1000 Gifts

This list is a continuation (starting back at "1") of my original 1000 Gifts.
  1. Checking off to-do lists
  2. Returns
  3. A day off mid-week to work on other things
  4. Tangible recognition
  5. Generous friends
  6. Helping students who eventually "get it"
  7. Being able to use one of my parents' vehicles when mine's in the shop
  8. . . . a quick fix that they didn't even charge for
  9. A surprise bridal shower from all my coworkers at the office
  10. Spending the evening helping someone repaint barn trim
  11. . . . listening to Hillsong playing in the background
  12. A few minutes with his family later on, and his youngest sisters' magic show
  13. Falling asleep to the sound of an approaching thunderstorm
  14. A morning run after it's rained all night
  15. Getting the keys to our apartment
  16. A shower at my church . . . feeling loved by many women who came, some who I have known for years, and some who I don't know too well who nevertheless support me, and all a huge encouragement
  17. . . . a woman's wisdom as she shared a devotional
  18. . . . receiving many beautiful gifts {blessed}
  19. Taking a car load of belongings {i.e., shower gifts} to our apartment
  20. Going to our friends' outdoor wedding
  21. . . . walking around the beautiful estate
  22. Walking along the boardwalk in Holland, seeing people everywhere enjoying the outdoors, laughing, relaxing, doing nothing, and older couples walking holding hands
  23. . . . "Aww, look at the happy couple" (directed toward us) 
  24. Writing thank you cards
  25. Cheerful Mondays
  26. Piles of gifts to sort through
  27. Finishing my graduation portfolio {officially a college graduate}
  28. Last counseling session + ceremony planning with our pastor :)
  29. Wedding programs . . . designed and printed at home
  30. Early morning sun glinting off dew-covered corn fields
  31. Jet streams in bright blue sky overhead
  32. Power lines looping across wide open spaces
  33. Electricity
  34. The opportunity to vote
  35. Final dress fitting
  36. Our last normal Tuesday evening "P.K. B.study"
  37. Packing the rest of my things for the final move
  38. . . . brothers coming along to help {many hands make light work}
  39. Reviving the grace list a month and a half since my last recording ;) and considering all that has gone on in between, and all that I am so thankful for, and all that God has given
  40. Getting married to my best friend {08/11/2012}
  41. . . . all the time and work that went into making it a beautiful ceremony and reception
  42. . . . setting up tables with dad and the boys' {including my brothers-in-law} help, arranging tablecloths and centerpieces, decorations, printing bride & groom trivia cards and "time capsule" advice cards, wrapping ribbon on baskets to hold bubbles
  43. . . . wedding rehearsal Friday night going smoothly, and an enjoyable dinner afterward with family and friends
  44. . . . that last hug as an engaged couple
  45. . . . having trouble falling asleep the night before because of all the excitement and not-quite-believing-it
  46. . . . the morning of, having my hair done at the salon
  47. . . . getting ready with my mom and bridesmaids {laughter}
  48. . . . the ceremony starting early {!}
  49. . . . a few minutes by myself after the gals were called to get ready for the processional {prayer}
  50. . . . my dad coming in and seeing me in my dress for the first time, and praying with me
  51. . . . half-hearing my brother and brother-in-law playing trumpets for the bridal processional as the doors opened
  52. . . . seeing my husband-to-be in his tux, for the first time, waiting for me at the altar
  53. . . . hugging my dad and taking his hand
  54. . . . the ceremony going smoothly
  55. . . . lighting the unity candle as our grandfathers read Scripture verses {so special}
  56. . . . first kiss
  57. . . . the whole day being amazing and beyond words {non-stressful, fun, friends and family, memories, love}
  58. . . . beautiful, fresh flowers and decorations
  59. . . . a simple, elegant wedding cake
  60. . . . professional photography
  61. . . . getting the whole ceremony, including prelude and postlude, on video
  62. . . . driving off after the reception, with our homemade "just married" poster in the back window
  63. . . . bliss
  64. A week-long honeymoon {more memories}
  65. Coming home to our apartment
  66. Unwrapping wedding gifts {blessed}
  67. Cleaning and settling into our new home
  68. First shopping trip
  69. Someone's first few days back at work going well
  70. Cooking meals for someone
  71. New recipes
  72. Hearing the door open and close when he gets home after work
  73. Visiting churches in the area
  74. Going on picnics, walks, and bike rides 
  75. {Using our new bike rack on the car}
  76. . . . doing things we always enjoyed doing together, and how neat it is to do them as a married couple
  77. Ice cream at Culver's with a gift card after a long, hot {hilly} bike ride
  78. The family whose basement apartment we're renting being such great, hospitable neighbors
  79. . . . invitation to have supper with them one evening, eating outside in patio chairs and talking
  80. Continuing our Tuesday nights . . . reading the Word together, memorizing, praying, reading {currently "Respectable Sins"}
  81. Playing Othello and Five Crowns using actual games we received as wedding gifts {versus homemade versions}
  82. Having time to run most mornings, and finding new routes along beautiful roads
  83. Finishing writing all our thank you notes
  84. Going back to Greenville over Labor Day weekend . . . time with both our families and my grandma, watching the fireworks in Belding, and going to the Belding Labor Day parade and watching two of my siblings march in the GHS band 
  85. Spending a few hours with another newly married couple we're friends with
  86. Hearing the two little boys upstairs, reminding me of years gone past
  87. God's provision of a new job for me
  88. . . . peace about the decision made and training starting next week
  89. . . . thankful for the opportunity 
  90. Memorizing Psalm 3
  91. Meeting my parents for breakfast on dad's day off
