Tuesday, February 27, 2007

From Kona (The Dog)

Dear Fellow Readers,

Last time I wrote it was quite some time ago and I was in a bit of trouble with the Alpha Dog. Yesterday I thought that they had decided to get rid of me for good. Although I had done nothing to provoke such treatment!

Yes, yesterday was quite stressful for me. My sweet rescuer from the horrors of life-at-the-pound, put me in the kennel, drove me to the airport and placed me on a flight bound for the west. I was really frightened at first when I realized that I was not traveling 1st class but my fright quickly turned to annoyance when it became apparent that my problem was not the lack of a mid-flight snack but the noisy feline that was my seat mate.

After two connections (and nine hours) I arrived in a sunny place. I was again placed in another car and taken to a home where a plump white terrier has had the nerve to befriend me.

The good news about my day is that the weather was perfect so I was very comfortable during the flight. However, not nearly as comfortable as I sit right now. While I sit poolside the current temperature is a beautiful 75 degrees. I had been lying in the sun sipping some freshly squeezed orange juice (it's very important to stay hydrated in the desert) and chewing a rawhide bone, but I decided I better get in the shade, lest I invite too many of those wrinkles caused by excessive sunbathing.

The Alpha Dog and his Wife at this house are very nice. They are familiar to me, but I am not sure why. The treats here are far superior than back at home and they have a doggy door...which is very convenient.

Now all I have to do is wait for my family to make their way west so they can see how happy I am. I hope they take notice of the treatment I am getting here. I over heard the Alpha Dogs Wife telling someone over the phone that I am "starved for affection." But just between you and me, the truth is I am needy and high maintenance, but I am really, really cute.

Well, I must run. It is very hard to type when you don't have fingers and I am getting quite tired. Plus, my groomer is going to be here in a few moments and I think I may have doggy breath.

Until next time...


PS: A shout out to Truck (the Big Black Lab) in MI. I miss you big guy! ;)

Monday, February 26, 2007


December 2006

A Carolina Christmas.


DC Trip.

La Vida Dulce!

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Saturday, February 24, 2007


November 2006

A walk in the yellow woods.

A sweet friend visits.

A Thanksgiving-Birthday Year.
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Friday, February 23, 2007


October 2006

The Arizona Wedding we waited so long for!

Picking pumpkins with the family.

Visiting with a dear friend on a lay over in Dallas.

My birthday.

Such a fun month!
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September 2006

Birthday and the Beach

Thursday, February 22, 2007


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August 2006

The Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee

The second time.

This time, no snow.


Mean, mad hornets.

The good news?

The kids will always remember that trip...

Also in August,

the First Day of School.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Taking a quick break from frantic cleaning before our movers show up and haul everything away next week.

I just wanted to tell you that I think that Easy-Off (no fumes) oven cleaner and Mr. Clean Magic erasers are absolute M-I-R-A-C-L-E-S!!!!!

There is just something fabulous about spraying cleaner on the muck, waiting two hours, opening your oven and simply wiping away the mess....without having to scrub. If only everything in life was so easy!

La Vida Dulce!

Oh! I forgot to tell you that it is 69 degrees outside!!! I opened my window to let the fresh air in (to get rid of all those flu bugs my kids brought in this week) and guess what I felt for a few brief, delicious, moments...the hint of SPRING! Warm weather! Sweet smells! Sandals!

OK...I better go sit down.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


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July 2006

This month brought so many fun things!

A tour of our States Capital.

Swimming in the river that runs through our town.

Experiencing the privileges that come with being a wife:
Supporting my man. In this case, getting to help put on his new shoulder boards.

I love my man in uniform!

Chinese New Year

It's been a tough week around here.

Both kids have had fevers. But of course, not at the same time! Last night The Girl finally perked up a bit after three days of lying on the couch with what I am certain is the flu. The Mister and I decided she was finally feeling better because at the dinner table she was talking a mile a minute. Most nights at dinner we have to tell her to "Eat First, Talk Second" because she doesn't like to eat cold food but she doesn't like to stop talking either. This is difficult for us as well because, quite frankly, she says the most hilarious things at the dinner table. We had missed her since she hadn't joined us at the dinner table since Thursday.

Last night it all started when she said that last week in school she had learned how to say Happy Chinese New Year...in Spanish.

Yes. Spanish.

We had a good laugh but The Girl was insistent that she had learned how to say Happy Chinese New Year. And she proved it by saying: Gung huy fat choy.

We did explain that what she had learned was Chinese.

Amazingly enough I had just attended a baby shower for a friend whom adopted a sweet 11 month old from China last month. She had received a book on the Chinese New Year and on the back those four words were printed across the back, Gung huy fat choy. Which means, May you be prosperous.

