Wednesday, January 5, 2011

gratitude and cookies.

About a week after Kort's crazy cookie decorating party in December, Kortland came home with a note that he said was for me. It was a thank you note...from a 2nd grader! Now, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, but this amazed me!

The note said:

"Mrs. Dugovic,
Thanks for inviting me to
your cookie party.
You worked hard!"
{and then he signed it.}

Ha ha! How cute is that?
I was so impressed.
And I thought to myself, "His mother is so lovely."
What a lovely thing to teach your child.
What an important lesson to be learned at such a young, impressionable age.
And I decided there and then that we were going to be a "thankful household."
We are no longer going to take the kindness and thoughtfulness of others for granted.
We are going to recognize service.
We are going to acknowledge kind deeds.
And we are going to do so with cookies and the written word!


So,we centered our family home evening lesson around gratitude, and then, when I told Kortland that I wanted to start making sure that we say thank you to people who have touched our lives, he immediately thought of all of his primary teachers. He has LOVED each and every one of them. They have each taught with such love and patience {ohhhh the patience} and have made Kortland's early church memories beautiful and positive. {A feat that I, as his mother, do not take lightly. At all.}

We decided that cookies would be a fun way to say thanks.


I told Kort that I would have the cookie decorating stuff ready when he got home from school on Tuesday. {A promise that I would regret on Tuesday morning when I awoke as a half-zombie after being up most of the night with Tennyson...} I was exhausted, BUT there is such a great feeling that comes with following through for your kids even when you don't think you have it in ya.


To sweeten the deal, {no pun intended} my friend Natasha decided to come by and bring her darling son, Taylor, to help us decorate. This girl feeds my soul, I'll tell you what. Her energy is so positive and effervescent, it literally drips off of her, infecting everything within a 40 foot radius. It's heavenly. And I needed the boost. I don't know what I'm going to do without her when she moves to Texas next month {sniff, sniff}. At the end of all of my "Housewife on Fire goaling and struggle for self betterment" if I am just 1/4, no, 1/16 of the woman, friend, and mother that she is, it will have all been worthwhile. {I could say that of a lot of the women I am so blessed to call my friends...all of them, really. Sounds like I need to bake another hundred batches of thank you cookies...}

Spending the afternoon with Natasha and Taylor, and catching up as our creative juices flowed into snowmen, crowns, and smiley faces was bliss I tell ya.  Just bliss. And it reminded me of another "living your life" rule that I am TRYING to live by. And that is a commitment to QUALITY over QUANTITY.
As you may very well know, these types of cookies take a lot of effort! {2-3 hours JUST to cover the baking alone...etc}and I tend to get the {erroneous} idea that if I am going to do a TON of work, then as many people as humanly possible should come and benefit from it! Ha ha! Not so.
Nope, there is definitely something to be said for simplicity. And there is even more to be said for the restorative powers of an afternoon spent enjoying simple, one on one interaction with someone who you simply adore.
Lesson learned.
{Now if I can just remember, remember, REMEMBER it!}
That night, after dinner, I designed a special stationary letterhead for Kort to write his thank you notes on. I thought they were pretty funny. {Translation: I  think I'm pretty funny.}


We went around and delivered the notes with cookies.
Then, just tonight when I tucked Kort into bed, he said:

"Hey mom? You know how you let me decorate cookies and then you drove me all over the neighborhood so I could deliver them?"


"Thanks for doing that. I loved that."


Of course, I know that I don't always have to slave over rolled sugar cookies all day in order to say "thank you" to someone. But I just wanted to have a fun "kick off" event to commemorate our family's new "attitude of gratitude."

In keeping with that attitude, thank YOU for visiting and sharing in this journey. I LOVE reading your comments and updates. I love your tips. I love interacting with like-minded women from all walks of life. So, thanks. I get WAY more hits than I do comments, so I just want to say thank you to those of you who step out of anonymity so that I can get to know you better.  Thank you for "following" so I feel like I'm not doing this on my own. And thank you to everyone who drops in {even if you're too shy to let me know you were here.}


Stefanie said...

Can I just tell you - I am in total awe of you. Let me see if I can out it into words here... you started this blog asa way to amp up your efforts of keeping a better house etc... I think you had suceeded in that category before even starting your blog. So what if you're in your robe everyday?? The special attention you are able to give Kort everyday is so inspiring to me. Making all those cookies, and stationary and getting them all delivered all whilst teaching your son a valuable lesson - priceless! I can barely muster the energy to get out of bed to simply do my 6 year old's hair before she heads off to school! Seriously! yes I'm dressed - but my hair is always in a hat and I am far too exhausted to do such fun things with my kids. Don't get me wrong - being the fun-type mom that you are is my dream, but I have so much anxiety and stress and exhaustion (amongst other things) holding me back, it's depressing. Now granted, I have 7 kids (In a yours mine and ours fashion) but wow - I am in awe of you. I take all of your ideas and put them in my "I'll do this one day" file. You're great.

Housewife on Fire said...

Stefanie -

Thank you for your kind words. You made my day!

And I just have to say: SEVEN kids? I would so NOT do 90% of the fun things I do if I only had to do THE LAUNDRY for seven kids - not to mention the feeding, checking homework, talking with, clothing, cleaning up after, and providing for them! I think it's a wonder that you get dressed!

I basically have 1 and a half (Cause Tentens is just a delicious little blob who sits around in a bumbo and smiles at me all day... HARDLY an inconvenience ;)Kort is gone 7 hours of the day, so I have a ton of free time to do stuff.

I am in awe of YOU. We all need to remember that we are each doing the best that we can with what we've been given. You would ROCK the 1 and a half kid thing too - I'm sure of it!

Wait till I have 5 more... then we can talk about comparisons ;)

Hopefully I will be able to come up with some fun, easy things that EVERYONE can use... because that's really the point of this blog.

ATTAINABLE is the magic word! ;)

Thanks so much for stopping in and saying hi! I tried to go to your blog to say this, but it wouldn't link me :( So hopefully you will see this!

Stefanie said...

I got it thanks so much. You made some good points. Thank you. Sorry my blog is locked cuz I had a couple creepies visiting and leaving nasty comments... But you're welcome to an invite if you ever want one! Thanks again for your inspiration.

the Lola Letters said...

I would love an invite! My email is


Stefanie said...

Invite sent. Thank you

sostinkinhappy said...

One of my favorite spots to get sprinkles and "stuff" for our cookie parties: Maybe you already know of the, but if not, check them out sometime.

I am already starting to make the dough for our Valentines cookie fest on February 12. I love the idea of tying it into a FHE about gratitude - hope you don't mind if I borrow it!

Smooches -


Meredith said...

YUM. i love these pics and the the whole activity behind this post. you go mama! :)