  92. Being married a month already and so blessed and happy and loving everything {and still not quite believing it!}
  93. Eating part of our wedding cake {we're doing things a little differently: planning to eat a quarter of it at one-month, three-month, six-month, and one-year anniversaries, just in case it goes bad before one year . . . because we wanted to make sure we tasted some of it!}
  94. Visiting a church that made me realize how thankful I am for growing up being taught truth and attending a great home church the past four years that clings to it
  95. Jesus = The Truth
  96. Apple cider and donuts weather
  97. Chilly fall mornings that turn into sunny, warm "summer" days
  98. The smell of yeast
  99. This country's freedom {remembering 9/11}
  100. A bell tolling in the steeple of a small country church at the beginning of the service
  101. Starting a new job
  102. Other employees, and customers, patient with trainees
  103. My husband getting supper ready on a day training goes late
  104. Frozen pizza
  105. Curling up with a blanket and words to write . . . filtering through thoughts
  106. Google Voice
  107. Chatting on the phone with some of my family
  108. An email from our former pastor . . . reading that he prays for us
  109. Visiting churches in the area where we'll be moving
  110. My sister and one of her suitemates walking over and sitting with us when we visited the church next to her college campus
  111. Having all our brothers {except one, away at college} over for supper and games
  112. . . . seeing them enjoy each other's company
  113. Meeting parents and going out to eat . . . being able to talk with just them, without others around, for the first time since the wedding :)
  114. Employed for one month at my new job already, and loving it
  115. Hard working, fun, "normal" coworkers
  116. Getting work schedules figured out (M-W)
  117. Having a few days during the week to catch up on housework, etc., and go running
  118. Finding a great house for sale in a neighborhood we really liked {after looking at a different house in the same area}, making an offer, learning there was another offer also and adjusting ours, and hearing back within the day that the sellers accepted our offer {!}
  119. Home inspection going well . . . not only getting a discount because the inspector knows our landlord, but also getting a report that the house is "above average" {thumbs up!}
  120. Bank/mortgage paperwork getting completed
  121. Getting a closing date set for just about three weeks later
  122. Sunny autumn evenings perfect for long walks around the neighborhood "loop"
  123. The power coming back on after being out for a few hours . . . and realizing how much I take it for granted every day
  124. Homemade bread and soup for a {late} supper despite power failure
  125. Cozy evenings indoors on rainy nights
  126. Going "back home" for supper with the in-laws :) and going to a concert at the high school . . . a fun evening out
  127. Hearing about answered prayers from email correspondents
  128. Quick emails from my husband when he's at lunch, and getting to send a note back
  129. Closing on our new house and moving the same day
  130. Someone's brother helping us move with his truck and trailer
  131. Convenient quick suppers at fast food restaurants
  132. Cleaning and unpacking at our new house
  133. Settling in . . . yet it feeling like "home" from the very first day
  134. Baking soda
  135. Having both our families over for supper
  136. Sitting with 11 of our siblings in a circle on the floor, playing games {friendship}
  137. A husband who cares about my heart
  138. Alarm clocks buzzing in the early morning, because it is the sound of having a job, being able to work hard, and having been asleep in a warm bed
  139. Finding a good deal on a washer and dryer set
  140. . . . someone installing them, and doing the first loads
  141. Finally getting our new piano, after finding one we like weeks ago, and being able to sit down and play after many months
  142. Again, music
  143. Our first Thanksgiving together . . . good food, leftovers, and thankful for his love and so much more
  144. Calling our families
  145. Planning get togethers with friends
  146. Days off . . . extra time together
  147. Driving my grandma to meet my uncle and cousin-who-spent-the-last-year-in-London so she could fly with them to CA for my other cousin's wedding
  148. My mom and dad flying out early to have a weekend getaway
  149. Saturday mornings {sleeping in and pancakes for breakfast and breathe}
  150. Spending a few hours with a friend, and talking not just weather and work
  151. A quick visit with grandparents before they leave for the south in a few weeks
  152. Quiet after a long, busy day
  153. Long hot showers
  154. Picking my sister up from college and going out to eat, and chatting and enjoying time together like we still lived in the same house and saw each other every morning in the little adjoining bathroom between bedrooms
  155. Parents safely home
  156. Free texting
  157. Making a homemade wreath to hang on the front door
  158. Christmas season
  159. Waiting to eat supper with someone on days he has to work late
  160. . . . his hard work, always
  161. Fresh starts every week on Monday
  162. Conversation with a friend, that thankfulness really does help us to be content right now, that reminds me - as I explain to her - how this gifts list specifically helps me to be thankful {and content}; so, choosing to dust it off four months after writing "161"
  163. Blessings in this new year since I last {in mid-December '12} counted gifts
  164. . . . celebrating at another couple's wedding in January
  165. . . . planned and spontaneous get togethers and meet-for-lunches and sleepovers with family
  166. . . . getting together with friends
  167. . . . continuing to be encouraged each week at our new church and feeling at home and getting to know people
  168. . . . celebrating our six-month anniversary on Valentine's Day {so thankful for my husband}
  169. . . . a spur-of-the-moment, two-week-long business trip to Singapore the end of February (!)
