Thursday, March 27, 2008

One of these things is not like the other...

Moving Helper

Jed's learning to take care of his own laundry.


He particularly loves "helping" pack dad's bathroom items. Which entails going behind mom, pulling everything out of the box, carting items around the house and depositing them in various hidey hole locations as "surprises" for Mom and Dad.




In the new house, Jed busily inspects mom's new kitchen cupboards. He seems to approve.

Walking Jed

Jed started taking his first steps last week! He doesn't walk on his own too often, though, since he can already instantaneously move across any space, no matter how large, with his power-crawl. His Grandpa Gary got him some squeaky shoes to encourage walking and to help his momma keep track of her disapparating son. Here is Michael helping Jed practice his leg action.
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Almost In

We've been staying in our new house since Monday, even though our furniture won't be moved in until Friday. I just couldn't wait, though, so we moved the bed and all the stuff in last Saturday and Monday. So far, aside from a small clogged kitchen sink issue, I am totally in love with our new house. Here are ten reasons why (in no particular order):

10.A toilet paper holder - for the FIRST TIME since we've been married! Hallelujah!

9. The house temperature measures precisely the same everywhere in the house (I've checked), and that temperature is precisely the number set on the thermostat.

8.More kitchen cupboard space than I've ever dreamed of. Approximately five times more than our last apartment.

7. Big windows and glass storm doors bring the sunshine in, filling the house with light. Jed loves standing at the glass doors to look outside while banging his sticky hands and rubbing his drooly mouth joyously at passing chipmunks.

6. Room to stretch out and lay on the floor in almost every room of house. Wow have my expectations been low, lately.

5. In our old apartment, even a small storm seemed to blow right through the walls and make the whole house shake. Also, you always knew it was raining when water started running down the front wall. In our new house, you can't hear the wind blow at all, even in the midst of a gale. It was pouring last night and I didn't even know until Michael came in soaking wet.

4. A carport!

3. I was nervous about the 50+ year old range, but it's the best, hottest, and fastest heating range I've ever had! And the brushed stainless steel looks retro rad with its matching cover.

2. Miracle of the Oven: ALL my cookie sheets fit, by some miracle, in that ittie bittie space. Even the big pizza pan.

1. Trees everywhere, I can see the river from the front yard, and birds sing in chorus every morning. Except I can't hear them through my double paned windows with double paned storm doors. Did I mention that this house is awesome?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hurrah!

We're officially home owners!
We are currently in transit.
Regularly scheduled blog maintenance will return as soon as possible.

Wahoooooooooooooo!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Run Of Luck

Some of you may not yet be aware that I am transforming into an athletic goddess.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear the snickers from my family, who all clearly remember the days when I used to fall down the stairs regularly, causing undue bodily harm to myself, others, and inanimate objects. I will have you know that it has been almost a week since I last fell down the stairs. And my laptop, and the baby, are just fine since "the incident," thanks for asking.

Seriously, though, it's true, on paper I now look like a majorly health-conscious babe. Somehow, a few weeks ago, I got suckered into leading a yoga routine for a Relief Society Retreat. Again and again I tried to explain that I look like a total fool doing yoga, that my legs don't really, well, straighten, that I have no sense of balance, that those watching might never actually know what the poses should look like. But my protestations were to no avail, this member of the Relief Society Presidency was convinced that I was the only person in the ward who could help her out and used her evil mind tricks to make me say yes.


Then the retreat was cancelled. By then, however, I'd already been practicing for two weeks, and daily reciting positive affirmations while stretching my steel bands of hamstrings, so when I realized I didn't have anything worthwhile planned for the women's Tuesday morning group I organize that week... so we declared it yoga day. Fortunately, my morning group friends are extremely forgiving, and though much of our time was spent yelling across the gym at wild hooligan children, or shaking off monkeys who think their parents are playground equipment, they all declared that our half hour was a) unmiserable, and b) invigorating. That seemed good. Later that week there was some moaning of soreness, also a positive sign. Several weeks later, when I suggested that someone else should take a stab at leading an activity, the unanimous vote was, much to my surprise, we should do yoga more often.

So, now I am a once-a-month "yoga instructor." OK, not officially, but I claim the title nontheless because every time I say it I start to giggle. Seriously, these women must be DESPERATE.

