Tuesday, October 31, 2006


The princess and the frog prince

The princess kissed the frog prince and he turned into a tech support hero

Jackson looks amazingly frog-like in this picture!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tomorrow's the Big Day

I've been counting down to October 31 since August. Officially, I do not celebrate Halloween. My family's conviction about this day was always that we didn't support it. We either went to our church's Fall Festival (a "Halloween alternative") or we went out to eat while people threw eggs or smashed pumpkins against our house. We were the neighborhood Halloween grinches.

Neither Melissa nor I cared enough about the Fall Festival to dress up. Save a few years in my early childhood, I never donned a costume. I'm not complaining - just telling it like it is. Even though I understood the reasons we didn't participate in Halloween and I agreed with them, it was really hard as a kid to honor my parents in this. So I made myself hate, hate, Halloween. I despised everything about it. Then I married Curtis, who grew up with different views on the day. He and I butted heads on what our family activities would be every year at the end of October. I kind of had the attitude that if I didn't get to, there was no way in heck my kids were going to. (I know how mature that sounds.) He couldn't fathom that we wouldn't dress up our kids and take them to the homes of friends and family to trick or treat.

The first year of our marriage I decided that fall and harvest were something to celebrate and welcome. I bought some pumpkins - a vegetable the Lord has made - to put on my porch. That simple practice began to give me joy every October. For me, it was in anticipation of Thanksgiving. I even began buying candy in case some children stopped by before we left for whatever Halloween Replacement Activity we had going on that year.

Three weeks after we moved here, my dear friend Jennifer, our awesome children's minister, asked Curt and I to emcee the children's costume contest at Fallapalooza (our fall festival). We gladly accepted her invitation. On a whim the day before, I decided we needed to wear costumes ourselves. That year, for the first time since I was probably 8 years old, I dressed up. I was Pocahontas and Curtis was a cowboy. It was so much fun! The 8-year-old in me loved it! To my great delight, I found immediate favor with several of the children at church because I had been the one to give them their little ribbons and prizes.

Last year we continued the tradition. I bought a Princess Guinevere dress for myself well in advance and I forced Curt to be a knight. He wanted to be a hippie but the girl hippie costume made me look fat(ter). I was determined to match. Two weeks later when Fallapalooza arrived, my pregnant self didn't look that great in my burgundy velvet Princess Guinevere costume. So I was a Pocahontas again. And Curt was a knight. This year, with my figure back to normal and with an adorable infant to show off, I began planning (very) early for October 31. I was tempted to be Pocahontas just to continue the tradition and dress Jackson accordingly, but I couldn't resist getting something new. I decided that Jackson and I would go as a princess and the frog prince. My dress is new. I felt like Guinevere's time had passed. Curt is going to be a computer geek. I was not allowed to even make a suggestion for his costume this year.

So tomorrow's the big day. Jackson's costume is made out of fleece and thankfully it's supposed to be cold. I'm dying to show the pictures I've already taken of him, but I'm making myself wait until tomorrow night. I'm so excited!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Last night Jackson pulled himself up using the crib slats for the first time. After that he never would straighten his legs out again because he was too distracted with licking the slats. What a monkey.

A few minutes after putting him down for his nap this morning, I went in to the nursery because he was crying his eyes out. And for the first time, this is what I found.

Seeing as how Jackson debuted these two skills for the first time within 13 hours of each other (the Lord really loves my mom), I need to publicly humble myself and say that my mom was right. Being the amazing child that he is, he just might have managed sit up, pull up, and launch himself over the rail all in one night if we had not lowered the mattress. Sorry, Mom! You were right!

I almost forgot to add that we took the plunge and Jackson had his first finger food today - Gerber Veggie Puffs. I was really nervous but he managed not to choke on them.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Winter at the Jones Home

Last week it got cool in North Texas. I think we had lows in the 50's. Thursday afternoon I had the gleeful privilege of firing up the heater for the first time in many months. I tried to ignore the fact that I didn't hear it immediately switch on. Absent was the smell of burning paper that always accompanies the heater's first run of the season. Before you blame it on our old house, it's a brand new heater that only began its service last December after we took out the space heaters and window units. (Have I ever mentioned that our house has a phantom fireplace? We have a chimney coming out of the roof but no sign of a fireplace.)

