OUR FAMILY!!! 🙂 *Minus Dixon…. Whoops, I forgot he wasn’t in this picture. He wasn’t old enough for General conference. 🙂 Obviously, Corbin on his mission too. 🙂
Oh my goodness, it’s been six weeks since I posted! So much has happened! I finally gave up on trying to keep track of what we were doing because we were running around too much. Kids in sports kill my time. I LOVE watching them play though! Sports end Monday and Tess has her license, so things are looking good. 🙂 After writing this, I am realizing just how much we did in the last six weeks. No wonder I tell Kevin every night that I didn’t seem to get anything done that I planned on. I usually follow that comment with explaining everything I plan on getting done the next day. 🙂 Seven hours later, this blog post is done!
THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:
Merritt starting to get migraines. Most of our kids get them while they are teenagers and then outgrow them. It’s so sad to have them hit at the weirdest times. 😦
Reading a cute Winnie the Pooh book (the real story) and Tess commenting that the standing up bear looked naked. Royce then said to her “Tessa, you see everything naked.” Hmmmm, not sure if this is good…..
Royce: “Mom, what is a proglue and epiglue?” I was thinking he was asking about something to do with Pinewood Derby. Me: “I don’t know, we’ll look it up.” RJ: “I see it in the beginning and end of my books.” Ha, ha, epilogue and prologue. So glad he asked. 🙂
Dixon calling our “Harry Potter Closet”, “The Hairy Potty Closet”. He was clueless, while we laughed so hard.
Bryson getting to go to Auburn, Alabama to visit friends. While he was there he and his friends were riding in the back of a truck (which is legal in Alabama) while an accident occurred. We don’t know how the three of them, in the open bed of the truck were ok and not thrown. We are soooo thankful everyone is ok. Bryson did such a good job texting us first, saying everything was ok, but an accident had happened. Then he said he’d call as soon as he had a chance. We sent our thankful prayers right up and waited for the call.
Getting released from our callings! In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have different “callings” at different times. Everyone rotates around and serves in different capacities for a bit (without getting paid). Sometimes I am excited to move on and feel it coming. This time, Kevin and I were teaching Institute and NEVER wanted it to end. We LOVED working with the Young Single Adults each week. The Spirit was so strong and we learned so much from the lessons and the students. None the less, we were called to be Stake YSA Advisors. Which also released us from our Ward Missionary and Ward YSA Advisors callings. That’s a huge change for our schedules and hearts. Thankfully, we still get to work with the YSA, but it’s on a more administration level (working with the adults), not hands on with the YSA as much. 😦 I might have even been mad and cried and mourned for a couple weeks. Thankfully, the wonderful Richardsons are teaching, so the YSA are in great hands.
Running again! I took my first six month break in 15 years (minus three weeks after my babies were born). I was injured and really had to stop. Surprisingly, I loved it. I didn’t miss running at all! I have never really liked running as I prefer to play soccer or basketball (but I don’t have time for that). The deep, dark rainy Winter embraced my lack of exercise. But, Spring has sprung and this big ol’body needed to get moving again. IT HAS BEEN HORRIBLE! Four weeks later, I can make it two miles and I’m not dying anymore. Sorry for admitting how bad it is, but maybe it’ll give someone hope that they too can get back out there. I’m now looking forward to it four times a week. I’ll slowly add more mileage to it, but I’m not in a rush. The river is soooo beautiful to run along.
Expecting Kevin home after a long couple of weeks (Utah trip, etc). We were both so excited for Thursday night when he would get home for a great weekend. He ended up getting stuck in Washington DC UNTIL SUNDAY morning!!!! A three day storm had caused a back up in flights. We were so sad, but survived. Misplaced expectations can cause sadness. We flipped our attitudes around and Kevin enjoyed visiting great places in DC and I can’t even remember my weekend, but I’m sure it was great….. 😉
My teenage girls using my good lipstick. At first, it was cute, then it was bothersome, then I went back to it being special, realizing that I will miss it in a five years. That would just about sum up my thought process in life right now…… 😉
Tess deciding to not attend Mormon Prom because it was two days before her 16th birthday. You’re supposed to be 16, but the Stake Leaders said she could go. It was a really tough, long, thought out decision on her part. In the end, she felt she should not go. Melanie Kessinger gave her this wonderful jar on the night of the dance. So sweet and thoughtful. It made Tess’ night. Thankfully, she had a party to go to that night. 🙂
Having to retrain Dixon to look both ways before crossing in parking lots. I think we have all been carrying him or walking right with him because he is the youngest, so he doesn’t remember learning it when he was little. He is now confidently taking off ahead of us and not looking. We’re working on it…..
