Sunday, November 30, 2008

Conner playing his bass

Pretty good for learning that song yesterday!

So long, Nablopomo 08.

On one hand, I am relieved this day is here and on the other, I am in shock at how fast it went. I really have enjoyed this time once again. It has been fun hearing what my friends have to say, fun getting skeletons out of the closet, fun sharing my family with my dear readers. It has been hard though, some days barely dragging myself to post in the 11:00 hour. Somedays wracking my brain about what to post or how to say it. I am thankful for the experience, it truly has been a challenge.

Stick around, I will be finishing the stories I started and sharing more about the T family as I go.

Full Thanksgiving dinner

I must first explain to you that I grew up eating at Grandma's house, never at home. Everyone in the family had a job to bring a certain dish or two. My mom always brought rolls, carrots and rutabega's and a garnish everytime. We would go to her sister's house and she would bring carrots and rutabega's and rolls.

10 yrs ago when I moved to V-town, it was too hard to drive down for every holiday. So I called my Grandma Brown and she taught me how to make a full Thanksgiving dinner over the phone. My mom came up to supervise and taught me how to make a few things. I couldn't skip dishes and not have them, so I learned to make them.

My cousin Andy called me on Thanksgiving this year and passed the phone to his mom. Aunt Al was really blown away that I make almost every dish our family eats. She says she would cut back and really we only have that many because so many people make them. I can't do that and little does she know, I have been doing this every year for 10 yrs.

So heres the rundown:
Turkey-18 pounds
Stuffing with sausage
carrots and rutabega's- boiled carrots and rutabega's mashed with salt,pepper and butter
cranberry relish- recipe on the back of Dole cranberrries
green jello salad
pea salad
mashed potatoes
artichoke dip

And this year, I made two pies myself! Marty wanted a pumpkin pie with walnut crumble on top. I found a recipe online and it was super yummy.

Timms family turkey platter, I got this when Marty's dad and grandma passed away:


Artichoke dip

Table set(Conner set it and I let him do it however, not to shabby)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

too tired to post, translates " My stomach hurts"

Let me introduce you to my new great nephew Avien, he is 3 mos old. He is my nephew Chris's son, they stopped by for a visit tonight. Isn't he a cutie? spitting image of his dad when he was a baby. Time flies.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you have been richly blessed this Thanksgiving 2008. I know that I have much to be thankful for this past year. Marty has done well health wise and made it through his surgeries well. The kids have grown bigger and are healthy. I have been blessed with the love of all of them, plus my many wonderful friends. What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nintendo DS

I just got so caught up in playing this game, I almost forgot to blog. A few months back when Marty was having his surgeries, he bought me a Nintendo DS. He said I was doing so much sitting and waiting that I needed something to do. I never have thought of buying such a thing and playing it, those are for kids right?

Well, let me tell is so much fun. I played the entire Legend Of Zelda game until I beat it, then I got hooked on Diner Dash. I already had played Diner Dash on my phone so I knew I liked it, I beat that game in a week or so. Then I got hooked on Brain Age, a fun game to test your knowledge and mental acuity.

 When I met up with Di, she gave me some games to play. She talked in into playing Lost in Blue and now that is all I can think of playing. My people keep dying, but I am trying to get the hang of it and not quit. I just looked up and realized that I needed to blog.

Bottom line, don't overlook the DS as a source of fun entertainment.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Playing Tag or twofer Tuesday

I got this from Di's blog and thought I would play along since it is twofer Tuesday.

1.What is your funniest childhood story? Read two blogs before this and the one after to find out.

2. What would your dream dress look like if you could design it? I always used to design the same dress over and over in my sketch book. It had a..........Oh what the heck, I always loved Princess Di's dress.

3. What weird habit does your hubby have? He never  let's me get ice cream when we pass the ice cream section. We just pick it out and then he goes back to get it when we are done shopping.

4. How many cookbooks are in your kitchen?  About 30 on the top shelf of my cupboard.

5. Granny panties or Victoria Secret girl?  a bit of both

6. Favorite memory from 2008? I would say seeing Melissa and meeting up with Andrea and Di

7. I secretly...want to Live in England someday

8. I could really go for...some Chinese food.

9.We are going to have a big snow storm and you will find me..waiting by the window with snow gear on.

10. I knew he was the one...when we went on our first date.

Isn't she lovely

I can't believe that Elizabeth will be nine years old in a few months. The true baby of our family, we often want her to stay small. She is growing so fast and coming into her own, we love seeing the changes in her.

