Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 336: Happy New Year!

Joyful Moment today--looking around at the excellent friends we have here, just before ringing in the New Year!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments shared with excellent friends!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 335: Tangled

First, because I've been sort of a downer this week (I know--I'm sorry!), I must let you all know that today went well.  I got things done, spent good quality time with the kids, and didn't really feel hurried or stressed  at any point.  It has been beautiful.

Anyway, you can maybe guess from the title, but today the kids and I saw "Tangled" in the theatre with a bunch of friends.  It was really cute!  I loved it.  And so did the kids.  And it was fun to go together.  We never go to movies in the theater.  Even at the matinee price, I could have purchased the movie for what I paid in ticket price.  But that's not a very Joyful attitude, so we'll move on...

I feel very fortunate that we sat by my friend who didn't have any children of her own to look after.  She was able to keep Sweet P and Little M company while I was down by the exit trying to convince Baby B that it was fun to be in the dark for a couple hours.  He did pretty well, but mostly preferred for me to stand.

Anyway, that and the rest of today was just the Joyful Moment I needed as we're coming to the end of this week--and this year!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are just what you need!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 333: Puzzling

Did I ever tell you that I am certified in Gerontology?  Certifying was like minoring, but a little bit easier.  I'm all about choosing the option that's a little bit easier.  Especially when they're offering a $200 scholarship to do it.

As a part of my certification, I had to do an internship.  So, once or twice a week I headed up to the Senior Friendship Center and hung out in the fitness room.  The idea was that I would set up work out programs, demonstrate the fitness equipment in the room, and teach Tai Chi, among other things.  Unfortunately, it turns out that not all that many Senior citizens are interested in learning these things.  At least, not at the Friendship Center.

But I gained two things from this experience:

1.  I realized that I didn't want to make a career out of teaching strength training and wellness to the elderly, as I previously thought I did.

2.  During all of the down time, when no one was asking for our help, the other interns and I "puzzled".  There were a ton of puzzles.  We became extremely adept at puzzling.  Seriously.  Amazing.  I've always enjoyed a good puzzle, but I had no idea that it was a skill to be strengthened.

And, for the record, I did my fair share of actual interning there as well.  I learned and then taught Tai Chi, I set up work out programs for a small number of people, and mostly, I answered individual questions about fitness and health.  And I made some good friends.

Tonight I worked on a puzzle with my family.  Everyone except Baby B.  It was a 300-piece scene from The Little Mermaid.  That's the biggest we've ever done with the kids.  And it was a Joyful Moment working on it together.  It was just good, clean, simple fun.  And they were so proud when we were finished.  They're pretty good at puzzles.  I might be a little proud, too.  It looks like they've inherited my skillz.

Wishing you all good, clean, simple Joyful Moments!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 332: Yesterday Was Plain Awful

You know that line?  It's from a song in "Annie".  Tomorrow, I could say that about today.  Although, oddly enough, my mood today was much improved from yesterday.  But still, some awful things happened today.

3/5ths of the family is sick.  And getting sicker.  And I drove the van into a cement wall today.  We're all okay (van included), but I'm thinking that's one more thing I wouldn't have to worry about when living in Amish Country.

Still, today had it's good points.  One of which was watching the kids play with their friends at the children's museum.  Especially when they were dressed up in safari clothes and loading as many large stuffed lions and tigers and giraffes into the back of the Jeep as they possibly could.  Yes, Joyful Moments can be found in the Jungle Room.  Even after a car accident.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in the Jungle Room--without the car accident!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 331: Back In Time

That's where I'm really wanting to go.  I know life involved a lot more hard work back the, but I'm tired of all the busyness in my life.  It feels like I put so much effort into "things" and "stuff" and only a small fraction produces meaningful results.

