Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hello Again World!

It's been a while since I've blogged, but I have a good excuse...WE'RE EXPECTING BABY NUMBER 5!!! I didn't have the best first trimester, so blogging went bye-bye. But, in true Jones fashion, we again have waited a few months and now blogged with a gi-normous amount of pics. Hopefully we can keep up on it now.

P.S. We got our first snow today-a nice whiteout storm with some good inches on the ground. We actually made it through Halloween this year with no snow! Trick-or-treating was pleasant and now I'm actually excited for the goods!


The coolest Scooby-Doo...

The cutest Strawberry Shortcake you've ever seen...

The craziest Ninja Turtle...

And the saddest pumpkin...

Russ was Thomas the Train and wore that to every house we trick or treated. We went with a bunch of families in our ward, and Russ kept attacking the kids and sticking it over their heads...Always good times with Russ...

I sported the pumpkin this year with Brett so he'd have a little moral support...

Carving pumpkins...the kids were not fans of taking out the seeds this year-notice Brock's face...He couldn't even muster up a smile for the camera...

Russ' first season coaching football

This was Russ' first year coaching football at MD high school instead of basketball. The Vandals had a rough season, but Russ was happy to coach. It's like he was giddy all season. The kids loved going to practice with Dad and seeing him at games...

The Fall in McCall

Some of our favorite family activities is the cutting, splitting, and stacking of the firewood for the winter. We went with cousins and friends and played all day getting wood in October...

The beginning and end to our happy day...

The Dads going to take care of business...

My little lumberjack doing his part

Russ working on some of our spoils in our backyard. There's something about my husband with a chainsaw...sigh...niiiiiiiice...

Brett stacking some wood in the garage. When we have family wood stacking days, we all work hard, then we go to Maverik for Icee's. It's amazing how the promise of an Icee can keep these kids working for hours!!

I Am Officially the Big 3-0!!

I don't really feel different breaking the 30 barrier...I still feel like I'm 19 until I talk to the teens in our ward and find out what year they were born-yikes! Russ & I went to dinner and my Mom made me a cake. Had a yucky pregnant day and didn't feel like doing much so it was perfect...

The Bus

Cody & Brett at their favorite time of day...running to meet the kids off the bus...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cody and Brett

Another thing I love about school starting is that I get to play more with my two youngest. These boys have loved playing together and always just make life more fun! Here's a few pics of these boys I love!

First Day of School

I officially have 2 kids in school! Brock is in 2nd grade and Rachel started kindergarten. They are both loving it. For some reason it seemed harder sending my second child to kindergarten than it was my first. I hope that pattern doesn't continue...Maybe it's because it's my little girl. I love my boys, but there's something different about a girl. Mommy was definitely ready for school to start! Happy to be back to a routine and schedule, homework, piano, helping in their classes, and all the crazy running and going that happens. I do love being a Mom!

First Day of School Pancakes

We started this tradition last year. On the first day of school the kids get a stack of pancakes with the number of pancakes for the grade they are in. So, Brock has 2 for 2nd grade, Rachel has one for kindergarten, and Cody has one with a C on it because he's cool...Brock loves it and can't wait to be a senior so he can have 12 pancakes!

The end of the cottage sacrament meetings...

During this summer, our church building in town was being added onto, so our ward had what is called "cottage sacrament meetings." Since the closest building in our stake is an hour away, (unlike where we grew up in AZ) we had four homes in our ward where sacrament meeting was held every week, and the bishopric members would rotate presiding in each home. That was the only meeting we would have each week. There were some amazing things I learned this summer, like the importance of the sacrament. That was our complete focus every week, not the craziness of getting lessons prepared and rushing off to our other block meetings. It was set in such an intimate and personal setting that it was just a beautiful thing to feel the spirit in someone's home. The first week we didn't have a white cloth to cover the sacrament where Russ was presiding so we used our baby blessing blanket. Just unique experiences that we have gotten living here this summer.

Yet, I think the most important thing that has happened in my life is the testimony I have gained of the church auxiliaries. Without having sunday school, relief society, priesthood, young women, & primary, we, as a ward, all felt sort of...lost. Without our other meetings, it's like I didn't feel needed, didn't have friendships strengthened, didn't see a lot of people in the ward for long periods of time, I didn't feel the spirit as much, etc. I've always known our auxiliaries have come from the Lord and that the Prophet and apostles and general boards have things set up for the programs that we need. That being said, I still had never been without them in my life, and I felt such a void without it. This Sunday we are finally able to go back to our church building and have all of our block meetings. Our whole ward is looking forward to coming together again as a ward family and are excited about having a normal 3 hour block again. How grateful I am that this is the Lord's church and every detail of it is exactly what we need in our lives to keep our testimonies growing and to become who we need to be.

The End of Summer

Labor Day was the last day before school started, so we decided to have a fun family day. We went to breakfast at our beloved Pancake House and went to the hot springs in town. Yes, the HOT springs, not just swimming, because it was a pleasant 50 degrees that day...The week after school got out this year, we had a freak June snowfall, and this past weekend before school started, we had freezing weather and a little snow. Nice summer, eh? Where do I live? Thank goodness we LOVE it here!

