Sunday, December 28, 2008

A little thought

A lot of people outside of the Navy don't understand why I (Matt) would want to leave the worlds finest Navy, because I have so many benefits, and may not make the same money out side of the Navy. So I wanted to share with you my problem. My problem is that I love my family, I love my wife, and I want to spend our marriage together. From Sep 2006 when I reported to the Enterprise to Dec of 2007, I spent 83 nights asleep with my wife at home. Yes in over a years time I spent less then 90 days during which I was able to sleep with my wife... And that includes the leave that I took. That is unacceptable to me.

The reason for all of those nights away from my wife (besides deployment) is what is called DUTY. Duty is when I have to stay on board the boat for 24 hours straight while it is in our homeport of Norfolk. And after that 24 hours, if it is a normal work day, then I have to work the full work day. So it ends up being 36+ hours away from my family. hmmm that's quite a bit of time... Also while I am on duty, more likely then not, I will not be able to sleep more then 4-5 hours, of broken sleep in a tiny coffin.

Now I have duty once every three days.. so consider every third day I have to spend it away from my wife, and then the next day I am almost always cranky and tired beyond belief from having to work either late in the night or early in the morning. So the day after duty always sucks. Then the next day is the day before duty, oh and duty starts 2 hours before the normal work days, so the day before you have to go to bed early.

And now consider that I have duty every three days. That means I only get two days off in a row (sat. and sun.) ONCE every three weeks! and I work 6 day work weeks the other two weeks. So that means in a normal week I am at work for 86 hours in the Navy thanks to 2 duty days and 4 normal work days

So here is a sample of my schedule from Friday at 00:01 in the morning to Monday at 23:59 in the evening. This is exactly what this weekend is for me. But if you don't really want to see the hour by hour breakdown scroll down.

Asleep 05:00
Getting Ready 05:45
Driving 06:45
At Work – Awake 16:00
Driving 17:15
At Home 21:00
Sleeping 04:15
Getting Ready 04:45
Driving 05:30
At Work – Awake 12:30
At Work – Asleep 13:30
At Work – Awake 22:00
At Work – Asleep 01:30
At Work – Awake 07:00
Driving 07:45
At Home – Dead Tired 21:00
Asleep 05:00
Getting Ready 05:45
Driving 06:45
At Work – Awake 16:00
Driving 17:15
At Home 21:00
Asleep 23:59

So lets consider this for a moment or break it down into a convenient bar graph to visualize my life this weekend.

phew that is a pretty lousy weekend, especially when you realize that the yellow TIME OFF at home I was DEAD tired from being awake since 0100 in the morning! now lets consider if I get a civilian job where I have to work 50 hours a week, or 5 ten hour days, and I only get 7 hours of sleep, and my commute is the exact same as my current commute. Here is the same graph with a civilian job.

Holy cow, is that what it is like to have weekends off! Ohh my goodness, that is amazing. But what would be even more amazing is if i could go home each day and spend it with my wife.

So while I may not find a job where I make as much money, or where I may be just as unhappy as I am with my current job, at least I will have my family time and life, and I won't have to spend sooooo much time away. That is a game breaker for me. Thank you all for your concern, and for being scared for change, but Pam and I are ready. We have been planning our transition to the civilian life for several years and appreciate any assistance or guidance you may have for that transition. But please realize that Pam and I are the ones who are in the Navy, and deal with real life ... garbage ... that comes from that job every day, which is something a Navy Recruiter, or commercial, will never share with you. Being an enlisted Nuclear Electrician, absolutely and totally sucks, and I understand what we will be losing when I leave the Navy, and I hope that you all can see what we will be gaining =)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Present for us and our guests

Without further ado, we are proud to show you our old bathroom.

Now the old bathroom actually looks better in this picture then it did in real life. In real life the flooring was pulling up, the water proof paneling was falling off the walls, and there was a healthy amount of mold and mildew all over despite hours of scrubbing.

And here is the new bathroom, with exactly nothing from the old bathroom surviving =)

Pretty neat that we did it all by our selves for a total cost of $2250.


