Isaac Kent Riederer

So we are extremely happy to announce the birth of the newest member of the family. Isaac Kent Riederer was born Friday July 11th at 2:25 in the morning, weighing 9 pounds and 21 inches long.  Both Mom and Baby are doing great and we are all enjoying.

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Garden

So now that we are in this big place with a nice big yard, we decided to see how good of farmers we could be.  But being in Louisiana where you poke a hole in the ground and water fills that hole up almost immediately.  So step one in making a garden down here is raising it up, so off to the lumber store to pick up supplies.

Lumber for Garden

After a few cuts with the saw, and a few screws, this is what came about!

 

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While we were doing that, we got our seeds started. We planted way too many tomatoes, as well as, cantaloupe, bell peppers, spinach, onions, carrots, broccoli and green beans.

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Next came the real fun part, filling that garden with a bunch of dirt. And I have always said, anytime you pick up a shovel it’s work. Oliver wanted to help out with this one. It took two trips to the soil depot, filling up the back of the truck. Then multiply trips between the truck and the garden with a wheel barrel.

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After all that “clean” and fun work, this is the result!

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Then Lauren took over and planted these guys in there, and now we just have to wait and see if we get any produce!

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It Started as a Low Ball Offer

So if you haven’t heard we have changed our address.  We have moved ever so slightly east.  Not any further north or south, only a 5 minute drive east from our old house.  So almost two years ago we bought a nice starter home with the intention of making it a 5 year plan.  Well there is an saying attributed to Woody Allen that say’s “If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans.”  And that seems to be true here, we recently started looking at houses that we are really interested in and not the starter home.  At first it was more just for our information to see what was out there, and what would it cost to get the features in a house that we wanted.  Well we came across one property that seems like a deal too good to be true.  As such it was a really good deal, but needed more work then we were ready to take on, and the place was really too big.  So we decided not to move on it and go back to our original 5 year plan.  Though the bug had been planted and not even one week had gone by and here my wife sends me a listing of another almost too good to be true place.  We did our homework on this new property, drove by and walked it down, and made an appointment to view the house on the inside.  The inside did not disappoint, it had all the features on my wish list, as well as Lauren’s wish list, plus more room then we had ever thought we would need.  It has a good bit more land, so we can do some gardening, as well as two sheds and a green house on the property.  We both loved it, they had it listed at an amazing price, but we were in a house we liked, and had nothing requiring us to move.  So we put in an almost insulting low ball offer on a house that was already listed below what other houses were going for in the area.  To our Realtor’s disbelief (he thought they would reject the offer right away) the sellers came back with a very reasonable counter, and under no time we were under contact.  After a few small issues after inspections and ensuing negotiations we finally came to a final agreement on the house.  Long story short (since it’s already so short) we closed a week before Thanksgiving, moved in the following weekend.  Even hosted a Thanksgiving dinner with some friends and family in the area.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a few repairs, and many updates to make it our own house, but since we plan on staying here for a good while we can do those on our own time.  To all our friends and family we have more then plenty of room for visitors, so all who would like to visit, or needed an excuse to see the Big Easy, you should come on by some time.

New Year, New Job

So many of you may or may not have know, but the last 5 months or so I have been working a few hours away from home in another town.  As a result I haven’t been home as often as I would have liked.  Well, a great new opportunity presented itself, thanks to some help from a good friend, and I am now a new member of the Jacobs Engineering team.  It is a little bitter sweet as I will miss the people I have been working with for almost the last 8 years, but just because we are not working together doesn’t mean we can’t stay in touch.  My new title on my business cards is E&I Engineering Consultant, all nice and fancy, but basically I will be doing some engineering/design work and project management.  It will present some new opportunities to learn and grow, as well as some fun new challenges.  Best part is I am home every night, so I get to spend more time with Oliver and Lauren.

Griswold Christmas Lighting!

As a home owner I can now watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and laugh even more.  Lauren and I had bought several strings of outdoor LED Christmas lights last year shortly after Christmas, capitalizing on the huge discounts stores offer on Christmas products.  So this year we take the plastic off of them and get ready to put them up on the house.  Our first attempt didn’t work out well with the lengths, and arranging where the power would hook up.  Not a big deal, take them down, and learning from the mistake we then put them up the right way.  A quick back story on these lights, we bought two 25 white LED bulb strings, and one 50 blue LED string.  The plan was to switch the blue and white in alternating pattern so each string would be blue and white back and forth.  Well strike one in that plan, not only were the plastic bulbs that surrounded the LED clear or blue, but the LED itself was colored as well.  And of course the LED was not interchangeable between the different strings. They were bought at the same time, at the same store, and same brand so that would make too much sense.  As such we just switched the plastic bulbs and strung them up.  Well we get it up the right way, and the two shorter white strings with clear and blue bulbs look amazing!  But the longer string with blue LED’s look like junk, you can barely tell there are two different plastic bulbs on the string as the blue LED inside of them covers it up.  Now that you have the back story a bit let’s continue.  Alright, not to be discourage, I figure let’s just go out and buy another white LED string of the same size and we can use the blue bulbs we already have to match the rest.  Well we went to every hardware and retail store in the area, and none of the lights they carried had bulbs that would screw off to go with the blue bulbs we already had.  We had originally bought these lights in Illinois at a hardware store that they don’t have in Louisiana.  And we happened to have someone from Illinois driving down that week to visit for a while. I thought what good fortune, she can pick up more of the same lights we already have.  She picked up the same brand, even same SKU on the box of lights.  And guess what, they changed their style so the bulbs didn’t screw off, again that would make too much sense!  Finally, I find a set that screws off at Target and the bulb hole is too small to screw in the blue bulbs, I just can’t catch a break. So in a last ditch effort I find a light strand that was close enough (a little super glue and I was going to make it work!) at Sam’s Club, it was a slightly different shade of white, but after all we had gone through close enough!  We get it all hung up for the THIRD time, looking good, turn it on, and guess what?  Half of the brand new string that I spent a few hours super gluing bulbs to, that string I had JUST bought from Sam’s club will not light up.  Oh and there were no spare LEDs that came with it, and yes I checked the fuses in the string, not that I should have had to as I just mentioned it was a BRAND NEW string.  So I get to take it down AGAIN, but this time I get to deal with trying to return the BRAND NEW string I just bought back to original condition, that I had just spent hours super gluing bulbs to.  So the next couple hours were spent undoing my handy work.  I wish I could say that it was smooth sailing from there, but at this point that is the end of the story, not sure with the limited amount of time we have left before going to SODAK (aka South Dakota) for the holidays to get something that works and looks good up on the house.  I know at the very least I will learn to plan this out a little better for next year and test everything before climbing up on a ladder!  Merry Christmas to all and we hope everybody has a fun and safe New Year!!!

