Category Archives: Family and Friends

Pictures and stories of our dear family and friends

Catching up by phone

First of all I’d like to say “Thank you” for continuing to visit this little corner of the internet!! My posts seem to get farther and farther apart – somewhat because our life seems pretty mundane these days but mostly because it’s easier not to write a post than it is to write one! Just trying to keep it real here, friends! Since it’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote, I thought I’d just look through my phone to see what I thought was interesting enough to document. And in that looking back I realized I’ve done a really poor job of photo-documenting some of the really important stuff!
So work – SOWER work that is!
We ladies have been largely working with housekeeping – making beds and getting rooms ready for guests. No pictures of that, but surely you can imagine the whole bed-making process. =) On the Fourth we were pulled into the kitchen, and that was super fun!
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Did you catch the whole red-white-and-blue theme of our attire?? Always working on getting in the spirit! It wasn’t all work, though and we did enjoy a yummy chicken BBQ
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and later in the day sported our matching (though you probably can’t see them) flag earrings!
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The guys have been busy working on that walk-in room.
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Framing approved and on to the insulation

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Insulation approved and on to the drywall….
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The drywall has passed inspection and hopefully sometime this week they will actually be able to start constructing the walk-in!! (I’m home alone this lovely Saturday morning, and I’m pretty sure that Gary is down tapin’ and muddin’ that drywall!)
So in a nutshell – this SOWER project has gone by in a flash, and with just one week to go, it will be sad to see our co-workers head off.
In Non-Work news, we took a little road trip last weekend up to the cabin (YIPPEE!!!!) for our annual Dwinell Cabin Association meeting. This is where I really fell down in photo-documenting it! No pictures of the cabin, no big group picture, no pictures of the friends we got to see along the way. Ugh. BUT – regardless of my sad photo taking, there were a couple of pictures on the phone from the weekend.
Like the produce at the Farmer’s Market in Ludlow, VT
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or the beautiful VT highway, with its lovely lack of traffic –
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or a candid shot from our meeting.
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What I failed to take pictures of are all the sweet moments we spent with friends and family. But maybe it’s just that I was too busy enjoying the time to get out the camera. Yep, I know that’s the case! Those wonderful memories are best stored in our hearts anyway, right?

Well, in the interest of getting something accomplished today, I’d best hit the ‘publish’ button on this.  I did just return from tracking down my sweet hubby, and sure enough –
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he’s been playing in the mud!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph
 

Leaving Waco

It was hard to leave Waco.

Oh, it was emotionally hard to leave behind this house that we’d not only poured the last three months of our lives into but also a house that had been ‘in the family’ for 10 years. There are a lot of sweet memories and sweat equity in that home, and it was bittersweet to bid it that final farewell.

And of course it was heart-hard to leave behind our precious Waco family –
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(Abigail missed this photo-op, but we’re sure gonna miss her too!) Especially with that 4th little Texas cowboy on the way!

But what I’m talkin’ about here is that it was PHYSICALLY hard to leave Waco!
We got a good early start out of the campground,
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left the RV at the Sam’s Club parking lot and then went to the house to wait for a package. (We had placed the order before we realized we were going to be able to leave earlier than planned. Poor planning, I know.)
And then we waited.
We waited in the house.
We waited on the porch.
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We waited in the truck.
And at 3:45 that brown truck finally arrived.
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Finally, we were heading back to the RV to get hooked up and ON OUR WAY.
As I was pulling the truck behind Lizzie to get started, I had a brain hiccup and remembered I had left one last load of wash in the dryer. Back at the house. Yes, after sitting within 20 feet of the laundry room for a full 6 hours with no recall whatsoever that I had left the dryer going the night before, God (in His kindness but with a bit of humor) brought that to mind. So it was back to the house for me (Gary stayed at the rig to try and get her cooled off after sitting in the sun all day). I collected the wash (which was still a little damp – GAHHHHH), returned to the rig through rush hour traffic and FINALLY, at 6PM, we were on our way.
Ahhh…..
The rest of the trip had a few little hiccups –
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and
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and really and truly, too much traffic for my taste.
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But we made it to Ohio
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and spent the evening with these darling faces!
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We’ll get to see the rest of the Ohio Grands before we head on to Montrose Bible Conference (our July and August SOWER project), but for now we’re thankful for the sweet respite and the joy of seeing family. We’re also thankful for safety on the roads, the spare fuel filter that allowed us to continue on our way (and for my guy who knew how to change it!), for cooler temps and for all the laundry being with us in Ohio!!
God is Good!!
Steph

Trains and Planes and Automobiles

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Were you ever part of a progressive dinner? You remember them – you went to the Jones for appetizers, the Smith’s for the main course, and then the Johnson’s for dessert. This year for our traditional Girls’ Week we set out on a grand progressive road trip! For me the pre-appetizer started with actually GETTING to Pennsylvania (since we seem to be in an endless renovation loop here in Waco), and spending a bit of time with my sister Joie. From there we headed on to our main appetizer –  Vermont!

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“We’re coming, Elna!”

We rested a day in Bradford with Elna, worshiping with her and getting in a quick Cabin-Fix,
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before we piled in the car to head for our main course – our Canadian Family in Cobourg, Ontario.
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That’s our step-mom (Jo-Jo) and her two daughters (Susan and Sally)on the left. (Elna is not taking the picture – sadly she  was back at the house suffering with a nasty cold.)