She is a very driven student, she loves to do extra credit and is blowing through her curriculum. She reminds me of my cousin Sarah or my friend Carrie in that respect. She definitely does not get that from her momma or daddy. She loves to read and blows through books like nothing, she get's that from her momma. Even though she is refusing to read Little house or Anne of Green Gables just yet, she likes Nancy Drew right now.

  I often describe her personality as "intense" but Andrea described her perfectly a few weeks ago as "prim and proper", she definitely is very prim and proper. She is very modest, not wanting to wear certain clothes because they make her uncomfortable. She reminds me a lot of Marty's Dad and Grandma in many ways.

 She loves to be the boss, her and Conner fight for that role and she does not back down. She knows her mind and let's it be known. I love this trait, even though difficult to deal with at times, I love that she is a strong person. My Dad says I should have named her Carrie, because she reminds him so much of my sister. That is true, it still is like watching a home movie of Carrie at times when I watch her play. She loves her stuffed animals and plays with them constantly. They all have names and stories that go along with them.

 She still is messy, really messy, her room is a huge mess all of the time. If I were brave enough, I would share a picture but then I would feel bad about sharing. She loves to watch television a little to much, good thing she doesn't have a tv in her room. She loves watching what Conner calls "baby shows" on Disney channel. Her favorites are "Cooking with ZeFronk" and Activity TV where they show you how to do crafts. She loves making crafts and art, I need to find her some lessons at Michaels to take.

She is really a good girl, she doesn't get into scrapes like her brother. She just is always good and happy to be playing or reading. We love our snookadorfulas, very much she is such a joy in our lives.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Confessions of a messy moose

So they say there is such a thing as payback, well maybe you will understand that I am being paid back after reading this. Let's just say, I was a very active child with a habit of winding up in crazy scrapes. See there is a reason I think Conner and Tate are so funny, I was just like them. Happy-go-lucky but very active and into everything!

They say I never crawled, I just stood up and walked at eight months old. This would cause a severe motor skills problem later in school. When I was eighteen months old, I decided to jump on my parents water bed and split my head open. This would be my first of many trips to Whittier Hospital. I still have the scar today, when I wrinkly my forehead just so you can see the mark.

When I hit two and half the problems really started. First of all, I thought my new sibling was for the birds. My Grandma Brown was so mad that when Carrie came home I bit her on the cheek and my mom said "It's okay, she's just jealous." Grandma really never got over that one. Then I would make a habit of stealing her bottle once my mom stopped nursing her. My mom said one day she sat Carrie on the table in the tote seat and fed me lunch. She looked over and heard "chchch" and saw that I had fed Carrie some chips, too bad she was only a month old.

One day when she was a bit bigger, I got her to climb up on the table and put her in a baking pan. I buttered her up and told my mom to come get her, I was going to bake her. Yeah,that story is a bit scary. Then when she was a bit bigger, I stole her ice cream cone and stuck it to the roof of the car. When we went in she took a little bronze African statue and hit me over the head with it. She spilt open my head but showed me to leave her alone.

During the time Carrie was a baby, my parent's decided to mow the lawn. I remember we lived off of Cole Road right across from our nursery school. I remember thinking that my parent's left lemonade down on the ground, I took a sip and remember my mom screaming. I had sipped the gasoline from the lawn mower. I remember clutching my Ernie doll as they took me to get my stomach pumped at Whittier Hospital.

Don't worry, it gets better but you will have to wait until tomorrow to hear some more.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday and I am taking a day off

"I am taking a day off." I declared to myself and anyone who would listen. I told Marty I am not doing anything today. I told the kids to entertain themselves and let me rest. It has been a couple of restless nights around here and I am tired. I am sitting on the couch and watching Anne of Green Gables. Have I ever told you how much I love that movie? I could watch it over and over and never tire of it. Something about it is soothing to my soul and makes me feel happy inside. If you are a kindred spirit, I am sure you will agree.

Speaking of soul? I found out about this promotion over on Bring The Rain today. There is a 5o day challenge to raise money for shoeless kids. For five dollars you can buy two pairs of shoes to send to a less fortunate child in another country. I thought I would share the link and let you decide for yourself.

Happy Sunday!
The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tule Fog

Last night signaled the first night of fog for our area. I live in a part of CA that gets severe fog, not like coastal area fog. This is a thick, cold, wet fog that does not lift when the sun comes out. In fact it can be seen from space like a blanket of snow over our area. They call this fog "Tule fog":
Image from Google Images not mine

This type of fog is caused by water absored into the ground and warm weather. When the temprature drops in the winter the heat from the ground causes the water to rise. Since we live in a rural community everywhere there is field there is fog.

