Tag archive for "holidays"

The Carousel of Bunnies and Bluebonnets

Good Times

The Carousel of Bunnies and Bluebonnets

9 Comments 06 April 2012

Easter is almost here so I had to break from the blog posts I have been doing on each of the kids to properly recognize one of my favorite holidays!!  We are celebrating this time around as we have for the last 5 or 6 years – in Austin with a house full of family – nothing better!  All of the kids are super-excited for the festivities and the wall-to-wall fun…and hopefully someday they’ll be as excited as Casey and I are for the amazing opportunities for worship and praise that await us at Riverbend church!

I don’t know exactly what it is, but the Easter holiday seems to take on more and more significance in my heart with each passing year.  Casey and I first visited Riverbend Church on an Easter Sunday several years ago and we were instantly hooked on the atmosphere, the warmth, and the mission of the church – to serve the bruised, the battered, the broken and the bored of our community and world; reclaiming, restoring and reproducing for the cause of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God.  But it wasn’t until Eliot came along and then when the Quint Invasion took over our world that we realized fully the impact of what Christ did for us on the cross so long ago and continues to do for us today by his LIFE, LOVE, and GRACE.  There is not a doubt in our minds, He is risen!!

So I have a couple of quick stories that will put a smile on your face.  First, if you follow us on Facebook, you probably saw this little story about the absurd conversations our little ones somehow get us into.  It was too funny not to share here for those who didn’t catch it the first time around so here it goes again…

If you haven’t heard, we have been potty training since shortly after the Fab Five’s 3rd birthday in January.  It has been a tough few months, but we are about 95% potty trained!!!  And of course, you know we have had plenty of funny/frustrating/ridiculous times along the way to teaching 5 tots how to use the potty properly!!  So underwear and panties are now a big deal in our home, more importantly the cartoon character or Disney Princess that is on the underwear is what has become the topic of much discussion.  And this is how one of those discussions played out the other day…

Britton: “Ryan, do you like my Belle panties?”
Lila: “I want to see your Belle panties!”
Britton: “No, YOU can’t see my Belle panties ‘cuz YOU’RE not my best buddy!”
Me: “Oh no you didn’t, Britton – you are not going to be a brat like that! You show Lila your panties!”
Britton: “I caaaaann’t doooo it!”
Me: “Britton, you pull down your pants and show Lila your panties right now!”
Britton: “I caaaaaaannn’t!”
Me: “Britton, you pull down your pants and show Lila your panties or you’re going to timeout!”
(Britton pulls down sweatpants to show her panties)
Me: “See, Lila? See Britton’s panties…aren’t they pretty?”
Lila: (couldn’t care less about the panties)
Me: “Britton, pull your pants up…”

I’m pretty sure that one belongs in the Parent-to-Child-Conversation Wing of the Parenting Hall of Fame!  That exists, right?  The Hall of Fame of Parenting………??

And for story #2, we pick up the scene as the Jones family has embarked on another of Casey’s picture taking adventures, arriving to meet Casey’s crack dealer, Elle Mendenhall of Ella Bella Photography fame, in a field of Texas wildflowers.  This field, by the way, is incredible!  I have been sworn to secrecy as to its location, but let me just tell you, there is no better field of wildflowers, tall grasses, live oak trees, and all things that scream springtime in Texas…it is a slice of Heaven on Earth!

So we’re taking pictures and having a pretty good time with it because the kids are loving all of the flowers, Brooklyn most of all.  Our little princess, Brooklyn Faith is absolutely giddy in love and can’t take her eyes off of the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes as Elle snaps away.  Recognizing that Casey is about to faint from her feelings of elation from knowing she just might get the cutest photos ever taken of any child ever in the history of child photo taking, Elle goes in for the kill and pulls out……………..A BABY BUNNY!!!!!

OH…MY…………..GOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHH!!!!!!  Are you kidding me?????  At this point, I seriously begin to worry that both my wife and Brooklyn might die from an overdose on cuddly cuteness!!  Acute Cuddly Cuteness Trauma – trust me, it’s a medical condition – rarely seen, often fatal.  Against better judgment, we put the baby bunny in Brooklyn’s lap and she literally cannot stop giggling and glowing from her whole being as she looks down upon this helpless little creature before her.

