Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

The Jones family is leaving tomorrow for sunny and warm Florida!  We are spending Christmas with Ted's family this year, and they decided to do it beachside.  Yipee!

We continue to be unable to transfer pictures from our camera to a computer, but will someday give a nice photo entry for all to enjoy.

We hope you are warm, happy, and able to spend this time with your family.  Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy at Home

I have been reflecting lately on my position in life. Nolan and I were walking through the park the other day. I was thinking how my life is so simple. I felt like it has always been this way. Then I remembered "before".

I used to be in college. I marched in the marching band. I took classes. I had tons of friends. 4 years of all that with grad school. Life was so crazy!

I used to teach jr. high math. I was active in my singles ward. I had friends over all the time. I lived in St. Paul, Minnesota. Life was so crazy!

I moved to Alaska! I didn't know anyone before I got there, but fit right in. I taught elementary school; 1st-2nd grade and 5th-6th grade. I went hiking, camping, sleeping under the stars. I met Ted and fell in love. Life was so crazy!

We moved to St. Louis. I taught 5th and 6th grade math. I started a real home. Life was crazy!

Now, I stay home every day with Nolan. I clean my house, cook dinners, and basically try to make home as love filled, comfortable and cozy as possible. I don't have anywhere to be, no one telling me what I have to do when, no pay check, and nothing looks to be changing anytime soon on the horizon. Life is not as crazy. I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT! As I looked back at this small snap shot of pre-Nolan/stay at home mom life, I feel so grateful for my experiences. I can be happy and satisfied being home. I never know what may change in the future, but I am going to enjoy this for as long as possible and savor every minute.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

We've Been Busy

Sorry about the delay in posting. We have been experiencing technical difficulties. Well, I still am, but I decided I better try to get a post done before I just get too behind.

Grandma and Grandpa Downing came to visit for Thanksgiving. We had such a fun time with them. I realized that I didn't get any pictures from the actual day, but it was definitely a day to remember. My first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

I decided to be a great hostess and make the pumpkin pies the day before. Disaster! Twice the pies spilled all over the oven. The second time there were actually embers roasting on the bottom of my gas oven. I really worried that I had no idea what to do if a fire actually broke out. Smoke filled my house and the alarms went off. Luckily, Nolan slept right through it all! After they finished baking (yes, I did push on) they looked alright, so I salvaged them.

Our turkey was also an interesting experience. We cooked it the designated amount and tried carving it. It looked raw! Yuck! So...back into the oven. We kept checking it, and decided after 2 more hours, it HAD to be done. (Good thing dinner was scheduled for 4:00-it wasn't too late for usual dinnertime!) Upon carving, Ted discovered that the jiggly undone-looking part was still there. Our poor turkey must have had a tumor or something like it. We just ate the other side and still had plenty of leftovers. I don't have any pictures of our dinner, but my parents and Ted said everything tasted good-especially the pumpkin pies! Who knew?

Nolan's birthday party was a blast! We had my parents, Ted's parents, his 3 sisters and his grandmother over. We had a great time. Here is Nolan's cake:
He really loves this truck. He puts all his toys in it and pushes it all over the house. Super cute!

He was also a great present receiver. Everytime he opened something, he looked at it, smiled, and really seemed to show appreciation. He got some really great things. My favorite reaction, and I think everyone's who was there, was this:
My mom makes each of her grandkids a quilt for their first birthday. Nolan's has puppy faces with floppy ears to snuggle. I opened it, and he immediately snuggled in. He spent a good 5 minutes rolling in it, smooshing his face down on it, and just letting grandma revel in his reaction. A great treat for the loving hours she spent on it.

Another favorite present:
This was from Great Nana and Papa in Maine. Nolan LOVES it. Mom will love it when it has a place in our basement. (It should be refinished in about 3 weeks! More updates to come!)

Well, as I was trying to post this, my computer really had it. It is chock full of viruses. Poor thing. I did manage to load 5 pictures before it shut down, but I can't for the life of me get Ted's laptop to work. Seeing that I started this post 2 days ago, I figured you get what you get and don't throw a fit! I guess we will all be in suspense for the remainder of our pictures. We did have such a great time with my parents. My dad was pretty sick, but gave Nolan TONS of love. My mom helped me with 2 craft projects-Yep, 2 in a month! Crazy. I made stockings for Ted, Nolan and I. Fun! Hopefully I can get things up and running again soon.