Sunday, December 20, 2015

We have windows!

After weeks of thinking they were going in, then they weren't, they were going in, but they really weren't, they're in -- finally!

Bless their hearts, the contractors worked all day yesterday (a Saturday to boot) and got all my gorgeous windows installed.

I wanted the look of steel without the steel price. True steel windows would have been the financial equivalent of purchasing another Porsche. No thank you.

The builder recommended the windows we used. They are aluminum clad made to resemble steel, and I think they look gorgeous.

Here's the front. That's Superman and Youngest on the front porch.

From the inside, the nearly floor-to-ceiling dining room windows turned out even better than I expected. It will be like dining in an orangerie. I can't wait!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Give me my windows, please!

It seems an eternity ago the second floor was framed and then the roof framed and decked. I assumed that windows would soon follow. I assumed wrong.

The contractors framed, then roofed, then went back to more framing. Just when I thought they were finally going to put in windows, they had to fire block, fur down, brace. They started and stopped the stairs, which I admit are very complicated, no less than four times. Everything but the windows.

Every time I turned around there was another load of lumber being delivered. But no windows.

The engineer came and checked things out, then the architect put his stamp of approval on it all. But still no windows.

Until a few days ago.

They're not done installing them, but almost. And they're gorgeous! Today they're finally putting in the beautiful arched windows across the front.

Window pics to follow soon.

Here's what the house looked like a couple days ago. That's Abby standing in front between the dining room windows. The picture is grainy since it was nearly dark when I took it.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Getting into the Christmas spirit

I've totally neglected the blog. Three reasons: all the issues regarding the construction of my dream home, trying to keep up with my husband's and kids's crazy holiday/end of the semester schedules, and all the time-consuming activities involved with getting into the Christmas spirit.

One of those super important time-consuming activities involved with getting into the Christmas spirit has been making sure Penny is dressed as one of Santa's elves.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Sun Deck minus the sun

Ever since we bought the lake house almost two years ago I've wanted a sun deck over the boat lift. Well, it's finally done. The dock renovation was the last phase of the lake house remodel, and it turned out better than we expected. 

The contractor completely rebuilt the boat lift which was sorely underpowered for today's heavy boats. They also rebuilt the bulk head, replaced the walkway along the water front, and added my sun deck.

It's ironic I still call it a sun deck when it's actually covered, but I'm not sure what else to call it. The heat in the summer is brutal, but with it covered, it's not only shaded from the sun, I had them add ceiling fans. 

Here's a picture just before it was finished. I love the way it looks like you're climbing into a tree house. Access is via a ramp off the porch of the boat house (which really isn't a boat house since we don't store any boats there - naming issues are a theme here). 

And here's how it looks from the bridge. 

This is the view from the house. Construction took a toll on the grass, but it's being replaced next week. I can't wait to get the boat and jet skis back.

Monday, November 23, 2015

House poetry

Slowly but surely we creep along,
my house construction and me;
No not a roof,
but siding, yes,
and look - a chimney.

(Note: It helps if you pronounce 'chimney' as three syllables.)

Alright, alright, not Longfellow,
nor Wordsworth, nor Frost, I be;
But we've got walls,
Next week it's windows,
Then a happy camper I'll be.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Finally a roof

Progress has definitely slowed on the house, or at least by appearances it has. But appearances can be deceiving.

There are certain phases during construction where it's hard to tell just what's being done, the later stages of framing being one of them. There's so much blocking and bracing to be put in. Door and window headers need special work. And on, and on.

We're in that stage now, but we've finally got a roof. Or, at least, a roofline. The decking is supposed to go up later this week. Then the contractors will dry it in with felt paper, so that even when it rains, construction can continue inside.

The standing-seam metal roof that's costing us a small fortune won't go on for over a month. But windows should go in in just a couple weeks. That will drastically change the appearance.

The windows on the first floor, flanking the front porch, are five feet wide and nine feet tall. They going to be stunning. I can't wait to see them installed.

But here's a look at where we are now. You can't see much of the roofline, I'm standing too close. But that's Superman on the front porch.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Still working on the second floor

The days of having a triple sized frame crew working on our house are gone. We are left with one crew which usually consists of four guys. And although they've been there consistently all day, every day, construction has drastically slowed.

The second story walls have been completed, and they are now working on ceiling joists, getting ready for roof trusses. Since they are engineered and constructed off site, the roof framing should go fast.

