It’s no secret that sunny weather is my favorite. Something about the sun just makes me feel more alive. I’ve been soaking up as many rays as I can the last few days. We’ve been to picnics at the park and stayed to play after school on the play ground. We’ve been on evening walks and had picnics in our backyard. It’s been wonderful!
Normally on the weekends all I want to do is get some rest. This weekend we probably worked harder than we have in a long time…and I feel more rejuvenated than ever. Isn’t that ironic?
The weekend started out with a sleepover. It was Simon’s turn to go to Ama and Baba’s house, and therefore, Elias’ turn to have one on one dates with Mommy and Daddy. Saturday morning I took him to the zoo. It was crowded, but we got there right at opening so it wasn’t too bad. Seeing elephants swimming was the highlight for me as far as animals go, but it was more fun just to have time to devote to my oldest child.
I took him inside to have a proper nap with no sunburn, and then Nathan, Elias, and I got to work in the yard. I pulled weeds for hours. Weeding feels so good because you can actually see results! I cleared one (of many) sections of our yard and it looks very nice now. Elias helped clear the yard of moss and dead pine needles for a bit, but then he disappeared into the side yard and I didn’t see him for a long time. When I decided to check on him I found him making mud. He had found a bucket of rainwater next to our compost bin, and was adding dirt and stirring. What can I expect? He’s a little boy.
The problem was that the grass was so muddy that the kids were slip sliding around or just plain not wanting to be out there. Plus it was no anchored to the ground and the entire structure rocked back and forth when they used the swings. We arranged for the use of my dad’s truck by bribing my parents to stay for dinner after dropping Simon off from his sleepover. Then we stole my dad’s truck to go pick up some bark chips. When the truck returned, Simon and Elias were excited to help unload.
That was all for Saturday. All the real work was saved for Sunday. We went to church in the morning, then came home to begin the real work of our project. Nathan measured and cut the wood, and we laid it out to double check. We had to place it just right so that we didn’t cover and sprinkler heads.
Call me naive, but I did not know that ripping out sod was such backbreaking work. Nathan did most of the work. I tried using both the hoe and the rake and was pretty ineffectual. I was demoted to dirt removal which involved lugging very heavy bucketfuls of dirt to the side yard out of the way. At least I was useful in some way. In the picture below you can see my tiny patch of removed grass compared to Nathan’s large one. Also, I never knew so many worms lived in our grass.
The boys got to play outside all day. We made a special exception and did not make them go to quiet time. They just played and played and had the best time. Here they are preparing our planter beds for seeds.
Eventually, Caleb got hungry so I had to go inside. Before I did I recruited the bucket brigade so that dirt removal could continue even in my absence. The boys had a lot of fun helping and were actually really good dirt removers.
After the ground was prepared, we laid weed barrier fabric, and then our one injury of the day occurred. We were careless and let Elias get a hold of the hoe. He accidentally whacked Simon in the face with it. Even at bedtime Simon still had a big diagonal line across his face. Luckily there will be no lasting damage, but I decided to send the boys inside to rest and watch some Curious George. Nathan took advantage of the peace and quiet to secure the frame together.
By then we decided we had earned ourselves some take-out: pizza! Elias is the only one in the family who doesn’t eat pizza, but he wanted me to take a picture of him enjoying his dinner. We all earned it today!
Finally, we added the bark chips and voila! We were done! (Unfortunately due to a small math error we will have to get more bark chips to spread before we are actually fully finished, but we were definitely finished enough for today!) The boys were so excited to play in their new play area!
Both Nathan and I are tired and sore, but as I said before, I feel great. It was so nice to be productive, and to get outside to enjoy the sunshine. The boys were able to play for about ten minutes before the rain came. Almost perfect timing! Luckily, only a day or so of rain is expected before we can be back outside in the sun again.