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What is contentment?

What IS contentment??? ~Is it having everything you ever wished for to come true? ~Is it having the perfect husband, kids or house? ~Is it...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 16/Simple Woman's Daybook


Here's is another Simple Woman's Daybook entry. LOVE, love, LOVE these posts, and how they insist that I slow down, think coherently, and organize my feelings into word pictures. Here we go.
For Today...February 23, 2011
Outside my window... the sun shines bleakly through the thick clouds that are so rare here. It is breezy and cool. Although cool is relative, of course : ) Dan still rode his motorcycle to work.
I am thinking...That I'm glad I gave myself today 'off' I've been busy all day, I can't imagine how I would be feeling if I hadn't been a slacker today, HA!
I am thankful...for boys that have played so nicely together today. Playing imaginative games, helping one another out with chores and school, and coloring all together. It is sweet! I'm also thankful for filed taxes and the anticipation of getting our money back soon. Does that make me shallow?? I sure hope not!
From the learning rooms...today, very little. Just a math and spelling lesson. Usually, we get much more accomplished, but that's why we needed a break today, so we could get to those other things that pile up when we aren't looking.
From the kitchen...nothing yet. Dinner is Steak Fajitas. YUM~O! Other meals this week include ham and bean soup, lasagna, pizza, a popcorn and veggie tray night and to my everlasting shame, beanies and weanies. BLECK, but the boys love them, so I am allowing them their disgusting treat. I'll have salad! LOL!
I am wearing...jeans and a layered t-shirt, along with bare feet and ridiculously SHORT french braid. I still feel a bit bald after this month's donation of hair.
I am creating...sassy new hairdos, mended jeans, creative boys and a happy hubby. And less mess due to still unpacking boxes here and there that keep appearing.
I am going...to work later this evening, running the Mama taxi later this week, and taking a trip to the library, too.
I am reading...a fabulous book that breaks down the constitution into little phrases and makes it understandable. If you've ever wanted to really get INTO the constitution, read this book.
I am hoping... that Dan has a wonderful birthday on Friday, and that school continues to roll along in the smooth fashion that is has been for the past few weeks!
I am hearing... Dan's router buzzing in the garage as he creates cutting boards for friends, D and DT playing video games together, and Patrick sighing loudly over having to use the dictionary to finish his spelling lesson. Outside I can hear Shadow barking at the Fed Ex truck as it rumbles past, and the cars driving in and out of the neighborhood. All nice, homey sounds, well except for the router, it's noisy, LOL!
Around the house... a load of laundry waits to be folded (as always) dinner is about to get started and the WHOLE house could use a good dusting. But, pictures are up on the walls, the floors and counters are clean, as well as the bathrooms, and I know where all the library book are for once : )
A few plans for the rest of the week...Dan's, my Mom's and Lily's birthdays this week, GAME NIGHT returns after cancelling last week for a road trip, work, work and more work for Dan and I both, and homeschool just keeps rolling on. Oh and James and T will be over tonight and Friday so Jodi can tutor. A nice full week.
A picture thought I am sharing with you...
A few of my wild hooligans that I can family. Dan and Derek during the gymnastics meet on Saturday in Phoenix. And David working on his handstand press.






This post is brought to you by The Simple Woman over at her site, appropriately named http://www.thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/ Check her out!





Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 15



I find JOY in the small things, the simple things, and the quiet things. A chat with a friend, a letter in the mail, a good book, a thoughtful comment, an appreciative hubby, cheerful boys, or a kind cashier at the store. These are all 'little' things, but they do bring cheer to the heart. The stillness of the morning before the regular mayhem and chaos take over, a cup of hot tea with an encouraging/funny/helpful blog to read, laughing with friends at game night, the mountains in the distance, or driving back into our town in the late evening and watching the lights as they twinkle from the distance getting closer and closer. A secret whispered in the ear, whether it be from a sticky faced 5 year old, or a question from a teenager, or even something silly from the hubbs about where he hid the chocolate stash from the kiddies. : ) I love going to from room to room after the boys have been shooed off to bed, and finding them all reading a new book, or realizing that they've all piled into one room because they prefer not being apart. Hearing Dan say that he wants to live here forever. These are all little things on their own, but together they make one wonderfully JOY-filled life. I am blessed.

Now then, where IS the chocolate???

