Tuesday, November 27, 2012


A mermaid princess, a snowflake princess, and our giraffe

This year we had a fun neighborhood pot luck of sorts and it was so fun!  I hope we make it a Hope St. tradition.
Daddy dressed up too- he wasn't really sure what he was :)

But Bubba liked it!

The back view

eating some yummy chili

Ok, so I need to take a minute and post something that was cracking me up all night.  Sweet Baby Bo was a stealthy scavenger always being found grabbing some grub off of somebody who had left their plate behind.  For some reason that sweet fat giraffe costume made even more hilarious. 

I shot this pic after one of his recent finds at an abandoned table :)
Sweet giraffe friends, sorry for the nose pic but this was as good as it got!

This was a LOT of kids to all go trick or treating together!  (And a lot of brave parents)

everyone off to trick-or-treat

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mother Daughter Hair Cuts

Alisa has been wanting to cut her hair ever since she started Kindergarten.  I thought it was a phase, but when we got a note home in the mail about her school being partners with Locks of Love I asked her if she was serious about it.  She was so excited, but still didn't want to participate in the big school cutting event.  But when 14 other girls were getting their hair cut at the same time and she knew her Mama would be there, she decided to go for it. 

A couple weeks before her school assembly/ hair cutting day, she started asking me to get a hair cut too- just like hers.  I was really not up for it because I have been growing my hair out forever.  Then I thought about it and I was like- what am I even growing it out for?  I mean, it gets caught in the door of the car, under my armpits, super tangly all the time, takes 2 1/2 hours to air-dry...why do I insist on long hair?  I think I had this mental thing about being a mom but not looking like one.  And my long hair made me feel like I didn't look like a mom.  Weird- I know.  So after I got over it, I decided I would like to be rid of some hair and found CWHL who take colored hair.  So I got 10" chopped.  Which as you can see, still left a nice bit of hair- no boy cut for me :)

Here are the before pics:

I can't seem to take a straight smiling picture in my old age without a weird face, so I decided to beat em to the punch :)

Looks like her hair is more than half her little body!

All the girls at WS that were giving their hair away and the stylists

Sweet little peanut

Back view of what was gonna be cut off

Holding her pony tail

All the girls post cut- there were 15 girls and 2 grandmas :)

Her hair kindof got an a-symetrical cut at first because her pony was lopsided- I thought about keeping it but didn't want to force her into trendiness at 5 :)
Alisa's first hair cut ever!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Our Family's Anniversary

Happy 1 year to the Jones Fam!  We have officially been a family as of September 23 (2012) for one full year.  It both feels like it hasn't been that long and that it has been 12 years all at the same time!  It feels like I have been a parent for years, and also that I'm still not quite a mom just yet.  Sometimes I think, "Who let us (read: me, Eryn) be parents?".  Well, besides the state of Georgia and our adoption agency, I have to believe (and remind myself) that God did!  He chose me to be the mother of Alisa, Mia, and Braylen.  How cool is that?    

We did not celebrate our family anniversary other than a quick, "Yay!", but we did have some fun times around the actual day.  We had a visit to Memphis and then Nana came back with us to spend some time. 
for the record: everyone is at least saying, "cheese" in this pic- Braylen's "cheese" face cracks us up!
these are at Alisa's Fall Festival at her school
 A quick note to self about large Fall Festivals: taking small children = a dreadful situation where I am constantly playing where's waldo, except waldo is my smallest child who loves to wander off as if he knows everyone and this is just a big family reunion!  Then add another child pretty much like that but not as loud and more sneaky with her getaways!   Maybe try it again when your kids are older!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's Ponkin' Time

POHN-kyn is what the kids call pumpkins, and thus have we as well.  I love pumpkin decorating, but never have gotten to display them since David and I have been married.

Lately we have been doing October things and decorating for fall.  Here are some pics of what we have been doing with the round, orange field fruit at the Jones home :)

I love purple and orange together- hoping these mums last us a while

I tried making a pumpkin topiary that I saw in Southern Living- this was the result :)

In other Braylen news (aka mommie-type things I want to remember), Braylen has been dressing in Mia and Alisa's pj's today.  He kept asking for more of their clothes on.  He ended up with his Alabama shirt, Mia's white shirt, and Alisa's heart pajamas over all of that.  Then, later, he came in an exclaimed "Tada!"  We look down and saw Alisa's blue sparklie shoes on.  I think he was so proud of himself for making us laugh that he kept coming and and, "Tada!" - a new pair- Mia's red sparklie shoes- were on his sweet little Bubba feet :)  (Braylen, if you are reading this and you are 20, Mama is sorry!  It was just so cute when you were two :)  

