For those of you who have been following along lately, you know me and mine have had a bit of a rough stretch this Summer. Truth is, that’s the case in more areas than I blog about but hey, life goes on and so must I. All those bumps in the road could bring a girl down if she let them… But I don’t. Can’t! I’ve got kids to take care of and a life to live. I’ve got to stay focused on all the good stuff — and there’s a LOT — in order to weather the storms. So here goes:
 I wish I could say I’ve been successful losing weight during these stressful past few months. Truth is, stress and weight loss are strangers. When one’s around, the other is generally no where in sight! For me anyway. But — and it’s all about the size of the butt, right? — I’ve got my good health. My body is strong. My mind is focused… most of the time. And my spirit is peaceful. That’s huge… even if I am too (LOL)! My weight and my ability to move the scale in a downward direction will come in time. Meanwhile, when I really think about it, I’m actually proud of my body and it’s abilities… which far outweigh (pun intended) it’s DIS-abilities.
 I’m thankful that my parents are still here with me. I lost an Uncle yesterday. My Godfather, actually. He’s been declining for some time and living in a nursing home so it’s not as though it wasn’t expected to the extent that you CAN expect such things are going to happen at some point in the future. Still, it marks the end of an era. Of all my aunts and uncles on both sides of the family, there is only one PAIR left. All the other better halves (or lesser halves as the case may be, LOL) have gone on to phase II. But, my Mom and my Dad are still in the game of Life (though not together so I wonder if that has something to do with it). They each have their share of minor-ish health issues but they’re strong willed and able bodied (mostly) and I’m thankful I still have time to tell them how much I love them.
 Big news! I got a new car! Yay! My trusty old stop-gap Silhouette was diagnosed terminal a couple of weeks ago and made it’s last run as part of our family up to the used car lot last night! Yes, I’m feeling mighty good about my certified pre-owned, new-to-me minivan. (It’s on the Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles List so I’m not saying exactly what it is or where I live ha ha ha!) ‘Cause I want to keep on feeling proud seeing it sitting in my driveway! I’ve never wanted a minivan. As a matter of fact, Sarge and I made a pact that we’d never own one… then along came The Boys. Ya do whatcha gotta do, right? If I have to drive one of these suburban establishment icons, the one I’ve got now is the only one I’ve ever coveted. This makes twice in my life that I was blessed to have the car I wanted most… my dream vehicle! It’s even in the color I always wanted… ’cause that’s important! LOL. Am I a Lucky Girl, or what!
 The end of Summer always gets me down dooby doo down down. I LOVE Summer… And this was the Summer that wasn’t with all the illness, hospitalizations and illness. (Yup, all 3 are down again: one with a sinus infection, one with strep and one deciding which way he’s going to go with his fever!) But we did go camping twice, swam in the pool a lot, got to the beach, went kayaking and even enjoyed a few outdoor concerts. We even got potty trained! Considering our limited opportunity and difficulties, we did OK. And there’s still a week to go! If our latest round of treatments go well, weather permitting we’ll be at the Zoo on Tuesday with a slight chance of Splish Splash on Wednesday. Filling the remaining days with boogie boarding at the beach, some more pool time, hopefully one last beach concert and — who knows? — maybe even a road trip in my new car to Washington, DC to pick up a double kayak from a friend looking to donate it to our good cause. (You can’t kayak a family of 5 with 2 single kayaks… but 2 singles and a sit-on-top double? Now you’re talking!) While we’re down there we can hit the Smithsonian for a live stroll through Night at the Museum II, one of The Boys’ favorite movies! We’ll have to see what develops in the petri dish, what heals and what falls from the sky… but I plan to make the most of the 8 days I’ve got left one way or another!
 And finally, as I look around at my sick kiddos laying around me on the couch as I type this — patiently waiting for me to put a new movie on — I’m thankful for their extraordinary good health. I know that sounds funny with our current and active diagnoses of strep, sinus infection and ??? accompanied by 100+ fevers, body rashes, sore throats, coughs and sniffles. But, the truth is, my kids are incredibly healthy. Stop laughing and hear me out…. We have no heart defects. No digestive difficulties. No eye disease. No immune system issues. No chronic health problems. I am soooo thankful for their good health! THEIR bodies are strong. Their minds are clear and focused. And their spirits — ahhh, their beautiful and peaceful spirits — bring a smile to my face every time….
Thank you God for these beautiful gifts!