Friday, January 30, 2009

Facebook vs Myspace

My name is Elisa and I'm addicted to Facebook!

I love this website!! LOL
I have reconnected with so many old friends and now that I have figured out my way around FB it is 100% easier to use than Myspace! My grandparents could do this! :-)
Check it out here

Helping a friend this week

I have been helping a friend prepare to move into her new house this week. We are painting her whole house. She doesn't like white walls - so while the house is free of furniture we have been painting every wall. It's beautiful! But.........my arms are killing me!! LOL

Anyway, that's where I've been all week. Hope you all have a great weekend - we will be moving her into her new house!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Neighbors

Our neighbors to the left of us are an older couple who have a motor home and a business setting up food booths at carnivals. When we bought our house and moved in it was right in the middle of fair/carnival season so we didn't get a chance to meet them until several months after we had already been here. They are a friendly couple who have purchased land in TN and are looking to finishing fixing up their house here, sell it, build a new home on their land in TN and retire there.

In the short time we have gotten to know them, the man has filled us in on lots of information about the neighborhood and the houses...which ones were built first, how much certain ones have sold for...how ours (and the great price we paid for it!) has now reduced the property value/appraisal value around here - yes...you read it right - he likes to tell us this every once in awhile when he is lamenting the fact that "he will NOT sell his house for less than $145,000 and it will just sit here empty until the market goes back up!" LOL, poor guy - I feel for him.

To let you know how ridiculously funny this is, our house was listed for $99,000 for almost a year before we found it and the owner had dropped the price twice by the time we offered him $70,000 for it. We went back and forth a few times and finally settled on $77,500 - that is almost 1/2 of what our neighbor wants to sell his house for!! He had looked up all the details on our purchase and everything before we even met him for the first time.

He really is a nice man (even though I think he is living in a dream world) and he has been very helpful to us with his tidbits of information. We have little puddles of water that gather up at the base of driveways around here quite often...when it's not raining - and one day, we asked our neighbor why that keeps happening. He told us there were springs all around the area and he showed us where a couple of them were. Hmmm, that was nice to know - we had no clue.

Last Thursday, I was taking Greg to work because I needed the truck and as we were leaving we drove through a rather large puddle at the end of our driveway. A water puddle on a Danish beachImage via WikipediaGreg commented that the spring was really putting out a lot of water today. We thought nothing else about it.

Friday, I was standing on my back porch talking on the phone and my neighbor comes over and tells me "I think you have a water leak between the water meter and your house which means you are paying for it...and it's coming out of the ground pretty sporty." I got off the phone and sent Greg and IM at work telling him what the neighbor said and asked him if he wanted me to do anything. He came on home and started digging up the ground and sure enough...we had a big leak in our pipe. Greg shut the water off and after a couple of hours and a trip to the hardware store, he had it all fixed and working again.

When our neighbor came out to chat with us while Greg was working on it, I told him that we had noticed it on Thursday but thought it was the springs. He let us know that the springwater runs down his side of the driveway...not ours - which is what this was doing and why he noticed it. I praise God for "nosy" neighbors like this! LOL Because we wouldn't have noticed it until we got our water bill.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Frogs

There aren't many things I fear, but frogs is one of those things I just can't get past...I detest the sight of frogs! UGH! My blog friend, Rebekah posted this video on her her blog recently - had to share it - I would literally pass out if one of my children did this!

Monday, January 19, 2009

An AHAAAA moment

I really, REALLY hate it when I am slapped in the face with one of those traits I don't like in my children...and come to find out, they get it from me! Has that ever happened to you? Sure it has, don't sit there acting like it hasn't! :-)

Sometimes I get so irritated with Dakota because he won't just answer a question and tell me what he wants. It is a simple yes or no question.

For example (this has not happened, recently anyway, but this is merely for an example) -
I went into the kitchen to get a piece of cake. It was the last piece. After putting it on my plate and sitting down at the table, Dakota walks in and says "That looks good, is there any left?"

