Monday, April 24, 2006

In your prayers...

Please keep Jim's Dad Harry in your prayers. He found out last Thursday that he will be going in tomorrow (Tuesday) for a triple bypass. It was a surprise to everyone, he has always been a healthy man so we are all thankful they caught it now. Jim and Barb are in Dubuque tonight until Wednesday night. Let him be in your prayers tomorrow so that the operation goes well, and after that so that the recovery goes smoothly as well.

Thank you all, we appreciate it.

A Weekend Outdoors

Friday was a pretty good day for me. It started by receiving my tax return money, which was certainly a nice surprise. Later in the day I received an email from my graduate school program director letting me know that I had received an assistantship. That was amazing news. Although it is only a quarter time and not a half time I am honored to have been offered one. I will be a research assistant with Dr. Chad Harms whose interest area is computer-human interaction. Basically, I will work 10 hours per week assistanting him in his research. What is the best though is the benefits the assistantship provides. It will not only provide a monthly stipend but it will also pay 1/4 of my tuition and provide health insurance as well as some other benefits. When I got home from work on Friday I got a return check in the mail from my old apartment. They finally had gotten my apartment rented and actually had to cut me a check in the end. The biggest relief was just not having to worry about it any more.

Jim and I had been talking for awhile because I had decided that part of my income tax return would go to something we bought for ourselves and the majority would go to something responsible. In the end, Jim and I decided to get bikes. We spent the majority of friday night hunting down the perfect ones and eventually decided on the Schwinn Skyliner. I think we both feel we made the perfect decision. We weren't planning on getting matching bikes, but I wanted something with an older look, and Jim wanted something with a lot of speeds and this bike was the best of both.

Saturday we went ahead and tested out our new bikes....a lot! We rode around and had lots of fun. We rode up to the bike shop and I got a cool comfy seat for my bike....more comfortable it is to ride the more we'll ride them!

Sunday our main project was the yard. We rented a tiller and tilled up the area for the garden which was lots of hard work (especially for Jim!). I thought it wouldn't be too bad, but we had the mightest of all tillers because its all that was avaliable. So I start out thinking I am going to till up the first row with no problem...bing bang done right? I think not. I start the tiller rolling and that thing just takes off. Here I am running after this massive tiller straight toward the fence. Luckily enough, I got it under control and dropped the handle so it stopped spinning, but basically that's how the tilling went. The thing was so powerful, Jim was tilling and keeping it under control, but I know he is sore today from it.

After returning the tiller we made a walmart run. Then we came home for a bit more gardening. Jim started pruning the hedges up front, he really did good at trimming the one by the driveway back so that you don't brush it when you pull in and out. I had rooted some sunflowers so I got those planted in the front of the house. Once we came to a stopping point we rode our bikes up to true value so I could get a bigger watering can. Lucky enough for us, when we were at walmart I had invested in a basket for my bike. Sounds dorky I know, but it looks nice and I love it! Any how.....that was our weekend.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Grilling on the new grill

This past weekend when Jim and I were home my Dad offered to get me my birthday present early so that we could get more use out of it. I had asked for a grill. So we went and picked out an awesome grill and I just love it.

I had decided after getting it that the first thing we should do is have some people over for a barbque so we invited everyone over for Thursday night. Jim's sister Barb came, and so did his friend Dude. My friends Jodi and Erica came as well so there were 6 of us there in all. We had a very good time.

We grilled out porkchops and Jim made potatoes and I made a salad. Everyone ate, talked, and seemed to enjoy themselves, most didn't leave until around 9:30 so we had a full good night. In fact, we have decided that every other Thursday would become barbque night, especially since Thursdays are when they have the Farmers Market and Music in the Junciton on the next block over, so we can really make it a fun time! I think I might be way too excited about this!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Could he be any cuter??

The cuteness of my nephew sometimes astounds me, you can't help but love him! These were taken as his first year pictures!


Friday, April 14, 2006

Monday, April 10, 2006

Lion King Weekend!

I feel like I had been waiting for this weekend to come for ages! Last fall Jim, my Mom and I all got tickets to see the Lion King. My mom and I had seen it when she had come to visit me while I was in London and we just loved it so, when we found out it was coming to Des Moines there was no question that we would be there!

