Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Wild Weekend

.....which I'm still recovering from. Hence the reason it's Thursday before I get around to writing about it.
Friday morning: We were the last car in a 5-car caravan headed to Sprinfield for Caleb Martin's wedding. Four hours(ish) on the road, we got checked into the hotel about 1.
Friday afternoon: Rehearsal. Outdoors. In July. Sweat. Rehearsal dinner. Limited air conditioning. More sweat. But great Italian food, so it was forgiven. Oh, and major amounts of cleavage from some lady sitting between us and the door. It was beyond cleavage, even. Note to Seth: Even though it's kind of like a train wreck and you can't help but do the double-take, make sure you don't do it at the exact time she looks up at you.
Friday evening: Girl's night out. The guys all went to a bachelor party, so Brooke and I left the babies with the grandparents and went to the mall with Elizabeth. Then went for ice cream. Good times. Especially since this was only the second time I've been away from Nathan other than work or errands since he's been born (the first being our anniversary back in March). We got back at 10:30 and Nathan was still awake. I got him to sleep by 11, only to have him wake up. Asleep, awake, asleep, awake. He was essentially awake until 2, and then was up at 6 AM! Ulgh.
Saturday morning: swimming with Nathan. Good times. He loved it, but when he started rubbing his eyes, we came in so he could take a nap.
Saturday afternoon: Nathan still hadn't fallen asleep. I decided to let him cry it out while I took a shower, thinking his exhaustion from only four hours of sleep, plus the sound of the water would send him to dreamland. Wrong. Half an hour later, he was still screaming when I got out of the shower. Which led to my first Mommy Meltdown I've had since he's been born. Sure, I've cried, but always with a reason. I had no reason this time, yet I sobbed for a half an hour. I'm better now.
Later Saturday afternoon: We got walked in on by the hotel staff. Even though it was highly embarrassing, I laughed until I cried. It made me feel better.
Saturday evening: We drive to the wedding as storm clouds build in the west. It starts raining, and they decide to move the wedding inside the reception hall. Even though this was "Plan B" it was gorgeous, almost like they had planned it to be that way. I am so happy it turned out so good for them.
Saturday night: Nathan fell asleep on the way back to the hotel from the wedding, and slept until almost 6 the next morning. The only problem with this was that I went 15 hours without nursing. Ow.
Sunday: one more dunk in the pool before heading home.
Sunday night: Our own bed! Sleep, blissful sleep!
Monday: Carlsie's 21st birthday. Supper with the family at El Mezcal, where she ordered a margarita, hoping to get carded. Apparenly Mexican's don't understand the concept of ID's. Determinded to get carded, she went to the liquor store to buy some beer. No carded. Maybe there's a couple establishments in Ottawa that need a visit from the proper authorities. We headed back to my place and got all gussied up to go out. For another girl's night! Carlsie, Lurenda, Christina, and I headed to the casino (that's where Carl wanted to go!). We left at 9:30. I didn't get back until 4 in the morning. Ulgh. But it was fun. I wore a real bra! (Until you've had to wear completely un-sexy nursing bras for 11 months, you don't realize the elation this simple act can inspire.) I only won like 15 dollars at the casino, which I turned around and lost again. And - I know that some people don't approve of gambling, and I don't condone it as a habit. But I look at it as any night out - whether you go to a movie, go out to eat, whatever. It's money you're spending and won't get back either way. We got to spend time together and had a lot of fun laughing at each other while doing it. Worth it, in my book.
So that's the reason it's taken me this long to post. Every spare moment has been taken up with napping.
I'm out. Shower, read another few pages of The Bourne Identity, then crash.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Note to Self:

Always deadbolt the hotel room door. Always. And chain it, too.
Because even though housekeeping may have already come, they may come back.
And of course they would choose the moment when you and your husband are in a very compromising situation.
And they wouldn't knock before entering.
"Hello?" as you open the door is not enough warning. Because then it puts us in the uncomfortable position of trying to instantaneously decide do we: a/yank up the covers, b/dive for clothing, c/run for the bathroom, d/slam the door back closed, or e/jump out of bed and then dance around trying to decide which of the above to do.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Who's seen this commercial?

