Friday, January 30, 2009

The Sick Mommie

Thanks to Wendy I have been sick ALL week long. I haven't been able to sleep very well because of all the hackin' I've been doing. It started on Monday with what I hoped was just a bad head cold....NOPE!! Today, I woke up just as Dave was gettin' home for lunch and to run Wendy to work. I couldn't even talk!!! Aimee had a dental appointment for her wisdom teeth so Dave got a bright idea to call the doctor and make an appointment for ME!!! I was not happy...I pouted and refused to get dressed...just like a two year old!! I HATE DOCTORS!!! Any way, he dragged me to the doctor in my PAJAMAS (it's a good thing I don't sleep nude!). The nurse took my temperature, blood pressure a little high (gee, I wonder why?), and a list a mile long of medications and supplements that I take for all my other ailments. Come to find out it's only a virus...not a thing they can do for it. He said, "we'll do a throat culture for strep to rule that out." I couldn't saved myself $25 but he didn't believe me...I have had strep in 25 years!!!! Why do they never listen?

Then we had to wait around for Aimee to get her wisdom tooth pulled and for Kaitlyn to get out of school. While Aimee was at the dentist, I sat with Kaitlyn at the bowling alley and let her bowl a few games. Kaitlyn was so excited because it was a real treat to be able to go bowling right after school.

Now it's time to go back to bed so I can get better. I HATE being sick!!! I really want my Mommie!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Interview with Kaitlyn

I found this new blog and found it interesting. The assignment for today is to interview your child/children and write record the answers. It sounded like fun to me so I though I would do it. Here it is, my interview with Kaitlyn, age 9.

1. What does Mom always say to you? I love you and do better on your homework

2. What makes Mom happy? When she's not sick

3. What makes Mom sad? When she's sick

4. How does Mom make you laugh? When she tickles me

5. How old is Mom? 40

6. How tall is Mom? I don't know, how tall are you, tall

7. What does Mom like to do? Play on the computer

8. What is Mom's job? Nothing

9. What is Mom's favorite food? California Maki

10. How do you know that Mom loves you? If she didn't love me, she'd throw me out the window

I guess you have to be younger than nine to get funny answers. Oh well, I did the assignment, right?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Received my signed print

I am so excited! I received my signed print from David Bowman. This is the print I wanted and received.

I have to say that I love this print. When I saw it, it reminded me of the little boy that I lost before he was born. We named this sweet baby, Brandon Jay. Unfortunately, I was never able to hold this precious son, but I have seen him in my minds eye. He was so wanted in our family. He was due September 10, 1992, but returned to his Heavenly Father on April 1, 1992, to serve a special mission in the Spirit world with my Grandpa Berkley. I was so crushed by the lose of Brandon at the time and could not find the answers to my questions of why so I went inactive in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for about three years. At the end of that three years and after considering suicide I realized that I had two young daughters that needed me desperately. Thank goodness for the power of prayer and the power of the priesthood I was saved from my dispair and received the answers I desperately wanted. I finally understood what my son was doing, who he was with and came away with the knowledge that I would see him again if I choose to live righteously. I'm still trying. ;) I have since lost one more child, a little girl, Peyton Nicole, who was due September 10, 1996, but returned to her Heavenly Father on March 11, 1992, and successfully carried to term one more daughter. My life is filled with estrogene with my three daughters, Aimee, Wendy and Kaitlyn, and I love them and my life with them. It is amazing what prayer, strength of a spouse and children can do for us. I LOVE MY FAMILY!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Becoming Obsessed

Have you been here lately? Just something about myself that I don't think my friends and family know....I can be a little obsessive about things. I don't know when it started but I just realized it, I can be obsessive about things in my life.

For instance, when Dave and I got married I LOVED to cross stitch, I had HUNDREDS of patterns, needles, thread, fabric, you name it...if it had anything to do with cross stitch I HAD to have it. It made packing to move a little interesting because hubby said if it didn't fit it didn't go...I packed boxes so full it would have given a 10 year old a heart attack. I just had to have my cross stitch. As the years have gone by and the children came along my obsession of cross stitch waned a LOT. I can now fit my cross stitch supplies in one little box. I still have MANY projects that are done but not framed and many that aren't even done. But that's okay, I don't do so much now.

