Monday, September 28, 2009

Feeling the Love

I recently completed another orbit around the sun, and although all my family and many of my friends were far away, I felt like they were right here with me.

Exhibit A:

Happy Birthday, Krissie! from Krissie Cook on Vimeo.

Exhibit B:

In addition, I got lots of calls and cards and even some gifts, including some serious Jaxson's loving. Thanks, guys! Love you too!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

There Goes The Neighborhood: Part 1

Now that you know a little about our general area, time for you to meet our street. One block away from our street are some HUD megapartment complexes. One block away on the other side are some super seedy apartments, around which we see squad cars approximately 3 nights a week.
Then there's our block, which is divided right down the middle. One side of the street has homes, which are owned by people who are here for good and really want to keep things clean. They have erected "Kids At Play" roadblocks so their kids can safely play on the sidestreet. They nag the local police force to put in speed humps. One particularly vigilant neighbor, Jim, lives across the street from us and is the type to actually chase after cars he thinks are endangering the 'hood.
The other side of the street, our side, is full of duplexes, which are rented by mostly families. With times such as they are, there's a pretty fluid movement in and out, as people move here from larger places, or worse, have to leave our humble neighborhood. We lost our awesome next door neighbor a few months ago (he lived there for 10 years!) when the economy did him wrong. We miss you, Tony! Luckily, this really nice Ecuadorian family moved in a few months later, and they have three kids who love to play with Stellan.
On our other side, things have not been as steady. A couple moved in around the beginning of the year; they were loud, drunk and attracted the police at a quicker rate than we like to see on our street. They lasted about a month and moved on. Then we got another set of neighbors, this time a family. The mom seemed nice, two kids, kept to themselves. In fact, they never really were outside. Pretty much all I knew about them was that they had some fun outside toys that just sat on the side of the house and that they liked ice cream, which I surmised from the fact that the ice cream truck always stopped at their house on its way through the neighborhood. During Stellan's nap no less; I have no doubt he dreamed of weasels popping and yankee doodles riding on ponies for months.
And that's our street. In our next episode, all Provo will break loose. Don't miss it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

There Goes The Neighborhood: An Introduction

As you, my faithful readers, have requested, I have a story to relate about our cute little neighborhood here in Florida. I want all of you to promise, promise, that no matter what you read here, it will not dissuade you from coming to visit us.
Before I begin our tale, let me give you a feel for the area. We have been warned that although it seems calm and peaceful on our section of the block, if we cross the major street two blocks over, we will be entering the second worst area for crime in South Florida. (I don't know if this is true, this is just the warning we received from someone who works for the City of Dania Beach.)
If you're looking for a more specific example, here's one for you. Not too long ago, we were on our way to the laundromat for our Saturday morning cleansing ritual and we heard sirens close to us. Very close to us. We didn't see exactly where the ambulance went, but we knew it was near our home. Later that day, to our surprise, the news reported the event. It turns out that some heroin addict left his gun out, and his seven-year-old son shot his two-year-old sister. Although they didn't say exactly where this family lived, they did tell us the little girl was in critical care after losing a finger and taking a second bullet to the abdomen.
After hearing this report, and I angrily yelled at the TV to tell me where they lived so that Stellan would never ever ever play anywhere near their house, and possibly never on their street. The TV did not respond, but Kevin was quick to remind me that we were a few streets over and that we live by home owners and not just all renters, so we're probably much safer.
This is where we live. More to come in our second episode.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Something Tacky This Way Comes

A sad thing happened to our stroller. As the photo above indicates, the nylon has started to tear, no - shred, next to one of the seams. We got this baby for $20 on Craigslist, and I'm committed to making it work for the duration of our stay in Florida. So I gave the matter some thought, and came up with what I hope proves to be, if not a solution, then at least a delaying of the inevitable.

I have not only duct taped over the tear, but I have in fact stitched the duct tape in place on both sides of the tear. Not a pretty solution. I think I might actually be embarrassed using this in public, especially when we cruise to our Mommy & Me class. The other parents roll up in Mercedes Benz SUVs and the like. They regard us and our non-automotive ways with aloof curiosity. And some disdain, but I think that's just because of my prolific sweating after walking a mile and half during the heat of the day.

Here's a close up of my workmanship. I think I'll hold off on auditioning for Project Runway until at least next season. Mostly because I keep hearing Tim Gunn in my head; he says things like "I'm very concerned about the taste level on this. You really need to wow the judges. Don't bore Nina." Bore her? I think "offend" might be a better word.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

You May Have Been Wondering

How is seminary going? I have been getting that question quite a bit, especially from my students' parents. It has been going very well, from a teaching perspective. Since I don't think my kids read this, I can feel free to say that they are super awesome and make my life much more enjoyable. From a living perspective, the 4:30 AM wake-up has been kicking my trash. On the plus side, it's nice to feel like, no matter what happens during the rest of the day, it started off really well and it's only 6:20 AM. On the downside, I am tired all the time. It turns out that I am getting old and just don't bounce back from seminary like I did when I was in high school, or even when I was in my twenties and teaching seminary.
So if you've been saddened by a sudden decline in my posts, console yourself with the fact that my team teacher (and beloved friend) is on duty for this week and I'll be making an effort at catching up on the blog. And some sleep.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Decision Made

After long and serious deliberation, we have decided on a license plate. Well, actually, Kevin decided it before I even knew we had to make a decision. He went with the Broward County plate, also known as "El Cheapo." You see, most of those cool license plates cost money; we don't have much of that. But if we did, it would have been a tough call between the shark and the diver. Or maybe, just maybe, the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches; because you need a place to herd all those juvenile delinquents before you put them out to stud.

Interestingly enough, Florida has recently made the move to only give out one license plate, to be affixed on your rear bumper. We have been given a spiffy Dania Beach plate to put on the front of our car. What do you think, should we show our Dania pride or just leave it bare?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hooray For Science!

Any They Might Be Giants fans out there? Because I am. And you should be too, especially with their new kid-friendly (I refuse to think of it as a kids' album) release, Here Comes Science. Songs include Why Does the Sun Shine, Roy G. Biv and Meet the Elements. Here's a little taste of its awesomeness:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Big Decision

Right on the heels of our trip to California was big drama for our family. You see, our vehicle's CA registration was expiring and needed a smog test to re-register. Unfortunately, Florida does not do California smog tests. So we had to register here in Florida.
This is no simple matter here. It turns out that the state of Florida has 179 different license plates to choose from. Which one was right for us? With so many choices, the wrong plate could be disastrous to our final act of Floridian assimilation.
Which one should we pick? You can vote for your choice in the comments section. Below is a slideshow of just a few selections we liked, loved and laughed at.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

In Case You Missed It

I've been getting all our posts up from the trip to Santa Barbara, and I'm proud to say that I'm all updated. However, unless you've been sorting through the couple pages on the blog (or you're using an RSS reader), you may have missed one or two posts. So, here is a listing of all the SB posts, starting with my favorite, and then in chronological order:

Bromance - if you read only one post this week, make it this post.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that we had a great time, and wish we could have crammed more into two weeks, but I think it would have broken the laws of physics. I don't know when we'll be back, but we've got some good memories to carry us through until then. Here is the final round of photos that didn't fit into other slideshows but were too good to leave out.

The Debate Rages On