Friday, April 23, 2010

Backyard... it's come a LONG way

When we moved into this house we knew the backyard was going to be a big undertaking. I can't imagine having more land! It has taken us a year to get to where we are with it and it's still not completely done and won't be for a while. But we've made good progress.

Here are the "before" pictures. They aren't true before pictures because Greg had already done a lot of manual labor at this point. It was pretty bad.

Greg had to tear down a couple of cement "walls". I think the previous owners were trying to a water feature or something but never came close to finishing it. They also had a bunch of sand in the middle of the yard where they had had pavers for a patio and so kindly took them with them when they moved. I think another area was supposed to be a "river" through the yard but it too was incomplete and scary looking. We also found out that one of our other neighbors had put in a pool and the previous owners had let them dump all of their dirt into our backyard. I'm glad that I have a husband who likes to work with his hands and isn't afraid to do a little hard manual labor. Despite his willingness though, we ended up hiring a guy after about 3 months, to finish removing the debris and grading the backyard for us. He charged us less to do everything than it would have cost us just for Greg to take all the cement, rocks, and extra dirt to the dump.

Axton loves working beside Greg though. Too bad he wasn't older. It would have been a great chance to teach the boy how to work hard. Guess we'll have to find other ways!

The "finished" product. We have put in 4 citrus trees (pomegranate, lemon, orange, and grapefruit). We put up vines all along the back wall. We put in grass and a garden that is fenced off. We have bought patio furniture and put in a built-in bbq. We've put in speakers and fans.

We still would like to put in some more filler rocks, a firepit, pavers on our patio, a club house for the kiddos, maybe a sandbox somewhere. We still have a ways to go but at least it's nothing like what we bought. I love that Axton can go out and play anytime to his hearts content and I don't have to worry about him.

Easter Catch Up

As I said in the last post we "won" a basket filled with Easter stuff. I decided it was time to see if Axton could do some big kid things with me so we decided to make the sugar cookies it came with and decorate them.

He loved cutting out all the fun shapes but he didn't realize that you only cutout one section at a time and would repeatedly cut out the same area with all of the cutters. He also loved to poke all of the cutout shapes with his finger (he does this with play dough too).

Then it was on to the frosting. He would help me put it on but then, like always, he'd use his finger to scrape it back off and eat it! He tried a few times to eat the frosting tubes themselves.

So I decided I would do the frosting and he would do the sprinkles to his hearts content. He quickly learned to dump the sprinkles on the plate so he could lick off the plate. What am I going to do with this kid!

The finished product.... minus a dozen or two! He thought as soon as one was finished it meant he got to eat it. Let's just say he's had enough cookies to last him until Christmas when we might re-explore this idea.

Overall it was fun but we definitely didn't give any away, you all can thank me later! About half of the ones in the picture ended up in the garbage too. I don't think he's quite old enough for what I would like but it was still fun none the less. Maybe next time Greg will help us instead of being a party pooper!