Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lucky 13

It's week 13 of Ten Things of Thankful. (Did you know 13 is Taylor Swift's favorite number? Then you don't have a teenage girl at your house, do you?) 

It's been a busy week: preschool Open House, oncology appointment, volleyball related activities, and the College Boy home for his first visit. Plenty for which to be thankful. PLENTY.

1. I am thankful for successful Open Houses for both of my classes. This year, I will be teaching a MWF Pre-K class and a T-Th Primary class. That translates to sixteen 4-5 year olds and twelve 3-4 year olds. And just to keep me on my toes, I have a set of identical twin girls in each class.

2. I am thankful for my two assistant teachers. No matter how cockamamie an idea I come up with for an activity, they just go along with it, even when it involves paint. 


Oh, yes, we DID.


3. I'm thankful my oncology visit was underwhelming. Blood work fine. Lungs clear. Heart fine (except for the occasional PVC beats that I have). Whatever he sees when he looks in my eyes with a bright light was fine. I'm fine with that.

4. I am extraordinarily thankful that I dodged that infusion chemo bullet. I wait in one of the chairs in the infusion center for my Zoladex injection to be delivered, then one of the nurses gives me the injection in a little storage room. (Because the shot goes in my stomach, near my incision, which requires me to unbutton and unzip my britches. No one else wants to see that.) This week, I took the only open chair. It was late in the afternoon and, instead of things winding down, it was crazy busy in there. Yet the room was very quiet. Often when I'm in there, the chemo patients (and any family members that accompany them) are laughing and chatting with the nurses and other staff and each other. This time, they were all somber. Several were sleeping, covered snugly with blankets. Others just sat while the necessary poisons dripped into their bodies. I felt gloriously healthy and gloriously thankful. And very prayerful for those receiving their treatments.

5. We had a volleyball parent meeting this week, and I'm thankful for coaches who realize the importance of fellowship among the team members.  There are some delightful traditions for the girls, including a really fun "kidnapping" of the freshmen by the seniors for a good-natured initiation followed by breakfast at the head coach's house, breakfast together after Friday morning practices, and weekly pasta nights. 

6. I'm thankful for my friend Melinda, who volunteered me to do the first asscrack of dawn breakfast for the volleyball players after their 5:30 practice, because now I've taken my turn and gotten it over with.


Serving up some applesauce pancakes for
this nifty bunch o' girls.


7. I got an update from the woman who found my blog and contacted me about my bilateral mastectomy and tram flap reconstruction surgery. (Please read about it here, if you haven't already. Talking with her has been such a fulfilling experience for me!) She has had such kind words for me for sharing my experience with her, and I am so very thankful that I could be of service to her.

8. I'm thankful to have my son home from college this weekend. He and his sister have not fought once yet, and he's been home now for over five hours.


My son's idea of packing.
Yes, that's a laundry basket.


9. I am thankful for the time I had with him in the car, just the two of us, as we were driving home. I enjoyed hearing him talk about his classes and the people he had met and all the other things he has experienced these past two weeks. I've missed him so, but I am so grateful that he is loving his college experience.

10. I am thankful for Strawberry Pretzel Salad. It's a pain in the ass to make, but it's so cool and refreshing when it's 98 degrees outside.

Link it up, boys and girls. Right here. Right now.




Ten Things of Thankful


 Your hosts

70 comments:

  1. PVC beats seem to be pretty 'nothing'ish, which is good news (and hey, I learned a new thing).

    Dodging chemo is an amazing thing to have done...the book I'm reading describes the infusion process and it sounds really, really nasty :( But also, the way you're continuing to blog about your experiences and support the lady you met up with (and, undoubtedly others through the blog) is incredible. I have no doubt that you'll keep raising the awareness really well.

    Well done you for hosting the horrendously early volleyball breakfast - it looks like they LOVED it.

    And YAY for having your son home for the weekend. That's awesome.

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    1. Made you Google, didn't I?

      I have a couple of friends (including my friend Angie, who has been in quite a battle and who is an inspiration to me) who have undergone infusion chemo. And none of them complain about it. What strength they have!

      The breakfast was fun, although it seems I drug half of my kitchen there to make the pancakes at the school.

      It's good to have him home :)

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    2. Never mind Google, you made me Wiki!

      No - quite incredible. I guess it's the lesser of two evils, sadly.

