I am thankful for healthy children. So many in this world aren't so fortunate. Aside from a fever here and a runny nose there, my kids are generally healthy, and for that I am grateful.
I am thankful for my family. For being able to see my parents and my brother on a regular basis. For being able to keep in touch with relatives via Facebook, and for my friends who feel like family. I love being close to my family and having such a strong family bond. I love that my kids will have many great memories with their extended family.
I am thankful for my kids; though they frustrate me endlessly some days, they are my greatest source of joy. They are my reason for getting up every morning, and the reason I'm so exhausted when I go to bed at night. I wouldn't trade them for the world.
I am thankful for a supportive husband. He works hard at a job that keeps him away from his family for 50-60 hours a week so that he can pay our bills and keep food on the table.
I am thankful for a functioning vehicle. For too many years we drove our old van that teetered on the brink of vehicular exhaustion. This year we purchased our very first vehicle that we can call our own. It's so nice to have a reliable vehicle!
I am thankful for a roof over my head. It may not be the home of my dreams, but it's a home. It's our own space, and it's far from perfect, but it has gotten us by for the last 13 years.
I am thankful for the possibility of moving to a new home next year. Like the new vehicle, I'm excited to open a new chapter in our lives as home owners. I look forward to having a place that is all our own, and perhaps better suited to our family. I am thankful that we have the finances to potentially make a mortgage work, even if our budget is small.
I am thankful for my pets. I adore my service-dog-in-training Moose (Aspie), and look forward to working with him more once I can get my pain problem under control. I love our five cats, my turtle, the two gerbils, and all of the fish. I am thankful to have rabbits, even if I can't actually bring myself to kill and eat them (they're too cute, I get attached).
I am thankful for clean water and access to healthy food. Too many people do not have these things that we take for granted.
I am thankful for seeds, and the ability to grow my own food. I am thankful for the vast array of seeds available to me through stores and trades - varieties I never could have imagined existed.
I am thankful for electricity. Just last week our first blizzard of the season wiped out electricity to thousands of people throughout Minnesota who were left in the cold. I'm glad I have power, to turn on lights, to run a hot bath, to charge my phone, to use my laptop, to access my email, to keep my home warm, to flush the toilet, and to cook my food. None would be possible without electricity.
I am thankful for my wide variety of friends. Though we don't always agree on things, my friends are a diverse group of people that I enjoy following on Facebook. I'm not a social butterfly and I don't see most of them in person (I'm a hermit), but I appreciate that they put up with me online and let me occasionally like or comment on their photos and status updates. I appreciate that many of them comment on my updates and like my photos too. It makes me feel like I'm connected, even when I don't get out of the house very often.
I am thankful that we live in a low-crime rate area. There are no daily shootings, no mass murders, and no bombs falling. One has only to turn on the evening news to see how fortunate that makes us.
I am thankful for having clean clothes to wear. With five kids growing out of their clothes almost as fast as we can buy clothing, I'm thankful they all have warm jackets, gloves, and footwear in addition to regular clothing.
I am thankful for my health. Though this seems odd given my current health problems, I know things could be much worse. I'm not dying, I'm feeling better lately, and I'm still able to spend time with my kids. I'm not contagious, and I have doctors willing to keep doing tests to try to figure out what's going on and get it fixed.
I am thankful for Octonauts, Super Why, Goldie and Bear, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Little Einsteins, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and Bubble Guppies. They are my "go to" shows when I need to distract #5 for a few minutes so I can make food, work on my blog, use the bathroom, or just have a few minutes of silence to let my pain meds kick in when the pain gets bad. Of course I much prefer when he's sleepy and snuggly and just curls up with me, but sometimes a little tv time can be helpful.
I am thankful for Costco pumpkin pie because it is delicious.
I am thankful for having space to have a garden. It gives me the opportunity to grow healthy chemical-free food, and gives me motivation to get out of the house and enjoy some time outside.
I am thankful for dragonflies, because to me some are beautiful and some are terrifying.
I am thankful for the birds that visit our yard, our bird feeders, and our bushes. I love to see them, I love to hear their songs, and I am thrilled if they pick my yard to build a nest.
I am thankful for space heaters that save me from being too cold all winter long.
I am thankful or the noise app on my phone that lets me fall asleep when my brain won't settle down or I've had too much caffeine too late in the day.
I'm thankful for having enough money to buy a couple gifts for my kids this Christmas.
I'm thankful for the ability to turn the wifi on and off to every device in the household. It is a powerful motivation tool for the older kids to get their chores done promptly.