Friday, November 6, 2009


I have a confession to make.........

I LOVE the music of Conway Twitty!! I know........ I even really surprise myself about this. I can remember being in the 6th grade and Mrs. Hall, our PE teacher Mrs. Brewer, and another teacher..Clark, maybe, came to school wearing Tweety Bird t-shirts they had gotten at a concert the weekend before. We thought they were so funny. I didn't really know who that was then.

So, Zack and I love his music and love the story of when he was in high school and went out one weekend. Let's just say he wasn't in a place he should be that night, but an older lady siddled up to him at the bar where he was sitting and in a deep, low voice said, "Darlin', you remind me of Conway Twitty...." So cheesy, just how Conway kind of is.

But, I love his music. I am listening to Conway on the IPOD now. (another secret is that I would love my own IPOD for my birthday........feel free to share that tidbit with my husband!)

Saturday, October 3, 2009


The ladies and I went to Lafayette today for a volleyball tournament for Sulphur High and Mary Catherine. It was a long time in the gym, sitting. My tailbone has seen happier days.

After the tournament we went shopping a little. We had a great time at the mall. One of our first stops was at Abercrombie for little kids. We had a great time finding outfits for the little girls to try on. They are so fun to dress. Emma and Lily felt so special and loved by their big sisters who paid such wonderful attention to them. Of course, there was much begging for the things they tried on. We did find some $50 jeans for $10. We got Emma and Lily a pair. What a deal. They fit so great and look amazing on them. I don't even have to cinch the waist on the them for Emma. 10 Slims at Abercrombie (were everything is made so tiny) and they fit perfectly.

After we left there Mary Catherine was excited to get to Abercrombie & Fitch---for big people (well, not really big people! but older people!) She and Emma walked on ahead to shop. I was bringing up the rear. I walked in and was looking at a couple of things when Mary Catherine and Emma came toward me and said they were leaving. MC said the pictures on the walls were so awful and she just didn't want to be in there anymore. Sarah Beth and Lily soon followed with the same problem. At first I was like............"wait, don't we want to look?" Not at the picture, but the clothes. They didn't even wait to discuss it with me. They just left. So, I looked around, then......and, yes, they were awful. So, I followed them. At that moment I realized I had just been taught a wonderful lesson by excellent young ladies. They didn't feel the Spirit in there and didn't want to be there anymore. I am so grateful for that lesson and for their sensitivity to the Spirit. I know that the Spirit can guide them to make more wonderful choices. I hope that they will continue to listen and respond to the promptings they receive with such conviction. There was no question in their minds about what they should do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Toy Story, revisited

I am home with Lily today. She is sick. So, I sitting here in the living room, I saw a commercial for Toy Story and Toy Story 2 advertised. A double feature showing at the movies in October. It made me think of a sweet story about Sarah Beth. When she was about 4 she was staying with Gwen one day and Gwen let her watch Toy Story 2. All of a sudden she couldn't find Sarah Beth. She looked all over and finally found her in the bedroom crying. Not an unusual activity for Sarah Beth in those days, but Gwen asked her what was wrong.....assuming she was missing me. Finally, Gwen got out of her that she was crying because of the part in Toy Story where Jessie was laying under the bed...the forgotten toy. Sarah Beth felt so sorry for Jessie and it made her sad. She didn't want to watch that movie any more! What a really sweet . I love her compassion!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Can We Build It???

We have been wanting to go to Lowe's to participate in their build-it projects they have on Saturday. There have been many really cute projects, but I admit that 10:00 on Saturday morning it just too early. But, we were at Lowe's on Friday night and the s saw the sign. They were up early and ready to go right away. What a cute project. They got all these things and they made the project completely by themselves. FOR FREE!! It made their Saturday!!

The s loved this great activity and are looking forward to the next build project. They will be making Firetrucks on September 26. They will have a firetruck there to look at and them building them inside the store.

