Thursday, March 26, 2009

I've been lazy lately

I haven't been good about taking pictures lately but here are a few I snapped the other evening. Any time the sink is turned on, Brendan wants to be up by it and part of the action. He thinks washing dishes is the coolest.

He likes to try to help but mostly just ends up getting soaked. I change his clothes almost as often as I did when he was a newborn. This boy likes to make a mess.

He can almost turn on the sink by himself- he's just a hair too short still to reach the knob. But he's so close. It's amazing how many things he gets into by himself. We have to keep our chairs and stools out of reach or else he uses them to get into trouble. Oh my, he's getting so big. And independent.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Why we aren't buying a house in Berlin, NH

This is what I saw when I noticed a strange orange light coming through our bedroom window at 1:00am this morning.

Someone set the building across the street from us on fire. Our neighbors who live below us saw a couple of men running away from the scene just shortly before they noticed the flames. There have been quite a few fires like this in Berlin. Most people say it's because the owners can't rent or sell the buildings, so they have someone set them on fire to collect the insurance money.

Everyone from the neighborhood came out into the street to witness it. It was strangely amazing and mesmerizing... and scary. It was ten yards from our house. A little too close to home, I'd say.

The fire department here did a great job though. But they've had lots of practice lately. The worst part was the fact that they were out there until 5:00am. We didn't get much sleep. Fighting fires is quite noisy.

The fire was so strong, we could feel the heat from where we were standing on our porch.

And this is the aftermath. Quite attractive, don't you think? It'll probably sit there like that for the next two years. There are quite a few of them scattered around Berlin. And this is why we won't be purchasing a house while we are here. There's just no market here to sell your property (unless you are willing to wait years) and I really didn't want to have to resort to arson.

Luckily, Brendan slept through the whole thing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Surprise, Surprise, it's Puppy Surprise!

This blog post is full of surprises. First, this posting has nothing to do with puppies, I just needed a catchy title with the word "surprise" in it. Second, I (Chris) am posting, which is something I haven't done in a long time. Third, this is the first time I've posted without Valerie asking me to. I'm very proactive. It must be that Stevan Covey class I took a few years back, it just took a few years to sink in. Fourth, the pictures above have nothing to do with this post either, they are just some that I had saved in my picture folder on my work computer. Fifth, surprise! There is no fifth surprise, which is surprising in itself so in a way there is and their isn't a fifth surprise.
Moving on. Stream of consciousness- Berlin is cold today. This town we live in is quite interesting. It looks better in pictures than in reality, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its upsides. You don't have to worry about making choices of where to shop because there is only one grocery store. If you like trees though, this is the place to be. Trees are everywhere and when spring comes around this place will be green and pretty.
So, Brendan and Valerie have been having fun lately while I've been at work. Usually when I get home I find Brendan with marker ink all over his hands, face, clothes, etc., so I know they've been coloring a lot. The funny thing is that Rose Art markers are supposed to be washable, but they aren't. Maybe they just meant that you could wash the marker itself, but not that the ink could be washed away. Valerie has become an expert at crocheting and bread-making as well. I've asked her to crochet me a pair of white tennis shorts. I'll be sure to post pictures once they're done. And the bread she made yesterday was delicious, especially compared to the first loaf she made back when the bottom coil of our oven wasn't working. This made the top of the bread rock hard and the bottom was uncooked. Anyway, anyone that comments on this post will get a free slice of bread. Just include your email address and I'll email it to you.
Lastly, I just got called to be the Ward Mission Leader. Anyone wanting to get baptized, please contact me. I'm a little stressed because it's a small branch and they want results quick. I'm going to try to meet with the tourism board to get Berlin to focus their efforts on attracting Brazilians to this area, their conversion rates are good down there, so if I can bring them to me, then I'll be set.
I must go now. Does anyone remember that time I posted that we were moving to South Carolina? That was pretty funny, but I guess the jokes on me because now we really are in a remote town back East. But seriously, folks, we really like it out here and are waiting for people to visit us. If you don't mind a small, smokey apartment, then you're welcome anytime. Actually, we had our first visitor, Aaron Gilchrist. We met in Plymouth, NH at the Lucky Dog Tavern and Grill. The company was exceptional and the food was ceptional (that's slang for decent, not a misspelling). Aaron brought play-doh for Brendan and we had a good time enjoying the atmosphere of a restaurant that used to be a baseball mitt factory back in the day. Babe Ruth liked their gloves (true story).
- Bye

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Today is a special day

Today, Chris and I have officially been married 7 years. Wow- those 7 years have gone by pretty quickly! Since our anniversary falls on Sunday, we planned to do our celebrating on Saturday by heading to Littleton, NH to do some shopping and then having a nice dinner at home. Well, things didn't work out like I expected. Littleton, NH isn't all that exciting and not worth the 45 minute trip it took to get there, I started a fire on the stove when I was grilling our streak and ended up smoking out our entire apartment, I forgot to buy potatoes at the grocery store so I had to leave out a major part of the dinner, Brendan refused to nap and was a terror, and by the end of the night we were both exhausted and tired.

But it gets even better. Today Chris was scheduled to give a talk in church today and being prepared as we are, we completely forgot to turn our clocks an hour ahead for daylight savings. Luckily Chris noticed the one clock that updates itself when we were only 20 minutes late but unfortunately it takes us 20 minutes to get to our church. But today Chris made it in 15 without getting a speeding ticket. And we made it in time for him to give his talk but just barely. We seriously had 2 minutes to spare.

And we were excited to get to visit with Uncle Aaron today but those plans were dashed. Aaron's going to be in Bosotn for work but missed his flight due to issues with daylight savings as well (I'm glad we're not the only ones who forgot). Brendan was especially excited to see his uncle but he's patiently waiting until next time.

But even though things have not worked out as we planned, we've still manged to have a lovely weekend. I feel lucky to have such a wonderful husband who even after 7 years is still my best friend.

Although next year, I think we need to plan something a little better to celebrate.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Things are brightening up!

Guess who will be starting preschool in June? Brendan! Hip hip hooray! There is a really good preschool here that several people from our branch recommended so I looked into it and was really impressed. They have a toddler group for 18 months to 2 years, so Brendan will be joining them in June. I'm very excited and even though it will only be 2 mornings a week, I think it will do us both a lot of good. I'm hoping that the experience will help Brendan's speech delay and I know he'll love the social interaction.

Someone at church said that Brendan is a future politician since he loves to go around and shake EVERYONE'S hand. The boy's not very shy. He loves to meet people- especially other kids. So I know he'll have no problem at preschool.

Speaking of Brendan being a future politician, that reminds me of a funny incident that happened while at the bank about a month ago. While we were waiting, a nice old man next to us said that Brendan has Obama hands. What in the world that means, I have no idea but I think the old man was a little out of it. So I just thanked him and laughed hysterically when were out of sight.

Any who, this is what Brendan's been up to today- making himself a sticker beard. While at Walmart today, he picked these Sesame Stickers out for his treat because he was very well-behaved, which is rare. He dug into them as soon as we got home.

He especially loves Cookie Monster so he saved those stickers on the sheet. I guess he didn't want to waste them on his beard. This little boy sure knows how to make me laugh.