Tuesday, March 31, 2009

For Michele Marie

Hello Michele :-)

I haven't been ignoring your requests to see Brooke's Audrey Hepburn inspired (Breakfast at Tiffany's) room...It's just been taking soooo long to get her furniture. It was supposed to be delivered today but has been postponed until tomorrow.

Anyway, I had purchased artwork for her room (44" x 20"--it is long and skinny and would look nice over a bed or above a dresser) and the first matting they sent on that framed poster, was too cream colored for Brooke's room (it is double matted, white and black). It has non-glare acrylic glazing too. I paid to send the poster back and they sent it right back to me exactly how it originally came. To make a long story short, I finally received one with a brighter white mat and the company let me keep the wrong one (since I wasted money sending it back one time already). Now my offer...

As your daughter also loves Audrey, I am willing to give you the ($183) framed print for her bedroom FREE of charge. You can choose to get a whiter mat (or another color) made if you choose. We just need to figure out how to get it to you. I still have the original box it was shipped in if we want to go this route. I would rather give it to you than sell in on ebay :-)

Here's the link to it on art.com (I hope the link works without needing my art.com password):


Here is what it looks like (it's still wrapped in plastic)...

Let me know :-)

Monday, March 30, 2009

6th Picture in 6th Folder TAG

I was tagged to post my 6th picture in my 6th folder. I actually had to go to my 6th folder and the 6th folder in that folder and then the 6th picture (I organize my pictures by year).

This was the first spring break trip I took Brooke and Candace on. We were in NYC at Jake and Jen's Brooklyn Apartment. Jen made us a fabulous dinner. That was another great trip. I truly love New York!

Now, the next 6 people I tag are Pam J., Jen S., Karee S., Kim P., Michele Marie, and Bri S. Good Luck ladies, I will check out your blog and see who followed directions.

Bikini Question...Answered

After getting the "why are you letting Brooke wear a bikini" question from my LDS sister-in- law Pam and then the following comment from my LDS friend Kim, I have decided to address the issue on my blog...

Comment: ok........ i just have to say it.....But us Paulings want to know what happened to the TANKINI??????????

Answer: This is Greg's call. Greg had allowed her to get a bikini to wear under her wet suit diving because it is allegedly difficult to wear a tankini under one. He also has changed his stance on swim wear because of our situation with our oldest son Brian who has strayed from the church due partly to what Brian thinks are people in ALL religions being judgmental and stringent on some issues, and lax on others (i.e. he feels that religious people are highly hypocritical). Greg will admit he had judged others until he was in situations where he felt he had been judged. He has now decided that he will pick his battles with his children and I am supporting him on this one.

There are churches in Albuquerque who spew anti-Mormon lies and half-truths in order to hang on to their own members--Greg is bothered by this because he, as a member of the LDS church, believes that all men are free to worship as they please. "Can't we all just get along??!"

This said. Brooke is still a wonderful girl. She is kind, sweet, and lovely to be around--in a tankini or bikini.

PS: Kim's children have always worn bikinis. She was just razzing me because she knows I have always insisted Brooke wear a tankini and not a two piece swimming suit.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hawaii--The LOST Day With the Crimi's-Day 2

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, I had forgotten the power cord to my laptop--where pictures from our second day in Honolulu were "trapped" on a dead computer--until I arrived home in Albuquerque. These were fun pictures of our time spent with Brooke's 6th Grade Gifted Language Arts/Literature teacher, Charley Crimi, who was also in Honolulu with her husband John. So...here they are...Hawaii--Day 2...
The girls discovered the Honolulu Cookie Company and had to buy at least one cookie every day. I bought them the shirts so they could remember their favorite cookie (macadamia nut shortbread dipped in milk chocolate) :-)

We met up with John and Charley Crimi for dinner at Shore Bird.

Enjoying time on the beach while waiting for our table.

Brooke on the beach at sunset.

Candace (with Brooke in the background).

Brooke and I :-)

The girls HAD to do their jumping poses on the beach!

You get to grill your own meat/seafood at the Shore Bird Restaurant; John was nice enough to cook for all of us!

"Kiss the Cook" Charley!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Waikiki Beach Marriott Hallway Jump Ritual

Brooke and Candace had this ritual EVERY time we arrived back to our hotel room at the Waikiki Beach Marriott.

Hawaii--Day 6

I convinced the girls to hike Diamond Head with me this morning. Diamond Head is a volcano that has been extinct for 150,000 years. The crater is 3,520 feet in diameter with a 760-foot summit. It is 0.7 miles, or about an hour to the summit and about a half-hour for the return (we made it up quicker than an hour).

The trail climbs the inside slope of the volcano steadily for about .6 miles, then steeply upward through a series of stairs and tunnels. The first staircase has 79 stairs and the last has 99. The second set continued from a long straight staircase into a spiral onward and upward into an old, World War II bunker. Then just when you think you can't take it anymore, the stairs end, and the magnificent vistas become visible all around you and you feel like you're on the top of the island.

Upon returning to our hotel after our hike, we headed back to the beach in the afternoon for our last full day in Oahu. We actually saw the guy who punched that other guy at the beach two days ago. He actually ended up in one of our pictures...
The beginning of our hike up Diamond Head.

We made it!

The three of us at the top of Diamond Head with the ocean in the background.

