Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Laughter

I didn't quite make it through the whole month of November with my thankful posts. But, I made it through Thanksgiving and for that, I'm thankful. It was harder than I thought. Not being thankful, just the time commitment of posting a little something every day. I'm officially letting myself off the hook. I feel much better.

Now, onto my regular unthankful posts.

I love my kids. They always make me laugh. The day after Thanksgiving, they officially welcomed Christmas by making cards for Santa.

This was Ben's:
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And this was Emily's:
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Yep, at least she is honest. And funny.

Emily also made a Thanksgiving card for her friend Ellie in school.
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I asked how she knew what masa was? It's a Spanish corn/flour type thing. That's all I know. She said, "That's Mesa!" as in the town Ellie lives. Ha! Mesa, Masa, tomato, tomatoe.

We took the kids to our favorite Chinese food place. We got them some Chicken Chow Mein. Emily liked it. Ben tried the egg drop soup.
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After the meal, Ben decided he liked the rice and fortune cookie.

David and I love Canton Dragon. Noah only ate 2 crispy wontons. He doens't like food.
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We had a lot of leftovers.

Have you ever heard of the sock bun? It's were you cut off the toe of a sock, roll it up and then roll your pony tail around it to get a perfect bun. I read in a magazine yesterday to spray your hair and you'll have beautiful cascading curls after you sleep on it. So I did.
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Not quite the look I was going for. I think I look like Carrot Top and Annie's love child.

Ben wants to climb walls one day like Spiderman. I think this is the closest he will get.


In any case, I'm glad my kids provide me with laughter and that I can laugh at myself. For that, I'm thankful.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful

We usually go to my Dad and Suzy's home for Thanksgiving in Phoenix. They have been sick for weeks, so we did our own Thanksgiving here. It was nice though to be at home with the ones I love.

Noah helped prepare the stuffing.
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While David cooked, I went outside with the kids and put up Christmas lights. Ben is a stickler about not having Christmas stuff out before Thanksgiving is over, but I figured we get a pass since the lights don't come on until after Thanksgiving dinner.

Ben was determined to try a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. He's had bites before, but never really liked it. He watched David carve the turkey that he fried.
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He ate a small portion of everything. I think it's an aquired taste and maybe he'll eat more next year.

Then, I gave the kids their first gift of Christmas. I don't normally do this, but I bought them a nativity that they could play with and I wanted them to have it. We used to have a ceramic one and they played with it and Joseph's head went rolling and a wise man lost an arm and I threw it away. So, they finally have one they can play with. Ben's first question was "Is it breakable?"
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It's a little people nativity and it rocks. Noah wasn't in the picture above because he kept making the angel fly by chucking her across the room. He was in a time out, but eventually, he got to play with them. We turned over the train table top and Ben said it could be the sand.
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Tonight, I'm thankful for my family. I love them.

BFF

This is for yesterday...

I had a great conversation with my best friend forever...Pam. She truly is the greatest. 10 years ago, our lives went from being single girls watching Sex and the City every Sunday night together, to me getting married and having a baby. We could've easily grown apart, but we didn't.

I had two more kids and moved far away. Sure the visits are less, but we just have more quality time together. We've had so many good time together and traveled across the country. We are always there for each other and always have a great time. We could sit in a room with nothing on and have a great time, right Pam? :o) Inside joke.

Today, I'm thankful for my best friend Pam.
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She's the bestest friend a girl could ever have.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oh Happy Day!

My husband is home! Oh happy day!

I missed him so much! His handsome face, his sweet smile, his arms wrapped around me. I love him so. I missed him so much and not just because I was a single parent with sick children for a week. I missed him, just him.

Tonight, I'm thankful for my husband. Now, back to having his arms around me...

Ben's Thanksgiving Play

Ben had a Thanksgiving play at school yesterday. It was awesome. He performed like he always does...all out without a care in the world.

I don't know why they turned out the lights and had 3 whole spot lights for 100 kids. It makes the videos a little dark, but I want them on the blog to remember them forever.


Each class came up to do a solo.


