We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kimba, the white lion...

   I added a 'video bar' with some clips of the 1960's cartoon 'Kimba the White Lion'.  Of course, this cartoon inspired me to call Kim 'Kimba'.  She had the heart of a lion and the courage.  I first called her Kimba in in 7th grade...and it felt right...
  The first clip, is the T.V. theme song.  The 3rd one from the left, is a scene where, Kimba's mom, who has passed away, speaks to Kimba from the stars...each night, before the bambini sleep, we have looked to the night sky and the stars for some sort of sign, from Kimba...
  "who believes in doing good and doing right?  Kimba the white lion is the one!"
          Love, Dave

I am in hell...

     In his classic epic, 'The Inferno', Dante describes hell as a vast frozen tundra...with the damned trapped in huge blocks of ice, their features contorted in agony.  The devil is a large, over weight, being, with huge, bat like, wings.  He spends his time flapping the wings, creating a breeze that keeps everything frozen...
     Wow, never thought we see temperatures like this in Tucson!!  It got down to 13 degrees yesterday, according to my neighbor, Brian.  Kim absolutely hated the cold.  I never used to mind it, growing up in Pennsylvania...but, after years of hearing Kim describe her discomfort with the cold, how much she disliked driving in icy conditions and how dirty and drab the snow would get from cars, pollution (remember, we lived in the hulking shadow of the Bethlehem Steel...ahhh, I still remember Saturday mornings, playing soccer downwind from the mills and smelling the sweet smell of sulphur...smelled like victory!) and not being able to find a close spot, I slowly became weary of winter.
      In the winter, back there, you had to go outside a little early, start your car to get the engine warming up, and the interior!  You also had to scrape your windshields and side windows...not Kimmy.  She did not want to get up early and go outside and freeze while getting her car ready...so, she'd often run out with a bucket of hot water and toss it directly on the windshield to melt the ice - then start it and put on the wipers before it would freeze!  Yes, she did crack a number of windshields, but we had full glass replacement...and I think I may have mentioned before, that the last winter we spent in Pa., Kim grew weary of digging out her Mazda RX 7 every time it snowed or the plow went by, so she just left it and drove the Jeep I had bought for her...in just  a few weeks, we literally lost that Mazda, as it became a large, lump of snow!!
     We did have some fun times in the snow, though.  Kim was an excellent 'snow angel' maker - not too hard to believe, eh?  She was also amazingly accurate with her snow ball throwing - she did not 'throw like a girl'.  We also did a great deal of sled riding, especially at Nitschmann Jr. High, that had a nice hill behind it and was just a couple of blocks from our house.  We also loved to go to the Lehigh Parkway, where they had some large hills and it was very scenic.  I already told you about skiing, we would go to the Pocono mountains in Pennsylvania, and went to many places in the Rockies while in Colorado. 
      Kim and I did a lot of ice skating together, too.  Sometimes we'd go to the outdoor rink in Bethlehem - I remember doing this as early as 7th grade and listening to the music they played as we skated hand in hand (Carry on my Wayward Son, by Kansas will always remind me of skating with Kimmy).  Other times we'd go to the indoor rink in Allentown...and, when the ice was thick enough, we'd go down to the Lehigh Canal.  This was always special, as, we were often the only two there.  I'd build a big bon fire on the bank to keep us warm in between skating.  We'd even bring marshmallows!
       One time, in the dead of winter, we found ourselves at Valley Forge, walking the historic battlefields, through thigh deep snow.  I remember how tired we were getting and that we talked about how hard it must have been for Washington and his soldiers in the winter there during the Revolutionary War...most of them didn't even have shoes!!

Here's a drawing of our family that Tonio did in school yesterday...'Mom' is the sunset...

