To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the details

hi all. 
i miss you. 
the other day i mentioned to michael that i haven't spent much time with my friends- the ones that live in the computer- and that i miss them. miss you. 

you know how when you don't talk with someone for a while, you don't always know where to begin? do you pick up where you left off, fill them in on what's been happening, or both?  
do you ever let doubt seep in and think, 'oh they don't really care to know the details of my life anyway?' 
i've been thinking that...
but then i realize i care about the details of your lives.  really.  i like you that much.  i want to know that you had beautiful family photos taken, and that you were a bridesmaid in a beautiful wedding at a library!  i want to see the people you love that you visited in oklahoma, and i want to know what is stirring in your heart.  i want to see what you wore wednesday because you are adorable. and  you, well i just need to hang out with you here in blogville for a bit {real life would be better}.  i want to learn from you all 40 things you have learned in your 40 yrs of life!  from you i really need to be encouraged to do Christmas on purpose this year too.  you, well you i just need to see because you are too far away and i miss you terribly.  as for you and you , i have noticed you haven't been around for a while either. it's okay, but come back soon.  and no i didn't forget you, you, or you. i am so fond of all of you.

knowing how i feel about you got me thinking maybe just maybe you want to know what's been going on with me too. 

well, here ya go...

i had a birthday {the same day as her}.  i am 30-old now {which by the way is one year younger than 30-oldest}.   my husband took the day off.  he made me this for breakfast.
{photo taken in instag.ram}
s'more french toast! i created it when we went camping this summer {it redeem camping}- french toast filled with marshmallows and chocolate, drizzled in maple syrup, and sprinkled with powdered sugar-  INSANELY GOOD!  {birthdays are guilt free eating days. i wish it was my birthday right now}.

after breakfast we ran away from all of our responsibilities and traveled a couple hours north to knight's ferry to take family photos on the historical knight's ferry bridge.
you might remember that michael and i celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in september.

this bridge is where he asked me to marry him {*swoon*}

i wanted to have  a 15yr photo of us there now.

a  snapshot of how our life has changed since those moments on knight's ferry bridge when he was on bended knee asking if i would be his.
i'm glad i said yes.
so glad.

{and yes, noah is my oldest. yes, emilie (14.5 months younger) has surpassed him in height. all noah wants for Christmas is a growth spurt} 
after michael took the photos {which was comical; set timer, run back, pose, repeat}
we went to oakdale- "the happiest place on earth"- and had dinner at one of my favorite childhood restaurants, farrarese's. 
it was good to run away together, the 5 of us.  to ditch the house remodel, the packing to move, the home-school, the work, the 3 side jobs.  it was necessary to remember Who we live for and all He has given us in each other.

we have a tradition on birthdays to give blessings {which reminds me i have needed to post about this and do a give-away for some time.  remind me.}  with the weight of our responsibilities and my weighed down attitude accompanying it i wondered if my family would have words of affirmation to speak into my life.  they did.  emilie wrote hers in a letter. wanna see!?! okay.

she loves me and sees me and reminds me of who i am even when i forget. *love*

in move-in news this last week outlet covers and vent covers went up.  woohoo!  bedroom doors were hung {is that right, do you hang the doors?} 2 days ago. exciting times.
jessica is hosting her pintertest kitchen tomorrow {holla!}  my kitchen is currently the epitome of a pinterTEST.   as soon as i am done with this post and the kids are done with school, i am heading to home depot {for the trillionth time this month} to purchase my 3rd gallon of gray paint for the kitchen. {white cabinets on top, gray on the bottom... idea from pinterest.  pinterest may be the death of my husband}.

as for other details- like most of you- i too am gearing up for the Christmas season.  this year however is going to be grace-Christmas, because i am going to need a lot of it {i usually do, i just don't recognize it}!  i'm going to practice {in excess} being okay with things not being the way i desperately want them to be in my o.c.d./perfectionist head.   the usual advent planning and intentional heartfelt gifts are likely not going to happen this year. that is okay. it's okay because Jesus is more than enough for us this Christmas {every Christmas. every day}. 
God already planned the most magnificent advent {coming, expecting}, and gave the hands-down most heartfelt gift 2000+ years ago in Jesus.   grace- Christmas is going to cause me to let go of trying to out do Him {like i could} and instead embrace and enjoy the Savior, Immanuel God with us.

