Thursday, November 29, 2007

Upheaval

Our house is looking more and MORE like there is a baby coming to live here soon. While we still have a long ways to go, at least we're making progress. Of course, when I went to the Dr. this week she was telling me how when she had her first child her mom said "Relax, everything that you're doing to prepare a room just perfectly for the baby, etc. is for YOU, not really for the baby. A baby needs food and their diaper changed, and lots of love. But, a baby can sleep in a dresser drawer, it doesn't NEED the perfectly decorated room. That's for YOU!" Well, we're working on making a cute room and a more organized house - but at least that helps me keep things in perspective!

Last weekend Stephen's dad came over and helped Stephen move the guest bed into the office and set up the baby's crib! I like seeing it in the room when I walk by. I guess it just makes it seem more and more real that before too long the little guy will be here! Of course, the rest of the house is a bit of a disaster still while we sort out where to put everything but, we're learning a lot about what we really need and use versus what we just have around but don't really need!


Actually, I think Grandpa's enjoying getting in on the preparations!!

We got this crib from Stephen's sister Teri and family. I'm pretty sure all 3 of their girls used it. We still need a mattress - but, we have the crib!



As we make more progress on the room (and other things in life) I'll try to keep you posted!

Fall Recital

This fall has been exciting for the Music Ministry. It was one of our best semesters of music classes and we had several new students. FINALLY we have LOTS of violins! Not too long ago we had a recital where all of the students got the chance to show off what they have been learning. Some, had only been playing their instruments for 8 or 10 weeks! They played fairly simple songs but did a wonderful job!



The New group of students with their teachers





We've also once again started a "beginning" mariachi called "Mariachi Adelante." Some of their members have played along with musicians at church a few times but and we're hoping that they'll play with Mariachi San Pablo at the Posada in December. They are still learning but, here is a little bit of video of their debut playing "Alabare" (I Will Praise).

Video of Mariachi Adelante

video

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Chiple"

In Spanish (at least in this part of the world) that means "spoiled," although not necessarily in a bad way. When you are someone's "chiple" it means that you receive lots of wonderful things from that person (either physical or otherwise) in such a way that they "spoil" you. For example, when Stephen was a bachelor, he had a custom of picking a Senior in High School to be his "chiple" for the year. He would take this person out to eat every once in a while, take them to the movies, or find other nice ways of encouraging them through the year toward graduation. Of course me, growing up as an only child I OFTEN heard "Oh, you must be spoiled rotten!" My mom's response was always, "No, just extremely blessed." I totally agree.

Since I have known him, Stephen has talked about how he feels like he is God's "chiple." He can tell countless stories of they ways that God has arranged things in his life in extraordinary ways that can only be attributed to God's goodness - not any merit or effort on his part. I can think of many MANY such situations and circumstances in my own life - there was just never as good a word for it in English as "chiple."

These last few weeks - months - years really have made us feel, over and over again, that we are God's "chiples" and we thank and praise Him for every single one of the blessings that He has brought into our lives. Material things, ways He has provided for our needs at the perfect time, friends, family...... AND, we strive to find ways to "chiplify" others as often as we can. Truly everything that we have, experience or encounter in this life is under the control of God's Almighty hands. And BOY am I glad that HE knows SO much more than me!

These past couple of weeks have been very busy for us. We've finally gotten around the crossing some of the things off of the "To Do Before Baby Heimer Arrives" list. We picked our hospital and started pre-natal classes and HUGE relief to have out of the way. This last week we received a stroller and car seat in the mail, a gift from some in our lovely family. It is SO WONDERFUL to have this already in hand and assembled and, since it is the first LARGE Baby item that we have gotten it is really starting to make the whole thing seem VERY real!


Here are a few pictures of "daddy" assembling the stroller.
Yes, actually the DIRECTIONS called for use of a hammer!
The finished product complete with infant car seat attached (there is also the base for the car seat that you leave strapped in your car.

