Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: Week 14

Today I am not even at home. I am at camp (which you shall see noted in the first few items on my list…and I am really hoping that Christine remembers to link me up during the hop!). And though I know you will all be dying to see what fun, thoughtful, insightful and witty things I will have to say about your posts, all that will have to wait until I get home on Sunday night.

I know this has probably brought your blog-hop to a grinding halt, but please don’t let it be so. Try to carry on until I can join you; I know it will be difficult, but try to manage. Do it for the sake of the children, if nothing else.

So…without further delay, I give you what you’ve all been waiting for:

1.   am thankful that it SHOULD not be too hot this week-end for Family Camp with our church. In the past we have stayed in the non-air conditioned cabins as well as the air-conditioned lodge. This year (due to my increasing thriftiness…tent-camping was the cheapest option) we are tent camping…always dicey in September in Indiana.

2.  I am thankful for the opportunity to get away with my family and with our church. We haven’t gone for the past 3 years for various and sundry reasons, so we’ve been looking forward to this trip for months.

3.  I am thankful that my husband does not have to work on Saturday; for a few hours on Thursday, he was going to have to work on Saturday and miss half the camp. Because not only was he going to have to work; he was going to have to be at work about an hour away, beginning at 5 on Saturday morning…so clearly not the kind of situation in which he could go down to camp (which, of course, was the opposite direction of work) on Friday night and then get up early on Saturday to go in. So then we started praying that he wouldn’t have to work, letting God work out the details. By Thursday evening, Mr. Always Random got word that the equipment needed for the work wasn’t functioning and that they were going to delay Saturday’s scheduled work until Monday.

4.  I am still thankful for Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark. I made some to take to camp in order to share it with my church family on Saturday night; I’m not entirely sure that it will last that long. It’s like crack (and no, I have no idea what crack is like so please don’t ask; this may actually be more addicting than crack, if you really must know…)

5.  I am thankful for a nice, easy school-week. I do so enjoy homeschooling the PBA, but let’s be honest…homeschooling, as in any other school, has some weeks which are simply rougher than others. But this one was smooth as silk. And, as the 12yo was pointing out to his brother, “We’re 1/6th of the way through the school year!” And by golly he’s right…6 weeks down already. And only the beginning of September. Nice!

6.  I’m thankful for those moments when I have time to write. And I’m thankful to know when I can put together a halfway decent post, vs when I’d simply be half-assing it (sorry for the language…but it’s the only word that truly makes the point) and you, my loyal readership, deserve more than that. I’d rather not post anything than post crap (I’m such a potty-mouth). So there. I said it. Consider yourself notified. So yes what that means is that even if you think what I am posting is junk, I, apparently, think it is pretty good stuff.

7.  I am thankful that one night this week, I made something for dinner which I have made previously and for some reason it wasn’t all that terrific. I’m certain it wasn’t operator error. Why do I think that? Because this was actually the second time I made it and it came out exactly the same way; I remembered as soon as I saw it the second time. Why didn’t I throw away the recipe after the first fail? I have no idea…perhaps I thought it was operator error, which I am thankful to announce, it was NOT. I guess that’s one thing of thankful…realizing that sometimes a cooking fail actually has to do with a crappy recipe and not my lacking culinary skills. I have since thrown the recipe away. At least I think I did.

8.  And now here’s the thankfulness item I actually set out to include in my ramblings about the meal preparation: I am thankful that even when a recipe doesn’t really turn out as I had envisioned and when my attempt to fix it still doesn’t render it great (it is edible, but not terrific), I am thankful that no one in my household complains. They put their heads down and they shovel it in. In addition, they keep their comments to themselves.

9.  I am thankful for my chiropractor…while my back is still tender and a little bit out of sorts, I am thankful that he can always accommodate me and doesn’t make fun of me too much when I throw out my back from too much sitting.

10. I am thankful for the optimism of my 12yo who, just this week, has repeatedly shown himself to be a “glass-half-full” kind of kid. I won’t give every example…just the one that made me giggle and scratch my head (not regarding anything he did…trust me, you’ll understand momentarily). This is a longish story, so settle in.
For the past 8+ years, we have lived next to a somewhat-interesting couple. We believe they are somewhere in their 60’s and both work full-time; we rarely, if ever, see them, and even if we do see them, we exchange a wave and a “Hello!” but that’s the extent of it. However, we must seem somewhat trust-worthy, as whenever they leave town for more than a day or two, they entrust their house to us.

And when I say this, I need for you to understand that it is not a conversation that happens (usually), but we simply find an envelope in our mailbox with our names printed on the front; inside the envelope is their trip itinerary as well as a key to their house. They have never once asked us if a) we would mind watching the house, or b) if we will even be home to watch the house. I am waiting (because you know at some point it will probably happen) that we will be gone the entire time they are gone and no one has known that they were gone at all.

This particular time, the wife came over last week and actually knocked on the door; shock of the world! When I answered, she handed me an envelope and said, “Here’s the information about where we’ll be.” And then she walked away. I closed the door, and then rolled my eyes. The PBA were standing there with me. The 10yo asked, “So…did she even ASK?”

Me: No. No she did not. Don’t we think that’s kind of rude? Should we assume things like that, or should we ask someone to watch our house for us?

10yo: Oh we should ask…that does seem a little rude! (my little Eddie Haskell)

12yo: Well, at least they think highly enough of us to have us watch their house! That’s nice!

Yes, Mr. Glass-Half-Full…you are right. Thank you for re-framing that for me.

