Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I wish that I WAS Jessie's girl

Because then Rick Springfield could sing about how much he wanted me.

(Since 2nd grade, it's been the other way around.)

Luckily my friend Jen scored four last-minute tickets to see him in concert . . . Jen, you are my new hero.

Between the first and second acts Angie used her iPhone to figure out who John Waite (the first singer, whom we missed) and Lou Gramm were. Apparently John was the lead singer for Bad English ("When I See You Smile", "Missing You"), and Lou was either the lead singer for Foreigner ("I Want to Know What Love Is", "Urgent", "Cold As Ice") . . . or a British female golfer.

That thought cracked Angie, Jen, and Kristy up.

When the music started I remembered that a concert without earplugs is misery.

I'm serious, it was insanely loud. Check out the guy in the background. It wasn't just me.

It was like an auditory version of this:

But after we closed our ears and could distinguish drum from guitar from singing voice, we realized why the music was so loud.

As Randy from American Idol would say:

"Aw, Dawg, check it. I like your groove man, but that song wasn't doin' it for me tonight. You were pitchy and out of your range. I give you props 'cause you're old school but your singing . . . I gotta say this wasn't your best night."

And as Simon would say:

"You were positively horrible."

That didn't keep us from rocking out. We just rocked with our hands over our ears like a row of emotionally disturbed children.

Disturbed children who wanna know what love is.

Thankfully, someone pointed us to customer service. We picked up free earplugs between sets.

Then came Eddie Money ("Take Me Home Tonight", "Can't Hold Back", "Walk on Water"), who referred to himself in the third person.

My favorite quote:

"I'm feeling good tonight. Woo! I just got my license back. The Money Man's back on the road!"

The sun shone on The Money Man that night.

Angie said, "Wow, you'd think he could've dressed up a little for the show, eh?" After he took off his hoodie she noticed that his black polo looked like it came free from a casino.

My other favorite quotes:

"I love Las Vegas! The Money Man's gonna party all night!"

(Oh Eddie. Why must you sabotage your progress?)

"Remember Sunday Night Live, back when it was good? Gilda Radner, Jim Beluchi, and . . . Eddie Money, 1977."

(Sunday? I think you mean . . . oh, never mind.)

But I have to say, he put on a great show.

Next up was my boyfriend, aka Rick Springfield.

Lookin' good, Rick.

He played to the audience, mingled with the crowd, had people sing with him, etc. All I really wanted to hear was my song . . . I mean, OUR song . . . Jessie's Girl.

We loved it!

And then Rick exploded.

Just kidding.

I love this picture. He had a bouquet of roses that he swung over his head so the petals flew off everywhere. I didn't understand why he did that, but with Rick, I've learned that it's better not to question his genius.

(Rick, did you get my phone number? It was on the paper airplane I threw at you during your guitar solo. Call me!)

Oh man, we had a good time.

The best part was spending time with my beautiful, fun, awesome girly friends.

And I think Rick winked at me.

Thanks for a great night, girls!

Monday, April 27, 2009

We, like, totally went the mall

Because we hang with the cool kids like that.

Remember when I said Ben & Jerry's had a free cone day? First it was dinner at the Food Court--McDonalds for some, Hot Dog on a Stick for others--and then realizing that the line for ice cream was a mile and half long.

Luckily we had Super Tyce to the rescue.

Armed with my cell phone (apparently I have Tetris on it), he gladly escaped the mayhem that three high-energy, fast-food-filled siblings provide, and held our place in line.

Finally Bryce got the text:

You betr hury

Which meant all of our wildest dessert dreams were coming true--for free!

Chunky Monkey, chocolate, and sorbets were shared and enjoyed by all.

After that we walked around. Harrison enjoyed dashing into every store window and posing with the mannequins.

It was kind of funny . . . kind of weird. At least he didn't hug them and call them "mommy" like he did last time.

His antics spawned a string of copycats.

Mary and Cameron were little buddies that night.

That was good, because Cam broke his sandal by pulling too hard on the strap, and he was pretty slow.

Since we were close to Payless we decided to get Cam a new pair of shoes. And since they had a buy one, get one 1/2 off deal going on, I bought Mary some new church shoes.

Some people did not like this arrangement. Some people felt cheated. Some people thought that shoes should be distributed equally, no matter what.

