I have to finish wrapping the presents under the tree, but I should be able to do that tonight. That means very soon I will have picture of our tree up! Yay! Aren't you just so excited? ;) I'm also working on finishing up Christmas cards, so hopefully those will be able to go out next week. I just have to find stationary somewhere. All the places I've been haven't had any Christmas stationary. K-Mart didn't even have any non-Christmas stationary. I was quite disappointed in them.
More importantly...COMING SOON TO MY BLOG:
I've been feeling pretty inspired by other blogs I read, so I thought I would introduce a few new things starting January 1st. I read a lot of fashion blogs because I'm a junkie (my favorite is Jen Loves Kev), so I thought I would try my hand at posting Style Files too. So once a week I am going to try to post a picture of me in a (hopefully) fashionable outfit. I shop mostly at JC Penney and Kohls, so it might be interesting to see how my styles measure up to the real fashion bloggers, haha.
I'm also going to introduce a weekly What's for Dinner? post. I'm a foodie at heart and I'm constantly making new things in the kitchen. I'll take pictures and post the recipes for all of your enjoyment. And I just like talking about food.
Lastly, I am going to make an effort to post pictures of my scrapbook pages. I know a few of my friends like to scrapbook, so I thought it might be fun to post what I'm doing and maybe it will inspire someone in their own work.
So there you have it. Three things to look forward to starting in January. Look for my first Style File Jan 1!
Until then, here are some pictures from our recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg. We went for the Grand Illumination, but it was so cold that we left before all those festivities started. It was still fun. :) It wasn't as decorated as i thought, but there were some pretty wreaths there.
I found what you can do with your extra Yarn Balls mom! Make a wreath! haha.
This morning has gotten off to a slowish start, but that's ok. I was up at 7:30 when my alarm went off, but then I kind of laid in bed messing with my phone until 7:55. Then I got up, got the dog out and all my other morning routines (i'll spare you the details, haha). It was really cold in the house, so the dog jumped on the bed and buried herself in the covers. I thought that was a good idea, as I was cold too, so we got in some belly pats. Then I finally got to eat my breakfast of Champions (Toast and Hot Chocolate with two large marshmallows). So now here I sit sipping my hot chocolate (i've already eaten the marshmallows) and I decided to blog. In the order of my title.
I'm 100% in Christmas mood. I have almost all of my shopping done. I still have to pick up a few things and order a few things. I need to work on wrapping stuff and getting my in-laws gifts out in the mail soonish. They gave us some gifts at Thanksgiving to keep until Christmas, but I must confess that I've opened some of them. I'm a terrible person.
Last night I put in Home Alone and began filling out Christmas cards. This year I am doing something I swore I would never do: I am making a Christmas letter to go inside of the card. So much has changed for us I figured people might appreciate a little bit of an update. I just have to get some stationary to print them off, then I'll get the cards out (hopefully) by the 17th. That's my goal anyway.
This coming weekend (or maybe next weekend) Brad and I are going to make awesome Christmas cookies. I found them on the Pioneer woman's blog here: Decorated Christmas Cookies
If you don't want to sift through the post here's what they look like:
I am excited. They're made with Royal Frosting, so that means the cookie had better be good because the frosting is not the star. That's ok, they look awesome. Maybe if they turn out well, I'll make more and give them as gifts. There are more pictures of what you can do with them on the blog post. I love the Pioneer Woman.
Brad officially had Northrop Grumman pay for his class, so he's officially all set to go, complete with getting his book ordered. I ordered my books for next semester too, so they should be here soonish. I have to do a bunch of reading for my January class and write a paper before January 1st. Icky. I'm hoping to get it all done before I go to MI, but we'll see. I know I'll have time while I'm up there, I just don't want to deal with it on vacation!
Speaking of school, I should really get going. I have a bunch of reading and papers to write!
According to Facebook, everyone is getting snow! We are not, but it is very windy out and a storm is on its way. We are under a Tornado Watch, but I'm not too concerned because the sun just peeked out from behind the clouds.
I thought I would show some pictures of our Thanksgiving weekend! This is going to be a way picture heavy post. But that's ok. :)
Waiting eagerly for the food to be done! I think the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was on.
Brad and Kathy. :)
It was so yummy!
Presents for our Christmas celebration on Friday afternoon. I got a George Foreman, the blu ray of White Christmas, scrapbooking gear (including the circle cutters! So excited about them!), a recipe organizer, and Bath and Body Works stuff. Brad got a good assortment of gift cards, movies, and other various stuff. :)
Megan and Faith concocted an elaborate activity before the gift exchange commenced. Each little package had instructions on it that you had to follow. Jeff's said he had to read the Christmas story. Mine was initiate a group hug. Others were to lead the group in the Hallelujah Chorus, laugh like Santa, lead the group in the 12 Days of Christmas, there was a mini-scavenger hunt for someone, and other such things.
