Carry Your Camera- Gratitude

While the Thanksgiving holiday (a day to express our gratitude) is behind us, it’s warmth and essence are more fragrant today that they were Thursday. Let me explain.

When I discovered that Kimberly’s three fledglings would be out of school on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I asked if I could borrow them. I had been planning crafts and things we could do together for several weeks. While none of my pictures come close to Pinterest quality, the memories we made were awesome. They made popsicle stick puppets, then moved from one craft to another where they painted and glued and created. It was messy. It was wonderful.

Carry Your Camera

We made Indian Teepees from Pinterest. I should have read the directions more closely, because the cones tipped and leaked into my oven. (No, the smoke alarm didn’t go off, because I took it down. I’m tired of being the Smoke Alarm Queen.) Sorry, Kimberly, I know that doesn’t make you too happy. But think about it this way, they made it safely home…so no worries.

Karyn made her first pie crust all by herself from scratch! Way to go, girl! It was flakey and delicious!

Carry Your Camera

Karyn made her first pie crust all by herself from scratch! Way to go, girl! It was flakey and delicious!


Brayden and Ashlyn helped me arrange flowers for Kimberly’s table.

Carry Your Camera

It was sooo much fun! They cleaned up behind themselves.It just doesn’t get any better, but then it did.  Ashlyn came up to me and asked, “Would you mind if I vacuumed your floor?” I though I heard the Hallelujah Chorus right then and there! Hallelujah! Yes, baby, you just have at it!

We decided to go for a walk.I didn’t know God was going to use Ashlyn again, as He has on so many occasions to talk to me. They had been inside all day, so it was time for some exercise. Ashlyn handed me the camera as we put on our shoes to go outside with the instruction, “Here take this.”

“Why do I need the camera?” I asked. “We’re just going to walk down the street. We’re not going anywhere except right here in the neighborhood!”

Her twinkling smile was convincing,”In case we see something special,Nana.”

We walked a few houses down the street, “Show me something special,” I asked Ashlynn.

She flashed that big grin at her Nana and pointed to the mailbox. “Take a picture of the mailbox, Nana.”

 Carry Your Camera

So I did. It’s a beautiful mailbox. I’d never seen it before. I chuckled; because all these years that I’ve lived in this house, I’d never noticed that beautiful mailbox.


Carry Your Camera

Again, she pointed and I clicked. “Look Nana, see the flower…

Carry Your Camera 

and the fountain ….


By this time, Brayden had joined the search…is the fruit ripe yet? …referring to the loquat tree at the entrance of the neighborhood.

Carry Your Camera

“Take a picture of the roses, Nana.”Carry Your Camera


She was right my neighborhood was filled with special things! Thank you, Ashlyn for helping me to see them. They are special. Gifts of beauty–from God–there for me to enjoy, but I hurry past without even noticing until with tiny fingers she points them out to me. Pleasures, simple pleasures, but I have to see them, to enjoy them. 


I respond with heartfelt gratitude and glee (Does that sound like too strong a word for such little things? Not when you’re seeing the beauty through the eyes of a child! Or when you see every little thing as a gift from God.), “Thank you God for sweet smelling velvet roses on a late November day. Thank you God for a childish reminder to notice special things, so I can savor them. Thank you a little hand inside mine, skipping alongside me as I tried to remember how to skip…and I did. Thank you God, for Brayden racing ahead, you know he’s our miracle boy, jumping across the drain grate at the pond and calling to Ashlyn to do the same—and she did!




This really is an awesome book and would make great gifts too! One Thousand Gifts Carry Your Camera

Ten Warnings that Could Save Your Thanksgiving or Christmas for that Matter