Joy can be found anytime, anywhere.

Christmas week!

Wow... I can't believe it's been almost a week since I wrote last!  Whew!  It's been a great month so far.
Tuesday - I had this day with Monica.  I took her out to lunch.  It was awesome!  I don't get to have one on one time with my girls as much as I would like.  This lunch together was a great way to connect.  I think I need to do this more with all my girls.

Wednesday - At dance class we learned a cheoro to a Christmas song called Deck the Rooftop by the cast of Glee.  I was really fun and quite the workout.  I was a great way to end my day.

Thursday -  The family did our Annual Fast Food frenzy night.  This is a night around Christmas where we drive through whatever fast food restaurant the kids want, grab dinner, then drive around the town looking at all the Christmas light.  We've been doing this for years.  It's really fun and the kids love getting to eat fun foods they don't get very often.

Friday - More game playing happened on Friday.  It was only Monica, Melody and I )although Deron did join later) but we had fun.  We played Spy VS Spy on the xbox... and Melody was kicking our butts! Go figure but the 9 year old is genuinely good at that game and is hard to beat. :)

Saturday - The Jingle Bell Rak'n haflas was that night.  It was a lot of fun.  Plus, I got to perform the dance I missed performing the week before because of the blizzard.   It was a wonderful night full, of dance, fun and the Christmas spirit. Joy was everywhere. :)

Sunday - Well, the major joy of this Sunday was Deron & I got to become Godparents to a darling boy named Rhys.  We were honored to be asked.  The ceremony was lovely and the food afterwards was awesome.  It is impossible to not find joy when holding a beautiful baby. 

Time is flying faster than Santa on Christmas eve!

I had no idea I hadn't written since Friday.  I think it's because I actually think everyday about what my joy is for that day and what I could write about.  This, of course, results in me thinking I actually wrote it sometimes.  I have always said my mind is like a blown glass trap. :)
So, this past weekend was nuts.  As many of you may be aware, the Midwest had a horrible storm pass through.  I woke up Saturday to a winter storm warning that progressed into a blizzard warning.  Normally, this would not phase me in the least on a Saturday morning.  Unfortunately, I was supposed to be traveling 2 hours south to Chicago that night for a Holiday Fundraiser Hafla.  Needless, to say, we did not make it.  But, some of my dance troupe members did go and were fortunate that the storm was not as bad as had been predicted.  So, I was very sad to miss it.  I know.... where am I going with this?  Well, instead, I stayed home, put a fire in the fireplace, listened to Christmas music, and played a fun game of monopoly with my family.  It was so much fun that when the older two girls came home from their retreat on Sunday, we played it again with all six of us.  Those 2 games of monopoly brought me more joy than any amount of dancing ever could. :)
Monday - OK... I know I seem to have a theme going here, but last night we played Life as a family.  Remember that my oldest is home for holiday break, so these little things mean a lot.  Any time all six of us do something together, it's a big deal.  Plus, we had the bonus of Monica's (my oldest) friend Anna came over to hang with us.  All in all, it was a great night.  Three family game nights in a row... that has to be a Kling family record.


Ok...we had some snow fall last night (Thursday).  Unfortunately, it fell when I had to drive 30 minutes (without snow) to take two of my girls to the dentist.  For future reference, I do not like driving even under the best of circumstances.  Put me in a snow storm where I can't see anything including the road I'm driving on, and I get scared and cranky.  {Add to that the frustration of kids with cavities, if you will.}  The appt. started late, took longer than expected and it took awhile to schedule all the future appointments.  By the time we left the building the snow was coming down pretty hard.  So, where's the joy?  Well, I swear, it's too bad not everyone has a child to hang out with everyday.  We walk out and I'm thinking "crap", and Melody walks out and says "I love snow!  It looks so beautiful and sparkly."  Sure enough, when I stopped to actually see the snow as what it is... beautiful crystals sparkling in the light, and not the awful crap that's made the roads a death trap for me... I felt better.  I could see the joy there.  I may have not been feeling it while white knuckling it all the long, long way home, and definitely not when Melody had to miss a Scout meeting because of our delayed arrival home, but I saw it nonetheless.  Thank you Melody!
{BTW - Deron was in MN so he couldn't drive them...he was too busy flying home is the sparkly stuff. :) }

Sometimes it's hard...