Merry, Merry!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

run... or you're gonna die!

i've been off the grid. 
no cell reception.
{never gonna happen}.
no phone.
{yep, it's like i live in the ozarks}
no t.v.
{missed parenthood}
{barely surviving here people}

internet guy was just here.
{'i love you mr. internet guy'}

now that i am back on the grid
i have one warning for you
...or rather for
your thanksgiving turkey.
Run Little Turkeys... 
gonna die!!

if you enjoy this video {and i know you did}
support the rice's, who just had their first "rice, rice baby"
and listen to katie rice's music here
or check out jesse rice's book, The Church of Facebook, here,
read what he has to say today over at donald miller's blog, here.

HaPpY tHaNkSgIvInG!

Friday, November 18, 2011

"it'll be fine" {renovation realities}

3 weeks ago we got the keys. 
we've removed carpet.
removed tile floors.
removed tile counters.
removed walls.
added wall.
removed doors. 
removed cabinets. 
we've worked evenings.
we've worked weekends.
we've painted over every square inch; over pink, red, green, blue,
baby blue, yellow,  green, yellow with swirls,
and a bouquet of flowers.
one of us worked until 4 a.m. the other morning, then went to real job at 7 a.m.
...the one of us wasn't me. 

the kitchen is unkitchenable. 
the doors are unpainted and in the garage.
kitchen and bathroom cabinets too. 
the windows are still covered in plastic and masking tape.
{latest fashion in window coverings?}
the light fixtures are m.i.a.
the outlet covers too.
there's a toilet in josie's room.
the carpet is being installed in the morning. 
so are we!
 a friend asked yesterday how i felt about moving in already,
to which another friend
 shared that my response to her was,
"it'll be fine.  it'll be fine.  it'll be fine"
{said with a convincing myself tone}.

"it'll be fine"
is the only response.
is it fine, dandy, swell right now?
but it will be.
i know it will be.
so i'm fixing my eyes on
"it'll be fine."
and praying for God to sustain me
{keep me sane}
until it is.

now here's a short clip of me busting a hole into my first wall.

fun times.

{if you want to bust through a wall visit us this summer and bring your hammer!}

is there anything you're currently saying 
"it'll be fine" too?

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Hold You"

joining gypsy mama and linking up with 5 minutes on friday.
just writing, not editing- my grammar, my thoughts.  just writing.

i haven't been in a very good place... in my mind.  i could give a handful of reasons, preexisting conditions, that can cause me to spiral downward if i let them.  i let them.  as usual i am so disappointed with myself.  i'm ashamed. God serves freedom to me on an all-you-can-eat-buffet!  and here i am spiraling.
spiraling and ashamed i was standing in church a few weeks ago worshiping.  standing.  singing these words.
You are good, You are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see
You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life,
In You death has lost it's sting

Oh, I'm running to your arms,
I'm running to arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here
In your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I'm letting go

Oh, I'm running to your arms
I'm running to arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

My heart will sing
no other name
Jesus, Jesus

Oh, I'm running to your arms
I'm running to arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

i heard once that to worship means "to come towards to kiss."  i needed to kiss. and more i needed to be kissed by my Father. 
as i sang "i'm running to your arms, i'm running to your arms, the riches of your love will always be enough, nothing compares to your embrace..."  i let go of my worldy insecurity, the some-one-might- be-looking-at-me-and-think-i'm-strange, and i extended both my arms. extended them just like my son, noah, use to do when he was a toddler. noah would say, "hold you, hold you."   "hold You," i said.  and He lifted me up into His arms.  He did.  i felt his mighty hands reach under my arms and swoop me up.  i felt my toes leave the earth.  my head nestled into His chest. "nothing compares to Your embrace."   
i'm still a mess. a mess, but  here is what i know for sure right now... God is good to me even when there is nothing good in me.  i'm a mess, but He loves me, wants to hold me still. 
i love him. 

