Midweek. Nate is fortunately working mostly days this week, so we can carpool. I've been helping him with his Hebrew homework, and he has aced his first two quizzes. The first week was the aleph bet, and this week was about a dozen vocabulary words. Next week … 60 vocab words. I can't read Hebrew, but I remember some of the vocab because of word association. Like the Hebrew word that sounds like "men" means "from" (like men are from Mars) and the word that sounds like "baa" means "he came" (baa -> shepherds -> shepherds came to see Jesus). From learning Spanish, I know that's not a good method for learning a new language because you're just translating words in your head but it helps me quiz Nate.

We had some nice weather last week. Low- to mid-80s. Three afternoons, I went to the zoo to get some walking in. I took this photo from behind handprint-covered glass so it's a little foggy but this meerkat was smiling at me. Then he, like his little friend, tucked his head between his feet and took a nap.

The flamingos are one of my favorites at the zoo because they are so interesting and weird. They are getting really used to their exhibit so they come real close to where the people are. They squawk really loud and stand on one leg and fight with each other. Reminds me of Alice in Wonderland croquet.

We got a makeover on our floor at work. This wall is outside my office. You have to understand, people around here do not like change. But I love the new paint. Not all the walls got painted, but some are green, some are teal, some are orange, and in the lobby there is one wall covered in black chalkboard paint. I love it. You can definitely tell you are in the Kids Ministry area when you get off the elevators.

Nate took this photo of Otis and Miles. Not sure why Miles looks like such an old man in this photo. He's three years old. Otis is 1.5 years. In the next month or two, they're going to the vet to get their annual shots. Otis has been really into chasing these little plastic balls with bells inside. He picks them up in his mouth and plays fetch. You throw it, he chases it down and brings it back. I think that is why he is so much skinnier than Miles. Miles doesn't get much exercise.

I've been spending almost all of my free time in the last week or so working on my family tree. Researching and using whatever free tools I can access on ancestry.com.  I have 1,044 people in my tree right now, which includes Nate's side too. It's hard to put in data, especially when people have 13 kids, and their kids each have 8 or so kids, and people get married more than once and have more kids. I'm mapping out anyone I can find who is related. Sometimes I skip the siblings and stick to the main lines but I will get there eventually.



This week I randomly have gotten really into researching the family trees of my family and Nate's family. It's fascinating! Here is what I found out so far about Nate's maternal great-great-great-grandfather, Georg Link.

Georg(e) Link (1829–1908) and George Link, Jr. (1863–1913)

 • Born in Thalmessing, Bavaria, Germany

 • Graduated Lutheran Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana
 • Ordained on August 24 at Salem Lutheran Church, Black Jack, Mo. by Dr. W. Sihler
 • Began a 52-year pastoral ministry of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

 • George Link, Jr. is born

 • Served as clerk of the 8th Ward in Fort Wayne, Indiana

31 Oct 1860–1873
 • Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church of Lebanon in Wisconsin

 • Moved to St. Louis, Missouri
 • Pastor at U.A.C. German - Zion Church at Warren & 15th Street in St. Louis, Mo.

 • Compiled/published Luther’s Family Devotions in German

 • George Link, Jr. graduated Concordia College in Fort Wayne, Indiana

 • April 18—George Link (Jr.), a candidate for graduation at Concordia Seminary, became the first resident pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church of Mt. Clemens. He opened a parochial school there.
 • Article reported that at this time, George was the son of a pastor of St. John Church in Fraser, Michigan.

 • Pastor at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Springfield, Illinois (2nd & Monroe St)
Architect of building was Link’s son-in-law, Charles Frederick May of St. Louis

Georg Link
from Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
in Springfield, Illinois
circa 1888–1892
• George Link, Jr. called to pastor in La Porte, Indiana

June 1892–1901
 • Pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Red Bud, Illinois

 • Installed Charles Stransen, his son-in-law, as pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Chester, Ill.

 • Served as assistant to his son, Rev. George Link, Jr. at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in La Porte, Indiana.

