Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Something exciting.

Yin and yang. Boring and interesting. Waiting and . . . finally getting.

We have the keys to the new house. {{must resist the urge to add 10 exclamation points}} As of this afternoon, we're allowed to enter the dwelling we emptied our bank account for. Now in come the grout-sealers (Bryce and I), painters, ceiling-fan-installers, and appliance people. I hope the blinds and shades I ordered really fit the windows. I can't wait to try out the ice dispenser in the door of the new refrigerator! I wonder if the Low-E windows really make a difference . . .

Are you still reading this? If so, you are a true friend and/or loyal relative. I'm sorry but I warned you that there's not much going on with us but that. Probably beyond boring to you, but exciting to me. Yin and yang, baby!

Now you'll have to come visit me, 'cuz guess what. We have keys to the house now.

Nothing exciting.

I bought some storage containers. Got a print framed, 50% off. Packed a box. Put children into nap time. Wrote a tiny blog entry.

The end.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Just a Quick Note

Busy, busy and I have misplaced the camera. Don't worry, I didn't lose it. (I don't think I lost it . . .) It's just buried somewhere in a pile of this and that. But I can't show you anything interesting in this post, so I'll just have to tell you.

"Harrison and the Hoo Hoo." Sounds like a good title for a book, eh? Harrison loves Tyce's recorder, which he calls the Hoo Hoo because of the sound it makes. Bryce and I have stayed up late making jokes about the Hoo Hoo, such as, "Miss Universe contestant, you've won the Miss Congeniality contest! And to think, you owe it all to your Hoo Hoo!" We think we are hilarious. P.S. Did you watch the Miss Universe pageant last night? I would guess not. Did we stay up till 11 p.m. to find out that Miss Japan won? We'll never tell . . .

Cameron's speech is really coming along. He is so clear and articulate. Yesterday Bryce cleaned out the garage and the boys wanted to help so they needed to put on their sandals. I tried to help Cameron with the straps and he said, "I can do it myself. I will do my best. I will do it my best." How cute is that?

Saturday was a quarterly Primary activity at the park. There were lots of water balloon games and other warm-weather favorites. There were 5 groups of kids who rotated between activities. One fun activity was an ice cream eating contest--each child had one bowl, no hands. Guess who won: Tyce in his group, Mary Rachel in hers. They were manic, I tell ya. What this really means is that are deprived at home, of course. I really wish I'd brought the camera.

We went to Lowe's yesterday (Monday) to buy the garage door opener, window coverings, and ceiling fans for the new house. Bryce and I have experienced hideous shopping experiences before but this one might have taken the cake. You will be surprised to discover that the main trouble makers were our two oldest children. We had the stubborn-and-bothering child and the micro-managing, justice-enforcing child. They did not mix well. Eventually Bryce left with the bottom 3 and left the oldest with me. We had two pallet dollies filled with boxes. One had a bockety wheel that made it nearly impossible to push. Two or three hours later (after delerium had set in) Bryce came to pick us up with our stuff.

This was a super fun Family Home Evening: we made homemade ice cream in Bryce's new (from Christmas) ice cream ball. We sat on the floor and rolled it back and forth between the children and ourselves, then played "monkey in the middle" with Cam because he couldn't handle rolling the ball (he wanted to keep it for himself). The ice cream tasted good but the consistency could use some tweaking.

Well, I'm watching children this morning and I have some cleaning to do. I can't believe that we are moving on June 9th. I am really, really excited. I am really, really overwhelmed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What's Up on a Wednesday

Yesterday was busy. Bryce took the day off, which I totally think he deserves after working till 11 p.m. the night before (Monday). Even though he was here yesterday we did not have quality time together. However, we did sign papers and have the walk-through of the house. Woo hoo! I think I come off as a "picky" person to deal with. I did not shy away from telling the walk-through guys what needed to be fixed. I just want things to be perfect. Even if it's only going to last 3.2 minutes once we move in.
Mary Rachel is beginning her weekly sewing lessons tomorrow with Sister Knudsen. She (M.) is really excited to use her new machine. (Thank you, for the birthday present, Grandma Judy!). Her first project will be an apron. I think sewing is a great practical skill, and I think my creative girl will enjoy being able to make things as she sees them in her mind (eventually). She already does a great job of making clothes out of paper for her stuffed animals.
I have a Sesame newsletter due tomorrow and I'm about 1/4 of the way done. I think it will go quickly once I'm in peace and quiet but with writing, you never know. Cameron and Harrison have their early intervention specialist coming that day and I suspect I will be tired from a late night.
Here are some pictures from this week.
I think this a very picturesque shot from the game last night. But behind the scenes it was not so peaceful. The Dodgers got skunked again, and when they were down 16-2 the other coaches still insisted on running the ball and crying at every questionable call by the ump. Bryce went ballistic on the Angels' head coach, much to the delight of the Dodgers fans. I still can't believe that my shy, non-confrontational husband has no problem with swaggering bravado when it comes to sporting events.This is Cameron's "smile."