Me -"No, this is the last piece - do you want to split it with me?"

His reply "No, that's okay, you eat it, I don't want to take it from you."

Me - "Here Dakota I am offering it to you, let me get a plate and a fork and I'll cut it in half and we can share it."

As I get up to get a plate, knife and fork he is constantly protesting "No mom, it's okay I don't want YOUR cake, you eat it." Blah blah blah blah

I fix his plate of cake for him, set it on the table and after another 5 minutes of protesting he FINALLY sits down to eat the cake! Oh my goodness, enough already! Just eat the stupid cake. Now...here's the kicker - if I had said "okay, fine then leaves more for me" and I just kept all the cake and ate it - he wouldn't have been happy about that at all!

I talk to him about this all the time - how it drives me crazy that he does this and it really ticks me off too. I sometimes think he does it just to get under my skin.

So yesterday it was raining a little bit when we were getting in the truck to head to church. It was just Dakota and I and we both had our hands full getting in the truck. Once we got in and got settled I realized I had forgotten my bottled water. I had just started backing out of the driveway and I said "Oh shoot! I forgot my water!"My Image by dannyman via Flickr

Dakota said "mom, do you want me to go in and get it for you? I will, I don't mind."

I said "No, that's okay, we need to get going, I can do without it for today" and I kept slowly backing up. (Truth is, I REALLY did want it but what was going through my mind is it's raining I don't want him to get any wetter, we are going to be late, I can drink out of the water fountain...LOL)

He says one more time "mom, it will only take me 10 secs to run back in there and get the water. I could have already gone and gotten it by now! Do you want it or not?"

I started saying "No, but thanks anyway..." and he cut me off and said "SEE! THIS is where I get it from! YOU! You are doing the same thing I do! You want the water but you won't admit it!"

We both busted out laughing and I told him "you are so right on! Yes, go get me my water please!"
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Friday, January 16, 2009

Experiment turned GOOD

Dakota told me recently "Mom, do you know we eat the same stuff all the time?"

I responded (in a shocked voice) "Well no I didn't realize that since I feel like I am always trying to find NEW recipes....and by the way if you're not happy with my cooking, feel free to take over anytime!"

Of course THAT didn't happen! But I have been trying to change things up a bit more. My problem is I have two very picky people in the house so I am limited as to what they will eat. I have decided awhile back that I was just going to cook what I wanted to cook, within reason of course, and if they didn't like it they can fix themselves a sandwich.

Last night I had chicken I wanted to cook but very few other ingredients since I need to break down and go grocery shopping today - I couldn't find a recipe that I really liked. I decided to throw some things together. It turned out fantastic! Even Dakota loved it!
Here's what I threw together for this recipe -
2 chicken leg/thigh combos & 1 breast - cooked first then chopped up the meat
1 can of black beans - I drained the juice
1 can of stewed tomatoes - I didn't drain
1 box of Uncle Ben's mushroom & Herb wild rice - cooked this first and didn't drain the water that was left after cooking
2 boxes of Martha White corn muffin mix

Mixed everything together and poured the muffin mix on top. The muffin mix wasn't enough to cover the entire casserole but it was sufficient. I had to cook it longer than the box recommended for the cornbread - I think it was about 30-35 mins. As you can see, it made a lot! There are only 3 of us and we don't eat much so we will be eating on this for a few days! LOL

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Using what's in the pantry

A contemporary kitchen pantry in a U.S. house.Image via WikipediaOne of my goals for 2009 is to cut back on expenses. In doing this I am trying to cook at home more using what's in my pantry. Translation: more "home-cooked, made from scratch" meals instead of "pop-it-in-the-microwave/oven/
toaster-bam-it's done-type" meals.

Do you know how difficult this is?!? I actually have to PLAN MY MEALS! No more waiting until 5:00 to decide what we are going to eat at 6:00! Geez...what was I thinking?

