November 8 – A family member. What is something that person does that makes your life better or easier?

Since today is Larry's birthday, it is only appropriate that I choose him.

I am thankful for his wisdom - you need advice?  He has it.  He will analyze the situation and tell you the truth, even if it isn't what you want to hear. 

I am thankful for his generosity - you need help?  He has it.  No matter how big or small, he is generous to a fault. 

I am thankful for his immaturity - you want to laugh at inappropriate times and feel like you're back in junior high?  Sit by him.  He is a prime example that growing old doesn't mean you have to grow up.  He reminds me to quit taking things so seriously and have a little fun.

I am thankful for his perseverance - you want to be encouraged to stay the course and not give up?  He will live by example and remind us that no matter where you come from, no matter what you've faced, you can get through it.

Happy birthday to the Magical White Guy who makes my life better every day! 


brother love

Well, this is an easy one! 

I don't know the story behind it (remind me to ask my parents!) but Neil Diamond's "Brother Love Traveling Salvation Show" is one of the theme songs for our family. 

For as long as I can remember, it has been sung at every BBQ.  The ladies sing all the halle-halle-halle-hallelujiah parts.  It is pretty awesome.

Here we are singing it as a family:

(and yes... there is a school bus in my parent's backyard.  My oldest brother bought it.  It has been converted to have beds, a stove, etc. for camping.)

Anytime I hear this song, it makes me grateful to have such an amazingly unique, weird, fun, music-loving, God-fearing, knee-slapping family.



A Month of Gratitude:  
November 4 – A person at work, present or past.

Spraying cotton. Babysitting. Tutoring. Waitressing. Waitressing. Waitressing. Nannying. Teaching kids. Teaching grownups. Those are the jobs I've held, give or take a few.

Today, I'll be thankful for my first "professional" coworker, Stephanie.

I graduated from college in mid-December one year and started teaching in January. I had just turned 23 and I had no idea what I was doing. I had the student teaching credentials, the portfolio, the syllabus template, and found out very quickly that I had NO CLUE what I was supposed to do with 32 teenagers at a time! Fortunately, Stephanie was knowledgable and supportive and helped me fake my way through it.

Stephanie is an organized, particular, perfectionist type person and she was exactly what I needed. We  built our program from 2 teachers to 4, and had a great time doing it. I think that one of my favorite memories was when we decided to do a "lock-in" with our student organization at school. This is how I know we were young.... Who willingly volunteers to stay overnight at school? The girls had so much fun... Office chair races down the hall, manicures, movies, and lots of snacks. The funniest part is that all these teenagers were asleep by 3am.... Stephanie and I were the only ones that stayed up all night. (Although in retrospect, it is probably because we did not want to sleep on a cold, hard floor. Plus, we were both single at the time, so I'm sure we had lots of boy drama to discuss.)

Time went by and we have both moved on from our positions, but I'll always be thankful that I spent those 6 years with her. We made a good team!



November 1 – A family member.

Today's prompt is tricky because I have a large family.  How do I only choose 3 people?  Fortunately, I posted about how thankful I am for my parents fairly recently, so that relieves a little of the pressure.

So I'm going to take a different direction.  I have three brothers.  They are all awesome in their own rights.  Adam is 3 years older than me, John is about 2 years younger, and Joseph is 7 years younger.  I could (and will, one day) do a post about each of them.  They all play the gee-tar and sing songs, as pictured below.

I love you brothers, but today, I'm thankful for your wives.  I have 3 amazing sisters-in-law, and they deserve a little time in the spotlight. 

APRIL:  I am thankful for April because she reminds us all to play and have fun.
She always finds something to giggle at.  She reminds us that we don't have to take everything so seriously.  She knows how to be silly, which is not a skill I have.  She is a great mom to six beautiful children and a supportive, devoted wife to my headstrong brother.  (and she doesn't look a day older than when we graduated high school together 17 years ago... no fair!)


April - thank you for your smiles, your light-hearted spirit and your loyalty to our family.  I think you've been around so long that it would be easy to take you for granted.  I really can't imagine life without you!

DEJAH:  I am thankful for Dejah because she doesn't do anything halfway.

