Christmas in Las Vegas doesn't usually have that traditional "Christmas" feeling.  I remember as a child waking up on Christmas morning, opening presents, having breakfast, and then going outside to play with all our new toys......in shorts and a t-shirt.  

What a wonderful surprise it has been today having the snow.  It has put the Christmas feeling in the air....at least for me it has.  I wish it would stop raining so that the snow would stay on the ground for a least a day.



Seriously folks, I think Mooch quite possibly might be the modern day Job. Not only has he been battling some prostrate issues for the past eight months (non cancerous, quite painful, and totally humiliating), as you can see from my previous post he just recently cut his hand up pretty good, and for those of you who know him you know that he is a kidney stone making factory. I have been married to the man for almost 20 years now and he has probably passed, no lie, 1 to 2 stones per year, every year. I can honestly say without hesitation that passing a kidney stone is probably equivalent to (pain) having a baby naturally. 

Tonight we are the proud parents of twins, stone #1 we have named Tiny and stone #2 we call Bam Bam.  I kid you not! Not 1 but 2 stones were passed at the same time. Look at the size of Bam Bam. It is unbelievable to think that he was able to pass a stone that size. He is my hero! He deserves some sort of award!

At the rate that Mooch produces these things, if we could just come up with a way to market these BAD BOYS we could make a fortune.   Any ideas?

On the plus side, the hand is healing up quite nicely, and I'm still keeping a smile on my face too:o)

On a side note:  I haven't posted pics of my family for a really long time so here are some photos.  I am so blessed!!

Sorry there aren't any of Amy, she won't let me take any pics of her.


EXPERIMENT REPORT (see previous post)

PLEASE BE ADVISED, THE FOLLOWING REPORT CONTAINS IMAGES THAT MAY BE DISTURBING TO THE SQUEEMISH!! I promised that I would let you know how my whole "Fake it 'til you make it" experiment went......well, let me tell you, it has been one hell of a week (sorry for that). The first part of the week went fairly good. I made a conscious effort to stop and smile whenever something frustrating happened, and I have to admit that it did help me to have a more positive outlook, then mid-week came around and I realized that Tyler would be giving his mission report on Sunday and as usual I let that sort of stuff stress me out way too much and I sort of forgot to smile, but then my dear friend Janae helped me put together a few things and I felt much better, and she definitely puts a smile on my face....I love my friends. I was doing pretty good with preparing the desserts ahead of time and figured that I would save Saturday for cleaning. I had it all figured out.......and it was all going to come together beautifully. Saturday came and I got up early and started my day......I was on a roll and the light at the end of the tunnel was getting closer and closer until......I get a phone call from Mooch that went something like this:

Me: hello (smiling)!

Mooch: Kelli? I've had a little accident at work.

Me: that's nice honey (smiling)....can you get me some (can't remember what) on your way home?

Mooch: well I would but I'm on my way to the quick care.

Me: what (smiling)?

Mooch: I cut my hand up pretty bad, so Ron is taking me to quick care.

Me: (smiling) just how bad is it?

Mooch: pretty bad, I may have lost some fingers.

Me: (still smiling) ok...call me when you know more..bye...click.

OK...STOP....AND....SMILE...... I do, from ear to ear but clenching my teeth at the same time......he will do anything to get out of helping me (still smiling)!! My next phone call is to Ron:

Me: Ron, it's me, don't let Mooch know I'm on the phone.

Ron: (laughing) ok...what's up?

Me: Is it really that bad?

Ron: I don't know, we'll know more when we get to the doctor.

Me: Well he tends to over exaggerate things a bit so I just wanted to hear from you.

Ron: I'll call you after we get to the quick care....bye....click.

My next phone call comes about 15 minutes later....it's Mooch:

Mooch: They wouldn't take me at the quick care.

Me: Why, were they too busy?

Mooch: No, they said my injury was too bad and I would need to go to an emergency room so we are headed there now.

Me: (certain that he really didn't go to a quick care and just made that last part up) Ok.....is it really that bad? Are you like, bleeding really bad?

Mooch: I don't know, I have it wrapped in a towel and I'm too afraid to look at it, but yea, it is bleeding pretty bad, the blood is running down my arm. I'll call you when I get to the hospital....bye....click.

I'm still smiling at this point but it is more like a smirk now because I'm thinking to myself he is such a baby, he gets a scratch and thinks he's going to need stitches. I keep cleaning, but as I'm cleaning I start having this little battle in my mind, you know the one where you have the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other:

Angel: Am I being a bad wife because I'm not rushing down there to be with him?

