Friday, November 30, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 30

Well - we made it to day 30.  I have found it helpful to reflect on all the things I do have rather than the things I don't - but I am also kind of thankful that today is the last day of being thankful :)

Today I am thankful for:


- air conditioning + cricket + corn chips and salsa + pepsi max - on a Friday no less;

- that it didn't get as hot as predicted today - I was unsure about whether to send Ashlea to school in 40 degree heat;

- Ashlea's participation in the Annual Mayoral Boccia Challenge at school - complete with medal;

- that Audrey ASKED to watch Ashlea play Boccia - I love that she wanted to see her sister play AND that she had the confidence to ask;

- sprinklers, wading pools, hoses and neighbours to spend warm afternoons with;

- the fact that tomorrow is the 1st of December which makes it Christmas Tree Day in our house;

- did I mention it's Friday;

- the reminder from this challenge that I really do have much to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 29

Today I am thankful for:

- an encouraging interview with Audrey's teacher who assures me Audrey is smack bang in the middle of the range expected for kindergarten;

- hearing that Audrey has blossomed in confidence at school this year - in no small part due to the fantastic teacher she has had;

- teacher's Christmas presents ordered from Tear Fund and Samaritans Purse (surely they don't need more chocolate and trinkets??);

- not bothering to do any tidying today and not feeling guilty about it (I often feel like I have to be doing something if I'm home alone);

- being home alone;

- salt free cake pops made;

- and taste tested in peace before the kids got home;

- a very civilised end to Thursday night dinner - often Kate and I let the kids play for just that extra few minutes that results in chaos - tonight we timed it to perfection;

- confirmation that the spa has been ordered;

- sprinkler fun on a hot day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 28

Today I am thankful for:

- a gift card in the mail;

- an encouraging meeting with Ashlea's Vision Support Teacher to discuss goals for next year;

- meeting our local Lions Club member to discuss how they can help us;

- dinner out tonight with my fabulous bible study ladies;

- roast chicken delivered at dinner time for the rest of the family;

- FOUR loads of laundry dealt with (although I don't feel like that really counts in the 12 Days of Tidying as it is just an everyday occurrence rather than a Special Tidy);

- FIVE fridge shelves cleaned;

- every so often being able to harness the energy of PMT for good rather than evil (hence the 12 Days of Tidying);

- a quick jump on a jumping castle this afternoon;

- and transplant pioneer Joseph E Murray who passed away this week.  Thank God for men like him.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 27

Today I am thankful for:

- THREE children's bedrooms tidied (in keeping with my 12 days of cleaning theme);

- TWO lost objects found - a library book and Ashlea's glasses.  Sadly I can't take the credit for finding Ashlea's glasses - they were found in the playground where she had discarded them last Friday;

- the house to myself for a few hours;

- an entire day of walking for Ashlea at school today;

- Ashlea's determination (otherwise known as strong willed stubborness);

- her laugh:

- how her laugh makes us all laugh (hence the dodgy video quality - I was laughing too much).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 26

Today I am thankful for:

- local kidney friends who helped me out with last night's pump emergency;

- having gotten changed out of my pyjamas before going to get the pump when I saw the RBT out in force;

- one child finished homework for the year;

- hearing how excited Emma's classmates were to see Ashlea in her walker at school today.  I LOVE it when kids see Ashlea in her walker for the first time and are so excited for her;

- one cupboard tidied.  I'm hoping it might turn into the 12 Days of Tidying but so far it is just ONE tidy cupboard;

Now I can find the pepsi max and
salt free chippies

- time to talk and pray with a fellow traveller;

- an invitation to a midnight launch party (made me feel cool for a minute until I thought about all the sleep I'd miss);

- 4 mangoes for $4;

- an umbrella offered during a downpour - it was a very brief downpour but of course I was caught out in it - straight hair and all;

- an unexpected meal delivered at dinner time that included a loaf of banana bread for afters.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 25

Today I am thankful for:

- the one month countdown until Christmas - we are getting excited early this year;

- a successful button change for Ashlea - I hate doing it so put it off for as long as possible - but it's done now;

- a very messy house brought under some semblance of control before the start of the school week;

- an hour or so to sit inside in the air conditioning and watch the cricket - made even more enjoyable by the fact that the Aussies are doing well;

- BBQ lunches;

- the delight that is the wading pool on a hot day;

- daylight savings;

- dinner outside on a warm summer evening;

- duck love in stero.

