Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of our friends and family a very Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Look What I Found

The other day, Luke & I were driving down the road along the edge of our property and we noticed something hanging from one of the trees. Strange. Didn't think too much about it; left for the weekend. A few days later I went for a walk to get some fresh air and decided to go see what it was that was hanging in that tree.

It was still there, a white paper box hanging from a very long string. My eyes followed the string up to the very top of a neighboring tree and I spotted what looked like a popped, orange balloon. So I got a stick and finally was able to break the box free from the string it was attached to & this is what I found:

  On the box it says it's a "harmless weather instrument". It's a balloon-borne instrument used by the NOAA National Weather Service to obtain weather data used for forecasting and weather research. It came with a pouch and says that if found, please return. I did some research online about the "Mark IIA" and it said they fly above 90% of the Earth's atmosphere and can travel for hundreds of miles before the balloon pops. Once the balloon pops, an orange parachute (what I saw in the tree) slowly floats the Mark IIA down to the ground. It says only about 20% of the launched weather balloons are ever found and returned so I think it's pretty cool to have found one.

I emailed the National Weather Service to see if they could tell me where it was sent from and when it was sent because I was SO curious. They actually emailed me back with lots of info! It was launched on Dec. 14 from Topeka, Kansas (about 250 miles away). The balloon burst at 103,709 feet and the coldest temperature recorded was -90.6F. The fastest wind it experienced was from the Southwest at 150 MPH at an altitude of 36,830 ft.

Luke asked me if I now want to be a meteorologist, but I don't think I will take it that far. I do think this is pretty cool though!

Picking Out a Tree

 We went in search of our 2011 Christmas tree a couple weeks ago. We knew we wouldn't be home for Christmas and would have to take the tree down before we left, so we wanted a decent one, but it didn't have to be "perfect". We knew just the place: Hick's Tree Farm in Brashear. We have gotten our tree here ever since we moved to the area, but they are getting really picked over. Let's just say the trees are HUGE, so you "pick" whichever one you think you can get in the house. We always seem to find one though.

It was a chilly December afternoon!
"I think this one will work Dad!"

We loaded up the tree of choice and have been enjoying it in our living room for the past couple weeks. Last year Molly was too little to help us pick it out-she just sat in the truck. This year she got to be part of the experience! Here's a picture of the end result:

Molly & I in front of the decorated tree.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dancing With Santa

Luke had a cowboy Santa statue when we got married, and every year we put it out in our living room around Christmastime. I thought the batteries in it had just gone dead, but Luke said he had never put batteries in it to begin with and didn't even know it was a singing/dancing cowboy Santa. So...this year it got batteries and oh what fun it has been! Molly runs right up to it, presses it's hand and dances right along with Santa.

Regarding Santa, you will not be seeing any photos of Molly sitting on Santa's lap this year. She waved at him from afar but became hysterical when I tried to put her on his lap. They asked if we still wanted a photo...yeah, not so much! Sorry Santa, maybe next year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Cookies

Molly & I made Christmas cookies yesterday. It was so much fun to have a little "helper". She kept stealing little pieces of dough and shoving them in her mouth! She is quite the character and was completely covered in flour by the time we were done. Christmas is so much fun with Molly!

Sneaking some dough.
Pretty proud of herself!