Put It Away
This was taken over Thanksgiving weekend, 2014.
We were so excited because everyone was going to be together, then Travis, Maria's husband was called out at the last moment to a rig. But we are thankful he has work.
They are in birth order, back row (right to left): Tony, Douglas, Matthew, Benjamin, and Maria. Then, front row (right to left): Felipe, David, Elizabeth, and Rebeca.
Michael, if he had lived would be 13 and is between Rebeca and Elizabeth. Rebeca is 11, and Tony is 30.
For 30 plus years, this is the way picture taking has gone. They are either goofy, or they cry. And the grandchildren are following suite:
Maria, with Greyson (on left) and Xander.
Matthew, with his wife Ashley, and their son, Michael.
As you can see, I have two Michaels now. Matthew's Michael and Maria's boy is Alexander Michael. Very cool.
Douglas, and his wife, Ary. And their girls: Celeste (with Douglas) and Isabella.
Tony, and his new bride: Colette.
Four married now...only five to go. Five grandchildren...how many more?
This is our latest family picture. This was taken January 18, 2014 at Matthew and Ashley's Wedding.
On the left is Maria holding Xander, Travis is holding Greyson behind her. Maria is child number five.
Elizabeth, 15 and Rebeca 11 are on the front left. Elizabeth is child 8 and Rebeca is number 10 (our youngest).
Tony, the oldest child is behind the girls and Felipe, 19, is in the center back in the white shirt. Felipe is child number 6.
Front center: Ashley, the beautiful bride, marrying Matthew, child number 3.
Then to the right, is me and my husband, Fito.
Benjamin, in the purple shirt is child number 4. Benjamin is 24. David is next to Ben and is child number 7. He is 17 years old.
Then we have Douglas's family. Douglas is holding Celeste and Ary is holding Isabella.
It is now August 2014, and Ashley is expecting a boy, Tony is in Afghanistan, the children are older, and life just keeps moving along.
The wedding was beautiful and the reception was FUN!
Douglas' Family: Summer 2014
Maria's family: January 2014
This was taken Christmas 2012
Back Row: Douglas holding Celeste, Benjamin, Felipe, Matthew, David, Tony, Travis and Maria holding Alexander (Xander).
Middle Row: Ary holding Isabella, Tammy, Fito, and Elizabeth.
Front Row: Rebeca.
Birth order: Tony, Douglas (is married to Ary and Celeste and Isabella are their daughters), Matthew, Benjamin, Maria (is married to Travis and Alexander is their son with another son on the way), Felipe, David. Elizabeth, Michael (was still-born), Rebeca.
Travis and Maria's (Randall) Family Christmas 2012
Douglas and Ary's Family 2012
My Christmas Letter 2012
Tony graduated from West Point and is now in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He is a combat engineer and is signed up for 8 years. He is the Varsity Coach, Teacher’s Quorum leader and Clerk. We see him a lot more now so we are very happy he is closer to home.
Douglas and Ary have two girls, Celeste 3 and Isabella 5 months. They are still in Houston where they bought a home. Douglas is still in school to be a civil engineer and works full-time, as an exterminator. Ary sews, cooks, does many crafts, and is a great mom. Ary's blog:
Matthew now lives in Edmond and is going to the University of Central Oklahoma. He now is a history major and works at Chick-fil-a. He works with other Christians and says it’s the best job he’s ever had. Everyone works hard-no cussing, no laziness--he really likes their corporate culture.
Benjamin is still in Manhattan, Kansas at Kansas State University. He is working and going to school. He is very independent and determined to do his schooling without debt or help. He has only had a couple of episodes with his (Type 1) diabetes, but otherwise has very good health.
Maria, Travis, and Alexander 16 months, live in Newcastle only 3 miles from us. They bought a home with a swimming pool so everyone wants to be at their house when it’s hot. Maria’s expecting again in April and is a wonderful mom. They are in our ward and are doing really well.
Felipe is in college and lives with Maria. At 18 he decided: “enough of mom and dad”. Maria called me shortly after he moved in with her telling me that he gets up and takes care of Xander, changes his diaper-helps her, etc. (Yay! Makes mom happy to hear that).
David 15, Elizabeth 13, and Rebeca 9 are still at home and are now homeschooled. They are all good children with many talents. They help me, are organized, draw, paint, and like to read.
David attends early morning seminary and since Felipe isn’t here-Mom has to drive him. I thought with this many children I wouldn’t have to chauffer anymore. Oh well. Then I realized, too, the other day that with the 4 year gap between Elizabeth and Rebeca, I’ll have to drive Rebeca as well.
Oh my-what did Fito and I start 29 years ago?
Fito is teaching 4 and 5 graders Spanish at 3 elementary schools in Mustang, Oklahoma. They rotate them in much like art and PE. He also teaches Spanish GED classes for OCCC in the evenings. He also started doing Amway and is doing extremely well. He is the ward mission leader.
