Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yea!, time to go back to work so I can rest!

OK, I know that this won't be a restful week with all that we have going on, but this weekend has been work from sun up to sun down with the only break being chuch this morning.

This was our last Sunday at our Olde Towne in Ridgeland. I know that it was where we belonged up until this point, but now it is time to raise our family in a church in our own community. We have been going to Briar Hill on Wednesdays for three weeks now and really enjoy it. We know that Sundays always have a different dynamic, but we are hoping that we still enjoy it.

Now for the update on our projects. Since last Sunday's post we have added another 335 blocks to our wall, putting the full wall at a total of 13.5 thousand pounds (we shouldn't have to worry about this wall blowing away or rotting anytime soon).

We have our carpet scheduled to be installed this coming Friday and still have to tear the wood floor out of our bedroom before then. I was able to get Jacob's out but still need to get a little adhesive up. Beginning tonight we have our bedroom set up in the front living room and Jacob has been sleeping in Joshua's room for several nights now. The only prep we will need to do to Joshua's room is to remove the furniture and take up the baseboards since his floor is a lovely linoleum tile number.

Yesterday we had a friend from work come out with his tractor and auger to dig 31 holes for our new fence. I am thankful that he did because there is no way it would have happened with post hole diggers and shovels since we had to stop and sharpen the auger several times, and fill the holes with water and come back many times because the ground was so hard. We really need some rain and cooler weather; it shouldn't be over 100 for several days already here. It is like we are back in Texas or something.

After the holes were dug we set the posts. Today as soon as we got home from church we started taking the old fence and deck pieces to our ever growing burn pile. We have only one last section of deck remaining which is only being spared temporarily as I use it to cut our fence boards on. Our fence is going to be primarily welded wire as install the actual fence as funds allow. The finished product will be treated wood for upper and lower pieces with black powder coated aluminum balusters vertically between them. Once the fence is complete we will add black caps with solar powered lights in them . As soon as we have completed a few sections of fence we will post it. For the time being we will have the wire that you see in the wall pictures.
The above picture is courtesy of DecKorators, the brand of balusters that we are using and shows the style of fence we are building.

As I stated, this will be a busy week as we get ready for the carpet to be installed, work on the fence, install a couple of new interior doors for Jacob's closet and the laundry room, and basically run ourselves ragged.

I think that I will sign off now and try to start getting ready to hit the bed hard shortly.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Let the fun begin

Joshua made the inaugural slide,
but Jacob wasn't far behind. I think they might like it.

Making Progress

With 100 blocks installed:
With 200 blocks installed:
We're getting there! Only another 300 blocks to go.

Happy Father's Day

John was outside at 6 this morning working away. Our neighbors have to love us. He got a lot done. In the picture above he is digging the trench for the drain on the pool filter.Here he is digging a trench for the drain that goes to the pool overflow and the downspouts for the gutters. Here he is digging so that we can put in drainage behind the garage. During the wet season, water just stands back there. I was only a little nervous as he dug near the propane line.
He was able to finish all his trenching this morning and is currently on his way to return the machine. As long as we return it by 9 this morning we only have to pay the four hour rate instead of the full day rate. That saves us $40. We are all about getting a good deal.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Home Improvement never ends

Today was Saturday, even without fire. After we ate the wonderful pancakes John prepared, we ventured to Floors Plus to pick out carpet. They came and measured yesterday, so we just had to go pick out the carpet and put down the deposit today. They are planning to install the carpet on July 3rd if not sooner. I am really excited about getting that done. We are only carpeting the bedrooms so it isn't a big job, but it will make a huge difference in the house. Right now one of the bedrooms has linoleum and the other two have parquet wood. The wood in the master is in decent shape, but the wood in Jacob's room is pretty nasty. I am looking forward to having carpet since the kids vacuum much better than they sweep and mop. It will be nice for them to be able to completely clean their rooms. I am just hoping we don't regret going with cream colored carpet. Next, we ran by the library to stock up on reading material before returning home to get the slide painted. After Derrick finished painting, we headed to Lowes to get masonry anchors so we can get the slide back in place. Upon returning home we spent some time playing in the pool before getting to work on our massive landscape project. It is slowly moving along. We made some progress with shovels, but John decided the job required bigger tools. We made a quick trip to Home Depot's Tool rental, and the job got much more fun for John. I got a little nervous when he first started digging and the machine was tipping a bit. He just told me not to worry because it has a roll bar. I am a little sad to see the Fig tree go, but it was not in the best location. We took some cuttings off of it a few weeks ago and planted them a little further out in the yard. Of the four, two are still growing. We think the moles have taken the other two. It's either moles or deer. The joys of life in the country. We will probably spend the majority of the day tomorrow working in the yard. We are hoping to get everything dug out so we can set the first layer of retaining wall blocks tomorrow. We will see if that happens. We still have to go get a load of sand and at least 100 blocks to get us started. The party never ends. Our next few weeks are going to be very busy. We are planning to get the holes for the fence posts done next Saturday so that we can get started on the fence. We have gone back and forth between a couple of fence styles. We have finally settled on wood with aluminum balusters. It is going to look nice, but it won't be cheap. Since we elected to go ahead and do carpet this month, the fence will be done in stages. We will get the fence posts set and then run a mesh fencing material around them. I know it isn't going to be the prettiest, but we have to do something because we have to have the pool fenced. We are going to do the balusters a little at a time. As we install them we will remove the mesh. We figure we will be able to have it done within four months, so we can live with wire mesh for a now. I will of course post picture as progress is made. Someday I am hoping to have something other than home improvement projects to post about.

