Here are various updates from our life.
Finally, an update. We're still in Massachusetts, and we are here to stay for a while. Jerusha finished school in September, we bought a house in November and moved, and Jerusha started a new job in January. Randy and Jeri officially work 75 miles from each other, so it is quite a commute for both of us.
We are enjoying the warmest spring this area has seen in years. Randy has been working on the yard, getting soil in good (well, better) condition and planting spinach, lettuce, and flowers. We are all also adjusting to the long commutes and long days that the new job and new location have brought. Jeri works at a university, and the semester ends in 3 weeks, so we are all looking forward to a little bit of a break.
We're planning to be in Arizona and Utah in July, so if anyone still reads this (doubtful, as we've been horrible about updating; blame Facebook) and would like to meet up, let us know.
I would like to know how facebook is to blame as you are never there either! We love you tons here in Utah and miss you terribly Hope life is going great! Your loving Sister J
We did make it to the Adirondacks for 10 days of camping. We all enjoyed the camping, but Jeri was less enthusiastic about the 7 days of rain (yes, that's out of 10 days of camping). Randy disagrees about Jeri's assessment, and would like to point out that on 3 of those 7 days, we had sunshine for at least 2 hours. In any event, our vacation was great. Randy and Jeri spent the night before we left going to a Patriot's preseason game, then we went to Six Flags, an amusement park in western Mass, which Claire loved. While camping, we also went hiking, canoeing, swimming in the lake, and did lots of bicycling. We had delicious food, all cooked over the fire, on a camp stove, or in dutch ovens.
Grammy and Grandpa Roy made a quick stop here en route (kind of) to a meeting in Pennsylvania this fall. As always, it was great to see family. Claire and Jerusha took a trip to Arizona in October to help with the new baby of her high school friend Cori. They saw lots of cousins and friends and had a great time basking in the warmth of the Arizona sunshine.
Randy did his 100 mile bike ride in 7 hours. He keeps riding, even in the bitter cold. He has also passed some more ham radio tests and is preparing for an even higher level test in the next couple of months. He still likes his job, and has changed responsibilities yet again. He is now in charge of IT, warranties, and special projects. His major recent accomplishment is cleaning the basement. We can actually see the floor in his cave, and do not fear to visit him there while he works on his projects, whatever they are.
Jeri is continues her trek toward the end of school. She is mostly finished with the first of three papers. She is also teaching a freshman nutrition class at Middlesex Community College, some healthy cooking classes, and has gotten involved in a new grant teaching nutrition to young parents, in addition to her regular consulting for a local grocery store.
Claire loves school and trains and princesses and blocks and nail polish and braided hair and bicyling. We think she is definitely showing an obsessive compulsive personality and has funny little obsessions. Both Randy and Jeri know that they are to blame for this obsessive compulsiveness, albeit from different ends of the spectrum.
The chill of winter is upon us as we get ready for a Thanksgiving trip to Pennsylvania to visit Porter cousins.
As always, we hope that all friends and family are well.
We're staying busy and happy. The Porter cousins came for Easter from Pennsylvania, bringing lots of enthusiasm and fun. Grandpa Fred and Grandma Rain came for a visit in May, the week after we finally got leaves on the trees, and when the lilacs were in glorious bloom. We loved having them here. The next week, one of Randy's old roommates came to visit with his sister. Uncle and Sheldon and Aunt Alice were very popular with Claire.
Randy spent almost 2 weeks in India for work at the beginning of the year. He's posted some of his pictures. He tries to not talk too much about what a great trip it was, because Jeri is pretty much consumed with jealousy that he visited India while she stayed home and got the flu. He likes being a world traveler, especially since he got to fly business class. Since his trip, he's been busy working with the construction of a new building for his work. The building is lovely, and the whole company moved in late June. The last few months of making sure everything went smoothly (like getting telephone lines in when the telephone company forgot that they didn't have a usable new line for a half a mile) were pretty stressful, and he's not quite sure how he's going to manage in the serene new environment where there isn't a crisis every 10 minutes. He has also been busy with his ham radio, and is getting trained with the sheriff's department to be a volunteer dispatcher. He's also training to ride a 100 mile bike ride later this summer.
