A few words that said it all

Mr. M was driving us to a hockey game this past Friday night. He was heading down the street and Miss A suddenly starts saying, "Slow down Dad, you're going too fast. Slow down, the police will get you." Not missing a beat we hear another little voice from the back seat, "Faster, faster. I yike faster!" Of course those of us in the front seat laughed.

I was immediately struck by this. I think I even said, "There you have it. That's the personalities of our two girls!" One who is cautious and sticks to the rules and the other who loves speed, some danger and pushing limits. I'm always amazed at how different they are when everything around them is the same. That's what makes it interesting I guess.


With gratitude

Oh, the places you'll go... You know the rest I'm sure. I'm thankful for Dr. Seuss. I love his books! My favorite is probably the first line of this post. I just love the message. Work hard, persevere and great things will happen. Thank you Theodor Geisel!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.

Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!

Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!

So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!

With gratitude,

With gratitude

I've had the good fortune to travel quite a bit over the years. I love soaking in a new place. It gives me such great perspective. Usually I end up loving the place I'm visiting but end up being very thankful for where I live and returning home. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to do more traveling in the future.

Places to go, people to see!

With gratitude,


With gratitude

I'm stealing this one from a friend who recently posted that she was thankful for patience. There are many times I wish I had more of it but I'm thankful for what I've got! With two little girls there are days when the chatter seems like it will never end. Thankfully I've always made it through and I hope it continues. They really are fun little voices to hear.

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 20.

I had the good fortune of dancing as I grew up. My mom spent hours in the car driving me, waiting for me and sewing/altering costumes, pointe shoes, etc. Thanks Mom!

Now its my turn. The girls both dance and its been so much fun. They both started when they were about 18 months old. Mommy & Me classes started and I got to dance with them. It was such a joy! Even dancing on stage for the recitals (the only requirement for the mommy costumes were all black!).

This year Miss K is on her own. No more Mommy & Me. I just get to watch now and its great and awful all at once. She can do it by herself now...she doesn't need me anymore. This growing up stuff is  for the birds!

Then there is Miss A. She has dancing in her soul. I've gotten compliments on her dancing since she started and she continues to prove herself all the time. She'll soon be dancing with the Moscow Ballet in the Nutcracker. She's a french girl. We'll see how it all turns out!

Dance as if no one is watching!

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 19.

Yesterday's candle post reminded me of something I am very, very thankful for. It's been a place for me to go with a sleeping, quiet baby and stroll around. It's been an escape from my house after a crazy day with kids. There have been a few nights when Mr. M has walked through the door and I've quickly said I'm heading here for awhile. I've run into many a fellow mom strolling the aisles picking up what they need or browsing. I've spent hours there looking at everything. I've been asked, on more than one occasion, where something in the house has come from. The answer is often...


I'm thankful its there. I can pickup groceries, diapers, clothes, toys or whatever I may need in one stop when I have kids with me. I can grab a diet coke at the snack bar and stroll the aisles for an hour now and again just to look or get ideas. It's almost meditative...you will understand that if you need an escape but also have errands to run! It may be strange but I'm very thankful for that place.

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 18.

Candles. I have a thing for candles. I don't know why or where it came from. I just love them! My favorites are apple scented or citrus. My current favorites are the Harvest Apple from Bath and Body Works. I've gone through a few of these babies between our house and the lake.

Next is a very recent find. It's Clementine and Clove. Citrus is my other favorite. I love anything orange, tangerine or the like. So I came across this at Target. It smells like something I call 'Russian Tea'. You may have another name for it...a mixture of Nestea, Tang, cloves and a few other spices. Anyway, it cures any cold you have or at least is hot and tastes good on a sore throat. Bonus: it comes in a mercury glass container (I have a collection!).

The picture wouldn't work but click here!

Then there is this little wonder. I've long since burned it up but I loved, loved, loved it. I can't really describe what moss smelled like but it was wonderful. I was more than a little sad when it was gone. Part of the charm was the quaint little shop I got it in last winter. Charleston, South Carolina. So beautiful, so fun!

I just love when the house smells wonderful when I walk in the door!

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 17.

I'm thinking about hobbies today and I'm grateful. I have several I suppose but currently I really enjoy photography (some day I'll master photoshop). I also love to sit down and 'tinkle the ivories'. In fact, I'm waiting for a new Lorie Line book to arrive shortly and watch out Christmas carols! I love to go to movies. There's something about a movie theater (smile!).

I hope you have one or darn it get busy and figure one out! Someday you'll have free time and you might as well spend it productively! (double smile!)

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 14, 15 & 16.

A little behind but I'm still here. We've been getting ready for a little adventure so you'll have to excuse me. Other things were more pressing. I have found it fun though that throughout the days I am always thinking of things I am thankful for. Much better than thinking about the things I could complain about on a daily basis.

Friends. New, long-time, young, old I'm thankful for you all. I've been blessed with so many wonderful friends over the years. Some of you I've known for years and we've been through many of the same experiences. Some I've met through strange twists of fate and we've stayed connected for some reason or another. I love that there are many of you I can meet up with once or twice a year and its as though we've never been apart. Thank you for your friendship!

