Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Three Brains Working Together Makes One Odd Post

The funny, funny Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum was kind enough to help out all of us vacationing and taxiing bloggers.  She put together 7 Mad-Libs from which we can choose to copy, paste, and complete on our blogs.  Since I am a vacationing blogger (Robbers, we have a house and farm sitter, so don't get any ideas.) I grabbed one.

I chose the "inspirational mommy" post option.

Giant helped.  I asked for the part of speech, he gave me the word to plug in.  His words are in bold type.

Yesterday, I  sang with all the kids in tow, and it struck me how happily life will eat with these vacations of mine. Many people would say Wowzers! and let pizza take a backseat, or simply not notice all the green masterpieces that a green pepper creates for us. As a mom, when I struggle, I find fast from salami and I want to ride every mom who colored to do the same. You can. We can. A roller coaster can. Together, everything is possible for our kids, without sacrificing our grass.

Well, I don't think Kelly meant for this to go all Rated R on us.  Oh well.  It's why everyone likes a Mad-Lib.  There's always that danger of something bizarre or inappropriate coming out.

Hope your week (and, more importantly, mine) is going well!

Have a lovely day!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pain, Pigs, Pitching In, and Personal Hygiene, TToT Week 57

It's only Wednesday, and I already have enough thankful things to write a post!  I guess when a person is stuck on a couch, unable to do much of anything besides go to the bathroom, being waited on hand and foot, she has plenty of time to see the good things going on around her.

Plus, writing a thankful list helps said invalid focus on something besides feeling sorry for her sleep-deprived, uncomfortable self.

This week I'm thankful...

1.  for my ability to come off the pain medicines.  They were making me completely loopy, but even worse was the vomiting I was doing most mornings.  I've managed to get down to only one pain pill a day, usually in the late afternoon.  My head is clear and able to finally read some books.

2.  for a working carpool.  Phoenix and Buttercup have high school soccer practice every night.  Fortunately, someone from Phoenix's team lives close by.  She picks both of my kids up to take them, and Bryan brings them home afterwards.  He has been busier than he's ever been in his life at work, so he stays until 7:30 and can just pick the kids up on his way home.  It's working out nicely, since I don't have to rely on my friend to drive both ways.

3.  the kids are still able to have fun this summer despite my absence and inability to drive.  I have felt badly for my kids, thinking they were getting robbed of a fun summer.  Except they're not.  They've all gotten to do fun things this year.  This week, Star is at Boy Scout camp and the little boys went to a friend's house to play most of the day.  It was quite a logistical feat to get the little boys to her house, but people have been so kind to not only offer but call and insist to do such things for them.

4.  the kids are willing and able to cook.  All of the kids have been pitching in to get breakfast and lunches for the little boys and me each day.  This week, Giant (the 11 year old) has basically been in charge of dinner.  With the oldest three kids gone during dinner time, and Bryan not getting home with them until after 8:30, that leaves the three youngest kids and me left to fend for ourselves.  Giant has been a trooper, doing basically all of it on his own.

5.  for my mom making it home safely after a once in a lifetime cruise to Alaska.  My 65 year old mother went on every excursion that was offered, including walking over a suspension bridge 200 ft in the air and ziplining even higher.  During the whale watching excursion, she got to see something the guide had never seen before. She promised everyone that no one they know has or will ever see what they got to see.  My mom watched humpack whales successfully execute a bubble net.  Ever heard of it?

She took no photos, despite the fact it occurred 15 yards away from her.  She said it was just too unbelievable of an experience she didn't want to miss by looking through a camera.  Clearly, I didn't get my blogging/document everything gene from her.

I showed the kids the above video and told them that Nana had gotten to see it for real.  Later, Cuckoo came to me and we had the following conversation:

C:  I know why they call them hump whales.
Me:  Really?
C:  Yes.  It's because they swim upside down.
M:  Oh, is that what you think?
C:  No.  They actually do.

