Monday, September 28, 2009

Tayler's Lullaby

Tay has been taking piano lessons for the past two and half months. His lessons are only 30 minutes each, once a week. Then, every night he practices his scales or the new song from his teacher for an hour. There are several times where Tay would just play on the piano and do whatever he wants and calls it his 'free time'.

One day he said, "I have this sound in my head." After realizing that it wasn't a medical issue but a music thing, we told him to play it on the piano. He did and then took out a sheet of notebook paper and started writing notes on the lines. It was amusing to look at because the notes were so big and timing not set that only he could understand it. When he got a few bars done he played it for us we were very impressed with his uptempo song called, "The Fun Song". We told him to slow it down and make it a lullaby. He did and then finished the song.

This is Tayler's Lullaby:

He Shoots...He Scores!

Peter has been working hard on improving the accuracy of his shots every morning. His dad takes him to the school gym a little after 630a and they work on shooting drills until 730a. His JV team for the JAM tournament had a game tonight against The Nets at the Thornton HS gymnasium. Peter sank three outside the arc, had a few layups and a jump shot here and there to total 19 points at the end of the game. His team won with a score of 50-21. Here's a quick highlight of some of his shots:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gene's Gig @ The Storm in PA

Posted by Gene

My flight was scheduled to leave at 6:15a on Saturday (9/27). I packed the night before and planned on waking up at 4:00a to get to the airport on time. Well, the alarm didn't ring (or we didn't hear it) and J woke up at 5:00a to wake me and ask, "What time is your flight?" Holy Crap! I popped out of bed, told her 6:00 and started changing, brushing my teeth, grabbing my gear and then asked my still sleepy wife: "Can you drop me? I won't make it if you don't." So she jumped out of bed, changed, brushed her teeth and then we were on the road. Driving at 90 MPH we made it to the airport at 5:35a, which is great time because it usually takes 45 minutes to get there from home. I rushed through security and made it on time. Whew, thank you wifey!

I flew from Denver to Houston, then Houston to Philadelphia. It wasn't bad since I was upgraded to First Class all the way. Nice! I arrived in Philly around 2:45p and made my way to Alamo car rental to grab a red Cobalt. It's a nice car, and I usually drive this particular model since they have real get up and go on the freeway and do pretty good on gas. My one-hour drive was about 55 miles north to Quakertown. On the way I noticed there was a toll booth coming up and I HAD NO CASH!!! So I exited the freeway and found a Target superstore. I actually needed stickers for the cue points on my laptop for the night's show. With colorful glitter star stickers and cash in my pocket I was back on the road. The toll wasn't bad, $1.90 was the fee and now I'm in Quakertown.

When I exited the freeway there was barely anything there. Some hotels and motels and a gas station. There were a few more miles of road ahead of me before the club and those miles had nothing but road, trees, some farms and homes. I was starting to worry... Then, finally a small outdoor shopping area, some large chain stores, plenty of cars, now it's getting better.

My cellphone rang and it was the owner, John, who asked if I was near and told me to just drive to the back of the club and drop my stuff off in the motor coach and then go up the office. What? a motor coach? I asked to myself. Anyway, I arrived at the club around 5:10pm and in the back was this awesome looking luxury motor coach that had a big sign on the side that said: "Bikini Bull Riding"...AWESOME! Inside was very, very nice and cozy. Ha! this is why my wife wants one.

Well, I made my way to the office, met John and then took a tour of the club. The Storm is actually the dance club area just off their main hotspot called Montana West, a cool country bar/club that also has a mechanical bull. Hmmm, this is probably where they do the Bikini Bull Riding contest. The inside of the dance club was jaw dropping. The $40k video wall behind the DJ booth was a sight to see and with the best DJ gear from Pioneer all set up for me. There were many, many Elation moving dance lights mounted on two circular truss rigs and a four-way sound system pushing tweets, mids, mid-lows flying on top and then eight 18" subs under the DJ booth. I was so excited I may have fainted for a few minutes.

