Welcome to ASourceOfJoy's joyous little corner of the web!
A sense of humor...is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person deep down has a pretty good grasp of life.
~Hugh Sidney

A laugh is a smile that burst.
~Mary H. Waldrip

Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is common sense, dancing.
~William James

Before you put on a frown, make absolutely sure there are no smiles available.
~Jim Baggs

If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.

If you would like to spoil the day for a grouch, give him a smile!

A smile is a powerful weapon -- you can even break ice with it.


Recently Daniel was reading the Spokesman, a local paper for farmers. He asked, "What does 'PB' mean?"
"Paperback?" Susanna guessed.
Daniel then read an ad from the paper: "For sale: Paperback nubian goats, bucks and does."
Hummm...a paperback goat would be quite a sight!

Another interesting ad we saw recently read, "18 mo. old dark red milking shorthorn bull." Someone made the comment that such a bull ought to be sold to a zoo: quite a rarity, that's for sure!

When Lydia was about three years old, she looked outside. Noticing the moving clouds, she said, "Mommy, the sky's moving!" Such a profound observation...

Daniel: Where is your mind?
Susanna: In a dozen pieces. (Obviously she was indeed rather scatterbrained, as what she meant to say was, "In a dozen places.")

Moving to another house has meant a lot of decisions about what stuff to move, what to throw, and what to leave at the old place. Abigail summarized our philosophy on what we're leaving in storage for now by saying, "We shall use it, but now; we shall keep it, but not nigh." Sounds vaguely familiar for some reason... :-)

Are we the only ones who feel a twinge of guilt when throwing away junk mail that is clearly marked, "Do Not Discard"?

Susanna: You're smart!
Lydia: That's something I'm not told very often.
Susanna: Well, don't let it go to your head!
Lydia: It's already there.

You know you're badly in need of rest when you pick up a glass of water to take a sip, miss your mouth entirely, and end up with a puddle at your feet. Time for a nap!

A recently noticed typo:
How'd you like to buy a book titled Gates of Slendor? Hummm...we didn't know Elisabeth Elliot had written books about weight loss. Must be a first for her. ;-)

When Daddy and Mother went to the hospital for Lydia to be born, us three older children stayed with Grandpa and Grandma. While we were there, Grandma jotted down this note:
   Joseph, 2¾ years old, came in by my bed when I was laying down with my eyes shut. He said, "Hi, Grandma!" Then he ran back out to tell the girls, "Grandma didn't talk back nothing!"

In November of 1983, after a family Bible study, we served some juice and cookies to everyone. Grandpa decided he only wanted half a glassful of juice. Abigail, age 3, didn't understand. With a puzzled look, she asked, "Might wet the bed?" Mommy had told her not to drink much before bedtime, so she wouldn't wet the bed. Tactful speech is still not one of Abigail's strong points. ;-)

With so much going on around here this year we've had many moments of exhaustion...and our crazy sense of humor has often saved the day. Here's a couple quotes, names removed in an attempt to preserve reputations of sanity:
  • After finding an item others had already looked for: "I found it right where it was!"
  • Explaining a clothing choice: "I didn't actually wear it—I just put it on.

    Carpenter, Rob: "I've been having some trouble with my goats this year."
    Daddy: "No kidding?"
    Rob: "Exactly."

    One of us (name withheld by request) was recently overheard saying, "Yes, I think she said she goes to the First Perspirated Church..." Haven't heard of that one before. ;-)

    Daniel has been getting some interesting mail. He has fun hearing from his "doctor friends," DR Chipper, DR Field and Brush Mower, and DR Power Wagon.
    But the most amusing mail Daniel receives bears the bold slogan: "Take our supplements and feel like 19!" Being only 13, and in no hurry to grow up, Daniel tosses these in the trash with a gleeful chuckle.

    Store clerk: You can swipe your credit card now.
    Daddy: Hummm...how am I supposed to do that? Move it from one pocket to another? And really, if I was going to swipe a credit card I'd swipe someone else's, not my own!

    Back when Daniel was just learning how to read, he enjoyed reading to Rachel. One day they sat down with a Bible story book about Jacob and Esau. The rest of us had to hold back smiles as we heard Daniel read about "Jacob and Issue"—"Esau" was a little too hard for him to sound out. Even all these years later, we still joke about "Jacob and Issue" when Abigail is working on a new issue of HW. :-)

    This spring we've had an abundance of goat's milk—to the point where we have to be creative about finding ways to use it up. We had to laugh when Daddy urged some guests, "Drink all the milk you can handle...and not a drop more!" Be careful, now!

