Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Leah's hot tub

These photos are of our hotel room in Washington DC (we followed Michael there who had a 2 week course in DC at the end of April). Leah got her baths in the kitchen sink. It seems like she really enjoyed the soak!

Beach to Bay 2009

Michael and I both ran in the Beach to Bay Marathon Relay this year in Corpus. It's held here every year and is actually quite popular. I had never run in a relay before, and to be perfectly honest, I didn't like that part of it too much. I like to run and races are always exciting, but the idea that I have this whole team depending on me made it a bit more stressful. Of course, that might be because I didn't really train (too busy sightseeing in Washington DC and going on a cruise to do that!) . I ran on a team of spouses from Michael's work and Michael ran on a team of his co-workers. Michael's team did really well, finishing in the top of their division, the military catagory. I think they came in third place, with a time of 3 hours and like 2 minutes or so (I can't really remember exactly, but it was just barely over 3 hours). My team didn' t do too bad, with a time of four hours and 6 minutes or something close to that. Quite a difference in our times, huh?

Friday, May 22, 2009

the latest craze

I bought Leah one of those little mesh chew toys that you fill with fruit (?? that sounds like a dog toy, but it's really for babies) and she loves it. She loves it so much that she ruined this shirt with a banana.
She doesn't seem to mind that her shirt is headed straight for the trash.
Showing us how it's done.

Life is so good...

game time on the cruise

So I don't think I've made it very clear here, but Michael and I recently went on a cruise with our bff's, the Arthurs. Leah and I tagged along with Michael, who was in Washington DC for a couple of weeks to take a course for work back at the end of April and the Arthurs were moving to Florida right at the same time. We decided to take advantage of the fact that we were all on the east coast at the same time and go on a cruise together before Rob had to start his next phase of training in Jacksonville. It worked out well that Michael and I were able to drop Leah off at my mom's house on our way down to Florida. She was a great sport to watch Leah for us so that we could really enjoy ourselves. (Thanks Mom!).

While in Corpus Christi, the Arthurs introduced us to our new favorite game, the 90's game. They even brought it on the cruise and we played lots. Here's a couple shots of us playing in our stateroom (That sounded kind of weird. I should clarify; we played in Michael and my stateroom. The way I typed that, it started to sound a bit like we were all in the same room. Not so much. The Arthurs are our bff's, but we did have separate rooms).

Jenn and Rob trying very hard to think of an answer. They are very worried that we are going to beat them.
Nice form, Rob. It was probably this roll that won the game for you two.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

can't help but get a little political...just this once

I saw this article on Amber Bright's political blog. Please forgive the indulgence. I agree with this article so strongly, I couldn't help but paste it into here. It is by Anne Wortham, who is Associate Professor of Sociology at Illinois State University and continuing Visiting Scholar at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, among other things. I would classify her as a genius.

No He Can't by Anne Wortham
Fellow Americans,Please know: I am black; I grew up in the segregated South. I did not vote for Barack Obama; I wrote in Ron Paul's name as my choice for president. Most importantly, I am not race conscious. I do not require a black president to know that I am a person of worth, and that life is worth living. I do not require a black president to love the ideal of America . I cannot join you in your celebration. I feel no elation. There is no smile on my face. I am not jumping with joy. There are no tears of triumph in my eyes. For such emotions and behavior to come from me, I would have to deny all that I know about the requirements of human flourishing and survival - all that I know about the history of the United States of America , all that I know about American race relations, and all that I know about Barack Obama as a politician. I would have to deny the nature of the "change" that Obama asserts has come to America . Most importantly, I would have to abnegate my certain understanding that you have chosen to sprint down the road to serfdom that we have been on for over a century. I would have to pretend that individual liberty has no value for the success of a human life. I would have to evade your rejection of the slender reed of capitalism on which your success and mine depend. I would have to think it somehow rational that 94 percent of the 12 million blacks in this country voted for a man because he looks like them (that blacks are permitted to play the race card), and that they were joined by self-declared "progressive" whites who voted for him because he doesn't look like them. I would have to wipe my mind clean of all that I know about the kind of people who have advised and taught Barack Obama and will fill posts in his administration - political intellectuals like my former colleagues at the Harvard University 's Kennedy School of Government.I would have to believe that "fairness" is the equivalent of justice. I would have to believe that man who asks me to "go forward in a new spirit of service, in a new service of sacrifice" is speaking in my interest. I would have to accept the premise of a man that economic prosperity comes from the "bottom up," and who arrogantly believes that he can will it into existence by the use of government force. I would have to admire a man who thinks the standard of living of the masses can be improved by destroying the most productive and the generators of wealth. Finally, Americans, I would have to erase from my consciousness the scene of 125,000 screaming, crying, cheering people in Grant Park, Chicago irrationally chanting "Yes We Can!" Finally, I would have to wipe all memory of all the times I have heard politicians, pundits, journalists, editorialists, bloggers and intellectuals declare that capitalism is dead - and no one, including especially Alan Greenspan, objected to their assumption that the particular version of the anti-capitalistic mentality that they want to replace with their own version of anti-capitalism is anything remotely equivalent to capitalism. So you have made history, Americans. You and your children have elected a black man to the office of the president of the United States , the wounded giant of the world. The battle between John Wayne and Jane Fonda is over - and that Fonda won. Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern must be very happy men. Jimmie Carter, too. And the Kennedys have at last gotten their Kennedy look-a-like. The self-righteous welfare statists in the suburbs can feel warm moments of satisfaction for having elected a black person. So, toast yourselves: 60s counter cultural radicals, 80s yuppies and 90s bourgeois bohemians. Toast yourselves, Black America. Shout your glee Harvard, Princeton , Yale, Duke, Stanford, and Berkeley. You have elected not an individual who is qualified to be president, but a black man who, like the pragmatist Franklin Roosevelt, promises to - Do Something! You now have someone who has picked up the baton of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. But you have also foolishly traded your freedom and mine - what little there is left - for the chance to feel good. There is nothing in me that can share your happy obliviousness.

