Monday, July 30, 2007


To us!

Happy Anniversary - 18 years of loving each other.

(Actually, it was yesterday, but better late than never!)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

More Reunion Pics

Andy and John, the grill masters

Two of the prettiest women I've ever known...

Julia plays a ninja, or as my mom said, a 'bandit.'

I thought the hammock would collapse under these guys!

Tim has a stream flowing around his patio area, and the kids played in it for hours.

Talking under the pergola.

Lisa and Suzetta, sisters

A loud bunch of kids, 1st and 2nd cousins

Lisa with little baby Alexis, only 4 weeks old - the great-grandbaby at the reunion

A happy group, mom, daughter, hubby, brother

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I've been at ...

A great family reunion!

Here are the two elder statesmen: Bob and Bill

Our lovely matriarchs, Lois, JoAnn, and Ann. The middle one is MY MOTHER!!

Here is one of our endless, extremely painful group shots. My cousin Tim's great log home is behind us. We had a great time there.

And HERE are the Fab Five - the female cousins (Erin, Suzetta, MK, Lisa, Robin). We were always greatly outnumbered as children, because Robinsons tend to have LOTS of boys. We all made up for it by being highly assertive. I'm back home now. It was a whirlwind weekend!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Oven & Art

Adam poured some concrete for his oven. Philip says this project looks different from the others because it actually looks measured :)

Julia drew a robin red-breast.

Here she's working on a yellow bird. She loves to draw.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

8th Birthday

After a swim, the girls are showering off. I had to mop up the bathroom floor.

Just before opening the presents.

Julia loved her 2 beanie babies - the flamingo and the penguin.

She asked for Mississippi Mud Cake. It's also Philip's favorite, and he's had it on his birthday for years - a great recipe.

Make a wish!

Sadly, 2 of the girls decided not to stay for the sleepover, because they were homesick - their first time to sleep over at a friend's house. Oh well. Still, they had fun!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Easy Set Day

Easy Set Pool. 16 ft. wide, 3 1/12 ft. deep. On sale at WalMart for $170.
Our YMCA membership has been a disappointment this summer, so this is our next option - cooling off in our own backyard!

The biggest problem with these pools comes if the ground isn't level. Our whole yard slopes, so Adam and Peter dug and redistributed, to get a level circle.

Julia and her friend inspect the first inches of water.

It was slow going. This thing holds 3700 gallons of water.

8:30 this evening - still not full. Hopefully, we'll swim tomorrow, after we've treated it for the first time, and gotten the pump running.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What's buried in YOUR yard?

So, I have to write about our P.O. - our previous owner. The old guy who lived in this house before was a gardener, of sorts. He liked to root things, and put them in the ground. Besides plants, he also grew lots of metal, plastic and rocks. We know this because we are finding LOTS of it in the yard.

Metal bars and poles, sometimes upright, but sometimes a foot under. Metal cable. Saddest of all - in the big tree - there is metal wiring and electrical wiring running through the base of the tree - he must have put it in there years ago! How bizarre!

He put plastic into his ground at an amazing rate: plastic sheeting, plastic cords, plastic planter cartons, plastic grocery bags.... You name it - if it is plastic, he thought it looked good in dirt.

Rocks and bricks. Now, rocks are a natural thing in the dirt, but his are flat pavers, put into the ground vertically. Randomly. Go figure.

I hate to say this, but I'm just wondering how long it'll be before we dig into something...scarier? Are all his family members accounted for? I wonder.

Backyard continued

Here is the work horse - what a huge help!
G. - I thought you'd like to see your buddy!

And the area around the big tree looks LOTS better.

The footer is coming along. Lots of big roots and heavy clay.

We will definitely need more bricks than this, for Adam's bread oven.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dirty and Clean

See that lovely CLAY? Peter's working hard to dig the footers for Adam's new bread oven.

Strong boy. Those young parents out there - if you're wondering why you EVER had all these screaming, messy babies, this is why: in 12 years, they will do the hard work.

Anna got a new haircut today. And she needed a laundry bag for camp - tada! You can't see it, but the fabric has little crescent moons on it. Made it myself. She threaded the tie through the casing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Our projects

Adam's Bread Oven

He has staked out his four corners. He's viewed his DVD instructional video with 270 pages of written instructions. He's ready to begin! In the fall, we will have fabulous pizza. I'll keep you abreast of his progress. He's collecting bricks.

The Horrible Pile.

This pile around the big tree is slowly diminishing. Adam's hauling it away to the dump, one load at a time. That's the rototiller, dead. This really is a nice tree, as you'll see later.

I'm almost 1/4 though Tale of 2 Cities. Just starting Fathers and Sons, although I've read it recently, I think. Maybe part of it. I'll let you know when I finish Tale, with all the teaching notes on each and every chapter.

Ready to hit the books!

Well, I've been reading at a rather plodding rate thus far. I'm well rested, have travelled and sung, and now it's time to sit in my little corner in the living room and get to work for the coming school year! This is my 'short stack' of stuff to read in the next 4 weeks or so. I must also peruse my textbooks and schedule my semester. I've already picked out the students' poetry memorization for the semester, and made those copies today.

The GREAT news is that all the classes I teach next spring are repeats of ones I teach this fall, so the school year should end rather easily.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A day on the lake

This was the view from the hammock.... We had a Sunday afternoon of relaxation at the lakeside home of some friends in our church.

Julia enjoyed finding shells on the edge of the lake.

Adam chats with Ron.

Mr. Don, the grill master. We have a WONDERFUL church family!

We're so fast!

Carolyn didn't believe that blogging was FAST! This took me mere moments, from taking her pic, to posting it here.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A great music conference

Bonclarken, 2007
Here's our adult rehearsal, with Lucy Ding - she's in the yellowish dress. What a great lady!

Here's a shot of the high school choir - about 75 young people. Considering how 'un-cool' it is to sing these days, I was blown away by this. They did a great job. Anna was in this choir.

And here's the adult choir, in the building where we had our Friday night concert - about 85 people. Can you believe I got them for my 'back up' choir, while I got to jive to gospel? We were all swaying and clapping by the end, the room (of 900 people) were standing, and the highschoolers were jiving with us! The song was "Witness for the Lord."

The theme this year was Missions, so there were many songs from around the world, in various languages.

If the ARP is the presbyterian world's best-kept secret (and I think it is), then this wonderful annual conference (49th year) is also. The PCA has NOTHING like it. I wish the PCA would put into their conference center the devotion and attention that Bonclarken gets. It is the denominational living room - everyone goes there. Ridgehaven, unfortunately, is the PCA's red-headed step-child.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Three rehearsals a day. Big, high music. I am WIPED OUT! I haven't really sung anything much in about 2 years, and suddenly jumping into high musical gear is taxing. I hope I have some energy left tomorrow evening! My voice seems to be holding up. Once it gets warmed up (after the second rehearsal...) it's good to go. I can't WAIT until after the concert tomorrow night. Then, I'll have the pleasure of doing the solo, and having it be over too.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fun at Music Camp

Monday night we enjoyed the skills of a great ventriloquist. He liked to pick on a few chosen persons in the audience. Unfortunately, Adam and I were on the front row. Did we ever get picked on! I got flirted with by a dirty-old-man puppet. What a hoot!

Julia experienced cotton candy for the first time :)