You may not understand how much Brooklyn loves bunnies so let me make this abundantly clear:  the little girl’s world revolves around three things:  princesses, flowers, and bunnies!!  Every night at bedtime I go around to each of the kids to tuck them into bed and I ask them to tell me something good about their day.  You can imagine the responses I get – they are as varied and hilarious as the day is long.  But there is one constant to this routine – every time I get to Brooklyn and ask her the question, I get the same response:  “I love my bunny.”  Sometimes I get, “I love bunnies” and at other times I also get, “I love bunnies hopping in fields of flowers.”  Every! Single!! Night!!!  She never mentions princesses, doesn’t say anything about the color pink…it’s ALWAYS bunnies!!!


Ok, Back to the story…

So this bunny, the physical manifestation of all that Brooklyn has dreamed of since before her first breath, is sitting in her very lap in a field of flowers no less!!  If it is possible to die, at the age of 3 no less, having achieved and experienced everything you have ever dreamed of in life, it would happen in this moment with Brooklyn, the bluebonnets, and the bunny!!  And for some reason, I seem to be the only adult who seems to be concerned about the possibility of Brooklyn’s spontaneous combustion before our very eyes!!!

And then it happens.

The bunny is still in Brooklyn’s lap and Brooklyn is still super-duper-crazy giddy with excitement when something else somehow catches her eye – the flowers!!!!  And suddenly it’s as if the baby bunny IN HER LAP does not exist as she giggles helplessly at the flowers surrounding her.

And then it happens again – something other than the flowers catches her eye – the bunny in her lap!!! And suddenly it is as if the flowers SURROUNDING HER do not exist as she giggles helplessly at the baby bunny.

And then, the flowers around her once again catch Brooklyn’s eyes and it’s as if the baby bunny IN HER LAP does not exist as she giggles helplessly once again at the flowers surrounding her.

And then, the bunny in her lap catches her eye and………….this carousel of bunnies and Bluebonnets goes around and around and around and around and could still be ongoing today if we had not pulled the bunny for fear that we would all die from Acute Cuddly Cuteness Trauma!!!!!

CLASSIC Brooklyn Faith, our sweet little princess…need I say more??

Yes, I will say one more thing:  HAPPY EASTER FROM THE JONES FAMILY!!!!!!!

God bless,


P.S.  Elle is super slammed this time of year, but found time to get me the pics for this post! Thank you, Elle!!

Christmas 2011

Giving Thanks

Christmas 2011

4 Comments 25 December 2011

“Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 CEB)

Merry Christmas from The Jones Family!! May God’s abundant blessings be with you today and always!


Evolution of an Epic Fail

Good Times

Evolution of an Epic Fail

9 Comments 19 December 2011

It was a simple plan, really it was.  No preparation necessary, no cameras, no fuss, and really no bother.  It was going to be fun, festive, and full of family cheer…even for a family unaccustomed to the uneventful.  But before it really even got started, it all fell apart.  And so it was – the night of the epic fail…

So this was the plan:  it was Friday afternoon, deep in the heart of the Texas Christmas Season and the Jones family was ready for some Christmas cheer…well, the Jones parents were in the mood at least.  My first priority was to shut down my work day in time to scoop up the family and head out for the night.  Some clients of mine who live in the neighborhood (less than five minutes from our home) are Steiner Ranch’s version of the Griswold’s…and I’m not exaggerating when I say that.  Their light display boasts over 90,000 lights with light effects and displays that synchronize to holiday music…it is completely out of control!!  Every year when the light display is ready, “The Griswold’s” have a holiday party to show off their work.  So the plan was simple:  head over to see the light display, have some holiday treats, say hello to a few friends, then shuffle back to the car, drive around the neighborhood to look at the other light displays, and head back home to put the kids down and ease into a quiet evening with my lady.  Simple, right?  Out of the house for maybe two hours, not traveling more than about 2 miles, see lots of Christmas lights (always a kid favorite, right?!), load the kids up on some Christmas candy, keep them out just a bit past their bedtime so they would fall asleep easy…PIECE OF CAKE!!!  Did I mention that it all fell apart?

