Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wonderful News

We are thrilled to announce that in June our family will have a new member! We are pregnant! :) At 12 5/7 weeks Little One is as big as a peach - 3 inches long! :) We heard his/her heartbeat today - it's real, not just something that people tell us is in there. :)

Our baby has all of its life-sustaining parts (heart, organs, intestines ect.) but is continuing to grow stronger (we don't want to see you yet Little One! :) Keep growing!) and grow into his/her head, which is half the size of it's body right now . Little One has fingers and toes that are defined and no longer webbed (like a duck). He/She has working joints (elbows, knees, ect) and fingernails. Highlight: this week it's vocal chords are forming..... I am sure there will be points in my life I love that he/she has vocal chords (like when he/she says "mama" - which is going to be before "dada" :) - and words like, "please" or "thank you" and "I love you") and times that I wish it didn't (like when it talks back - I have been told by Brad's family to get ready for this, but I know I contributed some stubborn genes too :) ).

I have been feeling great - no morning sickness at all. There have been a few times when I have not wanted to finish dinner because my appetite has left me, but I can't complain! Health has been a huge blessing over the past few months as I have been working hard at school (almost done!) and I have been able keep up working. I graduate in 11 days, picking up my cap and gown today made it seem real.... time flies! As of now, I haven't been able to devote much time to thoughts about baby stuff - but once I turn in my last papers next Thursday - my mind is going to be baby, baby and more baby. :)

We are so very excited and are thrilled to be able to share this exciting news with you! :) Here are some of the top questions we have been asked lately:

- When are you due? Our official due date is June 10th.

- Are you going to find out the gender? Yes - we both are "be prepared" people, and we want to have the dresser/closet full of gender specific clothes for Little One. We will let you know as soon as we find out if Little One is a boy or a girl.

- Do you care if you have a boy or a girl? Sarah's Answer: "No." Brad's answer: "Of course we care! We would like it to be one or the other." {He makes me laugh :)}

- Do you have a "mother's intuition" about the gender? Well, when both Brad and I picture having a baby around, we envision a little girl. But we have no experience or factual data to back that up. We will see... :)

- Do you have a name picked out? Yes we do, both a girl name and a boy name. But sorry - Little One's name is going to be a secret until it is born.

Let us know if you have any others! :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

You did what?!?!

The title of this post is reflective of your thoughts after you read the following.

What do you get if you put together:

1 dvd of a crackling fire
1 Chris Tomlin Christmas CD
1 Sarah Kidder
1 Brad Kidder
2 boxes of decorations

= 1 assembled Christmas Tree

That is right - we are crazy. It is November 9th and we have put up our tree. We held back though - we left the egg nog in the frige. :)

Brad asked me if we could set up our tree - then challenged another couple in our small group to see who could set up their tree first. It was Kruskas vs. Kidders. At that point I couldn't say no - anyone who knows me is aware that I get a little competitive when it comes to challenges or games.

I think Amy told Matt (the Kruska's) that they couldn't put up the tree until the house was clean (I gather this from a facebook status update). I told Brad a similar story - "Please assemble my new bookcase, I will do laundry and put the house back together after a fun weekend and then we can set up the tree."

Needless to say, the Kruska's won. :) We recieved a text message from Matt with a picture of their beautiful tree. Congratulations Kruskas - I am glad we aren't the only crazies in Chicago. We will back you up when they tease us at small group on Tuesday. Thanks for the healthy competion.

(Pictures coming soon of both the bookcase and the tree)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Camera/Fall Fun

Hello all,

My dear husband could not wait to give me my birthday present - so he didn't.... but instead gave it to me a few weeks early! A Nikon D 60! I feel almost intimidated at the "amazingness" (I know that is not a word) of the camera - I don't know anything about how to use it, but I am super excited to learn how! If you have any tips, good instructional sites/books - please let me know!

