Thursday, November 27, 2008

True Gratitude

Many of you have followed the tragic accident and recovery of Stephanie and Christian Nielson, whom I have never met, but have been a reader of Stephanie's blog.  They were in a small airplane crash last August which killed their friend and critically injured them.  Christian recorded a video thank you to so many who have done so much to help their beautiful little family over the past months.  Here's a true expression of gratitude on this Thanksgiving day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

While I'm thinking ahead...

So, I've really been working hard to get ahead of the regular Christmas season, pull your hair out, neglect your family, bah humbug SLAM that normally hits our family around December 1oth.  So I'm decorating, wrapping, stamping, writing, mailing, planning and lighting with a vengeance.  All the while, I still have contractors in the house, have unpacking and organizing going on and Jon's still traveling.  I know, call a whaaaaambulance.

But, since I'm in the planning ahead mindset, I've been thinking about what I'd like to accomplish next year, or just "sometime" in the future.  So, I'm starting a LiSt.  I think I'll add it over there ------> on the side of the blog, so it will stay there when the posts begin to roll off the bottom of the page.  Who knows how often I'll add to it, or how long it will get to be.  It's just a list - a sort of dream for my life.  Maybe you could even call them goals.  Whatever they are - they are there.    

What do you want to accomplish next year?  Leave a comment and share with me...... please? Maybe you'll give me a good idea to add to mine.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jon works really hard and never has any fun....

My dear husband works hard.  Really.  He has traveled for work for all but about five years of our marriage.  I think there are some major perks to traveling, but Jon doesn't see them.  Let me explain.  For example, hotel stays.  You can throw your stuff wherever you want in the room and like magic, some fairy comes in the next morning and picks it up, folds it, and leaves it neatly on the bed or chair.  While this fairy is there, she makes the bed, brings clean towels, cleans the bathroom and vacuums the floor.  Another perk to hotel stays is room service.  What's not to love about someone bringing you the meal of your choice for you to eat while watching TV?  We aren't talking Stouffer's Mac and Cheese on a TV tray here.  This is real food, served on a white cloth clad table complete with rose.  Bummer.

So here's another perk - you get to visit cool places.  Jon has been to some neato places without me.  He does occasionally take me along (which is another perk of his traveling), but this time I wasn't invited.  Here's what he did.

Yep, that's the Sistine Chapel.  We went as a family several years ago, but this was pretty cool - private tour.  And they had dinner somewhere in the Vatican as well.  Poor thing.

And the hotel was really a dump.  

He did go some other beautiful places while in Rome, but he didn't have a camera with him. Anyway, we're glad you're home.  Next time, take me! 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Picture Tag

Ashley tagged me.

This is MOLLY eating a sandwich during Fall Break 2006 at Lost Pines Resort in Austin, Texas.  We had a really great time at this fun resort!

So, here's the deal.
Go to your photos and open the 4th folder.
Post the 4th picture in your folder.
I tag my brother Rich, Shahna, Nancy, and Claudia (sorry Claudia - I know your blog is your own - it's just a picture, humor me).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Life is Full of Special People

Today, Molly and Will got to have a "Special Person" visit their school and have lunch with them.  We knew right away who to ask.  Unfortunately, we don't have any grandmas or grandpas that live nearby, and we miss them very much!   But when we need a special somebody we called the next BEST thing - Aunt Carollyn.  Jon's mother's sister is our stand-in Grandma whenever we need her.  She attends recitals, concerts, plays, and birthdays and is just as happy to be there for our kids as any grandma would be.  We are so blessed to have her close enough to share these events with us.  

Here are some photos of todays visit:

A remarkably good Turkey lunch in the cafeteria.
Aunt Carollyn and Will
Aunt Carollyn with Molly in her classroom.
Thanks for coming Carollyn!  We had fun!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So I Had a Good Day

Forgive me whilst I speak of myself for a moment. 