When we were done having children, our youngest is 9 years old, I became obsessed about family history. I had to have a computer, internet access, a printer, paper, ink, pens, pencils, notebooks, and album covers. When I discovered scrapbooking, it was the same. I combined these two obsessions into one. I now have 25 scrapbook family history albums...and I'm not even close to being done.

I have always had a love for books. I don't think I have EVER gone into a store, bookstore, grocery, shopping center, mall, or even the daughters book fairs at school, and NOT bought at least one book. Hubby threatens to use them in the fireplace, but then I threaten him with divorce (I wouldn't really, but hey I still have my books). Right now this is my obsession!! The New Year's resolution I made of reading 100 books this year? It is to fulfill my obsession. I can't get enough. I have three five-shelf bookcases crammed FULL of books. I can't just read one, I read seven or eight at a time. The library is a nightmare for Hubby because the library has a 'free to a good home' shelf. You guessed it...I take from it EVERY time we go in. Each of my daughters have their own 'library' of books. Aimee's is full of Anima or Manga, whatever they call it, it's still COMIC BOOKS. Any way, she loves them and her three-self bookcase is full. Wendy reads like I do, anything and everything. Her 'library' contains books by great authors such as Ernest Hemmingway, Stephen King, and Anne Rice, as well as many of the classics. She has a closet full of shelves that are crammed as full as my shelves. Kaitlyn, my youngest, has a four-shelf bookcase that is also full. Many of her books are books that I enjoyed as a girl, and of course anything that has to do with fairies. I can't get her to read on her own yet as furosiously as Wendy and I do, but it will come in time. I also have a four-shelf bookcase upstairs that is overflowing of books I call my mindless reading, books that I don't have to 'think' to read. You know the know exactly what is going to happen no matter who the author is.

Hubby is driven crazy I think with the amount of books we own. You see, he doesn't read anything except his scriptures. If it comes in movie form, he's happy. But to actually sit down to read a book for enjoyment...forget it. My dad says that Hubby has an off button in his butt and if he sits down quietly for more than 10 minutes, he's asleep. I stay up most nights reading to the wee hours of the morning. I don't know how many 'book' lights I've gone through because of the amount of reading I do. I've probably spent just as much money in lights as I have in books. Oh well.

I find reading to be enjoyable, informative, helpful, an escape from reality, and a way for me to relax. I have also found myself in other lands, times, and even other planets. I never thought I would enjoy a good mystery, fantasy, or even a 'good' romance, but I do. Get me into bed, a bottle of water, a good book light, a soft pillow, and a good book and I'm set for the night. Or a nice comfy chair I can curl up in with a warm blanket, a glass of ice cold diet Pepsi, a good book, and maybe a few pistachios will do the same. Let me read for an hour or two and it will change my mood so that I can be a happy wife and mother. If I am into a really good book I don't hear anything. The house could burn down and I wouldn't know it, that's how bad it is. I even love to read about other people's lives.

That leads me to another obsession...blogging and reading others' blogs. I love it!!! And I love to read others' comments on my blogs.

Oh wow, I didn't realize what time it was. It's a good thing everyone in this household can get themselves to bed. ;)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Okay, so as far as the weight loss goes, I suck!!! I haven't even been able to make it to the gym this past week. Monday, Dave had the day off as well as Aimee and Wendy and Kaitlyn had no school. Who wants to go to the gym when everyone is home? I certainly didn't want to especially when I woke up and realized I could get my right arm over my head for the pain in my shoulder. Then I looked outside and realized why I couldn't lift my arm, I was raining cats and dogs!! Tuesdays and Thursdays are my days to allow my body to recover from my workouts on Monday and Wednesday so I didn't go on those two days. Wednesday, I still couldn't get my arm over my head and it was still raining. Plus Wendy and Kaitlyn were home sick. Friday, once again I still couldn't get my arm over my head, and Kaitlyn had no school (teacher prep day). Dave took half a day off since he had to be at a commanders call at 6am!!! I could have sworn he got out of the military some 18 years ago, but oh well. Any way, we had a ton of laundry to do since everyone had been sick, I decided I needed to take ALL the laundry (bedding, pillows, quilts, sleeping bags, etc) to the laundrymat. It took us four hours to do the laundry. I couldn't even walk when we were done. Remember I have RA so the cold wet weather and constant bending that I did was enough of a workout to make up for the entire week. I am so afraid I might even have the arthritis in my shoulders. Oh great!!!

