Sunday, December 5, 2010

Slice of Life post #28 Icy Roads

On February 14th back in 1994, I was married to another man. He recieved a phone call from his sister asking if we could come pick her up. It was the dead of night so he didn't think about it in his sleep hase that she had whispered the words. He asked me to go ask my Dad if he could borrow the car. I can't remember right now why we were between cars now, but were and it was so cold because there was an ice storm going on. As my Dad came out of his room, my husband, at the time thought to call his sister back because he realized that it was weird that she was whispering since it wouldn't matter that everyone in the house was sleeping b/c she was on the phone. One of her roomates answered and when asked if he would get her replied, "the b#$%@ just shot herself" and laughed. He found out what hospital she was being taken to and so started the long journey as we jumped in the car. We knew she hadn't shot herself b/c she had called two people to come get her. We don't know why she was killed, the police ruled it a suicide, but I digress. As we drove to the hospital as fast as we could on the icy roads, we all three were praying. My parents and I had developed a relationship with this sister and she was one of the few members of my ex-husbands family that I felt had accepted me. My Dad later said he thought he saw her spirit flying towards us and immediately asked us to pray with him.We did and he felt that our prayers were being answered. She died that day. The proceedings leading to it our another story, but I will never forget that long and anguishing ride. Feeling inadequate to comfort and needing comfort. Not being able to wrap my head around the reality and feeling as numb on the inside from shock as I was on the inside from the cold. Some things apparently are reflected in our surroundings.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I was Hiding

I had an experience with Lil Red this week that jogged a memory. In telling my mom about it she said I should write it down, so here it is.
When I was about 10, my grandparents who lived across the way from us often had charge over my brother and sisters and I. One such time my older sister was off when my Mom and Dad and my brother and I had been given chores to do. I had finished mine and was enjoying doing nothing when my brother came in and was whining about having to pick up the trash that strewn all over the lawn by the dogs which was his fault anyways for not having put the lid on the trash holder. Anyways, he has done NONE of it and comes in and says he needs help and so my push over grandparents ;) asked me to go out and help them. "I did my chores!".
"Just go out and help him! He's younger than you."
So I begrudgingly walked over to the closet to get my coat and go out help him. As I opened the closet door I looked back and realized that noone was watching me. I quickly slipped inside the closet and closed the door and hid behind the coats. After a long while, (or it seemed so to me), my brother came in and asked if I wasn't coming to help. That confused my grandparents since they KNEW I'd gone outside a while ago. Grandma came to the door and yelled for me. I didn't respond. Now we lived in the country on what seemed like alot of property back then and is compared to most these days. My grandfather got around on a tractor because he lost a leg in a freak log accident. When I didn't come after they did a cursory search and alot of yelling, Grandpa came to the closet and reached out to get his coat. I remember holding my breath because I knew he was going to discover me. But he didn't and went out on the tractor and started hunting for me. I was trying not to laugh as I heard all of the commotion, thinking of how I'd tricked them. At the same time a bit of anxiety started to seep in as I realized that I was good and trapped now. Because how could I come out and say what I'd done without getting a major spanking. As I set there pondering my situation I heard my Grandma say to Penny, a cousin staying with them at the time, " I sure hope Lester doesn't have a heart attack." She said some other things as well, but the point that sank in was that I was causing my Grandfather physical distress and I didn't want anything to happen to him even if it meant that I got in trouble. So I came out of the closet and walked into the kitchen which was right next to the closet. My Grandma, stunned face, said, "where have you been?".
Head down, in a mumble,"in the closet".
I don't think I got in trouble, they were to happy that I hadn't run away and gotten hurt. Which brings me back to present day.
I was trying to get out the door to run to Home Depot for Big Red and had loaded Lil Red into the car when I realized I didn't have my purse and I needed to pee really really bad. I ran insided and was back out in 2 minutes. Not kidding, I really can pee that fast. Anyways I come back to the car and no Lil Red. I knew I hadn't seen him inside as I ran through the house. All I could think of is that he'd decided to cross the road and go for a walk like he does with his Dad. And I start screaming for him, hoping he's hiding behind a tree. Big Red hears me yelling and says, "he isn't in the car?"
"Go check in the house"
He continued to look outside as I headed for the house. I walked back by the car as I was heading inside continuing to yell for him and now a couple of precious minutes have ticked by. And I hear his sweet voice from the back of the car, "I'm here Mom! I was hiding!" accompanied by a proud grin. I think it was karma. And I totally get how I didn't get in trouble the relief was way to great!

Slice of Life#26 The Big Thank you

My big Thank you just came today. I mean I've recieved wonderful 'thank you's' from my husband and friends and kids, but this one was so unexpected it made me cry. Some people may not even consider it a thank you, but I did because I know that it was meant that way. There is a inactive sister in our ward that has been taking the missionary lessons with her common law husband and I have been participating in the lessons. It's been amazing being a part of their journey. Well their family is moving towards baptism and the temple and one of the steps is for them to get married. She cornered me after church today and asked if I would be her Matron of Honor. I was so touched that I almost started to cry. She explained that she didn't have any real family close by and not that many friends, but that she would love for me to be a part of it. The funny thing is, is that just this past week I was thinking that while I had been a bridesmaid for my two sisters weddings that I had never been a Maid of Honor of Matron of Honor, and wondered what that would be like to be chosen b/c you had a special bond with the bride. Now I know :)
It's a major honor and I'm so excited to be a part of Her happy day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Slice of Life #18 Random Picture and Even More Random Post

