December 31, 2001

Happy New Year!
Here's hoping everyone had a Christmas full of fun and frolic! We had a great time at Wellington and Darlene's this year, especially because Dennis, Dee, Elissa, and Brianna were up from California to share in our holiday festivities. Jack slept through Christmas morning celebrations, but Katie was very interested in helping everyone open gifts. We had a late Christmas with Curt and Dotti a few days ago, and an even later one with Mary and Len. I think it's sorta fun to stretch out the holidays, and now a little depressing that they're over.
Debi flew out a couple weeks ago. We saw a wonderful movie, Amelie, and spent a lot of time shopping and talking and letting the kids entertain us. If you don't have the good fortune of knowing someone as fabulous as Debi, then I feel very sorry for you.
I hope Deanna will be coming for a visit soon too. I'm beginning to forget how cool she is.
Otherwise things are the same around here. It's great having Vic home for so long, and I don't look forward to him going back to work at all. I, on the other hand, am starting to schedule classes for January and hoping to get a little work in before Vic is due back to work in February and we have to use a babysitter again.
Chris and Sonya got their new assignment: Paris. It must suck to be them, huh?
This is sorta good. Here are two discount codes for use at the Eddie Bauer web site for $15 off a $15 purchase: 6030629 (expires 2/1/02) or 6033199 (expires 1/14/02, for clothing and gear only). Start your shopping at ebates to get an additional 4% rebate. See the Shop with Jen page for more of this stuff!
Not much else to report. No big New Year's Eve plans, nothing exciting to share. I'm not complaining!

December 7, 2001

Happy holidays! To look at our house right now, you'd think we're a bunch of Scrooges. No decorations except for a Christmas banner hanging on the porch. Only some wrapped Christmas gifts in the living room serve as a reminder of the time of year we're approaching. Frankly, decorating is the last thing on our minds right now. I only put the banner out because I found it in the garage this morning.
We're doing pretty well 'round these parts. Jack is adjusting to life and is quite vocal when he's unhappy with it. He's actually pretty content to eat, sleep, and fill his diapers. We can't complain. At his two-week checkup, he weighed in at a surprisingly large 9 pounds, 13 ounces, though he's all torso and hair (proof). No worries that he's not getting enough to eat!
Katie seems to be enjoying her little brother, although she's reverting back to a few baby-like behaviors. If we fix Jack a bottle, she usually wants one too--a sippy cup just won't do. She's also been more whiny when she's unhappy, although that could just be typical almost-2-year-old stuff.
Word on the street is that Jacob is so thrilled about having a cousin with a name so similar to his that he's taken to calling himself "Jakeson."
I just have to post this picture of my mom here. It's from this year's WWC MASK, and if you know the MASK, then you know the photos are usually of the DMV variety. I thought this one was so good, it deserved more web space!
We enjoyed a very welcome visit this past weekend from the Croft Family. Sherrice was wonderful enough to cook a week's worth of delicious meals for us before she left, leaving us teary with joy! Katie was quite fascinated with baby Grace's giggles, and liked playing with River when he came over too.
Debi's coming to meet Jack next weekend--we can't wait!
If you want to see some great pictures of England, and read a very entertaining first-time visitor account, check out Deanna's trip report on her site! It'll make you want to go there too!
Did you hear the news about ExciteDELETETHIS@Home going bankrupt? Unfortunately, we were affected by it and were without our normal Internet service for five days. If you know me, then you know how much it was killing me. I lasted just over 24 hours before I found an old AOL sign-up disk and connected through dial-up, which just proves how desperate I'd become. I was able to retrieve e-mail, though I couldn't send it, and finally connected yesterday to get the new configuration for our cable access. Whew! I'm sure there will still be some service outages as AT&T makes the transition to the new network, but we're mostly back on. Our e-mail addresses have not changed.
Kathy and Lori are in San Francisco this weekend, having way too much fun without me. They are planning to see "A Christmas Carol" and "Beach Blanket Babylon," and get tattoos. All I can hope for is that Kathy's tattoo will be someplace that will not necessitate pulling her pants down at another one of my dinner parties.
Birth announcement/Christmas cards are going out this week. We did our best to include everyone, get current addresses, and correctly calculate postage, so hopefully all of you will receive one. I designed and created the cards myself, so if you have anything nice to say about them, feel free. I'll probably love you for it.
And since I probably won't be updating the site again before the new year, here we go:

Happy Holidays!