A man and his son pull up to a house in a truck. The father points to the house, and says to his son, "See that house? I built that house."
A man and his son are working outside of the house. They see the truck at the street and the father says to his son, "See that truck? I built that truck."
While we were watching television this evening, we saw this commercial. After this scene, Paul says to Nathan, "See that glass. I built that glass. The glass in the house, the glass in the truck, and the glass in the tv we're watching the commercial on."
(Okay, so we don't know for sure that it's all AGC glass, but it could be.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rachel's Recipes: Summertime Favorites

We're starting to get stuff in the garden. Which means I'm starting to eat more veggies. And maybe more veggies means shedding a few more pounds - I love my new mommy figure, but would still love to get rid of these thighs (which, of course, is the last place I lose weight). My new endeavor: Meatless Midday. No meat at lunch time. Partly because of the whole losing weight thing, partly because we're out of meat in the freezer and my parents aren't having anything butchered until this fall.

Butter Squash
one yellow squash
butter
salt and pepper

Melt 1/2 to 1 tbsp of butter in a skillet. Slice up the squash and sautee until tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
Squash is my favorite, but it's also good with some zucchini and onions added.


Vinegar Cucumbers
3-5 cukes
vinegar
water
sugar
salt and pepper

Peel (skin, whatever you call it with cucumbers) and slice the cucumbers. If they are bitter (as happens in dry, hot weather), sprinkle generously with salt and let set for several minutes. Rinse before using.
Mix equal parts water and vinegar (about a cup each). More water for less "waaaw". Add a tablespoon or so of sugar and a few shakes of salt and pepper. Pour over cukes and enjoy.
I usually sliver up an onion to throw in, and you can also add green peppers.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Politics

So I'm about sick of this election crap already. And this is just from stuff I'm getting in the mail and seeing on TV! I don't listen to talk radio much - even though I should so I can be more informed of the issues - because it just (pisses) me off. And I don't like being riled up, so I save the talk radio for days I'm doing housework.
If you put it in parentheses it doesn't count as saying it, just so you know.
Every time I turn on the TV, there's something on about Obama. The way they talk, he can do no wrong. And this week the media is having an orgasm because Obama is in Iraq. Campaining, essentially.
Does anyone else not see the problems here? Okay - 1/Umm.... You're not President yet, so any promises you make to foreign political leaders don't count for jack squat. 2/They can't vote for you, so why are you campaining there anyways? 3/You're being paid to be a senator for your state. How much time have you actually spent doing your job in the last year?
Grr.
Needless to say, I'm not voting for him. Besides the myriad of other reasons, I wouldn't vote for him just based on the fact that he will not salute the flag (put his hand over his heart) during the national anthem. To me that says, "I want to lead this country, but I don't want to respect it." Sure, lets just vote in some socialism and facism to prepare for outright communism.
Research your candidates, folks. Don't vote for them just because he's the "cool guy" and the rest of the lemmings are.

It's the End of the World as We Know It, and I Feel Fine

video

This last week, Nathan's been experimenting with taking one or two steps at a time. He'd step, then sit down; or step, then lunge to catch himself on the couch or my legs or whatever.

This morning as we were getting ready for church, I was getting a drink in the kitchen, and he was sitting at the bottom of the stairs. He stood up and took about eight steps in a row toward me!

It's like now he's figured it out - he can't be stopped! All afternoon he was toddling around the living room. Enjoy the short clips I got of him. (Sorry, no audio. We're discussing getting a video camera, but for now it's just limited to 30-second clips we can take on our digital photo camera.)

video

Feats of Monkey-ness

We have a climber, that's for sure.
The last couple weeks, Nathan has started climbing on stuff. First it was the recliner and the couch. Then it was wanting in and out of the tub. But just this weekend, he's been climing anything and everything. Luckily Paul was home, so one of us could stand there to catch him if he tumbled, while the other dashed away for the camera.






















