29 December 2007

Met my goal!

5000 names indexed!
Going for 10,000 next year.
Tonight I indexed birth records of two sets of twin boys born to the same parents less than 14 months apart. Now that would be a challenge even for Audra!

26 December 2007


Christmas dress from G&G Blair

New jammies for Christmas Eve

Dinner tonight

I finally made one of the Olive Garden recipes that I blogged about when I first started. I made Penne Romana and it was a hit. I used white grape juice in place of the wine, halved the amount of olive oil it called for, and used a frozen stir fry mix for the veggies (nuked until just hot enough and added at the end). Oh, and I used some Christmas-themed shaped pasta that someone gave us. More than was called for, but I still felt there was plenty of sauce.

Well, I guess I kinda made the recipe! That's the way I usually cook, though, with plenty of substitutions! It was a nice meatless change after Rouladen for Christmas Eve and pot roast for Christmas. Elizabeth not only snubbed the veggies, but the green pasta as well. Sigh. At least she loves fruit. She had an apple with hers.

21 December 2007

Elizabeth's recliner

Getting hard to put Elizabeth down for a nap.

So she often ends up falling asleep while watching Cinderella.

She sleeps surprisingly well this way!

What James did in the middle of the night

5 months old

Here's the picture we took yesterday. Looks like about time to give Jeb another bath! Elizabeth has taken to playing with him lately and he helps with Amelia's therapy sessions. For the record, that's a Carter's Newborn sleeper.

Here she is at 2 months

15 December 2007

I didn't forget

Happy Birthday, Ashley!

This could change my life

Shhhhhh...don't tell anyone! Amelia slept in her crib for 3 hours last night and again this afternoon! For those that don't know, she's been sleeping on me ever since she got home from the NICU almost 3 months ago. We sleep in the recliner all night long and I can't get anything done during her naps because she wakes up the second I put her down. But maybe, just maybe, that's beginning to change!

09 December 2007

Reached my goal!

608 names, actually. So now I'm setting a new goal to reach 5,000 names by the end of the year. This is a much more challenging goal with 1,042 names to go. That works out to 46 names per day. If I do some every day I think I can reach it, but not if I slack off for even a couple of days.

08 December 2007

Kit Up!

Got a Scouter on your Christmas list, and don't know what to get them?

How about a wannabe sniper?

Or a whole family that wants to start their own compound?

Then you need to go to Kit Up!

Kit Up! has all the info and reviews you need to see what is hot, cool, and awesome according to those active and retired who have "been there, done that" and the families and friends that helped them throughout.

So if your tired of the cheap Chinese knockoffs that they wouldn't even give their own people, then check out the goodies on Kit Up! that are milspec or better. Soon your scouter will be the envy of his patrol. Your sniper will learn phrases such as "You can run, but you'll just die tired." And the compound will have all the TA 550 cord it will ever need. You don't even have to know what milspec or TA 550 is to use the site, it is so easy.

Act now, and you will get a free referral to the best humor in the business to help you learn how to use the gear properly. (Warning: Some material may be PG or more; they try to keep it fairly clean but they don't catch everything).

Go Here!

Look to Ponchoman to teach you new uses for your shelter half. Find out the 213 things Specialist Schwartz (a.k.a Skippy) is no longer allowed to do in the U.S. Army. Memorize Murphy's Laws of Combat and quote them at work (Sun Tzu's "Art of War" was popular a while back, remember?). After that, you can learn how to simulate life in your choice of military services, just so you can realize that having sick kids in the house isn't that bad after all. (Or maybe you'll realize there's a better place to be than at home when the kids are sick. My dad managed to be in one war or another when my brothers and I hit our early teen years. He must have figured something out). If you know someone that is about to retire, there's help for them as well.

As a free preview, we'll tell you now what a sniper feels when they shoot an Al Qaeda terrorist.



It's all here, ladies and germs. Internet spiders are standing by to spin you a web across the world wide.

07 December 2007

No nap today, so tired

Here. Audra, you aren't the only mean one.
So Tired Video

Bath Time

So, I gave Elizabeth a bath in the middle of the day yesterday and wasn't paying close enough attention and the bath got REALLY full. Of course she threw a fit when I tried to let some water out. And gave me a look like this.
Then she managed to pull the baby tub in with her. Fun times with an almost 2 year old!

