Thursday, August 21, 2014

Diamond L - Part 1

I've finally learned how to resize photos so they'll load in less than 3 days!  :)

Ready for a tour?
Starting at the bottom of the drive, I give you - the left gate.
Not that it's super important or anything, I just really like the gate check holding it open.  It's probably been the same branch for years.  :)

Our very own private shooting preserve.  It just doesn't get any cooler than that.

A little loveliness along the edge of the drive.

The view from about half way up.

Almost at the top of the drive.
That's a Crepe Myrtle against the side of the house - the blossoms are so pretty!

The top of the drive.  (It goes around to the back of the house.)

The back of the house.
The boys room window is closest, and the other four look into the kitchen.  The retaining wall was FULL of weeds, some taller than I am.  The boys did a great job gutting it.

The front.
If you look carefully you can see Lily and Doodle looking out the front door.

Give me a bit and I'll get the inside tour ready for you!

Monday, June 9, 2014

E-Ticket Ride, The TN Side

Many of the photos I'm receiving are via camera phone and turn to a blurry mess upon posting, so I'm a bit limited as to what I can really post.

First, and thankfully, the pasture has really bounced back.  It was completely over-grazed when we got the place 3 years ago.  Here you cans see the fence line and how much the pasture (behind it) has thickened up.

The movers came to do some reconnaissance and decided that they'd shuttle in our stuff in smaller U-hauls.  However, the day they were to come this is what the drive looked like.  Our Corolla could get in and out because it's so tiny it only needs half the drive anyway.  Trucks, on the other hand, need a full-width driveway.

Piotr, his parents, Jakub, and another young man from our church (THANK YOU, PAUL!) ripped out all the blue carpet and installed laminate flooring.  So much prettier!

Then,the icing on the cake for Piotr AND Jakub . . .
The acquisition of Red!
Think the smile can get any bigger?


Sunday, June 8, 2014

May, 2014 - E-Ticket Ride, Round 2

Ready to go again?

In the middle of moving we made a last visit to the Canyon.
Not a great photo of the children, but love the colors.

On the way home we stopped in Sedona.

Oh . . . is that a Beaverdam Creek Farm shirt sighting on the Bell Rock trail?

The next day, we all moved to our temporary home, a friend's house in Buckeye.  The day after that, Piotr and Jakub loaded up the Corolla to head to TN.  Can you see how low the body is over the rear right tire?
Yeah, they were carrying just a little weight in that little car.  ;)

Think Jakub is excited?

3 days later, the rest of us moved to the music teacher's house to dog sit for a week.  (Our temporary, temporary home)

Lily enjoyed her new digs.

And Lauren enjoyed playing concert pianist.

Finally, just this past Friday, we were able to return to our temporary home.  Apollo was happy to see us.


The action from the TN side of our household!

May, 2014 - The E-Ticket Photo Tour

I know I've joked about e-ticket rides before, but this has got to be one for the records.


When you live in the desert and get your eyes dilated, you get to come home and lounge with your sunglasses on. 

Right about here it was time to make some serious to-do lists.

There was so much going on (moving prep, graduation, recitals, concerts, rehearsals, you name it) that Lauren made us a master plan for the month.  It was a complete mess by the time the month was over but sure saved our sanity!  

The girls had their last recital with their strings teacher.
They've been with Mrs. Gordon for 10 years!
What an amazing blessing.

Gabrielle led the orchestra for the last time
as Concert Mistress of NVSO Youth.

Then, Lauren participated in a graduation ceremony.
She graduated 2 years ago, but because of some, well, let's say, "politics",
it was safer to not make it official until she was closer to 18.
 (Sebastian, Albert, Gabrielle, Lauren, Frankie, Andreja)
(Jakub, Brendan)

Sometime in here Jakub woke up after an exceptionally fine night of sleep.
(With the hair to show for it.)  And no, there's no stopping the dimples.

Once the movers came and went we were left with minimal furniture.
Things get pretty casual when you work from home and have a conference call under those circumstances. 