Next week will be better!!! I WILL make it to the gym!!! Jennifer, my personal trainer, added weight training last week and I've only managed to do that one day!! I sure hope I can lift three pounds on Monday. I really missed going to the gym this week and can tell that my body loves it.

Since I was huddled under the sleeping bag in front of my computer this last week I watched an interesting HBO series on DVD. Dave discovered this series, ROME, and watched the first season and really enjoyed it. He liked the second season so I decided to watch it. I loved it!! I know its probably not the best series to watch, but it is historically accurate to the time. Plus, I live in Italy and it was great for Italian/Roman history. Any way, I really enjoyed the series.
As far as my other New Year's resolutions? I have been awful!! I keep falling asleep BEFORE I have a chance to read my scriptures!! Maybe I should rethink WHEN I read them. Reading the articles in the ENSIGN? Again I have failed. I need to make LDS.ORG my first stop on the internet each day so I can read the articles because we don't get it in the mail. Sunday is the beginning of a new week, I'll try harder.
As you can see from my reading list, I am managing to read a ton of other books. My goal for this year is still 100 books. I believe I've read four or five so far. The books are a range of genre and some mindless reads. But hey, I'm traveling to new lands by reading right? And I love to travel without having to pack, unpack, get in and out of a car, and I don't have to listen to other people's screaming children! ;)
Here is hopeing for a better week!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday!!!

Today is my Daddy's birthday!! Happy Birthday, Daddy!! I hope he has a wonderful day. I wish that we were there in Utah to give him a big hug and kiss, but we've called him twice this weekend to wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! We love him so much and are so grateful for him. He has always been a good example to me and to my family. He has always done the best he can to raise us children, there's four of us, the way that he felt the Lord wanted him to. He has given us a great heritage to pass to our children. I love to see him help my Mom. I don't think there has ever been a time when he hasn't opened a door for her, ordered dinner for her when they go out, he has always put my Mom first. He stands up for us all and helps to guide us when we ask. He jokes with us and laughs with us. He cries with and for us all. He guides us with gentleness but reminds us that we have our free agency to choose. He prays for each of us every day. He would give his last shirt to help us or anyone else when he feels that it is right. I LOVE MY DADDY!!


Last night our family watched "Mama Mia!" We had so much fun watching it that afterward we had to listen to the ABBA songs that we have on the computer. It was so fun to watch Aimee, Wendy and Kaitlyn dance and sing around the living room. Kaitlyn is such a ham, she is not only a bed hog, but a camera hog as well!! She loves to ham it up. Aimee and Wendy try really hard to hide from the camera so we have to sometimes sneak pictures. They were really good sports last night and let me take pictures and video of them singing and dancing. Dave and I even danced away to, as Kaitlyn calls them, those 'romance' songs. Of course, I'm the one always behind the camera so no one can see me dancing. ;) That's just the way I like it. I hope you enjoy these pictures and videos. Well, I was going to put a video on here, but I waited two hours for it to upload and it still wasn't done. Maybe another time.


