A Thousand Gifts

April 30 - Given, Made, Sacrificed

Given- Baby Supplies
Made- Dinner
Sacrificed - Afternoons

April 28 - Orange

Amber Glasses of Ender picked flowers
Coloring pages filled with his favorite color at the moment
Crunchy carrots, one of the very few veggies Cora will allow in her stubborn jaws.

April 15

Bag - more and more clothes for Cora from the most gracious Jelena
Box - an original piece of Sherry artwork come to my doorstep
Book- "What is saving belief if it isnt the radical dare to wholly trust?" 1000 gifts

April 14 - Looking Up

-I saw a whale swimming dreamily in a sky of blue, it spread its fins and the wind carried it back to its cloud form
-A Geico Lizzard flying a plane and making my kids jump for joy
-Venus, and more conversations with Ender about its starry appearance

March 30 - Uncovered

-Garden fungus, oozing emergency orange from the soil.  Apparently, so zander claimes, its 4 leaf clover rare and a good sign of rainbow rich dirt.
-More space in our little home- throwing away things reveals oxygen and gratitude
-kissable bare shoulders in the spring sun

February 23 -

Tin- Cora's tin tea set her and Ender set up and serve one another even if for only a blessedly brief moment of love

February 22 - Changed Today

A new little blessing in our Sunday School class, he's a powerhouse of sweetness
The landscape of our backyard
Two of the most dearest people uniting

February 21 - White

February 20 -

Breakfast -  A caring Papa who rumbles his jeep over to my house to watch his adoring grandkids while I go to the doctors.
Lunch - Enjoying the sunlight in my parent's house
Dinner - Sitting down with my mama and kids

February 19 - gifts that were plan B's

hitting up our neighborhood park and running into a slew of Ender's buddies
going to the periwinkle door instead of the white one
having a C-Section with Ender J.

February 18 - on Paper

Ender's name on an adorable time of playing soccer
Unfiltered thoughts in my journal that don't need polishing for anyone
Ender decorating the paper that we wrote the gender reveal on (BOY) of  all the different things Ender will teach him.  Fast Cars. Swords.  How to swim in the ocean...?

February 17 - in Giving/Serving

February 16 - in Shadows

Ender playing the shadow chasing game
Ender comprehending the difference between a shadow and a silhouette
The humble shadow of our newest and only shade tree

February 15

Losing -Losing things around the house and having proud Ender find them for me
Finding - an onion sprout
Making Something - a quaint celebration for Cora

February 14 - You feel the love of God

Through the peace He gives to my heart in this hurried world
Through His Spirit rising up in hard times and affirming His devotion and faithful power
Through are shared love of His nature

February 13 - Behind a door

A feisty post nap girl, ripping off her shirt and all her bedding
An obedient boy, amusing himself quietly for two hours while I sleep and detox from my own shortcomings that day
My very own rarest of rare men

 February 12 - Hard Eucharisteo

Having an extremely independent two year old lady
Where friendships have faded away, seasons of friends
For a quaint home that is in constant need of deep and thorough cleaning

February 11

11:30 - a whimsical yellow house
2:30 - napping soundly on a sun basked couch
6:30 - enjoying daddy daddy playing fetch with Cora.  She'd bounce/bound over to the stick, put it in her mouth and scamper on back.

February 10 - Times you heard laughter today

Cora when she sneaks to untie papa's shoe laces
Ender twirling around on Papa's stool
cousins laughing out a sugar high and rolling their sugar bellies down a hill

February 9 - Surprise Gifts

February 8
Broken -
Fixed - The ice machine, its luxurious to have ice come right out of your refrigerator
Thrifted - Cora's golden mirror

February 7 - in Working

A beautiful place to dwell under the sun

February 6-  Found Outside

Peach tree blossoms popping out pink
2 ornery children who have preoccupied themselves for an hour and a half with each other
atleast 20 busy bees buzzing to and fro

February 5

Hammered -

february 4 - Found when bent down

Big and perhaps painful hugs from Cora

February 3 - Found in Writing

Ender practicing writing his name all over my "important" papers

February 2 - Paper

The tried and true banana bread recipe the kiddos gobble up every time
Powerful encouragement to obey God and be free

February 1 - Red

My valentine plant in bloom
Rosy flushes all over the kid's faces from laughing so hard while playing with daddy

January 31

Paper -
In a Person -Zander digging a trench to lay down a water system, in the rain, with three eager "helpers"
In a Picture - a comic series for cousins by a four year old and his artistically challenged mother

The old way of taking care of just one toddler and the ease it comes with, but the new feeling of incompleteness
The old stuff around the house that doesn't need to be replaced just rearranged and given purpose (my Little Toaster of a Home)
My sister's ceramics she forged in high school adorning my windowsill.  I never needed to buy a ceramic off etsy. 