Jeri has had some big changes. She finished her data collection at the end of June, and is working on data analysis and entry, and starting to write her thesis. It is very exciting for her. She is also working as a nutrition consultant, and does healthy living classes and other nutrition services at a local grocery store, provided a series of classes for Lowell Adult Education, is working with the Lowell Housing Authority, and will be teaching a couple of classes a Middlesex Community College in the fall.
Claire is her usual sunny self. She loves going to preschool, and is learning about letters, words, the world, painting, making friends, and sitting quietly during group time. She is the social butterfly of the family, and loves parties and events. We call her our Goodwill Ambassador. Grandma Rain brought her a purse with nail polish, with which she has learned to paint her own fingernails. She loves to talk and has a growing vocabulary, imagination, and syntax. She is working on rhymes and is always on the lookout for words that rhyme.
We're planning a camping trip to the Adirondacks in upstate New York in August, with canoeing, bicycling, hiking, and fishing.
We’ve had another interesting year here in Massachusetts. It’s starting to grow on us, and we’re even thinking of putting down some roots.
We had more lively visits with friends and family. Jeri and Claire started the year off by visiting Arizona, and loved the sunny, warm January before they returned to the land of ice and cold. We all took another trip to Pennsylvania to visit the Porter cousins at Easter, then Randy and Claire made a surprise trip to Utah in April to attend the graduation parties of three of Randy’s siblings. Congratulations Galen (posthumous), Christopher, and KC! Jeri made a second visit to Arizona for her Grandma Alice Claire Lehmann Nelson’s funeral. The same week, we all flew to Utah for a combined visit with Nelsons and Petermans. We started out with some fun days visiting Randy’s family, then headed to Park City, UT for time with the Nelsons. Jeri’s step-mom, Lorraine, planned a great surprise for the 60th birthday of Fred Nelson (Jeri’s dad) by bringing as many of their children as possible together for a vacation in Park City. We had such a nice time visiting with everyone, and Claire loved all of the cousins. We traveled back to Utah for Randy’s sister’s wedding at the end of October, and Jeri and Randy managed to sneak away for a couple of days to southern Utah while Claire stayed with Aunt Mindy, Uncle Daniel, and Cousin Regan.
Randy has been busy, as usual. He has become involved in the local ham radio organization and has been part of the radio teams for a number of community activities. He is currently training as a volunteer dispatcher for a local emergency service. He is also preparing for a trip to India in late December/early January to help with a site inspection of a new supplier that his company is using.
Jeri successfully defended her thesis proposal, and has the majority of her data collected for her thesis. She is still about a year and a half away from graduation, but is feeling happy to be moving along. She has enjoyed her work with the Cambodian community in Lowell, and was even able to present some of her work at a public health educator conference in Washington, D.C. in November.
Claire continues happy and cheerful. She is still growing tall, but has slowed down a bit this year. She took swimming classes this summer, and loved them in theory, although in practice, she spent much of the time clinging either to Jeri or Randy in a effort to avoid actual swimming. She is transitioning from toddler to little girl, complete with a strong vocabulary, lots of make-believe time, and learning to negotiate with others. We think that she may be a true sociopath in the making, as she is charming, polite, and expert at getting exactly what she wants from gullible adults not named mom and dad.
We wish you all the best and hope that you are well.
Randy, Jerusha, and Claire Peterman
Summer is upon us, and we are taking advantage of the long days, although nice weather is somewhat intermittent. Claire is enrolled in swimming classes at the local YMCA, and Randy and Jeri take turns having her cling to them as she does her best to avoid actually letting go and enjoying the water. She is making progress, however, and will now use one arm for activities during the class. She loves putting on her swimming suit and likes the class whenever she thinks of it, either prospectively or retrospectively; she just has a hard time with the practical part of swimming.
