Our unspoken annual pumpkin carving ‘competition’ has returned! The kids’ entries are starting to give Meg and I a run for the money. But, I think my angler fish might have taken the crown this year!
From right to left: my angler fish, Meg’s mocking jay, Ali’s crazy cat on top of a pumpkin, and Xavier’s vampire bat.
Ali as a mummy
Megan went all out on Ali’s costume this year. It was the first year Ali actually wanted to be something scary, and she turned into an awesome mummy. Surprisingly, there are never any mummy’s out. It seems like such a no-brainer type of Halloween costume, but if you start thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid out trick-or-treating as a mummy! She was quite a hit with everyone, and she loved getting to put fake blood and makeup on.
Xavier wanted to go as Spider-Man this year, so he got a store-bought costume. It was a pretty neat Spidey outfit though, the mask was a whole-head one, and his Spider-Man suit had fake muscles built in.
Xavier and Ali as Spidey and The Mummy!
Slightly neater picture of my angler fish.
All the pumpkins in the light.
A few months ago, Meg and I repainted our office, and the highlight of the room is a giant chalkboard wall. While we were painting, I removed the big, beige, ‘rite temp’ thermostat from the wall to paint around it. Doing so reminded me of the Nest thermostat that came out last fall. I wanted to order one as soon as they came out, but they sold out pretty much the moment they became available. I signed up for notification of when they were available again. To my dismay, for whatever reason, I never did get an email from them, even though they’ve apparently been back in stock for a while (Update: Meg also signed up to be notified, and she found the message in her spam folder, but I’m still fairly certain I never received one).
Either way, when our painting reminded me of the Nest, I had to order one to go on the new chalkboard wall. It came in a few days, and I immediately opened it up. It really is a thing of beauty, it makes you wonder why so many aspects of home electronics have made very little progress over the past couple decades.
Installation was a snap. The box includes a nifty little ‘Nest’ screwdriver, with 4 different heads for several different screw sizes that might be holding your old thermostat in place. The instruction booklet gives you the helpful pointer of taking a picture of the old wiring before undoing it, but it’s really pretty self-explanatory. All the colored wires go to their applicable label, with the exception of the auxiliary wire, which in my case was blue, and connects to W2. I’d imagine there are different setups depending on your particular HVAC, but I can’t imagine the majority of situations are much different from mine. The Nest installation manual even takes a little jab at the laziness of a number of thermostats, explicitly telling you not to hook up any jumper wires because the Nest is intelligent enough to send the proper signals to each. Mine had one jumper between Rh and Rc, and as instructed I hooked my red cable up to which one fancied me, Rh in my case. (more…)
I’ve been completely delinquent in even taking pictures for the last few months, much less getting any posted. Which is a shame since we got an awesome new camera shortly before Christmas. I love the great pictures that you can get with a full fledged dSLR, but have never really had much of a desire to tame the time to learn to use one (or to spend the money on one). The middle ground that a micro four-thirds gives you between a point and shoot and a dSLR was the perfect fit, so we got an Olympus E-PM1, with the 14-42mm kit lens. I love this camera. It has been giving us awesome results, and I rarely have to take it out of auto.
Things are pretty settled down for us now, and we’ve started getting out and doing stuff, and taking pictures again. We took the kids to the Cincinnati Zoo last week during one of the beautiful spring days we’ve been having, and we dyed Easter eggs with the kids and Grandma Rhonda yesterday. Here’s the first album from our new camera with pictures from the zoo, Easter, and some older ones from my birthday last month.
A couple months ago Meg wrote a post detailing our ‘lost summer’, and now that I recently got all the pictures that were taken this summer from Mom I went through and picked out the highlights from all the things we did. Check them out in the album here.
Edit: I actually wrote this post way back in August, but I didn’t end up getting pictures from this summer from Mom until last weekend.
The kids had quite the extended birthdays this year. In all, I believe they had about 4 or 5 different celebrations. May was an incredibly busy month with us moving across the country and all, so instead of having individual parties for each of them, we just had our own little family parties for them on their actual birthdays. While we were still in Texas we then had a combined party for friends at a big putt-putt/family fun center place. Everyone had a great time and it was a good time for the kids to see people in Texas one last time. We played putt-putt, rode bumper boats, and played a bunch of games in the arcade. There are some pictures from that event in the album I put up in this post.
Those celebrations were good, and the kids got plenty of presents, but we were so busy that Meg didn’t get to make her annual cake masterpieces. So, once we got somewhat settled in Ohio, we wanted to throw a party for all the family members in Ohio and for Meg to make the kids their cakes. Grandma Lil was gracious enough to let us use her house so the kids could swim. Since two cakes were needed this time, Megan and Sarah tag teamed them, and they turned out completely amazing. Xavier wanted a lego batman cake, and Ali wanted a butterfly cake, and they both got awesome versions of both.
Ali's whimsical 4th birthday cake
Xavier's Batman 5th birthday cake
More pictures of the cake and from the party are here.