Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ft. Worth Symphony!

Tonight my dear friend Carol invited me to attend the Ft. Worth Symphony with her. It was amazing and it has been so very long since I have been able to enjoy something like that! It also reminded me of a earlier life! But that was a different season for me.

They had a 14 yr. old pianist, Conrad Tao, who is a prodigy and not only a proficient on the piano, but the violin, and a composer. He has won all sorts of acclaim and awards and is studying with all the masters! It was fabulous!
Another interesting thing that I have never seen before is the conductor conducted the first piece both movements without any music all from memory! I think if I was a musician in this symphony under his direction that would scare me. But it was impressive.
I could not have had a nicer time!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Influential Women......

Today was our big RS meeting where even if you are in YW's or Primary or wherever that keeps you from getting to attend RS....you get to attend today! The lesson that our Amazing and very influential Relief Society President gave today was on our influence as women. And that what the World thinks is influential and what the Lord thinks is influential is completely different and who's opinion is more important!

I had to hurry and come home and blog my feelings before the everyday hubbub that is life starts to help me forget some of the messages! It was a message that my Relief Society President had given to me personally once that I will be forever grateful for.....but it was also very emotional to me today because my dear friend Rebecca, took Aileen after Sacrament and kept her all through Sunday School and then even in Relief Society when I tried to take her back. She told me that Aileen had conveyed to her that she wanted to be with her this day. And I will say that Aileen was in heaven being with Rebecca and having Rebecca help her participate with the lesson! I love this dear friend!

In the lesson we listed who we thought and who we thought God thought were influential women. Names like Ruth, Esther, Eve, Sister Julie Beck, our RS President Kirsten, Mother Teresa, Emma Smith, Visiting Teachers, etc....

Then we listed qualities or traits we think these people or Influential women in general have. Qualities like faithful, courageous, patient, loving, example, testimony, compassion, integrity, prayerful, charity, diligent, humble, prepared, steadfast, willing, leaders, knowledgeable, service oriented, puts God 1st, virtuous etc.

Then we talked about how it is easy to see these qualities in others but not in ourselves. We were each given a star that we had to write our name in the middle of....then on each of the 5 points of the star we had to write from the list we made the qualities we felt described us! Well, I have to tell you that was hard.....I would have loved to have done it for either of my neighbors sitting next to me or every sister in the room...I could have listed exactly what qualities they possessed! But it was hard for me to put down which ones i felt I had. Our President said that she felt it was because we might think we are being prideful, or puffed up so we don't generally tell ourselves the good things we do. She also said that Satan wants us to think less of ourselves or belittle us as women and mothers and that is his greatest tool! This was what I have had to work on, because as my RS President told me personally once....Satan knows that he can not shake my testimony of the gospel or my faith in other things so he gets me by thinking less of myself or that no one likes me etc....so it has been something I have made a concerted effort to do better at so that Satan does not win!!!!

I also have a great VT partner, Mary Ann, who told me that her husband said to her once "I think your telling yourself the wrong story" and I loved that and have used that as my new mantra when I start putting myself down or thinking that people might be saying negative things about me I say to myself "I'm telling myself the wrong story"

But the real beauty of today and the reason my heart is so full is because of Rebecca and how she helped Aileen. And the qualities she and Aileen decided should go on her star are:

Humble, Patient, loving, courageous, and virtuous. And the joy in Aileen's face as I hung it up on her bulletin board was priceless! Only someone truly intuned to the Holy Ghost would know which words would mean the most to Aileen and would then bring her so much Joy!

I had a hard weekend with feeling bad about myself, because of hurting my daughter and making her cry and then because of something that was said to me by someone that I should feel safe with.....so today was very good for me to remember and remind myself that I might be telling myself the wrong story and to especially remember that I am a woman of influence and that I am a loved daughter of my Heavenly Father!

At the end we were given bags with notes that we had written to each other! For about a month and 1/2 now we have had the challenge to write notes of love and appreciation to every sister in the Ward! I was able to get a lot done, but I did fall short and did not get one to everyone written, and now that I see how much my bag means to me I feel bad that I wasn't able to get everyone done! So maybe my goal will be to personally send notes to the ones I didn't finish.... or maybe that fact that they had notes from others that will be enough!

