Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

31 Oct




Where Cristian flies every 6 months…

05 Oct

2014-04-05 17.19.34

Victor, Cristian, and Ionut working on the Romanian translation team at General Conference.


Emory’s First Birthday

24 Sep

She is all grown-up! Today is the big day when she will choose from the tray her future profession, we will cut her mot, and eat the finest cake!
Please vote with us on what you think Emory will be. You should pick 3 answers. Poll closes today at 8PM EST.


PS: In the comments section please write your name and your choices. That way we will know who chose what. 🙂


2013 Piano Recital

15 May

TLS 2013 Spring Piano Broadway Recital  copy

The invite says it all: fun music, great attendance, smiles and applause. I really enjoyed this year’s recital and am proud of the efforts of all of my students, throughout the year and at the recital. However, I did not end up with too many good pictures because my kids were a little crazy that night, and Cristian ended up playing soccer in the gym with Oliver… If anyone has pictures they would like to add, send them my way! If not, here are a few from us, and I hope to see you next year.

recital program 2013 copy


Horses and More Horses

08 Apr

Since we have moved to Kentucky, Merayla has really enjoyed horses: learning about them, drawing them, giving them as gifts at birthday parties, checking out books about them at the library, etc. There are statues of horses around town that she and Oliver have fun spotting as we drive by. She even got to ride a horse at the Back to School Bash for Kindergarten this year. So, Cristian found a fun birthday card and inside we gave her:

  1. A trip to a real horse farm and
  2. A trip to find a princess dress


Grandma also sent a Barbie horse, and Bunica sent a cute outfit. I was happy that she was so excited about the unicorn card. She was very grateful for everything and lots of fun on her two special trips.

That weekend, we visited Winchester Farm and had a personalized tour from our friends, the Yoshidas. They own a beautiful ranch north of town that raises foals (fillies and colts), as well as taking care of the pregnant dams before and after delivery. There were several newborns because it was foaling season, so it was neat to meet the new arrivals and to see them with their mothers. It was also interesting to learn about the workings of the farm and to find out the delicate nature of raising each thoroughbred horse.

In search of the princess dress, Merayla went on a late-night shopping trip to the mall with Mom. There were all kinds of twirly Easter dresses to try on and oh-and-ah over, but we also found a Christmas clearance bargain that she loved. Yes!

And, she wanted a chocolate cake. Which I made, and ate most of, even though I don’t really like chocolate.

Happy Birthday, Honey! We are so happy to have you in our lives.


A Stash of Cash

15 Mar

Somehow I feel like I should blog the story for posterity, so here it goes:  We exchange babysitting with the neighbors but decide to stay home for date night. Cristian cooks me a fun steak dinner, and I sit at the bar on a kid’s chair on top of a bench just talking to him. It’s nice to have a de-stressed evening to ourselves. About 7:30, we walk two doors down to get the kids, visit for a few minutes, and are trying to decide when to go when Cristian says to Steve (the neighbor), “Why is there a truck in your back yard?” Steve looks out, sees the truck partially parked on the grass, and says, “There’s a guy in the back yard too.” I’m not so worried. We’re in suburbia; there are people wandering around all the time. Then Steve goes out, comes back in, and says the guy told him to get back in the house because “there are good guys all over out here.” What? I think Steve is a little excited over nothing. Then he says the guy is DEA. I have no idea what that means, so Steve and Tracy explain that it’s the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. Ok, that’s weird. I tell Cristian we forgot to lock the door and maybe we should go back and do it. He heads out; I decide we should all head home, and I start shoe-ing and coating the kids.

Cristian is met at the door by two guys in black and one says, “Who are you?” Cristian says, “What do you mean? I live here.” “Really? Do you have I.D.?” He goes in to get it. The guys follow him, ask him for additional proofs of identity, and look in every room of the house while they’re there. On the way back out, they meet me coming with the kids and say, “You better go back to the neighbor’s. We’re going in this one!” Wow, ok. Now I’m a little concerned. We head back to Steve and Tracy’s, and they all take turns going outside to try to get the scoop while I nurse the baby. There are black SUVs lining both sides of the street in front of our house and down at the intersection as well. We see a few blue lights, but the whole deal is very silent.

