Yes, we are all fine.  We haven't seen much of spring yet, but today was gorgeous...about 75 degrees and sunny.  It's up to 81 degrees in the house, which has me thinking about the air conditioning already!  I haven't actually been outside too much today.  Lucky me, we get a nice day and I have a cold PLUS allergies (it should be physically impossible for that to happen).  I think everyone in town mowed their grass today and that didn't help at all.


Mom and John are utilizing the garden patch again this year.  I know John doesn't like to deal with the deer at his mountain place, but that is where they live during the summers.  It seems inconvenient to me to have the garden away from where you live, but I guess they must be happy with the arrangement.  We don't have much backyard left over, but have an okay sized front yard and a bit of a side yard.  I'm trying to convince Tim it wouldn't look so bad if we put a small garden in one of those places.  With the economy the way it is I'm sure we'll soon be seeing a lot of it. 


Tim ordered a set of those giant tree tomatoes you see advertised on television.  Don't waste your money.  We got three little peat pots with dirt and supposedly with seeds.  There is a tiny sprout in one pot after a month on the window sill.  I don't think the others are going to grow.  Tim also bought a packet of seeds to grow giant pumpkins.  The package says 300 lbs. is not unusual.  I don't know where to plant one seed let alone all of them.  Can you imagine the parade of looky-loos we'd get if we had a whole patch of 300 lb. pumpkins growing on the front lawn?!


Well, I've become a grandma since I last wrote.  Matt and Ashlei's daughter, Sora Odina, was born on December 26.  She was over two weeks early and it's a good thing.  She weighed 8 lbs, 10 oz. at birth!  Ashlei had a tough enough time of it as it was.  She was a little jaundiced at first but is a healthy little thing except for a bit of reflux.  For the first few months she was content to be passed around, but now that she is more alert she is very much Mommy's girl and not terribly happy with anyone else...even Daddy.  At least she will allow me to rock her to sleep when they visit so I get some cuddling that way.


Matt and Ashlei moved to a better part of Pittsburgh and a nicer house in January.  It was closer to the Radio Shack Matt was managing.  He was let go by Radio Shack in February, but snagged a shift manager position with Pizza Hut.  He is being fast tracked for management there, but I don't think he likes it much.  He is taking his civil service test next week with the hope of getting a position as a guard at a minimum security federal prison there in Pittsburgh.


Megan is supposed to leave for Australia as a People to People Student Ambassador on July 4 and return July 25 (her 17th birthday).  We have been busy trying to raise funds and learn everything we need to know.  There's also been the scramble for a passport and other things.  I can't imagine how much there is to do.  And what a nightmare packing is since 9-11.  Everything must be just so.  There is a picnic in June that we have to take the suitcase and carry-on to so the leaders can weigh and measure them to make sure there won't be any surprises at the airport.  Then there is currency and cell phones and...... 


Meg's finally come around to where she wants to go, though she isn't nearly as excited as we are for her.  We are really hoping it will open her eyes to how big the world is and how much it has to offer her (beyond her boyfriend) and honestly, it may be the only chance she ever has to do something like this.  Among other things she is going to get to tour the Sydney Opera House; go to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge; snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef; work along side marine biologists with dolphins; tour a crocodile farm at night; hold a koala; learn to throw a boomerang or play a diggeradoo (sp?) from aboriginals; tour a working farm; take the world's longest tram ride over the rainforest canopy; and live with a host family for a couple of days and attend school with their children. 


Tim's work has finally slowed down some.  It's a good thing and a bad thing.  Good, because he's worked so much in the last year.  It was really taking a toll.  Bad, because he could still find enough work to do to keep that busy, but the company asked him to stick pretty close to 40 hours a week so they didn't have to lay off anyone else.  They have assured Tim he will always have a job, but things are slow and the company is really scrambling to find work to keep everyone going.


Guess that's the big news from around here.  I've sent along some pictures. Scroll on down...


Sora with Mommy just minutes after being born on Dec. 26, 2008.

First visit to Grandma and Pappy's house.

New Year's Eve 2008. just what can I get away with?

Pretty for Easter

Bright Eyes

Checking out what the Easter Bunny brought