 • George Link, Jr’s voice began to fail from throat difficulty

 • George Link, Jr. left the pulpit and entered secular/political life

 • 21 September: Died in Springfield, Illinois. Laid to rest in Oak Ridge.

 • George Link, Jr. dies in La Porte, Indiana

Georg Link (Sr.) married Hannah Lange (1835-1918). They are buried together in Springfield, Illinois.

We ordered a translated copy (German to English) of the book Georg Link compiled, Luther's Family Devotions (1877). Pretty cool that Nate has two strong German theologians in his family.

Click to view larger image
(my work in progress from Ancestry.com)



I love going to the Nashville Zoo. It's 1 mile from our house and we have a membership so I can go whenever I want. It's a nearby, safe, shaded place to walk after work and I love seeing the animals. Yesterday I went after work for a quick trip before Nate got home from classes. The weather here in Nashville has been wonderful lately; low- to mid-80s. The flamingos were being particularly funny yesterday, sticking their heads underwater.

I made the mistake of wearing a blue shirt and khakis, so a kid mistook me for a zookeeper and was asking me questions about the clouded leopard cubs and red panda. I even talked two little kids into brushing the goats at the petting zoo.



I went to Midas to have my oil changed recently, and they suggested I get my air filter changed the next time I come in. Well, I am the last person in the world who would pay Midas to change my air filter because it's easy-peasy. It costs me about $7 to buy a filter online. So I did, and while I was at it I ordered one for Nate's Honda. I had never changed Nate's filter before but a quick Google search showed exactly where it was located, and now he has a clean filter.

Nate had his first ITG (Immanuel Theology Group) of the year last weekend. He used my car to pick the speaker up from the airport on Friday, so I rode the bus home from work. I really like riding the bus. It's not cost effective compared to the price of gas, but it's relaxing and it really makes you love the people of Nashville. The drivers are really nice.

Before Nate went to ITG, I pulled his car into the driveway so I could wash it while he was away. It's a manual, so pulling it into the driveway is about the extent of my driving abilities. I haven't ridden in his car since we've been married because we prefer the Versa. But oh my. After getting in, I decided I would clean it too! So Friday night and Saturday morning, I cleaned out his car. Deep cleaned. I even unbolted the seats and pulled them out so I could clean underneath. I found receipts from 2005 (Nate's sister drove it in college) so it had been awhile since it was thoroughly cleaned.
Under the passenger seat, I found what I thought to be a ball of duct tape. Upon closer inspection, I noticed a sticker that said BRAEBURN. There you have it, a petrified apple. That was thankfully the worst thing I found. I imagine it could have been much worse. :)

Much better! It looks great now. By all aesthetic measures, you would never guess this car is 20 years old. I think Nate enjoys driving it more now.

On Monday this week, Nate started his classes for the fall semester. He is taking four classes. I am the organizer so I wanted to help him get ready for school. I got his syllabi in order in a binder and listed out his assignments and quizzes. Then I got his books and marked his reading assignments for the semester. Whew, he has a lot of reading. He is working full time as a team lead (basically assistant manager) and going to school full time. I'm so proud of him.

Nate took this photo last night. :) I was laying next to Nate and Otis fell in the space between us. Odie sandwich!

The semester is always a crazy time because Nate is always in class or at work or studying. Fortunately with my Aug. 1 deadline met at work, my schedule is a little less crazy and I am less stressed. Our college community group at church starts back next Sunday, and we are planning on going through Jared Wilson's Seven Daily Sins study with the college students. Looking forward to it.



Me at The Cat Shoppe
Nate and I slept in this morning and had tea and coffee. Then we went out for brunch. I like Saturday mornings because the weekend is new and full of potential. The potential to rest and relax. :) After brunch we  picked up some supplies for ITG next weekend and got a couple new cables to charge our phones since Miles has chewed through the four we originally owned. (We're taking extra precautions to make sure he doesn't do it again. Those things aren't exactly cheap.)

We also bought some super glue because another hub cap on the Versa is about to fall off. The plastic hooks broke off almost completely around the hub cap. So I slathered super glue on it and am hoping it holds. It seems to be pretty firm now. We may never get it off!

