Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve at Nate's parents' house. Pat is the favorite amongst the grandchildren - they're all borderline obsessed with "Papa." Here he is with Paige and Reagan. Reagan immediately decided she loved Paige and started in on the besitos (kisses in Spanish). If Reagan really likes you, you're likely to randomly be attacked and slimed with numerous besitos. Paige's head was nice and slobbery by the time Reagan finished with her (I'm sure Jill appreciated that).After a fabulous dinner, we retired to the living room for a great evening planned by Aunt Jill. First up was Grandpa reading from Luke about the birth of the Savior while Jill had a book of illustrations to go along with the story. Then each child received a present to open -- pajamas, of course. London, Dallin, Ryan, Luke and Savannah.

London LOVED those pajamas when we went to the store. We saw girl Wall-e jammies, but she insisted that she preferred the boy ones. Grandma Norma ended up getting her the girl ones also and she adores both and is so excited that she can wear one pair when the other is dirty.
Then Nate was assigned to read them "The Night Before Christmas."
After that, we gave Pat and Norma a dvd that Marc made with tons of pictures of all the grandkids -- from here and Denver and Paris. It was fun to sit and see how much the cousins we don't see much have grown and changed. Marc really did a fabulous job on the dvd.
Reagan and Grandma.
Doesn't she look delicious?
I could just eat her up!
Pat and Paige (in her new jammies)
The whole evening the children would run back into Papa's study to check the internet. Papa found a website that tracked Santa (you could even zoom in and it google-earthed where he was down to the neighborhood). Pretty darn neat. Soon we couldn't keep them any longer and they were all begging to go home and get to bed, fearful of missing Santa. So we headed home and there were no problems getting to bed . . . no extra drinks, no getting up to blow a nose, no extra "things" to tell me, etc. No problems, not a peep.

Now that's what I call "Magic."

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jones Christmas Party

I never posted this and yet I wrote it like two or three weeks ago.

Sunday night the girls and I attended the Jones Christmas party while Nate stayed home sick (as well as Monday,but was back to work yesterday). Above are Corey and Reagan -- Corey took over father duties for the absentee Nate. I kept waiting for Reagan to complain, but she really liked him (and his antlers he won). The girls loved the craft table set up for the kids and it wouldn't be a Jones party without the Suns on or a football game (for Grandpa).
When we were little, Grandpa would always call us "boys" despite the fact that Tyler was the only boy in the family. We just got used to it and now I have to tell my girls that story so they don't get so offended when he calls them boys. Anyway -- Grandpa and all his brothers are sports fanatics so I think it's rather funny that of all his boy grandchildren, only one has gotten a basketball scholarship to college . . . and it's a GIRL!!! Go Cassi! The other day I asked how he felt about that and he said he'd take it -- he's totally proud of her.

Sorry about the tangent - back to the party.
Scott, Chris and Corey. Okay, these boys will never be grown-up men in my mind because I will always have fond memories of growing up with them. So when I see them with families, I have to remind myself that it's been a long time and I'm old now too. These are three great men.
Reagan got Corey's antlers for her own and then headed to Grandma Cyndee.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shout out to Aunt JoDee

I can't wait to see you!
Anyone who knows JoDee, knows this is a "JoDee" outfit (red, stars, etc.) -- I am in love with it and knew that only my older sister would appreciate how stinkin' cute Reagan looks in it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Somebody's sick. . .

Reagan got it from dad or London (who's been coughing a little). It so sad (and yet cute) that you can just see it in their eyes. But . . . that didn't stop her from having some fun with Savannah yesterday while I was on the phone with Megan. It was the funniest thing to see her just chillin' in on the chair and being pushed around. On any normal day, she would have been laughing hysterically, but I just don't think she felt up to it.

Megan - these pics are for you!

family pictures

Like everyone else on earth, I hate getting family pictures. Nate has been talking about getting them for months now, but I finally gave in after I saw these cute polka-dot shirts for the girls. Personally, I 'd rather just get pictures of them, because they're much cuter, but I suppose the whole family must be photographed for posterity sake . . . right?

