Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gratitude Days 23-26

Wow, so I totally fell down this week in doing my Gratitude lists, so I'm going to do them all in one blow.  A few notes from this week ...

 Wednesday I came home late from work and found all well with my family.  My wife was still suffering some of the worst effects from her cold, but she was doing all right.  We did nothing noteworthy that evening.

Thursday I went to work in the morning for a review to determine the readiness of my software to be deployed for use the by Mars missions (which went very well, as usual) and then came home early so I could get a nurse to look at where I had my TB test done on Tuesday.  I met with the wife and daughter and we went out to lunch and had a great day.  I tried to work from home the balance of the day, but it was scattershot due to my wife still not feeling very well and me volunteering to go pick up my younger son from school.  My older son, though, went to volunteer at the library (2 hours of sorting books -- woo hoo!) and then he and I went to the church for a white elephant party with all the young men and women from our ward and our neighboring ward.  It was sorta silly, but I wouldn't say it was "fun" because people didn't bring very inspiring stuff (the hottest gifts were some pink Christmas socks, a Christmas blanket, and a remote control spider that supposedly climbs walls).

Friday (last night), I went to Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles with my oldest son.  The occasion was a field trip for the kids in his grade who are taking Spanish.  We took the Metro (1 hour both ways!) to get there and he was grouped with a bunch of nice kids.  We wandered the street for 4 hours!  We didn't need anywhere near that much time, but that's how the Spanish teacher scheduled it.  Myself and another father were the chaperones for our little group of six kids and it was quite nice to visit with him.  It took us a few hours to figure out that we were both members of the church, and he actually attends our old ward over in Valencia.  It's funny how we Mormons tend to find each other ...

This morning (Saturday), I went with my kids over to Lowe's for a workshop where they assembled a little wooden train. This was the third Saturday and the final one to get the complete Christmas train.  Afterwards we went to the mall and wandered around.  3 hours later we returned home nearly empty handed ... I had some light bulbs for some nightlights that we've needed and my younger son had purchased a little gift for his mother.  Ah, gotta love shopping right before the holidays.  We had some funny discussions about how when we go shopping for Mom for Christmas it's a tough job because it has to be a combination of something she wants or needs, but at an acceptable price, which is tough to do knowing what a bargain shopper she is.  We giggled about how she's not averse to taking things back that she gets for Christmas and all the kids thought it was funny when I said, in a high-pitched voice, "You paid how much for that?" mimicking my wife.  Okay, it wasn't funny, but ... well, okay, it was funny.  Meanwhile, my wife was off at Costco braving the crowds and not having any fun at all.

Now, I'm blogging instead of cleaning the toilets ...

So, my Gratitude List:

1) I'm grateful for being a salaried employee, so that I can take the time to be home when I need to be home, and make it up at other times.
2) I'm grateful that my work supports telecommuting and teleconferencing, for without that, it would be so much harder to make up those times ...
3) I'm grateful for the ability to telecommute and teleconference, in all its various flavors, so that I can work with people all across the country and in Europe and barely flinch at the differences in time zones and environments.
4) I'm grateful for my older son's voluntary attitude.  Sometimes he volunteers to help a little too much (example: he will on occasion offer to help people do the work that they are paid to do), but his willingness is always surprising.
5) I'm grateful for Christmas parties and that they only come once a year.  If they came more often then they wouldn't be so special.
6) I'm grateful for the school my oldest son goes to.  It's a charter school and is focused on college prep, and it actually hard for him.  As a smaller school with a dress code, it doesn't harbor many of the problems that run rampant through the regular junior high schools.
7) I'm grateful that my daughter is being home-schooled.  It's a wonderful blessing for her to be home with her mother and I appreciate the time they have together.  One of these days she's going to go back to public school and I think my wife is really going to miss having her here, and my daughter, I know, is going to miss having that time with her mother.
8) I'm grateful that my younger son has the wonderful 1st grade teacher that he has.  He had her last year in a kindergarten/1st grade split, and he's been cycled back in for his 2nd year.  She's a fantastic teacher that loves her students and I'm grateful that he has her as a teacher.
9) I'm grateful for my wife and that she is a very frugal woman.  She makes it possible for our little family to always have what we need because she uses the resources that we have so well.
10) I'm grateful that I have time to be with my children and to be able to go places with them.  Just walking the mall with them (and telling them "No, we're not buying that" about a million times) is such a rewarding thing for me, as I feel so blessed to have them.
11) I'm grateful that each of my children are healthy.  Talking with the other chaperone last night, I discovered he has a Down Syndrome 2-year-old, and I can't even imagine how challenging that must be and the long road he has ahead of him.
12) I'm grateful for Christmas lights, for they make everything look so bright and cheerful.

There, I think that catches me up ... a little random, but there you have it!

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