Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Thank-You Journal

I'm currently in a Bible study on Wednesday mornings that's reading "The Power of a Positive Mom". One of the suggestions in the first half of the book is to cultivate an "attitude of gratitude" in your kids.

I have been meaning to start it with the Vikings back when I read it the first time but we're still finding our groove with first-grade worksheets/reading homework, the Sunday school worksheet (aka "God Time" sheet), and Bible memorization.

So, tonight, DaHubby was able to pick up some of my slack and grabbed Pojke for a pre-bedtime book so I could do Flicka's "God Time" exercise for the evening. So, I impulsively grabbed a small spiral notebook and when I went to tuck my little raiders in, I asked them to tell me 3 things they were thankful for.

Pojke: God, toys, and for replacing the burned-out bulb in his bedroom ceiling light. (LOL)

Flicka: for taking them to the Y swimming tonight, for meeting new people, and for being able to "help" me teach 3rd grade Sunday school this morning. (Awww.)

So, today I'm thankful that this exercise was initially successful. I'm also thankful for DaHubby pitching in, and for being able to get a peek into the Vikings' hearts.

What are YOU thankful for today?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yea, what he said...

This is not technically on thankfulness but more about "mindfulness," I suppose. But, powerful nonetheless and a must-see especially for those of us techie, smart phone, Facebook, Twitter devotees...and well worth the 15 minutes spent watching.

So, what are YOU thankful for today?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thankful for those that listen to His call

It may seem odd but I'm thankful tonight despite my sister-in-law being rushed to a hospital earlier tonight.

Peggy has spent the last 33 months in the fight of her life but she came out victorious! She's been cancer/leukemia-free (and technically "male" for the rest of her life thanks to her little brother's stem cell transplant LOL) since August 2008.

But, it's been a long road back and life has hardly been back to "normal" for her. Peggy's back to work but she's definitely dealing with a new "normal." That new normal includes still getting the seasonal cold which for her still can become a major problem.

Which brings me back to the hospital trip today.

Peg was rushed to Chicago (about a 90 min drive from here) via ambulance to be with the original team who treated her for her leukemia to treat what initially seems to be a case of pneumonia.

And, MAN, am I thankful for that team! That team (as well as Peg's great and mighty God) brought her back from the brink of death. Peg, her immediate family, and those of us in the extended family have been blessed beyond comprehension by the work these medical folks do.

And, while I'm praying tonight for Peg, I'll be praying for that team, thanking God for gifting those folks the way He did, for the strength and wisdom He provides them, and thanking Him that they followed His calling into a field where life and death are an everyday deal.

So, what are YOU thankful for today?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My in-house handyman

One of my favorite things about DaHubby, after his musicality, is how darn handy he is. Not only is he crafty-capable but he does beautiful work.

DaHubby has, among other things, built houses, built boats, remodeled our old kitchen, re-roofed that home, and re-wired our current home.

So, as we face the very-near possibility of selling our house in the next 8 months, it is nice to be having conversations about fixing this or that, replacing major things like counter tops and floors, or talking about painting rooms knowing that whatever he attempts will not only work but make this house more beautiful for the next people who own it.

So, what are YOU thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Short & Sweet

Quick list since I'm snuggled up on the couch with my favorite nuke worker who is on his only night off.

Bible study today. Great.
Gorgeous weather. Even better.
Getting the grocery shopping done in under an hour. Pretty awesome.
Family night at home w/ a movie & pizza for all four of us. Priceless.

So what are YOU thankful for today??

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jobs found

I don't think it's any big news to anyone that this recent economy stinks. And, it's no big shocker that Michigan has gotten hit with more than its fair share of the bad news. Finally, the county I live in has one of the highest unemployment rates in Western Michigan. And, my county's rate has been higher than all but four of the counties in the Upper Peninsula.

Nearly every block around my neighborhood has 3-5 houses for sale, many left vacant either through foreclosure or someone who's moved on to their new home and is paying double mortgages.