January 29

Song heard - A reminder/encouragement of just how convicted and convinced I am of staying by Zander's side
A soft word - I was able to speak them to my parents
Light Seen on Ender's face as he rode the carosel horse like a genuine cowboy

January 28 - in Friends

Being candid
making them laugh
how easy they can be to make

January 27 - in the kitchen

our own garden baked kale chips
garden broccoli and their edible yellow flowers with lemony butter sauce that Cora enjoyed

January 26

Before Dawn - alone time
At Noon - The original dr. pepper zinging and tingling my kid's lips for the first time
After dark - a drink for the plants stretching out their roots and trying to get comfortable in their new home

January 25 -

Borrowed -An old cd
Found - so many caterpillars dreaming of change in our oh so humble garden
Inherited - a garden throw blanket from Bobbye.  Should have pulled it out earlier into winter.

January 24 - Blue

the unchipped blue of the sky as I look up to see ender rock climbing, tethered to a proud and happy daddy.
blue eyes beginning to rim with a yellow halo
the color that is always in my dreams

January 23 - Found in Christ

I can talk to him anytime at any state in my poor mood and He listens,
readily forgives and
gives strength in the inner man

January 22

Wrinkled - Zander's laughing eyes
Smooth - the bark of a sycamore
Unfolded - my frenzied plans for the winter/spring garden!!

January 21 -

Sky- flamingo sunsets
Water- Cora's pleasure in quenching her after nap thirst with "wa wa"
Memory - Ender's padding feet across our wood floor at the old Bungalow

January 20 - Only Seen Up Close

Ender dug up a caterpillar half way between transformation, the wings were rolled up like a cigarette, the pillar part was white with only a few little legs left
Cora's beautiful feminine neck.  Its there, its just hiding under her confident shoulders.

January 19 - That might never have been

A chance meeting
A relationship plowed through

Good house bones

January 18 - God's Word

January 17

Laughter - a house full of cousins
Prayer - Rising before the kiddos and spending a few sleepy moments with God over tea
Quiet -Cora is quiet when she is intently observing Ender's dance moves

January 16 Witnessed Blessings

a considerate waitor to man eating his large pizza along
parents looking out for parents
daddy comforting and nurturing his hurt son's feelings

January 15 

Worn - Zander's ugly, warm slippers
Given Away - A story from ender's dragon filled mind
Shared - Time with a new friend

January 14 - Startling graces of God

towards evil ones against innocent ones
to the precious suffering
the sheer amount of its never ending-ness

January 13 - About Myself

I share a frustratingly insatiable sweet tooth with Cora
I love rocks
I have eyebrows (ahem...some children of mine need to get the memo)

January 12 

Below - pop corn kernels scattered from two addicted critters
Above - quiet starless sly
Beside - Zander always always always beside

January 11 - Yellow gifts of fresh mercy

Ender's sunday school bag, doubling  as a throw up catcher
the yellow glow of the morning sun as your only companion for at least an hour
January 10

Sour- mine and cora's sour attitudes not abandoned by God
Sweet- a divine corn medley from Blanco
Just Right-  the day, just right as rain

January 9 

Held - A snail, broken, a spirit broken by mistake, then frantically restored
Passed by - trees of citrus everywhere!
Sat with - two munchkins warming their bare skin in the january sun

January 8 

dusky light - the afternoon light that always is with ender when he plays in his room
surprising reflection -my pregnant self trying to modern dance again, yowza. yikes. worth it.
lovely shadow -a heavenly love in my heart... a shadow of what is truly to come

January 7 - From the People I love

Zander, steps into the kitchen without a complaint and makes his family and whining wife a meal
An acceptance to help and to a favor for
Dad, watching the kids and not getting upset that I stored a bag of throw up on his drive way while I went shopping

