuffed a few extras in my pocket, and it kept them busy & happy until we got home (and I took the long way!). Granted, we were all covered in the seeds when we got home, but it was worth it :)
On Sunday we gave the twinners suckers. I don't let them have candy often, but I thought they could use a treat. Last time they had suckers they weren't interested and ignored them. This time it was quite the opposite!

Note: they were extremely naughty the rest of the evening. Sugar will now only ever be given earlier in the day!

November 13, 2010

A Crashing Halt

We've had a nice, long stretch of things going so well, and incredible busy-ness, but this week everything came to a crashing halt. I mentioned about a week ago that I was having pain & difficulty breathing...I sort of told a white lie and said I was better (what those who couldn't see me didn't know wouldn't make them overly concerned). I was sure I was going to get better. I didn't. By Sunday I was running a fever and in serious pain again. This time a night of rest didn't solve it, and Monday was just as bad. A trip to the after-hours clinic confirmed bronchitis. My antibiotic worked wonders and by Wednesday evening I was feeling better. Better enough to use a frenzied couple of hours catching up on laundry, preparing some food for the next couple of days, and cleaning up. It was good that I did this because Thursday the twins got sick (runny noses, congestion), Thursday night Allie was up all night vomiting, and Friday the stomach bug hit severely that I couldn't even walk know. It has been a really rough week.
The bright spot has been Lucas, who not only managed to be here to help out when I couldn't manage on my own, but also put in a full week's worth of hours at work, keep the house looking decent, and put up our Christmas lights. I think he might be part Superman.

This picture pretty much sums up our week. It was taken in the middle of the day - nowhere near naptime. If you know the twinners, you know they rarely sit still long enough to fall asleep, and only will share a cuddle if they are sick. But this week us sickies had a strong desire to be together, and I found myself in this position often.

Today I was able to keep down food and liquid! The twins congestion is getting worse though, and I suspect this is only the beginning of some flu-season fun. Pray for strength & health for me and Lucas!

I am Thankful For:


Ryan and Allie - Sunday, being daylight savings, was a difficult day. We were able to keep the twins in bed until 6:30, but the rest of the day the schedule was off. By the end of church (noon) their stomachs told them it was way past lunch and time for a nap...this crnakiness carried over into the rest of the day. A day that I had to do by myself because Lucas had prior commitments. A day that I was feeling incredibly sick. It was a hard day, but the whole day I was so incredibly thankful for the adorable toddlers in front of me. Sure there were tantrums, but there were also some silly moments where they were making faces, or animal noises, or just falling on the floor to make me laugh. Even when the days are difficult, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world because the days that are difficult because of cranky kiddos are still full of so much more joy than the days before they were here.


After-Hours clinics - I didn't actually know something like this existed until we moved here, and we have one just 10 minutes away! This was my second visit, and not only are the hours convenient (I can go after the twins are asleep), but I needed chest x-rays to confirm that I didn't have pneumonia and they were able to do them right there! This clinic, and the workers there, were such a lifesaver when I was miserable.


The great weather - This who week we had fabulous weather, which is great anytime we have temperatures in the 60's in November, but was especially great this week. Lucas would work from home in the morning (to provide needed backup), and leave when the twins went down for a nap. When they woke up (around 3ish) we would go outside and I would sit while they played until it was time to go in to make dinner (4:30ish). Not only was I thankful to get them out of the germy house into fresh air, but it also gave them stimulation away from the tv while still allowing me to rest. Being able to be outside this week was a lifesaver!


Incredible efficiency - As I mentioned before, Wednesday evening I had a burst of energy and just enough foresight to put it to good use. Lucas had to work that evening (to make sure he got in his hours), and I spent 2 hours, and all of my energy, getting done the essentials. This ended up being the lifesaver that got us through the rest of the week.


The Eye of the Hurricane - Thursday was truly the calm in the midst of the storm. I was feeling well enough to keep everything going on my own (even with the twins congested and goopy), which allowed Lucas to put in a full day's work (we're talking 10ish hours), and we ended the day relatively early. This day of energy and catching up was clutch when the aformentioned stomach bug hit.


