Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Marleigh was my dog. I had named her before I even picked her out. I drove Brian crazy once we bought our house and one Sunday, I told Brian I was going to take a nap and when I woke up we were going to get a puppy. So he looked through the paper and we drove to Conroe. I new I wanted a light haired, female golden retriever. We narrowed it down to two and then I asked them who wanted to be Marleigh and my puppy started to wiggle. So we took her home. We had to sneak her into Walmart to buy food, bowls and a baby gate. She was so small ,so sweet and all mine. She lived in our laundry room those first few months. I wish I had pictures of her back then to share with you but those discs are in storage. I would go home at lunch to let her out and she would follow me to the mail box. She was such a good dog.

She became a regular at Cinco Ranch High School. She came to games, and practice, she even came to school and sat in the office when school was not in session. Her favorite place to ride was in the front seat of my convertible. Top down of course. She would just sit there ears blowing in the breeze.

Marleigh checking out Carley's new house.

She loved anything sweet. She ate the top layer of our wedding cake, leaving us one tiny sliver for our one year anniversary. She would walk without a leash. She loved to run, but she always came back. She loved toothpaste. Thanks Miss Brenda.

Her favorite place to sleep was her chair. Katy a dog friend came to visit, the story is too long to tell here, but Katy and Marleigh slept together in this chair and when Katy left Marleigh claimed it for her own.

She had some special friends. Miss Brenda Gerland and her dog Maggie were two of them. Maggie needed a buddy to help her get her pep back in her step and my puppy was just the trick. I would drop her off and she would play all day on Friday. Maggie and Marleigh loved to play chase, tug of war with socks, but most of all swim. Marleigh was a swimmer and she loved to get on the raft in Brenda's pool and float around with her buddy. When we finally got home after a Friday night football game. She would still be asleep, usually on our bed. Brenda was always there in a pinch. Marleigh only spent one night of her life in the kennel thanks to our friends.

Aunt Nikki was another one of Marleigh's special friends. She would get so excited when Nikki came to the house. Nikki would have to brace herself before I could open the door. They would wrestle and play. When Nikki came to stay there was popcorn and ice cream a plenty. she was spoiled, and they were happy together.

Then there was Cooper, He is the son of our friends Lou and Misti. Cooper came to hang out at our house twice a week for a year when he was about 14 months old. Mistis was taeching and Coop and Carley woudl play. Cooper was very scared when he first came to visit us and Marleigh was bigger than he was. Marleigh was always calm and gentle. But eventually they became good buddies.

Don't get me wrong Marleigh was not perfect. She liked to eat books and Tupperware. One Christmas she ate the check my grandmother sent. She jumped alot. The more she liked you the more she jumped. But we loved her anyway.

But Marleigh was my constant companion. She was there when I was alone and sad or happy and glad. I am not sure how many miles we walked I am sure in the thousands. She loved to lick rice up off the floor when we were done eating especially after Carley came along. She loved to put her head in your lap when she needed a pat, and she always put her paws on the bed to say can I Before she jumped up and make herself at home.

When Carley came along I was worried. How would my four footed baby take to our new baby. To the horror of some, the first thing we did when we walked in the house was put Carley down on the floor in her car seat. Marleigh gave her a good sniff, a little lick, and then laid down next to her. Marleigh paced the floor every time Carley would cry. She got less sleep than any one those first few weeks. When Carley would cry, Marleigh would come to the side of the bed and wake us up. They were the best of friends from the very start. They would lie together on the floor. She could crawl all over her and Marleigh would not move.

Reading to Marleigh

Where Carley went Marleigh would at least check in. Whether playing in the little pool, hanging out on the floor of going for a ride she wanted to be around. They were the best of friends and that made me happy. Marleigh still had quiet time with me when I would nap. She always ended up on my bed. Marleigh was always there when we opened the door with her famous wiggle and gave us longing eyes when we left without her.

Moving to Malaysia was hard on all of us. We had to leave Marleigh with my mom and Heather in Florida. Brian and I felt the transition would just be too hard. A piece of me was happy because I knew Marleigh was there to take care of Mom and Heather and they would always have a piece of us. But leaving her broke my heart. I missed her so. But Marleigh adapted like she always did. She made friends with Bestsy, my mom's friend, and her dogs Babe and Tootsie. Betsy would come and get Marleigh most days while mom and Heather were working and the dogs would hang out and play.

