Friday, November 20, 2009

Mike's Christmas List (updated)

So this is mostly for Kristi and other family but gifts will humbly be accepted from all sources/persons.

First and Foremost:
A Guitar Center Gift Card (link). This is my "happy place". My wife has JoAnn, I have Guitar Center.

MXR Carbon Copy pedal (or another ANALOG delay):

Dress Socks:

I'm one of the few people who likes socks for Christmas. A lot of mine have holes and that stinks. I really would like some darker grey or black (argyle is always a good thing) and brown (not tan).

Graphics Tablet:

Since my degree program requires a lot of art on the computer, a tablet would just make everything easier and more natural.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (for Nintendo DS):

I love all the Zelda games and the DS has not disappointed thus far.

Swedish Fish:

A Christmas classic for me. They're pretty much my favorite!!

NOTE: I am aware that some of these items are expensive. It is, after all, a "wish" list. It is not a "what can a particular person afford" list. I'm not expecting anything, just wishing.


I totally forgot to mention a few other things.

-Cutco Hardy Slicer (link)
-A cheap bass guitar
-Dinner with my dad (his treat)

p.s. - I just have to complain for a minute about how much I hate the fact that every time you add a picture to a post it puts it at the top and it totally messes up the rest of the formatting. GOSH!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

All I want for Christmas . . .

For those of you who have drawn my name for Christmas, or my husband, or for whoever wants to buy me stuff, here is my wish list in no particular order:

Cuisinart Elite Collection 4-cup Chopper Grinder. Yes is has to be this exact one, color and everything. Unless you can find another 4 cup food processor with better reviews and all the same features. Lots of research has gone into this, can you tell.

The Body Bug Calorie Counter. I'm on a real health kick right now and could totally use one of these. It would be easier for me to keep track of my input and output.

I need a beautiful picture of the temple to hang in my home.

I would love a digital kitchen timer. I can't depend on my winding timer to do the job for 2 minutes and I can't always use my microwave timer, especially when I'm microwaving something.

I need this movie so I can cry every time Judy Garland sings "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Really anything Bill Cosby that I can watch or listen to would be great. He's just a part of my childhood that I could relive over and over again.

SMOOTH AWAY! I'm too chicken to buy this for myself, but I want to try it. Every time I shave I still end up bumpy and I think it's because of the razors I use. Every once and a while I get lucky, but this seems like it would work every time.

We always have oranges at christmas and nothing to peel them with so I go through about 3 weeks of winter with orange finger nails. This would definitely solve my problem.

I would also willingly accept gift cards to the following places:
Home Depot
Down East Basics

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Whatever was wrong with our camera (or computer) Mike found a way around it and I can finally post pictures. Sad to say, but we really don't have as much as some people do in a 3 month hiatus, but they are memories none the less. Welcome back girls to the world wide web. We got them matching monkey pajamas. We call both of our girls monkeys so it's only appropriate.

Could her eyes be any bluer? (Bluer? is that a word?)

This is our trip to Greer from yes, way back at the end of August. We got to go fishing in Grandpa Val's boat. Mike caught a fish, Brooklyn caught a fish, and yet again, I didn't catch anything. Oh well, maybe next year.

Too bad Taylor couldn't come with us on the boat. I'm sure she had fun with grandma and grandpa anyways.
These whoppers were caught by Mike's dad. Sorry you didn't win the contest this year. If I remember correctly they were just over 18 inches long. Good Job!
We ate here one day for lunch out on a deck. The weather was so beautiful, much like we're experiencing now. I think the high that day in the valley was in the 110's. I love this yearly get-a-way.
Mike thought he would be funny and feed Taylor some pickles. She actually wanted more!

On to Halloween! I was an angel (Walmart special!) Brooklyn was a cat and Taylor was a pig.

Mike got bundled up and then decided he looked like a Harvard Professor or Robert Langdon. Nice cop out!

Unfortunately those are all the highlights from our camera. We're not that big on taking pictures, but we have fun. We've had a lot to learn in the last few months. We actually went through a month of unemployment which was stressful, but I feel it brought us together and gave us confidence that we can make it through hard times. Here are a few tidbits of things I learned about the "unemployment experience."

1. First thing you do after losing your job: file for unemployment.
2. Lower your bills to as little as possible.
3. Plan all of your meals and only shop for that. Don't buy anything that's not on the list even if it's on sale. The food bank every Friday has a special to buy $40 worth of food for only $15.
4. Soup and spaghetti goes a long way.
5. Learn to make bread.
6. Powdered milk doesn't taste any different in food you have to cook or bake. Instead of buying 2 gallons per week, we went down to 1 gallon per 2 weeks.
7. Pay tithing.
8. Use your food storage
9. Dip into savings
10. The only other purchases you need to make (after bills) are for food and gas.
11. Watch your movies rather than rent.
12. Don't snack so much and only eat serving sizes. (Also a good weight loss tip!)
13. Being angry doesn't help anything.
14. Being happy helps everything.
15. Pray pray pray

I'm so grateful for the gospel and it's teachings of provident living. We may not need our food storage or savings for natural disasters, but they sure are helpful during financial disasters. So many people are going through a difficult time in this economy. We were very lucky and blessed to have only gone 1 month without employment. I know that if we trust in Heavenly Father in everything, he will help us as long as we are doing everything we can to help ourselves. We have to show him we are willing to work for the things we want and not expect them to be handed over to us. Mike thinks I'm stubborn and won't ask for help, but I know through challenging ourselves to do hard things on our own we come out stronger. I have learned to ask for help when it's really needed. We were very blessed to have gone through this time with out asking for money from family or going into any credit card debt. Number one lesson learned: Always save and prepare for whatever lies ahead.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My apologies . . .

I'm so sorry to everyone for not updating my blog recently with the oh-so-cute and adorable pictures of my beautiful daughters. Unfortunately, our camera is refusing to upload any recent pictures so I have nothing real fun to post. Sure I could tell you everything we've been doing, but it just is never enough unless you have pictures to prove it. I could tell you about our trip to Paris, but you wouldn't believe me unless I had pictures. (which you shouldn't believe be because we haven't been to Paris, are you kidding me? In this economy?) As soon as we have our "recent" pictures uploaded there will be a gia-normous pic post to catch everyone up. Thanks for understanding!

(Post inspired by our FHE this week. Read about it HERE.)