November 8, 2010

as fall wanes, winter begins

Good morning to all my dear followers...

Just a couple things for an update.

I'm at 85 credits...getting closer to completion, and it'll pass by quicker than the blink of an eye.  (hey, he was a poet and didn't know it!)  After that, only the Lord knows...my coach and I have been having quite the profitable conversations as of late:  discussing that more importance needs placed upon the journey and not just the end-goal.  Seeing as I'm a rather long-term focused type of person (oh the ideas I have for the future!), I tend to get so caught up in what the Lord might hold ahead in life that the step-by-step, day-by-day details slip my focus.  Ergo, pragmatism receives a blow...

So, right now I'm working on Business Law II, after failing miserably on Business Law 1 last Friday.  Kinda depressing, but at the same time realizing that the Lord's in control and He has a bigger plan in mind for me not passing gives comfort.  From what other testers are saying on forums, it seems like BLII ranks up there in difficulty, but there ain't nothing that can't be overcome with perseverance, a plethora of study materials, and God's grace.  Besides that - 6 more tests, 2 courses, and 3 TECEP's.  Oh yeah...

Besides school, remodeling!

Here's the most recent picture captured...there's drywall where that empty section is on the ceiling to the right, btw.  Only a tad of a piece remains and the ceiling drywall's complete.   We hope.  ;)  Many thanks to John Creath for the help this past Saturday.


And for a random video.



That's it for now.

Au revior.

August 28, 2010

Remodeling Update #1

We're semi-slowly but surely shifting the house around to accommodate the movement of...practically everything in the house (quite the mental picture). A thank ye much to Mrs. Candler for helping Mom out the first day we began this endeavor!

The girls have officially moved upstairs, and their old room looks somewhat empty as of a few days ago, yet it's being filled with stuff from the living room/dining room...




That's what it looked like the evening they moved up in life. And it's been an interesting time, all this moving...which, as a result, makes us feel like we truly are moving, even though we aren't. :) Prayers would be appreciated for calmed nerves, especially seeing as they have to deal with this agressive action-seeker for an oldest son.

The dining room became an dininglesser room this evening. Imagine all the furniture gone save the table and chairs...and you got its current state.




(this doesn't include the delving of the cove, cleaning out all the insulation in the attic, setting up the girls' new bed, turning the spare 'oom into a temporary attic, and dealing with a lot of...stuff)

So, praise the Lord for progress and the future generations that, Lord willing, will fill this sucker to the brim - the remodeled state of the house, that is.

Y'all have a wonderful evening...


via the iPhone

August 11, 2010

We're Remodeling!

Again!  *grin*

The first round of major renovations our family/friends accomplished began a long time ago with the den...and the former boy's room...and Mom and Dad's room...then around ten years ago with our kitchen, downstairs bathroom, and porch.  The latter three took around 2 years, then we moved onto the upstairs, which we completely gutted, rearranged, added rooms, and made livable compared to its previous state.  The upstairs took around 3-4 years, and we're still finishing up little things here and there...trim or whatnot.

Now, with our recent accidental waterfalls in the attic that poured into the living room below it, we're remodeling the living room and dining room!  This is only phase 1...phase 2 shall be addressed in another post.

For posterity's sake, here's the "before" pictures...the after ones are a few months away from posting.  Naturally, pictures will be forthcoming of the progress...





Our current setup is above...the plan is to take out that wall with the big doorway along with the 45* angle wall (relative to the main part) beside it.  Since it's a supporting wall we'll have to address what exactly we're doing along the way.  Windows are going out as well and new ones are on the way.  All the walls are lathe and plaster without insulation, so out the walls are going, leaving bare 2x4's to be insulated and drywalled.  You can't see the ceiling (lathe and plaster) except the very corner towards the middle of the pic, but around 1/4 of it is damaged from water, so that'll be taken out and evaluated damage-wise, scrubbing off mold damage from the flood where necessary.  Carpet's being replace with...something...I think we're deciding either carpet or hardwood floors.




Here's the dining room.  What's being done in the living room with the walls/ceiling is being done in here as well, sans the mold aspect.  Replacing the lone window to the left.  The hutch built into the wall will be moved from the dining room into another room, freeing up that space.  The protruding section to the right of the hutch is a chimney to the right/cabinets along the left...we're taking that out.  Carpet's being replaced.