6.  that Kris came over to help us can green beans.  The beans...they are a growin'.  Bryan and the kids have been picking them like crazy.  Only problem is, I can't stand and do all the work involved in canning them.  Kris, aka Mrs. Always Random, has been wanting to learn how to can.  I sat on a stool in the kitchen and told her what to do.  Thanks to her, I have 7 quarts of green beans on the shelf, she has a new skill and a gob of beans, zucchini, and eggs to eat at home.

7.  that I am able to get up and do a few things.  While canning would require too much standing and precarious movement on crutches, other things are more within the range of safe.  Last night, I made omelets for the three youngest and me for dinner.  I have finally been able to get upstairs and sleep in my own bed without fear of waking Bryan up several times in the middle of the night.  And I shaved.  That was huge.

8.  to see the boys becoming real farmers and problem solvers.  While Phoenix and Giant were in the garden picking beans, Giant looked up to see 2 pigs standing there watching them.  Did they panic?  No.  Did they waste time coming to tell me?  No.  They simply solved the problem.  Phoenix grabbed a zucchini from the garden and lured one of the pigs back to the pen.  They both then used their brawn and brains to corral the other one back.  I didn't know anything about it until Phoenix came to me asking for a bungee cord.  It seems the pigs got through our two-"lock" system.  They chewed through the bungee cord, then broke through the chain on the gate.  He came to ask for another cord, which he installed higher than the pigs can reach.

9.  for Bryan's job.  He has been working ridiculous hours for the first time in years.  It's bad, as he hasn't been home to see the little boys all week, but I'm grateful that he has a job and is in demand.  Plus, despite all the work that still needs done, he will still be able to go on our annual vacation with friends this weekend.  (Would-be robbers, don't get excited.  Our house sitters will be here.)

10.  for my friend who took me to my follow up doctor appointment.  Bryan had to work, then head down to pick Star up at camp before we could leave for vacation.  My appointment was right in the middle of it all, and I'm not cleared to drive yet.  A friend was kind and generous enough to take me.

Update after the appointment:  Stitches are out, and I'm cleared to drive as long as I'm not taking any pain medicine.  I don't even have to wear a brace anymore.  Physical therapy will start soon.  I'm glad to be done with the brace, but, my word, I'm skittish.  And walking hurts more. Giant even commented that I look worse now than when I left for the appointment.  I guess fear will do that to a person.  I'm scared to death of getting bumped in the knee.  It's so exposed.

two of the 4 incision points

Don't be alarmed when I don't get to go around reading and commenting this weekend or when you don't see any posts from me this week.  I won't have internet access most of the time we're gone.  Doesn't mean you can't link up or tell me in the comments about the things which made you stop and say thank you this week.  Lots of people will come by and read about them.

Have a lovely week!

Ten Things of Thankful

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Running in Circles...Literally

The working subtitle to that title is...

New T-shirt idea:  I Spent 15 Minutes Trying to Come Up with a Witty Title and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.  And an Even Worse Title


I sit on the couch with my leg out in front of me, ice firmly strapped to my knee, and a blanket draped over me to keep the inevitable chill out of my bones.

Cuckoo is running laps.  

TV room, game room, dining room, piano room, TV room, game room, dining room, piano room.

Round and round and round he goes.

Through the rooms named after their contents instead of their uses.

Until he stops.

Directly in front of me.

In the TV room.

He asks, "Who are you cheering for?"

Me:  Who's racing?

C:  Me and the magic people.

Me:  Well, you of course.

C:  OK, I'm in second.

And off he goes.

For months and months Cuckoo has had not an imaginary friend, but a magic friend.  His friend shows up every once in a while to go for a ride in the van or have a meal with us, but usually it is to play a board game with Cuckoo.  

After a week being cooped up at home with a mom who can't drive, the magic friend came to play, and the game of choice today is "race".

Magic friend brought friends of his own. 

From the sounds of it, there are quite a few.

Me:  Are you winning yet?