This conversation led The Boy to tell us about how his class had looked up their birth years to find out which animal their year represented on the Chinese calendar.

The Boy was born in the year of the Ox. I remembered this because he was born the same month and year that our sweet Chinese niece came home from China. They are only 10 days apart in age.

The Girl was born in the year of the Dragon.

The Mister was born in the year of the Monkey (which totally makes me giggle.)

I was a little disappointed with my animal. Not knowing what the other animals were, or even why the Chinese do this, I was hoping for a gazelle, or a giraffe. Perhaps a cute little panda or something soft and cozy. But no.......


I was born in the year of the Rat. I can think of absolutely nothing redeeming about a rat. They aren't strong and useful like an Ox. Nor are they beautiful and mysterious like the dragon. Even Monkeys lend, at the very least, humor to the world. But a Rat? They are scary, dirty, creatures.

So I think I will change my animal to the Chinchilla. It's mouse-like, but they are still very, very soft and cuddly. I am not sure what they are useful for, except maybe a good fur coat...which makes me happy because y'all know how I like to keep warm.

OK. There. I feel much better now.

So, Feliz Chino Año Nuevo!

La Vida Dulce


June - 2006

Last year we spent most of June and half of July in Arizona.

The first picture is the Lilly that grows in our front yard.
The pictures on the lake are of The Girl and her Daddy in the kayak.

The rest of the pictures are from our summer trip.

And soon those sunsets, "little" brothers (middle picture), cousins, and Paw will be enjoyed much more often!

The Kayak? We might not get much use out of it in the desert.
But we're taking it anyway!

Monday, February 19, 2007



Swimming for the first time.
Graduation at work.
Critters of all kinds.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007


April 2007

Last night I had a late "goodbye" dessert with Elisa who is pictured in the bottom left hand corner. She is my sweet friend and running partner. She is also a reminder of the power of prayer.

She was the first person I met here. We had been here about 48 hours and we were staying in this really awful hotel (the only one in town that allowed pets) while we waited to close on our new home.

I had prayed on a Wednesday night that I would find just one sweet friend. Just one. The next morning, through God's providence, we found ourselves both at a city park with our kids... and the rest is history.

The picture above is when she spoke at a Women's Ministry event at our church. We actually ran in a race together last April but the pictures are far less flattering than this one. It's amazing how well we clean up when it isn't 6 in the morning with running clothes and ponytails!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


There is nothing more beautiful than the Carolina's in March. All of these pictures were taken from our yard with the exception of the bottom left corner. That is from our first adventure in the Great Smokey Mountains. Often times I would lie awake at night anticipating what bloom and blossom I would wake up to see the next morning. This was the month Grace came down with the "disease she caught from a chicken" and the beginning of many days spent outside!

Oh Spring! I will miss you this year!
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Friday, February 16, 2007


Here is number eleven in the countdown of days until we will be leaving this beautiful Southern State. These are pictures of February 2006. The kids saw snow flurries, the grass was starting to come back to life, and Becky, one of my Texas Girls, was here just in time for the Women's Ministry Valentine's Tea at our church. My twin, K2 was also at the tea. We do look alike...except I am the younger one.

Also, the answer to yesterdays TriBond question was: Entertainers who changed their names. (Elton John, John Denver, Marilyn Monroe)

Good Job Mom, on answering correctly! For your prize? Max, the kids (don't forget Kona!) and I will all be coming to live in your home for an indefinite period of time. Tell Dad he better lock up his stuff...the sock and sweatshirt thief is coming home!

PS: You should be able to click on the picture to make it bigger.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Twelve Days

Posting twice in one day is insane. But I have had this idea in my head for the longest time. And it occurred to me that it has to start today or I won't have time to do what I want to do. In twelve days the movers start packing and then access to the computer will be cut off for awhile.

This week we started what I call the "Time of Goodbyes". This is the part of moving that I dread and love all at the same time.

I wanted to go through my pictures of the last year and pick a few that shows the beauty of this wonderful little town we have had the pleasure to live in. This is fun because it gives me some material to put on the old blog, and will also be fun for the family to look at later-when we want to remember the short time that we could talk with southern accents, catch lightnin' bugs, eat biscuits and drink sweet tea.
Each day there should be a new post. And today we will start with January 2006.
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I like nicknames. And if you've known me for awhile than chances are I've got some sort of nickname for you. It's not something I purposely sit down and think about. It just happens. Like hiccups and sneezes.

It might be a part of your name like my friend, Jen with one N. Or it could be your entire first name with your last initial. Or it could be some random word that reminds me of you. For example I call my niece Mia Mouse which is a combination of the nickname her parents have given her, and the nickname i have given her(the 'Mouse' part is mine.)

