Today the boys' school celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week. It was just a short assembly (and I didn't get to see it because another teacher was talking with me then), but the kids had been practicing a thank you song and writing thank you cards to teachers the last couple weeks during Spanish. I ended up getting four cards (which I knew I was getting some because I sit in on Spanish class with the Kindergarten/1st Grade class I work with). I felt a little guilty because I've only been working there as something other than a substitute for a week and a half (when there are so many other good teachers who have worked with the children (I almost said kids--a Montessori no-no) all year).

Of course, it feels good to be appreciated. We all like to receive positive feedback and gratitude for the work we do. In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to dedicate days/weeks to do this to specific people--it would just happen. And it should just happen. More than once a year.

And gratitude is a good thing to practice. It's one of the things we do with the boys each night before bed (they each say something they're thankful for from the day). When they're jealous, resentful or in other sorts of bad moods we often have them stop to think of a few things they're thankful for in their lives. It's something I need to do more. And so, to put my words into practice:

I'm thankful for (mostly in no particular order):
- my incredible wife
- my amazing kids
- my grace-filled pastor (and her family)
- my sons' teachers
- the teachers & staff I work with
- sanitation workers
- the volunteers who worked on our home before we even bought it
- loving friends
- the check-out people at the grocery store who remember me
- the street cleaners
- police and fire fighters nearby
- my church executive council
- the boys' teachers at church
- our neighbor, Jimmy, who picks up litter down the block
- the parks & rec. department
- my postal carrier
- our local librarians--especially Kathy who always stops and says hi to the boys
- my neighbor, Manuel, who is always helpful
- our friend, Terry, who I saw at a thrift store this week and she dropped off a strawberry planter for us a couple days later
- for friends who will watch the boys when we need

That's the start of a much longer list. It's good to see my connections with so many great people in my life.

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