Friday, December 18, 2009

Dr. Strong





Thursday, November 19, 2009

Josh Passed!

Josh had his doctorate defense yesterday.  It was a crazy day with a few technical bumps but despite it all Josh passed with flying colors! There are a few changes to be made in his paper by December 2nd and then we are officially done.  Woot Woot! 

A few of the bumps:
  • We missed the IT people with the projector and had to call them back up to the room (11th floor tower overlooking the stadium).  They were late.
  • Two of Josh's committee members were late.  One eventually responded to a phone call and made it but the other had made a schedualing error and couldn't come.
  • Josh didn't have a laser pointer and ended up using a fire poker (a lot heavier and more menacing than a little lazer, to say the least).
  • Because of the late start they got kicked out of the room before they were done questioning Josh and they had to all squeeze in an ancient small elevator and go to a different room.
  • The whole process took longer than expected so Josh and I didn't get to go celebrate like we had planned.  I had to run home and get the boys from my friend and Josh had a group meeting at work.  We still haven't been able to properly celebrate but are very relieved and excited that he passed.

Thank you for your support and prayers.  We have felt of your love and greatly appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

From one Stress to the Next

Phew!  We all survived the wedding.  Everything came together really well in the end.  The bride and groom were married and happy, my mother did an AMAZING job decorating the cultral hall, and everyone had a great time at the reception (especiallly Elijah and Sam).

I will admit it was VERY stressful trying to get everything finished.  It didn't help that I was really missing my husband too.  It was all worth it though to be there for my sister.  I am so happy for her and Bryce. 

Well, now we can focus on the other things that are stressing us right now...

Josh has officially submitted his discertation to his defence committee members.  He's working on setting up his defence for the 18th (in TWO weeks!).  He is stressed trying to make final changes and get all the paperwork in order to graduate.  It's created a lot of tention having us be so stressed about it.  We will be SO glad when it is all done.

On top of that Northrup Grumman has hooked us up with the relocation company that will be taking care of our move to Maryland.  They have been emailing and calling trying to get us set up with the moving company, temporary housing, a trip to MD to look for housing, etc.  Apparently I don't have to pack a single box, they'll do it all for us, but it is stressful getting everything coordinated and I still have to go through everything and get rid of what we don't want/need.  I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.   I will be very grateful when January rolls around and all of this will be behind us, but then there will be more adventures in store for us, to be sure.

(oh I do have a lot of pictures on my camera but the camera cord hasn't turned up yet from our trip to Utah... I'm still trying to dig us out of mounds of laundry etc... I'll get them up eventually!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Busy Beautiful FALL

I am currently at my parents' house helping with the final plans for my sister's wedding (or "wetting" as Elijah often calls it).  I haven't been here during the Fall for a few years now.  The beauty of the area takes my breath away.  My parents live on the side of a mountain in a thickly wooded community.  This week the leaves have been peaking in colors of yellow, orange, and red.  It is absolutely stunning!  The sun would reflect off of the golden leaves into my mother's kitchen and make the whole room glow.  My brother Mat took Anna's bridal photos Saturday amid the beautiful trees.  The pictures are gorgeous!  I'm jealous!

 Last night a strom blew through and this morning the whole scene was changed with the ground coated with crunchy golden leaves, the dark bare branches silloetted agaisnt the gold of the remaining leaves, and the wind churning the leaves into the air around you.  I am jealous of those who get to live here all the time and are able to view the changing of the seasons is such an intimate way.  (Granted there is the leaf clean up that does come with it.  My dad is not looking forward to the hours it's going to take him to collect all the leaves.)

My mom, Anna, and I are all feeling overwhelmed with the wedding plans right now.  I'm confident that things will all come together though.  I'm excited to see it all come together.  It's a beautiful time of year to get married though it comes with more than its share of stresses.  I'm not sure Anna would recommend getting married in the middle of a school semester and marching band commitements.  She is stressed enough without the stresses that come with getting married.  Well, we each have our lists and slowly we are working through the final details.  We get excited everytime we get to cross something off our list!  Tomorrows another day with much to do!

