Friday, May 30, 2008

Taylor's Graduation


Tonight we had a kindergarten graduation for Taylor. They've been working very hard on their program and surprise, surprise, Taylor volunteered herself for a speaking part. Which she did great at! Wow the year has gone by fast. She just turned six last Saturday and continues to be such a blessing to all who know her. There is evident grace upon her life. She loves to read the bible, and can now read it herself. She's memorizing scripture and will say beautiful heartfelt prayers at dinner time. She loves to be a big sister to Trevor & Rylee, constantly entertaining them and making them laugh. She is always asking how she can serve me throughout the day. Another thing we had confirmed for us at school is Taylor is indeed very bright. She loves to learn and picks up on concepts fast. Reading now at a 2nd grade level with her writing skills & math skills not to far behind. We have decided to homeschool her next year and I'm excited for the fall! She's already asking me to start the 1st grade. She's not even an hour out of graduation and she's wondering if we can start school at home on monday! I'm not quite as ready :-)

Thanks to the grandparents who came and enjoyed the show! Heni & Papa D scooted off before I could grab a picture :-)

We love you Taylor and continue to pray that you would fall more and more in love with the Savior, Jesus Christ!

New Attitude


I now know why it's so hard for Chris to explain his time at new attitude to me each year. I'm at a loss for words myself, amazing, wonderful, impactful, worshipful, renewing, the list could go on. We truly had a wonderful time.

Let's start with the fun first... I enjoyed seeing my husband lead a community group. El Ocho! Long live the eight.That was the name of our community group and it's family group leaders. Chris prepped the group that anytime someone said "El Ocho", they had to reply "El Ocho" back. It caught on and various time throughout the conference Chris and I would get "El Ocho" from across the room. We even had a nice banner done up before we left (thanks Conrad) so it could proudly be displayed for all to see. Actually on the last day my husband challenged another community group to a paper airplane contest. One airplane, one person, one shot. We, of course, won. The group provided great opportunities for men from our church to lead, begin each day with worship, time in the word and of course fellowship.

(click on the image to see it's full size)

The corporate worship time & messages were outstanding. We learned some great new worship songs and even took some of them home with us on this CD. The theme of the conference was the sufficiency of scripture. I highly recommend them all and they are available online. If you had to pick one and only one I would recommend the last one on adoption. It was so impactful. It brought me and many others to tears to think of God's love for his children. If you ever question if God loves you, this is the message for you. Piper did one on William Tyndale, the man who made it possible for us to read the bible in English today. A man who gave his life for this cause. It was convicting and inspiring. Throughout the message I kept thinking here is a man who was burned to death because he began translating the bible in English, meanwhile I'm lazy and sleep in ignoring the eight ESV versions I have in my house. Yes fresh perspective for sure. For Piper's final message, Fighting for faith with God's word, Chris and I somehow got second row seats front and center (thanks Andrea :-)) Like it wasn't incredible enough that we got to see Piper preach but to be front and center was quite the event! All in all I came back encouraged to read the word, pure word, again and the power that it holds.

Another highlight was meeting shai linne. We've come to know his music through Chris' brother Keith. I don't think there's a bigger fan than Keith! So when we saw him talking to people after the message we just had to go meet him. We told him about Keith and his family and he gave us an autographed CD for Keith as well as we took a Polaroid picture (thanks to Paz) in which Shai wrote," wish you were here keith"! Can't wait to get that to you guys! He was such a nice, down to earth guy who clearly loves the Lord & His word!

But by far my favorite part of the trip was all the time I got with Chris. We had so many uninterrupted, meaningful conversations. Of course most of them were from 12am-3am but time nonetheless :-) I love talking about things of the Lord and theology with my best friend! So thank you dear for making it possible for me to attend with you.

A Few pictures from the weekend:

All I can say is New Attitude is worth every penny spent!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Off To New Attitude


Chris & I leave tomorrow morning for Louisville Kentucky! That's right this time it's not just Chris, I will be attending my first ever New Attitude conference and I couldn't be more excited. We are joined by forty others from our Singles group. My bags are packed, kids bags are packed, babysitting arragements have been made and thanks to my awesome sister-in-law and mom, I got my hair done and some new makeup today! Pray for our groups safety and that the Lord would meet us in new and fresh ways. See you all when we return!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Goodbye Dublin

Last week there were some developments in Chris & I's life that made it no longer wise to go forward with the purchase of our dream home. We were three days from closing, we had a solid renter for our house, I had already bought a homeschool desk and moved it in and had the place sprayed for bugs. Although Chris and I were in agreement with our decision and God's leading, I was still sad to say the least. We've had our eyes on this home since January. There was a night last week when all the crazy things in our life felt a little overwhelming and I asked Chris if I could go escape in the word for a few hours. It did my soul much good to get my eyes focused on the cross and off of myself. In opening up Morning and Evening I read this:

"Do you want a house for your soul? You may ask, " how much does it cost?" Something less than proud human nature would like to pay... Will you take Jesus and dwell in him? This house is furnished with all you want; it is filled with riches more than you can spend as long as you live. In this house you can have intimate communion with Christ and feast on his love, the tables are well stocked with food for you to live on forever; in it, when weary, you can find rest with Jesus; and from it you have a view of heaven itself. Will you have the house? When this world shall have melted like a dream, our house shall live and stand more imperishable then marble, more solid than granite, self-existent as God, for it is God himself- We abide in Him.""