I have a random question for you tonight too.  I don't suppose anyone in my neck of the woods has an unused Kangaroo pump lying around?  Ashlea's pump crapped itself tonight meaning I will have to manually give her feeds throughout the night tonight.  I'm not expecting anyone to actually have one but you never know with the internetz so I thought I'd ask!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 24

Today I am thankful for:

- a spot of Christmas shopping done;

- a spa chosen;

- the adventure of taking Ashlea into the shops in her walker.  I asked her if she wanted to walk or wheel and she said Walk!  I wasn't convinced that would be such a good idea and was umming and aahing about what to do when Ashlea piped up again with SHE SAID WALK!  So she walked;

- not too many people's heels clipped;

- the love of a girl and her duck - we found her favourite toy in the shop;

- getting out of Toys R Us alive (and possibly with a new ABC Duck...);

- a good idea from Aunty Carolin about how the Lions Club offer of yesterday could be put to use (shade cloth over the spa);

- dinner tonight with my Christian Special Needs Mums group - a great bunch of women who truly get it;

- that Aunty Carolin is home tonight to do the bedtime medication routine meaning I don't have to wait until Ashlea is in bed to go out.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 23

Originally I had planned to have a quiet day today - I ended up having quite a busy day, but am thankful I got a lot done.

Today I am thankful for:

- grocery shopping done, lunches made and uniforms washed (already I know!);

- a phone call from our local Lions club offering assistance;

- a phone call from our local Spa Man to discuss Miss Ashlea's wish.  What do you think?  We want one that is flat-ish so she can stand up and hold on to the edge:

This one has more 'flat' areas 

But this one is apparently 'better'...

- encouraging news from Emma's teacher that she hasn't fallen behind at school in spite of the year she's had.  In fact she is bright enough to go into the extension class - however this is where having anxiety really bites - she is nowhere near mature enough to cope so will stay in a regular class.  I don't think I care that she won't be in that class - the fact that she is smart enough to be there is enough;

- NAS corn chips with NAS salsa - a rare treat that the rest of you would probably say tastes like cardboard with chili on top but to me is delicious;

- the anticipation of a trash TV marathon tonight - I Didn't Know I was Pregnant - TV Gold;

- Friday night toy room sleepover for the girls;

- the anticipation of a quiet weekend;

- and the relief of discovering that we didn't miss the ice cream man today - he was just running late.  Phew!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 22

Today I am thankful for:

- coffee with a mum who gets it;

- a quick catch up with someone I haven't seen for ages - the poor guy hadn't heard any of our news so was left a bit shell shocked I think;

- Ashlea's vision support teacher who regularly emails me snippets from the classroom.  This is what Ashlea made on the computer at school today:

- the arrival of the Perfect Pet.  We got offered this gorgeous pet rabbit.  What makes him the Perfect Pet for us is that he is going to live next door with the neighbours - we will get to play with him and they will get to clean his poop;

- the fact that I managed to convince my kids that it was actually a good thing that the bunny was going to live next door thus avoiding me having to say no way are we getting a rabbit;

- Super Neighbours Kate & Greg - need I say more;

- no added salt nachos for dinner;

- another catch up with someone else I haven't seen for ages;

- the anticipation of a quiet day planned for tomorrow (I probably shouldn't say that out loud should I?).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 21

Apparently today is World Television Day (the internet told me so it must be true).  I'm not quite sure what the point of the day is - but as someone with a love of television I thought I would add it to my list of things to be thankful for.

