II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

Hiiiii guys!! :)
So..Merry Christmas and almost...Happy New Year! :) Just thinking about how much I miss this more indepth writing style (over FB one-liners) and thinking about getting back to it some.  I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas! We had new hardwood floors installed 2 weeks before Christmas (and re-painted almost the entire house) so our gift-giving was much more limited than usual this year, but I'm SUPER happy with the new look of our home, so no frowns here! :)   Other than a few small items, we got Grant a basketball goal for Christmas (he's playing BBall this year) and Brooklyn got some new clothes and shoes that she wanted.  We also decided to get her a phone this year. We gave it to her in November (the day before Thanksgiving) because we didn't want her to think it was a gift.  We just got her the "free" basic phone that does texting and calling...no email or internet or anything.  She is not NEARLY as enamored with it as we thought she would be. Most of the time it's lost in her room somewhere with the battery dead! HA!  Thankfully it only costs us $10 a month (to add a line) and we can have her take it when we need to reach her (at a friends house, band event, somewhere in Walmart away from us, etc.)  So far, I have not regretted this decision at all! YAY! :)
I have decided to try a new strategy with her this year concerning keeping her room clean. This has been a HUGE source of frustration between us for about 2 years now and I am SO sick of it. I NEVER thought I would go with this approach, but after talking to my MIL over Christmas, I have decided to give it a whirl.  So...no more nagging or fighting. She can keep her room however she wants (except for when we are having company..she has to clean it.)  The "catch" is that I will NOT help her find anything that is lost in the abyss of her room...nor will I wash any clothes at the last minute because they are dirty and she forgot to put them in the hamper (in the hall).  She will learn to deal with the natural consequences of keeping her room a disaster.  Considering how fashionably-alert she is, I'm sure this will be a giant drama in no time when the "perfect" shoe is missing or her favorite jeans are dirty.  Let the fun begin....;-)

I'm VERY excited for a big event I am planning within my new ministry at church Redefining Beauty.  I am doing a Father/Daughter banquet in February and with the help of many other moms, I am hoping to make it a night for our girls and dads to remember...complete with tablecloths, candles, chocolates, flowers, pictures and a father/daughter version of the Newleywed game! :) Let's see how well our dads know their little girls!! :)  It's open to anyone within driving distance....so maybe some of you will even come! :)

I just had everyone in the house write out their goals for 2013 and I'm excited to see what this next year brings for our lives. One thing that I am super anticipating is the possibility that our whole family may get to go on a mission trip to LA to the Dream Center! I'm ready for our lives to be more about God and others...and less about us.

I'm sure much of our summer weekends will be spent at the lake in our camper (that we bought this past year) and enjoying the simple pleasures of a slower life style. I've already learned my lesson to STOP trying to make 3 gourmet meals a day while in the camper. All I do is cook and wash dishes and then start again for the next meal! ha ha

Okay..enough info for one day! C ya again soon!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

To Do Listitis

"-itis" = inflammation of an organ OR denoting abnormal states or conditions, excesses, tendencies, obsessions, etc.

So, you can gather from my title and the suffix definition above, that I have a case of excessive to-do lists. :)
What's a girl to do?
I'm reading Chalene Johnson's AWESOME book titled "Push" and one of her big things is that we should be making to-do lists to help us stay on tract and focused toward our goals. I love it. I love it so much, that I actually traded in my beloved Blackberry for a newer, greater, more app-capable Android so that I could have a great To-Do list app with me at all times!

So...how's that working out for me? Well, I'm glad you asked because IT'S NOT!
I can't find balance.
I went from chaos and no to-do list...to complete obsession! EVERYTHING goes on my to-do list now. Everything is something that must be check-marked off and everything (including pleasurable things) feel like a "duty" that must be completed. :(

For instance, this was my t0-do list yesterday:

Do work for doctors office.
Bible Study time.
Make everyone's breakfast and lunch.
Teach Hardbody class.
Run 2 miles at the track.
Shower and get ready.
Eat Lunch.
Hair appointment at noon.
Pick kids up from school.
Do homework with kids.
Cook Dinner.
Wash the dishes.
Go to church.
Have intimate time with Matt. :)
Read a chapter in my "Power of a Praying Wife" Book.
Be asleep by 10:30.

WHEW! I can't enjoy anything because I'm just hurrying through it so I can use my finger to swipe a virtual line through it (on my fancy-schmancy phone) and then move onto the next thing!

