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give me back that filet-o-fish… February 24, 2010

Posted by jonesgurl in baby news, hmmmmm.
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so, it really is true that while pregnant, you do get some cravings – weird or otherwise.  at least once a week i have a day that i crave gross, greasy, sugar filled, syrupy, fast food or something other weirdly. today was that day.  as i was sitting watching t.v., the crazy mcdonald’s commercial came on about the filet-o-fish.  i promise you that i am so not into fake unrecognizable food items, at least not since i left elementary school where we were served mock chicken legs with tan gravy.  but this was crazy catchy and i was craving wierd enough to get me interested…

 but, i must say that this filet-o-fish got my taste buds going.  i actually wanted a filet-o-fish from mcdonald’s along with a large coke with lots of ice.  yummmmmmmmm.  can you sing give me back that filet-o-fish with me.  i’m hooked, on the commercial that is.  i have yet to drive up to mickey d’s to “gimme that fish”.  can you say the power of marketing.  i’ve been sucked in like all the other folks. 

i have 12 weeks to go before i can dive into a large coke with lots of ice.  yummmmmmm.  but, i may have to hold off on that filet-o-fish, mainly because i don’t know what it is, yet.  you know, sord of like the mock chicken leg with tan gravy. the more i talk about the fish, the more i want it, whether that’s a good thing or not…i dunno.

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seasons of life… February 22, 2010

Posted by jonesgurl in all about change.
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my myles and his best friend aniyah

Once upon a season…

Spring blossomed, summer beamed, fall harvested its way in and winter descended and blew in as it had never done before.  things were happening and all in life looked as though it was falling apart, never to return to a place of wholeness again.  the winter grew intense and ominous.  it felt as if danger lay in wait as the people trudged their way through the snow drifts and high winds.  however, the people kept their feet moving.  as laborious as it may have been, they never stopped moving their feet.  as this rough season of life grew more and more intense, and the winter storms grew heavier and more scary than ever before, yet and still, the people kept moving forward.   

it looked as if the intensity of the harsh wintery blizzard would bury them all.  they were never overtaken by the storms behind them and it looked as if they were walking right into more uncertain times ahead of them.  the people did not change course, nor did they fret the uncertainty ahead of them because God Is With Them…always.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

you see, these two little people pictured above, with vibrant personalities, have no idea how God’s miracle(s) are playing out in their families. they have no idea the heartaches of their families as theygrieve life’s happenings and how wondrously they will emerge into something even more fantastic, even more beautiful, even more awesome than  they or i can ever imagine.

amazingly enough, providence steps in and takes care of what is needed, when it is needed.  they have yet to go “without”.  in fact, with some creative maneuvering and turning lemons into a lemonade feast, their parents have made sure that these two little ones continue to know the joys of childhood. 

 side note: generally speaking, i do not believe in being excessive.  i’m mostly practical.  i love throwing a really fun party on a budget.  i love when my favorite foods are on sale (especially because i can be persnickity about what i buy and feed my family).  i love making the best of a good sale.  i’ve had so much fun throwing my myles’ birthday blowouts on a shoestring budget.  combining my resources and some purchased items, i’ve been able to create some very memorable times for him and his friends. sometimes people assume that i’ve spent lots of cash stuff when frankly, i just enjoy being able to “make things happen” on the cheap, just to see if i can do it.

last summer, as my family and i were in the midst of experiencing difficulties from financial to emotional to spiritual to familial to” you name it”, i was determined no to let misery rule the day.  though, it may be odd to some people, when life is tough, i somehow still have push, drive, ambition, joy somewhere inside of me that keeps me moving forward, regardless. 

so, oftentimes, i make lists of things that i want to do and last summer was no different.  as i made my page long list of summer activities, i didn’t think twice that it would not happen.  in fact, i just assumed that all would work out for just about every single item.  i knew that i would not be going to the ATLANTIS  for summer vacation.  sigh.  but nonetheless, our summer was full of of rocking good times.  and yes, i was quite proud of myself and my six-year-old myles for not giving in to the culture of “i want, i want, i want”.  hey, i’m not saying that we don’t give in to it at times, BUT, there is a major limit to it (i think:)).  anyhoo, so went the fall and winter, full of joyous occasions in the midst of life’s trials.

