Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I am going crazy. We are so close to closing on this houes...
(Update story for those just tuning in: We put an offer on this house, the buyers didn't like it very much, we went onto the next house, the sellers from the first house came back and accepted our offer, we like the first house better that is why we put an offer on it first, so we accepted their acceptance and started the happy house closing process.)

Now we are just a few days away (eight to be exact) and I'm trying so hard not to be too excited because nothing is for sure till we have the keys in our hand. But I can't help it. I am planning wall colors, and for all the new furniture we will need to buy (over the next few years of course, we can't furnish the whole house right away); and I want to pack, but let's be realistic, it will take me max 3 days more like 2 days to pack; and I really want to start buying all the house things we will need like ladders, lawnmowers, paint rollers, drapes, and all sorts of things.

I won't buy anything. But I can't promise that I won't continue picking colors out in my head.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

This was our first Thanksgiving alone, on the other side of the USA, in Georgia, with our puppy. Even though our family was pretty far away, we still had a good day. Brian and I combined our favortie parts from each of our parent's meals and made up some new traditions. It was fun.

We hiked Kennesaw Mountain with Portland, who as you can see did not have as fun of a day as we did due to her cone head status. On our way home we went to Starbucks for some excellent hot chocolate (sorry Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is on tv and I couldn't help it) and a news paper. Then we came home, watched the parade and sifted through the ads (which was the only reason we purchased a paper). Then we made lots of food, ate it, froze the half we didn't eat, and watched Home Alone and A Muppet's Christmas Carol.

A most excelent day. (sorry, there it is again, catch ya later dudes!)

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Latest Creation

I don't think that Brian or the author of Advanced Engineering Mathematics inteded this book to be used as a giant paper weight, but it is the biggest, heaviest book we own- and it is no longer in use for mathamatical purposes. So I thought I could use it for crafing purposes.

This is the finished product. Unfortunatly it isn't for sale in my store, it is a special request for a trade.

These, however, are my other latest creations and they are for sale! I kept seeing all these cute little brooches online, so I made a few for myself.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Well House 1 didn't work out, onto the next- there are plenty to choose from.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Home sweet, currently someone else's Home

So we've been house hunting for a few months now, and think we may have found the one. Luckily for me Picassa has a "make your own movie" option that is super easy to use, so now I don't need to upload every photo.

Take a look! (the girl in blue is Cheri, our realtor.)

We have two other houses we are considering, but this is #1. Maybe I'll make a video for our second fave.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Etsy!!!

So I don't have that much to do, so I joined a the Etsy North Georgia team (Team NorGA) and today we got our first Treasury!

Check out my latest item
and all the other items that we made in october!

The more original views we get the closer we are to getting our items featured on the front page (which would be really cool).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm a fish

You Are Ariel!
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Headstrong and fiesty. You have a mind of your own that's full of romantic dreams about the world around you. Exploring exotic places is your ultimate dream, and although you can be a little naive you'll realize that there is something to be gained from your family's wisdom.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

Really? She is my fave, but I wouldn't have guessed her. But I guess it makes sense, I love the sea, I love green, I have fins, and I moved far away from my family. Good call.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Necklace!

So this year I'm all about hand made items. I love the care that goes into them. My latest Etsy purchase is a pendant made from a scrabble tile. It is really cute.

(It was a great price and if you post about your pendant you get another one for free!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dog video update

I was offloading my camera and came across these little movies. Enjoy!

Wet Dog

Jumping Dog

Martha Stewart Inspirations

So last year I got the Martha Stewart Halloween magazine but never got around to really doing anything. But this year I thought I'd try a few of her ideas. I made a little spooky center piece with some candles and gauze. The green pumpkin candle on the top I made by hollowing out a real pumpkin and pouring the wax in. Unfortunately it was an old christmas candle I got from goodwill, and I didn't realize that it also happened to have a christmas scent. When it melted it released the most potent "christmas" aroma I've ever smelled. I don't think brian appreciated a kitchen full of pumpkin scraps and a house that smelled like holly, cinnamon, etc, but he will admit the candle turned out cool.

