Mercies along the way... {entry no. 10}

"The quality of mercy is not strained; 
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven 
Upon the place beneath. 
It is twice blest- 
It blesseth him that gives, 
and him that takes."   

I used to be a thankful person.  Positive.  Aware of my blessings.  Enjoying simple things, but in tune with the bigger picture.  Slowly and without intention, I began to allow circumstances and the busyness of life to cloud my vision.

So, I'm trying something new, somewhat inspired by this author.  Mercies along the way is a place for me to begin reclaiming that piece of myself.  Every Monday you'll find me here, sharing bits of my life that I am finding joy in.
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This is long overdue.  Three weeks, I think.  It's not that I haven't found anything to be grateful for.  There was a Monday that I was ready to share my list but I would have been sharing it out of obligation and certainly not from my heart. My heart wasn't in a good place that day.  Nothing huge in the scheme of things, but it was looking and sounding ugly. The last couple Mondays since then have apparently flown by and I missed it.  So, on to today...I am thankful for God's mercy and graciousness in the midst of my life.  

251.  paypal  
252.  hand me downs.  huge time and $ saver.
253.  watching Asrat play with Jackson and Ezra's old trains in front of the Christmas tree
254.  potholders washed and like new
255.  getting out the Christmas napkins my mom made
256.  box of cuties on my counter
257.  Erkinesh writing a letter she needed to without [much] issue
258.  Brad bringing home groceries-it felt like Christmas to me
259.  Brad and Erkinesh making dinner together.  Erkinesh wanting to try a new recipe for chicken drummies, potatoes and custard.  Yummy food that I didn't make.
260.  time with my cousin.  tea and hummus.  pizza.  great conversation.
261.  singing this happy song at church with this video playing:

262.  a gift of fruit for my family and some fun, unexpected things just for me
263.  Asrat's hand print ornaments made
264.  Brad and Jada making lefse together

265.  brown paper packages tied up with strings
266.  mostly successful cutting of Asrat's hair
267.  Ezra reading in his bunk every night
268.  Ezra praying for dinner.  so sincere.
269.  friends showing up at Jackson's out-of-town bball game
270.  Brad getting off early to go to game.  client cancelled.
271.  a surprise package in the mail...and already hours of winter fun
272.  Jackson insisting that Asrat come in from playing in the snow because his hands were too cold.  good big brother.

273.  a new vaporizer to help colds and coughs
274.  Brad taking the 4 big kids sledding on Sunday afternoon.  Asrat napped.  I read.
275.  my niece babysitting so we could go shopping without the kids-and decorating cookies with them which released me of my mom guilt.  Bonus!
276.  forgetting my purse at my sister's house when we picked up the kids which led to seeing Christmas lights which led to going out for dinner.  everyone loves noodles.
277.  menus planned ahead of time for winter break
278.  lunch out with my sister and brother in law-it's been years.  shopping break.
279.  seeing my kids' hearts in their letter to Santa that they brought home from school.
280.  watching Java N Jazz at school with the kids
281.  stocking up on library books; realizing that brad and Erkinesh requested the same movie!
282.  finally getting some appointments scheduled
283.  several fun days with Asrat and I out together-and knowing we can usually stay home
284.  some fun surprises by mail

285.  planning some gifts with my girls
286.  a fun phone call from someone who had the perfect Christmas gift sitting in her basement for Ezra.

287.  sorting through the girls' room together. the boys sorting in their room. Brad getting rid of some books (shocker!)
288.  my husband's calmness
289.  trying to simplify at a time of year that is typically anything but that.  not feeling terribly rushed.
290.  a beautiful, beautiful morning drive through the prairie with Asrat.  I could have sat there all day.
291.  kind man who jump-started my van after I picked up some gifts in the middle of the prairie.
292.  Jackson coming home after being gone to school and bball over 12 hours and then saying, "I feel so good."
293.  lots of crafting happening in our home.  Erkinesh spending secret time in the basement working on something, Jackson making ornaments for Asrat and Jada making something for her auntie.
294.  Jada realizing that her auntie is really her truest friend.  (and only 2 months older)  LOVE.
295.  Our kids remembering our Christmas traditions and having fun with them.
296.  Asrat home.  Best Christmas present ever.

297.  lots of painting happening at the table.
298.  hot chocolate, roasted chickpeas and the Polar Express on a cold afternoon.
299.  rack-0, more rack-o and Ca.ndyland.  Asrat winning Ca.ndyland.
300.  Christmas lunch at mom and dad's.

301.  lefse making and eating
302.  Laotian food on Christmas Eve...then to Journey, then home.  Jada reading the Christmas story.  Opening gifts in order.
303.  the kids sitting around the table at lunch talking about how we should adopt 5 more kids and how much larger our already-too-small-table would need to be.
304.  the vaporizer being in my bedroom
305.  finishing reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with the kids.  whew.
306.  much laughter while reading Amelia Bedelia's Christmas book.  funniest one yet.
307.  promise of Indian food with my cousin.
308.  Jada in her new flannel nightie and night cap-at all times of the day.  My dad laughing at her rapping in "a grannie's nightie."
309.  watching 4 of my kids in their Christmas play.  Amazing how all of their parts fit them so well.  Love watching them be so alive.
310.  standing in church and realizing, "this is so beautiful, like a dream come true.  all of these believers together that would likely not come together for any other reason"  So blessed.  A glimpse of heaven.
311.  good coffee
312.  musical mint canister the kids gave to Brad.  They know his humor.
313.  surprise super-useful bags from my in-laws
314.  big Christmas with all of Brad's siblings and their families
315.  a very quietly celebrated 17th anniversary.  God's mercy and graciousness to us through these years.  joy of being together.
316.  2 days with Ezra and Asrat at home.  Most of their time spent building on the dining room floor.
317.  learning to live in the present.  {oh, I need to work on this!}
318.  finally hanging the picture I won from the Tesfa Foundation.  beautiful.
319.  lots of hot cocoa and tea this break
320.  Brad off 2 hours early on New Year's Eve


  1. Great list! #287 made me laugh and #310 is one I truly identify with. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  2. What was Ezra's perfect gift? He looks SO tickled!
    Enjoy all the pictures! Happy New Year to all of you!

    1. An electric trap set. :) Perfect since he's been taking drum lessons and can practice now!

  3. Love your postings....right down to the very tiny things....learning so much from you....What a blessing you are in my life....love you....