Again how great to be reminded that no earthly home can compare to all the riches I have in Christ! I have already been given my dream home!

So, in all good humor of course, I wrote a goodbye song to Dublin, call it closure :-) Dublin was the street the house resided on.

Oh my dublin, Oh my dublin, Oh my Dublin paradise
You're all I've hoped for all I wanted
In a home with the right price

Once I set out to find a better place
Where I could serve my family
A double oven, a large kitchen, a homeschool room and a place for Luz

Oh my dublin, oh my dublin, Oh my Dublin paradise
You're all I've hoped for all I wanted
In a home with the right price

I thought I lost you, then I got you, now I'm losing you once more
It's been so hard leaving you empty
How I'll miss those tiled floors

But I serve the Lord above all things
here on earth which fade away
and it seems he has a different plan
one that makes us go separate ways

Oh my dublin, oh my dublin, no more tears shall I cry
You are gone and lost forever
But my inheritance stands firm in Christ

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taylor's First Tea Party


Taylor's birthday is on the 24th of may but due to Chris & I being out of town for new attitude, we threw her a party with her friends on Sunday. This year's theme was a tea party. After quite the busy week I was doubting my ability to pull it off but thanks to some friends & family the party was a huge success! We asked each girl to come dressed up & to bring a favorite doll. We began the party by introducing our dolls to each other and then went and laid them down for naps.
The girls then were split up into two groups and rotated activities. The first was to decorate a plain tea cup with porcelain pens. It was great to see all their artistic abilities. The second activity was getting a manicure from some special friends. I had set out a few special smelling lotions and nail colors for the girls to pick out and give to one of our special nail technicians, Aunt Danae, Aunt Carrie & Ruth. Afterwards we put some stickers on their nails & lip gloss.

Once the activities concluded I had them wake their dolls up and we sat in a circle & talked about the history of tea parties, manners & Ruth (or resident England native) taught us all how to hold a tea cup (pinky's out) & say "please pass the sugar" in an english accent! The girls were hilarious with this part! Afterwards it was time for our official tea party. The dolls had their own in Taylor's room and the girls were treated to quite the spread. Cinnamon apple spice tea, with sugar cubes, chocolate covered strawberries, mini pb&j and strawberry scones with strawberry jam. Yummy! The girls we're on their absolute best behavior. Actually no one talked for the first few minutes. They just sat quietly and nibbled on their food. I went over and whispered in Taylor's ear that as the host she should draw her friends out. As I walked away I heard her ask one of the girls what their favorite worship song was from that morning's worship service!

From there it was on to presents & cake. A fabulous cake that my friend ruth created. She made a tea pot for the girls & a small tea cup cake for Taylor! Ruth for some reason my picture of the cake isn't coming up in iphoto... so I will be sure to post it once we figure out what's wrong!

Thanks to all who helped out with this party! I sure could not have done it all myself!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Girl Talk did a tribute to Grandma's this past week. They're were some beautiful stories! I submitted a story for my mom but it didn't make the cut. What can I say mom I think you were, well, too young :-) But hey this is my blog & it made the cut here!

JoAnn Jones is a wife, mom and nana to three grandchildren (soon to be four), but she is so much more to us than these words describe. When my mom was 24, she gave birth to my younger brother and blew her aortic valve. This went undiscovered for almost six trying months which eventually led to emergency open heart surgery. One can imagine what a trial this was. On one hand she had two small children that should couldn't care for, and on the other hand was the disappointment of knowing that she wouldn't be able to have any more children.

The trials have not stopped there. Today she has diabetes (complications from her heart medication), three failing heart valves, skin cancer and poor circulation in her legs. The circulation problems require new procedures to be performed every six months. She is also on a low sodium/low carb diet, which means there is very little she can eat. It has been absolutely amazing to she her strong faith in the Lord throughout it all. She clings to the truth that one day she will be free from her frail body and given a new perfectly healthy one.

I'm thankful for this opportunity to honor my mom as being an amazing Grandma. Often in my teenage years I was more aware of how my mom's health problems affected me instead of realizing the grace of God in her. Throughout my mom's life I've seen her struggle with the real desire to be healthy so she can do more. She is as social as they come, but due to her illness she is often unable to attend functions or have people over. She'll instead use her time to pray for people or write encouraging notes.

The struggle has extended itself into Grandmotherhood. I know she wants to be the healthy grandma so she can watch all the grandkids by herself. I know her desire to help me clean or organize while I'm in this season of having young children. Although I know she is thankful for the many who have helped fill in those roles over the years, I can only imagine how bittersweet it must be to see this happening. Yet it doesn't diminish her love for me or the grandkids.