Another thing that has been our "TO DO SOMEDAY" list since this summer was the get a washing machine. Although we love going to Stephen's parents and watching movies while using their laundry (and they tell us they LOVE having us come over) we finally decided that it was time to get our own washer before Baby Heimer shows up. I was already tired of 1) running out of clean clothes to wear before getting around to laundry 2) loading up ALL of the dirty laundry in the truck, into their house, back into the truck and into our house clean 3) NEVER making it all the way through everything to be done (especially rags or blankets or other non-essentials for clothing) and 4) RUNNING OUT OF CLOTHES (especially since I have WAY LESS clothes that still fit me these days!)

So, we went washer shopping. Thankfully, right around the time we decided it was THE TIME, we got a discount coupon via email from my aunt. And, when we went to Sears we found a GREAT deal! See, Stephen and I had both always thought it would be GREAT to have a High-Efficiency washer. Yes, the "treehugger" in each of us LOVES the idea of water conservation and energy savings but, couldn't get our brains around so many $$$ for a WASHING MACHINE! However, again, we were "chiplified" by God to provide just what we needed at just the right price at just the right time! Not only did we have the coupon from my aunt, Sears also already had 20% off of some appliances. AND we found out that the water company is giving $200 back to people who have High-Efficiency appliances (although this program may end in January!). So, when all is said and done, we got a High-Efficiency washer for about the same cost as a regular old washer. It's pretty slick!

Again, we had some help with the moving/assembly/installation!

Ahhh...isn't it nice?

So, apparently we save about 22 gallons of water per load. That means that we've already saved MORE THAN 250 gallons! WOOHOO!!! And, I can't TELL YOU how nice it is to throw in a load of laundry ANY TIME I WANT TO!!!!!

In my life of privileged existence, a washer doesn't seem like a luxury item. However, after not having had one in our house for several months, I feel like it is.

Honestly, considering all the need in this world and people without even the basic necessities, aren't we CHIPLE?

Winter is Here!!!

Well, who would have thought that it would snow more in EL PASO than in MINNESOTA!!!!! This morning Stephen and I woke up and I opened the door to let dogs out and I couldn't believe my eyes! It was SNOWING!!!!!! And, some had already accumulated. It started to get harder and harder. Actually, the dogs took one look out the door and went back to their pillow. They are NOT cold weather dogs!

Here is a picture of our house and yard this morning.
Keep in mind, this was already by 8:30am.

It's actually been snowing ALL DAY! Now, the only times I've ever seen snow in El Paso is in the days right around Christmas. And usually, it might snow during the day, but mostly at night or in the early morning hours and everything melts by noon. However today it hasn't hardly stopped! I think there were 2 or maybe 3 hours this afternoon where it let up but, tonight it's going nuts again! Word has it that this is supposed to continue all day tomorrow! I have a feeling there won't be a lot of people at church in the morning!

I have noticed something about myself today. I STILL don't like the cold (I really never have even though spending most of my years in the frozen tundra.) However, when I was driving today, the snow was falling, and a Christmas song came on the radio...it made me smile and it felt just PERFECT! Hmmm...I don't know how I'm going to reconcile that - a desire for snowy weather to make it feel like Christmastime and a hatred of being cold....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Last Big Trip

I think I'm finally done traveling. WHEW! I'm ready to be done with accumulating the miles and stay at home for a change!

Last weekend we went to Denver, Colorado with a few others from the mariachi and performed at a convention. It was a great weekend but LOTS of miles. On the way home we took a little detour and visited the Royal Gorge. We only got a look from a little trail. Apparently to go across the bridge you have to pay to enter a type of amusement park. But, we got a free look from a lookout a little walk down from the bridge. The picture doesn't do the landscape justice but it is VERY impressive!

Also, I got great news over the weekend. I don't have gestational diabetes! Since I had to go back for the 3 hour long test I was pretty worried about it. However, so far everything looks great and Baby Heimer seems to be growing perfectly. PRAISE GOD! Thanks for keeping us in your prayers!

YUMMY!

