Thursday, January 31, 2008

Random info

Today my good friend, Jodi came over and watched Keenan for me for a couple hours so I could get some work done on the bathroom. It was amazing! I got a Ton done (more than I ever have at one time before), so I really feel like we're making progress now! She's coming again tomorrow (she's awesome) and I'm going to start sanding the walls down. Looks like we might actually get this room painted some day soon! =)

In totally random news...

In case some of you didn't know... The candy called "Smarties" is not the same in Canada and the U.S.

In Canada, Smarties look like this:

They don't typically have peanuts in them though, this is a relatively new addition

They usually look like this

...and in the U.S. Smarties look like this:

In Canada, we call this same candy, "Rockets"

However, to my surprise, I noticed on the "U.S. Smarties package" that it said this!

Weird...

I looked up the Smarties website, and it said "Smarties are licensed to be sold in the United States and it's possessions only." Apparently these Smarties and Rockets are exactly the same candy, but they are called Rockets in Canada and the UK to avoid confusion with Nestle's chocolate Smarties. Mystery solved...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bread recipe, as requested

Whole Wheat Bread

3 c. warm water

1/3 c. honey (I used sugar since I didn't have honey)

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

2.5 c. flour

1.5 Tbsp. yeast

Mix all of these ingredients together, then cover and let sit in a warm place for 15 to 30 minutes (it will then look foamy/bubbly)

Add 1 Tbsp. salt

Add more flour as dough continues to mix. I used about 3.5 more cups more, but you may need more. (Use as little as possible though, extra flour will make the bread really heavy). When the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, let it knead for about 5-8 more minutes. At this point the dough should be smooth and stretchy (so that you can stretch a piece of it between your thumb and index finger until it's almost translucent).

Take dough out of bowl and divide between two greased bread pans. Let rise about one hour (or until double in size).

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (mine took less time).

Enjoy!

Tofu, anyone?

Yes, you read that right, I said tofu! I, Joia, cooked a meal using tofu today! I bought it yesterday (it's actually pretty cheap!), thinking I'd see if Keenan liked it, since it would be easy for him to eat, and it's a good source of protein. He doesn't like the feel of it in his hands, but if I mix it into other stuff, he doesn't notice that it's there.

Anyway, I didn't figure he was going to eat the whole package I bought, so I went searching online today for some tofu recipes that I could use some of it in. I discovered that you can use it many different ways, but liked the idea of marinating it and using it in a stir fry. Here's how that went:


The tofu in my "secret marinade" (aka, a mish mosh of anything I could think of to put in it)

Browning the tofu

Toss in some veggies...

... and voila! A tasty tofu stir fry (served over brown rice)

"... that's all the time we've got today folks! This has been Experimenting in the Kitchen with Joia, tune in next time to see Joia make creme brulee!" (That's a joke).

Baking bread

Well, I've done it! I made my first two loaves of bread today! (Well, not actually my first two loaves Ever, but my first two non-white loaves of bread). The loaf we're finishing from the store may be our last store bought one for a long time!

I used the dough hooks on my mixer to mix the dough (it's soo much easier than doing it all by hand!) and got a lot of helpful tips from Laura S. I called her several times during the process, once to double check on the amount of yeast, (after I had already mixed it in), only to discover that I had put one and a half teaspoons not Tablespoons! Fortunately, I was able to just add the rest of the yeast, and it turned out fine!

Here's the finished product:


It actually even tastes pretty good. I had one piece with butter, and then another one with some of my mom's homemade peach jam, mmmm.... Keenan even likes it and gobbled down half a slice - yay!

Betty Crocker, step aside... (LOL)

Life Lessons from the Loo

So, project "bathroom makeover" continues... I worked in their for quite a while last night, and it seems like the more I do, the more stuff I uncover that is going to make more work before we can paint. There are at least four places where they wallpapered directly on top of new drywall, so the wallpaper can't be removed without also tearing up the drywall... so annoying! They also did a poor job of taping the edges of the new drywall, so Philip will have to try and fix that. These facts, added to the heat from the steamer, and the effort it takes to scrape the nasty stuff off meant I was getting Pretty cranky...

(These first couple of pictures aren't very clear because of all the moisture in the air)

I think right about now I was grumbling, "I hate it, I hate it all!"

Not really the safest position to be in, balanced over the bathtub, (while trying not to drip boiling hot water on my toes), holding up the steamer with one hand, and scraping with the other...