After the roof trusses are installed, the standing-seam metal roof will go on and windows put in. That will be a drastic leap forward in what the construction looks like.

Here's a look at the second floor. Look past the cars, but cars are good, they mean guys are working.

There's still no stairs framed, but Superman and I climbed the make-shift ladder the guys use to get to the second floor. It was scary, but worth it for a peek upstairs.

Here's Superman standing on the mezzanine upstairs near the guest bedroom. I'm standing on the mezzanine near the front windows. They haven't cut the curve in the floor yet.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Waiting for NANOWRIMO?

Ok, as much as it pains me, I admit I've neglected my book this last week (or two), and neglecting a book in progress is not a good thing to do. I understand why many writers write every day when they're working on a novel. It's easy to lose touch with the story.

When I write after setting the book aside for a couple days, I have to refresh my memory and reread a lot of what I was working on when I stopped. Then I consult my running outline, then I reread again. It's very counter productive.

It's as if, in my absence, the story had morphed into a flock of little birds. The longer the gap between writing sessions, the more little birds that have flown away that I have to gather back. 

Is that a self admission of being flighty? Quite possibly.

I got back on track yesterday, cranking out about 2,500 words. Chapter four is almost complete. I'm not waiting for NANOWRIMO, which is next month, incidentally.

Changing the subject, here's my latest used book store find that got me excited. A signed copy of Mary Higgins Clarks's Mount Vernon Love Story. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Working on the second floor

There's been an army of framers working on the house nearly every day for the last week. From the street, it looks like progress is creeping along. However, up close, it's an amazing thing to see.

There is more wood (and a little steel) in this house than I have ever seen being framed, and I used to build three-story townhouses. Everywhere I turn there are giant glue-lam support beams, blocking, extra bracing.

Every morning I drive by and count the number of cars and trucks. This gives me an idea of how many guys are working. Then I make a second pass to try and see what it is they're working on. I'm sure they wonder about the crazy lady in the white Navigator stalking them.

I don't stop when the guys are there working. I know I'd just be in the way. They quit work around 5:15, so every day around 5:30 I head over to assess the day's progress. From the street, it doesn't always look that impressive, but up close, their progress has been amazing.

Yesterday they began putting sub-flooring down for the second floor. They had also drawn the plan for the stairs, and mezzanine above, on the slab. Maybe they framed some of it today. I'm anxious to see.

I'm late for my daily assessment, so I gotta go.

Here's a pic from a couple days ago.

And here's Superman drinking coffee in our kitchen Saturday morning. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Putting up walls

We've got walls!

The rain early last week delayed pouring our foundation by a day, but after that, the guys made a big push to get the framing off to a strong start.

We're lucky the frame contractor is between big jobs and could put several crews on our house. The last house they finished was 26,000 square feet. I joked with the foreman that, at 6,456 square feet, our house was like doing a garage apartment. He didn't argue with me.

The good news is they hit it fast and furious and got a lot done quick. The bad news is, once their next job starts, which should be in a couple weeks, we will be left with only one of their frame crews, which is actually typical on a job our size. We're just getting lucky early.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures of what they've done so far.

This a a shot from across the street. Hard to tell what's what with that darned outhouse, but they tell me they need it, so it'll have to stay.

Here's the view as you walk in the front doors and look right. This is looking through the corner of the library, the great room, and back toward the master closet and master bath. It might take me a while to get used to the eleven-foot ceilings.

This is looking left from the front door, through the gallery and into the kitchen and breakfast area. The jungle of wood behind the kitchen is the pantry, home office, laundry room and garage.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Rain rain go away

Rain, rain go away; now we've got to pour the foundation another day . . .

The rain might be good for the trees (I've been hauling a water hose around from tree to tree for weeks), but the rain today has completely blown our schedule. The contractor was supposed to pour the foundation this morning.

The piers have been drilled and poured, the foundation beams have been dug out, plumbing lines set, the moisture barrier has been placed over the entire thing, and steel, yards and yards of steel, has been set, we've passed the inspections. Now all we need is concrete.

I haven't heard if the contractor was able to get it rescheduled for tomorrow, or if we're now pushed a couple days out. But I'll post pictures as soon as it's done.

I posted pictures taken from the street when the forms went up.

Here's a different view. This is from back to front.

