Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas at the Brown's!

2009's Christmas I think has been the best Christmas I have had....maybe ever! First off, it is the first time with a son-in-law, 2nd, I was very laid back this year....what got done, got done (and the important tradition things did get done) and I let the other stuff go..... 3rd, all my children were home and we had a blast being together......4th, it was really nice to get to know John (son-in-law) on a more personal basis (still very impressed with my son-in-law could not be more pleased) instead of at a Wedding, or a Funeral -we did get to spend a little bit of time with him this summer before the wedding, but still wedding was always in the background and 2 days when they got engaged.....but this was 10 whole days 24/7 and I sure love him! It was great to just be....and be ourselves! It was also very cute to watch Allison and John interact with each other 24/7 and see that they really are "That Cute"! So I am uploading some pictures. The best pictures are probably of Christmas Eve as our whole family was together, but Elizabeth took those pictures and I am waiting for her to put them on our family website...then I can talk about Christmas Eve....that is when we have our big traditions and big meal! So we will do these a little bit out of order.

First night Allison and John were here....and this is how Aileen was with John every day...we tried not to take offense that John was the favorite!!!! Especially Allison!!!

Once Anne Marie got here we all went with Grandpa to "Cousins BBQ" Yummmm! And Grandpa told my girls that when he was with them he was no longer lonely!

Brown tradition of lining up Christmas morning before going in to get gifts from Santa. Youngest to oldest! Aileen didn't realize that John would knock her farther back in the line of opening gifts.....Maybe John isn't so favorite after all!!! (j/k she didn't mind really but it was funny to watch her reaction as he got to go 2nd instead of her)

Christmas PJ's - forgot to take Christmas Eve night, so this is Christmas morning with hair sticking out and all......and yes, this is exactly how we went to the Movie Christmas Day to see "The Princess & the Frog".
We also have on Allison's camera pictures at the Dallas Temple etc... We really did have a great visit. There was a list of restaurants that are in Texas, but not in Utah that the kids wanted to be sure and eat at so we made all those dreams and wishes come true, we went to the Temple twice with Allison and John while Grandpa was working at the temple so that was very special. Allison and I sang in Church for the Sacrament Christmas program which is always a high for me! We watched BYU win their bowl game, played a million games of Canasta and shang-hi! John and Allison were able to go to Holiday in the Park at Six Flags with Katie (her MOH) and Katie's boyfriend. She went to her annual High School theatre alumni Christmas Party.... was able to be in the Temple with Kate when Kate (Allison's BFF in HS) was going through to prepare for her Wedding Day. She was able to be at the Baptism of one of the little girls that she always use to babysit and led the music for that and cried the whole time I hear!!! Anne Marie and Uncle George still hold the title for Planet Hollywood! Loved watching Anne Marie sing Bon Jovi on Rock band and rock out and sound awesome!!!! Made the favorite traditional dishes and treats. I know I have missed something important, but as you can tell....it was a dream come true!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Aileen

I would like to share a very precious and spiritual moment that I was able to share with Aileen Sunday!

First a little background. As mentioned in a earlier post we have had a lot of friends daughters getting married this year and had just gone to one Saturday and on Sunday we had a beautiful new baby blessed.

All during sacrament meeting I had to take Aileen out several times because she just could not be still and quiet. And when we were in Sacrament meeting she was totally straining her whole body to be quiet.....to keep all that she was feeling inside. So when Sacrament meeting was over, I decided there was no way I was going to try and make her sit quiet through Sunday School so we stayed seated in the Chapel until everyone was gone in hopes that by the time RS started Aileen would be able to stay calm. Rebecca Albright came and sat by us and we were catching up on Scott being on his mission etc.... and Aileen was still just really struggling to keep all her flapping, noise and rocking (stemming) at bay, so I said to Rebecca, "Aileen is having a hard time keeping it all in today". At this point Rebecca looked at Aileen and said....."you are about the same age as Janice aren't you? And I bet when you saw her baby being blessed that you miss getting to have these same experiences in this life. I bet it is really hard to see other women your age getting married and having babies, knowing that you wish for these same blessings and it must be so hard to wait and remember that this life is such a short time!" Aileen immediately stopped rocking, and flapping and making noise and looked right at Rebecca and with tears in her eyes grabbed her hand and really looked in her eyes like she was saying 'you do understand'. At that point both Rebecca and I were both in tears.


I told Rebecca that we had just been to Kellie's Wedding the night before and that she was also about Aileen's age and of course there was no way that Rebecca had any knowledge of that and yet she had mentioned that in her little talk to Aileen, that it must be hard to see others her age get married, etc., etc. Then I said to Aileen "and do you know who will get to come to your wedding, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and all your grandparents and relatives! It will be so special". Then Rebecca said, "and do you know who will sing at your wedding" and we both looked at Rebecca and she said......."any one you want" and Aileen smiled and put her hand in her mouth and ducked her head like she does when she is being bashful or liking something someone is saying.....so then Rebecca went on to say......."and Beethoven himself can write a musical number just for you"..... Anyway, it was a very precious and special moment, and I'm so grateful that Rebecca listened to the spirit and understood that it must be hard to be Aileen and wish for all these wonderful blessings of this life......because all I saw and heard was that Aileen was having a really hard time controlling her stemming!


I am grateful to my Heavenly Father that he has put people around Aileen that love and appreciate her and are her friend, not just her parents and family.....but Aileen's friends. We are so lucky in this Ward that so many really do want to know and love Aileen!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Logan turns 15! No way, really?



