Tag Archive | Christmas

Seasons Greetings


Seasons Greetings from Our Home to Yours

We have all heard the saying “The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men”…Well, it was my plan to get this greeting out before Christmas but time just got away from me.

Christmas It has been a fast and furious year for Richard and me.  Richard continues to work at BASF as a Process Technician working long hours a lots of over time. I started a new job about a year ago at Woodlake Nursing Center as the Director of Nursing. I too put in a lot of hours and am on call 24/7. While it is a demanding job, it is by far the most favorite position I’ve held. Not a day goes by without a hug from a Resident, Family Member, or a Co-Worker. Hugs by the way are my Love Language!  So, while we are very grateful to have jobs we are more thankful for any time we are able to spend together.

When we do have time together, we try to connect with our Children and Grandchildren. Brandon and Sarah have blessed us with the most beautiful great granddaughter, Payton. Mike is a Senior in High School, and Cheyenne enjoying her first year in High School which has afforded us lots of family time. We have attended Marching Contests, Band Concerts, and lots of Football Games. It has been such a joy to watching Cheyenne celebrate her passion…Music! I am especially proud of Brandi and Robi for allowing her to pursue her passion!!!

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Our girls are doing very well. Tori continues to live in Austin and comes home to visit as her schedule allows. We were able to spend a whole week with her just before Christmas which was especially nice since it was the week of Richard and my Wedding Anniversary. Tori said it best…”It is Our Anniversary” meaning we all celebrate the Love Richard and I share. Brandi stays busy being a Band Mom, volunteering at the Wildlife Refuge, and working with the Children’s Choir at church. Both Brandi and Robi are so enjoying grand-parenting!

In addition to our children, we have been blessed with a couple of extra fur babies. Last Spring a Tuxedo Kitten emerged from the woods and adopted us. Chey named him Tucker and he instantly was home! Then in October, we were blessed with a little girl Lemon Beagle pup. Chey named her Remi. She is a working pup…Everyday she goes to work with me and rounds on the Residents. While this increases my work load, I realize the worth when a Resident I had not heard speak for a good while stopped me to say, “Hey, that’s a pretty little puppy” and then smiled or Remi comes up missing and I find her cuddled in bed with one of the Residents sleeping. She is definitely a blessing to many!

We are thankful for all God has allowed us to do over the past year and look forward to the New Year. Though Richard and I have little time together, we make the moments memorable…We truly Live, Laugh, and Love!!!

As the New Year begins, we pray it will be a Year of New Peace, New Joy, and an Abundance of New Friends…

May God Pour Out His Blessings On You in 2015

Happy New Year!!!

Love Richard & Lee Ann



Greetings Our Precious Family and Friends!!!

Wow, this year has flown by and while so much has changed in our lives since 2010, we remain very much the same. This year Richard and I spent time celebrating life events with our family which included birthdays, weddings, graduations, Tae Kwon Do, and basketball.  In May family and friends joined us for the 5th Annual Smith Family Reunion which was filled with lots of food, fun, laughter, and lots of MEMORIES!!! Our lives are so enriched by the moments we have with those we love.

Then in October, heaven gained an Angel and we lost our Nana (Richard’s mother). This Christmas will be especially hard for us as Christmas was Nana’s favorite holiday and Christmas Eve will not be the same without her. 

It was also in October we moved to the “Ranch”.  We sold our home and moved into our 38 foot motorhome…Talk about a huge task!!! All our belongings which were in our 3,100 SF home are now housed in 3 different storage buildings and have no clue where to find anything!!! 

I am sure about now you are probably thinking we have lost our minds…I assure you we have not!!! We will be building a home on our daughter and son-in-law’s ranch right across from our precious granddaughter!!! Wooohooo…talk about making some incredible memories…In-fact we have already started!!! A huge thanks to our son-in-law, Robi for getting a place for the RV set-up while we were busy moving…We would not have made it without his help!!!