Today I am thankful for:

- the large screen TV handed down to us by friends when they upgraded;

- that it is so big I can even read the screen without my glasses;

- the mind numbing chill out time provided by the big TV;

- the peace and quiet that Peppa Pig and the Teletubbies on the small TV bring;

- Emma's bravery at anxiety therapy last night.  We went on a field trip and engaged in 'high risk' behaviour - eating scary foods (the last sushi roll at the end of the day), touching garbage bins and hand rails and all sorts of things and then eating, riding escalators alone and sitting in a pitch black movie theatre;

Yum - Salmonella Sushi Roll

- my own bravery at letting her do all those things.  Anyone who knows me well will know how I feel about dodgy sushi rolls and how I like to wash my hands after touching everything at the shops.  I kept my mouth shut (except for encouraging Emma) - although I may have been sanitizing my hands whenever her back was turned;

- that maybe the anxiety therapists are right - maybe nothing really bad happens when you do those scary things (I am not 100% convinced yet.... but it seems they might be on to something - we are all still standing);

- Centrelink dealings taken care of for another 3 months;

- a huge walking day for Ashlea at school today - apparently she was out of her wheelchair from recess until home time!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 20

Today I am thankful for:

- a cultured wee specimen that proved I was right - Ashlea does have a UTI - and while I'm not glad she's got one I am glad my instinct was right!  I need to rely on it a lot with her as she does not let on that anything is wrong until it is VERY wrong;

- a creatinine of 36 in spite of the UTI;

- knowing how to work the hospital system;

Watch the triage nurse shoot out from behind her desk
when I arrive wearing a mask

- an invitation to an event for special kids - Dream Night at the Zoo - I don't have any more details other than it is a special evening at the zoo for sick kids.  Only 50 children from our hospital get chosen and we were one of the lucky ones!

- Super Neighbour Kate starting her Christmas puddings early - and having one that needed taste testing;

- Emma's enthusiasm for school band;

Of course my child is the one that can't get a noise out of the flute
but aced the trumpet

- forgiving neighbours;

- industrial strength headphones;

- the hint of a whiff of a rumour that we might be nearing the top of the home mods list - meaning a wheelchair accessible bathroom could be on it's way!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 19 - World Toilet Day

I wonder how many of you know that today is World Toilet Day?

Let us all give thanks for the blessing that is sanitation and running water!!!

Today I am thankful for:

- not one, but two working toilets in our house (although ours are in separate rooms thankfully - not like the ones pictured);

- plumbing;

- clean, running water;

- toilet paper;

- hot showers;

- soap and hand sanitizer;

- disposable nappies and wipes;

- disinfectant and bleach!

In other news I am thankful that:

- Ashlea and I were in and out of the ED in under 3 hours last night;

- they got a clean catch of wee (a rare and prized specimen);

- that she doesn't appear to have a UTI - or if she does it is very mild.

Now, back to the toilets.

Did you know that for just $25 you can give someone the gift of clean drinking water?  Or for $70 you can give someone a toilet?  As someone who loves all things sanitary I have taken great delight in giving the gift of a toilet!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 18

Today I am thankful for:

- a generous gift that means that I won't need to increase my days at work in order for us to keep paying the mortgage (that's the weight being lifted bit from yesterday).  I was worried I'd have to increase my days and that my head would explode from the stress;

- a flexible employer who has generously allowed me to care for my family on paid leave for the last 6 months;

- a flexible job to go back to that includes the ability to work from home;

- lunch with a friend;

- the kind of friend who stays and entertains your kids for the entire afternoon;

See - they're in their pj's and still being entertained!

- leftovers for dinner;

- wee catching bags and wee successfully caught (no easy feat let me tell you);

- kidney peeps bearing pee sticks to check for UTIs thus allowing me to avoid a potential Sunday night trip to the ED;

- the reassurance of knowing that if we do need to go to the ED (which we don't by the way) that it is only 10 minutes down the road.

And we pushed our luck too far...

LATE UPDATE - spoke to soon - going to the ED with suspected UTI...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 17 - World Prematurity Day

Today is World Prematurity Day.

Did you know that:

- 15 million babies are born too soon every year;

- 1 million die due to complications of prematurity;

- over 90% of extremely preterm babies (born less than 28 weeks) born in wealthy countries survive whereas over 90% of extremely preterm babies born in poorer countries die within the first few days of life.

Today I am thankful for:

- my amazing premature babies;

- the fact that I live in Australia and have access to such good quality health care - my girls would not be alive without it;

- Medicare (our universal healthcare system) - which has paid for all of my girls health care - from their early birth through to Ashlea's kidney transplant (can you imagine what the tally would be by now???);

- a pyjama day;

- followed by a lamb roast for dinner;

- the first cherries of the season;

- a perfect Christmas gift found for Ashlea (Talking Tom is now a toy as well as an app - who knew?);

- another little ex-prem getting so close to her goal of independent walking;

- a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

I tried to get a cute picture of my ex-prems holding a photo of themselves as babies...

