Sunday, December 31, 2006

Organization 101

Typically people write down their New Year's resolutions around this time of the year - they plan to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, etc., etc. This year we haven't discussed if we are going to go through all the jumble of doing that and actually writing down our goals - if we did, it would be a first for us. However, we have set the ball in motion for the two of us to be a bit more organized as we step into the new year.

We have spent the past few days purchasing various shelving units and putting them up in the garage, the laundry room and the master bath. Actually - Julie was more of an assistant when it comes to putting them up, Justin did most of the work.

For the first time since we moved into our house we feel that the garage and laundry room have a bit of order to them. It is nice to not just have things piled up in a mess
wherever in those areas. I guess one of our resolutions is to keep them that way.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

We can see you!

Well, we can't see you online necessarily. But, if decide to drop by our house...we will be able to tell it is you before we open the door. Over the weekend, I installed a peephole in our front door. It actually went fairly quickly, only about five minutes in all.

That was after we had all the right tools/equipment. I originally found a peephole online, via ebay. That was a mistake, as I did not really look at the dimensions of the peephole. The one I bid on was HUGE! Luckily I was outbid, and didn't have to pay for it and then try to resell it.

We ended up going to Home Depot. We asked one of the employees where to find their peepholes. He gave us a quizzical look. And then we realized that he thought we said "Where can we find your peoples?". So, Julie then asked where we could find a peep-hole for our door. He then registered what we were looking for and directed us to the right aisle. We decided on one that gives us a great view, but was still very small. In looking at their options, we came across the same model that I bid on from ebay. Yeah, very lucky that we were it was not only big, but uglier than it seemed online.

We also had to buy a 9/16 spade drill bit for the installation of the peephole. Let me just say that it is a strange and sort of scary looking tool. It did get the job done though. And now, we have a bit more security in answering the door.

If you don't have one in your door, and don't have any other way of seeing who is at your door, without letting anyone know you are home, I would highly recommend installing one.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cute Christmas Poem for Stampers

We received this poem from some dear friends, the Mardis' in Beavercreek, OH. As Julie made our Christmas cards with rubber stamps, Diane thought she would enjoy this (which she did, very much):

The Week Before Christmas (in a Stamper's House)
'T was the week before Christmas and the house was a hush
Save the stamping of rubber in a last-minute rush.
The cardstock was cut with precision and care
In hopes that a greeting would soon be stamped there.

The children were tucked in their beds around eight,
But now it's ten-thirty...How'd it get so late?
And I in my PJs with bleary red eyes
Had finally arranged all the stamping supplies.

It started out simple. (It does every year.)
Just make a few cards for friends who are dear.
I pressed ink to paper. (It looked crisp and clean.)
A sprinkle of powder, heat to a sheen.

When what on my green Christmas card should appear?
Why, a tiny gold Santa with sleigh and reindeer
On pigment! On powder! On heat from a gun!
Now ribbon and glitter! Can I make eighty-one?

"I can do it!" I said with all of my might
And looked at the clock -- 'twas well past midnight.
I went straight to stamping out card after card
"This might take all night, but at least it's not hard."

But after I finished, they looked a bit lame.
I didn't want fancy, but these were too plain.
And then in a twinkling, a thought came to mind:
"I'll dress them up, and then they'll be fine."

So I went to my craft room and looked all around,
Then back to the table with all that I'd found.
My Fiskars I brandished (I wasn't a quitter),
And soon I was covered in EP and glitter.

The cap of a marker I held in my teeth.
I'd lay in some color or maybe gold leaf.
My broad little face was all beaded with sweat,
But I wouldn't give up -- well, not at least yet.

There was glue on the table and ink on the floor.
I laughed at the site, though my fingers were sore.
I did not complain, just kept up my work.
When more things went wrong, I did not go berserk.

When finally finished, one card about six,
It looked pretty good after all of my tricks.
"I'm keeping this one. My work on it shows."
So clutching my card, up the stairs I arose.

I crawled into bed at the crack of dawn.
Creativity all spent, motivation gone.
But to make no mistake, I promise one thing:
You'll all get your cards, but not till next spring!

Monday, November 27, 2006


We just celebrated Thanksgiving this past weekend and we have so many things to be thankful for. We were able to spend Thanksgiving with family and it meant only a 1 hour car ride instead of having to fly somewhere. It also means that Justin was home for 4 whole days before he had to leave again. Now we are very much looking forward to his Christmas break when he will have over a week off from work.

We did a little shopping on Friday but did not feel like competing with the mobs to get any electronics for half-price. Maybe next year we will feel crazy enough to do that. But now it is time to get the shopping done, get the Christmas cards out in the mail, put up all the decorations, etc. etc. This really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

leaving yet again

We moved to Katy, TX 3 months ago to be closer to family. When we made the move, Justin transferred within his company to the Houston office with the understanding that he would have to travel quite a bit for at least the first 6 months. From Labor Day until quite recently, Justin has been flying out of Houston early Monday mornings and flying back on Thursday nights. This past week he was gone from Sunday evening to Friday night. Here it is Sunday and Justin is flying out of town again tonight. :(

At least with it being Thanksgiving this week he will come home on Wednesday and be able to spend 4 whole days with his wife before he has to fly out of town yet again. I guess we should be thinking of all the flight and hotel rewards he is earning, right?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Grocery Game

One of my friends told me about an interesting thing online yesterday -
It is not available everywhere (you have to check availability in your state in the FAQs), but it is amazing. It is a membership and has a membership fee, but I think it will totally pay for itself and then some. And right now they are doing a special where you get to try 4 weeks for $1.

Here is how it works:
When you sign-up, you tell it which grocery stores in your area you want to subscribe to (you can get all stores for the first 4 weeks for a dollar, after that you pay $10 for 8 weeks of 1 store and $5 for each additional store). Every Sunday, they post The LIST for each store and you can access the ones you are subscribed to. The LIST contains all of the specials (both advertised and unadvertised) at the store through Tuesday (2 days later), if there is a coupon for that item (start clipping those coupons every Sunday!) and the final price you would pay for the item taking into account the special, the coupon and if they do any coupon doubling or tripling.

When my friend first told me about it, I thought that it sounded a little ridiculous - Can't I look at all the ads and go shopping on my own? But this thing is really great - I was able to see all the specials at the two big grocery stores here by looking online instead of getting a headache trying to process everything in the ad. Even specials that they didn't put in their ads I could see online. Then I could go through the list and pick out only the things that I would buy. I did this for each store and then compared the final price at each store to see which store I should buy certain things at. The LIST also tells me if something is such a low price (with specials and coupons) that it is worth stocking up on.

The end result for me yesterday - at Store A I spent $8.20 and saved $7.91, at Store B I spent $48.30 and I saved $37.24. And I didn't buy anything that I will not use over the course of the next couple weeks. My verdict - The Grocery Game is awesome! The small fee associated with it, totally pays for itself in the savings that you accumulate. And The LIST for each store basically let me know which store was the best store for me to buy different stuff with no headache on my part.

I highly recommend checking it out - if you sign-up put my email as a reference -

Sunday, November 12, 2006

BNL - 11/11/2006

Tonight we are in Austin and just got back from seeing Barenaked Ladies in concert. It was awesome - highly recommended. Lots of great songs and a good balance of old favorites as well as new material. It was quite cold at an outdoor venue though - but that was the only drawback.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Halloween has come and gone. This year, since we have our own house, we decided to have a Halloween party. We think it turned out rather well. We had lots of people over, and tons of Halloween-themed food. See all of our pictures at