Friday, July 25, 2008

Pioneer Day Pool Party

Wendy wears cool sunglasses!
Paul and Thacker Jackson
LeeAnn holding Mackay Robinson
Dave hides in the cave
Shannon, Bethany, and Krystin holding Thacker
Paul and Thacker coming down the slide

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Farewell to our Fine Furry Friends

We bid a sad farewell to Pepper, our last guinea pig this week. She passed away earlier this week and joined her sister Salt in PET HEAVEN. Salt died earlier this year. We will miss them both. We had them with us for four (4) years. Even though some people say they are rodents, to me they look and feel like baby bunny rabbits. They are fun to hold and pet. It was fun to get them out of their pen and let them run around the family room. They would run like a train (following each other) around the perimeter of the room, rarely going into the middle. But they learned to sneak under the couch. Then it was hard to get them out.

Besides eating the guinea pig pellets, they loved to eat carrots, celery, lettuce, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. They got smart and could hear the rustle of a bag of lettuce or carrots coming out of the fridge and they would start squealing, begging for food. They would gladly accept carrot peelings, lettuce scraps, and leftover salad parts. What will I do with the veggie scraps now? (Start a compost pile??)

The down side was cleaning out their cage every week. It got kinda stinky as you can imagine. That part we definitely will not miss.

The kids really had fun playing with them, building tunnels for them to hide in, mazes for them to navigate through, and just holding them and petting them. They even taught Salt to drive the doll house van one day. Amazing, huh!

Bye, bye Pepper and Salt.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

School trip

Sorry my school trip was in May, I just got the pictures. These are at sunset crater.
Mary, Naomi, Janel, Me, Kandace, and Marin
Maria and I in Sedona
Me at the Grand Canyon

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Our New Backyard

So after several years of looking at a dirt field (thanks to the dogs), we finally decided to do something about it. Our construction "Stage I" was the pool remodel. That has now been completed. The pool was re-plastered and we added a water feature which includes a rock slide and waterfall. We also added a "rock" around the pool equipment. A new shade canopy was erected which provides a shaded seating area and casts a shadow on parts of the pool from about 4pm on. We also added a new fence and some desert plants and rocks. Many thanks to Jenny Robinson who assisted us in the overall design and the plants. The pool has now once again become useable and is getting swimmers in it from far and wide several times a day.

Stage II was the backyard. That stage is also now nearly complete. We've added sprinklers, grass, concrete curbing, gravel borders and trees. We also painted the fence. Next to the pool we put up a gazebo and made the fence so it can open between the gazebo and the pool area. It makes it nice to sit in while people are swimming and it's become a great place to eat dinner when we want a change. This weekend I added controls for all the lights, pumps, etc. to the gazebo. The only part left now is the BBQ. It will probably be finished in the next few weeks and I'll post more about it then. Suffice it to say that it will be my outdoor cooking paradise.

We have now embarked upon Stage III which is the addition of an attached garage and office area. It's been many years in the making. Our plans were finally approved by the city a couple of weeks ago so we're off and going. This weekend we built and put up a 30 foot long rolling gate across the back fence and took down one section of the fence that it covers. Bonnie shot some video of us as we moved the giant (heavy) gate from the front yard to the back and put it up. I'll post more on Stage III as it progresses.

So stay tuned. Stage IV is the conversion of the old garage into an extended family room (you know, for all the grandkids that will be coming over), and Stage V is the kitchen. Although the first two stages moved quickly the remaining ones will no doubt require a lot more time to complete. In the meantime we do have a nice back yard now to relax in. Now if the weather would just cool down a little...

Friday, July 4, 2008

The 4th of JULY

A Happy 4th of July to all of you.
Happy Birthday to America. I love America.

What a beautiful country we live in. We have beautiful mountains, forests, deserts and plains. We have the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone park and other wonders.

I love the freedoms we have here.
We can vote for who we want as president.
We can worship any way we wish.
We can choose our schools and our careers.
We voice our opinions (like on this blog.)

Happy Birthday America! I'm proud to call you my home!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Laundry Room Disaster

Tonight we were sitting peacefully in our family room watching TV, when all of a sudden, we heard a rumbling sound. It sounded like bunch of rocks tumbling down a mountain. A LANDSLIDE? Or was it? We decide to open the door to the laundry room and were totally surprised to see our wall cabinet ( app. 7ft x 2ft) had fallen down and is now toppled over on top of the filing cabinet.

Down came all the laundry supplies, the cleaning supplies, the iron, some vases and who knows what else. There was this old rusty coffee can up there from the previous owner with something in it. I don't even know what was in it. Nails maybe, or other junk. I will have to look through the debris on the floor and my laundry pile (oops, you're not supposed to know that) . Interestingly though all the laundry soap - 2 bottles, fabric softener and bleach all landed in the open washing machine. How convenient was that?

So we have our work cut out for us. I don't know why it fell. I don't know how Dave is going to get it back up or move it out of the room. But we will pick up the pieces.