I have to say something here...I am so proud of my girls, Aimee and Wendy especially. I just found out about another girl in one of our previous wards who is getting married at 17 or 18 in just a couple of weeks. She's not even out of high school. My first thought was she's pregnant. After reading her 'blog' I was right, she is pregnant. I feel so bad for this young lady because she has had to deal with some horrific things in her short life, things that maybe I could have helped to prevent. When we discovered the things that happened to this girl and the things her brother was making her do, I cried for days. One year before this situation occured I turned her away from my door and told her to work things out with her parents. Could I have stepped in and taken this girl in? Probably. Did I do the right thing at the time by turning her away? At the time yes. If I had to do it over again, would I take her in? Absolutely. You see, I have always felt that parents should take the responsibility for their own children. But looking back I see that this family had so many other issues going on at the time that they couldn't see what was happening to their daughter. I knew what was happening, but I chose not to talk with her parents about it. I consulted my priesthood leaders, my husband, and the Lord on the issue and felt that unless I was asked I wasn't to say anything. Why? Because what parent is going to believe another that one of their own sons are hurting their own daughter? I look at the whole former ward and all I see is young girls getting pregnant hoping to get out of their homes and they are walking into a whole other set of problems at a young age. Why oh why do some parents shut their children out and not pay attention to them and talk with them to find out what is going on in their lives? The mother of this young girl was so caught up in her own world of going to school and having "me" time that she forgot that she was a mother first. The father lived in his own world as well trying to keep the mother happy. This father should have stepped up and said enough is enough our children need better guidance, they need their mother home when they are home. Education can come later when the children are on their own, children need the guidance and the supervision of their parents as long as they are living in the home, no matter how old they are. The parents after finding out about what was happening to their daughter chose to let the son stay in the home and then lavished gifts on the daughter to try to make her happy. Gifts and things are not going to erase what happened to this young lady. We talk with our daughters about EVERYTHING under the sun and the consequences of the actions they choose. I am so proud of them for staying the course when so many of their friends and classmates don't. I love them so much. I know that they also see the lives that are ruined and shortened because of the choices that others make. I wish so much that I could go back in time and help that young lady more than what I did. Maybe, just maybe, she wouldn't have had to go through those horrific experiences and maybe, just maybe, she would have had a better life. I say to that young lady, I am truly sorry for turning you away that day. I wish her happiness and love, I wish her the best in the choices she is making now at this time in her life. I hope that one day she will be able to forgive me. I will carry that pain, knowing I could have helped, with me for the rest of my life and I cry each time I think about the family and the lives that could have been.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Okay, so the picture I posted of the dead jellyfish on the beach has been bothering me. I wanted to know what kind it was, so Kaitlyn and I just finished doing some research online and we're pretty sure that it is called a pelagia noctiluca or mauve stinger. Apparently the Mediterranean coastlines have been invaded by these fasinating creatures. According to newspaper articles throughout the resort areas of the Mediterranean the problem has been present for eight consecutive years. A lot of people have been stung my these jellyfish whose sting can be painful if not treated. Along a 10-mile stretch of the French coastline on 24 July 2008 they had 500 calls to the emergancy center in one week for treatment of jellyfish stings. The jellyfish look so harmless, but if you've watched Disney's FINDING NEMO we all know they can cause harm and aren't so harmless. Once again here is the fasinating picture of a beached jellyfish, a pelagia noctiluca or mauve stinger.

Here is an article from THE RIVIERA TIMES ONLINE dated 17 January 2009

Pelagia noctiluca on the Côte d'Azur
Some facts about the jellyfish shoal from Italy still present on the beaches
Pelagia noctiluca in port of Cap d’AilPhotograph by Claire LathburyHundreds of Pelagia noctiluca jellyfish that swept in on a current from Italy at the weekend are still present on the Côte d’Azur, with many beaches still flying their orange flags to indicate the presence of the “mauve stinger”. Although their sting is not venomous to humans, they have in some rare cases led to severe allergic reactions so are best avoided by bathers. They generally leave a whip-lash-like scar on the body, with the sting being felt on impact. It later becomes very itchy and blisters.The word Pelagia in Greek means “of the sea” while nocti stands for night and luca means light. The name refers to the organism’s ability to glow in the dark when it’s disturbed. The Pelagia noctiluca is very common in warm or temperate waters, including the Mediterraneum, the Red Sea and Atlantic ocean, and while it lives mainly in open waters it is often carried by currents nearer the coast. Shoals of 45 kilometres in length, involving thousands, are not uncommon.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Birthday Boy!!

January 10, 1963, David Jay Holloway was born to Harry and Renee Holloway in Alamosa, Colorado. I was lucky when I meet and married this wonderful man. Dave has been such a wonderful influence in my life for the past twenty-two years ago. Dave has had many ups and downs in his life but he has risen above them and learned from each experience and become a better man. He loves me with my faults and all the baggage that I bring with me. He is a wonderful father to our beautiful daughters. He is a great example to all those he meets. He doesn't realize what a wonderful man he is. He does the best he can with what he has and finds beauty in everything that surrounds him.

