Monday, February 28, 2011

3-in-30 for March


**UPDATE: The best date for a garage sale is turning out to be a weekend in April. So, I'm going to bump that goal to April and add a new goal for March.

1. Complete our taxes - not so fun, but necessary.

2. Have a garage sale. I want to park my car in my garage! Use my free subscription to AboutOne to create a control center/digital file cabinet.

3. Finish putting together all of our maternity pictures, birth photographs and newborn pictures into an album through JonesBook. I started this back in October and just have never gotten around to finishing it.

Ready, set, go!

3-in-30 February Recap


I am a new fan of setting small goals. I LOVED having one three things to get done in February. When I had a free moment, I looked at my short little list and knew exactly how I should be spending my time.
  1. Simplify
    The biggest thing I did to simplify in February was to take the month off from editing pictures and blogging. It was GREAT! I also cleaned out my Google Reader and at any moment can sit down and read through all of the unread blog post in less than 20 minutes.

  2. Unpack Boxes
    The house looks great. The spare bedroom has a full closet, but it was cleaned out enough for an air mattress for Lynn's visit this weekend. Now, the garage, on the other hand, has become the collect-all for things I don't know what to do with, so can you guess what one of my March goals is going to be?!

  3. Back-Up Computers
    Finances are not quite in place for backing up to the cloud yet, but I did discover that I won't be backing up to Mozy due to their new, more expensive plans. We'll probably use BackBlaze because you can back up an unlimited amount of data for one price.

    I also spent a significant amount of time cleaning and backing up our computers up to external hard drives. You can read most of the details below if you're interested.
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During the great ice/snow storm of 2011 I snuggled on the couch and cleaned up Danny's laptop (meanwhile, mine was still crashed and not working in the corner).  Here is what I did to get it up to speed and running:
  1. Installed AppCleaner to help remove all unwanted software, and then went through finder deleting all old, unused and useless applications.
  2. Installed LastPass to help create better online passwords.
  3. Backed up the computer to Danny's partitioned external hard drive using Time Machine. (For information on setting up an external hard drive, see this article on Lifehacker.)
  4. Installed Carbon Copy Cloner and used it to create a bootable back up of Danny's computer on the second partition of his external hard drive.
  5. Repaired Disk Permissions to clean up little things here and there.
  6. Ran through most of the things in this article, "Clean Up and Revive Your Bloated, Sluggish Mac" from Lifehacker to tidy up all loose ends.
Things I did to clean up my desktop computer:
  • I bought some new hard drives and totally revamped my storage of media. This is what the inside of my computer looks like:
    1. 500 GB Hard Drive - runs my computer/applications
    2. 1 TB Hard Drive - holds all of my pictures, videos, music, and documents
    3. 2 TB Hard Drive - has two partitions. Time machine backs up to one partition and SilverKeeper automatically backs up my pictures, videos, music and documents to the second partition every night.
Now, when we can afford to back everything up to BackBlaze our computers will be ready!
    Usefull articles I referenced during this process:

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    Sunday, February 27, 2011

    Happy Birthday Glammy


    Glammy came in town to celebrate her first birthday as a "Glammy" with her grandson. We had fun eating and showing all the our new fun hang outs in Allen.

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Cannon - Week 33 (2/24/11)


    I can barely keep up with all of the new things Cannon seems to be doing each day. We started signing with Cannon very early on - mainly as a way to keep me engaged in our one-sided conversations - but I'm beginning to think it's paying off. Cannon started signing "more" this week. I don't think he understands that the sign has meaning, but he's still imitating what we're doing which is really fun!

    This was also a sad little week in that Cannon was sick for the first time. He had a fever for over four days. It got up to 104.3 at one point, and we finally ended up going to the doctor. His ear and lungs were clear, so we just waited it out with Tylenol, Motrin, cool wash cloths and lots of cuddles. In our attempts to keep him well hydrated we gave him his first sips of diluted apple juice. He wasn't impressed. We gave him his first tastes of strawberries this week also, and he enjoyed them in his oatmeal.