my point in saying all of this is that i would love for my little myles to experience life in total and utter perfection.  whatever that may mean in my opinion or conjured up imagination.  ‘cuz you know, we all have in mind what a perfect childhood would be for our kids, right?  anyhoo,  that has yet to happen…perfection, that is.  unfortunately, he does know some of life’s sadness.  he seriously misses his sister, he has seen his mom and dad at odds and he has seen his family go through financial highs and lows.  we’ve done our best to keep him shielded, but as you know, kids pick up on much more than we sometimes give them credit for. 

i know that life is going to happen and sometimes in a way that we don’t ever wish.  however, i make sure that i pray for my precious boy and pray with him.  i explain and try to drill into him that our reliance should ultimately be on God.  as i grow, it is important for me to model how to healthily navigate my way through life.  i make sure that he knows that mommy and daddy do not have a magic bank card that has no end to what it can purchase.  this last fact caused him to pray really hard one night for a “must have” train that he wanted.  not that i’m laughing at him, but that was kind of funny. it was only funny because he was in a panic realizing the bank card was not endless. but i digress…

sooooo, as we continue to move through this wintry season of life, i must say that i am seeing the miracles of God on a daily basis.  and guess what folks, the changes and miracles of life have thankfully, not been financial.  this may sound strange to some people, but when you have experienced life’s wintry storms, you become and are quite thankful that God Is With You.  especially when you know in your heart, that you’re going to come out the other side of it okay.  most times, with your feelings,  the words – “God With Us” does not seem or feel so apparent.  and yes, God does understand that we will have icky ugly feelings when life is crazy.  yet, in our heart of hearts and deep down insde, we must know that He is with us.

as we now encounter and embrace life in a new way and with new things to come, i will remember that God is With Me, no matter what or how life’s seasons come.

(pictured above) as you see these four little precious hands holding up the sign that reads, “God With Us”, little do they know that that is my prayer for them to keep those words in their hearts.  they do know that God With Us is also the meaning of one of the names of Jesus – Emmanuel.  they were in attendance at a christmas service when this picture was taken.  we attend willow creek’s christmas service every year and there is always something fun and creative and whimsical and spiritual that happens.  this past christmas’ service was no different.  and this year myles was old enough to understand some of the stories that he heard and how God was with the people throughout their situations.  one day, he’ll have his own story to tell.

these two little ones holding the sign will one day read this story and remember how they were safely carried through a very very blizzardy season of life because…God Is With Them, Always!

until next time,

c ya

kisses with no strings attached…??? February 18, 2010

Posted by jonesgurl in my baby. my boyl my joy, my joy!, valentines day.
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so, on valentine’s day afternoon, i was taking a quick nap when my myles came to me and said/gave.  i opened my eyes and he was standing above me, proudly holding something in his hands and smiling.  naturally,  i wondered, “what was he up to?”

he had gone downstairs to the kitchen pantry, climbed on a step stool, grabbed a heaping hand full of hershey kisses and found his way to where i was napping…

he opened his hands…

dumped the hershey kisses all over me…

and said, “i’m showering you with kisses for valentine’s day”…

needless to say, we shared the yummy chocolate treats until they were all gone.  (i’m betting, that was part of his goal :)) i don’t normally eat much chocolate, but these were surprisingly good – hershey kisses meltaways

the moment was priceless!  and of course, i thought he was told to do that by his dad.  NOPE.  i found out yesterday that he did not even know what myles was up to and figured i had sent him to the candy container. NOPE.  anyhoo, he said myles didn’t ask for help and this sweet little mission of his was of his own doing.

 i. loved. it!!! it was sweet, a precious moment, simple, to the point and a slick way to get what you want while melting his momma’s heart, all at the same time.

some woman is going to be really fortunate…i’ve got a “miniature romantic” in the making.  teehee

until next time

c ya

love him forever… February 15, 2010

Posted by jonesgurl in my baby. my boyl my joy, valentines day.
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every valentines day i greet my sweet baby valentine to a valentines day breakfast in bed.  i’m not super creative, but it is guaranteed that he (still) loves hanging out with me on this special morning sharing a tradition that is most fun to both of us.  as we sit in bed munching away, we also tune in to watch some of his favorite animated shows on pbs.  sigh.  life is so sweet and i will hang on to this little tradition of ours until he outgrows it (i suspect it will evolve into something different, but until then…i’m having lots of fun).
 
cheesy eggs, bagel w/ cream cheese, turkey sausage, my attempt at heart shaped jello and hot choc. (and yes, he ate almost all of it!)
 