Most of the participants were smaller than Emma and Lily, but they didn't let that stop them. They had a great time. And they were able to make it all by themselves. We are so excited for the next project. Aren't they just adorable. I had a fun time. And of course, they wore their safety gear......all of it free, including a real patch they can sew onto their aprons.
Thanks, Lowe's

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When laziness is productive

I KNOW it has been too long since I blogged. I will catch up soon......probably not until AFTER I retire!! September 25.......I will have some kind of retirement party. Won't that be fun.

So, I was laying on the bed tonight with Lily and she had a book about the ABC's. She began singing them and when she got to the "L, M, N, O, P" she said, "I love that part......ellmmmnop, ellmmmnnop!!" It was just the cutest thing.

Let me brag on her a little.....I have QUIT reading at night.....except the my little kids. I feel a little guilty because I read much, much longer to the big kids, but I discovered something this summer. What is that you ask? Well, in my laziness, I let the little ladies sleep upstairs with Sarah Beth. She has a reading time each night and naturally told the little ladies that they had to read, too. So, Lily did. Now just let me backtrack a little. ALL of my kids were great readers at the same age. And it is not like it is that early or anything, but all my other kids wanted ME to read. They didn't want to read to themselves at all, because they knew I would read at night and it just wasn't that important to do it themselves. So, when school started, I told Lily that I was not going to read anymore. She didn't understand, but she is enough younger than the others that she didn't know how long I read to them. Well, wouldn't you know, she is reading like a mad person!!! Everything!! And after listening to 4th graders all day, I have to say, her reading fluency is MUCH better than most of theirs. She pauses at commas and periods. Her voice goes up and down with the story line. She understands what she is reading. She is such a wonderful reader........and she enjoys it!


I should have been lazier a long time ago!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Too Many Sisters!!

Yesterday, we went to the dentist, Dr. Moses. He is so funny and interested in our family. We just love him. The boys both go to him still, too. But, yesterday was just the girls. Everyone kept saying how someone was missing. I had to keep telling them it was the BOYS!! Oh, yeah. How soon they forget. Anyway.....they call all the girls back at the same time and we are all finished at the same time, too. So, as we were getting ready to leave I was talking to Dr. Moses and we heard Sarah Beth start to fuss at Lily. She was frustrated because she thought Lily had taken her bag of goodies. So, I look up and Sarah Beth has a stranger by the arm fussing!!! She was saying, "LILY!!" Needless to say, Dr. Moses and I had a great laugh over that. And Sarah Beth was extremely embarrassed. I have heard of kids getting the wrong parent before, but not the wrong SISTER!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Great analogy!!

I love this analogy!! It is perfect and describes exactly why it is not healthy as a society to live under socialism.

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before,
but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK,
we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan".

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.
The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D!
No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering,
blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that.

Love this. Working hard is the best way for all.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I guess to finish our trip, I am just going to do a quick catch up. We had a beautiful drive from Colorado Springs to Lake Powell. We crossed the Continental Divide at one point. We stopped there to play in the snow.

While we were there we saw a square dancing group that wanted us to take their picture. Then we watched while they danced on the Continental Divide. It was so fun. While we were taking their picture they asked us where we were from. When we responded, Lake Charles, LA, one lady yelled out...."I am from Iowa!!!" For those of you not from here that is I-o-w-AAAAAA. Long A sound. That is a very small town just east of Lake Charles! The group had actually danced in Westlake before, too. Small world!

Sarah Beth in Taylor's shoes to go out and play in the snow!!

We stopped along the side of the road next to this BEAUTIFUL river. Some of us were in our PJs and we weren't looking all that great, but it was sooo pretty. I have decided that I love white water running rivers most in nature....well, second to the amazing oak trees we have in Louisiana. Everywhere we went in Colorado and Utah there were these fabulous rivers rushing. So peaceful..........

The next stop on the trip was Lake Powell. I loved Lake Powell. It was so amazing. Here we were in the water with the rocks growing up out of the water. It was amazing.

We had the best time knee boarding, wake boarding, tubing, and just generally boat riding. Emma was our professional. She stayed on the knee board for at least 10 minutes. She grinned so big and was so proud of herself.

