Sunday, April 27, 2008

Anjas 3rd Birthday!

Yesterday we celebrated Anjas 3rd birthday. We had some friends over and I think a good day was had by all. For six hours we had people coming and going, taking kids to other events etc, leaving early, coming late, it all worked out well. I think most people got some food, had a few drinks and said hello to everybody.

She was looking her very best yesterday courtesy of Granny Owens who sent the dress from Ireland. This has become a tradition although not planned that way. Granny Owens sent her the dresses she wore when she turned one and again when she turned two. Incidently she also sent the dress that Isabel wore yesterday.

It was all a bit too much for Anja really. She had been so excited about having this party for weeks and yesterday she seemed to hide in her shell, despite literally knowing almost everybody there all her life. This climaxed at cake time when she could not build enough courage to blow out the candles. She was fine later in the evening when most went home.

I have posted almost 100 pictures of the day to our web album space but a few select shots are shown below. I like the picture of Anja with the three girls that love Anja almost as much as we do; Michelle our first nanny who looked after her for six months. Then Lindsay of course who was with us for almost two years and now Kristina.

Once again, we must say a huge thank you to all who gave so many presents. There were so many - Thank you!



Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another Bike

We added another bike to our household collection this evening (this brings our total into double digit territory!). Anja got her first real bike for her upcoming birthday. She was out this evening for a short ride but was very hesitant at first. She soon got into the swing of things!!



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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend Update

Reasonably typical weekend passing. Chores are almost complete, we are about to visit Brad & Lisa (her birthday), we had breakfast with Randy & Lorraine yesterday, weather has been OK but not spectacular, I went for a walk with Isabel this morning while Lynne and Anja went shopping, I managed to get an 11 mile run in yesterday, Davey and Sam called for a chat yesterday evening, Lynnes spoke with Jo, her school friend yesterday (Hi Jo) then her Mum called this morning, we then had a nice relaxing family dinner and after baths and some adult relaxing we all hit the bed reasonably early. All in all a very typical weekend, of course as noted Isabel has started crawling in earnest!

Next weekend promises a little more excitement. Most of our friends will walk in our annual March of Dimes walk and we will host a small party for Anja's third birthday afterward. Should be fun, no doubt I will have an update next week.

A few pictures below from the action packed week with Kristina. It was a beautiful week and they spent lots of time outside. Kristina also went out and bought lots of crafts, the finger paint was a hit (see the red bird house which Anja painted in the background).

Have a good week everybody!




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Isabel Now Fully Crawling

It has taken her a few weeks to perfect the art but Isabel is now fully mobile. She started crawling in earnest this weekend. I have posted a short video below, now that I have figured the simplest way to post video, I fixed the post below. Now that she is crawling she has a tendency to see the world in three dimensions. Her crawling is a means to get from one pull-up station to the next. Time to lock everything down.....again.......!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earthquakes this Morning!

Our world here in West Lafayette got a little exciting this morning at 6.39am and again at about 11.15am. We had an earthquake. It was actually quite a few miles away but the house was shaking quite a bit and for quite a few seconds. It was unmistakeably something different. You can read what The New York Times had to say about it:

WEST SALEM, Ill. (AP) -- Bricks shook loose and fell from buildings. Walls cracked. Books tumbled off shelves.

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake centered near this southern Illinois town struck before dawn Friday, rocking skyscrapers in Chicago, 230 miles north of here, but doing little damage and seriously hurting no one.

It was the kind of tremor that might be ignored in earthquake-savvy California, but the temblor shook things up from Nebraska to Atlanta and rattled nerves in Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky., where bricks toppled to the pavement.

''We thought it (the house) was falling on us, we really did,'' said 85-year-old Anna Mae Williams, who was shaken awake at 4:37 a.m. in tiny West Salem, six miles from the epicenter.

Dozens of aftershocks followed, including one with a magnitude of 4.6.

The quake is believed to have involved an extension of the New Madrid fault, a network of deep cracks in the earth's surface, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The fault is at the center of the nation's most active seismic zone east of the Rockies, something that's known to Midwest residents, even if they forget it now and then -- the last severe earthquake in the region was a 5.0 magnitude quake in 2002.