So we’re at the Holiday party checking out the lights and not ten minutes have passed when the trouble began.  Eliot came to me complaining of an upset stomach…a really bad upset stomach that needed pretty immediate attention, if you know what I mean.  Let’s mark that as Problem Event #1 in our Evolution of an Epic Fail timeline.  Ok, no problem…we’ve dealt with 5 stomach bugs at a time we can handle this and probably salvage the night.  So we gather up the gang, barely waving goodbye as we race to the car, and I start piling everyone in.  At this point we’re in a rush so I grab any kid and pop them in any seat available.  And here we mark Problem Event #2.  Britton gets car sick so she always sits in the middle row middle seat right next to Eliot to help prevent any tummy trouble.  So when I grabbed Lila and put her in Britton’s seat I made a mistake that would prove to be fatal.  Britton immediately noticed that she was not going to get her usual spot and as you all know Britton’s flare for the dramatic, she blew her top brighter than any Christmas display we saw that night!  Well, sorry Britton, but we’ve got to go and we can’t take the time to switch kids to different seats.  And you guessed it:  mark that as Problem Event #3!

In spite of the trouble, we manage to get the kids in their seats, buckled up tight and ready for the mad dash home so we can take care of Eliot.  Britton is exorcising a few demons from deep within her soul, but that’s nothing new so the only real trouble at the time was the urgent need to get Eliot back to the house.  We’re less than five minutes away so we’ve got this, no worries, and believe it or not we made it home without any new trouble events!    Our hope was that Eliot would make a quick recovery and our night could be salvaged so the plan was to keep the kids in the car with me while Casey ran in with Eliot to tend to her stomach trouble.  Mark the optimistic parental hope down as Problem Event #4.  Casey runs in with Eliot, I’m in the car with the 5, Britton’s  hair must be on fire the way she is carrying on, but that’s nothing new so things appear to be somewhat stable for the moment.  Not so fast, my friends…

Problem Event #5 happens unexpectedly when I turn on some music in the car – nothing crazy, just some acoustic guitars…pretty light stuff.  But Ryan comments immediately that she doesn’t like it.  What?  That’s strange…there is really nothing not to like about the music and the kids have never had any issue with the music I play in the car so what gives?  I more or less ignore Ryan about the music, but she decides that she really does not like the music and wants me to turn it off.  I tell her that it’s not going to happen  at which point some of the flames from Britton’s burning hair apparently jumped onto Ryan’s head and set her ears on fire because she starts screaming her head off and again insisting that I turn the music off.  AND THEN, Jack starts throwing a fit because he DOES NOT want the music turned off!!  We’ll go ahead and mark that as Problem Event #6.  Up next:  Problem Event #7…not to be outdone by her brother and sisters, Lila decides to get in on the action by kicking off one of her boots then immediately decrying the injustice of not having a boot on both feet by stretching the outer limits of the human vocal chord.

So just to recap:  Eliot is inside with Casey having God knows what kind of issues, Britton’s skin has apparently turned itself inside out, exposing every pain nerve in her body to the elements, Ryan’s ear drums are about to explode because of the acoustic classical guitar music I’m playing softly in the car, Jack is boldly sticking up for his daddy’s musical affinity but doing so quite vocally and with a great deal of anguish, and Lila’s screams of bootless terror are haunting the damned residing beyond the seventh gate of Hades…and we haven’t been out of the house 30 minutes.

But what about Brooklyn, you say?  Ah yes, Brooklyn…sweet, sweet Brooklyn.  God love that little girl!  Brooklyn is my own personal eye of the storm in this less-than-festive moment of cacophony.  Sweet Baby B is just sitting there, calmly surveying the scene, and casually ignoring the chaos.  When I manage to make eye contact with her (speaking to each other is clearly not an option with the amount of noise emanating from the mouths of the babes in our car), she just smiles at me sweetly as if the world has never been a happier place.  GOD. LOVE. THAT. GIRL!!

In the 2 years, 11 months, and 2 days that these five beautiful babies have bettered our lives, it can rarely be said that Casey or I had absolutely no control over any situation with the kids.  That can’t be said for the event being experienced at that very moment.  I was utterly helpless to calm the situation so I just sat there smiling at Brooklyn and pretending that I was in her world of butterflies and blue skies, far, far, far away from the mayhem that had taken possession of our family…

This goes on for a good four hours (or maybe 20 minutes, but who can keep count when the gates of Hell have obviously opened up a portal to our world right there in your vehicle??).  However long it was, Casey and Eliot finally emerge from the house, apparently with Eliot feeling much better and ready to resume our evening of festive cheer.  And as the optimistically obtuse parents that we are, Casey and I decide to try and salvage the night by driving around the ‘hood for awhile to look at Christmas lights.  At least three of the five are still apparently being ripped apart by rabid ants judging by their screams of anguish and the Quints’ bedtime has just passed, but we’ve only been out of the house an hour by this point and we are going to experience some Christmas cheer if it kills every last one of us!!!  Mark that as Problem Event #8 – we lasted less than ten minutes………..We bailed and it didn’t take too much convincing.  We were forced to admit that the night was officially a bust.  We rushed back home, hustled the kids upstairs, put them in their jammies, and put them down to bed as quickly as possible, Eliot included.


