30 March 2005

Wanted to share a few pictures from Easter. One of Mom, Ralph and Ryan. The second is of me and Ryan.

I’ve had wonderful and exciting experiences since moving to Iowa but they have differed quite a bit from those from back home. I miss my friends and family and sharing holidays, birthdays and other good times with everyone. But, this year at Easter, I missed an Iowa experience. Last year my parents moved here right before Easter and had my nephew, Kaleb, staying with them. I had a blast with my family, especially that little guy. We colored eggs ahead of time and Ryan and I put together Easter baskets for everyone. That frigid morning, Kaleb got to do an egg hunt. Oh, what wonderful memories we have of that day.

This year was special in its own way but it sure wasn’t the same without our little Kaleb. We started the morning when we left the house at 6am to walk dogs at the clinic before the sunrise service. I had my doubts about the service ahead of time. I remember back in the day when we sat along the Kings River and watched the sun come up as the message was shared. But, it’s a bit chilly out here to sit along side anything outside and watch the sun come up. I wasn’t excited about having to get up early so that I could sit in a church for this “sunrise” service. As usual, I was the jerk. The service was great and I experienced the sunrise in a new way. As we sat, the sun coming up showed so brightly through the huge stain glass along the wall. It was amazing how it lit up the sanctuary. Here, I expected a disappointment and it was wonderful.
Following the service, the men of our church served a pancake breakfast downstairs. It was fun to see the guys serve breakfast to everyone else. After eating and visiting for quite a while, we went back upstairs for the regular service which was an Easter cantata and Ryan was the narrator. Not the best I’ve seen the church do but still a neat thing.
After church, we walked dogs again real quick and then went to mom and Ralph’s for lunch. It was a great meal and I quickly ran off to lay on the couch where I could get comfortable after stuffing my face. Mom and Ralph had made us Easter baskets which was really fun to get. Along with the candy, Ryan got socks and I got undies. Go mom and Ralph!!! I had made the 3 of them baskets too but they were boring. Since they’re trying to eat healthier, there was no candy involved. The guys got new tshirts and mom got a cool candle plus they got other little things. I had made up some boiled eggs and plastic eggs and went out to hide them. It was fun for me to watch them hunt these eggs. Ryan was a superstar and I had to stop him so that my parents (they’re old) could get their basket full too. I had put one plastic egg in the fresh air intake pipe for the furnace and left enough sticking out so someone could easily grab it. By accident, mom pushed it in farther and it was quite the chore to get out. After that excitement was over, we went for a walk in the beautiful – finally spring – weather. We even stopped and played at the park on the teeter-totter and other toys. We were caught by a lady in the church who thought we were just checking it out for future purposes with the kid. What she didn’t know was that we wanted to be kids ourselves and play on the toys! Got back to the house and had angel food cake with fresh strawberries. Oh, so good; I had two servings and was stuffed. As if my stomach doesn’t feel bloated all the time as it is, and I ate extra food. We played a game called Rummikub (I kicked butt for the first time) before heading home. It made for a 13 hour day in a hurry and I was exhausted. My lazy body isn’t used to those kinds of days anymore.

Yeah, and that egg that was a pain, continued to be a pain for mom and Ralph the next morning. Their heater wouldn’t kick on so they called Floyd (the local service guy). He came out and looked at it, popped a little plastic lid off the furnace and it would kick on. Put the lid back and it would stop. Then it hit mom – we forgot to go back and get the egg out after they were done hunting. When the furnace kicked on that morning and tried to suck fresh air in, it pulled the plastic egg right down the pipe. They had to blow the egg back out with the shop vac. Mom called me Monday morning to tell me that next time I put money in eggs for a hunt, that I needed to put enough to cover the service charge from Floyd. I was quite amused by the whole situation. Better them than us I guess :)
Does Evil Exist?