Shaking the gunk off the scraper for the millionth time...

During this process I have wished (and we had actually tossed the idea around a bit), that we could just rip all the drywall down, redo it, and then paint. However, although that would save us a lot of scraping, that wouldn't really be a super easy project itself, and would take quite a bit of time and money as well. I just keep wishing there was an easier way! Grrr...

As you can see, this whole situation was Not making me a very joyful or nice person. After a lot of inward grumbling (and some verbal grumbling to Philip...poor guy), I decided that I was just being a grumpy old wimp, who wasn't seeing the big picture and just wanted a way out.

It reminded me of a time back in high school (was that Really ten years ago?), when I was in cross country. I was running a race in London, Ontario, and this particular race had a lot of steep up and downhill running. I'm not really sure why I joined cross country (and ran for two years), because I'm really not a runner... my body really doesn't agree with running for long periods of time. Anyway, about half or three quarters of the way through my race, I started to hyperventilate pretty badly. Running and not being able to breath don't really make a great combination, and by the time my coach came up beside me, I was starting to drop back in the race and was in tears. She said something like "I think you can do this, but it's up to you, if you want to stop, it's your choice". Unfortunately, I took the easy way out that day and dropped out of the race. I remember it like it was yesterday and I think about it all the time. To this day, it is one of the biggest regrets I have. That might seem silly, because the significance of that one race, compared to my whole life, isn't that great, but the feeling of failure, of not "knuckling down and finishing the job" has not been worth it.

So, what does all of that have to do with my bathroom? Well, I think it's kind of the same thing. I've hit a hard spot, and I just want it to be done. When I stopped for a break last night, I was thinking "Wow, Joia, your attitude about this whole thing really stinks, and it is going to need to change or this bathroom is going to get the best of you!" I decided then (although my attitude didn't change right then), that I was Not going to let a stupid bathroom get the better of me! I was going to see this project through to the end and kick it's butt! =)

I also started to think about the many things that I should be thankful for... 1. That I even Have a bathroom.. two of them, even! 2. That we are able to afford to redo it so it looks nicer. 3. That I am healthy and able to work on it myself. 4. That I have a husband willing to watch Keenan (and do the dishes), so that I can work on it uninterrupted. 5. For a God who cares about little stuff like this. 6. For Him giving me the perseverance to see this through.

The Lord must have known I needed a "pick me up", because the last part that I was working on last night (the part over the bathtub on the back wall), went incredibly fast and was fairly easy! What a nice change that was!

All of this rambling has been to say that, through this experience, I think I have learned some valuable lessons, and (I hate to say it but) this whole thing has good for me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Healthy stuff...

It's a beautiful, warm (67) day today! A nice change from the cool weather we've been having...

Last night when Philip got home, Keenan and I had just about had enough of each other, (and Philip had the car with both strollers in it). When we got home we all went for a walk in the dark to "cool off", literally and figuratively. It was nice, and it was just what I needed. =)

Philip started a rotation at the hospital in Fort Walton Beach today. He had to be there at 6:15! Yuck! That made for an early start for us! =0/

Today we picked up Wendi (who we hadn't seen since New Year's Eve!) and went to the lunch at Jodi's house. Jodi made us Delicious omelets, and we had biscuits, fruit and dessert as well. I came home, fully intending to tackle the bathroom again, but was so exhausted, that I went to bed while Keenan napped. I think I'm going to have to start staying up late to work on it or something, because I really need to try and get the scraping done before the weekend, so Philip can fix the holes so it can be painted next week.

I'm doing a lot of thinking about healthy eating these days... My friend, Laura, down the street is part of an organic food co-op, that I'm thinking about joining. (She says it's actually cheaper to get produce that way than in the store, and it's better for you, so it seems like a smart deal). I'm also thinking about baking our own bread. It seems like it would be cheaper, And we'd be able to avoid all the extra preservatives, etc. that's in store bought bread.

High fructose corn syrup... lots of hype about that these days, and it seems to be in everything! I'm trying to decide whether we should totally try and avoid it, or if it's not a "killer" in moderation. An article by Mayo Clinic didn't seem to indicate that they thought it was "the worst thing you could put in the human body", like I heard a health nut on the radio say the other day. It seems like avoiding pop, and concentrated fruit juices, etc... is the best thing to do. Any thoughts or opinions on this whole healthy eating thing? It can get pretty overwhelming, and I've pretty much decided that I can't completely cut out Everything that's bad for me, or I would just be drinking water, so I guess I just have to "choose my battles".

