Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

We’ve just finished our annual Jones’ Halloween party…but here’s a sneak peek at our Halloween.

Note to self: buying costumes a month ahead of time doesn’t make things any easier…they get busted and pieces get lost before the big day.  Halloween 2012, don’t allow costumes to be worn until Oct. 31st. Period.

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This year, Chandler is so imaginative that he loved every minute of the costume wearing. And Halloween was way more relaxing since they’re all old enough to stay close as we walk the neighborhood.  This is the stuff that good childhood memories are made of.  Love it!

Taking Stock in the Tooth Fairy

If you haven’t, you probably should. My boys are starting to lose teeth like crazy around here.

Chance was so excited when his first tooth came out, one day back in August.

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And 2 days later, out popped the next one, while at school! This is exciting stuff!

This is him, showing off the tooth holder they give at school. I love that the school celebrates as well in this way!

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mentos Experiments

Chuck and the boys had decided they wanted to try putting Mentos in a Coke bottle sometime. We gathered the materials and tried it: and it failed. You have to have the original Mentos, which are very hard to find (with no sugar coating). After some research and a trip to the hobby store, Chuck finally found a kit. Here was the second attempt.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Interest in Pinterest

I’ve had many friends jump on the bandwagon lately for Pinterest, but often with many questions. So I wanted to explain it here…

First of all, what is it? Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you “pin” various ideas for later use.  See an online recipe you don’t want to forget? Pin it to your cooking board.  A picture of someone’s make up you’d like to imitate? Pin it to your board for “Appearance Inspiration”.  You name the boards, so you decide what categories/boards to set up.  Then as you come across stuff online, you can pin those to your board.  Then you can view your board at any time, click on that pin and you’re back to that web page.  To do that, once you’ve logged in, go to this page, and drag the “Pin it” button onto your browser.  Then, when you come across a page to remember, just hit “pin it” and it’ll prompt you put it on your Pinterest board.

For instance, one thing I’ve loved about Pinterest is all the ideas for things for kids.  So now I have a board with all those ideas.  Here it is: For The Kids.  There is an excellent bubble making recipe, and bubble wand that have now replaced my ever buying commercial bubbles again. 

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Ok, so why would this be so addicting? Because we get to share our ideas with others in Pinterest! On that note, I recommend logging in (from the main Pinterest login page) through Facebook for 2 reasons: 1. You don’t have to remember a password, and 2. It shows you as soon as your other friends join.  Once you see they’ve joined, you can “follow” them.  Just like you see status updates in FB, you’ll see what your friends have pinned when you log in.  And let me tell you, my friends have some awesome ideas!!  You can also look at what the rest of the Pinterest community is pinning (not just your friends), and glean ideas from there as well.

I’ve had Pinterest for most of this year, and I cannot tell you how many “pins” I’ve implemented!  I found lots of inspiration for birthday parties, including Chance’s Lego birthday party last June.  I’ve learned how to clean my mattresses, how to deep clean almost everything in my house, how to grow a garden, have crafts with the kids, eat healthier, exercise better, etc, etc.  When I’m feeling uninspired for meal planning, I spend some time looking through my Yum board.  When I’m down and just need a pick-me-up, I look through my Makes Me Laugh board. 

Oh, and since I often get “how do you…” questions about photography, I’ve begun a photography board specifically with newbies to photography in mind.

So, should I ask in advance for forgiveness? Because this stuff can be addicting, for sure! But really, I probably just peruse the newest pins about 5-10 minutes a day.  And there’s no pressure to get on it at any time.  It is only time consuming if you want it to be. And honestly, like this says:

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So don’t worry about stalking people on FB, and go learn something…and then do it!

And come find me when you do: http://pinterest.com/athier/

First Day of School

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First, we had to get some jitters out that morning for a photo…And I’m thankful there was some sunlight.  2 months later…it’s pretty dark in the mornings.

Our big kindergartener had some fear going on…

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Thankfully his humor was still intact.

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Mr. “I Got This” completely ready for second grade.

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Finding his place in line for class.

