Sunday, November 30, 2008

Family Photo

Last weekend my brother-in-law took some family pictures for us. It was probably the last sunny day that we will see for awhile, so our timing was perfect! Christian is an awesome photographer and here is my favorite family shot.
Watch out... this one may be our Christmas card photo!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I can't believe it is almost December and I have not posted Halloween pictures yet! Really fast, here they are:

Levi was a UPS man:
And Claire was a butterfly:


Well, the east coast just keeps on calling. Or emailing.

This afternoon Josh was invited to interview at Yale. Pretty awesome huh?

Monday, November 24, 2008

At least I can knead

I finally got my Thanksgiving assignment last night. Yes, Thanksgiving is three days away, and I was just asked last night to lovingly prepare a dish that all would enjoy.

Here is a piece of information about me that some may not know. I love to cook. I love to bake. And, if my may pat myself on my own back, I am rather good at both. So, honestly, I expected a challenge. Perhaps three.

That is why I am a bit shocked at my assignment. I was asked to bring bread. Not any bread, mind you. Because I could have made something killer! Maybe a loaf with whole cloves of roasted garlic in. Or bread with olives and spices. No, I as asked to bring Finnish Cardamon Bread.

Don't get me wrong; this bread is fabulous, amazing, delicious. Soft and sweet; the perfect bread combination. But it is also something that I make all the time. It is super easy. The hard part is braiding the dough. I am a girl; I was born knowing how to braid.

To me, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to try new recipes, new ingredients, new meals. I love doing new things. Like brussels sprouts. I think they are a totally under appreciated vegetable. And squash. And sweet potatoes. Alas, these are off limits at the Knight Thanksgiving celebration. But to the rest of the Thanksgiving party, it is the perfect time to have the exact same dinner that they have been having for the past twenty Thanksgivings.

Oh well, I will make my bread, and I will be thankful for all that I do have. Because, even if the Knight Thanksgiving dinner has been exactly the same since I joined the family almost eight years ago... I know the company will be entertaining, my kids will be happy, my husband will be full, and my palate will be extremely satisfied.

One more thing to be thankful for... I did not get my sister-in-law's assignment... salad!

P.S. I am going to sneak in some brussels sprouts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Score one for the PNW

Oregon Health & Science University in Portland wants to interview Josh. That now makes three interview in the Pacific Northwest.

His interview at Dartmouth went great. He just happened to be there on the seasons first snowfall. He was also pleased to report to me that in the winter, there are x-country ski trails IN TOWN. Sweet.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I think I have just about had it

With Survivor of course.

In case there is any confusion, I am a fan of Survivor. Go ahead, take your cheap shots now. Finished? Great.

Anyway, I like Survivor, but I am just about sick of this season. Seriously, the remaining players are all idiots (except Bob) and at every tribal council, the weaker team members vote out the strong team members, and then they whine the next day because there is nobody around to build them a fire, or catch a fish or whatever they want to complain about. It is so unsurvivorish.

One might say, well obviously this method is working, at least for the physically and mentally weaker survivors. They are still around, beating out the strong ones. But I only have this to say. Those morons are still on the show and still blindsiding people and still making horrible decisions only because the producers of Survivor have to keep mixing and shuffling the teams up.

In the beginning, when there were two tribes, one got beat consistently. AT EVERY CHALLENGE. They lost so many teammates at tribal council, that in order for the game to continue, the writers, or producers, or whoever, reorganized the tribes three times!

Anyway, I may be done. Kenny makes me really mad. He thinks that he is that bag of chips every woman wants. But really, he is hardly worth the salt on a tortilla. Sugar is an airhead, Corrine has anger issues and Randy is definitely mental.

My respect, and now prayers, go out to Bob. He is the oldest tribe member and a physics professor. But he is a good nerd. You know how some girls wear their buff as a bikini top? Some as headbands or scarfs? Bob ties his into a bow-tie! Adorable!

So last night, but tonight for me, Bob was castaway to exile island. He searched for the hidden immunity idol, but Sugar beat him WEEKS ago. So what did he do? Did he lounge around? No; he built his own fake idol. Ah, some die-hard Survivor fans may be saying... Wasn't that tried last season? Why, yes it was. However, unlike last seasons counterfeit idol, Bob's actually looked like the real thing! Luckily I am not that lame, since I do not remember the people that made the last fake immunity idol. All it was was a stick. No creativity there. Check out Bob's:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Claire funny

As I was typing that last post, Claire was in the process of dumping all the dirty clothes out of the hamper. Levi then put the hamper on its side and told Claire to get in. She did. He then tipped the hamper up and Claire was in it upside down. This is when she started screaming.