Pimp my Slide

Derrick came over and painted our slide today. Thank you Derrick, it looks awesome. As you can see, it is a deeper blue than the original color. We like it since it matches the pool liner really well. Plus, we like to be different. All the other slides in the neighborhood are light blue. John and I moved it into position tonight, but it isn't secured yet. Hopefully, John can bolt it down and get it waxed tomorrow. The kids can hardly wait.

Friday, June 12, 2009

It was our turn

Sometimes in life you just have to accept that stuff happens. Today when I picked the kids up, Jacob had a note informing me that he has active nits. Let the fun begin. As soon as I got home I called John to let him know and then proceeded to look up lice on the Internet. It doesn't seem near as scary as I had originally imagined. We went and bought some shampoo and new sheets and a blanket for his bed. I realize I could just wash his, but he was due for new bedding. Since the dog sleeps with him his sheets and blanket get washed pretty often and they were looking a bit ragged. Anyway, while we were on our way to the store John suggested that maybe Jacob should get a buzz cut for the summer. He argued that it would be much cooler, plus is would be easier to see and treat his bugs. Jacob agreed, which is a big deal. He has had longish hair for quite some time because he has a weird issue with his forehead showing. I have no idea why. Anyway, as soon as we got home John cut his hair. After dinner I washed his hair with the lice shampoo and then John combed it out. John said it looks more like dandruff to him, but we aren't the experts. Hopefully, it was caught early and we can put this little adventure behind us quickly. I guess this is just one of those things that is more likely when your kids are in daycare. It was just our turn. He is a cutie even with his forehead showing.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Church stuff

Last night we attended a church that is just down the road from our house. I have to mention that it is a baptist church. If you know John you will know why that is significant. We are on a quest to find a new church. Or as John says, "We're on a mission from God." Yes, he is a fan of the Blues Brothers. It is really pretty simple. We love our current church, but the distance is getting to be an issue. Last year when we moved we considered changing churches, but we just couldn't leave our friends. I think a year of making the drive has changed our perspective. Now we see it more as an opportunity to be involved in the community we live in. We will still have our friends, we just won't go to the same church. I am hoping they see it that way. We really want our kids to go to church with people they go to school with and John and I would like to get to know our neighbors. Anyway, John has spoken with our pastor and the board chairman to let them know that we are attending a church near our home on Wednesday evenings and that we plan to start attending it on Sundays in July. It is going to be a time of transition for our family, but I am looking forward to driving 5 minutes to church instead of 30. I am also looking forward to attending a larger church with more people our age. It is going to be a good thing. Please pray for John as he adjusts to the denomination listed on the sign. This is a big step for him.


The primary purpose of this blog is to keep the grandparents up to date on our little monsters. I had them pose on Tuesday so I could get a closer picture. They are both getting tan and their hair just keeps getting lighter. The ball that Jacob is holding has been a great source of entertainment. On Sunday afternoon we went to Kroger to pick up some groceries. Joshua happened to have $5 in his pocket, so of course he had to find something to blow it on. Enter a simple $1.49 ball. They have definitely gotten their monies worth. Everyday this week they have played kickball or baseball or whatever other game they can invent. It is fun to listen to them make up the rules as they go along. They have also played with it in the pool. I am glad they are easy to entertain.
In other news, John is slowly getting the slide sanded. He has decided that he needs to do some minor repairs to the fiberglass, so the painting will probably be pushed back to next weekend. That is OK. I am not sure my nerves are ready for the slide to be operational.
We are looking forward to the weekend. John bought a brisket today, so that means we will be eating well Saturday night. He is planning to fire up the smoker tomorrow night so that it will have plenty of time to cook. We are going to have to find some friends to come help us eat it. I think 15 lbs of meat is a bit much for us.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I feel kinda old

We just got a new printer/copier/scanner. Can you tell? I had to at least scan an old picture to see if I could make it work. The above picture is from our senior prom. What a difference 16 years makes.

