Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for 2005

It’s Christmas!

27th December 2005

Merry Christmas, everyone! We’ve been having a wonderful
Christmas vacation up here in Wisconsin. Here’s a family
picture when Kristine’s sister, Anna, took us snow shoeing
in Platteville. We have all had quite a bit of fun in the
snow up here. The next three pictures tell the story:
cross-country skiing with mom, sledding with dad,
and sledding alone! Even if you are on 56k dialup, please
take the time to download and watch the video of
Analise sledding. It will be worth the wait!


Click here to download a video of Analise sledding
Click here to stream a video of Analise sledding

Analise has also seemed to be on an accelerated development
schedule. She has been talking quite a bit more and added
the following three words to her vocabulary: “baby”, “up”,
“down”. She’s also pulled off a number of other feats
in the four picture collage below. Clockwise from
the upper left:

  1. Stacking five creamers on top of each other while visiting
    with Kristine’s Godparents Kathy and Jerry Shultz and their
    daughters Anna and Sara.
  2. Walking with daddy in the snow, as evidenced by the
    little set of footprints next to the big set.
  3. Balancing her new baby on top of a
    Christmas bull.
  4. Carrying five baskets all by herself around the
    Cardwell house.

I have been having some more fun adventures on the snow
and ice, too! Dale took me skiing with his mentee, Daniel,
on a frozen river —
the Namakonga — the same dreaded river that was the demise of
my digital camera the day before my wedding almost exactly
two and a half years ago. Pictures below with captions!

Molly (the dog), Dale, and Daniel talk about strategies for
negotiating skiing through the rapids.

Probably the coolest part of skiing on the river was all
the animal tracks. We saw deer, maren (weasel-like)
predator, and river otter tracks! Yes, a river otter
leaves a very unique track … long tubes where the otter
will slide on its tummy. We saw these kinds of tracks
leading from a small breathing hole the otter had made
by the bank of the river. In the top picture above, you can
see the long tube tracks just beyond the ski tracks.
Above, in the bottom picture, you can see the otter’s breathing
whole near the center of the ice puddle.

Seeing these tracks from a very large bird, most likely an eagle,
was also really cool!

Finally, I went biking again today on some snow mobile trails
and only ventured out a little ways on to the lake. It was
clear enough today that you could just barely see all the
way across the lake to the other side.

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Search and Rescue

24th December 2005




I’ll come back to this map in a moment, but for now let’s just say that “green”
represents the intended path. The “red” lines indicate my best guess at the path
I actually followed across the lake.

Let me preface this blog by saying that it’s me, Brian, writing this blog so
that you know that everyone is alive and well. I brought my mountain bike
with me on our trip to see family up here in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
Our first stop on the trip was Platteville, Wisconsin where temperatures
at one point reached the coldest temperature I have ever felt: 9 below zero.

(See my previous blogs: Leaving Alabama and
Frozen and Not So Frozen.)

Temperatures had taken a big swing upward all the way to the lower 40’s, though,
by the time we drove five hours farther north to Shell Lake, Wisconsin to stay
with Kristine’s parents for a week.

I was not happy about temperatures in the 40’s as I had been looking
forward pretty much all year to riding my bike across a usually quite frozen
Shell Lake.
The average ice depth reported here
was just under 7 inches. Six inches is usually safe to drive a car onto the lake. I decided
that armed with this information, it would probably be safe to bike across the lake.

Riding through quite a bit of slush to reach the lake, however, did not help my confidence. So I decided to play it safe and stick close to the shore and head to the part of the lake that usually freezes first — the South Bay. Let’s return to the map at the top of this blog. The green line indicates this nice safe, intended path. The numbers on the map indicate the locations where the following five pictures were taken. I will use these pictures to help tell the rest of the story.


1: getting my feet wet – real ice skating

First, note that it is VERY foggy in this picture as I begin my journey. Note also that there is free standing puddles of water (not open water) from ice melt. I was following snowmobile and four-wheeler tracks, so this helped somewhat in rationalizing that what I was doing wasn’t completely insane. Nevertheless, seeing large puddles on a frozen lake isn’t necessarily a good thing.


