Friday, December 26, 2008

Joy's Wedding

I was able to put up some of the photos from Joy's Wedding on 12/7/08.
Here is the link to that post:

Christmas Day at Joy and CJ's

We had a really nice time at Joy and CJ's new home. They prepared a huge meal, we got lots of good presents, I got to watch basketball with CJ, and we got to spend time with family. CJ's son Charlie came down from Chino to eat dinner with us.

And yes. I did get a Star Trek Pez dispenser set :)

Oh, and we made it in just over 9 hours to Redding. We're here with my family now. Jenetta is educating my family on the joys of getting free stuff from CVS.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to our friends and family!

We are spending Christmas day with Joy and CJ and Amie and CJ's son Charlie. We are going over there in a bit. Tomorrow morning, we drive up to Redding to spend the holiday with our family up there. Our wish is that all of you have meaningful and wonderful times with friends and family this year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Magazine Photo Shoot

Jenetta was interviewed for an article in Redbook magazine. The focus of the article is how families are dealing with the recession. They were interested in our decision to stop spending on our house unless we had cash in hand as well as Jenetta's strategy of starting a website to help people save money and live more frugally. The photo shoot that happened yesterday was centered mainly on the house idea. The photographers, Dave and Dave, loaded in a lot of my tools and we pulled out the carpet scraps to make it look even more unfinished.

The article runs in the March edition.

It was a fun but tiring experience. It is hard to think about your facial expressions and body positions for over four hours. Mostly, I wanted to fall asleep on the couch and watch football.

Another bonus was that the original hair and makeup person couldn't make it, so Jenetta got to put in a word for her friend Suzette Kerr. Redbook hired her to groom us :)

Here are some cell phone photos from yesterday. If they send us the real ones, I'll post those later (obviously, they look a lot better than these!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Party

We had an awesome Christmas party with our home group last night.

We did our annual Christmas sing-along. Everyone had a instrument.
What a beautiful racket! :)

The gift exchange was completely silly.
I haven't laughed that hard in a really long time.

We are truly blessed!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Latest job update

My supervisor just informed me that the current plan is to continue my employment here until the end of March. That may change at some point, but it is what they are hoping to do for me. Since not a lot of hiring happens in the end of December, that is encouraging. It gives me more time to look.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Skating my cares away...

Last night, we were invited by Cris and Alana to go skating down at Horton Plaza with some of their friends. It was chilly and there was some drizzle, so it seemed like a good afternoon to do winter-y things. It was actually kind of therapeutic for me.

On Friday, before I left work, I was informed by my supervisor that the people in Tokyo that we work for will probably not keep us for the length of our contracts. When pressed for further details, we were only told to start looking for something else. To be fair, my supervisor said he would be very happy to recommend me highly for any position at Sony or at another company. But basically, there is this major uncertainty over our heads. I could go into work tomorrow and be told that it will be my last day. Or I could work for several more months. We just don't know.

Then on Saturday morning, we went to the second of our three 6-hr classes on attachment parenting. These classes are really awesome, and the techniques and skills we are learning will be very useful if the adoption thing ever happens for us. But it is tough to go through for a number of reasons.

So it was good for us to get away and just have a good time. Jenetta tried her best, but she didn't really enjoy the skating. But I had a lot of fun. I remember not being a very good skater as a kid. I could never get the laces tight enough to prevent floppy ankles. These skates were basically like ski boots with a blade on the bottom. They held my ankles firmly, and I really enjoyed myself.

Being worried and upset won't help me in any way to keep my job for one second longer. I have to keep telling myself that. Anyway. Here is some video from the ice rink.

This one is probably the best. Especially the very end! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good news

We had a pipe leak under the concrete slab on the older part of the house. We've been dealing with it since before Thanksgiving. Basically, we would only turn on the water to the house when we needed it. This process was annoying, but not too terrible. (It was chilly going outside after a shower to turn it back off!!!) Well, I forgot to turn the water off on Saturday when we went to our adoption class. That evening, when we returned, we did some laundry and ran the dishwasher. It had been on all day by this point. The flower beds by our front door started to flood that night. This was also the time we were working to get the rest of the wedding decorations finished, so it was probably the low point for us emotionally. I was tired and cranky, and I felt like our house was going to float away or something.

We had gotten two bids for two different approaches to the repair. Both were in the $5000-$7000 range. We were able to get a ballpark number down to around $4000 if all the cleanup work was done by me. (Drywall repair, replacing the wall mirror, etc.) It might as well have been $4 million because we just don't have anything extra right now.

Here's where the good news part comes in. We met someone at Joy's wedding who had dealt with the same problem a few weeks ago. She highly recommended her plumber Tony. So we called him and he came out yesterday morning. By the time I got home, the repair had been completed! He used a stethoscope and found the exact point of the leak and was able to diagnose that the only leak was to the guest bathroom. He ran new pipes in the attic for that bathroom only. His opinion is that this is all that is necessary. The bill was $700 - still a lot, but we can probably manage that. So this was very encouraging for us.

Another item of good news is that Jenetta and I have been chosen to be one of the three families featured in a story in Redbook magazine. The article is about how different people are handling the economic downturn. There will be photos of us and our interview in the magazine. The people at the magazine thought that Jenetta would connect with their readers. We will have more info on this as it comes together, but this is a pretty neat opportunity for us.

And one more "good news" thing. Well, not really good news, but enjoying simple things...
I put the lights on the front of our house last night. They make me happy.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Joy's wedding

Joy is now Mrs. Swan! Joy and CJ were married yesterday afternoon in a lovely back yard in San Marcos with their friends and family.

Our friend David photographed the wedding, and when we get the pictures processed, we will put a few up on the blog.

We haven't seen Joy that happy for a really long time. It was very special.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Tree

Jenetta and I got the decorations down from the attic and set up the tree. We listened to all 5 Sufjan Stevens Christmas albums as we were decorating. What an evening!

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