And trust me my kids LOVE nana! I think "nana" was one of all three of my children's first words. She is constantly spending time with them in the ways she can - coloring, reading, and watching movies. She has my oldest over to stamp and make cards for her friends. They love the artistic nana! She also has a great sense of humor and keeps us all laughing.

They also have the opportunity to see their nana at church on Sunday faithfully worshipping and fellowshipping each week even though she does not physically feel well. They see perseverance, faith, courage and hope. They have been given a Grandma who is a living example of the gospel at work! They see a Grandma that has limitations, but always finds ways to sacrifice and serve others.

Mom, I am thankful to have you as my mom and for my children to know you and be loved by you. I wish I could take all these health problems away for you so you can be that kind of grandma you want to be, but I am thankful that my kids have been given so much more instead. I continue to pray for your healing, but cling to the promise that ultimate healing is in your future because of the gospel at work in you! I love you mom.

I hope everyone has a wonderful mother's day! I'm so thankful to be surrounded by two wonderful mother's. Nancy we love you & had such a great time with you on Friday! Grandma Jones we miss you & pray for you often!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

And yet another reason why I'm not fit to be a parent


Ever have those moments, the ones where you realize you are not fit to be a parent and wonder who the heck thought you were and gave you children? Yeah I've had a few of those recently. I'd like to blame them on the madness of the past few months. You know car fires, lingering illness, 45+ realtor's showing your home during lunch time, nap time, dinner time and every-time in-between. Yes I did say 45 realtors in five weeks, madness. What moment to start with first is the question. Not long ago I woke up to find my son on top of the kitchen counter eating a jar full of gummy vitamins. So let's just get out your obvious questions. No I did not sleep in, trevor is just a very early riser and quiet when he's getting into medicine, yes I did have child locks on the cabinet but apparently failed and no the cap wasn't tight all the way like it should be. This is how I started my conversation with the man at poison control. After I gave him my fake name and address...

Two weeks ago I have the house all cleaned for realtor's & care group, I get the two confused these days, in efforts to preserve the prettiness I send the kids out front to ride their bikes. It was a nice night so I brought out my camera and got a few shots. Well apparently I missed the shot of Rylee sticking her hand in cactus. A jumping cholla to be exact. She came over to me with a hundred little cacti hairs in her hand. Really I never knew my neighbor two doors down had cactus! Information that would've been useful "YESTERDAY!" It was a long (care group) night of pulling little bitty hairs out of her hands. I did learn that baking soda & warm water go a long way, as well as duct tape.

The kicker "you have no business being a parent moment" came two days ago. It was monday morning, 7:30 am to be exact, I was up three times with trev that night, broken up two many fights between him & taylor and disciplined enough tantrums to last the entire day. Oh and I hadn't had my coffee yet. Excuses I know. Chris is sick in bed with a fever and it's time to take Tay to school. I begin to leave and trev throws another tantrum because he wants a popsicle. Taking the easy route I say here's you're popsicle, sit at the table and I turned on a show. Assuming he understood what was happening I put Taylor in the car and left. You know what they say happens when you assume? Well the door closes, Trev freaks out, opens the door and runs after the car. Thankfully my neighbor was out jogging and sees trev running in the middle of the street screaming. She picks him up and he screams and hits her saying, " my mommy left me!!" She asks him where his daddy is and he says "gone at work". She goes over to our other neighbors house who knows us well (hopefully well enough to know I wouldn't leave my child all alone) and she calls my cell & Chris' cell... at this point I'm pulling back into the driveway. I return to one neighbor in her jogging suit and the other in her robe, holding my crying son. Trevor looks at me with his alligator tears and says "why did you leave me mommy?" I'm trying to talk to him while at the same time explain myself to my neighbor's, you know that kid voice but you're really talking to be heard by adults, "Mommy didn't leave you alone Trevor, mommy would NEVER leave you all alone! Daddy is home in bed... what happened to the clear direction of eat your popsicle, watch this show I gave you?" "Silly boy" as I grab him and run inside. I go wake Chris up with "It's time to start packing our bags honey before someone turns me in!"

Friday, May 02, 2008



I love this little guy. He really is precious. He's a handful but absolutely adorable. I keep meaning to write down some of the funny /cute things he says... Here's a few to start jogging my memory.

Trevor hugging Chris and giving him a kiss... " Daddy I love you (pause) I break your head off"

Me to Trevor "Knock, knock"
Trevor " not right now mom I'm too tired"

Lately he'll say "actually" with pretty much any statement.
Me " Trevor time to come inside"
Trevor "Actually mom I want to stay outside"

During dinner he prays the sweetest prayers and it always has " Dear God, thank you for making everything, you made all things, you made everything, amen"

Yes Trevor God did make everything, including you- and he made you cute :-)