Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Am Thankful For...

November is the perfect month to remember the things that we are thankful for. Since Thanksgiving is the main holiday of the month, it reminds us that we need to be thankful for the blessings in life. I have been thinking that there is so much to be thankful for. I have compiled a list of 30 things that I am thankful for since there are 30 days in November. So here goes...

1. First and foremost, I am thankful for God. Without God, this world would not exist. I would not exist. You would not exist. You get the idea! God forgives us for our sins and mistakes. I thank God everyday for my many blessings He has given me!

2. I am thankful for my beautiful daughters. They are the light of my life, and without them, I would have no idea how to function. They keep me going each and every day. They are both so unique in their individual ways and I love them without end.

3. I am thankful for my daughter Mindy who is in Heaven. Even though she was only given to me for a short period of time and has been gone for 7 1/2 years, not a day goes by that I don't think of her. I know she is a beautiful little angel that watches over us each day. We love and miss you Mindy.

4. I am thankful for my JM. He loves me unconditionally no matter what. He is a good man, and my daughter tells me that all the time. He has changed me in little ways, and I have done the same for him. But only for the better!

5. I am thankful for my job. For me, it is a privilege to have a job I love, and people that I can help. I was molded for this job, and it was molded for me. A perfect fit I guess you could say. I am also thankful for some of "my farmers." There are a select few that are "mine" and I treasure their friendships.

6. I am thankful for my SUV. I love my car! It gets me where I need to go, and it has all the options I love (except a sunroof) but I can live with that!

7. I am thankful for my close friends. I love each of my friends dearly, and in their own individual way. There are some I've had for years, and others I've only just met. But I appreciate each friendship that I have!

8. I am thankful for family. Sometimes this is difficult, because family can be stubborn. But, ultimately I have to like them because that is who God chose to put me with for this life on earth. And after all, blood is thicker than water.

9. I am thankful for weekends and downtime. I don't get many days to relax or take a break, but those select few times that I get to, I really enjoy it.

10. I am thankful for quality time with my girls. They grow so fast and it's hard to keep up! I try to make the most of the time I have with my kids. They may not appreciate it now, but looking back someday, I know they will.

11. I am thankful for my animals. My cats, my horses, and our dog are a very big part of our lives. They keep us entertained, and snuggle with us when we need it. I could not live without animals in my life.

12. I am thankful for Wal-Mart. Yes, I think I just wrote that. I guess I feel an obligation to feel thankful to Wal-Mart. That store receives a big portion of our paychecks every month. But I guess since they have the best deals, I have to appreciate that fact!

13. I am thankful for our church. Our church has grown tremendously the last few years. And I love our pastor; he is a wonderful guy who is down to earth and keeps the sermons humorous.

14. I am thankful for past mistakes I have made and the lessons that I have learned from them. Every thing that has happened in my life up until this point has made me who I am today. And I am very proud of the accomplishments I have made and the person I have become from all the ups and downs in life.

15. I am thankful for computers and the internet. Even though they can be annoying at times, they make the world go round. Things that used to take weeks to complete only take seconds in today's world. And I have met some great friends through the computer. Life would be boring without the internet!

16. I am thankful for text messaging. What in the world did I do without texting? I have had texting almost 3 years now, and I don't think I could ever go back to not having it. That is how I communicate with so many people these days. It's so much easier to text rather then call for something that only takes a second to tell someone.

17. I am thankful for blogs. Even though I don't get to write as often as I'd like to, it's still something I love to do and that I can call mine. And I love reading other blogs! It's as much fun to read other blogs as it is to write at times.