And not exactly monkey-ness, but yet another obsession: Pushing my lids all over the house. (And does his tushie not look absolutely adorable??)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

He Saved the Day

Yesterday evening our little family took an evening walk. Our hay just got cut, so we can walk out in the pasture. We put Nathan in the red wagon, and he played with a stick as we walked the perimeter of our property.
When we got back up to the house, we went and observed the garden. Then we inspected our baby trees. Then we went out to my roadside garden to admire the "neon coral" (for lack of a better description) gladiolas that's blooming. The grass is really taking over that bed, so I started pulling it from around my baby day lilies so maybe they won't have to fight so hard to establish themselves by the end of summer.
Weeding is one of those things that once you get started, you don't want to stop because the results are so gratifying. So I kept yanking up clumps of grass while Paul and Nathan went on. Eventually they ended up back on the deck. Nathan went straight for the dog's water dish. Of course.
It was a peaceful night, the sun had gone down and it was cool. I could hear Nathan squealing and Paul talking to him.
Then I heard a clatter on the deck. I was curious, but figured it was the dog getting after the stupid cat. Then I heard Paul yell: "Rachel! Get Nathan!"
I sprinted to the house. I had no idea what had happened, but was really worried and freaked out, because Paul hardly ever uses my name (he calls me "Dear" instead) and he never yells. I find Paul ducking and swatting his hat. He said, "Get Nathan in the house! There's hornets - I've been stung five or six times already!"
I swooped down on Nathan and snatched him out of the dog pan and we scurried inside. I sat Nathan down and told Paul to get inside and get away from them! I now understand his logic: he didn't want them to follow him into the house. He finally came in, got the hornet spray and doused their nest. (I'll spare you the picture of their corpses and the *gag* larvae.)
He'd sat down to take pictures of Nathan, not knowing that just next to the post he was using as a back rest, there lurked a nest. We were just grateful that Nathan hadn't been stung, even though he'd only been a few feet away from their nest. Paul was a quick thinker and ran to the other end of the deck and away from Nathan, and the hornets had followed him. He was our hero.
Upon examination, he'd been stung five times: once on his back, once on his right forearm, once on his finger right next to his wedding ring, and twice on his cheekbone. We promptly removed his ring, and I slathered baking soda paste on them, gave him two Tylenol, then waited for him to swell up so I could get some good pictures.
He never did swell to the proportions I expected. In fact, after a couple hours, even the little bit of swelling had gone down. By this morning you couldn't even tell he'd been stung.
So no pictures. Sorry folks.
And I have more exciting things that happened this weekend. But I'll put them all in separate posts so they get the attention they deserve.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Is it really worth it?

Nathan has slept through the night without waking up several nights this week. Or if he does wake up, it is before I go to bed, so it's not like I actually have to wake up.
But when you put him to bed between 8 and 9, by 5 AM, he's had 9 hours of sleep, and it's starting to get light outside. So he's ready to wake up.
So it's a trade off: Would I rather get to sleep all night, or get up at an ungodly hour?
But on the upside, he went down for a nap at 7:30. And he's been asleep for three hours, so I've gotten the garden weeded (well, some of it), the kitchen cleaned, a load of laundry hung, and most of the dining room and bathroom picked up.
Ohp! I hear happy talking..... Time to go.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summertime Slump

Sorry I haven't been very good about posting. Or about the quality of my postings. It's summertime - there's too many other things to do. I have the garden, the flowers, the house (not that I do a lot on any of those, but still), and then I have a 10-month-old (today's the 14th!) who's crawling and getting into anything he can get his hands on. I may be typing up a post, but then I hear a suspicious *rustle rustle clunk*.
Panic and run to investigate. It's impossible to fully babyproof our house. The only two rooms we can fully close off on the main floor are our bedroom and the back porch.
Then add to that, after twice in one day of griping at Paul because he had spent four hours playing a game on the computer (a regular occurance on his days off), he came back at me with, "How much time to you spend with your blog?" And I realized that whereas I may view what I do on the computer as "worthwhile", it still is a lot of time that I could be spending with my son or making the house pleasant and liveable (read: actually clean).
So I've been trying to cut down on the time I spend on the computer. Both on my blog, and on reading other people's. And I'm seriously considering getting rid of my MySpace account. No one ever comments on mine, I never comment on anyone else's, and I hardly ever send or recieve any messages. I just use it to waste time and snoop on other people's business.
So I'm sorry if my blog has been boring lately. That's my excuse. But I'll console you with a few pictures of Nathan.