Something is wrong with this picture! Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Friend,

I just typed out this email to a dear friend of mine who wrote me to tell me she's sorry she's been "missing" but that she feels like a slacker and can't get it all done. I liked my reply to her so much (Thank you Holy Spirit) that I decided to post it for you to enjoy as well. :)

Dear Friend,
I'm sorry you're struggling. I hate times in my life like that. It's weird because it's not as much about my circumstances as it is more about the way I'm perceiving it. Sometimes, granted, my schedule does get crazy hectic (like now-around the holidays)...but there are years where I maintain perspective and I stay peaceful and other years where I feel like I am literally one gasp of breath away from drowning in the ocean of commitment.
I know I'm not Dr. Phil or anything...but if I could give you some "been there-done that" advice...I would say....cut yourself some slack. Don't beat yourself up. That is the last thing you need..and just what the devil would like to do. You have the rest of your life to get in super fabulous shape....but your babies are only young once. Housework never ends. You'll never be done....so...just do what you have to and don't stress over dust and dirt. :) I've found that we can go a good FULL week to two weeks without me doing laundry if we REALLY have to. Sure, someone will have to wear the panties that they hate and no doubt there will be mismatched socks on everyone's feet...but we can survive. Not only that...but if we had to, I'm pretty sure we could exist without going grocery shopping for a couple of weeks too. It wouldn't be long before meals became very boring and "canned" but we would make it and no one would die. :)
Take a moment to think about what is REALLY important...in the big scheme of things and then make that your goal. Everything else that gets done is just icing on the cake. Of course I am NOT saying give up on anything. I am just saying let life be for a bit. Roll with it. Pat yourself on the back for the things you DO accomplish and don't let anyone or anything make them less victorious because of the one or two things you didn't get done. I hope that helps. I've had my seasons of feeling like a big old slacker and it's no fun. Let the peace of God which passes ALL understanding dwell in your heart and mind. :)

I'm here for ya, (that goes for you too, dear reader!)
Love, Jen

Friday, October 28, 2011

Too important not to say...

Do you ever let something go for so long (too long) that when you are ready to come back to it....the task is just almost overwhelming? Yah...me too. And today that is how I feel about this blog. I have so many things I want to say and write that when I sit down to start....it's like a raging FLOOD of thoughts...so I sit here looking at the blinking cursor and then hit "Cancel" and go do the laundry instead.
But not today.
Today I read something that gave me the 'Umph!' to just push through that crazy rushing flood of thoughts and swirling topics and JUST DO IT.
So what I'm thinking about today is character in our kids and whether or not we are actually putting anything into building it within them.
I know for me personally, I'm struggling here. I see my children becoming "their own person" more and more and sometimes I don't love what I see. The worst part is that all my kids are..... is a reflection of me and their daddy. So I asked...do WE act like that? And well...in our own more grown-up, more sophisticated way....yes, we do.
Well boo. How come when I try to "fix" others like my hubby or kids, the fingers always point back at me?? :)
There are many character traits I want to instill within my children...but only one of them is CRUCIAL:
First and foremost, I MUST teach them how to have an intimate passionate relationship with Jesus. Without this, they cannot succeed and with it, they cannot fail.
I also think that trying to build such traits as honesty, kindness, sympathy, gratefulness, etc. are going to be tough without the foundation of this personal relationship with the Lord. Think about it...the more we seek Him, the more we find Him. The way we seek Him is through prayer and His Word. The more we read His Word, the more we understand who we are in Christ. When we get to that point, we walk according to the Spirit and not the flesh. At that point, being honest, loving, kind, sympathetic and grateful are all just byproducts of living a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life. :)
And once again...we've come full circle and the ball is in our court (as parents). Are we showing them this by example?

We must teach our young children this. It doesn't come "natural" to them. If we all acted like babies or young kids, none of us would exercise, we'd eat pizza breakfast, lunch and dinner and we'd probably play video games and watch tv during most of our waking hours. So it takes someone with maturity to turn off the tv, put away the video games, cook a healthy meal, go for a walk and OPEN UP THE BIBLE together as a family.
If sports and activities make it impossible to have time for these things, then I guess you are left at a fork in the road....deciding what is a better investment of your time. All time gets spent...just some things bring back a greater return than others. :)
Deut 30:19
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

Friday, April 15, 2011


So...I hate to be like this...but if you're here reading this, then I am asking you to please click over to my other blog and read my newest post. In honesty, the post should've been done on this blog because it really wasn't going to be about exercise or fitness, etc....but I typed it over there and now I just can't see writing it all over again here. SO...click here to read! :)

But before you go....
Don't you just love reading your OWN blog? I just came over here and started scrolling and before I knew it, many moments had passed. I'd like to hug whoever came up with this idea of blogging. What a wonderful testimony to how life progresses and changes and grows. To everything there is a season....that is for sure. I smile at the funny posts and the happy times, my heart breaks again with the sad posts, I yearn for the days when my kids were little-er and did such cute, silly things. Yet, I'm so grateful to be where I am today...where God has brought me and grown me. Embrace today, because it is happening NOW. :) These are the best times of your life!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


So here is the Duncan group you guys hear me talk about! Love these people! :)
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Grant, Jaxon and Brooklyn. Believe it or not...they weren't posed...Grandpa just happend to have the camera at the right place/right time and said HEY GUYS, LOOK OVER HERE and SMILE! :)
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Weekend Fun

This weekend we took a little trip down to our hometown to visit family and finally meet the newest addition to our (extended) family, MaKenzi Ashton Jones! She is 9 weeks old…which means we’ve been trying to make a trip down to see her for 9 weeks!
I knew from the pictures I’d seen that it was only going to take seconds for me to be completely smitten with her…and I was right. Wow! I don’t get to hold little babies in my arms all that often and it’s so easy to forget how tiny they are! She was so precious and they had her all dolled up with huge bows in her hair the entire time (which I LOVE). :)

The first night we were there we had grilled burgers at Matt’s Nane's house. Afterwards we hit Summer Sno for sno-cones! Duncan has the best sno-cones on EARTH..so if you ever go there, be sure to stop and get one!

