Tuesday, March 25, 2008


This is the time of year for picnics in Dallas. In another month, it will be too hot! We took our Bible study group to the lake tonight and Gary grilled for us.

I saw my first bluebonnets of the season too--that is always a pretty sight.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Germany Photos

Rachel has finally had time to post her Germany photos, and maybe you've already gotten an email from her with the link, as well as some prose about the trip. But if not, here is the link to her blog and here is the link to her online photo albums which have captions.

You'll see photos of her and her dad, as well as her two German exchange sisters along with some beautiful scenery. She's done a great job organizing them so we can all enjoy.

This week Rachel is even more into Germany as she is hosting a visit from Laila Dommel, who lives in Hamburg and is sister of her friend Daniela whom she know while in high school. Rachel didn't get a sub job today (as often is the case right after a break) so we did some shopping and also took Rachel's car into the shop to get some new brakes. She is going to HAVE to go back to work soon as she has spent all her money on new glasses and now car brakes! She is starting a new private tutoring job in Grand Prairie on Wednesday, but she still really needs a full-time job.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tax Time

Yesterday I spent 5 hours grumbling while doing our 2007 Income Taxes. I was quite happy at the end to get a $500 refund. Then I asked Gary to review it with me to check for mistakes. He didn't find any mistakes, but did find a tax credit he thought we should investigate, which we did (how could we ever do this without the internet at our fingertips??). No, we couldn't take that credit, but with a little more investigation we found we could take a different credit and ended up with a $1500 refund!

Rachel is still working on getting her Germany photos posted on line--stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gifts from Germany

The weary travelers have finally arrived, about three hours late. We've had a ton of rain here today, but the Lord kept us safe while driving and flying. The plane had to make a last minute detour to Oklahoma City before coming into Dallas from the west, so that added to the fly time.

Preliminary reports are that a great time was had by all. And I got lots of chocolate for coming to see you presents, too. The only person who got more loot was Isabella! We eagerly await her arrival.

Speaking of Isabella and travel, she and her parents went to Santo Domingo today to spend Semana Santa there. Andrew called to report they got there safely. They will spend Thursday thru Saturday at their new place in Guavaberry.

Gary has a full day of work scheduled for tomorrow, so we will go to bed early. Well, early for me, but he and Rachel have been awake for over 20 hours now, except for a little cat nap on the bumpy plane ride home. We are supposed to have a bunch more rain tonight, then sunny after that.

Tomorrow I'm going to see all of the photos Rachel took, that will be fun.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

How Do You Spell


She's going to have to get a better job than school teacher if she wants to buy one of these.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ain't Technology Great??

When I got home from Sarah Cover's bridal shower, I talked to Gary, Rachel, and Doro in Germany, using the video hookup.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rubber Ducky

Here's part of an email from Gary using a German keyboard:
It is the end of the daz (zou're just going to have to live the z's, I'm tired of fixing them). I got up real earlz to get readz for mz speech, and then came in the first shuttle bus run, so I could use the computer, onlz to find that the computer room was locked. So I read mz Roadrunner. There was no time to get back to the computer room until everzthing was over for the daz, since I skipped out at lunch time to go down to the librarz to meet with the DRIVER guzs. It was a good meeting, but we reallz needed more time. Mz speech was at the end of the daz, well almost. I spoke at 5;30, then there was one more at 6:00. I begged off on a dinner inviation that was going to start until 8;30, so I could do email, get dinner as soon as I get back the train station (since I missed lunch), and go to bed earlz.

There are two more reasons I need to tell zou about whz the hotel is so classz. The first is that thez leave a chocalte on the turned down comforter everz night. But even better than that, and as far as I can remember, this is a first: the bathtowel has an hoenst to goodness rubber duckie sitting on it. It almost makes me want to take a bath.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

From Germany

I got emails from both Rachel and Gary today. Sounds like all is going well, except Rachel couldn't get her ATM card to work. I hope Gary can get his working.

Tomorrow Doro will take Rachel to visit her university and also see the famous Bremen town Musicians.

