February 8, 2013


Ok, my self-imposed standard of writing in the blog daily was too hard for me to maintain.  So, the first night I didn’t do it, I was agonizing if I could just give up.  Would anyone care?  Why was I doing it?  What was my motives?  I did really like putting the pictures up and having a journal/chronical of my life and my family’s lives.  Was I looking for people’s comments and approval?  Did it seem like I was “showing off”?  These thoughts crossed through my mind the next few days….and then I started to even forget about my blog.  Ha ha.  How could that happen as I was so faithful to do it for so many days in a row?  Reminds me of why I can relate to the Israelites and how easily they forgot the Lord so many times in the Old Testament.  Anyway, today, I am feeling a lot of gratefulness in my heart and it’s actually bubbling out.  So, if no one reads this…It’s ok.  It’s good to have this record of my heart today and for the events of the last month and those things that I am thankful for:


I am thankful for:


*Today would be the 112 birthday of my father-in-law.  Yes, that is true. Dale’s dad was born in 1901.  He was 65 (almost 66…that is for Hannah. :)) when Dale was born!  He was the best man in our wedding when he was 88 years old.  I knew him for a about 8 years before he died in 1995.  His name to everyone was Papa.  He was a sweet,dear man.  He and I had a very special relationship.  He would hold my hand and tell me the same stories over and over.  I videotaped some of those.  He was a preacher and loved the Lord.  He would cry so easily at things that moved him.  I relate to this so much.  It was precious in him,  He walked slow, shuffling his steps and would greet anyone that came along his path.   He loved the hymn ” Because He Lives” which is also loved by his first grandson and the one that was named after him (William Arthur).  I thought of him last night as Dale and I were coming home after being in his office so Dale could work late.  (I joined him there for our regular date night and I could work on some of my personal stuff after we ate the food I brought.)  I was thinking about Papa and wondered what he was like when he was Dale’s age (in the 1940’s!).  I imagine he was a hard worker like Dale is.  Dale works so hard and I know his work ethic was instilled in him by his parents.  Ben wrote a report on the grandpa that he never knew recently and hung his poster in his room.  I took a picture of it because I thought that was so sweet and here it is:IMG_1057




*Lots of things have happened in the last few weeks.  Ben turned 15 and got his permit.  I took him out driving this morning after I had him drive home from Wal-mart yesterday.  He has yet to have instincts in his driving, but he’s starting to get them already.  It is always nice to have drivers in the house because it helps me out so much.  Here Ben is at the DMV getting his permit.




*Which brings me to being thankful for Will and his help in the driving area over the last few weeks.  His attitude has been great and he is willing to help out.  I am so grateful for that.  Last year was a rocky year with Will and I am so thankful that he has matured so much since then.  Our relationship with each other is so much more positive.  I can’t express how good this is!!!  He is a good boy.  I love you, Wilbur!



*AnnaLee… Will’s girlfriend.  She sent me a sweet text a few weeks ago being appreciative of me and it really meant so much to me.  I am glad that she is in Will’s life and our lives as well.



*Katie and a good conversation that we had on the phone yesterday.  She has done so great at CSU and I can’t believe in a little over a year she will be graduating from college!


*Jynelle, my friend, my Dionne.  She sent me a sweet card in the mail the other day after I was having a blah Monday.  She understands me and that is so great to have friend like that.  She also gave me a gift card to Office Max and I went there today to buy pens.  (She and I both love getting a good pen!)  We texted back and forth and I sent her pics of the ones I got.  I love that she gets me in those little things and how that means something to me…


IMG_3065*Which brings me to Hannah.  She searched on the web for the pen that I wanted.  The name of it came off the pen that I wanted.  She also cares for me and the little things.  She was the first of the 2 that asked me about my blog and kept looking for it every day for several days.  That meant a lot to me that she cared.  She is turning 19 on Monday.  Her birthday’s in the past have been legendary with originality.  This year she had hoped to have a spelling bee for her birthday…but she decided against it after her trip to DC.  It is still yet to be determined what all will happen this weekend.  We have a couple of ideas.  She sent a sweet facebook to our Pratt family facebook members saying this:snipping Hannah facebook


And this is her at the Inauguration and DC last month.

