Road Trip!

Grammaw and Pappaw Jones
Grammaw and Pappaw Jones

Next week we’ll take our annual trip to Kentucky for the Jones Family Reunion.  This is an event that we look forward to every year.  It’s a time to reunite with family and loved ones, to pass on our heritage, and to make new memories.  We’ll spend the weekend cooking out, teaching the kids wonderful games like “drop the hankie” and “kick the can”, and laughing over the antics of past reunions (like the time “someone” put a frog in the lightening bug can and Grammaw opened it).

As I eagerly anticipate the coming week, I’m also filled with a bit a dread.  This will be a nine hour drive, each way, with a five year old girl.  I’m scrambling to come up with activities that will keep her entertained and (doubtful) prevent the dreaded, “Are we there yet!?”  I’ve come up with a few things.

1.  We are a member of the DVD plan for Netflix.  I’ve rented a couple of movies that hopefully will buy some time.

2.  I’ve recently discovered the 123 Homeschool 4 Me website.  This amazing lady has TONS of materials and packets for kids of many ages and educational levels.  I’m going to print out a few so that we can do them on the road.

3.  We’ll be headed to the library in the morning to check out a new load of books (some on Independence Day because I can’t pass up a good opportunity to learn something new).  The library also has a nice selection of movies so we may get a couple of extras.  In addition, we like to check out audio books.

4. We always have a fun bag that includes some of HF’s favorite toys and few new ones that I pick up from the Dollar Store.

I’ll keep scouring Pinterest for new ideas, and will add to this post if I find any that I absolutely love.  What have you done that has worked well for you?

Road Trip


2% Mom

Why Tears Are Shedding All Over The Place


Mommas all over (and even a few dads) are sniffling and reaching for kleenex. It’s that season where mailboxes fill with cards and photographs, and vehicles all around town loudly yell “Congratulations!” or “Class of 2015”.

For a small group of kids they are reaching one of their first milestones, Pre-school graduation. These tiny imps are running around with high pitched laughter and careless dreams while hearts are breaking all around them. This morning, as I dropped Hila Fay off for her last day of Wee School, I was reminded of her first. There were as many red eyes and glistening cheeks today as there were that day nine months ago: only this time it was the mommas and not the kiddos.


Today is a first of many lasts and, honestly, I’m just not ready for it. Time is going by so quickly and I find myself constantly questioning and second guessing the moments I have had with her. I wonder if I was loving enough or if I should have been stronger. Have I given in too many times when I’ve seen that puckering lip or, perhaps, do I need to ease up more? Am I teaching her the right things, investing enough time, and leading by example? Did I pack enough snacks? Am I ruining her teeth by not insisting strongly enough that she stop sucking her thumb?


I imagine that these are questions that never really go away. I reckon I’ll worry her entire life and continue to tear up at every milestone big and small. I’m not sure that there really is a cure or “sure fire fix” for a momma’s fear, but I know one thing. From the moment that I found out I was pregnant I prayed to God for one thing, consistently. I prayed that God would give my baby a heart for Him.

I thought about my prayer long and hard and came up with one conclusion; if Hila Fay has a heart for God then everything else will come out in the wash. All my other fears and worries will come to naught and she will be the woman that God intends for her to be.


And with this newfound confidence I dry me eyes. ..

Just joking, I’m still bawling. 

So, here’s to all the parents out there who are spending the next few days weepy while their little one rolls their eyes and say, “*Ugh* Momma, are you crying, again?”  For this moment we are all united in our heartache, doubts, pride,  and tears.  We will, as one, snap picture after picture and flood all forms of social media with them. We will tell anyone who will listen that our baby is graduating. We will fret over their hair and outfits as we prepare them for the big event, and we will commiserate with the other parents about how fast this year flew by and how it only seemed like yesterday when …

We will, also (eventually), be ok. We will continue to do our best and to try and be the parents that our pride and joy deserves. But, most importantly, we will know that our God is in control and loves our babies even more than we do. We can be confident that even when we fail, He will not.

With Love and Tears,

Mother’s Day Legacy


When Chuck and I were planning our wedding we made a conscious effort to include both of our families. We never understood the concept of the wedding being a day JUST for the bride and groom. In our minds our marriage was uniting not just us, but our families as well. Whether they liked it or not our families would now be linked forever.