Monday, December 22, 2008


Ok, I realize after talking to Beth today that I left out a very important thing in my last post. So, what I meant to say and tell everyone is that it just isn't Christmas until I get Beth's chocolates in the mail. I'm serious. I got them on Saturday, and it finally feels like Christmas. I was even motivated to decorate my tree and clean my house (with a little help from Kate). So, thank you, Beth. Without you, there would be no Christmas for me! :)


PS. Ok, so there would still be Christmas, but nothing gets me in the holiday spirit like homemade yummy chocolates. And this year she dipped pretzles and cookies, too. So, so good! Does anyone remember when we dipped pretzels with Dad? I remember it being very painstaking, dipping those pretzle sticks one by one. Speaking of pretzles, I'm making some right now. The dough is rising, and I'll roll it out, twist them up, crisp them, boil them, then bake them. I'm looking forward to it, since last time I made plain pretzles, and this time they are going to be cinnamon-orange pretzles. I'm excited. Can't you tell? Oh, and my bathroom is pretty much finished. We just need to get a curtain rod and I could take a bath in it tonight! So exciting!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why am I still awake???

Ok, so I guess I have a confession to make. I suffer from insomnia, especially when Matt isn't around. I know that I should be getting a good night's sleep, especially since Kate is going to come over in the morning to help me clean up a bit, but I can't seem to find it in myself to relax and go to bed. I think I'll do what I usually do, and that is watch a tv show on Netflix until I fall asleep.

Well, anyways, I've really enjoyed getting Christmas cards from everyone who has sent them. Each day this last week we have received at least one card. Kate's came in the mail Saturday, and while it wasn't a surprise b/c I helped make them, I was still amazed when I saw it. Matt was too. He says Kate is crazy. When you get the card, you'll know what he is talking about. But, half the fun is in the making, right? And they do look awesome. I think she should go into business.
I also got a card from Uncle Johnny. It was good to read up on their past year. I hope we get to see them when they drive up the coast this summer.
I found a package that was delivered yesterday by UPS under the carport today. It is a good thing that it has been cool out, because the buffalo meat inside was not completely thawed (thank goodness). Matt's aunt runs a buffalo farm somewhere in Washington, and they sent us a little meat. I was thinking of having chicken for Christmas dinner, but now it may be buffalo instead. I can't wait to try it. I remember getting buffalo burgers from Fort Hall a long time ago. I think I remember that they were pretty good. So, thank you Dewain and Robin and Sanford for the lovely gift.
We also got cards from both Matt's grandma and step-grandma and grandpa on his father's side. They are so thoughtful. One grandma even sent an anniversary card. How cool is that?
Oh, and I got graduation cards from Mom and Tracey, too. Made me feel really special. (Oh, I keep forgetting. Lani called me on my graduation day to wish me congratulations. I don't know if you know how much that means to me, Lani. Thank you. Knowing you were thinking of me means so much.)
Well, that about does it. Tomorrow Kate and I are going to clean this house and whip it into shape for company after Christmas. Heck, maybe we'll even decorate the tree.... We'll have to see. I'll take pictures if we do. The bathroom is so close to being finished that I can almost taste it. We just have a few installations to do tomorrow, like the toilet, vanity, medicine cabinet, and light fixture, as well as shower curtain rod, towel holders, toilet paper holder, and I think that is it. Cool, huh? I'll post some after pictures, I promise.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I've Been Tagged! Eek!

Ok, while I'm waiting for dinner to be done (pasta) I'll hurry up and do this tag thing, just because two sisters have already done it and tagged me, so here goes....

Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I really like the comics section of the newspaper, it works the best ;)

Real tree or Artificial?
We got a real tree this year. It is a dwarf spruce and we plan to plant it after Christmas.

When do you put up the tree?
Well, we got it yesterday, but there are still no ornaments on it....

Do you like eggnog?
Absolutely. I can't wait for winter to roll around so I can get eggnog everything...shakes, candy, drink,etc.

