This holiday has been great! We have been so blessed to see most of our families. On Thursday, we enjoyed Christmas morning with our girls. They are so fun watch. Then we went to my parent's home. We enjoyed a turkey dinner with them and my nephew TJ. It was awesome to just hang out and relax with no traveling. I love having my parents close! That evening Rich's dad was passing through Pittsburgh on his way home. We got to enjoy our annual chinese dinner with him. On Friday, I had to work but after I got to hang out with two of my brothers and their families. I don't get to see them often so it was awesome! We took my brother Rich and his wife Bonnie and kids downtown to Mount Washington. We gave them a tour of the city at night. I miss my bros alot but I appreciate that I had yesterday. I wish I had gotten to see my brother John as well but I did get a nice card and gift from him. Today we are at my in laws. We will get to see all of his siblings but Rob. I wish we could have seen him and his family but we are having a nice time. His grandparents on his mom's side have recently moved in with them. We are getting ready to enjoy Rich's moms famous lasagna in a few minutes. CAN'T WAIT! Anyway, we are truly blessed and look forward to a great 2009!
What a crazy year! We started out 2008 in Hermitage and finished it in Pittsburgh! The only thing that has not changed is how busy we all are. JoLyn is in 8th grade and loving her new found "popularity," LOL! She has been invited to Christmas parties and sleepovers since coming to Pittsburgh. She is involoved in youth group and has made many friends. She does miss her friends from Re:volution alot though! She is about to begin a new year of Fine Arts. Thanks to Susie Yusko and Sherie Urey, JoLyn ,made it along with 12 others from First Assembly to the National level last year. She has already earned college scholarships. She was also involved in baton and is missing that. She finished her final year of slow pitch softball. Last year, she assisted in coaching preschool soccer and is assisting her father in coaching Jacki's basketball team. Jacki has had a rougher time adjusting to her new home but has also made many friends. She does however, miss being a Hickory Hornet! For those of you who know Jacki, you know that her hugs and loving approach to life is welcomed everywhere though. She continues to do well in school and in church as well. Jacki played soccer last year and has just begun playing basketball. She is thrilled that her dad and sister are her coaches. She also was involved in baton but we are taking a break for now. Today was her Christmas play. She was adorible! Rich and I are just trying adjust both in our ministry and in our family. I was working 9 to 3 Monday through Friday. I loved my job because I loved the people I worked with, (I miss my FBF's). They are awesome! Now, I work 4, 10 hour days a week, beginning at 6:45AM. It means that Rich gets everyone out the door in the morning and JoLyn helps in the afternoon as well as my mom. My parents chose to take this leap of faith with us. Thank God for them. It gives our children the extra stability they need right now. Just going to work has been tough enough (I don't like morning) but leaving my motherly duties behind is the hardest! I feel guilty most of the time. Rich has been AWESOME! For now it is what we need to do. Rich of course has been through the most change. For 20 years he ate, slept and breathed youth ministry. Now, that all is changing. The church plant has been very exciting. Check out PR's Rant to see all of the exciting updates. We are involved with Allison Park Church. We help with the Young Adult program on Tuesdays. Millvale Matters is on Thursdays. I love both of these groups because I get to be a part of a small group and learn as well. For the last twenty years, I have been a leader of teenagers. I loved that but now I am focusing on a new adventure in my life. I miss my freinds from... well lots of places, but I am ready to do this! 2009 will be a great year with many challenges and many successes.
Since my last blog alot has happened. A month ago I started working at a credit union. Now, for all of you that know me, you know I hate morning. Guess what time I start work? Did you know there were two 6:45's? Yes, that's right I work at 6:45 in the MORNING! Crazy! Anyway, I take a bus downtown 4 days a week. I work in the US Steel building. That part is AWESOME! The many cups of Starbucks Peppermint Mochas are fantastic too! LOL The church plant is going great too. There are alot of great people partnering with us! My kids are loving life too. JoLyn loves school and youth group. Jacki is doing well too. She has alot of friends too. Anyway, we are really busy but we are all good. You know why, 'cause God is in control.
What a great week! This church planting thing can be scary, ya know? But... I'm a pretty confident person. So, we went to Boot camp, (those words alone can be scary, lol) and it was awesome!. It was a lot of long days with alot of work. But, it was great. There was tons of practical learning, which I liked. I did not love the lecture part, but now, my confidence is based on what I learned. This is really going to happen!!! Tonight, we did an outreach in Millvale. It was fun and successful, (always a great combination). Look out Millvale we are coming!
Well, for those of you who know me, you know I am not at your traditional boot camp:) I am at church plant boot camp. It is in Michigan! I'm okay, really. LOL! We are with Nick Poole, Tim Satryan and some other great people. I am not sure what to expect this week but tonight was fun. We had to do a drawing of our testimony. I am not an artist so that was interesting. I am looking forward to learning all I can about church planting.