I love my sweet husband!! And he loves me!!
Friday night we had our family dinner for Dave. We went to Vicchio's Pizzaria. It was wonderful pizza. We have some friends, Alex and Kim Wadsworth, that live right around the corner from the Pizzaria so we invited them to join us. We also bought Dave some CROCS to wear around the house. Those shoes are so comfortable so I bought a pair for me and Kaitlyn too.

Saturday night we went out to dinner with some other friends of ours, Annette and Chris Abbott. We had so much fun enjoying a good meal and good conversation. After dinner we came back to our house to chat some more. Unfortunately our house was freezing, once again we are having some problems with our heating and our water heater.

Today we woke up and Wendy asked if we could go to the beach because it was such a beautiful day. The sun was shinning and was so warm outside. Dave some how got the radiators to work and the water heater to work so everyone could shower. Any way, we drove over to Luganio to the beach. It was so weird to see all the Italians bundled up in their coats and scarves, and we are walking around without them.

The snow capped mountains in the background are the Alps.

This is a jelly fish. Isn't it cool?

We came home to no hot water again. Darn it!!! Thank goodness for the gym. I take my showers at the gym after my workout. Nice hot shower, with real water pressure!! Pathetic isn't it? I can't wait til we get back to the states and don't have to worry about when and if we are going to have hot water or heat to stay warm.

Kaitlyn on the beach. Isn't she beautiful? Sorry about my cuss word, I didn't realize the sand was so waterlogged where I was standing.

Wendy and Aimee on the beach. They are so smexy!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Traditional Italian Christmas Celebrations

Last night was the bonfires in the towns of Italy. We didn't know what this was all about the past two years, so this year we decided to check it out. We found the field here in Aviano where the bonfire was lit. It was 27 freakin' degrees outside and we are standing in the middle of a field freezin' our butts off!!! When the time came for the huge pile of wood to be lit we were standing at the edge of the field close to the pile. As soon as the pile was lit, Kaitlyn started screaming and ran to the back of the crowd where Aimee and Wendy were standing. When I realized she wasn't standing there I looked back to the girls and Kaitlyn was wide-eyed, staring at the bonfire and hiding behind Wendy. Once we got her calmed down we brought her to the front with Dave and I so she could see it up close. She got used to it and realized that there wasn't anything to be afraid of. Aimee and Wendy got some good pictures, as did I, and they were ready to go home. Kaitlyn didn't want to leave. It was a good time and now we understand yet another Italian tradition.

The Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated January 6 with a national holiday in Italy, and the tradition of La Befana are a big part of Italian Christmas celebrations. Epiphany commemorates the 12th day of Christmas when the three Wise Men arrived at the manger bearing gifts for Baby Jesus. Traditional Christmas holidays run from Christmas Eve through Epiphany although many Christmas events start on December 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception or Santa Lucia Day, December 13.
La Befana
Italy's traditional celebration includes the tale of a white-haired witch known as La Befana who arrives on her broomstick during the night of January 5 and fills the stockings with toys and sweets for the good children and lumps of coal for the bad ones.
According to the legend, the night before the Wise Men arrived at the manger they stopped at the shack of an old woman to ask directions. They invited her to come along but she replied that she was too busy. Then a shepherd asked her to join him but again she refused.
Later that night, she saw a great light in the sky and decided to join the Wise Men and the shepherd bearing gifts that had belonged to her child who had died. She got lost and never found the manger.
Now La Befana flies around on her broomstick each year on the 11th night, bringing gifts to children in hopes that she might find the Baby Jesus. Children hang their stockings on the evening of January 5 awaiting the visit of La Befana.
La Befana Festivals
The town of Urbania, in Le Marche region, holds a 4-day festival for La Befana from January 2-6. Children can meet La Befana in La Casa della Befana. This is one of the biggest celebrations for La Befana in Italy.
The Befana races are held in Venice on January 6. Men dressed as La Befana race in boats on the Grand Canal.

Wonderful drawings!!!