Levi got sent to his room and Claire was told to pick up the dirty clothes. She was still crying from the trauma when she was picking up, but still managed to sing her favorite song. "Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere..."

It was really funny listening to her sing and cry at the same time!

Josh's mid-week update

I know, it is only Wednesday, but I feel the need to update Joshua's interview status.

On Monday, he got two rejections. Loma Linda and Northwestern (in Chicago)
Then, later in the day on Monday, he got an invitation to interview at Maine Medical Center. This is very awesome, as Josh apparently likes Maine a lot. I did not really know this until the interview came through. Now he talks about it a lot.
Tuesday was another good day. He got two interviews! One at Dartmouth in New Hampshire and the other at Indiana University. YEAH!

The only problem with the Dartmouth interview is that they only had one date available that worked with Josh's schedule. Next Monday. So we scrambled last night and got an okay airfare deal ($240), a great car rental ($30) and an okay hotel deal ($80). He leaves very early Sunday morning and comes back late Tuesday. Wish me luck with the kiddos.

The important thing to remember is that we have reached the coveted 12 interviews. Of those 12, only 2 are on the West Coast! One is in the southwest (New Mexico), three in the mid-west, and the remaining six are on the East Coast.

St. John

Check out this link of my home church in Eagle River, Alaska.

It makes me a little bit homesick! :)

(Don't tell my mom)

Sunday, November 9, 2008


We joined the Y.

Today, right after church, we had a family outing.

We first dropped the kids off at the play area. Josh and I then went and worked out ALONE. We did weights and cardio ALONE. It was amazing. Levi and Claire had a blast playing, and then, the whole family went swimming.

Claire loves swimming. Josh's brother, Christian, bought her a swimsuit with a built in flotation device when he went to a conference in Colorado (uh oh. Colorado is on my axis-of-evil list... does this make the swimsuit evil too?) Anyway, Claire is so obsessed with swimming, that I have to hide her suit, otherwise she will wear it all day, every day.

In fact, when we were getting ready for the UW Halloween party a couple weeks ago, she refused to get into her costume because she was wearing her swimsuit. She even takes naps in the suit. She is obsessed.

But she loves swimming, so right now, that is my bargaining tool. "Clarie, do you want to go swimming today? Well, eat your sandwich." or "Claire, do you want to go swimming today? Okay, then be nice to Levi." or "Claire, do you want to go swimming today? Then go and empty the dishwasher."

Okay, that last one is a little far-fetched. But I do make her put her dirty dishes in the sink. I have to follow her though; she likes to throw them in the trash instead. Punk.

Anyway, the Y is fantastic. I like that I get to exercise and the kids can play. Normally, Claire and I will go while Levi is at school, since the Y is not even a block from his school. It is fantabulous.

Just another day in the life of Claire.

Match Explanation

I think that I need to explain this whole matching process. It is kind of crazy, so stick with me.

First, each med student chooses a specialty. Some choose two (like a fall back one). Once they have chosen a specialty (for Josh it is radiology) they then have to apply for programs at either a community program (ie: hospital) or a university program (ie: University of Washington).

They fill out TONS of paperwork (or in Josh's case, I fill out tons of paperwork), write a personal statement, prepare a CV (a lot like a resume), get their transcripts, and ask for around 5 letters of recommendation from professors/doctors. They upload everything into an Internet database that each program can access and download their information. This part is very convenient. I can only imagine how annoying it would be to mail everything to every program. Horrid.

Okay, so once the programs that Josh applied to downloads his information, we just wait. They review and decide if the applicant (Josh) would fit their program. They then offer an interview or write a short (and often blunt) rejection letter.

If the program wants to interview Josh, that is a good thing. Any program that he interview at, he can rank. Now ranking is where this all gets very complicated.

So far Josh has nine interviews, so he can rank nine programs. Basically, he will make a list of where he wants to go based on lots of factors (that is another subject). At the same time that Josh is ranking programs, the programs are ranking the med students that they interviewed.

One one random day in March, all of this information is entered into a super-computer on a remote island (okay, I made that up). The computer matches each student with a program based on how it was ranked by the student.

Example: Josh ranks Virgina Mason number one and Rochester General Hospital number two. If Virgina Mason does not want Josh, they will not rank him, thus the computer by-passes Josh's choice for VM (since he did not make their list) and automatically goes to his second choice, RGH. If RGH ranks Josh, the computing is done and Josh is sent to beautiful Rochester, NY where his wife promptly purchases a beautiful house with five bedrooms and three bathrooms and a large yard. Levi and Claire then get a dog.