The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists?A student bravely replied, "Yes, he did!""God created everything?" The professor asked."Yes sir", the student replied.The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil". The student became quiet before such an answer.The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.Another student raised his hand and said, "Can I ask you a question professor?""Of course", replied the professor. The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?""What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?"The students snickered at the young man's question.The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Everybody or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (- 460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."The student continued. "Professor, does darkness exist?"The professor responded, "Of course it does".The student replied, "Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."Finally the young man asked the professor. "Sir, does evil exist?"Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil."To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."The professor sat down. The young man's name --- Albert Einstein

25 March 2005

Two fun things for this Fantabulous Friday:
1. Just got an update from Mike Hamilton and family. Check out their latest picture.
2. Kristine and Andy are my favoritist friends today. I got the cutest Fresno State baby stuff yesterday from them. A tiny little hat and a onesie thing that’s a jersey. Thanks you two!
I left the office a tad bit early yesterday to run some errands. Before I walked out the door, I felt like I was gonna fall over – totally out of energy. But, I decided to drive the 30 miles to Prairie anyway. Stopped in at Cabelas to return some shoes. First let me say, I love Cabela’s – not because I’m this major outdoorsy person and love to hunt/fish and buy expensive things; I just like their shoe department. I was buying shoes and told the employee helping me that I bought a pair, got them home and they were way uncomfy and didn’t fit well. She said to bring them back. Yup, you can return them if you’ve purchased them within the last year and have the receipt. Now, I’m not the type to return dirty, used shoes but this pair had only spent a few hours on my feet. Yay for Cabela’s return policy! While there of course, I had to peruse the clothes and shoe departments. I saw the cutest shorts there and some cute light coats. But, this is not the season in my life to be buying clothing – who knows what I’ll fit into when this is all said and done. So, I moved on to the shoe department and found several pair of shoes (oh, I have this shoe fettish). I just want a comfy pair of sandles for the summer since I can’t wear the typical sandles that you wear with my knees causing problems. But, I held back and didn’t buy those either. I’ve heard that you might wear a different shoe size after having kids. Doesn’t make any sense to me and I struggled because I knew that I could buy them and 6 months down the road return them if my feet magically grow but I didn’t think that would be right to wear them and then return them. So, I left Cabela’s and went on my way.

Did the Walmart run for the few things we needed and searched for Easter basket stuff for my parents and Ryan. Anything but candy would be good but I just wasn’t coming up with anything – not even the typical baseball cards that I buy Ryan. After too much time in Wally world and way too much money (as usual), I knew I wouldn’t be back in time for the Maundy Thursday service. So, I quick stopped at McD’s. Okay, first of all, I don’t even like McD’s but I knew I should eat something. So, I scraped quarters out of my car and the bottom of my purse and had just enough for a cheeseburger and fries. What a let down that was.

Even though I really didn’t have the energy for church, I was bummed I couldn’t go. Looking forward to a quiet evening at home (Ryan would be gone for his guys study time), I headed on home. A call from Ryan informed me that the guys were coming over to watch the Passion of the Christ and no girls would be allowed. WHATEVER! No big deal, I could crawl up in bed and read my new book (oh, that’s another fun story). Not too long later, another phone call from Ryan to say that he had a sick guy to attend to (the guy thought Ryan could help a cow that was aborting). He wanted me to start the movie for the guys. Funny how I was important all of a sudden! I got home, put away groceries, hid the few things I did get for Easter (I’m gonna make them do an Easter egg hunt), changed over the clothes and was a busy little wife.

In the process, I thought I’d be a good wife and make the guys brownies. Whipped those up quick before the guys came (Ryan made it back in time) and offered them drinks while they waited for Alan. I thought I was such a superstar wife waiting on them. Then Alan walks in with grocery bags of chips, dip, drinks, etc. The guys were excited for food. Here it was my superstar-ness went right down the drain and I headed upstairs to my book. The guys never even touched the fresh brownies last night. I couldn’t believe it. I’m sure I still qualify as a super wife, it just went a bit unnoticed (except Ryan who was busy trying to kiss and hug on me while I was trying to bake and clean up the mess).

23 March 2005

Check out this cartoon, its cute.

