Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Lauren!

Happy Birthday Lauren!
The Big 2-O
Lauren and Chicago

                                                   Birthday Wishes From Home

Mom and Dad wish you a Happy Birthday Sweetheart!
We miss you!  Happy Birthday Sweetie!
Do not realize
when their daughter 
is a child
how fleeting the memories are.
And in the blink of an eye, 
the little girl
who did pirouettes
down the hall
is dancing her way
...Through Life...

And The Brothers Wish You a Happy Birthday 
( no cards, no gifts but...wishes..sure...and probably a phone call)

Ruby Dog...aka Rubers...wishes you a Happy Birthday toooooo !

"The Good Old "teenage" Days" ...
You're lucky I can't get any of those baby/kid/middle school pictures up here! 

Remember when you only had to stay up until 1 a.m. studying?  Yep...the "good old days".

....Lake Tulloch "Homies" 

Here we go! The Brothers are toasting your big...   2-O

Oh Well... when we get together for Mom's Day we can have a nice, quiet "cuppa".

What a joy it was then,
what a joy it is now,
what a joy it will always be-
Having You For A Daughter

Love you Lauren...Have a Very Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Break for ChiO

ChiO girls BEFORE Spring chilly Indiana...
Top Row: Kara, Lauren, Natalie, Bridget, Taylor
Bottom Row: Shelby on the far left, and Haleigh and Christie on the right.

Natalie and Annie

And DURING Spring Break Sarasota, Florida at Haleigh's vacation home which her parents were nice enough to open up to the girls. Well, this is roughing it, huh?

Looks like a night on the town is about to happen!

There was a nice boat to tool around in too. UH, yeah...I had a spring break like this too. ( Not really.) This was quite a treat!

I heard there was a dolphin out here named "Beggar"...and a manatee too. Actually, who cares, the water looks so nice!

I had no idea that there was a Tommy Bahama restaurant. (Wait until Dave hears about that.)

And AFTER.... on their way home. The girls had an amazing trip, traveling back and forth to Florida in Haleigh's Dad's jet.
Lauren and Natalie

Now, this was so cool...Lauren loved it!! Doug let Lauren sit up front in the co-pilot's seat for the landing. She was thrilled. Uh, you can't take flying lessons this summer.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Santa Monica Stars

Drew and Giovanna say Hi!

Well, ...if you're looking for the celebrity kind of star, word has it (from Giovanna) that they can frequently be found at the Starbucks on 7th and Montana in Santa Monica. Jennifer Garner comes in regularly, dressed down in baggy sweatshirt - presumably her husband's (who's her hubby again? oh yeah - that Affleck guy...Ben). Anyway, baggy sweatshirt and no makeup and, sorry ladies, she's apparently still beautiful.

This is Drew - not that Affleck guy
The main street downtown where there's always something going on is the 3rd Street Promenade. Lots of stores, restaurants, crowds and street performers who are really good!  

A few blocks away are the beach and the popular Santa Monica Pier

The Pier at night...

The 3rd Street Promenade really comes alive at night too...lots of musicians and entertainers

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

                                                           Cheers from Kathy and Dave

I wish you not a path devoid of clouds,
Nor a life on a bed of roses,
not that you might never need regret,
nor that you should never feel pain.

No, that is not my wish for you.
My wish for you is:

That you might be brave in times of trial,
when others lay crosses upon your shoulders.

When mountains must be climbed and chasms are to be crossed;
when hope scarce can shine through.

That every gift God gave you might grow along with you.
And let you give the gift of joy to all who care for you.

That you may always have a friend who is worth that name.
Whom you can trust,
and who helps you in times of sadness.
Who will defy the storms of daily life at your side.

One more wish I have for you:
That in every hour of joy and pain you may feel God close to you.

This is my wish for you, and all you care for you.
This is my hope for you, now and forever.

Anonymous Irish poem

The Green Hills Of Tuolumne County, California

May you live a long life
Full of gladness and health,
With a pocket full of gold
As the least of your wealth.
May the dreams you hold dearest,
Be those which come true,
The kindness you spread,
Keep returning to you.

 A Bit Of Green Along The Pleasanton Ridge

May your hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in want.

St. Patty's Day flowers from Dave... my "friend who defies the daily storms of life at my side".
Best Wishes to glad everything went well!  And wishing for a quick recovery.  Maybe a stout Guinness would help! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Southern California Road Trip

 6:30 a.m.  Road Trip to Southern California to bring Drew's stuff down to his new apartment.  Dave loaded up the truck the night before and we sneaked out of the neighborhood early, looking like hillbillies.  But it was the best time to go so we could avoid all the LA traffic which would be bumper to bumper if we didn't hit it just right.