Here are my favorite words he says right now:
Myloodloop = any magnadoodle, which he thinks are all his, also this is used for any noodle dish :)
hate-two-tree = an elephant (comes from "hup, two, three, four" song in The Jungle Book, and he can actually count to eleven if he just starts with "hup" instead of "one":)
The clean up song- goes something like this, "deen up, deen up, ederbaday, ederwear, deen up, deen up, ederbaday ewer seeeer".
trying on Mama's socks- he needed a haircut in this pic, which he got later on the day this was taken
Big Boy in the Tub!  Bubs was feeling sad about peeing on his giraffe costume that he took a nap in.  In the midst of his sadness he asked David if he could take a bath and pointed to the sink.  We wonder if he remembers having done that before.  He loved it!  Super comforted by it.  He kept saying he was "swimmin" even though he was barely able to move :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Our Family Metamorphosis, Braylen's Old Man Ways, and Freakus

Lately Alisa has been making up stories about when she was little.  Stories that most likely never happened, but clearly linked to the people of her past.  Mostly silly, nothing-type stories, but we would indulge her anyways, not wanting to sound negative about her previous life in any way.  The other day at lunch, she started in on something that happened "when she was two" (which is an improvement because she used to say "when we were all two" as if once upon a time her, Mia, and Braylen were all the same age:).  And something in me decided to go a different route than the usual placating, "oh really?" or "hmmm".  I felt like God gave me a word that she was searching for something.  So I just randomly started telling her about things she did when she was "younger", like her strong country accent she had as a four year old or how she mispronounced words (which we framed in a way to make it sound like "look at how cute you were, you couldn't say 'girl'" even though we met her when she was four and a half :).  Usually we can see change by looking way back into a few months ago and trying to remember how different things were and thus evaluate change in the kids.  But sometimes there is a palpable change that occurs, where just a few minutes ago, she was in this middle place- between two families.  And then, just shortly after our lunchtime conversation, she seem to totally be a part of our little family, making up stories about when she was little and asked to see my "diamond necklace (actually a peridot- my birthstone), remember?   I think I was two or something."  Yes, that did happen, but she was almost five- the age she is now.  But I cherish the fact that even her memory is becoming more a part of us, of me.  And I thank God that he gave us this bit of wisdom the other day at lunch time!
I caught the girls in a rare moment of sisterly love ;)
Braylen resembles an old man.  It is so uncanny how our little two year old seems like such and old soul.  He's even cranky at times (I know...hard to believe a two year old would be cranky and cantankerous! :)  You will often hear a very loud "No!" said when anyone in our family asks anyone else a question.  It's not a defiant toddler "No!", but rather a "Naw! And leave me alone Ethel!"-type "no".  I don't know if I am conveying the hilarity of it.  You will just have to come and visit us to find out :)

Braylen is also the friendliest kid I have ever known.  Except for maybe a little boy named Warren that some of my college friends would nanny for.  He was the one kid who might be friendlier.  We walk around the Marietta square and Braylen says "Hello" or "How dooowin?" to everyone he meets.  The other day at the library, Braylen walked right up to a 50 something man and said "Hey Man".  Which, I was glad of not because he was being nice, but because he didn't call him "Daddy".  We had been working on how not all men are called that!  The man said, "Hey little buddy, how you doin?"  To which Braylen replied, "How dowin man?" and then I guess he was done because he said, "Bye, bye Man- I lob you towmut" (I love you so much)!  It cheapens it when he says it to everyone.  He even says it to choo-choo trains :)
Bubs and Daddy at the Zoo

Mia likes to give "granny kisses" or "great aunt margaret kisses" as we sometimes call em- the kind where she pulls you in and plants one full on the mouth and there is no getting away from her tiny little lips :)  The other day she gave one to David and then she smacked her lips a bit and said, "Hmmmm... what we havin?"  Meaning "I taste something yummy on your lips since I just gave you a full on granny kiss.  What yumminess is it?"  To which David replied, "We're not having anything.  I'm having chocolate" :)

Whole family pic at the ATL Zoo recently, apparently the elephant was doing something cool since all the kids are looking at it instead of the camera!
Mia has taken up the position of being my tape recorder quite faithfully!  Everything I say or do ends up coming out of her mouth eventually.  "Oh be careful little ears what you hear"...especially if that is Mommy saying something akin to a curse word.  NOT a curse word, mind you, just sounds like one :)
The other day, I told her to put away her toys and she was frustrated.  Then she became further frustrated by not being able to fit some toy into the toy basket in the living room.  That's when I heard her shout, "FREAKUS!"
I guess it could have been worse!
Yes, I have been known to say "freaking" on occasion.  Not thinking much of it, but I'm now reconsidering my ways:)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Missing Owen Wilson

"I just missed Owen Wilson by a minute at L'Thai!"