David missed it since he was in Florida. Emily's class came to watch though, so that was neat. I wasn't expecting her to be there. Ben did a great job.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Money

Ok, I'm not shallow enough to be thankful for money, but I'm thankful that we are comfortable with what we have.

My friend recently made fun of me when she saw me whip out my check register. I guess that is so last century. Up until 2 years ago, we were paycheck to paycheck. I needed to know down to the penny what was in my checking account in order to pay things without bouncing. Sure I don't write checks hardly ever anymore, but I still like to see what I have and what is coming and going.

I guess I'm just old school. What do you do? Online program? Check register? Nothing, just log in every so often to make sure nothing is bouncing? Do they call it bouncing when it's all out there in cyberland.

In any case, I'm thankful that we have enough money in our checking account that I don't have to watch every cent and I can contimplate throwing away my check register. Or not...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Noah

Oh our little witch monkey...

He's my strong willed child. He's a piece of work. He's difficult, stubborn and his smile lights up a room. He's felt pretty rotten for the past few weeks which makes him even tougher to handle. Tonight he wanted his dinner served on a tray in front of the TV. We never do this and because he had sat on the sofa all day and eaten about 42 calories the enitre day, I figured what the heck.

The King was served...
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and he ate nothing.

I brought out the breathing machine to help with his cough and it reminded me of that first year. Feedings every 1, 5 and 9 AM or PM. Then, he got sick all the time and it was breathing treatments that lasted 30 minutes every 4 hours. It was awful. Literally, it was the hardest year of my life, David's life and hopefully, Noah's life.

Tonight I'm grateful for my little man, Noah. He's a fighter, and I wouldn't have him any other way.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Home

David is at his Mom and Dad's and going through what we all do when we are away from home. You just miss your own bed.

I'm keeping this short and sweet. Tonight, I'm thankful for our home. It's not the fanciest, the cleanest or the most organized. Okay, okay, I have 3 1/2 junk drawers in the kithcen! But, it's ours and we all feel comfortable here.

Now, I'm off to enjoy my bed and my pillows for about 2 hours before Noah comes crawling in bed with me coughing his head off and telling me to "rub it" which means I have to rub his stomach until he falls asleep. That's a little thing that David started and in his absence, I will get to do it at 12:05, 12:50, 1:22, 2:10, 2:27, 3:05, 3:38, 4:17, 4:49, 5:06, 6:02, 6:40 and finally I will give up at 7:00 and get out of bed. And have to make my own coffee...

Can't wait to have you home babe.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Married

I was thankful earlier this week for David. My sweet husband who I love and adore.

Today, I'm thankful that I'm married.

Of course, when David leaves everything goes haywire. Ben was up puking one night. Noah's got a fever again and is coughing non stop. Emily is healthy, but extra spicy. I've felt like things are spiraling out of control. I haven't slept well in 5 days. I'm tired. I'm cranky. I'm alone.

Even with my Moms help, I feel like running a house and taking care of three kids is overwhelming. I don't know how single parents do it. I guess as with everything, you learn to adapt and adjust. But, I don't know if I could ever do this without my husband. I know I would never want to.

In all actuality, the week hasn't been all that much different than when David is here. It just makes it a whole heck of a lot easier when you have a partner to share the pain help. I'm so so thankful that I have a good partner. He comes home from work, puts on an apron and helps me with dinner. He makes me coffee every morning. And he'll sleep with a sick kid, so I can get some rest. Wow...I just had an ah-ha moment. I don't deserve him.

But, he's mine and for that I'm thankful.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Mama

My Mom has been living with us for a year. We affectionately refer to her as the Granny Nanny. She's a grandma first and a nanny second. She helps me...a lot.

With David gone for a week, it's like being a single parent. Sure some things are easier, like dinner and less laundry. But, everything else is hard.

Ben puked last night at midnight. I awoke to the kids all freaking out. Emily and Ben were sleeping together and they came down the hallway yelling that Ben was going to puke. It woke Noah up. So, there we all were at midnight. Ben puking in the bathroom trashcan that my Mom was holding in front of him. Noah in the hallway and Emily standing by. Ugh.

I got Noah to back to sleep. I was helping Ben blow his nose and get some water. I turn around to tell my Mom to put the puke can in the garage and I'll deal with it in the morning and there she is washing it out! Now that's love.

