Browsed by
Month: August 2007

I hope we win.

I hope we win.

ING Direct has a photo/essay contest going. If you have an ING account you can enter until Friday, but please don’t as we would like to keep our odds of winning higher.

This is our photo:

And this is our essay:

As one of twelve children, I was raised with the understanding that paying for my post-secondary education would be primarily my responsibility. I started my college savings fund when I was eight years old, knowing that it takes a long time to save up enough money to pay for college when delivering newspapers is your business. More than 75% of my earnings in those ten years went straight into my savings account. By the time I graduated from high school I had several thousand dollars saved, but had also managed to earn a few scholarships and my savings wasn’t needed at the time. I decided to keep adding to it so that it could be used to pay for a graduate degree–which I hoped to earn within five years of graduating. Just before graduation I got married and had to start planning–and saving!–for two. My husband was very supportive of my goals and together we worked out a plan to set aside a few hundred dollars a month by having money automatically withdrawn from our checking account every pay period and put into various money market accounts and mutual funds, including an ING Orange Savings account. Even with the birth of our son we have been able to save nearly $30,000 in the three years we’ve been married because we don’t have to think about it, it just happens. This will help keep our student loans to a minimum as I go back to school this fall.

Think we’ll win? (The correct answer is YES.)

A Sneak Peak

A Sneak Peak

We have had many requests for a tour of our new apartment. Unfortunately, we are still not as settled as we would like, so the full showcase will have to wait. But, to help tide you over until then, here is a picture of our cool little couch (it folds out into a bed) and our book shelves. They are almost entirely full now that we have gotten all of our books.

I wish we could say the same thing for all of our packages. The post office seems to have “misplaced” 3 rather large boxes from Utah. Luckily one of them is insured so it won’t be a complete loss if they never show up. Lizzie went in today to inquire as to their location and it appears that she was not the only one in line missing something. We are also expecting a couple of letters that we should have gotten weeks ago. It is looking like the local office is not as good at their job as one would hope. Sigh.

The Sky is Falling

The Sky is Falling

We heard a noise outside our apartment and opened the door to see this:The super seemed to think he shouldn’t be bothered with such things on a Saturday night when we called to tell him about it. (He did clean it up anyway.)This and the fact that it is going to be a couple of weeks before we can use our stove and oven makes me not so impressed with the management around here. Grrrrrrrrr. I want to make cookies.

Little Golden Shoes

Little Golden Shoes

I put these little golden booties on Simon today because it has been a little chilly out. They reminded of a book we had at my house growing up called The Country Bunny and the Little Golden Shoes.Which in turn reminded me about an article I read the other day about language acquisition and the importance of reading to your child. Now, I read to Simon a lot, but I don’t know that Northanger Abbey is the key to teaching my baby English (although it is an excellent English novel). And this reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to do for a little while now, which is to ask for some recommendations for children’s books. Simon’s portion of our library consists of exactly seven books at the moment and I would like to increase that number, but I would also like to own books that are truly worth owning. Along with quantity, I am looking for quality. If any of you have books that were your favorites growing up because of great stories or great illustrations (or both!), or if you have some that are your kids favorites, please help me get started on making a Wish List of books to get for our children’s library.Let’s fill this little brain with good things.

A Tale of Two Wards

A Tale of Two Wards

We went to two wards today. Well, actually a ward and a branch. This is a comparison of the two (for those of you who aren’t familiar with the structure of the LDS church, click here and scroll down to “Geographic Structure”):

The Park Slope Ward, which we went to in the morning, is a moderately sized ward of mostly young professionals and graduate student families. There were lots of little kids running around, lots of designers for Micah to network with, and very little “diversity.” In short, there were a lot of people like us. You could say that we could have been the poster children for the ward since we are both a “student family” and a “young professional family,” we are white, and we have a small child. Oh, and we went to BYU. We actually went to see some of Micah’s friends from school and to do some networking since there are a preponderance of designers in the ward (two of the bishopric members are designers).

The East New York First Branch, which we went to in the afternoon, is the branch we actually belong to. We’ve been told there are over 300 members in the branch, but sacrament meeting attendance is maybe 60-70. Excluding missionaries and counting us, there were seven white people in today’s sacrament meeting. There was one (or maybe two) families that had both parents attending church with the children. (The other white family is, interestingly enough, also a student family, but the husband is inactive so the wife takes the kids by herself.) I can’t comment on the education level/professional status of the members. Most of the members are of African descent, but from the West Indies.

I’m writing about this for a few reasons. First, I just wanted to give you all a taste of our little corner of Brooklyn. Second because it just blows my mind how segregated the two are. Are there really no other white LDS families that live on this side of New York Avenue? Are there really no black LDS families that live on the other side of New York Avenue? Third, despite the differences in the two places, we felt very much welcome and at home in both. In Park Slope this is because we are just like everybody else. In East New York it is because the only thing we have in common is the gospel (and that we all like babies, and Simon is the only baby).

After going to church last week, we were a little bit discouraged. Hadn’t we spent the first two years in Hawaii in a ward where we had a hard time understanding the locals, where we were “different” because we weren’t students and we weren’t Polynesian? We were a little worried that this was going to be the same thing: a year of not understanding the conversation in Sunday School and of constantly being asked when we would be leaving. Part of the reason we went to Park Slope was to see if it would be worth it to try to get into that ward sooner rather than later, but after attending both back to back we realized that it doesn’t matter. The church is true and the people are great in both places.