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 14


I {heart} homeschooling! I do, it's great! I get to spend time with my boys, who will be grown and gone before I know it, I can teach from a Biblical perspective and I can decide how and what they learn. There's so much more to it, but those are the overriding principles of it. Teaching a child to read, do his letters correctly and finally "GET" math, that brings me great JOY. I've learned so much from teaching and learning alongside of the boys. All my boys know how to bake, care for babies, clean the house and how to have friends that aren't in their exact age bracket. I also give 'how to be a good hubby' lessons, LOL! They are curious, and we can chase down those curiosities. Just yesterday we discussed Siamese/conjoined twins (what they are, how they form and how cooperative they must be for each other) texting and cell phone usage etiquette, and the history of Valentine's Day. And that was all before lunch. : ) Other times, we watch animal videos, How It's Made video clips, do crafts, go to the farmer's market, or read a 'classic' and then watch the movie to see if they followed the storyline. If there's an 'old' version and a 'new' version of the movie, even better. One we really enjoyed last year was "Around the World in 80 Days' which David and Patrick managed to read in just 2.5 days. I could go on for days about how much JOY homeschooling brings me, but I'll hush.


I will add this disclaimer...

I don't think homeschooling is the best choice for everyone. I don't think that sending your child to public or private school is anyone else's decision but yours. I'm not a public school basher, or a private school hater. We just do what works for us, as should you. Please don't anyone think that I'm judging you if you don't homeschool.

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 13


Still behind. Gotta catch up, hold on, here we go~
Today I want to just quickly mention something that bring me JOY. Taking these trips with the family for David's gymnastics has just been wonderful. We rarely go anywhere outside of our town, as we're all basically homebodies, but we do like an occasional adventure and these have provided just the right amount of excitement. We plan it all out, we pack up and head out. We get to watch David enJOY his new found sport and that brings us JOY. It also prevents us from wasting the whole weekend in front of the TV, running errands or just wasting time in some other fashion. It also makes us appreciate how much we enJOY being home. (see previous post) We've been to Rio Rancho, to Albuquerque twice, we're heading to Phoenix this weekend and before the season is done, we will have been to Albuquerque again, had a meet here in town and possibly even Colorado Springs for Regionals. Along the way, we've visited with old friends, made some new friends, squeezed in some family fun like putt putt golf and our first visit to a tapan grill restaurant, and had several delightful conversations that only seem to happen in the car on a long ride. Such a blessing this has turned out to be! Thanks you Jodi for helping us get started. : )

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 12


I LOVE being home. Love it, love it, LOVE IT! I love watching the boys wake up each morning all sleepy-eyed and bedhead-y, I love sending Dan off to work with a full tummy, a tasty lunch, a smile and a wave. I love keeping the house neat (err, most of the time I love that) I love being able to run my errands during the day when less people are crowding the stores. I love homeschooling, I LOVE being the one that gets to spend time with them and I love having dinner ready at 5:30 every night. Call me old fashioned, call me June Cleaver, Suzy Homemaker or Betty Crocker, call me irrelevant and outdated, I don't care. I just LOVE being home. It brings me great JOY to be able to provide for/contribute to my family in this way.

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 11


My goodness I am behind! Let's get this back on track with a few shorty posts. For today, the generosity and kindness of my friends that read this blog bring me JOY. They never complain when I am late, offer kind comments when something touches them and they almost all write things that inspire me. So today, it's all about YOU~

What brings you JOY?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 10

(Kayla, this one is just for YOU! EnJOY the guilt blanket)
Again I'm late, but several of the past few days have just flown past stuffed full of life, errands, school, chores, baking and then my 'real' job. I use quotes around it because I consider my REAL job to be this one at home, but the world considered my real job to be the one at Kohls. For today, let's focus on Kohl's. I enJOY my job with Kohl's. I do! It's late at night, doesn't interfere with our family time much, doesn't require us to purchase another car, hire a sitter or go to public school. It's a pretty good compromise as far as jobs go. I also enJOY the people that I work with, the ad set team is the hardest working team on the property. Just ask us, we'll tell you *winks* Actually, because only 8 of us are trained to do ad set, we always work with the same people each night, so we've become friends and teammates instead of a revolving door of new faces each night. I will admit to enJOYing my employee discount, too! As a whole, it's not a bad gig. Dan is happy because I'm working, I'm happy because I'm honoring him and God, and not having to 'sell out' to accomplish my goals. All in all, it's great!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 9


Another short post in an effort to catch up : ) Something that brings me JOY is spending a little while each day on Facebook/Cafemom keeping up with friends and family across the miles. Also meeting like minded crunchy/homeschooling mamas to share ideas and helpful hints with, exchange recipes with and just enjoy like minded chatter. *sigh* It's good!