Easiest person to buy for?
Myself :)

Hardest person to buy for?
Everyone else. Sorry guys.

Do you have a nativity scene?
I think I have a few. Have I put them up, though?

Mail or email Christmas cards?
This year was my first year to mail off a newsletter. Probably only b/c it also had my graduation announcement in it.

Worst Christmas gift you every received?
Broken candy cane and popped balloon.

Favorite Christmas movie?
Love Actually (yes, that IS a Christmas movie.)

When do you start shopping for Christmas?

Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Ummm...if I told you I would have to kill you.

Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Food. Oh, and pie.

Favorite Christmas song?
"All I want for Christmas is You"

Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Usually stay home. People seem to come to me :) But I have gone home to Idaho for a couple years, as well.

Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Of course. The real question is "Is there one D or two in 'Donder'?"

Angel on the tree top or a star?
Neither. We don't quite have a tree topper yet.

Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
When we were younger, Dad used to pick out one gift to open Chrismas Eve, but he always seemed to know what it was already. we don't have enough presents to open one early, so we save the surprise for the Morning.

Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Those blow-up lawn ornaments. Everyone has them, but nobody should.

Favorite time for Christmas dinner?
Uhh...whenever someone wants to cook it for me. I think this year I'll cook SOMETHING, but I don't know what time I'll cook it.

What do you want for Christmas this year?
Semolina flour and pasta making tools. I want to start making my own pasta. We'll see what Santa brings. (Or what I can find on sale after Christmas.)

Ok, now the pasta is done, and we need to eat dinner. Then we're going to paint, then grout, and be almost completely done with the bathroom. YIPPEE!!!


PS. If anyone else wants to do this tag thing, feel free. Go ahead. If you want to. But I won't force you. I promise.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Tile

Here are some pictures of even more progress we have made. We finished the tile today! Yeah! Well, we finished installing it anyways. We now need to grout, which should be fun. Tomorrow, while Matt is on duty, I plan on finishing up the mudding and maybe add a coat of primer. If I have enough time.



PS. Matt says he has some before pictures, so I'll get those posted soon, too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Progress, slow and steady

Hey, so Matt took pictures of my graduation on Saturday, but he hasn't had a chance to doctor them up so I can post them. Stay tuned. I'll just say that it was a good time, I had to be up really early, and it was COLD outside. But it was good, didn't last too long, thank goodness.

Well, after graduation on Saturday, Matt got working on the bathroom again. He was working on the plumbing. And then Justin (our former roommate) came by again to help out. THANK GOODNESS! He's a tall guy, and strong, so he was able to help with the hard parts of putting the sheetrock up. I made some delicious crescent rolls, and put some orange icing on top (thanks for the recipe, Kate. I ended up halving the recipe, and it turned out perfectly). They were so good. We had a few that night, and some for breakfast Sunday morning and this morning, too. I am still in denial that I was able to bake something that tasted so good! :)

Anyways, Sunday, we were able to put the rest of the sheetrock up, and then I got to work mudding. My favorite job, NOT! But the room is small, and Matt and Justin did a good job of minimizing the seams that I have to mud. I'm doing a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. So, I was able to get the first coat of mud down yesterday, and then I finished up the second coat today. Almost. I still have to wait for some of the corners to dry so I can get the other side. But it is going pretty well. Matt put the Kerdi up (a waterproof membrane system that goes up under the tile surround) and now he's out buying tile. And maybe a toilet. Well, here's some pictures of the work so far.

This is where the recessed medicine cabinet is going to go. With the vanity not taking up much space and the medicine cabinet recessed, this tiny room is going to feel a lot bigger! That's what we are going for!

It is really coming along! I'm going to do the third coat either tonight or tomorrow before Matt gets home from work. (He's off today, but he technically has duty tomorrow, but he'll get to come home early, cross your fingers! and duty again on Thursday. Bummer!)
Ok, well, I'm going to go and check those corners. Maybe they're dry and I can finish up that second coat. That would be nice. I'll post more pics later and get those of my graduation up.