But I am so grateful for Today, for the spirit that I felt in our Relief Society meeting and the Love I did feel for me and for my precious Aileen from my Heavenly Father through others!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Awesome in-law's!

This is such an amazing note to get as a parent from your daughter's future in-laws! I know now I will not have to worry! Becuase thy do love and appreciate her!

"We are so thrilled that John and Allison have found each other. Even before we met Allison, we knew that she was someone very, very special and that John was very blessed to have found her. When she came here to Seattle to spend the weekend with us, and we personally got to know her and her lovely, vivacious personality, we were so happy for the two of them. Allison is a truly wonderful young woman! She has lived her life so well, with your loving care, support, and teaching through the years, preparing her to become the great young woman that she is. We immediately fell in love with her ourselves. She fit so naturally into our family. Marianne and I have said over and over that we cannot imagine a more perfect woman for John. You are right – they have both “done the right things” over the years and this has prepared them to find one another and be together forever. Thank you to you and Alan for raising such a beautiful daughter. We’re delighted that she and John will be married".

This really meant the world to me!

Bad mom!

So I'm a bad mom! I made Allison cry today! I feel really bad! I'm just trying to get some answers regarding the wedding......but I need to back off! I guess if things are booked before I get answers....it wasn't meant to be! I hear that I am also giving the impression that I am planning everything instead of letting Allison.....so I really need to back off!

We do have a lot decided and the dress already so we are doing good. This is not what I wanted to make her feel like. I am so sorry!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Who is John Rex?

Everyone is asking me about John Rex, Allison's fiance'. I thought the best way for me to let you know who he is, would be to copy a portion of the note I sent to John's parents shortly after Allison and John became engaged.

John Rex is definitely the finest young man I know! Here is an excerpt from my note:

"I am so very impressed with your son and so grateful for all that you did to raise such a worthy, responsible and amazing young man! I do not know how she could have ever found anyone better! We love him already and appreciate the young man that he is! You tell your daughters when they are growing up and in YW's that if they will live the gospel and keep its standards and do all the things they need to do like get their personal progress and graduate seminary, work hard so they can go to the Y etc..... that they will find a young man that honor's his priesthood and has done all the things that he should like going on a mission, graduate seminary, be an eagle scout, duty to God etc... and then you feel so blessed when she does find someone who has done just that! And now John is going to take her to the Temple to be married for time and all eternity! We cannot wait to meet the whole family".

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Allison & John

Sorry John, that your head got cut off in one of the pictures!!!! I thought I had checked them all to make sure they were all o.k.! I'll make it up to you!

Allison's engagement story! It's a cute one!

See picture of ring in previous post below! ( still don't know how to do that fancy linking where it's linked to one word on my post and you click on it and it takes you to the post...oh well, you will just have to look the old fashioned way!)

In Allison's words:

So this is the much wanted story... Here it goes... hold onto your seats people!!

So it was Tuesday evening and I arrived home from work/grocery store around 8:15 and John came over to my apartment. I had just eaten two pieces of pizza and two cookies (yes, I'm a pig). John then proceeded to convince me that we needed to go get some ice cream. I denied his request by saying I had just eaten a bunch of junk and did not need it. I offered the ice cream in our freezer, but he would have none of it, it HAD to be Dairy Queen. So he finally convinced me that I needed ice cream. So we commence to begin our journey down Canyon Rd. in Provo and as we are leaving the apartment, I put on my flip flops and John asks me, "It's kind of cold, are you sure you don't want something warmer?" and I, being the stubborn girl I am, ignored the comment and proceeded to get to the car. We arrive at Dairy Queen, get our wonderfully delicious frozen cream and we all of a sudden turn the opposite direction from our apartment complex. I of course didn't think anything of it because I just assumed John wanted to continue the discussion we were having. So we went to our favorite place on the Y-mountain, on a neighborhood circle.

