Thursday, April 30, 2009

Accentuate the Positive.

Tomorrow. May 1st. Our family will be heading down into the "bunker". One month of no grocery shopping. None.

Out of milk? Tough. Make some.
Out of eggs? Tough. Make some.
Out of get the picture.

I made 4 loaves of bread today to start us out. I'll make up some powdered milk tonight. We'll see how the milk thing goes. I predict milk consumption will go down by approximately 75% this coming month. Or more.

So what's for dinner tonight? I don't know...we're going out for one last hurrah.

And now we dance.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dim Bulbs

Parallel circuit. The experiment called for 3 bulbs, but since the kit only came with two sockets, two it was...
Series circuit.

And we're still left wondering why electricians get paid so much. It's not exactly rocket science.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Toy

No, it's not Play-Doh or Silly Putty. Brad (aka Count Rugen) gave this stuff to me at the end of my PT session today. It has a consistency half way between the two (Play-Doh & Silly Putty). I'm to pinch it and squeeze it...I could spend some time doing clay animation.

Now all I have to do is to keep it away from the boys.

Boy for Sale

After seven (7) grueling hours of homeschool yesterday, this song kept running through my head. Not sure why....

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Theatah

How long will it take to watch 7 hours of Masterpiece Theater...if I only watch 10 minutes at a time?

I started watching "Little Dorrit" this afternoon. I really don't have a lot of time to watch - a few minutes here, a few minutes there...

I blame Keira.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family and Friends,

I trust that all is well for you. And if not that it soon will be.

This past week has been pretty good. I think I mentioned that the Saturday before last someone just showed up at the church so see if we were still doing English class. Well we`ve taught her a couple times since then and she came to church yesterday and agreed to prepare for baptism next month. We`ll see how that goes but it`s amazing how the Lord works. We can sometimes spend whole days outside talking to people and not get any return appointments with anyone but we head back for the night and the Lord just leads someone to us.

We had Zone Interviews with President McIntyre last Tuesday. I had been expecting to stay here for sure. However he seemed to be considering transferring me again. I guess I`ll find out tomorrow. The Zone was planning on eating at an all-you-can-eat parfait restaurant, probably not the healthiest thing :P, but it was too early in the day so we ended up going to McDonald's and Subway.

Thursday night I got a call from an investigator asking if we could stop by on Friday to pick up a couple bentos (Lunch boxes) she had already made for us. So on Friday we went and picked up the bentos and she also handed us an envelope with two train tickets in it for another Elder who mentioned he wouldn`t be going to Kyoto this Monday because he didn`t have enough money. Old people can be tricky when they want to be. I felt like a took a piece of bait and got caught. :P

Yesterday in Sacrament meeting the four of us Elders sang Army of Helaman. The ward here is becoming more lively and this area is moving forward.

Well we`re heading to Kyoto today and I don`t have much time so that`s all for today I guess.

Take care,
Elder West.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Kind of Canning

I spent the afternoon up in Mt. Vernon at the dry pack cannery. I wasn't sure how much help I would be...with my one good arm, but it turns out you only need one arm to scoop powdered milk into can. Same with hot chocolate mix. Ditto for sugar. A friend (Pat) and I did the same items.
I know what you're thinking. You're asking yourself "Where can I get a cool apron and hairnet?" Answer: Go to the cannery.

Joseph L. and a person who would like to remain nameless (Jill) took the cans that Pat and I had filled and got them ready to have their lids applied. The lady who was in charge of us at the cannery did warn us ahead of time that they always have someone get a cut. Every time. Pat was the victim of our group. Don't worry Pat. It'll feel better when it quits hurting.

Saturday Project

Steve and the boys are building a wall. At least I hope they are. A three foot high retaining wall. I'll add another picture this afternoon - we'll see how far they get.

I'm not helping - though I wish I could. Instead of helping in the yard, I'm going to the dry pack cannery this afternoon. Me and my one good arm.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sleeping In

I don't wake up to an alarm clock - well, I occasionally wake up to Steve's - but not on purpose. I use my own internal alarm clock, which generally speaking serves me pretty darn well. Generally speaking.

This morning I did the equivalent of hitting the snooze button. I got up at 3:30 and used the facilities. The next time I looked at the clock it was 5:15. Oops.