      Back to hell in Tucson...so, while it was dipping down to 13 yesterday morning...a lot of us found we had no water when we woke up!  Luckily, the kids like to shower at night and they all take a glass of water to bed with them, so they had water to brush their teeth.  I didn't know what to do (Kim was always the 'handy man' in our household), so I called my neighbors, Betsey and Brian.  Betsey confirmed that they did not have water either...many people I ran into that morning did not have water.  Our friend, Mario, told me he had tossed an extra blanket on their pipes and left a trickle in the bathroom and they enjoyed water...I pledged to do that this evening. I had a will signing appointment at 9:30 and left, unshowered, washing face and pits with my unfinished water from my bedside, to pick up Angie and Mark, who were coming as support and to sign as witnesses.  We went to Brawley's afterward for breakfast and all ate huge meals for a total of about 5 bucks.  Man, their coffee is good, too and I sure drank a lot!!
     On my way home, Brian called and said he had bought an electric blanket type dealy at Ace Hardware and got his water back on and was wrapping my pipes.  I was excited... Well, by 1:50, I still had no water and it was time to get Autumn and Tonio - as I was leaving, I heard a dripping sound from the yard...it was coming from our soft water machine...sure enough, there was a slow leak.  I ran to get the kids and when I got back, there was a geyser blasting the side of the house!  I turned the water off and called Brian. We set to work fixing the pipe, going to Ace, who looked like they were having a Black Friday sale with the amount of people buying pipe, tape, foam tubing, etc.  Well, Brian's torch wouldn't quite melt the solder, so I called Vito, who ran out with a more powerful torch and he and Brian got the pipe fixed pretty quickly.  We wrapped those bad boys up better than mummy's in the Sahara.  Let me say, that Brian, who works as a graphic designer, out of his home and Vito, who owns Viro's Italian Bakery, literally dropped everything to help me!  Brian called Chicago, to tell his clients that he needed the afternoon off.  Vito was prepping for a busy dinner time rush at Viro's and left everything to come out.  Oh, and I forgot to pick up Cody while all this madness was going on...he texted me that he was freezing in front of the school...!
       After making dinner (put 4 boneless chicken breasts in crockpot on low with 2 cans of Rotel salsa for 4 hours on low - thanks for that recipe Janene!), Cody helped shred the chicken, Autumn got all of the toppings prepped and we had chicken burritos, that the kids loved.  I finally went to shower.  And as I enjoyed that warm, cleansing water, I remembered how much Kimmy appreciated a shower after having to go days without one, crying with joy...I had only had to go an extra 8 hours or so without one...she was something else...
        The little ones had something of a down day, so, newly rejuvenated after my shower, I declared movie night!  And we had just found out that there was no school today, due to no gas or water at the schools, in fact, much of Rita Ranch has had no gas and may not get it back until Monday!!  We watched Natcho Libre - a Jack Black CLASSIC!!  and Happy Feet (one of Tonio's favorite).  I remember going to see Natcho Libre in the theaters...and Kimmy belly laughing out loud, she so enjoyed that movie!  We all did.  Cody played video games at Amy and Tom's house with Alex for a awhile before joining us.  I finally carried Autumn to her bed around midnight and just sat watching her sleep...looking so much like her mama...around 1 I sat with Cody - what an amazing young man he is becoming, Kim would be so proud of how he has stepped up...and then, by 2, back to Antonio, such a sweetheart, so full of love...I am blessed.
        We are looking forward to tomorrow, already, as the temperatures are supposed to go back up into the 60's!  People tell me 'gee Dave you are used to this weather'...I tell them, I've been here 18 years and am not used to this weather - Kim broke me of liking cold weather...well, I'm not sure that I ever 'liked' it, but it never bothered me, but, over the years with Kim, I started to notice it more and more.  In fact, I actually wanted to move back to Colorado and Kim said 'no way, we are not moving any where cold!'.  And I'll take our summers - I can still wash my car, I can drive in the heat, I can swim, etc and besides, our heat?  It's a...wait for it...a dry heat!