listen to the song here. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

oh happy day!

 sharing just a bit of how i've been spreading my God-colors this week.

the happy day project: day one- bring a treat to a neighbor
we have been living in bass lake for 2 months now.
did you know we use to live here?
we lived here for 8 of our married years.
when we lived here before we had a wonderful neighbor, donna.
she was is a gift from God.  a gift!
donna lives alone, with her cats.
we still call and visit her {though hardly ever}.
she considers us family.
we should love donna better.

remember how i mentioned we have been living here for 2 months.
guess who still hasn't called or gone to see donna??
uh huh.  loser old neighbor.
i've been full of excuses.
happy day project shut those excuses up. thank you happy day project.
monday the kids and i stopped by donna's and surprised her with a bouquet of fall flowers.
we went back today {thursday} and visited for a while. we're going to see her saturday too.
we're going to love donna better.  we are.

the happy day project day: day two- a written note.
we printed up the printables and wrote a handful of notes.
emilie wrote one note to one of michael's co-workers; a kind man who lights up whenever the kids visit. i know her thoughtfulness is going to bless his wool socks off! she wrote another to a friend who will be blessed by a bit of encouragement.
i wrote one to a friend i've had since 6th grade. i know receiving a note in the mail will be a good way for me to wrap my arms around her even though she lives on the other side of the country.
as we were writing notes emilie asked why an unexpected note would matter to someone.
i tried to explain, she didn't get it, but wrote anyway.  that evening emilie was at youth group. there are 70+ jr. highers there.  there are about 20 leaders.  when we picked her up she shared with us that she had received a unexpected note from a leader that she didn't even know noticed her.  she expressed how meaningful it was to her receive the thoughtful note.
how COOL that God showed emilie first hand how meaningful blessing others with kind words can be.

the happy day project: day three- gift card to the homeless. 
like many, i have a tender spot in my heart for the homeless.
i look at them and see someone's child; once held by their mother. that mother {like me} hoped and dreamed for her child.  i want someone's child to know the Redeemer and Author of Life.
i see them and think of my own mentally ill father, who is paranoid schizophrenic. he could be on the streets instead of a hospital.  that man on that corner could be someone's dad.  the dad of someone who loves him still. I want him to live in Truth.
i think of an aunt and cousins who have been homeless.  numbing her pain was more important than housing. i get it. i ache for her.  i see that woman on the street trying to numb her pain.  i ache for her and want so badly for her to know the Rescuer, Life-Giver.  
i think of george. i praise God for teaching me through george who the least of these really is... me.
we picked up some in-n-out giftcards to keep in our car to give as we see need.
and, as always, i will pray for the One True God to show Himself, to lavish His love on, to magnify His mercy, to provide for, and to lead His homeless children in His grace and truth.

what is a way that God has gifted you to bless others? 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

be generous with your life!

this week i'm joining blog friends julie & jeanette and participating in

happy day
there are a million reasons why i shouldn't participate in the HAPPY DAY project.  
i'm not exaggerating, a million 
{okay, maybe i'm exaggerating a little}.
i'm already overwhelmed by my insanely busy-at-this-time life.
i don't have time to be about anyone or anything else.
and that.
right there.
is the reason 
i NEED to join in!

"You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.
God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.  
If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? 
I'm putting you on a light stand.  Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, 
on a light stand - shine! 
Keep open house; be generous with your lives. 
By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, 
this generous Father in heaven."
Matthew 14-16
{The Message} 

 i wasn't put here on God's green earth to be about myself.
{no matter how stink'n busy i am}

i am here to bring out the God-colors in the world
{and wow! has He made me colorful! i'm just say'n}

i have to shine!

i need to be generous with my life!

i want to prompt others to be open with our generous God.

here's  how i'm going to do just that this week.
want to spread your God-colorfulness this week too?!?
go here and join in on the fun.

