Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bouquets Unseen

"Brightly colored sunsets and starry heavens, majestic seas, and fragrant fields and fresh-cut flowers are not even half as beautiful as a soul who is serving Jesus out of love, through the wear and tear of an ordinary, unpoetic life. The most saintly souls are often those who have never distinguished themselves as authors or allowed any major accomplishment of theirs to become the topic of the world's conversation. No, they are usually those who have led a quiet inner life of holiness, 
having carried their sweet bouquets unseen, 
like a fresh lily in a secluded valley on the edge of a crystal stream." 

This quote is from today's reading of Streams in the Dessert. I loved it because it made me instantly think of so many people in my life who are "serving Jesus out of love, through the wear and tear of an ordinary, unpoetic life." Namely our pastors! 

(Beautiful and fitting photo by my son in law, Evan)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


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!

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)


(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...


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!