Faith and Lawrence. :)
Bree and Grace also wanted me to take some "Senior Portraits" of them together (they're both high school seniors). Here are a few I've already gotten around to editing:
I might put up some more as I edit them. I'm sort of playing catch up on school work this week. I didn't do much while I was gone, and I'm subbing on Friday, so I have my work cut out for me. Plus I have some papers that are going to be due in two weeks, so I really need to get going on them too!
I won't lie. I've been listening to Christmas music since Monday. I blame it on the fact that we are going to Indianapolis for Thanksgiving, and that weekend we will also do Boyce extended family Christmas. So we've been thinking in terms of gift shopping, what foods to bring, ect. We're also probably going to get our Tree and such up this weekend. We figure that it will be nice to have it all up and ready to go when we get back. That way it can all be up for a while before we leave for MI for ten days at Christmas time. It makes sense to me. Haha.
This week I've just been working hard on school. Next week is "reading week", so I don't have my regular modules for classes. I'm still going to try to get reasonably ahead in my classes though, because i have a couple of big papers for my classes due in the middle of December.
Yesterday was a baking evening for me. I made candy-land cupcakes for Brad to take to work. They're doing this thing where every cube group brings in a dish from a country to celebrate Thanksgiving. He and his cube mate couldn't really think of anything so they picked "Candy Land", haha. So I made pumpkin spice cupcakes with (yellow) butter cream frosting. I put sprinkles and on half of them rolos to top them off, and the other half got dum-dum suckers sticking out of them. I thought it was clever. I also got the stuff to make the goodies I'm taking to IN for the Thanksgiving meal. I made the cake for a pumpkin roll, but it got a little over browned, so I might just keep that one for later. I have enough pumpkin to make another one, so I might have to do a take 2 today. I'm also going to make an apple pie today to take to IN. I figure if I freeze both of them and then transport them in a cooler, they'll travel just great. I've been thinking about what I want to take to MI, and I think I might bring a pumpkin loaf. I have a healthy recipe that uses wheat flour, egg beaters, and some other healthified ingredients. The bread is actually pretty good. I wouldn't even know it was a "healthy" version unless I made it.
This weekend, aside from getting the Christmas stuff out, we're planning on seeing Harry Potter (probably Sunday afternoon). On Saturday they're having the Light Up Town Center! thing. Santa will be there and they're going to plug in all the Christmas lights, so we're planning on going to that. Norfolk is also doing their Illumination Parade that evening, so me might try to catch that too. So much Christmas stuff going on, but I'm ok with it. This year I've been getting into the Christmas mood wayyyyyyyyyy early. I think it's because I'm super excited to go see my Fam for a nice long visit over Christmas and New Year's.
Well the pumpkin puree was easy! A little messy, but easy. Seriously. All you do is roast your pumpkin, then scoop out the insides into a blender, add a little water, and blend it all up. The best part was lining a mesh strainer with paper towel and straining the water out (pumpkins have too much water in them right off the bat, plus you added water to puree it), then you have beautiful pumpkin puree. So far I've made two loaves of pumpkin bread with it. I have about a cup of puree in my freezer and will be using it on Saturday to make pumpkin pasties from Harry Potter (found here: http://www.harrypotterrecipes.net/search/label/pumpkin%20pasties).
On Halloween, Brad and I are making Butterbeers, eating pumpkin pasties, and watching the last Harry Potter movie. We wanted to refresh ourselves for when the next installment comes out. November 19th! It will be a fun little halloween activity. We've also got a bit of candy to hand out, but I doubt any trick-or-treaters are going to venture up here. It would be fun if they did though!
Let's see... nothing else very exciting is going on with us. Brad's just working and I'm working on doing school. I found out earlier this week that the substitute people had entered my phone number wrong and had been calling someone else all this time. No wonder I never got calls! I've gotten one every morning this week. Unfortunately I'm working on a fairly large project for school, so I've had to turn them down. I think maybe tomorrow or Friday I might be able to accept a job. So, we'll see. If some other person has been getting my calls I can see how annoying that would be to be woken at 6:30 every morning with a call from a robot, haha.
The weather has been weird this week. It's been really warm (today it's supposed to be 85 out) but it's also been really windy and rainy. Not particularly stormy, but just kind of wet and gross outside. I want it to go away and be cold. It's almost November for Pete's sake!
