Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Newell Year!

Well, it's not quite the new year yet, but I'm home with nothing much to do so why not blog? Daniel is well on his way to recovery, but I probably picked up RSV from him... just like last year... and just like last year, I am having asthma troubles again. Ugh. I just like to keep up with Robin. I just really don't want to start in on my 2007 deductible in the middle of the night on Jan. 1. I'm on everything the docs will give me without going in to the ER, so pray that I make it through!
Rachel is still up with us... what a trooper. We just watched the Polar Express - Brad and I had never seen it, but Rachel had. The child WILL LEARN some day to just let us watch the movie and not tell us what's going to happen before it happens! It was still fun, though. She sat through the whole movie and colored in the princess book that Aunt Tara and Uncle Kevin got her for Christmas. Earlier in the day, she made me a beautiful beaded bracelet with lavendar and clear beads - also from a Christmas gift. She's a crafty one.
I'm hungry again. As if being pregnant weren't enough to keep me eating a lot, now I'm on a heafty dose of prednisone, which also makes me really hungry! I'm sure Brad's thrilled that it's New Year's Eve and nothing is open - otherwise I might just have to beg for a fast food run.
By the way, you may not have noticed that my sister has joined the blogging world. If you know
Kim or you don't know her and you like to stalk blogs, pay her a visit and leave a comment! You have to see her Christmas tree.
Well, since we don't have cable TV (or DISH or DirecTV or anything with any reception), and since it's 11:31, we're going to try to find something on the internet to bring in the new year. Wish me luck! And have a Happy Newell Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

'Tis the season...2

Here's your Christmas card! OK, it's just the picture, but the rest would say "Merry Christmas! Brad, Kari, Rachel and Daniel"
Well, I'm feeling a bit better, but Daniel isn't. Today, we spent the afternoon in the ER and Daniel was diagnosed with pneumonia and RSV. Last winter, he ended up in the hospital with RSV. Every health professional I told about it (including Greg Broyles) said, " 'Tis the season for RSV." So, JoEllen, be encouraged that it is for very good reason that you keep your precious little ones at home this winter!
Enough bad news... the good news is that it's Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

'Tis the season...

... for nausea. Combine morning sickness (whoever called it that wasn't really pregnant) - I mean all-day sickness with sinus troubles, and I'm on the couch... a lot. Mom came over today and helped get the kids ready for the Math/Science Christmas dinner at IWU - otherwise we wouldn't have made it. I have another dinner to make it through tomorrow, and wrapping to do, and packing to do, and then maybe I can lay on the couch some more. Yippee!! Poor Brad is doing most of the housework. Now I'm going to see if I can make it to bed without getting dizzy. :)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Photos from yesterday

This was Daniel's first experience on a cool ride - he loved it!
Daniel cried when I put him on Santa's lap, and then not even Rachel's lap would do. So, I got in the picture also. I was in Rachel's first picture with Santa as well. :)

Poor Jack. He looks like he's be saying, "I want my lawyer." Daniel is sporting his new "It wasn't me... it was the DOG" outfit, complete with matching slippers and hat. The hat didn't stay on for too long, but he loved the slippers! When one came off he'd bring it to me to put back on. Too cute.
Daniel loves Jack, and usually Jack loves him back. Unfortunately, Jack doesn't like cameras and Daniel didn't have any food to share.

While I was writing this post, Rachel came in with her sales pitch for the new beaded strings she had made. (They're not long enough for bracelets and she's out of string.) Aunt Jean gave her a bead kit at Thanksgiving and these were the fruits of her labor. She asked me if I wanted to buy one, for the price of ... um... $3. Then she showed me another and told me that it would be $5 because it was more popular. She's 6!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Trip to the mall

Brad was out for the evening... again... seems like it's been a lot lately. Tonight it was a dodgeball tournement for the junior highers. I certainly don't want to attend that for more than about 10 minutes, so I stayed home with the kids. It's been different living in HC because in Marion, we'd just head over to my parents' house on nights like these. Now, I have to plan in advance for those sorts trips because I'm in Marion once in the mornings and who wants to drive over there twice? Besides, Mom had a choir program tonight. Dad would entertain us, but they just got new carpet and their house is less than baby-proofed at the moment - certainly not Daniel-proofed! The kid gets into and climbs on EVERYTHING!