I love this picture of me and my Mom. I can remember many a journey in this back back. As we got older and more little ones came along, I can vividly remember fighting over who would get to ride in it. We didn't want to be told that we were to big for it. I think the great love for it was for three reasons. #1 When you were riding back there, you got to see things at the same level that your parent did. It's always cool to be taller and see farther and more, right? :)
#2 Also you were able to be close to Mom and Dad and still have freedom to move about from side to side and not be super restrained. And last but not least, you had no problem keeping up because you were attached, lol! And Mom or Dad got to do all the work, he he. My Mom and I were talking the other day about how we liked these better than the frontal pouches of today. These were great because they lasted for toting the kid around till they were atleast 3. Although my boys are so big, maybe that wouldn't be true for me ;)
I love the scarf in my Mom's hair. Maybe I picked up my love of wearing scarfs like that from her. Never thought about it before. This is a favorite picture of her for me. She told me that we were at Foss Lake in this picture, which is in Oklahoma, where my Grandparents had a trailer by the lake. My Grandpa had a thing for fishing. He tried to pass it on to us grandkids, but unless my brother takes it up, I think it was lost cause. I've been a handful of times as an adult, but I'll never need a fishing license. I would love to go deep sea fishing, just once. I got close to going once, but the trip fell through at the last minute. Anyways, I digress. Needless to say as this picture shows I LOVE my Mom! And I love that people say I look like her. Who wouldn't love that when they see what a cute hottie she was ;)

Slice of Life #17 Chore Memory

The picture on the prompt sparked a memory of a chore that was partial punishement and life lesson handed to us kids by Mom. I remember my Mom coming upstairs to grab the laundry to do and finding a whole bunch of clothes she'd just cleaned down on the floor where they had gotten dirty again but never worn. It must have been like the hundreth time she'd gotten irritated over it, so she and Dad had a talk. They pulled us together and told us that we needed to take better care of our clothes and appreciate the modern conveniences that we had and not take them forgranted. So....(I believe it was for a week, maybe it was longer, it sure seemed like it, lol)....we were to do our own laundry with a scrub board in the bath tub. It worked for me. That was alot of work. To this DAY, I am still grateful for washers and dryers. Most of my growing up we hung out our clothes on the line. That eats up alot of time and hear in Texas near the coast, you have constant little showers that you have to watch out for. I'm thinking I've felt the same way a time or two lately with my older boys. They better watch out or Mom will be running to the hardware store for a bucket and a wash board ;)

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Football Players B-day

That's right! My skinny boy has decided to take on the big and the stocky, lol. He is very hyped. We just got together on Monday to celebrate his birthday and have some fun at a pizza buffet game place. The pics are above. Lil Red was ADD with all the games to play. Kept his Daddy very busy, lol. What was cute was watching him put two coins in the coin slots at a time, hate to see him in Vegas ;)
My lil piglet, now named because he constantly squeals, was wrapped up in Grandmommy's arms because he was so cold. And what does she do, lol, feed him icecream! Although with two teeth coming in that morning, he wasn't really complaining.
And yes Mr. Cool left his sunglasses on the whole time. I would think he was a vampire if I didn't witness myself that he sleeps like a log at night and is very active during the day. Both of the boys are adjusting well to their new schools and it looks like this will definitely be a good year for everyone :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Prompt #14: Sneaky Snake Goes Dancin'

Okay I don't think the snake was dancing, but it was definitely being sneaky. My story is when a friend and I, we must have been 16 at the time, had been left to baby sit my brother, 3 years younger than me, and my two younger sisters and toddler brother. For some reason I didn't have on my glasses, and you have to realize that the last time a doctor told me my actual vision stats it was 20/200 and this was sometime around then, lol. So I was walking around the house blind, and my friend was getting my toddler brother to stop playing with the phone when she sees this snake right there by the phone! She scoops him up and shaking in her boots says, Miss Sunshine, " there is a snake over there by the phone!" In a very imperative whisper. I think she didn't want to upset the snake and I don't blame her, lol. So I, not believing her and thinking she saw the telephone cord or something, laughingly walk over to check it out. I'm blind, remember. So as I stick my head down to peer at the phone I came almost nose to nose with that snake! I really can't remember point A to point B at that point, lol. But somehow I got everybody screaming and hollering out the door and lickety split over to Grandma's house which was about a yard away. She gave us a stick or a shovel, can't remember which and told us to go back and kill it. So we took my 3 year younger brother and stood on the porch shouting encouragement and let him be the brave warrior, lol. He couldn't find it. I didn't think I'd ever sleep again. My Dad found it about a week later and according to my Mom grabbed the first thing he could get a hold of which was a spatula and kept stunning it while he yelled for her to get him a shovel or anything that would kill it. It turned out to be a copperhead! I've not seen any since moving to Houston, but I know there out there and hope they stay hidden!

Comment about Wonder Woman Bathing Suit

I just have to contradict Texasblu a little on her comments from last week. That wasn't it :P
That bathing suit, which I have VERY fond memories of never saw more than a sprinkler. The incidents I'm talking about were at the age of atleast 10 and that 4 year old swimsuit would have looked mighty funny at that point even without me swimming in it. lol.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Slice of Life: The Watering Hole

That last post looked way out of place on my summer blog background. LOL! This one should be much more appropriate ;)

I have had several thoughts on this meme. I have memories of going to the swim pool with my day care class and being very anxious to swim and be like the other kids my age, I would hold to the side of the pool till I got to the deep end and then push off a little bit and try to paddle back to the edge. Thank goodness the Daycare workers were keeping an eye on me b/c eventually I got to far off and started to drown. They then sent me back to the shallows. I remember saying, "I could to swim", to someone else and trying to prove it. I then proceeded to be laughed at b/c my bottom would go in the air and apparently I was trying to swim to the bottom of the pool to no avail. LOL. I was very embarassed as they showed me what I looked like. Soon there after my Mom put us in swim lessons and swim team. I can never thank her enough. I could spend all day in the water. I've always been jealous of those that have their own pools. I would go down to the one in my second apartment complex when the boys were at their Dad's and pretend I was a dolphin. I love how the water whites out all the noise and confusion. It's just you and the water. So peaceful. I love the ocean waves and the sound of kids laughing and sea gulls crying. It's the other place I run to when I'm under extreme stress. Even if it's just for a few hours. My older sister has explained to me why this is so important for my personality. I just hope someday soon we move closer because gas is getting way to expensive for a short trip. I think I'm trying to instill in my children a love for the beach. I took Lil Red at 6 months for his first trip. And now my little Pooh bear at 5 months. The post picture is of this last trip. This last trip actually came about because Lil Red had been asking to go to the beach. He'd been watching several cartoons about the beach and decided he wanted to go. He was so excited. I'd been assuring him for a week that we would go. On the way there, his excitement level was so high that he would cry and get touchy about anything. I think he was afraid he'd never make it. Then when we arrived we handed him his toy basket that I had bought specifically for the beach. (It was on clearance, a $1.50!What steal!) He stood there and clutched it to his chest as he just stared and took it all in. He probably would have stayed that way if I hadn't have told the older boys to take him and get him started digging. Here are some of my faves of the trip.
My muddy swamp monsters. They looked like ooey gooey after they got done slugging each other with the muddy beach sludge. lol
My little Pooh Bear playing with his toes and chilling out on he beach towel.
My skinny boy taking a break from the waves.