I have always been touched by the Spirit when I see drawings or paintings that artists have done depicting the Savior with children, especially when they are small children or babies. One of the blogs that I follow, Trying to Stay Calm! is where I got this information and pictures. They are amazing!! I hope that you enjoy seeing them as much as I do.

I wanted to share these beautiful pictures and what the artist has to say about each one of them! David Bowman: has had a passion for art ever since he could pick up a pencil. He loves creating images of the Savior that inspire and uplift. Along with his Christian fine art, David has also written and illustrated a series of scripture storybooks for children titled "Who's Your Hero". Check out his website at to see more of his precious art.
"Innocence"The Savior tells us we need to become as little children to inherit the kingdom of God. I've often wondered what it is about little children Jesus loves most, and I think its their innocence. They are clean slates, seeing the world and others through untarnished eyes. Their hearts are pure, without the baggage of cynicism and self-doubt. In this piece, I've tried to imagine how a child would act upon meeting the Master for the first time. Without reservation or inhibition, I think he would simply want to play with Him. He would be at complete ease, allowing his pure little heart to soak in the love and laughter of His pure, infinite heart. Its no wonder Christ delights in these little ones and sets them up to be our examples. "Security"One of the greatest human needs is a sense of security. In all aspects of life, we naturally gravitate towards anything that makes us feel safe. In this piece, I wanted to convey a sense of complete peace and calm like only the Savior can provide. It's a security that allows us to rest assured, without fear or worry, when we put ourselves trustingly in His arms. Little children have that inherent kind of trust in their parents, so it's fitting that the man and girl who modeled for "Security" are actually father and daughter. They generatedthe exact feel I was looking for.
"My Child"This piece conveys an intimate, up-close-and-personal feeling of the Savior's love. Notice how all the lines draw your attention and point towards Jesus' face in the center. I chose the name "My Child" because the only thing that could compare (even remotely) to Christ's compassion for us is the love of a parent for his/her child. This image is also intended to put things in perspective. Above all, we are God's children first. He allows us the privelege of experiencing parenthood for ourselves and we are entrusted to be the mothers and fathers of His children here on earth.

Great Beginning!!

Today at the gym was a great beginning to my day!! I was actually quite surprised by how much I was able to do after take the last two weeks off. I did 30 minutes on the treadmill, 2 sets of my core exercises, and 7 minutes on the cross-trainer. I tried the cross-trainer on my second day at the gym last month and I wasn't impressed with it at all, besides the fact that 5 minutes on it killed my knees. This time I didn't kill my knees!!! I feel so invigorated right now. I will probably crash this afternoon for a nap, but I'm gonna try to keep awake so I can get a decent nights sleep. Yeah for me!!!! I have to pat myself on the back when I do good, who else is gonna cheer me on if not myself?
I finished book number one of the one hundred I want to read today!!! I'm on a roll people!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Years Resolutions

Okay, so one of my major resolutions this year is to loose weight and to get into better shape. I figure if I keep it posted I might do better at keeping on track. On the first of each month I will post a picture of myself and the progress I am making. I hate to advertise how much I weigh, but I think I will be more honest especially if it is in public view and I will have to come clean. I tried starting this program about a month ago, but with the holidays and the fact that I was sick for a couple of weeks I wasn't on task. I currently weigh about 248 pounds, a size 22 jeans and XXX shirt (I like to be comfortable, but can wear a XX). My routine is going to be, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the gym with walkin' and core strengthening. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays I will be at home using the resistance bands my parents sent for Christmas. I drank my last Pepsi today, I will now be drinking water or Crystal Light, I will try to eat better and Wendy will be keeping me on track with that.

Anyone else want to join me on this endeavor?


One of my other resolutions is to finish the Book of Mormon again, and keep up on the Gospel Doctrine lessons (since Dave will be teaching every other Sunday). I want to also read the Ensign each month as well.


Another resolution is to read 100 books this year. Wendy attends a book group each month, I don't know that I will attend that or not, but she has read some good books. I think I will include the books that I read with Kaitlyn as well.

Anyone else want to join me and share with others? Any ideas about good books to read?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How About Them...

How about them UTES!!!! 13 and 0!!!! Way to go!!!!