    Finally, as if he hadn't done enough already, Cannon started doing the "plank." It's quite an impressive move for a little guy, and I almost expect him to break out in mini beads of sweat during his work out. I have a feeling that I'm going to be telling you that Cannon started crawling in one of these next weekly updates.

    Fly Away

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    Yoga Master

    Cannon woke up from his afternoon nap and decided that today would be a good day to show me that he had mastered the plank. He was quite determined to do this over and over and over again, even taking a little rest before beginning his work out again. I have a feeling that he'll wake up from tomorrow's nap crawling.








    Oh Messy Days

    As Cannon has grown older, his attention span has grown shorter. Gone are the days of being entertained forever by the big green frog on the activity mat. So, I've been trying to implement a few new activities in our afternoons. 

    Today was finger painting with yogurt. He didn't quite understand that he could "eat" the paint, but the squishy colors were a hit.

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    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Life As We Know It

    What do you do when it seems your child has grown tired of his books and toys and is a fussy little mess but you really need to clean up the dinner dishes? You give him a colander. It's shiny, loud and NEW! This is our life.









    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Spring Mini-Photo Shoots!

    It's time for fresh family photos for Spring! I will be doing 30 minute mini-shoots in Dallas and Plano the first weekend in April!

    Plano Sessions
    Haggard Park/Downtown Plano
    Saturday, April 2nd
    5:00 - 7:00 pm

    Dallas Sessions
    Highland Park
    Sunday, April 3rd
    5:00 - 7:00 pm

    Email me (lstiller@gmail.com) for pricing, exact locations and to reserve a spot now!

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    {a book review} Radical by David Platt

    I was very excited to read "Radical" by David Platt. It has been the newest, loudest buzz in Christian circles for at least the last year, so I had to see what was so life-changing about the pages of this little orange book.

    Platt has a GREAT, straightforward approach to the Gospel. He calls readers to the table and doesn't let us ignore the truth os Scripture. He confronts many of the excuses we make as American Christians for not going overseas and addresses the tendency we have to lead all kinds of programs "in our own ability." (46) I particularly like how Platt points out all of the things we do in the American church that are not rooted in scripture, but in our culture, and are not Biblical or glorifying to God.

    I had heard so much about "Radical" before reading it that I was a little hard-hearted and skeptical that one author could cause me to turn my life upside-down. I think Platt had great things to say and spoke truth, but simply doing what Platt says and following his "Radical Experiment" is not going to move me closer to knowing the Lord.

    "I was going out of obedience, not because I had a heart for missions . . ." (84) I could do what Platt says, but until the Lord is stirring in my heart and His Word is blossoming in me, nothing I do in my own power will be as affective as the Holy Spirit moving. I simply can't "white-knuckle" myself to be "radical" for the Lord. However, my new prayer is that I would know the Lord more and more every day, and out of the overflow of loving Him, He would use me to do radical things!

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    Oh Sunny Days

    Our new house has the best windows and the best natural lighting ever. Sometimes we just sit and enjoy the sunshine. 






    Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue

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    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Cannon - Week 32 (2/17/11)


    Cannon started babbling this week, and I couldn't be more thrilled that he started with "mamamamama." He'd been "hmmmmmm" for weeks, but all of a sudden, while we were driving down the road, we heard a little voice saying "mamamama" over and over again. It was precious.

    Cannon also started cutting his four top teeth this week. We told him that we'd still love him if he grew one tooth at a time, but I guess the little over-achiever just wants to be done with teething once and for all. I have to say, I think his amber teething necklace is working wonders because we really haven't had the intense fussiness that we did when his first two teeth came in three months ago.

    It's good that he's getting more teeth as we're adding more and more foods to his diet. This week he got to experience the wonder that is quinoa. The texture made him pause, but he seemed to find it appealing.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Bath Time with Dad

    Bath time with Dad is WAY more exciting than bath time with Mom. Who knew that the alphabet doesn't just stick to the tub, but sticks to your head too?





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