This is them looking at a hermit crab they dug up to show me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fire!!!: Slice of Life #12

My sister says she has lots of stories about fire, and here I am racking my brain for one good one. I have always enjoyed a good camp fire. My Dad always used to make jokes about how you could always find men gathered around a fire. Moths aren't the only ones drawn to a flame. It's the flickers of different colors dancing in the dark. Banishing nothingness into shadows and bringing warmth along with illumination. I remember once my neice, Athena, while at my house (my first house, when I was single)came to me and said, "Aunt Sunshine, the fireplace is like a rich persons house and then you open the refridgerator and your like a poor man." LOL! She was right. A fire in the hearth does make you feel like a rich man. I remember listening to my older sister talk about an apartment they were looking into renting and being so excited that it had a fireplace. We have a gas fireplace in the home that I share with Big Red and it has been the center of many a cold evening. We have had some romantic moments and I have had some alone moments there as well. One such night was almost two years ago. My husband was out on the roads after pulling a late night for his company that was going through some legalities. It had been an enchanted evening. I had attended a Relief Society Christmas party with the soft snowflakes coming down. Which by the way is unheard of in Texas! The feeling of wonderment at such a miracle and peace of the still night stayed with me after I put the kids to bed and grabbed a throw off the couch to wrap up in, turned on the fire and the Christmas lights and like a little kid stared off into their lights feeling like a child again as I waited to make sure that my husband came home safely. Now that two of my children are coming of age to drive, I wonder if so many more such nights are in my future. Maybe we will have some talks setting in front of the fire. That would be pleasant :)

The picture is of Lil Red warming up after being out in the snow this last year making snowmen, here in Houston. Again BEFORE Christmas :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Slice of Life #11 Dancing

I have always loved dancing! From the time I was little and figured out how to spin around in circles till I was dizzy, or even before that when Daddy would grab me by the hands and spin me around and around as my feet left the ground. My favorite talent, twirling incorporates alot of dance and my favorite show right now is, "So You Think You Can Dance". I always have to watch movies with dancing in it. I can care less about the story line or the acting. I love watching the choreographed dances. I wanted to be a dancer when I was 12, but some thoughtless words from a young women's counselor crushed my dreams. It was no wonder that while I was single, I was always looking for someone to teach me a new lift or swing move. And that my eternal companion would be a wonderful ballroom and country dancer. I could talk about the dance that we finally had our first kiss at, but I have to say my most memorable dance will always be with my Dad at our wedding. Not because it was the sweetest moments of my life, but the most torturous. I believe it was for my Dad as well and we endured it together, so here is the story...

I decided that Dad should pick out the music for our dance b/c I wanted it to be meaningful for him as well as for me. He picked the song from his favorite musical, "Fiddler on the Roof". The song..."Sunrise, Sunset". Alright, slow song, so it should have been a fairly easy Daddy, daughter dance. Well to make it more special we decided to ask my Sister in law to play it on the grande piano in the ballroom. She was delighted to do so. Well first problem, we didn't specify how many verses she was to play. It has a couple. One would have been enough. Second problem, it is a waltz. My Dad took ballroom a long time ago and taught me how to waltz. But somehow over the years the knowledge of the steps left him. Apparently it's not like riding a bike. He warned me the week prior to the wedding and we tried practicing a couple of times in the office (I was working for him at the time). I thought he had the hang of it, but I guess we needed more practice. This was also right prior to him finding out that he had colon cancer and he was in alot of pain that evening. So we start dancing. After 10 seconds, we were both done. He couldn't get the rythm down right even with me smiling as I repeated it and I was laughing because I couldn't even match steps to his because he kept changing what he was doing. The music kept playing. Problem number three, my dress probably should have been taken up a little more. He kept stepping on my dress. No matter how hard I tried to keep my skirts out of the way. By the second verse one of my bridesmaids took pitty on us and came and grabbed my train to hold it out of the way. We were laughing and out of breath by this time and wishing that my Sister in law didn't have her backs to us, so that we could cut her off. And then it was over. I wouldn't have had it any other way. We must have looked so funny on the floor, and we had no time to reflect on the beauty or meaning of the song, but that's just like Dad and daughter relationships. Laughing and grumbling, dancing and stumbling, twirling and shuffling. And sometimes, to keep from killing each other, we need someone to step in and help.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Slice of Life #10 Friends

I think that one of the truest tests of friendships is to be able to stay friends no matter what life changes occur in either persons life and to be able to stay in touch. I have to say my friendship with Gardenia has truly stood the test of time. We were introduced by my parents. They were looking for friends for me to help me be stronger in the gospel of our Savior and they thought that I would be a good friend for her in return. I was a struggling single Mom at the time and constantly having issues with being lonely when my boys would go visit their Dad for the weekend. Our first meeting I believe was at the movies, our whole family met to watch one of the Lord of the Ring movies. Anyways after that we started getting together. I don't know who started our outings but my parents couldn't have been more right about such a postive friendship in my life. Gardenia, as she is known on line, and by the way happens to be my favorite flower, was always there for me when I needed help. Whether it was cleaning my house, a shoulder to cry on, or being up for one of my crazy expeditions. She quickly became Aunt Gardenia, well her real name plus Aunt, lol, but you get the picture. One of our favorite stories is how she decided we should go to a dance, she might say it was my idea, but I'm pretty sure it was hers. This was for 30 year olds and up and at the time I was slightly under age even though at times I felt older than all attending. Looking back now that is highly laughable, but I digress. So neither of us knew anyone else going to this church dance but I was always game for a dance and she thought that I being a highly outgoing person would be able to make us a friend or two right away. Well she learned something new about me that day. We walked in and looked inside at the dance and I turned and looked at her and said, "now what". She say, "your the outgoing one". I laughed and said, "only when I know everyone". Well I decided we hadn't come all that way for nothing, so I said,"Let's go to the food table. You can always find something to talk about around food." So we did and pretty soon we were chatting it up with a couple of people and dancing. So it was a sucess!The best thing about Gardenia is that she is always up for a lark. The top picture is of her in costume at Big Red's and my open house, halloween party, that we through right after we got together. Not everyone dressed up. But Gardenia is way to much fun to not to do so. Below are pictures of a pool party right before that. Where she provided the pool for my son to have his party and house. His birthday is always to hot and I'd wanted to do this for awhile but never had the ability. She and my husband (friend at the time) got into a hand standing competition at the pool. I have to say they both had such good form. I can't remember who won.