Monday, January 28, 2008

Just enjoying home

We had a really fun laid back day here at home yesterday.

We finished watching Anne of Green Gables The Sequel (which I hadn't seen in a looong time, and totally enjoyed all over!) Philip is so sweet, he has also added The Continuing Story to our Blockbuster que! I've never seen that one.
Last night we watched The Bourne Ultimatum. How's that for two totally opposite movies in one day? =) Well, it finally looks like that is going to be the last Bourne movie... we really liked all three of them.

It was such a nice day, we took Keenan for a walk around the neighborhood... the first walk we had taken all together in a while.

I learned yesterday that, an ironing board, even without an iron sitting on it, isn't safe to have set up with a mobile baby around (at least not with Our mobile baby!) I had to take a break from ironing to do something else, so I had unplugged the iron and set it in a safe place, so Keenan wouldn't pull it down on his head. A few minutes later I heard a huge Crash! I went and looked and Keenan had knocked the ironing board over...and then tried to "ride" it! LOL!

Giddy up!

Another chilly morning... look at the frost on the roof!

Here's Keenan trying to catch some bubbles..

Sunday, January 27, 2008

We've got our Philip back

Philip is back home this morning, after a fairly eventful night (including a delivery in the parking lot!) He's off to bed now for a while, so it's back to Keenan and me. =)

Last night, when we took Philip dinner, we actually got to spend some time with him for a change! We watched a bit of "Deal or No Deal" (I think people get so greedy on that show), and then Philip took us into the OB ward to meet some of the nurses he was working with. Of course, the time that I Didn't have my camera with me... Keenan was sitting on the nurse's laps, "typing" on the computer keyboard, coloring with crayons, getting a "bandage" on his wrist and head (that made him look like a ninja), playing with their flashlight, name badges, and whatever else he could get his chubby hands on. We hung out with the nurses for quite a while, even while Philip was going back and forth doing stuff. It was really fun!

Yesterday, while trying to figure out things to keep Keenan entertained, and get things done at the same time... I decided (since he had done it halfway before), that, each time I came up from the basement with a load of laundry, instead of carrying him And the basket, I'd let him climb the stairs himself! He did it Three times yesterday, without my help (I was standing right behind him, of course, so he couldn't fall). It's good practice and exercise for him, and it helps him nap well! =)

I should go and make sure Keenan isn't into anything he shouldn't be, and that he's not waking Philip up...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Posting in Pink, Pining for Philip, Pouring Precipitation, Paper Punishment and Pound cake

Keenan and I are spending the weekend "Philip-less", and it's not nearly as much fun without him!

I made a decent amount of progress scraping wallpaper during Keenan's morning nap. With the wallpaper steamer on and the door closed, the bathroom gets feeling like a sauna pretty fast, so it's hot work! Now, if I could just leave the steamer on, put my bathing suit on and find a comfy place to sit, it wouldn't be so bad... =)

It's been raining on and off all day, so by the time afternoon arrived, Keenan and I were feeling a little "cabin feverish". He had really enjoyed playing with bubbles at Sarah's house yesterday, so I decided we should venture out and get some. We found some at the local Dollar General, as well as a replacement for his "trusty lizard buddy", who after being chewed on for several months, was starting to show some signs of wear and tear, and needed to be replaced. I also got Keenan his own "cell phone", which rings and beeps when you push the buttons.

When we got back, it wasn't raining anymore, so we decided to pop over for a visit with Frank and Myrtle. Our timing couldn't have been better, as Myrtle had just taken a fresh pound cake out of the oven! She gave us a piece while it was still warm, which I (and Keenan) thoroughly enjoyed. We had a nice visit, during which Keenan danced with Myrtle, and Frank told us a story (since Keenan had his lizard there) about how he used to catch big salamanders to use as bait for catfish. Myrtle assured me that, should I ever need anything, or if I'm scared at night when Philip is gone, I can just give them a call, "because we've got a shotgun and we could get over there before 911!" =) They're so sweet... She sent us home with some oatmeal cookies and some more of the pound cake. We really do have the best neighbors ever...

Pretty soon, we'll be heading over to the hospital to take Philip his dinner, and hopefully be able to visit with him for a while.

