Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bye-bye "Hoddy"

Next to Mom and Dad, Nathan's favorite person is Holly Steward ("Hoddy"). She has been his babysitter since he was very small and loves playing with her and cuddling. For the next year, Holly will be serving a missionary family in Zambia, Africa as a Missionary Nanny. Holly, we will miss you and promise to show Nathan your picture often so he doesn't forget you.


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We drove to Fort Wayne and enjoyed a BIG family feast on Thanksgiving Day. My Dad's extended family is quite large and every year they rent a facility that was once a small school. This year there were about 50-60 people and so much food. There were even fun crafts and activities for the kids to do while the adults caught up with each other. Even though we don't get together with extended family very often, it was nice to see everyone and reconnect with people we don't see but once a year.

My immediate family at Thanksgiving dinner (waiting for the big feast)
Mamaw and Nathan make crafts: Foam sticker Christmas ornaments
The Big Feast

Monday, December 22, 2008


I have no time for blogging. If you haven't noticed, I haven't posted a new message or picture in over a month. Since the beginning of the holiday season, I have not had a spare minute to sit at the computer and compose a blog. Maybe after Christmas is over, I can do a marathon day of blogging and post about a dozen messages and pictures to catch everyone up on the life of the Wiseners, but not now. Sorry!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday

We had a wonderful 2nd birthday party for Nathan. There are so many families in our Sunday School class that have kids Nathan's age, that the guest list was easy. His best buds came: Ellie, Kilee, Elijah, Aiden, Evan and Lily (and their families).
Our big gift was a train table, so we had a cars & trains birthday with lots of Matchbox cars and Thomas the Train. The kids had a great time playing with the train table and of course all of the other toys in the basement. We had all the kids decorate a birthday banner with stickers and crayons. They had lots of fun.
Thank you to everyone for celebrating Nathan's 2nd birthday with us.

2-year photos

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cooking with Daddy

Nathan is such a little helper. We were making dinner one evening and Nathan decided to pull up a chair and give us a hand. I put an extra apron on him and he was a great help pouring ingredients and stirring with a spoon.

Playing in leaves

One Saturday morning while I was sleeping after working night shifts, Jeff and Nathan worked in the yard. They were supposed to be raking and bagging the leaves, but I think Nathan had much more fun playing in the leaf piles. I was hoping to post a short video of Nathan diving off the deck into a huge pile of leaves, but I couldn't get it to load. The pictures are cute too.

After a full morning of raking and playing in leaves, Nathan could barely stay awake through lunch. He was falling asleep in his food.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bob the Builder

We had a wonderful Halloween. Instead of trick-or-treating, we went to our church's Fall Festival. Nathan had a great time playing all of the silly games and getting handfuls of candy. There was also a hayride around the back of the church property. Jeff spotted a "big cat" in the woods, I think it was a bobcat. When we came home, Nathan showed off his cute costume to the neighbor.

Huber's Orchard

About a week ago Baptist East hosted a Family Fun day at Huber's Orchard. Our tickets included Huber's famous buffet, entrance to the kid's barnyard, activity tickets, free pony rides and carriage rides. First off, the food was fabulous: fried chicken, homestyle ham, green beans, sweet corn, chicken 'n dumplings, cole slaw and fried biscuits. Nathan loved the pony rides and picking pumpkins from their pumpkin patch.

Family picture on the hayride to the pumpkin patch
Nathan loved the pumpkin's. He tried to pick up each one in the pumpkin patch without success.
The kid's barnyard had a fun "Cow Train"
Nathan's favorite activity was feeding the goats. He would pick up the corn kernels off the ground and feed them to the waiting goats one at a time.
Nathan was so independent riding the pony like a big boy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


We had our first late-night trip to the emergency room. Nathan woke up about 1 am one morning crying hysterically and coughing like a seal (meaning his cough sounded like the bark of a seal). As I was trying to get him to calm down, it became clear that he was having difficulty breathing. We bundled him up and raced to the emergency room at Baptist East. I walked in and at the main ER window in front of us was a woman in hand-cuffs being escorted by a female police officer. The woman was obviously intoxicated and was doing everything she could to stall (I guess she wanted to delay going to jail). I had an overwhelming urge to push her out of the way, couldn't she see that I had a baby who couldn't breathe??? Finally the nurse in charge told her to move and took us right in. Nathan had calmed down significantly and was a real trooper as the nurses and a doctor examined him and gave him a cool-mist breathing treatment. After a chest and upper airway X-ray, he was diagnosed with Croup. This is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the upper airway and vocal chords in young children. We were sent home with steriods for the inflammation and instructions on what to do if he has another attack. It was quite a scary night.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Nathan started preschool last week, actually he goes to daycare at the hospital 2-3 days a week, but he calls it "cool". Nathan has been to church nursery many times, but never all day and not with as much structure as school. I was not concerned about him getting along with the other kids or being well behaved, I was a little nervous about nap time. They all nap on mats and I was concerned he would not do it. They reassured me that the transition is easier than most parents think. I was pleasantly surprised when they reported that he slept for the whole 2 hours and was great.
I am really pleased with our decision to use this place and I think it will be great for Nathan. On the first day, the director took Nathan's picture on the playground and send it to mine and Jeff's email. They also took the pictures and made a nice poem with them documenting his first day. It was so cute. below are the pictures they sent. He had a great time as you can see.

