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thankful

Thankful for Games


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I just discovered a new game, and I adore it. The game is called Iota, and it’s box is smaller than my hand ๐Ÿ™‚ So yeah. Easy storage. But tons of fun. We played it with the young adults in our world over Thanksgiving, and it became even more fun.

Mollie, Hudi, Chris (and me) playing Iota.
Mollie, Hudi, Chris (and me) playing Iota. 

Iota is kind of a cross between Scrabble and Dominoes. When played with adult rules, it’s surprisingly tricky. But it can be played with little kids, too. With rule variations.

Last time Chris and I played alone, it took almost an hour. You have to think of colors, numbers and shapes. Can’t have more than four in a line, and each card has to either be all the same in those arenas or all different.

We actually had a bit of a hard time with the rules at first, but Mollie is an expert Googler, and found help. I am pretty sure this is the site she found with great instructions. We also used a spreadsheet on the computer for keeping score. 

Iota card game in action.
Make sure each set of four is all the same or all different. Surprisingly tricky.

Playing games is really fun. But it’s difficult to find one everybody appreciates, and one that can be played in a short period of time or a long one. So far, Iota seems to be a winner.

**For the month of November each year, I try to focus on something Iโ€™m thankful for each day. It is the month that holds Thanksgiving where I live, after all. Focusing on the positive and remembering the little things that make life great is something I should do more often. If you want to see some blogs I’m thankful for, check out my main site, Word Quilt.

thankful

Thankful for Breaks


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I’m six “thanks” behind for the month, and I’m thankful that it’s okay ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s one of the six, haha. There have been many thanks over the past few days, but I was busy living life and enjoying time with family and didn’t have as much time to write. So this is a six-in-one post to get myself back on track.

I am thankful for:

One:

As noted, the ability to take breaks from work and writing to be with family.

Two:

Finishing a 11.5 hr workday on Tuesday to find the dishwasher loaded with the Christmas mugs from the year prior — so they would be all set for our holiday celebrations with the kids, who were arriving that night.

Christmas mug and decorations.

Three:

Listening to my mother-in-law playing hymns on the keyboard. She also plays the organ in church, and I love hearing her at home as well.

Mom playing the organ.

Four:

Having Star come to visit. She lives with the kids now, and it’s great to see her so happy with them, but it’s fun having here back here, too.

Five:

Video Calling. Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Facebook Video, whatever. It just makes the holidays and other times all the more fabulous when you can actually see your loved ones even though they live across the country or world.

Six:

Gutenberg. Yes, I know this one is not everyone’s favorite, but I personally love blogging with the new WordPress block editor. I find it a LOT easier to organize my thoughts and portray them on the page as I visualize them in my head.

**For the month of November each year, I try to focus on something Iโ€™m thankful for each day. It is the month that holds Thanksgiving where I live, after all. Focusing on the positive and remembering the little things that make life great is something I should do more often. If you want to see some blogs I’m thankful for, check out my main site, Word Quilt.

thankful

So Thankful for Zeb


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How was it only a year ago that Zeb was still living with us, and we were toasting his 21st b-day?ย 

 

Talk about a year of change. New home (several of those), new job, new friends, new adventures, and still the same passionate heart.

As we watch you take your steps into adulthood, fixing appliances and purchasing furniture and a car, etc. it flashes us back to the first steps you took back in the day. Little did we know all the places those tiny feet would go.

We are so proud of all you have accomplished this year, Zebulon, and for the way you have tackled obstacles in your path. Hope you have a truly fabulous upcoming year. We love you and thank God you were placed in our family.

thankful

Travels


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Day 30/30 –ย  On this final day of the month of November, I am reminiscing and am thankful for our travels. This year Chris and I said we wanted to travel to 25 places in celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary. This left us with lots of happy memories I’m so thankful for. I will do a full writeup at some point on my other site, but for now here are some of my favorite memories:

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  • For November (the month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving in the US), I’m trying to blog about something for which I’m thankful for each day of the month.
thankful

Thankful for Days Focused on Thanks


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Day 23/30 – Right?!?! When things get stressful it’s so nice to force yourself to step back and remember how fortunate you are. Days like today (US Thanksgiving) force us to do that.

