Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The day after

Photobucket Album


Here are some photos and video from our house this morning.
Thankfully our house appears just fine. We are one of the few homes in town that still has power, cable and internet. Thank you GOD! Phones are working off and on which caused some drama with BM. So D ended up going home with her. So, if you try to call and I don't answer, it's not because I am avoiding you, it's because I never heard the phone ring. If you leave a message and I don't call back, it's because I can't listen to voice mail or my calls won't connect.

The main roads aren't too bad so we went to check on a few "little old ladies" for my mom. Neither wanted to come with us. We will be checking on them again later.

Mom says she is still doing fine without power. She may try to venture out later to go get one of the "little old ladies" because I have a feeling one of them really wanted to come with us but she felt like she was being a burden...

Sis is fine but they called her into work so she is very unhappy. She doesn't live close to her job and although things aren't as bad up there, the roads are still slick enough to worry her.

One of A's coworker's and his family are coming to stay with us. I am not sure for how long so that will be an adventure.

I think those are the main points for now.


Another transformer catching fire


Check out some video of our ice jungle AKA back yard





Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ice Storm continues

Here are some photos from 7:40pm. I didn't want to venture out further into the yard because the bigger branches are now falling.








Here is the video I took of the transformer blowing.



We are going to go to bed and hopefully have a drama free sleep.
I will take more photos of the damage then.

Ice, Ice baby. Too cold. Too cold!

Today we have what they call "inclement weather". These first photos are very pretty with the icecycles everywhere...


Well, the ice became so heavy that the tree branches couldn't support it anymore. The branches started to fall like rain. If you stand outside, even now, all you hear is the ice rain and the snapping of limbs. We lost power twice but it is on now. I made dinner as fast as I could, just in case. Praise GOD that we only have a few small branches on the roof. Our neighbors aren't so lucky. I don't see any serious damage from the windows but I am sure not going outside right now to investigate further. I am not sure we have a single tree left. We have some stumps and a huge mess of limbs in the front and back yards. We are truly blessed though because our fence is standing, the house is standing and we are cozy inside by the fire with full bellies.
Mom doesn't have power but she says she is fine. If she needs anything, we will go get her but she says it isn't necessary right now. She says she feels like a pioneer. Leave it to my mom to always look on the bright side of things!
Sis is fine. She made it home from work safely and she has power.
After this is over I think the neighborhood should have a chainsaw party. We will all have enough kindling for the rest of the winter...

Our poor neighbor's yard early this afternoon


Front of our house earlier this afternoon

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Engagement photos

This weekend we went to see my sister. She is trying to start up a photography business so she offered to take our engagement photos for free. I won't bore you with all 331 photos but here are a few of my faves.








In DIY world, we still haven't finished the bathroom. I am hoping we will get to it tonight. I am up to the yin yang in laundry and I just finished painting the blades for D's new fan. Aunt Flo came for a visit so I think I am off to take a nap. That woman just wears me out!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Updates

I thought I would take a minute to update you on the progress of my 101 thing in 1001 days.

6. Paint the bathroom
I have the walls and ceiling painted. Hopefully tonight I will get the cabinet painted and the hardware hung.

7. Tear out the wall paper in the kitchen
This is turning out to be a bigger project than I thought. We kind of put it on the back burner for a bit.

8. Get a toon to level 70 in WoW
Currently level 53

16. Go one month without eating any fast food
Well, I failed this month. On my last day at the night job I just had to eat one last pizza.
I am not big on going to places I used to work so I wasn’t sure when I’d be back to eat.

17. Quit biting my nails …AGAIN
I haven’t bitten my nails for almost a month. I am not going to consider this accomplished until after a year at least.

27. Brush up on my French so that I can carry on a conversation
I was given some French CDs for Christmas. I haven’t listened to them yet.

35. Read a Bible verse each morning
I have been slacking on this lately. I will have read 1001 verses by the 1001st day J

57. Stand next to R as she gets married
Well, she is engaged and has set a date! They haven’t sent the vacation schedule around at work but I hope to be in Cali for their 9/19/09 wedding.