Well, it's been about a month since I last updated. Lately we've just been hanging out and enjoying the slow onset of Autumn. We've been going to a church we like and will continue going there for now. Next weekend is their annual Chili/Chowder cook out and I am entering the Holloway Family recipe. I hope I win!!!
These past few weeks we've gone on a couple adventures, so I thought you would enjoy seeing some pictures of our adventures. We went to a Switchfoot concert
It was a lot of fun! I am hoping to see another switchfoot show in my lifetime.
We also went to the Norfolk Zoo. It was pretty small but had some cool stuff. And we went for free (Brad got tickets through the carpool rewards program at work):
This past weekend we went to a pumpkin patch to get some pumpkins. I bought a pie pumpkin and I am going to attempt to make my own pumpkin puree. It doesn't look too hard. We'll have to see how it goes!
Hmmm... what else have we been up to? I've been going to the library a lot lately to do school work.I find it helps me to a.) get out of the house and b.) get more done because there are less distractions. I also had my first substitute teaching job last week! I was in a class of Kindergartners. It was pretty fun, but I'm glad I don't have to teach kindergarten all day every day. I would probably end up with my head exploding. I had another teaching day this week, but I had to cancel it because of an unexpected conflict. Lamers, oh well! I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes open for other jobs coming up!
Brad has been keeping busy with work. He's really liking his job. He's waiting to get his security clearance, but that should be coming through quickly. He's also submitting an application to do an online engineering master's degree. The company will pay for it, so we decided it would be a good idea to take advantage of that. More education never hurt an engineer! So hopefully he'll get everything together today and get that submitted.
I have been keeping up on my running. I've been running four miles once a week for a while now, and it's pretty fun. I've also started adding intervals to my short running days. It keep things more interesting. After awhile it gets boring to just run. We finally have the TV back (the one that was in there was broken) so I've been enjoying watching Say Yes to the Dress during my work outs. That show never gets old, haha. Speaking of running... I probably need to get myself to the workout room. The plan for the dad: Work out, Shower, Lunch, Library until fiveish. WOO!
Well, it's been one month since my last update, so I figured I would make another post. :) I am going to do a pretty brief post because I don't think you want to read a book on the mundane details of my life! So I think I am going to do this in a modified list type thing.
End of August (23-31):
We found a church we both kind of like and have been going to ever since. We're hoping to meet with the pastor sometime soon to talk about the church and get some more info. We're hoping to get involved somehow because we like to serve.
It was my birthday on the 28th. :) We didn't do a whole lot but it was still a lot of fun. We had a friend over from LeTU for cake and ice cream, and then we played some board games.
Beginning of September (1- 22)
Hurricane Earl threatened to hit Virginia Beach, so we were kind of freaking out because we had to get to San Antonio for our good friend's wedding. It all worked out because we got out a day early and the storm wasn't nearly as bad as they had anticipated.
The Wedding: The wedding was so much fun. Bekah (the Bride) asked me to take some pictures because she didn't really want the photographer around while they were getting ready. Here are a few shots I got:
After we got back from the wedding, I promptly started my online classes. They've been pretty good so far. Lots and lots of reading, but that would be true of any grad school class I took.
Brad and I have been enjoying the cooler weather (instead of 90+ it's been staying in the upper 70's and lower 80's). I will be very glad when it becomes cool all the time and I can wear sweaters! We've gone down to the water front a couple times to walk on the beach. It's quite pleasant at night.
I have been having fun spending my birthday money. I've bought some cute new outfits, got my hair cut, and some new jewelry.
I've also been more daring in the kitchen. Last night I made chicken breaded with bran cereal. It was pretty good, but next time I'm putting less cereal on it. They were kind of brany. I also made twice baked sweet potatoes. SO GOOD. They were more like dessert though. They had cream cheese, sour cream and brown sugar in them. Tasted almost like cheese cake. Not too healthy, but Brad and I split one so it wasn't so bad. My goal is to use sweet potatoes more because they're really good for you. My next recipe endeavor is to make sweet potato fries.
I've also been trying more casseroles. I'm still very picky about what I will and will not put in a casserole but some of them are really good. My favorite so far has been this casserole that takes a bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots mixes in a jar of low-fat alfredo sauce, and then tops them with dill biscuits. Bake and eat. So good! We've been trying a lot more meatless meals because it's cheaper and usually better for you. I think I am going to try a lentil soup sometime soon too.
So there you go, that's what I've been up to (the short version). Life is pretty good!