So yep, we're going to be busy.  Hoping to finish it all before winter!  :D

August 9, 2010

CA, the 3rd

Moving on to the weekend...the reception...church...the beach...and leaving...parting was such sad sorrow.  Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures during the reception, so your imagination will have to suffice with images of joy, fellowship, and a blessed time spent celebrating the wedding of Ben and Tiffany.

Now for Sunday afternoon...


visiting Jamba Juice once again! (albeit the ladies hadn't that pleasure yet)


WE'RE HERE!!!! the beach, that is


our faithful travel guide, photographer, and friend


Japan was just within range...!  the start of an oceanic baseball game


the boys are back in town...or at least the beach


a Nikon moment...at least it wasn't a Canon one!


now that Ben supports a family, he's had to change his diet


*grin*


those in the background provided some jump-rope music, yet the song escapes my memory


*cough*


after the beach, we went off to the wharf for dinner...yet a wait time provided for some outside entertainment!


Then Monday came, and we bid those in CA adieu...

And there's our California trip!  Hope y'all enjoyed it...

July 26, 2010

California! part deux

Well, we are not in California!  Last Monday we returned without /too/ much hassle...that'll be explained later.  In the meanwhile, here's the period following up the previous post...

Continuing with our shopping excursion...




behold, part of the grab-your-wrist-and-turn-your-hat-upside-down club



check out that price...the produce out in CA is absolutely amazing!!




Trader Joe's!  (truly located in Modesto, CA)





making breakfast that next day (Thursday)...we had decided to leave part of the IL contingent in the valley and get the house ready for the reception




Mrs. Hector's lovely garden




power-spraying their concrete...and running out of water multiple times as a result




Thomas and I really got into the whole "let's mess up the bunkhouse" mood...then we cleaned it up ;)




the look of uncertainty isn't unjustified...the grill took twice as long to assemble than what the instructions told us!!




lately, welding has become a hobby of Mr. Hector's




last but not least, a shot of the beautiful scenery the Hectors are blessed with every morning they awake...



Next up...the weekend!

July 15, 2010

California!

Well, we are in California!!!  The way here was rather interesting, between having our flight cancelled from Salt Lake City to Oakland, losing some of our luggage (and getting it again...praise the Lord!!), thinking we might have to stay the night in Salt Lake City (and leaving the next day for CA), thankfully getting a flight that went to Phoenix from Salt Lake City then on to Oakland...

So we arrived in CA around 10 PST...went on home (but not before getting some ice cream)...and went to bed around 1 PST...which would be 3:00 AM normal time.  Yes indeed, it was a long, but wonderful, day...

I'll let pictures speak for themselves with some commentary added...





Mrs. Sanford trying to figure out what on earth we're doing now that our flight is cancelled



finding out we had no idea where some of our luggage was located ('cause on the flight, there was no room in the overhead, so they had to check it in a temporary? fashion...something like that)



beautiful clouds high in the sky...



Phoenix encourages flight outside and inside



they look, um...so excited to see us again... *grin*



chatting with everyone back at home and drinking Jamba Juice!!! :D (and looking doofy :P )



for me Mother...In and Out! wonderful food, indeedy...



And there y'all have it!  I'm up in the mountains now with the senior Hector family having a splendid time while the rest of them are in the valley with the new Hector family...probably having a splendid time as well.  ;)

Hopefully I'll update again on Saturday...

July 8, 2010

Gearing up for traveling!

Testing out the location option...even though it's wrong...I think...the location keeps changing, lol!

Also beefing up the photo app stuff...panoramic shots, photoshop, and some filter apps. :D

Here's a shot from this evening!






(click on it to see an enlarged shot)



via the iPhone

July 1, 2010

Tripping!

Just testing out some mobile blogging...and I need to update my blog anyway. :D

We recently visited the Creation Museum near the border of three states...an absolutely wonderful time was had, beautiful weather accompanied the trip, and we even saw Ken Ham!





Emil ponders...something (small screens provide a great excuse for not knowing complete details)




a more complete view of my favorite room within the museum




the little ladies being silly and enjoying the gazebo




now the questions remain...does Emil think he's drinking a lemon frapp? or is Grace wondering why the light behind her couldn't be a tad more Narnian?




dinner at a Dutch buffet...which turned out to be largely seafood-ish...? (and some frog legs to the side...they tasted AWESOME!)