I remember going and buying this suit for her. Back then she was Wildwoman Gardenia. Still is truth be told :)

This was our first double date. My husband was taking the picture. And while things didn't work out with Mr. Tall in the picture it was a growing experience and we had fun saving her, lol. And she looked super pretty.
Once we even went to Mississippi on a rediscover Gardenia tour just to get out of Texas. We saw alligators, jelly fish, and snakes and she laid on her someday grave ( I know weird, lol). I have to note that we did that with another good friend. We've seen many a movie together infact with no girls amongst my children, I'm so happy to have someone to go see the Twilight movies with. Otherwise I'd have to do it when my little ones were taking a nap and my husband at work and my boys at school and it had come out on video and I'd probably get depressed instead of enjoying the movie b/c I have to hide out to do it, lol.
So we've been through some life changing experiences on both sides. Some good and some bad and some just stepping stones, but through it all we've been there for each other like good friends should.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Slice of Life #9 - Bugs

As a toddler I would chase the tree roaches that had gotten in the house and stomp on them in my bare feet. Needless to say I never had a love of bugs. Growing up in Texas the June bugs have long been my enemy. I remember watching a bug zapper that my Dad bought to hang up outside the front door to lower the amount coming inside. It was like 4th of July early, lol, 'Zap-Zap-ZZZ-Zap!'. I never got tired of hearing that noise. It meant one less icky sticky fingered bug to fly into my hair and freak me out. I'm sure my brother's and sister's have plenty of memories of me shrieking and shaking my hair or brushing off my clothes to get the things off of me. I'm sure I looked plenty silly too, but I just can't help it, June bugs are to me what snakes are to Indiana Jones. If I remember correctly he didn't like bugs either, lol, I think it's a big reason women love his character so much, they identify.
When I was a young woman, I attended our young women's youth camp at church. There was one year that stands out in my memory and I often tell this story when bugs come up. It had rained alot that year. Kind of like this year. And bugs were creeping and crawling from everywhere to get to high ground to survive. As we arrived near dark, I can remember going to our slabs to put up our cots and grossing out as we heard milipedes crunching under our shoes. Needless to say, no one went barefoot. There were two girls that were so full of themselves that they had mosquito nets and were teasing the fire out of the rest of us for not having one. It was sweet revenge the next morning when we woke up to screaming the next morning from the two. One had awakened to find one on the pillow next to her and they both had them climbing up the nets on the inside, so they were surrounded. Oh sweet justice! Okay so not very Christ like of me, but I was young ;)
So there's my bug memoirs. Hoped you enjoyed!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wrapped Gifts

Last week was my Grandmother's 91st birthday. My uncle had a birthday dinner for her and invited everyone that could come to come over. For the last several years I have just bought my Grandmother a card or sometimes given her a new updated picture in a frame. It's always hard to know what to give someone who has all that they need and very little space in there home for more. However, over the past year Mom discovered a store near me that is an outlet store that carries the kind of shirts that she likes. So this year I decided to get her a shirt and see if I could make her a bracelet to match. This is a new found hobby of mine. Well as you can see below, I found the perfect beads to match her new shirt. And the shirt was to me, so like her, it was just the perfect gift.
So I started looking through my closet for a gift bag to recycle and give her the present in. As I was going through the bags, I thought back to my childhood. My grandmother had worked at Foleys and J.C.Pennys when she was younger and had learned the art of wrapping gifts. Infact she is the one who taught me how to make my Christmas wrapping turn out better than a wadded taped mess, lol. I remembered the beautiful paper and pretty bows and Dad having to help get the box open because of the tape and then reaching through the layers of tissue to see the most beautiful sweater or gorgeous tafetta dress. And as those memories flooded back to me I knew that I couldn't throw these specially picked items into a bag with pretty tissue. It needed to be wrapped in loving care with layers of tissue paper to enfold it and keep it wrapped neatly for her discovery. So I ran to the store and bought a matching blue paper. Nothing fancy, just simple and elegant like my Grandmother. I folded the shirt neatly with the bracelet laying on top into layers of tissue paper and wrapped the box and attached a squiggly pearlescent bow to the top and taped her card up underneath. I loved seeing my little Red all proud to be intrusted with such a pretty package, carrying it very carefully for a two year old to give it to his Grandmother. Well he didn't get that far. He gave it to his Great Uncle but he just knew it wasn't for him. Lol. So I guess my point is this, that yes, sometimes it's not the outside that is important but what's inside. But as we grow the outside becomes just as important as the inside.

