Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Another Joy in the small things post!

Today would be one of those days, I just don't want to focus on Joy and Thanksgiving!  Let me call it quits.  60 posts, almost 400 items (between two tabs) is good enough, right?  Just a bah humbug type of mood!

The thing is, the more you dwell on anything, good or bad, it becomes a habit, a way of thinking.  Dwell on the negative to long and it almost becomes a pit to hard to get out of.

Given that, came over here, to scrap out a few joyful things, things to be thankful for.  Not a whole lot to write about at first, really thought it would be just one, but here's my list:
  • ladies, on a homeschooling board, sharing good wisdom.  Not bothered by the load of questions asked or how to handle something.  They are not showing signs of feeling drained by my questions of help.
  • phone call from a local friend to check in on how I am doing
  • SNAIL MAIL ~  wow, that alone speaks volumes.  Someone took time to go buy a card AND write a message in it AND look up my address AND sign it.  It is a dying art and I am truly thankful when someone does that for me.  It's not over looked.
  • seeing the numbers go down on the scale ~ thing it's about 43 pounds on the scale.  For once I do not weigh significantly more than my husband.  I am sure I will loose more as I recoup from surgery
  • learning to plan ahead, both in events and meals ~ it saves time and frustration later
  • great exchange of homeschooling ideas on Face Book
  • kid seeing his savings account grow by choosing not spend, but save instead

There, 7 things without to much effort!  What can you come up with to be thankful for!  Would you share, in the comments?  A link to your own blog post, a picture, a phrase.  Let's share in the good things in life!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sharing in other's Joy

Some days, it is just hard to find your own joy.  It's easier to see other's joy and rejoice with them.   That is what I've seen and experienced, in Face book, of all places, over the last couple days.  Because the bible encourages us to rejoice with others, even when we may be down, sad, or whatever, I will do my best to do the same.  Below are the two passages I was thinking of.

and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says,
Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’
Luke 15:6

And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says,
Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 
Luke 15:9

So, you may be wondering what I read that made be rejoice with others.  Here is what I've read:
  1. A blog post, by a friend Christen, who blog/journals thankfulness as well.  Read here if you care.
  2. Secondly, a friend on face book, wrote a great tribute to his father, our churches Children's Pastor.  It was a wonderful read to see a child honor their parent!
I will rejoice with these friends as they see the good in their lives!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Reflections on Joy

One day I may get back to blogging about joy and country, just not sure when.  Very random thoughts on Joy lately, over the last few days.  I am finding there is always something to be thankful about, to be joyful about.  It really should not be to hard to find a few.  Here are some of what has been running through my head:

  • actually having had a C-Section with youngest kid almost 12 years ago.  The memories of how to get out of bed, from that, served me well over the last few days
  • enjoying vegetables is a good thing, when in a liquid/soft food diet
  • kids that are trying to get along
  • a husband who is picking up the "slack" that I've been dropping the last few days
  • cool weather so we can have the windows open
  • enjoying just vegging

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Joy Through Color ~ Again!!!

Color can be a beautiful thing, in rainbows, sunsets or sunrises.  For me, there are times when it is to much, for example, some of the new Vera Bradley are to bold for me.

While I am slow moving, from surgery, I am trying to use the time wisely and get caught up on personal devotions.  I forget, possibly to easily, what a color person I am when it come to my highlighters and pens!  I would drop everything to find the one missing.  To pick out just one or two colors is a challenge for me.

I'll leave you with a picture of my colorful stash of pens and highlighters ~ my joyful thing that is helping me learn and apply the bible.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Just plan JOY!!

Home from surgery!  Feeling a bit sore and tired.  Thankful for some pre-cooked meals, thankful for Kevin helping out.  Thankful for Kevin's parents helping out yesterday.

Thankful for my own bed and clothing that doesn't leave a draft up the backside!

I will get back to writing longer thankful and joyful posts.  For today, this will have to be good enough.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Joy Through Friendship

Hard to describe this post, other than friendship.   Today, I'll be having surgery to repair a hiatal hernia.  Google if you care to know more.  It has not been a fun road figuring out all that has been going on over the last year.  Only bright side is that I have lost almost 40 pounds as a result!

