Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It's a little less than a month now until Thanksgiving Day!  Can you believe it?  I love Thanksgiving.  Love everything about it, from the smell of turkey drifting through the house to the dirty socks my visiting grown-up children leave everywhere.   But, I especially love the theme of this holiday.  It's good to be thankful -- in the last week of November and throughout the year.  

In these difficult times, when the world seems upside-down and so many people are suffering from job loss and the bad economy, it can be easy to forget what a wonderful world God has given us.  But there's so much to be thankful for.  We're surrounded by wonders!  I've been thinking a lot about that lately.  Sure, Bank of America may fail, but the clouds coming up over Grand Mesa this morning looked like a pot of milk boiling over -- and the very fact of the humongous flat-topped mountain that fills my living room window is amazing.  And, yes, there may be a strange smell seeping out of the wall of my bathroom where I think a mouse must have died, but the frost on the clover outside my front door this morning perfectly outined every vein of every little clover leaf with the most spectacular minute detail -- amazing!  And those are just examples of the wonders of God's natural world.  There are so many other categories of amazing wonder; people, animals, literature, Faith, kitchen gadgets....  The list is never-ending!  

With this in mind, I thought it might be fun to take some time once a week to share a small handful of amazing things I've noticed in my world, to remember them myself and share them with my friends.  If you'd like to come along and share some, too, you are so welcome!  I'll post the category for the 3 Amazing Things for the week at the top of my sidebar over the weekend and post my list on Wednesday.  If you'd like to join in, grab the button for your post, leave a note in my combox on Wednesday with the link to your Amazing post, and link back here.  (If there is any traffic, I'll get a linky-device later...)

I know it's too late for this week, but I wanted to send out a little heads up for next week.  And here's a sneak peak at the subject matter:

*  The category this first time around is an easy one for us moms or anyone with children in their lives.... 

(You can grab the button and participate whenever you like this week and leave the link here on Wednesday). 

 The "Children" Edition
This first edition next Wednesday seems like a good time to list out 3 Amazing Things about each of our children -- our own, or some who are close to us. 
Since I have so many children, though, I'm going to give myself (and everyone else) a break and pick out only one amazing thing about each of my youngin's... It'll be as short and concise a version as I can manage, only a couple of lines per child. Stay tuned!
* Following, however, is sort of an extended version of Amazing Things, celebrating and thanking God for each of our ten blessings. 

 Amazing Things About My Children
(Some of the things those folks who sneer at my mega-family are missing.)

Paul (23) can find his way to a designated spot through an unknown forest in the middle of the night with no map.  He's one of the best Land Navigation Marines in his class at TBS, which is no surprise at all -- because Paul does this with life.  He sets a goal then, without hesitation or procrastination, sets out single-mindedly and intelligently to find his way to that goal. Whether it be a matter of education, long-term career goals, Faith, or personal relationships, Paul always finds his way to the middle of the target -- with a charming smile and a dashing demeanor.  He is amazing.

Nicole (22), our daughter-in-law, can juggle all umpteen dozen of her husband's family -- with one hand -- while cooking pasta with the other, flashing her dazzling smile the whole time and enjoying every minute of it.  Or at least making us feel like she's enjoying it.  Nicole is the prize of all prizes and our beloved daughter and sister.  Everyone loves her, even the most curmudgeonly among the troops, and we are blessed that Paul was wise enough to ask her to marry him and that she was crazy enough to say yes.  Nicole is the girl in a million. (And she's carrying our grandbaby, to boot!)  She is amazing.

Kevin (21) can take any group of people walking around in circles and get them facing the same direction.  And I have never known it to not be a good direction.  Without being loud, vulgar, or obnoxious and without seeking popularity, Kevvy's somehow the center of attention everywhere he goes.  He makes no effort to be popular -- and couldn't care less about it -- but if he walks into a room, everyone knows it immediately  and is glad he's there. A rare bird, indeed, he's a good-time-Charlie with his head screwed on perfectly straight.  He is amazing.   

 Jon (19), if he so desiredcould drywall your kitchen and construct the mitred trim, choose the perfect colors for the wall, paint a realistic mural of the countryside over your sink, cook you a gourmet dinner, then play a musical accompaniment for you while you ate it.  He can do anything and make it original, pretty, and/or taste good.  His creativity is boundless.  He's a nurturing and loving (if sarcastic) big brother.  And another charmer.  He is amazing.

 Dominic (17) wins at everything he does, but has no idea he's even playing.  He could walk between St. Dominic and St. Francis of Assissi, quietly and earnestly joining in their discussion, make them laugh  and play pool with them, then be convinced there was nothing at all special going on.  He's a straight-A student, but thinks he's a bad student; he excels at every sport, but takes a back seat to the louder competitors.   His rock-solid dependability and humility make him everyone's favorite, yet he thinks he has no special gift.  And when you tell him these things, he respectfully begs to differ.  Then makes a silly face.  He is amazing.

