Saturday, May 28, 2011

{spa recommendation}

Today was my lucky day!!

I received the best phone call that any girl could EVER wish for . . . an invitation to a spa . . . for FREE!

This wasn't just any spa either . . . it was THE darling "Look Younger Live Better Beauty Spa"!  
For a girl that just turned 40, nothing could be more desirable.  As it just so happens, 
I want to look younger!  
I want to live better!  
I also want anything with Beauty and Spa in the title.  
I couldn't resist such a delicious invitation to indulge myself!

I am still so honored that they thought to call me!  How did  they know I love this kind of opportunity?  {Perhaps you are right . . . everyone knows.  Honestly, just yesterday another person told me I reminded them of "Giselle" from Enchanted.  Hmmm.  I'll take that as a compliment.}

Isn't this THE BEST!

The ever lovely girls, Isabel and Brenna, were the specialist.  They started my relaxing and refreshing experience by providing the perfect place to soak my feet. 

I'm embarrassed to share how spoiled I was . . . my feet were massaged with yummy smelling lotion!

 Eden was their precious assistant!  She has a striking talent for dance that she was able to put to good use when show-casing the nail polish options. 

More spoiling!  Eden also massaged my arms.  The combination of lotion and her magic touch left my arms oh, so soft.

Facials are a must at all proper spas and these girls didn't scrimp!  Check out their supplies - all natural ingredients!! {Eden provided a relaxing atmosphere by blowing bubbles while Isabel and Brenna got serious.}

My eyes are super bright now - thanks to the refreshing cucumber.

No spa experience would be complete without a facial:

These precious girls know their stuff!  Please note the tray to the right . . . YES!  They provided fresh watermelon, cucumber and cold water.  This was the completely royal, Fancy Nancy treatment that I love!

 Thank you gorgeous girls for a lovely time at your divine spa!  
Brenna {l} and Isabel {r} - I adore you girls!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the fun!
I am now ready for summer!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

{Uncle Ralph & the Luau}

We were privileged to host a Luau for our church on Saturday night.  It was an adult party and church members, friends, and family all came.  
It was super fun!

I honestly loved visiting with everyone but I have to say the best part of the evening was my wonderful Uncle Ralph.  He is one of my father's older brothers.  He is 70 years old now but still such a sweet child at heart.  He contracted measles when he was very young; his fever got extremely high and it caused permanent brain damage.  He is just so fun AND funny!

The wonderful missionaries also got to attend!  They were dressed in appropriate festive attire and Uncle Ralph didn't get it.  Apparently he isn't familiar with lava lavas.  He said, "Look at them boys.  Why are they wearing 'skirts'?  Those boys are wearing skirts. . . ."  I told him they were dressing like Hawaiians and other island people, "Uncle Ralph, that's how they dress in Hawaii.  Don't you like their 'skirts'?"  He emphatically stated that he would have NOTHING to do with that.  "Those boys and their skirts.  Just look at 'em."

I assured him that, "those boys" are the nicest and asked if he'd like to meet them.  He decided that would be a fine idea and I invited Elders Reed and Smith to meet Uncle Ralph.

"Those boys" are a lot smarter than I am!  After the introductions, I told Uncle Ralph that he could talk to them about their lava lavas.  He shared his sentiments that they were wearing skirts and he didn't sound happy about it! haha  Elder Reed is awesome!  
He looked at Uncle Ralph and asked . . . 
"Would you like to wear one too?"
The ever coy Uncle Ralph said, "If you have an extra . . . yeah."
Elder Smith was right on it too and immediately assured Uncle Ralph that he was on his way to get him a "skirt!!"

He was SO happy!

He was so excited about the first picture that he requested another . . . with his brother.
Uncle Ralph used to struggle to keep the relationships straight.  When my grandmother was alive, of course she would refer to my dad as "her son."  Uncle Ralph would point to my dad and say, "That right there, that's my son."  Now he knows its his brother and he pointed to my dad and informed the missionaries, "That's my brother.  That right there, he's my brother."  Then he told me to, "Get Ivan, go get my brother and take a picture of us." I love it!

Uncle Ralph was enjoying the pictures so much that he needed one with Sir Thomas and Elder Kemp!
Everyone was loving this!  Elder Ralph was so happy to fit in with his lei and lava lava.

Elders Jenkins and Axtell were snagged for a photo op.

Then the picture taking got serious . . . calling all lava lava wearers . . .

