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My first blog & 1 - 235 (June 8, 2011)

I recently read a book that has completely changed my life. I wish I had all the time in the world to explain all the ways it has changed me. However, I have three kids three and under and a home business, Heavenly Bean Bags, - so, for now I'll start with sharing the book's website... Ann Voskamp, the author, challenged her readers to create a daily list of all the little blessings, gifts, precious moments in time we can think of. I gave it a shot. My life has never been the same.
This morning I decided that I would like to share my list daily (or as often as I am able) because I have found that not only does the list bring me incredible joy, it also sums up my life pretty well. There are so many people in my life that I love dearly and yet can't seem to find the time to communicate with as often as I would like. I thought that perhaps sharing my list would give them (which, if you are reading this, probably includes you), a glimpse into this amazingly blessed life I live.
Although Ann's book is called 1000 gifts, I have a feeling my list will exceed 1000 rather quickly (as hers did), so welcome to 10,000 gifts. Today I am going to post my entire list (it is a little over 200 gifts), but from here on out I will simply add new gifts as often as I can.
If you would like to read it in order, which I recommend, start at the bottom and work your way up. If reading this list seems a little overwhelming, don't worry, I won't be offended if you just read the blessings I add from here on out (or none of them, for that matter :).

235. Matt, Blake & Cole painting at the kitchen table
234. Bean bag orders
233. Matt remembering and specifically applying a principal we talked about in the marriage Sunday school class
232. Catching up on things I've been behind on (specifically laundry)
231. Blake making his own pbj sandwich
230. Blake - "UGH OH! That house is bwoken" referring to a burnt down house we passed while we were taking a walk
229. Binkys
228. Discovering new uses for old things (Infant ergo converter works in the stroller)
227. Teaching the boys "boom chicka boom"
226. Blake - "Mommy will you wub my head" after waking up from a nightmare screaming...then, both of us falling back asleep while I was doing so
225. Cole cracking up every time I put on his exema medicine
224. Blake & Cole discovering the Indian Sound
223. Being able to call my mom
221. Matt and I, Blake, Cole & Avonlea all snuggled up on Blake's bed
220. Evening walks after stressful days
219. That He draws us back to Him gently
218. That God is with us even when we are scared and not trusting in Him fully
217. The power of 15 minutes
216. Cole's spikes
215. Cole imitating me raising my eyebrows by scrunching up his face and squinting his eyes - SO CUT
214. Mornings when the boys sleep longer than I expected (so I get some quiet time (i mean that literally, not spiritually - though sometimes I choose more of that too :)
213.Anticipating a fun weekend (hopefully involving lots of time outdoors).
212.Knowing that even though I am sad that Avonlea is outgrowing her clothes already, it is because she is healthy and well.
211.Dinner plans changing when daddy wants pizza (and refrigerators and microwaves that keep the original plan from going to waste)
210.Dinner done by lunch for a whole week!
209.Crock pots and bread makers and the fact that I am actually using them
208.Being a visionary
207.The joy that a few cups of water and a big box of sand brings kids of all ages

206.Maddie and J.D. pushing Blake and Cole on the swings
205.Last minute park "dates" and the weather holding out when we thought it was going to rain
204.Blake's love for puzzles (and how long he'll sit and work on one or two or three)
203.Blake's enthusiasm over helping me use the electric can opener
202.Avonlea sleeping from 8 to 5 at 7 weeks old :) :)
201.Finding things I've lost - just in the nick of time
200.Enjoying cooking two days in a row (a miracle for me...I hate cooking but have been praying God would change my heart).
199.The three wonderful reasons that I don't have much time to spend working on my website
198.My new way of thinking (thanks to 1000 gifts and this Gratitude Community)- EXAMPLE:washed all my dishes, then found one i had forgot - started to get annoyed/upset - then i remembered to thank God that I have dishes, then I remembered that I had made potatoes in that dish and thanked Him for potatoes - then I remembered the movie "Faith like Potatoes" and I thanked God that each of my children are alive and well!
196.A lightning storm entertaining my boys for over a half an hour
195.A neighbors mailbox that says JOY
194.Sue likes my posts :)
193.Lots of new bean bag ideas - and enjoying pursuing them
192.Mardens and their fun, funky fabrics
191.A really fun Memorial day weekend despite most of our family being sick
190.Little boys covered in cookie dough
189.Finding a $200 train set for $5.00 at a yard sale
188.Alewives and little boys delighting in them
187.Free curbside finds
186.God leading us to the perfect SEO (search engine optimization) person and that he is letting us pay him in bean bags
185.Gods grace, Gods grace, Gods grace - oh, and did I mention God's grace?
