Friday, December 26, 2008


First of all, Merry Christmas! (I've watched Lord of the Rings too often, because I can see Pip yelling "Merry!" when I type "Merry" in "Merry Christmas."....and now its a vicious endless cycle...)

Maren & I just finished watching Prince Caspian of the new Chronicles of Narnia Disney movie series. (Think I'll see some coin for plugging Mickey & Minnie's boss???) Anyway...after it was over, Maren said, "Lets go to Narnia on our next vacation!" So, I pulled up Travelocity. We were going to plan May 17-28, 2009, but they're unaware of Narnia's location. Anyone know a site that might use it? I hate using the Just-O-Blount travel agency after the last trip we went on...completely 3rd rate travel org. if you ask me...personally, I think Maren just has the hots for Prince Caspian & wants to leave me for him....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baylor: the alarm system

Jetta: Security Detail

Daddy & daughter: WWE Smackdown moves in the back yard. Its all fun & games until someone loses an eye...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2 smart girls & a palooka

So we've almost survived our Michigan and German infestation. We exterminate the last relative from our premises on Sunday morning. Its been fun, but time for them to go! (I sure hope none of my family reads this blog anymore...)

On a serious note, we've discovered the gravity of intelligence in the first 2 of our girls. Jetta, the Palooka, however, we're not so sure about. But then again, she's the equivalent of a teenager, so she's forgiven...

Eowyn: yesterday Eowyn began taking us by the hand and leading us to the kitchen. She takes us to where her favorite food was last placed (popcorn, chocolate, the fish that smile back, etc.), then puts her arms up, our cue to pick her up. Upon being lifted, she points at what she wants. Often, this is accompanied by screaming or other guttural noises...

Eowyn: today, Maren & Kirsten were on their way back from Shreveport, trying to keep Eowyn awake to have a nap when they got home. They were giving her gummy bears. Eowyn took from them with her right, put it into her left, HID her left hand on the other side of her car seat, and said, "Uh-oh", as if she'd dropped her gummy bear...

Baylor: today, I came home from work and started playing with the dogs. Usually, when I try to play with Baylor, Jetta decides its time to rough-house with Baylor too, and Baylor doesn't get any "daddy" play time. So, Baylor got her favorite toy, walked deliberately past Jetta, growled as if to say, "leave my favorite toy alone", which of course got Jetta to grab it. Baylor feigned being mad by barking once at Jetta, and then immediately running over to me, tail wagging...

so, I don't know about Jetta yet, but we've got 2 other highly intelligent little girls...

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Family is coming! The Family is coming!

I feel like Paul Revere a bit...have to warn everybody. I've posted 3 lights in the tower, because they're coming by air...

the nice thing in all of this is Eowyn will only be in daycare 1 more week, including tomorrow, for the rest of 2008. she seems to be more and more "appreciative" of her mommy & daddy these days. at night, she's not wanting to go to bed, regardless of how tired she is. she wants her mommy to hold her. and in the morning when i get her ready for daycare, before we leave, she comes as if she wants to be picked up, and then just wants to be held. so we're really glad that we'll be able to have her w/ family.

but anyway, here's the countdown:

1. my family. mom, sister, niece, 2 aunts, and a cousin in a peartree. saturday-saturday. now, the 2 aunts & cousin only stay for a few days. but i think the dogs are in for a shock.

2. we get a few days reprieve and then its my mother-in-law. now, maren said i was wrong because she grew up with her and SHE would know...but her mom waves, and by "waves" i mean a sweeping gesture that says "i'm driving 100 and you're driving 75, get out of my way" at traffic in front of her, but we're SOOO looking forward to having her for 2. Long. Weeks. And she won't be driving here in Texas.

Then its Thanksgiving week. We get to be the monster visitors up in Illinois for Thanksgiving (my first Thanksgiving with any family since 1997...which reminds mom was offended that Maren's family (in Germany) didn't invite me to Thanksgiving dinner with them my first year there........I'll let that one sink in...). My parents will meet us there.

