Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving weekend: food and new cars!

As always, I am so very thankful for the holidays and the chance it gives me to spend time with my family. This year we were missing a few loved ones; Scott and Ed are in Iraq and Mom and Dad stayed home to continue recuperating from the horrible colds they have had. Ryan, however, did manage to get down for the weekend. We all went to Becca's house for the day and I had intended to take lots of pictures; however, as often happens with this stupid camera I own the batteries died. So I am attaching the few I managed to snap before it died on me.
Dinner was delicious. Becca cooked the ham, her delicious spinach dip, cheese ball, and a to-die-for pumpkin cheesecake. Leslie cooked a turkey with cornbread stuffing and brought a relish tray. Ryan even helped out by staying up all night to smoke a turkey breast. I cooked all of the veggies and made pumpkin bars. Luckily, we had enough food left over that none of us had to cook for the rest of the weekend!
In addition to great food and wonderful company, Ryan had a super exciting weekend! He graduates in 2 weeks and has already lined up a job working for a petroleum company so he took his letter from the university, his great credit history, and an impressive job offer down to the Toyota dealership and bought his very first brand new car. I don't know what it is called but the thing is like a tank! It is a 4 WD vehicle that he can drive through the desert as he visits the oil rigs. He was sooooo excited! And, Leslie and G traded their Jetta in on my dream car; a VW Touraeg. What a snazzy car that is! Of course, I keep consoling myself with the fact that I get MUCH better gas mileage that either of them can even dream of. So, all in all we had a wonderful holiday and have much to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Buckeye fans...

Yesterday Ron went up to Gatesville for some Poppy time with Seth. They ordered some stuffed crust pizza, buffalo wings, and a pazone to gorge on while they watched the Ohio State ball game. I only have Ron's side of the story, but he said they had a good time. Seth has recently started telling jokes and his favorite one goes like this. "How do you make Michigan cookies? Put them in a bowl and beat them for 3 hours." Not being a football fan, I don't quite get the humor of it but Ron said Seth was cracking up telling it. I am adding our last year's Little Buckeyes photo. They are a little bit bigger and a whole lot cuter now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Temple trip...

I had today (Veteran's Day) off so Ron and I decided to slip up to the temple in Dallas. We just can't seem to manage to get up there on the weekends as often as we would like because of so many family commitments, so this was a perfect opportunity. Any trip to the temple is a special experience but today's was especially sweet. Ron has just recently started working on family history research using the church's online system. I had mentioned wanting to know how to use it when our home teachers were visiting last month. One of them, Richard Armstrong, came over one day the very next week and walked Ron through process. In just 2 weeks, Ron has managed to get 55 names ready to take to the temple. He is so excited about the work and has decided to present the information in our 5th Sunday combined lesson this month. I know the spirit touched his heart many times as he performed this sacred work. One day when I came home from work, he shared how powerfully the Spirit moved him as he printed the form for his great-grandfather.
We hope to set up a date in the near future to take Leslie and G up for baptisms. They are getting close to the time when they will go to the temple for their own endowments and I think a baptismal trip would be wonderful for G. He is growing in the gospel and spends time with the missionaries when they visit with Spanish-speaking investigators. As a matter of fact, he was asked to give his first talk at a baptism last week. He tries to talk to Leslie whenever he doesn't understand specific points of doctrine, but the language issue causes some problems. That's when he calls Ryan and gets things cleared up. Leslie says it is so funny to hear them on the phone yammering away in Spanish about the gospel. I often marvel at how our Heavenly Father works things out. If Ryan had been sent to serve a mission in any other country, he would have never been able to speak Spanish as fluently has he does and wouldn't be able to help out when G needs someone to talk to.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Grandkids: what fun!

Friday was the premier of Madagascar 2: Escape from Africa. Ron and I took the grandkids to see the "moomie", as Maggie would say. They both enjoyed the film but I think Maggie would have been just as happy watching Monsters, Inc. at home. We went to the 4:00 showing at the theater in Harker Heights. Amazingly enough it was not crowded at all. The added benefit of going to the theater there is running across one or two of my students. They always act so surprised that Mrs. Searls actually has a normal life! Then,
Saturday we went up to Gatesville for the end of the football season celebration. Seth's team was undefeated and won the championship game. Becca hosted the party at her house. Ron and G were the grill masters, the kids played in a bounce house and smashed a couple of pinatas. All in all they had a great time. The pictures I am attaching were taken during the season. Are you surprised that our team had the wildest fans? Seth is number 61. He did fairly well for a gentle giant.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Scott's home!

This morning Leslie called me to say she "wasn't feeling well" and wanted to come over and hang out for the afternoon. I told her that was fine; to let herself in and I would be home right after church. She kinda hemed and hawed and acted like she wanted me to come home early, but I didn't pick up on her hints and stayed for the full 3 hours. When I did get home, G and Maggie were in the driveway and Leslie was laying on the couch. I asked her if she was feeling any better, she said "kinda". I excused myself and went into the bedroom to put on may knock around clothes. When I walked out of my room, Scott came meandering out of the guest room! He got a 4 day pass and flew in to DFW this morning at 6:00, rented a car and drove home! On his way down he had called Leslie to let her know so she was there for the surprise; not really sick at all. What a joy it is to have him home for a few days! We threw together a quick meal, called Becca and Seth, and spent the afternoon together. The Lord is so loving to have given me this precious gift of a few days with my son before he deploys. He is tired and thin, but otherwise seems as glad to be home as I am to have him here. I have already set up a sub for tomorrow and am looking forward to spending the day with him. I am going to try to post some photos. Leslie showed me how to do it yesterday but I have slept since then! The other shots are random shots of the grandbabies and my parents. The crazy one was taken by Seth using PhotoBooth on my laptop.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The end of October....

My favorite season is passing by much too quickly.  I guess because we are so busy at this time of the year.  We have over-celebrated Halloween beginning on Thursday by going to Trunk or Treat and a carnival at Leslie & G's ward. Becca and Seth came down for that.  Seth had so much fun completing the scavenger hunt.  I think he was actually the first person to complete it!  They had a yummy chili cook-off and my favorite was a hominy and chicken chili.  Then, yesterday our ward held our celebration.  We decorated rooms for the kids to rotate through.  Maggie found an automated tombstone outside one door that fascinated her.  Then, today we spent the day at the zoo in Waco.  It was beautiful weather and we had a relaxing day.  Thank goodness tomorrow is Sunday and we can rest.