He's also not content to sit for very long in any one place, including his stroller. So I was trying to figure out what to do with the three of us. I'm tired of laying on the couch being nauseated, and since evenings are best for me right now, I decided to get out of the house and take the kids to the Muncie Mall. I wasn't so sure how this was going to go... if I was going to feel well enough to deal with both of them... if Daniel was going to be content in his stroller... if Rachel would beg and plead for everything she saw... The trip turned out GREAT! After a decision by Rachel in the dressing room of Old Navy to "start over" with her attitude and actions, life was grand. Not only did I finish my shopping for everyone except my brother, I also found a booth set up by a church in Muncie that offered free gift wrapping... just because! Rachel, Daniel and I broke the cardinal rule that you aren't supposed to buy yourself anything before Christmas - I found some pants that are actually comfy - not too big, not too small - Rachel got a cute sweatsuit and Daniel got some darling clothes, too. I'm going to have to take a picture of him in his bodysuit - it says "It's not me... it was the dog." How true is that! I also got him the matching doggy hat and slippers. Daniel and our dog, Jack, are best buds, sharing the same toys, food, trash, etc. The outfit was just too appropriate, and kids outgrow clothes too fast to save it for Christmas!

We also got to visit Santa and all three of us had our picture taken with him... Daniel cried when I put him on Santa's lap, so Mommy sat next to Santa and held Daniel. Rachel was very matter-of-fact about the whole thing. She told Santa that she wanted an American Girl doll, and we have already had the discussion that she most likely will not be getting one for Christmas - a friend of ours had her girls save their own money and buy the doll, which I thought was a great idea, so it may be awhile. Anyway, she wanted the doll and surprises. That's good, because she'll have lots of surprises, then. :-)

They had a train next to Santa and so the kids took a ride. Daniel just loved looking at everything. He really liked the ride, too. Rachel took very good care of him, and was a great help. So basically, a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

In case there was any doubt from the last post...

Here's proof - I'm pregnant! Can't you tell that that's a beautiful baby in that picture? The biggest portion inside the sack is actually the yoke - the circle in the middle. The baby is that beautiful blob attached to the circle. He looks just like his daddy. My official due date is July 24.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Yesterday, I was listening to our dog Jack chewing on his favorte Kong toy (favorite just means that he hasn't chewed it up yet). The chewing sound is very distinct and drives my mom crazy - teeth on rubber. The only problem was that I looked up and saw Jack looking at me with those sad puppy-dog eyes, and the chewing sound continued. Upon further investigation, I found Daniel laying on his tummy right beside Jack, chewing away on the Kong. Yum.
At Thanksgiving, my brother announced that he and his new wife are expecting their first baby in July! I'm so excited that I'm going to be an aunt. Too bad I won't be able to travel to NY to see my new "neicphew" because I will be at home with my own. I guess we can't let Kevin and Tara have all the fun... I'm due a week after Tara!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Walk Down Memory Lane...

I still have these weird "de javu" moments since we moved into the house that I grew up in... It's totally weird seeing my kids take a walk on the same sidewalks that Kim, Kevin, and I played on when we were kids. Even weirder knowing that the kids that we played with now have kids of their own and they walk home from school with Rachel! The big crack in the sidewalk is even still there. Rachel was so good about helping Daniel over it. It really made him mad when she picked him up to carry him over it. He tolerated it better when she just guided him.
Speaking of Daniel, I gave him a 6 quart stockpot to play with while I was fixing dinner the other day. He banged around with the wooden spoon, and then I looked over and saw him sitting in it! And not to forget Rachel, the other day, she very emphatically informed me that her book order had to be in by the "twenty-tooth!" (22nd, for those of you not familiar with 1st grader-ease)

