Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Card and Newsletter


Merry Christmas From The House of Jones!

Our family hit the ground running in 2008. We were going to build our dream home and we had to get our current home sold. So, January was filled with Jennifer and Betty getting the house all ready to put on the market. After de-cluttering and rearranging, we listed the house on February 1st and received a full asking price offer on February 18th! We closed on the house on March 14th and moved into a tiny three bedroom apartment on March 15th.

Apartment life was just that, apartment life! It was not enjoyable and we had frustrating moments, but knowing it was temporary made it tolerable. We lived in the apartment while our house was being built and on August 4th, we moved into the house of our dreams. It hasn’t been without trials, but we are blessed to be in it and we are loving every square inch of it. We have 2,701 square feet with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a playroom and large living, dining, office and kitchen area. Our new house is located just over the Cabot city line. We love it here and plan to be here as long as God allows.


Jon Paul is still working in Little Rock. His commute is a little longer, but worth it to be where we are. He still enjoys his computer, the Wii (including our newest game, Guitar Hero World Tour!) and his newest toy, the iPhone. Jennifer is still staying home and working part time as a virtual assistant to Eric and Ann Burch, helping with their real estate business in Jonesboro. It has been nice to learn about real estate, especially with the sale of our old house and building of our new home. We have joined a local church and have gotten to know some new friends.


Rachel is 6 years old and in the first grade. She started her new school and loves it and her teacher, Ms. Buck. They offer so many activities and she enjoys being part of each and every one. Her favorite class is art and music. She still enjoys playing on the computer and reading. She is reading chapter books now and finishes a book in about two days. We have started the Accelerated Reading program and she is quickly racking up points. Rachel joined the church choir and started Awana’s. She is in Sparks and has almost finished the first book.


Rebekah is 3.5 years old and attends preschool 2 days a week. We were sad for her to leave her old school, but it was much easier having her closer to home. She loves it and her new teacher, Ms. Jennifer! She thinks it’s funny that her teacher has the same name as her Mommy! She is growing up so fast. She loves her baby dolls and stuffed animals. She rarely goes anywhere without one of her animals. Right now, she is learning to use the computer. It is amazing to see how much she can do at just 3 years old! She has also joined the preschool choir at church and started Awana’s. She is in Cubbies and loves to wear her vest every week!


Jon Paul’s mom, Betty, moved in with us in the fall of 2007. This was one of the reasons we built our new home. We wanted Betty to have a space of her own. She is happy to have her own bedroom and bathroom now. Before, she was sleeping in our living room! We have enjoyed having her with us. The girls love seeing their “Nana” everyday and she has been a tremendous help to both Jon Paul and Jennifer.


We invite you to come visit and stay at the House of Jones anytime you are near. We love seeing our family and friends. Jennifer started a family blog (and if you're reading this now, you found it!) this past January. When you have some time, you should check it out. She was able to chronicle every minute of the selling of our house and the building of our new home. And in November, she posted several entries taking you on a personal tour of the new home after we were all settled and decorated! So, check it out and leave us a comment that you were there! We love you all and wish you a blessed Christmas and wonderful New Year!


Jon Paul, Jennifer, Rachel, Rebekah and Betty

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thank you Mrs. Karen!

I have this amazing friend in the blogging world. We've never met in person, but we are kindred spirits with so much in common. She was so kind to make some of the CUTEST doll blankets and pillows for us to give Rebekah for Christmas. She LOVED them! So, Karen, this is for you!

video

I was able to get a few photos of the dolls, all tucked in and ready for their nap.



Please, no one call DHS for this. Rebekah said this was her new doll's bedroom! Too cute. This was Rebekah's big gift from Mommy and Daddy. It's the My First Kenmore Washer and Dryer. She loves it and as you can see, has many more uses than just washing and drying!! And in case you were wondering, there are air holes in there, "just in case!" :-)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Lest we not forget, the true meaning of CHRISTmas...

Luke 2:1-20

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Merry Christmas from the House of Jones!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pictures of Rachel and Rebekah...

Had the girls pictures taken back in November. They turned out so good. We were hoping for one good one that we could have a large print made and hang over our fireplace and mantle. We got one! The picture shown above is the one we had a 20x24 made from! I'll have to take a picture of it once we get it up on the wall. We plan to hang it after all of the Christmas decorations are put away. So, here's some of the better photos. Sorry they are small, but the photographer would only give me thumbnail size photos to use. Don't really understand that after all the money we spent with her!! Anyway, here they are and I hope you enjoy.











Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Cards

While doing my Christmas cards this year, I was thought it was interesting to see just how far our friends and family reach. This year we are sending out 77 Christmas cards. Yes, that is a lot. But I come from a rather large family and we do have a lot of friends scattered across the state, nation and even globe! So this year, I tallied up just where our cards are being mailed to.

Here is the breakdown:


77
total cards


54
mailed in the state of Arkansas

(Sherwood, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Little Rock, Lonoke, Vilonia, Austin, Cabot, Benton, Van Buren, Jacksonville, Arkadelphia, Midland, Mansfield, Springdale, and Fayetteville)

22
mailed out of state
(Spokane, WA; Arlington, WA; Virginia Beach, VA; Baton Rouge, LA; Council Bluffs, IA; Myerstown, PA; Independence, MO; Draper, UT; Anna, IL; Evergreen Park, IL; Harviell, MO; New York City, NY; Clinton Township, MI; Shelby Township, MI; Fort Worth, TX; Richmond, TX; Jackson, MS; Fort Leavenworth, KS; Windermere, FL; Shawnee, KS; and Georgia)

1
mailed out of the country
(Australia
)


Everyone, connected to The House of Jones, in some way or another!

I wish I could send one to each and every person, but I do have to draw the line somewhere. So, in case you don't get our card, I will post our Christmas card and newsletter here on the blog after Christmas. So, come back and see the highlights of 2008!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Mother Letter Project - The Big Push!!



Taken directly from The Mother Letter Project's website and you can read my first blog entry about it here.

"The Mother Letter Project has swelled to somewhere between 430 and 440 letters as of Sunday, December 14th!
I cannot believe it! I am eternally grateful for your willingness to make this project happen.

This week, I am asking you to help me make the BIG PUSH! Help me get the word out one last time. This week, please blog about the project; mass email about it; tell your friends about it. Remember to tell your mother-friends that I will be providing all contributors an electronic copy of the mother letters if I receive their letter by the end of the day on Christmas.

Thank you for all you have already done to make this project more successful than I could have imagined. Now, help me make one last push--the BIG PUSH! After all, it is Christmas! Have fun; be encouraged. And, as always, have a Merry Christmas!"

So, have you written your letter yet? I have and I cannot wait to read the other letters and be encouraged. I also cannot wait to hear how his wife reacts to his gift.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy Anniversary Babe!

Nine years ago today, at 7:00 p.m., I walked down the aisle to pledge my love and my life to my best friend. It was the wedding of my dreams...Christmastime, at night and Christ centered. If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. (Well, one thing, I would make sure the camcorder was PLUGGED in, then we would have the entire ceremony recorded, not just up to the part where we are pronounced husband and wife...and miss the kiss!)

Here is Jon Paul on our wedding day, isn't he handsome?


And here is me...the lovely bride. Loved my dress, but the veil was my favorite. See all those gorgeous poinsettias? They were the church's Christmas decorations...free flowers for me! Loved them!!!

Mr. and Mrs. Jon Paul Jones...the happy couple!!

So, in honor of our anniversary, I will tell you how Jon Paul and I met. To some of you it may be a bit of a surprise! In May of 1999, Jon Paul and I met over the Internet. Yes, you read that correctly. We met through a site called ICQ (a play on the words, I Seek You). Wow, and the site is still out there!!

I was on there to talk to my best friend who has recently gotten married and moved to Mississippi...honest, I was. In fact, in February that year I purchased my very first computer! Ann and I would chat online every afternoon after I got home from work. I had received messages from several people that I did not know, but I usually ignored them. Then one day, while chatting with Ann, this message came through from a guy named Jon Paul. For whatever reason, I decided to answer.

We talked online for about a month. Towards the end of May, we exchanged phone numbers. He lived about 20 minutes from me at the time. We talked on the phone for a few weeks and then decided to meet in person - on June 14th, 1999. I wanted to meet for lunch, during the week. This way we both are driving there and have to be back at work in an hour. Accountability!!! I had my co-worker and sister waiting with phone in hand, ready to call the police if I didn't come back!!

We met at a Chinese restaurant, I made it back to work (a little late, but that's another blog post!) and I guess as you say, the rest is history. We were both really interested in each other. And from that day on, we saw each other every day, except Tuesdays! I was in school and it met every Tuesday night.