Alex and Taylor were on the wake board. It is tough!! No one else was brave enough to try. I used to be able to knee board pretty well, but I could NOT pull myself up. It was so frustrating. I tried, and tried. Let's just say I was extremely sore for a few days.

Zack had my boys rolling over each other as they fell off the tube. If he wanted them off the tube, they were off the tube! No questions asked.

From Lake Powell we went to through Zion National Park. Wow.....we were able to drive through the tunnel and on the switchback roads that run through the park. That was quite the experience in an RV....made even more interesting by the fact that I was cooking pasta salad while we drove. Yes, boiling water, going down mountains in an RV, looking at the beautiful scenery, while it rained!!!! So, fun!! It really was. The pasta was good, the view fabulous, and the rain cooled it off. Thanks to my husband's superb driving ability we made it safely through. We dropped the RV at our beautiful park and drove in the Jeep.....all 8 of St. George. We were quite the site as we pulled up to the temple and rolled out of the Jeep. It was pretty packed. I couldn't help and laugh at us. People would watch and watch us as we kept getting out.

We met Mama, my brother, John, his wife and baby in St. George.

That night the girls and I went to a performance of Footloose at Tuacahn Amphitheatre outside St. George. It started slow but ended so great. We had a great time, except for when I fell taking a picture of the girls and thought I broke Alex's camera. So fun....

My Garden

I had one....well, something like that.....request this summer! I wanted a garden. We tried a garden in the front yard last summer and it just didn't really do what we wanted. So, Alex made some boxes for me.

Zack and Lily then worked to fill them with dirt. Zack worked like a dog. He got the dirt from the office they are building for ES&H, mixed it with fertilizer and manure.

Lily had the best time "driving" the tractor. Apparantly she became quite the expert because later this summer Emma tried to convince Zack that Lily could use the tractor to move their playhouse around the yard. She seriously thought Lily could do anything Daddy could do with the tractor.

So, then we went on vacation and when we got back, this is what we found!!

And, then, a little of our bounty!! I love fresh produce. Our tomatoes are really slow growing. I hope I can get them going again. That is my all time summer favorite. I am so grateful for Zack for working so hard to get my garden put in. Beautiful!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Taylor is 17! I sure do love this boy. He has grown from a little tiny boy to a 6'2" 230 pounder.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Confidence Builder

Yes, that is Emma and my neice, Kate, in my jacket!!
After the nice week of Claire, Sam, and Sarah Beth, we had Kate, Beth Anne, Emma and Lily. Not so relaxing. Besides that, Mary Catherine and Taylor were home from EFY and Alex came home, too.

Yeah, a little different.

Monday, July 6, 2009

MTC Vacation

So, ok, the next day was Tuesday and we went white water rafting with Marion...Zack's cousin. Zack, Marion, and I were in the boat with Emma and Lily and others. The big kids were in another boat together. We had a blast. I was so afraid it would be cold so we wore the wet suits that they provided. It WAS really cold. But, oh, so fun. I loved it. Lily was frEEEzing. Shivering. She and Emma sat in between Zack and I and would move to the back to take turns rowing.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

River Rats

We spent the WEEK 4th of July out at the river. We had a great time. We only had Claire, Sam, and Sarah Beth that whole week. Mary Catherine and Taylor were at EFY and Emma and Lily are in Jena. We had a great time with them. It is amazing how we have been able to concentrate on them and how relaxing it is.

We did have one mishap while we have been out here. Meloni came by and asked us if we wanted to go for a ride in her boat and while we were driving along the motor died. We didn 't know what we were going to do because Bubba and Zack were not at the river. So, we called them, but then some men pulled up in another boat and asked if we needed at tow. So they tied us up and began pulling. We were going pretty slow and so they decided to give it a little more gas. When they did the front of the boat began to sink. Quickly!! Before we knew it half the boat went under and was dragging the other boat back and under, too. It was so scary. Of course we were screaming and they let off the gas. We came right back up, but needless to say it was pretty bad.
Where are those men when we needed them? Meloni acted like she didn't need them, but I am not afraid to admit I would feel more comfortable with Zack there!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

MTC Vacation

The afternoon of the 15th we pulled into Colorado Springs, CO. It was just beautiful there...the first of many gorgeous places we visited. We found our RV park that Zack's cousin suggested and then went to drive around with her and get something to eat. We ate Chinese food and the big kids found a way to entertain themselves while waiting for their food.