Before we headed home, we went to The Cat Shoppe. We discovered this place by accident. It's a cat supply store that doubles as a shelter so there are a couple dozen cats (at least) roaming the store, kittens included. We wanted to buy some cat food and hang out with the cats.

When we got there, there was a cage in the middle of the store with two small kittens in it. The smallest was a gray kitten named Charlie. There was a note on the cage that said he had been found at a nearby car dealership. He had probably ridden in under someone's motor. He looked pretty scared but I stuck my finger in the cage and he came up to me and I petted him. He liked it.

Nate has been really good at pretending to like cats as much as I do. :) He likes them, but mostly he says he just loves me and tolerates cats. So I was kind of surprised when Nate came over and said, "Do you want him?" I said, "Don't say that to me!" I didn't think we could handle three cats. I mean, I didn't want to be those kind of people. I've always had my own rule that we won't have more cats in the house than people. Otherwise we're just those crazy cat people. Oh, how many cats do you have? Three. Oh.

But we talked about it and figured with two already, a third wouldn't make that much of a difference as far as taking care of them goes. He was soooo cute. So Nate went over and told the lady running the store that we were interested in adopting him. She came over and opened the cage and let me hold him. He was so little! He started to purr. Then the lady asked if we had any cats. "Two." How old are they? "Three and one-and-a-half." Are they buddies? "Yeah."

I was looking at Charlie when she said, "Oh, you need to have an even number of cats. They naturally bond in pairs, and if you introduce a third, it will break their bond."

Well, there is absolutely no way we can have four cats. Three is pushing it, and four is out of the question. Oh, Charlie. The lady walked back to the register. I told Nate, "Well, I guess we can't do it." Charlie was chomping down on my thumb and I remembered how much damage kittens do to our bodies. We put Charlie back in the cage and I went over to get the cat food we came for. We didn't even get a picture of Charlie. I wanted to get out of there.

We paid and I was melting down before we even got to the car. Poor Nate is so gracious in handling my emotions. Once we were in the car, I lost it. "We could go get him, and ask if we could do a trial period," Nate offered. "I'm sad!" I wailed. "It's like she just punched little Alyssa in the face!" (Little Alyssa is the hopes and dreams and fears in me I developed as a child that crop up as an adult. We had a pre-marital counselor who pointed out how much things we learned to love and fear as children affect our relationships and experiences now.) I cried all the way home, then some more when we got home.

"I had all my hopes up and then she said I couldn't have a kitten!" She had smashed by hopes. Snatched them away. I even Googled this three-cat theory and everyone says it depends on your cats' personalities.

I was kind of mad, too. She must not want those cats to be adopted very badly, I said. Metro would never keep you from adopting a third cat. Is there no one in the world who has three cats? Sure, odd numbers can have someone left out, but I grew up as a triplet. I was even the middle child.

Maybe it was for the best though. We really shouldn't have three cats. So we drove home and I fed Miles and Otis some of their new food and snuggled with them. "You would have loved Charlie," I told them.

"And Nate, you know what we could have said?"

"What?" asked Nate.

"We could have said, 'Charlie bit me!'"


los gatos.

For months, we haven't been able to pick up any major network with our TV antenna except for ABC. But with the Olympics being on NBC, we knew we had to do something. After multiple attempts, we finally found the exact spot where our antenna picks up ABC, NBC, and CBS. I cut a slit in a rectangle box and taped it to the window to hold the antenna just right. And it works perfectly! Nate and I usually watch the news every day at 5:30, so it's a bummer we see Olympic results before they air the events but it's been fun to watch anyway.

Miles is coming up on 3 years old, and Otis is almost 1.5 years old. Miles is kind of the grump and doesn't like to be picked up and cuddled like Odie does, but usually in the mornings Miles jumps onto the sink in the bathroom and tries to climb onto my shoulder while I'm getting ready. He's kind of huge so I have to hold him in both arms. Too cute. Here are some pics of los gatos from my phone.

Odie crashed out on the ottoman

Miles creepin' on me while I fold laundry

Miles' favorite spot is the back of the couch where he can look out the window

Otis stretching out in Nate's lap
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