We did sound check and then I went back to my 'room' to work on some tracks for the show. My belly was grumbling so I walked into Montana West to get some grub. I had a burger called the Little George and it was the best burger I've had between two pieces of toast! Yes, it was toast. Not the thin Wonder bread stuff, but thick and toasty!

I started my set around 11:30pm and the club was about half-full. I didn't do an intro like most of my shows and just mixed into the track the opening DJ was spinning. Well, by the third video I played the floor was filling up nicely. I threw down some of my coolest club sets and made sure to entertain the crowd. Everyone seemed happy including the staff and more importantly - the owner.

The show was over at 2am and I began breaking down my gear, which was basically my laptop and some cables. Some of the staff wanted to hang and chat for a bit, and we was nice to hear compliments from these people that never heard me spin before. I made my way back to my 'room' and packed my luggage for the trek back home. As I was relaxing on the couch, John came in and said I did a great job and I thanked him for his hospitality. I thought it was very nice of him to come up and tell me that.

It was 3:45am and I started my drive back to the Philly airport to catch my 8am flight. Since it was raining pretty hard I figured leaving early would give me time to drive safe and slow. It was hard to see the road and my lifesaver was the GPS on my phone that showed me if any sharp curves were up ahead. I arrived at Alamo around 5:10am and the shuttle bus got me to the airport 20 minutes later.

I had another 2.5 hours until my flight...what do I do? Well, I tried some Dunkin' Doughnuts coffee, a breakfast bagel and a chocolate doughnut (they were all DELICIOUS!) but that couldn't keep me awake 'cause I slept for about 45 minutes and awoke to a text from DVDJ Unique asking me how my night was. I also noticed that my flight was running 30 minutes late so MORE WAITING...AAAAARRRGH, I'm Tired!

Finally we were boarding and I sat in First Class again and fell right asleep. Before hittin' the ZZZs, I noticed that this was the same flight crew that I flew in with. When they were serving our meal the stewardess woke me up and said, "What would you...hey, weren't you just here yesterday?" I replied, "Yup, flew in, did my thing, now going home. I'm not hungry just need to sleep." Well, I was left alone and didn't wake up until the wheels touched down in Houston at 10:20am central time.

I left Houston (still flying in First Class - wohooo!) at 11:36am and arrived in Denver at 1:20pm mountain time. J picked me up and I was EXHAUSTED! I've been gone from Colorado just 30 hours and have only slept for three. People say it's the life of a rockstar, superstar or whatever you want to call it. To me it's a lot of work and little sleep...but I still enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Peter's Wisdom Teeth

We just found out today that Peter needs ALL FOUR wisdom teeth pulled out! Ouch.

Da Momma is working on making appointments with the oral surgeon and checking with our insurance(s) right now. We'll keep you up to date and let you know how it goes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

His FIRST Varsity Game...

Peter played his first Varsity Basketball game with the Untouchables for JAM FALL 2009. He started and played most of the game. The team played against CHAOS Black, one of the best teams in the state, but lost by twenty points. Peter played amazing defense and sank two baskets and almost made a three-pointer...not bad for his first Varsity game.

At the end, we asked him how he felt and he said, "I think I play harder and better against varsity players, but they're tall." Peter is 5'10" now and still growing, drinking four glasses of milk each day - whew! We told him to remember that this time last year he was telling his trainer, Maurice, during a tough workout: "You do know I'm only twelve years old, right?" I guess all that hard work is definitely paying off.

Now Peter and his dad go to the school gym every morning from 6:30am-7:30am to run shooting drills. Hopefully, by the time the school league starts he'll be sinking his three point shots with consistency.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

14,000 feet to Mt. Evans

We went to Mt. Evans today with Kirklin Kinney, our old friend and former bouncer at TJ's on Guam. Taking visitors up this mountain has been like a ritual to us. We've taken Carla and the kiddos here and had an awesome snowball battle. Mom and pop (God rest his soul) were also taken up and froze tremendously.

