Monday, February 28, 2011

Busy weekend!

Had a great weekend. Lots going on! but my biggest highlight is that I got my hair cut and colored finally! Oh, my gosh! It has been way too long since I have done my hair and I am so happy now!!! Went back to Don Martin! Wondered why I ever left, it felt so good and so right!

I finally had to do it no matter whether I thought I should spend the money right now or not....because after my post about Alan & I meeting 33 yrs ago on Presidents holiday, I about died. I had spent a lot of time and product on my hair and thought it looked pretty good in the mirror.....but the picture tells the real story and it is bad!!!

Friday night one of the ladies in our Ward/church had a Chocolate party! I almost wasn't going to get to go, which lately has been a theme at our house, Alan has had other meetings, things that needed to get done, that have made it so I needed to stay home and help, or take care of Aileen so he could do what he needed. Once, again when I told Alan about the party, he said, "oh, but I'm meeting a client, Friday night!" Well, I can't very well argue about a work thing especially when your husbands job is sales. So I had resigned myself to not being able to go. But he called later in the afternoon of that day and told me he had changed his appointment so I could go!! What a guy! No wonder I love him!!!

Friday, at lunch time, Mary Ann Stephens and I met Becky Wangler, one of our Visiting Teaching ladies for lunch and had a good visit and a great lunch! Becky, I hope you know how much we love you!!!

Becky Wangler with her cute grandson!

Then another one of our Visiting Teaching ladies is moving, and she has not needed any of our help but was looking for boxes etc... so we took over some boxes I had that are especially made for dishes and breakables as well as bubble wrap and left them for her to use!!! We are really going to miss her!!

Ashley Myers, I am so going to miss you, my dear friend....but I know we will get together - you still live in Texas, after all!

Friday night was the Chocolate party and we ate some yummy chocolate and dipped yummy things in the chocolate fountain and played a game that got us all laughing like crazy! Visiting with everyone on a casual basis, which we don't get to do at church was a great deal of fun. But I wonder when did it become that I was one of the 3 oldest at the party!!!! Everyone is my children's age or! But I don't think of myself that way, hmmm. The friend that hosted the party has a young family of 2 children, her husband is in medical school and she is the primary president! They are such a cute little family, always make me dream of Allison and John having a cute little family soon!

The Thompsons, Jared, Caitlin, and boys!

Saturday, was my hair cut and color, then Alan going with the Youth to the Temple, which is always an awesome experience! I cut Aileen's hair and she looks great for her upcoming birthday this week! 26! Who can believe that?

Sunday was church, and in Sacrament we had a Return Missionary from our Ward speak, Ryan Davila, who also happened to be one of my seminary students. He gave a wonderful talk and shared with us some of his experiences as a missionary.

Then Sunday afternoon, Aileen and I went to Callie Sullivan's 3rd birthday party. Callie is my cousin once removed and Aileen's second cousin now that Dad is married to Barbara. Diana, Aunt Beverly's daughter, and my new cousin, is a lot of fun to be around. I have really enjoyed getting to know her and her husband Logan, and their girls are so cute!!! We just found out that Diana will be graduating from nursing school Valedictorian, we think, final scores and announcement has not been made yet, but how very cool! That is something to look forward to soon!

Aileen, Lois, Landin, and Grandpa - it was so windy!!!! And I'm from Kansas so that is really saying something!

It was also Aunt Beverly's 60th Birthday Sunday! And she didn't want a fuss, but she did have a Tiara with the number 60 on it that she wore throughout the party!

Barbara, Aunt Beverly, Aunt Tootie (the sisters)

Then for me the best part of the night was getting set up with my popcorn with butter and Diet coke to watch the Oscars! I am such a movie buff and I love watching my favorite actors and actress and seeing what they are wearing etc... Every year I say I'm going to host an Oscars party. I'm going to make it my goal next we shall see!!!

Unfortunately, so many of the movies I cannot see because of "R" ratings. But I do have actors that I have liked for many years that I can still cheer for because they are just good at their craft! I was really pleased with Colin Firth and Natalie Portman. So happy for Christain Bale to finally be recognized....everybody is saying he forgot his wife's name, but he was getting emotional when he was trying to thank them, I think, that's why he said, "I didn't think I would do this...." I thought the stage was beautiful and I don't care what anyone says, I thought Anne Hathaway and James Franco did a great job hosting. Loved all the skits! It was a good night for a movie lover like me!!!

So, now it's back to reality and work!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

President's Day Holiday.....

