Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cabin Fever

Denise here.
Yes, I am at work this week, but other than that, I'm pretty much stuck at home because my poor little RAV4 has decided to die yet again. That is not my actual car, but mine is so old that when I tried to search for a picture of one... well, I didn't have many pictures to choose from... haha

It has been resurrected before, yes. And it is in the process of rising again... our dear friends Jeremy and Josh were a part of the first round... pushing my sweet, sad, little car up the ridiculous hill on Carroll Blvd... Oh, those were the days...back in 2005... I found this... boy, am I annoying... haha.
so... My dear, sweet sister in law will be picking me up from work today as my father in law comes to take my car away to be fixed. Again.

All of that to say, I have plenty of time (WAY too much since I'm also administering the TAKS this week. My 7th graders are "TAKSing" as we speak...write?... and 8th graders go on Thurs and Fri...) to daydream about how much I hope everything stays on schedule with the house so that we can actually move in on Saturday!!! CRAZY! We did the initial walk-through yesterday, and only found about 4 small yellow legal pad pages worth of small things to take care of... not too shabby considering most of it was paint platters and cabinetry dings that will be a cinch to fix! We go back today after work to check it all out again. They're being really great about trying to stick to the April 30 closing date as originally scheduled. :)

Along with dreaming of moving into our new home, I am dreaming about all of the delicious meals I will be able to cook again with our beautiful stainless appliances and all of my cookware that has been packed for about a week now... we are eating sandwiches, cereal, and frozen pizza until this weekend when we move in... I have this need to cook an amazing, impressive meal...probably because I can't... ;)

on another note, I am jonesing for a soft, delicious chocolate chip cookie like the ones I devoured at Alyssa's the other evening during Ladies Night 2010... ;)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


okay... so we got a call yesterday saying that we may be able to do the primary walk-through of the house sometime next week! woo! Basically, what that means, is that we will go through and pick apart every little bitty thing that is not right or needs to be fixed or tweaked before we sign off on the house :) We are really excited about it!
We went to see the house on Saturday since we had heard that they put in the tile and granite (we had to see it!). We're really happy with our choices. The colors all look great together (in our opinions!). I took a few photos to share with you, of course!
The granite is in!!! It is quite dusty, so it probably seems a lot lighter than it really is... we didn't have a rag or anything to wipe it away, though!

This shot shows the granite color a little better. The plumbing fixtures are all in, too! I'm super excited about having the spray nozzel and the 60/40 under-mounted sink :)

This next photo made my poor husband look like an alien... so rather than allow you all to be frightened by Alien Aaron, I "spray painted" him into the Smoke Monster via LOST. Not that that is any less frightening, though...

The kitchen having the granite countertops in already makes the house feel so much more like a home than a shell... it's pretty exciting :)

This is our tile that we picked out. We're really happy with our darker grout next to the other house colors.

TOILETS are in! woo! no more holes in the ground! haha

Another couple of shots with plumbing fixtures - bathroom style :)i LOVE this tub!!!! it is so deep I still can't believe it. I will be able to take a bath and actually have my entire lower body submerged at once!! First time in my entire life... :) crazy long-legged genes... thanks, mom ;)

Before I wrap it up, I have a few garden-ish pics for you (of course...):

We are not big cucumber eaters at our house for some reason, but we do love pickles... SO... I decided to try my hand at growing some of the smaller cucumbers to pickle this year! Aaron's grandmother (Nanny) is quite the master gardener, and I have heard many stories of her delicious pickled veggies, so she promised me yesterday that she will teach me to pickle these buggers this year! I am really excited about it!

...also, I think these cucumber sprouts are just adorable... :)

THIS little one is going to make some delicious sweet peppers for us! We might just have to pickle a few of these as well!I am SO excited about this plant. It's the tall skinny one with the long leaves. It's called a Lemon Verbena and I got it for ONE dollar at Calloway's the other day. They have a HUGE rolling cart (three teers high) of veggies and herbs that are only one dollar just because they are taller than they like to keep on hand. They got new shipments, so they are trying to get rid of some of the older plants. Basically, they're ready to go in the ground, so they're UBER cheap! You should go by if there are any that you are needing. I think I remember them having lots of tomatoes and peppers, and I'm pretty sure there were some eggplants and a few other great plants.
The picture above this (the sweet pepper) is one that I got for the same deal along with a cayenne pepper plant and a couple more mature tomatoe plants than our little sprouts so that we can have some fruit a little earlier in the season than we would otherwise get. Next year we'll have a cold frame so that our OWN will be more mature! I love how gardening is a constant learning game. It is completely trial and error and learn as you go. :)

One last thing to leave you with: I got this book in the mail today from Amazon. I'm really enjoying it so far! I hope you all are having a fantastic week so far. Be encouraged... It's almost halfway over if you're not... ;)

love, denise

Monday, April 19, 2010

Welcome Home

Aurora "Buddy" Perez
November 3rd 1926 - April 15, 2010
My grandmother set a legacy in her Christ-like example of self-sacrificial loving, giving, and helping.
She was known as "Buddy" by most everyone her entire life. We are thankful to have had such an amazing grandmother.

