Monday, March 31, 2008

Mens Day

More fun in full-screen mode!

Work day

WOW! What a difference 12 extra men, a dozer and a day makes!!

We are so thankful for all of the incredible help we had last Friday! A team of 12 guys from John's work came and did some serious damage (the good kind!) to our house site. They sawed, macheted, stacked and cleared trees. They dozed stumps and improved the road. They built a shed in a day (minus the roof because we didn't have all of the materials)! They covered the shed with tarps (for which I was extremely thankful for on Saturday). Some of them enjoyed a hike to a lookout and 4-wheeling for small breaks. But from all I saw - they worked hard! Many, many heartfelt thanks to each and every one - and for those at home who allowed them to come.

I am pretty certain that the one who had the time of his life was Hadden! Take a close look at his face on the dozer and 4-wheeler in the pictures of the next post! He was all about "guy's day". He spent a good amount of time watching them build the shed and I am pretty sure loved every single minute of his day. He got to go on the hike with the boys and even got to go out on the rock with Daddy.

Savannah was my big helper and she also was able to ride the 4-wheeler a few times, so she had a great day, too.

The exciting thing for me was seeing the progress. We came and went throughout the day to get lunch and supplies so it was fun to be surprised at how far they progressed. Our view is now visible and we love it. The weather has been cloudy and rainy since then so I have not been able to get good pictures ... yet. Stay tuned :)

Side note about the shed "roof" - Saturday, John and the kids made a run to Home Depot while I stayed behind to put up some signs and enjoy some quiet time. I took the dogs and went to the other ridge to put up the signs. On the way back, Mercy wandered off (I think in search of water as it was pretty hot). I waited for 15-20 minutes, then hiked on, hoping that she had taken a short cut back. After getting back, I called and called for her, but she did not come. Then, it started to pour! I was VERY glad for both the shed and the tarp roof. Lilly and I took cover and waited out the storm. John and the kids returned, another storm or two came and went and still no sign of Mercy. Long story short, John went out looking for her, got soaked, found her waiting by the signs I had put up and brought her back. The kids and I waited out a couple of more storms in the shed. Thank you, guys, for the shed!

We would not be able to repay all of the hard work, kindnesses, and joy given to us over the weekend by these guys. The verse that keeps coming to mind is: Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

We feel blessed to be part of such of a great group. Thanks, guys!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


We had a wonderful weekend celebrating the resurrection of Jesus!

Friday and Saturday were work days - we took down more trees, cleared more brush, etc. Our neighbor rented an excavator and did some mighty fine road work! We can easily get up in the truck now, and could get up in the car if we were extra careful.

Saturday afternoon, the kids and I took a break and helped at the Easter egg hunt at our church. There were a lot of children there and the focus was on the real meaning of Easter - celebrating Jesus' resurrection. Although the eggs, baby chicks, baby bunnies, etc. are nice - they aren't the best!

Sunday, after church, we spent the day just enjoying ourselves on our property - taking a nice long hike, visiting with the neighbor and hearing about his plans, scouting a new trail on a ridge that we explored. Great fun. It was breezy, so it was pretty cold when we weren't moving.

Funny thing happened on Saturday - I met a lady that had a shirt on from my former company in Portland! She told me that it was her husband's and she didn't know where it came from. Wild.

We found a well-driller! Hallelujah! Progress. Laundry is done for this week, so all is well at the Kurtz household :)

So, how are you doing?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

For those "cooking" challenged...

For those of you who are like me and chose to play outside when you were young instead of helping in the kitchen ... here are some detailed tips to hard boiling an egg! I just finished some, and I have to say that these are "fool" proof. Trust me!

Here's more "foolproof" proof: Once, Hadden overheard me make a noise of some kind in the kitchen like "hhuuuhhh" (imagine taking a breath in loudly!) and he said, "Aawwww, Mom, did you burn something again?!!"

My Mom is an excellent cook, and my sisters all are, too. Somehow ... I just don't have it ...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Random updates

1. We are now officially Alabamaians - we went to the courthouse yesterday and got our licenses, transferred our titles, registered to vote and applied for a homestead. Don't ask why it took us this long ... something about not having a permanent address ...

2. It was our 8th anniversary yesterday - we celebrated by going to the courthouse and doing all of #1 :) John had to be at work until about 7, so we decided to just have Mexican at home.

