At the beginning of this week, my mind was all set to do a VENT post. As things turned out though, there was no time to do a vent post and instead I have time today to give thanks.

What did I need to vent? Oh, the usual. What I thought of on Sunday as “financial woes”. A couple of months ago, the van’s windshield cracked. Just like that, no warning. Two weeks ago, the windshield on the car cracked. It made me want to pull my hair and blurt out my 19-yo’s current favorite, “REALLY!!!???” But that’s not all. The van’s brakes also needed fixing, and there were a number of small expenses that just couldn’t be helped, kids needing shoes, clothing, etc. Oh, and how could I forget the oven that died last week and needed a repair? And on top of all that dh’s mom is recovering from surgery and she needs extra care so there go some of the savings….. (I am not complaining at all about that, though — we are half a world away and the least we can do is send some much needed cash to her caregivers to whom we are indebted much!) But yeah, you could say my head was spinning a bit watching those savings dwindling right before my eyes…. and especially since I’m hoping we can save enough money soon so dh could get a new (old) car. Not that he wants one — he’s not the type to complain and he’s the type of guy who will drive a car to the ground — maintaining it as best he can — you wouldn’t hear one peep from him about liking this or that model, though I know he notices some of the spiffy ones, him being Mr. Engineer and all. But his car is a ’93 model and it’s rusting a bit in places and if I could go out and get him a trusty little Honda right now I would. But….

So, my fingertips were itching to type exactly that and many more little grumblings about this and that and how life is unfair sometimes and how the secular world is driving me crazy — between the oil spill and Lady Gaga and Kagan and the lawsuit against the Vatican and various other things I had gotten wind of somehow even though I don’t spend nearly as much time as I did a month ago online…. okay, Stef, breathe. Sigh.

Let’s try this again, shall we. I said this was NOT going to be a vent. So I’ll stop right here and instead ask you, dear reader if you’re out there, to pray with me for several families who need MANY MANY MORE PRAYERS than we do.

  1. My friend M and her husband, who’s been out of a job for I don’t remember anymore how many months…. that he will find employment soon.
  2. My friend C and her husband M, who’s been out of a job since January. They have six kids.
  3. Our friends D & F, whose family is apart right now because of jobs, etc.
  4. Old family friends S & S, who live in New Orleans… what else is there to say, huh? Still recovering from Katrina and the oil spill and then with the threat of storms…. you get the picture.

And I should have done this first, but I have a LONG list of Thank You Lords that I’m trying to focus on instead of doing the pity party:

  1. for a husband who saw fit to take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course and follow its teachings
  2. for savings in the bank, food in the pantry, a roof over our heads, cars to drive, and clothing and shoes
  3. for friends who love and pray for us — our lifeline
  4. for beautiful children who keep us inspired and keep us laughing and give us reason to work our butts off daily
  5. for my God who remains faithful no matter how neglectful and dismissive I get
  6. for my marriage and its many many joys and blessings
  7. for a Godly husband who knows his priorities
  8. for the health of my parents
  9. for our priest who is as sane and constant a shepherd as any sheep could want
  10. for the upcoming family reunion, which excites me no end….

…. and which brings me to: THE PLANS!

– dear youngest brother requested a picnic, so we’re having one this weekend! At one of our favorite parks!
farmer’s market on Saturday — hopefully to get some picnic items!
Momofuku’s chicken wings! I hope we have enough time to get some cooking done together! Four chef-wanna-be’s in the same place…. could get hairy! 😀 My other brother is *the* chicken wing connoisseur so this one’s for him.
– I’m also hoping to make some really healthy smoothies for my mom and dad
– fireworks with the kids

Okay, gotta go. I’ve got laundry to finish up, two loaves waiting to be baked, and almond butter to be whirled in the Vita Mix. (The Thank You list is actually much longer, but I had to stop typing at 10 to get to the end of this post.)