The vase I mentioned in my last post. It is black laquer over solid brass, etched in a peacock pattern. It is an antique from India.

Harrison likes to hold babies on his lap, and apparently likes to hold big sisters, too.

"In a Pickle". Mary has wound the baby swing around the branch so many times she can't get out without help.

Tyce and friends built a newspaper-and-tape roller coaster in GATE class. It is basically a marble run. Check out the little boys' faces.

At the end of the roller coaster. Notice Tyce's sharp dress--he still has the Alex P. Keaton look going on.

Harrison riding the trike in the house, dribbling juice.

Cameron lounging on the couch. He threw up a couple of times the night I was supposed to go to book club. Luckily it was a short virus or whatever because he was better by morning.

P.S. I have a formatting issue, as in, I do not know how to format these posts sometimes. Sorry for the periods between paragraphs but for some reason it (the computer) will not recognize my returns.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Stuff I like--Tuesday edition

1. Kids Discover magazine. I like this for myself, as well as my kids.

2. Touched by an Angel re-runs. I think everyone needs a good cry daily.

3. My hair stylist, Patti. Part magician, part therapist.

4. Books by Christopher Paul Curtis. My favorite is Bud, Not Buddy. I absolutely LOVE the audiobook, read by James Avery (the father on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"). I highly recommend checking it out from the library.

5. Kellogg's All-Bran bran muffins recipe. I always replace all but 1 T of the oil with a mashed banana. We have these every-other Monday for breakfast.

6. The new vase I bought from Bob Dias' import store. See above post for a picture.

7. Squares. I love the symmetry of squares, especially in decorating: square mirrors, square windows, square picture frames, for example. Another passion is circles, for the same reason. I tolerate rectangles, and dislike ovals (or triangles, but those aren't common).

8. Season finales this week!

9. My very good friends, near and far. Thank you Rebecca S. and Jen for watching my boys this week.

10. IKEA catalog. Can't wait for the new one in a few months, even though I don't have a store close to me.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Great News!

My dad got a job! Way to go, Dad!
He will be a field director for Banfield, the Pet Hospital. His area includes Houston, south, east, and west Texas, and parts of New Mexico. He is totally excited, and so are we!

Little Bits o' This n' That

I am woefully one-dimensional these days. Pack, clean, plan, dream of things I can't afford, re-pack, re-clean after the twins undo my handiwork . . . repeat 100 times daily. I am a hamster on a wheel. Also, I need better shoes.

Tonight is the book club meeting where we discuss "The Chosen." Guess what, Angie. I can't go. Wah! Tyce has a baseball game and Bryce has a stake Bishopric training right after. I am really bummed, but guess what again. I haven't even finished the book. See, I'm too one-dimensional to even finish a book. I can only assume (hope) that I will be back on track by next month.

In other news, Tyce and Bryce had a big talk about the correlation between dressing nicely and doing well in life. Bryce said that if Tyce got straight A's this term he (B.) would buy him (T.) a Nintendo Wii (wee). This is a good move on Bryce's part, since he personally really wants a Nintendo Wii. Anyway, I don't know what started the discussion but Tyce cottoned (sp?) on to the idea and decided that wearing a suit to school would be key in ensuring his academic success.

So . . . Tyce has been wearing slacks, shirt and tie, and a blazer to school all week. Responses to his clothing range from amusement: "When are you getting married?" (teachers) to shock: "Why are you wearing THAT?" (friends) to ridicule: "You look stupid!" (lame kids). He brushes it all aside and tells people, "My dad said it is a scientifically proven fact that people who wear suits are successful in life." That's not what Bryce said, but it does lend credence to an otherwise unusal 5th-grade wardrobe choice. So I guess he's trying to prove that "theory" correct. (I hope he does. I will admit that he looks quite sharp. I'm a stickler for good grades, and they both really want that Wii.)

Cameron has begun to play with a teddy bear like a dolly. He pretends to change its diaper, rock it to sleep, sing, etc.

Harrison has a new trick, which is riding his tricycle in the house. It is not my favorite.

Harrison and Cameron are outside playing "boats." They are in large Rubbermaid containers on the patio. It is very hot out there and I'm sure they wish they had some real water to go with their pretend boats.

Mary Rachel's CD du jour is one featuring Yo-Yo Ma. If past experience proves true, she will listen to this for a week or two, several times a day, and then request something new to try. Other obsessions have included Pavlo, Enya, Les Miserables, and Songs for Young Women, vol 2. She seems to like classical or gentle music. I say hooray to that.
Last Friday my friends Jennifer, Rebecca S., and I planned a surprise BDP for our dear friend Allison's 30th. It was at a karaoke place. All went well: decorations got up, cake eaten, lots of friends, birthday girl surprised. The singing was questionable, but enthusiastic. I had a really good time, and Bryce even played air guitar for a short bit on Van Halen's "Jump."

