10 things that make me happy…

1. The snow coming down as I type. Our state always needs more water. So it’s a big deal to get all this new stuff. I just want to be snowed in at least once in my life.

2. Pink lights on a canopy bed. It’s very exotic and makes me feel particularly fancy somehow. Even if I’m just wearing a sweatshirt and jeans.

3. A baby girl who loves her monkey.

4. A baby boy who loves to laugh.

5. A baby “chomp” who could show up any day now. Maybe we’ll wake up one of these mornings and Lyndi will have a sweet, warm bundle all cuddled up with her. I suppose, in real life we’ll know when she decides that she’s truly coming. But since Lyndi is having a home birth–it could be a surprise for us–any time now.

6. A well attended puzzle on a wintery day.

7. Dear friends in a beautiful place.

8. A beautiful place

9. A pristine kitty

10. A letter from a happy boy in a very cold, faraway land.


Be sure to check out the “Grateful List” tab. This will be our never-ending happiness list. Reply to this post and let us know what makes you happy. We’ll just keep racking them up until we get…oh, a million or so. :]  You can send as many, as often as you’d like.

Can’t get too much of this good thing!

How many is a million, anyway?

New Year’s Goals

According to legend, a young man while roaming the world came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher. After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.

Later, the teacher let another student taste the water. He spat it out, saying it was awful. It apparently had become stale because of the old leather container. The student challenged his teacher: “Master, the water was foul. Why did you pretend to like it?”

The teacher replied, “You only tasted the water. I tasted the gift. The water was simply the container for an act of living-kindness and nothing could be sweeter.”

Self-motivation without gratitude is impossible. Our energy is “sapped” when our entire focus is on what’s wrong instead of what is right with our lives. One of our greatest challenges is to live and love in spite of pain and disappointment…to find gratitude in the midst of it all.

Reflect for a moment on this beautiful quote from Melody Beattie:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

New Year’s Goal #1  Gratitude.

I will keep a gratitude journal and each day record at least one blessing, one joy or one example of “the Lord’s hand in my life.”

President Eyring’s talk about gratitude

100 Things To Be Happy About

Please read these with your own list in mind. Post your “happy stuff” at the bottom and we’ll see how many we can get…

  1. These particular children


  2. These perfect grandbabies

  3. Lyndi's computer 008
  4. 3.  Missionary boy phone calls on Christmas daywith-elder-vehawn 4. Fleece slippers
  5. 5- A bag of Cheetoes–baked not fried       cheetoes
  6. Painted toenails
  7. The smell of real Christmas trees
  8. A well stocked bird feederblue-birds
  9. Picking raspberries
  10. Real Hot Chocolate with real whipped cream
  11. Wearing pigtails
  12. Striped socksclipboards-037
  13. Bright pink mittens
  14. A reading lamp
  15. scotlandMen with Scottish accents
  16. Baby kittens
  17. Stone cottages

    cottage2from “the Holiday”

  18. Cherries from a roadside stand
  19. A backyard full of autumn leaves


  20. Thundery rainstorms
  21. Cheerios
  22. Snowed in with everyone home
  23. Gas prices right this second gas-prices
  24. The power of prayer
  25. Thatched roofs
  26. “Baby First Step”presents-020
  27. Indian corn
  28. Music boxes where you can see the insides
  29. Porch swings
  30. A sister   ward-campout-2008-9
  31. Baby kisses
  32. Pecan logs without cherries
  33. Pumpernickel bread with Swiss cheese    pumpernickel1
  34. The picture book, “The Relatives Came.”
  35. Old photos of total strangers
  36. Caramel apples
  37. Seabiscuit
  38. Metal crochet hooks with taped handlessnow-08-025
  39. Christmas lights in very tall trees
  40. Canopy beds with curtains
  41. PeeWee baby dollshoney-and-babies-020
  42. Football games
  43. Very old houses with very old trees
  44. Jack in the Box tacos
  45. Border’s gift cards
  46. Surfer hair

    sunshine Sunshine from “Remember the Titans”

  47. Crocheted dust ruffles
  48. Old buttons
  49. “Little Lost Baby”


  50. Lousia May Alcott books
  51. Beloved crazy people with New Year’s fireworks  new-years-eve-2009-015
  52. Being read to
  53. Flute music
  54. Beany my lovehoney-and-babies-030
  55. Vlasic Kosher Dill Spears

  56. Farm houses
  57. A Brother   lyndipictures2-122
  58. Embroidery scissors
  59. Rainbow Britehoney-and-babies-014
  60. The “Out of Africa” soundtrack
  61. Summerfest copy-of-summerfest-2008-101
  62. Peter Brinholt music
  63. Cable tights
  64. Light purple
  65. Cinnamon pinecones
  66. Mourning doves     dove-in-the-pine
  67. Creamers
  68. Rootbeer floats in grama’s backyard
  69. Christmas cards with photos inside
  70. Letters with foreign stamps


  71. Wind chimes
  72. Gift baskets with really cool stuff
  73. Jane Austen movies
  74. Wool Felt
  75. Kilts   andrew-j-237
  76. Pink malt balls
  77. Babies born gently
  78. Snapset pools
  79. Maxfield Parrish paintings
  80. Baby fingers and toes   honey-and-babies-035
  81. Cute boys with big feetdec-31-001
  82. Freeze dried ice cream
  83. Church steeples
  84. Old friends that come back
  85. Icicles  dec-24-2008-092
  86. Waterfalls
  87. Free range giraffeswild-giraffe
  88. Button up sweaters
  89. Goose Girl
  90. Twelfth Night
  91. Christmas Eve     christmas-eve
  92. Stuffing
  93. Kisses on the hand
  94. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  95. Pastry Blenders
  96. Little girls in dresses and tights


    by Eloise Wilkin

  97. Pink and purple petunias
  98. Ballet Slippers
  99. My sweet Mom

  100. My cute daddy


Happy Thanksgiving!!

ThanksgivingWe here at Gracious Rain hope you have the happiest of Thanksgivings and that you eat so much turkey and cranberry sauce and potatoes and pie that you sleep for a week…well, no…then you’d miss all the cool sales tomorrow and that would be would be terribly counter-productive. Maybe, use moderation…

oh, forget it.

So, ok…go eat stuffing.

Dane Thanksgiving 08

My cute little son in Lithuania breaking dry bread for stuffing–8 hours ago–

because HE knows that some traditions must go on, even in a far away land.

Have a wonderful holiday!

5 Things I’m Thankful For…

…at this very moment…

1) A sister who brings over Turkey Cupcakes–they look like turkeys, they taste like chocolate–that are so, so cute–I couldn’t let anyone eat them until we got a picture. Plus, I figured if I could distract everyone long enough…I wouldn’t have to share. Heh, heh, heh…

2) A big black cat named Beany, that sleeps at the foot of my bed–the far right side of the foot of my bed so that I can still move my feet if I want to OR scoot my feet under him to keep them extra toasty. Yeah…he’s a good sport.

3) Thanksgiving decorations all over the place. Laurie–the cupcake sister–made the pilgrims for me a billion years ago.

The turkey bailed into my cart at JoAnn’s last year.

4) The piles on my ridiculous desk. So much potential for fun stuff. I can’t wait to sort them out and see what’s in there. I must point out…this s not a mess. I mean it. This is total order in my world.

5) “Thing 1” and “Thing 2.” The squishyist and most magnamonious babies in the world. It’s quite possible that I made both of those words up. If so…don’t tell me. They are perfect for my needs–thank you.



“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”

~Meister Eckhart