Before Tara read stories tonight, the boys put on a "play", a comedy of sorts. It consisted of one boy wandering around the middle of his room, then getting ambushed by Eli, and then trounced on by the other brother. This produced hilarious giggles from them, and smirks from the audience. It was humorous, in an absurd sort of way.
Tonight was bathnight, which means lots of splashing and laughing. And screaming - this being a result of me rinsing them off with freezing cold water.
Emma wanted me to carry her around like I used to when she was seven months old. Seven years ago this meant holding her so that her back was to my chest - she had to be able to see what was going on. Now my little girls' got these long legs, but she's still just as squirmy!
Tara insisted I make a huge pot of coffee this morning before I left for work. My wife craves Starbucks coffee. She delights in the aroma of coffee wafting through our home. Oh the gratitude!
Today I got to spend some time studying for my sermon. At Starbucks. Drinking Christmas Blend. That combination alone is enough to fill my heart with thankfulness. But I also get to see some of my favorite baristas - Erin, Jenn, Max, and Stephanie. And I got to talk with some new friends - Jodi and Crystal. Oh, and free refills on the cup of coffee if you pay with your registered Starbucks card. Which, of course, I always do.
In the afternoon I spent some time helping some friends sort through some stuff. A conversation on the phone, a chat around a table - it's always a good feeling to make a contribution to someone's life. I appreciate the opportunities to hear the stories of friends and neighbors, to really listen.
I wrapped up my afternoon by sorting my files, making new files, cleaning up my desk. A dull duty, except that all the files remind me of the great tasks that I get to be part of. Files of the people I am counseling, files of the organizations Anchor is collaborating with, files of reports on strategic information. I am grateful for these files; they are the challenges that come my way - it means I have to dig deeper to help come up with a better solution. And I get to do this with a great staff: Thanks Patti, thanks Carla, thanks Bob & Becky!
I wish I could get together with my best friends more often. It was good to hang out at Samantha's with Don Gentry on Monday. I always need that conversation over gargantuan omeletes. And Jeremy Kratz is stuck in Arizona. I guess that just means I've got to get over there more often! I'm thankful for their wisdom, their points of view, and their loyal friendship. And they laugh at my jokes. Well, not really laugh, more of a polite chuckle. Actually, not even that. I'd say maybe more of a mocking sound.
We've been preparing for Thanksgiving feasts at Grandma Karen's and then Aunt Shirley and Faye's. I'm thankful merely at the thought of huckleberry pies and mashed turnips, deviled eggs and corn casserole! And my gratitude for my family is BIG! Tara and I have lots of family, and we are blessed. Some we don't get to see as much, but we are thankful for those we are able to be with so much. We are glad to have so many memories being made with our family at the holidays, on Sundays at church, birthdays, summer vacations, and those special moments when you get together just because...
Thank you God for the fantastic people you let me share life with. The laughter, the sharing, the memories, the food, the trips, the misunderstandings, the achievements, the walking life's road together. Thank you.