Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Outdoor Fun: Zoo Baby

Visited the zoo with Rachel, Olive, and their new baby Waylan yesterday. Totally had a blast. I was excited to see "Australia" open. We hung out with the kangaroos for a long time. Came home and took naps, met Ababayeh at the pool, played at the best play place in the city, and had a picnic dinner. Fish tacos, chips and pico, watermelon, and graham crackers with nutella. Yum. And you know food tastes extra good on a picnic!

Last night Michael informed me that he has a long Friday through Tuesday off! Later in the summer we planned to take a little vaca...ride the train to Chicago and get by with no car seats via buses and subways. We were so excited. Then one of our cars broke down and we remembered that we must pay for our fence.  It is tough to realize that "money doesn't grow on trees" or "you can't always get what you want."  Oh but who knows, maybe people will go crazy and pay double for the George Forman grill and other quality items on our yard sale next weekend!  If nothing else our mini trips to Big Sky are relaxing and vacation-worthy. 

It will be a great summer, vacation or not. A few things that keep us outside are our lack of TV and central air. Can you believe we get by without those things? I love it! Late night chats with the neighbors are quite fun!

Enjoying your summer? Sure hope so.

The Mom   

Ababayeh: Warby Parker's

Tegegne and I had fun helping Ababayeh pick out his Warby Parker glasses. The dark frames were the winners! He is super handsome in them. If you wear glasses, we'd highly recommend looking into some Warby Parker's for yourself. It is a super awesome business with a one for one modo like Tom's Shoes and the glasses are so affordable! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hensley Ruth: Four Months

My name is Hensley. I'm four months old. So far my life has been pretty great. Lately I love my hands and feet. I chew on my tongue, suck my fingers, especially my thumb when I'm falling asleep. Did my mom mention that I rolled over a few days ago. Wish someone would have told me about this earlier. I totally prefer sleeping on my tummy.

Mom and Dad, I just wanted to say that I remember four months ago today. You guys worked together for hours to get me to be born. Well, I finally came out even though it was not how you had planned. It was a traumatic event for me too. I was relieved when Dad first held me. Then you held me. And eventually my brother did. Thanks for welcoming me so generously! I love my family!

I know you are all excited for me to say my first word. You do realize that once I start talking, that I probably won't stop. I guess that means my brother will have someone else to talk to. For now I'll keep smiling and making those sounds that you love. 
As I get older, I'm guessing I'll learn more about why those kids at the swimming pool ask if you are Tegegne's mom. They don't ask if you are my mom. What's the deal? I couldn't have dreamed of a better big brother!

I love you. Good night.

Hensley Ruth Jones, born February 28, 2011

Monday: Lounging and Laundry

Lounging Beatles.

Lounging and laundry.  Better said as laundry and a bit of lounging. It's Monday. After a fabulous weekend, don't you just sometimes feel like staying asleep Monday morning? The little man in my house slept until 8am. Whoot, whoot. If I am really productive with this laundry stuff, maybe I can do a bit of lounging by the plastic kiddy pool in the back yard this afternoon. 

While I'm at it...this would be my summer swimsuit for lounging by the plastic kiddy pool.  Just noticed it's on sale. Too bad our current budget does not have a swimwear column. Notice how I said "current budget." Maybe I should add a swimwear column. Hmm.

A swimsuit for Hensley,

swim shorts for Tegegne,
and look, Ababayeh,  board shorts for you too! I mean, no one could keep up with the Joneses in all of these stripes! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weekend: Summer Fun

It has been an amazing day full of fun. When we moved to this neighborhood, I don't think we could have imagined the friendships that we would make and the fun we would have. We spent the afternoon and evening with two families that have become dear to us. We strolled through the trees on Cliff Drive for several hours with all eight kids. Both families have three kids each. We are trailing behind with two, but we are okay with that!  Went home and packed up the wagon and walked several blocks to their house for a cook out. We played and visited in the back yard until after dark and had the best time. 

Tegegne, you play your heart out with these kids. It's great to watch. And Hensley, seriously you are awesome. I'm not sure how you slept the entire night, and then slept most of the day away. I think it must have been muggy enough out in this sweet Missouri heat that you decided to chill in dreamland. 
By the way it was quite exciting to see you on your tummy this morning and flipped the opposite direction in bed! You rolled over in your sleep and slept soundly until 7:30 am! 

Michael and I also had a super fun date night at Starlight Theater last night with his parents. Came home and visited with our babysitter (a good friend) until 1am! Phew! And then another good friend of mine from college visited bright and early this morning! So fun!