Take today for example, I spent the better part of three hours dragging my kids all over town in search of the perfect Christmas tree on clearance.  Tonight as I sit here, I have only one Christmas tree in my house and it is dying and destined for the tree recycling drop off tomorrow.  I did get a few other things that we need during those three hours of errands, but the bulk of them were spent looking for a tree while the one that I'd found on-line, that I loved, got sold at a different store.

And it was sort of the culmination of my growing discontent.

What a wonderful intro to a post on a blog dedicated to finding joy.

Today was frustrating.  But it was the final straw and now I'm going to really sit back and re-evaluate and simplify (again) and see what I come up with this time.  And if it doesn't work this time, I might have to pack up my family and head to Amish Country.

As usual, Baby B came to my rescue in the Joyful Moment department.  He's sick again, which is no fun.  But it did provide extra opportunity for snuggles.  And his sweet, fuzzy head on my shoulder is always a Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all sweet, snugly, fuzzy Joyful Moments!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 330: Game Night

Sweet P received "Uno" from her grandparents for Christmas.  So, tonight we opened it up and taught the kids how to play.  Although the box says it's for ages 7+, they've updated the cards so you don't even have to know how to read in order to play.  And both Sweet P and Little M picked up on it pretty well.  And Little M didn't get bored before it was done, as he frequently does when we play games.  It was a fun Joyful Moment playing all together as a family.

Sweet P won--quite legitimately and was quite pleased with herself.  Little M wanted to win, too, so we kept playing for second place.  He won that (and it may or may not have been manipulated a bit by parents ready to end the game).  He was thrilled!  It was great.

And I'm sure we'll have many more Joyful Moments to come since they both enjoyed this game quite a bit. Good times!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments filled with good times!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 329: Merry CHRISTmas!

Today was a nearly perfect Christmas. As far as gift giving and receiving goes, everything felt exactly right. Not too much or two little. Things went smoothly, too. The kids have played happily with their toys--no bratty outbursts or tantrums. HH took a nap while the kids and I put together and played with all their stuff. I was able to do my traditional Christmas Day run, although not in the traditional way. I love to run outside on Christmas day because virtually no one is out and it feels so peaceful, but I got outside today only to discover that the ground was covered in a lovely, smooth sheet of glass. Or ice. And I didn't dare run on it. So, I went back in downtrodden, but HH insisted that I keep my tradition (it's been in place since long before I met him) and helped me get the treadmill "fixed" and running again!

And then we went carolling at an assisted living facility with some friends. It was really fun. And visiting with some darling, sweet ladies after was delightful. I think the kids and I will make some repeat visits.

But the true Joyful Moment today comes from the reason we have today--our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because a tiny baby was born in bethlehem thousands of years ago my life has meaning. I know who I am and where I came from. I know that I am a child of God. That my children are children of God. I know that after this life, my life will continue. I know that my family can be my family forever. Forever and ever and ever. I never have to be separated from my HH. I know that He is the ultimate source of Joy and that what He wants most for me is eternal Joy.

In that spirit, I wish you all Joyful Moments regardless of whatever else life is offering right now in knowing that Jesus Christ loves you!

If you want to know more about what I believe visit

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 328: I Played The Piano

My piano.  In my bedroom.

Odd place for a piano, you say.

This is true, but that really isn't the point.

The point is this:  I have a piano of my very own!  It's brand new!  It's beautiful!  I sat down and played it and the world was at peace.

That might have been helped by the fact that I was home alone.  But still, breaking out my music and scattering my fingers across the keys was an unrivaled Joyful Moment.  Oh, it was sheer bliss!  And it was a bit of a miracle because as of yesterday morning we weren't sure what piano we wanted--let alone where to buy it.  But it turns out that HH is a bit of a miracle worker.  Lucky me!

And it's Christmas Eve so, naturally, there were plenty of other Joyful Moments to be had.  But I really couldn't wait  to share that one with you.

Wishing you all blissful Joyful Moments and a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 327: The Drop Off

Did anyone else read that in Marlin the Clown Fish's voice?  I did.