I had a morning of errands that I had been putting off for weeks planned. I was going to take the kids to school, volunteer in their classes, then go to Fry's, Albertsons, Safeway, the bank, Kohls, Kmart, Family Christian Store and the library. Ben climbed into bed with me and I pretty much thought I'd scrap all my errands in the morning other than take Emily to school.

We woke up and Ben felt great. What? Yep, no more pukes. He was totally fine. But, Noah had a fever. Ugh. It never ends. He finished his antibiotic Saturday and my guess is it didn't work. So, Noah is on the sofa waiting for a motrin high to kick in. Ben is flying around the house with a cape on. I wake my Mom to watch the boys while I take Emily, grateful that I don't have to load them up.

She tells me she's got it covered, go do what I got to do. So, I did. I helped in Em's class and got everything done. When I came home, Noah was just starting to feel crappy again. I was grateful to my Mom for watching the boys, so I could get caught up on stuff.

It just never ends. I think everybody should be so lucky to have their Mama with them for a year or two when they have little ones in the house. It makes life a heck of a lot easier. Thanks Mom!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

iPhone

When David and I made the leap from our flip phones to an iPhone in April, I was super hesitant. What could possibly warrant another $50 on our cell phone bill? I didn't see how anything could be worth it.

I was wrong.

There I said it, take note sweetie because I don't say those words often.

We made the change mainly for my work. I thought it would be nice to take pictures of shelf tags in stores, so I could have all the info when I got home. You'd be surprised how much you can learn from one of those babies. David was starting a new job that would involve a little traveling, so we knew a Smartphone would come in handy.

I love that David can talk to the kids and me every night while he is 2500 miles away in Florida and we can see him. It's like he's here when he's really not.

I love the camera and video. Instead of letting moments pass because I'm too lazy to get my big camera, my phone is always near me. I can take a quick picture or video to capture a moment. Like Noah playing with playdough a few days ago.

Is it silly to be thankful for technology, specifically my iPhone? I don't think so. Not when it keeps us close to family and captures sweet moments.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Silence

This blogging every day stuff is getting difficult. Not because I don't have things to be thankful for but because I don't have time.

With Monday being a holiday, my mail lady doesn't deliver my grocery ads until tomorrow. Usually, they would come Tuesday. The ads go live around 9 pm, so I stay up past midnight and get them done. Oh, I don't have to. My boss is super great and tells me to do them in the morning and get some sleep. But, I just can't sleep well knowing I have work waiting on me. Along with the 100 usually things I have when I first wake up.

Speaking of waking up. Normally, David is here. He gets coffee ready and takes care of the kids while I sleep until 7:15. He left for the airport at 5 am. Thankfully, he had a safe unevent flight(s) to Orlando and he's now with this Mom and Dad for a week. I'm thankful he got there safe. I'm also thankful that the other 357 days out of the year, he's home to take care of things why I sleep. This morning (and the following 7) was not fun!

I'm also thankful for the beautiful silence that I have right now. Even though I have to be up late working, my kids are asleep and the house is silenct. My mind is clear and that's always something to be thankful for.

Miss you sweetie.... Now off to work. I'm on the graveyard shift tonight.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nine

Today is our 9th anniversary. This is not only the day we got married, but we met a year before on November 12th. Married 9, together for 10 years.

10 years. My husband is a wonderful guy. I'm truly lucky to spend each and every day of my life with him. And as great of a husband he is, he's an even better Father. That's all I've ever wanted.

We have a good life and I owe it all to him. We left the kids with my Mom and went to Olive Garden today for some alone time. It was lovely.
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He's leaving tomorrow morning for Florida to spend a week with his Mom who is getting out of rehab after a double knee replacement. I think I'm going to realize just how much I enjoy having him here everyday after he is gone for 8. But it's these little times apart when you realize just how lonely and dull your life could be without that spark in it.

Tonight I'm thankful my sweetheart. He's the love of my life.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bribery

Emily and Ben were completely potty trained by 2 1/2. No diapers at night, no accidents. The process wasn't all that hard.

Then, Noah came along.

