Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Year of Change

The Jones Party of Five has had a pretty amazing year of change in 2012 and an even bigger year of change is coming up for 2013.  This may be a lengthy posting, but I hope you will stick with us until the end for a picture and a BIG announcement (and no, it is not a new baby - although I've heard the pain may be a close second to giving birth!).

This past year, we have met some incredible people and have even connected with people we've actually known for several years, but held at a distance without knowing it.  We are all growing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Our family is becoming financially secure, giving in ways we never have before, and learning to focus on the important things in life.  We have been able to fully embrace our new life of being a family with 3 children, one of whom has special needs.  We have been blessed by our family and friends who give to us on a daily basis, in ways they probably don't even know they are giving!  We have been given opportunities to help others and it feels so good to give back.  The holiday season seems to bring these opportunities to the forefront, but the reality is that these opportunities exist all year long

Which leads me to our BIG announcement: 

Bill and I are running the Detroit Marathon in October 2013 in partnership with LifeChurch and Team World Vision. 

October 20, 2013 to be exact.  So, as of this posting we have 10 months and 13 days to prepare...and fundraise. 

You're probably thinking, "Kori is running a marathon?  LOL".  And I am laughing right along with disbelief that I feel this great pull to run TWENTY SIX (point) TWO miles when just last year I couldn't run around the block, and have really always dreaded running!  However, it's not just any 26.2 miles, it's 26.2 miles to raise money for clean water in Africa. 

I completed my first Half-Marathon in Detroit this past October, 2012.  And it felt good, really good, that I set a goal and completed it.  I told a few friends before the Half that I was running for Ava...because I wanted to be like that Dad who pushes his son in a wheelchair - marathon after marathon...if Ava could never run one herself.  Well, I'm sorry to say Ava (or maybe happy to say), but you are going to have to run a marathon yourself because Mommy is never pushing anything or anyone in a race!  Now, something was missing from my running.

What was missing?  Running for something bigger than myself.  That's why I've opted to run with my fellow runners at LifeChurch for Team World Vision, and am asking Bill to do the same.  I watched this video after I went for a run and was guzzling water.  This video opened my eyes to the reality that I can turn on a faucet and give my children something to drink and not worry about where it will come from or if it is safe, but not all moms can do that.  Can you imagine not being able to give your family this basic need?

If you've watched this video and are inspired to help or have been looking for ways to give back or to get in shape, then I challenge you and invite you to join our team.  I've thought of a few ways that you can help:

1.  Join our team and partner with us to commit to running a full marathon
Not only will you change the lives of many people in Africa, I guarantee that you will change your life as well

2.  Donate to our team - Sponsor a mile
If you make a tax-deductible donation to sponsor a mile for me (Just $50 will give one person clean water for life!) then I will print your name to wear on my back during the race.  If you can't run next to me (or in front of me!) then at least you will be running with me in spirit and help me through each mile.  You can donate in any amount

3.  Volunteer to watch my kids or another runner's small children
 Especially during our long Saturday runs.  Even if you aren't out there running, you are helping other runners fulfill their mission

ANYONE can finish a marathon.  I promise that you can do this and we will help you along the way.  Take the first step - it's the hardest - email or call me for more details about how to join our team and then get out there and run!!

Thank you for reading this blog message and for supporting our family every day and especially in our endeavor to inspire ourselves and others to continually grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

And for more inspiration - here are our little runners who are working on completing 26.2 miles between now and April 2013

Friday, June 15, 2012

A new post after 9 months does NOT equal New Baby announcement

9 months since our last post...maybe we're not as good at this blogging thing as we thought!  You might think that we are back after 9 months to announce the birth of a 4th child since that seems to be our track record.
New post = New baby, but we are NOT!

Here is what's happened in the last 9 months with a few pictures:

October meant Halloween and the kids dressed up as Spiderman, a Princess, and a Michigan Cheerleader. They had a lot of fun at various events and trick-or-treating through Grandma and Papa's neighborhood.

November brought Turkey Day and a yummy dinner at Aunt Lee's house.

In December Mason turned 4 and had a bouncy house party and a lot of fun.  We celebrated Daddy's birthday too and, of course, Christmas and New Year's Eve.

January...was January...and something fun probably happened, but we can't remember, so here is a cute picture of Maddi and Ava.

In February, Ava turned 1 and spent some time in the hospital recovering from RSV.  She also transitioned to a blenderized diet and is no longer eating any kind of formula through her tube and is only "eating" real food that mom and dad blend in our high-tech blender.  Mason and Maddi went sledding with some friends and had a blast.


March saw the arrival of Ava's first tooth (but, no good pictures of it).

In April, Maddi turned 3 and had a gymnastics party complete with a Hello Kitty theme and a Hello Kitty cake that mom made all by herself along with ice cream cone cupcakes.  Mom somehow left the frosting tip in the sink and it got eaten by the disposal so April also brought a new garbage disposal into our house!  We celebrated Easter with some new baskets for Maddi and Ava which were MUCH larger than mom thought they would be, so that means Mason will get a new one next year.  The kids went on several egg hunts with both friends and family and collected more than enough candy and toys.  Mason started T-ball with dad as one of his coaches and mom ran her first 5K race and the kids completed their first 1K.


In May we celebrated Mother's Day at Kensington park and had a wonderful picnic and saw some cute baby pigs.  The adults seemed to enjoy the baby pigs more than the kids - they enjoyed the cute Kids' Cottage and wooden truck.  Ava participated in the Mott radio-a-thon and was a featured story on the mott blog!  Check it out here:  Ava's Story.  She also met Mike Hart.  Mason and Mom went to Arizona over Memorial Day weekend to visit our new cousin, Sylvia Lucille Button, and Mya, Liam, Aunt Katie, and Uncle Chad.  We had so much fun and Mason loved riding on the airplane and was a well-behaved little boy.  We fit a year's worth of fun into 4 days - how awesome are we?!

Thus far in June, the kids spent the night at Grandma and Papa's with Aunt Lee (or as Maddi says, Aunt Yee) and went to the beach and water park -they had a FANTASTIC time and we will return to spend Father's Day and our 6 year Anniversary there.

What's Coming Up?!

Well, this month we are finishing up tball and gymnastics for Mason who will start swimming next week.  Maddi has opted to continue with gymnastics through the summer instead of swimming.  Ava is currently sitting very well (with just a little stability help) and can reach for toys without flopping over.  We can carry her on our hips and she is laughing and smiling all the time.  She still has 2 teeth on the bottom and we expect more...someday.  She is in follow-up mode with most of her doctors and has completed her first MRI and bronch wash.  Nothing major out of those results so we are still in the wait-and-see approach to what she will do.  A gait trainer is on order for her to use at home.  It will be a little purple deluxe walker to help her start to stand and push herself forward.  She's super cute in it even if she's crying and we will post pics as soon as we can get it.  Her Early On therapy at home is on hiatus for the summer so we are looking forward to enjoying a slower-paced summer.

We hope everyone is doing well and we look forward to doing more regular updates!