Once again, updating this site has become almost a chore...but, finally an update is here! (Usually I cannot publish this correctly, and I get discouraged).
Anyway, the Big News is that our second-born, Theresa, will be getting married in the Summer (probably) of 2008. She became engaged to Captain Collin Coatney (USAF) the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. He surprise her by flying in from his current assignment in Korea for the holiday. I'm not too sure of the planning process, but I suppose it will eventually become clear (as mud???)
Jennifer was working part-time for Game Crazy in Fountain Hills. The parent company of Game Crazy and Hollywood Video filed for bankruptcy and decided to close the stores in Fountain Hills. Jennie could still have a job at another store (in East Scottsdale) if she could drive. So, for the time-being, she is once again unemployed, but not un-busy. Jennie signed up for the Fountain Hills Community Choir once again, and is busy preparing for a concert on December 2nd.
Not much is new for Joe3 or Tom. They are still both going to school and working at In N Out Burger, though at a different store (farther from home). Joe3 bought himself a new car: a 2007 Honda Civic Si. He's also customized it a bit (new headlights, tinted rear lights and a "high-efficiency" air intake). His old car (1997 Kia Sephia) he gave to Tom. Tom just had to pay for repairs to the engine, transmission and new tires. It cost Tom quite a pretty penny, but at least he knows what he is getting for that expense, rather than buying someone else's used vehicle.
Joe Jr. is still doing quite a bit of traveling. With his frequent-flyer and hotel points...I sometimes get to go along. We are still actively involved with volunteering for the National Geodetic Survey...finding (or not finding as the case may be) benchmarks in Arizona (and some in California or New Mexico). We have come to the point where we really feel a Jeep would serve us well in our pursuit of some of the benchmarks in the desert or mountain terrain. We have a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on order. It may take 6 months (from late October 2007) to finally take possession of the Jeep. Okay...so it's our mid-life crisis toy! ~_^
As of the first week of November, I started to volunteer to take Eucharist to those at the hospital in our parish boundary. It's a brand-spanking-new hospital called Banner Gateway. It's a bit of a maze, but I think I am starting to get used to it. This is a weekly commitment, and I have about 8 people on my team (did I say I am the "team captain"...which means I have to make sure we have enough people going to make visits each Wednesday). I am still quilting...currently working on a Hawaiian inspired quilt using material Joe and I bought in Hawaii this year. I am also still writing icons. I've signed up for another workshop in February 2008. I still think of myself as the neophyte, though I have completed 11 icons so far, and am currently working on one of the Transfiguration. I am working myself into a dither, though, because this one has such small faces and hands and feet...and I'm not sure I can do a good job on them. (Do I use enough ellipses?) Also, I'm still volunteering with the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona, though "jobs" are few and far between. I'm also still in the choir and cantor at church. Finally, for the 5th year, I am singing in the joint Saint Anne Roman Catholic and Gilbert Stake Latter Day Saints Christmas choir (wordy enough for you?) Again, we have some really beautiful Christmas songs to sing, and there will be handbells accompanying us as well as a small ensemble of woodwinds and strings. On Thursday night, December 6th, we will also have a children's choir performing and some soloists (ahem...I will be one soloist, singing "When Mary Sings Her Lullaby" by Sally DeFord).
It's amazing how quickly seasons seem to change, here. We went straight from Summer to Winter. "Fall" saw plenty of above-normal temperatures, so we really didn't have an Autumn feel to the air. Of course, we don't have much in the way of Fall colors, either. Rain has been scarce this year. Hopefully we will make up for it this Winter.
I haven't read much this year. I did read several books while on vacation, but that is about it. We've seen more movies than usual...but I haven't much to say about them.
I do want to review a play we attended this past weekend (the Friday after Thanksgiving). We went to see "Cheaper by the Dozen". It was put on by MoezArt Productions...a new 501C organization which caters to home-schooling students. Our neighbors' three children had parts in the play at the time we went (there were 2 casts, so all the children who signed up could have parts). Michelle, who is 15, had the part of Anne, the oldest sister. She did a marvelous job...I even thought she was going to cry at one part (from sheer frustration...in character). Joey, who is 12, played Fred in the cast we watched, but also played Joe Scales in the other cast. He was alright, but not as convincing as his sisters. Danielle, who is 10 played Dani. She is almost as good as Michelle in her part. The play was a retrospective on the family life of the Derbyshires after the father, a time-management fanatic, passed away. The show was rather pricey for an amateur production ($8 per person). We enjoyed it nonetheless.