Friday, December 31, 2010

New year, new phone, new app

Okay so now I am an android user and I just downloaded an app that will let me update my blog from my phone. So we'll see how this one works.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Friday, September 17, 2010

17 years

17 years ago tonight, I couldn't sleep. I was happy, excited and nervous about getting married the next day. What did I have to worry about? I was marrying my best friend. He loved me and I loved him. Best friend or not, I was unable to stop my brain long enough to be able to really get to sleep. It didn't help that I had had my nails done that day and through some crazy grandeous plan, I had asked for them to be longer than I was used to. I thought they would look great for our wedding and everything would be okay. Well I did spend a few hours that evening with a very rough grain emory board trying to make them more manageable. For gosh sakes, they were so long I could hardly do anything for myself. So between tears and giggles over the fact that I had rendered myself completely helpless with my dumb choice for long nails, my mom and I sat and talked while I worked to shorten those nails. Okay so now that you are laughing at me, take a minute to imagine how much my fingers hurt the next day from the attempts to grind these nails to a realistic and functional length. Ugh. At least I wasn't completely and totally helpless any longer but I was still struggling to do the simple things.

Our ceremony was beautiful. Both my pastor from my church and Bob's uncle who was an ordained Episcopal priest were performing the ceremony. It was amazing.

I am amazed at how much my love has grown in just 17 years. Every day I find that I love Bob even more than the day before. It amazes me because I never knew that after this long you can still find new things to love about your spouse.

I am happy to be Mrs. to his Mr. I cannot even venture to say where I would be right now if i had not met and fell head over heels in love with this man. He is my soulmate and best friend. Even when we don't always see eye to eye we cam still find that common ground that has always been so important in our relationship.

I love you my husband! Happy 17th anniversary and here's to the rest of our lives together.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Words of caution from an early hybrid adopter

Let me just say that this is all just my humble opinion and is probably just an irrational, emotional response to the latest update from my Toyota Dealership on what it will cost to fix my car THIS time…

Okay, so I really, really, really loved my Prius from the day we bought it back in May 2002. I even still really loved it the first time a big orange triangle came up. Of course, it was a recall item and they fixed it with no problems. And really, I even still loved it when it was 7 years and 8 months old… (Just shy of the 8 year battery warranty expiring) and I had to have $2800 worth of work done to replace the rack and pinion steering assembly (Which included the electronic control unit that was what failed). And I was still mostly in love with it when I had to have the brakes done for about $800 not too long ago. I was just getting back the love after recovering from the two other control units ($2700) that I just had replaced 6 weeks ago… Today however… I am no longer in love with my prius… I would trade it in without looking back if I could get a reasonable deal on a camry or something like that and never have to experience the frustration that goes with that stupid big orange triangle and all the money that it ends up costing every time that big orange triangle pops up on the screen.

I got the big ugly orange triangle this morning… They’ve had it all day at the dealership and the best they can tell me is that it’s something with the voltage regulator system in the car/hybrid system. They aren’t exactly sure what it is, but if it’s either one of the two things they suggest could be the problem, I will be out at least another $1500 to get it fixed. I will get my car back tomorrow and then they will get my car back on Monday at which point they will take it apart to work through the hybrid system to find the root of the issue. I try really hard to be an optimist about things, but I won’t be surprised if after a couple of days of them combing through the hybrid system and electrical system of the car, they’ll come back and tell me that $1500 was a low estimate and it will be more like double that.

So, here’s my suggestion to any and all Prius owners and you can take it for what it’s worth and with the knowledge that I’m frustrated… Trade those Prii off before the warranty expires…(and before all the savings you’ve had in gas go to repairing an aging hybrid) Everyone worries about the batteries… that’s always been the concern (“What happens if the hybrid batteries fail?” “How much does that cost?”)… It’s not the batteries that are the problem with this car… yet… It’s the electronic control system that is basically the brains of the hybrid system… My hope is that folks with the 2nd and 3rd generation hybrid systems will have better luck than me… Maybe mine is just because it’s the first gen…

Guess now all that's left is to wait and see which appendage I will have to give up for this repair.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Where have I been?