Since moving into the RV, we’ve added a deck, put up a fence, made time for play breaks, and even taken a trip to New Mexico for Thanksgiving where we spent quality time with Brandi and Robi in Taos before driving to Albuquerque for time with Uncle Russell, Aunt Karen, and Richard’s cousins…Making Those Memories!!!

Richard continues to work for BASF as a process technician and for Alston Group LLC as a technical writer. Lee Ann celebrated her 10th Anniversary at Angleton Danbury Medical Center and continues to focus on the Revenue Cycle and Case Management. We both are keenly aware of how blessed we are to have such wonderful employers and incredible co-workers.  

While life is very simple now…It is a great life!!!

We pray during this Holiday Season God will surround you with His peace and you will take time to bask in His presence throughout the entire year…

Merry Christmas and Lots of Love

Beneath His Sheltering Wing…


Richard and Lee Ann ♥


The Gift That Keeps Giving

Wow, it is hard to believe it came and went so quickly…All the anticipation, planning, and work then it is over just like that!

Typically for a day or two after a big family event there is a little sense of sadness the event is over. This Christmas was not the exception…However, it was less than in years past because Christmas is not officially over for me.

One of the gifts I gave continues to require quite a bit of work!

Our youngest daughter Brandi has been asking about childhood pictures. I had to admit to her I had been a very poor manager of the family photos. Well, no more! I decided to get busy and work on getting our old photos scanned and stored electronically. Then once scanned, I will move the photos over to the portable drive I gave her for Christmas. Once all the old photos are loaded, she will only need to bring her portable drive over every so often to receive our most recent photos.

What a trip down memory lane this has been…It is amazing all that has happened in our lives over 33 years of marriage. With each photo comes the flood of emotions evoked by the memories surrounding the image of the person, place or event.

I am so blessed to have such awesome family and friends. Each time we come together we make such incredible memories…Photos help me keep the memories vibrant and alive. While I am not a photographer and half the time can not figure out how to use my camera, I do enjoy taking lots of pictures with the goal of passing forward our memories of family to the next generation.

So, the next time you see camera flashes, don’t say “Oh No, Not More Pictures” Instead say…

“Click me…Click me…Document My Existance…I want to be a part of the memory”.

A Few Memories of the Kids and Grandkids

One final thought…Photos are not enjoyed by all unless they are shared…

Love Lee ♥

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Happy Birthday to you…♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday Dear Jesus!!!…..♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you!!! May Everything I Say And Everything I Do Bring Glory and Honor Only To You!!! I love you my Savior and Lord ♥

My Savior and Lord…What exactly does that mean?

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished- he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Romans 3:22-26

It all began with His birth“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

How cool is it that on Jesus’ Birthday we receive the gift… The Gift Of Eternal Life!!!

He never said it would be easy but he did say, “if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us”  2 Timothy 2:12

I claim to know Him, Love Him, and Serve Him…Have you opened your heart to receive the most important Gift EVER Given…JESUS?

He stands at your heart’s door and says…”Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. Revelation 3:21

He also says…That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

Open your heart and invite Jesus in…Receive God’s Gift Today!

Merry Christmas!!!

Love Lee ♥

Christmas with Brandi, Robi, and Grandkids 2010

Celebrating Christmas with our youngest daughter and her family is the highlight of the holiday season for us. This year due to congested schedules we decided to celebrate early. So, I had to kick into turbo…no waiting till the last-minute to wrap the gifts and prepare a meal.

The menu was easy to decide on because everyone loves Papa’s smoked ribs. Sides were a salad, baked potatoes and homemade hot and buttery beer bread. Ummm Ummm delicious! Dessert was Christmas candies, cookies, cupcakes and brownies.

Immediately following dinner Cheyenne, our granddaughter asked if she could help clear the table. I knew her goal was to get to those gifts tucked  away under the tree. So, you can imagine her delight when I told her the dishes could wait.