Friday, December 12, 2008

clover leaf rolls

I decided that I would make some rolls. Don't they look yummy? I made the dough using half bread maker flour and half organic wheat flour in my bread machine, and then cut the dough into little chunks, rolled the chunks, and placed 3 balls of dough into each cup of a muffin pan. They had to rise a little longer, and cook for 12 minutes, then BAM! Yummy rolls. I had to sample them, of course. I think next time I'll use plain white flour instead of wheat, just to see how they turn out. But it was so easy!


PS. Oh, and I got a notice from an old friend from the Navy living in Idaho Falls. She was recently featured in the "River City Weekly" for her Psychedelicatessen, a hippy van where she makes bagels. It is pretty cool. Check it out here on page 15 of 24. Way cool.

Final Grades and Christmas Parties

Ok, so yesterday I took my last test and turned in my last assignment for my undergraduate career. It is crazy, I didn't think I would feel so sentimental. But I do. I'm finally going to have my degree. Granted, it is not in anything I can actually get a job with, but still. A degree, nonetheless. So here's a rundown so far of what my final grades are (the ones that are posted) and what I think they are going to be:
African American Literature A- (posted)
Legal Aspects of Special Ed. A (posted)
Classroom Management A (I think)
Teaching Strategies: Science A (I'm pretty sure)
Teaching Strategies: SS A (I'm pretty sure, or A- at the least)

I can't believe that all my grades haven't posted. Ok, so for my final assignment in my Science Strategies class, I had to submit a lesson plan. I put that thing off as long as humanly possible. I ended up writing it yesterday morning (it was due last night at midnight) before I studied for my Special Ed. class. I didn't put a whole lot of time and effort in it per se, but I did have a pretty good idea of what I wanted. It all sort of came together, and I ended up with a 99% on it! I'm so glad, especially since I was stressing about it a little, since I procrastinated it so long.

So, Matt and I went to his ship's Christmas Party. It was in Downtown Norfolk at the Marriott. We ended up having a good time. The food was good, and the company was good. Then, I got a shock! One of my old friends from the Truman was there. Lidianna Young! We haven't seen eachother for such a long time. It was great to talk to her and just reconnect. It was so loud in the room, with the music blasting. I found out that she lives right down the street from me, and has for a couple years now. The reason she was there is her sister is a new LtJG on the Enterprise, so she brought her family. I was able to catch up on some gossip from the ship, which is always fun. Anyways, overall it was a great time. I wish now we had taken a picture of us. I was dressed up in the dress I bought for Chaz and Kristie's wedding, and Matt had his tux on. He looked sharp! And I kept getting compliments on my dress. Evidently, red is the IN color for this season. About half the girls there had bright red dresses on. I didn't get the memo, I guess, because I only had a nice black dress. :) It was a lot of fun, I'm glad we went. I'm not glad that we got home around midnight and Matt had duty the next we were up about 4 hours later to get him off to work.

Ok, well, that's about it. Hopefully we get the bathroom finished by Christmas, because we are going to have some guests! Marie just made a reservation at Chateau Emerson for three nights for two, maybe three people. Peggy, if you're reading this, we still have room for you guys, too. Tansy can grab a couch, and Lindsay, Maura, and Emily, too. Or we have air mattresses. It is my goal to have that bathroom completely done before the first guest arrives. If Peggy decides not to stay here, that is ok, too. But we'd sure love to have you guys if you decide to come down to visit.

Alrighty, then. I guess I should get up and about for the day, huh? It is almost noon and I haven't even eaten breakfast yet. But don't tell my husband. He is trying to make sure that I get a good breakfast in everyday. Sorry, Matt!


PS. Thank you to my brother Matt who got the first cards of the season sent out. I got a beautiful card from him that made me smile :) Matt, if you're reading this, you are too funny!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Slow but steady progress

We have a bathtub! No water yet, but a tub, nonetheless. It is very exciting.

