Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Loss at Christmastime

Sofi has proved that she has a sense when something is wrong with her parents. After Kristi had an emergency salpingectomy on Saturday, Sofi has insisted on sleeping right by her feet. Even when Kristi is reclined in the LazyBoy, Sofi will curl up on the end of the footrest. Through this time of sadness, this pup has given us something to laugh about.

We appreciate all of your prayers and are especially grateful to those who have called to check up on Kristi. This was her second ectopic pregnancy and her situation was a little more dangerous than last time. We are so grateful for the advances in science and for a doctor who was willing to act quickly. Kristi is healing well and will be back on her feet in no time.

We are looking forward to the holidays which we will be spending in MN with Kristi's family. Some may think this is an unfortunate time for this to happen. However, we are grateful for the distractions of the holiday season and the chance to spend time with family and friends.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Infertility is for the Dogs

Sofi had her "snipety snip" surgery yesterday and came home with a huge incision, a saucer for her neck and a certificate of sterilization. Yes, sadly she will never know the joys of motherhood. (Ha! Maybe her and I will have that in common.) I actually cried at the vet when they gave me her certificate. I guess I am mourning for the grand puppies she will never bear.

She HATES her saucer and understandably so. (Take note of her downward facing tail. Beagle enthusiasts everywhere will attest that a downward facing tail belongs to a sad, upset dog.) The satellite look-a-like medical device prevents her from her daily scratching and licking and makes it hard to eat her food or play with her toys. At least we can get a few laughts out of it all as she constantly rams into walls and then staggers for the next few minutes as though we slipped a little somethin' somethin' into her water dish. Unlike most dogs who have major surgery, she has as much energy as usual. And we are supposed to keep her "quiet" how????

Monday, December 11, 2006

Back in the Saddle Again

Much to my surprise, I was called to work in Young Womens program again yesterday. I had long ago come to peace that my days of working with youth were over for a season, especially since I had been given two other small jobs in Relief Sociey (for those who are not familiar with the LDS jargon, Relief Soceity is the women's organization in our church.) And, to keep up with tradition, I am working again with the 12-13 yr. old girls as the Beehive Advisor. Teaching comes very easily to me and I am excited to teach lessons every week.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Good news

Lance passed the bar exam.
Whew! Taking it again would not have been very fun.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Newport Beach

Lance and I decided that we need to explore more. Today we drove to Newport Beach, hoping to expose Sofi to the sand and ocean. The temple is in Newport Beach but it is far away from the tourist locations so we haven't seen much of the ocean or the beach. We unfortunately learned that dogs can not be on the beach or boardwalk between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. It was about 2:00 p.m. when we went. Sigh. Just our luck!

With our restrictions, all we could really do was walk along the Balboa pier and stop to get a famous "Balboa bar" (an icecream bar, dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles) and a frozen banana (dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts.) As you can probably already guess, I got the banana, Lance got the Balboa bar. Our camera stayed at home this trip. . .But thanks to the world wide web, I was able to find a picture of this icecream novelty.

Sofi had fun terrorizing the pigeons and charming many of the tourists. She slep, snoring loudly, the whole way home, exhausted from her outing. I am going to finally read the CA book David gave us last Christmas and make a list of places we need to visit.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Four Legged Bandit

Halloween was a lot of fun this year. Sofi helped Kristi hand out candy to the trick or treaters. We had quite a few kids come. Sofi was especially interested in sneaking some candy for herself and we caught her stealing when she thought we weren't looking. After 8:30 pm we shut off our outside light and went to Chili's for our annual Halloween dinner. We started going out to eat on Halloween night our first year of marriage and now it is a tradition. We figure most of the kids going out after 8:30 pm are too old to trick o' treat anyway.

Sofi the Lobster

Like most pathetic dog owners, we decided to dress our puppy up for Halloween. Her costume was a lobster. She HATED it immensely and we could only get her to pose for a picture before she ripped it off.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bike Ride

I am proud to say that I am finally making good use of my bike. I have been biking home from work at least twice a week. Home is about 6 miles away from my work so I get a good workout. It is good exercise now that it is getting too chilly to swim in the evenings.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Central Bark

Sofi had her first dog park visit today. She was very "popular" with the male dogs. Definately a hot commodity with the boys. She would run and they would start chasing her. She held her own and was only knocked over by some Alpha dogs a few times. I wish we would have taken a video of it all. She was exhausted from running free without her leash but would only rest long enough to catch her breath and she was back up running like a wild child.