Yet, this family is still praising God that, despite DaHubby's layoff in early February, we are current on all but one bill - and that creditor is aware of the problem and is working with us. In addition, due to our Dave Ramsey training, we still have NO credit cards and have created NO new debt during the last 8 months.

Our extended family has also been hit by the financial squeeze but, like I mentioned yesterday, the tide is turning to better news. Just this week, I found out that DaHubby isn't the only one with a new upcoming job! My sister-in-law and my niece both have new employment.

And, for today, I am heartily grateful for that.

What are YOU grateful for today?

Monday, October 25, 2010

A good turn of events...

Murphy's been visiting often to the point of moving in the last few years. Murphy as in Murphy's Law.

It's been one thing after another for over a year. Fridge breaking down. Car problems. Unexpected ER trips with large deductibles. Home repairs. DaHubby's hours got cut. Then, he got laid off. DaHubby's unemployment got summarily canceled twice by mistake leaving us with no income for 2-4 weeks. Inexplicable and repeated "no" results from initial job interviews for DaHubby. The list goes on and on. "Bad things happening in threes" would have been a blessing compared to the last year or so.

But, the tide has been turning. Finally, DaHubby was offered an outstanding job - his first choice, actually. It'll require moving 3 hours from here but, after nearly 9 months of layoff, ANY job is a good thing!

Then, we got some more good news today for which we are very thankful! A few months ago, DaHubby found his way via our local unemployment office to a federal program for displaced workers. He had a meeting with his contact person today and, as part of the program, they will be helping with our moving expenses come 2011!!

This is such a relief for me. As the financial "geek" of the family, I was been praying about how in the world we'd be able to afford the costs associated with running dual households from the time DaHubby leaves until we are able to follow in June. Also, I had no clue how we'd pay for the extra costs involved with a multi-state move. And, thanks to this program, the "damage" on our regular budget will be minimal.

So what are YOU thankful for today?

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Very appreciative of a few of DaHubby's many good traits today.

One of my favorite things about him is his musical ability. It calms him, challenges him, and brings him (and those around him) a lot of joy. Watching him play is almost as fun as listening to what he's playing.

Before we met, one of the things high on my future-husband priority list (LOL) was someone that would help fill my future home with music. DaHubby does that and much more.

However, today I'm full of respect for that man o' mine for another reason. He's working his tail off lately. Working midnights. Working a very physical, very tiring job. Working 10 hour shifts, 6 days a week. And, yet, he has not missed one praise and worship assignment he was given this month.

He's been scheduled for 5 or 6 services this month. This means, more often than not, he comes home exhausted at 7am, catches about an hour of sleep and then spends the next 2-3 hours serving the Lord and our congregation. While I worry about him like a momma bear, I couldn't be prouder.

So, today I'm thankful for a man who works hard, keeps his word, and shares his gift for God's glory.

What are YOU thankful for today?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A New Friend

The Vikings and I were out and about today as has been our habit lately while DaHubby works nights and is sleeping through the morning and early afternoon.

We spent a couple hours at the local kids' museum, grabbed lunch out, and then headed to our local theater which is running a family friendly film festival with second-tier (like just out on DVD) big name movies which are free for the kids and only $3.50 per adult.

Anyway, while we were at the museum, my two little raiders were enjoying the new displays that were rotated in when school started. At one display, Flicka ran into a new friend from her recently-joined Girl Scout troop. This young lady's mom was nearby with a younger sister and brother. And, we got to talking.

As an aside, I find it fascinating that when meeting a fellow mom it seems one of two things seem to happen: it becomes apparently *really* quickly that you're each from a very different parenting approach and/or background and have nothing in common OR as you chat about nothing of much consequence who start to realize how you have tons in common! LOL

It was the latter case today.

We talked for about an hour while the bigger kids played. She's a relatively new mom to the area - having moved back from Washington state last spring - but she has family in this area. I was the new mom here several years ago and only had DaHubby's family to lean on then. She was reading a book that I had finished over the summer. She was nursing her youngest which I also had done. Our husbands' training and work has and will required travel. She was very calm and peaceful...well, maybe that was one thing I can learn more about from her! LOL

Anyway, I had a lovely time getting to know her. I also invited her to our local MOMS Club chapter so she can meet some more folks around town and have some opportunities to visit some of the more "hidden gems" of this area that one generally needs a "local" to find.