In some ways, Mother’s Day is like that. Yes. it’s a day for me to celebrate all the good things that go along with motherhood and to show HF the joy of doing something for others, but it is also a day to celebrate my relationship with my mother and hers before her. It’s a day that links all mothers together and allows us to share our legacies.


I see HF now and I marvel at the little lady she’s so quickly becoming.  I think back to myself and remember my mother when I was HF’s age. Momma has always had the softest hands and most gentle touch. She never panicked when I hurt myself but rather, I think, watched me to see how I would react. She said something once (and once only) and expected me to obey. She gave me responsibilities and consequences but took plenty of time to take me to the library and park and teach me to pray.


I look at HF again, so content in her dreams, and wonder if I’m going to do half as good as my mom. I make a conscious effort to invest in mine and HF’s relationship, now, in the hopes that (after she has passed through the dreaded teenage years) she will think of me with the same adoration that I do my mother and her hers’.

We are all linked in a line of genetics and love that each new daughter passes on to their daughter and on and on for many more generations to come. Perhaps, one day in the future, HF will sit, holding her child and think back to her memories of me. This thought is one of the reasons that I try so hard to be active in her life. I work to make every moment count and her life full of tangent moments.

I’ve realized that we don’t have to be doing something BIG to have a lasting moment. It could be as simple as putting together a puzzle or taking silly selfies.


How do you make your moments last? How will your children carry on your legacy?

2% Mom

Hila Fay’s Sunday Conversations

Daddy (talking to me): Man, I got a crick in my neck!
Hila Fay: Me, too, Daddy! I gots a cricket in MY neck! It’s right here (points to the back of her neck)! See, Daddy? See da cricket in my neck?


(Daddy is outside weed-eating around her swing-set and Hila Fay is standing on a small cooler watching him)
Hila Fay: YAY DADDY! GO DADDY! You can do it, Daddy! You can win da boo (blue) wibbon (ribbon)! I BELIEVE in you, Daddy!

Failure to persuade my kid


You know those moments when you try to influence a kid’s decision by the inflection in your voice?

Me (as dull, flat and quickly as I can make it): Hila Fay, you-wanna-go-to-the-farm-with-you-daddy…


(As excited and happy as I can be)
You wanna go for a WALK with MOMMY!?!?!?!

Hila Fay (puts a finger to her chin to emphasize her thinking): Uhm, I go to farm with DADDY!!!!

I have NO chance of winning in a contest with her dad!

Oh, well. At least she ate two more of my homemade brownies and told me “Dees are NUMMY, Momma!”

I reckon that’s what I get for having a Daddy’s girl. Perhaps next time I’ll bribe her with a promise of popcorn when we return.

At least my nephew, Zander, refused to go to his Momma today when I was holding him! Gotta take my victories where I can.


I Really Should Get Up…


I should be up rotating laundry and putting up the dishes, but instead I’m lying here listening to Hila Fay softly snore. Her hand is draped over my chest and every once in a while her fingers lightly flutter in reaction to the dream world she’s entered. Yes, I really should get up. My floors need swept and bills need to paid, but I’m a bit afraid you see.

I’m afraid that tomorrow she’ll grow up and not want my snuggles anymore; or that she’ll realize my kisses don’t actually have magic in them that heals all her boo-boos away. I’m afraid that she’ll realize that I don’t know everything or that it’s actually not “cool” to kiss your momma good-bye.

I’m afraid that one morning, all to soon, I’ll wake up and my baby girl’s impish, mischievous smile will give way to the slow, steady smile of a young lady. That all of her Barbies and Legos will have disappeared, only to be replaced by novels and make-up.

I’m afraid that our worlds will flip-flop. Instead of her saying, “Mommy, play with me! Mommy, watch dis! Momma-Momma-Momma, I need a hug an’ a kiss.” It’ll be me pleading, “Hila Fay won’t you sit with me? Hila Fay go for a walk with me. Hila Fay, how ’bout spending some time with me?”

Yes, I really should get up….or maybe not.