18. I am thankful for my horse. I know I already said I was thankful for animals, but this one is dedicated to Sunset. He is my baby and has been for almost 20 years. He is up there in age, and we have to baby him. It will break my heart in two when that horse leaves me someday. For now, I am grateful that he has taught my daughter to ride, and will teach my other daughter how to ride. He has always been a good horse. I can pull him out of the pasture after not riding him for 2 years, and he needs no warm up. He is ready to go without any worry of him hurting someone. I rode him when my daughter was 2 months old, and she is now 10. I trust him with my life, and my kids' lives, or I wouldn't allow them to ride him. So I am so thankful God brought this horse into my life nearly 20 years ago!

19. I am thankful for my home. I love having a place I can call my own, and I love living in the country.

20. I am thankful for our military men and women who fight for our country. Some have lost their lives in the battle. Some are away from their families for months or years at a time. I am grateful for those who are brave enough to fight for the USA.

21. I am thankful for pizza. What else can I say? I love pizza! And cinnamon stix too. Now that is a yummy combo. I just can't eat it everyday.

22. I am thankful for exercise. When I eat pizza and not-so-good-for-me foods, I must exercise! I love my Wii fit. I like my treadmill, not really love it, but like it. I love to go walking! I just don't get to do that as often as I like. So when I am unable to walk outside, the treadmill takes the place of that.

23. I am thankful for my boots. Yes, my boots! They are so comfy. Not only do I get to wear them with jeans, but they are great to throw on with pajama pants too. You know, for that quick run out to the car, or the quick jog next door. Those boots take me alot of places and are well broke in. I'll be sad when I have to replace them someday :(

24. I am thankful for all of my clothes. The dressy clothes for work, the casual shirts and jeans, and especially the comfy around-the-house pants. My problem is that I have too many clothes for my closet. I know the solution to that is to get rid of some things, and I do on a regular basis. But I need a bigger closet! That is in the works though...

25. I am thankful for music. I absolutely love listening to music. Country, classic rock, Christian, whatever I'm in the mood for really. I have a habit of cranking up the Sirius radio on my TV and listening to it while I clean. Or blast my Christmas CD with my favorite tune of Two Steppin' Around the Christmas Tree. Love my music!!

26. I am thankful for pretty jewelry, real or fake. I love to accessorize my outfits. I am very involved with a jewelry maker, and I love the new designs that are made when the time allows to make the pretty jewelry :). I have a beautiful array of necklaces, earrings and bracelets! Oh, and I like diamonds too!! :)

27. I am thankful for my cell phone. Yes, I am very addicted to it. I cannot live without it! I'm not as attached as I used to be, but I'm still very attached. And so is everyone else for that matter... It's normal for my kids or the man to fight over it. They want to play on the internet, they want to play cards, they want to play Angry Birds, they always want something and it involves my phone. LOL

28. I am thankful for Facebook. It may sound silly, but it's true. I think it's fun to read status updates on people. I love to see new pics of my friends and family. I don't always like the drama that people post on FB, but it's humorous to read at times!

29. I am thankful for Zumba and line dancing. I love to do both! Zumba keeps me toned and in shape. Line dancing is a favorite of mine, and has been for 16 years. They both are a good way to burn calories, and enjoy it while doing so.

30. I am thankful for the clock on the wall. With each passing minute, it lets me know I am still alive and well. I do like that clock on the wall more at closing time then early in the morning. It always speaks a friendlier tone when it nears the end of the day! Plus, it lets me know it's time to go home and see my family and spend some quality time with them.

I could go on and on about the things I am thankful for because to be honest, the list does not end. God has blessed me abundantly in life and I cannot complain! Some of these were funny, some silly, some serious, but overall I had fun compiling my thankful list. Tomorrow is another day and another month. Wow, Christmas will be here soon! Now it's off to dinner with a great friend I haven't seen in quite some time...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Time The Well Ran Dry (Literally)

This certainly has been a wicked year for weather. 2010 started out fairly normal, but then around springtime, the clouds took over and we had several gloomy days. And rain! We had enough rain to last us what I thought was a long time. That thought sure was wrong. It then turned from too much rain to not enough. And then that became a drought after 4 months with hardly any rain at all. The grass turned brown; we went from mowing at least once a week to maybe once a month. The ground was so dry. Just to look at it was a sad sight. It was as if the ground was screaming "I'm so thirsty, PLEASE water me!" The weatherman would tease us with potential rain in the forecast. And on those days it was supposed to rain, it did not. And if it did, it was barely enough to even make a dent in the drought like conditions everyone experienced.