For me, this has been a dream time off so far. I stayed in my pajamas watching Netflix until early afternoon yesterday then hung out with Chris and the the young adults in the house all afternoon (and Ollie, of course). Mom loves to cook and was busy in the kitchen wrangling a mammoth turkey into the oven (with a bit of help from Chris). (Spoiler, it was perfection in the mouth today!ย And smelled amazing both yesterday and today).

Then Chris and I headed out to dance class and some Christmas shopping. We drove slowly and just enjoyed watching snow fairies fall while we yakked and listened to music.

Today I woke up relatively early and started turning our Halloween pumpkin into a Thanksgiving pie (achievement unlocked). I also steamed some cauliflower (faux potatoes) and some sweet potatoes. Chris made me a holiday coffee (I’ll leave that one up to your imagination), and I headed upstairs to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV until it kicked off the Christmas holiday season. I grew up on Long Island, and that parade is an intrinsic part of my holiday experience. Chris isn’t as into it, but humors me. I often watch it alone, but this year Mollie, Bri, Mom and Hudi joined me (Zeb came in later and Chris randomly showed up). It all made me feel so happy.

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After that was over we settled in for a lovely traditional dinner. During that time we learned a bit more about Mom’s past and got to hear Mollie and Bri’s family traditions. We had a break between the meal and dessert, during which Mollie and Bri took time to call their families, and I got a surprise call from my son — who was sitting across the table from me ๐Ÿ˜‰

CJ and Lauren Factetimed us — a highlight in the day — and my sisters and brothers-in law also Facetimed. I so love technology. We had screens sharing experiences so the family in Ct spoke with us in northern NY as well as our family in Utah. What more can a person want?

Zeb and Bri headed off for work (they are doing temporary seasonal work nearby and have to brace for Black Friday), and we began cleanup. Star helped, to her great delight.

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As we did so, we reminisced about generations past and about our own holiday experiences. We are at a time of massive transition in our family as our progeny take flight. Yet it’s super cool to see the family bonds stretch the boundaries of tradition, creating holesย  in experiences of the past that are no longer applicable or possible while keeping the lines of love strong.

I am one super blessed lady.

  • For November (the month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving in the US), I’m trying to blog about something for which I’m thankful for each day of the month.
thankful

Thankful for CJ and Lauren


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Day 13/30 – One year ago, our eldest son married the perfect woman for him. The marriage gifting us with an amazing daughter (Lauren). They sailed through that first year of marriage in an admirable fashion not because it was easy, but because of their love for each other. What a gift for a parent to watch!

While there are times I wish they lived super close to me (they are across the country), I am so thankful they found a place that is ideal for them. And I’m also really thankful that we can travel and visit them a few times of year.

  • For November (the month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving in the US), I’m trying to blog about something for which I’m thankful for each day of the month.
thankful

Fun Halloween Evening


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IMG_4683.jpgDay 3/30 – It was Halloween a few days ago, and I had a very enjoyable day. I’m quite thankful for that. Mom and I went downstairs to pass out candy to hordes of creatively-dressed little ones (some even brought dogs that were dressed up ๐Ÿ™‚ ). The rain and wind let up for the exact hrs the trick-or-treaters were out. What a gift!

When we were done we were yakking a bit with Zeb and Bri. It was fun to see them enjoying the day as well. Bri let me take a picture of her and her hedgehog, Ollie. Our oldest son who lives in Utah and Zeb (our middle son who currently lives with us) were having a Facetime conversation because CJ had sent Zeb an early birthday present and wanted to see him open it.

IMG_4681.jpgIt was a scorpion lollipop. Have you ever heard of such a thing before? A perfect gift for our adventuring middle son. He exclaimed over it stating that he had eaten lollipops before, and he had eaten scorpions before (what?!?!?!) but never together.

The things we don’t know about our kids…

Anyway, a very fun evening, and I’m thankful to have had such a nice time with my family.

  • For November (the month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving in the US), I’m trying to blog about something for which I’m thankful for each day of the month
thankful

Thankful for Time With Grandma


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Our family is huge, and I have no idea how many grandchildren this woman has, but I do know she loves each one dearly, and prays for us regularly. I’m so thankful she is part of my life. Love her!

inspirational

When I Grow Up


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I want to be like my mother-in-law. Eight years after serious heart surgery… Look at her go!

 

 

That was her first time playing in a while. We have played since, and she can get a serious volley going. Our boys are going to be so surprised when they come home and play with her again ๐Ÿ˜‰