Monday, November 23, 2009

Those Ririe kids may be crazy, but they sure are cute!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes....and blankets

Kind of long, but PLEASE READ!!!

I've had this burning desire for about the past year to learn how to sew. I guess it really started when I had Mia. I had all of these ideas in my head about little sewing projects I wanted to do for her and Bash like dresses, bedding, blankets, bibs, and all sorts of girly things (for Mia) and a tee pee and book tote or church bag (for Bash), just little projects that I can't bear to spend a fortune on in boutiques when I can do it myself. I hate seeing all of these tutorials and instructions online to make these things and not being able to even start them because 1. I DON'T know how to sew and 2. I don't have a machine 3. I don't understand a lot of the sewing lingo yet. So, I was at a lodge meeting with John and one of the ladies announced that the ladies would be meeting to compile all of the quilts and blankets they'd made for the Ronald McDonald House. Well, my ears perked up when I heard, and you don't need to know how to sew someone (Mrs. Joan Hudgens) there will teach you. Ahhh, music to my ears. So, I called her up and she was thrilled to have someone younger come by with an interest in learning and helping her make blankets, as she has over 50 years of sewing experience and over 29 grandchildren that never expressed an interest. So, I said I will help you make the blankets but I have one that is of utmost importance and I'd like this to be my first project, it is for a very special nephew of mine. She said come by anytime. So, I get to the door and she is this beautiful almost 80 year old southern woman from New Orleans and a little snowball white Maltese puppy named Molly at her feet. She welcomed me with a "Come on in Darlin" and I knew I had come to the right place when I was tripping over rows and rows of bolts of fabrics in the front room. She said "pardon all the fabric honey, my sewing room is full". So, I didn't mention before that Mrs. Joans and her belated husband were members of Humble Lodge for over 50 years and he died of cancer in 2002, but she'd started sewing things for the Ronald McDonald house years ago and since his passing, it is the only thing that keeps her going. I told her that I would start making the deliveries to the RM House on Holcombe for her, as it is a long drive from where she lives.
We made our way to her sewing room, which is an understatement, it was like being at Joanns, with closets and shelves full of fabric and machines that can design stitch/embroider/surge and tools and devices of the trade, lets jut say a seamstress's dream come true. We quickly got to work and began "get to know ya" conversation. I was hesitant to let Mia down, but she said "Honey, I had four little ones in five year so I'm no stranger to cookin, sewin, or doin anything with a baby on my hip, so you do what feels comfortable". So, she played with Molly a bit, and sat on my hip a bit and slept a lot.
I have to admit that I didn't know how much we'd have to talk about if anything or have in common for that matter. But after a couple of minutes we quickly found so many things in common. She was raised Lutheran (like me), has a crazy sister (in a good way) (like me), raised in the south (like me), went to nursing school (like me, only she finished and completed 31 years), worked in the operating room (like me), loves to sew ( like me, exited to say now that I'm learning), loves puppies (like me), loves candy (LIKE ME!!!!), and adored her ma & pa (like me). There are so many other things but those we actually talked and laughed about. It's funny because everyone who knows me well, knows that I LOVE candy, so when I sat down to start sewing she said, "now darlin, sometimes I get a little tickle in my throat and so I keep these Jolly Ranchers around so help yourself " and pulls out an industrial size Sam's bag of Jolly Ranchers (one of my many favs) and I was like ok I'll have a red one, and its SO cute because the rest of the day she'd come by where I was sewing and toss like 4 or 5 red Jolly Ranchers by me and say "here's a few red ones". Oh, those are moments I live for, just the sweetest kindest moments.
We talked and sewed and talked and laughed for hours. She was just as exited to have a new friend as I was to learn to sew. She shared stories of her college years at 19 years old at Charity College of Nursing in New Orleans in the mid 1900's. When I asked what unit she worked in, she explained how she started out in the "White Male Medical" unit because hospitals were still segregated back then. Later she reluctantly went into the O.R. and ended up loving it. I think her medical background really makes her sensitive to these children whose health is failing and fuels her passion to make them these blankets with love. She told me stories about growing up back then, and courting her then prospect now her belated husband. I just listened and imagined as she talked and even shared pictures and albums of her history. It was funny because every time I'd hear her southern accent, I couldn't help but think of the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. We were like Evelyn and Mrs. Threadgoode, one young and inexperienced but wanting to learn more about life and the other older and wiser, wanting to teach about life. In one of Mrs. Joan's stories about her son's wedding, she even mentioned a scripture from the book of Ruth. Ruth Chapter 1 verse 16: Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God, which is coincidently in the movie and one of my FAVORITE scriptures, she said it was hers too. I had a warm feeling inside as we bonded. Its funny how the Lord works and orchestrates us in each others lives, to fulfill and to help, to learn and to teach, bond and befriend, to love and be loved.
I spent Saturday afternoon with her and can't wait to see her again this week, I think I'll make some fried green tomatoes for her and see what she thinks.
I am so grateful and honored that I've made this new friend. She is a remarkable woman with all the wisdom and kindness that God has given her to share. I believe that the Spirit lead us to each other for whatever reason, I mean anyone could have taught me to sew, but I believe it was meant to be her.