Halloween at the Zoo

On Saturday evening we went to the Zoo's Halloween celebration. The kids get to dress up in costumes and "trick-or-treat" around the zoo after hours. Most of the animal exhibits are closed, but there are a few animals who come out in the early evening hours and are much better to see than during the day. It was very crowded, but the crowd moved well enough and we had a great time. Nathan was Bob the Builder and we took Nathan's friend Ellie who was a Bee. They were super cute.

The Pacific Ocean

It was entirely too cold in the Pacific to get into the water, but we had fun walking along the beach and watching the surfers. Jeff couldn't get enough.

Jeff wishes he were the one surfing.

Beach Bum Nathan

Balboa Park and museums

Balboa Park is a large park in the middle of downtown San Diego, much like Central Park in the middle of New York City. It is beautiful. There is a lot of great architecture, trees, 13 museums and the Zoo. We bought a pass that got us into any of the museums once and the Zoo. It was so much fun walking around the grounds of the Park and going to see the many different museums.

Nathan loved this beautiful fountain in the courtyard near the visitor's center.

The Museum of Man featured Mummies and ancient Indian artifacts (the Mayan and Aztec). It also chronicled man's evolution (yes, from apes).

There was a Science Center that had a wonderful play area for children less than 5. Nathan had a great time playing with the musical instruments, the blocks and the make believe grocery store.
There was a water exhibit where you walked through a curtain of "water" with lights naming water in many languages. Jeff and Nathan must have walked through the curtain a dozen times because Nathan loved it.

Model Train Museum.
It was amazing how intricate the villages and scenery was. There was room after room filled with model trains.

San Diego Zoo

2008 is the Year of the Frog.
We saw a lot of neat frogs and other amphibians at the Zoo.

Nathan and I at the Zoo
(he is wearing his monkey backpack)

On the road to see the Panda exhibit.
The San Diego Zoo has a great Panda exhibit with 2 adult panda bears.

Sea World

Nathan's first amusement park ride with his favorite character, Elmo (A-mo). He loved it

Sesame Street Bay of Play
Sea World's fun play area for young children.
Nathan could have spent the entire day there with A-mo

You can't go to Sea World without seeing Shamu. They put on a great show.

San Diego

Back in May I won 2 free airline tickets on Continental anywhere in the lower 48 good until the middle of December. This was a use-it-or-loose-it deal so we decided to use it while Nathan was still a free ride-along and go to California. Jeff had never been to California and it had been quite a while since I was there (back in high school). We decided Nathan was too young for the big theme parks like Disney, Knott's Berry Farm and Legoland, but we did get to do a lot of neat activities. We went to Sea World, the Zoo, a number of museums at Balboa Park and to the beach. It was a nice, relaxing vacation.

Monday, September 22, 2008

We have power

In the words of my neighbor, Billie, who shouted from her front door, "IT'S BACK ON!!! IT'S BACK ON!!!" LG&E and Pike Electric fixed our downed power lines and broken electrical pole on Sunday afternoon. Our power was restored exactly 7 days from the time it was lost (at 2:10 pm Sunday). There are still tens of thousands of people in the area who are without power, but now the Wisener's are not one of them.