Last week on my grocery shopping trip, I bought some Land-O-Lakes deli cheese because I had a coupon (that I didn't end up using because the cashier was inept). Well it looked yummy and I was excited because it was Land-O-Lakes. With the amount of money I spent on it, it should be awesome cheese. Well, when I went to open it on Wednesday is was COVERED IN MOLD. GROOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! I was so mad. I paid like five bucks for that cheese! So, anyway, I emailed the company and expressed my dissatisfaction. So to make it right they sent me a bunch of coupons, including a coupon for free cheese. So at least I'm not totally out five bucks. It was only five bucks, but when money is tight anyway, five bucks can mean a lot! I'm glad they were prompt in their response too!
Aside from the moldy cheese, not a whole lot is going on it the world of Liz. Just getting ready for school to start. I finally got all my books in, so I'm all set to go! I'm kind of interested to see how this whole online school thing is going to work. I've never taken classes online, so it should be an adventure!
This last weekend we went to an orchard to pick some apples and peaches. We brought home nine peaches and 24 Gala apples. They are yummy too! I might make a peach pie or something with the peaches. I'm not sure we're going to eat nine peaches! It was a lot of fun and their price wasn't too bad. We got a lot of fruit!
We're leaving for a friend's wedding in San Antonio on the third of September. I am excited because I get to see Anna again! It will be fun to catch up and see one another. There are going to be a ton of other people there from school, so it will be nice to catch up.
But I just haven't gotten to them. I know, I need to stop promising such things!
Today is our second anniversary. What a great time those two years have been. During those two years we have: had our first move away from our parents (permanently, anyway), had our first home on LeTU's campus, saw our best friends get engaged, survived a fender bender, survived a Texas summer, Brad graduated, were in our best friend's wedding, Brad got his first job, I graduated, I went to Australia, we moved across the country, Brad got his second job, and we got a dog! And those are just the highlights! I'm sure there's more. I love being married, it's great fun. I want to take this time to thank my mom and dad for being good role models. It's rare for people to stay married these days. Mom and Dad, you guys were a good role model to me showing me how to work together at things. :)
I've gotten most of my graduate school stuff taken care of. I'm currently enrolled for three classes: Method and Praxis of Theology, John Wesley's Theology for Today, and Church History 1. I even have all my syllabi printed and put in a binder for when classes start on September 7th.
Today I spent running errands. Nothing too terribly exciting. So to make this blog post more exciting I'm going to post some recent pics I've taken!
Us after our Anniversary date last night. :)
We went on a photo expedition and this is one of the shots I got.
I got my new Driver's License today (after an epic month long battle with the DMV. I hate that place). Thought I would share my pretty dorky pic. For a DL pic, it isn't that bad. But I wouldn't classify it as one of my better shots. ;)
Later, I might put on my new outfits and take some pics. I have an entirely thrifted outfit i'm quite proud of. We'll see how ambitious I get. If I do it, those pics should be up tomorrow, or maybe this evening.
Still haven't done much lately. I feel like I'm always saying that. I guess my life is a little boring these days. I feel like all I ever do is sleep in, get up, waste time in cyberspace, go running, lunch, shower, watch TV episodes or read, cook dinner, watch more TV or read more, go to bed. Rinse, repeat. It sounds kind of lame, probably because it is! Haha.
I did have a job interview on Monday for a receptionist position for the hospital in town. The job is actually in an imaging and lab facility. The hours are kind of poopy- 11:00 am until 7:30pm and then every third Saturday (which keeps changing, by the way. It was originally posted for every fifth saturday, then it changed to every fourth, and now every third!) from 7:00am until 1:30pm. The position actually works half in one office and then half in another. Anyway, I'm not really convinced this job is the right job for me. It seemed pretty unorganized. Plus, the whole interview was less than ten minutes long and consisted of approximately three or four questions. I don't really think she liked me much, and she's interviewing a ton of people (apparently). I don't feel like I stood out or anything, so maybe they won't offer me the job. But we'll see, she said she was going to try to make a decision by Friday.
I'm in the middle of all the applications and such for being a substitute teacher. It's kind of a lot (and a lot of money too!) each school district requires a CPS background check, which is a fee every time. It's kind of stupid; why can't they just use the same background check? I also had to go get a TB test done. I've had them done in the past and have forgotten to go get them read... I CANNOT FORGET THIS TIME. I even have a post it note to remind me. I'm applying to three school districts, maybe four. Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, and maybe Newport News. Newport News is kind of far away, but if Brad is driving there everyday, it wouldn't be that big of a deal to just go with him and coordinate schedules for that day.
