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August 29, 2006

Big 'Ol Garden Spider

What an arachnophobic really doesn't want to find in his garden... Argiope aurantia

Steph picked a Zuchini the other day and found one of these gals sitting on top of it. The black and yellow body seemed too large for those spindly black legs, but it had no problem moving, I can assure you of that. Supposedly they are harmless to humans, but I didn't take any chances -- it was still a spider, after all... and with spiders, I start swinging and take names later.

At the time, it looked like some horribly mutated Black Widow cousin... and my baby girl was sitting on the lawn about 10 feet away. Now I realize it probably actually helped keep other pests out of the garden... but still, that was one creepy spider!

August 25, 2006

Noah's Quote of the Day



"My room is called Messy World" :-)

August 19, 2006

Blue Ribbon Baby

BlueRibbon.jpg
Emily with her prizes


Our little Miss Emily has the bluest eyes and the longest hair in all of Clackamas County! Well, out of those babies under 11 months that were entered into the Pretty Baby Contest at the Clackamas County Fair, that is.

That's right. This morning we headed into the fair because we were just sure little Em was the cutest baby around. Steph claims that I wouldn't let her enter Noah into the same contest a few years back; so I guess that means I've softened my stance a bit, eh? Or maybe it's just because Noah and I could go check out the sights while Steph and Emily looked pretty... :-)

It looked like we were going to be shut out of the prizes there for a while, but miss Em managed to come up with two blue ribbons right at the end. She probably would have taken the prettiest smile category, too; but she got a little pooped out (literally) while waiting in line for the judging of that category - which came at the very end, when all the babies were a little pooped out (figuratively). Steph quickly changed her diaper and made it to the judges just in time to at least win the longest hair ribbon (which was judged at the same time).

Emily won a couple of receiving blankets for Longest Hair, and she won the beautiful little hand-made quilt (that she's sitting on in the picture) for the Bluest Eyes category. All-in-all, it was pretty fun!

August 18, 2006

Canadian Cousins Update

It's time to post some updated photos of Sydney and Cole...

SydneyGlasses.jpg
Sydney looks pretty sophisticated for a 2-and-a-half year old. :-)

ColeDonald.jpg
Cole at almost 2 months... what a handsome little man. :-D


We can't wait to see the whole family in person... hopefully it will happen pretty soon. ;-)

August 16, 2006

Raising a Family on One Income

I just thought I would put in a plug for my cousin Tammy's articles about living on one income (which she wrote for Get Rich Slowly). The articles can be found by following these links:

Raising a Family on One Income (Part One)
Raising a Family on One Income (Part Two)

In these articles, Tammy provides a real life example of what it takes to raise a family with only one parent working. I think she offers some very good advice...

While we are not currently able to make it on my income alone, we are slowly working towards that goal. Steph recently cut back to 2 days a week, which is a step in the right direction. I wish Steph could quit working altogether, but when she makes more money per hour than I do, it's kind of hard to make that jump. We will have to live a little more frugally, but we are willing to make sacrifices to have her home with the kids one more day a week. We are actually going to have to use the dreaded B-word... but if we are going to make it work, I don't see any other choice... we are going to have to start sticking to a budget.

August 2, 2006

Support your local Coffee Shop

BJ's Coffee in Molalla is our favorite local hangout. It is Noah's first choice for a place to go for breakfast. The owner, Mary, knows our names, and always welcomes us with a warm smile. She also knows that Noah will want coffeecake and 'coffee water' when he comes in. She knows that Steph will want a breakfast sandwich, and she knows that I will want a 20 oz. mocha. She always has to hold Emily, and often parades her around the coffee shop. It is a wonderful little hangout... and the coffee is good, too.

Noah's favorite spot is a corner booth with a Mediterranean mural painted by Mary's daughter, Kristy. The mural is of a bayfront scene with houses, boats, fishermen, and even a little coffee shop right along the waterfront. Steph once asked Noah where on the mural he would want to live, if he could choose. He pointed to a window right next to the little coffee shop and said, "If I lived there, then I could walk to the coffee shop". :-)

BJ's Coffee is located kitty-corner from Safeway -- a Safeway that just opened up a corporate giant 'coffee counter' (I won't utter their name here) inside the store. This is not good for our favorite little coffee shop. Sure, the corporate giant does make a good cup of coffee, but we really don't need them in Molalla... we already have good coffee shops -- including BJ's, which carries only locally roasted coffees that are Fair Trade Certified.

While I have been known to purchase coffee from this corporate giant, I refuse to patronize the one in the Molalla Safeway... and I urge anyone who may be passing through our town to do the same. Don't settle for sipping your coffee in the middle of a supermarket... make the 30 second jaunt over to BJ's Coffee... it is well worth the walk.