Monday, June 29, 2009

The Day My Flowergirl Married

I do have to say that my niece Kristin's wedding was by far the most lavish and beautiful one I have been too... She was lovely and happy.... Watching her and her new husband, Josh - just melted my heart... their friends cracked me up... all loving... all wild... all just fun.

My kids joined the bride and her "big girl" bridesmaids to get ready for the wedding.. The hair, the dresses, and the makeup.. My niece's fairytale wedding became a reality....

The vows, the tears, the laughter, and the joy were all the ingredients of the day.. To watch my sister - the mother of the bride just beam with pride for the child/woman she raised was something to see... my eyes are just welling up right now at the memory.. One very touching moment in the wedding was this: My dad the grandfather passed away last July and his brother my Uncle Kenny flew out from Colorado because he knew my dad would want that.... My niece and sister gave my uncle the recognition that he deserved... being a loving uncle...

The wedding began at The Rufuge Calvary Chapel in Huntington Beach, CA and the reception was at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach... The decorations were breathtaking and the food... I wanted a doggie bag.... yum. the mango sorbet afterwards with the berries to die for! The tables were decorated with flowers and crystals... The view of the Pacific Ocean - never tiring.... oh and my thirteen year old caught the bouquet to my eleven year old's jealousy... I advised no weddings until after medical school.

My favorite words from the ceremony was this: People say a wedding is 50/50 but that's not true.. It's 100/100... giving your unconditional love to your spouse everyday... every hour.... every moment... that is God's design - to love one another with all our heart, mind, and soul...

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Let The Water Works Begin

My niece is getting married in two days.... and I am a cry baby... She is my first born niece and I am so very proud of her and her accomplishments and wisdom... - on a side note - she graduated with her Master's Degree in something to do with Neurology a couple of weeks ago and when she went to argue her thesis - the department was so impressed that her thesis has been nominated for thesis of the year... okay I'm blubbering....

Another reason I am a mess is that my dad will not be here to witness her marriage in person... He'll be watching from the "Heaven Seats with Our Father" and he will be missed on this special occasion... My Uncle Kenny - dad's older brother is coming all the way from Colorado to be a stand in for his little brother... Uncle Kenny said that dad would want him here..... and so he'll be here - along with Aunt Faye, my cousin Wendy, and her three children.... okay - I'm welling up just typing this...

I wonder why I am one of those people that cries at sentimental things... I just know I am going to have a crybaby headache the whole night... and to top off the wedding - my two beautiful girls are junior bridesmaids.... their dresses are beautiful and they are so very excited that they will be getting their hair done before the service... and they get to ride in a big limousine to the church.... what a day this will be...

Please pray for my niece Kristin and her soon to be husband Josh.. Pray that they have a full life of happiness and joy... and lots of kids...... there I go again.... the water works are just beginning.

Monday, June 22, 2009

How We Wash In The Pool

Another beautiful evening in Sunny California. This is the time of year Dusty - the husband/dad loves to come home and spend time in the pool with his beautiful and fun girls. I was in my office working and heard a bunch of laughter and fun and the shouts of Marco.... Polo... "oh you got me".... Bob Marley playing in the background and the dog going nuts.... Another reason - I'm loving my home....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday Fun In Our Own Paradise

Yesterday morning started with the typical California "June Gloom". But sometime in the late afternoon - Mr. Sunshine decided to come out for a visit.... As soon as that sun popped out the bathing suits flew on... and daddy and daughters fun started... I love hearing the screaming and laughing that only summer time fun brings... I love the splashing and the dog barking.. wanting to be part of the fun..
Today was another beautiful day without a hint of gloom.. Living in Southern California in the summer time is much like a three month vacation.... jealous?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ben Stein's Last Column

This was sent to me by my sister Debbie today.. It really moved me and I hope it moves you too... Love you big sis!

Ben Stein's final column --

For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column called 'Monday Night At Morton's.' (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to be frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe.) Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life. Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time.

Ben Stein's Last Column...

