Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Projects

Since Bill was gone for a large part of the past two years, not many projects got done around our place. I was in maintain mode. But now that Bill is on shore duty (wooohoo!) we are getting some things done.

The first thing was our fence. I didn't take a before picture... but just imagine a 30 year old fence with significant termite damage! It wasn't pretty. Our good friend, Ed, took on the job and built us a beautiful 4 1/2 foot fence. What a huge difference it made to our yard and the look of the whole house! While Ed was working on the fence, another good friend, Tom, removed part of an old boat or RV driveway that was taking up a large part of our back yard. Now we have a better area to put our garden this summer. 

driveway removal

new garden area

fence materials

beautiful new fence
(and Amanda's sweet puppy)
 
 
Project 2:
 
We have lived in this house for over four years now, and since the beginning, we have wanted to fix a design flaw. The laundry room is right off of our kitchen, which is a great place for it. The only problem was that the door opened in against our refrigerator, which was VERY inconvenient.
 
 
 
The only way to get the door to open the other way, out into the laundry room, was to remove the old door frame and put a new one in. It's not a project Bill had ever done before but he "rolled up his sleeves" and went to work.
 
 
 
 
 
It turned out perfect! The only real challenge was to get it level so the door wouldn't rub. Bill did a great job! I am so happy with the way it turned out! I am in and out of the laundry room all the time. Having the door blocking or banging in to the fridge was a nuisance. Problem solved! Yay!
 
And finally, our most recent project was inspired by Pinterest. Our garage is pretty much for storage and a "catch all". It was getting so cluttered and messy. So messy that I was too embarrassed to even take a before picture of the whole garage. But I did take a small picture of the corner that got the Pinterest make over.
 
 
This is just a stack of plastic boxes that didn't look too terribly bad. However, it was hard to get in to the boxes if I needed something out of one that was at the bottom of the stack. So, while browsing on Pinterest one day, I came across a link for an industrial shelf to store them on. I showed Bill and he said it would be a piece of cake to build. So, to my delight, this is what the corner looks like now.
 

Now, I can easily get to all the boxes. While he was at it, he also took down the ugly mini blind that was falling apart and put a frosted film on the window so there is no need for blinds now. It looks much better. And of course, having that corner all cleaned up and organized, motivated us to clean out the rest of the garage. It is a great feeling to be getting these things done that have been on hold for more than two years.

Next on the list... the Garden. I can't wait!
 
 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day


 "They fell,
but o’er that glorious grave
Floats free the banner
of the cause
they died to save." 
~Francis Marion Crawford


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Piano Finale

Tonight we attended Amanda's final piano recital. She has been taking lessons at Music & Arts for eight years, with piano teacher, Debbie Derleth. It has been a wonderful journey and the piano has become such a big part of our life.


Here is a look at the journey.

Amanda's 1st recital at 9 years old



2nd Recital

O Holy Night Piano Solo at 6th grade
Chorus concert at Brandon Middle School



Oh yeah! Post-recital ice cream
became a tradition!

Billy and Amanda have played
for lots of family get togethers!


More Ice Cream!

Brother and sister session

Another piano solo
at a school Christmas concert

A few of Amanda's
original compositions




This recital picture was taken while
Debbie was battling breast cancer.
She kept teaching her students
all the way through it!
Praise God she won the battle!

Amanda playing at her
great grandma's 100th birthday!

Last year's recital, May 2011

 



And the Finale...

Amanda giving flowers to Debbie!
"Thanks Debbie, for 8 wonderful years!"

And the Finale!

 
So proud of you Amanda!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Randomness

I haven't had much to blog about for a while so here's a little randomness.


Carolina brought one of her baby goats to church recently. The baby was one day old. I had never seen a day old goat before that Sunday morning. Isn't it SWEET!!! Thank you, Carolina!




It is that wonderful time of year again. Garden time! I planted my garden a few weeks ago. I decided on a new addition this year... snow peas. I've never planted them before. I was delighted to see that they were the first seeds to sprout.




There's nothing like seeing a seed you planted come to life! From each of the little seeds, I should get a WHOLE BUNCH of peas. And that makes me think of a Bible verse


"Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." Matthew 13:8 



And speaking of growing... I've been trying to grow my hair out; particularly my bangs. I have attempted this many times in the past and have always given up and gone back to my old style. But I think I'm actually going to achieve it this time and I finally found a picture of what style I think I'd like. It's not very drastic so I think I might be able to do it eventually.



I recently ordered this really super cute tote bag from Etsy. It's the first time I've ever ordered anything from Etsy. I saw it on pinterest and thought it would be really nice for carrying my Sunday school materials and as an all purpose tote. I can't wait to get it in the mail!