      LOL you done well. That must've been an EPIC number of pancakes. Are you a 'flipper' or do you use a spatula?

      Good :) Enjoy.

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    3. I used a spatula. A crappy one, because my husband threw away my favorite one years ago, and I've never found another one that I like.

      Delete
  2. That salad sounds delicious and would share the recipe here sometime? Would love to try it :) And sounds like a great week. Just so happy your son is home and how much you missed him. Also, glad everything is going ok with your treatments and you are definitely in prayers!! Here is to a great rest of the weekend and thanks as always for co-hosting!! :)

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    1. Thanks, Janine! I appreciate the prayers. There is a link to the salad recipe above. Hover over "strawberry pretzel salad". If you're looking at it on a mobile phone, I don't think the colors contrast very well. I'll have to work on that.

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  3. ...and then there is the first-of-the-weekend Doctrine Comment!

    Numero Fiveo!!

    good that you are doing well with the health and treatments and such, there is a really interesting 'place' to be in those kinds of situations. Remaining aware of those around you, yet finding a 'balance' within...neither too drawn into whats going on around you, yet not detached.

    fail to see the issue with your son's packing! although he will eventually learn to use a plastic garbage bag.*
    early mornings are actually my favorite time of day... yeah, I know

    see ya in TToTville after I finish work today...

    * why, so that it can be turned inside out for taking back the clean clothes!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You are such a guy. It is NOT okay to use a trash bag for a suitcase! (I'll bet my house that Jak has done it, however.) Using a laundry basket is pushing it.

      Early mornings when I can sit and read the paper and drink my Diet Coke in peaceful silence is lovely. It puts a whole new spin on it when you're fixing breakfast for 20 sweaty volleyball players in the glaring lights of the gym. But it was worth it! They're good girls and all very mannerly.

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    2. I think you may owe me a house! To be fair I will need maids and a butler, so you are free to remain on the premises after some rigorous orientation and training!

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    3. Having just read your essay chez moi, Jak, 'maid'? Yeah....THAT'S what you're thinking...suuure.

      :p

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    4. Meh, take the damn house. It's over 80 years old and needs a lot of work.

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  4. Hey what a list! I haven't been linked up through this whole hop from the beginning so I somehow missed the Mastectomy stuff which I intend to return to now.... I have had lymphoma for over twenty years and now am reaching end stage but have to say loads easier than most people do...for which I am eternally grateful. I too do a regular maintainance treatment (mine is rituxan with a genetic chaser (no shot glasses though)I know what you mean about the rooms...some weeks are all guffaws and groupies others are snoozes and snuggies... Best to you! There was so much more in your list to appreciate as well but of course I glommed on here! I DO love that your kids didn't break the silence for at least the first fifteen minutes...at least til all that laundry gets done!

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    1. I am so sorry to hear you have lymphoma. Do you write about it in your blog anywhere? I'd like to learn more about it. I'm one lucky duck when it came to treatment for my cancer. In my case, it was all about early detection and location, location, location.

      Neither kid will admit it, but they've missed each other.

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    2. I tried to leave this comment from my android but I don't think it went in because it started freezing up so I will repeat in hopes of not bombarding you with the same info....

      I tend not to write much about it on my blog as my family reads it and they are a bit freaked out about it...so I try not to freak them out more. I get tons of support from friends and family so I don't feel the need to process anything on the blog as it has been soooooooo long that I now have almost as many years with lymphoma as without. I have been incredibly fortunate with this illness so the only things I tend to really begrudge the whole situation is how it is handled by insurance. I do have a few entries about illness on the blog called "Impulsivity and the Nature of Medicine,"and "The Hostility of Big Girls,"and "Psychic Medicine..." I would have left the links but it didn't seem to let me do it in comments...sorry.... Glad you are well...I am doing amazingly well for my staging and the illness being what it is...Gratitude abounds!

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    3. oh yeah....I cracked up when I realized I had totally been missing your tag line for how many weeks??????? OBLIVION!?

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    4. That's funny, because I was looking at yours, going "what have I missed?"

      I will read the posts you recommended. My insurance company has been pretty good, except they won't pay for a diagnostic MRI to use as a baseline, even though it's the only way to see anything, now that a mammogram is no longer an option.