Slice of Life Meme's: Goodbyes

My last walk as a single mother, as I became part of another person and his life forever
(My boys with their adopted cousin making ground hog holes in my bestfriends backyard two months before our wedding)

One of the hardest goodbyes in my life was because of good things happening in my life. I had said goodbye's several times in my life by the time I reached my 33 year of life. However, in the preceeding 7 years I had made a great deal of personal growth and been in a stable environment, making many friendships and having many acts of kindness performed for me and my boys that left such feelings of warmth and affection between me and givers. I had been single for almost ten years, and finally the man of my dreams had asked for my hand in marriage. It was a whirlwind of activity to get married as quickly as we wanted to, and yet the months seemed to drag by interminably as we worked through the process. Yet all the time, in the back of my head, was the realization that we would be leaving behind not only the lifestyle of a single mother family that we had learned to cope with, but also many loved ones. My boys had friends that they had just estabilished bonds with and started spending time with beyond school. I had friends that I knew while I might contact them once in awhile that they wouldn't be as much a part of my life. It was so hard to give in to my new husband's needs and move. I remember as I started sifting through the things to put in the garage sale that my Mom was afraid that I was giving up my identity because there were so many cherished things that I put up for sale in the garage sale. I look back now and realize that while I knew that wasn't true, I didn't realize that I was in the process of saying goodbye. It was much easier to say goodbye to things and it was symbolic for me of letting go of all the things that I knew and putting myself into my beloved's and Savior's hands. I also know that the Lord prepared the way by sending me a visiting teacher about a year ahead to build a relationship with that later would move into the same ward as my husband right about the time we were to be engaged. This along with an old friend of my husbands that we have adopted as a Great Aunt, so to speak, who made sure she gave me hugs every Sunday, went along ways to making me feel that I was loved in my new ward. It is true that with great blessings come great responsibilities. I went from being taken care of by a ward family, to taking care of others and being among familiars to having to constantly reach out and make new friends. In the 3 years that I have lived here that hasn't changed much as our ward is very transient and my boys have changed school 3 times already. However, with every change and painful bit of growth, my Savior has been there for me. I am thankful that we never have to say 'good-bye' to him. Through prayer we have his constant companionship and I know he helps us through every 'good-bye' in our life. I am thankful that my husband had us move here. There are people that I miss from our old ward, but I know that we were needed here and that our whole family has been growing and being given the time we need to bond. I also know it was where we needed to be to prepare for our step to becoming an eternal family. I know in my heart that eventually we will leave this area and again it will be very hard as we have again made so many deep and lasting friendships, but I know that 'goodbyes' aren't forever and so I love the phrase from one of everyone's favorite hymns..."till we meet again, and Jesus's feet".

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Slice of Life Prompt: Fireworks Stories

I have to start out by saying we are heading out soon to see the fireworks tonight. I will not be deterred. Last year was a huge dissappointment when we thought that a certain place was going to have fireworks and then they didn't. Shame on them! But we did have fun earlier in the day getting soaked by the neighborhood fire trucks as part of our neighborhoods celebrations as you can see in the top picture. As a girl I remember going to many a fireworks display until we got to be teenagers and then my Dad would complain about the traffic and it was always my Grandma that had to go to see the fireworks. It was thanks to her that I remember seeing them out on the lake at Walden and again at the Race Track in Houston. Both were very memorable displays. Two years ago we saw them in Bastrop out over the river. The fire works were so close that we had some fizzle out right into us! But my most memorable experience was watching the finale in Hermann Park with my Dad's Brother and some cousins anf my family. I think I was 8 at the time. Back then we usually got together with my Dad's side because it was the day before my Grandmother's birthday. More about that in later post. Anyways, after sharing lot's of yummy food at my Grandmother's we had all driven over to the park. I remember walking around with my family looking for the perfect spot. They had speakers all around the area that were piping in loud patriotic music. I've always had a great love for music and this appealed to me. But what made the biggest impression was during the finale, they played "Coming to America" by Neil Diamond. He was my Mom's favorite singer for awhile, so I was no stranger to the song. But around me the adults started talking about the significance of the song and I just felt that moment and the excitement that is found is this land meld in me forever during those special moments of spectacular sights and moving sounds.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Slice of Life:Summer Storms

I have been through a couple of hurricanes and some major floods. I have stories about all of them. One of the most faith building ones was when I was single and owned my home. My brother was staying with me at the time and attending college. We awoke at 1 or 2 am in the morning to the wind howling and rain coming down in sheets. I immediately ran to the window and peered out. I kid you not that I could sense a tornado forming over head. I felt prompted to knock on my brothers door to ask him to pray with me. I was to scared to be able say a prayer and asked him if he would say it. Although, he had just said one privately, he agreed to kneel down with me. We knelt and asked the Lord to protect us and my two boys and our home. We also said other things in the prayer, but as that was the main order of business, I honestly can't remember the rest of what was said. We were really scared! After we said the prayer, I really felt that we would be okay and I went back to bed with my two boys cuddled up with me and went to sleep. The next day I heard that a tornado had touched down not that far from us. I am really thankful that we had that experience. It taught me that whenever I feel afraid, that if I have the faith in my Father's love for me that I can call on him for protection and to ease those fears. I have had similar experiences with Big Red and I know that I never doubt that the Lord's spirit can bring me peace in the most turbulent of experiences.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Slice of Life #5 The Road to Drivers License

Well here is a Daddy's day story leading up to my procurement of the much coveted document - the drivers license!
We were driving my older sister up to college when my Dad decided to let me drive the car for the very first time. I'm talking I had never been in the drivers seat even to drive around the drive way. I'm thinking, "what!?, Did you ask me if I wanted to drive?". The answer would have been a "NO!". Of course, at that age I was too timid to say anything, which people would laugh at now, but really I was. So I hopped into the drivers seat. Now, we were taking two cars, so that Texasblu would have a car to drive while up at college. We didn't have cell phones back then, but we did have CB's. I should have been fine driving on the long stretch of New Mexico rode, is what my Dad was thinking. Unfortunately, it was fated to be a short drive, which he should have realized when I asked as we pulled out..."What side of the rode should I be on?". To say I was terrified is putting it lightly. I am also a stickler for rules. Well we were falling behind my Mom and so my Dad wanted me to step on it. They had made a turn and in trying to catch up with them he had me turn too soon. So he's getting really antsy now. We are pulling up to this stop sign and he's yelling at me, "go go!". Because no cars were coming and he was trying to get us caught up. However, I knew enough about stop signs that I knew you had to look both ways to see if a car was coming before you stopped. So I am trying to look both ways and follow his directions at the same time which since the street dead ended there, I was putting us in a ditch. Of course, NOW...he is saying, "STOP, STOP!" I mean really, you'd think my Dad could make up his mind. And then he had the gall to lay the whole thing at MY feet, and I'm thinking, "I never wanted drive in the first place anyways :P ". There were more bumps on the way to my getting a drivers license but I'll save those stories for another day. I have to say this first one was probably the funniest. So I hope I haven't made you fall out of your chair or wet your pants :)
And parents, don't take forgranted that your kids know anything about driving when beginning to teach them, lol.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Family Reunions