On another note, it was like 70 degrees outside today. A huge change from the 40 degree weather we were having earlier this week. Go figure, huh.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Home Improvement Project

So, last week we decided that this week would be a good time to redo our guest bathroom. It needs everything done to it-new tub, new toilet, new vanity, sheetrock, rewiring, tile, floors, everything. So we got started on Friday, ripping stuff out. We got most of it done, and boy was it dusty! The walls in our house were made during the intermediate time between lathe and plaster and sheetrock. So, there is a 1/2 inch gypsum board with plaster over top. That plaster is horrible! Our walls have huge cracks in them, and no way to fix them. They just crack again. And just try to hang pictures on the walls without gouging a huge chunk of plaster from the wall. It is impossible! (Kate knows how I feel. Her walls are the same.)
So, anyways, demo on Friday, more demo on Saturday, and then we got started running wires for a light/fan (YIPPEE! A fan in the bathroom! Finally! That would have come in handy when we had the boys for roommates, huh?) and Matt started messing around with the plumbing. We took the tub out, that was our last thing we did before we headed off to Justin's (our friend/former roommate) turnover party. (On the Prise, they have a tradition that the next person getting out of the navy receives a "short timer" belt from the previous holder. Justin was turning the belt over to the next guy. Exciting times.)
Matt woke up early on Sunday and got to work. Me? Well, I lazed in bed for a little, and then got ready for breakfast with an old friend from my Truman days. Matt and I met up with my friend and his friend at IHOP, where we had some pretty good pancakes. When we got back, I helped wire up some outlets and ran wire for the light switches, pulled yet more nails from the studs, and tried to get most of the dirt out of the little room. I figure, the more dirt I sweep up the less dirt I'll have to worry about being tracked all over the house. I had laid down plastic sheeting to try to protect the floors, but we'll see how well that works.
In the afternoon, I had to get my homework done. I have a group project that ended up being a 37 page document, and I needed to get my part done. 37 pages! Yikes. I'm glad we did it together. Anyways, while I was doing that, Justin (friend/former roommate) showed up, ready to help. Matt was at Lowes getting some supplies, so Justin came just in time. We needed his truck. So, with Justin there, I had to just worry about getting tools for them, figuring out what to do for dinner, and let the guys do their magic. That room is slightly too small for 3 people, and Justin is kind of a big guy, so I was ok with working on my homework. Anyways, with Justin here, we got a lot of stuff done. Justin finished wiring the light switches for the fan, vanity, and fan light. Matt was working on plumbing. Then they put my kitchen counter back together!!!! I'm so excited, because in order to get the pieces together, you have to come at it from underneath, which we couldn't do until we took apart the bathroom. Long story. Anyways, now there is no crack down the middle of my counter top. It looks so good! Then Justin ran the fan vent all the way outside and got it taped up. I helped him cut insulation to put in the ceiling. Did I mention that it is the coldest that it has been in a long time? Well, all that cold was coming into the house through that little bathroom because there was no insulation in the walls. What a difference some fiberglass makes! Anyhoo, here are some pictures of our project. I should have taken some before pictures, but as usual, we don't think of that until after we already have stuff ripped apart. We hope to put the tub in tomorrow and finish up with the plumbing, and get working on sheetrock by this weekend. Maybe sooner, and do tiling this weekend. We are going to get it finished up by Christmas, dang it!!!!

This is my finished countertop! I'm so excited to not have a huge crack down the middle.

This is our hallway. We've kept the guest bedroom doors closed to cut down on the dust, and we put plastic down on the floor to minimize damage to the new hard wood.

Where the plumbing for the tub is going to go. Did I mention our new tub is awesome? I'll get a picture of it when we put it in. I can't wait to take a bath in it!

This is the new vent fan/light fixture. It will make a huge difference in the room!

The new outlet. Three switches: one for the vanity light, one for the vent fan, and one for the vent fan light. Cool, huh?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Matt!