We migrated to the living room where everyone was a buzz about the “Big Gift” in the corner. Because other gifts were associated with the “Big Gift” it had to be opened first…As you can imagine everyone was excited to hear that because they all had been trying to guess what it was for over a week…Needless to say it only took a few seconds to rip the wrapper off…They were elated but not to the degree of my delight!

I DID IT!!! For the first time ever I stumped Brandi…Every year right before she would open her “Big Gift” from me she would guess what it was but not this year!!! She had no clue and was sooo surprised!

Once the “Big Gift” was opened everyone migrated to “their spot”. All the gifts were handed out and in keeping with tradition the kids wanted to go one at a time opening their gifts so everyone could see what the other was getting. I love this as I remember growing up it was a free for all and Christmas gifts were unwrapped in 10 minutes or less…

Not with these kids… it took about an hour to open gifts making Christmas last a long time! The comments, laughter and hugs in between gifts was priceless!!!

The gifts I received were precious!!! The first I opened was a beautiful coffee mug from Cheyenne. The quote on the cup reads “Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come. Song of Songs 2:12a. Chey knows I love coffee and I love drinking it from special cups. I have a new “Special Cup” now! Next, a gift from Michael. It was a beautiful necklace. The front is the shape of a key hole and it is surrounded by bling. The back reads “Share the Love”. It is absolutely beautiful. Then I was handed an envelope which read “To Mom and Dad”….A gift card to Outback! Yeah!!! One of our most favorite places to eat!!! Next, foot care products with an inflatable foot bath…Love it!!! Then I was handed a large bag. In it was the purse I wanted. Brandi pulled it off she managed to buy the purse I wanted when shopping a couple of weeks ago. And she bought it while I was with her!!!

I loved the gifts and all the thought that went into finding the perfect one for me and speaking of perfect gifts, it was a little scroll of paper tied in a pretty ribbon and addressed to both Richard and me. When I unrolled it, it read “Merry Christmas! Mission Offering Donation made in the name of Richard and Lee Ann Smith” and the amount. Now this gift brought tears to my eyes. Anyone who knows me, knows sharing the love of Jesus is my passion and Missions is the most perfect venue to do just that.

I love every moment I get to spend with my kids and grandkids! I love their hugs, smiles, thoughts, and comments! I love watching them interact with each other as it is obvious they love each other very much! I love seeing the glow on my daughter’s face as she adores her husband and children! And I love seeing my son-in-law so happy!

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A Happy and Healthy Family Was My Most Favorite Gift!!!

Savor your moments with your family as they are your most treasured gift!!!

Love Lee ♥

The Smith’s Christmas Newsletter 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

From Richard and Lee Ann…2010

Each Year we start the Annual Newsletter with “Wow, we can’t believe another year has gone by” and 2010 is not without exception. It has gone by so quickly which enforces the old saying “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

It has been a tradition of ours to mail out a newsletter annually with our Christmas cards. I am so excited to be able to share  electronically this year.

While we have had lots of fun we have also worked very hard over this past year. At the beginning of the year Richard worked as a technical writer and educator providing training at a refinery in Saudi Arabia. In October, he made the decision to go back into production so he is now working for BASF and is happier than I have seen him in years! I continue to work for Angleton Danbury Medical Center as the Director of the Revenue Management Department and find my job very fulfilling and am continually challenged by the ever-changing Medicare rules and regulations as well as the changes in commercial contracts.

Our jobs afford us the ability to play. We love to take frequent trips on our Harley motorcycle. This year we have taken several rides which were well over 500 miles each. It is amazing the unobstructed view I have from the back of the bike. When I hear “ride” I pack my fanny pack with the essentials like iPod, Cell Phone, Camera, Lipstick, and chewing gum and we are off…in pursuit of making a memory.

