Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I want to think about something happy now

I don't really have anything super happy going on, because I'm trying to meet a deadline for tomorrow and . . . it seems so hard to just get it done. I know you're probably thinking, yeah, it must be pretty hard to get anything done when you're posting pictures to your blog. But I'm tired of thinking about the cell phone issue, know what I mean? Ugh, it just brings me down (though I totally appreciate all of your support on the subject. Definitely.) Anyway, here are some pictures that make me smile, from when we went to the park for FHE last week.

I thought this was a cool picture of the sunlight on the way to the park.

Mary liked playing with me on the equipment.

All of the boys played baseball with Bryce. Cam is "pitching."

Tyce took a turn pitching to Harrison.

Unfortunately, they were a little too close to each other and Harrison hit Tyce right in the solar plexus.

Tyce had a bit of a welt. You've got to watch out for a loose cannon like Harrison!

I seem to have a hard time catching Harrison in a good picture. And the mustard on the face is pretty charming, don't you think?

One more of my Scary Mary.

And now I'm back to work.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A rant, but not the energizing kind

This has happened two weeks in a row, that two of my young women have skipped class, and I've noticed that several seem to be skipping Sunday School too. In fact, I saw one of my girls in the foyer all during sacrament meeting, and when I was leaving I saw three girls (from another ward) skipping their meetings, all of them hunched over the same thing: a cell phone.

Seriously, they send and receive messages during church, and will even skip class so they don't have to take a break from typing super-important messages, like "Yeah, I think he's cute."

So one of my girls, the one I saw in the foyer when I took a preschooler out for a drink, had her phone out the entire hour. And then when I saw her during SS, she looked really stormy, like upset about something. Then by Young Women she'd gone home. I'm not a genius but it appears that communication between her and the friend(s) didn't go well.

The other two girls, the ones I said skipped Young Women two weeks in a row--well, I think one of them is addicted to her phone. The other one seems to tag along. Because, hello, who skips Young Women? Well, when I saw one slip out the door and the other follow after, I basically chased after them and then they started to RUN! And then they split up! So good thing I have experience chasing down twins, right? I let the follower go and pursued the phone-holder. She turned the corner and changed to a fast walk, pretending not to know I was behind her, but it was that obviously uncomfortable walk people do when they know YOU know they're ignoring you. She made it all the way outside before I ambushed her.

I said, "Where are you going?", trying to act like I was out for a mid-class jog myself. She said, "Ummm, I just have to make this phone call," a little guiltily. And I said, "Don't you like Young Women? We sure miss you," because I've asked her about this before. Predictably she said, "I love you all, really. I just have to make this phone call and then I'll be back in a minute." So I said, "Okay, please come back because it's not the same without you," and I gave her a hug.

She didn't come back.

And while I still believe that she doesn't feel comfortable in class for some reason, I also think she--like so many others--is addicted to the steady stream of information that texting provides. So it's no wonder it feels uncomfortable to shut off communication with the outside world for 3 hours.

This is my third round in Young Women. It was hard enough to keep the girls' attention 10 years ago, with activities, friend drama, and passing notes. But now it is nearly impossible to compete with the lure of cell phones and texting. Sorry to be dramatic, but kids are falling prey to technological seduction. I think that if, IF, young people have phones there HAVE TO BE limits and boundaries set by the parents.

I think there's no reason to bring a phone to church.

I think that a cell phone is a privilege, not a right.

I think that young people (or old people) preoccupied with text messaging miss out on social cues, manners (like making eye contact), and friendships.

I think that when someone welcomes a constant din of information, they do it at the expense of hearing the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.

So my down mood is for two reasons: one, because it's getting harder for young people to keep from falling through the ever-widening cracks; and two, I need to do something about my class skippers. I really do love those girls and I want to handle this the best way--one that will bring them closer, and not farther away, from the Light.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

8 Things About Bryce

I've been tagged a few times lately, this time by the lovely Kilee, and it occurred to me that although I am the primary caretaker of this blog, my awesome husband is as cool as I am and you deserve to hear what he has to say. But when it comes to asking him what I should write, I can guarantee our conversation would go something like this:

Me: Bryce, I want to know 8 TV shows you like to watch.

B: Huh? Hold on, I couldn't hear you because Cameron started yelling right then.