So, Matt turned 26 today. I hope he had a good day. I woke up early with him, as usual, but this morning we decided to play a little DDR (Dance, Dance Revolution, for those of you who don't know). We used to play all the time, but we haven't really played for a while. We put it on workout mode and danced for around 25 minutes. It felt good to get the blood flowing in the morning. Then, I made Matt a lunch, saw him off, and hit the books. I had my final Biology test today. I don't have to go to the community college campus ever again! (of course, now that I said that, I'm going to have to go for SOME reason, right?)
I had class after I took my test, and Matt beat me home. I hadn't had time to clean up, so I made up for it by making homemade calzones. I made the dough in the breadmaker, and then made a ground beef filling, and cooked them in the oven. They actually turned out very yummy. Matt liked them, and that is what is important. We have enough leftovers for his lunch tomorrow, too, which is a bonus!
Well, after dinner, we had desert, which ended up being orange cranberry muffins. Ooo, they were good. And then Matt opened up his present from me. I wasn't sure what to get him, so I got him this...

I bought the apron at Micheal's and I painted the logo on. :) Don't you think it is cute? I got the exact reaction I was hoping for...he laughed out loud. He was not expecting an apron, that is for sure. I actually messed up on one apron, and I'm going to keep that one for myself. He gets the good one :)

Anyways, not much else going on. I talked to Peggy on Sunday for about 3 hours, which is crazy, but it was a good talk. And I'm glad I got to talk to Jill yesterday, and that Matt was able to help her get her pictures onto her computer. He's such a good brother-in-law, isn't he?

Oh, and those newsletters/graduation announcements I've been working on since the weekend? Well, I will hopefully get most of them in the mail tomorrow. I have an online test to take sometime during the day (I will take my time on this one, I didn't do so well on the last. Tricky questions!) but that is about it. I have class in the afternoon at 4pm, but I should be able to get most of the stuff done I need to before that, right? Sometimes it feels like I just don't have enough time for all the things I need to do. Maybe if it wasn't so cold outside, I would feel like going out more.

Well, that's about it. Kate already told you about Thanksgiving, and since we spent it with her, well, all I'll say is that we had a great time. We played a fun game with Ben's cousins and sister and had a wonderful time. It was a good Thanksgiving.

Ok, I'll talk to you guys later!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

More home canning action

hi all,
We are busy canning here in the Emerson house. It's crazy for me to think that I am able to can food, and make all these super neat foods that I never would have thought of before. I mean I made grape syrup! have any of you ever made syrup, probably not, but let me tell you if you mess up making grape Jam, you just might end up with some tasty grape syrup =) So the grape jam was a little runny, we have moved on to new things.

Tonight we made Vegtable Salsa, which seems to have gone well. And we also made a batch of Cherry Jam, and oh my goodness is it Delicious, with a capital D! The cherry Jam actually set up like it was supposed to, which is in distinct contrast to the Grape Jam.

Included in the busy day today was taking newborn photos of Paisley, which I will be working on here soon. And I posted some pictures from my trip to London on my facebook page.

Other then that, not much else to say... Oh and I updated my real website with some new pictures also.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight Movie

So, last night we went to see Twilight. We've been waiting a long time to see it, so it was pretty cool. I got my tickets the night before, because I was afraid that they would be sold out. But they weren't. But that is ok. The theater was pretty much full, and overall it was an enjoyable experience. Matt went, along with Kate and Chancy and a bunch of people from Kate's ward. Kate left her baby at home, and I guess she wasn't doing so well, so we took Kate right after the movie back home. So, sorry, we didn't get any pictures of our home-made Twilight shirts that we made on Thursday night. Darn, huh. I'm sure you're all bummed out. Yes, you heard right. We made t-shirts to wear. Mine said, "This Bella married her Edward" on the front, and I*heart*EC on the back. I think it was cute, in spite of the fact that it was one of Matt's white t-shirts.

