Signs of life

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Check this out!  It was unusually warm here for a couple days and I started thinking about spring and about my bulbs that I planted.  Coming home from my neighbor LiAnn's house, I looked at the place I planted the bulbs-lo and behold there were little green stems poking up!  I thought I planted them pretty deep ( I was actually worried they were too deep).  We'll see how they survive if they continue to come up!  It made me really excited for springtime!  Does anyone else have bulbs poking out yet?  Probably not anyone in Utah!  You guys are buried!  By the way, the table that David blogged about is AWESOME!  It's so fun to have my scrapbook/craft stuff all spread out.  I love you, thanks for the table!

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One of Harry, just for fun.  He's almost too big for the swing!

Building a Banquet Table

I've always loved to tinker on things and up to now I've spent many hours taking things out of storage (typically closets or under my bed), working on them and then putting them back away.  One thing that I've wanted ever since I can remember was space to work on projects where I could spread out and then leave things setup until I came back to work on them.  When we bought our house, we finally had space, but we still haven't had anywhere to put my projects... until now.

 

I decided that what we really should get is a long table that would work as a workbench and also could be moved downstairs for a dinner table should large group of people (hint, hint family) ever come and visit us.  I decided that what I really needed to do was to build two tables: one for Megan up in our office where she can put all her scrap booking stuff and one for me in the basement where I can put all my paintball stuff and other projects.  I started with Megan's table which is 2.5'x8'.  Mine will be 3'x8' but I'll have to wait until next weekend to build it.

 

I initially thought about just putting a board on sawhorses, but then I found a deal on table legs from Harbor Freight (which is one of my favorite stores).  I paid $9 for the legs.

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Next, we went to Home Depot and for each table we bought a 4'x8' piece of particle board (~$5.50) and a 4'x8' piece of a masonite-like manufactured wood with a rough side and a smooth side (~7.50).  I also got a few 2"x3"x8' pieces of lumber for support (~$4) and appropriate screws, nuts and washers ($4).  We got the larger boards cut at Home Depot (free) and tied them to the top of our car for the trip home (which went very smoothly with no problems).

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Rather than go into all the specifics, I'll show some pictures.  You can also see the handy-dandy work benches I got that made working much easier (thanks Megan).  I put the support braces 4.5" inside the outer edge of the table, reinforced the area where I attached the legs with leftover particle board, and tightened all the bolts until the were driven in and were basically flush with the top of the table.  After the frame was done I put a layer of wood glue all over the top and we attached the masonite sheet and let it dry over night.  To complete the project, we put a layer of electrical tape all around the edge to hide the rough edges and made used thumbtacks to attach it to the table.

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After roughly $30 (plus tax), a few hours of work and an encouraging wife, I ended up with the final product that I am quite pleased with.  It's sturdy, easily moved by two people, has foldable legs, and it looks nice.  I may take a hacksaw to the long bolts someday (I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do when I bought them, so I got long bolts just to be safe), but for now I won't worry about it.  All in all, I figure that with a table cloth we could use it at a wedding.

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Crazy Birds

I was casually sitting at home on a normal Saturday afternoon, working on some homework while  Megan was gone to the store.  All of a sudden, I heard a crash on our front window.  Even though the window didn't break, I thought someone had thrown a rock or something at it.  I glanced out the blinds (they were closed) and didn't see anybody standing outside our house in the process of desecrating our home, so I went out the front door to investigate.

 

As I walked out on the porch I surprised a hawk which was in the process of claiming it's kill - one of our local blackbirds.  The hawk took off flying with the blackbird hanging upside down beneath the hawk (presumably dead) and I watched it fly across the street and disappear between two houses.  Upon examining the window and the porch I discovered the remnants of the blackbird.  I'm not entirely sure what this is, but my guess it is the partially digested remains of whatever the blackbird was eating before it got surprised.  Also, judging by the angles involved, my guess is the blackbird was sitting on the porch railing and the hawk flew in and grabbed it and the hawk crashed into the window before it could stop or change directions. 

 

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I've seen lots of hawks out here, but this was the first one I've seen near our house.  I was so excited that I've left the blackbird remains on our window as a sort of "I saw a hawk" trophy for myself.

Simple Times, Wondrous Times

For the past few months, probable since Harry was born, I have been thinking a lot about when times were simpler.  I'm sure it has something to do with having a child.  I think about the pioneers a lot-how did they do it with babies and children in tow?  It must have been a huge sacrifice.  Yet, they were so humble and came across the plains to the place we now call Salt Lake City.  Their commitment to church and their beliefs is amazing.  In the February Ensign, there is an article about Joseph and Emma's family.  Four of their children died the day they were born, and two of their children died when they were not olden than 2 years old (one of those was adopted at birth).  How grateful I am for advancements in medicine, healthy living conditions, and especially our wonderful, healthy and strong Harry!  Joseph and Emma had 4 children that lived to be older (that includes the other adopted child). 