Lucky for me it's Friday and I don't have a lesson to review this morning. I'm all ready for seminary. Just waiting for Alex to get out of the shower...since he was relying on me to wake him up. Bad idea Alex.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Say Uncle

I stopped by to visit Stephanie and the grandkids today after I had my arm x-rayed. After a while I told the grandkids that I needed to go home to my kids. Miriam informed me that I don't have any kids...I only have uncles. She also went on to explain that they are all grown-ups. I'm sure Alex and Danny will be glad to hear that.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Pit of Despair...

...yes, I had physical therapy again today.

I didn't comment on Friday's session - I think I was pretty much in shock at how painful some of the "exercises" were. After being lulled into a false sense of security after my first appointment last Tuesday I thought that physical therapy would be a piece of cake.

Yeah, if that cake was full of poisonous insects, barbed wire and rabid pit bulls.

Okay, okay, it's not THAT bad...but parts of it are. Parts of it are.

29 Days....

...but who's counting?

Yes, we have just 29 days of seminary left this year. Some mornings I have a tough time getting the attention of my students....that's why we're going to "limbo" tomorrow.
(Why? hint: our lesson is about raising the bar - so we'll actually be doing a reverse limbo - as we raise the bar we become more effective missionaries)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family and Friends,

The picture has no real significance. I just took it because I thought the digger machine (I can`t remember what they`re called. CAT?) was so small.

This past week has been fairly good. We haven`t been able to do much service in this area and can`t find any good service so we`ve started cleaning up the parking lot outside, around the church, and the nearby neighborhood. We`ve only done it a little so far but it looks like it`ll be good service I think.

On Tuesday I went on an Exchange with Elder Campbell (MTC Roommate) and it was good. We tried train dendo but there wasn`t anyone interested in talking at all so we ended up streeting a little to the south.

On Wednesday we helped Fernando a BYU student doing an intern/job here get to work. He speaks fluent English/Spanish and pretty good Japanese.

On Friday we had to take my bike to Asahi to get it fixed because something else went wrong with the back tire. I had to leave it there until today so that they could see if the manufacturer would cover it. Fortunately for me they did. It probably would`ve been $40 about.

On Saturday we attended Ward Council but while we were waiting for it to start some lady who attended Eikaiwa about 5 years ago showed up to see if we were still doing it. We ended up setting up an appointment with her for tonight.

It feels like the ward here is getting bigger. Which it is because of the families moving into this area. After church we went with the Ward Mission Leader to visit some nice old lady in a nearby nursing home. She`s actually from Kyoto and only recently came to this nursing home so not many people know her here. The Ward Mission Leader (Koyama) offered her a ride to church every week and she agreed to come.

I got the package yesterday in the morning. Thanks for sending it. :) Thanks for sending those gospel art books as well, I was thinking about ordering one from the Mission Home.

I`m glad to hear you were able to get into my turbotax account somehow and do my taxes. Isn`t it nice being able to submit them digitally?

Does it rain a lot in Japan during spring? It hasn`t been raining much so far. Just a few times. The weather is really warming up now though.

I`ll send you my cell phone number after I find out about Transfers, so it`ll be a couple weeks.

Someone asked about Japanese Candy. For the most part I prefer the price and tasted of normal American candy over Japanese candy. They do have some good things like Haichu, which is pretty similar to starburst, but for the most part the candy selection here isn`t amazing.

Well I`m planning on writing some people some more detailed letters today since I don`t have anything else planned today (Besides cleaning and oiling my bike).

Elder Andrew West

Falling off my pedestal?

I was reading Colossions 3:5 this morning (for Tuesday's seminary lesson). I came across an unfamiliar word - "concupiscence". I asked Steve to hand me a dictionary that was behind him on the bookshelf - he looked slightly shocked...that there was a word that I didn't already know the meaning of(it basically means "lust"....why Paul couldn't have just said that....).

I guess if I'm to be found the word definition department...I'm glad it was with a word that I'd rather not know the meaning of.

I did regain a little lost ground, pedestal wise, when Steve later on asked me the definition of the word "dissemble". I may not always nail a definition - but I can generally get my guess onto the target somewhere. My guess for dissemble was "to lie" - it actually means "to put on a false appearance : conceal facts, intentions, or feelings under some pretense". Isn't that a form of lying?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fun With Words

Wordle is a fun site that lets you paste in text and then it mixes it up and randomizes it. I plan on using it for seminary - paste in some scriptures and have my students try and figure out where to find the references.