(Lori, you were so fond of these lights last year, I've put them up again, just for you!)

November 20, 2001

Well, Jackson Curtis Wellington Manullang has arrived. Get to know him!
The surgery last Tuesday went well. I was glad to hear the doctor say, when Jack's head circumference was measured, that I would've had to have a c-section to get that noggin out. So for those of you who thought I was nuts for choosing a c-section, I laugh in your general direction! Ha! I'm glad I didn't have to go through a hard labor to end up with a surgical delivery anyway. Jack was born less than half an hour after I was wheeled into the O.R. It was totally worth it.
We had lots of visitors and phone calls--if you can actually enjoy a hospital stay, we did! There were only a couple nurses that I didn't like (unlike last time) so that made things a little better too. Even so, we were glad to check out on Friday and get home.
In case you were wondering, Jack was named after his two grandfathers. "Jackson," his first name, we just liked. We know better than to pick four-syllable first names to go with a last name like Manullang. It wasn't until we were on the way to the hospital last Tuesday morning that we finally decided what his name would be, though. He's so small right now that it seems like a really big name for a little baby--he's got a lot to live up to, I guess.
Jack is doing great. He wakes up several times during the night, but always goes right back to sleep after eating, which his sister never did. I realize he's only a week old, but he still sleeps so much that it almost seems like we don't have a new baby in the house! He's fairly quiet, even during his longer awake times. The only times he really cries are when he's hungry and when he's having his diaper changed. I know, I know... that'll change.
Katie's getting used to him too, and is very curious about everything he does. She likes to help out by handing him his pacifier ("Here ya go!") and petting him just like she does Scout. His cry is very loud, though, and she doesn't like that a bit. We're trying to give her lots of extra attention--tonight she and Daddy had a date at the play area at the mall, which she enjoyed very much.
The grandmas have been so helpful as we have adjusted to being a larger family. Darlene and Wellington are here this week. My mom was here over the weekend, and will be back again in a couple weeks. Katie and Scout enjoy the extra attention, and Mom and Dad appreciate a little extra peace when they've taken over. My recovery is going to take a while, of course, and that makes me appreciate the extra help a LOT!
Seems like there's not much else to report. I'll try to keep the site updated with pictures as Jack grows. I've found an easy way to do that--when having rolls of film developed, I get a Kodak Picture CD and then I don't have to scan snapshots. Sure saves a lot of time and effort, at least until we choose a digital camera.
Happy Thanksgiving!