So, because of our new toy, we have quite a few pictures to share with you that will sum up what we have been doing for fun lately.
Brad and I with our Reformation Pumpkins
All carved and lit up! Brad's is on the left, Sarah's the right.
Our Pretty Chloe Cat
My Handsome Hubby
Fun with a flashlight in the dark.... ohhhh we are magic!
Relaxing and Contemplating
Brad and Chloe
Sarah and Chloe
Poor Brad was sick (Swine flu?) for a few days - he is feeling better, but is still feeling tired - we are definitely ready for bed at the end of the day.
So that is a little update - through pictures - of how we have been lately. To quickly sum up that which pictures cannot, I have been busy with school and internship responsibilities (while trying to squeak in camera fun when I can). I can't believe that in a little over 40 days I will be done... It is strange to imagine what life will be like without homework hanging over my head, but I am sure I will find plenty to do! :) This Sunday I am teaching Sunday School in Mary's absence, and to fulfill an internship requirement - pray that I will communicate with clarity.
Thankfully, I have not gotten sick - a wonder since Brad stayed home for four days! Please pray for both of us in this area - Brad's continued healing and my continued health!
We hope you all are well, let us know how we can pray for you over these next few weeks!
Sarah (for Brad and Chloe)
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hurray for Fall

Well first off I want to apologize for the infrequency with which we have been posting! It probably does not help that Sarah has been doing all the blogging since we started this thing. Well this post changes that, as I Brad am writing a post, Sarah does not even know I am writing this!! Lets see how long it takes her to find out! :)

Over the past few week Sarah and I have been very busy, we made a trip up to Minnesota to visit with Sarah's side of the family, incluiding her Mom and two youngest sisters Laura and Anna! We were blessed to see all of them and amazed at how much the girls have grown!!

The very next weekend we headed to Michigan to visit briefly with my side of the family. It was a great to see all of our friends and family in Michigan and to celebrate, even if it was a week late, my Sister Amy's 21st birthday.


I can honestly say that fall is my favorite time of year. I find it so refreshing to step out in the morning to the cool crisp fall air. In the spirit of fall Sarah and I have been on a mission which I like to call "No Utility October" similar to "No Shave November" and other silly made up events. Basically we have vowed that unless the temperature in our Condo nears a point that would kill us or our precious cat Chloe, we will not turn on the heat or the air. I am happy to report that October is almost over and we have survived the month quite comfortably, other than one or two nights where the temp. inside dipped to around 62 :), that's what blankets were made for though right?!!? With all the energy savings from this month I will have to take my sweet wife out to dinner or something to repay her :)

Well that's it for this post!! Though if things go as planned I hope to have pictures of carved pumpkins to post tomorrow :) No worries, these are reformation day pumpkins, not celebrating evil, evil, Halloween or some sort of pagan fall harvest festival. I can't wait until we have kids so they go door to door dressed as Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, Knox, and Huss, shouting: "Indulgence or treat!"

(I am trying to find the Luther Costume Below in a Child's size already!)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Popcorn thoughts

Popcorn Love
So many thoughts, so little time... We love popcorn at the Kidder house, so I thought I would share some popcorn thoughts with you,
  • Our weeks are pretty busy with school, work, small group, Awana and friends.
  • Sarah's internship is going really well - she is getting lots of ministry experience and learning tons!
  • Work is has been good for Brad, his boss has been on vacation for the past few weeks and things have run well in his absence.
  • School is keeping Sarah busy, both during the week and on the weekends.
  • We realized this morning that our October weekends are booked.
  • Awana has started again, we have been averaging 45-50 kids a week! Though, somehow we are more energized after Awana than before. :)
  • Our house is coming together, each month we add something new. It feels like home.
  • We had an AMAZING weekend in Minnesota last week! Sarah's mom was there with Laura and Anna - we got in a lot of hugs and cuddles.
  • Chloe gets stranger as time goes on, we found her lying on her back last night (like a dog). We love her.
What's new with you?

Monday, August 24, 2009

The beginning of the end

When I was little, we read a book called "The Very Last First Time." Its a cute book about a little Eskimo girl who goes and searches for Mussels when the tide is out. She knows as she is setting off on her adventure that she will never do it again for the first time. I have been feeling kind of like this. Except I am beginning the end.

