Monday, August 27, 2007

Mystery in The Park

We live in a modest house, on a quiet street. Beyond our house, to the south, there is a road called Winged Foot that cuts through our neighborhood through a more questionable area to US 41(Tamiami Trail). On this road, you can look up to any given power line and see a pair of shoes draped across the line. I was told by several people that this a symbol of a drug dealer in the area. So I said to myself,
"self, if this is such common knowledge, then why don't police know and penetrate our area more and why isn't the crime rate higher?"
So I answered myself with
"self this must be just bored kids throwing each others shoes up in the air for fun."
I am afraid I will never know for sure, but it will always be one of those things that I wonder about...who does it,
why do they do it,
how many times did it take them to land them on the line,
and who in my neighborhood is shoe-less tonight?

Sorry for the shaky picture, I took them while Kev was driving.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Here's To Mrs. Gillian

My best and dearest friend Laura Beth McElheny will become Mrs. Laura Beth Gillian in less than 3 weeks. We are all eagerly awaiting this special day with happy hearts. Yesterday the ladies in her life, showered her with love, well wishes, bath towels, kitchen appliances, and every day dishes. Here are some pics from a Saturday afternoon well spent and here's to Mrs. Gillian- the loveliest of brides and a precious friend!

With Great Love Sweet Laura.

Laura and friends

Laura's and her bridesmaids
Mother of the bride and daughter
And Presents!!!!!!!!!

It Was Only For A Minute

We left Gus alone for a few minutes in the living room....

This is what we found.

A 20 pack of Bounty all left with the mark of Gustopher Jones.


Arms full of produce,
Fumbling with her keys,
Blond hair falling in her squinting eyes,
And unaware of the stranger coming up behind her.
She heard a deep voice say "let me help you."
Flustered and a bit startled
She turned to see a kind, dapper, and slightly wrinkled face.
He opened the door
Helped her with her groceries.
He smiled.
She smiled.
And he walked away.

Glimmering, long, lost chivalry.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm Ready Now

I haven't blogged much lately. You know if you read my blog, and don't just look at the pictures that work started for me last week and my summer has ended. To put it mildly I was not excited about going back to work. See, the truth is that I secretly wish that I had a reason to be "a lady of the house." I have been reading a lot of blogs that are composed by woman of a high calling-stay at home moms. As if my desire to have our own kids isn't strong enough, reading these enchanted stories by mothers of life with their babies only makes my desire even stronger!
I attribute about 60% of my apathy towards work to this very fact...I have been wishing that I was at a different stage of life. I think that the other 40% is just general, "I love the summer" blues
Yesterday at church, we were singing a song with the words"do what You will" and "I'm ready now." I found myself praying that I was ready for God to do what he wanted with my life and with these motherly desires I have been having. I felt like I was having a conversation with God about my children that I don't have yet and I really feel like I heard Him say so clearly that He has already given me children and I wasn't acting very ready for them. I have been elected to a very high calling- teaching. God has placed me in this great role and I have been resisting it b/c my heart's desire is somewhere else. Shouldn't my desire be His will though???? I'm hearing what you're saying couldn't be any clearer. The point that He wanted me to get was so vividly painted . God has given me many children, a little less then 200 actually. Until He graces us with little faces that match our own, my students are here for me to nurture, to lead, and to teach. Engaging in anymore complaining about having to get up early to serve them, or having pity parties because my belly is not growing with new life would be disobedient to my Lord and unfair to children. While I would be over joyed to learn that motherhood had at last found it's way to me I will do my best to be ever so grateful for this station of life.

Classes begin on Wednesday morning.

I'm ready now.

