July in West Lafayette, IN

For most normal people, this would probably feel like some kind of punishment – 5 days in West Lafayette, IN in the middle of July?  No, thank you.

But for us, it was a nice break from our normal routine, and we had a really great time.  Jeff had a work conference at Purdue {on a really exciting topic, I’m sure}, and the kids and I tagged along.  Well, the kids mostly tagged along to the state of Indiana, but not to West Lafayette.  They spent most of their time with Jeff’s parents, and they had a blast.  I split my time between West Lafayette and being with the kids.  It was a lot of fun to visit Purdue.  It had been awhile for both of us, and we had fun visiting our old dorm, getting Mad Mushroom cheese sticks, eating at the Triple XXX, and other stuff.  So even though it wasn’t a glamorous location – it was a nice vacation.

On Jeff’s last conference day, I brought the kids up to walk around campus and to pick him up.  They seemed to enjoy themselves – we checked out the new Armstrong Hall of Engineering, the Mechanical Engineering building and the Bell Tower.  I managed to get some pictures of our future Boilermakers, too {Class of 2029 and Class of 2033}.  😉

{Hovde Hall}

{the steps of Hovde Hall}

{The Bell Tower}

{The Bell Tower with a side of dismay for his sister’s lack of cooperation}

{Daddy & his future Enginerds}



And finally, this picture, I’ve saved for last.  While it was taken in West Lafayette, for me, it doesn’t have a lot to do with our visit, and everything to do with my little guy growing up.  He starts Kindergarten next month, and to say that I’m not ready for it would be an understatement.

{always my baby boy}

Despite the fact that looking at this picture makes me see him as so grown up, and in turn, makes me cry, I have made a deal with him that we are going to be excited about Kindergarten and give it a try.  We’ve decided that if we hate it, though, we can give it up (ha!).  For some reason, I think I’m the only one who is going to want to give it up.  Well, me and Sass.  I’m pretty sure she will be missing our Jack as much as I will.


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A Jones Family Father’s Day

Well, I totally failed at updating multiple times per week in May.  I’ll blame having surgery for that, not my slacking tendencies.

To make up for my failure, I bring you eleventy billion pictures of our Jones Family Father’s Day get together.  Uncle Jeff (note: not the father of my children, but my godfather) has started a tradition of inviting the entire Jones clan to his house for a father’s day celebration.  Lucky for us, this means we get to visit his beautiful house, on a beautiful lake, with a boat.  That’s the kind of celebration I can support.  This was the first year we were able to coordinate our schedule so we could attend, and we are so glad we did!  Jackson and Scarlett don’t get a ton of cousin time, and don’t have a ton of first cousins so it was a nice change for them to have lots of other kids around.

There are several key elements to a Jones Family get together… and one of these key elements is Steve Smith.  Yes, my aunt Janice was born a Jones and married a Smith.  😉  He tends to be the life of the party, and for some reason tormenting Uncle Steve {well, now he’s Grandpa Steve} is something that spans generations.  I think it’s because he’s such a good sport, but shhh, don’t tell him I said that because he and I like to tease each other.  About 20 years ago, we declared a truce because he helped give me something I always wanted – a baby sister – in the form of my cousin, Stephanie.  But I still like to give him a hard time.

He’s even modeling another key element here – a cigar.  No cigars?  Our patriarch, Clarence, will not attend.  In fact, if there aren’t cigars in heaven, he’s not going there either.

Cigars even belong when you are floating on the lake.

But you better watch out, your grandkids may push you out to sea and laugh while you float away with your cigar.  And your niece and nephew will laugh about how it’s a family tradition for kids to torment poor Uncle Steve.  😉

Speaking of family traditions, my cousin Michael needs to get some new tormenting tactics.  I remember this one from my youth and he’s still pretending to be a shark in the water with his daughter.

Despite shark terror in the water, the kids had a lot of fun in the water.  Jackson got to go out on the torture tube, and he had so much fun.  The first time out, he went with Steph, and I wasn’t on the boat so I didn’t get any pictures.

The first group of torture tubers…

The second time, though, he got to go with Daddy and I was there to capture it!

Before the ride on the torture tube… {back off ladies, he’s alllllllllllll mine}

On the tube…

Scarlett didn’t get to take a ride in the torture tube, but she did get to play in the water, and she loved it!

The youngest generation really enjoyed the lake, and I got tons of cute pics of all the kids playing.

There was even a shocking discovery by two young ladies… THERE IS WATER UNDER THE DOCK!  😉

{this kept them entertained for quite awhile}

A big thanks to our hosts, Uncle Jeff and Aunt Karen.  Hopefully the kids were well behaved enough that they will have us back next year!  Or really, anytime – it was that fun!  🙂

{and a link to more pics from our fun day: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11641800@N03/sets/72157630185583710/with/7398281996/ }


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Park & Pictures

So we just go back in town after traveling to DC for Jerry and Carrie’s wedding {it was fabulous, by the way}, but while we were there, I actually took NO pictures.  We were too busy enjoying ourselves, having fun and celebrating Jerry and Carrie.

