Archive for March, 2008

Bill is 40

Gerry’s cousin, Bill (who also happens to be Maddie and Mason’s Uncle Bill) turned 40 a couple of weeks ago. My sister, Kim, (who is also Bill’s wife…I know this is all so confusing), has been planning his surprise party for months. When the day came, the party didn’t! Kim and Bill had both gotten terribly sick, so all was postponed, and Kim hoped Bill wasn’t suspicious. Turns out, he wasn’t. The party took place yesterday afternoon, and Bill was so stunned that he forgot his own family members’ names! He does that to me too, sometimes. I think it’s a way of exerting brother-in-law superiority!!!

Bill, welcome to the 40’s club at last. I’ve been waiting for you, and it’s good to have you among our elite membership!

Happy Birthday Bill! We love you.


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Saturday Roadtrip

We all slept in and then enjoyed just hanging around the house for the morning. Don’t you think everyone needs a day where you don’t have to get up and rush out the door? We sure do…so we did. Then after lunch, we loaded up in the car and set our sites on IKEA, the super-Sweedish super-mega store. Out goals were: (!) Get out of our apartment and (2) Take a look at IKEA’s closest systems. IKEA is about a two hour drive away, so the kids enjoyed watching a movie and listening to Maddie’s iPod while Gerry and I enjoyed the time to catch up on life.

IKEA is so big and so fun to look around, so we spent hours there. We first discovered IKEA when we lived in England. It became our recreational outlet when we couldn’t take being cooped up from the rainy weather another minute!

IKEA has wonderful rooms fully staged all through the store to provide loads of inspiration. I mostly like all of their organizational stuff. Just the thought of it makes me feel more orderly! The kids think it’s great because it’s like the ultimate in playing house as you go from room to room. And Gerry likes it best because it’s inexpensive! We did find some potential solutions for our closet but decided to wait until we get into the house and decide where our money will be best spent…oh, but those closets, with all their customized nooks and crannies are pretty wonderful. Maybe someday!

The trip home necessitated some food, and I couldn’t think of a better place than the Whole Foods Market flagship store in Austin. It’s a grocery shopper’s mecca. I’ve blogged about them before. The store was full and very busy today, so it was more difficult to look around, but we grabbed some great goodies for dinner and then went and ate near all the rooftop cacti. Such fun.


The rooftop cacti garden at Whole Foods…the needles have been removed!



Downtown Austin is a maze of one-way streets, so in our journey out of Austin, we discovered this dirt bike park. There were loads of boys and young men lined up on a sidewalk adjacent to the opening dirt run. They would build momentum by coming down the sidewalk and then going for the gusto as they jumped into the dirt track. Well this was a for sure traffic stopper, so we turned around to go back and watch for a while. Mason stood with his head poked through the sun roof to get the best view. He, of course, thought this was incredibly cool. Come to think of it, so did I!



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Big Rocks are Here…Day 86

The stone for the front of the house arrived today. The air conditioning unit is going in…so thankful for that! Then the final bit of stucco will go on the front of the house, and then the stone will go on. They measured for countertops today, and flooring will start going in soon…maybe even this week.

The cabinets are pretty much fully installed. There are some details to finish up, but some of those will have to wait until we’re closer to completion.

Kathy’s house is moving along well too. I’ve put a few pictures of hers too.’

Stone for the front of the house…


The kitchen with cabinets…


Kathy’s house…and a very pretty sky…


Kathy’s kitchen and breakfast area toward the back and family room to the left…


A peek up the stairs…that’s the garage in the background.


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Karen’s Kitchen…Day 85

Almost all of the interior doors are hung. The walls and trim are painted, and today, the cabinets are being installed. The bathroom cabinets are complete, and the kitchen is well underway. We set our closing date yesterday…April 29!

The kitchen…won’t those walls look good in some shade of green!


The master bath…


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Easter 2008

He is risen. He is risen indeed.

No other historical event, the conquests, the wars, the political figures, the ideas that fueled empires…none can hold a candle to the Life and Light of Men who raised Himself from the dead. We celebrate with ultimate joy knowing that Christ Himself is the hope of glory…and the hope of every human heart. He is the desire of nations for He is the desire that eclipses all else.

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

We read through the Easter story in the days leading up to Resurrection Sunday. Our celebration continued at church this morning and then with friends this afternoon. The traditional egg hunt is always a thrill, and it seems to me that the season in which Jesus came to life from the dead is vibrant with new life all around. How like God to write His parable of life into the very plants and trees around us. To everything there is a season indeed.









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Lazy Thursday

We awoke with ambitious plans today…and didn’t follow through on any of them! Maddie and Mason slept late. I did housework (not exciting, but gratifying). Then we all wanted to get out and enjoy the sunshine. It was late in the day, so we decided to visit the little town of Comfort, just 15 miles up the road. Comfort describes itself as antique town, and it lives up to its reputation. We poked around shops full of dust covered treasures and visited the local candy shop for a treat. Good lazy fun.

We loaded up and headed toward home around 4:30. That’s when my friend, Kelly, called. She invited us to join in on a family barbecue on the property they someday hope to call home. So, in keeping with our theme of throwing out any pre-planned activity for the day, we gladly met up with the Hohne and Gardner families for a super fun evening of warm sunshine, fun conversation, kickball, roasted marshmallows and a brilliant full moon.

Meet our precious new friends, who we already love like old ones…

Front L to R: Mason, Caleb, Joseph, Julie, Katie, Maddie and Caleb

Back L to R: Dale, Donnie, Kelly and Me


Gerry, making an attempt at Texas fashion. The jury is still out on whether those glasses and that hat can reside on the same person.


Does anyone notice how well I’m doing at letting my hair grow? Photo by the incomparable Kelly Hohne.


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This morning my sister, Kathy, called and said she and her neighbor were going to take their children for a walk and visit some nearby shops. A couple of hours later, my phone rang again. I answered and could tell immediately that something had happened. Kathy, her friend, Treena and the children got caught in the middle of a gang shooting while waiting to cross the street, just blocks from the Plaza.

I am so thankful that God protected them and that miraculously, no one was hurt. Police had surrounded the place as Kathy and I talked, and Treena’s husband was coming to to take everyone home.

The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121:7-8

Please pray for everyone to have peace today and to find rest in the God who does watch over our coming and going…We are so thankful for His goodness to us today.

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