The other project I did was a leaf arrangement. You dip the leaves in wax to seal in their colors and then hang them. Unfortunately I used cheap tape, so every so many days a leaf will fall and my dog will shred it (which is what she does to nearly all leaves she finds while we are walking). So I think of it as a mobile instillation piece of art.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Puppy Beds

So we finally found a place, maybe, that we are okay leaving Portland at over the holidays. Their contract says that she only gets one piece of bedding in her crate. Currently we use 6 old t-shirts and two towels. So I decided to use my "sewing skills" to make her a bed.

I think it turned out okay. I made the inner pillow and stuffed it, then made a case that opens at the back so I can take it off and wash it. I bought three times the fabric needed, extra thread, a zipper (what was I thinking?) and two bags of stuffing too many. Out of all the stuff I bought I only used 1/2 of the white fabric, the white thread, one bag of stuffing, and the puppy print fabric. Maybe next time I should plan better.

She looks fairly annoyed that I made her pose in her crate for this pic.
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Guilt Free

Tuesday we had dinner with a couple in our ward. Super nice, and had a super cute old house. Since I've moved I always get the question, "So what do you do?" Harmless right? Unless your answer is, "What ever I want." (Which I don't actually say, but people infer it when I do say something like I train my dog and work on craft projects.) Usually no kids = full time job, right?

SO during dinner I was pleased to finally find another girl my age who does not have to work because her husband makes enough for their needs- oh and they don't have kids and don't have any on the way. What a relief that someone else like me exists. I was beginning to think I was the only kid-less, non-full time working girl in GA. Lucky for me there is another like me right in our own ward. I don't think we will be super best friends forever, but at least I don't feel so guilty for enjoying my free time because someone else does too.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bailout... and a failed government.

With all the opinions flying around on the proposed bailout in Congress, I thought I would add my two-cents (really only two, I promise). I am an engineer and only follow finance and economics on a very broad level; however, I do have some public policy and poly-sci background... so you can be the judge of my credibility.

Why we are in this mess (as I understand it):
We want(ed) everyone to be able to live in a house. So, lenders offered loans that were increasingly easy to obtain. The problem is that these loans often times had an adjustable rate and/or were interest only (there were other types of crazy lending programs too). Furthermore, lenders were handing out these loans without properly checking the lendee's financial situation.

So... more people could get mortgages, which drove up the cost of homes, which required even more easily obtained loans, which drove up the cost of homes... and on and on...

Eventually the chickens came home to roost. The rates adjusted, and homeowners couldn't make their payments. Homes went into foreclosure... the banks lost money. Home values fell... the banks lost money. Eventually the banks lost enough money that they began to collapse.

What could we have done to prevent it?
Lenders could have been more responsible. (don't hand out crappy loans)
Buyers could have been more responsible. (don't live beyond their means)
The Gov't could have taken their head out of the sand. (regulated these lenders against bad lending practices)

Where are we now?
The credit markets are beginning to freeze, which will prevent even well qualified buyers from getting loans. So more homes will go into foreclosure, causing more banks to go under, which could lead to a downward spiral that we haven't seen the likes of since the great depression (and many well respected economists say this is a likely outcome).

Why will the 'bailout' help?
It will essentially take 'bad' money off the hands of banks. This will free up lenders to offer mortgages (hopefully 'responsible' mortgages this time around), which will help the housing market slowly recover. This not only helps the banks, but it also helps homeowners and home-seekers. On a broader level, it will prevent the collapse of major financial institutions, which we all rely on (picture the opening seen to "It's a Wonderful Life.").