Anyways, on another note, half my family is down in Mississippi/Louisiana right and I wish I could be there. But, alas, I have so much homework/studying to do right before the end of the semester. Plus, I don't think I could drive 15 hours by myself. By the time I got there, my siblings would be gone anyways. I'm glad that Mike has posted pictures of our family on his Facebook account. He posted this one of me and Penny from a long time ago. Like when we were 3. We are so cute! Our hair! I'm going to see if he can email it to me so I can post it on here, because I want everyone to see how cute we were at one time.
It is sad that it takes a funeral to bring everyone together. But I'm glad they all got to go. I just wish I could have gone.

Well, I have to study for a Biology test and also for my Practical (final exam in Bio lab) so I'll go now. Talk to you guys later.


PS. Oh, and by the way, for those of you dying to know, our Grape Jam experiment didn't quite turn out :(

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yummy Applesauce

Ok, so I don't know what has gotten into my husband, but yesterday he started talking about canning our own food. How hard can it be? All sorts of people used to do it. And we would like to get self sufficient when we move to Cali, and when we have a nice garden, it would be good to be able to preserve our food. So we started looking around for a pressure canner. But we were having a hard time finding one, so we ended up with a 5 layer food dehydrator instead. We dehydrated some food yesterday, and it should be ready by tomorrow. We did bananas, kiwi, pears, and some orange peppers that we had left over from dinner.

Somehow, Matt was still not satisfied, so today when we saw a pressure canner and all sorts of canning supplies at Tayler's Do-It center (our local hardware store) we decided to take the leap. But how to get started? We wanted to start with something fairly simple that didn't have a lot of ingredients. The applesauce recipe in the book we had bought yesterday (we can't do anything without first buying a book on it) looked good, so we though, what the heck? Let's do it. And here are the products of our labor!

Yes, I helped, although it doesn't look like it because Matt is the only one in the pictures. I was the one keeping up on the dishes and I actually pulled all the jars out of the water to be filled and put the lids on.

Actually it was great fun, and we have some really yummy applesauce to show for it. (We had some left over, not enough for a jar, so we chilled it and ate it already :)

Fun stuff, huh. And add to that the fact that we bought a bread maker and now I'm going to be making all our bread for sandwiches. Matt'll make a homemaker out of me!


Thursday, November 13, 2008


More pictures

She finally came into the room after noon. She is so cute!

Video of the new girl

Here she is! I had to wait b/c it takes a little while to process the video. She's so cute!

I haven't seen Kate yet. But I did call: Lani, Peggy, Marie, Beth, Matt, and Penny. I'm waiting for a little bit to call Jill, and I guess my number for Mike isn't the right one.

Here she is!

Here she is! Paisley Minette Lineberry. 7 lbs 9 oz. 19 3/4 inches. Born at 8:06 am November 13, 2008. She has strawberry blonde hair!

Kate is still in recovery. I'll update you on her progress when I find out!

Love you all!


Fail Blog

Ok, I can't stop looking at this blog site. It is hilarious. So far my favorites:

fail owned pwned pictures



:) You guys should check it out. I can't for sure say that all the posts are tasteful, but the ones I've seen so far have been really funny!


PS. Yes, I will be posting pictures of Kate's baby later. I haven't decided when I'm going to go to the hospital, but I'll probably be heading out her pretty soon. If I could get off the computer, that is.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Guess what Matt did today!

:) Isn't he sweet?

Oh, and by the way, Happy Veterans Day!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Don't know why, but this thing left me giggling. Ok, literally laughing out loud. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

About biking

Believe it or not this post will be about biking, which in theory is the subject of this blog.

We have settled on a route across the country! We have tried to include as much of our family in to account as possible while sticking to as many bike friendly routes as possible. We are members of the Adventure Cycling Association and are using their routes for most of the rides. While we are making this entire journey on our own we would be thrilled to have guests for parts of the ride, if you are interested in joining us for part of our ride let us know!!!!

Here is our route, we are roughly planning on starting April 2010:


Friday, November 7, 2008

Do You Believe?


I am a Californian, and I voted in this election. And I am proud to say that I voted against Proposition 8. And I am so saddened by the fact that Californian's have a passed a law to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation. It is a disgrace to our society that we are now legalizing discrimination.