January 6 

In bag - homemade antibacterial sanitizer from friend
In Fridge - freshly plucked tangerines
In heart - Fullness of family

January 5

Reading - Staying up late reading about southwest gardens and chinese Wisteria
Making - Making the most of each day with Thing 1 and Thing 2
Seeing - More of God's grace poured out onto stranger's lives

January 4

Old - old dollar store peanut butter crackers that subsided morning sickness
New - I couldn't resist its mesmerizing glow, my new salt rock lamp
Blue - The elusive traveler's discarded wardrobe 

January 3 - Graces Overheard

the grace of young spousal compromise
whole families spending time with one another
brother to sister understanding

January 2
Outside - Zander's myopic focus on the dog's first time in snow rather than his daughters
Inside - the patience of happiness and little children driving 2 1/2 hours to see play in frigid snow
On a plate - fresh homemade waffles

January 1 - Heard

the raucous guffaws and snide wit of the Toth family
the alarm clock at 830am and no Ender asking for his "milky"
"yes, you 5.17 left on your gift card, chai latte?" saith the Starbucks servant

December 31 - anticipated

a hobbity night out with Zander
taking organization by storm that always seems to include a new pot and plant
planting a bounty of blossoms to lure in more hummingbirds

December 30 Remembered

the gas pedal is still the gas pedal in a manual
He gave me strength in my inner man
He is Creator, Life sustainer

December 29 - Hope

Hope, takes a weight off my chest
Hope, gives me assurance
Hope, boils it down to the One to hope for

December 28 - Lingering

the scent of Zander's essential oils
broken and peeled citrus staining fingers and shirts
the Christmas Spirit

December 27

Found - comfort and wholeness with our little family of 4
Shared - Ender shared/ re gifted his toys he didn't want anymore to his 11 year old cousins (ie painted rock, plastic horse and playschool steamroller) 
Saved - Ender's contribution to mama's rock collection- adorning any windowsill Cora can't reach

December 26 In Christ

No one is not loved
His faithfulness
His empathetic compassion

December 25 - Luke 2

December 24 - Humble

the dark corridors in my heart
the smallness of such a glorious light
asking candles lit

December 23- Starry

a night sky full of the proof of filled promises
a string of colorful lights twinkling across a boys sleeping face

December 22

Rejoicing - Zander home
Wonder - the enamour of a daddy's love to his two rascals
Praising - His strength as mine

December 21 - Lit

Parent's faces
Grandma's face
Little pea sized girl's faces

December 20 - Angelic Song

Helen's praises in Heaven
Christmas worship
Ender's nightly serenade of "Away in a Manger

December 19 - Manger Small

the nursing baby diety
the lowly, humbleness of it all

December 18 - Miraculous

Arica graduating her nursing program haha
Zander's kind undeserving forgivness
God's compassion towards my selfish mind

December 17 - Frosted

Zander's labor of lawn love
Gingerbread creations
Comments said, but thawed.

December 16 - Bethlehem Unlikely

 December 15

Gold - A little girl's frizzy halo
Scented - A monday night faithfully filled with the scent of a bountiful meal
Bent Low  - A mother and father

December 14 - Stamped

Postcard from Iceland
Letter from Germany
tiny knuckles stamped with the accomplishment of making it through story time

December 13 - Striped

Pajama pants
Candy canes melting in hot sticky palms
tear stains on cheeks

December 12 - Berry Red

pomegrantes seeds gleaming from our first harvest
bandaid sore soothed with meluca
how zander prefers his steak

December 11 - Ice Cold

"Ice ice" requests
32oz of bottled water pre ultra sound
defining 50 degrees as ice cold to justify igniting the fireplace

December 10 - Unframed art

254. Ender's airplanes and junipine flowers scattered across the floor
253 Sunday School crafts taped above his bed
252. Greg's rare oil desert painting

December 9 Ugly Beautiful

251. The ugliness of mistakes- the beauty of forgiveness

December 8 

248 Hung - Memories dangling with the lights on the trees
247 Held - Daddy and his baby mine
246. Heard - Ender singing Outkast

December 7 - From your Savior

245. Comfort
244. Hope
243. Forgiveness

December 6 - Sweet

242. Wet fallen sycamore leaves
241. Hot coco after a cold stroll
240. Little hands in mittens

December 5 - Silver

239. Wet sheen of asphalt
238.  Slender baren bark
237. the lining behind every cloud

December 4 - 

236. Circling- Good neighborly deeds
235. Crowning-
234. Crafted -the small sliver of motivation to do it

December 3 - Shining

233. Wet asphalt
232. A boys eyes beholding the power of a good sword over an orc
231. The Lamp unto my feet

December 2 - Bright

228. Your own ideas just for your little world

december 1 - White

226. big boy's pearly whites gleaming under a perfect score at the dentist

225. my sin- white as snow

November 30 - Astonishing!

