Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Zoe Is Thankful For

Instead of reading a bedtime story last night with Zoe, I sat with her in her bed with a pen and notebook and asked her what she was thankful for.

* Note: Everyone in Zoe's life is very special, but I think it really says something if you were listed individually because it's really hard for a three year old to not want to list every single toy instead of actual people. I know... because I had to suggest after baby dolls that maybe we think of some other things.

The following is the list (with some extra commentary) as she told me:

"I'm thankful for....

Snow White.
Kitty cats.
My baby dolls. And I'm thankful for my panda., and...
"Let's not just list toys, OK?"
I'm thankful for water.
And Max and Bailey
And Grammy.
Aunt Sadie.
My Grandpa.
Nana & Baba.
Daddy's friend, Sam... he's nice.
(She just met him yesterday)
Cheryl and Chuck-Chuck.
Ellie. Eleanor.
Noe...write down Noe, Mama.
(She hasn't seen Noe in like, a year - but she talks about her constantly.)
Meg & Adam.
(She calls Meg her "Big Sister".)
Tinkerbell... who came to our home. (Our friend, Natily)
All princesses, really.
For being on stage. The big, big stage.
My cousin, Kristina.
(She's decided Kristina is her cousin.)
Aunt Alison.
Aunt Ashley and Uncle Justin.
My baby, Oliver.
(HER baby. How cute is that?)
I'm thankful for playgrounds.
My school.
My school friends.
Our house.
Peaches and pears. Daddy doesn't like pears.
"Your daddy likes pears!" Well, I like pears.
I'm thankful for pear juice.
And food.
Like... strawberries.
Strawberry Kiwi juice - because I like to drink it every single day and right now, please.
"Not now."
For my nice, nice mommy.
(I think she was thinking of asking me for juice again.)
All my dresses and costumes.
I'm thankful because I like dancing.
All the single ladies, all the single ladies. Put your hands up!
I'm thankful for singing.
And China.
And Japan.
And what country are we in again?
"The United States."
I'm thankful for the United States.
For.... stars.
And books.
My crayons.
And Molly.
(She really misses Molly hence listing her twice.)
I'm thankful for dance class.
And Miss Jennifer.
And Miss Viv.
Miss Kim because she has a sweet little baby, did you know that?
"Yes. He is sweet. She's nice too, huh?"
Yes. I'm thankful for Miss Kimmmm and Miss Linda....
And I'm thankful when I'm playing games with Jack...
"LOL! Yes. Jack is fun, isn't he?"
I'm thankful for my nice warm bed.
And glitter...
For my hatsie hatsie hats.
I'm thankful for my books.
And for bubble baths.
I'm thankful for shopping.

What about you, my mommy? What are you thankful for?
"How about we talk about that tomorrow night?"
OK. Good night, my mommy. I love you. I like making lists."
"Me too, baby. I love you."

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Spirit of Giving

I posted this on facebook Saturday night and as of Sunday morning, I had people committing to give 13 turkeys* (or their equivalent) to shelters in their area. I thought I'd go ahead and post this for you all to participate as well.

Daniel had only known me a week or so and he was giving me all the money I needed to pay for a (full course load) semesters tuition at Bakersfield Community College plus money for books. He saw that I wanted to go and he went to his parents for help so that I could. In the nearly eight years we have been together I have watched him hand over spare change all the way up to a twenty dollar bill (because that was all he had) to people who asked him. There was a time when this completely caught me off guard. Twenty dollars, to a stranger, who might end up using it for something silly. He has always treated the people he is handing the money over to with a dignity that I think they are not given often enough. He is always humble to their exclamations of "God bless you!" and "THANK YOU!"

My husbands generosity and kindness are two of the things that made me fall in love with him. His trust and faith in people are also high on that list. Once when I pointed out that the people in the Target parking lot who have "no money to get gas for their trip to see their sick aunt in L.A" were probably pulling a scam. His response was, regardless, they probably needed that ten bucks more than we did. He was right, I'm sure.

Daniel has taught me to be more trusting of people. We don't have a ton of money. We live paycheck to paycheck like most people. We have to budget and we get stressed every time we sit down to pay our bills, but we are in a much better situation than so many people, so we try to help when/where we can.

Since being pregnant with Zoe, I've made a specific effort to pay it forward to charities. Something about being blessed with a child when I never thought I'd be able to get pregnant at all has made me want to be even more charitable. It is very important to me that my children grow up wanting to help others so even at their young ages, I enlist their help in picking out toys for toys for tots,etc.

This year I was invited to take part in a friends goal to get 34** turkeys donated to local shelters by Nov. 16th.

"You could drive the bird down to your local shelter or donate the cost of a turkey ($12) to a shelter's website."

My family is donating 2 turkeys - one for each child.

Family Portrait

I thought I'd extend this goal/invite to friends Jennifer and I don't necessarily share (and to whomever reads my blog) because I think it's important to make a commitment to help people in our communities. Also, I thought if I can't wish you a Happy Thanksgiving in person, this is something we can all still do "together".

If you'd like to participate in the turkey-a-thon, just comment below or on my wall (and I'll let my pen pal and new in person friend, Jennifer know) with what you plan to give and if you'd like, the community*** that you are giving to.

Thank you, friends and... Gobble GOBBLE! ;)


* - I have a lot of vegetarian friends who wanted to participate, but not by giving meat. What I suggested to them is that they give what they want/can: Other food items, clothing, coats, money, time, etc are all just as needed (if not more so) than a turkey.
** -Last I'd checked, my friend's tally was at 16.
*** - I've had people offer to send me money so that I can donate to my community. While I appreciate their help, the truth is - in every community there is someone in need.