To Read on the Journey

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to get free childcare & a drive-in movie!

step 1. 
remove/lay down the back seat of your vehicle and fill area with every blanket, sleeping bag, and pillow you own providing a cozy area to lounge.

step 2. fill containers with homemade popcorn {preferably oil popped popcorn seasoned with lawry's season salt} and tasty beverages.

step 3.  grab a fully charged laptop {preferably a mac} and a movie.

step 4. 
leave kids to enjoy their "drive-in movie" while you enjoy some kid- free time!

 You're Welcome!  

 Parental Guidance Necessary!
No kids were harmed {neglected} during the making of this post.  Vehicle was parked 5 steps away within eye-shot of mother {who desperately needed a hair appointment}.
Children enjoyed the experience and have asked when they can go to their next "drive-in movie." 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

why i married my husband

i tell michael i married him for his black bean salsa.  

it is SO. GOOD

we whip up a large bowl of it nearly every sunday afternoon then munch on it alllllllllll week long (it's  good for you too).  

i figured i had one of three options:
share michael (yeah, not gonna happen).
hoard the recipe for myself (and deprive the world of it's yummy goodness, NEVER!)
give you his recipe so you can make it yourself (now, that's more like it!)

black bean salsa
4 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
7 diced roma tomatoes
1/2 red onion diced
1 bunch chopped cilantro
4 green onions thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon of garlic
1 lime's juice
1 7oz can mild diced green chilies
1 tablespoon diced jalapenos
1 cup chunky salsa of your choice.
garlic-salt to taste
cumin to taste
red chili peppers to taste

mix together then sample with your favorite tortilla chips.
add a bit more garlic-salt and cumin, mix, and sample again with your favorite tortilla chips.
stand over bowl of black bean salsa goodness "sampling" for 15 minutes making sure the flavor is just right.
have someone with a bit more self-control than you pry the bowl and tortilla chips away from you.
store salsa in fridge.

delicious on a fried egg for breakfast.
great served over warmed brown rice for lunch (as shown in picture).
terrific in a warm tortilla, topped with cheese, and guac for dinner.

and now you'll have to excuse me, it's time for lunch!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dipping My Heart in the Stream of Life

"All who are thirsty
All who are weak
Come to the Fountain
Dip your heart in the stream of Life."

"My soul thirsts for God,
For the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?"
Psalm 42:2

#53. Michael pulls me into him, wraps his arms around me, and says (as he has every morning for 14.5 years) "I'm so glad you're my wife."  And I believe him.

#51. The hum of the lawnmower. 

#44.  Enough $ for groceries.

#41. Time to refill. To listen to the wind howl outside, to read from the Good Book, to ponder, breath in and out, to be still and know that He is God. 

#39. That a freshman in college, Taylor, is not too old to play (build igloos) with my kids. 

#27. After 6 months, finished reading Little Women with the girls. The books ending is bittersweet- I am so grateful for this memory made with my own "Little Women."( A memory I set out to make when I read it in 1987).

#24. Noah's hand running through my hair as we prayed.

# 19 Josie nestled into me as I read. 

#10. Emilie and Josie squealing as they swing.

#8. Laying in the sunshine streaming through the window.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

For One Another

This month has been PACKED FULL of living in community goodness!
And let me tell you, we needed it! 
We had been hibernating for months; knowing this was a "winter season" for these too-committed people to be dormant {It was coming strangely easily to us, so we knew it was God's will for a time}. But just as March ushers in Spring, so too has God been ushering in a new season in our lives.  A season where not of ourselves, but of Him, we take pleasure in the simplicity of community. 

"You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another." 
C.S. Lewis

Michael & Jeff
 Yosemite snow-camping trip

Uncle Pluto visiting!
Geo-cashing in Bass Lake.

Breakfast with Genevieve
Be-AWARE of ladder {0uch}! 

St. Pat's Bunko Night!
Where it IS easy being green. 

Celebrating. Longing. Hoping. Together.
At our dear friend and God-sister, Amy's memorial service
Dinner and Smore Egg-rolls with the 
Rogers, Allens, Smiths, & Otley's.
Get'n stuck in the snow at the Roger's Casa.
The kids were bummed ECSTATIC because they had to miss school
and play in the snow with Taylor all day.
{Taylor, you are coolawesome! 
Thank you for fashioning snow-wear for the kids from old snow-clothes and duct-tape} 
"Something about just being with you,
when I leave I feel like I've been near God, 
and that's the way it ought to be."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Something Old...

is something new. 

This old door belonged to one of Michael's neighboring childhood homes on Bass Lake. 

His mom knows I old doors and windows, so she swiped a few for me when old homes were being demolished to make room for new ones.   

"If these old fashioned window panes were eyes, 
I guess they would have seen it all..."