3. Maren's middle sister is coming the week after that for 2. long. weeks. thereafter. but then its Christmas, and i'll be done w/ classes, and Eowyn will have people to watch her at home. Family. won't that be nice?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blame game

While the New York Yankees have missed the post-season after 13 straight years, the blame game has begun in New York. Tabloids blame broken-down old players. They blame young pitching that didn't pan out. blames the organization for bad drafting (

But the heart of the issue is really altogether something entirely different and being vastly overlooked: Mariano Rivera. Obviously, the Yankee fans, the media, and even his own coaches and teammates hate him. In the final home game at Yankee stadium, the cameras panned away from the scene, as if on some *wink wink* magical cue (obviously arranged by the Steinbrenners), Derek Jeter grabbed Rivera from behind while the catcher, Jorge Posada, began to beat Rivera into a conscious-less pulp.

Police subdued Rivera's wife while the beating continued.

There you have it. Its all Rivera's fault.

Here Posada is seen "macing" Rivera after giving up another homerun.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tough Decision

So, there's a tough decision facing someone in my family, and prayers would be appreciated. Its been an issue for a while, and now the finality of that is coming to fruition. Your thoughts & prayers are appreciated.

My dad has to decide what to do. Lifelong Yankee fan (except for a few years living in Oshkosh where he masqueraded as a Brewer fan): does he watch the final game in Yankee Stadium history? or does he watch the ultimate in week 3 NFL matchups, Green Bay v. Dallas, a place in which Dallas has never won, and after tonight, still won't?

Decisions....please pray. Its eating him up inside.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Eowyn's walking

Yep. The reign of terror has officially begun. Now there's nowhere she can't go. She prefers to walk everywhere, but when time is of the essence, she still scrambles faster on all 4s.

I know she takes some after me, because when she waddles around she more resembles my late-Grandpa Painter more than anyone else: a little bowl-legged, belly sticking out. I'm waiting for her to tell me that "when you get older the belly shrinks" or to bring over a dozen donuts.

We'll get video of her roaming around soon.

Ike, part II

Ike passed over with not too much damage to our property. Lots of downed limbs of different sizes. Our lawn looks like, well, a hurricane came through.

There were several neighbors with huge limbs down, and some who even had trees come down. Several folks I know had new skylights created for them in their living rooms by crashing trees. The university had several trees & power lines down, including a tree that apparently landed on a car moving past. I don't know that to be true, but from what I heard no one was hurt, just the car was trapped by branches.

We didn't have power for about 53 hours. It was another 24 before our phone & internet were back up & running. Fortunately, it stayed cool after the storm passed. High's have been low 80s, and low's have been mid-50s.

Eowyn only fussed one night. It was a bit warm in her room, but otherwise I'm not sure she noticed anything terribly different.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Yes, we're riding out Hurricane Ike today. It should hit us pretty hard fairly squarely sometime early in the afternoon. Winds are already gusting pretty good, and we do have a Tornado watch.

We've already had some pretty good sized limbs fall, and I'm expecting larger ones later. We also have extra water, a cooler of ice in case power goes out, and our stove is gas. We should be ok.

If we lose power, our phones will not be operable since we signed up with Vonage, which runs through the internet. Our cell phone should be ok.

But, as long as power doesn't go out so I can watch football, we'll be ok.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


So, I was watching football Sunday, because as I said I'm a football nerd. And I was really into some game, because when I watch football, I get into the game. And I look to see where Eowyn is, and she's atop the couch.

She had climbed up onto the couch, and from there proceeded to scale the back of the couch. I grabbed her before she had a chance to fall over the back onto the hardwood floor. I set her down to see if that's really what had happened, since I had been watching football. Sure enough, she did it again.

She was quite proud of herself.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Green Bay uniforms

So I'm a football nerd, and proud of it. But I wanted to share this.

A few weeks ago I was looking at something online about former Green Bay Packer uniforms (I'd tell you why, but I don't want to admit it) on Come to find out, around 1994 Ron Wolf (then the General Manager of the Packers) had proposed new uniforms, something along the lines of the glittery gold that the St. Louis Rams use with their unis. He didn't like the "Michigan Maize" that Green Bay used. He said the bylaws stated Green & Gold, not Green & Maize. So, he had proposed the new uniforms, the board of directors had accepted the proposal, and everything was set to go, but then he had a realization: Green Bay needed a better team, not better uniforms. The proposal was set on the back burner, he got Reggie White, and rest is history.