Last winter we were going to Stanford on a very foggy day and got rear ended. This winter I am living in fear of another fog related accident. Last night while watching television we actually heard a law enforcement warning telling people to stay off a certain road due to fog.

Here is a picture taken the morning of our accident:

Last night we drove home from bowling in the fog. I am really dreading getting the call during the winter, I am almost paralyzed thinking about driving in the fog again. Funny enough, as we pulled off the freeway to go home I fishtailed in some sand on the ground. I thought something was wrong with my car and tried to steer but couldn't. I am just so glad the lady next to me was a good driver and avoided us. Now I know to take my foot of the gas when something like that happens.

19 minutes to spare

I am sure close this time! It has been a super busy Friday for the T family. We had homeschool Thanksgiving today, I will post more about that later. We came home from bowling and watched two episodes of Survivor Gabon tonight. Is anybody else watching? Man, oh man these were two action packed episodes. I love when the underdogs take over and the clear cut choices get picked off. I feel like Survivor and Amazing Race are about the only two reality shows I can still watch. It has been so excited that this season has not disapointed. If you click on my title you can go check the shows out for yourself. Get caught up on the season and watch along with us.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"That's propole"

Conner heard Dean Martin singing "That's Amore" on my dad's ipod this weekend. All week he has been walking around singing "That's propole" or "That's memore". I have corrected him over and over, finally I decided to video it, right before this video started he said "What's the correct word?"

Fly air Lingus, where they serve Swedish bacon.

 On the morning of my sister's wedding I was able to meet up with these two great ladies. We went out to breakfast together and chatted for a couple of hours. It was a glorious couple of kid free hours, where the conversation didn't involve endless questions. We laughed and joked, even eliciting a couple of stares from the guy next to us.  What a wonderful, relaxing way to start what was going to be a very long day for me.

  One year ago, I started to become friends with these two ladies. I never imagined that I would come to love them so dearly. They are such great women, strong and determined to be the best they can be in life. I admired them for their strength, humility and compassion for others. They also happen to have some really great kids, who I love hearing about. I really never imagined reading a blog would bring such joy to my life.  I left our meeting so relaxed and refreshed that my day breezed by with ease and peace.

Thanks for being my friends, you two mean a lot to me.

P.s. Di, I still have 3 hrs and 28 minutes to post this blog!
P.s. Andrea sorry for the poor punctuation and grammar! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

twofer Tuesday

I forgot to let you all know that Marty is fine. The antibiotics killed any bug that might have been trying to grow and there was no infection. Thank you all for praying for us.

How about some recipes????

I thought I would share some trusty recipes with you today. I have some easy things that are yummy dinners for a family. I also will include a party, holiday type recipe that is guaranteed to be a hit at any holiday party.

Pizza pasta

16 oz. of elbow macaroni cooked
26 oz of any spaghetti sauce
about half of 8 oz package of pepperoni
2 cups of mozzarella cheese cubed or shredded

Boil the macaroni until al dente. In a bowl mix cheese, spaghetti sauce, pepperoni with macaroni until well covered. Spray a 13x9 pan with non stick cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the macaroni mix in the pan and bake until bubbling about 10 min. My family loves this dish and it makes great leftovers.

French's chicken
1 can of French's onions
1 egg slightly beaten
4 boneless skinless chicken breast

Crush onions in a ziplock bag. Coat chicken with egg mixture and dip in onions. Place on a sprayed cookie sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

The Brown family artichoke dip

1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Romano cheese ( preferably fresh)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 can artichokes( unmarinated and drained)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Put in a casserole dish and bake until golden brown or 30 minutes.

Serve with crackers for dipping. I guarantee that it will be a hit.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Because I am nuts and I crack myself up

When my NKOTB fever was at it's height I would wear a New Kids t-shirt everyday and carry a giant button with me to school. Once at school I would take it out of my uber cool Espirit bag and place it on my desk. Poor Carrie who didn't like Joe would have to sit there staring at the giant button during homeroom. We took a trip to Washington DC in eighth grade and my Joe pic went with me. I rode around the East coast with my boyfriend Joe at my side.