  170. . . . work continuing to go well
  171. . . . warmer weather
  172. . . . our first "long" bike ride of the year and longer walks in the evenings
  173. . . . Easter
  174. . . . new curtains
  175. . . . a "spring" wreath on the front door
  176. . . . planning a garden
  177. The encouragement of someone and working through heart issues
  178. Fresh starts whenever we're ready
  179. Consistent work schedule every week
  180. The sump pump running {lots of rain and storms this week, second week in April}
  181. Getting grocery shopping done without a drop of rain
  182. Three youngest siblings' sports schedules {and being able to plan to go to some in the next few months}
  183. Knowing many people are praying along with us for my two younger brothers who have both enlisted in the Marines {so proud of them and trying to remember they're not my "little" brothers but strong becoming-men}
  184. . . . praying their recruiter can make adjustments so they ship out for boot camp together
  185. . . . praying for the ability to really trust that God will take care of them
  186. Someone who continues to amaze me with his patience and care for me, no matter what
  187. Homemade lasagna, and the other half of the recipe in the freezer for a nice meal on a busy night
  188. A leaky window that reminds us it's not our basement leaking
  189. Baking cookies to take when we get together with another couple for lunch tomorrow
  190. Baking a {whole 9x13} cake to take to my family's house for supper later in the day
  191. . . . getting to see my grandparents, home from their projects down south
  192. . . . going to the GHS Collage concert and getting to see my three high school-age siblings in their respective music groups on the same night {!}
  193. A {91st} birthday card for my grandma
  194. Restful Friday evening at home before a busy weekend 
  195. A busy weekend full of fellowship with friends and family, and music
  196. Safe travels
  197. A cold holding off, for the most part, until after my three-day work week
  198. My husband having Thursday off and babying me all day while I'm not feeling well
  199. . . . in sickness
  200. . . . not putting on make-up, and knowing he thinks I'm beautiful
  201. Water leaking in through a crack in the basement foundation, yet evaporating throughout the day, that reminds us it's not our house flooding {like many in our area due to rivers flooding and all the rain}
  202. Falling asleep on the couch
  203. Feeling a little better and making a pot of soup on a chilly, windy {but not rainy!} day
  204. Dry basement
  205. A healthy immune system that fights off germs and sickness {feeling better}
  206. Going to watch my brother's varsity baseball game
  207. . . . meeting my dad there, sitting with him during the game, and then going out for ice cream afterward
  208. Fun surprises for my hubby for his birthday week
  209. Weather holding out so someone can fly
  210. Both of us taking P's birthday off mid-week
  211. Birthday cards in the mailbox
  212. Baking a birthday cake and cooking his "birthday meal"
  213. My husband {happy 23rd} 
  214. Dinner out with the in-laws . . . so thankful for my second parents, such an incredible, Godly, so-in-love couple
  215. Grass seed
  216. Long walks in springtime sunshine and warm breezes
  217. Mowed grass on sidewalks
  218. Buds and blossoms
  219. Opening the windows in our home for the first time, even if it's chilly
  220. Going to my youngest sister's JV soccer game
  221. License plate renewal reminder in the mail {glad for a car}
  222. Hearing all the neighborhood kids outside playing {!}
  223. Meeting some of the little girls when they knocked on our front door selling flowers, picked from moms' flower beds :)
  224. . . . a bright yellow daffodil in a jar on the kitchen counter
  225. Leaving the window open all night and waking to birds singing in pre-dawn
  226. Garage sale signs on street corners
  227. Salad
  228. Meeting my mom for lunch, chatting and talking "business" for a few hours
  229. Getting together with a friend, taking the bus downtown, getting lunch at a neat pub, perusing way-too-expensive clothing shops, sitting at Rosa Parks Circle and watching skateboarders, and meanwhile chatting about life
  230. Haircut outside on the deck {!} 
  231. Going on a Lowe's date to buy a lawnmower
  232. My husband, up early, mowing his yard for the first time :)
  233. . . . sunglasses and work boots
  234. . . . taking a picture of the cut grass {"it looks like a resort!"}
  235. Having another couple over for a few hours, showing them around the house, chatting about new houses and church, and sitting down for lunch and their being okay with "just" sandwiches
  236. Going on a double-date with my parents
  237. A few slow weeks at work, not so tiring
  238. Having my mom over for the whole afternoon for lunch, a run around the neighborhood, and discussing office business {website, Google Drive, paint colors for the hallway}
  239. . . . encouragement chatting about life
  240. Driving into GR, tooling around and not finding parking, and deciding to just head back home instead
  241. . . . talking about when we first knew we were in love
  242. . . . and stopping for milkshakes
  243. Staying inside and watching a wild, windy storm
  244. A quick afternoon visit from my grandparents
  245. My dad willing to talk "medical" over the phone and calling in antibiotics for my red, swollen, painful eye {"it's probably periorbital cellulitis" :P}
  246. . . . antibiotics kicking in, and my eye looking at least presentable within twelve hours
  247. Going up to Greenville after church for my middle brother's birthday meal, and the whole family sitting around in the living room chilling together for probably half an hour {record}
  248. Spending the rest of the afternoon and early evening with my hubby's family
  249. Talking about some things weighing heavy, and someone not minding emotion and stopping on the side of a country road to come around and give me a hug
  250. Getting through each week to Friday, and looking forward to the weekend
  251. Someone encouraged with the news of a raise {glad for acknowledgment of his incredible work ethic and expertise}
  252. Running errands together {with my husband}
  253. Bitter-sweet send-off party for my oldest-of-the-three brother, leaving {on 5/20/13} for 13 weeks of Marine boot camp in San Diego
  254. . . . thinking of my mom's words, "so many changes"
  255. . . . praying
  256. The whole in-law family {all but one away at college} coming on a Sunday afternoon, somewhat on the spur of the moment, to help get yard drainage/elevation fixed, trim bushes, dig out old plants and plant new raspberry suckers, and generally finish everything we wanted to do around the yard in a few hours
  257. . . . older boys shoveling wheelbarrows of dirt and younger sisters hauling little red wagon-fulls
  258. . . . many hands make light work
  259. . . . after, spread out in the dining room and living room, sweaty and cooling off, having pizza and ice cream and conversation and laughter
  260. A note in the mail from my mother
  261. . . . a mention that my brother's departure to CA went smoothly
  262. Grocery shopping armed with coupons and sales {and Aldi}