C:  (as he runs past for the 5th time he calls out):  There is one ahead of me and a whole bunch behind me!

On each lap, I gather a bit more information.  

Apparently, the magic people have wonderful sportsmanship.

C (as he stops in front of me again):  Time out.

Me:  Does everyone just stop where they are when you need to stop?

C:  Yes.

M:  That's awfully nice of them.

It seems they aren't very tall.  Or perhaps they have weak legs.

C (as he runs by for the 9th time):  I get ahead of them every time we have to do the jump!  They can't make it over!

Aha!  That's what the big thump is when he runs past the steps!

Magic friends have special magic powers.

C (as he runs by for the 14th time):  I have to be fast!  They can teleport!

Giant (who had just come into the room.  Where we keep the TV.):  Ha!  Teleport.

Me:  I thought that's what he said.  How does he know the word 'teleport'?

Giant:  Minecraft.  The efflins* can do it.

As I sit on the couch, with my knee sutured and taped, I ponder.

I ponder the the energy of kids.

Mine specifically.

At the recent 4th of July party/family reunion at my dad's, my cousin's husband commented, "All 5 of your boys are ALL boy."  I smiled and nodded.  "What gave it away?"

"We have been here for 7 hours.  They have not stopped moving."

No.  They rarely do.

My boys are bundles of irrepressible energy. .All of my boys, when they were little, used to run in circles through the house.   At some point, they each simply stopped.  They didn't stop moving, but they stopped running in circles taking them nowhere.

I wonder why.  What happens to make a child stop running in circles, racing imaginary magic friends?  I want to know so badly.  I find the workings of the brain and development completely fascinating.

But that's not why.

I really want to know because I still have one boy who runs in circles through the house.  One of these days, his run through the house will be his last.  I want to know which one.  I'm afraid I'll miss it for what it is, instead of mistaking it for the normal that will not change.

There are so many things I missed as the last time because I didn't know it was.  The last time a baby blew kisses.  The last time I changed a diaper.  The last time I fed a baby a bottle.  The last time a preschooler sang "I'm a Little Teapot".  So many last events.

I didn't notice the last times when I had so many little people scattered about my feet.

Now that I'm down to one little person, I am noticing.  And I'm trying to keep track of as many as I can.

I'm lucky to have older kids.  Just looking at my 15 year old, taller-than-me-by 5 inches boy reminds me that things most certainly change.  It helps me remember to appreciate all of these normal, may-be-the-last moments I see each and every day. These older kids also give me perspective.  Yes, I am seeing many behaviors and hearing many adorable mispronunciations for the very last time.  But I must keep in mind all of the first things I still have to see and hear from him.  His first day of preschool is looming.  There are plenty of firsts to look forward to once that hits.

This recovery from surgery is a big double-edged sword.  I'm having the time to observe and really soak in the wonderful and normal things my kids are doing, but I also have the time to dwell on the rapidity of time running at a full-on sprint.

Sometimes I just wish time was running in a circle, so I can relive all of these wonderful, normal things all over again.

But usually, I just try to thank my lucky stars that I see the things I see and can relive them in my mind whenever I darn well please.

Have mercy, I'm a blubbering mess, ya'll.

And I can't blame the meds.  I haven't taken a pain pill in 18 hours.

*A note of clarification, so Giant doesn't look like a goober to anyone who reads this blog and is also up on his Minecraft characters. (I would guess the number would hover around zero people, so if you fall into both categories of blog reader and Minecraft expert, let me know.):  Efflin isn't the word.  It's endermen who can teleport.  Sorry for the confusion.

Have a lovely day!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Clearing Things Up and Some Old Photos, Answer Me This!

I don't get to do this often, but with all of the extra time I have on my hands this week, I get to link up with Kendra at Catholic All Year for her weekly Answer Me This.