Devil: Nooooo...he's got Ron, he'll be ok.

Angel: If you were hurt, you'd want Mooch there with you.

Devil: Yea, but he's probably not hurt that bad.

Angel: But what if he is and you don't go, you will feel terrible.

Devil: I know, but I have so much cleaning to do....how could he do this to me?

Angel: Kelli!....GO.TO.THE.HOSPITAL....NOW!

I go to the hospital. The doctor is just finishing with the stitches. More than seventy-five...their not sure...they quit counting after fifty. No fingers were lost (but three days later he has surgery to repair a tendon). He (Mooch) is filthy, with blood all over his clothes. I'm feeling like a schmuck. I take him home. He's in tremendous pain. He needs a shower. How does he do this by himself? I have to shower him........WHO DO YOU THINK IS SMILING FROM EAR TO EAR NOW? I wonder if his smile is tricking his brain into thinking that his hand doesn't hurt.....hmmmm? 

Experiment conclusion:  I think my smiles needed to be a little more genuine and a little less critical but I don't want to continue with the experiment because I'm afraid of what the next week will bring.



No friends, this post is not about what you're thinking:)  When I was looking up info on "The Power of a Hug" (previous post), I came across some interesting facts on what a smile can do for your mental and physical health, and this is what I found...... Fake it ‘til you make it. You’ve heard that before, but have you actually tried it?

 Your brain does not know the difference between reality and pretense. When you pretend to feel a certain way, your brain produces the chemicals to match and, before you know it, you actually DO feel that way.

Actor Anthony Hopkins knows how true this is. In an appearance on Oprah, he revealed that he had gone through bouts of depression. He linked at least some of it to his acting and the roles he plays. He said that when you play certain characters and act in a certain way, your body does not know you are "acting." 

He went on to say that he often works with a particular director who likes to shoot a lot of takes. In one movie they did together, Hopkins’ character was scripted to have a heart attack. He told this director to be sure to capture the scene in one or two takes because that was all he would do. He knew that as he convincingly acted out a heart attack, his risk of actually having one increased with every take. 

If “fake it ‘til you make it” works for bad moods, it certainly works for good ones, as well. 

Right now, while you are reading this, stop for a moment and smile. I mean REALLY smile. Grin from ear to ear. Notice how good you feel. If you are smart, you will keep that smile because the longer it’s there, the better you will feel. 

Where can you apply this in your life? 

I use it to regulate my mood. For example, when I’m grouchy or frustrated, if I take the time to stop and smile, it always puts me in a good mood. 

What’s fascinating about human beings is how often we know how to get out of a bad mood and refuse to. 

Who are you hurting by clinging to a bad mood? Although it’s true that you may be “punishing” those around you by acting out your displeasure, the biggest victim, and Anthony Hopkins would agree, is you—the one acting out the bad mood. 

Clinging to a bad mood is like taking poison, hoping your enemy will die. 

One area in which you can use this technique is performance. Dr. Charles Garfield, in his book Peak Performance, reported on his work with the Russian Olympic weight-lifting team. Garfield noticed that when team members lifted to exhaustion, they would invariably grimace at the painful effort. In an experiment, he encouraged the athletes to smile when they got to that point of exhaustion. This seemingly minor difference enabled them to add 2—3 more reps to their performance. 

No matter the task, when you grimace while doing it, you are sending your brain the message, “This is really hard. I cannot do any more.” When you smile, your brain gets the message, “I can do this.” 

Every grimace, every sigh, every sound of frustration you produce tells your brain how difficult you find your tasks. Your brain then responds by sending stress chemicals into your bloodstream. The more stressed you grow, the more difficult the tasks become. It is a vicious circle.

How much more could you get done in a day if you turned every grimace into a smile? 

Every smile, every happy whistle, every little spring in your step tells your brain how easily things are going and those good chemicals flow into your bloodstream. The more relaxed you feel, the easier your tasks become. 

If your smile produces such powerful results, just imagine what your laughter might do!  Silver Rose, Silver@SilverSpeaks.com (Copyright, 2004, Silver Rose)

Ok, is it really possible to do this?  Sometimes when I am mad at Mooch, I.JuSt.WaNt.To.bE.MaD!.....and this might sound a little evil, but it sort of makes me feel better - teehee.  I know, I know, that is just plain mean, I really do love the guy.   I am going to sincerely attempt to put this little experiment to the test this next week, and I will report back to you on the results.  If some of you give it a try, let me know the results.



I finally got an unsolicited hug last night from someone that I seriously thought I would never get one from again, and it was beautiful. Those of you who know me, know where this hug came from, but I am not going to go into the private details about it, but rather I want to share with you some interesting facts and a story that I found on the internet about "The Power of a Hug".

