Keeping Up with the Joneses

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







Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dear Self,

Dear Self,
These are the days that you will most want to remember. Please take the time when it pops in your head to write things down to actually do it!
Love,
Your Self

Things seem to be moving at warp speed around here. The fact that it is nearly mid-March is crazy to think about. We have had a busy couple of months. The winter of 2015 has been a chilly and a rainy one. We have had lots of fires in our fireplace, which we have loved being able to turn on so easily and love that it is so central in our living space. The kids cozy up around it and I love that when I'm in the kitchen cooking, I can still enjoy it.

Basketball seasons came and went. The boys each played on their same teams- Hunter's team under Coach Conger was the Lightening. They ended up 3-5 for the season and had some great improvements this year. As always, it was a fun bunch of boys and a great time. Hunter made several baskets throughout the season and is a really good little defender. Blake's team, the Spurs, under Coach "Pop" Brewer, was awesome. They went undefeated and won the final championship for their age group. We didn't even know there was such a thing!

Hunter had baseball tryouts for the first time in January. He did great and ended up being drafted onto Coach Zunker's team. We were thrilled since we had played for him in the fall and he's a very strong coach. So far, he's been practicing the last several weeks and our first games were rained out before spring break. It's going to make for a busy busy couple of weeks to get it all made up.

Speaking of Spring Break, we are here this year. We took the kids up to the lake for the weekend and had a great time in the hot tub and the kids would even plunge into the freezing pool from time to time. Crazy kids! We took them into town for a fun dinner, a movie one rainy afternoon and spent lots of time just being together. It was a fun weekend!

We have been home since Monday morning and the kids begged to go to Thin Air, or Air Thin as Emily calls it. :-) We went Monday afternoon and spent an hour jumping and playing dodgeball and tackling the Ninja course. It was a perfect way to spend a soaking wet, rainy afternoon. Fortunately, the rain stopped and Tuesday was beautiful. The kids have enjoyed the trampoline here today and went to spend the night at my parents.

For my own memory sake, here are some early 2015 blurbs on each kiddo.

Hunter- 
Sweet, sweet Hunter. We are in a stage of sweetness and innocence and if I could keep him here I would. He's in that stage where he's still little in terms of playing and things he is interested in. And yet he is looking more and more grown up by the day. He is still enjoying all things Minecraft and Terraria. He enjoys the Stampy videos on YouTube and watches them to get ideas and be entertained. He loves spending time with our neighbors and has a great little group of friends at school. At our recent teacher conference, he got only great accolades- such a hard working and smart little guy. I sometimes feel punched in the stomach when I think how big he really is. I mean, wasn't he just that little toddler telling me all about trucks and hitches and gas tanks?? And here we are, and he's talking my ear off about something he's created or something that happened at school. I really cannot even believe it. To write 2015 and realize that 10, TEN!!, years ago is when I was pregnant with him really makes my head spin. Those were the fastest and the best 10 years of my entire life! I tell Chris all the time that I would totally re-live them if given the chance. I really would!

He's still fluctuating between Blake's best and worst friend. It depends on the moment. Such sibling love and rivalry all in a few moments time. He and Emily get along really well and she adores him. Blake adores him too, but Hunter isn't always so receptive to that. Oh well, that seems all normal in the grand scheme.

He loves to shoot hoops, play outside, ride crazy carts, throw the football or baseball, play with friends, etc. He is super responsible and makes his bed every single morning. He comes home from school and immediately does his homework. He's almost crazed if something keeps him from getting it done right away.

I adore this 9 year old and can't wait to see what's in store the rest of the year ahead!

Blake-
Oh Blake. Salty and sweet.....seems to be the best description of the stage we are in with Blake. He can go from being the sweetest, most endearing and sensitive little guys to being a little stinker all within moments. He is still the one that will hold my hand, come up and tell me something sweet, give kisses, and then he will be the one to throw the biggest fit. Ha! It must be the red hair!