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    5. hey I was writing something for two shoes Tuesday and had to go through old posts.... Im such a dork.

      http://www.rewritten-redo.com/2013/04/how-ya-doin-how-ya-feelin.html..

      Turns out I didn't realize it but I write about this a lot... this one is probably the easiest read... the others I left you are looooooong....

      Have a great day...

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  5. I'm really really really happy that youre treatments are going well.

    I pack just like that. As a matter of fact I have a basket of thankfully clean clothes that looks like that.

    Remember how less laundry made ur list the other day? Bahahahaha

    The sibs really miss each others. We just like to pretend otherwise...

    Now I want pancakes and a salad. Pwetty pwetty plz

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    1. Mhm, so much for less laundry being on my list.

      I would send you applesauce pancakes and strawberry pretzel salad, but I don't think either would travel well. So I had the salad for breakfast and thought about you instead.

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  6. Here's to a wonderful oncology result....hooray that all went well! Truly something to be thankful for!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! I'm the healthiest sick person you'll ever meet :)

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  7. I. Linked. Up. Hooray! And as for that volleyball breakfast business - looks like I'm up next week :-/

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    1. It's about diddly damn time! Be prepared for barrage of comments coming your way.

      Have fun with that breakfast thing. And bear in mind that Melinda and I set the bar pret-ty high....

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  8. Hooray for good medical appointments! I see your preschoolers and raise you teenagers. God bless you! I think I'd take hormones and angst over boogers and potty accidents any day.

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    1. You can keep your hormones and angst! I may get snot and occasional wet pants, but I also get hugs and I-love-yous. And I get recess and snack.

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  9. I'm glad you are enjoying having your son home. Did he bring back all his laundry?? If not why not? Hehe

    You are a very inspiring person x

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    1. Aw, thank you! And yes, he did bring home all his laundry. I broke the news to him that he will be doing it himself, although I will walk him through it.

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    2. lol... it won't stop him doing it again... I used to always bring mine home... granted I always had to do my own...

      I'm glad that the treatments are going well... and that you've blogged about your journey (having sat and read through it all)

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  10. The card is such an awesome idea, I might steal it ;-)

    I am so happy for you that your test results are good and you kick cancer's butt properly. I hope the project you have in the pipeline, about telling your story, works out. Keep us in the loop about it!

    Enjoy your weekend with your family!

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    1. I just got it off of Pinterest, so steal away. And if you do it with your kids, think about me doing it with twelve three year olds. Twelve. Three year olds.

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  11. Can I first say that Strawberry Pretzel Salad is THE BOMB! Dang it, now I want to have some. And you are right, it is a pain to make, but so worth the results. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

    Visiting from the Ten Things hop today and I so enjoyed your post. I am a firm believer in beauty coming from difficult things and what a beautiful thing to be able to encourage another woman who is going through what you have gone through. I am so glad that you got a good report from your doctor. Praying that it continues to be so.



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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Joell, and I appreciate your prayers.

      I ate strawberry salad for breakfast this morning with two cats staring at me, sure it was something they would like, too. I'm pretty sure they were wrong.

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  12. Sounds like a great week, Dyanne. I almost cried when you said your boys came home for a visit. Glad you got time alone in the car with him...I'm sure you have known this for years, but more and more I find that time in the car allows some of the best conversations I have with my boys (one on one, that is).

    Thanks for sharing all the good news. So glad about the doctor appt especially. And that you blogging about your cancer experience has done so much for someone else. What a blessing. :)

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    1. Thank you! And yes, I love having my kids captive in a car (preferably one at a time, or else they fight). We have the best conversations there! (They can't get away!)

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  13. Awesome footprint Christmas tree! In our room we use white paint and make a trick-or-treating ghost. Do you also warn the kids the day before the paint to wear socks? It's a bit rough when a girl wears tights on "Paint Your Feet Day".

    So, so glad your appointment went well. Our daughter has isolated PVCs, too. I'm still nervous about them. Hers are so frequent, I don't know how they can call them isolated. (3 irregular beats in 6 seconds. Only one normal between the abnormal.) Yet, they say it's nothing to worry about.

    (We interrupt this comment to go catch a bat. No joke. My daughter just came downstairs to say a bat was flying around the boys' room. Two boys just stayed in bed, calm as could be, while I caught it.)