The kids are upstairs playing, and Oliver later tells us that they’re watching a guy laying down in the middle of the road. He also tells us about lots of “elephant guys.” This is his visualization for cops with large guns raised, and we have many conversations in the next couple of days about cops, elephant arms, good guys, and bad guys.

Steve comes back in and tells us they’ve arrested someone from the house next door. Ok, it’s actually OUR house because it’s a duplex, and we share the inside wall and the attic. The cars clear a little, things seem to be settling, and we ask the DEA agent with the SUV in our driveway if it’s safe to go back in our house. He says yes but that he’ll be in the driveway until the warrant comes sometime around 1:00-3:00am. He’s from Detroit. He continues to camp out for the night, coming over a few times to ask us some questions. I tell him they should check the attic, and he says they already pulled two bags out from there.

About 1:00 am, we start hearing sounds of mass destruction, more like barrels rolling through the ceiling, furniture breaking, boots stomping and dogs barking. Luckily the kids sleep through it, but we don’t. It lasts for a few hours. I get worried about Emory, and she ends up sleeping with us for the rest of the night.

In the morning, there is absolutely no sign that anything happened. We decide maybe we should let the landlady know since she owns the whole house. The DEA has already contacted her, but she comes over later and tells us that there is a hole in every wall, that the guys had dis-mantled the fireplace and re-plastered it to hide things, and that the DEA found $2,000,000 in cash and the equivalent of 1.8 million in cocaine! WHAT?!?!

I think about how the one guy was actually pretty nice when we talked to him last summer, and we both say how quiet they were. There is one day of silence, Sunday.

Monday evening the local police come to search again: dogs, banging and stomping, making sure everything is out I guess. I ask a cop if I should move my baby since her room is on the inside wall. He says yes, and I try to get her to sleep in the pack-n-play in the laundry room. It doesn’t work because of the echo so I put her back in her room but take the picture off the wall. I find out later that they use an x-ray to check everything, and I hope that it’s safe or at least that they were done with her room when she came back.

We hear the story of how the DEA stopped a truck coming from California in Oklahoma with drugs, asked where it was going, and sat in on the exchange in Lexington. Then they followed the neighbors back to the house, arrested one of the guys from his car that he parked on the street, let the other pull into the garage, and broke in the front door to arrest him. He hears them, runs out through the garage, and there’s a foot pursuit in which he makes it almost to the shops on the corner before they arrest him. There is supposedly a third guy. We have only met two.

The landlady packs out stuff. We see painters, movers, random cars. She sends builders, loads up more stuff, puts up a rent sign. Two movers knock on the door asking for jumper cables since their moving truck died. Cristian is gone with ours in the trunk of the car, but I tell Steve to go over and check it out. He says they are moving out the fridge and took out all the cabinets. We hear people replacing the floor. There are painters and carpet cleaners. The rent sign goes down. I peek out the blinds and wonder about the new car in the driveway and the cabinets closing in the kitchen.


A Few Good Ones of the Beautiful Babe

15 Mar







30 Jan

Emory got to meet her new cousin Allie at a birthday trip Christy and I planned to Denver. Grandma and Grandpa came along to hold the babies, and it was fun to spend a little time together. The girls stared at each other, nursed together, napped together, went swimming, and got some matching clothes. Christy and I had a fun weekend break, played games with Mom and Dad, and talked baby talk.


The Apple of My Eye

02 Jan



Christmas Sing-Along

01 Jan

I thought it would be beneficial for my students to learn to accompany, so we had a Christmas sing-along recital. Each student played one or two pieces with the whole group joining in to sing. It was almost like caroling—just not quite as mobile—and everyone seemed to have a good time. I’d like to send out a big thanks to the Lindmarks for hosting the event in the midst of a busy holiday schedule, and to thank everyone that played and sang. The evening was relaxing, there was time for wassail, cookies, and a little get-to-know-you, and it was a nice way to ring in the true Christmas season. We enjoyed everything from light-hearted Santa favorites to traditional hymns about Christ. I asked Cristian to share a scripture, and we ended with that and a prayer. It was nice. Here are the program lyrics for interested people, the recipe for Old Virginia Wassail Cider, and pictures. Hope you enjoy them.