The drought like conditions also affected us on a personal level. Our well, which has been fine for years and years, took a hit and decided to run low on water. Low enough that we ran out of water in our house. The first time it happened was late August. We were fortunate to have a fire truck dump 6000 gallons of water in the well for us. 8 days later... DRY AGAIN! In just 8 days! That meant no more laundry to be done at home, no more long hot showers (which wasn't a problem for me but my kids love those long hot showers!), no more wasting water of any kind. We are not a family that wastes water by any means, but it meant cutting down every place we could think of. No more allowing the water to run while brushing teeth, filling the sink only half full to do dishes, little things like that. And it also meant turning off the water softener because it was draining too much water. So after we ran out of 6000 gallons of water in 8 days, we were blessed to receive another 6000 gallons from the fire truck. But that would be the last load of water we could get like that. Our blessings from the fire station were great, but were complete.

Let me say the best thing happened in September. It finally rained! Even just a little bit was better then nothing. And then guess what? It rained again in October. What a wonderful blessing God decided to pour down on us! But it was short lived. I think I heard thunder a time or two last month, but I almost forgot what it sounded like since I haven't heard it for months.

So last night I am getting ready to do dishes, and all of a sudden I saw something I did not want to see. My faucet stopped dripping water; it was done. Oh no, out of water AGAIN! My good mood I was in quickly turned to frustration and irritation. I am a positive person most all the time, but that was enough to dampen that concept for a few minutes. Thank goodness we have a truck and water tank we can haul water to our well. Let's just say it made an evening trip last night! And probably will again tonight, and tomorrow, and this weekend...

They always say the third time is a charm. Well, I'm not really sure how I can apply this to my well running out of water for the third time. Is this the charm that we aren't going to let it happen again? That we will just keep hauling water from now on? I really don't know, but there has to be some charm to this. One thing is for certain - I have decided our next house will have a pond and the chances of running out of water will be slimmer! I am thankful that I can do our laundry at my nearby relative's house. I am thankful that we have enough water for our showers, and to do dishes. I think I would have a mental breakdown if I could not do dishes after a long evening of cooking. Call me a clean freak because I am overly obsessed with keeping my house clean 24/7, but it would drive me up the wall to not be able to wash those dirty dishes. Ugh yuck!!!

This situation is where being a laidback, easygoing person really helps. I could have acted out of control and have been so upset from having no water. But what good would that accomplish? Yes, it is/was frustrating, but it is one of life's little hurdles that I have to jump and not let it get me down. I always find the good in every situation, and you might ask what the good in this situation is? I really have no clue, but there has to be something positive that can come from our well running dry. Maybe it's the fact I have decided to dig a pond at our next house site. Or the fact that my patience was tested not once, not twice, but three times, and I handled it with a good attitude. Why get mad over something I have no control over? There is no point. But I will say I have been praying for more and more rain since it ran out the first time!

The expression of "when the well runs dry" is often used as an analysis, or at least I have heard that phrase in the past. I guess it's along the lines of "when the money runs out" or "the cow runs dry." I have heard all those. Funny thing is that our well literally ran dry. But that does not mean my faith will run out or any lower. In fact, it will be just the opposite. I have faith that the Lord will provide everything we need. I have faith that the Lord will provide us with water when we need it. It might be an inconvenience to do laundry elsewhere or cut back on using water, but I am hugely grateful for the fact we have a way to haul water and that we are able to still take our daily showers, etc. I will not let this major inconvenience defeat me. Instead, I will roll with it and find ways to accommodate the nuisance of less water. Before too long, that winter "s" cussword white stuff will be here. I am never a fan of s..sn... (I can't even say it)... s-n-o-w, BUT if it will snow and then melt and help the ground receive the moisture it needs, then I am a fan of that wholeheartedly. I probably just jinxed myself and we will receive like 5000 inches of snow this year. No, but in all seriousness, I do pray for more rain on a daily basis; not only for myself, but for everyone else around here that needs us. Lord, please send us inches of rain if you can hear me :) (And I know You can!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Adios to October!