(I have cute pictures of the boys on my camera.  I'll get them up when I get a chance!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ABC's

Sam has been singing an abbriviated version of the ABC song for a few weeks now, over and over.  It goes something like this:
"ABCD F a G next a sing with me"

This morning he got past the letter G and actually sang the whole song totally surprising Josh and I.  Sam's version now goes like this:
"ABCD F a G HIJK L a P QRS TUV WX Y and Z, now I know a ABC's next a sing with me"

I'm going to try and catch it on my camera but I have to clean off some pictures first so I have room. 

Saturday, October 3, 2009

DINOTRUX rule our world

Sam and I have been spending a lot of time at the library since school started.  On our first trip we found a book we fell in love with, DINOTRUX by Chris Gall.  If you have boys this is the book for you.  It is a very creative mix of dinosaurs and trucks.  Sam begs to read it every day, often more than once.  Now when we are driving down the road and pass a truck Sam and Elijah get all excited and try to figure out which DinoTrux it is.  Sam will even quote parts of the book back.  It will be a sad day when we have to take Dinotrux back to the library.  I think this one will shortly be added to our permenant collection.
I was looking for images to put on the blog and ended up finding a "book trailer" for Dinotrux.  I didn't know such things existed.  It's even done by the original author/illustrator.   Sam is now begging to watch it over and over.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Riding Bikes


My blog has been notably lacking pictures lately.  I made a point of grabbing the camera today when we took the boys out to ride their bikes in the parking lot.  I found Sam a bike at a consignment store last week and he is loving it.  He is SO proud of it and is doing really well at learning how to pedal and steer.  Elijah is quickly learning how to ride his bike too.  (We've been slacker parents and haven't given him many opprotunites to ride).  The boys had a great time riding around and around the parking lot.  Eventually they got tired.  Sam stopped his bike and I offered to help him get going again, because he often gets stuck and can't turn the pedals and start again, but he said "Mo my bike is resting." 


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Officially Kid FREE!

Today is Sam's first day of preschool!  That means that for 2.5 hours twice a week I will officially be kid free! I am just in awe. 

Sam has been SO ready to go to school and this week we got word that there was grant funding to pay for him to go.  He just went trotting into class today so excited to be there.  He was tripping over himself being shy for a minute or so but as soon as he got over to the sensory table he was all in.  My baby is all grown up! [BIG SIGH]

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Research Mode

Well my brain is in overload.  With the job offer from Maryland Josh and I have been doing a lot of research about the area and the offer.  I came out of the library the other day with a big arm load of books on job offers, credit scores, morgages, house hunting, etc.  We've also been doing a lot of research online.  I have learned A TON but I know there is so much more we need to figure out before we dive into anything. I've got a lot of reading still ahead of me.

Some of the websites that I have found very helpful include:

http://www.zillow.com/ is a real estate website that gives you the values of surrounding houses and lets you search a map for homes for sale in your price range.  It also gives a simple overveiw of the area.  It is a very user friendly site.

http://www.homefair.com/ I have yet to explore all that this website has but today I used their salary calculator which showed me what the median salary was for a job nationwide compared with a specific area. (I was able to compare salaries between here and baltimore).  They also have a cost of living calculator and school reports.

http://www.city-data.com/ has a webpage for most every city in the country.  Includes statistics about the residents, cost of living, income, schools, etc.  There are a lot of graphs and charts.  They also have a helpful forum.

Are there any resources you have used and would suggest to hlelp with buying your first home, relocation, etc?

Friday, September 4, 2009

He got the JOB!

Josh got a job offer from Northrup Grumman this week!  They called last week out of the blue and said they were interested in Josh and would be sending us a job offer.  We are very excited.  It is really nice to be wanted.  We are waiting to see what happens with IBM but more likely than not we will be moving to Maryland come January.  (SCARY!)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm feeling SO blessed

Some many things have started to come together this week and I am feeling overwhelmed with gratitude. 

