Saturday, December 31, 2011


Just a few looks into your days as children...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas the Night: Before Christmas


"Twas the Night Before Christmas"

By Clement Clarke Moore
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

(So, it is a bit ironic to post that poem, as we don't do the Santa thing, really, but we talk about the joy in giving gifts to others and the birth of Jesus! I had just read the poem's entirety for the first time and I thought I'd share! Because, tis the night before Christmas, ya know.)

And really quick I'd like to share a bit about what I'm really thinking about this Christmas...our family. How lucky I am that I have parents that are not divorced. How thankful we are to have our friend, Mike with us this Christmas. And then I'm thinking of all of the children and families that may not have a merry and bright Christmas for one circumstance or another. God be with them. May everyone receive a gift in some way on Christmas.  Also thinking of my dear husband and am excited to see what he made for me! He always makes something quite cool and it makes me feel well loved and appreciated.

Happy Christmas to All, and to all a good night!



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tis the Season: For Good Books!

Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff. Great board book...for Advent and preparing for Jesus!

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats...We love this one...and it got a Caldacott Medal!

The Snow Globe Family by Jane O'Connor and S.D. Schinler...Cute and funny!

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheppler...Funny...Santa appears at the end of this book!
These are a few we've been reading lately, seasonally appropriate! If you are looking for a last minute gift for kids...go to your local bookstore! Reading is fun!

If in Kansas City, that would be The Reading Reptile. Love that place. They are so good at suggesting books! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Christmas Story: Adorable Rendition

A friend shared this video. It was a church they visited while living in New Zeland. I mean, seriously cute, yes? St. Pauls Church in Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas: Love, Joseph

You saw us in the crowd, and are waving to your surprise friend that came...Miss Ababayeh and Mike!

We were so proud of you, little "Joseph." You did awesome in your Christmas Play. It was adorable.  I know Michael sometimes gets defensive when people comment on your "size", but I just have to say that the first photos of your feet dangling on the hay bale are just cute. Yep, you are the smallest in class, but most of these kiddos are going to kindergarten next year and because of your September birthday you'll go the year after. 

Thank you so much photographer friend, Matthew Collins, for taking the photos for us! (Tiger's dad...striped tights! And then there's your best bud, Soren, to her right!) Seriously, check out Matthew's work. Oh my gosh, the portraits..."the boys"'s all so good.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Seventeen: And Crispy!


The story that M Magazine put out about us mentioned that there are not enough hours in the day...between keeping my blog updated, two small children, cooking dinner, interior design consulting, and then there's the keeping the house somewhat clean and laundry and dishes...all mom's would agree another hour would be nice! My motto on a busy day is usually that the laundry can wait. I also wanted to mention that my interior design consulting is one-client-at-a-time right now, without strict deadlines. Eventually, after these two, and hopefully two more are in school, I'll go full speed ahead! 

I chimed in today to mention the extra bundle of time and friendship that is more recently filling my days...which means that laundry and house stuff is way behind! That would be our 17 year old staying with us.  Wow. We are so thankful for this time to foster a friendship like this. It's been super exhausting, but also so good. He is a great kid that wants to do well. Life has not dealt him the best hand, and my eyes have been open wide in our conversations...

"Yeah, it's crazy...they will carve the shape of their gun out in their textbook to sneak it into school. The security officers just glance in their bag but never open their text books..."

"But don't get it because you weren't brought up way different than me..."

"That's crispy." 

"That's boosie!"

"You are actin' like a mama to me, with all this preachin'."

We have had great conversations, and hard ones. We are trying to help him get back into school, but as you can's not super motivating to go to a school where kids just want to pick a fight, and as he says, teachers just want to push him through. In a better environment, he would thrive. 

Lord, have mercy on our friend. We want him to succeed. We want him to graduate from college and get a fair chance in this world. I just think...if only we could have helped him sooner. But You are with him and can help him through. Please give him a vision and the means to do well. And thank you for your provision.



Oh and we had quite an experience the other day! Went to the barber the hood. The boys got the best haircuts. I have no match to Jerome's expertise. Tegegne got a real haircut, finally. His line is tight, which means a distinct, smooth line across the forehead. I had no idea he could have such detail around his hair line. I must take photos. Mike got "The Gumby" which looks awesome. I'm learning a ton! It's great!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Adoption: The Congo

More Photos...
So, here goes. First I must preface this with a word from my mother. "You know, Kristyn, this is sort of  like you being pregnant so you'd better call your brother as well...before he reads this news on your blog." So we've made a few calls to our family, but here's our phone call to the rest of you...

Michael called me the other day and asked if I was sitting down. He said he had a strong feeling that we should adopt from the Congo (really the Democratic Republic of the Congo...or the DRC). He proceeded to say that the voice in his head (which we know was God) suggested that we go ahead and adopt two children. Siblings.

I was speechless. Up to this point we had discussed adopting one child, locally, and then being done. Three kids, five total Joneses, sort of sounded manageable. But he said two, not one. 

This was last week. Since then we've learned that the DRC is the second poorest country in the world, with one of the highest infant mortality rate. These children are subject to becoming child soldiers. (I can't even think about that.)  And then there are all of the other issues that a very poor country faces.

I sit here typing as I think of our two children sleeping peacefully in the other room, about to enjoy a Christmas holiday centered around family and love and peace. I cannot imagine the millions of orphaned children in the Congo right now. 

If there is one thing we've learned through our adoption of Tegegne it was this. When God speaks, we listen. We listen and say, oh wow...really? You sure? Then we take action and trust that this is right. Not easy, not laid out completely, but right. With Tegegne we took a giant leap of faith in many ways, especially with our finances, and we saw God provide. We were overwhelmed and humbled and blessed. Adoption is definitely not easy, or completely laid out, but it is good. 