Below is the best family one except that Savy is looking down -- that dang girl was either looking away, down, or smiling weird in EVERY picture. Amy's going to see if she can't do some Photoshop magic to fix this picture and have Savs looking up and pretty.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This morning Amy and I had a brunch with the ladies we visit teach and our partners. It was nice to get together and talk (and eat tasty food). I read this story a few weeks ago and so we gave them a copy along with a Christmas mix cd Amy burned. I love that the more you study New Testament times, you can learn and find so much more meaning to the parables and phrasing that the Savior used while teaching. I think a lot of that is lost on people today and that's part of the reason why I loved this story and learning about the true bond between shepherds and their sheep, which reminded me that I personally am known to my Savior and can turn to Him for help because he knows me as intimately as a sheperd knows one of his own precious sheep.

true story by John R. Lassiter:

“Some years ago, it was my privilege to visit the country of Morocco as part of an official United States government delegation. As part of that visit, we were invited to travel some distance into the desert to visit some ruins. Five large black limousines moved across the beautiful Moroccan countryside at considerable speed. I was riding in the third limousine, which had lagged some distance behind the second. As we topped the brow of a hill, we noticed that the limousine in front of us had pulled off to the side of the road. As we drew nearer, I sensed that an accident had occurred and suggested to my driver that we stop. The scene before us has remained with me for these many years.

“An old shepherd, in the long, flowing robes of the Savior’s day, was standing near the limousine in conversation with the driver. Nearby, I noted a small flock of sheep numbering not more than fifteen or twenty. An accident had occurred. The king’s vehicle had struck and injured one of the sheep belonging to the old shepherd. The driver of the vehicle was explaining to him the law of the land. Because the king’s vehicle had injured one of the sheep belonging to the old shepherd, he was now entitled to one hundred times its value at maturity. However, under the same law, the injured sheep must be slain and the meat divided among the people. My interpreter hastily added, ‘But the old shepherd will not accept the money. They never do.’

“Startled, I asked him why. And he added, ‘Because of the love he has for each of his sheep.’ It was then that I noticed the old shepherd reach down, lift the injured lamb in his arms, and place it in a large pouch on the front of his robe. He kept stroking its head, repeating the same word over and over again. When I asked the meaning of the word, I was informed, ‘Oh, he is calling it by name. All of his sheep have a name, for he is their shepherd, and the good shepherds know each one of their sheep by name.’

“It was as my driver predicted. The money was refused, and the old shepherd with his small flock of sheep, with the injured one tucked safely in the pouch on his robe, disappeared into the beautiful deserts of Morocco .

“As we continued our journey toward the ruins, my interpreter shared with me more of the traditions and practices of the shepherds of that land. Each evening at sundown, for example, the shepherds bring their small flocks of sheep to a common enclosure where they are secured against the wolves that roam the deserts of Morocco . A single shepherd then is employed to guard the gate until morning. Then the shepherds come to the enclosure one by one, enter therein, and call forth their sheep—by name. The sheep will not hearken unto the voice of a stranger but will leave the enclosure only in the care of their true shepherd, confident and secure because the shepherd knows their names and they know his voice.” (Ensign, May 1988, pg. 74)

This Christmas season I hope you and your families feel the Savior’s arms of safety, love and mercy richly in your lives as we celebrate His birth.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Grandma and Grandpa Jones

Here are the pictures of our visit to Grandma and Grandpa Jones' house on Tuesday. Our children have real ownership in that house - they walk in as if it's their own and they know exactly where the tea set dishes are as well as the coloring goods along with millions of mailing stickers that G&G don't know what else to do with. The kids love the stickers and every time we go home, I find those all over my house, with G&G's address.
Reagan and Grandpa getting "re-acquainted"
she decided she likes him
London by Grandma's vintage jewelry Christmas tree. She made it last year out of her mom and grandma's old jewelry.
Aidan kindly raked their yard for them - raked one part bare, but nobody minded. I love that cute, determined face focused on the job at hand. Classic Aidan right there.
I mean, Savannah, taking photo shoots in the back yard.
I adore this picture of all the kids with Grandpa.
Lunch with G&G
We have such a good time whenever we visit them that we leave wondering why we don't get over there more often. That'll have to be a new year's goal because our kids really love it, as do we.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jones Family History

Note: If you read Amy's blog, you may get a dejavu feeling while reading this because I'm lazy and decided to plaigerize her (I'm hoping she won't sue - ha!ha!) on some parts (the facts/stories), but the rest is mine.

Amy and I went to visit my mom's parents Tuesday afternoon. We regularly go for lunch and a visit -- the kids love it (pictures coming in the next post).

While there, my grandpa gave each of us copy of this picture.

grandparents and all of their children. His dad is the third from the right in the back row, with the handsome swirl of hair. I must say he's the most handsome of the bunch and he looks just like Grandpa in his younger days (I picked him out right away).

And then Amy and I sat while Grandpa told stories about these aunts & uncles he knew well. 10 boys, 2 girls.