Here's Keenan's new lizard saying "Hey!"
(he was actually falling off Keenan's head when I took the picture).
I decided to get blue this time, and maybe it wouldn't look so freakishly real...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday with friends

This morning Keenan and I left Philip home and we went to the girl's weekly lunch with Jodi, Sarah and Della. We all drove together in Sarah's van, since it was at Johanna's house, which is about 45 minutes away. Keenan and Della both napped on the way there and the way back..

While we were there, we had a delicious brunch, I banged my head on a low hanging chandelier Twice (once only 30 seconds after Sarah had! Pretty embarrassing and Painful!), Keenan stood for the first time unassisted, and we were given the largest lemons I've ever seen! They have a lemon tree in their yard that grows Huge lemons! They aren't quite as yellow as the ones in the store, but lemons they are...

Here's mine: (the Vanilla Coke is in the picture to give you an idea of the size of the lemon)

I think that's a pretty big lemon...

After we got back to base, Jodi and I hung out at Sarah's for a while, before Keenan needed to come home for a nap.

Philip is working late again tonight (until after 10), and then has to be back at the hospital at 8 tomorrow morning to start a 24 hour call shift! Poor guy... that pretty much flushes his whole weekend down the drain...

Keenan's in bed now, so I'm going to get back to my movie... g'night!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rainy wainy day...

Keenan and I went to MOPS this morning. It was our first in quite a while, with the Christmas break and us missing the first one in January since we were gone. Keenan had a good time (as usual) playing with the other babies and forced himself to stay awake the entire two and a half hours (even though he was ready to sleep when we first got there!) He was asleep by the time we left the parking lot afterwards though.. =) It was fun to reconnect with my friends there, eat some good food, and make a cool Mardi Gras mask!

After that, we went and visited Jodi (who was babysitting Della) for a while, until it was time to get Philip. (He took us home and drove back to work so I won't have to wake Keenan up at 10:30 tonight to go pick him up from work).

I got all of our Christmas pictures into a scrapbook today. Philip's mom gave me a "cheater scrapbook" I call it, for Christmas. It's a special Christmas album, and all of the pages are already decorated, you just have to add your pictures! It was awesome! Bam! I'm done!

That's about all I have to say (Oh, other than the fact that Philip apparently tolerated Anne of Green Gables so well that he wanted to see more, so he added the sequel to our Blockbuster Online list, and we started watching it last night.. lol)
Oh, also, we Loved Santa Clause 3, especially all of the Canadian stuff! =)

Here's a picture of Keenan from last night, trying out Philip's stethoscope:
"I'd much rather chew on these than put them in my ears, Mom"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, John!

The "birthday elf" struck again in the resident room... Tomorrow is John's birthday, and he's on two weeks of nights, minus his wife (who is visiting family), so it seemed like he deserved some "birthday cheer". =)

Here's the finished product, complete with a "Bratz Dolls" birthday banner and a tiara, earrings and a feather boa for the skeleton . (The uh, balloons, on the skeleton are not my doing, those were compliments of Matt!)

Happy Birthday JB!

Busy day

Well, I certainly feel productive today. I don't always feel this way, and lately I haven't felt it all that much... it seems since the beginning of the year I've been running a couple steps behind, and today, I kind of feel like I caught up! =)

This morning I made some cards, then Keenan and I: went to the bank, went and gave blood (just me, not Keenan, he just sat and took in all the adoration from everyone who came by), dropped off a movie at Blockbuster, picked up pictures at K-mart (since I've decided to no longer use Wal-Mart's services because they have proved incompetent one too many times for my liking), picked up some birthday stuff at Dollar General, went to the post office to mail some stuff and buy stamps, then came home around noon. Then we had lunch, I cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed, cleaned our bedroom, Keenan's room, the kitchen, did two loads of laundry, baked cookies, did the dishes, and now (since Keenan is napping), I'm going to attempt to get some wallpaper scraping done in the bathroom.

Ta ta!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My readers do know me well... =0)

So, no, that post about Thermodynamics was Not written by me! I don't even really know what that means, nor would I have thought up that idea in a million years! Philip thought it would be fun to make it sound like I wrote it, but I knew that no one was going to fall for that! =0)

We took Keenan to the doctor (again) today, because he has been running a fever for the last four days. We figured he had yet another ear infection, but lo and behold his ears were "in pristine condition", the doctor said. So... we have no idea why he has a fever, but she wants to see him back on Thursday if it sticks around.

