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Volume II
November 10, 2007

Family Gratitude Journal
By Camille Rhoades

This “kitchen remedy” has little to do with the kitchen, but everything to do with making your life a little easier, happier, and better. Let me start with a story and then share an idea that I love with you.

It was the first time I would spend the holidays away from home and it was much more difficult than I had expected. I was away at college, in Hawaii of all places, so flying home for Thanksgiving just wasn’t an option. I know, it sounds like paradise, but that isn’t what it felt like after a phone call from home reminded me that I was the only one not at home with my family. My parents and all five siblings and their families were all together in Utah and I felt a world away. All the sounds of chaos and fun made me so homesick. Instead of feeling gratitude for this wonderful opportunity I just felt overwhelmed and sad.

Then my roommate and I decided that to ease the loneliness we would make a list of things we were grateful for. The list soon grew to silly cut-out leaf decorations that covered the walls of our little dorm room, but the words on them were the same as our original list – things we were thankful for. The list included everything from our families, religions, friends, right on down to ice cream and chocolate! It included the serious, the silly, and everything in between.

What started out as two homesick college girls moping around their dorm room soon turned into roars of laughter and honest gratitude. Our friends were excited to come see our room and add to the wall from their lists. I gained a real understanding of gratitude and the amazing effect in can have on my attitude. I learned that regardless of what is going on around me, when I am thinking of what I am thankful for I cannot help but be happier.

Now that I have tortured you with a story of my college days, I want to share an idea with you. Gratitude journals! A little notebook where you can pause each day and write down a few things you are thankful for. Maybe start your day with that list to get you off on a happy start or keep it by your bed and jot them down before you go to sleep at night so you can rethink your day and realize where you were blessed throughout the day. It can be a simple little notebook or a more ornate journal. Any place that you can write a little list to help you remember what great things you have to be thankful for.

This Thanksgiving Season I hope your hearts are filled with gratitude for all you have and love and I hope that you will use this fun little idea to help keep those feelings with you all year.

* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

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