Prior to this occasion, John and I, along with Logan and Abby (our amazing friends that are getting married in May) had gone up there during the day to watch the sunset. One of my favorite songs came on the radio and I asked John to dance with me. He refused, saying he was not a good dancer. I let it go, a little sad... it would have been so cute...

anyway-back to this night - we were up on the mountain and could see all of Provo with the amazing lights. We are talking and all of a sudden John says, “Do you want to know the real reason why I brought you up here?" I of course said yes, and he said "I want to dance with you." I was floored. It was so romantic and cute, I almost cried right there. So we find a song on the radio and he got out of the car, helped me out of the car and we start to dance. We are talking about how excited we were to get married and I reminded him that I didn't have a ring yet so I wasn't too sure if it was going to happen... Then he replied, "Well when do you want it?" and I said "Now would be wonderful" and he said, "Are you sure?" and I said, yes. So he gets down on his knee and I immediately thought it was fake. I was completely shocked and had no idea. He then pulled out the ring and I remember saying "Oh my gosh" a million times with tears streaming down my face. I stand there shocked and John then asked, "Are you going to say yes?" and I shouted YES! And then he gave me a big kiss...

There ya go!!!! Can't wait to start planning!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Aileen was pampered!

The Laurel's in our Ward invited several sisters from our Ward that they felt deserved to be pampered to Young Women's tonight! Aileen and I were invited to get manicures, hand massages, and eat chocolate! Whoohoo! It was awesome! Aileen smiled a lot tonight and even laughed and that is always a treat when that happens! Here is a picture of Aileen getting her manicure by Ashley Morgan who is one of my favorite people because she is one of the babysitters that watches Aileen for me when I have been out of town, or needed extra help and I love her for it! She treats Aileen just like any other adult young women I love it!

Then as we were leaving we were given a bag with fingernail polish, emery boards, yummy smelling lotion, etc...etc... everything you need to pamper yourself! Aileen picked a shiny purple for her nails and lavender lotion!

Thanks to Sis. Pratt and the Fort Worth 3rd Ward Laurels! It was a treat!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Allison is engaged...has a ring and everything!!!!!!

Pictures and story to follow soon! But couldn't wait to tell everyone! August 15th in the Salt Lake Temple to John Rex

I'm home again yay!

I am happy to be home, but I must say I had a very amazing and memorable trip to Utah to see my girls and to meet Allison's boyfriend John! I'll say what Grandpa Jay said to me after meeting John...."I don't know how she could have found anyone better!" He said more but that pretty much sums it up! And I agree I don't think she could! He is an amazing young man. Grandpa Jay also said, "Of course Allison is pretty amazing herself" which is nothing but the truth!

The weekend in Utah was wonderful but it had it's stressful moments as well!

Allison and John picked me up at the Airport and then we went back to Allison's apartment and I met all her room mates. Some are new from the last time I was there, so it was nice to get caught up!

At Allison's apartment with Roses that John gave her just because he hadn't given her flowers in awhile!

We all went to dinner at the Olive Garden and we really had a fun time laughing and telling stories and eating lots of good food!

Allison's room mates and John's best friend at "The Olive Garden" we didn't want John to have to be the only guy!

Saturday Anne Marie came down and we went shopping, then went through the drive-thru at Sonic, where they did not give me my debit card back and I didn't notice until we got to Salt Lake! Ugggh!
We decided to drive Anne Marie's car to take all of us including John to Grandma and Grandpa (Brown) Jackson's house where a lot of our Brown family was waiting to see us and meet John! But on the way to Ogden, Anne Marie's car broke down....and I don't mean just a little problem that can be fixed.....no I mean dead, as in not worth the money it would take to fix it dead! It threw a piston. Ugggh again!

Here we are broken down on the side of Hwy 89 on our way to Ogden!!!! But we remained as positive as possible and family did come and rescue us...but there was no rescuing this car!

But I do have to say, what a blessing it was for it to happen when I was with her and when we had lots of family to come and help us...how horrible it would have been if she had been all by herself when it happened!