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I love this girl.  I hope that we can have a special birthday weekend celebrating her!  We even might be going to Finland!


Well, I guess this is enough for now.  Even though I can list about a 100 more things that I am thankful for over the last few weeks….


January 13, 2013


I’m thankful for:

*Dale is home.

*The kids were so excited and gathered around to see him and to also see the goodies he brought back.  Dale even got some Italian dirt for Ellie.  (Ellie has a strange collection of dirt from places from all over the United States and the world.)
















*Ben Fusco and his version of  Double D’s after church at Zoe’s.  Great food and great that I didn’t have to prepare, make, serve and clean up after this delicious meal.  Thank you, Ben!!!!

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*Hanging out with Dana and Steven and getting to catch up with them after Zoe’s.  They both are extremely talented people and I love to see their work and hear about their lives.  They are so gracious to our kids (especially Steven, who I believe is a saint for what he puts up with Meghan alone hanging on him.)  I even found out Steven might be able to help me with some tech issues that I have had with my video needs on the Mac.  I may not hear “It can’t be done!” which I hear so frequently from Ben these days.  (GRRRR).  🙂  I will be super thankful after that.


*A great break with Katie from college.  She is headed back to CSU to her RA duties.  I am so proud of her and pray this will be a good last semester of her Junior year.


*Early to bed.

January 12, 2013


I’m thankful for:

*A fun season with the Broncos.  Sad to see them lose tonight in the play off game, but still grateful that most Sunday’s (a few Monday’s…remember that incredible Monday night game against the Chargers where the Broncos were so down 24-0  ?? at the half and came back to win it …and win it big!!! and a Thursday) that we got to watch mostly winning games.  I remember several games.  Watching one with Dale while on our cruise in the middle of the ocean in September.  Watching another with Ben after his drama performance on Dale and my date night.  We went  to Randy’s and the game was on big screens and I loved hanging out with Ben, too, who also loves the Bronco  games.  This was a very enjoyable season for me.  I loved texting my friend, Susan, who is in Florida during the games.  Sometimes she could watch, sometimes she couldn’t but most games we  texted during.  So fun.  And finally, the family enjoyed getting free big macs after a win with the purchase of drink on the day after a win at McDonalds.  We did that a lot!  Today, we got some wings and McDonalds before the game which our friend, Eric Hashberger and Ben went to get.  Dave, Keenan and Kory Powell also came over.  We watched together and it’s always good times with friends.  Just wish we had a better outcome.  So, thanks Broncos.  It was great memories this year!iphone to organize

* My brother, Ryan.  I like him more and more as we get older. I appreciate him in so many, many ways.  But one of them is  how he helps take care of my parents, especially their tech problems.  🙂 I think he has matured so much since I first knew him.  Ha ha.  Seriously, he’s a really great guy and I am so proud of him.  (Even though he is a little weird.)


*A sweet card in the mail from my friend, Heather.  Thanks!

*Tomorrow when I see Dale.  I am so looking forward to that.


January 11, 2013


I’m thankful for:

*The beauty of fast changing weather.  Yesterday, I looked on my phone at the upcoming weather for today.  It said at 1p,m, there would be a 30% chance of snow.   So, I was thinking there is a 70% chance of it *not* snowing.  When I woke up, I saw sunny blue skies.  “No snow today” was my thought.  Then the skies got grey all of a sudden about 10 am and just a little later hard snow fell.  We got several inches of snow!  When Ayda noticed she ran downstairs yelling, “It’s snowing!  It’s the best day ever!” Since the boys are off on Friday’s, they were able to go get shoveling jobs.  Ben, Noah and Ben Martinez earned $120!  Not bad.   Ben, Ethan and I were able to serve my dad and go to the apartment house that he manages and shovel for him, too!  (He had back surgery 2 weeks ago and is not in a condition to do it himself.) Great shoveling day!

