Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saying Good-Bye

I had a wonderful trip back to Kansas. I drove on Saturday afternoon with my mom and dad. I am glad I could go with them and give my mom a little extra company up front. We stayed overnight somewhere, and made it to my aunt's house by about 3pm on Sunday. Everything kept moving from there on out. We had a time of sharing memories over supper on Sunday night, and watching a great slide show of my grandpa's life my aunt and cousin had put together. Then, Monday, we went for a private viewing of my grandpa. That was hard. No matter how prepared you are to say good-bye, it is always hard to actually do. I am so blessed to know that my grandpa is in a place prepared for him by his Heavenly Father. It is great reassurance and gives me hope in what is to come! In the evening, there was calling hours. It was a time of a lot of laughing. There were a lot of people I didn't know. Since moving to Ohio, we haven't been a part of a HUGE family reunion, so that is more than 20 years of not having seen people. It was neat to watch my dad (and my mom) reconnect with people - friends and family that they were close to for many years. I knew some people from when we lived there and it was good to see them again. It is always a long night when receiving people at calling hours though, so it was good to get some rest that night. The funeral was on Tuesday at 2:30pm. At the service, the my dad and his siblings had a time of sharing their memories of their dad. Then, we grandkids had compiled memories to share about grandpa. It was a neat experience for me to hear what all my cousins picked out because we all had a little different memory that was special to us. I think it gave people a good picture of who my grandpa was. It was about 95F at the burial site - another heat wave for our return to Kansas! My brothers and I hit the road after faspa (zweibach, jello, ham, cheese, and cookies). We stopped at Braums (the best hamburger and ice cream joint in the world!) for ice cream. We stayed at a hotel and left the next morning at 5am. I got home by 3pm. It was fun to be with my siblings in the car; it is not often we are alone without kids anymore... a little like the old days without having to break up wrestling matches in the backseat :) Thanks for all the prayers for travel (30+ hours on the road) and healing.

Just a side note: When my brother was talking to the pastor at my grandpa's church, he said that my grandpa's obituary had more hits online than any other story in the Newton Kansan paper that day. It just reminded me that my grandpa's life must have reached so many.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Baby Bump

Here is the much anticipated baby bump pictures. Well, I don't know if people are looking forward to see my shining white belly, but you can see I am definitely growing! Prepare to be amazed :)
5 weeks, 5 days along - Here I am on May 6th shortly after finding out I was pregnant. We had our first ultrasound not long after this.... a tiny peanut of a thing!


12 weeks, 0 days along - This is me the on June 19th. Not much had changed. We did hear the baby's heartbeat this week which was really cool.


15 weeks, 6 days along - This is me on July 16th. It is starting to pop out. Jeremy said I didn't really look any different. I guess that is a little bit true, but it WAS sticking out more than normal, and some of my pants were feeling a bit snug.

18 weeks, 6 days along - This is me on August 6th.

21 weeks along - This is August 22nd. I am a bit over halfway to the due date - and if I do say so myself... definitely showing! I started teacher work days this week and let those at school know about my "condition" Everyone was very excited for me.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sadness

My dad called me this morning at 8, but my phone was downstairs. I came down for breakfast and got another call at 8:30am. It seemed strange to be getting a call so early in the morning, but I didn't think much of it really. My dad said that my grandpa (his dad) has died this morning. He had turned 90 in June and was one of the reasons we went to Kansas this summer. It had been so good to see him. He knew who we were, could converse a little with us, and boy, could he give a hug and a handshake! My dad had told me earlier in the week that Grandpa was not swallowing very well and his one hand seemed to have atrophied some. We wondered if he had been having mini strokes. (He had a pretty major stroke last year maybe February sometime, while we were still in Colorado. He was now in a nursing home.) Then, Hospice came in to evaluate him this week. Hospice called my aunt to let her know he wasn't breathing very well on Friday night (I think), and before she could get there, he had passed away. It sounds very peaceful, and he had lived a wonderful life.

