Saturday, January 25, 2014

Trees, Trees, Trees!

Arizona is brown...........really brown.  Where we live we average 12 inches of rain a year.  But that is why we like it so much!  Eternally gorgeous blue skies, millions of stars in the incredibly clear night skies, and much fewer headaches for Rachel and me.  And the air is just clean. There is a beauty of its own here in the high desert, but sometimes we get to itching for just a little bit of green!

This picture, looking northeast towards our house, was taken during the early fall after the rains of the monsoons.  This is our "green time".

Some people love all the cactus, but I am SO GLAD that where we live is too cold for cactus to grow.  Not a fan of them and never will be.

So one of the plans that Joe and I have talked about over the years is to continually add a bit of green to our property.  Left on its own, trees will die rapidly, but if you give them water they grow really well.  Imagine that!  We decided to line our very long driveway with 30 Arizona Cypress - fast growing and drought tolerant.

What a job!  David had the job of digging the wells to retain water and the trenches for the drip system..  He kept ahead of us as we planted the trees. But hacking through calechi, a hardened sedimentary rock that's just like concrete is brutal.  The top four or five inches of soil are soft enough, but once you hit calechi, watch out!

Yes, this is the sky we got to work under over the weekend!  Absolutely gorgeous!

Isaac and Joshua had fun playing in the planters.  They were very well behaved and entertained while we worked. The small house in the background is the original house on the property.  We use it for an outbuilding.

Joe had the brilliant idea of propping up the drip line at each tree on top of a Perrier bottle. Now we can adjust the emitters depending on how much water flow we have.  Brilliant, isn't it?

Isaac, at 6 1/2, has a tremendous work ethic already.  He declares to us daily that he is "a working man"!  He is always right there ready to help with the next job!  Really amazing for being so young.

After three solid days of working on nothing but trees, the house was a wreck, dishes were piled up, and the laundry can I describe the copious amounts of dirt and filth that was in everyone's clothes?  I'm still trying to catch up!  But the trees are all in and the water system works great.  Now we get to watch them grow and enjoy a bit more green around here!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What Rachel's Been Doing These Days

Rachel never seems to be on my blog.........because she is not around much!  She is truly the busy college girl, with new classes this semester, her job at the hospital, and being on the worship team at Calvary Chapel Sahuarita.  Funny that she missed every bit of work on the thirty trees that we just planted.....................

Rachel is truly a warm-weather girl.  Actually, all of our older three are - maybe because their early years were in Nebraska and their systems had enough of the frigid winter temps!  Jonathan would put a stocking hat on if it got down to 60*.  Courtney loves the warmth of Alabama, too.  Not too great of a chance of any of them relocating to Minnesota!  Anyway, Rachel has declared that she is "done with winter" and ready for hot weather once again.

Off to class!  She is taking accelerated Anatomy and Physiology 1 this first eight weeks and then Course Number 2 the second eight weeks.  Rumor has it that the class is brutal.  Now not everyone can go to class in shorts in January, can they?

Rachel has been working some night shifts - sounds grueling, but when you are young you can get by with it. Plus, it allows her to get some studying done if all the patients are sleeping.

Hmmmm, not the greatest of clear photos, but it will have to do.

Oh, and by the way, Rachel passed her CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) exam on Saturday!  Congratulations Rachel!  We knew you could do it!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Random January Happenings

What a boring blog title!  But I am dumping the last remaining "publishable" photos from my phone onto the blog, so what else could I title it?  So here is the radomness of our lives.............

Isaac and Joshua are sure enjoying the new swingset!

Chilly, and wet boys............long story, but disobedience, water, cool evening temps all played a part!

Isaac, especially, really makes me laugh.  I can be working hard around the house, dealing with schoolwork, etc., and Isaac walks into the room looking like this, and I just burst out laughing.  He is really a funny and imaginative little guy!

We are planting thirty, yes THIRTY, evergreen trees along our driveway.  Joe and David are doing the bulk of the work, but my job is to keep them watered and upright until they can get into the ground.  They are supposed to be fast growing and drought-tolerant, which works well for us!

Joshua, enjoying an impromptu Sonoran hot dog on the way home from church yesterday.  You have to love that Arizona blue sky and sunshine!

And last of all, thinking of our oldest who will be 23 years old on the 15th.  Wow, I still remember the day she was born, vividly!  Life is certainly a vapor as the Bible says!  I love you so much Courtney and am so glad you are our daughter!  Happy Birthday two days early!

David - The Basketball Player!

David has certainly been challenged this season as he is playing basketball......and basically knew nothing much about how to play the game ahead of time.  He has given it his all, and has done remarkably well.  I tried to get some pictures at Saturday's game, but goodness, they all move so fast that most of my pictures were blurry! And most of the pictures of him are of his backside!  Anyway, he is #10!

Here he is taking a shot during the warm-up.

Isaac and Joshua thought it was fun............for about 15 minutes, and then kept asking when it was going to be over.  Popcorn helped.

David had a good steal!  (He's on the left.)

I love the "Cowboy Creed" - this about sums it up, doesn't it?

Next time I'm taking the "real" camera.  The iphone doesn't cut it in a fast moving game!  But it was fun to watch David in action.

Monday, January 6, 2014

We Have a Cannon Ball in Our Yard!

Now before any of you think there has been a military attack on southeastern Arizona, I need to explain. This is not a current news event, but an historical one that I wanted to document just for fun!

Joe and I have been married almost 25 years.  My parents moved to Florida full-time right after that and my dad passed on the legendary cannon ball to Joe at that time.  We have taken that responsibility very seriously and it has been relocated to five different homes - three in Nebraska, and two in Arizona!

Now you are probably wondering where the cannon ball came from?  I was born in the Philippines while my dad served time in the Navy.  Here is the story from him:

In 1957 we were living in a walled in compound, with a guard, in Cavite City in the Philippines.  The compound, called Certesa Court, was where the Japanese high command lived when they occupied the Philippines during WWII.  During that time they were building a new apartment building for officers on the base at Sangley Point Naval Air Station.  In the process of finishing the project they uncovered the cannon ball in the front yard of our soon to be apartment.  It had to have come, we think, from the Spanish American War in 1898 under the command of Commodore Dewey.  I thought is was interesting and so we brought it home when we returned to the US.  We kept it until we moved to FL when we entrusted it to the care of Joe.  So, there you are.

It's a miracle that it hasn't cracked in two during all of our moves, but it is always located in a rather inconspicuous place so that children don't find it to play with it, or when we lived in town to keep it from getting stolen!  Hopefully, it's in its permanent resting place until we pass it on to one of our children who we deem worthy to carry on the family legacy!

So, if you ever come to our house to visit, feel free to see if you can find the cannonball!