Monday, October 29, 2007


You may be relieved to know that I listened to the Body of Christ, who was telling me to take something nice to my neighbor after our unfortunate introduction at the hands of the beast. So tonight I made a batch of butterscotch haystacks and I hope to distribute them to that family along with all my other neighbors tomorrow. I will be leaving Beckham at home when I go. I also good Booed, so hopefully this will cover whoever blessed me with a sack of goodies on my front porch. Thank you, whoever you are! My front porch is looking so cute right now with all my fall stuff. I wish y'all could see it. And my new door is coming soon!

Back to the haystacks. This is normally a treat I make at Christmas. But hay is a fall thing, right? I keep hearing about hay rides and seeing hay bale mazes at all the pumpkin patches. Please don't hate me because we've been to three different ones. My child needs something to do!

Here is the recipe I used in case anyone wants to give them a try.

Butterscotch Haystacks

1 cup of butterscotch chips
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/2 cup of Spanish peanuts
2 cups of La Choy chow mein noodles

Heat the peanut butter and butterscotch chips on 50% power for 3-5 minutes. Stir, then add noodles and peanuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Let them harden and then eat 'em all up!

*I like to go lighter on the peanut butter and heavier on the noodles, but that's just me. The peanut butter definitely makes it easier to work with. I was so happy that I ended up buying way more chow mein noodles than I needed because I really like to eat them plain. They're better than chips.

Also, my cousin-in-law Erin just got a blog makeover. It might be the cutest one I've ever seen. Yep, it is. Take a look!

Here are some pics from the most recent pumpkin patch bonanza.

Not quite true.

I was so thrilled that he loved his corn dog. Although this one gave corn dogs a bad name. It was not crispy at all.

The Jones men.

I totally copied another mom who put her kid in here for a picture. My kid only wanted to throw the pumpkins.

Playing chase.

And this is what Jackson liked best about that pumpkin patch.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Beckham and the Baker

This has not been my favorite week. We've had spectacular fall weather, but that doesn't do you much good when you're confined to the house! Tuesday I came down with the stomach virus that has been picking off our church staff families one by one. Jackson had it Sunday, I had it Tuesday, and Curt had it Thursday. Fun times, y'all. We're slowly getting back to normal. I used a blow dryer on my hair this morning for the first times in six days. Six days of air dried hair! These things shouldn't be!

Yesterday I realized that the only thing left in my pantry was chips, so I took a deep breath and made the world's longest shopping list. Since Curtis wasn't exactly hungry yesterday, I made my favorite meal that he hates - roasted chicken and wild rice soup. (He assured me the smell of it cooking wouldn't bother him. He went to bed when I started cooking anyway.) It was absolutely delicious. Later I decided to try baking bread - totally homemade bread without a bread machine - for the first time in my entire life. It was like a goat ropin', but a couple hours later my house was filled with the most amazing aroma known to man. And when I pulled it from the oven using the new mits that Sunni gave me from Anthropologie, I felt like I was birthing a newborn baby (while wearing a designer hospital gown). I even patted it like you would pat a baby's sweet little diapered buns. It was such a precious little loaf of bread. I immediately sawed into it and ate two pieces with plenty of apple butter. Glory to God. I was so sad that Curtis wasn't awake to praise me, nor my child old enough to rise up and call me blessed. Y'all, let's be real. I wanted my works to bring me praise at the city gate! (Click here if you have no idea where I'm getting this stuff.)

I could absolutely not wait to toast my homemade bread in the morning and have it with tea. I couldn't stop smiling, really. A little while later I heard some rustling and I thought maybe Curt was emerging from his slumber in the guest room. It was not so. What did emerge a minute later was my dog. With something in his mouth. Something that looked a lot like my precious little loaf of bread. And lo, it was.

I mourned for my bread. I mourned for the praise of my husband that I wouldn't hear the next day. I mourned the hours of anticipation and labor put into making that stupid loaf. I mourned because I really wanted to be mad at that big ole dumb dog, but I knew he was just hungry. So I didn't yell at him. I didn't throw anything at him. I just marched out to the car and got his new bag of dog food and fed him his dinner. And that is when I thanked God that 2.5 years ago, 9-month-old Beckham forced me into counseling over my anger issues, right after he tore my Bible to shreds in the living room. Loaf of bread? Gone. Consumed by the dog. Growth? Glory to God. For real, y'all.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Beckham Antics

