Monday, August 25, 2014


See, Ashley and Amanda?  I told you I was going to do a blog post on "grass"!  When you live in
 an area of the country that gets approximately eleven inches of rain per year, we get excited
 during  the  monsoon season when the grass starts to grow!

Over the years, we have had a native grass spread all around the property, which has been 
delightful!!  It seems to be choking out the pigweed which is a very good thing!  We did a lot 
of mowing this weekend because we have an 80% chance of rain Monday night into Tuesday.
That's almost unheard of for us!

I know this seems like a pretty boring post, but I have to show Courtney and Jonathan, and
 remind  myself of all the green once monsoons are over.

I have to say that I am ready to be done with rain - the higher humidity, grass that grows, bugs, 
and the ever-present mud is taking its toll on me!  We have had over eight inches of rain so far, 
and I am more than ready for the dry air and abundant sunshine to return!!  Mowing and
 trimming is definitely over-rated!

This afternoon's cloud buildup!

And, just because..................Isaac and Joshua wanted to wear their Army shirts to show Jonathan today!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lunch With the Newlyweds!

In an effort to give the newlyweds their space, we have left them alone.  New marriage, new job, new school......all of that adds up to a lot of stress and busyness.  So, when we were "summoned", we jumped!

I had a good-sized collection of "Rachel items" that I had been collecting so this was a good
 opportunity to give them to her.  Jonathan had given her this park bench about six years ago, so 
we brought  it for their front porch!

Their apartment was very cute and homey, and we enjoyed looking at all their more recent wedding gifts.

Aren't they cute?  They are off to a really great start, and we really enjoyed our visit with them.  
And Amanda D, notice the purse?  Rachel absolutely LOVES it!

So, off we went to the local Chinese buffet, which was Rachel's request.

What do two rambunctious boys do while Dad is still inside paying the bill?  Why, climb 
on the  lion statues, of course!!

All in all, it was a great afternoon - it was good to visit with the Camarenas!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Before the Ceremony Began.........

What a whirlwind last week was!  But Rachel and David are officially married and starting school and a new job today.  The wedding was lovely, God held the rain back, and this young couple was very blessed by family and many good friends!

Rachel is very creative and had very definite ideas of how she wanted everything decorated! 
 It all turned out beautifully!

The ladies of the bridal party were all in the nursery, so that's the reason for the toys on the floor and the Cubbie's posters on the walls!  David's sister, Rosie, did Rachel's hair and make-up.

We were so glad to see Courtney!  She and Rachel have talked about being each other's 
Maid-of-Honor since they were about nine years old!  This was a very
special time for these two sisters!

I can hardly believe this precious daughter of mine is now married!

 Isaac and Joshua got dressed minutes, yes I said minutes before the that no
disaster would befall them in their ring bearer outfits!  They did a great job!

Meanwhile, out in the sanctuary, Courtney, Joe, and Mr. Rhoden were setting up my laptop with
 SKYPE so Jonathan could enjoy the ceremony!  He got up at 2:15 am and got to participate for
 three hours - that was so very special!

My very good friend, Beth, and her husband Drew, drove down from Phoenix for the big event and
so graciously picked up my parents along the way!

David and Grandpa!

Ahhhhh.......what a tender moment.  Dad and daughter, just before they were headed down the aisle!

Actual wedding and reception photos to come later!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Just A Little Peek!

Isn't she beautiful?  I know that,  being her mother, I am rather biased, but oh my.......she was absolutely gorgeous yesterday!  The wedding went as planned, the rain held off, and Rachel and David were blessed beyond measure by many family members and friends.

More to come as the pictures come in!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wedding Shoes!

Apparently it is popular to have someone make the bride "wedding shoes" to be worn during the reception - I guess the bride wants to take off those uncomfortable heels and wear something more comfortable, like flip-flops! David's cousin, Nora, made Rachel these very cute wedding shoes!

Pretty cute!  Rachel is at a women's retreat this weekend ministering as a worship leader.  Courtney flies in on Monday and then..........whoa!!!!  Things start happening at a rapid-fire pace!  Only five more days until the wedding! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Visit to Arkansas!

After Joe picked David up from QUEST in Texas, they headed to Arkansas to visit some very
 dear friends who moved there in the spring.  They had a great time, and got to enjoy the green,
 the  rain, and a boat ride on a nearby lake.

Thank you, Ashley, for letting me borrow  some of your great pictures!

David, you look entirely too comfortable at the helm of that boat!

We have known the Doughty family since we moved to Arizona in 2005......let's see, that would
 make Amanda and David both around five and six at the time, and Ashley would have been 
around eight.  It's been fun to see all of you grow up! 

Come on, Amanda!  You can hang on! What a look of determination!

Ashley, enjoying the ride!  Great picture of you, my dear!

David and his very first attempt at water can probably imagine how it went!

Mr. Doughty, you have a little devilish look to you......!!  Were you the one driving when David
 "attempted" to get up on skis?????

  "Hmmmmm, I could make this a VERY interesting ride for David!  Should I - or shouldn't I?"

Joe, after his three-minute victory session on water skis!  Way to go!!

Amanda, aka "Surfer Girl" - I think you had a really good time!  Great picture of you, also!

After the fun on the lake experience, you all look a bit worn out!

Amanda, David (under duress, obviously) and Ashley!

Ashley went to STEP in June, the young ladies' version of the camp that David went to in July.

 Ashley required a picture of the two ATI graduates - thank you Ashley!

And......since David gave her so much grief about this, Ashley posted a picture of the two of them from 2008 to show that nothing much has changed - ha ha!!

Thanks again, Doughty family, for making my men feel so welcome!  They had a GREAT time!!