Daron, Melanie, Stephen, Kassie, and Kenny

Friday, January 12, 2018

Kenny is a BLACK BELT!

After 3 1/2 years of hard work, Kenny earned his black belt! It was so fun to have SO MUCH of our family there ~ even the college kids!! It took 4 hours, but seemed to fly by... such a memorable experience watching him fight and kick and sweat thru his tears, but he EARNED it! Some precious comments from his adorable Coach Miss Carol: Thank you for giving me the honor of being his karate instructor. What a blessing it has been for me to have gotten to know him and you and your beautiful family. Tell Kenny, don't worry, once a black belt, always a black belt for life!!!! He was a true inspiration to watch. Amazing! I love you guys! 





The support group!

The next day I got this text from Mom, so darling!: Last night I had to take 1-1/2 ambien because I keep seeing Phil pummeling on Kenny...  

Kas did a little trying out too.... (not really)

Fighting 2 at a time!

Words of encouragement from Miss Carol when he was sweating and teary-eyed: "The whole point of your black belt test is to push you to your absolute limit!"

And it's done!!


We love Miss Carol! Her message after he finished: I talked to Mr. M. We came up with a plan. We are NOT going to charge you at all. So if Kenny just wants to come and teach, and be a Black Belt whenever he wants to come. That way he is not obligated to anything. Come every day, or come every 2 weeks. What ever he feels like doing.... Sound good??!! I can't bear not ever seeing my favorite student again. 💔💔💔💔💔

And Kristian rocks his school video, and includes the cousins in his hilarious skit on the beach!

I love the Church's emphasis on #LightTheWorld... helping others out. I had the chance to do a little something that made my heart happy ~ When I was checking out of H-E-B at 6:30am after dropping the kids off at seminary one morning, there was an old hunched over man probably 90 years old buying just meat. I struck up a conversation and asked him if he was going to barbecue, and he said no, I'm doing the meatballs for Christmas day, my sister always cooks for me and we do this special recipe that my grandma brought over from Italy. Then he turned away from me and I saw him counting his coins in his hand, so I asked the lady to put his meat on my bill. He just looked at me and cried and said oh thank you so much!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Dad's 75th bday, Stephen's Christmas Fireside & Wreaths Across America

So so happy we got to enjoy so many years with this "Mountain of a Man" -- we came together to celebrate Dad's 75th birthday, remembering his humble magnificence, our gratitude for his life, and of course... his resourceful twine 8-)

Stephen enjoyed the honor of being the co-chair for the Stake Youth Christmas Fireside, fun especially as a junior! He did a great job ~ Kenny turned to me after Stephen finished his duet and said, "you birthed him at just the right time. So he could sing that song right now. He was great!" So sweet how he loves his brother. And here's a kind compliment from a friend: "Stephen, you did a great job organizing and carrying off tonight’s fireside. You had such great presence as you spoke. Well done! And bonus your duet was wonderful! Kassie, loved your singing! Melanie, your piano playing is always so beautiful. What a musically talented family you have "  And from our Stake YM President:"Your son made y’all so proud this Fireside. What a great young man and priesthood holder! He is one of the finest young men in the stake, and it has been such a pleasure to work with him. Thanks for raising wonderful, righteous kids who set the standard in the stake! Daniel Ure"

We went to The Houston National Cemetery for the incredible annual tradition by Wreaths Across America to visit Dad, Joy, and Kristian. So grateful to learn about this...they lay a wreath at each stone. 15,000 people attend; we waited a few hours til the crowds were gone. An astonishing motorcycle escort accompanied the wreaths for miles. 

Daddy-daughter bonding time and Farmer's Market!



Long-awaited snow... it's been over 10 years!

Fun surprise... Kas and Stephen were both nominated for Junior Class Mr. & Miss Klein5! Kas was so funny - she said she wouldn't vote for herself because that would be self-centered... so funny! I told her all the presidential candidates do it and it's OK 8-)



Fun playing with Mom ~ she's always so thoughtful. Kassie said it perfectly in her post about Mom's sweet gesture on the day she and Dad met 52 years ago ~ she's doing such a great job following President Monson's advice to lift others where she stands!


Fun family Christmas gift exchange dinner and caroling!