On Sunday we went to The Christian Center (where we met, got married and went to church the first 6 years of our married lives). It was good to see old friends and be in church with row(s) of family!

After church we had a big family lunch at Matt’s mom and step-dad’s house. That is also where we always stay when we visit and they are so wonderful to us! I’m so grateful that Matt’s step-dad, Duane, is a photographer and he usually snaps some good pix of the family. This year was no exception!

After lunch, all the (grown-up) kids went to the park to play a mean game of Frisbee. While the little kids played at the playground, we got in about 30 minutes of serious Frisbee playing. It was SO MUCH FUN. I found out that I’m not half-bad at throwing a Frisbee, but not nearly as talented as Matt and our BIL Larry who can make that thing soar about the length of a football field with precise accurateness! We started a rule that if you missed catching it, you had to get down and do 5 push ups. HAHA That didn’t last long. Then we had dinner at Matt’s other grandma’s house and enjoyed a nice visit with her and her new husband, Bob.

Today, Monday, we got up and did a little shopping at an AWESOME little boutique called Prairie Rose where Brooklyn got a new shirt, 2 necklaces and a pair of earrings and I found a perfect gift for a couple of my girlfriends. I really wanted this shirt they have there…but couldn’t bring myself to spend the last $ in my clothing envelope on a single t-shirt. It was so cute though. It was a black burnout with the words MY KIDS ROCK on the front in really cool looking letters all “rocker-ish” looking. Oh well..:)

After shopping, we had a Mexican lunch with Matt’s dad. The kids always love spending time with their Pee-Paw! He keeps us all giggling.

Right before we left town, we did something super fun….just as a family. We went to Wal-mart and bought $100 worth of groceries for someone who we knew needed them. We also got a cute card that said on the front “Who loves you?” and then on the inside says “I DO!” and I signed it “Love, God.”
Then we did a DING DONG DITCH, meaning we snuck up to their house, put them on the porch with the card, rang the doorbell and RAN back to our car (which was parked down the road a little ways) and took off. We were all giggling and breathing so hard! It was SUCH an adrenaline rush and what a FUN way to spend $100!!! All of us said we can’t WAIT till we can do that again!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Almost 13 Years!!!

To accompany the post I just did about Brooklyn trying on my wedding dress...and to celebrate the fact that Matt and I are about to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary...AND because I just got a new scanner :), I thought I would put one of our wedding pics for you all to see. I was 19, he was 21. Mere BABIES! :)

Wedding plans? :)

So, I know I've been AWOL from here for a while. Life is crazy-you know how it is. :)
Anyway, in my spare time (HAHAHAHA) I've been watching DVR'd episodes of TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress". I didn't mean to get started on this...but I was watching it one day and I wanted to record the remainder of the show...but instead of hitting "record remainder", I must've hit "record all future episodes" so now when I look at my DVR'd shows...there are gobs of this show on there. And WHY I can't just delete them...I don't know...but instead I stay up till all hours of the night watching these girls try on extravagant wedding gowns and love every minute of it. So-a few nights ago while the boys were snoozing, I put this on and Brooklyn watched with me. Of course, it's no surprise that a conversation about MY wedding dress came up and boy was she ever EXCITED to know that it was hanging in our guest closet just WAITING for her to try it on! :)
She RAN to get it and out she came...looking like..................A BRIDE!
Woah! I was not ready to see my wedding dress on my TEN year old daughter and see her look like the woman she will one day become. That was a glimpse into the future I wasn't quite ready for. But, rather than let my emotions get the best of me, I just smothered the tears that were threatening to explode from my eyes and together we giggled and laughed and dreamed about "her day". Then we had to grab the camera and snap some photos!
I thought it was SO CUTE that she thinks my dress is "amazing and beautiful" and that she totally (THINKS SHE) wants to wear it on her wedding day! That's so sweet...but I know better! Give her another 10-15 years and I'm PRETTY sure she won't feel the same way.
This dress is the only wedding dress I ever tried on. My mom and I got up one day, went to David's Bridal, I showed the lady a picture of a dress from an Estee Lauder 'Beautiful' perfume ad that I had admired, she led me to this dress...which is the EXACT dress from the picture! I tried it on, saw that it was on sale for $199 and we bought it. Done deal. I never looked back or even considered that I might have liked or wanted another dress. At that time (I was only 19) all I could think about was MATTHEW PAUL JONES and how infatuated I was with him. I would've worn a trash bag and carried dandilions for all I cared..I just wanted to HURRY UP and be his wife! :) We got engaged on Dec. 26, 1997 and got married almost exactly 3 months later on March 28, 1998. I don't remember much of anything from those 3 months other than dreaming of what our life together would be like. My poor mom..she had to plan and prepare the whole wedding herself. I didn't have preferances about anything. Can you believe that? I am SO DIFFERENT from that now! Boy oh boy...my parents should be SO GLAD I got married when I was so young because if I was doing it now...it would take YEARS to plan and I would need a small fortune to pay for my "preferences" now! :) I've developed expensive taste over the years!
Anyway, I never even considered having my dress preserved or anything. It was just the outfit I wore to walk down the isle...nothing sentimental. My niece wore it at her wedding a few years after mine and I think she felt the same way. Just needed a white dress to get the job done. All this time it's been hanging in the closet and I've actually tried to get rid of it (garage sales) or give it away plenty of times...but somehow the thing just won't go away...and now I'm so glad! Brooklyn is going to have a blast over the next few years playing dress up in this gown and I'm gonna enjoy it with her (and try to hide the occasional tear that slips out! :)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

