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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My First Class at HCC!

Last night was great! I was nervous (of course). I was planning on getting there about 30-45 minutes early, but things didn't work out as planned and it was pouring when I decided to leave. I still managed to get there 15 minutes early and ended up talking to a coworker and lost track of the time. Matt always said that college teachers always walk in after the rest of the class and I said that I liked to be early. Well, it turns out I did walk in a few minutes late after most of the class. I would say there was about 27 students and all were nicely seated and waiting for me to begin. What a nice change from having to tell high school students like 4 times to be quiet. I took attendance, botched many names, went over the syllabus, took a 10 minute break, taught 2 sections, and got out 20 minutes early. How awesome is that! I don't plan on being out early all the time, but it was nice at least this once. My students asked questions and were actually concerned about getting things right in the class and understanding what was expected of them. Maybe they should make all students pay for their education. Hhhmm....just a thought. One of my friends from church is teaching in my room right after me, so it is nice to see people I know. The other teachers at HCC are really helpful and I think this is going to work out great for our family! Can you tell I loved it? I went to my parent's house to pick up Rachel and then just decided to stay for Bible study since Matt was out working anyways. That was nice and then my Mom and I just hung out and talked. I hope Rachel and I can be great friends when she is older. Matt is about the same. His life isn't as exciting as mine I guess. He pretty much does the same thing each day: go to work, sometimes come home, get called out to go back to work. He does rest and it is always his choice if he wants to work or not. We are trying to finish paying off my car, so that is his incentive right now to work a lot. Plus, there are many storms and circuits for him to fix. I am starting a class at church this evening called "Growing Kids God's Way" and Lauren is doing it with me. I am looking forward to it because I haven't done any classes at church yet and they are always very popular. This class is mainly on discipline (I think) but also has other parenting principles. So, my Tuesdays through Thursdays are full and I will hopefully be tutoring a few hours a week too. We are sooooo blessed. Here is one of our blessings:

Her first taste of rice cereal mush/soup.

Maybe she liked it so much that she was licking/sucking the drippings off her arm.

Rachel and Uncle Michael watching racing on TV.

One of her first times in an exersaucer. This one is technically mine, but I let my parents have it for Hannah and Kate to use at their house. Now that Rachel is big enough, I think I will be getting it back.

What a cutie!

Rachel was helping Uncle Michael blow out it birthday candles!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An eventful weekend!

It has been a pretty busy week so far. Rachel and I have been out and about. Matt has been working Wednesday through Saturday shifts, so he doesn't get to have as much fun with us on Saturdays. Saturday started out with me taking Rachel and Mika (our dog) to my parents so I could then continue on with Mika to the vet. She checked out perfectly fine (as expected) and then we raced home to drop her off. I went to a faculty meeting at Hillsborough Community College (my new job) and learned some more stuff that I was clueless about. I now feel a little more informed and more prepared for my first class on Tuesday. Just a side note: I am so glad I am not going to back to teaching high school. Back on track. I then went back to my parent's house and hung out. Lauren and the cousins came over and then we all tried to go to JcPenny to get some grandkids pictures taken for my Mom. We have still a relatively small window of opportunity for Rachel to be happy for pictures. The twins were everywhere and wouldn't sit still. The studio had no toys to distract them with. We tried to get even one picture taken for about 20 minutes and had absolutely no luck. So, we gave up and Grandma bought the girls each a new outfit. What a disaster with the pictures, but we will try again in the near future. So, we came home really tired, wet (we have had some good storms lately), and defeated. A few hours later we celebrated my brother's birthday and tried to watch the latest James Bond movie to have no luck with two different DVDs. Rachel got solidish food for the first time last night. I was going to wait another month before giving her solids, but then I put together her high chair on Thursday so I think that got me excited to give her solids. The rice cereal was incredibly soupy and hardly qualifies as a solid. She did really well with it and ate about 1 tablespoon of it. Since it was so runny, it made a little mess. I do not have any pictures to give you yet because they are on my Mom's camera. I do have plenty of just plain cute pictures though.

She is in her Hollywood shirt and some jean shorts that her "Great-grandma T" got her. They are a little big so they kind of look like capris or boy shorts.

Sucking happily on her thumb

Rachel looks just like her mother in this picture. Eyes closed, but smiling.

I really like her highchair. It came with the toy you see. It snaps into the tray so she can't shove it off.

All of these pictures reminds me of the wonderful reason that I am glad I am not going back to work at the high school. Rachel is such a great addition to our family and I love being around her all day. She is happy or sleeping 95% of the time which leaves very little grumpy time. I love seeing these smiles and hearing her laugh and just talk. She is the best!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fun in the Rhine Household