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Chance, finding his spot in class. It was a stroke of genius that his teacher put blocks at his place. It was a perfect diversion to keep him calm.

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Afterwards, the three of us (Chuck, Chandler and I) went out for breakfast, and to mourn the coming school year…

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But over time we perked up some…

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Daddy definitely helped lighten the mood.

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Not gonna lie, this year is going quite well for the school boys…but I’m missing our summer schedule!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flying L

This year, a couple of friends invited us to a day at Flying L. Since we went three times last year, and once was a before-school-starts last hurrah, we decided to stay the weekend again. It did not disappoint.

 

I love Chance’s face here…

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Chandler, improvising on ways to take the slide.P8130622

Charlie could’ve worked the obstacle course all.day.long.

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Seth, looking too cute and ferocious…

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Lisa and Emily, and a nearly-full term baby Charlotte cookin’ inside Lisa.

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Tuckered out…

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After resting and dinner, we had the campfire s’mores and a hayride.  This time we even went through the Ghost Town…I was so impressed that the boys didn’t get scared.

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The next day, Chan, enjoying his snow cone.

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My dear husband, enduring the heat and outdoors…just because he knows it makes us so very happy. <3

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Crazy Love part 2

{Here’s the beginning thoughts I had as I read through Crazy Love. This will take you through about the first half…but you have to keep reading beyond that because it gets even better.}

Francis Chan’s purpose of the book is that you will be convinced that “by surrendering yourself totally to God’s purposes, He will bring you the most pleasure in this life and the next.” Yet he’s clear that his goal is to awaken the Christian Church to be more active and aware, to wake up from our comfortable and wealthy lives, willing to give God everything.  “In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.”

He starts out, much like Paul’s letters, with theology. He reminds us of the basics, that God is holy, eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing.  “It is ridiculous to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending.” 

“All things were created by Him and for Him…As much as we want God to explain Himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us.”

God is fair and just, and must punish sin – our sin.  He talks about how Isaiah’s response to seeing the Lord (Isa. 6) is to say “Woe is me” because of his sin. And how often is that our response as we think about God?

Chan pulls no punches, which is what I’m loving about his style.  His honesty makes me realize how much we have in common…

“On an average day, we forget that our lives are but a vapor.”  He talks about how we often get so consumed in our circumstances that we disobey His command to “rejoice always.”  And how worry and stress are often signs of a lack of faith (if you’re saying “Ouch,” you’re not alone. I said it often through this book.)  He compares this to a movie, how everything that is happening is a movie about God, and He is the director. Yet we tend to think this movie is about us.  “So whatever you do, do it for the glory of the Lord.” 1 Cor. 10:31 “The point of your life is to point to Him.”  We don’t really have the control here. “I am thankful for the unknowns, and that I don’t have control, because it makes me run to God.”

“Stories of people who died after living godly lives are stories with happy endings. Sadly, many people die living selfishly.”

“…harsh words and loving truth often go hand-in-hand.”  He urges us, in view of the brevity of life, to no longer forget God.

“When we love God, we naturally run to Him – frequently and zealously. Jesus didn’t command that we have a regular time with Him each day. Rather, He tells us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.” The results are intimate prayer and study of His Word.”

“Dear is no longer the word I use to describe how I feel about God. Now I use words like reverent intimacy.”

“…for a long time, I narrowly focused on His fearsomeness to the exclusion of His great and abounding love.”

“God knew who He was creating, and He designed me for a specific work…God will ensure my success in accordance with His plan, not mine.”

And if you needed the reminder: “Our good deeds can never outweigh our sins.”

“The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.”

“The very fact that a holy, eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, merciful, fair and just God loves you and me is nothing short of astonishing.”

“The greatest good on this earth is God. Period. God’s one goal for us is Himself…Are we in love with God, or just His stuff?”