I'd like to thank my 80 lb. golden retriever for introducing us to our "new" neighbors today. We go for a leisurely stroll around the block - toddler in wagon, dog on leash, little plastic poop bag in back pocket because we're responsible like that. We see our two-doors-down neighbors greeting a visitor at their front door. Maybe this will be a good time to make eye contact, smile, and wave since we've never properly met them. Suddenly their little black dog comes running out of the house and jumps all over Beckham. Beckham goes crazy because he is all about having fun and making new bff's. Curt stops in his tracks so the owner's son can catch their little dog and take him or her inside. And then our dog, a.k.a. the abominable snowman, a.k.a. jug head, squirms out of his collar and RUNS INTO THEIR HOUSE. AND CHASES THE LITTLE DOG THROUGHOUT THEIR LIVING ROOM. AND THERE ARE PEOPLE FLEEING THE HOUSE BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID OF BIG DOGS. Nice to meet you, neighbors!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

We Live in a Strange Day

We live relatively close to our school district's football stadium, so every Friday night we can hear the band, crowds, and announcers from our house. This week there was a big football game between the two high schools that we draw most of our youth from. So rather than frustrate ourselves by trying to entertain our toddler during the lovely "witching hours" between 5 p.m. and bedtime, we decided to see if the football game would do the trick. It was a glorious fall night and we actually needed sweaters! We had a great time and Jackson loved watching everything. It's been said so many times before, but when you become a parent, things truly become new again as you see them through your child's eyes.

By far, the most interesting part of the night was halftime. Curt pointed out a football player who had stripped down to his pads and joined his school's marching band. His instrument happened to be the flute. Can y'all picture that with me? A big sweaty football player marching with a flute. It was so awesome.

Speaking of high school athletes, I recently read about a teenage athlete from California who has received unimaginable levels of attention after someone posted her image online without her knowledge or consent. Someone even created a fake Facebook account on her behalf. Unfortunately, I know a little bit about fake accounts since someone created a fake MySpace page for my mom last year. Isn't that ridiculous? She didn't even know what MySpace was.

All this caused me to make some different decisions about how I communicate online. At this time, I don't really feel the need to change the way I do my blog. That's not to say that the day won't come when I stop posting pictures. But I have decided not to accept Facebook friend requests from people I don't know personally. I have felt really bad about this because I do not want to hurt any feelings. But I mainly use that resource to communicate with my college students. It's just a little unsettling that people I don't know personally would be able to observe my communication with my girls (even though I'm sure they're wonderful people). So I want to offer this explanation and an apology to anyone I may have offended as a result of that decision. I share a ton about my life and family on my blogs, so I feel good about closing doors to other areas, especially when they involve our students. Through the years, my family has had our share of freaky situations and private investigators. We could scare ourselves into all sorts of limitations, but we don't want a few strange experiences to ruin many normal and wonderful ones. I hope I am communicating my heart here. I am not a big deal and am no more interesting than the next person, but I do think that everyone needs to look closely at the pros and cons of online communication and make decisions with their eyes wide open.

If you are a parent of child old enough to use the computer, be sure to check out Vicki Courtney's blog. You might need to get your hands on her new book, Logged On and Tuned Out.

I'm totally changing the subject now. I have become the Clark Griswold of fall. At last count I had fourteen pumpkins, both fake and real, inside and outside of my house. Someone please stop me!

And since no mommy blog is complete without throw up stories, I am obliged to tell you that Jackson had his first stomach virus last night. He is doing fine now, but Curtis and I both feel like we had it too - having smelled it, touched it, heard it, and been up all night with it. We are both bracing ourselves for the real thing. It could be a rough week.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Back in Town

*UPDATE* Thanks to my husband's diligent, quick action, I already have a new phone. PTL!

Hello, all. I have been in Houston all week for work. I got to attend Bible study on Tuesday night. Whew! I finally met Debra in person (we have been reading each other's blogs for about a year) and she is just as delightful and beautiful as I knew she would be! On Wednesday there was an LPM birthday party and on Thursday we took our staff Christmas picture. Last year I couldn't make it and had to be photoshopped in. In fact, the picture was taken from the year before when I was pregnant. You couldn't tell, but still. I did not want to be pregnant in my picture 3 years in a row!

I will keep this short because I have lots to do, but I must tell you that my stupid cell phone broke again last night. This is the second Razor phone to break since this summer. They are wimpy little phones that can withstand nothing. Give me the biggest, fattest, ugliest phone out there. I bet it can handle the condensation from the water bottle in my purse. Seriously. So don't call me if you need me.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Twenty-eight Years

(Let me preface this by saying that, like much of what is on this blog, I wrote this primarily for myself. If you read it, great! If not, great!)

