Oh wow everyone! So much good news to rejoice in - health, family ties, home improvements...I'm so happy for you all!
I don't have anything quite so spectacular, but nonetheless these are things that make my life meaningful:
I hate succulents. Our little one adores them. She's been given dozens of cuttings from a friend's mother and planted them in our largest pots. where they've grown well. She discovered yesterday that they had started to bloom and stood there staring at them with such a sweet, amazed expression that I could only watch and enjoy - dragging out a cell phone for a photo couldn't have captured such a precious moment.
Another happy is the fact she's in a fantastic school system. They have lousy tests scores. But the school doesn't spend one single hour teaching to the test or training them how to take it. The kids learn in ways that can't be tested for; they're thinkers, problem solvers, innovators. I've recently spent time with middle and high school students from this school and they have such confidence! They sat around groups of adults and joined in the lively discussions going on; with topics from politics to new (or resurrected) farming practices! One 14 year overheard my friend ask if I had started selling my soap yet - and 30 minutes later he had given me the how to's of a business plan, resource ideas and a new soap design!
Most of all, this school works daily with meshing all the different personalities and helping kids learn to deal with disputes, dislikes, etc. One student has been a thorn on our girl's side for 2 years as he has daily, multiple, behavioral issues. In many schools he would have long ago been labeled the "bad" kid in the grade - with the students and teachers all just giving in to that definition. At this school....even the principal works with him and the class on working issues out and reintegrating the relationships. I've noticed our girl hasn't mentioned him for a couple months so I asked how he was doing. He now goes days without needing any discipline, and when she heard him say how much he wanted to learn to make slime....she started giving him lessons!
I hear stories from so many other parents who's kids are lost in the shuffle of their overcrowded school, kids who can't be pried out of bed because they hate school or are afraid of their classmates (5th graders!) and I am truly grateful that our girl comes home singing every day. She starts crafting something, building something (a vending machine this week), reading or writing her own stories.