Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Aileen on Christmas Morning!

Aileen here in her new Christmas eve PJ's!!! She is ready to open all her loot! She got a lot of new clothes! Just what every 25 year old woman wants!!! And she has been wearing them to her Day Care everyday since and she does look Smashing!!!

It was a very Merry Christmas!!!

Traditional Clay Christmas Eve

We have always for as long as I can remember (and I know it started with my Dad and his family when he was little) had our big Christmas dinner and celebration on Christmas Eve. We all get together to eat a fabulous dinner which everyone helps to provide (Although I would have to say that this year Elizabeth did the most and provided the most - thank you sweetie). After our meal and visiting we go into the front room around the piano and listen to the Christmas story out of the scriptures stopping to sing appropriate Carols and Hymns at the right time. Then we move back to the family room around the Christmas tree where we open gifts from family. Gifts that usually are hand made. Gifts that are from your siblings etc... so that they don't get mixed in with all of Santa's presents the next morning and then maybe get missed that Grandma and Grandpa got you this instead of Santa!!! It is always a fun time. It's when I give the family calendar that I make, this year Elizabeth made us all the cutest scarves. I use to make the Christmas PJ's but now Old Navy usually gets that job!! etc... This year Dad and Barbara gave us all blankets that Dad picked out the pattern for each of us and Barbara embroidered, so as you can see, these are always a little more special gifts. Sometimes it takes a while for our children to realize that Christmas Eve gifts are the most special.....but not always!!!

Oh, and to drag out the agony for the little ones, we have to pick one at a time, youngest to oldest and you cannot pick a present for yourself......

Aunt Tootie trying to protect Art from getting his picture taken as that is not allowed!

Aileen's favorite gift.... Grandma Barb and Grandpa gave to her - the lights flash in the bottom of the cup and she loved that but then was surprised when she went to take a drink and there was no drink in the cup so we hurried and filled it....but she loves this blinking cup!!!

Alan's parents gave us this book which I was so excited about....I almost bought it for ourselves but with Christmas decided I shouldn't. So I was excited when he opened it!

Kansas Jayhawker PJ's I found these in Kansas while at the wedding and knew that Aileen had to have them this year....after all that is where she was born!!!!

Christmas Eve.....the morning

I hate to start this post this way, but I almost died Christmas Eve morning! Since that is the scary way my day started, I decided to start my post this way.

Because of watching my sick nephew while my brother was out of town, I caught the same cold, cough etc... that he had, however because of working, trying to get everything ready for Christmas before leaving for the wedding as there would be no time for anything after because of travel and because of traveling......I must have gotten too run down and my "cold" became severe bronchitis and sinus infection.

After traveling all night/morning Friday we got to my Sister's home about 4:00 am and brought all our stuff in from the car and went right to bed. I was coughing so much that I decided I needed to sleep sitting up and did so until about 8:00 in the morning at which time I felt better than I had in days and didn't really need to cough etc.... so I laid down on the bed.... about 45 minutes later my eyes fly open and I cannot breath, I cannot swallow, I cannot cough, I cannot catch or take a breath of any kind. Well, Alan was still in Kansas getting ready to leave for Texas. And my sister and her husband were downstairs and even though I was trying to get out the bedroom door and down the stairs I was in a panic and not getting very far......luckily my brother-in-law heard me gasping and floundering around and told my sister that it sounds like Lois is dying! So she ran up and started to call an ambulance but I didn't want that so we went to an Emergency type facility. When they saw my oxygen level they rushed me into a breathing treatment kind of a thing, gave me a shot, and then checked me out when everything had calmed down.

I won't lie, I really did think I was going to die and that would not have necessarily been a bad thing, but all I could think was how much Aileen needed me and how much I would miss my husband and children! I don't think it was my time yet there is still so much I need to do. I definitely think I should get to be a grandma before I die!!!!

So I was given some very strong medicines and told to take it easy.......so much for helping Elizabeth prepare for dinner!!!! I added to her stress taking her away from getting everything ready but she was a good sport about it and definitely nobody wanted me helping in the kitchen!!!

But when everyone arrived for Christmas eve, dinner was ready, Christmas presents were wrapped and the Christmas story from the scriptures was ready to be told and it was perfect in every way!

