Saturday, October 24, 2009

Best Friends

Everyone needs a best friend no matter how old you are. One that laughs at your jokes even when they may not be funny to anyone else. One to dress up with. One to share ice cream with. One to wipe your face when you have the leftovers of chocolate on it. One to hug you when you fall down or make a mistake and tell you its going to be okay. One who comes to your defense when your feelings have been hurt and then helps you to remember that that person probably didn't mean to hurt your feelings. One who helps you to want to become a better person and then truly helps you to become that person. One to share in your happiness and knows the trials of getting to that point. One to help those rainy days become sunny again. Each of us needs that person and we thank Heavenly Father for those "Friends who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."

Ainsley's best friend is Olivia. In primary one day Ainsley was the spotlight child. The primary counselor started to read hints about Ainsley (without anyone knowing it was her). She got to the point about Ainsley's best friend and said that her name was Olivia. Ainsley quickly spoke up for everyone to hear and said "Hey, Olivia is MY BEST FRIEND." We then explained that it was about her. She smiled from ear to ear. Olivia, we are so grateful that you are Ainsley's best friend. You will never know how many days you have brightened. And thanks for always being there for her and picking her up when she falls down. We love you Olivia!!! (And most importantly thanks Jessica for setting such a great example of being a best friend for Olivia . . . she truly learned from the master, hugs and kisses!!!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

No Wiggling on My Mat and Pinky Promises

Ainsley's first week of preschool was exciting and a learning experience. The children receive frog's to chart their behavior. The goal is to keep your frog on green. That means you have been well behaved all day. For the first couple of days when I went to pick Ainsley up her frog was on yellow. That is the first color you receive after green. Her teacher told us not to worry about the colors the first week and that it would be a transition for everyone. Well, I asked Ainsley why her frog was on yellow or as she says it "lellow." She told me because she "wiggled" on her resting mat. She decided instead of resting like all of the other children she would make this a social time. Every day we talked about how we needed to be still and rest like the other children during rest time. She didn't have to go to sleep just rest. At the end of the week if they have been on green they get to go to the treasure box. On Thursday (the end of their week) I went to pick Ainsley up and I didn't even recognize her. She had pulled out her ponytails and had the ribbons in her hands. Her teacher looked at me and said that she was upset because she didn't get to go to the treasure box. I took Ainsley's hand and we left her room. I asked her questions about her day but she said she didn't want to talk right then. During the long weekend we talked about why she needed to listen to her teacher and we made a "pinky promise" that she would stay on her mat. On Tuesday morning we again made that "pinky promise" just to remind her. Well, SHE DID IT!!! She was so proud of herself. I am sure we will see another "lellow frog" again but for right now I am grateful for "pinky promises."

1st Day of 5th Grade and Preschool

I am a little late getting this posting but as I always say "better late than never." Since the girls started school it has been one big whirlwind. I can't believe that Ashlynn is actually in 5th grade and that Ainsley is in her first year of Preschool. Where has the time gone??? I was looking back at pictures when Ashlynn was Ainsley's age and it truly seems like yesterday. The little girl with her flipped hair has now turned into a beautiful girl with straightened hair (thanks to our flat iron -- we are now on the second one) and sometimes in a pony tail with a ribbon in it. Ashlynn is such a wonderful example to her little sister. We call her the "Queen" and Ainsley is her "Princess." Don't ask me what they makes me (The Old Ancient Queen). Trust me, we don't let those titles get to their heads. Those tiaras come off just as easily as they are put on.
I just can't believe only one more year of Elementary School. I don't think I am ready for Middle School. At least I have a year to get ready (mentally). Both Ainsley and Ashlynn were so ready for school. We had a wonderful summer full of fun and entertainment but I think all of us were ready for a schedule.

Last year Ashlynn complained that her book bag was not big enough to carry all of her books so this year I made sure she had no excuses. Her bag is basically as big as a piece of luggage. Thank goodness for rolling bookbags.

Can you see the excitement in her face. She has been looking forward to this day for a long time. She was born ready to go to preschool. It was a little sad the day she found out that I would be her school bus and that she would not be riding one like Ashlynn. All summer she would pray "that she could go to preschool soon."

This is Ainsley in her classroom. I asked if I could help her put up her lunchbox but she said "no I think I will hold onto it for just a little while." I think she was worried that they might not feed her and wanted to make sure it was close at hand.

Okay I know what you are thinking "that bookbag is as big as she is" and trust me those are the comments that we heard on the way into her classroom. Her teacher told us to make sure the kids had a full sized bookbag large enough to carry a three-ring notebook. I carried her notebook and this was the size that it fit into. Little did I know that she would not be bringing home her notebook every day. Oh well, she loves it and we will get a few years out of it. Ainsley's only requirement was that it had to be pink. Her wish was granted.