I went thrifting yesterday evening at good will. I found a silk skirt for two and a half bucks and a pair of Forever 21 jeans for seven bucks. I was pleased with my choices. Got two nice things for 9.50. Good deal! I'm thinking about going to Salvation Army later this evening to check out their clothes. I'm getting kind of bored being cooped up in my apartment all the time.
Louisanna hasn't barked while I've been gone for two days so I'm hoping that's a permanent development, because I definitely feel more free to leave knowing my neighbors aren't going to hate me. She also didn't have any accidents in the apartment at all yesterday. So I guess the key is to not let her have so much water! That sounds mean, but if she's drinking so much that she's peeing every hour and half, that's too much. In my opinion anyway.
The heatwave finally left us! It's been in the mid eighties for two days now (Praise the Lord!). It's supposed to be back up in the 90s by next week, but that's still cooler than 115 degree heat index! Just saying. I'm thinking this weekend Brad and I might head to the beach on Saturday. We haven't been there since 4th of July weekend, so it might be fun to go this week. It'll be cooler, so hopefully we won't burn our feet off on the sand. Let me tell you what, that sand gets really really hot sometimes.
Time to go running, for sure! It's almost noon. Time to stop being lazy!
Not much has been happening since I last posted. I'm just kind of waiting to hear back from some places about a job (nothing new on that front). I officially got accepted into Asbury Theological seminary, so as soon as I get all of my ducks in a row I will be starting an MDiv program in the Fall. I am rather excited about it, for sure! I'm not sure how the job situation is going to pan out with that. I'm kind of hoping to just do substitute teaching for awhile. It's something flexible that I can turn down if I'm swamped with school or something, but I think it's also something that I would be able to do almost full time if I played my cards right.
We got a dog, as most of you know, I'm sure. She's a beagle mix, and she's SO CUTE. She's mostly well behaved, but she does bark while we're gone. So I'm not sure how to eliminate that. A friend of mine suggested that we get a DAP diffuser. DAP is Dog Appeasement Pheromone. Apparently it's the synthetic form of some hormone that mother dogs make in their milk for their puppies and it helps them calm down. I'm hoping this works, if not I guess our last resort is a bark collar. I'm not sure a bark collar will work if she's barking because she's anxious that we're gone. I'm afraid she would just bark and shock herself continuously. We're working on it though. She had to go into the vet's to get her next heartworm treatment, I get to pick her up this afternoon. She went in on Tuesday morning because she was making this weird snorting sound, but it turned out to be nothing. Instead of making me drive to Norfolk again to pick her up, and then out again on Thursday for the heartworm treatment, they just kept her Tuesday night. Then they did the treatment on Wednesday morning and observed her for the rest of the day/this morning. It's funny how she's only been here for about a week and it already felt weird to have her gone!
I've been keeping up on my running, but I've also started doing Jillian Michael's or Biggest Loser once a week. I kind of want to tone up a little bit. I've also stopped trying to actively lose weight, but to maintain where I'm at now. It's been going pretty well, just gotta keep working out. Speaking of which, it's about that time!
For the weekend of the Fourth Brad's family came up to visit us and see our new home. Saturday we spent a good portion of the day at the beach, and it was a lot of fun! Except a wave took off my sun glasses and I lost them forever. Oh well, they were only five dollars at Walmart.
Sunday we went to Colonial Williamsburg. It was SO MUCH FUN. I love that place. Brad's mom and dad helped us buy season passes, so we'll be able to go back whenever we want to. We toured all of the little buildings, did some shopping, and stayed for the fireworks. Here are some pics:
This was in the Governor's Palace. I definitely remember this from last time we went!
This was the guy who gave us some info about the Courthouse. His costume looked so hot. As it temperature wise... It was about 100 degrees that day!
In front of the Courthouse.
Inside the Courthouse.
The Armory. Brad really liked this building.
In the Stocks. Misbehaving, again.
And, of course, a family weekend isn't complete without a Mario Kart tournament! I think this was Monday night. :)
Monday we spent time driving around to see the area, and then we just kind of hung out and had a nice supper together. Tuesday, Bree and I spent the day shopping and getting our nails done. That was a fun day. Then we wrapped up the weekend by going out for some Ice Cream. Overall, it was a fun weekend and fairly relaxed.
Since then I've just been hanging out around here looking for a job, cleaning, and scrapbooking. I'm currently out of pictures to scrapbook, so i need to print some more off. My life is a bit boring at the moment, haha. But i'm sure it will pick up here soon, especially if I get a job. I have a lead on two jobs, but they're just minor leads. Not sure how either of them are going to pan out.