it was so worth putting a smile on this face! it was a happy hearts day!!!
hope you had a good day.  until next time, c ya

baby’s doing fine… February 11, 2010

Posted by jonesgurl in baby news.
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update:

had another doc’s appointment and all is well!  strong heartbeat.  lots of movement.  growing well. sounding great.

i, the mommy, am doing well and feeling pretty good.  i got on the scale at the doc’s office and lo’ and behold, i’ve lost 3 pounds.  at the beginning of january i had gained altogether 8 or 9 pounds.  at the end of january i was at a total weight gain of 12 pounds altogether.  today’s appointment…i’m back down to a total weight gain of 9 pounds.  i was concerned a little bit because i thought maybe this would affect the baby or that i am sick and don’t know it.  nope!  whew!  all is well with the baby but i’m not sure what is up with my body.  i’m less mobile and eating more fats (healthy fats…you know, for baby’s brain dev.), or at least i thought. oh well, whatever, baby and mommy are doing well regardless of my shrinking bu-donk-a-donk!!! teehee

update in two weeks!

toni

burned… February 9, 2010

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by now, everyone knows what has happened in haiti just a few short weeks ago.  it was absolutely devastating and the people are left wondering…what now? it has propelled a lot of us (worldwide) to really take action in one form or another.  whether it be our kids giving from their piggy banks and allowances or people taking their last monies to head over to haiti to lend a hand in whatever capacity they can.  there is a long road ahead.  let’s hope we don’t forget as this news story dies down in the headlines, only to be replaced by the next big news story.

medical assistance is sooooo needed and it is great to see doctors doing what they can with what they have.  there is no talk of medical insurance, just simply doctors at their best doing what they are passionate about – and that’s just simply a passion for medicine and to help save lives. 

as i was watching a medical show and saw some very raw footage of the conditions of the people affected by the earthquake over in haiti, i was overwhelmed.  i was saddened by the number of amputees and burn victims.  for some reason, those injuries are the one’s that really hit me in the gut.  in “normal” circumstances, these injuries could have a chance to heal without the possible ending being fatal. 

as i sat and watched some of the burn victims and the very raw rawness of their burn injuries and how dangerously infected their wounds were, it brought to memory something that was a bit familiar to me.  i too, was a burn patient when i was a kid.  i experienced burns of 2nd and 3rd degree on about 40 percent of my twelve year old 98 pound body.  i had the good fortune of an ambulance being rushed to my house, immediate care from paramedics, being checked into a hospital that specializes in burn patients, which sat right on the lakefront of a thriving modern city.  this help to give me every chance and hope to make it through with great chances for a healthy life.

i was in pain but i had pain meds administered to me.  i had wounds a plenty, but i had top notch nurses and a world class doctor available daily hourly at my beck and call  for all of my care.  was it tough?  of course!  both my parent were around to comfort and the only other worry i had was to lie there and get better.  probably the roughest medical incident i’ve ever had to experience, but as i reflect on it today, it makes me want to be there for those patients that need to know that there’s hope, healing and possibility of a good life on the other side of all of this.  i so wish that i could lavish on them the love and care that was given to me during such a time.

i don’t know how their burn wounds will heal and scar up but the spirit i saw in the people affected somehow told me that no matter the outcome, they too will heal from the scars…all of the scars.  there may not have been any world class hospital on hand to care for them around the clock, but they carried themselves in a way that may me proud of them, root for them, pray for them, hope for them, wishing for all the balms, antibiotics ointments and doctor care that they could get.  though the help that they are getting may seem like jungle medicine to us, but to them during this time, it IS world class medical treatment. 

generally speaking, i’m skeeved out by lots of stuff almost anything.  as i watched the show i could not turn away.  i could not cover my eyes.  i could not pretend that some people experience a lifetime full of misfortune and then only to have that misfortune topped off by devastating misfortune.  i could not turn my heart away from thinking of how i could help.  i may not have much these day, but i will help.  when you think of how just mere change can help get antibiotics to the haitian people, it’s no hard decision to give the five dollars that you think would not help…trust me, it will, because every little bit helps. 

