Monday, November 26, 2012

we heart the beach

Living by the beach, well... IT ROCKS!!! We are feeling so blessed to live so close to the water, there is nothing quite like it. I LOVE looking out our windows at the Ocean. There is something so calming, beautiful, peaceful, and magical about the ocean. I am sure to some people I sound corny, but really, truly, looking out my windows at home or as I go about my day running errands and seeing the beautiful beaches and the ocean just brings peace to my soul. Living here in Hawaii has really been so wonderful, I don't know how we are ever going to leave. It is going to be a sad, sad day when we have to say our goodbyes!!! For now we are livin' it up and lovin' it. Last Sunday I wanted to get some pictures of the kids on the beach, I have looked around for photographers and like everything else in Hawaii they are EXPENSIVE. I am no photographer, but I do have a good camera and edit pictures in picasa, so I decided to give the pictures a shot on my own. The kids were a little crazy, especially baby E. I did get a few great pictures, so I am HAPPY! By the end all of the kids were soaked, so I decided to jump in with them and have some fun. The ride home was wet and sandy! The kids stripped down and rode home in their undies. It was so much fun and an experience I will never forget. I am one lucky mama!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


The Jones family had a great Thanks Giving. It's been a little strange to think about it being the Holiday's with the warm weather and no family around, but it's also very fun to get to spend the Holiday's "island style". We had a teriffic Thanks Giving. We went to the west side of the Island and eat a delicious feast at a resort and then stayed the night. When the kids saw the resort they were giddy with excitment, they REALLY freaked out when they saw the amazing pool and water slides.

Court puts in a lot of hours at work these days and I put in a lot of hours at home, so we decided that we needed a break and that neither one of us wanted to cook. It was a great decsion because the buffet at the resort was awesome!! It was so nice to sit back and relax this Thanks Giving.

We had soooo much fun playing in the pool, going on the water slides, walking the boardwalk, and relaxing in hammocks. It was a fun, low stress Thanks Giving (just my style). We skipped out on black friday shopping and just enjoyed the resort for the day before we had to head home. There isn't much shopping in Maui anyway!

Here are just a FEW of the things we are Thankful for...

Is most Thankful for the health of our family, a great job, a promising future, and for a loving hot wife willing to love and support him along the way.    {his words, not mine}

I am feeling especially Thankful for our abundance of blessings both spiritual and temporal. I feel so Thankful for the beautiful life I have been given {family.husband.children.gospel.job.etc...}. I am also very Thankful for the trials I have been allowed to face that have strengthened my testimony and have taught me some very important life lessons.

Is so Thankful for her family and to have the awesome experience to live in Hawaii.   {her words}

Is Thankful for her family and is so thankful she can be on earth to celebrate all of the Holiday's. She is also thankful for Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and Heavenly Fathers, Father.   {her words}

Is Thankful for his sisters, his cousin Bex, mom and dad, for his dads strong muscles, and for our camera.   {his words}

Baby E.- If she could talk I am positive she would say how thankful she is for her AWESOME family and for all of the LOVE and ATTENTION they give her!

road to Hana

On election day the kids were out of school and Court took the day off. We have a "Hawaii bucket list" and doing the Road to Hana was on the TOP of our list, so we decided to go on election day. We got up early, packed up some things for the day, VOTED, and then started our journey to Hana. The drive was BEAUTIFUL. We had so much fun stopping to hike and explore along the way. Once we got there we went to Black Sand Beach and the Seven Sacred Pools. We had a great day having fun as a family and exploring Hana. We saw so many beautiful water falls and it was really cool to see the rain forest side of the island. It was definitely a day that will go down in the Jones family history books as one of our greatest adventures!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

All things lately...

I have not been very good about blogging lately. I really want to be better since this is my family history for my kids. I really don't have a good excuse as to why I haven't been blogging, 3 of my 4 kids are in school and baby E. is a great napper. Really I think my problem for not getting around to blogging (among other things I want to get done that I'm not) is that Court is working crazy hours and when I do have a little time to myself I really DON'T, ha! When I do have a second or two then I think about all that I could be getting done, laundry-bills-cooking-cleaning, etc... Well there will ALWAYS be something to "get done" so I am going to make an effort to blog more because I know in twenty years I wont care to remember if the laundry was done, but I WILL want to go back and read things I have written about our life.