184.Freedom in Christ
183.Freshly bathed babies, toddlers, and little boys
182.Creative opportunities
181.Children who ride well (in the car)
180.A deepening relationship with my sister
179.A husband who works hard, but also spends a lot of time with his family
178.A tiny hand clenched around my finger
177.Avonlea's eyes, and getting to see them a little bit more each day
176.A sick three year old snuggled between his mommy and daddy
175.The opportunity to use my "big girl brain" (anything that doesn't have to do with diapers, cleaning, or cooking)
174.Sick days reminding me how blessed I am that its only a virus
173.Exactly enough room in the dishwasher
5/25/11 (167-172)
172.Pizza, chips & friends to enjoy them with
171.Cole entertaining adult guests at a birthday party
170.Blake leading Cole across the street
169.An adventurous morning (bringing 3 kids with me while I had a mole removed)
168.Lost keys & a husbands grace (he left work and brought me his keys without me even asking)
167.A good attitude when everything was going wrong
5/24/11 (162-166)
166.A babysitter who is willing to come at the last minute, watch 3 kids (including a 1 month old) and who does an amazing job!
165.A husband who is strong enough to tell me to leave the baby at home even though I don't want to (cuz he knows its what i need)
164.A husband who notices I'm at my wits end and takes me on a date
163.Kids that are healthy enough to be a challenge
162.A really rough day bringing me back to my knees
5/23/11 (156-161)
161.Pink paper flowers on every nook and cranny, reminding me how much our family is loved
160.Apple blossom note cards
159.Gifts from the heart
158.Beautiful edible treats, a fresh bouquet of roses, apple blossoms (and the friends who put so much thought into Avonlea's shower)!
157.Friends coming from near and far
156. A blanket of blue flowers welcoming Avonlea's guests
155.Little boys staring in awe at those same little girls (quietly for 2 hours!)
154.Little girls shining as they twirl about in their beautiful ballet costumes
153.Waking up early to spend time with God - and actually wanting too!
152.Emailing Friends
151.Feeling Inspired
150.Fitting into my non maternity pants!
149.Cole "reading" books out loud.
148.Little kitchen helpers
147.Flowers growing out of rocks
146.Nights that I don't have to cook
145.Matt working on his artwork (after years of letting it slide)
144.God's HUGENESS! - I have been a Christian almost my whole life and yet there is SOOOO much more of God to get to know
143."All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you" - AND YOU STILL LOVE ME!
142. Matt and I holding both of our boys in the middle of the night after Blake had a really bad dream.
141. My health and the "check in my spirit" I got regarding my moles. So thankful we caught a bad one on time.
140. Babies that smack their lips after eating
139. Dishwashers
138. The promise that LORD makes firm the steps
of the one who delights (and the fact that we can delight in Him) in him;
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
137.Laughing till I cried in our marriage sunday school class
136.My ONE MONTH OLD daughter
135.Sitting in our church pew holding a sleeping toddler while rocking a sleeping infant
5/14/11 - (125 - 134)
134.Answered prayer
133.Three kids naps lining up
132.Country music
131.Avonlea's "lower lip droop" when she is COMPLETELY relaxed with my hand under her chin (for burping)
130.Family photo screen savers
129.Cole's first song (and big words) - "and I'm so happy, so very happy"...which he sings over and over and over :) :) :)
128.The amazing truths of God:
- He is our salvation
- He rescues us
- He delights in the well being of His servants
127.The documentary - "Babies"
126. Our pan rack made by my loving husband
125.Teddy bears on Avonlea's lap (lovingly placed their by her brothers)
124.Lecher baby hair
123.Rice cakes and Kashi bars
122.The fact that our God is: gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love
121.Big hugs from little boys (and one day a little girl)
120.Sacrificial friends
119.Self control - when I actually use it (or perhaps I should say God control...because I can't do anything apart from Him)
118.Praise & Worship with all of my children
117.Messy ice cream faces
116.Seaside Treasures
115.Little boys in suits
114.Boys skipping rocks (or trying too)
113.Fireman Boots
112.Video Cameras
111.Sand Boxes
110.Matt grilling
109.Wind Chimes
108.Cole's adventuresome spirit
107.Blake's love for flowers
106.Yard Sales
105.Taco Salad
104.A wonderful babysitter and friend
103.Blake's delight over a simple ride in a swing
102.Two person strollers that fit three
101.Productive mornings
4/8/11 - 5/5/11
100.Avonlea's appointment (5/5/11) - Jaundice numbers went down - Weight went up :)
99.Easter Sunday - Introducing Avonlea
97.A quick recovery
96.Baby girl dresses
95.Sweet gifts from so many caring friends
94.Boys transitioning wonderfully
93.My PRECIOUS daughter!
