Keeping Up with the Joneses

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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Letter to my Kindergarten Grad

Dear Hunter,
Today you finished Kindergarten. It was a special day. Special for so many reasons. You woke up early, as you always do, and had one of your favorite breakfasts. Then, as I was going to grab clothes for you, I realized that you were already there, picking out a nice pair of shorts and a shirt. You said you wanted to look nice today for your last day. (Makes a mama proud.) You certainly looked handsome as Daddy took you to school. I went to get a babysitter to come and look after Blake and Emily so I could join you all at your school for your "Author's Tea." 

Each student in your class had written a story and illustrated it to read aloud to the parents. We all came into the library and as soon as I saw your class file in, I got teary-eyed. That would be the first of many times. This was a special ceremony that Mrs. Fenley does with her class, and one of the million things that make her so incredible. You read your story with confidence and were precious standing up there. We could not be  more proud of you and all that you have learned and accomplished. 

Then, you were presented with your Memory Book. Mrs. Fenley takes the time, effort and expense to create a memory book for each of her students. It is a work of art and a true treasure that I know you will grow to appreciate as time goes on. It is filled with pictures, your work and drawings, and memories of this great year.

You may not remember, but last August, I called Sha Sha while we were away for the weekend. I had been getting messages from friends that they knew who their teachers were. Sha Sha zipped over to our house to find the letter in the mail. After much anticipation, she excitedly announced, "Your child's teacher for 2011-2012 is Carol Fenley." There was LOTS of jumping up and down and joyous excitement on both ends of the phone line. All you could remember about Mrs. Fenley was that she had the snake in her room. Yes, yes she did.

From the start, you LOVED Howard, you LOVED Mrs. Fenley, you LOVED Ms. Felton and you LOVED Kindergarten. It has been a year of growth watching you learn to read, learn to write and just see what an incredibly and hard-working little guy you are. We are so proud of all that you have done and aspire to do. Even today, Mrs. Fenley said what she loves most about you is your sweet and precious spirit. You do have the most tender heart, and are always looking for people to give to. You are also amazingly creative and spent every Free Center time in arts and crafts creating something. Many times, I would be shocked that you could create something so outstanding from scraps and bits and pieces. 

Hunter, as I write this, I am exhausted from an emotional day. Lots of crying... done by me. You see, I'm not really that fond of change. It's probably something I should work on. It's not that I don't want to see what is to come, but I think I see what a tremendous year this has have a school that exceeds your expectations (and you just stay for Kinder and then move on), to have a teacher and an assistant teacher who LOVE your child so dearly, to have a teacher and assistant teacher that LOVE Jesus too (most awesome part of all), to have new and old friends alike to walk this journey alongside of each other....There are so many things I will miss about this year- purely the sweetness of kindergarten too. Like how you were SO excited to see me in your classroom on my volunteer days, you loved when we came to lunch with you, you wanted to see me up there every chance I had, you wanted me to be there for all of the big event days (which really you needn't beg...I'm a sucker for volunteering), and just watching how hard you pushed yourself in the reading competition....there is just nothing sweeter than walking with you through your FIRST real year of school.

We love you, Hunter. We are so proud of you. Not because of what you do, but because of who you are and who you are growing into. You are precious and you are more than we could ever imagine. God is doing great things with you and we are so blessed to be your mom and dad.
Love you,
Hunter and Mrs. Fenley
Hunter reading his story, "My Family"
                                                        Hunter and Ms. Felton
                                                       Receiving an amazing gift... his memory book

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

All I ever really needed to know....

I learned in KINDERGARTEN.

Tomorrow, May 31, 2012- our sweet Hunter will finish his first year of school. One down, 12 to go. It certainly went fast, we were incredibly blessed to have a teacher and an assistant teacher who loved him so much, who taught him so much and who made school such a special and happy place to be. Hunter never missed a day for sickness- only once in the fall because the rest of the family had fallen prey to the stomach bug and I was certain he would be the next to go (he wasn't), and in the spring he missed 4 days for vacation- 2 for skiing and 2 for the beach. He always was happy going to school, loved accolades from school, tried so hard to please his teachers, learned to tie his shoes, rode in a booster, learned how to read, was the top math student in his class and loves Science, became a good little writer and enjoys writing stories and coloring, spent every "Free Center" time doing arts and crafts, played on a soccer team (The Bruisers) and a tball team (The Red Sox), bought lunch many times in the cafeteria, made it on the bulletin board for Race to Read, rode in a school bus for the first time going to several field trips, loved being on the announcements, lost 5 teeth, grew lots and lots, has become so much more independent, works on the computer and ipad with incredible skill......the list goes on and on.

Mrs. Fenley was and is an amazing teacher. We will miss her so much as we make the transition up to Woodridge.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fun in the Sun

We were delightfully spoiled by sweet friends with an invitation to the JW Marriott for the afternoon and evening. Memories were made, poolside beverages were consumed, laughter was the language of the day, the surroundings and attractions were great fun, and the company was the best of all.

We missed our sweet Vlake who was having a grand ol time in Waco with cousin Adam and Mimi and Bapa.

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Last day....

Of his first year of school

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Today Blake is 3 1/2! And for the record, both he and Emily are now pacifier free- or poppy free as we call it around here. We sent Blake to school yesterday after a few days of discussing that we would no longer use the poppy on that day. He was happy to go along (surprisingly) and did awesome at school napping without it. He went to bed with very little fussing and today has been a champ. Why am I so surprised? I think us moms make a bigger deal out of these attachments than the kids do.

