A Few of my Favorite Things
Thanksgiving is…well, a time for giving thanks! So here are 100 of my favorite things, each of which I am deeply, truly, whole-heartedly thankful for…
1.) I am so very lucky and grateful for having such an adorable, awesome, hardworking, resourceful, loving, and amazing hubby!
2.) My children~From a boy, a girl, and a baby over 25 years ago to a man, a woman, and six children ages 25 years, 23 years, 18 years, 13 years, 6 years, and 29 months old, our journey to gentle discipline has been a lifetime of love and a learning experience for all of us. ♥
3.) Gentle Parenting~Our parenting journey led us to gentle parenting by simple instinct well before we knew it had a name, without ever having read a parenting book or magazine, and years before the internet was even invented!
4.) The Gift of Breastfeeding~I’ve been breastfeeding little ones for more than 10 years of my life and counting. ♥
5.) Books~I’m as passionate about promoting literacy as I am about reading books, collecting books, and writing books!
6.) Indie bookstores~I want to open my own someday.
7.) Book signings~Writing books is cool. People buying my books is even cooler. People wanting me to sign their books, though, is the COOLEST!
8.) My illustrator~My Little Hearts children’s book series, Wisdom for Little Hearts and Grumpykins, wouldn’t be the same without my illustrator (who also happens to be my oldest son!).
9.) The Many Faces of Giftedness~I believe that everyone is gifted in different ways, and Helping Unique Learners Find Their Genius is my way of shining a light on those gifts.
10.) Bike riding~My hubby built a european-style cargo trike for me to ride my two littlest in while our family enjoys our favorite pastime, biking through Celebration, FL!
11.) Cold snaps~We don’t get many cold days in Florida, but when we do we crank up the fireplace, bring out the warm blankets, roast some marshmallows, and enjoy every minute of it.
12.) Bedtime stories~When my little ones climb into my lap and we rock the evening away with old, familiar picture books they’ve heard so many times (at their request!) that they can quote them word for word, life feels perfect.♥
13.) Coffee~Just the smell is enough to turn a bad day into a good one!
14.) Coffee shops~I love little, out-of-the-way coffee shops with quirky owners and funny names for their coffees like ‘Black-Eyed Bull Dog’ (shot of espresso in black coffee).
15.) Paris~Never been, but someday…
16.) Dr. Seuss~I not only enjoy reading all of the Seuss-tastic books to my little ones, but I also love all of the unique crafts and activities people have come up with through the years to go with them.
17.) Giving~The true path to being blessed is blessing others!
18.) Attachment Parenting~Once out of the infancy stage, attachment parenting might be better called ‘connection’ parenting because the key is maintaining a healthy parent/child connection throughout childhood and adolescence and into adulthood.
19.) My parenting ‘bucket list’~All the things I love to do to give my children happy memories to take with them into adulthood.
20.) My Renaissance Girl~Think homeschooled children are unsocialized, over-controlled, locked-away-from-the-world misfits? Think again!
21.) Safety~Freedom to explore. Freedom to grow. Freedom to discover. All within the boundaries of parental guidance and protection. That is how it is in our home. And our home is truly a happy and safe place to be.
22.) Experience~The comfort and confidence that comes from years and years of parenting makes life soooo much easier than those early years where every disapproving word or glance from another mama made me cringe, lol!
23.) Excercise~I know, I know, but I really do like working to remain healthy and fit, especially since I can use what I’m already doing and just practice the 3 B’s of fitness… Breastfeeding, Babywearing, and Bouncing Back into Shape after Baby!
24.) Butterflies~I love watching butterflies floating past our picture windows and listening to the soft ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from my little girls and their excited chatter as they point out the colors and sizes flitting past in a silent symphony.
25.) Crazy~Beautiful~Wonderful Life!!!~My gorgeous daughter is a happily married Family Therapist and one of the few people I’ve ever met that grab ahold of life and ride it for all it’s worth. From skydiving to mountain climbing to scuba diving, she lives life to the full!
26.) Dirt~My 6-year-old is an adorable little dirt magnet. Her blue eyes never shine brighter then when they shine from a little round face smudged with a healthy coating of dirt! (The Seven Wonders of the World of Childhood)
27.) Shoes~Okay, yes, I do live in flip-flops. I live in Florida! But that doesn’t mean I don’t love a cute pair of red high-heels or some trendy boots!