Most of the photos were taken with my Canon Powershot {love my camera}. 
Many of the pics have made an appearance here on the ol' blog, but have been otherwise neglected residing in iphoto beside a gazillion million other photos until now. 
{My enhancing of the photos took away from their crisp b/w color.  You'll just have to come over and see how stunning they are for yourself!} 

Door- FREE
Black Paint- left over from other projects
Mattes- $20 for 5 (Michael had them made at work)
Photos- 6x9,  $20 for all 15 (taking advantage again of Michael's job). 
Total- $40
Sometimes it pays to be the "plumbers" {photographers} wife!  

Monday, March 21, 2011


I'm beginning today.
Entering His gates with thanksgiving in my heart.
{God knows I need to get in there}.
To be in His presence.
In His fullness.
To live full.

Counting my 1000 gifts.

#1. Josie says "mama," and written on the palm of her hand a message, "I ♥ U." 

#2.  I'm reminded of words I read just last week, "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands" Isaiah 49. 

#3.Spring is here, and Spring. Is. Coming.

#4. My girls baking banana raisin nut bread; dividing the tasks as they kindly work together. The bread will be delicious, but not near as delicious as their sisterly affections are to this mama.

#5. An email sent from my boy today (who attends a digital middle school) which included "i love you mommy!!!!!!!" (that is a lot of exclamations, especially from a 7th grader). 

#6. That my husband is home today (power outage at work and nearby town due to storms).  Here to  share in the mundane, the necessary, the gifts.

Friday, March 18, 2011

13 minutes and the King of Glory

Just Noah and I for 13 minutes. 
13 minutes in the car racing against the clock to meet the big yellow school bus that scoops Noah out of my arms and steals him away to another world {jr. high}.
13 minutes to hold his almost-a-teenager hand, which still feels like a toddlers when it is nestled in mine. 
13 minutes to have his words or his silence, to have him all to myself.
13 minutes to pour a bit more truth into my boy...
or as it happened today to marvelously pour truth into each other.

As our car veered around our green foothills with wild flowers and lupine busting out at the end of winter's seams I asked Noah to choose something to read to us from his little black bible. 

He turned the pages as I turned the corners, then settled upon Psalm 24. 
And my boy read: 
  The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
   the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
   and established it on the waters.
 Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?
   Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
   who does not trust in an idol
   or swear by a false god.
  They will receive blessing from the LORD
   and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
   who seek your face, God of Jacob
  Lift up your heads, you gates;
   be lifted up, you ancient doors,
   that the King of glory may come in.
 Who is this King of glory?
   The LORD strong and mighty,
   the LORD mighty in battle.
 Lift up your heads, you gates;
   lift them up, you ancient doors,
   that the King of glory may come in.
 Who is he, this King of glory?
   The LORD Almighty—
   he is the King of glory.

As we made our way past the foothills and ascended up the mountain nearby our words became a Spirit lullaby sung between his heart and mine. 

"The phrase, 'Who is this King of glory?' reminds me of the door as we entered the sanctuary of  The National Cathedral on our trip to D.C. 

Imagine entering a sanctuary, whether a believer or not, and reading 'Who is this King of glory?' That question would be on the forefront of your mind as you entered into worship. God would then proceed to answer that question."  I shared. 

Noah added, "and just before that question it says, 'Lift up your heads you gates; be lifted up you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.'  That is telling us to open our gates, our doors- to open our hearts so that the King of glory can come in." 

"Yes Noah!  That's right.  And after we open our hearts to Him, we ask Him Who he is, and what happens next?"

Noah replied, "He tells us the King of glory is the LORD strong and mighty...He is the King of glory." 

Traveling into the sunlight, the foothills below us, the day bright ahead of us, 
I ask, "And what if I approached everyday like this- with my heart wide open, asking 'Who is this King of glory,'  what glory of God would I see?"

Noah placed his soft hand in mine and I prayed, "God we open the gates, ancient doors of our hearts today to You and ask 'Who is this King of glory?'  We come with great expectation to see you."

I pull into the bus stop.
2 minutes remain of the 13.
2 minutes to hold Noah's hand as we wait in our own little mother son planet {literally, I drive a Saturn).
And I delight in my boy.
And in Truth.
And in "The King of glory" who gave me 13 minutes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

green machine

we're eating this
 and this

they're wearing this
if  i can get her out of this

and i'm laughing because of this
 (which has nothing to do with St. Pat's Day, but is hilarious!)
(old friend, jesse rice and wife katie. yes, "the run little turkey" folks) 
hApPy St. PaTrIcK's DaY!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I wonder if the Spirit whispered in my almost 4 month old curly ear, 
"He's here!" 
on 3/15/74.
I believe He did. 

I am certain that at 
5:15 p.m. 
on March 15th, 1974 
this baby girl 
squealed with delight
"it's a boy!" 
was announced in a hospital room 50 miles away. 

my most-treasured friend, 
the one I would most intimately share my 
and Savior with,
was here. 
 So today
Michael Alexander Jones,
I celebrate you,
and the Author of life 
Who so generously 
 wrote you
for me.

was a very happy day indeed!  
Happy Birthday!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ten on the 10th

  Ten on Ten: Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments.