Nathan the Sailor Man!
*toot toot*

<- check out the "tattoo"










His latest obsession: the dog's water dish.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

He thinks that he should get one too.

Apparently I'm not the only one that gets a birthday weekend. Paul is taking full advantage of his - he said if I get to claim a whole weekend as my birthday, then he does too. Except his started on Thursday, and he informed me it won't be over 'til tomorrow (Monday). Talk about working the system! His "birthday weekend" has thus far included: a completely from scratch cake, bbq meatballs, a chicken fried steak dinner, and chocolate chip cookies topped with a half inch of frosting, plus very many other favors. ("Can you fix me a snack? It's my birthday weekend.")
And he had the nerve to say he thought I should detail his truck, too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Food Log: Friday, July 11

Breakfast: coffee and leftover cake
Snack: leftover tortilla chips and queso dip
Lunch: tortilla chips and queso dip mixed with sour cream
Snack: crackers and cheese
Supper: tortilla chips and queso dip mixed with sour cream and salsa
Dessert: oatmeal cream cookie

As I stated previously: The fastest way to get over feeling guilty about eating the leftovers is to dispose of them quickly.

I Am So Sneaky


So last night, Paul thought we were going on a date.
His parents were going to watch Nathan; his dad would come over on his way home from work. But rather than them have two vehicles here, Paul offered to go get his mom.
Perfect.
Because I was planning a surprise birthday party. And I needed an excuse to get him out of the house.
And it was a surprise. He didn't have a clue.
Now, he says he suspected something. But he's a guy and he's obligated to not act surprised.
The only problem I had was getting him out the door. People were supposed to be here at 6, but he didn't leave until 10 'til, instead of at 5:30 like he was supposed to. But you can't really nag, "You need to go get your mom NOW. RIGHT NOW." Because then he'd wonder what the big deal was. But because he weas late leaving, he met some of the guests on the road. And then when he came home, he could see one of the cars parked behind the shed from the road. Then it dawned on him. Then all the clues made sense: the phone calls, the shuffling of shopping bags, the hustling to leave.....
And I couldn't clean the house, either. Because then he'd be suspicious. I never go crazy about cleaning unless people are coming over. That's my excuse, anyways.

Not the face of someone who's not surprised.


But it was a great success. And all of the food is gone, which is always wonderful. That way I don't feel obligated to eat it all in a rapid manner. (The faster you eat it, the less days to feel guilty.) There are 3 pieces of my completely made from scratch cake left, though.
So breakfast is calling.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Critters Everywhere!

