I would love to report…

That our internet service has gotten better, but it hasn’t. In fact, I think it’s gotten worse.

Right now I’m at work, so I’ve decided to start posting while I’m here.

I’m not on the clock.

The kids are in Missouri visiting hubby’s mom, so I’ve been going into work early since we only have one vehicle. Yep, the kids took mine. It’s the first time the kids have gone off by themselves. They have been gone since the second week in July. They should be coming back next week. I think. If they are gone any longer I might have them start making my car payment. 😀  Just kidding. Maybe…

I don’t know why I didn’t think of posting on my blog here at work before. I’ve been getting here around 6:30-7:00 a.m. almost every workday. I don’t have to be here until 9:00. It’s actually quite nice coming in so early. It’s so quiet and peaceful.

Tim is still enjoying his job as hospice chaplain and pastor. I’m still enjoying working for the insurance agency and as a pastor. We keep fairly busy. Our life is never boring.

Right now I’m working on a project. Remember when we first moved in here and lightning struck the tree next to the house? Well, we finally got the tree taken down. I’m in the middle of clearing all the debris. But every time I get a chance to work on it, it rains. It has rained almost every day for the last month.

So, hopefully I can finish up with the small stuff soon and then hubby can get the tractor and move the big logs.  We have three or four other trees down in the park that need cleaned up as well. It’s just finding the time and days without rain to get it done. I just hope the snakes don’t make themselves too much at home before I can get back to work. 😛

I don’t do snakes gracefully.

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Catching Up

I know I haven’t been updating like I have wanted.  Have I mentioned our wondrous (insert sarcasm here) internet service? Yeah, it’s an issue. And I don’t always want to get up at 2 am to post.  I do occasionally like to sleep.  And since hubby now has a job as a hospice chaplain in another town, and needs to leave an hour early to get there, I need to be up at 5:00 am getting his breakfast ready and packing his lunch to have him out the door. So, by the time I’m done getting him out the door, it is time to get myself through the shower and get myself out the door for work. I work both as a part-time office manager for a life insurance company, and I am a pastor at a church. I can’t remember if I had mentioned that. Like I said, it’s been a while since I have updated. 🙂   We are also still living at the camp. The camp is closed and is for sale, but we are still providing security, mowing, and emergency maintenance.

I am beginning to think that our life could literally become the next sit com. Seriously. We could provide entertainment for the masses. Well, I’m not sure entertainment would be the word….

We’ve had a couple of interesting weeks. Actually, it’s been interesting since the middle of May. I had to spend a little time in the hospital. My doctor was concerned that I had meningitis, so he  sent me there for testing and I ended up spending the night (was NOT happy about that). The neurologist was able to put me on a daily medication that finally has the migraines under control. However, it took some time for my brain, body, and meds to work together in harmony.  I *may* have driven hubby’s truck whilst getting use to the meds and *may* have misjudged distance, and *may* have put a few scratches in his ‘baby’

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After this, I decided that I would not put anyone’s life at danger, and for two weeks my son was my designated driver.  And no, Hubby was not mad. 🙂

Well, a couple of weeks ago I finally got driving privileges back. 😉  But life has been interesting, to say the least.  Have you ever had one of ‘those’ days? You know the ones… where everything goes wrong. Everything you say is wrong. Everything you touch drops out of your hands or goes flying of the counter and breaks. Yeah, that. Well, Two weeks ago I was having one of those weeks. I will make a very looooong story short:  I had cats throwing up all over (Seriously! I have the pukingest cats!),  we lost electricity for over 24 hours in 90+ degree weather, needing to spend the night in a motel and coming home to foul, soured laundry as a result, we had to replace all four brakes and a rear brake drum, which had almost completely rusted out.  Hubby’s truck had been on trip set, and I hadn’t seen the mileage.  It was 13,000 miles overdue for an oil change. 😦  Argh. On the same day that we had to replace the brakes and came home to the soured laundry and stinky house, I had to take my son to a orthodontist appointment for an evaluation for braces. When we were arriving home, we saw that a black cat had been hit in front of the camp. My son said that it looked like our cat, Tickles. We went to the house and searched everywhere, hoping beyond hope that we would find him, but we didn’t. So, my son and I went back down to where he had been hit and checked him out. He didn’t have a collar on, but Tick is always losing his collar. Everything else matched. The white tuft of fur, the reddish tint. Then I started grasping at straws. “Let’s make sure he’s male.” So, here we are in the middle of the road checking the gender of a dead cat. Yep, it was male. So I asked my son to go back up to the house and grab a towel and a shovel. I stood guard over Tick so he wouldn’t get hit again. We wrapped Tickles up in a towel and carried him to some trees. I just held him and cried and loved on him until my son could get a hole dug. I didn’t want to wait until hubby got home. He had a hard enough time when we had to put Max down, and we also needed to get to the church for music practice. We finally got Tickles buried, and I got a shower to get the dead cat smell off of me. Quite frankly, I was done in. I wasn’t sure how I could take anymore. After music practice, my son brought me and our weekend kids home – hubby had taken our daughter to a bluegrass concert – and I was just wanting to go to bed. I was ready to be done.