223. the sequencing of God's most recent personal events
222. Waking up earlier makes me less tired, huh.

November 29 - Red

221. Oklahoma dust in my blood
220. faded red wagon toting two of the finest people I know,
219. - the blood of a busted lip soothing the words "All is forgiven, you are loved"

November 28 - Community

218. prayer humbleness
217. sympathy, empathy
216. support

november 27 - 

215. Handmade - Esssential Oil hand sanitizer- a lovely intoxication!
214. Held - neighbor's sweet sweet baby falling asleep in my arms
213. Happy - The whole fam damily!

November 26 - Preparation

212. squeaky clean pale little bodies
211. mama's help and her "can do" attitude and her "easy breezy" ways
210. mini pumpkins, hemp bound river rocks

November 25 Ugly- Beautiful

209. the ugly of spiraling sin, the beauty of even that much more grace
208. the ugly way I fail - the beautiful timing Zander comes to the rescue
207. the ugly annoyance of Gunther's intrusion- the beautiful way he wants to be around us

November 24 - Humble

206. another mom's body type and laughter
205. her reaching out
204. Cheese crisps for dinner again

November 23 Only in Christ

203. death defeater
202.Turn evil into good
201. Unconditional love

November 22 Grateful


November 21 Family

199. cousins close in age
198. Monday
197. Sunday

November 20 Traditions

196. daddy taking the holidays off
195. Bedtime stories in front of the fire
194. Ne ne birds in front of the fire

November 19 Autumn

193. Traditions
192. Au revoir skeeters!
191. Bundled up baby  - as if Cora wasn't chunky enough

November 18

190. Made -special trendy crunch tea

189. Shared - precious thoughts
188. Passed On-toys to the littles

November 17 Laughter

187. Zander
186. Zander
185. Zander

November 16 Hard Eucharisteo

184. New people bringing change
183. Stroke attacking a beautiful mind

182.my own short comings as a mother

November 15 Golden

181. sunset rays falling into plumes of dust
180. ornery curls
179. tokens of solidarity

November 14- Silent

178. side glances of camaraderie from little sister
177. cool grey skies
176. those blank walls begging to nailed into with pictures of God's salvation

November 13 - Behind a door

175. a slumbering baby, happy that it was bedtime
174. two children, a panicky dog and a camping lantern
173. a warm raucous of like minded people

November 12 - at Noon

172. a cool balmy umbrella of clouds
171.  confident 4 year old cruising down the street on his trike
170.  4 snuck oreo cookies

November 11 - Remembrance

169. 6 years of creaky floors
168. a boy's uncanny memory from two years ago of one impressionable stop on a walk
167. Bobbye Jean the Riveter

November 10- Gifts found in Bible reading


November 9 - Harvest

163. a harvesting of 3 beautiful pumpkins from our pumpkin vines
162. a harvesting resolution to lay aside
161.a harvesting of willpower

November 8 

160. sweet - freedom from the rut in my own head
159. salty- tears of reconciliation
158. sipped - tea brewed over a camping stove

November 7 - from my window

157. mesquite trees that God ultimately shapes
156. afternoon sun
155.little  sun baked shoulders  playing in the sand

November 6 - Government

154. checks and balances
153. direction not stances
152. established

November 5 - Acorn Small

151. the marble Cora obediently spit out into my hand
150. the moths and grasshoppers Gunther pleases in chasing and eating.  He leaps and prances.
149. cora's teeth, i love to kiss her teeth.  its one of the oddities of myself that Cora has created.

November 4 -

148. good- God.  God is good.  He is so good. 
147.given - my votes for my country's leaders
146. gathered - strength and willpower from God to face another possible day of hardheaded children

November 3 - begins with N

145. the quiet and still of Night giving me a chance to catch my breath
144. Ne ne birds and their ne ne dance
143. Naps, naps naps! everyday naps!