Song Lyrics- not my writing

Come like You promised You would
I want to surrender for good
I know that I need You and I don’t
want to keep living life alone

So take this heart and make it new
Make it true make it like You
Take my hands I lift them high
They’re Yours not mine to do

Do what You will
Do what You will
Do what You will

I feel like a blind man in Your sight
I know that I’m wicked in Your eyes
So wash me and make me shine like Your
Son, I want to tell everyone that You’re the only one

I’m ready now, I’m ready now
I’m ready now, do what You will

I’m ready now
I’m ready now
I’m ready now

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Late, Late, Late

Yesterday, while sitting in a meeting of high importance, my superior happen to mention how important it was to be on time today b/c a very important person was going to be sharing a devotional with us promptly at 8:00. So you can imagine my concern this morning when the traffic stopped and the minutes started ticking by. I decided that maybe I should try an alternate path...nothing worked though, I knew that I was late and sitting still on my new found route was not doing anything for the panic attack I was starting to have. I decided to call my sister b/c she always seems to know the right thing to say. She in fact did not have the perfect words to say, but her three year daughter did. Allison shared a bible verse that she had memorized at church. In her 3 year voice she said Furst Tessawonians 5:18 "Give fanks in all curcumstances." I knew that God had used this wise little girl to speak a valuable piece of truth into my life!
Eyes filled with tears,
20 minutes late,
Dissapointed in my bad attitude,
What else was I going to I thanked God that I had made it safely, I thanked God that I no one really noticed, I thanked God that I had job to go to, and I thanked God that he loved me despite my ugliness..
My spiritual mentor this morning
Allison Kate White

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Color Of Summer

There is only one time of year that can turn the whole world golden at dusk...

A color so beautiful it could only come from heaven, blessing us for a few moments until the sun tucks beneath the earth and sleeps for the night.
It's a color that makes me think of Country Time Lemonade, of sitting lazily on my mother's porch after dinner, of my nieces stealing a few more minutes of play before bath and bed come calling, of watching Gus run freely at the park, of enjoying life for it simple sweetness that summer makes me appreciate...It's slower, it's warmer, and for me it's gone, till the next teaching year is done.
So I'll be off to bed early and up before dawn for the next 9 months and I will be longing for those nights when I can enjoy God's painting of the all things around me golden.
Good night sweet summer.

Picking flowersSweet girls playing
Gus panting
Belly happy Kev, post Betty Jo's cooking
A long time ago, a good day
My favorite place a sunset

The best summer night ever for was the perfect time of day

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The 11th Day of August Nineten Hundred and Seventy-Eight

Who new, that I, Carly Jones would ever make it to one year away from thirty? I didn't believe that I would ever get here, I honestly believed that I would I stay a kid forever. Even when I went from 10 to 11 I thought it was awful...I remember thinking that staying 10 would be quite alright with me. Alas, it was to no avail, b/c as the years roll by, the number of my age keeps getting larger and the innocent playfulness that was childhood seems like a distant memory.
Sorry for being so melodramatic I really had quite a lovely day...The kindest regards to all of you who called or wrote to wish me well!
My birthday really started last weekend when Mr Jones took me to see Colbie Caillat. Then on Friday night he presented me with a story book about Gus and took me on a birthday date to Blue Water Bistro. On my actual birthday, the Gillian's came over for breakfast. We had scrambled eggs with onions and baby portabella mushrooms, chicken breakfast sausage, Health Nut toast, cinnamon roll coffee, and turkey bacon. Everything was de-li-cious....except for the turkey bacon, which should not be allowed to be called bacon. It was kind of like rubber that had been painted to look like bacon..but the taste gave it away, b/c it had nothing close to the glorious flavor that is bacon.
I worked on art stuff in the afternoon and I got a lot done...which is always good. Then in the evening we went to the Bidwell's house, who planned a lovely birthday party for me. The theme was colors, so everything looked cheery. We had scrummy salads and Laura made a cake. Not just any cake though, my mother's famous Devil's food with cream cheese frosting...all dieting was canceled for birthday festivities! My dearest and closest Florida friends gifted me with beautiful presents and sweet Ben Dattilo made me a Happy Birthday sign complete with his 2 year old signature...perfect. However, the party didn't end with presents and cake, we all hopped in the pool and played 3 rigorous games of water volley ball...two of which I spent treading water in the deep end. At the end of the evening we engaged in a round of rodeo ball with a 48in beach ball... fun at it's bestl!
Sorry to disappoint, but we forgot to take the camera, however we managed to snap a couple pics with Kev's phone...