We finally get to Grandma's and get to see all our family and dinner was fantastic! We had all the favorites! Nobody makes potato salad like Mom does and Mary Ann makes the best shrimp dip....Alan was way jealous and Allison ate the last bits of Potato salad......booo!

A visit at Grandma's would not be complete without playing Shang-hi...it's a Brown tradition and John picked it right up and even clobbered us at our own game! John won lots of respect with that!

Went to Church with Grandma and Grandpa.

We bought Anne Marie a new/used car.....2001 Pontiac Sunbird (I think that is what it is, I'm not a real car person, so who knows) Thanks Cousin Dee for owning car dealerships and helping us know what we were buying!

Then before I got on the plane Monday night to head back to Texas, I was able to have lunch with my/Alan's Aunts and Uncles in Ogden!

Monday it started snowing....but that was not what delayed the flight! The plane coming from Texas to Salt Lake that would have then been my flight had a problem in Texas so they had to switch planes and it made the flight an hour late. So instead of getting home at 8:00 pm, I got home at 10:00 pm! But we landed safely and I'm happy to see my Aileen and my sweetheart again!

I feel bad because Alan spoke in Sacrament on Sunday and I missed it. I'm sure he did a great job...but I would still like to hear from anyone how it went!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Before I leave.....

I totally stole this cartoon from my friend Amber! I thought it was hilarious! I'm on my way tomorrow to Utah to met John and to see Allison at BYU and Anne Marie in Salt Lake! Can't wait. But I had to post this cartoon, because I can't help it I am anxious to get the movie!!!! Anne Marie be sure to tell me what you really think! j/k!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Holiday's are my thing....and a tradition that we celebrate all holiday's in our family! So I would like to say Happy St. Patrick's day to everyone! But especially my girls far from home.....it won't be long and I'll be there!!!! That's my care package to you this year....ME! Love you! Mom

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm rambling on....

I am exhausted today! It has been a wild month so far I would have to say! I've already told you about my Dad's b-day, Aileen's b-day, our cars breaking down, the computer getting a virus. This week/weekend not only did I do the decorating for the Stake High Priest Social, my primary class had sharing time this week, my sister who lives in Rowlette, TX had a birthday that we needed to celebrate, my Parent's FHE group had their meeting at our home tonight so I had to make sure all was clean for that and last of all today was crazy at the Doctor's office that I work at - 1st day of spring break everyone wants to have their in-office surgeries so they have the week to recuperate! Whew!

However, I am very excited to leave on Friday to go and see my girls and meet Allison's boyfriend for the first time. Alan and I already really like him because of how happy our daughter is...but it will be great to meet him in person!

So I have been feeling guilty that i haven't sent my usual St. Patrick's Day care package to my college girls...but I figured I'm going to be there in 3 more days....so I hope they don't mind!

I also have to say, I love that "Dancing with the Stars" is back on. It really is my favorite show, other than "The Closer" and "Burn Notice". I'm so happy that the Bachelor's Melissa is doing so well! I was really angry at the Bachelor, Jason, for dumping her after asking her to marry him on the final live show! What a loser! and can I say as a mother of girls....it scares me! Which brings me to my last rambling

I am so grateful for the gospel in our life and for the way that most of our youth are grounded and have morals and standards and are making so many correct choices! And I see our young men willing to serve the Lord for two years, and our young women encouraging them and wanting them to do so as well. Then that gives me hope....and I don't worry about the Jason's out there so much!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Stake High Priest Social - Was a blast!

A Blast from the Past that is.....That was the theme of the party. I was asked to decorate 20 tables and then another sister from 6th Ward did the other 20. It was very amazing because we knew the theme, but we were on our own for coming up with how we wanted to decorate and they went together so well that when we decorated every other table...with hers and mine it looked like we were brilliant and planned it that way! It really was fun to see it work out so very nicely. I spent every day this week working on these decorations, copying, cutting out, pasting, tinseling, putting everything on sticks and then wrapping the dowels with colorful pipe cleaners so they were just bare sticks...I know I'm crazy. The theme was blast from the past so I did 50's movies and TV shows along with sock hop/juke box kind of things with old 45's etc.... and I think they turned out very fun! One neat thing is that Anne Marie has given me a lot of cool DVD box sets for Christmas in the past so I had all the Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire movies and all the old Roger & Hammerstein musical movies, all the old James Bond movies with Sean Connery (my personal Fav) so I used those in my decorations as well and they added alot to my centerpieces without me having to do alot of work for the old TV shows and movies!

