Choosing Joy

My friend, Laura, spoke at my moms’ group this morning on ways to choose joy no matter the circumstances in your life. At the end of her talk, she told us to ask those around us–“Am I a joyful person?”

We went around in my small group and one of us said that, yes, she was a ‘Pollyanna’ and two of the girls weren’t sure but we thought they were and the rest of us said we were more ‘realists’.

So while making supper this evening, this is the conversation I had with my husband.

“Would you say that I am a joyful person?”
“No, not really.”

“Well, would you say that I am a happy person?
“Yes, most of the time.”

“Can you name anyone that you would consider joyful?”
“Laura Leichty and Dana Hoopingarner.”

“Oh yes, I agree.  Would you say Rachel or Steph are joyful?”
“Well I guess there is a sliding scale.”

“Right. No one can really compare to Dana.  What about Joy M.?”
“Yeah, I don’t know her very well but she seems to be the type of person who is happy and wants to tell everybody about it.”

“That’s the thing then, isn’t it? I’m happy. I just don’t necessarily want to tell anyone.  Would you say my  mom is joyful?”
“Your mom is just loud.”  (we love you mom! :)….)

“Can I put this conversation on facebook?”
“I don’t care.”

Don’t you just love the joyful people in your life?  Even those that are on a “sliding scale” 🙂  What about you?  Do you consider yourself a joyful person?


Help Wanted

help wanted

The 31 days of blogging challenge is coming up in October (You blog about one topic every day in the month of October).  I had a blast last year with my 31 Interviews so I’d love to write again for 31 days straight.  But what should I write about?? I’m asking all of you for advice. Leave a comment with what you think I should write, or what you would like to read, or even what you wouldn’t want to read…..basically any advice I will willingly accept 🙂

I am not promising to choose from the suggestions given, but who knows maybe I will. Or maybe one of your suggestions will give me an idea. If that happens, I’ll be sure to give credit where credit is due. Ok—shout out your thoughts in the comments!!

And also, maybe you should take up the challenge, too–I’m talking to you Sarah and Rachel and Bekah and Amy and Emily 🙂


My husband comes home from Ben’s soccer practice. He tells me he was doing a little small talk with another dad and come to find out this guy’s neighbors work next to my husband at his job. #smalltown

Then they talk further and this guy works with the boyfriend of a friend of mine. In fact, this guy’s wife grew up friends with my friends’ boyfriend’s family. Did you follow that? whatever. #smalltown

So we got to talking about how that never would have happened in the town he grew up in. He could have gone to the Meijer 7 days out of the week and Never run into someone he knew. Don’t get me wrong…it might happen on occasion. But in the town we are living in now, it is impossible to go to wal-mart (because we don’t have a meijer) without running into AT LEAST FIVE people that you know…every. single. time. #smalltown

Then my husband tells me how it is so crazy because he’ll drive home from work and see one of the baggers from Kroger in Ossian (the little town just north of us) riding his bike. And he wonders, “What’s he doing in Ossian on his bike? Will he make it to work on time?”
And then he says how he sees the guy from Wendy’s all of the time around town. And I say, “The guy whose mom is from Australia?” And he says, “Yeah that’s the one.” #smalltown

I said that you know you live in a small town when you actually see someone at a different place of employment than where they used to work. Yes. You actually notice when a stranger changes jobs. #smalltown

Then. Out of nowhere, my husband asks, “Do you think we’ll know everyone?”
And I say, “Like when we get older…will we eventually know everyone in Bluffton?”
And he says, “No, like in heaven. I’m sure we’ll know everyone but will we have to say Hi?”


Top Ten Favorite Places To Read

top ten tuesdayhosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week was a pick your own category so I just looked through the list of categories of days gone by and chose one.  (sidenote:  my computer has been really slow and then we got it fixed (ok just cleaned) and now it seems to be working much better!  yay!  I’ve missed blogging.)

Top Ten Favorite Places To Read…Or…first ten places that I can think of that I read. Because really, where wouldn’t I read??

10.  Bleachers at a ball game

9.  In the bathtub

8.  Ahem…on the toilet

7.  The doctor’s office waiting room

6.  My backyard in the shade

5.  The car line at school pick-up/drop-off

4.  The car on a long trip

3.  The couch

2.  My bed

1.  The beach

Random Pictures…although not really since they are all mine and are all from my camera.

They’ve never had so much fun fishing….and I’ve never been so grossed out.

I went with Alex on his field trip to the fire station.  Always a fun time.

Emily and her Hello Kitty birthday party.  She’s already talking about her Doc McStuffins bday and how she’ll be turning 5–in 11 months time.

I’ve spaced it and totally failed on the kids’ preschool snacks this year.  I vowed to make it up to them for the month of May.  This was Emily’s snack….

…And she took these to drink.

When your child gets a hold of your camera, you get this picture.

And this picture.

and this picture.

If you can’t go to Europe, shop at Kroger.  (I’ve had swiss chocolate.  This says it is a “swiss bar” but it just isn’t the same.)

I had to tell Emily that if she wasn’t done with her sucker her tap shoes were not the place to keep it until later.  I guess that’s not common sense to a 4 year old.

