Friday, May 28, 2010

We own a home!

Signed the paperwork May 28, 2010!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bridal Shower for Barbara!

Barbara, my Dad's fiance', works with the Young Women of our Ward and they decided to have a bridal shower for her for their activity this week! They invited Aileen and I to come too so we were happy to come and participate! They played a "how well do you know Sis. Eldridge" game with lots of questions on how she and Bro. Clay met and started dating, which of course led to cute stories of their dating. But also led to a very tender moment of Sis. Eldridge telling the girls how she had decided all these spiritual things that any man would have to have before she would consider marrying them and then prayed to Heavenly Father to send her such a man. So when they started dating, and Bro. Clay asked if they could pray together, go to the temple together, read scriptures together etc...... she knew that Heavenly Father was trying to tell her something. She told the girls to decide what it was they wanted in a spouse to have a Celestial Marriage and then be willing to wait for it because it can happen! Very cool moment. And kind of special to be his daughter and hear this story as well.

Then they divided up in teams and with toilet paper designed 2 different "Modest" wedding dresses. Barbara's nieces and now my cousins, were at the party as well, so they were the models! The YW came up with some really awesome dresses, bouquets, and veils!
Then Aileen's favorite part, the refreshments, were yummy! Chocolate cake, fruit plates, petit fours, cookies, mints and Lemonade! It was a fun night! And perfect for someone that has insisted over and over again......I don't need a bridal shower.........we have everything we need!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Luncheon girls - May

This month we went to the Modern Cafe in the Museum of Modern Art Fort Worth! We didn't know that Wednesday's are 1/2 price day for going through the museum so some opted to do that as well! I had to miss last months luncheon girls at "The Cotton Patch" because my Dad was in the hospital and had just had heart surgery, so I was anxious to be back together with everyone again! I was worried that with the holiday weekend coming up we might not have a good turn out.....but all was well! There were some that were out of town or leaving for out of town so couldn't come but still enough of us to make it a great lunch and visit!

Left: Bonnie, me, Kathy, Betty
Right: Becky, Shawna, Joyce, Pamela

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The letter came!

The letter came for the cancellation of Barbara's sealing to her ex-husband, so the invitations can go out, the plane tickets bought, and the wedding is set for June 19, 2010 in the Dallas Temple!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another one bites the dust......

My friend Becky, whom I also visit teach turned 50 and we had to celebrate at Babe's (tradition), you might remember my 50th birthday there as well as MaryAnn's my VT Partner and dear friend and the embarrassment we all had to suffer, you know what they say about PAYBACK! We had so much fun laughing and teasing her with giving her an OVER THE HILL cane people were looking at us before the waitresses came over to sing happy birthday to her and make her dance the chicken dance! good times!
the B-day girl and me!
My VT partner MaryAnn and her daughter Sara
The over the hill cane - really made us laugh, too, too much
getting ready to be sung to and have to dance!!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Sweet Relief" - it's done!

Tonight (well actually yesterday now that it is after midnight) was the Qtrly Activity for our Relief Society! It was wonderful, and I'm not patting my own back, because it took "A Ward" to make it all happen! But I was thrilled with the out come! And everyone is talking about it on Facebook, so you know it was a success! lol! Here are some pictures of the night.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Date night at the Temple!

Saturday afternoon we got a babysitter and went to the Temple to fulfill a ward assignment by doing sealings! The whole bishopric was there plus a couple that just recently the husband was released as the Executive Secretary, so it felt like the whole group was together again. It was very cool! Doing sealings is always a special time and feeling! Its a reminder of what you felt when you were married and sealed to your spouse for forever, and also to hear those covenants and blessings again rejuvenates your relationship as a couple as well! It was a great date! Thanks sweetie!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Upcoming RS Qtrly Activity

If you follow my blog at all you know by now that I am the 2nd counselor in Relief Society in our Ward and I am the counselor over all the RS meetings as they are now called, (i.e. homemaking, enrichment etc.) on May 20th we are having a night that I am very excited about, even though I do not have a RS Meeting leader any longer nor any committee! yikes! I did call in a few favors from friends, however and like I said, this should be a great evening. The theme for the night is The "Sweet" Side of Relief Society. We will be serving refreshments that night. We will have 3 workshops by really amazing women, my former RS Meeting leader, our past Relief Society President, and the 1st Counselor of the RS Presidency! The workshops are entitled - Never Suppress a Generous Thought; Passing on the Legacy; and My Hands are His Hands, My Heart his Heart, My eyes His eyes. Then at the end we will be making Tiles with these different sayings on them.

I hope that many will come as the workshops will be wonderful I know based on who is leading them and hopefully the sisters will experience some "Sweet" spiritual blessings as well!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Well, I'll be.... I am a good mother!

