Archive for December, 2008


Our dryer has been dying a slow painful death for about 9 months now. 

Tonight it kicked the bucket. 

So add “new dryer” to my list below.  Dang.  We were really hoping it would hold out until we sold the house.  Oh well.  Some lucky new home owners are gonna have a brand spanking new dryer!

List Maker, List Maker, Make me a list

Yes, I should be heading to work.  But my first patient for today is not answering the phone so I am wasting a few minutes before I try to call her again!  Now that I have justified myself…on to my post for today!

I have always been a list maker.  I love organizing things (don’t always keep them that way, but I love the process!) and list making goes right along with that.  One of the best features on my new Blackberry Pearl is the notebook.  I keep my grocery list, to do lists, even my Christmas lists were on it.  It saves paper and I am less likely to lose it if it’s on my phone!

Today I am going to list things that we need to get done around the house in the next month so that I have it here for a reference.  I’ll come back and scratch things off as we get them complete.  Our new goal is to get the house on the market by the first of February.  We are getting very close.  By the end of the week I will be able to post photos of our master bathroom redo–it’s lovely! 

So here we go.  (Deep breaths, Laura.  Deep breaths.  That’s what I keep telling myself).

  • Replace side storm door.
  • Fix lock on sliding glass door.
  • Get front (broken) window replaced.
  • Paint master bedroom (including trim, doors and ceiling fan).
  • Replace blinds in master bedroom.
  • Put up door on master bedroom.
  • Clean out flowerbeds and get rid of excess clutter (i.e. girl’s toys) in the yard.
  • Declutter the office and girls’ room (again!).
  • Straighten kitchen cabinets.
  • Thoroughly clean the house from top to bottom (don’t forget the dishwasher and kitchen cabinets–they need a good scrub down!).
  • Replace ceiling fan globes x 2.
  • Straighten laundry closet and downstairs bathroom closet. DONE
  • Touch up a little bit of paint in the kitchen.
  • Clean the carpet upstairs.
  • Replace the carpet downstairs and on the stairs.
  • Get rid of dresser and bed that is out in the shed as well as armoire in the office.  Will also be getting rid of our living room furniture before we move. 
  • New dryer.

Does anyone else feel tired reading that list?!?!?!  I am off tomorrow so there are several things on the list that I am going to tackle.  We may even go out and look at carpet tomorrow.  Lowe’s is having a special on installation–$199 for the whole house.  Can’t beat that!

Happy Christmas Eve!

My Christmas spirit is slowly starting to kick in.  I’ve been depressed for some reason this year.  Not sure what that’s all about but I just haven’t had any Christmas spirit at all.  Maybe it’s the economy.  Maybe it’s all the deaths this year (I have had three patients pass away in the last month, plus I lost a co-worker in February, then several of my co-workers lost close family members–including a child).  Then there was the election that just seemed to drag on and on.   It just hasn’t been a very happy year.  Then add in the fact that I am not HOME for Christmas.  That always depresses me. 

But anyway, enough feeling sorry for myself.  We have food.  We have clothes.  The kids have gifts.  And we have been blessed with GOOD HEALTH for all our family members this year.  So that is something to be very grateful for!

Today we went and saw “The Tale of Despereaux”.  It was really cute.  I liked it and Aaron even liked it so that is saying something there!  We had a great time!  Then it was to Food Lion for some last minute groceries and then home where we have been cooking and baking all afternoon!  

Here is what is on the list for tonight:

  • 2 batches of monkey bread (DONE!  And it’s delicious!  Will be good for breakfast in the morning!)
  • oreo truffles (in the fridge)
  • bacon swiss cheese dip (all mixed and ready to bake in the morning)
  • cookies for Santa (need to get on that)
  • homemade mashed potatoes (DONE!  Yummy!  My first ever homemade taters!)
  • green beans (cooking now)
  • turkey (in the oven)
  • stuffing (to be cooked)
  • gravy (will make once the turkey is done)
  • rolls (will put in while the turkey is cooling)

So that’s it!  All this for our little family of four!  We are having Aaron’s family over tomorrow morning for a bit and then Friday my parents come into town!

I’m outta here.  I still have presents to wrap!

Take 5 Tuesday

It’s time for Take 5 Tuesday!

1)  5 tasks on your to-do list

  • wrap presents
  • wash and fold clothes
  • make Oreo Truffles and cookies for Santa
  • take the girls to see a movie tomorrow
  • read my new book!

2)  5 things you’ve downloaded recently

  • Christmas card templates
  • digital scrapbooking stuff
  • that’s about it!