When I say it's hard, I don't mean to imply that here isn't joy in every day.  I mean sometimes it's hard to see it over the other not-so-joyful parts of the day.
For example, Sunday was hard for me because I learned that my best friend was moving away.  Not that 5 1/2 hours is an insurmountable a distance... I know it's not.  But most of my close friends live 5+ hours away.  It's what happens as we get older.  But it's still a bummer.  There's a lot to be said for having folks close by.  But, I am grateful for her friendship, extremely happy I have things like Facebook now to help us stay closer, and I know that her husband's new job is a blessing for their entire family.  Those are the hidden joys inside a seemingly not-so-joyful thing.
So... moving on...

Monday - A rather uneventful day.  I had Melody home sick, which is not so very cool.  But, sometimes, having a child home sick does allow me to spend quality time with them and baby them.  I am blessed to be an at-home Mom.  Sick kids are one of the many reasons I choose to sacrifice financially and stay home.  It is a blessing that I get to be here for them.  And I find joy in life's blessings.

Tuesday - OK... so I had both Melody AND Madison home sick with colds.  Of some blessings... less is more I think.  Sometimes you have to make your own little joy or fun.  So, we had brats and hot dogs for dinner.  This may not seem like much, but when it's like 12 degrees outside, eating something that reminds you of summer is fun.  Along with burgers, hot dogs and brats are one of the things we rarely eat during the cold winter months.  Do they cure colds?  Nope.  But, if they makes us smile, they might as well.

Wednesday - I remembered that I had bought some really cute dolls that were in an after Christmas sale last year.  I happily set them up and dang... they are really cute!  I am very happy I got them.  They really add to the Christmas cheer that is radiating from my living room.  As I have said before, I love this time of year.  Everyone being full of love for each other and God is pretty cool.  If I like to show my enthusiasm through things that light up and play music... that is wonderful.  It's my way of sharing my joy with everyone around me.

St. Nick week

Well, so far it has been a very busy December... and I think it will only get busier!

Saturday - Weirdly enough, my joy for Saturday involved a craft fair where only 7 folks showed up and the only thing I sold was to another vendor. (Craft Fairs are always a bit hit or miss).  The joy part came from hanging out with lovely fellow dancers for 4 hours... some of whom I hadn't really met before.  Plus, afterwards, my friends Stephanie and I went next door to the Irish Pub and had some delicious food. So yes, with the food cost, I actually lost money on the day, but what I gained in friendship greatly exceeds the money.

Sunday - Sunday was the dress rehearsal for my troupe's Christmas piece for the Holiday hafla coming up.  It was so fun seeing us all dressed up looking like toys!  Granted, there were a few malfunctions with wardrobe pieces but that's what dress rehearsals are for, right?  My joy that day was seeing everyone looking cute and being happy.

Monday - I got to set up my new to me Christmas decorations..... Mr. and Mrs. Clause dolls that are sleeping.  They snore and whistle jingle bells.  I got them from ebay.  They are from the year 1992.  I think they are adorable!


Yep... it's December in Wisconsin folks.  that means that at some point the weather will be entering my blog... just you wait. :)
Tuesday - Again the mail brings me joy.  I was sent a lovely necklace by a fellow bellydancer as a Christmas gift.  She made it special for me to match a costume I own.  Here's a pic I took with my phone... isn't it lovely?
Wednesday - I was lucky enough to go to the Milwaukee Art Museum with Melody and her fellow 3rd grade Jr. Art Docents.  I was a joy to be able to not only experience such beautiful art, but to share it with young people and see it through their eyes.  Everyone should take the time to see the world through the eyes of a child some time.  It can be quite a wonderful place.

Thursday - Well, I woke up with a bad cold.  Did not feel good AT ALL.  So guess what my joy was?  A nap.  I do not usually take naps.  It's not my nature.  But I took one that morning and it was a joy.  Not everyone can take naps when they are needed (myself included), so it was nice to be able to take one when I was sick.

Friday - Tonight is Pizza with Santa at Deron's work.  We'll be taking Melody.  It will be very nice and joyful.  I need to appreciate these moments as much as I can because soon enough she won't want to go anymore.  My kids grow up fast enough... I need to enjoy them being little while they are still little. :)