Anyway, the joy behind all of this is that, I have friends who keep wanting to make sure we have meals covered.  I've been able to coordinate the boys getting to co-op, their class pictures being taken even if I forget about the forms, a point of contact while they are at co-op, my class being covered, other friends sending in prayer requests.  Many friends are looking out for me through actions and prayer.  I am truly blessed by these ladies and love them greatly!

Thank you friends, you know who you are!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Joy Through Country ~ Blankets

Just a quick blog post today.  Crazy busy with a crazier day tomorrow (there may or may not be a post tomorrow!)

Blankets ~  a wonderful thing.  I've sewn, surged, knit, and bought many blankets in my adult life.  Lost track of how many.  Know I've made a few for our boys.  There are a couple different styles, though, that speak a bit more "country" to me than the others.

First, years ago, I bought fleece in three shades.  One is red with black bears and other things on it.  A blue with darker blue bears on it.  The third is green, with darker green evergreens running down the side.  Our boys have claimed the blue and green ones and are part of their winter bedding.

The two blankets that came to mind, for this post, are the woven kind, usually with at least two colors, if not upwards of 6.  I was given a blue and white one, just before college that says "All Things Bright and Beautiful"; loved this during college as it made home feel a bit closer.  Another one has a variety of cows on it.  Yet another, I just remembered has sunflowers on in.  Think it has been packed away with a spring quilt I haven't used in awhile.

Another favorite country thing ~ blankets!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Joy Through Country ~ Music and Dancing

The two go together, greatly, for me.  I have gone through spells, during my life, LOVING country music.  Was a huge Kenny Rogers fan in elementary school.  Had a tape recorder and one of his tapes, think I probably wore the sucker out I played it out.  It was the album that had "Lucille" and "Gambler" on it, among other songs.

I drifted away from it and back again after college and began line dancing to.  Got into the whole out fit too.  Black skirt, with fringe, black boots, denim & black shirt with cut out on the back, belt.  Yup, the whole thing.  Years ago, when Chili's use to be over where Lifeway is now, in downtown Springfield, friends and I would go there for lunch or dinner, then wander into a boot store next door afterward.  Compare prices and probably go over to the boot store in the old Springfield Mall.  This is what happens when you live in one place for close to 40 years.  You remember things like this.  Heck, I can even remember when the Kmart section and "Lifeway" section of stores were not there.  That is where the Springfield Fairgrounds would be!  Hahahaha, I am so dating myself.

Anyway, not a whole lot of photos to add for this post, less I dig out my dance out fit!  I will leave you with a list of my favorite country songs though:
  1.  Amen Kind of Love by Daryle Singletary
  2. Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain
  3. The Beaches of Cheyenne by Garth Brooks
  4. Because Of you By Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson
  5. Bless The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts
  6. Blue by LeAnn rimes
  7. Boondocks by Little Big Town
  8. The Devil Went Down To Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band
  9. Don't Forget to Remember Me by Carrie Underwood
  10. Don't Take the Girl by Tim McGraw
  11. Everywhere by Tim McGraw
  12. Fireflies by Faith Hill
  13. Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash
  14. For A Little While by Tim McGraw
  15. I'm Movin' On by Rascal Flatts
  16. It's Your Love by Tim McGraw
  17. Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood
  18. Little Bitty by Alan Jackson
  19. Little Man by Alan Jackson
  20. The Maker Said Taker by Alabama
  21. Mayberry by Rascal Flatts
  22. Meet in The Middle by Diamond Rio
  23. My Wish by Rascal Flatts
  24. Probably Wouldn't be This Way by Leanne Rimes
  25. Remember When by Alan Jackson
  26. Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter
  27. That Ol' Wind by Garth Brooks
  28. Travelin' Soldier by Dixie Chicks
  29. Un Momento Alla by Rick Trevino
  30. Walkaway Joe by Trisha Yearwood
  31. We Danced Anyway by Deana Carter
  32. When You Say Nothing At All by Keith Whitley
  33. Wide Open Spaces by Dixie Chicks
  34. The Woman in Me by Shania Twain
  35. You Were Mine by Dixie Chicks

Monday, September 22, 2014

Joy Through Country ~ Barn Star

Not sure what it is about a Barn Star, but sure do like them.  Here is a quick history of the barn star should you be interested.  As usual when searching through your favorite engine, lots of choices came up.  A few even on "country store" type places.  Many said just about the same thing.  Here is the shortest version I found, but still similar to a lot of other posts on the subject.