Friday, November 03, 2006

One little, two little, three little Band-aids...

four little, five little, six little Band-aids... This was Daniel's song on Wed. - poor baby. We had his one year well-baby visit, and he got three shots and a finger stick. That Band-aid was really neat because he could stare at it. Then we went to the mall, where he was such a good little shopper, and everyone was making over him. Then, it happened. As he was toddling down a nice, wide aisle at Elder-Beerman, he fell, as 1-year olds frequently do. However, this time his head met the edge of a metal cart full of clothes. I picked him up to comfort him, not realizing that he was covered in blood, so I had blood all over my face and he had blood all over his forehead, hair, ear... you get the idea. It was a little gash, but it was a gash nonetheless. So, back to the doctors office we went, but not before receiving Band-aid number 5 on the forehead and Band-aid number 6 to hold in his hand. At least he was a happy fellow through the whole thing, except when we all had to hold him down to get his wound glued shut. I have NEVER seen him that mad, and he quit screaming IMMEDIATELY when I picked him up. He just gave Paul (our pediatrician) and the nurses who had mistreated him "the look." I had never been in the "procedure room" of that office before and I hope to never be there again!
Well, we are in our new house, but we're still going back to the old house and taking loads of stuff whenever we are in Marion, which is just about every day at this point. We're slowly getting settled in, taking one day at a time. I actually cooked TWICE this week and I have leftovers in my fridge! For awhile, we were keeping the local Pizza King in business, but that's a really expensive way to eat. So, now I'm off to bed, but I need to make sure I can find a complete outfit including shoes for everyone tomorrow. That's the challenge we have every night. The kids have made the adjustment quite well, and I'm starting to get over the weirdness of living in this house again. I still have my moments of deja vu, which I'm sure will happen over and over again. It's quite fun, I must say, and very peaceful amidst the clutter and chaos of life. God is good!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Today is my baby brother's birthday. Happy birthday, Kevin!

Providential phone call... update on the fridge - I finally called Sears about the fact that my brand new fridge (that doesn't fit in my kitchen) had a dent on the side. It just so happened that when I called the large appliance department, the store manager answered. He gave me a 10% discount with no argument! Thank you Store Manager Joe!

First broken bone milestone - So I was telling my class the other day how awful it was to see Rachel's broken arm on the x-ray (she was 9 months old at the time). It was even more awful because neither Brad nor I had ever had a broken bone. I really need to learn to keep my mouth shut. Monday night Brad broke a rib at a YFC event. I'm rather impressed at the lengths to which he will go in order to avoid moving all of our furniture! He is recruiting helpers for the big move date next week, since he can't do much of anything except supervise. Ugh.

Here's my girl... she's my big first grader. She took a new bus today to a brand new bus stop - that's where she'll be when we move next week. The bus stop is about three blocks away from our new house. She was so brave going on a new bus and I met her at the bus stop and then we had an afterschool snack of ice cream - our favorite. :) She has learned to count to 100 and beyond and she loves to read all kinds of books. She checked out this wolf book recently, that she LOVED - she was especially intrigued by the picture of the wolf eating a moose. I guess she'll be the biologist. Yuck. She was very thrilled with her book of leaf rubbings, however - not nearly so gross. Her favorite series of books lately is the series about "Biscuit" the dog.

Here's my boy, using a pen as a phone. He is WALKING all over the place now, and he can walk and talk on the "phone" at the same time!! Believe it or not, my baby is going to be one year old tomorrow. I can hardly believe that a whole year has gone by... I can also hardly believe that he has four teeth that have been in for awhile, and he has four more that are poking through! Rachel had one tooth at this age.
He says, "yesh," "Ma, ma, ma, " "Da, da, da, da," "Ta, ta" (when looking at a picture of Grandpa) and "ack" for Jack, our dog. Daniel and Jack are best buddies - Jack parks himself right under Daniel's high chair and Daniel loves Jack's dog food. Another yuck.

