Tag Archives: Arizona

10 Things I think I forgot to mention

10. Way back in February (yes, that was quite a few ‘yesterdays’ ago) we took a little field trip to Robson Ranch and Mining Camp, a ghost town remnant of the booming mining industry that helped settle the Wickenburg area of Arizona.
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It was an interesting day –a little history,
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a little hiking (complete with some petroglyphs that I personally never found but were documented by others in our group),
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and some beautiful scenery.
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Here’s a link to my set of pictures from the day – Robson Mining Ranch

9. In March we checked out St. Anthony’s Coptic Monastery outside of Barstow, CA. This was WAY OUT THERE.
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(It’s that little white dot on the left, halfway up! And we had already driven about 1/2 hour on that dirt road.)
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And we really weren’t sure just what to expect. What we found was a relatively new church that was quite ornate, a grouping of single-wide mobile homes (the monastery part), another older church (or two – it was hard to tell) and 5 (yes, 5) tour buses that had come up from Los Angeles. We were a bit out of our element (most of the other visitors were actually Coptic Christians and there on a pilgrimage of sorts) so aside from checking out the gift store (most items in Arabic) and taking pictures of the church, we chose not to linger.

8. Early Man Site. OK – here’s another head scratcher. Since we were already driving on dirt roads (finding the monastery) that day, we thought we’d find out just what this Early Man Site was all about.
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Well, apparently although no human bones have been found, there have been discoveries of tools and tool making rocks. Again, it was a nice hike and some beautiful views of the San Bernardino Valley and the Mohave Desert. And I suppose if I was into archaeological digs, this could hold some interest. For us – not so much. (Just keeping it real!)
Here are just a couple more pictures.

7. Remember our Berdoo Canyon Adventure coming out of Joshua Tree Natl Park?
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As we were navigating our way through that canyon, we had a certain ‘carrot’ hanging out in front of us – a date shake at the Shields Date Gardens.It kept us going, to be sure. However, by the time we emerged from the canyon, the sun was setting and the Date Garden was closed. “Hey, we’re adults,” I said. “I bet we can figure out how to make a date shake.” Without skipping a beat Jenny said, – “Tell him your dad has a gun.” Aren’t we hilarious! 😉

6. This past week my big sister had a birthday. Oh, it wasn’t one of those “Big Ones”, but it was still a birthday, and at our age, we should never take them for granted. So, although I sent her a card, called her, and wished her an official Facebook Happy Birthday – here’s one more – Happy Birthday, Elna! I can’t imagine a better big sister and I’m thankful for you each and every day! XOXOXOX

5. This past week my dear husband also had a birthday. Again, not a big decade jumping birthday, but as I said before, we celebrate each one! (Actually, we celebrate waking up and dressing ourselves. Just sayin’) So Happy Birthday (just a bit late) to the best man in my life! Love you, baby!

4. All three of our kids are either in the midst of or have already accomplished major life adjustments in the last several months. Job changes (no small thing when you have a family of 7), revitalizing a career that has been on hold for a couple of years, and moving across the country. I’m pretty darn proud of these courageous kiddos of mine, and I just want to say here in the Blog World – that I think you are ALL absolutely AMAZING!
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3. Look where we’re parked for the next three weeks!
Lake Retreat parking.
Instead of tracking in sand, now we’re tracking in pine needles. But everything is so GREEN!!! And the trees are so HUGE!!!! Ah…….

2. Tomorrow I head east to Columbus! I’ll be spending next week loving on my Ohio kids (4) and grands (7), watching ball games, enjoying Mother’s Day with my kids (that hasn’t happened in about 12 years!), playing games and enjoying all of the beautiful family chaos that I miss so much! Less than 24hrs until my plane leaves!

1. Then next Friday, I leave Columbus and fly to PA for Girls Week ’16!!!! It’s another thing I will never take for granted – a week with my precious sisters! We’ll be bopping around the countryside, trying to fit as much family and fun (oh, and maybe a bit of shopping) in as we can! Not to mention talking, praying, talking, napping, coffee drinking, etc, There are even plans in the works to connect with most of my PA kids and grands, too – super excited about that!
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So that’s the list. There are probably more than 10 things I forgot to mention, but at least this got some of the real ancient history off the table. And, it gave me a good chance to let you know that the next two weeks might be (ok, will be) pretty quiet. At least here at RV There Yet! (And probably here at Lake Retreat where Gary will be playing the bachelor till I return.)

We’ll catch up when I get back, ‘K?

Steph

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

First of all, I want to thank those of you who pop over here regularly, hoping to see something new! Thank you for your patience and perseverance – I really do appreciate it! I have come up with a work-around for the almost zilch internet that reaches into our motorhome by coming over to a nearby building when I can to play a bit of catch-up. Mostly I’ve been working on the monthly newsletter I put together for SOWERS, and paying bills and other life chores, but today, with that newsletter just about done, I thought I’d try to do a bit of RVThereYet catch-up! And to that end, I figured I’d start with Yesterday.