~K~

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 8


Just a little quick post about something that brings me JOY. A slice of ice cream cake while the rest of the house is sleeping and I don't have to share : ) That is all. Shhh, don't tell!

~K~

Monday, February 7, 2011

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 7


Today I'm writing about something that always brings me JOY, and that is planning. I love to watch a blank page in my daily TO DO notebook fill up with things to do, people to see and places to go. It keeps me on track when I would sometimes rather spend the day playing online, chatting on the phone or laying around reading a new book. I love to plan our meals so that I always know the answer to that dreaded question, "Mom, what's for dinner?" That also saves me money, and while that brings me joy, it is a WHOLE other post : ) I LOVE to fill up our homeschooling planner with interesting books to read, field trips to take, projects to try, and links to follow on the computer. I used to say that planning made me feel more in control and as a good portion of you know, I'm a bit of a control freak (that's a whole other post, too) so that made me feel good. As I aged and *hopefully* matured, I've learned that no matter what, we are never really in control anyway, so I've had to deal with that concept and then see if/where planning fit into my life. For a while, I just gave up planning and went with the whole 'fly by the seat of my pants' idea because I was so frustrated with all my careful planning was going out the window on a daily basis. And I can honestly say that it brought more stress into my life than having plans and then having upset plans, so here I am back to planning. Not because it makes me feel in control of the situation, but because it makes me feel more prepared to handle whatever the day brings my way. Let's be honest, some people live perfectly manicured little lives where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens. I'm NOT one of them, so I need to be ready, whether that means dealing with a sick/naughty child while I'm trying to teach the rest, fixing dinner for a crowd on 20 minutes notice, cleaning the house while the littles are messing it up faster than I can clean, being able to rearrange the school day so that we can leave the house on a moment's notice to help a friend or even take an impromptu field trip, or having/making the time to spend a few quiet minutes each day with Dan somewhere in the midst of all this chaos that we call home. Or finding cats in the wall, LOL! Anywho, all of that to say that I love to plan so that I'm ready no matter what the day throws at me, what the kiddos are up to, or where the Lord leads that day. It's GOOD to be prepared. As my sister Kelly's husband always says, "Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance." And he's right : )

Blessings, ~K~

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 6



Today I remembered something that brings me JOY and that is not procrastinating. While some things inevitably get pushed aside in the chaos that IS my daily life, some things should not be allowed to be put on the back burner. So, today I bit the bullet and did something that I've been putting off for a while now. I had Dan cut my hair. Like 15 inches cut off. I'm donating to Locks of Love so that some little one will have a chance to feel 'normal' and pretty again. And that brings me JOY, too!
As for the procrastination part, I've been thinking about and talking about cutting my hair for almost 6 months. Just like I always put off cleaning out my closet until it threatens to collapse and crush me with it's contents. Just like I HATE doing the dishes, but it always feels so nice when they are all done, and I feel like I can relax for a while without them calling me from the kitchen : ) So, no more procrastination for me this month. I'm just going to do the tough things first in the morning and then the rest of the day will be cake. I know, I'm old enough to know these things, but every once in a while, we all need a good reminder of what we already know. Have a JOY filled day, everyone!
Blessings,
~K~

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 5


Today's post is quite simple to understand, but difficult to implement sometimes. Something that brings me JOY is silence. In a house FULL of rowdy boys, fish pump filters, electronic labor saving devices, and surround sound speakers, silence can be difficult to come by, and even more difficult than finding some is taking the time to enJOY it, allowing it to seep into my soul. Letting it fill in the quiet parts in my heart, quiet my restless thoughts and random ideas, allowing my thoughts to drift toward the Savior ...*sigh* It's good! That's all for today. Take some time and enJOY some silence if you can find any.

Shhhhhh, ~K~

Joy-FULL February 2011 ~Day 4/Simple Woman's Daybook

Today I am going to share a post that I've missed doing quite a bit. It's called the Simple Women's Daybook. It brings me JOY to simplify my thoughts, organize my days and center my heart each week with this post, and since I've quit doing them, I often find my weeks spinning out of control, my heart is grumpy and disorganized. So, as part of my back to the JOY February, I'm beginning to do them again, starting with this one. And they go a little something like this : )


For Today... February 5, 2011

Outside my window... the sun is shining weakly and melting the last of the snow from Wednesday. The temperature is a mild 33* and a gentle breeze stirs the leaves.

I am thinking... that a house full of boys is a wonderful thing, except when they are all sick : )

I am thankful for... regular electricity after this week's rolling blackouts in the aftermath of "Snow-maggedon" Heat, working appliances, and a snug home.