The 'Slice of Life Prompt' is family reunions. I haven't attended alot of family reunions in my lifetime, and I'll probably have more stories on that after I attend Big Red's next weekend, but there are two family reunions that have made an impression on me.
The first was when my brother came back from his mission. He's the one on the right. My younger sister who was living with me at the time went with me to pick him up at the airport. I was excited to get to be the one to pick him up, but while he was gone I didn't really feel his absence. He was doing the Lord's work and I missed him, but I didn't get all emotional about him being gone like my Mom ;) because I knew he'd be back. So it surprised me when he came into the baggage area that tears were in my eyes and in hers and his and the love that we had for each other was so strong in the air and how proud we were of him and glad to have him back. I knew then that that was what it would be like after we return to Heavenly Father if we've lived to be true and faithful.

The other reunion is fairly recent and occurs constantly as of late. My sweet Lil Red has realized the phrase, "I miss you". So if I have just been gone to the store for 10 minutes and come back in the door, you would have thought I had been gone for a year. The arms open wide and he runs as quick as his little toddler feet can carry him to wrap them around my neck and says, "I miss yous". I have to admit that I have felt tears smart my eyes more than once at such innocent and sincere expression of love. I also have to admit that there have been times that I have left the house just so that I can hear that sweetness, lol. Which goes to say that you don't need to wait for long moments of time to go by to appreciate being together with someone again and that has impressed me that I need to be good about showing that I miss family members and the contributions they make and just their being there when they have been off to work or school or visiting others overnight. It emphasizes that they are an important person in my life and that I love them . Thanks Lil Red!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Temple Goal Reached!

On the day before Mothers Day, I recieved the best Mother's Day gift ever! I was sealed to my husband and my FOUR boys and any children to come for all eternity. This is a very big deal. Why am I just now blogging about it? Well I wrote about it in my journal, and just realized tonight (as I'm suffuring from an upper respitory virus, yuck!) that I never blogged about it, lol.

The day dawned bright and beautiful with fantastic weather especially for Texas :) Two of my siblings were staying in my home so they could be a part of such a sacred and wonderful occasion. My sister that came with her family jumped through some hoops to come, and I am so glad that she did, seeing as how she lived with me during some of my harder years in life and saw me through many heartbreaks. She deserved to be there to see the fruits of the Lord's labor in my life. But I digress...
We started out the day at the park. The boys, uncles included, played some friendly football. Big Red kept the little ones happy with their own balls. Although, they kept trying to hone in on the older guys fun once in a while. My sister enjoyed the atmosphere and loving on her 5 month old. My sister in law and I went for a nice walk on the trail winding through the park, so we could chat for awhile. I LOVE our chats! When the guys got tired of football playing I came over to mess with them for awhile, but eventually we made our way back to the house to play a game of Loaded Questions while the little ones went down for a nap. This is a great getting to know you game, and I think the older boys had fun getting to know a little bit more about their aunts and uncles. We had so much fun that we almost let to much time get away with us and had to start rushing around so that the household that had swelled from 6 to 12 could be ready on time. We made it to our appointed time with time to spare ;)
I have to say that the temple workers are so awesome about making you feel like your royalty. The whole process was awesome. There is just no other word! It was very meaningful to me to be able to have my Mom come help me dress in the bridal changing room. It was humorous to me to have this huge room to myself and this big closet to hang a huge wedding dress in and my needs were so simple. Even though it was not my Mom's wedding dress that I wore. It was my Mom's temple dress that I wore, as my dress wouldn't fit due to the joys of nursing, lol. Those moments as Mom and daughter preparing for the realization of a major choice in life was very meaningful and sweet. It contrasts sharply to the harried picture popping moments before my wedding, where some unrelated person dictated my time with my parents. It was quiet and a time of reflection. I had time to say a prayer of gratitude as I waited for my Mom to come up. I have to say it was one of the most real and fulfilling experiences of my life from start to finish. The time I spent with my husband in the celestial room as we awaited the actual sealing was the same calm moments spent in reflection and reveling in the sweetness of our love. Again it contrasts sharply to the actual wedding where one is usually a bundle of nerves and doubts can assail. After 3 years being married to my husband, I can say that I was more sure of my desire to be sealed to him than I was the day that I married him. What a blessing it is when we listen to the promptings of the Lord. And I know of a surety that that is the reason that we ended up together to begin with ,as we were both allowing are doubts to keep us just friends in the beginning.
I won't say much about the sealing. My thoughts are recorded in my journal and it was just to sacred and special to share here, but I will say that seeing my sweet boys come in all dressed in white was an amazing experience. My two older ones told me later that they had to keep their laughter in check at seeing Big Red and I in our temple finery. It was the opposite for me. I think as a mother my heart was about to burst from pride at the handsomeness of my family. Watch out girls, my two older boys are getting close to dating age! :)
We were again made to feel like royalty as friends started snapping pictures left and right as we exited the temple. One of my adopted sisters that I've written about on here before was able to make it with her husband and quickly became our appointed photographers. I will embarass her a bit here to note that her being there was as important to me as the rest of my family's being there. We met through visiting teaching, and she became more than a friend to me as she continued her service to me and my boys long after she was reassigned. The two toddlers, Little T and Lil Red were barely restrained from jumping in the fountain and held up under the onslaught of pictures. I'll try to post a bunch later. My Father in law made me feel very special by telling me that he loved me as we sat outside by the fountains and how he is so glad that I'm part of their family. It meant alot to me to have such sweet words from the patriarch of my husband's family as I couldn't hear such words from my own Father. I wish I could say that I felt his presence during the proceedings, but I cannot. There were things that happened that reminded me of him and his love for me, and I know he is happy for me. I did feel however the presence of my Heavenly Father and his pleasure at the choices we have made to bring us to this juncture. I think that is the most important feeling that we can have, especially since our spirits know that we are here to work on becoming like him. It is no wonder then that we experience such great joy upon feeling his approval. I want my siblings that weren't able to be there to know that they were missed and maybe that is why I couldn't feel my Dad's presence. Maybe he was helping to comfort them somehow. I do know that the important thing is for us all to make it back to Heavenly Father for the really BIG day when we realize our blessings of exaltation.
(After those comments the rest of this sounds so lame, lol, but afterwards, we all went to eat a barbecue place, and were excited that one of my three musketeer friends from my single days was able to make it with his wife. It was a long evening and I thought it appropriate that my siblings had left to go stay with my Mom for mother's day and going home it was just us. Our newly sealed family.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Hero: From "Slice of Life" Prompt