We stopped in for a visit at Philip's desk before we left, and he decided to drive us home and then go back in and finish up some notes he needed to do for several patients.

I'm just getting dinner ready, and Keenan is trying to get into every cupboard he shouldn't, while we wait for Philip to come home. Other than that, all's quiet on the Dooley home front...

Monday, January 21, 2008

A very fun MLK day

It has been sooo good to have Philip home today!

This morning, he and I started working on the bathroom (again), but soon decided that we needed a new scraper (as the old one has gotten very dull), before we were really going to make any huge progress. So... we got ready and headed out to Home Depot and a few other places...

First stop after Home Depot was Baytowne Wharf. We had never been there in the "off season" and it was great!
Keenan and I by the fountain

Keenan pondering the meaning of life...

It was a beautiful day for walking around, seeing the sites and visiting the park. Keenan loved the swings, and also explored the play ground structure with Philip.


Woohoo!

Not sure what this look means

This swing was pretty comfy!

Here's Keenan swinging:



Philip and Keenan up in the turret

Just after coming down the slide

And the Very best part of all...

Inside that tent in the background is a skating rink!

I got to go ICE SKATING IN FLORIDA!!!!
Philip and Keenan chillin' (literally) while I skated

And how do you keep an ice rink frozen outside in Florida?
A giant portable refrigerating unit, of course!

Here's some videos from "My Great Skating Adventure"

(This one is me taking Keenan for a skate)

(This is me skating backwards.. in the video where I Didn't almost fall...)


...and on the way home we got lunch at Dairy Queen (with blizzards, of course), before heading back home to work on the bathroom again (with the super duper brand new scraper) =)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Thermodynamics and Economics of Home Heating

The bedroom we use as the office is right across the hall from the heating and AC system so as I work at the computer I can hear the system come on and off. In the winter it starts with a fairly quiet noise which is the gas furnace starting up. Once it has run for awhile, getting the heat exchanger up to it's operating temperature, the noise is much louder as the blower comes on and starts spreading warmed air throughout the house.

Why does this matter, you ask? Well, when the furnace is running before the blower starts up it's using gas that doesn't heat the house. It seems like the furnace is constantly coming on and off and thus spends a fair bit of time wasting gas. Upon further investigation, it appeared that our thermostat tried to keep fairly tight control over the interior temperature. What I mean by that is that if the temp is set to 71 it kicks on as soon as the reading drops to 70 and cuts off right at 72. I don't know if the thing rounds or not or what the actual precision is, but I'll guess that it's kicking on at 70.49 and cutting off at 71.50. I've been wondering if there was some way to change the tolerances so that it runs over a slightly wider range, say on at 69.49 and off at 72.5, a three degree range instead of 1. This would result in the furnace being on for longer each time it is on, but it would also not come on as often, thus a higher proportion of the gas using time is actually heating the house.

Besides the economic issues it has some practical relevance as well. When watching a movie together after Keenan has gone to sleep we have to adjust the volume depending on if the blower is running or not. It's more convenient if these volume adjustments can occur less frequently. If it's more convenient and saves money, well...it's a no-brainer at that point.

So why a model? Shouldn't we just use different settings and compare the gas bill at the end of the month? Most of the variables affecting heat loss (insulation, windows, surface area, etc.) from the house are fixed from day to day. However, the weather (including temperature, wind speed, cloud cover, precipitation, etc.) is highly variable and this has a huge impact on the rate of heat loss from the house. Since we're unlikely to have two identical days, let alone months, it would not be very accurate to compare gas bills from different months or even to compare meter readings from different days. Lastly, the meter moves so slowly that you can't really compare usage from one hour to the next.

The model was made in Excel using a set point of 71 degrees Fahrenheit, a 2 minute pre-warming time, natural cooling at 10 min/degree and heating at 3 min/degree. The spread from on to off was either 1 or 3 degrees. The main output of interest is the cumulative time the furnace is on. The result for 6 hours of runtime is shown in graphical form below:

(Click on chart to view at full size)

This would appear to show that the one degree range uses 24% more gas than the three degree range. Altering the range shows that the one degree range uses 17% more gas than a two degree range and 29% more than a four degree range. I assume that the larger the range the less the model can be trusted because the underlying assumptions are less valid. For example, it is highly unlikely that a 20 degree range really will produce a 41% savings because it will either run for a week to get the house up to 81 degrees or will go for a week without running as the house cools down to 61 when the outside temp is 55. Certainly this would be not be a very comfortable house to live in and would probably not be good for the heating system (or the hardwood floors).