Well, I can't seem to post the "before" pictures to go with these "almost after" pictures. They're "almost after" because we're obviously not done, but the rooms are a lot better than they were! Our first room has been painted - never mind that it's the smallest room in the house and now Brad can't really paint and we have four rooms to go and I'm feeling rather overwhelmed - our first room has been painted!!
Carpets have been cleaned upstairs...
Carpet has been ripped out downstairs...
Beautiful tile floor has been installed in the kitchen...
Current house is now listed and we got a sign out front today. Kinda sad... will be nice when we only have one mortgage, though. :)
OK I think that's all my thoughts for now. I'll post pictures of my baby with his birthday cake after we celebrate.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Here is a picture from my Creative Memories event this weekend - it was fun! It was a great time with customers/friends that I haven't seen for awhile. I got to meet new ones, too. Creative Memories is really expanding our market beyond scrapbooks - we now have lots of new digital products that are fun to use and fun to share. :)
While we haven't sold the house yet, we have had three people look at it before we listed it (which we are doing officitally on Monday). Please pray that we get it sold in a timely manner. :)
The new/old house is coming along...the ceramic tile in the kitchen and utility room has been installed and looks BEAUTIFUL! I would have taken pictures, but the battery in my camera was too low. Grrr...
Brad has been busy painting and doing odd jobs. I have been painting trim and removing lots and lots of wallpaper! Rachel has been helping by picking up wallpaper and putting it in the trash. She's also discovering our new block and finding places to play.
So, we have my "office" painted and almost ready to go. Our bedroom and the dining room will be painted next, and then the living room, family room and bathroom will be painted after I get the wallpaper off.
My Creative Memories event went well, and now we're moving all my CM stuff to the new house. We're moving little by little - the big move will be in a couple of weeks. I'm really rather relaxed about the whole situation - it's almost fun!
Brad and I have been watching the second season of "Lost" - I really should be paying attention and then I need to get some sleep!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The moral of the story is...

...measure twice and cut once. OK, that moral applies only in my quilting class, but a similar thing should apply when buying appliances for a new/old house. When my father remodeled the kitchen in the new/old house several years ago, he placed the cabinets a little lower than normal so that my mother could reach the top shelf. I knew this, once upon a time. My mother knew this, once upon a time. Neither one of us remembered this when I bought an over the range microwave at an incredible discount (reg. price $509 - I got it for $124!!) I did think through everything I could imagine before I bought it, calling Brad, calling my mom, who eventually came to see it before I bought it. It was stainless steel, and I had no other appliances that matched. However, we needed to buy a new fridge, so I checked out all the fridges to make sure that my bargain microwave wasn't going to require me to spend an extra $100-$200 on a stainless steel fridge.
Anyway, I bought the microwave and brought it to my new/old home. This is the part of the story when my mom walked into her former kitchen and remembered the deal about the cabinets being lower than normal. So, I can't put a microwave over my oven with the current cabinet in place, so we're tossing ideas around.
Part 2 in the story... I will spare you the details surrounding the purchase of my new fridge and all the trouble that Brad went through getting it to the house (who wants to pay $60 for delivery??). Remember the title of the post... the moral of the story is, measure, measure, measure!!! Of course, I had called my father before I bought the fridge and had him measure their fridge, since it was the same one we had when we lived there before. I really did think ahead... sort of. The fridge I wanted was a few inches taller, but they have a few inches to spare under their cabinet above the fridge and so do we. No problem, right? Ah yes, the part about the cabinets being lower... Can I scream now?
So, we have a fridge in our house with the doors taken off (because it wouldn't fit through the door) and I'm guessing that we will have to remove the beautiful cabinet above the fridge space because, well, I didn't actually MEASURE IT! Either that or we can return the fridge, which got a bit of a scratch on one side during the trip home. To make matters worse, Brad discovered when he got it home that it has a big dent in the top corner, the one that we will see every time we enter the kitchen. We DID NOT make that dent. So, I'm back to Sears... again... to discuss the dent. They really won't like me after this. Maybe they don't like me already... oh well, Lowe's LOVES us! (new dishwasher, dehumidifier and lawnmower) Maybe some day I'll record the rest of the story about the purchasing of the fridge, but not now. I need to soak in the tub and take my wonderful sleeping pill and go to SLEEP! Good night!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Back into the swing of things...