Friday, June 26, 2009

MTC Vacation--Day 1

June 14th--Day One of the MTC vacation--We went to church. After sacrament meeting Alex got set apart as a missionary by President Newton. It was really special. We had so much family there and Alex gave a great talk in church, too. After church we left and went home to finish loading the RV. We pulled out of the driveway at about 4:00....right on time. As soon as we pulled away we realized we left our games at home. Oh well, we decided. We could buy more. Then we started looking for my notebook to get addresses for where we were going. Where is that notebook, anyway?!?! Oh, no, we definitely have to go home for that. Turn the big rig around and go get the notebook. Might as well get the games while we are home!!! Taylor runs to get the notebook where I told him it was. No notebook!! Where else could it be? Oh, yeah, it IS in the RV...put up in the cabinet with my magazines and books (sheepish, sheepishness!) Back on the road, now 30 minutes late....but we had those games!
We drove to Dallas and stopped at Zack's sister's in Carrollton so they could say goodbye to Alex. We had a fun visit with them for a couple hours and then we were one our way. We finally stopped at some truck stop and Zack slept for about 4 hours. We decided that was the worst gas mileage you could get.....O miles to the gallon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Last 6 Weeks

Ok, I am on vacation, but more about that later. I need to update. I really do think I have a great excuse for not blogging. I'll let you be the judge.

April 23: Alex comes home from BYU. Had to drive to Houston to pick him up.

April 24: Finish all Alex's mission papers and over night them to the Church after subbing in the morning.

April 25: Took the Praxis test.

April 26: Church and my aunt, Mona, came to visit.

April 28: Teacher Appreciation night at church. We had a great turnout. Taylor's and Emma's teachers came, and we had a great night. We had such a good time visiting with Mrs. Bowen and Mrs. Fontenot. They are truly the best teacher our kids have ever had.....along with a few others.

April 29-30: I subbed for the next 2 days for Mrs. Blanchard in 2nd grade while Alex got his shots done at the health unit and had a dentist appointment.

May 3: Alex celebrated his 19th birthday!! Wow, I have a 19 year old child. The only hard thing about this age is keeping my mouth shut and knowing how and when to get involved. Alex and Taylor bore their testimonies today in Sacrement meeting. They both cried and it was a very tender moment. Alex said that even though his testimony wasn't as strong as it could be he was ready to serve and knew that this was the right thing for him to do. Taylor was grateful for Alex's example. Wonderful parenting moment!!

Spent the whole next week shopping for suits, slacks, shoes, white shirts.....missionary clothes.

May 6: Alex and Zack spoke at Stake Priesthood meeting. I hear they did a great job. They had to speak about why they want to go on a mission....or why Zack wants Alex to go! I wanted to be there, but oh well. 3 different people that night told Taylor that he gave a great talk and to have a great mission...even after Alex spoke, they still misstook Taylor for Alex.

May 7: Book Club at our house. Also, Sarah Beth had a softball game that night. She was the only child of ours to play this season. She had a pretty good team. Mary Catherine's french teacher was Sarah Beth's coach. She was very happy when her brothers and sisters came to her game. Little things make her so happy.

May 9: Taylor, Mary Catherine, and I went to a Bi-Stake activity in Leesville, LA. We brought some of the kids from Lake Charles with us. We did a sevice project at a camping facility and they played in the water and ate on Toledo Bend at the Lord's property (name of the family who owns it). It was so fun. The property was just beautiful being surrounded by water by about 300 degrees. We consisdered having girl's camp there next year, but have decided that it is just too inconvenient and that we like North Toledo Bend too much to change. But, it is beautiful.

May 10: Mother's Day....last one probably forever with all my kids there. Breakfast in bed and a wonderful day.

