I am a complainer. I have always been a complainer. When I was a kid my aunts bought me a t-shirt that said, “Monku, Monku, Monku” which basically translates to “complain, complain, complain” from Japanese slang. I wore that shirt a lot.

Lately, I’ve been trying to cut down on the monku and replace it with some gratitude. For instance, I am grateful that my family has been relatively healthy this winter (that thumping you hear is me knocking on all the wood in our house). When I think about my friends who haven’t been able to hold their newborn very much because she is in an oxygen tent, I am grateful that Sarah was healthy and able to come home with us right away.

I’m not complaining, but…

School was out on Monday for President’s Day, so all three kids were home. Brad, however, was not. The kids were also home on Friday, so by Monday the novelty of being home had worn off. I had the greatest of intentions for the day, with ideas of baking together, playing games and making crafts. We were out of flour, sugar and butter and I couldn’t muster the energy for games, so out came the paper and scissors. Truth be told, paper and scissors are always out in our house, but this time it was a little less free form than usual. We made the bird garland I’d seen posted on Kiddley in December. I figured, we’ll make it with floral paper, so it will be a spring garland. Leave it to my children to start a theological debate over the meaning of the garland. The top of the template page said “Holiday Garland Template”, so Lizzie decided that it was a garland of doves to remind us of Jesus’s baptism (Baptism of the Lord Sunday is not the most commonly celebrated holiday, but, whatever). Joshua, on the other hand, determined that it was representative of the dove that flew from the Noah’s Ark to find dry land. Ok, it is true that I am employed as the education director of a church, but sometimes my Jesus freak children are a bit much for me. “Jesus!!” “No, Noah!!” “Jesus!” “Noah!” I am grateful my children are so passionate about their faith???