2: island in the fog

As I was biking down to the spot on the lake where I took this picture, there was
a couple times that I lost site of the shore because of the heavy fog. This didn’t
worry me so much as I was following the marks left by quite a few snow mobilers
and four-wheelers — and I knew that I was heading in the right direction. When
I just barely could make out Scout Island to my left, I knew exactly where I was.
At this moment, I can remember thinking that it sure would be easy to get lost in
this heavy fog since the island less than 200 yards away would normally have been
easily visible.


3: the south landing

I made it to the South Landing marked on the map at the top of this blog
with a three. Here you can see a truck and a sport utility vehicle parked
on the ice, with the headlights of a third vehicle coming onto the lake
via a landing where I went kayaking with Kristine after only knowing
her for two months! At this point I actually exited the lake thinking that
I would just bike the couple miles back to the house via the roads.
I decided that with all the slush on the roads and low visibility it would
be better to just turn around and head back the same way I came via the lake.
Besides, there were numerous cars on the lake, and three drove right
by where I was standing when I took this picture. I thought I had nothing to
worry about. Big mistake.


4: pressure ridge and merry men

I started out by following the track I had made earlier.
Then I decided that on my way out I had stayed closer to the shore than I
wanted to because I remembered last year that the ice would crack really bad near the shore. So as you can tell from the red line, I veered to
the right … a little bit too far to the right! When I passed by the island,
I thought I was heading due north and passing by the airport shore somewhere
near or along the green line.

I didn’t realize it was the island until I started crossing pressure
ridges like the one in this picture, which I had not seen on my way down
to the south landing. Suddenly, I came across a three foot high pressure ridge
and two men on four wheelers pausing for a drink. They confirmed my suspicion that I had come around on the wrong side of the island. They warned me that
I had best turn around and come back the way I came as they had heard
that there were open areas of water still on the lake. I turned down the
drink they offered me in a flask — “one for the road” — which may
have turned out to be the best decision I could have made as impaired
judgment could have led to a story with a not so happy ending.
See “moments of panic” after the next picture. I turned
around and headed back the way I came.


5: through the fog, the north landing

This picture was taken after the scariest part of my trek across the lake.
Nine out of the ten moments of panic listed below all happened after I left
the “merry” ATV men. I’m not exactly sure how to explain what happened
since I don’t know myself, but I got quite lost and disoriented in the
fog with near-zero visibility. As you can tell from the red line on the map,
I did successfully make it around the island, but when I was attempting
to find a good track to lead me back to Shell Lake, I picked the wrong
track, lost my bearing and headed out across the longest part of the
lake, which is exactly where any open water (if there was any) would be.
I of course did not know this at the time.

The snow mobile track I was following
was a very good, straight one so I decided that I would just stick with
it and follow it. The track initially had other tracks crisscrossing
it, but eventually it became the only track visible. The fog kept getting
thicker and thicker leading to moment of panic #1, which was certainly
the scariest moment — when the fog was thick and the snow had been blown
enough that for a moment (probably less than a second) I lost complete
sight of the track I was following. During that moment, several realizations
happened:

  1. There was no land in sight, and I had absolutely no
    idea where I was.

  2. I had been biking for probably close to thirty minutes and had not seen any
    sign of land at all. I realized I was probably heading in the wrong direction, but I had no idea which direction I was heading. In fact, I was thinking that I might be heading south or southeast across the lake and at any moment would hit the south shore somewhere directly below the 4 on the map. This was in fact quite the opposite of the direction I was heading.

  3. The sun had already set and I would have no hope of navigating in the dark.

A few minutes after having these realizations and confessing that I believed
that Jesus was my savior both here on earth and for the life to come … not
sure which of the two ways He was going to choose to save me today … I saw
a garbage can. My immediate thought was that I had taken a direct route to the
town landing and that it was a garbage can from the city park. Unfortunately,
I quickly realized that it was just a garbage can from where an ice fisherman
had been. I keep biking and about 100 yards later a car came into view. I biked
up to about 25 yards to the side of the car and called out to the man who was
in the car with the window down asking him which way was the nearest shore.
I told him that I had gotten lost on the lake and had absolutely no
idea where I was. He responded that I was only about 100 yards away from the north landing.
He went on to say that he was so surprised when he saw me and said to himself: “There’s something you don’t see everyday…

Imagine someone on a mountain bike coming
into view from out of a thick fog in the direction of the middle of the lake. It
might have actually freaked him out a bit. This last picture above is
a picture I took looking back after I made it to the north landing. You can
see that visibility is probably less than 25-50 yards. The tire tracks are
from the car driven by the man I talked to. Notice that his car, less than 100 yards
from the shore is not even close to being visible. Even after making it to shore, I was a good 2 miles from home, and I wasn’t entirely sure where I was or which road
I was on to get home. I’ll let Kristine comment or write
her own blog about the search and rescue party that she and her father conducted
to try to find me. I was gone for almost two and a half hours — more than an hour and a half longer than anyone (including me) was expecting. I had probably ridden close to 15-20 miles in the snow and ice on the lake and on the roads by the time I made it home. Kristine was still out looking for me when I got home.