We have had our kids on planes and trains, in Oprah’s studio chairs, and at photo shoots galore.  We have experienced their lowest lows – stomach bugs, ear infections, nasty colds, and more.  We have had them over-sugared, over-stimulated, and over-tired.  But none of these moments in time can compare as memorably nor as challengingly to the night we simply tried to experience a little Christmas cheer.  It was a simple plan, really it was…too simple perhaps.  Clearly we were not prepared for what it was apparently destined to be:  a quintuplet-sized, complete, and total epic fail!!

God bless and Merry Christmas!!




Don’t Blink (and have a happy Thanksgiving!!)

Good Times

Don’t Blink (and have a happy Thanksgiving!!)

18 Comments 21 November 2011

I hope you haven’t blinked yet…if you did, you may have already missed 2/3 of season 3 of ‘Quints By Surprise’ on TLC.  And if you blink again you may miss the final two episodes which air this Tuesday night, the 22nd.  So whatever you do, don’t blink!! :)

I know, I know…our “seasons” go by so quickly they are gone before you have a chance to settle in and enjoy the experience!  As far as we can tell, our ratings have simply not been good enough to warrant a more significant commitment.  So while we would definitely love to do more shows and more seasons, we are extremely grateful for the opportunity we have been given so far and have loved being able to share our family with you all!!

So I’ll say it again – don’t blink!!  The final two episodes of season 3 of ‘Quints By Surprise’ air Tuesday night on TLC!!!  Here is the link to this week’s TV schedule:  Quints By Surprise on TLC.

And in other news, our favorite photog, Elle Mendenhall of Ella Bella Photography, spent some time with us at the park recently and you are seeing the fruits of her labor on this very page!  We can’t say enough how much we love working with Elle and how much we especially love the photographs she manages to capture of our wild bunch!!

And finally, we want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!!  This is without a doubt my favorite of all holidays though I know there is no one in this family who will agree with me on that.  It’s the perfect holiday – no songs to get stuck in your head, no gifts to give or to get, not a whole lot of decorating…just food, football, and family – LOVE IT!!!!  So from our family to yours, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

God bless,


Another Summer of Fun!!

Good Times

Another Summer of Fun!!

5 Comments 04 July 2011

Remember those pictures from a year ago??  It’s amazing how things change in 12 short months!  Here is the Six Pack in a more recent picture from earlier this summer…

Wow, where is the summer going and why is it in such a hurry to get here??  I can’t believe it is already July 4th Weekend…and I can’t believe that due to the Texas droughts I am actually wondering if we’ll get to see any fireworks at all on America’s birthday!!  Even though we skipped spring and flew right into the dog days of summer – we have already hit triple digits more than 20 times – it still feels like summer just arrived and it’s almost over.  That’s right, it has been hot, hot, hot in Austin, Texas this year and the heat will not be letting up anytime soon.  All of the big area fireworks shows have been canceled, the fireworks have been pulled from the shelves at the local stores and stands, and there is a major media push to keep people from lighting up this holiday weekend.  It’s kind of a bummer, but we’ll figure out a way to make some memories in spite of the less than festive spirit!

As usual we have kept really, really busy this summer and it’s been a great one so far!  It all started with a family trip up to Denton for Casey’s parents’ annual Memorial Day Party and it hasn’t slowed down yet.  The kids did GREAT on the trip up to Denton…it was our most enjoyable, relaxing trip yet since the quints burst onto the scene and we are really excited that we seem to have turned a corner with the difficulty of family road trips.  They did not fuss much while on the road, they took good naps and slept well overnight, and they were much easier to handle at our parents’ non-baby-proofed homes.  What a welcome change from the last few trips up north!!