  263. Airing out unused rooms kept closed up during winter months
  264. Organizing empty boxes and miscellaneous storage stuff, and moving everything out of the bedroom that has carpeting so it can be used in case of overnight guests ;)
  265. Windows open to steady rain showers all morning
  266. A spontaneous lunch and visit with Dad
  267. . . . his heart for his children
  268. . . . hearing about his Sunday school class also, and his heart for the young people who come, however intermittently
  269. My husband letting me talk my heart out, and knowing when offering up a prayer means more than trying to comfort with other words
  270. Going to my second family's house for supper and then to the three younger girls' piano recital
  271. Looking forward to a lazy Saturday in the middle of a busy-fun weekend
  272. Clothesline
  273. Arriving for Sunday school and no cars in the parking lot and deciding to go to a different church on the way up to Greenville . . . and being able to worship the One True God even in a different building
  274. Helping with loading up the open house in vehicles and setting up at the Lodge
  275. . . . hanging out with family and friends, celebrating my brother-in-law's high school graduation
  276. Finding out Sunday afternoon that I actually have the next day {Memorial Day} off of work
  277. . . . "snow days"
  278. Spending the holiday with my in-laws . . . barbeque lunch, Ladderball and Frisbee and bean bag toss, curled on the couch inside with rain pattering on the window, and all the family {including the college and grad school students} home together
  279. Having my hubby's grandparents, and my parents-in-law, over for supper to "show off" our house and SG trip pictures :)
  280. Spending a Thursday {comp day} with someone
  281. . . . a quick, lovely visit with my mom while my husband was flying in the morning
  282. . . . an eye appointment going smoothly, and hearing that home school students have worse nearsightedness problems because their studies are usually "more intense" {haha}
  283. . . .  a walk, closing my eyes most of the way and someone leading {thankful for his leadership in life}
  284. . . . a spontaneous trip to the ice cream shop up the road
  285. . . . sitting on the couch, reading our current book, laughing at unknown words
  286. That time with him is still my favorite
  287. Meeting my sister for a few hours of one-on-one time with her
  288. Thirty-one bucks for clothing sold back at Plato's
  289. . . . a new pair of jeans and still quite some net gain
  290. Meeting a friend for an afternoon walking around the mall, looking at pictures, and chatting about everything from job interviews and contentedness right where you are to why women should never wear leggings as pants
  291. After days of playing phone tag, getting to chat with another good friend . . . some heart to heart about several things going on, and glad to be trusted
  292. The first day of June, halfway through the year, and knowing when time scares us and the future seems to be coming too fast, God is already there
  293. Going to my brother's last high school baseball game and then spending several hours with my grandma, dad, and two youngest siblings, in part to pass the time while someone worked the weekend
  294. Skipping Sunday school for an extra hour together because we needed it
  295. Encouragement to keep reading the Bible and repeating Truth over and over and not get bored with it
  296. Coming across a link for a live stream of my brother's high school graduation {glad for an alternative since we didn't go because hubby was working}
  297. Still enjoying cleaning up the house so it's nice when someone gets home from work
  298. Still counting down the hours, then minutes, till he comes home
  299. That a kiss is still always just as special as our first kiss at the altar
  300. Getting to work on "Camp Day", when 100% of coffee sales are donated to help send needy kids to TH Foundation summer camps
  301. . . . our local franchises raising enough money to send 8 kids to the camp in KY :)
  302. Forced to stay inside on a rainy evening, and read to each other and get to bed early
  303. Rain continuing in the morning, and feeling disappointed not to be able to go for a run {'positive' guilt!}
  304. Lunch with my dad . . . glad to have some one-on-one before my family heads west, on vacation, for the rest of the month
  305. Hanging clothes out on the clothesline, for the first time {!}
  306. A walk on Saturday morning, cool and refreshing
  307. My younger brother's high school graduation open house
  308. . . . pictures bringing back memories
  309. . . . many people coming to celebrate, including most of my close relatives :)
  310. . . . one of my mom's good friends helping behind the scenes as she has at every open house so far, so my mom can visit
  311. A six-mile walk to the ice cream shop
  312. Hearing from missionaries during Sunday evening service, and then dessert fellowship after
  313. . . . talking in person about short-term mission opportunities as a couple
  314. . . . praying God would lay missions on both our hearts if He wants us to keep pursuing the idea
  315. The last hour at work going quickly after a long, very slow-feeling shift
  316. Grocery stores right next to work, good deals, and buying myself some ice cream for dessert on my birthday
  317. Birthday cards in the mail . . . saying we care enough to find a card, write a note of encouragement, put a stamp on an envelope, and send something non-electronic (ie. taking the time)
  318. A quick visit with some of the in-laws . . . ice cream sundaes, and dropping off handmade cards from little sisters-in-law and a birthday gift for me :)
  319. A better day at work after a tough one, and feeling encouraged {and being wished happy birthday}
  320. Finding a note of encouragement from my husband on the kitchen table when I got home
  321. Celebrating my birthday with a cozy evening at home . . . an easy already-prepared supper, Chocolate Moose Tracks, and my favorite movie
  322. Texting my dad as he waited for Carpal Tunnel surgery, and praying
  323. Mom stopping over with a birthday card and yellow Gerbera Daisy and being able to chat for a bit with her about plants and life
  324. Calling home and talking to Dad, hearing his surgery went smoothly
  325. Writing thank you cards and feeling blessed
  326. A breakthrough idea {closet=mudroom} for the garage entry
  327. An early morning run after rain overnight, sun shining on wet grass and flowers
  328. My first hair appointment since getting married . . . a little pampering just in time for my birthday :)
  329. Youngest sister, fourteen years old, hiking with Mom in the Badlands, bitten by a rattlesnake, carried back down the trail by another hiker who happened to be on the trail {coincidentally who used to be a cop in my hometown}, cell phone service despite unpredictable signal, an ambulance arriving faster than the en route helicopter to take her to a hospital that had one three-part dose of antivenom, and hearing the next morning that she was recovering well
  330. My family being able to continue on their trip, and H's speedy healing
