Keeping Up with the Joneses

A glimpse into the busy and very blessed life of the Jones Family!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Live Nativity

For many years our church has had a tradition of performing a live nativity scene outside. It brings people from all over who come and watch the 15 minute performance from the gospel of Luke. It's really an amazing production.

Our family volunteered, along with many of our close friends, to perform one night this week. So, for an hour and a half, we were in costume, performing our parts over and over, laughing and having a great time. The best part about it was that the kids LOVED every minute. Even more than that, the story of Jesus' birth is now very close and personal to them. Doing this is a tradition I would love to keep up for many years.
There were LOTS of kids (even more than this... and they did GREAT!)

Our little Biblical family- Chris was a Wise Man, I was a shepherd with the boys and Emily was an angel (she was too busy to be in this picture)

The boys all dressed and ready

Chris, Derek and Brent- aka The Three Wise Men

5th Annual Santa Party

Starting when Hunter was little, we have done a Santa Party continuing a family tradition that my parents did when we were little. With Hunter having a "Christmas" birthday, it was great for a couple of years for him to have his birthday party with Santa there. Now, it is a great family party that we host each year and it's such a fun time to see friends and we have such a great time every year. I feel like we are in the most magical time right now. Hunter believes so much- he came running when I told him Santa was here.

He was full of things to tell Santa- he wants an electric scooter, a pogo swing, R2D2 robot and other fun things. Blake wants a bike. Hunter loved talking to Santa and told him that he "still hears the bell." So sweet. Santa told him that he hopes he never stops hearing the bell.

Emily was not too pleased with our trying to get her picture with Santa.

In this picture, Santa is looking at something Hunter made him. He ended up leaving it at our house so he wrote Hunter a personal note that was delivered the next day that told Hunter to leave it by the tree and Santa would take it when he came on Christmas Eve.

6 Years Old

6 years ago, as of December 15, I became a mom. It will forever stand as the most incredible day of my entire life and I know Chris feels the same way. Looking back, every detail, even the mundane ones, are as clear as if they just happened. It all seems so vivid- perhaps since it was all the first time and like nothing I had ever experienced. Hunter was due on Christmas day, but as we approach and I progressed very quickly through the month of December, my doctor felt comfortable inducing on Friday, Dec. 16th. So, after a final visit on the 14th, I decided to take the 15th off of work and just enjoy my last day before his arrival. Little did I know that he would decide to make his debut that evening. I can still remember lying on the couch, watching The Food Network and talking on the phone that afternoon. I remember rubbing my lower back thinking it was hurting every couple of minutes (you would think that would be obvious), I remember hanging up the phone to call my doctor, I remember leaning over my kitchen island in pain asking her if this could possibly be something, I remember having the phone ring a few minutes later to my doctor saying "This is it!", I remember calling Chris to come home and also giving my mom the heads up, I remember putting flip flops on because it was too hard to put anything more complicated on my feet, I remember Chris loading the car and asking him to pose for one last shot outside the car, I remember being very grateful for heated seats with back pains getting worse and worse, I remember trying to reach his parents with no luck, I remember adrenaline kicking in once we arrived- I carried some of my stuff upstairs to L&D, I remember getting gowned up and realizing the adrenaline was wearing off and I was hurting, I remember the nurse checking me right away and being at a 9 already, I remember thinking labor was like no pain I could have ever imagined or described, I remember making it to the epidural and feeling like a new person afterwards, I remember a labor room filled with friends and family like it was a party, I remember my doctor rolling in and things getting started, I remember being in shock that 2 hours after we arrived at the hospital it was time to meet him, I remember hearing Chris say "Hey buddy" as soon as Hunter arrived, I remember the thrill and utter amazement of holding my precious newborn son in my arms, I remember looking at his face and feeling like I had always known him, I remember my heart just exploding with love for the most wonderful addition to our lives... I will always remember.

Now that baby is six. SIX! He is growing into a young boy and we are so proud of him.
You are our pride and joy along with your brother and sister. I see so much of myself in you as the oldest child. You strive for perfection, you are a pleaser, you are a rule follower and wise beyond your years. At the same time, you have the most sincere innocence. You love to tease and play. I love this stage of life with you and treasure the stages past. It breaks my heart to remember all the fun I've had with you and the bond that has deepened over the years. It's just hard to believe so many fun years have passed and now I look ahead praying for more sweet years ahead.

You have the most unbelievable memory and amaze your daddy and I with all you can recall. You are a mathematical thinker and can compute numbers in your head- it puts me to shame since I am not wired that way. You love your family- immediate and beyond and love to spend time with them. You still want to be tucked in every night with the same blankets- first your soft covers, then the cold covers, then your 2 night nights. It's sweetness. You love to imagine and play. You color and draw with precision. You are very creative and artistic. You learn things fast and work hard to do well. You play soccer, baseball, golf, tennis and have taken karate. You are getting ready to play basketball.