My husband - I spent most of Thursday night with Allie sleeping (and sometimes throwing up) on me - which meant I didn't sleep much at all. Friday morning I had a doctor's appointment. I mentioned before I left that my stomach was queasy, but figured it was because I had been vomited on so many times that morning. By the time I got home from the doctor's office I had already vomited once, was shaking, and could barely walk because of the nausea. Lucas, who had been planning on going to work, immediately changed his plans. When he realized that I was going to be incapacitated for the day he took over and took care of everything. I was so grateful for such an amazing husband as I laid in bed and tried not to move.


The ability to move and eat - when you're healthy, you don't think about how awesome it is to be able to do something as simple as walk out of your bedroom, but Friday I literally couldn't...and I wanted to. Even though I wasn't feeling completely up to par today, just being able to get up and walk wherever I wanted was an amazing feeling. And eating was a complete joy! Even saltines (which I hadn't been able to keep down the day before) were a delight. I'm thankful for the aspects of health I don't fully appreciate when I'm healthy!

November 06, 2010

The Thankfulness Continues!

So much for which to be thankful. Where to even start??!!
I am thankful for...
Healthy Children: Wednesday night the twins both woke up with fevers. Thursday morning Allie still had a slight fever, but by afternoon both my kiddos were back to normal. Not sure what it was (they didn't have any other symptoms), but thankful that it went away quickly!
Nana & Aunt Darleen! They came for a quick, but fun 48ish hours! And they came with fun craft supplies, a duck purse (which made Allie do the funniest quacking noises for the first time ever), and a stuffed Mickey & Minnie (for which the twins were thankful!)

Giving Mickey & Minnie hugs.

Allie teaching Minnie how to play peek-a-boo in the closet!
Ryan sharing his snack :) Home Fellowship: On Thursdays we host a Bible study in our home. This week we studied a passage that I had read literally dozens (maybe even a hundred) of times, but looking at the context around it (and the insight from others in the study) gave whole new light to the passage. I saw things I never saw before (literally, sentences that I somehow always glossed over!), and it offered a really profound promise that really hit me exactly where I needed it!

Helping Hands: Life is so much easier when I have backup! The twins managed to exhaust 3 of us, but at least we had the option of taking turns!

A Neighbor from Whom I can Borrow Sugar: There is just something that seems so "idealized 50's neighborhood" about running over to a neighbor's to borrow sugar...which is exactly what I needed to do, and I was thankful for the friend and neighbor who loaned it to me (note: the same friend and neighbor who watched the twins on Wednesday...I really owe her big!)

Somerset Steel Processing, Somerset Hardware, and Pepi's Pizza: Since this is a month of thankfulness, our church member's are adopting local businesses this month to visit, thank, encourage, and pray for. Lucas and I adopted these businesses and on Friday we visited them with gifts of pumpkin bread, cards of appreciation, and words of thanks. We are praying for these businesses during this month, and are truly thankful for their presence in our community.

Catching up with Good Friends: It is homecoming at our Alma Mater and Friday evening we drove the short distance to the college to celebrate the evening with some friends we hadn't seen in a while (including one of our dearest friends who was being honored with a distinguished alumni award!). It was so fun to catch up and celebrate together.

A NIGHT out: The reason behind Nana & Aunt Darleen's visit was that they were watching the twins for Lucas and my very first night away! It wasn't that we hadn't tried to have a night away earlier (I made the arrangements twice and it didn't work out), and I could tell that I was more than ready by how worried I wasn't. In fact, I was confident that the twins would have a perfectly wonderful time without me. They did :)

Sleeping in!!!!

Coming home to my babies: It is amazing how much better I could keep up with their energy, and how much less I was phased by their tantrums with 18 hours away to recharge! Absence made MY heart grow fonder :)

MORE FRIENDS!!! We headed back to the Dale with our kiddos in tow for the football game. While we couldn't have the same uninterrupted conversations that existed pre-kids, it was great to see so many friends!