28.) My laptop~’Nuf said, lol.
29.) Babywearing~I have six children. I need AT LEAST six hands. I make do with two. One won’t do!
30.) Elephants~Because they love their babies ♥
31.) My married children’s spouses~My older two are married to two of the most likeable, hardworking, kind, enjoyable people you’d ever have the pleasure to know, and that is a HUGE blessing for the whole family!
32.) Giggles~Bubbles of delight I love, especially from babies, extra especially from my babies and grandbabies. ♥
33.) My mom~My hero, my confidant, my best friend ♥
34.) Hope~The whisper that calls “Take heart” when my world comes crashing down.
35.) Diet Coke~I know. I know.
36.) Front Loading Super Capacity Washing Machines~I did mention I have six children, right?
37.) Electricity~Useful for running the afore mentioned washing machine and keeping my diet coke cold and an absolute necessity for the next item on my list!
38.) Air-conditioning~F.L.O.R.I.D.A. Lol.
39.) Dark chocolate~Well, really just chocolate period, but I do like dark chocolate best!
40.) Our home church~I love gathering together with people who all have the same Best Friend and love to talk about how much they love Him!
41.) Little Bookworms~As much as I love sinking into a comfy chair for a quiet afternoon of reading, the boisterous gathering of a bunch of little bodies and curious minds for an afternoon Author’s Storytime is even better.
42.) Pinterest~I’ve heard the jokes, but I’ve found some awesome recipes, household tips, and homeschool ideas on there, for real.
43.) Coupons~Love ‘em!
44.) Flowers~Not bouquets…not cultured gardens…the weedy kind my small people love to pick and bring me in grubby little hands that smudge my clothes when I give them thank you hugs. The Many Adventures of My Little Pooh Bear
45.) Snowglobes~So pretty!
46.) The ocean~I really don’t enjoy swimming all that much (shocking for a native Floridian, I know), but I love walking on the beach on grey, windy, drizzly days.
47.) LOTR~(That’s Lord of the Rings, if you didn’t already know!) We have read these books and watched these books again and again and again and…
49.) Clean sheets~There’s nothing quite like laying down on fresh, clean sheets at night.
50.) My Twitter Account~Never a lack of conversation there!
51.) Sleepovers~When it’s my girls, the giggling, squealing, and chattering are strung together in an endless daisy-chain of adorable energy. When it’s my guys, the thunks of basketballs bouncing on concrete and clunks of poolballs plunking into pockets are only silenced during kitchen raids.
52.) Cosleeping~My littlest is mellow beyond belief. She can get lost in the cacophony of homeschooling, housekeeping, and life in general, poor thing. But at night when she’s snuggled against my side, dream nursing at will, I’m all hers, and she’s all mine, and all’s right with her little world.
53.) Architecture~I don’t know why, exactly, but I love old buildings, bridges, doorways, stairways, and libraries!
54.) Ice~A glass filled with crushed ice and flavored with diet coke…Love!
55.) My pinch-hitter~My step-father-turned-adoptive-father…talk about redeeming the meaning of fatherhood in a child’s eyes!
56.) Christmas~Christmas music, Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Christmas decorations, Christmas presents…we put on a celebration of Biblical proportions for the Birthday Boy at our house!
58.) Mexican food~A family favorite!
59.) Rain~I love it when the rain drums against our windows, inviting us to turn off our busyness for awhile and drawing us together to watch God water His garden.
60.) Watching Elf with my children~Yes, I am a dork.
61.) Nail polish~So feminine and pretty (before dishes, laundry, and diaper changes make it all flake off, lol).
62.) Van Gogh~The detail in his sketches is as breathtaking as the sadness of his life.
63.) The Beatles~Nothing like ‘Yellow Submarine’ sung by a four year old. ♥
64.) Frontloader construction vehicles~Yes, I have driven one, and, yes, I liked it!
65.) Picturebooks~Writing them…reading them…taping them back together after they’ve been eaten by a baby bookworm…lol.
66.) Jinglebells~So festive and fun (for about 5 minutes, then six children spending the entire holiday season jingling and jangling gets a bit overwhelming!).
67.) When Harry Met Sally~Love that movie!
68.) Texting~I admit it…I’m addicted.