Anyway, today's Joyful Moment was found in dropping off 37 blankets at the Children's Hospital.  I am so grateful to all the friends that helped that to happen by donating material and time and fingers!

Another, smaller, Joyful Moment came when we went to a store up in the Big City and got hats for Sweet P's upcoming birthday party, for a tiny fraction of the price I thought I was going to have to pay!  Sweetness!

And there was another awesome Joyful Moment that happened in between those two, but it will be better shared tomorrow.

I hope you can handle the suspense.

Wishing you all exciting and suspenseful Joyful Moments!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

326: Play It By Ear

That's what Sweet P did at her violin lesson tonight.  Her instructor teaches the Suzuki method, which is controversial among the music group, I know.  But for a 5-year old learning to play the violin, I think it's excellent.

The gist is that she listens to all of the songs in Book 1 every single night.  Twice.  Or, at least until she falls asleep.  So, she is quite familiar with all of the songs.  Then, as she is learning a new one, she knows how it is supposed to sound.

Tonight she began learning a new song at her lesson.  Her instructor would play a couple measures and then have her repeat.  Twice Sweet P went on to play the next two, or three notes following what the teacher had played.  It was awesome.  It's hard to say who was beaming the brightest:  Sweet P, her instructor, or myself.  We were all super proud.

On the way home Sweet P said, "I think maybe God sent down the message to tell me which notes to play."  That's part of why I call her Sweet P.  I started to try to explain about her hard work and listening and training her ear/brain, and the like but then decided to just leave it be.  Whatever the case may be, He certainly blessed her with a musical gift and I am so grateful to be a lucky beneficiary.

And that, my friends, was tonight's Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that sound so sweet!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 325: Whoda Thunk?

That seeing this outside my kitchen window could possibly be a source for a Joyful Moment?

But Little M was so unimaginably excited about it, I couldn't help myself.

And then I realized that maybe after all the noise and dirtiness, a nice family will move in next door.  With children to play with my children.  Oh, please, oh, please!  That would be a stupendous Joyful Moment!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are noisy and dirty!

p.s.  Please, ignore how filthy my window is.  It is WAY too cold to go out and clean it!  (Of course, I'll have to think of another excuse once it warms up.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 324: Sunrise, Sunset

I have a passion for beautiful skies.

I witnessed this one while waiting for the bus to pick Sweet P up this morning.  What a fabulous Joyful Moment to begin my day!

Wishing you all fabulous Joyful Moments to begin your day!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 323: Wonderful

I found myself in a bit of a funk again this morning.  And it was just one of those days where, every time I would pull it together and muster the strength to choose happiness over grumpiness--something would go wrong.

I should have tried harder, I know.  But it was also one of those times where a part of me just wanted to be grumpy.

Lame, I know.

While HH was getting ready for his meetings this morning, I asked him if we had a copy of Handel's "Messiah", as a part of one song would go well with my lesson for my Primary class today.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to use it, I was just curious if we owned it.  We don't.  And he left for his meeting.

By the time I met up with him again at church, I'd cycled through trying-to-be-happy-only-to-be-knocked-down-again, a few more times.  The final one occurring when I discovered that I had left my lesson manual and needed supplies at home.  You can bet that I was just radiating peace and joy at this moment.

Or, perhaps not.

At any rate, my dear HH tried to help.  He even found a key to get into a room with a computer where he accessed my lesson on-line and printed it off for me, so I wouldn't have to drive all the way home and back.

That was sweet.  But I was still frazzled and stressed.  And struggling to rise above it all.

Then he came in to help with Sweet P while I taught my lesson, since I am still without a team teacher.  During a point where all of the children were looking up different verses of scripture, he asked me if I still wanted that song.  Then I noticed the BlackBerry in his hand and the pleased look on his face.  And I began to laugh.  He was trying desperately to find a way to brighten my mood.  And if being as overly helpful as imaginable could do the trick, well, he was going to give it his all.