Meanwhile, my friend Kirsten over at the House of Tiny Terrors invited me to join her in participating in.... bum ba da dum.... a 7k RACE! I laughed and politely declined, seeing as how I don't "do" running. She laughed and said she would be walking the race, pushing her baby, and I was welcome to come walk along. I could hardly turn that down, and so I accepted. This past weekend, therefore, I donned my tennis shoes, three layers of shirts, a professional-looking paper number on my back, and a cool electronic timer attached to my laces, and entered my FIRST RACE! The Evansville Run of Luck for Easter Seals.

The day arrived exceedingly wet and chill, so we walked sans children, which was actually quite nice (Michael, by the way, did a fantastic job having baby all to himself for half the day. He's really a fantastic daddy. Jed doesn't miss me at all when he's got his cool dad around.) I'd never realized what a cultural event a St. Patrick's Day race can be. "The Centre" (Yes, the European spelling, complete with cheesy hard-to-read cursive is emblazoned across the local Evansville convention center. Talk about classy.) was packed full of enthusiastic green-attired and athletic looking folk, all psyched to a fevered pitch and rocking out to live traditional Celtic tunes. Really, it was a blast. I was wet and happy as can be. Excllent conversation made the time fly, and before I knew it I was traipsing across the finish line. My time? A personal best! I proudly proclaimed this with fist punching to the sky as the soaked and slightly miserable looking timer looked at his stopwatch and unenthusiastically announced that I was somewhere in the 90 minute area. I thought I was hilarious. He didn't seem to appreciate my humor. Oh well. Some people.

So there it is. I am a yoga instructor and I enter races. Impressed, aren't you? You can wipe that smirk off your face, now, and leave the room.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

IN: Suspicious package turns out to be turnip

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A raw turnip was at the root of a bomb scare that last for hours at a Fort Wayne law office.
An employee at Haller & Colvin Attorneys at Law called police Thursday after opening a U.S. Postal Service box and finding a suspicious gift bag inside.
Officers then called the city's bomb unit, which brought in a robot to carry the package outside to a parking lot.
X-rays showed no signs of an explosive, but bomb technicians decided to detonate the package with a water cannon just to be safe.
After that, they opened the box and found the turnip, wrapped in lettuce-green tissue paper inside a sandwich bag.
It was unclear who was supposed to receive the vegetable.

I've never had more fun reading the news than I do here in Indiana....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Long Winter

Rose Hill Cemetery


View from the window at Michael's workplace

On the way home from work

Yet Another Good Reason...

Most of you know we're a little homeschool nuts in our family. My mom grilled Michael on it the first time he ever met my family, and he held up well. Since then he's gotten on the bandwagon and we can't wait until Jed has enough cognitive ability that we can start turning him into a nerd.

We've been following this week's events in California with interest. Along those lines, I found this interesting statistic, which I think encapsulates our family's experience more than any other:

'In a survey of adults who had been homeschooled for at least seven years, 59 percent said they were "very happy" with life, while only 27.6 percent of the general population said that they were "very happy" with life.'

Sounds like socialization worked out, after all.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Good Weekend

We've got big smiles and happy hearts this Monday morning. Here's why:

1) Michael got a bonus! Not a huge one, since he'd only been working at the company for a month and a half, and less than a week in his area, when they did the interview. But hey, it's still a bonus! Several people asked us what we were going to do with it. Haha silly people. The mortgage already has dibs on all unexpected income for the next three months.

2) Michael got a raise! Not a huge one (see the aforementioned reasons), but a happy raise nonetheless. Especially since everyone (including his boss) told him there was no way he'd get one for at least another year. Yippee!

3) Michael didn't have to go snow camping! Michael's been the 11-y-o scout leader for the last few months and this past weekend was his first scheduled campout. Not that he doesn't like camping, but camping in snow and freezing rain with a bunch of kids who most likely don't even own a warm jacket (crazy Southerners) doesn't sound like all that fun. Fortunately, 11 inches of snow between there and here took care of that.

4) Michael got to come home early! The abovementioned snow allowed M to work from home Friday afternoon. Hooray for snow days! We haven't had a full week of school or work here in, gee, a month? We could get used to this.

5) Dentist visits all around for teeth cleaning... and no cavities, no gum grafts, no twisty tools of horror. We got back pats and free toothbrushes, wahoo!