 This is my favorite!
Left to right back row: Reed, Kaufusi, Uncle Ralph, Kemp, Axtell, Smith, Jake White
Front: Jenkins & Sir Thomas

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

{one fun date}

I love fun dates with my handsome man.
Sir Thomas was super sweet to me and planned a really fun date for us last Friday.  Sadly, we don't go on dates as often as we should.  I'm so glad we took this opportunity and I had fun!

The first stop was pedicures . . .

How many girls have husbands that are this much fun?  My feet are so happy and I think his are too.

Sorry if the picture doesn't do the next stop justice . . .
Pirates of the Caribbean!

No better way to end the evening than with a delicious dinner at Chaba's!!!
The atmosphere was fabulous!  I love the decor, the music, the people, and the effect of sitting on the floor.  {I would actually love to sit on the floor but not so comfortable for everyone.}
The Thai food was so good!  I can't wait to go back.

Oh, I'm a lucky girl! 

{Next time . . . I hope I remember to get the pictures when we get our food - not after we're finished!}

Saturday, May 21, 2011

{exercise and other near death experiences}

I'm definitely not as young as I once was!  Not that it's surprising - it's just more noticeable.

I think most of my near death experiences are predominately age related.  I remember handling this stuff much better a few years ago!

* * * * * * * * * 

Recently, I stayed up late, with Landon & India and their friends, waiting for Keaton and his friend to get home.  After they returned home, we stayed up even later talking.  When I say late, I'm talking about almost 3:00 a.m. late.  I know, that's nothing for teenagers!  I've even been known to stay up ALL night when my kids were little . . . cleaning the house!  
{I REALLY wanted a clean house.} 

Staying up with those guys was FUN!  I loved the experience!  It is wonderful to have such good kids that want to tell me all about the fun they had and then listen to my "has been" stories!  {They are nice.}  However, I was so tired the next day I thought I might die.  But, I didn't.  I was so deliriously tired I didn't even think to take pictures so . . . no death-warmed over pictures - for now.

* * * * * * * * *

Don't they look like they want to eat me alive . . .

Remember my broken glass table?  Yeah, me too.  I'm still deciding on a replacement.  Rather than sit at my real dining table, I recently decided to break all the rules and eat elsewhere.  Why is this my life??  I believe it has something to do with being way too nice to my children.  I honestly think these dogs could be the death of me.  We don't feed them people food but they couldn't resist begging for a bite of my BLT.  {They would have been disappointed because it was mostly spinach leaves and tomatoes with only a little bacon.} I do love pets but this is TOO much . . . not necessarily the begging but just the dogs in general. 

* * * * * * * * *   

How can I learn to love exercise?  I keep trying to trick myself.  See how excited I look before exercise?  My children find this to be a great source of comedy.

I even look convincing to myself

Have you ever seen this at the store . . . 

(Did you buy it too??)  Some people have been surprised to discover that unlike "Biggest Loser" this one is interactive and a person isn't supposed to sit on the couch and watch it like a normal DVD.

I will admit that I am an out-of-shape wimp.
Ripped in 30?  
Is that 30 days?  30 minutes?  30 breaths?
I think she was implying 30 days but let me share with you . . . I was an easy case, it did not take her 30 days to "rip" me . . . I had body parts all over the place after the first workout.

I collected my body parts with much effort, gritted my teeth, and put the disc in - again.

 Now for the death-warmed over pictures!
Landon has always been my funny man and loved taking these pictures of me . . . feeling somewhere near death.  He's 15 and in excellent shape so of course, this is hilarious to him.  I thought I would start to feel better after the first week.  I must be doing something wrong.

I am not amused . . . 

I needed oxygen, not pictures.  I was sitting because standing was no longer a valid option.

Begging didn't work too well either.  
(With Landon or Jillian)

I had just enough energy left to enter attack mode - he thought my growling was even funnier.

Growling required too much energy.

 This is what I think at the end of the workout.  Booooo.  Let me continue with my honesty, I want the benefits of exercise without really doing it.  Cardio and I will never be best friends.  I could be BFF's with strength training and on a first name basis with some wimp-friendly abs.  I might even be a soul mate with walking for miles but cardio is my nemesis . . . and apparently that's how a person gets healthy.

 If anyone has any helpful tips, I would greatly appreciate them!  At the moment, I am hoping to just preserver and see what happens in 30 days.  Thus far, everyday is a near death experience but it is actually getting better and I'm convinced that I won't die!  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

{Survivor and an older young lady}

Anyone watch Survivor?  

Typically, we aren't much for television on Sunday.  I stay rather busy preparing lessons, attending church, emailing Elder Moore, and visiting family so there isn't much time or need.  However, this past Sunday was irresistible!