Jerusha's Grandma Nelson died over Memorial Day weekend, so Jeri made a quick trip to Arizona for the funeral, including taking the red-eye to Boston to make it back in time for the last of her focus groups. She got back on Wednesday morning, then we all packed up and headed to Utah on Friday morning. After a flight delay that led to getting into Salt Lake City 10 1/2 hours late, we did have a nice trip. We split time between Peterman and Nelson family, as most of Jeri's family came to Park City for a week to celebrate Fred's 60th birthday. As always, Claire loved cousins and grandparents, and is eagerly anticipating the next trip to see family. Aunt Natasha painted her toenails and fingernails pink, and she still remembers, often pointing to her toes and saying “Tasha did it.” Randy was so delighted with the result that he has purchased nail polish and regularly polishes Claire's nails. Jeri just shakes her head and laughs at the two of them.
Randy was able to participate in a couple of community events as a ham radio operator. He is super busy at work, but is still very happy to be enjoying his job so much.
Jerusha is in the midst of her data collection, and hopes to have all data collected by the end of October. Randy wishes it would be sooner.
We are having a pretty good spring. Randy and Claire went to Utah for a surprise weekend visit to celebrate the college graduation of Galen (who was awarded a posthumous degree by UVSC), Christopher (BYU), and KC (U of U). They had a great time, and we are all very, very proud of our graduates. As usual, Claire very much enjoyed her time with cousins.
Jerusha's research has started, and she is racing to get the data collection finished while her funding lasts (until September 30 for the data collection).
The leaves have come out and we are surrounded by green. To our Western eyes, it is still amazing to see green sprouting from every inch of land. In the winter, the freeways are lined with dense tree trunks, but in May, when the leaves come, they become a wall of green.
Apologies to begin with for having yet another weather-centered update, but it really is a big part of our activities here.
Spring is finally coming. We are happy to have weather in the 50s and (occasionally) low 60s, and to be shedding our warm winter coats. After a week of temperatures that never rose over 20 degrees Farenheit, then 14 inches of snow, we are very much enjoying the milder weather.
Randy is still happy at his work and going to ham radio activities. He has put slick new tires on his bicycle, which has made his daily ride to work easier and faster. His boss is going to India on a business trip next month, and sadly decided that he did not need Randy as a personal porter, so Randy will not be going. Jeri is secretly glad, because she would have been unbearably jealous if Randy had gone to India without her.
Jeri passed her thesis proposal defense at the beginning of the month with no revisions and is working with the group that makes sure human research is ethical to get her research going. She had a great birthday and sends thanks to all who called.
Claire continues to be active and happy, although she does have some very impressive tantrums down. She keeps us busy and entertained.
We'll be visiting Porter cousins in Pennsylvania for Easter, and are looking forward to it.
After the warmest December on record, January is ending with a record-breaking cold blast. Yesterday's high was about 12 degrees Farenheit, and the heater has been going non-stop to keep up with the cold that keeps seeping in.
Otherwise, we are doing well. Jeri and Claire spent a week in sunny Arizona at the beginning of the month, visiting Grandpa, Grandma, and lots of cousins, aunts, and uncles. Jeri brought back a big box of oranges which we have been enjoying all month. Thanks, Lorraine!
To save you all the trouble of sifting through the many paragraphs below, here's a quick summary of our year:
We had some great visits from family and friends. Jeri's good friend from Arizona Cori Holmberg came for a week in March, and her husband Erin came for the weekend. We had a fun time visiting museums and historical sites. Cori and Erin found the cold New England March a bit of a shock to their Arizona bones, but it was so nice to see them and we all bundled up against the March winds. We had a quick dinner with Randy's cousin, Anginette McOmber, who was visiting for a conference in March, and another in April with Kerrie Neu, a friend from Utah, who was also in Boston for a conference. Jeri's older sister Guenevere came for a short visit with her sisters in June. We were glad that we were able to spend time together before Guenevere returned to Arizona and submerged herself in the misery of studying for the bar (which both she and Keith, Jeri's brother, passed with some of the highest scores in Arizona). And, in October, Randy's parents and two of our nieces, Shanesa and Veronica Johnson, came for a visit from Utah at the peak of the autumn colors. Claire had a magnificant time being petted and treated as the royalty that she is, and we all tramped around historical sites while we admired the leaves.