Since my house is not really decorated I did enjoy walking into Elixabeth's home Friday morning after traveling and seeing her home all decorated. I didn't take pictures of everything...but it was definitely beautiful!

Oh, how I miss Bessie!!!!

As happy as I am about teaching Gospel Doctrine, and I am happy about that! I do miss our Relief Society President and working with her on a daily basis! I even miss getting to come up with ideas for RS Meetings and just recently saw something and thought "Ohhhh, that would be awesome to do in RS" but alas, I no longer have to worry about those things!!!

Bessie Treber is an amazing, kind, loving, woman who anyone would do well to emulate! With her quiet leadership and service she is exactly what you would think of when you think of RS President.

She and her husband just went to Disney World and she knows how much Aileen loves all things Disney and unbelievably they brought back Aileen a present. So cute!!!

This is Aileen as Minnie Mouse!!! Gotta love it!

My Nephew Jimmie's Wedding

My nephew Jimmie got married December 23, 2010, in Iola, Kansas. So of course for the family that lives here in Texas it meant.....ROAD TRIP!!!! We love road trips.

My sister, Elizabeth, was the music for this event and the one playing the wedding march, so she had to be to the Rehearsal that was at 11:00 am the day of the wedding (I was her official page turner). So while everyone else was driving 7 hrs the day of the wedding (Thursday), Elizabeth, Alan, Aileen, and I decided to leave Wednesday night drive to Tulsa, Stay at the Marriott and then get up and drive the last 3 hrs Thursday morning!

We had so much fun caravaning and using our walkie, talkie's to keep in contact with each other.

Then when we got to Iola, we stayed at a Super 8 which of course was not as nice as the Marriott, but nice enough for us to hang out at after the rehearsal until the Wedding and Reception that night!

My Brother-in-law, JP, and Sister, Kim, made the wedding cakes, which I was amazed at because I wouldn't even know how to start.

While Elizabeth and I were up on the stage because Elizabeth was playing prelude music, I watched Jimmie come in go over to Alan and do the side man hug hand shake thing that men do and then I watched him go over to Aileen and give her a kiss on her head with a hug and I thought to myself....."Oh I love that boy". It was a special moment to witness. Something done when you don't know that someone is watching - means a great deal!

It was a lovely service and while not extravagant decorations very nicely done and it did look beautiful! And the Bride and Groom were so happy.....that's really all that matters!!!

My Nephew, Andy, the Marine, and his wife Katy were in Iola for the Holiday's which is the main reason Jimmie had is weddiing at this crazy time of year was so that Andy could be his best man.

Andy is being sent overseas in 2011. Which is why Katy and Andy eloped and just informed us later.....but they say that they are going to have an official Wedding Reception etc.... which we will all be invited to! We look forward to celebrating their union with them!

Then Elizabeth and I headed back for Texas Thursday night after the Reception because we had to get ready for the Big Christmas Eve dinner and family get-together at Elizabeth's home that has always been our tradition. We had to get the turkey and ham going with all the other trimmings! Alan stayed with Aileen at the motel and then drove home Friday, caravaning with Dad and Barbara.

Finally in the Christmas spirit......

I know, I Know its after Christmas but this post should have happened right before Christmas and I am catching up!

I finally felt like Christmas was here and that I was ready (even though I had done very little) smiling and singing Christmas Carols - in past years we have a family that always comes and Carols us, and it would not have been the same if they had not stopped by and Caroled. I thought they came because of my Dad, but my Dad is gone and they still came!!! Oh, what fun that was! Thank you Willden's for starting me to feel the spirit of the season!

Then our Ward Christmas Party happened and I was asked to play my violin......to which I would usually say no because I don't have enough time to practice and get it up to snuff! But this year I felt that I had to say yes, even if I did something very simple, in honor of my mother!!! So I did and even though not perfect it was acceptable and I was happy! Then my Dad was in charge of getting a High Priest number so he asked me to sing - I sang a song that my Mom use to always play for me and is my favorite Christmas song......."Birthday of a King". So that was a good memory and did much to get me in the Christmas spirit!

Also, about this time my Brother had to go out of Town and my Nephew Tytan, was sick and needed someone to watch him so I was able to watch him and hug and love on him and that did much to help me remember that even though my girls are gone I can still mother!!!!