And would you believe…

Sitting on our front porch waiting impatiently to get inside was Tickles.  We had buried someone else’s cat.

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At least the cat had been appropriate mourned over and properly buried.

I am thankful that it wasn’t Tickles.

Now if I can just get the poor cat to keep his kibble down.  I’m thinking it’s the heat. As a black cat, he doesn’t do heat gracefully, and he refuses to stay inside during the hottest part of the day. He prefers to be king of the tractor.

I’m praying for an easier July.  😀

 

I promise I haven’t died…

I’ve just been incredibly busy… and a little sick.  Whatever flu/cold virus that is going around came for a visit to our house and has hung around a while. Well, except for my son. Nothing hangs around him for long.  His immune system is amazing. 🙂

So, let me catch you up on the news around our house.

  1. Hubby and I are now the proud parents of two adults. I’m still convinced I’m not old enough for that, but I checked their birth certificate, and they are indeed 18. 😀  When they were two years old, I had many people tell me to cherish each moment with them because time flies by. They were right. I am very proud of the young adults they have become. They are godly, responsible, intelligent, and quite fun to be with. We have been greatly blessed!
  2. Hubby and I are now pastors at the Church of God in Nacogdoches, TX. Hubby’s focus is youth and outreach, and mine is counseling, visitation, and discipleship. I will soon be going through additional classes and training in counseling. At the end of this training, I will be accredited through the American Association of Christian Counselors.  I’m pretty excited about that.
  3. I love living in the south. I will be starting peas this weekend – outside. 🙂  My tomato and pepper plants are ready to start acclimating, and since I am container gardening, I will be sitting them out during the day, and if it would by some chance get down in the thirties at night, I will be able to bring them in.  Today it is going to get up into the 80’s. The windows are open, and we have a nice breeze going through the house. I will try to get pictures.  My phone is horrible – photos aren’t looking good.
  4. I have 4 months to become proficient at ASL. I am going to International Youth Convention as an ASL interpreter for one of our youth.  Pray for me.  I’ve been spending about 2-3 hours a day in study.  I’ve been taking lessons online from a deaf college professor.  I have found that it is better to learn from someone who is deaf rather than someone who is hearing.

 

Well, we need to get into town.  Have several errands.  And although I make no promises, I will try to start posting more often. Have a blessed day!

Judging, Names, and dishes…

Mama always said not to “judge a book by it’s cover.” I’m usually pretty good at doing that with people.  Meaning, I don’t judge someone just because of how they look. In fact, it annoys me when people do that to others.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I realized I missed on that one big time! There is an older gentleman who has guitar lessons at the music store the same time my daughter has banjo lessons. He’s a sweet, Christian man in his 70’s, and is always dressed in cowboy garb. In my mind, I saw him as a sweet grandpa who spent many years ranching, never getting out much, and was trying to pick up a hobby. You get the idea, right?

Wow, was I wrong.

Until two years ago, he was a professor. In fact, he told me that from the time he was in kindergarten until two years ago, he had never spent a year out of school. Let me give you the bio that is on the back of one of the books he has written (which he gave us for Christmas).

J. A. K…  holds a PhD in New Testament and Greek from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Social Psychology from Louisiana State University. He taught courses in the family, social psychology, counseling, and child abuse and neglect at the University of North Texas and Southwest Baptist University in Missouri. He spent summers teaching courses in psychology at an Orthodox Jewish University in Jerusalem, Israel. For thirty-five years, he had a private practice in psychotherapy dealing primarily with family counseling. He now lives with his wife, Rachel, and two dogs in Nacogdoches, Texas. His hobbies, besides writing and doing weekend workshops, include gardening and woodworking.

Yeah, I missed.

This Thursday morning, my kids are joining his church group, The Lighthouse Singers, to sing and perform at one of the local nursing homes. He has been a delight to get to know, and am praying that we will be able to stay in contact for a long time.

 

Names…

I’m not into name dropping. In fact, that kind of annoys me too. (I’m really not an easily annoyed person. 😀 ) However, yesterday I inadvertently name dropped – and got great results!