Gerald the Duck! Gerald started showing up in our pond. He was cute at first. Then Gerald started perching on our deck. Still neat for the kids, even though Gerald was acting more like a dog at this point. Then Gerald started showing up at 6:00 am ON MY DECK outside MY WINDOW. Ok, still kinda of cute…. UNTIL…. he started pecking on the window and wanted to come in. Gerald might get shot…. Luckily Gerald has good intuition and stopped showing up. The kids were worried I was serious and made a sign for me. 🙂
THINGS THAT WORKED:
ADDISEN AND DAVID ARE HAVING A BABY!!! We are so happy for them! I may have hyperventilated at the thought of being “GRANDMA”, but we are super excited for them! They were so cute as they told us all about it over the phone in March. They sent a package through a friend that had a tiny hat and mittens in it. So cute!!! When I read the words “GRANDPARENTS” I freaked a little, but then they were just so cute. Addy was pretty sick for the first trimester, but is feeling a lot better now. She is 16 weeks and baby is the size of an avocado. This has brought so many new feelings. Congratulations Addy and David!
Pinewood Derby! Royce had so much fun making his car with his Dad and racing it. Our ward does a fantastic job making it a fun night.
Tess, Merritt and Hadley working to make money for Girl’s Camp. Our ward has people sign up for jobs the girls can do. It was a bit crazy driving them around for weeks to each job and picking them up, but they earned all their money (with some extra babysitting jobs on the side). I’m so thankful for all the great people that let them work for them and paid them generously.
Younger kids on a horse kick (this was actually last month, now they are onto butterflies). It all started with a horse gift my Mom gave them. Then the books, movies and videos. Hadley topped it off with riding horses this week. It’s been so fun to learn little details about horses. We are dreaming of having a one some day.
Tess passing her drivers license test! She got to take it a couple weeks before she turned 16.
It was pretty scary. The guys who administer the tests are all ex-cops. Tess said she got the scariest, meanest “The Rock” type guy. It was pretty intense. When she came back in from the test, she fell into my arms and started crying as she said she passed. I was so confused. None the less, Tess turned 16 on April 23rd and we have a teenage driver again! I’M SO HAPPY AND THANKFUL! Great job Tess!!! She said she kept giggling as she drove down the road for the first time alone. She is loving it. 🙂 A friend brought her balloons, chocolate milk and donuts to Seminary. So cute! Another friend made her gluten-free cupcakes that were delicious and beautiful!
Hadley turning 12 on April 13th! Our wonderful Hadley can’t be in Young Women’s! She warms our heart with her smile and is such a wonderful, beautiful, mischievous girl. We’re so thankful she is our little girl. We had a fun Hadley Day to celebrate her wonderful life.
Bryson turning 22 on April 14th!!! Yes, Spring is the time for Jones birthdays. Three birthdays in a week and a half. Here is what I wrote to Bryson on his birthday “My Bubba Boy will always be my first in so many ways! First to make me a Mom, first boy, first to drive me crazy, first to make my Momma’s heart melt, first to laugh so hard and find the joy that only children can create in your life. Some of my fondest memories in this life come from this fabulous son of mine. Happy 22nd birthday Bryson Jones!!! You’ve had my heart from the first moment I knew I was pregnant. You still have it and you know it! Thank you for the many years of love, memories, fun and craziness. I’m sure this summer will go down in the books with Josiah Scott as your partner in crime. I love who you’ve become and I’m so proud of you! “I love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.”
Our fabulous trip to Utah for General Conference! We got to visit Addisen and David in Rexburg, Idaho. Swimming at the hotel was blast too! I actually got to read a book while they swam!!! We toured BYU-I and got to see their cute apartment. They will head to BYU-Provo in August for David’s work on his Doctorate in Psychology. Then we headed to Utah. The five kids and I drove there and back without Kevin. He flew into Salt Lake to meet up with us. Staying at the Cheney’s was a blast! Still not enough time with my Pam, but will it ever be enough? 😉 They were so good to us and we are soooo thankful! We got to watch General Conference with them during the morning sessions and then we attended the real Conference https://www.lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng . It was so fun! Lots of beautiful people everywhere. It happen to be sunny. We ran into the wonderful Jones family from our Washougal River Ward. Which made for lots of Jones in one place. 🙂 So fun! We spent Sunday visiting Kevin’s family. Dixon was working his magic as he tried to talk them into giving him one of their drones, so it could pull his loose tooth out. He was successful! 🙂 Yummy stroganoff dinner and great dog tricks were to be had. On Monday, we got to visit Bryson in Provo. It was so fun to see BYU’s campus and where Bryson lived. Bryson joined us through out our entire trip. It was so fun to have him with us so much. Driving home went really well and the kids were great! We love trips, but we also love getting home to our beds, my Hawaiian shower and sleep! The fabulous Bradley’s “dog sat” Bentley and we were so thankful.