My Mom came in late Saturday morning. First my Mom had been taunting me with a present she was bringing for our house so I wasted no time trying to figure out what that was. Turns out, she brought us her big beautiful jade plant I have envied for quite awhile. This plant is so big and just amazingly beautiful and I can't explain how excited I am to have it in our house! Then we made lunch, mine and Jim's chicken fajita hoagies. It was quite tasty. Then, there were more surprises from my Mom! She gave us our Easter basket early so that was a lot of fun. Before we headed out for a bit we divided up Jayke's birthday pictures I had taken so her and Chelsea could each have some. From there we decided to head down to all the little shops on 5th street right by where we live. We had a lot of fun going through some of them!

We headed home with enough time to get ready for the show and head to dinner. We decided to try a new restaurant called the Iowa Beef Steak House. We had read online about it and it sounded like a restaurant we really like that is outside of town a bit called Rube's. The appeal and fun is that you can grill your own meat on these big grills and stuff. The difference was that at the Iowa Beef Steak House we were the only ones who grilled our own. At Rube's it's like a party around the grill, but here it was quite different. Don't get me wrong, the food was still great, but just not exactly as we had planned.

From there we headed to the show. Our seats were ok, but they were a little to far to the side to see some parts of a few scenes which was pretty disappointing for me, but there were some advantages to them. Throughout the show there are various animals that come up from off stage and they walked in almost right in front of us! That was really great to see some of them up close.

As far as the show goes, it was wonderful! The music and the costumes and the sets are all amazing! My favorite part is that they add a song that is not in the movie. It is when Mufasa is telling Simba about the stars being the old King's looking down on him. The song though is very touching and it makes the show. They carry it on to different parts of the show as well and it just really brings everything together and adds a larger sentiment to the show. It's my absolute favorite part.

All in all it was a fabulous Saturday. I was sad to see my Mom go that night because we had had such a good time, but she made it back to Carter Lake safely which was good. For any of you who have the opportunity I really recommend seeing the show, it tru
ly is amazing!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Bat-o-rama

Ok, I hesitate telling this story because I find it a bit terrifying and icky but it is still a bit funny so here goes. I took Friday off of work to get some spring cleaning done. I was vacuuming our spare bedroom which is the room where the door to the upstairs attic area is. I had the hose on the vacuum out and was running it along the baseboards when I decided to open up the door to the attic and use the hose to vacuum the landing. Suddenly, I sucked up something that got stuck to the end. I couldn't tell what it was, it looked like a piece of leather or something and either it or the vacuum was sqealing loudly. It was dark in there and so I couldn't see for sure what it was and suddenly it dawns on me that it might be a mouse (our house is old and we had a run in with a mouse when we first moved in so it wouldn't be totally out of the question but I was truly hoping it wasn't because I find that just absolutely disgusting). Anyhow, I slam the hard part of the vacuum hose in the door, start screaming, shut off the vacuum, run out of the room and shut the door, and proceeded to run like a idiot screaming out of the house.

I call Jim who calms me down and I decide to just leave that room shut up until he gets home which would be about an hour and a half. So I was in the dining room which leads to the spare room and I am getting things ready for Milo to come home from the vet (Jim was bringing him home after work from getting neutered and decalwed...poor guy). Anyhow, I turn around and there outside the door to the spare room is the mouse or whatever it was. I didn't look too hard at it but it looked kind of flat and dead and I had no idea how it got out of a shut up room so I just started screaming again and ran out of the house. I came back in, grabbed boomer, went outside and called Jim again. I told him I would stay outside until he got home which was only about half an hour.

Jim gets home and comes inside, looks all around, and there is no mouse to be found, absolutley nothing. I am baffled and with some resistance I come back in the house.

Later that night after going to bed, I was asleep and Jim was watching some TV. Boomer jumped up on the bed and it woke me up. Thats when I saw it, I looked up and it was swirling around our bedroom. I yell "what is that" right before ducking under the covers. I am a little blurry on what happens right after that but somehow I duck out of the room and shut boomer, jim and the dreadful bat in there alone.

Lucky for everyone, between boomer and Jim they hit down the bat very quickly and Jim had it trapped under a pillow. I go the kitchen, grab the rubber gloves and a plastic bag and run it in to Jim. He lifts up the pillow a little and the bat starts screeching. I yell "that's the noise from the vacuum", and suddenly everything makes sense.

The piece of leather, flat looking, scary mouse was a bat. Thankfully it is out of the house and all of us are well but let me tell you, that is something I never want to deal with again.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Good News!!

Just wanted to let you all know since I had mentioned it before....

I got in to Grad School!!

I will be starting this fall in the master's program at Iowa State for Journalism and Mass Communication! I am thrilled!!