Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankful for the ordinary.

25 days of silence from the frantz nest, now that is a serious blog coma! It's not because there has actually been silence IN the nest, but rather the opposite. After getting home from our big trip, we kind of slid into a curious mode of the daily grind. That is best described as a mixture of the normal day to day living and a few out of the ordinaries. I guess really, thats just normal living...if there is such a thing!

As always there has been the meals to provide, laundry to be done, and general maintenance of survival in the nest...then blonde chief here woke up with an abnormally puffy and pinkish colored eye one morning that started the fun week of conquering the contagious infestation! Trying to keep the hands of a 2 and 4 year old washed is like pulling teeth (or just simply brushing them, if your 2). The eye drops we're an even more dreaded task...but then that's where things really take a turn in complete utter surprise. As if it were a walk in the park, brave blue eyes would lay himself down and take them with hardly a blink...and I was left in utter shock 3x a day at his performance. Life is full of surprises! ;)

Confined to the house, in our attempt to prevent further spread of the pink eye, we kept ourselves sane by reading our books from the library on the First Thanksgiving and making fun crafts off Pinterest! People are so crafty...seriously, who comes up with mini pilgrim hats made out of two of my favorite sweets...Keebler cookies and Reece's cups! More than one hat got squished in the making, and therefore needed to be consumed by the individual at the end of the production line, who also happen to be in charge of "quality" control! 

When all parties were well again, we resurfaced and hit the ground running. Thanksgiving was at our house this year, and mama had to learn how to roast up a turkey! I loaded up my two sous chefs and we hunted down a small turkey, kitchen twine, baster, and other necessities for our trial run! Besides wrestling around for a good 15 minutes, trying to "truss" the bird, the whole experience went relatively smooth! Yet another pleasant surprise!

Ordinary life or little surprises along the way...the beauty of this season is finding Thankfulness in every situation. Sometimes it takes me a lot longer to find gratitude in things like pink eye, but there really is a silver lining behind every cloud. Even if there wasn't, the GRACE alone that has been extended to us by our Savior is reason enough to wake up grateful every. single. day.

And if your wondering what the silver lining is...on those days you can't seem to get your head above the clouds...make mini pilgrim hats! But make sure your the guy at the end of the assembly line! :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

the simple {quality} life

As I was saying in the conclusion of my last post, being in a foreign land where from the moment you step off the plane, everything from the road signs to ordering a simple coffee from a local barista is a guessing game to connect the communication gap! The differences in cultural habits are also a factor in reminding you how far away from home you are!

The beautiful thing is, differences aside, people are all the same! We may prefer different foods and eat at different hours of the day...but we were all created with the need to eat! We may prefer to sleep on different levels of mattress firmness...but we all require sleep to function! We all show emotion when we're excited, sad, frustrated or irritated, we just have different ways of displaying them.

We all breathe. We all love. We all hope...but what makes us all feel alive is different! The challenge comes in accepting our differences and choosing to learn from each other! We don't have to be from different countries or ethnic groups to disagree on something simple...but the challenge is still the same! Realizing that my " preferences" are just that, and not a "required" way of living for everyone else in the world!

The only One worthy enough to set a required way of living is the One who created us all! Gods principles are the only exception to the "individual preference" way of living! When preferences become skewed with principles, the individual is trying to say God isn't worthy enough...but that's a rabbit trail I don't intend to go down on right now! 

What I most appreciated about the Italians is there stress on the importance of quality! It's not a secret that a lot of well known brands come out of Italy, from cars to clothes, and they are high end and usually handmade! The American mindset is that quantity is the famed way, and we are even willing to sacrifice quality to obtain more! This makes us a "disposable" nation, because we have to constantly replace the inferior quality items! And sometimes we replace things that aren't even worn out or broken. 

Even more admirable about this culture is they are willing to give time to ensure the quality of whatever it is they are doing or making! Something as simple as pizza dough is prepared 24 hours in advance to serving, because that is the required time it takes for the components of the dough to be at the proper consistency for a perfect pizza! They sit for hours over a meal just enjoying, not only the food, but the companionship of whoever is enjoying the food with them! They only thing they get in a hurry over is driving...and I haven't figured that out, so when I do, I'll be sure to write about it!

So as a short sum up...I've concluded "being content with the simple things", "less is sometimes more", and "things truly become sweeter with time" is what I need to work on before I can claim the "inner" Italian life and  move to a Villa somewhere on top of a sun soaked hill of Tuscany!
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