Hubby needs to go to the doctor to get his prescriptions updated. His doctor from NE won’t refill because he needs blood work. Since we don’t have insurance, I was going to go through a community medical clinic. While that would save us money, I was distressed at the amount of personal information they were asking from not just him, but the kids and me as well. They also couldn’t get him in until sometime in January. Not good – he only has two more pills left. 😦  I asked one of my bosses (who works as a health insurance agent) who would be a good doctor. He recommended two, and said one would be more likely to get us in sooner than the other, but that both were great doctors. He also gave me tips on how to get a discount for cash-pay. I called the doctor’s office and found I could get hubby in next Tuesday. Yay! Then I mentioned I was cash-pay and asked if there was a special rate for cash-pay patients. The receptionist told me that the doctor was not currently taking cash-only new patients at the time, but that he was starting a new program for that the beginning of the year. I started to ask if she knew what other doctors in the area were taking cash-only patients.  I mentioned where I worked and that  (bosses name) had referred me to him. “Oh, please hold for just a minute, ma’am. (I really didn’t mean to name-drop, I wasn’t finished with my statement, but she cut me off as soon as she heard his name.)  A few minutes later she came back on the line, “We would be very happy to have you and your husband as our patients!”  Hehehehe.  When she asked if we would be getting insurance soon, I told her we wanted to go with a Christian Health-sharing plan. Then I found out that that was the program the doctor was starting come the first of the year, and she told me what plan he was establishing himself with. Yay!

 

Yesterday afternoon, while talking to Mr. Author/Professor at the music store before lessons, I received a call from our local health food store. My dish soap had come in. (Another YAY!)

Now, why am I yayying dish soap?

Well, our dishwasher doesn’t work well. We have to buy the most expensive brand of dishwasher detergent and use two packs for it to get the dishes clean. Many times there are still bits of food still stuck to some of the dishes. I see that as a waste of money, so I bought some ‘natural’ (supposedly) dish soap. Unfortunately, that dish soap had sodium laurel sulfate in it.  I’m allergic to sodium laurel sulfate, and it’s in many cleaning products. It’s even in toothpaste. It peels my skin off. If I use regular toothpaste, my mouth is in bad shape. I did dishes with the ‘natural’ stuff, but my skin still peeled… and hurt.  So, I special ordered some without it. We ran out of dishwasher detergent, and I refused to buy more (much to my kiddos’ dismay) and they had to do all the dishes by hand since I couldn’t help.

I missed doing dishes. I actually (don’t faint now) enjoy hand-washing dishes. It’s a time where I can spend some time alone (because no-one wants to help 😀 ) and look at the beauty outside. And now that the dish soap came in, I have been doing dishes like a mad woman. Well, maybe not quite like that. And it’s been so nice to not have peeling hands.

Well, I had better go for now. I need to head to the church to work on my sermon for Sunday.

House Tour

I think I had mentioned some time ago about showing you all pictures of the house when I was done painting and putting every thing together, however I failed to show you. Well, our bedroom isn’t finished yet. We finally got the paint for our bedroom and bathroom. When the painting is done and our bed is put together, I will show you pictures of that room as well.

However, here is the rest of our house.

Our entry area.

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The door on the left is our bedroom door.

Living room…

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The open area in from of the window is where we are putting our Christmas tree.

The hallway to the right leads to the kids’ bedroom and main bath.

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Usually the Smurf is curled up in the rocking chair, but as I was taking this picture, I saw something out of the corner of my eye…

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The Smurf being very naughty. She is not allowed up here! After I took the picture, I threw her off. She then proceeded to find other ways of getting in trouble. Sigh….

The school room/office…

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The kitchen

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and breakfast nook…

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You can see the laundry room beyond. It’s a nice size with tons of storage.

The cat feeding station. 🙂

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My daughter’s room…

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The empty spot to the side of her bed usually has a made-up cot where her best friend sleeps every weekend.

My son’s room…

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Yes, it really is large enough to hold two drum sets, an amp, five guitars, a bell kit, a cajon, and two twin beds. His friend’s cot was not up for this picture either.

I also have a ‘winter garden’.  It’s one of the nice things about living in the south. I have kale, spinach, radish, carrots, garlic, onions, beets, turnips, collards, and mustard.

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We had a fresh salad for lunch yesterday. 🙂

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Last night we put up our tree – with help from our two extra kids. 🙂

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I’m sure I will post a picture of the completed tree later.

Hope you enjoyed our house tour. Sorry it was so long in coming.

 

Thanksgiving Weekend

Our family had a fun, but very busy Thanksgiving weekend!

It wasn’t ‘normal’ by any stretch of the imagination (what is normal, anyway?), but it was filling.

