Joy can be found anytime, anywhere.

December is upon us...

Ok... so here's how the weekend panned out.
Sunday - Deron came home from hunting.  He got a deer!  This is really great for us.  Believe it or not, the venison helps a great deal throughout the year.  I rarely buy ground beef and Deron's venison steaks are extremely popular.  With the cost of groceries going up, I take great joy in a freezer full of meat to start the new year.
Monday - This was an odd day.  Deron had off of work and the kids had off of school.  Conflicts arose (they are inevitable in a family this size I think), but in the end, we had a pleasant meal together.  The weird thing was that we ended up eating Taco Bell because we were too tired to cook.  So, we drove through, brought the food home, and had a lovely family meal.  Nothing beats saying Grace for Taco Bell food. :)  That and we discovered a cute show called Shawn the Sheep, and sat as a family laughing at silly farm antics.

Thanksgiving Weekend

Well, we ended up not being able to go to the Cheesecake factory, but went out for Mexican instead.  Either way I go to wear my cute outfit so it was good. :)

Wednesday - The kids had a half day of school.  Monica was home (always a joy).  Having all four kids home for a night was nice.... even if they do tend to bicker.... I still enjoy the fact that they all have to be here in order for the bickering to commence. :)

Thursday - Thanksgiving!  I always find joy in family and food... who doesn't?

Friday - We set up the Christmas tree.  It always takes way longer than expected, but Melody, Mallory and Erik helped put it together, put the lights and angel on.  Then Mal and Erik had to leave and Monica and Madison helped with the ornaments.  Christmas is my favorite time of year.  There really is joy everywhere.

Saturday - Melody is not feeling so fabulous today, but her Grandma still came over to spend some special time with her.  They are watching movies, playing games, doing crafts and Melody even did a puppet show.  It's a joy to see them spend such quality time together.

Dang it!

Dude... seriously?!  I haven't written in that long?  I mean I usually miss writing on the weekends but come on... apparently the holiday brain is quite fragile. :)
Friday - Does making leftovers instead of cooking count as a joy?  I mean, it was sure nice not to have to worry about dinner or what to make.  Sometimes, I guess I really do have to appreciate the little things thrown my way.

Saturday - Ahhhh.... Saturday was a lovely day simply because I had absolutely nothing to do.  That rarely happens in my world.  Literally, I could do nothing or anything and no one cared. (Well, I made to make sure the kids were fed, but you know what I mean.)  I could spend the day in my PJs if I so chose.  It was a very good day. :)

Sunday - Easy peasy... The Packers went to MN and slaughtered the Vikings 31 - 3.  I know, I know... how many times will I use the Packers as my joy?  Well, as often as they bring me joy.  I'm not one to look the joy gift horse in the mouth ya know.

Monday - Deron was home from hunting and had the day off.  So we got to spend a lazy day together.  Granted, only until 3pm because then I had to pick kids up and take them to the dentist, but still, it was more time together then we have had all month.  I will glad when he is done traveling for awhile.  In the meantime, I will enjoy my time with him while he is here.

Tuesday - Well, Deron and I plan on going to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner tonight.  I have a cute new outfit that I can wear and 50$ worth of gift cards to use.  Shaping up to be a win-win if you ask me.  here's hoping no one comes home sick from school and the dinner goes off without a hitch.

Where did the week go?

Holy Moly... is it Friday already!
Tuesday - It was Madison's 14th birthday.  We had a ridiculously rich chocolate cake and cheese stuffed pasta shells for dinner.  Monica even came home for it which was very nice.  She got money towards ski and snowboard club at school.  She's never tried it, so here's hoping she ends up liking it. :)

Wednesday - OK... this joy is kinda funny.  Sometimes joy is just having a nice giggle.  My sister Lisa lives in Idaho.  So, the years when she does not come home for Christmas, she orders a lot of her gifts online and has them sent to me to distribute to family in WI.  Well, I knew about one package that was coming that day, but suddenly I get a text saying "Did I mention you have a package coming from _____?" Nope.... and not 30 minutes later the UPS truck shows up with the package.  It made me giggle.  And it reminded me of the year she sent me my birthday gift early...and never said anything to anyone.  Imagine my surprise when a box of coke glasses shows up for me and I have no idea who sent them.  I wasn't until a few days later that she told Monica about them.  Imagine Lisa's surprise to find out I already had them.  Sometimes shipping is faster than you think. :)

Thursday - Deron came home after being gone for what seems like forever.  That's more than enough joy in a month where he gone most of the days.  I'll take it. :)

Crazy dance fun!

First I need to mention Thursday - my joy for that day was Christmas shopping for my niece and nephew.  I'm sure there will be more than one day where I have joyous shopping experiences.  I love Christmas - everything about it - and so I will be finding joy in all its facets.

Friday - Sunday - I spent my weekend at The Great Lakes Bellydance Convention in Ann Arbor, MI.  The days were full of fun, friends, dance, food, learning and everything else that makes for a joyous experience.  It would be redundant to go through each of the three days.  I was so filled with joy each moment I was there.  It was truly an amazing time spent with friends.  I can't wait to go back next year!

Monday - Deron will be out of town for all but 4 days in November.  Bit of a bummer to say the least.  So, yesterday morning he was about to leave to drive 2 hours to Chicago for a single meeting and then drive 2 hours back.  He looked at me and said "Do you want to come along?  We can get lunch afterward."  Naturally, I said yes.  I knew I had a lot to do, but knowing this was one of only four days I get to spend with him home, I had to take it.  We talked the whole drive and had a lovely lunch.  I used the time in the car while he was in his meeting to go over all my notes from my weekend workshops.  My joy came from not only the time spent with Deron, but also from the gratitude that I could actually drop everything and go with him.