I am a sloth

I don't really know what a sloth is...other than the funny looking guy on Ice Age...but that just seems to be the right word to describe my dedication to this blog. It's sad, I tell ya.
I actually am only writing THIS POST because I got on here to look at some of my friends blogs and in order to find them, I had to pull my own up and when I did I saw that it's been nearly a MONTH since I last posted. You know why? Because stinking FB is sucking my brain cells out again. Yes, I returned to it slowly after being off for a month and now I'm back in over my head. Bleck.
Anyway, I'm sorry I've been neglecting you, my first love. I'm gonna attempt to make a change...straight away. :)

Saturday, January 08, 2011

New Jeans! (one pair)

So, I've been meaning to take a pic of my new jeans (that I bought with the money that I won from the Holiday Challenge) and so today I finally grabbed Brooklyn and had her snap a couple of pix. These first two are of my OLD raggedgy Lucky jeans that I LOVE but are literally falling apart. They have a hole in each knee, one on my left front hip and a GIGANTIC hole in the butt! But I still wear them! Ha Ha

Yes, this close up is of my butt cheek....sorry if that is TMI. :)
My new jeans are funky and fun...they are Big Star brand style Miki...size 28 regular...in case anyone wonders (or wants to send me some! ha ha ha). I love this style because they aren't too flare leg or too skinny leg. They also are a higher rise so that they don't show any booty crack when I bend over. They come to right about an inch below my belly button.

NOT loving this picture of my booty...so just ignore the shape and look at the jeans! ;) You will never hear me say that my rear is my best asset...ever.

My FAVORITIST pair of new jeans had to be altered (they were only about 6 inches too long! ha ha--seriously though!) and so I won't get them until January 11th. I'll take pix of them too for ya, because I know you're just anxiously awaiting it! HA!!! They are like--opposite of these jeans--they are a dark wash with a very cool white/silver thread and hardly any distressing.

Lastly, I leave you with the cutest (BY FAR) pic of all...the one I snapped of my sassy little Brooklyn!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Journal It

I was going to send this as an email to my friend Kate...but then I thought that there might be other young mothres out there who could benefit from this idea, so I'm posting on my blog instead. :)

When Brooklyn was 3 months old, I was reading a parenting magazine. It was the section in the front called "It worked for me"...probably in either Parents or Parenting. Anyway, it was a lady who had written in telling that from the time her children were babies up until they were grown, she had always kept a journal for each one of them and then gave it to them when they were 18.

I loved the idea and began it that very day. That was nearly 10 years ago now and I am still journaling and it has become one of the most precious things in my life. Especially now that Brooklyn is older and she knows about it. She loves those books probably more than any other posession. I had intended to keep them a secret until she was grown up...but she found it one day in my bedside table and immediately became enamored with it, so I allowed her to hear bits and peices (as I read it to her). Then she started leaving me notes on my bed saying "mom, pleas writ to me agn" :) when she was only about 5 years old because she LOOOOVES to hear stories about her life and what I am thinking and feeling about her.

Here are some suggestions I have about this, if you should decide to do it:
1: Get a spiral bound book, it's much easier to write in when you don't have to hold the page down because of tight binding.
2. Write about the big things...but also remember to write about the every day things. Some of our favorite entries are the ones where I say "Dear Brooklyn, today you are 2 1/2 and guess what? You are wearing big girl panties today! You still haven't figured out exactly what that means, but you sure are proud of your little Dora undies and would rather wear them and only them (with your tiara and clip-clop shoes too, of course) than any clothes! You are talking all the time these days and say the cutest things. Today you told Daddy that you were going to marry him when you grow up! Speaking of growing up, you are getting so big! We took you to the doctor for your check up and she said you are so healthy and strong! You are already wearing size 3T and some 4T. You don't much like to eat your veggies but you do LOVE Grandma's pickled beets, which suprises me! You would eat french fries with every meal if we would let you and still won't try a donut because you think they have "nuts" in them! ha ha Right now, I am reading Dr. James Dobson's book called "The Strong Willed Child" because even though you are my little sweetie pie...you can be SUCH a stinker sometimes too! You certainly think you're the boss a lot of the time. Somedays I feel like you are way too smart for a 2 1/2 year old because it feels like you know exactly what I'm saying, and you intentionally do everything that I don't want you to do. It is exhausting and at times I wonder how God figured I was qualified to be your momma. You don't really seem to care about having a time-out and when I swat you on the bottom, you just look at me like "big deal" and run off to play. I wonder if you're too little to be "grounded"? hee hee--just kidding! One thing I know...God blessed me with you and He will definitely help me figure out what I need to do to teach you and help you become the young lady that He wants you to be! He knows exactly what you need at all times, even though I don't...so as long as I stay in close contact with Him, I know it's all gonna be just fine! :) I love you my growing-up-way-too-fast baby girl!