Lately I've felt as though I'm spinning my proverbial wheels.  I'm loaded down with "to-dos" and though I do a fairly good job of appearing to be calm and keeping my head above water, under the surface, my legs are kicking as fast as they possibly can!  Most days end with me feeling like I've accomplished almost nothing - even though I've been busy.

Today, I seemed to be more productive than I have recently been.  Not sure why.  I'm pretty happy about it and thought I should make a list of what I did, so I can celebrate my success.  So, I'll do it here.  

1. Got Lucy to and from Seminary on time (this is not unusual, but I did it - therefore, it makes the list.
2. Got Molly and Will to school with their jerseys for Spirit Day - after a quick trip to Wal-mart on the way home from Seminary to get Will a jersey.  The only one they had in his size was an OU jersey.  
3. Unloaded the car from yesterday's very successful trip to Market Hall for artwork and accessories.  Now mind you, this was quite difficult since the little hydraulic lifts are broken on the big door of the Suburban and the huge-o mongo mirror I got (for $119) was freaking back breakingly heavy and Lucy is not known for her super-human strength!
4.  Took Lucy to school, even though there's a bus.  Just because that's the kind of mom I am - right Lucy??
5. Straightened the house, made my bed, etc.
6. Tied more ribbons on cards - almost done.
7. Brought in three Christmas trees and set up one.  I would have set up two, but the second one is missing a whole section!  I'm hoping that shows up soon.  Don't freak out - I didn't decorate them.
8. Met with the fence guy.  He's going to move a big section of our fence so we can open up the big side yard to the rest of the yard.  We figured out how to do it without needing to buy more fence - woohoo!
9. Brought in all the ornament boxes and positioned them in the appropriate rooms.
10. Unpacked 20 - yes 20 boxes in the garage, two in the gameroom and one in the office and broke down the boxes.  My purpose in this was to locate the big green extension cords for the guy who is putting the Christmas lights up for us.  I found some, but not all.  But I think he has enough now.
11. Ran to Lowe's to buy stakes to put lights along the driveway and sidewalk and Sam's to buy a ginormous wreath for our gate.
12. Hung some of the artwork I purchased yesterday.
13. Visited with a friend who is feeling blue.
13. Watched my friend's cute little grand-daughter, Claire for about 40 minutes and made ridiculous noises to make her laugh - so she wouldn't cry.
14. Put away MOST of the stuff I unpacked in the garage.
13. Made a yummy dinner of pot roast and baked potatoes for six children (we had a few extra tonight).
14. Ran the kiddos to a friend's house who is taking them to the church for their activities. 

It's 8:00 and even though I feel like I got alot done, here's what I'm faced with....

A huge mess in the garage, unfinished laundry, dishes to be washed, newly unpacked kitchen items that now need a home, a pile of boxes and two huge bags of newsprint to dispose of, Christmas decor EVERYWHERE and messes here and there that appeared because Mom was busy doing other stuff!!

Maybe I like the days where I'm not quite so productive better....
What did you do today??

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Family Fun!

We had the BEST family vacation.  We took Drew, Lucy, Will and Molly to the British Virgin Islands and chartered a catamaran for a WEEK.  It was super sweet. We flew to Tortola and picked up the boat and a really nice skipper named Patrick.  We spent the next seven days sailing around to other islands - all pretty small, but WOW were they beautiful.  The kids were great - they had fun snorkeling, jumping and diving off the bow of the boat, swimming with the fishes and playing on beautiful white sand beaches.  Bummer, huh? The water was the most gorgeous shade of blue, the weather was great and the stars were AMAZING. No TV, no radio, no texting, no video games, no phone, just US.  We laughed and read and played cards.  Karen even cooked most of the meals in the galley!  Jon grilled for us on a grill that hung off the stern.  We loved every second of it!  Here are just a few of the pictures...