Brad and I just came back from a wonderful weekend at Fairmount Campgrouds - yes, Fairmount is wonderful, but it's even better at Married Couples Retreat! We had a very restful weekend, and now it's back to "real life." Tomorrow I give my first test to my Exploring Chemistry students, which also means I have to grade the test. (That's the downside.)
I'm still packing, just one box at a time, and getting stuff out of this house and into the other. After our new carpet estimate came in way too high, we have picked out different carpet to install, and we decided not to do the upstairs. It doesn't seem so bad once we've been in the house, and there's plenty of other things to spend our money on. Brad spent several hours today trying to remove the carpet and vinyl in the kitchen in preparation for the ceramic tile that we are having installed. He thinks he pulled a muscle or two. Ouch.
I did make myself a pan of chocolate chip cookie bars tonight, and I even shared with the family. Daniel loved it. I must say that the cookies were as close to perfect as they could be - very helpful when I'm feeling out of sorts. :)
So, life continues... Daniel is waking up several times a night and we're working on "crying it out" a bit. Then we'll move and it will all be for naught. I'm hopeful that we'll get one or two good nights of sleep between now and the move. He is saying some words that seem to make sense, like "ack" for Jack, and something that sounds like "all done." Very cute. He also just sprouted two more teeth, for a total of six.
Rachel is learning how to add and spell. She reads very well, although she doesn't think so. She actually has homework now that she's a big first grader. Her latest thing was to put her fake grass skirt on her head and style it like it was her hair. She actually did a really good job with it! She figured out how to put it in pigtails all by herself.
I have some wallpaper to remove and paint to put in its place in the new house. I think the mold is mostly gone from the kitchen and bathroom, but we still have cleaning to do! I'm just trying to keep things in perspective and in order in my brain. Enough for's time for bed!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

New/old house!

We finally closed on our new house, which is also my old house, last Monday. We have been busy this week getting the water turned on and then cleaning, cleaning, removing some wallpaper, and cleaning some more. Brad's parents are here visiting and they are helping get our current house ready to put on the market and they are enjoying their grandchildren. Here are some pics of the new place...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ways to save time in blogworld...

I have discovered one way to save a little time, and that is to have comments e-mailed to me when they appear on my blog. Too cool! That way I'm only obsessing about checking my e-mail and not my blog, too. Any other ideas about saving a little time? I want to keep up with people, but my house is a wreck!
That brings me to another point... we finally have a closing date on our new/old house! We close on Monday and get immediate possession. We are buying the house that I grew up in - my family lived there for 19 years. My parents sold it when I was a freshman in college. Now Brad will be working with YFC in that county, so we are moving there. I need to be better at managing my time and $$ so that we can get moved! We have a lot of work to do at the new/old house and at this one. Ugh. It makes me tired to think about it. That's why I need your time-saving tips!
(It's taking me forever to write this because my poor puppy-dog Jack has been deprived of attention today, and is insisting that I play fetch with him and his Kong.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Daniel's first haircut

Grrrr to blogger for not letting me post more pictures! OK I probably could have posted more, but by the 4th try, I was tired of it. In the middle of all of these tries, Anon stopped by my front door to pick up a bag from me. It's such a small world! OK ... Back to the haircut.
He was too cute in his little cape. Kathleen gave him several things to play with, including but not limited to picks, clips, and pieces of tape. He really enjoyed it when she shaved his neck. He looks like a little man! Gotta run... I'm spending WAY too much time on the internet!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First day of class