Apart from Elna’s cold, we had a perfectly lovely time! We stayed at our step-brother’s home (who was not able to make the ‘party’) which is less than a block from Lake Ontario.
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That’s the view from his front step!
And right at the end of the street….
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Our dear Jo-Jo was in the process of making a move from her sweet Cobourg home to an apartment in Toronto to be nearer to her kids, grands and greats, so it worked well that we weren’t underfoot at her house all the time. We were so delighted that her daughters, Susan and Sally, were able to come for two days and together we helped get some of her items ready for the move.
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Some of those lovely ironstone dishes may or may not have crossed the border back to the US with us.  Just sayin’.
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Of course it wasn’t all work. There was lots of laughter too, as we caught up with each other’s lives and shared memories of Dad. On our last afternoon there, after a quick storm cleared the air, Jo-Jo took us on a lovely drive through the countryside and eventually looping back  to the lake shore. This is such a beautiful area!
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It was a delight spending time with family we don’t get to see very often, and our time there passed quickly.
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(Our official GW19 photo – Elna was finally feeling better!)

Friday morning we sisters were back in the car, and heading back to the USA for our ‘dessert’ course – our final weekend in Bradford.  Although we slept at Elna’s house, most of our time was spent at the Cabin (of course!). There is nothing like the Cabin in the springtime!
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Ahhhhhhh……
Monday morning Joie and I were on our way back to Pennsylvania, and Tuesday I did the whole train-plane-automobile combo to get me back Waco. (Where I had my second dessert – being back home with my honey!)

This indeed was a Girls’ Week to remember!
So many miles (over 5000 total for me), but oh so many smiles (countless!).

If you’d like to see a few more pictures of our adventure you can check ’em out HERE (for the GW19 pix) or HERE (for the Cabin shots!)

In other news…..

It is with a mixture of both guilt and joy that I must report I have washed my last paintbrush. Well, for a couple of weeks anyway. Guilt because along with the paint brushes, I left Gary with all the house stuff that still needs to be done and joy that my beloved Sisters’ Week has begun!! We’re mixing it up again this year by taking a road trip to Cobourg, Ontario, to visit our Canadian family. But of course it’s never just a simple road trip in our world. Since I was still in Waco bonding with that trim paint, my first step was to actually get east.
Early morning drive to Dallas to catch a plane to Philadelphia


Got to Philly without incident and then made my way to 30th street station

To catch the non-express train to Harrisburg

where I was met by my sister and her sweet hubby.
At this point, I believe Sisters’ Week had officially (mostly)begun. (Especially since I had navigated all the plane and train stuff like a true adult.)
I arrived at Joie’s a couple of days early due to finding the cheapest airfare but it was nice having these two days to decompress from my painting marathon before our road trip.
Thursday I helped out with Soft Pretzel day at the school where Joie had taught for many years (so fun!)


and today we met with friends for a lovely long breakfast, ran some errands, and prepared for the first leg of our road trip- getting to Vermont to snag the other part of our sisterhood.
We’ll be packing up the car tonight to get an early start tomorrow – and so the adventure will begin in earnest!

Back at the home front, Gary is plugging away on the house list. I’m so thankful he gave me his blessing to take this time with my sisters, and am praying that he stays off ladders and out of hot attics while I’m away.

Thanks for stopping by!

PS – in an effort to be at least a little unplugged during Sisters Week, I left my computer in Texas. This is one of my first iPad posts, so if looks weird- chalk it up to a new learning curve. 🤗

A different Waco Weekend

We loved spending a couple of extra days in Waco following our February SOWER project.  While we did get to spend a bit of time with the kids and the grands,
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(A fun Chick Fil A dinner with the boys!)
our primary focus was working on the house, pressing on with getting it ready to sell.
While Gary continues on with the electrical ‘stuff’ –
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I’ve been working more on things that present a more visible result. For example –
Somewhere in the history of this house (it was built in 1918) a great deal of wallpaper was put up in the closets. (At least it can still be seen in the closets – perhaps it was other places as well!). But since this wallpaper was put up over ship lap, it was nailed up, not glued. It also has a fabric-ish backing that disintegrated over the years (century?). The attic space was not only completely covered in this wall covering, but all of the shelving and trim – even the attempt to make it a cedar closet – was installed over it. (Actually, that’s probably what held it up!)
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Pretty gross, right?
With (what I hope was) adequate protection, I began the task of reclaiming those walls!
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The good news is without it being glued, big swatches did come down at once. The bad news was those blasted nails!
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It was a long and dusty day, and with some help from Gary, we got it all pulled down and cleaned up –
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Looks pretty spiffy, right?

But oh those little nails…..
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We also got some yard work done – mowing the grass and cleaning up the sidewalks – and continued with some interior deep cleaning (you know, behind appliances where it’s always scary!).

We have this month away from the house and selling-the-house related projects, and I think that’s a good thing. We had a pre-inspection of the electrical work, and Gary does need to make some modifications on his original plan. It’s always good to take a step back and take a breather from big projects, and we’re thankful we have the opportunity.

Right now we’re getting settled at our March project (see Where are we Now for more details) and working on staying warm!! Hopefully March will become a little more lamb like as the month progresses!

Have a blessed weekend, friends!