attitude of gratitude

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. ~Roald Dahl

Oh Roald Dahl, you are such an interesting person.  I love how you take truth and get it down our throats with a spoonful of good humor.

Here are a few little happenings that I am thankful for:


1.  A morning of sunshine

Got no checkbooks, got no banks,
Still I’d like to express my thanks –
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night.
~Irving Berlin


2.  We went to the day spa, Sarah and I.

She was so fascinated by the yellow goo being squirted in my hair that I had to get out the phone and take a picture.  She loves watching me get my hair done.


Rich told me to relax at the spa and I said, “Yes, but, how can I relax if I have Sarah with me?”  “Oh Shan, she’s adorable!  You let her get her nails done.  See if they can get her in.”

I did ask, but the ladies were all booked up so I asked Amy (my hairdresser) to take Sarah in the other room to pick out some nail polish.  While my hair processed I myself gave Sarah her manicure, including base coat and top coat.


3.  Seth had a program at school so I buttoned him up in a handsome dress shirt (over a t-shirt).  I fussed quite a bit with the hair, too.  (you can sort of tell by the picture that he was ready to be let go again, right?)

Later, when Sarah and I arrived to school for the assembly, in walked Seth with the dress shirt OFF and looking all ordinary.


4.  Breakfast at the diner.


5.  My two oldest boys; Jacob (in back) and Ethan.


6.  Michael and Seth (Sunday)


7.  Reading books to silly Sarah.


8.  The ice melted on Monday.   I sent Seth out on the porch to feel the air, “There IS no air!” was his observation.  It was a windless, warmish day.  When they came home from school we went outside.  Before I could stop them, Dave and Seth had their shoes and socks off in the stream.  It really wasn’t warm enough for it, and their little feet turned pink.


9.  Dave caught a crayfish which was a joy because every other sign of life in the waters was missing (frogs, turtles, fish).


How many of my friends are in the kitchen this week in preparations for Thanksgiving Day?  I’m in the kitchen as I type.  My body is sitting on the couch in the living room, but my mind is over there in the kitchen thinking about what I need to do next!

10.  Yesterday I made my roll dough using my Grandma’s recipe.  After the first rise, I formed the rolls.


I placed them in their pans, wrapped them up, and put them in the freezer.  Tomorrow I will take them out, let them rise the second time, and bake them.


11.  Yesterday we also did our big grocery trip for everything we needed on this list:



I would rather stay in the kitchen cooking all day than go to the store!  So I was very happy to get it done.


12.  We had a mini-thanksgivng feast yesterday.  Jacob and Ethan had to miss their football thanksgiving dinner because their game was moved up a day.  They were disappointed about it so I decided to surprise them.  When they got home from school at 2:30 everything was ready.  I roasted a butterball turkey breast, made (frozen) mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, corn, and cranberry sauce.  I saved out some of my roll dough in order to make a couple little loaves of bread, too.


Not only did my children come home (Dave, Jacob, Grace, and Ethan) but also two extras.  I loved watching them fill up their plates and go sit down in the dining room together.




13.  Last night was Senior night at the football game.  It was cold, but we had a lot of fun watching Jacob play his last game.




This is one of those pictures that I look at and see him as my own little baby, behind those eyes and that face, he’s still there.



14.  sisters

I hope you have a lovely day today!

There is snow falling outside and it will be a cozy day to make pies.

10 thoughts on “attitude of gratitude

  1. I do love to read about your day! And that quote by Roald Dahl is so true! The kids are all getting big! WOW! I am a bit nostalgic reading about all your plans for Thanksgiving. It is not celebrated here in Denmark, and after 14 years here, we just don’t do much with it…. except feel homesick! 🙂 We both have to work, anyway…. Blessings to you and your sweet family. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know you will!

  2. I always love reading your blog, and hearing about your days. Each member of your family is beautiful, smiles or not, thought here is so much truth to that quote! (*Purposing now to think only good thoughts* Yikes!)

    Those rolls! They look so perfect. I can almost smell them.

    I agree with the ladies above…I can’t believe your children are THAT grown up. Where did the time go? I can’t believe I’ve been reading your blog for this long…but it has been a great joy of mine to read it. I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you Shanda, and all the family! Loved looking through photos of a sweet week. We all got to see Seth dressed up! 🙂 We have been eating the Turkey around here, as David loves it so. Just cooked another big one for Thursday with Family. Bob will get going on the pies tonight and tomorrow. So cute your little girlie had Spa day with you. Your big guys are so handsome!

  4. You are a super mom!!! I love the quote about what makes people ugly. I believe it! As usual, your photos are great and it’s impossible to pick one favorite. Your big boys are so close to being MEN! And they are so handsome! All the kids are cute and you are so very blessed! Have a wonderful, safe, sickness free Thanksgiving! Love, Gail

  5. A very happy and a most blessed Thanksgiving Day to you and your dear and sweet family, Shanda! I really, really loved reading this post!! Blessings to you all, my dear!! xo P.S. Your grocery list looks much like the ones I write up … I usually recycle the used mail envelopes for scrap paper whenever I can … seems we’re forever running out! 🙂

  6. I was wondring if you would share your roll recipie with me. I would love a recipie where I can freeze and then bake the next day for Christmas. Thank you so much!

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