You can imagine how that turned out can't you...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 16

Today I am thankful for:

- the pink driveway - at our school children with disabilities are allowed to use the UNDERCOVER pink driveway - which is all kinds of awesome on rainy days like today;

- a super fun day at school for Emma - her teacher was away today so her class got split up and she got to be in Kindy with Audrey;

- kids showered and into their pj's by 4:30 on a Friday afternoon;

- antihistamine eye drops - I never knew these existed but I'm hoping they will help me be less allergic to my knitting;

- the supportive special needs community - we celebrate each other's milestones and grieve each other's losses - and for those of you who pray please keep a mumma in your prayers - her precious boy lost his battle today;

- surprise packages that arrive in the mail from members of the special needs community - thanks Bron! The girls love the clothes and the itunes voucher - they are browsing the app store right now (Star Wars Angry Birds is top of the download list);

- that the lovely lady who delivers my fruit and veg on a Friday also happens to be a GP and obliged me by listening to Ashlea's chest this afternoon;

- that Ashlea's chest is clear despite her horrid sounding cough;

- that we still have Ashlea with us;

- that we know there is something so much better to come - a place where:
No more shall there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not fill out his days.  (Isaiah 65:20)

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 15

Today I am thankful for:

- a potential source of funding to get Ashlea a swingset;

Can you believe this costs $800 just for the seat???

- the neighbour's swingset to use in the meantime;

- the fact that even though Ashlea is getting way too big for the neighbour's swingset we haven't had to call the fire brigade to cut her out of it - yet;

- encouraging news on the spa front;

- bumping into a friend at the shops - which sounds like such a little thing - but some days when you think how on earth am I going to get through the day God provides a friend at just the right time;

- time for a quick nanna nap before school pickup;

- the patience of Emma's teacher who has been put through her paces this year with Emma's anxiety.  Today she had to tape 3x1m rulers together to retrieve one of Emma's things from the classroom roof;

- Ashlea's ability to amuse herself for hours by yelling POO at the ipad so that it mimics her;

- dinner outside on a beautiful spring evening;

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 14 - the Aunty Carolin edition

I am devoting today's thankful post to my sister Carolin who helps us in so many ways.  Thank you Aunty Carolin for:

- baby sitting - particularly during emergencies but also so we can go out and do fun things occasionally;

- paying our bills (I kid you not - seeing as Murray is not working at the moment and we can't afford to live she is propping us up big time);

- manning the buckets for Emma and Audrey during the last gastro plague while I was at the hospital with Ashlea and Murray was still in rehab;

- introducing the girls to the Chocolate Cafe (Max Brenner);

- and Abba Singstar;

- being my shopping and photography companion;

- letting me raid her stash of Pepsi Max when mine runs out;

- never complaining about the little voice at the bottom of the stairs  calling out "Aunty Calolin - what doing?"

- and all the many things that come with living upstairs from us - ranging from front yard explosions to back yards full of bat poo - and everything else in between.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 13 - Thank U NICU Day

Did you know that today is Thank U Nicu Day???

I am so thankful for the RPA Newborn Care Nursery.

I am thankful for the doctors and nurses who took such good care of our tiny babies during their stay there.

I am thankful for the special nurses who also went out of their way to look after us as parents.

I am thankful for my high risk obstetrician who limped my pregnancy along for as long as possible but then made the decision to get the girls out while there was still a chance for them to survive.

I am thankful for everyone - from the most senior doctor right down to the lowliest cleaner - my girls would not be alive without all of the hard work and dedication of all the staff there.

Mostly I am thankful to the NICU for the life altering change in perspective that came from watching my girls fight for their lives.  Don't get me wrong - it's not something I'd recommend - but watching a tiny 500gm baby fight for their life is both terrifying and awe inspiring.  The NICU provided a clarifying moment in my life - a moment where it was so clear that God is the one who is in control - not me.  There was nothing I could humanly do to add even a minute to my girls lives - although if it were possible I would have done anything to accomplish that!  All I could do was pray.  It wasn't even praying really - more like begging.  Please God just let me keep them.  I am beyond thankful that He did.