Another new nephew. . .

I have decided there is something about this year and babies. Maybe it is the water in MO, UT and WV?!? Whatever it is, we don't have it here in California! Lincoln Daniel Smemoe was born on Monday, Oct. 23rd to Lance's brother Loren and his wife Kara. This is their second child. That is three babies in three months. I hope that someday I will be able to post an "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" and have that message mean OUR baby. Until then, we will just have to enjoy our nieces and nephews and our little "toddler", Sofi the Beagle. In this picture is Lance's brother Loren and our new nephew.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mr. Fixit

This picture is for Jeremy, my brother, who has financially backed the growth of Lance's tool box. Lance has officially passed through a sacred male rite and can use a powerful drill to hang up just about anything needed on our walls. Who knew he had it in him??? Now, if I could just inspire him to organize the garage so we can move our last boxes out of the living room, we will be in great shape.

I will post pictures of our new furniture and wall hangings soon.

Conserving Water

We are trying to conserve our water....Lance puts Sofi to good use as our official dish rinser. Sidebar: I am grateful the dishwasher has a "very hot, sanitization" setting. :-)

We haven't been very good at posting to our blog. Our lives finally have ho hum day-to-day order and it has been hard for me to write about something interesting.

Sofi has entered her terrible twos. One minute we think she is adorable beyond belief and the next minute she is jumping on furniture, tearing up pay checks and using the underside of our box spring as her chew toy. During those minutes, severe anxiety sets in and ask ourselves...Did we make a mistake getting a puppy!?!?! We are attached, though, and can't seem to get enough of her "shinanigans." We pray that we survive the puppy years and are looking forward with hope to the lazy beagle adult years.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Day Trip and job!

We met our friends the Robins in San Diego last Saturday. Amy and Whitney were out here for David's marine corp graduation. We took a trolley ride around San Diego, spent some time at the Hotel del Coronado and walked on the beach. I even purchased an oil painting from a street vendor in the old town.

I was offered a job at one of the Universities here and I accepted. I start work in a week. I am very excited to be working again AND to have a job at a University. My next step . . . Pick an area of study and go back to get a Masters.

Who's in charge anyway?

Here is a picture of Sofi, attacking my stuffed beagle. She discovered him while I was unpacking boxes and instantly claimed him for her own. I think she thinks he is a dog...and she is the leader of the pack. She loves attacking him, biting his nose and standing over him victoriously. She will also carry him with her from room to room. Despite all the responsibility, we couldn't imagine our family without this furry, friendly terror.

New Nephew

My sister-in-law Vicki gave birth to Alexander Neil Earl on Tuesday, Sept. 5. This is my first nephew on my side. I can't wait to see him in person at Christmas time. David, my oldest brother, was even able to help deliver little Alex. In this picture, Vicki, and her niece Katie, are holding the little guy who only weighed 6 lbs. 4 oz. at birth. I think he looks like Vicki.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Smemoe Vacation Chronicles

Our cousins in Columbus

Carousel museum in Sandusky

With all of the moving, we were never able to post pictures of our vacation. We enjoyed our time in Ohio, visiting my Uncle Jack and Aunt Gwen. Uncle Jack and Aunt Gwen were very good hosts and took us to see all of the sites. We of course had icecream at Toft's (Best ice cream in North America), visited the Carousel museum to see all of the work my uncle has done restoring the carousel horses and went to ride the coasters at Sandusky. My uncle was brave enough to go on all the coasters with Lance. ( I was chicken.) We were also able to meet my cousin Kris' kids. . . and had lots of fun swimming with them.

Amish Country

Amish buggy ride

Visiting Amish country and my relatives in Ohio and West Virginia was my second favorite vacation of all time (after last year's trip to Finland, of course). I loved visiting Yoder's Amish home, sampling at least 1000 cheeses at one of the many cheese factories and eating Amish Dutch cookin' at the Der Dutchman. More importantly, I loved the simplicity and the beauty of the area. The sunset at the bed and breakfast was breathtaking!