3)  5 Sites you’ve discovered recently

  • Whittaker Woman (really like this girl!  Her hubby is a music minister and she adopted a little boy from Korea.  Very fun blog to read!)
  • Life in the Parsonage  (another minister’s wife!)
  • Pursenickity (cute handmade bags)
  • Diane Chamberlain (just picked up her latest book and so far it’s really good!)
  • Fail Blog (technically I didn’t recently find this one, I’ve read it off and on for awhile–but it’s too good not to mention!)

4)  5 New/Interesting things you’ve tried/done recently

  • made/tried Oreo Truffles–yum!
  • I have no other things to list.  I lead a very boring life!

5)   Places you went today

  • Patient’s homes (7 of them today!!!)
  • Dollar General
  • home
  • Mark and Margaret’s house
  • local MD office to drop off some labwork

Christmas Portraits 2008

Back in 2005 right after Madalyn was born I took the girls for a Christmas portrait and had a horrible experience with a local photography studio.  Long story short, I decided after that awful day to learn how to use my camera so that I could take my own photos of my kids.  I practiced and practiced with my old film Rebel and learn some of the basics.  Then in 2007 I invested in a digital camera and have continued to learn so much ever since then.  I try each year to have a couple sessions with them.  Of course I take a lot of photos of them, but a few times a year we get them dressed up specifically with a photo shoot in mind.  Sometimes it works–other times it doesn’t.  Today was half and half! 

I got the girls all dressed up for a Christmas portrait.  Last year I did a few casual ones of them in front of the tree.  This year I wanted some of them in their new Christmas dresses.  I also really wanted a nice head shot of each of them and one nice one together. 

They did great individually.  But put them within 2 feet of each other and all you-know-what breaks loose.  I was ecstatic with the head shots!  Here is Annagrace:


And Madalyn (who is notoriously hard to get a good photo of!):


But as for the ones together, well–it started like this and went downhill from there.  Maybe I’ll try again later this week!


See Alison?  Your kids aren’t the only ones!!!

Christmas Music Extravaganza

Well, it isn’t really an extravaganza–just a couple songs.  Aaron had a blog post about his favorite Christmas songs.  So here are a few of mine. 

First up, Run DMC–Christmas in Hollis.  Something about the “mom’s cooking chicken and collard greens” gets me every time.  If you ever find the Beavis and Butthead version–it’s classic.  

Here is Twisted Sister with “My Heavy Metal Christmas”.  Just heard this for the first time last night.  It’s kinda stupid but kinda funny.   

And here is one of my all time favorite Christmas songs.  Heard this for the first time when I was 6 years old and I’ve loved it ever since!  Poor Grandma–she’s been getting run over for 25 years now!

To be truthful, really my favorite Christmas song is “The First Noel” but “I Heard the Bells” by Casting Crowns is quickly rising in the ranks.  I never really liked that song when we sang it every Christmas morning at church when I was a child.  But this arrangement is ridiculously awesome!  That choir is amazing.  

Nothing says Christmas Spirit . . .

like 18, 000 lights and 3500 feet of extension cord!  Tonight was our annual trip out to look at Christmas lights.  There is this one house in a neaby town that always has one of those cheesy light shows.  Last year it was set to “Carol of the Bells” and was pretty cool.  They have a radio station dedicated to it (good thing for their neighbors–they don’t have to blare the music all night long).  This year the song was some really cheesy song–something about “C is for Christmas”.  Then after that song it was “Spongebob Squarepants”.

Last year we went on Christmas Eve and took my parents along and it was really crowded.  We had to wait in line to see the house.  This year we were the only ones there!  We watched the show twice and I took a few photos and videoed a portion with my cell phone.  The kids really enjoyed it.   Here is a photo just to give ya an idea of what 18,000 lights looks like on one tiny little house:


After that we drove around a little more looking at lights then headed into “town”.  I had to stop by the ABC store to pick up some Brandy.  I had no idea that Brandy is so popular this time of year.  I had stopped at another ABC store this afternoon and they were sold out of the Peach and the Apricot variety.  At this store, I bought one of the last two Peach flavors that they had and the Apricot was all sold out.  

I go to the liquor store like once every five years or so.  Which if you add it up I have been 2 times in my life!  They have this sign by the register that says “If you are under 30 years of age be prepared to show your license.”  I had it all ready (even though I am a smidgen over 30!) and the dude didn’t even ask to see it.  Bummer.  Guess I really look my age now.  He could of at least asked and made me feel better!  Anyway–I had to get the Brandy to make this Brandy slush.  I am not a drinker–in fact the last time I drank alcohol was last Christmas and it was this slush!  But it was really good so I am going to try and make it and take it to–get this–the church Christmas party.  Yeah, you could say that we are not your typical church. 