Thank goodness there are helpful websites out there that I am relying on daily to lead me in the right direction in this new undertaking of mine. My prayer is that this WILL get easier as I continue to do it. I am actually thrilled that I haven't gone grocery shopping in a few weeks but we are not starving to death...and I am still managing to crank out healthy meals every night.

Here's some of my favorite websites I use for recipes...what are yours?
Supercook
AllRecipes
Betty Crocker
Meals For You

Oops, it's 5:20 - guess I better go figure out what to make for dinner tonight!
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Billy Ray Cyrus - great new song!

Some Gave All album coverImage via WikipediaI know these days Billy Ray Cyrus is more famous for his role on Hannah Montana as a father to his real-life daughter, Miley Cyrus.

People in my generation will remember him from his Achy Breaky Hearts days-such a catchy tune back then huh?

I heard a song by him this morning on the Gospel Channel that was just beautiful! Wanted to share it with you here...it's called Somebody Said A Prayer

Oh yeah, and just for fun - I included Achy Breaky Hearts after this song (in case you were never blessed to hear it!)


You have to wait about 45 secs for the video to start



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Friday, January 9, 2009

Comments, Emails, Posts Oh My!

Since about mid-December (and the relaxed days of our holidays) I have gotten behind on my emails, comments, posting on the forum I get paid to moderate....pretty much all things internet. I have gotten hired by a couple of merchandising companies and I'm being trained (online) for those jobs. After reading, reading, reading and then taking quizzes on what I read - the last thing I want to do is sit and read through my emails, blogs and forums.

I LOVE your comments and although I have tried to respond to each one individually in the past - I am taking a short break on that part. Please don't stop commenting though - it's what keeps me going! Just know that I am reading what you say and as my email inbox continues to pile up each day I will eventually get things back under control...I hope! :-)
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WOW - Direct TV doesn't waste anytime

Back view of a Series 2 Tivo unitImage via WikipediaWhen we moved into our new house back in September we went with Direct TV (satellite) for our television viewing needs. We signed up with the most basic service we could get where we could still have the DVR. Shortly after signing up, I got a call asking if we wanted to try out the NFL Sunday package, which included all the movie channels for 4 months at a ridiculously low price - I agreed and signed up.

I kept telling Greg around Christmas time I needed to cancel our NFL Sunday package or we were going to get hit with a whopper of a bill in January. I forgot...and I got the bill in my email last week - it was a whopper of a bill. This past Monday I went ahead and paid the bill even though it's not due until the end of the month - figured I better go ahead and get that one out of the way.

Wednesday, Greg came home sick from work. I went to the store and when I returned he had fallen asleep watching a war movie on one of our movie channels and there was a lot of cussing and stuff.....which really gets on my nerves....it reminded me to do something about canceling the NFL Sunday Pkg. I wanted to see if I could do it online rather than calling it in and having to deal with customer service trying to upsell me something.

I logged into our acct (with the war movie still blaring on the TV behind me), found where I could change our package, chose the package I wanted, and hit confirm...then there was silence. When I turned around to look at the TV, the movie channel was displaying this message:

Channel Not Purchased
Wow!! Was that quick or what?!

Hey! Wait a minute though...I've already paid the bill for this month?! So I refreshed the page and went back to look at my account and now I have a credit! Oh my goodness...why didn't I think to do this BEFORE I paid the bill??
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

CSI or BCS Football?

2009 BCS Championship Game logoImage via WikipediaWhooohoooo...the big game is tonight. Florida Gators vs. Oklahoma in the BCS Championship. Greg is a die-hard football fan. I enjoy watching it - when CSI is NOT on TV!

Greg sent me an instant message earlier today asking if I minded if he went somewhere with friends to watch the game tonight. Since we only have one TV - heck no I don't mind!

I ordered pizza for me and Dakota and I am sitting here watching my most favorite TV show - CSI while Greg is off watching his football. YES! What could be greater?!
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

She loves me! She really does!

When Tina and Bailee (my granddaughter) are at home in GA, Tina tells me that Bailee has started asking her constantly "Where Yaya go mommy?" That's what she calls me - Yaya.