Sunset in Amish country

WV Music Time

David, Kristi, and Katie

We loved spending time in David and Vicki's new home and eating David's delicious home cooking. My "friend", three year old Katie, came over to play with me. David was trying to teach me how to play the ukulele in this picture, while Katie hammed it up.

We also spent time at Blennerhasset Island on the Ohio River, went to the Marietta farmer's market and had a shrimp boil.

At the pool everyday

Our beagle puppy, SofiYes, my dear friends and family in colder climates, we have been to the pool every day this week. We won't need to join a gym until maybe December, when it will be a little too chilly to swim. It sure is nice to have a 24 hour pool right across the road! We are happy to report we will receive the last shipment of our stuff tomorrow. Then we can finally unpack our living room and office. Lance starts work next week so we are trying to do some fun exploring before he starts. Sofi is still really young so we can't leave her for long. Here is a recent pic of our "baby." Isn't she sweet? We are still working on the housetraining.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Our Trek West

We made it to CA on Tuesday around 6 p.m. (2 hours ahead of schedule :-) We took a week and a half to get here, stopping for a mini-vacation in Branson and visiting Lance's mom and dad. I am proud to annouce Sofi is a car sickness, no accidents in the car, only a little barking and she adjusted wonderfully to new surroudings. I bet she thought she would be a transient dog the rest of her life. Luckily, she is adjusting well to being in the same place permanently.

Our movers come today (Murphy's Law failed us this time...we thought for sure the truck would arrive before us but here we are, sleeping on the floor and eating breakfast cereal on our living room floor.) I can't wait to sleep in my own bed tonight!

We will email everyone with our new contact info soon.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Welcome Little Ones

We are happy to announce that the Smemoe family has two new arrivals...our Sofi Ann (beagle pup) and Nicholas Shihao Smemoe (Richard and Joan's new son....born on the 16th of August to Lance's brother.) Here are some pictures of Sofi. She is such a good dog...although she definately has her naughty puppy moments. When we stayed at my brother Tom's house for a few nights, Sofi and Adrianna, my niece, were the best of friends. Adrianna and Sofi would talk puppy/baby talk to each other and play for hours.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Our New Home

Here is our new home. This is the side view of it...notice the nice spacious lawn.
Okay, for MN, MO or UT standards, this wouldn't be huge but in CA standards, this is quite nice!!!

I am excited to report we found our new home this past week in Orange County. Our new home is a one level, two bedroom duplex complete with a spacious side yard and a patio w/ a small patch of grass. (Perfect for letting Sofi out on the patio for her late night bathroom needs.) I fell in love with the place instantly.
Lance completed the bar exam and feels good about it. We still wait cautiously, with fingers crossed and a prayer in our hearts for the results due in November.
Just returned from a camping weekend up near Lake Mille Lacs with my cousin Helen, her husband Dave and son Cole. We had a wonderful time enjoying nature with family. The food was WONDERFUL. Helen, you are the best outdoors cook ever.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


My brother David and sister-in-law Vicki are holding the rag quilt I made for them. I think it turned out quite nicely...esp. for my first time quilting!

The quilt is made out of flannel so it is very soft and cuddly. This picture was taken at the "Sweet Beginings" Open House we held in honor of their wedding and upcoming birth of their son. The party was held on July 9th.

My favorite fabric was the little kitties dressed in pjs, sleeping w/ their own soft blankies. You can't see that in the picture. I plan on making quilts out of my mom's clothes for my next quilting project.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sun and Relaxation

Lance came home for good on Wednesday, July 12th. The next day we went to the North Shore on Lake Superior for a few days of relaxation and escape from the mounting pressures of moving across the country. We stayed at a resort right on the lake and had a spectacular time kayaking in Lake Superior, moutain biking, visiting tourist attractions and national landmarks. The room we were staying in didn't have air conditioning and Lance even called the front desk to find out if the air was broken. Turns out there isn't any airconditioned units in the resort. We had a good chuckle about that! I was in heaven...We got to fall asleep to the waves crashing upon the rocky shores. I didn't want to leave.

