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!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What a Great Birthday!!!

Where to start!?! Well, I got blog comments, and facebook wall writings and myspace comments, text messages, and phone messages from many many friends and family wishing me a happy birthday. That was cool!

My sisters both called me. Sam sang happy birthday for me...it was so cute! That reminds me of something hilarious. It was someone's birthday and Matt (Sam's dad) was singing that 50 cent song that goes, "Hey, shawty it's yo birfday we're gon' party like it's yo birfday, We gon' sip Bacardi likes it's yo birfday!" After that last line Sam says, "I want to sleep in the car likes it's my birthday!" I think we all like the Sam heard the line, better than the original. Funny!

Wednesday (the day before my birthday) Marley and I went to the park for the ward playdate. One of the mothers there was having her birthday and she was also turning 29! (Oh my goodness, I can't believe I'm 29!?!?) So, I said, "I'm turning 29 tomorrow!" Then there was another mother turning 29 on Friday! Three birthdays in a row and we were all turning 29!

The woman's whose birthday was on Friday didn't hear that I was going to be 29 also, she just heard that my birthday was the next day and she said, "Well, at least you're not going to be as old as us!" And I said, "You're going to be 29, right?" and she said, "Yes!" I said, "Me too!" She said, "Wow! You don't look that old." That made my day...though I don't think either of them look 29 either. I should have told them.

So, my friend Shalantie found out about my birthday (from blog comments) and immediately contacted me to see if I had any fun plans. I told her that Nathan and I were going out to dinner but other than that I would have to check with Nathan, when he got home from school. She told me to let her know because she wanted to make sure I had a special day.

I forgot that Nathan is on campus all day on Thursdays so I let Shalantie know and we decided to get together. We had so much fun and the day went by SO FAST!

Here's a recap of the day and what I got. First off I have to thank my mom for remembering my birthday and even sending a package well in advanced. My mom sent me money so we could get a Sam's Club membership. I thought I preferred Costco, but the closet one is in Omaha, a little to far. But, there is a Sam's Club here in Lincoln, we got the membership last Friday and it seems EXACTLY like Costco...just no Kirkland brand. Good enough! We also saved 13 cents per gallon on gas!!! Wahoo! Seeing savings already!

My mom had also sent a HUGE bag of halloween candy...which I'm sad and yet ashamed to admit is already gone! But, it was SO GOOD! She had also thrown in a $20 bill so I have ordered a tripod online. I know that sounds funny and nerdy and it kinda is...but, I'm sick of being places and wanting to take a family picture and nobody is around to take it for us...so, we'll be nerds and use a tripod. So, that's all the stuff from my mom. THANK YOU!!!

I got a package from Lynette, Nathan's mom. It had a present for me, all wrapped so I set that aside for opening later in the day with Nathan. It had a cute new outfit for Marley. This is it. I know I went a little camera crazy as usual...but, I'm sure none of you mind.

SO CUTE! Her legs are stiff and straight in this pic. I don't know why but when she does this she reminds me of a witch about to crash on her broom.



Here she is in action. Always moving!



Here's her big smile! What a great smile!



Lounging, cross legged.



And sucking on her hand. Always must be sucking.



Here is the cute hat and bear that Grandma Nettie also sent.



Marley is really starting to ham up her smile when we get the camera out...how can she already know!?!?



Shalantie took me out to lunch at a place called Dino's. It was really good! It's a bar & grill place, kinda like Chilies...but, this seems to be the only one. It was very nice and had great service.



Shalantie feeding Marley her lunch.





Yummy!



After lunch we ran some errands that I had been needing to get done and then went and looked at what was on sale at Old Navy. I got a new shirt for a great price!

Shalantie offered to watch Marley while Nathan and I went to dinner...a real date!!! So, I picked up Nathan and we went home so I could freshen up for my date and open some presents!



I got Newsies, My Fair Lady and The Music Man from Lynette. Yeah! More great DVD's!



Since it was my birthday I got to pick where we went to dinner! I've had this place picked out since we moved here. It's a Mongolian grill and the missionaries in Montana often frequented the Mongolian grills. The ones we went to in Montana though were not as nice as this one. It was way nicer than I expected.



Hot and Spicy Soup. sO gOoD!



At Mongolian Grills you make your own dinner, pick your raw meat, noodles and vegies and then there is a huge grill and you watch these guys cook it. It's fun and so yummy. They also have sauces and oils that you put on to flavor it yourself. You can make your own recipe with any 5-6 laddles of sauce and 1-2 laddles of oil. OR they have recipes up on a board that you can follow. I always followed a recipe and Nathan always made up his own.



Now we know where Marley gets her hammy smile!



That's better!




Here's the grill.



Marley, Shalantie and JJ. They are great friends! We picked Marley up around 7 and then we just chatted with them until about 8. We really love them! I think one day I'll have a whole blog post about how cool they are...yes, I think so.
Since we had fun chatting with them we got home a little past Marley's bedtime and with such an eventful day she was pooped and fell asleep in the car on the way home. That kinda ruined Nathan's plans of how to present Marley's gift to me...she needed to be present. But, a babies gotta sleep! So, it was just me and Nathan for the rest of the present opening. And because we were tired too, I didn't take pics of his gifts until the next day.
Here's a picture of Marley the morning after the par-tay!


I got a casserole dish from Marley. Nathan was going to put her in the dish with a sign that says, "I'm a ham." But, she was asleep. Oh well. Cute idea.
I also got my favorite book and favoriate movie from Nathan. One day I'll blog just about those two favorites...in two separate blogs, of course.