I tend to have difficulty connecting with people beyond the small talk but I'd like to think this new friends has some real promise and I'm thankful for it!

Well, technically...

...I missed my Friday post since it is 12:15am but before I go to bed, I wanted to make sure to write down what I'm thankful for today.

I'm thankful for my Bible study and an attempt to re-vamp my attitude. With all that's been swirling around us the last year or so, it's been hard to stay focused on what's important. But, we're reading "The Power of a Positive Mom" for Bible study this session and it is *really* making a difference.

While there are still tantrums, sassiness, and all the usual suspects of misbehavior (mostly from the Vikings LOL), there have been more moments of conversation, laughing, snuggling, and such than I remember in a long time.

The book continues to remind me that the majority of the attitude, feel, and spirit in our home comes from ME and I can CHOOSE to be positive.

Mainly, I've been really blessed to spend some real quality time with each Vikings recently and have been able to see how grown up they've "suddenly" become. And, I don't want to miss any of it for the world.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My favorite lake

Except for a short period of time in high school when I thought I'd grow up, be all metropolitan, get a job at Metro Detroit's alternative newspaper, and live in some converted loft in downtown Detroit, I've wanted to live near Lake Michigan. For as far back as I can remember.

DaHubby and I joke that I only agreed to marry him after I saw he drove a great big, brand-new, beautiful, black Ford F150 4X4 and I learned he in lived in Southwest Michigan within walking distance of the lake.

And, after living here 10 years - the longest I've lived in any place but my childhood home - the lake still mesmerizes me. I still haven't gotten used to the way it affects the weather. Plus, the wind around these parts is like nothing I've ever seen living anywhere else in Michigan.

Besides my husband and little ones, it's become my heart, my anchor here. And, I am going to miss it so.

And, as if leaving my "second" heart wasn't enough, in a mere 8 months, we will no longer be Michiganders either. For the first time ever. This is a major deal for a dedicated Yooper and Metro Detroit native. Our babies will not be raised here and learn to love this state as much as we do. And, for some reason I've yet to identify, it's very upsetting to me that they may not remember living here and they'll consider themselves Illinois-ians.

But, in the meantime, I plan to enjoy every last minute of living in this precious place. I'm so thankful for the opportunity of living here.

The beach. The pier. The sound. The smell all the way up at the house. The weather. Seeing the freighters, sailors, fishermen, jet skiers, and kite boarders. Feeling safe seeing the Coast Guard boats and helicopters regularly.

Watching the fireworks over the water, watching from the bluff or the beach. Remember our sweet angel-dog chasing waves on the shore.

Having 4 or 5 beaches in the summer to choose from. Finding the one little beach-gem that the tourists don't know about. Music on the bluff. Music on the pier.

The frozen lighthouses. The huge Christmas tree on the bluff. The Christmas lights decorating the trees all above the lake.The stacks of ice on the shore. The holes in the ice - like blowholes on a whale - throwing frigid water into the sky as the water moves beneath.

I'll miss you, Lake Michigan. I'll be finding a new heartbeat in Northern Illinois but you'll always be the best place I've ever lived.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Simply Time

Our life has been moving like a freight train lately with DaHubby and I hanging onto the railing on the caboose! LOL But, I guess that's better where we're looking right into the oncoming lights.

DaHubby and I are seriously time-deprived lately. Like the last two years while he was working full time and schooling full time, I'm basically running everything at home. The difference? DaHubby's now he's working six 10-hour midnight shifts a week the last few weeks. And, while both of us have working midnights different times in our single and married lives, this one has thrown us for a bigger loop than anticipated...not something this super-planner mom needs when we have the holidays coming and we need to have DaHubby packed up and ready to Illinois in 8 weeks.