Easily think of 4 around the house:
  1. a nightlight
  2. one hanging over the hearth
  3. decoration in the foyer
  4. Christmas Barn Star tree topper
There are other stars in and around the house, too.  Many may show up in other photo's as I consider country and what I am thankful for!

 Kitchen Night Light

 Usually over the hearth,
but took a better picture down!  It may
show up in other pictures during this series!

 Every time this star comes out, it has a new
home!  No telling where it will be from
one season to the next.

Our Christmas Tree Barn Star!
Thank you Debbie & Jim Morgans!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Joy Through Country

Country ~ what does this mean to you?  Your country of origin?  Or does it conjure up way beyond the metro area you may currently live in?

Having lived a vast majority of my life within a few short miles of a metro area, I find it hard to believe that I feel like such a country person.  The whole concept of country runs through me.  Kevin laughs when I sing a long with "Boondocks" by Little Big Town because I have never lived that life!  Suburbia pretty much my whole life!

To begin this series of Joy, I will leave it at, I love the country!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Joy Through Friendship

Friendship!  What joy and sadness all mixed together!  There have been moments when there feels like no one is around and no one cares.  It is in those times that, usually, one is so focused on oneself they do not notice that their friends are still there, but he/she can not see them through the struggle.  The struggle may seem so huge that friends are not brought in, made know of the trouble.

I have been learning many lessons about friends and friendships over the years.  Even with the best of friends, the relationship takes effort, from both people.  It takes time to meet, to get to know, to develop trust, to stay connected, to share in each others happieness and sorrow, to pray with and for one another.  Another thing I have learned is that sometimes, time and distance are not a factor.  Some friends are just kindered souls that pick up where they left off like nothing has happened.  The joys ans struggles are shared quickly and felt deeply, for better or for worse. 

Today, I am really thankful, for all my friends!  I am even thankful for the ones that I have gotten to know better as a result of facebook.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Joy Through Color ~ Summary

I love color, mostly!  Some shade I enjoy more than others, but it can all be beautiful.  During this blog stretch, came up with 89 colorful things to be joyful about (begins at 227 on Joyful Things Tab).  Not to shabby and better than the box of 64 crayons I mentioned in my first, original color post.

For today, I'll leave you with a few miscellaneous thankful things:
  • sunny spot in living room, where I am sitting, chaperoning an open book, history test
  • mulled cider
  • cool weather
  • waking up in a good mood
  • contemplating fall decorating
Have a great Friday friends and readers.  Time to log out and be with the boys!

our front porch won't be this pretty, but still nice!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Joy Through Color ~ One last "color" ~ Multi

There are quite a number of things in and around the house, come through my life and house for a time, that do not fit quite into one of the eight colors, they are multi colored.  People, pictures, presents, food, and so on.  Such a multi colored rainbow of an item, it needs it's own category.

Some of today's list may just be photo's, to show the beauty of the multi-colored, others will be worded.  For whatever reason, this makes my heart slow down and rejoice as I think of the various items running through my head that would fight into this category.  The biggest things coming to memory is friendship and love.