The pass to the top usually closes on Labor Day and we missed it by one weekend because Gene was DJ'ing in Colorado Springs. We still managed to make our way there and at least get to Summit Lake at 12,830 feet. It was very cold at 30 degrees at the top and we drove through some thick fog. Peter kept reminding us that it looked like the scene of a scary horror flick. By the time we got to the top it was snowing...yes, snowing. Kirklin is like an eskimo from Alaska and loved every bit of it, but the Jone family was freezing our butts off! We didn't pack any winter gear and just had hoodies and sweaters...brrrrrr.

On the way back home we stopped by Buffalo Bill's grave to hopefully take some scenic pictures, but the fog was too thick to see much. We did get to see the grave and Kirklin treated us to some of the best homemade fudge we ever had. If you're ever in the area, you must try some of this!

The trip ended with dinner at Woody's pizza as we filled our bellies and shared stories...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tayler joins the Cub Scouts

Following his father's footsteps, Tayler has joined the Cub Scouts. Since he's in the third grade, he'll be starting as a Bear scout. He's very excited to be part of pack 606 and the first den meeting is on Tuesday 9/15. We'll post a pic of him with the new uniform once he gets it.

Peter and Tayler accepted to Student Council

Peter is in the 9th grade and Tayler is in the third grade and both boys are in separate schools. We are very happy to announce that they both have made the student council in their respective schools!

Peter is looking forward to meeting other students and participating in school events. He's very involved these days, a complete 180-degree turn from when we first moved to Colorado in 2003.

Tayler, on the other hand, wants to help other kids. He found out that Student Council members helped others and he was all for it.

Now we just have to manage our time to make sure the boys get to where they need to be...and on time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Jessica's aka Da Momma was today. The morning was spent in Colorado Springs with Gene since they were there for his gig at SODO the night before. The drive back home was nice and they had some quality husband and wife time. Lunch was...Taco Bell, really. That's what she wanted and that's what she got. Yum.

We picked up the kiddos from the Hornaday's house and then went straight home to relax. It was close to eight o'clock when we decided to get up and get some dinner. The location was a secret to all except dad and nobody had a clue. We ended up at Micky's Top Sirloin, a locally owned mom and pop steakhouse that has been there for almost forty five years. The meal was great and Da Momma had her juicy T-Bone steak.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Peter's First Day as a Freshman

Peter started high school today at Jefferson Academy. It's hard to believe that he's in the 9th grade now! We still remember the days of dropping him off to day care at Pago Bay and then moving on to Price Elementary school then came San Vicente.

Four more years and he'll be graduating, where has time gone? My advice to all you parents: Don't wait too to spend time with your children because time goes by quickly...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gene's National Position at the FPD just got upgraded

Well, sort of...

Gene has been visiting other Federal Defender Offices doing I.T. assessments and making sure they are doing their jobs according to the 'book'. It's been a great honor to be regarded so highly by the Administrative Office's Defender Services Division and given the opportunity.

Today, he was selected as a mentor for the Microsoft Server Migration project. He will be getting MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) training and then assisting other Federal Defender offices. This is a three year project that will require some traveling to training centers and other offices.

His job title is still says, Computer Systems Administrator for Colorado and Wyoming, but now he wears two additional hats that is at the national level.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Let's Go Home!

It's been a week and half of on the road driving, sleeping, eating and just being out of our element. We now head back home on a ten hour trek from Wichita, KS to Thornton, CO. This road trip is coming to an end and it has been a great adventure.

Gene catches a flight out to L.A. for work on Monday and will be there for a week. His traveling adventure isn't over just yet...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

That's It

Today was the big day and we started it with breakfast at McDonald's again. The game started at 11am at the same place. We had a great start and it was close at the half, then we fell apart. In the end we lost by a good margin and we were done. The boys were disappointed but it was a great learning experience and they saw what the competition is outside of Colorado. Maybe next year we will do better.

Some of the other families were going to leave, but our hotel room was paid for until Sunday so we decided to stay. We headed back to the hotel and then to a nearby mall to walk around and watch the new G.I. Joe movie.

We head back to Colorado tomorrow, another long drive but at least we're heading home.

