Monday, August 25, 2008

Garrett's 5th Birthday

We've decided to take on the tradition of only having a birthday party every other year, but we happen to be going up to the "Peterson's Play Palace" for a going away party, so we decided to do a little celebration for Garrett up there.

(By the way, Peterson we are going to greatly miss you guys. It has been such a blessing to have family close by. enjoy Shanghai! That's to coolest family adventure!)

So on Saturday before Garrett's birthday, we went swimming and enjoy our McQueen cake.

Deciding what to get Garrett was a series of unfortunate events. First, we tried to get the little car going that we got for FREE from our home teacher. But that was not meant to be. Then we tried to get some new Scooby Doo videos from Costco. No luck! And so on and so on.

Finally at 11:00 pm the night before his birthday, I found a remote control car in the basement that I bought on clearance about two years ago. Bingo!

Taryn enjoys sitting in the grass watching Garrett car go by.

Another little unfortunate thing was that Garrett became sick at church so he had to go home before they were able to sing Happy Birthday to him. But on the way home we saw the Dorsey girls, Garrett's babysitters, who were decorating a friends cars for her birthday. Anyways, the girls found out it was Garrett's b-day and came over while he was sleeping that afternoon and decorated the car. He was so sick that afternoon it was hard for him to be excited, but he wanted Keith to go outside, thank them, and "show Naomi and Lia how my remote car works because they'd like it." He was just too tired himself to go outside and show them. Luckily it was a 24 hour thing and he was up the next day enjoying the car again.

Hours of fun running the car around the front yard.
Thanks heavens for rechargeable batteries.

The cake

Today Kendall and I made Garrett's birthday cake. As I looked down at her, the thought crossed my mind that this seems familiar. The smell of cake, a coke on the counter, colored icing all over the kitchen, and a little girl that wants to help. I remember being in Kendall's shoes. It seemed like every weekend my mother was making a wedding or birthday cake. It was amazing to me how she could turn plain ole icing into beautiful roses, and leafs. I do not possess the skills that my mother has, but I hope that Kendall feels that excitement and desire to make a cake for her kids.

After emptying out all the Tupperware, poor Taryn needed a little attention.

After going to the Clones War with his dad, Garrett came home to his second Lightning McQueen birthday cake. You'd think I'd become better at making this cake, but I was much quicker at decorating it.
Happy 5th Birthday, Garrett!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

You are divine.

Last Sunday I taught all the Young Women on knowing that you are divine and eternal. As I was preparing the week before, I ran parts of the lesson past Keith and asked for he's opinion. He's first remark was, "Why are the Young Women and Relief Society always having lessons on how divine they are? The Young Men and Priesthood don't have lessons on that. They only have lessons on how divine the women are." So there you have it.
That made me think about something I had always known but that comment really brought it home for me. The Lord knows that women are constantly bombarded with self-esteem issues (looks, talents, physical body image, etc.) And it's not just the Young Women, we as mother get it to through our domestic and mothering skills or lack there of. Therefore, Satan hits us with everything he can, knowing that women are vulnerable to depression, insecurity, and even sin due to not understanding their divine worth. So it makes sense that Young Women and Relief Society alike are continually needing to be reminded of our divine worth. So to all my sisters out there, know that you are divine.

Here's a few of my favorite quotes that I used in my lesson.
President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“There is something of divinity within each of you. You have such tremendous potential with that quality as a part of your inherited nature. Every one of you was endowed by your Father in Heaven with a tremendous capacity to do good in the world. Train your minds and your hands that you may be equipped to serve well in the society of which you are a part. Cultivate the art of being kind, of being thoughtful, of being helpful. Refine within you the quality of mercy which comes as a part of the divine attributes you have inherited”
(“The Light within You,” Ensign, May 1995, 99).

President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency:

“A conviction that you are a daughter of God gives you a feeling of comfort in your self-worth. It means that you can find strength in the balm of Christ. It will help you meet the heartaches and challenges with faith and serenity. … A woman can and must have an identity and feel useful, valued, and needed whether she is single or married. She must feel that she can do something for someone else that no one else ever born can do”
(“What It Means to Be a Daughter of God,” Liahona, Jan. 2000, 123–24; Ensign, Nov. 1999, 102).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh Canada!

Jones Family with Grandma Tufts on her 100th birthday.

Playing in Red Rock Canyon.

Garrett had to strip down to get in the freezing cold water.

Garrett attacking Grandpa!

Keith and Garrett riding the paddle boats on Cameron Lake.

Uncle Craig went with us for a spin.

Garrett and his cousins goofing off at Cameron Lake.
LOVE this picture of Garrett with his cousin friend Jamie. They look like they are just taking a moment to ponder on the events of the day.
Garrett getting into the water at Cameron Lake. I don't' know if you can tell but the water is freezing!

