Monday, August 30, 2010


Saturday evening, Rod and I were relaxing in the family room. I was on the computer and he had the TV on. All at once a storm warning interrupted the program. "Severe electrical storm warning through all of Maricopa County until 6:00 PM." I looked at the clock. It was 5:20 - "That's us!" I exclaimed. "WE are in Maricopa County." At that time, there was no wind, no lightening" I felt all safe and snug in my home. As I was cruising blogs, and peeking on on FaceBook, I heard a huge crashing noise. "CrrrrrAAASHHHHH!" What on earth...? (It was 6:00 straight up)Rod and I both jumped up. Seems that the electrical storm decided to target our yard. A strong wind had come up and it blew over a storage closet we had sitting in the middle of our back patio. It blew it over into the green house window in my kitchen and shattered it.
Rod moved quickly and threw the closet aside to assess the damage to the window. Looks like it bent the frame a little, too. Dang!
We were going to get rid of the closet, anyway. As part of our "refurbishing" we got rid of a bunch of "stuff" we didn't really need anymore, and the closet was one of the items.
Rod starts picking up the broken shards of glass and rescuing the objects that weren't broken.
I got out the utility knife and started cutting cardboard to cover the broken areas to keep the heat out.
This is now what I see when I glance out the kitchen window...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

All grown up and now to conquer the world!

Flashback: Nick showing off his homemade battery (6th grade)
Freshman year on the drum line.
Yes! Nick graduated from Cortez High School in May (I know . . . that was 3 months ago). But I still want to remember this important milestone event! He had such a great time at Cortez and did a fantastic job! This is the boy and the smile that I love to picture as he started his high school memories.
No longer a boy... "sniff" He really is all grown up! Wow - where did the time go?
Gotta show off the medals!
Nick, we are so proud of you!
Allen & Becca are celebrating right along with you!
Nick picks up his "real" diploma after all of the pomp and circumstance is over.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Memorial Day Camping

Rod and I love the Grand Canyon. We also love camping, which we have not done much because it is hard to take our car into the wilderness. But now we have a truck! So over Memorial Day (yes, I am very late in making this post) we went camping on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We took a forest service road and got as far away from other human beings as possible.
Yes, that is snow. It was FREEZING!!! But we made a huge fire and hunkered down for the night, snug in our little tent.
Our Coleman stove did not work, so we just cooked our dinner right on the open fire. Simple fare - weenies and beans. The were fabulous! And hot chocolate, too!
It really was not very comfortable because of the cold, but I would certainly do it again! The next morning, I got up and sat by the fire in the sunshine to warm up. As I was enjoying my book, I heard a noise that I had never heard before . . . I looked up and there was this huge, black bird flying by. The sound was his wings beating the air. It was my moment to commune with nature. Very cool!
Of course, we did go to the "tourist" place where the people are so we could view the canyon. There is nothing quite like it...
On our way home we drove past the Vermilion Cliffs. Very beautiful red rock country. There is no camera that can capture the grandeur or beauty of this place. I will treasure this little overnight getaway with my favorite guy forever!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Living in a construction zone - Part II

Here is a little background on our refurbishing: Eric (Rod's oldest son) and his wife, Em, had come for a visit in March. While they were here, Eric said they wanted to do something for us and he said they would come and lay some new tile floors for us. We had wanted to do this, but it is quite cost prohibitive to remove the old floor and have someone lay new tile. Because they were willing to do this, we decided to go for it! We set the date for the last week of June. Eric measured the rooms and let us know how much tile we would need to buy. We got more and more excited about the project and decided to paint several rooms, carpet the living room, and get new counters in the kitchen. Our counters were awful!! We have been in this house for 5 years and never done anything like this, so we were anxious to redecorate and make it ours. Now back to the project:
So .... we lived with concrete floors for two months, with tons of dust from the tile removal and painting. Nothing was where it should have been. During that time we did the painting, picked out new carpet and hired a cabinet maker to do our counter tops. At the end June, we had two wonderful visitors that came and went right to work! Eric and Em did not waste any time in starting in on getting things ready to lay the tile. The family room was so bare, and it would echo when we talked.
After all the thin set was chipped off the floor it had to be swept, vacuumed, mopped and then all of that done again so there wouldn't be any dust or sandy particles anywhere. Then they painted on the sealer. I was shocked that it was bright red!
This is what lies beneath...
Once the sealer was dry, they started in on laying the tile. Allen and Nick helped. They all worked so hard! They did a fantastic job! Here is what the entry way looked like right after the grout was done, before the tile was cleaned off and the mop boards replaced:
While the boys and Em were busy with the tile, Rod replaced some boards under the eve of the house in back. Actually it was sheet rock that should have been plywood. It was a mess! There had been some water damage, and when he pulled it down, there was a HUGE bird's nest. Those dang pigeons!
Rod did a really nice job on that little project. It turned out very nice.
Here is a close up of the carpet and tile:
This is a shot of the family room. Just look at that gorgeous floor - thanks Eric! I will never have to hide that with a rug like I did the one before! I also love the picture of the temple - thank you to my girls for the lovely gift!
Here is the living room right after the carpet was installed. They had to take off all the doors and we had to trim them to fit because the carpet was way more plush than the old one. It is way fun to walk barefoot in this thick, soft and amazing carpet!
Now all of the furniture is back where it belongs and there are actually some pictures back on the walls. I really hated to put nails into the beautiful paint job! Ha!
Truly - home, sweet home, my place of peace. I love to sit in here. It is so clean, and beautiful. I love the peach paint on the walls and how there is no clutter anywhere! Yes!
Here is the kitchen counter, and the new stainless sink. I love it!
I really wanted a sink that had one side bigger than the other so it would be easier to wash the big pots and pans. And did I mention that I love a stainless steel sink?
I am so pleased at how the tile matches the counters, the wood and the walls! And it is so wonderful to not have that nasty white tile anymore! We can never thank Eric and Em enough! And Allen and Nick, too! We always think of you when we comment on how nice our home now looks. You have totally blessed our family!
Be it ever so humble....
Truly my cup runneth o'er.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

