To Read on the Journey

Thursday, December 30, 2010


i decided a week into this month to participate in sarah's 100 joys for december.
there are two days left in december and i've posted 48 joys.  
yep, i have 52 joys remaining.

think i won't finish?

watch me!

 michael joy

#49. the alarm goes off for the second time. he turns it off, turns my way, gives snoozing me a a good morning kiss and says, "i'm so glad you're my wife."
#50. he meets us at the table each a.m. with the bible open, the Word to give to us.
#51. he walks with noah his school campus each monday, praying with him for his school, classmates, teachers.
#52. when i'm playing the guitar and singing, he stops, sits, listens, enters into worship.
#53. he plays games with the kids after dinner.

#54. he partners with me in every thing: parenting, house, church, finances, friendships, schooling... everything together.
#55. he likes teaming up with me- values my ideas and brings them to fruition.
#56. he sews fairy wings...
#57 and makes heath toffee crunch cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce...
#58. and saturday morning breakfast.
#59. he makes silly faces...
#60. and has a witty sense of humor all his own (which noah is developing).
#61. he lets me cry about the same old thing, then speaks Truth into my life.
#62. he lays his hands on the kids each night and prays for them.
#63. he finishes his day in his "favorite spot," cuddled up with me.

noah joy
#64. he adores me.
#65. melts me with the look.
#66. gives me his best kisses.
#67. nestles in for a hug right under my chin (where until 2 weeks ago was how tall he was).
#68. he talks to me, unwrapping the events of his days with me.
#69. he sings and dances when he thinks no one is looking.
#70. he is our man when daddy's at work; opening our jars, killing our spiders, carrying our loads, opening our doors.
#71. emilie is his best friend, she gets a sneak peak into his heart.
#72. josie is his playmate, get his attention and tickles.
#73. he has a comedic response to every situation.

emilie joy 

#74. she is thoughtful with her words.
#75. generous with her life.
#76. she considers others before herself (she gets this from her daddy).
#77. she has the gift of hospitality.
#78. she finds peace at the piano.
#79. she lets her little sister play the teacher, mommy, queen.
#80. she cries with me as we girls read "little women" together.
#81. she'd rather participate than worry about being embarrassed.
#82. she is the kindest friend (she is playing with a friend right now, i hear her delighting in her).
#83. she gives the best massages (joy for my aching back).

josie joy
#84. she wears silly socks every. day. 
#85. she practices making snow angels on the wood floor before we head to the snow.
#86. she sings "walk like an egyption" by the bangles to the tune of "o come, o come, emmanuel."
#87. everything becomes a song; washing hands, sweeping, flushing, brushing, sneezing, laughing... every. thing. 
#88. she hugs me and tells me she loves me 30x a day just to make sure i "rememberize" it.
#89. emilie  (a.k.a. "emmy" to only her) is her favorite person.
#90. her heart is expanding in understanding and wanting for Jesus.
#91. she delights in being helpful.
#92. she thinks she is funny and laughs at herself... a lot.
#93. she gets a little embarrassed, but always participates, and gives the grandest performance.

#94. and i think about where i've been, when i thought joy would never be mine, and i imagine then that God could not wait to lavish on me, His beloved, the overjoyed He had planned for my future (now). 
#95. there is peace-love-joy in knowing this always was written for me. 
#96. there is joy in knowing that it delights my Father God that i embrace this overjoyed life. 
#97. the Spirit leads me to have great expectations for a continued joy-filled life.
#98. the Spirit whispering that God can hardly wait to lavish on me, His beloved, the JOY still to come with Him in glory.
#99. and i savor the sweetest Joy...
#100. Jesus. 
"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness!"
Isaiah 61:10 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I've been joining Sarah for the month of December and sharing my 100 Joys.

I'm purposefully searching for joy and finding it.
Discovering that as I look for joy it becomes easier to find.
Intentionally remaining in Joy I'm seeing that Joy begets Joy. 

So why is my title "Killjoy?"
Because there is a Killjoy in my midst.  There is one who is out to spoil joy and pleasure.  One who ridicules, speaking pessimism, past faults, and criticism. 

The Deceiver is out to kill my joy through tainted self-talk,  through others, with disappointing circumstances, and pain. 
Like anyone else who is human I'm battling every. day.  to overcome the Killjoy.

Struggling to find joy then hold onto it as the enemy tries to pry it out of my hands with his lies.

