Tuesday, September 25, 2007

statics anyone?

mike started his first day of grad school yesterday. he left portland about 6am to get down to corvallis for his 8am class. it's not a two hour drive, but being the new kid on the block he gave himself plenty of time.

here are excerpts from an email he sent out to family this morning:

my 8:00 class started with my professor saying ' i assume youve all taken Statics. it is a prerequisite for this class. if you havent, i wont kick you out, but if you stay, you might struggle '. i have not taken Statics.

then at 10:00 in my next class, it was pointed out that everything we would be studying this term would be based on....drum roll....Statics.
My advisor teaches that class so i spoke with him after class thinking i would drop one of the 2 classes. Instead, he recommended that I...drumroll...take Statics. So instead of dropping a class, im picking one up ( actually just sitting in on it ).

He was actually very encouraging and said it would be rough but better to try to do them all at once rather than put my entire sequence of courses back 1 year. he seems to understand where Im at and thinks i can do it...so im doing it. i was pretty nervous until i spoke with him so now i just have to learn Statics before Wednesday and ill be ok.

i knew it would be tough at first and im sure the worst is yet to come in some ways but im still very excited about the material believe it or not. i think if i can get through this first term everything will be more manageable.

so that is the life of a new grad student...learning things you never knew, go figure! i'm in portland spending time with family & friends. i'll head down this weekend. still haven't heard about the job and still am not sure how to get our pictures online so pictures will wait until next week, when we're in our house & i have our computer back! :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

the wild west

it's been awhile & for whoever reads this i assume you are wondering if we ever made it to oregon...well, we did. we are in portland. we arrived tuesday evening and have spent the last few days going back & forth between portland and corvallis. but let me back track first and finish sharing about our road trip.

we left gillette, wy on saturday to drive to yellowstone. it took longer than we had expected so we didn't get to yellowstone until about 5pm. we got to our campsite just in time to see a herd of bison eating in the field next to us. about an hour later we were eating dinner when they moved from the field to OUR campsite, right by our table! anyone who knows me knows i'm not a fan of animals, but really big animals...they flat out scare me! add to that the signs everywhere warning of bears (and the knowledge that yellowstone is one of two places in the US where grizzly bears still exist) and i was not too excited about sleeping in the tent...which explains why i moved to the car (with calla) in the middle of the night.

yellowstone was awesome. like the badlands, i say go if you ever have the chance. it's beautiful. we spent all day sunday at the park and wish we'd had longer.

sunday night we drove to idaho & spent the next two nights there visiting my sister kaitlin. it was wonderful spending time with her & seeing her school. then tuesday we headed out to portland and arrived tuesday night.

things we weren't expecting-

-crying (hard) when crossing the oregon border. i wish i could say it was tears of joy, but it was more of the reality that we weren't going home (which, chicago still feels like home) and weren't going to see our friends & family next week (will we ever get over that one?).

-calla being a (dare i say it) perfect baby. we are pretty sure between chicago & oregon she cried for an hour...total. she was wonderful.

-greta being willing to do anything...and loving almost all of it. greta has always been our "adventure" girl, but recently it had seemed she was growing a bit more timid. this trip proved otherwise & we love her love of life...and learn from her too.

so now we are in portland. yesterday i interviewed for a job. the interview went well so we'll see if it works out. mike had orientation today & we finally saw the house we will be living in, which was awesome! we lucked out on this one. the town of corvallis is super cute so we are excited to share it with anyone who decides to visit (in case you don't know...we love visitors & hope to have lots!).

pictures will come sometime soon, but i thought a posting about life was good for now. :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

what a day!

here is our day at a glance...we were busy!

Corn Palace- interesting, but what would have been REALLY interesting is if we'd had time to stick around for the International Polka Festival...yes, that is right, we were there right before the action (but long enough for some interesting conversations).

Badlands- amazing. definitely the highlight of the day. if you ever have the chance to go there- go!

Mt. Rushmore- the highlight of visiting Mt. Rushmore is that we can now say we visited Mt. Rushmore (and we have some pictures)

Wall Drug- not even sure what to say- not really sure of the point in this one, if there is supposed to be a point.

we started our day at 11am, gained an hour when we reached mountain time, and ended our day at 10pm. drove from mitchell, sd to gillette, wy, about 468 miles. the girls are still troopers. my favorite comment of the day was when greta said "when i grow up & get bigger i'm going to be a boy!" it was hilarious. she also loved climbing the "mountains" in the badlands.

tomorrow we are heading to yellowstone & will be camping...the new adventures continue, yet it's interesting the moments of deep sadness (even in the midst of the excitement) when we think about what we have left. lots of mixed emotions.

more later...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

on the road again

here are bits & pieces of an email i sent out to our family...

we are heading out of minnesota in moments to began our "real" voyage out west.  mike has it all mapped out on an excel spreadsheet (thank you scott!), which we are already beginning our journey a bit late (no surprise), so the times are estimates.  we want to be in portland by monday night, but it might end of being tuesday...we'll see how it goes.

for those of you who haven't heard, i have a job interview a week from today (thurs, 9/20) at OSU in the College of Forestry.  it's a part time office job so it's nothing glamorous, but it would offer full benefits for our family with me only working 20 hrs/wk.  pray for that.  it would be a huge blessing for us & would ease our worries/fears.

we'll update with pictures once we are in portland.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Lisa & Scott welcomed Linnea Lisa Applequist this morning at 5:50am. Lisa's water broke at 5am, the ambulance arrived about 5:15am...and Linnea arrived after one push at the hospital! We are so thrilled & can't believe that we have all girls in the Johnson family! God must trust us to raise good women! :) I'm sure I'll post pictures later, but the news was too exciting to wait to share! (vital stats: 6 lbs, 12 oz, 18 inches long) linnea was born 3 1/2 weeks early, lisa's due date was 9/26...she's having a baby like i have babies...early! everyone is healthy & doing great.