Our 11 pound 4.5 month old

It's all Chad's fault!

Katie kept mentioning that Chad liked this thing called Slick Deals. I had looked at it once (I think when Ashley mentioned it, actually) but it didn't seem all that great, and not focused on the kinds of things I'm interested. I was already visiting more mommy-oriented sites like A Full Cup, Mommy Savers and Baby Cheapskate.
Then came the day when Katie posted the Babycenter deal on her blog. She said she had found it on Slick Deals, but the key was that she posted a link to the discussion forum. Um, I had never made it further than the front page! That happened to be the day that I stumbled across the Amazon $250 toy deal (I only ended up with one free toy, btw.). So I went back to Slick Deals to see what in the world this seems-to-good-to-be-true promotion was. And I've been there ever since.
I got a free month trial of Amazon Prime right in time for the Holidays and the combination has been deadly addictive! Looking back over this I realize it's probably more Katie's fault than Chad's. Christmas shopping has never been so fun! It would be a nightmare if I had to do it in B&M stores this year. But I just hope I can stop once our list is complete! Amazon has had so many good toy deals and I never would have found them on my own. Can't go into details since some of y'all are getting things from there.

04 December 2007

Today's Top-Secret Mission

Notice that the line doesn't come back? They have to turn around and come back the sane way they went, through the same stops. Expected to be only 12 hours this time. Had to laugh when I saw that James had gotten up early enough to post. He was really upset when he got the call last night. I sure am sleeping soundly on the recliner that I didn't hear him turn on the computer or leave.
View Larger Map

Mission: Top Secret, Destination: Unknown

I got a call at 10:42 PM last night to report to the parking lot at 6AM for a transport. Where am I going? "We don't know" Sound familiar? The last time this happened I was gone for 15 hours. I'll send Christie a text message when I do finally find out, and then she'll post the route when she gets a chance.

To think I worked my way through graduate school and half a PhD for this.

03 December 2007

CT Scan Thursday

Amelia had her 4 month checkup today. According to her doctor's scale she was 10 lbs 15.5 oz today (with sleeper and diaper). She's only 21.5 inches long.
She is getting a CT scan Thursday morning at 8 am to check on her skull and make sure there hasn't been any premature fusion. Hopefully all will be well as far as that goes and she'll "only" need a helmet or band. Here's some info on what we're dealing with from Cranial Technology's website:
Scaphocephaly (Dolichocephaly) describes a head with a long,
narrow shape, and is particularly common in premature babies.
Firmness of infant cranial bones increases nearly 5-10 fold
during the last ten weeks of pregnancy. Premature delivery makes the already soft cranium susceptible to molding forces. Premature infants are also more likely to be physically delayed, preventing normal movement of the head.
Preemies will often spend extended time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on a respirator with the head in a fixed position. This can result in a long and narrow head shape.

Happy Birthday, Levi!

02 December 2007

The Joys of LDS Heritage

I just finished watching the First Presidency Christmas Devotional live over the internet on BYU-TV. What a blessing! I am so thankful for the Lord's servants setting the tone for the Christmas season the first Sunday in December each year. James and Elizabeth snuck out while Amelia and I were taking a late nap and went to the chapel to set up the broadcast there. So it was very peaceful, sitting in the half-darkness holding a sleeping baby, and indexing as I listened.

I came away with a strong desire to increase my efforts to ensure that my children enjoy all of the richest blessings of their LDS heritage, especially during the Christmas season. I love the fact that acting out the nativity was such a big part of my childhood (and beyond) memories. Christmas Eve also meant caroling to the people (especially widows) my parents visit and home taught, usually bringing some kind of baked good. I'll never forget the year we went caroling in Biblical grab! Here in the Monahans Branch the Young Women do a canned food drive and the Branch as a whole goes caroling together the last Wednesday night before Christmas.

What traditions/practices highlight the true meaning of Christmas in your life?

