Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Today Rachel and I made a visit to a famous location of missionary lore--the Boutique Formal Room. As you gain access to this hidden and well-guarded chamber, you step into an expanse of tulle and taffeta, satin and sequins, and layers of lace and beads adorning a raft of Cinderella dresses. All organized by color. Another whole wall awaits those girls whose Prince Charming has recently awoken them with a kiss (wait!--am I mixing fairy tales here?) and a promise to love them forever as they travel the globe together--even if he can't afford a diamond ring. And she, being the practical type, is happy enough to wear a used gown and turn it back in to await the next lady lucky enough to head for the field not an old maid.

Yes, there are wedding gowns, veils with headpieces, bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride/groom dresses, flowergirl dresses, tuxedos, silk flower bouquets, beaded purses, shoes of every glamorous color you can imagine, strange undergarments to hold things in (or not) under the dresses, and don't forget those pens that have that two-foot feather sticking out of them to sign the guest book. All for free. The only requirements for shopping at this exclusive bridal boutique are a lifetime membership in WBT and a degree in donor relations (just kidding about that last part). Oh, and it also helps if you aren't especially picky.

Anyway, back to my point. Rachel and I found some shoes that might work for the wedding we will be participating in in early August.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


More wild creatures trying to get into my house! Actually, it has been over a month since we've had any rain, so these animals may be coming to get a drink of the cat's water on the deck.

In other news, Rachel has decided to go on a missions trip with the singles group at our church. They've been planning this trip for a year, while Rachel was away at college, and have been doing fund-raising this whole year. At the last minute they had two people drop out, so Rachel decided the Lord was presenting her with this opportunity. The trip is July 9-17, to Los Angeles, working with the homeless with an organization called Center for Student Missions. They will be working in soup kitchens and with homeless children at Boys' and Girls' Clubs. Pray for her if the Lord brings her to mind.

Gary is off on his third trip in three weeks soon. He gets to visit David in DC and go to a Nationals' game. He'll be doing some work at the Library of Congress, helping them with language names. Then to Boston for a conference on endangered languages.

David is wrapping up his job at the National Cancer Institute. He will start his drive home on July 5. It will be nice to see him again, but he won't be home long as he will be off to Houston to secure housing for his move there to start medical school on July 25.

And Andrew's latest news is that he has managed to secure VAT tax exemption for his USAID project. He was happy about that.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Quiet night around here, except for this visitor.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

New Photos

I'm taking part of the morning off work, since I have to go to DFW at 11 and pick up Gary. I used the time this morning to finish uploading some photos of Rachel's graduation to my website.

Speaking of websites, Rachel may be trying to make her own website too. She got a digital camera for a graduation gift, so she needs a website to show off her photos. I know barely anything about how to do it, so it shouldn't take long for me to teach her that much, huh? We've found a place on the internet with interactive html examples, so even beginners like us can get a start. (And lucky for us, we've got a resident expert to give us some help when we need it--if he isn't off on a trip somewhere.)

Rachel is continuing her job search, but nothing much is happening with that at the moment. The kind of job she wants for the first year, elementary instructional aid, is hard to come by. And transportation is an issue. So pray for her regarding those two items if the Lord brings her to mind.

In other news, the air conditioning guy was back again yesterday for over seven hours, installing the heat pump-to-propane furnace switch and a variable speed blower. We also made him redo one of the vents they put in which didn't open and close easily. And Rachel went to the dentist for a filling so we had to go out for a milkshake for lunch. And I'm trying to get a newsletter out, nearly done with that. And I'm still working on finding the perfect cheesecake recipe. My latest idea to bake it in a water bath didn't work because the springform pan was too big to fit into the roasting pan. OK, enough chatter. I need to do some stuff even though I didn't go to the office.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Gary is off to Calgary until Thursday noon.

I woke up at 3am with a migraine this morning, so we ended up skipping church so I could recover. I'm OK now, but need to sleep.

Other than that, not much news. I stood in line for an hour to get my driver's license renewed this past week, and I'm still working on finding a dress to wear to Andrew's wedding.

Rachel is still scanning stuff in the mornings and looking for a real job in the afternoons.

Friday, June 17, 2005



Rachel and I have started our summer swim program. We have a nice pool located just a few yards away from our office building. They have lap swim at noon, so we've done that a few times, but actually kind of like going in the late afternoon or early evening when the sun isn't so glaring hot.

Speaking of hot, we've got the new air conditioner installed, as well as the new furnace, and new ductwork. Those poor workmen up in the attic when it was over 100 degrees! At one point, it was 101 degrees in our kitchen, so I hate to think what it was in the attic. Now I'm trying to figure out how to work the programmable thermostat.

Gary went to Ft. Lauderdale for one day and back the next this past week and leaves on Sunday for several days in Calgary. Then a trip to DC and Boston after that. He is feeling swamped with stuff these days what with travel, breaking in a new boss, and supervising some summer interns.