She has begun calling me every other day or so on my cell phone too and jabbers away for a few minutes before Tina can wrestle the phone away from her. Tina told me Bailee constantly asks to call me. That just gives me warm fuzzies knowing my 2-yr-old grandchild who has lived away from me out of state most of her life now remembers me and asks for me when I am not around.
She is playing peek-a-boo through the window between our dining room and living room

They came into town this past weekend for one day so Bryant could go hunting on Sunday and Tina could go to the college on Monday (she does her school online) and buy her books. While Bryant went hunting, Tina came over Sunday evening and ate dinner with us.
Bailee fell off one of our high-top dining room chairs during dinner. She was reaching for her mom and stretched too far. She hit her lip on our tile floor...notice the blood on her cut lip in the picture above.

Oh yeah, in case you were wondering (or even if you weren't) YES, she is wearing a sundress because it is STILL SEVENTY DEGREES here in January!!!! Oh my goodness - I need to unpack all my summer clothes I have packed up because I am tired of wearing the same tshirts/jeans every day! I received some lovely sweaters for Christmas...now if it would only get cold enough to wear them I would be thrilled!
When Tina went to school on Monday to buy her books she brought Bailee to me. I live right around the corner from the college and I told her I would babysit. She sat Bailee down on the couch and gave her her Dora backpack loaded down with toys. She began to tell her "Bailee, mommy and daddy have to go somewhere but we will back in just a little bit, okay?" and Bailee ignored her. Tina started telling her again and I told Tina "she'll be fine, just go." Then Bailee said "Goooooooooo Mommy!" What a stinker!

We had lots of fun together for the hour they were gone. Boy, she was uber-excited when she saw her mommy and daddy driving up the driveway though. That homecoming made going away for an hour all worth it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Saying goodbye to friends

Blue AngelsImage via WikipediaWe live in a military town... home of the Blue Angels Flight demonstration team :-)...unfortunately that also means we have families that come in and out of our lives on a regular basis. We are saying goodbye to one of those special families this week. It's been a sad, sad time around here as we prepare to say our final goodbyes tomorrow night at church.

Bryan and Tess Clay are a young military family with 3 boys. They are being transferred to Arizona. Their oldest son is one of Dakota's best friends. The last several months he has come home with us every Sunday after church or spent Saturday evenings with us. He and Dakota both share a love of video games and can spend hours playing together. Damion came home with us this past Sunday and spent the night with Dakota. They played together all day Monday until late in the evening when his parents came to pick him up. The boys were trying to figure out a way that Dakota could "hide" Damion so he didn't have to leave.
I have been blessed to get to know Tess and to be able to consider her one of my closest friends over the last couple of years. We have gone on retreats, overnights, and extended weekends together. We have gone through several Bible Studies, sang in choir, worked on multiple children's functions together and socialized outside of church. We had our last fling this past Saturday. Eight of us got together for Mexican food and a couple of games of bowling one last time. I LOVE to watch Tess bowl - she has the cutest little hop/skip thing she does right before she throws the ball! Cracks me up everytime!

Here's a look back at some of our time together in pictures....I am going to miss you girlfriend, more than you'll ever know!
From a Married Couples Banquet at church (I remember how you guys kept posing while we were taking the pictures...and Greg was teasing Bryan about his perfect "military" pose)


Hiding Easter eggs at church for the children's party...


Greg caught us all laughing after we finished setting up for an event (Sportsmen Spectacular) that our church was sponsoring...


From our Marriage Retreat in February - we had such a great time! This is a sweet picture of Tess & Bryan during our Bible Study time.


Tess (on the left) and Bryan (in camo) skiing on the marriage retreat...


We are heading into the Smokey Mts for the day...


There goes that perfect posing again....gotta love it! LOL


Tess and I learned how to play Guitar Hero together - we both loved it!
We played until the wee hours of the morning...Bryan gave up on his lovely wife, as you can see he didn't quite make it before falling asleep in the chair.


