Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chinese New Year

We love celebrating Chinese New Year! It's a great excuse for a party and we love making the food. This year we had invited the missionaries and a family with whom we are friends. Unfortunately, our friends weren't feeling well but we still had fun with the Elders. As per tradition, we made dumplings. This year, I decided to also make a shrimp stir-fry. Served with rice and some mandarin oranges (for good luck :-) ) and we had a feast!

The Elders enjoyed learning to make the dumplings. I was pleasantly surprised that Ellie kept asking for "more orange, please"! We had given the kids some mandarin oranges in nursery several weeks ago and she didn't touch hers...but this time she decided she likes them.
Elder Sneary and Elder Yee

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Big Girl

This week has been especially hectic - mainly because I've been looking through the paperwork for benefits through Dan's new job. Sometimes it is a full-time job to keep up on our financial affairs! Hence why I'm finally getting around to putting up pictures from our little celebration for Ellie's birthday.
I love this face! Charlie's showing how much he's enjoying the cake.

I can't believe Ellie is TWO! It's amazing to think that this time last year she hadn't even started walking yet. I love watching her grow and figure things out. She is all girl. She loves taking care of her baby doll - feeding and changing her. She enjoys getting dressed up in her dresses and fancy shoes on Sundays.

I giggle to myself when I see her putting on her pretend lipstick.

Here's Ellie helping me sweep our kitchen floor.

Ellie loves her daddy!

She's tickled to have figured out how to open and close doors. Nothing's safe from her now!
Ellie loves having a big brother!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Apollo 13

January seemed to fly by! I meant to write more than the one posting but it didn't happen. It's not like we had anything specific going on -- I'm just busy chasing my two little monkeys.

I've been thinking about a lot of things though... It's hard to put it all down in words because they're all random stuff just floating around in my head. I'd write them all in here but I'm afraid no one will really get it or understand where I'm going with it all.

Anyway, here's something coincidentally interesting -- I was looking for something to read from my bookshelves and found the book, Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger. I loved the movie and had gotten the book from a library book sale a long time ago but never finished reading it. So, since I was looking for something to read, I started reading Apollo 13 again. For those who are not familiar with the event, Apollo 13 was to have been the third moonlanding for NASA but the spacecraft suffered some damage and the crew had to return to earth. I love this real life account especially because as an engineer, I'm still amazed by the fact that we are able to send human beings into space and have them come back alive and well.

I was interested to see if there was anything on the NASA website about the incident but there wasn't much about it. However, I did find out that on each January 29th, NASA holds a Day of Remembrance to honor the men and women who lost their lives in support of the agency's mission to explore space. This day was chosen because most of the unfortunate events killing these astronauts occurred around this time of year:

January 27, 1967 - Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chafee were killed by a fire in the command module during a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 1 mission.

January 28, 1986 - 7 astronauts were killed when the space shuttle Challenger exploded during liftoff.

February 1, 2003 - 7 astronauts were killed when the space shuttle Columbia exploded minutes before landing.

I feel kind of a connection with NASA because of two personal experiences. When I was in college studying engineering, I really, really wanted to work as an intern for an engineering company. So, after my sophomore year, I was determined that that's what I was going to do. I'd gone home for the summer break and still hadn't found the internship I wanted so I pulled out the phone book and looked under "engineering, mechanical" for all the mechanical engineering firms in our area. I started going down the list and calling each company. I'd reached the 3rd company on the list and still hadn't gotten a live person and had to leave messages. (Thinking back on this made me realize how bold I was! My high school job as a tele-receptionist had prepared me well for this experience.)

Anyway, I finally reached a live person at this one company called Genesis Engineering. The man who answered said that they didn't have an internship program but that he'd transfer me to the engineering department. The next person I talked to said that I was welcome to go in for an interview and submit an application. The next thing I knew, I had a summer internship with a NASA contractor. They build space enclosures that NASA astronauts used to haul supplies into space. It was really cool to be a part of something so exciting!

My other experience happened a few years later when I was working as an engineer in Michigan. I was very involved with the Detroit Section of Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at the time. The annual conference was being held in Detroit that year and I was in charge of the slide show for the opening ceremony. Our keynote speaker was Sally Ride, a former NASA astronaut. Because I was so involved with the conference planning, I was invited to accompany Dr. Ride to an interview with the Detroit Free Press after the opening ceremony. A few of us rode in the limo with her to her interview. I can't remember anything we talked about but I remember thinking that she was just normal like the rest of us.

Another coincindence: I was reading the paper today and read an article about President Obama changing NASA's direction. He wants them to focus on building an updated rocket instead of trying to go to the moon again. I think that it's a good idea to focus on updating our space technology rather than trying to redo something we've already done before.

Oh, I get it!! I just realized why Charlie's preschool class had space as their theme for January!