Friday, August 31, 2012

Aileen has talent!

You've heard of the show "America's got Talent" well at our Church in Relief Society the President challenged us a month or so ago to try and realize our talents.  And to help us all do that as women, she asked us to write notes to each other of talents that we saw in each other.  And this month our Visiting Teachers delivered our notes to us so that we could read them.  Aileen got a bag of amazing notes and I would like to share them in my blog for my personal history!

Those of you who signed your names, thank you, and I hope you won't mind that I put your picture and name by your note to her......because it was so nice for Aileen to hear who they were from.  But whether they had a name to them or not.....she loved hearing what you all had to say to her!!  As her mother, I thank you for realizing what an amazing young woman she is and that even though in this life she cannot be and do what she would like to do with her body....that her spirit and her mind, is beautiful!!

And can I also add, that I did not get all my notes done, and as I witnessed this wonderful moment with my daughter in reading her, her notes, I was profoundly sad that I did not finish my notes to the women in our Ward so that you all could have known how wonderful Aileen and I think you are!

What a talent you have of bringing out the best in others!  Your gentle spirit prompts us to do more and be better.  You have a testimony and others can recognize that.  Thanks for helping us all to become more tolerant of differences.  Love you!

Aileen Brown,
You are able to recognize those who are sincere in their communications.  You communicate a powerful presence without using your voice, and I look forward to someday talking with the strong, sensitive, giving person that already exists.  - MaryAnn Stephens

Aileen Brown,
Sweet girl.  Precious both inside and outside.

Dear Aileen Brown,
Your love for the Savior is so noticeable.  I know when you are happy and I know how much you love music. Keep sharing with us the wonderful gift of celebration.    - Love, Rosa Tillman

Aileen Brown,
You have made our Ward members into the best people we could possibly be.  You are such a very special spirit that Heavenly Father has allowed us to know.  You have helped the young people learn love and compassion just by being around you.  You are our special Angel.

You are brave and courageous.  I know that you accepted the challenge of being born in your body.  You weren't scared though, because you knew that Lois would give her life to take care of you.  You were willing to suffer through this life both to get a body and to teach compassion and sacrifice to others.  You are a Queen!  - Rebecca Albright

Aileen Brown has such a loving sweet spirit about her.  She looks at life with such a serene peaceful countenance that you know she has the pure love of Christ in her heart!

You are so special to your family, to our Heavenly Father, to our Savior, and to our Ward!  although there have never been words exchanged between us, I have felt your support and your love for me, and I am so grateful to know you.

You have an incredible spirit and a strong testimony that can be felt by those when they are around you.  I also think you are such an example of how the light of Christ can truly shine on our faces, and I thank you for being that example to me!  - Love, Kirsten Murphy

You are an amazing daughter of God and Heavenly Father has sent you here to teach us all to want to return to His presence to constantly be surrounded by spirits like yours.  You are a blessing to those around you and your testimony is one I hope to gain someday. 

Thank you for being an example to me!  - Love ya, Karin Havens

Thank you again for these wonderful messages to Aileen and I wish that each of you could have seen her face glow and even get a little bashful as she listened to her beautiful notes from you!!!

And from me.....I could not love and appreciate you more!!

Organizing for Christmas!!!

Yes, I realize it's August, but I was asked to teach a class at our next months RS meeting (use to be called Enrichment Night, and before that use to be called Homemaking).  I have to be very honest and say when I first heard about the project I was not impressed and only because it was MaryAnn Stephens asking me to teach the class that I agreed to do it.  But tonight I made a sample to show the sisters on Sunday of what we will be doing to organize our Christmas season to make sure that our Christmas will be Christ Centered!!  And I love it and think its a fabulous project.....something you could do so much with.  I'm even thinking about making them for my girls with some of our family recipes and traditions already added in.

It's a writing composition book that we cover with cute Christmas fabric, and then add tabs for thngs like:

Gift Lists
Spiritual thoughts

And each tab has a quote about the savior and a picture.  I don't know where MaryAnn Stephens finds all these great ideas, I think Pintrest and blogs.......anyway, I hope everyone will get excited about this project and want to come and make it because I can't wait to start to use mine and get organized!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

MaryAnn Stephens had a birthday.....