Everyone in this country is guaranteed the freedom to practice any religion they choose. Why can you not let other people practice what they choose?

Marriage has a legal significance as the spouse can make life & death decisions for their spouse. By denying gays & lesbians the the right to marry, you are denying them to have these rights. I am ashamed of anyone who recommends denying someones rights. Especially women and African-Americans who both have had to fight for their rights.

If you believe in Christ then you don't have the right to judge (Matthew 7:1), so please stop judging homosexuals. It is not your job to judge them and deny them their legal rights, instead work on improving yourself (Matthew 7:3)


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Its has been a long time

Ok, so I have to apologize for not writing sooner. I know I get on everyone else for not keeping up with their blogs, but I have no room to talk, now do I? I have been pretty busy these past few weeks. For one of my classes I have to do 70 hours in the classroom. I was assigned to a first grade and a fourth grade classroom, with 35 hours in each. I am fortunate that I do not have class during the day on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, so I can stay all day and knock the hours out. I started a couple weeks ago, and I spend 5 whole days in the first grade classroom. Those kids have changed my mind about which grade I want to teach. I don't think I would mind teaching the younger kids, which surprised me. I got to do so much with the class. I gave spelling tests, read stories, helped them with their work, and for one day I took over the whole class and taught all the lessons. The college class this is for is Classroom Management, and so I was supposed to pay attention to what makes the classroom run smoothly. This teacher had a routine for everything, which was great for the kids. She taught language arts only, so she had two separate classes of kids that switched right before lunch. The thing I noticed is that the afternoon class was always rushing and often didn't have time for all the work they needed to do. But other than that, it was kind of nice to teach the same lesson twice. If it didn't go smoothly in the morning, you can change it and make it better for the afternoon.
I've been in the 4th grade now for 2 classes, and it is a big change. The teacher is less organized, but she has good intentions. She has a lot of information that she wants to impart to me. I don't think she realizes how little time I'm going to be there. She keeps making plans, but she has a terrible memory and forgets, so it is ok. It all works out. She had me design a book report project for the class. They read biographies of famous women, so I made a paper bag puppet of Hillary Clinton as an example.

This is my first attempt. The final product was much better. But you get the idea. It looks sort of like her, huh?

So far, it has been fun to be in the classroom. I guess the more experience I get inside the room the more I feel like I could do this someday. And that someday is coming up very quickly. This spring I have a 150 hour practicum, half of that will be at the Child Study Center at ODU working with preschoolers. And then in the Fall I will have my Teacher Candidate Internship, otherwise known as Student Teaching. So exciting! (: But seriously, I have the worst case of senior-itis. It is getting terrible. The instructors ask for some ridiculous things, and I'm so close to the end of the Bachelor's that it is hard to do it sometimes. But all I need to do is get it done.

Oh, so I took a test on Tuesday for my Legal Aspects of Special Ed class. I did horrible. On the first test I missed 5, and thought I did bad, but I actually got the highest score, so the teacher curved the scores and I ended up with 100%. So this time, when I missed 12 (!) I was a little bummed out. But it was still in the B range, so I wasn't too worried. Well, once again I scored the highest in the class and the teacher curved our scores so that I got a 91%, but then he added 1 more point to make the number of failures less. So I ended up with a 92%. After all that, and I still got the highest score. This teacher lets us grade our tests after we take them to get an idea of what our score is. He was sitting next to me after I had scored it, and asked me how I did. I said I missed 12. He was surprised. He said "You? It must have been a hard test, then, huh." :) It was a hard test. I usually don't do that badly on multiple choice tests.

Ok, this post was really for Mom, who called me today and talked for 8 minutes before my class started. She said I needed to post, so I thought I would. I want to say that Matt had a wonderful time visiting with her in London, and when he gets the pics from the wedding processed, he'll post the pics of Mom and London. So stay tuned! I love you, Mom. Thanks for calling. It was good to hear your voice. And I'm glad Matt could give you a calling card so you could talk to us back home.