As for me, I'm using my free and quiet time to teach myself how to make fondant and tomorrow I'm going to decorate a cake for a wedding shower I'm helping to host on Saturday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

They've Arrived

No, this isn't a German castle--this building is called, I beleive, the Old Records Building in downtown Dallas, and it is the view from the George Allan courts building where I was for jury duty this morning. When I got home I found an email from Rachel sent from Doro's house in Bremem. They had arrived that far safely and Gary was off to his conference. He plans to go back to Doro's house on Saturday.

I was sent on the first jury panel and put through the voir dire process, but once that was done, the two parties settled. It was a civil law suit about a car accident that took place 4 years ago.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

They're Off!

In spite of a very heavy fog this morning, Gary and Rachel's flight to Germany left right on time. We were a bit late getting to the airport--blame Gary for this, not Rachel--but there were no lines, so they got through quickly.

I've got jury duty tomorrow, and am in charge of a wedding shower on Saturday, so I won't be sitting around with nothing to do while they're gone.

I'm hoping Rachel keeps an audio diary of her trip so I can hear all about it when she gets home.

And we can't forget that it is baby David's 24th birthday today. I sent him a birthday-party-in-a-box, so I hope it arrived and that he will take the time to bake himself a birthday cake. And share the candy I sent with Sarah.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Baby Isabella

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Getting Ready

Today we spent quite a bit of time getting Gary and Rachel ready for their trip to Germany. They leave early afternoon Tuesday, and hopefully Rachel will work tomorrow, so we tried to do some stuff to get ready today.

First of all, Rachel is worried that she can't manage for 8 days with just one little carry-on and a backpack. We'll see. I guess she'll have to, since that is the only choice.

I photocopied the passports, dug out the euros we had stashed away, figured out how to use the prepaid phone card for them to call me from Germany, updated some photo software on Gary's laptop, dug out the plug adapters, found the 1-quart plastic bags for getting 3-oz. liquids through security, made sure everyone had a copy of everyone's phone numbers at every location, made sure the suitcases had luggage tags, found some fresh batteries, and a few other things.

Tomorrow we'll do some more laundry and make sure they pack some warm clothes--the weather looks like it will be cold and rainy.

Rachel and Gary will be helping our friend Anita, who teaches 2nd grade in Grand Prairie, with her kids' Flat Stanley project. They carry a laminated cartoon cutout of Flat Stanley with them,and photography him in front of interesting things they see in Germany.

We had lunch with our old Kimball group and heard that EVERYONE EXCEPT ME is traveling: The Martins to Portugal, the Fairbankses to Spain, the Barnetts to Switerland, and Gary and Rachel to Germany. My fun will be going to jury duty on Wednesday!

Friday, March 07, 2008

More Weird Weather

Twice this week the weather went from the 70s to snow! That's almost unheard of. Rachel didn't have a sub job until the afternoon, so the snow had already melted off her car by the time she left for work.

White Kitty is getting old, but she still keeps finding new places to hide.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Snow? Yesterday it was in the mid-70s

The weather in Dallas can be so crazy. Rachel is hoping this will all be melted by morning so she doesn't have to scrape it off before going to work.

In other news, have you all gotten your "Save the Date" postcards from David and Sarah? Be sure to check out their wedding website too. They've added some real content, and I think plan to add more.

Andrew and Laura are in Ecuador this week. I hear there's a spot of trouble brewing down there, I hope it doesn't affect them.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

And So Opens A New Season

...of mowing.

We only get a two-month break from this chore here in Dallas. Yay, the mower started pretty easily after its hiatus. The first weeds, whoops, I mean wildflowers of the season are henbit, and we have lots of it.

In other news, we went shopping this morning and Rachel bought her dad a belated birthday gift--a coffee grinder so he could grind up the beans he got from Andrew and Laura for Christmas. These beans came from a cool nature preserve in Copan, Honduras, where we visited a while back.

We're off to see "Little Women" (the musical) tonight at Family Music Theater. These productions are always a treat and we often know a number of the performers. We're taking our new boss and has wife with us too.