This he quoted: “It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the Gospel.  It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going hollow-hearted prosperity.” – Frederic D. Huntington, Forum Magazine, 1890.  That guy called it, didn’t he? Guess we haven’t changed much in the last 121 years…

Fran then addresses how we gauge success of events by numbers, wowed by big crowds. “Jesus questioned the authenticity of this kind of record keeping. According to Luke 8, when a crowd started following Him, Jesus began following Him, Jesus began speaking in parables – ‘so that’ those who weren’t genuinely listening wouldn’t get it. When crowds gather today, speakers are extraconscious of communicating in a way that is accessible to everyone. Speakers don’t use Jesus’ tactic to eliminate people who are not sincere seekers. In fact, He just wasn’t interested in those who fake it.”

Seriously, just let that sink in a minute.

Then he talks about the parable of the sower and the soils.  “My caution to you is this: Do not assume you are good soil…When we want God and a bunch of other stuff, then tht means we have thorns in our soil. A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, addictions, or commitments are piled on top of it.”

“Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Are you satisfied being ‘godly enough’ to get yourself to heaven, or to look good in comparison to others? Or can you say with Paul that you ‘want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death? (Phil 3:10)”

Ouch? Ouch.

“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.” Luke 6:26

He begins to describe lukewarm Christians as being church-going, giving but not until it hurts, doing things for show. “Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin…they don’t really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one.”

“Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act…Lukewarm people call ‘radical’ what Jesus expected of all of His followers.”

“Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, friends…Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, and their thoughts, but He isn’t allowed to control their lives.”

“Lukewarm people love others but do not seek to others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is typically focused on those who love them in return…” (Matt 5:43-47)

“Lukewarm people think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven.”

C.S.Lewis writes. “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they become so ineffective in this.”

“Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor.”

He often quotes Matthew 13:44-46:  “The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

“Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe…this focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.” I Tim 6:17-18, Matt 10:28

“Just as the prophets in the Old Testament warned Israel that they were not safe just because they lived in the land of Israel, so we are not safe just because we wear the label Christian or because some people persist in calling us a “’Christian nation.’”

“Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don’t genuinely seek out what life God would have them live…The truth is, their lives wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.”

Chan quantifies this incompletely description of lukewarm people with this: “We are all messed up people…however, there is a difference between a life that is characterized by these sorts of mentalities and habits, and a life that is in the process of being radically transformed.

Kira’s Party

Also in August, our friend Kira had a birthday party, and Chuck’s sister Melanie and her family came down to spend the weekend with us (and attend said party).

I didn’t get many photos that weekend, but I did love this one of Mel reading too all the kids.

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Swimming at Kira’s…

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Kira’s creative cupcake toppers!

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And just for fun, one of our nephew Leland…Meesh and her family came to the party as well! I cannot believe this boy is a year old already!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Grandma and Grandpa Visit

Chuck’s folks live full time in an RV and by August they decided to be done with this awful record setting summer and head Northward. I would’ve joined them in a heartbeat if my house had wheels!!  It was a smart move, seeing as how we shattered the previous record of 69 days of 100+ degree temps.  The current record for this year: 90 days!  And since it’s late October, I hope we’re finally done with those.

So what to do with a summer of blistering heat? Swim, swim, and swim some more!  But first, we soaked up the a/c and played cards! Charlie loves Uno!

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And though I have no photo for it, Mom and Dad had recently gotten into playing “Hand and foot.” It was really fun (and the girls won!! Yay!).

Now, on to the swimming part…

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A little video of Charlie’s favorite part of swim time:

And my attempt at a group photo – I’ve got to get better at getting the boys to take a picture…

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Thanks for visiting, y’all! I hope you’re still having a blast in Colorado/New Mexico!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Soccer Camp

Sports has become a source of debate at our house. While Charlie has a bent toward sports, especially baseball, the schedule can sometimes become too much for our family. But to not do anything seems so wrong. So this summer we did a one week soccer camp for Charlie and Chance. First of all, it was indoors in the air conditioning, score! And second, it was only one week. I thought they’d love it. They had fun but when it was over they both said they wouldn’t want to do anymore soccer. My heart sank but I think Chuck was kinda relieved. Winking smile

I got very few photos, due to being in a dark gym, but here are the boys getting their medals for participating.

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Poor Chandler, he was clearly sad that he was too young to play. Sad smile

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