Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Walk in the Woods

Every morning, Noah and I take a couple mile walk (a "hike," as Curtis calls them due to the distance) around the surrounding neighborhoods. Noah usually rides in the stroller, but today I packed him on my back and we explored this little walking trail near our house, aptly named "Verona Trail."

In the past, I have tried taking this trail with him in the stroller, but that ended with me dragging the stoller backwards up a woodchip trail while trying to keep it upright and it was just not much fun. Wearing him worked out much better, and I think he enjoyed looking up at the trees from his perch on my back. Trying to take a picture of him by holding the camera backwards over my head resulted in a series of rather funny pictures...most of them of the back of my neck and ground. Here he is peeking over my shoulder...

The leaves are just starting to turn color and there is a nice crispness in the air. Hopefully Noah and I will be able to get out and enjoy autumn and the changing of the seasons before it gets too cold. We will be sure to share our adventures with you!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Blueberry Morning

Noah usually has fresh fruit for breakfast, but the other morning there was nothing ripe. I dug out some frozen blueberry puree that I made a couple months ago when blueberries were in season and made him some oatmeal. Well, things got a little messy after he stuck his fingers in his mouth and then proceeded to rub his eyes.

And he absolutely hates having his face washed, so he spent the rest of the day with blueberries in his eyelashes. The only thing worse than cleaning blueberry off his face is cleaning his cloth diapers the next day.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Big Black Horse and the Apple Tree

Poor Winston. Due to his chubbiness, he was moved from his lush green pasture with the apple trees and burdock to a dirt pasture where he recieves hay several times a day. There is but one apple tree in a far corner, under which he can often be found patiently and hopefully waiting for a brisk breeze (or me) to rustle the branches enough to dislodge an apple or two. Even more sad is the fact that there are several apple trees just over the fence from his new pasture, where he can smell the sweetness of the many apples that nobody picks.

Well, today I crawled through the fence and waded through the burdock to gather of few of these apples. There were many fallen apples that were sadly beyond saving.

The apples still on the tree looked a lot better from afar and I really could have used a ladder, but I managed to find just over a dozen decent little apples. Winston was happy that I brought a couple over the fence for him as well. To show his appreciation, he gave Noah a little ride, which Noah clearly enjoyed.

Back at home, I was afraid to cut into the apples for fear of what I would find inside.

After spending a good amount of time peeling and coring them, I had a long conversation with Dad about whether or not they were edible. Deciding that they probably were (I only found one little worm...just kidding!), I had an even longer conversation with Mom about how to make a pie. After consulting her 53 year old Betty Crocker Cookbook and adding a few tips of her own, she was able to talk me through the making of the pie, which I am pleased to present...

It turned out! And it tastes pretty good, too! Plus, there were enough apples left for a couple cups of applesauce, which Noah sampled for dinner and seemed to thoroughly enjoy. Sweet success!


Saturday, September 20, 2008


Noah had his second outing at a restaurant the other day--and where else to go than 'Cheeseburger in Paradise.' We enjoyed dinner with a few of my Epic customer friends, who were in town from Texas. Our food was somewhat slow to arrive, so everyone enjoyed the pre-dinner entertainment of Noah eating his peas and cheese. Ellie had the most fun with Noah once everyone's food arrived. She kept him busy by giving him drops of water via a straw. It was rather funny watching him take those small sips. Before the evening was over, Noah gave her a big slobbery kiss. He was pretty good throughout dinner, that is, until 7:30 rolled around. Then the pterodactyl came out and he put on a show for the entire restaurant. Jen and I finished up the very large piƱa colada we were sharing and we were on our way. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Knitted Animals

Here are some animals I recently knit from the patterns in Toymaking With Children. It will be a while before Noah can play with them, but by then he should have a whole farmyard!

A pig and piglet.