Big Deal and Luau

My mom has mentioned the "Big Deal" a time or two in the comments, so I thought I should explain. Many years ago, think late eighties to early nineties, my Aunt Jenny and several of her siblings began having an annual get together for a group of friends and family. It was not an affair for the faint of heart. The kegs and margarita machines were standard fair, and the crowd took full advantage. As the years have progressed the get together has morphed into a much more family friendly gathering. Essentially it has become the annual family reunion for my grandmothers siblings and all their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. It is a wonderful time to catch up on the previous year and just enjoy the blessing that is family. The 2009 "Big Deal and Luau" happened yesterday. As you may have guessed, we didn't make it to Decatur for the event. In all my married years, this is the second time we have missed the party. I would post some pictures from years past, but I am afraid some members of my extended family might object to having their mugs posted for the world to see. That and it would require digging through many boxes of pictures and learning how to work the scanner. Anyway, we hated missing the fun, but things just didn't pan out for us to make the trek. As soon as the email came out announcing the date, John told me that he had inventory at work that day, so we wouldn't be able to go. Anyway, his inventory was changed at the last minute and they finished it late Friday. Since he didn't get home until around 6:30pm, we decided it would be too stressful to drive 8 hours to Decatur, attend the big deal Saturday, and get back home for church on Sunday. Since we weren't planning to go I had us scheduled to be the greeters at church in June. Plus John had a church council meeting today. They may not be the best excuses, but it's what I got. We will try to plan better next year.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mission Accomplished

I may not be able to get out of bed tomorrow, but it was a good day all the same. Last night John spent some time taking out the landscape timbers just outside the fence that surrounds the pool. Today, I spent hours moving dirt. The picture below shows how much I got done. The rock retaining wall will go up to the point that I dug to and then split to become two levels. We will round the edge that is jutting out. The plan is to make a flower bed on the lower tier with the upper tier as a backdrop for the flowers. The wrought iron fence will be where the back string is at. We have lots of work to do, but I am sure it will be worth it.While I enjoyed my afternoon shoveling dirt into the wheelbarrow, John spent some time sanding the pool slide. We are hoping to have it complete and back in place within two weeks. John's friend Derrick is planning to come help paint it next weekend. Derrick's family owns a body shop and he has experience painting. That should come in handy for our fiberglass slide. I know the kids (John included) will be very happy once it is operational.Of course, we had to burn all the landscape timbers. It just isn't Saturday without fire.John took some time to mow the front yard late this afternoon. He couldn't resist heading to the back to stir the embers.
Swimming made an appearance as well. John and I took a break from all our pursuits and joined the kids for some relaxing fun. The kids bought goggles while we were out and about this morning. In case you can't tell, they really enjoy playing in the pool.
After the kind people at Domino's delivered dinner we headed outside to make some S'mores. It was a great way to end the day. Now the kids are getting ready for bed and I am about to hit the shower. I think we did a pretty good job of keeping the work in check and finding time to play. Tomorrow shouldn't be too busy. John has a church council meeting that will take up quite a bit of his afternoon. The kids and I may just have to play all day. I can handle that.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Into the swing

We have just completed our second week of summer vacation and things have transitioned nicely. John takes the kids to daycare in the morning, and I usually pick them up. The kids seem to really like daycare, so that helps alleviate some of my guilt. This weekend we are planning to do a couple of small jobs around the house. I am just hoping the small jobs stay small and we can enjoy some down time. I'll let you know how that works out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I thought this day would never come

Baseball is officially over at our house. Joshua's team had their final make up game tonight. We played a team that beat us 16-2 earlier in the season. Tonight we won 12-11. At the end of the second inning they were ahead 10-2. We had quite the comeback. It was a very exciting game.
As fun as the season has been, I am relieved it is over. Bring on the lazy evenings of summer. We don't have much planned, but I am looking forward to it all the same.