One joy at a time I am defeating the enemy, triumphing over him.

And the Joy I know becomes sweeter because of each day's victories.

Joy is digging past the lies and finding Truth. {38}
Joy is not letting the Killjoy win; it is overcoming a little each day{39}  
Joy is recognizing that struggle is good; it's fighting to not be defeated.{40}  
Joy is living in a home where the temperature is set on Joy {41}
When I need it (which is a lot) these people smack me upside the head with joy! {42}

Friday, December 24, 2010

Adore Him Always!

Oh, come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant!
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the king of angels:
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given!
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing!
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

My prayer for you this Christmas and New Year is that you would live in the fullness of God's love already lavished on each one of you!  That you you would come and behold Him; Savior, God with us, Father, Friend, Lover, Shepherd, Healer, Redeemer...LIFE!  And as you greet Jesus, in all the ways He reveals Himself to you, that you would adore Him immensely, just as He adores you.

Merry Christmas,  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

modern family christmas

the jones family is on an every-other-year christmas schedule.
we were together last year, 
so technically this is not our year to be together...
but we threw technicalities out the bah-hum-bug window and found a way
to be together anyway...

  today we celebrated a jones family chritmas
via video chat! {36}

jones family christmas photo 2010 
l-r christopher (maui), jennifer & charles (london), sean, gracie, lindsey & lily (southern california). bottom row-  dennis, noah, josie, emilie, cindy, me & michael (dentist office, oakhurst, ca.)

michael's parents opened their christmas gift from all of us 
which included an announcement for the whole family 
from jennifer & charles!

we're already looking forward to next christmas 
when we'll be together again 
with a new little 
bundle of joy boy! {37}. 

joining  sarah markley's 100 Joys!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Visions of Sugar-plums

Twas the night (before the night) before Christmas and all through the house
all the creatures were stirring except for the mouse.
 This is our families Christmas weekend (a tradition that began 10 years ago).

When in the living room there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter!

The kids have begun their own tradition of sleeping by the Christmas tree on our Christmas Eve eve. 
 Pillow fight, of course.

The Children are nestled all snug in their beds

"please take one sweet picture for mommy," i ask.  
silly josie falls off the couch.
i get one shot.
then one of my children farted (yep, we fart too), i'm not suppose to tell who.

While visions of sugar-plums 
dance in their heads
as my children were sleeping by the Christmas tree  my "grandchildren" were sleeping near their Christmas tree. 

"grand-daughters" emily and molly (molly lost an arm a few years ago in a tragic accident involving noah. she is still very loved. molly isn't an a.g. doll) wearing the same jammies as my emilie. 

 santa hats for dogs make perfect hats for  my "grandsons" logan elliott & michael sullivan.

molly gets to sleep with emilie's favorite hippo.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care

 this week the girls made their dolls stockings (more on that later)
emilie drew a fireplace on the puppet theater cute is she!

 Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight. 

that my children create their own Christmas traditions. {32}

that emilie and josie find pleasure in the details, just like their mommy! {33} 

that laughter is in this house every. day. of the year!  
i once had a friend tell me in a hard mommy season of life, "your kids won't remember the nit-picky things about your home, they will remember the overall temperature of your home."
the temperature of our home is laughter! {34} 

celebrating together in all sorts of ways 
the birth of our Savior Jesus who came to make us fully alive!{35}

Participating  in Sarah Markley's 100 Joys for December

Friday, December 17, 2010

Give Away!

It really is the most wonderful time of the year
Lisa Leonard is doing a GIVEAWAY!

Look at the lovelies from the "My Heart is Full" collection 
that Lisa is giving away. 
Now go enter to win!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


A Social Network Christmas

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

wiww, kinda

i'm linking up with my s.i.l. lindsey from the pleated poppy for what wiww, and in an effort to "kill two birds with one stone" i'm also linking up with sarah markley's 100 joys.

so i bet your curious about the "kinda" attached to my wiww title... the reality is i'm only sharing one outfit i wore, which in my opinion doesn't really constitute as a wiww post (yep, just lost blog love for that one). 

however, i am joining in because i am wearing a new sweater that i whatiworewednesdaywanted after seeing it on kathleen from the simple silly life
just one look at kathleen's wiww posts and you will scheme plans of how you too can raid her wardrobe (the tune from mission impossible plays in the soundtrack of my mind, and i imagine myself in a harness being lowered into her closet ready to grab EVERYTHING)!

