Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One Thousand Gifts *66-70

Gifts # 66 - 70
66. The young man, Juan, who cherishes my daughter, Rachael. There are more gifts that are uniquely their own...that will bless them always. Welcome, Juan~

67. These two birds reminded me of a mother feeding her son (who's bigger than she ;) or of the "The Bride Cuts the Cake" as she feeds it to her love.

68. For all the safe travels this weekend!

69. Surprisingly real! So beautiful the hydrangea's were... they almost did not look real... But they were ... and Ann's gift for beauty makes them splendid.

70. Rainbows after the rain. We must look, we must run outside as soon as the sun pours out through those rainclouds!

Monday, June 29, 2009

One Thousand Gifts *61-65

Gifts #61 - 65
*61. The wonderful men that share in my life. The great time we had at our favorite hometown restaurant.

62. Close family ~ love ~ honor

63. Son who loves his father <3
The bond is so strong and the love for family so great.
Humbly thanking God for this heart's desire.

64. Kind and gentle teacher that uses this mug for her soups.
Her imagination and sense of humor make her a treasured colleague.

65. The sweet smell of summer all the way home from that long, last day of school.

Monday, June 22, 2009

One Thousand Gifts *56-60

Gifts #56 - 60 ~ The Love that Transcends All Time and Space ~ That Envelops Us With a Deep Sense of Comfort and Peace
56. For Amanda ~ the oldest of three.
She was the first teacher of these new parents.
She helped us teach her younger brother and sister.
Tonight, she became a tenured teacher at the middle school where she has worked for three years. I know she has been a role model and a wonderful teacher for her students as I'm sure her students have taught her a few things as well ;)

57. For my sister, who keeps me driving on the right side of the road :D
What would I do without her...on a daily basis!?!

A friend indeed.

58. The quiet hour I spent yesterday browsing through such amazing family memories as I made Chris's Father's Day Card.

59. For these three bundles of joy, energy, worry, laundry, braids, ponytails, tonka trucks, dolls, stuffed animals to insulate a whole house... homework, open houses, phone calls, driver's licenses, part-time jobs, graduations, college applications, full-time jobs, luggage and airplanes, dogs, apartments, and laundry again ;)

60. For my husband, and his garden of hope. Tonight, the two of us enjoy the sweetest garden delights with our dinner. The Swiss chard was amazing dear! Pictures will follow :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

One Thousand Gifts *51-55

Gifts 51 - 55
Every morning, after my homeroom students leave, I spend a few minutes preparing my heart for the day. I read a passage or two and I turn the page of my desk calendar to take in the little devotional quote.
Thursday was such a busy day at school, I was never able to read the quote for June 18.
That evening, while relaxing after work, I visited a fellow blog writer, Cathy, from Tales of the TCKK Family.
She posted about her favorite praise songs. It started me thinking of my fav's. I even Googled song titles so that I could really remember as many as possible. One of the websites I found had 6 special songs and an all time favorite of mine: All Things Bright and Beautiful. I shared my favorite title in Cathy's comments.
Here is Hayley Westenra singing it:

Today, Friday, I had another very full day... proctoring finals, grading more papers, posting grades... and because it was fairly cool in my second floor classroom...I took advantage and cleaned until 5pm. I locked up, and was about to grab all my bags... when I saw my daily calendar.
I went over and reread June 17 and flipped to 18. Tears and laughter spontaneously flowed ~ as it was a verse to All Things Bright and Beautiful!
God, you are so cute! That was just cute and sweet.
I am Humbled by your personalized greeting today!

52. Making it to Macy's and back this afternoon during my lunch to buy a special birthday gift that was on sale (big time) and I got the last one available!
53. A tender walk with my husband, Chris, tonight.
54. My second try for a homemade chocolate cake (for a Father's Day celebration tomorrow) actually came out ok!

55. It's almost 1am and I'm still awake, with work to do... but I am so grateful that I don't have to rush out first thing in the morning!
I can have my second cup in my jammies
~All is Gift ...... All is Blessing ~

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One Thousand Gifts *44-50

#44 - 50 --- All is Gift ~ All is Blessing
44. In Humble Gratitude for my niece and daughter's safe trip to Seattle and gracious blessings for their trip to Vancouver...

45. For her fiance, Juan, who got up before the crack of dawn to drive them to the airport for a 6:30am flight. That means check-in at 5am... leave the house at 3:45! Thank you ... Thank you ... Thank you!

46. For the kindness of our secretaries, who put up with so much, especially this time of year.

47. For cool breezes another evening! I just love this cooler weather sans humidity.

48. I am so grateful for the continued blossoming of our peonies. Their fresh scent fills the rooms.
49. A thank you to the Creator who throws in a little humor to His creations now and then. Our dog, Muffin, mostly blind, deaf and a lil' chunky ... actually added a little skip to her walk down the hill of our neighborhood. Pets add such a wonderful connection to God and nature.

50. With three cheers that our son passed all of his entrance exams for his internship this summer.

~ Humble Gratitude ...
All is Gift ...
... All is Blessing ~

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One Thousand Gifts *37-43

#37 - 43 --- Hugs to Last a Week and Back Again
37. For tender hugs and long good-byes for our daughter who travels tomorrow to Vancouver...

38. Surprise from a colleague of coffee and bagel from Dunkin' Donuts left on my desk early this morning.

39. Principal's help with a student.

40. Freeze-pop surprise from a student! Just what I needed!

41. I am thankful for the little grocery store that roasts REAL turkey breast and slices it for sandwiches...no preservatives in that!

