Keeping Up with the Joneses

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

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Thanksgiving Adventure

Elfie, our Elf on the Shelf, arrived last weekend. We had just finished the last touches on the tree when he suddenly appeared while we were eating dinner. The kids were a little more than excited to see him.

He came with a special surprise....train tickets for our own Thanksgiving adventure. The train was leaving the station at 0600 hours on Tuesday morning.

We boarded our first Amtrak train experience in SA bright and early on a cold, cold morning. The kids were great sports about standing out in the freezing cold temps waiting for the boarding call. We had so much luggage and only Chris and I were really able to handle it all- needless to say, being over-packers was a bit of a hinderance on this trip.

Excited boys!

Little turkey girl!

Me and my seat-mates.

Once in Waco, we warmed up with a lunch at Chewy's and ventured out for a little Christmas perusing at Toys r Us. Emily was smitten with this little gem.

No trip to Waco is complete without a trip to the exotic pet store- here is Blake holding a legless lizard (aka snake if you ask me and Ick!)


We had a good two days before the rest of the crew was there so we had a good time just running around and playing at the house. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving day at Steve and Kathy's. more pics are on my phone of that fun day.

Friday- we hit the road after lunch for Fort Worth....

We had a great weekend at Brandon and Summer's and the kids just played nonstop. We ha a fun dinner at one of their favorite neighborhood spots, visited by the fire, had yummy breakfasts of tacos and donuts, lots of animal playtime, cousin games and silly antics....the fun was endless.

Saturday we geared up in team colors to head to the Baylor/TCU game. After some tailgate time we made our way to the top (and seriously it was the TOP) of the stadium and enjoyed the first half. Then we spent the rest of the game at the tailgate and were relieved later when we found out it was a Baylor victory!

Kids in their purple- only Emily was in BU green and gold.

Sunday we made our way back to Waco and boarded the train for our last leg.....

....which is where I am writing from. Hoping its a quick trip- we are ready now to be home.

We are SO thankful for our family, such a fun week, our fun travel arrangements, and just getting to spend such a wonderful week with each other. We couldn't ask for more!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blake is 5!!

Our sweet Blaker-boo is 5 years old! How in the world can that be?

Seems like just yesterday we were anticipating his arrival day. He came in the midst of a stressful time- when Chris' mom was truly in the most dire circumstances. Chris had left only 3 days before our scheduled induction day to be by his mom's side as she underwent a very precarious heart surgery. She had been in a medically induced coma for 2 weeks at that point and the prognosis at that time was not very positive.

But on the joyous day of November 17, 2008, a precious baby boy arrived into our lives- a true "joy-bringer." And he continues to do that to this day- bring great joy to everyone who encounters him. It's such a gift to have him as our little boy!

We celebrated in true Blake form a few weeks ago. He had a joint party with Luke and we took  3 of their buddies to the AH football game. It was Blake and Luke's 3rd year to have a joint celebration. How could Cari and I have known that these two would be as inseperable as we dreamed?! Born 9 days apart, these two haven't known life without their best bud. It's been truly the greatest joy to watch them grow up and remain so close. I pray they always are.

At 5 years old, Blake is into dressing up. He is always in costume of some sort. It might be Spider Man one minute and a football player the next. He loves to go out in the back yard in full football regalia and play a one man game. He wears the helmet, jersey, padded football pants and has me tape in the shoulder pads. He has to be very authentic. So far we have TCU, UT, A&M and the AH Mules covered. We need a Baylor one!! (hint hint to the grandparents for Christmas!)

He and Emily are the best of buds and play so well together. In fact, our house is in constant upheaval due to their antics. There is a fort in one room, a picnic in the other, etc. I love to hear them playing together and watching them go along with each other's ideas. It's really the sweetest thing!

Blake can ride without training wheels. He decided a few months ago to try and worked on it one afternoon and mastered it in no time.

We also finally mastered spelling his name and writing it too! Big deal for Blake as learning letters has been especially hard for him.

He loves school- especially half days because he doesn't have to nap on those days!

Funny Blake story as of late.....

**Nancy told me that at school, Blake was running out to the playground one day and in his deep, raspy voice said, "Hey Luke, can we play somethin' not dirty today? My mom doesn't want me to get my shirt dirty." He was wearing a white button-up fishing shirt that day and Nancy said he spent all day tucking it in over and over. (For the record- I never asked him to keep it clean.) To hear her retell this is hilarious!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What's new....

We got flocked! The kids were thrilled to have the flock for a night and a day. The Woodridge carnival is not too far away!

Hunter was student of the week and had Bevo home with him all week long. Hook 'em Bevo! Hey, how about those Baylor Bears??

Family campout at SACC! Always a great fun night!

Zoo dates with friends....and birds!

Fire soccer is in full force now! Fun to watch these boys play.

Blake had a special guest at his Blue Gator soccer game. He's having a great season so far. A couple of goals the first and second games and one at the most recent. Not that he cares at all....he's having fun no matter what!

My boys at the soccer fields. Great way to start a weekend!