Family. I have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful family. Immediate and distant you are all so fantastic. Thank you for your laughter, tears, help, support, prayers, lessons and smiles. This past year has proven to me once again how necessary a great support system is. I'm thankful for terrific people who help us through.

Parents. Kind of the same as family but a special 'thankful' to them. Ours have helped us out more than any four people probably should. They are always there though and thank goodness! It even means that occasionally Mr. M and I get to travel and the kiddos get to have 'sleepovers' with grandparents. Thankful!


With gratitude

It was a great day! Mr. M and I got to go on a date this evening. I must say I'm very thankful for those rare moments when the two of us can sneak away for a few hours. We have a chance to talk or even sit in silence for awhile. We got to enjoy a quiet dinner. OK, not totally quiet as there were a few little kiddos belonging to others running around and chatting it up. It's actually enjoyable when others kids are doing that! Then a movie in a full theater which is always fun. I love to hear the audience reaction to things. Makes the funny points even funnier.

Anyway, I'm thankful for quiet date nights that are complete with dinner and a movie!

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 12.

This whole blogging thing is relatively new to me. I have to say I've loved it and am glad I began. Hopefully it will be a record of things we've done, said or enjoyed. I'll be able to look back one day and remember (something that seems harder to do these days).

I began my own blog only after spending many, many hours looking at those of others. I'm thankful to all these amazing people who blog about things that inspire them, things they do, things their families or kids say and all the other wonderful between.

Here are a few pictures from recent favorite posts.

What a cute little girl's room, right?!?!?! Holly at Life in the Fun Lane refinishes furniture. She also love white and has a nearly all white house. If I didn't think everything would turn black or shades of chocolate (thanks to Miss K) quickly I'd do it at home.

What do these ingredients make??? Apparently cheap dry shampoo. I have yet to try it but Allison at Petit Elefant has tried it and says it works! Allison loves to travel and can describe a hotel like no other. She also has great ideas for beauty products, clothes and kid-friendly projects. I'll let you know if and when I get around to trying said shampoo idea.

So she is a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e. This is Leslie from a room somewhere. This picture is one of her 'what I wore Wednesday' posts. These posts seem to be popping up all oer! Anyway, she's got a great sense of style in clothes (check out many, many more pictures on her blog), home furnishings and all other things cute.

So...I'm thankful for blogs. There are many, many more that I read when I have a chance. What blogs do you follow?


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 11.

Today I am thankful for the men and women, past and present, who defend our country every day. They make sacrifices big and small to proect our country and us. Thank you for your service!

by Brittany Skinner

They were there,
And they remember,
The shock, the horror
Of watching strangers die.
A life ended
By a fellow soldier's shaking hands.

The unimaginable debt,
Owed by a free world
Can never be repaid,
Still we try
Giving up an hour, a day
To thank you for the burden you now carry
Laid there so we can live our lives.

They fought,
And killed
Enemies with faces
Identities unknown to the bullets
Shattering the protective shield
Laid there by those they loved.

For one day a year we honor you
For our lives,
It can never compare
Still we try
Thanking you on this day
For a million moments
You lived so we could too.


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 10.

Little things. There were several 'little things' and/or 'little moments' today that make me very thankful. The kids get ready in the morning without a big fuss. We didn't have to battle over what everyone is going to wear today. We made it to school on time. I was lucky enough to get some Nutcracker tickets switched and it meant even better seats (Row #5...yeah!) to see our oldest dance with the Moscow Ballet. I got to steal away by yourself for a couple of hours of peaceful bliss. Dance class went well and the holiday show is just around the corner. I played piano at church school with only a couple of mistakes (give me credit as I hadn't known which Christmas music to practice!). The girls made fabulous fruit loop necklaces. I got to sit with Mark for church services. We all had a late dinner at Taco John's. Girls in bed by 8:15 p.m. Time for me to get a quick workout in. Time to relax on the couch and blog!

To most everyone its a collection of little, insignificant things. To me its a wonderful combination of things that make up all of these special days that I get to share with my girls. I realize at times these days are all so similar they run together but I wouldn't trade a single, solitary 'little thing' for all the big things in the world.

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 9.

The weather. I live in North Dakota. That means its cold. Often cold. Especially in November. In fact, I remember more than one Halloween that included trick-or-treating with snow on the ground. Well this fall has been glorious. We've had lots of sunshine and warm (at least for ND) temperatures.

Today was beautiful. I'm thankful for that.

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 8.

Today its simple. I'm thankful for health. I've been doing some work lately on my health. Just trying to get back into exercising more regularly. You'll be happy to know I just got off the treadmill! I'm also trying to eat more healthfully. I'm sure I'll always be working on that one but I'll do what I can.

Drink lots of water. Take my vitamins. Get enough sleep (is that humanly possible?!?!?!!!). Eat fruits and vegetables. Exercise. Work hard. Play hard. Do what you can to enjoy a long, long life!

What are you doing to be more healthy?

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 7.