Me: What. are. eight. TV. shows. you. like. to. watch.

B: Cameron! Stop it.

Me: You like to watch Heroes, right?

B: Oh garbage, that's on tonight. I need to set the DVR to record it. Tyce, bring me the remote under the couch, please. Mary, I asked you to pick up these clothes and now Harrison is wearing your church dress around the house.

Me: So you like Heroes, and what else?

B: Oh, you know, the usual. You know what I like.

So I'm not even going to ask him.

8 TV SHOWS (I THINK) HE LIKES TO WATCH:1. Heroes (see above)
2. BYU football games present and past
3. Dragon's Den (BBC America)
4. 24
5. Everybody Hates Chris
6. Tyler Perry's House of Payne
8. Jon and Kate + 8 (he'll kill me but it's true!)

1. BOMBAY HOUSE in Provo, Utah! (Duh!)
2. Cheesecake Factory
3. Fausto's
4. El Pollo Loco
5. Lucille's
6. The Feast at Green Valley Ranch on seafood night
7. Red Lobster
8. Tommy Burger

1. Ate French toast for breakfast before taking Tyce and friend Spencer to school
2. Worked on Jury Instructions at work
3. Had lunch with Betsy and Donna, possibly a salad from Costco
4. Lost his wallet (!)
5. Called me and enjoyed witty banter and meaningful conversation
6. Checked Cougar Board
7. Gave a "5 minute" FHE that turned into 35 minutes because the older kids were really into it (the little ones....notsomuch)
8. Watched the first hour of Heroes, then went to bed.

1. An undefeated season
2. The next game
3. Taking Tyce to the PH session of GC
4. For September's deadlines to be met and past
5. Getting more friends on facebook (j/k)
6. Finding his wallet
7. Reading a good book
8. Going on another date

1. Football
2. Thanksgiving
3. The kids being in school
4. Falling leaves
5. Hiking
6. Driving to see his parents a lot
7. Not having his car bake to 130 degrees at the end of the work day
8. Start of the new theatre season at UNLV

1. Ocean kayak
2. A million free songs for his iPod
3. Autographed jersey from Fui Vakapuna
4. For the Cubs to win the World Series
5. Another vacation
6. Bikes for the whole family
7. Time/motivation to go on nightly walks
8. For the election to be over

So there you have it. If you'd like to participate, consider yourself tagged by me (or Bryce).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Surprises

1. This morning Harrison began unloading the dishwasher, all on his own. He lost his motivation after putting most of the cups away, but I certainly didn't expect him to start at all. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with his "help" as he stands on the counter, but he sure was cute.

2. The kids' Primary program was today and it was great. The teachers and music people worked really hard to make the program what it was, and it was beautiful. However, Harrison got stage fright and wouldn't say his line. (Not too surprised on that one.)

3. Mary wouldn't pose for a before-church picture, so I got one of just the boys.

4. Mary stuck gum on her eyebrows. Then she ripped the gum off. Basically, she accidently waxed her own eyebrows right down the middle. I took a picture but am forbidden by the embarrassed culprit to post it. However, she drew a picture--notice the displaced ball of eyebrow hair in her hands. Don't worry, you'll get to see the full effect with school picture day right around the corner . . . it should be a good one.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Weekly wrap up

1. My brother David came to visit on Wednesday night! He had a convention at Mandalay Bay for his company The Find. I'm telling you, the best thing about living in Las Vegas is that people come visit you. So after I got back from Mutual David drove over here. The twins were asleep, but Tyce and Mary got to see him. For some reason, the big kids both read the whole time. The thing is, I know they were really excited he was here. I guess we'll have to have a FHE titled "Put Your Book Down When Your Uncle Comes to Visit."

So David, I just want to say you how much we all love you! (Especially me.) Thanks for coming over! I would show you a picture to prove you were here, but . . . something was wrong with the lighting and none of them turned out.

2. Storm update from my people. Life is still not back to "normal". I don't believe my parents have power at home (though they've been going to work, probably just to get some A/C), only some gas stations have power, a few restaurants and stores . . . so it's still pretty rough. Right by Heather's house (Bryce's other sister) a tree fell on a power line, and from what I've seen in pictures, that's a common story. Heather and Kim haven't been back to school yet. Our Casa community is doing okay, from the few e-mails I've received. Anyway, I know everyone is still really grateful that the damage wasn't worse but it's still extremely inconvenient.

