Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I have been trying to broaden my horizons lately by learning new skills. One of the new things I have learned to do is crochet. I have made two blankets now and am working on a third. I just finished this one about a week ago. My first project was a baby afghan and I am doing another one now. John taught me also how to turn bowls on the lathe and I have made two so far. I am not great at it but that's what practice is for! I still have a two quilts to finish too. Definitely keeping busy!

If you would like directions for this pattern just let me know. I typed them up with pictures so that I would be able to make it again.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My New Year's Resolutions

I will post later about everything that happened here for the holidays but for now I wanted to put in writing my new year's resolutions:

1. The Goal: Get fit and make exercise a priority.
The Plan: Exercise 3- 5 times per week and increase intensity as necessary
2. The Goal: Lose 10 lbs: my pre-wedding weight (why does marriage make us fat?)
The Plan: Reduce calories, eliminate junk food and exercise
3.The Goal: Don't drink my calories.
The Plan: Drink more water. No soda or sugary drinks (an occasional hot chocolate is okay but that's it!)

1. The Goal: Keep up to date in my field
The Plan: read articles and websites weekly to see what is going on and stay fresh on terminology
2. The Goal: Learn a new subject
The Plan: Spend my down time more productively and use online and audio lectures to learn a new subject - I am excited to pick something new to learn about :)

1. The Goal: Read scriptures more regularly
The Plan: Just do it! Haven't come up with anything good yet :S
2. The Goal: Make our home more Christ centered
The Plan: Read scriptures and pray together, have FHE weekly and monitor what we watch on TV

1. The Goal: Put more money into savings
The Plan: Stick to a budget and prioritize needs over wants. No impulse shopping.
2. The Goal: Budget more effectively
The Plan: make a budget that we can stick to, evaluate the budget each month, use only cash on expenses to help track money more easily

Friday, December 10, 2010

A week with my niece

Disclaimer: I have a ton of cute pics to put up but they take FOREVER to post so I am giving up!

Day 1: The first Friday of December I met my sister half way between her house and ours to pick up my niece Shayla. She stayed with us for about a week while her parents closed on their house and moved. We took Shayla to the ward Christmas party Friday night to see Santa. Carrie wasn't sure when she would get a chance to take her so she was excited for us to take her and get some pictures with Santa. Well, at 18 months I guess she is a little not into Santa (which she pronounces "Santan" and it sounds a lot like Satan) more like a lot not into Santa. We tried to get her to take a picture with him and she cried almost immediately after we put her on his lap. We even tried to prep her by telling her that Santa would give her candy, I think we told her that about 2 dozen times. It still didn't make a difference.

Day 2: John's birthday was on Tuesday so went celebrated on Saturday by going to Stone Mountain park. We got the day passes which let us do all of the activities in the park. We started out going up the skylift and walked around the top of the mt. It was so cold and windy up there that my eyes were streaming tears. They have a plantation set up where they moved old houses from different parts of GA to make a plantation like it would have been back in the early 1800's. It was neat getting to see all of the antique furniture and old buildings. After the plantation, we went to the 4D theater where we saw the Polar Express. Then we rode on the train and played mini golf. Shayla really liked putting the balls in the hole and stealing the balls as we were trying to play. She also liked running around on the course while other people were trying to play. There was a parade at the end of the day with Santa and different Christmasy people. And of course they had mistletoe. I guess a fake 'Satan' is okay but not a real one.

Day 3: On Sunday we went to decorate Christmas trains and houses with a family that has sick children. This was the same family we did things with on Thanksgiving. This family makes me very grateful for my health and blessings. It is amazing to me how well the kids all get along with each other and how nice and polite they all are. Even with everything going on in their lives they still have such good attitudes.

Day 4: On Monday Shayala and I made sugar cookies and decorated them with sprinkles which she dumped on the floor. After that, I decorated the cookies and let her eat them. We took the cookies to our neighbors for FHE and so that they could see Shayla. The neighbors on both sides of us love her and have us visit every time she comes. She always racks in the goodies when we take her to see them and this time was no exception.
Day 5: Tuesday was John's 25th birthday. We had a little party for him after he got off work. He requested chicken pot pie for his birthday (he requested it last year too). I don't make it very often because I have never found a recipe that I really like. I got a recipe off the internet and tried it but think I will have to go back to square one for next year's attempt. After dinner we played a few games and had cake. We left Shayla with my parents while we went to see the new Harry Potter. I think splitting it into two parts was a good idea since it let them go into more detail in the story.