I really don't know how to condense down to one hero. I have had so many. My two biggest heroes have been my parents. I was just telling my husband how I remember my Dad wanting to be relatable to others and struggling with it. So he decided to work on his joke telling skills which means that us kids were the guinea pigs. While we heard some of the same jokes over and over, I learned that you can overcome social fears if you just have the courage to try something new and work at it. I really credit him with my being the outgoing person that everyone sees me as. My Mom has been my hero in alot of areas, but #1 as the wonderful wife she has been to my Dad. She always edified him. She found ways to learn and grow with him and she was always by his side. Another one of my heroes is my oldest sister who has started this blog prompt. When we were growing up there was noone prettier than my sister. All the boys liked her ;) She was smart. She got this big trophy for reading the most books throught out the school year. She seemed to me to be good at everything. She did cheerleading, then she picked up my thing twirling. She played the flute and didn't seem to be terrified like I was about performing on it infront of others and was much better than I at it. She had good ideas like creating the Libby's Stand where we sold peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches and servings of open cans of green beans to my parents and grandparents for a quarter. And no we didn't pay them back for the ingredients that we pilfered from the kitchen. It didn't matter how much we quarreled, if someone was picking on me, she would stand up for me. Once she even tried to take on a teacher, it was probably a good thing that she couldn't find her. When I turned 18, she through me a surprise party. I had always complained about not having any great parties growing up b/c my birthday was right up against halloween and back then halloween parties were big. So she threw me the most memorable and creative birthday party ever. It's even on tape somewhere. When I went through my divorce, she did what she could to help me handle being a single Mom. I still use my homemade cookbook that she put much work into. I have to say it's looking a little worse for wear. When I got married, she knew how much I wanted her there, but there was no way should could make it due to distance and weather so she spent the whole evening before chatting with me about the upcoming wedding and all my bridal issues. So she has shown me that we protect those we love, that we give encouragement and cheerlead for those that we care about, that we get creative when can't do what we'd like to do and we do what we can for others to make this world a little brighter. She's a pretty amazing sister and a wonderful Mom and wife full of rich ideas and talents. I'm pretty lucky that I have her to look up to. What's really cool is that I get to thank my hero and know that she'll read this and be able to see that she's made a difference. So not trying to suck up to the prompter ;) I didn't edit so if you read from the beginning you can see that I just started writing and realized that she IS my big hero :)
Thank you!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Firsts: From "Slice of Life" Prompt

I think my first BIG know the first thing that gave me a real sense of freedom and accomplishment was getting my own apartment. I was in the middle of a yucky divorce and I had a job that paid a little more than minimum wage at Foleys. I was living with my two toddlers, at the women's shelter in Conroe, TX. It was not a fun time for me. You had to share a room with one or more other mothers and their children. And of course not everyone has your same beliefs or way doing things and that could be stressful. Add into that that the kids all had a hard time as their own lives were being turned topsy turvy and you can imagine the stress and tension felt by the adults. We also had to have our kids in bed by 8pm if I remember right, so that we could meet back down stairs for our resident meeting every evening. After that we would split up and do our chores before going to bed ourselves. Well with being in a strange place and Mom being gone all day, you can imagine that my two boys didn't really want to go to sleep. It was then that I developed our bedtime routine that would become a blessing and a memory for my two oldest for a longtime there after. I would read a story out of the picture Book of Mormon. Then one other story of their choice. Then we would say prayers and I afterwards I would sing song after song till they fell asleep. It is so funny, I remember feeling so good about my singing after a fellow roommates daughter put in a song request. I was always so afraid that I would miss the deadline to be at the meeting and get kicked out, but I was always blessed. The kids would fall asleep just in time. But you can imagine my relief when my application for an apartment through HUD housing,( government assisted housing), came through. The apartments were in the worst part of town. Later I was told that it was the area where cops refused to go. My Dad was so worried about us going to live there, and the only way he reconciled himself to it, I was told later, was that their was a lady there that he knew that said she would keep an eye out for me. The apartment wasn't mutch. there was no carpet. It was all linoleum tile. And not the pretty kind if there is a pretty kind, lol. It was the stuff you see in hospitals. The walls were all white. It was kind of dingy but it had two bedrooms. There was no little porch but it was on the first floor and that was a blessing in some ways. Eventually the behaviors of the other people there would drive me to seek shelter till another application went through, but in those first days I was so excited! I was thrilled to be out on my own. Atlast! I was going to be taking care of myself and I was proving that I was capable of it. I was so excited about my little space that I asked everyone over to celebrate Christmas Eve at my house.
I wrote my Dad a poem that year to go with a picture of he and I in my first snow together. This is me reading it to him. The poem was a thank you for believing in me. He had just helped me to buy my first car, so that I could continue forward. I remember my parents brought down my Aunt Lynn that year from Oklahoma. She came to visit too. It was the last time that I would see her before she died. We bought her pink pig slippers because that was her favorite thing to collect, pigs. She loved them as you can tell by the picture. I thought that my Christmas tree was the most beautiful thing ever. It was the one thing that I asked my husband, at the time, for. The boys and I had decorated pine tree cones and I bought ice garland strands. I loved that natural theme and built on it year after year till I remarried and had to merge our Christmas's. In the I even commemorated that first Christmas on our own in my own apartment by buying an our first Christmas ornament.
I have it to this day. I know most people would think that is weird since those are usually for a couple's first Christmas, but for me it's still important to remember that first. The knowledge that I could stand on my own two feet and make it. I think everyone should know that. To have that innate belief in themselves that they can make it, no matter what life throws at them. Lot's of firsts for me that year and definitely a year to feel grateful and blessed.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Calling and Tidbits