MaryAnn Stephens had a birthday and she was turning 55!!  And she is a beautiful, vibrant, young 55!!  We are Visiting Teaching companions and friends.  And we always celebrate everyone's birthdays that we visit teach and so I wanted to make this one something a little different and not something that we always we had lunch at the Kimball Art Museum and then took a tour of the museum.  It was a really lovely afternoon because we were together and with two of the ladies we visit teach.  I had invited the RS Presidency that MaryAnn is a part of now to join us, but for various reason they were not able to come, but Rosa (Counselor with MaryAnn in RS Prescy and friend) was waiting when I dropped Maryann off at her home to give her flowers and to sing happy birthday to her.  All the kids were in the van and they all hung out the windows to was great!!  Fun time was had by all!!  Happy birthday....and many more!!

 L to R:  MaryAnn Stephens; Becky Wangler; Lois Brown; Lacy Lassiter

The staff at the Kimball Buffet found out that it was Maryann's b-day so they made this sign!!

The food was yummy!!

Becky brought a strawberry crunch cake and we sang to her!!

Then there were gifts........

and the grand finale' of the singing from the van....... she said it was a great day and that she had awesome friends!!  We'll, I'd say that I agree, but I'm too!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Last Friday, Emi turns 3!!

This sweet baby girl turned 3 last Friday!!  We we all got together at our favorite place - McDonalds to celebrate!!

She had lots of family there, lots of presents, and lots of fun playing in the play area!!  The cake was delicious and grandpa bought everyone ice cream cones!!  It was a fun night.

The cute birthday girl!!

The birthday girl and her daddy!!

Aileen loves B-day parties at McDonalds!!

Opening the present from us.......

looking at it and checking it all out......

then showing it to everyone else.....its the coach with Cinderella and the Prince and clothes to change Cinderella in etc...

Showing us how old she is.... she practiced all day!!  3!!

A funny story.....

Well, at least its a funny story to me.  I saw this picture on Facebook and it made me laugh out loud because it brought back a memory.

When we lived in Kansas in the 90's all the Clay's lived in Kansas and almost all of us lived in Wichita.  So every Saturday we had girls night out at the movies.  We would go out to eat sometimes first, but we would always hit a movie!!  One night we were all standing in line and the line was so long because it was for a new James Bond movie, I think, and they had those velvet ropes out to keep people in a straight line.  Several of us were early (they would appreciate it if they remained nameless), and we were waiting for Jill my sister-in-law to get there and she comes to get in line with us and trips over the velvet which none of us run to help her (although Anne Marie swears that she did) we all just start laughing!!  It was just so shocking and we felt so bad for her but all we could do was laugh..... and some nice man helped her up.  So a few years later Jill and I are going to a late late night movie and I almost trip down the hall and Jill says, "don't worry I'll just laugh at you!!" which I totally deserve, but that made me laugh too!!

I'm glad she loves me anyway.....and in my mind (inside joke)....... I love her too!!

Allison and John came to Ft. Worth!!

I love having them so close!! And I love that they called Saturday morning and said, "We were thinking about coming to visit you, if you didn't have any plans"  Well, we didn't have anything important, but even if we did, when our kids call, everything changes and they are the only important thing on our minds.....

We had a great time.  We went to Cousin's a tradition whenever John and Allison come to Texas and we realized that we hadn't been since they moved here in July and decided that was almost sacrilege!!!  So we took care of that......and now all is right with the world.....yes, it was just a good as we remembered!!

We all went to the see Bourne Legacy and the miracle of this is, we took Aileen and she was really good...........of course we had to have lots of popcorn, candy, and diet coke!!  But it worked and we were all able to enjoy!!

Then, of course, we played cards!!  Alan and Allison were unstoppable in canasta!!  And I think John and Allison tied at Shang-hi!!

 Aileen, Allison and John - we miss Anne Marie!!

 stocking up on goodies for the movie to keep Aileen quiet!!

But really surprised that no one was at Hollywood Theatres at 4:00 pm on a Saturday afternoon!!  I think there was our family and maybe two other people!!

It was a great visit!! Thanks for coming!!  We love you!!

Ahhhh Hillary.......

