Friday, April 30, 2010

Preparing for the Party

There's a lot going on at the Gates Home and we're not going to leave our extended, out-of-town family out of the loop. The big news since this morning's post has been Jenn's unbelievable work on Lincoln's cake. If you know Jenn, you know that she doesn't do anything half-way. Lincoln's been into Thomas the Train, and when Jenn asked Lincoln if he wanted a Thomas Cake, a Percy Cake or a James Cake, he informed her that he wanted a Percy Cake. She spent most of the day decorating and it's looking fantastic! Here it is in its not-quite-yet-finished state:
Wait until Party Time tomorrow!!!

Food-Prep Lincoln

Lincoln's Birthday Party preparation is underway! Great Grandparents Mullen came yesterday afternoon to help corral Lincoln while Jenn does the baking and cooking, and Lincoln was very helpful:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Sport

RT from @Mom (Grandma Paulette): "I think he's chosen his sport."
Grandma Paulette and Lincoln enjoy taking walks over to CVCA to look at interesting things. It was cool yesterday so they didn't make it much further than the tennis courts.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Getting Ready To Move

Did the title fool you? No, we're not moving. With Great Grandpa & Great Grandma Mullen looking to list their house soon, Jenn, Lincoln and I (and Gretel) took Saturday morning to head over to their place, hang a dining room light & have Jenn take another step in staging their house. We had a great visit!

the photo is a little fuzzy, but it was the best I had from the trip
Lincoln had fun time mosey-ing around the house and finding all of Great Grandma's giraffes and collecting them all in one spot.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kitchen help

I got home from work today, and this is what I saw as I walked past the door and into the kitchen:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Big Digger

Lincoln had a big day with Grandma Paulette today. When I pulled into their neighborhood today Lincoln and I saw a digger on a trailer, but I wasn't sure what was to be done with it. Well, the workers were using it when Lincoln arrived home from Ladies Class (w/ Leah!) and he and Grandma Paulette took a walk to see it work!
They then decided to pick dandelions!
Lincoln is fascinated with "Pa's boat" and I hear he wants to drive it. We'll see about that...
If you haven't seen Lincoln dig into a tool box, you may not know that he's becoming a tool expert.
For months he's been telling us the difference between a Flathead Screwdriver and a Phillips Head Screwdriver (which he's doing to your left). He also loves pliars, hammers, nuts, bolts... you name the tool, he probably knows what it is, or at least he can me a good guess!

He's been repeating all sorts of things lately, and his sentences and thoughts are getting longer and longer. The other day he was running in circles in our bedroom
(he usually runs in circles at least once or twice a day) and said, "Running around... crazy man!" in reference to my frequent question to him, "Hey Lincoln, are you running around like a crazy man?" He's also been getting into naming Grandma and Grandpa's cars. This morning on the way to Grandma's House I asked him, "How does mommy get to work?" He said, "Mommy's car!" Then I said, "How does daddy get to work?" He said, "Daddy's Envoy." "How does Grandpa get to work?" He thought a second or two, and said, "Pa's Porsche!" "How does Grandma get to Ladies Class?" After a few moments of thought, he replied "Grandma's Rah-neer (Ranier)!"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Akron Zoo Two

We took another trip to the Akron Zoo today. It seems as though every time we go we see something else that's really cool that we've never seen before. Today it was the behavior of the condors. One was stading close to the glass, and when Lincoln went close to see it, the second swooped down close to the glass, turned it's head toward the glass and spread out it's wings. It was incredible!
I've tried on a number of occasions to get a good photo of the Bald Eagles, and I finally got them to pose well while also having the best lens for the pose.

On another subject, after working great for a whole winter, our furnace pootered out, so we're having a new one installed this Friday. One never knows what's looming around the corner.

Website Launch!

Lots has been going on within the Gates Home lately. Lincoln is still growing up and talking up a storm. Grandma Paulette is able to take him for walks outside now that the weather is warmer. School busses really excite him, when we see a school bus on the road he's very quick to point it out. Increasingly he's been pointing out cement trucks and Jeeps. Grandma was able to show him a Jeep... and he got to touch it!

I've been very mentally occupied with work lately, specifically the launch of the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic's website and all of the bells and whistles that have come with it. It's definitely a new era that we're living in as far as marketing and promotion goes, and we want to be either riding the front or the top of the wave, not being swamped by it or watching it pass us by. God has blessed me with making a great contact with a clinic in Indianapolis. This contact is the practice manager and she's one of the leading voices on internet and social media promotion of veterinary medicine and veterinary practices, and she's put together a great website and blog that was a big inspiration to me. Out of observing this clininc, and doing a bunch of reading on my own, we came up with, and Dad and I are very excited about it. It'll take some ongoing work, but it's work that ought to be well worth it. Check out the site, check out the blog, fan us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check out our photos on Flickr... they're all linked from the home page. We want to show folks what we're all about.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ultrasound #1

Jenn and I ultrasounded our Baby #2 for the first time on Saturday evening. He/She was in a tough position to see the head, but he/she gave us a great wave!
This was taken at 13 weeks. Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Recapping the Scottsdale vacation

Here are some of the RAW photos that I couldn't post while I was away from Aperture. I'm still learning how to maximize the post-image processing, but I like what the program has been able to do for me so far.

