Saturday, November 28, 2015

Always Thankful ... Even When Things Don't Go as Planned

We had a rather rough first week of winter break.  Dear Husband was home for the week, and we had great plans for our staycation. However, the stomach bug descended upon us on Tuesday and knocked us out, one by one. Only Dean was spared (so far). He has been known to fall days after the rest of us have already recuperated. I sure hope that doesn't happen again since the Nutcracker is only six days away! We did pull off a light Thanksgiving meal on Friday once we all thought we could eat a little bit of something.
  • I am thankful that the stomach bug hit us this week and not Nutcracker week.
  • I am thankful I lost 3 pounds this week -- not many people can claim weight loss Thanksgiving week!
One of our major plans this week was painting Dean's room. It had worn out blue wallpaper over wood paneling. In the end, Dean decided he wanted the wood paneling, instead of the room being painted. We did manage to strip all the wallpaper off three walls. The fourth wall will still have to be painted, because someone in the past had painted white and blue stripes on the paneling. We also need to freshen up the trim work and paint it all to the same shade of white. So, we got his room 75% done, which is pretty good during this not so stellar week.

  • I am thankful that we were able to work in shifts and get this project underway.
  • I am thankful that Dean really likes the wood paneling. I tend to think it is best to return a home to its original state if you can't afford to completely renovate a space, rather than just cover things up.
We also managed to almost finish all of the trim work and closet doors painted in our bedroom. They were a sickly slate blue when we moved here three years ago and we finally started painting it crisp white a few weeks ago. The louvered closet doors were the hardest part and I put them off until I could concentrate on them. Now we just have one more window to paint and coordinating curtains to buy. I will show a picture later when I am completely done.
  • I am thankful to see our bedroom coming together and that it finally feels like a comfortable place to rest.
We had plans to go to a very fancy pool with a lazy river and huge slides a few hours from here. However, that clearly was not going to happen. Instead, we did manage to play miniature golf and the kids got to wall climb on Friday.

  • I am thankful that we got to sprinkle a little bit of fun into our week, which made it feel a little bit more like a special time with Daddy off work.
Last Sunday, before anyone was sick, we made an Advent wreath at church. I loved doing this project with other church members. We will light the first candle on Sunday. We also got to pick from a list at church a teenager so we could provide Christmas for her. Our church has taken on all of the students in an alternative high school filled with teen moms, homeless kids and teens from lots of other disadvantages. I was amazed by the small and very practical requests they made.

  • I am thankful for a church that does such a nice mix of charity work and member building activities. 
  • I am thankful to be able to give Christmas to a teen mom and her infant son. One of the school's teachers (who was there to help church members pick a teen) paired me with a teen mom who, while really shining as a mother and college bound, still needs lots of encouragement. She asked me to write a letter to her to encourage her, since I was a teen mom 25 years ago and graduated from high school and went on to  graduate from college. 
  • I am thankful to be able to give back in any small way I can. Many people encouraged me along my difficult teen mother path, and I appreciate all that they did for me.
We hope to buy our Christmas tree today and clean the house some. Everything feels out of place.  It doesn't really feel like Christmas yet. I think it will feel more like Christmas once the tree is up and I have set the calendar with our Advent field trips and fun projects.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. I know how you feel. I was sick for a week and now my daughter is sick. It has made it hard to catch up on lost housework. I love the wood paneling. I love your advent wreath, too. Is it warm enough to go to a waterpark where you are?

  2. The wood paneling looks great. You really managed a lot even though you were sick. I hope everyone will be well for the Nutcracker. One of the years we did it, all the older dancers were throwing up backstage - I felt so bad for them.

  3. ((hugs)) I'm so sorry that you all had the stomach bug. Not fun :( Beautiful room make-over. I tend to agree to restore to natural state is wonderful.

  4. How wonderful to be able to give back in that special way! I was 18 and unmarried when my eldest was born, and it's a hard road. I always made sure to donate all our baby clothes and supplies to crisis pregnancy centers after we were done with them, since the one that helped me was such a blessing.

  5. How wonderful to be able to help out in such a very real way. You are lovely! Thank you for sharing :)