Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Going Grain Free

Recently here in my family, we decided  we would do a month of grain free eating, which means we have taken all foods containing grains out of our diet.   Why you might ask?  Most of today's grains are highly processed and can cause many problems in the body.  I already am gluten free because I have a disease called Celiac.  This affects my small intestine and literally destroys the villi that aids in absorption by the body.  So I am already on my way to being grain free.  

Eating grain free is a TEMPORARY way of eating to encourage some changes in your body.  It reduces inflammation, detoxs the body, forces more vegetables in the diet, and can be a jump start to a weight loss program. 
If you were thinking of going grain free here are some things you may want to consider. 

First of all, here is the list of main whole grains and sudo grains (Carbs high in sugar that raise the insulin in your body) that I have taken out of my diet.  Wheat, barley, millet, rye, corn, malt, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, and rice. Sudo grains are white potatoes and some legumes.  Again I want to stress this is only temporary and after a period of time I will be introducing gluten free grains back into my diet.  Probably one per week.  

Second thing is that you will feel some cravings and maybe be irritable or experience headaches.  If you decide to do this remember you must eat more fruits and vegetables to make up for the loss of fiber and carbohydrates. There are many great recipes for grain free eating, just goggle grain free eating and a whole new world will open to you.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Drama in the News... CNN .. MSNBC .. FOX oh my who do I watch?

I have had many thoughts about this week's shooting ... I have listened to opinions on both sides.  I've heard the sheriff, John Hanlin state that he will not use the shooter's name ... and now many news medias are not using his name as well. But we all know it ... and with that said ... I just think we are graving drama in this country.  How many of you follow these stories?  I mean I do, so I'm not pointing any fingers but I think that is the problem.  We have too much access to what is going on immediately.  Just turn on the TV and there it is... instantly anyone who commits one of these horrific crimes, is all over the TV, even if their names aren't mentioned.  We will find their name and everything about them.  We will remember it for our lifetime and so we will have helped them succeed in their quest for being 'someone' for eternity.

I heard a quote from a convicted serial killer.  Travis Forbes... he killed one young woman in Denver and almost killed another in Fort Collins.  He said, "society is addicted to drama and that every tragic story presented by the media feeds the monster."  We DO feed that monster ... HOW do we change this?  WE can't reclaim TV or the 4 channels most of us grew up with. Technology is here to stay.  Not by changing the laws or by promoting mental health legislation because we all know that takes time.  So we need a solution NOW ...  we can change things by realizing everyone wants to be needed and loved.  If we can do that in our own homes and neighborhoods, I believe we can make a difference for the future in this society.   It starts with you ... Will you make the difference?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sands, a Little too Deep

Some call me crazy...
      Some call me adventurous ...
              Some call me a dreamer ...

I'm not sure which characteristic is correct.  Maybe I just don't think and do things impulsively. One thing I do know about myself is that I don't like things to be boring.

When I ride my bike I like to go off  the paved trail, I like to ride in the dessert where it is bumpy and rough.  Since I've been riding on these desert trails I have learned that sand is hard to ride through.  If you are coming off a jump or going fast you have to keep peddling when you hit the sand or your bike will make a dead stop but your body will keep going and fly through the air.

Now that is adventure! 

I don't know why I like adventure but I do.  I like lots of adventure.  I don't think I live dangerously but sometimes I think I can do almost anything I set out to accomplish.  Oh there are times when I get sidetracked with old baggage but it doesn't take long until I'm back up and running, or should I say peddling.

Music is one thing that really helps me to get back on the right path.  All kinds of music.  I love to listen to words of the song and usually the more upbeat a song is the more it pleases my taste.

"Beyond Me" is a song I've been listening too a lot lately... 

That You gave me the stars, put them out of my reach
Called me to waters a little too deep
Oh, I've never been so aware of my need 
You keep on making me see 
It's way beyond me 

The other day I hit sand too deep just as the song was playing on my iPod.   I thought wow ... I've been called to sand too deep but if I keep peddling I will get through.

I don't think we are to give up on dreams.  We are to keep peddling.  It might be a little hard going but once through the deep sand, that feeling of accomplishment, knowing you did it, will flood your soul...

And when in those deep places remember, you are never alone.  You will have the equipment to make it to the other side. The people in your life are there to help you through those deep sands or waters.  All you have to do is reach out...

        MAYBE ...