Not filling in the physical sense, but in the spiritual and emotional.

Early Thursday morning, we traveled down to Galveston to serve Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless mission. Hubby has become friends with the guy who runs it. Unfortunately, Galveston has a huge homeless population due to the fact that once they get on the island, they cannot get off – and many are brought there and left to remain.

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Everyone we served was very thankful and would come back to thank all of the workers, and tell of their appreciation and how blessed they felt.  Not only does this mission provide food and shelter for a certain amount of people, they also provide shower and laundry facilities for those living on the streets, so they can be clean and have clean clothes as they look for work.

We left the mission around 2:30 or 3:00 and headed to San Antonio. We had not eaten while we were at the mission, so we stopped on our way west at a truck stop that had a Denny’s.  Did you know that Denny’s has a gluten-free menu? Yay!!!!

It rained the whole time we were traveling, and we got into San Antonio around 9:30 p.m. We were tired and thankful to crash for the night.

Why were we in San Antonio? We were taking our kids to youth convention. We met up with our other youth there. I felt bad for the other youth and leaders, as they had to leave our house at 4:00 a.m. Friday morning.

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I don’t have any pictures of the actual convention, but when I get some I will share.

We had been invited to join in the convention from the TSA (Texas State Assembly of the Church of God). Unfortunately, in Texas (and some other southern states) there are two separate “divisions” of the Church of God organizations. One is white and the other is black. When we were down here 18 years ago, we were working on combining the two. It was working, but something happened after we left to put that process on hold. Now the black community is reaching out to bridge the gap. We had a wonderful time! Our kids participated in drama and choir, and the services were very powerful.  And it was more multi-cultural than I had thought it would be.

We had to leave early. It lasted until Sunday afternoon, but all four pastors and 6 out of 9 members of the church praise team were attending youth convention, and we needed to be home for service. I am hoping that next year we can plan to stay for the whole convention.

We are doing something different for our Advent season at church. This year our theme is, “Baby Jesus, what’s the big deal?” We are going through the reason God sent Jesus. We are literally painting a picture of the reason while the sermon is being preached. Yesterday, hubby preached on “Perfection Created”, next week one of the other pastors will preach on “Pain Enters In”, the following week I will be preaching on “Promises are made” and on Christmas Sunday the fourth pastor will preach on “Planned for a purpose.”  While one pastor is preaching, one of the others is painting on a large canvas the theme of the sermon. I will try to get pictures and post.

Yesterday, since the woman who is usually our ASL interpreter was painting the picture, I interpreted. This was my first time, and I was very nervous. Two things helped, however.  First, I had read hubby’s sermon notes and had the jist of the sermon before hand. Second, the girl we interpret for is not completely deaf, and can hear the sermon or someone speaking if a microphone is used. I let her know that I wasn’t very good, and she was helpful and encouraging.  I am interpreting next week as well. I could use your prayers for that, as my goal is to be able to eventually ‘actually’ interpret.

 

Sadness and new starts…

Wednesday we had to put Max down.  It was very difficult, but it was the best thing for her. Her confusion/dementia, pain, and biting were getting too bad.  I miss her so much!

I do have some good news.  I got the job I had applied for at the insurance company.  I start on Monday the 16th, and am quite excited. It is only 12 hours a week, which gives me ample time to homeschool and continue working in ministry.

I am starting a new project.  A headboard for our non-existent bed. Yeah, I’m working on that as well. 😀

I am making it out of an old solid wood door that I purchased from the Habitat for Humanity Restore.

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I am going to strip it, add some molding and trim to the top, and 4×4 posts with post caps to the sides. I found a beautiful piece of trim that would have cost $25 at a hardware store for only $1.80 at the Restore. I may either stain it or paint it a dark brown and distress it. I haven’t decided yet. What I have decided, however, is that I need some power tools.  My eyes spent well over $2000 at Lowe’s yesterday on a table saw, miter saw, circular saw, and a planer.  For *some* reason, hubby wouldn’t let me get what I wanted. 😉  I also want to put some tin in the panels and antique them, but haven’t been able to find the right size. I may just find some other type of embellishment. We shall see.

I will keep you posted on the project. Daddy, I might need to call you for some technical advice. 🙂

Now, why do we need one?  Well, when we were moving, one of the kids helping us load dropped our headboard and it broke. That was fine. When we moved in here, we just put the box spring and mattress on the floor. It wasn’t too bad, except that our mattress is so old that it had become quite painful to sleep on. Hubby and I would alternate from the bed to the couch so we could alternate which part of our backs were in pain. Then a friend of ours gave us twin mattresses that her kids no longer needed, which are fairly new and very comfortable. So, now we just have twin mattresses on the floor. The only nice thing about having just a mattress directly on the floor is that if you fall out of bed, you don’t have far to fall (ask me how I know…). But it is hard to get up off the floor every morning.  I found a king size platform bed frame at Wally-World.com that I may get, or I could just get two twins and screw them together. I have found that I’m enjoying the extra space that a ‘king’ size bed gives.