Posting from the Park

Posting from the Park

Did you know that parks in NYC have wifi? Neither did we until yesterday. So here we are at Central Park, sitting in Sheep’s Meadow (where sheep grazed until 1934), having a picnic, and blogging. We’re still getting set up in our apartment, but things are starting to settle down. The gas was supposed to be connected to the stove by tomorrow, but they didn’t pass initial inspection and it is going to be delayed until next week. We sure are becoming fond of our rice cooker! So far we have made mashed potatoes, sauted green beans, steamed lemon-pepper chicken, cooked oatmeal, boiled pasta, fried quesadillas and, oh yeah, steamed rice in the thing. By the time they get the gas hooked up we won’t need a stove any more.We went to our branch for the first time last week. Besides missionaries, we were practically the only white people there. Most of the members are from the Caribbean. They are really nice but we do have a hard time understanding them most of the time. (Our super, Babes, is also from the Caribbean and it takes both of us listening very carefully to pick up anything he says.) Isn’t it great that there are so many places in the US where you can feel so very much like you’re in a different country?

We have found a grocery store, a laundromat, a produce stand and a closer library since we last blogged and we are becoming masters of traveling in the subway with a baby. I can’t tell you how easy it is to make friends when you have a baby strapped to your chest. Everybody wants to talk to Simon and nobody gets annoyed with us if we accidentally get in their way. Micah has a freelance job starting tomorrow and going through next week, and we are finally able to sit back and catch our breath a little bit.
Signing off from Central Park . . . .

New York City, meet the Heiselts.

New York City, meet the Heiselts.

We’re here in New York. We got in Tuesday morning at about 2:00 after a fairly uneventful drive. Most of our stuff is unpacked, but we’re a long ways from being settled in. Our gas line isn’t hooked up, so we won’t be able to use our stove until next Thursday, so until then we are being creative with our rice cooker. We don’t know when we’ll get our internet connection, but we do have access to the Brooklyn Library.

We survived the tornado and made our way through the flood as well. Life is good. It’s been a busy week.

Simon Sits Up. Sort of.

Simon Sits Up. Sort of.

This is a little video of Simon performing one of his newly discovered skills. And of Micah being a wonderful Dad. I was not present at the filming of this little clip. But I find it hilarious.

Who’s Irish?

Who’s Irish?

Perhaps my greatest regret in life is that I am not Irish. I was reminded of this the other night when Micah and I went to Dublin’s Irish Festival with Micah’s friend Danielle (and without Simon!). Besides the fact that is was deathly hot and humid (you’d think I would be used to it by now . . .), and we couldn’t stop wondering how Simon was getting along with Grandma Heiselt, it was awesome. After spending a few hours walking around among the Irish, we have decided to make a few changes in our lives.
First, we have to get Micah a leprechaun suit. He will be using it often to spread good luck and Irish cheer at the many Irish festivals we will be traveling to as part of our new lifestyle. When he is not wearing his leprechaun suit, he will wear a kilt, but not a plaid one. Those are so out of style.

While he is wearing kilts and spreading the luck of the Irish, I will be practicing dancing a jig. I hope one day to be worthy to wear one of those nice Irish dancing
dresses with the little cape in the back. If I’m lucky it will have a lot of sequins. Also, I will wear my hair in a thousand little ringlets. Or maybe I’ll just buy a wig.

Simon’s job will be to learn to play various instruments, especially the bagpipes. He will also have to work on his Irish accent a bit because he is going to be the one making all of the money when he takes over for the bagpipe-playing Canuck in Gaelic Storm . He’s going to make lots of money for us by doing this because people love Gaelic Storm at Irish festivals.

*Sigh* Wouldn’t it be great to be Irish?

Who's Irish?

Who's Irish?

Perhaps my greatest regret in life is that I am not Irish. I was reminded of this the other night when Micah and I went to Dublin’s Irish Festival with Micah’s friend Danielle (and without Simon!). Besides the fact that is was deathly hot and humid (you’d think I would be used to it by now . . .), and we couldn’t stop wondering how Simon was getting along with Grandma Heiselt, it was awesome. After spending a few hours walking around among the Irish, we have decided to make a few changes in our lives.
First, we have to get Micah a leprechaun suit. He will be using it often to spread good luck and Irish cheer at the many Irish festivals we will be traveling to as part of our new lifestyle. When he is not wearing his leprechaun suit, he will wear a kilt, but not a plaid one. Those are so out of style.

While he is wearing kilts and spreading the luck of the Irish, I will be practicing dancing a jig. I hope one day to be worthy to wear one of those nice Irish dancing
dresses with the little cape in the back. If I’m lucky it will have a lot of sequins. Also, I will wear my hair in a thousand little ringlets. Or maybe I’ll just buy a wig.

Simon’s job will be to learn to play various instruments, especially the bagpipes. He will also have to work on his Irish accent a bit because he is going to be the one making all of the money when he takes over for the bagpipe-playing Canuck in Gaelic Storm . He’s going to make lots of money for us by doing this because people love Gaelic Storm at Irish festivals.

*Sigh* Wouldn’t it be great to be Irish?