Welcome home, Mamaw!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sweet Whispers

I'm sitting in Starbucks as my husband faithfully serves by playing bass for a church in the Garland/Mesquite area. In a few hours, we will be alongside the rest of his family at the viewing of his sweet grandmother who went to be with the Lord Thursday evening.
As I take a short break from wrapping up some work emails/planning/etc. since I will be absent tomorrow for the funeral and to support our family in this time, I am encouraged by my dear friends and their wise, struggling, persevering, submissive hearts and words. The Lord is wooing me. He is drawing me closer to Himself through these Godly women He has, in His eternal wisdom, placed in my life. I hear him whispering sweet comfort to my heart and mind as my flesh struggles with the stress of work (and not being there to catch up), with the inability to shield my husband's heart from breaking each time he thinks about how much he misses his grandmother, who had a significant part in raising him to be the man who he is today, and with my feelings of imposition in this time of grief as I am still somewhat of a "new" member of the family since we have not even been married for 2 years yet. I only shared such a minuscule part of this self-sacrificial woman's life.
Through all of this, though, the point of this post is that I can feel the Lord's gentle tug at my heart.

"Cast your burdens on me for my yolk is light..."

Sherry encouraged me to memorize that verse over a year ago. The Lord is gracious to have it in the forefront of my mind today.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It May Get Better But It May Not

Denise said, "Death happens so that we don't grow to love this world." What a wise thing to say. It's like the Lord put those words right in her mouth.

We left the hospital in more emotional pain than I have ever experienced. It's a weird thing...almost impossible to describe. The fact that it's done. You have said what's going to be said and you've heard what you've heard. There will be no more conversations, no more laughter, no more wisdom, no more homemade dinners, no more grandmother and grandfather, no more pain.

no more pain.


and with those words a wave of hope crashes over me. I hope that in writing this, and letting you people in on a little personal moment, you might be encouraged:

-enter the hospital, nurses are talking, laughing, smiling, death and decay surround us, enter the hospital room, the lights are off, the sun is setting, my dear sweet grandmother lay in the bed, staring blankly, gasping for breath, hanging on to life, my grandfather doesn't speak, I hug him, mom and Jordan, then proceed to speak to my unconscious Mamaw... "mamaw, I'm here to see you, i know you can't hear me, and I'm sorry you're sick, but don't be afraid and don't worry, you don't have to hang on for us, we know that you're about to see Jesus, and we are happy for you, it's just hard to let you go." And then we waited, and waited, and waited, and as the machines continued to pump oxygen to my frail bodied grandmother, we could only sit and discuss the one thing that mattered, the hope we have in Jesus, how it's hard but we who know and trust Jesus can mourn in a way that is simultaneously painful and hopeful. As we left the hospital we said goodbye to my grandfather, he hugged us and simply said, "you all take care of each other."

hope, baby. we've got it.

so we ended the night by laughing, talking of the milestones that my Mamaw has taken us through, fun stories, our wedding date, etc... still a sad time, the literal darkness (lack of a lamp) in the room was almost too appropriate. But we cling to the Light. We have a high priest who can sympathize with us. It's just hard to say goodbye, that's all.

So anyways, that's what's been going on.

I find this encouraging during this painful season of life:

(click the plus sign then click the play button at the bottom to hear this blessing to you)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Classroom Love

I thought I would share with you guys a picture of the new "reading spot" in the class. I got this fantastic chair from a local thrift store (Friends of the Family) a few weeks ago. After a good wiping down from SEVERAL clorox wipes, the chair was good to go for the classroom! I got several lamps from the same store (same trip, actually), and spray painted them so that it wouldn't be SO gaudy and busy looking in the room. I need some extra side tables for the lamps (and extention cords...), so I just decided to use the stool for the time being...
Anyhow, here is one of my favorite students modeling the Reading Spot for you (i went ahead and blacked out his face and id just for safety/privacy reasons).

