Thursday, June 30, 2011


So I've spent most of the afternoon trying to figure out why my pictures wouldn't upload from camera to my Kodak gallery.  My memory is hitting near full on the computer and so I used my new external hard drive to add pictures, delete off camera and finally upload all the Disney pics.  Thanks- Matt for all your technical help.  I really do suck at this technology stuff.  O.k. back to the "post" at hand.

So we are back in Iowa and wanted to share some of my favorite pictures from the trip.  It is truly a great place and I can't wait to go back again soon :). 

Seen throughout the park and especially when entering the park.

Walt Disney and Mickey in front of Cinderella's Castle.  Great guys!

Mad Hatter Tea Cup Ride- couldn't make it spin fast enough. 

We did Fast Pass to get picture with Mickey and was surprised that Minne was there too. 

Waiting for the Electric Light Parade and Fireworks.

Kate and Matt watching the Electric Light Parade.  It was so magical to watch the kids waving to all of the characters.

The fireworks were so awesome!

Good night Disney!

Monday, June 27, 2011

It is "Magical"

Today was our first day at the Magic Kingdom. It was a great day and kids did great. Today is also "magical" because my little girl turned three. Where have the years gone? Again a reminder that the "days are long but the years short". Matt, despite not being the biggest Disney fan, even thought the Magic Kingdom was fun. Back tomorrow for marathon day which we hope includes the electric light parade at 9pm. Until tomorrow- may all your dreams come true.

Rides we went on today:
Monsters Inc
People movers (me and Kate)
Buzz light year
Space mountain (minus me and Kate)
Astro orbit
Speedtrack ( minus me and grandma)

Winnie the pooh adventure
Tea cups (me and kids)
Mickey's philharmonic magic
It's a small world
Peter pan's flight

Hall of presidents

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Friday, June 24, 2011

The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks

By Rebecca Skloot
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance? Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences. - Taken from google...
This book was very good.  I really felt like it read like a biography with some biology 101.  It made me exciting about caring for patients and the work we do now when signing people up for research studies.  It was also at times very sad and  disappointing what sometimes occurs based on your race.  I would love to hear some feedback from African Americans on what this book means to them- do they think.. this is how life is today? 

Bookmarks of Johnson County...

Moby Dick

A book is a Present


Mind Matters

Writing Out Loud

Literary Life in Iowa City

Window and Worlds

North Liberty: Inside and Out

Tarzan of the Apes

Book Marks of Johnson County is "a celebration of reading, writing and book art in Johnson County Iowa.  To go along with my "get outside" with the kids goal this summer we spent the morning looking at over 20 different books and walking around Iowa city, driving to Coralville and North Liberty for the last couple.  The kids had fun looking at the inside and outside of the books.  They spent the most time at the Chalkboard book which you can wipe off and write on continuously.  Below are the books and the names of each on the trip. If in Iowa City, Coralville or North Liberty this summer try and get a look at these.  Some of the art work is amazing.  There were two downtown Iowa city that weren't out yet and we didn't get to the one on 12th Ave in Coralville.  There is also a few on the east side of Iowa city I didn't drive too and one at the Eastern Iowa Airport.  We will leave those for another day.

Stieg Larson Trilogy

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

 47 Things

 The Forever War

 Train to Nowhere

Treasure Island


Desire Defies Reason


Once upon a Time
There are many stories I could tell you about what the kids said about all of these, but not enough time in the day.  It was a great day of fun and adventure.  We didn't see them all, but are looking forward to finishing the trek by October when the books are taken down.  No idea how much they cost, but "wow" wouldn't be cool to have one of these in your garden