21 March 2005

We have this book of 50,001 baby names to check out. It’s been quite entertaining to read through the names by topic such as “future veterinarian”, and “names for pro athletes”. There is quite the topic list to choose from. Like my friend Jen who just had a baby, I also like a fair amount of names under the topic “names lesbians and gays choose”. What the heck, I’m not like that but they are cute names. Last night, I laid on the couch all snuggled up and started making a list of names that I like for a boy. I think it would be cool for Ryan to do the same thing and then for us to see what names we both chose. He’s still sold on Dirk and I’m still sold on Scott. My other random thought about names is what if we’re surprised and have a girl. We’ve spent no time thinking about girl names. Hmm…

Okay, so more from me today, it’s a busy blog day for me. So much is happening in my busy little life… oh that reminded me of something else. Okay, I’ll start with that. My college buddy Katie is getting married in September and asked me to be a bridesmaid. Yup, just two short months after my due date (if the kid is on time), I’ll be flaunting my (hopefully in shape) self at a wedding in CA. I’m excited to share in Kate and Brady’s day and also hope to make it a trip home with the “family” to see family and friends in CA.

Back to my original thought. Maybe you remember reading about Mark and Eunice (Ryan’s parents for those who don’t know) and their dog. They put Trapper (their golden retriever) just before we got there for Christmas. We had the bright idea of getting them a puppy for Christmas. Sadie was quite the puppy alright, as cute as can be too. She’s been quite the handful for the AZ B’s and has even got to know the local vet pretty well. Last Tuesday, Mark and Eunice had to put down another dog. Ouch is right! She had distemper and had gotten really sick. Although she’d been vaccinated for it… who knows – my veterinarian husband explained all the details to me which you probably don’t care to read. I thought for sure they’d never get another dog. They’d only had Sadie for a few months. But, it was quite the opposite. It made them realize that they really do want a dog and decided to get another one. While in Phoenix on Saturday, they bought a new puppy. Rocky was born on December 28th and is quite the puppy. So far he’s a quiet little golden retriever and already they’re attached. Make sure to check out the pictures to see their new addition to their home.
Here's a new picture of Ryann and Kaleb patting my belly.
WOW, what a crammed packed weekend behind and another busy one ahead. I survived my overnight to Marshalltown. It was great fun EXCEPT the bad dream I had that mixed the past and the present together. Ooh, scary stuff and I woke up in a strange hotel and initially wasn’t sure where I was. I patiently waited for one hour to pass before calling Ryan. Usually I wake up from my random dreams, roll over and snuggle up to Ryan’s back and go back to sleep. It was rough not having him there; oh how I love my husband!

Was back in my own office Thursday and not feeling so good but managed to get quite a lot accomplished. Had a headache when I got home but ran to Sabor Latino for supper with Ryan and the folks before bible study. During our video bible study, I found myself quite distracted with watching my stomach move with the baby’s movements. After I got back home, I just felt yucky – tummy, sore throat and headache. So, I curled up to Ryan on the couch and tried not to think about it. Finally decided I just needed to go to bed.

Friday, I was home sick from work. I woke up with swollen glands, a dry-itchy throat and just yucky feeling overall. I ran a few errands and mailed lots of packages first thing in the morning. Mom and Ralph came over and was a great help cleaning up the kitchen and swapping furniture in the living rooms and playing with Ryan’s curtains. Late that afternoon, we met with the tax guy - woo hoo, we have that taken care of. Friday evening while I had dinner in the oven, I was still working on the curtains. I started measuring them, and my figures weren’t matching up. On all 3 of the curtains I made, the length was too short. I could have cried! I didn’t even know what to do. So, I called Ryan up from the basement and we re-measured and the same figures applied. Here I had spent lots of time and money and the stupid things weren’t going to work as planned. I’d have to add to them to get enough length but wasn’t sure how to go about that. This was Ryan’s birthday gift, his birthday was the next day and I screwed them up. I gave up, ate supper and sulked on the couch.

Saturday morning we awoke to several inches of fresh snow (isn't it mid March???) on the ground and I wished Ryan a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! He made plans to work on the nursery and put trim back up in the upstairs bedrooms with our friend Dennis. So, I gave Ryan one of his birthday presents before we headed off to breakfast to celebrate. First we stopped in at the lumber yard to get some items. After tearing out the check to pay, Ryan saw that he used the last check. That meant, we didn't have a blank check to pay for breakfast. I had left my purse at home which had another checkbook and bank card. Instead of having chicken fried steak for his birthday breakfast, we stopped for breakfast sandwiches at Hardees (AKA Carls Jr. for you west coast people). That was the start of an interesting day!