A house that is in our neighborhood goes crazy all out with lights and decorations in their yard. I don't think the picture shows really how crammed pack it is with Christmas lights but it gives you the idea.....every time I drive by, and I drive by on purpose, it makes me smile and remember what time of year it is.

I never have cash on hand. I mean with that cute little debit card.....who needs cash. but at two different times I had cash on hand and able to help a homeless man by giving him some money and a woman who had run out of gas by giving her some change I had on me!

All of these things helped me remember the reason for this wonderful season and helped me to stop feeling bad that my girls would not be home with me this season!!! I am so grateful to my Savior and all that he does for me and my family! For the life that he led, for the example he is to all of us. And that he willing gave his life for all of us that we can return to be with him and our Heavenly Father someday!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I have not decorated for Christmas!!! Can you believe it? I really can't since this is one of my favorite times of the year.....in fact I have barely done anything. I have put up a few things so that we don't look totally undecorated, but no tree and very few things. I don't even have a wreath on the door......oh the shame of it all. I did mail my Christmas Cards out finally Saturday with a few more on Monday. And I have sent the girls and John their Christmas money. I think because no one will be here except for Aileen, Alan & I it has kind of taken out my enthusiasm for decorating.

I have made the gifts that I will give to my Family (siblings, parents etc.) on Christmas eve as we hold our traditional family celebration on Christmas eve. And I will cook the traditional dishes. But that's it. bahhhhhh humbug. I don't think I have ever been the Scrooge before!

A couple of other things are coming up that are exciting. On December 23, my nephew Jimmie is marrying Kristen Page in Iola, Kansas so we will be traveling to Iola and staying in Hotels for a couple of nights.....now that's my kind of holiday trip! Then we hurry back to Texas Christmas eve day to celebrate at my sister Elizabeth's home.

Allison took her Bridal portraits while she was here at Thanksgiving:

Go to Allison Rex Photography to see more.

Jimmie and Kristen will be living here in Ft. Worth and have been taking the missionary discussions so that is very exciting.

Some other things that I think I have forgotten to tell that I would like to remember for my history are -

In November Alan gave a talk in Sacrament meeting. Before church started I was sitting in the audience and one of the ladies in our Ward walked by and said....."you are glowing, are you in love?" to which I said....."Absolutely to that man right up there!" Alan is my hero. And he did give an amazing talk that Sunday. Nothing like sitting in the audience and watching someone you love shine the Love of Christ and remember what a wonderful faithful priesthood holder you were lucky enough to marry!

Every year we have to have a Social Worker come for the Judge/Court who gave legal guardianship of Aileen to us when she turned 18. They come to our home and see her living space, interview us and her if she could talk to see if we are giving her every advantage that is available to her and if we are taking good care of her. She is 25 almost 26 so that means we have had to do this for 6 yrs. This year the Court representative couldn't come at a time or didn't want to come at a time that Alan and I would both be home so she went to Aileen's Day Care and visited with her there and talked to the Nurses and workers there about Aileen and if they thought she was well cared for etc... The Manager/RN answered all the questions and when asked - "do you have any concerns about Aileen's care?" she said "No, in fact I wish all our clients families were so involved in their lives." She was then asked "What do you mean?" and she said - "There is no sitting on the sidelines or hiding away, if they go somewhere or do something she is there right with them" She went on to share with the social worker, "Her sister got married and Aileen was in the line" to which the Social Worker was surprised and said, "Wow that really is amazing". To our family that is not amazing.... that is just how it is!