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*Waking up to my little “sneaker” (Gwyneth) who likes to get in bed with me.  Most nights she puts her arms around my neck even in her sleep and is always “looking” and making sure that I am there.  So sweet.  I had my phone right by me and took a picture of us right when we were waking up.  (I must appreciate these moments.  I won’t be having a sneaker for much longer as she grows up.)


*AnnaLee sent me a sweet, encouraging text this morning. (AnnaLee is Will’s precious girlfriend.)

*In the mail today, I received my Christmas gift from my “Kindred Spirit” friend.  We call each other “Dionne” because of the “That’s what friends are For” song by Dionne Warwick is our sarcastic song to each other.  She gave me a gift card to Office Max.  She knows me so well because we are so alike.  We love to have good pens for writing and I love my gift from her.  Thanks, Dionne!


*Minda Sandstrom invited me and my littles to her house to visit and see their new puppies, Snoopy and Molly.  What adorable faces.  The kids loved playing and holding them.  (As cute as they are, this momma is sticking to her guns and we won’t be having any puppies at our house even if the children like to ask.)  It was great to catch up with Minda and I am so grateful she is one of my dear neighbors.

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*Watching my kids interact with one another.  Ayda laid a picture that she drew next to Ben on his pillow.  Ayda said, “I drawled this for you”  Ben replied, “Thank you.”  Ayda then said “I drawled this for you because I liked your basketball game.  (Pause….) But it was really long!”

*Hannah got her special commemorative DC Metro Link cards for her trip to see the Inauguration in 10 days.  She was so excited about this trip!


*Chatting with Dale was a highlight of the day.  He made it safely to Germany after a flight there early this morning.  Only 2 more nights and he will be home…(although it will be short stop in before next trip, I am still thankful I will get to see the one I love the most.)  He sent this pic of the view outside of his window at his hotel.


*Caring friends who check up on me.

*Papa Murphy’s pizza.

January 10, 2013


I’m thankful for:

*God guiding our steps.  Even when God changes the way we think we are going, He is still guiding and directing.

*Faithful friends that you can call on for prayer.  Faithful friends that can sense the Spirit and pray even when not called and they actually do the calling.  How amazing is that?!?

*Again, texting and cell phones where Dale and I can speak and I can hear about what is going on. It was a rough day for Dale in many ways but he was reassured at the end of the evening by his boss in Germany.  I am grateful for that.

*Pizza lunch that my dad brought over and having a special bond with him.  I enjoyed laughing with him today.

*Frontier School.  I am thankful for God’s leading us to this school and that our boys are doing well there.  Tonight I spoke with Will and Ben’s Spanish teacher, Miss Groves, who also leads Ben’s Friend to Friend Friday Morning Bible Study and knows Katie because her brother goes to the same church group as she does.  She is a very sweet. young woman and I am glad that she is teaching my boys along with other teachers that we know personally….Sandy Collins, Betony Coons, Kelly Cook, Becca Neel, and many others on staff there whom we know from going to Mountain View E-Free and the Awanas program that we participated in for so many years.  It’s just nice to be in a community there.

*Ben playing on the JV basketball team and being the lead scorer in the game.  He was able to suit up for Varsity.  Great job, Ben!2013-01-04 Ben Basketball1


January 9, 2013


I’m thankful for:

*Feeling so completely comfortable with my husband that when he is away I really know it because I sleep less soundly (read: hardly at all).  I appreciate his presence so much and I miss him when he is not with me.

*Text messaging  and Cell phones as a way to communicate. (When we were dating we had no such thing for communicating…nor emailing, cell phones, skype, etc.  It’s pretty crazy how technology has changed since then!)