Wow. I come and go and don't manage to remember to post on this blog with any regularity at all.

School started last week and so the madness ensues. Seventh grade and first grade. That is what our experince will be this year. It is new but comfy for both kiddos from what I can tell.

With the new school year comes new adventures. Layden is old enough now to be a cub scout I think so we will go to scout night at his school to check it out. He is always so dejected when Audra and I head off to do something Girl Scout related. This year will be his year to start. Should be interesting.

Well hopefully I will get better at posting more often. I actually have several photos and topics I would love to share so I should really get those thoughts composed into posts.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Prius goodness

So my baby is fixed. She cost me another nearly $2800 but she should hopefully be good to go for a while now. Okay so 8 years and 4 months later I still don't regret the decision to purchase a classic Prius. I just wish that the ECUs didn't keep failing. Those suckers are hugely expensive!!! In 6-7 months, I have now had to replace three of them in different locations, to the tune of about $5700. I have now officially lost any money I have saved on gas and I think probably put more money back in the car than it would probably trade for when replacing it. :(. So sad!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Big Orange Triangle

Just one week ago, my fabulous little 2002 Toyota Prius turned 90,000 miles. I have put all but about 13 miles in this baby and she has been serving me well. She shows a lot of wear and carries her age somewhat well. Sadly, as with all older cars things start to cost more to fix. She got new front brakes and refinished headlights so that thy aren't so dim. Thought that might be the extent of maintenance for a while and was happy for it. Sadly, I was wrong. Yesterday evening, as I was driving down the road to go workout, I got the dreaded big orange triangle. In prius terms it means "take the car to a dealer as quickly as possible". So I brought her home and parked her. Today, I took her to the dealership to be checked out. They got generic codes indicating a problem with the hybrid batteries. For those reading who don't know, this system has a separate bank of batteries to store a charge as a part of the hybrid system. It consists of a bank of batteries separate from the battery that is used to power headlights etc. They reside in the trunk. Anyway, when all is said and done, it looks as though it is the Electronic Control Units that regulate the charging of the hybrid batteries have failed. Unfortunately, the cost to replace those is in the neighborhood of $2,900. Less than the price tag for replacing the batteries, but still a hefty chunk of change. So, the big orange triangle is currently cleared but the little check engine light is on. Thursday, the parts should be at the dealership and the repairs will be done.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Well two races were run on Monday at Texas Motor Speedway and then this weekend we got to watch two races run back to back at 'dega. Jamie just almost had the win in his grasp for the Sprint Cup race at 'dega and then kind of messed it up in the Nationwide race by trying to put his car where it didn't fit. He looked good though! It is nice to see him with some quality equipment rather than sloppy seconds like he was getting at Roush. It is definitely good to see him run up front!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Now blogging on my iPod touch

So I have had my iPod touch for about month now and have loaded and removed more apps than I care to admit. I think I have slowed down on finding new things that there are apps for until tonight when I got to thinking that I should see if there is an app to post to my blog so I can blog a bit more faithfully ( maybe ) and low and behold there's even a free one! So I will try it and see if it will work. Now if there was an app to go ahead and take and post 365 challenge pics for me I would be all back on track.

Til next time

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

365 challenge - Quick version

Have I given up on the 365 challenge? No.  I have pictures, I just haven't had time to post them here.  So, if you want an abbreviated version of the 365 challenge I'm doing, you can check out my shuttercal version. will get you to the quick and dirty version.  It makes it easier to get them uploaded and then I can take my time coming back and posting about them here.  That way, I'm still motivated to take the pictures (most days) and I manage to get them updated quicker.  Let me know if you have any problems seeing my pictures over there!

Until I get the time to update here again soon...


Friday, January 22, 2010

Days 18, 19, 20, and 21 - Quick before we go camping

On my list of things to do is putting this post up before I head off to bed and then head off to go camping tomorrow with my wonderful Girl Scout Friends!