In the last few weeks, Casey has started taking the quints out with her individually to run errands, grocery shop, and other things like that…oh my gosh, the LOVE it!!!  It’s pretty hilarious to see how excited they get when it is their turn to go with mama to the grocery store!  As for me, I was able to sneak Britton out for a little outing to catch some indoor soccer action and we also took Jack with us one night to check out one of my remodel projects followed by a short dinner out. It’s a lot of fun to take the gang out individually and we’ve also been venturing out more as a family – to church (yes, finally!), to run quick errands, and we just got home today from our first family trip to Rudy’s Barbecue in a long, long time…it was awesome!!  The kids are so well-behaved when we go out which is great, of course, but we honestly think it is because they do not get the chance to be out as often as other kids.  Every little outing for them is a grand adventure!!! :)

Eliot has been bouncing from day camp to day camp and has more on the way.  She’s been to Vacation Bible School, gymnastics camp, and Mobile Loaves and Fishes camp…the girl is definitely spoiled!  And when she hasn’t been day-camping, she has been a little social butterfly, fluttering from play date to play date in an endless cycle of friends, fun, and summer sun.  And the fun isn’t going to stop anytime soon – she turns seven in just a couple of weeks and you know we’ve got a big day planned for our little girl!

And in between all of these activities we’ve found time to celebrate our anniversary, enjoy a fabulous father’s day, and squeeze in a whirlwind, less-than-24-hour visit from one of my Iowa cousins and her four kids…whew!!  Casey and I celebrated 12 years of marriage with a day-date thanks to a little help from our volunteer family and it was awesome!  We took the day to enjoy some of the little things that we do not get to do since the kids came along – like running errands, shopping for shoes and swimsuits together, and having lunch where we could just sit there, order food for only ourselves, not feed anyone or yell at anyone or clean anyone up or stop to change a diaper or…maybe I’ll stop now…yes, it’s the little things from our former lives that we miss the most!  The family of course made me feel extra special on Father’s Day with hand-made cards and lots of pampering, gotta love it as always!  And the visit from Deandra and her kids was short but super-sweet…thanks for making the effort, Deandra!!

Well it has been a fab summer so far for the Fab Five and the supporting cast here in the Jones house and we’re looking forward to much more summer fun over the next couple of months.  We hope that all of you are enjoying yourselves as much as we are!  Happy Fourth of July, everybody!!!

P.S.  Sadly, we still have no word from TLC on the future of “Quints By Surprise,” but we’re told that things are looking more positive than they were a few weeks ago.  We hope to send more episodes your way soon!!

God bless,


Quints By Surprise Season Finale: Puppies and Christmas – What’s Not to Love?

Good Times

Quints By Surprise Season Finale: Puppies and Christmas – What’s Not to Love?

16 Comments 23 May 2011

Alright, folks, this is it – the last chance (at least for a little while) to see new episodes of Quints By Surprise is upon us!  Watch tomorrow night on TLC for some serious Christmas fun and quint cuteness!!  Here is how TLC describes tomorrow’s shows:

A Quints Christmas

The Jones family goes all out for the holidays including the Quints’ second Christmas. Casey starts some new family traditions in this season of giving, while Ethan goes a little over the top with the decorations.

Dog Daze

The Joneses have a new addition to the family when Eliot finally gets her long-promised puppy. The whole family will learn that with a new dog comes a lot of cleaning up, responsibility and unexpected surprises!

Click here for the TV schedule:  Quints By Surprise TV Schedule.

And of course, we have new webisodes to share!  Click here:  Quints By Surprise Webisodes

Also, I have some exciting news to share for Tuesday – Casey filmed a short segment for The Rachael Ray Show!!  We actually filmed at our house for a few hours and then Casey flew up to New York City to film the rest of it.  We do not know how much of what we filmed will end up on the show, but check your local listings and let us know what you think of the show!

As of right now we have no idea if there will be more episodes of the Quints By Surprise.  Being a part of the show and everything that has been involved with it has been a ton of fun for us and we would love for it to continue, but TLC does a pretty good job of keeping us in the dark about their future plans.  We will certainly let you know as soon as we can of plans for future shows.

If you have an opinion of the show that you would like to share with TLC, click here:  TLC Viewer Relations.

In the meantime, keep checking in right here at JonesLife for updates on the family, pictures of our daily adventures, and as much love and good times as we can possibly share!!  Thank you so much for supporting our family and our show!!

God bless,


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