See...there was nothing "huge" about that entry...but rather than just list out details like "today we went to X and we ate X and then we came home and watched tv and then went to bed"...it talks more about feelings and thoughts...which is much more interesting to read later on.

4. Write often. I used to try to write about every other day or so...but now I only write, on average, maybe 3 times a month...sometimes more, sometimes less. I especially try to write when we've had an extraordinarily good or bad day.

5. Don't only write about the good times. I have plenty of entries where I tell the kids what naughty little boogers they've been that day. When they are older, they will appreciate your honesty and when they are parents, they will especially appreciate knowing that you've been there/done that!

6. Don't think that boys won't enjoy reading these journals! Grant is only 6 and he loves to hear me read from his book just as much as Brooklyn does!

7. Write about your husband. Some of my entries are just paragraph after paragraph about how much I love and adore their daddy. I just read one that I wrote to Brooklyn the other day that said, "Right now your daddy and I are disagreeing about something and that made me think that I want to write to you and tell you some things about marriage..." and then I went on to tell her how pride will hurt a marriage and how being selfish will only rob you of the joy that you long for....etc. etc. etc. I told her how blessed I am that her daddy loves us so much and works so hard to provide for us. That he loves God and is our spiritual leader and that even when we disagree, I am still head-over-heels happy that God gave him to me! "Oh how I pray that God will bring a young man just like your daddy into your life one day."
Kids need to know this stuff--and how much your and your spouse love each other!

8. Write about YOUR accomplishments and goals too! Without going into too much detail, I have written about my weight struggles in my books to Brooklyn, because when she is a young woman, I want her to be able to read about this and know that I wasn't always "fit and healthy". She will see that it took determination and struggle and lots of hard work to change the way we live, but that I did it because I want HER to grow up healthy and strong and NOT have the kinds of issues with weight that I did. (ps. I don't read that part to her right now).

9. Have a seperate book for each child. They will want to have and keep these as they grow up and move out on their own...so make them individual and unique!

10. Write about answers to prayers and ways that God has worked in your lives! It is our responsibility to show our kids how God has blessed us and provided for us. It is a wonderful way to help you remember too...all the times that God has answered our prayers!

So..........I hope this inspires you to do this. Even if you only write once a month, it will be something your children will cherish!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

I'm throwing a temper tantrum!!!

Okay, So...on Wednesday, I woke up feeling sick to my stomach. Unfortunately, I only set my alarm early enough to wake up, brush my teeth, throw on my work out clothes and make it to the gym in time to teach my class...SO....that meant that I didn't have time to call for a sub or "wait it out" and see how I was going to feel. But...I had a pretty good indication something was going on because in the 20 minutes before I left the house, I used the bathroom 4 explosive times (tmi? :)
Anyway, I get to the gym, teach my class using light weights and doing more instructing than actual demonstrating and then head home, shower and get in bed. There I stayed rolling around, moaning and groaning for the ENTIRE DAY until around 6 pm when I FINALLY was able to throw up whatever it was that was KILLING my stomach all day long. Never been so happy to puke in my life!

Anyway, all day that day just the thought of food make me sick...but by the next day (Thursday)I was CRAVING Subway. Very unusual for me. We aren't frequent Subway eaters...but for some odd reason, nothing else sounded as good as a 6 inch sub loaded with veggies and doused with creamy italian dressing.

Fast forward THREE whole days (today) and I'm STILL craving the sub. Matt knows how bad I want one so we brave the fridgid temperatures and drive into town just so I can have my sub.

Mmmmm.....hot, toasty, loaded, yummy sub sandwhich. We get home, I make up my plate with my sandwhich a small pile of Cheddar and Sour Cream Lay's and a nice icy-cold Pepsi Max. Right about that time Brooklyn hollers from upstairs "MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!! I need you to come help me with the TV." I try to holler out instructions on how to get it switched over from video to the satellite again...all the while I'm practically DROOLING all over my plate...but nevertheless...she can't figure it out. So, quite frustrated, I set my plate down on the table and RUN up the stairs, fix the TV and RUN back down stairs. I was probably away from my plate for about 45 seconds max...but that was ALL THE TIME IT TOOK for SAM, our cocker spaniel, to eat my ENTIRE SUBWAY SANDWICH AND CHIPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SERIOUSLY! I wasn't sure if I was going to cry, scream or break something!
It was an eye opening moment in my life. One I'm ashamed of. I can NOT believe I can get that emotional over a SANDWICH! I was overwhelmed with anger and sadness for a good 5 minutes screaming and flailing my arms around in the air, shouting all kinds of horrible threats that I was going to do to him (which I would NEVER really do).
In the end, I calmed my heartrate, composed myself and poured a big bowl of Multi-Grain Cheerios mixed with Raisin Bran covered in skim milk and called it good.
Well, not good.
Good would have been my sub.
But it was dinner.
As Matt would say..."it'll make a turd."