    Abigail is convinced she's finally maturing. Recently she said, "Today I am a grownup. I threw away junk mail without opening it."

    Daniel is a pretty unique guy. He claims that instead of a "sweet tooth" he has a "salt tooth." We have to agree when we see the way he pours salt on corn grits, or just eats it plain. Guess he works so hard he sweats it off!

    On July 17, 1982, Mommy and Abigail were walking by the construction site of our earth-sheltered house. They passed some rocks and rebar.
    Abigail said, "Rocks, Mommy."
    Mommy replied, "Yes, big rocks."
    Then Abigail pointed to the pile of rebar and said, "Big nails, Mommy." She still finds construction terminology confusing. ;-)

    We recently realized that Rachel has a hidden aggressive streak. When helping clean out Daniel's goat shed, she was overheard threatening the tenacious manure with a muttered, "I'll get you!"

    Someone (name withheld to protect the innocent) recently observed to Susanna, "Your bones are so bony, and your skin is so skinny!" Groan...

    Recently we were enjoying a tasty treat together. Rachel took her piece and said, with a contented sigh, "Woe is me!" We realized she had no idea what the phrase meant...another sad case of over-exposure to Pilgrim's Progress. ;-)

    One day Abigail was running her fingers through her hair. Daniel, age 3, was watching her. After a few moments he exclaimed, "Abigail is plowing her hair!" He's always been 200% farmer. :-D

    When she was 2½ years old, Abigail was praying before lunchtime and thanking the Lord for the food. Part of the prayer was, "Thank you, dear Lord, for the crackers. Thank you for the holes in the crackers so I can see through them."

    Pulled out of context:
    A while back Susanna was overheard exclaiming, "My mind doesn't work!"

    When Abigail was about 18 months, an older friend came to visit. He was telling Abigail about cutting out cookies, and asked if she was a good cookie-cutter. She responded, "No, I'm Abigail."

    Earlier this summer (2005), we were listening to a recording of "I'll Fly Away." Rachel asked thoughtfully, "What's so great about 'flying away'?
       Daniel replied, "Well, if you're flying to the right Place, it's pretty great!"
       Where are you headed?

    Rachel is one funny gal. The other day she used her microcassette recorder--a recent thrift store treasure--to capture chicken noises (some authentic, some she made herself), and then listened to it while she washed eggs at the kitchen table. Guess she finds it inspiring or something. :-)

    When Daddy was 3 years old, he got the chicken pox. One noon after recovering, he was eating raisin bread and piped up, "Mama, this bread looks like it has the chicken pox!" (Thanks to Grandma Paul for recording this!)

    Some of us wonder if the others have too much time on their hands. They were recently caught watching a DVD...in French. And none of us can speak or understand a word of that language!

    In September 1981, Daddy was struggling to help Abigail put her dress on. When he finally finished, he said, "Thank the Lord!" Abigail responded by reaching to hold his hand and Mommy's hand, like the did to thank the Lord for the food before eating. It was the first time she voluntarily wanted to give thanks.

    Daddy wasn't home for supper one evening this spring (2005), so Rachel sat at his place and entertained us all by pretending to be him: talking in a deep voice and imitating some of his idiosyncrasies. Our Bible reading for the day was Galatians 3, and we all got quite a laugh when we came across the verse that says, "I speak after the manner of men..." :-)

    When Lydia was three, she found her purse in the toybox and said, "I have a purse now, so I'm a person. Joseph doesn't have a purse, so he's a boy."

    When Daniel was 3, Mommy said to him, "Let's wash your face before you go outside."
       Daniel said, "We don't need to. Caleb [our dog] will. He really likes to!"

    On January 10, 1983, Abigail (age 2½) was in bed at 10:35 p.m. She said, "I like Newman [a single guy in his 30s who was planning to visit us] all the time."
       Daddy replied, "But you haven't met him yet!"
       Abigail answered, "Uh-huh: for two years, before we were married." Some sort of confusion there... :-)

    Daniel's Laws of Retail Dynamics, circa 2005:
    • Everything is really expensive...unless it's something you don't want.
    • You get what you pay for, and you pay for what you get...hopefully (no stealing!).