One: I was born to my parents in their tenth month of marriage. Fun times for them. Mom took on a paper route in order to stay home with me. The paper route didn't last, but it speaks to me about how much she loved/loves me! My mom? With a paper route?

Two: I clearly remember sitting on my mom's lap and asking her how that baby in her tummy was going to be born. I also remember the day we drove Melissa home from the hospital.

Three: I remember getting a chalkboard and some E.T. paraphernalia for my birthday.

Four: I wore a pink and gray poodle skirt to my fourth birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese in Victoria, Texas. I also wore a necklace with a pink, wooden number four.

Five: My great-grandma gave me two baby chicks from her farm and I named them Cupsy and Brother. They both met their demise at the hands (mouth) of our dog. That same little dog bit me in the face that year and was promptly given away.

Six: We moved to the house that my parents have been in ever since. We loved sliding down the stairs in our footie pajamas. I also started kindergarten.

Seven: I made my profession of faith and was baptized. My parents gave me a purple Precious Moments Bible. I wish I still had it, but one of the dogs chewed up the cover at some point.

Eight: I have always said that I peaked in the second grade. I had very long blond hair that my mom put in curlers every day. The next year it was cut off and I was never the same. This is the age when I started hating math. Especially fractions. And my teacher still remembers that I couldn't tell time. To this day I sweat when someone asks me the time.

Nine: I remember some amazingly hard spelling tests in Mrs. Adams' class. Allie, do you remember those? My family took an unforgettable summer trip to Maine and New York that summer.

Ten: Four-year-old Michael came to live with us around Valentine's Day.

Eleven: I was obsessed with designer jeans and NKOTB.

Twelve: Hello, jr. high! Welcome to the stress of locker combinations, dressing out for PE, and tardy bells. No description of these years is complete without a mention of my bff, Molly.

Thirteen: I lived to be on the Truitt Jr. High volleyball team. We were 0-14. I went to the Kinsmen Lutheran Church's youth group with my friends and had the most fun.

Fourteen: This was the last year before my faith was really tested. I had such a heart for God, but things were going to get tough soon. I spent a lot of time riding horses with my dad and grandma.

Fifteen: Hello, high school! I had my first homecoming, first date, first heartbreak, first party, etc. This is when my friends and I learned that a kiss is not a commitment. (Jen, where's that old poem you had about that? And happy birthday to you tomorrow!)

Sixteen: Aggie maroon, 5.0 GT Mustang convertible. Thank you, Memaw.

Seventeen: Michael went to live with his birth mom. These years were very difficult for my family. My mom took me to Israel that summer.

Eighteen: I'd like to erase this year from my life. Even so, I graduated from high school and went off to fulfill my destiny at Texas A&M University! I went to Passion '98 in Austin and got a taste of what could be mine if I would get serious with Jesus. My Nanny died that summer.

Nineteen: I started getting serious with Jesus. I joined Phi Lamb and had so much fun in college!

Twenty: I was invited to be part of the missions intern program at my home church. I met hubby!

Twenty-one: I went on my first overseas mission trip - to Valle de la Pascua, Venezuela. God redeemed years of Spanish classes. Curt and I had an amazing time witnessing there together and shortly afterward he asked my dad for my hand in marriage. We got engaged at the end of April.

Twenty-two: I had an amazing 9 months with my precious roommates, whom I love dearly. I planned a wedding, finished school, graduated, walked down the aisle, and then started a full time job. That was quite a year.

Twenty-three: We did Believing God that fall. It really marked me. That year I learned so much about serving alongside my hubby in ministry. I taught eighth grade girls in Sunday school. I was a terrible teacher, but they were a lot of fun. They are freshmen in college this year!

Twenty-four: We moved to England for five months. We didn't know, but the Lord knew we were drawing our time in Houston to a close.

Twenty-five: We moved to our new city in early October. My best friends from Houston sent me a huge package for my birthday and I wept as I opened it up. Why on earth had I left my friends? That summer we bought our first house and found out we were expecting... the next day!

Twenty-six: Jackson Curtis Jones came into my life and improved it drastically! I had no idea how much I would love him. God gave me some amazing friends to walk through early motherhood with.

Twenty-seven: The best year of my life so far. You can read all about it on this blog. No longer tied down to nursing every three waking hours, Jackson and I have gone everywhere and done everything.

Twenty-eight: What will it be, Lord? You alone know! Please bless us and keep us; make your face to shine upon us and be gracious to us; turn your face toward us and give us peace. (Numbers 6:24-26) Amen.