Tomato & Spinach Pasta Toss

Since this is the 3rd time that we've tried this recipie and I still LOVE it, I thought I'd share. Since it's not mine you can just link to the website here.

http://www.kraftfoods.com/main.aspx?s=recipe&m=recipe/knet_recipe_display&u1=keyword&u2=tomato%20spinach%20pasta&u3=**7*25&wf=9&recipe_id=104507



I just use regular canned tomatoes not seasoned ones since they are hard to find. I also substituted whole wheat penne pasta for a healthier punch. The picture on the Kraft website looks a little more perfect than mine - but mine is real! ;-)

I also don't think it makes 6 one cup servings. Stephen and I can almost finish this off by ourselves if we're hungry although, even with seconds there is a little left over for lunch! The spinach gets a little soft with reheating but it still tastes great. I'm pretty sure the 2nd time I made it I doubled the recipie and that's why we had a lot of leftovers.


Friday, November 2, 2007

A Haloween Like I Have Never Seen

I think that the art of trick or treating has lost something. Or maybe, I just have different childhood memories!

This year we were at Stephen's parent's house during the evening in Haloween. Apparently their neighborhood is VERY popular for trick-or-treaters. It appears that they drive to their neighborhood from other areas to go walking around the neighborhood. I'm pretty sure that this is the case because I have been at their house a LOT and it's not all that often that you see kids out in the neighborhood (even on Saturday and Sunday afternoons!) However, on Halloween I don't think you could even COUNT the numbers!

Jeanette had 160 miniature bags of microwave popcorn and we had brought over 3 big bags of candy. All of this was GONE by 7pm. I ran out to the store and bought 7 more bags of candy almost all of the with 40 pieces each. We filled up a box with candy and the first time there was a knock at the door (after we turned the lights back on) we were SURPRISED to open the door to find a line of trick-or-treaters that stretched from the door to the street (about 30 feet away)! We stood there with the box of candy putting treat after treat in pumpkins and bags with the line STILL reaching to the street for TEN WHOLE MINUTES at least!!!!!!!!!! One after another! At least there were still kids that actually SAID trick-or-treat by the time they got to the front however, some just hold their bag open and walked away. I don't know - to me there is something lost if you don't have to knock on the door and something MORE lost if you don't even have to SAY trick-or-treat! Standing in line for candy on Halloween - it's just not the same!

Of course, it was easier on us to just stand there until we ran out of candy than to get up from whatever else we were doing every 3 minutes when someone came to the door!

The worst part was, when we ran out of candy AGAIN we turned ALL the lights off in the house and when another knock at the door and the words "Trick-or-Treat" rang out, we almost didn't let Stephen's dad in because we thought he was a candy seeker!!!! :-)

Friday, October 26, 2007

I Need a Hobby

I think I need a new hobby. Something I can do while sitting in the doctor's office! Now I’m on schedule for dr. appointments every 3 weeks instead of every 4. I think that means it’s getting closer! I think that means we better start getting baby stuff ready!!!! I have to go for a 3 hour test to rule out gestational diabetes and it has me a little nervous. Both because it makes me nervous and because I don’t really want to sit there in the office for 3 hours!!! Maybe I’ll take some work or homework or crocheting with me. Either I’ll get a lot done or I’ll make a dishcloth or two!!! We’ll see what I feel like at 7:30am!!!!!!

The Well Dressed Baby

While we were in MN we had a sort of “Baby Shower” with Mom and Dad and got some presents from the Scherschlight’s and Sargent’s too. When we got home we had a present from the church I worked at in IL and a box from one of our friends with some CUTE stuff and a handmade baby blanket too! I have no idea how many baby clothes a baby uses or how fast they grow out of them but, Baby Heimer is going to be well dressed in blue, at least for the first weeks/months! Here are some pics of the cute stuff!

Presents from Luz - cute! and a beautiful blanket!

More clothes, some cute bibs, and a little friend from Luz!

Actually some things that AREN'T blue ~ these people didn't know that it was a boy ~ but variety is good!

