Saturday, September 29, 2012

The New Ride(s)

Our car broke down - Boo!

We went to Indy to buy a new car - Yay!

A guy in my hometown buys cars at dealer auctions for rather low prices and then simply charges a small fee for himself. I had been talking to the guy for a while. One day he called to tell me he was at a auction and they were just about to bid on the exact car I was looking for - did he want me to buy it and for how much. I said "oh yeah" told him my highest price, and in an hour I got a call telling me the car was mine!

Meet ... well we haven't been able to decide on a name ... our new 2012 5-door Ford Focus! YAY!

We've also been looking for another new ride of late. It's cheaper than the car but was a bit of a difficult find.

But finally it all worked out ...

Beautiful, isn't she?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Photoshop is for Sissies

Can't believe I haven't posted this yet... oops! Actually, I have QUITE a few on the back burner. Get ready for some blog-tastic madness!

We took a little trip to Indiana to see Mandy before she went back to Utah and our Aunt and Uncle who were in town for the weekend.

Last time we went to Indy we taught Mandy's friend Jake how to plank. This time, we jumped.

Aw yes, the classic jumping picture. Mandy and Jake, being jpv's (that's jumping picture virgins), needed to be taught the art of the aerial photo shoot.

Let the jumping ensue!!!!!

We began our tutelage with a few horizontal shots, just for fun. Not typical, but still interesting none the less.

But after realizing the front yard had minimal acrobatic resources, we found a place more equipped for our needs - Memorial Park!

We took a few minutes to test the equipment, but then got back to what was really important - THE JUMPING!

And we jumped off everything ...

And just for good measure, because they make me laugh ...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blueberry Picking

In the town of Dexter near where we live there is an amazing you-pick blueberry field. You pay by the pound for as many blueberries as your little fingers can pick.

For some reason, this years blueberry crop was AMAZING! So many berries. You could spend hours picking one bush. Best part is, you can eat while you pick. We might have gotten a little carried away on the munching.

James and I went a few times this year, especially when they started giving them away for free. All in all, we probably picked over 20 pounds of blueberries!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ecuador 2012

Its been a crazy summer. I spent about 3 weeks in Ecuador during July, mostly mapping roads. What does that have to do with public health, you ask? Its a long story. We work in some pretty isolated communities, where good roads are few and far between. A lot of the villages are only accessible by river. So my task this summer was to map the roads in the area, and comment on the quality, etc.

Here is in an interactive map (thanks to ArcGIS online!), that shows where I was. The dots are the villages where we work, and the lines are the roads that I mapped.

View Larger Map

I asked about when roads were built, and when the surface changes (for example, from dirt to gravel). So I was able to create a time lapse of roads being built and changed over the past 60 or so years.

Enough with the boring stuff...

I spent a lot of time in a pickup truck, wandering down dirt roads that seemingly lead to nowhere...

some that led to mud...
Others led to beautiful rivers...
or quaint little towns.

All in all, it was a great summer, except for the toilets.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

In Michigan, Ford is everywhere. Henry Ford has an awesome museum and old time village in Dearborn Michigan about 30 minutes from our house. 

He collected thousands of pieces from American History throughout his life, and the the museum has continued to collect over the years. There were all kinds of things to see. 

YAY! The wienie mobile! This was pretty much the best thing they had.

"Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener! That is what I truly like to be!"

Of course, being the FORD museum, there were about a bazillion cars to see. They had all kinds ... old ones, new ones, trailer ones, racing ones, big ones and small ones ... some were fords and some were not. 

This was actually the car that JFK was in when he was shot.

Lots of random American novelties. It was kind of cool that they had purchased an old diner and reassembled it inside the museum and they were still running it. You could take a brake and get yourself some diner food right in the middle of the museum ...

The museum had some very unique pieces of American history. He had George Washington's war possessions, the chair that Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated, and Rosa Park's city bus. We didn't get pictures of everything, but James was especially excited about Rosa's bus. 

They let you get on the bus and the docent told us that this was the seat that she refused to move from. It was a very cool exhibit.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Greatest City in the World

For the last three weeks I've been running around Charm City, working at the science center again and playing with a few of my friends. 

I had a great time! I've missed the madness that is camp MSC and definitely all my B'More buddies. Multiple Blaus and Stacey were kind enough to let me stay at their houses for my vacation. THANKS GUYS!

Unfortunately I realized that almost of my pictures are of me eating, because let's be honest - eating is mostly what I did. 

Sam and Dan took me to have my first Baltimore Crabs at L.P Steamers. Delicious!

And then Sam and I took the bus to spend the day in NYC. I had never been there and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to go.

We were able to meet my awesome friend Shae who is currently living in the city and took a great walk through Central Park. The weather was great for our trip! 

And, of course, no day for Sam and I is complete with A LOT of eating. We had amazing square, jelly filled donuts, New York style pizza, and stopped off at Juniors with Shae for some of the best cheesecake ever! 

And although I really went to Baltimore for a little bit of work, how can you not enjoy yourself when your job is to do this all day ...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Birthday Weekend!

As some of you know, every year my family is able to celebrate quite the birthday week. In June Amanda's birthday falls on the 25th, my dad's on the 26th and James' is on the 27th. 

This year to celebrate we took an over night canoe trip on the Au Sable river in north-ish Michigan. 

Amanda and I shared a canoe and my mom and dad shared another. James was the lone man in the kayak for the majority of the trip.

The first day was 8 hours of paddling. Obviously we stopped to play just a bit.

James and I gave Amanda a package of stick on mustaches for her birthday, which she promptly opened. No canoe trip is complete without the handlebar stache, right?

Of course James couldn't sit in a kayak for 8 whole hours. In true James style he was out and about and up in some trees.

By the time we were done with all that canoeing we were HUNGRY! James and my mom made us some delicious burgers and tinfoil potatoes.


I'm not sure if I can effectively describe to you how truly excited we were to eat - so I'll let this picture do the talking for me. 

The night was young, so we took some pictures, jumped around a little and played before heading to our tents for a good nights sleep.

Over all it was a fun trip. Happy Birthday to the B-Day kids!