Day 6: Wednesday we got an email from a company that John has applied to work with requesting that he come for some preliminary testing on Thursday afternoon. We weren't supposed to bring Shayla home till the weekend when we went up to help Carrie and Brian move. We decided if John was going to go up to SC we might as well bring her back and help them move that night instead. That evening we watched a movie (which she pronounces "boobie") at Shayla's request. She just started liking movies and asked to watch them all week. Her favorite was 101 Dalmations because it was a doggie movie.

Day 7: I started getting all of Shayla's things packed when my dad came downstairs and said that my mom was not feeling well and needed to be taken to the doctor. My dad, John and I were going to go up to SC to help them move but we decided that someone needed to stay here with my mom and since I don't have very large muscles it was decided that I would be the one to stay. So I finished getting her all packed up and we ate breakfast together. While we were eating she randomly says "Go Gators"! I had told her to say it a few times in the week but she knows all by herself now who to cheer for. I feel like my week was a success :) It was fun to have her here but I am glad to have time to myself again!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Birthday Weekend

This time of year is crazy for most people with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all within a few weeks of each other. Well, we in the Gordon household wanted to make things exciting... why don't have both of our birthdays, our anniversary plus the normal holidays oh and moving and watching my 18 month old niece for a week all in a six week time frame? It makes for a crazy couple of weeks but so far it's started off well.

Around the beginning of Oct. all of the pecan trees start dropping their nuts and continue through the beginning of Dec. I started collecting the pecans from my parent's four trees. While I was out there, I also started picking my neighbor's up for her too since she is 94 years old and can't get out and do it. Well, it turns out it was a good choice because this same neighbor has a cabin up in north Georgia in a town called Helen. Our neighbor didn't have anyone using her cabin for the weekend of my birthday and she was very grateful for us picking up her pecans that she let us stay in her cabin for the weekend. My family has had a time share in Helen for about 20 years but they just sold it and it is a really cute town to visit so this was a treat for us.

We left for Helen when John got off work on Friday and got there around 7. I had made dinner to take up there and we spent the evening stuffing ourselves and sitting by the fire. The town of Helen is Alpine themed and all of the shops and buildings have to have alpine themes. There aren't many chain stores or restaurants either. Also the Chatahoochee River runs right through the town which people float down in the summer. We went window shopping on Saturday in the town and found a few Christmas presents for our sisters. We also went on a short hike around a lake in Amicalola State Park. We stayed through Sunday morning which was my actual birthday. Sunday afternoon we had oldest sister, Christy, and her husband, James, over for dinner. My mom made an awesome dinner and birthday cake.

A few days later was Thanksgiving. John had to work which was pretty crappy but I guess that's part of being an adult. My parents and I went to one of my mom's friend's house for about an hour to make Thanksgiving goodies with her grandchildren. We made little turkeys out of chocolate rice crispy treats and pilgrim hats out of cookies and chocolate covered marshmallows. When we got back Christy and James were there and John came home soon after. He was able to get off at one instead of three which was awesome since the turkey got done much earlier than expected. My aunt also came but everything was done so early that we started a few minutes before she got there. We spent the afternoon playing games and went shopping at Michael's. The only Black Friday shopping we did was the midnight rush at Walmart. I have tried to come up with something exciting to get for Christmas but there isn't anything that we need or want badly enough that we don't already have.

We put up the Christmas tree on Friday as per tradition. We also helped my parents put up and decorate their tree. Another tradition we have which I always forget is eating Mexican food on Black Friday. We started it when we were dating and John remembers every year and I forget every year. Anyway, I will put up pictures of everything later on, it takes too long and it's getting late.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

We LOVE Halloween!

John and I carved pumpkins a few weeks ago with two other couples and just didn't get it out of our system (see previous post). Today was the ward Trunk or Treat party and they had a pumpkin carving contest. John and I being the competitive people that we are decided that we wanted to enter. We each decorated a pumpkin. Mine was a headless horseman with a flaming pumpkin head and John's was a witch making a potion and putting a newt into the cauldron.


We also dressed as Beauty and the Beast. I pulled my Belle costume out of the vault and we turned one of John's suits into a Beast costume. We spent quite a while painting his face this afternoon and I made him some furry hands which shed everywhere and were super fun to wear since he couldn't really pick things up with them on. He won the scariest costume and my pumpkin won the carving contest. A few people wanted to get pictures with us in our costumes which was cool but a little weird when we didn't even know some of them. One little girl looked at my costume and I think she thought she was in Disney World. A lot of kids were scared of John with his face painted but a couple kids wanted to pet his hands. All in all I think it was a pretty successful costume.

Also, for John's work they had a little halloween party on Friday. He dressed up for that as an 80's workout man. His costume was very... uh, interesting. I don't think he knew they were doing a contest but he won first place and got a $25 Home Depot gift card.