And I decided that it was high time to ditch the grumpies and give him what he was so fervently seeking--a smile from me.  And the smile he gave me in return that said, "Yes, I've finally done it!  I've made The Queen of The Grumps smile," that made me smile and laugh even more.  And it was my Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that require less work!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 322: Playing Favorites

I remember when Sweet P was a baby and she always wanted me and I felt bad for HH.  Here she spent all day with me, and then he'd come home quite eager to hold her, and all she'd want was to return to me.

I've been around the block enough times now (three, to be exact) to know that Daddy will get his turn to shine and be the adored one.  So, this time around, I'm loving being the favorite.  No more guilt.  I know he'll get older and worship his daddy, just like his older sibs.  But for now, he's totally and completely into me.  And me alone.

He giggles when he sees me and his whole face lights up with joy.  And it's a Joyful Moment for me every  time--even at four in the morning.

I'm not eating his face.  He was very tired and sad.  Can you believe his hair?!  It is another source of Joyful Moments for me.  Maybe I shouldn't love all the adoring comments from friends and strangers alike quite so much.  But I do.

And now he's peacefully sleeping on my shoulder.  And if you've ever had the privilege of a (freshly-bathed) baby sleeping in your arms, then you know what a precious Joyful Moment I'm having right now.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments--right now!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 321: Girl Time

For some reason the boys took a suuuuuuper long nap today.

This gave Sweet P and I some excellent girl time.  She's been excessively whiny and weepy lately and I'm struggling to deal with it with patience and/or love.  But today, there was none of that.  She came home happy, happily showed me her school work while telling me about her day, snuggled up with me to read all about "Mr. Tickle" from the "Mr. Men" books (LOVE those!), listened intently while I shared a funny story from my courtship with HH, and then had an amazing violin practice.

Amazing because she stayed cheerful the whole time and because she played simply amazingly.  It was like watching a pro.  And was one of those moments that makes me grateful that we've stuck it out this far.

And the whole afternoon was a fun, girly Joyful Moment!

Wishing you all fun, girly Joyful Moments shared with someone as sweet as Sweet P!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 320: Another Reason I Call Him "HH"

Handsome Hero.

When my HH walked in the door tonight, it was a Joyful Moment.  He's such a calming presence for me.  And I knew he would take care of something that I just couldn't bring myself to:  bathing the kids.

Normally, that's not a big deal.  I don't love doing it, but whatever, you know?  But today was not a normal day.  Sweet P came home and proudly showed me her well-bandaged thumb.  She told me that she had cut some skin off with the scissors and was now only allowed to use the blunt-tipped scissors at school.

Okay.  Not a big deal, I thought.

Fast forward to bath time.  She asked if she could remove her bandaids.  Sure, I said.  And then we began peeling them off, only to reveal copious amounts of blood--both dried and fresh.  And a large chunk of her thumb missing.  Gone.

And I got this pain in my legs that I get whenever I become aware of someone else's pain.  Especially, when that someone spent a significant amount of time in my womb.  The pain just kept shooting through my legs and I struggled not to vomit.  And Sweet P looked at me like I was a complete wacko.  I sent her to the tub and knew that I couldn't look at her until her thumb was bandaged again.

Now, I took a Sports Injury class in college.  We witnessed countless videos and photos of graphic, disgusting, horrifying injuries.  They didn't make my legs hurt.  They didn't make me want to vomit.  Instead, I viewed them with the thing we call "morbid fascination".

But none of those people spent time in my womb.

Anyway, so I let my children soak in the tub until HH came home and rescued me.  I asked him to please finish the bathing process and he headed off to do it immediately.  And he is my hero.

As if that wasn't enough, he helped Little M finish his dinner tonight.  We don't force our kids to clean their plates at every meal.  I don't want to teach them to over eat.  But, for the most part, I do require them to finish the food at some point.  I don't like it to be wasted.  This means that if Little M only ate the nuts off his Peanut Curry Pork with Rice dinner, he would have the remaining pork, vegetables, and rice for lunch tomorrow.  It's just how we operate around here.