Next up?  E-Ticket Photo Tour, Round 2.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Yesterday was quite the eventful day.  Rather than wait for hours at a rather unappealing DMV here in the valley, we drove to Prescott.  It was a longer drive, but the total time required was projected to be about the same.  However, while, via telephone, Lauren was told that no appointments were needed, we learned differently upon arrival and took the next available time slot.

Gabrielle was first up and got her permit,
passing her test with flying colors.

Then we needed to kill some time, so we headed to Gurley Street Grill
for lunch.  The boys ordered the same thing, (enormous BBQ Burgers)
and finished them off at the same time.  (Twins much?)

We then headed back to the DMV for Lauren's 3:00 road test.
Also passed with flying colors.

Later the girls had a rehearsal so they made their maiden,
no-parent-along, voyage.
We made a bit of a to-do about it.

Piotr was going to follow them but decided to watch them
out the window instead.

There they go!

What a long, but fun and productive day!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window... sun.  We're above 90 for the rest of the week, so the windows are closed, blinds twisted to block heat and the curtains are drawn.  When so many are opening up and airing out, we're closing up and pulling in.

I am thinking... about how nicely the sale of this house has fallen into place.  2 weeks on the market, nice family, an older parent who will be blessed by the extra downstairs bedroom and zero-entry shower.  The inspection came back very clean with only one thing for us to do - that we were working on anyway.  What a blessing!  Now, if we can firm up our TN property by next Monday that will be quite the bonus.

I am thankful... for our decision to close up May.  Our calender is overflowing with this, that, and the other.  Knowing that May is no longer available for incoming obligations, gatherings, and commitments is quite the sanity saver.  (And April and June aren't far behind!)

In the kitchen... Lauren's buttery rolls going into the oven.  Sinfully delish.

I am creating... an embroidered name sign for a little boy.

I am going... to move to Buckeye in May!  Our temporary housing awaits and we are so thankful to such an amazingly generous friend.

I am wondering... what the Lord's got in mind.  An angel in upper management at FedEx is trying to get us a moving package.  I'm just praying we get the final yeah/neigh sooner rather than later.

I am reading... Emma.  I'm enjoying some fluff prior to a serious dig into Shakespeare in the next few weeks.

I am praying... for a young father and his three little boys.  His wife died last week after cancer coming and going for a few years.  To read the emails, see the photos - the deterioration of everything except her infectiously joyful smile . . . there are just so many lessons there . . . and much long-term prayer needed for her remaining family.

I am looking forward to... HEAVEN!

I am learning... about parenting.  The sessions from the Sound of a Trumpet conference are now available.  If you're interested, I highly recommend Mission Possible, and the Women's Session at the link here.

Around the house... offspring head back to studies after some post-lunch putzing.

I am pondering... what to do about the barometric-pressure migraine setting in.

A favourite quote for today...

"A good leader knows when to intelligently disregard regulations."

One of my favorite things... Devotions for Lent.

A few plans for the rest of the week... a 2-bird/1-stone field trip to the DMV for a license (Lauren) and a permit (Gabrielle), World Tour Wednesday, some nice company for dinner Friday, lunch after church on Sunday.

A peek into my day... no peeks. Peeks will come later this week!  :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

DLP Update

A little time was spent this week catching up on my Documented Life Project challenges.  It's meant for a full blown art journal/planner, but, artistically I'm not there yet.  That, and my Barnes & Noble Punctuate! planner is just too perfect a size fit for me right now.  So instead, I use the challenges as prompts to simply design the pages in the planner I use.

This is from Week 13.  We were to have someone else draw something on our page and we were to finish it.

Gabrielle was available so I gave her the short and vague instruction to draw something somewhere on the 2-page spread.  From there I pulled paint across the pages, then did some doodling.  Now that I look at it, I need to color in the flower tips, etc.

See the smiley face with the text bubble saying, "Hi"?  That's what she gave me to work with.

Week 14 had us do something with our name.  That may be fine when you're working in a 5x8 book, but my personal sized planner (3.5 x 6.5) is not big enough to support the name, "Jacqueline" and STILL have room to write appointments, to-do's, etc.

Instead, I used my ASL name sign, "q".

The initial got repeated and I just doodled in the loop.  Nothing fancy, but it was still fun.

This week?  Monochrome!