Newsletter: September 2004 Archives

09/15/2004 Newsletter


Group Photo at Kolob

Kolob / Zion's National Park

Seth's lion shaped cake

Mmm, cake...
View more pictures from our Southern Utah trip
View more pictures from Seth's Birthday


It's been a long, long, long time since we updated this website so there is a lot of catching up to do. I think I'll do Seth's update first since he's the most important... Right? Last time we wrote Seth had just begun to crawl. He is now on the verge of being able to stand and walk by himself. He has all the balance he needs to stand on his own, but he's a little scared of letting go and actually doing it. Today I tricked him into standing up by himself by offering him two crackers while he was standing and holding on to the kitchen cabinet. He took one of the crackers and then realized that he would have to let go in order to get the other, carefully he took his hand away from the cabinet, grabbed the cracker and then sank slowly to the floor, it was funny how it all seemed to happen in slow motion. So he's well on his way to being more mobile.

One of the highlights that we missed writing about in July was Seth's first birthday. He turned one on July 28th, we had his party the Sunday before. All the family in town came and we had a great time. We had balloons and streamers all over the kitchen. My sister Amy and I made the cutest cake, it was decorated like a lion's head since Seth has an unaccountable love for stuffed lions. Seth roared when he saw it and tried to stick his fingers in it. We opened presents and the best present was a talking telephone from Aunt Jenni. Seth didn't want to open any of the other presents once he saw what that one was. He immediately put the receiver to his ear and said "Awo" (hello in Seth speak). After presents we sang Happy Birthday and ate the cake. Seth enjoyed it immensely and so did his face, his bib, and his highchair. It was a great party. I can't believe he's a year old... Where did the year go?

Some of Seth's recent accomplishments: He can say "Thank you", "cracker", "Mom", "Dada", "Bye-bye", "Yes", "More", "Done", "Get out", "You're welcome", "Grandpa", plus a few others that I can't think of right now, also I think he's been counting but I'm not quite sure if that's what it is yet, it sounds like he's saying "one, two, three, four, five", he doesn't annunciate them very well so it's hard to say. He crawls almost as fast as I walk, so sometimes it's a race to keep him from getting into things that he's not supposed to be in. He knows all the actions to patty-cake and will say "throw it in the oven" at the end of it while he throws his hands above his head. He is learning how to blow kisses right now and has become an expert at giving kisses on the lips when you ask him to. I gave him his first haircut yesterday much to James' chagrin. He looks older and less girly now, I tried to keep the back a little long so that he would still have some curls, but it's definitely not as curly as it was. I think he looks better and now I won't have ladies in the grocery store telling me what a cute little girl I have.

I am continually amazed at how fast he learns and what he picks up from me and from James. He is so happy all the time, even if he's got a diaper rash or a runny nose he still smiles and giggles and flirts with us. We are truly spoiled by his good nature.

Ok, so that's a brief update on what Seth has been up to the last few months. Here's the scoop on James. James has been working very hard, he has completely cleared the backyard of all of it's junk. He has killed and tilled both the front and back yards to get them ready for sprinklers and sod/seed. He has been working several side jobs, which have been a great blessing for us. We had a great disappointment this last month with a company that James really, really wanted to work for. They interviewed him the first time in June and then we waited. James wrote periodic emails to the HR guy to find out the status on the job and the guy kept writing back telling him they were still interviewing. In July they had him come back for another interview. Then we waited some more. Finally, at the very end of July the HR guy calls and tells us that they are offering the position to James and that he needed to fill out some paperwork and they needed to get a background check, but that they would make the final offer by the end of the week. We waited some more. James kept calling and writing emails to find out what was going on. The HR guy kept telling him that they were on track and that all they needed was one last signature. So we waited some more. Two or three weeks after they told us that they were going to offer him the position James got an email from the HR guy telling him that they decided not to hire him after all. We were blown away (actually I'm still mad about it). There wasn't even an explanation in the email. James called around and finally found out that the one signature that they were waiting on was the Chief Technical Officer and he decided that James didn't have enough experience for the job. So after three months of waiting we ended up empty handed. Apparently they would still be interested in hiring James when more "junior" positions open up, but who knows how long that will be... So James keeps up the job hunt, which is pretty dismal right now and we go on praying that the right job will come along. I am very grateful for James and his hard work and his sacrifice for our family. I am spoiled to be able to stay home and take care of Seth, I'm sure I take it for granted too much. I am the luckiest wife in the world to have such a great husband.

I have been working on the house and the yard too. With lots of help, I was able to finish the guest room in time for the Lance's visit in August. We painted the room and put in a dresser and decorated it. It is a small, but comfortable room now. Most of my contributions on the yard have been in designing the landscape. I think we have a pretty good design right now and hopefully we'll have the time and the means to get most of it done before winter. I have also been doing some transcription work for my friend, Ariel. She was here over the summer and gave me some tapes to transcribe. I have done three so far and have three more to do by the end of the month (I need to get cracking). The money that I will make from them will pay for our family reunion in Disneyland this October.

Some family highlights have been the Crook Family reunion at the beginning of August. We had a great time getting to know everyone and enjoying the great facilities at the Wolf Creek Ranch. I think it was one of the more enjoyable family reunions that I have been to. Seth liked playing in the sand, throwing rocks in the water and riding the little train with his Punkles. I had a great time making bead bracelets and helping Jenni finish an afghan. James spent most of his time talking with family about politics and other things. It was a nice relaxing weekend.

We also took a trip to Bryce Canyon and Southern Utah over labor day weekend. John came to visit and he along with Jenni, Amy, Jessica and Rory came with us. We started early Saturday morning and drove straight to Bryce. It was cold there. We had packed a lunch and planned to picnic at Bryce. Poor little Sethie's fingers were too cold to eat his lunch outside and he had to finish his lunch in the car. We hiked the Navajo Loop trail and had a great time admiring the wonders of the canyon. It snowed on us about half way through the hike. Not much snow, but enough to be weird for the first week of September. After the hike we got back in the cars and headed to Mark and Elaine Hicken's house in Hurricane. We met them in downtown Hurricane for dinner at the Peach Festival. It was a fun little festival, but we think the navajo tacos we ate might have given John food poisoning because he was sick for the next 12 hours. On Sunday, Elaine made a fantastic ham dinner, everyone ate until they were stuffed. Mark took us for a scenic drive up the back side of Kolob Canyon, the road was really bumpy and turny and we all got a little bit car sick. Luckily, no one was really sick, but i think that's the closest I've ever come to being really car sick. On Monday we went into St. George and took a tour of Brigham Young's summer home. It was a fun little tour. We also walked around the grounds of the St. George temple. We had a BBQ at the Hicken's for lunch and then headed home. It was a nice weekend and we are grateful for the Hicken's for letting us stay with them.

I think I better wrap this up. It's been a great couple of months for us and we have had some good times and some bad times, luckily more good times than bad. We love all of you. Until next time...

Love, Miekka, James and Seth