The weird thing is that EVERY medical student in the country get their marching orders on the same day, at the same time. Since we are west coast time, ours are around 1 in the afternoon. They all head to some dark office and are handed an envelope with their assignments inside.

I suppose this is useful, as he is guaranteed a job after med school... I have these eerie images of the Match Day. I imagine sobbing students, enthusiastic partners and confused looks (did I really rank North Dakota so high??)

So Josh thinks that he needs to interview at 12 places, thus having 12 places to rank him, thus creating a high probability that he will match.

The really scary thing??? If you don't match. Apparently, on the Monday before Match Day, any student that did not match is sent an email. I know I will be logging on every two minutes on this day... Me and every other med student and med student spouse.

So if you get that awful email, you have that Monday and Tuesday to research programs and find out which programs actually have openings. Then, on the Wednesday before Match Day, you can contact those programs and see if they will change their minds and let you work for them. Kind of crappy. I really hope we don't get that email. But, on the bright side, only three more interview till we get to that magic number!

Josh Update

Okay, lets take a recap of this last week:

Monday: Rejection from Utah and Colorado
Tuesday: Rejection from Wheaton Franciscan (Wisconsin)
Wednesday: Rejection from Vanderbilt (Tennessee); Invited to interview at University of New Mexico
Friday: Invited to interview at Sacred Heart (Spokane, WA)

So we have nine interviews and four rejections. We applied to 38 programs. That is A LOT of programs that we are waiting to hear from!!! Hopefully a few more will come in. According to Josh, he needs to interview at 12 places to have a 99% chance of matching.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Uncle Ben!!!

My little brother, Ben, had a five hour layover at SeaTac airport yesterday morning. So, we skipped school and picked him up to hang at our place for a few hours. It was really nice to see him again!

Isn't he a handsome brother?

I really like this one:

Looking down the storm drain... They could hear an echo!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A depressing day for Josh

Well, we got some bad news today...

Josh got two rejection letters in one day. Both from schools that were on the top of our list. This morning we got an email from Utah saying that they did not want to interview him and then this afternoon the University of Colorado said the same.

My poor husband. He is pretty depressed. Honestly, I do not know what is wrong with these schools. I know Josh would not want me to list his board scores, but I can tell you that he was in the top 1% of all medical students when he took the boards this September. TOP ONE PERCENT. That is smart. That is somebody that these schools would want for a resident. Not to mention that his deans letter is FANTASTIC. I swear, they ran out of positive words in describing Josh's abilities and knowledge when they wrote his dean's letter. The letter breaks students up into quartiles and Josh was in the top 25% of UW students. Oh, did I mention that the UW is one of the top medical schools???

Utah and Colorado?? You Stink!

So far our only West Coast interview is at Virgina Mason. On a better note he was offered at interview at our top choice on Monday. It is a community program in Rochester, New York. (This is where I really want to go... why, you may ask? Google 'real estate in rochester, ny' and you will get your answer!)

Last Friday the University of Mass, in Worcester, offered him an interview too. So that makes one West Coast, two Mid-West and four East Coast.


At least my sister will be happy :)


Weird. In the time it took me to write this post, Josh called me back saying that he had been offered an 8th interview. This is at the University of New Mexico. I don't know much about NM, but I guess I should start my research!

I Voted...

Much to my family's dismay, I like Barack Obama. I have liked Barack Obama for a long time. I for one, am so excited to have finally voted for a winning ticket!

Josh and I rented the community center at our complex and had other Obama fans there to watch the election results and (fingers crossed) Obama's acceptance speech. We were not disappointed.

It turns out that I may be a minority; one poll says that only 25% of weekly church-goers support Obama. That is okay. I can understand why the majority of Christians do not support him. I understand that this issue primarily stems from his position on abortion. Unfortunately there are are a lot more issues to vote on and one has to take into account ALL of a candidates positions, not one.

My support for Obama rests on four major positions
1. Health Care
2. Education
3. Environment
4. Iraq

I may disagree with Obama in regards to stem cell research and abortion, but I agree with him on many more. We are a country that decided long ago that religion would be absent from government. And I think that as a country we should remember that Obama will only be President, not a dictator. He cannot wave a magic wand and pass sweeping liberal agendas that the majority of Americans disagree with.

My brother called me the Black Sheep of the family today. That is okay. I know that my views differ from theirs. I know that the majority of my family is quite depressed over the Obama victory. I feel their pain! I was there four years ago! Luckily, I have a family that, while our opinions differ, we still love each other. We still respect each other (I hope), and we still will be and are friends.