I also got a paper towel holder. It fastens up under neath the cabinets. We keep looking at little plastic ones. He found a nice one! It's cute!
I got the first Fabelhaven book from Julie. It looks/sounds good. And OF COURSE, Nathan has already read it...no, not before I got it...SINCE I got it! He's such a fast reader!
This pic is kinda dark but, we got the cutting board for our wedding and we've never been able to find the right kind of oil to keep it nice. Nathan found it and surprised me with it. So cool!
And lastly, the next day we had cheese cake and raspberry topping! Per my request. I'm gonna have another blog all about those raspberries. SO good!
This picture does not do this cheese cake justice. So delicious!

Well, thank you all so much for the happy birthday wishes and gifts and happy thoughts sent my way! It was a wonderful day! I still can't believe I'm 29. Weird! But, nice!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Apple Jack Festival in Nebraska City, NE

Spoke on the phone with Julie today, and she said that Sam keeps asking if there is a Marlayna Alert? I asked if he was asking about a new blog with Marlayna in it and she said yes. I guess he asks quite often and Julie says, "No, do you want to look at the old one?" and he says, "Yes!" So, I got my act together and blogged. This first picture is dedicated to Sam! Here's a new Marlayna Alert...just for you!



This weekend we went to the Apple Jack Festival in Nebraska City Nebraska. It's about 40 miles southeast of Lincoln, not too far. It was pretty fun.

Nebraska City is where Arbor Day got it's start. They have a whole Arbor Day Farm and during the Apple Jack Festival they have many events going on around town. We spent most of the day at the Arbor Day Farm. Next year we have decided to go and do all the free stuff. We missed the Parade which was 3 hours long and pretty good (according to someone in our ward that also went and we spoke to later).



This is Carly the Cardinal the official mascot of Arbor Day. She got side tracked by some other kids before we could snap a shot with her full attention, but oh well.
This is the Lied Greenhouse, pretty cool to see tree seedlings at all stages.


This is the apple tasting. This woman talked about three types of apples and we got to taste each one...it was cool!


We got a free tree for coming to the Farm during the Festival, two white pines...we gotta get some pots to plant them in. The trees are in the tubes...one of the tubes is blocking Marley's face...oops! But, she looks fascinated by it.
This was the Tree Adventure Discovery Ride. We did go on it because it was an extra $3.50 and we had already paid $6.50 each to get in, so we opted to not take the ride through the orchard.
They had spinney trees. They looked painful.
They had cool things to do along the path as you walked from one event to the next. This one was basically, "guess what you are smelling." You take a nice long deep sniff at the top of each bird house looking thing and then open the door on the bottom and it tells you what the smell is. Most of them were trees or nuts, but one was Deer musk and it was STINK-Y.

This was a stop to help you hear everything in the forest. These cones really did intensify the sound. I could hear people talking 10+ feet away, crystal clear. They were saying, "Look at that lady with the pineapple shirt...she totally has a spare tire!"


After I walked away, I said, "Man! I could hear really well with those, I need some for everyday use." Nathan, quickly agreed.







This looks like it was Marley's favorite part. We walked up a few flights of stairs and enjoyed the canopy tree house. It was more like a tower than a treehouse.
This was a tent that had a food demos going all day...and what kind of recipes were featured!?!?! APPLE!! We have quite a few to try.

Kettle Corn!!! This particular vendor was super pricey, but we found a more affordable one later...you'll see. But, this guy was fun to watch because he actually had a huge kettle.


We got Carly's Guidebook and they had punches at various stations so you could stamp your guidebook! It was fun!
"And and then I went to the movies and sat on the balcony. And I brought some fake puke I had mixed up at home and I dropped it over the side and made a sound like this, hOOAhhhh, hOOAhhh, hOOAhhh! It was the most horrible thing I've ever done! And everyone started puking all over each other..." (name that movie and doesn't Marley look like that character in this picture?)


This was one of the child play areas. Well, our child can't play yet so we fed her.


They had a little theatre that featured clips of movies that had scenes with trees, people talking about trees, etc. I really enjoyed it. Don't ask Nathan what he thought of it. Marley's first experience with black lights...she liked it!

This was lunch time. Next year we'll bring our own lunch because these two Apple Chicken Salad Croissants were 12 bucks!! No, that did not include a drink and chips...that was a extra $2.25!
But, two yummy over priced croissants at the Apple Festival with Marley....priceless.


This was one of the booths at the craft show and it was all stuff made from gourds. Nathan's sister is an art major and she had to do some gourd art so we snapped a shot.


If you look closely there is a witch with a very tall hat...that's a really tall gourd.


Kettle Corn! It was GOOD! Fresh and warm!



And Oh So Yummy!
These carriages were in a little museum. They were really cool and really old...and they were all owned by the Morton Family who started Arbor day.


They reminded me of great movies that have carriage scenes like...

Ever After
The Count of Monte Cristo
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Pride and Prejudice
Etc. Etc. Etc.





It was a super busy day for the little town of Nebraska City. There were TONS of people and tons of cars parked along the side of the road. It was a fun day.


Cool house we saw on the hike back to the car.

(I would like to beg and plead to the powers that develop, maintain, improve blogger. PLEASE create a better way to post a lot of pictures and be able to easily write captions. Inevitably everytime I inadvertently delete one or more! Please! Help! It's so frustrating and then when I look at my blog the format never is right either! And always has huge random spaces that I have no idea how in the heck they got there! Sheesh!)