We were also able to take a few fun trips. In April, Jerusha and Randy left Claire with Jeri's sister Karissa (who has since moved to Boise, ID, to our dismay) and had a lovely weekend in Florida. Jeri actually cried a little on returning to the bleak, leafless grayness of Boston after the sun and amusement park-filled weekend. We also drove to Pennsylvania to visit Matt and Marie Porter and their family over the 4th of July. Marie is one of Jeri's Brinton cousins. We enjoyed their lively family, and were happy that Jeri's Aunt Joan was visiting. We made two trips to Utah: the first was great fun with family and friends; the second was for the funeral of Randy's brother Galen, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in August. Finally, we drove to Montreal, Quebec for Thanksgiving weekend. We loved Montreal–it's such a lovely city and everyone was so friendly, even though we don't speak any French. And, we found the most wonderful pastry shop and had pastries and delicious bread every day.
Randy has enjoyed his new position at work, managing the planning, building, and installation processes that his company does for General Electric. He travels to New York (upstate, not NYC) every so often with his job. He is also still happily the music leader for Primary at church, and has at least half of the women from church convinced that he's the most amazing man on the earth because he's so good with the kids. He got his ham radio license this year–he has been attending geek conferences with other ham radio folks, and he also was on the communications team for a big regional soccer event. He got to wear a big orange vest and walk aroud sending important messages. In November, he went to San Antonio for the annual conference of the Irrigation Association, where he taught classes for 4 days. Although he's at least temporarily left the irrigation industry, the IA keeps asking him back to teach, and he plans to keep going.
Jerusha is plugging away with school, although she feels that she has been at it forever and the end is still out of sight. She passed her wretched comprehensive exams in February, finished her last class in May, and has steadily been working on her thesis proposal, with a multitude of revisions. She presented some of her research at a conference of agricultural economists in Long Beach, CA, in July, and found that the economists weren't as overwhelmingly intimidating as she had feared. She is enjoying her work with Cambodian refugees and immigrants, and will be doing her thesis research through her work.
Finally, Claire has had a great year. She learned to walk and talk this year, and now runs, dances, and jumps at every opportunity. She is a sunny girl who loves to be around people and animals. She is a champion eater and still tops the 95th percentile for height for age, although she is at about the 25th percentile for weight for age, which means that her pants are all too short or falling off. Claire loves to go to bed at night, to the everlasting delight of Jeri and Randy. Her hair is getting longer every day, and is nice and thick like Randy's, but has some of Jeri's curl. She loves to look at pictures of herself, and calls herself “Baby Claire,” squealing with delight in self-recognition.
We hope that all of our friends and family are well and send our love to all of you.
Our Very Best,
Randy, Jeri, and Claire Peterman
Katrina Nielsen Crane, who knew Jerusha in the MTC has been looking for her for a very long time. After preparing her Christmas list, she decided to try the last known number. After coming up empty handed, she tried to Google Randy and Jerusha. This page was found, but no other contact information. Hopefully, these two friends can get together with current addresses sometime soon. Katrina N. Crane, 197 W. Oxford Lane, Gilbert, AZ 85233, 480 726-2176. email@example.com. Drop me a line! Congrats on your PhD lady! You are awesome! Please don't ignore me just because I singed your hair that once . . .
We just spent a great long weekend with Randy's parents, Roy and LaDonna, and two nieces, Shanesa and Veronice Johnson, who came for a visit during the peak of the spectacular autumn colors. We've heard that this is a so-so year for colors, but last year was subdued and brown, so this year seems amazing to us. We visited the Boot Mill Museum in Lowell, which details the textile factories of the last two centuries (we used to live in one of the renovated factories), the Children's Museum in Boston, the North End, Fanuel Hall, the North Bridge and the first battle field of the Revolutionary War, walked the Freedom Trail, and ate Portuguese and Cambodian food. Roy, LaDonna, Shanesa, Veronica, and Claire also took a day trip to New Hampshire to enjoy the leaves, and they took a Duck tour, splashing and driving around Boston. We had a lovely time and would love to have more visitors!