Monday, December 20, 2010

pictures galore

I uploaded these in backwards order, so I guess I will just leave them and explain them that way too! (less time/work).
On December 18th, I hosted our 5th annual Family Christmas Party. Every year we play some kind of game. Some of the past years we have played Christmas Win, Lose or Draw, Bunco and this year we played Minute To Win It. 19 rounds to be exact! It was SO FUN! We drew numbers (either a 1 or a 2) to determine teams. The rule was that everyone on the team had to play at least one game. Each person had given me $10 ahead of time so that I could purchase the prizes--which were $20 gift cards. Since we had 16 adults playing....a total of 8 gift cards were purchased to all different stores/restaurants. Once we figured out which team won the most games, then we had each person on the team complete a timed challenge to determine 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. place. It worked out perfectly. 1st place person got first choice of the gift cards..and so on. If any of you want to copy this idea for a party, feel free to contact me and I can give you lots of pointers that I figured out along the way! :)
Here is a picture of my niece, Jessica, playing High Roller. This is a pic of Jess playing Stack Attack.

My nephew, Cale, playing Do You Hear What I Hear?

My dad and nephew, Craig, playing Yank Me.

My uncle John and brother, Doug, playing Breakfast Scramble.

My nephew, Cale, playing Noodling Around.

My niece, Jess, and her mom (my SIL), Teresa, playing Dizzy Mummy.

My HILARIOUS SIL, Pudgy, playing Face The Cookie.

My brother, Doug, playing This Blows.

The Battle of the Matt's! My nephew Matt and my hubby Matt playing Don't Blow the Joker. By the way...neither of them could do this--even with 2 tries each. But I did it and showed'em how it was done the first try! :)

Me and my new great nephew, Marshall! What a DOLL! He's only 3 weeks old! (8 lbs)

My beautiful and sassy Santa girl, Brooklyn!

Brooklyn and my great neice, Alexis!
Me and Kinley girl! (and that is my adorable great nephew Kyen in the background!)

And now here we are at some random pictures that I took one night for no reason.
Me and Matt....more in love than ever!

Me and my pretty little Christmas girl!

I know I'm partial, but I think she is just beautiful!

And lastly, one of B and her best girlfriends F and T at their Christmas Party~!

And that's it for now! I'm sure there'll be more to come since Christmas in in 5 days!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS Y'ALL!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Maybe someday...

Maybe someday I'll be a blogger again. I want to be. I miss it. I miss all my friends and your comments, but for now, I just can't do it. Even though I want to..and I think of things that would "make a great blog post" all the time, I just can NOT seem to get my booty in here and actually take the time to think it through and type it out...not to mention taking the time to actually upload photos.
That's what I feel like. BLAH!
I don't know what's going on with me lately, I'm definitely changing. Hopefully they're changes for the good...right now it's all a bit weird and foreign to me. I've never been so disconnected before. In ways, I love it and I feel so free and in some other ways, I feel a bit lonely and left out. I guess (as much as I hate to admit it) I'm realizing that I'm not really THAT important. All these things I was SO involved in...things that I thought practically couldn't function without me...are doing JUST FINE without me.
Even Facebook....I've been off for a whole week now...and no one has even seemed to care or hardly even notice. I think maybe 3 people have asked me about it...which is TOTALLY fine, because quite honestly, I'd rather not talk about it a whole lot...but I guess I just expected a least 25% of my 300+ fb friends to say "OH MY GOSH WHERE IS MY FAVORITE PERSON JEN???" ha ha ha ha..I'm just kidding, I don't have THAT much pride...but...it's just humbling I guess to realize that everything goes on just fine without me. The children's department at church, the PTO, the kid's class parties, blogging, facebook , etc.
Wow, does it sound like I'm throwing a pity party or what? I'm NOT. :) I'm actually quite content at the moment...just reflecting on what's been going through my brain lately, that's all.

What I was really getting on here to say is HI! I hope you have a Merry Christmas! and if I don't talk to you again before then...HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Please feel free to e-mail me anytime!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Here's a topic for ya...