  331. Sleeping in, and someone cooking real bacon for breakfast
  332. A day trip to Lake Michigan . . . the first time this year . . . a belated birthday present from someone . . . a picnic on the beach, despite a chilly, windy, hazy day, and staying warm under a beach towel and in his arms
  333. Taking a walk up the road to the campground and scoping out the campsite we reserved for our camping trip next month . . . smelling campfires and looking forward to a lazy vacation . . . walking hand in hand
  334. Younger brother's safety flying out all by himself to meet the rest of the family out West
  335. Hearing from my grandma of two letters home from my brother at boot camp, who seems in good spirits and likes his bunkmate and church on Sunday :)
  336. A great {hilarious} visit with an older couple from our church . . . four wheelers on trails through the woods, apple trees and garden and two horses in the backyard, "man cave" in the basement, stories of meeting on a blind date and getting engaged six weeks later, ice cream pie and sweet ice tea and even sweeter fellowship
  337. A better work week overall
  338. Being married
  339. Bike ride in the morning sun and along a shady, tree covered paved railroad trail
  340. Getting together with the family whose apartment we rented when we were first married . . . catching up over dessert and the din of rowdy little boys
  341. Watching my younger brother-in-law flawlessly test for black belt, then spending the rest of the day with the family
  342. Celebrating the Fourth of July with a parade in the morning and visiting my family in the afternoon
  343. . . . a little jar of Huckleberry Jam brought back as a "souvenir" from The Yellowstone Pantry :)
  344. MI's Adventure with my siblings-in-law
  345. A whole week off for our summer vacation
  346. . . . camping trip {first trip as a married couple, and just as fun as we remembered it being when we were kids}
  347. . . . a borrowed tent
  348. . . . long walks around the campground, spotting the kind of tent/rain fly we'd prefer, finding wild strawberries and raspberries
  349. . . . an afternoon on the beach with my husband's mom and younger sisters
  350. . . . watching a thunderstorm roll in, and surviving the rain {the tent did, too!}
  351. Having our own comfortable bed at home ;)
  352. Meeting my dad for breakfast
  353. Biking to the library to pick up a book
  354. Being outside in the sun . . . weeding raspberry plants, mowing grass, planting new grass seed, finding little apples on a plant in the backyard we thought was a weed
  355. Lazy evening inside in the cool house, on the couch, reading together
  356. GR Symphony Picnic Pops {Classical Fireworks} outdoor concert with some of my family
  357. . . . picnic food :)
  358. Young couples fellowship Sunday afternoon at a great large, homeschool family's house {that feels like home}
  359. Going to work, where there's air conditioning {!}, during a very hot and humid summer week
  360. A house that's cooler than the outdoors, even if it's still pretty warm :)
  361. Hubby's day off before his weekend to work
  362. . . . homemade zucchini bread {baked in the morning "before" it gets too hot}
  363. . . . a spontaneous trip to help my mom with some tech stuff, and then supper at the in-laws
  364. Brother-in-law okay, though scraped and bruised, after crashing while riding his bike
  365. Easy summer meals without turning on the oven
  366. Random trip to the mall, to go for a walk in the air conditioning
  367. A cooler night and morning
  368. Homemade waffles for breakfast
  369. Hubby's Saturday shift going quickly . . . finishing up in just a few hours
  370. . . . and being able to meet my dad and youngest sister for lunch :)
  371. Management changes at work, but hearing back that my schedule will remain the same {!}
  372. Getting together with a friend on Sunday afternoon while someone's at work for the day
  373. Others working on the weekend so I can get some errands done
  374. New, yummy summer salad recipes
  375. Simplicity
  376. Surprising my husband with a date night :)
  377. Someone wanting to roller skate with me while I run
  378. "Homemade" haircuts
  379. Leftovers
  380. Stirring up our own milkshakes, with straws . . . ah, the little things
  381. Mutual tiredness on an early Monday morning, but helping each other get started on the right foot . . . microwaved muffins, Bible reading, {hug} and breakfast . . . thankful for togetherness
  382. Meeting a college friend, and her baby girl :), for lunch {friendship that sustains ~ picking up right where we left off}
  383. Going to our hometown on a Sunday to visit our old church and then join the college and career Sunday school class cookout at my family's house
  384. Spending an afternoon with my sisters
  385. Switching to a more economical trash collection service
  386. Carpet cleaning
  387. An overnight stay in Holland to celebrate our anniversary
  388. . . . driving slow on country roads
  389. . . . dinner out
  390. . . . reading through all the "time capsule" cards people wrote at the wedding reception
  391. Stopping by my friend's work so she could give us an anniversary gift
  392. Send-off party for my middle brother leaving for Marine boot camp . . . cherishing those goodbye moments and hugs
  393. Enjoying the day of our first anniversary {really?!!} and eating the last quarter of our wedding cake {just a bit stale on the edge, otherwise still good!}
  394. Quite a few of our church family wishing us happy anniversary :)
  395. Meeting my mom, dad, sisters and brother at the airport when they flew back from B's boot camp graduation, four days after J shipped out
  396. . . . getting a hug from my brother
  397. Seeing him twice during his ten-day leave
  398. A boating party at someone's best friend's family home {not falling off the tube}
  399. Getting together with another couple for lunch and an afternoon on the beach at Lake Michigan
  400. Making the decision to leave my job and having the courage, despite growing anxiety and butterflies as the time to hand in my letter drew closer, to give my two weeks' notice
  401. Hearing my family's been getting letters from J . . . doing well, making friends, and church is "great"
  402. Going to the in-laws for a barbecue and the evening, including a magic show put on by younger sisters, for Labor Day weekend
  403. My mom and sisters coming for the afternoon while Peter worked the weekend . . . whitewashing the fireplace in between conversation and memories and laughter and radio channel surfing
  404. Yellow school buses on the roads again . . . "bouquets of sharpened pencils" :)
  405. Texting back and forth with my youngest sister about her first day at school {thankful for communication no matter how abbreviated!}
  406. Last day at work going smoothly
  407. Getting some bites on job applications
  408. Having the brothers over for supper, games, and walking over to a high school football game
  409. Feeling energized after going on a run on a cool fall morning, seeing leaves starting to turn
  410. Staying busy at home
  411. Reading interesting books
  412. Learning to be content in life, even if it's not how you envisioned
  413. God's grace
  414. Answered prayer