Want to know what those uniforms would have looked like? Scroll down. They would have looked just like this, except with a G. Same colors, just without the striping:

Fantasy Football

I'm all for fantasy football. I kind of like it, but I'm not die-hard. Quite frankly, I don't care to root for players to do well on teams that I "non-fantasy" hate. Like Dallas & New England. But I do it every year, and every year I ask myself, "Why am I doing this again?"

So, I was checking my team tonight to make sure I wasn't doing too lousy. And I notice an advertisement on the page. It reads:

"Free Draft Kit Bundle & StatTracker®!"

All you have to do is:

"Open a Revolution MoneyExchange Account and get the Draft Kit & StatTracker bundle for FREE, plus get $10 in your MoneyExchange account*"

Seriously now...Who offers THAT in exchange for financial services??

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Semester

This new semester, which is just over 1 1/2 weeks old, has brought many new changes for us. Maren began working recently, and Eowyn began daycare.

Eowyn is handling the daycare well, though it has messed up her sleep schedule. She had been going to bed at 7:30 every night, sometimes sleeping until 8:30 or even 9:30 the following morning. Lately she has been putting herself to bed (not literally, of course) at about 6:30 each night. Otherwise, she's adjusting to the newness of being away from Mommy during the day.

Maren enjoys having something else to occupy her time, but she misses Eowyn during the day.

I just concluded auditions & callbacks for Arthur Miller's All My Sons, which will go up in October. This means, of course, that we'll begin rehearsals very soon and I'll be away a bit more again.

For the most part, we had very little wind from the Hurricane, and we didn't get nearly as much rain as was being forecasted. We feel pretty lucky.

Some pics from August:

Had to spend a night in the hospital.

House hunting??

The good stuff.

Nina came from Germany for a visit!

So did Grandpa.

Baylor & Jetta after a hard day's work.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

1 Year Old, part 2

More videos today. Maren's friend Nina was with us until this morning. She flies out today, and my dad arrives this evening. But today, more birthday videos.

By the way, when did jumping on a trampoline become a sport??? I think someone on an Olympics committee's been drinking something a little strong. But we're getting rid of softball & baseball from Olympic activity? Bizarre.

Someone does NOT like wearing a bib, and Maren can't keep a candle lit.

1 Year Old

Today is Eowyn's first birthday. Too early to reminisce, so don't ask. Besides, she's only 1. Not to mention horrific memories of the delivery room experience still haunt my dreams.

This first video was shortly after Eowyn had her third cupcake. It is in real time.

But on a more serious note, we had fun today. We opened presents, but Eowyn wasn't in the greatest of moods. However, Eowyn discovered different shapes go through different holes. But even if you have the right shape, doesn't mean it'll just come back through the right hole...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Eowyn and the remote

Eowyn spent the night in the hospital last night. 'bout broke my heart to walk into her room and see her eyes all red from crying and the IV sticking out of her little foot. She felt a little warm to us yesterday morning, and Maren took her temperature, finding it to be 103.2 F (39.6 C). So, she took Eowyn to the dr., and he admitted her. Her white blood cell count was very high, and he was worried about a bladder infection. So Eowyn & Maren did not sleep well at the hospital. She still had a fever off & on today, the baby's Motrin was helping keep it lower, though. Hopefully she'll sleep tonight.

However, she did discover the remote to our new ceiling fan. I installed it with the fan last week, and it can dim the lights up & down as well as change the speeds. Made Eowyn forget all about her troubles for a little while.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Jetta or Eowyn?

Lately, many of our friends and family have been divided. Some of you are demanding more photos of Eowyn. Others are calling for new photos of Jetta. Please know that we are aware of the situation, but we will do what is best for our family. Sometimes, family does not always agree. But we're still family. If it is best for us to show pictures of Jetta, then that is what we will do. If it is better for us to show you photos of Eowyn, then that is what we will do. But until Jetta applies for reinstatement, ... sorry, getting a little caught up with the whole Packers/Brett Favre controversy lately.

