Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Remembering Billye Keister (Grandma Nan)...

 John's Grandma Nan passed away early Friday morning July 3rd.  It hurts how much we are going to miss this spunky, classy lady.  Visiting with her has always been a highlight for our trips to Oklahoma.  
When we visited her home, she was always very warm and welcoming.  She would pull out a big basket of toys and get down on the floor (even though she was in her 90's) to play with her grand kids.  
 Rissy looking up at her Great Grandma.
 She rocked both James and Rissy in this rocker of Grandma Clarissa's.  I feel so blessed to have inherited it a few years ago.  It is over 100 years old and creaks loudly as it rocks.  I love that it will always remind me of Nan.  
John and the kids taking a nap on Nan's living room floor Thanksgiving 2012.  
 Nan had a lot of class.  She made me want to step it up as a mom - her example makes me want to iron the kids clothes more, set the table with real dishes, and maintain a clean house.
 Even though there was never a thing out of place in her condo, she made us feel comfortable letting the kids play.
 This picture is from an Sunday brunch in her home.  I still remember the delicious egg casserole.  She was an outstanding cook.  On our last visit I thought about asking her to pull out some of her favorite recipes from her box for me to copy.  I am glad I at least have her Thanksgiving recipes and pumpkin bread.  The last few years she would always send us with a loaf of pumpkin or banana bread for our drive home to Texas.   It meant the world because we would get home late to an empty fridge and pantry but would be able to feast on her yummy homemade bread.

 John has told me many fond memories of Christmases past and sleep overs at Nan's house growing up.  He used to mow her lawn every week when he was young and I know how much he enjoyed that special time with her.  When she found out my fondness of antique china, she was so generous to give me some of hers.  I am glad she was able to watch me enjoy them the last few years.  They are my prized possessions.
On our trip to OKC a couple weeks ago, Nan was pretty sick.  She has been living with Carla the last year and on this visit she hardly came out of her room.  The last day she came outside and watched the kids play.  She was quite taken with Rissy and kept saying she wished her Aunt Claudia (who was away in Dallas) could see her.  It was a really nice afternoon and in her own special way she made us all feel loved.  I am thankful for Nan's presence in our lives.  She will be sorely missed.  We will always remember you  Nan!

John's dad sent this video to us a few years ago.  I loved watching it and learning more about this great lady.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

2015 Fourth of July...

We started the day bright and early with a red, white, and blue breakfast.  
Rissy is our little miss 4th of July.
 This baby is our firework.  
The neighborhood has a parade.  It has doubled in size from last year.  That is a good sign - more families are moving in!

Nap time! Everyone was hot and tired by 10:45.

 I had my hair done on Friday.  I had to document it because no hats and headbands are a rarity in Houston weather.  
 After a church bbq and naps, we headed to the Adsero's for a swim party.  
These two are James's best friends.  
 John baked his yummy chocolate pie specialty.  Every get together at the Adseros looks like something out of a magazine!  They are great entertainers! 


 I can't say how much I love this family!  Quinn is our hometeacher and is constantly serving us. 

 We finished the night at the Mortensen's.  All the dads put on a fabulous fireworks show.  Rissy loved the pooping dog firework.  The Fourth of July seems to turn our husbands into teenagers.  It is fun to watch.  Several times yesterday I thought about how much I love where we live.  We have made great friends and started some fun traditions.  We are lucky to live in the USA and the great state of Texas! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Road Trippin' to Oklahoma...

We started our summer road trip stopping at Uncle Terry's house in Fort Worth.  His neighborhood feels like stepping back in time because of the clothes lines and 1950's flare.  
It is always good to see John's Uncle and Aunt.  They are so hospitable to our family.  We enjoyed a yummy breakfast, soccer in their backyard, and chocolate cake.
From our early morning walk around Terry's.
We then traveled on to OKC to visit the Gregory clan.  Singing scripture power with Grandma and baking with the easy bake oven.
Swimming in Uncle Seth's pool.
 Oklahoma sunsets can compete with the Bahamas!

 Our day at the zoo with Aunt Catie and cousins.  

 These two remind me of the old fashioned girls in the photos.  

 The kids always have fun at Grandma's house!

 One evening we went kayaking on Uncle Seth's lake.  Here is cousin Jake out fishing.
 We spent lots of time playing outside.  Grandma Gregory bought a beach cruiser bike that we all took turns riding.  We also enjoyed visiting with Nan.
 Grandma Gregory's and Nan's new dog, Clyde.  
We spent the latter-half of the week at Keystone Lake where we rented these comfortable cabins.  
 There were 13 cousins total.  So many playmates!  

 A friendly game of horse shoes.
 Uncle Jay and Uncle Seth.  John's brothers always hide from the camera.  
 We all took turns with meals.  My sisters-in-law are great cooks!  

 Such good cooks, we had to take a lot of walks to work off all the good food we ate.  
 The Gregorys on parade.  

 We didn't do a lot out on the lake because of dangerous flood levels but we enjoyed some superb sunsets, s'mores, and watching fireflies.   

We are so lucky to have such a great extended family that is just a day of driving away.  And Oklahoma is a wonderful place to visit.  We look forward to our next trip! 
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