We celebrated my Nephew's 15th birthday at On the Border in Plano, TX. Everyone had a great time and I swear it was just yesterday that he was born!!!! He was the best baby I have ever seen. He hardly ever cried and he just sat in his Car seat and was happy.....really, it truly was extraordinary. I think ball was his first word and he can play every sport very well, but excels at Basketball! He was always worried about Aileen even as a little boy....he would say to me "Aunt Lois, Aileen needs a drink" or "Aunt Lois, Aileen is hungry, she can have my snack". Really an amazing young man! He still loves Aileen and is not embarrassed by her even though he is a teenager and needs to be cool with his friends....the beauty is, he thinks Aileen is cool and dares anyone to say different! Oh, how I love this boy!!!! Happy Birthday Logan!
The last gift my mother worked on before she passed away was this book of Logan's genealogy because he had asked her questions about his ancestors. It was a very special moment when Grandpa presented it to Logan for his birthday!

Another wedding.....


This year has just been so full of love and weddings. All of our friends are either having their daughters get married it seems or Allison's friends are getting married. It's so much fun and reminds me of what it was like to fall in love and be planning on starting a new life and family with Alan! Aileen has really loved going to Wedding's and Receptions and celebrating this happy time.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kate's bridal shower.....

Kate is and has always been family since she and Allison met as teenagers and became best friends. So it was so wonderful to get to share in her joy as she is getting married December 29th at a Bridal Shower here in Texas for her over Thanksgiving weekend.
The Shower was beautiful and so was Kate! I love seeing her so happy and so obviously in love! Here are some pictures of the fun!

3 Generations of beautiful women!

She got a lot of great gifts

and she was a very good sport!
Congratulations Kate! I am so excited to see you as a bride! Kate is another one of my seminary students that has continued to make excellent choices in her life. And I am so happy that she is getting married in the Dallas Temple!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving....

We had an amazing Thanksgiving. But it was always obvious that my Mom was missing and it just wasn't the same....but Elizabeth and I gave it a valiant effort and I think everyone enjoyed....except for my 1st attempt at Sweet Potatoes! I don't like them so I never make them, my Mom always did, but my father loves them so of course I needed to make some for him. Well, I was fired as the sweet potato maker (they were bad) and Elizabeth is going to make them for Christmas! Which was my secret plot all along (not really). We had a nice day with my sister and her husband, my dad and Alan, Aileen, and myself. All my other kids were either in Utah or Seattle celebrating Thanksgiving this year. But they will all be here for Christmas and I cannot wait.

For FHE last Monday I asked everyone to list things that they were thankful for. It was very nice to see what was important to everyone and Alan loved that our new son-in-law listed ESPN as one of the things he was grateful for.

The next day we picked up my Dad from the office where he had gone in to clean out a closet and took him to the new movie "The Blind Side" It was my husband's and Dad's first time at the Movie Tavern and I think they enjoyed the experience and I know they loved the movie. We talked about it all the way home and even after.... it was so fun to do something like go to the show with my Dad and husband.....2 of the 3 most important men in my life! The only thing better would have been if my new son would have been along as well! But it was a special date time for me!!!! And the movie was awesome.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Moon, the homeless, and other stuff.....

I loved it. Thought it was better than Twilight, although I loved Twilight too. This 2nd book was the hardest for me to get through, but I thought the movie covered all the important stuff and got through it much faster.....so now I'm ready for the next movie!!!!! Yay!

Saturday was our yearly visit from a case worker for the Judge that gave us legal guardianship 0f Aileen. Yes, every year they have to come and inspect our home, Aileen, and her living space to make sure that we are taking good care of her! We passed. And the case worker loved seeing the pictures of Aileen as a bridesmaid so that was really fun. It's always such a hassle to get ready for, and always a relief to have it over with until next year!!!! Crazy isn't it!

Alan had an interesting experience last weekend with homeless people so I thought I would share the experience. Alan wondered what Heavenly Father wanted him to learn from these two such different experiences so close together.

Last Saturday after the Temple we were all starved of course and Aileen most of all so we stopped at McDonalds and got everyone some food. While we were handing it out and trying to get everything situated for the trip back a homeless man came and asked if we could help him. We had NO change so we told him that we would love to but sorry we didn't have any change..... and he said, "You don't even have a quarter" and we said sorry we really don't....but Alan offered him his drink and he said, "No, I need something to eat" and so then Alan said, "Well, I have a hamburger I'll be happy to give you and he said, no, no" ...and walked off exasperated. We then watched him ask another woman, who went and got change and gave him a $5.00 bill but then he asked her if she had any change as well and actually hounded her for more and followed her to her car for her to dig some change up. We watched because we were worried for the lady. But after she gave him more change he left her alone. We were kind of shocked that he would be so bold and brazened about wanting more after she had already given him $5.00.

Then last Monday, Alan came to my office for lunch and picked up my paychecks to deposit in the bank for me and noticed he had a flat tire. So he went across the street to put air in his tire and a homeless man came up to him and said "you look like you need some help, can I help you change your tire" Alan said, he was just going to put air in the tire, but that he needed to go get change so he could do it and the homeless man said "Here, I might have a quarter let me see so you can get air without having to go get change". He didn't have it, so Alan offered to buy him a sandwich, because he was going to buy a sandwich for himself and get some change.....but the homeless man said, "No, I've eaten, I just really want to help you" So Dad got the change and the man filled his tires with air and Thanked Dad for letting him do service for him. Dad of course insisted on giving him money and he finally did take it....but he really did just want to do a service for someone!