Bill had Tuberculosis in a time when that meant confinement in a room built separate from the house. The two sisters brought food back to his room regularly, but both were weakened and died fairly young of the same disease, one without ever having married.

Doctor was given his name simply because he was the seventh consecutive son. Apparently that was commonly done (with some biblical origin?), an interesting tidbit that I have never heard. But I suppose there simply aren't so many seventh consecutive sons born these days.

Dudley's wife died young, leaving 5 small children. He remarried and had 12 more for a total of 17. His oldest daughter was born on the precise day that Arizona gained statehood - February 14, 1912. She is still living in the valley.

When asked what his grandpa was like the answer was: "He was the best darn fellow you ever did meet." That status was apparently gained partially due to his Model T Ford, which he once let his 9-year-old grandson drive. Some things really don't change within a single century. Hero status amongst a 9-year-old boy still takes that same route.

Amy asked what his grandma was like. Apparently, she was quiet...people sometimes thought her grouchy. We looked at this picture and concurred that this woman was tired. And there was no time for nonsense. She obviously raised a clean, sharp family of 14, and actually managed to get a picture of them taken in the 19-0something's. And that sure seems like something huge (which I totally understand having just gotten pictures of my small family of five).

About a month ago, Arizona had a regional conference in which one of the speakers (I unfortunately don't remember who) spoke about Arizona's beginnings. I was beaming inside with pride as he retold stories of Daniel Webster Jones. Grandpa's grandpa (the father in the picture above) was the son of Daniel Webster Jones, who came to Arizona in 1877.

In addition to translating the BOM into Spanish, Daniel Webster Jones was sent by Brigham Young to settle Arizona. A group of saints had recently returned from a trip to Mexico and they reported to President Young that they had almost perished along the way due to the fact that Arizona was "uninhabitable." Some people still say that today (Nate during the summer). This group found no water and were in bad condition when they prayed to the Lord for help. Soon there was a fall of rain and snow, depositing plenty of water for the cattle and to fill up their barrels. In the morning they were refreshed and headed back to Salt Lake. When asked by Brigham Young what he thought of that, Dan answered:

"I would have filled up, went on, and prayed again."

Brother Brigham replied, putting his hand on Dan, "This is the man that shall take charge of the next trip to Arizona."

And so he did, settling in Lehi with his family, making me a 5th generation Arizona native. I love hearing stories about family history and knowing about the people that came before me. That afternoon with Grandma and Grandpa telling us stories was priceless and I am grateful to have the picture and the stories to go along with it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


crawling is hazardous business

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Savy's Christmas Program

Last night was the first of many Christmas programs Nate and I will attend.

As we arrived 1/2 hour early (for a program that started 20 minutes late) to get good seats for our little kinders (as Mr. McCloud, the principal, calls them), I leaned over to Nate and said, "next year, we'll have two of these to attend" to which he replied, "yes, for many years to come."

But somehow we don't mind because there's nothing like seeing your child up there - I don't think I even noticed the other 100+ kids up there because I only had eyes for this one
Mary. . . aka Savannah. . . . and I managed a few stolen glances to Aidan who rocked out and looked totally happy up there singing his guts out.

This picture reveals a little bit of the butterflies she experienced before the program. She and Aidan got to be Joseph and Mary and I think it gave them strength to be doing it together.

Here they are with their music teacher, Mrs. Leigh.

None of my pictures turned out well and there was zero visibility during their nativity scene (they were kneeling on the floor -- not on a stage) so this stolen picture from Amy will have to do.

I did feel bad for Savannah because her friend behind her kept pulling on her head-wrap-thingy. Also, their nativity scene was in the beginning of the program and the poor girl didn't know what to do with her baby Jesus doll during the rest of the program. It was quite entertaining (and very sad) to see her trying to do all the hand motions to the song while cradling the baby.

On the upside, they sang her new favorite Christmas song, "Pinata" which I don't see as a Christmas song, but you know, they can't sing real Christmas songs in schools now so we are stuck with "Pinata." I will say, however, that I loved the little shoulder shimmying that went on with the song -- all the kids were totally into it and I have a new appreciation for the song she's been singing for the past week.
The kinders.
I love it that they get to experience all these "firsts" together.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm in trouble!!

This morning.

Breakfast is ready and I call to Savannah.

No answer.

So I go to look for her and this is what I find. . .

Let me remind you . . . she's only in kindergarten!!!!!

And yes, that pink thing is her "make-up bag." Whenever she spends the night at Grandma Cyndee's house, she packs it for the morning. I think I'll tell Santa to skip the lip gloss this year.