Spring forward, fall back. Yeah! Today we got to fall back. I am thankful to be 'gaining' an hour today. Hopefully my girls will decide sleeping in sounds good. We could all use a little extra sleep. Regardless it will be a nice long day of relaxation and hopefully a couple of projects to get me feeling a bit more caught up.

All my thinking about time made me think of clocks. I've been keeping my eyes open for neat clocks lately. I think a big, over sized one would be fun for our fireplace at the lake. I also seem to be noticing clocks and displays of them in more places. I'm sure its just because I've been looking for one. Anyway, this clock is at Pier One Imports. On another store shelf they had the best display of clocks, all sizes and shapes. They'd be great on a mantle somewhere.

Can't you just picture this up high on a fireplace? The only thing is changing a dead battery might not be much fun...

What will you do with your 'extra hour' today? Make it count!

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day 6.

If you grew up anywhere near where I did you have probably been to, heard of or watched a game of Fighting Sioux hockey. I was lucky enough to grow up attending many, many of their games. I remember going when I was little enough to be lifted up on my dad's shoulders when the team scored to cheer with the crowd. I have very fond memories of games sitting next to my grandpa. He was always there and usually ate some popcorn as I recall. Our family traveled to watch the team a few times. We all have great memories of a trip to Milwaukee and a national championship. My dad even made a mad dash downstairs at the end of the game to get us championship t-shirts. My first date with Mr. M took us to a game. I happened to have a job that got me involved in the grand opening of perhaps the most wonderful college hockey arena in the country. Now I get to take two little girls to games and they get to eat popcorn with their grandpa (usually followed by ice cream which has become a 1st period break tradition).

Miss A loves the games and has been going since she was still in an infant carrier. This year she is actually starting to pick up the game. She notices the score for reasons other than fireworks! Miss K has gone since she was teeny tiny as well. She however is still excited to return to "Sioux hockey" because there are fireworks and she gets treats.

No matter what its been a great blessing in our lives and we've enjoyed many hours of entertainment (lots happy and some disappointing) at Sioux hockey games.

Go Sioux!

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day #5

Today and everyday I'm thankful for family, friends, community and all the amazing people in my life. I've recognized for a long time that I live in a wonderful place. There have been many times along the way when people have needed help and others have been there to do what was needed. I know there are places where this doesn't happen.

This fall it was our turn to be on the receiving end. I've written about it before. Click here to read.

I'm thankful for all of those involved in helping us but also those to help others each and every day. I hope I am able to find ways both big and small to help others and pay it forward. Let's all try to do the same.

With gratitude,


With gratitude

Day #4.

Today I'm thankful for something you may remember from your childhood. I don't remember having it at our house on a regular basis but I do remember often mixing up a pitcher of it when we were busy playing at our neighbor's house. Nothing like a tall glass of cold Kool-Aid to quench childhood thirst and make you ready to head back outside.

Now they make a sugar-free version. A little friendlier to my waistline and nearly as tasty. My current obsession is the tropical punch variety with lots of ice in the glass. It may be strange but its something I'm thankful for. Tastes better than a plain old glass of H20. (Please keep this little tidbit to yourselves as my husband raises sugar beets and would probably prefer I mix up the original stuff with a couple cups of American Crystal Sugar's best. You can rest assured that I eat plenty of that in other stuff.)


With gratitude

Thankfulness Challenge Day #3.

Today I'm thankful for my family. I am so lucky to have a wonderful husband who happens to also be my best friend. We laugh together every day and life has been more wonderful than I could have ever predicted. I've also been blessed with two beautiful daughters. They make me smile every day. They are beautiful young people. I am so glad they made me a mom (and give me a job every day!). 


With gratitude

Day #2 of the thankful challenge. Today is Election Day here in the U.S. of A. I'm thankful to live in this country where we are given the right to vote. Please take some time to do your duty. We should not take that for granted!

I have to admit I'm also very thankful that election day means an end to all of the political ads that are played over and over and over. They typically get more vicious and more vicious and more vicious. So I'm happy we can all put in our two cents today and we no longer need to watch those ads. Let's see how it all turns out!

With gratitude,


With gratitude

November already. Where did the time go? Seems like yesterday it was the 4th of July and I was starting to dread (or countdown) the days until Miss A started kindergarten. Now here we are at November 1 and she's preparing (a.k.a. she needs a poodle skirt) for a 50s themed party at Kindergarten celebrating their 50th day of school.

Today I was reminded via facebook of a wonderful challenge that I did last year. Unfortunately I don't remember where I came across the idea but it was NOT born in my little brain. Here's the deal...each day until Thanksgiving post something you are thankful for. You can make it your status on facebook, blog about it, write it down on your calendar, make a post-it note, whatever floats your boat. The point is write it down somewhere and before you know it you'll be finding all kinds of things you're grateful for instead of all the little things that bug you during the course of a day.

November 1 - today I'm thankful for the sunshine. It was a beautiful day in North Dakota. I almost didn't need a jacket. That's a huge bonus when the calendar says, "November."

What are you thankful for?

With gratitude,
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