It has been a long week. Mom called last week to tell me Marleigh was sick. She has tumors in her spleen and her liver. She had lost 15 pounds in the last year which is a lot for a dog. The vet said she had several months to live. We worried and stressed, especially since mom and Heather are coming to KL. But the Lord stepped in and she stopped eating. My mom is the best she sat with Marleigh in her final moments today. My heart aches thinking of life with out her. Carley cried and begged to see her doggie friend. Marleigh is not in pain anymore. And I believe that Marleigh is back playing with her best friend Maggie. I just hope they can just share the float in the big swimming pool in heaven.

We love you Marleigh.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Carley's Princess Party

Happy Birthday Carley

Carley wanted to have a Princess Party so that is what she got. We invited 11 little girls to join us in their princess finest. Even I had to get dressed up. I was the Indian Princess. Brian was out of town and the Vaughans stepped in and took the kids to church.I decorated the house with lots of pink and purple fabric. Flowers on the table and even coming up the walk. Every princess needs flower petals to walk on. This is my favorite picture she was so excited.

I had the greatest prep crew. Ms. Alama, Ms Corzon and Ms. Cecil. They are three maids that are good friends. I picked them up Sunday morning and we would not have eaten if they had not been here. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful help.

Then the princesses came. All dressed in their favorite princess costumes. We had so much fun and the girls all looked so cute. First we decorated capes, that really did not go as well as planned since the paint bought on sale in the US was very dried up. But the girls made the most of it and we still had fun.

After that the girls all had their toe nails painted. I know such a luxury, but when you never wear shoes they see mommy's pedicure. SO I asked Ruth and a friend to help me out and the little girls just loved it. After rinsing their feet in orchid water they were treated to a fun color on their toes. Even glitter and press on stars. They were all so excited about the finished product.

Next we played pass the parcel. This is basically hot potato and they get to unwrap one layer of wrapping pare and the last layer means a prize. They got the hang of it eventually.
Place the crown in the princess followed and since our princess is the tallest among her friends she had a lot of crowns on her sleeves and neck. But it was fun all the same.
All the princesses had some snacks and then it was cake time. Carley had a castle cake and she loved it. I have got to learn how to make icing like Robin it is soooo good. Thanks for helping me out.

Carley opened her presents and before everyone left they had one last thing to do. What princess is not complete with out a wand. Ours were made out of cookies and yummy treats. I think many of them did not make it homeWe had a wonderful time and Carley did say Thank you more than once. We were sad that Daddy missed the big day, but we still had fun. All the girls left with a new tiara and a smile on their face.

Wish you could have all been here too. We missed so many of you.

Love Paige

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Birthday Week

Well I have been a bit neglectful in the blog department. It feels like life has just managed to get away from me. We have been busy with all sorts of fun stuff. We have been to puppet shows, Carley attended her first Orchestra. We have tickets to the children's series that the Malaysian Philharmonic does it was wonderful. We have celebrated a birthday, mourned the passing of Brian's Granny Head. I am now the Vice Chair of IBU a mother's organization I belong to here in KL and I managed to throw a Halloween party at IBU and Carley's Birthday Princess Party on back to back days with Brian out of town. SO that is the short version and now I will expand and add pictures.

The Story begins with Carley's first Orchestra. We have a season tickets to the Children's series done by the national orchestra. You have to be four to attend and Carley loved it. Here is a picture of her outside after it was over. Pictures are strictly NOT allowed inside even 20 minutes before the performance starts. Trust Me I tried. We saw a performance of the Buskers. These two men were amazing. One played the accordion while doing several other things and the other man played most the recorder, at one point two at once. But he also played the pan pipe, a rubber fish and a clog. He was great. We clapped along galloped in our seats and had a great time. We have four tickets so that we can invite friends since James is to little you have to be four to attend. Carley can not wait until the next time we get to go.

That night we went out for dinner, I have been wanting fired shrimp and not Asian style so we went to Bubba Gumps Shrimp Restaurant. The whole place was like a seen out of the movie. We had a great time. The kids had their meals served to them in boats. The shrimp hit the spot, but they were frozen and they do not hold a candle to the ones at But beggars can not be choosers.