As soon as we got home, I called mom to whine about my curtains. She was out shortly after to help me with the drama. The curtains were too short and not wide enough either. The fabric pulled real bad with the type of stitch I used to sew them. I could find a way to add on to them but adding width would be interesting. We put them in the window to see and it wasn’t all that bad. By now it was lunch and Ryan was in the kitchen eating. So, I called him for his opinion. He thought they were fine and was very nice about it. I knew he was just trying not to hurt my feelings (after making me cry about them the week before). I asked mom for her opinion and she said that they looked bad. Grr. Now what? Figured I could use them in our bedroom with some minor changes but not what I wanted.

The rest of the day while my honey and a few friends slaved away upstairs mudding, texturing and putting up trim, mom helped me work to get our home cleaned and prepared for Ryan’s surprise birthday party. Time was getting short in a hurry but Ryan seemed clueless because he was so involved in his own work. I had the perfect plan after Renessa almost spilled the beans. We were gonna go to Living Stone (a contemporary worship service at our church) at 530. I planned to leave early since I’ve not been feeling good and meet our friends at the house at 6:30. The Z’s would bring him home since they were gonna hang out anyway at our house. When I was about ready to go, Ryan hadn’t jumped in the shower yet. He came up to me and said that he wasn’t going to make it to Living Stone. He wanted to get the nursery finished and didn’t want to leave Dennis to do all the work. I could have died. There goes the big surprise! In the end, it did work out. His first buddy arrived and made it sound like they were just stopping by on their way home. Then my mom and Ralph pulled up, Debbie pulled up and I pulled up all within a few minutes. Ryan figured it out when my mom had him help her carry in the food she and Ralph prepared. It was fun, just a few of his buddies, when you include their spouses, gets to be a house full in a hurry. Mom and Ralph made some excellent beef, green beans, bread, salad and 2 awesome desserts. He’s so spoiled!

15 March 2005

It’s Tuesday morning and already a crazy week. It started out crazy Monday morning when my appointment was 20 minutes early. I made him wait since I was in the middle of another project. And the day just snow balled from there. Speaking of snow balls, we didn’t get the snow last weekend. It did flurry and the winds were strong but no snow stacked up. We’ve had a trace on the ground the past few mornings but nothing bad. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s forcast of 40 degrees.

Went to see my OB doctor yesterday afternoon, thanks to a friendly reminder from my awesome husband. He said that the ultrasound showed my due date at July 8th and of course I shared that I liked the 4th better. Then, when he measured me, he said I measured at 26 weeks and I was only 24 weeks and one day. Funny how that all works. Last month I measured small and this month I measured big. I also gained 9 pounds in the last 2 months. I’ve never weighed this much in my life!

Anyway, I’m off to meeting this morning that requires an overnight. Kinda looking forward to seeing some work buddies and hanging out. I used to love to travel for work and then didn’t like it as much when I got married. This past 6 months, I’ve hated traveling for work. But this is just one night, 2.5 hours from here, not so bad. And, I feel good. Or at least, I felt good. Something didn’t sit well in my stomach this morning. Either the blueberry poptart, the glass of milk or the 1 drink of caramel frappacinno that I had. It was instant nastiness though and I feel all yucky and pukey. Haven’t had those feelings for a few months so this sucks once again. Think of me the next few days as I’m on travel…

11 March 2005

Exactly two weeks ago, Ryan measured my belly and it was 5” bigger than “normal”. Today shows another two inches of growth. I definitely can’t get into my regular jeans anymore. For so long, I’ve taken pride in the fact that I can still fit into the same clothes I was wearing in HS. But, that’s no longer true. The baby continues to move around a ton which has been fun for me to experience. The sleeping thing is way uncomfortable and I look forward to weekend naps.