1. How did you get your name?

My dad and I talked about it not that long ago.  I had two separate stories from his younger days mashed up together.  To set the record straight with everyone to whom I had previously told the story, I was NOT named after my dad's fiance that died in a tragic drowning in her backyard.  While a girl he dated did die in such a manner, I was named after a girl he knew from even earlier in his life.  Two sisters who lived nearby were named Crissy and Susy.  My sister and I are named Christine and Susan, but were always called Crissy and Susy until adulthood, when we immediately went to our legal names.    

2. Do you have a set time for prayer in your day?

I don't, besides before meals.  It goes in spurts.  When the young kids are in a sleeping in cycle, I can have a time in the morning to pray and read the Bible.  Otherwise, I don't.  I will stop and say a short prayer many times throughout the day, be it a thank you, a please help, or a be with this person.  I will listen to Catholic talk radio stations or Christian music stations when I drive.  Every day, when people ask for prayers or I offer to pray for someone, I tuck it in my heart.  At some point each day, I ask God to remember all of those I placed in my heart.  He knows who they are, and He knows what they need more than I do.

3. Did your mom work or stay home (or both)?

Despite our parents' divorce when I was in 2nd grade, my mom stayed at home with us until I was in middle school.  She was a great, fun mom, and I appreciate the sacrifices my parents made for this to be possible.  My dad was a policeman on a very limited salary.  I know it wasn't easy to raise four kids (with two homes) on that salary.

My mom and me.  We're a lot alike.

4. Do you vote?

Usually.  Sometimes it just doesn't happen.  

5. What's your favorite drink?

I rarely drink anything besides milk and water.  If you are talking about alcoholic drinks, I enjoy a strawberry daiquiri.  Bryan and I honeymooned at a resort in Key West.  The bar on the beach had a fantastic strawberry daiquiri.  By 10:30 each day, we'd be looking at our watches, wondering when was too early to go down to get one.  Delicious.  

However, daiquiris aren't readily available anywhere.  I will also be happy with a mojito.  Or a Pimms.  (Hey England!)  Or just about anything someone offers me.

from our anniversary overnighter 2 years ago

6. How are your photography skills?

Not bad.

When the big kids were little, I got tired of dragging them to get their photos professionally taken.  I finally decided to bite the bullet and take some myself.  They turned out pretty well.  People started asking me to take photos of their kids, so I did.  Bryan being the attorney that he is, he made me officially open up a business.  So, I had a small photography business for about 5 years, taking senior, family, newborn, and holiday portraits for people.  Once I got pregnant with Cuckoo, I had to give it up.   The hours of a photographer just don't work for a stay-at-home mom with 6 kids, 4 of whom are getting to be active and school-aged. 

Now, I just take photos for fun.  I see good shots everywhere I go, but only get to take a small fraction of them.

Buttercup's First Communion.  I'd scan the first photos I took to show you, but I'm currently not allowed to walk.

From our recent anniversary trip to Europe without kids.  More artsy ones can be seen in the post.
That's it!  Six questions.

If you want to join in, head on over to Kendra's!

So, here is the awkward no-way-to-end this post sentence before I say...

Have a lovely day!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Post-Op: You May Need Your Own Anti-Nausea Meds After This, TToT #56

For months you've been reading about my knee injury.  From the injury itself to the recovery and the fear it would ruin our anniversary trip to the physical therapy to the surgery.  You've stuck with me, and I appreciate it.  You're almost to the end.

But not





1.  I am thankful that the surgeon operated on the correct leg.  I was quite surprised when the nurse handed me a marker and had me mark the injured knee with the word "yes".   (I guess one too many doctors fixed something that wasn't broken one too many times.)  The surgery went well, and my knee seems to be healing according to plan.

2.  I am thankful for the outpouring of well wishes and check-ins.  So many people have been calling/texting/and writing to make sure we are OK and offering to do whatever we need.  While we haven't had to take too many people up on their offers, it is calming to know that I have people to call on if needed.