I also had to tell her that her green marker is for paper NOT the piano keys.  Again with the common sense.

Appreciating Teachers

“Elementary Teachers, I wish you the grace of Jesus and the patience of Job on rainy days. There is not enough Jenga on earth to substitute for outside recess. May God shine upon you. With actual sun. So these children may return after recess smelling like gym socks.” ~Jen Hatmaker

Today is teacher appreciation day.  I love you all.  My kids adore you.  I’d give you a hug if I was a hugger but I’m not.  So instead raise your hand in the air.  Go on–do it.  And now–Bam!  I just gave you a huge high five!  Thank you for all of your hard work.


And now, because Jen Hatmaker has a way of stealing the words right out of my mouth and then speaking them out loud better than I ever could, please read this.  She speaks truth.


My Reads: April 2014

april 2014 my reads

April was an extremely busy month.  When I checked my goodreads account, I was surprised that I’d read more than two books the whole month.  But I guess I got a few in at the beginning.  And for everyone who thinks that I am a crazy reader, I just want to report that I started two books this month that I didn’t even finish and I don’t have plans to.  I actually started them—read the endings—returned them to the library.  So.  If you consistently do not like the books that I read each month, maybe you should give the two that I didn’t finish a try!  The Confessions of Al Capone by Loren D. Estleman and What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Except for ole Mr. Sparks, this month was filled with YA reads.

Least Favorite:  Looking for Alaska by John Green–This was my least favorite of all of the books by J.G.  I have a friend who loved it.  So what do I know?  For me, I wasn’t a fan.

Most Favorite:  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green–This was my second time reading it.  Loved it the first time.  Loved it again.  I love their wit.  I love that it has so many Dutch references.  I love that it is in Indiana.  I’m hoping I will love the movie.

How about you?  Was April a super busy month for you?  Do you have a love/hate relationship with John Green’s books?  Any books returned to the library unfinished?

The Kids Said That

William was changing the light bulbs downstairs.  Alex asked him if he was going to change the ones upstairs?
William told him, “Yes Alex but I can’t be both upstairs and downstairs at the same time.”
Alex muttered, “Excuses. Excuses.”


Alex asks me a question and I give him a mumbled response.  His reply?
“Is that a yes or a perhaps?”


The other day we were getting ready to go to the library for story time and I helped Emily up into her car seat.
Emily:  Cinderella is in her carriage!  Let’s go to the Princess Library!


The Lego Movie–it has great one liners.  Just ask Emily.
Out of no where…Emily:  I think I heard a whoosh.


We’re getting ready to eat supper and I’m setting the table.
Ben: That’s not a lot of ketchup
Me: I have more.
Ben: Well, at least you’re prepared.


The other day Alex got stuck in a friend’s bathroom.
The door was an old solid wood door that has a deadbolt and a hole where a skeleton key used to go.
They never lock it because it is really hard to open.
After my friend’s husband tries for about 15 minutes to get Alex to turn the deadbolt the correct way, there is a pause of silence.
“Alex are you still trying to turn it,” he asks.
Alex responds with, “Who’s out there?!” I die laughing. And then Alex has an idea…”Maybe a key would work?”


I drop Alex off at school.
Me: Later tater.
Alex: Later pickle.


The joys of Emily at her first t-ball practice:
1. She’s playing catch with another girl and the ball goes into the outfield. Emily goes after the ball but comes back with a dandelion instead which she gives to the coach.
2. She shows off her princess mitt to her new friend and the girl makes Emily’s day by responding with a breathless wooooooooow.
3. The coaches have asked the kids to gather around and they are discussing something, but Emily tries to get their attention. “Coach, coach, coach, coach, hey coach, hey coach, coach, coach.”
He finally says, “Yes Emily?”
“I don’t have a bat.”


Going upstairs to put the kids to bed, Emily wants daddy to run up them while holding her.
He tells her that he can’t because his knee hurts.
Ben pipes up and says, “Welcome to my world.”
Our seven year old thinks he has knee problems.
as if.

Let’s Talk Book Clubs

Book Clubs.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  Are you in a book club?  I have been in one since October of 2011 and I love it.  We meet once a month and talk about one book that we’ve all voted on and (hopefully) read.

einsteinWhen I was pregnant with Ben, I got hooked on the midday connection book club on moody radio.   I fell in love with it because these books were not necessarily “christian” fiction.  They were classics and non-fiction and it was wonderful to hear others talk excitedly about reading.  At the time, we lived in Kokomo but then we moved and now I listen to it online.  I don’t always read those books (I think I’ve read 12 of them)…although a lot of the time I read the book after hearing the discussion.

reader's digest

Midday Connection is starting another book club and it is one where the listener gets to pick.  There are three options and you can vote and the winner will be announced on the 28th.  All three books are christian fiction and so I am interested to hear the discussion and all three books I think I’d enjoy reading.  So, if you’re interested, go and vote and then tell me which one you voted for and then I’ll let you know which I chose 🙂

Meanwhile, you can find me here.


Ok.  Not really.  I’m kind of scared of dogs.  And this isn’t my house.  And I’m actually in the kitchen washing a TON of dishes.  true story.