Very interesting for our family to reflect on. some of the thoughts that came to me while pondering these experience was 1st.....here is a man that is really down on his luck for whatever reason and yet still chooses to give Christ-like service....when really he could feel picked on and dejected he didn't he gave service and was happy to do so...... so one lesson I thought of, was how horrible it would be for us who have so much to complain and feel sorry for ones self and not to be happy to give service to others.

2nd..... with the 1st man with our shock at his asking for more and not being grateful for what was given him. It made me wonder how many times Heavenly Father must be shocked that we keep asking and asking and asking for more blessings instead of showing gratitude for the ones he has blessed us with already!

Anyway those are some of the thoughts I had. It would be interesting to hear what you all think......

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm so excited.....

I just got our Christmas Cards ordered and I love them for this year! And I'm really really excited because tonight I will be going to the Midnight showing of "New Moon". I hope it lives up to the expectation!!!! Thanks to Sarah for helping me figure out how to get the Midnight tickets, I'm an older generation and don't always know how to do these things! But I am very excited!!!!! Here is a sneak peek at our Christmas Card! The Wedding photographer did the layout for me and I love it. Oh, yeah, I already said that........did you know I'm so excited....... said that too!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ya gotta love Saturday!



Saturday, we went to Dallas to the Temple to do endowment sessions. Our babysitter that we sometimes can use to watch Aileen so we can go together was busy, so we decided to take Aileen with us. Alan went to the 1st session while Aileen and I walked around the temple and watched "Up" and the new Tinker Bell movie on her portable DVD player. Then Alan was suppose to come out and then I would go to the next session and Alan would watch Aileen. But our dear friends the W's, who always talk to Aileen wherever we may be, said that they would watch Aileen so that Alan and I could go together. What an amazing gift. So Alan and I were able to be in the Temple together, it was great.

Then Saturday night all the Clay's that live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area went to "Babe's" in Carollton to celebrate my sister-in-laws Birthday! It was the first time my Dad, my husband and Aileen had been to that restaurant and they loved it! Aileen I will say was in heaven with all that good family style food! it was a lot of fun and even though my sister-in-law thinks that she is old......she's not and she still looks great!!!!! To make her feel better I just reminded her how much older I was - like 13 1/2 yrs older! Wow, I'm the one that's old!



Monday, November 9, 2009

Celebrating Alan's Birthday and Missionary Splits


We went to Salt Grass last Monday to celebrate Alan's Birthday! It's his favorite place to get a steak! My Sister Elizabeth and her husband, Art came as well as my Dad and Aileen! I think Aileen likes it being the only child at home because she gets to be with all the adults and go everywhere we go! It was a really good dinner and we all had a good time visiting and being together!


Friday, I went with the sister missionaries on splits. My first time of doing this. It was a wonderful experience and I really was amazed at these two sisters testimony and commitment to preach the gospel to those who have not yet received it! Especially their ease at challenging people and then just waiting for the answer during the long silence sometimes. I was very impressed that they never squirmed and then watched the joy as someone took that challenge and said, yes! It was truly amazing! I am glad that I was able to participate in reading scripture, bearing testimony and praying with these investigators, or inactive members. I look forward to doing it again!

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Sweet Hubby Alan's Birthday!!!!!

Today is the most amazing man's birthday! My husband, Alan! He is 54 today....don't mind telling that since he is 4 yrs older than me lol! I always try to do something different, I've done candy grams, flowers, balloons, cake up to the office, donuts etc......but today I sent a Edible Arrangement.....Facebook gave free samples of their chocolate covered strawberries and it wasn't a gimmick, and they were very good and while I was in there I saw some of the arrangements and that they were really very nice sized for the money etc.... so this year for Alan's birthday I sent a edible bouquet up to the office that he can share with all the sales guys in his area!!!! He seemed pleased! Love you Alan!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Scrapbooking....

These past 2 yrs I have not scrapbooked and in fact lost a lot of interest in even doing it.....this last year it was understandable with the wedding plans etc..., but really I had lost interest in it before. Just recently I have been very frustrated with things I have no control over and obsessing over them.....so I had an epiphany the other day. I need to focus my obsession and frustration on something I could have control of. So there are a a lot of bridal showers, wedding receptions, wedding luncheons etc.... that I have pictures for that have not had anything done with them. So I went and loaded up on paper and stickers etc....... no I won't tell you how much that cost, then I went and printed out 218 photos at Walmart and have started scrapbooking. I've noticed my style has changed, I'm more about less this time around, but they still look good and it definitely tells the story of my daughter's courtship and marriage and I have stopped obsessing about the other stuff that I have no control over. Who would have ever thought scrapbooking would be therapeutic! Or as they say in the movie "New In Town" I'm a scraper!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Emotional day today.....

Emotional day today! Very hard! Missing my mom! And if she were here she would say, "Well that's too bad, but you're just going to have to suck it up and deal with it!" It makes me smile just to type it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Born Again American



I can't even image the time it took to pull this off....but it is very cool. My Dad sent it to me to watch and said that it really tells the story of what is importatnt. My Dad does not send videos and emails very often so when he sends one I pay attention!