Royce moaning on our drive to Utah. I thought it was because it was going so slowly, but it was because it was killing him to not ride his bike down the huge hills that were surrounding him. So funny!
Getting to have deep conversations with the kids as we drove to Utah and listened to Les Miserables. The girls kept asking good questions about what the songs were about. There are so many incredible messages in the music.
Getting to visit with Tiffany Fox. We were like ships passing in the night. She moved to Utah last summer. We were finally going to get to see her when were down there, but she came here for her first grandchild’s birth. We still squeezed a quick visit in. Lucky me!
Easter! We had fun at the Washougal Eggstravaganza! Love our sleepy little town. We also got to go to an amazing ward Easter Celebration. Our fabulous Alabama neighbors sent each of the kids Easter bags with candy, gifts, cookies and fun. The kids felt so loved. Kevin and I got a wonderful picture they had taken on our Alabama front porch. Love our Besty and Russ Rollins! Sunday, we went to my parents house. We loved our egg hunt there, incredible food and family. I’m so thankful for Spring time, family and Christ’s Resurrection.
Hadley finishing her Classical Conversation’s school year with Faces of History. She was Catherine the Great! She had make-up on and looked all grown up. I was not ok with that! She did a great job!
Royce and Hadley passing off their Memory Master’s! They pass off over 500 facts about History, Geography, Latin, Grammar, Math, Timeline and Science word for word. This was Royce’s first year, great job Royce! Hadley has done it for four years (there is a three year rotation of new facts) and will move onto the Classical Conversations Challenge Program next year.
Addisen and David flying to Maryland to visit David’s family over Spring Break. They then drove a car back to Rexburg. They love having a car now! They had a great visit with his family. Funny part was that they had to visit Kevin in DC while they were there, since he wasn’t with us when we visited them in Rexburg.
Getting to go to the airport for Carter McEntee’s arrival home from his mission in Guatemala. It was so amazing to film and photograph it with Kevin. The McEntee’s are our dear friends and we loved getting to watch this special experience. There is nothing like a missionary coming home after two years away from their family. It made me really think about why these young men sacrifice two years away from family and friends, paying for it themselves. It’s all for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so others can have the opportunity to learn about Christ.
Hadley singing in Sacrament Meeting “I Wonder When He Comes Again” while Kevin accompanied her. I cried…. So spiritual and wanting her to stay my little girl. It was beautiful!
Getting to go to Sean and Taylor Dalton’s reception. It was at the beautiful Jenkin’s Estate. We had so much fun as a family all together (well, five of the local kids). We met my parents for dinner first to celebrate Tess’ birthday. Two of Sean’s friends drove from Provo and stayed at our house. They were so great! They even watched a movie with us Saturday night and went to church with us before heading back. Love all these great young people.
Tess getting to go on her first date. She had a blast! Of course, Kevin had to have the “You’re taking my daughter out” talk with the young man before they went. It was a little stressful to fit it in because of Kevin’s traveling and everyone’s busy schedule, but so good in the end. The young man was awesome about it too. 🙂
Kevin getting to cut down some trees. It was a great Friday morning for him. Royce got to help. (See Pursuing Happiness video) Dixon and Royce loved watching the trees fall. Now to cut them all up and get them seasoning during the summer.
Kevin making a new “Pursuing Happiness” family video format.
Tess getting a job! Having to pay for car insurance, a phone and some gas is going to be expensive. She started looking for a job a couple weeks ago and it seemed like there was no hope. Everyone was either not hiring or told her to look on-line. Finally, she got hired, she was chosen out of a lot of applicants. I’m sure her school schedule helped. Go Tess! She was so nervous for her interview, but did great!
End of the year party for Classical Conversations! Erin Johansen and I were in charge of putting on the celebration. We loved getting to see the kids perform. I love the way we educate. There is no perfect way to educate in school or out, everything has holes, but each year, I love it more for us. Maybe that’s because I have less children at home. 😉 We are finished with the organized part and now we get to work on other things to learn. I love having the pressure off. Now onto the love of learning and flexibility. 🙂
Arriving home from a Saturday run and spontaneously grabbing the kids and Kevin from their chores. I promised them it would be quick before they had to run off to other places. We ran down to the river and skipped rocks. There happen to be people on rafts going down the rapids right then. So amazing that we live on this river (it was sunny and sparkly when I was running).