On Tuesday the 28th Carley celebrated her 4th Birthday. I can not believe she is four already. She started her day with Birthday pancakes.

in case you did not know if you stick birthday candles into hot pancakes they will melt. But don't worry Carley ate around the wax. Carley did not have school on the 28th so we headed over to the Science Center. We were disappointed to see once we got there that the rabbit enclosure is shut for remodeling and so is the Aviary, but we did find the water features and don't worry the kids had a great time. It was a little scary for me as they were running back and forth I was waiting for one of them to slip in to this lake. Safety standards are very different here.
After the Science center we dashed home for a quick change of clothes and then it was off for lunch. We had roti cani which is Indian food. We really like it even James. Just before we left for dinner Burt Burt called and he got to watch Carley open her birthday presents. She loved her new princess outfit from Granny and Bert Bert. That night we went to Carley's favorite restaurant Chili's and met some of our favorite people Robin, Tim and Ruth Vaughan. I am not sure if I have talked about them before but by the grace of God they came into our lives. They have adopted us as their Malaysian children and grandchildren. Ruth is 12, but Robin and Tim have four adult children and 8 almost nine grandchildren. My children love them and we are blessed to call them family. Carley ordered chicken crispers and we had cupcakes, yellow cake and chocolate icing. She had a blast got lots of fun stuff from the Vaughans and even James got a new car which he was soooo excited about. Here is Mr. Tim having some fun with James. They were coloring.

And this is Miss Robin getting some "Birthday Sugar" as she calls it from Carley after Carley had opened her presents. Miss Robin has gone home to be with her real daughter Paige who is expecting her second child. She will not be back until the 8th of January she will be dearly missed in my house. We get to hang with Tim and Ruth until the middle of December because Ruth is still in school.

Wednesday Carley went to school and she got to celebrate her birthday with all of her classmates. We made her a cookie cake and I made a sad attempt at making icing and decorating. But Carley thought it was great so that is all that matters. The school does a great job of making the kids feel special. Here are all her classmates singing to her. She wore her new princess outfit and got her own sign and goodie bag. She had a blast and not a bite of cookie was left.

Unfortunately we got the call from Brian's mom on Thursday morning that Granny Head had passed away. She had been very sick and really it was God's grace to take her home. She was diagnosed with cancer just days before we arrived in Tennessee for out visit and we were glad we got to see her then. She lived a very full life she left two children, six grand children and nine great grand children. She will be remembered for her smile, her delicious country cooking my favorite was her corn bread, her sweet southern drawl and a kind heart that loved so many. Brian was on a plane Friday morning just 24 short hours later.

Well I am really tired and you will just have to wait until tomorrow for the second installment of the birthday week. Love all around.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Strange Bird

James and I were looking out the window this morning at the dogs next door. They have a Great Dane and a Cocker Spaniel. Both of which make a lot of noise, barking at everything and nothing. When I noticed this bird and I had to take a picture it looks like a dove that ran into a airbrush artist or a parrot crossed with a dove either way I have never seen a bird like this. Enjoy.

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Open House

Last Sunday we spent our afternoon at our neighbor's house. At the end of Ramadan, it is common for people to have open houses to celebrate the end of the fasting month. Our neighbors the Awalls not sure on the spelling also have their grandson's birthday party on the same day. It is a huge affair. They came on Saturday to set up the tent, tables and chairs. As we were leaving for church the caterers were already there setting up for a party that started at 3:30. It is a huge affair. We think about 350 people came and went over the course of three hours. They serve a huge spread of traditional Malay food, including fruit, satay, sweets, and nasi lamak, noodles. You can eat for hours. Adam who was turning six had a spaced themed birthday party compete with crafts, science projects and an astronaut walking around. There was 38 children at the birthday party, and I have never seen so many presents for one child. They also had a ball pit and popcorn machine and a man passing out balloons. This little girl had so much fun playing with James and she was very protective of him and made everyone be careful of the baby.

This is the cut out you could have you picture taken in to go in the frame you were to decorate. James had to have his picture taken too. Even the torrential rain could not put a damper on the party. But I will say when the thunder started I was glad we were downstairs and not under the tent. Tomorrow I will post a picture of the Awalls house, it is beautiful from the outside. We moved in just after they finished a one year remodel. The inside is beautiful as well. We are well received by our neighbors and that makes us happy.

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