2 1/2 months is the longest I’ve gone between blogs! Uggghhh! But it was an Epic Summer. I’m so glad to have it over and get into a routine again with the remaining five kids. My heart feels spread out in different states, as our children move out and grow up. It’s a heart ache that grows bigger and bigger. I’m still trying to find a place for the feelings….. I finally posted the pictures that I couldn’t post throughout the summer because of the emotion. Now I can let myself look at them and feel a little of the love/heartache. The love I have for our children only gets deeper and deeper. I always knew I would love them with everything in me, but I had no idea it could feel like this. They are truly amazing to me as I see them grow into the great individuals they have become.
Things That Didn’t Work:
-Dixon losing his teeth way too fast!
-Build up to Trek (Ma and Pa trainings, meetings, bucket drop, etc.) while getting Corbin off to his mission. The timing of this was a good and bad thing. It helped me not get so sad, but both events at the same time was crazy! He was set apart the night before.
It was quite the feat to get everyone there for the setting apart. Our cars all zoomed in from different parts of town. 🙂
-Creating a video for the conference we were going to speak at. Ugggghhh! I don’t like the camera on me unless I don’t know it’s on me….
-The kids teaching Dixon he can make a wish at 11:11. The unfortunate part was he kept missing 11:11. So the kids told him he could do 2:22 or 3:33. He got fanatical about it. He was making wishes all the time and getting disappointed when he couldn’t fly, etc. He did say one wish came true. Dixon: “My wish came true!” Me: “What was is?” Dixon: “To be as fast as a cheetah, watch I’ll show you…..” Good thing some of the wishes came true 🙂
-Family Chaos with multiple ages! We have a crazy amount of people in our little family. Long story short, we were trying to have family prayer (it took 25 minutes) and people were making fun of Tessa for her skin thing she had. After A LOT of bantering and Kevin and I rolling our eyes at our children, Bryson threatened to pee on her bed if she touched him. We finally prayed (a very irreverent prayer)…. Dixon appears at the end of the prayer (we didn’t know he wasn’t there for the prayer) and announces to Bryson “I took care of it Bryson…. I peed all over her bed.” We were staying in a condo at the beach. It was the first time the entire Jones family was silent all at once! We all wanted to laugh, but they all looked at me to see what way they should play it out (thankfully). I took Dixon outside and talked with him. The natural consequence was that he and Bryson would have to give their beds up to the girls. He was super sad. Bryson made it right by talking with Dixon and washed the sheets to make it right with the girls. SOOOOOO funny and a great family story, but OH MY GOODNESS!
-Bryson’s long hair! He just kept growing it after he left school and it killed me. He had fun being a surfer dude. Caryn Dewey came to the rescue by grabbing him and dragging him to get it cut. He wanted it to grow blonde again after it was cut, so he went willingly. I worship Caryn Dewey! 🙂
-Impromptu “Birds and the Bees” talk with Royce. After our horrendous experience around Christmas time as we informed him of the truth surrounding Christmas, we didn’t want to cross this line with him again. Buuuuut, Royce had been asking so many questions that the animal examples weren’t cutting it. The girls were all giggling and looking at me saying “just do it!” I decided to just tell him. He didn’t cry or anything. He loved getting to know and couldn’t believe it. So glad that is over. 🙂
-Realizing my little boys had never gotten candy out of those machine thingy. We were at Les Schwab FOREVER, so I challenged them to read some books and I would give them a quarter for the machine. They were so excited and giddy to use it on the candy machine. I’m not sure if this was a good thing or a big Mom Fail…. ?
-Dixon trying to get out of yard work. “Dad, you know that Dads like to work…. Any chance you want to work with me outside pulling weeds in my area?”
-Girls needing to “relieve themselves” on our drive back from the beach. They made us pull over and ran into the forest. I think they drink too much water. I didn’t want to pull over because I had passed so many cars that I didn’t want to lose my spot!
Things That Worked:
-Mountain biking at Round Lake! So fun!
-Summer evening glow! That feeling when the kids have been swimming and working in the garden. A breeze is gently blowing through the open windows. Everyone is fed, clean and you all snuggle in for scriptures, prayer, then a movie. This summer we added older kids rolling in throughout the night. It’s a pretty amazing feeling that I’m truly thankful for.
-Bryson inviting EVERYONE to our house. Not everyone came, but a lot did. We were a revolving door and it was so neat to get to meet so many great people. Made life a bit crazy but life is about individual people, right? 🙂 Bryson’s quote of the summer: “Moooom, there are a few people on their way here…. can they stay…. ?” Me: “Of course, my Bubba.” 🙂
-Getting to go see West Side Story with Corbin and Bryson. They were so excited. Crazy to get across town, but worth it! We were trying to squeeze in last minute fun with Corbin.
-Getting to help serve food at Refuel Washougal. It is such a great service and we loved the people.
-Farewell parties leading up to Corbin leaving for his mission. It was CRAZY! But getting to see so many wonderful people that we miss from all over the state warmed our heart. Lots of food, music, games and fun were had.
-Spartan Race. Bryson had his friends come stay here the night before the race and they are crazy funny! We had the VanFranks here too, loved getting to catch up with them. Bryson had a blast working the race then running it.
-Saying goodbye! I just don’t like goodbyes. I avoid them at all costs and get really weird when it’s time to say goodbye. There were so many goodbyes this summer but I am really trying to focus on the reason it hurts to say goodbye. It’s because we get to love in the first place. I wouldn’t change it. Goodbye to the Corbin, the Fox Family, Bryson, Addisen and David, Stephanie and so many more.
-Speaking at a Home Schooling Conference in Yakima, Washington. We took Merritt and Tess with us and left the other kids with my parents. Thank you Mom and Dad for making their time so fun! It was a great 24 hours with the girls and Tess said it felt like she was an only child. 😉
-Getting to watch the younger Fox kids. It was so fun to have a two year old in the house again. So cute!
-Kids listing off their favorite missionaries of days gone by. It was so cute to listen to them describe each one they remember. Then Dixon gets everyone’s attention and tells them that his favorite mission is “Elder Jones, Corbin of course”. Duh, so cute!
-Sneaking temple trips in as much as possible this summer. I was getting ready to go one morning and realized Merritt was home and could go. The next thing I knew she was jumping on with another group and doing baptisms. It was so neat to get time with just her. We got to watch wedding parties taking pictures outside for a bit. It was all so beautiful and special. Love my Merri Merritt.
-Sports starting for the kids. Tess is running Cross-Country. Merritt is doing volleyball. The three youngest are all doing soccer. Kevin is coaching Hadley’s team. This makes for lots of driving considering it is the first time I don’t have a driver in 5 1/2 years. It’s actually going really well and we love to get to watch them play.
-Tess getting to run the “Portland to Coast”! She loved her experience and had a blast getting to know everyone. This Cross-Country thing is opening up an entirely new world for us.
-Missionary Family Home Evening. We invited a number of families over so we could visit and explain FHE. It was so neat get to know new people and their kids.
-Camping over Labor Day weekend at Camp Meriwether in Tillamook, Oregon. It was so beautiful and fun to be with lots of other families. Tess was running in a race down there, so we got to watch her. LOVED IT! We didn’t shower while we were there, so we went to church smelling pretty badly, but it was worth it.