June 30, 2012


 i have felt overwhelmed with gratitude this past week. maybe it's because of the fires and seeing so many devastating losses. whatever the root of it, i am greatly blessed and for that i am greatly thankful. i am thankful for our wonderful home, the ac unit that was gifted to us this week and the sweet relief from the 100 degree weather that it brings. i am thankful to have my dad living close by and for the safe haven he provided when we had to leave ours. i am thankful for the swimming pool on sale for twenty bucks at target and the multitude of giggles that have accompanied it. i am thankful for a loving and loyal husband, who's rugged handsomeness makes me swoon every day at five o'clock. i am thankful for three sweet littles, who haven't complained once about our lack of outdoor activities this summer due to mama's low tolerance of high temperatures. i am thankful for every kick, jab and jet li move this baby boy gives me each day to remind me that he's happy and healthy.

thankfulness brings contentment. make it a part of your every day. it's guaranteed to add a few more smiles to your life.

how could i not be thankful, right?

DON'T FORGET: visit www.wildfiretees.com and order a t-shirt created by a local colorado designer! 100% of the proceeds benefit the 347 families who lost their homes in the fire. the "Love From Above" tee(pictured below) was designed by mr jones himself! thanks to everyone who has already ordered a tee and prayed for us continually. we love you guys!


June 29, 2012


when i took this photo(below) last saturday, i never could have imagined what the following week would hold. nearly 17,000 acres of our beautiful city of colorado springs have burned in the most catastrophic wildfire in colorado history. 347 homes were lost. the historic flying w ranch is nothing but charred remains and so far there has been one reported death.

by monday afternoon(photo below), the fires had spread to over 3,000 acres forcing many communities to evacuate. the fire was declared a local disaster and special air force firefighting planes were sent to colorado springs to join in the fight.

tuesday morning(photo above), this was the view from the back deck of our home. that afternoon we stood on the same deck in a state of disbelief as we watched the flames come over the mountain ridge and down into the city. paul texted me from his office around that time to tell me to look outside. this is what we saw:

before we knew it 65mph winds carried thick dark grey smoke from the burning mountainside all the way to our house miles away. paul said to shut the windows and stay inside. by the time i ran downstairs to close the windows, our house was filled with smoke. i knew immediately, we would not be staying there wether or not we had received an evacuation call. i gave the littles wet rags to cover their mouths and noses and sent them to the basement to stay below the worst of the smoke. i hurriedly tossed clothes, toiletries, important records, cameras and sleeping bags into a pile by the front door. paul called to say the gas stations were all running out of fuel, due to panicked people preparing to leave the area. he managed to find some and pick us up to head to my dad's house further east. everyone in our neighborhood was packing up their cars and children to leave as well. from the intersection near our home we could see a bright orange glow at the base of the smoke. later we realized those were homes burning.

tuesday evening we went to our church to help with evacuees that were being sent there from the threatened neighborhoods. we stood on the hill and watched something that will be etched in my memory forever. 

photo source

to say the scene was overwhelming would hardly suffice. our friends stared in horror with tears streaming down their faces. it was so very different than watching something unfold on the news. you could breathe in the smoke, feel the ash falling from the sky and only stand helpless as homes and family memories burst into flames in front of you. never have i felt a spirit of devastation and heartbreak like i did that night. the heavy sadness in the springs is still present today, as well as the fires, which are continuing to burn a horrific path through the rocky mountains. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP. visit www.wildfiretees.com and order a t-shirt created by a local designer. the proceeds will go to the victims of the Waldo Canyon Fire. thank you to everyone for your prayers and thoughts, keep them coming!

June 21, 2012


another delicious, quick dish for this summer. this is perfect if you want something lighter to accompany grilled black bean burgers or flesh burgers, if that's your thing. i loved this and it just gets better overnight. sadly, the kids didn't agree with my choice of ingredients. they all chowed down the chickpeas and quinoa like champs and returned to me a bowlful of tomatoes. these kids can eat around tomatoes like nobody's business. oh well, i'll keep trying. here's the recipe.



1 cup of red quinoa(uncooked, it will double like rice when it's cooked)
2 cups water to cook quinoa
1 can chickpeas(garbanzo beans) drained
2 medium tomatoes chopped
2 green onions chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 handful cilantro chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
the juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste


add quinoa to boiling water and reduce to simmer until water is gone. drain your chickpeas and chop your veggies and herbs. mix olive oil and lemon juice. toss quinoa, veggies, herbs and seasonings in a large bowl. drizzle with lemon olive oil. eat at room temp, preferably outdoors with lots of friends and little tomato-haters.