I made some memory books for my kids for Christmas this past week. It was so fun to go through pictures of my kids when they were tiny. I loved going back and reading old blog posts about what was going on in our lives during those times. I am really grateful I started a blog all those years ago, I am terrible at journal and if it weren't for my family blog then I would not have written down all those memories. As I was reading what I had written I noticed that I use to be much better about recording little, everyday details, like funny things the kids said or things we did. I was reminded that life isn't about the big things, it's about the little things, it's in the details, it's in our day to day lives that eventually become a life time of memories. So I am going to work on recording the details, because it was a pure joy to go back and read about all of the funny things my kids did and said. The funny thing is, looking back I know in many ways those years were stressful with little toddlers and I KNOW there were days I felt like pulling my hair out, but what stands out the VERY most are all of the HAPPY times.

For the record, here are a few things we have been up to lately..

Court: he has been working so hard, he loves his new job and is really good at it. I miss our family time, but I am grateful when we do have family time that we are here in Hawaii and get to have these awesome experiences. Last week Courts boss was in town, he got to go golfing at one of the best golf courses in Hawaii, he got to go spear fishing (he saw several sea turtles and even got to see a whale breach in the water), and he/we got treated to some yummy meals.

Me: the kids keep me busy, busy, busy! I love being a mom, I really, really do, even if I don't always show it. I am trying to loosen up and have more fun with the kids. We love walking to the beach, swimming at the pool, watching movies on the weekend, etc... I have taken up "hot yoga", I LOVE it. It's a great workout and de-stresser for me. I can feel myself getting stronger and more flexible.

Mac: is growing up way to fast. I just bought her, her first sports bra (HOLY freak me out!!!). She is loving the fourth grade and has lots of cute friends. They have a little club at recess and write a newspaper together (it's pretty cute). She went on a awesome field trip today today, her class is learning about rain forests and got to visit an ACTUAL rain forest, how awesome is that! Court took her down to the abc store last night to pick out some special things for her,field trip lunch.

Lex: this girl is still spunky as ever! She is rockin' it in school, almost always getting 100% on her spelling tests and A's in all subjects. She spends her recesses jumping rope and running. She has several "crushes" but wont tell who. She has a kit of spunk, but also has a very fun side. She is so loving, always giving hugs and kissses. She is so cute with her baby sister and loves to play with her.

J-man: is doing so great in pre-k, I was so worried that going everyday would be hard on him. He is such a cute little man. Tonight we walked to the beach to play volley ball, as we were walking he asked me if he could go on a mission (for our church) right now, I told him he has to be grown up and asked him why he wanted to go right now, he said, "because I am so excited to be a missionary!!!" It was pretty cute.

Baby E: this girl is so much fun, one is such a cute age, but man she is BUSY, she is like a little tornado where ever she goes. I forgot how busy one year olds are. She is really starting to jibber jabber, it is so cute when she "talks" her baby language!! She is also a little MONKEY!! She climbs on the table, tv stand, end tables, etc... She's one crazy little girl!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Take. Deep. Breaths

 I have been feeling stressed lately. My kids seem to be fighting more then normal and I have been less then patient. I do not want to be the kind of mom who has to always raise my voice to get my kids attention. I posted on facebook this frustration of mine and asked my friends for some parenting book suggestions. They gave me some great ideas (btw, I have mixed feelings about facebook, but it definitley can be a positive way to connect and share with friends/family if you use it for that purpose). Anyway, I loved that I got so many great ideas from my friends/family and they reminded me that I have great kids and that I need to just take deep breaths sometimes and that everything WILL be ok.

I take my job as a mother very seriously. This can be a good thing in many ways because it means that I am fiercly devoted to my children and their well being, but it also often times means that I compare other mothers "best" to my "worst". I know I am a good mom, but like lots of other moms, I feel like a failure often. This job of raising children is such a huge responsibility and I really, truly want to do my very best, but man it is SO HARD.

Lately there has been a feeling of contention in our home and it has taken a toll on all of us. We are all still adjusting to our big move and Courts new work schedule. Court is gone A TON at night, which makes family life pretty hard. I start off each week ready and willing to take on the challenges of raising four kids, then by Wednesday or Thursday I am FRIED!!! My kids know this, they sense it, and they use it to their advantage (those sneaky little things). I DO NOT want our home to be filled with the spirit of contention, I want it to be a place where my children can always feel the Spirit, feel peaceful, and feel loved.