As a wedding shower gift my cousin Marissa gave me her giant Joe button and doll. It was the best thing and made me cry because it brought back such sweet memories. Needless to say, you can only imagine my excitement when last month I was gifted with a giant NKOTB button and concert program. I could have kissed my beautiful friend who gave them to me and slobbered everywhere I was so excited. I thought I might take a picture for posterity and proof that I am crazy.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


I am just knocked flat today, my parents were both here this weekend for Conner's birthday. Most people ask if they are okay being together and the answer is "yes' and the kids love it. It is so nice for them to get to spend time with both grandparents at the same time.

We went out to eat Friday night for dinner, went to bowling and then home for Mint chocolate ice cream pie. Saturday we took the kids to bowling and then headed to the Superior Dairy in Hanford. The Superior dairy has the world's best ice cream hands down. The give huge portions meaning a small is really a large and so forth. I linked to a flickr image I found online of one dish of ice cream, that is a regular size there. Anyways, we gorged on ice cream and headed back home to relax before going to dinner. Conner insisted we go to Olive Garden because he likes the pasta fagaoli soup. After waiting a hour to be seated, we ate some more fattening food.

 This morning my mom went to my sister's house and my dad went to his favorite little seafood restaurant. We went to church and then came home to see them both off, but not before my dad took me shopping. He wanted to buy me a birthday present and ended up buying me a bunch of stuff. I got a cute new wood advent calendar, a tablecloth for Christmas and a huge new wall frame. They both left for home hoping the freeways would remain open. The fires in So.Cal had closed the major route home the day before. Then I proceeded to clean up my messy house, do laundry and grocery shop. I am exhausted and decided to share why.

I think I am going to bed now, but I didn't want to lose the challenge.

Sea Monkeys

This morning I ran to the grocery store to buy some coffee creamer and found these sitting at the checkout. A year ago I was wanting to buy some for my kids so I splurged the six bucks to buy some for them.  Then I had the following conversation at the check out:

Checker: " What are these?"

Me: "Sea Monkeys, didn't you have them growing up?"

Checker: " No, I was wondering what they were?"

Me:  "They were really popular when I was young in the eighties, everyone had them."

" How old are you?"

Checker : "twenty-six."

Me:  "Your a few years younger than me, maybe that's why you haven't seen them."

Checker: "How old are you?"

Me: "Thirty-two."

Checker: " Whoa, you don't look that old at all."

I could have kissed her right then!

p.s. The kids are so excited and counting the days until they hatch.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy birthday Conner and the almost birthday surprise

Today Conner turns 11 years old, only two more years until he is a teenager. This makes his momma and daddy feel very sad. He is such a fun loving guy and a great son, everybody loves a good Conner story.  We bought him this Epiphone bass that he picked out of a Guitar Center catalog a few months back. He loves playing music with his dad and often accompanies him to worship team practice on Thursdays. We decided to switch out Marty's bass and put Conner's in the case, when Conner went to set up his Dad's bass he would find his instead. I left the house after them to go record the surprise but got caught in the act by Jana. She didn't know what was going on and started yelling out my name. You can watch the videos for yourself.

The almost surprise from Just Jules on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dialysis update

Last night we awoke to a flood of epic proportions, apparently somehow the dialysis catheter came undone letting all the fluid out. The bad part of that is, the end of the catheter is not supposed to be exposed to air or be touched. Both happened during this disaster, we immediately called the clinic and were instructed to come in for antibiotics this morning. That is to prevent an infection called Peritonitis from happening. Peritonitis can cause failure of dialysis and mean Marty would have to go to hemodialysis. Please lift him up in prayer and pray for no infection, it is very scary to think of that. Tonight we will tape the connection shut and hopefully prevent this from happening again. We are unsure how the closure came open, it is much like a screw connection with a twist thread shut.

Here is a picture I found to help you understand what I am always talking about

The blue part is the connector, the end coming out of Marty is the part that cannot be touched. When we connect to do an exchange we have several steps we have to follow.

Step One: is to turn off the air.

Step Two: shut and lock the doors to our room.

Step three: mask

Step Four: wash hands for three minutes

Step five: don't touch anything and immediately connect the catheter to the infusion set. The catheter should only be open to the air for about 2 seconds.

After draining and filling, there is a pin and close step. The pin seals the opening from air and prevents infections. Last night the pin was not in therefore exposing him to infection.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wacky Wednesday

Pictures always are a good way to knock out a post. I have some that you might like to see from the past few months.