Length of pre-warming affects the magnitude of the effect (as would be expected). With all other variables held constant, pre-waming times of 1, 2, and 4 minutes result in a 1 minute range vs. 3 minute range excess gas consumption of 14%, 24%, and 36% respectively. This is a pretty obvious result, the less pre-warming, the less wasted gas.

Now, this model obviously has some other shortcomings. If you tried to use it to compare the gas usage with a set temp at 61 and 71 with all other parameters the same, it would tell you that they use the same amount. Obviously this is wrong because you can't use the different mean temperature and assume that the rates of heating and cooling will be the same. At 61 the house will cool off much faster and heat up much quicker, thus using less gas. In fact that is one of the huge unknowns here because I'm using the same rates of heating and cooling despite the wider spread. In reality, the rate of cooling should decrease as the temperature falls and the rate of heating should decrease as the temperature rises. I made the assumption that for the wider temperature range the faster heating loss at the higher temperatures would be equally offset by slower cooling at the lower temperatures along with the corollary of that thought for heating. This may well be wrong. Furthermore, the house continues to loose heat while the furnace is on during both the pre-warming stage and the heating stage. I assumed no temp decrease during the pre-warming stage and the heating rate during the heating phase is a net heating rate without separate variables for heat lost and heat added. The image below shows what true temp vs. time graphs would look more like due to the different rates of heating and cooling at different temperatures.

(Click on chart to view at full size)

Lastly, since I've spent enough time putting this together and Keenan is calling, if the pre-warming time is set to 0 in the model, the total gas consumption is exactly the same in the long-run. I suspect that this is not really true, one of the methods must be inherently more efficient, but I'm not sure how the heating and cooling rates should vary to demonstrate which method is better. It may be the case that the more efficient method depends on the home and HVAC system being used.

Anyway, there doesn't appear to be a way to change the tolerance of the thermostat so the only way to apply this in practice would be to manually raise the set point just after the furnace turns on and to lower the set point just after the furnace turns off. Certainly, that is not terribly convenient. Furthermore, this really is just a model. Maybe I'll ask Philip to collect some data and see how it compares with the model. I'm coming Keenan!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

One amazing dog!

Three day weekend!!

Philip has a three day weekend, since Monday is a holiday! Woohoo!

Today was spent mostly hanging out here at the house. We went out for a bit this morning and picked up "Santa Clause 3" to watch tonight.

I got started on my scrapbooking, and Philip has been working on our taxes (fun, fun, fun!)

We are continually amazed at the new things that Keenan is learning, and have spent a lot of time just watching (and laughing at) him today. =) He just learned how to turn on a light switch on and off! =)

This is Keenan's "Wilson" impression

And here's some silly pictures of Philip and Keenan...

"Daddy, take the picture, I can't hold you up any longer!"

A freaky looking Philip... and Keenan holding his twin's hand

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pretty boring stuff...

Today hasn't produced much of note.

We spent the morning with Philip, doing some shopping and other errands before he headed in to work.

Tiffany stopped by this afternoon, which was fun... I wish more people would do that (hint, hint - wifia!)

Keenan and I paid Frank and Myrtle another visit today. Myrtle is bound and bent on him saying "Mama" instead of just "Dada" all the time, but he doesn't seem to be taking the cue. =)

I'm glad the weekend is here, and that Philip isn't on call. I hope to get a ton of scrapbooking done!

Random info:

I've had hits on my blog in the last two days from: Israel, Mexico, Germany, the U.K., Portugal, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan, Ecuador and Peru! Bizarre...

I'm really sorry, this is a pretty poor excuse for a post, but nothing all that exciting has happened today.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Christmas has (finally) left the building

Wow, so ya, this year I was "one of those people" who leaves their Christmas decorations up until the middle of January! (Pretty embarrassing). I will, however, be a little more understanding of others next year, won't I?
I got all the tree decorations packed up yesterday, and today I took down all the lights and greenery from around the house, took the lights off the tree, packed up all the other random decorations, and then took the tree down. This was the first time I've done it by myself, (and I'm quite sure I didn't put all the branches in the box in exactly the same meticulous way that Philip would have), so it should be interesting next time we put it up! =)
Keenan was a big help and was the DJ during the whole process. (This means that he stood by the CD player and pushed every button he could find, which gave me an interesting run through the Third Day CD that was in there. Some songs got played over and over, others got skipped altogether, and some just got a few seconds or a minute of playing time before Keenan decided to move on to the next one..)