Michelle (15) can tie a cherry stem with her tongue.  No kidding.  A natural sequal to her babyhood stunt of twirling her pacifier in her mouth without using her hands,  her cherry stem trick is a good figurative illustration of Shelly. There's a natural clear sweetness to my oldest daughter's character, but there's also a stem-tying capability and strength that pops out when you least expect it.  She giggles and smacks bubble gum while coldly womping her brothers in poker; she passes silly notes and twirls her hair around her fingers, but unflinchingly tells her classmates to shut up and have some respect when entering the chapel because they're entering the house of God.  Shelly is the human example of a Sweetart.  She is amazing.

Theresa (11) wears animals and small children like other girls wear jewelry.  She's the child that critters and little people instinctively run to for help and comfort. By the end of the first day at our new school, the kindergarteners and first graders already knew they had a champion in Theresa -- as our Littles have always known.  She notices others and cares about them, loving without the expectation of reward.  Though her quiet, studious ways may sometime hide her in the swagger of the bigger kids and the fracas of the little ones, anyone who values deep goodness can't help but notice Theresa.  She shines like a beacon.  She is amazing.

Cathy (10), without being told, knows to get me a wet rag for my eyes when I'm cutting onions. Not only that, but I don't have to tell her to wear shoes outdoors; I don't have to remind her to brush her teeth; her school books are tidier than mine, and she dresses better than I do.  She was preparing dishes from scratch and could make yeast bread by the time she was nine years old.  This child is 100% present and focused in the moment.  She doesn't miss a trick, is eminently practical, and there is not a lazy bone in her body.  If you want a job done well and quickly, Cathy's your girl.  She is amazing.   

Anna (7) is a one-woman Shakespeare company,  Lady MacBeth one moment, Puck the next... We never know what we're going to get with her, but one thing's for sure: we're never bored. One minute she's tossing eye-daggers at an offending sister, the next minute she's presenting her with a highly detailed and flowery note of affection.We never know what she's going to say or do and we have to be on our toes to know whether we should laugh at her zaniness or respect her seriousness.  She's only seven years old and she's already an omnibus.  She is amazing.

Gabriel (6) can whistle and snap his fingers.  And, not only that, but he's very concerned that his little classmate, MaryAnne, can't do it yet -- and how should he go about teaching her?  Gabey loves to learn, and loves to chase the leaders, but he doesn't want anyone to be back behind him.  Very few people in my experience have this combination of interests.  He's competitive, but compassionate.   And very sweet and huggable.  He is amazing.

William (4) is the horse of a different color you hear tell about.  Among other eclectic talents learned from living in a house filled to the brim with older people, William has the unique ability to memorize a tune the first time he hears it.  He stores it in his memory bank rolodex, then pulls it out when he needs it.  If he's playing with his dinosaurs, he hums the tune to Jurassic Park, if he's riding through the mountains alongside a railway, he sings I've Been Working on the Railroad.  You know he's in a particularly happy mood if  he's humming Beautiful Day (U2) or Bittersweet Symphony, his two favorite songs...  He also quotes lines from movies and cartoons at uncannily appropriate times.  After ten children, you'd think we'd have started spitting out duplicates by now, but, nope -- each child is completely different -- and this one is a humdinger. He is amazing. 

They're all amazing!  I think that fact gets lost sometimes in the numbers for some people.  But, seriously, after the first two or three children, we weren't worn down by the challenge or exhausted by the pressure of keeping up with so many personalities.  In my tongue-tied Momminess, I often call children by the wrong names, but I've never lost track of who they are, how unique and amazing each one of them is.  It's not hard to remember.  If each of my children is a unique color, our home is an auroraborealis, each luminous color sparkling and waving and mixing with the others, a constant variety, a never ending beautiful display. 

As the years have gone one and I've gotten to know each of my children better, I've been energized by this variety, awed by the wonder of it all.  All these amazing people, with all their gifts and faults -- they drive me crazy sometimes! But I love them to pieces.  And they're mine.  God saw fit to trust them to me and my husband.  It's amazing.  

How can we ever thank Him enough? 


Kim said...


We say this all the time. Not a copy in the whole mix. Every time you think you've seen it all you get one that turns it all on its ear and you learn totally new things too. ; D

I am grateful mine kiddos have been able to interact with yours at camp and online Lisa. They are a fabulous bunch and no doubt a bit of that wonderfulness rubs off on those around them.

GrandmaK said...

Well done! I feel like I have met your lovely charges these last 3+ years. If only in picture and word I have been privileged to be part of your family and I thank you!! Will add mine later this week! Cathy

Anne said...

Lisa, this is from your post about the post office charging you for a letter stuck in the box..Mary and I were talking about it, and have a way to get around that with a clear conscience...cor·re·spond·ence ..break it down..co means two, or between two..
cor·re·spond·ence   /ˌkɔrəˈspɒndəns, ˌkɒr-/
[kawr-uh-spon-duhns, kor-]
1. communication by EXCHANGE of letters.
2. a letter or letters that pass between correspondents: It will take me all day to answer this business correspondence.

3. Also, correspondency. an instance of corresponding.
4. similarity or analogy.
5. agreement; conformity.
6. news, commentary, letters, etc., received from a newspaper or magazine correspondent.
7. Mathematics . function ( def. 4a ) .

So, if you had no thought of getting a letter back from them, it would be quite easy to answer no when she asked you this.

MightyMom said...

I wanna come play.....

. said...

Praise Our Lord for a family like yours. I have four and I think we are a big family!