You have a heart that knows and loves God. I love to talk to you and pray with you and hear what is on your heart.

Hunter, 6 years has passed way too quickly. It seems like yesterday you were that little baby in my arms, or the toddler talking up a storm in the backseat. Now, I have a kindergartner just growing up before my eyes. It's my greatest honor to be your mom. I love you more than you will ever know!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chapel Birthday

Blake's school, which is also our church, does a really sweet tradition on each child's birthday. I'm sure other church schools do it very much the same, but on their special day, the birthday child gets to be up front and have Happy Birthday sung to them. Then, they get to help light the birthday candle, get their special Mrs. Jane hugs and make their own special request of a song to sing.

Blake and his best buddy, Luke, were celebrated on Wednesday. It was so precious for the 2 best friends to get to have their chapel time together. Then, later that afternoon was their Tailgate Birthday Party (another post later on that!).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday... my precious Blake. How is it that 3 entire years have passed since that first time I laid eyes on you and got to hold you in my arms? What an incredible little guy you are and far more of a blessing than we could have ever even asked for. You are funny, spunky, sensitive, rambunctious, silly, smart, kind and sweet, playful, cuddly, learning new things everyday... you are anything and everything that is good. We are so thankful for our 2nd little boy that makes life so interesting- right when we thought we had things figured out, you came along to humble us right back into our rightful places.

Your little heart is starting to really embrace all that God has to offer at your tender little age- you ask each night for "Mommy bless me." It's something I do to speak words of truth and blessing over you- things that God promises and that I hope you hold close to your heart for always. Knowing that you love that time each night makes my heart so happy.

You still LOVE your "pop pop" (pacifier) and "nigh night." They don't stray too far from you and while it's a little unbelievable to be at age 3 and so highly attached, I know you won't be walking down the aisle with them. A little perspective goes a long way.

You are the kid that everyone meets and wants to take home with them right away. I think I've mentioned it before, but I need to have a shirt made for you that says, "Everyone wants to take me home." You are just a joyful, full of life little boy! I hope you always are!

You are loving to your baby sister and you look up to your big brother so very much. You often ask where he is during the day and are so ready for him to come home and play. I have seen more independence in you as Hunter has been in school more and it's all a good thing. You play and imagine and really get into what you are playing. I think it's precious.

You are loving cars right now, especially the movie Cars 2. You have gotten just about everything Cars 2 for your birthday and are thrilled to play with any and all of it. Of course, you are also thrilled to tote around an empty bag, so you aren't too concerned with the bells and whistles of too much yet.

Daddy and I are so proud of the little person you are growing up to be. You have a heart of gold and a personality of spunk and fun. When you are in high school, you could very well win several superlatives, but I can forsee..."Most Humorous" as your title.

As of 2 1/2 to now, you are talking up a STORM!! I love to hear you tell me, "Be cuz" for an answer to my questions or respond with "Relwee" (Really). When I tried desperately to talk you out of using the pop pop anymore with the tactic of naming everyone you know and saying, "So-and-so says no to the pop pop and so does so-and-so...." You quickly quipped back, "Well Blake says yes!"

Oh boy, my heart just overflows knowing you and loving you. You bring such additional happiness and humor to our family. You can make anything fun and silly. I need to take life lessons from you about living in the moment.

I call you "Messy Marvin" because 9 times out of 10, you are a MESS. You constantly have hair out of place, food on your face or clothes, a runny nose... Who knows, but you manage to collect dirt as you go. Wouldn't take you any other way!

Blaker Boo, Blakey, Bubba, Bubba Roo, Blakester, Blakey Blakey Bo Blakey.... Doesn't matter what we call you, we think you are the greatest 3 year old in the whole world and are so incredibly grateful to be your mom and dad!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our very own Champ

Last year, an exciting thing happened in our family... Chris one the Club Championship. We had a great time watching him play and win last year and were so thrilled that he made it to the Championship round again this year.

So, there was no time to waste in getting our ensembles ready to show our support for our guy! The kids came up to the club for a couple of minutes to see Daddy and take some pictures in their shirts. Hunter's shirt said, "You're my champ" and Blake's said, "Go for 2 Dad" and Emily's said, "Jonesey." Chris played a great round and was ahead for much of it. At the end though, he lost on hole 17. We are so proud of him and he is a champ to all of us! Way to go!!

First Day of School

Blake had his first day of school on Monday. We LOVE his teachers and are thrilled to give Blake the opportunity like Hunter had to be a part of this school-family. It's really a sweet place to be.