Another big accomplishment for Keenan today was that he "drew" his first "picture"! I decided to get out the crayons and see what he thought of them.

This is his first masterpiece (I think he said it was a bowl of fruit). (Click on it for more "detail")


I thought it was pretty impressive, and I didn't help at all, I only made sure that the marks (for the most part) went on the paper not the counter top

Seven Wonders of the World

Just had this passed along to me and wanted to share it..


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Back with our "Wifia Peeps"

Keenan and I were reunited with our Eglin friends today. =) We all gathered at Andrea's house for a delicious lunch and some great "catching up" time. The kids have all changed, (especially Della), and seem more grown up now. =)

Keenan napped at Andrea's while I made a quick run to Wal-Mart. On the way home, we stopped at the hospital and left Philip a surprise on his desk. It's pretty cool that if you walk into the Family Medicine clinic and say, "I'm Dr.____'s wife, can I leave something on his desk?" They let you come in just like that! =)

It's been raining all day (which we apprently need), so we are just stayin' inside, and waiting for Philip to come home...

I thought the rain drops on these berries looked pretty...

This picture was taken last night... Keenan was helping me clear out the dish washer.

He climbed up here by himself!

Header Issues

This picture shows how my header is Supposed to appear... does it appear larger (and harder to read) for any of you? If so, what browser do you view my blog in? I still need to figure out if I can change it to work better somehow...

Also, in case any of you don't know... my brother Andrew (aka the World Traveler) has his own blog now, Andrew's Journey Check it out to hear all about his adventures in Mexico right now!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New friends

My friend, Laura Sheridan, from down the street, has decided to have a women's Bible study at her house on Tuesday mornings. We'll be reading the book "The Excellent Wife". Today was just the get together and meet each other week. Two of Laura's friends, Chastidy and Sarah were also there. Chastidy has one child, Brooklyn (7 months I think), and Sarah has four. She had Elijah (who is three-ish?) and Isaac (8 months?) with her today and her two older ones are in school. They were both super nice, and I think we all seemed to get along well. I look forward to the study and to getting to know all of these new women in my life better. They are all Air Force wives as well... I have yet to make any non- military friends here! =)

Keenan and I spent three hours there, and just got home, so I should probably get some work done around here.

I am so excited to finally get back together with "The Wifia" (aka, my fellow doctor's wife friends) tomorrow after such a long absence!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Settling in...

Philip is on an E.R. rotation now for two weeks. His shifts are from 2 pm until 10 pm... kind of a strange shift, but it sure is nice to have him here in the morning and for the first part of the day for a change!

I've spent the day unpacking, doing laundry, grocery shopping and trying to get back into the swing of things here at home.

I cooked ribs today for the first time! I never really thought I liked ribs that much, because they seemed so messy to eat. But then I had some Amazing ribs that Aunt Toni made while I was in Michigan, and I decided that maybe I had been too hasty in my decision... which lead to me ordering them at Ruby Tuesday the other night, and buying some at the Commissary yesterday. I slow cooked them for several hours this afternoon, and (even if I do say so myself), they turned out really good (nice and tender, juicy, and falling off the bones).

Random note... While I was in Ontario, I actually came to believe, for the first time in my life, that Canadians do, in fact, have an accent! =) Being one myself, I never thought we did, and was always a bit annoyed when Americans made fun of the way we talked (especially with words like: house, mouse, out, etc..) Well.... I have now become one of those American-ish people who think those words Do sound kind of funny when Canadians say them! I especially noticed this while listening to DJs talk on the radio. However, to stand up for my fellow beaver and snow loving countrymen... we do NOT say "oot, and aboot", our "out" is just not as "ouch" sounding as the American pronunciation of the word.
Now my Canadian friends and family are starting to tease Me, because they say I sound like an American now! I just can't win... =)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Relaxing Sunday

The three of us have pretty much just spent the day enjoying being back together again. I still haven't really unpacked much, and don't plan to until tomorrow. I also still need to take down our Christmas tree and all of our decorations, since there wasn't time between our return home from Merritt Island, and our departure for the snowy lands.

We've taken several naps, had (delicious) leftover ribs from dinner at Ruby Tuesday last night, and played a lot with Keenan.