Ok, not the actual yesterday – that was a pretty standard Monday, but instead the ‘yesterday’ of last month, since I never did do any kind of wrap-up from our time at Standing Stones, located just outside the fun little cowboy town of Wickenburg, AZ.
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I know I sound like a broken record sometimes, but we had such a good project! One of the things that I especially loved about this project (aside from the people, the weather and that HOT TUB), was the diversity of work. I guess I’m only speaking for my half of the RVThereYet team, since Gary was pretty much installing those A/C units the whole time. But from my point of view – 
I started out on the decorating team for the Friends of the Ministry ‘Gala”,
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moved to doing a bit of slice and dice for the actual day,
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jumped into some deep cleaning once the festivities were over
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and ended up our time there squeezing and sectioning a bazillion (more or less) grapefruit!
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We had a great team of ladies, and serving together with them was a joy!
And over at the construction side of the property, the guys made amazing progress. Gary got all the A/C units hooked up and (all but one) running. Joe got the electrical straightened out, the entire exterior was painted and the rest of the framing was (as far as this girl could tell) about done.
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We supported the local economy by checking out the local eateries (maybe more than we should’ve),

explored the excellent Cowboy Museum in town (and just a couple of the gift shops)
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and even took in a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater put on by the church we’d been attending. (Gary won the Clueless Award for the silly responses he put on the “So who done it?” card. The cactus did it? Really? Silly guy!)
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All in all, it was an A+ month. There were several other volunteers there (most were from Mission Builders, a ministry similar to SOWERS, but one had come all the way from Norway!) and we all just blended together – working, praying and playing. I’m pretty sure this is just a small taste of what heaven will be like!
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If you’d like to see some additional photos from our time at Standing Stones, you can check out the album HERE!

Another Week

Another week has wooshed by, and with a busy weekend looming (happily) ahead, I thought I’d do a bit of catch-up by just looking through my phone pictures and checking out what I’ve been documenting!
First of all – last Saturday’s “Gala” was great! God, in His kindness, kept the winds to a minimum, the temperatures in the low 70’s, and the sky bright blue! We got all the set up done without a hitch, and I’m happy to report I even had time to shower and change before we started serving!

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The dedication went well
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and it was a splendid day all around!
During the week I made it over to the Fellowship house to see how the work was going.
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Gary’s been busy hooking up 15 indoor/6 on the roof A/C units (you can see two of them in the dedication picture), Joe (the electrician) has been heading up the electric team, and Harley’s been managing the painters. I failed to get action shots of the other 7 guys working away over there. Man – they are making great progress!
Meanwhile – over at the main building, it’s been spring cleaning time!
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Off to the laundramat with all the mattress pads, pillows and blankets
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and creative cleaning of those hard to reach spots!
(Kim (on the stool, being held by three of us to keep her steady), has dealt with chronic back pain over the last several years. When I sent this picture to her daughter, this was her reply – Haha, I love this picture. I love it because she is doing it. One year ago she wouldn’t be able to do that and if she did she would pay for it later and I love the idea that her friends are holding her up. It is true in so many ways!!! Not just as she cleans. I love that!)
Here are four of us who dressed for the day on St. Patrick’s Day this week –
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Yes, we were Team Green!
How we clean on St. Patrick's Day. #gogreen #sowers #notme
Other random photos on my phone this week –
A drive-by of the desert –
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An incognito painting SOWER –
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And a picture of our backyard.
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Definitely the first time that has happened – and mostly likelt the last!

And finally – a panorama of one of the beautiful sunsets here at Standing Stones, taken from the roof of the Fellowship building.
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Let the weekend begin!

Wooosh…….

And the week is over! I totally missed “Mondays are for Memories”, whizzed right past “One Word Wednesday” and even missed wishing our youngest a Happy 9th Anniversary. (that would be a blog wish. We did call, honest!) And here we are at Friday already. Phew. What a busy week!
First – here’s just a bit about the ministry where we are serving this month. Shepherd’s Canyon Retreats began (officially) just 9 years ago with a vision to minister to pastors and full-time ministry workers experiencing burn-out. For several years they held retreats (with professional counselors) at various locations throughout the US. In 2012 they purchased this property outside of Wickenburg – 8+ acres with a duplex and a pool. The property had been on the market for 7 years, so there was much to do to convert it into a retreat center of any kind. In the years since then, the duplex has been retrofitted to accommodate retreats and the grounds have been cared for.
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But there was still more to the vision. Beginning in April 2014 a second building, The Fellowship House, was begun. Untitled
As is often the case when buildings are built with mostly volunteer labor, it’s been a long process. Needless to say, the guys have been busy, busy, busy in that building.Untitled
Meanwhile, we ladies have had our own agenda! Tomorrow is the ministry’s annual “Friends of Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat” Banquet and Fellowship House Dedication. (Yes, we all know the Fellowship House isn’t anywhere near occupancy, but this was scheduled before all kinds of permit issues slowed them down. So, on with the Dedication it is!) Our jobs have included working on the grounds, cleaning the perpetual AZ dust from the outdoor areas-
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sewing tablecloths and other decorations
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and then putting together all of the table decorations!
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Yikes!
Since we can’t actually decorate the tables until the morning of the event (due to the crazy AZ wind!), today was spent prepping salads for the meal tomorrow.
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Tomorrow should be a wild and crazy day (with (hopefully) winds under 10 mph) as we set up, decorate and get ready. But with all that has been going on, the days have just raced by. Although it didn’t race by too quickly for a couple of us girls to take advantage of the hot tub in the afternoon a few times!
That time the SOWER project had a hot tub. #thankful #ohyeahbaby #sowers
Now that’s a SOWER Perk we don’t come across very often!

All those lemons!

It’s pretty amazing how many lemons one lemon tree can produce. We’re just been picking them up off the ground (after a very windy day) and have been squeezing like crazy.
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And as I mentioned before, we’ve been enjoying all kinds of lemony treats (lemon bars, pie, lemonade, muffins….).
Today, in celebration of our last day of work at UIM, and the fact that I had 8C of lemon juice already squeezed, I spent the afternoon baking a couple more lemon-goodness recipes.
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Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze and
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Ina Garten’s Lemon Cake
I also have ice cube trays filled with lemon juice and some lemon zest heading to the freezer. And now, thanks to a couple of new recipes, I also have buttermilk.
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Guess I better start Googling “Recipes that use Buttermilk”!