Ode to Joy

Tuesday - So, my youngest daughter Melody (9yrs) started taking flute lessons last year.  This came about because some amazing friends of ours gave her a flute their family wasn't using. Melody loves her flute lessons.  Tonight was such a lesson.  It was a big night for her because she was able to play Ode to Joy all by herself.  I got to hear it myself.  It was lovely!  Never was a song so aptly named for me than at that moment.  Her sense of accomplishment was a true joy to behold.

Wednesday - have you ever had a good mail day?  You know, a day where the mail comes and has some really great stuff in it... not just bills?  I had one of those.  I received the free dance DVD I won (it looks awesome), Mallory received her new phone (she loves it), I got photos from Halloween from my Mom, and I actually got a 30% off coupon from Kohl's,.  Now I usually only get the 15% off ones.... not that I'm complaining.  But I actually get to save 30% off my next purchase.  That's a sweet, sweet deal. So, my joy today was delivered by mail. :)

Jeepers creepers!

Sorry I have not written everyday.  The irony is that I truly THINK about what to write about everyday.  I guess that's the really motive in all this.... to make me think about and appreciate even the tiniest bit of joy in everyday.

Sunday - The Packers beat the Cowboys.  That, in and of itself, is joyful.  But it was also a good day all around.  My dance troupe finished learning our Christmas choreography (which is really cute!) and Deron, Monica and Melody came home from their weekend up north.  This was a big weekend for Melody.  It was the first time she was going somewhere overnight with Daddy without me.  She was really nervous about it.  I'm so glad she went.  Melody had a great time and got to play with a couple of her cousins that our her same age.  She also got to help with the new hunting cabin, and help build deer stands.  Those are memories she can carry with her.... memories of a weekend with Dad and Monica.  Those are precious.

Monday - Hmmmm... this one is a little tougher.  Deron's work made it so I didn't even see him.  Melody did not want to go to school... many tears and "it's not fair"s later... she got on the bus.  I guess the best part of my day was the fact that I baked a ham for dinner.  I love ham.  Love it!  The fact that it has to cook for a couple hours, and I get to smell it all that time is a bonus.  Everyone is happy when they walk in from school and can smell the lovely smell of a baking ham.  So, I guess yesterday's joy was in making a great meal for my family.

First Weekend in November

Friday - Friday night was The Almost Anything Goes Show at the High School.  Madison performed with her 8th grade band, and I got to see the Wall of Sound perform this year's show.  It was the first time the Kling Family didn't have their own table.  They opted for more seating and less tables this year.  It was also the first year I didn't have someone in the colorguard.  It was a great show.  I love marching band music.  It just takes me back to band in high school and being the drum major for our marching band.  Plus, I get the added bonus of being so proud of my girl up there playing her clarinet.  She hasn't decided whether she wants to do band or choir next year, but either way, I still have many years of concerts ahead of me.

Saturday - A fun day!  I got to visit a friend for a few hours in the afternoon, got to beat Madison at Monopoly, and begin watching the movie White Nights with Madison that night.  I had forgotten how amazing the dancing is in the movie.  It was wonderful to share it with one of my daughters.  Even though Madison is not a dancer herself, she was still amazed at the skill and beauty.  Joy can always be found in sharing with my kids.

Good times...

Wednesday - Fun night!  It was the last class of the session for my bellydance class.  that means we go out for margaritas afterward.  WOOT!  Our favorite restaurant was finally open after having been closed for a relocation.  Add to that the fact that I was (sort of) successful at zilling to a song in class and it was a joyful night indeed.

Thursday - Last night was Melody's parent/teacher conference.  It was great!  The teacher had such lovely things to say about her.  I know that Melody was quite nervous about 3rd grade, and the fact that she didn't know her teacher.  Now, she is thrilled with her teacher and her teacher is very happy with her.  It was a definite joy to have that conference.

Today's joy.....hmmm..... have to stay tuned....


Monday - Not sure if this counts for Sunday or Monday but I actually got a decent night's sleep.  Sleep is not easy for me.  Had more than my fair share of tossing and turning, but I got a good sleep that night.  Anyone who can't see the joy in that, has never had a bad night's sleep.  I love sleep.  I value sleep.  A good night's sleep makes for a happy Kelley.

Tuesday - Election day!  This year was special because it was my daughter Monica's first time voting.  I was very proud of her.  She took the time to research all the candidates and made an informed decision.  There are many adults who don't put forth the amount of effort she did deciding where her vote should go.  It was wonderful to see her appreciate and value her right to vote.

Halloween weekend

Woot!  What a fun time!

Friday Monica came home for the weekend.  Plus, the kids had off of school, which made Ellie's day here even more enjoyable.  Having the whole family home preparing for the weekend fun felt great.

Saturday we had a Halloween Costume Party.  I had them every year for my family until the basement went kaputz.  It had been 4 years.  My family has grown quite a bit since then.  Plus, Monica invited quite a few folks from school.  It was the most people I have ever had!  It was a bit crazy and chaotic but I think it was a lot of fun.  Deron joked about maybe we need to have 2 parties.. one for family and one for the kids' friends.... I do not have the strength. 

Sunday was Halloween and trick-or-treating.  (OK... yes, the Packers won... that was nice too)  Ellie came trick-or-treating with Melody.  That was so CUTE!  It was her first time and little Ellie was SO excited to get treats from all the houses.  It was just so fun to go around the block with her.  It was cold but the kids were troopers. 

Overall, the weekend was full of joyful moments.  I know that November will be a crazy month for my family, but with the Christmas season upon us, joy will be in the air.