Monday, September 21, 2015

College football in our future

I'm so proud and excited college football is in our future.

This weekend, Oldest verbally committed to play football for Colorado School of Mines. He attended Mines's football camp back in June and was offered a scholarship on the spot. It was quite an honor.

Now, after three months of researching the school, discussing the pros and cons (not many cons except that it's so far from home), and a visit this last weekend for campus tours and a football game, he's made up his mind. Mines it is.

USA Today has ranked Colorado School of Mines the #1 engineering school in the nation two years in a row. Quite an endorsement. And living in Houston, the energy capital of the United States, we were well aware of Mine's stellar reputation.

When it became apparent during the visit that Oldest had decided to commit, the Works hit the Mines bookstore pretty hard. We've now got t-shirts, caps, bumperstickers, coffee mugs, you name it. They said we were their best customer of the weekend.

Here's sweet baby boy (all 6'4" 245 pounds of him) after the game with one of the Mines's mascots. The other mascot is a live burro named Blaster--cutest dang thing ever. Notice the Colorado weather in the picture--64 degrees and sunny at game time. Colorado weather was definitely a pro.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Writing every day

It's amazing what happens when you write everyday--a book takes shape.

With the first couple chapters complete, seven scenes, exactly, like a form emerging from a heavy fog, I can see the image of a book taking shape. It's exhilarating.

I've introduced most of the main characters. Sprinkled in bits of backstory. Leaked morsels of information that hint at motive and means. Tossed in a bit of early sexual tension, and voila!

But it hasn't been a piece of cake. (Oops, a writer's not supposed to use cliches like 'piece of cake.' I'll work on that.)

I still struggle with pacing. Sometimes it's hard to slow my writing down. When I get into a scene and  am excited about the story, I tend to fire off dialogue too clip-clip-clip. So I often go back and look for places to expand the story where it needs it. Sometimes I add narrative to show emotion or describe setting. Sometimes it's to further develop character or heighten suspense. But I continue to struggle with pacing.

Another thing, one that's more uncomfortable than hard to get used to, is the time spent staring into space, fishing my brain for an idea, or just the right word or phrase. Is this normal? Am I the only writer that does this?

Hmm . . . I'll go with no.

I can't possibly be the only writer that spends time staring into space, but none of the interviews with bestselling authors that I've read mentions it. But how else can you explain an author like Stephen King, who says in his book On Writing that he writes four to six hours a day, and shoots for 2,000 words? He'd have to be a slower typer than my terrier mix to not have more than 2,000 words after four to six hours. So Stephen King must stare into space some. Right? Right.

Changing the subject a bit, there's something else I found interesting in King's book.  He says about reading, "The trick is to teach yourself how to read in small sips as well as long swallows." I've taken this bit of advice to heart when it comes to writing, as well as reading.

I learned early on that waiting until I had large chunks of time available to write was a mistake. Nothing got written. With three kids, three dogs, one husband, and a dream home under construction, I don't often have large chunks of time. I've taught myself how to write in sips. I think I'll find it an invaluable talent.

But enough time chronicling my life here, I've got to get back to daydreaming . . . I mean writing.

Here's Daisy daydreaming on the seat cushion behind me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Book Update - Feast and famine

This writing a novel thing is hard - really hard. At the beginning, I set a goal to write 2,000 words per day. So far, so good. far, so pretty good.

But it's the disparity between the times the words come so quickly that I can't type fast enough, and the times I sit and stare at the screen like an illiterate idiot incapable of stringing three words together, that's so surprising (and excruciating).

I've had writing sessions where I was able to knock out the 2,000 words in only a couple hours. Those are great. Those are the times that, when finished, I think, I got this. Shannon Work, novelist. Piece of cake.


There are the times it seems the lid to my treasure trove of ideas has not only been slammed shut, but nailed closed for ever. Yikes. That's when self-doubt creeps in and I wonder, Who am I kidding? I don't have the talent for this. What was I thinking?

But I keep going. And when I need to, I use words of wisdom from a couple favorite authors as a literary kick in the ass.
"I will beat it. I will wrestle it to the ground. It will not defeat me."  - Nora Roberts on never quitting on a  manuscript. 
"Learning to write is no different than leaning to play the guitar, or drive a car, or use a computer--the more you do it, the better you become...It takes work, hard work, lots of work and dedication." - Sandra Brown 
"There ain't no muse. If you sit around and wait to channel the muse, you can sit around and wait a long time." - Nora Roberts again. She's so quotable -- I love her. 
Here's one of my Nora stacks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

House Update - We have forms!