So here it is, my multi-colored thankful list (and as a side not, please forgive what may seem like some redundancy here, one of my favorite things you'll be able to pick up on from this list):
  • a salad, colored like the rainbow, brought over when I was on bed rest with our oldest son
  • a photo of a colorful rooster, because she knows I like them
  • a stain glass rooster, that hung in my folks kitchen bay window for a time.  Mom found it at a yard sale, thought of me, but decided to keep it for awhile.  She passed it to me this July.
  • almost anything stain glassed.  Have a small lamp and light over the kitchen sink.  Think I am a craftsman still home, loving girl!
  • have seen a photo, and can't find it, of several arms showing the skin tones from white to dark brown.  Struck me that we are all one race and just shades of brown.  Loved it.
  • Blankets I have made, over the years, that are colorful.  Not sure I have ever made one that is a solid color.  It's either variegated yarn (single strand of yarn or multiple strands) or several different solids put together for striping.
  • colorful table clothes

 Stained glass, night light, Chicken.
Does a craftsman, farm girl, want a be, good!

Another beautiful Rooster!
Thank you Debbie Morgans

 Yet another stained glass roster!
Mom was thinking of me.

 Spring and Summer colored table clothes.

Fall and Winter colored table clothes,
well, mostly fall.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Joy Through Color ~ Purple

Some days, life just kicks it into high gear and blogging gets done when blogging gets done.  Today will be about the color purple - hahaha, movie title reference!  Also means that this is the last blog post from my 8 pack of Crayola Crayons!  ;(

Things that bring joy or a thankful heart that are purple based:
  • that last bit of color before the sun totally leaves the horizon
  • seedless grapes
  • eggplants ~ don't know if I have ever tried one, but they are pretty
  • the purple dude, from McDonald's YEARS and YEARS ago!  (pulled that out of the recesses of my brain)
  • purple hydrangea's mixed with blue ones!
I am doing well to have five things!  Purple is just one of those colors that is lovely and all, I just don't get as excited by it as some purple LOVING folks do.

My crazy busy day still has hours to go friends and readers, so I leave you with this photo.  Tomorrow's topic will be a surprise to us all!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Joy Through Colors ~ Green

Who said, "It isn't easy being green."?  No prizes if you know it, but that is the color of the day.

Things that bring me joy that are green:
  • almost ALL veggies that are green (green beans, peas, avocados, asparagus, etc.)
  • grass
  • leaves
  • even green on the calendar for one kid
  • old fashioned (probably new to make look old) milk bottle with green type
  • evergreen trees
  • clovers
  • Adirondack chairs (ours are green plastic)
  • green glass in many different shapes and sizes (evergreen tree, train car, bottles, glasses, water canister)
  • heart shaped platter sponged green, given by a friend, because it looked "country" and that is how I decorate
  • first dream car was a green Cabrio convertible with a tan top :)
  • basil
  • new plants growing tall
If I were to walk around the house, I am sure I could find a lot more green things that have value and bring joy to me.  The cool thing is that the value doesn't always mean it has a high price tag.  The value is in the thought of the item given or received.  Friendship is a wonderful thing and makes receiving that much more treasured!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Joy Through Color ~ Blue

Many things come through my brain when thinking of blue!  Both good and sad!  Have friends "blue" over loss loved ones, have content moments over the word blue.  I think of the song, by Leanne Rimes song "Blue".  Not sure if it was her debut song, but still one of my favorites from her.

Jumping right in:
  • clear ocean or lake or river so it reflects the sky
  • the sky
  • on one side, mostly blue with green and white plaid wool blanket my grandmother gave me (hey friend, you know who you are, the other side is mostly yellow with green and white plaid)
  • blueberries
  • I snicker a bit, but the blue in your lips when you've been playing hard in the snow.  hhmm ~ warm/hot chocolate to get the lips back to pink.
  • our plates ~ oddly enough ~ are a blue plaid.  Can't seem to find replacements for them, which is disappointing.
Blue is turning out to be a touch harder than I would have guessed.  May come back and add more later.  Six items will have to be good enough today!

 Remembering a few things around the house now, like:
  • blue Ball Jars with candle holder (I bought one part and a friend bought another for my birthday)
  • cobalt blue salt and pepper shakers
  • cover of my most used bible
  • blue tailed salamanders ~ we've been seeing a lot of those this summer
  • blue raspberry slurpees

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Joy Through the Lord

Breaking from the color theme this Sunday morning.  It is still dark out, as I type, coffee has been brewed, Kevin is moving along to get up to church to play with the worship team this morning.  Was asked last night, if I'd like to have breakfast with Simon, so I wait on a teenager to wake up.  Know I won't starve, have never been close to actual starving before!