Speaking of birthdays, today is special . . . it's my mom's birthday!!! Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

Monday, May 14, 2007

All About Me, Me, Me

I had a great Mother's Day. I basically took the day off. No cooking, cleaning, or diaper-changing. Woo hoo! None of it would've been possible without my awesome husband, who not only took over the household, he also planned some fun stuff for the day (including a karaoke party in the family room after church). Thank you, Bryce!

On a serious note, I am so grateful to be a mother. Even though I studied hard in school and entertained notions of an exciting career in psychology, business, or education, the only real job title I wanted was "Mom." I know God has blessed me with that gift. I am also grateful to my children's birth parents for giving them life. We are all important threads in the tapestry of our children's lives.

Here are some things I love about each of my children:

Tyce: As the oldest, he's the one Bryce and I practice all our parenting techniques on. I hope he turns out okay, because all of our book-learning on parenting doesn't always translate well into real life. Tyce is sensitive, talented, and

helpful. I rely on him to be a leader at home, and he truly makes me proud.

Mary Rachel: She gives me a run for my money nearly every day. Her sharp mind and extremely emotional nature make her a challenge and a delight, depending on the moment. She really tries to do well at school and I'm so pleased by the way she controls herself there. Bryce is better at cutting through her drama to get to the real issues at home (like when she cries, "I feel like I'm going to DIE!" when asked to clean her room). She pushes people's buttons but she is also very, very loving.

Cameron: Fun and spunky, he's always ready for some action. He does really well with his physical and occupational therapies and has a good attitude. He likes to laugh at your jokes (even the ones he doesn't understand!). Although he's super-active, he's snuggly and likes to read books with me.

Harrison: He's a thinker and a planner. I like that he is quiet. He sings me songs, like "Mom, Mom, Mommy Mom" to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." He delights us with his block creations. He is a self-entainer and makes life easy on me (for the most part). He is also very particular and gets frustrated when things don't go as planned. But he takes pride in his work and I hope he'll be a hard worker as time goes on.

I am also so lucky to have a mom who loves me and taught me well. I love seeing her in the second stage of motherhood--she is a an awesome grandma. I wish I could see her more often because I love her.

This post reflects how I feel today--short on funny and long on sap.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Funnies

First of all, I must have done a pretty good job on Bryce's "Three Things" because he hasn't refuted anything (yet). I think his biggest objections are/will be to the "movies" section. At first I had "Goonies" and when he looked over my shoulder he harumphed and said, "What? Goonies?" so I quickly changed my answer. Sheesh, I don't know.

Well anyway, moving on. This morning Mary Rachel said, "Mom, I know you don't want me to talk about it, but I did dump Jalen. Do you know what 'dump' means, Mama? It means you used to have boyfriend and then you broke up with him."

And last night, very thoughtfully: "Mom, when you were a kid did you ever think of a really evil plot that you really wished would've worked out?"

Yesterday after school Tyce mowed the front yard. After he was done he opened the bag of lawn clippings and saw something moving inside. He dumped some of the contents on the driveway to see better, and guess what . . . there was a baby mouse in there. He and the neighbor boy ran over to tell me. Then they figured that if there were one baby, there might be others . . . so Tyce took the bag into the desert across the street to look. All together he found 11 mice in the lawn mower bag. He let them go in the desert. Isn't that disgusting? He didn't mow them up off the grass--we think a mom decided to have her babies in the bag. I guess that doesn't qualify as funny, except for the screams that were heard upon discovering the initial movement amongst the grass clippings.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Three Things I Think I Know About Bryce

Our s-i-l Brooklyn has some cool stuff to say. This is what I think is true about Bryce and he says he will correct me if/when I am wrong.

Three interesting jobs he has had in his life:

1. Burger flipper at the BK. He wishes he were still there now. He'd totally be the manager by now. Score!

2. Custodian, Crabtree Building. 4 am shift. Didn't last long.

3. House Manager of a group foster home. The longest/best/most frustrating/rewarding/insanity-invoking job ever.

Three interesting places that he has lived:

1. A flat in the Manchester, England area that didn't have heat. His toothbrush froze to the sink on many occasions. Also various other flats with quirky mission companions. One companion wouldn't work in the rain. Yes, in England.

2. Houston, Texas. All the good stuff happened there.

3. Wexford, Pennsylvania. He was a teenager. He had a really cool house. Found love at the BK.

Three TV shows he likes to watch:

1. Anything on the MTN. That's M as in Monkey, T as in Tree, and N as in Noodle. He knows everything there is to know about BYU football--past, present, and future.