Tonight was an exceptionally wonderful night in that I was able to meet up with one of my seminary students who is visiting here from Iowa!!  She and her boys invited me to Salt Grass where we had a scrumptious dinner!  Thank you Hillary for treating me to such a nice surprise!!  The best part to me was catching up on everything, even though I have been able to keep fairly current with reading her blog and FaceBook, there are still some things that are better in person!!  It does my heart good to see her continue to make good and righteous choices even now when she is all grown up with a family of her own!  Speaking of which, she is gorgeous and her husband looks like Matt Daman, so they have the most gorgeous boys I have ever seen!!  My pictures don't do them justice......but she should have 10 at least, they are so cute and she is such a good mother!!  It was just an amazing night, and such a treat to get to see!!  She still does articles, pictures, etc... for the New Era (her degree was in Journalism), right now she plays the piano in Primary, and is not afraid to try anything from canning, to sewing quilts, to doing just about anything that she puts her mind to.  Thank you and I love you dearly!  Can't wait to see you at Christmas when you come to visit again!!

 I had to bring gifts for the boys - Light Sabers - yes they were a hit!!

So thankful my computer works again!!!

My computer got what is lovingly called the "screen of death" and with my having to type for work everyday, this is a big deal.....not that is not a big deal anyway because we all pretty much do everything on our computers, but needing it for work puts a little more stress on the situation.

My brother-in-law is a genius with computers so I went to their house Sunday night late and he spent all night clearing/sweeping/fixing/adding etc.... whatever was needed to fix my machine.  And I am very thankful.  And because he did this, I was able to type Monday morning and get to work with what was required!!  Amazing.  And yes, there was a Trojan virus on my machine.  I don't know how those things happen but it is scary!  But Thank You Art for saving my butt!!  There really is no kinder way to put it!!

The funny thing is, my sister and her husband love dogs and have 6!!  And me not being a dog lover, its so funny that they always want my loving so badly!!  I do pet them, and I don't hate them, I like them very much, but between allergies and my not liking them licking me, I tend to not encourage their attention.....but I get it anyway as seen in this picture!!  What's a girl to do!!

Anyway, my sister thought it was too funny not to take a picture!! Thanks Elizabeth and Art for everything it was fun being at your house and chillin' til 4:00 am.  But I really do appreciate all of Art's hard work and willingness to stay up so late to do it!!  Love you both!!

I also have to thank my Dad who came over Monday morning and loaded my printer back on so I could print out my dictation!  What would we do without family!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I totally stole this idea….

So, yes, I totally stole this idea from Kroger (grocery store in Texas and other places) so I need to give them their props, but I love that I was able to make one as well!!  Last week, I had bad pictures of the Candy Bouquet that I gave to Alan for our 34th Anniversary!!  And I was not able to take a better picture because he and his work mates ate it all up.....which of course was the idea and why I took it to him at work....but as previously noted in my last post, the Havens family sang for my Sunday School lesson Sunday and it was so amazing that I wanted to do something special for those 5 awesome kids!!  So I made this candy bouquet based on the previous one but different and I loved taking it to them!!  It really is exciting to give something so fun!  I hope they know how much I love and appreciate them!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Super Sunday!!

Today was a super Sunday, mainly because it is a Sunday, a day of rest, a day of worship and remembrance of the Savior and his Atonement, a day to partake of the sacrament and renew my covenants, and today's Sunday School lesson was on the 2,000 Stripling Warriors!  One of my favorite scripture stories in the Book of Mormon!  I love when the young men say "We did not doubt that our mother's knew it",

"They did not doubt, god would deliver them and rehearsed unto me the word of their mothers saying:  We do not doubt our mothers knew it." 

"They had been taught to believe that there was a just God and whosoever did not doubt, that they should be preserved by his marvelous power" 

"Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness, .....they said unto me their mothers had taught them."

Yes my favorite.  And it was a great lesson today with lots of participation ending with the discussion about the famous scripture that says, "I will go and do what the Lord as Commanded" and with me adding to what that sister said and saying....and the best ending to that scripture is "I have gone and done"!!

Then the Haven's family came in and sang "We'll Bring the World his Truth" my all time favorite Primary song.  There are some other awesome songs that I love, of course, but this one has always been my favorite since the time I first taught in Primary as the Chorister!!  And I was particularly thrilled that the teenagers were willing to sing - it was absolutely perfect!!  McKenna and Landin sang verse one, then everyone would sing the chorus, then Kayla and Leyna sang the next verse, then everyone sang the chorus then Justin sang the last verse, and everyone sang the chorus, and there was not a dry eye in the classroom.  It was the perfect way to end just such a lesson!  Thank you Haven's!!