Life at work has been fun lately. Ryan’s busy season is upon him which means he no longer has regular hours. My work running rampant with 3 huge conservation programs, one of which we’ve never experienced before and will encompass 2/3 of our county. On top of that, we just received new planning and design software which has lots of bugs and quirks that should have never made it to production. And, did I mention that Troy, the other soil conservationist here, was detailed to North Central Iowa for 3 months. Ah, its been fun though. There are days when it seems like I get a whole lot of NOTHING accomplished. This has been my first full week back in the office for quite a while though.

It’s been a wild and crazy week for us at home too. Monday night, we saw Daniel Royer for a bit then grabbed supper and went to a movie. Got home in time to hit the sack. Tuesday night we had a Lenten service for church. Wednesday night I taught JV while Ryan was still running calls. And last night was bible study. Its been a full week. We were scheduled for supper with a friend tonight who just called and says he’s gotta get back home (the opposite side of the state) before the weather gets worse. So, he’ll stop by the house briefly instead which means I’ll be home tonight and I can fold the laundry and put some more in the wash. Cleaning is not my idea of a fun Friday night but tomorrow (my regular cleaning time), I hope to be working on Ryan’s curtains. I’m making him blackout curtains for the living room so it can be dark when he’s watching tv, movies or playing video games.

It’s snowing here again. It had flurried for about 3 days now and we’ve had lots of strong winds. I think it was Tuesday that we had about an inch but most of it melted off by that afternoon. Now it’s coming down pretty good and we’ve heard up to 7 inches tonight with 25-30 mph winds. We shall see!!!

09 March 2005

I think our baby B likes M&M’s. I just ate a few and now the baby is kicking and moving around like crazy. He did this same thing for an hour straight while Ryan and I watched In Good Company. I can’t believe my belly is getting so big. It doesn’t feel big till I see it in pictures or in the mirror. Wow, there’s a kid growing inside me. SCARY.

I’ve been working on my skills to be a mom. It’s been quite the rude awakening. I love kids and usually we have a blast together EXCEPT this last week. Sunday, I made Caleb Zurbriggen (our 1 year old buddy) cry twice. I think it’s a game for him sometimes though. He gets all giddy around me and then tries to follow up with a scowl. Its quite cute. Then Monday, we visited the Royer’s briefly to see their new baby. Let me just say that I wanted them to have a girl because I was scheming to marry off our children. But, they had a very cute little boy and named him Daniel Leon Royer. Monday, I made Daniel cry when I held him. It may have been that I was just outside walking and my hands or jacket were cold. Or maybe that I didn’t snuggle him – I held him out in front of me so I could see him. Who knows but I’ve made to babies cry in two days. Today though was better. I held my friend Millie’s little boy Ben. He’s 9 months old and just loved me. I’ve got another few months to get this thing down before I start calling all of you for help!

Still looking for baby names and don't forget to check out my belly pictures in the post below.
Check out my photo web page for a few new pictures of me pregnant. Mom took two: a front shot and a side shot.

07 March 2005

Interested in seeing what I'll be writing about after Baby B comes, check out the Speth Adventures. She writes lots of good stuff about life as a new mother.

04 March 2005

Mouse Story
This one is for you Carrie :)
I never did take the time to post my mouse story. It’s from early January. I was stuck home from the weather and decided to clean the kitchen. The day before I opened a drawer to get a gummy snack thing and there was an empty bag. I immediately thought Ryan put his trash there just to spite me because I nag him about putting his trash in the trash can. As I sifted through the drawer, there were lots of empty bags and I just knew there had to be a fat mouse around. We had just invested in a few traps because we found evidence elsewhere of their existence. Our basement has housed them in the past because of the wood room but now they seemed to be invading my living space. Anyway, I pulled out the drawer just below the one where the gummy snacks were stored to put away the popcorn. The drawer seemed not to slide back in so smoothly so I investigated. Taking the drawer out and sitting on the floor looking in, I found mounds of stuff. I scooped out an entire broom pan full of gummy snacks. The little rodent had even taken a bag down in there and had some wrapped inside it. There were gummy snacks and popcorn kernels galore back there. So I cleaned it all out and haven’t seen any more evidence since then. I think Ryan’s trap with peanut butter caught the fat tick shortly before or after this finding. Their home in the basement had been invaded by our cats that stay down there all day and I guess they found cover elsewhere. Ah, the joys of living in an old house in the country.