Garrett, the deer whisper!

Garrett and his cousins singing to his Great Grandma T. for her 100th birthday.

Happy 100th Birthday Great Grandma Tufts!
Grandma Jones, Garrett and Keith wishing Grandma Great a happy birthday.
Big loves for the Grandma T.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Traditional Last Night BBQ

I guess it's a tradition. We always seem to have a BBQ either at Vonda and Bill's or Randall and Gayle's on the last night we are in town to see everyone one last time. We love and miss our family so much. It's such a blessing to be able to go home so often to see them and let our children make memories together. This picture above is three of Garrett's favorite people, cousins Ben, Jeff and Luke. Don't ya just LOVE that red hair on baby Luke.
Garrett has always loved the water, but this summer he has turned into part fish. He's swimming all by his self, and it's difficult to get him out.
Baby Taryn is following in the footsteps of her sibling with her LOVE of the water and Grandma Jones.

I love to see these three playing together. They are so silly and active. I hope this bond stays this strong forever.
Garrett giving one last hug to his best buddy cousins.

Savoring our last hours at the Magic Kingdom

You must see
Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular!
Holy Cow it's AWESOME!
It's a professional musical that you can take your children to and not stress if they talk out aloud, stand up or even fall asleep. Not that they would because it's great. You see genies dance, Aladdin and Jasmin flying on a carpets right above your head, elephant size elephants marching down the aisle and more!

After riding the Indian Jones ride Garrett exclaimed, "That totally FREAKED me out!" It's that great of a ride.

Garrett's almost as big as the wooden boy.
As we were leaving the park all the Princesses came out. What a break for Kendall. She got one last photo opt with her girls.

For some reason, Kendall and Garrett wanted to wait in line to hug Pooh and Tiger.

For us Pooh Corner was a hidden treasure.

Our last night, Keith's cousins came to watch the Fantasmic with us. I stinking sat on the ground for two hours to get us a front row but now I know that I would either stand or find a restaurant up high next time. Also Fantasmic is really frightening to small children. A lot of villains, scary music, and loud fireworks.

The training of a Padawan Learner.

For being the happiest place on earth, there are some pretty scary things happening around Disneyland. Garrett quickly realized that many of the scary rides displayed snakes, and other creepy characters. One thing that was scary to me but exciting to Garrett was the Jedi Training Academy. A show were little Padawans hone their lightsaber skills as they learn techniques and "moves" from a Jedi Master, knowing that they will soon face the dark side.
The day before we caught the end of the show and Garrett REALLY wanted to be apart. So since Kendall had enjoyed her special dinner with the Princess, Garrett needed a special moment. We went thirty minutes early to get a good seat. Garrett was front and center before any other kids had arrived. Unfortunately, two minute before the show started swarms for kids crowded around Garrett to the point you could barely see him. I was with the girls up in the eatery so Garrett could hardly hear me. The show begins. The lead Jedi starts to pick kids from the crowd describing them by their shirt, or hat and funny hair. Garrett could not have been any more conservatively dressed if I tried. And his not that great at jumping up and down like a crazy guy unless accompanied by friends or cousins. With much heart ache he was not picked. Garrett couldn't hear me and wouldn't look at me, but I could tell that tears were soon to come. I had the girls and the stroller with swarms of people around me, so I could go to him. Finally he looked at me, as tear weld up. I motioned for him to come to me. Pulling my "little" boy up over the guard rail, I throw all the kids in the stroller and pushed my way through the crowd out of the place and around the corner. By the time I found a place for us to sit in the shade and hug, we were both crying. It hurt so bad to see my little boy want something and not be picked. I don't know how we will ever make it through any sports tryouts. Within five minutes, Disneyland went from the happiest place on earth to the WORST! I promised him we would come back for every show and try to get him in. I thought to myself, I'll buy him a new shirt or hat or jump up and down behind him if it just makes this happen for him.
We went and rode rides to get our mind off it, and went back for the next show.

Funny little side story. Every time Darth Maul would come up close to the crowd to scare the kids. Sweet little Miss Macy would wave and smile at him. Suddenly Darth Maul stopped looked right at Kendall, smiled and waved oh, so sweetly. Then went right back to he's scary face and ugly ways. Kendall brings out the good in the dark side.

With me and Kendall jumping around behind him the Master Jedi exclaimed, "Join us, young gentlemen in the button up shirt. You will bring honor to our force." Wahooo!! I don't know who was happier, me or Garrett.
The training was grueling,
Active lightsaber!
Now strike to the right arm, left arm and take off their head.
Now duck!
Attack the left leg, and right leg.
Well done, young Jedi!