Saturday, the dog was serious about his duty as guard dog. Not that we got him to be a guard dog, but he's a dog.... It just comes naturally. For most of them anyways.
After being gone all morning and half of the afternoon, we were lazing about. Nathan was nursing his way toward a nap, and Paul fell asleep on the couch. We had the windows open and the fans going, but I thought I heard the dog barking. But I passed it off as noise from the fan.... Sometimes the noise sounds like Nathan's crying.
Paul woke up and went to get a drink, then said, "The dog's got something." So I had heard the dog barking.
We went out to investigate, and Herc was circling some rodent in the yard. It was chirping menacingly at him. We didn't know what it was for sure, but we knew we'd seen one before. About this time last year, a dead one showed up in the yard.
Well, as soon as we came out, the dog went full-on protector mode and went in for the kill. He grabbed it and shook it vigorously.... Killed it pretty much instantly. I know animal lovers would be sad either way, but it's better than chewing it to death. Trust me.
We looked it up online, and it turns out it was a muskrat. No clue where it came from.
Then Saturday night, Paul was taking out some trash and came in. "The dog's got something under the car." I just figured it was a cat.... Under the car is one of the few places the dog can't get to. (The cats are too lazy to run as far as a tree or the shed.)
After several minutes without a report, I went out to see what it was. I find Paul perched on the steps, 20 feet from the car, beaming his flashlight under it. "What is it?" I asked.
"It's a snake."
Paul's not too fond of snakes. Despite his occasional brave front, he's really kind of a pansy about them. Not that they're my favorite of God's creatures, but at least I don't jump three feet backwards when one twitches an eyelid while I'm looking at it.
(I love you, dear. :P )
So I traded him Nathan for the flashlight and I go over for a closer look. I think it was a bull snake, but I'm not sure, because it didn't stay put long enough.... It slithered itself up into the undercarriage of my car. Paul took it for a drive, hoping to shake it loose, while I amused myself with visions of an Indiana Jones-like moment where all the sudden there's a snake in his lap. I would have laughed. Provided he didn't wreck my car.
I'm not sure if it shook loose or not, but we haven't seen it since.
No critters showed up Sunday, although we did have to haul off the by-then-bloated muskrat. Ew. We had Charlie and Carrie and Brooke and Justin (and all accompanying munchkins) out for a belated Independence Day celebration. I tried not to laugh when nearly all members of the Evans family flipped over the hammock on themselves. And Paul put on a great fireworks show, while we all sat back and heckled him as he scurried away from lighted fuses.
Monday was also rather uneventful critter-wise.
But then we have today.
Nathan woke up at 4:30. Then, since I am the epitome of perfect wifeliness (ha), I made Paul french toast for breakfast. I stayed up and visited with him while he ate, and after he left I was just crawling back into bed when he called.
"Umm..... There's two horses coming up the road."
What. The. Deuce.
Because the sight of horses (an animal he's only seen once ever) would probably make the dog go schitzo, I brought him in and tried to amuse them as they meandered up the road. Then came in the yard, walked right up to and around the house, then wandered across the garden, taking a nip at this and that as I muttered curses under my breath. Then they wandered back out of the yard and on down the road.
At this point, I figured that going back to bed would be pointless, since Nathan would wake up just as I was falling asleep, which would make me cranky. So I went out to water my flowers.
I forgot how much I enjoy that early-morning watering. It's light, but the sun's not up yet, so it's not hot yet. It's quiet except for the gentle sound of the water flowing. You get a close-up view of the beautiful colors of the blooming flowers..... I guess it's really been two years since I've done any of that, since last summer I was working at the donut shop every morning, so I did my watering in the evenings (if I did it at all). And this summer, Nathan's been up at the first hint of light, and I can't do the watering with him awake.
I was thinking about how it may look, watering wand in one hand, cup of coffee in the other. I'd say it looks like the picture of perfection.
I got to enjoy three cups of coffee, point the owners of the horses in the right direction (klassy people, let me tell ya), hang two loads of laundry, and make a birthday "I'm 3!" crown (out of a Pepsi 12-pack box and tinfoil) for Dallas. All before Nathan woke up.
Figures. The one morning he slept past 6:30.
Oh well.... I enjoyed the morning.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Rest of the Story

If you remember, a while back I asked for your prayers. Paul was interviewing for a new job (I told you more about the job prospect here, when I also asked for you to pray for us). I realize I never told you how the interview went, but that's because I was waiting to find out some other stuff so I could tell you the whole story.
See, the night before his interview with the company in Paola, his head supervisor at work stopped him on the way out the door and asked him if he'd be interested in interviewing for Cold End Supervisor for another shift. Paul has been filling in whenever the cold end supervisor for his shift has been gone (about once a week) for the last 6 months or more. (At AGC, there's the "hot end" where the furnace is, and the "cold end" where the glass is cut and packed.)
So after the interview in Paola, Paul went up to Spring Hill to interview with the plant manager. Then he came home and we talked about both options.
When he took a tour of the facilities at Paola, several of the people that he talked to, when asked where he worked now, asked him, "Why would you want to leave there to come here?" Also, some of the ones that started in the job that he had applied for told him they hated it and were on the verge of quitting several times.
Paul did the math, and even though they make $3 an hour more over there, it really doesn't come up to much more than he currently makes, because with the way his shifts at AGC are set up, they get 8 hours of overtime pay every other week. (He works 36 hours one week, then 48 hours the next.) And then on top of that, he'd be making the drive 5 days a week, instead of 3 or 4, and with gas prices what they were - that's nothing to sneeze at. So even though it sounded like more money, it wouldn't really be.
And then add on top of this, they told him that if they ever downsized, his position would be the first to go. Or if they downsized in a different department, the one laid off in a different department could take his job, and he'd be the one out the door.
All in all, Paul and I decided that there were too many uncertainties to give up on 9 years at AGC. And we wanted to see how this supervisor position panned out. They told him they wanted to have the position filled by the next week. This was the middle of May.
So we waited.
And waited.
Paul had heard that 7 or 8 guys had applied for the job, but by the beginning of June, they'd narrowed it down to 2. But apparently they were having a hard time getting all the people together that needed to make the decision, with it being summer and people taking vacations all the time.
So we waited some more.
They called Paul in for another interview two weeks ago and told him they'd give him a call the next couple of days and let him know. It was down to Paul and a guy that worked in the warehouse. But Paul said he thought he'd have the better chance, because even though the other guy had worked on the cold end, he'd been working in the warehouse since before they got all their automation equipment, so didn't know how to run any of it.
Well, Friday when we were on the way to Oklahoma, he got a call. "The job's yours if you still want it."
Yay!
Paul opted for a 30-day "trial period" to see how things go before he gets the raise and everything that goes with being a supervisor. We both thought it was a better idea to take a little less pay, but keep the door open to go back to his old job just in case. So he gets a raise! But we don't know how much yet.
Last Wednesday and Thursday nights were his first on the job. He said they went well. It's a little more work than when he was filling in. Then he was just line coordinating (organizing all the glass that came off the line, getting the right sizes cut and into the warehouse), now he's got all the paperwork and other stuff to be in charge of. But he said he likes it - he was kind of bored with his old job, this is more challenging; he likes the problem-solving aspects.
The one drawback to the job is he and his dad no longer have the same days off. Previously, they worked the same days, just opposite shifts (one days, the other nights). Now when Paul's working, Doug's off, and vice versa.
I know his job and his shifts sound confusing. He can explain it all much better than I can. He'd even love to take you on a tour of the plant. I need to again.... Last time I toured it was when we were dating 5 years ago, and it has been completely rebuilt since then.
I am so proud of him! I know he can do it. You all know I'm overly proud of my hubby - you've probably seen my "I'm with my hero" shirt that I made. But really - Paul is very smart. Too smart, in my opinion, to be in a job that just anyone can do. He deserves this position.
This is more evidence of God's provision. I am so grateful.
So that, my lovelies, is the rest of the story.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Oops.

So Carrie pointed out to me that I never did tell you why I didn't get any pool shots on vacation.
See, the plan was to go back to the hotel in the late afternoon/early evening and go swimming and just in general chill and relax, then I'd get some cute pool shots of all of us. But look at my picture of the Red River. See the rain? Yeah, that just popped up out of nowhere, and it rained.
And rained.
And rained.
With some major lightning. When we went back to the farm after the trip to the bridge, it cut loose. There was a huge lightning bolt that struck really close to the big tent. I was going to check on Nathan, who was asleep in the car, and I heard it crackle in the sky before the deafening boom. Paul said a guy under the tent screamed like a girl and fell out of his chair.
Anyways, this "little" rain storm kept raining for several hours. Pouring, actually. I haven't seen rain that heavy and consistently heavy for a long time. When we went to meet Mike and Angie at Dairy Queen, the streets were completely full of water, like you couldn't even see the curb - just one continuous lake from the street right into the parking lots of the banks and grocery store.
And it was still raining in the morning. Not a heavy rain by then, but still. I think they said they got 5 inches out of it.
So that's why I didn't get any pool pictures.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I am So Blessed