I think he's going to be the best dressed boy in town!

Barely Home

We got back from NY on Monday and on Wednesday flew to MN for Lanae’s (Krysia’s cousin) wedding. It was a beautiful wedding and was LOTS of fun to see all of my family!
Us with my parents - also some of my favorite people!


A few of my cousins - more of my favorite people!


My Grandma & Grandpa - more of my favorite people! (I'm allowed to have lots of favorites!)




We were able to stay in MN for almost a week after the wedding and even though we spent some time doing homework and little time doing work – we were mostly able to relax and enjoy spending some time with my parents. We even celebrated my dad’s birthday for about 3 days!


We took a train ride on the Minnesota Zephyr and ate WAY too much food!


The Zephyr is a little old and had a few leaks in the rain so Mom had to sit with her bucket to catch the water! She didn't get any champagne - but she did get a free glass. Oh, and Stephen, Mom, and Dad all got free drinks for the bother!



We also went to a dinner / comedy show at the Channhassen.


And, we got to spend some extra time with the Scherschlight’s and Sargents. FUN FUN FUN!!!

Since we’ve been traveling so much and we have quite a bit to go in the next month, I decided that I’m going to start a log of all of Baby Heimer’s miles (flying and driving) before birth and see how far he gets! So far here is the list. So far everything is roundtrip.

Flying: TTD (total to date): 8862 miles
ElP to MN for Grandpa Kludt’s funeral: 2466 miles
ElP to NY for Naomi’s wedding: 3930 miles
ElP to MN for Lanae’s wedding: 2466 miles

Driving: TTD (total to date): 2663 miles
From MN to Huron, SD for Grandpa Kludt’s funeral: 576 miles
ElP to Colorado Springs, CO for Doug Mauss’s wedding: 1464 miles
From MN to Mitchell, SD for Lanae’s wedding: 623 miles

Lots of Adventure

Well, we have had a lot of adventures lately. Baby Heimer is logging A LOT of miles even before he is born!

Our first adventure of this month was to fly to New York with a few people from the mariachi group for Naomi’s wedding. It was a fast weekend and we got pretty tired – but it was a lot of fun. An unexpected part of this adventure is that we had this crazy cool bus/camper to drive around. Stephen and I were stuck in the cockpit (no kidding, there really was a section blocked off like a cockpit!) pretty much the whole time while the rest hung out in the back.


The crazy bus



The crew hanging out in the back of the bus



Stephen driving the bus


In addition to wedding activities we got to visit Niagara Falls! We decided to be REALLY adventurous and visit the falls on the Canadian side. It gave me some perspective of what people who visit us here in El Paso must feel like when it is time to cross the border into Mexico.


Crossing the bridge into Canada

We weren’t really too nervous or anything but, we were wondering what it would be like, how the driving through in our crazy bus would be, and what the return trip would be like. Everything with the border crossings turned out to be a breeze and the return to the US was actually really fast (WAY faster than coming back from Mexico!) We did decide that we might not really know the specifics of driving in Canada when Stephen turned right after stopping at a red light and Rick (one of the men in the group) said “Umm, I’m not really sure if that is legal in Canada or not!” Oops!

We didn’t get to spend too long at the falls but we did go on a boat ride that takes you to the base of both the US and the Canadian falls. At one point we were almost completely surrounded by the falling water where the falls are shaped like a U! It was a good thing that they give out rain ponchos when you get on the boat because otherwise we all would have been SOAKED!

A View of the US Falls from Canada

Us, ready to get wet on the boat

Stephen and I - only a little sprayed on


In the middle of the mist we saw a HUGE rainbow.It was almost a full circle!



The Canadian (or Horseshoe) Falls


Stephen and I, back on dry land


Since we did actually go to New York for a WEDDING, not just to visit Niagara Falls - I guess I should show you a few pics of that as well!

The Mariachi playing

Stephen got everyone to dance!

It wasn't only the kids that had fun with the pinata ~ the bride and groom took a swing or two as well!


