Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ah, the last day, Day 14 of the Giving Challenge....

Too private and personal to share, but know that it was a blessing to be able to give this service!

Very special experiences have happened because of these 14 days. And I feel that instead of "Self-esteem" which is important but with the word self in there seems more self centered and self serving.....I do feel more like my life is more center on Christ and following his example and that I have definitely felt that I have worked on my Christ-esteem!

Thank you Relief Society and Young Women for making this possible for me to experience in a very planned out - taking notes - kind of way!

Day 13 - Giving Challenge

Donated books to the "Friends of the Library" book store close to my office.

It really has been fun as well as humbling to try and give one specific type of service every day! As women I think we give service all the time without even thinking about it. So to think about it and plan and sometimes even realize....Hey, this is my service for today.....has been a humbling and spiritual experience for me as a woman and a daughter of my Heavenly Father. So glad I have hung in there and kept doing it.

Day 12 - Giving Challenge

Today I took the time to call a friend that has been on my mind alot recently as she just got home from the hospital last week. I called to check on her and listened and asked questions, and did not talk about me at all!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 11 - Giving Challenge

I took a bunch of clothing and houseware items I no longer need to Goodwill! And quite frankly everyday I give service to Aileen, I'm happy to do it, but it is a daily thing! So that is my 11th day of Giving.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 10 - Giving Challenge.....

I have a beloved friend/aunt who this week lost her best friend because she found out that my aunt had joined the Mormon Church! So I delivered a HUGE candybar (this is definately a time when Chocolate is the only thing that helps) and wrote her a note telling her that she was loved by many and that she had many friends!

Today, she told me that I had no idea how much that helped and meant to her!

I'm so glad! That is one of Satan's greatest tools - rejection from those we love and care most about when learning about and joining the only true church on the earth today! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
Love you Aunt Tootie!

Day 9 - Giving Challenge

My youngest brother has had a very hard year in that his marriage ended and is now a divorced single parent. I have never seen anyone work so hard to keep his marriage together, but you can't save your marriage when one has no desire what so ever to even try. George has custody of the boys and is really feeling overwhelmed of the responsibility with no break or help from his ex-wife. So I offered to once a month take the boys for a weekend if that would help him and I promised that we would make sure they got to all their basketball games or practices or whatever they have going on and that is kind of a big deal because they live in Plano! So this week my brother called and took me up on my offer to watch Tytan my 9 yr old nephew and get him to Frisco at 7:00 at night to his basketball game!

So While Elizabeth and I were out on Friday we met George halfway and got Tytan home to my house to spend the night and spend time with Uncle Alan while Elizabeth and I went to the movie!

He was so cute! He loved that we had a guest room for him and he made himself right at home. Saturday we went to McDonalds for breakfast and then later that morning went bowling. Bowling is his new favorite thing to do! While there of course we have to hit the arcade and I have never seen such a lucky kid! Every arcade has the game that has a claw that you try to reach down and pick up a toy.....but it almost always drops and you never win! But Tytan won 6 basketballs out of that game...everybody at the bowling alley could not believe it. It was too fun to watch him just keep winning! He also shot baskets and played a couple of other games.

Bowling was fun to watch him do! He is very competitive and so really wants to do well. It was cute to cheer him on and then really fun to get to high five him as he got strikes and spares!

Then we drove to Frisco and watched his basketball team win 30 - 4! Tytan is very talented in Basketball so its always fun to cheer him on and watch him make the baskets! Then George picked him up from there and we headed home to Ft. Worth.

So even though this was my gift to my brother, it was definitely 2-fold in that I also got to spend time and give to my nephew! It was a two for 1 kind of thing! AWESOME! Nothin' better.

Day 8 - Giving Challenge

Friday, I asked my sister if she would like to go to the movie with me and to dinner etc.... my treat. She was surprised and said "I can pay for my own" to which I said I know you can, but I would like to do something special for you! So she came down to Ft. Worth (which was very kind of her part) from Rowlett and since it was our families night to feed the missionaries, went out to dinner with me and the rest of the family with the missionaries. Then we headed to the movie with no idea which one we were going to see. We went to The Parks Mall in Arlington and asked what all the movies were about since we had no idea what was playing......I will say the ticket gal was very patient with us and did tell us all about them. Elizabeth picked "Easy A" which I was a little sceptical about, but turned out to be funny and actually had a good message about not judging people. So it was a very fun evening, with lots of laughter, sister sharing, and good memories! And only because she kept asking why it was so important for me to do this for her.....I told her about the giving challenge!