 We also like to retreat in our motor home to local parks for uninterrupted R&R. We spent Valentines Day at Brackenridge RV Park in Edna, TX. Then, the entire month of August at Quintana Beach County Park in Freeport, TX my favorite…

 Our family has celebrated several events together this year. The most important being the baptism of our granddaughter, Cheyenne. Her baptism was even more special because Richard had the privilege of baptizing her.

Then on Memorial Day Weekend, “The Annual Smith Family Reunion”…as always it was a huge success and we made lots of wonderful memories!

On 10/10/10 I celebrated my 50th birthday and my family did a phenomenal job of surprising me with the fanciest Tea Party ever!

Every gathering with our family is a special occasion and we have occasion to gather often.

 May Our Father Pour Out His Richest Blessings on You & Yours This Holiday Season!                                                               


Richard and Lee


Pregnant With Possibility

There will be worries. There will be struggles. But tomorrow is filled with possibility. I am inching toward eternity, and this is a journey I want to savor, not suffer through.

When Mary received the news she was carrying the Christ Child, she embraced the present for the future. She embraced the glares, glances, whispers, and disapproving looks of society all because she was pregnant with our possibilities…

The possibilities we have in today and tomorrow is because Mary said “Be it unto me”.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Matthew 6:34

Because you have Jesus, you too are pregnant with possibility! Life is full of possibilities with Him. He is our hope, future, protector, healer, sustainer, strength, and joy. He wants us to live up to our full potential. To take life by the horns and enjoy the ride… 

Have the courage to live fully today and await tomorrow with great hope; to be Pregnant with Possibility

Love Lee ♥

Keep On Keeping On

Too much to do and not enough time to do it? Paul has no Peter to borrow from? People not working with ya? Life coming at you too fast? What to do when life gets overwhelming?

Keep on Keeping on!!!

Albert Einstein’s three rules of work which are especially true during the holidays…

1. Out of clutter, find simplicity

  • Christmas cards
    • Place your cards next to your favorite chair so you can work on them while relaxing
    • Compose a Newsletter highlight favorite events and milestones over the previous year. Insert  into the Card
    • Use address labels generated electronically
    • Purchase standard size envelopes to avoid paying extra postage
  • Gifts wrap
    • Use gift bags when possible.
    •  Purchase ribbon with wire in it for easier bows
    • For easy gift labels use address labels
  • Food
    • Invite family members to bring their favorite dishes
    • Keep the menu simple
    • Quality verses Quantity is a good practice
    • Use no more than 5 ingredients (There are cookbooks to help with this)
    • Decoration
  • House Work
    • Focus on high traffic areas
    • Place clutter in a storage tub to clear hard surfaces
    • Ensure bathrooms are clean
    • Clean up spills and soiled areas when they occur

2. From discord, find harmony

  • Give the Gift of Forgiveness
  • Practice kindness
  • Pray for those who are difficult to deal with
  • Make every effort to practice tolerance
  • Put others first
  • Include everyone no matter the circumstances…you will never get this day in time again.

3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

  • Practice the KISS method (Keep It Simple Silly)
  • Think of different methods to accomplish your goals
  • Maximize on your gifts and talents
  • Captitalize on your passions
  • Ask for help

Most importantly, whether you are dealing with clutter, discord, or difficulties you can apply one action to all…Commit it to God!

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him to help you do it and He will. Psalms 37:5 TLB

You Can Do This…

Just Keep On Keeping On!!!

Love Lee ♥

The Gift of Forgiveness

Perhaps you are looking for the perfect gift…I read this story today by John William Smith; it is heart warming and a must to share with your friends…
The Gift of Forgiveness
by John William Smith 
Forgiveness at ChristmasThe Christmas of 1949 we didn’t have a tree.

My dad had as much pride as anybody, I suppose, so he wouldn’t just say that we couldn’t afford one.

When I mentioned it, my mother said that we weren’t going to have one this year, that we couldn’t afford one, and even if we could – it was stupid to clutter up your house with a dead tree.