This afternoon we went to the park on Eglin so Keenan could go on the swings and get some fresh air. Clay, one of the other residents, was also there with his two children.

My brother, Andrew, called from Mexico and we chatted for quite a while. He's having a good time, getting lots of work done, eating lots of good food, and taking some cool pictures (he saw a tarantula yesterday, yuck!)

Yesterday after I changed Keenan's diaper, Philip was holding him up on his shoulder while I pulled Keenan's pants up. They didn't seem to be going on very well, and when we turned him around... we realized that both of his feet had gone in one pant leg! LOL!

Poor kid =)
(Philip was obviously still pretty tired, post nights)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Home Sweet Home... =)

Keenan and I are So glad to be back home with Philip again!

Here are a couple pictures that I didn't post from the past couple days:

Keenan having a powwow with his cousins when we went to visit on Thursday
(I love Shaelyn's choice of outfit!) =)

Here we are with my friend, Adrienne, we've been friends for almost 20 years!
(she was curling her hair for her brother's wedding)

It was nice to get to spend some more time at the Strobridge's (now that they're all healthy again). Aunt Mary made me pancakes and sausage for breakfast this morning, and Uncle Ty changed Two of Keenan's diapers! I could get used to the way those people treat me... =)

Keenan and Taylor playing in the breakfast cupboard

"Don't worry Snickers, I'll get you out!"

Taylor, Grandma, Aunt Mary and Davis with Keenan

We had great weather, and a good day of travel home.

A couple notes about our flights:

* We had a whole row to ourselves on both flights - woohoo!
* The diaper changing area in an airplane bathroom is surprisingly spacious!
* Keenan can undo his seat belt
* A baby can bring out a smile in even the most unfriendly looking people on an airplane. =)

Philip picked us up from the airport, we came home (and Keenan showed off all the new things he can do, and how much faster he can crawl), I showered, Philip and Keenan are having a nap, and then we're going to go out for dinner (so I don't have to cook).

Here's a fun video of Keenan at my parent's house (notice how Rob, who is videotaping, and I, think it's even funnier than Keenan does!)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Back in the U.S. of A

Today was kind of bittersweet. It was sad to be leaving Norwich, and my family, but Keenan and I are Very happy to be seeing Philip tomorrow!

This morning, after I packed us all up, we had a brief visit with my friend, Adrienne, and her family (she was in town for her brother's wedding). I think I have only seen her once since I was in her wedding two years ago. She lives in Kingston, which is another seven hours past my parent's house, and our visits rarely happen at the same time. It was great to see her and her husband, Matt, and catch up a little.

We got on the road at noon, and (with a couple stops), made it here to Aunt Mary's house in Troy at about 3:30. Keenan was SO good and slept almost the whole way! Our border crossing was super fast too, so lots to be thankful for.

This evening, Grandma Dooley came over for a visit and dinner. We hadn't been able to see her yet, since she was sick when we first flew in. She couldn't believe how much Keenan had changed. He was happy to entertain her (and Aunt Mary and Taylor and Davis), and certainly enjoyed all the attention! =0)

We fly out at noon tomorrow.... and I can't wait to be home with Philip!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Last sleep in Ontario

I'm not going to take time to upload pictures today, so you might not see pictures until we're home on Saturday...

Keenan and I went and had a great lunch and visit (well, I visited, Keenan had a looong nap) with Steph and the girls today. We hadn't been at their house in a while, and it was nice to get to spend some more time with them.

This evening, Rebekah came and had dinner with us, and then she and I had our traditional visit at Tim Horton's. My mom played with Keenan while we were gone, which was super awesome, and gave me a nice break.

Keenan and I need to get to bed soon, so we can get up in good time, get packed and on the road back to Michigan tomorrow.

See you all on the other side of the stream!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Can't get enough of 'em...

This morning, my friend, Janice and two of her kids came over to visit and had lunch with us.
After lunch, we headed into town to visit my friend Jeanine (Janice's sister), who recently got married. It was nice to visit with her and her husband, Dustin, see their cool apartment and look at wedding and honeymoon pictures.
This evening we had our Third big family dinner of the week (this time at Rob and Ada's). It has been sooo nice to be able to see them all so much while we've been here!
Keenan and Grandpa fooling around

A little taste of my hometown life...

Jeanine and I

Keenan with cousins Shaelyn, Marika and Kyla

Keenan getting a ride on his Uncle Tim's feet

Me with my three sister in laws
Rebekah, Steph and Ada