To Read on the Journey

Saturday, August 31, 2013


This month I made the leap from a dumb phone to an iPhone.  
I reeaaally like it.
I like receiving emails, and responding quickly to customers of our online businesses. 

It's snazzy being able to find the location of the post office in Los Banos when I failed to stop off at one in Chowchilla.  Even better is being able to find the location of the nearest Chipotle.
Facetime is cooltime.
I give the You Version bible app an A++   
Most importantly, I may have discovered the cure for momnesia in the Reminders app. 

I'm sure there are a zillion apps I am clueless about, but one that I am glad to be able to take advantage of is Instagram.  It's nice to sneak a peak into the lives of family, some of whom are in Maui and Australia. Keeping up with old and new friends is a bonus, too. 

Here's a peak at our month on instagram. 
Follow me at jonesidosio

The girls with their friend, Chloe, filming "Game Show of Randomness" with host Kat Payjak, and contestants KC Shine and Eugene Alfred Fitzberg III. 

 We wrapped our summer fun up with a camping trip to Sunset Beach. L-R: New bike rack, Home Sweet Tent, toasted Bisquick dough, riding in Monterey, Sunset Beach, S'more French-toast, Pizza My Heart, Jellyfish so close, and finally there's nothing better after a camping vacay than coming home to a sparkling clean house. 

We celebrated the birthdays of dear friends, Jeremy & Diane Vacarro, and are grateful that they're 40 and WE'RE NOT! 

We had our 11th annual first day of school breakfast, and first day of school photos (Josie-6th, Emilie-9th, Noah-10th).  I'd like to insert that for months I have begged Noah and Emilie to wear "I'm the Big Brother" and "I'm the Little Sister" tees for their first day of high school together... you can see that they didn't humor me. Emilie did wear a bit of ink-work "He Sustains Me." *love* And like that my Soph and Frosh were off... #somebodyholdme

Sometimes Josie rolls down our bed and leaves scripture on our pillows. She trains this mama in the way she should go.

Michael and I have been mentoring some newly married couples(or rather they have been mentoring us -isn't that how it usually ends up).  This is half of our delicious group showing off their steak salads topped with onion rings (we feed them because we remember well that newly married couples can't afford to eat).   We've been through Sacred Marriage and a Song of Solomon series. This week we begin  Tim Keller's The Prodigal God.  I Can't wait! 

After a whole week of school "Girls just want to have fun!" 
The weekend was spent finishing a ruffled bed skirt I began for Josie in February (procrastinate much), and re-re-painting her room (I'll spare you the pic of my painted gray hair)
Each year our church, The Well, holds the State of the Church.
This year the pastor emphasized that 
 "We're better together than we are alone,"
and shared the many ways the church has been the church this past year.  

instapics- Worship with a packed house of God-sibs= MY FAVORITE THING EVER!
Michael and I have had the privilege of serving as greeters for the event for 2 years. 

These milk & dark chocolate chip cookies made by Josie are quiet possibly my second favorite thing ever.  Michael and I agreed that these are the best chocolate chip cookies ever made in our household in our almost 17yrs of marriage...and it took an 11yr old to accomplish that. 

And finally, beginning my day, and closing out the month with worship...
"Your Presence is all I need, 
It's all I want, 
And all I seek..."

Live in Peace,


Sunday, August 18, 2013

He wins!

Last week Emilie got amped after reading John 1:5 from her Bible.
She enthusiastically shared, "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." 

Her enthusiasm came a few days after we'd had a discouraging conversation about our culture and the immorality in it that is tolerated and promoted.  At one point during the discussion I resembled the generations who've gone before me as I echoed their disheartening conclusion, "it's going to be much worse for your generation than it was for mine."     

Darkness can bring out the Debbie Downer in me.

But God- through Emilie.

After she read John's words she energetically proclaimed what she was discerning from the scripture, "The Light illuminates and shines in the darkness. THE DARKNESS CANNOT OVERPOWER THE MARVELOUS LIGHT! The sin in the world seems to be overpowering Truth, but God's Light overpowers ALL the darkness. God is powerful! I feel Hope." 