November 2, 2001

Lots has happened since the last update. I'll try to remember it all to fill you in.
I still have a bunch of stuff to scan. Someday--and I don't imagine it'll be anytime soon--I'll get in "scanning mode" and publish all the stuff I haven't already. Don't hold your breath. For now, you'll have to be satisfied with the stuff that was already in electronic form.
September 11
It's hard to know what to say, or how to say it. Our friends and acquaintances who were in or near NYC and D.C. that day are safe, and we're glad for that.
Our schedule's still pretty firm to go into the hospital Tuesday, November 13 for the c-section. We plan to check out sometime Friday afternoon. Unless I go into labor naturally before then (Sonya's encouraging a good horseback-riding adventure), count on that. Darlene and Wellington are going to be watching Katie and Scout, and my mom will be down over the weekend to help us get adjusted to being at home. No false pretenses of pride this go-round--we know we'll need help!
And one of the best things (for me) is that Vic will be home for 12 weeks! Gotta love the hospital's extended leave policy!
I want to apologize in advance to those of you we won't call from the hospital. It's not that I plan on not calling some of you, but I'm sure we're not going to get through our entire list, and that doesn't mean we don't like you. We just remember how hard it was to spread the news when Katie was born.
Name options
Still haven't finalized our name choice, but are leaning toward Luke Danger Manullang. A lot of thought went into this, really! Vic can put on his best Darth Vader voice and say, "Luke, I am your father!" and we want little Luke to someday be able to say (ala Austin Powers), "Danger is my MIDDLE name!"
Of course, Hopalong is still a good choice. We're trying to figure out how to fit that in somehow, because doesn't Hopalong Manullang sound poetic and lovely?
Baby's room
The new nursery is virtually complete. I do plan to publish pictures here, but right now there are piles of clothes all over the floor and I prefer to plan my photo shoots for tidier moments than Laundry Day. So in case you missed them in the last update, here are a few shots of the bedding. We pretty much did the rest of the room in coordinating colors, so just use your imagination.
There is still room on the walls for more dog pictures! Send us a high-resolution digital copy or a 4x6 print of your critter (hear that, Sherrice???)! Currently appearing: Scout, Bailey, Finn, Gus, Hunter, Molly, Patty, Cody, Kona, and Scout as a puppy with her big-boobied mom Lizzie.
Katie had a great time on her second Halloween. Proof can be seen here. We're thinking next year will be the one she really understands. That's when we have to start being mean parents and putting limits on the daily consumption of candy.
We didn't have nearly as many trick-or-treaters this year. It was sad, knowing that the reason is probably a lot of parents' safety concerns right now. On the upside, we put all the good candy at the bottom of the bowl, and that's what we have left to gorge ourselves on for a while.
We had a houseful last weekend: Chris, Sonya, Julianne, Jacob, Darlene, Wellington, Daryl, Sally, and Bailey joined us for a short but fun visit. Katie was thrilled to see her cousins and another "Scout," and was absolutely worn out by the time they left. Sonya and family hope to come back for a longer stay sometime this summer. We're glad they could make time for a trip to see us though!
Debi was here the weekend before. We spent a lot of the time working on rubber stamp projects. Katie even got to color with Auntie Debi's pencils! It was not one of her typical visits, where we shop shop shop, but we actually got to relax a little and hang out at home. It was really a lot of fun. She'll be back in mid-December to meet our new little guy. We hope to get some last-minute Christmas shopping in then.
Lonnie, Sherrice, and Gracie were in Portland a few weekends ago and joined us for Sunday brunch, along with Scott, Jenny, and River. The kids had lots of fun running around together, and we had fun getting reacquainted with Grace--it had been a long time since we'd seen her!
My mom and Grandma visited in September. They watched Katie one evening while Vic and I went out for my birthday dinner at our new favorite steak restaurant, Morton's. Mmmmmm... It was great having them here for the simple reason that we don't see each other often enough, but also because they entertained Katie while we tackled some big projects like cleaning out the garage, straightening the kids' closets, etc. It was a good weekend all around!
More x-rays
If you've been paying attention, then you know I broke my foot in May, right before our trip to Europe. Well, in September I broke my OTHER foot. Yes, it's true... pregnancy has not been very good to me. My poor little feet are not holding up all my extra weight very well these days. My OB has made me promise this will be my last pregnancy... not a problem!
Deanna and Dave are preparing for the trip to England next week. Hate 'em.
Kathy and Lori are headed to San Francisco for their second annual find-cool-Christmas-gifts-for-Jen trek. That is why you're going without me, isn't it, girls?
Ed is going all sorts of cool places in the next few months. He doesn't seem to think he needs a traveling secretary, but I'm sure I could be invaluable to him in that department. 'Course, he'd probably have me filtering his orange juice and ironing his socks...
Another new baby
Kevin and Lisa Krueger have a new baby girl! Larissa Kae Krueger was born September 27. Check out a sweet photo on their page!
A couple pictures of Emma, though nothing recent, have been added to her page.
I've added more to the Lassen Crime Family page.
She's looking great these days! The Voss Family page has a new picture, courtesy of Martin and all the time he has on his hands. I'll add more pictures to the page when I get in that scanning mode I referred to above.
Patty & Cody
Ed's dogs are so photogenic, they really needed to have some web space, since he's hardly dedicated ANY of his site to them! (I swear, everyone leaves everything up to ME!)
I probably won't be updating again in the next couple weeks, although we'll try to get pictures of baby Manullang posted soon after we get home. Please sign our guest book or write in our message board to let us know you're out there!