Stephen and I with the NEWLYWEDS ~ Paul & Naomi Marks ~ a couple of my favorite people in the world!


Monday, September 24, 2007

Weekend in Colorado

This weekend we went to Colorado Springs for a friend's wedding. We had a good time although it was kind of a long drive to make (10.5 hours up on Friday, 9 hours down on Sunday, and the last 3 hours on Monday) in just one weekend. We took a few pictures of our adventure but none while in the car!

We got to see the beginning of the Aspens changing colors. I guess in this part of Colorado the majority of the deciduous trees are Aspens so there aren't tons of fall colors, just beautiful yellows. We had to go pretty high into the mountains to see them, but the places where they were changing colors were well worth it. Especially with the sun shining the yellows were brilliant!
Stephen and I with a pretty view
Here's Tiffany and I - (thanks for taking us with you!)

I also had to buy a new dress to wear to the wedding. I think it is going to make up the "dressy" portion of my pregnancy wardrobe but, at least I actually like it! It didn't even make me look too pregnant this weekend (except when sitting!). We'll see how it fits in another 3 weeks at Lanae's wedding!
Here's me and my handsome hubby!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A New Recipie - A New Adventure

I was asked to make a main dish for a party at the office. Let me tell you - that is a little intimidating. I don't know how to make a lot of things that I think will really suit Mexican-American taste buds and I KNEW I didn't have any recipies that I already knew were good. But, I decided to be brave and make an attempt at Albondigas (Mexican Meatballs). I found a great recipie on http://www.allrecipies.com/ (since I don't really want to step on their toes as far as copyrights so - I'll just give you the link to the actual recipie - http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Mexican-Style-Meatballs/Detail.aspx ) Pretty soon it will be MY photo that you see since no one had submitted a photo yet!

Here is the process.
For a girl that never used to even be ABLE to touch raw meat - mixing everything together with your hands and forming the meatballs was a bit of a stretch. But, I must be getting more adventurous because it wasn't even gross!
I doubled the recipie so I think there were something like 126 meatballs!

Some meatballs with Mexican Rice. I would suggest making them with plain white rice because the meatballs have PLENTY of flavor on their own!







The First Splurge

We've been told we probably don't really need to worry about buying baby clothes. Stephen's sister Laura (who just had her 6th child) has 4 boys and got a bunch of really nice clothes from some friends recently. She seems to be willing to pass them on to us. However, there must be some of my mom's shopping genes buried deep within me. Maybe motherhood will bring them out (one of the many changes). But, I just couldn't resist the 25% off Baby Sale at Old Navy today. Oh well, I decided that it probably was okay for the mommy to get excited and want a cute little outfit for her little boy that also reminded her of the new daddy that she loves!





Isn't it cute! Just chalk it up to "baby's FIRST outfit!"

Momma Too

So, Stephen seems to think it's totally cute. I'm still in the stages of thinking it's kind of annoying. But, since people keep asking me (and keep complaining that they aren't going to get to see me pregnant much because they live far away) I guess I can get over myself and share the beginning of our series of how big the momma gets. (Don't worry - the photos will be modest!)

Here's one from about 19 weeks.



Growing Bigger

We had some great news last week when we went for the 3-D ultrasound. Everything looks GREAT and Baby Heimer is looking really healthy. I was so surprised at how much you could see on the various pictures of the ultrasound. The technician was able to look at the heart, measure the heart's ventricles, and take a video of the heartbeat and slow it down to check that everything was operating correctly. She also took several measurements - like of the head, tibia, femur, etc. She could even see the liver and kidney. CRAZY!

Well, we have debated for WEEKS whether or not we wanted to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. Stephen mostly wanted to know and I thought I wanted it to be a surprise. But, shortly before we went to the doctor's office I decided it probably would be really nice to know. When we were there I couldn't just let the technician NOT tell us. So, we found out - Baby Heimer is a BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are some pics for you to enjoy!








I might be biased - but I think that he's going to be CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!