Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sunday Gratitude

I want to cultivate a grateful heart, and if not count my blessings, then at least acknowledge them. The big ones: life, health, my husband and sons, friends and family, those are always included. Here though I hope to take note of the small blessings, whatever might lighten the load this week or might be forgotten if not recorded here.

sandy beach

1. A day spent in the slow moving Colorado River and on the bank of Sandy Beach.

My boys + cool water + sand = hours of fun

These are the days I hope they remember when they are grown. How well they played together with their brothers (they are all on a Ben 10 kick right now), how they ate sandwiches under the shade tent, and how their father blasted them with their own water gun. Nolan and Brian built an intricate castle with several layers of descending water works. Aidan lamented that we wouldn’t let him swim out to battle the passing kayaks armed with super soakers (even at this low level, I worry about the current). And above, you can see Sean showing off for the group of French girls who were enjoying the beach too.

2012 07 28_0331cblog

2. Olympic Fever.

Brian loves the Olympics. I shouldn’t complain because overall he’d rather be out riding his mountain bike than sitting watching a football game. We had friends over for the opening ceremony (celebrated with our version of fish & chips: salmon, oven fries and edamame). I’m convinced Aidan was Danny Boyle’s target audience---he thought the opening ceremony was hilarious. The boys love any excuse for a party (and to have the TV on), so they’ve caught Brian’s Olympic fever. Aidan talked me into getting glazed donuts so he could turn them into the Olympic symbol (above photo). There’s much I don’t care for about the Olympics (our TV being on so much, the commercialism, the nationalism), but even I can’t help being in awe of the individuals whose dedication and talent have brought them to this high level of competition. Amazing moments witnessed this week!

2012 08 02_0324 nolie chess player

3. Little chess players.

I’m learning, slowly, that the less I do or encourage, the more the boys will do. I miss the way Aidan used to spend hours drawing and writing, but encouraging him to return to those outlets only seems to lessen his enthusiasm. On his own volition, he’s gotten interested in chess again. He’s been teaching Sean to play. Nolan, however, comes up with his own rules, which change throughout the game.

2012 07 27_0702 team work

4. Brotherly Teamwork.

Sean participated in the British soccer camp last week. Aidan didn’t, but he had to get in on the final days’ water fight. Here you can see the two of them attempting to sneak up on Coach Tom with a gallon of cold water. They crack themselves up so easily. I’m also so grateful for opportunities like this that come to our small town.

2012 07 22_blog Nolie and bread

5. Summer monsoons…which mean baking time!

A little break in the high temperatures last week meant we felt like we could turn the oven on again. The boys voted for banana bread. Here’s our super simple recipe which never fails to please.

  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of nuts or chocolate chips (optional)

Mix the first 4 ingredients well, then add the dry ingredients. Heat at 350 for one hour in a loaf pan. Check often as it is easily under or over done. Enjoy!


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