Hello to all. Well, I'm at home again and I have a few minutes to think and write about our recent activities around the house. We apologize for the delay, but I worked almost 45 hours in four days (not on purpose) and then Travis was busy driving...his commute is three hours a day on average driving in and out of the city to get here.
God is helping us though! And, He is providing, as He always does. He allowed me a little more peaceful week to rest and recover yesterday afternoon and I have today off. Monday, before the rest came however, was another "push-up" day; I taught my fourth out of five target junior high schools for my nutrition outreach education project. We talk for about 40 minutes and do two physical activities-- one is standing double-leg squats and the other is the push-up challenge. Girls often have weaker upper bodies than men but that doesn't mean we should! So for all eight periods, I did the ten push-ups with the girls. But believe me 80 push-ups is a lot better than the 160 I do with the boys. Needless to say, it must be the adrenaline, because in high school I couldn't do two. I never thought through my curriculum until after I had done the first school-- and then I figure that if I do one school a month, I don't have to do weights all year for my upper body!
Other tidbits from the Ranch. These might be the last days of being here at the ranch, sitting at my wooden table staring out over the backyard. Travis and I are pursuing renting a place closer in town, as some of you know. But what we didn't anticipate is that we would end up almost buying one town home on Saturday...only to cancel our contract and start looking at other properties!
The market is at its lowest point, according to some of our expert friends (gotta love knowing all these smart people with all these great connections--I love my husband's profession right now!) and the time is ripe for those who are willing to make a leap. Even though we would have loved to be near our friends, the Spencer's, at South Mountain, we learned that we could apply for this program which would pay back about 80% of our rent for the first year. The only qualification is that one of us works more than 30 hours a week. That's me! The stipulation is that you pay your rent on time. Then at the end of the month, the foundation mails you back a percentage of your mortgage and interest and helps you to save for a "rainy day"--thus the foundation's name is The Rainy Day Fund.
Needless to say, we are very excited about this possibility, as we could (by God's good plan) accrue some equity, save more money than if we rent, and get to pick all the options we want in these little homes.
The homes are not full stand-alone houses. They are in the style of these new modern takes on "community" life-- several homes in one building. We are looking at a triplex-- a townhome of sorts where three homes are in one building. We get three (small) bedrooms, a two-car garage,
a kitchen to suit, a nice living space and everything two people could want in a neighborhood. The homes wouldn't be finished until the fall, so we are going to be searching for a short-term place close to town.
On another note, around the house, I (finally) got new vacuum bags. I had to drive to Outer Mongolia for them, but my family is devoted to the Miele vacuums, so I guess you could say, I did it for love. I also made a meal last night (that's three in two weeks for those of you who think I just "whip" up magical gourmet meals every night) of a delicious, hot Indian Curry Cauliflower Stew with Spicy Chicken Sausage. We also had a Jansen favorite-- Oma's Almond Cake.
I also want those of you who are suffering the bitter winds of January in colder parts of the States, that I have planted my spring flowers :) Enjoy a little taste of sunshine from us! (Even though its rained three times these two weeks and more is on the way!) I was able to pick up a bunch of pansies, a few snapdragons, a few yellow flowers I don't recall the names for and a primrose for under $20. That's my spending money for the month, but it is well worth it to be cheered by the sight of real alive plants and not the corpses of the perennials. Especially when the grass is brown and the trees are browner, your eye needs some green to rest on in Arizona.