As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thinking a lot about what I’m thankful for. There are so many things! Many of my friends have been posting on Facebook about what they are thankful for each day this month. I didn’t really get there and so, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do and thought that a blog post might cover a tiny portion of all of the things that I have to be thankful for. Speaking of blogging, I’m certainly thankful for my readers, friends, fans and followers. Your comments, feedback and support really have meant the world to me and you are all why I keep coming back and typing away. Of course, I am thankful for my beautiful family. The kids are healthy, happy and doing quite well. I’m thankful for the little things with them, like, my youngest who is currently sitting on the floor next to me, happily tying his own shoes. Every time he calls me “Mom” I am thankful for the gift of family, a gift that goes beyond biology, DNA and blood tie (PS, I’m thankful for my Dad who really taught me that). I’m thankful for the other two that have already left for school. For my daughter who, while a handful at times, always ends every day with a smile and so much love in her heart. I’m thankful for her in so many ways! And, for my oldest son who, in just the last few weeks has really, really stepped up and demonstrated his growing maturity. He’s been a big help lately and recently, I posted on my personal Facebook about how proud I am of him. He took initiative and really made the difference between his brother making it to an upcoming special Boy Scout event or not. Thinking about it now still makes me a little teary-eyed. I am thankful for my husband whom has stood by me, and our family, through thick and thin, the good times and the bad. He goes off every day to work in a less-than-ideal situation to make sure we are okay at home. He deals with a lot of stress but he keeps on going and I know, if it were just for him, he’d probably reconsider. I’m also extremely thankful that he has an opportunity to change this next month and I am crossing my fingers and toes for him. I certainly would be beyond thankful should this opportunity fall into place for him! I am thankful for my Mother! Yes, and a lot of other family members not living with us, but, to save time and space, I need to absolutely point her out. My Mother is my hero, my best friend and recently earned her title, “Survivor” in her fight against Breast Cancer. I remember her giving me the news this past May and being so scared! It was a long, rough couple of months for Mom as the nearest radiation center is over an hour away. Lot’s of trips back and forth, back and forth. But, she had her operation, did the radiation and life goes on. For that, I’m especially thankful! She also is the reason that I am able to work outside of the home as she covers the kids when my husband and I’s schedules conflict. Thanks, Mom! (Mimi) Speaking of survivors, I am thankful for each day that I get to see beautiful pictures of the toughest little girl I know, my niece. She’s a miracle and every day for her (and those of us that are lucky enough to know her) is truly a gift. I’m not thankful for the distance between our doorsteps, though. I really wish we lived closer! I’m thankful for my teaching job. I never realized before I started teaching how much I would come to learn, about the subjects I teach, life, people, education, and myself. Teaching college students has been, next to having children, the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Whenever I SEE that “AHA!” moment I’m filled with nearly as much pride as I was when I watched each of my children take their first steps! Through teaching, I’ve also made some of the greatest, most caring friends.
I’ll never forget the day our family home was lost to fire. I was supposed to give my Database Development students their final exam and, of course, had to cancel. That evening, a student called to offer any help that she could give and I could tell that she truly meant it. When we bought our new house she toured it and offered to help me fix an especially troubled wall in one room. That was a year and a half ago. I still haven’t gotten around to that room but she still calls on occasion just to ask if I’m ready for her help. There truly are amazing people in this world! I remain thankful to the many friends, family members, the American Red Cross, the Berlin Fire Department and complete strangers for surrounding my family with love, kindness and showing me how a community really does come together when someone’s in need. Just to name a couple of other special family members, my Gram, also a breast cancer survivor and my Aunt Rita, who, along with my mother, have consulted with me and shared recipes and stories with me recently on my writing adventures. They have both been beyond supportive of me in everything that I do. I couldn’t have written those books without them. And, of course, I am thankful for the ability to have written those books as well as the many people that have supported me by purchasing them. And, I’m thankful for my great friends and family, there are too many of you to name, but you all know who you are and how you fit into my life. I hope that you know how special you are to me!! What are YOU Thankful for?

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