Friday, October 12, 2007

An Evening at the Pumpkin Patch

While my parents were at the Life Today taping, we entertained ourselves at Hall's Pumpkin Farm in Grapevine.

Jackson did A LOT of running.

Like I said, A LOT of running.

He liked the scarecrow.

He was inside a little house made of hay bales.

This was the corn maze that we didn't go in because (A) It was $5 a person AND (B) The thought of Jackson having a tantrum inside and not being able to find our way out immediately was too scary.

My selections. All the pumpkins at this place had great stems. Jackson was beginning to have a meltdown here.

Armageddon is coming.

Thank God for the wagons.


Christmas Stockings

Growing up, one of my favorite days of the year was always the day when my mom got our Christmas stuff down from the attic and decorated our house. Our house was Victorian and it looked even more like a doll house at Christmas. Dad always got us the biggest, fattest tree that could fit in our living room and mom went to town with the ornaments, garland, ribbons, and lights. Melissa and I fought every year about whose turn it was to put the angel on the top of the tree. We always swore the other got to do it last year. For me, the highlight of decorating day was when Mom hung up our stockings. I absolutely love my Christmas stocking! My mom made our stockings many years ago from felt stocking kits. They are still beautiful all these years later. I love how the colorful sequins reflect the lights from the Christmas tree.

So last year at this time I decided that I would make felt stockings for my family. Curt and I went on a wild goose chase looking for Bucilla stocking kits. I couldn't find the ones I wanted at local stores, so I ended up buying some on ebay. I was very eager for them to arrive so I could get started. It won't shock you to know that five minutes in to the project I realized that there was no possible way I could pull it off. I never learned to sew and it was a little ambitious to think I could learn using one of these kits. So I began looking for someone who I could pay to make our stockings. I was totally unsuccessful, and a year later my stocking kits sit in my closet in a big white envelope.

I’m taking a chance today that maybe there’s someone out there who loves to sew, who has the time, and who would enjoy a little cash flow in time for the holidays. I know it might be a little late for all three, but if I could at least get Jackson’s stocking done in time, I’d be so happy. This is a long shot, but I’d love to hear from anyone who is interested. I’m not sure how much something like this would cost, but I am willing to fork over the money! Name your price! (I moderate all comments and I will not post any that contain money matters or contact info.)

These are the kits I bought:

"Snowman with Lights" - For Curtis

"Polar Bears" - For me

"Down the Chimney" - For Jackson

Aren't these fun!?!? Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Super Long Post About Nothing Important

A lot has happened over the last few days. Here's the rundown:

We finally got to see the David Crowder Band concert at the House of Blues. I looked forward to it for so long! If they are coming to your city and it hasn't sold out yet, you should definitely go. (You can look here to find out.) No one does a concert like DCB and they were awesome. I know nothing about music, but their sound is so creative and so fun. I regret that we got general admission tickets because we stood for three hours (30 minutes before plus 2.5 hours during). Also, I neglected to consider that in a standing room only crowd, you have no control over exactly how close people are to you. If I could do it all over again, I would definitely pay more for the seats. The House of Blues is a really cool place and I would love to go there again, like if NKOTB ever does a reunion tour or something. Phil Wickham was one of the opening acts. I'd never heard of him before, but Curt and I thought he was great. We already bought his songs on iTunes. "True Love" is my favorite so far.

Immediately after the concert, Curt drove me out to Waxahachie (say that word - it will make you happy) and dropped me off at our church's ladies retreat. I am going to write more about the retreat later. But it was great!

Hubs got a new iPhone this weekend (after Jackson slobbered so much on his other phone that it died). He always uses his phone alarm to wake himself up in the mornings. So on Sunday at 6:30 a.m., I awoke to the horrible sound of an emergency broadcast system alarm. Take a second to imagine it. Got it? Good. I jumped out of bed - heart racing - and ran to the window. I expected to see everything in flames, or military tanks rolling down the street. Nothing. It was the dumb iPhone alarm. Curtis was in big trouble. Oh, yes ma'am.

I met with one of the trainers at the gym to do a fitness evaluation. I hadn't had one in three years and I was very curious to know how my stats compared to pre-baby me. Well, they didn't have a record of my old measurements and all that. I was pretty bummed, but maybe the Lord didn't want me to know. My gym no longer has any women trainers and I had to be evaluated by a guy. Yuck. I was so dreading having my fat pinched by a man. That's just wrong. But, thank You Jesus for the miracles of technology, I just had to hold this weird device out in front of my body and it calculated my body fat right away. So bizarre! I weigh a few pounds more than I want to, but my percentage was in the "good" range. Hopefully I can adjust my workout schedule like I wanted to and mentally let go of all this.