Viva la Organization!

Steve installed this wire drawer for me - I found it at Lowe's

First of all, I blame Sue. She's gaining hundreds of square feet of living space in her house. Since I haven't been able to convince my husband that we need more square footage, I have to find it where ever I can. This week we found some under our bathroom sink.

I have a fairly small vanity - as those of you who helped me install the granite counter top can attest to (thank you Keira and Tia). No drawers at all. It pretty much tends to be a sort of black hole for toiletries. Stuff went in, but seldom went out. The few things under there that I do need on a regular basis were just hard to get to.

Now that we have our food storage organized in the garage I have managed to declutter most of my kitchen cupboards. It's time to do the same to my bathroom. I have a couple of shelves down in the garage designated for toiletries/bathroom stuff. I took everything out of my vanity, and plan to minimize what will be stored there. Here's my under sink plan:
  • one only - unopened deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc.
  • open containers of other hygiene products...
  • toilet wand and refills (I use the disposable Clorox ones)
  • toilet paper (as much as will fit)

Things I will NOT put back.

  • cleaning supplies (except toilet wand)
  • multiple containers of unopened toiletries
  • ancient open containers (they are going directly to the trash)
  • hair cutting paraphernalia - it must find a new home. Probably in the hall closet.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Physical Theraphy, session 1

I have to admit that physical therapy didn't turn out to be quite what I expected. I was ghoulishly expecting to be tortured. Nope. It was more like 20 minutes of warm massage and then 10 to 20 minutes of gentle stretching. The only painful part was/is some of the homework - the exercises that I'm supposed to do at home. The good news is that I'm only a little sore right now.

I have 4 different exercises for homework. I really should have written them down, but thankfully Steve came in near the end and saw what they are - so he can help remind me. One of them is a bit of a killer - I have to reach around my wrist with my right hand and gently twist is back and forth. Yeah. That one hurts.

Wrist Update

I wanted to post a picture showing my range of motion (or rather, lack of range of motion) one more time before I start physical therapy. So...there it is, as far back and as far forward as I can bend my wrist.

I'm heading off to physical therapy (I am tempted to call it "physio")in 10 minutes...wish me luck.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Real Miracle

Our family is still slogging through the Old Testament...but the end is sort of on the far distant horizon. We finished reading Ezekiel's dry bones last week (Yea!) and now we are in the book of Daniel. I love that it's short and pretty straightforward.

Last night we read the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. The one where they are tossed into the fiery furnace for not bowing down to the enormous idol. I suppose it was pretty miraculous that they were not consumed by the fire. Nice. Their hair wasn't singed. Good. And yeah, their clothes weren't burnt. Okay. Yup - it's a pretty cool miracle. But favorite part comes at the end:

Daniel 3: 27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

The wife and/or mother of any Boy Scouter would pay ready money for the secret to that miracle. I love getting into the van the day after a campout (that would always be a SUNDAY!!!)and having the entire van reek of stinky boys....and campfire.

Yes. Steve had a campout this past weekend.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our Man in Japan

"I know enough Japanese, English, and Handwaving to explain pretty much anything I need too."

Dear Family,

Last Monday Night we had a pizza party with some investigators at the church. Elder Bahr and I made 7 pizzas and it went well.

This will seem hard to believe but sometimes people give us wrong phone numbers. In the past this was really a pain because we didn`t always know whether we had a wrong number or not and could waste some time calling it. However now that we have cell phones we simply dial their number there on the spot in order to give them our cell phone number. This insures that we have the right phone number. Last week someone tried to/accidentally gave us the wrong number and was surprised when we dialed it. Really if people don`t want to give us their phone number we`re fine with that, just say so and don`t bother making up a fake one.

Elder Matsuoka and I taught the first lesson to a 7 year old American boy last week. Since Elder Matsuoka speaks little English I ended up teaching most of that lesson. It was probably the first time I`ve taught the entire first lesson in English since the beginning of the MTC. The three missionary lesson pamphlets (The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ) are good resources for young children learning the gospel. They explain all the basic important doctrine in one place very simply.