We talked a lot, saw a laser light show on the banks of the Arkansas River, went to a Journey concert and watched the entire show in the pouring down rain, saw many movies, Jon Paul nursed me back to health after emergency surgery (yet again, another blog post!) and fell madly in love with each other. By the end of July, we knew we were meant to be together....forever.

In August, Jon Paul went to my parents and asked for their permission to propose to me. Approval was granted and on September 25th, he took me to climb Pinnacle Mountain. I didn't have a clue, but others did. I made it 7/10ths of the way to the top (Why not the top? Yep, you guessed it, another blog post!), overlooking a spectacular view of the river, Jon Paul asked me to be his wife.

I didn't date much and my parents and sisters will tell you, they knew when I found the "right one" - it would be a fast courtship. And it was. From May to December! We were determined to marry that December and after some trials, we finally set the date, December 4th, 1999. It was truly magical and romantic. Our wedding lasted just under one hour and we stayed at the reception for about an hour and we left to start the honeymoon at 9:00 p.m. :-)

This picture is my favorite of all of our wedding pictures. It was taken with our camera by a friend. We're standing on the steps inside The Capital Hotel. I just love this one!


We spent our first night as husband and wife at The Capital Hotel. (We're going back there this weekend!) And EARLY the next morning, we caught our first of three flights that would eventually take took us to Maui, Hawaii! It was the most perfect and romantic honeymoon a girl could ask for. The island is truly beautiful and exotic. Here are a few photos for you to enjoy, forgive the quality. These are scanned...before we went digital!



Jon Paul, thank you for nine wonderful years of marriage. Thank you for being my best friend and the best husband I could ever ask for. Thank you for giving me two precious daughters. You are a wonderful father and I appreciate all you do to help me. Thank you for working hard to see that we are taken care of and for allowing me to be able to stay at home to care for the girls. You are the love of my life, you hold the key to my heart and I do love you, always and forever. And please, take me back to Maui!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Things You Might Not Know About Me

My friend Carrie had this up on her blog and it looked like fun, so I stole this from her.

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Jennifer - no, my parents just liked it
Shelaine - yes, some friends of my parents named their daughter Shelane and my parents liked it and they changed the spelling up a little to make it their own

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?

Don't really remember...

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?

Yes

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?

Ham - there is this new ham called applewood smoked honey ham that is delicious!

DO YOU HAVE KIDS?

Yes - two daughters (and one husband!)

IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?

I would like to think that I would. I try to be friendly, but I can be a bit shy.

DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?

Who, me? I would never be sarcastic in a million years!! :-)

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?

No

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?

Definitely not.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?

Sweet - Cocoa Krispies
Not sweet - Raisin Nut Bran

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?

No

DO YOU THINK YOU’RE STRONG?

I can be when I need to be, but I have a bad back that hurts me if I lift to much

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?

Peanut Butter Panic or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?

Smile/teeth

RED OR PINK?

Red

WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?

I'm not very outgoing, I lack self-confidence

WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Pink lounging pants and no shoes

WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?

Larry's Pizza

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?

The TV - watching CSI:Miami

IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?

Green - my favorite color

FAVORITE SMELLS?

Babies, fresh from the bath. Cookies baking in the oven. The rain.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My husband, Jon Paul

FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?

Don't really like to watch sports.

HAIR COLOR?

Brown

EYE COLOR?
Brown

DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?

No

FAVORITE FOOD?

Steak

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS

Happy endings. I hate scary movies.

LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Jon Paul and I took Rachel to see High School Musical 3. Watched Facing the Giants on DVD this past weekend at home. (Edited: You can tell I wrote this out WAY before I posted it. Last movie I saw was TWILIGHT!!!)

SUMMER OR WINTER?

Winter

FAVORITE DESSERT?

Brownies, super soft where you almost need a spoon to eat them.

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?

Nothing right now. Last books I read were all of the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer. Loved them!!! Actually, I haven't "read" a book in over a year, but I have listened to many via Audible and audio books. Love them!

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?

Nothing

WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LATE LAST NIGHT?

The 10pm news

FAVORITE SOUND

My kids laughing
My husband saying “What can I do to help you?"
Maui waves crashing on the shore

ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?

Beatles

WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?

Russia

WHERE WERE YOU BORN?

Fort Smith, AR