sweater-old navy
(buy one get one free. i gave the other to a friend)
brown tee- target
posy pin-pleated poppy

since leaving you with one outfit for a wiww post doesn't complete a wiww post (in my opinion), here is what my girls wore...
white t's- 2 for $10 at old navy
over the knee high socks turned into sleeves- target $5 each (i splurged on these)
embellishing and sock sleeve attachment- ME!
adorable girls- also me!

what's that? 
my girls are so cute you want to see more pix of what they wore... okay! 

emilie and josie were invited to be part of a christmas program.
the scene was a toy store. 
emilie's character was a glamor girl.
josie was a rubix cube.
glamor girl costume- from aunt sally (thanks aunt sally!)
rubix cube- made by daddy (my husband seriously rocks!)

finding the brown sweaters for 8.49 each {27}!
the ability to sew and create lovelies for my girls (thank you to lindsey for teaching me to sew) {28}. 
a husband who whips up a rubix cube costume on a friday night {29}.
josie singing loudly and shining brightly in the christmas play (30}.
emilie playing a "glamor girl" with grace and humility. she is truly beautiful (31}.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Great Sorrow Becomes Great Joy!

This is me.  
10 yrs old.  
Chubby cheeks. 
Silly personality. 
I don't know who took this photo of me on my elementary school campus.
I don't know who gave me the cross necklace...
but I'm certain they hoped the cross would change my life (24).
When I was 10 "dad" 3 walked out of my life and "dad" 4 (of 7) galloped in on his non-white horse. 
I was wise enough to the ways of my world to know this "dad," who thought he was our "knight in shining armor," wasn't staying.
Though  I was a child I was no longer disillusioned by promises of forever.
I no longer believed a refuge home and a wealth of love would be mine.
Instead of hoping I waited for forever promises to be broken. 
Someone had to live in reality. 
I had to let go of their fairy-tales.

As I let go I concluded that I was not worthy of all the delightful things little girls truly hoped for...
to be someones beauty,
to be a father's treasure
to be wanted
to be loved


This 27yr old photo sits beside me with each post I type.
I look at it and hear the Redeemer say,
"I gave you the cross.  Abundant Life.  Forever.  Life in the wealth of My deep love for you.

I look at the 10yr old girl wearing the cross necklace,
and I whisper in her little girl ear, "God always had victory in mind for you."{25}

And my great sorrow becomes my great joy.(26)
You're Beautiful.
You are treasured
You are sacred
You are His.

Sharing 100 Joys with Sarah Marley.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In Joy!

 "Let a joy keep you. 
Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by."
Carl Sandburg

Last week a friend called, she was in search of someone to  "do something crazy" with her. 
 She knew I would.  It thrills me to know that my friend sees me as one to "do crazy"{22}

My friend invited me to be part of a FLASH MOB! 
{A flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place,
perform an unusual act for a brief time, then disperse}.

Joy is stepping out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary! 

It's joining together with a mob of people you don't know from Adam, learning a dance routine to the best of your ability in 1.5 hours, traveling 45 minutes to a destination, waiting for the music, watching "cluelessly" from the sidelines, then stepping in on "the mashed potato." {23

"We're fools whether we dance or not, 
so we might as well dance!"
Japanese Proverb

We flash mobbed 2x. This next video is a side view {the handsome videographer, michael, gets some footage of his girls flashmobbing).

 "enjoy life, this is not a dress rehearsal"
Author Unknown

In Joy,

This post is part of
"100 Joys" with  Sarah Markley 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

wiww with 100 joys!

this post is a double whammy of  bloggy goodness as i’ve joined my s.i.l. lindsey from the pleated poppy for wiww, and my friend sarah markley from best days of our lives for 100 joys!