I have made contact with a fellow genealogist who is breaking down walls and filling in holes for me on a line that has long been my "problem child".  I am so grateful that she is willing to share her information, scan her documents and pictures and email them to me.  I am so grateful that we have made contact and that the Spirit of Elijah is touching both of us.

Yesterday morning (at 5:30am to be precise) I was able to go to the temple with a group from my ward to do baptisms for the dead.  We were on the road before the sun came up and it was just beginning to shine as we entered the temple.  With my recent research I have been able to fill in some holes and had prepared names to take to the temple.  (If you have new.familysearch.org active in your area look at it, use it, it is an amazing tool to see what work has been done for your ancestors and what work still needs to be done.  It makes it so simple to then take their names to the temple.)  I chose to do the work for my great aunt and saved the other cards to take to Utah so that my family can share in the blessing of doing the work.  As I was doing the work for my great aunt and names for a friend in the ward the sun started to shine through the stained glass windows into the baptistry.  ...  The Spirit of temple work is so real!  The Spirit of Elijah is real and guides us and urges us as we search out our ancestors.

Things are starting to work out for where we will be after graduation.  I still don't have details but things are beginning to solidfy amid the haze that is currently our future.  Hopefully we will know in the near future.  

I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who is mindful of me, who loves me, who knows my future and has a plan for me, who gives me strength inspite my complaining.  I really am so blessed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

For those not on Facebook...

Josh finally got a bite from one of the dozen + jobs/post docs he sent is CV (aka resume) to.  He is flying out to New York on Tuesday for an interview with IBM in Yorktown Heights.  Wish him luck! We are pretty excited.  We'll see what happens and I'll be sure to keep you posted.

(and yes, we still haven't had word from the job at Northrup Grumman he interviewed for back in July :S )

1st day of School

Elijah was super excited to start up school again. He gets to go four days a week in the afternoons. His class is once again all boys and he actually ended up having the same teacher as he did last year, Miss Sarah. Sam was convinced that he would get to stay and go to school too. Needless to say he melted when we dropped of Elijah and he realized that wasn't the case. Luckily he hasn't melted everyday.
I got the camera out to catch a picture of Elijah all ready to go to school. Pretty soon the other boys (Sam and Josh) joined in the fun of taking pictures. It just happened that our clothes all matched that day. I have some pretty cute, goofy boys.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Family Photos

My brother Mat took some family pictures while we were out there last month. I'm excited with the way they turned out. I offically have the cutest family!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How could I forget?

I forgot to mention two big milestones that are going on right now. Elijah is learning how to read and Sam is potty training!

Elijah is having a lot of fun learning to read. He has a chart that he puts stickers on as he finishes a book. I went out and got him a prize for when he finishes the chart. He wanted Star Wars Legos. It is so hard to believe that he is bridging into Star Wars and Legos. Those are things for big boys. I guess my little boy is growing up. He can't open the box until he finishes his reading chart but that doesn't stop him from playing with them. He will play with the box making shooting noises and fly it around the house. He's a pretty silly kid with a good imagination.

Potty training Sam has been a night and day difference than Elijah. There hasn't been any fighting, crying, screaming, etc. that was part of the LONG potty training saga of Elijah (oh the nightmares!). Part of it is that I have learned to be more patient and part of it is just Sam. He's doing pretty well though we are still a ways from declaring him potty trained. His big triamph was going poops in the potty last night! The thought of no more diapers is so exciting!

Goodness... Time has flown

It's been in the back of my head for a while now that I need to update by personal blog but I didn't realize that I haven't written since the 10th. Goodness, what have I been up to?

Thats a good question and the answer is nothing much. If you follow me on facebook you probably know that I really hurt my back (probably a herniated disk) and was in a world of pain for a couple weeks. It pretty much knocked me out and everything was back burnered. I'm finally feeling a lot better now, though not quite back to normal yet.

The boys have been troopers keeping themselves occupied and making a disaster of the house, which I have finally caught back up on. Elijah started preschool yesterday and gets to go four days a week this year. He is super excited to be back and see his friends from last year and make new ones. The challenge is that Sam is DYING to go to school too and melts every time we have to drop off Elijah. I hope he gets over that soon or its going to be a L-O-N-G year.