3.  I am thankful that bloggers are blogging.  Daytime TV is horrible, and focusing on a book is way too taxing for my drugged brain.  Blog posts are much easier to read.  And I do mean easier, not easy.  It takes me up to 20 minutes to read one post.  If you read Wednesday's post, you won't be surprised to hear that I have frequently been awoken by my iPad hitting me on the forehead after I have fallen asleep while reading a post.  Commenting on the posts can be even more trying.  So, if you have written a post this week, I promise you I've read it, whether I've left a comment or not.  If I left a comment that makes no sense, I'm sorry.  Or you're welcome, depending on how funny it is.

4.  I am thankful for a good old fashioned sponge bath.  I'm not allowed to take a shower for at least three days after surgery, and that is just way too long for me to lie about in my own stench.  My hair is still as slick as a Parisian pickpocketer, but my armpits are mostly clean.

5.  I am thankful that my feet are OK. I'm pretty sure.  When I took my socks off last night, I noticed something very odd about my piggies and went into a bit of a panic.

  Bad photo, but perhaps you can tell...

They are vastly different colors.  The left foot has a spooky, pale, almost ghostly-white tint.  The one on the right has an Oompah Loompah hue.  After closer inspection, I've decided they simply rubbed my whole leg down with iodine or some such thing before surgery.  I know, one would assume I'd have been able to figure this out when I gave myself a sponge bath, but I can't bend my leg that far.  I can't actually wash my foot, and the kids weren't about to do it. (They've had to do much worse.  You'll see.  I couldn't ask them to wash my feet, too.) Bryan hasn't been home before 9:30 each night, so it stays for now.  But I'm pretty sure I figured it out.  I'm fine.

6.  I am thankful for the kids' low expectations for dinner.  I planned easy, easy meals for the big kids to put together this week, but even those aren't getting completely made.  Last night, they had Kraft Mac and Cheese.  That's it.  Tonight, leftover tortellini.  Without sauce.  We ran out on Tuesday when we originally had it.  They're not eating well, but they're eating.  And nobody is complaining.  Yet.

7.  I'm thankful that Buttercup left a plastic laundry basket next to the couch.  Almost as thankful as Star is.  I had cereal for the first time since surgery this morning.  The moment I took a bite, the milk didn't taste right. (It wasn't the milk.  It was the meds.  Several things don't taste right.)  After a few more bites, my stomach was feeling exceptionally unwell.  I stopped eating, but that didn't solve the problem.  Soon enough, that plastic laundry basket held what used to be the contents of my stomach.  Guess I'm not quite ready for dairy yet.

8.  I'm thankful that Star didn't put up a single bit of fuss when he was the first one awake and was promptly asked to take the vomit-filled basket outside and wash it out with the hose.

Cuckoo was nice enough to snag the photo for me.

9.  I am thankful for Buttercup's baking ability.  Without any help from us, our first-ever planting of zucchini is thriving in the garden.  We have a mountain of zucchini on our kitchen counter.  Buttercup has been making bread as fast as she can.  Each person that comes to take one of our kids somewhere gets a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, and a zucchini as a thank you.

10.  I am thankful for cuddles.  Turken is taking full advantage of my recovery time and lays on top of me as often as possible.  Today, we cuddled on the couch for 2 hours.  It's been marvelous.

Thank you again for your prayers, your well wishes, and your calls of concern.  I very much appreciate them.

Before you go, let me know what has made you smile this week.  (I'll even be OK if all you can come up with is that horrible photo Bryan took of me that was posted here on Wednesday.)

Have a lovely day!

Ten Things of Thankful

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

This Post Took Two Days to Write as I Drifted In and Out of Consciousness. Enjoy.

"You are a bad driver!"

It's just one of the uncharacteristicly not nice things I said to my poor, doting husband in my drugged stupor on our drive home from surgery.

I was layed out in the back seat of his car, wickedly loopy.  Apparently, I get chatty when I'm wickedly loopy.