We Are Responsible For Children...

Who put chocolate fingers everywhere, who like to be tickled, who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants, who sneak Popsicles before dinner, who erase holes in their math workbooks, who can never find their shoes.
And we are responsible for those who stare at photographers from behind broken windows, who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers, who were born in places where we wouldn't be caught dead, who live in an x-rated world.
We are responsible for children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions, who sleep with the dog and bury goldfish, who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money, who cover themselves with band aides and sing off-key, who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink, who slurp their soup.
And we are responsible for the ones that never get dessert, who have no safe blanket to drag behind them, who watch their parents watch them suffer, who can't find any bread to steal, who don't have rooms to clean up, whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser, whose monsters are real.
We are responsible for children who spend all their allowance before Tuesday, who throw tantrums in the grocery store, who pick at their food, who like ghost stories, who shove dirty clothing under their bed and never rinse out the tub, who get visits from the tooth fairy, who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool, who squirm in church, scream on the phone, whose tears sometimes make us laugh and whose smiles can make us cry.
And we are responsible for those whose nightmares come in the daytime, who will eat anything, who have never seen a dentist, who aren't spoiled by anybody, who go to bed hungry, and cry themselves to sleep, who live and move, but have no being.
We are responsible for children who want to be carried and for those who must, for those we will never give up for those who don't get a second chance, and for those we smother and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.
The above sentiments were give to our entire school staff by our principal on the first day of school yesterday. It made me get a huge lump in my throat. We have many underprivileged children at our school. If you look at them, each one is beautiful. Our responsibilities to children are huge. It doesn't matter if they are our own - the are all children of our Father in Heaven. My vow this new school year is to remember this - and to "mother" every child with whom I am fortunate enough to come in contact. Remember how much the Savior loved children...he admonished us to become as little children in order to enter the Kingdom of God.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Living in a construction zone - Part I

Early in May my house became a construction zone. Lots of stuff was moved into the garage:
Lots of stuff was out on the back patio:
We tore out the tile in the family room, kitchen, dining room, laundry room, and the little front entry way. Wow! Our back yard looks so bad! (PWT) And it just gets worse and worse throughout the project, cause lots of stuff got thrown away, too! This is what all of the floors looked like when the tile was gone. What a mess! We swept and vacuumed and mopped and swept some more to get up all the dust and broken pieces of tile.
Once all the grit was cleaned up it wasn't so bad. I just kept telling myself that it would be worth it when the whole project was finished. It was time to refurbish! We have lived in this house for 5 years now, and haven't done anything to it so we decided to bite the bullet and fix it up a bit. We decided to do the tile floors, paint, get new kitchen counters and sink, and new carpet! Yes!!
We taped off cabinets, rooms, and furniture to try to keep the dust from the tile removal to a minimum. Didn't help at all! We taped off lots of rooms in the house when we spray painted our vaulted ceiling in the living room - but there was still "paint dust" in every little nook and cranny. I even had to vacuum it out of the upholstery that was so carefully guarded- even moved out to the garage.
Nick was the best painter ever! He could sure use that spray gun! He did a FANTASTIC job on the ceilings. Who ever knew that sprayed cottage cheese ceilings could look so good!
There was lots of spray in the air! Glad we don't do this every day.
Then Rod and I attacked the walls and painted the family room, living room, hallway, and kitchen. It was lots of work. I would go to bed so dead-dog-tired at night. I sure can't work like I did when I was in my 30s! I can really feel the difference in my body! I was so sore after painting the ceiling in the kitchen, I didn't think I would ever recover! What a way to spend the second half of my summer vacation.
But I sure love the way the walls looked when the painting was done! Everything is so light, so beautiful! More to follow . . .