August 21, 2001

Things have been busy but I'm finally getting around to updating the site. No new Katie pictures--I need to scan a bunch--but at least this page is updated. This should make a few complainers happy, or at least it better!
OK, so what's happened since I last wrote? Ah, the ultrasound. We went in on June 28 for the big ultrasound, and found out we're having a boy! I was surprised--I don't know why--and thrilled, as was Vic. Katie couldn't care less.
Baby prep
I guess since then I've been trying to do some organizing of baby clothes and gear to get ready for our new little one. Of course, we've decided to make things difficult on ourselves by re-doing the nursery. In fact, our whole upstairs is changing. For those of you who've been in our house (and shame on you if you haven't), the office has moved to Katie's room--that's the cute one with the funny ceiling. Katie has moved into the corner bedroom, formerly called "the boring room." The new baby will be in the front room, which used to be the office. Clearly, we've lost our guest room, but that will be combined with the office and any visitors will sleep on the futon. For as often as we have company, we can deal with surrendering our office for a weekend here and there.
Anyway, my mom came down a few weeks ago to help out with Katie while I tried to get her room re-done. This involved stripping the wallpaper and painting. Fortunately, Mom was smarter than me and figured out a way to keep Katie busy and was able to help me quite a bit! Thanks to her, we got it done without too much grief. I like working with her on house things because she yells at me less than Dad does. Actually, Mom doesn't yell at me at all. Anyway, the walls are now a pale yellow and look great. We found a color that would match the futon bolster pillows so we wouldn't have to replace them. The room is still in some disarray, but the computer's connected and that's the important thing.
Katie's room is lavender with a floral border. It's been like this for quite a while, actually, but was our guest room until recently. Victor and I painted the furniture and found adorable floral knobs, so now what's in there looks like it belongs there, and her room is actually quite cute! The biggest news, I suppose, is that Katie's now sleeping in a bed! The past few weeks have been hellish at night trying to get her to go to sleep, and we finally decided that maybe it was the crib. Sure enough. She's doing great now being in a big-girl bed. The only problem is that if she wants to get up in the middle of the night and play with her toys, she does.
The front room finally got painted yesterday. It's a light shade of green--appropriately, the color is "margarita," which is just what it looks like. This room will be the new baby's room, and I've gotten bedding from Pottery Barn Kids in the "Good Dog" pattern. Click here for pictures. I've also found "Wallies" (wallpaper cutouts) in pawprint and dog-bone shapes. I want to put up photos of our friends' and family's dogs, so if you'd like your critter to be on the wall of infamy, send a good snapshot!
OK, enough on the house.
Other baby news
Jim and April were thrilled to announce their new arrival last week! Emma Julianne Jordan was born Tuesday, August 14. Count on seeing many pictures here soon, but for now this one will have to tide you over. We met baby Emma last weekend on a quick trip to Seattle, and can honestly say that's she's adorable. Definitely on the short list for a prospective mate for our son!
John and Lori Lassen welcomed their third child on Sunday, August 12: Theo Alexander. Haven't met him yet, or seen pictures, but I hope to soon!
Misc. stuff
We spent a fun weekend with Vic's parents and Daryl & Sally a few weekends ago in Sunriver. Got to see the new house Daryl & Sally are having built--it's beautiful, in a gorgeous area and I love the floor plan. They hope to move in sometime this fall. We had a birthday celebration for Vic, Daryl, and Mom, and otherwise just did our usual hanging-out thing. Vic and I got a special treat when we left Katie with Mom and Dad and had several days at home to get things done without her. They brought her back to us on Thursday evening--we missed her like crazy, but it really was a productive week for us.
My very early birthday gift this year is tickets to see the Broadway stage production of "Disney's Beauty & The Beast." We're going this weekend. We've heard it's great, and are really excited to go!
One event I was really looking forward to was a weekend trip to Boise. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen. I put it off for too long and now my doctor doesn't want me to fly. She made a comment about how I'd probably just break another limb and I have to admit she's probably right. Hopefully next spring I can try again.
Book Reviews
Somehow I found time to read a little in the past couple months. I finished two wonderful books by some of my favorite authors. The first was "Back When We Were Grownups," by the always amazing Anne Tyler. Her characters are typically quirky but likeable, and this story was no exception. Although it was hard to keep track of all the family members and their goofy nicknames, it was a really fun read.
Another book I finished was Alice Hoffman's "Blue Diary." Although I haven't liked all of her latest books (hated "Here on Earth" and didn't really like "Practical Magic" much either), she redeemed herself with this one. Interesting story that made me question how I would deal with a similar situation (you'll have to read it to see what I mean).
Currently on my nightstand: two books by Louise Erdrich. These days I'm not able to keep my eyes open long enough to get past a page or two at a time, but I'm working on them.
Movie Reviews
In our few days without Katie we got a lot of work done around the house but went on a couple dates too. Here are quick reviews of the movies we saw:
Jurassic Park III: Scarier than the others, a little more contrived too. Excellent special effects. I love William H. Macy but it was weird to see him in a blockbuster. Overall a good way to get your heart thumping for an hour and a half.
America's Sweethearts: I loved John Cusack in this. It was very much a Billy Crystal movie though--didn't he write, direct, and produce or something? Anyway, it was cute but I hate Catherine Zeta-Jones more than ever now.
Legally Blonde: I know, I know. Vic gave me a pretty hard time about seeing this. I went by myself. I don't know why I thought the previews looked so cute and funny, but I really wanted to see it. It was as cute and funny as the previews; it reminded me of "Clueless" at law school. Surprisingly fun flick.
The end
I don't know what else to say. The few updates I've made have taken forever, and I'm exhausted. Just a few things before I sign off:
Tumbleweeds are rolling across the message board and guest book--sign them!
In case you missed it, here's the photo of the year
We're still looking for name suggestions for the new baby, and are getting desperate enough to say we're only looking for SERIOUS ones! Add your preferences to the message board or e-mail us!

