"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." -- Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV)

Thursday, August 23, 2012


So this is the school year in which Jesse is supposed to start kindergarten. Huh?

I mean, we've discussed what kind of curricula to use for him this fall and all of that home school stuff, but it only hit me this morning that the Commonwealth of Virginia and the county in which we live expect his little body to show up at the local elementary school on September 4.

Um. Wow. I guess it never clicked since we've been schooling him since he was a baby.

Meanwhile, Beau, who is awesome, has been furiously working to learn what we need to do to make it known to the powers that be that Jesse will not, in fact, being attending the local elementary school. Letters are being written, by us and by our friends and clergy (we are claiming the religious exemption) for submission to the school board.

Related, I got home last night and Jesse promptly informed me that he had a full school "day" of devotions, math, letters, and reading. Good job, Daddy and Jesse!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Books Completed

I apologize that this is basically going to be a link dump with star ratings for the books that I have completed since I last posted any book reviews. I have read quite a few between my Kindle and audiobooks.

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (narrated by Will Patton for Audible.com) - 5 stars

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue by Hugh Howey - 3 stars
Molly Fyde and the Land of Light by Hugh Howey - 4 stars
Molly Fyde and the Blood of Billions by Hugh Howey - 3 stars
Molly Fyde and the Fight for Peace by Hugh Howey - 3 stars

Mystery by Jonathan Kellerman - 3 stars

Angle of Investigation by Michael Connelly - 3 stars

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers - 4 stars

Austenland by Shannon Hale - 4 stars
Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale - 4 stars

Black List by Brad Thor - 4 stars

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale - 3.5 stars

The Maze Runner by James Dashner - 4 stars

Wow, that's a lot in about 6 weeks.

The stand-out is Alas, Babylon, which is an older book and about which I had heard great things prior to reading it for myself. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it - the narration was excellent and the story holds up well as a basic premise. I highly recommend it.

Riding the VRE train for a week (2 hours each day) helped with Kindle reading - I finished 3 books that week.

My commute has only increased by about 5 minutes so far, so my audio book listening pace has continued, too.

I'm currently listening to The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (book 2 in The Maze Runner series). And on my Kindle is The Complete Atopia Chronicles by Matthew Mather (a self-published series of stories recommended by Hugh Howey).

Moved Into The Money Pit?

We're all moved in and getting settled. There are still a lot of boxes to unpack, but the key things are done - kitchen, clothes, offices, etc. In our first month, we encountered two large hiccups of the money pit variety.

1. The day after we moved in, I started what was going to be about 7 loads of laundry. After load #1 was washed, I moved it all to the dryer and pushed the button to start and got only a click. About 20 minutes of fiddling and checking and we determined that "she's dead, Jim."

We had talked about adding the frig/washer/dryer to our home warranty, so I asked Beau to call to set up a service call. Turns out that option never was added to the home warranty, so no go. We called the 800 number on the dryer and were told that a service person would be there the next day.

She (!) arrived and then spent 3-4 hours sweating over our dead dryer (which worked fine at the home inspection, btw). She called a more experienced technician with no fix. She called the manufacturer with no fix. She got shocked once for her troubles. She left, soaking wet from sweat and effort and I felt terrible for her. We were not billed at all either.

That night I did some research online and bought a new dryer that was delivered two days later.

2. Last Thursday, after dinner I started feeling warm while moving around the house. Putting the kids got me really sweating. Beau came to bed and we tried to snuggle, but I was a sweaty mess and moved away from his furnace-chest. At that point he said, "Is it warm in here?"


Turns out the AC was dead. The fan was blowing, but the unit outside was not on and we couldn't get it to come on.

We called the home warranty people and they said the soonest they could send someone to take a look was Monday afternoon. I balked hard since our house was sitting at about 86F at that point already and it was going to be a sunny, hot weekend. There was no way I wanted my family to endure my whining and complaining if I had to sweat all weekend. I hate nothing less than to be sweaty constantly. I'm a big time sweat-er.

When I mentioned the problem to a guy in my office he said the exact thing happened to him last month and it turned out to be the capacitor. Simple fix and not expensive. So I begged Beau to call someone to come take a look. It was the capacitor, but the dude didn't have the right one with him and he had to come back on Saturday. We signed a contract for annual service calls, too. After he fixed it, he then serviced the furnace for the winter, so that's good to go now, too.

We are enjoying the house. The kids love having more space for running around. We like having more space for them to run around. I like that Jesse can ride his bike and I don't need to worry that he'll get hit by a speeding car (there's little traffic, but he stays on the sidewalks). I like that the kids can play in the backyard without too much hovering on our parts and they have a large, fun space back there.

The Lord blessed us with a great home for our family. We are grateful. And we're grateful that the first couple of hiccups were small and relatively inexpensive.