Really, the past few years this has been a wonderful surprise for me, that I love and adore Mother's Day! I must admit when I was younger, I believe mainly when I was working when my children were younger.....and then again just because they were teenagers! I almost dreaded Mother's day! Sometimes it was the most depressing day of the year for me! I would go to church or watch TV shows and listen to all the people talk about their amazing mothers etc...and I always felt that I fell short! I know that I am my own worst critic. But I know I was not the only one that felt that way, because before I knew why I was sad, I was talking to a friend saying "I don't know why I'm so sad today!" and that friend said, "I know why, Mother's Day is the most depressing day of the year!" We cannot have been the only two women in the world that felt that way!

After I was able to be a stay at home Mom that I had always dreamed of being, I noticed I didn't feel quite that sad about the Holiday, but still with Oprah, and Regis and Kellie etc... doing all these special shows about these amazing mothers I did sit and wonder what my children would and did think of me.....

After we became Empty-Nester's (2007), and have seen what amazing children Alan and I have turned out....I must say, I adore Mother's day, because guess what? To them I am amazing! And they are such great adults, how can I not be proud! So this past Sunday as I was reading my Mother's Day Book they all made for me and each person wrote what they loved about me (even my new amazing son!) I thought to myself......."Well, I'll be....I am a good Mother!" Who knew!

See slide show of the mother's day book they made for me below! John said that what he realized is that there are not enough pictures of him and me together! Isn't that cute!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Lets get moving

I know, I can hardly believe it, but its true! We are buying a home. With my Dad getting married and moving in with his fiance', he wants to sell his house. So we are buying it and will close next Friday! (at least that's the forecast)

It finally seems real and I have been a little teary all day and wondered why and now I think I know why! It has been a long time since we have owned a home and had all of our own stuff, and able to decorate etc. as we would like to! I feel incredibly blessed and so grateful to my Heavenly Father for helping something to happen that I had basically given up on - owning a home!

3 things happened:

1) Dad is getting married and needed to sell or rent the home. He asked us if we wanted to buy or rent he would be happy to do either. He just wanted out the the home fast (June 19 when he gets married) So I called his guy that helped Dad get this home originally and we are going to do a sale by owner deal!

2) Because we have been living in the home we have to have far less to put down on the home to be able to purchase it! That was a big plus! And because we have been working so hard to get and stay out of debt (even though I was worried) there were no worries with our credit report! Whoohoo!

3) Whatever the reasons may be, we have lived in this home for a long time out of the loving generosity of my parents and now that the market is a buyers market and not a sellers market, Alan and I both felt that we owed it to Dad for him to be able to get exactly the price he wanted to get out of it.....instead of someone trying to haggle him down because they can......and right now they could!

Bonus - we both get to buy and sell a house with very little disruption.....except getting all of Dad's stuff out and all of mine in!!! lol!

We will be putting in new carpet and some flooring in the kitchen. Because of hail damage we are getting a new roof! And once the siding by the Chimney that has rotted gets fixed.... I will be the happiest girl in the whole USA! Dad and I have been doing this as if anyone was buying and selling a home.....not that its my Dad selling or his daughter buying it!

So today it finally feels real! And I hope I haven't jinxed it by saying all this.....this is why I have kept it all under my hat until now....but I can't stand it anymore! Lets get MOVING!!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Relief Society Presidency

Our Secretary moved out of our Ward at the beginning of March (We miss you sweet Morgan)! And it has taken us this long to get a picture of the new group......and at the end of this month our 1st Counselor will be moving. I am glad we got a picture for my personal history before she better late than never!

The 1st Counselor is the 2nd one from the right (the tall skinny one - she has had 3 boys too and still is that skinny!). Before she was in the RS Presidency she was the Young Women's President and was Allison's YW's president when Allison was a Senior, not sure about the Junior year but definitely her Senior year in High School! As you can guess I was always really worried about Allison's time because she was involved in EVERYTHING and Senior year is the worst.....

My best memory of Sarah, is at the end of Allison's Senior year when everything is going full force with theatre, choir, banquets, awards, tests, auditioning for colleges etc.... she asked Allison to teach the combined YW/RS lesson in May I think and when she called to ask this, Allison wasn't there so I was taking the message and my Mom radar went up and I said something to the effect that Allison was extremely busy at this time and I didn't think she realized how much pressure she was under! Luckily Sarah persisted in asking Allison and I had a few minutes to take a step back from all the whirlwind of activities and realized that our family has never turned down an assignment unless there was just no way, and I needed to let Allison, who we had raised and taught all these correct principles to, make that decision.

