Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for September, 2005

Birthday at the Zoo

10th September 2005

Today was the perfect day to put our zoo membership

to use. It is the 50th birthday of the Birmingham zoo,

so there were free train and carousel rides, free cake

and ice cream and the last weekend to see the beautiful

Butterfly Encouter exhibit. Besides, since visiting

last month with my mom, Analise and I were anxious to

take Brian back to share our new favorite animal

exhibits with him – and to bring you pictures!! Above,

we’re all settled in for a train ride (Analise didn’t

have many smiles for the camera today, though she

enjoyed and pointed at all the animals she saw).

Our favorite exhibit at the zoo is the Lorikeet

Aviary. It’s an enclosed structure filled with

lorikeets (birds) that you can walk into. For $1, you

can buy a cup of nectar that the birds will FLOCK to.

Last time with my mom, I had at least 10 birds on me at

one point, including one on Analise’s head! This time

they stayed on my arm. Analise liked the birds, but

after a while, it got to be a bit overwhelming to have

them flapping and squawking around her head. Brian

enjoyed it just as much as I thought he would! Above is

one of the better pictures of Analise and I, though we

have a series of them, including pictures with the birds

on the neckline of my shirt, flapping in my face, and

sitting on my shoulder next to Analise. Below is a

close up of one eating from Brian’s cup of nectar.

One of my favorite parts of our last visit was the Butterfly Encounter. It’s another enclosed structure, filled with flowers and bushes and lots of butterflies. I love that you can usually get very close, close enough for a good picture. Butterlies are so hard to photograph! Today, though, there weren’t quite as many butterflies as last time, maybe because the “season” is almost over. Here’s 2 of our best butterfly pics:

The tiger was pretty cool. He was pacing back and forth in front of the glass, eyeing hte couple kids who wanted to get nose to nose with him. If you’ve seen the movie Madagascar, I imagined it was similar to when the lion started seeing everything as steak:)

Another favorite was the exhibit with the giraffes. Analise is pointing, below, at an ostrich that was eating nearby. The giraffes are being fed on that platform, and there are other small deer-like animals (kudus, I believe) in the exhibit. A girl walking by said to her mom, “3 giraffes, 2 ostriches, and 4 canteloupe.”

We have many more pictures (Brian actually took 90!), but here’s the last couple – Analise and Brian enjoying their carousel ride, and a picture from yesterday of Analise sleeping, which could have been taken today after our zoo trip:)

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Dr. Toone, I presume?

5th September 2005

I thought I’d take this opportunity to show off Brian’s handsome birthday gift and graduation celebration gift. His PhD diploma finally arrived last month, and I found this beautiful frame for it (bottom) and his master’s diploma (top). He’s settled into the role of Dr. Toone, Assistant Professor of Computer Science quite well, I think. Congrats, honey! We knew you could do it!

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Labor Day and Football

5th September 2005

In a previous post (see here), Analise was inside my stool (turned over to prevent her from standing on it, and possibly falling off). Now she’s learned how to remove the top from her activity table and climb up into it. She was quite content there on Saturday evening, and with much work, managed to get herself out. Very impressive… I’m sure she’s going to find new things to climb soon, though!

Labor Day
Not much exciting happening at the Toone household. It’s Labor day, and as most of you are enjoying a relaxing family day, Brian’s at school. No Labor Day holiday at Samford. Classes as usual. I thought for sure it would turn out to be a prank on the 1st year profs, but he actually had students show up:)

Analise is rocking excitedly in her rocking chair while watching Baby Galileo. She’s started bringing me her Baby Einstien DVDs, wanting desperately to watch them. It’s so funny to see how excited she gets when I actually turn it on (and not so fun to see how grumpy she gets when I don’t!). I’m spending the day as usual – getting breakfast ready, cleaning up after it, catching up on things during nap time, getting lunch ready, cleaning up after it, entertaining Analise, etc. We’re having dinner with Brian’s parents and brother early this afternoon and then joining a few friends from church for some college football game tonight.

College Football
It appears that the South is all about college football – mainly, Alabama and Auburn. I can’t understand it, I suppose due to the fact that I went to a school without a football team (UW-Green Bay) in a city with the coolest, best pro team in the nation (the Green Bay Packers). I think the Midwest is a bit prouder of their NFL teams than their college teams, at least from my perspective. Anyway, I think weekends in the fall are going to be busy with invitations to join people to watch college football games, and I’m going to have a hard time finding my dear Packers on TV to enjoy by myself, since we don’t have extended cable. In California, my sweet husband spent quite a bit of time trying to find the Packers on the radio many Sundays, bless his heart:) He could wear a cheesehead proudly!

What else is up?
Last week was busy with school starting at Samford and trying to readjust to Brian’s schedule. We had friends over for dinner on Thursday, went out to dinner on Friday with friends and back to our house for dessert. Saturday am Brian organized a work day at church to get some things accomplished, and by Saturday afternoon, we were all ready for a nap:) We had a quiet evening at home on Saturday, while all our friends were either at the Auburn-Georgia Tech game or watching the Alabama game, and we fell asleep watching the Clemson game. We missed the exciting ending – winning by 1 on a field goal with 3 seconds left. That’s how “into” college football we are!

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Hurricane Katrina pictures

4th September 2005

I have uploaded pictures from Hurricane Katrina to our photo album. These pictures were all taken the day after the worst of the Hurricane blew through Birmingham, Alabama. Unlike many other schools in the area, Samford did not close its doors. So I had to bike into work in time for the Fall semester convocation at 10AM. All of these pictures are taken between 8:30 and 9:45AM Tuesday morning. The worst of the hurricane was over our area between the hours of 11PM Monday and 1AM Tuesday. Click the picture below to view the pics!

shattered tree from Hurricane Katrina
More Hurricane Katrina pics…

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Didn’t anyone miss me??

1st September 2005

Well, Katrina blew me right out of commission for a few days. Brian has some crazy pictures to post of the wind damage in Birmingham. We lost power on Monday night, and it blew and blew and blew, thankfully not blowing the house down, though. We had a quiet, powerless, warm day on Tuesday during which the only thing I could find to do was scrapbook:), but we finally regained power in mid afternoon. No cable or internet until just now, though. My one TV station of Fox and a very very fuzzy NBC were driving me nuts. There are still quite a few people here in Birmingham without power, though. All this is nothing… my heart goes out to those in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. It’s crazy to remember that Brian and I were just in Biloxi, MS last month, and we remember what it looked like before. The devastation is just unbelievable. My heart and prayers go out to them. Toss up a prayer for our good friend, Timmy, a local fireman, who’s trained in technical and water rescue. He headed down to help yesterday, and we’re not sure when to expect him back.

Anyway, nothing much going on here, except Analise has had a fever since Sunday night. She’s just feeling lousy, and I’m feeling bad because I can’t help her. The doctor didn’t find anything definitive wrong, but we’re waiting for some secondary tests. I’m hping maybe the fever’s on it’s way down, and she’ll wake up her cheerful, playful – and hungry – self in just a bit.

Ah… it’s good to be plugged in again!!

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