*Even though Dale’s luggage was lost, he was able to find a place to buy a real authentic Italian suit!  (He tells me that Italians must be shorter because he had a hard time finding shirts and jackets that are long enough for him.)  After many calls to the credit card companies validating that Dale’s cards weren’t being used for fraudulent purposes, he was able to get all the things (shoes, shirts, t-shirt, socks, underwear, etc.) that he needed to get through some serious meetings with the Beretta family tomorrow.   And, he says it was quite the experience trying to explain to non-English speaking Italians what he needed. Charades were played many times where he went.  He did make a buddy out of “Maximillano” (on the left)IMG_2523

who knew a little English and could help him.  After getting his clothes, he  had to find a hole-in-a-wall shop that could hem his pants.  He was told to look for the China Man in a window down the street who could do it.




It was done and he was able to have a long dinner with the General Manager of Beretta Holding and get some good information to help him with his big day tomorrow.

*Dale knows me well enough and knows I will want pictures.  (And, I am thankful for the i-phones and I can receive them so quickly and easily, too!)working cm


*Back here….the Spider Sisters played.










*I have discovered that peanut butter really does get silly putty out of hair.

*Facebook that brings friends together to message to one another.  One of my longest friendships is Suzanne.  We met in high school and when I look back on that part of my life, Suzanne is in most of my memories.   We had such good times in those days.  She was the Maid of Honor in my wedding and I was the Matron of Honor in hers.  She joined the Air Force ROTC program when she began college and is nearing the end of her career with the Air Force soon.  She and I lead quite different lives, but our friendship remains.  I have visited her in some of the places that she has lived over the years including 2 trips to England.  I laugh when I think of the things we have done and I am blessed by her friendship.  Today, I decided I should write to her and tell her about Dale going to Italy and seeing the head honchos of Beretta, including the Beretta family themselves.  Knowing that she is in the military, I guessed she would know what that means.  This is what she said:

WOW, extremely interesting!

and I’m so glad Dale has found a job he enjoys and a company that recognizes his talents.

And to meet the Beretta family? Simply Incredible.

Of course I am familiar with the 9mm Beretta…or “weapon”

we are not allowed to call them “guns”

weapon is more military speak I guess…funny!

I shoot one for proficiency every year.

It is GREAT fun, truth be told.

I even have a special medal for expert marksmanship!

(I chuckled to hear this from her.)  Then I wrote back to her (a book!) and she kindly read it all and then said:

“I brag about you homeschooling 10 kids….” and some other things

And then I responded to  her:

“And brag away about me. It’s kind of weird because I have always bragged about you and have thought of you as the cooler one of the two of us.

She then said:

“coolness is in the eye of the beholder, eh?”

Anyway, all of this to say, I was reminded of this dear friend and I am so very thankful for the part that she has played in my life.  These are a few photo memories that I easily found tonight.  At her wedding, Noah was the baby.  And the other photo sits on my dresser in Scottish frame that I got when she and I took the train to Edinburgh,  Scotland, so many years ago.  I love this picture and this frame!  (And one last thing about Suz, she and I share a love for Amy Grant and we have been together to meet her a couple of times, too.  I should’ve looked for those pictures.  Good times. )





January 8, 2013


I’m thankful for:

*A Beautiful sunrise and I got to see it. IMG_2452

*Dale often leaves for coffee dates or work early in the morning, but he always comes back home at 7:10 a.m. to get the boys to take them to school so I don’t have to .  Most days he leaves a note for them.  Sometimes they are  funny, sometimes they are sweet.  But they are  little notes for the boys to know he is coming back for them.


*Dale came home at noon and packed up to go on his trip to Italy.  All the kids that were home (8) hung out in our room as he got the last of it together.  Meghan made a note for her daddy and hid it in his suitcase as a secret.  Ayda heard that Meghan was going to do that and did the same.  (She couldn’t keep it a secret, though.)  Ayda didn’t want to see her daddy go and hung on tightly to his leg.  We said good-bye.  Dale and I shared some sweet text messages after he got to the airport.  But, those are special and private, so I will keep that to myself even though it is something I am very thankful for. 🙂





*Will did an amazing amount of running for me today.  It was a very tight, calculated schedule of picking up & dropping off siblings at various places.   I won’t bore you with the specifics, but it was hectic and he did a great job.  It was so nice to not to have to be the one doing that.  I could really get used to him having his license.  It’s been super helpful!