Friday, November 4, 2011


linking up with jeanette at life rearranged for another week of insta-sharing!
life rearranged
1. caramel stuffed apple cider cookies 2. we opened up the house for a wci staff halloween party last friday. the staff kids carving pumpkins. good times 3. hannah carving her first pumpkin ever!
4. we picked up the keys to our house sat. a.m., arrived at the house to work on it, and were greeted by the "SOLD" sign! 5. michael carrying me over the threshold {we do this every time we move in or move out of a place. we are weird like that} 6. nasty dog-peed-on carpet removal.

7.gettin' my mask on. have you ever been to a lush? you should. it's awesome. 8. gettin' their halloween on~ teddy bear, dog, and scuba diver.
9. michael priming the turquoise away {we've also said good bye to green, red, yellow, pink, blue, light green, purple, and a bouquet of painted flowers}. 10. gold knobs before. 11. carbon mist knobs after.
12. had to make a run to fresno for more paint from the depot, yogurtland was my lunch. i unintentionally went with a fall colors theme. 13. this brilliant fall tree stopped me on the drive home. emilie said, "it's so beautiful. i wouldn't have even noticed it if you hadn't stopped" thank you jesus for stopping me. i NEEDED to stop, take you in. 14. my girls in matching jammies, cuddling. i love how they adore each other.
15. i woke up this morning to josie hollering, "there's snow! there's snow! there's snow!"
the kids are outside playing in it now.
 16. they used ALL the snow to make a snowman.  looks like home schooling has turned
into snow schooling.

happy november 4th all!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


linking up with jessica with some baking and making 
inspired by pinterest.

if you are not already on pinterest then go sign up NOW!
{by now i mean after you've read my post, of course}

here is a bit of what pinterest has inspired me to do. 

first, a pinterest "bake it."
caramel stuffed apple cider cookies!
{yes, they are as yummy as they sound}
they were also easy!
so easy i've made them twice.
{i don't enjoy baking so twice is a big deal for me}
after you are done drooling at the caramelly goodness on my blog you can go here to get the recipe and whip up your own.
{i suggest using 9 packages of apple cider instead of 10. my girls suggest creating a pyramid  out of unwrapped caramels before folding them into the cookie dough}.

next, a pinterest "make it."
i was inspired to create a fall fun list.
it's been crazyville here at casa de jones'
what with getting the keys to our new house and working around the clock to make it liveable so we can move in before thanksgiving weekend.
i know me. i'll get caught up in all that has to be done and forget what NEEDS to be done...
enjoying each other!
this list will help me steal away and enjoy this fall season with my family. 
here is a link to find your own fall fun inspiration. 

it will also {hopefully} remind me to keep my heart in tune to Him
{it's been a bit out of tune lately}.
 as i am typing this post my oldest daughter is humming this tune. :-)

my final pinterest for this link up is also a "make it"
this is one of the new house redos.
spray painting the knobs and hinges!
i used rustoleum carbon mist to transform these once gold knobs to a charcoal color.
they look FABULOUS in real life.
i removed mine from the doors {because those are getting afresh coat of paint too}, but here's a link to how you can paint your own.

now go to pinterest and join the pinning phenomenon!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


pleated poppy
joining lindsey with another week of what i wore.

mauve top -h&m
cream cardigan-target
brown pants- maurices
boat shoes- bass outlet
(they're making a come back. they are! 
i don't know if they are, but 
i really want them to}

plaid top-aeropostale
tank- target
belt- the buckle
boots- charming charlie's
necklace- lisa leonard
extra padding on my hips and thighs- 3 musketeer's halloween candy
top- nordstrom rack
gray cardi sweater- target
skinny jeans- old navy
gray boots- bass outlet {buy 1 get 2 free!}