3. Book club. We had a great meeting at Nancy's house on Thursday. It was fascinating to think that a freed slave (Miss Jane Pittman) lived to see Martin Luther King, Jr.'s rise. More thoughts later.

4. Date night. We had so much fun going out with the Hardys last night. First we went to the temple, and then out to dinner. We all saw people we knew at the temple, which was really nice. Just so you know, if you go to Chevy's so late at night you'd normally be in bed (10:00), a lot of their appetizers are $3.

5. Okay, I have to take the kids to a Primary practice now. I hope to get a few things done with all four kids at the church. Today is also "game day" around here, which is always, shall we say, spirited.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

She's got a ticket to ride

So yesterday I got the boys ice cream cones at McD on Horizon. As I contemplated the best route to Saguaro park from there (Equestrian? Magic?) I chose the lesser-traveled Magic for its straight shot. I followed a truck for a while, thinking distractedly about the rest of the day when the dreaded flashing red and blue lights appeared in my rear-view mirror.

The boys said, "Hooray! A police man, Mama!"

And I said, "Oh crap," which I never say.


"Ma'am, I need to see your driver's license, registration, and insurance," he said.

I fumbled around for a second, and produced everything, including an insurance card valid through last month.

"Hmmmm, this expired a while ago," he tsk-tsked.

I wanted to say, "Yeah, the card but not the insurance," but I thought better of it.


While he processed my information, I felt whiny and defiant. What about the truck I was following? Hello, if he'd been going 15 in the school zone, *I'd* be going 15 in the school zone. I didn't even know there was a school zone there. And see all those other people NOT going 15 mph? Yeah, I hope you get those people, too.

Harrison asked, "Mom, are you going to jail? Will you get locked in a cage?"


At the park I called Bryce. "I was hoping he might just let me off," I said, looking for sympathy.

"Let you off? Why? Because you're cute?"

"No, because I had two ice-cream-holding kids in the back seat," I whimpered.

"Rebecca, that's the reason you got a ticket. To keep law-breaking people like you off the road."



Later I picked Mary up from school. "Mom, I heard you tell dad that you got a ticket. Is that true?"

"Yes, it is," I said.

"So basically . . . you're a criminal?"

"No, I made a mistake and I'm going to make up for it now," I replied. "I didn't see the school zone sign and I got pulled over."

"How did you not see the sign? I mean, isn't it RIGHT THERE? I can see that stop sign way down there, and you couldn't see the school zone sign right in front of you?"

"I didn't notice it, and got a ticket for going 10 mph over the speed limit. And I'm going to pay my fine and it'll be okay," I explained.

"I just don't see how you could be SPEEDING in a school zone, because--"

"MARY!!!! Zip it."


At Mutual that night, I passed Tyce's friend Gonzalo in the hall. I thought he looked particularly friendly towards me, perhaps because he had a nice time playing at our house that one day.

He stopped me and said, "Hey, I saw you today."

"You did?" I asked, brightly.

"Yeah, I saw you get pulled over today after school!"

Oh Gonzalo, why must you broadcast my shame?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I'm writing yet another post. I hope that doesn't bug you, the fact that you can't keep up with the excitement (like the SHOE post . . . right?). Well, I have something else to say. And no, it's not about the fact that you didn't know I was from Texas--I'm over that. Nor is it about how I discovered I actually know the new band director at Brown, and how funny it was to see Tyce's alarm. The thing that's on my mind this morning is my name.

My name is Rebecca Lynne Zella Cook Jones. Don't be jealous that you don't have five names. I only ever use two. But I wonder how my life would have turned out if I'd been named

Beretta Hockey Palin

Just something to think about. What would your Palin name be?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Harrison can "tie" shoes, apparently

I went to get my shoes for walking with Carmen this morning and this is what I found. I wonder how long it took him to wind the laces up like that? (In my not-quite-awake state it took me about 2 minutes to reverse his handiwork.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday night fever

When I need the right words, I often turn to Kool and the Gang.