So my students all probably think I talk WAY too much... (I know, I really DO talk too much, but that's why teaching is such a great profession - I get PAID to talk!) I'm used to teaching a lab course, not a lecture! (BTW Holly, I've actually been teaching at IWU since 2001. Sometimes I teach at Ivy Tech, also, but I like IWU better!) Now several of the professors use Power Point for their lectures, and I am grateful that they pass those presentations on to me when I teach their classes... makes my life a lot easier! All I have to do is change a few details, like putting in the picture of my family (see above) instead of Dr. Brinkman's, and I'm all set! It was a great class today. I have 39 students - about half are freshman, and most are elementary education majors. By the way, if you haven't been on campus lately, you really ought to visit - just don't get lost!!
Tomorrow is a day to catch up on laundry and clean this place up a bit. You know what it's like to come home from a trip and everything's a wreck, the baby won't sleep, and you can't find anything you're looking for? That's my life at the moment, but we need to move on to other things... like real estate. Anyone know anyone else who wants to buy a nice house in north Marion? We are going to be listing our house soon, but it needs a bit of straightening up and a good cleaning first. We are buying a house in Hartford City, the same house that I grew up in - too weird! We don't have a closing date yet, so please be praying that all goes well with the deed and anything else they're having problems with.
Daniel had a really hard time taking a nap today - I finally gave up, and then he fell asleep in his "Command Center" as Keetha dubbed it, while eating some toast. I had to take a picture, of course. Tomorrow he will be getting his first haircut, so I'll be sure to let you all in on that.

Monday, September 04, 2006

It's not about winning, Mommy

After a very long drive from Albany, New York (Happy Labor Day to us!), we have finally made it home. Kevin and Tara stuck around to spend time with family before we all went our separate directions, and we had a very nice time with them and all of my extended family on Sunday before starting the trip home.
I was trying to keep Rachel occupied during the last couple of hours on the road by playing a BINGO game we found at McDonald's (It was actually only the second time we ate at McDonald's on the entire trip!) We had to find several things along the road, like stop signs, other road signs, mail boxes, etc. She didn't stay interested for very long, and I tried to keep her interested by telling her that I was going to win. That's when she very politely informed me that "It's not about winning, Mommy." Rachel is very good at playing the Mommy role when she feels it's necessary.
I start teaching "Exploring Chemistry" this week at IWU and then an Introduction to Chemistry lab next week. So, I'll spend Tuesday at IWU getting ready for students Wed. Rachel is back to school Tuesday, and then we're getting together with Brad's parents and all of his dad's siblings. Should be a fun day! So far this evening, Daniel has absolutely no interest in going to bed... it's 11:05. Ugh. He was such a good baby on our trip, so I can't complain... too much. :)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Newell

Well, it was a beautiful wedding, although Ernesto showed up and the garden wedding was held indoors. They were still able to get pictures outdoors. Rachel was a beautiful flower girl and she did a great job. :) It will be another long day tomorrow, and I need to get to bed! Here are some pictures of the bride and groom, and the extended Newell family.

Friday, September 01, 2006

My baby brother is getting married...

Tomorrow there will be a new "Mrs. Newell" in the world... Kevin is getting married! I will be sure to post some pictures of the wedding, but here's a picture of the happy couple, soon to be Kevin and Tara Newell. Rachel will be the flower girl, along with Tara's neices. We enjoyed a nice time with Mom's side of the family, shopping, eating and doing fun, brainless things like that. Daniel is entertaining everyone, of course.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My first post!

Jaena doensn't allow anonymous comments on her blog, so I had to create a blogger account to post a comment. I did want to start blogging myself, so this is the perfect excuse... besides, I'm supposed to be doing other things!