Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thanksgiving in Oregon

We have been home from Oregon for way over a week now, and I've been intending to do a little bloggy blogging since we've returned. I just hate to keeps our fans waiting...
Here's a glimpse of our trip:

My mom and my two BFFs, Alison & Beka, threw me a wonderful baby shower. The above picture is of all of our loot. There were so many people at my shower that have been a part of my life for pretty much forever and I felt so blessed! I guess Karen Lee is still loved and remember in good ol' Jefferson.

This is Mary. She's also known me forever. Mary was my sewing 4-H leader and has been my sewing guru ever since. Mary quilted our baby a beautiful quilt and a pair of little booties. As my sewing guru, she helped me make a quilt for Steve about 7 years ago, and so I enlisted her to help me finish my baby's cradle quilt. She was thrilled by the prospect! I will post pictures when the bedding is all finished up.
Next we head up to my grandparents' farm. It was great, and of course, we shot guns and ate food.

Some fun male bonding: My dad and Steve cleaning the guns. Look out, gentlemen callers!

My little bro Jeffy and Steve. And you thought I was the silly one in the family...

This is my twin brother, Jimmy. Don't we look alike? Yes, he is hugging an assault rifle and a hand gun. He's going to make a pretty ferocious uncle. Here's a little secret: he's really just a big teddy bear. He's also single and looking to mingle...

Yes, I'm pregnant and shooting a handgun. I felt really weird about doing that. My dad got a little cowboy gun and really wanted me to try it out. 

I asked Steve to look tough in this picture. I'm not sure he delivered. 

Steve and I stayed in Oregon until early Sunday morning so that I could go to the Civil War game with my Dad. You may already know this, but my family (Dad in particular) are major Beaver believers. This picture was obviously taken before the game, because we were all smiles. I won't post any details about the game, but it wasn't exactly pretty. However, I had a great time with my dad so it was worth it.

We drove home the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I wouldn't recommend doing that drive to anyone, especially if you're pregnant. I took us 20 hours. No joke. It was awful and we're trying to block that out of our memories. Anyways, we had a great time and find it hard to believe that the next time we're up there, we'll have a little addition with us! CRAZY!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


We are leaving tomorrow morning for our trek up to Oregon for Thanksgiving. This will be a great time to see friends, family, eat, enjoy the rain and no sales tax, have a baby shower, and watch OSU cream U of O during the Civil War. As you can see, we have plenty to look forward to and much to be thankful for. 

On an unrelated topic: I finally made my decision on my students' recycled animal projects. And while I know some of you felt that the parent participation was a little much, I was relieved. Getting parents and kids involved in recycling sounds like a grand idea to me. So, here are the winners:

Most Artistic: The Eagle
Most Creative: The Owl
Most Interesting: a tie between The Elephant and The Scorpion (I couldn't choose!)

Thanks for your input! I told my students that their animals were so good that I needed my friends' help to decided. That made them feel like superstars!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I don't mean to brag...

but I'm pretty sure that Steve & I have the best jobs ever! No, I didn't say easiest job ever, becuase contrary to popular belief, we don't show up and leave when the kids do. Teaching is demanding, and anyone who thinks differently should follow us around for a day. Ok, I'll get off of my soap box now...

Anywho, one of the greatest and most frightening things about teaching (and parenting as well) is the opportunity I have to share my passions with my students in hopes of it becoming "contagious." I should know how this works, as I am the product of a very passionate father who loved sharing his passions with his kids. That's why I believe that Coke is superior to Pepsi, John Deere tractors are the best, and it is of my utmost American duty to root for the Oregon State Beavers, in good times and bad.