May 12: Sarah Beth had award's day at school. She received the "M" award. YEAH!! She found out later she is on the Yearbook staff for next year. I don't know who is more excited...her or me!!! I have always wanted one of my kids to be on the yearbook staff. So fun, and cute pictures of my kids I am expecting. Silly, right?

May 13: Lily had the coolest helper at her Kindergarten Space Extravaganza....Alex!!She was so excited to have him help. So proud. She has been so happy to have him home. The first few days she hung on his legs and followed him around every where he went.

May 14: Stake Young Women Auxiliary Training in Orange. Nervous, but everything came together just fine.

May 15: Alex flew out to San Francisco to apply for his Visa and to visit his roommates from BYU. They had an amazing time. I am so grateful that Alex had such wonderful roommates this past year. They really helped him so much.

May 16: Went to Houston for Melissa Kitfield's wedding. I am so proud of that girl. She waited to get married until she found the right person who could take her to the temple. I was also able to do 2 sessions. Great day.

May 18: Emma to Dr. Thompson for a check up. She has had several week spells at school and home. One day her teacher, Mrs. Bowen, was talking about her brother who was having surgery on his arm. One of the students said they should just cut it off. Mrs. Bowen looked at Emma who had turned a definite shade of green. Mrs Bowen sent Emma to the nurse's office. At the last minute she decided to send another girl with her. When they got into the hall Mrs Phoebe was there and Mrs Bowen asked her to watch Emma. As soon as Mrs Bowen shut the door, Emma collasped on the floor. She had not eaten breakfast that morning--stubborn girl--so they let her lay down and eat some crackers and OJ. She felt a little better but came on home with me. Another day I was subbing and they called me to say that Emma was weak again. So, we wanted to get these weak spells checked out. Everything came out great. No sign of ANYTHING. We can only assume she has a weak stomach and we need to be sure she gets some protein in the mornings. That little girl worries me so much. She was so brave at the doctor's office. She didn't balk at the blood or at urine sample they needed. She talked to Dr. Thompson and was so cute.

May 21: Sarah Beth's 13th birthday. We celebrated by going to lunch with her then a little birthday shopping and later, dinner with the missionaries, even the sister missionaries. She had a sleepover the Friday before, just a 3 or 4 girls from school that she has just recently gotten closer to. We went to Que Pasa. On the night of her birthday we ate Tortilla soup for her and crawfish etoufee for everyone else. That is one of her favorite things. I hope next year will be a little more smooth for Sarah Beth. Puberty is hard.
The same day we had Elder Brian Graff and his mother come to visit. He was a missionary in Sulphur a couple of years ago. He was a favorite of our family and all of Sulphur. He had such an impact on so many kids AND adults. They came to dinner with us, the missionaries, and Rip. We had 17 for dinner that night. It was really fun, though. I think Sarah Beth had a happy day.

May 22: Emma was the narrator in her class production of Little Red Riding Hood, the musical. She did a great job. It was fun to see her be so careful. That is how she gets when she is performing in front of others. Very serious and careful. And so, so cute.

May 23: What a fantastic day!!! Alex went to the temple today for the first time. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I have always looked forward to the time that we would be in the temple with our children. I think he was a little overwhelmed, but had a good experience. I love being in the Celestial Room with him and Zack and Mama. I can't wait to have the rest of our family there. I had a realization that if Alex can make these covenants then he can make his way in this world with out me controlling him. It was a tender moment.

The next 2 weeks were full of getting ready for girl's camp, finishing school, meetings, ball games, finishing missionary preparations, getting ready for our trip, sewing capes for camp, fixing swimsuits to be more modest, making preparations for so many other things my head was spinning at times.

June 6: Just enough time to squeeze in a temple trip before we leave for Girl's Camp. We had all 4 kids there in the temple together. Talk about being torn between two things. But, I just didn't feel like I have enough time to get everything done. And we had just been 2 weekends in a row 2 weeks before. Alex was able to perform baptisms. I love that they were all there together. Hopefully it will help them remember that they want to be there together again someday. They had a good time on the trip, too!!

Taylor looks happy in this carload of Young Women!!