66. Organize the garage
We moved a bunch of stuff around but I wouldn’t call it “organized” just yet.

77. Organize my digi photos
I started these months ago and it is very time consuming…

82. Get rid of my socks with holes/with out a partner
I am one laundry load away from this goal!

I have a lot of things I am working on but nothing completely ready to check off the list.

We are going to see my sister this weekend. She is trying to get her photography business up and running. That means free engagement photos for us, YAY!! It is also Cousin B's birthday so we may be partying it up a bit.

Also, in case you were wondering, A is still smoke free!!!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Disney Fairies ~ Pixie Hollow

My Fairy Lala Littlebug

Every other weekend, most times more often than that, the TV is set to the Disney Channel. The over acting in shows like Hannah Montana and Suite Life of Zack and Cody is addicting! While watching this weekend I saw a little commercial about the new online game Pixie Hollow. I love most any type of online game so I had to check it out.

This game is so addicting! You get to make a little Fairy, dress her and name her. Once you are in Pixie Hollow there are things to collect, games to play, quests to accomplish and a bunch of other little Fairies to chat with.

Fairy friends

I know this is supposed to be a kid's game so I am not planning on doing any chatting but the little games have me hooked.

My favorite game

Since this is Disney; you can buy stationary, business cards and clothing with your Fairy on them.

All in all I give this little game two thumbs up for your you and your daughters.

~*~

On a D.I.Y. note, we didn't get the chance to do anything productive this weekend. Bathroom photos will be delayed.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Come Look!"

"I have diarrhea! Come look!"
Really? Is this part of my job description as a S.M.T.B.? Is there something I should be looking for exactly? A color, smell or texture that should alert me to something more then just some loose stool? She is acting normal so I'm just keeping her hydrated. I am sure it has nothing to do with the fact that someone gave her Burger King AND Arby's while I was at work last night...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's your score?

Since mortgage rates are dropping (here in the Ozarks we have some rates as low as 4.875%) we have been getting a lot of folks wanting to refinance their homes. I thought I would blog about one of the main reasons people get declined for a loan: Their credit.

Now, I am not a financial advisor but I have worked in the mortgage business for almost 10 years and these are the problems I see over and over on credit reports. I sent my list to my friend M who works for a credit gathering agency. He gave me some additional info that I will share as well.

1. Inquiries
Every time someone pulls your credit it lowers your score. Whether it’s your auto insurance being renewed, if you are “shopping” for rates for a home/vehicle or you are applying for a new credit card. If someone besides yourself looks at your credit, your score gets dinged.
2. Lots of revolving cards
It is best to have one major credit card such as Master Card or Visa. It is never a good idea to have a bunch of store cards like Sears, Macy’s, Target etc. They usually have higher rates as well.
3. High Balances and/or going over the limit on revolving credit cards
If you do have a bunch of store cards and refuse to close them, make sure they have low balances, preferably less than half of your spending limit.
4. Late and/or past due payments
This one is from M. He says any late payments with in the past 12 months kill scores.
5. Collections
First of all, pay your bills so you don’t acquire any collections. If you do have collections then pay them. Even if you have to make payments, just pay something on a regular basis.

Here are some items M says have little or no affect on scores
1. Child/family support – none
2. Accounts in active dispute (but they affect the score once the dispute is resolved) – none
3. Paying off installment loans (you should put your money on the revolving accounts) - almost never
4. Personal inquiries (you can pull your own credit from the bureaus as often as you like with no affect) - none

Now, regulations may vary with different states and/or investors but it seems the theme is that it is very hard to get financing if your credit score lower than 620. I suggest that you get familiar with your credit report. Check it out and see what's on it. That way there are no embarrassing surprises when you apply for any type of loan. You can usually get a free report from someone you have a credit card with. I've gotten mine from here before.

Here is another helpful article that was sent to me today.

Hopefully I didn't bore you all.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

DIY progress

In case I haven't mentioned this before, A and I are trying to update my... our house on our own. We are both so scatter brained about it, it will be a miracle if we get one room completely done! We have been watching the DIY channel like crazy lately and we've been getting some great ideas. Now if we only had a budget of 30K per room like most of these folks have, we'd be in business!

I know I posted about my ugly kitchen, emphasis on the "ug", but peeling off the many layers of wall paper was getting me bummed. I decided to start on a smaller room instead. The "hall" is the smallest room in the house but it also has wall paper so I skipped it and went on to the bathroom.