We also spent some time in Duluth, MN but the temp was at 105 degrees away from the lake. I almost wanted to swim in the 40 degree water of the great lake...but after wading in it for 30 minutes or so, I changed my mind.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Sofi Smemoe

Here is our newest edition to our family. We can officially "adopt" little Sofi in four weeks. Isn't she sweet? Lance thinks that Sofi is cute...but will be a lot of work. She just learned to walk and ate real food for the first time yesterday. She is awfully cuddly and is very mild mannered. Takes after Lance, I suppose. Not as good as a real baby, but just as lovable, loyal, expensive and full of demands. In my opinion - absolutely worth it. Hopefully we will be able to post a picture of a real baby next year. One can only hope.

Side note: I know my arms look fat in this picture. I swear that they really aren't - they are just pressed up against my side. I need to start up yoga again.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Big Accomplishment

I just wanted to write that today, for the first time probably ever, I got up on time, did two loads of laundry, made my bed AND set up two tables downstairs all before 7:15 a.m. For those who know me well, I am lucky if you can get me out of bed by 7:00 a.m., much less accomplish multiple tasks. It must be Summer Solstice (Juhannus in Finnish). Whatever it is, I am here at work by 8:00 a.m., happy as a lark.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mini family reunion

The snapshot above shows a scene from a birthday party that was thrown on June 13 at my brother Chris' house. The little happy girl back in the kitchen is my niece Arianna. Starting from Arianna and moving right, the picture shows Chris, my brother Ryan, my sister Lisa with her son Gordon, my yellow-jacketed mother Beverly, me, my brother Loren, and Chris' roommate Chad. Daddy Ray, whose birthday we celebrated, operated the camera.

Note that the food present includes homemade pizza, root beer, and german chocolate cake. Now that's a bona fide Smemoe-hosted birthday party!

Last Wednesday, I accompanied Ryan to the MTC. The MTC, or Missionary Training Center, is a facility that prepares people to perform full-time volunteer church service for a term of years. Ryan is serving a 2-year church mission, and his training includes learning the Spanish language, which he will use during his assignment in the Phoenix, Arizona area. At any given time, a couple thousand volunteers are instructed in over 40 language at the MTC. The duration of the training at the MTC is between 3 and 12 weeks.

About 7 years ago, I began learning the Finnish language in the MTC in preparation for my service in Finland. It was one of the most memorable parts of my mission experience. I am excited for Ryan and am very proud of him!

Currently, I'm staying at Chris' house and preparing to take the California bar exam during the week of July 24. Today, we finished our review of criminal law and procedure. Now I have only one more subject to review before I take a practice bar exam this Friday. Let's hope all goes well.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Magna Cum Laude

Lance, goofing around with the Mac laptop we had for a month or so while his old laptop was being fixed. His next challenge? Jay Leno look alike contest.

Lance just got his grades back from his last semester in Law School. He graduated Magna Cum Laude. Congrats Bubba! I asked him to post this great news to the blog but he didn't want to do so. He was afraid he would sound prideful. So I decided to brag about him instead! He is always diligent about studying.

Saw the puppies last night. There is a little girl puppy that is exceptionally docile and cuddly. I think she may become part of the Smemoe family in five more weeks. I will post a picture of her next time I go over there. Now deciding on a name for her...Any ideas? I think she is just the medicine I need.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Buy or Rent?

We are still trying to decide if we should buy or rent when we move to CA. The housing prices out there are UNBELIEVABLY high. Anyone have an extra half a million hanging around they want to donate so we can afford to purchase a townhome???

We vacillate back and forth...Renting is just as expensive as buying. Buying out there can be risky, especially since most first time buyers have to have a mortgage where they are paying interest only. Hopefully we can come to a decision together and soon. Lots to think about!!!

I am excited for this adventure, though. It will be nice to take walks on the beach in the winter.

My friend's beagle just had puppies. They said they were going to give us one as a moving away gift. They aren't lemon beagle puppies but I am sure they are still cute. We have six weeks to make a decision. Let's see if I can change Lance's mind so I can get my puppy. How can you say no to the cute baby puppy above?

