Sunday, March 2, 2014

Look at Those Peaceful, Happy Animals, and other Thankful Things, TToT week 37

I am constantly impressed by the generosity of people.  Every time I turn around, I find people doing nice things for others.

Last week, I mentioned I was trying to come up with a new header for the blog.  You know, because mine was baby poop colored.  Not one, but TWO reader friends offered to make a new one for me.  I told them they most certainly didn't have to do such a thing, as they are both busy ladies.  And then, not a week later, I found one in my inbox.  With a button to match!  (Although, I don't have the button up yet.  It's late.  I'll get to it.)

So, thank you, thank you, Julia, Mini Van Dreams...and Dirty Dishes for making such a pretty header for me.  My favorite part is how she made the pigs and chickens all free of their pens.  Don't be fooled.  This isn't a peaceful drawing.  If you look closely enough, you can see it in their eyes.  They are taunting me, the crazed woman just outside the drawing.  Daring me to try to round them up and put them back in their pens.

I could find 10 things for which to be thankful just with the new header as my topic, but it feels like cheating to me.


2.  I am thankful for our church's adult volleyball league.  There are so many fun people playing that I am guaranteed to have a good time each and every week.  We had our final games this evening, and while my team didn't win the championship, I am a winner...

3.  Because I made it through the entire season without injuring myself.

4.  I am thankful for friends with whom to carpool.  Phoenix had a soccer tournament two hours away this weekend, and with the game times being what they were, we chose not to spend the night Friday night.  We found out that his teammate's family wasn't staying either, so the moms and the boys drove down together.  It made the 4 hours of driving much more pleasant.

5.  I am thankful that the weather wasn't terribly horrible for his games.  Yes, they were outdoors.  Normally, when the winter isn't as brutal, this tournament isn't so bad.  Fortunately, we had a minor heat wave this weekend, getting up to almost 50 degrees, so his Saturday game was fine.  (Friday night was pretty cold, but there wasn't any wind or precipitation, so we called it a fine night.)

6.  I am thankful that the managers used their brains and cancelled the last day of games (Sunday).  It is predicted that we (and the city where he was playing) will get either 8 inches of snow or a bunch of ice through the day on Sunday.  Playing in THAT would have been miserable.

7.  I am thankful for the time I spent visiting with my brother and his family.  They needed a bigger vehicle, and we just happened to have a minivan sitting in our driveway collecting dust and an occasional mouse.  On Friday, he and his family came up to retrieve it, so the little boys and I were able to catch up with them and have some fun cousin time.

8.  I am thankful that the minivan made it back to Kentucky without breaking down.  That van had only been on the road for about 10 miles in the last 4 years, so I was a wee bit worried that it wouldn't make the drive.  I received confirmation that it ran fine, and they made it home without incident.

9.  I am thankful for Phoenix's new position on the high school volleyball team.  He is having a blast.  We all have a lot to learn about the sport, as it is a bit different than girls' volleyball.  I can't wait to see him play, which will be at their first scrimmage on Thursday.

10.  I am thankful for kids who do their chores with no reminders.  Star and Giant are rock stars when it comes to doing their daily chores and laundry each week.  It makes my days easier, that is for sure.

It's your turn!  What are you thankful for this week?

Ten Things of Thankful

Your hosts


  1. What a beautiful header....but I can totally see what you mean...the look of malevolence in the eyes! SCARY!
    What a nice brother gave me his van and was sure it woulddie but it lasted five years before I passedit on to a friend who ran it for another five! Nuthin like a free vehicle and paying it forward!

    1. Those aren't Wilbur-like pigs, for sure!
      I hope, I hope my minivan does as well as your brother's van did!

  2. Ooh, can I get Star and Giant please, and you can have my two girls who need at least a dozen reminders to do their chores! You should see the elder one's floor - actually you couldn't see it because it's covered in books and papers! She's going to tidy it soon! Really! But I have a feeling Star and Giant may not have hit teens yet, so maybe I best keep my two. (Besides, I love them, messy rooms and all!)

    Your new header is cool! Goes really well with the overall look of your blog. Now I can't remember what the old one looked like!

    1. No, thank you. I already have two other kids who need plenty of reminders. :) Star and Giant are getting really close to being teens, but not quite there. I'm not foreseeing too much change, though. They have always been neater than their sloppy siblings. At least with the right motivation. :)

      Isn't it? She did well. I'm not surprised you don't remember. It was completely boring.

  3. Love the new header, and I think the little piggies look so cute.

    I wish my son had been as good as Star and Giant when he was young. In his mid-teens his room was a permanent mess with no visible floor space, and after constant threats from me that I would throw everything away he finally tidied up - 'tidying up' meaning moving everything off the floor onto the bed. He then spent two months sleeping on the floor because he couldn't get into his bed! He finally saw the light when I threw everything out through the window into the garden! Fortunately he has improved with age, though he can still be messy at times - when he comes to stay his room sometimes looks like a student squat but he does tidy up before he leaves again.