This time of year made it a beautiful trip because everything in the Central Valley was in bloom....miles and miles of fruit trees covered with white and pink blossoms.  (Spring is the only window of time when anyone would ever consider the I-5 highway to be "beautiful"!)

Blossoms as far as the eye can see.

And...finally...after 6 hours...we arrive along the Pacific Coast Highway.  It runs from town to town, all along the coast.  I think this photo is Hermosa Beach...but they pretty much all blend together.

One of the many volleyball games going on along the coastal town beaches.  This was on a Friday afternoon so I guess they're ditching work (they didn't look like students).

A lone surfer...the surfers were warned to keep out of the water because of tsunami fears after the earthquake in Japan.  Nothing happened in Southern California, though.

Ha - more volleyball!
Charlie Sheen must be here somewhere

Now...the reason for our visit:  making use of the truck to shuttle furniture to the new place.

Home Sweet Home right in Santa Monica!  It's a few blocks from the beach and downtown and it's in a nice, established neighborhood - with trees!.  Lots of great restaurants nearby too...
I think I gained 5 2 days!

Yep- still moving stuff...very nice apartment too...on two levels. 

Drew and Giovanna at the end of the 3rd Street Promenade.
Giovanna is a Groundling in the making (take that and google it)

Below is a picture of Drew and me along Wilshire Blvd.  (He was so sweet not be be mortified that we would be "touristy" and take a picture like this along a busy LA street.)  I'll post more pictures later.  I had a heck of a time trying to upload some pictures from my blackberry...I finally did it but couldn't enlarge them.  Eventually I gave up.  I wanted Lauren and Kevin to see the pics, though, because they were away too.  Kevin was skiing in Tahoe with his college roommate and Lauren is in Sarasota, Florida with her Chi Omega sisters on Spring Break (I have pictures of the Florida trip too but no bikini pics- this is a very prudish blog).   Now I'm taking a old brain is worn out from trying to upload those blackberry pictures.  I think Blogspot doesn't like blackberries. ...more tomorrow....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's Not Always Perfect Around Here

Every once in a while ...alright...maybe more than once in a while... the stuff hits the fan around here but I just choose to look on the brighter side of things and that is what I share here.  Difficulties arise for everyone and we have our issues, crazy days etc. but unless they become huge issues for us, I won't include them here.  Also, I won't get political here although Dave and the kids know I have huge political opinions (and they are all over the map).

Life has good and bad to it and I don't want to spend gobs of my time focusing on the bad stuff.  Even when things are bad. Actually, I've already done that and I've found that it makes things worse.

I want to be real but choose to celebrate that there's so much good.  And, basically, that's what you will find us posting about...although...its' not always perfect around here.

I just think we can never get out of the swamp if we keep looking down at the mud...looking at the sky works better.  And that's what I want to pass along to my kids.  Look ahead. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Two Sweet Girls... Lauren and Claire

Claire is visiting Lauren at school...Shes' a sweet girl and we love are photos from some earlier memorable times.

(Hey - if I could have figured out how to get those old swim team photos up here, I would have!!  
Lucky for you girls!)

Why were we always eating???

I think when you have a childhood's always the best kind of friend.  My oldest childhood friend would be Dave. Through thick and thin...when you get old and decrepit ( me...) an old friend who shares a lot with you (not just the good times) is always so nice to have.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Dave and I both agree this is a very special book indeed:  Last Full Measure Of Devotion by Donald Farinacci.  I actually read it before I started this blog but came across it again today.  It's just been added to my favorites list.

It may be a guy's book, although not necessarily because I love non-fiction and history.  Essentially, the book consists of a series of magnificent "portraits" of soldiers who gave so much...some of whom gave their lives...during the Vietnam War.  Dave (who doesn't read much non-technical stuff) found it so important that he gave copies to friends who served in Vietnam.  It's a very moving series of stories about the sacrifices made by very young boys and men, some of whom are not with us today.  What great young men they makes you think about their families who have missed them all these years.  I am sure similar stories are being relived every day now in Afghanistan and Iraq.  

I should disclose that the book was written by my cousin Noreen's husband but that's just how I found out about's still a very good book, worth reading and I highly recommend it.  Don is the storyteller but the courage and heroism belong to the soldiers alone.  You won't forget them.