Claire's vocabulary is growing and she quacks happily whenever she sees a picture of a duck. She also moos at cows, woofs at dogs, and says “Ow” at cats. She is learning nouns and people's names and asks for Mama and Daddy in the morning if one of us isn't immediately visible. She is still a sunny girl who likes to go to her babysitter's house and to visit her friend Amara every week. She especially loved the Children's Museum in Boston, and ran around the hands-on exhibits screaming in delight. She keeps herself busy building and destroying block towers and zooming cars and planes around. She is still growing like crazy: she stays at the top percentiles for height for age and the lower percentiles for weight for age, so her pants are usually about an inch too short or they fall off.
Randy continues to work with his ham radio, and has started to attend geek conferences to mingle with other ham radio operators. He can also identify ham radio operators by the number and type of antennaes coming out of their cars. He will be teaching classes for the Irrigation Association at their annual convention in San Antonio next month. Even though he no longer works in the irrigation industry, the Association wanted him to come back as a teacher. He is enjoying his project managing job at Gustavo Preston, but has been heard to curse the new European Union regulations under his breath on more than one occasion.
Jerusha is working in earnest on getting her dissertation proposal together so that she can start her dissertation research through her local Cambodian agency. She and her coworkers have finished their Guide to Healthy Eating for Cambodian Americans, which is a 60-page, color, Khmer/English book with a section on food selection, preparation, and cooking, and 20 modified recipes of traditional Cambodian foods that show examples of how to make the healthy modifications. She has managed to persuade her agency (and funder) that the bulk of the next year's project should be a survey of dietary beliefs and practices that she can use for her dissertation and that the agency can use to develop future programs. She has spent much of the summer writing grant applications to try to get enough funds to make the survey work, and she thinks that she will be able to just make it.
We are back in Utah again for the funeral of Randy's brother Galen. Galen crashed his motorcycle into a tree on a Saturday night and died instantly.
July was a really fun month for us. We traveled to Utah to visit Randy's family, and we took a lot of pictures. The flight to Utah was pretty uneventful - Claire handled it really well and was generally pleasant and good natured. the fight back was more eventful because we got bumped and had to stay one extra day.
In Utah we (Randy and Jerusha) enjoyed seeing old friends and family, taking family pictures, and we enjoyed Walter and Julianna's hospitality at Bear Lake. Our enjoyment was nothing compared to Claire's delight at meeting and playing with cousins, crazy aunts, not-so-crazy aunts and uncles and grandparents. Claire had many adventures, including having her toes painted, picking strawberries from the garden every morning with Grandpa, bathtime with Grammy, singing time with everyone and trampoline time with cousins. It took a week to get Claire enough rest to recover from the trip.
Jerusha's conference presentation went well. The economists were not mean to her, and she enjoyed sitting at the dock in Long Beach between classes and presentations. Randy really enjoyed being with his family - Jeri calls it “Being among his own kind.”
The month of June and the first week of July have been very exciting for us. We are getting closer to our visit to Utah to see Randy's family, and we had a great trip to Bethlehem, PA to visit Marie, Matt, Melanie, Meredith, McKay and Maxwell Porter. While we were in Pennslyvania we visited Hershey, PA and took the simulated factory tour, visited the zoo and bought candy. Jeri”s sister, Guenevere, came for a short visit in June. Jeri, Guenevere, and Karissa had a enjoyed seeing each other and playing for a little while, before Guenevere returned home to Arizona to plunge into preparation for the bar exam.
Claire is getting bigger every day, and she has learned to say a few more words. Her favorite word is still “go”, followed closely by “up”. As you can see from the pictures, her hair is growing fast and long, and she has some of her mother's curls. She will be 18 months old on July 14th, and she has already attended nursery at church. She loves people, and the more action the better, so nursery will be happy fun time for her.
Jeri is keeping very busy with her job at the Cambodian Association (CMAA), her schoolwork, taking care of Claire and doing church responsibilities. Her biggest activity right now is trying to get funding for a study she hopes to do for her disertation. She is also nervously preparing to give a presentation about hunger and obesity in the United States to a group of economists in California at the end of July.