We then went to Sonic–another yearly tradition when we go look at lights.  Then a trip to Walmart, which surprisingly wasn’t too bad considering it’s the weekend before the big day.  Then back home.  I made my first of two batches of Chex Mix tonight.  Hopefully tomorrow I will get the other batch done along with sausage balls, chocolate covered peanut butter cookies and some other as yet undecided treat that I will give out to my patients next week as Christmas presents.  I have so much to do and did I mention I have to be on call tomorrow too?  And I have about 2 hours of paperwork to finish up from today!  I think it’s just wrong to have to work the weekend before Christmas!  But better this weekend then next because my mom and dad will be here next weekend!

Free Prevention Magazine

So I thought this would be an easier way for you all to get free magazines.  I’ll still post the links when I get an offer in my inbox.  You have to get it quick because some of them go fast. I got an e-mail about Shape and Prevention and Shape is already gone.   

Here is a Prevention Magazine link:

Nikki I sent your name in so you should get an invite and Sherri the next offer I get I will put your name in!

Works for Me Wednesday…er…Thursday: Inspiration Notebooks

I realize of course that it is Thursday.  But yesterday was busy and I just got around to taking these photos today!  Here is another theme I will do from time to time.  Works for Me Wednesday–hosted by Rocks in my Dryer.  If ya haven’t visited that blog–ya should.  It’s a good one!

I love magazines.  I think it’s an unhealthy obsession at times.  The GOOD news is that I no longer buy magazines.  I get them all free–mostly through Rewards Gold.  If you like magazines you definitely need to sign up with them (let me know if you want an invitation for a membership!  I can add your e-mail on my next free offer from them!).  I get at least 1-2 offers in my e-mail box a week for free magazines.  You take a quick 2 minute survey and you receive a free magazine subscription.  Truly there are no strings attached.  I haven’t once gotten a bill from them.  I currently receive all of the following FREE:

  • Family Fun
  • Home
  • Elle Decor
  • TV Guide
  • Parenting
  • Wondertime (my current favorite!)
  • Hallmark
  • Self
  • Professional Photographer
  • Rangefinder
  • Studio Photographer
  • Aftercapture
  • Golf (for Aaron of course)
  • Weight Watchers

Yeah.  I KNOW.  That’s a lot of magazines!!!  I also pick up the occasional Good Housekeeping or Real Simple at the library from the free table.  Yesterday I donated about 25 magazines to them.  And I have lots more.  Here are a few stacks from around the house. 


(I know this is insane!  These are all ready to go to the library!)

(Sorted through all these last night!)

 So I decided that since we are moving next year the magazines need to go.  I can’t move all these magazines to NC with me.  There are a few exceptions.  I keep all my Professional Photographer mags because the info is so useful to me.  I also keep a few copies of Studio Photography and Rangefinder if the content is something I need for my business.  But otherwise there tends to be one or two pages in each magazine that I really want.  And why keep all those magazines just for a few pages.  So I decided to sort through them–all of them–and tear out what I wanted to keep. 

But then what was I going to do with all those pages? 

Voila!  Here is my system.  I have inspiration notebooks.  I gathered up all my notebooks and inserted clear plastic sleeves and started ripping pages out of my magazines!  I currently have the following:

  • Photography Stuff
  • Scrapbook Inspiration
  • Kid Stuff
  • Fitness/Weight Loss Stuff
  • Home Inspiration


Each book has sections–for my home book it’s divided by room, for my kid book it’s divided by craft ideas, kid recipes, party ideas, etc.  I decided to make the process very quick.  I mean, I have probably 100 magazines to sort through!  So I sat down and flipped through quickly.  I only tore out the things that immediately caught my eye.  Then I put it down and moved on to the next one!   

My home book I have actually had for awhile.  I have paint samples and other things tucked in it as well.  This page
 inspired me to find a fake mantle peice for my living room!  (I love the old, chipped white paint on!) 

I have sorted through a bunch of magazines and have many more to go.  If anyone out there is interested in any of these magazines before they make their way to the library please let me know.  I have dozens of scrapbook magazines (many are from 2006 and 2007) that I’d love to give away.  I may freecycle them if I can’t find anyone who wants them.  The ladies at the library must think I’m crazy–I take a huge stack in every time I go!  But they seem very appreciative of them!

Annagrace quote: An oldie but a goody

I found a book while cleaning today that I had written a funny Annagrace quote in.  It was back in 2005 before Madalyn was born so Annagrace was a little over 3 years old.  We visited the doctor’s office and when we left we had this conversation:

Annagrace:  “Mama where was the man doctor today?”
Me:  “I don’t know, he must have the day off.”
Annagrace:  “Yeah, it was all Miss doctors today.” 

So glad that I wrote these things down.  Maybe one day they will all make it into a scrapbook!

December 2008