I really like how my centerpieces turned out....what do you think?

They had a live band that was pretty good.....at least they played all the oldie but goodie songs that Alan and I love so we sang along and...we danced!

It was probably the first time in a long time that we danced and I loved that it was Alan's idea! He is so good to me! Then he dance with Aileen! I loved that! So enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It comes in 3's!

My dad told me on Sunday...."sometimes it feels like if I didn't have bad luck, I would have no luck at all" and then we both laughed and I got a hug because I really needed one!

Fri/Sat - I had the worst virus attack my computer so that I had to pay $170.00 to get it all cleaned up....so I could do my transcribing for work...plus I just needed my computer!

Sunday - Alan tells me that he has been asked by the Bishop to go to Burleson Ward bldg. and take pictures of the recognition plaques they have there because our ward is thinking of doing something similar...so he says "Why don't you just come along for a drive with me" Sweet right? WRONG....our car overheated and we had to park it immediately and having just spent almost $200 on the computer not prepared to spend that much or more on the car until Friday. So we drove the un-air conditioned old car. Not so fun. But we did it.

Wed. - Alan is driving down the freeway in the old car - the only one that is working - after some appointments today and gets a flat. He has to call a tow truck and get new tires! (good thing we didn't spend money on the other car yet)

I hope to shout that this means something really amazing is just around the corner!

Dreary day - why I blog - and Why can't i just tell everyone! It's killing me!

It is the first dreary day we have had in a while! I forget that just because in Texas we have been having 80 degree weather and sunshine does not mean the rest of the country is. We are probably just having to deal with what we should be this time of year...but alas we are spoiled so we want sunshine and warmth!

Also, I have been thinking for several days about the reasons I blog. This question has been nagging at me for several days as it was brought up in one of my friends blogs that I read. I originally thought that it would be a fun way to journal. I also thought that since I had worked so hard getting my personal history done and up to date....that blogging would be a fun way to keep it current with photos etc... hence the not having to look all over for that picture in later years when once again writing the rest of my personal history. I'm hoping to figure out a way to print out my blogs and then the rest of my history will be in this form. I also did this so that with friends and family when something exciting happens I can tell them to go to my blog and look and see photos etc... or its a way for my daughters when they are missing home to come on my blog and read and feel apart of things again.

But I have found that blogging is not a journal....or at least a journal that you can really tell all that you are feeling and experiencing because it is a public thing that anyone can read. And because it is public I cannot share things and feelings that I am having sometimes regarding my girls as the ones who can speak would kill me....and because it's their's to tell not mine!

I also use to put more weight and worry into how many comments I got or how many followers I have - then my wise daughters told me that I had to decide if i was doing it for a record and for me.....or was I worried about popularity....aren't they cute! And I did decide that I tell about things for me. Things that have meant a lot to me whether it happened to me or to one of my friends or family and I was apart of it. And if my girls can enjoy it too all the better and better yet if it means something to someone else, a friend -- cool! But if not it was still something that I enjoyed and something that meant something to me. Something I wanted to remember. I have found that I have been happier with my blog this way. Although I will admit to still getting caught up in checking to see if anyone has commented and then I get after myself a little bit and laugh at myself because old habits and insecurities are hard to break!

I have one friend, a college room mate, that her blog is directed and speaks only to her family as a way for her to share exciting news, and bear her testimony to her children, their spouses and her grandchildren. She probably doesn't even care if others comment or not...even though we have been invited to share her blog so that we know what is going on with her family as well. I have started looking at mine more like that also.... don't know if I'm there yet, but that's the goal.