    Moments of panic:

  1. When the fog got so thick that I momentarily lost the one snow mobile track I was following.
  2. When I first realized that I had no idea where I was and that I couldn’t see land in any direction.
  3. When I had to ride through large puddles where the ice had thawed and pooled on top of the deeper ice below it.
  4. When I began thinking irrationally and recognized that I was actually starting to panic. The irrational thought

    that scared me the most was that the track I was following was actually going in circles and that I might not be any

    closer to land then I had been 15-20 minutes earlier.

  5. When I was told by two “merry” ATV’ers that there was open water on portions of the lake and that I should be

    careful crossing pressure ridges as the ice might “just open up underneath you”.

  6. When I realized that the sun had already set and that I might not make it shore before it got too dark
    to see anything.

  7. When I heard large sections of ice “splashing” underneath me.
  8. When I came across sudden difficult sections of riding not because of snow on the ice, but rather because of ice

    that had melted so much, that my tires were sinking a good inch or two into the slush.

  9. When riding became so awkward because of the snow and ice that had accumulated on the spokes of the wheels that I thought I had a flat tire and would have to walk the rest of the way across the lake.
  10. When I realized that if I dropped my sunglasses that I was currently carrying in my mouth, that I was pretty sure I

    would not stop to pick them up.

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Frozen and Not So Frozen

20th December 2005

We’re having a wonderful first leg of our winter wonderland vacation visiting Hal and Anna in Platteville, Wisconsin. Today we drove down to Dubuque, Iowa (about twenty minutes south). Dubuque is located on the Mississippi River, which you can see is mostly frozen in this picture.



This part of Wisconsin and Iowa is really quite amazing. We saw four bald eagles today as we were driving on the highway. Two were sitting on the edge of the ice near open water on the Mississippi, and another two were perched in a tree near the highway. Eagles are amazing. To think such a huge animal can actually fly!

Our main destination for the trip was the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. It was awesome! There were all kinds of river animals ranging from tiny turtles to huge alligator snapping turtles. I’ve included the pictures below with a caption describing each.



Don’t be fooled … this alligator was huge … imagine how big that means the alligator snapping turtle next to it was! I definitely won’t be wading in the Mississippi River any time soon.



Here’s an interesting family portrait from the “Toadally Frogs” exhibit. There were frogs from all over the world. There were some cool little orange ones, blue ones, and green ones.



Here’s everybody waving!



Analise decided that the frogs were neither moving around nor jumping enough, so she decided to try to do both! She still hasn’t mastered jumping, but she sure can run. Aunt Anna did a great job of demonstrating how to jump. Here’s some short video clips. (Click on the picture to see them).



Analise also thought it was appropriate to kiss all the frogs with their big lips. I’m not sure if she was looking for her prince charming or not, but even if she finds him, she has to wait until she’s 30 to date him!



What would an aquarium be without playful otters? This aquarium is no exception, although these are certainly cold water river otters … something you don’t see every day. Note the snow and icicles!



Speaking of cold, here’s Analise right before we headed out the door. She makes the funniest face when we first get outside; it’s kind of a grumpy what’s going on face. I think she is torn though, because I think she likes the snow — she waves at it a lot.

Lastly, I went for a bike ride yesterday here in Platteville. As you can probably tell from the picture below, it was cold. Yes, that is an icicle hanging from my lip. No, it didn’t hurt. Yes, it’s kinda gross. How did that happen? Well, I was riding my mountain bike on some snow mobile trails when it was only 3 degrees … imagine the windchill! Whew.



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Leaving Alabama…

19th December 2005

A few hours after participating in the December graduation ceremony, I finished grading my last exams, biked home, loaded into the car everything Kristine had packed, and we headed out of town for our Christmas vacation! Nearly 16 hours of driving later, we made it to the cold, beautiful white north!