I did pretty well and put the game face on the morning I took her. The waterworks started after I pulled out of the parking lot. I think it finally hit me that she was growing up. I am sure there will be more waterworks in the future with both of my girls. How lucky I am to have them in my life. They have inherited their father's gift of making others smile with laughter.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ainsley's 1st Primary Talk

Ainsley gave her first Primary talk a couple of weeks ago. She did a great job and had the children laughing as she tried hard to pronounce each word correctly. It didn't seem to bother her and even said later in the day that "she did a good job." It seems like yesterday I was taking her into the nursery and today she is a sunbeam giving talks.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Our Vacation at Hilton Head Island

(Almost a family picture --Ashlynn trying out her photography skills)

We had another great beach vacation at Hilton Head Island this summer. Every day was filled with something to do including going to the beach first thing in the morning, going back for a dip in the pool and then riding bikes on the great bikes trails, golf courses (not in use at the time) and along the beach. We found a back way to go to Savannah, GA when we went last month for our Anniversary so we took the girls there one day for a ride on the Ferry Boat and to shop on the riverfront. Doug bought each of us a rose made out of palm leaves that is known like the ladies making the sweet grass baskets at the Market in Charleston. We also brought their Easter dresses to take pictures on the beach. (We had them wear white shrugs with them at church.) Two years ago we did the same thing but wanted up-to-date pictures. It was amazing looking the the two years difference since we took some of the same poses we did last time. Yes, our girls are growing up too fast. It was another fun trip and made lots of great memories.

Ainsley and Ashlynn (being patient and posing)
"Best Friends"

(at least for the moment)

"Oh that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!" (Alma 29:1)

"Best Friends II"

Ashlynn and Ainsley riding on the ferry boat in Savannah, GA

Wating for the ferry boat to come in Savannah, GA

Ainsley, Ashlynn and Kim Taking a Break on the Beach

Doug, Ainsley and Ashlynn Taking a Break at McDonalds

Our Sandcastle
(architectural design by Doug)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ainsley Gets Green Light to be on CCL Swim Team

Ainsley has been taking swim lessons this week with Ashlynn's swim coach and did so well that she was approved to be on the Country Club of Lexington's swim team beginning in the spring. We are so excited. Ainsley was very patient every morning this summer watching the swim team and obviously taking notes. Her swim coach said that she had never seen someone this age that really enjoyed swimming and was even trying to dive. She was also impressed with Ainsley's attention span. We still have to practice throughout the summer. Ashlynn was also excited to hear the news. Look out Ashlynn she just may pass you in the water.
The "serious swimmer." Love those goggles.

Ainsley swimming like a pro . . . or at least trying.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Love School Supplies

Don't you just love school supplies? Ever since I was a little girl, I loved school supplies. This week we went and bought school supplies for Ashlynn to go to 5th grade and Ainsley to go to Preschool but somehow my cart did not consist of just things that were on their lists. Who can resist Crayons for .25 and Markers for $1.00 not to mention glue sticks -- can you really have enough glue sticks??? What about notepads, pencils and and then don't forget the colored pencils. This year I did a little better (I still have a stock of crayons, pencils and markers from last years shopping trip). Last year as I was checking out the lady in front of me looked at my basket and asked if I was a teacher. I giggled a little bit and said no, but thank you for the compliment. I have lots of good friends who are teachers.

I remember going to visit my dad at work and sitting at his secretary's desk and looking at the pens, highlighters, post-it-notes and liquid paper (do they even sell liquid paper anymore -- they used to have all kinds of colors). I thought how wonderful it would be to be a secretary and use all of these neat office supplies. One of the greatest presents I remember receiving (not the greatest but you get my drift) was when my dad brought home a huge box of colored pencils and markers. I had every color you could imagine. I thought that the most wonderful jobs I could ever have would be to work at a stationery/office supply store or at a Hallmark store (I also have a love for stationery and note cards but that is another entirely different blog note).

I love the season fall and one of my favorite movies is YOU'VE GOT MAIL. Do you remember Meg Ryan walking along the streets of New York in late September going to her book store and saying that she loved the fall with school supplies and freshly sharpened pencils. That is me to the tee. I hope you fellow "school supply lovers" will enjoy this time of year with me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Menopausal Moments

Okay, so I was blessed with a great generation of ladies (my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother) who go through menopause at an early age. Yes, I am only 40 going through the early stages of menopause. Night sweats (we have clean sheets almost every morning due to me), hot flashes which are now starting during the day not to mention that I can go from the "fairy godmother" to the "wicked witch" in about 2 min or less. On those days I just pray continually for patience and good thoughts. It is amazing what prayer can do.