What does this mean? This means I (and my family minus most, if not all, of the in-laws) am headed to Kansas this afternoon. My parents are picking me up and I am helping them drive since my dad's back doesn't make him a very long relief driver for my mom. It also means I am scrabbling to get my stuff ready for a sub to take over this first week of school. I had a lot of things done, but that was for me ... not for someone else to understand and go with. I will probably be gone through Wednesday or Thursday - it depends on the day of the funeral. I will come home with my brothers while my parents wrap things up. Please, pray for travel mercies for not only us but some of my cousins coming from a distance as well. It will be a time of rejoicing because my grandpa was a child of God and is finally home. But that doesn't always mean no tears either. Pray for strength for my dad and his siblings (see pic up top) as they make arrangements, and for my grandpa's second wife, Linda, who God blessed him with. Finally, I am sure my sub will need prayer as s/he helps many students transition back to their first week of school. Thanks for you prayers.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Baked Flounder Rolls

I am trying fish for supper tonight. I love fish. When it is affordable, I buy it when eating out. However, every time I try to cook it, it just doesn't work. I have no idea what I do wrong, but it takes FOREVER! The problem with that is the recipe says bake 20 min or til fish flakes with a fork. Well, I have no idea if it is flaking with a fork or not when I test it, so I just keep baking upwards of 45 minutes. (If you know what flaked fish looks like, please let me know.) At any rate, I found this recipe for Baked Flounder Rolls online (the recipe is in the hyperlink if you want to try it). I will let you know how this adventure goes... I'll even take a picture if I remember to do so before eating it.

On a cooking note, I went to see Julie and Julia at the theater today on my last free day before school duties official start. It was a good movie. I did not laugh out loud (maybe once), but I was entertained. Here is the trailer if you have no idea what movie I am referring to. I don't know if I was inspired to cook French food - lots of butter and it looks fairly complicated. Oh well.

Cars

It is so nice to have a car, in fact, it is great to have two cars, so that Jeremy and I have freedom to go separately to work. Unfortunately, they are never maintainence free. I have decided that since returning from Colorado (when we were responsible for paying for no car expenses) owning a car is a very costly thing. We took both cars in for an oil change today. (Jeremy rode the bus to work. A new and exciting adventure for him; note a hint of sarcasm with the word exciting.) The Accord went in and came out without a hitch - just some new oil.

The Civic, on the other hand, always likes to include at least one additional expense. Last time it was the brakes, this time, I mentioned that the air conditioner wasn't really cooling very well. (Which would explain why Chloe, my neice, was sweating in her car seat on the ride back to her house last week....) He said he look into it. Well, $150 and a good bit of freeon later, the A/C will now be cooling at 38F - who really needs to be THAT cold anyway??? I would have taken it cooling at 60F for half the cost... At any rate, I am thankful it will now be fixed since the heat and humidity have moved into central Ohio for what seems an extended period of time. The mechanic, Kevin, also informed me that with freeon your defroster works better in the winter. He also said that a car should not lose freeon, so there must be a slow leak - can you say, "Another repair coming up!" Anyway that is the saga of cars.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Shakespeare in the Park

On Friday night, we had date night separately with the youth group. It was Guys Night/Girls Night at Westerville Christian Church. There was a very dismal attendance which was disappointing, so we will look to make some changes next summer. Jeremy went with the guys to Quaker Steak and Lube and then played cornhole. I think they had fun.

The girls went to Schiller Park in German Village (downtown-ish Columbus) to watch Shakespeare in the park. All summer long they perform Shakespeare - or other plays - outside on the lawn (see link). They have already done Three Musketeers and The Tempest. On this night, we watched As You Like It. It was funny, I thought. You did have to focus to get all the Shakespearan lingo, so some of the girls (and at some parts, myself) were a bit lost. It was interesting because the cast was supposed to be quite large, so to accomodate that with the few actors/actresses they had they used life size mobile puppets. The puppets were done by actors that you could see walking around with them, and they did not act as vantriquilists. It provided some humor. The summary is as follows, "As You Like It, by William Shakespeare, is performed with a combination of actors and life-size puppets as it follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle's court to find safety and eventually love in the Forest of Arden. Co-directed by John S. Kuhn and Beth Kattelman, As You Like It promises to be a comic favorite with Shakespeare fans." I knew nothing about the play, but as I watched, I was very excited to hear which play the famous quote, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players"

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Yoh's Big Day

A little follow-up to yesterday's blog... we are in week 20 and are due on January 1st, 2010 - it could be a tax break for 2009, an opportunity to pay all our insurance costs on the first day of the year, or if born in 2010, a very easy calculation of the kid's age. We'll see.