3. Adding to the wildlife list - I saw 2 foxes the other night. They were very cute. I also saw 2 deer on the way back from a jog.

4. Hadden (while he was laying in bed thinking): "Mom, which way does the earth rotate?" Mom: "Honey, you need to ask your Dad, but not right now"!!

5. Savannah (after hearing the weather report of "isolated storms"): "Mom, does that mean hail?" She obvioulsy heard "ice-o-lated storms"!

6. We are hoping to have some driveway road work accomplished this weekend. We are trying to rent some equipment and finding a lot of roadblocks (no pun intended). I am also struggling to find a well driller - anyone know any near Birmingham, AL?

7. I read the following segment of Scripture in the Daniel study that I am doing and it jumped out at me ... especially the last verse. It is one of those that begs for me to study deeper.

Romans 11:29-32
for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

In His Care,

Monday, March 17, 2008

Book Review - "The Miracle of Mercy"

A good reminder of how important mercy (and grace) are in our Christian walk. How come so many of us are eager and ready to receive mercy and grace and equally as quick to withhold mercy and grace when it comes our turn to give it?

I especially liked his points in the last chapter regarding forgiveness and how important it is for us to forgive even if the other party doesn't seek it, deserve it or acknowledge it.

This book is an easy read, but I found the large number of excerpts from other sources a distraction to following a succinct train of thought. Even with that said, I still would recommend it because the concept is good.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home

A few people have asked about our current living arrangement - here it is ... we are camped in among a bunch of trees. It is very nice until it storms. The noise of the wind and rain, pine cones and branches hitting the camper make me a little nervous. The boat does not belong to us. Notice our "back yard" runs right into the woods ... needless to say, with very few street lights, I didn't like taking the dogs out at night! John put up the electric dog fence, which has been a huge help.

Anybody want to come and join us in the adventure??? :) Come on, it's fun!

The benefits include: serenity and quietness, lots of deer - we see a group of 6 fairly frequently, robins, woodpeckers, squirrels and rabbits.

Even though it doesn't look all that glamorous, we are truly having a great time making memories :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Home from PA

We had a very nice trip to PA and arrived home in AL last Wednesday after a 14-hour drive. Thanks to all who prayed for our trip - it went very smoothly, we all managed to stay healthy and we had a wonderful time catching up with friends and family. As always when we visit "back home", we never have enough time to see everyone that we would like. So, I guess that means that y'all will have to come visit us here in AL! That goes for all of you in OR, ID, and PA, etc!

We stayed at John's sister's house and were shown incredible hospitality. We were very thankful for the comfort of their home and the freedom to come and go as we needed - THANKS Dave and Becky!

On Monday while we were there, we loaded up an ABF trailer with all of the belongings that we had in storage. With a lot of hard work and definitely with the Lord's help, we were able to get loaded in 7.5 hours. It was especially helpful that good friends kept the kids the whole day for us (thanks, Andrea!). We had the trailer delivered here yesterday, so we got to move it all ... again ... into yet another storage unit. We are thankful to be able to have access to it now. Needless to say ... I am kind of tired of moving it :) Today, John said that the move into the house will not feel like work at all, because I will be so ready to be in a house again. True!

Below are some progress pictures of our home site - this one is the previous "future home site" in an earlier blog. We have cleared a number of trees and are preparing to have a bulldozer out to prepare the site for building. It's a lot of work, but also very rewarding and refreshing to be outdoors all day.

This one is kind of hard to see, but it is our brush pile with Hadden standing in front of it (for perspective). The kids have done a great job helping to clear brush. We have been keeping the logs whole for now - hoping to use them for something in the future.

Sunday, after church, we went and just enjoyed our property by taking a long hike. Our property borders a wildlife management area, so we were able to hike onto it and then do a big loop - it was a beautiful day. With the recent rains, we have a nice stream running through the valley at the bottom and a couple of puddles that were tricky to get through. Our dog, Lilly, had no problem - she just splashed right through them. If we took too long, she came pouncing back through as if to say "duh, this is how you do it guys".

It also snowed again on Saturday morning! Glad I didn't need milk or bread this time :) Even though it snowed, it definitely is feeling like the beginning of spring. We are also enjoying the extra hour of daylight now that the time has changed.

Hope all is well at your home!