Allison excepted the assignment to give the lesson and it was beautiful and I believe it was on answer to prayer or listening to the spirit or something like that. Allison of course did an amazing job and it was really wonderful to hear her testimony about answer to prayers! When everyone was coming up to me afterwards to to tell me what an amazing job Allison did on the lesson Sarah came up and not only told me how great Allison did, but said something along the lines of, I knew that this was a time in her life that she would be having to make BIG life decisions and that this would be a good reminder for her to depend on and listen to answer to prayer!

And at that time Allison was having a huge debate over which college to go to..... whether to go to Sam Houston and know that she could be in shows and have more exposure in a smaller college and hope that she would be able to get to the Institute programs once and awhile and Church.....because the music theatre program there would have demanded a lot of her time on Sunday and basically every night of the week.

Or to go to BYU and hope that she would eventually make it into the major that she wanted to be in and be one of thousands of talented people and maybe never be recognized for her talent! But would be an amazing place for her to be spiritually!

Now this may seem like a simple answer....but you have to remember this is the girl that was always front and center on stage in High School, recognized with all kinds of awards etc.... and dreamed of being on Broadway some day! So it was a tough decision and maybe a real test of her testimony! I know we were all relieved when she decided to go with BYU (I'm sure only because of answer to prayer and her accepting that answer).

And she has done awesome at BYU, changed her mind about needing to be on Broadway (not that I don't think she could have done it.....because I do believe she could have) has picked doing something she loves (theatre education) that she can make a living doing if she needs to/wants to. And met an amazing young man that loves her and supports her and will help her get back to her Heavenly Father......all because she listened to the spirit and went to BYU! And probably all because Sarah, listening to the spirit asked Allison to teach a lesson for RS at the very busiest time of her life! I'm so glad that I stepped back and didn't let the "protective mama" stop this from happening and let Allison decide if she wanted to (of course she chose the better part) and she was able to find the Lord's path for her life! She is so happy and I love Sarah for being the kind of YW leader that she was!

I also will miss getting to see Sarah in action in our Presidency meetings. Just recently I am trying to take a page from her example and do better myself on something. I have just started and it will take some practice! But I hope I can do it with persistence, because I do believe I will be a better person/leader because of it!

You will be so very missed Sarah and your cute little family....but we will all be better people for having known you!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Saturday - Remembering Mom!

Monday April 26, 2010 was my mother's birthday. So, on Saturday, all of us in Texas went to mom's grave side and wished her a happy birthday! Told her we would never forget her! And spent a few minutes with her! Then we came home to Dad's and we brought in dinner from Boston Market (one of my favs) and had a nice dinner where Dad updated us on his progress, what he has been feeling, and that Barbara are still committed to each other and planning on getting married June 19th. It was a very tender time for Dad and his three children and son-in-law Alan. And it was just us! Thanks Barbara for understanding that we needed this time with our Mom to be just us!

Dad also told us that both families (his and Barbara's) are experiencing great trials right now and they realize that it is because they have wanted and are planning on a Temple marriage! And he apologized, but quite frankly, I personally am so thankful that they do not want to be married any other way or any other place!

After the visit and the dinner than Barbara came and joined us and it was very nice and seemed normal to have her be part of the family gathering!

Friday is Date Night!!!!

O.k., I know we are all supposed to have date nights! And We do go out with family and friends out to dinner and other activities, but usually it is always with Aileen! Not, that we mind Aileen always being with us, because, actually we really enjoy it.....but when a Young Woman from your Ward calls and says, "I'm working on one of my Personal Progress Goals and I need more service hours - Can you and Brother Brown go out on a Date on Friday night and stay out until late so I really can get those hours?" What else can you do but be magnanimous and say "Sure, I guess we could do that". It caught me so off guard, that I did say it in a tentative way. But as the week went on, the more excited I got and then I was finally able to express to this sweet Young Woman, what a special thing this was that she was doing for us!

We went out to eat with Barbara and my Dad. This was my Dad's first outing to a restaurant or anything like that since his surgery! We went to a Chinese buffet place where there would be no waiting in line for him and to a place that sounded good to him....because as you can see in the picture, he has lost his appetite! So it was good to be with them in a fun social atmosphere and see my Dad eat better than I have seen him do in a while!

Then They went home while Alan and I decided to hit a movie! Alan wanted to see "Date Night", which I thought was fitting and even though I had seen it with a friend, I hadn't seen it with him and it was much funnier with my husband beside me! We had a good time.

By then it was 11:00 pm or a little later, (our expected time of staying away) and so we went and picked up Aileen! Aileen of course had had a great time being with her friend and watching movies and being one of the girls!

It was a great time! Made me remember what it was like to go on a Date - I actually got all gussied up with make-up, hair and everything! And it was a special time to spend with my husband!

Thanks JS for making it possible! You are a gem! And Glad we could help you get your YW's goal!