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

Love,

2% Mom

They Listen More Than We Know

Hila Fay being silly and scaring off a bear at the museum.
Hila Fay being silly and scaring off a bear at the museum.

Hila Fay LOVES for me to tell the story of how Chuck proposed to me.  It goes like this:

A long time ago, before Mommy was a mommy, Hila Fay was Hila Fay, and even before Mommy was Daddy’s wife, she was just a girlfriend.  One day your daddy took me hunting.  While we sat out in the cold winter evening, so cold that our breath formed clouds and floated away, I saw a deer coming right towards us!  I hadn’t gone hunting many times yet, so instead of sitting still I got excited and hit your daddy to get his attention.  My movement scared the doe and she ran away.  I was very sad.

Since dark was almost there, and we wouldn’t be able to see any more deer, we decided to pack up our things and go back to our homes.  As we walked out of the deer woods (at this point in the story HF is covering her mouth in delight and trying not to squeal) Daddy looked at me and said, “I have something that will cheer you up.”  I looked at him like he had lost his mind and simply replied, “I seriously doubt it.”  His eyes sparkled in amusement as he asked me, “Will you marry me?”  I was so shocked that the only thing I could think to say was, “That worked.” 

At LEAST every other day HF begs me to repeat the story, always giggling in delight when her daddy says he can cheer me up and then jumping up and down, clapping, and shouting, “YAY” when I reply that it worked.  I knew that she liked the story, but I didn’t realize how much she actually listened to it until last week when I had come down with strep throat.  I was laying in my bed, feeling miserable, when all of the sudden she came into my bedroom and kneeled down on Chuck’s side.  She looked at me and said, “Momma?  I got something that will cheer you up.” “Really, baby?  What?”  “Will you marry me?”  I could barely contain my laughter as I replied, “That worked.”

Her moment oozed with love and the child-like faith that anything can be cured with love laughter and it is a memory that I will treasure forever.  It reminded me, though, to be careful what I say (what stories I tell and what things I laugh at around her) because she is watching and waiting for the moment to mimic those that she loves best.

Love,

2% Mom

Why Tears Are Shedding All Over The Place

image

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.

image

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?

image

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.

image

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,
2%

Life on the farm

image

Just before Christmas my mother-in-law was in a single car accident. Thankfully she survived, but as a result has some partial paralysis in her arms. Chuck, Hila Fay, and I have temporarily moved in with her until we can get a double-wide moved to the farm.

When you arrive at the farm it is almost as if you’ve stepped back in time. The meals are all homemade and ate together with the family all piled up around the solid wood kitchen table. The only internet access is what we get on our phones and the TV is a mere decoration. When there’s a big job to do it’s “all hands on deck”. Everyone pitches in all the while laughing and joking around.

image

Our evenings are spent sitting in the living room sharing personal (most of the time humorous) stories, visiting, and playing games (charades is a favorite). I have found that many of the modern day appliances, knick-knacks, & gadgets that I thought I HAD to have are not even missed. What really surprised me, though, was how well Hila Fay adjusted. Instead of whining for a movie or fussing because she can’t play on abcmouse.com, she plays outside, creates amazing crafts (I’m not biased at all), and performs musical numbers to entertain us.

The whole situating reminds me just how much God loves us. He has taken a heart-wrenching situating and used it to teach me innumerable lessons: like the importance of family, the benefits of slowing life down, and where real happiness comes from.

image

Though times are tough right now, and it seems like every time we turn around something else (or someone else) has broken, God reminds me every day that He Is in control. Because of that I know that we can keep trekking along!

Psalms 29:11 HCSB

The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace.

Love,
2%

The Life & Times of Mandy & Mel

20130803-184505.jpg

This afternoon I attended the wedding shower for my girl Mandy. I cannot believe how quickly time has flown. As with any “step” relationship we have had our rocky spots. However, I absolutely love her and cannot help but get a bit sappy at the thought of the impending wedding. So in honor of the blushing bride, and without further to-do, I present “The Life & Times of Mandy & Mel”:

20130803-192919.jpg
Our first snow day. We also pre-made about 500 snowballs and had them ready for when Daddy got home from work. It was a battle of epic proportions.

20130803-193124.jpg
One of our favorite excursions, the Memphis Zoo.

20130803-193246.jpg
Look at that beautiful smile!

20130803-193335.jpg
One of my proudest moments, her baptism.

20130803-193432.jpg
Stealthy ninjas!!!

20130803-193517.jpg
“One small step for man…”

20130803-193604.jpg
This is one of my favorite “sissy” photos.

20130803-193712.jpg
I love how they had identical expressions.

20130803-193809.jpg
I am woman, hear me ROWAR!

20130803-193849.jpg
Serenity

20130803-193917.jpg
A special memory, just for her.

I love you, Mandy.

2%

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?

20130428-190427.jpg

(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

20130425-174841.jpg

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…

OR

(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.

2%

Who do you vent to?

Continuing my quest pick y’all’s brains, this post focuses on “venting”. Who do you turn to when you are upset or need advise? Do you vent to a friend? Is your first thought to call your husband? Do you ever confide in some of the opposite sex who is not related to you (or not a counselor). Thank you (again) for your help! I will be doing the Bible Study (How to protect your marriage) online as well as in our church so y’all will get to see the finished copy. If you feel so led, I would appreciate y’all sharing these posts. The more participation I get the happier I am! 😀

2%

What does “Family” mean?

One of my friends had this question as her Facebook status:
“What does family mean?”
So, I got to pondering it for a while, and thought I would answer it as a blog post. So this, Becki, is for you! To me, family means…

1.that even when I’m mad at I Josh (my brother) I still call him when something is funny-even if I hang up right after I’m done.
2. that my sister-in-law is more my sister/BFF than anything else
3. that when I’m sick I always want my Momma’s touch
4. when I’m scared I’ll always want my Dad.
5. only I can insult/poke fun of my family!
6. that even if I think your idea is stupid-and I will probably tell you so-I will always have your back.
7. I always have friends, confidants and support-even if it sometimes comes in the form of an argument. Hehehe

2%