I also told him that "I love pudding.  CHOCOLATE pudding!"  I'm told that Bryan then said something about Bill Cosby.  I replied, "I think I know who that is."

As Bryan drove, I would moan and groan every couple of minutes.  He asked if the bumps hurt my knee.  "No!  Every time you hit a bump, my head bounces off then back on the window!  My head hurts!"

Quickly followed by...

"Oh!  Bill Cosby is a comedian!"

I guess some things don't change when I'm drugged.

I wasn't allowed to eat any solid foods for 24 hours, so when Bryan went into the pharmacy to get my meds, he looked for some chocolate pudding for me.  I was left in the back of the car.

By myself.

For hours.

I think.

I remember alternating between sleeping and wondering what in the world was taking him so long.

Out loud.

I vaguely remember looking out the window he had partially rolled down for me (not all the way, seeing as how my head was leaning back on it.) and calling out, "What is taking so long??"

Then sleeping.

Then calling out again, "Where are you??"

Then sleeping again.

I can only imagine what the customers going in and out of the store were thinking about the situation.  (One of my clues that he was in there a long time...other customers were going in and out.)

Finally, finally, we were on our way again and made it all the way home.

The kids came out to greet me, not because they missed me, but they were eager to see what sort of hilarious stupor I was in.

I did not disappoint.

It took me 15 minutes to get to the front porch from the car using my crutches.  I was convinced that I was going to fall.  At one point I quoted one of the dolls Buttercup used to own.  It was a doll that could stand up, but at one point would lose its balance and yell, "Woooaahh!  Catch me, Mommy!"

As I thought I was falling, I hollered, "Wooaah!  Catch me, Mommy!" and panicked, letting go of the crutches and grabbing hold of Phoenix, practically taking us both down.

So it felt like.

Apparently, Bryan had a death grip on me from behind and I never lost my balance at all.

As I came to the front door, Bryan warned me of the little bump going into the house.  He said, "Watch out for the threshold."

I stopped, completely confused.

"That's called a threshold?"

After I cleared that hurdle, I had to stop and scratch my nose.

According to the children, I said, "This anesthesia is making my nose itch.  Or giving me boogers," as I scratched and rubbed my nose to death.

Since arriving home, I haven't left the couch except to go to the bathroom.

I drift in and out of sleep with astonishing speed.

To illustrate, a photo Bryan couldn't resist taking...

I was eating my first cup of much-anticipated pudding...

when I passed out cold.

I woke up sometime later, still holding the pudding and the spoon, to finish eating as if nothing odd had happened.

I've been icing my knee.

And doing the exercises as best I can.

The first time I went to the bathroom unaided, I fell.

Thankfully, I had chosen to get "the block" before I left OrthoIndy.  (Chosen in this case used very loosely.  I couldn't focus on much of anything at the time, and was pretty much led to the decision by Bryan and the anesthesiologist.)

They were the two worst shots I have ever had in my life, but they meant my leg was completely numb for 24 hours.

I fell hard enough to bend the metal bars in my brace, but I never felt a thing.

Even my pride wasn't hurt too bad, seeing as how I had managed to get my pants back up before I fell.

I was allowed to take the dressing off yesterday.

Wanna see?

If not, scroll by real fast.

I wrote that "yes" on my leg before surgery.

They gave me the marker and told me to.

The rest was all them.

Once I was mostly coherent at home, Bryan recounted the conversation I had supposedly had with the doctor.  I supposedly at graham crackers, too.

I remember none of it.

The one meniscus tear wasn't repaired.  He just cut off a flap of tissue.

The other meniscus tear was sutured back together.

The ACL was a torn-up mess.  He had a lot of cleaning up to do before he fixed it.

And guess how he fixed it.

With donor tissue.

I'm still too groggy to really think that through, but I'm awake enough to be blown away by the information.

I'll be writing a thank you to the family once I'm less medicated.


I think I've said all I need to say at this point.

I know many of you have been praying for me and wondering how the surgery went.