I know they say each kid is different, but this kid is from a whole different mold. It's been an ongoing struggle for about 18 months. I've tried everything. Not caring, overly praising, yelling at him, time outs, sticker chart, M&M's. Nothing worked on this kid.

Now, he's had pee down for awhile. But poops are another story. He would go a tiny bit in his pull up or underwear and he'd do this 4-5 times a day. It was so aggravating. David's sister suggested to get him some matchbox cars, but Noah doesn't like cars.

But he does like ninjas! So we went to the dollar store and let him pick out a bunch of different toys. Then, we didn't let him have any of them! Aren't we awful? We told him he had to go poops on the potty and then he will get a ninja.

And you know what, he came home, got right on the toilet and pooped! Hallelujah! It's a bloody miracle. We put all his toys in "Noah's Poop Toys" bucket and he gets to pick out a toy everytime he goes poop.
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I woke up this morning and he was sitting on the toilet hoping something would come out. Ben was really coaching him because you know they share toys, so he would push on his head and hope poop would come out. Then, he told Noah to eat a really big breakfast because it might make him go.

I haven't figured out what I'll do in 11 days when the toys are gone.

Today I am thankful for the art of bribery and I'm thrilled that Noah is receptive to it. And since it's Veterans Day, I'm also thankful to our military men and women who do a job that I never could.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Seasons

After we had Emily, David wanted to move. He hated the heat, the traffic, the crime and pollution in Phoenix. Well, everyone hates those things, but Phoenix has a lot to offer too. We explored the idea together and settled on Prescott. Close enough to friends and family, but far enough to not endure 115 degree heat for most the summer.

I wasn't sure how I'd do here, but I love it! I love everything about this small town. Surprisingly, my favorite thing is seasons. In Phoenix, you have hot days for 6 months and nice days for 6 months.

They say Prescott has a mild four season climate. Meaning, you get to enjoy each season, but you won't get buried in 3 feet of snow nor will it ever get 115. I find myself looking forward to each new season and several months in, I'm longing for the next phase.

Right now, I'm longing for electric blankets, something hearty in the crock pot, flannel sheets and snow. Right on cue mother nature delivered today.
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Sure it wasn't enough to stick, but we were all super excited to see it. Tonight I'm thankful that I live in a place that gets to enjoy the windy days of spring, the warmth of summer, the crisp mornings of fall and the chill of winter. Bring it on!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pajama Party

Tonight I'm grateful for our good friends, the Sutton family. We get together once a month for margaritas and hot tub time at their house. It was too cold tonight for the hot tub. We opted to all wear our pajamas and be comfy and warm and had yummy chili. We watched a movie and relaxed. It's nice to have friends you are that comfortable with.

I sometimes think about what our life would be like up here if I never meet them. Then I realize, I can't even imagine life without them. I'm thankful to have such great friends.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Volunteering

Since my Mom has been living with us, this is the first year that I've been able to volunteer in the kids class on a weekly basis. I love knowing what's going on and even though I'm only there for a few hours, I learn a lot.

My Mom has been in Phoenix for 2 weeks. I had to cancel my regular Thursday of volunteering last week because Noah had a doctor appointment which we found out he had an ear infection. Today, my Granny Nanny was still gone, but Ben and Emily's teachers don't mind if I bring Noah.

In Ben's class, I'm there for centers. The kids are up and moving around, so Noah blends right in. I gave him some playdough and he's good sitting next to Ben while I help other small groups read or go over site words.

In Emily's class, I file all their work from the week and it goes home Friday. This usually takes about 30-40 minutes, but because I was gone last week it took 70 minutes. The kids are at specials (music, PE, library, computers..) when we get there, so I had 30 minutes where I didn't have to worry about Noah being loud or anything. The last 40 minutes was a bit more challenging. Luckily the kids were writing sentences and moving around, so his noise blended in.

He brought a Hulk and Iron Man figure and I saved my phone for when I really needed it. After he played a few games, I let him make a video.

Today I'm thankful for being able to help in my kids' class. And for my iPhone. And for Granny Nanny who is coming home tonight, so I won't have to bring Noah next week.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Coupons

Two years ago, the State cut David's pay. We cut back on everything we could think of and we still barely made it. Something like a microwave breaking would stress me out worrying about how we were going to pay for it or if we'd need to dip into savings.