I'm not sure if this bodes well for her growing up - she seems to be a teenager already and it scares me. Just the other day Nate and I had the girls go upstairs to pick up their room in preparation for Thanksgiving and out of the blue, she screams "I hate my life" as she grudgingly climbs the stairs. We just looked at eachother in awe before Nate went up to talk with her.

Did I mention that I'm scared of teenage daughters????

. . . and that my 5 1/2 year old is already one????

Monday, December 1, 2008

Daddy's home!

At around 4:00 Sunday, there was a knock on the door and the girls ran to it screaming about daddy being home. The poor man was mauled (literally) by three girlies! Even yesterday Savannah insisted he take her to school and then came bursting in this afternoon demanding to know where he was - I don't think she let him out of her sight all day. We're just glad he took today off to be with us after his long hunt (gone since Thursday evening).

The whole time he was there he only saw one spike and didn't even have a shot. Word amongst the other hunters was that not many people were really successful except maybe all the people out making noise and cutting down Christmas trees (why can't they issue those tags for after the late hunts???) . So despite the lack of the thrill of the kill, he still got to be out in the woods and that can refresh anyone's soul. If I didn't have such littles, I would have been up there enjoying the woods too.

This girl was just as excited as her sisters - she kept crawling over to him and insisting that he hold her (despite the fact that he was grungy and stinky) - you can tell she's excited by her face!
The best part of Nate's return?

#1 the shaving party - the girls were so excited to watch and I'm excited to not be married to scratchy Jeremiah Johnson anymore. and #2 - I didn't have to sleep alone! (see previous post!)

Savannah and London's latest

"If your mother died, what would you feel like?"

Yesterday I was in the family room working on some things and that's what I hear, immediately followed by a sorrowful "sad" in the same voice.

Savannah's playing Sunday School again.

Do they ask questions like that in Sunday School? I guess in Savannah's world they do.

She vacillates between playing school, Sunday School and Primary (and it's only gotten mroe intense since kindergarten started). I can see her there standing next to the coffee table with an open Ensign laying atop a couch pillow and a plastic butter knife in her hand. Every once in a while the Ensign gets a tap from the butter knife - presumably to get the children's attention.

My girls are master pretenders.

They recreate EVERYTHING: movies, books, daddy's stories, school, and primary. Savannah has a special bag that holds her primary teaching tools. Every time the game is played, this bag comes out with all it's tricks, a flashlight included. Our primary used to do a spotlight where they'd read a little poem and then shine the flashlight on a child and ask them some things about themselves. The girls love doing spotlight.

On another note, Savannah currently wants to be a cowgirl when she grows up and "rope cows."

London is in a predicament. She just realized the other day that I don't have a "job" and am just a mommy. She can't decide if she wants to be a doctor or a mommy and then I really confused her when I told her she could do both. Later that night she informed me that she wanted to be only a mommy because she thinks I have the best job and can do whatever I want. I replied, "yes, I can do whatever I want" (ha! if only. . .)

Oh, that girl stresses a lot lately about things she shouldn't.

Example: the other night in her prayer she said, "please help me to know which boy to marry when I grow up."

I tried not to snicker and afterward Nate told me they'd been talking about it together -- you know, the right place and time stuff. Well, now she's stressed about that and I tell her over and over again that she doesn't need to worry about careers or marriage at the age of four. Barbies and Polly Pockets should be the only concern for her at the moment.

Oh, and lest I forget this lovely stage of her life, I must share her latest fetish.

London is obsessed with washing hands, teeth and hygiene in general. She NEVER lets me forget to brush her teeth (afraid of those sugar bugs she learned about two years ago when we accompanied Savy's preschool to a dental field trip - London has a long memory).

And she washes her hands constantly.

In fact, the other night when we slept at Pat and Norma's house, she awoke at 3:00 AM to WASH HER HANDS! Who does that??? She constantly tattles to me about who picked their nose and then didn't wash their hands and then touched Reagan or any number of scenarios. No doubt if you are in London's life, then I have heard some story about your breaking of the hygiene laws in this girl's head. I am glad she's clean, but I hope this obsession is only a phase.

Life with London is always a riot -- she never ceases to amaze me. Her prayers have really impressed me lately. She really thinks about what she's saying and sometimes the sweetest and most sincere and tender things are said when she prays. Last night she blessed baby Caleb that his heart wouldn't hurt anymore and be better - she never forgets him in her prayers.

And she prayed for baby Paige and Reagan. My girls are obsessed with Paige. After we see her, I usually have to hear about how she's so much cuter than Reagan, etc. Then the girls even slip up and call Reagan Paige. They just get a little crazy about their new baby cousin.