Sunday, September 30, 2012

Almost There...

Our builder told us last week that we should have a certificate of occupancy by October 12th.  I can hardly believe we're only (finally!) two weeks away from moving in.  It seems like a dream.

Ival spent the entire day up there yesterday with Joe and Nancy - when Linda and I abandoned them about   2:00 to go watch the BSU football game at mom's.  They finished the few spots on the deck that were left to do.  Everyone was so sick of that deck building that there were a few places still left to do around some of the logs.  Joe and Nancy are so awesome.  I know they have better things to do every weekend but they show up and help with all the chores we have to do.

Yesterday we moved everything off the deck so they could start covering the soffits tomorrow and off the floor inside the house.  This coming week they'll be doing all the flooring, putting in the granite counter tops, laying sod and finishing the landscape.

Linda contacted one of her old employers and he said they had some trees they were going to have to move to a new location and that if we wanted to buy them they would only charge us $75 each.  These are really nice trees between 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 caliper.  We decided to buy 11 trees so we're getting all 11 trees delivered for just under $1,000.

I'll take lots of pictures today as we'll be working more on the ceiling and finishing up a few other things to get ready for all the finish work this next week.

We're going to have a "branding party" real soon.  Probably as soon as Joe and Ival get back from hunting. I think we'll try to plan it for October 27th.  We'll be using dad's brand on the house somewhere -  probably one of the logs at the front stairs.

I don't know how we can ever repay the our wonderful friends and family who have helped so much.  We never could have done this alone.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lighting Purchase is Finally DONE!

Of everything I've picked for the house, the lighting has been the hardest.  It's all so incredibly generic, unless of course you have unlimited funds.  I went and picked out the ceiling fans this morning thanks to Linda and Nancy who helped me make the final decisions, otherwise, I'm sure I'd still be there - staring at the ceiling of never-ending blades rotating in different directions, making me dizzy with indecision.  So, I was finished other than finding SOMETHING - ANYTHING to put out on the porch.  We had found some really neat lights that looked like old lanterns on a website, but they were over $300 each so decided we probably shouldn't do that.

Then I decided today to do a search for 'electrified lanterns' and found the most awesome website.  W.T. Kirkman Lanterns, Inc. has some really fun stuff.  I got two of these 20" ACTUAL lanterns that have been converted to electric for only $320.  It would have been that much for the generic porch lights at Home Depot.  Their prices are incredibly reasonable.  I feel pretty happy - and relieved!

I may have to eventually order a couple of their table lamps too.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Jacob Springs, Day 103...

Thanks to Joe, Nancy, Tad, Allen, and Linda for helping us make great headway today on that nasty tongue-and-groove ceiling!  I finally feel light we have a light at the end of the tunnel!

When we started this morning, we had 5 rows done...

By the end of the day, they were half way to the half way point!

 And Gracie learned to drive the buggy.  Needless to say, that was the highlight of her day!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

America in Trouble...

Since Jr. High School, Adam has dreamed of becoming a soldier.  He watched his brother join the Army and was so proud of him and the work he did to serve his country.  He wanted to be just like Jake.  Unfortunately it looks like his dream has come to an end.

Last fall, Adam starting talking to a recruiter and early in the spring filled out all the paperwork and was ready to go to boot camp once he graduated.  I went with him when he sat down to fill out the forms needed.  The recruiter asked all the typical questions including whether Adam had ever had any surgery.  I mentioned he had surgery at the age of 4 to correct strabismus in his left eye.  The recruiter said it wouldn't be a problem and Adam moved on in the process.

Before graduation, the recruiter called Adam to inform him that the Army was no longer enlisting soldiers for full time Army but they could take him in the Army Reserves.  I questioned that and was told that because of the poor economy, many men and women were joining the military because they couldn't find jobs in the private sector.  It wasn't what Adam wanted but the recruiter assured him that eventually they could transfer him to active duty.  So the process continued.

Yesterday, Adam received a call from his recruiter stating that he had been rejected because of his eye surgery.  He was devastated.  I called the recruiter to discuss the situation and he told me that every recruiter in the office was absolutely stunned with the decision.  He told me that one of the recruiters has the same problem but more severe and it had never been an issue.  I asked him about Adam talking to the National Guard and he said that it would be the same MEPS Board and Adam would have the same results.

