Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Yard

As if life isn't already busy enough in the summer, we knew we had some really big yard projects to conquer this year too!  Spring was jam packed with working on the inside of our new house and summer we needed to make a dent, even if it is just a small one of the yard!  

The awesome thing about our new house, is that it is built on a very rare double city lot!  The bonus of which is that we have a huge yard with a basketball court and lots of room for the kids to run!  The bad news is that we have a yard that has had no care taking of for the last 3 years and was and still is a huge mess!  By taking out the swimming pool a few months ago, we created an even bigger mess of dirt!  When we took the pool out we knew it would remain a mess for 1-2 years while the ground continues to settle.  Everything else we would clean up and spruce up as much as time and resources allowed.  

The biggest expense we faced at all with the house was replacing the shingle shake roof to a composite shingle roof.  This was a huge sucker of the budget but a task that we needed to get done.  This was completed a few weeks ago.  Another task was replacing a cracked window, which we decided to just replace the whole room while we were at it.  This has already been a huge blessing for us because this was the room that got the most sun and new windows have made a huge difference already with energy savings in that space!  

With all of that being said, we decided to spend the rest of our budget on a small retaining wall and patio for off of the deck.  This project, as most projects ended up costing about twice what we budgeted and took about twice as long to complete too!  We all got our hands dirty in the process! 

Just getting started, if we only knew! 

Eli's a great helper!

Mal's a great helper too!

Retaining wall on the left, flagstone that needs repaired in the center and the dirty pool on the right.

Mal helping haul gravel.  The dirt Mal is standing on used to be a nasty in ground hot tub. We will replace the deck to fill that area one of these years! 

Filling the hole with gravel.  In the background you can see where the pool was, where the pool house that will soon become a guest house is located, and behind the pool house is the basketball court.  

Peter worked super hard on these projects. Each one of those blocks weighed almost 80 lbs so it was hard work in the trenches! 

Enjoying himself! 

Not enjoying himself! 

Back to the one enjoying himself!

Hard working boy! 

Whew, all the base blocks are in!

Eli standing in the drain ditch

Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam! 

Making good progresss!  From here you can see the walkway up to Peter's parents house.  They've since build a matching retaining wall. 

So close!

A yard of dirt makes for really messy floors and lots of baths.  I'm so over the dirt yard! 

Another trench dug and filled with gravel.  Felt never ending by this point! You can also see the retaining wall at Peter's parents yard. 

All ready to go.  Those darn little tracks kept us up until after 11 at night, with a flashlight trying to get them in place and we were still off!  Tricky little buggers! 

First blocks taking shape! 

Sand, sand and more sand! 

Playing with Bina in the playpen, in the dirt pool! 

And just like that, it is finished!  I truly love it!  We still need to level out all the dirt around it.  The right hand side will be our garden boxes come next spring and on the left side we will be planting some new grass here in September!  It's slowly but surely taking shape and I am really excited about how it's looking! 

And just for fun, here's an adorable picture of Peter and Sabrina's very first date night!