2. Heroes. His superpower would be time travel, too.

3. LOST or 24--even though he's kind of sick of both of them right now he can't stop watching.

Three favorite movies:

1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. His own life story could read, "Mr. Jones Goes to Las Vegas" but people might get the wrong idea.

2. Star Wars, episodes IV, V, VI.

3. Red Dawn.

Three favorite places he's been to/on holiday/vacation:

1. NYC for our 5th anniversary.

2. San Fransisco, many times.

3. Salmon River trip with his dad, 1986.
Three things that make him happy:
1. Going to the temple.
2. Working hard and getting a lot of work done.
3. When his children are happy and make good choices.

Three things that drive him crazy:

1. People who nag him. This is a short list.

2. Forgetting things.

3. When BYU loses.

Three of his favorite things to eat:

1. Chicken Tikka Masala at the Bombay House.

2. Chili cheese fries.

3. Caramel in pretty much any incantation.

Three places he'd rather be right now:

1. At home, playing with the kids.

2. On vacation, anywhere, without the kids.

3. At a sporting event, especially a Cubs baseball game or a BYU football game.

What Kind of Nerd Are You?

Please don't be offended by the question. I am the first to admit that nerdiness did not leave me when I left high school. What I mean is this dictionary definition:

nerd: an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit

and certainly NOT this one:

nerd: a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person (which is pretty rude and doesn't describe anyone *I* know).

Anyway, I love nerds. As long as they have some social skills, being totally into a hobby or pursuit is pretty cool by me. In high school I was heavily involved in the Latin club. Carthago delenda est!

Now I think my passion and my pain come from English grammar. If there's anything you could say I'm an expert on, it's that. (Of course this comment now invites you to find mistakes in anything I've ever written.) I love how words are put together. Commas, apostrophes, semicolons, em-dash--these are some of my favorite bits of punctuation. But my interest has a dark side that I can't get rid of: I want to correct every mistake I see, ESPECIALLY from my children's teachers. Second place goes to professional advertisements. Why can't everyone just apply what they learned in the 8th grade and give me some peace?

I found this video on YouTube recently and thought these guys rocked. It makes me wish I knew all about math.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Headlines of the Week

"Boy, age 10, Smacks Ball Half-way to China; Cardinals Cry"

"Tyce Jones Wins the Game Ball; Proud Coach Says He Does it for the Doritos"

"Betty Crocker Uses Experimental 'Bowl Lickers' to Test Products"

"'Hey, Are You Hiding a Car in Your Shorts?' Wonders Twin B; Twin A Confused by Accusation"

"Sister Plays 'Lady Bugs Go to the Mall' With Brother; Boy Can't Believe He's Been Roped into Another Girly Game"

Friday, May 4, 2007

Spilling the Beans (finally)

Now we're back to me in the blogging world. Didn't Bryce do a great job on his post? In it he mentioned his new co-clerk Betsy . . . well guess what. Betsy is our s-i-l Brooklyn Cook's first cousin. (Brooklyn is married to my brother David). Thanks to Kellie for making the connection. So Bryce and Betsy are practically cousins-in-law. Cool, eh? That never happens to me.

So it's been a few days since we put up a new post. How can I keep you up-to-date on the simultaneously mundane and ever-changing life of the Jones crew? Every time I sit down to type I have a minor emergency to attend to. Or a wave of guilt as the dirty dishes call to me. (How did I get such whiny tableware anyway?)

Shall I spill our big news? Okay, here it is. We're buying a new house. Ta-DA! I don't see any reason to keep it a secret anymore, except for the doom-and-gloom part of me that says, "Disaster can strike at any moment and ruin all your plans for a happy life." But let's put that aside for now--wanna see some pictures?

Front of house, family room, side view of kitchen, master bedroom, backyard.

Big News is always followed by a Barrage of Questions. Check out our FAQ section:


Where is your new house?

It's about a quarter-mile from our old house, up toward the mountains more in a new development. Same schools, but different ward (Palo Verde).

How big is it?

It has 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and 2-car garage. I believe it is a bit over 3100 sq. ft.

When can you move in?

Our closing date is at the end of the month.

Hold on . . . you bought a new house, but what about your old one? You already sold it?

Yeah, about that . . . No, our current house isn't sold yet. Do you know anyone who's interested?

So you got a good deal on the new house, or you just like huge amounts of stress?

Duh, we do not like huge amounts of stress. Who comes up with these questions? We got a great deal on the house as it was standing inventory (Builder's term for "the other buyer flaked out and now we have a finished house with no occupant"). We're in Vegas, so we're "gambling" that the old house will sell quickly. (Get it?)


So anyway, my mind is at the new house and my body is here at the old one. And that, dear friends, is the much-anticipated BIG NEWS.