Hila Fay’s Conversations with Daddy


I’m laying in the recliner trying to rid myself of a migraine. My wonderful hubby is outside working on my vehicle while Hila Fay alternates between playing & “helping” daddy. My heart melted as I listened to Hila Fay talk to her daddy.
(Note: Hila Fay says most of her “L”‘s like “W”‘s. I wrote the conversation exactly as it sounded to me)

HF: Are you handsome, daddy?
Daddy: Me? Naw.
HF: Well, I tink you handsome daddy!

*pause in conversation as I hear some metal banging & hubby grunting*

HF: PUSH, Daddy, PUSH!
Daddy: *grunt*
HF: YAY DADDY! You my SUPER DADDY, huh, Daddy. You my Super-Daddy!

*HF comes inside, goes to fridge then rushes back outside*

HF: Here, Daddy, I got you a Koow-aid. Your bewy told me it was REAWY thirsty!
Daddy: Thank you, baby.
HF: You welcome, Daddy! You’s REALLY thirsty, huh, Daddy! I know cuz you bewy told me so!

*Conversation inaudible as Hubby uses an air wrench to put the tire back on*

HF: (jumping up & down clapping) YAY DADDY! You did a good job! *pause* Uhm, daddy? You better clean up you toows (tools) cuz you made a MESS!

*conversation fades as Hubby walks back & forth putting his tools up. Hila Fay must realize at this point that it means nap time is almost here*

HF: Uhm, Daddy? I full of ni-ni. Are YOU full of ni-ni? Cuz I sure am!

Hila Fay’s obvious adoration for her daddy warms my heart. The two of them complete my world and I thank God for them.


Turkey Cookies

As far back as I remember my mother made these cookies with us and I could not WAIT until Hila Fay was old enough to pass the tradition on to her.  Finally, I could wait no longer!  So, for the first time we attempted to make “Turkey Cookies”.  Sadly my sister-in-law had to work so it was just Gramma, my nephew Matt (affectionately known as Pac-man to me), Hila Fay and myself but we had fun and the results were pretty good.  The cookies are pretty easy to make and a fun tradition for all involved!


Chocolate covered cherries or cream drops

Chocolate covered graham crackers

Fudge Striped Cookies

Chocolate Icing

Candy Corn

The Chocolate Covered Graham Cracker serves as the Turkey’s “base”, the cherry or cream drop as the body, the Fudge Striped Cookie as the tail, the candy corn as the beak and the icing (we’ve found generic icing actually works better) as glue to hold it all together!  I’ll show you some pictures:

Note a couple of things; the “flat” part of the chocolate covered cherry is pointing towards the back, not down. It’s much easier for the Fudge Striped Cookie to stick to it in that position.  Also, we put icing in three places: between the graham cracker & the “drop” (chocolate covered cherry), the striped cookie and “drop” and the beak (not pictured) and “drop”

Hila Fay and her very first Turkey Cookie

Take the time to dance

Yesterday my great-nephew had his 3rd birthday party (Happy Birthday Lincoln!).  After his party Chuck had to pick up a part for his shower so we made a quick trip to Lowe’s.  Hila Fay and I decided to entertain ourselves by looking at all the Christmas decorations while daddy looked for the part he needed.

In front of the Christmas trees was a six-foot, moving and singing Santa Claus.  Hila didn’t know whether to be scared or thrilled at the sight of him.  After a few minutes of staring the music began to win her over and as Santa began to belt out “Jingle Bells” Hila Fay giggled in delight, threw up her hands and said, “Let’s dance, Mommy!” Now, really…what choice did I have? So there, right inside the entrance of Lowe’s Hila Fay and I twirled to her little heart’s content. We laughed and giggled and sang along with Santa Claus.

When we finally stopped to catch our breath, both of us laughing and smiling oblivious to the world around us (thus far) I noticed that the passersby were all watching Hila Fay with such joy on their face.  She had already taken back to dancing, solo this time, and was bringing smiles to everybody in the vicinity with her uninhibited pleasure of the simplest thing-Christmas music.

I don’t remember the last time I just “let go”, that I allowed myself to have innocent fun without thinking about “what others would think”.  We created such precious memories, and her joy brought smiles to countless strangers around her.  Yesterday was a good day!