Tomorrow I start the last semester of my Undergraduate education. It is exciting - I am looking forward to completing my degree. It is sad - I do not want to stop learning. And although I know that I will continue learning after school, I can't help but think I will never do it again (at least for the first time). I thank the Lord for the amazing gift of learning, and I pray I will never stop.

We had a great weekend! It was a great mixture of productivity - both inside the house and out - resting together and having fun. There were lattes, steaks, burritos and Oreos. There was alone time and friend time. And there was AMAZING weather. Saturday the high was in the 60s, we opened all the windows and smiled as the fresh breezes wandered through the house. It was wonderful to wake up on Sunday morning and not want to get out of the warm cocoon of bed. Fall is coming - and we are excited.

I posted my spring school schedule on the blog, here is my fall schedule:

(You can click on it to make it bigger) Color coded - as always.... it is a very sectioned off schedule - I think it will work out well. So this next week we will be getting into our fall routine. Brad's schedule is still much more simple than mine - he works 7-3:30 and has small group and Awana with me on Tue and Wed evenings. It is so great to be able to head to work/school together in the morning! And most days I am able to go home with Brad too - with Monday and Fridays being the exceptions.

It is amazing to me that every year - about this time - the great hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" is sung at a service I am attending. Most notably, I remember singing it in Fall 2006 when I first came to Moody. We sang it again yesterday at church - what a great reminder that throughout all of our life, God is faithful. He does not change. Through every season. Through every adventure or trial. He is faithful.

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
there is no shadow of turning with thee;
thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
as thou hast been thou forever will be.

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided;
great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

I hope you are reminded of God's amazing faithfulness today - may you have strength for today and a bright hope for tomorrow.



A little birdie has something to say...

I have a new friend in the Dining Room!

Brad found this beautiful buffet at the Salvation Army accross the street from our house! After e-mailing me pictures of it (I was at work) he bought it - a guy from Salvation Army even helped him carry it home - up all three flights of stairs - what a nice guy! We are thrilled.

It is exactly what we wanted to help store our china and glassware - I was even able to fit a bunch of decorating/candle stuff in it too! :) Isn't it beautiful?

And for $60 - how can you go wrong?
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Before and After - Alley Lamp


Cost: $16 for shade and spray paint
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Lancaster, PA

Brad and I, along with three friends, left Chicago last Thursday and headed to Pennsylvania. We were headed for Lititz, where my dear friend Linsey lives and got married this last Saturday.
We arrived Thursday evening and Brad dropped us ladies off in downtown Lancaster (which is much more advanced than we had anticipated - we were expecting horses and buggies, but they have public transportation...) We met up with Linsey and her sister, Brittany and went and painted pottery for Lins' bachelorette party. Linsey picked out the pieces and colors she wanted and then all of us got to get dirty and be creative. Kim painted a candle holder, Miriam a honey jar, Zoe a sugar dish, Brittany a large serving bowl, Linsey a vase and Me a pitcher. It was so much fun making pretty pieces for Linsey's new home.
Friday was busy with wedding preparations and decorating. Brad and I ran a bunch of last minute errands for the Zimmerman family - it was fun helping out at a wedding and not stressing about planning it ourselves! Lancaster is such a beautiful area! Rolling hills, little farm houses and of course, who couldn't be intrigued by the amish and their simple lifestyle. We also got to see Linsey and Joel's new home - it is so fun to have a friend who is experiencing the same things, marriage and home ownership! I only wish we lived closer to each other!
Saturday morning, the ladies and I reported for duty at 7 am to get our hair done. The wedding was at 11 am. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception- I was honored to be involved in Linsey and Joel's special day. I don't have any pictures from the wedding - but when some are posted on facebook, I'll make sure to put some up.
Saturday evening, Brad and I went out on a date - it was really nice, after a few days of constant contact with others and helping out, to get away and spend some time with each other. We found a cute restaurant in Lancaster that was on a river. We sat outside and enjoyed the quiet.
These were cool tiki torches set up around the deck of the restaurant - sadly they were not flaming.