The last thing you should know is there are so many things I would love to share my happiness about where my girls are concerned. But I am learning how to let it be there surprise and their joy.....hmmmmm its about time don't you think now that I am almost 50! It just takes some of us longer to learn! But I hope my girls are pleased with their mother! Love you baby girls!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A baby blessing!

One of my seminary students had her new baby blessed today. And that is so wonderful and very exciting in itself! However, it was particularly special to me because she picked the outfit I gave her (well, o.k. Allison too) for him to wear to be blessed in! I feel very honored. He is so precious!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's a Baptism!

There was also a baptism this Saturday as well! One of the sweetest girls you will ever meet or know Lauren Z. Her mother and Aunt are two of my dear friends and Alan and I were very excited to go and watch her and be apart of her special day! The missionary that baptized her mother flew in from New York to confirm her. It really was a special occasion! Two weeks ago the mother went through the temple for her own endowments and when she stood up at the end of the Baptism to thank everyone for being there she said, "This really has been a wonderful month"! And indeed it has been!

It's a baby shower!

Today was a really fun Saturday because I was able to go to two really exciting events!

The first was a Baby Shower! And we all know how I love Baby Showers! The food was delicious and the desert was so cute. The hostess made Chocolate succors that looked like a baby carriage, the cupcakes were made to look like Baby Rattles, and she had life savers made to look like pacifiers! It was also a shower where everyone was to bring an assigned size of disposable diapers and something for the Mom as this was her 3rd boy! But I never can resist buy clothes as well....so she got diapers, a pedicure and this cute outfit.... swim trunks, swim top and flip flops!

Aileen's Birthday Party!

(You can click on the collage to see the photo's bigger if you would like to see full size)

Thanks to Nicole and Katie in the middle with Aileen for being Aileen's friend and coming to her party! And Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Clay for always being there for me! We all had a great time!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Aileen Brown is 24!!!!!

Today 24 yrs ago our precious Aileen was born. She was born 1 month and a few days after Alan's father had passed away on his birthday! She is named after her Grandma Brown because we wanted to honor Dad (her Grandpa Brown) because she had been born on his birthday! Later family said that they thought for sure we would name Aileen - Karla or Karlie or something along those lines since Dad's name was Karl. But we felt that best way to honor him would be to name her after the love of his life and the next life! I think he would have approved he did love Mom so!

Aileen came 2 1/2 months early and was very sick and weighed 2 lbs. 6 ozs. but through the Priesthood my husband holds and honors, I was promised and have been blessed to be her mother! She has been a blessing to our whole family and taught all of us about unconditional love, having compassion for others (I love that Allison and Anne Marie are shining examples of what Aileen has taught us in that area) she has taught us great love for our Savior and the Plan of Salvation. And I live for the day in the next life that I will be able to hear her speak and call me "Mom". Our family motto has been in our family prayers and throughout Aileen's life....."Please bless us to live our life so that we may be with Aileen".

I love you baby girl! You have made having an empty-nest bearable! I often tell her it is a good thing I have one daughter who knows where she belongs and does not abandon her mother like her other traitor children have!

Happy, Happy Birthday Aileen!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

69 is Great!

Today is my Dad's birthday! He is 69 yrs young. Those of us that live in the D/FW area(Edward happened to be in town for Novell) got together and went for real Texas Barbecue at Cousin's, the best barbecue in Texas! We had fun talking and catching up; telling fun stories and laughing! They actually had to throw us out of the restaurant we were enjoying being together so much and did not want to leave; however, Cousin's was past closing! ooops! I love my family! We definitely missed those that could not be here! That would have been the only thing that would have made this celebration better! Happy Birthday daddy!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Aileen's check-up!

Today was Aileen's yearly check-up with Dr. Eden. She weighs 100 lbs. and is 4'10" tall and in excellent health! It is always fun to see Dr. Eden and she is so good with Aileen, I just love her as our doctor! She was proud that Aileen rides MITS to her Day Care. She was very impressed so that was fun for Aileen! The funniest thing was that Aileen was wide awake all morning before we went to the Doctor's appointment at 9:00 am and then she acted like she was falling asleep the whole time. Aileen is funny! But anyway it was a good visit.