The Haven's family -(L to R) Leyna, Kayla, Justin, Makenna, and Landin
Picture is blurry, but I had awesome posters of the Mother's of the Stripling Warriors, and posters of the Stripling Warriors.

Then as is our new Sunday tradition we had Grandpa and Barbara over for dinner.  Aileen really looks forward to this and I'm not sure if it is because I actually cook a home cooked meal, or because she gets to see Grandpa and Grandma Barbara!!  I choose to believe its because of the grandparents, after all Aileen really is more about her family than anything else!!

Aileen helped me set the table, then had a little refreshment of Diet Coke while she waited!!

It was a great time to visit and catch up and I'm so grateful that Dad and Barbara are as happy to come over to dinner as we are to have them!!  Love you!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Boogie on down to Tyler

When John first got accepted to his Graduate Assistant position in Tyler my friend, Anita Williams, was so excited for me, that my kids would be so close, that she said my favorite line ever......"You just get on 20 and boogie on down to Tyler!"  I laughed and have loved quoting her!!  And Friday after I got off work at noon, that is exactly what I did, was get on I-20 and boogied on down to Tyler because my daughter called and asked "If", funny that she asked "if",  I wanted to come and spend Friday afternoon and evening with her because John had to work late!!

When I got there we decided to go shopping!  For their 3rd Wedding Anniversary present they decided they wanted a Vacuum, isn't that what 3rd anniversary is?  Vacuums!  We found a great one at Target on sale, a Hoover Windtunnel, then we bought some maternity clothes.  We went to the mall and got Allison's hair cut and then found a maternity store and bought more maternity clothes, then we went to dinner at Chili's and then we were exhausted and headed back to their apartment and had a fun evening just catching up.....I think I talked Allison's ears off, she might not want me to come back, Ha-ha.  But we did have fun and then I got to see John for a little bit.  John is such a good son-in-law, he said, "I'm really worried about you driving tonight, you should sleep over and head back in the morning", because it was basically midnight when he got home.  So since it was their idea, I did sleepover on their blow-up mattress and head back this morning!

The only thing that would have made the day better is if Anne Marie would have been there with us!!  Anne Maire, I'll be planning a mother-daughter afternoon with you soon!!  I promise!!  And thanks to my wonderful, amazing husband Alan, for taking care of Aileen so I could do it!! Love you!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oh, what fun.....

We had a really fun time last night celebrating our anniversary!  First off, we had a sitter and could really go out on a date, at night, by ourselves, like big people!  It was great!! Thank you so much Magdalena Peterson.  Second, we got all dressed up and made plans and everything!  The fun was as much the hyp and excitement of getting ready as much as the actual date!!  Forgot what that was like!!  Then thirdly, just being with the one you love, acting like your in your 20's instead of your 50's is just kind of awesome!!

Here is how the night went......

Alan picking me up after he got off work for our date!!  Yes, I was ready and waiting!!

Had a few minutes before the show, so we decided to wash the car.  When Alan said, "if we were teenagers we would be making out right now"

Undercover in the Car Wash.....yes we did!!

Me when the car wash was finishing and thinking "I married a really smart fun guy!!"

Headed to the movie Alan has been anxious to see!!  And it is really good!!

At the restaurant "Outback" were we had delicious steaks and the waitress asked what the secret was to being married for 34 which we said, "Having a good sense of humor and being able to laugh a lot!!"
A perfect Anniversary in my mind!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

34 Years and counting......

Yes, today is our 34th anniversary!  Wow, the time sure has flown by.  I do consider myself one of the luckiest girls I know to have married such an outstanding man.  He is in fact my hero!!  I would be lost without him and I'm thankful for all the love and support he has given me through the years!  There have been ups and downs, joy and disappointment, but mostly complete and utter happiness because we had each other and knew that we could get through anything with each other and the help of a gracious and loving Heavenly Father and Savior!!  Thanks Alan for everything you are, a man you can count on, and as we see all the time those are rare and few!!

I took a candy bouquet to him on my lunch hour and totally forgot my camera!! Can you believe it?  I know I couldn't either!  But I did have my cell hopefully you can see how cute the bouquet was....its full of Kisses and Kit Kat bars!!  If it is not all torn apart from sharing with his co-workers I will try to get a better picture of it when he brings it home.  I also met some of the people he works with, he really loves his work environment so it was a treat to meet them all!!

Love you sweetie!!