92.A healthy delivery
91.Avonlea's amazing timing
90.A wonderful time with my mom - Traci's diner, Bangor mall, Walking around downtown, Organizing the house etc...
89.My mom Bringing the boys to the party at "the perfect time"
88.The opportunity to celebrate Blake before Avonlea was born
87.Friends available at the last minute for an unplanned birthday party
86.An AMAZING Blue's Clues cake right from a friend's heart
85.Last minute paw prints (from Daddy) to make Blake's bday special
84.Blue's Clues balloons sent from Heaven
83.My precious THREE YEAR OLD, Blake
82.Mom coming early
81.Morning sun reflecting off trees
80.Blake's table dancing :)
79.Cole nodding his head & saying "nuh" meaning yes
78.Inexpensive flights
77.Friends who've helped me prepare for our new addition
76.Tea parties
75.Avonlea's room
74.Our new "clubhouse" (what Matt call's our new bedroom)
73.Daily visitors when I'm struggling alone
72.Calista carrying Cole all around the house in airplane mode - and his HUGE smile
70. Already owning furniture that fits perfectly in new spots
68.Add on restrooms
67.Mother in laws who I completely trust with my kids
66.Boys talking/singing to each other when they wake up each morning
65.A good nights sleep
64.Surprise subway suppers from compassionate friends
63.Boys that are "good eaters"
62.Pandora (thanks Denise Martin for introducing that to me)
60.Matt's creativity (DRINK ME written on my water bottle - after I was dehydrated)
59.Tall towers
58.Sacrificial husbands
57.Friends that care
56.Sweet nurses
55.Hot showers
54.Daddys who clean up after sick little boys
53.Washcloths on Cole's head
52.Men at church with teary compassionate eyes
51.Kaylene's muffins (and their perfect timing)
50.Matt caring about my heart - and helping me make Avonlea's room special (even though he would have rather kept it as our room)
49.Boys reading on Matt's lap
48.Friends who give/lend piles of baby clothes
47.Pillow Jump time
46.Boys spinning to "47 Beavers on the Big Blue Sea" song
45.Blake's creative chore chart Xs (or anything but Xs)
44.Boys that love fruit
43.Fruit baskets piled high
42.Girl's nights
41.Kittys meowing at the kitchen window
40.Blake and Grammy doing "school"
39.Blake - "When Cole not a baby anymore, I teach him wing awound the wosie & we will go wound and wound"
37. Blake watching Daddy cut wood (through the window)
36. Blanket time at Dr.'s offices
35.Cole being "strong" (flexing his muscles and groaning)
34.Cole mimicking complete conversations
33.Blake spinning in circles at Subway to make the other customers smile
32.Blake at his desk completely naked, drawing and singing Old McDonald
31.Magnetic darts lined up perfectly (by Cole) on our heating vent
30.The boys running, laughing and screaming from the vacuum cleaner
29.Cole getting inside baskets
28.Blake putting away the dishes
27.The boys cracking up every time I turn on the food processor
26.Matt tucking into my bean bag each night
25.Blake referring to everything past, present and future as "last night"
24.A husband who works incredibly hard so I can stay home
23.Bean Bags (and that I can actually sleep most of the night in one)
22.Blake's drawings
21.The homeschooling conference & reminder to fully depend on Christ
20.A husband who makes everything he puts his hand to incredibly well
19.A home that we enjoy and is just so "us"
17.Empty, shiny sinks
16.Good french toast recipes & a husband that notices
15.Blake delighting in learning new things
14.Blake & Cole giving baby Avi kisses (while she is still in my belly)
13.Cole lifting his shirt to show me the baby in his belly
12.The little girl in my belly
11.Security in my relationship with Matt
10.Cole's enthusiasm
9.Real Friendships
8.Feeling compassion
7.Snow melting - flowers blooming
6.The beauty of snow clinging to the trees
5.Enjoying warmth more (spring & summer) because of cold winters
3.Matt's support & encouragement of my "flying" adventure
2.Blake's songs
1.Blake & Cole's laughter


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