Monday, November 10, 2014

38 Reasons to Give Thanks (and why I love my beautiful daughter Jenny at age 38)

by Elane Dickenson, my mom 

(All of these are so sweet, but I bolded a few of my favorites, the ones that touched or made me laugh)

1. I love that Jenny has always included me as part of her life, even when we are many miles apart.
2. I love Jenny because she loves and appreciates me, with all my many flaws, and lets me know it.
3. I love Jenny because she is a wonderful, caring mother.
4. I love Jenny because she married Lawrence Herman on a mountaintop in 2002 and continues to make her marriage to him the priority in her busy life.
5. I love Jenny because she made me a grandmother, enriching my life beyond imagination
6. I love Jenny because she has always had her own mind, which gives her a unique and wonderful perspective and insight.
7. I love Jenny because she has a warm and giving heart.
8. I love Jenny because she has a sense of humor, that lets her see the funny side of life (eventually).
9. I love Jenny because she is able to communicate the ups and downs of her life, the love and the frustrations, the humor and failures, in writing. Her talent for turning life into a story is exceptional.
10. I love that as nice a person she has grown into, Jenny has never completely lost the “edge” she’s had since she was a little girl.
11. I love Jenny because she still likes coming “home” to Joseph, and loves that her husband and kids love her hometown.
12. I love that Jenny loves her “little” brother Matt, and has developed a special relationship with him as a grownup (even though she always wanted a sister).
13. I love Jenny because she enjoys, and is very competitive at board games (except for Scrabble).
14. I love that Jenny’s heart extends beyond her own family, and her compassion for those less fortunate resulted in financially “adopting” a little girl exactly Lily’s age on the other side of the world.
15. I love how Jenny is always striving to become a better person. When she falls short of her high standards, she picks herself up and strives again.
16. I love that Jenny, who independently on her own initiative used to ride the church bus to Enterprise when she was little, is a strong Christian whose faith both supports her and makes her a better person.
17. I love that Jenny has also embraced Lawrence’s Jewish faith, and incorporates it, as well as Christianity,  into their children’s lives.
18. I love that Jenny has a clear and wonderful memory of her childhood, with all its ups and downs.
19. I love how important it is for Jenny to create – and save -- wonderful memories  for her growing kids. Whether it be skiing and snowshoeing outings, fun or benefit runs, trips to Arizona or New Jersey or Joseph, soccer and karate or campouts with friends and families, the Herman kids are stockpiling a wealth of family memories.  
20. I love that spirited little Jenny, though teased and bullied, never gave in or let the “mean” kids win.
21. I love that the friends of her childhood and high school years are still some of her best friends.
22. I love Jenny’s intelligence and talent with numbers. Starting about age 6, she was the one in the family that had everyone’s phone numbers memorized.
23. I love how Jenny loves and celebrates  the individuality and special quality of each of her three children. On their birthdays and other occasions she’s written about each of them with such love, tenderness  and insight in her blog.
24. I love Jenny’s blog, “Herman, Party of Five,” where she shares  her talent for  writing, as well as  insight, humor, and most of all her life with friends, family and many who have come to appreciate her.
25. I love that Jenny uses Facebook to reach, and interact, with many family and friends. I love her photos and snippets of her life that might otherwise pass unshared in the blur of daily existence.
26. I love that Jenny buys and sells on craigslist, both for extra money, to cut down on clutter, and to save on things she needs. She found me the 1997 RAV4 I’ve been driving for four years on craigslist.
27. I love how capable and organized (mostly) Jenny is in her daily life, fighting the genetics and example passed on by her mother.
28. I love and am proud of Jenny, the working woman, who has excelled in a demanding job with Schrödinger for the last dozen plus years, being promoted several times in a company that values her.
29. I love that Jenny has double downed on my attempting to make birthdays   very special days when she was little by celebrating her kids’ “birthday week.” A traditional themed party is only part of the birthday child’s fun in the Herman family. I love that she also started making my birthdays special with cakes and even a watermelon basket as a kid, and with flowers and special gifts (such as a tent) as an adult.
30. I love that Jenny has also made Christmas a celebration full of fun and traditions for her kids, complete with Santa’s cookies and milk, and – as of last year – the Christmas elf. She also encourages Jewish traditions, such as the lighting of the menorah at Hanukkah.
31. I love that I never found out that little Jenny knew what all her Christmas presents were before Christmas. (Though if I did, I might have hidden them better!)
32. I love that Jenny is somehow able to find the time to maintain and nurture many friendships that are important to her.
33. I love that Jenny stays on the right side of the law and is not an alcoholic or drug user.
34. I love that Jenny (and Lawrence) enjoy an active lifestyle, teaching their kids to ski, run, swim and hike. I love that they all take part in 5K runs and am so proud of Jenny finishing the Hood to Coast relay this year.
35. I love that Jenny’s connection to family extends to her aunts, uncles, cousins, and even my cousins, at the Blanchet Ranch gathering on Memorial Day every year and Red Bridge campout most years. I love that it’s important to her that her kids connect and grow up with her cousins’ kids and the family roots at the Coombs Canyon ranch.
36. I love that though my little Jenny with her big glasses and in-your-face attitude grew up into a beautiful woman (inside and out), she’s never  gauged her own worth in her physical beauty.
37. I love that I was able to enjoy and be proud of Jenny performing  in many plays at Missoula Children’s Theatre, community theater and Joseph High School as she was growing up. She still loves theater as an adult and is passing it forward with MCT for her kids.

38. I love Jenny for anchoring my life and bringing joy to my life from the moment she was born 38 years ago in Emporia Kansas. No matter how old she is, she’ll always be my little Jenny Bug.

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