So, Day 18 was Monday... Do you remember the days of laying on the ground and looking up at the sky and clouds?  It's not the same in the City and it makes me long for the days of living out away from so much civilization.  Not as much traffic, hardly any jet contrails and if there were, they were so far up!  When I got home, I saw all these contrails in the sky and decided to take pictures of that and the wispy clouds around the rest of the sky...


So, Day 19 is all about new shoes...  Audra has been wanting new converse tennies... We found these...


Day 20 found an interesting sunrise, mostly cloudy, really... So, I had to snap a picture while I was sitting at the stoplight...

And on the way home... I saw a sight that you normally only see during November/December...

And here we are at Day 21... Today, on my way to shop for new hiking boots and to pick up stuff at Walmart for our campout this weekend, I saw so many birds.  They like to divebomb cars and even people in the parking lot.  I just thought I should take a picture, again, while sitting at the stoplight.

And there you have it.  I think I'm caught up enough to head off to bed after letting Holly outside.  Til next time...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Less posting, less often

Because I can't seem to find the time, nor the inclination, to post every day anymore now that things are getting busier, I think I'll go to less posting, less often.  Oh, I'll still be taking pictures every day, but I'll likely only post a couple of times during the week (at least one time).  In case anyone was wondering... No, I haven't missed a day of taking photos, except for one previously mentioned in a post.  ;)
Til next time...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekend Catch up - (Days 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)

So, even though I haven't been posting every day (which was the thing I was afraid would happen along the way in this 365 photo challenge), I have made it a point to take at least ONE picture a day.  So, here we go.  Let me wrap up the weekend with the days in question...

Day 13 (Wednesday)... So, I took my camera with me when I took the kids to church on Wednesday night for their choir rehearsals (of course Layden's was cancelled, but he came along anyway). 
I walked into the church and thought how beautiful the stained glass is in our sanctuary, so I took a picture of that.

For Day 14 (Thursday), I decided just to take more pictures of the kitty cat in our house... Spencer...

Day 15 (Friday)... It was finally time during the week where I could put everyone to bed, and prop my feet up and relax...

So, Day 16 (Saturday) was Layden's 6th birthday!!!  He is such a big boy!!!   And so we went to celebrate with friends at Rainforest Cafe.  Layden always loves to go eat there, as do the rest of us.  He always loves to look at the fish in the aquariums when you come in...

Of course, there are other fun things to do at the mall where Rainforest Cafe is... He got to ride the little train that runs around in the mall...

And after we had a great lunch, we went to the Disney Store, where he got to pick out some toys that he wanted... The price?  Carrying them around the mall...  He insisted he wanted to carry them, so he did...

There's my big 6 year old boy!!!

And what birthday would be complete without cake?  It's Cowboys country here, so it was pretty easy to find a cake fitting a 6 year old boy...  We had cake at home.

So, now Day 17 was today (Sunday) and the day started with a lot of fog... One of the websites I frequent has "assignments" for daily photos.  One of the suggestions during the last week was perspective.  Well, I couldn't get a perspective on the way to church, but thought I might get some interesting photos of the fog while driving (okay, I was riding, Bob was driving!)...

And the big bonus at church was that the altar flowers today were in celebration of Layden's birthday so I had to take a photo of him with the flowers...

And with that, I think I'm caught up on my daily photos being posted... 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 12 - A little bird told me...

So, as I'm wandering around this afternoon hoping for some inspiration of what exactly to take a picture of today, I decided to walk out on the deck at work.  It's a tough life to work in a building with an outdoor deck that overlooks the runways.  So, I was thinking of just taking a picture of a plane.  Uninspired at best.  But then, as I walked out on the deck and looked around, I saw this little bird, perched atop a flagpole. 

See, there he is.  Or maybe it's a she...

Okay, so I did take a picture or two of a plane landing as well...