I went outside tonight to take care of my flowers after I put Nathan to bed. It was a gorgeous night, a refreshing change to the normal July weather we've been having.
After I finished up with my flowers, I went and sat on the swing. As the cool breeze wafted against my face, I listened to the boom and crackle of distant fireworks, the frogs chirping, and the mockingbird singing. I enjoyed the colors of the sunset, and all I could think was,
"Lord, thank You."
He has given me so much more than I deserve, more than I ever would have thought to ask for. And I am so ungrateful, always complaining about something. And I know he has more blessings in store, blessings I didn't even ask for, yet He's chosen to give.
I am so blessed.

Nathan's First Vacation

We've taken a couple trips with Nathan, but this was the first one I'd call an actual vacation.
Friday morning we left to go to Oklahoma. Some friends of my parents, Jim and Barb Esbenshade, have a gathering every year at their farm called the Golden Harvest Day. They do a complete wheat harvest using nothing but antique farm machinery and horses.

Whereas the concept itself is pretty neat, that in itself is not enough to entice me to spend 7 hours in the car just to spend the day outside in 95 degree heat. With a 9 month old.



But Nathan did really well in the car. Really well all along! Here's a prime moment of sock munching. Paul and I decided to combat fussiness by one of us riding in the back whenever Nathan was awake. It cut down on our conversation, but we both decided we'd like to retain our sanity by not listening to a bored baby scream for miles and miles.

We've gotten to know a guy that works for the Esbenshade's, Mike, and his wife, Angie. They've been up to the Power of the Past show in Ottawa twice, and we really hit it off with them, sitting and visiting for hours in the shade (usually making fun of how excited these old men get about tractors). They were the main reason we decided to go down.

We stayed at a hotel in Durant. It had a pool, which Nathan loved. It was 3 feet at the shallowest, so either Paul or I had to hold him, but he didn't mind. We even tried out his dog-paddling abilities - We'd only hold him with one hand and watch his hands and feet go! I didn't get any pictures; I'll tell you why in a moment.
The show started at 8 AM with a free breakfast. You know I'm all about breakfast and free. So what did we do? We skipped it in lieu of lazing around the hotel room and eating at McDonalds. We finally got there about 10.

Nathan was all cool and ready to go in his shades. He kicked back in the stroller to enjoy the day.
But even at 10 it was hotter than Hades. Nathan eventually fell asleep, and I ended up taking him in the house (priviledges of knowing the host). Even under the big tent it was still too hot for him; his little face was bright pink. He didn't act uncomfortable, but this Mommy worries.....

Grammy came and watched him so I could go see the happenings outside. They'd finished the potato harvest and were full-fledge into the wheat harvest. It's not the best picture, but you get an idea.

About 4 in the afternoon, I'd had enough dust. Mom and JC took us to the bridge over the Red River to Texas. Carpenter's Bluff Bridge is an old railroad bridge that's now used for vehicles. It's a LONG way across, and it's only one lane.

You can't see it in this picture, but there's a closed wooden lane to the side of it, which is what they used for foot traffic, horse traffic, and vehicles up until 1965. Imagine crossing this thing in a buggy when a train comes rumbling across. *H* no. That's all I got to say about that.

Red River - Oklahoma on the right, Texas on the left.


After Oklahoma, we went to see Paul's relatives that live southwest of Wichita. We stayed there Sunday and Monday nights, and just kind of hung out and enjoyed time with family. These are some random shots of cuteness I got of Nathan.













Not sure what he thinks of chickens.





Chilling in the hammock.














And apparently Nathan doesn't understand the concept of "Mommy and Daddy want to sleep in when we're on vacation." These were just two of the shots we got at 6:30 in the morning when he was ready to party and we were both experiencing a sleeping-with-the-windows-open-induced hangover.