Randy, the geek, has become even geekier. He passed his amateur radio exam at the urging of his brother-in-law Walter and is now licenced to operate amateur radio. His call sign is KB1NTF, and he is saving his pennies for a transmitter. He still loves his new position at Gustavo Preston - it is a great mixture of computer IT work, organizing and interacting with people, and it is going well.
We survived the record flooding last month and launched immediately from raining, 50 degree weather into hot, humid high 80s and low 90s. We know that those of you who live in Arizona aren't sending a lot of sympathy our way, but we remind you that while you enjoy lovely 60 and 70 degree weather in the winter, we are freezing here, and we would like to have some nice weather sometime. We are resigned that there is no intermediate weather here except in the fall. June 7 update: The rain has returned and we're once again under a flood watch. But it looks like the sun will be out again in another 5 days. Bah!
Otherwise, we are doing well. Randy has a new position at his company, as a project manager for the complex pump systems that his firm designs and has built and installed around the world for General Electric. Jeri has finished all classes and is working at CMAA and getting ready to start her dissertation later this year.
Claire walks, and whenever possible runs, everywhere that she can. She only says 2 and a half words: “go,” “hi,” and a woof-like noise to represent the sound that a dog makes. Although she appears to understand what goes on and follows directions when she feels like it, she had declined to enlarge her vocabulary. Jeri is despairing the she has Randy's “I'll only do it if I can see a good reason” attitute. Randy smugly notes that she is her dad's girl.
We'll be in Utah from July 23 to July 31, and we are going to try to meet up with as many friends and family as possible. Jeri will be in California at a conference from the 23rd to the 25th, but Randy and Claire will stay in Utah then.
Randy and Jeri spent a great weekend in Florida while Claire stayed with cousins and Aunt Karissa and Uncle Rob. Claire was sad to leave the good times at the Hardy House, and Randy and Jeri were sorely disappointed to leave the lovely blue skies and warm weather of Florida to return to the cloudy, rainy land of leafless trees that is New England in April. Fortunately, Claire still has lots of play opportunities at her babysitter's house, with her friends, and the occasional visit with cousins, and the leaves are finally (April 22) starting to appear on the trees.
Claire is walking and very happy to be mobile. She does, however, resent that some of her days still have to be spent in the confines of the house rather than outside where the living is good.
Jeri passed her comprehensive exams! We are all very happy to have the whole process in the past, although we are all still recovering from the long horror. She is still working at CMAA and is enjoying her statistics class, now that she actually has time for it.
Cori and Erin Holmberg, friends from Mesa, came for visit during the cold March weather. Cori came a few days early and she, Jeri, and Claire did a lot of tourist activities together. We had such a great time.
Claire is taking tentative steps, and is slowly making the transition from crawling to walking. She is still much faster when she crawls, but she is starting to see the value of occasionally walking toward her goals.
Randy has prepared a treasure chest for singing time, which has the attention of the full primary. He has the children learning songs as fast as they can so that they get a chance to open the treasure chest for a treat.
Claire celebrated her first birthday this month with a party, cake, and of course family. She dug right into her cake with enthusiasm, and we have pictures to prove it (see recent photographs). She is doing quite well, aside from a recent breakout in pink spots. She looked like a little leopard, but her nurse-practitioner assured us that it was harmless and not contagious. She has progressed to standing for great lengths of time, but has not shown any interest in walking yet. She has learned to clap her hands with others and copy gestures. Although she still isn't speaking English, she delivers extensive lectures in some unknown language, complete with different cadences and intonations.
Jeri continues to study for her exams, and has completed the written portion. She is looking forward to finishing so that she can feel like a human instead of a drone. She is also taking another statistics course this semester, and continues her work with CMAA. She has (happily) been released from her calling as organist for our church and is working as the education counselor in the women's organization.
Randy is plugging away at work and home. He spends a good deal of his evenings cooking, cleaning, and hanging out with Claire so that Jeri can study. He has amazed our Primary president by creating singing posters that include all manner of crafty items such as felt and happy faces; she still doesn't believe that a man can be so creative.