Recently, I was in an interview with my bishop talking about primary things and then all of the sudden, here they come. HOT FLASHES. I started fanning myself and told him to not worry, it was just hot flashes. He didn't skip a beat and continued on. I think I will keep a fan close by for those times. Yes, I am taking estroven and calcium and magnesium. It does help but let me just tell you what happened recently. I received a letter from the preschool that Ainsley will be attending in the fall and it was addressed to: The Parents of Ashlynn Waters. I signed my 5th grader up for PRESCHOOL. When I told Ashlynn what I had done, Ainsley said "Hey that is not fair, preschool is for me not her!!!" We all had a good laugh and I called the preschool office and explained to them what had happened. They laughed as well.

The other day we couldn't find my cell phone anywhere. We tried calling it and going all over the house trying to listen for it. Doug came home and opened the refrigerator. He said, "is this the new way of charging your cell phone?" Okay, but the next one tops the list.

I went grocery shopping by myself. What a treat. I went to two grocery stores (loving this new program where you save tons of money by cutting coupons and seeing who has the best deals -- check it out: .) Anyway, as I was putting the groceries away at the last store I was so interested in getting my grocery cart back to the proper place that I left my purse in the smaller section in the cart. I drove home (only abt. 2 min. away) and then discovered that my purse was not in the van. I panicked. I drove back to the store as fast as I could and saw one of the grocery guys collecting the carts. I quickly got out and explained what I had done. We looked but there was no purse. My heart dropped. All I could think about was how much money I had saved that day but how much money I was going to spend or lose by leaving my purse in that cart. I prayed as fervently as I could and as fast as I could. He went inside and came back out without my purse. I decided to go inside the store to call home and hoping that someone had taken it home with them and was calling my home number to let me know they had it. I know, but that was all I could hope for at the moment. I went inside and the same grocery guy came out of the manager's office with my purse. Wallet, credit cards and cell phone still where they were 10 min. ago. (I never carry cash so that wasn't even a consideration.) I can't tell you how grateful I was and am for honest people. I went home and got down on my knees and thanked my Heavenly Father for once again watching over me. Now I will have a pattern of putting my purse in the car and locking it (with keys in hand) before taking the cart back to the cart area. I just saw a cute quote: "Yes, I am hot . . . it just comes in flashes." Here's to all of you who are "flashing." Thank you again Heavenly Father and please bless me with a better memory . . . soon!!!

Happy 17th Anniversary and Happy 40th Birthday

For our 17th wedding anniversary and for Doug's 40th birthday we decided to go to Savannah, GA. I was planning to have a surprise birthday party for him but he insisted several times that he just wanted to "get out of town" and have some time together. Well, that is just what we did. Mom and Dad took the girls and we headed for Savannah. It was a great long (but still too short) weekend. We stayed at the Westin Resort which was truly beautiful right on the river.

Doug was pretty good most of the time and promised not to do business while there but I happened to go into a shop and noticed he wasn't behind me. I went outside and found this picture.

This is what we saw every day from our window in our room. Someone had docked their yacht at the hotel during their stay. It was a beautiful site to say the least (at least for Doug). To the right is the water ferry we used each time to go across the river to the shops and restaurants.

We decided to take a carrage ride to see the sites of "old Savannah." (You can tell by my hair the wind had been blowing all day.)

Among the other things we decided to eat at "The Lady and Sons" (Paula Deen's restaurant) the afternoon before we left. We were told that we needed to get in line the morning of for lunch reservations. We were in line a little before 9:00 a.m. and the line was already around the building. Some of the people were there as early as 7:00 a.m. We waited in line a little over an hour for reservations at 1:15 p.m. I have a very patient husband.

The food was worth waiting for. It truly was mouth watering. We now can say that we have eaten at "The Lady and Sons." It was a great weekend and one that we will remember for a long time. It just seems like yesterday we were married in the Washington, DC temple. It has been a wonderful 17 years and we look forward to the future with lots of excitement.

Friday, July 17, 2009

4th of July

This year we went to Charleston for the 4th of July. We had a great time. We let the girls go shopping at the "Market" and they purchased one special item each. We also made our trip to the Omni at Charleston Place which is one of our favorites. The girls love looking at the beautiful chandelier and spiral staircase. There is always someone playing the grand piano and Ashlynn gets a little dream of herself playing like that one day. We walked around the battery and several other South Carolina history sites. It is so much fun for Ashlynn to actually see things that she has studied in school.

(Don't you just love the drink in the picture -- oops)

We were told that there were going to be fireworks at the battery. We decided (like many, many others) to take our chairs and wait. We waited, and waited and waited. During our wait we saw the fireworks at the other islands (Mt. Pleasant, Sullivans Isle, James Island, etc.)