A horse. Curtis calls it a Jamaican horse because of his crazy mane.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


quiet: –adjective
1. making no noise or sound, esp. no disturbing sound: quiet neighbors.
2. free, or comparatively free, from noise: a quiet street.
3. restrained in speech, manner, etc.; saying little: a quiet person.
4. free from disturbance or tumult; tranquil; peaceful: a quiet life.
5. being at rest.
6. refraining or free from activity, esp. busy or vigorous activity: a quiet Sunday afternoon.
7. motionless or moving very gently: quiet waters.
8. free from disturbing thoughts, emotions, etc.; mentally peaceful: a quiet conscience.
9. said, expressed, done, etc., in a restrained or unobtrusive way: a quiet reproach.
10. not showy or obtrusive; subdued: quiet colors.

I thought I should explain a bit about the title of our blog: Our Quiet Place. Because with a squealing, giggling, babbling baby, our house is certainly not free from sound. But it is quiet in the sense that it is fairly peaceful and tranquil. Most of you, our family, know that we have made the decision to raise Noah in a house that is free from the artificial tunes and blinking lights of over-stimulating, battery operated, noisy plastic toys. Instead, our house is filled with the live sounds of piano music, the tinkling of wind chimes on the pergola, singing, and the soft clinking (and sometimes banging) together of natural toys and blocks. So while our house is definitely not silent, it is quiet. Much like us!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I'd like to welcome everyone to our first family blog. We don't always get the opportunity to share what's happening in our lives with all of our family and friends. We're hoping that this site may be another way to communicate our many inquisitive thoughts, riveting stories, and swashbuckling adventures with everyone.

I guess I should provide some background on what we've been up to before I get too carried away. So, here we go.

Jen and I don't quite know what's living in our household on any given day. Some days, we hear the squawking of what we believe is a prehistoric pterodactyl, while other days, we feel as though we live in an ambulance garage where the siren button is stuck in the 'on' position. However, each morning we are awoken to the sounds of soft babbling, as though we have a lamb learning how to say it's first "ba.. ba.. ba's" living with us. As we peak our heads through the nursery door, we find ourselves staring at a little man, standing gleefully at the end of his crib, with the biggest grin on his face. It's a new day filled with all new adventures. Jen and I look at each other, just knowing what the other person is thinking -- "We're still trying to recover from yesterday."

Noah, who just turned a whopping 9 months on Sept. 5th, has been cruising around the house, making sure that mom and dad are getting their exercise and that Merlin can never rest easy again beneath the piano. Lately, he's been putting on quite the show by bobbing his head and his diapered tush to any music that's being played or sung. Hopefully, there's another musician in the family. His favorite game these days is hide and seek; although, Noah really does more of the 'seeking.' It goes someting like this: You hide behind a wall or piece of furniture, and wait a moment. Soon you hear giggling and the little pitter patter of little hands and knees slapping their way towards you. It is required, of course, that you smother him with kisses when he "finds" you. Noah is also very motivated to feed himself at the dinner table and enjoys blueberries, peaches, applesauce, peas, carrots, cheese, rice cake, and the one and only cherrios. We've been trying to sneak in some baby sign language, too. Last weekend, while camping with Grandma and Grandpa Strub at Lake Wissota, Noah signed for the first time by informing us he wanted 'more' peaches. Once he figured it out that day, he couldn't stop--as everyone was cheering him on.

Jen continues to be the loving mother she always is day in and day out. Four to five days per week, she does the stay at home mom thing and works her tail off trying to keep the little pterodactyl out of trouble and happy. In her spare time (the one to two hours each day during a Noah nap), she enjoys knitting and you may be seeing some of her finished projects popping up on here. While it's still somewhat warm out, she also likes getting her hands dirty by poking around our shrubs and potted plants.

I've been finding myself working more than I should, as usual. I have tried to take some time to play some jazz with some co-workers, which is a good stess reliever. Getting past my recent health troubles, I'm back to enjoying food once again. Other than that, not too much else is new with me.

Hopefully, we'll continue to keep up with these posts and let everyone know what's going on with our lives. In the meantime, check out the right hand side of this site to see our latest photos, what books we're reading, what albums/artists we're listening to, and Jen's latest projects. Thanks for checking in!