Upon completion of Jedi training, the dark side emerged to fight each Padawan learner. Garrett faced Darth Maul. The scariest looking dude EVER!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My list

    Inspired by my sister Vonda, who is one of the busiest people I know, here is my list of things on my mind. Some may get done, but most not. I've come to find that the little things like, changing diapers, bottles, a book read, putting on and off the Darth Vader costume five times a day and making PB and J sandwiches consume the majority of my day. But here's my list of things that really do need addresses and will probable wait for another day.
  1. Clean the floors.
  2. Go through bills.
  3. Pick up basement
  4. Iron
  5. Straighten up bedroom.
  6. Catch up on blogging.
  7. Practice flash cards with kids.
  8. Write thank you notes.
  9. Hang pictures.
  10. Organize kitchen.
  11. Prepare Young Women's lesson.
  12. Exercise.
  13. Clean the toilets.
  14. Take the kids pictures.
  15. Sew Kendall's dress.
  16. Mulch the trees.
  17. Fertilize the grass.
  18. Move the azaleas.
  19. Organize the bathroom, hang cabinet.
  20. Sign Kendall up for dance.
  21. Plan Garrett B-day
  22. Get ready for the beach trip.
  23. Put laundry away. Never gets done.
  24. Garrett's 5 year old well check. (Glad I remembered that)
  25. Get Garrett's school supplies.
  26. Catch up on baby books for the kids.
  27. Finish on the curtains.
  28. Oh, and so much more....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mountain House anyone?

My sister is constantly telling me about how great Mountain House food is and 30 -35 year shelf life, and that the price is going up 30% in Sept. So, I contacted her Rep, who is a flight attendant and has a layover in DC on this Monday. She is going to have a food testing presentation at my house on this Monday. Come taste the food. Buy if you like or just enjoy the company. Great opportunity to update your year supply with easy to fix foods. Just add water. I hear that is taste great too. Blueberry Cheesecake mix, how could you go wrong on that.

Where: Tamee Jones' house
When: Monday, August 18th
11:00 - 1:00 pm
(We have to end right at 1:00, so don't be late.)

Kids are welcome.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Garrett the Great

As my little boy bubbles over with excitement that he is turning 5, I am a wee-bit sad that he is growing up so fast. I know I baby him too much but he is my first and I was 32 when I had him. I waited a long time to spoil my very own baby.

Garrett is a lover boy. He loves to hug and snuggle and kiss. I LOVE that about him. He's also very tender. He cares about how others are doing and wants to make sure everyone is happy. He has a soft heart and often will let you know, "That hurt my heart". His tenderness has made is easy to help him understand the Holy Ghost and whispering of the Spirit. He'll often say, "I feel the Holy Ghost and he makes me happy!"

If there is fun to be had, Garrett will find it. He's all about the fun. He's quick to get silly, which may pose a problem with all day Kindergarten. Wait and see... Garrett enjoys life. He's not afraid to take chances or try new things. He looks at most situations as an opportunity to meet new buddies and try new things. I hope this fearlessness is always there.

But he is also a pleaser. He doesn't want anyone to be disappointed with him. Like most small children, he thrives off praise. He often says, "Are you proud of me, Mom?" He has recently acquired the knowledge that almost every situation has rules or guidelines for proper behavior. He enjoys pointing them out to me and Kendall for our correction. Now if he could only follow his good advice in Sunday school. Poor Sister Losee, bless your heart! Obedience is a difficult task, when weighted against the fun of the moment. It's all part of growing up, Big Guy!

Garrett is a friend maker. He has no problem walking up to an kid and just starting to play. Mr. Social Bug!

He is still very immature and easily impressed by others. Especially, boys who are bigger then him. He would have loved to have been the second child to an older brother. But he loves his sisters. He gets that Kendall is a girl, and should like dolls and play food, but he loves that she will also play Rescue Heroes and Dinosaurs with him too. He just LOVES Taryn. I can't keep his hands off her. One of his favorite phrases is, "She's so cute!" Then he squeezes her cheeks or gives her a big hug.

I love Garrett's deep blue eyes. When I look into them, I see all his fun, innocence, kindness, and love of life. He's cute little round face makes me see myself in him. Those gigantic hands and feet scream Jones. And when he smiles at ya, it just melts your heart. And can I just say one more thing about Garrett's physical attributes, his hair is like a pelt. His head of hair is a like bear fur. It's almost impossible to get the shampoo out of his hair. He went from none as a baby to enough for three people.

Oh how I love my Garrett the Great! I see so much potential for good in him. I hope he enjoys life's experiences. I pray that I teach him all that he needs to know to accomplish his goals and find true happiness in this life and the life to come.