i have often taken for granted –  medical care, medical insurance, hospitals, easy access to ointments that would help my wounds heal well.  there are probably going to be times that i may slip for just a moment and take for granted any good fortune that i may have, but i will be more aware and conscious of appreciating and putting to good use what is available to me.  i will continue to teach my myles the value of his blessings (in every form) and to always keep those with needs  in mind. though he is only six years old, he has already shown his philanthropic side.  i believe that if we raise the next generation to think less about being famous, how much stuff they can accumulate and how much bling they can flaunt, we could really transform how “me centered” things in this country/world has become.  but, i digress.  sigh

forever burned in my mind will be the images that plague the people that have no other choice.  i tell you what else will be burned in my mind – the great and inspiring spirit of the people that seem to have very little.  they act as if they know that God has not forgotten them.  and i say..neither should we forget.

until next time,

toni

surprise…its wedding and a boy!!! February 6, 2010

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my forever friend and the birthday boy (celia and gabriel ashton)

10 years ago today the sweet face in this picture was born!!! it was less than 24 hours after my wedding.  can you imagine!  his sweet mommy actually stood up in my wedding.  now that’s dedication!  i must say, that was one of the most fun weekends of this thelma and louise duo’s adventures.  we’ve been best buddies since college and always found ourselves in one adventure or another, so, we nicknamed ourselves thelma and louise.

 anyhoo, never would have thought that we would embark upon the biggest adventures of our lives within 24 hours of each other.  we couldn’t have set that up even if we tried.  one minute we were eating cake and dancing at the ASHTON place wedding/banquet facility and the very next morning there was his mommy and daddy in action at the hospital and a hotel full of folks on countdown for the baby’s arrival.  a few hours later…it was a boy!!!  there we were again, doing big adventures of life, again, together. 

so, he’s ten years old and officially a tween.  i hope he enjoys it all and i’m sure she’ll soak it all in. can’t wait to celebrate with him!  it’s a big birthday for a special boy!!! 

happy burfday gabriel ASHTON!!!

oh man, nuna is 21… February 5, 2010

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myles and his nuna

 

check out these two faces…aren’t they cute?!!! this is my myles and his nuna (big sister).  of course, myles is still a baby. okay, not really he’s six years old already, but nuna is now a grown up woman!!! she turned 21 just a couple days ago.  sigh.  funny how time flies.  i’m sure she’s having fun being able to enjoy a tiny glass of vino, legally.  teehee 

i plan to take her out for a night filled with turning up the shirley temples!  woohoo!!! do you think she knows that shirley temples are mocktails (fake cocktails)?  hmmmm, maybe she’ll humor me anyway.  i don’t think she is as naive as i may want think her to be.  but, i’ll continue to live in denial until she starts talking long term boyfriends and marriage and stuff.  

 

i’m proud of her and know that she has a great future ahead of her.  here’s to danbee – the bestest of burfday wishes!!!

my baby is super cute… February 5, 2010

Posted by jonesgurl in baby news, growth, life, new baby stuff.
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this is not a 3-d image, but i can totally see some very familiar features.  maybe it’s just me but i bet he or she will look like myles!  this. is. an. amazing. picture!!! (if you can’t tell already, i’m easily amused and impressed)

my sweet baby at 24 weeks...

okay, so, i went for another ultrasound and all is well!!! yay!!!

baby is growing nicely and all organs and features and stuff all look really good!

i’m up 12 pounds and am six months along.  wait, rewind, did i just say 12 pounds!!!  anyhoo, i’ve been told by the docs that i’m on track and things look good.  these are the only 12 pounds that i have ever enjoyed and flaunted. 

the movement checks that i have to do can sometimes be a bit nerve wracking!!! mostly because i am thinking about it around the clock…literally.  that’s not how the doc told me to do movement checks, but that’s just where i am with all of this.

i’m having fun being pregnant and myles is making sure that he takes great care of me.  sweet sigh.  what a precious boy he is. 

as the due date time draws closer, i’m trying to soak it all in.  i would love to have five, yes, five children.  but, the time is also drawing near on these here eggs of mine.  so, i may not make it to five children that i, myself, give birth to, but i will enjoy the dickens out of the ones God blesses me with.   can’t wait to smell sweet baby skin!!!

anyhoo, gotta go…my avocados and tomatoes are calling my name.  by the way, now that i cannot have caffeine, i am sooooo craving a really large coke with ice.  yummmmmm.