PS Look for Kimmy at the Safeway parking lot...last weekend for our truck - thanks again Sean and the Toros!

"I am the gatekeeper of my own destiny, and I will have my glory day in the hot sun."
                                                                                       - Natcho Libre

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


            Anybody ever have some of Kimmy's pasta??  She made such a variety, with many different sauces...marinara, vodka sauce (my sister, Lauren's recipe!), bolognese, sausage, white sauce, garlic sauce, clam sauce - I'm getting hungry just thinking of each of them!!!  And then there was her pasta salad...I found that recipe the other day, and I'm anxious to try it - it was her own and if you've ever been to a picnic or family function with us, you probably have had the chance to try it.  Autumn used to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
           Then, there was the kaliedescope of pastas she used:  angel hair (my favorite), orzo - the little pasta she used for wedding soup and the kids, as babies, used to eat daily, ditalini, farfalle (butterfly pasta, sometimes called bow tie pasta here in the U.S - the bambini always have called it butterfly pasta, and their Mama used to give them 'butterfly kisses', 'baci della farfalla' - this is Tonio's favorite), linguine, lasagna, I could go on and on and on...If a Dr. ever tells me I can no longer eat pasta, I'll slit my wrists...and, I'm sorry, this new age brown wheat pasta is an abomination - pasta is made with seminola, wheat!  It's good for you, trust me.  Kimmy always felt it was good comfort good, kept you feeling healthy and was perfect for any occaision - oh, she'd always make a shrimp scampi over angel hair that was incredible!!  When I'd come home from work, I could smell the garlic from the driveway and I knew she was making some sort of sauce with a perfect pasta to compliment it...she had that knack.  Jim Morrison used to sing 'I eat more chicken than any man's ever seen...', well, I like to insert 'pasta' in place of 'chicken' and sing that to the kids.

          So, the marinara recipe that she taught me to make is pretty easy:

          Place 1/3 cup of olive oil in a cooking pot (I've got a great  black one I love to use!).  Heat that up and put in 3 cloves of minced garlic (don't buy it already minced, it loses some of the flavor!), add a 1/2 of chopped up onion, one chopped celery stalk and one chopped carrot to the oil.  Stir well and regularly.  Let it cook for about 15 minutes, or until onions become transparent.
          Add in two 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes and one 14 oz can of diced tomatoes.  Add two bay leaves, a punch of salt and pepper and bring that heat up to a medium/high until it begins to bubble. Stir it well, turn down heat to low and cover for about 20 minutes. 
         Add in two cut up basil leaves and about a 1/4 cup of Italian parsley cut up.  Simmer for another 20 minutes.  Test the carrots to see if they are soft yet.  If they are, remove the sauce from the heat.  Remove the bay leaves.   Run your sauce through a blender and place into serving dish or container.  I usually put half right into tupperware and toss it in the freezer and the other half in a serving bowl.
         I will soon try the vodka sauce - the bambini absolutely loved Kim's vodka sauce!!

        Speaking of the bambinis - they had a pretty good day.  Cody received an A on his science fair project and brought his grade in algebra up to an 88 %. He has worked so hard, with the help of Mrs. Lopez, his teacher - I am unable to help him with algebra!!  Autumn stayed after school and Mrs. Rudzena helped her get a lot of her homework done.  And Tonio, well, on Tuesday, Tonio told me 'Daddy, it's 'love of reading week' and on Thursday, it is 'dress as your favorite storybook character'...I said, that's great!  Who do you want to dress as?  He expressed concern, saying, last year, Mama made him a cool pigeon from the Mo Willems story 'Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!'.  The year before that, she made him a full body Wild Thing from Maurice Sendak's 'Where the Wild Things Are'...I saw what he was driving at...I am a man of limited artistic abilities...Tonio wanted to ask me what I thought I was capable of, in such a sweet way - he gets that concern for other's feelings from his Mama.  We talked about it and he decided he really wanted to be 'Toothless' the dragon from the series "How to Train Your Dragon".  Tonio and I had read all 7 books together and he absolutely would be riveted, transported to dragon times.  He loved the movie, too, but after seeing it commented 'wow.  It was really good, but nothing like the books!'.
        I went online and google 'toothless' images...when the photos came up, I quickly added 'dragon' and found what I was looking for.  I printed it up, bought a piece of poster board and...asked Cody to sketch the dragon for me!  Cody took the poster board to the garage, using the ping pong table as an art desk and went to work.  When he was done, he brought it in and I'm telling you, it looked liked Kim had done it herself!  And, of course, he free handed it!  And Mrs. Schrantz and Mrs. Kampelman helped him color it in!  He was so proud!!