Friday, September 19, 2008


This is day #6 without power. A neighbor heard from a friend who heard from a friend who's friend works at LG&E that they are going to work on our down power lines today, but you know how unreliable that information can be. We will just have to wait and see if any of the rumors pan out.
I want to give a great big thanks to some of the people who have shown us generosity and kindness so far through this time.
** Our next-door neighbor, Betty, has a gas-powered generator to run her refrigerator and TV. She has allowed us to run an extension cord to her generator which is keeping our fish tanks running and our fish alive. (Right now I am plugged into the wireless router using even more extension cords in order to be on the internet briefly)
** Westport Rd Church of Christ has opened its door and their kitchen to the residents of Woodlawn Park with free hot dinners every night this week. They are planning on continuing to offer meals as long as the power is out and they have food to give away. They also have power strips plugged in to charge your cell phones and free candles for anyone who needs one. I was moved to tears when I experienced first-hand this church reaching out to the neighborhood, many of whom are not members.
** Clint & Ashley Lawrence and Joe Dan & Laura Beavers for inviting us over for dinner and allowing us to use their washer and dryer to do laundry. We have so many generous friends.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Things I didn't know before

Louisville has been turned upside-down (or blown upside-down) by the edge of Hurricane Ike sweeping past the Metro City. Sunday afternoon was exciting and a little frightening with wind gusts up to 70 mph. There were many trees blown over, power lines cut and debris everywhere. Our neighborhood looks like a war zone. Fortunately, our house sustained no damage but we are without power. LG&E estimates 75% of the service area is without power and they say it could be up to 12-14 days or more before it is restored. Until then, we are living as the Amish. You can learn a lot of things when you have to improvise without electricity:
1. We have some very nice neighbors. No one is staying indoors since there is no TV, no air-conditioning, no lights, etc.
2. You can grill almost anything on the gas grill (bacon, frozen pizza, breakfast pastries, soup, cheese sandwiches, etc.)
3. Gas-powered generators take a lot of gas - which is a hot commodity in town since every station is either without power or run out of gas.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saggy Britches

Nathan has been blessed (or cursed) with his father's waist, or lack there of. In other words, he has no waist to hold up his pants. As the picture above demonstrates, we sometimes have to use a keychain clasp to cinch his pants tighter. We have tried a belt but it seems to weigh down the pants further and we can't find a belt that is small enough. Just to give you an idea, Nathan's swim trunks are a 3-6 month size and his too-big belt is a 6-12 month size. It is all quite funny, especially when he runs around with saggy britches all the time.

Nathan's Latest Obsessions

Fridge Farm by Leap Frog
Nathan is very good at matching the heads and backs of the farm animals
(notice the saggy britches, see other post)

The Garden Hose
Nathan is pretty good at filling the pool with the hose, but as you can tell he seems to get everything wet, including himself.

Belt Buckles
Nathan loves to buckle any seatbelt he comes across. He will buckle himself into the shopping cart seat and his highchair (don't try to help him).

He will sit in the rocking chair in his room and read a "buk" for quite a while. I love that he is so interested in reading and hope this continues as he gets older

Race Cars (Matchbox and Hot Wheels)
This one may have been influenced by Daddy!!

Backyard pool

Nathan's Water Table with water-wheel

Nathan in the Froggy Pool and with Dad in the Fishy Pool

We have been having fun in the sun this summer. Nathan loves to play in the little pool in the backyard. Sometimes he is tentative about getting fully in the pool, but he really likes throwing balls and cars into and out of the water. We have a little froggy pool that only has water about ankle deep, a taller fishy pool that can be filled up to chest deep (on Nathan), and a fun water table with boats and a water-wheel. As one friend said, "You have a waterpark in your backyard!" We have a lot of fun.

Jeff's New Job

Since Jeff is graduating from seminary in December with his Masters of Divinity in Christian Counseling, he was starting the job-search process late this summer. For the past year he interned at Seven Counties Services, Crisis Information Center which is a crisis call-in center. A number of toll-free and local numbers from the 7 surrounding counties filter into this call-in center with problems ranging from financial assistance to suicide. One day Jeff was browsing their job openings and applied for what he thought was a full-time counseling position in the call-in center he was already familiar with. The job ended up being a more behind the scenes position maintaining the computer system and resources the counseling center uses. Because of his prior experience with the company and the computer system, he was offered the position - Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm. Because of budget cuts in the counseling center, he will be working at the call-in center a few hours a day in addition to the requirements for the position he was hired for. I know he is excited to start working. His first day is Monday, Sept 8th. Congratulations Jeff!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First Haircut

I kept putting off Nathan's first haircut because I wanted him to still be that bald little baby. It was time. Although his hair is thin (and it probably always will be), it was getting long and hard to manage, especially around his ears and in the back at his neck. Our friend Kim offered to have her neighbor in Arizona cut it while we were there on vacation, but we ran out of time. We made the appointment when we came home. It was a nice place with a great indoor playground for the kids while they wait. There is also a Wii for the "big kids" (Jeff). Nathan got to sit in a chair shaped like a fire engine and watched Tom & Jerry on his own TV while the lady cut his hair. He did great!!