Monday, June 5, 2006

How to Cope

It has been three, difficult, long weeks for Lance and myself. In the early morning hours of this past Friday, hospital staff confirmed I have an ectopic pregnancy. Luckily, I haven't had to have surgery yet (we are praying I won't have to have surgery) and was given strong chemotherapy drugs to help end the pregnancy.

I know many of our family and friends want to help but don't know how and have noticed that I am haven't been myself lately. Many of you are probably thinking...what is going on with Kristi? Why won't she call us or return our calls? I found a great group, RESOLVE, that has lots of educational and helpful resources about infertility/ infertility related problems.

I found a good page that helps put into words how I feel and what I want others to understand:

There is also a page of common "myths" about infertility. I have heard many people say certain things about infertility that just aren't true (I bet if you cut down the stress in your life you would get pregnant, you should adopt first and then you will get pregnant, etc.) Go here for more info:

Feel free to take a look around. We will be okay. We just need some time to deal with this physically and emotionally.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Lonely, Yet Busy Summer

Helsinki Finland Temple

Lance is in Utah for six weeks as he takes a CA bar review course. I have successfully survived two nights alone! Only 31 more nights to go. (Lance will come home over the 4th of July to visit)

Because Lance is out of school and I have lots of vacation to use up at work before I quit on July 24th, we will be taking many trips. Some are coming up soon, some are later in the summer. Here they are:

  • Four day stay in Southern CA - Lance will be taking the bar and I will be looking for housing...I am sure I will take advantage of the beach and other amenities as well
  • Three day trip to Nauvoo - Even though they released me from working with the Young Women at church, they still want me to help chaperone the ward (congregation) trip to Nauvoo, IL. I have never been there before so this should be fun!
  • Girls Camp - I will be attending Girls Camp with the young women from church. Camp this year is a region gathering. Lots of fun...and "roughing it" is not required.
  • Ohio/West Virginia - Off to see my uncle, my brother and my sister-in-law. We plan on spending time in Northern Ohio, Amish Country, some state parks in Ohio, and of course, West Virginie. Vicki's niece, 3 yr. old Katie, can't wait for us to come visit. I am her "friend."
  • Branson, MO - This will be a family affair! My dad, brother Luke, Lance's sister Lea, her family and hopefully Lance's dad will all be down in Branson later this summer. I think this is Lance's favorite vacation spot since we have been there every year we have been married. I can't wait to see the new Titanic Museum.

I wish Finland was in this list but alas, we can't find a plane ticket that is in our price range. Lance promises we can return to Finland soon. He has mentioned that we could go for Christmas 2006. I can't wait...especially since the temple opens soon.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The history of industrial policy in America

Industrial policy has been practiced by the government of the United States to a greater or lesser extent since its inception. Tariffs, subsidies, intellectual property protection, industry regulation, labor regulation, and safeguards have all impacted the development and growth of industry. In fact, industrial policy may be politically inevitable because many people want the government to "do something" to improve the economy. Perhaps because of the lack of a nationwide discussion of the attributes of an effective policy, the government has failed to articulate a coherent framework within which its industrial policy choices should fit and a standard against which its industrial policies may be measured. Thus, industrial policy in the United States has included a mix of sectoral, general, and other approaches that have met with varying success.

As early as 1791, Alexander Hamilton advocated a form of infant industry protection and price distortions in order to encourage the development of a favored industry—manufacturing—in the United States. Since that time, the government has used price controls, trade restrictions, tariffs and taxes, and industry regulation to provide special advantages to certain firms in favored industries. These controls provide direct incentives to private firms in the form of increased profits. Advocates of such policies hope that these private firms enhance the welfare of the nation by investing the profits in research, development, and infrastructure that provide benefits to many individuals and firms outside the company. These approaches have been criticized because they involve “picking winners” and because the information and administrative costs associated with the government’s effective implementation and monitoring programs may outweigh the benefits from the policies. Another concern is that the effectiveness of the programs eventually becomes diminished by entrenched interests. For example, the benefited firms might keep the excess profits without reinvesting them or use the rents to create an effective political apparatus whose purpose is simply to perpetuate the policies advantageous to those firms.