Anyway, I have a special nickname for The Mister.

As some of you know my sweet husband is an active duty officer assigned to areas of high security. As a result he has asked that I not use our last name, nor use his name, show his face or the specific area in which we live. This makes it sound like he is a top international spy doesn't it? Actually it's not that glamorous, but he prefers to remain anonymous. Honestly, even if he didn't have to worry about safety issues, he's the most humble man I know. He kind of likes to be incognito, but I digress.

All that to say I was uncertain what to call him on the blog because I wanted to express my love for him and yet maintain the playful relationship he and I have shared long before there was a romantic notion between the two of us.

Several years ago he told me this story of when he was a boy. He had written a book about a little boy named Super Max. Super Max could do anything. He could leap buildings, he could save people. He was the strongest and he was the best. As a boy The Mister decided he would no longer answer to his given name but was adamant that he should be called Max.

After I heard the story I began to occasionally refer to him as Max. Then it led to sending emails and notes addressed to Max. I really wanted to suggest that I call him Max on this blog, but this was a special name for the two of us and I wasn't certain that he would like me using my special name for him so publicly. So I never brought it up.

I had asked him several times over the last year what name I should give him and he had mentioned that perhaps I could use the trail name given to him by his back packing buddies: Tex. Which, obviously has roots to our Texas days. But it just didn't feel right to me.

Last night we had put the kids to bed, pulled out a great board game called TriBond, and laid it out across our bed (because Cookie had been heating up and it made for cozy goodness.) We had just finished the game (I won, but I think he let me win since it was Valentine's and all...and he wanted to keep the peace), when he said " I've been thinking," (uh oh!) " And I think that you should call me Max on the blog. I think your calling me The Mister is cute but somehow it stops the flow of your writing. I like it when you call me Max and I think it would be better."

Is he not the best!!!???

So, it is on this day, that I officially announce that:

I am going to keep him. I am going to hug him, and squeeze him, and call him MAX!

La Vida Dulce!

PS: Here is a TriBond question. I will give you 3 clues that have a common bond. You can post your answer in the comments section. I'll post the answer tomorrow.
Here are you clues.

Reginald Dwight - John Deutschendorf - Norma Jean Baker

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sounds Cheesy, and Sappy, But it's Oh! So True

Happy Valentines Day!

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

Love never fails.

The Mister and I love Valentines Day. And we love this scripture above.

You have heard it a thousand times. Whether you read the bible or not. You've heard it at almost every wedding and seen it hanging on walls in framed pictures or in a beautiful hand made needlepoint by your old Aunt Ida.

It's familiar.

Perhaps too familiar.

I had an un-married friend say years ago that Valentines Day should really be called "Singles Awareness Day". At the time I thought it was funny. After all she was "sort of" joking. But then again I could laugh, Valentine's Day hadn't ever been a struggle for me since I met The Mister before I turned 21.

Back then my young mind respected the definition of love from the scripture above. It seemed simple enough. I wanted to be all those things for The Mister. Certainly he wanted to be those things for me. How hard could it be?

Somehow I equated "Love is kind, love is patient" for "love is easy." Oh yeah, and how 'bout "love is pain free".

But today I can look at the familiar passage in 1 Corinthians 13 and be thankful that The Mister doesn't have to place his trust in me to meet all that love requires. It is in Christ that we fully fill up on love. Perfect Love. And in turn we may love others with the love He has given us.

By God's grace he freely gives us His love: which is patient and kind.

As individuals we can daily seek the love of God through reading His love letters to us (The Bible) and fill up on it, so we can lavishly love those around us.

I know that there are times that I will unintentionally fail The Mister. When my words come out less than gentle. When I am feeling impatient because things aren't going my way. When it is Valentines Day and I saved shopping for The Mister until the day of...and the kids woke up with a fever. (Yikes!)

This love of Christ isn't just for old married couples.

It's for singles.

It's for the young.

It's for the old.

It's for you.

You may have heard it shouted on a street corner or seen people on TV that try to make the love of Christ feel cheesy or cliche, maybe, just maybe, even make it feel wrong.

It isn't a box of chocolates, or beautiful jewelry, or a dinner date tonight.

Oh no! It's so much better than those impersonal things, because the Love of Christ is real and it perseveres. It's relational , as close and personal as the sweetest Valentine. It's deep and fulfilling and will satisfy you better than any date or thing ever will. And when you fill up on His love, then everything else is overflow.

So go on! Fill up! And then, for heavens sake, go eat some chocolate! It is Valentines day!

La Vida Dulce!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Now I've Heard It All

This morning as a pre-Valentine's treat I accidentally decided to try the new Cinnamon Dolce Latte at Starbucks.

It was good. Very Good.