However, today is DaHubby's single day off. He got off this morning at 6:30am but rolled in at home as we were walking out for the school run at 7:30am. I've been feeling a little punk lately - fighting off some random boogers and cough. DaHubby's just flat exhausted so what did we do? We gave ourselves a little mercy...and a little blessing of time while Pojke went off to the grandparents for the day.

We spent the majority of the day just talking, snuggling, and taking a 4 hour nap! LOL So, today, I'm incredibly thankful for a simple gift of time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Leading Our Little Vikings

We are truly blessed with the number of "angels in our midst" when it come to those non-family folks that love on our kids. We've been just tickled pink with the adults that have come along side Flicka and Pojke in our recent travels.

We couldn't have be happier with Flicka's kindergarten teacher and are completed thrilled with this year's first grade teacher. From the principal to the support staff to the librarian to the "specials" teachers - Flicka's school has given our eldest angel reason to smile over and over and over again and grow into a budding young lady.

Flicka has also had wonderful Y instructors including an amazing swimming teacher. We are also excited that she has such superb Girl Scout leaders.

As for Pojke, again his Y teacher and the Y nursery workers are second-to-none.

Finally, our church has done some unbelievable recruiting to have filled multiple programs worth of child care and Sunday school with such great people. Pojke attends "Just For Kids" on Wednesday morning while I'm in Bible study; both kids attend WOW (Worship On Wednesday) nights; and, last but no means the least, the regular Sunday morning teachers. In every situation, we can already see the fruit of all these folks' hard work as they have been discipling our babies.

All of these folks are doing a fantastic job leading, molding, mentoring, and teaching our little raiders in a way with which we are thrilled! If I was doing the traditional 30 Days of Thanksgiving, these folks would take up the largest chunk of the month! LOL

Thank you to those folks who touch our and our kids' lives as well as those that go unseen and unknown elsewhere. You are making a difference in eternity!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Whether to be thankful for the weather?

It's been an exceptional fall in Southwest Michigan. And, when I say "exceptional" I mean that these last few weeks have been the exception to the Michigan historic fall "rules." We have had particularly wet autumns the last few years. However, the last 30 days have been quite the reverse. According to the Weather Underground site, we've spent 26 of the last 30 days without precipitation! Shocking, isn't it? LOL

So, today, I am thankful for the beautiful sunshine that I enjoyed as I walked to and from a friend's house today. "Miss Amy" had us over for a visit while her munchkins and Pojke played for a bit.

Speaking of Miss Amy, I am incredibly thankful for friends like her. She and another girlfriend have continued to hold me up through the last few months. They're my encouragers, my cheer leaders, my coaches...and I love 'em for it!

What are YOU thankful for today?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day One Begun Thankfully

Off and on for the last few years, I've been the home base for the "30 Days of Thanksgiving." I let it slide in 2008 and 2009 but feel I need to do a derivative of it for 2010.

Originally, the idea was to create a list of 30 people to send a snail mail, email, text, something to once a day for 30 days to say thank you for the part they played in your life. Instead, I'm going to attempt to blog everyday for 30 days and create a sort of online gratitude journal from now until Thanksgiving. Think of it as a Thursday Thanks Tank every day for a month.

There is much chaos around the Viking Hus these days. It'll take many, many posts to get everyone caught up on the last 5 months of our lives. Know that we are all fine but there are many struggles, stress, and changes on the horizon.

So, for today, I am incredibly thankful for my hubby. He continues to work his tail off and does us proud. He graduated in May in the top 5 of his class. He landed a temp job that he is currently working midnights learning the ropes at one of our local nuclear plants. Then, after a half dozen initial interviews, he landed a full time operations job with the largest owner/operator of nuclear plants in the United States that he begins in January.

He still makes my tummy do loop-dee-loops with his smile and his laugh. And, I can't smile any bigger or be any prouder because of the sheer joy on his face when he plays piano for praise and worship. He's truly the smartest man I think I've ever met - he can build anything and has become a near-savant when it comes to math. LOL

I barely remember my life before him, can't imagine walking through this life without him, and look forward to growing old with him in the future.

I love you, handsome. You're the best.