So, my hubby and I had a fight conversation last night about what defines "flirting" versus "being nice" to someone of the opposite sex.
He is very conservative, in that, pretty much everything other than a nod hello is flirting.
Me, apparently the liberal on the otherhand, is oblivious to the fact that anyone could read more into my giggly conversation than what is intended.
It's actually quite an oxymoron, because by nature, I am QUITE intimidated by men in general. I practically avoid conversations, interaction with and even looking at men other than my dad or my husband. Of course, there are a few other exceptions, like close friends and other family members that I am comfortable with, but for the most part...men freak me out. I've always been this way and even now I struggle with my face turning beet-red when a man I am unfamiliar with talks to me. It's some kind of odd and very irritating natural reaction my body exhibits when I feel uncomfortable. It's totally embarrasing and it's probably part of the reason that I just try to steer-clear of these types of situations.
For instance, the doctor I work for---I rarely ever see him, just occasionally when I go to pick up my paycheck, he'll be there. Because he is my boss and my job is bascially at his mercy, I am very intimidated-feeling by the relationship between us. I constantly stutter over my words, my face stays flushed and I almost always leave feeling like a COMPLETE IDIOT because of something I said that didn't even make sense because my heart was pounding. I don't know what is up with that but I HATE IT. (imagine you're having a conversation with the President of the United States---and you want to make a good impression...)
Well...Matt sees that as me being flirty. He thinks that somehow, that is sending a message to the guy that I'm interested in him.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!which is just astounding to me that after 13 years together, he doesn't know me better than THAT!?!?!?!

Anyway, this is a recurring problem in our relationship, because as those of you who know me very well know, I am a talker and a joker, silly and giggly and I can be quite sarcastic at times with people who I feel really comfortable with. Well, all of those things-when done by me with another man-are considered by my hubby-to be flirtatious. There aren't too many men who ever make it that far with me...meaning that I ever become comfortable enough with to let my "real" self show...but there are some. Every 10th or 15th guy we come across-whether at church or elsewhere, I might just click with....as in--I can tell we have a similar personality and the comradare of sacrasm and jokes just flows. It means NOTHING romantic...just that we "get" each other and it's innocent fun to just joke around. Not like hiding it from our spouses...but right in front of them.
I'm trying to think of an example....Okay, here's one...a female family member of mine and her boyfriend came to one of my classes at the gym. Afterwards they came over to talk to me and he said(sarcastically) "I thought you were going to work us out." To which I replied, "HA! I don't think ya'll are tough enough to handle the kind of workouts I dish out!" Then we all laughed and that was the end of it.

I hope I am not crossing over some invisible line right now by telling you all this, but who knows. I am forever getting reprimanded for saying too much. Ugh.
But I really need to understand this. Am I actually crossing a boundary by being jovial with other men----other women's husbands?
Does it bother you when your husband talks to/laughs with/jokes with another female?

I can honestly say that I have a few female friends who are like this with MY husband and it doesn't bother me AT ALL.
First of all, I am COMPLETELY secure in my marriage. I know he wants me and I want him and that we are committed to each other for life.
Secondly, I am also very secure in my relationship with these particular females. I know them, I love them and I actually appreciate their thoughtfulness to talk to my husband and I love it that they like him enough to joke around and punch him in the arm every now and then.
Ironically enough, I actually PREFER my good friends to be this way with him. He likes it...which makes him like them better...which means he likes me to spend time with them more...which in the end...means I get more girl-time with my best friends. :) YAY!

I'm sure I'm not the only woman who deals with this issue...so maybe some of you can give me some ideas on how to resolve this issue. It's a lose-lose deal because I either
1) Be myself, end up being "too friendly" and making Matt mad
2) I keep to myself, don't talk or joke (which is SO NOT me and actually seems rude and stuck-up) and keep the peace. (except I end up resenting hubby for "forcing me" to be someone I'm really not.)

And if you think that I AM INDEED being flirty, please don't hesitate to tell me. If he's right, I want his opinion validated.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This can't be happening...

Wow, all it took was a horrendous dream nightmare about my little boy playing with some other little boys, finding a loaded gun which they thought was a toy and shooting himself in the face to wake me up. Yes...that is what I dreamed last night. UGH! Thankfully even in my dream, I turned to God and in my despair and desperation, He heard my cry and healed my little guy and confounded the doctors. Right before I woke up this morning, I was running through my church telling people what God had done for us! What a night. From one emotional extreme to another!!

Anyway, I certainly woke up with a very different mood/attitude/mindset than I've been having lately. The first thing I wanted to do was go grab him up and just hold him in my arms and NEVER EVER let him go. My eyes well up with tears just thinking about this whole thing right now. BUT...I honestly think either God gave me that dream or He is using that dream to show me some things.

Somehow, lately, I've slipped back into the old me--the one who resembled a chicken-with-her-head-cut-off. I've suddenly acquired more responsibilities than I feel capable of handling and therefore anything that interferes with my agenda, is nothing more than a nuisance. So if you do the figuring---that means that the kids have been DRIVING ME NUTS. They are constantly needing something...whether it's for me to tie their shoe, listen to them read their homework, play a game, watch a movie, watch them perform a song together, etc. When I'm trying to do something (and I ALWAYS AM)...that kind of stuff is such a bother.
But why OH Why????
As I read back thru that stuff I just listed there that they always want me for, I think--what an HONOR for them to be wanting me and needing me! There will be a day, and sadly it's probably not that far off, when they won't want nearly as much to do with me. And without a doubt, I will MISS THIS exact time. Or what about my dream...what if, God forbid, something unthinkable ever did happen to one of them...how much would I wish with all my heart that I could come back to this day, when everything was "perfect". What seems like chaos now would look like heaven to me then.
A good friend of mine said to me recently, "If we're too busy for them now and show it by never looking up from our computer screen/book/phone, etc...then eventually they are going to stop coming to us at all."
Oh how true that is...and how it breaks my heart. How many MILLIONS of times have they been talking to me all the while I was texting on my phone or typing on the computer or reading thru FB. Sure, sometimes I'm doing something important and they really do need to wait...but the VAST majority of the time, giving them my attention is a zillion times more important than whatever it is that I'm so preoccupied with. I can't STAND when my own mother only half-listens to me...and yet here I am doing it to my kids and thinking it's not that big of a deal because what they are saying is silly kid-nonsense about what so-and-so said at school today. WHAT AM I THINKING?
Anyway, I know..........if you've been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you've read many posts like this one....but today, this is what is going on with me and I just needed to write it out/share it with you. I'm sure we can ALL always use a reminder to SLOW DOWN and put priority on the things that really matter. It's days like this that I'm tempted to throw all electronics out the window and go back to a simpler way of life. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Signs of Christmas...

