They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so we figured that this picture would speak to the majority of the last year.
However, about 900 of the words in this picture are "WORK".
Our new place is a new, four bedroom, two-and-a-half bath, 2-story with an unfinished basement. The key word in the previous sentence is 'new'. As you might guess, this means: no yard, just 8800 sq. ft. of dirt (or mud or dust depending on the weather); no drapes (just nice unobstructed/unobstructable views); plaster-dust-coated heating vents; etc. Now you know why 900 or so of the picture's words are work. One of the first projects was to do something with the 8800 sq. ft. of "yard". So, Geoff spent a whole month designing and installing a sprinkler system (it actually worked). Good thing too, because the day after we had 8300 sq. ft. of Kentucky Blue Grass sod laid, it was the hottest record setting day of the summer. (Did you know that they expect you to pay for the water you put on your yard too? Ouch!) In addition to the sod, we planted 10 trees (six still living), 12 bushes (five still living), 21 strawberry plants (14 still living), three raspberry plants (none still living) and an unknown number of spinach seeds (none harvested). Oh well, there's always next year.
As for the rest of the house, we got the blinds for the bedroom and bath right away and have been slowly doing the rest of the house as we feel led.
There is still lots of work to do, but we do enjoy home ownership so don't get the wrong idea from the previous 'work' thing.
We actually did do some other things this year. Some of the other highlights of the year include a quick visit to Oregon over Memorial Day weekend, a business trip for Geoff to El Paso, TX for a week in June and Rita visiting her sister and family in North Carolina in September. We had visits from some of Rita's family and Geoff's parents (they pulled a large U-Haul trailer from Oregon full of Geoff's stuff since he can now store it all). We also had friends from Kansas come to make use of our new-found space. (Others are welcome to come too!)
Rita was demoted in our church's Promiseland (0-10 year olds' Sunday School). Actually, she had been teaching the three-year-olds and was asked to switch to the twos this fall since there was a shortage of teachers for that age. She had grown attached to the three-year-olds, but reluctantly agreed to the change. Geoff still likes to get to church at 6:30 am every three weeks - just to get a good seat. Well, not really. We are still meeting in a high school, so he gets there early to help set up the worship stage for our church of over 1500 people. Geoff has brought his computer skills to the stage lighting system to brighten up the morning worship services and add some modest effects. Within a year we should have our own church building so Geoff is not sure what his role will be at that time.