June 18, 2012


our daddy is...

really silly
the best daddy
good at playing games
good at playing guitar
so good at pushing swings high
-madi, jack and charlie

for father's day the kids wanted to give daddy a makeover. i don't know how they come up with their ideas. two five dollar bills and one dollar store shopping spree later, they came out with all this. i snapped these photos at 6am yesterday because the kids couldn't wait until after church to give daddy his gifts. let me tell you, when it comes to celebrating, these kids can rally at any hour.  also, they are seriously hilarious and they get that from their daddy. they love the heck outta him. as if you couldn't tell already. 

i am so thankful for everything that paul gives to them, from their blue eyes to their outstanding sense of humor. and maybe even the passing down of a serious obsession with homemade stove top popcorn. he is everything i dreamed of seeing in a father for my kids and we are all getting suspicious that he might have actually hung the moon. at least in our world. we love you paul jones. you are the best daddy.

and to my own daddy, you are the wisest most honorable father i could imagine. and i will always be thankful that god gave you to me. i love you.

June 15, 2012


these are the easiest pancakes you will ever make. we make them at least twice a week. i love recipes that can made from items you always have on hand. we've been knee deep in our summer simplify project, more to come on that later, so we've been neglecting our normal grocery store trip. no one around here has ever complained about eating pancakes too often. top these with your favorite summer fruits and enjoy!

and can i just whine once more about my busted camera lens? i'm lost without my camera and as you can see, iphone photos are far from sufficient. soon i will replace it and feel whole again.



1 1/4 cups whole grain flour
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons raw sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil

toss all ingredients in a big bowl and stir. pour batter in skillet or on a griddle. flip when you see bubbles in your batter.
top with whatever you like and eat! we like ours with vegan butter and blue agave!

June 11, 2012


monday. we played at the park, watched daddy and uncles play softball, laid in the shade and enjoyed the cool breeze. this day was not an inclination of how the rest of our week would transpire. it was nothing but a big. fat. tease.

tuesday. we had a staff fun day at our church. it was a bit long and exhausting, but i did manage to start going through some baby boy things later that night. charlie has since becoming a fan of wrecking this organized shelf multiple times a day.

wednesday. the week took a foul turn. as you can see charlie was in a less than desirable mood. we had planned to go see the farewell concert of our favorite band that night, but our babysitter canceled and i had to stay at home. the weather was obviously in tune with the mood around the house, as it stormed and hailed and flooded the city all night. my poor rose bushes only had one stinking bloom left!

thursday. we woke the kids up really early, which always sets a great tone for the day, to drop daddy off for a business trip to tulsa. we had barely said our goodbyes and pulled out of the parking lot before miss belle started throwing up in the car. plans for the day cancelled and replaced with movies and dry toast. that evening the bad weather returned and brought with it a tornado warning. now i love a good thunderstorm, but tornados i don't dig as much. we were all a little freaked and camped out in mama and daddy's bed, watching cartoons and checking the weather updates religiously. oh and see charlie up there, that was around midnight. he had no intention of sleeping that night.

friday. one failed attempt at charlie napping on his big boy bed. he's laid claim to his crib and doesn't plan on surrendering it to a little brother, ever. i foolishly drove all three no-nap-taking kids an hour into denver, through stop and go traffic, to a formal graduation dinner. there were three parts to that dinner, bad, worse and what-the-bloody-hell-was-i-thinking. i'll be honest, we all had a good cry on the drive home. 

saturday. we were all beginning to implode as a result of our beyond stressful week. we picked up lunch, closed the blinds and queued up star wars episode one. it was the hottest day of the year so far and we don't have air conditioning in our home. thanks for that colorado home builders. it made me increasingly concerned for how well i'm gonna fair this summer weather with an ever growing baby belly.

thankfully, mister jones arrived home saturday evening and life immediately felt tolerable again. there's something comforting about the partnership in a marriage. just having the one you love present can make all the difference. sunday afternoon the whole family napped for hours. it was lovely.

what i learned over this past week: laying in the shade with a cool breeze is priceless, two year old tantrums and nap time protests are only a season of life, bad days do in fact end and are frequently followed by good ones, iced coffee is a good margarita substitute while pregnant, i hate the city and want to live on a farm, i am not supermom nor am i even her distant cousin and my husband is my lifeline and i couldn't do this without him. here's to bad days ending and good days to follow.

June 4, 2012


a few days ago i picked up my camera to do a photo shoot reveal with the big baby news and my camera lens fell apart. it fell apart! ugh, so frustrating. now i have to rely on my trusty iphone camera until i can purchase a new lens. good thing my birthday is coming up.

last week we headed to our ultrasound with all three littles in tow. they weren't about to be left out when it came to finding out the baby's sex. everyone weighed in with their vote on the drive to our midwife's office. the votes were girl, girl, girl, girl and boy<--mommy's vote. well, i won! we're having another sweet little boy. as expected, big sister wasn't too thrilled about the news. after a few minutes of telling her how special it will be to be the only girl and how she will never have to share her room, she came around. now she can't stop talking about him and how she's going to change his diapers and feed him. she's going to be a stellar big sister, again. paul and i are thrilled about having another little man around the house and think we may have even decided on a name. :) we can't wait until he's here!