Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 30

Today, I received a precious gift.  It is a gift that money cannot buy.  A gift that made me smile, made my heart overflow with JOY and caused my spirit to soar.  You cannot find this gift in a store.  You cannot order it online.  You won't find this gift on someone's wish list.  It is a gift that keeps on giving ~ for when you receive it from one person, you will want to pass it on to another and another and another...

This gift came from someone I don't see often, but I do think of him from time-to-time.  I had no expectation of seeing him today, but he was there.  I watched his face light up in recognition of me, as I entered through the doorway, and my whole body smiled when I saw him too.  After a quick greeting, he gave me a wonderful, heart-filled, "I'm so glad to see you" HUG!  ...and I got another one when I left too.  

I am so thankful for Dennis and the power of a simple HUG shared with another human being.  I feel loved.

What a special way to end my 30 Days of Thanksgiving, though I pray I maintain a "heart of thanksgiving" daily.  Our God is an amazing God and He shows us how much He loves us through so many people all around us.  Share a HUG with someone you encounter today.  Keep passing it on...

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 29

I am so thankful for my precious "older" neighbors.  While we have many good neighbors ~ Jan, Bernie and Margaret are special friends to me.  I couldn't imagine living in our neighborhood without them.  Each of these dear people are 80 years old and up ~ and each one has lost their spouse.  Jan knows much of the history of the neighborhood and used to organize the neighborhood birthday celebrations.  She's one of the first neighbors we met when we moved into this Chelsea Park neighborhood 5 years ago.  She gets out and walks nearly everyday (even days when I decided to stay in).  She is a woman of faith, faces challenges with a positive outlook, and has blessed me with 2 lovely lunches to say "thank you" for getting her mail when she's away.   Bernie has wonderful stories to share.   His memory amazes me, as I can't remember things as he can.  He has a dog named Ginger whom our Coco likes to visit.  Ginger is always excited to see us, because she knows I've brought a treat for her.  Bernie spoils Coco with treats too.  He's always learning something new, is upset when we've walked by but he didn't see us and has the sweetest smile.  I love stopping by to visit with him.  He has challenges walking up to our house and I'm thankful he purchased an electric chair, so he can buzz up to my house to visit now too.  Blaine and I have special memories of chatting with Margaret and her husband Joe last Christmas when we delivered goodie bags to our neighbors.  We were saddened when Joe passed away this year.  Great stories, amazing memories and both of them dear people.  Margaret's whole face lights up when she smiles.  I don't visit with Margaret as much as I do with Jan and Bernie ~ but my heart smiles when I look out my window and down the street and know that each of these lovely people are my neighbors!

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 28

I am so thankful for the farmers on Tualco Loop Road and Tualco Road in Monroe.  I discovered this farm area a number of years ago when we picked organic strawberries, raspberries, etc.  When I need to get away from the city and clear my head, this is one of my favorite places to go.  Today, God blessed this time with gorgeous late afternoon sunshine!

My heart fills with joy when I see this sight!
One of the organic u-pick farms.  They had to raise their house due to flooding...

Farm reflections in my mirror.

I don't often see an owl out during the daylight hours.  
Look closely and you'll see him on the post.

The mountains are not far away and make a beautiful backdrop for the farm fields.


Farm road with trees
Wooden bridge
I love how the tires thumpety, thumpety, thumpety over the boards...

Pasture with old trees.
Gorgeous!  I caught site of a tire swing.  Can you see it?

Does that help?

Farm fields on a late November afternoon...
Hoop rows in the distance...
Willie Greens!  You can find them at the U-District Farmer's Market on Saturdays.
Look closely and you'll see farm workers busy on the row-covered row in the right of the photo. (Toward the back of the row).  
Don't you love how the sinking sun casts shadows upon the field?
Goodbye dear farmland and all the farmers and farm workers who steward and make a living from this fertile ground...  Abundant blessings!  

I shall return another day....  
Thank you for encouraging my spirit and quieting my heart today.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 27

Thankful for the anticipation of the holiday season ahead...

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 26

So thankful for our annual "Christmas Tree Adventure" on the Saturday following Thanksgiving!  (A new tradition we began 3 years ago)

 Ready to embark on this year's adventure.

 Lunch at the Taco Bus in Marysville is a must!

 Good taco.

 On the road to Secret Valley Christmas Tree Farm in Arlington.
A happy family passes us with their tree...

 Entering the Nordman Fir forest...

 The search begins...

 Many trees to consider...

 Circling.  Checking it out from every angle.

 Tree Ninja has triumphed once again!

 Over the river and through the woods...
Across the field and up the gravel road.

 Christmas tree cutting footwear.

 I got my front door wreath too!

 This is the first Christmas tree hoisted on top of our new car!
We don't have to tie the back doors shut this year...
 The tie-down begins...

 Making sure it's secure for the hour long drive home.
 Almost finished...

 Christmas tree through the moonroof.

 Planned stop at the Feed Store in Marysville to purchase rubber boots for Blaine.

 Unplanned stop at WalMart for "boys" to purchase awesome nerf guns...

 Nicholas' choice is a bit higher tech than Blaine's.

 And, the nerf wars begin!

The house is under siege.
Craziness commences, as Coco barks wildly at the shooting going on and chases nerf darts; occasionally stealing one and promptly getting yelled at...

I couldn't have asked for a better day!

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 25

I am thankful for my husband being understanding and supportive when I make a last minute decision to do a little "Black Friday" shopping ~ and take him to a CRAZY BUSY fabric store...  And, his willingness to help me clean my parents carpets and clean out their drier vent (plus he set up my Mom's skype account).  Good times!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 24

I am thankful for family, good food and being connected together whether near or far apart...

 Skyping Thanksgiving morning with Benjamin.
(currently living in Bloomington, Indiana)

 Celebrating Thanksgiving with Blaine and Nicholas.

...and going to The Muppets movie in the early afternoon with two of my favorite guys!

Blueberry pie a la mode...

Pumpkin pie with whipped topping.

Coconut rice, roasted vegetables and Beeler's ham.
Skyping with Elizabeth and Josh Thanksgiving evening.
(currently living in Wichita, Kansas)

Ending the evening with a heart overflowing with thankfulness 
for our family and how God has so richly blessed us all!