Day 11 - The Student of the Week

I'm so proud of both of my kids.  Audra, this past week, was chosen as Student of the Week.  Well, I guess they kind of chose her before the Christmas Break.  But last week was HER week.  I totally forgot to keep checking the sign out front of the school to see her name emblazened in black letters on the sign.  Yesterday as she was getting ready for bed, she reminded me that I should go look at the sign today.  I took the camera when I dropped her off, but it was so cold and the traffic was pretty think around the school, so I only walked over to the sign to confirm her name was there.  It was.  So I went back to my car and headed home for a quick cup of coffee while I waited for the traffic to die down a bit with school starting for the day.  And when I was ready, I hopped into my car, camera in hand and drove back over to the school.   There in all it's glory was the sign.  And Audra's name was right up there in Big Black Letters.  So, my picture for today is this...

There it is.  Audra C.  What a beautiful sight to see.  I didn't miss it. 

Day 10 - Singing in the Choir

In the midst of all the fun to be had at home with plumbing things, Bob decided to stay home and wait for the plumber to come back.  So, Audra, Layden and I went to church without him.  Audra sang in church yesterday and so my picture for Day 10 is this... (if I could just get her out from behind the microphone so you could see her smiling face)

Our Youth Choir at church has been very busy learning new songs for a festival they'll attend in February down in Waco.  Should be pretty interesting, to say the least. I'm excited that they'll get the opportunity to join with so many other choirs from across the state. 

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Days 8 and 9

So, yesterday afternoon, I got home from work and totally hit a "brick wall". So, since I wasn't really feeling functional, I didn't get my picture for yesterday taken.

Today, I made up the difference. I took a few pictures of two completely unrelated things to make up for not having taken a picture yesterday.

So, the psuedo Day 8 picture is this:

Layden loves his monster trucks.  He was playing with them and when I pulled out the camera and laid on the floor to take the picture, he kept moving them around and asking me to take pictures of them.  It was kind of funny, I thought. 

And Day 9 for the picture today, I took pictures at the Rubber Stamp Convention that a friend of mine and I wandered around today.

I am looking forward to attempting to make one of these. They are called Concertina books.  It's double sided.  So, there are images on the other side as well.  Just really cool to look at.  I bought a kit that makes two. Now if I can just get some time to do it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 7 - I gotta get back to this!

My poor lonesome scrapbook tools sit and wait patiently for me to have time to use them. They're cold out here in our family room where it's usually about 5 degrees cooler than the rest of the house. But, alas, I will get back to using them. Did you see the stack of pictures a couple days back that I have to scrapbook?

It's a bit blurry... Was trying to take it without the flash and with manual focus. Gotta try new things, right?

Til tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 5 CatchUp and Day 6

So, yesterday, with Layden being sick, I didn't get a chance to do much picture-wise, but I did snap a couple of Holly looking intently at Spencer. So, here's the picture for Day 5

So, today was a day to prepare for the "Arctic Airmass" that is headed our way. And what do you do to prepare for an arctic airmass and temperatures that will be below freezing for something like 60 hours? Me? I went and filled my car up with gas because it was pretty much on EMPTY! More weight in case I have to drive on ice or snow.


Pumping gas:


And with that, I'm off to find my gloves, hat and scarf for tomorrow. Brrrrrr! It's on the way!!!

Til tomorrow...

No post yesterday...

Here I thought I was doing pretty well with the daily photo challenge and posting my pics. And yet, with Layden being sick last night, I didn't get things posted. My poor little guy. He threw up all night last night. Reports for today are that he's doing okay... drinking gatorade and taking it easy with Daddy. Let's hope that trend continues. Poor little thing. Thank goodness Daddy has a cast iron stomach!