Now, I’m off to get something done today.

What’s new…

We have some new pets.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you these were coming. 😀

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Our new ratties: Smokey and Bandit.  They are so adorable!  Although I don’t think my sister agrees. 😉

This past Saturday we had a Trunk & Treat at our church.  We included a concert.  It was an all youth concert.

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I wish I had a better picture that included all of the kids while they were playing that night.

Some of us (in my immediate and annexed family –  hubby calls our kids’ friends annexed son and daughter because they stay with us every weekend.) were dressed up. Well, my son, my hubby and myself…

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My son dressed up as a drummer.  He played drums for half of the concert and bass the other half.

Hubby, of course, was clowning around.

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I dressed up as a baseball player, but I don’t have a picture yet.

There were many families that came through, and everyone had a great time.

I have a job interview today. It’s actually the second interview. My first interview was on Thursday, and the job is for an administrative assistant at an insurance company.  They only need someone for 12-15 hours per week, which is perfect for me.  They are having a hard time finding someone who is interested in so few hours and qualified for the job.  Please pray that all goes well.

And for the final bit of news for today, I have been honored with the responsibility of becoming a godmother to this precious little girl.

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She will be dedicated at our church in a few weeks.

I’m sure there are other bits of newness that I am missing, but I need to get some other things done.

Have a blessed day, Y’all.  🙂

Life and Work

Most of you know that we came to Texas to help run a youth camp and be the caretakers of the camp. We were supposed to be running a day camp, but soon after the position was given, the day camp taken off the table. Which was fine because taking care of the camp is more than a 40 hr. a week proposition. In fact, when we first arrived it took about 80 hours per week.   Our ‘contract’ then became a summer position. During the summer the camp board decided to put the camp up for sale. They extended our contract to end December 31st, and the camp will be officially closing then. So, on December 31st we will be without job and home.  Although we still have some groups coming in through December, we are working on doing everything that needs to be done to get the camp ready for sale and closure.

To some, that may be discouraging, however we know we were brought here for a purpose and are completely at peace. We have had three churches contact us about coming on as staff, and we are praying about them. Well, we are praying about two of them. God said no immediately to one of them. 🙂

On a sad note, we will probably be putting our dog down this next week. Her dementia has gotten worse and so has her snapping at people and the cats. Yesterday, I walked into the kitchen and she snapped (tried to bite) at me because I had walked toward hubby while he was holding some food she was hoping would drop to the floor. She is also in pain much of the time, and if she is hurting bad and we try to pet her she will also bite at us. It’s time. I think the kiddos will be spending next week at their friends’ house, and my daughter has requested that I get this done while they are gone.  Please pray for us, as this will not be easy. We’ve had her for quite some time.

In other trivial news…

My husband just realized yesterday that my hair is turning gray  white  silver. Yes, it is silver because it sparkles. 😉 Or maybe it’s white with glitter. 😀

He pulled a stray hair off my shirt yesterday. As he was throwing it away he kind of gasped, “Hey this is white!”  “No, it’s silver.” I told him. “It sparkles.”  Then he took a close look at the hairs that are attached to my head. “Wow, I didn’t realize! Look at your hair!”  Yes, dear…. I know.  My son put it much more gracefully and told hubby, “She’s showing her wisdom and experience.”  (Great save, son. Great save.)

I know, I know…

It has been half of forever since I have posted.

Life has, of course, been very busy – some with fun activities, and some with just life and work.

I will start with the fun stuff. 🙂

The end of last month our family went on a cruise with my parents, aunt, sister, and friends.

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It was soooooooo much fun. In fact, my husband – Mr. I don’t want to go on a ship – wants to take a longer cruise next time on a larger ship.   I knew he would have a good time.

The cruise line upgraded us to the Royal Family Suite because someone needed our rooms.

I think we are spoiled now. 😉
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We went to Coco Cay and enjoyed shopping and the beach there.

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We also went to Nassau. We did a little bit of shopping, but my favorite place to go in Nassau is Christ Church.

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It is beautiful!

I will purpose to write a post later this week to fill you all in on what we have been doing since we got back from the cruise and why.

Maybe some day this week I will go into the church so I can have good internet connection and be able to spend some more time on this. 😉

Have a great day!!!