So, we've been busy at the Jones household this weekend! Away with the pumpkins and scarecrows, in with the Nativity, Santa and a sleigh-full of Christmas decor!
(sorry I had to post each picture individually through Picasa because Blogger was giving me trouble again).

The tree is up and gifts are wrapped! (It looks so much prettier than this in real life!)
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Stockings have been hung by the....windows?!?.....with care! (no chimney...so this is the next best thing!)
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The table looks grand with it's pinecone and berry garland spread across it. (too bad it's TOTALLY in our way when we have dinner!)
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The "sitting area" looks all cozy with two snow-capped evergreen trees on either side!
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Brooklyn's turquoise, hot pink and lime green tree is up and sparkling through our front window!
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The entryway is ready! There is a big wreath on the outside of our front door...but you can't see it thru the glass..I thought you might've been able to.
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Christmas Cards have been made! (but they don't all look like this...so if you get one and it's different, don't be surprised! :)
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Personal Privacy...

Well, if you're reading this, that means you are someone I trust! :)
I had to make my blog private today, sadly, because of a couple of very, very, VERY disturbing comments that were left on my work-out blog. Since I link between the two (blogs), I decided to make this one private for now as well...just to be on the safe side. Even though I HATE to be "private" and therefore potentially miss ministry opportunities as well as the ability to make friendship with people from all over the world...I can't compromise the safety of my family or me...and today was the first time in all my years of blogging (going on 5 years now!) that I've ever felt threatened. Yuk!

So anyhow, thanks for being a reader and my friend! I'm so glad that I've been able to get to know you all, and hopefully have encouraged and inspired you at some time!

I know I've been slacking MAJORLY on updating this lately...but such is life. If there is anything I've learned in 2010, it's that my FAMILY comes FIRST....and right now, they need me!
Love you all!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brooklyn--She's cute no matter what!

Last week at Brooklyn's school, they had the opportunity to dress up each day according to a particular theme. Monday was Crazy Day. As you can see...my girl can get SOME kind of CRAZY! She has on leggings that are a different color on each leg, a boot on one foot, a flip-flop on the other, shorts, shirt, scarf, hat, headband, 2 diff. earrings and a wild hair do.

Tuesday was Nerd Day. We really didn't think we were going to have anything good for this day, because of course, none of us are nerds around here (ha ha)...but we managed to do her up pretty nerdy, I think!
Wednesday was Retro Day and again, we were unsure of what we could possibly use for this. But....I remembered I had this shirt in my closest that was a bit retro-y and Brooklyn had gotten these cute "shag" boots recently. Then we found this cute short jacket in her closet to top it all off. We did her hair flipped out with a big "bump-it" in the back and she looked like she came straight out of the 50-60's! SO cute!
Thursday was BY FAR our favorite!!! PROM DAY! There was no question about what dress she would wear...the delimma was HOW we would do her hair! (If you don't know this about me....I love doing hair!) Anyway, I did her whole head in ringlet curls and then we pulled it over to the side and I pinned it up on top and put a rhinestone pin in..then covered the whole thing with silver sparkle hair spray! She looked GORGEOUS! I went up to the school that day and had lunch with her (so I could spy out all the other prom get-up) and I could quickly see that I was a bit over-the-top with her hair do. Some of the other girls had pretty dresses on....but no ones hair looked like they were ready for ACTUAL prom, like Brooklyn's. ha ha...we don't care. We had FUN! :)
Lastly, Friday was Spirit Day. It was all about getting as Orange and Black as possible. We weren't allowed to paint her face or color her hair...so we were limited....but I think we still did pretty good! I got an old pair of her white canvas shoes and painted one black and one orange. She wore one orange sock (with the black shoe) and one black sock (with the orange shoe). She made herself a choker necklace and a bracelet out of orange and black beads and put on a black lace finger-less glove. We put ribbons in her pixie pig tails and she was ready to Rock It!

I think I had more fun fixing her up during this week than I have since she was a baby and I could dress her up and put bows in her hair! She was so cute and aggreeable to let me do whatever I wanted! One thing about my girlie...she's got style! :o)