I did take a picture or two yesterday, but hadn't planned on them being the photos of the day for Day 5. Guess they will be. And here's hoping that today, I'll get the chance at taking a photo somewhere, somehow. I'll muddle through and manage something I'm sure. Should be able to post later tonight while trying to keep warm once the Arctic Airmass settles on us tonight. ;)

Until then, don't lose heart...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 4 - Christmas Season winding down

So, as I looked around the house today to figure out what all we needed to take down, pack and put away from Christmas, I realized that our movie collection includes a great number of Christmas Themed movies. With just a quick pass through what was easily reached, here's what I found in our collection.

Of course, my browsing around was my attempt at being inspired to take a photo for today. Yes, it's Day 4.

So, if you look at the list of movies in my photo, you'll see quite a selection. Do we put them up on a shelf now that Christmas is over? No, we have been known on ocassion to watch Christmas Themed movies at any time during the year. Layden's favorite is Polar Express. Audra likes all the TV Show Christmas shows. I, myself, am especially fond of The Year Without a Santa Claus and Bob likes It's a Wonderful Life and The Bells of St. Mary. And we all really like the Santa Clause series. So, why confine Christmas movie watching to just a few weeks out of the year? We don't.

And after all, given that Jesus is the Reason for the Season, can't we celebrate Christmas all year? Jesus is not a Savior that we can simply put into storage for 11 months of the year and only bring Him out for a few weeks to display. He's a Savior for all throughout the year.

Until tomorrow... Wonder what inspiration I'll find tomorrow... Just doing my best to get away from the norm and get out of my own comfort zone.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 3 - So much to do and so many opportunities for distraction

So, I'm sitting here, watching ______ ________ _________. No, I won't tell you what the movie is. I will show you and you can fill in the blanks.

Yes, I should be doing something other than sitting here. But, alas, I'm not. I should be working on my stack of photos for the last part of the big scrapbook project I'm doing.

Of course, if I am going to insist on sitting in front of this computer, the least I could do would be to upload the rest of the pictures for this project. Then, take the time to order them so that I can finally get back to working on the scrapbook. It's over due. I just haven't had time to myself to work on it. I was actually planning on working on it during my time off for New Year's, but of course, that didn't happen either.

So, at least the laundry is going (well, it sounds now like both the washer and the dryer have stopped.) I guess I should look around and see if I can get anything ready to go back to reality tomorrow. No more holidays for a while. Guess I might need to just take a day off sometime in the next month to really get to work on this scrapbook.

Also, I managed to remember to take a picture today at least. I did take several of Holly and the kids, but I figured that everyone is going to get really tired of seeing them after a while. And so, I thought I'd take advantage of the opportunity to put off working on what I SHOULD be working on again with coming up with (not-so) clever pictures for my Day 3 of the 365 Photo Challenge. Do I at least get an A for effort?

Until tomorrow...

Oh, and in case you didn't get the movie title from the picture I took of the movie on TV, it's The Princess Bride.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 2 of 365 Challenge - Holly loves Freedom!

So, we've been taking Holly outside on a leash because we needed to do some work (i.e. clean-up) in the back yard before we felt safe letting her off the leash. So, today was the day. Bob and the kids cleaned and trimmed and cleaned some more. So, my picture from today is Holly's first moment of freedom (well, at least freedom in the back yard).

Can you just see the joy in her face? She did laps after laps for a long time. And boy, what fun to chew on everything as she went by!

Okay, in all fairness, I have to post a picture of my kitty-kins, Spencer, as well. He is still angry about Holly but he's getting a little more social since she came. He still won't meet her, but at least he's okay with being in the same room once in a while. I think he stands in the kitchen and taunts Holly while she's in her kennel. But what cat wouldn't take advantage of that?

New Year's Day - Day 1 of 365 photo challenge

Every holiday we usually start our day with danishes fresh out of the oven for breakfast. Today was no different. The first task of the 365 photo challenge was to take a picture of a resolution or something that happened today. So, here is what our danishes looked like fresh out of the oven.

Fear not, we did manage to get our black-eyed peas in at lunch time. YUM!!!!

We did spend some time playing with Holly today. Here's a picture of some of the fun.

It's hard to believe that she's already 3 months old. And she's SO BIG already!!!