Our reasoning was that we would quit cold turkey with both kids at the same time. So, Emily is cut off too. She did fine yesterday but did ask in her most sweet and tender voices, "Whhh-yyyy?" You know when they stretch a one-syllable word into two and look at you with doe-like eyes?? That was it. Then, she asked "why" again after I tried to re-explain and then finally she resorted to "peas." Desperation calls for manners! So today, aside from asking for it a few times, she has done great. Naptime went great but bedtime was rough. (as usual)
Here she is passed out in the couch cushions after about 2 hours of back and forth. Whew!

A few pics from our midweek lunch date with the Little Lady....

She talks with her hands...

Dancing in the booth

Oh, and on a totally cool note- a friend of ours is now a millionaire! Kim Spradlin took home the grand prize and won Survivor!! So exciting!! Our family has tuned in every single week on Wednesday night to watch her dominate the game. It was a total thrill to see her win it all on Sunday nite on the Grand Finale show. I cannot think of a cooler, nicer, more genuine and truly beautiful person to win it. Congrats Kim!!
Me trying to take a pic while she was on The Talk to get her big check.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Time is literally flying by- my baby girl is 22 months, Blake will be 3 1/2 in 2 days and Hunter is exactly one month short of being 6 1/2??!!!

Hunter is nearly finished with his kindergarten year. I can easily say that we have been blessed beyond our wildest imaginations with a precious, most loving and awesome teacher. We will miss her tremendously when it's time to move on. He has been in the Cheetah reading group- and has really learned so much. I have the ability to work in the classroom every other week and I LOVE being able to see the many things I learned in college being put to work. Teaching kids to read is fun stuff!! I might even consider getting my certification for kindergarten someday- its really inspired me. The last two weeks Hunter had a reading challenge at school called Race to Read. First, the read 5 books and we read 5 to him to earn a cool bookmark. Then, he read 8 and we read 8 to earn a cool medal. Then, Hunter was determined to be the TOP reader (not sure where he gets this drive..ha ha) and get his picture on the board. So we read a total of 28 more, then another 40 for a grand total of 94 books. Whew! It was lots of reading but I saw incredible improvement in his reading in a short period of time. Happy to report he made the bulletin board!! He finishes up tball this weekend. He's had a great season but I think he will enjoy moving up to machine pitch next year. He's swimming like a fish and diving down to the bottom of the pool. He still loves to draw and create things. Hunter is super creative and artistic and just has an amazing imagination. I cannot believe he is nearly 6 1/2! Seems so hard to believe.

Blake- nearly 3 1/2. Talking up a storm. Such a funny character! He makes people laugh all the time. We are currently about to pull the pop pop (aka the pacifier) tomorrow. It's getting a little old and Blake and Emily are way too attached. He's grown like a weed- is able o run so fast and do so much more. Soccer has been fun. He scored in the first game and never more like a stunt man who has impressive falls and rolls on the field and is always looking for an audience. Loves Ms Cristy and Ms Dana and really zeroes in on Luke as his playmate. They are a dynamic duo- so silly and funny together. B is so sensitive and sweet natured. Always tells you he loves you and makes sure that
Chris and I know that he loves "bof" of us (usually said...bof of y'all). Man in the middle is tough- he gets pummeled from big brother and from little sister. He also knows good and well how to play the victim. Love this little guy!

Miss E.... Words at 22 months....yep, no, I 'ont want to, peas (please), eye, nose, tee ( teeth), bow, don't, bite you, more, dink(drink), poppy, bunny, nigh nigh, mommy, daddy, bailey, Bentley, Charlie, Luke, kay (Kate), cari, kistin ( Kristin), Mimi, bapa, ba (babs), Sha Sha, buckle-la, palapee (we aren't sure), tee tee, po-ee(potty), ba ( bath), wa-wee (water), mine, my turn, I wanna ride, I wanna bite, swing, I did it, on, off, light....
She is currently testing our patience in the sleep dept. whew!! She is in the big girl bed at night. She can easily...and I mean easily get out of both her crib and her big girl bed. So, at night, we see her come out many times. And usually, at some point in the middle of the night, we have a 20 pound visitor in our bed. It's funny how your resolve is squished with the 3rd child. I just don't have the same ability to fight these terrible habits like I did with Hunter. E is so busy and fun. We are spunky as we near 2. She can do just about anything and definitely is way more advanced in the physical arena than most 22 month olds. She likes to do things for herself. She may be getting interested in potty training so we bought little princess panties yesterday. She ventures onto my kitchen counters at least 5 times a day. She loves to dance, sings all of the time, is excellent at puzzles, loves to play with her babies, loves to play games and is starting to enjoy playing pretend. She's a little stinker but I love her so so much.

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Location:22 months

Sunday, May 13, 2012

We are on the way home from our annual South Padre trip. This year 12 families trekked down to enjoy the beach, lots of unexpected sunshine and tons and tons of fun. My camera has lots of great memories- so for now, what's on my iPhone will have to do....
Hitting' the road- we broke him out of school.

Lady Love posing so nicely.

A break from the sun

One night we all cook out on the lawn. E and I took a minute to snap a pic. I couldn't keep up with the other two and the 25 other kids.

B chowing down

Water balloons!!!

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