Which means that I would have probably dealt with his whining and crying for quite sometime tomorrow.  This may sound extreme, but Little M is a very very very picky eater.  He even turns his nose up at mac n' cheese sometimes.  But HH helped him finish his dinner and now he can have something he'll hopefully like better for lunch tomorrow.

And now HH is upstairs cleaning the kitchen because my dry skin issues has resulted in cracked and bleeding hands.

So, I guess the real Joyful Moment today wasn't when HH walked in the door.  It's just in being so loved by someone so wonderful.

I love you, HH.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in being so loved by someone so wonderful!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 319: The Real Me

Today was an odd day.  It started off rough and stressful.  And I immediately reverted back to my former grumpy and angry self.  As I sat there taking my stress out on my poor children at breakfast, I suddenly remembered--this isn't me.  Not any more.

So, I shifted my mindset and calmed down.  And even managed to be cheerful before sending Sweet P off to school.

I did it!

And that was today's Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in behaving the way you want to--even when it's hard!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 318: Better and Better

A couple bloggable Joyful Moments today.

I got to talk to one of my sisters on the phone today.  Always a Joyful Moment.  But it was made even better by being able to hear the adorable little sounds coming from her tiny little new baby.  I.  Want.  To. Hold. Him.

I need to live closer to my family.

Also, I keep waiting for the sad day when Baby B's hair no longer stands on end.  I know eventually the day will come that it gets long enough for gravity to take effect.  But that day is not here yet.  In fact, tonight after his bath it stuck up even straighter and taller than ever before.  I really should have taken a picture.  But I snuggled him instead.  And just marveled in his adorableness.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are a marvel!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 317: Tickling The Ivories

Except that they were really made from wood.

Tonight I sat down and plunked out a few notes on a digital piano that we might be purchasing for Christmas.  I cannot describe the joy of this Joyful Moment.

I'm not a superstar on the piano, by any means, but playing it is one of the best medicines for whatever ails me on a bad day.  And on a good day, it's just the yummiest most bestest icing on the cake ever.  I haven't had a piano since we left New England and I am in serious withdrawal!!!

So, the prospect of having one in my home again is driving me mad with anticipation.  But every time I think about the fact that I will soon have a piano that I can play whenever I want, I about die from the joy that Joyful Moment provides.

In case you can't tell--I CAN'T WAIT to have a piano to play to my fingers' content!!!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that tickle!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 316: Testimony

So, I have a manual with an assigned lesson for each week to teach my Primary class at church.  It's supposed to work out perfectly for the year.  Somehow, this year, we ran out of lessons a little early.  I didn't skip any lessons, so I don't know what happened!  All that is left is the Christmas lesson, which is for next week.

Today I had to improvise.  So, I decided to expound a bit more on a lesson we recently had about testimonies and being valiant in your faith.  I had each of the kids write their testimony down on a special card they made with valiant attributes they each possess.  Then I bore my testimony.  And then (and this is exactly what I wanted to happen) one of the girls in my class asked if she could bear her testimony.  Yes!  And then a couple more kids followed suit, sharing their faith in our Savior with me and the rest of the class.  It was so excellent and inspiring.  And very rewarding.

And truly a perfect Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that strengthen your faith and bring you peace!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 315: The Day That Equaled 15 Days

That was today.

Today I made more cinnamon rolls, cleaned my house, and hosted a little brunch at my house while HH carted the kids around to a friend's baptism, a birthday  party, and then a photo shoot for Little M with his dance group.  Then they came home and I fed the kids and helped HH put together Z's new kennel.  Today was snowy with a below 0 windchill factor.