After making all the cutbacks we could, I got resourceful. Couponing wasn't cool yet. Well, I'm not sure if it is now. I think it is, and that's all that matters. I started using coupons and found bargain believer, a coupon site that I love. I found out I could easily save about $500 a month. Cha ching!

I had sent a few e-mails to the owner of the coupon blog and before you know it I was hired to help her. Now I'm saving my family money and making money doing something that I enjoy.

Today, I went to Fry's. Hands down the best grocery store out here. I got all of this:
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Any guess on the cost? $17. Yep, my total would've been $168. I got all sorts of things and healthy stuff. People have a misconception that you can only get junk with coupons. Ok, maybe International Delight coffee creamer isn't healthy, but it's necessary!

So today I'm thankful that coupons came into my life. We've gone from living paycheck to paycheck to having enough to put into savings. It's a sweet thing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Nana

My Nana is 87. She flew from New York for my cousins wedding last week. I took this picture with my phone and she loved that she could see herself. She fixed her hair right away.
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My Nana is a fighter. She is spunky and always wears an apron. I hope I have half her hootspa at 87. I'm thankful for my Nana and for the chance to spend time with her.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Three Dwarfs

I was struggling to come up with something to be thankful today. Don't get my wrong, I could just throw something out there. I'm thankful for many, many things. But I knew I would have to write about it and share a picture.

I went looking through old photos to find inspiration. I found this picture of Noah.
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He was 3 weeks old. My first thought was thank god we aren't there anymore. Noah was the hardest. He had to be fed every 1, 5, 9 AM and PM. He always puked up his food. We called them milk baths. I used to leave David a note at the 1 AM feed. Something like, 45 minutes to drink 1 oz, gave me a milk bath after. It was exhausting. I would never ever ever want to have another newborn baby. It almost killed me. I'm not kidding. Hmmm...maybe I should've taken in that sample to the vasectomy doctor.

In between writing this post and getting ready for bed, I realized what I'm thankful for today besides not having a newborn.

I'm thankful for Ben.
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We have Spicy (Emily), Grumpy (Noah) and Angel (Ben).

He's not perfect, but pretty darn close. He really is a great kid. David and I both admire him for his ability to just be himself. If you've never met him, you are missing out. He is the best.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Friends

Today we met our friends in the fall foliage and took family photos of each other. We've never done this before, so we were just hoping something good would turn out.
It started off well.
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The kids had a blast.
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Most of our shots look like this:
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Luckily, we got 1 or 2 good ones, which is really all you need.

Today, I'm thankful for good friends. And Picasa Photo Editor.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Girl

We went down to Phoenix today for a family get together at my Dads. It was great to see everyone and catch up.

Person after person told me how wonderful Emily is. She's so pretty. She's so nice. My Aunt even called her poised. She's all those things, and it's nice to hear it from others sometimes.

Tonight I'm thankful for Emily. I love my girl. I always say she's full of sugar and spice, but extra spicy.
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Friday, November 2, 2012

Family and My Greenhouse

I'm already finding my challenge of blogging about something that I'm grateful every day in November to be well, a challenge. Everything seems so obvious. Family, my home, my husband...it's all so cliche. But, it is what it is and I'm not going to try to sensor things or be clever. 30 days is a long time and I just don't have it in me to be that entertaining. You get what you get.

Last night, I went to my cousins wedding in Phoenix. She's 23 and wanted to get married and start a family for as long as I can remember. Last night, she got to start on that journey.
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My favorite moment is when the groom sees the bride for the first time. I had already been up to see Melissa. I knew she looked stunning. I kept my eyes on Alex. He saw her turn that last corner, let out a heavy breath and smiled ear to ear. Classic.

