Thanksgiving November 27, 2008 with the Barne's Family

We started off our dinner with a "Cheers to our first Thanksgiving in Erie!"

Then the feasting began, we decided this year to let the kids sit at the grown up table as seating was a "non" issue at our home this year!

And then we just kept on eating, yum! I am tooting my own horn here but this may have been the best meal I have ever made or eaten in my life, it is the first year I did not have a list of things I wanted to change for next year, I may have to retire my cooking mitts!

Liv got crazy chugging some grapple cider.

I made the pies and the girls made some wonderful chocolate truffles.

Then the desserts made their debut and we proceeded to stuff our faces some more.

This pretty little face was not happy to get her picture taken but I did it anyways!

Then we teamed up and got crazy with the ginger bread, Liv's and Nate's creation is above, and mine and Lexi's is below. We were bummed that Aunt Julie wasn't here to entertain our kids with her cool ginger bread house kits but we managed!

Now it's all over, our bellies are still so full we can hardly walk and I may just roll myself to bed to sleep it off! Tonight I will dream about working my Mii out tomorrow to minimize the damage!
We miss you all and hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too. Love you!


Booty Shakin'

If this doesn't make you laugh, I don't know what will. Baby got new boots, now normally I say that she loves this stuff (she really does like her pj's and coats), but she really hates these boots so far (and, I now admit, her cheetah snood). I told her if she wants to go outside she must dress for the weather!! And, like my children, she is not listening to me!



Well the Reflections theme this year was "WOW" and now I know why. This is what Nate and I said when Liv came home with an invitation to the awards ceremony for her entry.

She had talked about doing an entry but told us she wasn't interested in trying if she wouldn't get 1st place. We told her that there were no guarantee's and that she should just do her best and have fun. She never mentioned it again so as far as we knew she wasn't going to do one.

I guess she changed her mind when her teacher gave the class time in school to draw a picture to enter in the contest the last day entries were due. Getting 6th place out of 40 entries at the last minute is pretty dang good! I am so glad she decided to try, good job Liv, we are so proud of you!

Marc and Shelly were thinking they needed to get an earlier start on the kids reflections projects, and at this point Nate and I are just hoping next year to know whether or not our kid is actually going to do one!!

24 Hour Snow total: 14.9 inches, and yes the roads are a nightmare.


Umm I think it is definitely Hell

Well if the 2 feet on the ground wasn't enough, we are supposed to get another 2 feet of lake effect snow by Saturday. In just over an hour we have 3 1/2 inches that have accumulated on the driveway so team Nate and Liv decided to shovel it off so it won't be so hideous in the morning. Alyssa I am ready to switch places with you!

Luckily somebody decided to winterize the baby before it got ugly! Yes, she is wearing boots! These are just her disposable booties, I decided she needed some heavy duty protection and ordered her a deluxe pair over the internet and they haven't made it here yet. She is quite the fetching little animal.
In other news, school is going okay. I started a new pathway now that anatomy is over, where I do not have to go to lecture all day but am on my own to learn the material for each subject using a spiral-bound module as a guide. Then, typically, I take one exam and move on to the next subject. So far I am really undecided if this type of learning will work for me, mostly due to the fact that I failed my first subject. So I will get to remediate that little gem this summer! In my second subject, biochemistry, we had two weeks to learn and understand 42 chapters, and if you were wondering 746 pages, and I barely passed. Thank goodness because I was ready to pack my bags and get the heck out of dodge if I didn't! It was absolutely 2 really ugly weeks, I was putting in ridiculous hours studying and to barely pass has me extremely worried, besides I think Nate might have been ready to kick my butt out on the street because I have been such a treat to be around! I am trying not to dwell on the first failure as 1/3 of my class failed it right along with me but I am just ticked off at myself and slightly annoyed that it will eat into my summer vacation.
I have two more subjects to get through and a few other finals in December from courses that have been on going from the start of the school year but am really looking forward to winter break. Luckily the current subject I am working on is microbiology, so being a microbiology major should help out somewhat. It is just incredible the difference in the level of mastery that is expected in graduate school compared to the undergraduate level. I could literally complain for hours but I will stop now!


Winter Wonderland or Hell!

Winter has come to Erie. Sunday night it started snowing and to our delight we got to experience our first lightening and thunder snow storm. The lightening would light up and reflect this beautiful pinkish purple hue off the snow and then the thunder would come crashing down. It went on for several hours and was absolutely mesmerizing. But when the light show stopped we realized we hate winter!

We woke up Monday and had 12 inches on the grass! Of course I didn't get around to taking a picture until today but here is the view of the backyard. It is cold and miserable and we are wondering now why we didn't choose that medical school in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee!

Liv shoveled off this little corner of the porch while Nate got stuck shoveling off the driveway by himself. He was wishing he had a snow plow until he saw the neighbor out their trying to use his snow plow without any luck because the snow was too thick and too wet.
Luckily the cardinal's, come rain or snow, are still daily visitors.


Comments on Proposition 8

This is something that has stirred so much passion and a sense of frustration and sadness in both Nate and me that I feel like it deserves some attention. So read on if you want or move on to something else.