Happy Reading! :)

****hahaha - my husband looked at this post and said, "man... he looks depressed!" after looking at it again, I suppose he's right... the facial expression is necessary for this pic to work! just picture a really suave look on his face. He's trying to look "gangsta". hahaha :)***

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

As Promised

I snapped some quick shots on my way into the house yesterday as I promised! Here they are (again, sorry for the poor quality of my poor little iPhone!):
Morning Glories shooting up in less than a week:
Arugula - same time frame!
Last year was my first attempt at growing any type of potatoes. I tried sweet potatoes (I try to cook with those more often for health reasons...), and it worked BEAUTIFULLY!!! I just soaked some pieces that has started to sprout "eyes"/roots on them in cups of water in the windowsill, then when the roots had grown significantly, I just dug a hole in the ground and tossed them in! The plants got HUGE! Unfortunately, I don't think I ever snapped a picture of those plants... ALSO unfortunate: The winter frost murdered them before we got any potatoes from it :( THIS year I'm starting WAY earlier with hopes of Homegrown Spuds! I haven't planted any Sweets yet, but these are the Small Red Potatoes that I tossed in a couple of weeks ago - they are growing at an incredible rate! They are already so much more developed this morning from this picture (taken yesterday afternoon)!
In this second Potato shot, you can see the Butternut Squash seedlings that I mentioned a few posts ago - still UBER excited about those showing up this year!!!! :)
I feel like I almost lived at IKEA Frisco this past weekend (NOT complaining... i LOVE that place...) - I went on Saturday with Kelley after we attended a "Make Your Own Rain Barrel" class there in Frisco (we were so close! how could we NOT have stopped by?! haha). I'll definitely have to post about the class sometime in the near future. We took a picture next to our barrell after we finished making it, and I want to get one more when she and Jer get it all set up at their place - sort of a before and after thing! So be on the lookout for that post! :)
Anyhow... All that just to tell you that I got several houseplants for our new home while I was there on Saturday, and I got some great ceramic pots for them to live in while I was there with Jen again on Sunday (she needed to go, and what kind of a friend would I be to allow here to go all the way to IKEA alone?!) :) I'll post pictures of the plants IN the pots (you can sort of see them stacked up together at the bottom of the shot) whenever I get a chance to go pick up some more potting soil... Somehow I've managed to go through a HUGE bag in less than a week and a half... haha. I can't wait to be in the new house and figure out exactly where these little babies will park themselves (have i mentioned before how anxious I am for the new house to be ready for us??). :)

Also in the picture above, you may notice a little sprout shooting up from the hunter green pot in the top right corner of the shot. THAT little bugger (we think it's a squash?? there's another one in there, too...) was some sort of accidental sprout that developed in Kel and Jer's garden just from recycled soil from last year's garden! HAHA They are finding TONS of those in all of the starter pots in which she's reusing soil... lots of tomatoes, squashes, etc. Next year she may not have to even BUY seeds if it happens again... :)

After we visited IKEA on Saturday, we spend a good 30 minutes or so attempting to dig out some blackberry and raspberry vines that grow wild in their front yard. We wanted to see if we could transplant them into some pots... I'm pretty sure we did a great job of FAILING... They all died in a matter of 1 day... DANG! I should Google "how to transplant blackberries" before our second attempt...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Quick Sprouts!

Oh, you guys... I have such awesome pictures I need to take for you! I went out to water my little seeds that I planted last week (the ones I posted pictures of in the post before last), and to my surprise, there are TONS of little seedlings! It's amazing! Most of them weren't supposed to germinate/sprout for at least a week! BUT... here we are, only about 4-5 days later, and they are popping up EVERYWHERE to say hello! It's so funny how they are doing it, too... I didn't have time to take a picture this morning, but if more are doing it tomorrow, I'll snap one for you. The Morning Glories and the Zinnias all basically lifted up the top layer of soil that was over the seeds, so there was a layer of soil, the strong bench-pressing seedlings, and then about an inch of more soil hoovering above the seedlings! So strange! It was a fun surprise to find this morning, though :)

Sorry for the lack of photos today, but I'll see what I can do about that this afternoon before homegroup. Hopefully I'll have some good ones to post for you tomorrow morning! Happy Monday!
p.s. Until the next post, here are some pictures of what they should look like when they are in bloom!
Blue Morning Glories:


Friday, April 9, 2010


I know I already posted (and a LONG post at that... sorry!), but I thought I would also share... I came across this book that I would LOVE to get before the summer is over. I want to try preserving a lot of our produce this summer so that we can lessen our grocery bills this next year! GO GREEN, BABY! :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010


As promised, I come bearing new pictures of greenery! I have really enjoyed several days in the past week, sitting out on the front porch, digging in potting soil, and dreaming of our future garden at our new (FIRST!) house.

OH! we have an official closing date: APRIL 30! Crazy, right?? It's still not really "real"... I think they told Aaron that the granite countertops should be in by either yesterday or today?! Based on the time frame the guy at the design center gave us, I don't see how that is possible, but I'm very okay with it! :) I think we may go by tonight to take a look at the house just to see if anything has been done since we picked everything out at the center about a week ago :) If things have changed, rest assured, I will share pictures!

These first couple of pictures are preparing for my Planting Fest that I had the other day. I had some herbs, bulbs, and seeds that I wanted to get started, as well as some bean sprouts that I needed to transplant so that I could bury their stems a little deeper. I'm starting a LOT earlier this year than I did last year, but I still feel like I'm late! Luckily Spring was late this year, too. LOL:

Our dear friend Anna Davis (Jen's Mom!) sent some Purple Bearded Lilly bulbs to us the last time the Holms went back to Lindale. I took some time to plant them, temporarily, into a couple of pots so that they can start rooting before transplanting them at the new place in a few weeks. This picture is before I got them planted. They are still a tangled mess of bulbs, here... I'm so excited to see them bloom!!
-Pots of dirt ready to be the new home to beautiful flowers/veggies:

My sweet mother-in-law sent some seeds home with Aaron the other day, so I was able to get those started this week (morning glories, zinnias, and petunias!):The middle three containers have some daisy seeds that should be a beautiful white color (also from the "Mother-in-Law Seed Collection" :)
This is something I am actually VERY excited about: Last year, I attempted to grow some Butternut Squash from seed. I am sad to report that they never even sprouted. I was SO dissapointed, because I think it was about a year and a half ago when I first TRIED butternut squash and FELL IN LOVE with it. It is SO DELICIOUS!!!

Well... THIS year, I decided that "Maybe those seeds were just bad... I should at least TRY for some this year!" and, Ladies and Gents, I am proud to say that we now have about FIVE Butternut Squash sprouts!!!! Here are the first two, poking their little heads out to say, "HELLO!"

I recently read in a magazine (maybe Martha Stewart Living?? I honestly can't remember...) about some really great homemade teas made with a French Press (which I conveniently got as a Christmas Present from my sister-in-law this past Christmas!!!). Homemade teas were one of the original reasons that I wanted to grow a lot of my herbs, and I'm very excited to try it soon. I'll have to post about it when I do! Maybe this weekend... :)
Here are some of the herbs that will be featured when I DO make those teas:
Peppermint, Grapefruit Mint, and Chocolate Mint. I need to get another Chammomile plant... my first one, last year, did not fare too well... Oh, and you may have noticed one of our three different Lavender plants in the "dirt pots" picture above:
I have also come to a conclusion this week: I will definitely need some sort of gardening center/countertop/workspace/greenhouse when it comes time to start our seeds next year...our poor front porch has gotten a little out of control! :) It does make me really happy to come out and see them all just growing away as I leave for work in the mornings and come home to them in the evenings.

And, last but certainly not least... I thought I would share this with you... I was in the kitchen the other day, and noticed something swaying in the window... I went out to find that the asparagus plot (bucket?) that we got from the in-laws' garden about a year and a half ago (and that I thought was completely DEAD) is actually NOT dead, but THRIVING!!! that is an asparagus that I didn't realize had grown (obviously...since I thought it was just dried up remnaints of asparagus root in a bunch of dirt...). It is HUGE! I've let several of them grow up and go to seed before, but we've never had one so tall or THICK! I put my size 8 Crocs shoe in the pot so that you could see just how huge the thing is! I was shocked to find it!! Can't wait to have a whole plot of asparagus at the house :)
p.s. don't mind all the dead plants next to that pot... consider that the Power Plant Graveyard... (lol) Poor Aloe...


love, denisie

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Baby Berry!

Get ready to meet our very first ready-to-eat, grown in our own garden (well, flower pot on the front porch...) STRAWBERRY! She's adorable (and aparently delicious!)!!
The critic (my beloved husband, AP!) says that she was perfectly sweet (not bitter OR tart!). I'm so excited to see these plants flourish through the summer!
My husband agreed to "model" the eating of the first strawberry for all of you, our beloved Blog Followers. He's such a great sport!! Thanks, BABY!!!
This pic's my favorite. I think it's hilarious. Paul Martinez agrees with me (don't you Paul?!)!

the results???


Happy Gardening/fabulous North Texas weather today!

P.S. We both get to take off early from work today so that we can pick our the flooring and countertops for our new house!! The place doesn't make appointments on the weekends OR after 3pm...in DALLAS... so... we were both forced to use vacation time... oh well...our HOUSE is getting completed!! TOTALLY worth a half day of vacay, right?? After this, they just have to put those things in, and we get to MOVE in! Shouldn't be more than a few weeks, now!! YEA!!! Don't worry...you know I'll keep you in the loop!!