Last weekend John and I went camping with my sister Carrie, her husband Brian, and my niece Shayla. We went camping in North GA in between here and Greenville (where Carrie and Brian live). The plan was to meet in the afternoon and camp Friday night then go our separate ways on Saturday. No surprise here - plans changed.

Carrie and I had talked on Thursday morning to finalize plans and were planning on meeting at the camp ground around three. That afternoon I was talking to my mom and she mentioned that Carrie was coming over that night. "Carrie who?" was my response. I was totally confused because there had been no mention of that when I talked to her. Carrie and Brian ended up getting here on Thursday night because they wanted to do a little work on their car Friday before we went camping. Things with the car ended up taking longer than expected so John and I took Shayla with us and went to set up camp. John had a cold and wasn't feeling well so I got to drive. We realized when we were already on our way that we didn't have the address to the campground to program into our GPS so we had a super fun time trying to find the place with the directions from their website... their directions should definitely be rewritten! We had a really nice campsite on the lake. The grounds were really nice and the bathrooms were even clean! When we got there it was my job to occupy Shayla and collect firewood while John was trying to pitch the tent. Periodically we would wonder over to check things out and when I would get near where the tent was I thought it smelled like gas. We got our fire started and our tinfoil dinners cooking while Carrie and Brian were on their way there. That night we did the normal camping things... fire...dutchoven... tinfoil dinner...smores...ghost stories (okay no ghost stories). Oh and we also burned an entire trashbag full of documents Carrie brought so that they didn't have to shred them all. The next morning the guys were in charge of breakfast while us ladies huddled around the fire. The temps had gotten down into the 40s. Not too bad but cold enough that the fire felt very nice. They made us pancakes, bacon, and potatoes. After that we broke camp and that is when we realized that John who could not smell because of his cold had set up our tent on what must have been a gas leak from an RV that was there before us. We had to air out the tent for a few days when we got home to get the smell out... that is a whole other story that I am not going to get into... let's just say it rained unexpectedly while it was airing out... more like poured.

Pancake Face. While everyone was breaking camp, I took Shayla to the playground to occupy her. She was very funny and tried to use the little bridge as a slide and was pretty disappointed when it didn't work like a normal slide. This was after she had already been down the real slide. What can I say - kids are weird.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


The last few months has been filled with traveling for John and I. We have made several trips to South Carolina to start the moving process and to visit Carrie, Brian and Shayla. I also made a trip out to Arizona for 10 days to visit my brother Jeremy and his family and to see his new son's blessing. Then we went to Florida to visit John's family for his parent's 40th Anniversary party.

My mom, dad, sisters Carrie and Kelley, my niece Shayla and I went out to visit my brother Jeremy and his family for about a week and a half. Jeremy and Jamie had baby #3 in late July and it was a little boy named Carter Allen Morriss. He was about 5 weeks old when we got there and TINY! I forgot the made them that small. We stayed at a time share for part of the time we were there down in Sedona. My parents and Jeremy's family traded off going back and forth between the time share and their house in Sedona. Carrie and I stayed there most of the time and we had a good time swimming and hanging out. This is the view from the center of town. I had a lot of time to spend with my nieces and we took them to play at the mall playground one night.

Makayla is almost 4. Natalie is 2 1/2 and Shayla is 18 months. They loved the little carousel at the mall that you put quarters in.

I am not sure why I don't have any pictures with Jeremy and Jamie or any of Carter. I know we took family pics but I think they ended up on someone else's camera. Oh well, trust me, he's a cute baby. He actually looks a lot like Makayla which I think is really cute that you can see the resemblance between them.

The weekend of Sept 24th we went back down to Gainesville to go to John's parent's anniversary party. It was a surprise party and our job was to make sure they got to the party on time. It was kind of crazy getting them there but we did and the party ended up going well. We also got to be on Bruce's (John's dad) radio show that morning before the party - we are celebrities now:)

After the party, John and I met one of our friends and went to Gator Walk before the UF-Kentucky game. Gator Walk starts two hours before the game and all of the players and coaches walk through and give high fives to the crowd. We were right at the front and got to touch pretty much every player on the Florida team (again note how I said we are celebrities now). We got tickets for free from John's work for the game. They were high up but ending up being pretty decent. Sunday morning we went and visited John's grandma and he gave her a wooden toy he made for her. We got to eat lunch with her (well she got to eat). Then we went back and had a big family dinner at the Gordon house.
Last night we carved pumpkins at my friends Jana and Dave's house. We probably take pumpkin carving more seriously than most people and that could be seen in the fact that I was still carving our pumpkin at least 30 minutes after the other two couples had finished. John took out the guts and I did the carving because last year I did the guts and he did most of the carving.

Jana, Dave and baby Tate carved a bat. Jenna, Josh, Cameron and Carter carved a cat. This is our AWESOME pumpkin!!