The kids and I went to Monterrey bay with our homeschool group. We saw all kinds of cool fish and ocean mammals. Here is a picture of the sunfish, our favorite exhibit
A week later, we made a very fast trip to So.Cal to attend my sister Carrie's wedding. We got to see our family and had a great time:

Left to Right: Marty,Elizabeth, Julie,Blake, Chris,Carrie,  Dad, Conner and Mom

Some of my cousins:
Left to right:  Andrew, Sarah, Brianne, Randon,Chris,Carrie,Blake, Conner,Me, Alex, Elizabeth and Marissa

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New feature

I just found this new feature on blogger called reactions. It allows readers to click on the button and tell me what they think. Maybe this will be a way for my anonymous readers to give some feedback. I know people read this blog because I have a tracker on it that shows me hits. So far this week I have 82 hits and the same three people commenting. Comments are encouraging, helpful and a good way to get to know people. Last year I would get tons of comments and now it has slowed to just Di,Andrea and Carrie. So maybe this new tool will let you give feedback and still remain anonymous.

Monday, November 10, 2008

the story of Kim part five, the final chapter

I stood listening to my sister on the other end of the phone. She decided to look one last time for her dad and decided to look for Rick instead of Fredrick. She got a email address and emailed the person. She wrote, "I am looking for a friend of my mother Susan D****, who went to school with her in The Hague in 1967. If you are that person, I would like to talk to you," she got a email the next morning.

It said, " Yes, your mother was my girlfriend. I believe her mother's name was Muriel, her brother's name was Greg and her sister was Janet. She was from Whittier,CA and we lost touch." It was him, he knew everything. Within a matter of hours the secret unraveled like a ball of yarn, everything came to light including some tough things. She forwarded the email to my mom, who was a mess understandably after 32 years of putting it away. She called me and I called my Dad to tell him.

Two hours later, they talked for the first time. She had found him on his 30th wedding anniversary, he had married Annamieka and they had a thirty-one year old son together. He told my sister that he called sometime after she was born and got Jeanette( my aunt) on the phone, he did know he had a daughter. He also claims he came to LA looking for them but couldn't find them. He also said, " I wrote letters and numbered them all." When I called my grandma Brown to tell her one of the first things she said was " Did she find out about the letters? He used to write and number the letters. Your grandparents would burn them." He finally gave up thinking they would be found.

My mom talked to him and immediately they started planning a trip. He would come to LA and stay with my mom for a few days. Then they would show up at Kim's as a surprise to her on her 32 birthday. The time came and my mom disappeared with Rick for a few days, they came up and he stood on Kim's doorstep with flowers. He saw his grandchildren and met his daughter together, he brought pictures and the paper clippings from when they ran away. Actually my nephew Chris looks just like him. His mother called and met her granddaughter. It was truly amazing for Kim to finally have a piece of her life in place. It didn't go without trouble though, she became very jealous of the relationship between him and my mom. My mom also told me some things that were very hard to hear and really could have never been said. It was weird but truly an amazing story.

Over the next year, my mom traveled to England by herself. She ended up being there during the terrorist attacks on 9/11. She was going to come home on the Boston to LA flight but changed to stay an extra day. She ended up staying longer and it took her 30 hours to come home. Yvonne Chandler came to visit us, she was Kim's nana. I ended up becoming very good friends with Yvonne and sadly she died this last year. In 2001 Rick and Annamieka came to spend the Christmas holidays with our family. It was fun sharing traditions and meeting his wife, who has put up with so much. Their son John no longer spoke to them, it had been hidden he had a sister. Also another daughter was found that Rick had while working in London as a fireman. Kim has become good friends with her and even named her daughter after her.

The past couple of years contact has dwindled. The last trip was made in 2004 with my mom and sisters going to meet Kim's family. Rick and Anne still live in  England in their little cottage. Their son John does speak to them again and still has never met my sister. I think my mom and Kim both still talk to Rick on and off. I think the biggest thing that came out of it for all of us, was knowing Kim was born out of love and not a mistake at all. It also helped to know why for so many years my mom was sad. It really didn't change Kim's life in the end, she still has many issues. I think the best thing that came out of the whole thing was knowing the truth and not living with a big secret sitting in the room.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The story of Kim part four

Let's fast forward to 1986, Kim is now a mother herself to a son Christopher. She has runaway numerous times, lived in a group home and a home for teen mom's. She is looking and searching for something in life but unable to find her way. We still don't know about her dad or the story of her life but the picture is about to unfold.

My mom got a letter at her mom's house from Sef Franken, he wants to come visit and bring his fiance. In the summer we get a visit from him and his French fiance. This is the first person we meet from the past and begin to learn about Holland. He visits for about a week and then leaves not to be heard of again for several years. In the late nineties we find out the reason for this visit is so he could see if my mom was happy. Apparently he always carried the flame for my mom and wanted to see if she was happy before he married.