Recent and Thanksgiving Update

Well all three of us survived a 13 hour car ride to Central Illinois from our home outside New Orleans.  Oliver did the ride like a champ. We thought we had it pretty good going up there,  but coming back he was a total angel. We actually had to wake him up when we stopped for fuel to feed and change his diaper.  It also should come to no surprise that he was a big hit with the family, but with a cute baby like that, what do you expect.  We spent Thanksgiving day at my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Northern Illinois. It was great to catch up with family as the last time I saw many of them was our wedding over a year ago.  As always my Aunt put on an amazing and great tasting Thanksgiving dinner.  Following my family tradition, the day after Thanksgiving we went out and cut down a Christmas tree that we brought from Illinois back home, and is now set up in our living room (pics to come soon).  Also I should note, before we left for Thanksgiving, Grandpa Meyers came down to visit us for about a week.  He was great with Oliver, those two took nice LONG walks, true to a man that likes to keep busy.  He also took care of several of my home projects for us, so thank you Kent for all your help!  Wish I had  time to write more, but hopefully more to come soon.  And thanks for all the feedback from everybody from comments on our posts, pictures, and videos.  It’s nice to know someone is actually seeing this and we are not doing it just for the sake of doing it.  So keep that feedback coming!

Mostly Good Fall Weekend

So we had a pretty productive and much cooler weekend, the temperatures are definitely cooling down.  No, nothing compared to where both of the majority of our families are at, but still.  For the greater New Orleans area, much cooler, but very enjoyable too.  The only down side to the weekend is the typical home owner blues. Lauren told me that the garbage disposal was making a funny noise.  I came home and flipped the switch, and no noise, nothing at all.  No movement, not working in the least, check that it’s getting power, yep, so I have a feeling the noise she heard was the motor giving it’s last breath.   So I know one of my next weekend projects.  We also got dressed up a bit and had a family photo shoot at a local state park, (Formal Family pictures coming soon) with a good friend and Oliver’s Godparents whom one of them happens to be a professional photographer.  Oliver did great, held out a lot longer then I thought while we were doing all different poses, and getting different shots.  Then we had them over to our house where we grilled out, had a little bond fire in the back yard, and played some yard games.  All in all, a pretty good day.  Sunday was much more relaxing with going to Mass, a short walk outside over to another friends house to pick up something, and then to make it complete, did some pumpkin carving.  Couldn’t let kids come up to the porch with out some lit jack o lanterns.  You can see the pics, Lauren did one, and I did one, can you guess who did which?

Clothes Washer Weekend

So I come home for the weekend, and trying to be a good husband, I set up a load of laundry to help out a bit.  Well after a good amount of time I go back to find that I have a washing machine full of water, and a machine not wanting to drain, spin, or do much of anything for that matter.  Now these machines do show some age, so it wouldn’t be totally out of the question that they have served their time and in need of replacements.  Lauren and I have even talked about getting high efficiency ones, though we were hoping to do it on our time, when we had saved some money to do so.  This all happens, ironically, not one hour after we just spent some big bucks one plane tickets for our Christmas travels.  We start pricing out a new washer and the idea of replacing the dryer, so we have a matching set, is quickly nixed. It’s amazing how quickly those get expensive.  So since I have never tried to repair a washing machine before (a dryer once but not a washer) I figure no time like now, to figure it out. What’s the worst I could I do, make it not work more? Well after taking it all apart, casing, water pump, and motor, everything was working right except the water pump which wouldn’t turn that well by hand.  Well forcing it to turn in the opposite direction that it normally would, I found one of Oliver’s socks in it.  Amazing how just one baby sock can take down a good sized 120 volt AC motor on a standard clothes washer, but apparently it’s no match for the sock.  How it got out of the inner tub where the clothes are suppose to stay, no idea, but it did.  So I put it all back together, start it up and it works like it should.  Both Lauren and I were very thankful we didn’t have to shell out for a new washer just before the holidays.  It also goes with out saying, we will be much more vigilant if one of Oliver’s socks goes missing in the laundry again!  LOL

Oliver’s First Sacrament

Announcing Oliver Michael Riederer’s first sacrament being formally received into Christendom.  He will be receiving the sacrament of Baptism after the noon holy sacrifice of the Mass at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Mandeville, LA, Sunday, September 30th in the year of our Lord two thousand and twelve.   We will be having cake and a light lunch at our house afterword to celebrate!  Friends and family are welcome, just let us know!