Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Voting Good, Electoral College Bad

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . doing research in preparation to vote.  I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to.  I'm not thrilled about either presidential candidate, but as I read about the people running for local offices I was pleased to learn that many of them seem like good people who share my priorities.  And as always, it felt really good to vote, whether my choices win or not.  I'm grateful to live in a country where I'm free to raise my voice.

And another thing . . .

. . . I've spent the last  couple decades voting for Republican presidential candidates in a very blue state, and now that I've moved to a red state, what do I do?  I vote for a Democrat for president for the first time in my life.  It's an amusing irony, but it also sparks my quadrennial rant against the electoral college.  When will we finally abolish that thing?  In the presidential race, at least, I feel like my vote  has never really counted, and the candidates have little incentive to appeal to my home state because they either have no hope of winning it, or no fear of losing it.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Bikes and Badminton

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . playing badminton in the backyard with the kids after school, and watching Joy lead some of her siblings on bike/scooter tours of our neighborhood.  I'm grateful that my kids have safe places to play, and a few toys to play with.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

My Guiding Light

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . going to church with my family.  I'm grateful to know why I'm here on Earth, and that my Heavenly Father and my Savior love me; and I'm grateful that I can share those wonderful truths with my children when they have questions or doubts.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Home Stretch and Thankful Prayers

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching Joy gently encouraging her little brother Todd on the last stretch of our hike today.

. . . listening to Anna say her prayers.  She always thinks of so many things to thank God for.  She's an example to me--I tend to do more asking than thanking.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Gratitude, Gifts, and a Chestnut Smoothie

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . my three big kids all preparing birthday gifts for Todd of their own accord.  Daniel and Anna each gave him something from their Halloween stashes, and Joy drew him some pictures of things he likes (i.e. numbers, a train, and his stuffed doggy).  The numbers she drew were among his favorite birthday gifts today.

And another thing . . .

. . . lately I've been feeling that I need to work on being more grateful.  I live a very blessed life, even by American standards, but I appreciate so little of it and am too quick to focus on the little things I wish I could change.  I'm setting a goal to post in this blog daily for the rest of this month (and possibly beyond) to write at least one thing I'm grateful for each day.

. . . when I opened this blog tonight, I realized that I promised a month ago that I would tell you whether I found a chestnut smoothie recipe that was any good, then I never reported back on that.  I know you've all been anxiously awaiting my verdict so let me just say that blending roasted, shelled chestnuts with pears, bananas, and some water makes a pretty good smoothie, but not so great that I'm not going to run out and buy more chestnuts any time soon.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Squirrels and Chestnuts

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . verifying that orange peels really do seem to be deterring the squirrels from digging up parts of my veggie garden.

And another thing . . .

. . . ever wondered whether Google would return any results for the search "chestnut smoothie"?  I can now tell you from personal experience that the answer is yes.  My tai chi teacher gave me a big bag of roasted chestnuts (which I've never tried before today--funny how Americans sing a Christmas carol about roasting chestnuts by the open fire, but few of us have ever tasted one), and I'm not really loving them by themselves.  Phillip suggested I could put them in smoothies, and as it turns out, the good ole internet has lots of suggestions to make that happen.  I'll report back tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Eating (or Drinking) Meals with My Kids

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . sipping a green smoothie  for breakfast with Todd, while he says cute things like, "Thanks for the smoothie, Mama," and, "Guess what!  I'm two!"

. . . eating lunch with Joy at school.  The kids' school lets parents come and eat lunch with their kids, and I've started doing that once a week, with a different child each week.  I'm finding it's a good way to have one-on-one time with my big kids (since each grade eats at a separate time, and Todd doesn't talk much), and to learn about their school experience.  They're much more inclined to talk about the ins and outs of their school day during lunch, maybe because things from class and recess are still fresh in their minds.