  415. "Hoedown" at church {fellowship and fun without any other agenda}
  416. Running more during the fall
  417. Meeting my mom for the Dirty Herd Fall Classic . . . trail running, safety, perseverance
  418. This race called life
  419. A Sunday sermon that reminds of God's greatness and infinite power
  420. Someone's employment contract {!!}
  421. Double dates with our parents
  422. Road trips
  423. Going on walks in the evening as the weather gets colder . . . walking close together
  424. Fall, "sweatshirt weather", first pot of soup this season
  425. Making plans for Thanksgiving
  426. Bright gold leaves
  427. Learning how to knit
  428. A long-needed week "off" from the blogosphere and feeling the grip weakening, priorities realigning
  429. Being part of a Bible study with a group of young wives from church
  430. Donuts and cider
  431. Michigan apples
  432. Making homemade applesauce to freeze for "fresh" fruit in the middle of winter
  433. Someone's older sister visiting for the afternoon, getting away from college campus
  434. The next weekend, three of his sisters coming to spend the night {on Halloween} . . . baking, games, nail polish, and having Nerf gun wars instead of trick-or-treating :)
  435. Going to a {very well done} fall vocal concert at the high school across the street
  436. Having another couple from church over for supper, and talking around the table the whole evening and not even getting any games out :)
  437. Daylight savings time, someone's work shift shifting half an hour earlier, and still having daylight to go for walks when he gets home
  438. "Helicopters" and dry leaves on the sidewalks crunching underfoot
  439. My sisters and my brother's girl coming for supper, games, and to hang out here, and then going to meet my parents and middle brother, now a Marine, at the airport {!!}
  440. Packing an Operation Christmas Child shoebox :)
  441. Celebrating my younger sister-in-law's birthday, and seeing the whole family
  442. First "snow" of 2013
  443. First book review {blog for books-type review, that is}
  444. Someone being my greatest encourager and my best friend
  445. Lunch with a friend . . . catching up on each others lives, looking through photos, and laughing
  446. Yard work with someone on a sunny, warmer-than-lately mid-November Saturday morning {love is: togetherness}
  447. Grocery shopping with him
  448. Faithful preaching Sundays
  449. Driving up for lunch with the family, and my brother home on leave
  450. Good memories of "home"
  451. Borrowing books and writing down recipes
  452. Getting to chat with my parents, and my sister who rode with us to/from
  453. Stopping by the in-laws, giving a belated birthday gift, making Thanksgiving plans, laughing
  454. Safety, and the power still on, through a rain- and 60mph wind-storm
  455. The furnace kicking on
  456. A husband who encourages me, and prays for me
  457. Sunshine this morning after several grey, very windy and cold days
  458. Heavy quilts
  459. Considering new holiday traditions
  460. Playing the piano . . . music and worship
  461. God's grace extended to us . . . He's got this even when we're trying but failing to "get" it
  462. Spontaneous quick trip to McD's for ice cream flurries
  463. Meeting my dad for lunch
  464. Work day at church, decorating for Christmas season
  465. An afternoon with my sister-in-law up for a break from grad school
  466. Excitement and anticipation . . . butterflies when I wake up
  467. A two-day work week
  468. Spending a day baking and cooking . . . four pies, caramel corn for the road trip, muffins
  469. House cleaning and laundry
  470. Learning and re-learning about joy in all circumstances, and thankfulness, the root of joy
  471. Comfort even though - hearing a lady from our church took a turn for the worse and is only give a few more days on this earth - it breaks my heart even more knowing I never took the time to visit her when I could have
  472. Safety traveling 15+ hours to/from the U.P. over Thanksgiving holiday
  473. Time together with all my mom-in-law's family . . . good food and good fellowship . . . seeing someone's grandpa enjoying time with his grandchildren and later visiting grandma at home
  474. Grief hearing our friend, a lovely, energetic, Godly woman, died the day before Thanksgiving, yet comfort in the arms of someone and God, and His peace slowly seeping into the ache
  475. Visiting my family the weekend after Thanksgiving . . . catching up, laughing, cooking, eating, playing games
  476. A funeral service, sad yet honoring a vibrant life, and comfort from the Word and it endures forever, and knowing we have the hope of seeing her again and being together with Christ for eternity
  477. Feeling more excited {and less nervous} after a dress rehearsal practice for An Evening in Bethlehem, our church's walk-through Bethlehem-on-the-night-of-Christ's-birth /live nativity drama event
  478. {Finding the lost sheep.}
  479. Finding "I'm going to email that to her" things {my sister with a similar sense of humor, etc.}
  480. Someone having a few days off to use up some pto
  481. Being together
  482. A 45º grey-misty day and a long walk with someone for the first time in a few days . . . the good feeling of getting out and moving
  483. Later that day {in early December} a downpour complete with lightning and thunder {thankful that even when weather is goofy and unpredictable, God is sovereign and does not change}
  484. Wise advice from parents who are always more than willing to chat
  485. Bible study and God goes before you even in situations that seem overwhelming {Deut. 31:8}
  486. An Evening in Bethlehem going smoothly, much fun, and hundreds of people experiencing the wonder of the first Christmas
  487. . . . So many kids coming through, nodding excitedly when we ask, "Have you heard about the Baby?" {childlike awe and the coming of Christ}
  488. . . . about 1400 people (on the census, at least) coming through, in three days, and hearing Scripture, prophesies, and that we need a Deliverer, and receiving the Gospel (on a scroll) as they exited 
  489. The first "real" snow
  490. Cozy inside in the early morning after someone leaves for work, getting in some reading and knitting
  491. A new shovel, and shoveling the driveway before someone gets home from work
  492. Safety on slippery roads on blustery days
  493. A car with heat
  494. Christmas lights
  495. The old stuffed Nativity set I got when I was really little {there's a home video of me as a three-year-old playing with it on the floor in front of the Christmas tree :)}
  496. Car wash to clean off the dust and salt
  497. Job leads, and peace entrusting God with the outcome, and future
  498. And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus
  499. Shoveling feeling a little easier the second time around this winter
  500. A baby shower at church for a young woman in my Bible study . . . chatting with quite a few women and growing friendships
  501. Someone texting me to be safe {snowy winter roads}
  502. The ability to talk, walk, eat, etc. . . . all the "functions" that we never think about and always take for granted {because not everyone is blessed with good health and "normal" body}
