Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Headed North!

It's official....we will become Canadian residents soon!  Jared's employer has asked us to move to Calgary for 3-6 months.  We jumped on the opportunity to escape the Texas heat for a few months and experience a different environment.  Before we had children, we always dreamed of moving to another country for a few years to experience a different culture and way of life.  We have realized that this would be really hard to do with three small children and a child with special medical needs.  But a few months in Canada seems like a great consolation!
Jared will be filling in for an immediate need in the Calgary office and will learn a new side of the business (directional drilling?!).  We will be staying in the "company house," which is a furnished house that the CEO's family is trying to sell.  We will live in Airdrie, just a few miles north of Calgary.
We are looking forward to being near the Canadian Rocky Mountains, exploring the family friendly city, meeting new people and visiting nearby Banff.  We realize that it will be very cold by September, so we are on the lookout for snow clothes.  Winter clothing is very hard to find in Dallas this time of year!  I have been in contact with Kai's doctors and therapists, and we plan on continuing speech therapy (with private insurance) and bringing his latest MRIs and kidney ultrasounds just in case of an emergency.  There is a Children's hospital in Calgary that has all of the specialists that he would need if something where to happen while we are up there.
There are a lot of details to figure out in the next three weeks before we leave.  The kid's passports are on their way and we are working out the details for Jared's work visa.  We may have a family that would like to lease our house while we are gone.
The plan is to leave Dallas the end of July and for the kids and I to visit family in Nebraska for a week while Jared flies to Washington for a scheduled fly fishing trip with his brother and father.  Jared will then fly back to NE and we will drive 20 more hours up to Calgary.  We figured that with all of our travels the past few months, we will put our small family through 100 hours in the car in just three months.  We pray that our van makes it through the summer!
While we are super excited about the adventure, we are also sad to miss our friends and regular activities here in Dallas.  We have made good friends in the past couple of years and Julia and Kai already were missing them last week when we went to Colorado for a few days!

Neighborhood friends (missing Rhett)!  (Not sure how to get rid of red eye on phone camera!)

For a quick recap on the kiddos:
Kai is doing very well!  His kidney ultrasound that was done a few weeks ago looks great and the urologist is very happy with his kidney and bowel/bladder health.  His progress with speech development is slow, but he does like to vocalize a lot!  We recently moved Kai into the bedroom with Isaac.  The two boys love being together, but mommy is having a hard time with the transition.  In my heart, I always want Kai & Julia to keep their special twin bond.  I know being down the hall from each other won't change a lot, but I am still sad!  He is a very sweet boy and makes friends easily.
Passport taken at home.....long story, but glad that this is checked off our list!!




Julia has become a princess over night.  Our little tom-boy is long gone!  She loves everything pink and princess!  That truly was the key to get her potty trained recently.  She does not want to get her princess panties dirty!  She loves to sing and dance.  She really enjoyed the worship music at the local Vacation Bible School that Kai and her went to a few weeks ago.  All three of the kids love listening to the music CD in the car and practicing their hand motions!  She has also become a fearless swimmer.  We hope to find an indoor swimming pool in Calgary so that the kids can continue their swimming lessons and playtime.

Hopefully you will not recognize these photos on the news someday!

Isaac is fifteen months, but he looks and acts like a three year old!  I have never met such a busy little boy!  He is constantly climbing on tables, running, and tackling the other kids.  He always had a grin on his face and he can go from crying to laughing in a heartbeat!  He has a quirky personality for such a young boy and he keeps us all laughing (and on our toes!)

Grrr!
video
Here is a short video clip taken while at a restaurant in Colorado.

I also forgot to mention that we celebrated Jared's 32nd birthday, Father's Day, and our 9th Wedding Anniversary within a week in June.  We love having dad work from home recently!



We will look forward to the adventures and challenges of the next few months.  Please let us know if you want to come visit!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

On the Road Again....Colorado!

After years of having the entire Jones family reunite in Nebraska over the 4th of July, we decided to give my mom a break and meet in Colorado instead.  We had a blast enjoying the cool(er) weather with family from Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington!  Going into this trip, Jared and I decided to not have too high of expectations considering we would be joining 24 other family members including nine children (yes, 9!!) ages three and under all in one house.  Of the nine children, there were three sets of twins!  I think that all of the unmarried cousins are a bit concerned about having children now!  What are the odds?!


3 sets of twins...3 years, 18 months, (my sister, Erin's girls)  & 2 months (cousin Kelly & Marco)! 


Great Grandma Jones w/ the kiddos!

Papa & Grandma Jones w/ their ducklings!
The kids were troupers and survived the 14 1/2 hour drive to and from Snow Mountain YMCA of the Rockies (just outside Winter Park).  We were able to stop in Colorado Springs and enjoy breakfast with my friend, Maria and her husband and mother.  We then met my family up in the mountains, where we stayed in an eight-bedroom lodge.  We had a great time visiting with family, holding babies, playing at the playground, and swimming.  Julia and cousin Izzy were like long lost sisters.  They even let the boys play with their tea sets and princesses occasionally!
Izzy (my sister, Megan's oldest daughter) & Julia

Megan, Izzy, & Julia
Cousin Cecily w/ a couple of tots!

Cousin Kelly with Sophia & Mylo

Isaac & Cousin Amelia having fun with Shawna, Sydney & Conrad

I had to get a belly picture of Erin (5 months pregnant) with Adelain


Mark Jones family

Scott Jones family


The Jones boys!
Bader family

Erin & McKinley

At Grand Lake, CO


Great Grandma Jones loved all of the time with the kids!


Trips with young kids sure are different from vacations!  I'm sure that one day we will be able to have complete conversations with people and be able to relax a bit!  I think that it was funny that Marco (father of 2 month old twins) stated that before this trip he was "40% worried about raising his twins", but now he is "100% worried!"  These times sure are memorable though!