There is a verse in the bible that I like to take totally out of context and apply to Ashlea and I.  In the original verion Paul is talking about his friend who was sick and nearly died - but I like to substitute mine and Ashlea's names so that it reads like this:

Indeed she was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on her, and not on her only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.  (Phil 2:27)

I know that the original writer did not have Ashlea and I in mind when he wrote but that verse sums up how I feel about our NICU journey.  Ashlea was ill.  She almost died.  But God had mercy on her - and not only on her, but also on ME - to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.

For that I am thankful beyond words.

Here is a video of little Ashlea's NICU Journey:

Gonna sneak this in for Wordless  Wednesday - even though it's neither wordless or Wednesday - sorry Trish!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 12

Today I am thankful for:

- a friend walking a surprisingly similar path to my own to pray with;

- the fun of school assembly - Audrey's class performed today - it was very cute.  I can't believe that my babies are nearly ready for year 1 and that was my last kindy assembly;

- casting for new AFOs completed with minimal fuss (not completely fuss free as that's not Ashlea's style);

- hot chips for lunch;

- while reading the junk mail (anyone else like reading catalogues?);

- an improvement in the cricket score today;

- an unexpected meal delivered just in time for dinner;

- that the little fuss pots actually ate said dinner;

- a new computer game (that one was from Murray - not me);

- Ashlea's cleverness.  Here she is walking up and down our ramp.  I never thought this would be possible but her previous physio used to practise with her all the time - so we made this video for her to show her she was right:

I've also shown this to her current phsysio as I am worried about the turn in her left foot.  CP Mums - do you know if botox can help with that or are we looking at surgery??

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 11

Today is Remembrance Day.  I am thankful for:

- all the Australian men and women who have served our county;

- in particular I am thankful for my Grandfather and his brother who served at Gallipoli and on the Western Front in World War 1;

- their other brother who was imprisoned on the Thai Burma railway in World War 2;

- and my Grandfather's eldest son who died in New Guinea also in World War 2;

- the resulting freedom to vote, think, speak and worship however I choose;

- lazy  Sunday afternoons in the backyard;

- a little brother for my girls.  I can hear you all falling off your chairs - don't panic!  I'm not having a baby boy!  I'm talking about this little guy from next door (Super Neighbour Boy Child?) - he is the little brother my girls don't have.  Here he is nicking off with Ashlea's walker.  His other favourite activity is to chase Emma mercilessly;

- friends who ask how you're going and actually want to know the answer;

- and then listen while you have a 20 minute rant;

- mates who persist in their friendship with Murray regardless of his brain injury.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 10

Today I am thankful for:

- a quiet day at home;

- a visit from Grandma;

- a Grandma who brings not one but TWO chocolate cakes with her when she visits;

- and gifts of cash to put towards the kids Christmas presents;

- that Grandma has more patience for having her photo taken than other family members who shall remain nameless;

- that we have so far remained nit free despite the apparent infestation in Emma's class (although I can't tell you how itchy my head gets every time I even think the word nits);

- tissues - running out of tissues during a snot-fest has made me appreciate them anew;

- the smell of salt-free raisin bread baking in the bread maker;

- my bread maker;

- electricity to power all the things I consider necessities - like bread makers, coffee machines, computers, TVs etc - none of which are actual necessities.

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 9

Today I am thankful for:

- the first day of the first cricket test of the season;

- lunch with a mum 'in the know';

- that the random jolt of dizziness that threatened to throw me off my chair at lunch didn't turn into a full blown spinning attack;

- especially thankful as I had to drive down the M2 to get home;

- Cadbury Rocky Road chocolate;

- the listening ear of a friend who has known me for a very long time;

- knitting progress - ONE finished square!  At the rate I'm going this blanket might actually get finished within the decade;

- the anticipation of waiting for the home ice cream man - who very cannily just happens to appear in our street at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon - just when all the kids have arrived home from school;

- a generous friend of Carolin's who paid our electricity bill;

- and this man - Dr Bill Kitchen - whose obituary I read today.  It states:  By his work he touched a large number of people who never even met him; many thousands of prematurely born Australians have him to thank for their current health and indeed their lives. He leaves a huge legacy.  Even though I never met this man I am thankful for people like him and their contribution to modern medicine which has had a direct impact on my family.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 8

