1. I'm thankful for a slower-paced week. Really loving the relaxed summer schedule that gives us the chance to spend more unhurried time at home. Marcus still has about 7 sessions of therapy per week, but it feels nice to have room in the schedule to read, do crafts, play outside, and hang out with the neighborhood kids.
2. I'm thankful that Mike's parents have arrived safely back to Maryland after a few months doing missionary work in Peru. My father-in-law has been suffering from a mysterious illness and we are praying that the doctors here in the states can find a solution to his current health issues. We would appreciate your prayers for him.
3. It's been a privilege to pray for others, especially for those who are facing hardships. It is so good for me to go to the Father with not only my own requests, but those of others around me. It's also good to see how much I lack in prayer. I want to grow more in this area.
4. Not that I'm thankful that Marcus was misbehaving this week, but I'm glad I caught this moment in photos. He was messing with his sister over some toys and then got angry, so he was sequestered to the couch with hands folded for a short while. He's got a huge alligator tear on his face, and the cutest little "I got in trouble" look in his eyes. Haha.
"Man, I shouldn't have done that."
"I did bad."
"But you still think I'm cute, right?"
"I'm soooo sorry. Do I look sorry enough?"
5. I'm thankful for Strawberry Shortcake and Chocolate Eclair ice cream bars. Also thankful for the Breyer's Snickers ice cream Mike just bought from the store tonight. I've consumed a lot of dessert this week.
6. I'm thankful that every week I take Marcus to his speech pathologist, I have something new to report. He is really vocalizing and trying to talk more, and although it sometimes sounds like he's just moaning or babbling, I think he's mostly trying to say real words. He still has trouble incorporating his consonants, but he can say about 75% of his letter sounds and is saying new things all the time. Now, if we ask him "Who created (blank)?", he answers, "Gaw" with a huge grin on his face. He can count to 10 and although it's mostly just the vowels, this week, he said "nigh" for the number 9. I brought his lunch to the table today and although at first I thought he was just babbling, I realized he was saying "eee-za" for "pizza". All this seems so basic, but is huge for him because coordinating his mouth and voice together is SO hard for him to do. You should see him while he's talking. He has to concentrate extremely hard to say anything. It's like if you and I had to do the quadratic equation in our heads every time we wanted to say something. We are so proud of our little talker, and thankful to the Lord for these small steps of progress.
7. Despite the progress, I still get real sad. It's hard to see boys his age running around at the park, imagining they're superheros, and really enjoying playing together as boys should. I wonder, "Will Marcus ever be able to play with other boys like that? Will others understand him? Will he be happy like those other boys?" But I'm thankful for Psalm 23 and the reminder that the Lord is my Good Shepherd. Although tomorrow is a huge question mark, I know that today, there is no want in Him. There is no need to fear what darkness may come, because He will be with me and go before me.
8. I'm thankful to celebrate Audrey's and Mike's birthdays this weekend. The other day after I woke up from a nap, I found this announcement on our front door: