We're livin' it up on the U.P. - that's Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Punkie is 6 and LOVED Kindergarten! Isaboo is 2 and she's a smiley whirl wind. We also call her Busy-Isi. This year we welcomed little Lorenzo to our family.

Life is great!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Last Friday and Today

I got tired of my blog layout and I got brave and found a blog layout page link on my sister-in-law, Sarah's blog. The thing is, the cute layouts are really just backgrounds, so it doesn't color coordinate everything. So, my blog is a work in progress right now. I have to figure out how to change everything and make it all matchy matchy.

The hardest part so far is changing the main header...so, if anyone has suggestions, let me know.

We have been busy busy.

Last Friday Nathan had a Graduate Studies Student Welcome. We went as a family and turns out Marlayna is a magnet. She attracts pretty much everyone and nobody can get over how cute and alert she is. (It's not just at school, it's everywhere. It's like she's the only baby in Nebraska, but she's not). The Dean of Graduate Studies chatted with us for quite sometime before the "welcome" started. She was so nice! And of course our little magnet was what drew her into talking to us.

During the Dean's part of the presentation she talked about integrity and being honest in all aspects of our education and in life. She sadly spoke of having to expel an advanced PhD student last year for plagiarism and as she spoke of this, Marlayna cried out a sad cry. The Dean said, "That's EXACTLY how I felt." Everyone laughed.

Lunch was provided at this "welcome." Marlayna and I had actually brought our own lunches because we weren't sure if it would be provided for us too. It was, but Nathan and I basically had exactly the same lunch even though I had brought mine from home. It was kinda funny.

Anyway, we met a man from Nigeria there. He came and sat by us at the table we chose and we chatted with him for awhile. He was very nice and is starting his MBA, so when we parted ways, we weren't sure if we would ever run into each other again. We walked around the information fair and grabbed all the free stuff. Then it was time to put more money in the parking meter (they have parking meters everywhere here) so, I ran out to put more money in the meter while Nathan stayed with Marley. On my way back in I ran into Ladi, the man from Nigeria again. He said that he had hoped he would run into us again because he wanted to offer us his number. He and his wife (also from Nigeria, and they have a little 18 month daughter) both got their undergraduate degrees from UNL so they are very familiar with the area and he knew that we just moved here. He said that if we need help with anything or need help finding things we could call anytime. Or if we never call that is fine too. He was sooo nice! I have been trying to think of a good excuse to call them because he was so nice and it would be nice to have friends that are not LDS (missionary opportunity!). We are still thinking!

Well, today marks one week from that fun day...and so it's Friday again! Nathan has now completed his first week of graduate studies. He has three classes, a total of 11 credits. He is taking Statistics, Remote Sensing and Wild Life Plants and each of them have one or two lab sessions. He's going to be busy! We already spent last evening making 22 study cards for him to memorize for Wild Life Plants.

Today, there was an open house for the School of Natural Resources which is the School in which Nathan's program is a part. The Geography department is new to this school and Nathan was the one and only Geography student there. We accompanied him again. After the open house they had a barbeque in one of the SNR faculty's yard. It was so fun! It was potluck, with the meat and drinks provided. Marley drew many to come and meet us, including Sadia from Morocco, Susan the School's Graduate Secretary (my mom's counter part), Carolyn whose house we were at and many others. There are actually quite a few students with children in this School/College, so we fit right in. In fact, there is a family with SIX children. We heard about them and then someone said that they thought the family with six children was also from Utah but to not quote them. It took us all evening but we finally got to talk to the family with six kids and sure enough they are from Orem, UT. They were VERY nice too! They meet in our same church building but, they are in a different ward.

Well, this is pretty dang long so, even though I have much more to share, I'll leave it at that.

We love you all!

This is Marley and daddy in the Auditorium listening to a great lecture on Creativity, today.


More pics of baby girl... will be in the next blog.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Biggest Skeptic? The Biggest Fool.

Please take note of the time in which I am posting...yes, that's A.M.

So, last night Nathan and I decide to sit down to the computer together to watch one of our favorite shows, The Closer on TNT. It streamed in fabulously with, I think, only ONE stutter (we have great internet, so far!) We are enjoying our favorite shows via the internet to save on our expenses and avoid a large cable bill. I was pleased our "Evil plan worked" (adapted my favorite line, from National Treasure). Smart people, right?

Well, we have a habit of catching up on my email together because I get so many forwards from people and instead of just forwarding them all to Nathan, if we can, we just enjoy them together. (You can tell it's the middle of the night with this run-on sentence. I hope at least some of this email makes a lick a sense.)

Ok so, after our show we were sifting through some emails and came to an email from my mother which said...
"We will have to howl at Mars that night. That’s tomorrow morning actually.

Two moons on 27 August 27th Aug the Whole World is waiting for......... Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August. It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. This will Cultivate on Aug. 27 when Mars comes within 34.65M miles off earth. Be Sure to watch the sky on Aug. 27 12:30 am . It will look like the earth has 2 moons. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Share this with your friends as NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see it Again."

So, I say, "Wow, are we going to get up to see that?" Nathan was passive...I think the thought of waking himself up in the middle of the night for any reason sounded undesirable to him.

At first I was skeptical, mostly because of all the ridiculous grammar and typos in the email...yes, I copy and pasted. There are a number of random incorrect capitalization errors, and then there is "34.65M miles off earth" what does that even MEAN? And silly grammar at the beginning...it sounds like someone with English as their second language wrote it.

I just couldn't know if this was true. I mean, why would someone lie about that? Maybe to lure everybody out of their homes at exactly the same time? For what? And then what? Maybe it was some psycho's plan to lure ONE person out and so they sent a mass email hoping THAT person would get it and be dumb enough to wake themselves up and walk around outside in the middle of the night? Or...maybe it was true....really. Why would someone lie about that?

Then I debated on if I would even be able to see it? Sometimes these anomalies are only visible from certain locations (countries?).

Well, I figured I'd just try and see it. I set my phone alarm for 12:30 AM. I groggily, tried to ignore it when the alarm went off. I groggily got up and stumbled to the bathroom. Half awake now, I stumbled back to my room and got myself ready to go outside. Even got my glasses on. Like I would need glasses when there were going to be TWO moons! It's going to be like daylight out there. Right?

Wrong! Having not seen the moon yet here in Nebraska, but also having not been outside at night much yet, I looked. I looked EVERYWHERE! I looked straight up and saw patchy clouds...no problem...the shine of TWO moons would surely bust through wimpy patchy clouds. Nothing.

Well, maybe they are close to the horizon? So, I walk all the way around my apartment complex, looking to the sky, alternating straight up, North, South, East, West and then all over again. I probably looked like a loony to an apartment party on someone’s' balcony. And I probably looked like a loony to other people outside...maybe they were loonier than me? I got a little creeped out, but proceeded.

While looking up and across and all around I accidently step my left foot in a deep puddle and get my foot and the bottom of my pj's all wet. A small sacrifice and startle to see TWO moons...something "NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see Again!"

Starting to feel even more foolish once I make the full circle around the complex, trying not too look too crazy to the people coming home to a weird lady wondering around their parking lot, looking up down and all around in her red, snowflaked pj bottoms. I stop for one last up, down, all around look while I stand on an innocent peace of grass, when....the sprinklers turn on! Nice. No moons and I'm all wet.

Creeped out from screeches and laughter from the dark public park across the street and now half damp and left foot soaking wet I return to my apartment...a fool.

Now, a full hour from the time I woke myself up...I'm thinking...maybe I should go out and drive around? Maybe I just couldn't see it from here?

Nah, I'm going back to bed. And if ANYONE says they saw the TWO moons...I want proof!

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Impressions...

First Impressions.

I dislike first impressions…mostly when it comes to a new job. But, we’ve been here in Lincoln a full week now and the first impressions we have been experiencing have been wonderful!

I know many of you don’t want to here that…because you don’t want us to stay in Nebraska…but, we still don’t think we will be staying longer than 2 years; however, we do think we are going to absolutely LOVE our time here.

As we came upon Lincoln, driving East on the I-80 we could see downtown Lincoln in the distance. Not because of many sky scrapers creating a city-scape, but because of one protuberance, the State Capital. You can seriously see that thing for miles. It has a freaky guy on the top too. Weird! And kinda cool!


