The heater's unfaithfulness didn't start to become a problem until early Friday morning. I woke up at 6 a.m. shivering under two thick blankets and a sheet. The temperature in our house was in the low 60's. Curt had the day off and had agreed to take care of Jackson in the morning while I slept as late as possible. But I couldn't go back to sleep because it was so amazingly cold in our house. What a shame! My poor baby was snuggled up to the crib bumper. Once he woke up I brought him to our bed and tried to warm him up. Basically, fall arrived in our hometown and winter arrived in our house.

The next two nights Jackson wore flannel pajamas to bed. Then it was a track suit. Today he wore the bear bundling outfit over his pajamas all day. (We didn't go anywhere, in case you were wondering.) The heater was finally fixed this evening by a very generous church member and friend. He said we had a "squirrel" in the attic that chewed through a hose. Hmmm. How did a squirrel get in our attic? Was it really something else, something much more disgusting, and he didn't want to freak us out?

I had decided that a good mom would not bathe her baby in such a cold house. Even if the bath water was warm, there would still be the few painful minutes (that he hates on a warm day) between being plucked from the nice warm tub and getting fully dressed. Today was Day 3 and let me tell you, he was pretty funky!

Tonight our house is toasty and warm at 74 degrees. Curt's sweating, but I froze in the house all day and I will be warm! Jackson got a much needed bath and smelled so good. He's sleeping soundly in his crib. Which we had to work on this weekend, by the way. My mom kept telling me that any night now Jackson could and would develop the ability to sit up, pull up, and propel his body over the crib rail all in one night. I would wake up to find my baby smiling at me (let's hope) on the floor. I'm sure Beckham would be smiling at me right next to him. No, Jackson would be riding Beckham around the house. So Curt lowered the mattress. Jackson loves the new view. The bumper lasted one more night before I took it out. You know, because he might climb it.

I can see my room!

It's a whole new world in my crib!

It's the greatest thing since sliced bread!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Someone's in the Kitchen with Mama

I spent quality time with the kitchen today. Lately, my time in the kitchen has consisted of making my morning cup of tea and my toast. Then add a few minutes on top of that for getting drinks and putting the cups in the dishwasher. And two more for mixing Jackson's cereal in a tea cup. I really prefer those to bowls. I've definitely been in a cooking slump. Curt's been gingerly hinting at the fact that the kitchen misses me. Yesterday morning I found my frying pan on the back porch full of brownish water and you're-never-gonna-get-me-up-black-stuff. I called him at work for an explanation. (In an apparent experiment) He had cooked barbecue chicken breasts in the pan the night before and the b.b.q. sauce had ignited. Maybe not ignited, but it definitely smoked up the house to the extent that he had to put it on the back porch. Ever one to downplay such things and keep them from my attention, he never mentioned it. All I knew was that the house smelled like burnt nastiness and no amount of Febreeze air freshener would get rid of it. Remember that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond when a suitcase is left out for a really long time because neither Ray nor Debra will accept responsibility for putting it away? Well, the pan is still on the back porch. We'll see what happens. I took the hint that Curtis was ready for me to reunite with my kitchen. So tonight I made one of my husband's favorite meals - chicken cheddar rice bake. (Thank you, Nancy Mattingly.) His favorite part is the cheese that goes over the casserole and melts. To my great dismay, when I took it out of the oven I saw that the cheese had melted in a really bizarre way. Then I touched it. And it was crispy. I shrieked and threw open the refrigerator door to find the package of shredded cheese. Just as I suspected - it was fat free cheese! I know, it's so sad.

Hanging out with Mom in the kitchen

He was surpisingly possessive of the spatula

We woke up this morning and there was a curl!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Eight Months

To ring in Jackson's eighth month of life, we're cutting another tooth. If you have a kid, you understand why I can say "we."

I'm really busy right now, Mom.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A new frontier

We are about to arrive at a new frontier. Jackson's days as an immobile baby are numbered.