Today I am thankful for:

- the fun that is crazy hair day at school;

- one child with manageable hair - you would think crazy hair day would be perfect for Ashlea as it is her hair's natural state - but alas my attempt at a pink mohawk was a total fail;

- a few hours child / husband / appointment free;

- black gold - how it has taken a whole week for Pepsi Max to make it onto the list I'll never know;

- the escape that is Thursday night shopping;

- another gift card in the mail;

- another little boy receiving a new kidney right now;

- funding $$ available that make it possible to buy Ashlea a touch screen computer to do her school work on;

- free ipad apps;

- an invitation to the Bear Cottage Christmas party.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 7

Today I am thankful for:

- kidney friends to share the kidney journey with;

- scones with jam and cream while discussing the kidney journey;

- 3 children's lives transformed by the gift of a life saving kidney from their dad;

- Dr Shun and Dr Thomas - the amazing transplant surgeons who operated on our children;

- home work done and dusted for another week (note I am not thankful for the actual homework just that we have finished it for the week);

- Ashlea's unique way with words.  She often refers to herself as Baby Duck or Baby Chick and then to me as Mumma Duck or Mumma Chick.  It is very cute.  Recently however she has added some new characters to her repertoire and has started referring to herself as Peppa Pig or Winnie the Pooh.  Let me tell you that Mumma Pig - or worse still - Mumma Pooh - do not have the same cute ring to them;

- my women's bible study group who meet at my house so I can attend;

- paperwork filled in and posted for Ashlea's Starlight Wish;

- major Wish anticipation from Ashlea.  She keeps asking me "How many until the spa?";

- charities like Starlight who make Wishes possible.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 6

Today I am thankful for:

- blood collectors who get the vein first go;

- that Ashlea is such a pro at blood tests now that she barely utters a whimper;

- the fantastic medical care Ashlea has received since the day she was born;

- her beautiful new kidney and the beautiful kidney numbers it gives (creatinine 41 tac level 7.7 - all good);

- good coffee to drink while waiting for Ashlea to do a wee;

- a wee finally caught;

- the Cool Kids anxiety program I am doing with Emma - it is really giving us some helpful tools to manage the beast that is anxiety;

- school mums who take Audrey to and from karate every Tuesday afternoon so I can take Emma to Cool Kids;

- that Audrey got a place in the Australian Girls Choir for next year;

- for Audrey and her easy going nature.

We have dubbed her the Singing Ninja due to her love of karate and singing.  It's funny because Audrey hates public speaking and cringes at the thought of getting up to speak in class but apparently has no problem with serenading the whole class with numbers from The Sound of Music.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 5 + Writing Prompt

This week's writing prompt is What Gives You Life?

I found it a really hard topic to write about - partly because I don't feel particularly lively at the moment.  On the contrary I feel stressed and overwhelmed and bogged down by all the things facing our family.  That is why I decided to do the 30 Days of Thankfulness in the first place - not because things are fabulous and I want to flaunt it to the world, but because things are rough and I want to try and focus on what I do have rather than what I don't have in the hope that it helps me stay afloat.

So rather than writing a proper What Gives You Life post I am going to use the topic as my theme for todays thankfulness - and that way you can also be thankful as you won't have to read two posts from me :)

Today I am thankful for:

- God - who is ultimately the One who gives me life - by both sustaining my earthly life and giving me new life in Christ;

- signs of new life this spring - even in deepest darkest suburbia - although Kate next door has a bit of a magpie phobia so she probably doesn't want to know that they have successfully added to their numbers again this year;

How cute and harmless do I look?

- my three cheeky monkeys - who I sometimes feel suck the life out of me - but in reality give me life because they give me a reason and motivation to keep going no matter how difficult things become;

- caffeine - which doesn't technically give me life but does make me feel more alive;

- this little duck's determination and courage in life;

How cute and harmless do I look???