Next week I will be released as a Relief Society teacher and called to be the new compassionate service leader. After talking to my mom about the calling, I'm actually excited. When it was extended to me earlier, I felt they were phasing me out of teaching b/c they didn't think I could handle it with the two little ones and they were giving me a less demanding calling. Now I realize that it will probably be more demanding and very fun for me as I love getting to know people and finding ways to serve others. It's funny that I can look back over the last year and see how Heavenly Father has prepared me to serve in this capacity. From being on the recieving end to giving and helping to coordinate service. There have also been lessons that I've taught that have prepared me spiritually as well. So I am excited and ready to magnify!
As for tidbits, I'd like to know if anyone would like to start experimenting with me in the transferal of energy from toddler to parent. I figure that if this can be accomplished, just to a median point, I might stand a chance against little Red. My poor baby has had his face smashed in by Lil Red and been tripped over and pounced upon by him more times than I can count, due to the never ending supply of toddler energy. Sometimes I can see them as Tigger and Pooh. Although Lil Red has also had the need of many a kiss to the knee and bandaid's over scratches as well. Sometimes he's his own worst enemy. Imagine Tigger's tail falling behind the actual bounce and you'll envision what I mean, LOL! I am grateful though that Lil Red has so much independent spirit built up in him. It is great that I can give him his clothes and tell him to put them on while I keep going with my own readiness. That I can get him to wash his hands and brush his teeth. While I get baby dressed. He truly is a BIG boy! and growing every day ;)
Don't you love the energy in this picture ;)

I know you've noticed that I keep calling our new one baby. I'll have a nick name for him in a little while. He's only two months and in many ways over shadowed by Lil Red, so I'd like to give him a while before I saddle him with a nickname on here. So please bear with the constant referrals to my sweet baby :)

Hope your Sunday was fabulous!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Recent cute photos:please vote :)

These are our recent photos. Some of them I put in here just for fun. But I'd like to frame some of them so please vote on your two favorites for framing. The turtle just popped his head out of the water! cool!
This duck won't know what just hit him, lol. A cheerio!

Father and son. Working together to fatten up the turtles.

I know! What a big turtle!

Mom you know I can't walk yet. Dad, why are you egging her on?

Mom wanted a pic of his blue eyes. My guess is that they won't be blue for more than one more month, maybe.

Okay this one is getting printed and frame so don't bother to vote on it. I think I'm going to do a double with one of Grandma W. on the otherside with him from Easter.

There should have been so many great pics from this bluebonnet shoot, but James was hungry and crying in more than 80% and John wouldn't look up b/c he was pouting b/c I woke him up from a nap. I swear I've only had one fun blue bonnet picture shoot and the two older boys were about 7 and 8.

This one had potential. Unfortunately I noticed what Isaac was doing. Aaaargh! The Turkey!

So sweet! Amadeus adores little James!

I love the colors in this one!

we've had alot of time lately with their cousins by Aunt S. This picture was too cute.
So tell me what you think and don't forget to vote!

Sealing Date Set!

We are so excited, as can be expected, to have a date set, and to know that our entire family will be sealed together on May 8th. I'm so happy that I have such a wonderful Mother's Day gift to look forward to. I went for a walk today and thought about what this means to me. To know that I will be sealed for all time and eternity to such a special man. I can't believe that we've only been married for 3 years. I thought about the many experiences that we've already been through together. Just to list a few...

my Dad's fight with cancer and his death, two pregnancies and births, one miscarriage, many family home evenings, and Isaac's appendectomy.

to me those were the big spiritual experiences, where much growth has taken place, but there have been other simpler moments where I know we've grown considerably as well. I know that I was blessed because I chose to listen to the spirit at the Fall single's conference in 2006. I shudder to think that if I hadn't I probably would have gone my way and he his. I am so glad that I have a second partner to balance me out and to talk to about ideas and goals and decisions, the first being Heavenly Father of course. It's amazed me how much we've grown as a family and as a couple in such a short time. I know that Heavenly Father truly blessed me in my choice of a spouse because he chose for me a man that was humble enough to want to learn with me. I can't wait to enjoy so many more experiences with him as our children grow older.

I am also excited that both of my older boys have chosen to be sealed to us. I know that it will make the day that much more special.

Thank you, all of you who have continued to pray for this blessing in our lives!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Baby is almost here!

The doctor took me off of Breathine yesterday and said that at 36 weeks and the size of baby that we could let things take their course. It was funny b/c I could tell that he thought hard about whether or not he wanted to let me go. B/c right before I left I was coming off the breathine and had a huge contraction, but because my cervix wasn't widened by much he decided to let me go home. I'm so glad because while I continued to have contractions all day long they haven't gotten regular or strong enough to do anything till this morning at 1:45. I'm heading to get my husband up now as they are super strong. TTYL

Monday, January 11, 2010

The New Picture for My Heading and Other News

The new picture for my heading is of Lil Red pondering his latest art drawing with his new markers and craft/cooking apron that he got for Christmas. It is one of the many beautiful pictures that have been taken with our fabulous camera. The funny thing is that Big Red has opened up a new avenue of interest in Lil Red by buying a cheap but nice camera on ebay. I can't believe that my ALMOST 2 year old is going around with a camera around his neck snapping pictures and using a tripod. It's hilarious. I'll have to put up the pics of him taking pics later. I just don't know if Big Red has down loaded them yet or not b/c I can't find them. Life around here has been fun. I think everyone needed a break from Mom's hurried pace. Between the cold weather and me being on bedrest, life has been pretty simple. We have spent alot of time on the game Peggle with a great deal of ribbing and teasing about shots and excitement and good shots. If you go to my Mom's blog, the link is labeled 'Mom's newest', you'll see some embarassing pics of me with my mouth my open. Last night we took a break and played "Risk". I've decided that for a quote "simple game", it sure is complicated. There was so much competitiveness that my Mom was threatening us all.
I've really enjoyed having my Mom around. I think each of us kids would steal her forever if she'd let us. Good thing she has a life ;)
The boys started back to school last week and Lil Red is going as stir crazy as I am even if he does get out for little jaunts in the car. But I hear him now so gotta go.