In other news, he's been saying "hmmm ma" when he's upset. But I think I heard a "ma ma" today. He probably doesn't know what it means, but it's sweet to hear nevertheless! Here's a shot of that tooth. It's barely visible to the untrained eye.

Today is boss's day. I have the most generous, God-fearing, God-loving boss known to man. She is the real deal. She's also my mother, so I can tell you that she is the same person at work, at home, on vacation, and at 5:00 in the morning. My boss strives to be Spirit-led in all things, she cares about hearts and not the bottom line, she prays for her employees, she makes sure we have great benefits and holidays, and she affirms us. She leads us with humility and strength, honesty and transparency. She doesn't take herself too seriously, she doesn't believe her own press, and she's also a lot of fun. Hilarious really. You should see her answer the phones. My boss has allowed me to work from my home for the past 2.5 years. I could not have handpicked a more wonderful job! This allowed me to live in England for 5 months where Curt and I served as youth leaders at Thornaby Baptist Church. I also get to stay at home with Jackson while staying active in LPM and helping support my family. Yeah, I know how lucky I am! I love my amazing, incredible...wait! I looked up "amazing" in a thesaurus since I use that word so much. One word it gave me was extaordinary. Yes, that's a good one. But look at all the synonyms for it! A lot of them really fit my boss:

amazing, bizarre, boss, curious, darb, exceptional, fab, fantastic, flash, gnarly, heavy, inconceivable, incredible, marvelous, odd, outstanding, particular, peculiar, phenomenal, primo, rare, remarkable, singular, some, special, strange, stupendous, surprising, terrific, tough, uncommon, unfamiliar, unheard-of, unimaginable, unique, unprecedented, unthinkable, unusual, unwonted, weird, wonderful, zero cool

Mom, I hope that gave you a good laugh today. I love you so much! Happy Boss's Day!

Moore Memorable Moments with My Boss (in no specific order):
1) Riding home from Bible study together - giving much applause to God and eating cheese crackers
2) Believing God - the whole semester
3) Working on Daniel with you
4) Being your assistant at photo shoots with Michael Carr
5) Outings to KSBJ
6) The LBY taping at the Cunningham ranch
7) The day you and I dressed as twins to work (didn't we think we were cute and so funny?) and it happened to be your surprise birthday party. That was surprising!
8) When you came to stay with me the week after Jackson was born and then you left for a couple of days to go to the Birmingham conference. The joy we had in you getting to announce that he was born.
9) Going to the White House and the symphony
10)Every time I get the privilege of answering the question, "What is it like to be her daughter?" Getting to represent you, our family, and LPM at any given moment.

(The pun in the title was your special gift for Boss's Day.)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Movin' on up...

...into the late twenties! Today was my 27th birthday. What really freaks me out is that I was 17 TEN YEARS AGO. The only good thing I can come up with for the age 27 is that it has the number 7 in it. It's my favorite number - the Lord's number. The number of perfection. I would really like to be perfect, but I've found that striving for perfection is the most stressful goal on earth. I've thought a lot about the amazing gifts God has given me this year and there are two that really stick out. One, Mr. Jackson Curtis. And two, my house. These are big, grown-up things.

You should know that I really love my birthday. Every year on August 14 I give my husband a two-month notice that the big day is approaching. He always does really well. This year I got gift cards to Pottery Barn and Z Gallerie. He also gave me a bouquet of flowers - from a real florist, not Kroger! Go Curtis!

I got to celebrate my birthday all week with different friends. I am so blessed to have the friends that I do. Monday afternoon we had a playdate birthday party for Sunni and me. Then that night the girls from church took me to a really nice mediterranean restaurant called Ziziki's. They have baklava ice cream cake. It's the most amazing thing in the world. On Tuesday night Curt and I celebrated with my friend Jennifer and her husband and went on a date to our favorite once-a-year-restaurant - The Melting Pot. The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant. It's perfect for a date because it takes a long time to eat and the food alone can inspire two hours of conversation. Jennifer's birthday is tomorrow. We've been celebrating our birthdays together since 9th grade! Tonight we went to church and then to Pappasito's while my parents babysat for us. It was so fun to have my parents here this weekend. Mom and I hate being apart on my birthday because, after all, that was a big day for the two of us.

