Friday, May 30, 2008

Feeling Better About Rejection.

Today I finally girded up my loins and called Vanderbilt.

Leslie had encouraged me to call to find out some feedback about my application so that if I choose to apply again, or if I want to apply elsewhere, I'll have some points of reference for improvement.

The woman I spoke with was very helpful and nice. While she wasn't able to look at my particular application, she did let me know that over 250 students applied to the Graduate Department of Religion, and only FIVE were excepted in ANY program. NONE were accepted into mine. Now... I suppose that means that I just wasn't good enough, but wow. She said that applying to Masters programs in the GDR is actually MORE difficult than Ph.D. programs because each Ph.D. program accepts TWO, while the Masters doesn't have quotas. AMAZING.

So, while it is still a super-bum that I didn't get in, I suppose I feel good that about 245 other people feel the same way :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Am In Love.

I am in love with this little guy:

And this big guy! He's opening a bottle of champagne we got to celebrate Dutch and getting settled in our new home! As my father said when we told him we were toasting that night,
"Ah, you are my daughter."

Dutch has a little scratchy board that hangs on the back of his room's door (he's in the laundry room- the one plus (the only one) to not having a washer and dryer is that he has lots of room in his little palace) and when he wants OUT, he has figured out that he can climb up and OPEN THE DOOR. Yep. Our (at this point) 7 week old kitten can open his own door. Here he is hanging from the scratch board, peeking around the door as I open it- sorry for the blur.

He loves climbing in his litter box supply box.

Matthew brining me some bubbly so we can toast to Dutch and our new Bito Drive (funny, right?) address! If you need our new mailing address, just e-mail me.

We also got him this little play thing so he has SOMETHING to climb on. Eventually we'll get him a climbing post, but at this point he's a bit too big for his britches and he tries to climb and jump from too high for his little (now 8-week old as of today- happy birthday Dutch!) bones!

The pounce action shot.

Check out that little belly. He's got gray stripes that go across, and then one white stripe that splits the gray ones down the center- a veritable fur rib cage.
He also has a little gray necklace stripe too :)

There haven't been many safe and good kitty toys, and we wanted something he could wrestle with. Since puppies tend to tear stuff apart we figured this puppy toy hot dog could stand up to Dutch's wrestle mania.

I am pretty sure I look like a haggard beast in ever picture I've posted since we've been here. It's true, I can't deny that I haven't been looking too put together- that's what having a sick kitten, a new home, and no routine will get me! But, with a grain of salt, here I am in my new and first Kansas Jayhawk shirt.

Dutch loves snuggling with Matthew!

LOOOOVE! He fell asleep like this! He was looking back at me and then just fell asleep. Dead asleep! So precious! I am so happy I got this picture.

He heard the click of the shutter on that first picture, so here he's waking a bit.

He loves being RIGHT up in our business. Thankfully so far Matthew's allergies haven't been a problem at ALL to our happy surprise. We're hoping that lasts!

So far he's doing pretty well. He seems to be getting better, but you can see below that left eye is a bit more tightly closed- it is the one that is messed up right now. It SEEMS like it is getting better, so we're hoping! But over all the kid is eating, sleeping, playing, and has adopted a blanket as his bed in the window sill where he is napping now :)

Sorry folks, but you're going to see a lot of this little guy.

Kittens are good for your soul.

Thrill of the Grill Week.

In on of old B-Fizzle's (Bobby Flay) Thrill of the Grill week, we're posting some delicious grilled masterpieces we've cooked up lately.

Matthew has always wanted to make a "beer can chicken" and so we did last week! Here he is cleaning our little birdie.

I made a delicious dry rub adapted from a Guy Fieri recipe and Matthew rubbed the dude down. Then he got stuffed (well, I suppose SHE got stuffed) with garlic cloves, bacon, and a can of beer! Here she is on the grill.

I love this. For some reason I just think Julius Caesar, don't ask why.
Doesn't the bacon give a Roman or Greek look?

After a while under the top, this chicken is looking well tanned.

Makin' sure she's cooked!

If you don't drink beer fear not. The beer is simply a way to get moisture boiling up into the body. I'm pretty sure you could take an empty soda can, fill it with chicken broth or something else, and do it that way. You don't really taste the beer, just whatever rub you use-- and you enjoy the fabulous moisture!

It was DELICIOUS. We ate it that night for dinner, and then Matthew enjoyed it for two days afterward for lunch! It was cheap, easy, and VERY rewarding. And let me just say the bacon was FABULOUS, but you would easily skip that step :)

Two days ago we made ribs- they marinated for several hours in a homemade BBQ sauce (thanks to Tari Moore for the recipe!) and then baked in the oven for 2.5 hours til REALLY tender. Then we slathered them with my mom's homemade BBQ sauce (I burned the other- woops! live and learn. Plus we love my mom's recipe, and now we have extra for BBQ Chicken we'll make this week!) and grilled them for just a few minutes on each side.