I am also passionate about many things, and God's creation is pretty high on my list. That's why I was so jazzed to teach a social studies unit on community resources and recycling. As we ended the unit, I challenged my students to create a 3-D animal using only recycled materials that they found around their homes. I allowed them to use new paint and glue, but that was it. My kiddos loved this project, and I was blown away by their creativity. Now comes the hard part: I told them that I would give out three awards and I can't decide on who deserves what! Will you please help me? The awards to be given are Most Artistic, Most Interesting, and Most Creative. I took pictures of my favorites in hopes that you would all give me your input. Here they are, in no particular order:

The gorilla: made out of a 2 liter pop bottle, bits of paper, newspaper and paint

The scorpion: made out of egg cartons and paint

The bald eagle: made out of a 2 liter pop bottle, cardboard and paint

The owl: made out of a gallon milk jug, cardboard, and cut up grocery bags

The elephant: made out of bottle caps (for the trunk), water bottles (legs and body), cardboard, pop can tabs, and newspaper

Here's a closing shot of the whole little recycled zoo:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Busy Little Bees

Dos Dunlaps have been busy around this here joint. This weekend was a whirlwind, and we have the pictures to prove it. It started off with a long-overdue visit from our very best friend from college, Mrs. Candace Morris. We had such a great time just being with one another; it's so refreshing to be with a friend that knows you, your quirks, your history, and still loves you. Candi is so easy to love and she loves us back without even batting an eye. All of the pictures below were taken by her, as she has become quite the little photographer. 

Candiass and Karen getting our cheese on

Trying so very hard not to giggle

3 BFFS + 1 Brundibar= Good Times

Candace & Charlie

Charlie does not often allow people to see him, let alone pick him up. Candace has captured all of the Dunlaps' hearts!

This weekend was also Steve's Grandpa's funeral service. We had a weekend full of family and remembering Grandpa. The service was beautiful, and there is a sense of relief now that it's over with. Thanks to all of you who have remembered our family in your prayers during this time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pink is the new black...

No, this isn't a post promoting breast cancer awareness, but that is a good and noble cause, to be sure. This is a post stating that it seems as though we are going to be having a baby girl! Why the ribbon? Well, my appointment was for this morning and I told my students that I would be back at lunch. They have been dying to know what I'm having, it's like I'm their personal science experiment! They requested that I wear a pink or blue ribbon, depending on the sex. So this is what I rocked when I came into my classroom. We had previously taken a poll, and MOST of them were convinced that I was having a boy. I have to admit, I got a few sad faces when they saw the pink ribbon. They'll get over it.

The ultrasound was unreal. For starters, I took the instructions to heart that stated that I needed a full bladder. I was so afraid that I was going to accidentally pee on the lab technician. Thankfully, she let me relieve myself half way through. The radiologist was having difficulties with the machine (it was a new model) and so I was smothered with jelly stuff for close to an hour and a half. She wasn't a Chatty Charlie, so I didn't really know what was going on for 99% of the time. At the end, she told us that she didn't see anything that indicated boy parts, and that all signs were pointing to girl. We were very excited; we would have been happy either way, but knowing the sex makes everything seem more real now. Steve is beyond thrilled to have a little girl, and is already plotting on how to make every man that enters our daughter's life uncomfortable and intimidated. Oh, Stevie...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Garage sales and moldy pumpkins

So today was the day of the big sale. Unfortunately, we didn't get the ad in the paper on time, so our day started out pretty slow. Below is evidence of our boredom.

Brundibar, Karen, and our loot. Where are the customers?

We were a little disappointed at our poor start.

However, things did pick up and we were able to finish off the day with only a few bags to take to Goodwill and a whopping $76 to help with our friends' international adoption. Hooray! Please note in the above photo our super duper moldy pumpkin. Hey, California--It's not supposed to be 90+ degrees on Halloween! Your stupid weather makes our pumpkins gooey and gross. 

