Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Project Gratitude: Day 15

We are thankful for our ancestors.
Read a story about them.

The kids love listening to stories about their great grandparents. They love seeing pictures about what they look like. We have been blessed to have those that have gone before to leave us a legacy of love and learning. Their stories make us laugh and cry as we read about their triumphs and their trials. They encourage us to make a record of our lives so that our future generations can come to know us.

Project Gratitude: Day 14

We are thankful for the sky.
Go outside and look at the sky and the planet we live on.

We are thankful for early morning sunrises, breathtaking sunsets, and beautiful blue skies. We are grateful for opportunities we've had to look up and see all the God has created for us. We've seen comets, meteor showers, planets, the moon, constellations, and stars. We've enjoyed laying on our backs and watching clouds go by and finding shapes within.

Project Gratitude: Day 13

We are thankful for our senses.
Make a good looking and tasty treat to eat.

We had crunchy Honey Crisp apples with either smoked Gouda cheese, Nutella, or caramel sauce. We used our eyes to view the toppings, our ears to listen to the crunching sound of the apples, our hands to touch the sticky Nutella or caramel or the smooth cheese. We smelled the apples and toppings and our mouths enjoyed the tastes of all the various foods. We are grateful for eyes to see beautiful things, ears to hear, mouths to taste, hands to touch, and noses to smell.

Project Gratitude: Day 12

We are thankful for trees.
Go on a nature walk.

I was sick this day so we had to wait for a few days until we could go on our walk but on this day the kids enjoyed playing outside in probably one of the last 'warm' days of the year. A few weeks ago, the kids walked down the street and played in the leaves in a neighbors yard with their friends. They buried themselves, jumped in them and threw them up in the air. We love trees and their leaves for the fun they provide, the shade they give, and the oxygen they make.

Project Gratitude: Day 11

We are thankful for Church.
Read the scriptures.

We are thankful for church and religion that helps us and others to become better people. We are thankful for the promises made and for the hope and peace that it brings to our lives.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Project Gratitude: Day 10

We are thankful for our friends.
Make them a treat.

We each chose a new friend in the neighborhood and gave them some cookies and a giant honey crisp apple.

Friends are great--they like you even when they get to know you. We have been truly blessed with wonderful friends. I was thinking about the friends I had growing up and how much they mean to me and how often they helped me or didn't mind my crazy antics. I know I wasn't the coolest or most popular person but they didn't care and somehow seemed to like me despite the flaws. I appreciate my close college roommates who kept inviting me to live with them despite my lack of social skills. Then after Steve and I got married an older couple befriended and watched out for us--they watched little E so that we could go on dates and then a few years later they watched little T for us so that we could take E to speech classes. Then we were blessed with wonderful neighbors and friends when we bought our first home. They welcomed us and made us feel like we belonged. Then when we moved again we thought that we'd never have close friends in our new neighborhood but we do and it is nice to be able to still do things with our other friends, too. Not having family close by to watch the kids for Doctor appointments or other things, it has always been nice to have friends to call and know that they would help you anytime, anywhere. They come over to help give blessings, sleep on your couch when you have to go to the hospital to have a baby, share their vegetables or flowers, help you paint, make you laugh, sit outside during the summer evenings and talk till the sun goes down. They bring you things and you bring them things and you simply do it because that's what friends do. Thank you friends--for everything.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Project Gratitude: Day 9

We are thankful for books.
Read a story together.

We are thankful for all the wonderful books out there that can take us to another time and place--for the opportunity we have to learn and to enjoy.

Here are some of our favorites:
Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Fancy Nancy, Curious George, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, The Lord of the Rings, Screwtape Letters, East of Eden, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Secret of Droon, Harry Potter, Ferdinand, Don't Let the Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny, Frances books, Nancy Drew, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, A Tale of Two Cities, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, A to Z Mysteries, Ramona, . . .

Project Gratitude: Day 8

We are thankful for electricity.
Turn off lights when not in use.

We are grateful for the electricity that runs our lights and appliances. We tried extra hard to make sure lights were not left on and to also limit our use of appliances. At the end of the day we ate some apples by candlelight while visiting with each other. It is nice to have lights to brighten our home and to see by. It makes our lives easier.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Project Gratitude: Day 7

We are thankful for our country and the military.
Write a letter to a soldier.

We are thankful for this great country where have so many rights and privileges. We are thankful for the men and women who serve and protect us and our freedoms. We are truly blessed to live in a country free from tyranny and oppression with opportunities surrounding us on every side.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Project Gratitude: Day 6

We are thankful for our house.
Play a fun clean-up game.

We really are grateful for the house that we were able to buy last year. It's in a great location and we've met some wonderful friends and neighbors. It gives us the space we needed so everyone wasn't on top of each other. We are thankful for a roof over our heads when the cold and snow comes and for shelter from the heat and rain.

“There is a magic in that little world, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits”--Robert Southey

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Project Gratitude: Day 5

We are thankful for our parents.
Do something extra nice for them and be extra nice to them all day!

Yesterday E, T, and M mopped the tile floors and tried to do so without complaining. They then tried really hard to be obedient and to help us when we went to Nona's house and helped Nona and Grandpa Craig pick grapes and weed a part of the garden. T is quite the grape picker and crawled under the vines to get the hidden ones. M and H ate more grapes then they picked.

Yet, it seems that no matter how much you try to help your parents out they always seem to top you because Patty and Craig might have received a small amount of help from us but they let us take all the grapes home with us so that we can make grape juice. We are grateful for parents both near and far who love us unconditionally and I am grateful for children who love me enough to mop the kitchen floors every Saturday--they will never know how much that it means to me.

Project Gratitude: Day 4

We are thankful for the scriptures.
Read a favorite story from them.

E read to us her favorite scripture found in 1 Nephi 10:18 which reads: "For he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him."

T loves the part of the Book of Mormon when Jesus comes to the Nephites. 3 Nephi 11:6-11 which reads:
"And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.
And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning."

M told us that (this week) she liked the story of Captain Moroni and his title of liberty.

We are grateful for the scriptures that tell us stories and how we learn to be better people. We love how we feel when we read them as a family and how even little H wants to try and read some words with us. I am thankful for scriptures that give me peace and comfort.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Project Gratitude: Day 3

We are thankful for music.
Play, listen, sing, or dance to a fun song.

We let the kids choose some of their favorite songs and they sang and danced along. Here they are dancing in H's method of choice with M's song...

Music plays such a huge role in all of our lives. It has the power to change our moods and change our actions. It can make us feel happy, sad, energized, calm, or loved or even angry and bitter (though music of the latter two should probably be avoided). It can reaffirm truths or cause us to reflect. We are grateful for music in our lives that touches our souls and makes us soar, that makes us want to get up and dance, that puts a smile on our faces, and that creates a better world.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Project Gratitude: Day 2

We are thankful for our grandparents.
Write a note or draw them a picture.

Grandpa and Grandma Gaufin with the kids at the General Sherman Giant Sequoia tree.

Nona and Grandpa Craig with the kids at Leigh Lake in the Tetons.

Poppy and Steve with the girls at his home in Oregon (2007)

We are grateful for grandparents who love us and we love them. I have no grandparents living but I have so many fond memories of them that it's been a nice to reflect on them on this day.

Project Gratitude: Day 1

We are thankful for our teeth. Eat a healthy treat.

A sweet honey crisp apple is just the thing.