The cake I requested my best friend to make...she was sad about the crack that formed in the middle, but I told her not to worry b/c it reminded me of Harry Potter's scar, which made it even more special!
This is Slim blowing up the 48" beach ball...he passed out right after this picture, but came to in time for water volley ball

This is one of the presents I received...obviously some one is reading my blog and remembered that I said I like walnuts in syrup

Laura, me, and Abby..good friends and the loveliest of ladies!

Watch out I come!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

DIY The Finished Project!

Don-don-daaaa...I know that you have been waiting for this since the beginning of my blogging days... here it is before

And here it is now, DIY complete...except that now I think that we need a darker floor. Wood flooring is what I am hoping for, not now, but when money allows! Wahoo!

Why is Trouble on the kitchen counter in the photo above??? Naughty cat

I love the color of the cabinets, it is exactly what I wanted. I like the green walls also, it reminds me of celery and I like celery, especially with cream cheese and paprika which is very much the color palette of our DIYed kitchen...Spectacular

The Day of Nothing

Yesterday, I planned to do nothing all day, and nothing is what I did! It was splendid, b/c I planned it. I didn't feel the guilt that I feel if I have a day of nothing by accident! I planned the day of nothing b/c Monday is my first day back to work....sad b/c I wont be able to nothing again until next summer. I don't feel quite ready, but what's a girl to do. My friend Erin is decorating her classroom like a park and mentioned that she would like a picture of a butterfly...these are not very big, but I did them for her just the same. I think that they are kind of fun, I've been drawing flowers and butterflies like this a lot lately and I like how whimsical they are...I hope you do too!

Without blue background

With blue, underwater like background...which do you prefer?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Good Genes

I know that there are a lot of words on this blog...but read's fabulous b/c mostly it is written by someone other than me!
I was listening to my favorite radio program this morning and the topic was "did your sibling get something that you did not," or some version of that. Not to complain, but if I could have been blessed with just some of the genes that the lovely Amy White, my sister, has I would be, well if nothing less I would be a bit more organized.
This week she is teaching an adult class for vbs at my parent's church. I was reminded of her ability to amaze after she just briefly described the class to me. She calls it "The ABC's of Simple Hospitality." With out going on and on I want to share just a bit of her knowledge! I tried to edit it down, but it was chock-a-block full of hospitable information! Read enjoy!

The ABC’s of Simple Hospitality
…Opening Your Heart and Your Home…

prepared by Amy White

The ABC’s of Simple Hospitality

I. What is Hospitality?
A. Defining “Hospitality”(This is the dictionary def. We will define it more in terms of what this means for me as a believer in Jesus Christ.)
1.) hospitable treatment, reception, disposition
2.) given to generous and cordial reception of guests
3.) offering a pleasant or sustaining environment

B. Defining “Entertaining”
1.) comes from the old idea of hospitality
2.) used in place of hospitality today
3.) alludes to the idea of putting on a show—something extravagant
- This leads to…
- house is too small
- house is not nice enough
- can’t cook very good
- don’t have the $ = cost too much

II. What God’s Word Says About Hospitality
A. It is Practiced(Proverbs 31 Woman: A picture of her over a lifetime. She provides food for her family & maidens. She opens her arms to the poor (NIV) and stretches out her hands to the needy (NASV).)
1.) Romans 12:13—“…Practice hospitality.”
2.) It is not a gift given only to some. It is for all of us to put into practice.
3.) People cannot master something until they have spent time practicing.
B. It is Evident(Rom. 16:23…Paul writes of a fellow brother from the Corinthian church named Gaius. Described as one whose hospitality Paul and the whole church here enjoy. Men and women both are called to hospitality.)
1.) I Timothy 5:10—“…and is well known for her good deeds, such as…showing hospitality…”
2.) This is a life-long process…not just for a certain season of life.
3.) Others will recognize this in you—not by what you say, but by what you do.
C. It is done with a Right Attitude(Luke 10:38-42…story of Mary and Martha… Martha allowed herself to get distracted by all around her that needed to be done. This led to her being “worried and upset”, and in all of this she forgot the most important thing, her guest—which happened to be Jesus.)
1.) I Peter 4:9—“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
2.) Offering hospitality should be an outward extension of inward motivation
3.) What is motivating you to reach-out to others?

