Our church attendance has been a bit spotty this year (uh, just a bit of an understatement) but we decided last night we were going this morning no matter what (e.g., no matter how close to 0F the temp was). The sermon was great (the weather was 3F – not bad – it’s going to get A LOT colder the next few days) – all about joy and how we should laugh in church and life, and we need to find this happiness all around us all the time – this joy comes from deep within, is part of our being, and helps us feel connected and care for others in the world. Yes, it’s been a tough year but there are still happy moments and there will be many to come. Here is the joyful Affirmation of Faith from today’s service:

We believe in a God of joy, who shows up
In roasted marshmallows and chocolate cake and fresh fish;
In the feeling of sand between our toes, a kitten’s fur, the touch of another person;
In the sun that shines in our faces (even, inconveniently in this sanctuary);
In falling snow;
In the life-giving green of new life and in new birth.
We believe in the joy that God creates in our lives.
We believe in the joy that resides in each one of us.

Our minister told several stories about weddings that she has presided over and that after one wedding she got a comment from someone that they had “never laughed at a wedding”. I know I wrote about it before but I still have good memories of the whoopie cushion that Katherine gave to Christopher at her reception – I don’t know how many whoopie cushions make it to wedding receptions but I’m guessing it can’t be that many…it was a great moment of joy and having fun in the moment.

Here are some other moments of joy I captured from this week.

Megan and I were playing a game against each other on the computer and she named our teams. She kept her hand over her team’s name while I went first, and I could tell she was so proud of her team name…which…after the big reveal of removing her hand, was…team “aSOM”. Totally aSOM!!! 🙂

We got a late Christmas gift this week. 3 slingshots, 2 packs of paint balls, and magnetic toys that have been recalled. We had a good laugh over this one. Payback is a you-know-what 🙂

I’ve been pushing the kids to do more laundry. I caught them doing my and Beth’s laundry – as they were folding they were slingshotting our underwear and having a fun time (which Megan tried to blame on daddy – uh uh, I’m not taking the hit for this one) 🙂

I was reading a story about sperm donation (related to a sperm donor being involved in a paternity suit when the female couple split up who had the baby – bizarre). Anyway, Schipper used to donate plasma in college – he was limited to doing it to something like once a month and the first experience made him either pass out or puke or both…and as I was reading the story we temporarily got confused as to what he used to donate in college – oops. Our confusion got even funnier thinking about which substance would be limited to once a month and would make someone pass out 🙂

We had a scout pool party last weekend. Beth very clearly told Christopher and me to bring a towel and underwear for him. Those were our instructions…”bring a towel and underwear”. We’re no dummies…we don’t need to be told twice…we can remember two things…duh. So I drive him there, and we remembered the towel and underwear just like we were told. Like I said, we’re no dummies and we had it under control. So Beth shows up (she was taking over and I had to leave) and she asked where his clothes were. Clothes? We brought the towel, we brought the underwear…and of course he only wore his swimsuit & swim shirt there b/c it’s only early January in Minnesota. How Christopher and I get blamed for not bringing clothes still doesn’t make sense to either of us – we have been trained to turn off our brains and follow directions – and we’re pretty good at it! 🙂

Ok…switching topics just for a minute. Aaron Swartz was in the news recently. As described by Wikipedia he was an “American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist.” Smart dude, who created some companies and contributions to the computer world, but…he committed suicide (hanging) on January 11th, 2013. In November 2007 he blogged about his illnesses. He was a good writer and I was drawn to how he described some things in that post here –

Alright, switching back to joyful topics again. Check out the pictures. In hopefully not very random order…Christopher’s new pet Sammy; our beautiful children on Christmas morning posing with some of their new gifts which didn’t come as a packaged set; Christopher doing a combo skiing stop and Michael Jackson pose; the entire height of our ski MOUNTAIN (hill); Megan’s chair in the snow; Colleen’s Sammy Sosa outfit for a school report; Colleen and her friend at their science fair exhibit (on how tie dye stains different types of material); and finally, we had two visitors this morning who came to play with Orca – this picture is right off our patio – yikes coyotes are big up close!!!

One Response to “Joy”

  1. Dad and Grandpa T says:

    Just because we haven’t commented, don’t think we don’t find joy in your blog updates. Sorry it has taken so long. This will be a test to see if your RSS feature works.

    I have to admit that we haven’t been too faithful in our church attendance either. We can’t blame it on the weather. For awhile the first of this year we weren’t feeling up to par so that kept us away. Now that we’re both back on our feet, we still haven’t made it back as often as we should. I liked the topic of the sermon and the affirmation and have tried to find joy in more things myself. Often they aren’t monumental things, but more often simple things that can so easily be taken for granted. We stopped by Daniel and Jackie’s last night and mom found joy in holding and feeding Aniston. I didn’t get around to holding her, but I found joy in being with their family and seeing Daniel play with the boys and playing Wii with Preston. Aniston was really looking around last night. I wonder if she will be as active as Cameron.?. I told them that he makes me tired just watching him play. When he came down in the basement, he was NON-stop. There’s joy in just watching him play so hard.

    Last Sunday I did make it to church. After church I went to the mall and was the cameraman for a dog being evaluated for further guiding eyes training. It was a yellow lab and I held the video camera as the dog was led upstairs, on the elevator, encountered people and different things, etc. I left the mall with a black lab (I called mom first). Talk about joy – too bad we all can’t be as happy and joyful as a one year old lab. Can’t say mom and Casey were quite as joyful, not sure who was more nervous. In no time at all the dog checked out the entire house, finished off Casey’s water and emptied and played with all of her toys. Until I took the dog out for a walk Casey stayed behind the gate we put on the stairs and just watched. Good thing for Casey and mom (and probably me) I took the dog back to the lady raising it in a couple of hours.

    I enjoyed all the ways you found joy that week and I imagine you are still finding many new areas of joy in your life and your family’s. I can’t imagine not laughing at a wedding. The weddings of our children are some of the happiest times of our lives and we enjoy memories of laughing at all of them. Like you, I can’t remember attending any other reception where a whoopie cushion brought so much laughter. Have to give Katherine a lot of credit for that one. I also recall how calmly she took the “iffy” weather in stride. Many other brides would not have been able to do that.

    Also, like you, I’m surprised that Beth didn’t give you more credit for following her instructions. If she wanted you to bring Christopher’s clothes, she should have told you. That was funny. Hope you got him some clothes or at least had the car warmed up for the ride home.

    We talked to Erik last night. I know yesterday had to be very difficult for him. Guess we all have our good days and not so good days. I’ve been reading and watching YouTube videos about emetophobia. Some say it is the fifth most common phobia. Wish I had known more about it a year ago. I’m sorry now that I wasn’t more aware of and sensitive to some of the challenges Katherine was dealing with. One YouTube interview from the UK suggested that the start of emetophobia was from riding in the back seat of a car and getting sick or seeing someone else get sick. Looking back it makes me wonder what might have triggered it with her.

    Also enjoyed all the pictures. Christopher and Sammy look content. Not so sure about the Christmas terrorists. I wore my terrorist hood snowblowing last week, but didn’t keep it on long. I think my sock cap did a better job and our neighbors were less nervous.

    So far my new job is going well. I’ll normally be working 3 days a week, which is just right. I’m seeing a lot of the local area I hadn’t seen before. We have 4 – 500 potential customers in a 30 mile radius. I never knew there were so many little auto repair shops. Some are really hidden away. All the drivers are old fogies like me. There is little turnover. Some have been doing it for 12 years. I don’t think I will be doing it for that long.

    Hope all is well and Happy belated Valentines Day to all.

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