Normally I would order a Non-fat Vanilla Latte, but today I got distracted. The woman in front of me ordered a Vanilla Latte, half caf, no foam, non fat, one pump, (and this I had never heard before): Tall, in a Grande cup.


Tall, in a Grande cup? Is that allowed?

And why? Why would she do such a thing?

I sat there pondering this great dilemma: Will it confuse the barrista to receive a Grande cup but have to make a Tall? How does she know know when to stop pouring? Does this customer get just a bit more? Does the extra space allow for quicker cooling? Allows the coffee to breath? Is it because she likes the feel of the Grande in the hand, but can't handle all the caffeine? She ordered non fat, perhaps she is on a diet and is trying fool herself....she really wants a Grande but is practicing portion control? Or is it the cost? Does she add cream and so she needs the extra room?

Maybe, just maybe, she's on to something I don't know. Maybe the latte tastes better in a larger cup?

I was so curious to know why she had made such a crazy request that I forgot it was my turn. When the Starbucks guy looked at me I quickly said "Grande, non fat Cinnamon Dolce Latte, please" and surprised myself.

La Vida Dulce!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Celebrity Look a Likes

Today I found a website where you can upload a picture of your face and they will find your celebrity look a like.

Consider yourself tagged! If you have a blog, You can click on the picture below and sign up to have your celebrity look a like pictures done too. Then post them. If you don't have a blog then let me know who it said you looked like.

I don't know who half these women are. And I am trying to let go of the fact that the computer generated program linked me with Nancy Kerrigan. But then again I always did want to be a ice skater. But I just couldn't get past the you-have-to-be-cold to skate on ice thing.

Have fun!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

On Being Seven

I may have found someone who enjoys her birthday more than I enjoy mine.

At 5:15 a.m. I felt a little tap on my shoulder.

She hadn't slept well. She couldn't stop thinking about her birthday. Could she wake everybody up so we could get this party started?

I made her wait until 7:30. Then I just couldn't take it anymore. I had been hiding that Easy Bake Oven my Mom sent to her for over a week. I just had to see her open it.

Yes, the big excitement this year. A child's toy that involves packaged treats and cooks with a light bulb. Ah! Nostalgia!

Actually, now-a-days the Easy Bake Oven has an actual heating element tucked inside it's pink and purple plastic casing. Which makes it considerably smaller than the one i had as a child. But the cookies taste the same.

Exactly. The. Same.

As I mentioned, this was a purchase by Grannie-the-Spoiler. And she didn't stop with just the oven, but chose the oven with more cookie/cake/brownie mixes to feed several third world countries.

I feel slightly guilty because The Girl decided that she should make cookies for our neighbor. I hate to do that to her. She has two college aged daughters so she has already lived through the Easy Bake years.

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Sweet Bee,

I love celebrating your birthday and I promise to do exactly what Grannie did all those years ago...eat all those delicious treats you make with a smile. Like it's the best thing (cooked with a light bulb) I have ever tasted.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Random Poll - February

Last month while my friend, we'll call her K2, was coloring my hair we had a short conversation that was completely thought provoking.

I was sitting in the middle of her kitchen letting my hair "process" and she was tidying up a bit from our lunch. She went to reach over to her paper towel holder and found that the only one left was the last towel. You know, the one the paper towel makers glue to the cardboard tube so it won't slip off.

She pulled that tube out of the holder and said she'd be right back, she needed to go grab a new roll. She said she didn't ever use the last one because of the glue. And asked 'What do you do?'

I told her I hadn't really thought about it but, no, I usually didn't use that one unless I needed to wipe the counters or something. But then she added that she didn't want any of the glue to be left on things she might wipe down. So she just throws the whole thing away.

This got me to thinking...and now i also throw the last gluey paper towel away too.

But then this led to another thought...what about the last sheet on the toilet paper? I don't use that either.

Which reminded me of this funny story...

Many years ago when the Hubby and I were newly married we were invited to a Christmas Party. When i went to use the restroom I realized, too late, that there wasn't any toilet paper left. I reached across the sink to open the cabinets and found nothing there but some soap and cleaner. I then realized that sitting on the back of the commode was a box of tissues. Ahhh! No drip and dry here!

So I finished up and put myself together and went to the sink to wash. By this time things weren't feeling quite right but I wasn't sure what the problem was? Was this the beginning of a bladder infection?

Soon I realized that I had a serious issue and I was very uncomfortable. I suddenly became concerned about the tissues I had just used and picked up the box to find what I was afraid of: Menthol. The tissues were loaded with menthol to clear out the old sinuses. Definitely not a good alternative for TP.

With that said: Here is the Random Poll for the month:

Do you use the last gluey towel/sheet on the roll?