Jenn did lots of hiking, but one morning we all got to take a hike (all except Auntie Haley, who was sleeping off a late show of a chick-flick with friends the night before).

Easter Sunday:

Grandma Laura planned an Easter Egg Hunt in the back yard and it was a major hit!

Things were very green while we were there. It's amazing what some rain in the desert will do!

Also, many cactus blooms were out. They're not out too long in the spring-time, so it was neat to get some photos while I could.

Among many of the new words and ideas that Lincoln has become quite enamored with is "FOUNTAIN!" There were some fountains that caught his eye when we were out on the road and he was thrilled to find this at the zoo.

Lincoln enjoyed the pool:


Our little boy may have coaching in his future.

There's plenty of wildlife to take in. These were running all over Grandma Laura and Grandpa Dave's neighborhood.

When it was all said and done, Grandma Laura got to spend a lot of quality time with Lincoln.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Indians Spring Training

Spring Training 2010
On Saturday afternoon Dave and I went to the Indians' last game of Spring Training. They played the Reds, and because they share the facilities, the Reds were considered the home team. It was the most low-key baseball game I've been to, and we had a lot of fun. I was debating whether or not to purchase tickets before we left for fear of it selling out. I decided not to because of my moral objection to paying the "convenience charge" of $4-6 depending on the location of the seats. So I called on Saturday morning and learned that the game had not been sold out. We walked up to the ticket office and I asked for the best available seats. They gave me two tickets for Section 113, Row E, which was pretty much behind the plate, a little toward the Indians' dugout. Holy cow. Then we walked down to our seats and we were going to have to walk in front of a number of people, so we took two empty seats in Section 112, Row D, which was directly behind the plate. Holy cow!

We got a good look at Indians' Manager Manny Acta
and First Base Coach Sandy Alomar, Jr.

There was a pro sitting in front of us with two big Canon white lenses.

We've had a great Easter Sunday. I'll post some photos of Lincoln's Easter Egg Hunt after I process the images (I took all of them in RAW), but here's a pool photo. Lincoln has had a lot of fun in the pool!

Mouth Wide Open

Friday, April 2, 2010

Out West

We flew over some snow-capped mountains.

We made it out to Scottsdale by way of Phoenix. The flight went pretty well. Lincoln didn't sleep at all, and we clearly missed a nap window, but he caught a second wind and actually wound up being a good little boy for the most part. He sat on Jenn's lap for about 3 minutes of the 4-hour flight, and in that time managed to have his diaper leak a bit and get Jenn's pants wet in a spot. This surprised neither of us.

Lincoln is pointing out Prickly Pears wherever he sees them.

This morning we went for a hike.

Lincoln was out.
The weather was perfect, and Lincoln rode very well in the pack. Grandpa Dave was able to join us as he made it back from his conference earlier than any of us expected. When we got back, Jenn went to some place around here with Auntie Haley and the two of them got pedicures and leg massages for $19. You read that right. Lincoln decided to stay up for the rest of the day after his 30 minute nap in the pack toward the end of the hike. We then went to the Scottsdale Train Park to give him something to do. It was at this train park that Lincoln decided to go down a slide without anyone helping him, and then it was on. He was on a mission. He climbed up and slid down and climbed up and slid down and climbed up and... you get the picture.
I thought it was going to be torture to get him away from the slide, but as much as he enjoyed the slide, he enjoyed the swing about as much.

Here's some photos from the day before:

If Lincoln develops a gambling addiction, we'll be able to trace it to this event.
He's been killing time on the Pachinko machine.

I got to thinking about something interesting while we were on our hike today. This was the first time I've been the primary Lincoln carrier while on our walks. In the past it's been Jenn who has worn the pack. So I had an extra 35 lbs. as I we hiked up and down the mountain out here in the desert. It reminded me of another guy who carried a heavy load on Good Friday. But Jesus carried his cross (more than 35 lbs.) after being beaten within an inch of His life. Today's hike was absolute pleasure, but it was, nonetheless, a good reminder of what Jesus did for me and for us. As this Good Friday comes to a close and we move toward Easter Sunday, don't miss the little reminders that the Holy Spirit has placed and will place in our lives that point to Jesus.