June 17, 2004

As usual, life is busy. Notably, the construction has begun again in the house. Chris and I have torn down a brick wall (huge and ugly) surrounding a fireplace, fit air ducting through a few walls and have put up wallboard. Kari and I have been mudding and sanding the bathroom, in the hope it will be finished and we will have a working guest bathroom by the time the family reunion starts. Sanding is truly my least favorite part. For several Saturdays, we were able to take down a door to paint and sand it. Now our apartment is that much closer to being finished. Of course, there are holes in ceilings and walls that need to be fixed, but we are getting there. Some yard work has been done and the lawn looks much better than the herbicide I saw when we first moved here. New grass is even growing on the west side of the house, which has never had grass in the last 20 years. Of course, the late cold, then a strong heat wave haven't helped the vegetation, but things are still surviving.

Speaking of plants, Elijah got several gardening implements (kid tools) and seeds to plant his own garden for his birthday. Kari and he planted tomato and carrot seeds. The tomatoes have been transplanted to the back yard garden (only one has been mowed down) and the carrots resemble grass. Why? Well, Elijah got a little zealous and planted the entire packet of carrots. Um, there is no way those carrots will grow well, but their tops are nice and bushy. Oh, peppers have replaced the tomatoes in the planter and are also doing well, but they are much younger. Despite Kari's black thumb, these plants are doing well. Elijah just loves going out with a full watering can and dumping water all over the garden. Have I mentioned he loves water?

Kari has been extremely busy planning the Rutherford family reunion (planned for July 14th). We are excited that everyone is coming early and some are staying a little long. This is nice because we have so much planned for the reunion, there will be little time to hang out with each other, but with everyone coming early, we will have that time. Because I will be in graduate school this fall, I won't be earning much money and travel will be extremely difficult, so this may be the last time for a while that I will see some of my family (some are moving closer, and that will be nice, to be sure, but not everyone is in a position to travel, so it is not just us). Kari has worked out a schedule for the family reunions so that we (the younger Rutherfords) won't be planning again for another 20 years or so. The next one will be in Oregon. With all the details needing in planning the reunion, Kari and I (but mostly Kari) has spent a lot of time on the phone, contacting my siblings and parents. She's a little burnt out on the phone right now. I understand. I talk on the phone all day at work.

Kari and Elijah are taking swimming lessons at the local pool. Elijah loves being in the water and playing the games. Kari tells me he is the most enthusiastic of the children in the class, all babies and toddlers. She is getting very worn out, though. The pregnancy has nearly finished the 6th month, meaning the easy 2nd trimester is almost over. This pregnancy has been harder for her. She got very nauseated for the first three months (although I still have never seen or known her to throw up since we have known each other). Now she is aching all over and is tired constantly, but still manages to do the things she needs to do.

Elijah is teething (gotta love those two-year molars). He is a grump these days. We do our best to distract him and feed him popcicles constantly (also called "pawk"). He has expanded from just watching the Wiggles. He watches "Finding Nemo," "Lilo and Stitch," Monsters Inc.," "Toy Story 1" and 2 and loves to spend time outside. He is still curious and takes things apart to figure out how they work. He loves to color (that's "Kirkle") and use markers ("makaws"), likes eating "hambies" (hamburgers) and likes using a "hammie" (hammer) to help Daddy and Grandpa with construction. He dances when "bop" (music) comes on and cries out in excitement when a "pane" (airplane) flies by. He keeps Kari on her toes.

On June 8th, Kari and I had our 4 year anniversary. We went to Black Angus, an expensive steak place that Kari loves.We went alone, without Elijah (who stayed with "Mama," or Grandma). It felt like we should be doing more, it was so peaceful at the restaurant without him. It is hard to believe I have been married that long. I have known Kari for almost 6 years. Time sure flies when you are having fun.

Work is slowing down now, so I have time to work on a manual that documents everything I do. It is actually quite extensive. I guess I do a lot there at ESP.

Back on May 6th, Elijah was bouncing around on couch cushions while his grandpa ("Papa") was fixing the couch. Said couch was upside down and a broken leg was set aside while he tried to figure out the best way to reattach it. Elijah came bouncing by and hit his hand on the let, which had a nail and a screw sticking out of it. I wasn't there for the exciting events, but Kari described to me the details. He got a deep, nasty cut and needed three stitches at the hospital. He has had more stitches than years. That's my boy.

Elijah's birthday party on April 30th went very well. We didn't have quite as full a house as we did last year. The weather wasn't great, but not as cold as 2003. Elijah got a lot of toys and such, few clothes. We got him a train set, which has never fully been put together, yet. We had a pinata, which Elijah loved. All the children had a chance to whack at it. Things were taking too long, so I took things in hand and destroyed the train pinata. Elijah was devastated. I don't think he realized that this was exactly it's purpose. He did enjoy the candy afterwards. I spent much of the time using our Christmas present video camera record the details. Elijah let Kari do most of the present opening.

The next day was Kerstin's open house. Thankfully, I didn't have to endure the entire 6 hours at the house. Christian and I disappeared a couple times. Sure, it was nice seeing family, but there were a bunch of people we didn't care for, one way or the other (didn't know, really) who meant nothing to me. Plus, I was already on Brent and Kerstin's bad list. I won't even go into detail over the doorknob they left for two months after she moved out and I finally threw away. Let's just say it is not always a pleasure to see either of them.

Kari was made the nursery leader in church. Sister Taylor was released for another calling. They only leave you in nursery for a year. That's probably good. I'm actually enjoying being with these children. I think Elijah will have a hard time away from us when we are released in September or so (Kari will probably be too big to do much more after that point, seeing's how we are due in October. In nursery, we had someone who was making . . . comments about Elijah needing to be on medications. We were not pleased about this at all. Our boy is intelligent, curious and energetic. He is not hyper and does not need drugs (I'm not the person to talk to about getting children on drugs). Other than that, we are enjoying nursery and the various toddler personalities we deal with each Sunday.

On June 3rd, Kari and I went to her new doctor's office (she switched because the first one just rubbed her the wrong way). She got an ultrasound done. We are having a GIRL! I'm a little weirded out by knowing ahead of time. We wanted to with Elijah, but he was too stubborn. Our little girl was pretty cooperative. It almost feels like cheating, knowing ahead of time. Kari already has her heart set on a name. We shall see. For those interested in seeing the ultrasound pictures, here they are. Kari has been working on Elijah, preparing him for the eventual change that will take place. She got a bunch of books from the library on introducing a new baby into the family. He seems to like them, but doesn't believe there is a baby in mommy's tummy. She has also been trying to potty-train him, but he isn't quite ready. We really don't want to be changing two sets of diapers at the same time, but we'll do what we have to do. That's about it for now. Good night.

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