So this past weekend Alan and I celebrated 33 yrs of meeting each other at BYU. It's easy for us to remember because it was a day off from college classes, but we were at the library studying anyway, and met! Best thing that every happened in my life! If I had not met him, I would not have been blessed with the precious children we had together and 32 1/2 yrs of marital bliss!

O.k., now when I was younger I use to hear people say that and I would think, do they really never fight? Or are they just pretending that it has been that wonderful......but here is the answer, now that I am one of the older married couples. Sure you fought, had disagreements, made bad decisions, went through financial highs and lows, sicknesses etc.... but when you look back over the years you see the lessons learned, the blessings given, the love that was ALWAYS there and you can truthfully say it has been a blissful and a happy marriage!

Saturday, we went to the Temple, then out to dinner with family that was at the Temple too!

Sunday, was our Ward Conference and we had a lot of visitors and I was happy my Gospel Doctrine Class went so well. It usually does, not because of me, but because we have lots of scriptorians that share there knowledge with everyone and make comments that help to feel/bring the spirit (well, I might help it as well).

Monday I had to work, on the actual Holiday, but met Alan for lunch and helped him pick out new glasses!!! Yes, you will be seeing them soon! They look really good and now he will not be so outdated in style!

All-in-all it was a great holiday weekend!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Before I put them away......

As you know from previous post, my blog is my journal and updates to my personal history, and the reason you know this is because I blogged about it remember this post? So, even though I do not decorate at all like I use to, there are some favorites that I always put out because it wouldn't be my home if I didn't!!! A lot of my really cool things that I have made have been given as gifts to others, but............Here are some of my Valentines decorations.....

I really love my V-day wreath. I made this in Wichita (93-2000) when I was the RS Homemaking Counselor in the RS Prescy. We had a group of ladies that at least once a month, if not more, got together to make things out of wood and I got pretty good at painting!!

The wheel barrow you have seen before because, yes that is right we made 3 shapes of something for every month! This month was hearts!!! The Teddy bear you have seen before, my friend Vicky Burdick gave that to me and his sweaters change depending on the holiday. My antiques that sit in my entryway, I haven't decided if I really like, so they might change soon. I've been trying them out for several months. The wood bear standing up, holding the heart, I love how my painting is on this one....this is near the end before we moved away from Wichita, KS, and I haven't made another wood craft that needed to be painted since!!! But if you double click on the picture you can see the detail. I am proud of that.

Usually my blocks sit in the entry way with my antiques and other things but I thought I would try the mantel this month. And my yarn heart was something I made 30 something years ago when we were first married but I like that its a different texture to display and even though this picture might not show it to its best advantage, everyone comments on it when they come to visit.

This last door knob decoration is a favorite, especially now, because my mother made it for me. It was while we were living in Utah and she sent it to me for Valentines day one year because we lived so far away. I think she made it at a RS Meeting!!! Gotta love that!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentines week, lots goin on!

Sunday night we had a family birthday party for my step brother's daughter Kaity, who turned 7!

The funniest story about this - is everyone got her really great gifts like games for her DS and the only thing that Kaity seemed to really be excited about was the soda that Grandpa got for her. Before we could take pictures or anything we always had to tell her to put down her drink! it's so funny how we spend so much money on gifts and its always the simplest things that they love!!! So Grandpa had the big score this night!

Monday, was Valentines day! I was excited because I got Alan a Laptop! He was excited too but now we have to actually see if he will use one! He said, when he opened it...."This is for you too, isn't it?" to which I said "Sure I'll be happy to use it!" Alan brought home my favorite dinner and just let me relax while he fed Aileen. It was the greatest gift! Then Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Clay came over with a Valentines present for Aileen. Alan and I got our gift in the mail on Saturday from them. Aileen was so funny! She saw right away that it was her own private stash of Diet Coke and she was excited but when Grandma tried to give it to her....she just stood there and posed for pictures! We laughed, so I took a picture with her, the gift and the Grandparents. So once again Grandma tried to give it to her and Aileen took it and then stood there and posed so I could take a picture!!! I guess she really wanted it documented what a great gift she got!!! It was so funny! But the perfect gift for Aileen!

Then on Thursday, I got a wonderful text from my son-in-law, saying that Allison made the Dean's list at BYU!!! That is very exciting. BYU has such a large student body that it really is saying something!

Also found out that Anne Marie was worried about her Anatomy class for nothing! That's right she's nailing it!!!

So it has been a great week!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My niece Kristen Winslow's baptism......