Emilie reminded this Debbie Downer that no matter how dark it gets- Jesus wins.
Boom Ya! (as our friend Spinner says it-  Emilie and I might actually be dorky enough to have exclaimed that during our conversation).

This encouragement from God's word for Emilie (and me) could not have come at a better time as she begins high school tomorrow. Like her big bro, she's ditching home school and stepping onto the public school scene.

She's excited to go.

Because today is the last day I don't have to share her (boo hoo) with the anyone (except Josie) I started it off by calling dibs on sitting beside her in church.  When Emilie worships she reaches in deep and pours out praise.  I wanted to be next to her. 

As we worshiped I leaned in close, and sang harmony to her lovely melody. We came toward to kiss together.  *love*   Then this mama pressed into God- the Truth and Light and Hope Emilie knows- placed my hand on her and bathed her in prayer with the fitting song the congregation sang-    

Promise maker, promise keeper
You finish what you begin
Our provision through the desert
You see it through 'til the end
You see it through 'til the end

The Lord our God is ever faithful
Never changing through the ages
From this darkness You will lead us
And forever we will say
You're the Lord our God

In the silence, in the waiting
Still we can know You are good
All Your plans are for Your glory
Yes, we can know You are good
Yes, we can know You are good

The Lord our God is ever faithful
Never changing through the ages
From this darkness You will lead us
And forever we will say
You're the Lord our God

We won't move without You
We won't move without You
You're the light of all and all that we need

(Lord, You're everything
Lord, we trust You
We're in your hands)

The Lord our God is ever faithful
Never changing through the ages
From this darkness You will lead us
And forever we will say
You're the Lord our God

And forever we will say
You're the Lord our God

The Lord Our God, Kritian Stanfill

He will finish what He has begun in Emilie (and each one of us).
Though everything around us changes He is constant.
Though we don't understand His ways, we trust that He is good and uses every situation for His "Big glory."  (as Emilie us to say it when praying The Lord's Prayer when she was 3)
He is the Light of all and all that we need.
Even in the midst of darkness He will lead (look at how He is already leading Emilie!)
And best of all- He is the LORD our God!
(I feel the need to insert another "Boom Ya!" here) 
Who goes before, beside, and behind Emilie on the wild adventure of high school.

Live in Peace,

Friday, August 16, 2013

10 Reasons Why I DON'T HATE Camping

You read that right, "10 reasons why I DON'T HATE camping,"
because I could easily list 20 reasons why I loath it-
muddy quarter showers,
needing to pee at 4 a.m.,
dirt. everywhere. dirt.,

washing dishes in a bowl,
noisy neighbors,
and did I mention the urgency to pee when it's dark o'clock, and the potty is a bazillion steps away, and it's insanely cold, and...

but I can't be a hater...
because my family loooooooovvvveees camping. 
So I suck it up, and take one for the team,

 and discover there are a few not-so-terrible things about camping.

 Like S'mores.  Thank you, Jesus, for whoever created the S'more! 

Outlets. I know, it's cheating, but this girl neeeeeeds her hairdryer worse than she needs a warm potty that's 5 steps away at 4 o'clock in the morning (if you're ridiculous like me I can tell you where the only camp sight west of the Mississippi with outlets is for a small fee). 

 Reading by lantern, flashlight, and headlamps. So cozy. 

Our usual100 degree temps are replaced by chilly mornings- wearing beanies, wrapped in blankets, while sipping hot cocoa.

Playing together- card games, Farkle, Rummie Cube, Speed Scrabble. 

  Beach time. 
And since we're at the beach, we HAVE TO grab a ridiculously delicious slice of PMH and a tee from PIZZA MY HEART for just $6!

We're also close to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, which happens to have dollar nights on Mon. & Tues. evenings. Who wouldn't want to ride a roller-coaster for a $1!

These last two are the top reasons camping isn't awful-
Michael does all of the cooking on his father's old Coleman stove.  ALL OF IT. 