This was the text I sent David on Saturday night when he let me have the night off from the kids for my birthday.  The day was spent seeing a movie by myself, having a long pedicure where I talked to my nail tech about everything from kids growing up to wrapping paper and cookie dough sales in Kindergarten, and missing Owen Wilson (the actor) by a minute at my favorite Thai restaurant where I ate by myself and red a book.

First, before you feel sorry for me (or not) for missing a movie star by a hair, let me point out a couple of things.  One, it would have been awkward.  We would have been sitting five feet away from each other and dining alone.  There was only one other party of four in the whole restaurant.  Would we have talked?  Would I have shown him the picture of my three half naked kids David texted me during my meal?  Surely not.  So I was spared a self conscious meal experience dining a stones throw away from someone who normally sees people who have been well-tanned and manicured and who eat egg white omelets and salads- not happily slurping down their red curry with beef :)

Second, I must have missed him for a reason.  I was done with my pedicure forty minutes before I ended up at L'Thai.  I could have easily ended up right there beside him, but I decided to take my time.  I walked around, purposefully wanting to waste time and enjoy my alone-ness (and also apparently, to be late to the restaurant).

So, knowing that I chose to "be late" to the restaurant, but not knowing why beforehand, I pondered this as I ate alone.  Why was I so bummed that I missed seeing, and perhaps talking with, a movie star?  Is he so great?  Then I had a thought (and please, don't think I am trying to over-spiritualize this, but...) what if Jesus were there in the flesh and I missed him?  Would I be as disappointed?   Would you?  (honest answer: I was feeling less disappointed at the time I first thought about this...)

Here are some conclusions I came to:
  1. I have had near misses like this before.  Once, in college, my friends and I went to view a live taping of Wheel of Fortune.  We were given tickets when we entered the Grande Ole Opry, and in between tapings of the shows (we were in the live audience for several shows- all taped right after the other), they drew ticket numbers to give audience members a chance to be on the following shows in the next couple of days.  I forget the actual numbers, but they called something like "9456823".  I had ticket number "9456824".  One number away.  In 8th grade, I was a point away from making an all-state chorus thing.  Things like the Owen Wilson Thing happen to me.  Perhaps it's because they serve as a reminder of possible greatness.  Near misses with something awesome. 
  2. But, there is surely some reason why I am here, right?  Maybe it's not to be great at Wheel of Fortune, singing, or conversations with famous people.  BUT, again, there is a reason.  And I think that is what the Owen Wilson Thing was all about.  I could be destined for "great" things.  Just not "great" by a normal standard.  But, just as Paul wanted to "boast" in people because they were what he was working towards, doesn't mean that striving for greatness is all bad.  I'm sure striving for greatness is a tricky road, though.  There is a narrow line between pride and false humility that few walk.  
  3. Also, I'm pretty sure that Jesus laid out a formula for greatness, and that started at the very bottom of wherever you can imagine wanting to go.  Which is standard American dream type stuff- you know climb the corporate ladder and all-, BUT I'm pretty sure Jesus said that His formula also involves staying at the bottom and continually putting yourself there.  So what does that look like for me?  Not really sure right now, but I'm working on it.  Apparently it starts by not talking to movie stars and being OK with that :)

Oh, and in case you are wondering what he ordered- he ordered the Pad Prix Something or other- according to the waiter that Owen and I shared- if you are familiar with Thai food, that could mean any number of things :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Alisa's First Day of Kindergarten

First of all WOW!  I am a mother to an elementary aged child- just so overwhelmingly crazy!  Lately, David and I have been joking that when parents drop their kids at the first day of school off and say, "It really has all flown by so fast!", that they have no idea how fast it really can fly by!  We have seen this sweet baby girl grow up from what seemed like a two year old in a four year old's body to a mature and sweet five year old- all in just TEN months!  So take that parents who wax nostalgic... for us, it really was "like yesterday" :) 

Alisa has been so excited to start Kindergarten.  We drive by her school, it being only a half mile away, almost every day.  She claims it as her own, "that's my kindergarten", to which Mia always repeats.  Thus resulting in an argument about whose kindergarten it actually belongs to.  Then I usually interject about how it is a whole school were lot's of kids go- even big kids who aren't in kindergarten.  This has gone on for weeks :)

She had been saying she was "really, really excited, but a little bit nervous" and then the day before it was "a lot excited and a lot nervous" :)  But she did well.  We walked to school, which we will do most mornings it doesn't rain.  It makes me feel like I'm  back in time seeing so many parents and kids all walking to a school nearby.  We also pass a few fruit trees where we have been known to pick a freshly fallen, pretty pear off the ground and eat it later on for a snack.

The whole gang ready for the walk to school!
Sweet Mia has been missing her big sister!
Here is her teacher, Mrs. Reeser.  She is excellent!  We have only heard rave reviews from other people who know her, but Alisa approves as well because she wanted "one of the young ones".  So everybody wins:)
The table directly behind them is Alisa's table