I am so incredibly excited. I have been looking for a job. Today I found one. It is in downtown Pittsburgh. I love the city and now I will be working at a credit union in the Steel building.
Tonight we went to a Bible study for the young adults. Rich is helping out. Although I am not a younf adult, I loved it. It has been a long time since I got to just be a part of a bible study. It was great!
Hi guys, It has been quite a week. Last Sunday, we said goodbye to some great people! We got up the next morning and drove to our new home. It is beautiful! Well, it was, lol. Now, it is full of boxes and more boxes. We are tired but it is coming along. The girls are enjoying youth and kids activities at APC. JoLyn went to school on Friday and LOVED it. She made lots of friends. Famous quote of the week, "mom, I think I'm popular." Jacki starts tomorrow. Today we went to APC and to a party with some new friends. It has been a crazy, exhausting week. Thanks to all involved in making this transition a good one. We miss all of our friends in Hermitage so keep in touch!
We had a great time hanging out with good friends!
I just want everyone here at First Assembly to know that they will be missed by the Jones family. I know I teased alot about the redneck thing but I do love and appreciate you guys! Thanks for 3 great years! Tonight was our last youth service as youth pastors. I would like to thank J-Crew, Powerhouse, Crossfire, One 8 and Revolution for 19 great years! We love you all!
My mom's birthday was Saturday, September 20th but I was away. Tonight we went down and took her to dinner. My goal was not just a nice dinner but to make my mom feel as special as she is! My mom is generous and funny and a great example of Christ! I hope she knows how loved she is. Happy Birthday MOM!
Wow, what a great weekend. First of all God's timing is perfect, OF COURSE! So... my last post I am stressed out and having a meltdown. I did get through that because a Friend of Mine, Sheri Urey talked some sense into me. Thanks, Sherie! I started to worship after she and I spoke and the next day I woke up and asked God to forgive me for not trusting Him and enjoyed my birthday(Sept 18th). The next day I went to Pastor's Wives retreat and Rich found us a house! It is beautiful! The perfect timing part is that Friday is the day I should have asked for extension so we could stay in our present home. I didn't enjoy waiting to the last second but God came through AGAIN!
The weekend was amazing. I got to hang with Kathy Barnes, Lorie Lecocq, Debbie Jenkins, Marjie Tourville, Sharon Poole, Sarah Martin, Theresa Banks. Julie Brunetto, Wendy Paisley, Suzanne Schaffer and many others. I got to make new friends but most of all I got to hang with my best buds all weekend! PW retreat is awesome because it is a time to be there for each other and just have fun! Yesterday we shopped at the Hershey outlets. I did not buy anything but a coffee and I didn't even care. The service this morning was great! Shannon Walker led worship. She did a great job even though she was not feeling well. I am home and excited to to get this house packed, get moving and start our new adventure in Millvale!
HI. Okay, I am just being honest now. We move in 2 weeks and we still have no place to live. I know, God has called us to Millvale but... That is exactly the thoughts that start racing through my head right now. Why???? I have JoLyn saying please find a house because she so wants to change schools, I have a possible job, Rich will have to travel so far and yet no house. We have spent sooo much money in gas trying to find a house. We are not even being picky but nothing is right. If only, we had never bought the house in Trafford. I have had that thought a million times! Its sad really, because I loved that house. Unfotunately, no one in the whole state of PA has the same feeling, lol! My kids deserve stability, please God, give it to them! So, that is my prayer. We need a house. I know, all in God's timing, but it is getting close folks!
What is Silpada? It is .925 sterling silver jewelry. It is NOT costume jewelry, it is fine jewelry. Every piece is handcrafted and alittle different. The hostess can earn free jewelry and lots of it. If you get 10 orders and 500.00 in sales you will automatically get 30% in free jewelry. It is easy too! I became a representative for Silpada in May and I love it! It is easy and fun! It was really no risk and making money has never been more fun! We eat and we hang out and try on gorgeous jewelry. Cool huh? Anyway, tonight I went to a meeting with 10 other reps. These ladies were alot of fun and I learned alot too.
Well, I can't believe summer is ending, Christmas is coming and I have to move in a few weeks with no place to live. Yeah, I'm alittle stressed out, LOL! School started today. JoLyn is 8th grade and in the High School here in Hermitage. She loved it. Jacki is in 2nd grade. Oh, by the way, she found her earring. So... I guess God can handle our problems and there is always hope. I guess I should listen to that, huh?
Life is really busy right now. I go back and forth from totally trusting God to completely freaking out!!! Between packing and looking for a place to live, I'm finding it to be easy to start stressing. I know that this is all God's plan so I just need to remember he has everything under control! When God has a plan we need to trust Him to carry it out!