A few years later, my parent's divorced and our family spilt up. My mom was very unhappy and didn't want to be married any longer. This was a devastating time for us kids, especially Carrie and I. My mom was very stressed, unwell and unhappy this was clearly evident to me. I really wouldn't know the full extent until years later.

By this time, we knew her dad's name was Fredrick Chandler and he was from Blackpool,England. We had found an old notebook of my mom's with his name doodled all over the front like all sixteen year old girls do. Kim turned 21 and started earning enough money to hire a private detective. She told him to search for a Fredrick Chandler in Blackpool, England. After some time the result came back Fredrick was dead, there would be no hope of finding him. She never got a piece of paper saying so but that is what the detective told her.

In 1999 a few things happened, one I moved to Visalia to be near Kim and two Sef Franken contacted my mom again. This time he came to visit her alone and wanted to have a relationship with her. He worked in Holland for KLM and could come visit and keep in contact by mail. This went on for a year or so. In the year 2000, Kim was 32 years old and decided to look for Fredrick one more time. One morning before I was leaving for work, I got a phone call from Kim. I heard crying on the other end and the words " I found him, I found my Dad, he's alive."

To be continued...............................

Comment love

Hey readers,

I know that I get a lot of visits on my blog but very little comments. I have three people who consistently comment but many more hits than that. I love commenting on other people's blogs and actually have made two wonderful friends that way. I would love to meet you, hear feedback or post ideas from you. Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The story of Kim part three

Might as well keep going while it is fresh in my mind. So my mom is back living in Whittier working at Jack's burgers and raising Kim. She never heard from Rick and wondered what happened to him. She decides very randomly to marry a neighbor down the street, he is moving to Germany with the Army. She doesn't even really know him that well but decides she needs Kim to have a family. So they packed up and moved to Germany with this man. I wish I knew his name but I still don't know much about this period.

I know they lived in Germany for about a year and it was a good time for the most part. Except for the marriage, my mom came home to find him in bed with somebody else one day. So she packed up and moved back to the States. During this time she went to business school to learn bookeeping/accounting. She got a job in LA and worked full time, my Gramie stayed home with Kim and cared for her. During this time she started dating my dad, he had been pursuing her for sometime.

My dad always loved my mom and wanted to date her. He was still a Senior in high school when they started dating. He would ditch school to go see mom at work or so the story goes. He graduated high school, started working and dating my mom. He became a father to my sister Kim and loves her like his own. The married in the fall of 1975 and I was born the following year, Kim was 8 years old.

As far as I know family life was normal for the most part. There was a huge battle over who was in charge of Kim. Since my Gramie had raised her, she often overpowered my parent's authority over Kim. Kim didn't like having to share her attention with her new sibling and made it well known. Over the next few years, she got worse and worse behaviour wise, rebelling horribly.

In 1979 they added a sibling to the mix, another daughter Carrie. Kim was rapidly becoming a huge problem and needed a lot of attention. During this time my grandfather died very suddenly from a massive heart attack. This is when I feel life really began to change, mostly it is when I feel mom began to struggle. She lost her father and I know now there was so much more there with everything that passed before. I am sure you are wondering, did we know about Kim?

We always knew that Kim had a different father, she would play this card often when mad at Dad. Once I could read, I remember finding a notebook of my mom's with Rick's name written all over it. There also was a wedding album with pictures of my mom, her family and Kim but no groom in it. I knew they lived in Germany but not why? there were tons of weird unanswered questions lingering about. It was hard for Kim and she always wondered about her life, I know many of her problems stemmed from these things. We always thought she was a accidental pregnancy and my mom was just another teen mom.

One day our questions would be answered but not for many years. To be continued............

The story of Kim part two

As time passed during school hours my mom and Rick decided to get married. Of course, the parents on both sides forbade this and kept them apart. So my mom and Rick ran away from home, they decided to head to Rick's home country of England. They made it to England but family gave them away so the fled to Scotland. During this time, my grandparents were beside themselves their daughter was a runaway in a foreign country. So they called Interpol to look for her and Rick, it made front page news all over Europe.

Mom and Rick had found a home in Gretna green, Scotland and settled in until they could marry at 17. They decided that my mom should get pregnant so that nothing would stop their parents from letting them stay together. So she did just that, got pregnant at the age of 16 so she could marry Rick. They both found jobs and started making a life for themselves in Scotland, hoping for a future together.

