You gotta love the matching scowls at a stranger though.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Of course, the biggest concern for most people when considering extended rear facing, beside space in the vehicle and ease of use, is their baby's long legs. Obviously it looks like Amanda's legs are too long to sit in this position and she can't straighten her legs, but she isn't uncomfortable. Little kids are constantly curled up like pretzels. My girls are always trying to squeeze themselves into tiny boxes. In fact, that most uncomfortable position for them is to sit in a chair that's too big with their feet unsupported, like when they are forward facing in a car seat.
The Radian is well designed so that she can bend her legs or put them off to the sides. I think she would be a little more uncomfortable if she was still in Tali's seat with the raised sides.
Yes, it is snowing here today.
She actually sits by the window waiting for the garbage man to come so she can go out and bring up the empty can. You gotta love her enthusiasm.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Only four short years after we were married, Mike was asked to manage a lumber yard in a small town in North Dakota. At 24 years old, he was the youngest manager in his company. We didn't know it at the time, but the company was planning to close that yard soon. They sent Mike out there to test his mettle but the figured if he bombed it would be no big loss for them.
Well, he didn't bomb. He showed them what he was capable of and that he was willing to work hard to make a difference. As soon as an opportunity to manage back in MN opened up, they closed the ND store. We had been there for two years.
This new store was a gift. A reward for all the hard work he had done in ND. It was a successful yard in a busy area. It was also a great area full of conservative homeschooling families. We built our first house there and were there for three years. It was a difficult decision when they offered him a larger store closer to our families. But then his boss said, "If you take this job, and I assuming you will..." We figured if his boss thought he's be an idiot not to take the job, we should take it.
We've been here for seven years now. Three weeks ago we were asked to move again. Mike was asked, no, begged to go back and take on his hometown store. The store has been struggling and his bosses felt Mike was the best person to go in there and turn things around. Mike has always desired to get his hands on the store and see what he could do. He always kept on eye on the store and considered what changes might make it more profitable. But now he has five kids. And two of them are teenagers who aren't thrilled at the idea of having to make all new friends again. The other three are too little to help mom pack up a house to get ready to move. So, he hesitated.
His company had a big buying show and he was gone for three days. His bosses said they would talk to him more about it once the show ended. Mike had told me that he really felt like he was going to tell them, "No," but that I should expect a curve ball. Sure enough, the curve ball came. They want him to manage both stores. Hmmm. I'm not sure how that's going to fit into the "involved homeschooling dad" model.
The reality is that there are many people who are out of work. There are many small business owners in our area whose businesses are failing and they are struggling. Mike works in the hardest hit sector of the economy during this "economic down turn." We have been concerned about Mike's job for the last couple of years. The fact that he was asked to take on this challenge speaks volumes to his position in his company. We are thankful that he has a good job and that the company has taken care of us for all these years.
So, he said, "Yes," and began work at the new store yesterday. It's about 1 1/2 hr commute. After spending the day getting to know the crew and presenting new ideas and technology to them, he's very hopeful and excited for the opportunities for improvement. He also excited because he gets to hire his brother as an outside salesman. Usually the company doesn't allow nepotism but Mike included it in his proposal. Since his brother is currently working for the competition and has worked for Mike before, they agreed.
It's difficult to say how this is going to affect our family life overall. It will be hard to not seeing him for lunch everyday. He'll be over there two or three days a week. He may spend more time at the store here on the weekends. We will just take it one day at a time and be thankful that Mike is able to provide for our family.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
My mom taught Amanda about jumping into the pool and she's very brave. On this trip she was really jumping. She still wants somebody to hold a hand out to her but she doesn't really need to be caught.
Which is great since I only have one hand free and can't really catch her. She usually grabs onto my hand with both hands and I could pull her up if she got into trouble.
She jumped and jumped and jumped while mom and I tried to catch a picture of her in mid-air. It's really tricky with an automatically adjusting digital camera and I really didn't have the time or a free hand to play around with the settings. Because Christiana never left my side, of course.
The boys shot hoops and did jumps in the bigger, colder lap pool. One day while we were at the pool there was a woman swimming laps near the edge that's close to the little activity pool. All Tali could see was her hands popping up after each stroke. She watched the hands going back and forth across the length of the pool totally perplexed. It was so funny!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Then the fan on top of the new heater was out of balance so it was VERY loud. The first time Amanda was in the laundry room when that started up she ran screaming from the room.
She has just recently started coming into the laundry room again and edging closer to the water heater. Where she discovered this:
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The following email conversation started with this picture and the email subject: Trumpeter Swans?
Me: "We watched at least two flocks of these birds fly over our house. At first I thought they were geese but the sound was different. Amanda talked about some other birds,too. I wish I could remember how she described them but it was funny, of course. But it had something to do with them making noise. We've been hanging out on deck with the sliding door open."My mom: "Am studying my bird book and have asked for help on the birds." Me: "They are trumpeter swans I'm sure. Click on the photo and zoom in. Long necks." http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Trumpeter_Swan/sounds "This was the sound. I have it recorded on video too." My mom (several minutes later): "Of course they are trumpeters!! I was looking at them BACKWARDS! Silly me!" That's when I noticed the discription she had sent to the local bird expert: "Flying over [our town] area. Short necks, black heads, long trailing legs? Not Trumpeters, not snow geese. Not pelicans or gulls or Egrets." Perhaps, it was the late hour or maybe we're just bird geeks, but it made me laugh out loud. Maybe I should have sent the video first! :) The bird expert did respond that they were probably tundra swans since the flocks were so large and he had seen hundreds of them in the past week too.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
But baby birds do not wait quietly or patiently between bites. The squawk loudly and frantically as if they fear they are going to starve to death.
Yes, at some meals, all three little girls act like baby birds.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Those hills are MUCH steeper than they appear in the photos. I often jog with Amanda so she can experience a little speed. She is really good about pedaling while I'm pulling her uphills so it's not like hauling dead-weight. Except when she thinks she's funny and stands on the brakes.
The leash is probably a 15 ft retractable. It is looped and clipped around the seat post of her bike. Amanda lifts up her foot when I switch to helping her up the hills. It's great that it's retractable so that as she speeds up or slows down the leash doesn't get tangled in her tires but I think a 10 ft retractable would be better so she stays closer to the stroller. (I have to thank one of my neighbors for the idea. It's brilliant.)