We've had a busy couple of months. We had a great Thanksgiving with Karissa and Rob, and of course, cousins. Claire loves her cousins Abner and Elliot. Abner loves her back, but Elliot is still not sure that he likes this smaller cousin who gets attention that is rightfully his. Randy was in charge of the food for our ward Christmas Party, with just 2 weeks' notice, and we managed to get dinner pulled off for 200 people complete with ice cream cakes for dessert. Jeri has finished her semester, although she continues to study for her comprehensive exams in January and February. She had the flu earlier this month, and everyone here is happy that she is recovering. We had our first big storm, with 18 inches of snow in just over 9 hours. Claire can climb the entire flight of stairs now, but she is foiled by the baby gate that has become a permanent fixture on the bottom step. Randy's new job is going well. His three month review was positive.
We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and hope that you are all well.
Life has resumed a somewhat steady pace. Randy likes his new job - he gets to play with tools and fix things, and then spend some time in the office doing technical things like ordering pump parts and quoting prices to people. It doesn't sound too exciting, but remember that he likes to tell people what to do.
Jerusha is still in school, and her class is still from 7-10 PM, which makes for a long Thursday, but otherwise things are going well. She is planning on taking her comprehensive exams in January - the comprehensive exams are one of the very big steps that she needs to complete before school is done, and she is excited and nervous. She is also still working for the CMAA, which is still fun and interesting.
Claire is cute, and is not shy about it. She has turned into a little charmer, and has all of the people at church fighting over her attention. Randy is about ready to make up a dance card for her so some people don't get to hog her. Of course, she spends most of her time with her two stupid servants, and is happy to report that they seem to be getting a little smarter. Claire likes shoelaces, purses, toes (hers and others), ears, noses, hot dogs, french fries, candy, baby food, cheerios, cheese, chicken, indian food, cambodian food, any sort of noodle, electrical outlets and cords, music, mango lassi, goldfish crackers, keys, cell phones, remote controls, licorice (the real, black kind), and best of all, herself!
P.S. We were all shocked, shocked, to learn that Claire is very tall for her age.
We've had a few changes in the past month. Randy has left BISCO and started providing technical support for a pump company closer to home. So far, it is going well. He is also getting ready for the Primary Program in a couple of months.
Jeri has started her LAST required class and is in Boston every Thursday. She is also continuing her work at the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, where her Federal sub-grant just got renewed for another year.
Claire is mobile, and although she is still pretty slow, when she sees something of interest (like an electrical plug or a sharp object), she moves with alacrity.
Summer is truly ending here, and the lovely New England autumn is starting. If anyone is thinking of visiting, the next couple of months are the best time of year. (Hint, hint.)
Our life, as noted on the main page, is boring. The proverbial dog days of summer are upon us, and Randy is reading too much high-brow literature for his own good.
Jeri loves her job, and is learning many interesting and tasty Cambodian recipies from actual Cambodians, and cooks them at home for practice. School is fast approaching, with only one class this semester, but a lot of journal article writing and statistics crunching (boring! - ed.).
Randy has been shaking the rust off of his flying skills, and should be taking his actual test soon!
Claire is cute, and everyone loves her (really!) We take her to the store, to church, school, work and so forth, and she charms everyone. We can't even tell people that she is just being good in public, because she spends most of her time at home playing and being happy. Claire has discovered that she has feet, and can now roll over back-to-front and front-to-back. She loves mirrors, and thinks thatNarcissus had attention deficit disorder. We expect crawling sooner than later, and are bracing for a mobile child.
We have moved to Chelmsford (4 Manhattan Dr., Chelmsford, MA 01824). We really like our new duplex and quiet neighbors on a small side street.
We had a great visit to Utah and were so happy to visit so many friends and family. Thanks to all who made it out to Randy's birthday party.
Jeri has a new part-time job working with the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association developing recipes with local Cambodian restaurants. To all of you food junkies, try not to be too jealous that she is actually getting paid to eat at Cambodian restaurants.