After contacting a few other people someone suggested I contact Rep. Raul Labradors office.  I called and talked to Torrey who is in charge of military affairs for Rep. Labrador and she has sent me the paperwork for file an appeal.  However, she told me that right now the military is finding any excuse to reject people applying because of the military cutbacks and the economy.  She told me about a young man, 4.0 student, football player in excellent physical health other than a slight curve in his spine.  He too was all set to go and was rejected by the MEPS Board.  She also told me that it's because so many people can't find work that they're taking the military jobs.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that our economy would be so incredibly bad that it would be impossible to join the military.  Never in our nation's history has this ever been a problem.  They have always welcomed almost anyone who would consider serving.

I don't know what to think about our country that's in such a state that one of my sons had to leave the country to find a job and the other son who wants to take a job that most people have never wanted, but now are taking because they can't find work, leaving the young people who TRULY want to serve without the opportunity.

So, Adam has 2 choices.  He can wait a few years and see if things improve and they will eventually take him, or he can move to another state and not tell the recruiter about his surgery when he was 4.  I guess it's something we'll have to talk about over the next few days.  I wish I knew how to advise him.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Jacob Springs, Day 98...

The doors were delivered today and the closets started. 

The front door.

I had a hard time getting a picture of the stucco color.  It's kind of like sagebrush.  I like it!

Jacob Springs, Days 97...

Yesterday (Sunday) Uncle Joe (Ival's brother) and his girlfriend Nancy came up to help lay the first tongue-and-groove boards on the ceiling.  I had no idea what a big project this was going to be.  I love Joe.  He helps design Albertsons stores and commercial buildings and is anal in everything he does.  We couldn't have asked for a better person to help us get started on this project.  When Joe is helping, you know it will be done right.

It takes 3 people at least to do this.  One on the ground and 2 on the scaffolding.  Adam is doing a great job helping out.  He's so awesome and such a great kid - we're lucky.

I can see that I'm going to have to dust the ceiling when it's done.

This is part of the floor and window molding.

That's it for Sunday.  I'll post pictures later this afternoon because the guys are up there doing the color coat on the stucco.  I love the stucco guys, they're doing such a great job in making sure we're happy with the final product!

333 Days...

Yesterday we woke up at 4:30 and went to the airport to see Jake off.  He's had to take a private contracting job in Afghanistan and will be gone for at least 333 days.  I have to admit it was harder than sending him off with the military to Iraq and Afghanistan.  He's only been home for 10 months since his last deployment.  At least when he went with the Guard he was surrounded by friends and comrades.  Yesterday he walked away alone.

Grace was such a trooper.  She had soft tears running down her cheeks and kept her head buried in her blanket.  I know this year will be hardest for her and Heather.  I can't imagine having a baby 3 days ago and then watching your husband leave for a year.

However, she and the girls belong to the Pogue family.  We can fight among ourselves with the best of them, but when it comes to protecting our family, we're the best.  There's nothing we won't do to help.  If Heather needs me to come over every day I don't work, I'm committed to doing that.  I want Jake to know that he only needs to take care of himself while he's gone - his family will be our top priority.

Home from Afghanistan...

Leaving for Iraq...

I wanted to put a picture here of the whole "new" Whittaker family but didn't have access to any of the new pictures.  

We love you son.  Take care of yourself and know that we will be thinking about you every. single. day.  I know that in the long run, this job will serve you well and you will reap great benefits from it.  Be safe.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jacob Springs, Day 93...

Things are moving along.  Our old friend Kenny is our painter and did a wonderful job.  He and Ival were buddies in high school and raced motorcycles together at Peaceful Cove in the 70s.  After all these years, he's still the happiest guy I've ever seen.  I'm sure he'll live forever.  If you need a good painter, he's absolutely AWESOME.

So, here's our paint.  It's called "Pineapple Sorbet."  It's a yellow tint but when you compare it to other yellows it also appears to have a shade of green.  Whatever.  I love it.

So I decided to put the cabinets for the laundry room together and unfortunately, I can't see a thing past about 5 feet without my glasses, but can't see up close with them on.  So while reading the directions for the cabinets, I set my glasses down and promptly stepped on them.  Flat as a pancake.