My favorite gift (and I got SO many great ones) was a card from Curtis. It said "To my glamorous wife, happy birthday from your loving co-star." Just to know that me and the word "glamorous" would enter my husband's mind at the same time made my whole week.

Birthday playdate - They look so cute with their boppy pillows (which keep their sweet heads from smacking down on our wood floor if they topple over).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Warm Fall Days

Timmy and Lassie in the making

Trying to get a shot of that tooth

Ha ha! I'm so happy I have a tooth!

But I'm probably not gonna show it to you.

This is such a fun game.

Let's see how much drool can accumulate on my chin before it drops off!

I'm a pretty big deal, you know.

That's enough, Mom! I can't be bothered while the drool is dropping.

Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Lots of Developments

Folks, the long-awaited first tooth has at last made an appearance. For months people have blamed any bad mood of Jackson's on teething. Every time I take him to church the workers eagerly ask me, "Has it come yet?" I can finally tell them yes!

A week and a half ago Jackson started saying da da. He probably doesn't know what it means yet. However, while we were in the airport coming home from our vacation, his daddy spoke to him on the phone for a minute. After I hung it up, Jackson started squealing and saying "Da da! Da da! Da da!" Coincidence? I don't know. Either way, it was precious!

He also sat himself up for the first time last week. The sitting thing has been an isolated incident so far. I missed it because I was horsebackriding with my dad. My mom said he dropped a toy and leaned completely over on his side to reach for it. Then he pushed himself back up to sitting and cackled with happiness and pride.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Roomie Weekend

Jackson and I recently went to Lufkin, TX, for a reunion with my college roommates. Mel, Bonny, and I lived together for three years while we went to Texas A&M. Rafiek was our landlord and we sure gave him a run for his money. He was very patient with and generous to the three princesses who called him every week with a new problem. God bless him. For two of the years we lived in building 701 A at Fox Meadows. We had the upstairs apartment on the end of the building, which meant we got an extra window in our dining room and had a vaulted ceiling in the living room. Every girl's dream, right? And it was only half as noisy as the other apartments. All I can say is God gave us unmerited favor with Rafiek.

I'm so thankful for those years with Mel and Bonny and for everything we learned while sharing a roof. It's hard to live with someone you're not related to. The unconditional love that gets you through hard stuff is not natural like it is with family. When you can develop it, you have something really special. God blessed us with that. He taught us how to love another person who comes from an altogether different background, how to persevere and work through conflict, how to encourage, how to communicate, how to cook and clean (some learned these more than others), how to compromise, how to maintain sanity under tremendous stress, and how to have healthy relationships. We didn't realize how much those years would prepare us for marriage. I'd say we worked hard at and fought hard for what we had. We were rewarded with some very special friendships that I expect to last until we're old and gray (and fabulous).

This last year was a dry one for fellowship. Bonny had a baby a year ago in September and Jackson was born in February. It took a while for the foxy ladies to recover. We had a lot of catching up to do and a lot of crazy stories to tell. There was no shortage of laughter. Mel has a baby girl on the way, which means we are all mommies now. Wow. We are a blessed group of girls with a rich history together, wonderful husbands (however different they may be), and the gifts of these sweet babies.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Mel and Bo, here are a few things I miss about living with you:
-The festivus miracle of larvae cookies.
-Cleaning out the fridge and pantry at midnight and spreading the rotting treasures throughout Mike's yard.
-Exercising our spiritual gifts of leaping, jazz hands, and the like.
-Dancing in the living room and prancing down the hallway.
-Watching Friends and all our TLC favorites.
-Decorating for Christmas and pulling Miss China out of the tree.
-Spending hours flipping through the 12 bridal magazines we had hidden in the coffee table, hoping no guy would ever find them.
-Having my soul sisters just a room away!
I love you both!

Jackson meeting Aunt Bo for the first time

Jackson and his new friend Ben

Aunt Mel getting lots of love from Ben

The boys in the "My Mom's a Fox" bibs made by Mel

Hanging out in the Radio Flyer wagon given to Ben by his grandpa on the day he was born

Bonny and Ben, Mel (and Brynne), me and Jackson