The Cuties were in town and the twins enjoyed playing with Cutie Face! Here they are in the bounce house. I LOVE the faces Ry-guy and Cutie Face are making in this picture :)
They moved onto a bean bag game, and the girls enjoyed throwing the bean bags in the hole while Ryan pulled them out from under so they could do it again!
Allie got a little sidetracked and started trying to open the doors of nearby cars...and then got into a few purses that some college girls had set on the ground near their tailgating chairs...I was teased about training her to pickpocket moms' purses at the playground!
And then she joined the fun once again :)
My children playing with my friends' children: We traded the game and outside fun for a warm location and the twins played with the Cuties. I LOVED watching them play together (all 3 of the older ones calling "Hello" into the pop machine to see if anyone was in there, the girls ringing the bells hanging on the doorknob, Ry-guy entertaining little Cutie Cakes who isn't quite mobile enough to keep up with the other fun). There is something so awesome about standing next to people you've known for years (Lucas has been friends with J for 13 years!), and watching your children play together :)
It was an exceptional weekend, for which I am exceptionally thankful.
Something that I am having trouble finding anything about which to be thankful? Daylight Savings tomorrow. Falling Back used to be so fun, but I discovered that with children it is the Springing Forward that is nice! Falling back means that while the rest of the world gets an extra hour of sleep, I will be getting up at 5:30 am...last year Allie didn't adjust to the new morning schedule until 2 weeks before the time changed back...Tonight I change my clocks with a bit of fear and well as some desperate, whispered prayers!

November 04, 2010

Thankful Days

There's not much to report, except the things for which I've been thankful the last few days.
Note: yesterday, Lucas and I had to be gone most of the morning through early afternoon. A friend graciously agreed to watch the twins, and the pictures below (and captions) are the messages that I received while gone to let me know how they were doing. I was very grateful for these messages while I was away from the twinners :)

I am thankful for:
Feeling Better: Whatever I had that was holding me back, it didn't turn into anything more. For various reasons (including how the house seems to fall apart when I'm sick), I am thankful that it seems to be going away on its own!
Ice cream: Truth be told, I've started to leave out yummy treats (like ice cream) from our grocery list to help us cut our budget. But, since I was way under budget this week, Lucas and I decided we could splurge and buy some ice cream. I am very thankful for this yummy treat in my freezer and that we are able to just run out and get some ice cream whenever we want :)
The women (and Lucas) who watch the kids during moms' group. It is really wonderful to have some time, every other week, where we know our kids are in safe hands and we can talk.

"It's a hat!"
A friend with whom I can talk politics, religion, and other usually off-limits subjects and we still leave the conversation friends! When we moved I was afraid I would never have that kind of friend again, and I'm thankful that I've found friends like that here.
A friend who willingly watches my children. In MA I had a friend who I jokingly referred to as the twins second mommy because she was often there to help, and she was the first (and for a long time the only) non-family member I left with my children. I wondered if I would ever find someone like that here, and I did! A wonderful friend that my children enjoy spending time with, and who I know truly cares about them.

"Well they sufficiently destroyed your main level so we moved on to the lower one - Allie colored for 30 seconds just like u said! And is now stacking blocks!"
Fed Ex - All I can say is that Fed Ex is currently carrying a package that contains 3 priceless treasures. I'm so thankful that I live in a day and age of quick and safe transport of such things. If I met the driver I would probably give him/her a hug.

Long nap times. Not sure what my friend did, but not only were the twinners asleep when I got home, but they (and I) slept for 2 hours after! By the time we woke up we only had a little play time before I had to start dinner. This was a wonderful surprise!
"Off to go tackle lunch :) "
Our church choir. I joined the choir. Not because I am good, but because I enjoy singing. But I'm thankful for the choir not because of the artistic outlet, I'm thankful for them because when I walked out of choir practice and saw that my lights were on and car battery dead they all chipped in to help. One couple provided the car, another gentleman provided the know-how, another lady pulled her car up to offer light. And then, when the car was running, one of them followed me home (all 7 blocks) to make sure I got there ok. Nothing makes you feel loved like having half a choir help you get home!

"Lunch was a success - they ate great and kept the mess to a minimum :)"
The thankfuls don't have to be big or small, just anything that makes your heart happy throughout the day. I know that already I find myself thinking "Oh, I'm thankful for that! I'll have to remember it for the blog." And even though I forget 30% of what I want to remember, the habit of thankfulness is already settling in :)