Friday, November 20, 2009

When what to my wondering eyes should appear... daughter in downtown Conroe posing for a picture here. more to come

Long overdue visit to Lake Jackson...

So finally we were able to go down to "LJ", Lake Jackson for those of you from not round these parts. And it was well worth the wait to say the least and perfect timing, because we got to not only see the Rickers, but the "other" Rickers (Jared and Elaine, lil Jared and Wylee), the Carruths, and Grandmacita aka Rosario. We had a blast. We drove straight to the field where Bailey and Trey had their soccer games that morning. It was the cutest thing, they ran that team, seriously I think they were the only two scoring goals. The bigger kids and the dads had their own soccer game going on at the adjacent field, oh my goodness talk about reliving the glory days. They were jukin the kids and bending in goals like it was world cup, too funny. So after games and trophies, we headed to the Ricker house to celebrate David's birthday. Raise your hand if you're 3. He was so cute and exited to cut his cake, open gifts and hit the pinata. We loved spending time with all of you and can't wait to do it again. It's super hard not being able to see each other everyday because of the distance, so trips like this are what we live for.
Ruth- we will definitely hang out more, without making and breaking plans especially because my son adores you and James and the kids/Sebastian said, "Mom, if Aunt Ruth lives so close, how come we don't play with them everyday?"
Elaine- we will definitely be at your sealing and endowments!!! I can't wait, and Grey Wolf Lodge here we come!
Please feel free to take pics, that's why I posted so many. Enjoy!
Daddy's girls
Bay goin in for the kill Trazor in action Sweet victory!
Our own soccer game Relivin the glory days
Mia, I think you have to stand up to be goalie?
Holly your not making John's baby fever any better
Happy Bday David

Wylee's like,"What do you mean she's not 3, she's a friggin monster?" My nose isn't going to stop running anytime soon, so can we stop with the tissues?

Do you have poop Jack?
John calls this a portrait of the 3rd Reich
Not as fun having to wait your turn to hit the pinata this is more like it
Weeee Ahh, it seems like only yesterday we were in the same hospital, on the same day, on the same floor, with these two, where does the time go?
Oh these boys love them some Aunt Ruth

Finally, Bash let me get a shot

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rings of Blessings....

I was just about to post this Mon.'s FHE lesson, and then I got this email from my sister as I was posting the pics, how weird because it fits with the lesson perfect.