I also put flowers on my mother's grave, since it has been a year ago Labor Day that she passed away! On Labor day I was going to get there and do something to commemorate it.....but got home too late from Cowboy Stadium and the football game and it has been weighing heavy on my mind about doing something for my mom! So, on the eighth day of giving I gave flowers to my mother! Of course my father already had his there, but I loved adding mine!
mine are on the left.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Today is my oldest baby's birthday.......

Wow, how have 30 yrs gone by so quickly! Totally amazing that I have a baby girl that is 30! She has been nothing but a joy and blessing to my life! I'm am so proud of her and all that she is accomplishing on her own!!!! I love the compassionate woman that she is and truly appreciate that she is loyal to friends and family! She is very talented and steady and someone that can be counted on to do the right thing!!!!

When she was a little toddler, she never bothered Nick-knacks or breakable things left out. I never had to baby proof my house or expect others to do so either! She loved Aileen so much that one year to make Aileen feel better she didn't want to succeed in school because she was afraid that it would make Aileen feel bad, until we helped her understand that Aileen wanted to her to do her very best and succeed, just as Aileen was doing her very best.....but I loved that she loved Aileen that much and cared about her feelings so much even at 8.

She was a good student/honor student, fabulous actor, and is now making 4.0 in college and getting ready to start nursing school! Almost done with all her pre-req's. Plus she works full time at a hospital as a surgical phlebotomist!

She is my angel and a princess of our Heavenly Father and I hope that she knows how much she is loved by her family! She would be a blessing to any mother, but I feel extremely lucky that I was chosen to be hers!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Hunger Games

Oh my goodness! Everyone has talked and talked about how good they were and I do trust these people when they tell me something is good that it is going to be good....but I was never so stressed out in my life reading a series of books!

I was almost tempted to read the end 1st so I could quit stressing...but I hung in there and didn't and I'm sure it was much more exciting because I didn't....but it was a close thing!

Just curious! Did you like the ending of book 3? Book 1 and 2 had me on the edge of my seat until I could get to the next one.

Book 3, I thought our girl should have realized a lot sooner that Peeta was the one she really loved and helped him through his trauma sooner! Gale I know she was confused about, but she was never 1st with him it was always the cause first. I did really like how the author had her realize that she already had enough fire in her life, that she needed the steady love of Peeta, but once again, I just wish she would have realized it sooner. I did really like the surprise of who she killed at the very end!!! Very do you think she voted for the hunger games just so she wouldn't be kept from being able to shoot the arrow that was supposedly for Pres. Snow......yeah that other leader was going to be just the same as what they were trying to get away seems at the very end of the book that they really were going to have more freedoms now.

As you can see I have a lot of questions to discuss with people about these awesome books!!!

Loved them! Read all 3 in 3 days!

Day 7 - Giving Challenge.......

Every time I go to Sonic lately I have seen this new Snickers Blast that they are advertising for a limited time only....... and every time I see it I think of my Dad and how much he would really love that as Snicker's is one of his fav' today "Just Because" I took Barbara and my Dad 2 Sonic Snicker's Blasts! It was fun, because they really did look at me funny..... like...."Why are you doing this?" To which I said, "No reason really....Just because I love you"!

Day 6 - Giving Challenge.....

The Doctor that I work for is Jewish and they are right in the middle of their two biggest holidays/Holy days The Jewish New Year last week, Rosh Hashana and tomorrow at Sundown is Yom Kippur. So in the middle of all this I have found a Greeting Card that talks about both of these Holiday's and have given this to him and his favorite Dark gourmet Chocolates. The end of this last year has been a tough one for his my prayer is that this new year will be a year of healing, peace and much happiness!

Day 5 - Giving Challenge

Alan's father died when I was pregnant with Aileen who is now 25 and my Mother-in-law was a widow for 17 yrs until she met a wonderful man who had just lost his wife to cancer! They have been married for 8 yrs and he celebrated his 80th Birthday in May. In March/April we were asked to send letters to tell Jay how much we appreciated him. My father was in the hospital having heart attacks and open-heart surgery plus then weeks of recovery and I have to tell you it completely slipped my mind! While out at Education Week and visiting Mom and Jay I saw the book they made for him of his letters that everyone wrote for his birthday party. I remember the feeling of "oh, no!!!! I forgot!!!" of course being the amazing person that he is both he and Mom said that they knew I had a lot going on and all....but still....

So for my 5th day of giving,

I have written a letter to this wonderful "other" Father and told him what he has meant to me and my family and sent a picture of he and Mom at Allison's Wedding!

I really loved giving this! Is this cheating? I hope not.
I know I'm behind recording what I have done, but I will get you caught up.....more to come.....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Today in church with Aileen.....

Today I had a special experience with Aileen. The lesson in Young Women's was about how important our life is....and Rebecca Albright asked me to come and share an experience I had with Aileen and having Aileen bear her testimony for the first time several years ago!

