Friday, January 9, 2009


I have been taking it easy today, instead of working hard to clean my ever dirty and cluttered house.  Both Madison and Aeron were down for a nap, so I got a few moments to spend outside with Bella and bask in the sun while waiting for Ethan to arrive on his bus.  It was so nice to have a few moments alone to just stop and be still.  It reminds me of the scripture where the Lord says, "Be still and know that I am." I have too few of those moments. Most of the day is filled, from the minute my feet hit the carpet to the moment I lay down at night, with the hustle and bustle of raising 5 kids. There's generally not a moment to myself.  I am grateful for that small, simple moment.  Experiences like that provide an added strength during those times I want to throw in the towel, stomp my feet like a 2 year old, and say, "It's not fair!" Where there is given much, there is expected much.... or however you say it.
So while sitting in the sun with Bella, I thought I would post my top ten list of things I am grateful for.  So here it is:

10. The Cheesecake Factory. It is my favorite place to eat. Peter treated me to it on New Year's Day and we went with half of our usual kids. It was just Ethan, who forgot his shoes at home, Aeron, and Steven who was engrossed the whole time in playing a game on my iPhone. So we had a lovely lunch and even ate a slice of their sinfully rich cheesecake. Aeron loved the whipped cream. I asked our kind waitress if there was anyway of getting a small bowl of whipped cream for him. She was so nice and got it for him. We all enjoyed his reaction and antics.  Whipped cream is so exciting to little ones, especially the kind that comes in a bottle that you can spray!

9. Sam's Club in the morning before their normal business hours. After dropping the kids off at school I head down there for milk and bread. It is relatively empty and the employees (God bless them) are understanding and tolerant. They will come up and say "Hi" and remark about how cute the kids are (they love Madison's big, bright blue eyes, Aeron's red hair and smile and Ethan's outgoing friendliness). We are not business owners, but a year ago, I got a credit account with them and they made the mistake of giving me a business card with my account info on it. With the business card you can go in as early as 7 am and get your shopping done. They always have coffee and a goody to eat. I don't drink the coffee, but Ethan always enjoys the treat. The only way they will get that card back is to pry it from my cold dead hands! I like their employees and the fact it isn't busy yet which can be overwhelming to the 3 small people I am toting around. Thanks Sam's Club.

8. Ethan's bus drivers. Those bus drivers are special. They have to be to work with the special spirits they transport. All the kids have different disabilities. But those bus drivers are great! Ethan has different bus drivers in the morning and afternoon. The am driver, Elena, always waits for me. There have been a few times I have run late and she sat and waited until I got there. One day, I called the transportation office and cancelled the bus because Ethan was sick, she didn't get the message.  She came by waiting, and when we didn't come out, she even came up and rang the doorbell to make sure we were not coming.  She is kind to Ethan even when he is being a stinker and doesn't want to get in his seat. The pm driver, Paulette, is equally great. Some people may be a bit rough looking around the edges, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't give them the benefit of the doubt. She is the nicest, most kindhearted people. She always waits and always has a kind word both for me and Ethan.  It's nice to talk to them when I've had a hard day. They can always tell and offer a kind word or sympathetic look.

7. Warm sunny days. Days like today are why I love living in Southern California. It's January and I'm wearing a short sleeved t-shirt, pants and flip-flops and I'm not cold! It is beautiful outside.

6. Reasonable customer service representatives. I am the team mom for Steven's soccer team. Tuesday is the team party and I ordered their trophies from a company called  Trophy Depot.  I ordered expedited shipping on them because I wasn't exactly sure when the boys would finish their season and the companies around here charge a lot for very little. Well, they arrived today with two of the names misspelled. I did not misspell them when I ordered them via the internet.  The company is located in New York.  I called around noon and told them of the problem. The man was understanding and immediately willing to correct the problem. He told me that they would print off those two names and ship them today. They probably won't arrive here in time, but he was willing to make the effort. Thanks Trophy Depot!

5. My dog Bella who wants nothing more than to put her head on my lap and keep me company. I swear she is part human. Everyday, she beats me out to the end of the driveway both when the bus comes to pick up Ethan and drop him off. She has to check it out and make sure it is safe. I just shake my head and laugh and thankfully the bus drivers are understanding and tolerant.

4. Preschool for Ethan. They take such good care of him. He is learning so much from them. And there are times, he is very unruly and difficult to tolerate. They are also helping him with his toileting, which has helped tremendously. He knows all his colors now and works everyday on writing his name and whatever theme they are teaching. Tuesday, his teacher Mrs. Cynthia was excusing them to recess and Ethan ran outside and tripped and skidded on the pavement. He has a big scab in the middle of his forehead and on the end of his nose. I have to take a picture of it. She was kind enough to call and let me know about the incident and reassured me he was all right. He's a tough little man!

3. Babies who take long naps. Ahh! Need I say more?

2. My husband, Peter. We do well at putting up with each other's quirks and irritating qualities. He is the embodiment of my quote of how important mutual toleration and selflessness is. He works so hard to support our family.  He also tries so hard to be a good husband and father. We are trying not to eat out this month to save money. But, last night I was watching a movie in our room and looked over at him and said I wanted some french fries. He, very tolerantly, looked back at me pausing his work on the computer, and said you better get dressed and go get some. Small gestures like that are nice and truly appreciated.

1. My Savior, Jesus Christ and the grace He imparts to us to help us get through this difficult life.


Lisa said...

Counting your blessings is such an excellent use of time. It always makes it that much easier to handle the daily trials. Thanks for sharing your list - I know it's making me think what I would put in my own top 10.

Jennifer said...

Cheesecake factory is DEFINITELY on my list too!!!

Caryn, the Mom said...

Ethan is a smart kid. Whipped cream is the bomb -- especially when it is Redi Whip Fat Free from the can. Watch out, for it won't be too long when he will be depositing an entire can straight in to his mouth. Thank you for reminding me to take a daily dose of gratitude.