Williams said she knew exactly what was happening because it reminded her of an earthquake back in 1968. Others had no idea what was going on.

Janet Clem of nearby Mount Carmel thought a nearby power plant had exploded, and was just as afraid when she realized that what she'd heard -- ''a heck of a rumble then a loud kaboom'' -- was in fact one of the most powerful earthquakes in Illinois history.

''I'm terrified, I'm not going to lie to you,'' she said after the earthquake collapsed her porch. ''I've never experienced anything like that and I don't want to experience it again.''

The earthquake was the talk of towns throughout much of the Midwest.

''I just saw my house just shake. Golly,'' said Mike Morrow of Mount Carmel, his eyes widening during an aftershock.

Morrow's two-story apartment building was evacuated because of loose and falling bricks. The initial quake woke the 30-year-old and startled his pit bull.

''He was about as scared as I was,'' Morrow said. ''We both just froze.''

Though nowhere close to the power of the nation's most famous quakes -- including the devastating temblor that hit San Francisco exactly 102 years ago Friday -- it was enough to remind people of the risk that exists in the Midwest.

In 1811 and 1812, the New Madrid fault produced a series of earthquakes estimated at magnitude 7.0 or greater said to be felt as far away as Boston. They were centered in the Missouri town of New Madrid (pronounced MAD'-rid), 140 miles southeast of St. Louis.

Experts said that with the much higher population in the Midwest, another major quake along the New Madrid fault zone could destroy buildings, bridges, roads and other infrastructure, disrupt communications and isolate areas.

Road crews in Kentucky and Indiana were out early Friday inspecting bridges and overpasses, and work crews took a close look at skyscraper construction sites in Chicago.

Early homeowner damage claims received by State Farm, the largest provider of earthquake coverage in the area, were mostly for cracks in drywall and foundations, spokeswoman Missy Lundberg said.

Many residents said they felt helpless.

''I tell you, it was scary,'' said Williams. ''There was no warning at all.''

David Behm of Philo, 10 miles south of Champaign, said he was awakened by the quake.

''Windows were rattling, and you could hear it,'' he said. ''The house was shaking inches. For people in central Illinois, this is a big deal. It's not like California.''

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cold and Wet Again!!

The weather has put a damper on our weekend plans. It was to be spent in the garden and lots of other fun outdoor activities. Not so......too cold!!

We did spend a few enjoyable hours over at Reina's party (shown here last year with her family). She celebrated turning four!!

Other than this not much else to report. Today Isabel was sporting her Irish Rugby top that Mum sent over. She looked very cute, her Daddy was very proud of her!!

More later!!


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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Should I Post Video?

I'm more of a visual person in that I prefer pictures than videos. Consequently, I have not posted many videos to this blog. I guess the question I have is the following: Should I post more video? Send me an email or leave a comment. I'm fine either way, I'm just curious to know what people think! See a video below which we took tonight of Isabel. Nothing spectacular, but it's pretty cute! It's about one minute so be warned!!!!

I'm edititing this again. I have now posted this clip to YouTube and hope to post it into here. hopefully this will work.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Spring may well have finally arrived. It was beautiful today, 60F and sunny. We kicked it off with some baking, I made a few scones and Lynne made some bean muffins for a picnic. After about an hour raking leaves and getting started on the garden it was time for a bike ride.

Kaisa and Kevin came over and we all went on our first bike ride for the year and with both girls ever. We packed a picnic and hit the road. we didn't go that far this first time but it went smoothly and was a lot of fun. 7 mile round trip, lots of play and a picnic along the way. All four girls really enjoyed the spin and we adults were finally glad to be out and about after a long winter. I have posted a few additional pictures on the albums page.





Wednesday, April 02, 2008


It was Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy and published in The Works of Benjamin Franklin, who uttered the now famous phrase:

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

Well tonight we completed our 2007 returns. Gathering the years receipts, salary details, mortgage information, expenses, deductions, investment details and lots more is a well established tradition for all (well most) who live in the US. We ended up having to write checks once again, one to Uncle Sam and one to the State of Indiana. This is  always painful but we are glad it's all complete for another year!!

To more cheery notes, see this great picture from the weekend of Isabel and Frida!!