Turns out he is called a sower...he still looks kind freaky.

















Fun Facts about Lincoln:

Population: 225,581 well, 225,584 now that the three of us moved in. They are changing the population sign next Monday. No, not really, but that population figure was according to the census of 2000.

Neighborhoods: Lincoln names its neighborhoods. There are about 21 named neighborhoods and we live in the Bethany Neighborhood. We also live across the street from Bethany Park and our library is the Bethany Library (which is NOT within walking distance and actually looks pitifully small, as far as my first impression went). We are VERY glad we didn’t name Marley, Bethany. She would grow up for the next two years thinking everything was named after her!

One of the main grocery stores is called HyVee…um…ok! Weird name. It reminds me of a Friends episode when one of Rachel's sisters (Christina Applegate) comes to visit and everytime someone says Pheobe's name she thinks they are just saying a funny sound. That's what I think of HyVee...that's a funny sound!?!?

We haven’t been there yet because there is a super Walmart but we definitely plan on frequenting the HyVee for groceries...or at least going and checking it out. We gotta try to find out why they called it that. Maybe it’s like Smith’s and that is someone’s last name or something?











Something we already love about the HyVees’ is that they all have a redbox in them! No cable…too expensive so, thank goodness for the HyVee and redbox! ( I miss Friends! Hee hee!)
























As I said there is a Walmart. There are actually two but one that’s closer to us. There are THREE Targets! And I’m pretty mad about that because I am boycotting Target…but, that’s a whole different blog that will probably never be written, because I was taught that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And unless a lot of people express their desire to hear about my beef with Target, I will just keep it to myself…unless provoked by Target, of course.

Ok, that’s enough “Fun Facts”, if you want more just google Lincoln, NE and look at the WHOLE Wikkipedia page. It’s cool!

We went to our ward yesterday, the Trendwood ward. There are 16 new families! Most of the students in our ward are Law students. We found out there is a professor in our ward that works in the Law School and recruits heavily from Utah. Pretty cool! It’s not a student ward but, it’s pretty darn close.

We also met our bishop! Bishop Christensen and he busted his business card out and told us that he would take care of all of our hearing needs! He saw Nathan’s hearing aid and Bishop is an audiologist!!! That is a huge blessing! Just on Friday we were looking for a dehumidifying container for Nathan’s hearing aid, because it is so humid here he needs to put it in one of those containers each night…or he should. Well, Walmart didn’t have them, so I was thinking we were going to have to find an audiologist and then one fell into our lap! Or ward! Or we ended up in his ward…anyway. I wanted to cry for joy. Now if we could just find out who in our ward is a Pediatrician!

Well, Nathan says this is WAY too long and he is cutting me off. But, we go signed up for our own internet on Saturday and it is working fabulous so, there will be plenty of blogs. I surely have to blog about what I did today! Seriously, stay tuned.

These are for Julie. She misses Marley so very much! And Marley misses her too…and Sammy.











We love you all!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Recent Pictures...

So, we are moving TOMORROW!!! Crazy! And I have an idea. Since, I'll be staying home with Marley once we are in Nebraska, I thought I would take a few weeks to write blogs about all the fun stuff we did this summer. So, stay tuned for plenty of posts to come. In the meantime, here are some recent pictures of our little miss.











This is a picture of Marley in her bassinet. She has loved to be bundled and found it hard to stay asleep if she ever got her hands/arms out of her bundle. She is adapting and finds it much easier to sleep with her hands/arms steadied on the sides of her bassinet. It almost looks like she is trying not to fall out. But, she's just holding her arms against the sides so they don't wake her up.





This is what Marley thinks people normally look like. I have been trying to read a lot more lately and her dad loves to read and so does her aunt Julie who is a reading junkie. Julie has been watching Marley since I've been working. So, Marley joined the club...the book club! (PS - Shantell, I'm pretty sure this is Ethan's book. I was supposed to give it back to you when we had lunch...sorry!)


This is hood blank she has. She liked it...she really did!



I don't know how he knew but, Nathan's grandfather randomly told Nathan that he doesn't take enough pictures of me. It's true...but, how did he know. Nathan is very obedient so, here's one now!
Well, that's it for now. We love you!