Some people made a scene and had to be removed from the store.

Some people are just so much fun to shop with.

But he got one thing he wanted--to ride home with his daddy.

On the way the other kids and I went through the drive-through car wash, much to their delight.

Since he ended up with a smile AND a new pair of shoes, it appears that Cam was the big winner of the night.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vacation Part 4

We left Reno in the morning, anxious to see the Cooks and enjoy their company.

We made a 2-hour pit stop at Target. A better jacket, another pair of shoes, and some belts were suddenly needs, not wants.

(You know how it is.)

But the detour set us back and we missed the boat.


We wanted to go on a harbor cruise that afternoon in San Francisco. But afternoon turned into evening and we missed the last departure.

This was probably for the best. The cruise for six wasn't cheap, and one of our children ate a grouchy pill that morning, putting a damper on our "Hooray! Let's party!" attitude.

He/she was so unpleasant that we threatened to "just go to the hotel," which meant, of course, go to bed. But Bryce thought I looked so cute and sad that he didn't want to punish ME by calling it a night so soon.

(I need to perfect that look to my future advantage. That night it was dumb luck.)

So we went to Chinatown.

Our favorite store: Far East Flea Market on Grant Street.

By then we really had pushed The Grouch too far and we all wondered if buying a few trinkets was worth the subsequent meltdown.

The next day we met my brother and his sweet family for breakfast at the Original Pancake House. Good food, especially the strawberry waffles; and good conversation, especially what the adults were able to get in over the din of six children. I got a sneak peek at my newest neice and oh, is she a cutie like her sisters!

Dave went to work and the rest of us went to the San Francisco Zoo.

One of the most popular exhibits, "Humans". Don't they look natural?

Tyce enjoyed the responsibility of pushing Maya in her stroller.

Cambria and Cameron were kindred spirits in their desire to travel by fence rather than by road.

We posed in front of "our" sign while a researcher took notes on our behavior.


Maya (3), Brooklyn with Moby-wrapped baby Evangeline (age 5 weeks), and Cambria (4).

Two other pictures I liked: Mary and Harrison posing "before" . . .
and "after."

It was a beautiful zoo and we had a very nice time on a very nice day.

After this I began taking pictures with Bryce's camera. And I can't seem to download those pictures onto the computer . . . but I am working on it. Or I guess I should say that Bryce is.

I have great pictures of the beach and Easter Sunday stuck on the camera, crying to get out.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Gone and messed up the formatting of the blog, apparently.

I am working on it.

It's getting worse and worse.

"Isolate the variables," I hear in my mind.




Hey, did you know today is free ice cream day at Ben & Jerry's?

That's what we're doing this afternoon.

But check it out . . .

3 columns.

That part I figured out.

More square feet = how will I fill it up?

Oh, I have ideas.


I fixed it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vacation Part 3

More? Why yes.

We left Utah on a Wednesday and made a long, long journey through snow and freezing rain to Reno.

Last time I was in Reno was Thanksgiving weekend my freshman year of college. I stayed with my friend Laurie at her house in Sparks and I made her take me to the Reno strip. Her dad drove us around and I asked if we could see some real, live prostitutes around here. Or maybe I said "hookers." Either way, he showed amazing self-restraint in not telling me to shut up (though I do think he rolled his eyes.)

Did he show us the wonder that is Circus Circus? I don't remember, but I do have some photos of me pretending to play a slot machine. Actually, I slipped a quarter in one, much to the horror of Laurie, who looked at me like I'd just lit a cigarette and ordered a beer.

Anyway, back to Wednesday. We finally made it through the bad weather and checked into the kiddie-gambling capital of casinos, Circus Circus.
The first thing the kids wanted to do was go to the midway downstairs, of course.

Well, you know what they say. The family that plays together, stays together.

Even if it's against their will.

The hotel rooms were only $35 a night and so we spread out and got two. That was awesome, because the kids could watch a movie in "their" room (Madagascar) while Bryce and I watched LOST in the other.

I would have liked to stay at Circus Circus another night. Really.

But we were on the road the very next morning, to see David, Brooklyn, Cambria, Maya, and Evangeline in Mountain View.

Our new hotel room was significantly less thrilling.

"This place is boring. All it has is elevators and beds," Cameron observed, sadly.