June 8-12: Went to Girl's Camp at North Toledo Bend State Park. It was the best girl's camp I have ever been a part of. We had a very spiritual experience together. We had lots of opportunities to talk to the girls and get to know them in a way that I didn't before. I love that. We had a blast, too. The tradition at our camp is that each night ends with dancing. Those girls just love it. We have several "special" girls in our stake that add such a deeper feeling to all the things we do. It is such a blessing to be able to have them participate in camp. They bring their special spririt to all the activities. We seriously had no problems except getting Sarah Beth to sleep each night. They girl's were excellently behaved. The crafts were fun and cute. The food was good and below budget. The budget looks good, too. All in all, it was a great week.....but very exhausting. I stay up too late. It is too appealing to just sit up and visit with friends. I am worse that the kids.

July 14: Alex is set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints after speaking in church. We had 3 aunts, 1 uncle, 3 grandmothers, 3 cousins, and a good friend of our family, in addition to our ward family and our family. There was a great spirit there that day. I am so grateful that they were all able to come. It is wonderful to have the support of so much family.

That is the last 6 weeks at a glance. I know it is probably a little boring, but I had to get it all down. More on the vacation later.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I PASSED MY TEST!!! That means I can be a certified teacher and earn real pay. I can also sub for $20 more per week, now. YEAH!! I am so impressed with myself. I haven't taken a test in 16 years and I didn't just squeak by to pass, either!! Isn't that fantastic?

Sorry for the absentee blogger.....been too busy and had my mind on too many other things, although I still have found time and interest to read all of YOUR blogs! Thanks for your patience. I will be back!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Taking the Praxis test tomorrow to get certified to teach!!! Yikes!! Wish me luck....I may be taking it again in June and July. I am getting nervous.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We have had a great few days. With all the excitement of opening Alex's mission call on Thursday, we still had an action packed week. We had my niece, BethAnne with us from Wednesday to Sunday while her parents were at a dental conference in New Orleans. We had fun with her, including ME playing hide and seek with her on Thursday while the ladies were at school. That is so totally not like me that it made me feel more like her grandparent than her aunt. But she was happy! We also made play-do that I used to make with my kids all the time. She loved it and sat up on the counter playing for a long time. Then, Friday night after the Fire and Ice activity at church we went out to our camp on the river to spend the weekend and watch conference. Yes! Zack hooked up the satellite so we could watch conference AND play in the beautiful weather. That night Zack was surrounded by 8 ladies--me, our four ladies,our niece, and two friends!! Saturday morning we had to come back into town for Katie's baptism where Emma and Lily sang with Katie. It was interesting that we came from the river, because the ladies kind of looked like river rats. Emma chose her outfit and it was interesting to say the least (Lynetta if you will email the picture, I will add it to my blog!!)

The picture doesn't quite do it justice......Cute, and a wonderful spirit at the baptism.

Taylor took the ACT that morning and then he and Mary Catherine participated in the high school softball tournament all day. They had a great time.

Back at the river we enjoyed the sunshine, fishing, eating, conference, and a bonfire. Emma, Paige and Lily enjoyed fishing. They were constantly casting and casting and casting. Zack, of course, was on worm duty. Baiting and baiting and baiting.

I just love General Conference. Instead of coming away from it depressed at how much I have to do...I come away feeling like I can do anything. I hate for that feeling to fade. I feel so inspired to act and make changes in our family and my life. I love the boost it gives to my spirit. You can check out what the message was by going here.

Last night we went to Prien Lake Park for Family Home Evening. We brought our supper to eat out there and did, but the wind was so crazy that even the top of our sandwiches were being blown away. We finally sought refuge behind a brick wall. We could finally eat our food only having to be mildly careful. Taylor and Zack tried dutifully to get our kite to fly. Last time we went there to fly a kite there was no wind and this time there was WAY too much. It would just take our kite and spin it like a top. It was so funny to watch them struggle with it.

So, I didn't go to Rome, even though I had a wonderfully generous offer from Gwen and Brad, but I did have a great weekend with my family. I am very thankful for them and their love and patience with me.