Monday, April 28, 2008

A Picture's Worth 1000 Words

Last Friday was the graduation of the newest members of the F16 community... For those who don't know, Luke Air Force Base is the main training base for F16's, training the nations qualified individuals the in's and out's of flying the complex machine. Since this was our first graduation to attend, and John had a significant contribution to the student's learning (as one of the Instructor Pilots) I was reminiscent of John and my brother's "B-course" days, when they lived in Ohio and were flying with the Springfield Guard. My, how things have changed since that time- more responsibility, less late nights and a whole lot of growing up!! In remembrance of those crazy guys, crazy parties and crazy days, I've posted a few pictures.

Raging in the car
"AAYYYYYYYY!"


I always thought this picture was hilarious (Alred's face smashed on that girl)


The guys- singing their songs

Playing Dinosaur
Mid-course party- experiencing the Shot-Ski

Me, Pam and Alysia (before Grad night)
Me, Kate and Dana at the party before graduation

Playing '007
Graduation Night

Sunday, April 27, 2008

From Start to Finish!

It's been a busy week for John and I. He got home from a 3 week trip to Alaska one week ago today, and since then (as always) life hasn't been boring! We made it to an Arizona Diamondbacks game on Monday night when they played against the SF Giants. It made up for the missed game on our honeymoon... We did the Coastal California tour for our honeymoon and for our day in San Francisco, he had gotten tickets to a baseball game.. Well, we had just come from Napa Valley and I caught a nasty bug and ended up with a violent vomiting episode during the drive up and John caught it and was up all night! So we still have the unused tickets to remind us.

John took the week off of work because he's still got the backyard looming over his conscience. While he was in Alaska, he was reading up on everything he could about irrigation systems and backyard lighting, so when he came home, he came home running! For those of you in the East/Mid West, this may sound like extravagance since I grew up in Ohio and never heard of anyone having built in sprinklers and the like... However, here in the desert and even up in Utah (which is High desert) it is a must to have built in sprinklers, etc to sustain any kind of plant life in your yard! He took a week off of work for Phase 1 as well, but unfortunately the work required more than just one man, and more than just a week! However, this Phase was no match for him! With ambition to dig the foot deep trenches by hand, he quickly surrendered when he realized that the dirt was almost as hard as concrete and rented a machine to dig the trenches.

Once that was done, it was smooth sailing as he put in the matrix of PVC pipes, jointed and glued together as well as the lighting wires and drip tubing. By Friday he was putting in all the sprinkler heads and yesterday I helped with the individual drip lines to ensure each of our future plants is well nourished and hydrated! He even calculated which plants needed more water than others and we've accommodated accordingly! Yesterday we finished up, and John turned on the whole system for a test run before we filled in the trenches. Now our back yard looks no different than when he started the week, but it is now ready to get some greenery!!!! We will head out today and hopefully stop by some nurseries to compare prices and get the plants we want! We will have them planted by the nursery because most places will insure them when they plant them and you loose that piece of mind when you try to do it yourself. All we have to do, is pick out our plants and schedule for them to put them in... Maybe within the next week, we will have some beautiful green plants in our yard!!



The finished product (even though it doesn't look like much)- if you look close, the sprinklers are turned on!


Our future Citrus Tree- equipped with drip lines (with 8 gal/hr emitters) and lighting

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Room To Be

Now that I've settled into the reality that we're going to have a baby, the next logical step is planning the nursery- right? So I've been soaking in and collecting ideas lately. I have to admit, I don't have too much experience with infants and only recently have my nearby friends started having kids so I don't even have that many nursery's to draw conclusions from. In my lack of knowledge and creativity, I resorted to surfing.. the web of course. So I put on my wet suit and dove in for inspiration. I went to BHG.com but they try to make you sign up and pay money just to look at their designs so I found a great site that allows you to pick some color schemes and themes and shows you a whole bunch of pictures, which is where I found my inspiration. (Below)