Now, on to today.... We went today for our anatomy scan. For those who have no idea what this means, here is the low down: sometime between the 18th and 24th weeks of pregnancy, a couple can opt for an anatomy scan. This is an ultrasound that looks at all the parts of the baby - length of bones, number of toes and fingers, weight of baby, etc You do this to check for possible developmental problems - spina bifida, cleft palate, crooked legs/feet, etc. Of course, you can also check the sex of the baby, which is what many people love this ultrasound for. Jeremy and I decided that we didn't want to know, and if you don't even want to know, the techs don't even look for their own records. So, it remains a mystery until the end. For those who like to use the old fashioned predictors that tell you nothing, this is what I know - according to the Chinese calendar, I am having a girl; according to the first heartbeat we heard (150 bpm), it will be a girl; according to the heartbeat we just heard today (136 bpm), it will be a boy. So, your guess is as good as mine!

Let me just say, it is really cool to see this. When I told my parents, they reminded me that they didn't get this chance with their own children. It amazes me how far technology/medicine has come, and how routine some things now are. I am thankful. We saw the baby moving; I have been able to feel some kicks and pokes for about a week now, but the baby sure moves more than I am feeling. We saw tiny feet and legs, the skeletor face, tiny hands, the heart beating, kidneys, stomach, and on and on. All things looked great and perfectly formed at this point. We sent up a prayer of thanks to the Creator of all for the affirmation of His work. Here are some of the ultrasound pics we got. (They are pictures of pictures, so a little fuzzier than the original.)


Leg and foot all stretched out





At one point, we were looking at a little fist all curled up. The tech was counting the clenched fingers and bones and checking for the thumb. All of a sudden the baby, opened the hand and waved it back and forth - just saying "hi" I guess :) So, here is the picture of that and the tech even typed HI right on it!



And finally the profile pic (it is much cuter than the skeletor face, so I included this instead). You can decide who this little one will look like, we weren't able to draw any conclusions.

That is not all the pictures; we received about 10! But I figured these are the highlights.

For those who are hoping I won't become some baby-obsessed blogger, I will continue to post about more than just pregnancy, but I will also be doing the "watch the baby bump grow" pictures. I am trying to figure out why because I would never in my right mind post pictures of my barely covered torso for all the world to see, but I guess you lose some of the self-consciousness when there is another human growing inside of it. Also, for our family and friends not living here in Columbus, it gives them a chance to see me "blossom" (such a nice term for "get big") into a mother.

The Yoh's Big News

So, most of you know, some of you may not, and my mom has been waiting forever for this to be posted (though I'm not sure why since she already knew). But here it is ......

WE ARE PREGNANT

Here is the background:
  • We found out (via a home test) on May 2nd that we were pregnant. It was very exciting, and we both had different plans - me, playing sand volleyball, Jeremy, going on an overnight camping trip with friends.
  • The next weekend, being Mother's Day, we decided to tell our families - it just seemed appropriate. Jeremy's mom got a "Happy Mother's Day, Grandma!" card. My mom got a magic 8 ball with a cryptic message since this will be their 8th grandbaby.
  • We had our first ultrasound on May 22nd. It was a tiny little peanut of a thing. We didn't see a whole lot, but we could see the heart fluttering with each beat. It was pretty incredible.
  • We told a few more people as the weeks went on ... small group people, friends we saw around, our extended family.
  • And then we kinda just quit telling people. I am not sure why exactly, but I have been hesitant to post it online - although Jeremy would have done it the day we found out! I think I like telling people in person. The reality is this: We can't possible tell everyone we know in person, so I am giving into this technology thing and here it is. Stay tuned for updates.

Chloe Visits

My niece, Chloe, turned 4 this summer. As was a tradition with her older sister, I invited her to stay with us overnight. It is a big deal - a night away from home is always a little traumatic for little ones. I picked her up on Wednesday around 4pm. She came running down the stairs with her backpack on, ready to go. We loaded her car seat into the back of my car, and she jumped in. We were on the road with one question coming shortly after we left, "Is it a long ways to your house?" Of course. I said it was a little farther than Grandma's house. We made it. We ate chili with fritos for supper. She liked it, even though it was "spicy." She did pick out the dark kidney beans, but ate the other beans. We went to rent a movie, Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus. She figured Jeremy wouldn't like it because it was a girl movie; she guessed correctly. We watched it in the basement on our small TV because that was where she chose. She went to bed about 9:20, just to walk out of the room and say she didn't want to sleep all by herself. (She sleeps in the same room as her sister usually.) So, she called home, talked to her mom, and moved her floor bed to our room. While I got ready for bed (because she didn't want to fall asleep by herself), she laid there. By the time I was done, she was o-u-t.