I wanted a tree badly though, and I thought – in my naïve way – that if we had one, everybody would feel better.

Taking Matters into my Own Hands
About three days before Christmas, I was out collecting for my paper route.

It was fairly late – long after dark – it was snowing and very cold.

I went to the apartment building to try to catch a customer who hadn’t paid me for nearly two months – she owed me seven dollars.

 Much to my surprise, she was home.

She invited me in and not only did she pay me, she gave me a dollar tip!

It was a windfall for me – I now had eight whole dollars.

What happened next was totally unplanned.

On the way home, I walked past a Christmas tree lot and the idea hit me.

The selection wasn’t very good because it was so close to the holiday, but there was this one real nice tree.

It had been a very expensive tree and no one had bought it; now it was so close to Christmas that the man was afraid no one would.

He wanted ten dollars for it, but when I – in my gullible innocence – told him I only had eight, he said he might sell it for that.

I really didn’t want to spend the whole eight dollars on the tree, but it was so pretty that I finally agreed.

I dragged it all the way home – about a mile, I think – and I tried hard not to damage it or break off any limbs.

The snow helped to cushion it, and it was still in pretty good shape when I got home.

You can’t imagine how proud and excited I was.

I propped it up against the railing on our front porch and went in.

My heart was bursting as I announced that I had a surprise.

I got Mom and Dad to come to the front door and then I switched on the porch light.

Where did you get that tree?” my mother exclaimed.

But it wasn’t the kind of exclamation that indicates pleasure.

“I bought it up on Main Street. Isn’t it just the most perfect tree you ever saw?” I said, trying to maintain my enthusiasm.

“Where did you get the money?” Her tone was accusing and it began to dawn on me that this wasn’t going to turn out as I had planned.

“From my paper route.” I explained about the customer who had paid me.

“And you spent the whole eight dollars on this tree?” she exclaimed.

She went into a tirade about how stupid it was to spend my money on a dumb tree that would be thrown out and burned in a few days.

She told me how irresponsible I was and how I was just like my dad with all those foolish, romantic, noble notions about fairy tales and happy endings and that it was about time I grew up and learned some sense about the realities of life and how to take care of money and spend it on things that were needed and not on silly things.

She said that I was going to end up in the poorhouse because I believe in stupid things like Christmas trees, things that didn’t amount to anything.

I Just Stood There
My mother had never talked to me like that before and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

I felt awful and I began to cry.

Finally, she reached out and snapped off the porch light.

“Leave it there,” she said. “Leave that tree there till it rots, so every time we see it, we’ll all be reminded of how stupid the men in this family are.”

Then she stormed up the stairs to her bedroom and we didn’t see her until the next day.

Dad and I brought the tree in and we made a stand for it.

He got out the box of ornaments and we decorated it as best as we could; but men aren’t too good at things like that, and besides, it wasn’t the same without mom.

There were a few presents under it by Christmas day – although I can’t remember a single one of them – but Mom wouldn’t have anything to do with it.

It was the worst Christmas I ever had.

Fast Forward to Today
Judi and I married in August of 1963, and dad died on October 10 of that year. Over the next eight years, we lived in many places. Mom sort of divided up the year – either living with my sister Jary or with us.

In 1971 we were living in Wichita, Kansas – Lincoln was about seven, Brendan was three and Kristen was a baby. Mom was staying with us during the holidays. On Christmas Eve I stayed up very late. I was totally alone with my thoughts, alternating between joy and melancholy, and I got to thinking about my paper route, that tree, what my mother had said to me and how Dad had tried to make things better.

I heard a noise in the kitchen and discovered that it was mom. She couldn’t sleep either and had gotten up to make herself a cup of hot tea – which was her remedy for just about everything. As she waited for the water to boil, she walked into the living room and discovered me there. She saw my open Bible and asked me what I was reading. When I told her, she asked if I would read it to her and I did.