Oh yes it's ladies night
And the feeling's right
Oh yes it's ladies night
Oh what a night (oh what a night)

Girls, y'all got one
A night that's special everywhere
From New York to Hollywood
It's ladies night and girl
the feeling's good

So last night Jen, Allison, Rebecca S. and I went out for--yeah, you know it!--a ladies night. Chicka bow, chicka bow wow!

It's great to have fun friends!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike

This ominous post is from Bryce's sister Kim's blog:

All the people in our neighborhood that boarded up their windows are now sitting outside on their porches. Maybe because its dark inside.

The wind is picking up and the squirrels have started a full frontal assault on our home. They climb on the back of our bench and peer in the den window. Then they jump on the window and scrabble at it until gravity drops them to the ground. The [pet] snakes are rather anxious as well and testing their cage tops.

Community leaders are visibly and vocally concerned and that worries me some. When our mayor asked us to pray to whichever God we worshipped in whichever language we use for divine assistance, it caught my attention. They told us it was safe to stay, and I wonder if they are having second thoughts.

Please pray for my mom and dad; Heather; Kim, Nate, and Ben; Dane, Emily, Eden, and Zia; our Casa community; and all of our friends in Houston.

Click on the map to see what I'm talking about. My parents are in Kingwood, at the top of the map. Most of our friends and other family live near the inner orange circle, loop 610. Notice how many lakes and bayous dot the city. Galveston is to the east (bottom of map) and will get--always gets--a devastating blow from this kind of storm.

Grandpas are the best!

My dad, aka Grandpa Jim, had a convention in Las Vegas last week. After it was over I picked him up and he spent two days with us. It was awesome! Here's some of what we did.

Harrison and Grandpa (and Mary) enjoyed playing catch.

Grandpa and Mary read books together.

After school the next day, my dad took us to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. I thought that all of our kids would be excited about this, and I was right about three out of the four. There was one who, let's just say, was less than thrilled to be doing something besides vegging on a Friday afternoon. I'll let you decide who it was by the pictures.

After that Bryce met us at the Cheesecake Factory at Caesar's Palace. They sat us in the section on the second floor, where we were the only people. I think it must have been the VIP section. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that our family looks like trouble.

And after THAT, we went to FAO Schwartz and played around. Tyce found a Rip Stick and was practically a pro his first time on it. Mary was enamoured with all the animals. Cam found a wizard hat he was oddly attached to. Harrison did the Curious George jack-in-the-box a lot.

On Saturday Dad took the boys to the park and we had a fun time playing hide-and-seek!

One last picture with the four Jones grandkids.

We love you, Dad! We're praying that the hurricane passes you by!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Remembering 9/11

She didn't write it with September 11th in mind but it sure seems fitting. You may recognize the beginning of this from a much more lighthearted poem a few months ago.

by Mary Rachel Jones, age 8

Golden sun creeps over the valley
Cats linger in the alley
Birds chirping in the morning
Kids at school are learning
that on this perfect day
escaped from the dungeon is the dragon
People packing up their wagons
hear the screaming shrieks
The dragon tears flesh with its beak
No one even got a warning
Many families start mourning
Oh why on this perfect morning

Monday, September 8, 2008

Birthday Pictures

I cheated and let the twins open their gift from Grandma Judy and Grandpa Al a day early because they could hear the noises coming from the box! Cam looks like he's in a trance.

As you can see, they dressed themselves that day. As for me, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

They loved their new noisy trucks!

On their actual birthday, Cameron and Harrison and I spent the morning at Pump It Up. With all the fun things to do, the boys weren't really amenable to standing around and posing.

Harrison loved that slide!

And Cameron did too!

It was a fun way to start their birthday.

Cam wanted a monkey cake, and Hare wanted an elephant cake, and though I was willing to try a more elaborate design, I went with the "less effort, more candy" effect.

The boys give a shout out to their fans. (Notice the chunk ripped off the front of the cake? That's why I always take a picture BEFORE the party.)

Everyone loves a party blow-out.

Waiting for presents.

Glow worms from Mopsie and Grandpa Jim!

Harrison vacuumed all night.

Cameron, Mary, and Bryce played Candyland.

The kids modeled their new t-shirts: Tyce's says "Homework kills trees--stop the madness", Mary's says, "Most of the people who drive me nuts are in my family," Cameron's says, "Trouble is my business and business is good," and Harrison's says, "Mr. Mischief: Trouble is my middle name". All appropriate sentiments. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

As predicted, the candy was pretty much the only thing eaten that night. But hey, that's what birthdays are for!