We stopped at a McDonald’s in Maquoketa, Iowa for breakfast after driving all night. It was 8 below zero and there was snow everywhere! After a nice breakfast, we zipped up Hwy 61 through Dubuque across the mighty Mississippi River to Platteville, WI. Uncle Hal and Aunt Anna got to play with a well-rested Analise while Kristine and I got caught up on some sleep.

Before we left, Analise was as cute as ever — here is her latest adventures. She enjoys bringing the holy family together with the floating family (Noah and the animals). Also, she can climb up onto her rocking horse all by herself now. Merry Christmas everyone!



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Zoolight Safari!

16th December 2005

We just got back from an awesome adventure at the Birmingham Zoo. This one is for sure to become an annual tradition for us. When you first walk in the zoo, there is snow falling from an artifical snow blower. Looks pretty realistic! And then there are lights everywhere! Kristine may write more later, but I think I’m going to leave the pictures in the rest of the blog speak for themselves. Look for the animals in the lights!


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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

10th December 2005

I have to share this amazing Christmas light display

with you. If you CLICK

HERE and be patient while it loads (it’s a 4.9MB

file!), you’ll see the coolest synchronized light and

music display I’ve ever seen. Snopes.com verified that it is real and

said,

“This display was the work of Carson

Williams, a Mason, Ohio, electrical engineer who spent

about three hours sequencing the 88 Light-O-Rama

channels that controlled the 16,000 Christmas lights in

his annual holiday lighting spectacular (from Christmas

2004). His 2005 display includes over 25,000 lights that

he spent nearly two months hooking up. So that the

Williams’ neighbors aren’t disturbed by constant noise,

viewers driving by the house are informed by signs to

tune in to a signal broadcast over a low-power FM radio

station to hear the musical accompaniment.”

VERY COOL, in my humble opinion! I used to feel that

Christmas light displays could be tacky, but since I now

have a daughter that will say the cutest, “oh, wow” at

any lights or decorations she sees, we think anyone who

puts up lights is very cool:)

Almost Christmas morning at the

Toone house
The excitement just overcame us this morning:) We’d

ordered Analise’s Christmas present from EToys, and it

arrived yesterday in a huge box. We were very excited

to get her one, and only one, gift – the Fisher Price Little People A to Z Learning

Zoo. She has her Little People Ark and animals that she

plays with endlessly, and we just knew that 26 animals,

from A-Z with a mat that makes corresponding sounds

would be a hit. (In case you can’t come up with one

animal for each letter of the alphabet, here you

go!)

Since we are leaving next Saturday for

Wisconsin, not to return until Dec. 30th, we wanted her

to get a chance to appreciate it. Besides, both Brian

and I have gotten our Christmas presents from each

other, so Analise deserved the same! Anyway, she was

impressed by the snowman wrapping paper, and she needed

a little nudge to start tearing the paper off. But when

she saw the corner of the box with 3 of the animals in

view, she got really excited. We were not let down as

we opened it… she loves it! She got even more excited

as I opened each next bag of animals. She played with

it for hours before collapsing into a 2.5 hour nap.

When she woke up, she squealed with delight to find the

zoo and animals awaiting her in the living room. I know

what my family is saying, that we’re terrible for not

being able to wait or keep secrets, but let me tell ya,

there was not ANY less excitement in our household with

Christmas this morning! Here’s Analise, the

zookeeper:)

Santa Adventures
Wednesday morning we set out with Grandma Beverly to

visit Santa at the mall. When we arrived, though, Santa

was unavailable because he was having breakfast with

special needs kids. We decided to try the other mall in

town, since Analise was all dressed up for a picture

with him. When we got there, Santa was sweet and jolly

looking, and Analise was beautiful in her Christmas

dress. But she wouldn’t go near him and burst into

tears when he tried to hold her hand. Not even a sucker

could convince her he was nice enough. So there will be no picture of Analise with Santa this year, but we snagged this one in our rocking chair on the front porch when we got home.
PS – Brian just said, “No one’s going to read the blog that I posted now, because they’ll be so busy reading your fun one.” He wanted me to post a link to his, but maybe you could take a second and read his blog and even leave him a comment:) Thanks, y’all! Hope the joy of the Christmas season is filling your heart and home!