Our Town

Lucy's first (of many, I'm sure) High School theater performance was this weekend.  Prosper High School Eagle Company performed Thorton Wilder's Our Town.  They did a really great job.  Lucy had a great time, but is really glad it's all over.  She gets a bit of a break before it will all begin again.  Auditions for the school musical are in just over a week!  
Way to go Lucy - you're our super star!

Friday, November 14, 2008

More thankfulness...

A couple mornings ago, I made my early morning pilgrimage upstairs to wake Lucy for Seminary.  I'm not paying attention to much at 5:25 in the morning, but I could smell something burning.  I figured the heaters had flipped on for the first time and were burning off the dust.  To make a long story short, it wasn't the heaters.  Upon investigation I found this in Will's room:It was on the floor near his bed and had fallen on top of his night light.  Bummer.  Thank heaven and probably some bureaucrat in Washington for passing a law requiring flame retardant material in sleeping materials.  I'm thankful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


It's November - already.  And, since we traditionally give thanks during this month, I thought I'd share with you some things I'm thankful for today.  Actually, I'm thankful for them every day, but I was driving home from dropping Lucy off at school and was listening to talk radio discuss Veteran's Day.  I'm thankful for those men and women who have and do willingly serve our country and provide the freedom that we take for granted.  Anyway, then I got on this mental list of things I'm thankful for (or as we like to say at our house - thankul fer). Hopefully I can remember to post several times over the remainder of the month, but today I'll start with this...

I'm thankful to be living in a small town.  Here are some things that have made me thankful this week: 

1. Molly was a bit late for the bus this morning, but no problem.  The bus driver pulls down our street (voluntarily and every morning) and stops at the base of our driveway.  She was happy to wait for Molly to run out the door!  She drops them off there, too.

2. Lucy's High School teachers send me emails to let me know if she's missing an assignment or needs to make up a test.  This is a good student, and still the teachers take the time to make sure she remains a good student!

3. If the wind blows my front door open, and it's open all day, I'm not scared to go inside.

4. More stars at night.

I know there are hundreds of other reasons to love it, but for now - this is why I'm thankful!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jennifer's Wedding

I was fortunate to be able to attend our niece Jennifer Thompson's wedding in September. (Yep, I'm just now blogging about it - sue me.) Ashley and Parker were there, and since my family lives in Oregon and Washington it was a great time to pay a short visit to them as well!

Jennifer was radiant. And Michael looked pretty happy too! Now they are Mr. and Mrs. Rogers.
Just about the whole family was there. Jon planned to attend with me, but at the last minute he had to cancel because of work and weather issues. But I had a great time catching up with Jon's side of the family.

Rob and Vicki
Jim, Terri and Christa
David and Solveig
Marillyn (Jon's Mom) with Ashley
Madison - Scott was there too, but I somehow didn't get him in a photo!
Diane and Gary (with Rob and Vicki again)
Carollyn taking a photo of Howard and Judy (my only shot of them!)
The wedding was wonderful and I had a great time!  Especially holding Parker!
Parker was so dapper!  
It was a great chance for the cousins to spend some time together. (That's Bryan in the middle)
I stayed with my parents for a couple days and had a great time visiting some of the sights with them.  We stopped by the Wilkes and saw Leigh Anne, Jim and Tessa.  We went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday and had so much fun.  I wish there was a great market like that in Dallas....

The food was great!

The eggplant was amazing...

Purple peppers!
Grandma and Grandpa Best got to spend some time with Parker and Ashley.  Parker performed well!

Rich and Tracy invited us up to their house in Longview for dinner.  We talked and laughed for hours!  The boys are so grown up and fun to be around!

Drew and Spencer

Rich performed on the trumpet for us....or was it for that bottle of Windex?

Spencer was excited to go for a ride in the Hummer II. So we took a picture for him!

Parker loved Uncle Rich!
It was also really, really, really great to spend time with Parker.  I took lots of photos.  Here's a slideshow of my favorites.

It was a great trip!  I would have loved to stay longer. Hopefully we'll get some visitors in Texas soon.  I think it's time....