    And lastly, you had to know the laundry was going to come home in just that way. I have never heard of a teen boy coming home without laundry, let alone anything in a suitcase.

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    1. We also did it in white as a snowman. We can't do ghosts (or witches or anything scary) at preschool, but the ghost would be darling. And no, we didn't tell anyone we were doing it, and yes, we had two girls in tights.

      I first had PVCs when I was in the delivery room after having Emma, and that lead them to my cardiomyopathy. In and of themselves, they are not supposed to be dangerous, but they can be a sign of something that is, which is the case with me. Now the cardiomyopathy is gone, but I still have the PVCs. They alarm medical staff that isn't used to me. Sometimes I can feel them, often I don't even know they're happening.

      We've had bats in the church building every day this past week. BIG ONES. I've never seen them that size before. The Bat Patrol guys came back (they were supposed to have already taken care of the problem in the attic above the sanctuary, which is where they are hanging around) and were commenting on how big these bats were. They're a different breed or species or whatever it's called than the ones we usually get. This morning, before the church service, there was one, and when our trusty Mr. Doug swept it down off the ceiling, it flew and landed on a lady's back. And she didn't get hysterical or anything, which I would have. In fact, I would have probably wet my pants.

      And yeah, I knew the laundry was going to come home. And I showed him how to wash it. I bought him a box of Color Catchers to use, just in case he's not good at sorting.

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  14. Well, what have we here? Someone gives you a title like "Co-Host" and you suddenly become hot-to-trot on this here blog hop, being one of the first to link up. I know beating me for last place was a long shot, but you had your chance!

    Muahahahaha I knew the laundry would be coming back! Also, did you know it's the 31st and 13 backwards is 31? Coincidence? I think not...

    You know... before reading, the first thing I looked at was that card, and with the headline of being 1-foot... I was like... those picture dimensions are way more than a foot, and with the tagline I thought I was looking at a phallic image. The "tree's" girth wasn't as wide as if should be as you get nearer towards the bottom... soooooo yep there was that...

    As I read and finally understood I actually saw the foot. Kudos! lol

    Glad you were able to connect with someone and to help them with their concerns.

    I have to admit, if I were kidnapped that is probably how I'd like it to go...

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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    1. I was pretty proud of myself for getting my TToT posted so early. Yep, pretty proud.

      Deep down, I knew that laundry was coming home, too.

      Okay, I just looked at the footprint Christmas tree again, and I GUESS I can see where you might have gotten the wrong idea. IF IT WEREN'T A PRESCHOOL CRAFT. I do have a picture of a HILARIOUS preschool sculpture that I should post some time.

      It was great to connect with Evanna and be able to ease her fears about the whole procedure. Saw her yesterday and she's doing great.

      You want to be kidnapped by a bunch of high school senior girls?

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  15. Reading all that you and those you know are going through, I have another Thankful that I was spared so much of it in my battle - I pray that everything keeps going well for you, and hope you enjoy your son's visit to the full :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Katy! And it's good to have him home with us, even though I know it's for a brief visit. I'll just get used to him being here and he'll be off again.

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  16. Glad your son's back and here's to a great week ahead, Dyanne!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! Video brunch was fun with you this morning (MY this morning, YOUR late night).

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  17. What a beautiful list! So happy to hear your appointment went well. I look forward to reading more of your posts. :)
    -Brigid
    The Pink Roller Coaster

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    1. Thank you, Brigid! So glad you stopped by to visit and glad you joined the TToT!

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  18. Wow! It sounds like you have some wonderful things to be thankful for and I'm thankful that your appointment went well. Here's to your continued health!
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Cyndi! Hope you've had a wonderful weekend as well.

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  19. I absolutely LOVE the one-foot Christmas tree. I'm totally telling Tucker's teacher about that, okay? Please? Can I steal that idea? :)

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    1. I have no ownership of the one-foot Christmas tree! I found it on Pinterest! The kids loved getting the bottoms of their feet painted. We do hands quite a bit in class for art projects, but never feet.

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  20. Yay for a good oncology appointment and for helping others who are going through similar experience! The salad sounds great but you scared me with the "it's a pain in the ass to make" comment, I am not a good cook and the recipe need to say "easy" in the level of difficulty ;). Glad to hear yous son is home and I'll keep my fingers crossed so he and his sister don't fight at all!

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    1. Thank you, Natalia!

