Monday, August 29, 2011

House pictures (finally)

Sorry for the wait; please note that I am not calling them "clean house pictures."  I finally realized if I were going to wait for those, well, who knows when I'd be putting pictures up?!
So, here's the digital tour:
This came out rather dark; it's one side of the living room, the side with all the books and the gas stove.

Messy computer desk/scrapbooking side of the living room 

A picture from another day, a sunnier one :)

A rare moment of cleanliness

Our new fridge, which dominates this half of the kitchen

Toby roasts a chicken, thus proving that our stove works

The dining nook

If you walk through the gate, that would lead you into the kitchen.  Here you can see the W/D and the door to the bathroom.

Yep, it's a bathroom...

Some of the fine paneled cupboards near the door to our room

A view into Toby's room

Our room 

Our awesome closet!

Finally, a real room of her own!

Ruby got the room with the woodsy landscape wallpaper.
The mudroom (with an entrance to the kitchen)
Well, there it is, the humble abode.  It's been good to us so far!  The worst part is the ant problem, but that seems to have been better since Allen sprayed one of their entryways with Raid.  Otherwise, it's great having a house that's all on one floor and it's REALLY great for Ruby to have her own room.  She sleeps better and so do we.  
Speaking of Ruby, that girl is now 15 months old!  I can hardly believe it!  Here are some cute pictures to mark the occasion.

Gotta love pasta with red sauce!  She went directly into the bath after that meal.  
Today was my first day of meetings at school. It felt pretty weird not to be setting up a classroom of my own, planning, and creating a schedule with my team.  And I won't was a relief.  I think I'm going to enjoy being a support person this year and not being in the lead.  I'm pretty worn out these days; the doctor did a blood test and found that I was anemic, so I have to take my iron pills again!  But all that to say, I'm thankful that I don't have the same big responsibilities on my shoulders, and I'm glad that all the new teachers are full of vim and vigor and passion!  They have great ideas and are excited for the year ahead.  I think some fresh blood will do wonders.  I'm sure it is going to be a productive and good year for all the kids in our care.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ruby adds some new words to her repertoire!

Ruby has been saying "hi" and "bye bye" to lots of people...think grocery stores.  Today at church she just went up to a lady, held up her arms, and said, "Up!"  Of course, she was duly picked up.  Who does this baby think she is?!
I'll try to get some footage of her talking to post on here.  It's pretty cute.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Greetings from Milwaukie!

Well, well, we are no longer officially living in the O.C. Cookie Jar, because we're not in Oregon City anymore.  We're in a new home and almost all moved in.  There's still some stuff in the apartment that needs to come over here, but we've been sleeping here since Ruby and I got back from our big trip.
Allen (assisted ably by Andy) did SO MUCH WORK while we were gone.  Not only was he working his tiring job, but he was also moving stuff, little bit by little bit.  They never rented a UHaul; almost everything was moved one Echo-load at a time.  Karla and Spencer did help out with the minivan and pickup for some of the bigger stuff.  Such as...
Why, yes, those are OUR OWN appliances!  The dryer was a free find that Allen hauled for about 2 miles by dolly; the washer was bought (underwritten by my mom and dad, thank you!) from a family friend of Karla's who sells used appliances.  We have tested them out and they work just fine (although when the washer was draining water out during the spin cycle, the kitchen sink starting backing up with water...hmm.  Ruby thinks they are pretty great, too.  

The house is definitely not all put together yet, so I don't have complete pictures of the insides.  But here are a few of the outside.  

More pictures to follow, don't worry!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Last few Chautauqua pictures (and then some)

I'm back in St. Louis now, but I've got to put up a few last Chautauqua pix.  Ruby's hair was getting long and so we decided to take her to the little salon on site and get a trim.  It went pretty well, and all the little old ladies in the shop oohed and aahed because she was being very cooperative and quiet.  Always nice when that happens...

On our way to the salon, we met a pretty chocolate lab named Teddy.  Ruby is much more cautious around dogs than cats, but she did warm up to Teddy after a while.
On Saturday morning we packed up and said our goodbyes.  The week at Chautauqua was certainly a great experience and good time to spend with family.  It was great to see the cousins again (I'd never met Jackson, hadn't seen the girls since 2004, and hadn't seen their mom since her wedding in 1996!) and of course Betsy and Marsha and Grandma and Grandpa.  The trip wouldn't have been possible without the combined generosity of Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, and Dad, so I thank you all for paying and making other accommodations so that Ruby and I got to be part of the fun.  
The drive back was fine.  We stopped in Indianapolis on Saturday night, and were not far from the horrible state fair crisis.  Mom and I were in the hotel restaurant when we saw the wind whipping the trees wildly and the thunder and lightning storm beginning.  I thought, "I'm glad we're not out in that!"  The next morning on the news we heard about the rigging collapse at the fair and the deaths and injuries.  I saw TV footage of it that was just scary; it was like something from a movie.  You expected to see some superhero flying in to hold up the beams and save people...but no such luck.  It reminded me of watching the plane fly into the second tower ten years ago on September 11th.  Wow, it's been a decade...
The mighty Arch!
The drive on Sunday was short and the weather was so nice and sunny you wouldn't have guessed that a major thunderstorm had just rampaged the night before.  
We got back and poor Mom immediately had to start getting ready for a faculty retreat.  She's on an overnight tonight so we said our goodbyes this morning. 
Ruby loves Grandma and Grandma loves Ruby!
Mom is a great grandma and it's been so great to be here.  Dad is a great grandpa, too (he never shies away from even the dirtiest diaper change) and Sarah is a good aunt who did some excellent babysitting.  Toby, of course, was very happy to see Ruby after her week away at Chautauqua, and the feeling was mutual.  She does like her uncle Toby!  
We spotted Ajax doing something amusing...getting a drink out of the birdbath!

 Ruby is getting quite adept with feeding herself.  The next frontier will be using utensils; but she's fully transitioned to sippy cups from bottles now.  Alas, she has picked up the habit of dropping food and drink that she's done with onto the floor.  She needs to learn to leave it on her tray.
I think this is shortly before she let fly with a tremendous belch of which Uncle Toby heartily approved

Now it is Monday morning, and I'm blogging in the quiet of the house.  Toby is probably sleeping; Sarah is at field hockey practice and then has cello lessons.  I took some pictures of her in her field hockey duds, and Ruby decided she liked the look of field hockey.

Dad is at school getting things together and Mom is at the retreat.  I need to do laundry and pack.  Tomorrow morning we head off to the airport and then home!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cute Kid Alert!

Consider yourself warned...this kid is a cutie!

Here are some pictures from a little stroll that Ruby and I took around Chautauqua a few days ago.
The little Uniplex Cinema on campus

One of the Christian Organization houses (there are many)

Lake Chautauqua

Picturesque, no?

The Miller Bell Tower, a symbol of Chautauqua
Down by the beach, we met up with Betsy, Haley, Brittany, and Jackson.  The cousins played with Ruby for a while...

The Children's Beach

Fast Forward to the next day, when we had rented a bike with a kiddie trailer.  I decided to give Ruby her first bike ride around the area.  She was less than thrilled with the helmet and the buckling system in the trailer.
She looks somewhat jolly here but don't you believe it!

Ruby has helmet hair


She has a tendency to slide down in the trailer even when buckled.  It looks a tad uncomfortable.

Hanging out before dinner

Kids are so creative...Ruby overturned a stool and sat in it, so Sarah pushed her around

Clowning around at the Cow House