Then we hurried off for Little M's dance recital.  He was one of about 6 boys amongst about 100 girls.  Yes, I'm a little embarrassed that he took a dance class.  But it's a long story.  Watching him dance, though, was a total Joyful Moment.  He enjoyed himself, did a fairly good job, and was beyond precious.

Then we hurried home and I put the kids down for a nap, cleaned the kitchen from the morning's madness, and prepped dinner.  Then I woke Sweet P up from her nap and made her practice her recital piece.

Then we hurried to Sweet P's violin recital, only to find that the previous recital group was running 40 minutes behind.  Awesome.  So, we actually waited for a while for the first time today.  Finally, it was her turn.  Another Joyful Moment as she played her piece very well and I reflected on how far she's come in the last year.

Then we hurried off to drop off the dinner I'd made for some friends who recently had a new baby.  Then home to make our own dinner (a recipe I made up, based on what we had on hand, that everyone really loved--Joyful Moment!), bathe the kids, eat, and put the kids in bed.

The End.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments during this busy busy busy season!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 314: Santa, Baby!

Tonight was the Christmas party at church.  I was sad because I forgot my camera.  And then Santa showed up and I was a little bit devastated.  Fortunately, my friend was there taking pictures for everyone.  It was fun to see Sweet P and Little M sit on his lap (and later to hear that they asked him for all the things they are getting--hooray!)

But after all the older kids had their turns, I sat Baby B on his lap.  He's not yet old enough to be terrified of Santa, as so many babies are.  I don't think he even realized who was holding him.  He just saw the camera and put on a happy face.  Kind of like this one:

Just try to look at that without smiling.

Aack!  This Baby is going to give me so many Joyful Moments, I can't handle it!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are at least half as adorable as my Baby B!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 313: Red Ranch

Today's Joyful Moment was pulling out all the stops and getting my stuff ready in time for the boutique.  And then hanging with my gal pals, trying to sell our stuff.

We didn't really sell much (apparently, the boutique I missed during Thanksgiving was much more profitable), but we had a fabulous time hanging out together.  I did walk away with $15 actual profit, after paying my portion of "renting our space".  And my friends and I did some trades together which resulted in a tres chic button ring, two hats that are beyond cute and girly, and three packets of red ranch mix.  That didn't come from my gal pals.  It came from an odd man and was really nowhere near the equal of the pan of cinnamon rolls he took after handing them to me.  But the Red Ranch then became excellent fodder for many many jokes the rest of the night.  My friends had me laughing so hard, I cried.

So, there you have it.  My Joyful Moments today were mostly funny.  Although, bringing home $15 that I made through my hard work felt pretty good, too.  I know it's not much, but it's been a very long time since I actually made money of my own.  Yay me.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments and some sweet sweet Red Ranch!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 312: Holiday Boutique

I'm going to be selling my wares at one of those tomorrow.  That is very much a first for me.  I have very cute, creative, and crafty friends.  Seriously, they make AMAZING stuff.  So, when they asked me to join them at the holiday boutique, I just laughed.  I mean, come on.  What was I going to sell?  Blog posts?

But then one suggested that I bring in some baked goods.  And then I got to thinking.  And I decided that even though it flies completely in the face of my efforts to simplify my life, I really really wanted to do it.

So, I've spent the better part of today getting ready for that.  I have 10 mini loaves of pumpkin bread because those can be baked ahead of time and still taste their bestest.  I have a huge double batch of cookie dough sitting in the fridge.  Don't worry, it isn't lonely.  It's joined by a big ol' pot of dough that will become amazing amazing amazing cinnamon rolls tomorrow.  And I have brand spanking new glass bread pans drying in the sink, just waiting to bake Honey Oat Wheat bread.

And I hope my oven is prepared to be baking pretty much the whole day.

I hope my body is, too.

I know I am.  I love baking.  Which is why, that was today's Joyful Moment.

Except for the part where HH walked in tonight just a short half hour after leaving for basketball announcing that he sprained his ankle.  So, I'm off to tuck him and his giant ankle in to bed.

