Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all my friends.. this is always a very special day in my life.
I have the privilege to be Mom to six fantastic people, Steve & his wife Karen, Kristan & her husband Don, Jason  & his wife Jamie, who have given me 13 wonderful grandchildren
 and 2 precious great granddaughters.

My mother taught me so many things that I am thankful for:
She taught me to be kind to everyone I meet
She taught me to strive for the very best in all I do
She taught me to be a hard worker
She taught me by her example how to be a wife and mother & grandmother
She taught me to love my family, and spend quality time with them
She will always be my example of the kind of woman I want to be.
Thanks Mom. .

      We started our week with being the host's of our monthly "Empty Nester's" family home evening group.. We had asked the Franklin's if we could host it at their home and they agreed.  The host provides the main dish and the activities for the evening.  We decided to have a bar-b-cue.  So brother Franklin grilled the 1/4 lb. hot dogs that we got at Costco and they were delicious.. Everyone else brought sides and desserts and we had about 20 people there that evening.  The Franklin's live in a beautiful wooded area and it was a wonderful evening.  After we shared our dinner with each other we all gathered in the living room for our activity.  We shared some of the thoughts that Elder David A. Bednar had talked about at the conference we attended last week with the group and then we played a game of word search.  I had put together game using words from our ward, our stake and all about us.  President Volk was the winner with the fastest time and Linda Haycock came in a very close second.  It was such a fun evening.. Love to be with all those wonderful people.

                                                              Brother Franklin at the grill

 Some of our friends at the FHE

                                                   Linda in the middle was the 2nd fastest

President Volk on the right was the fastest to finish the puzzle

      We have a new procedure for the youth coming to do baptisms at the temple. I got to be a part of it this week. Instead of arriving at the door to the baptistery on the first floor, they now check in at the front desk on the second floor and are escorted through the main lobby and beautiful hall of the temple.  They stop to look at the beautiful mural of Christ in the main rotunda and it was amazing to see the look in their eyes and feel the wonderful spirit that was present. We then proceed down the beautiful staircase that is lined with stained glass to the first floor and walked past the many amazing pieces of art featuring the life of our savior Jesus Christ, on our way to the baptistry.  I love working with the youth. They touch my heart each week as I help them. 
      The sisters we visited this week were so inspiring and each time Sister Brown and I leave a home after a visit we look at each other and are so touched by how wonderful they are. 
       We visited with Lana and had a wonderful lunch with her and her 15 year old daughter Amy.  Lana is the mother of 5.. and Amy is the youngest.. I kept looking at her thinking how much she looked like my granddaughter Maddi. Lana home schools Amy and she has a straight A average, a very smart young lady. We had a very fun visit with both of them. 

                                                             Lana and her daughter Amy

       I had visited with Sue on a day that Sister Brown was not feeling well and I wanted her to meet Sue.  So we called to see if we could drop by to see her and she was excited to have come on over.  What a wonderful lady.. She tells the best stories and keeps us entertained for the entire time we were there.. She is lonesome in the assisted living apartment and loves to have our visits.. She always sends us home with "food", we tell her that it is not necessary and she insists that she always sends food home with the missionaries and so we are willing to accept her kindness.. what a blessing she is in our lives.
        Our next visit was with Allison a delightful young sister with 2 adorable children. James is 2 and her new baby is Kate.  Allison is a teacher and worked for 6 years before she had James, so now she is a stay at home mom.. They have lived all over the US and also in Japan as a military family.  James is the most adorable little guy and kept us laughing at his antics.. Allison's husband is a pilot in the Navy and is in training at the Patuxtent Naval Air Base to be a test pilot for the F/A-18 Hornet like the Blue Angles fly.  Such a fun great visit and a wonderful family.
Allison and baby Kate
 Adorable James

 Beautiful Navy housing

       On Thursday evening we were part of the visiting teachers conference and as I told you last week. We performed a reading of the visiting teaching version of The Little Red Hen. Bishop Reed helped out and it was a great success.. We also put together a flyer with ideas for different and fun ways to visit a list of Internet sites that they could go to for ideas to help spark their visits.. Our message was:

      On Friday our first visit was down in Lexington Park about 1 1/2 hours south of us.. We had set an appointment for noon and when we arrived brother Fletcher walked out and was very surprised that we were there.. he said " sisters if we would have know you were coming. . .  .." we said " we had an appointment at noon, didn't Denae tell you?"  "Oh no he said we are leaving right now to take our son to the doctor. He has strep throat and we are so sorry".. he just kept saying "oh sisters I am so sorry".. we assured him that it was fine and we would visit them again soon. 
       Liz was our next visit..what a talented amazing young mom.. She is a writer and in the process of writing a novel and has already written several short stories that she wants to get published.  She asked us if we would like to read them and we agreed "of course" we would love to.. so she sent them to us.. She is also a very talented sculpture.. her work is incredible and I bought one of her pieces (picture on my blog).. We each also ordered a couple of other pieces that she is making for us.. We told her she needs to start selling her fantastic work.. She is the mom of a delightful daughter named Izzy.. her husband is a project manager for a company that provides companies with carpet..Liz grew up in a military family and lived all over the world. Her dad was in Naval intelligence officer and can speak 20 languages. He is now retired from the navy and works as an independent contractor for the military in the intelligence field.  What an marvelous visit we had with Liz.

                                                    The darling sculpture I got from Liz

The HIGH bridge over the Patuxtent River

        Our next visit was with Stephanie who lives in Lusby which is over the Governor Thomas Johnson bridge which spans the Patuxtent river and is really HIGH..  I have now driven over the bridge "2" times.. I get so nervous as we approach the bridge and found out that I just have to keep my eyes on the road right in front of my car and NOT look ahead.. Lusby is on Solomon's Island and when you drive through the area not close to the shore it is like driving up in the mountains in Flagstaff, 2 lane winding roads with tall trees and dips and turns.. We have such beautiful landscapes to see as we drive around Maryland, the seashore, hills with tall trees, farm land and cities. So our drives are always fun.. we get to see so many different things on our trips.
      We arrived at Stephanie's home and she was waiting on the porch and we thought it was for us but found out her son Thomas arrives home from pre-school around the time of our visit.. She is a very quiet sister and it was like pulling teeth to get her to talk to us.  She gave us one word answers and we really wanted to help her to open up and have a conversation with us.. We could tell she was very bashful and had a hard time opening up.. so we concluded our visit by giving her the handout card we give each sister we visit with our contact information on it, in case they need to get a hold of us for any reason.
      On Saturday evening, Bonnie and Gary Ramon took us out for a pre-mother's day dinner. We went to Outback for a fantastic evening, with lots of fun conversation and food. They are so good to us and have taken us into their lives like family. We really do have a lot of adopted family out here that helps ease being away from our families back home.
       Next week my sister Judy and her husband Jim will be in DC on a business trip and they are bringing their 2 oldest grandchildren with them to see the sights of DC.. While Jim is in meetings, Judy and the kids are spending the days seeing all the wonderful things in DC.  I get to spend Wednesday with them and I am so excited.

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