Muddy 6-year-old feet in the playroom; fingerpaint-stained grout in the kitchen; grilled cheese sandwiches burning on the stove and applesauce flying through the air—all within a 30-minute window. Some may call it a comedy routine that’s gotten out of hand, but Plano mom Amber Christy Jones calls it a typical afternoon at home. “You gotta roll with the punches,” jokes mother of son Greyson, age 6, and daughter Riley, age 3. “You gotta laugh at your situations and let them be. It’s okay to have fun and make a mess!”
Yet, despite the messes du jour, Jones still manages to keep it together. More than that, she also shares her affinity for reaching out to those in need of aid. Through her blog, One Sweet Treat a Week, she chronicles her and her family’s not-so-random acts of kindness.
It all started after Jones give birth to Riley. She and her husband, Chris, decided it was time for her to hang up her hat as a Parish Episcopal schoolteacher and stay home with their kids. The Texas State University alum recalls, “That transition into staying home full time was such a season of self-reflection for me—I pinpointed things I really wanted to work on in myself.” With a long-standing passion for serving others, she realized that maintaining her previous busy schedule filled with tasks and to-dos left little time to get involved in outreach projects. It was also around this time that she began to see a compassionate spirit develop in Greyson. “I remember cleaning out his playroom together when he was only 3 years old. He suggested that we give his old toys to a family that didn’t have many.” This sparked a “light bulb” moment for Jones, motivating the “mom on a mission” to start a family blog which documents the family’s tradition of completing one act of goodwill each week. “I felt compelled to do this as a family. If Riley and Greyson learn to become mindful of others on a regular basis, hopefully one day, contributing to the needs of those around them will become second nature.”
Jones and her husband make family time a priority. “We love being outside—taking walks, playing ball in the yard, going to my parents’ lake house at Cedar Creek … that’s how I grew up.” Jones is passionate about her children and aspires to have the same positive impact on her own kids as her parents had on her. She is also intent on setting time aside for herself and her marriage as well. Nights out without the kids are a definite must. “Chris and I do a couple date nights a month … typically dinner and wine. He’s just fun to be around, he makes me laugh.” She speaks admirably of his role as a father. “I love to watch Chris with the kids—he’s so good with them. He’s a wonderful dad—so playful and entertaining.”
That playfulness merges nicely with the whole family’s penchant for “paying it forward.” They’ve creatively come up with their own outreach activities like passing out free DART rail tickets and baking cookies to share with others. In addition, the Jones crew has participated in programs through Small Change Dallas—a local corporation that coordinates service projects for kids and families. And if you peek inside their pantry, you’ll find a “giving basket” for trips to the grocery store where the kids pick out a couple of canned or boxed goods to put into the basket. Jones says, “At least once a month we hear about a food drive … it’s great for the kids to have a full basket ready to donate.” It’s clear to see that the devoted mom is succeeding in passing down her love for others with the two children she loves so much. “My prayer for them is that they place family and others ahead of themselves and take responsibility for those in need by lending a helping hand. I want them to be surrounded by people they love and in turn, love them.”