Aileen has been very noisy in church and not easy to calm down, usually that means that she wants to bear her testimony....that she is tired of not being "heard" if you will.

Last Sunday was fast Sunday, and I was very surprised that I did not feel the spirit telling me to take Aileen up.......and I know that Aileen was surprised and would not calm down. But now I know why....

Today, Aileen was able to stand in front of the Beehives and bear her testimony and until that moment I could not keep her quiet.....but while she was bearing peace and calmness and she has been happy ever since! The girls noticed the difference between before and after and so did I.

I bear testimony to you that Aileen does know that God lives. That she does have a Savior, Jesus Christ. And that she will return to live with them again some day! And that sometimes she just wishes she could say it. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

P.S. I think this is the worst picture of me ever....but its not about me!!!

Days 3 & 4 of the Giving Challenge.........

Day 3 - My nephew has moved into a new apartment and does not have anything.....especially dishes wise so I hurried and unpacked a lot of my dishes so that I could give him Grandma's dishes as I find out what I don't need anymore! He happily came over and picked them up and I had run them through the dishwasher so they were clean for him to take home and could put away. I could have taken them to him....but I had already been on my broken foot too long unpacking and needed to get off it and he was very happy to come over and pick out new movies/books to watch and read while getting the dishes! It felt good to give him things I know that he needed!

Day 4 - My oldest had a rough week at work last week, so I sent her a email (because she would get it faster then by mail since she lives in Utah) letting her know how dearly she is loved!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 2 - of the Giving Challenge

As mentioned in previous post MaryAnn Stephens and I (And her husband) took the sandwiches to the Salvation Army this morning - 5 packing boxes full of sandwiches - that's a lot of sandwiches! We were also glad because of the part of town we were in that MaryAnn's husband came with us.....that was very nice indeed!

But I wanted to try to do something more and something for my husband...but at every turn I felt thwarted. So in spite of my big plans to really do something for my husband that I thought he would really appreciate and alleviate his mind some...... I ended up just bringing in the garbage cans for him from the street.

Funny thing would have thought I did all those other things I tried to do but couldn't as appreciative as he was that I did this small thing!!!! It really doesn't take doing big grandiose things to help someone and to show them that you love them........

We always know this in the back of our minds, but good to be reminded from time to time!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

14 Days of Giving Challenge......

Tonight at Relief Society was the last of the activities that I had originally planned on having when I was the 2nd Counselor in the RS Presidency......early last month I was released, but luckily the sister who was called as the new 2nd Counselor went ahead with the plans! This was a joint Qaurterly Activity with the Young Women in our Ward. Tonight was about helping the YW to do one of their personal progress activities under "Good Works".....but to also challenge us as RS sisters to give service for 14 days as well and write about it in our journals/blogs (if you are me). We had a wonderful presentation talking about the principles of Service with the Scriptures that are needed to be read for personal progress and then we had several activities to choose from tonight to start our 14 day challenge. The biggest one was making PB&J sandwiches to take to the Mission on Lancaster street downtown Ft. Worth to feed the homeless! I loved going to the store to buy the things I signed up for and I loved the making of over 200 sandwiches to feed the homeless! It was a fun time working side by side women that I admire and love and the fun time we had visiting, laughing and just enjoying the feeling of doing something for someone else. Many of the YW made cute cards and wrote letters to people to tell them that they were appreciated. And some of the women cut, glued, copied etc.... things to help teachers with visual aids and activities for the children to teach their Special Ed Classes. It was a great night!!!! Laura Brackney, RS 2nd Counselor, and Linda Davila the very very new RS Meeting Coordinator did a great job with very little time to actually pull it all together and make it their own!!!! But they did it!!!

Tomorrow morning Mary Ann Stephens and I are going to the mission to deliver the sandwiches before going to work. I probably could count that as my 2nd day of giving......but I think I would like to try and do something different......hmmmmm I will have to start planning and hope for inspiration!

But my 1st day of my 14-Day of Giving Challenge was awesome!!!! What a great experience.

The idea for the 14 Days of Giving Challenge was from the Previous RS President who did a 29 day Giving Challenge and then wrote about her experiences on her blog (B and K blog). And from our Ward Conference earlier this year where the Stake President asked "What is the RS doing to help the YW earn their Personal Progress?" So I said, "O.k., Let's do it"!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Crazy son-in-law.....

My CRAZY son-in-law John, for the first BYU game of the season, dyed his hair blue and had his head shaved to a "Y"! The things that boy will do for football!

Labor Day 2010......