you shouldn’t smoke weed…it’s full of rat poison! February 1, 2010

Posted by jonesgurl in brown boy pride, children, cigarettes and other drugs, gotta love it, hmmmmm, my baby. my boyl my joy.
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okay, so i almost could not contain myself as i hid my face behind a small chapter book of my six year old myles.  the title of the book – horrible harry and the green slime…rated G. really, it is…i checked.

after reading the book i quizzed myles on each chapter.  i asked him to run through the chapters with me and explain what went on.  as we came upon one of the chapters entitled “deadly skits” he began to explain to me the details of this chapter.  basically this particular chapter was about how the principal of the school wanted the children to make a presentation about how cigarettes are not good for you.  one of the groups in the class decided that they were going to do a skit on how cigarettes can kill you.  as he (myles) first started explaining the chapter, he said that the kids were going to do a skit on smoking weed.  ummmm, silence. pause. huh? so i said, “what do you mean smoking weed and what is weed anyway.  by the way, we’ve already had the d.a.r.e talk, drugs are bad for you, the prescription drugs and the street drugs conversation with him.  anyhoo, he said that the picture in the book (which was a picture of a cigarette) was a picture of weed.  mind you i was still wondering why he was using the street name of weed and not marijuana or something else.  so, he went on this little rant about how people shouldn’t smoke weed because it’s bad for you and you could die.  “plus”, he said, “it has rat poison it.”  then he added, “our neighbors smoke weed and they are sick.”  “they are going to be really sick and they have rat poison in their body.” 

as i listened while hiding behind this book of his trying not to laugh out loud, i had to peer over the book to see his expression as he had his his teeny tiny “soap box” moment.  we picked his brain a bit to see if he was clear on cigarettes and “weed”.  according to him, if you’re smoking, you’re smoking “weed”. any smoking is smoking “weed”.  though we tried to explain to him that there is a difference between cigarettes and “weed” he said, “okay”, and continued with his conversation. 

this was a conversation that i never thought i’d have, at least not this early in his very very young life.   imagine, a six year old who reads way too well, thinks that he knows way too much, interprets the world through the eyes of a sheltered six year old and acts like an old soul.  he has advanced in his verbiage a bit –  he use to say that people that were smoking were “cigretting”.  you know, like dancing, singing, laughing…cigretting.  he didn’t know that it was called smoking.  i once felt that he still had a tad bit of his innocence and ignorance to the world when he asked me about the neighbor cigretting.  i breathed a little sigh of relief knowing that he wasn’t quite sure what “smoking” was…or so i though.  sigh.  sigh.  exasperated sigh.  that thought no longer holds true. big “what the heck” sigh.

i would blame his knowledge of cigarettes filled with  rat poison and “weed” being bad for you on the day we let the t.v. play more than pbs.  but that reasoning will hardly work.  or will it? 

one day he saw a public service announcement about a girl home alone being questioned about smoking weed.  it was not even time for prime time shows or prime time commercials and this was on t.v.  i could not turn the t.v. fast enough before he was already repeating the words…”why is lindsey smoking weed?” ummmm, huh? what?!!! ummm, how did i answer? i don’t remember but i’m sure i’ve never had to think so fast on my feet…ever! 

and then, he saw the scare tactic t.r.u.t.h. commercials that try to give hard core evidence to people who smoke, how horrific cigarettes and “cigretting” is.  yet again, he soaked it in like a sponge. 

i have a kid who can repeat a song after hearing it one time, reads big words that i sometimes wished he didn’t know yet, soaks everything in and gives his six year old boy version of a passionate speech or plea or his version of how the world works.  so, what makes me think that he wouldn’t be giving people the “what for” about how they should not “cigrette” or smoke “weed”.  i’m almost afraid of what he’s going to say to the neighbors the next time he sees them smoking.  because he’s not shy and is way too comfy standing on his on in speaking with adults, he will probably let them know that the “weed” things they’re smoking are full of rat poison (important note:  my neighbors do not smoke “weed” they smoke cigarettes.  so, no…my neighbors are not pot smokers.  although, they might have a case of black lung:().  i tell you one thing, this little speech of his would definitely be more embarrassing for them, especally because he talks a wee bit loud sometimes.  as i’ve learned am learning to reign my soap box moments in a bit more, he too will learn how to do this as well one day.  anyhoo, at least he hates people “cigretting” as much as i do. 

sigh of relief…no real book report required!

in the mean time, i urge all of you to not go out “cigretting on your weed sticks”

until next time

toni