01 December 2007

The Joys of German Heritage

My grandmother Toni is German, so between her and living in Germany for 5 years as an Army brat, I have a lot of fond memories of my German heritage, especially around Christmas. I plan to pass these traditions on to my children. When we can afford it, I'd like to take my family to tour Germany, starting with Rothenburg during Christmas (above). I know Elizabeth would also love to see Neuschwanstein Castle (below), better known to many as the inspiration for Cinderella's Castle.Since that requires the kind of money I won't be earning any time soon in my current job (I'm open to better offers), I'll pass on what I can right here. My mom carries on cooking with the German recipes that were passed down to her (see my previous post when I was Tagged, re: rouladen), and I've managed to learn a few myself. The Fort Hood area has a sizable German population, so there are some authentic German bakeries and restaurants available.

Then there's the tradition that Elizabeth already loves. She remembers it from last year, believe it or not. Of course, any time you get to have a piece of chocolate in the morning every day for almost a month, how can you forget?!?

Yes, I'm talking about advent calendars! My mom sent some for the family, and Elizabeth immediately remembered what they were. We had to hide them for about a week until......


Elizabeth didn't waste any time, and even helped Momma and her little sister get theirs.

Later in the month we'll get the tree set up and do presents and such. However, for obvious reasons we will not do the advent wreath. I don't think I can resurrect the computer a fourth time.

30 November 2007

Busy day yesterday

We took Amelia to get her monthly Synagis shot yesterday. They weigh her butt-naked to get just the right dosage; she is now 10 lbs 3 oz, which is almost 2 lbs more than last month.

As you can see, Elizabeth really likes Gummy Bears. Daddy got her a whole bowl full for dessert at Golden Corral. We then went to the drive-in and saw Enchanted.

Half-way to my goal

Once I realized that different projects had different size batches (I'd been used to the 1900 Census which was consistantly 50 names per batch) I decided to change my 12 days of Christmas goal to 600 names, which reflects my original intention of 12 batches of 50 names each.
Now that I've gotten back into it I can tell that's going to be easily acconplished even if I get out of the habit a couple more times before Christmas. I just hit 300 names since starting my goal. That's 3650 since I first started last Fall. I'd really like to hit 5000 by the end of the year if I can do it without neglecting the girls too much.

28 November 2007


I emailed support and within a few hours they emailed me back with a solution that actually worked! Back to indexing!


My Family Search Indexing program isn't working!

25 November 2007

Snow Video

Hope this works!

"Snowed In"

By west Texas standards, anyway! Church was cancelled and everything! We didn't get outside until noon, so it had mostly melted, but Elizabeth sure had fun.

Amelia, not so much. She just burrowed into Mommy and went to sleep.

The slide was really fast and there was a pile of snow to land in instead of the usual sticky burrs!

Elizabeth touched the merry-go-round and said, "Hot!"

Bye for now! We'll have more pics up on Shutterfly soon!

23 November 2007

It's really happening!

First of all, I got shipping confirmation on my Babycenter $20 off $20 order (Thanks, Katie!). Then I just got confirmation from Amazon that my Fisher-Price Amazing Animals Sing & Go Choo-Choo is on its way...for free! I am SO excited! I hope the other toys ship soon!

21 November 2007

Would you believe I found it on my own?

I'm sure Chad knows about the Amazon $250 toy deal because there are pages and pages of discussion about it on Slick Deals. Well, I just happened to be looking around and stumbled accross it. I already had a bunch of toys in my cart from looking yesterday. I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing and what qualified, but I went ahead and did it. Only got about $168 in toys, but it was actually what we were wanting to get the girls. Will be truly amazing if it goes through, especially since I didn't get the code from a forum!

Single mom today

James went on a transport this morning. Had to go into work at 6 am and didn't know where he was going. Sent me a text message with the startling news that this was his route!

View Larger Map

20 November 2007

See how she grows!

2 Months

3 Months

4 Months (today)

Want near-instant gratification?

So, it turns out that some of the information I gave you was specific
to the 1900 US Census, which was the project I had always worked on.
That one always had 50 names per batch. Now there are a wide variety of projects and the size of the batches varies greatly!

One of the highest-priority projects of the moment is the West Virginia Vital Records project. There are 2-4 records per batch and you are only recording 6 pieces of information per record! So easy! Our Parkins ancestors are from West Virginia, so let's help get this database online. You can do a batch in under 5 minutes, close it out, and feel good that you did family history today!