When you reach out you will be actually helping someone else out of a deep place.  You see, I think this life is bigger than any thing we can imagine.  I think there are forces at work that we don't see, working towards our good and urging us to be kind, or adventurous.  
Don't be afraid to be seek adventure or dream big dreams.  

IT IS ...

Way Beyond Me & YOU ... God HAS called us all to do great things.  Some things may not seem GREAT but they may be to someone else, especially if you are doing a kind thing for a random person.

We need to keep peddling and ...
        looking for those acts of kindness that help others ...
                             "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  Aesop

Friday, May 22, 2015

Adelia Rose and other family news

Soon we will be welcoming a new member into our home; introducing Adelia Rose! Our first grandchild will be coming into our world sometime this summer.  It has been a rough go so far and we are praying the birth with be the easy part.  Our daughter-in-law Amy and our son Michael live with our for the time being and we are hoping that baby Adelia will be born at home.  We do ask for your prayers.

Michael is still looking for full time work, he presently works part time for a web design company.  Recently they were hit with a need for a new car since their car of 11 years and 190,000 miles died.  They did get a good deal but will need more income to purchase a home in the fall. 

Peter is also looking for a new teaching job either back east or here in Arizona. 

Theresa is still taking online classes at Grand Canyon University and is getting connected to some young ladies through a Bible Study.

Ken continues to love his job ... it is nice that we don't hear that phone ring 24/7!  And I am hoping to get more involved with the church we have been attending.   

If you remember to keep us in your prayers it would be greatly appreciated! 

Monday, February 02, 2015

Slowing Down ... for now

So I'm finding myself finally adjusting to Arizona life. I knew that I was settling in when I realized I was not really excited about going back to Pittsburgh. At first I thought it was the snow but as I got out of the car at the airport, I knew home wasn't a building that our processions are arranged in a decorative manner or is it a city where our favorite sports team resides. It is the people we live with or who are in our lives.  

Moving from Pittsburgh after living there my entire life has been a adjustment to say the least.

Here are the feelings I believed I would experience:  

I thought I would be anxious about going to the gym, never did I think I would be able to relax as a student in any fitness class. I thought I would find myself with nothing to do most of the time. I was ready to experience boredom and insomnia.  
I'm finding myself enjoying the slower pace.  

I think I'm even kinda busy but I'm not sure doing what.  

I really like the instructors at the gym and I'm proud of myself, I'm not critiquing them AT ALL! I am enjoying just dancing, singing, and not thinking. I'm walking the dogs most everyday which is something I hardly even did in Pittsburgh. I'm enjoying spending extra time with my daughter. And my daughter in law has gotten me in to cooking shows. Dinner could end up being a new adventure every day!  I am happy just spending more time at home putzing around.

This move has become a release of myself; kinda of what Jesus says in Luke 9:23-24, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” 

I have left some of the most wonderful people and a rewarding career, but I'm looking forward to the path ahead.  I like to look at the lessons in nature, the redwood tree is so tall and mighty, but the seed has to decompose, die, before it can become a mighty tree. 

I'm happy that my friends are still in my life, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, email, and texting. As far as a career, God has something in store for me, I'm not sure what but I can't wait to find out. It will be exciting!  

Friday, January 02, 2015

Christmas Letter 2014

                                                                                                     December  2014
Dear Friends and Family,

2104 has been a very busy year for the Jones’s!  I normally do not write a Christmas letter but felt it a good idea since we have moved to Arizona.  God’s provision was evident during our journey and wanted to share with you the fun we had through all our bumps and bruises!  So buckle up for the ride it is an adventurous one!

In January Sue’s Step Mom, Joan told her that she would like to move to Country Meadows before the next winter.  But God had other plans and Joan was able to move into her new home March 1st.  Sue had the task of emptying and selling the Upper St Clair townhome.  With the help of her great friend Leslie she arranged for an estate sale and prepared the house for sale.  The estate sale wasn’t a pleasant experience and we will not being doing another one of those!  The Pinehurst Townhouse sold in July, closing that chapter in Sue’s life. 

Theresa, being a senior in High School, was planning on graduating from Canon McMillan.  June 10th Theresa found herself on the football field participating in commencement exercises.  She decided to attend Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona online.  Majoring in Early Childhood Education.  She had a graduation party at the end of June, catered by Chipotle!  It was a fun time for all!  Her Uncle Jim and Aunt Sheryl flew in from San Francisco for the party! Uncle Chuck and Aunt Patti came in from Morgantown and it was a Young family reunion! 