On Friday when we left the apartment we both felt that there was someone sitting in the park that we needed to go talk to. When we went there we found some guy sitting down who we approached. He actually surprisingly recognized us as Mormon Missionaries. (That`s unusual for Japanese people, though almost all American or European foreigners recognize us) We had a good talk with him, apparently he had gone to a Christmas Party at an LDS church some time ago. He actually was about to head back to Tokyo where he lives when we came across him.

On Saturday and Sunday we had General Conference. You already saw Conference so there`s not much to say.

Do you still have extra "roommates" and if so, how is that working out? It`s going well, I expect there to be 4 missionaries in this apartment for another 3-6 months. Elder Bahr my companion is good, he goes back home June 5, so he`s almost done. It`s fun to be in the same apartment as Elder Campbell (My MTC room mate), he`s a great missionary. Elder Murphy is from New Zealand and I think he came to Japan right before Christmas.

Would you like me to see if I can get some college applications for you? Sure, I`d like to see the applications for BYU and some of the closer Washington Colleges.

How's the language coming along? Are you still studying kanji? It`s hard to explain how much I understand. For the most part I understand what people are saying though there`s still a lot of less common words that I don`t understand, it`s generally enough to get the gist or understand when they explain it more. I know enough Japanese, English, and Handwaving to explain pretty much anything I need too. Yes I am still studying kanji. It`s similar to studying Latin roots of a language sort`ve, except it`s necessary to know these Latin roots in order to read things.

Have you eaten anything interesting/new lately? I can`t think of anything. Though Corn Soup is really common here. I`m actually drinking some as I type this. Besides that at the apartment I learned another way to eat eggs. Fry an egg over easy and put in a bowl of rice, add a little soy sauce, stir it up and eat it. Oh yeah I did crack a raw egg into my rice last week wondering if it would cook some, it didn`t cook really but was good nonetheless.

Well that`s all there is to say this week I think.

Take care,
Elder West.

PS Hello Bradley Ferel take care until next week.

Grandma was Green

You can tell this is an Easter picture from our Easter bonnets. Too bad Sherri didn't have one - but at her age she probably wouldn't have kept it on.

Easter just isn't the same as when I was a kid. Grandma Hanna often provided our Easter "baskets". They consisted of a plastic cottage cheese container with a green pipe cleaner for a handle and recycled Easter grass. I think she used the same ones every year. I wish I had a picture.

Inside the basket was an assortment of non-delicious candy. Stale Peeps, stale "Circus Peanuts"(a sort of peanut shaped marshmallow creation), jelly beans, "Orange Slices"(jelly type candy coated with sugar) and best/worst of all her homemade fudge. Compared to the circus peanuts and orange slices the fudge was almost gourmet. If you can call dry, bitter fudge gourmet. We always ate our fudge. It may not have been great, but it was chocolate.

Thank you Grandma.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stinky Eggs

It's no big secret that I don't like eggs. Boiled eggs are probably #1 on my list of least favorite ways to eat eggs. #2 is a tie between fried and scrambled. refrigerator smells of boiled eggs. Quite strongly. Yuck. I can pretty much count on it smelling that way for the next two or three days. That's about all I can stand - at that point any remaining Easter eggs are given the old heave ho. We will be serving deviled eggs for lunch tomorrow...possibly for dinner also.

Friday, April 10, 2009

"Physical" Science

This week's subject in science is reflection and refraction. Light travels slower through water than it does through air - so it bends as it hits the water - somewhat like Danny.

I took a turn driving Danny and Emily to the pool today. They used to go at 6am - but that was tough for Emily's mom - and impossible for me. 11:15am is easier for both our families - and now I can participate in carpooling.
Aaah...the smell of chlorine in the morning.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Ood

Granted, it's not a very good likeness of an Ood...but I think it is all the more edible for it.
An Ood. From the tv show, Dr. Who ( "Planet of the Ood").

Danny and I got a lot of giggles from our joint collaboration in the cookie decorating department. I did the tentacles, he did the eyes and the brain. It was a welcome relief from all the cute cookies.

Easter Treats

I spent the afternoon making cookies. Then I spent a couple of hours decorating cookies. I think they turned out fine - especially considering I'm still not 100% as far as manual dexterity is concerned. I'll have up to 9 students tomorrow - I put their names on one cookie each, plus I left one nameless - just in case.

I do not have a student named "S.O.O." - but "Supreme Overlord Olivia" was just a tad too long to write on a cookie.