Still no word about jobs for Josh. He has contacted a dozen or so groups doing quantum computing and has gotten a few maybes back but nothing solid. AHHHH! I'm going a bit nuts! I want something, anything, anywhere (within the US), and I want to know yesterday. It has been a true test of my patience and faith. I know things will work themselves out but I'm having a hard time with the timing. Deep breath... things will work out. Meanwhile Josh is steadily working on his dissertation and he will be graduating in December (Hallelujah!). We just don't know where we will be after that. :)

I've been keeping myself busy with crochet projects, family history and long distance wedding planning. I've actually made contact with some distant cousins working on the same line (all three of us)! I am very excited to collaborate with them. I'm hoping to break through on the Daniel and Daniels lines soon. I've also been posting pictures and information from my trip to my grandma's on my family history blog.

Well, I think that catches us up. I have a few pictures on the camera to upload, but that will have to be later. Sam is craving some attention.

Have a happy day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Long Awaited Beach Party

Elijah has become quite a party planner. If you have talked to him recently he has probably talked you ear off about plans for his beach party. He has been talking about it since April planning games, invitations, decorations and even the food.

While we were in Utah we finally had the long awaited and anticipated Beach Party. Elijah was in heaven. I don't think he was disappointed. Thanks Mom for all your help!
First we all got dressed for the occasion. Even Abby the dog got her hula skirt on.

















































Then it was on to the games. Thanks to pandora we were able to find some good hula songs. Bekah and Rachel taught my boys how to dance. We also played
coconut bowling (which turns out to be a good way to crack a coconut), musical towels (where you lay out the towls on the grass and walk around while the music is going and when it stops you race to find a towl to sun bathe on), water gun fight, and beach volleyball.

video
























After the fun and games it was time to light the VOLCANO Cake. This was a big part of Elijah's initial plans. I have seen many pictures of volcanos over the past few months. Grammie and Elijah made it together with some help from Sam. It was a white cake with pineapple added, cooked in a bunt cake pan. Chocolate frosting turned it into a dirty mountain and white frosting dyed red and orange became the lava. A bunch of candles in the middle and we had an erupting volcano cake. Elijah was very proud of the end result.








Elijah is already throwing around ideas for the next party. He hasn't settled on a paticular theme yet but I'm sure he will soon enough. My kid knows how to PARTY!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sam Man Says...

The other day Sam brought up his teeth. For some reason he was talking to Josh about going to the store and buying teeth. Josh explained to him that we didn't buy his teeth he grew them. Sam misheard him and thought he said "glue" which when Sam says it sounds more like "blue." Sam then said. "You don't blue your teeth, that would be yucky." Josh needed an interpreter for that one. Toddlers think the funniest things.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Where have I Been? Finding Buried Treasure!

Well, pretty much everywhere. This month I've been to the Denver airport four times and drove across state lines twice. I was living out of a suitcase for three weeks and home long enough to do laundry and then fill it again. It's been a crazy month of travel and time away from my hubby but I really had a good time (other than the away from hubby part but it has been a lot of fun to be with him again, distance does make the heart grow fonder even after 6 years of marriage).

So what's happened since my last post? Goodness... where do I begin?

I FINALLY, after 5 years of talking about it and trying to figure it out, made it to Minnesota to visit my Grandma and my Aunt and her family. It was long overdue and I am so grateful that it worked out that I could go. It was a very worthwhile trip. It was so good to see my grandma and to be her guest and get the royal treatment (which ment being offered hostess cakes and pop every couple of hours). My grandma is a sweet, kind and self-sacrificing woman. She will be 84 on her birthday next month. It was also wonderful to see my aunt and uncle who I haven't seen since my wedding and my cousins who I haven't seen in just about as long or longer. My aunt and I stayed up too late most nights just talking.