A Hug is one of the most basic ways two human beings touch. There is power in a hug. A hug can break down barriers that sometimes words cannot do. At times, it can speak more than any words can say. We bond with a hug. We find comfort with a hug. We greet and separate from each other with a hug. We establish human contact and interaction with a hug. The beauty of a hug is in its simplicity. The gesture towards another human being, known or unknown, is easy. It costs nothing but a simple act of caring and kindness.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the definition of a hug is : "to clasp or hold closely, especially in the arms, as in affection; embrace. To hold steadfastly, to cherish . To stay close to.

Human beings thrive on touch and often languish without it. We are social creatures. The simple act of hugging can lift a person and make them feel connected to someone else. When you embrace another human being, for those few moments, you have to let go of everything and focus on that hug.

-"You can't wrap love in a box, but you can wrap a person in a hug." unknown author

This is a picture from an article called
"The Rescue Hug". The article details
the first week of a set of twins.
Apparently, each were in their respective
incubators, and one was not expected
to live. A hospital nurse fought against
the hospital rules and placed the babies
in one incubator.

When they were placed together,
the healthier of the twins reached
out an arm over the sister in an endearing
embrace. The smaller baby's heart
stabilized and her temperature rose
to normal.

You can probably guess that I am floating on air!! I sincerely am not making light of the above story when I say that my heart stabilized when I received my hug. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.



I love my friends and here are just a FEW reasons (there are many, many more reasons but I can't publish them all) why:

  • They are funny so..........they make me laugh till I cry.
  • They are crazy so..........it forces me to let my hair down.
  • They are smart so..........they make me think.
  • They are reflective so..........they make me ponder.
  • They are good mothers (one even a grammy) so..........they help me be a better mother.
  • They are creative so............they inspire me.
  • They are motivated so........they challenge me.
  • They are blond so...........I'm not alone in my dorkiness.
  • They LOVE ME and...........I LOVE THEM!!!  

    I'm laughing right now just remembering the fun few days that we had in Portland.  WOW! what a beautiful place, thanks Holly for sharing a little of your life history.  Here are some photos so you can see why I LOVE MY FRIENDS!

  • 10.15.2008

    I'M OFF AGAIN :)

    I have the coolest friends in the world. Since returning from Australia, I have been suffering from jet lag, and SWAMPED with......you guessed it...........LAUNDRY!! Well, in the middle of my never ending ironing today, I got a phone call from my Sista Holly, and she informed me that I was going to Portland tomorrow to see Celine Dion in concert tomorrow night. HOW COOL IS THAT.......GIRLS TRIP!!! We are going to laugh until we cry, I JuSt KnOw It! I can't wait to see Oregon too. I have heard that it is some of the prettiest country in the world. How lucky am I? SiStA's - YoU RoCk!! A maid would still be nice:)



    I don't have any photos to post today. Well I do, but it takes too long to upload them and I am too tired to wait. We played tennis today with President and Sister Lindley and had a total blast. 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 The victory made it even sweeter. After tennis we had lunch with Jane and a few of the Lindley children. What great kids!! We have only been here 1 week and I feel as though I have known these people my entire life. I am truly going to miss them all. After lunch we went to see two of Tyler's former companions, Elder Moe and Elder Dredge. We visited with them for a while then came back to the hotel for a bit. Jane and Madison had a care package for us to take home so we went over to their house to visit and say our goodbyes. It has been so great getting to know them, I am going to truly miss them. We are going to try and come back in a year when Jane goes to the temple and I can't wait for that day to come. We left there and went to the Mission Home for one last visit and to say our goodbyes and ended up staying for dinner. The Lindley's are an amazing family and have been so great to Tyler while he has been on his mission. It was hard for me to leave this evening, so I can only imagine what it must be like for him.
    Anyway, that was our day, and we leave in the morning (Sat. here, Fri. there) and we will be home Saturday afternoon. See you all then!!!


    Photos of Our First Day Together

    Here are some random photos of our time in Australia. We spent most of today visiting with members and families where Tyler baptized one or all of the family.

    Here we are driving on our first day with Tyler as a civilian.  It's kind of crazy because they not only drive on the wrong side of the road, but the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car as well.

    This is Mooch, Tyler, and I with the Lindley family on the first night that we got to see Tyler.  What a wonderful reunion.  The Lindley's are a great family and I know I can speak for Tyler when I say that we will miss them.