However, I did take the kiddos to the park today and took a few pictures of them playing before it was time to leave and beat the heat {seriously, why is it practically 90 in early May?  Summer is going to be brutal}.  Unfortunately they tend to run away from my camera or give me cheesy picture smiles… this is all I could manage to get of the two of them together:

Despite the fact that I cannot get pictures of the two of them together, they are both really fun right now and enjoy each other very much.  It’s something I wasn’t quite sure we would experience considering their age difference, but they do play together quite a bit and love each other very much.  Right now, they’re playing bank robber together with a few Matilda Jane mesh bags {weirdos}.  One of the most frequent refrains I hear from Scarlett these days is, “BUBBBBYYYYYYYYYYYYY.”  It’s a toss up between that and “DADDYYYYYYYYYYYYY!”  Not a whole lot of “Mommy” these days, much to my dismay.  In fact, if you ask her to say mommy, she responds with daddy or bubby… part of why she mostly hears “Sass” or “Sassy” these days instead of her actual name.

Jackson, of course, is as sweet as ever.  He amazes us constantly with how smart he is, and how good he is with his “baby sister.”  If you’ve run into us recently, you’ve heard, “Hi, I’m Jackson!  I’m 5.5, and this is my baby sister, Scarlett.”  He tells everyone that, and it’s why after 5.5 years with him, I’ve talked to more random people with him than I have in my entire life.  I picked up his registration packet for Kindergarten the other day – something he is very excited about.  I have mixed feelings and cried on the way home.  I’m going to miss random Tuesday mornings at the park with both of my babies, that is for sure.

I know I’m not the only one who will miss mornings at the park with Jackson… Sassy is going to miss him quite a bit.  We might have to find her some new playmates since she won’t be able to trail after Mr. Social at the park anymore.

The kids crack me up because they are so different.  Scarlett is not super friendly and definitely follows Jackson’s lead most of the time when it comes to new people.  Jackson made four or five new friends at the park today, while Scarlett didn’t even talk to anyone else!  Most of the time I don’t even think they look much alike, but today they had matching determined looks at the park.  Maybe they are related after all?

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This one is for Aunt Jenny

Aunt Jenny has pointed out that I have slacked majorly on this blog since, oh about December.  And even before that I was pretty bad.

Anyway, I’m trying to be better about it, so here are a few Easter pics (with more to come, hopefully!).

{Sibling Love}

{Hunting Eggs}

{Jackson’s Haul}


The kids had a great Easter full of candy, fun and family.  Hopefully the sugar high doesn’t last too long!


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happy december!

Today begins our countdown to Christmas and we’re pretty excited about that.

Last night, Santa stopped by and left us a few things to help us get ready for Christmas.  He left us some creepy elves, a countdown placemat, an advent calendar, stickers for good behavior, 25 wrapped books and north pole doughnuts for breakfast!


I can forgive the B&E because he brought us doughnuts.  And because those elves are staring at me – I don’t want to make them angry!



Scarlett really enjoys doughnuts.  She managed to get a white powder doughnut beard, which was pretty cute.



Jackson is also pretty happy with Santa’s offerings.  He particularly enjoyed the Lego Star Wars advent calendar that Santa brought him.


I think we are going to be ready for Santa!  We have 3 things to countdown with, so we’ll know when he’s supposed to arrive.  😉  We’re going to unwrap one Christmas book to read each day, make some Lego Star Wars things, and change our placemat daily, so hopefully he won’t catch us unprepared!  Plus, we’ll have our creepy elves staring at us all day, every day, so it’d be hard to forget that Santa is coming to visit soon…


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sneak peek!

Thanksgiving 2011 – beach, baby!

As you can imagine, there are a lot more to see!  Hopefully I can stay motivated about blogging them.  🙂

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November 27, 2011 · 12:05 pm

October 1, 2006

5 years ago, I became a mother.

And I have to say, it’s the best job I’ve ever had.  [no job jokes, Jeff]

I’m pretty sure I have Jackson to thank for that.  He’s somehow made every transition we’ve gone through as easy as can be.  I worried about having a baby, and how we would handle it.  I worried about him having a sibling – he’s the best big brother I’ve seen.  I worried about school; he rocks it.  I could go on and on.

You’ve come along way, baby.  🙂

So happy birthday to the sweetest FIVE year old I know!  We are so proud of you, and are so thankful we have you in our lives.

Hopefully you’ve learned to enjoy birthdays a little more…

…because we’ve got quite the celebration planned!


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