Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Research on Running and Knee Health

I've been told several times by several people that jogging regularly will strain my knees and this is why I need the good running shoes that provide cushioning. There was an interesting article Time magazine recently on the topic:,8599,1948208,00.html?xid=rss-health&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+time%2Fscienceandhealth+%28TIME%3A+Top+Science+and+Health+Stories%29

If I've learned anything in graduate school it's to never take seriously a media report of a scientific study because they never get the details or the conclusions right. But this did provide a small bit of optimism that my exercise efforts might not actually result in me needing double knee replacements by the age of 50. Just to be safe, though, I'm still going to keep getting the cushioning running shoes...

Monday, December 28, 2009

More Centre College Info

Because I'm very excited about my new job, I thought I'd post some more info about Centre College for the 5% (possibly 10%) of our audience who is even remotely interested: - This is more information about the town and community. - Here are some TV commercials that Centre puts on in the Kentucky media markets. I like the "Personal Education 1" ad - that professor was on the search committee that interviewed me and is teaching Hebrew to her student while exercising on a treadmill. Clever. - It's a tradition that some of the faculty and staff sing Christmas carols to students every year. Maybe Katie and I will go join them next December...? (Katie thinks that's funny because I've never voluntarily gone caroling so far in my life...) - Centre College has a three-week January term called the "CentreTerm" where the professors are encouraged to offer very specialized and creative courses. I'm already putting together an outline for a course on "The Politics of Film" where we'd watch movies and TV programs (Star Trek, Batman, etc.) and discuss the implications for political philosophy. Wouldn't that be fun? - This has some information about where Centre is ranked in comparison with other national colleges and universities.

We're excited!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Really Is More Fun With a Little One

I found myself to have more Christmas cheer this year as I tried to inspire the same into little A. I pointed out lights and Christmas trees and she would ooh and aah. We sampled holiday sweets, played in holiday snow, and enjoyed twenty-four-seven Christmas radio. It must have worked too. On December 25th she woke up at 4 am (FOUR AM!!!!) happy as could be. We walked out of her room and she looked down at the tree and clapped. She was so happy. She giggled and babbled. I got her some milk and sat down in the lazyboy to let her play. She talked and laughed and was so pleasant to be around. The scrooge (aka Ben) however, soon grew annoyed by the pre-dawn noise and picked up my precious angel out of my lap, threw her and the binky back into their crib and we all settled down for a longer night's nap. Oh well, it was still a special moment. The darling then slept in until about 8 am, that was nice. We had a really nice Christmas. We missed all of our family, but it was nice to spend some quiet time together. We hope that all of your Christmases were wonderful.

Favorite gift. From Daddy. Fabulous surprise.

There is a 14 minute video of her playing with all the Little People for the first time. She doesn't do anything spectacular in them, it just shows what she is like right now and how she likes to play. This may help my Utah family prepare for my visit (by hiding anything and everything that they hold dear).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Freecycle Blessings

Reasons I love
#1: They provide a venue for people to dispose of items that they no longer need so that they go to some one who will use them instead of ending up in a landfill.
#2: People give away stuff. for free. You just have to pick it up.
#3: You can post on there for something you want and some one just might give it to you. for free. You just have to pick it up.

Reasons Ben doesn't like
#1: You sometimes have to drive long distances (30-40 minutes) to pick up items someone has offered you.
#2: His wife accepts too much free stuff and is filling up their house faster than ever.
#3: We now have to pack and move all of that extra stuff.

Recently I posted asking for Little People toys and I was overwhelmed by people's generosity. Wow. Ben said that I am never allowed to buy Abigail toys again. I promise that I won't ever buy Little People toys. :) If you look closely you will see: three farm sets, a castle set, a village set, a bus, a Noah's ark set, a fireman/ambulance set, and a rollercoaster, airplane ride and two ferris wheels. Abigail hasn't seen these yet, and now I feel silly having bought her a kitchen set at a garage sale this summer. I was going to give it to her for Christmas, but now she has so many toys that I don't know if I should.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dear Family,

If you happen to see any after Christmas sales with cute Christmas dresses. . .please buy me one. I'm worried that my mom might make me wear the same dress three years in a row.