Well, since our last post, we have done quite a bit. We have spent quite a few nights at my parent's house. Matt went on a man date with my brother Michael and Josiah. Apparently, they might have broken a few things at the batting cages and driving range. Rachel and I just hung out with Grandma and Grandpa. We had lunch with our new senior pastor and his wife and son. Rachel was loved by them both and she christened them with spit up. How nice of her! Katie called me up on Monday morning and asked if we wanted to go to Busch Gardens with her, Esther, and Hannah. Since I needed some exercise and fun, we got ready quickly and headed out to sweat to our heart's content. It was hot and we spent most of the time in the shade. We saw a cute show and Esther and Hannah rode a few kiddie rides. We had a good day! Yesterday, one of my friends from youth group came over and we caught up for a few hours. Rachel was very nice to her and didn't spit up on her directly. She made it without wet spots on her shirt or pants. Matt did some work in the kitchen. He has been very productive in that department and their are just a few minor things that need to be done. He pulled up a few loose floor tiles and put some new ones down. But here is the good part: he started putting up the backsplash! Yea, no more ugly green and white horribly textured wall. It looks wonderful, even without grout and the tile spacers still in. I have a few pictures of that. I am still tutoring one girl and will probably start back up with a few other people in the coming weeks. On top of that, I need to start planning for my class that I will be teaching. My first class is on Tuesday and I am really looking forward to it! We have birthday parties and get togethers coming up that just makes for a busy month. But, if we just start around the house and did nothing, we would get bored. Rachel is just wonderful! What can I say, she is the best. She has pretty much dropped her 4th nap and is up from about 5:30 to 7:30. However, she is not content to just play. She wants to be held and interact with us. This doesn't work out so well because it is dinner time and I am usually cooking it and then we want to eat. I don't want to be holding her while doing either of these things, so I am in a little predicament. Maybe we just need to start eating earlier or she can just sit in the other room and cry. Hhhmmm... That is all for now.

In case you have never seen our old kitchen, here it is.

The counters were not normally this messy, but we were in the process of tearing some stuff up.

Matt and DJ had just started putting up the backsplash.

For those of you who are really observant, the post that is in the right side of the picture above is now stained to match the cabinets. Before, it was just natural maple, but Matt finally doctored up some stain and stained the post, some shelves he made, and some trim. It looks so nice!

This is the long wall in our kitchen, so he got the majority of it done! Yea! I am now thinking that I may not like the green anymore. My friend has a really nice blue in her kitchen and I think they have the same color cabinets. I might be painting sometime soon. We will see.

Grandma Rhine got her this dress. It is so cute. This is just before church on Sunday.

Rachel really likes to play with toys and is much more coordinated with her hands.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finally, time to update!

We got back from California in one piece and have recovered. Our house is a disaster, but oh well. There is always time to clean and dirty up the place again. We enjoyed our trip very much and Rachel was pretty good on the plane. She had some upset, screaming bouts, but for the most part, she was great. Matt held her the whole time and that was probably the most time she has spent with him since birth. I will not detail our trip too much since my sister already did that on her blog (and she did it so well, why waste my time redoing what she has already done) and most of my followers read hers too. I will put some pictures up though. We took a tram up a mountain, tried some off road walking with strollers (not the best idea), visited the San Diego Zoo, went to Hollywood, and hung out in the pool. One day, all of the guys and my mom went to some air museum. That did not interest Lauren and I at all and we just wanted to rest and put our babies down for their naps, so we sat in front of the TV for about 7 hours straight watching Law and Order:SVU marathon on USA. They left us watching that show and came home many hours later to find us still watching that show. It was kind of sad, but we were exhausted from the zoo trip the day before. Cable television is nice for a few weeks out of the year. Otherwise, I could do without TV. Rachel went swimming a few times and didn't seem to mind at all. I can't say she enjoyed it, but I take her not crying as a small sign of contentment. Matt had some days off after we got home so he has been working around the house on the kitchen. He stained some wood and hung much of the trim detail that has been just sitting around the house. He went with me to the eye doctor yesterday and then Rachel's doctor appointment today. It was so nice to have him along. We bought the tile for the backsplash in the kitchen. He is doing such a great job with it and it looks awesome! We made a spontaneous trip to Adventure Island today to hang out with some friends. We were there for about 3 hours before we decided that we all needed a break from the sun. He has to go back to work tomorrow, but I have enjoyed the time with him and I know he has loved being around Rachel more. I have a small training on Friday for my new job. I think this will turn out to be such an easy and enjoyable gig once I figure out everything. So, we saw the pediatrician today for Rachel's 4 month checkup. Here are her stats:

weight: 15 pounds 5 ounces (90th percentile)

height: 24.75 inches (75th percentile)
head circumference: 16 inches (50th percentile)

She has a small stuffy nose which she got from Hannah and Kate (which I am now going to just refer to them as "The Cousins"), but is otherwise healthy and growing wonderfully. I am going to wait to start her on any solids because I like to keep things simple and she just doesn't need them. It is only more things for her to get on her hands, in her hair, and spit up all over everything. Matt was able to get some giggles out of her by kissing her stomach a bunch. I got some of it on video and hopefully it will load okay. She has a deep laugh so it sounds kind of strange, but still music to my ears. Here are the pictures.
On Venice Beach in LA
An African elephant

Just got done eating!

Happy at the zoo

"The Cousins" Kate is knocking on Hannah's head.

Michael and Matt trying to figure out where the heck to go first.

Rachel spent most of the time in her stroller. I love that thing.

Our view on a walk we took in the neighborhood.

Rachel is watching TV.

Quality time with Daddy.

She still spends a lot of time doing this.

At the lookout on the moutain.

On the tail end of the off road walk.

That little blur in the picture is a hummingbird.

I hope this video works.