Playing putt-putt... Tess, me and BJ.



Dakota and Damion went skiing last year (both for the first time) and they both discovered they didn't like it. Tess went as a chaperone and she made sure she got some pictures for me of Dakota.


Tess came to my surprise birthday party last year - we met at our favorite Mexican place and went bowling (same thing we just did for her going away party this past Saturday night)

Right before I went to Brazil last year, we had a ladies' weekend at my dad's beach house. Spent a couple days out there just relaxing, boating, and skiing before I left the next week on my mission trip. I was honored to have Tess come join me that weekend! She and I laughed so much during our time together! (Me, Elaine, Nancy, Tess)

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Movie Marathon

We used to have a Dollar movie in town until about four months ago when they closed because the mall they were in is closing down for remodeling. When the Dollar movie was here I would go to the movies at least once every other week or sometimes once a week. On Tuesdays I could go for .50/movie!

Since that theater has closed I have only gone to the movies one time and that was to see Fireproof with my church. I don't like paying $8.00 to see movies when I can wait a little while and watch them for $1.00 on DVD via Redbox rentals.

However, mom treated me to three movies in the last week - on Christmas Day I went and saw Seven Pounds, and then yesterday I saw Four Christmases and Marley & Me.

Seven Pounds stars Will Smith portraying an IRS agent. I love Will Smith as an actor! I think he is fantastic. This movie was a great movie but it was hard to follow. I never realized what was going on until the very end. Only after the movie was over and I was talking about it with my friend who went with me did we realize what was happening...now I would like to see it again to completely understand the whole storyline.If you don't want to know the storyline then skip on down to the next movie. I won't give away the ending, but I will tell you what is happening so if you go see the movie you will understand why certain events are going on.

Storyline (Don't read if you don't want to know!!)
Will Smith's character (Tim) is a workaholic engineer with a beautiful wife and a gorgeous home on the beach and an ever-present Blackberry in his hand. He and his wife are going out for an evening, he is driving and texting, she is nagging him to put the Blackberry away and next thing you know a van with a family of 6 comes around the corner - they crash and everyone dies except Tim...so he is responsible for 7 people dying.

During Tim's period of mourning, his brother (Ben, who is an IRS agent) needs a transplant of some type. I believe it was a lung transplant but I can't remember exactly now. Anyway, Tim gives Ben part of a lobe of his lung and after he recuperates he steals Ben's identity in order to have access to people's information. He goes on a quest to find 6 more people to help in a tribute to the people he killed. He makes sure that everyone he helps is a "good" person before he will donate a part of himself to them. That is all I am going to tell you...make sure you bring tissues to this movie if you tend to cry - it IS a tearjerker!

Four Christmases
This movie has a lot of stars in it! I was shocked at how many good actors were in this film. This one is not suitable for kids at all - I wouldn't take my 12-yr-old to see it because the language and some of the adult humor is too much. Overall though I laughed so hard throughout this entire movie! It was hilarious! You can read the picture above to know what this movie is about - I don't have to give you a summary....just know that it does contain a lot of bad language, but if you can get past that it contains lots and lots of laughs.


Marley and Me
I have 2 black labs and if you are a regular reader of my blog you know I adore my labs. I read this book, Marley and Me by John Grogan a couple of years ago. I could relate to so much of what he wrote in his book! I loved the book and was kind of interested to see how well the movie followed the book. I was very pleased with the movie. My only complaint is how they tried to cram so much of the book into this movie....a span of about 14 years into a 2 hour time slot...which made it feel rushed. It's hard to explain and maybe I just felt like that because I did read the book beforehand and movies are never as good as the books...

Anyway, this is a very sweet movie about dog's best friend and the lessons he teaches one family from the beginning to the end (yes, the end of his sweet life - so bring tissue.) This movie stars Jennifer Anniston and Owen Wilson - they were amazing together! I laughed - I cried - I enjoyed Marley and Me and highly recommend it to all my dog-loving friends out there.