The show itself - Survivor - wasn't actually the temptation.
My Grandma was!

Isn't she fabulous!?  I love her!  Now, can anyone guess her age??

I didn't think so!
{I'll give you a hint: She stopped climbing on her roof to sweep the pine needles off after she turned 80. Very practical of her, don't you think?}

I was visiting her earlier in the week when I asked about the shows she watches on television.  When she mentioned "Survivor" with a giggle and said she would be watching the finale Sunday night I couldn't resist!  A "Survivor Party" at Grandma's was a must.

On Sunday, I loaded up the family, a few snacks and the camera.  Then, I did a terrible job taking enough pictures.  I'll  treasure the memory anyway.

Landon knew it was going to be FUN!

India even brought Raja.

My Grandma is the best!  She has taught me so much through her example.  She is the most Christlike person I know.  When I was younger, for some reason I thought she knew Mother Teresa.  I don't even know why I thought that but they just seemed like the type to be friends.  She NEVER gossips about anyone and is such a hard worker.  I'll have to blog more about her. 

She's just so fun and far, far from feeble.

Grandma loves to take care of everyone.  I assured her I would provide the snacks but she wouldn't be my Grandma if she listened to that.  She made us some delicious potato salad and a yummy green bean and bacon appetizer I'd never had before.  It was SO good!

Most people tell me they think she must be in her 70s since she:
Looks amazing
Lives on her own
Still drives around Vidor in the morning before the traffic gets crazy
Is so mentally sharp

The truth:
She will be 90 years old on Sept. 26

We will have to think of some ways to help her celebrate this last care-free summer in her 80s.  I hope to grow up to be at least a little bit like her.  She would NOT be happy to learn that I posted these pictures or told these stories.  She's too modest to ever want to attract attention to herself and just vain enough to complain that her hair needed to be cut and wasn't fixed right.  In those ways, I'm actually a bit like her.

Thanks Grandma for hosting the BEST "Survivor Party" ever!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

{Last week}

I see the end in sight!  The school year is coming to a close but I'm not really rushing it.  The kids will be home in the summer too and that makes me happy.
I AM relieved to have finished last week.  
Fun, but busy.

The great success . . . completing another year of seminary!
I had 26 FABULOUS students in my class of sophomores.  Not everyone was in the room when we took this picture but you get the idea . . .

After we put away our chairs on the last day, we collapsed.  I'll miss the kids but I won't miss the schedule.  Well done!  I LOVE these kids.

The second great accomplishment . . . awarding scholarships for the Vidor Schools Foundation Scholarship Committee.  I always enjoy meeting with the VSF Board and the Scholarship Committee.  Of course, I love giving away money!   

I had papers EVERYWHERE, read LOTS of letters of recommendation, scratched my head a few times, and happily finished organizing everything before we met as a committee.

In the end, we were happy to award 16 scholarships and 3 grants-to-teachers!
Congratulations to all of the recipients!
This past Tuesday, the awards ceremony was lovely.  Sitting on the stage and looking out at the audience of high school students did NOT make me want to return to high school.  I didn't think I wanted to go back but every year I go through this process and YEP, once again it's decided.  I'll happily just turn 40 in the near future.

Monday, May 9, 2011

{Mother's Day Extraordinaire}

Once upon a time, Mother's Day was just a "nice" holiday.  I enjoyed it but it was nothing like Christmas  . . . until I had my own missionary!
Everything about this Mother's Day was Extraordinary!

Breakfast in bed is always a lovely treat although Sir Thomas is right, "What's the big deal with eating in bed?"  I think it has something to do with NOT having to get up!?!!  I LOVE being a mother (have I mentioned that before?).  
It's probably because I have the best kids.

You probably think this is why I enjoy Mother's Day . . .

Beautiful earrings!
But it's not.

Actually, one of the best things about Mother's Day this year started at 3:30a.m.  Weird, I know.  I got to bed after midnight and was awakened at 3:30 a.m. by Keaton.  He came to tell me he was sick.  
Fortunately it was nothing huge but his face was seriously sunburned and he had all the side effects of sun toxicity.  His skin medicine causes his face to be extra sun-sensitive and he forgot sunscreen on Saturday.  He just needed to know what to do . . . drink LOTS of water.  We double checked with our friend Google, drank water, visited, and headed back to bed.  As I was trying to go back to sleep after 4:00 a.m. I was thinking how nice it was to have him "need" me again.  He's such a big guy now and even I feel intimidated by him at times!