Wishing you all Joyful Moment and someone akin to Betty Crocker and/or Martha Stewart to tuck you in to bed when you sprain your ankle!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 311: All Tied Up

Tonight was the night a ton of people were supposed to show up at my house to help tie fleece blankets to donate to the local children's hospital.  At 7 PM.

At about 7:15 PM, I was sitting in my living room tying blankets.  All.  By.  My.  Self.

And I was sad.

But then the doorbell rang!  And it rang a few more times!  Enough, in fact, that we filled up the floor of my living room.  Tying fleece blankets is done best on the floor, in case you're wondering.  When all was said and done, we tied 15 blankets.  Plus the two our family made on Monday night, and we have 17 blankets to donate--so far!  A few of my friends who couldn't make it are still working on some on their own.

The whole evening--after 7:15, of course--was a Joyful Moment!  I'm so grateful for the support this service project has received from my friends.  And I'm grateful to my sister-in-law for being the inspiration for the project.  She's naturally creative and giving, so I just ride in on her coattails.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that fill up the floor of your living room with beautiful goodness!

Day 310: Set Back

Today was frustrating.  I don't think it was my best as far as avoiding anger and staying positive.  But I'm trying to remedy that now and I know that tomorrow will most likely be better.  So, that's still progress, right?

Fortunately, there were still Joyful Moments to be had amid the frustrations.  For instance, Little M has been doing sweet things all day and then saying, "That could be a service."  So cute!  And I love that he's getting the Service concept down as well.

And then we starting tying blankets to donate to the children's hospital tonight.  I looked over and saw Sweet P sitting in her daddy's lap, tying a knot together.  That was a very touching, sweet Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments to outnumber the frustrating ones!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 309: Un-Grinching

Tonight we had the privilege of listening to President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, one of the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ as he, our prophet, and his other counselor gave their annual Christmas devotional.

As always, President Uchtdorf's words spoke straight to my heart and brought me a Joyful Moment.  He spoke of truly enjoying this Christmas season.  Which means, of course, remembering Who we are really celebrating.  Did I already mention how stressful last year's Christmas season was?  I've sort of felt cheated ever since.  So, I'm trying really hard to simplify this year, so that I can just enjoy the fun and joy of it.

Another Joyful Moment was when Sweet P came to me this morning and told me that she put Little M's dishes in the dishwasher for him after breakfast.  We've been practicing finding opportunities for service ever since Monday, so this was a double Joyful Moment for me.  Besides just being grateful that she was helping out, it touched my heart that the concept of "service" is really sinking in for her.  And on that same token, Little M provided me with a Joyful Moment when I came down to the basement this afternoon to find it almost completely clean (the basement is their toy room and usually has toys completely covering the floor).  He had cleaned it by himself while Sweet P played.

I love my babies.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments found in serving others and enjoying this holiday season!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 308: The Best Saturday In A Long Time

I'm usually annoyed with our Saturdays.  I look forward to using them to relax and get caught up from the week's busyness, but then they wind up being overrun by their own busyness and we just end the day even more tired and behind than we were when it started.


But today was different and it was full of Joyful Moments.

We started it off by dropping the kiddos off at two different locations (This was our first time leaving Baby B during the day, so I wanted to make sure my friend wasn't overburdened by having to watch the other two as well--they went to a different friend's).  Then we drove an hour and a half (including getting a bit lost) to our nearest temple belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And there we got to be a part of another friend's wedding.

All of the coordinating to make this happen to quite a bit of effort--not to mention, courage for me to leave my baby behind.  And I almost backed out multiple times, but I kept feeling like I really needed to be there.  And then the morning was somewhat stressful (we accidentally slept in 15 minutes, in addition to everything else).  But besides just the blessing of being able to take in the peacefulness of being in the temple, we were able to show our support and congratulations for our friend in his new marriage.  For a variety of reasons, not a lot of people were able to attend, so I felt grateful that I had been pushed to make sure we could.