Why is this 'bailout' failing?
Nobody trusts Washington (all of Washington... President, house/senate Republicans/Democrats... nobody), and for good reason! They have destroyed their credibility over the last decade. It is not all Pres. Bush's fault, but he is definitely part of the problem. For the first time in a long time (because an election is coming soon), many House D's and R's listened to the voters and didn't vote for the bailout. Unfortunately, the voters are scared and ticked-off at Washington and Wall Street and are wrong right now. It was only a month or so ago that we had to watch both parties have their self-love fests (conventions)... at which, neither talked about real solutions to this problem. They spent the whole time pointing fingers and basking in their own glory.

Okay... I'm done. Let me know if I'm wrong.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bye Elder Daniels

Last week Nate, aka Elder Daniels, went into the MTC (Missionary Training Center) to start his mission. Heidi, Deric, Mom, and Dad went with Nate to drop him off in Provo, UT. I thought I'd post some pics that my Mom gave me when she visited.

Mom, Dad & Elder Daniels in front of the Salt Lake Temple .... soo pretty.

Elder Daniels will wear his new name on his chest for the next two years!

Almost time to say goodbye!

These are all of Nate's possessions for the next two years.

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He sent us a letter, via email, today that said he is doing great. He hit it off with his new companion, Elder Hitchcock, who is from Idaho. He said they get along well and they both like Sponge bob Squarepants.
If you want to email him you can at
I don't think he can email you back though. I emailed a missionary in Mongolia last week (to find out some info for my primary class), and he had his parents email me his response. But Nate will probably respond with snail mail. Let me know if you want to be added to his friends and family list and you can get his weekly emails.
Well, Portland has placed a pile of toys at my feet, so I had better play with her.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

To sleep or not to sleep

I would imagine that after you've taken your dog for a long walk, or played really hard in the backyard, that your dog would come in and lay down. Or at least lay low for a few hours.

I took Portland down to the dog play area to play frisbee. We played for a while, ran for a while, and by the time we were done she could hardly walk up the stairs. Now you might think it is cruel to run your dog to the point where they walk up the stairs like an old man. But once she was back in the air conditioning, had a drink of water, and a good 10 min rest, this is what she did....

And after she was done with that she circled the room a few times and did this....

Now do you think this dog is tired?

She is. Trust me. If I sit on the floor with her for a few minutes she will be asleep in seconds. But if I continue doing chores, moving from room to room she will follow me getting crazier and naughtier as I go. I feel like she is at the tired two-year-old stage. Where everything is either hilarious or a catastrophe. She is on the verge of sleep but she wants to stay awake soooooo bad.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Our ward moved to another building last week, so the Relief Society was forced to clean out their closets (we shared the building with one other ward so they took advantage of all the extra space and things sorta piled up over the years). The RS president, Sally Tracy- whom I loved even before I met her because she has two first names, decided that "If it isn't blessing the lives of the sisters by being in this closet, it is out!" So among some other surprises, they found two working sewing machines, and they gave me one of them! The idea, of course, is that when I get another one or don't need it any more that I will pass it onto another sister.
So for weeks I've been planning everything I could sew as soon as I got the machine. After our Friday hike (I'm in charge of the hiking group for my ward, and we go every friday to Kennesaw Mtn), Sally gave me the machine and I raced home to use it. I opened it up... turned it on... and realized that I have no idea how to use a sewing machine. Well not no no idea, I just don't really know. But after an hour or so I figured out how to use the different stitches and go forward and backwards, and re-thread the different parts.
Then I tried to make something. I made a box, without a top or a bottom. Weird I know. But the idea was stuck in my head so I made it so the idea would go away. I don't know if that happens to other people, but sometimes I just have to make an idea, no matter how dumb it is, in order to make it go away. Then I tried "free-styling" by drawing a pattern on the back and following the line to make something on the front. You can see my efforts below. Super awesome I know.
The other pics are of Portland with her new sqeaky toy, and hiking on Kennesaw Mtn. Portland and I go two to four times a week and alternate the full 1.2 miles up the mtn, and some other short circle at the base. I can't take her with other people yet because she would rather play with the other people than walk in a semi straight line.

One up one down.... Still.

Bat ears! She also does Yoda ears.