P.S. We have our ultrasound scheduled on Monday morning to find out if we're having a boy or girl Dunlap. We're very excited, and you should be too!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Garage Sale

That's right, folks. It's time for another Dunlap garage sale. The retail event of the year will be held on Saturday, November 1st. We know all of you out there have a Goodwill pile going, so how about putting that good will towards our sale? All of the money that we raise will be donated to help fund the effort to bring home my new nephew from Ethiopia, more commonly referred to as Beka and Jake's adventure in international adoption. Check them out here. I've already promised them close to a million bucks, so please friends, let's not disappoint. If you have any unwanted goods, or if you just want to have fun this Saturday morning, swing on by. You can drop off your donations anytime this week, but please call first. Brundibar is not a huge fan of people entering "his" back yard without the accompaniment of either Karen or Steve. The only thing missing from this garage sale will be Dan and Alyssa. We have had a lot of garage sales over the years, and they've been a huge part of all of them. I'm really going to miss not having Dan out in front making deals with me while Alyssa and Steve hideout in the background. Miss you guys!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Steve's Grandpa passed away this Tuesday evening. He was ready to go, and had stopped eating and drinking for over a week. We were able to spend a lot of time with him during this process and as difficult as it has been to say goodbye, we know he's better off going home than staying down here.

We've been talking and reminiscing and grieving over losing this pillar in our family. Grandpa was an amazing man; an accomplished WWII pilot, artist, photographer, carpenter, metal worker, gardener, and avid Harry Potter fan. Grandpa loved his family, and it saddens us that he will not have the chance to meet his great-grandchild in a few months. Although our children will never have the pleasure of meeting him, we will have many memories and stories about this amazing man to share with them.

Steve made the comment the other night that Grandpa was like a hobbit; he loved working with his hands and watching things grow. This comparison brought a huge smile to my face, not just because I have an affinity for those humble Middle Earthlings, but because Steve has often been compared to a hobbit himself.

We appreciate and covet your prayers for our family during this season. We know God's timing is best, we know His way is best, but it's still hard.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Baby Update

Here's a new belly photo for y'all. We had a doctor's appointment this morning (17 week check-up), and everything is looking great! We didn't get an ultrasound, which I was really pulling for, but we did get to hear the baby's heartbeat--the most exciting sound I've ever heard! I haven't been able to feel the baby move yet, but my RN said that this baby is a mover and shaker! The appointment was a quick one, but there is nothing more reassuring at this stage than hearing from medical professionals that I'm doing one heck of a job growing my baby. Hooray!

Monday, October 13, 2008

How did you spend your Monday night?

I had the pleasure of reading about curriculum theory and design. 
If you are ever interested in discovering how educational curriculum is designed, or you want a sure fire way to fall asleep... read any of these three books.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Watch Out!

My cat could eat your cat...and maybe even your dog. He's probably that hungry. Oh, Charlie Boy, you're the closest thing I know to feline perfection...


Some of our Life Group friends got together this weekend to go camping at Silverwood Lake. It was a great trip, and very refreshing to be out in the middle of creation. It was cold--like in the 30's at nighttime, which is painful to those of us living in Southern California. Here are some pictorial highlights of the trip:

Steve, Brun, and Jon enjoying the sun.

Who knew camping could be so dangerous? Yikes!

Steve & Elizabeth getting their grill on.

Evan thinks it's funny to tempt Brundibar. Don't you love Brun's camping attire?

Here's a darling picture of Kathy, Brun, Jon, Bella (inside the jacket), and Heather. No, Brun is NOT pooping on Jon. Brundibar is so lazy that he'll lean against anything that comes his way...including Jon's leg.

Well, that about does it. We had a great time with great friends in the great outdoors. But now our backs hurt from sleeping on the ground because we're not spring chicks anymore. And, stay tuned for a baby/belly update. We have a Dr.'s appointment on Tuesday and we'll let you all know how that goes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Queen for a Day

Today is Imogene's birthday! She's two years old and living the good life. You would be too if you were a cat living in the Dunlap house. Words that describe the birthday girl include: persnickety, snobbish, adorable, champion moth killer, and too cute to boot!