69.) Broccoli~Happiness wrapped up in tiny trees.
70.) Facebook~I never knew how many awesome people there were in the world until I ‘met’ my facebook buddies. ♥
71.) Pink Lip Gloss~I don’t wear much makeup and never wear lipstick, but I love my pink lipgloss.
72.) Almonds and Raisins~Power-packed snack!
73.) Doc~My youngest son, such a young man (18-years-old and a senior pre-med university student♥) with such a heart for God.
74.) My iPhone~I didn’t know what I was missing!
75.) New Year’s Eve~I’ve never been to a New Year’s Eve party and don’t plan on changing that. I love watching movies and waiting for the ball to drop and ringing in the new year at home with my family every year.
76.) NCIS~Love that show…Gibbs is the bomb!
77.) My 15 Passenger Van~My van has hauled numerous youth groups to camp, carried bicycles to trails, helped people to move, delivered meals to those in need…it’s been a blessing to me and many, many others.
78.) Pizza~Hiding pureed veggies in marinara sauce is an art form, my friends, lol.
79.) My Bible~Dog-eared from being read cover to cover over and over, neglected at times when it was most needed, it stands as a constant in my ever-changing world.
80.) Homeschooling~As wonderful as homeschooling has been for all of my children, I’m most thankful for how it has protected the emotional well-being of my ‘unique learners.’
81.) C.S.Lewis~I appreciate writing talent, and I appreciate wisdom, and C.S.Lewis combined those traits exquisitely.
82.) Google~My goodness, the knowledge available with just a few keystrokes is staggering!
83.) Baby feet~What is it about a baby’s feet that just makes you want to kiss them?
84.) Challenges~Few things inspire me as quickly as a well-timed challenge to my ability. I simply MUST prove them (whoever they may be) wrong!
85.) Picnics~I am not an outdoorsy person. I don’t like bugs or heat or dirt in my food. But somehow PB&J sandwiches never taste better than when they’re eaten at a picnic table with frisbees flying past my head!
86.) Antibiotics~I know they’re overused, but when a real need arises, I sure am glad they’re available.
87.) Sunshine~As much as I love the rain, a sunny day in Florida is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
88.) Disney World~Need I say more?
89.) Rocks~Because my little mud-magnet loves them for some odd reason. ♥
90.) Parades~I LOVE parades and look forward to going to our local ones and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Although I turned it off last year because all they were showing was celebrity interviews, singers, and Broadway routines I watch it for the amazing balloons and marching bands!) and the Rose Bowl Parade every year.
91.) Cloud Watching~Who doesn’t love lying down in the cool grass with little people who see dragons, mice, and the occasional shoe in the fluffy shapes drifting by against a brilliant blue backdrop?
92.) Cheese~What a versatile product! Add it to almost any meal for a dash of protein, eat a bit after a meal to prevent cavities, and melt it with some salsa for a quick party dip!
93.) Art Galleries~Not the formal, stuffy kind (although I do like those), but the edge-curled, jelly-smeared, magnet-adhered-to-the-refrigerator kind. Love.
94.) Kittens~Small, fluffy, adorable…and my baby loves them and calls all living things that aren’t human ‘kitties’ (including fish, lol). ♥
95.) Hallelujah Chorus~Anything that can give me chills EVERY time I hear it is a favorite!
96.) Milk Duds~I know, but seriously, chocolate AND caramel in one little nugget of goodness? Win!
97.) Sunflowers~I remember being fascinated as a child walking under towering sunflowers as they turned their faces to follow the sun across the sky…beautiful.
98.) Home-grilled Hamburgers~My hubby (aka The Grill-Master) makes the BEST hamburgers on the grill!
99.) My Alma Mater~I’m a University of Central Florida Alum and a proud Knight!
100.) My Savior~Who stood in life’s courtroom when I was sentenced to death for my sins and took my place. ♥
L.R.Knost is a best-selling parenting and children’s book author and founder and director of Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, an online resource for gentle parenting education, articles, and research. Books by L.R.Knost include Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood ; Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages ; The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline ; and Jesus, the Gentle Parent: Gentle Christian Parenting (Release date: May 2014) the first four books in the Little Hearts Handbook gentle parenting series, as well as her children’s picture books Petey’s Listening Ears and the soon-to-be-released Grumpykins series available from Amazon and other major retailers.