The born again amercian website is:
http://www.bornagainamerican.org/index.html

Monday, October 26, 2009

ESPN Game Day@BYU


So, my son-in-law stood in line with his buddies from 2:45 am Saturday morning hoping to be on the ESPN Game Day show and get on camera! Well, it paid off, the camera's paned right on him as he was cheering for BYU while they were talking about the BYU/TCU game! Oh, to be in college again! The crazy things we do!

My 1st bee sting.....

Saturday night while Aileen and I were the only people in the house something I hoped would never happen happened! I have always been deathly afraid of getting stung by a bee and have gone 50 yrs without that happening until tonight!

Alan was at the Stake Youth Dance up at our church representing the Bishopric, and my Dad was still in Dallas having worked at the Temple and then went to my sisters to have dinner and watch the BYU/TCU game (thats a sad story but TCU brought their A game and won) so Aileen and I were by ourselves when I saw a bee fly by. So I went to go get the wasp and bee spray so that I could stun it and then kill it and came back and looked everywhere for that little bugger! Couldn't see it so I laid down on my bed to finish watching the movie Aileen and I were watching and all of a sudden I feel a horrible stinging pain.....yes, that's right I had laid on the bee and it stung me and stung me good.


I could see in the mirror that the stinger was still in my arm in a location that I could only see and look at in the mirror and as long as the stinger was still in there it HURT!!!!! I tried calling Alan on his cell, but it was off. I called my Dad, but of course he is at least an hour away. My phone rings and its Pres. Willden to remind my Dad of a meeting for Sunday and I'm thinking in my head....should I bother him and Yensy? No, I say to myself, but I guess because I hesitated Pres. Willden is starting to say goodbye and then says "is there something we can help you with?" and so I say "Yes, I need help getting a stinger out of my arm" They come down with a magnifying glass and some anti-bee sting pads which numb me and make me feel a whole lot better faster....and pull out this long stinger! Crazy, I tell you that such a little thing can unnerve you so completely! I guess we know that I'm not allergic as long as it took me to take action on it.


Now, I tell you this was my first bee sting and that I am hugely afraid of being stung by anything and that is true....and it took 50 yrs to be stung by a bee....true as well....but 2 summers ago when Allison and I had been having a heated discussion about something I'm sure that it was not that important, but at the time seemed extremely important to me and that I felt she should have listened to me about...... I walked out the front door and slammed the door and was unaware that we had a wasps nest attached to the garage until my slamming the door brought them all out angrily and swarmed me and I had several sting me and I think one stung me several times as I frantically tried to swat them all away and get away from them. I think I was stung 5 or 6 times! Yes, I do not slam doors anymore.....I felt that I kind of learned my lesson about loosing my temper on that experience.


So, 48 yrs before I was stung by anything....and 50 yrs before being stung by a bee. I sincerely hope that is all for me!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I should have read Facebook sooner and I would have known.......SHE GOT IN!!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

stuff.....


Saturday I went and picked out fun Halloween decorations and treats etc... to send to my children in Utah! It's one of the fun traditions that I started once we became empty-nesters with all of our children in College and/or moved out sending gift boxes for holidays! It was especially fun this time as I have a new son-in-law to add to the mix! Aileen always has fun going shopping with me to pick out the things and then we ship them off!

Today, Allison should hear if she got accepted into her program (Major) at BYU, so I am anxious to hear, but a little afraid to call since I haven't heard yet.


And so proud that my daughter is going to wear her TCU flip flops to the BYU vs. TCU football game this weekend! We do want BYU to win....its just the principal of the thing, especially since John just shakes his head every time she wears them! lol!

Friday, October 16, 2009

RS Conference Scholars......

Last night we had our RS Conference Scholars get together! It was a wonderful evening and I really enjoyed getting to be there again!!! The last few I have not been able to go to because one time Alan had Stake Bishopric training that he needed to attend and I think the others were because even though I told him I had a RS meeting I needed/wanted to go to he forgot and scheduled home teaching or visits to ward members homes to make callings to people etc... which in turn made it so I was not able to go because I needed to watch Aileen.

It was wonderful to discuss our notes, first impressions, speakers that stood out to us before we even get the Ensign, with women who are spiritual giants and who are all women I look up to. I felt like I had come home. Sometimes you don't know how much you have missed getting to do something until you get to come back to it after an absence....then you really do remember how much you need it and love it!

Funny, how now that this is my calling, when I mention to Alan that I need to go....he remembers! (love you Alan!)

It was a good night and I am once again motivated by these conference talks to try and be a better person as our Savior and our Heavenly Father expect us to do!

There will be follow-up Conference Scholar nights where we will talk about certain days or sessions of the conference even the Priesthood session and I look forward to these discussions!

It was a very good night!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I don't know why I love it but I do.......


I really cannot figure out why I love this picture so much???? but I just keep going back to it and looking at it and can't wait until I get the picture of it I ordered in the mail! I can't decide if its because I think it is so romantic or what. Usually I only really love pictures that you can see the faces in, I have always felt that if I buy a picture to hang on my wall or put in a album I want to be able to see who they are. So I don't know if this means that I'm getting more artistic or I'm not sure what.........What do you think?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Allison turns 21 today!


Hard to believe my youngest is 21!
Happy birthday sweetie! I love you!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Adult Children are amazing.....