    Glad to know that the minivan made it back to Kentucky in one piece and your brother and family will be able to make good use of it. I think it's always good to pass something on if it can be used and enjoyed by someone else.

    1. Me, too!

      Hahahahaha!!! If my daughter's window opened, I may have done the same thing. Instead, I took up a bunch of trash bags and took everything. I left her one pair of pajamas, school uniforms, and one other outfit. We are so mean, you and I. :)

      I have felt bad for 4 years about that van just sitting there. It makes me happy to give it to someone who can use it.

  4. Christine! I love the new header and can't wait to have the new button for my blogger mosaic!
    I love that you play volleyball and am happy to hear that you have made it through uninjured. Could you box up whatever you're feeding your kids that gets them to do their chores because around here, people be slackin'! I think it's awesome you were able to help your brother out with the minivan. I'm sure it makes life a lot easier for them!
    I always love reading your posts, Christine. I hope you have a wonderful week!

    1. Me, too! I will get right on the button. How sweet of you to put it on your mosaic!

      The motto of our church league is "Be Good or Be Fun". There are several "good", but thankfully, they are also fun. There's always fun. I never played volleyball before this, so I certainly fall into the fun category.

      As for the chores, last year I instituted a new motivation. Each Sunday we have a family meeting to outline the schedule for the week. They write down everything they need to do and when. If a child does everything on the schedule without being nagged to do it, that child gets $5 at our next scheduling meeting. It is the only allowance they get. To make it more important, I stopped paying for the little things they want to do. Star and Giant are loaded, while Buttercup and Phoenix are broke. I'm just happy to have two less kids to nag. :)

      Thank you, you sweet lady, you.

  5. Did you get the mouse smell out of the minivan?

    Glad it went alright though, all the way back to its new home. That's awesome.

    The new header is utterly utterly BEAUTIFUL, and the only thing missing is (I think) a possum, ambling along ready to terrify poor Cuckoo. Or get squished by something heavy that you threw.

    WELL DONE KIDS! They're doing good. Glad they're making your life easier :)

    Have a LOVELY rest of your weekend :)

    1. Febreeze and a good scrub of the solid surfaces made a world of difference. :)

      Very awesome. I was really worried.

      Hahahaha! An opossum, perhaps a bat or two, a coyote, and some mice would really make it real-life, wouldn't they?

      Yay responsible kids!

      Thank you!

  6. I too love your new header. What a nice thing for her to do. Awesome.

    I'm thankful for a fabulous week of smiles. I've gotten most of my chores done and I'm looking forward to a cruise to Benicia next week. Nothing better than being on our boat.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. It was such a nice surprise to find the header in my inbox. Julia is so kind.

      I don't think I could be more jealous of you and your boat than I am right this minute. I do hope you have a good time, though. :)

  7. Lovely header! Blends perfectly with the wood paneling :)!

  8. v cool on the header! (is it a false memory of mine that you had either a chicken or a pig on the roof of one of the pens, last year? could've sworn I read that here….and so the header just seems so right!).
    Maybe Winter will end before Independence Day!

    1. Great memory, Clark! The first thing I noticed when I saw the drawing was the chicken on the barn roof. I most certainly did write about that on this here blog!

      Crossing my fingers. Real tight.

  9. 1. Love the new header (reminds me of a Garth Williams illustration), but I do miss the baby poopiness of it. The color, not the content.

    3. I bet OrthoIndy misses you!

    5. Outdoor soccer? In February? In Indiana? You peoples are nuts.

    6. Our INDOOR volleyball tournament for today was canceled. Only about an inch of sleet and ice so far, but snow is on its way.

    7. So the old minivan isn't going to be Phoenix's ride when he turns 16? Bet he's disappointed (not).

    9. What position is he playing? How does boys vb differ? I've never seen it played, other than the pro-beach volleyball stuff, and that's not the same at all.

    1. (now that I've looked up Garth Williams) It does look like something Garth would do! Don't you lie to me. You do not miss the poopy color.

      They miss my entire family, I'm sure.

      You have no idea how nuts these people are. This tournament wasn't in Indy, but in Cincinnati. People from all over the midwest were there. Craziness. It's another reason I'm so excited for Phoenix to play volleyball.

      We got some snow and ice, but it seems to be quite a bit less than predicted. Nothing cancelled or delayed for tomorrow.

      No, the minivan wasn't going to be his ride. It fits too many people. He gets COW's current car. The one all torn up by the dogs going after opossums.