November 2 - Worn

142. coconut & olive oil
141. chicago goodwill find from being friends with thrift store royalty
140. mexican red bracelet from our childish mexico days

November 1 - Eaten

139. A bodenseehof breakfast with  bohoffers
138. Hazelnut birthday cake with someone who unceasingly is a friend
137. Frozen chocolate chips - whole bag

October 31 - Hallowed

136. the quiet desert
135. the throne room of Jesus, my heart, your's.
134. the threshold of our humble abode

October 30 Overjoyed

133. rediscovering the whitebalance option in my camera
132. coming home to zander and lemony leftovers
131. something secret, something safe

October 29 - on Time

130.  harvest of the ghost pumpkins!
129.  Zander, ironically, on time to be home with us always

128. the 4 o clock sun coming in through the living room window - a bright golden flash before we have to turn on the bulbs

October 28 - in Christ

127. His passion to save

126. His unwavering compassion
125. His heart beat, drawing me close, so I can hear the rhythm

October 27

124. Happy - Ender and Cora happily doing chores with me and spending the whole day at home
123. Humbling - giving to others and having to swallow my pride about the embarrassment that is my front yard.

122. Honoring - zander contemplating magic, other worlds and me

October 26 extravagant

121.home cooked meals from church women

120. summer sausage- that stuff is not cheap!
119. sister's barely worn most lovely hand me downs, such an abundant gift!

October 25 -Enjoying

118.  :)
117. zander confess Cora as his other soul mate
116. the piping hot gooey cheese that is quintessential red devil's pizza topping

October 24 - Accomplished

115.camping without the kids
114. Ender surprising himself and riding a two wheeled scooter
113.not yelling at being yelled at

October 23 - Begun

112. self acceptance
111. the next trick for Gunther that will soon develop into fancy choreography
110. a connection with new neighbors

October 22

109. strong - a good mug of coffee
108. still- afternoon

107. silent -my advice, my perspective, my ideas when others share theirs with me

October 21 - Undervalued

106.  staying at home and making zilch!
105. elderly woman's prayers

104. an early bed time for 'moi'

October 20th - Unconventional

103. barefoot mama and children
102. eating chocolate for breakfast lunch and dinner- it won't happen again!
101. earthy medicine grown by the Great Physician

October 19 - Unexpected

100. the clouds brewing a pink magic of thunder, mixing with pink lightning and then casting down unexpected rain
99.  diaper explosion over Sunday dress, she loved padding around in only a diaper and her silver tennies
98. a warm compliment

October 18 - 

97. shared - the kid's always wanting to eat off my plate and drink from my cup
96  saved - bridges that I'm almost lit a match to
95.  surrendered - my flaws and weaknesses

October 17 - Ugly Beautiful

94.  jealousy vented on a faithful friend and confidant
93. Crazy o'l Billy sleeping on his deceased mom's porch, the beauty of God's love for him.

92. the food and snot that cakes cora's face, the beauty of her happy ignorance of it.

October 16 - Burning

91. the day star's unwavering routine
90. Coals under a hot grill under a husband's willingness to cook dinner
89. My quads a raging fire in dance class

October 15- Re-read

86. Make me like Thy clear air, That Thou dost pour They colors through as though it were not there.

October 14 - Said

85. "Hello Mrs. Tothfairy!"

84. (I lost Ender's lego piece) "Ohhhh I'm so mad at you mama!!" (I hope you can forgive me)
"I"ll forgive you when you find it!" ha!  he didn't mean it :)

83. "You do have the power, but its not quick magic, but slow magic" - zander

October 13 - Read

81. "The desert, to those who do listen is more likely to provoke awe than to invite conquest" - josephwood

80."I will take the sun in my mouth and leap into the ripe air Alive with closed eyes to dash against darkness" eecummings

October 12 

79. small -those yellow butterflies, I've never seen so many before!
78. smaller - my marble collection discovered by ender
77. smallest -roly poly belly button

October 11 - Change

76. Baker's Nursery being sold, I thank God in his potential to fill that space in my life Bakers was.  Their leaving is too mysterious and unfortunate. 