  503. Others' writing that God speaks through
  504. Job interview going well and finding words, knowing many are praying, knowing God is in control
  505. . . . Phone call that afternoon to set up second round interview
  506. An email from my dad that warms my heart
  507. Someone's good job, and all his hard work {love is: working hard and providing for his family}
  508. His splurging on things for me {love is: generosity}
  509. Jehovah Jireh, "The Lord will provide"
  510. Figuring out family Christmas gifts
  511. Online shopping
  512. Free stuff
  513. Recipes that don't mind my substituting water for milk
  514. "They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord." -Ps. 112:7
  515. God is for us
  516. Wedding rings
  517. Chances to {brag} about my amazing husband to others!
  518. Wrapping paper
  519. Anticipating Christmas
  520. Helping tear down and pack up Bethlehem at church for a few hours
  521. The tech savvy of my husband, and his willingness to help others with computer woes
  522. A quick supper with my family before going to my brother's choir concert
  523. "Missions" breakfast and offering at church, and our church family giving above and beyond for several missions projects
  524. Signing up for Israel next spring {!} and people excited we're going
  525. Early Christmas present with gift money from someone's grandparents: the whole family going to see The Hobbit, part 2
  526. Time with the family together, pizza and popcorn
  527. Second interview going well :) and people praying and interested in the outcome
  528. Peace in the waiting 
  529. Hearing from several friends
  530. A nice chat on the phone with my sister
  531. Medical staff and hospital inpatient care, and my grandma improving after being taken to the ER twice over the weekend and being admitted the second visit
  532. My aunt being able to come be with my grandma for several days, including in the hospital
  533. Driving up for a quick visit with GC and AA
  534. Safety in blustery winter weather, and with "inconvenient" road conditions according to the winter storm advisories
  535. My husband who loves me so gently when I've had a rough day, and is always there for me
  536. A couple brothers driving down to help pick up and assemble a treadmill, and dinner and a bit of catching up
  537. The first run in a long while
  538. Treadmill
  539. Writing as a way to digest Truth
  540. Going out to breakfast with my Bible study gals to finish up our study, encouragement and thoughtfulness and sharing life and God's teaching and His Word
  541. Dentist appointments {grin and bear it!}
  542. Wrapping Christmas presents
  543. Almost 40º five days before Christmas {welcome to MI} and a nice walk in the fresh air
  544. Both brothers coming home on leave for Christmas {!} . . . whole family together in a few days
  545. Waking up still breathing
  546. Hand-made slippers
  547. Remembering snow days {the good ol' days} on bad-weather mornings nowadays
  548. Sending out Christmas cards to grandparents and remembering the blessings of another year
  549. Peanut butter
  550. My Grandma improved enough to go back home 
  551. Helping out with free gift wrapping at church
  552. Comfort soup
  553. A quick, spontaneous visit from my parents, in between a wedding and dinner reception in GR
  554. Snuggling with someone and reading our emails when we were first dating, and remembering the innocent, blissful young love
  555. Thinking about how our love has evolved and looks different now, yet so much better than we ever imagined and still so wonderful to be crazy in love {love is: not just feelings, but knowing}
  556. A little girl from our old church, with relapsed Leukemia, finding a perfect match bone marrow donor to save her life
  557. Waking up to canceled church services and ice-covered trees, and still power on, after an ice storm
  558. Listening to someone playing through Christmas in the hymnal
  559. Covert Christmas gifting for someone {love is: surprising}
  560. Phone calls with friends
  561. Popcorn for supper when someone gets home late working the weekend
  562. Winter wonderland weather
  563. Baking new Christmas cookie recipes, and homemade pies to take to the families
  564. Shopping the day before Christmas Eve, joining the hubbub and feeling excitement 
  565. Winter boots
  566. Colder temps and snow, not freezing rain/ice
  567. Making plans with several friends to get together over Christmas holiday
  568. Offered the job :) . . . excited to start working with a great Christian organization and great people
  569. Spontaneous dinner out
  570. Spending a few hours with my grandma on Christmas Eve
  571. . . . Talking about how blessed someone and I are to have such amazing families
  572. Staying with someone's family the afternoon on Christmas Eve {games and dinner} overnight {listening to "A Christmas Carol" dramatized audio version, all the kids sleeping out on the floor} to Christmas morning {being woken up at 6am, a circle of family around the living room and reading Luke 2 before opening gifts, monkey bread and egg casserole, Christmas CDs playing, and more games} . . . and glad for the chaos :)
  573. Spending Christmas afternoon and evening with my family . . . getting to see my brothers, pictures with everyone together, making pies and helping with a late lunch, candy, puzzles, conversations no matter how brief, working on a few things with my sister just like old times
  574. Christmas gifts {so blessed by our families' generosity and love}
  575. Borrowing
  576. Safe drive home {freeway backed up to stop and go . . . ?} and getting up our snowy driveway without having to shovel in the dark
  577. Apple pie before bed
  578. Someone getting up before 4am to head to work for the early re-open {love is: tireless}
  579. Lazy, cozy-inside afternoon to read together and watch BBC classics
  580. Playing new games given us for Christmas
  581. Randomly warmer weather on a Sunday morning and helping some friends from church move into their new house
  582. Going to "big Calvary" and worshiping and remembering love {communion service} . . . church even though we didn't make it to our church's service
  583. Encouragement and courage in others' prayers and support and excitement
  584. Signing the official job offer letter
  585. How the simplest, littlest things are sometimes the best stress relievers and biggest joy reminders {i.e., grocery shopping}
  586. Straightening up the house after several days of Christmas aftermath
  587. Comfort {"...neither death nor life...nor anything else...will be able to separate us from the love of God..." Rom. 8:38, 39}
  588. God's love in hard times and heartache
  589. Word-less hugs
  590. How God was in even the planning of how many days off taken, and He knows little things aren't as little as we think
  591. Seeing grace . . . because God is always at work
  592. There can never be a more beautiful you
  593. Those quick, brief emails from someone in the middle of the day
  594. Curtains dancing in the warm air drifting up from the heat vent
  595. Reflecting on another 365 days past {2013} on a quiet New Years Eve
  596. Good health, apart from a couple minor colds, the entire year
  597. Safety in thousands of miles of commutes and other road trips, walking and biking and random other activities, big events, concerts, games, and normal things, grocery shopping, and all the things we notice, as well as protection all the times we never realized
  598. Radio white-noise in the background while baking in the kitchen
  599. Oven timers
  600. Seeing my married name and still getting excited
  601. Spontaneous trips to Greenville and family always opening their homes, and sleeping on the couch
  602. Simple breakfasts
  603. Visiting my family, including my brothers {one last time before they head back to CA and FL, respectively}, on New Years
  604. . . . "craft party" and seeing my aunt and cousins
  605. Spending the rest of New Years' afternoon and evening with someone's family, being together the day Papa went to his eternal home