People kept walking through this area, so she would only sit for a few seconds before deciding to say hi to someone. I didn't have the guts to get another shot, I was pretty sure I looked lame trying to take a pic of my dog in front of a cannon.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ikea Toy

Brian couldn't resist getting this little toy for our dog when we were at Ikea. It replaces the empty boxes she ran through as a puppy. However she doesn't always understand that this toy isn't for eating or chewing.
Part I

Part II

I don't know how to convert videos from our nice camera, they are too big, so I'll just keep using our point and shoot till I can figure it out. Sorry about the weird clicking and crapy resolution.

Happy Anniversary

August and September are the ultimate anniversary months. So Portland wanted to give a little shout out to all our family and friends who got married in these months. Just to name a few: Brian and I, Heidi & Deric, Scott & Meredith, and Randy & Eileen.

Unfortunatly, Portland now thinks it is okay to shread all paper. So we are going to have to work on that.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

You wanted an update:

She's gotten so big! I'll notice every once in a while that her head is bigger, or her legs are longer. I didn't realize alll of her has grown so much.

Portland at 8/9 weeks.

Portland today! (14 weeks)

She loves playing fetch, and will bring you the ball all day long. Portland is pretty fast, but not too smart- you can fake her out every time if you want. She has two tennis balls, and if she can't find the ball you threw she will bring you the other one that she has hidden somewhere. If you are ignoring her, or are otherwise not available, she will set both balls at your feet. But when Brian and I are both there, she will bring one ball to each of us. However, when you throw both balls she has a hard time deciding which one to bring back.
I know she looks vicious here, but she really just loves getting the ball.

Portland is also rather good at jumping, and seems to prove that even when you ask her not to. Brian says her PPB (Personal Puppy Best) is somewhere between his hips and shoulders. As you can see this is not quite her best, as it is just barley hip height. But this photo was hard to get, and she was getting tired by the time my camera was working.

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As for other updates, both Brian and I have been called to the Primary, again! I teach the CTR 6 class, 5-6 year olds, and Brian teaches the Valiant 9 class, 8-9 year olds. Today we team taught my class, which was a good warm up because I have 4 girls and a set of twin boys. Luckily for me one of them is named Scott, and happens to have a "spot" or mole on his right cheek that the other twin, Adam, doesn't have. So there is some hope of differentiating them. As a whole, they are pretty well behaved, and just need to be reminded to raise their hand or use church voices every so often. Brian hasn't met his class yet, but he has 3 girls, and 2 boys.

Class today was fun, we talked about how Jesus wants us to obey the laws of the land. Luckily the lesson manual is really good at structuring the whole lesson, I only had to come up with a few extra things to fill time. Brian told me it was probably the most fun day of church he's had in a while... I think this was highly due to the fact that we got M & M's during singing time, and not my stellar lesson.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

One up, one down

It takes border collie's ears a while to set. A week ago both her ears were down, but now... we are at one up, one down. I keep telling her to keep her ears down, but it doesn't seem to work. She just shook her head and the other ear started to pop up a bit. I think this is a losing battle.

So I finally broke out my nice SLR and decided to take some good pics of her, not just point-and-shoot. I think some turned out pretty cute. Julie Mulkay, a former SLO- first warder and buddy photo major whom's logo I designed, inspired me with her last blog entry to take some more artistic photos with Portland. Not that I'm some professional photographer, but I did have to take 3 photography classes, so I'm practically there. j/k.

This one's for you Julie!

Portland is stalking her stuffed duck, which she still loves.

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On May 2nd I, like thousands of other Twilight fans, I purchased the last book in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn. And I finished it on May 4th. All I am going to say is that it went: like, like, WHAT!, ug-annoyed, annoyed, okay, okay, what?!, WHAT!, back to like, umm... and I won't spoil the end. But at least this book has an ending unlike alll the others.

This is a pic of me on Sunday, taking a nap with Portland. Yes I know, we totaly, utterly caved on the "no dog on the bed" rule. She is not allowed at night, that is my new rule.

Check out more photos in my web album!