Lose One, Win One

Woke up and grabbed breakfast at McDonald's. The first game was at 10am at a court 45 minutes away, so we had to get going. During the entire game they gave Peter only 15 minutes of play. There were times where he went in for a minute and they took him out again. We saw no reason for him to be sitting out so much even after we drove 26 hours to get here! After that game we left with the intention of packing our bags and just going home. But, Peter wanted to play and didn't want to ditch his teammates, so we headed back.

When we arrived at the court before the second game the coach pulled us to the corner. He realized that we were upset and he explained that there was no reason for our son to sit out so much. He continued by saying that it was a coaching error of not keeping tab of who was subbing in and out. We accepted his apology and Peter did play more during the second game sinking eight baskets for the team.

We lost one of those games so we still have a chance. The games tomorrow are single elimination, so if we lose, we're done.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Back On the Road

We picked up Peter from camp on Wednesday (8/5) afternoon and began our long drive to Wichita. We drove through Los Angeles traffic and made our way to Interstate 40. It was around 7:30pm so we stopped for dinner and fuel just outside of Barstow at a Love's travel center. The plan was to not make any long stops and just keep on moving. The drive took us through Flagstaff, Arizona just a few miles from the Grand Canyon and then through Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was early morning and we were in Amarillo, Texas and starving. We needed a break and stopped for breakfast at a nearby IHOP.

J took the wheel as Gene slept for the remainder of the drive. Our original plan was to go through Oklahoma City, but there was too much highway construction and we opted for an alternate route. Well, we finally arrived at our hotel in Wichita at 5:35 PM Central Time...26 hours later. Peter's game started at 7pm and we were tired, but still made our way there.

At the end of the day we were absolutely exhausted. We lost the first game, but there are more to come, time to get some rest.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ventura, CA (Day 2 & 3)

For the past two days we've been doing nothing but 'chillaxing'. Yup, that's probably a word you haven't heard in a long time, huh? It's nice to wake up to the sound of seagulls and waves crashing on the shore. The sound of the Amtrak train and 50-degree mornings were not so pleasant, though.

One night we saw a lot of lights off in a distance so we decided to walk there. As we got closer it looked like a carnival or fair of some type. We walked on the sidewalk that lined the beach and saw some very interesting people...and 'loving couples'. As we got closer to the fair it was apparent that they weren't open yet. Oh well, it was a nice stroll on the beach!

The next day was warmer and the sun is out so we headed to the pool. Three hours later we called it quits and Gene and J were severely sunburned....OUCH.

We finished both days by visiting Peter at camp and got to see Michael Jordan. It was very cool to see him. Peter received camper of the day and gave MJ a big high-five.

Tomorrow we make the long 26+ hour drive from Santa Barbara to Wichita.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ventura, CA (Day 1)

While Peter was at camp, the remaining Jone family members stayed at a beach side hotel in Ventura. Tayler still had his waterproof (yes, waterproof) cast on but it isn't beach proof because of sand and salt water critters. It was a cold day so no pool either. So we started the day off with breakfast sandwiches and coffee at Starbucks. Next, we drove to the nearby outlet mall and did some shopping. Wait, a lot of shopping. Then it was back to the hotel to rest a bit.

We got hungry and began our search for a fun place to eat dinner. After an hour of hunting, we settled on a little sushi place a few blocks away. J had her oysters and she said it was the best she ever had in her whole entire life. Gene and Tay chowed down on some sushi...a lot of sushi. Tay loved it so much that he just shoved whole pieces in his little mouth. At the end of the meal we were so full that we just ended up going back to the hotel to hibernate as food coma settled in.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Off to Michael Jordan Camp

We got up this morning and headed out to grab breakfast at a nearby buffet restaurant. Last night we realized that Peter needed more stuff for camp so after the morning grub, it was off to WalMart. Blankets, pillows, alarm clock, sheets, towels and other little items were found and paid for. Now, off we go to Santa Barbara!

It was around noon when we arrived at the camp location (University of Santa Barbara). Everything was familiar, like a blast from the past because we took Bo here in 2004. Now, our oldest is partaking in this awesome adventure. We waited in line to check Peter in and get his room key. To our surprise, Nia Long (Big Momma's House, Are We There Yet?) was standing in line with her son. That was sooooo cool.

