Thursday, July 10, 2008

The yard

Fran and Robert, this one is for you!

So... when we looked at this house to buy, we thought it was good for our family and we made an offer. As part of the closing, we had a survey done. We knew we wanted to fence in the back yard, and it would have to be done eventually, so we went ahead and got it done.
Imagine our surprise when it came time for the walkthrough before closing, and we found out that our backyard did not end where we thought it did!
We thought it ended right behind the shed, where some briars were growing up. But it didn't. Our realtor Jo was practically jumping up and down when we realized that the surveyor's flags were waaaaaaay back there. Beyond the briars. Meaning that our back yard was HUGE.

So we had a job to do.
before-1.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
This is what the back yard behind the shed looked like when we moved in.

briars.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
The briars were huge. Thick and healthy, and they didn't want to go anywhere.
John's parents came for a weekend to help, and we quickly figured out that loppers were NOT going to do the job if we wanted it done before spring really hit and the briars grew even more.
So the next weekend
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We rented a bobcat!
How fun, and how satisfying to see those briars come down.
We also pulled out A LOT of metal that weekend. An entire pickup truck load. I regret that I didn't get a picture of it. There were bikes, at least 6 tires, a bedframe, the backseat of a car... BUNCHES of stuff hidden in all those briars.
I joked with the neighbors that if they came home and saw crime scene tape up
they'd know we found Hoffa.

So after that, it was time for fence kinds of things. Our friend Robert came up from Charleston to help John out. They planted stakes and measured and did all those manly things.
augerthumb.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers auger.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
And rented a post hole drill auger type thingy to make the job easier.

After that, John began to set the posts.
roped.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
He decided to go ahead and set them, and worry about topping them after they were done. This ended up being a pretty good plan. I actually got to help there, measuring the posts and marking them, since pg me couldn't do any of the heavy lifting for the rest of it.

After that, he put up the sections, and finally, we had a yard!
front2.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
This is the section that is pictured with the string above.

front1.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
This is the other part of the front of the back yard, or all the yard we thought we had when we made the offer on the house. The shed is not pictured, but the wagon is right in front of it.

after.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
This is the same spot that I took a picture of before,
the picture with the briars and the bag caught in them... WHAT A DIFFERENCE!

done1.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
And this is the one side of our bonus back yard.
done2.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
And the other side.


Future plans include moving the shed to the back of the yard, near where the little plastic table is sitting now. I'm also planning on a compost pile behind the shed. The swingset will be moved so it's under the big shade trees, and since there's no grass there right now I want to put in landscaping timbers in a large rectangle and fill it with mulch for the swingset to be on. This will give the kids a shady place to play (the slide gets HOT in the sun) and a soft place to land, and will give us less yard to seed with grass and eventually mow.

So that's the yard! We'd like to thank Tommy and Fran for financing the Bobcat weekend, and Robert for his help and knowledge in fence building. We couldn't have done it without you!

Monday, July 07, 2008

more pics

Today is the first day of FIRST GRADE!
1stgradedrive.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
Rowan is happy with his snazzy new shoes and his groovy new lunchbox.

1stgradedesk.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
At his desk in his new classroom. Here's to a great new year!
Yes, he goes to year 'round school. He'll have most of the month of September off.
It's strange to me to send my child to school in July, but Rowan doesn't know any differently, and I think the big chunks of time off during the year are going to be great instead of spending all his days off in the summer.

niallbuzz.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
Niall wanted his hair buzzed too.
Actually, he asked for "fuzzy hair."

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My two buzzed bandits.

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And Loki, because she never gets her picture online.
And her ears are big and cute.

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And big but not as cute... here's the belly.
I'm 5 months now. John did the extra sweet hubby thing yesterday and came home with a body pillow and an eggcrate for the bed. What a guy!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I'm going for that cool mom award or something

See... when I was a kid my Mom had this rule.
If you keep your hair clean, you can have it however you want it.
No matter what. Color. Shaved. Whatever.
Clean = freedom.
It led to some really strange do's for my brother.
Not so much for me, but I could have if I'd wanted.
So when Rowan started asking for a mohawk after seeing a kid at the pool who had one, and didn't forget about it after weeks went by, and kept bring up the really long mohawk dude from the Ellen show and saying he wanted one... well...
I kinda had to do it.

Before. All that luscious hair.

tickleneck.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
Parts of getting it done were ticklish.

partlydone.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
Halfway done. He kinda looks like a skater dude.

serious.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
It's all serious business when I get near his ears.

front.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

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He looks pretty cool.
He's very happy with the final product.
We'll need some fine tuning of a few stray hairs, but there he is.
I can't believe I did that.
Uncle Doug would be proud.