And we could only afford one room. Six people is a lot to cram into one room, especially when there are only two double beds. And all four kids want to sleep on the floor.

But that's the beginning of a chapter for another day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Vacation Part 2

You know what the hardest part about being gone so long? Trying to write about it when you get back.

By the way, this is my 400th post. You can't stop the madness, baby.

So we left off at my birthday.

We had two more days in Utah, which were, honestly, totally awesome.

Temple Square

Grandma Judy and the cousins and Bryce and I went to Temple Square on the most beautiful spring day imaginable.

I liked this shot of Tyce contemplating the restoration of the Priesthood.

We took a lot of group photos.

The cousins.

Grandma Judy with the kids . . . I'm sorry that this is the only one I took. This was the last of a long photo shoot.

I love this one.

Remember when I told you Kira closes her eyes when she poses for a picture? (Isn't she a doll?)

Then we saw "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It was a wonderful production and I highly recommend it. I do not recommend taking squirmy children, however. The twins were especially difficult and I had to wrestle Cameron into his seat several times while enduring his loud questions, such as:

"Why does Emma have such crazy hair?"

(Don't worry Emma. He thinks my hair looks crazy too.)

Even so, it was a very testimony-building experience for me as I witnessed the sufferings and sacrifices of the early members of our church. I was renewed in my gratitude and reverance for the Prophet Joseph. I thought of John Taylor's declaration:

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it” (Doctrine and Covenants 135:3).

I believe it. I know it. I love it.

Classic Fun Center

The next day was all about fun.

Skating, scootering, climbing, bounce-housing, video-gaming, pizza-eating . . . it was great for big and little kids. Oh, and adults. (Betsie convinced me to go on a giant bounce house slide . . . awww yeeeeah!)

I think the kids could have lasted all day.

Thank you Grandma Judy and Grandpa Al for treating us.

Emergency Shelter

It might seem weird to make this its own section, but Mary and Kess worked all afternoon on this and it was mighty impressive. There's a place for water run-off and collection, food storage, and even a flag for decoration.

We had a wonderful time in Utah and always love seeing our family.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Doot doodle loo!

(That's a trumpet, you know.)

Let me give you the short version first, in case you're a blog skimmer and don't really have the time/energy to focus on the details.

You know I'm talking about you.

Basically it was a visit-the-family mega event. First we went to Utah for General Conference/my birthday/spring break. Then we spent the night in Reno, en route to the Bay Area. Finally we made it to Mountain View to see my brother and his cute family. And then we drove back home.

And that, folks, is what the Jones family does with 10 days, a minivan, and a steady supply of pre-packaged Doritos.

The Way Up

Apparently Utah didn't get the memo that spring had arrived, because we drove into this:

If you can't tell, that's snow.

I think any teacher would tell you that kids + inclement weather = hyperactivity.

Sara rode with us on the way up. We dropped her off with her aunt in Sandy. She and Mary, uh, entertained themselves the whole way up, if you can call spinning yourself into frenzied insanity entertainment. They are truly two peas in a pod . . . so you know the ride was not quiet.

But those girls sure are beautiful, don't you think?

General Conference

I enjoyed watching Conference. For me, Elder Holland's talk on Sunday morning was an absolute stand-out. The "men" went to Priesthood session together, looking handsome as always.

Between the Saturday sessions, Grandma Judy and Betsie prepared an awesome egg hunt for the kids.

Getting ready:


Tyce helping Kira. What a good big cousin.

Mary, very determined.

Kess, with her adorable bouncy hair.

Cameron, inspecting.

Harrison, methodical.

Done, with enough loot to last the rest of the trip.

My birthday

I turned 35 on Sunday and had a fine day. Everyone was really nice to me and let me take, in essence, the day off. I went on a walk between Conference sessions. We had a delicious dinner prepared by my wonderful mother-in-law, and TWO cakes for the party--one that was smashed by a fall, and the other made at the last minute for presentation's sake!

There was some discussion on who was allowed to light the cake's candles, as you can see.

I received some lovely gifts, including lots of lotions and candles, a new immersion blender, a chef's shirt (!), awesome gift cards, and a Christus statue.

The beautiful statue, at home.

And Mary wrote "35 Things I Love About Mom", which I have to say is the best gift of all.

It was a great day and I appreciate everyone taking time to make me feel special.