We had a really fun opportunity to go and watch my step-brother Chris' football team, the Cedar Hill Longhorn's, play football at Cowboy Stadium! Having never been inside, it was kind of exciting to get to go inside and see this amazing arena. They are correct....there really are no bad seats and the ginormous large screens make it possible to see every detail and re-run of every play! And whoohoo....Chris' team (Chris is one of the coaches btw) won 42 to 41 in overtime!!!! it was a great and very exciting game!!! Of course the best part, other than our team winning, was being with the family!!!!

Dad & Barbara

Tootie and Taylor

Diana, Beverly, Lauren and Summer
(yes, we had time to practice french braiding)

David and his cute family, Landon and Mandi
(I know Landon is the only one you can see the face of)

Me, Jimmie, and Kristen

Barbara and David's little girl Emmalin

Barbara and David's wife Mandi

Everyone had a great time!

Jimmie and Kristen.....

My nephew Jimmie has moved to Ft. Worth and has been a delight to have around!!!! We who live in the area have met his new girlfriend and we all agree that she is a very lovely girl! So Friday night the 3 of us went out to eat and to a movie. We went and saw "The Switch" and we all agreed it was a great movie and I was glad that it lived up to its hype!

MaryAnn's Birthday - too much fun!!!!

My dear friend MaryAnn had a birthday the end of August. We first celebrated at a lunch with one of our other friends who also just happens to be one of the sisters we visit teach....

MaryAnn and Becky

Lois and Becky

All three of us party animals lol!!

MaryAnn modeling all of her gifts from Becky at once (2 scarfs/shawls and her necklace)
Then this last Saturday, Mary Ann and I and our husbands went to dinner on TCU campus at the TCU Cafeteria and watched the TCU/Oregon game on the big screens they have everywhere there! We had so much fun visiting and eating really good food (those students eat really good!!!!) and visiting about everything from if BYU really should have gone independent to our children, jobs, hobbies, church callings! It was great fun! Thanks MaryAnn for having a birthday!!!!
Alan, Lois, MaryAnn, and Greg.......MaryAnn has my gift on here even though you can't see it!

A year ago this past Sunday (9/5/2010).......

My Dad sent all of us this email for the year anniversary of our mother's passing! I want to keep it in my personal history and since my blog is now my personal history I am recording it here as I will be making my blog into a book.

A year ago we were all gathered together as a family helping mother move through the veil to a much better life. An awful lot has happened since that day. No one could have anticipated all of the events that were to take place. Some were not so good, but most were very good.

I have been thinking of the last family get together we had in the hospital room talking about special remembrances with Mother. It was the most touching and spiritual experience that I had ever had. Hopefully we can still look back on those special times and gain strength. I remember the planning of the funeral with Bishop Tillman and how each was able to participate in the planning. I remember the funeral and how special it was to see each of the children and grandchildren participate. I know that Mother was very pleased.

It has been a very emotional day for me. Tears seem to emerge quickly, whether it is singing a hymn, thinking of the loss of Phyllis or talking about her passing through the veil. Yet all of these memories are glorious and wonderful to me. It seemed a little strange to be holding Barbara in my arms and talking about how special Phyllis is to me and my life. Barbara handled it very well and was very comforting, the special person that she is.

Phyllis has brought so much joy and happiness into my life that words seem to be very inadequate to express my appreciation and love. She certainly looked beyond my faults and loved me anyway. A very rare quality in a spouse. She always saw the best in me and helped me be my very best. Her devotion to me was unequivocal. I was so happy to be able to help her during the last few years of her life in giving personal service to her. It was such a privilege to give that service to her and I loved every minute of it. She certainly brought out the very best Dean that could be developed, and I love her so very much for that.

Of course her greatest joy was her children and grandchildren. Each of you have blessed our lives beyond measure. We rejoice in your successes and feel the pain in your sorrows. We are so anxious to help each of you obtain a close relationship with our Savior and be able to abide in his love. It is the most wonderful joy that anyone can ever hope for.

Barbara and I are very happy in our marriage. We are doing all that we can to build upon the foundation that was so successfully laid with my marriage to Phyllis. We look for the good in each other and ignore the shortcomings so as to keep focus on the blessings that God has blessed us with. For he has truly blessed us beyond measure. I have to keep pinching myself to be sure that everything is real and not just a dream.

It has been fun and interesting to bring both families together and to feel the great love we have for each of you. You truly are special members of a larger family. We rejoice in our new family that has been expanded to include such special children and grandchildren. Very much like a new child being born into the family our love keeps expanding and we feel even greater love than before.

We look forward to the coming holidays and the special family togetherness it entails and certainly hope that all is well with each of you as you remember your mother / grandmother and contemplate the days ahead.

Much Love

Dad / Grandpa Clay