Friday, December 10, 2010

Decking the Halls

Thanksgiving weekend we got busy with the Christmas decorations. It was pleasant outside so I got everyone going outside and got the lights up. It's much nicer to have help than to do it by myself.

Lexi doing the lights around the yard

Paige was checking the lights before they went outside and changing burned out bulbs. It's always frustrating to get a strand started and then find out they don't light.

Ken hanging the garage garland

We have two pictures of picking out our Christmas tree to show that we were all there. It's funny to look back on years of getting the tree. We are either in shorts and t-shirts or bundled up freezing. No happy medium. We still do the live tree, and Lexi told us it's one of her favorite parts of Christmas. We got lucky this year and found a good tree the 1st one we saw. It's a cute chubby tree.


Our original plan was to go camping for Thanksgiving so we could enjoy some cooler weather and get away from Houston for a few days. Well Ken's work schedule 1st changed things up and we made plans to camp at a campground not too far so Ken could come and go. Then the lovely Houston weather threw a wrench in the whole works. It was forecasted to have rain on Tues and Wed before Thanksgiving and then a cold front was to come through. The main reason to go camping was to have fun and camping in the rain and cold is not fun so change of plans. We still got together for a wonderful Thanksgiving feast, just in the comfort of our home. The frustrating part was after cancelling, the rain never materialized. The cold front hit Thurs. early evening. Oh well, it was a great day. We missed Taylor who worked all day as well as Curnutts and Ortons who were freezing in Utah.

Ken carving the bird before heading off to pick up his boss from the Cowboy's game in Dallas

Beautiful centerpiece sent by Ortons.

What a scrumptious feast!!! Thanks so much to everyone for making it great.

The proper way to each your olives is one on each finger and Michael is a pro.

The "big" girls.

The "adult" table. Paige snuck in

After eating Jordan wanted to try out the pool since he hadn't been swimming in two years. He talked Alex into going in with him. When the time came to jump in she backed out but Jordan "helped" her follow through. Right after this the front blew through. It's amazing to feel the temperature drop from a balmy mid 70's to a dry 50 within 10 mins. Gotta love the Houston weather. You can see the front coming in the picture

To ward off the cold we had a bonfire. And what's a bonfire without roasted marshmallows and smores. Lexi working on making hers a nice charcoal burnt one.

Trying to hand out the smore goodies to everyone without freezing.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Her legacy

On Nov 7, 2010 my mom Kenlyn Christenot passed away quietly. In Sept. when she had a major stroke we knew from everything her body had suffered that her time left on earth would not be long but it's amazing what was able to take place in the 7 weeks that remained of her life. She was home with her family and friends and was able to continue to show so many how much they meant to her. My mom was always thinking of others, and now so many were able to serve her. Friends from many eras of her life came to visit and called. She had sisters from the Relief Society sit and visit with her. Each of her children and grandchildren were able to visit, sing to her, make her cards and let her know how much she meant to us. Even in her limited physical capacity her spirit and testimony touched each one of us. The most important things in my mom's life were God, her family and friends. I am so grateful for the example she is in my life and my family's and am thankful to know that our family is forever.

The four girls

All 15 of the grandkids and my dad

Welcome home Jordan

For the past two years Jordan has been serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the California Riverside mission. We have been very blessed as a family by his service and are so proud of the work he did to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. On Nov 2nd he returned home and we are so happy to have him back again. It has been wonderful to see how much he has learned and talk to him about his experiences. I know the blessings of serving a mission will continue with him throughout his life.

There are no pictures of the eagerly anticipated arrival, due to a communication glitch. In Sept we received a letter telling us that Jordan would arrive at Bush airport at 7:36 p.m. on Nov 2nd, This information was given to the bishop and stake president and was what we all anticipated. We talked about, planned and eagerly awaited his arrival. Just before 6:00 p.m. we received a call from Jordan wanting to know where we were. We were at home just getting ready to eat before heading to the airport. He said he was waiting at the airport for us. Apparently the mission office had changed his flight and he had landed at 5:00 p.m. The changes in the itinerary had never been passed along us. We had never completely communicated the exact info we each had and so the change was never discussed. Needless to say we were very disappointed to have our plans dashed and Jordan was peeved to be left at the airport waiting. We were still very excited to have him finally home and being together as a family.

In the Stake president's office after Jordan was released as a full-time missionary

Jordan in front of his sign we made. See we were all ready to go.

Jordan with his "shrine" We had a map and countdown to show us where he was and the amount of time he had been serving.

We had a post Halloween get together to welcome him home. Halloween is Jordan's favorite holiday so we didn't want him to miss entirely.

The girls and Jordan with their signs they had planned on holding up at the airport.

Halloween pt. 2

On Halloween the girls carved their pumpkins with our good friends. They decided not to do the traditional jack o lantern but the "pumpkin master" patterns. The cleaning out of the pumpkin innards is always the most dreaded part but the girls did a great job. Especially without dad or brothers to finish it up.

Lexi with her "Garfield"

Paige did the ghost

All the pumpkins. the kids did a great job!!!

The whole group with their pumpkins.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


In past years we have always had lots of discussion and planning on what our halloween costumes would be. This year was different for several reasons: With Halloween being on Sunday the girls were not going trick-or-treating, also they are getting too old to trick-or-treat and I have just been worn out emotionally and physically to worry about costumes. I know it's not all about me, so we tries to compromise and find something we were all happy about. Paige is a candy fiend and so she like the candy corn Queen idea. We were at the fabric store and Lexi was playing with the idea of Marilyn Monroe, which I was trying to dissuade her from. And then she came up with Madonna. So this is what we ended up with. I think both girls were happy, and it was doable for me. They had the trunk or treat party at church as well as a school dance they got to dress up for.

