Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Storm

The crazy snow started last night around midnight and didn't stop until around 10:00 this morning. I haven't heard the actual amount of snow we got, but we are estimating 8 inches. We were very lucky not to get ice. Travis's school decided to close because of the storm. Apparently this is very rare for Rosalind Franklin. Travis had a test scheduled for today, not a final (again, his schedule is very different from universities). The snow is perfect for snow balls and snow I think we are going to go out this afternoon and build a big snow man!

This first picture was taken by Travis at around 7:00 in the morning:

I watched as many people used their snow shovels to dig their cars out. I'm so glad we have a garage:

Here is a path someone shoveled...look at all that snow!

And...Travis and his snowball.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Job Search Update

I have aggressively been on the job prowl ever since I found out I did not receive the position at the museum. I have been applying to anything I am qualified for. I can't even tell you what all I have applied to. I probably should have kept a list. I figured since I was applying in late November/December I wouldn't hear anything until we got back from our two week trip to Texas. But all that changed last Friday...

I received an email from one of the places I applied, asking to set up an interview for next week (Dec. 15th-19th). The job is with Rotary International in Evanston, IL. This is the main headquarter for all the Rotary clubs, national and international. The job is for Coordinator of Central Pan America. I would coordinate information for 63 districts of clubs and also travel to training sessions.

Then on Monday I received a call from another job possibility, setting up an interview for later in the week. The job is a Quest Instructor at a place called Lambs Farm. It is an organization for adults with developmental disabilities. I would create classes and teach them to these individuals. The topics range from anything: history, life skills, computer programs, arts and crafts, etc.

I had both interviews today, the Rotary in the morning and Lambs Farm in the afternoon. I feel that both interviews went well, and hopefully one will come through. Both places told me I would hear something after the holidays.

I also received some applications for jobs at the naval base from a member of our church. So I plan to turn those in tomorrow.

If these jobs do not pan out, I plan to get registered for substitute teaching. Apparently North Chicago is a good area for this part-time employment.

We greatly appreciate all the prayers one this aspect of our new adventure!

Monday, December 15, 2008

By request I am posting pictures of my snow boots as well as all the other outer wear I put on when it is unbelievably cold. An example of unbelievably cold would be today: this morning when I woke up it was 4 degrees but with the wind it was -15. It did warm up this afternoon to 11 degrees with a wind chill of -3.

Here are the snow boots:

It took me awhile to pick these out. I actually asked one of the store associates for help on picking out the boots. I pretty much wear these all the time. They are made to keep your feet warm for up to -10 degrees.

And now here is a picture of what I look like going out in "unbelievably cold" weather. I have on snow boots; a long, down coat; scarf; water-proof gloves; and wrap around the head ear warmers. My down coat is absolutely amazing! I wore it for the first time the other night when it was 11 degrees out, and it kept me so warm.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow Stories

Here are a few incidents we have had with the snow:

* On Tuesday when Travis was walking to class he slipped on the ice. Apparently he hit a patch of "black ice" which is ice on the asphalt that is hard to see. He told me later it was a pretty bad slip. In his words, "I ate it hard." He is ok--no injuries. He did have to come back home and change clothes. I have yet to slip, though I have had a few "wobble moments." But I know my time is coming.

* Pretty much all day Tuesday it snowed. At times it was coming down thick--it was gorgeous! I was making cookies that afternoon for a cookie exchange with our church this Saturday. We didn't have enough eggs for me to do another batch. So I opted to drive to the store so I could finish and be done with them. The roads were covered with freshly fallen snow, and it was still coming down. I am very thankful to my dad for giving me snow driving lessons years ago in Abilene. I'm putting them to good use, dad! I was very careful driving. Everything was done in slow motion. And thankfully everyone around me did the same. It was really fun being all bundled up with snow boots, gloves, and ear muffs.

* Yesterday we took some pictures at the Clinic next to our apartment. There was a lot of undisturbed snow over there. Travis decided to jump in and make a snow angel. He thoroughly enjoyed it! However, a couple minutes after he started to feel the cold of the snow...he forgot his gloves. Here are some pictures of his fun:

* After the snow angel incident I was walking back to the apartment when my right leg disappeared! I stepped in a spot of uncompacted snow and my leg sunk in to about mid-calf. It also was stuck for a few moments. Thank goodness I had my snow boots on. My foot and leg were warm and dry--I love those things!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Northern Creatures

Today while I was eating lunch Travis excitedly called for me to look out the window. Apparently I wasn't the only one eating. In the pine tree right outside our living room window was a squirrel carrying lunch in his mouth. What was his lunch? This little fellow had a mighty appetite: half a piece of pizza! Luckily, I was able to grab a quick picture.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It Feels Like Christmas

On Monday/Tuesday I put up the Christmas tree and a few other select decorations. The living room is just a little cramped with the tree, but it's worth it. Living in North Chicago in December feels much more like Christmas than anywhere in Texas. As of right now it is 17 degrees, but with the 15 mph wind it feels more like 2 degrees. This morning around 9:00 the temperature was 8 degrees with a wind chill of around -4. Needless to say I stayed inside today. I had some errands to run but they weren't pressing. I think it is now time for the long, down coat.

One of the things that has been difficult to get use to (aside from the bitter cold)up here is when it gets dark. By 4:45 night has fallen. It has been like this since the time change and we are still not use to it. Quite often one of us will think it is 9:00 and come to find it's only 6:00! Sheesh...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Fun

We had an absolutely fabulous Thanksgiving filled with friends, both new and old, and delicious food. Since it was our first turkey to cook by ourselves, we were a little nervous about how it would turn out. Travis did a fantastic job! With a little help from family members, he pulled out a succulent bird. I got a little caught up in all the festivities and forgot to take pictures. But take it from me everyone had a great time and made sure to go back for seconds.

Kim stayed with us through Monday which meant extra days of fun. Friday Kim and I went tooling around the Lake Forest area. They apparently were having their tree lighting celebration when we went. We watched a man create ice sculptures (once again I forgot my camera). We also got free samples of roasted chesnuts which neither of us had ever had. If you haven't tried them you are not missing out on anything. We both agreed they were not our favorite. I think it was the texture that got us. They look like a nut but are very soft, almost bread-like. That evening we went to see the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Wow--all I have to say.

On Saturday the three of us ventured out to downtown. We hopped on the CTA (more commonly known as the "L"). It was our first time to be on the L. I felt like I was in the movie the Fugitive. I did remember my camera this time and took a lovely shot of Travis:

Our main objective downtown was to visit the special German Christmas Market. Before we made our way there we stumpled on Millinium Park and grabbed a few quick photos:

In the last photo I took a picture of our reflection in "the bean". If you look close you can see the three of us.

At the Christmas market we got some delicious bratwursts and hot chocolate. The market was fun but a little crowded. We also ended up finding the huge Macy's downtown. We were all overwhelmed by the size: nine floors full of merchandise. Here is a picture looking down from the 6th floor I think:

On Sunday night it began snowing. I think Kim and I both agreed that the best part about the snow was watching Travis. Every few minutes we would look out the window to see if it was still snowing. I wish I had taken a picture of it. By Monday morning there was a nice blanket of snow on the ground, and it was still falling. I never heard the actual amount but I would guess 2 inches, maybe 3. Here is a picture from our apartment:

The snow is almost all melted by now, but we are expected to get more today and on Saturday. It truly feels like it is Christmas!