June 13, 2001

We're back from Europe, safe and mostly sound. Read all about our trip in the Postcards from Europe section of the site.
Had an OB appointment today and we decided on November 13 for the C-section. If you think that date isn't good for some reason, please tell me so I can reschedule it. In a couple weeks we'll have an ultrasound done and hopefully will be able to determine Junior's gender.
Although I'm still wearing my walking cast, my foot is doing a bit better. The bruise has mostly disappeared and generally, it doesn't hurt as much. This is surprising after all the running around we've been doing in the past few weeks. Lack of sleep and energy has made us all sick with icky colds; our house is germ-filled and we're all grouchy as we try to adjust to life in the U.S. again.
There's not much to say since I wrote everything important in our trip report, and that's all that's really happened lately. I encourage messages in the message board and guest book, as always!

May 23, 2001

Now that all key family members have been notified, we can finally share the news... sometime in November Katie's going to become a big sister!
Yes, we decided to just get it all over with for fear that once Katie's out of diapers we won't want to start over again. The new baby's official due date is November 20, but hopefully the C-section will be scheduled before that (I'm developing an insidious plan to shower my OB with bribes for the next six months).
We had the first ultrasound April 12 at nine weeks. We had another one last week for our peace of mind after I was in a car accident (more on that later). The baby's starting to look less like a bean, which we were relieved to see. We're looking forward to having another one done in early July to make sure the limbs are all coming out from where they're supposed to, and also to find out the gender. No way can I stand not knowing this time!
Some other excitement came May 4 when Grace Catherine Croft was born five weeks early! Lonnie and Sherrice are the proud and happily surprised parents of a 5-pound baby girl! We met her last weekend at the Mother's Day shower thrown for them in Walla Walla. She's beautiful (of course), and Uncle Jason is finding she's also quite the chick magnet!
Debi visited earlier this month, and as always, we had a great time. We mostly shopped and ate (at Pasta Veloce, of course). We did go to a surprise retirement party for our PAA history teacher--Mr. T-Bury--at the Convention Center. Saw a few classmates and college friends there.
Last Monday night I was in a car accident on my way home from work. A guy was driving by sound--not by sight like us smart folk--and busted up my Jetta! A benefit of Vic's job: he called in a favor to a co-worker in ultrasound so we could get the baby checked out. Something strange showed up right away, but eventually disappeared, thank goodness. All is well, with us anyway. The Jetta's on its way to being repaired and drivable again--there was damage to every panel on the driver's side.
Then Saturday morning I broke my foot doing something heroic like rescuing orphans from a burning building (not anything clumsy, as my husband might try to make you believe, like running into a kitchen chair). The doctor said to stay off it and keep it elevated and iced, which any parent of a toddler knows is next to impossible. I'm just glad it doesn't throb as much anymore, although it's still very bruised and tender. I'm also glad I don't have to use crutches, since...
We're leaving for Europe this week. We'll be flying into Belgium, which will be our home base, and then while Grandma and Auntie Sonya watch Katie, Vic and I will fly to London. We'll spend a couple days there, then take the train to Paris, spend two or three days there, and then take the train back to Brussels. We're also planning to visit Amsterdam and hope to get to Germany too. And we've heard that Belgium is worth exploring, so we're looking forward to that as well. It'll be a fast-paced two weeks, but we're really looking forward to it.
There are new pictures on Katie's 13-month, 14-month, and 15-month pages. Check out the Voss page updates too.
Got a surprise phone call from Barry and Becky Curtis the other day, who were in town for some meetings. They came over for dinner that evening and we had a really great visit. I love friends who, even though it's been years since we've spent any time together, make it feel like no time has passed. They are such fun people and we felt privileged to share their time in Portland!
River Neil's first birthday was yesterday and he had a rousing birthday party last night! I had great intentions to take bunches of pictures but didn't. I'll try to nab some copies from Jenny and Linda to post on the web site someday.
Well, that's enough blabbing for now. Must get packing... au revoir!