- photography, blogging and general time wastery on the internet that provide an outlet from the stresses of daily life;

- the encouragement of finding friends therein who are also rising to the occasion of facing challenges in their lives;

- life sustaining meals prepared and delivered by people with 4 children of their own who really don't have the time to be preparing and delivering extra meals;

- life giving words found in the bible - and the freedom we have to read them in Australia;

- knowing that we are being supported by the prayers and well wishes of so many people as we travel this road in life - and more importantly - that the life to come does NOT contain any bumps in the road!

What are you thankful for today?

{Ellen's Writing Prompt}

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 4

Today I am thankful for:

- my GHD hair straightener:

- long stretches of dry sunny weather courtesy of El Nino (as only the truly frizzy haired can appreciate);

- Ashlea's first school friend party;

- with dress ups no less;

- and siblings too;

- that Ashlea is oblivious to the lure of Halloween;

- the quirkiness that is Ashlea.  I asked her today what she wanted for Christmas.  A kitten she said.  A singing kitten;

- school lunches made for the week - although that makes me sound more organised than I really am - in reality it is just a bunch of ham sandwiches in the freezer;

- freedom to attend church without fearing for my safety;

- for our church family who have supported us since the first day we arrived.

What are you thankful for today?  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 3

Today I am thankful for:

- a Dodo day;

- the  peace that ipads bring to the household;

- a big walk for Ashlea at the shops - actually her first time ever at the shops in her walker.  Needless to say we didn't stay too long as she wanted to look in;

- the cafe we were in being pretty much empty when Ashlea let rip with a series of loud, smelly bombs;

- hot cups of tea;

- my washing machine (I was watching one of those TV shows about the Amish and it made me thankful for all the mod-cons in my house - but seeing as it is uniform washing day I will single out the washing machine for particular mention);

- reality TV shows about Amish people or people who didn't know they were pregnant (a personal favourite);

- the luxury of grocery shopping alone;

- living in a country with an abundance of places to buy an abundance of affordable, healthy food;

- organ donors:

Just a father and mother kissing their dying little girl goodbye. If you are wondering why all the medic people are bowing: in less than an hour, two small children in the next room are able to live thanks to the little girl's kidney and liver.  Full Story.

What are you thankful for today?

PS You can sign up to be an organ donor here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankfulness - Day 2

Today I am thankful for:

- the fact that it is Friday;

- clever people who invent painkillers;

- that I'm such a lightweight that two panadeine see me off my face for several hours - and that all 3 children had a full day at school so I could enjoy said effects of panadeine;

- home care workers who come and clean house so that I don't have to;

- Christmas shopping started;

- a delivery of (free) fruit and veg;

- the delight that is the first mango of the season;

- take away for dinner;

- Optional Indoor Screen Time (the opposite of COFT);

- and these two - who when I asked them for ideas for my thankful list said Mum you can be thankful that God loves you.  You should put that everyday.  That never changes.

I am also very thankful that some of you are willing to join me in being thankful.  I tried to get a linky for those who want to leave blog links - I haven't tried it out though so we'll see if it works!

I'd love to hear what you're thankful for.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 1

As someone who is generally better at practising grumbliness than thankfulness I have decided that for the month of November I am going to try being thankful.  Everyday.  Surely it can't be that hard to come up with some things to be thankful for?  Often I find it easier to focus on what I don't have - but seriously compared to a very large percentage of the world's population - I have plenty.  Way more than plenty.

To kick off today I am thankful for...

- warm, sunny spring days;

- the therapy that is knitting and nattering with a good friend - alternatively known as a stitch and b*tch session;

- that the things I was looking forward to this week have actually happened - coffee with a friend, a fun kindy excursion and a day at home to myself (total luxury);

- Thursday dinners with Super Neighbours Kate & Greg;

- a party invitation for Miss Ashlea;

- angels in disguise - also known as lovely friends who pay for your car repairs;

- a Coles voucher in the letter box;

- a house to live in that hasn't recently been inundated by flood, fire or storm;

- enough Kangaroo pump bags in my supply cupboard to allow me to use a fresh one every day for the rest of the year (it's the little things people);

- that I have a nice clean desk job to go back to.

This is Ashlea milking the cow on the kindy farm excursion this week.  One poor farm girls job was to sit behind the cow with a bucket to catch it's poop and wee.  I think we can all be thankful that we don't have that job!

Want to join in?  Leave your thankfulness or a link to it in the comments.