Slumber Party!!

Last week my parents moved into their new home that Russ has been building with my Dad this last year. So, we had a huge family slumber party with our family and the Napiers. The kids were in heaven with sleeping bags everywhere in the basement, and adults stayed up late playing games. It was like we were on vacation in town. So fun!

Happy Quotes

"Walk by faith. The Lord will open a way. Even when there is no way, He will open a way. I am satisfied of that." Gordon B. Hinckley

"Be prayerful. Call on the Lord in faith and He will hear your prayers. He loves you. He wishes to bless you. He will do so if you live worthy of His blessing." Gordon B. Hinckley

Movie Quote:
This week we were at the hot springs and Cody saw this parrot which was looking off to the side and Cody yelled "His head fell off!!!" It looked like that from his point of view. So, in honor of my son we'll throw out a few from this classic...

"Our pets heads are falling off!!"
"I just thought he was quiet..."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Why do I do what I do when I know what I know?

So, a story of my sweet daughter. Well, first a little background. For those of you that don't know, Russ is coaching football at the high school this year. This week they started some late practices so Russ doesn't get home until the kids are in bed. For all you moms out there, maybe some can relate to me that bedtime isn't the most pleasant when your husband isn't home to help. It makes for some bad mommy moments for me for sure. Well, we've really been struggling with our family scripture study when bedtimes are just crazy. So, last night I was at my end and hurrying my kids along to have family prayer and happy thoughts so I could rush them off to bed. Well, my sweet girl said "Mom, we forgot to read scriptures." In the chaos of the moment and the boys wrestling and the baby crying I just said "No. No scriptures tonight. Just get to bed." Then she said, "But PLEASE Mom, we need to read scriptures!" What could I say to that? So, we read scriptures for a few minutes and they went to bed. The kids were happier and more obedient last night and I was more patient with them and all was well.

So, it got me thinking about the simple things in the gospel that make us happy and that we know will bring happiness. Prayer, scripture, temple, family home evening, etc. Why does it seem hard sometimes to do those simple things when we KNOW that our lives will be better and we'll receive blessings and happiness? I couldn't believe I was telling my daughter we weren't going to have scripture study because I was tired and grumpy, when I knew that we would all be happier if we did. The gospel is so simple. It was a good moment to remember that obedience to the little things brings the spirit and blessings into my life. How grateful I am that I have good kids to help remind me and keep me focused. And, when we put these simple things first, everything else in our lives balances out so we feel like we have time to do all that we need to do and we're happier in the meantime.

"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities. We should put God ahead of everyone else in our lives." Ezra Taft Benson

Quotes of the Week

So, I thought since I'm such a quote freak, I'd leave some happy quotes every week...some uplifting, and some happy pointless movie quotes...So...enjoy.

"Patient endurance permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord and in His timing when we are being tossed about by the surf of circumstance. Even when a seeming undertow grasps us, somehow in the tumbling we are being carried forward, though battered and bruised." Neal A. Maxwell

"I want my two dollars."
"Sorry man, I don't have a dime."
"I didn't ask for a dime."

If you know the movie, you can leave it in the comments...if not...answer to come next week...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Twin Falls Temple Open House

Last fall our Stake President asked all of the families in our stake to make this summer the "summer of the family." He wanted us to plan something that would bring our family closer together and strengthen us spiritually. After praying about it, Russ and I decided to focus on the temple. We centered family home evenings for the last months on different aspects of the temple. We truly felt the Spirit prompt us with ideas to be able to teach our children in ways they could understand and learn to love the temple and start gaining their own testimonies of it. Our desire was to help prepare our children to attend the Twin Falls Temple Open House as the highlight of our summer. We took our children last week and had an amazingly beautiful experience. They were so excited to be able to go inside before it was dedicated. It was wonderful to see them remember things and understand things we had talked about. What a beautiful experience to be able to be with our children for the first time in the temple and to reflect on the things of eternity. I have a testimony of the temple. I am grateful I have had the opportunity to make personal covenants with the Lord. I am grateful to know that I can be with my family forever if we keep the covenants we have made. Without my family, there would be no true happiness. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and I know that my Savior, Jesus Christ, died for me that I might live with Him again someday. I am grateful for the gospel-for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and for the plan of happiness that it holds. My life is truly blessed.

Our Happy Annual Lagoon Trip!

Every year we take our family trip to Lagoon. We camp next to the park and stay for two days. As soon as we get home our kids are asking how long until we get to go again. This year we had a Belnap family reunion there as well, so we got to play with cousins and even Grandma Great came to Lagoon. We had two wonderfully tiring days of fun, rides, food, and play...Always good times...

Playing on the Lake

This is the gi-normous great Payette Lake in downtown McCall just a few minutes from our house. The kids got to go out and tube with their cousins. Sometimes we forget to stop and play when we live in this beautiful place, so it's happy when we can enjoy the goods around us!