*Bachelor has begun!  Mary, Heather and Davida joined me and Hannah to watch the first episode.  We had our usual good time making fun of it after we shared dinner together (and Heather washed all my dishes.  Sweet friend!)   Davida was cynical about it at first, but after tonight I think we got her hooked.  After she saw it’s just a fun night to joke about it, I think we might be seeing her again at future Bachelor/Bachelorette nights.

*And lastly, Heather got Ayda to sleep snuggling with her.  Precious. IMG_2483

January 7. 2013


I’m thankful for:

*A lunch date with Dale, Madeline and Ellie.  Dale confirmed that he will be leaving for Italy…tomorrow(!!!) and needed to go to his favorite store “Banana Republic” to get a blazer.  He invited the 3 of us to go (while Katie took care of the younger kids).  Ellie was cute in the store.  She held hands with a headless mannequin.  Madeline told her that neither of them had brains.  🙂   We also went to Smash Burger to eat. iphone to organize

*As sad as I will to see Dale be gone for the next few days, I am excited about the new job opportunity that he has.  He will be in Italy on Wednesday and Thursday, Germany on Friday and Saturday, Greeley for Sunday and Monday and then on to the big shot show in Las Vegas from Tues to Saturday next week.   It will be interesting to see what God does for Dale’s future in the company in the next few days, weeks and months.

*A box of letters came out tonight that Dale and I wrote to each other during our time apart before we were married which was  before and during our engagement.  Madeline, Ellie and Ethan had fun reading some of them.  It is a sweet memory to remember how Dale wrote me a real letter everyday and I wrote many letters as well  during that time when he lived in California and I lived in Greeley.  We looked so forward to our wedding and we could be together.  Boy, did we miss each other during that time!  I even sent one letter that was a puzzle.  The kids enjoyed putting it together and reading some of those tonight. iphone to organize1

*In one of those letters, I got a good chuckle when I read this that Dale wrote:

“”Today, I sent out 8 resumes and letters for some really good jobs that I seem to be qualified for, and I hope I hear something back soon. I wasn’t looking forward to typing all those letters this morning- it probably would have taken me about 5 days to type each one.  My typewriter wasn’t working well because the ribbon was worn out, so Dorothy said she had a  typewriter and it turned out to be sweet.  It had memory so I just stored the letter once and printed each time with the new address.  It was great!  What a relief.”

Haha.  We are old!  🙂

And Ironically Dale wrote this on a postcard in 1988.  Ha ha.



Hoping that things that are happening with his current job don’t lead him to another “stupid” job, but rather to one that fits him well and he will enjoy.  (Or at least enjoy more that his past accounting jobs that he hasn’t liked in the past.)  We shall see…

January 6, 2013


I’m thankful for:

*Dale had to go into work this morning.  He left by 6am because he could not sleep.  I thought he would be gone all day and had that set in my mind.  When he walked in the house at 9:45 am and said he was now home and wouldn’t have to go back to work, I cannot truly explain how so very grateful I was to see him.  I didn’t even know I missed him so.  I love even after nearly 24 years of marriage, he can make my heart jump and swell at the sight of him.  I love him the most. IMG_3550

*Zoe’s on a Sunday morning is good for my soul as I look around at all the dear people I love.  I love many more than the ones that I name here….but these are the ones that stood out to me as I took notes of it during worship.  They were singing and praising the Lord and it touched me today…

Eric Hashberger, Noah, Nicole Grizzle, AnnaLee, Bianca Fisher, Sonya Pedersen, and
Will reading his Bible and underlining in it.