Imogene and I snagged a quick nap yesterday after church. Midgey (her nickname, not mine) is not a cuddle bug, so this was a treat. I'm pretty sure that heaven will include plenty of nap time with cats of all sizes. By the by, if you think it's weird that I'm posting a blog about my cat's birthday, maybe you don't know me as well as you thought you did. You see, my cats are sort of a big deal.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Go Beavs

Final Score... Oregon State: 27,  USC: 21   WOW!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Brundibar's Saga, Part II

Brundibar continues to amaze us with his stupidity when we leave town. This weekend we headed up to Big Bear to spend time with each other and our dear friends. We enlisted the help of Steve's brother, Mike, to house sit while we were gone. We were confident that Brun would be fine this time around since he was staying at home, not some place unfamiliar. Oh, silly us. We received a phone call from Mike at approx. 2am Friday night/Saturday morning, stating that Brun had somehow escaped from the yard and was on the loose in the neighborhood. Apparently Brundibar does not enjoy the company of others when Mom and Dad aren't around. We told Mike not to chase Brundibar, and we prepared to head down the hill. If you aren't a pet person, you probably think that we're insane to drive down the mountain at 2:30 am. We're not insane; we just love our dumb brute. We arrived in Riverside at 4 am, only to find Brundibar sitting patiently outside the fence, waiting for us. We were relieved and totally annoyed. So we went to bed at 4 am, got up at 7am, and called the first dog kennel we could find. Lucky for us, The Ruff House had an opening, and Brundibar was treated to quite the posh stay. This is not a kennel, but a "pet resort," and it's a pretty fancy joint. You can even watch your dog during play time on a web cam. Yeah, it's a bit over the top, but they were so patient with Brun and helpful that we'll probably go back. Brun had to be in the play group with the little dogs because he was so scared by the big dogs. What a pathetic excuse for such a big fellow! We're pretty sure that Mike is thoroughly traumatized from watching our pets (i.e. the Amelia incident and now this) that he'll never volunteer his services again. I don't blame him in the least bit. Maybe he can babysit our human child and have better success. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A New Toy

Steve received a new toy in the mail today, his pedal steel guitar (i.e. slide guitar). He doesn't quite know how to play it yet, but he's a talented guy and I'm sure he'll figure it out. We are heading up to Big Bear this weekend to escape the depressing "fall" 100 degree weather, as well as to spend time with some of our very favorite people, both Pool families and the Staffords. The boys are planning on playing music and figuring out the slide guitar together, and I'm sure it will be a joyous occasion.
On another note, I came home the other day and Steve told me that he had purchased a present for him and the baby. I was expecting to find some type of manly diaper bag, but instead I found a brand-new tambourine. Steve is insistent that our child learn rhythm at an early age, but basically he's been looking for a reason to by a tambourine to shake his money maker with.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Baby Bump

We promised not to overload you with baby info, but I do think that it's time for an update. I'm now happily 12 1/2 weeks along, and my morning sickness has subsided! This blessed miracle occurred about the same time as school began, praise be to JC. I'm still uber tired, but that's to be expected.
I have found out a few interesting tidbits that I'd like to share with you. First, after my 9 week appointment that involved removing 5 vials of blood from my arm, it was noted that my blood is Type O Negative (my favorite band). This means that I have the Rh Negative factor, which translates to additional injections for Karen. I meant business when I said that I wanted to conquer this fear, so we are viewing this most recent development as an "additional opportunity to get over this phobia." Nice.
At our 11 week appointment we were able to see the baby and he/she was hiccuping and swimming around and it was miraculous. The baby just didn't want to hold still and it made me cry and laugh all at the same time. Steve and I both had this ominous thought that perhaps the baby is already a tad ADHD. Is that what you get when two teachers make a baby? Yikes.

And now, some pictures for you.

This is after my 9 week appointment when said blood was removed from my body. I am flashing the I love you sign for my child so that he/she might know that this sacrifice was for you, baby. You might be pleased to know that I did not pass out, which is an accomplishment for me. I did, however, cry rather loudly and the nurse gave me a sucker when it was all over with. Also, Steve took me to Dairy Queen. What a guy.