  606. A trip back to the U.P.
  607. . . . being able to help by packing food for the road trip
  608. . . . meeting the one cousin I hadn't met yet
  609. . . . comfort being together
  610. . . . taking a couple of the girls to spend the night with us at the hotel
  611. . . . brushing hair
  612. . . . my husband's tender heart, and his shoulder to cry on
  613. . . . many friends and family coming to the visitation and funeral
  614. . . . time with family, even in sadness
  615. . . . Kleenex
  616. . . . a funeral he "would've approved of"
  617. . . . God's promise of eternal life and raising the "sleeping" when He comes again {hope}
  618. . . . Grandma R's faith
  619. . . . the luncheon and the ladies who set up, served, and cleaned up
  620. . . . pictures, and the memories they will be
  621. . . . safety the entire trip, and on the trip home in "Winter Storm Ion"
  622. Getting home safely but late, and finding our driveway snow blowed by our neighbor
  623. Our own bed
  624. A total God thing to find an email from my boss postponing my start date because of the bad weather/roads {such a relief because I felt so drained, emotional, and scatterbrained after a tough, tiring weekend}
  625. God's plan
  626. Someone going to work though tired and exhausted as I was, and always working hard to provide, and making it home safely
  627. Freedom to go to bed early
  628. Safety and the heat keeping running during several days of bad road conditions and cold cold {-30 with wind chill}
  629. "You can run the oven anytime" and home-cooked meals
  630. First day at the new job going well, and feeling encouraged and excited
  631. "Backlogged" prayers since start date was postponed two days
  632. Helpful, encouraging {and reassuring} co-workers
  633. Learning
  634. Staff stopping by my office to introduce themselves and welcome me
  635. Time to run in the mornings before going to work
  636. Running errands and treating myself to TH hot chocolate with a coupon
  637. A lap blanket to stay warmer when driving in my car {thanks Mom}
  638. Discovering old pictures on cell phones that haven't been put on the computer
  639. Hugs
  640. Cozy with a blanket and book
  641. Calling and chatting with my grandma
  642. Respite from the bitter cold {and even forecast in the upper 30's this weekend} 
  643. Sleeping in and a whole weekend without major plans . . . and not taking it for granted
  644. Clothes shopping with my dear husband who tells me not to look at the price tag
  645. Feeling more confident in new outfits
  646. Going out to eat with coupons
  647. Talking with someone's grandma on the phone and having to end the call because someone was at the door, and knowing people are visiting and looking out for her
  648. Sprawled on the floor, holding hands, playing Scrabble
  649. Gluten-free cookies
  650. Crumbs
  651. A spontaneous visit from my parents-in-law who were in the area doing some errands
  652. A hug from the CHRO
  653. Handwritten notes in the mail
  654. Hearing someone's feet pounding, sometimes scuffing, on the treadmill
  655. Every time the car starts when the key turns in the ignition
  656. Pretty, light snow drifting down - quiet and peaceful - after several days reaching 40º and lots of melting going on :)
  657. Invitation to a spontaneous game/snack night with some friends from church
  658. Staying up late, and sleeping in the next morning
  659. Visiting the families, and celebrating my dad's birthday
  660. "Hand me down" dress shirts for work
  661. Every time I put on clean clothes in the morning
  662. My new job . . . three weeks in, and loving it
  663. HR team meeting starting with devotions and prayer
  664. ". . . a place of employment that is also a place filled with God's presence"
  665. Coworkers thankful for me {mentioned in prayer: "her personality, smile, professionalism, and love for the Lord" --- only by God's grace}
  666. Someone's day off, and visiting
  667. Crockpot pork and Uncle Ben's wild rice . . . and it's possible to reminisce via taste buds, to remember the growing up years via fondly-remembered meals :)
  668. Bad weather {to stay home for . . . and work from home on a Saturday he's working the weekend}
  669. Fire in the fireplace crackling, sizzling, and emanating heat
  670. Creating recipes
  671. Lunch and the afternoon with my sister, just talking mostly {<3 li="">
  672. Dinner out to celebrate my youngest younger brother's 17th birthday
  673. . . . taking our time and talking and laughing more than we usually do
  674. Catching up on email and getting an "unsolicited" email from cousin
  675. Staying warm when temps are below zero, and way below zero counting wind chill, for several days
  676. Our "guardian angel" neighbor who snow blows our sidewalks and the end of our driveway sometimes
  677. Trail mix
  678. Shadows on the snow from setting sun shining through bare-branched trees in wintertime
  679. Someone curled up next to me under fleece blanket and reading, in my peripheral vision
  680. Eye acting up and making me extra aware and thankful for all the "normal" days when I don't even think about the fact that my eyes are healthy and pain-free and my contacts correct my vision and are comfortable
  681. The stranger who hands me over his cart at Aldi and tells me to keep my quarter
  682. Knowing someone will take care of the car issues, so feeling less gullible when car shop salesmen employees list off things that must be fixed
  683. Birthday dinner celebration for someone's younger brother
  684. Visiting my grandma and being together with some of the family for her Super Bowl party
  685. Getting together with old friends . . . supper and games and sitting in the living room catching up on life 
  686. A lunch visit with my mom
  687. Valentines Day dinner date with my husband who loves me like this every day of the year
  688. Someone and I [and two others] playing an 8-hand piano quartet special music at church {Pastor's appreciation as we sat back down and "you guys are a duet in more ways than one"}
  689. Lunch with someone's older sister, then going with the family to a concerto concert at Alma
  690. Fine Arts
  691. Meeting my dad for lunch and chatting for three hours and laughing so hard you cry
  692. A chance to bake . . . a couple from church's adoption fundraiser dinner, dessert silent auction, and concert
  693. Working all day at the employee benefit fair and the blessing of great coworkers and teamwork
  694. Lunch and an afternoon visiting with a friend, looking at pictures, just sitting and talking
  695. Sunday lunch with my dad and youngest two siblings and visiting and playing games before going to see my little sister's indoor soccer game
  696. Spontaneous stop at a gas station on the way home to get pop :)
  697. Pizza and ice cream and "an evening with Sue" on a cozy, lazy Friday night
  698. First outdoor run of the year {3/9/14}
  699. Warm sunshine and mid-40s on Monday . . . starting the week with a smile
I have been counting gifts since 08/18/11 and this specific list since 08/07/12, and most recently on {03/10/13}. Thankfulness is Someone's idea in the first place :), but the specific "1000 Gifts" challenge is inspired by Ann Voskamp's book, "One Thousand Gifts".