Anyway, why the break from my joy in themes, you might ask.  Yesterday, there was a Beth Moore Simulcast that reached 190,000 different folks, by their best estimation.  Forget how many different sights/locations there were, but a lot of ladies, and a few brave men, were tuning in.  It was a wonderful day, full of song, praise, scripture, and Beth Moore leading a study as only she can do!  (I might be a Beth Moore junkie!)  Here is a link to the blog post from yesterday's simulcast.   Beth's study had 7 points that I'll type out and my take away on it.
  1. We are one gathering of many women yearning for God to speak.
    *Beth touched on how Jesus and his disciples would preach to the women.  The first passage read was in Acts 16:13-15 (link takes you to chapter 16).  Lydia's heart was opened that day, she believed, was baptized along with her family, and opened her home them. 
    *We are worthy for an encounter with Jesus like that.
  2. Jesus changes the story of every woman He meets!
    * in every passage dealing with Jesus meeting with a woman, the woman was changed, for the better.
    *if we open our hearts to Jesus' story, we will be changed for the better.  Those who listened to Jesus' calling and responded were changed, those who did not listen or respond did not do so well (read Jeremiah 7:24)
  3. Jesus wants a woman to know who she is and what she's not.
    * here is our Identity Declaration that we were challenged to memorize:

    *2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us to study God's word and be thoroughly equipped for all good works.
  4. Sometimes a woman needs a clean sweep to find what she's missing!
    * even if we are experiencing some level of sorrow or pain, we need to be able to rejoice in our girlfriend's joy.  Luke 15:8-10 is the parable of finding the lost coin, rejoicing with friends, and how God and the angles rejoice over a sinner repenting.
    *in Greek, the word friends, in the above passage is "tasphilas", which translates to "girlfriend"; we find that there is a need for strong relationship with a few other woman.
    * we do need to be cautious, though, of not having to many people, things, and obligations that God becomes something of an add-on, an after thought.  We need to sweep clean a few things to make more room for God.
  5. A women's joy is not the same with out girlfriends to share it.
    *be careful of having to many contacts and not many connections with other women.  We need that inner circle of women that will hold us accountable.
    *there is a link between a "joy deficit" and "true friends" who will hold you accountable and be there for you!
    *we may have a low joy meter because we don't meet with friends
    *our insecurities will poke wholes in our heart
    *we need to trade comparison with others for compassion for one another
    *we need to be striving, side by side, with our girl friends, not against them (Philippians 1:27)
  6. All of heaven rejoices over a lost woman found.
  7. Every woman is well able to share how Jesus is changing her story.
I apologize that I don't have many points under number 6 & 7.  It was toward the end of a long day.  The greatest takeaway from the day, for me, was sharing in my friend's joy and that life should not be a comparison, but should have compassion instead.

During the coming days, I will be rereading many of this.  My main focus will be the memorization of the Identity Declaration and 2 Timothy 3:16 & 17.  Would you care to join me?  Would you care to share your JOY we me, so as a sister in Christ, we can rejoice together?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Joy Through Color ~ Brown

Another day, another color.  Figured I should get brown out of the way as it feels difficult to come up with joyful things in a shade of brown.  If I had a stopwatch handy, maybe I'd time myself, to see how quick I could get to ten.  Nothing to close for that, so I'll just jump in:
  • baskets
  • oak furniture
  • pine knick knacks shelves
  • chocolate
  • wheat bread
  • pie crust
  • coffee
  • tea
  • hardwood flooring
  • pair of good khaki's
  • pair of good, leather shoes
Just like that, there is eleven, one above my goal for shades of brown.  Here's a cake from Simon's 13th birthday.  Chocolate overload, big time.

Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, M&Ms, Twix,
Snickers, and not sure what else!
An appropriate picture!  13th birthday cake, for a 13 yo,
on the 13th in 2013.  Today's date is the 13th!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Joy Through Colors ~ Yellow

Some days you just need to jump right into blogging and hope for a good post or list.  Yellow is a challenge, what would you add?
  • daisies
  • daffodils
  • lemons
  • sunshine
  • scrambled eggs
  • baby chickens
  • minions
  • fresh corn on the cob
  • yellow breasted finch
  • canister for "Burt's Bees"

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Joy Through Colors ~ Red

The leaves are just beginning to turn colors in our back yard.  For several years now, I've noticed one tree will send out a few red leaves early in comparison to the rest of that tree (and the forest that surrounds it).  A couple days ago, this helped me choose the next color to find my favorite things in.  So here it goes, without further adu:
  • red leaves
  • Vera Bradley Hipster ~ in a retired, paisley red
  • Sienna van ~ not sure what the technical color is, but red works
  • candy canes
  • strawberries
  • red wine
  • sprinkles on cookies (thinking more of Christmas cookies, than other kinds of pastries)
  • beets
  • red mittens, made for a child of mine
  • rosy, red cheeks
  • male cardinals

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Joy Through Color ~ Orange

With a box of 64 crayons sitting next to me, it shouldn't come as a total shock that I'd take a look to see how many colors fell under "orange".  Here is what Crayola has as orange:
  • macaroni and cheese
  • melon
  • burnt orange
  • apricot
  • red orange (should that be under red, since orange is listed second?)
  • yellow orange (see above)
  • orange
  • peach
8 crayons, with a few questionable ones!

Anyway, my list will actually contain a few crayola colors:
  • macaroni and cheese
  • cantaloupes
  • oranges
  • tangerines
  • clementines
  • cheddar cheese
  • fall leaves
  • butternut squash
  • yams
  • Fiskar Scissors (the good ones with orange handles, yes they come in other colors too, but mine are orange!)
  • pumpkins
  • orange, fall flowers!  :)
Here's a lovely photo to close out the post!

 Mums in a strawberry, terra cotta, planter.
Two actually, one for each side of the walkway.

Pretty orange flowers.  No clue what they are called!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Joy Through Color ~ Black

Why start with black?  It's bleak, dark, depressing!  Black can be a blessing too, in the darkest moments, when a candle is lit, there is a flicker of hope, a spark of something more.  Let's start there and find the joy in the dark.
  • night ~ a perfect backdrop for stars or Aurora Borealis
  • clothing ~ very slimming
  • asphalt driveway ~ warm to bare feet on a cool day
  • tires ~ help keep a vehicle moving
  • ink from a pen ~ a letter in the mail
  • chalk board for doodling ~ ours have been black and yes it comes in other colors too!
  • the back and temples of our tri-color coon hound
  • a camera
  • house numbers to welcome you home
  • cast iron skillets to cook with
10 black things, that quick.  Ten things to be thankful for that come in a shade of black.  Can you count or think of more than that?  Many of the things I've mentioned do come in other colors, but some don't, like plan cast iron cookware and nighttime.

Pictures for today, of course the night sky, I found on the web!

Monday, September 8, 2014

sounds ~ a double posting sort of day!

certain sounds can be calming or soothing, while others alarming or jolting.

this morning feels like a traditional fall morning, though still technically still summer.  Windows are open, dishwasher running, ice falling into the bucket, birds talking, car doors closings as folks leave for work.  In the distance, there was a train whistle and sounds of a train passing.  I have always enjoyed the sound of the train.  For some reason, in the cool of the fall, it feels more home like, more soothing, making all right.  Not sure when, why, or how the sound of a train became such a good thing to me.

When we owned our first home, there was a CSX line and D.C. Metro Blue line near our town home community.  Our oldest LOVED to watch the trains go by.  We could walk over, through the last bit of farm land, and watch almost any time we wanted.  It was through that field that he first called the moon, when it shows up in the early evening sky, a ball.

Thinking of train sounds, brings me to a couple other spots too.  One, is back to college.  Not sure where the train line was, but remember the fall days, again, and hearing the train pass by.  The other place was my grandparents place in northern Wisconsin and hearing the train go by across the lake.  Such a pleasant, fond memory for me.