The ABC’s of Simple Hospitality
Remember Martha…What is your mindset? What or Who are you focusing on?
You will be blessed when you choose to minister to others…when you serve…when you give
Who can you connect with?
Hospitality is a relational thing.
Get the whole family involved… cleaning/setting the table/ picking out toys for younger children/ serving/ opening the door-greeter
Let things flow from the meal to the conversation
Getting to know your guests and their interests. Share what God is doing. Keep your conversation pleasing to the Lord and unoffensive (Phil. 4:8)
G—Give your best
Even when on a budget…even when keeping it simple…still give your best.
Make people feel at home.
“Some folks make you feel at home, and others make you wish you were.”
There has to be an invitation…How many times do we say “We’ve got to get together”? Get it on the calendar.
J—Jesus Christ
Our example of loving others…extending friendship… ministering to others…not self
K—Keep it simple
Especially when in practice mode… What is your simple? What do you do best? Some it’s gourmet all the way…Some it’s Stouffer’s lasagna.. both are great, just remember what attitude you do it with
Be looking for opportunities to minister…newly married couples, new parents, someone from S.S., small group, Bible Study, those going through hard time
1-- Family—children/grandchildren
2—To those younger than you both spiritually & physically…Let them into your kitchen and home
N—Not “entertaining”
“Not putting on a show”
It’s about the relationship with the other person.
P—Pray & Practice
Bring it to the Lord for…
Blessing for you, your guest, event
Opportunity to encourage
Q—Quitting isn’t an option
Don’t get discouraged and distracted…You can do this!
If you are relaxed, your guests will be too.
Hospitality and the heart of serving go together. Reflects to others not to you.
It will take time…preparing your home…preparing food…the actual get-together…but it is a sacrifice, and when done with the right attitude, you will be blessed
U—Utilize what you have
You don’t have to “tablescape”… There are fun times for that, but for simply offering hospitality focus on the people, not the coordinating colors of your food, flowers, wall colors, tablewear, your outfit!
Your guests…value the time they’ve set aside to visit w/ you…value what they have to say…put away distractions
From the first knock until the door closes as they leave have a welcoming spirit.
Set expectations early on…with a right attitude and motivation
Y—You and Your Family
Begins w/ you and your family first…Practice w/ them first…Do they see hospitality in you—daily, weekly, or only when guests come?
Means: the quality of enhancing enjoyment. You be the zest…don’t allow the “stuff” to be the zest

Do Not…(This part cracks me, Carly, right up b/c it is exactly what I do)
1.) Apologize for your house
2.) Apologize for what you don’t have
3.) Expect an invitation in return
4.) Forget your motivation…your ministry
She also gave me recipes...after I try them all, I will take pictures and post them so you can see how the delicious and simple they are!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Gus Goes To The Beach

We took Gus to Sanibel Island to meet some new friends that live there.
He was not sure about the beach or the sea.
He was sure that he like sea weed
(we were sure that he did not after we saw what happened to him later! It was almost embarrassing!)

He took a swim after this picture...
he was sure that he did not like the pool, he panicked, but he did float!

He was amazed at the new surroundings, Kev was not.

Since we saw what the seaweed was doing to his stomach he had to stay down stairs, he was confused by this.
It was a big day for Gus and it tuckered him right out.

He slept evil spirits!

