Happy Holidays 2005
Hope you all are well. We've had a great year, filled with craziness as always. Witness the souvenirs:
January in Iowa was cold. Very cold. The average temperature (night and day) in the month, in fact, was 17 degrees. We even had a bit of snow, as you can tell from this photo.
We were in between trips to the Pacific Northwest, as you'll find out about in February.
Despite the cold, we had a good month. Simon really started crawling--before that he was mostly dragging himself along--and really showed us how much he likes cars or anything really that has wheels.
We had a great trip in February to Seattle and Vancouver. Jon was travelling to Vancouver for the annual conference of the Music Library Association, so we made it into a family vacation. Unfortunately we all got sick at one point or another--Simon had the worst of it--and we even had a trip to the emergency room for a finger-in-eye incident, but we had a great time seeing family and friends anyway.
Jon also thought the conference, and Vancouver, were wonderful. He travelled up to Canada with Dianne and hitched a ride back home with Amy & Harvey, thus saving a bit on transportation.
It's interesting to look at older photos of Simon just to see what color his hair was. As you can tell, it was already getting a lot lighter by March, and even looked sort of red in this photo. My hair was just crazy, maybe it was windy out.
March was fairly cold as well, but we were able to get out and do things a lot more than in January. Jon still felt like he was catching up from February at work, but finished a number of interesting projects.
April was the month for visits, as we had Janice & Tim and Dianne all out at various moments. Simon even got to have an early birthday party with the Brandts, meaning he got TWO cakes instead of one.
Again it's funny to see him drinking out of a bottle here - within a few short months, he gave that up entirely in favor of sippy cups. Bottles? Who needs 'em.
We had a great time in May with Simon's birthday, travels to Lincoln, visiting the Omaha Zoo, Simon taking off walking and promptly running, etc. Simon loved the Omaha Zoo except he didn't like the indoor desert very much. Well, what kind of animals thrive in the desert? Very, very small ones... not immediately visible to little toddlers. He loved the aquarium, though, particularly the penguins, and liked the elephants as well.
As well we really enjoyed our trip to Lincoln and dropped in on a choir party and played cards basically in the hallway of our Lincoln hotel with Leigh Anna & Andrew.
Grandpa Haupt came out in June, which was also a great time. Here you see Simon hoping to get away into the Skunk River. He was thrilled by the rushing water and the rocks. Let's see, what else happened in June? Simon started playing with crayons a lot, as you can tell from this photo. Jon joined the board of Ames Town & Gown Chamber Music Association, the local chamber music series.
We had another crazy month in July. Started off by going camping in the early part of the month to Pine Lake State Park. Mid-month we took off to Salt Lake City to hang with Rachel, Mike, and our new nephew Xander. We had a great time there, especially in the pool at the Lowe residence. Xander (XL for short) was a blast and Simon's officially got two really cool cousins.
And yes, then we went to Seattle, as you can tell from this photo of Mount Rainier. It was gorgeous from the plane on the way home, and amazingly Jon managed to get this great shot even from the window. We spent almost our whole Seattle trip on the coast with the Brandts at a great condo in Ocean Shores. Simon was so excited about the sand he didn't know what to do, and basically couldn't think of anything except diving into it and attempting to eat it. What a great trip.
Simon received his hmm... fourth(?) haircut in August. His hair just grows and grows. Again do notice the hair color - whoa. Lots of blond in there now. Jon had a birthday... Laura made a yellow cake with penuche frosting, one of Jon's favorites. Also, we went camping again, this time to Black Hawk Lake State Park. It really was relaxed compared with the previous and the following months!
How to pick a September picture... we did too much stuff in September, too much. We think we're just going to have to pick two pictures. Let's start with this one at right. So the month started off with a bang, as we had sudden homeless visitors from New Orleans in the form of Cynthia and Kevin. They only stayed a few days, and were kind of scattered while here, but we still managed to have a good time with them and provide them a safe, happy home to stay in if briefly. We think so much of them, and would have gladly kept them around as long as necessary, but they wanted to get to family, and understandably so. Anyhow, we were sure glad to see them, and glad they managed to get out alright.
We took Cynthia & Kevin to Reiman Gardens, one of the places we tend to take everybody at some point when they visit. If you've seen some of Jon's butterfly photos, this is where he takes them. It's hard not to get a good photo when you're there, because there's so much pretty material around.
The second half of the month featured a visit from Amy. If you read my blog, you may remember that she spent a week out here planning and designing permaculture work on the backyard. The area at left was previously covered in blah gravel, and now it's much more fascinating, and will produce some nice fruit and herbs as well. We had a heck of a time trying to put in a fence, and you'll have to read the aforementioned blog post for that. Still, the fence eventually got done (albeit with a professional fence builder) and we got a lot of work done on the yard as well.
Laura joined the Des Moines Symphony and had her first concert the night Amy left. She has been really, really happy to play with this group, they are a lot of fun and it's great to get paid for your work. She's also got a ton of students, or it seems like it a lot of the time (actually 22 to be exact).
As well, we managed to get sick, have back problems, etc. It was a crazy month.
You'd think we'd slow down a bit, but October wasn't exactly boring. We had a bunch of random stuff that we got going, including finishing the fence, trying to decide whether to replace our 40-year-old furnace (we did), trying to keep up with Simon, and having kind of a rough time with illness. Somehow we made it, and even had a good time doing it. We played at Dan & Genya's wedding.
The jury's still out, but we think Simon will be a chef, a world cup soccer player, a dancer, a janitor, a garbage truck driver, or a pianist. Maybe all of the above? Or a superhero. Here you can see him surprising us by being absolutely thrilled by the cookbook. It's never a dull moment with him around, and November was no exception.
At the end of November, we had Thanksgiving dinner with Dick & Jan Harken, then put on a violin, viola, and piano recital. We're happy with how it turned out, and relieved that we have friends that enjoy watching Simon while we practice!
We took Simon to the Blossoms of Light festival, again at Reiman Gardens. A variety of activities ensued at the festival, among them visiting with fjord horses, watching a spinning wheel, viewing all kinds of pretty lights, and of course telling Santa what kind of dog he'd like for Christmas. (he's getting a small stuffed one in his stocking, in case you're wondering.)
We're spending the end of December in Seattle, as is our pastime. It'll be very busy as is also our pastime. Simon's now singing the appropriate parts of Old MacDonald Had a Farm and also adding "EIAUEIOEUIEA" and we hope he'll put on a show for his grandparents. As well, he's practicing saying "hi." and "bye." while trying to get to sleep.
Again a happy holiday to you all, and as Simon would say, "bye."
p.s. for more pictures go here.