And this recipe was another great pinterest find...


I thought it looked too good/easy to be true. But it is true! I have made two loaves already and they are wonderful! Sometimes I buy a rosemary and olive oil artisan loaf from the grocery store but it costs almost $4. I made this recipe using fresh rosemary from my garden and a little olive oil in with the water and this is how it turned out! I am very excited about this bread! I think I will half the recipe because it does make a rather large loaf. Amanda and I don't need that much bread, no matter how yummy it tastes. Haha! 



Another new and nifty find...



These things are like shower caps for a bowl or dish, LOL! But wow, they work great! No more fighting with plastic wrap. I let my bread raise in a stainless steel bowl. And you know plastic wrap will NOT stick to stainless steel. Well this little "shower cap" worked like a charm. And I just washed it and dried it after I used it (since it didn't get dirty or even touch any food or anything) so it is reusable and will last a long time.

While I was at Walmart yesterday, I found this cute little caddy that holds mason jars. My mom in law gave me some antique blue Ball Mason jars last year that I really really love. So when I saw this caddy, I knew a couple of them would fit nicely and look super cute on my counter.


And one more random note...

Bill started a photo a day blog, which I am thoroughly enjoying! Here is the link if you'd like to check it out... {Photo a Day} I actually click on it a few times a day, LOL, even though I know there is no new picture yet. I miss him... what can I say?! Anyway, today he posted a picture of himself next to the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the entire world. It is in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


An interesting bit of trivia Bill told me is that this is the building that Tom Cruise scaled in the latest Mission Impossible movie. And it is interesting that he did all the stunts himself... dangling from the actual building!!! Crazy!!!



OK, so that's enough randomness for one day... or week or...   


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bill's Big Fat Greek Port Visit

The "Big E" pulled into port in Piraeus, Greece this past Wednesday. Here is the view from Bill's camera lens.



When they arrived, Bill was able to leave the ship to do some site seeing around Athens. His initial impression was that it was old and dirty, yet fascinating. I know he enjoys visiting different places and experiencing their culture. And I have the privilege, once again, to travel with him, via his camera lens.


So here goes...

*Note: You can click on pictures to enlarge them... and descriptions are under each picture.

Mount Lycabettus (Known for being the highest point in the city)


 
The Church of the Metamorphosis (Ancient Monastery)


 
Thission Temple (aka Temple of Hephaestus)
Construction began in 449 BC and is the best preserved ancient Greek temple
 which stands largely as originally built.


A helpful diagram of the Acropolis for reference

"The term acropolis means upper city and many of the city states of ancient Greece are built around an acropolis where the inhabitants can go as a place of refuge in times of invasion. It's for this reason that the most sacred buildings are usually on the acropolis."
-from Matt Barrett's Athens Survival Guide



View of Acropolis from Areopagus Hill

More on Areopagus Hill later...


 
Front and back of the Theater of Herod Atticus
(aka Odeon of Herodes Atticus. A stone theater on the south slope of the Acropolis, built in 161 AD by Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife. It was used for concerts and held 5,000 people)

 

View up the north side of the Acropolis

 

Flowers growing on the north side of the Acropolis

 

Temple Of Zeus ruins from the east side of the Acropolis

 

Erechtheion (Another ancient temple of false god worship.
Erechtheion was mentioned in Homer's Iliad as a great king of Athens)

 

Parthenon
(Temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena. Construction began in 432 BC)

 

Areopagus Hill (aka Mars Hill)
-Taken from the top of the Acropolis-
This is where Paul preached and
Dionisius the Aeropagite was converted
How neat to stand where the Apostle Paul preached!

 

Placard on Areopagas Hill
Bill said we need our friend, Soula, to translate it for us

 

Olive Trees Everywhere!

 

Typical street in Plaka (section of Athens)

 


Meat Market (YIKES!)


Stray dogs everywhere

 

A Shop


 

A Cafe where Bill got this...

Gyro...Yummmm!


Olives from the open market
(Bill said the best ones are called Agrinion olives which are cured in lemon water.)

 
And for my favorite part of his Greek visit...

Face Time! Bill was able to Face Time me on our iPhones from a local Starbucks, there, on two different days. It was so good to hear his voice and see his face! Here is a screen shot from his second call, on Friday.


Gotta LOVE technology!


And finally, for the mushy stuff... LOL!

Last year while Bill was deployed, he took this picture in Portugal and sent it to me on Valentine's Day.


It was just graffiti that was spray painted on the side of a house, but it meant the world to me.

Well, this morning I woke up to this in my inbox...


More graffiti...

Bill's way of sending me a flower from Greece!


Seems like we have a graffiti trend going... LOL!

I ♥ IT!