Needless to say, we are wiped out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

P interest: Know About It?

Know about Pinterest yet? Yes, you have? I figured so. I'm often slow and hesitant to buy into these sorts of things. But I "signed up" and it has been a ridiculously fun waste of my time. Mostly my sleep time. I stayed up until 1 am posting things last night! The useful part about Pinterest for me is the recipe saving. 

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard.

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.
Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. To get started, request an invite.
Well anyway, here is the fun I'm having  thus far with "pinning and repinning stuff that I like."

Happy pinning!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tegegne: Conversations

VBS Theme, Pandamania!

(Walking out the door from VBS and hearing about his day...)

T: "Mommy, I did a good job. I didn't hit and I listened to my teacher. Can we go to the zoo?"
M: "Goooood Job, Tegegne! That makes me so happy! Maybe we can go to the zoo tomorrow."

(In the car...)
T: "The moon and the stars are with dark sky. And it's time to go to sleep. We need flashlights in the dark. Should we go to the store? My yellow flashlight isn't working because I left it on. And my camera needs batteries. Should we stop at the store? It would be quick."

T: "Where's Ababayeh? I want to see him."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summertime: And Yummy Stuff

Summertime is so fun...especially with Michael home more! Here are some yummy things we've been eating:

1. It wouldn't be summer without our Zoku quick pop maker! I make simple ones, but of course Michael whips out the fancy, really delicious recipes.
2. Lemon lasagna tonight. A good friend brought it over a few months ago and it was awesome!
3. Nutella and strawberries! So good.
4. Nutella and graham crackers. (Those are fancy ones!)
5. Just Nutella.
6. Pineapple salsa!
7. Gyros! Lamb meat and all from the River Market.
7. And tonight Michael is whipping out those "hard to make" little French canneles in which he ordered a special pan. We decided on the mini pan, as he said in France he popped about 7 or 8 in his mouth and was quite satisfied!

And now it's time to get off of the computer and enjoy my family. The boys are playing the Gee-tar in the other room. Hensley is on my lap, gazing up at me...but I'm gazing at the computer.

Gotta run!

The Mom

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kids: Lovin' You Two

Oh, you two are cute. You know that? Tegegne, you love to kiss your little "Hens" as you recently decided to nickname her. Ababayeh and I often remind you to stop kissing her directly in the mouth, and the other day she spit up in your mouth due to your lingering kiss. As often as this gets on my nerves, I must remember the reason you love to kiss little "Hens." Because your birth mom was a kisser. Yes, when I met her, I was kissed and kissed on the cheeks. And I told her I would kiss you every day on her behalf. I am sure this is where you get your obsession with kissing. Sometimes Hensley winces upon your approach, but most of the time she likes it. 

Hensley, I love it when you finish eating and gaze up at me with the biggest smile. You are getting distracted while eating these days. You used to be all business, but now you take many breaks during your mealtimes. It's cute. You want to be in on the action. I am so glad that you love the mobile I made for you. It really has helped you to fall asleep without a peep a lot of the time. I also love that we have yet to buy you diapers! (Minus the emergency small pack when we were on vaca + thanks to the several boxes from your baby shower.) But overall, we've already saved lots of moolah using the clothies. 

Tegegne, this morning you made Taryn and I smile:
Tegegne: "Taarrryn, when are you getting marrrrieeeeddd? After my birthdayyyy?"
Taryn: "Yesssss, a few days after your birthdayyyyy!"
Tegegne: "Then Micah will live here too?!?"

And yesterday:
Tegegne: "Mommyeh, I learned a new dance move for Taryn's wedding, look!"

(So it's true that there's been a lot of fun wedding talk around here, and the big event is even on Tegegne's mind!) 

We love you, kids!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Michael: Trip to France, Part II

A true highlight of Michael's trip was his time spent with this family. The Monets. They lived just outside of Bayonne in the countryside with neighbors who had donkeys and chickens. He wrote me a message one day saying he had just spent an ideal day with these folks. Starting with hiking to Spain and eating at a Venta (small restaurant at the top of a mountain). Then a drive through the countryside, a nap, soccer with Remi and a little Ethiopian neighbor! Hot chocolate, and mountain biking with Vincent. After that they played the most fun game ever. Pelote en Trinquet (a very old Basque game like raquetball, but way more fun!)

Do you notice that this is the American and French students?

He got to see some of our favorite people in Paris. Timothee and his fiance, Anne. Timothee's family hosted us for a week in Versailles before picking up Tegegne last January. They are so much fun!

And he sat in my "dream sofa" at the Ligne Roset showroom!