I realized I'd had a toothache off and on for three days, so I went to the dentist. It is so embarrassing to admit how long it's been since I've seen a dentist. Suffice it to say, the last time was in Houston. Yikes. (Today is Curt's three year anniversary at our church.) They couldn't find any cavities or any reason why I should be having any pain, so I'm thinking the Lord healed a cavity. The Joneses, who do not have dental insurance, are giving Him some praise! I escaped without being drilled on, but I did not escape the horrible periodontal prodding. Oh my word. This woman poked a sharp instrument into my gums, over every tooth - puncturing them like a big fat needle - for ten minutes. It was extremely unpleasant. My gums hurt so bad right now and my teeth feel like they're going to fall out. I'm sure I will dream about that tonight. I have recurring dreams about two things - tornadoes and my teeth falling out. Maybe tonight I will manage to combine them! Perhaps I will dream that my teeth fall out simultaneously and form a dental cyclone that wipes out the neighborhood. Now that would certainly be worthy of the Emergency Broadcast System/iPhone alarm.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bind and Immobilize

I just fired up the crock pot for its inaugural supper. Y'all gave me some amazing recipes to pick from. I hope to try all of them at least once. Someone sent me over to the Kraft web site for recipes and this one caught my eye. It looks so yummy! My boys will be tearing into bbq pork sandwiches tonight at about the time I will leave for the gym. My stomach will be growling by then, but at least when I get home to my long-awaited dinner, my metabolism will be revved up.

Speaking of the gym, I have recently concluded that my twice-weekly workout schedule isn't cutting it. Nope. This month, me and my metabolism are turning 28. It looks like I will be spending twice as much time at the gym this next year because my current routine is not keeping the weight off. I really enjoy my step aerobics classes, but they are only offered twice a week at my Bally's. Stink. So that means I have to use the machines. *Scream* On Monday I did a mile on the elliptical and then ran a mile on the treadmill. Fun times, y'all. Have I mentioned before how much I hate running? I really need to get some good songs on my Ipod. Which brings me to this: what kind of ear do-dahs do I get for working out? Those things that come with the Ipod don't even stay in my ears when I'm walking. Any suggestions are appreciated. But please keep in mind that I don't want to look like a big dork at the gym.

Okay, if there are any men reading right this, they can bow out now. Something has really been bothering me in my aerobics class lately. There seems to be a tragic lack of support. I'm not talking about moral support. One third to one half of the women in my class do not wear sports bras. It is wrong, very wrong. Ladies, these things should not be. Your Bettys do not need to be bouncin'. It seems to me that any time you put on your tennis shoes, you should just go ahead and put on a sports bra. And if you are a C cup or more, you really need to wear two. If you're only walking, you can get away with one. But anything more? Definitely two. In my early days of post-partum aerobics, I wore three. You do what you gotta do, ladies. Bind them up! Forget lift and separate. We're going for bind and immobilize. And if you hate the uni-boob look, then wear a regular bra and put your sports bra over it. That will help you out a bit. (Although you can get underwire sports bras now. And sometimes you don't need to double-up with those.)

I just don't understand why anyone taking a class in which they climb a step over and over again for 45 minutes would do it without proper support. I've been quietly thinking about this for months, but on Tuesday there was such a flagrant bra foul that I couldn't keep quiet any longer. There's a lady in my class who appears to have been trained in dance. She has a cute dancer's figure, wears jazz shoes and very unathletic clothing, keeps her hair down, and wears full makeup. On Tuesday she came in looking adorable as always. I noticed that she had on a loose cotton halter top. And it became apparent to me that she was wearing a strapless bra underneath. A strapless bra. To aerobics. To a class that requires you to bounce up and down off a step device a thousand times. I cannot even fathom it.

Bless her heart, my classmate desperately needs a Titus woman to mentor her in proper breast care. While I could never talk openly with the ladies in my class about such things, I can help spread the message of binding and immobilizing to my bloggy friends. And that is my mission today. Here is a simple article about why you should be wearing a sports bra. There are many, many types to choose from and they come in all price ranges. So do your girls a favor and bind up your Bettys!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Little Farmer Jones

Bless her sweet heart.

130 pictures were taken at the fair on Saturday with my camera. This is one out of three that I appear in. Here I am telling Jackson that a donkey says, "HEE HAW! HEE HAW!"

Big Bird bit a girl's finger only seconds before we took this. That's why my boys are way off to the right.

And then the camera died. It was a great day!