This picture was taken this afternoon to show off my baby bump. Can you see it? It's getting very noticeable, but I still haven't told my students yet or their parents. So please don't tell them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Family Dinner, Part II

This past Friday we had yet another "family dinner." As always, we had a great time, and we enjoyed the company of many different friends. I'm horrible at taking pictures during parties, so don't be offended if I didn't catch's probably for the best. Special thanks goes out to my dear friend Laura (Kobbs), who cleaned my kitchen and pampered the heck out of me. Props also go out to Matt (Buck) & Shannon Miller who brought brand-new baby Ben to visit. This was one of their first outings with the little guy, and we were touched that they came so far to show him off. I can't believe that I didn't get a picture! 
So, if you want to join in the family fun, we're planning another BBQ/potluck on Saturday, September 27th. If you read our blog, you are officially invited, unless you're a stalker.

Brundibar is a total party animal. Or not. He decided to rest his haunches on Shauna with Alex and Owen looking on.

Look at these kiddos! Emma Quesada, Esme Pool, Caleb Angulo, and Owen Pool. 

Tim and Shauna (that's Alex in the pic) have a new addition to their family--a pooch named Charlie. Of course, I think he's just perfect, as I am a sucker for furry friends named Charlie.

Here I am pictured talking with my Pool girls, Amber and Andrea. I love them lots. Aren't they pretty? Sorry guys, their married...

Here's a picture of some of the gang. Suffice it to say, I'm horrible at taking pictures during parties. Sorry friends.

Brandon is a guy who's always ready to party. Yep, he owns a pair of sandals with a bottle opener on the bottom.  Brandon's constant vigilance to the needs of his friends are just one of the reasons why we love this guy.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tres Dunlaps

What will you be doing around March 20th, 2009? We'll be busy birthing a child. Correction: Karen will be birthing a child and Steve will be running laps around Kaiser Riverside to ease his anxiety.
Yep, we're having a baby. A real one without a tail. If this is the first time you've heard this news, forgive us. I know it's kind of lame to find out via the internet. We've been trying to contact everyone but now we're giving in and just posting it on this here blog. 
We are so excited about this next chapter, but our excitement is also met with a lot of anxiety--mostly on Karen's part. If you know me, you know that multiple trips to the hospital to be poked and prodded by cold hands and needles is pretty much my own version of hell. However, it's all for the good of our baby child, and I'm ready to deal with some fear issues that I've held onto for far too long. I don't know who needs more prayer; stress-case Karen or my saint of a husband Steve. 
I'm 11 weeks along, still feeling pretty sick, and sneaking in a nap wherever/whenever I can find one. I guess you could call me a napoholic. So there's the semi-juicy details. And for the record, fat jokes are NEVER funny to a pregnant lady. 
We have been overwhelmed by the love and excitement that our friends and family have shown us. We will do our best to keep you up to date with our prego news, but we'll also try really hard not to become a blog solely dedicated to the growth of our unborn child. That's sort of annoying.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

10 Years

This past weekend I (Karen) flew back up to Oregon to partake in my 10 year high school reunion. Steve was unable to attend due to school starting back up, which was a bummer because I was really looking forward to showing off my trophy husband. Anywho, we had a great time. I somehow got roped into being the MC for the event, so I guess you could say I was the life of the party...or maybe just the annoying person on the killer karaoke sound system. While the above picture may look like we had a sparse turn out, keep in mind that the graduating class of Jefferson High in 1998 numbered about 70 people. If you ever get stuck with planning a high school reunion, I highly suggest doing the BBQ in a park thing like we did. Everyone seems way cooler with a cheeseburger and Bud Light in tow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Last night Steve and I went to a show at the Chain Reaction. That's right, living proof that we're not just a bunch of old fuddy duddies. We saw Matt Pryor, and he was spot on! Mr. Pryor was the lead guy in one of our all time favorite bands, The Get Up Kids. He also keeps himself busy with The New Amsterdams, which is another great band. However, last night, it was just Matt and his guitar. The show was great, minus the dingle heads who kept yelling out old Get Up Kids song titles. Matt Pryor did relent, and we were privileged to hear a few New Amsterdams and Get Up Kids songs. And for all of you Mama and Papas out there, Matt has written two kids albums under the name of The Terrible Twos. Not too shabby.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Great Northern Adventure of 2008

Warning: This post is super long.