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End of the semester

10th December 2005

Yesterday was my last day of teaching for the Fall 2005 semester at Samford. It ended with a bang as I also gave a presentation on Research Proposal Writing to our department and to scholars participating in the BACHE Scholars in Computer Science program. The talk went really well! Below is a picture of the group after my presentation and also a picture of all the food that I bought at a nearby store and carried back on my bike. There are four 2-liter sodas inside the backpack along with two fresh fruit containers!



Other things happening here at the end of the semester … Kristine came to pick me up one evening and listen to the Samford bells, and as I was taking the elevator down to meet her outside, there was a spectacular sunset visible all the way down the hall, through the open door in a classroom, and out the window of the classroom. It was amazing — as if everything was on fire!



Lastly, it has been unusually cold at the beginning of December. On my bike ride in on Tuesday at a brisk 22 degrees, my water bottle was beginning to freeze. I took this picture below of the ice inside my water bottle after I had been inside the building for close to five minutes!



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I hate sewing…

9th December 2005

I actually don’t hate the “art” of sewing. I like creating things, especially easy things. I’m in the process of making the fuzziest, fleeciest fringed scarf ever. It’s simply 3 long strips of fleece sewn together right down the middle and fringed. I got a beautiful new jacket as an early Christmas present for Brian, and I’ve been so excited to make myself this scarf. Today I got all ready, cut the fleece, got everything pinned together – took all of 10 minutes! – and pulled out my sewing machine. It’s a hand-me-down from Brian’s grandmother, a Singer from the 1980’s (or earlier??). It’s done fairly well for me, though I always have to do some form of trouble shooting. I actually really hate sewing machines. That’s the worst part of sewing for me. So to finish the story, I was all ready to sew my one, simple long seam down the middle of my fleece, and the needle doesn’t move. The machine whirs, like it’s trying to sew for me, but the needle won’t even move with the hand wheel. ARG. I hate that. I don’t know how to fix it, my father-in-law is out of town until after we leave for Wisconsin next week, and I am not about to shell out the $100 necessary to take this silly machine in for a cleaning and fixing. Oh well… So much for my “motivated” morning of accomplishing things, at least with my sewing machine.

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A Bit of Genius

6th December 2005

Warning… a mother’s opinion ahead:) I have to say, I think Analise has a bit of genius in her. She has a box that allows for sorting shapes, but the shapes are more complicated than your everyday circle, square and triangle. It includes a pentagon, ellipse, diamond, tree, rocking horse, train and more. We expected it wouldn’t be really enjoyable for her until she was quite a bit older. In fact, advanced shape sorting isn’t a skill that’s developed on average until about 23 months. But Analise has mastered this box. It began when I started giving it to her in her crib to play with while I showered. I’d dump out all 15 or so blocks, and in the last month, I’ve been coming back to find ALL the shapes in the box! I caught her on camera today:) She’s very meticulous. When she starts with one shape, like the diamond, she’ll be sure to look at all the other shapes to make sure there aren’t any other diamonds to put in. She’s even able to rotate them around – in all directions – to make them fit into their holes. It’s honestly very impressive to watch! I’m a proud mom:)

We dressed up yesterday for a quick family picture at church. Analise looked like a little angel in her cute maroon velvet Christmas dress. But by the time we were ready to snap the picture, all she could really muster up was an “I’m tired” smile. So I’d like your opinion on which picture to use as our Christmas card this year. Leave us some feedback!

Lastly, a couple cute pictures. Brian and Analise were busy with yard work this afternoon, and below, Analise dances on her Aunt Kat’s Christmas present. Kat’s doing all she can to analyze the box and try to figure out what’s in it (including trying to hack into my Amazon account!), but I don’t think she’ll figure it out:)

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Blog Leftovers

1st December 2005

Are you still eating leftovers from Turkey Day? None left at our house, but I do have all kinds of tidbits that I’ve been wanting to post. I’m sitting here procrastinating from laundry/finishing up Christmas decorations/figuring out what to do for dinner. We’ve got severe weather blowing through the area, so the main TV stations are in full-coverage of the weather, and the weather sirens have gone off 3 times now. Don’t worry, I’m keeping my ears on James Spann with ABC 33/40 and an occasionally eye on the radar that’s permanently on the TV.