One day a Scottish police officer decide to go out and burn his rubbish. He started the fire and was throwing in some of his work papers. As he was burning papers, he threw one in and the picture stared back at him. It just so happened that the two young people on the paper, were Rick and mom. It just so happened that he lived next door to them and had no clue they were runaways. He went and apprehended them immediately, he called Interpol and within the next 24 hours they were sent home.

Once home, their parents were furious at them and at each other. Blame was thrown in many directions and nothing was the way they wanted it. My very strict Catholic grandfather immediately decided to go home. He would take his pregnant daughter and his family back to the States. He went to Rick and told him "you will never see my daughter or your child ever!" he then told him, they were leaving the country. So my family packed up and came back to the states, they say that Rick was at the airport crying watching them leave.

My mom was brought home and enrolled back in high school and made to get a job. She was heartbroken and didn't know what would happen to her or her baby. She was scorned by many people and shamed for being pregnant. It was a very difficult thing to go through by herself and without her true love. She gave birth on October 9, 1968, to my sister Kimberly Pauline it was a very bittersweet day.

To be continued............

Thursday, November 6, 2008

365 days ago

Marty was placed on the transplant list. It is hard to believe it has been a year already, time has flown by. Most of you have been along for the journey reading and praying with us, I don't have to recount it for you. If anyone is newly following, you can search for posts with the tags: transplant and kidney disease.

Something that did come to me since I wrote the last post on this subject. Most of last year was filled with many unknowns and stresses. The unknown of dialysis, now that has passed and we know the answer. The unknown of when he would be able to get his heart test done, that has passed and we know the answer. The unknown of when the transplant will happen remains left standing.

Above all I know, God is in control and I am not. Worrying gets you know where and no matter what things always work out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The story of Kim part one

We all have family secrets and stories to tell, nobody has a perfect family. Our family has many stories and secrets, more than others in my opinion. One big story has to do with the birth of my sister Kim. It remained a family secret for 30 years, always around but never talked about openly. I have wondered if I should tell the story backwards or forwards, it has been a tough decision. I guess I will write it forwards and hope that it makes sense.

My mom's family moved from Kansas to Whittier,Ca in 1960 to follow my grandfather's job. He worked for the Fluor corporation as an engineer. They quickly settled into the suburb lifestyle making many friends. They were very involved in the Catholic church at St.Bruno's parish, there they met my other grandparent's Ben and Betty Brown. My grandparent's quickly became the best of friends and did everything together. My parent's have known each other their whole lives, spending many holidays, special events and going to Catholic school together.

In the summer of 1966 my grandfather was told he would be moved to the Netherlands for two years to work on greenhouses for tulips. The whole family would move and live in Holland during that time. Arrangements were made for my dad to help my mom's grandparents care for the family home during this time. So my mom and her family moved to Holland and lived in a hotel for 6 months until a home could be found. During this time my mom met a boy named Sef Franken who would be her first boyfriend. They lived in the Franken family hotel and the Frankens treated them like family. They taught them how to skate on the canals, cook Dutch food and showed them the country.

When school time came, it was decided that my mom, her sister and brother would travel by train to The Hague and go to the international school. They felt that would be a great experience for their children to meet other kids from around the world. So everyday they would get up and ride the train to school. While at school they met a boy named Fredrick Chandler, from Blackpool, England whose father also worked for Fluor. I guess, it was love at first sight for my mom but Rick had another girlfriend named Annamieka that he was dating.

They finally found a family home in Haaimstead, it was a five story house with scary stairs. It was at this time my grandmother contracted Scarlet fever. During her bout with the fever she fell down the five flights of stairs leaving her laid up and unable to tend to the kids. My grandfather was working long hours and the kids had free rein. My mom started dating Rick and hanging out with his band. I guess she eventually joined the band and started living a 60's lifestyle away from home. My grandfather eventually caught wind and was furious, his child would not act like that. He found Rick and told him that he was NOT allowed to date his daughter or see her outside of school.

My mother was heartbroken, she was a sixteen year old girl madly in love. As for Rick, I am not sure what he really thought because I am sure Annamieka was on the side. During school hours they would see each other and pine to be together. Eventually my grandfather caved and allowed them to see each other in limited amounts. Something happened, not sure what as it is still a mystery to me but things changed. My grandfather once again denied them contact, he really didn't care for Rick and forbade my mother to see him. During school hours a plan of gigantic proportions was hatched.