Another item to add to my growing list of thankfulness and joy:

~ ~ the sound of a train on a fall day ~ ~

Joy ~ the next steps

Not sure what the next steps are for my "Joy Discovered" blog.  I've been needing themes to help me focus on the good, the pleasing, the joyful.

In Thesaurus.com, synonyms for Joy are: amusement, bliss, charm, cheer, comfort, delight, elation, glee, humor, pride, satisfaction, and wonder.  I can agree with these, for the most part.  When feeling down, sorrowful, unhappy, it is definitely hard to feel joy or any of it's related words.  Seeing my list of things that bring joy grow, to almost 225 as of yesterday, did bring joy.  Looking through old photos (some really aren't that old), I remember the fun behind those photos.  There might have been work involved, behind the set up of photos, but the end resulted in joy and happiness.

What's next?  I'm pondering one more theme.  Possibly colors, like an 8 crayon box of Crayola Crayons.  You can thank the start of the school year for that and the box of 64 crayons sitting next to me.  Would be hard pressed to find specific things for all 64 shades of crayons ~ 8 seems so much more do able.

Afterwards, I might try to dive into how joy (and related words) are used within the Bible and how it applies to me.  There will be sprinklings of thankfulness in each post as I desire to see my Joyful Things list continue to grow.

Stick around if you like, join me for another journey, or whatever suits you best.  Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Joy Through the Seasons ~ Summer

Summer loving had me a blast, oh yeah

Summer loving happened so fast,

I met a girl crazy for me,

Met a boy cute as can be

Any time I start thinking about summer, I automatically get into the song from "Grease", you know the song that starts with the lyrics above!  What I enjoy about summer is the following:
  • pool time
  • lazy mornings
  • shady spots
  • grilled food
  • cool days/cool nights
  • movies going late into night (late for a middle aged mom)!
  • extended reading time
  • fresh fruit and veggies
  • visiting family

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Joy Through the Seasons - Spring

Again, almost at the end of a series of blog posts containing joy.  Having a hard time coming up with what is next.  When the idea came to write like this, I thought 26 letters, a few people, and the seasons.  Cool, that is approximately 35 posts, I'm sure more ideas/series, will come.  I am at a loss as to what to choose.  Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Today's post is about Spring though.  Here is what is coming to mind:
  • weather is warming up (after the winter of 2013/2014, warmer weather was nice.  We had a lot of snow and colder weather)
  • my birthday is just a few days after the Spring Equinox :)
  • the lime green grass popping up
  • flowering trees
  • Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C.
  • daffodils and crocus' popping up all around
  • the first kind of nice day you grill out
  • windows open for the first time, in a few months
  • coloring hard boiled eggs
    Daffodils that got bent over, so I brought
    them inside!  Can't tell in the photo, but
    each glass is a different color (blue, green red,
    and a burgundy)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Joy Through the Seasons ~ Winter

Winter ~ is it synonymous with dreary, cold, can't wait to get through it?  Probably one of the best things about winter is that bulb flowers need a good freeze in order to bloom the following spring.  There is something to be thankful for.

Other things to be joyful about winter season (if you're in the Northern Hemisphere):
  • possibility of a White Christmas
  • the movie "White Christmas"
  • lots of other "traditional" Christmas movies
  • Christmas season from the day after Thanksgiving through end of December (yes, most of that is still technically in the fall, but work with me here)
  • the birth of both of our boys!  January brought us two boys and a number of other kids we know.  One of Ian's baseball friends was a few hours younger than him.
  • beautiful snow ~ at least until it needs to be shoveled or we need to drive somewhere
  • hot chocolate
  • warm fires
  • reading "Snowflake Bently" by  Jacqueline Briggs Martin
  • reading "Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
  • reading "Owl Moon" by Jane Yolen

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Joy Through the Seasons ~ Fall

Fall, when used as a noun, refers to the period of time from September 21 through December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere or March through June in the Southern Hemisphere.