Oh, and check it out!  Brian has done all of the cuts for the nitcho!!  He is doing a great job and we hope to cement it together this weekend!

        It was a good day...we got a lot done and had a lot of love and support...and we froze!  It was so cold today!  We're moving to Panama.  We just went outside to say goodnight to Mama...the sky was brilliant with stars - the kids called their good nights and asked Mama to bring us some warmth...they said they hoped she was warm in Heaven...these little ones are such a blessing...I will sleep tonight... ; )
        Sweet dreams,



"There will come a day,
 When we transcend our pain.
 Until that day, take it easy on yourself..."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Klimb 4 Kimmy

Hi everyone...care to join us (I know, I know, there are tournaments, birthday parties, gatherings, etc, etc!) or just help out?  This was Kimmy's favorite event.  We participated in each year we lived here but two.  Kim made this walk while extremely pregnant with Cody (8 mos!), very pregnant with Autumn (7 mos!) and pregnant with Antonio (5 mos).  We always had a great time and there is music, jumping castles and food at the top!  We always made a point to hit a 'mom and pop' restaurant for Mexican food following the event.
          If you cannot make it and want to help Kim's Foundation, that would be appreciated too!  I am piggy backing off Kim's favorite event in order to get her foundation off of the ground and will submit us as a team!
If friends and family would like to donate with a credit card we have two options:
1.      They can call the Foundation 873-5000 and give their information over the telephone
2.      They can go to our website: www.carondelet.org

If they would like to send their donation by check, the address is:
Carondelet Foundation
120 N. Tucson Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
The check should be made payable to Carondelet Foundation with Kim’s name in the memo line so I know where to direct the donation.
                                                                     Klimb 4 Kimmy
                                                               Pima College West
to the
Top of 'A' Mountain
March 5, 2011
Climb begins - 8:00am
Route length is 3 miles (one way)

Please let me know if you can make it!
Thanks, Dave, Cody, Autumn & Tonio

Sunday, January 30, 2011


           Today, the bambini's and I went to St. Pius for 10:00 a.m. Mass...they were all a little quiet on the way down, despite my best efforts to crack them up with car karaoke - where they request the song and I butcher it.  As we sat there, in church, I had Tonio under one arm and Aut under the other, I think we all had Kimmy on our minds...and I thought about how we had arrived as parishoners there...

           As I have written,  Kim and I started our relationship with San Xavier from the east coast.  We had  written to Father Dullmeir, right after we were engaged, and asked permission to be married there.  We had several telephone conversations and wrote to him over the months.  Kim absolutely loved him before even meeting him.  San Xavier Mission was one of our very first stops when we moved here, nearly 18 years ago, in March of 1994.

The Mission is such an impressive landmark.  Established by Father Kino, a Spanish missionary, back in 1692, the church was finally completed in 1797.  It is the oldest European structure in America!  I can't begin to describe its beauty, the interior is filled with murals and statues - you could stand in their for hours letting the art sink in and still not see everything.