So there's a light overview of our trip...we're definitely thankful the Lord blessed Answers in Genesis with such a wonderful facility, and the Bandy's are looking forward to visiting again!


via the iPhone

April 23, 2010

March 16, 2010

finally...at long last

The moment you've been waiting for (or for which you've been waiting, whichever suits your fancy).

After many moons of neglect...I updated my blogroll! Moved some links around, updated here and there, added new sites...

Enjoy!

March 3, 2010

springtime...

...is almost here.

And oh, how I'm looking forward to it...creation lying dormant from winter's silent fury, comes forth to awaken from spring's fresh kiss...

(bet you didn't think I could come up with something like that!)






and in just a month or two...






Praise the Lord for such mysterious, intrinsic value with the beauty He's placed on this earth...and yet, nothing compared to what's a'comin'.

January 21, 2010

Protectionism and the Division of Labor

or, an attempt to put abstract ideas into a concrete pattern.

[note: this is something I wrote awhile ago...therefore I'm editing it here and there]

So these thoughts were running throughout my head whilst I read a few posts from this blog in conjunction with thinking about this post. This is what can occur when Ashton has random thought processes running about like crazy all at one time. They collide and make me ask questions. ;)

Basically, I asked myself this: is protectionism and the obstructing of outsourcing (or generally, inhibiting the division of labor) unbiblical when taking the dominion mandate into consideration?

Just some thoughts to throw into the wind and see if they take flight...or fire...

Certain Americans want American goods, American people, and other American aspects to stay within America. I remember from a few years ago seeing a billboard in Springfield one time that said "Keep Doctors in IL" or something along those lines. I remember telling myself, "yeah! we want 'em here, don't let 'em go! don't let those executives take 'em away from us!" Yet over time, more exposure to the weather (ie, economics) brings a better understanding to it...if one's open to instruction, that is. Protectionism basically defines itself...according to the wiki site, it runs as thus:

Protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between nations, through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other restrictive government regulations designed to discourage imports, and prevent foreign take-over of local markets and companies.

Ok, sounds great! We want our stuff to stay where it is and not let others conquer over it. But, there is a caveat. By not allowing foreign goods, possibly better foreign goods, it discourages progressive measures on account of the American companies because they know that the government is taking care of how they conduct business transactions. Back last fall (fall of '08) when taking my econ course, we studied this concept and one of the examples mentioned was the automotive industry within India back when they enforced restrictions on foreign imports. As a result, their industry became stagnant and the vehicle quality standard was lower compared to those produced by nations around India. After a time, of course, the government eventually put away with those restrictions and now India enjoys both exports and imports of their vehicles and the Indian automotive industry now must put forth measures to improve their cars.

Another wiki quote for outsourcing...

Outsourcing is subcontracting a process, such as product design or manufacturing, to a third-party company.

This allows for the division of labor, cutting down overhead costs and generally benefitting the economy overall. Another book we studied last fall, "I, Pencil" discusses the division of labor perfectly. It's nice and short...if any dear blog reader of mine has time, be sure to take a look at it. Protests to outsourcing may be like mine which I mentioned earlier or various personal reasons that might be put forth.

Now, according to the Dominion Mandate, it runs as follows...from Genesis 1:28...

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

We are to [please correct me someone if I'm extrapolating from this too much] not confine ourselves to one area in general, but instead fill it instead. "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."

A perfect example to contrast this comes from Genesis 11:1-9...

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. [emphasis mine]

Applying the ideas of protectionism and obstructing the division of labor (outsourcing) to this circumstance in a more theological manner, the Lord said, "Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imaged to do." The people had set themselves aside from the Lord and desired to fulfill their sinful ideas to the fullest extent in the land of Shinar (protectionism) as one people, "lest [they] be scattered abroad upon the race of the whole earth" (obstructing the division of labor).

Already, within the Dominion Mandate we're to "be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth," and Babel resulted from a people not desiring to subdue it, instead being limited to one area. Protectionism desires goods to be confined. Obstructing the division of labor limits the possibility of diversity within the industrial world. The natural tendency, in accordance to biblical principles, is to spread out and take control.

We'll call this part 1 of something.