But I’m not finished with the story yet. Once they returned home from the trip, the husband came over to fetch the key and tell me about the trip (I wasn’t asking and already had my jammies on…awkward…to be fair it was the late hour of 8:30pm!); he had two gifts wrapped in tissue paper with him. He thanked us for keeping an eye on the place (they do always thank us, so there is that…), and he handed me the gifts.

And then I thanked him and we closed the door. Again, the PBA were right there. We tore open Gift #1. It was a set of three birthday-themed cookie cutters. Now, it is nowhere close to any of our birthdays, but we thought it was a seemingly-ok gift. We assumed that the second gift might be…cookie dough?

Nope, it was a large bottle of bubbles.

Yes, bubbles. The kind you play with outside and blow through a small plastic wand. Apparently my 10 & 12yo boys look like they would still like to play with bubbles.

I may have rolled my eyes.

But without missing a beat, Mr. Glass-Half-Full said, “Well, those will really come in handy when we have some foster kids here!”

Yes, buddy you are exactly right…thank you, once again, for re-framing the situation for me. So thankful for that boy!

Have a fabulous day!


  1. I can relate to a recipe that finally tuned out well when it couldn't before!! Thanks for sharing this list!

  2. Your son's response is AWESOME! Truly well done to him :D

    Get rid of that recipe, quick! It sounds vile. I'm glad your family eat their food anyway - when I do something wrong here, I get an earful.

    I like reading what you write - your filters are fine.

    Hope you have a super time away and come back refreshed and energised from the break and all the fun.

    I *really* hope you don't come home to a house which has been TP'd by Christine after you publicly announced that you're sharing your SCPB with your church friends, and she has yet to taste any...

    1. You tell her! And she claims to be my BFF. :)
      She did at least ask me to link her post, instead of just putting an envelope in my mailbox. :)

    2. I guess she has some manners then at least ;)

    3. Well, if Christine would ever make time for me, I might be able to hook her up with some SCPB...;) And she claims to be MY BFF...

    4. Ohhhh the gloves are off now!

      I feel as though I should find a referee and set up a soda and hotdogs stand...

  3. Your son is a sweetheart and we should all follow his lead. Crazy neighbors! I MUST try that bark though!!!

    1. Yes you really MUST try it. You'll never be the same again... :)

  4. 1. I don't camp. You have fun in that tent, but know that I would only camp if I were some kind of refugee, and even then, I'm thinking probably not.

    4. I've made your salted caramel pretzel bark twice since you posted the recipe. If that is what crack is like, then I understand the addiction.

    6. You and me both!

    8. Lucky. I would hear about it from my family, not only that night at dinner, but also for years and years to come.

    1. Oh I bet if you were a refugee you wouldn't even HAVE a tent to sleep there is that. ;) It only rained a couple times on us and we only had two small leaks. Unfortunately one was on my head.

      Glad you like the SCPB...I knew it couldn't just be me.

      Sorry about your family commenting...the only way mine is allowed to comment is if I say something about it first. And even then, it is dicey for them. I run a tight ship.

  5. Yeah, if I ever made a horrible dinner, the kids would complain. Unless I complained first. Then they'd go easier on me.

    Those neighbors of yours a piece of work! Now you are going to have to point them out to me. Can we put envelopes in their mailbox? Not to watch your house, of course, but something funny. (I already know your answer. You're too nice. :) It would be funny, though.)

    I've always liked that 12yo. :)

    1. of course, the next time the neighbors leave, you might consider it an opportunity for 'Time to learn to live along for the children (and their little friends)' With adult supervision, of course*

      no, huh?


      *you could watch the house from across the street..really quite safe!

    2. Please PLEASE do something hilarious for the neighbours to come back to? Would be SO FUNNY

    3. You're right, Christine...I just can't to something mean. If nothing else, their bahavior is fodder for the blog. And who doesn't want good fodder for the blog?

    4. Next time they leave you the key, go in and rearrange their furniture.

    5. Bwahahahahahah :) Or something nice-but-creepy like leaving a chocolate on all their pillows...

  6. Oh hon....I actually teared up there at the end... your son thinking of the foster kids to come. What a great kiddo!

    This is a great list....and I can't wait for you to get back from Family Camp!

    1. Well, thanks...he is a pretty terrific kiddo. And yes, thinking of the fister kiddos who aren't even here yet. Sweet boy...if only he would consider the people who actually live in his house NOW (but I think that's just 12yo boy...this too shall pass.)

  7. Your son will be a great foster-brother!

    1. Thanks...I think so too. He and the 10yo fight something awful sometimes but they can also be very sweet and tender toward one another. Don't tell them I said that otherwise it will come to a grinding halt! :)

  8. That's so funny! Definitely weird neighbors you have there ;-)

    Glad you could spend a great weekend as a family.

    Oh, and I agree, a chiropractor is a blessing. I need to see mine again and hope to get a prescription for massages. Somehow, running makes my back tense up..

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Yes the week-end was nice. It is something of a mis-nomer, as it isn't a whole lot of "family time" but it is "church family time"...somewhat different. There were 42 middle school students there this week-end so needless to say the kids had little need for us! But we did have some time with them, and time with church family so all in all it was a lovely week-end.

      I may need to visit my chiro again soon...go figure that sitting on benches without backs and sleeping on air mattresses aren't as good for a tender back as one might think... :)

  9. Camp and those pretzels sound wonderful. And your son sounds like his parents must have done something very right. :)

    1. Yes, you really must try the'll never be the same. :)

      It's not us but the grace of God, my friend...we are just fortunate enough to be his parents. :)