Saturday, November 22, 2008

Nolan's Big Day

This morning we had Ted's family over for breakfast. Ted made a delicious Santa Fe egg bake. It was great to have everyone here to celebrate with us. After breakfast, we headed over to the Museum of Transportation. It was such an interesting place. There were many old trains with interesting engines, passenger cars, and cargo cars that we could go inside of. Nolan kept pointing and going "Vrroomm, vrroomm." It was only in the 30s, but Nolan was bundled well and we really enjoyed ourselves. I bought both of these jackets for "my boys" last Christmas. I pictured Ted and Nolan walking hand in hand together wearing them. Cheesie-yes, but today I got to see it happen.
We found a little love for the Northern Minnesota family.Nolan even got this really great hat to practice conducting his own train!
After that big morning, we needed a nap. We ended our big day with a delicious dinner at Grandma and Wada Jones' house.

I am sure you are wondering where his cake pictures are. My parents are coming down for Thanksgiving and we are going to have Nolan's birthday party next Saturday. That will be the presents, cake, ice cream, decorations, etc. necessary for a true first birthday party. What a lucky little boy-2 special Saturdays in a row! Happy birthday to our sweet, sweet boy.

Nolan's Birthday

I have not realized what a sensitive person I have become until this past week. I was so excited for Nolan's birthday. We were planning the fun things we would do and just how we would celebrate. Somehow, I think the former pregnancy hormones came back to haunt me because tears came easily whenever I thought of Nolan turning one. I cannot say that they were sad tears; I loved my little baby, but every day Nolan gets more and more fun. I look forward to him being able to do so many more things. I can't say they were completely happy tears though, either. It truly is cliche, but where on earth has this year gone? I feel like I was a part of everything, but that it didn't really happen. Do I really have a one-year-old? I am so grateful that my blog is such a great record of all the things we have done.

I don't think I can remember everything new that Nolan can do, but I will try. He is walking, eating and loving any and all foods (except of course nuts!). He loves playing catch, refrigerator magnets, pulling things out of drawers, bath time, his bear and kitty, books, toys, music and dancing, singing, the "Itsy Bitsy Spider", riding forward facing in his carseat, and watching other kids. There isn't much he dislikes aside from sitting still. He says "ba" for ball, "da-da", makes the sound and sign for an elephant, dog and bird, and says juice. He signs fan, hat, milk, more, all done, blows kisses and can identify many body parts. I am sure I am missing many more things, but we think he is truly amazing. (Compared only, of course, to himself and our previous experience raising children.)

The journey of Nolan:

Today was a turning point in Nolan's walking. He was taking a couple of tentative steps when coaxed, but nothing much more. Well, he decided that today he would let it all out. He has been trying to walk all day long! He still can't stand from a seated position, but he is definitely working on it. The first video is from this morning. What a great walker!

This video is from a few days ago. Future NBA star!

We love you Nolan and look forward to watching you continue learning and growing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

First Steps

Nolan took his first steps tonight! Ted was holding out some cornbread, and it was just too enticing for Nolan to pass up. He took 5 steps! We didn't get the camera out fast enough, so we missed it. We will try to get some footage in the next couple of days. Our little boy is growing up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

4 years ago I was a young 25-year-old woman. I had just started my new adventure of living in Alaska. I was teaching an exuberant group of 25 5th and 6th grade students. I was making new friends, and really loving life. Some of these new friends happened to be in the US Air Force.

In Anchorage, AK, there are 2 military bases-Elmendorf Air Force Base and Eilson Army Post. Alaska is full of active duty military families, as well as many retired military families. Needless to say, Veteran's Day is a big deal up there.

To honor this holiday in my classroom, I decided to ask one of my Air Force friends, Andy, to come in to speak to my class. He asked if he could bring a friend along to help out, and I thought that was a great idea. On November 11, Andy and his good friend Ted showed up in their full military BDUs (camouflage gear, etc.) to teach my class about military life. They put on an exciting presentation and my kids had a blast. I sat in the back with a teacher-friend of mine and giggled about Andy's really cute friend. I never believed what they said about a man in a uniform, but I understood what was meant that day.

Ted was a 21-year-old "boy". I thought he was so cute and was in GREAT shape. We became friends. I had a little crush on him. I figured that this guy, only 21 years old, would just be a really fun guy to date, get to know, and hang around with. I knew he wouldn't want a commitment, (who would at that age?) so it was harmless. Little did I know the mind of that young man...

2 weeks later, before our first date, Ted went home to St. Louis for Thanksgiving. While there, he met up with a good friend from high school. "Rob," Ted declared, "I met the girl I am going to marry."

After a lot of convincing (sorry sweetheart!) I ended up agreeing with him, and the rest is history.

Marrying a man in the military brought many things close to home. Although he was honorably discharged 4 months after our wedding, he is still an inactive-duty airman until December 2011. Every time I see a commercial for the military, hear a story of a brave man or woman injured in the line of duty, or even hear the National Anthem, I think about Ted. I think about how we could've been and still could be affected. He will never call himself a veteran. Ted has never served over-seas. He has never set foot on a war-zone. I have never had to live one day without him while he was deployed. But he still served honorably and faithfully. He could be called back without any notice at anytime. It could be him over there tomorrow.

I am so grateful for the men and women who have chosen to serve our great country. Many have given their lives, and most will never be the same. Whether or not I agree with our position in the war, we still have families forever altered by the repercussions of this war. I am grateful for our vets, and feel so strongly about what they stand for. Veteran's Day helps me remember.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Did you???

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Crafty Day

For those of you who know me, I am a VERY non-crafty person. I don't tend to create many artistic items. Part of the reason why is that I never can sit down alone and accomplish something creative. I lose interest quite quickly.

Today, my ward had a "Super Saturday" of crafting. There were some fun projects you could make. The great part is, someone else thought of it, someone else helps you make it, and there are plenty of other great women to chat with while doing it.

These are my creations:

A great banner for Nolan's room

Fun paint/decopage magnets
I also made some really yummy Chilled Curry Pumpkin Soup.
I have a general recipe that I followed, but I didn't have all the "right" ingredients, so I substituted with what I thought was yummy. It turned out pretty tasty! Here is the original recipe:

1/4 c. butter
large white onion, sliced
3/4 c. green onions (white part only) sliced *save green part for garnish*
1 large can (15~20 oz.) pumpkin
4 c. chicken broth
bay leaf
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (I didn't have this-I used pumpkin pie spice instead!)
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley (I omitted)
2 c. half and half or whipping cream
salt, pepper, cinnamon and cloves to taste
*molasses and/or brown sugar to taste for a sweeter soup

Melt butter in 6 qt. saucepan over med. high heat. Add onions and saute until soft and transparent. Stir in next 7 ingredients. Bring to simmer and continue simmering uncovered for 15 min., stirring occasionally. REMOVE BAY LEAF. (I forgot this part!) Transfer soup in batches to blender or processor and puree. Return to saucepan and add cream or half and half and remainder of your spices. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes, but do not allow to boil.

Can be served hot or chill thoroughly for a cold soup.

Top cold soup with green onions, chives, tomatoes, or sour cream.