I realized that in order to get our home and family going in the direction I wanted it to, that it had to start with Court and I. We have taken a step back these last couple weeks, evaluated where we can do better, really thought about how WE can make changes to help our family, and we have taken a more calm but firm approach to our parenting. Well, things still get pretty nuts around here, but over all the last two weeks have been so much better and slowly we can see our efforts making an improvement. Before reading any of the great parenting books my friends suggested on facebook we decided to go back and re-read a "Love and Logic" book we read years ago. We have been reading a chapter a night once the kids are in bed and it has really been helping us. It's been nice at the end of the day to read this book together, evaluate how we did in our parenting that day, and discuss how we can do better.

I love my children so much. They mean everything to me. They also at times drive me a little crazy. Craziness and all, I am so lucky to be their mom and I hope that I can do everything in my power to be the best mom I can possibly be. I know that to do this I MUST rely heavily on Heavenly Father, I must pray to him {} and ask him to give him the strength I need to be a great mom. After all I am raising his children, he knows them best, he knows me best, and he needs to always be the first place I turn for direction.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Livin' "the life"

Living in Hawaii is pretty amazing. We feel so lucky to have this job opportunity here and to get to have this adventure with our family. Whenever I look out our windows at the view of the ocean I am truly in awe of the beauty that surrounds me.
Making this move (especially knowing it wasn't permanent) was soooo hard for me. I was heart broken to have to pull my kids away from their school and friends (again)
It was especially hard for us to leave our family. But now that we are here and having this experience I am positive that this is going to be something that brings us closer together and that we will create memories that will last a lifetime.
We absolutly love living by the beach. Being able to walk to the beach is so fun. There is something about the ocean that is so amazing to me. The beach is a calm, peaceful place that each of my children love despite their different ages! I love when I get the chance to walk to the beach by myself, it is so peaceful and relaxing.
The kids have already made some great friends here. It makes this mama so happy to know they have adjusted so well to this big change in their lives. When it is time to leave it will be so hard to say good-bye to those sweet friends and to leave this amazing place, but for now we are going to forget about that and enjoy every minute we have here!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

365 Days

Dear Baby Girl,
I love you so much, this past year has been such a blessing with you in our family. You have the most precious spirit and we are so grateful for you.
You have brought so much love and joy into our lives. Your big sisters and brother adore you and love to cuddle and play with you. Your daddy and I are just as smitten, if not more so now with you as the day you were born.
I am so grateful Heavenly Father sent you to us and that he sent you on his timing. After some very difficult trials and some very sad times you were the ray of sunshine our family needed. You have helped me heal, you have helped me to feel closer to the spirit, you have reminded me to keep an eternal perspective. I feel so blessed to be you and your siblings mother. I love each of you equally and with all of my heart.
You are at such a fun stage. You are trying so hard to walk, but your not quite there yet. It is so fun to watch you try to keep up with the big kids. You are such a little monkey and you are still so tiny.
I love you so much! Happy first birthday my little princess!!!
I love you to the moon and back!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Positive things happen to positive people"

Monday, September 17, 2012

An. Eternal. Perspective.

Yesterday Court and I were in Sunday school and something's the teacher talked about really stuck out to me. He was talking about the use of our time and how much time we devote to the Lord and how much time we devote to the World. It really got me thinking about how I spend my time and how our family spends time.

While we do not spend our time doing bad things, we also do not spend enough of our time giving of our time to the Lord. Life is so busy and there are so many distractions, but it got me thinking about how this life is "The time for us to prepare to meet God." I have a very personal and sacred relationship with my Heavenly Father, but I am not spending the appropriate amount of time strengthening that relationship, I am not DILIGENTLY studying the scriptures, and I am not always praying with a sincere heart. I am a busy mother of 4 children and I am squeezing the Lord in when I can, a quick morning prayer, a chapter, maybe 2 of the scriptures each day, Church on Sunday. All of these things are good, but they aren't enough.