In all seriousness, he is such a pleaser. He longs to do the right thing and be recognized, but he gets frustrated and when he gets in trouble for something, he just falls apart. At school, we get nothing but gleaming reports of good behavior and hard work. He's had a great year of kindergarten and is doing better and better at his reading, etc. We have some work to do getting him to learn ALL of the sight words, but I am not going to stress over it. I have been reading some good literature and some studies that remind us all that we are really trying to push too much on a kindergarten mind and that learning by play is really the best method. Blake honestly is the poster child for that- he seems to pick up on concepts casually as he plays much better than if I drill him with flashcards or make him do reading activities.

"Oh by the way" is a common phrase from this little man. He says it as he is talking to make another point and get your attention. He loves to help in the kitchen, has had a great time setting up his "fort" out in the chicken coop, loved picking out the garden plants with me and Hunter today, loves to jump and do tricks on the trampoline, loves sports and running around, likes to make paper books and anything with staples and a mess involved...

6 is a fun age with this little guy! I wouldn't trade him for the world!

Emily-
Emmy Lou. She is in a most fun stage these days. 4 (and a half) is dreamy! She is funny, sweet, entertaining, witty, smart, sassy, and plain fun! We have a great time together. She loves to help me in the kitchen- sometimes more than I wish she did. She listens to every word I say. Nothing gets past her!

She is involved with dance on Wednesdays and has a cute group of girls that she takes tap/ballet with. They often moan and groan at going, but I think it's a combo of their teacher is a tough one and it's a long class. The light at the end of the tunnel is a recital....3 more months. Yikes! She also still loves and is doing great with gymnastics. She was moved to an older group (5-7 year olds in the fall). It was a great move and she learned a lot. She has a perfect little cartwheel and round off. She is working on her backbend thingy (see what an expert I am?) and would love to go more often. We are about to start t-ball so she will be one busy little bee. I hope she likes it!

Emily can make a royal mess in 2 seconds flat. I feel like her room goes from darling to disaster in .5 seconds. It's maddening and yet I know I will miss it. I turn the corner to find she has pulled out 5 dress ups, high heels, dolls, ponies, play food, odds and ends, books, pillows, dismantled her window seat, pulled out clothes from her closet and changed clothes for the 15th time....Needless to say, we spend lots of time cleaning up again. Ha!

She still comes to our room every night (mostly). She has started to sleep in the boys' room on the floor on a pallet each night. So, it makes tucking everyone in very easy. We just go to the boy's room and pull down beds and remake the pallet. They sometimes are all giggling and chit chatting, but again, one day we will miss that! She loves her brothers and I love that they are ok letting her sleep in there.

On the weekends, the kids have gotten into the habit of sleeping in the front living room. We do a big queen size blow up mattress and turn on a movie and they all 3 sleep in there together. I love that little tradition.

Emily is my little helper on Tuesdays- she says, "Are we going to be Coach Rhodes today?" It's so funny that she calls it by the teacher who used to do the coaching job. She's the fastest kid in the bunch and is so capable. I love to watch her in action.

I love this little angel girl so much and pray we always have such a sweet mother-daughter bond!

Our plan for the rest of spring break is to head to the ranch for a couple of days. It's currently 3:15am and I am up writing because I couldn't sleep. This blog, despite it being a blog, has always really been for me. I think of it at random times and feel this guilt creep up that I am so bad about keeping up with it. All I want is to have a good glimpse back in the days to come so I can remember what life was like. We watched a home movie the other day of 2007 and I just melted at the memories that came back. I want this to be the same- I want to read this someday and think, "I loved those days. I remember them so well." Time seems to go by so fast without me trying to make it go fast, and I know that these days, much like the kids' younger years, will be just as cherished. I also have to remember that they are still little NOW. They aren't as big as they are in my head. So, I will hopefully be better about getting on here and documenting what we are doing and what they are saying. They are so much fun!!

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