The whole Carpanzano clan made it. Her's my Dad and his sister, my beautiful Aunt Rosie and her baby Chase.
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My Nana is 87 and flew from New York to be here. That's my Dad's other sister, Lela, the mother of the bride. And yes, that's my Mom at a wedding for my Dad's side of the family. Even through a divorce, everyone still loves my Mom.
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I didn't get great pictures. It was so dark and I don't know how to work my camera beyond auto mode with a flash. I need to learn how to use the buttons on my camera.
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Here's my Nana out dancing. She outlasted me. I left and she was still dancing.
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It was a kid free wedding and a school night, so David stayed home with the kids and I went solo. I spent the night at my bestie Pam's house and drove home in the morning. I left at 6:00, so I could be home when the kids got up and could do what I do in the morning...get them dressed, pack their lunch, make their breakfast, brush teeth and hair.

When I left yesterday Noah was a mess. I took him to the doctor and he has an ear infection and a cold. He had been running a fever for 5 days on and off. He would just look at me yesterday, red eyes with tears running down them and snot dripping in his mouth. He felt awful. 24 hours after antibiotics and he's like a new kid. I'm so happy that he's starting to feel better. He insisted we pick what's left of our tomatoes this morning and wash them.
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Our garden was a total bust this year. Until September, then things started growing. We just got tomatoes this past month and now it's freezing. I've gathered all of them and they will ripen in the windowsill in our house. It's our own little greenhouse.
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So what am I thankful for today? My husband who held down the fort and slept (I use that term losely as he was awake most the night) with a cranky baby. My big Italian family that I love dearly. And Amoxicillan.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween

Ben has declared that this was the best Halloween ever! I think he said that last year too.

Let me back up a second. The kids came home wearing "I Voted" stickers. I asked who they voted for.

Emily said, "I voted for Rock O'Mama because I didn't even know who that Mitt guy was."

I was cracking up. We don't watch a lot of politics in our house. My husband is Canadian and I'm not very into all that stuff. I know enough (thanks to my best friend Pam) to cast an educated vote and that's about it.

Ben says, "I voted for Mitt."
I asked him why. He said he didn't know. But Miles (a kid in his class) told him that some guy wants to get rid of PBS kids! He was horrified. So, I told him that's Mitt. And he screamed, "ugh....I'm such a fool! Can I take it back?" My kids make me laugh.

Now, back to Halloween!

This huge spider crossed my path and settled in at our doorway yesterday. I would normally be freaked out, but I figured on Halloween, it's probably good luck.
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The kids got home from school and we carved pumpkins. I was going to not do it this year until my friend Dakri was horrified that I would skip this tradition. So, we (meaning mostly me) did it and I'm glad we did.
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They drew faces on the pumpkins and I carved them exactly as they wanted.
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End result.
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Noah wasn't in those. He's had a fever since Saturday and we are going to the doctor in 20 minutes. He was laid out on the sofa waiting for the motrin to kick in.

Ben made this cute skeleton in school, but didn't have time to finish. So Emily helped him.
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Noah was on enough of a Motrin high to go trick or treating. Emily was a Genie. Ben dracula. And Noah was Woody. Ben has 20 superhero costumes, but he like to come up with his own on Halloween. No store bought in a bag costumes for him.
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Ben was biting Emily.
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Emily was pulling Woody's string.
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We met up at our friends house with a big group and all went out together. The sign here said 2 pieces. I think Noah took 20. It was our friend though, so she didn't care.
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Here are some of the girls.
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Noah hung in there for about 4 houses and then wanted to go on David's shoulders. Then, he wanted to be pushed up to each door in the stroller.
All in all, we have enough candy for months! Although, I started my breakfast with a Twix, Reese's and Snickers.
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Noah lined up all the eyeballs. I'm not sure what this means.
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I do agree with Ben that this was a great Halloween. I read a blog that is doing a post every day for the month of November with something she is grateful for. I think I'm going to do this. It may help me get back on the blogwagon. Sure, some days will be something obvious, like family or chocolate, but we'll see what I come up with other days.

Today, I'm thankful for my kids and their generosity. Emily had claimed the lone bag of Reese's Pieces last night. Ben saw it this morning and wanted it. I told him she had already named it. He got mad. They were brushing their teeth and Emily asked if they could each have 1 piece of candy this morning. I said sure. She got the Reese's Pieces and gave them to Ben. Then, he decided to share them with her. How sweet is that? I'm grateful for my sweet kids.