Being the mother of adult children is amazing. Who knew back when they were little and so fun to take care of and said all the cutest things....that when they were adults they would be so amazing and really your best friends. I know that I could share many experiences to make this point. But this week has been an extremely emotional week for several different reason not the least of which is that I missed my mother more this week and felt her loss probably more profoundly during this hard time.......the blessing is, I found out/remembered that I do have some pretty darn wonderful children, a Heavenly Father who does indeed love me as his daughter and who will inspire me to call the only person that could see the whole picture and give wise counsel, and reaffirming knowledge that my husband does love me very much!

As I have struggled this week with self doubt, fear, and extreme loneliness, I turned to my Heavenly Father and because he loves me, I had a husband, who I have to be honest did not always say the "right thing" in my mind.....but what he did do right and I love him to death for is he was concerned, tried to be my sounding board, give good advice from a Man's point of view and left me no doubt that he loved me and was on my side, and is ever ready to give me a blessing whenever I need one.....you really can't ask for much more than that.


My daughters called me more than usual this week, saying they just wanted to talk! I didn't say anything to them about what I was feeling and I heard them say things like, "I just felt like I needed to call you before I went to bed tonight" or "I just found out some exciting news and you were the first person I wanted to tell" and then having great conversations with them.


And when I really felt like I was at my lowest point, and missing my mother so very deeply, I was inspired to call a friend, who did listen and told me quite frankly what I needed to hear. And because Heavenly Father told me to call her, I took her counsel and followed it and have made a big effort to stop doubting myself, and tried to just move forward...... and I will say that probably 100 people could have told me the same thing and I'm not sure I would have changed my actions or how I was feeling, but because the impression was so strong from my Heavenly Father I felt like I needed to trust and believe what she told me and move forward.


After that when I was more myself one of my adult children called and I could tell her a little more about my self esteem struggles this week and it was so amazing to listen to her say things to me like "pray for comfort, I know you can receive it when you ask for it" and other advice like "go to the Temple" or "ask Dad for a blessing" and of course these are all things that I know and things that Alan and I had already talked about or done.....but really just so amazing that you have such strong adult children that are your friends, who love you, and give such sound advice and think "Wow, I really did a great job raising my children"......not that I'm bragging or anything. But it was a profound revelation and one that I'm so glad that I could get past myself to realize!!!!!


I am so incredibly blessed!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Just checking in.....

Sunday morning as I was driving home from my sisters I drove by Laurel Land Cemetery to check in with Mom and was surprised to see a beautiful bouquet of fall flowers and a headstone....which I knew we had not gotten yet....you have to wait a certain amount of time to put those on I guess....plus they have to make it.......anyway, Laurel Land has a complimentary one that they put on your loved ones grave until the permanent one gets put on.....I really have liked them. I don't know if other funeral homes do that or not...but it is a thoughtful touch and it even says P Clay on it so that you definitely know you are in the right place. But I knew it was too good to be true that they would put flowers on it....and when I got home and asked Dad... Of course he had bought them and put them in the vase on the marker!!!! My Dad always has been very thoughtful and has always given my mother beautiful flower arrangements! He so loves our Mother! Love you Dad!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Conference and My Little Pony....

General Conference this weekend was amazing! I loved every session that I was able to see and felt the spirit so many times bear witness to me the truthfulness of what they spoke and I felt the spirit inspire me to go and be a better person! Can't wait for the Ensign to come out so that I read and highlight! I love highlighting conference talks....there were some great phrases that I will want to highlight and remember.

We have a cute little family in our Ward that have 3 girls. There mother always has them dressed alike and their hair all fixed so cute and Alan I both look at their sweet family and remember when we had 3 little girls just like that. So Alan already had a heart string that got pulled every time he saw those girls.....but just recently he went to their home to visit and issue a call to one of the parents and when he got there their oldest girl opened the door and said "Well, Bro. Brown come on in" which Bro. Brown thought was incredibly cute and he visited with the family and then left. Every Sunday this sweet girl of theirs makes a point of saying "Hi" to Bro. Brown. One day the mother was walking by her room and noticed that she was playing my little ponies and was calling one of them Bro. Brown. She asked if she had heard correctly...and her daughter said, "yes, this white haired little pony is named Bro. Brown"! Well Alan loved this story and said, "I'm honored and tell her that having had 3 girls I definitely appreciate and know how to play My Little Ponies"!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ahhhh Seminary......

Last night I went to the Dallas Temple to be with and watch another one of my Seminary students take out his endowments and get ready to leave on a mission! I love love love that he called and made sure I new about the time and date personally....even though a general announcement had been made and I was not the last seminary teacher that he had! I was only his teacher for 3 yrs before I was released and so he finished his 4th year with another teacher. It really made me smile when he called! He leaves soon for the MTC and is going to Canada. He is an amazing young man with an awesome testimony and he will be a great missionary! He will also probably kill me for using this old picture from when he was a Freshman in HS!!!! And yes that is how I looked sometimes at 5:30 in the morning......but I was always there, always dressed (in a dress no less), and always had a great lesson ready to share! I love this young man and wish him only the very best.......I love watching all the amazing things and choices unfold with all of my seminary students that I love so very much!!!!



Speaking of which, one of my seminary students was my daughter Allison, whom just a month ago went to the Temple and took out her endowments and was sealed to her husband for time and all eternity! Double payday as a parent and a Seminary teacher.....

Honestly, that feels like 6 months ago with all that happened so quickly after that. So I'm happy to remember that it was just recently! Anyway, it was a great night. My dad and I went together to the temple and we enjoyed the time together!
CONGRATULATIONS SCOTT!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday with a twist....