In 1993, Steve Charnovitz published a paper that criticized sector approaches to industrial policy and advocated a “general” approach. He suggested that the focus of any policy should be at the national level rather than at the firm level. Providing subsidies for institutional infrastructure, such as public education, job training programs, and financial markets, may improve the welfare of the nation by correcting market failures. In other words, Charnovitz believed that, in some cases, social returns from certain investments were higher than private returns, and that the government could compensate for this by making appropriate investments and eliminating many impediments to private sector growth. Some ways in which a general industrial policy approach could be implemented are reducing the burden of regulation, developing better labor markets with unemployment insurance and information services, and developing venture capital funds for which small businesses must compete. One drawback to general approaches is that the effectiveness of the approaches may be very difficult to measure. Moreover, the effect of a general approach may be too long term to allow a rapid development cycle for the approach.

One effective and interesting industrial policy approach is illustrated in the U.S. Government's loan guarantees given to Chrysler Corporation in 1980. The agreement between the automaker and the government provided an opportunity for the private firm to continue operation, but the assistance was contingent on management and workers agreeing on several concessions. In effect, Chrysler and the government attempted to identify the causes of the problems that were plaguing the firm. Once the bottlenecks were identified, the government and the firm worked together to eliminate them by undoing several constraints to which management and workers had previously agreed. This example may suggest a third approach to industrial policy—one in which government incentives are conditioned on certain benchmarks set by the government. One difficulty of this model is that it is difficult to evaluate whether the continued existence of Chrysler was actually beneficial to the nation. Thus, the measurement difficulties presented by the general approach may also be present in this strategic approach to industrial policy.

I believe that law should seek to facilitate the identification and adoption or, alternatively, the rejection of an industrial policy based on the policy’s effectiveness at achieving benchmarks that are agreed to before the industrial policy is created. In this manner, the government can create more turnover and variety in its approaches, and academics can then develop better theories to describe what approaches work best using the new data. What the country needs are better independent institutions to measure and report progress that polices make towards their agreed-upon goals.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Lance D. Smemoe, J.D. (or is it Esquire?)

Here are a few pictures from Lance's graduation from Law School. It was so cold that day (May 13th) The temp was around 40 degrees.

What makes a blog successful?

Kristi is very good at blogging. She writes about interesting topics and is very skilled at sharing details from her life in a way that provides a hook for her readers. She has successfully blogged about her life without making her posts boring to others.

One of the hangups I have about blogging is that I can't think of ways to make the things I do interesting to others. It seems to me that the most successful blogs have a relatively tight focus on a subject that its readers find interesting. Thus, I would like to try making a blog that provides in-depth coverage of a few topics.

As an experiment, for the next while, I will concentrate on posting my thoughts about three subjects: industrial policy, intellectual property law and policy, and education policy. Of course, Kristi will continue to tell you what is new with the Smemoes in this space. I hope that you enjoy reading this material, and I encourage you to post your thoughts or questions so that we can generate a discussion.

And thank you for visiting our new blog!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Four Years

It will be Lance and my anniversary on Sunday. Four years...can you believe it? We have been happily married four years AND we survived law school. Yeah for us!

In LDS terms, I always feel like we are far behind where we are supposed to be. Four years and no kids. :-( Most people we know who were married the same time we were already have one child if not two. All in the Lord's timing. It will happen...I have faith. To the rest of the world, we aren't behind at all. Four years is nothing. My boss Amy likes to keep reminding me that. Maybe one day I will believe her....

I am in charge of planning our celebration this year. Hmmmm....So far we will be eating at Biaggi's, a nice Italian restaurant. The rest is a secret. I am helping my niece by watching her baby during the day so she can move. We will most likely visit the gym in the morning and drop a bunch of boxes off at Goodwill. Gotta streamline our lives now that we will be moving. Giving away lots of things and furniture.

Pic of us....

I am sure you all want to see a recent picture of us. I will post one as soon as we get some. For now, you will have to settle for this :-) This was taken three years ago. We pretty much look the same.

First Entry

My friends, the Patomos, have created a blog to let everyone know in their families how they are doing. I thought I would do the same, especially since we are moving away from family and will be many miles away in a few months. Maybe I can get Lance to use the blog as well. We will see.