Did I really flip my calendar over a page yesterday? Why yes, yes I did. That means we say goodbye to October and hello to November. And October, I am extremely sorry, but you did not receive a blog post! I have been so busy with everyday life that I neglected to post at least something in October. So for that, I am sorry. Please forgive me!

With that said, let's move on! October is one of my favorite months of the year. The beautiful colors of fall are at their peak. The summer air moves out and brings the chilly fall winds. Harvest season is in full swing. You can't drive by a field on a nice day without seeing a combine harvesting the corn or cutting the beans. I will always have an obsession with combines. To me, there is no greater scene then seeing the crops our farmers work so hard to plant in the spring ready to come out of the ground and move on to production. It's a sweet sight! And don't forget the pumpkin patch. Our family has an annual tradition to visit a local pumpkin patch and pick them out each year. We didn't get around to carving them this year, but that's ok. That means they will last longer and look pretty on the front porch for a few more days! And then there are the days where you freeze in the mornings with the heater cranked and by afternoon, you have shedded your jacket and run the air conditioning on the way home. That is just good ole Indiana weather there! We had a great month of October this year. My dear other half hit a milestone birthday and was blessed with a surprise party hosted by a great party planner. And I'm happy to say the surprise went off without a hitch! We also spent a few days in Tennessee and had a wonderful little vacation. My girls had the time of their lives, and it was nice to relax for a few days. And then, there is Halloween. Oh yes, I just LOVE Halloween! Next to Christmas time, it's my favorite holiday. The girls received enough candy to feed an army to last until they are fully grown. And who is going to eat it all? Not them, not us, who knows! I have already spent about 3 hours sorting it all out. You know, putting the "good" candy bars in one container, and the "junk" candy in another. You all know what I am talking about! The kids come home with a huge variety of candy and you pick through and get your favorites, and some others you might eat once a year. Then the kids can take what they want. But parents must get their favorites first! After all, it was the parents who bought the costumes, drove the kids around, and walked to every door with them. (At least that's how our Halloween happens every year). So it's only fair that parents get first pick, right?!?! Actually, I am not a big candy eater and I never will be. I will eat a mini snickers or reese's cup, and I am content with that! But there is nothing like candy for breakfast on November 1 every year. I think that's another tradition that rolls over from October annually ~ and not so much for me, but any parent who takes their child trick-or-treating.

Some people start Christmas shopping in October too. I am one of those people. I don't go for the big purchases, but I do pick up little things here and there. To me, it's easier to purchase gifts along the way so you don't have such a big expense all at once. Some people can shop all year and I think that's great, but I could never do that. My kids interests change from month to month, sometimes week to week. And it's hard to return something bought 9 months ago!

With November brings other changes to our lives. A job change for the better, a new pony joining our family, and cold weather :( are just a few. We are in a time where God has been gracious in His blessings, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the near future. With God on our side, life is good and full of happiness! We have learned that when we do our best day in and day out, and truly live for God, good things will happen. All God wants His people to do is to live right, be kind to one another, and live for Him. Things will happen in His time, not ours. And they do. You just have to have faith and believe!

Even though November is not my favorite month, it is here. The days will soon told colder, that white stuff will hit the ground sometime in the next few months, and the cycle of winter will begin again. And the blahs will hit! Make the most of today, tomorrow, and each day that follows because there is a blessing in each and every day. Sometimes we just have to look for it!