He's already learned letter "A" and is very proud to tell me about his masterpiece of that letter that be brought home. He's on week 3 of potty training and doing great! I'm so proud of him. He just decided one day to wear underwear and hasn't turned back since. He's done great and while we've had a couple of accidents along the way that are frustrating, he has overall been a breeze to potty train. The accidents usually stem from Mommy forgetting to remind him.

Today, I made him a wrap for his lunch. He apparently pulled it out and told his teachers, "I don't love this." Ha! I want to remember these days so badly and know that when I blink and they are over, it will be impossible to remember what these days were like. So, this blog is a small attempt at jotting down the moments of life that are special.

Blake is really talking well these days and often checks with you by replying, "Right? Right mom?" It's so cute. When you ask him if he needs to go potty, his favorite reply is "Not yet." Today at school, he told one of the women that works at the church, "Em-lay is pwetty." He was bragging on his sister! I just love that!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Strike a pose!

All 3 had the chance to model some precious clothing for a close family friend who is opening a new children's boutique. It was fun to get to see them dressed up and the final products are so cute! I'll be buying those clothes and the photographs for sure!

Just adorable! Love her little hands in this one.

My little fraternity boys in Vineyard Vines. I must say they look incredibly handsome!

Angel girl in white! Super sweet!

--all photos credited to Robert Shaw Photography-

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

R-E-D red

R-E-D red,
R-E-D red,
I can spell red,
I can spell red.
Firetrucks are red,
Stop signs are red too.
(sung to the tune of "Are you sleeping?")

This week was "red" week for all of kindergarten and they topped it off with everyone wearing red on Friday. I had the opportunity to volunteer at lunch on Friday and was in the cafeteria during Hunter's lunch time. He told me to pack "tricky things to open" so that I would get to help him. How sweet is that?? Someday he won't want me with 20 feet of him much less hovering around his table getting the scoop from 4 kindergarten boys. Such sweet days!

Here he is decked in red. This is at the Ford dealership where my car spent a good deal of time this week and yet is still not repaired. Fun times! At least there's a decent playground. :-)

She liked the playground too!

A little wiped out from a busy day.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, August 25, 2011

On pins and needles

I think we will be better next week, but as of today, we are all on pins and needles for 2:00 to roll around and have all of our little people under one roof. We haven't ventured too far from home aside from Bible study and an errand or two. My excuse today is that my car is in the shop, so we are definitely homebound. I'm hoping next week we will resume our outings and feel more "at home" with this new normal of not having Hunter with us. Boy did the summer spoil us!
This morning, we took advantage of cloudy skies and played out back. Watch out for this guy when he turns 16! He's awesome at maneuvering this car and hilarious to watch!

And here is the little bitty daredevil! Look mom!! I'm standing!!

Wait! Now I think I'll take a spin in the Escalade! Or maybe just change the radio stations.

While we are switching places, let me have a turn in the baby swing! He was so tickled by how much the branch moved when he was swinging. Sorry oak tree!

Lady E swinging away! Love the simple things.

Now, they are both napping and I am nervously awaiting my pantry raider! Boy does he come home with an appetite!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The little lady

This lady plays hard!

She's one crafty girl!

When she's out, she's out!

She can really fancy up!

And take it down a notch too!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

When brother is away...

We are learning how to fill our time when big brother is away at kindergarten.... Today, we played outside, rode scooters, went on a rock hunt and even climbed a tree!

Once inside, this precious middle child had the luxury of story time all on his own- I think he picked 20 books once it was all said and done. It was a sweet time to get to do that with just Blake while Emily napped.

About 10:30, Blake looked at me and asked, "Where is Huntuh? Let's go get 'em."

I know buddy, it's not the same without your sidekick! We all know who's the most excited when 2:00 rolls around!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 22, 2011

I got myself a Kindergartener!

Wasn't it just yesterday that we loaded up our car on a blustery December day with the most precious cargo we could ever imagine. I remember despite the gray early evening outside, pulling up to our house and thinking home had never looked so sweet. From swaddling a delicate newborn, to cheering on a crawling baby, to filming spaghetti dinners and first steps, to watching a little personality emerge and loving every single bit of it, to watching him learn to ride his bike without training wheels and learn so stinkin' fast you can't believe it, to laying out clothes for his first day of could it be so soon? And yet, I feel we must have accomplished something very worthwhile to walk alongside a confident, excited and eager little boy to his new classroom without a single hesitation. His little wings and early roots seem to be working just fine today.

As a matter of fact, when he walked out to my car grinning ear to ear this afternoon and I asked what his favorite part of the day was, he replied, "Everything!"

I sure hope he knows that's the same way I feel about him!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone