Sunday, December 18, 2011

the *joy* alert: december 18

We had a great day:  special time this morning with our church family and then two families over for lunch and a pleasant afternoon spent chatting around the table while 7 kids played.

But now we have heavy hearts.  Since Mark's mom's surgery on Wednesday, we've known that she's been struggling to recover.  I have not mentioned this before, but she was diagnosed with Parkinson's last year.  Seems the anesthesia and other meds have taken a toll on her. We've read that patients with PD that have surgery often have similar symptoms post-op.  Mark has talked with her twice since the operation, and she was able to answer his questions.  But Mark's brother, Jeff, called tonight to say that she's not been lucid and has even been experiencing hallucinations.  This is so hard to hear, and it's hard to be far away at moments like this.
6 years ago...Grandma JOYce with our boys
 For a few months now, we've been planning to go home for Christmas.  We leave Thursday.  So we are grateful to be able to get there soon to be with Joyce and to help out other family members who are exhausted from caring for her.  But, especially for Mark, Thursday cannot get here fast enough. 

*Joy* Alert: Finding joy tonight, is difficult.  Joyce is experiencing dark days, as is her family.  But we believe, even in the dark, that God is all mighty and in control. It's why we can keep on.

This month, I am joining my friend,Sarah Jane, in writing daily about things that bring joy during this lovely, peaceful holiday season. 
joy in the season
I saw a GAP ad the other day that I shamelessly "borrowed" for my titles this coming month. Ironically, if I can stay out of the GAP and other such places, I will most definitely be more alert to what brings REAL, lasting joy.

the *joy* alert: december 17

6:00  I get up and decide to write a blog post.  Then I remember how cold it was last night and conclude, before even checking the weather, that I'm too wimpy to run outside this morning.  So I jump rope in the basement instead.

7:45  The rest of the family starts to move about.

8:30  Mark makes pancakes while Jack works on a puzzle, Joel looks at some Christmas cards and gets inspired by one to make his own, and Sam...well, I think he was still sleeping.
9:00  Breakfast
 9:30  Some gift-making, some gift-idea searching, some guitar playing, some cleaning.
 11:30  A search for library books and a false-alarm call for everyone to get ready to leave because Mom gets mixed up about what time her hair appointment is.

12:30  Now we all get out the door and into the car.  Mark drops Sam and me off at Super Beauté for our hair appointments and takes the other boys to a couple stores and to the library.  Sam decides to go for a whole new look, and I'm just happy to have my splint ends removed and my shaggy, in-my-eyes bangs cut. 

2:00  Sam and I are done with our haircuts and we run to a shoe store to get some insoles and new laces for Sam's boots.  Then Mark and the boys pick us up.  This song is playing on the radio.  We hear, "When the bells all ring and the horns all blow, And the couples we know are fondly kissing" and from the back we hear Joel say a quiet, "Eww!"

2:15 A quick stop at the grocery store before heading home.  And then lunch.  Everyone makes his own sandwich.

3:00  Everyone does their own thing.  Some more gift-making, studying, banjo playing, reading, Fear Factor viewing.


5:30  I catch this song Angels We Have Heard On High by Fernando Ortega on Groovesharkwhile listening to a Christmas playlist.  I can't get enough of it and listen to it over and over while making Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry for supper.  The boys play Othello with Mark.
6:30  Supper and then some arm-wrestling while still at the table in which Mom gets whipped by her 14-year old and is very disturbed by that.  Mark, however, finds this delightful.  He also beats everyone, and feels very good about himself.
7:00  After-supper chores all around and then showers for 3 boys.  I beg Mark to figure out the song I've been listening to since 5:30.  He does and comes to play it for me.  I love it and it gives me a chance to hear it a few more times.  Everyone else is a little sick of it.
8:00 The boys are introduced to Home Alone.  I come in to the family room a few times to laugh with them, but for the most part I'm cleaning the refrigerator and pantry and making chili to put in the crock-pot for tomorrow's lunch.

10:00  We read a couple chapters of Half-Brother and an Advent reading.  And three boys are off to bed.

11:00  I do some dishes, vacuum, a load of laundry.  Mark works on finalizing his talk for tomorrow's teaching time with our church.

11:30  I sit down to look back at this day and am thankful for it.

*Joy* Alert: I wouldn't say we had all that productive of a day, but we did not have to hurry even one time.  Moving at a slow pace is JOY!

This month, I am joining my friend,Sarah Jane, in writing daily about things that bring joy during this lovely, peaceful holiday season. 
joy in the season
I saw a GAP ad the other day that I shamelessly "borrowed" for my titles this coming month. Ironically, if I can stay out of the GAP and other such places, I will most definitely be more alert to what brings REAL, lasting joy.