Happy Hanukkah!

hanukkah card 2008

Weekly Winners — 12/14/08-12/20/08

Christmas at our House
christmas decorating

christmas decorating

christmas tree

Callie’s first Christmas
christmas tree

Santa’s cutest reindeers



“I’ve had enough of the reindeer ears.”

Check out more Weekly Winners over at Lotus’ blog.


I don’t have the best luck. You know the saying, “When it rains, it pours”? That pretty much describes my luck.

We are about to spend thousands of dollars in three months to have a baby. That means we’re doing as much saving and paying down credit cards as we can between now and then. But, for the last few months, every pay period seems to bring some sort of major purchase, from car repairs on down.

Today was our latest in a string of repairs. Our dryer broke. And when I say broke, I mean it doesn’t tumble and there’s hardly a hum when I turn it on. We called a repairman, described the problem and were told it’s most likely the motor, in which case there’s nothing that can be done.

So now we’re going to have to get a new one. I’m not too surprised this happened since I bought it six years ago and it was several years old then. It’s been on its way out for a while. I was just hoping it could wait one more year. And until I had dried the load of clothes in my washer.

I told my mom that now my washer and dryer won’t match. She said that maybe my washer will break and then I will have replace it as well. If that happens, I won’t be surprised. That’s the kind of luck I have.

Our Newest Graduate

All of my parents’ children have now graduated from college.

Last night, we watched my brother walk across the stage at my alma mater to receive his nursing degree. Ok, he didn’t really walk across the stage. It was more like he jumped across while pretending to lasso our college president. He said afterward that Dr. Bietz looked like he didn’t know what to think!

randy grad collage

Randy’s girlfriend, Tina, and I thought he would chicken out and not do something on stage, but he proved us wrong! It was a great ceremony, and I’m really proud of him.

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Tuesday night was the School of Nursing‘s pinning ceremony, which is the School’s graduation ceremony. The master’s and B.S. graduates receive their medals and hoods respectively, and the A.S. graduates get their nursing pins. They have to be pinned by a nurse, and Randy chose to have my mom pin him. She wore a uniform similar to what nurses wore when she graduated from nursing school. The other pinners were in street clothes, but many of them told her they wished they had worn their uniforms.


Randy also created an arrangement of Joy to the World and accompanied the other instruments and soloist on the piano. It was really good.

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Tina surprised Randy by driving down on Tuesday and arriving in time for the ceremony. She had originally planned to arrive Wednesday afternoon.



Now our family has two nurses!



I’m not the best packer. Every time we go on a trip, I forget something. Usually it’s something small, but sometimes I forget things I really need.

Take this trip. Last night, we drove to Chattanooga for my brother’s nursing school pinning ceremony, and we stayed overnight since his graduation is tonight. What did I forget? My pajamas, socks and, well, other necessary clothing items.

So, after the pinning we went to the new Wal-Mart here in Collegedale so I could grab what I needed. When we got to the register, I recognized the cashier. And he, unfortunately recognized me. We went to high school together. Sigh. It’s pretty embarrassing having a guy you know ring up women’s clothing items.

Sears Contest Roundup

There are a plethora of Sears gift card/gift packages going on around the internet as part of Sears’ Grant a Wish campaign. Several are for gift packages for various interests worth around $500, and others are for $100 gift cards to spend any way you want. In addition, if you happen to not like any of the packages offered, you can list what you would buy with $500 in the comments. It’s a great promotion, especially given the current economy. Here’s a list of the blogs sponsoring contests and what you’ll find on each site:

$500 prize packs
ted.me — Tool Addict, Technerdia and Shapeshifter
Liz Strauss — Chicago DVDs; Cool Tools; and Images, Music and Words
Joseph Jaffe — The Practical One, The Fun One and The Wii One
Jim Kukral — Photo/music, Blu-Ray DVD player, and an XBox 360 system and games
Steve Spalding — XBox Elite, The Bored Traveler and Homeward Bound
Tamar Weinberg — The Family Fun Package, The Camping Package and The Pamper Herself Spa Relaxation Package
Aaron Brazell — The iPod Pack, The Playstation 3 Pack and The “Electronics for your Car” Pack

Again, the following contests for $100 gift cards allow you to pick whatever you want from Sears’ Web site as long as it totals $100. Just leave a comment with the item numbers/product names.

$100 gift cards from Izea Insiders
Ben Sparks

Good luck to everyone who enters!