Saturday, March 31, 2007


Rachel has completed two teacher interviews this weekend. The one yesterday afternoon turned out to be a 4-hour affair, including a 30 minute drive each way. The one today was organized with specific appointments, so she didn't have to wait around so much. It is hard to say if she will actually get an offer, because there were many applicants in both cases, but I think there was value in going thought the interview process in an of itself. She was very nervous beforehand, but it didn't turn out to be as bad as she was expecting in either case. She still has one more job fair for a public school, and she will be looking at some Christian schools too.

Got a nice long email from Andrew. He and Laura have been hosting a work group from the states, writing more proposals for funds, putting out various fires, and getting ready for a short trip to DC next week for a friend's wedding. Those two get around.

The bluebonnets are starting to look really pretty. I'll need to take some photos soon.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Going to Michigan

We've just purchased tickets to fly to Grand Rapids for nephew Alan's graduation from Cornerstone University on Saturday May 5. Sadly, it doesn't look like Rachel will be able to join us. We'll get to see several family members and see my mom's new place in Carson City.

In other family news, I spoke to David today. He started his internal medicine rotation today and wore a new shirt he bought for the occasion with his Christmas gift cards. He seems to think internists have better dispositions than surgeons!

Pray for Rachel this weekend--she has two job fairs where she is hoping to be interviewed for possible jobs in the fall.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Water Heater - Part 2

There were several trips up into the attic, by both the electrician and the plumber. New venting had to be installed.

The copper pipes were torched together.

New electrical outlet had to be installed to plug it in. It heats the water with propane gas, but the exhaust is with an electric blower.

Lots of electronics inside.

But it does fit into the closet. It took just under 12 hours to install, but that included a trip to Ton's for the plumber at lunchtime.

Yay! Hot water!

New Water Heater - Part 1

The plumber called this morning after I had gone to work and said he would be there in 30 minutes. He and his son started right in draining the old water heater. I hope the grass liked the warm water.

Around noon they had gotten the old one out, with difficulty.

You can see that they had to bang it on the side to make it small enough to get out of the closet without damaging the new furnace (installed 18 months ago, and just now paid for!).

You can see why we had to go with the tankless water heater--there just wasn't room for a new tank there. Besides that, Dallas has upped the code requirements for replacement water heaters to include a pan and a drain, and that would have been a big problem to do anyway.

It is 4:15 now, and the plumber has driven off to go buy more vent pipes--stainless steel, according to code.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

First Sign of Spring

There's something cheerful about the first bluebonnets of the season.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Spring is Almost Here

But not quite.

We went on a picnic at lunch time today, but it was too windy to be warm, in spite of the beautiful sunshine.

There is some news about the water heater. The plumber finally came (yay!), but the estimate is high (boo!). Looks like he can install it next week. By "it" I mean a tankless water heater. The law in Dallas has changed such that our old one could not be replaced with an identical one--there isn't room to install a conventional water heater up to code. The choices were to rip the wall out, or install a tankless unit--both expensive choices. But, what can you do?? I guess just be thankful for hot water.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Happy Birthday, David!

There wasn't much to blog about this past week until David came home late Friday night. He brought his girlfriend and her new puppy, Molly. Gary really doesn't like dogs all that much, but it was kind of fun to have Molly around. The weather has turned perfect spring, so we and Molly were able to be outside quite a bit.

Gary spent his outside time continuing the wood repairs he started last week. I guess that process could go on for weeks.

Saturday night we went to Cedar Valley College's Family Music Theater production of Cinderella. These shows are always top rate, and the fact that our boss's 16-year old daughter was the star made it extra fun.

We collected a few friends at the show and invited them over for birthday (cheese)cake afterwards. Before they arrived I sent Gary around to spring-forward all the clocks to remind us all how late it really was. A couple other of David's friends arrived after this photo was taken, and it was good to see them all again.

This morning it was church then a potluck, but David and Sarah didn't stay for the meal as they need to get back to Houston for work and more surgery rotation.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Not really much news here. Gary is spending today trying to fix the rotting wood under one of the windows. I guess if he were a carpenter, he would have ripped it out and actually replaced it. He's trying to repair it with wood hardener and wood filler.

I am working on taxes. It should be simple, but it never is.

Andrew was in the states this week so I talked to him on the phone a couple times. He's doing OK except for a situation at his work where a heart operation was done on a little girl to save her, and it didn't go well. He was feeling very bad about that.

Rachel had a light week at work :-( because two days she didn't get a call. She is gearing up for submitting applications for the upcoming school year. We've made a map and are in the process of plotting out all the schools within a 5 mile radius. There are actually four public school districts that have elementaries within 5 miles. Please pray that God will open up just the right position for her for next year.

Rachel also had her first interaction with the Jehovah Witnesses who rang her door bell this morning.

I talked with my mom this morning from her new place in Carson City. She is in the process of changing over her bank, driver's license, etc. and getting settled in her new apartment. She's staying warm with her electric blanket but is finding the kitchen doesn't have enough space--they never do! Deb and Jim are doing a lot to help her get organized. I've got her new phone number and address which I'll try to remember to send to family members in an email.

We played a little hooky at noon on Wednesday and went to see the new Amazing Grace movie (the first showing on a week day is "only" $4). It was very good, especially if you know anything about the history of the slave trade.