 In her wiww post today, Lisa Leaonard wrote "{just for the record} i think WIWW is a little silly and i’m pretty cheesy... i take pictures of myself and my family teases me…

I too feel cheesy taking pix of myself all week (then wasting hours of my life editing them at picnik), BUT i like wiww for two reasons:
1. it causes me to wear all the items in my closet (i'd live in a hat, sweatshirt, and yoga pants everyday otherwise)
2. i am inspired by many of the wiww participants to look at my closet's contents in new ways- to layer, accessorizes (which doesn't come naturally for me), or to add a punch of sassy personality to my usually dull outfits!

wednesday- home school (hs)/guitar lesson/christmas play practice
purple shirt- my sister
gray cardi-target
jeggings- kohls
scarf- from the mediterranean  sea! gift from mama holly
head band- tasha, from creation corner gift (with interchangeable flowers. order yours here)
gray flats- payless
 thursday- hs/cross country practice
cream long sleeve- target
cream sweater w/floral  accent- h&m
levi jeans- jc penny
scarf- shop in slo
red petal pusher- pleated poppy
converse-   gift in 2007 from michael. my favoritest shoes!
 {12} i love my husband!  my worn out converse remind me  of him, and of being caught up in joy by the ways he is intentional about expressing love to me  in big and little ways everyday.

on thursday evening michael worked late, and i served up some left over chili w/ cornbread.  {13} josie craved warm honey for her cornbread and placed it in the microwave (which is in the garage because our over the range micro was damaged by me, and this o.c.d. mamma would never allow two micro's in the house. tacky.  i figure we burn extra calories walking to the garage to nuke our dishes...anyway). josie set the timer for 15 minuets instead of seconds... and KABOOM!!  she cried. i think she anticipated another explosion that was likely to follow from me.  however, to all our amazement i didn't errupt!  instead we were all (especially me) surprised by joy !

friday- hs/cross country meet
hoodie & pants- maurices (kristen turned me on to maurices)
brown, life is good, guitar tee- gift

goofy girls in their school jerseys- me 

{14} at the cross country meet joy sweeps over me as i watch each of my kids run.  their goal isn’t to win, but to run.  

{15} joy steals my heart as my son wraps his arms around me, tells me i am his “extra favorite.”   he shares with me the happenings of his days, his secrets, his silly stories, his questions, his hopes.  {16}  he stops me to tell me, “my favorite thing is talking with you.” joy, joy, joy! 

saturday-  a stay at home hat day! phew.
t-shirt- pizza my heart 
red sweatshirt- gottshalks
yoga pants- old navy
hat- forver 21
 {17} cleaned the house, sewed christmas presents for my favorite little girls. watched "it's a wonderful life," enjoyed the sound of the rain drumming against our house and the tune of children playing.  hat day joy refreshes me. 
(pix start looking yellow from here. ick.)
sunday- church then winco
black top, jeggings, boots- kohls
 red necklace- (gift from kristen) lisa leonard
  necklace- lisa leonard
green coat- forever 21

{18} at church joy is released in a community of believers worshiping and submitting themselves individually and corporately to the One. True. God.   {19} Joy is the stillness of a husband and wife,  sabbathing together,  breathing  in their Maker, finding them themselves/each other,  again,  in a sanctuary, hand in hand, committed to their God.

monday- home school/piano lesson/ bsf
top, jeans, boots- kohls
sweater hoodie- gift from michael 
necklace- lisa leonard
herringbone petal pusher- pleated poppy

{20} studying the the book of Isaiah through bsf  has caused the word of God to penetrate my inmost being.  joy illuminates my heart as God unveils His promises through out the week and each monday eve. alongside beautiful women from all walks of life.  for the first time my heart is satisfied in/by God alone.

tuesday- all kids to school (free at last)/physical therapy, coffee with friends, basketball for noah,  and girls to 4-H cooking (yikes!).
white top- old navy
army green jacket- ann taylor loft
shoes-loafers payless (so old)
brown pleated poppy-pleated poppy
necklace lisa leonard

{21} the kids and i had a tough/crazy morning. arguing. not hearing/understanding each others words.  after the hurt subsided and grace broke through, reconciliation happened.  it always does. and there was Joy waiting in the reconciliation, to wrap Joy's arms around us, and our arms around each other.  

until we joy again,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bundles of Joy!

I'm joining Sarah this December with 100 Joys!
Presenting Joys #6-11

#6 This is Parker! He is the son of my cousin Brian. Isn’t he delicious! Oh, he had me hooked on his yummy goodness with just one look at those chubby cheeks.