My handsome man.

Me :)

Here is the back of my hair - it looked great! Linsey's new mom-in-law is a beautician, she and a few of the ladies at her salon did the bridal parties hair.
It was a really fun trip, we are happy to be home - 24 hours in the car over the course of 4 days is not that fun, but thankfully the car brought us safely home. Oh and we got to have Chick-fil-a and Sonic over the course of the trip - so fun!
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Wanna be my Caddy?

A few Saturdays ago, Jenny, Brandon, Brad and I all went golfing!
Jenny and I driving our golf cart.

Brandon - silly as always. :)

Brad, practicing his swing

Brad and Brandon in their golf cart.

Brad has applied for a few Mystery Shops* at golf courses, he hasn't been accepted for most of them, but a few weeks ago, he was asked to go to Sugar Creek Golf Course with three other friends so he could analyze the service and condition at the course.
We played 9 holes. Brad against Sarah/Jenny/Brandon's best ball. Brad, of course, won.... for those of you who don't know, he played golf in high school.
I was recently given a set of golf clubs from the family I babysit for - THANKS PAMELA!!! - so hopefully Brad and I will be able to get out a few more times this summer/fall to play. There is a golf course two blocks north of our house.....
* Mystery Shopping is a service that analyzes/critiques how a business is doing (i.e.. customer service, cleanliness of grounds/building, quality of service rendered). Brad has been picking up a few jobs whenever he gets time and making a bit of extra spending money. Usually the business reimburses you for a pre determined amount of money and pays between $10-$15. In the case of the golf course - they reimbursed us for the game and $20 of money spent in the club house.
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Our Chloe Cat

I was looking through pictures the other day and was shocked to see how our kitty has grown - when you witness growth on a day to day basis, I don't think you notice it as much.

Chloe last summer,

Chloe this summer,

She does love that laundry basket....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Update

Good Afternoon All,

We have had a busy few weeks and have some adventures ahead of us in the next few.

This last weekend we were excited to be able to attend my cousin Jessie's wedding in St Paul, MN. We had a great time visiting with family and catching up.

On the way home to Chicago we were able to pick up my sister Jana from the airport in Madison, WI and have dinner with her before bringing her to her friend Mollie's house where she is going to be for the next week and half. We went to Prime Quarter - a grill-your-own-steak restaurant. It was really fun to see Jana and spend some time with her before heading home.

We have established a routine here in our new home - it still feels surreal at times, but we are feeling settled.

This next weekend is free, we hope to get some projects done here around the house. Then the following Thursday (July 30th) we head to PA for my dear friend Linsey's wedding. We are road tripping it with three of our friends - it will be a full car! I am sure we will come back with lots of fun pictures from that trip - start getting excited. :)

Well, that is an update on our lives! We would love to hear from you! How is summer treating you?

Before and After - 2nd Bathroom


Its amazing what a gallon of oops paint* will do!

*For those of you who do not know what oops paint is - Man! Are you missing out - Oops paint is the paint that the nice guys at your local-friendly-hardware store make up for picky people who then don't like it! The rejected paint then goes to the "oops shelf" for loving, adventurous people like myself to buy for a HUGE discount! (I got this gallon for $1! And it was premium paint - I go for the deals)
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Our Porch

We have thoroughly enjoyed having a porch on which to grill and eat, read and relax.
Grilled Goodies for Summer 2009 (so far): Chicken, hamburgers, hotdogs, salmon and potato rounds (didn't work as well as anticipated - but hey, we tried!). Next we are going to try some Mahi Mahi.... We'll let you know how it goes!
I found that window in the ally! I am going to use it to decorate somewhere.... haven't decided yet. :)

Pretty flowers! Thanks Mom K!

Who'da thunk that we would use our outdoor chairs on our porch before we took them camping?
When we eat outside we bring our step-stool out. It functions well as a little table between our chairs.