Proposition 8 passing in California which has now eliminated the right of same sex couples to marry deserves some attention and it is time for people to start thinking and stop spewing their hate and intolerance.

I was disgusted with the fact that President Monson sends out a mandate to his followers asking them to spend their time and money to pass proposition 8, this makes my blood boil and my heart sink. M. Russell Ballard making statements that the institution of marriage must be protected. I am sorry, but I don't understand what it needs to be protected from? I am not picking on Mormons, I am well aware of the fact that other religions also buy into this same kind of discrimination and hate. Other religions are not as efficiently organized and do not have such extreme followers that money and time can be generated in such a fashion as to push this kind of legislation through.

Nobody says it better than our favorite left wing liberal Keith Olbermann, this special comment on his program articulates our feelings much better than I can write them. As I am much to angry and extremely biased against the Mormon religion already. I don't give a damn what you all believe and how you all live your lives, if you are happy then I think that is wonderful, but it is time to quit trying to impose your way of life on others, you are doing humanity a disservice.


They just keep FALLing!!

It looks like winter may arrive in Erie in the next couple days, so I decided that we need to post some of our Fall pictures before they have to give way to the snowy ones that are sure to come. We have been warned by nearly every person we meet in Erie that the winters are horrible, so we are bracing for the worst.

Last Sunday we decided to rake up all the leaves into a big pile and take some pictures of the family. The baby was not at ALL helpful, but in a couple of the pictures; she at least looked at the camera.

We quit going to a studio several years back to have our family portraits done. This has pros and cons. The major pro is the COST or lack thereof. The major con is that you have to use a timer on the camera. It is very hard and takes a long time to get 4 people and a dog to "like" the way they look in any given picture. We finally gave up after an hour and this is what we have to show for it. If any of the grandparents or family would like paper copies; let us know and we will print some out and send them along! Dad, I'm sure the garage wall of SHAME could use some updates!!

As I'm uploading the pictures it sure looks like a lot of fun playing in the leaves, but I think the amount of time we have spent bagging and raking leaves has left me "bitter and clinging to my guns" (PA joke). I think so far we have spent countless hours and bagged up 30+ bags of leaves. As you can see from the pictures, 2 of our large trees are bare and we only have 1 left to go. Yesterday Liv and I spent about an hour raking and bagging leaves and as soon as we had hauled the last bag away a strong wind came up and leaves were falling like snow from the sky. Liv starting screaming in anger, but soon decided to try to catch as many as the leaves as she could before they hit the ground. This is the yard that keeps on GIVING, as soon as the leaves are finished being bagged; it will probably be time to start shoveling snow from the driveway!



What an incredible night! A man who came from absolutely nothing, works his tail off and becomes the next President of the United States of America. An exciting time to be an American, one that will no doubt go down in history as a monumental moment of change. With a resounding voice America said we can and will do better. Hope won us over and fear did not keep us down!

The Change We Need

Nate and I had the good fortune of being able to attend an Obama rally yesterday with Bill Clinton as the keynote speaker. As Obama supporters we were thrilled to get to be a part of the excitement. This was the line in front of us....

And this was the line behind us....

Here is the man of the hour, we were not disappointed, he is a brilliant speaker and we left with a real sense of hope and excitement.

I have to say that I have never been courted for my vote like I have been here in Pennsylvania. We have been able to witness first hand the grassroots effort that Obama has so brilliantly put together. We have had 4 Obama supporters come to the door over the past 2 months to make sure we know the location of our polling place and to check if we needed any literature, for the record not 1 person from the McCain camp. Of course Nate and I live for this stuff, especially Nate, so we have really enjoyed this level of interaction.

Here is a really good looking bunch of Obama volunteers that came knocking on the door today!

Nate and the girls took to the streets today by joining the volunteer effort at Obama campaign headquarters. They were in charge of canvasing neighborhoods to get out the vote. Liv was interested enough that she stood in line for an hour with me and Nate to vote this morning and then was ready for more in the afternoon to go door to door with Lex and Nate.

We are glued to the T.V. at this point with severe anxiety for our guy, Pennsylvania just went to Obama, woohoo, we are so proud of the girls for getting involved! If he loses the election don't plan on hearing from us for awhile as we will be in a state of shock and deep depression!!!! Canada is a hop, skip and a jump away....don't make me go Alec Baldwin on you!


Tricks and Treats

Well our Halloween was kind of a bust! Nate made it to Liv's school parade, I had a test at the same time so I was MIA. He was able to snag a couple of pictures of this cute pink pirate.

When trick or treat time rolled around, Lex had plans with her cool new friends and Liv scrambled to find a friend at the last minute to no avail!!! So.... thank goodness for cell phones, we got that sweet big sis to let her baby sis tag along with her and all her friends. Of course I did not have the camera when I dropped Liv off and even if I did Lex would have killed me if I made her pose for a picture in front of her friends.

Nate and I had a few drinks with the neighbors and then some of my friends from school dropped by to hang out and chat for a bit. In the end everything worked out just fine.