But the cabinets turned out!  The drawers even work - surprised the hell out of myself.  This is my sister and I doing our best impression of Vanna White.

Here's the first cabinet going up on the wall.

Tad got most of the cabinets up today.  They're awesome.  They came out of the Dry Creek Mercantile where I work.  They replaced their cabinets after a sprinkler head went off and graciously gave us the old ones for our house.  I love them.  We'll be putting the shelves in and the doors on in the next few days.

The Wagon.  Sad, but it's going outside.  We've decided for several reasons that we'll be building a more traditional island.  The wagon will be moved back outside and we'll use it for a chuckwagon.  We may even leave it on the porch because we love it so much and there's plenty of room.  

These are our interior doors on the left of this picture.  We've sent them away - to see Kenny.  He's going to stain them and make them beeeee-u-teeeful!  I love them too.  Hubby did a great job picking them out.  They're very 'barn-like.'  If you click on the picture you can see them better.

So that's it for today.  We'll be laying bathroom floors next week, we'll be installing the doors, tiling the shower and some other fun stuff.  OH, and putting the tongue and groove on the ceiling.  I can't want to see that done.  It's beeee-u-teeeful too!   EEEEEEK!

Friday, September 7, 2012

To My Son...

I want you to know how incredibly proud we are of you.  You're the first one in the family to graduate from college since your Grandpa Pogue.  He would have been so proud.  I can't say I know how hard it was for you to accomplish this but I know you were determined.  You accomplished this task while being deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq.  While I'm sure it helped fill the time you were away, I know it also had to be incredibly difficult.  I'm sure there were many times that you wanted to take those few available hours and sleep instead of study, but you didn't.  You graduated as an Intelligence Analyst and with a goal in mind.

I'm now sad that our country couldn't do more to help you.  It angers me that you came home injured and weren't fixed and that you applied for so many jobs in the few months you were home and your degree alone wasn't good enough.  I don't understand how our government can tell the private sector that they have to ensure that their military employees have their jobs when they return from deployment, yet they can do away with your full-time job and hope that you can find something else.  I'm so sorry that you now have to leave your family just a few days after your son is born in order to take a job that will help you get back on your feet.

I'm worried about you.  I know you'll be fine and that while this isn't what you hoped for and dreamed about, this is what you feel needs to be done.  You had such dreams of what would be and I know that having to return to Afghanistan for a year was the farthest thing from your mind.

Know however, that as a family we will be here for yours.  We will do whatever we need to to help put your mind at ease as to how your family is doing.  Your brother and sister love you so much and will help your family as well.

Hopefully this year will pass quickly and that it will help you gain the "experience" that you need to acquire your goals when you return home.

I'm so proud of you and all that you have accomplished.  I will think about you every day - and every day will say a quick prayer for you.  I know Grampa Pogue will be with you.  I would love it if you would take my 'Caught in the Act of Doing Good' coin and carry it with you.  Maybe it will remind you of the fact that Grampa Pogue is with you every minute.

Remember that I love you more than you will ever know.  Be proud of your accomplishments and look forward to the future.  Be safe, be strong, and use this experience as an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in the field you have chosen.  You and your sister are such wonderful inspirations to me  - You Are My Sunshine.

Monday, September 3, 2012

I Finally Found Furniture.

It's not something I thought I'd ever choose - at least the color.  It's called "salsa."  Kind of a cross between tomato red and burnt orange.  I got all 3 pieces on sale for $925.  And wow is it comfortable - that's what got me!

Darcy - Salsa Loveseat 7500135

So today I have to go pick it up and store it in the garage because the store won't hold it.  I think I'm going to like it.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Jacob Springs, Day 83...

It's Labor Day weekend.  A few days ago I went up and saw these two fawns crossing the driveway.   Is there anything cuter than a baby deer?  I don't think so.

We finally got Ival's folks up to see the house.  We had to wait until we had stairs.

Adam has decided that the roof and adjoining dirt pile are his private playground.  Yes, as a good mother I warned him that he could break his back, break a leg, put an eye out, bite his tongue off.  All that stuff but it made no difference.  

I sure wish I had a better camera.  My pictures of wildlife are always washed out.  This young hawk hangs out up there all the time.  I think he's one of the dirty birds that ate the chickens.

I hope you're having a wonderful 3-day weekend!