Stay tuned, part two will air tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My kids will tell you.....(twofer tuesday)

This is momma's favorite song from when she was a little girl. Click play and watch the slideshow on the next post instead of watching this video. Really it is the melody that I love the most, I can hear it and instantly feel happy. I do have a favorite line in the song though: " I can't stand this indecision married with a lack of vision."

On this election day I wanted to be lighthearted and fun. I thought I would share a little story that I created a few years ago using pictures. I hope you enjoy.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I am writing this to urge you to get out and vote tomorrow. Growing up in a very political family, I counted the days until I was eighteen and could vote.  I knew no other way in life, even my husband grew up in a voting family and when we met he was already registered.  Even if he was a registered member of the Green party, he was registered. We both love getting the sample ballots and talking them over together, listening to each others opinions on the issues. We take our kids with us to vote and hope that they will be excited to vote when they turn eighteen.

I talked a bit about this last year, but I feel the need to bring it up again. It really bothers me that some women let the men in their life tell them how to vote.  I don't believe that people should let other people vote for them.  I find it sad that there are women out there who feel they can't think for themselves.  I also find it hard to believe there are people out there not registered. I understand in some cases why, like my Gramie whose parent's fought so bitterly over issues she never wanted to vote.  As an adult I urged her to vote but she never would.  I guess she was born only five years after women were given the right to vote and that probably played a huge part. I think of the women before us who were not allowed to vote and feel privileged to have the right.

On another note, I get tired of the whole bandwagon syndrome. Half the time I think people just vote one way on something because somebody else is voting that way.  I wish more people would take the time to read the voter guides available to them.  Read up on the issues, educate yourself, find your opinions on the subject. Don't just vote that way because it is the cool thing to do or somebody else is doing it. Think about your morals, values and the issues in your life vote based on those things before you vote. Also, I really don't think copied and pasted emails are valid voting information. I find it disturbing that so many people find those to be the gospel truth. Many of those emails are far from the truth and often bad information. Check them out on to see what they have found out about the email. Many,many times the information is completely or partially wrong, don't just blindly send them on.

Long story short, vote! Let your voice be heard but let it be your voice.

Update:  I wrote this early today, I just now have heard a story about a man in AZ. He apparently tried to sell his vote on Ebay.  That is the kind of people I am talking about, people who have no respect for the right to vote. These rights are a privilege and did not come freely, they are not something to take lightly.  Fortunately, there are laws that prevent the sale of votes in AZ.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Waiting ( insert the Jeopardy theme song here)

  Shhh....Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of nothing, silence, zip, zilch, nada. That is what is going on with the transplant? not much. Every month we get a little tube in the mail, Marty takes it to Holly the dialysis nurse to get a blood sample for Stanford. They use the blood sample to match him to donor organs on the registry to find a compatible match. I told some friends last week that it is the strangest, most indescribable feeling to be waiting. Life is moving by at a frenzied pace but feels like it is creeping by, the silence is deafening.

  I often find my thoughts drifting during the day to thoughts of when the call actually comes. What day will it be? What will we be doing? Will we have plans? Will we be busy? What if the call comes and we miss it? The list goes on and on. For the most part we have tried to keep life very simple and commitment free as possible. We have put off classes, moving, traveling, ministries at church, etc., to be ready for the call.  Maybe next year if the call hasn't come then we will start adding to the schedule again.

Actually dear reader, I thought by this time, this year we would be talking about the transplant in past tense. We really had hoped it would happen in October of this year, but October came and went without the transplant.  I won't lie to you and tell you that November wasn't on that short list, we actually thought either of these months would be the time. November has just begun, so there is hope it could happen  sometime this month. I really hope that it doesn't happen after the second week of the month or during the holidays. Not only for us but for the family that will lose a child, a parent, a friend or spouse. I would hate to see someone hurting during the holidays. So if not  then maybe after the first of the year the time will come and we can start 2009 off right.

A big thank you to you for sticking with us during this time. Without our friends and family we would not have made it this past year and a half. You have supported us with prayers, thoughts, words, laughs and hugs. We are forever thankful,grateful for the love and support we have felt.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

First day, easy post

Happy Halloween and welcome November all at the same time. It hardly seems like fall when we have 80 degree weather everyday. I haven't even gotten out my fall decor yet, I need to do that this week since I have been putting it off. I have to get back into writing, grammar and sentence structure things have gotten out of hand lately. So bear with me as I start out on my 30 day blogging journey, I promise to get back into proper writing. I hope that my readers will comment along and share in this journey with me, I am excited to see what my fellow bloggers have to say.