And it was a Joyful Moment for SO MANY reasons:  Witnessing our friend's joy, sitting next to my HH and remembering our own wedding day, and listening to some good marriage advice, to name a few.

And then their camera wasn't working after the ceremony, so I got to play photographer!  Taking pictures of a newlywed couple is a Joyful Moment that I never expected to have and probably won't ever again!  It was really fun!

And then tonight we decorated the tree.  And I'm pretty sure it goes without saying, but that was a sweet, memorable Joyful Moment.  And we managed to do it without breaking any of my old and fragile ornaments, so that was an added bonus.  Cha-ching!

And now I need to go change Baby B's brand new diaper that I'm pretty sure isn't so new any more.

Wishing you all Joyful days that aren't tainted by stinky diapers!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 307: TJ's

A Trader Joe's just opened not too far away.  This morning.  So, the boys and I headed over to celebrate the Grand Opening.  We even got a festive lei in honor of the fun.  If that's not a Joyful Moment, I don't know what is.

We had a Trader Joe's back in New England and I love loved it.  How fitting that one turns up here now when I'm trying to go more organic and healthy with our diet.  The first exciting item I place in my shopping cart?  A bag of cute little sweet potatoes.  They're Baby B's favorite.

And then we bumped into a couple of our friends, who I will call "H-Squared".  And that was another Joyful Moment.  Because, let's face it, I love my friends.

And then we had the kids in bed by 7 PM tonight.  THAT is one satisfying Joyful Moment.  And I have my HH to thank for his efforts.

Wishing you all healthy and satisfying Joyful Moments!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 306: O Tannenbaum

Yes.  Tonight we got our tree and set it up.  We have yet to string the lights, or hang ornaments, but it was definitely a Joyful Moment.

Two years ago, I might have fallen on our Christmas tree while instructing my mom and little sister in some yoga and it might have been irreparably broken.  I can neither confirm nor deny this statement.  But, whatever the case, we didn't have a tree last year.  We were only home for three weeks in between trips to see family for Thanksgiving and then Christmas, so it just didn't seem worth it.  (Remember, I was preggems--a.k.a. Tired & A Little Bit Lazy).  And I had this great idea to buy a new tree on clearance after Christmas.

Except that we were still visiting family after Christmas and we couldn't even fit all of our Christmas stuff back in the car to take it home again.  Leaving us tree-less yet again this year.

We debated back and forth for a while, but finally opted for a real tree and then we'll buy a super nice artificial tree as per last year's plan.  Except this year I'll actually do it because we're staying home and I'm not preggems.

And I feel pretty guilty about having a poor, real tree in my home.  It feels totally wasteful!  I have such great memories of going out into the woods and chopping down our tree of choice each year with our family and some friends.  But I don't think people thought about it as much back then.  At least I didn't.  And I kind of wanted my kids to have a similar experience.  Except our "woods" consisted of rows and rows of pre-cut trees at a local Home Depot-ish store.  Not as magical.  But the kids were still pretty excited.  And my home smells delightfully piney.  Which provides me with another Joyful Moment because it's just such a splendid scent.

Those are my consolations for my guilt.  And now I feel like I need to go apologize to our tree.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that don't require apologies!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 305: It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like


HH is off in the big city watching a basketball game, so the kids and I had to go it alone tonight.  We had Sweet P's violin lesson first, but then came home and pulled out the Christmas decorations.  We haven't had a moment to think about them until now.

It made for a very fun evening, setting them up with the kids.  We still have to get the tree, but I love having Christmas all around me.  Last year was all stress pretty much, so I'm determined to truly enjoy the season this year.

And it's off to a great start.  Tonight was a Joyful Moment and I'm sure our efforts will bring more Joyful Moments to come.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in surrounding yourself with memories of wonderful Christmases gone by (or just other fabulous memories, if you celebrate something else)!