Add some grilled corn, green bean casserole, and a Sister Shubert roll, and you have heaven and a happy stomach! Seriously delicious ribs- and you guys KNOW how I love ribs! MMM!

We've also made filet mignon (the meat you get at military commissaries is FABULOUS), burgers, Hebrew National hot dogs (why would you eat any other kind?), and Bratwursts. HOLY CRAP. So much deliciousness! So there you have our latest grillventures!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sick Kitten :(

This little guy is SIIICK!

He has an upper respiratory infection. This is really common in kittens that get adopted from shelters, but his is BAD. Also, he's so dang young (and small- he weighs just over a pound and a half!) that there's hardly anything we can give the guy to help!

So please send up a prayer for little Major Dutch Schaeffer (his official title- can you name where it comes from?) and we'll keep you posted. He has been to the vet twice. The next benchmark is Friday and we're really hoping he'll be improved by then!

I have no idea how I'll handle an actual human child. I'm freaking out over this little kitten I've had for just over a week. We love him so much and are so attached! He MUST get better!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Introducing: Kitten.

Here he is!

2 Days ago we adopted this little fella! He's just about 6 weeks old. His mom got run over and so he has been separated from her for a few weeks already, that's why we were able to bring him home so young. He was VERY happy to be out of his shelter cage! He has the full run of the laundry room. We've been advised to keep him pretty much confined to this room while he's so very small, and he seems to like that just fine. He's got a sweet and very tiny little meow, and is very attention hungry- he's a baby afterall!

No name for sure yet, so feel free to suggest your ideas!

He LOOVES his new dad!

He's such a playful little guy!

Ah! SOO cute!

He is definitely a climber.

So very small.

I can't handle how cute he is. I think he's waking up now so I'm going to go cuddle him. Of course there will be MANY more pictures to come!

PS> He's litter trained already!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fat Update.

Well friends, this is going to be one mother of a post. Without further intro, this spans end of our time in MD through our time in UT, road trips both ways, and finally to our house in KY!

Staci and I got to do a farewell brunch at a delicious place in Baltimore. Here's the fab Staci looking gorgeous as usual!

I got eggs benedict on corn cakes- A-MAZ-ING.


We got to see Staci several times and it was so nice to be near her! I'll miss being just a drive away. Ah!

So much happened the last few weeks of our time in MD that I surely can't summarize it all. One thing that sticks out, of course, is the NCAA Championship game- that's right! Kansas won! Here are a few pictures of Matthew in ecstasy!

The poor people living below us! The game went into overtime and it was after midnight when Mario Chalmers shot his game-tying 3-point shot BEFORE overtime, so it was a long game! But let me tell you, some GOOD basketball. And hey, don't forget that they BEAT Memphis- we may be living in Tennessee but we're still KU fans!

The Wednesday before we left was a ceremony where the 2LT's got inducted officially into the Ordnance Corps. This was pretty neat, and I definitely felt very proud. Here are a few shots (I was in the balcony- this was held at the Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Grounds).
Getting ready.

At Ease.

Off they go to receive their Ordnance pins.

The first guy is an LT in the Saudi Arabian Military. The buy behind him is Jesse Cragwall who is here in Ft. Campbell with us! Woo!

The guys going through the line.

Jesse again.

The guys pinning eachother. Can't see Matthew? He's the back row (left) and 3rd from the Left or Right. He's being pinned by Jon Hinchey who you might recognize from other posts.

This is Matthew and Michelle Troesch. Michelle is a 2LT and so is her husband! She was an Army wife before being a 2LT and so she helped me figure a few things out and gave me some great references. She was great! She's back at her post in New York state now.


Enjoying the snacks. Matthew, behind him is Lee Smith, and behind him with his eyes closed is Travis Ziegler. We miss you guys!

I just loved this! This is the Ordnance Corps symbol- a little bomb with a flame above. This is right inside the doors of the museum (which really could use some funding) so you can donate and full up the bomb! Woo.

The 02 and 02-a class. The people in Class A's (the green uniforms) are reservists, the dress blues (like Matthew's) are, for the most part, active duty. Pretty much all of these people will be deployed (reserve and active) in the next year and a half. Feel free to pray for them all!

Yay, tanks!

Travis Ziegler, Lee Smith, Matthew, and Wes Turner.

Leslie Cragwall and me! You'll become familiar with her picture, I'm sure. AND if you come to visit us you'll meet her!

So the next few days were filled with meeting some spouses who had come into town for graduation, and doing a few last dinners etc. We are STILL thinking about the cheesey crab pretzel we had the night before graduation. The day of graduation we had to pack the rest of our stuff in the civic and be checked out by 9am. We grabbed some breakfast and headed to graduation.

here is Matthew processing up about to get his BOLC III graduation certificate and shake his commander's hand. Prior to this the commander gave a REALLY inspirational speech, and again that welling of pride in my husband and all our friends was overwhelming. So far, it's pretty wonderful to be a part of all this.

