Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Finished Yard Project

The yard project is finished, praise the Lord! We started last fall with creating a garden spot. That became two raised garden boxes which led to taking out more of the grass which led to more landscaping which led to...

well, you get the idea.

Here are the before and after pictures. Let me say up front that I didn't always remember to take the "before picture" until some of the transformation had already occurred. I also didn't take the same angles in the before and after. But for the most part, you can tell how much work we did. (I'm using "we" sorta loosely here. We all did have a part in the transformation, but for the most part, Steve was the visionary, laborer and finisher.)

This is the north side of the yard about halfway through the transformation:

Here's how it looks today:

If you look straight out my back patio door, this is what you used to see:

This is what I see now:

Before the garden boxes:

This is the whole south side, including the garden on the right side of the picture (just left of house):
This is looking towards the elementary school and the gate where my kids walked to school:

Now this is what that area looks like:

My camera does 180 degree pictures so this is the whole of the backyard in two shots (click on the pictures to get the big version):

It took a lot of blood (Steve's finger is mostly healed), sweat and tears to complete this project. We (again, loosely applied) did all of the work except the curbing. It is so beautiful to sit at the picnic table and see what this place turned into. I love that God gave us so many kinds of trees, shrubs, flowers, colors, and textures. He could have made them all the same. But in His beauty and creativity, he graced us with such amazing different details. Praise Him with me! Thanks for your encouragement throughout this whole work. Anytime you want a live tour, come on over. I'll have a glass of iced tea for you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #16

Well I was hoping for a quiet, calm, relaxing last week before school started again. Didn't happen. School starts Wednesday and this week will be busy, too. Fall sports start as well: volleyball for my girl and football for my son. This will be a fun busy and I look forward to their games.

My niece, Brittney, is living with us for awhile. She will be 21 next month and will be doing an internship here in our valley. Brit has brought a lot of fun, smiles and joy to our home these last two weeks. She is also a great and eager worker. It is hard to be miles away from your family and friends but she is being a good sport and is willing to get involved. I pray one day she will look back on her time with us as a great memory and a place where God revealed more of Himself to her.

As I think about how much change we are involved in, it can get overwhelming to me. I don't like to be stagnant, but constant change is stressful. Through it all, though, I know this:

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Heb 13:8 NIV

He is the same and always will be. His love for us doesn't change, his message doesn't change, his desire for relationship with us remains his priority and always will. It could be easy to take that for granted and go on day to day doing my own thing. There is great peace, strength, stability and assurance in that verse. That is what I want to focus on these next two weeks. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Praise His Name.

What are you thinking about this week? Thanks for being faithful on your memorization. You will be so blessed, I hope you've felt so already this year. Remember, leave your verse in the comments.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Family, Part 2

I've been away for a couple of days because our internet service was not connecting with the wireless router and the boys were away at Man Camp so the girls chose to play for the weekend. This evening I spent 39 minutes with a woman at the help desk who had me "kindly open my web browser" and then "kindly type this address in the bar" and "kindly reconnect my modem with my router" followed by "kindly restart your computer". Then, TA-DA! Once again connected with the whole world wide web. bliss.

Here are some more pictures from our family week:

We went to the mountains and did some of this...

a lot of this...

some of this...

and quite a bit of this...

Now, we are all back to our own homes with great memories of another summer week together. Rested, rejuvenated. Our home is resisting the idea of this being our last full week of summer vacation. School starts the 18th. *sigh* It went way too fast.

Kindly press pause.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Family Time

Hi there! It's me!


Is this thing on? (tap, tap)

Remember me? The Idaho mom? The one who's been working on her backyard project for half of forever (we have finished!!!! pictures soon!!!)? The one who went to Mexico in June? The one who is writing this late at night because she has trouble sleeping? Remember? Oh, good.

Hi! Thanks for tuning in. :)

So last week was spent with my family: brother and sis-in-law & nieces from Mexico as well as my parents from Phoenix. Here's some pictures of the first half of our week.

My mom with her granddaughters:

My mom finding her inner child:

We did waaaaay to much of this:

My sister and I were given all the apples we could pick from two different (& awesome) friends so we spent one day making applesauce. I had to use just about every bowl in my kitchen. We ended up with 58 quarts to share between us. Let me just say there is nothing in the world like homemade applesauce. Nothing.

Me, my sister, my mom and my sis-in-law with the fruits of our labor:

There will be more pictures to come from the second half of our week. I promise not to stay away so long next time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #15

Lately I've been hearing about bad things that have happened to good people. I have been overwhelmed with the evil in this world. In my efforts to transform my mind, these circumstances can be too much for my thoughts. I keep going back to this verse from Philippians 4:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. (vs 8)

I've been wanting to commit this verse to memory for quite some time and this is the time. When evil, discouragement, criticism, or any bad thing threatens to overwhelm me, I am to refocus my mind on what is true, lovely, pure, admirable, etc. It has helped me immensely this past week when those horrible stories want to replay in my mind. Focus on what is good, what is truth. He is good. He is truth. Praise His name.

Share your verse in the comments. Come back in a day or two for pictures from our family week!