May 1, 2001

I know, I know. Shut up, Deanna.
Yesterday was a day that will live in infamy, for me at least. I got stopped by a cop for the first time. He said I drove three blocks on a sidewalk and hit a mailbox or somethin', but all I remember is I was tired of waiting for that idiot in front of me to turn left. Besides the screeching of my tires, it's all a blur. The super-nice policeman guy let me off with a warning after verifying I wasn't a convicted felon. (Convicted? Nah.) I've only told two or three people about this so far, but each time the story's gotten better and more interesting. Wow--soon it'll be worthy of a Movie of the Week!
Katie news:
Got her first haircut a couple weeks ago.
Climbs on top of her toys, regardless of their height. Today she tried to climb the piano. This is quite the gray-hair-inducing activity.
Yells "Mama!" from her crib when she wakes up. She yells other stuff too, which we're pretty sure is baby profanity.
Just tried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the first time. LOVED them!
We enjoyed a visit from Deanna a couple weeks ago. Debi is coming this next weekend. Both of these visits are supposed to make up for all the hard work they did while visiting for Katie's birthday weekend (soooo sorry to put you on diaper duty, Deanna!).
Some other exciting stuff to brag about is our trip to Europe at the end of the month! We're looking forward to visiting with Sonya and her family, and taking short trips to Paris, London, Amsterdam, and a German city yet to be determined. Since my history of international travel is (ahem) Tijuana, I'm still pinching myself that it's really going to happen. And while we're looking forward to the trip with great anticipation, the flight over and back is something we're just trying not to think about. If anyone has suggestions on making a 15-month old sleep for a 13-hour flight, we'd love to hear them.
Otherwise we're keeping busy with the same old stuff. I'll try to write more before we leave in a few weeks.

February 27, 2001

I finally got the birthday party pictures posted!
Seems like things should've slowed down once the party was over, but they haven't. I've still got tons of stuff to do and am trying to fit it around my work schedule, and some things are slipping through the cracks (one being updating the web site).
Katie went in for portraits yesterday. The ones we had done on her birthday didn't turn out too well, so they're doing a re-shoot next week. Watch for those soon, but until then you can look at these 12-month portraits.
The birthday parties were a blast! We had lots of people show up at the big party on the 10th, and a small affair the next weekend with Abby and family. The birthday pages will make you feel like you were right there!
I've still got lots of stuff to add to the site, but don't have time right now... pictures of River, Olivia, Christmas, another recipe, some secret news from some good friends that they're not yet ready to broadcast... If things ever slow down I'll get the rest of this stuff put on.
Sherrice was here last weekend and we ran around looking for nursery things for the baby she and Lonnie are expecting in June. Not a lot of luck, but she did find some good ideas. Sherrice and I never waste time--if we're not solving the world's problems, we're wondering why more people don't come to us for all the answers.
My mind is a complete blank of what else I should write here. Let's just leave it at that.