So.. today I was out in the foyer of church standing with my youngest daughter Jacki. We are doing a series on life not being hopeless. Jacki stands there and reads the sign on the sign up table. It read, Life isn't hopeless." She proceeds to point at it and say "THAT ISN'T TRUE! I was shocked that she would say such a thing. I asked her why and she said because I lost my earring. The other day she was wearing her cherry earrings and she lost one. She was very upset at the time. We looked everywhere but couldn't find it. Who would have thought a pair of earrings could make someone feel hopeless. I had no idea it was even still bothering her. I of course explained to her that she did have hope. We could get a new pair of earrings or possibly still find it. But, it got me thinking, what is that one thing that pushes people over the edge and makes them think that life is hopeless? I am comforted so often that God cares about the little things, like earrings, in our lives as well as the big things! Whatever we are facing, God cares and He is our hope!
What a great day! Today we celebrated JoLyn's birthday. She actually turned 13 on the 18th. That day JoLyn and I got highlights together, she then went out with her dad and he got her, her first cell phone. We ended that day with a family dinner! Today, she celebrated with friends. It was a beach party. We had fruit and chocolate and more fruit, lol! It was great! I am proud of JoLyn ! She loves God, loves her family and loves her friends!
HI again. I have just spent the week at home with my parents. They came to visit because Rich and JoLyn were at National Fine Arts. By the way, JoLyn received a superior for her drama solo and a superior with honors for her stomp routine. I am very proud of her. Anyway, my mom has been watching Jacki and doing other things around my house. I have always been best friends with my mom. We speak almost every day. I can't thank her enough for all she does now and in the past. She is always there for me, whether it is money, help with my kids or just an ear to vent too. (She is great for that, LOL!) My parents are extremely supportive of me and all I try to do. When it was modeling she was there. She didn't love it but she was supportive. When I was singing my dad was in the back cheering me on. When I moved across the country she took me out there and came to pick me up when I missed home. I thank God for blessing me with both of them! They raised me in a Godly home always exhibited their love for Him and each other. They celebrated 50 years this past December! I hope I can be a Godly role model to my children just like they were and are to me!
So, yesterday I went to Monroeville and hung out with old, good friends. I had lunch with my friend Lorie. That was great. I love hanging out with her. She just... gets me. God brings some people into your life that understand you and yet still love you, LOL! Seriously though I miss talking to her. Later, I went to my friend Debbie's. Debbie and I from the day we met just clicked. We were great friends almost immediately. We cry together, and laugh together ALOT! Both Lorie and Debbie are pastor's wives. Obviously, I am too. We have a special bond that not everyone can understand. I am thankful that God brought these two ladies into my life when He did. When I met Lorie it was at a time in my life where I needed to really start growing in God and my faith. God used her to bring me to where I am today. Now, I hope to be able to be that person in others lives. I also hope that I give back to her some times too. I would not be who I am in my faith without her influence. Debbie and I have lots of fun when we are together. But, don't let that fool you we get serious too. She does not realize that I also look up to her and I am so thankful for her words of wisdom too. She is amazing and God uses her in my life all the time. I appreciate these ladies and the blessing they are to me.
Later that night, Debbie had a jewelry party and lots of my friends came. It was an incredible night. I loved talking about old times. Jacki got to see her friend Ryan too. Jacki is sure she will marry him some day. I hope she does, they are adorible.
Tonight was awesome! First, I got to make a dinner and take it to a member of our church who is recovering from surgery. Then, I went to Starbucks with a friend from work. That in itself makes me happy, lol. But, it is exciting to be used by God. She is a christian but she has questions. I don't have answers, but God does! For those of you who really know me, you know that I did not really share my faith. I hoped I was living it for people and if a youth asked me something, I probably would answer. But, I preferred to stand behind the scenes. I was perfectly content to sell candy in the cocessions, or make the spagetti for the spagetti dnners, etc. I was not interested in stepping out of my comfort zone. I did not really have a whole lot of contact with people outside of my church. But, here in Hermitage I work. I work at Perkins. I come in contact with both christian and nonchristians every day. I have had opportunities to share my faith with many people. I had to make a choice to stand up and answer some tough questions, or step up to the opportunities God gave me on a daily basis with both customers and coworkers. I can honestly say I can do it. I liked my comfort zone but this is sooo much better. It really is! I know that these experiences are preparing for what is next.
I spent the day with JoLyn. She has been wanting just the two of us to hang out for a long time. Today after waking her up at noon, lol, we went to lunch and shopping. We finished the afternoon with swimming before dropping her off at a friends birthday party. We had so much fun. Too often we are stressing about school or her messy room. But not today, today we just enjoyed each others company: PRICELESS!
Time Flies all right. I still remember planning JoLyn's 1st birthday. Now, in 17 days she will be a teenager. When did that happen??? Before she wanted Disney or Barney and now it is beaches, smoothies and Espresso. She used to ask for toys and dolls and now she wants clothes and shoes and makeup:) She is so beautiful and talented. She loves music and drama and video editing. She is really good already! I love watching her become the woman God has created her to be. She isn't perfect but she wants to please God and her father and I. I love that she still calls us mommy and daddy and wants to be hugged. She is growing up but she still wants to be my little girl. That is cool!