The Month of January
February 14 , 2009

Happy Valentines Day, all! Meliss and I are going to a "romance symphony" tonight to hear the music of Gershwin. I just love the symphony. So relaxing and refreshing.

In other news, we head off Tuesday for Massachusetts to attend Michael's wedding. Will get back the following Tuesday. Would appreciate prayer for safety as we'll be driving. I've never driven that far before in such a short period of time, and of course you never know what weather to expect in February.

Almost forgot ... for those who haven't seen it yet, Meliss and I made this little clip for Michael and Rebekah's shower. Wish there had been more time to work on it, but it was fun. Enjoy! :-)

Anyway, this entry covers late December and the month of January. Lord bless you all!

Well, it's like the day after our Hawaii/California trip, and we're pretty exhausted, but it's time to celebrate a little Christmas together! Looks like we've got some tasty multicolored slop on our plates.

Mewwy Cwissmas.

Ahhh ... some sweet, medieval doormats. Thank thee.

We had Lynn Hertado stay with us again for several weeks. Always a blast to have her around (an ESTJ with an ESFP type of personality). :-)

Happy New Year!!! Our celebration was relatively modest with a lovely meal and a movie. What movie? "You Can't Take It With You" starring Jimmy Stewart. Actually didn't finish it, so we'll give you our final take when we do. Nathan gave it to us and said it reminded him of the Thomases. I can see why. Utter chaos with people running around screaming. It was like being in their living room.

And here we are on New Year's Day at a really sweet auction in Hartville. The room was just packed with furniture and beds and the like. We ended up getting two medieval-looking coffee tables and a beautiful dresser. In retrospect I wish we had gotten more, as the prices overall were really good.

Jeff Ford, a friend of ours who let us know of the auction. Hey Jeff, I heard you on the radio for the first time just the other night! Jeff co-hosts college basketball games in the area. Very cool.

"What the nhoj should we buy!?"

Had our first midwife visit which we're happy and able to share with you thanks to's Conservative Family Friendly Filter 2000. Baby seems to be healthy with a somewhat faster heartbeat which, yeah, some say indicates a girl. I guess you were meant to be a girl, Michael.

A few weeks back we had the Longs, Caudills, and Sacillias over for a meal and movie. What movie? "The Star of Bethlehem", which is an awesome scientific documentary about the star that led the wise men to Jesus in the manger. Serious, you've GOT to see it! It'll give you chills. We serve such an amazing God.

And the other end of the table, or tables. Quite the merry mass.

Danielle kindly gave Meliss a haircut lesson recently. Man, practically shaved my head off. Everyone said they loved it. I don't know. Hard to rip on a free haircut.

Just a cute random picture of Meliss and Kalea wearing black.

We celebrated Danielle's 29th birthday on the 16th. Yep, this is the last year I'll be able to publicly declare her age (after 30 it's hush hush for women).

And then on the 24th we celebrated dad's 61st birthday. Still looks like he's 45. That bat is the same bat he used to swing with as a boy. Really cool.

A few days later Meliss and I made a trip up to St. Louis to visit some doctors. I had my vocal cord injected again and it's doing very well. It was a simple procedure and wasn't anymore complicated then a dentist visit. The Zeses kindly let us stay in their home again for what was supposed to be 2 nights ... but ended up being 3 due to a major ice/snow storm that left our family at home without power. I'll explain in a minute. Thank you, Zes family!

Course, with the house done, we just had to make it to HomeGoods ... actually, both of them in St. Louis. Got some great junk with all the many generous gift cards we got for our wedding. So awesome buying stuff without actually buying it. Thank you everyone!!!

Time to leave. Went outside to get the car ready and thought the scene was deserving of a picture. The Zeses live in a nice area, and the snow just made their street look so cozy.

Here we are on Z highway, about 5 minutes from home. Looks like harmless snow from afar, but most of it is ice covered by a thin snowy layer.

Had to take this. Melissa's red dress with the white ice was ... what word should I use ... cosmic.

Man, just look at that. So many trees snapped, but thankfully most of these rose right back up as the ice melted over the next few days.

Yep, we returned home to a very dark, powerless house. Talk about providence! Jeremy and Danielle just had their wood stove put in 2 days prior, so we were able to cook food and such. We were about two days without power.

Keoni: "Dude mom, like someone just turn on the lights."

Meliss creatively tells a story using two salt shakers. Wasn't cable TV, but it beat a sharp stick in the eye.

Well, my friends, after one complete year of waiting ... one whole year of praying and watching ... our house is finally finished. The closets need some shelves and the downstairs floor needs to be sealed (should take me just a day), but as of February 10, Melissa's birthday, ironically, Kevin Mitchell, who was there from the beginning, came for the last time. We'll be moving in a week or so after our return from Massachusetts. Here's a shot of the kitchen before the floor was sealed.

And from more straight on. Has a great big island and lots of space to walk around. So thankful for the open feeling it gives.

From the other side of the island. You can sorta see the view there out the window.

The Longs did an exceptional job on the tile and cabinetry work. Course, Meliss and I picked out the tile, which has a definite Tuscan feel. That's Melissa's all time favorite word. Tuscan. I didn't even know what it meant before I married her. Marriage is so educational.

A closer look.

After much deliberation between a single or double-stacked stove, we ended getting the next best thing ... a full stove on the bottom and a half one on the top! Genius! It's a gas stove too. Everyone I've talked to who's gone from an electric to a gas stove always say they'll never go back. And yeah, that's another little sink to the left of it which we'll use for filtered drinking water.

Got a full standing freezer and refrigerator. Looking long-term! :-)

A look at our wood doors, which we got through our friend, David Betts, for the same price as those regular square ones. So beautiful, and what a blessing!

Meliss did an exception job finding these oil rubbed bronze lever door handles off Ebay for a great price.

David Betts also built this beautiful bookshelf. We'll fill that puppy up in no time.

A look at the master bathroom again. Have the mirrors there on the floor ready to be put up.

These sinks are a little wider and deeper than regular ones, and yes, Meliss got the spout and handles off Ebay. Amazing what you can find for the same price as regular ones with just a little research. Makes all the difference.

We'll be moving in a week or two after we get back from Mass, Lord willing. House still needs to air out a bit from the stain and seal fumes (thankfully we used a natural kind of seal). As always, thanks for stopping by! And in about a month feel free to physically stop by whenever you're in the midwest area! Hotel Niednagles! We'll leave the light on for you!