How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?

As I begin to write this, I 'slug' it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is 'eonline FINAL,' and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started... I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end.

It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the world's change have overtaken it.. On a small scale, Morton's, while better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton's is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.

Beyond that, a bigger change has happened..? I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.

How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a 'star' we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails..

They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit , Iraq . He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.

A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad . He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him..

A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad .

The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosuleven after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.

We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines... The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die.

I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.

There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament...the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards.

Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.

I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way.. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald.. Or even remotely close to any of them.

But, I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms.

This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York . I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human

Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.

By Ben Stein

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This Crazy Mortgage Industry!

I have been in the real estate and mortgage industry since 1986. Working with lenders is always a treat (she say sarcastically)for the simple reason - the lenders (employees) could care less if they give your borrower a loan or not... The underwriters typically try to see how many hoops they can have us jump through... When I got this email today - I had to laugh out loud because as stupid as it sounds - this letter is a prime example of the mortgage industry... welcome to my world...

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client who lost his house in Hurricane Katrina and wanted to rebuild. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to the parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the Lawyer three months to track down.
After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply.

(Actual letter):

"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin."

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows.

(Actual Letter)

"Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased, by the U.S. , from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application.

For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain . The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Isabella. The good queen, Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus ' expedition.
Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana . God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it AND the FHA. I hope you find God's original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our darn loan?"

He got the loan.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuna Potato Chip Casserole

This was a favorite of my husband's growing up.... It's a easy and fun recipe.

3 regular sized cans of tuna packed in water - I like albacore - personally
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
1/2 cup of regular milk - (non fat just tastes watery to me with this recipe)
1 regular can green peas
2 cups potato chips - crumbled.

Combine everything and top with the chips

Bake in oven at 350 for twenty to thirty minutes (until it starts to bubble)

Let sit for a couple of minutes and voila....

Be sure to email me your favorite recipe and I will post for July Recipe exchange.. send to KMLDRL@AOL.COM

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer "Chores"

This is the first summer where we are staying home.... No big road trips... No exotic destinations.... just a good ole fashion summer - the kind I had as a kid.... boring.... yep - really boring.. So, I thought if my kids are bored then they will come in my office and bug me.... and then I'd yell and then no one would be happy... so I came up with a plan... do you hear my devious wheels turning??? Let the "Chores" begin...
  1. Sand and repaint all of Nikki's bedroom furniture to make it "new" again.
  2. Sand and varnish two tiki's in the back the backyard.
  3. Garage sale....
  4. Clear out closets and drawers
  5. Make picture albums - creative style
  6. Pull all the weeds around the pool area
In addition to "the chores" which I know they will love... I have told them I want both of them to read two books this summer... good thick ones... I love to read... Nikki has the passion but Kara would rather stare off into space.. or bug her sister... and if they still have time on their hands - I can always visit The Learning Store and get homework for them to do.....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Hoedown Throwdown - Kara's Way

Every year my daughter's elementary school has a talent show. This year Kara and her friend Glory were chosen out of fifteen other 5th grade acts to go to the "Big Show" last Friday. The school does not necessarily choose the most talented acts.. they try to mix it up for a different variety of acts..

Kara and Glory our huge Hannah Montana fans and decided to do their version of Hannah Montana's "Hoedown Throwdown"... They had a blast!!!!

What I love most about Kara is her confidence in herself... She is not afraid to put herself out there and I have to respect that... I believe Kara will be going places with her life... all in a good way.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Recipe Exchange For July

I thought it would be a lot of fun to host a month of recipes from friends in "Blogger World" and beyond. I love to cook and I run out of ideas for family meals... I have gone to some great sites and found some wonderful recipes that I have tried...

How this works: Send your favorite recipe to my email

Subject: recipe exchange

Starting July 1st - I will be posting recipes I have received and linking to your site.

Attaching pictures would be great..

Tammy (my sister) if you are reading this would love love to have any of your curry recipes or your leg of lamb recipes... Would love it if you had a blog.. you have a great gift for the written word..