After an hour or so, we got Peter checked in, his room all set up and provided him some funds for snacks and other incidentals. As parents it was difficult for us to leave him there, for Tay he knew he'd be without a brother and best friend for a few days. It was a sad moment, but we were all happy to see Peter grow up to be such a responsible young man.

Arrived at the Hyatt

We finally arrived at the Hyatt hotel in Thousand Oaks, CA at 11:00pm. The drive from Vegas took a little longer than expected and we're EXHAUSTED.

At the hotel we're sorting out Peter's stuff for camp and getting him ready. Our bodies are running on fumes now but it has to get done.

On a lighter note, the hotel was FANTABOLOUS! Very elegant and customer service was phenomenal. We got the room for fifty bucks using's bid feature. It's a four-star hotel and its cheaper than any rinky-dink motel around. Ya gotta love the power of the internet sometimes.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Gene's 36th Birthday

Gene aka Dad turns 36 years old today. Peter has to be in Santa Barbara the next day so we're driving from his Las Vegas basketball tournament - about 6 hours away. We left right after Peter's last game in Vegas and really didn't do much for a birthday celebration. Dinner was at In-N-Out and dessert was Starbucks. No cake, no song, just the Jone family together on the road...who could ask for more.

We're Here!

Posted by Gene

Last night Tay and I finished packing up and loaded the car. Thinking we wouldn't see our house for the next week and a half we unplugged and secured everything. The plan was to go into the office for half the day and then drive out by noon to be in Vegas by midnight.

Things didn't go as planned. There were too many last minute items at work that needed tending to. Then, J told me that I had to take Tay to The Children's Hospital in Broomfield to check on his cast. In addition, Tay forgot his sunglasses at the house and I forgot my pills. By the end of it all, we didn't start driving until 6pm.

Most of the drive was in the dark and Tayler slept through most of it. We finally arrived in Vegas at 5:35 am. When we got to the hotel Tay said to his momma, "Wow! that was a short trip." I turned and replied, "'Cause you slept through most of it..." He just grinned and started playing. Aaaaah, kids are so innocent, huh?

The most impressive part of the drive for me was seeing how good our 2007 Toyota Avalon did on gas. We got up to 40 miles per was amazing. Plus, it kept me awake while driving. :-)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Drive to Las Vegas

Leaving at 6am, Peter and J rode with Kim and Brody Hornaday to Las Vegas in their Dodge Ram. The drive took about 15 hours. Since Gene has to finish up some things at work, he and Tayler will be driving over on tomorrow (7/30). It's been a long drive with some time left to rest up for the next day's games.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Basketball Road Trip 2009

Are you ready for 3,250 miles of road? Well, we're getting ready for it. Here's the story and reason for the trip:

Peter was accepted to attend Michael Jordan's basketball camp in Santa Barbara, CA for the first week of August. The camp was paid for, airline tickets purchased, car rental, hotel stay, etc. Then, Peter got invited to join the Trinity basketball traveling team. The two traveling games would be right before and right after the MJ camp. We decided to make the commitment and have him join and get more national playing time on the court. Since the airline tickets were non-refundable we lost the $700 that we paid for those...what a shame. Running short on cash, we decide to drive the entire way.

Here's the trip itinerary:

29 : Leave Colorado, head to Las Vegas, NV and check in to the New Orleans hotel.
30 : First Day of Games
31 : Second Day of Games and leave by 5pm to Hyatt hotel in Thousand Oaks, CA

1 : Check out of hotel and drop Peter to MJ camp at Santa Barbara, CA. Check in at Crowne Plaza hotel in Ventura, CA
2-4 : Peter at camp; Gene, J and Tayler relax at the beach.
5 : Check out of hotel, pickup Peter at Camp head to Wichita, KS for tournament
6 : Arrive in Wichita, check in to Hilton hotel and go to first game
7-8 : Tournament games
9 : Check out of hotel and drive back to Colorado

Here's the planned route for our drive: