Another week bites the dust......and we have plenty of that dust here in Arizona!! This has been a week when we had a few dust storms and a few rain storms, hot days and not so hot days, and all busy days!
We arrived at the office on Monday morning to discover that there are some who have a grudge against the church and they had used some spray paint to express that grudge with this design and another one. Seems like they must be uninformed about who and what we are ;-)
This was on the wall separating the office parking lot (behind the building) from the house next door.
I had been really excited to wake up on Monday morning - it was going to be a RED letter day - the day my kitchen cabinets would finally get installed after waiting 11 weeks from order date. The company did let me know that they had a small early morning job and would probably not be at the house until about 10 - but I didn't get a call from them until 11:30 when they said they were on their way. Elder Ashton and I took a little bit of an early lunch break and went home to meet with them so they could get started. It was just one guy that showed up and he talked about the fact that they might not finish everything on Monday, but would be done by Tuesday evening for sure. We went back to finish the day at the office.
This fancy red bike arrived at the office for one of the new sister missionaries that is coming in on Aug 23 and caused quite a stir among the missionaries that happened to come to the office. The bike does look really nice and Elder Ashton says it is a more expensive version of the bike the missionaries get so he can understand why they would be envious of it. He was like a kid at Christmas on Monday afternoon as he put the bike back together after it was taken apart for shipment.
Later on Monday afternoon 2 Sister Missionaries came into the office and told Elder Ashton that they needed a new bike rack. After a bit of questioning, he determined that it would be more economical for him to fix the bike rack than to replace it (I think he was just looking for another excuse to get some tools in his hands).....anyway, within 30 minutes or so, he had it all fixed up for them and they were on their way :) His white shirt may never be the same again, though.
When we arrived home from the office about 5 p.m. to find all the cabinets still in boxes in the garage and no progress in the kitchen I was very sad and had to give a big sigh. Getting really tired of the torn up mess in the house but Elder Ashton's response was to tell me it would all soon be over. That wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear!
I felt much better when we arrived home for lunch on Tuesday and I found the garage full of tools to be used in the installation instead of boxes. Finally some progress!!!!
It took the crew until Friday afternoon (5 days) to get the cabinets mostly installed but at least we could start putting some things away! The corner/lazy Susan cabinet will take some getting used to. The upper corner cabinet is really big and when I told the grand kids that the candy cupboard had doubled in size some of them got sparkling smiles on their faces!
The double outward facing pantry cupboard now holds the food that has been sitting on the floor in boxes for 2.5 months. Yea!!!!
The outward facing pantry - also showing the other side cabinet that bookends the refrigerator (when it gets delivered) and the open spot for the kitchen sink. I am really hoping we will be done in another week to avoid another notice from the HOA!
Thursday evening as I left Target at about 7 p.m., I noticed the storm clouds gathering and they were very dark. As I saw this scene I thought, "the clouds are gathering but the sun is trying to keep the storm at bay" and pondered how much that is like our lives at times.
This picture is just because I liked the edges of the clouds with the sunlight reflecting off them....another example of the beautiful world we live in.
This past week, I have been enjoying the beautiful flowers and trees I see around me - even here in the dessert. As I was driving to the office, admiring the beauty the thought crossed my mind that I have lived in this area for 18 years (minus the 1.5 we spent in Virginia) and don't believe I have noticed or appreciated the variety and beauty around me. I contemplated what had changed my perspective on the world around me and came to the conclusion that it has been a gradual change of a number of years while I struggled with hip replacements, breast cancer and then had the opportunity to go to a different area of the country and serve the people around me and my Heavenly Father and Savior. I do believe that those experiences have changed my perspective and helped me be more grateful for all that I have. I have not quite mastered seeing beauty in a home in various stages of demolition as we remodel, but have noticed lots of other beautiful things around me :)
A fairy duster bush in my neighbor's yard.
Manicured purple sage in full bloom - Beautiful! .....I wondered why my voice had been so scratchy the last week;-)
Un-manicured purple sage growing at the base of and under the orchid tree in my back yard - beautiful in it's own wild way!
On Friday, we received this email in the mission office from one of the young men serving here. I think this pretty much says it all about why missionaries do what they do.
Last Saturday we were able to participate in Renee and Estralla's baptism. It was preformed for Elliot who was baptized about a month ago and this is his first time performing an ordinance with the Aaronic Priesthood.
They have come really far to get to this point. They are a great family that love the Gospel and are grateful to have it in their lives.
It has been a humbling experience to be able to see the Holy Ghost to work in their hearts as they keep making changes in their lives to come closer to Christ.
I love the Gospel. I love the Book of Mormon for the testimony it shares of Jesus Christ to the whole world. For the lives that were changed and given to bring to pass the immortality of man and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
One last beautiful sight to share with all of you. Today I cooked swiss steak in the electric frying pan sitting on the table and baked potatoes in the crock pot sitting on the top of the Lazy Susan cabinet. It was a bit of a challenge, but when I saw this beautiful sight a few minutes later, it made it worth it.
Elder Ashton washing the Sunday dishes in the bathtub. I love this Senior Elder and think I will keep him around :)