Much love,

Home Maintenance Efforts

This month we tackled a big one. It took most of our strength, required more patience than we possessed, required lots of physical labor, required lots of mental figuring and engineering, and was more difficult than we had expected.

We decided to replace the counter top and sink in our master bathroom as we prepared our house to sell. The master had this ugly, weird shaped sink and an outdated counter top. We ordered a replacement counter top from Lowe's that ended up being a hair to long. We had to sand down both sides (manually) to get it to fit. The previous counter top had been caulked to the wall and removing it also proved a challenge. We then had to repair the damage to the wall before we could install the new counter top.

We were pleased with the outcome and impressed that it finally worked out. However, we now know a lot more about the work involved in this type of project.

Anybody in need of a pink hexagonal sink?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Miracle Worker

This small tool is invaluable. We use it to download our pictures from the camera to the computer. It has a usb connection and lets us insert our camera card directly. Thanks to it, we can download our pictures anywhere with a usb port. Thanks to this drive, you have seen many many many many pictures of our amazing daughter.

And that's not all.
This little guy succesfully survived a trip through the washer and dryer... and IT STILL WORKS!!!! Wow!

Blankets people have made for Abigail:
Given to us by grandma Wight and made by one of her friends. It is soft and has the words "I am a child of God" embroidered on the front.

Not handmade, but super soft and even has a small bee on it.

From the Cropper baby shower. I can't remember who made it.

From Aunt Christine. Includes matching burp cloths. She hand sewed the border along all of the edges.

From Aunt Linda. I love the rainbow pattern.

This amazing quilt was pieced together by Jenny. She had the guests at my baby shower each draw on a square. Then she created this beautiful, colorful, and bright baby blanket.

Here's the back. She placed the square I created as the center for the back. Abigail still sleeps with this blanket.
This "I love mommy! I love daddy!" blanket was given to us when we were in the NICU. It was made specifically for preemie babies and their families. The hat came as part of the package and had matching booties. We really appreciated these gifts during the scary first days of Abigail's life.

This blanket was not homemade but was super soft and elegant.

The Jorgensen's crocheted this blanket for us and it just happened to match our glider perfectly.

Grandma crocheted this beautiful blanket for Abigail's doll.

This fun and colorful blanket was made by my friend Samantha. I love it. Everything about it is so cute.

This blanket was a gift from my dear friend Rachel. It was the perfect size for swaddling and is well used and now faded. She embroidered a 'K' into it for Knoll because we had not decided on a name by the time of my shower.
This blanket was a gift from a friend in the Iowa City ward. I remember her face, where she lived, her kids, etc., but I can't remember her name for the life of me. I apologize. I am so bad with names.
As I have made one of these swedish weave blankets for all of my nieces and nephews, I had to make one for my own daugther. I chose purples and pinks and liked how it turned out.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Birthday party

We had a nice low-key birthday part for A. on Saturday. She played (somewhat nicely) with her little friends and we all enjoyed some yummy cake.

Ben has successfully indoctrinated her to love Elmo and the gang. So here they are in cake form. She enjoyed the cake, especially since it was real cake this time and not some sugar-free healthy hearty variety. She even tried to blow the candles out like mommy had practiced with her all day. Fun stuff.

On a side note. The semester is over for Katie. Woohoo! I turned in my last paper this morning and I'm excited that school doesn't start until January 18th or something. I'm glad that I survived this semester, it was brutal. Thanks everyone for your support and help. Now. . .on to the to-do when the semester ends lists. No rest for me. Happy holidays to everyone. :)

"The snow shovel is the secret of happiness."

This is an editorial by Garrison Keillor. I thought it was an amusing, and suprisingly accurate, insight into Midwestern culture, especially the last two paragraphs. I must say, I love Midwestern culture but I have not quite converted to his philosophy regarding snow shovels.

Friday, December 11, 2009