Rachel continues with her scanning in our office in the mornings, then tries to work a bit on finding a real job in the afternoons. She feels like she is not quite ready for a full-fledged teaching job for her first year, so is trying to find an instructional aide position instead. But there aren't many to be had, and transportation is an issue we haven't yet solved either. Your prayers for her job hunt would be appreciated.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

R's new hat

A couple days ago Rachel used some of her graduation money to buy herself a new hat. This is not just any hat, this is a fitted, Texas Rangers' hat. And for as much as it cost, I hope she doesn't soon lose it.

She got to try it out at a Rangers' game last night. The weather was nice, the company was nice, and the tickets were only $2 each with $1 parking. And the Rangers won. I caught the fireworks from their second homerun:


Monday, June 13, 2005

Good News, Bad News

Out with the old

The good news: This month we just paid the last of eight years of college payments.
The bad news: Next month we will start paying for a new furnace and air conditioner system.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Advice for the Newlyweds

Today I attended a bridal shower for my good friend's daughter. In many ways I think of her as my daughter too, since our families have been close friends for many years. We played a couple shower games (I even won one of them) and we ate cake and watched her open her nice gifts. Then we went around the room and everyone there who was married gave her advice:
  • Be flexible.
  • When you've found what you're looking for, quit looking.
  • Pray.
  • Tell your husband thank you every day for some little or big thing he does for you and for your marriage. He needs to feel appreciated.
  • You can't change him.
  • Go to bed at the same time.
  • If you both have a computer, put them in the same room.
  • Remember to laugh.
  • Know your husband well enough to know what he likes.
  • You will have negative feelings, but hang in there. It will get better.
  • The first year is the worst.
  • It gets better as the years go by.
  • Let it go. Ask, "Will this [insert annoying thing] matter in five years?"
  • When you spat, don't both spat at the same time.
  • Fight fairly. Deal with one issue at a time. Keep the issue the issue.
  • Be kind while fighting.
  • Never say God is on your side in order to win an argument.
  • Say, "I feel angry," rather than, "You make me angry."
  • After an argument, bow down so low that he will get the pie in his face. (This one puzzled us until the woman explained that it meant let him take full responsibility for an action you don't agree with; don't protect him from his own folly.) (Hmm, I'm still thinking about this one.)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Air Conditioner AND Furnace

The A/C guy came today and told us our options. We ended up taking an expensive option--replacing the furnace as well as the a/c. And we are also going to have the duct work extended to the apartment. It costs a lot, but we will do it with 2-year financing. They plan to start the work on Monday.

The air conditioner was 18 years old, and the furnace at least 22. The wall units in the apartment are getting old too. So maybe we could have gotten along without the upgrade at the moment, but quite likely we would need to do something soon anyway.

Tonight we grilled ribs and burgers. I think that is the first grilling we've done in ages. Tasted pretty good. Then we watched an animated movie, The Incredibles. It was pretty good. Rachel spent the day with a friend in downtown Dallas, visiting the 6th Floor Museum, Spaghetti Warehouse, and the Dallas Museum of Art. The outing was a graduation gift to her, and she seemed to enjoy it.

Tomorrow Rachel and I will attend a bridal shower for Yvi, and we're planning to go to a Rangers' game on Monday with $2 tickets.

Guess that is the news for now.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Air Conditioner

Last evening we noticed that even though the air conditioner was running, it was getting warmer and warmer. Sure enough, the a/c has quit working. Lucky for us, we have a guest room at the other end of the house and it has a small wall air conditioner. So we slept in our own guest room last night.

I called the air conditioning place this morning, but they couldn't come today. They promise to come tomorrow. I have a bad feeling about this...

In the meantime, my friend made me go wedding dress shopping today. No, not for a wedding dress, for a dress for the wedding. I'm looking for an official Mother of the Groom dress. Ugh. I hate shopping.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Read Me a Bedtime Story!

Happy Birthday!

Rachel and I have decided you're never too old to read a story, or listen to a story. We're reading The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe out loud to each other, just one chapter a night. Today she talked her dad into buying her her own copy of the book (a nice colour edition) for her birthday.

When we got home from the bookstore, she found these lovely roses from her big brother, who had not forgotten that today is June 7. Then he also called her from Ethiopia to wish her a happy birthday too. (He has just gotten a land line at his new house, so he now has internet access from home too.) I was way too busy today, so Rachel didn't get a cake, but we did go out for lunch.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Invitations Mailed

Mailing invitations

The invitations have now been mailed. Well, at least most of them have. A few more addresses keep dribbling in.

This really is wedding season. Yesterday I got an invitation to a bridal shower, and today an invitation to an online friend's wedding.

Tomorrow is Rachel's birthday. I already bought her rechargeable batteries and a memory card for her digital camera.

Friday, June 03, 2005


I wasn't clever enough to get my own photo, but we did see an armadillo come out of the woods behind our house tonight. Oddly enough, the cat was near the edge of the woods and the cat and the armadillo stood and looked at each other for a while, then the armadillo headed for our compost pile to scrounge for grubs. We had 20 people at our house for a potluck, so the kids thought it was fun to catch a glimpse of a live armadillo, since usually they are dead on the side of the road. This particular animal has been digging nightly in the compost pile which is fine; however, sometimes he proceeds to the front yard, now dimpled with divots.