One of my f.b. friends recently profile updated about cousins. The update stated that “cousins are your first friends.”  This statement is true for me as Brian was my first friend.  Brian has a tender heart (like our grandfather. btw- the bear in the pic top right was made by me for Parker from one of my grandfather's shirts), and I have always had great love for him.  Some of my favorite childhood memories include Brian; together we were ring-bearer and flower girl, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia (when he’d share his Star War's figurines), and until the other cousins came on the scene everyone’s favorite little boy and girl.  Brian and I are the oldest/coolest of 12 cousins and counting. #7 It is no surprise that seeing my oldest friend, and dear cousin holding his own child filled me with great joy!

Brian and I come from a large family.  A family festivity for us resembles the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” only we are Portuguese (resulting in a louder and stubborner group of crazy/wonderful people who consume even more windex to cure psoriasis).

Last month we all joined together to celebrate my cousin Danny’s wedding.  

#8 Joy is present at a wedding, in celebrating the union between a man and a woman with God.   

# 9 watching my sweet aunt dance with her boy during the mother/son dance stirs up Joy in my heart, as I recall that woman with her baby boy now a man... as I recall my own baby boy, and think of how quickly the days/years pass.

#10 Joy expanded as I danced alongside my 5 aunts-Violet, Marie, Victoria, Vera, and Hilda.  I love my aunts. I admire their sisterhood, and see a bit of me in each of them.  Dancing beside all of them was a gift.  Seriously, how cool is it that all of my aunts (all over the age of 50) still "ceeeelebrate good times!" 
My Aunt Vicki was the first one on the dance floor.  She was in a car accident in Sept. 09, that threatened to leave her unable to walk again.  She has made great strides in healing over this past year and arrived at the wedding walking with a cane!  #11 Seeing her dance brought an explosion of Joy to the entire family!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

100 Joys!

Joy to the World
The Lord is come 
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room...

Sarah Markley is posting 100 Joy's for the month of December... and I've decided to join her (better late than never). 
My hope is that as I seek Joy in the ordinary everyday, finding Joy will become habit!  Joy would be a magnificent habit to have.

After a 2 week long American Girl birthday party in the girls' room in November (complete with balloons and streamers), I mentioned the possibility of getting a Christmas tree for their room (had to get daddy's approval) so they could celebrate Christmas with their A.G. dolls. #1.Thrilled at the idea the girls immediately drew up floor plans of their room, rearranging the doll furniture, making space for a tree of their own.  
As a $ compromise we chose to purchase two smaller trees this year instead of one big one. After #2 finding a $6 tree stand for their very own tree the girls skipped to the car.   All the way home #3 the girls joyously planned the details of the holiday festivities that would take place in their room.   As Michael and I listened to their event planning He asked me what I wanted for Christmas... #4 "This is my Christmas present; memories made together, and children who delight in each other."  
And now a bit of Noah joy!
I love music. Even before I knew Jesus the Spirit used music to minister to me.
When my children were babies I'd sing the scale to each of them as I rocked them to sleep, hoping they would grow to be musical and bring music to this house.  Noah has musical taste that is entirely his own. He has saved every penny he's acquired for an electric guitar! #5 He recently started guitar lessons (with the coolest/godliest young man I know)  Don't let the Justin Beiber/Paul Mc McCartney hair fool you... I think I've got the next Jimi Hendrix  on my hands.  

Joy Always!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

St. Nick Pic

Like many children Noah and Emilie have had their picture taken with Santa.
 {It's been 10yrs since that dreadful day and I still feel sorry for ol' St. Nick}.

  When Josie joined the family we opted out of torturing our clingy baby
and Mr. Claus with forced physical contact.

Nonetheless, I worried that Josie would grow up and be resentful
that she too did not have a photo with the
plus sized
curly bearded
holly jolly man
in the red suit
until now...
Do you have your own  childhood picture, and/or a photo of your children   with Santa? 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tis the season to...

"For God so loved the world, that  HE GAVE his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
John 3:16

wiw at lindsey's house

Linking up with my fabulous s.i.l. Lindsey (The Pleated Poppy) for wiww to show you what i wore on Thanksgiving at Lindsey's house.

gray cardigan- target
pink shirt- my sister
gray stretchy belt- forever 21
jeggings- kohls
gray flats- payless shoes
hourglass figure (with a few extra hours)- my dad's sisters

This meal and the laughter that accompanied it is what i wore the rest of the week. 

Here is what we did at Lindsey's (which is far more interesting than what i wore).
A trek to Los Osos Beach.

A golf game between the men (yep, Noah qualifies as one of the men).

And a Christmas craft with Nana.

I am blessed to be part of such a wonderful family.