           Kim and I began going to Mass there, making the 45 minute drive in time for the 8:00 Sunday services.  We loved Father Dullmeir's delivery and how good he made you feel about yourself.  After Mass, we'd hike the little hillside to the south of the mission.  About half way up, there is an altar carved into the mountain side.  People have placed candles and other artifacts on behalf of loved ones who had passed or needed prayers.  At the very top, of this rocky hill, there is a white cross and we'd climb up to it and pray.  Then, walk slowly back down together, commenting on the beauty of the view across the Indian farm lands and to the distant Santa Rita's.  Sometimes, we'd stop and get some Indian fry bread with honey.  Other times, we'd drive towards home and stop at the Village Inn, Denny's, or try to find a new 'hole in the wall'.
           When I was working at the Toys R Us on Oracle, we'd go to Mass and then make the drive up to the store, always finding some great hole in the wall's along the way - like Don's on Oracle and Limberlost.  There were many other great spots, but I can't remember the names.  Sunday's were special, going to Mass together and then grabbing breakfast.  After work, Kim would drive all the way back over to pick me up, usually with Cajun in tow.  We had a routine, where, we'd all walk the salesfloor at the end of the day, to make sure all aisle looked clean, there were no holes, etc...and Kim and Cajun would take that walk with us.  Sometimes, Cajun would get a little excited and have an accident during the walk!
          On Saturday, May 21st, 1994, we were married at this breathtaking house of God.  Just an incredible day, brilliant blue sky and Kim looking so incredible, like a bright ray of sun...well, you've probably read 'wedding day' on the blog...
          When Cody was born, we were still attending San Xavier.  It was a bit of a challenge to get there on time for 8:00 a.m. Mass.  Sometimes, we'd arrive a little late and stand in the side courtyard straining to hear the father's sermon, but staying cool in the shade and just glad to be there.  We approached Father Dullmeir about having Cody baptised there.  He advised us that typically, it is best to baptise your child in your neighborhood parish, but we explained that we lived at Rita Ranch, that has no Catholic church, and we had been attending Mass at San Xavier regularly for three years and felt like it was our parish.  He knew we were there every week and had us meet Sister Teresa, who was in charge of religious education and would be teaching parents about the sacrament of baptism.
            We were so excited.  Now driving out to the mission on Sunday's for Mass and once a week for our baptismal classes.  I remember, one very warm day, listening to Sister Teresa's lesson and watching a fly buzzing lazily around the room...circling...closer and closer to the sister...all the while, she is speaking, passionately teaching...when, suddenly, the fly dipped and flew straight into her mouth!  Kim and I looked at each other, not believing what we had just witnessed!  The sister stopped speaking, swallowed hard, and said 'I just swallowed a fly!'.  She excused herself for a moment and returned a little red faced, but, unlike in the story of the old lady who swallowed a fly, thank Heaven, did not die!
             Cody's baptism was fantastic.  The church, the liturgy, the day, were all beautiful - a most memorable occaison.
            When Autumn was born, in 2000, we once again approached the father about having our little one batised there.  He said that church policy was changing.  They were trying to limit religious ceremonies to those that lived on the reservation, as, the amount of tourists had increased and the people who lived on the reservation were unable to attend services due to the crowds.  So, we ended up going to St. Francis, where Father Tamminga said he'd be happy to baptize our little blessing!
            I have to back up a minute...on days where we knew there was no way we could make it all the way out to the mission in time for Mass, we'd often go to Our Mother of Sorrows.  We loved hearing Monsignor Tom.  His delivery was always so spirited and we seemed to be able to identify something in our lives that paralled Monsigor's homily.  We actually did go through baptismal classes there, as godparents of our friends Stephanie and Steve Gradillas' bambino, Antony.  The church has a beautiful baptismal fountain in it - it was a special ceremony!
           Sometimes, we'd drive out to Vail, just east of us and attend St. Rita.  This was a beautiful little church founded in 1937.  Father Bob was the pastor while we were going there.  He was always at the front door, greeting everyone like an old friend and shaking hands.  The only problem was, you had to be there 20 minutes early to get a seat!  We struggled with that, so did not stay there.  They have since built a larger church.  We had the pleasure of going there last November 21st for a special Mass for Kimmy.  It was, as you can imagine, very nice.
          We even managed to attend a few Mass' over at Corpus Christi, a swanky church located on the northeast side of town.  We liked it, looked into the religious education classes, but, at the time, they were encouraging 'home schooling' for this, and we did not feel up to that.  I actually joined the Knights of Columbus while there and they were a great group of guys, who really did a lot to make everyone feel welcome and a part of that church.  I had a lot of fun helping with fish frys, free throw contests for the youth group and participating in the Stations of the Cross.