Saturday night my niece, who became my niece because she married my nephew, was baptised into the only true church on the earth today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was a beautiful evening and a wonderful experience to have her and the missionaries have a lesson in our home while she was investigating the church!

Kristen has been a joy to have be a part of her family and I hope she knows how much we love and appreciate her.

She asked that Barbara and I give talks. Grandpa Clay Baptized her and Uncle Alan will confirm her and give her the gift of the Holy Ghost tomorrow in church!

Kristen's Mom, Dad, and Brother came to be apart of this special occasion and it was really fun to see them again so soon after the wedding.

The picture of Kristen with all the extended family that was there did not turn out. So I hope I can get a copy from Lisa's (Kristen's Mom) camera or one of the missionaries, because everyone was taking pictures.

It was a beautiful evening! Welcome to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Friday, February 11, 2011

East High Choral Capers '77

For 17, not too bad, but Both Anne Marie and Allison sounded better at that age!!! I'm just a little proud of my girls!

Remembering High School........

Last Tuesday (2/1/11), on our first snow day, when we were all excited about getting to stay home and play, I spent more time on Facebook than I had in a long time, probably since I first opened my FB account. I found several of my high school friends and fellow choir and Chamber Singer members (Madrigals, Show Choir, etc.. whatever your school called it). One of my friends had found an old cassette tape of one of the nights performances and posted them to his profile asking if anyone knew who was singing this and that. It was really fun to listen to our old performances and remember how cool we thought we were and to now see what goobers we all were!!!! Remember this was the 70's people!

I had always been involved with Orchestra and of course sang at church etc.... but only started taking voice lessons the summer after my Junior Yr. At the end of my JR. year, I auditioned for Choir and made it into Choir and Chamber Singers.

It was fun to be apart of such a fun and talented group of people! We sang everywhere went to all the competitions and performed at all the Jr. Highs that fed into our High School, and during the performance sometime, they would always ask, who went to that Jr. High, so when it was Mead Jr. High I raised my hand. After the performance the Jr. High Choir director came up to and said, where were you in Jr. High, because you were not in Choir? I would laugh and say I was in Orchestra!

I sang a Solo in our Christmas Concert my Senior year when the Friends University Music Dept. Head was in the audience and in Kansas if you are a singer and want to be in Music Performance you go to Friends University, it really is a prestigious place to go, He came up and asked me to come and audition for him for a Scholarship to their college.

So even, though I came late to the program.....I did come!!! lol! And when I listen to this recording of the one night, I can only hope it didn't really sound that bad....I hear a couple of sour notes in me and I feel bad, because my partner Lyle Malcom sounds awesome!!! I hope the other night was better!! I think we performed it two nights if I remember correctly, maybe three. College my voice really grew and even though I was a Music Education major, my first Jury freshman year my notes came back that I should be a performance major and that was at BYU, so that really was saying something.

The other thing I remember about this performance is that the Theater Teacher, Bob Washburn watched us practicing in Rehearsals for the opening night, and he asked me, where had I been all through high school, he said he would have loved for me to have been in some of his theatre productions.

I had always been interested in doing theatre, but I had to work, so really Chamber Singers who did have lots of concerts, and orchestra with those performances was really all I could do. But that is why it was important to me to not have my girls work jobs during high school. I wanted them to be able to be apart of all these fine art programs!!! And they were! And there job was helping me at home with Aileen, which I needed respite care for, so it worked out nicely.

Now it sounds like I'm bragging, but these are the memories that came flooding back to me while we were all Facebooking back and forth and digging out old photographs and sharing them with one another! I wouldn't go back to High School. But I can tell you the friends that I have kept contact with and are still friends with are the people I met in Orchestra and Chamber Singers! Someone mentioned we should have a Chamber Singers that is a reunion I would go to!

Good times!

My Orchestra Teacher who really was my most influential/beloved teacher was Bob Gleason. The Choir teacher was Bob Pellet. I guess if you taught fine arts at East High School your first name had to be Bob, as you might remember from earlier in my post the Theatre Teacher was named Bob Washburn. funny coincidence.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Last week was crazy......

Last week (2/1/11) was crazy!!! I really thought that since we had snow and ice last winter we would not have it this year....because in Texas it never happens two years in a row! Well, I was wrong. The other thing is I have a hard time believing Weather people when they give all these dramatic forecasts because when I was growing up they were as often wrong as they were right. But I guess equipment and science have changed a lot and I need to learn that they are almost always right now!