*Tammy Busse.  I love this woman so much.  We share an unique bond even though we don’t get to spend much time together.  I would have to say that there is only a couple of others that I feel the same in this unique way.  I trust the spiritual insight that she has and I love that she loves me and genuinely cares for me.  A friend like this is a treasure.  I can’t really explain it because it is very rare, but I am so grateful for it.  I am glad I got to see her at Zoe’s today, too.

*Beautiful Sandy Collins dancing with Gwyneth.  (So excited about her engagement to Jacob!!!!)IMG_2408






*Dale took the kids on a road trip after church.  Time alone at home with Madeline for lunch and a nap in the afternoon before…..

*DOWNTON ABBEY@ the Kress!!!  Becky, Tammy, Sherry, Katie, Hannah and I went to Rio for dinner and then onto the Kress for the season 3 premiere.  I am so thankful for this small independent theater that has free nights like this one.  I am so thankful for good friends to share it.  I am so thankful for an amazing husband  and family that gives me treats like these.  IMG_71062013-01-06

January 5, 2013


I’m thankful for:

*A Mellow-ish day (although sad that Dale worked most of it.)

*Getting some crap stuff out of my garage,  my mom’s extra bedroom and Angie’s house to help friends that are trying to fill an ARC truck this weekend to earn $1000 to go to their next adoption of a 13yo girl from Columbia.  (BTW, they would be happy to take some more crap stuff tomorrow.  They live in Windsor.  If you want to know their address, let me know.  They need it filled or they don’t get the money.  That would be a bummer.)

*A trip to Chick-fil-A and the fact that my daughter was able to restore justice and peace in the play place.  A kid was in there up high in the tubes and wouldn’t let other kids through to go down the slide.  Our little girls were discouraged and bothered that he was doing this. (Gwyneth even had her arms crossed and talked about the mean boy doing  this injustice.)  Other parents were scared and gave up walking away from the situation with their kids in tow.  But Hannah decided that she was not going to stand for this!! She went into that playroom and crawled through the tubes and brought order back to this situation.  This was her facebook status after the fact:

“While at Chick-Fil-A, Gwyn said, “the mean kids won’t letted us go in the playground.” So I went to see what was actually going on, and like Leslie Knope, we put a stop to the bullying. I climbed up into the play place and told the boy to let all the kids go down the slide. You’re not a troll. You are a 9 yr old in a suspended plastic tunnel. One of my finest moments.”

Way to go Hannah!IMG_2278

*Some pampering went on at the house this evening started by Ellie but continued on by Meghan and Ayda2013-01-05 Pampering

*Although it can drive me a bit crazy that my kids always like to have my phone…this is what I found on it tonight.  (I guess Ayda likes to take pics of herself.  This isn’t even half of them! )IMG_2406

January 4, 2013


I’m thankful for:

*Ayda making me breakfast even after I told her that I didn’t want breakfast and only a protein bar.  She cried and cried until I realized I should just let her make it.  (I did give the waffles away, but I still got my protein bar.)  We were all happy then.  It is precious when a 5 year old wants to make you breakfast and is heartbroken if you don’t go along with it.IMG_2251











*A new driver in the family!  Will got his license today.  Good job, Wilbur!  (This should ease a good deal of my running as Will is able to drive many of the trips that I make.  Yay for Will!  Yay for me!)iphone to organize








*Lunch with Dale and Will at Roma’s.  (Will just found out I had a blog.  I wonder if he will see that he is in it again!)IMG_2271








*Katie’s willingness to help out on her break.  She helped babysit today.  And she has a knack for noticing when the kitchen needs to be cleaned and she cleans it.  Weird.  Wish my other kids had that same knack.  Apparently they didn’t get that gene because they never see it like she does.

*Meghan and Ethan both are at that stage where they write “I love Mom” on everything.  So sweet. Both of them drew something today with those words and Meghan asked for a frame from me.   I got it and she framed it for me.  They are so great!  What a blessed mom I am.