Meanwhile, Peter applied for a job in Phoenix, Arizona in May.  He later found out that he landed that job and plans were made to move Peter to Surprise, Arizona.  He would be teaching Chemistry and Biology at Paradise Honors High School.  The trip was set for July 1st.  Sue and Theresa planned on flying while Ken and Peter were going to drive across country in Peter’s car.  The trip was a success and Ken, Sue and Theresa flew home mid July.

August was a quiet month for the Jones Family! Thank Goodness!  Well, at least the first part of August!  August 26th Ken was contacted by the district manager of Mesa, Arizona from Allied Barton, informing him of a job possibility in Tucson.  It would be promotion to a single site management.  Which meant less stress for Ken!  Ken and Sue considered what the changes would mean to them and their family, moving to Tucson, Arizona.  On August 29th Ken was offered the job and he accepted.  In early September Ken and Sue listed their home with a Howard Hanna agent Erin Laigle.  Our house sold in 24 hours … we were now in for the journey of a lifetime.

It was a great relief to have the house under contract since everyone was coming into town for Amy’s brother’s wedding in late September. The big event that was to take place at the Buhl Mansion in Sharon, PA.  Then Ken was set to fly out of Pittsburgh September 27th after the wedding.  Sue would be driving the car out with her friend Leslie.  Hotels booked, TripTik acquired, snacks packed and return fights for Leslie and Sue booked! 

We found the cliché, His plans are not Our plans became our reality going forward.

… Ken’s flight was canceled due to the fire at Chicago O’Hare Airport … All plans changed … Ken and Sue were in the car driving across country Saturday, September 27th.  Ken started his new position on September 30th and Sue was looking at new homes on October 1st.  A beautiful ranch home was found and closings were all set to happen in a perfect timely manner.   Our plans seemed to be back on track and we survived the bump in the road.

Sue returned home, she and Theresa had the month of October to finish all the packing while caring for 2 dogs and 4 cats… Michael and Amy had left their animals since they had a planned their vacation in mid October.  So to say the least … it was pretty crazy in the Jones’s house!

House packed and movers arrived; Sue and Theresa had their snacks for the first leg of the trip across country with the 4 cats and 2 dogs to Michael and Amy’s house.  It was going to be a long 11 hours to Illinois but the girls were up for the trip. Ken’s mom, Marilyn was helping them get on their way by staying until the movers were all packed up. 

36 hours before the closing of the Canonsburg home, things began to crumble.   The buyer had problems and the closing was canceled … Sue and Theresa had to go anyway since the house was already mostly on the truck.  The closing on the house in Tucson had to be canceled also since now the loan had to change, things were a bit of a mess.  It looked like a storage unit was in store for Ken and Sue and renting was the only option. 

Talk about having an Abraham moment …

Through much prayer and negotiation, our sellers in Tucson allowed us to rent until our loan issues would work out.  We moved in as planned and our closing happened in early December.  As of writing, we still haven’t closed in Canonsburg but anticipate this to happen before 2015.  

The fun continued as Sue went to the DMV and found that some how her name had been changed with the Social Security Administration.   Now let me just say changing your first name legally is not an easy task.  You have to petition the court and pay lots of money.  SSN said Sue had done that sometime in the last 32 years … Ken and Sue found their way to Superior Court in Tucson to reclaim Sue’s birth name …

At the writing of this letter Ken, Sue, and Theresa await the arrival of Michael and Amy, with their move to Tucson.  The new house will be home to all 5 Jones with 2 dogs and 4 cats!  And you know what a new home means … yes … new home, new baby!  That’s right Michael and Amy’s family is growing with a due date some time in July!  First Grandchild for Ken and Sue!

2014 isn’t over yet … and the Jones know there is always an adventure waiting around the corner!

Post script:  These events are only the highlights, much more happened, God showed up at every twist and turn!  He is Faithful! 


Amy's Grandma Rose passed away the Thursday before Mike and her were to drive to Tucson.  So their plans changed and she drove to Pittsburgh while Mike drove the truck to Tucson.  I flew back to Pittsburgh so she didn't have to drive that long way alone.  On the way to the airport I was alerted that my step mom was in the hospital... amazing how God works!  I was able to visit with her as well as keep Amy company as she drove from Pittsburgh to Tucson!  So in all I made 3 cross country trips in 80 days!  2015 here we come!