Celebrating Uncle Blake's birthday!

Fun at Grimaldi's!

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The dreaded strep throat has descended upon this household and is taking us down like dominos! Saturday after soccer games, Emily seemed to be running a temperature. She briefly mentioned her mouth hurting and napped a little that afternoon. Chris stayed home with her that evening and I took the boys with me to some of our good friends' house for dinner. On Sunday, she went to church with Chris and I and laid on me the entire time- so not like Emily. So, Monday, I realized I had a sore throat and was feeling crummy myself so I took both of us in to see the doctor. Lo and behold- strep throat! This is my 4th time I think in the last 11 months. Not fun at all! I got a shot then and there and am on antibiotics and Emily got on some antibiotics. Tuesday we laid low here at the house. Her throat was really causing her discomfort, so I called the doctor and he prescribed some Tylenol with codeine. It has helped a little.
E and I lounging with strep throat:

Now, sweet Blake has had a fever since the early morning hours of Wednesday (today) and off and on all day. I took him in and he too has strep. Even without tonsils he has strep. The good thing was that his ears looked clear and I am thankful. We went to see a wonderfully regarded homeopath two weeks ago and started Blake on some new things for ear fluid, reducing sugar intake and milk and overall health. He's been an awesome sport so far with the changes we have made and the supplements we have added in.

Our countertop medicine store:

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A few of the firsts

First Days of School are so exciting! It's one part nervousness and three parts excitement for the new adventure ahead. I cannot believe Hunter is in 2nd grade. He's adjusted so well to the school year and is loving school so far. I am so proud of him!

Just a look back at a few firsts....The 1st Day of Mother's Day out in the Older Two's Class (2008)

 The 1st Day of Preschool (2009)

The 1st Day of School Kindergarten 2011

The 1st Day of 2nd grade 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Things worth remembering

Today was the first day of school for Hunter. It's always a little bittersweet saying goodbye to summer and hello to the structure of school days, early morning wake ups, packing lunches and checking backpacks. I relish these early years of little homework and still lots of after school playtime. I know it will not always be this simple. And yet it's already shaping up to be a busy fall. Hunter has been in full swing soccer mode for the last 3 weeks- twice a week practices. Blake is gearing up to start his season soon. Fall ball registrations are out. Emily starts her first gymnastics class this week....I think I'm ready for a vacation!

We baked the annual First Day of School cake- shaped like a 2 this year. We took the annual First Day picture in front of the fireplace like we have done since he was 2 1/2 and headed to preschool. We prayed over his day- praying God would be ever near and that he would be a friend to all.

His report on the walk home was that today was a 10 out of 10- I call that a win!

So now, as mom's do, I am lying awake in Blake's bed. The last 2 hours he's been dealing with the dreaded tummy bug. Ick. I thought the statute of limitations was good on this- Hunter had it nearly a week ago and was only sick one time with it. Poor little Blake hasn't been so lucky.

So here we are, one day down, stricken with a bug. As if the emotional exhaustion from the first day wasn't enough, now I get to add a half nights sleep loss to it. Oh well- it's nights like this my baby boy needs his mommy.

On a separate note, I have loved watching the friendship between Blake and Emily over this summer. I describe them as a little old married couple- one minute they are as compatible and agreeable as ever and the next they are on each others last nerve. They are funny to watch- they are out riding bikes, pushing strollers, having picnics, running and claiming, exploring, and just in full-fledged imagination with each other. I love it!

Blake taught himself to ride a bike without training wheels within the last week or so. It's incredible. He just told me one day he was going to try and the next thing I know, he's out back riding around like a pro!

He also just got over a staph infection in his left ear that spread to a rash all over his neck, tummy and legs. Bless his sweet little heart! He was a total pro getting his ear cleaned out at Dr. Moe's.

E had her 3 year check up- all is well and healthy. She's 50% in weight and 60% in height. She's a healthy girl!

Her newest obsession is The Little Mermaid- she sings like Ariel all the time and knows all of the words to the songs. Here she is in my tub acting like Ariel!

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Boys room makeover

Pine twin headboards BEFORE

Painted with Annie Sloan's French Linen paint

And waxed with dark wax


And I also did this little table and distressed it. I love how it turned out.

This is a bad picture but I painted the boys' room. It was a Pottery Barn blue and I painted it SW Wool Skein. Turned out great!

Drapes aren't up yet

Moved their little table and chairs into their room

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Life lately

We had a fun outing to the NB children's museum one morning.

We left from there to take Blake to Austin to meet Mimi and Adam. He was going to ride back to Waco to spend a few fun days. First, we ate lunch at the ever-yummy Phil's Ice House. The kids love the shady playground there.

We grabbed our good friends the Tragers and the Spielhagens for a day at Sea World. Here they are watching the dolphins.

The water ski show was a hit!

E and I couldn't ride this one but the group had a great time and E and I had fun watching for them.

But the highlight (for Emily especially) was the Shamu show. She has asked to watch the Shampoo video on my phone everyday since.

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