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.