As you may or may not know Wednesday's are the day that my Mom and I would usually go to lunch after I got off work at 12:30 and then run errands or go shopping etc... so today, I went to one of my friends house to pick up some information I needed for my new calling and asked if she wanted to go to lunch, a move, a pedicure or all three.....conveniently she also happens to be not only a dear friend but one of my VT ladies!!!! We were able to fit 2 in before I had to get back to meet MITS and get Aileen. I had been warned by my sister about the movie 'Love Happens' because she went not knowing it was a movie about dealing with death...but I thought...why not. So we saw that at the Movie Tavern and had cheese fries, diet cokes, and cheesecake.....it really doesn't get any better than that! A movie and my favorite foods! lol!


Monday, September 28, 2009

A New Calling....


Sarah Anderson, Bessie Treber, Lois Brown & Morgan Wurz

Sunday, I was set apart in a new calling as 2nd Counselor in our Ward Relief Society Presidency! I am excited to be in Relief Society again, but a lot has changed since I was in a RS presidency before....they use to call me the Homemaking Counselor when I was in before....and since our General RS broadcast last night I'm not sure what I'm called now...before last night I would have said the Enrichment Counselor.....maybe since everything is called RS Meetings now, I will just be 2nd Counselor....that simplifies doesn't it! lol!

I am very excited to be serving with our President, Sis. Bessie Treber, and Sis. Sarah Anderson, 1st counselor, and our Secretary Morgan Wurz! These are all women that I look up to and try to pattern my life and service after, so it is humbling and very awe inspiring to be working with them now. I do know that we have big shoes to try and fill as our out going R.S. President and presidency was amazing and they brought joy, laughter, and spirituality to our R.S. meetings!

It's been so long since I have been in R.S. I will have to learn how everything works again, but look forward to the challenge and will do my very best to serve the sisters in our Ward the way my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ would have me do!

I love all of the sisters in my ward without reservation, they are amazing Christlike women....who just very recently helped me through a wedding and a funeral all in matter of 2 or 3 weeks! I loved them unconditionally before all this happened....but grew to appreciate and love them in a deeper more spiritual way...... a feeling that these truly are my sisters and we are truly daughters or our Heavenly Father, who loves each of us and that we are on this earth to help each other, love each other and serve each other until we can go home to him again. I thought I already knew this and I probably did to some degree......but didn't truly know until these past few weeks!

The General RS Broadcast Saturday was amazing and I learned a great deal from it. I probably listened in a different way then usual because of knowing I was about to receive this calling.....I loved all the references to that fact that RS is a "Faith-based" work. And that RS legacy is passed form heart to heart. I would like to say to K our outgoing RS President, you have passed on your RS legacy to my heart and I will try my very best to live up to it and pass it on to others hearts.

Here is a picture at Saturday night's dinner with some of our RS Ward sisters sitting at my table before the broadcast!



Saturday, September 26, 2009

Game...Shower....and Broadcast!

So last night my friend MA called up and asked if I wanted to go the NCHS Homecoming football game with her? I think she really expected me to say no because I haven't' had anyone in high school at NCHS for a couple of years now but I said, "I think I do!" She came and got me and when we got to the game we ran into MW, whose husband is in the Sports Medicine program in Medical School. And because he was going to be on the side lines observing one of the Doctors she was going to just sit in the stand by herself.....so we were very excited to have her come and sit with us especially since I could get my baby fix holding her cute baby!


This morning, while Alan went to Dallas to the temple to see two of our friends and ward members go through the temple for their endowments and then be sealed together in the Temple.......I went to a baby shower! JS, is one of the sweetest people I know whom everyone loves, and I mean everyone! I'm in primary with her and get to watch her be a great primary chorister......and I have a soft spot for primary choristers having been one for at least 15 yrs of my Church Service life...... Anyway it was a fun shower that her sister HJS had for her, and it was fun watching her get all this fun baby girl stuff! Congratulations JS!



Then tonight I am looking forward to very much, as it is the General RS Broadcast! I look forward to this every year....it rejuvenates me spiritually and gets me ready to watch General Conference and really ready to be filled spiritually! I particularly love this broadcast as it is directed specifically to the women of the church! A lot of times Aileen and I snuggle up in bed and watch it on our TV at home as we get the BYU Channel, but last year and this year I want to be at the Stake Center and participate in the Satellite broadcast there!


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Relief Society General Presidency

Now this is what I call a Saturday!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thank you to those who do......

Yesterday was a not so hot day, but today has been much better! I think it started when I saw all the girls at the high school I drive by on the way to work wearing their homecoming mum's - who cannot smile when you see all these cute girls with HUGE mums on their shirts or around their necks and it made me remember Allison's and how much fun she had getting hers to wear......and that They always had one for Aileen at the school! Her wall in her room has 4 Mums at least hanging on it and I know she loved bringing one home and being just like all the other girls at school! Good memories.

Also, I want to thank all the many many people who helped our family during this sad time and big change in our life! That is why the title of my post......thank you to those who do....

  • Sent baskets full of snacks to the family at the hospital as they are living at the hospital.

  • Bring meals and all kinds of food over to the home because no one has time to cook and so much family is coming into town and everyone is running on different schedules it is such a blessing for food to just miraculously be there!

  • Picked people up at the airport....and stayed to pick them up even when the weather was horrible and their flight got sent to Oklahoma City and they didn't really land until 3 or 4 hrs later!

  • Visits up to the hospital.