A big smile to Linda at Life is an Adventure for being the first to join in.. Thanks Linda!

I look forward to hearing from you!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dusty's 47th Birthday

What do you do for the guy that says he has everything he wants and does not need a gift except maybe a few days of golfing with friends..

You get him 47 balloons, a great Filet Mignon, and an Oreo cookie cake..

Happy Birthday, Baby... I love you... and I am glad you are mine.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kelly's Idea # 111 Keep A Journal

Over the years I have written in many journals... Journals as a teenager - when I knew everything... Journals as a young woman - when I knew nothing... and Journals as a mom - where I am learning.. everyday....

I find that I love my journals today.. They can be great revenge for my kids later... just kidding.. I won't be one of those moms that brings out the naked baby pictures of my kid or tell boyfriends about the time my daughter did ..... at least not on the first date... My goodness.
Reading through my previous journal entries over the years it amazes me how much my kids have changed... how much I have changed... how much Dusty has changed... and how much my faith and trust in God has grown.

Psalms 71:17 Oh God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.

There are so many things that you don't want to forget about your children, your life, and anything that can be special on any particular day.. I also use my journal to talk to God... to some it may sound silly - but I can tell you that it has brought me closer to Him....

Fast forward twenty years from now - your child is getting married and you want to say something unique and endearing as a parent about your child's youth..... Don't you think the journal would be great for times like that and think about the legacy you will leave behind.... Your children... your children's children will have an opportunity to remember you and to know you...

An entry from an old journal of mine: January 17, 1983 - Mark has asked me to the prom.... That is so funny it's months away... buying a red dress and he is going to wear a black tux with a red cumber bun. I am going to Millikan's prom and my prom.. wonder if I'll run into Karen?

Over twenty six years later and I remember the joy of being asked to the prom by my first love. A happy memory..

Another old entry: February 22, 1996 - We are going to have a baby girl. The birth mom's name is Cindy she seems very nice and shy. She is going to send pictures of her other 3 children. I was so nervous and after about five minutes it felt right.. I am shaking all over... Finally - I am going to be a mom... The baby is due May 23.

Now my beautiful baby girl is my soon to be thirteen year old delivered two weeks late.... and has been my love.... my heart... and will be forever..

One last entry: February 19, 1998 - just came home from a major forty eight hour life changing journey. Our new daughter Kara was born last night at 5:45 PM just two hours after our plane landed. Dusty helped deliver her - the doctor did not make it. She's so tiny only 5lb 4 oz..... she was exactly 23 hours old when we boarded the plane home today.... she squeaks like a mouse and so very beautiful Lois and Darrel have Nikki tonight - I wonder what she'll think of her new sister?

Now my tiny and beautiful girl is still tiny and beautiful and very strong.. she is 11 years old and is the best cuddlier in the world... I have two huge loves... two girls that own my heart.. and will forever....

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mentos and Coke

Last week was Open House at my kids' schools.. Kara my 5th grader had to perform a scientific experiment.. something that will "wow" the masses..

She decided to find out what would happen if she put in a packet of Mentos into regular and diet coke... She heard that the bottles may fizz.... What happened even shocked and wowed me...

The first bottle of regular coke - she was only able to get three Mentos in before a fountain about four feet high came bubbling out of the coke bottle..

The second bottle was diet coke - again she was only able to get in about two Mentos - this time the fountain went over eight feet... silly camera only got it as it was coming down... I need to learn how to work my video camera I received for my birthday back in NOVEMBER!!!

By the look on her face - you can tell she was shocked too.... this was a lot of fun. Her project was "A" worthy and I think she did a great job.

I heard from a couple of my husband's guy friends Ron and Tim that if you put dry ice into a few ounces of water in a two liter bottle a boom that is so loud that it'll knock our socks off will happen... you know there's these neighbors that really bother us late at night......hmmmm and Ron and Tim - if the police come... I'm going to say you guys made me do it....!


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