In Relief Socitey (Sunday school class for women in our church) yesterday the subject was on staying on the Lords side of the line. With the things spoken about in Sunday school and then Relief Society yesterday it was clear to me that the Lord aw sending me a message... I need to ALWAYS be on his side of the line, I need to increase my spirituality, and I need to devote more time to him. The thought keeps coming to my mind, " Where much is given, much is required". I feel so incredibly blessed in my life... I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, I have a knowledge and testimony of the Savior and his plan for us, I have a wonderful family, I am married to my best friend, I have four beautiful, amazing children, and we have a wonderful life. I feel so grateful for all of these things in my life, so why is it that I have such a hard time showing it?

I have decided that it is time to STEP-IT-UP, it is time to take my spirituality to a higher level, it is 
time to really dive into the scriptures and not just read them, but learn and grow from them. We have tried this rule before as a family, and still try to but often forget... 

Jones Family Rule....
No tv, Internet, books, etc.... Until we have Read our Scriptures and said our Prayers!!!

The days go by quickly and we sometimes forget to put Heavenly Father first with Prayer and Scripture study, but I know if we will keep this simple rule of not doing any of these worldly things before we turn to the Lord in prayer and study from his powerful scriptures that we will be so blessed and will grow spiritually.

I want to take my spirituality to the next level and this means that I need to devote more time and energy to things of an Eternal Nature, this life is my time to prepare to meet the Lord, not my time to 
Facebook, blog, etc... While none of those things are bad, they an be if they are coming before more important things. I am going to start out with having a goal this week to always put the Lord first 
each day, to read my scriptures more, to pray more fervently, and to open the Ensign (our churches magazine) each time I am tempted to waste time on something that has little significance to keeping an eternal perspective.   

 At night once the kids are in bed Court and I like to sit down and watch a tv 
show together, it is relaxing and requires little thought, I don't think this is bad but when we are so tired afterwards that we forget to kneel down and pray together, then we are waisting valueable time where we could be connecting with each other and growing closer to the Lord.  This week I am also 
going to not watch any tv at night unless first my personal nightly prayers have been said and second Court and I have taken the time to pray together, study something spiritual together, and have taken the time to have a real conversation with each other about our day.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Double Digits!

Last night we took Mac out for her birthday as a family. I can't believe that I have a child that is turning 10!!! How did this happen? How did we reach double digits and how did she get so old so fast (AND how did I get this old;).

Mac wanted to go to a "Hawaiian Style" restaurant but didn't want actual Hawaiian food, so we drove down by the beach and drove around until we found the perfect restaurant. We ate dinner at a place called the Tiki Lounge, it had outdoor seating in a lush garden area and live music. We got nachos,  Hawaiian style pizza, and a Philly sand which, it as really yummy. The kids all got POG to drink, it is their favorite Hawaiian juice. The restaurant was attached to some outdoor Hawaiian shops so Court took Mac to pick out a little birthday gift. She found a cute  ukalalie with flowers on it.

After dinner we went to an outdoor roller skating rink at the beach park. They only had roller blades which made it a little hard for the kids since they have only been a few times. J-man was toast after about 15 min. Luckily they gave us our money back for his and my skates, so Court skated with the girls and J-man and I took the baby next door to the skate park to watch the skaters. Watching all the skate boarders sure made me miss my brother Jake.

It was a really fun night celebrating our beautiful girl! I can't believe it has been ten years already since that precious girl was placed in our arms, making us parents, and changing our lives forever! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father sent her to us.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Back. To. School.

Before school started I took each of the girls on back to school dates. I love when I get to spend one on one time with my kids! It is so fun to get to have time alone with them without the distractions of the other kids. Every time I do an alone date with each of my kids it reminds me of how important it is that I work on my individual relationships with them. With four kids and a husband who works weird hours it makes it hard for me to have alone time with them too often. This is something I am going to work on doing more.

Lex was a hoot on our date! She LOVED having me all to her self and had a blast going back to school shopping. We didn't buy a whole lot of clothes this year because first of all we are in Hawaii and well there is really only one season here, Summer, and the kids school requires uniforms. We had a lot of fun shopping and getting lunch at a cute diner at the mall.

For Mac and I's date we went shopping, ate dinner at panda express at the mall (one of her favorites) and then got a frozen yogurt. She was so sweet and so much fun to be around. We also went to Ross to look for some things for our house (it is one of the few places to shop for house stuff on our island). She was so cute and loved helping me find things to decorate with.