  • Blessings of comfort.

  • Phone calls to check in.

  • Someone even weeded my mother's beautiful garden beds so they would look good for all the company coming by.

  • The luncheon for the family after the funeral - all those that brought food, and for those dear sisters that served us all and made the luncheon beautiful!

  • Everyone who sent flowers and plants - my mother loved flowers so much, a fitting tribute to her.

  • Not having to find a substitute for my calling because someone had already taken care of it

  • Only needing to tell one person and then everyone getting the information

The list goes on and on as you can see I could go on forever - I am just very grateful and feel extremely silly for even having a moment of anger..... I am so very grateful.

In my thank you to our Ward's Relief Society, I said that I probably never really understood the meaning of our title "Relief Society" until now. It was such a Relief to our family and a comfort as well! Love you all and Thank you!!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Nephew's 8th birthday!

This past weekend we celebrated my nephew T's 8th birthday! We went to Plano and watched him play in one his basketball games...which he is always the star of.... then he wanted to go to Genghis grill to eat dinner afterwards, which I had never been to and thoroughly enjoyed. We then went to my brother's home to have cake and ice cream! The cake T picked out this year was a hamburger cake. It was about the cutest cake I have seen in a long while and tasted fabulous as well! It even had french fries beside it.....it was great. The fun part for me was watching my brother George coaching T's game and his interaction with his boys! He is such a good Dad!

Another thing that happened this weekend is that my niece, V, who is now a Young Single Adult and in college came back to Ft. Worth, this weekend for a YSA Conference, where President Uchtdorf was going to be a speaker. She was so excited because not only was the conference awesome and she loved every moment of it...but she got to shake President Uchtcdorf's hand and get a hug from his wife! But I think she would agree that the hug she got from Grandpa was every bit as good.



It was a good weekend!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Slide show made for My Mom's Funeral

video

I think I've gone crazy.....

O.K. so I think I've gone crazy....or I really am in morning....because I ended up at Albertsons with this pair of shoes on......which as you can see is not a pair, but I sure thought I had a pair on...I waved to people I knew and walked confidently around without realizing I did not match until I got home.....SCARY!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Are you tired of hearing about my mother yet????

If you are you might want to just skip this post! Because I'm not ready to stop talking about her yet!

I have tried several times this week to sit down and write thank you notes. Just can't quite make myself do it yet. I apologize to all who should have them. They are coming....just not sure when.

Wednesday was hard, because when I come home from work on Wednesdays at 12:30 Mom and I would always (well, almost always) got to lunch and then run errands! It was a time that Mom looked forward to so she could get out of the house and I enjoyed our outings. There was usually a lot of catching up and laughter involved. Our most favorite place to go was "The Olive Garden" but sometimes we ended up at TGIF or Charlestons. And sometimes instead of or along with lunch there were pedicures involved! One time when Allison was home for the summer I didn't go with them, just Allison and Grandma went and Allison said, "you are going to be sorry because we went and got pedicures too"! And I was.

One of the stories that was told to me about my mother that if you were at the funeral you would totally think, "Of course that is what Phyllis would do". One of the families that she gives piano lessons to, when they found out about Mom's passing, told someone else in our ward that "Sis. Clay gave the gift of music to my children". When they first started taking lessons they couldn't afford the lessons, so my mom taught them for free. So she really did literally give them the gift of music. My mom did things like this all the time that we didn't even know about.

One year when we were first married and Anne Marie was just a little baby, we didn't think we were going to be able to buy a Christmas tree, but all of a sudden one day there was one laying up against our door. I don't know how long it took me to figure out that it must have been my mother.....but it was.

Also, when I had just given birth to Aileen and came home, my brother George who was probably 8, wanted to bring dinner over to me....so my mother helped George and his friend bring over and cook spaghetti and some kind of cake that had 8 layers and looked like a tower that George was so proud of! I remember thinking and saying, "Wow, mom that was really nice of you to let George do this and kind of a hassle, sorry" and she said "if George wants to do something nice for his sister, I'm not going to stop him!" And I must say it was an awesome bonding time with my little brother!

Ruth remembered a time when our family was watching some children whose family was very poor, so much so that every day they would have to be bathed and re-dressed because they were dirty. The little baby didn't have any cute frilly dresses, so my mother spent hours making this beautiful frilly dress with ribbons and lace etc... at a time that probably my parents couldn't afford that extra expense, because if you have ever made a frilly dress with lace and ribbon, its not cheap. She even stayed up all night at a time when she was also working full time and had gone back to college, so it was a sacrifice to make this dress so this baby would have something beautiful! Ruth asked Dad, "why is mom doing this, it's crazy" and my Dad said "Never stop a giving heart".

Just recently, my mother went to a couple of movies with my sister and I at the movie theatre! That was unusual, because of her instability in walking and her walker etc... she would rather watch a video at home together than go to the theatre. But just recently we saw two new movies at the theatre together, they were fun outings and times that I think Elizabeth and I will cherish!

I do miss my mother. I appreciate everyone who is calling to check on us. We are sad, but we do know that we will be with her again! And that her love and our family is an eternal one. I do not know how people go through something like this that don't have this knowledge. That is why my Dad can go to the Temple today to cover his shift and tomorrow his calling, and why Alan and I are back doing our callings and trying to magnify them.....even when people might say...it's too soon......are you kidding? We've got to be busy working on our Salvation so that we can be with Mom and LaDean again!

Friday, September 18, 2009

My oldest is 29 today!!!!!