I went out there with a goal to take note of and steps to preserve the family heirlooms, photos, and documents in my grandma's hands. It turned out to be a bit more work than I thought it would be. It was literally buried. I went through just about every nook and cranny of her basement apartment, 27 years worth of stuff, looking for family photos and turning up all sorts of interesting things (along with a lot of garbage like bank statements from the 80's). In the end it was very rewarding. I was able to pull together a lot of her original photos some from the mid 1800's, as well as funeral cards, obituaries, my grandpa's honorable discarge, marriage certificates and notices, birth records, and much more. A GOLD MINE! I then set to work to scan it all and then put it in a binder so it will all be in one place. My goal is to share the stuff I found on my family history blog in the months to come. It's going to take me awhile, I came away with about 600 images between scans and photos I took of heirlooms that my aunt and grandma have as well as a stack of old family group sheets to go through. I was also able to take along a digital recorder and record some of our conversations.

In addition to family history items I found a stash of personal history items for myself. My grandma had a lot of my family photos that my mother doesn't have copies of (including ones of my brother Daniel) as well as original art work from when I was 2 years old on up.


If any of you have older relatives I would strongly encourage going through their stuff with them. I came across a few items that only have meaning when you know their history and that history will be lost unless someone takes the steps to preserve it. It was also nice to talk to my aunt who knew her grandparents and was able to tell me stories too. It is a very rewarding thing to do (though I might be a bit biased being a family history buff).


Picture is of my grandma at my grandpa's grave.


I wasn't out their nearly long enough. I could have stayed a few more days. As it was I was working down to the end trying to get this recorded. I hope to make it out there again soon. I hope with my boys in tow.


-----------------------------------
After my Minnesota trip I had an evening to do laundry and then Josh and I were off to Utah to pick up our boys the next day. We got to see Josh's family for Pioneer Day and then had the long awaited beach party at my parents before driving home again. More posts on that to come!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Josh's Hat

Josh and I got to spend the day together on Thursday. We went up to Estes Park to play around and then to Loveland to catch Harry Potter at the movie theater. I had promised Josh a hat for our anniversary. He wanted a fishing/hiking hat with a wider brim but I was too chicken to pick one out without his help so we were on a mission while in Estes Park to find a hat. After trying on a gazillion hats Josh finally decided on one that inspires him to sing the Indiana Jones theme song. It is a rather nice looking hat though I don't have a picture of it. I did get a shot of Josh in another hat that he wasn't interested in buying but humored me enough to try it on.
Josh with a full head of hair complete with highlights. Isn't he handsome!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Okay, I'm weird...

But I thought the slug was super cool so I have video of it too. They can acutally move pretty fast and stretch out even more as they are going and their antenae come out.

video

Utah Adventures

I've made it back to Colorado and tomorrow I fly to Minnesota to visit my grandma.

I promised pictures of our family picnic on Saturday (the day Anna and Bryce got engaged). There is a picnic area up Spanish Fork Canyon, down Diamond Fork where there are a lot of red rocks similar to the ones Josh and I saw in Southern Utah last year on our trip to Escalante. They are very stunning and the boys had a grand time climbing around. Sam has no fear, he was very confident climbing all over the rocks, taking no thought of possibly falling.

Group shot on a ledge


Anna and Bryce























We found a catepillar on the sandy ground. The boys were facinated with it.


































After it got dark we started a fire and made smores. Mat and his friend Cassie made a massive smore with four or five layers of grahm crackers.

It was a great family outing. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to have Josh there with us.


Yesterday my boys had great fun playing around in my parents yard. They enjoy jumping in the trampoline and playing in the tree house. My mom was going through the house trying to find stuff that the boys would like in the tree house. She ended up taking out a table and chairs and some snacks for the boys. They loved it. I went out and got some pictures and while I was down there I made sure to get some pictures of the MASSIVE slugs living under a cardboard box at the foot of the tree. We are talking MASSIVE! I've seen pictures of banana slugs and sea slugs and those are very big, but I have never seen just an average slug the size of Sam's shoe. I was amazed. Odd things hang out in the woods around my parents house.