Thursday, we slept til 8am! We had rice krispies for breakfast, watched the end of the movie we didn't finish last night, and then I showered for the day. We packed some PB&J sandwiches, and went to the zoo. It was a good time - baby elephant, crocodile, snakes (a really big one and one we touched), the aquarium (touching sea animals here too), gorillas, bonobos, and Animal Safari. I think I could watch Animal Safari everyday and not get tired of it. I talked about it in a previous blog if you are curious. We met her dad halfway between here and there. It was a great time.

Tortilla Soup

This is a delicious tortilla soup (Sopa de Tortilla for you Spanish speakers!) I recently made. It is really easy, so I thought I would share it with everyone. (Sorry, no pic)

Tortilla Soup
1 15-oz can whole tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh or canned chipotle pepper, seeded (optional, adds heat)
1 48-oz can chicken broth
salt and pepper
juice of 1 lime

In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and chipotle pepper. In a large pot, combine the tomato mixture with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Serve garnished with crushed tortilla chips, diced avocado, thinly sliced green onions, sour cream, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges (obviously, you can pick and choose).

*I added canned shredded chicken, but really think I would have been perfect without it. It has an excellent flavor particularly with the green onion, chips, cheese, and sour cream added. Enjoy!

Friday, August 7, 2009

This week in review

I haven't blogged much this week, but we have been busy. So, here is the breakdown...
Monday: We headed down to Hocking Hills to join some of the youth group in a day of hiking. We hadn't been to Hocking Hills for awhile. It was good to go again. We went to Conkle's Hollow, Ash Cave, and Jewel Cave. It was a very nice day. In the evening we ate at the Olde Dutch Restaurant. Most indulged in the never-ending buffet of "home cooked" foods. Yum.

Tuesday: I went into school to get a little more work accomplished. I managed to get things worked out so I know what I need to cover this year. I will have to go back next week and actually make some detailed lesson plans for the first few weeks. Sounds exciting. Jeremy officially accepted the job working with computerized system of property assessment with the auditor's office. His start date is August 10th; the time of "freedom" is coming to a close a little faster than mine. We are thankful for the answer to prayer for full-time work. It is not the ideal job, but a definite step up from the latch-key program!

Wednesday: We headed on yet another youth group outing - Zoombezi Bay Water Park. It is the water park that is attached to the Columbus Zoo. We had never gone, so it was a good chance to do that. It was a lot of fun despite the overcast sky. Jeremy tried out most every slide in the park. I enjoyed the lazy river a couple times around.

Thursday: News of a new neice came our way about 4pm. My older brother (Nate) and his wife had their fourth today. She was 7lbs 6oz. Her name is Megan Elizabeth and is looks to be a cutie. :) We went to the hospital to see them and stayed overnight at my parents.

Friday (that's today!): Jeremy went out for a round of golf; I baked cookies. We went to the hospital to check out little Megan one more time before returning to Columbus.

I hope everyone has had a great week. Stay hydrated in what looks to be a heat wave coming through!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Weekend

Jeremy and I spent the weekend doing two different things. Saturday, he spent the day being security at the gates to the Dublin Irish Festival, which is an annual event. He was there from 10:30am - 6:30pm. He had the early shift which was fortunate because the late shift lasts til at least 11pm, and the crowd gets a bit more rambunctious as the night proceeds. On Sunday, he went to church at Westerville Christian. Then, headed down toward OSU to play tennis with his cousin, Greg. He took the bike trail to get there, so it was a great workout - not to mention a beautiful day to be outside.

I left around 2:30pm to go to a wedding of the daughter of my mentor growing up. It was an outdoor wedding and reception, and the day was perfect! I was so happy for them. Of course, everyone looked beautiful. Sandy (my friend) and I were each other's wedding date. This was a lot of fun. We usually went together to weddings and this was very reminiscent of old times. I took my camera along to capture some pics, but the batteries were dead, and I walked away with none. On Sunday, I went to Salem Mennonite, then to my parents house for waffles and white sauce - really one of my favorite meals. My mom is so accommodating to my many requests for Sunday lunches (last time it was pancakes!); I really appreciate it. I showed my parents pictures from the past two years - all finally printed and in albums (one summer goal accomplished)! Then, I stopped in Ashland to see my brother's family. They are expecting their fourth child any day now (literally, we are waiting....). In order to accommodate their growing family, they had done some remodeling that I hadn't seen. It looked great! I ate supper - a delicious smorgasbord of leftovers - with them, and headed back to Columbus by about 7:45pm. It was a good weekend.