I still do consulting, teaching, and training. My website reached 100,000 page views and I have people from all over the world come to it to read my Blog, get recipes, and learn how to organize. I am 2 counselor in Relief Society.
There are pics of many events on my website: organizeworkorhome.com
In May 2011, we were hit by a tornado. There are before and after pics. Also pics of our trips, family, grandchildren, and more.
My mom, Edna Norton, still lives with us and is doing well health wise. She is not on any medications and does fine. However, her dementia is worsening. We had a family reunion this past summer and she doesn’t remember any of it. She mixes up days, months, names, and so on, but the good is she still remembers me, her caregiver. I have no idea how hard it would be if she forgot me or fought with me, or was afraid of me.
My heart goes out to all the families who are struggling with caring for a loved one.
This was taken Fall 2011
Top Row: Felipe, Tony, Matthew, Benjamin, and Douglas
Middle Row: Travis, Elizabeth, and David
Front Row: Maria holding Alexander, Fito, Rebeca, Tammy, Ary holding Celeste
Birth order: Tony, Douglas (is married to Ary and Celeste is their daughter with another due any day), Matthew, Benjamin, Maria (is married to Travis and Alexander is their son), Felipe, David. Elizabeth, Michael (was still-born), Rebeca.
The guys: L to R: Travis, David,Benjamin, Fito, Douglas, Tony, Felipe, and Matthew
The girls: L to R: Elizabeth, Ary holding Celeste, Rebeca, Maria, and Tammy
Douglas, Ary, and Celeste Fall 2011
Taken in 2009.
Top Row: Douglas, Felipe, Benjamin, Matthew, Maria, and Tony
Middle Row: Celeste, Ary, David, Elizabeth
Front Row: Tammy, Rebeca, Felipe (Fito)
Birth order: Tony, Douglas (is married to Ary and Celeste is my first grandchild), Matthew, Benjamin, Maria, Felipe, David. Elizabeth, Michael (was still-born), Rebeca.
These were taken in 2008 and we took a couple of hundred pics with 3 different cameras and did not get ONE single good picture.
Why are we doing this?
Can everyone smile just once...all at the same time?!?
We took a bunch that were the girls and then the boys, and none of them came out okay...
Oops! Lots of oops pics!
This is at Pioneer Day 2009. Matthew, Felipe, and Elizabeth are doing Archery. Fito taught Archery at Scout Camp for 8 years and the older boys worked with him. To the left you can see part of our tepee. We rendezvous and own 3 tepees. (If you live near the Oklahoma City area and are interested in starting a Mountain Men Club with us where we would rendezvous twice a year--let me know).
Rebeca is 7 years old. She is in first grade this year and enjoys school. Elizabeth is 11 years old and is in the 5th grade. Both girls are always drawing, painting, cutting, and coloring. They are artists, but even better, they are both great organizers and like to help around the house.
David is 13 and in the 8th grade. He works hard in school and it shows in his grades. Felipe is now 15 and in the 10 grade. He took driver's ed this summer and will get his license in February. Mom will be happy! I like having drivers who can do errands for me. He has grown a lot this year. We wonder if perhaps he will be the tallest of the boys. Both David and Felipe have worked with their Dad this year. They mowed lawns, landscaped, and more. They take of the animals and do most of the outside yard work. Both are hard workers.
Maria is 18 and is a freshman at Oklahoma University. She works and is always busy with school and church. She is engaged to be married?!? Which mom and dad are still struggling with. I guess it is hard to see your baby girl grow up.
Benjamin is 20 and is a sophomore at Kansas State University. He is majoring in mathematics. We really miss him and the house seems so empty with only six children.
Matthew is 22. He is working and is a sophomore at Oklahoma City Community College. He has an apartment and stays busy with church, work, school and crazy young adult stuff: like riding bikes down our hill, up a ramp, and into the lake?!? Of course, they did it while we were gone!
Douglas 24, and Ary are in Houston. They have a baby girl named Celeste, who will be 1 in September. Douglas is going to school at the University of Houston and working part-time. Ary is working, too, and stays busy with Celeste, her blog, and other hobbies.
This is a site where you can buy art from Douglas.
Tony 26, is a Senior at West Point. He is in the Glee Club and had many incredible opportunities this year, just as in years past. He will go to Australia at spring break for a cadet exchange program. He went to Costa Rica this summer.
I am done with my PhD. Finally! I have been doing the usual, taking care of my 79 year-old mom who lives with us, taking care of the house, helping 5 children who are in college, chauffeuring, nursing, cleaning, gardening, canning, cooking, teaching as an adjunct, consulting, giving training sessions, and another hundred things. I saw a tee-shirt that said it perfectly:
Fito gardens (so far we have canned salsa, apple sauce, pears, and peppers), works outside, works in leather, carves, etc. All the stuff he has always done. He has taught the boys to butcher, tan leather, and many more things. He even has been carving a rock for a company. The thing is that this rock is about six feet tall and probably four feet at the base. He is carving all four sides and we have all learned a lot about rock carving, the tools needed for such, and so on.