And saw some lovely artwork at the Pompidou!

He had a great trip, but we are so glad he is home!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Michael: Trip to France, Part I

Michael had a wonderful time in the southwestern region of France, and part of Spain for the last two weeks. 

This was the sweet set up for a lovely evening of being "wined and dined" as the French hosts know so well.  "had a ton of duck, cheese, wine, bread, laughs..."

Michael with the lovely chaperones from his school, plus a dear French liaison on the right. 

Forty-three 6th graders from Academie Lafayette in Kansas City. Michael said they were good kids and they had lots of fun. Each child stayed with a different French host family. His highlight was seeing the American kids have to part with their host families. Many of them cried as they were so warmly hosted and loved by the French families. 

Michael continually kept "yours truly" in mind. Especially when he purchased those soft peach Anniels for me!  An Italian company that makes dance shoes...they are the softest leather and so comfortable. Thanks honey. 

Sweet Maylis, Louis, and Cyprian of Thomas and Claire that he got to spend a day at the beach with. His host family from last year that that we are now great friends with.  Thomas makes the best creme brulee, but this year he made something equally amazing that Michael will soon buy the molds for and try to make...canneles! (I could never get these right, but Michael is good at following tough recipes!)

Aren't they darling?

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Life of Love: Grandma Jody

Dear Grandma Jody,

Ever since you passed away a few days ago (Memorial Day, May 30, 21:21pm) I have been thinking of this letter I wanted to write to you. So I am finally sitting down and without hindrance I will write to you. 

Thank you Grandma. Thank you for living a life of love. Love and sacrifice. Thank you for coming in and raising my dad and his three siblings when their mother died. He was only five years old. You had two boys, had just grieved your husband's death, and moved from the city life to the country life to join Grandpa Cleve and his four children! Soon you had a baby girl with Grandpa. That made seven children that you fed and cared for the same. Being a mother now makes me think that there were times that you felt exhausted and overwhelmed with these huge life changes. My dad says he was so relieved when you came, to have a mother again that nurtured and fed him well! 

Thanks for the best ham and beans I've ever had. I loved your jello cake, no bake cookies, sheet cake, sweet tea, pickled cucumbers and onions, and haystack cookies. (You and sugar were friends!) You liked to put salt on green apples, so I did too. There was always something good to eat in your kitchen, and you'd feed anyone that walked in the door. 

Thank you for being a woman of faith in God. I learned at your visitation that you were most recently studying the book of Colossians in your Sunday School class. I learned that your favorite hymn was Holy, Holy, Holy. A song that I think you are listening to in Heaven, because don't the angels sing it all of the time? It was ironic for me to hear of that song being your favorite, because I had recently started singing it to Hensley as I rocked her to sleep. 

As tons of people walked through the line at your visitation to honor your life I couldn't help but think of your interactions with each person. Grandma, you left a legacy in your family and friends. 

I do have a few questions for you. Things that have been on my mind due to a recent book I read. So, is it true that you get wings in Heaven? And are there more colors than I can imagine? What about Jesus? Have you seen him face to face? Are you the younger version of "you" in Heaven? (If so, I'm guessing it's the you in the photo above!) Do you recognize friends and family that have gone before you? Can you "look down" from Heaven and see us on earth? (If so, I'm guessing you were so happy to have a house full of family the night of your visitation. Yep, all of us there having a feast from all of the food your friends sent over!) Anyway, I could go on and on but I'll stop. 

I love you, Grandma. Thank you for living a life of love. Being a friend to many, and a dear mother to my dad, and my sweet Grandma Jody.

Good night. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hensley: Giddy Giddy

Someday you will need a cute little pouch like this one...from giddy cute, huh?

...and we should probably work on getting you a striped hat, some little blue shoes and a green skirt too!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dancing: Just the Two of Us

With Ababayeh gone and Hensley sleeping, Tegegne and I turned the kitchen rug into a dance floor. After dinner (rendition of "the works" from Main Squeeze) and before our microwaved smores...

Yes, the video is a bit of rediculousness. You know what else is rediculous. Me. And my idea to walk the kids (in the awesome bike-trailor-turned-into-stroller) to the grocery store at high noon, aka the heat of the day. It started as a good idea, then I ran home in my Rainbows, with kids (yes one is only 3 months) and the stroller weighed down with groceries. Even ice cream. It was so hot. I'm avoiding looking at the actual temperature because I feel bad enough having my little baby out in the heat. 

Speaking of my little baby...she is "calling my name" from the other room. It must be time for her late night snack. 

Good night.

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