      The salad isn't difficult, just a, well, pain in the ass! You have to make the pretzel crust first, which is super simple but involves baking it for ten minutes, then letting it cool completely. And that can take hours, especially if your kitchen is hot. So I made that part the night before and let it set overnight. Then you have to allow the cream cheese to soften, so you can easily beat it with sugar and then beat in the Cool Whip. And that means you have to remember to set it out a few hours before you're going to use it. Same with the strawberries. The recipe calls for the frozen, sweetened strawberries, and you have to thaw them to use them. Again, taking hours. So if you don't plan well for your preparation, it becomes a huge pain in the ass to make :) But well worth it!

      The kids haven't fought AT ALL. Wow!

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  21. Wow! Did you invent the phrase "my plate is pretty full right now"? LOL Extra cudos for you for stopping in at the Brunch today. I was sorry to have missed you:)

    Congratulations on item #3 Dyanne. Very, very excellent news!

    Have to say that #5 reminds me of the movie Dazed and Confused. The whole initiation of the younger set by the older ones:) Yours much more wholesome no doubt than the fictional "kidnapping" as written by Mr. Linklater. lol

    Enjoy the holiday tomorrow!
    P.S Strawberry Pretzel Salad....intriguing.

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    1. I guess I do lead a busy life. When it seems like I'm in the car all the time, I guess I really am!

      Thank you very much! So far, every appointment has been pretty much like this one. Well, except for those first few sucky ones. They weren't so great.

      The volleyball initiation was VERY wholesome. The senior girls called all the freshman moms the night before, asked permission to come get the girls at 5 a.m., and asked us not to tell the girls they were coming. Surprise! It's a really sweet tradition.

      Strawberry Pretzel Salad is delish. You must try it. The pretzels are the crust and make the whole dish salty-sweet, but just barely salty. Not overly so. Nom nom nom.

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  22. "...first asscrack of dawn breakfast" LOL Now that's a first. I'm happy you dodged that chemo bullet!

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    1. It was REALLYREALLYREALLY early....

      And thank you! Me, too!

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  23. Wow! I am truly impressed and humbled after reading this list. Aside from writing, I work with preschoolers teaching them music 30 minutes once a week. I often find myself getting frustrated over the little things, but I can't imagine working with these kiddos if I had everything going on in my life that you do. Truly thankful I was able to read your blog and add a little perspective to my life. Thanks, Dyanne!

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    1. Believe me, I get frustrated with them! That's why I have a discipline system of pulling strips. Pull too many and end up in the sad chair. Usually, I only have to say, "Do you need to pull a strip?" and it takes care of it.

      Thank you so much for visiting!

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  24. The Christmas tree art project is so cute, and I bet the kids had so much fun getting their feet painted! And your assistants are really good sports!

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    1. They are VERY good sports! I love doing things with hand and foot prints with my preschoolers. It makes it a real keepsake for the parents.

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  25. Strawberry pretzel salad? Sounds interesting. When you think about it, there really is a lot to be thankful for. Maybe next week I will join the fun and list them. Such a lovely way to stay aware.

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    1. It sound weird, but it's really yummy. And I'm a picky eater.

      Oh, please join us next weekend for Ten Things of Thankful! It's such a fun group! And it's great exercise to come up with the ten things, especially in a week when you're not too sure there is ANYTHING to be thankful for.

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  26. Sounds like you had a busy, but very gratifying week! Enjoy the time with your kiddos- both at home and school!

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    1. Thanks, Kate! It was a great week and weekend.

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  27. Some seriously powerful blessings being counted here! I love that no matter what we are going through, we can still find things to be grateful for, and I know how important they are to healing! Your life sounds incredibly busy, and lots of family involvement too! I know how you treasured that talk time with your son, they grow up so very fast and fly away! Wishing you many delights with the little ones in their classes. What a difference one loving, caring teacher can make! I love those trees! :-))

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    1. I wrote a post some time back listing 10 reasons why I was glad I had breast cancer and 10 reasons why I wasn't. It's important to see the good and the bad in situations like that.

      I'm excited for my new school year. I should have some good stories and quotes before long!

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  28. Hi...I nominated you (as a 2 time recipient) of the Liebster Award. Head over to my blog to check it out.

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  29. Those are really awesome things to be grateful for. Thanks for sharing such an inspirational post!

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