Around 10:15 they finally began on the Battery. This is not one of the better pictures but I forgot my camera and cell phones only do the fireworks so much justice. All in all it was a great day.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ainsley and Captain Moroni

So here is the story some of you have heard about Ainsley and Captain Moroni. As many of you know my nephew Spencer went on his mission to Denver, Colorado (Spanish Speaking). We were able to listen in on the conversation Spencer was having with his parents and grandparents as he was leaving the MTC and was waiting to board his plane at the SLC airport. When it came time for my Dad to wish Spencer "Elder Shaw" well, Dad simply reminded Spencer of the story about Captain Moroni and told him to share his "Title of Liberty" with all of those good people in the State of Colorado waiting to hear about the gospel. That night for Family Home Evening I decided to share with the girls what their grandfather had told Spencer and also tell them about the story of Captain Moroni. During the story I showed the girls the gospel art picture of Captain Moroni and about how he took of his coat and made a banner which became "his Title of Liberty." As I was sharing the story Ashlynn was listening and "soaking it in." She thought it was so neat how her grandfather had compared Captain Moroni to their cousin as he was getting ready to share the gospel with the good people of Colordo. I looked on the other side of where I was sitting and Ainsley was not interested in the story at all, just looking through one of her books (or at least, so I thought). That night Ashlynn asked if she could call her grandfather and share with him what she had learned and talk with him about the two comparisions. Ainsley also asked if she could talk with him after Ashlynn. Ainsley got on the phone and said (and just like this . . .) "Grampy (that is what my children call their grandfather) Spencer is going to tear off his coat and make a banner just like Captain Moroni and teach the people in Colorado. It is his title of liberty." I was stunned. I just knew that she was not listening to one word I was saying. It just goes to show you that they do listen . . . even when you don't think they are.

Ashlynn Joins the CCL Swim Team

This year Ashlynn decided to join the Country Club of Lexington Swim Team. It was a major commitment because swim team practice started two weeks before school ended every afternoon for an hour and in the summer every morning in the water by 8:45 a.m. It was amazing to see how well she did even after only two weeks. At first she was a little worried about competing in the swim meets but thankfully for good friends encouraging her she decided that she could do it.

We were not as concerned about her winning ribbons . . . only that she didn't give up and kept going, even when the going got tough. She did exactly that and came in Second Place during one of her meets. She met some wonderful friends and is excited about being on the team again next year. We are hopeful that her little sister will be joining her on the team next year as well. Ainsley has already been diving into the pool and practicing her "streamlining." She will be taking swim lessons from one of Ashlynn's coaches at the end of this month. We will keep our fingers crossed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Time Out for Women

Me with DeAnne Flynn, Emily Freeman and Kim Garner

Me with Kenneth Cope

Me with Michael McLean

I had the great opportunity of being on the Time Out for Women team this year in Columbia. It started with me going to pick up Michael McLean, Mark Mabry, DeAnne Flynn and Emily Freeman from the Columbia Airport. I went the day ahead just to make sure I knew the best way from the Airport to the Hilton Hotel and then to the Convention Center where the event would take place. I didn't want to use my GPS since I was suppose to be familiar with the Columbia area. My sweet husband detailed my van so that it would be presentable for my important passengers. It looked like a new van. So the day came and I left my house in plenty time just in case I ran into traffic or thunderstorms which were predicted for the afternoon. (As I took my children and cousins (Whetstone children) home from school I told the kids to pray that the rain would not come this afternoon. One of them (Hunter) told me that Heavenly Father lets it rain so that the flowers and trees can have water and live. I told Hunter then to please pray that Heavenly Father would delay the rain just for a couple of hours while I drive to the airport. They all agreed.) Anyway, I arrived to the airport in plenty of time and introduced myself to everyone. We began loading the luggage into the van and I noticed that someone had already jumped into the front seat. It was Michael McLean. The rest of us pilled in and then found out that Mark Mabry's (the wonderful photographer of "The Reflections of Christ") plane had been delayed. We waited but this delayed us getting Michael McLean to his sound check. We almost made it there with only one turn left (no traffic, no rain and no wrong turns) when up ahead I noticed the some baracades . . . yes I forgot about USC's graduation. I quickly made a couple of turns and even did a three-point turn in the middle of the street but we finally made it.

The whole conference was wonderful. Two new books that I would definitely recommend is "The Time-Starved Family" by DeAnne Flynn and "21 Days Closer to Christ" by Emily Freeman. These ladies became true friends and spiritual heroes during those two days. As I was driving them to the airport the thought came to me that I could easily take these great people hostage and keep them all to myself to answer all of the questions I had for each of them but then I could just see the newspapers "LDS lady takes Time Out for Women presenters hostage." I was also able to reunite with Kenneth Cope after first meeting him 20 years ago at a young adult fireside in Charlotte. A good friend of mine was one of his mission companions and invited him to come out. He was another highlight of the conference. I left Saturday afternoon with a renewed vision to be a better wife, better mom and daughter of god. Well, it only took 24 hours for that vision to have some "commercials" in it but I am still trying.