The End

I'm Still Here

I haven't had any inspiration latley...
I'm getting ready to go back to real work :(
I did a fun drawing this week though, no color since Gus ate my pens.
It's an owl family and I think that they are kind of funny.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Groupies Of All Shapes And Sizes

Last night Kev and I took an adventure to the east coast of Florida so that I could see my newest favorite singer Colby Cailat. Her sound has been described as "honey flowing over rocks"'s an accuarte description I suppose, but whatever. She was the opening act for Life House and The Goo Goo Dolls. She was great, but she didn't last long :?( Although our whole purpose in going was so that I could see her, we stayed for the other acts and I'm glad that we did b/c we got to see a culture that I had long since forgotten. Some of the concert goers were very young, alot of them were the intoxicated college age, and a few here and there looked like they had been attending outdoor concert such as these for a very long time and had no intension of ever stopping. We stood, we danced a little, and we sat...but more than anything we people watch. We watch drunk people trying to out smart the security-which never worked b/c there were two rather large security woman who were not afraid to tell anyone who was in charge. We watch the drunk people almost fall in our laps and we smelled what I could only assume was an illegal substance. Our most amusing people watching came from seeing the painful efforts that the 20 somethings of this venue went to in order to attract the attention of the opposite sex ...sometimes it didn't work, but for the guy and girl in front of us and to our left it apparently did! Way to make mom and dad proud!
All in all it was a really fun night, but it made me wonder are the words Goo Goo from the Goo Goo Dolls hyphenated!

Please advise.

Friday, August 3, 2007

She's Got A Way About Her

Last night Mr. Jones was typing away at something in the office when he called for me to come in and talk to my long lost friend Jane Halbert Jones, who was instant messaging me from her home in Paris. It was lovely to here from her, and when we were done talking I turned to my hero and said "I love Jane." There really isn't another girl like her! Upon researching the name "Jane" I found that it means God is gracious...this meaning matches this girl perfectly. God's grace to me personally is extraordinary and indescribable when you look at it in it's entirety, but His unmerited favor was certainly bestowed on me when he let me be friends with a lady like Jane! She's the kind of girl that great stories should be written about. She has a unique style mixed with a bit of whimsy and the ability to captivate a room with her humor and leave you with a "I'm sad Jane's gone" kind of a wake. She's been traveling the world since I've known her only stopping when the money runs out, then she replenishes her supplies and she's off again! When I lived in Jackson, MS I would spend many a Sunday afternoon with Miss Jones over a lovely cup of one else makes tea quite that good! So here's to you Jane Halbert Jones, if I was wearing a hat, it would be off, if I was holding a glass, it would be raised!
May God's grace be bestowed on you, may you always have a twinkle in your eye, and may you never loose you infectious and illuminating spirit!
With great love!

Jane and I many years ago...younger, but non- the- less still cute!

Under My Shoe

Normally when odd things happen to me I have a habit of repeating them over and over b/c for some reason I want everyone else around me to find them as humorous as I do. However something odd happened to me just the other night and I forgot to tell anyone, what's happening to me? I must be lacking something in my diet.
Two night ago I was working at my dining room table, my puppy was to my right and I could feel Trouble's tail flicking around my feet. I was content with this scenario, but after a few minutes I realized that Trouble had started to bat at something near my toes. I tried to ignore this until he was literally trying to dig under my shoe! I glanced down and thought that one of my black hair ties and fallen to the floor presenting itself as the ideal toy for our cat. Upon looking more carefully I found that a tiny snake had wondered into our midst.
You can imagine my surprise when I let it soak in that there was a snake crawling around my feet and the entire time I thought that it was Trouble's tail.


Luckily, I live with the closest thing to a super hero as you possibly can and Kevin the Brave swooped in with courage and bravery and trapped the fearsome beast in a plastic container and took him to the office????? The office... is where they stayed for quite a while, in fact they were in there so long I forgot the reptile was still in the house!!!! Kev spent at least 20min. researching what kind of snake had come to visit. He determined it was an eastern ring neck and that they do not get any bigger that 8-10 inches long, so our tiny visitor was full grown!

I fondly call him Romulus the Ringneck (this is not him, it's a picture from the internet but you get the idea!!)