What I like best about the season of fall:
  • changing colors of the leaves
  • cooler temperatures
  • wearing an extra layer
  • bringing out the blankets
  • all the lovely sounding coffees, teas, and other beverages I don't drink, but sound really good!
  • "Sunday Meals" take on a more hearty flavor
  • more soup and stews
  • candles (yup, another plug for Autumn Hill Candle
  • "Mr. Pumpkin Head" ~ our front porch friend during the fall season
  • trip to Cox Farm

Feeling a touch nostalgic, fall of 2004.

Neighbor's beautiful Japanese Maple.

Birds feeding and another maple I think!

 Cool Subway Art

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Joy Through Family ~ Kevin's Parents

Kevin's folks are pretty cool people too!  They're quiet natured and kind.  Living only about 45 minutes away, we're able to make quick trips to seem them, all though not as often as we used to.  Here's why they're special:
  • they love spending time with their grand kids
  • they've taken our kids, for weekends, before, because they want to.  There was one time Ian was upset because he had to leave!
  • they're both avid readers - a trait that has filtered down through the generations - and thus they spoil the boys with books
  • will help out when we need someone to hang out with the boys
  • Kevin's dad has a dry sense of humor, at least I know where Kevin gets his from!
  • Kevin's dad worked for the same company most of his career.  Though Kevin's been at his current company a long while, he still has a while to go to catch up to his dad!
  • Kevin's mom likes to make sure everyone has what they'd like at family meals!  She's almost a short order cook, but it's appreciated! 
  • they love being retired - it gives them plenty of time to travel and to spend with family
Got to love the informal, older photos.
Simon is 3 and 1 week!
Ian is still a new born < 24 hours old!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Joy Through Family ~ Jennifer's Parents

Thought I'd take time to write about both sets of parents as they've done a lot for each of us, throughout our lives.  You could say I flipped a coin to pick a set to write about first, but that wouldn't exactly be true, I've just known my folks a tad longer ~ about 26 years longer!  :)

There are many little things I remember about my folks, that always brought a smile, things like:
  • my dad always seemed to have change in his pocket for me to get a soda after the basket ball games I played in
  • I remember my mom skipping some breaks, when she worked, so that she could leave early and watch a Brownie cross over to Girl Scouts
  • one year they gave me a "boom box" and my dad rigged it to play while it was all wrapped up in the box, thought that was really cool
  • when I think about it, Mom usually had change, too, after shopping at the commissary and stopping by a produce stand on the way home
  • remember one year in college, did not have the best set up for roommates, my folks made the effort to come back down, only 3 weeks after school started, to help me move!
  • they've been wonderful grandparents to our kids, giving boat rides, having worms to fish off their dock, and always having pink lemonade
  • before kids, I always remember walking into their house to the smell of fresh bread (in a bread maker) and home made chocolate chip cookies.  Both smells are a warm fuzzy for me.
  • the smell of fresh cut wood or stain reminds me of my dad because he loves to work with wood
  • mom seemed to be able to sew anything, while dad could fix just about anything
  • while my folks sill lived in our area, mom and I would sit on our front stoop and watch the storms come in ~ fun times
  • even though it's hard to get five kids, their spouses, and all the grand kids together for Christmas, love seeing "the stockings" hung by the fireplace with care!
  • sitting in their back yard, either on the porch or on the gentle hill to dock, and watching life go by!  And the occasional boat!
  • jet noise as they live near a couple naval bases.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Joy Through Family ~ Ian

Ian by definition means compact, ball of energy, that never stops talking, and eats slower than a snail.  That's just the one liner for him, things that bring joy about this young gentleman are:
  • see's life in black and white, which can be a great thing
  • wants to right the injustice in the world
  • asks a lot of thought provoking questions - especially deep theological questions right before bedtime
  • has a deep hunger for knowledge
  • will read through a stack of books, in no time flat, if you let him
  • makes connections between subjects that is totally amazing
  • very easy to make laugh ~ he tries so hard, not to laugh, that he makes himself laugh
  • his favorite verse is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
  • desires to include the new person or outcast 

Our "ham"!  He loves to "act up!"

 Loves doing school in the cool, outdoors!