From the learning rooms... We have enjoyed a light week of work since Daddy was home for 2 days in the middle of the week. Spelling lists are going well, the DVD math program is just the BEST THING EVER, and this week we started the Story of the World series. The boys are begging for more each day.

From the kitchen... not much today so far. I need to go to the store for a few fresh supplies, but mostly we are enjoying the stocking up I've done in recent months.

I am wearing... My uniform for the Gym, but I need to change back into my housework clothes before I start cleaning this house.

I am creating... a clean, organized house. Still going through boxes as Dan finds them in the garage. It's a work in progress, but I'm enjoying going through some old pictures and such.

I am going... Nowhere today except to pick Dan up from work later.

I am reading... not much right now. Hoping to catch up on some blogs, vblogs and recipe sites soon.

I am hoping... that I don't end up sick : )

I am hearing... the end of the movie "UP" that the boys are watching, my crazy broken alarm clock going off AGAIN, since it won't shut off today, and Shadow bounding around outside since he's been cooped up in the house for the most part of 3 days.

Around the house... boxes to unpack, kitchen to clean, meal plans to make, a Living room to tidy and 3 sick boys to tend to. Gonna be a busy day!

One of my favorite things... SNOW DAYS! Even though we don't take off of school for snow, we still enjoy the snow when it comes.

A few plans for this week... School, house keeping, some baking, church if the boys are well enough, the library for some CLASSIC movies and hoping to squeeze in a date with Dan.

A picture thought that I am sharing with you... I haven't made my whole wheat yeast crust pizza for a while. I've been making baking soda crust, I want to get back to my yeast pizza dough. Here I am making some LAST February.


The Simple Woman's Daybook is brought to you by Peggy over at http://www.thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/ Check it out if you, too are seeking the simple life.

Blessings,

~K~

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Joy-FULL February 2011~ Day 3


It's LATE on Day 3, but since I had to work tonight, this is the earliest I could get it in. For today, it's something simple that I LOVE to do, but just end up 'too busy' to do it. I love to write letters. Short, long, sweet, scolding, thank you, congratulation, encouraging, how's the family, here's what we've been up to lately, it doesn't matter, I just love to write letters. Let's be honest, we all get enough bills, statements and sales fliers in the mail. It's SO great to open the mail box and find a letter from a friend asking how you are, thanking you for some small favor you did, or a note of encouragement while you are going through a tough time. In this technologically advanced day we live in, letter writing seems practically irrelevant anymore, but nothing says I LOVE YOU like taking the time to write a note and send it through the 'snail mail' system. Having a paper to hold in your hand is more comforting that saying, "let me dig through my zip drive files, I know you sent me something a while back" : ) So, take up the letter writing challenge with me and let's bring letter writing back!

~Kristy~

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Joy-FULL February 2011~ Day 2

As I sit here in the middle of 'Snow-maggedon 2011' I had time to look through some old pictures that Dan and I found while clearing the garage. Oh my, the good time I've had today remembering how incredibly cute the boys were when they were little, how silly Dan and I were when we first met, and how many crazy things I've done over the years with my sisters. Someone remind me later in the month to tell Jodi's Bat story, now THAT brings me some joy!
Anywho, since I enJOYed the pictures so much, I thought I'd share some with you. Now if I could just get my scanner to work, all would be well. I'm updating my software in between power outages. (We've had 5 today thanks to El Paso Electric's 2 down power plants. Have I mentioned how glad I am that Dan and I recently bought a generator??) So to bring some joy back into my life this month, I'm going to dig through pictures each week. And as I find some truly great ones, I'll share them : )

PS> Can't seem to get the scanner to work right now, and I want to get this posted before we lose power again, so here goes. When I have a steady power source and can fight with the scanner more, I'll post the pics I am talking about. Love to all! ~K~

PPS: Given enough time, power and a little help from the tech guys, I can have VICTORY! Here are a few I found today~
Oh my word, what a cute baby Derek was, even if 'Shua called him "Chubby-Blubby"

What a handsome man Dan is, Am I lucky or WHAT? Actually, I'm blessed, but that's a whole other blog post

'Shua may have called him names, but he loves that baby!

Pat with his "I'm trying to be good' face. LOVE it!

Dan with baby David all bundled up for some winter blizzard in IL
Awwww, aren't we cute? Right after we started dating, I came down with the flu and Dan came to visit me.