We woke up Tuesday morning to a horrible ice storm and all the schools closed. When Ft. Worth ISD closes, Aileen's Adult Day Care closes as well. So I kind of enjoyed the day thinking Wednesday everything will get back to normal. I did some unpacking of boxes (yes, still unpacking and moving in, its been a slow process) I found some of my old High School friends on Facebook and one had our Sr. Variety Show on cassette and digitalized it and then put it on facebook. It was fun to listen to and decide who was singing what and it brought back a lot of sweet memories from High School. I remembered I had pictures of the show, so I scanned and put them up on FB to which we all had a good laugh, and yet back then we thought we were so awesome!!! Aileen seemed to enjoy the day with me, so all was well. About 8:00 pm that night I got a UTI and I went to the Care Now website for web check-in and because of the weather found out they closed at 7:00 pm and were not going to open again until 10:00 am the next morning. So, I thought, "I hope I can make it through the night"! At about 10:30 pm I realized I was not going to be able to. So I called the on-call doctor and asked if he could call me in a Rx to which he said he would love to if I knew of any pharmacy that was open. Even the 24 hr pharmacy was closed!!!! So he told me some OTC stuff to buy and said I hope that will get you through the night until you can call your own doctor in the morning and a pharmacy opens.

Weather still bad on Wednesday, get the Doctor called and our power goes out and goes out for all day!!! We have a fireplace, but still it could only do so much. I did get medicine finally and Aileen and I snuggled in bed watching t.v. under mounds of covers etc... to stay warm. Finally when it started getting dark again about 5:30 pm we realized that it would be too cold to stay so we went to to my Dad and Barbara's to spend the evening and probably the night.

In the middle of the night all of sudden I wake up to Aileen throwing up! Really? Are you kidding me? All over Dad and Barbara's new couch they just got when they got married. So I'm hurrying around getting Aileen in the bathroom, cleaning up the mess and making sure I clean very well the couch. I wake up Alan and say we have got to go home, this is at 3:00 am. We go home and luckily the electricity is back on. So we get everyone settled in and Aileen continues to have a rough night of throwing up until about 11:00 am Thursday.

Thursday, is spent holding a very sick little girl and trying not to cry as I watch huge crocodile tears run down her face as she is throwing up! Just about breaks my heart. Glad when she can finally get some rest and seems to be past the rough part!!! Then I'm washing, washing, and washing the bedding and blankets not only from my house but from Barbara's home too. By the time Alan gets home I'm beat and ready for him to take over a little, which he does and does without complaint.

Friday, still schools are closed so I'm still home with Aileen. Finish up washing and unpacking and just trying to get the house back in order. But thank goodness we still have electricity and our water pipes are holding up fine (knock on wood)!

Saturday you are starting to feel like you can drive around without too much trouble so errands are ran, groceries re-stocked, Alan has church meetings to go to and we both have a meeting Saturday night for Stake Conference! It was a great adult meeting and thanks to Katie Butler for watching Aileen for us so Alan and I can enjoy the time together.

Sunday, is stake Conference and it was awesome! We were able to listen to the Prophet talk about rescuing the inactives in our Wards.

Then we went home and started watching all the pre-pre-pre Super Bowl programs and getting excited about game! I like all the background stories as much as the actual game. And truly love that Greenbay Packers won!!! Yay! Of course we had super bowl goodies to make the day extra fun! Aileen sat with us and we all watched it together! She loves sports!

And just when things got back to normal - this week on Wednesday (2/9) we have horrible ice and sleet and snow and schools are closed again!!! But this time it is like the Texas we know and love by today (Thurs) its all gone!!!!

Whewww! I'm beat! But as always we have been very blessed and life is good!

Funny story: When we moved to Atlanta Jan. 2000, the Super Bowl was to be held in Atlanta that year. The week of the Super Bowl a horrible ice storm came through and shut down all the pre-super bowl activities and people had trouble flying in or going out and doing things. And now we live in Ft. Worth, and the week of the Super Bowl a horrible ice storm comes in and shuts down all the pre-super bowl activities and people have trouble flying in or going out once they get here!!! I told Alan, I don't think we are suppose to live where a Super Bowl is being held. We seem to be bad luck!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Barbara's birthday dinner, Stake HP Social, and Gospel Doctrine

Friday we went to "Red Robin" to celebrate Barbara's Birthday as well as Lauren's and Kristen's. However, Kristen was sick and couldn't be there so it turned out just to be for Barbara (my other mother) and my cousin Lauren! Now, I will get off track a little here and say, its hard to know what to call Barbara. I think "my father's wife" sounds like I'm not happy about it as well as "Step mom" even though I will say that, as it feels less rude and that is what she is.....but my mother-in-law says that one of her step daughter's introduces her as "my other mother" which I thought was really nice and I know means a lot to Mom Brown! But just now when I typed it I felt a little disloyal to my mother by calling her "my other mother" but I do like that title better than the others!!! And I do believe my mother knows that SHE is my mother and that I will always love her like none other!