We got certificates saying we made it to the top!

Going back down was a LOT easier than going up!

There were two flights of killer stairs near the top. Here are the girls going down one flight of those stairs.

Part of the trail went through a tunnel. Brooke felt like she was in Disneyland's Space Mountain while walking through the tunnel.

More stairs!

I told the girls I would eat a piece of grass if they each called a friend from the top IF those friends did not know what Diamond Head was. They didn't let me off the hook...

I should have taken this picture before we were all sweaty but got it after our hike.

We went to the beach after our hike. Notice the boy giving the shaka sign in the background...

The guy holding the blue boogie board was the guy who punched that other guy two days ago. We were surprised to see him again. We are pretty sure the other guy provoked this guy because the guy that got punched was REALLY annoying!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hawaii--Day 5 at the Polynesian Cultural Center

We spent today at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) in Laie on Oahu's North Shore. We purchased the passes that gave us a personal tour guide. Our guide, Hinarii (we called her Hina), was a student at Brigham Young University--Hawaii. She hails from Tahiti. Here are some pictures from our day...
Candace and Brooke on our tour bus to the PCC.

We went to "Tahiti" for our first stop where the girls became Tahitian dancers.

The girls got more practice afterwards and were fitted with their own grass skirts.

Us with our new Tahitian friends. (Brooke and Candace liked "Finiki" next to Brooke). SHAKA!

The girls with our tour guide Hina.

We got matching tatoos.

We had front row seats for the Canoe Pageant where Polynesians in traditional costumes treat you to their interpretations of Pacific history and myths in memorable fashion. I believe this was the Samoa boat.

Hawaii, represented in the pageant.

We tried fishing with Tahitian Coconut bread dough but didn't catch anything.

We ended up weaving our own fish out of leaves from a coconut tree.

This picture is for you Dora...Us with the emcee from the Samoa show.

The girls had to get one more picture with an Island guy. This is the guy who climbed up a coconut tree (thanks for arranging the picture Hina!).

Hina gave us a copy of the recipe for Tahitian Coconut Bread. Candace said she wanted to make it when she got back to Albuquerque, so here's the recipe:

Tahitian Coconut Bread
  • 2 cups fresh grated coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 cups white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
Combine coconut, sugar and water together in a large bowl. Blend flour and baking powder together. Add to coconut mixture and mix until texture is doughy. Gradually add additional flour, as needed, so dough is not too sticky to handle. Separate dough into 5 equal pieces and roll into the shape and size of a hot dog bun. Wrap each piece of dough in aluminum foil. Place foil-wrapped dough on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

The "shaka" sign is a common greeting gesture. It is often associated with Hawaii and sports such as surfing, kitesurfing, skateboarding, skimboarding, snowboarding and skydiving. It consists of extending the thumb and smallest finger while keeping the three middle fingers curled, and raising the hand as in salutation with the back of the hand facing the person that is being greeted; sometimes the hand is rotated back and forth to emphasize the sign.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

At Hy's Steakhouse

Here is our waiter making flaming desserts for the girls.

Brooke had the Bananas Foster and Candace had the Chocolate Delight :-)

Interesting Day at the Beach

Brooke and I on our balcony before heading down to the beach.

The girls said the water was a bit cold.

Boogie boarding.

The police officer who interviewed us also talked to the people next to us.

The guy smiling was a random witness who was willing to go with the guy to the police station--the first time.

Below is video of the guy (who got punched) coming back to start something up again. He kept yelling at all of us sitting in the vicinity of the fight as he was wanting us to step up and do something (the blonde guy told him to "leave and not start up the fight again" but the guy, who got punched about an hour and a half earlier, just kept yelling. The blonde guy then allegedly spit on the guy which is why he was freaking out). I felt like I was on the ABC show: "What Would You Do?" I would obviously give a report to the police, but there is no way I would run over and get involved when there were at least 6 Polynesian guys who were already quite angry.

Hawaii--Day 3

Okay...I know I've skipped Day 2 in Hawaii...I had uploaded them to my computer but got distracted when packing and forgot my power cord so those pictures are stuck on my "dead" computer until we get home. Luckily, Brooke brought one of Greg's old laptops too!

On our third day in Hawaii, I took the girls to Pearl Harbor. We started off with a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial. We also toured the USS Missouri:
Us ready for the tour.

Brooke and Candace with Pearl Harbor survivors, Sterling R. Cale and Alfred Benjamin Kameeiamoku Rodrigues. Sterling had completed his night duty and had signed out but did see the Japanese planes (thinking it was a mock attack at first). Benjamin was on duty and was eating breakfast. He was issued a .30 caliber rifle and started shooting at the planes as they passed overhead (he could see the faces of the Japanese pilots as they were flying really low).

They also met survivor Herb Weatherwax. Herb was on a weekend pass when Pearl Harbor came under attack by Japanese forces.

The girls dropped a flower in memory of the deceased below the memorial.

In the USS Arizona Memorial.

Saluting outside the USS Missouri.

Brooke and Candace were excited to see a New Mexico flag.

On the USS Missouri ship's deck.

The girls wanted to see what it was like to sleep in the bunks on the USS Missouri.

The stairs we had to walk up and down on were more like ladders and were very steep.

Candace :-)

Inside the ship.

This picture is for the relatives living in MO :-)