      Good grief. Asking questions already. I know nothing! When facing the net, he will be on the front right side. I think. Pretty sure. I know of two differences so far...the net is around 9 inches higher and there is one player who wears a different jersey. He is called the loredo (I have no idea how to spell it.) He can sub in for any player at any time as often as the coach wants him to.

    2. The one in the different jersey is the libero, if it's the same as girls. Can only go in backrow, though, but doesn't have to go through the whole "substitution" thing. Just runs in and out. There is also some rule about not being able to go in front of the 10 foot line and jump and hit, but I don't really understand it. That's my kid's position.

      Garth Williams did the beautiful illustrations in the Little House books and Charlotte's Web.

  10. I'm glad you didn't injure yourself during the volleyball season! I participated in a fun sports tournament between my company and a bank in 2012; actually only planned on playing soccer but then volunteered to play volleyball as well, only to get injured about 2 minutes into the game. Got a hard ball right on top of my middle finger and probably cracked my joint. It was so swollen the next day, I thought my skin would split :-) Isn't family time the best? Glad you got to spend some time with your cousin! Have a great new week, Christine!

    1. You and me both!
      Oh, no! That had to hurt! We were talking last night about how this is the first year in a long time that there wasn't an injury at some point during the season. Apparently, a bunch of old people playing like they are still in their 20s get hurt a lot. :)
      It is wonderful to spend time with family. (At least, most family. Some not so much.)

  11. You are very, very welcome my friend! As soon as I saw the picture I bust out laughing and knew I had to use it! I am so glad you are happy with it! I love doing them and it keeps me out of trouble - a little bit of a fun, creative break for this boring accountant. :-)


    1. It is a great header. As Clark said, I've even written about a chicken taunting us from the roof of the coop.

      Ack, you are no boring accountant! Well, you are an accountant, but you aren't boring! I know plenty of accountants (including two siblings) and you are nothing like the boring ones. :)

  12. I love the header - so cool. If you decide you miss the baby poopiness too much, you can always add some of that in. The color, I mean. Not actual poop.

    Have a great week!

    1. Nope, not missing the poo color at all. Thanks for the tip,though. :D


  13. I am now curious: how is boy volleyball different than girl volleyball? I am making a mental note to check back or ask around then next time I am out with sporty folk (which happens quite regularly as I am the sports rep for my alumni association). I was a swimmer, so team sports are sometimes lost on me, so this will give me a nice point of conversation that isn't centred around basketball or football (two big sports at my alma mater, which I have learnt quite a bit about in the last 3 years), so thanks for that.

    Your new header looks fabulous - and so wonderful that someone was kind enough to do one for you. I find blogland to be quite a wonderful place, once you figure it out :) Good people doing good things all 'round!

    Sounds like you had a great week!

    1. I haven't seen a game yet, so I don't know everything. I do know that the net is higher and there is a player who is allowed to sub in for anyone at any time. He wears a different colored jersey and everything.

      I'm with you on the team sports thing. I swam and ran track. So much easier to understand.

      Thanks! I had no idea when I started this blog that I would meet so many kind, fabulous people. It's an awesome discovery.

      Busy, but lots of good things, for sure.

  14. the new header is awesome! I love that rough, worn look. The animals don't look too ominous either. :-) What great friends you have, my dear. And as usual, a lovely 'thankful' list.

  15. I really really love your new header and Julia is a MUCH better artist than I am. I was just gonna do something with your fam, and well, I don't even know what I was gonna do but wanted to help :D Still will, if you want. Also your thankful kicksbutt. Because kids and sports being a theme is amazing. I so look forward to when Tucker is in sports. So much.
    I'm afraid to even mention the weather. We've already had school cancelled tomorrow for what is right now 45 degree rain. Guess they're expecting 1degree and an ice storm. Yay.
    Oh and chores? With no reminders? You win. :)

  16. Of course I noticed the header right away and very-nearly had a panic attack that I had missed it previously. But no, I'm not crazy. Well, maybe I am but this doesn't prove a thing.

    Glad you were able to avoid Sunday's ice/snow in the tournament...that would have been miserable for sure!

    Congrats to Phoenix...that's so fantastic. And kids that do chores without being told...what exactly is that like? Nevermind...I don't think I want to know...

    Still miss seeing you...Wednesday? Maybe?...

  17. You are so brave to play adult volleyball. I don't think I'd necessarily get injured aside from my ego. I would make such a fool of myself!

  18. I LOVE your new header!! Congrats to Phoenix! It's wonderful when they have something to occupy them! And kids who do chores without being told...I want some of those. Mine do them, but I HAVE to tell them. If I don't, it's like a free for all!

  19. You are so right. Your header looks awesome. And how neat that a blogger friend created it for you. I was going to comment lots on all your goings on and then got to the part about your children doing their chores. Wow. You must be doing many things right.


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