With a three month - I repeat, three month - delay in getting the city permit, we were finally able to start the foundation last week.

First, the contractors drilled, formed, and poured the piers, about 50 of them. Then they scraped clean the excess dirt from the pad. At this point, our lot looked like it had just gone in for hair plugs. Clusters of steel rebar appeared to sprout from the ground in linear rows.

Today, despite an early morning rain, contractors were able to set all the forms that delineate the perimeter of the house, including porches and garage.

Here's the left side. That's my dining room in front, kitchen behind it, and garage in the way back, farther to the left. (Work with me.)

Here's the middle. That's the entry porch, foyer, and gallery that extends the length of the house, front to back. (I know, I know, that back fence is hideous. I've got plans for it. Wait and see.)

Finally, the right side. That's the library in front, great room behind it, and my master closet to the far right with bedroom behind that.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hanging on to summer

Although the kids have started back to school, we're not quite ready to let go of summer just yet. So we're spending one last weekend at the lake before being consumed by all the activity that comes with fall. 

It's mid morning and Superman has the kids on the water for already the second time today.  I opted for quiet time on the deck with the dogs and the latest Sandra Brown novel. It doesn't get much better than this. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Busy Writing

Yes, that's right, I'm finally busy writing. Scenes. I'm writing real scenes.

I completed my running outline which ended up around 15 pages long. I listed out every scene in chronological order that I thought would serve the purpose of moving the plot forward, along with either delving deeper into character and motivation, or creating conflict.

So, now I write. And the pangs of self-doubt really set in. But I take inspiration from one of the suspense genre's greats, Elizabeth George, who wrote:

Am I kidding myself about being a "creative artist"? Can I possibly be a creative artist if I approach this effort in so methodical and left-brained a fashion?

It obviously works for Elizabeth George. I can only hope it might work for me as well.

To be continued...

Honestly, how am I supposed to get anything written with this one around?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Writing view today

I'm working hard to finish the running outline of my book, but here's the biggest obstacle I face today.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Update: Outlining with Scrivener

I recently read that Diana Gabaldon doesn't plot or take notes before she writes, that she starts a book and then researches as she goes. I'd sooner try assembling my SUV than assemble a plot while I wrote the book. Give me a manual every time. So I outline.

And there's no shame in outlining. Dan Brown does it. JK Rowling does it. In fact, best-selling suspense author Elizabeth George said, "Because I do all this work (outlining) in advance, I generally don't have to sit in front of a computer agonizing about 'what's going to come next'...I now can involve myself in the sheer artistry of writing."

Plus, outlining is fun. It's entertaining to sit and brainstorm an entire story, start to finish. It's challenging, but entertaining. It was like planning a great vacation and charting my travel route on a giant road map.

I did a lot of research while planning and outlining my book, research on book-related issues like setting and possible plot lines, and research on general how-to-write-a-novel info.

In all my how-to web surfing, I kept coming across posts on the writing software Scrivener. A little research on Scrivener and I was intrigued. It looked tailor-made for the way I write--and outline.

I downloaded Scrivener to my Mac, and, with Scrivener, set up character profiles, research pages, a step outline, and am now drafting a more detailed running outline for my book. All of these files are in a single Scrivener file, immediately accessible while I write. So far, so good.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Real Housewives and my master closet

Ok, I'm very late to the Real Housewives game, but I stumbled upon an Instagram post that tagged Yolanda Hadid Foster that piqued my interest. As usual, when I'm intrigued by something (or someone), I did a little internet research.

After a weekend of web surfing and binge-watching Season 3 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, mostly fast-forwarding to the segments that included Yolanda Foster, I'm a Yolanda fan.

Her story is compelling. A young dutch girl plucked from obscurity and thrown into the world of international high-fashion modeling. Now a successful, glamorous entrepreneur and mother of three, albeit one battling chronic lyme disease.

But what really intrigued me was Yolanda's relatively sensible and down-to-earth demeanor despite her Beverly Hills lifestyle of shallow friends, designer clothes and Hermes bags. Plus, she's 51 and still drop-dead gorgeous with a toned body I didn't have even in my 20's.