How many brides show up looking like this? A veil masking a french twist, a shirt bought at my favorite store (Ex-Boyfriend Apparel) bike shorts and hiking boots. I'm surprised no one tried to talk Dan out of marrying me : )


Oh my, Sisters are just the best invention ever, aren't they?? Here we are in MOST of our radiant glory.


Dan is doing his creepy stare into the camera thing, but other than that, I just LOVE this pic. D and P were so cute and sweet in this one. Ahh, good times!


L Bar C Youth for Christ Camp, 1991 I think. This is the vast majority of the group of boys we called "the Stud Squad" at t he time. They were not photogenic or cooperative : ) LOL~









Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Joy-FULL February 2011


Hello friends! It seems that in my quest for efficiency in the home making/homeschooling department over the past several months, and in trying desperately to UN addict myself from the computer, I've lost something. It's a little something I call joy. I've been living my life as if it's one long TO DO list, not something to be savored, treasured or lived to the fullest. So, to combat that loss of joy, I'm going to blog each day of February about something that brings me joy and how I'm bringing that back into my life in some small or not so small way. For today, let's start with defining joy. According to http://www.wiktionary.org/ JOY is both a noun and a verb. Here's what else it says;

Noun

joy (countable and uncountable; plural joys)



  1. (uncountable) The feeling of happiness, extreme cheerfulness.

    They will be a source of strength and joy in your life.

  2. (countable) An activity etc which causes this feeling.


  3. The joys and demands of new parents.

Verb


to joy (third-person singular simple present joys, present participle joying, simple past and past participle joyed)



  1. (intransitive) To feel joy, to rejoice.  [quotations ▼]

    • 1885, Sir Richard Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 18:

      I swore readily enough to this and he joyed with exceeding joy and embraced me round the neck while love for him possessed my whole heart.

  2. (transitive, archaic) To enjoy.  [quotations ▼]

    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.i.2:

      For from the time that Scudamour her bought, / In perilous fight, she neuer ioyed day [...].

SO, now we know what JOY means according to the dictionary. But what does that mean in real life? Does it mean that we never do anything unpleasant, feel discouraged or are slightly less than UBER-perky? Of course not. Real joy comes from doing the unpleasant things with a good attitude, knowing that after discouragement comes ENcouragement, and that not everyone is UBER perky without coffee. Joy comes in doing difficult tasks for people that you love because they need help, it's encouraging a friend that is experiencing a heartbreaking time (or allowing a friend to minister to you) and knowing that some personality types are never UBER perky, caffeine or not. : ) Something that's been missing in my life recently is music. D and P are getting old enough to have musical tastes of their own these days, and sadly, they've outgrown Veggie Tales Sing-Alongs. Both of them seem to prefer Dan's style of music more than my own, and while I don't have a personal vendetta against classic rock, it's not my favorite either. It just doesn't lift the soul, ya know? My taste ranges more to the hymns, drum and bugle core, and Gospel Quartet music. I like music that you can sing along to, and I LOVE 4 part harmony. Anywho, I digress. In an effort to be 'nice Mom' I've started letting Dan and the boys have free reign over the radio on long trips (like to Albuquerque and back in one day) and again, I have nothing against classic rock, but *sigh* I miss my music. So while Dan and I were going through boxes this weekend, I found a box of old tapes (yes TAPES) that had some OLD favorites on them. I put them in the car, and fired them up the next time I was in the car. I think poor David wanted to cover his ears, as I kept turning it up, and up, and up and singing along all the louder : ) What JOY flooded my heart as I remembered all the words, and the harmony parts! What lightness of spirit as I cruised on down the highway. So, I'm going to reintroduce my home, my family and myself to the joys of REAL music. Music that reminds us of why we live, why we sometimes need to take the high road even when it's more difficult and why we need to love others so much.


Once upon a time, a LONG time ago, when Dan and I were dating, we got to go see the Cathedrals at Moody Bible Church in Chicago. I am pretty sure Dan wasn't that excited, but it was pretty much the highlight of my LIFE at that time. (Yes, I know I'm a dork and that I was born 50 years too late) I got to meet them all, listen to their testimonies, etc. I LOVE to listen to the author of a song sing it. Even if they don't have the best voice, miss a few notes on the accompaniment, or whatever, it's STILL the song in it's most meaningful, authentic version of that song. So, along with that story, here's a link to a video of the Cathedrals and a song they did that night. Roger Bennett wrote that song while he was battling cancer and it makes me choke up every time I hear it. Every. SINGLE. Time. Not with sadness, but with a light heart and trust in GOD. Listen and see if it doesn't bring some joy to your heart and soul. I'll be back tomorrow with something else that brings me joy.

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