I've never made a fortune, and it's probably too late now.
But I don't worry about that much, I'm happy anyhow
And as I go along life's way,
I'm reaping better than I sowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

Haven't got a lot of riches,
and sometimes the going's tough
But I've got loving ones all around me,
and that makes me rich enough.
I thank GOD for his Blessings,
and the Mercies HE's bestowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong,
My faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke,
and the sun peeped through again.

So LORD, help me not to gripe,
about the tough rows I have hoed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

If GOD gives me strength and courage,
When the way grows steep and rough.
I'll not ask for other blessings,
I'm already Blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy,
to help others bear their loads..
Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

Obviously our lesson was about "Counting our Blessings" and being grateful for all that we have. Sundays talks were so wonderful and really spoke to my heart, so I was inspired to tie that into our FHE with Thanksgiving being so close. I had these turkey's left over from last Thanksgiving, (I had put them on the kids table with markers sticking out as the feathers, and let them write what they were thankful for and decorate their placemats) so I cut out feathers and had everyone write things they were thankful for and then we put them on skewers and stuck them in the turkeys. Bash really enjoyed this and Mia enjoyed trying to destroy them. Afterward we read some scriptures
(ie 1 Thessalonians 5:18) and sang "Count your Blessings" of coarse. We talked to Bash about one of the goals that the speaker made for himself, for one week he tried not to ASK for anything, instead just GIVE THANKS for what he had already been blessed with when he prayed. When we said family prayer that night we gave thanks for all of our blessings, and only ASKED for blessings for others, others who are ill, are in need, or just need prayer. This was a valuable FHE for me because I need to be reminded every now and then as selfish and immature as it sounds, but I'm still human. Then we finished off with some treats that I cheezily tried to tie into the lesson, Rings of Blessings, otherwise known as homemade doughnuts.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words....

I feel like I've waited my whole life for these moments. When I saw all of our families and friends there at the Temple together with open arms and smiling faces, I knew that I'd felt that feeling before and I know most certainly now more than ever that THAT is what Heaven will be like. No matter how long or short our lives are on this Earth, every moment is so precious and I will try to remember that all the days that I have with all of my family and friends. I'm grateful for all of the blessings of the Temple and the Atonement and I hope that I can live an example of my gratitude. Thank you Kelsey for capturing these moments, you are my hero.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Show off !

Just like a chunker to walk and eat a lollipop at the same time.


I'm sorry in advance for all of the shrieking, but we were going bananas because she not only started walking, but she was shamelessly applauding herself. I'm so proud of my little walking 9 month old diva. You go girl, walk it out!

Feast With the Beast

So last Friday night we had been invited to an event at the Houston Zoo called FEAST WITH THE BEASTS, it's an event that has food and drink booths from vendors around Houston and the proceeds benefit the animals at the zoo. My friend Rachel's mom owns a chocolate fountain business called Fountains of Chocolate and had a booth at this event and if we agreed to help man the booth we'd get free tickets. I love doing stuff like this so we were so exited and then Mia got 4 shots that day and wasn't feeling well, so John stayed home with her. Well, I headed down there anyway cause I knew she'd be fine with daddy and met up with the other couples. I just could not believe how cool the zoo looked at night, with all of the entertainment, food booths, and animals that were being displayed out there. They had the lions out and huge giant rabbits or Flemish Rabbits to be exact. So, we worked at the booth for a while and then got to walk around and try out all of the foods from the Houston area restaurants that were set up there. I called it "grazing". We tried Greek, Mexican, Caribbean, Cajun, Persian, Tex-Mex, Asian, you name it, not to mention the dessert and drinks boots like Ooh La La cupcakes and Jamba Juice. Oh I was in Heaven ! I will definitely volunteer for next year. I adore animals and we all know how I feel about food, so this was a magical combiation for me. We ended the night watching the last couple of songs performed by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, which was this cool-cat swing band that had the crowd going nuts. Thanks Rachel for the invite I had a blast!

our booth look at that fountain of sin
just about to flip, go daddy-oh Big Bad Voodoo Daddy shut'n it down