Christmas in St. Louis started the day before. We thought the kids would be surprised with a transformation, so we worked to paint and prepare the basement for them. They were not as surprised as we had hoped, but having a new space for them to hang out is good.
Painting the wall white is the first step of this transformation.
And its getting closer.
Enjoying presents from Santa!
With our warm new “fireplace”
Preparing dessert at Henry and Carols.
Carol is a perfect host and you can tell she enjoys it!
Mom and daughter.
3 generations of sons enjoying time together.
Kelly and Sonora enjoying electronics.
Some evil memory game. With all those brains, I chose to sit out so I wouldn’t feel dumb.
This was the perfect way to end our holiday season by seeing all (most, some of my siblings were not around) of our close family in a short amount of time.
We made it to KC to see my family. Its always a madhouse as there are numerous things going on, but that keeps it all very interesting. Starting off with the least Christmas thing of all, Henry’s car.
Its looking good with the motor back in the engine bay. I’m not sure how he will see around the supercharger, but that is a problem for another day. Maybe it’ll get running in 2019!
Here is dad at Uncle Jerry’s annual holiday party. Like a fool, I never get enough photos, so this is all I have from that party. Part of it is that its full of catching up with family, I’m often too busy to take out my phone.
Back at my parents, they got Hannah a intro violin. She seemed excited to play it. Sonora showed her what its capable of, but I’m not expecting to see her playing in a band any time soon.
Mom is hanging out in the middle enjoying all of the happiness around us!
Here I am hanging out with Dad. I’m not sure if my double neck or my hair is worse… Maybe I should fix them both!
You often hear about mom’s secret recipe. Something about cooking with love, but your food never tastes the same. Turns out, i may have found that secret. See what seems out of place for yourself…
There is a Chiefs game today, so Dad and I dressed up in our jerseys to show our support. Mom also dressed up, but not for the Chiefs. We all have a good time with this!
The annual get together with Laura and friends continued this year. We met at Laura’s place downtown.
Laura hosting the party with Jermey
Danelle and Sonora hanging out.
Michael is fighting off Eva and Robert
I don’t think I’ve seen a photo of Laura where she wansn’t happy. Always fun to be around her!
Jeremy and I hanging out!
Jen and Danelle. AKA moms with oldish kids trying to stay awake!
Robert has energy for days!
Eva has that same energy.
Katie was able to make the party and joined us. I was surprised that she stayed as late as she did, cause she had patients to see in the morning.
Playing a family friendly group game together. Can’t remember what it was, but we were all laughing!
And it wouldn’t be a holiday without a game of “Cards Against Humanity”.
Corvin plays the bass in the Webster Groves High School Orchestra. This is the first concert of the year. He had to get all dressed up and appears sharp!
We did our best to find good seats where we could see Corvin, but its hard when he is in the back. Before the concert, there was time to kill, so I had fun with the family.
If you’re interested, give the orchestra a listen, they are quite good!
Re-posted from Danelle’s Science Blog. I’ve added some extra photos at the bottom.
Since my research is on winter use of road salt, much of my field work has been completed in the winter. I’ve spent days climbing down storm drains to learn about municipal salt use. This year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I spent the day in the field with Cathleen Yung (an undergraduate student who has been helping me in the lab) and my helpful husband Hogan. We visited Sugar Creek in order to hunt for a large number of a single species of flathead mayfly for a toxicity study that I would be conducting over the following two weeks.
Cathleen transfers mayflies into a clean container while I look for more mayflies under the rocks. Photo by Hogan Haake.
Normally, I wouldn’t consider field work before Thanksgiving to be winter field work, but when we arrived at the site, the water temperature was only 3 degrees C and there were small patches of ice along some of the stream banks. We proceeded to spend about 7 hours in the chill water (with waders on), picking up many small rocks (and several not-so-small rocks) with our bare hands in order to look for our mayfly friends. While slow and tedious, this hand collecting method is the most effective for gathering wild specimens without causing injuries to the delicate critters – as long as you can still feel your fingers.
By the end of the day, we had collected over 450 mayflies. As someone who is working to preserve aquatic life, there is a part of me that regrets taking so many animals from the stream. Fortunately, I know that this stream is supporting a very large and healthy population of this species. Within the 120-meter segment of stream where we sampled, we left large patches of habitat undisturbed and did not take the smaller individuals. In addition, there were many other patches of prime habitat both upstream and downstream of the area where we collected. I share these bits of information because I want to make it clear that, as a responsible scientist, I consider the environmental costs and potential long-term effects of any collection efforts that I undertake.
Flat head mayflies are abundant in this stretch of stream.
Before I close out this post, I need to express my gratitude to my two amazing helpers. Hogan and Cathleen not only helped get the job done, they were cheerful and enthusiastic about it! I could not have asked for better help in less-than-comfortable conditions!