The Birthday girl getting a bday kiss!

Dad looks rather pleased with himself!

Alan helping Aileen pick from the menu

The other birthday girl - Lauren Zelenske!

C Sullivan and Taylor Zelenske

I guess I only get one smile - don't ask for two from Taylor!!! But Aunt Beverly looks great!

Debbie (Tootie), Lauren, and Diana's two girls

Lois and Aunt Tootie!

So cute all those little backsides!

So, now back to the dinner! Red Robin really has the yummiest hamburgers and we love their endless fries and special fry sauce. The funniest thing that happened. I thought my batteries were new in my camera, but I guess not, because it wouldn't let me take pictures. Finally I was able to get a few but every time I tried to get Diana and Logan's picture (Cousin and Cousin-in-law) my camera would shut off. I think I tried 7 times and every time it would take pictures of others and then shut off on them....Even if I started with them it shut off and then would take pictures of really was quite funny and they were good sports letting me keep trying!

Finally, I got a picture of Diana and Logan!!!

Saturday was our Stake High Priest Social, and honestly the way the day went that day if it hadn't been Alan's assignment to represent the Bishop there I probably wouldn't have gone, but then I would have really missed something! It was a lot of fun and had food from all different countries and entertainment from all different countries and older missionary couples telling about their experiences on their mission! It was great and Aileen as you can guess loved the food!!!

My favorite story was Bro. & Sis. Milan telling about their mission experience. Bro. Milan didn't want to mess with having to learn another language and not having the complication of not being able to communicate very well so they requested a states mission and lo and behold, they were sent to Boston to work with the Cambodian refugee's! After we stopped laughing, they then shared their wonderful experiences of giving service to these people and sharing the gospel with them and the humanitarian part of their service. They had a lot of baptisms!

It reminded me of Mom Brown saying that she never wanted to go on a mission when she was younger because she knew that she would be put in the mission office and be a secretary and she didn't want to do that. But with the Seniors you get to have a little more say in where they send you. When she got her call it was to the Ohio, Columbus mission in the mission President's office as his secretary! She of course had a marvelous experience and loved every minute of it and even went on another mission when she married Jay! And you guessed it they they worked in the office!!! They did work with the inactive as well.

I too have had this experience of thinking we can tell the Lord what we will and will not do and he not only shows us that we will do what he wants but that we will love it, that he knows best and knows our strengths, where we will grow the most and have the most impact~

In Gospel Doctrine we have been having the best discussions in our classes. So much so I can hardly keep up with and make sure everyone that raises their hands has an opportunity to share. I have been really pleased and blessed. Pres. Stephens from our Stake Presidency has not been able to attend often now with his new calling and when he was in class on Sunday I was excited for him to see what great discussions we have been having as that is what he loves, so I told him as much. You guessed it, it was not loaded with comments and discussions as usual and I asked a lot of questions and had to wait several minutes to get responses.....and wait I did! and it didn't feel as smooth as usual, but that was probably because of my pride and the fact that I made it sound like it was me and not the spirit. Even if that was not what I meant at all, but I have learned I must be careful to remain humble and realize that it is the spirit that teaches not me (even though I promise I know that!!!) I also think it had something to do with the fact that the people who love to have discussions where not in class this week!

I did really like my teaching object at the end though. And I pray that it made sense when I presented it. We have this round piece of polished marble that Aileen bought for Alan one year for Christmas. It sits on display in our china cabinet. And over the years Alan and I have talked about what an interesting thing it was for Aileen to pick of all the things that she could have picked. And as we would talk about it and what makes the marble ball beautiful we would comment on how it is all the imperfections and flaws, the discoloration etc... that makes it beautiful. And that it is the same with us, it is our imperfections that make us beautiful. In the lesson Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated that "just being baptised does not mean we are 'Born Again'.... that it is a process" and we talked about the process of repentance, change of heart, keeping commandments and covenants, and enduring to the end..... and that our imperfections after we have repented, had a change of heart, keep the commandments, drink from living water, walk in light instead of darkness, endure to the end -- then when we are all polished and our rough edges made smooth and working on becoming perfect it will be our imperfections that make us beautiful!