It is a pleasure to have not one, but TWO four-year-olds! I love my little guys.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More about me

I got tagged by my friend Tracey.

20 years ago I was . . . 14 years old, a freshman in high school in San Antonio, Texas. I loved marching band, Latin class, and my friends. It was a really good time in my life. I would have loved to have finished out my high school days there.

10 years ago I was . . . 24 years old, graduated from BYU, living in Houston, married to Bryce, mom to Tyce, working in the insurance dept. at Hollywood Marine (now Kirby Corporation). Bryce was in law school and Tyce went to day care. We lived in an apartment within walking distance to the park. We spent a lot of time at the park! I didn't love my job and I couldn't wait to get home to my little family.

5 years ago I was . . . 29 years old and living in Henderson, Nevada. We had lived here one year at that point. I was a stay at home mom to two children, Tyce (2nd grade) and Mary Rachel (age 3 1/2). I'd been writing for Sesame Street for 4 years. I loved volunteering in Tyce's class, having weekly lunches with my girl friends, and serving in the Young Women.

3 years ago I was . . . 31 years old, anxiously (and not at all patiently) awaiting the arrival of our 1-year-old twin boys from Houston!!!

So far this year I have . . . gone to Girls Camp, vacationed with Bryce, started exercising (again), and loved serving in Young Women.

Yesterday I was . . . taking my dad to the airport and trying not to cry, making baked beans for a church activity, watching BYU squeak out a victory against Washington, and blindfolded and yelled to at the "wife-calling contest" at the ward party.

Next year I will . . . have Cameron and Harrison in preschool and a little taste of free time.

Thanks, Tracey, for that tag. This was fun! I tag everyone I know. j/k I tag anyone who is interested . . . which is everyone I know, right?

Now about my hair . . . I told my stylist I liked her hair color. Well guess what. Now we're identical. I know the picture doesn't look dramatic, but let me say, it is DARK. I wasn't too sure how I felt about the new color until I went to church, where the young women fawned over me and Ceara told me I looked "raaarrrr." I don't know if that's an appropriate thing to say at church, but I'm flattered.

You know who else likes it? Bryce. So maybe I am a little bit "raaarrr."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Birthday Boys

Today Cameron and Harrison turned 4. You know how you look at your children and they look the same day after day, and then one morning you finally notice how much they've grown? That happened to me yesterday. Where did my babies go?

This is the first picture of the boys we ever received, when they were 6 months old. I thought they were the cutest little things ever.

When Tyce and Mary and I made a week's visit to Houston, the boys were 8 months old and so much fun.

My, how things change. One day: babies. Next day: 4-year-olds. Or at least it seems that way.

Today when I returned from yoga at Carmen's house (and I have to give a shout out to Carmen for renewing my flagging interest in exercise), Bryce said, "It hasn't been a good morning." And I was thinking, okay, it's 6:45 a.m. What's gone wrong already?

Apparently the boys unlocked the casita door and saw their unwrapped loot sitting on the bed, which we would have wrapped if Harrison hadn't been up until 11:00 pm the night before. So they brought some of their packages upstairs and cried, "Can you open these for us???" Hmmmmm. It takes a bit of joy out of gift-giving when the giver has neither a camera in hand, nor all of his clothes on.

I don't know how he did it, but Bryce wrestled the presents away from the boys and they seemed okay with it. They asked about them all day, however, and even said, "Thank you so much for getting me that little vacuum! I love my dirt bikes!" which they had seen for all of two minutes.

Anyway, Cam and Harrison and I went to Pump It Up, the place with the inflatable bounce houses and the giant slide. We had a blast. We must have gone on that slide 100 times.

After we came home it was basically that interminable wait until Bryce got home so they could finally have their party. At last the big moment arrived, and guess what. They were just as excited to see that little vacuum and the dirt bikes as they were this morning! So I guess it all worked out just fine.

Thank you, grandparents, for their gifts, which they loved. Heather, we read all the books tonight!

I'll upload pictures soon. Tomorrow I'm picking up my dad from his hotel (convention) and he's staying the weekend with us. Woo hoo!