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In our back yard

We walk through our neighborhood daily (sometimes its just Cortney, sometimes both of us), and we want to share with you some of the wonderful wildlife sights we get to enjoy.




A Muskrat house!







Can you find the bunny?






Ducks on parade






Red-winged Black Birds sing from the cattails



Often we also get treated with a sighting of the Great White Heron, the Baltimore Oriole, lots of other beautiful birds, and...the walking carpet (that being the Scottie dog that always follows us, barking, as we walk past his fence).


May showers bring June babies!

workshower.jpgWe promise this will be the last time we use that cheesy title for any month!  It's an easy promise, since raspberry should be here next month.  But we were showered with love again today, this time by many of the staff and volunteers of our church.  This was a women only shower, so Jon stayed home and watched a movie and played video games while Cortney did all the work!  It was a wonderful brunch party hosted by Annemarie, one of our ministers and friends, and organized by Cortney's friend Mary, with game suggestions by lots of others.  They played the memory game - after a short peek how many of the diaper bag items can you remember?  Cortney won that one with 19/20 items!  After a couple of other games they opened gifts - there were lots of giggles and oohs and ahhs.  Everyone was very generous and we feel very loved and, thanks to all of our family and friends, we can also now say that if we had to bring a baby home next week we would be ready!  Well, at least physically. 


Not much...


We don't have a whole lot to say, but Judi sent us some great pictures that she took at the shower last week and we added them to the photo album and just wanted to give everyone a heads up.  While we're at it... our 33 week check up went well!  Cortney's weight is right on and she has been cleared to continue her daily 1-2 mile walks.  Raspberry has turned and is, for the most part, head down, leaving Cortney with a slightly smaller circumference (which she is glad about) and a little rib relief (which she is ecstatic about). 
So, everything looks good!


Rapberry, meet the giraffes. Giraffes, meet Raspberry.


Raspberry had his first close encounter feedinggiraffes.jpgwith a large African animal today!  Binder Park is the zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan, where the guests can feed the giraffes, but the zoo closes for the winter for we figure that the giraffes must go very hungry during that time, right?  Well, the zoo reopened today so we packed up and headed out in order to make up for all that lost time!  In fact, we've been looking forward to this day literally for months, and we even took our friends Erin and Andrew along as reinforcements.  We lucked out and had a beautiful day - hazy sun, a light breeze, and just enough warmth.  cortneyincage.jpgWe think the tram to Africa got faster this year, too.  Last year we think we remember it being seven minutes to Africa, but this year it was only five.  The giraffes were happy to see us.  Us particularly, mind you, becuase we always overfeed them.  Of course we also had to visit the children's zoo - it's one of Jon's favorite parts because of the large rabbits - and almost lost Cortney while we were there (really, is she the one in the cage, or is it the pigs?), then we finished by visiting the mile long boardwalk hike though the wetlands.  jonfilming.jpgWe seriously tired ourselves out, so that all four of us were pretty quiet on the ride home.  Today's trip was especially productive because Jon got in some practice with the new video camera (we especially like the headless horseman part, Andrew) so that we'll be ready when Raspberry arrives.  In fact, watch for practice clips on the site here as we get better with this complex new piece of equipment. 


Baby tested, dog approved

Today was a great day!  Our friends, mom Becky and baby Liesl, came over this afternoon to visit and to see Raspberry's room.  Since this was the first time any of our animals had even seen a baby we didn't know what to expect, but we are excited to say that all went very well!  Becky is a wonderful and relaxed mom who loves animals and wanted Liesl to meet dogs, so they even spent some time down on dog level, which seemed to please everyone.  Diamond was the least interested, quickly determining that babies don't scratch necks or hand out treats, Ollie was just Ollie, and Cookie was unconcerned (as is par for the course, we never saw Oahu).  Moose, on the other hand, was gentle but extremely intrigued.  When Liesl tried out our swing (which we are proud to say is assembled correctly, and was baby approved) Moose stood up on his hind legs and followed the swing back and forth.  When Becky tried out Raspberry's changing table in the nursery Moose was so interested that Jon held him up so that he could see, and Moose and Liesl carried on a light conversation (we think, although it was beyond our comprehension).  Of course at four months old Liesl is twice Moose's size, and probably about twice the size Raspberry will be when he first comes home, but we figure this is a good start.  Plus, Jon got to watch a diaper change and hold a baby for the first time, and our baby set up was tested and approved by a veteran first time mother and a baby.  Liesl was even entertained by the wallpaper animals on the nursery wall while she was being changed, which was exactly our plan.  Yeah!  Thanks Becky and Liesl!