Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weird Bird Phenomenon

Have you ever seen millions of birds at once? This weekend, on our way home from Portland, we witnessed the most amazing bird phenomenon. Cars were slowing down to about 20 mph, and all we could think was, "what's up with this traffic?" Then we started seeing wave after wave of birds flying from a tree on one side of the freeway to the other side and landing in a field. Each wave must have consisted of thousands of birds! They flew in such close groups; it was amazing that none of them flew into each other. As we drove under the swarms of birds, bird poop came down like rain drops; pretty crazy stuff! Once we passed the birds, traffic resumed to normal speed. To get a better idea of what I'm talking about, check out at least the first few seconds of this video.

We are excited to be hitting the road on Wednesday to make our trip down to the Silicon Valley for Thanksgiving. We know traffic will be fun (not), but are excited to see family, especially our new niece Makenna, who was only born on the 9th of November. We hope that everyone else will enjoy their Thanksgiving week and look forward to seeing some of you soon!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Confucius say, "Share your happiness!"

 Quick photo update from this week.

How to make pumpkin puree. Minus the college apartment kitchen, this cheesy face could appear on a cooking show. I should do some career exploration in that realm...

Bake pumpkin face down at about 375 for about an hour. Unless you have a super oven like me that burns everything if you leave it in for the suggested time...then do 45 min.

Scrape out the innards. Discard (or compost!) the outtards. Yes, it's a

Puree! And make sure you make a mess while you do it. I am planning to use it for pumpkin soup this week and maybe even a pumpkin pie next week. We'll see how it turns out!
James and I passed Panda Express yesterday on our way to do a little window shopping. At the stop light, James turned to me and nearly shouted, "Panda Express?! Now?!!" How could I refuse? This was our fortune.

This was definitely James's happiness...and he did share it with me.
And this is a small sampling of  MY happiness...I have discovered a new obsession with the used books section at Goodwill where they sell books like Pride and Prejudice for 49 cents! And a used bookstore that we visited for date night turned out to be very useful because I bought a conflict resolution book for $1 AND found James's Christmas present. We are also the proud owners of a library card, which is responsible for the rest of the mess....research books for class.

James walked into the living room one night and happened upon this sight. It was homework time, and I was in my groove. The phrase, "bug in a rug" has taken on new meaning. Thanks to my awesome mother-in-law for the snuggly blanket that gets used EVERY day.
And one more bit of happiness that doesn't have a photo yet...James and I are yet again proud uncle and auntie! Congratulations, Janet and Bo! We are so excited to see baby Makenna in a couple weeks when we go home for Thanksgiving. Wishing all of you a happy week!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Applying to Graduate School

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! We had a few Trick-or-Treaters, but most of the evening we were in the community center for our apartment complex co-hosting a Halloween party for Emily's cohort that she studies with. We weren't sure how many people were going to show up, so another student from Emily's cohort and us made some taco soup and a bunch of sugar cookies with Halloween colored frosting. It was a lot of fun preparing for, and it was fun to just get to know more of the people that Emily is studying with. Didn't take too many pictures though. :(

Only two people are really dressed up in this one. We have Madeline on the left and Dora the Explorer on the right.

I got to go with two different classes to the pumpkin patch earlier in the week. It was a lot of fun and the weather was even nice. The kids loved being able to pick out their own pumpkins, feed some farm animals, and just get out on a field trip.

I'm not going to get into any politics, but I just wanted to say that Emily and I have successfully voted this year. Yay for us for being contributing citizens... :D
Other than all those fun things, It was quite relaxing over the weekend. Emily was able to get some studying done and I was able to work on some of my own goals for the future. For the past few months, I have been really struggling whether I should apply for graduate school for next Fall or to wait until Fall 2014. I have decided that I will try and apply for several programs for this upcoming Fall and we can see what happens.

Not that anyone really cares at this point, but I decided to apply for the MPA programs at Syracuse University, Portland State University, and University of Oregon. Like I said, I'm not sure exactly how realistic it will be to attend any of these programs next year, but we may find ourselves in a situation that they may work out. So now I have the fun task of gathering all the needed information for applications and getting them in within the next several months. So exciting!!! I would appreciate any advice anyone has for applying to these schools/programs. :)

We love you all very much and appreciate your love and support! Hope you all have a great week!