And he makes me S'more French Toast.
And S'more French Toast may just be enough to move me from being a hater to a lover of camping.  

Do you camp? 

Live in Peace,

We're currently wrapping up a camping trip (one "last hurrah" before the kids are back to school). 
These photos are from our camping trip in 2011.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Carolina In My Mind -The End (part 4)

All right folks, grab some kettle-corn, and prepare yerself for the final post from our trip to the Carolinas (and Georgia, which happens to make an appearance, too). 
It's a doozy.
So, what I didn't tell ya, was that before Michael and I set out on our trip we decided we would make-out at every state-line (truth is I decided this, and Michael was MORE THAN HAPPY TO GO ALONG WITH MY PLAN... he even went so far as to include the state-lines we crossed during our flights).
Did you just spit out your kettle-corn!?!
Spinner's commentary is HILARIOUS.

Because we enjoyed the state-line kissing, A LOT, Michael and I have added to our bucket list "get an RV and travel across the "Fifty-Nifty United States" to make-out!"

 Between the smooching, we saw (and attempted to see) some beautiful places and wonderful people. 
This was our attempt to see the Blue Ride Mountains. Weather happens. 

A waterfall. 

A Pretty Place. This is where Spinner & Ginger were married 17 yrs ago.

This short video is for those of you who have never seen lightening bugs. 
God is cool. 'Nuf said.

Cool sights from Atlanta, Georgia.

You know I love me some beautiful places, BUT there is nothing I LOVE more than people. 
BBQ and boiled peanuts with Ginger's family in North Carolina. Her folks and their friends were a hoot! They are down to earth, funny, and generous. Thanks again, Ricky Dee & Juanita Wilson, for sharing a bit of your life with us. 
Michael and Spinner picking delicious blueberries on the Wilson farm.
Spinner's family home, his parents, Mitch & Carolin Allen, and the clock tower in Spartanburg, SC. 
I fell head-over-heels for the Allens.' Have you ever met people that when you're with them you feel like you are getting a strong hug from the LORD?  Well, that's what it was like being with Mitch & Carolin. These two also speak my love language- words.  I was smitten with every word they spoke, and every story they told.

Here is video, which will make zero sense to you, but makes me all kinds of happy (btw- I am loud. And I ugly cry face. And ugly laugh face. And I am surprised by a photo of Mitch with President Jimmy Carter, and Ginger's Aqua-net hair, and that Spinner use to look like Chris O'Donnel- not Tom Cruise). 
 After seeing the video, you may have decided you will NEVER take me home with you. I don't blame you. 

Here's the candle in the window. 
We feel incredibly blessed to have met a bit more of God's world and God's people in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. God's creativity in creating places and people is limitless! I like Him.
We're also grateful to have made some fun memories together, and I can't wait until we can get an RV and make some more!

Live in Peace,

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Charleston, SC (Carolina Part 3)

We couldn't visit South Carolina without seeing the historic city of Charleston and the Atlantic Ocean. 
We'd like to thank Amos, who pulled our horse drawn carriage, for showing us the lay of the land. 
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be in one of our countries oldest cities, to admire the intricate details of the architecture, and to glimpse a bit of our American history.

After tromping around Chucktown, we headed over to Sullivan's Island to dip our feet in the Atlantic Ocean
Have I mentioned how much we L.O.V.E. our friends Spinner & Ginger yet? We do. They're adventurous and generous and "boom ya" funny and they are wild about God and his people and we're incredibly blessed to know them!

As I stood there in the warm Atlantic water I had to shout a hearty "Hola!" to my wonderful Portuguese relatives, who are just a short 2,800 miles east on the beautiful island of Flores, Azores (Did you hear me?)

  This photo was taken for my pals who got choked up when they heard that I would be in NicholasSparksville. I love my pals. I however may be the only woman alive who dislikes Nick's movies...especially The Notebook (don't hate me).

We couldn't leave Sully's Island without having a meal with Edgar Allen Poe. 

Michael and Spinner with  "Poestaches." 

Live in Peace,