gratitude on a monday...

It's a rainy day here in Northern Virginia. The air is humid but cool and my hair looks like a poodle who met a hair dryer she did not like. POOF! Ahhh...such is the fate of one with wavy hair.

I have gotten out of the habit of late to write down the little things that I am so grateful for. I know that when I stray from seeing God's grace in the small things, then the big things tend to be of my own achievement and not of Him who works through me. Humility, at times, is not my strong suit. So today I am going to take a note from Ann's blog and Elizabeth's blog and combine it with some of the Soulemama's "in the moment" spirit for my own amalgamation of gratitude and living fully in the moment. I will do my best to post each Monday what is happening with me and the lovely Miss Courtney that way on stay on task. This is hard for one so distracted by shiny new things.

A beautiful little caterpillar on my dill plant. It's probably doing damage,
but it was so beautiful I just left it there. 

:: noticing God's glory
It's raining and a bit grey outside but I can't help but notice how green and lush everything looks. My kitchen garden is flourishing and I need to come up with some new recipes for kale and swiss chard post haste. The tomatoes are coming soon and the blueberry bushes are bursting with goodness almost ready to pick. Now if I can just beat the birds to the harvest, all will be right with the world.

:: listening to
At this exact moment I am listening to my two grown offspring snore in complete unison. It's quite funny. We had a very early morning doctor's visit for Jonathan which required us to rise at 5 a.m. Did I mention that no one in my house is a morning person? J-man has to work the late shift tonight so there was no question...naps for everyone.

:: clothing myself in
Gun metal grey capris with a sky blue shirt and some fabulously comfortable flip flops. So very happy for flip flop season!

Invites mailed to family this morning...such a big day ahead...

:: thinking and thinking
How I am going to get everything done that needs to be done in time for Courtney's graduation? There is so much to do to the house before family descends and I know that it won't all get done so I need to prioritize. That is one of the hardest things for me to do. I think everything is equally important but my time and checkbook only extend so far. I suppose I will begin as I always do...with a prayer and a list!

:: giving thanks for
#1015 ~ #1045 -
** family celebrations
** sharing the pew in church with brothers who live far away
** raising our voices in song and praise to the Father in Heaven
** safe travel to and from
** time with my mother and siblings
** laughter while telling the next generation great stories from their parents teen years
** encouraging a new driver
** taking goofy pictures and the infamous "duck face"
** watching in amazement as my husband and brothers love and care for their respective daughters
** nieces who herded the littles with smiles on their faces all day long. What wonderful mothers they will be one day.
** so grateful for a successful knee surgery for my sister-in-law
** good food, great conversation

#1027 - the veggies never tasted sweeter! LOL! 

** when the cake flips over into the veggie dip - there will be a tall tale told about that moment one day
** tomatoes "dipped" in frosting
** "petting" my brothers new chickens
** watching my nieces and nephwes "take care" of Miss Courtney
** being overwhelmed with gratitude and love
** teasing my son who got trampled by the littles in the squirt gun fight
** more laughter
** strong coffee for the open road
** easy traffic with no accidents
** teasing the newest driver in the family
** clean book cases ready to hold a bounty of knowledge
** clean folded laundry still holding a hint of Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena Dryer sheets
** drawers that are organized
** bedrooms deep cleaned and de-cluttered
** sons that clean...the way mama cleans
** shiny chrome faucets
** a successful final school picture for Miss C
** grumbly tummies
** the sweetest chubbiest baby feet belonging to the most wonderful godson a girl could dream of

#1045 - the sweetest chubbiest baby feet belonging to the most
wonderful godson a girl could dream of

::pondering prayerfully
~ praying for a special intention
~ rejoicing and giving praise for Miss Courtney's continued good health...just freaking miraculous!
~ praying for the doctors to have some idea of what is going on with Jonathan's asthma. It has been a tough few weeks for my boy and his lungs. Answers would be good.
~ praise and prayers for my sister-in-laws continued recovery from knew replacement surgery
~ prayers for Miss Betsy as she undergoes a hip replacement
~ prayers for Truman and his family
~ praise for all the new graduates in our proud of you all!
~ prayers that I stay calm and focused the closer we get to Court's graduation
~ praise for all those who encompass our girl with love and prayers every single day. Thank you for your love!