    When Daniel was 4, he was practicing a presentation on farming to share with our homeschool group. He used a lot of his toy farm machinery to demonstrate and explain farming techniques. When he got to showing the planting, he said, "Now you let it grow. Some farmers spray, but Grandpa never, never does. It makes the food taste bad. It makes it taste like...pop!"

    Lydia recently observed to Abigail, "If you were any more like a book, someone would have to proofread you." We're still not sure just what she meant by that... :-)

    At age 3½, Daniel told everyone he knew which of his fingers was the oldest: his middle finger. When Mommy asked him why, he replied, "Because the oldest things are always the longest!" Guess that makes sense. :-)

    Our resident sphinx, Susanna, recently made this characteristic statement: "Some things are easier done than said."

    When Abigail was 14 months old, Mommy had been often pointing to her tummy and talking about the baby on the way. Not wanting to be left out, Abigail pointed to her own tummy and said, "baby."

    Some of us think Daniel has been over-exposed to Pilgrim's Progress. You might agree if you heard him banging on the bathroom door, yelling, "God speed!" or "Get thee hence!" :-)

    The other night we were having baked potatoes for supper. Daddy asked Rachel, "Can I have your skin?"
       Rachel, replying to another conversation going on at the moment, said, "Well, it is kind of hot..."

    Daniel has always been a helper, and years ago he liked to do dishes with his big sisters. He always asked for help to roll his sleeves up so they wouldn't get wet. One rainy day when he was 3½, he came in and said triumphantly, "See, I rolled up my sleeves so they wouldn't get wet in the rain!"

    Animal theology according to Joseph, 2005:
    "If there was an animal rapture, goats and cats would be left behind."

    Back in 1992, someone asked Joseph (then age 6), "Was that cherry cobbler we had?"
       Joseph replied, "No, Mommy was trying to make something else, and that's just what came out instead."

    When Abigail was 22 months old, Mommy made some banana bread. After it was baked, she gave Abigail a piece and told her it had bananas in it. Abigail split it open and looked inside, then said, "Banana gone!"

    When Lydia was 2½ years old, she was memorizing Psalms 105:1: "Oh give thanks unto the Lord..."
       After Lydia said the reference, she paused.
       Mommy prompted, "'O'...and then what's next?"
       Lydia hesitated a bit, then said, "'P'?"

    "And now we have Lydia, a 16-year-old from Iowa who claims she's never lit a match. Living in a wood-heated house, how long will she be able to survive? Only time will tell..."

    Mother was recently overheard saying, "Once in a while I remember something." Sounds like she needs to get some more RAM. :-)

    Daddy and Mother took a 4-day trip to Illinois in mid-December. While they were gone, the six of us had a great time keeping house and doing plenty of fun things. :-) We played board games each evening: The Farming Game, Monopoly, and The Game of Life. Below are some memorable quotes from our time playing together...we thank the Lord for special memories such as these!
  • Lydia, on being sent back 25 spaces, passionately cried: "I get to live again! I get to live again!"
  • Joseph, upon the birth of his third child: "The baby arrived like a thief in the night."
  • Daniel, when his second son was born: "Well, at least I just have boys."
         Rachel: "Your wife isn't a boy."
         Daniel: "Well, yeah...but I have to have her if I want sons. See, adopting is very expensive, but when you get married you get presents!"
  • Lydia, buying her second yacht: "So I'll buy another yacht, but this time for the right reason."
  • Daniel, very emphatically: "I don't ever want to be rich! It would be nasty!"
  • Lydia, waving around a handful of game money: "I don't believe in flaunting my wealth."
  • Joseph, to an impoverished Rachel: "Come here and sit under my footstool."
  • Lydia, tickling Joseph: "You're literally R-O-T-F-L-O-L!"
         Joseph, between set teeth: "I am not L-O-L."
  • Lydia to Joseph, after selling him some property: "Thank you for treating me in such a fair and Christian manner!"
         Joseph, singing: "This once was your land, but now it's my land..."
  • Rachel, reading a Monopoly card: "You have just won second prize in a booty contest..."
         Joseph: "Must be some sort of award for pickpocketers."

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