42. For wee one's good report.

43. For cool rooms and breezes in my house after being on the second floor at school all day... even though it's only in the low 70's, upstairs, is like an attic with no windows :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

One Thousand Gifts #31 - 36 --- Soaps, Dogs and Storms

31. For these amazing soaps that are made with goats' milk. They look like big pieces of fudge!

32. They're work, but they're joy and laughter.

33. The soaking rain from today's thunderstorm.

34. The song of birds. The trees are singing.

35. The laughter over the "giant" fire hydrant. A monument to Misty's favorite toy!

36. Wispy wonderful peachy clouds that still lingered after the storm.

In Humble Gratitude for all Your Graces. ~Maria

Sunday, June 14, 2009

One Thousand Gifts #25 - 30 --- Sky, Plants, Water

25. For the BIG beautiful skies we all enjoy in our neighborhood. Going for a walk here encourages us to look upward.

26. For the indigo plant and all the perennials that Frank and Herta gave us when we moved here 22 years ago. They are prolific!

27. For the rhubarb (which was also from Frank & Herta) This is also growing prolifically and is incredibly delicious.

28. For the strawberries a dear neighbor traded us for some rhubarb :)

29. This little garden statue brings me so much joy. It was a Mother's Day gift from Chris... He knew I liked it because it reminds me of when I was little and stood holding my dress as to curtsy.

30. Humbly filled with Gratitude for this beautiful creek that is just a few blocks away from our home. Watching the water flow down this creek is truly meditative.
I have spent very long moments here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

One Thousand Gifts #14 - 24 Showers of Joy with a 100% Chance of Rain

So many joys today.
14. A surprise visit from our lil' niece.
15. No crying when 'Mommy & Daddy left.
16. Trusting hugs and smiles... all day!
17. Cheers with our glasses of milk.
18. A walk under the clouds with 100% chance of rain and making it back with only the tiniest of sprinkles!
19. Lil' niece asleep in the stroller, Auntie gets to read on the front porch!
20. Auntie Maria can't resist and lifts lil' one out of stroller to sleep in her arms, on the front porch, still able to read... enjoying every tender moment.
21. Time later with Brother & Sister in-law.
Incredible dinner of organic turkey burgers . Thanks to the people who raise, what I call, 'happy turkeys & chickens.'
22. No need to water our garden... 100% chance of Rain... a long soaking rain!
23. Brother-in-law returns safely home after 3rd most difficult hike in the U.S. ---21 miles in one day ~ includes Mt. Marcy (highest peak in NYS).

In Humble Gratitude for surprises that come wrapped in little white and blue sundresses.
...which makes me think of ...

# 24. For the time with little nieces that help me practice Presence...smelling flowers, coloring pages, splashing toes, walking barefoot in the peonies petals and clover.


*Gifts 12 - 13 The Dogwood Rescue

Gift 12 ~ Tree survived and thrives.
Two years ago, Chris had to dig out half our garden due to a construction project.
(Making a room for Dad)
He carefully unearthed the dogwood tree's roots ...knowing how fragile a tree like that is here in the northeast....only to find that the tree was planted with a steel cage still wrapped around the root ball.
Chris freed this tree from its cage and prayed for it to survive knowing how tender a plant it is and how beautiful the blossoms are.
Gift 13 ~ Blossoms to treasure.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

*Gifts 10 & 11* My Boys on Sundays

I love these two men.
My husband, Chris, is such a good man.
Before Chris and I were even engaged, my mother once wrote me
that he is a "one in a million" man.
She knew, as only mothers do.
Chris wears a smile after Sunday service.
He truly appreciates pastor Rex, from Grace Fellowship.
...as do we all...
Jason, 21,
has grown to love God and to listen for His voice...
...and is man enough to be holding a pink strawberry smoothie with cream...
Jason has the best hugs, (he gets that from his dad) a sense of humor that's tops and such wit!

I humbly thank you, God of all, for these two men.
gifts ~ treasures.

Monday, June 8, 2009

*Gift 9* Our Grandmotherly-Grandfatherly-Dad

~♥♥♥~I am so fortunate to have this man in my life~♥♥♥~
for this I am eternally grateful
As it is getting closer to Father's Day, I think of how much my father has adapted over the last three decades.
Having come from a very traditional culture, having had a very traditional marriage, it was truly devastating for him to lose his wife so very young. My mother was only 53 years old. She did all of the domestic work... cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing... holidays... gifting... (although Dad loved Christmas shopping) The emotional loss of his dear love ... topped with the overwhelming loss of a partner in life ... put Dad in the depths of despair for over a year. The second and third years, he began to see a glimmer of light... which became brighter as the months went on.
His sister, my dear aunt, would invite him over for meals regularly. This turned into delivered meals ~ then, very slowly... because of his love for his over-worked sister and his love of independence...my father began his quest to become a cook.

My mother would not recognize him today. He cooks the most delicious meals, bakes birthday cakes (from scratch). He also makes a triple chocolate cake (with a mix, chips and double choc. frosting). He sends cards on everyone's birthday... hasn't missed a graduation, bought all his grandchildren keepsake ornaments every year for Christmas.

I am so proud of the man he has become. His devotion to God, self-disciple and good cooking have kept him healthy for so many years. He will turn 85 this year.
Dad is a wonderful father and a dear grandfather.
He wears this t-shirt from his grandkids with pride. I always wish him a Happy Mother's Day too ... he's done a great job taking on my mother's part. I know she would be so impressed.