75. Giving up control in our life

74. Ender's new "thing" cars & legos with gusto! 

October 10 - Moving

73.the Spirit

72. wagon wheels carrying a load of two chatty siblings
71. the flow of grace over my  many personal failures today

 October 9 - Framed

70.My childhood rock collection
69. Zander swinging from a sycamore
68 Kissing Cora

October 8 - Made, Masked, Marveled

67.  Masked - a tiger elly playing with her littlest cousins
66. Marveled- Modern Dance
65. Made -Birthday Banana Bread

October 7 - Given

64. Ten blessed minuets of zander playing with my hair
63. Protection for Cora and her wild ways
62. Jam from an island I might never see, but will have tasted its fruit.

October 6 - Growing

61. Ender's awareness of our relationship
60. Bond between Gunther and I
59. fruit trees from arizona root stock (not california's!)

October 5 - returned

58. a phone call
57. a faraway friend
56. resolution in magic and the free spirit

October 4 - reaped

55. A green view out the kitchen window of ghost pumpkin vines!
54. Palest blue, creamiest eggs from sister's chickens
53. Canned peaches from Idaho

October 3

52.Mid-way - A mom who is still able to meet me half way and then be able to carry it the rest of the way
51. Let Go - a weekend of plans to take care of sick kids
50. Caught- angry ender tear caught on hands calloused from 8 years of washing dishes with no dishwasher ha!

October 2 -  Falling 

49. summer temperatures falling far far away
48.flour falling, powder on 4 pairs of "helping" hands
47. matted curls falling over post nap eyes

October 1 - Orange

46. the glow of the first autumn candle flickering behind the whimsical spooky house
45.wicker pumpkins waiting to be filled with candy for tempted fingers and surprise visitors
44. a copper pipe that will extend our backyard garden to our front yard. 

September 30 - Shining

42. glossy palm fronds
41. ender's eyes when they light upon an "idea"!
40. tin foil asteroid belt

September 29 - Shelved

39. Ender's contribution to mama's rock collection
38. The Woman in White - my spooky read for this October
37. teddy bear with delicate floral fur, casually given to me from Miss Bobbye

September 28 - Shy

36. ender. strategic about when to be shy.
35. far away cousins, putting the word shy to shame
34.  michelle, hesitant, curious, wanting to hang around

September 27

33.Unpopular- Zander's dance music for kids. 
32. Uneven- Cora's one dimpled cheek.
31. Unexpected- a most alarmingly wet storm.  Thick sheets of rain, covering visibility.

September 26 - flourishing

30. ghost pumpkin vines
29.  cora's and ender's humor
28. cloves in a tooth socket

September 25 - Finished

27. anti inflammatory pills
26. the chrysalis stage of our pet white lined sphinx caterpillar (ahem, moth)
25. 3 digit degree weather.....

September 24 - Funny

24. Cora blaming her poopy diapers on the dog. everytime.
23. Ender crying so hard then laughing so hard to try to stop the crying
22. zander believing his jean jacket is why all the ladies flirt with him. very laughable.

September 23 - Quiet

21. quiet evening- no kids
20. quiet kids letting me nap in the afternoon
19. quiet kids letting me sleep in

September 22 -

18. Reclaiming-- my days with the kids
17. Receding- jaw numbing pain
16. Rattling- Ender rattling off idea after idea after idea

September 21 -information

15. bbc mini series
14. rosemary, tarragon & artichoke plant-lings
13. gentle cora kisses on swollen lips

September 20 - gifts of salvation

12. Rest
11. Hope
10.freedom to not judge someone's soul

September 19 - gifts in conversation

9. finding that i didn't have to have conversation but only thoughts
8.  finding grace in zander who put up with my angry drugged orders
7. finding comradery with very different mom from me  in oral surgeons waiting room

 September 18

6. Fixed: Lunch and Dinner for me day before wisdom teeth torture

5. Freckled: one on each of his earlobes and one in the slight hollow of his neck

4.Folded: tiny, greasy fingers squished into folding hands of prayer just as she sees her parents do before a meal.

September 17

3.the ugly, a rebellious 3 year old refusing to leave the park when it starts to lightly rain
the beautiful, getting caught in an amazing down pour

2.the ugly, a back yard full of mud
the beautiful, a baby girl caked in it and eating it like cake

1.the ugly, the knots in my stomach from a broken relationship
the beautiful, the knots are evidence I still love them

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