Randy keeps trying to get back into the skies, but has been thwarted. Now that Claire is sleeping better (she has received at least an A every night for the past week), he feels that he is rested enough to be trustworthy in the pilot's seat of an airplane. He was all set to go in late June, but he ended up in the hospital with a nasty sharp bit of something in his eye an hour before his scheduled lesson. The (still unidentified) object was safely removed, and he has not had any lasting damage.
Claire is now 6 months old, and growing steadily. If you haven't seen her recently, she is getting taller all of the time–she is up to 27 inches and weighs in at 15 lbs.
We are moving! Our second bedroom is officially Randy's work office, so the living room has become Claire's room, and we are ready for a bigger place. Also, it is time to get away from the drag racing and parties that keep popping up in the middle of the night here. We'll post our new address soon.
Randy has been traveling lots this spring with his work. He is enjoying his work.
Jerusha has finished her semester and is getting ready to study for her comprehenisve exams this summer.
Claire is becoming more pleasant during the day, which is a great relief to both Jeri and Randy. We have started grading her on her sleeping. She averaged a B- this week, but the average appears to be coming up (she got an A- last night). We think that she will like having her own room. AND we got a great second-hand crib for her that should be a hit. May 23 update: Claire has worked hard, and has increased her recent sleeping average to a B+. We are proud of her.
Lots of fun stuff this month. We went camping for our anniversary, we had a second ultrasound, Jeri went back to school, and Randy started flying at night.
Our anniversary trip was nice and relaxing. We went to Weld, Maine and camped in the Mount Blue State Park campground, which is located on a nice little lake whose name I can't remember right now. We spent most of the time laying around and cooking good food, and did a couple of nature walk and went canoeing on the lake. It was a great 4-day weekend.
Our second ultrasound happened on September 13, and all is going well with our baby. It is a girl, and we have taken to calling her Creature. All of the body parts are present and functioning, and she appears to be healthy and strong.
Jerusha started school, and is very busy with homework. This means she has stopped doing housework, and Randy is in charge of keeping things in order at the house. Randy is continuing his flying, and is getting much better at it. Jeri was able to go flying with him on the 14th (at night, even) and she didn't get queasy at all.
We had an ultrasound on Monday August 9th, and we got some pictures form the experience. The real ultrasound was much better than the pictures that we got to take home. It was like a really old black and white movie, and the ultrasound nurse got a lot of different moving pictures. We could see the baby wiggling around, and the nurse even got a good shot of the face. That was so surprising. We could see the heart beating, and the brain, and the stomach, and the bladder, and the umbilical cord. The nurse is fairly (not completely) sure that the baby is a girl, but we have another ultrasound scheduled in 5 weeks, and she should be able to tell for sure then. Although the baby was wiggly, she wouldn't move out of her position for a better camera shot so the nurse could tell the sex better, even after the nurse let Jerusha go pee (which sometimes makes the baby move into a different position).
Jerusha is enjoying her program at Tufts University. She is studying for her PhD in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition. To supplement her schoolwork, she accepted an internship in Washington D.C. this summer at the National Academies. She is involved in interpreting statistical data as it relates to government nutritional policies, or in other words, she is helping (in a small, intern-like way) decide how to spend our tax dollars. She gets to fly home every weekend, so the separation is not unendurable.
Randy is enjoying his job as an outside salesman for BISCO Irrigation, selling Rain Bird irrigation equipment to golf courses. He gets to work from home and drive 2,000-3,000 miles a month. In addition to his job, he is learning to golf (necessary job skill) and continuing on his path to getting his Private Pilots license.
Our apartment is in Lowell, Massachusetts, famous for being one of the first places women could work outside of the home and as the birthplace of Jack Kerouac and James Whistler. We live in a converted mill building with high ceilings, a pool, and someone else taking care of the landscape. I do miss my garden, but not mowing the lawn. If you want to see pictures, click here
We recently took advantage of our East Coast location and spent Memorial Day in New York City. We did the tourist thing, visiting Times Square, the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park and as many pizza joints as we could. Our hotel was across from Madison Square Gardens, and really close to many of the attractions.