Ah, well, it's good to have a goal. I want the body, and maybe a Hermes bag.

In a promo video by Bravo TV I stumbled upon during my cyber stalking, er... research, Yolanda gives viewers a peek into her stunning home that she helped her architect design (well that sounded familiar). Being in the throes of designing and building my own dream home, I devoured the video of Yolanda's house, then watched it a couple more times. Aside from the Malibu ocean views, what appealed to me the most, gave me ideas I could incorporate into my own home, was her master closet.

I love that she has more shelves than rods. I, too, prefer stacking t-shirts and jeans to hanging them. And look at the fabulous shoe and boot racks, not to mention the seperate drawers for belts, active wear and lingerie. I think I'll incorporate several ideas from Yolanda's closet into my own.

Here are a few screen shots of Yolanda's closet.

I want this belt drawer.

My preference for more shelves and fewer rods is validated. See, you don't have to hang jeans and t-shirts.

Here's a shot from a video done for ET. Of all the closets I've posted on Pinterest, this is my favorite.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Book update: Tweaking the plot

Yes, I'm still plotting. There are a few kinks to work out, but my rough outline is virtual done. Finito.

The general storyline and characters are in place. The setting is determined. It's almost time to write. And that's why I'm nervous. I now feel the nascent pangs of self-doubt.

Am I kidding myself? Can I actually teach myself how to write a novel by studying the works of a handful of my favorite authors? Can studying their plot construction, characterization and conflict techniques, dialogue structure, even counting the number of scenes in each chapter, really reveal the mystery of how to write a novel?

I'm about to find out. 

In the meantime, I'm ecstatic about my recent find at a local used bookstore -- an autographed copy by one of my favorites.

I'm thrilled, but Penny's not impressed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My brain after a two week vacation

Don't get me wrong, I loved our two-week trip to Alaska. But two weeks is just a wee bit long for me to be gone.

I'll post pictures soon, but for now, I leave you a visual representation of how I feel my brain is functioning.

This is an email my sister sent me years ago that I've kept because I find it so fascinating. And right now I find it a pertinent reflection of my limited cognitive ability.

Vacation pics posted soon.

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 in waht oredr the ltteersin a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht thefrista nd lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you
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Friday, July 31, 2015

Lake house remodel update

The lake house remodel is coming along great. I was a little nervous, but the expensive decision to have stucco applied over the ugly gray brick worked out fabulously. The stucco really makes the new windows and front door pop. 

Now all we need is a little landscaping and some grass. I meet with the landscape designer tomorrow. I wonder if he'll like the plan I already drew up. (I'm sure I drive my designers crazy.)



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dreaming of a Kitchen

This is a hard one. There are so many kitchens I've come across that I love, but which one to live with?

My current kitchen has wonderful distressed-black cabinets, limestone backsplash, Giallo Ornamental granite counters and mostly Viking stainless appliances. I love it, but again, like my dining room, I think the new kitchen will be vastly different - yet strikingly similar. Figure that one out.

I'm leaning toward traditional white cabinets, but with a more modern door style.

Here's the kitchen I'm leaning towards, but maybe with a few more stainless appliances to up the modern factor.

Here's my current kitchen.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dreaming of a Dining Room

Dining rooms are often among the most dramatic rooms in a house. And although they don't get used very often, ours is used mostly for doing homework, I think they are an important element in establishing the civility of a home. They're meant to impress, and I think they should.

I love my current dining room. The walls are painted a deep red that sets off dark, carved wood furniture, an assortment of crystal bowls, and a crystal chandelier. I also have a collection of Boehm plates with depictions of various American birds that hang in groupings around the room. The plates were handed down to me from my great-grandmother. Although some of our current furnishings won't make the move with us, my bird plates definitely will.

Although I love the deep red of my current dining room, I've had a red dining room for almost 20 years, so it's probably time for a change. Since the rest of the house will be warm neutrals like I'm planning for the master suite, I'm thinking something similar for the dining room would be nice. And a light, airy dining room should contrast nicely with a dark library across the gallery.

Here's a color pallet I'm considering. I loved this dining room when I came across it on Pinterest.

Here's the plan for my new dining room. I love that it will have two sets of large, arched 5' x 9' double doors on two of the walls that will bathe the room in natural light.

