Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sad News

This Monday was Pfizer's big announcement day about their restructuring. Going into it Sam was apprehensive since her position has always been slightly tenuous. If they decided to move some studies from Ann Arbor to another location her job could easily be pinched out. it turned out (as I'm sure you've heard) Pfizer decided to shut down the entire Ann Arbor facility. 2,100 high tech, high income jobs gone. Kaput.

To try to find a bright side for us, Sam's been looking into other jobs for the last year or so because of the lack of stability at her position, so we've been at least somewhat mentally prepared for her to lose her job. Sam did have an interview on Monday at the University Hospital, which seemed providential given what went down. She's supposed to hear back next week, so I guess we'll see where providence is leading us.

The down side (which there is an awfully lot of) is that many good friends of Sam lost their jobs as well. Her mother in fact; who moved to Ann Arbor three years ago because Pfizer shut down the facility she worked at in Skokie, IL. It just seems like everyone we know either worked for Pfizer or is related to someone who does. There'll be a lot of movement away from Ann Arbor in 2007.

As for now, we're hoping to stay here, but Sam has put in her resume at several bio-tech companies in the Boston area. I told her I'm fine with moving if she can find a job she'd really like. I would like to live in another part of the country at least for awhile, but I really enjoy my current position at Whitmore Lake and moving seems a little scary right now.

Thank you to all of you who have called, emailed, or otherwise expressed your condolences. We're still getting over the shock. Keep us (and the thousands of other people affected) in your prayers.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Oyster of the Month Calendar

Since Sam & I couldn't find an oyster of the month club we decided to make Dad an oyster of the month calendar. We found 12 recipies and made them into a calendar with everybody's birthdays and other random historical events listed. Dad cooked up some Oysters Kirkpatrick that night, which was pretty good, even though not everyone particularly likes oysters...

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Organization is Very Important

Dad was very excited for the planner book. He used the 2006 version a lot and needed an update.

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Closeup of the Stool

Here's a better view of the top of the stool. Wowee!
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The Noah Stool

Mom got a stool that Sam painted with a Noah theme. I may be partial, but I think Sam did a great job! It looks fantastic.
We were thinking Mom could use it in their new closet, but she was keeping it in the kitchen because she didn't want to hide it in a closet.

Mom tries out her new stool. You may not be able to see it, but a wad of wrapping paper just hit her in the back of the head. I wonder who the culprit is?

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Fancy Windchimes

Mom received some very fancy windchimes. They're tuned using some secretive ancient technique to make you hear tones they aren't actually making. I'm not joking, they did sound very nice. :)

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Running Man

Mark checks out his spankin' new running shorts.

You may also note the shirt fresh from Nagasaki he's wearing...

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Japanese Gift Wrapping Gifts

Mom reading her Japanese Gift Wrapping book. We're all expecting very fancily wrapped gifts next year!

Mark hid part of the Japanese Gift Wrapping present behind the book case, but it wasn't exactly easy to find. Mom had to look around a bit before she found it.

She did find it though, and look how pretty it is!

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Sweet Japan Treats!

I'm showing off the fun sushi shaped hard candies (which are not sushi flavored, FYI) and the Japanese bicycle ring-lock I received. I'm very excited about the ring lock! I just need a bike to put it on now...

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High Fashion

Dad showing off his new Isle Royale books. He's also sporting a brand new Christmas tie.

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Copper Ticket

Since many of you may not have seen the actual copper ticket, here it is! The text on the front is adapted from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (changed for the purpose a bit of course). I'm not sure if you'll be able to read it very well, maybe try clicking on it for a larger view.

Here's the back with a map of the island.

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A Copper Ticket!

Dad reading his Copper Ticket. It was wrapped up in a candy bar & granted him passage to Isle Royale with an escort of his family.

Make sure we keep in touch about plans!

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Coincidence or Divine Providence?

We got "The Message: Remix," and Sam here randomly opened up to a page. I'm not sure if you can tell even if you click on the picture for a zoomed in version, but she landed on 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. I think it might be applicable to some of our lives:

Jabez was a better man than his brothers, a man of honor. His mother had named him Jabez (Oh, the pain!), saying, "A painful birth! I bore him in great pain!" - The Message

Hopefully Jabez will not be an appropriate name for Gussie...
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Gettin' Professional

Getting dapper for the new job! Although from what I hear he can basically wear anything other than sweatpants to work...

P.S. Mark found a studio condo he's renting in southern Lincoln Park soon before coming back to Bay City to celebrate Wildeboer Christmas. He gets to move in January 24th or so.

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The Joy of Giving

Look at all the happy faces!

<-- Dad is loving it! (he didn't get hosed)

<-- Mom unwrapping a classic Mark piece

<-- Here I am (looking festive) unwrapping a M&M gift bag

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Strawberry Kit Kats!? WOOO!

Sam was so excited to get strawberry Kit Kats that she ate right through the box. Yum! We looked at several stores in Japan when we were there as well as a couple Asian grocery stores in Ann Arbor, but our search for the strawberry Kit Kat was unsuccesful. Evidentally it's an elusive beast that only comes out during certain times of the year...

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Sam got a bowl that matches a platter we received at a wedding shower (I think it was a shower gift). Sweet! Even though we may have complained about having to go into every pottery shop in Door County, Wisconsin; we do like the pottery dishes!

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The Unfolding Photo Book

Meika & Mike made a sweet photo book with pictures from their celebrations in Japan. It was really cool.

Mom & Dad checking it out. Ooooo!

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Check the Technique

Mark showing why he is the present opening master. Look at that knife- he isn't messing around!

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Keepin' it Warm!

Sam looves her new long underwear! She's definitely cold all the time, so I'm sure they'll come in handy even during this exceptionally warm winter.

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Prepping for the Presents!

Mark takes unwrapping presents very seriously. Here he is clipping his fingernails to the ideal length. You don't want them too short- it would make peeling tape off too difficult- but too long isn't good either. Also note the Mid-Michigan Loons hat he got in his stocking...

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