:: creating by hand
I found some beautiful fabric for Miss Courtney to create an outfit for her graduation. The colors of aqua and soft blue-toned orange are prominent so they compliment her new orange chucks. Now I need to find the right blouse pattern to allow for easy access to her her g-tube. I am excited to get started later today. Hopefully I will have something to share on Needle and Thread on  Thursday. We shall see...

:: in the kitchen
I am taking lead from Stephanie over at Keeper of the Home and joining in on the Eating from the Freezer and Pantry Challenge. Today begins Week #1 and I am motivated to use my creativity with what's already in the house without spending money on anything but fresh eggs and vegetables each week. So tonight I will make Easy Cheesy Chicken Casserole and tomorrow it's Angel Hair Pasta w/Roasted Tomatoes and Shrimp. There will be Spaghetti and Meatballs and a Lentil Stew to round out the week. I am looking forward to trying some new recipes as well. I love a challenge!!

:: living the liturgy
I am on Day Four of the Novena to the Holy Spirit preparing for this Sunday's Feast of Pentecost. It has been so illuminating for me. I never thought about how the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are the pathway to a deeper relationship with Christ. I know, I know. I should know this but alas I am still learning how to listen to the Lords voice.

"The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."
Day Two, Holy Spirit Novena

"He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor." 
Day Three Holy Spirit Novena

A powerful much grace coming forth...

:: keeping house
This weekend we DEEP cleaned J-man's room. It was an adventure to say the least. I swear there was a dead body in his seriously. The good news is it's done and ready to be painted. That won't happen until later this summer but we're one step closer. I am working through moving my cookbooks to a new shelf and re-organizing the pantry. UGH!

:: planning the week ahead
I love a good list. So I will be making a list for the contents of both refrigerators, the deep freeze and the pantry. This will be a HUGE help in planning the menus during the Freezer and Pantry Challenge. Next, I need to prioritize my sewing projects and home improvement projects to make my life a smidge easier. There will be physical therapy for Courtney, her weekly visit to school, more doctor's appointments for Jonathan and oh yea...taking care of hubby as well. I see a lot of walks in my future. There will be a need for deep thinking time aplenty.

:: learning to patient and WAIT upon God and His timing. This is so hard!
...serve with joy
...appreciate the wisdom of proper prior preparation...yet again!

:: loving the moments

smiles are precious...

...when Miss Courtney giggles and her Daddy's face just beams. I savor these snapshots of my girl and her Daddy. Their smile is the same. They're both tenacious and stubborn. The love that flows freely between them is something magical to behold. I know there will never be a father/daughter dance at a wedding, but there will be story times, tickle fest's and snuggles on the sofa watching yet another John Wayne movie. These two fill my heart with such joy...add in Big Brother and life is good!

:: Miss Courtney's World
The countdown to graduation has begun and she went in last week for the final class photo. She actually opened her eyes and looked up! Much better than we did her cap and gown photos. I am slowly working my way to acceptance on leaving school and coming home full-time. Kilmer Center has been such a wonderful home for us these past seven years. They are an extension of our family. It's hard for me to imagine not being there everyday. Even though Miss Courtney continues to make incredible progress as far as seizure control is concerned, her immune system is still extremely compromised. She has a fever at least once a week for no known cause and I finally got rid of a rash she has had on her leg from whatever was on the X-ray table three weeks ago. It will be a constant battle to keep her well, so home we come, to the safety of familiar germs. Once we're through graduation...we shall tackle the rest of our life. Right now it's one day at a time.

BEST school picture the child has ever taken!
So happy since it is the LAST one...
Please join Ann Voskamp @ A Holy Experience to celebrate the little gifts given each day by the ONE who loves us most!

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