The Truth Comes Out
When the kettle began to whistle, she went and made her tea. She came back, and we started to visit. I told her how happy I was that she was with us for Christmas and how I wished that Dad could have lived to see his grandchildren and to enjoy this time because he always loved Christmas so. It got very quiet for a moment and then she said, “Do you remember that time on Twelve Mile Road when you bought that tree with your paper route money?”

“Yes,” I said, “I’ve just been thinking about it you know.”

She hesitated for a long moment, as though she were on the verge of something that was bottled up so deeply inside her soul that it might take surgery to get it out. Finally, great tears started down her face and she cried, “Oh, son, please forgive me.”

“That time and that Christmas have been a burden on my heart for twenty-five years. I wish your dad were here so I could tell him how sorry I am for what I said. Your dad was a good man and it hurts me to know that he went to his grave without ever hearing me say that I was sorry for that night. Nothing will ever make what I said right, but you need to know that your dad never did have any money sense (which was all too true).

We were fighting all the time – though not in front of you – we were two months behind in our house payments, we had no money for groceries, your dad was talking about going back to Arkansas and that tree was the last straw. I took it all out on you. It doesn’t make what I did right, but I hoped that someday, when you were older, you would understand. I’ve wanted to say something for ever so long and I’m so glad it’s finally out.”

Well, we both cried a little and held each other and I forgave her – it wasn’t hard, you know.

Then we talked for a long time, and I did understand; I saw what I had never seen and the bitterness and sadness that had gathered up in me for all those years gradually washed away.

It was marvelously simple.

The great gifts of this season – or any season – can’t be put under the tree; you can’t wear them or eat them or drive them or play with them. We spend so much time on the lesser gifts – toys, sweaters, jewelry, the mint, anise and dill of Christmas – and so little on the great gifts – understanding, grace, peace and forgiveness. It’s no wonder that the holiday leaves us empty, because when it’s over, the only reminders we have are the dirty dishes and the January bills.

The Great Gift
The great gifts are like the one gift – the gift that began it all back there in Bethlehem of Judea. You can’t buy them, and they’re not on anybody’s shopping list. They come as He came – quietly, freely, unexpectedly – and if you’re not careful, you’ll miss them entirely.


Do you have unforgiveness in your life that is making life miserable for you?  Why not let Jesus show you how to forgive those who have hurt you? If you don’t know Jesus, we encourage you to pray the following prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me be the person you want me to be. Amen.

Saying this prayer is the first step towards a personal relationship with Jesus, who will guide and encourage you every step of the way.

Thank You John William Smith for such a wonderful story!

Life is a Gift!

Love Lee ♥

She Can Sing

People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:15-17

I was reminded on this scripture last night when I watched the Kids Rock Choir at First Baptist Church of Brazoria perform their annual Christmas program, “The Present is the Future”.   They shared the true meaning of Christmas sharing the message without Jesus we have no future. Their enthusiasm was contagious, the music upbeat, and choreography flamboyant.

In addition to sharing Jesus the performance held additional sentiment for me. To have the honor of seeing both my daughter and granddaughter use their God-given talent to bring glory and honor to Jesus was the icing on the cake!

Brandi my daughter has such a passion for Jesus and for music. I am so proud of her for dedicating her life to Jesus and sharing her passion for music with the next generation. The children just love her and it is obvious she loves them too.

Seeing Cheyenne, my granddaughter celebrating Jesus through drama and music, made me so excited. Cheyenne and I have sang songs to the radio or CDs  in the car but I have never heard her sing a solo. She grabbed the microphone and sang like a pro! The first thing that went through my mind was…

She Can Sing!!!

God is so good to give Cheyenne a beautiful voice and to allow our family’s passion for music to be carried on to the next generation.

Thank you for allowing me a moment to be Mom and Meme…

Love Lee ♥