January 31, 2001

Well, clearly there have been some changes made on the site recently. Teaching JavaScript as often as I do, I felt I should actually use some scripts on my own site. I found the cool mouse-over menu code and thought it would work well on the site. That, of course, necessitated a complete re-design. No, we don't do things small 'round these parts.
Oh, and I added another element to the page: JavaScript for a random quote generator. I filled it with Simpsons quotes, of course. What, you were expecting something more profound?
We're busily preparing for some company next week. Kathy, Deanna, Debi, Sherrice, and others are joining us for Katie's big first birthday celebration! There will actually be quite a few more people, but these are the lucky few that actually get to clean our house, cook, and clean up. They don't know it yet, though... so shhhhh... thanks.
A couple weeks ago Vic, my dad, and I worked on a project in our living room-dining room area. We painted two shades of taupe and put up a chair rail. It really does make a big difference, at least to us. We'd been planning to do something to that big plain room since we moved in over three years ago, and feel good that we finally got it done.
We also painted the half-bath downstairs, which took all of 45 minutes. Vic and I are getting so good at this painting thing, each room we do goes faster and turns out nicer. By the time we reach expert status, we'll have nothing left to paint. Time to start over?
Probably the biggest news, though, is that Katie's walking! She started taking a step here and there a few weeks ago, but finally caught on to what she was doing last week, and is now getting more brave. If there aren't any toys in the way, she'll walk across the room! We're very proud, as is she.
I still have Christmas pictures to get developed, and yes, they'll be really old by the time I put them on the site. We'll post some birthday party shots for those of you who won't be able to make it, so watch for those in the next few weeks. And Katie's going in for her 12-month portraits next week, so I plan to scan proofs and post them too. Ooooh, now you can hardly wait, huh?

January 10, 2001

I scanned in a bunch of photos that can be found on a new page on our site: Friends. Links to some pages that have been here a while can be found there too.
The Voss Family page has new photos. These are the super-duper they-really-do-look-like-that photos that are so hard to get with teenagers.
Daryl & Sally finally have a page. Not much on it, but it's there.
Last weekend I got quite a treat: Vic took Katie to Seattle for the weekend to give me a few days of solitude. I enjoyed every minute! Ed, Stefan and I went out to Pasta Veloce Saturday night, and tried to go to a movie at the new Fox Tower but just about everything was sold out. Sure, we could've seen "Dude, Where's My Car?" but gee, we just didn't. Otherwise the weekend consisted of lots of quiet time at home, watching rented DVDs and cuddling with Scout. It was just what I needed after the busy holidays.
I've just started reading two big fat books: Maurice, by E.M. Forster, and Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire. The last book I read was an autobiography of Armistead Maupin, which was interesting but quite short, so I don't consider getting through it a very big accomplishment on my part.
Congrats to my friend Annalee and her husband Mark, who had a baby girl last weekend. I can't wait to meet her! Watch for pictures here as soon as they're willing to part with some.
As Taylor Lassen would say, "And we're not going to say any more words. Good-bye."

January 5, 2001

Happy New Year!
Site's re-designed, as you can tell. If it's really difficult to read, please let me know; otherwise I don't want to hear anything but NICE comments.
Christmas in Colorado was white-ish. We had so much fun, I can't even begin to regale you all with the details. Santa Kathy made sure Katie's first Christmas was memorable and fun. We discovered the game Cranium (thanks, Dad and Dotti)--here's a hint: don't let Kathy play on your team. She always loses. It must be one of those scientific phenomena, because she should be really good at it.
My plan is to scan the Christmas card photos we received and post them on the site, so watch this space for your picture! Then you can be just like Deanna, Martin, Lori, and Ed and have your own coveted pages on! If that ain't a brush with greatness...
I also want to apologize to all of you who are waiting for me to reply to your recent e-mails. I haven't been on the computer much lately, but I promise I'll get to you soon.


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