And here we are. Researching adoption agencies that work in the DRC. Gaining information, trying to assure that we find legit people to work with. Looking wide eyed at each other when we total the adoption for two children...and then thinking about college someday. (Actually Michael mentioned case we bring home more girls...but I told him weddings are a walk in the park but what about college!) 

So that's it. This wild adventure that we call life. Please, if you will, join us on this journey asking God to provide for the days ahead and show us the next steps.

Faith, hope, and love. These three. But the greatest of these is love.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Craft: w Little Helpers

Easy and fun wreath to make with your kids! 
*paper bag,
*water based acrylic paint
Cut a circle wreath out of cardboard and paint if desired. 
Now paint paper bags with various colors / let dry / cut strips in various desired widths.
 Place strip on wreath, making sure to bow it out so that that an arc is formed by the paper. Tape it in place on the underside of the wreath.
Repeat this process until you cover the entire wreath.
Now your wreath is almost done; You can add a personal touch by adorning it with paper flower, paper ribbons, buttons, or a written message.

(Thanks, Bloesem Kids and Giddy Giddy)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hensley Ruth: 9 Months (+ 2 wks)

Well Little Hensley. We still think you're great. Nine months, wow. Kind of a cool age because you were in my belly for the same amount of time. All moms would agree that it is quite a miracle to be able to "grow" another little human. Just got done feeding you a banana orange smoothie. You also love pureed mexican chili. We are trying to give you one bottle of whole milk a day in hopes to start the one year weaning-from-mamas-milk process. (Because I'm secretly (shhhh) trying to tag along on Ababayeh's trip to France this year...but also hoping to get to Boston and RISD to visit a friend before that. Aka, our first overnight(s) away since...I'm not's been awhile. Gramma Debby, you ready for this?) You use the potty every now and then and your face lights up each time! 

You will be walking any day now. You love sharing a room with your brother. You think he's hilarious and he thinks he's hilarious so that works well for everyone.

Photo number one represents you and a "toy" that is not really a toy that you found laying out because your brother was playing puppy. This is not a part of your everyday playtime.

Photo number two is with dear Aunt Kyna, whose middle name is also Ruth after Grandma Jody (Ruth Josephine). We had a fun pool visit to see Auntie last week!



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gift Making: Easy & Fun

Sunburst Mirror Tutorial. Easy peasy. Just need white poster board, tiny mirror, glue gun and scissors. 

White Christmas Trees in Jars.  I love these. She used tall and skinny old Alka Seltzer Jars. Mason jars would work though. W painted lids. Then get a brushes from the hardware store and trim them like a tree. (She just said get mini trees....) I also love her idea of turing the jars right side up and taping string to the lid and dangling stars. 

Fringe Scarf. Seriously easy. Only supplies are old t-shirt, scissors, and your hands!

Bleach pen shirt! Shirt, or tea towel, cloth napkins, onsie, and your own creativity. 

Felt Shingle Tree. A thick vintage fabric could work, too. Supplies are foam cone, pins, scissors. Pretty simple. 

Happy Making! 



Thankful: Our Family Feast

What a wonderful Thanksgiving was had by the Joneses this year. Seriously fantastic. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pink Baby: Red Car

Looking for a PINK BABY or a RED CAR? 

PINK BABY: Cries only out of necessity, six teeth, almost walking, one-of-a-kind, quite a charmer.

RED CAR: A gas guzzler NOT, not as cute as baby but a close second, only 45k, 2008, ready to be yours! Honda Fit Sport, Carseat and Crumbs sold separately...Just Kidding...both have been removed and it's prestine and ready to drive off the lot!

**The baby thing was a joke and I hope your not offended. That's what I get for blogging when I should be sleeping. The car was so not-a-joke. It's for sale and its lovely and we don't wanna sell it. You would be lucky to become the owner of such a dependable and long-lasting vehicle!

Comment for purchase price and details.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Kids: Crawling & Grawling

Hensley Hoot, Hoot. Cute Scoot. 
Hey baby, where's your boot? 

Brother bear, nice growl.

Love you and Papa Bear too.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Gift Making: More Ideas

More on making-things-with-friends. Sam is holding up a lovely wreath she made, inspired by this "how-to" only made on a foam or straw wreath instead of the 2D in the tutorial. She was also making braided bangles from modeling clay that were baked in the oven to harden.

These unbraided ones are cool too.

Shanna was making JOY garland

And Katie was making a furry ball wreath!

Happy Gift Making to All, and to all a Good Night!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holidays + Housemate: Good Times

Well, hello again. It's been too long and I feel like I want to write about several things at once...soooo I may just do that. 

First off, tis the season for dinner with friends, decorating the tree, gift making, and thinking of others! Went to a gift making party with a few friends and it got me going. I did make this bracelet and I plan to make these... 
Hex Nut Bracelet How-To
I'm dying to make this chocolate pudding and serve it with vanilla bean icecream. So basic, so good. 

Michael's been making delicious bread like a madman, and tonight he made pita bread from scratch. We had good friends around the table, white chili, black bean soup, mini corn muffins, pita and hummus, and sourdough w flax and vanilla bean butter.  The carbs made a serious appearance! 

And lastly, we've got a new housemate. Mike. A high schooler that was staying with our dear friends. They have to be out of town for the month, and we are so glad he's here. It is so fun. Our kids are now sharing a room, which I had been wanting to do anyways. It's a houseful and we love it. A highlight with Mike so far was when he had Michael, Tegegne and I in the dining room trying to learn the jerk, cat daddy, the wheelchair, and the dougie. Oh my was it fun! The harder we tried, the more Mike laughed. We are determined to make our white bodies move, and you know Tegegne looks cute busting his moves. 

 For the love of dancing,

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