Enjoying Eowyn's pool after a long, hot bike ride. Thanks Opa!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Today I finished cutting all of the vines, limbs and brush from the back yard. I still need to kind of clear out the creek, and maybe "reorganize" the rocks at the bottom to make it more efficient (i.e., not so much standing water long after the last rain...), but the back yard is now clear. I'll probably try to take down a couple of smaller trees so I can see about getting some more sunlight and maybe some grass to grow. Soon I'll be able to tackle a different home project!!

Maren pulled out the little walker from Eowyn's Uncle Karl & Aunt Jen (and cousins Isaac and Ben). She started walking right away. First time on the hardwood floor was a little scary, she got going faster than she meant to. But she's moving along!

....and tonight, Jetta figured out where Baylor keeps her water.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sanitation & the environment

With the economy going south, Eowyn found a way to help us save money, and at the same time help the environment. She decided we should only be using 1 piece of toilet paper per toilet use, also known as 1ptpptu. We tried to negotiate 2 ptpptu's to no avail. Maren was secretly negotiating for 3ptpptu's under the table, and when I found out, the whole deal was off. Of course, Eowyn only gets 1 wet wipe per diaper fill, or 1wwpdf.

Meanwhile, the batteries in Eowyn's baby swing, which she's more than too heavy for, have gone to use again.

Jetta found it, and on her third try was able to climb in. I think she liked it until it wouldn't stop rocking. She doesn't wet in the house near as often as she used to. She's getting bigger. When we first got her, she didn't seem to have "big paws". But they're getting bigger. She's bigger than Baylor was when we got her, and Baylor was a month older. She's going to be a big, protective girl.

In the meanwhile, she and Baylor love to play. And then she crashes wherever she was done playing.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Its been a long year for me. I finally caught my breath. Eowyn's in bed. The pup is in bed. Maren's asleep. Baylor is curled up on the futton.

After school ended the last week of April, we started May term immediately. I taught a senior level theatre history class. I had not taught the class before, so in large part I was preparing a full week's class one day, and teaching it the next, for nearly 4 weeks. And for the final two weeks of May, I was also in rehearsals for Horton Foote's play Tomorrow in Salado, TX, which is 4 1/2 hours from Marshall. So after my last class I was zipping down to rehearse. We played the first two weekends, and the show was really pretty good. Its too bad the producing group wasn't better.

Two things happened on June 6. First, we got a new pup, Jetta, a German shepherd. She just turned 8 weeks old, so the bladder isn't very big. But we have mostly hardwood floors, so its easy to clean up, and she's beginning to learn to go to the door when she needs to go out. Baylor didn't like her the second day she was here at all, but they play together quite well now, and she follows Baylor around like a little sister.

Second, Maren's dad (Markus, a.k.a. Markus the Burger) & youngest sister (Annika) came for a surprise visit. I was in Salado, so I had a colleague pick them up from Shreveport and just "show up at the door", quite literally. We had a great visit with them, although my time with them was shorter because of the show. We still had a great time. I don't think I've eaten so much as I did while they were here. Lots of burgers. I think they sampled every place that sold a burger in Marshall. Markus wants to come back next summer for longer and help do some work on the house, which I would love. So now all of Maren's family have come to visit us here in Marshall all the way from Germany.

They were here for 10 days, and now its just us again, getting used to the summer, setting up some summer projects and goals. Eowyn is a joy. She's getting bigger (she was above the 100 percentile line for height). She turned 10 months old on father's day. Maren put her in a new 18-month sleeper tonight, and it was almost tight on her for length.

Here's a couple of photos of our yard. I wish I had taken a few "before" photos from last summer when we moved in to use as a contrast. But for an idea, we didn't know there was a house there on the other side of the fence because the bamboo was so high...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A River Runs Through It, plumbing, and moles

We've had more plumbing fun. But, we've discovered the "root" of the problem...all of the tree roots growing through. So we have 2 new big holes in our back yard. I also discovered we have a mole in our midst. Literally, the raised ground proves it. I won't be kind...

We had quite a bit of rain on Tuesday & Wednesday. Maren shot a video of it.

Here's another video of Eowyn with crazy crazy hair, 2 front teeth, and daddy being retarded to get a laugh.

wasn't there a british 80s band w/ a lead singer that had this 'do?

already getting into the cupboards

someone had a rough week...

...sometimes you just have to have the right toy...

someone got their Christmas wish (insert grandpa's annoying toy here...)