    Here we are with the Cunningham's.   Alex (on the left) was Tyler's first baptism when he got to Australia.   She has continued to remain active and went to the temple a year later, and continues to attend each week. Sean is on the right, and Alex's son, Dominique is in the middle next to me.  Sean has three son's that we were not able to see this day.   Another great family!!

    This is a photo of Tyler and Ron Holford. He and his wife Beryl (Next Photo) were two of Tyler's first baptisms as well. They are in their 80's and are quite full of life. We laughed until our stomachs hurt. They are the epitome of what I believe to be true "Aussies".

    This is Tyler with Beryl Holford. Very funny lady.



    I don't know what is wrong with my computer but it won't upload any pictures, I am so mad. We FINALLY got to see Tyler today. It was the most sweet and wonderful reunion. He looks fabulous. We went to the Lindley's for dinner and then a fireside for the missionaries that are going home. Each elder was asked to share their testimony, and it was so amazing. The spirit was so strong in that room. I am so thankful that Mooch and I have had this opportunity to come to Australia and meet so many people who have meant so much to Tyler. They are some of the greatest people that I have ever met.
    Tomorrow we are going to do some shopping for some things for my girls back home. I miss my girls so much and can't wait to get home with their big brother. I'll try again tomorrow to upload the photos.
    Yea, I finally got it to load a photo. Here we are at the very first minute we got to see Tyler. Doesn't he look great?


    Chocolate, Peanut Butter, & Baptism

    We have met so many people while we have been here, and it has been so much fun to become acquainted with the people who have had such an impact in Tyler's life over the last two years. Of course most of these people have been the other missionaries, and the Lindley family. Well you can't be in the mission home without meeting the investigators as well. So let me tell you about Jane. Jane is a single mother who is American but has lived here for about ten years. She met and married an Australian, they had a daughter (Madison), and then they divorced about five years ago. Jane was raised catholic but has over the past few years, investigated several religions. She met the missionaries and began taking the discussions and then set a baptism date a few different times, however she has never been able to go through with it. We first met Jane at church on Sunday and that is where she became our chauffeur. Sister Lindley asked her if she would give us a ride home from church and then pick us back up and bring us to the mission home for dinner that night which Jane agreed. Little did Jane know that she would become our driver for the next few days as well. Monday morning we had plans to play tennis but it was raining so I called Sister Lindley and she suggested that we get together for lunch later on and maybe the rain would be stopped by then. During our conversation she issues me a challenge to share my testimony with Jane if the opportunity arises. So Monday mid-morning Jane picks us up for lunch then after lunch we all go play tennis, which includes two elders, a few Lindley's, Lynn (recent convert), Jane, and Mooch and I. During the drive over to the tennis facility guess what happens? The opportunity arises, imagine that, so I share my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel.
    Tennis was a blast and after tennis, the Elder's were going to have Sister Lindley drop them off at the Stake Center to play some volleyball with more Elders and they invited us to come along and we said we would love to. We get to the church and it is full of elders playing volleyball, and Mooch jumps right in, and I sit on the stage visiting with Lynn, Jane and Sister Lindley. Somehow we get on the subject of chocolate, then the conversation turns to peanut butter, at which time Jane mentions that she loves Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut Butter M&M's, Reeses Pieces, and any other candy that has peanut butter in it. Those sorts of candy are not available in Australia. I told her that if she would give me her address that I would send her some, and she was so happy that she came up and gave me a hug, at which time I said (totally in fun) "But you have to get baptised". She laughs and says that she will probably do it eventually and that I should come back over when she does. The Elders hear our conversation and join in on the fun. Here is where I am going to attempt to make this long story short. The next words out of Janes mouth are "You know what, why not do it right now, lets do it today." The next hour was spent filling the font, running home to change clothes, making phone calls, arranging talks, and BAPTISING JANE!! She did it, Jane was baptised today, and Mooch and I will forever be a part of her conversion story, how cool is that? It was such an awesome thing to see those Elders in action trying to coordinate everything and pull this all together so that Jane could be baptised and receive the Holy Ghost. What an awesome day. I'll post the photos tomorrow because I ran out of time so check back.
    Tomorrow, Jane is taking us to the zoo to see all the Australian animals, should be lots of fun.


    Today is Sunday.