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For many of our ancestors, even parents, times were "simpler."  In a way I long for those times when life didn't fly by-when TV, Internet, cars...etc, didn't exist.  What was family life like?  On the other hand- I'm SOOOO grateful for modern technology.  For example, the way cities are set up, cars are pretty much a necessity.  I like to think about what pioneers would have done in the evenings when just the family was together, full bellies, candles lit.  I'm glad that I'm a member of the true church that believes in traditional family.  Our dear President Hinckley said while he was on Larry King Live, ""Put father at the head of the house again," he said. "A good father, who loves his wife and whose wife loves him, and whose children love him ... and let them grow together as good citizens of the land." (CNN.com Jan. 28th 2008)  That is the nice thing to know that our families may have very much in common with our ancestors.  We know that time spent together in love and righteousness is precious time. 

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Our family                                                             President Spencer W. Kimball family 1897

I loved this snippet from my "Gooseberry Patch Holidays at Home" book: 

"When I was about four years old, I remember at Christmas time my parents ordered a crate of oranges from the Sears and Roebuck catalog, and they came in on the train that passed through our small town of Hillview.  That was in 1946 and people in our community were not affluent.  They best memory I have of those days is the smell of the oranges, the wooden crate with the wire hooks, and they beautiful green tissue paper that each orange was wrapped in.  To this day, I still eat and love oranges and my favorite color has always been green.  We weren't rich, but our family and friends have memories that money can't buy." -Sandra Pinkerton, White Hall, IL

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The world moves so fast.  Sometimes I wish everything would just slow down....and yet there are such wonderful things going on in the world.  Amazing discoveries, cures, humanitarian aid, etc etc.  TV and the Internet allow us to learn about things we'd never ever in our wildest dreams be able to see/learn in person (like the show Planet Earth.)  It's great to be talking about something around the dinner table, wonder and ask questions, and actually be able to find the answers-almost instantly-on the Internet after dinner.  Like, how does Okra grow?  We sure found that out the other night!

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So, I guess that my thought is I wish that we could bring all the best from the past-the simple joys, the uncrowded and uncluttered mind, home and family- and enjoy all the wonderful things about this fast-paced world.  With the passing of President Hinckley, it has caused me to think about his full and marvelous life.  He saw so much change, yet his values never changed.  This is as we all should be; this is what the Savior taught.  Harry has allowed me many special hours to think about what life really means-where we came from and where we're going.  These are my thoughts.  I hope that it can inspire others to think about the past and make goals for the future.     

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Random Happenings

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Harry is 6 months old!!!!  Oh, how time flies.  Each day brings new joys.  Each day our little bug gets a little bigger and becomes more interactive.  Now we only have pictures and memories of Harry when he was a tiny newborn.  Dave thinks that Harry looks like a 60 year old professor in these clothes.

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United Air damaged our bags, but sent it back fixed in this box.  Harry really loved scratching the sides of the box because it made a cool sound!  He stayed in here a good long while just scratching away!DSC03123

Our 6-month-old lumberjack.  I love this outfit on him. 

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I played the piano in sacrament meeting on Sunday and discovered this hilarious typo!!DSC03097

Harry playing with banana!  I say playing because he sure didn't eat much!  We're just barely trying solids with him-mostly runny rice cereal once a day or so.

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Dave is 25!!!!  Happy birthday to the greatest husband in the world.  Thanks for all the hard work you do in school and in so many other ways in making our family fun and exciting.  You make me so happy and I'm glad that 25 years ago you were born!  For the birthday festivities, I made him a steak and potato dinner, and also mini cheesecakes with strawberries for dessert.  It was a fun evening!

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The biggest avocado, and the biggest avocado PIT we have EVER seen!!!  It was yuuuummmy!

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Harry all dressed up to support his Ohio State Buckeyes for the National Championship. 

Christmas Entry #4

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Harry's first Christmas (eve)!  He's pretty excited about the singing puppy

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Here Harry is trying to eat some fennel tea-it's          Here is Grandpa snuggling Harry

like gripe water, and helps upset tummies.  My

Grandma Vogel used it on her babies

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Here is Grandma snuggling Harry                           Look at those BLUE eyes!!!!  Can it get any sweeter?

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A very happy boy!

Christmas Entry #3 (Christmas Lights Helicopter Ride!)

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My brother and fam gave us a great Christmas present:  A helicopter ride over downtown Salt Lake City!  It was sooo fun!  The ride was pretty short- probably about 10 minutes or so, and it was such a neat view!  The helicopter was small, it almost looked like a dragonfly hovering around.  We got to see Temple Square, the Capitol, The City and County Building, The Gallivan Center....well you get the idea, we saw most all of downtown Salt Lake!  The helicopter fit 4 people total, so the pilot (who was about the same age as us, or younger) and three other people.  The front was just glass (or plastic, probably) and you could see all around you!  It felt surprisingly smooth and comfortable-it seemed so natural!  My parents went too, which was so fun; they took to the air first.  We went second and my mom came with us for a second ride because there was an open seat.  What a fun present.  We had been eagerly awaiting this gift because a few weeks earlier my sister-in-law had told us to keep the evening free-but wanted the event to be a surprise.  It sure was!  During the weeks before Christmas we tried to guess what the gift would be, but we didn't guess helicopter ride!  Christina and Tanner babysat Harry, which was wonderful.  These pics are a bit blurry, but they were the best I could get with my camera (obviously a flash isn't going to reach 1000 feet).  Pretty cool, huh?

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