And here's what my dining room looks like now. Thankfully the new one will be much larger.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dreaming of a Master Suite

Things are moving a bit slow on the house. The plans have stalled at the city for permits, but my builder assures me we'll get them any day and are ready to start the foundation. The City of Houston permitting office has come back for an endless array of requests, additions, deletions. Thankfully none have required any major change in the plans.

In the meantime, I still sift through oodles of pictures in magazines and on Pinterest. Here's what I'm thinking for the master suite.

I love the colors and textures of this master bedroom. It's similar to the way I have my master done now, so it won't be a radical change. A couple updates and a few purchases and I should be able to pull off something similar (minus the dog, of course, since I already have three).

And here's my favorite idea for a master bath that I've come across. Very warm, neutral colors that I think will go well with the bedroom idea. Sorry, I can't find the picture in higher resolution.

And last but not least, the master closet. I've never had a great closet and am really looking forward to having a large one. I love the way this closet incorporates lots of shelving as well as rod space. And of course, I'll need  lots of room for my large collection of cowboy boots.

Here's a picture of the master suite on the plans. I can't wait to see it built.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book Update - It's all about motive

I've been plotting. Really, I have. But it's a lot harder than you think. And with all the goings on this summer with my kids, it is taking much longer than I had anticipated.

Luckily, ideas are not in short supply, it's just tying all those ideas together that I find tricky.

See, there has to be motive for all action. I've got an abundance of ideas on what happens, but it's finding the characters motive that gets tricky. She does this, but why does she do this? That is the question. And motivation determines the power of the story. Will it be a hit? Or a miss?

I've read plenty of books where characters do unbelievable things. Actions and emotions that seem completely out of character, where no motivation is obvious. And these are very dissatisfying stories for me.

In fact, I'm currently reading a book by a mega-bestselling author (No, not one of my faves, Nora Roberts or Sandra Brown, a different mega-bestselling author) and it's taking a herculean effort in willpower to continue plodding through and not tossing it aside unfinished. The characters seem to float from scene to scene, reacting, not acting. Motivation is not driving the plot.

Another problem I'm having plotting my book is the issue of needing a certain character in a certain place at a certain time, but not yet knowing why that character is there. I just need him there, dammit! But of course that won't be enough for a good story. There has to be motive for everything.

In the meantime, I'll keep reading the underwhelming tome by the mega-bestseller. After all, there are lessons to be learned from reading bad books as well as good ones. But here's what I plan on doing with it when I'm finished...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Back to the lake

We haven't been able to get to the lake as much as we would've liked this year. Only three trips. But what a great trip this past weekend to make up for it.

The kids tubed and wake-boarded. I got in a couple naps and finished the Nora Roberts novel I was reading. And then there were the fireworks, approximately $1k in fireworks launched off our dock. It was quite a show.

We had three extra kids in tow, so six teenagers total. The amount of food consumed could have fed a small nation for a day. Donuts, breakfast tacos, cookies, hot dogs, and that was just breakfast.

With the clock ticking closer to Oldest flying the coup, these precious moments spent with the kids making memories as a family are extra special.

It really was a great weekend.

Oh, the dogs loved it, too. Here's Penny on the deck. I wish I was there now.

Monday, June 29, 2015

She's back

Middle spent the last week in New Orleans on a youth mission trip. Nearly a hundred high school students and adult leaders from our church spent the week renovating houses and cleaning yards in the ninth ward.

She said a highlight was attending a black church where the choir gyrated and danced with the music, and the preacher "yelled." "It was just like in the movies," she said.

Other highlights were getting to stay in dorms on the Tulane campus and the beignets. Of course, the beignets.

But they got back last night, and I was so glad to get her home.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fabulous Colorado

Oldest and I had a wonderful trip to Colorado. He participated in two football camps while we were there. One at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, and the other at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

And it was a very successful trip. Immediately following camp last Friday, the football staff of Colorado School of Mines offered Oldest a spot on their football team. That was fast! And what an honor. One of the top engineering schools in the United State  has asked Oldest to attend.

We were impressed with the campus and its setting in the gorgeous foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and with the football staff and athletic facilities. What a fun surprise to find out how much this renowned academic institution values its athletics. It would be a great place for Jordan to play.

 How fun to think the charming, old mining town of Golden, Colorado might be in our future.

Look at the beautiful view of campus and the athletic fields from the top of neighboring Lookout Mountain.