Happy Birthday baby girl! I love you!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Andy, our Marine, goes back to California today!


My sister is taking Andy to the airport as we speak. He has to return to Camp Pendleton tomorrow! Elizabeth, Dad, Andy and myself met for Breakfast this morning so that Grandpa could give Andy a tour of the Place that Grandpa works at and so we could have one last time together! It was a nice way to say goodbye. After the first of the year he will be going to Afghanistan so that is worrisome, but we are all so proud of him and know that he will serve his country well.

Now I think the reality of what has taken place is starting to set in. I go downstairs all the time to tell Mom something and then look in her room and remember that she is no longer here. Ruth said that she wanted to call and tell mom something the other day, and then remembered that she couldn't. Dad came home exhausted Tuesday night and just went to bed, almost unheard of, so yes, it is finally sinking in to everyone what has happened!

Yesterday morning, I was crying and upset over things that probably weren't that tragic, but when Alan said, "honey whats wrong?" I gave him the list of silly things and then said, "and my Mother just died". To which he came in and hugged me and tried to help set the other things right as well.

My only worry is if my Dad will let me take care of him and let me be the kind of daughter I would like to be for him right now!

Monday, September 14, 2009

After......

After it is all over I think is the hardest. While you are having to make decisions and get things done and ready, you are sad and you have moments of breakdowns, but the true sadness doesn't come until after you have taken the last person to the airport and everyone has gone home.

After taking my children and my aunt and uncles to the airport Sunday morning I drove by the cemetery on the way home and swung in and took a look. She would love all the flowers. We had to take a lot of them with us if they were plants or in baskets so we used them for the luncheon and then left them for Sunday services the next day! We have many at our house as well. But she loved flowers and I know it made her happy to have them all around her and us!

The part of the cemetery that she is buried in is called "The Garden of Gethsemane" and has a statue of the Savior praying in the background, which has always been my father's favorite picture or figurine of the Savior. So it is fitting. I found out later that not only did I drive by and look, so did Elizabeth and Ruth, and Dad, each of us without the other knowing that we had gone. I am so glad we buried her close by, it will be nice to go and see her often.

After the funeral services they have the family follow the casket out and then they tell us all to go and get in our cars and line up.....so that is what everyone did, but my Dad went back in and thanked all those who came.....and I feel horrible that I didn't know that was what he was doing....I would have gone back in too, because I have no idea who was there. Isn't that horrible not to know who was there? Thank heavens that people have made comments or posted on my facebook, so that I know who was there. I was just trying to get through the day and really to be done. I really wanted to be done. My dear friends who came, Thank you! Thank you! Please forgive that I didn't get to see you and thank you in person.

I loved that my children were here! That was probably the thing that kept me going....even after it was over, we still needed to be with our children and it kept Alan and I going. It wasn't until after my 3rd trip to the airport on Sunday that I laid down and slept! I needed to sleep so badly.

Now today I have to go about normal business and work and act as if everything is back to normal. It will never get back to normal.....it will just become a different normal. I miss my mother. I hope that I will live the rest of my life in a way that will make her proud so that I will get to see and be with her again!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday was a beautiful day!

Yes, it rained, and not only did it rain, but between Friday and Saturday at times it poured! But it was a beautiful day!

All of my children were there. All of my siblings were there. And almost all of my brother's and Sister's- in-laws were there! All but one of my nieces and nephews were there! It was a beautiful day! Today was the funeral of my mother!

The viewing was Friday night and despite the horrible rain storm many people came out to be with us! My father kept saying that he had a feeling all the rain was my mother reminding him he needed to water her flowers!

Everyone in the family had their assignments to make the viewing and funeral a perfect tribute to Mom. Jill did the slide show...which we all loved so much! Ruth wrote the obituary. Kim drew the beautiful picture that was the theme of our tribute to mom. Elizabeth typed up the program and played the piano for the grandchildren's special musical number and then had to practice and perform a piece with me. I played the violin in honor of mother. George paid tribute to Mother at the funeral services as the representative of her children, and came up with the idea that all the pall bearers wear blue ties as that was Mom's favorite color. It was also the song that was special to George and Mom that was the music for the slide show! And the grandchildren sang! President Reed and President Besselievre gave beautiful talks as did Elaine Davis. The beautiful music by Michelle Smith, whom Mom loved dearly and Lisa Dansie who has always been important to our family was perfect and I believe Mom would have been pleased. George did such an amazing job paying tribute to Mom, she was so proud I am sure!!!! And I believe probably having her grandchildren sing would have been her favorite part, except for Dad's eulogy, she always loved Dad's words and stories especially when he was talking about them and falling in love! Edward dedicated the grave and Alan gave the family prayer!

It is done in this life now, for my mother, she is buried......but not finished by a long shot. It was so wonderful for my Dad that a lot of his siblings and their spouses were here with him today, I know he appreciated their love and support, as did I!

The luncheon by the RS sisters in our Ward was fabulous and I now know why that is so important. I would not have eaten today if not for that lunch....as when it got to this point of the day I was emotionally and physically exhausted! My RS President and dear friend was by my side through this whole experience if not literally, then spiritually, but always where I needed her to be. I will always be grateful for that. And my sisters in the gospel were all so helpful and loving and quick to give a hug and food or both when a hug was needed! And 2 very dear friends came all the way from Kansas just for me!

It was a beautiful day and I know my mother was pleased! Love you Mom!