I haven't forgotten the long, terrible, sleepless nights when Keaton was under two years old, having night terrors and Landon was a starving newborn.  I NEVER slept.  It was tough but it's been a while so one night was a sweet reminder. :)  
"It's the hard that makes it great."

Church IS always wonderful.  Sometimes though, three hours is torture.  It is wrong and I confess that on Sunday I just wanted it to end.
I was ready to Skype with Elder Moore in Argentina!

We've never had the opportunity to Skype with him before and this was an extra special treat!
I now feel that I will survive until September 26.

Some of the family joined us!
(Thanks so much for coming!) 

It was a bit blurry but he looked so good!  I love his beautiful smile, sense of humor, and amazing attitude.  He's just so happy all the time!  I love optimists!

Another treat . . . having the missionaries over to call home.
Elder Smith is a "newer" missionary but a total pro!  I'm so glad he had brothers back home so my boys wouldn't be sheer torture for him.  He has such a great attitude and laughs at my Landon's practical jokes.  (Elder Smith is great of thinking them up on his own too!)

While "our" missionaries were calling home from various locations around the house, we enjoyed Skype with our missionary in Fiorito, Argentina.

Nolan took the opportunity to "meet" a couple of the missionaries.  The missionaries were hesitant to take any of our "family" time but they're part of the family.  Nolan hears so much about these guys in our letters and probably wanted to meet his "new friends" before he got home.

Happiness is knowing amazing people . . .

Elder Kaufusi!!  His laugh is THE best!  I smile when I just think about him laughing. Elder Kaufusi ALWAYS makes people feel good.  I think I even like me because he does.  I hope his mother had a wonderful Mother's Day.  His brother is serving in the Philippines and trying to coordinate calls with both of them was a challenge.  I'm glad she raised him so well!

Elder Kemp!!  Look at that sweet, mischievous smile!  The NICEST guy!  He's also tricky . . . he's so nice that you think you can get away with ANYTHING.  Companions beware.  He is SO nice but he doesn't bend.  Right is right.  Fortunately, all of the missionaries in our area are good but I can just sense that he has a strong ability to always do what's right and happily people follow him.  He's a great friend to have!

Elder Smith!!  So smart . . . he found a quieter place to finish his phone call.  He is so fun to visit with and has a super sense of humor.  I don't find many missionaries to be complainers . . . most of them have been in Southeast Texas for a while before they live with us and have had time to adjust to the heat & humidity one day and 43ยบ the next.  I'm so impressed that Elder Smith isn't a complainer and he's just now adjusting!  This is his first area . . . aren't we lucky?  Yes!  He is just a happy guy without complaining . . . just sincere smiles!

Elder Reed!!  Notice the personality!  Too fun and also handles our house so well.  (Reed & Smith are actually in our ward and live here . . . they're stuck with us a lot more than Kemp & Kaufusi!)  Elder Reed is a master storyteller and has had a lot of great life experiences to pull from.  Elder Landon Reed is willing to be a kindred spirit to our Landon . . . something our 15 year has obviously decided upon.  He is doing a great job introducing Elder Smith to missionary life! 

Finally, bed time arrived!  I walked into my room and noticed cards on my bed . . . Sir Thomas and my children are so sweet.

The card on the left read, "To Momma Moore" . . . which one of the kids gave me that?!

They were all so beautiful!

I NEVER knew I loved cards so much!  Confession: we don't give cards regularly.  Perhaps a new tradition?

These were incredible because each of the kids left indelible marks of their personalities. . .

Keaton:  how sweet!  Underlined the words so I would read them and know he was sincere.  Then, the poem! haha  He's always so funny!

Landon!  I knew the card was from him . . . he signed his name in Chinese!  He's trying to learn Chinese off the internet . . . not really sure how it's going since I don't know Chinese but thus far he can copy some of the alphabet.  I love it!

India is definitely growing up!  So sweet, sincere, and full of gratitude.  It makes being a mother so much easier when they are grateful!  Her card made me melt!

"To Momma Moore" . . . the mystery card . . .

Can you believe those sweet missionaries?!?!  All six elder's in Vidor signed this sweet card (and Mike Bartils did too!).  I'm speechless.

(This is a long post - so speechless is good.)

I will save it FORVER, along with the other cards!

It was the best Mother's Day I could have imagined.  I miss Nolan so much but I wouldn't have him anywhere else.  I feel such sincere gratitude for a sweet family in Argentina who were willing to sacrifice their time and computer for him to Skype with us.  I can never thank them enough.  Their kindness is amazing to me and has blessed my life so much.  Tonight we should all say a little prayer that they will be given extra blessings.  I love them and they deserve it!

{The end of one of the longest post in history!}