The bathroom is tiny and has this mauvey-rose colored tile, sink and tub. The walls are nasty and sort of an off white and the laminate is okay but needs to be pulled up due to water damage. Once A and I can get some money together, this is the room we will blow it all in. Until then, I decided a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware would hold us over just fine.

When I got done painting I realized that the white paint just magnified how ugly the tile is. I won't show you an "after" photo just yet because I haven't painted the cabinet under the sink nor have I installed any hardware.

Don't mind the mess!


The purple stuff is spackle.

I also painted D's ceiling because A bought her a new fan. I am going to paint the fan blades as well.

What else? Oh, we cleaned the garage and rearranged the furniture in the living room and it looks a ton better. We are trying the "less is more" approach. A also started switching out all the outlets from off white to white and the light switches to these flat kind.

Very slowly we are seeing progress and that makes me want to keep going. I hope we can make the house look nice without having to spend too much. I just wish I had a knack for the design details to pull all the rooms together.


Dog tired after a long weekend!

“Good night Stepmom!”

That’s what I heard Monday night as I was tucking D into bed.
It was so weird to hear her call me that (neither A or I told her she had to or even suggested it) but it was a good weird.
I told her that she could also call me “Bonus Mom” but that launched her into a spiel about The Jonas Brother’s having a Bonus Brother and then she started calling me “Jonas Bonus Mother the second” LOL

~*~

Our Christmas was wonderful but I felt like the true meaning of the season was sort of lost. When I asked D what Christmas really is about, she said it was Baby Jesus’ Birthday. So she has the jest of it but our holiday was definitely about Santa and the gifts. A and I talked it over and we decided that next year we will “adopt” a child around D’s age and have her help us pick out gifts so she can learn a bit about helping out others.

When Sis and I were young, Mom and Dad read us the birth of Christ from the Bible every Christmas Eve. I think it is a great idea but I also remember not being able to concentrate on the story because I was thinking about all the gifts under the tree…

We do need to figure out a way to have fun with all the "Santa" stuff without forgetting Jesus. Suggestions?

There was more I wanted to say about Christmas but it seems so long ago that I don't feel like talking about it any more. I will say that A's Dad bought me the sewing machine I really wanted and he put "To: Layne From: FFIL" and it made me cry because I feel so blessed to be marrying into a great family. I also got a few gifts from my "Future Husband" and my "Fiance'" which thrilled me as well.

~*~

Okay so the above blog stuff should have been posted quite a few days ago but things have been super busy here. We have some drama going on that I can't tell you about just yet and we started redecorating. I will post some of our "before" photos later tonight.

Due to the drama and the redecorating we decided that I should QUIT MY NIGHT JOB!!!
I think we can financially handle it since I will be going back to 40 hours at the bank (Yay for mortgage rates dropping!) time to cross another one off the list!


#3. Stop working so much

Why is this on my list?:
I have two jobs due to my credit card obsession. I don't have any time for family, friends or even myself.

How did I do it?: I spoke with my boss and she said as soon as she heard I was engaged, she knew it was only a matter of time before I would be giving my notice. She was so super nice about it and I know I can go back if ever I need to.

How did it feel?: Feels great! Once my two weeks are up it will feel even better!! A is excited to have more time with me as well.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

16. Go one month without eating any fast food

I had a totally different blog written up but I left it at work. Boo!

So instead I thought I'd take a minute to let you know that January will be my month of no fast food. If I have absolutely no other option than to eat at a fast food restaurant, I will only eat a salad (sans the chicken strip I usually get on top). I will also only eat salads from the night job since I get a free dinner each time I work and I have a hard time passing up free food.

Not eating fast food means more cooking which leads to the need for a proper shopping trip. Not looking forward to that.

When I was single, I never cooked for myself so the things I know how to make are very few. I can make a killer BLT, mean hamburger helper and the yummiest butter noodles ever. Impressive huh? Watch out Rachel Ray!

Recently I made chocolate chip pancakes and my very first omelet which made A's mouth water. Seems like I have breakfast and kid food covered. Now it's time to learn some real recipes!

Do either of my two readers have any suggestions?

 
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