Bismarck...Not just a cream filled pastry.

I'm pretty sure Otto von Bismarck falls under the category of "People I Shouldn't Like, but Kind of Do".

Danny and I were studying the unification of Germany today during History. Bismarck was an interesting person. He built up the Prussian army, then tricked Austria into the Seven Week War. After that, he connived (partly by falsifying a telegram) to go to war with France. He beat them in less than seven weeks. I like some of his quotes:
  • "Better pointed bullets than pointed words."
  • "People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election."

and my personal favorite -

  • "Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Word of the Day

[bas-uh-nit, -net, bas-uh-net] –noun Armor.
1. a globular or pointed helmet of the 14th century, often provided with a visor or aventail: evolved from the cervellière.
2. a supplementary cap that is worn underneath a helm, as an arming cap.

As in:

While Danny was working on his maths, I was working on the NYT crossword puzzle. I did awesomely. However, I did come across one word that had me wondering if I was wrong. The clue was "steel helmets with visors". I had all the letters but the first one - and it just looked wrong. Especially when the corresponding down clue was ""some Muppet dolls". The answer to that one was "Berts". I mean really....Berts?!?!?!? Since I had all the other squares except that one filled in, I went ahead with 'basinets" - and then I went online to check my answer. I somehow don't see this word coming in handy for many occasions. But you never know.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

First Mow

I love the smell of freshly mown grass...especially grass that has been freshly mown by my boys. Thank you Alex and Danny. Thank you.

The weather report for the rest of the week includes lots of rain, so it was the last best chance of mowing before it really gets growing.

And so it begins (lawn care season)....

Monday, April 6, 2009

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week has been good. We had zone conference (Where half the mission comes together), as usual that was pretty good. On Wednesday we were riding our bikes and it was starting to rain hard and since we hadn`t brought rain jackets we decided to stop and do some housing. We came across a really nice lady who agreed to let us come back and meet with her again on Sunday. The lesson with her went really good but she`s very Buddhist, and a basic Buddhist\Japanese belief/proverb is that all roads lead to the top of the mountain. In other words any religion/belief is good and will allow you to reach exaltation. It can be hard to get them to realize that there is a true church and that path is the only path that will reach the top of the mountain. Anyways she was really nice and we might drop by again sometime.

On Thursday we met up with Miyake Yuki again. We committed him to baptism and he agreed to be baptized on April 25. Honestly I think we may end up having to move it back a week or two but I really think he`ll be baptized. Every time I think of it I`m amazed that we found him. I mentioned this before but we met him while just riding our bikes around and got his phone number. A couple weeks later we got a hold of him and set up an appointment. I think we`ve taught him 5 times now. The really surprising thing to me is that his parents are less-actives. He already knows a lot of the gospel and is very willing to experiment upon the word. He`s only 17 years old still.

On Thursday I went on an exchange down in Higashi Osaka (East Osaka). Unfortunately on Friday when we ended the exchange I didn`t get my bike keys back. We had an appointment in less than an hour that we couldn`t walk or take the train to so we decided to pray about what to do. After praying it occurred to us to go and see if we could get the old beaten up bike downstairs to work. We had always assumed it was broken. Amazingly after pumping up the tires, putting the chain back on the gears and oiling the chain it worked. It wasn`t a great bike by any means but it was able to get us to our appointment that evening.

The appointment we set up with the guy we found on the way home from the baptisms the other week went very well and he really wants to learn more now.

What were your favorite talks from conference? When/where did you get to see conference? I haven`t seen conference yet. I actually will be seeing it this coming Saturday and Sunday. Since the sessions aren`t live they`re spaced and timed slightly differently. Saturday sessions are 12-2, 3-5, 6-8. Sunday is 10 AM-12 PM, and 1 PM - 3 PM.

How's your bike holding up? It`s holding up pretty well. I haven`t had any major problems with it.

Have you gotten more mail this past week? Yes, thank you. :)

Do you still have 4 missionaries living together? Yep. I should take some pictures of my current living quarters. I hear 8-10 Elders used to be here. That would be too many in my opinion.

The address labels without a name on them are for my weekly president letters and other missionaries.

Common Japanese boy and girl names? I hear last names pretty often and I`m really bad at remembering Japanese names but the ones that come to mind, though I don`t think they`re really common are Ai (Love) and Kokoro (Heart) for girls. And Taro/Ito for Boys.