Lexi as Madonna, she did a great job of channeling the 80's look. Notice she even has the mole. One big difference is Lexi's undergarments are not on display. We weren't trying to copy everything.

Paige as the Candy corn Queen. I said it should be a new spot in the Candyland game.

The girls together at the trunk or treat party.

Paige and her BFF Quincy-I have pictures of these two at Halloween for the past 12 years. So fun to see them as such great friends.

Lexi with her friends, Olivia and Morgan

school spirit

This fall the girls have been involved in activities on their campus. It was easiest to put them together in the same post. The 1st two pics show Paige in two of her extracurricular activities. I posted earlier about her playing volleyball. The team did okay for the season and she learned a lot. There was a pep rally for the fall sports teams so she was doing double duty with the band and volleyball.

Paige at the xylophone

She also played cymbals. With percussion she gets to move around to the different instruments. I keep encouraging her to try drumline next year in high school. I think the drums are a fun part of marching band.

As a 6th grader Lexi is limited in the extracurricular activities but she and two friends got involved in the dress up days for red ribbon week. They were going as "triplets" on the twinsies day. They got together and decorated their shirts. It's always been very interesting with these three and their height. They even had tall, taller and tallest on their shirt sleeves. Olivia, the tallest is the youngest of the three.
Sorry I forgot to flip the picture before downloading.

The back with their name and year

Heading into school together.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Taylor ordained a elder

Soon after Taylor graduated from high school he met with the bishop and stake president and was worthy to be advanced in the priesthood from Aaronic to Melchizedek. He was actually gone to Philmont scout ranch to begin with and then it took several weeks to get everyone at church at the same time. Finally Ken was able to ordain him the end of Sept.

Lexi and her bassoon

With starting jr. high Lexi has started playing the bassoon in the school band. It took quite a while to do the theory and learn the parts of her instrument. Finally she was able to put it all together and actually play notes. She has been very excited to learn to play and is always willing to show us what she has learned each day.

Paige's birthday

On Sept 16th Paige turned 14. Unbelievable that she is already that old. She is a beautiful young lady and is so excited to finally be 14. Since I was in Calif. it was up to Ken, Taylor and Lexi to make it a special day. Taylor and Lexi decorated her locker at school. Last year they wouldn't let her wear the birthday girl crown so we went for the birthday banner this year. For dinner she chose the restaurant to eat at. Then there was cake and ice cream. They did a great job and she had a great day. Happy Birthday Paige!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Mom

On Sept. 14th I got a call that I anticipated yet dreaded. My sister called and said my mom had had a stroke and I needed to come to Calif. This was not entirely surprising as her health has been declining in the past year and more so in the past 6 mos. She is relatively young-70, but has diabetes and hypertension. In March after some testing by a neurologist it was determined that she had already had two major strokes and had damage usually found in a woman much older than her. But this was worse than previous strokes. This stroke was in a major artery and had caused paralysis on the left side of the body. She can still speak and recognize people but is now confined to a hospital bed. She could not swallow at first but is now able to take liquid nourishment. After further MRIs, second opinions from neurologists at Cedars Sinai at UCLA, the doctors have determined that there is not anything else that can be done. As a family we have determined it is most important to make her comfortable and spend as much time as possible with her while we can. She is at home now under Hospice care.

I have been very blessed to have a great mom and am so thankful for our relationship. We have had our difference of opinions over trivial things but I have always known she has only wanted the best for me and was willing to support me in anyway she could. She is a incredible woman, always thinking of others, serving, and leading. She has been a great example in my life and I have always felt if I was 1/2 as good as her I am doing pretty good. One of the hardest part of all this is watching how my mother's body is not longer able to support her. She is able to participate in conversations and loves the visits from friends but can no longer do things for herself, fortunately she is free from any pain. I think that it is an opportunity for us to learn what true Christianity is, to be willing to serve unselfishly and love unconditionally.

I am grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ, to know that our Heavenly Father is mindful of each one of us and knows what we need and can handle. I am grateful to know that we are working to be able to return to His presence and know my mom will be blessed for the many things she has done here on this earth. I know her time left on earth is short but her example and testimony will live on through each of us. Her faith in God and love of family will be a legacy we will always remember. I'm sure a glorious reunion with loved ones awaits her. I love you mom!!

Astros game

On 9/11 we had the opportunity to go to the Houston Astros game thanks to a generous guy in our ward that works for the Astros. Ken was out of town so I took Taylor, Paige and Lexi and headed out. Since there were many friends from the ward it was nice to enjoy the game and great company. I don't have any pictures of Taylor since he was out and about cruising the stadium. Too bad the Astros lost, but it was a fun night.

The girls and I after the game

Paige with several of her good friends

Lexi and her best buddy Morgan

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

the volleyball team

At the end of last year Paige decided she wanted to try out for the volleyball team at school. She had had minimal volleyball playing experience so we signed her up for a volleyball camp right after school was out. She had a great time and so at the beginning of this school year she tried out. She made the team and has been working hard. She is in a athletics pe class and then has two hours of practice after school. She has enjoyed it and we'll see if she stays with it.

I took this picture the day the teams were announced and she found out she had made it.

I took pictures at her 1st game (actually a scrimmage). It is horrible to get a good shot in the gyms with a point and shoot camera and a uncooperative subject but I did my best. She came up with this new "hairstyle" for volleyball. It is intended to distract the other team and keep them from concentrating. I don't know that it is very effective, Paige's team was beat pretty good.

Ready for the serve

Up in front

After the 1st game. She was coerced into posing for this picture