We began our road trip by spending the night in Redding with the Lances. We had so much fun, and Steve and Zeke had plenty of wrestle time. It was so great to see how big Sofia has grown, how much weight Dan has lost, and how 9 month pregnant Alyssa was more beautiful than ever. We really love those Lance folks.

I told you she was pregnant and beautiful! (Spoiler alert: the baby in that tummy will make an appearance somewhere during this post!)

Next stop: Portland area to visit best friend Alison, hubby Brandon, and cross-dressing son Jackson. My other best friend, Beka (Alison's twin sis), came to join us for a sleep over just like old times. You know you're best buds with someone when you can spend an entire day in their company without really "doing" much...except for dressing up their son and buying school supplies. Man, I miss you guys.

Isn't it funny that all of these pictures involve friends and their children? I'm such a grown up. Here's a pic of my dear friend Christina and one of the most handsome guys I've ever met, Brody. Our time was short, but anytime we get to spend with Christina is well worth it. Plus, she made me a quesadilla. Bonus! I'm pretty sure that Brody told me that he wants to visit Disneyland soon...hint hint.

The next day we spent time up at my grandparents' farm, Rasmussen Farms. My cousins, Gunnar and Solveig, were up there working, so we had a bit a fun with them. The above picture was taken by Steve during an impromptu photo shoot with Gunnar.

After spending time at the farm, a bunch of family members gathered together at Lost Lake to have a BBQ and celebrate my Gramp's birthday. After the BBQ, Steve, my parents, and I stayed to camp out for the next two days. We had rented a cabin, and the nice way to describe the joint would be to use words such as "rustic" and "cozy." It was a tight fit, the four of us sleeping in such close quarters. Ahh, family vacations. We were able to go canoeing, hiking, and ate many smores. Yumm.

This is not a stock photo, my friends. This is a Stevie original. This was our view of Mt. Hood from the cabin. Not too shabby.

I realize that this is not a great picture, but after camping we returned to civilization and had some good times with dear friends Beka & Jake, T.K., Lubes & Rubes, and little brother Jeffy. We ate good grub, picked some blackberries, and spent some time listening to awesome tunes. These people are like family to me, and it's always refreshing to be with friends who have loved you for an entire lifetime.

If you think that all of our time in Oregon was spent loafing around, you've obviously never met my family. My dad was SO excited about working on his fence, and he thought Steve would share in the enthusiasm. What a good son-in-law. However, Steve really did have fun on top of that tractor...and he looks good doing it.

Steve wasn't the only one spending time on a tractor. This picture is of my brother Jimmy's tractor hard at work. Jimmy thought it prudent to take his twin sis on a spin around the field. My brother is a successful farmer, and he is known around the area as the Straw least that's what he tells me. It was fun getting to see how my brother spends his time. 

And here it is, folks. A smashing picture of Steve, Zeke, and brand-new baby Moses. Alyssa was so kind as to have her baby during our vacation, making it very convenient for us to meet the boy. Moses was just perfect, even his high-pitched cry was adorable (I don't have to hear it every night, though). Three kids seem to suit Dan and Alyssa just fine. 

And, although we don't have any pictures to prove it, Steve's vacation was made very memorable by spending time with Josh, Shawn, and Armin at TomFest. Steve loves these guys, and I'm so glad Brundibar didn't spoil it for Steve. 

Now we're at home, vacuuming cat hair off the couches, giving Brundibar plenty of attention, and doing copious amounts of laundry. Ahh, it's good to be home.