The Real Reason for my Lack of Blogging
So my dear hubby posted our exciting news about the newest Toone-to-Be:) I’m officially 13 weeks along, and maybe starting to feel better. I felt pretty lousy from about 6 weeks until a week ago, so that’s the real reason for my severe Lack of Blogging. Terrible, I know, since it’s not so hard to sit at the desk or curled up on the couch with my laptop and type, but it’s honestly taken all my energy to keep Analise fed and clean and the absolute bare essentials of my home in order. Thank goodness my sweet girl is a trooper, and we love our naptimes together! Anyway, early pregnancy is notoriously hard for me, but I think we’ve turned the corner. January 6th is the big date to know if this little Toone-To-Be is a girl or a boy.

A Day of Thanks
Our Thanksgiving was a great success. I wrote a blog in my head during a few quiet moments of Thursday morning, but I was super busy Tuesday night-Thursday cleaning, washing dishes, cooking, baking, and setting up the guest room. Our friends from Mercy Ships, Michael and Heather Drown and their 3 year old son Jason, came to spend Thursday and Friday visiting us. Brian’s parents, brother and grandmother also came for dinner, and it was my first year of hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksfully, Beverly made the majority of the food – turkey, ham, sweet potato souffle, stuffin, asparagus casserole. I made cranberry relish, corn casserole, rolls, pumpkin and apple pies, and a cheese/sausage/spinach dip platter as an appetizer. It was a lovely meal, and it looked beautiful on grandma’s china! It was so fun to use it, and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with it so I don’t have to pack it back into a plastic bin. My Christmas dream… a china cabinet:) Anyway, just before all the Thanksgiving cooking/eating/cleaning up/dishes, we noticed that our dishwasher was leaking water onto the hardwood floor. Not only that, because that’s happened a couple of times before, but there was a waterstain on the basement ceiling. AG. We’ve tried to fix the dishwasher before, yet we’re back to the same problems. Thankfully, we were able to put some pans in to catch the water, and it’s not leaking much, so maybe we’ll wait on the new dishwasher until after Christmas. And wonderfully, the dishwasher functioned the whole busy time.

Analise and Jason
Analise had such a fun time playing with Jason. I’ll have to post pictures soon, but if I try to right now, this will never get posted tonight! He was a bit of a whirlwind, so she tended to stay just out of his way, but he was very good about being gentle with her. My favorite moment was the morning they were leaving, and Analise and Jason were playing in the leaves out on the front sidewalk. She was walking through them, and he was running full speed through them. I called out to Analise, “Watch out, sweetie!”, and a few minutes later, I heard Jason call out to Analise as he came barrelling by, “Watch out, sweetie!” Cute. Analise cried and cried when Jason left. She likes having a playmate. I hope she’ll enjoy having a little brother or sister!

Christmas decorations
I finally had the energy and the motivation to start unpacking our Christmas decorations earlier this week. We have our little 32″ fiber optic Christmas tree up. It’s not quite strong enough for the handful of ornaments on it… When Brian reached to turn it on to show off the fiberoptics to our home church last night, it toppled over at his gentle touch. We’ve got so many ornaments that we haven’t even put up yet, that I think next year we’ll have to have bigger tree. Note to self: get out for the after-Christmas sales! I set up my beautiful Willow Creek Nativity set (like above) and Advent candles on a shelf that is within A’s reach. She’s learning that it’s just to look at, but she just loves the little wooden sheep and can’t resist taking them down every now and then to play. I don’t even have to be watching her… I’ll know from hearing her little, “Baa, baa!” She even added Noah and his family of animals to the Nativity set one day. Quite a familiy reunion!

North Country
Brian and I had a chance to see the movie “North Country” before Thanksgiving, courtesy of Samford. A group of students and professors were invited to go, and since my hubby is great at finding free date options at through Samford, we jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, no students showed up, just 2 other professors, including one from the law school to lead a discussion about the sexual harassment issues in the movie. Anyway, all that is to say that we give the movie a definite TWO THUMBS UP. Charlize Theron was excellent as a woman who goes to work in the mines of northern Minnesota, not a woman-friendly environment. She faces a variety of sexual harassment, and eventually takes the mine to court, in one of the first class-action sexual harassment lawsuits to be won in the nation. It’s an intense movie, but very well done.

I hope I can come back and post some pictures later, but no promises. We’ve got a New Members Dinner at church tomorrow night, a baby shower on Sunday, and then Samford Christmas events start the next week. ‘Tis the season! Hope y’all are well!

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