the curious case of benjamin button bread

I've come to appreciate the beauty of freshly baked homemade bread. I'm still trying to appreciate the taste of my own freshly baked homemade bread.

If you've talked to me anytime in the last couple of months, you will know that one of my new goals is to get our family's year's supply of food together. After a fantastic class on emergency preparedness by Karen Wilkinson (http://kneadfulthingsnow.com - check it out. She's awesome!), I realized that now is the time for us to get ready (hurricane season is just around the corner). Anyway, in the spirit of food storage I decided to attempt to make bread from scratch. Whole wheat bread. 100% whole wheat bread. Mom warned me halfway through the rising time (after I had already invested about 13 cups of whole wheat flour and lots of other things!) that this was a terrible idea - to try to make bread for the first time and use only whole wheat flour. She was right...
I'm not sure why all pictures of Michael seem to showcase him sans shirt, but if you look closely you can see the pan of bread behind Meeshell on the left and on his right, in front of the toaster, you can see half of the dough that didn't make it. The two pans that did make it into the oven seemed to do ok (didn't rise very much, but Michael just commented on how efficient this type of bread was: take only two bites and you just had the equivalent of three slices of regular bread. It was pretty heavy). I really thought they were done when I took them out of the oven. But as the days went by, it almost seemed that the bread was un-baking itself. As in, it seemed done when I took it out of the oven and in the first few times that we sliced and ate it, but two days later, the bread seemd to be getting a bit doughy. Very strange. I'm really not kidding here. Michael said the same thing. He even stopped eating it today. Unfortunately, we threw this magical bread out today, and I'll have to try it again. Perhaps I'll mix in a bit of white flour to shake things up next time.

the strawberry hat

Mary, Michael's mom sent Leah this cute strawberry hat in her Easter package this year. It's pretty cute, although you may be tempted to call her "Little Orphan Annie".

She wore this hat lots during out trip to Washington DC. I was very glad to have it because it was unusually cold there for part of our trip and we spent lots of time outside, walking around.

highlights of Jamaica part 1

A true highlight of our recent stop in Jamaica, these photos show Michael donning a pair of undies that he found floating in the water on the beach.
Strangely, after finding the jockey shorts, he decided the best thing to do would be to put them on.
I'm just glad he had the good sense to take them off after only a minute or two. If he happens to test positive for any std's, we'll know just when and where he was infected. Good old Jamaica.

my latest creation

In my never-ending quest to learn how to sew, I started a new project: this dress for Leah. I actually found the pattern (if you can really call it a pattern - it was so simple!) online and decided it was easy enough for me to make. I don't want to rave about it too much, but I think out of all of the things I've ever sewn, this is by far my favorite. I may actually go and get Leah's pictures taken (I know, I know, you're shocked). We'll see.

I wish Leah could stand up on her own and I didn't have to take pictures of her propped up (or leaning over) in her crib. All in good time, I guess.

so many posts to do...so missing Jenn!

Jenn, please come back! I haven't posted in so long and I have so many pictures from our recent trips to put on here, but all I really want to say is that I miss Jenn! I do hope you're enjoying Jacksonville, but for crying out loud, why did you have to leave?