What I'm looking for in nursery design:



  • Fresh, Alive, and Calming feel- like a breath of fresh air


  • Non- pastel colors- not my thing


  • Color that enables me to paint the walls a neutral color that will be good for resale (I hate going to buy a house and seeing the ugly pink and purple walls)


  • I suppose more modern- may be a problem getting the traditional husband on board


  • Good flow through the colors- truth is I've been obsessed with the brown/blue scheme but I figured I'd switch it up a tad


  • Interesting patterns- for baby Wilson to study with his bright eyes


So I made it to my favorite store, Joann's Fabrics, yesterday. While picking up little smocking material to make the easiest dresses ever (one seam to sew and it's a dress, Pictured on the right), I browsed the quilting fabrics too. My very talented friend here at Luke is going to make me a quilt for the baby and she has appointed me as the designer of the quilt too. That's actually what got me thinking nursery design since she was encouraging me to pick colors for the quilt and I wanted harmony in the nursery. Anyway, with the help of John's Aunt (in town because her husband, the pro-bowler, had a tournament in the Phoenix area and they stayed over our house) I picked out some sample swatches of fabrics that I liked that had a similar feel to my inspiration picture. I'd say it's a "go" for the circles and stripes fabrics and the solid brown, but the three greens I'm debating and will end up with just one of them. I'm thinking the stripes can be the skirt on the crib, curtains, and details on the little crib caddy. The polka-dots can be pillows. And the more solid colors can accompany the striped material to smooth it out a little. By the way, I do plan on sewing most of the room's decor (and may send the hard stuff for one or both of the grandma's to help with... after all, I'm sure they have nothing better to do and they are amazing "sewers"- wink). Let me know what you think and I give you permission to be honest. That being said, I reserve the right to do what I want after considering other's opinions! :)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spring Time in the Desert

Now is the time that I am loving the desert! As an Athletic Trainer, spring time is usually filled with many cold and even snowy days sitting outside watching the spring high school sports... or it has been until this year. However, this year I've been working on my tan for a month now! The desert is ALIVE with blooms and greenery (as well as weeds sprouting up) and it's just gorgeous! I spent the day outside working on the dirt mounds, preparing them for harboring palm trees. I waundered over to my neighbor's house where my dog, Cana enjoys dog play with their Chocolate Lab, Bailey. Enjoying the day, I've captured some photos of the beauty and fun!


















Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Phase I: COMPLETE

One completed step closer to the raging party we'll have in our backyard when all this is done!!! Last weekend, John and I spent our Saturday outside finishing up the patio project!!! He cut and laid in the last of the custom cut pavers and we rented the Tamping machine once again. Luckily, ours looked so good that one of our neighbors was inspired to do a small paver patio and we were able to split the rental cost. The finishing touches included sweeping in this sand mixture into all the cracks, then going over with the tamper to shake things up enough to fill the cracks with the sand. When we couldn't fit any more in between the pavers, we hosed down the entire patio which caused the sand mixture to become like concrete. Those pavers... they're not going ANYWHERE! I think it may be the last thing undamaged in an earthquake (maybe that and the deck John built in Utah... he tends to error on the sturdy side when he builds).








Looking ahead to Phase 2!!
When John gets back from his Alaskan adventure, he's planning on beginning Phase II, which consists of digging trenches and installing all the irrigation pipes as well as the wires for the "mood lighting." He's currently reading up on different transformers, sprinkler system timers, outdoor lighting (solar vs. low voltage), etc. Rest assured, he's already planned out the sprinkler head placement where he can cover the most area with the least number of sprinklers as well as calculated the number of drip hoses he needs to each plant to provide the optimal amount of water... He's math geeking it up, but I've never been more proud of his mad skills.
Pictured below is the blueprint for the backyard, and I've colored in the completed part. Still quite a bit to do, but I think (and hope) Phase I was the most tedious and time consuming of the work!