Saturday, July 26, 2008


Sorry for the delay on getting a new post up. Here's what we've been up to.

Last Saturday we went to Sequatchie Cove Farms. We buy our beef from them, but we've never actually been out for a vist. We have been wanting to go blueberry picking for some time now and it just so happens that blueberries are one of the three crops that they allow people to "u-pick." The farm is located about 40 minutes west of us, so we left on Saturday morning right after Gus ate. We picked from their older bushes (15 years old!!!) and got about as much as we could before V Man dictated our departure. He just wasn't up for napping in either the carrier or the car seat. We would have liked to have gotten more (especially b/c they are only $2 a quart!) but the two quarts we did pick were enough for a batch of muffins, two berry crisps and extras perfect for freezing and keeping on hand. Gus really enjoys them...fresh or frozen. He likes them so much, in fact, that we've been trying to teach him how to come to us by holding out a berry as incentive. Works every time. If he associates his actions with "come here" instead of the blueberries, then our bribes and training will have succeeded.

Blueberry bushes as tall as young trees!

Scott thinks the lighter colored ones kind of taste like tart apples. Our next baking experiment, if Scott has his way, will be to make a crisp with ripe and unripe berries mixed together!

Gus has been long overdue for a haircut. There have been a few people that have mistaken him for a girl. It's most likely his LONG eyelashes, but we've been wondering if his hair might be misleading them as well. We also didn't want to be accused of fostering a chullet (the child manifestation of the mullet), so we decided to give it a go and cut at least the back of Gus's hair and some of the hair that has been hanging over his ears.

It was a little tough for us to keep Gus preoccupied, but overall we were successful and are, at this point, happy with the results.

Gus's two top teeth came in on June 28th, but they've only now been readily visible. He's already beginning to use them. It's so strange to hear him bite into something after all these months with either no teeth or only two bottom teeth.

Gus here, reminding you to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables a day...preferably from an organic garden!

A quick search online revealed that toddlers are generally considered to be between 12 and 36 months. Gus is 11.25 months old. It seems that he's already enjoying a common toddler activity: pulling things out of drawers. While putting away some of his clothes the other day, Gus pulled up to have a look in the drawer. Shortly thereafter, Gus took most everything out.

Although we expected otherwise, V has not pronounced any new words. Cat and light are the only two words in his repetoire, but even those two have gotten harder to understand. He can wave, clap and sign "more" and "shoes," but the latter two are really just variations of the clap used situationally. He's pretty funny. Oh, no standing or walking yet either. He's pretty good at sitting from a pull up position and vice versa though. He is also getting much better at walking with support. Maybe he can get it figured out in time for his birthday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family Trip to VA

We met Amy's family in VA last week for a mini-reunion of sorts. There were 10 of us in all. We stayed in a cabin in the middle of NOWHERE! To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, our cell phones didn't work, there was no Internet, the TV satellite was down and all we could hear from our porch were cows (and the occasional 4-wheeler that was herding them around). Our two outings consisted of a trip to "town" where we stopped at Walmart, the grocery store and a lube shop (good thing b/c our car only had 1 quart of oil in it; thanks for keeping us safe, Lord!). The other outing was a jaunt to Hungry Mother State Park, where we hiked around and otherwise enjoyed being outside in 80 degree weather. While we were very isolated, we thoroughly enjoyed being together. We played a lot of games; ate a lot of food; talked; took a couple thousand pictures; and played some Mario something or other on Jim's Wii.

One of the other things we did with the Wii was create a profile for each person who was there. It was pretty funny. You choose everything from height, weight, shape of the face, eyebrows, hair style and color...the choices went on and on. The Noll profiles are over to the right. Looks like we made Amy a little too tall (Ha!), but otherwise I think they look pretty good. Check out the entire group below.

Amy's family listed from the top left: Jim (brother); Chris (Dad); Laura (Jim's wife); Patti (Mom); Scott; Amy; Steve (brother); Grace (niece); Gus and Heather (Steve's wife...carrying second niece).

Here are some of the pictures from the park. The rhododendrons (all flowering) were as tall as trees and I have never seen so many ferns in one place in my life. VA should be named the Fern State.

OK. I know most of you are here to see cute pictures. Sorry to bore you. Here:

Gus wasn't so sure about the grass. Gosh, it makes me feel like he doesn't get outside enough!

V Man took a short nap in the front pack during the hike. He held out as long as he could, but finally fell asleep.

Amy continues to do such a great job with Gus. I do what I can when I'm around, but she's obviously the primary care giver b/c of my day job. I'm so glad Gus and I have you, Frau!

Gus's cousin, Grace, was a real sport when we let her sit in a chair that we knew was too small for her. When she stood up, the chair stuck to her. When she finally started to cry, while I was snapping pictures and laughing (along with her dad, Steve), Heather heroically stepped in. Sorry to make fun at your expense, Grace! Sorry if I was a bad influence on you, Steve!
There are a few more pictures from the trip here. Check out the one of Gus at the top. Heather took that one. She's really getting good.
Thanks for the visit, Deterdings!