If she is going to love you, she is going to love hard.  If she is your friend, you are the only person in the world.  If she works for you, she gives her all.  She didn't tiptoe into the family, she waltzed in and basically said, "Here I am, I'm here to stay, so you really don't have any choice but to love me."  And we do.

Dejah - thank you for living a life of passion.  Thank you for giving us all a chance even when we didn't want to give you one!  You knew what you were signing up for and you and you never batted an eyelid.  Plus, you are the classiest hot mess I've ever known. 

MELANIE:  I am thankful for Melanie because she makes me want to be a better person.

(It is very telling that she does not have a single picture on her facebook in which she is the sole subject.)  She is clever and quick and is constantly looking out for other people.  She has a way of living an incredibly admirable life without being judgy.  She isn't preachy, she is just so cute and humble and modest (and self-deprecating) that you can't help but want to know her secret.  (Which isn't a secret.... she wears her faith on her cardiganed sleeve.)
Melanie - thank you for being such a beautiful example of humility and grace.  I love that you go with the flow most of the time but stand strong and don't waver when things matter.  Shakespeare was talking about you when he wrote "Though she be but little, she is fierce!"  

I'm not sure how all 3 of my brothers found such beautiful, smart, talented and fun women, but I'm so glad they did.  xoxo


As we've discussed, funks have been running rampant. There is no better way to get over yourself than by serving others or by deliberately finding reasons to be thankful. My sister knows this better than anyone, so she decided to help by creating prompts for Blogtastic November: a month of Gratitude.

When? Every day throughout November - except weekends and on Thanksgiving Day. Cause ain’t nobody tryin’ to do all that! 

Each day, write one sentence or more about the prompt for the day. There are no rules. Skip, add, you're the boss.

“A family member” is listed three times, because it was too much pressure for me to only list it once.

Pictures are good, but not mandatory. Nothing is mandatory. 

November 1 – A family member. (If you want, mail a letter to that person today, just for the fun of it. Even if you live in the same house!)

November 4 – A person at work, present or past. (Oh, and SAHMs, you work with some little incredibles all day, sooo…).

November 5 – An experience you’ve had that made you appreciate being alive.

November – A friend at church or a club you attend. (Pray for her today -- I say "her," but know that I mean her/him, I just don't like to do that --  and text or Facebook to let her know that you're grateful she's in your life, and you're praying for her to have a great day.)

November – A song that, whenever you hear it, makes you grateful for something. What is the song, and what does it make you thankful for? (Play that song today. And dance around to it.)

November 8 – A family member. What is something that person does that makes your life better or easier?

November 11 – A freedom that you have that people in other parts of the world may not. Whatever it is, do it today, and give thanks to God that you can do it!

November 12 – The person that taught you to drive.

November 13 – Something that you see that makes you grateful for eye sight.

November 14 – A stranger. We have encounters with strangers every day, but occasionally one stands out. Who has impacted your life and will probably never know it?

November 15 – A friend in your neighborhood or area.  (Invite that person to dinner at your house.)

November 18 – A body part. (Draw a discreet "Thank you" sign - a word, a heart, a cross, a TY, something - on or near that body part today. Whenever you see it, give thanks for it today. I would steer clear of making marks on your face, however....)

November 19 – Something non-living. (Random add-on: At the end of your post today, write a sentence about the item you're grateful for in your refrigerator at this moment.)

November 20 – An animal.

November 21 – An old friend (yes, it is okay to list more than one if you have to. No rules. Just you.). CALL THIS PERSON TODAY. NO EXCUSES, and NO TEXT. Even if it's just to say "hey, not to be weird, but I just wanted to thank you for being in my life."

November 22 – A family member. What is one of your best memories with that person?

November 25 – A new friend.

November 26 – Your choice: A memory you're thankful to have OR a trip you've taken. Or, heck, do both if you feel like it. 

November 27 – Which one of your senses are you most grateful for?

November 28 – Thanksgiving! Get offline ALL DAY, and spend time with someone you love.  Don't text them, CALL THEM! Each and every one. :) If you’re not around someone you love, go serve someone who needs to feel love today. Give thanks for EVERYTHING today! God is SO good!

November 29 – Freebie. What are you grateful for TODAY?! (If you NEED a prompt today, tell us why you're thankful for technology. :) )