There he is with his diploma and shaking his commander's hand.

Their class.

Yay! The Cragwalls and the Teters.

Matthew and Z saying farewell. It was actually REALLY sad to say goodbye to the guys we always spent time with since we have no idea when we'll see them again. Fortunately it's a small world in the military :)

Turner and Teter, partners in crime. Turner, dear boy, is the one who watched American Idol with us and started the trend within the class (that EVERYONE adopted)
of calling us "the teets."

About an hour after the graduation we were on the road- so strange to go from something like that to "On the Road Again" once more time. We drove like CRAZY and cut an entire day out of our drive so that we left Maryland at about 12:30 on Friday, and arrived in Utah at 8:30 pm on Sunday just in time to see the sun setting behind the Weber Canyon.

Hermann was ready and waiting for us to serve him! We had a great dinner with my folks that night and SOO much wonderful family time. We can't thank everyone enough for making time for us those couple weeks we were home!

The Saturday after we got home we had a bunch of folks over and had SUCH a great time catching up with everyone! Here are a few shots! (Jazz on in the background. GO JAZZ!)

Jeff and Ryann (and Kaytee, Kel, and Whit in the background).

Micah, me, and Brett.

Remember that picture they were taking? Sexy ladies.

Robby and Crystal. The next weekend we got to see their new house and it is FABULOUS. They did such an amazing job!

Ryann and Whitney.

Whitney and Matthew.

Matthew and Robby.

Jeff and Matthew. Yes, they ARE singing Kelly Clarkson!

Here's a picture of the Teters one of the days we got to spend with them.

There are more pictures from Utah but they are on other people's cameras. We're missing pictures of Ashley and Thaddeus, Colby and Crystal, Amy and Pete, and a few other folks that stopped by the party. If you have party pictures please e-mail them to me or post them on YOUR blog cause I'd love to see them!

So... tearful goodbyes aside, we had wonderful time in Utah! We spent time with so many wonderful friends and our families. Of course we missed meeting up with several people (Allison!) and are hoping that next time we're in UT we'll catch you ALL. I'll be back before Matthew so you will have to endure me a few more times alone before you get both of us :)

And so, we drove. On April 30 we left Utah and made it to Colby, Kansas. The next day we made it outside of St. Louis AND we made a stop at Kansas University and stocked up on KU stuff for us and the whole Teter fam (we WILL send that package soon, I promise!). To see pictures of the ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS KU campus (seriously, I was absolutely shocked and fell in love) see Matt's blog (that's right! He updated!). The next day.......

We made it to Fort Campbell!

We cross the stateline almost every time we go anywhere, so here we are crossing in to Tennessee. We listened to Johnny Cash's "Hey Porter" as we crossed. Lots of Alabama once we hit Kentucky and were officially in the "South" too :)

I can't even begin to tell you how beautiful this post is. Kentucky/TN is SO beautiful and green! It is luscious and full of trees and green grass! We arrive Friday, May 2 and stayed in the Turner Army Lodging (basically the post hotel) but we DID get to check into our house that day and see it. WE LOVE IT! Even EMPTY we love it!

The Cragwalls arrived on Monday and we helped them unload, and then we all went to Lowes and bought cheap carpet to put in our two bedrooms (the ENTIRE house is tile- really the only downside).

Here are a few pictures of our empty house!

Master Bedroom.

There is SO much space in these closets, and in the house overall.

2nd Bedroom (where you can stay when you come visit! Eh! EH???)

Bathroom view towards the door- TWO SINKS!

Back the other way.

There's Matthew!

Looking down the hall from the living room/dining room to the front door. Left is the bedrooms and bathroom, right is the kitchen.


Kitchen! HUGENESS! And back left is the "laundry room"-- we don't have a washer and dryer though, so this is the Kitten's domain :)

"Laundry room."

The "extra room" within the laundry room.

The garage. Doesn't connect to the house but they USED to be carports, so we're happy they're actually garages now.

The front view. Happily the housing people came and weeded and mowed the first time. It looks SOO much better. The after photos to come. We need to buy a mower and mow again though. If our lawn gets longer than 6 inches high we can get a warning (three strikes, you're out) so there's some incentive to keep your yard groomed.

Here is our area rug in the "living room" and the entertainment center for the GIGANTIC TV we got. It got delivered to us last Friday :)

Our first morning at the place! Making waffles on the foreman, of course.

The big phat TV.

The first real dinner I made. Matthew requested the
Cheesey Chicken Portabello Mushroom Risotto. Mouthful, in the best sense.

And so! We're settling in. A few more pictures to hang, another rug to go under the dining table, and ultimately a couch to buy (I'm waiting patiently) so we can move the futon to the 2nd bedroom and have a real couch in the living room, and THEN we'll be TOTALLY settled. But let me say, I really do feel settled in. We love our house, and every time we walk in here we say it! Come see for yourself! :)