6) Funny books to read aloud and giggle together, comfort food, and snuggles made up the rest of Friday evening. MmmMmm!

7) Breakfast in bed on Saturday!

8) Helping our friends move, Michael got to throw a fridge down two flights of stairs. Did you know that fridges can bounce? I think that was his highlight of the week.

9) We sang a duet in Stake Conference on Saturday and I didn't pass out.

10) Stake Conference was FANTASTIC!!! Amazing how five hours of church in two days can fly by.

11) Michael got set apart for his new calling in the Stake Young Men's Presidency. He glows with excitement at the prospect, his presidency seems fabulous, and I couldn't be prouder.

PS - Pictures are forthcoming. Baby sleeps in the office now so it's a little harder to get into M's hard-drives.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Cookie Monster CPR

A sneak peek into the play life of Jedster, our future ER doc.
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Truck Noises

Jed spontaneously started making truck noises a couple weeks ago. I swear I have NEVER sat down to show him how to make a truck go and make noises. He is ALL BOY!
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Love Slaps

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I finally figured out how to make my videos show up! HOORAY!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Home Can Be a Heaven On Earth Muesli

I think I've mentioned my recent obsession for pancakes. Well, I decided it was time for a change. So Saturday morning, we had home-made muesli instead.

My gosh, this is truly one of the most divine foods known to mankind. How is it I've never made this before???!!!! I'm drooling just thinking about it.

HOME CAN BE A HEAVEN ON EARTH MUESLI

The night before combine and refigerate:
2 cups cream (I substituted half milk and it was still unbelievably delicious)
2 cups rolled oats

In the morning stir in:
1 handful of nuts (We had cashews. Next time I'll try toasting them.)
2 small hanfuls of dried fruit (We used half raisins, half dried cranberries)
1 chopped apple
2 t. honey (to taste)

Eat until you float away on a cloud of unbelievable pleasure.

Other fun ideas to add/substitute:
fresh peaches
pears
bananas
strawberries
raspberries
yogurt
cinnamon
nutmeg
maple syrup
agave
walnuts
hazelnuts
almonds
millet
granola
cooked barley/wheat berries
etc.

Another fantastic thing about this breakfast is that it takes literally almost no time to prepare. Which is good on a lazy Saturday morning. I brought it all up in a huge bowl and we ate it together in bed. Hallelujah!

Spring and the Civil War

Sunday morning we awoke to warm yellow sunshine streaming in through the window. And my blankets felt awfully hot. I threw them off and... what?! It wasn't chilly at all! I sprang to the window to see what awaited, and there I saw... SPRING! It had hopped through the Ohio River Valley to remind us that there was life beyond the dreary freezing rain and slush.

In the afternoon, I begged and cajoled and batted my eyes and miraculously convinced Michael to skip his afternoon nap and instead come on a springtime trek with me. I threw on my favorite short-sleeve white cotton summer blouse, comfiest corduroy pants, and the baby, and we all went for a joyous afternoon stroll/photo-op to Rose Hill Cemetary.

Rose Hill Cemetary claims a few little rolling hills tucked away in downtown Newburgh behind a wrought iron fence. My favorite cemetaries are the old ones, with leaning headstones and washed-off scriptural tributes. We wandered among the stones and gleefully searched for the oldest, the saddest, the most beautiful, while a family of mother/daughter/son played Confederates vs. Yankees with a shiny new cannon that had been thrown in the mix as a memorial to dead patriots from many years past.

Their play seemed especially appropriate when I wandered down a small gully, past a huge pile of dead foliage from the winter storms, and around a hill to find, tucked in the corner, a plot full of old Civil War soldiers. A few flimsy flags leaned to the right and to the left, a whimsical tribute to the men who lay below. Sticking up from the soil, worn away from our recent rains, I saw tattered remnants from flags put there long, long ago, now brown with age. Several metal garbage barrels had rolled down among the debris-strewn graves, right next to a hard metal fence labeled "No Trespassing." It didn't seem the proper place for men like those to rest. I wonder if they were from the North or South. There's no telling here, right on the Mason Dixon line.

In the happy sunlight, they seemed restful there, even amid the bedraggled flags and garbage. I suppose they aren't really living here in the cemetary, anyway, and probably don't come back to visit much unless there's family to see.