Do people in Japan talk about economic recession too? Umm... a few months I was hearing a lot about some sub-prime loans being bad and that because America`s economy was getting worse Japan`s was too. I don`t really pay attention too much. It`s hard to understand that stuff in Japanese and I have no way of finding anything out for myself.

I got on my Becu account and created a CD. So don`t worry, $1500 didn`t just magically disappear out of my accounts. I made Dad a joint account holder so he should be able to see it.

Transfers will be April 30th so that shouldn`t be a problem. You will be calling a cell phone this time though. I don`t know if that changes anything for you or not.

If you sent a hashbrown recipe and a simple microwave peanut butter fudge recipe (You could send them with the others) it would be nice.

Things are going well in Japan and the work is moving forward faster and faster. It`s only April but we`ve had almost as many baptisms so far this year as we did for all of 2008. The missionaries in this mission are learning more and more and becoming better people and more effective missionaries. I`m so glad to be here as a missionary here and now.

Remember to read the scriptures and pray often.

Elder Andrew West.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Date Night

After spending most of the week in Portland, I didn't feel much like going out last night. That's okay - I had set the DVR to record a few movies while we were gone. Steve and I spent an enjoyable couple of hours watching "Forbidden Planet". It came out in 1956 and was nominated for an Academy Award for special effects. For a movie made in 1956 I have to say it does have pretty awesome special effects. The only irritating thing about it was the soundtrack - which was pretty heavy on eerie sci-fi type noises.

My favorite line from the movie "MY MAD SELF IS AT THE DOOR AND I CAN'T STOP IT!!!!" I'm going to try and work that into a conversation this week.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring, tra la.

Not quite "the darling buds of May", but here at out house we're doing our part for the environment. You can practically see the oxygen being emitted by our lush, slightly overgrown lawn. I'm sure that my boys are just being environmentally conscience by NOT mowing the law - less pollution, more oxygen. Just doing their part.

I'm thinking that tomorrow their "parts" better be behind the mower.

Wrist Update

The cast has been off for about a week and a half. Yeah. The wrist still doesn't move backwards at all...the fingers are more limber, and I have knuckles again. I am gaining strength - I can now open the freezer and microwave fairly easily...the refrigerator is possible, but painful (I have to twist the hand). I made appointments for physical therapy - I don't start until the 14th - so that gives me 11 days to work on this on my own.

And now we twist..

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Working Vacation

This week is spring break for Danny and I - so we skipped town (along with Steve). I have a little bit of catching up to do for this blog. Here goes:

-On Monday afternoon we headed down to Keira's (after stocking the freezer with pizza, the fridge with milk and the pantry with cereal - for Nathan and Alex).

-Tuesday we visited Tia and Kevin - just a little while after Kevin got home from the hospital. He was still alive when we left... Keira, Steve and I cleaned out the back of Keira's garage and put together the shelves that she had already purchased. I cleared out Keira's pantry (and giggled a bit to myself about the 6 open containers of cupcake papers). I talked to the orthopedic guy about getting a referral for physical therapy, since the wrist is still pretty much the same as last week (I'll take a picture tomorrow).

-Wednesday we pretty much finished cleaning the garage - Keira and I went to Costco and got a couple more "Cansolidators", to Goodwill to drop off a load of stuff (and pick up a chair), to Lowe's to pick up a spice rack, shop light, fluorescent bulbs, etc. Target for some other stuff and finally Tia's to drop off a box of stuff and give Zachery a meal and a changed diaper - back to Keira's to finish up cleaning and organizing. Steve rearranged and added some much needed lighting to their garage.

Thursday- hmm...that's today. Well, first of all:

Happy Birthday David!

David turned 27 years old today. How did one of my kids get that old? And why does 27 sound so much older than 26? Just asking. Steve spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights working (with the Japan guys) until 2am in the morning. We headed home from Portland this morning (around 10:30). Made a leisurely stop at Cabela's near Olympia, then Lowe's in Everett, then Lowe's in Smokey Point, then Costco, then home. Whew. I'm done. Alex was still alive when we got here - Nathan is supposedly at work, so all is well on the home front.

Thanks to Keira for putting up with my bossy ways, and for feeding us and giving us a place to sleep.