          But now, we had comitted to St. Francis, enrolling as parishoners.  We started classes for Autumn's baptism.  Kim and I had such a good time during these classes.  Learning more about the blessed sacrament and each other... Autumn's day was so special and she looked so pretty in her little outfit, with those bright, blue eyes, just like her mama's!!  Afterward, we all went to Viro's Italian Bakery for a nice lunch and Rosa made an incredible cake for our little girl.
         Then, Tonio came along - and once again, we had his baptism at St. Francis, like we did for his sister.  He had a special, traditional outfit, that Kimmy had ordered from Italy for the occaison and looked so handsome in it.  We had a huge party at our house following the event, complete with jumping castle!  Our friends Courtney and Shawn catered it and Vito and Rosa brought out wedding soup, pastries and an incredible cake!  What a fun day that was...
         Cody and Autumn both had their First Holy Communion ceremonies at St. Francis...having gone through the classes and Kim and I enjoyed the parent retreats that were a part of this sacrament.  In fact, that is how we came to be Max Lucado fans.  Max Lucado had writtend some great books, like 'Fearless' - I think I have read almost all of his books and even have had some correspondence with him, providing feedback on advance readers that I receive as manager of Barnes & Noble - nice guy.  He has also written some truly inspiring children's books, too. 
         Cody looked so handsome in his first little suit, and, Autumn was angelic in her little white dress and hairpieces made by our friend Vanessa, who we met at Viro's.  Again, following the events, we'd head over to Viro's to celebrate and eat!
         We really enjoyed Father Tamminga's Mass'...he always made you chuckle at some point and made you realize that we are all human and could really do better by just understanding that and trying to make someone else's day just a little easier.  But, one day, another father was giving Mass, when a cell phone began to ring...this is the ultimate foopah.  I'm always double, double checking to make sure my phone is off or silenced before going into church and always feel a little embarrassed on behalf of the poor soul who neglects to do so...the father that day snapped!  He started by saying how unacceptable it was for someone to forget to turn off their phone and then launched into a tirade against those who can't get to church on time (that was us!), or those who did not sing, and said 'I bet most of you don't even know what page we are on in the book!'.  Finally, he said 'if you are not 'getting' me today, you should just stand up and walk on out of here!'...to my horror, Kim picked up Tonio and walked out!!!  I cringed, waiting for a bolt of lightning to strike her on the way out...I should have known, Kim was right.  Later that week, we found out, it was the father's cell phone that had gone off!  He had left it in his jacket in the room off of the altar where he changes and forgot to turn it off!  Kim decided that we should try another church...
          And we ended up at St. Pius.  Father Harry has been an incredible inspiration to our family.  Kim immediately felt engaged and at home with Father Harry's style - making everyone feel at home and comfortable.  She got involved with blood drives, pancake breakfasts,etc.  I transferred as  a Knight of Columbus and volunteered to help teach Antonio's religious education class, as he prepares for First Holy Communion.
        Father Harry has been with us since we found out about Kim's illness.  We saw him today and Antonio ran over and gave him a big hug.  He really brought Kim a lot of comfort.
        Now, we find that we will shift back to Our Mother of Sorrows.  Monsignor Tom, also gave Kim and our family a lot of comfot during our journey.  And, due to the times of religious education classes, and that the majority of our southwest family, Angie and her daughters and their families all attend this church, we find that it will make my transition back to work easier and take some of the stress out of how the bambini's will be cared for out of my life.  So, it appears that Antonio will make the sacrament of First Holy Communion at Our Mother of Sorrows.  He has been working hard on learning the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary, and can't wait to receive the body of Christ.  He asks every week if he could take 'just a little piece' of the bread.  He's so cute!
        So there was a tour of our churches...
        After Mass today, we converged on Viro's once again...Vito has been so accomodating...this week, thinking it would just be the bambini's and myself, I did not request a table...by 10, Kim had texted me asking what time we were going...so I texted Vito asking for a table for 8...then, I found out Angie and Lexy were coming, too, so texted Vito - who calmly responded...'no problem'.  I got the last spot in his lot when we arrived - they were packed, as usual!  But Vito had our table and we even got to sit with his niece, Franca and nephew, Mauro for a while, and saw his son Joe and wife Deanna as a bonus.  We ate so much!  I'm telling you, if you have not made it down there for their Sunday brunch...do yourself a favor and do it! 
       Visiting with Rosa, Vito, Vito Jr and their staff always makes our family happier (and Christina makes the BEST omelets!)...and so, our morning quiet had been lifted.  We took Lexy home with us and Hadley came over.  The girls enjoyed walking Bella in the park...Janene swung by and picked up Antonio to play with her boys again and Cody went to our neighbors, Amy and Tom, to play with Alex (and got to go to Baskin Robbins!).  I made Sopa de Fideo (pasta soup) for dinner....