Thank you.  It is amazing how calming it was to know people were praying for me.

I'm going back to sleep now.

Have a lovely day!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

M-O-R-A-T-O-R-I-U-M! What's That Spell? (TToT #55)

Mommy gets a break!

My favorite word for 2014 is moratorium.

It has been the oddest summer of all time.  The kids have been out of school for an entire month, and we still haven't been to the pool.  Between the knee injury/therapy, Turken playing baseball, Buttercup's unexpected trip to Kansas with her soccer team, and our trip to Europe, nothing is normal.  To make it even more "fun", we now have 2 kids in high school, trying out for the 2 soccer teams (one male, one female), each with a new coach.  Practices have been going on since the beginning of June, and they have to go to all of them in order to not repeat the disaster of last year's tryouts.  It means many trips to the high school each week, usually during dinner time.

In high school, there is a wonderful thing called "moratorium".  No high school teams are allowed to have practice of any kind during moratorium week.  This year, it just happens to fall the week after baseball is over and the one week I don't have therapy.  And because I managed to fit all 7 dentist appointments in before I left for Europe, we have an entire week without a single thing on the calendar.



Not one darn thing.

Basically, it's what the entire summer used to be.

That right there could be my entire list of 10 things, but what fun is that?

To the list!

2.  We've had time to start attacking the jungle our yard has become.  No joke, there were weeds next to the house taller than Cuckoo.  Between the 6 and a half inches of rain this June, my absence from home, and Buttercup's mowing ability (She doesn't do edges, so around all trees, buildings, and fences are 2-foot wide areas of weeds the size of trees.) our yard looks like an abandoned property.  We began the process of rectifying that.  Once an area was cleared, we put some mulch down.  No planting occurred, but the mulch is there acting as a place holder for future planting.

3.  My surgery was rescheduled for next week, so I get to go to my dad's big 4th of July party in Ohio after all.  (FYI to any would-be burglars:  Bryan isn't going.  He's staying home to work.)  I don't think I could have survived another photo like this one my dad took last year when not one person came to his house for the 4th.

When he posted this on facebook with the message "Happy 4th of July" our entire family (about 50 people) got on the phone and decided the 10th of August was a great day to celebrate the 4th of July.

4.  The kids were able to have friends over.  With practices and appointments and just everything, my kids rarely get to have friends to spend the night.  On Tuesday, we had three extra kids here.  I loved it.

5.  With no practices, I've been able to make dinners.  We've eaten well every night this week.

6.  My friend who is temporarily (for three years) living in Japan is back for a visit, and I've been able to meet up with her three times already, twice of them just this week.  With a 13 hour time difference, we don't get to chat on the phone very often.  It's been so nice to catch up with her again.

7.  The weather has been perfectly lovely.  The beginning of the week was the usual hot and muggy, but the end of the week has been pleasantly cool.  Like high of 70 cool.  Very unusual for this time of year, but I'll take it!

8.  Mulberry season is upon us.  We have at least 15 mulberry trees on our property, and the fruit is starting to ripen.  We've been picking them daily.  Some we've given to the chickens right away, but most have been put into a frozen "pie" for a later this year.

9.  I used to be so good about printing photos and putting them in the kids' albums.  The last two years, not so much.  (Basically, when I really got into this blogging thing, I stopped.  So many photos are on the blog, I put it at the bottom of the priority list.)  However, my friend Jen had been on facebook warning everyone to back up their computers.  She has lost months worth of photos because she's had computers crash twice.  Between that and our internet service not working well for several days, I took the time to go through a bunch of them.  I deleted many and made a list of ones I want to print.  I even downloaded some onto the stores' site in preparation for printing.

10.  Did I mention it's moratorium week?  I love moratorium week.

Your turn!  What has put a smile on your face this week?

To my American readers, Happy 4th of July!  To everyone else, Happy normal weekend!  

Either way, have a lovely day.

Ten Things of Thankful

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