Michael leading us. 
Josie in a cape, playing with "Elise Denise."
"Can we do our math in the living room sunlight?"
Laundry.  It's never ending.
Science~ Health: carbohydrates, minerals, fats, proteins.
left-overs {from yesterday's lunch date with Michael while the kids all had school}
enjoyed in the sunshine watching the girls play.
A 2 mile walk around the lake
Time to get Noah, yeah!
Emptying the dishwasher.
Josie dropped her stack of cups immediately after this photo was taken.

Participating in Ten on Ten,
was just the kick in the pants this computer potato
needed to get off my lazy keister!
Documenting every hour for 10 hours
definitely motivated me to be diligent with my time.



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

For Lent

Goodbye Laziness, 
I'm ending our relationship.
Breaking up with you is long overdue.
You've been lounging around here in my flesh for far too long. 
Wasting time. 
Demeaning me. 
Robbing me of life with your excessive idleness. 
We're over.

Hello Diligence, 
You lead. 
I will follow.
 Follow You to the cross
To put laziness to death
For the next 40 days of Lent.
Dieing to self-love.
To be 
With Christ,

  Images above taken at the Feast of Tents 2009

  What in you needs to be put to death on the Cross
this Easter? 
What would you like to see be resurrected in you?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Soul Breathing


As stirring and stillness

Together and solitude

Words and silence

Take up residence beside each other in my soul. 

Learning to navigate this new

Where opposites attract.
Minus fear.

Sans wrestling to be worthy. 


In wonder. 
Soul breathing.

In, out, in, out, in, out. 
 Soul breathing. 

Filling up my Spirit-lungs with peace. 



For His kingdom to come.

In me. 

For Glory to be revealed. 

To glorify.

To have a voice. 

Once more.


His voice. 

A song. 

A narrative.

An intimate union of letters on a page.

A calling from the mountains. 

A  testimony.

Poured out. 

(Photos taken today at Bass Lake)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Being the "Cool Mommy" Joy.

i'm joining blog friend kristen with another week {or two} of joys (btw- kristen is hosting a give-away at her blog}.

i'm the mom that wants her kids to think she's cool {"cool" for me equals off the wall, silly, spontaneous, and playful.  note webster's definition of "cool" is entirely different than mine}.
however like all mommies i get caught up in laundry, school work, bills, "training them in the way they should go," disciplining, and the daily droll of life,  thus the playful/joyful  side of me becomes non-existent.

when i am out of sorts with that playful side of me i feel that i am in a "cool mommy" deficit. 

i loose what brings me joy...

me bringing my family joy. 

i want to be a source of their joy {not The source, but a source}.    

so  i kicked my "cool" up a notch. 

   breakfast date with my kids; french toast n' bacon, chocolate milk, playing skip-bo and uno, and being told "you're so cool mommy" 50 times {back in the saddle again}. 

breakfast date continued at the bowling alley.
30 more "you're so cool mommy" praises.

noah is 12 {hence the smug look on his face.  the age 12 is the top reason i am in the "you're a cool mommy" deficit}  finding joy with a jr. higher is becoming increasingly more difficult.   awe, but it is not impossible, i just have to be more intentional about finding it, spreading it, living in it! 

noah playing pinball with the "king of rock'n' roll."  a girl i knew in high school decorated her room in elvis paraphernalia.  in 1990.  weird, right?
that girl was me!   
 a much needed double date night with friends, eric & michelle. 
pf chang's, 3 rounds of lazer tag, and dessert at marie callendar's. 
my lazer tag name was "swpdalgjny" {sweep the leg johnny, watch this video if you don't get it}.
this date night was lonnnngggg over due (our last date was in october).
lazer tag is fun... note to self "wear depends."
i shared a kiss with michael,
and that yummmmmyyyy brownie sunday with michelle. 
michelle and i scored "your the coolest wife" praises from our husbands for planning an awesome date {i'm never in a "cool wife" deficit with michael because he is crazy about me}.

i do a little side job for someone from home. it's mindless busywork that can be done while homes schooling or watching gilmore girls {or "glamor girls" as josie refers to them}.
this side job is paying for michael and i to go to MAUI this summer to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary!!!  just anticipating joy brings joy.  i have enough saved so we can go. woot woot!  child care is arranged so we can go, yipeee!!  now i need to work on saving for meals, outings, and souvenirs (like a t-shirt that says my parent's went to maui and all i got was this shirt for my kids).

breakfast courtesy of the kitchen of lorelai and rory gilmore; rice krispies and mini marshmallows... they're magically delicious, and equal a dozen more "your so cool mommy" accolades!

finally, michael went snow-camping with my our good friend jeff this past weekend {crazy menfolk!}.  snow-camping would bring me absolutely no joy, however it brings my husband TONS of joy, and that makes me joyful. 
while they trekked through blizzards and slept in what might as well have been an igloo, jeff's car "ginger" was parked in my driveway.  
she is so nice to look at. 
to sit in.  
to smell.  
to pretend you are driving.
i'm in love. 

this car makes me feel giddy, and reminds me of a past joy.