               You take 1/2 lb of beef or chicken ( I used chicken today, but have had it with the beef and it is outstanding!) and cook in 2 quarts of water until meat is tender and well cooked.  Chop pieces into cubes or strips, as desired.  Drain meat and save the stock!
              Place a little olive oil in a cooking pot and heat.  Break a package of fideo pasta up and brown lightly in the oil.  Add 5 cups of meat stock, 6 oz can of tomato sauce and stir well.  Add 1/2 table spoon of thyme, salt, pepper to flavor and 2 tbsp of chopped onions and chicken.
             Add bay leaf and cook over low heat, covereed, until fideo is tender.  Remove bay leaf.

            I also added carrots and celery.  It is best to soften these up a bit before placing in soup, by sauteeing in olive oil or boiling.  I also added a punch of oregano, because I like oregano...
            The bambini's ate it up!

           After Andrea picked up Lexy, and Hadley had gone home, Autumn and I found ourselves with a rare one-on-one moment.  She wanted to take Bella for a walk, so we did.  Along the way, I told her how proud I was of her...she seems to be handling our new journey the best, with a courageous, positive attitude, so like her mama...each time I hug her, I feel as though I'm hugging a little Kim.  I asked her how she is doing it, and, in a Kimmy like, pious way, she shrugs.  I ask her is she ever feels mama or sees signs...she says she does not think so...I tell her to be patient and watchful.  She tells me, sometimes, she sings the song Mama used to sing to her to wake her up...'good morning sunshine, you make my day bright'...just a little ditty that Kimmy made up to make each child feel special...she is so strong, I told her how proud her Mama would be, and how proud I am...and, as I tear up, Autumn comes forward and embraces me...stilling my tears and my pain.  Unbelievable..
          Brian got more cuts done today on the block for the nitcho...it is ready for rebar and cement!!! I moved Kim's banner/truck from Desert Sky to Fry's parking lot for the weekend - thank you Fry's!  Tomorrow, I will move it to Senita Valley Elementary school, next to Rincon Vista Middle School where Kim worked...thanks Mrs. Crain and Mrs. Erickson!
         Today, overall, was a good day...I feel that, through the help of our southwest family, we have grown stonger and made to feel special, given reason to smile - we feel the love...I feel that I can focus better, my heart is lighter...

         'Believe in your dreams, that you see when you are asleep'