While John was here I was able to take a few minutes to talk to him about what the future could be for he and Allison if they ended up having to take care of Aileen after we are gone. Allison had mentioned the last time she was here that she was worried to a certain extent that since it would not be appropriate for John to bath or change diapers etc.. for Aileen like Daddy can she wondered how she would get some relief as I do, since Dad and I can take turns etc... So I took this concern seriously and have been thinking and praying on it some. Of course if she had daughters that will solve a lot of that, but if she doesn't or heaven forbid it should happen right away because something happens to me and Alan I wanted to see what John's thinking on the subject was. I know that he loves Aileen very much and considers her his sister so I didn't have any concerns about that but you know, its different to talk about it then it is to live it.
So in one of our times that we got to talk together I mentioned that Allison was worried about who would help her change diapers etc... if that day ever came. And John said, well, I might not be able to help with diapers and bathing and dressing, but I can put on shoes, pack backpacks, give medicine help her eat etc... oh, I have to say it did my heart good to hear that he had thought about it and that he really had listened to Allison when they talked about this before they got engaged etc... He really is an awesome young man. We sure love him.
A funny story that happened with our last visit with Allison and John at Thanksgiving while spending a big part of our time together visiting and playing cards and trying to beat John....which is really hard to do!!! Alan had the keeper line of the whole weekend. After a couple of nights of our Thanksgiving visit Alan said to me "Our son-in-law is brilliant!!!" to which I said "I know" and then Alan said "and good for us!!" it made me laugh. Alan is too cute!
I did go to the Denzel Washington Movie "Unstoppable" - boy was it stressful! I'm telling you it was good, but not sure I could watch it again. And it is based on a true story and I always like movies like that.
Well, I think that catches up all the things I have forgotten to blog about! I'm sure I will get in the Christmas spirit this week with the wedding and all.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Visiting Teaching at the Temple.......

MaryAnn (my V.T. Partner) and I have been trying to go to the temple with all of our ladies that we VT. We have been going with them one at a time as we can get them to commit to it.... originally we set out to have one big trip together, but one by one things came up and we were only able to go with one at a time --but that seems to be better because then we get one-on-one time with each Sister. So last month we went with Ashley, this month Becky, hopefully next month will be another one of our 5 sisters! But ever since the Special issue of the Ensign on Temples and having that month's lesson be on the importance of Temples and going to them, MaryAnn and I have been diligently pursuing the going with our sisters to the Temple. What better way to V.T. then to be in the temple together! We have really been loving this goal!

Then we stopped in at the Bookstore and then off to LaMadeline's for lunch! It was a beautiful day!

Thanks Becky for going with us!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

I have been so slow this year in getting ready for Christmas. I think it is because I'm a little bummed that Anne Marie, Allison and John will not be here this year! I know I have to share....but really, it stinks! lol! I finally ordered my Christmas Cards so be patient wtih me this year. You probably won't get them until right at Christmas or between Christams and New Year....but they are coming and we wish all our family and friends the very merriest of Christamas's and a very blessed new year! And as always remember the reason for the season!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Esther and Daniel visit my Gospel Doctrine Class

Sunday in my Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class I had two very special visitors - Daniel and Esther who shared their experiences in having to stand up for what they believed to remember who their God was and then to accept whatever consequences came. For they new that their God could save them, but if not they would still not back down.

Many comments afterwards were like:

"I've never had visitors like that in a class before, but you really felt as if they were really Esther and Daniel and felt their stories in a way never experienced before".

"You absolutely picked the right two people to do this, it was great".

"We should have visitors more often because that is what brings the scriptures to life".

and these are adults not youth speaking about how much they loved this experience! It was a powerful lesson and I am so grateful for the help of one of my Seminary students and my dear friend.

Daniel (Ben Hepworth) received his mission call Friday and I was the 3rd phone call (I love that I was on the list) he will be going April 6, 2011 to Portugal. He will be an excellent missionary.

Esther (Rebecca Albright) besides being beautiful inside and out, is the mother of this great missionary spoken of in the paragraph before and also already has a son out in the mission field who is doing an awesome job representing Jesus Christ. So she will have two sons serving at the same time and is the proud mother of two wonderful missionaries!

For me it was a great moment in time - a very moving and spiritual experience in Sunday School!

"Bus Stop"

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My Niece Valeree was the lead in her College Play "Bus Stop". She played Cheree the Chantuse and did such an amazing job! We were all proud of her. My Dad and I drove up Saturday and so did my Sister Elizabeth and her husband Art! We all went to dinner before hand and got to visit and catch up, then we all headed to the play where we were all blown away with how amazing Valeree was!

It was also very good to see my sister Kim and her husband JP again. Elizabeth and I wanted to bring flowers to the star, but I guess we should have brought them from Ft. Worth, because in Iola, Kansas all we could find was Poinsettias at WalMart and I thought that would be stupid. I wanted to give her a bouquet of cut flowers, but in hindsight I guess I should have just gotten the poinsettias.

After the play with the Star!!!

Before the play at dinner!