    It is Sunday here in Australia, so we went to church with the Lindley's. Unlike in the United States, they do not receive General Conference over here until a week later so along with losing one whole day, and then an additional hour because of daylight savings time, we will not get to hear General Conference. I am sad that we don't get to hear our prophet but at the same time I was so excited to get to go to church over here. It was fast and testimony meeting so we got to hear the testimonies of the members here, and I can say without hesitation that the gospel is alive and well here in Australia, they have very strong testimonies. It was also exciting to get to meet so many people that Tyler has come to know and love over the past two years. We have not even seen Tyler yet but the members here in Wantirna, Australia can remember him and have expressed their love of him. We don't actually get to see Tyler until Tuesday, which will be Monday in the US, and trust me, it is terrible knowing that he is here somewhere in Melbourne and we can't see him for two more days.
    The chapel that we went to today is right next to the temple, in fact, they share a parking lot. We were so sad to find out that the temple is closed for cleaning wile we are here so we won't get to go.

    We went to the mission home for dinner tonight. Every Sunday the Lindley's host dinner for the senior missionaries, the Elders, and any investigators that they are teaching, and then of course any parents that have come over to pick up their sons. While we were there, the missionaries taught a discussion from "Preach My Gospel", and while they were in the middle of their lesson Sister Lindley's cell phone rang but by the time her daughter could get to it she had missed the call. You will never believe who it was? It was Elder Huntsman and she missed the call!! She had actually called him earlier today and had missed him so he was returning her call. She wouldn't torture either one of us and call him back, but just knowing that he called while we were there was so surreal. Most of the people who were at dinner know him and had some really nice things to tell us about him. After dinner was over and the senior missionaries and the Elders had left, President Lindley shared some pretty funny stories on life as a mission president. He is a great man and it is easy to see why Tyler has grown to love he and his family so much. Sister Lindley is so warm and friendly and immediately upon meeting her you feel as though you have known her your entire life. Their children are so polite and friendly and very easy to talk to as well. We enjoyed ourselves so much tonight and wish that we had more time here to get to know them even better.
    Tomorrow morning Sister Lindley has arranged a little tennis match with she and President Lindley, and Mooch and I. She has even invited her own cheering section, so the pressure is on for Mooch and I. Hopefully we will be on our game.
    To Madysen: you can't call us because we don't have international calling on our phones so if you need to correspond with us you will have to e-mail us or you can always leave a comment on the blog.
    I'll blog again tomorrow night so until then.....G'day Mates!!!



    We are finally here. We left Las Vegas at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, and arrived Melbourne Australia at 7:40 a.m. on Saturday. Where did Friday go? Then we found out when we arrived that it is "time to change your clocks, be sure to move your clocks ahead 1 hour tonight when you go to bed", so we lost another hour!! What the heck? We should get a discount on this trip for all the time we have lost. At the rate we're going we will be home tomorrow. Anyway, the flight over wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be but I am exhausted. We are going to rest for a couple of hours and then I don't know what we will do from there. We will be attending church tomorrow with President and Sister Lindley (Tyler's mission president), it is not General Conference over here until next week. Then Monday morning, we will be playing tennis with the Lindley's. Tyler has bragged about mine and Mooch's tennis skills to them so I hope we don't disappoint. Should be pretty fun though. Just wanted to let you all know that we made it safe and sound. I will be posting each day with pics, so stay tuned.


    13 Years Ago Today!!! September 27, 1995

    13 years ago today, Mooch and I became the proud parents of our beautiful daughter Madysen Leigh. She is such a delight, and adds so much joy to our lives. It is hard to believe that I have forever lost my little girl and she is now a TEENAGER......YIKES!!! Happy Birthday Mady, I love you with all my ❤!!!


    Recognition is the First Step to Recovery

    I have to admit that not since Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi have I been this addicted to something. I can quit anytime I want to though. ReAllY i CaN. I have proudly limited myself to only every few days or so (on the blog, not the Diet Coke or Pepsi), but I will think about it constantly. I can't wait to find new opportunities to take photos to post, talk about my family, find new blinkies, cartoons or sayings, but mostly finding new backgrounds. Some of you may have noticed how often I change my background. I will not be happy until I have looked at all the sites that have FREE backgrounds and have found the perfect one. It helps that Mooch is a junkie too. As for Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi (I'm more partial to Diet Pepsi but will drink Diet Coke if I'm in a pinch), I will humbly admit that it is probably an addiction that I will have for the rest of my life. All this blogging is making me thirsty, I think I'll go pour myself a tall one.



    G'day Mates

    Oh my gosh I can hardly believe that it is less than a month away before we go to Australia to pick up Tyler. The time is flying by and I am beginning to get a little nervous about the flight over. Not because I am afraid of flying, but more because we will be on the for like hours. What am I going to do on a plane for hours???  I haven't spent that much time with Mooch, just he and I, since we were dating.  What if I get all claustrophobic and the air marshals have to take me down.  Now that would be a POST . I need some ideas, so any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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