We use the back stairs as our entrance, its closer to the garage, where the car lives - the stairs are to the right in this picture and the one above. So this is the view we get when we approach our house on an every-day basis. I love the star on the door - it says "Howdy" :)
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Goodbye Apartment 301

You know the strange feeling of sadness mingled with excitement. I felt it distinctly in the fall of 2006 when my family drove out of the parking lot at Moody after dropping me off and helping me get settled into my room at school. And I felt it again yesterday as I locked up our first apartment for the last time.

There have been so many memories….

….Like the day after our wedding when we had family and friends over to open gifts and eat left over wedding food.

….Like when I came home from work (this happened on numerous occasions) and my sweet husband had the table set, candles lit and a beautiful dinner prepared for us.

…. Like the time when Brad decided to blow out all the afore mentioned candles with a bottle of air, and was surprised at the fire ball that occurred (we laughed so hard!).

….Like the time we brought Chloe home and watched her shaking little kitten body wander around her new home.

….Like when we set up our first Christmas tree.

….Like when we had 22 people in our small home in addition to our monster Christmas tree.

….Or like when we spent lazy Saturdays at home, not venturing out at all.

Our prayer when we moved in to apartment 301 is that it would be a place of peace and rest, for both us and any friends and family who would walk through its door. There have been times of laughter and tears, peace and unrest, fun and drudgery. I am so thankful for our first year of marriage, and that it was spent here. It has been so much fun.

This is where we began our life as a married couple. Where we have worked through “married life” issues, and adjusted to life. God taught me a lot about myself in our first home – and I am thankful that that knowledge will comes with me to our new home – and I can not wait to see what he will teach me there!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Our New Home

Hey look everyone!! I (Brad) am witting a post instead of Sarah. :) We are so blessed to have moved into a condo in West Rogers Park Chicago. We live in an very culturally diverse area. Our neighborhood is made up of Indian, Muslim and Jewish families! Where - but Chicago - would these three culture's all live together? Needless to say, we live in a "hodge-podge of culture" neighborhood.

Click HERE for pictures of our new home :)

Here is a Preview :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

6413 Leavitt, Unit 3

We have been so antsy to tell you all, but have waited to break the news until all was settled.

We are in possession of a set of keys that unlock a beautiful condo on the north side of Chicago. That’s right! We bought a condo!

It is a newly remodeled 3br/2bath home, on the third and top floor of the building. There are beautiful hardwood floors throughout and windows on all sides (very rare for the city! but wonderful for sunshine and breezes). The kitchen hosts beautiful dark cabinetry and granite countertops. I am thrilled to have a washer/drier in our home and a whirlpool tub in the master bath. Brad is ecstatic about having a grill and can’t wait to go golf at the city-owned course that is a block north of our new home. We are both looking forward to having a dishwasher! We can hardly wait to grill on our new deck and have guests come and stay in our guest room (please do come!).

We will post pictures soon!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Beginnings

We would wish you “Happy June” but we are a little late for that, don’t you think? Can you believe it already the middle of the month! Goodness, where does time go?

Here are some bulleted highlights to update you on our life:

  • Sarah made it through her Spring 2009 semester! There were times she needed to recite this quote to herself: “In view of my present circumstances, this is the best I can do. It is not the best, and it may not be my best given different circumstances, but it is the best I can do right now.”(Taken from the book "Peacemaking Women" by Judy Dabler and Tara Barthel - a highly recommended read for all women!)
  • Monday night at the Kidders came to a close as Summer has begun - all of the regular attendees are going through withdrawal. Other creative times of fellowship have been scheduled.
  • Sarah completed Intro to Philosophy (finally!) and Senior Wellness, two more classes down! Four to go!
  • The 2008-2009 Awana year came to a close with a great celebration! Pizza, Parents and Prizes was the night’s theme – and all three were present in abundance! The Kidders had such a great year with our T&Ters! And are so excited about next fall!
  • Brad and Sarah celebrated their first year anniversary! They spent the day relaxing – took the bus downtown, ate breakfast at Einstein Bagels, went to go see UP in 3D (AMAZING), walked around the city, ate lunch at Potbelly, perused Crate and Barrel (a monthly occurrence), played Phase 10 at Boarders in the cafĂ©, bought books, read at Argo Tea, enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Rosebud Steak House and took the bus home!
  • Sarah squealed with delight when entering the garage one June morning to discover that a neighbor had thrown away a (beautiful) brass lamp – she is very excited to give it a makeover. Before and After pictures will be posted.
  • Chloe interacted with a child for the first time in her “Kidder House” life (she spent time with kids when she was a Kitten). She was very patient with Christian (1 yr) as he “pet” her, and even put up with some tail tugging. Everyone enjoyed watching Chloe and Christian chase each other around the Living Room – Brad and Sarah were pleased that she was kind to her new friend.
  • The weather in Chicago did not received the "It's Summer!" memo. The weather has been in the 50s and 60s! Brad and Sarah, although enjoying the extended spring, are looking forward to a change in the weather - hopefully it will be warmer!

Coming Soon!

  • Sarah begins a two week class on Psalms.
  • Brad anxiously awaits his first Summer game of Golf.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spring Update

Life just doesn't slow down does it? But isn't it wonderful how God gives us just enough grace to get through each day. I am surprised that the spring 2009 semester is over. Two weeks ago it seemed as if there were so many papers/projects/tests to do, I wasn't sure if I would be able to dig my way out. But here I am, one more quiz to do tomorrow and I am done. I can't believe it. 

The month of April held a trip across the country. We went to Texas to visit my family and had a wonderful time! Click here for pictures. 

Other big news: we were asked to join a small group made up of three other couples from church - which was a huge answer to prayer. We knew we wanted to get involved with a group of young married couples/young families, but since we are not able to attend a sunday school class (because we run the bookstore after services on Sundays - as pt of Brad's job) we didn't know how our desire for fellowship would be fulfilled.  We are so excited to be involved in a small group with Anthony and Simone (Who just had a baby! Little Eli, whose big sister, Mattie, is a doll!), Eric and Abby (Bekah, Ben - both blond little cuties - and little one on the way) and Dan and Amy (Christian - 13 month old, new walker who loves electronics :)). We meet Thursday nights, switching to Tuesdays soon, and are studying Habakkuk. We have had so much fun getting to know these sweet families - Thursday nights are a highlight of our week. 

Work is going well for Brad - he went to South Carolina for 5 days a few weeks ago to take a class on a computer program they use at Moody Church Media. He enjoyed fresh sea food and Charleston's southern hospitality. I missed him here - it is good to have him home. :)

I start two summer classes next monday - Intro to Philosophy and Sr Wellness (a fitness class). I am planning on hammering out three classes this summer, making my fall much lighter (I have three classes and my internship all lined up). It feels wonderful to have all the classes I need to graduate on my "enrolled" list. :) This December I'll be done - wow. 

Love to all - we are doing well! Come visit us this summer if you can! :) 

Hair Cut!

I do not get haircuts as often as the experts recommend.  Usually I go every 5 months - I don't know why I don't go more (yes I do - its called "no time") because my haircuts are free. Thats right. Free. 

"How do you swing that?" You may ask.... well, I am glad you did. I go to the ritzy Charles Ifergon Salon downtown Chicago. They retrain all of their new employees (who have been cutting hair for a minimum of 3 yrs) so that they know how to cut hair the "French way" :: INSERT "Ooohhh"::. They give "Models" (aka. women like me with no tolerance to pay $75 for haircuts) free haircuts. 

I have been going to Charles Ifergon for three years now (once every 5 months) and my cut today was the best yet! I love it!!! What do you think? :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

St Patties Day

Chicago gets crazy on the weekend before St. Patricks Day! There is a parade and the city dyes the river green! The river is usually "green" in the first place, so I wasn't expecting much different. But as Brad and I neared the river, we were shocked!!!
As the news caster said later in the day - "That color green does not exist in nature!"

I agree...