Archive for April 2008

Saturday Project

My project for today was to clean up the stone walkway on the north side of the house.

The lightweight mulch was a mistake

One regret about our landscape was our choice of chopped mulch. The mulch blows and swirls in the wind and gets in the grass, the walkways, the stream, and everywhere else. We’ve been gradually scraping the mulch off and dumping it in the garden (it works great to loosen up our crappy clay soil) but we still needed to address the messy stone walkways.

What a mess

I’ve looked at a number of different kinds of edging but they’re either too flimsy or too expensive per foot. We finally found this black edging stuff at Home Depot that is sturdy and inexpensive. The only problem with it is that Nancy doesn’t think it looks very good.

Putting the edging together

Nancy and I spent most of the afternoon digging a trench, putting together the edging, backfilling the flowerbed, raking things smooth, and sweeping the walkway.

Ready for planting moss and creeping thyme

I don’t mind the way it looks. It certainly looks better than no edging at all; however, Nancy is determined to get something different for the front yard so I’m only allowed to put it in the back yard. We’ll eventually plant some moss among the stones on this north walkway where it stays wet and cool

Overall I’m very pleased with the way it turned out. I hope it will help keep mulch out of the walkways and perhaps kids out of the mulch (I wish). Now I’ve just got to do the south side of the house but that project will have to wait until our backflow prevention valve gets replaced (it froze this winter).

Family Photo

Sam got a little poster from school for his birthday that had a place for his picture and a picture of his family. I got the camera out today and snapped a quick family photo. It’s virtually impossible to get all five kids to smile at the same time so we usually end up with various stages of frowns, smiles, grins, and other weird looks on the kids’ faces. This photo is no exception.

Sams Birthday

Because Sam got a friend party for his birthday this year we decided to hold the party a few days early so we could do it on the weekend. Sam invited 5 or 6 friends over – neighbor boys and friends from school. Sam wanted a pirate-themed party and his special request was to do a treasure hunt with an “X marks the spot”.

Waiting for the guests

The plan was to play games like “pin the beard on the pirate”, bingo, and duck duck goose for a half hour before the treasure hunt. Of course, things don’t always go as planned when dealing with a pack of little boys. They spent about 2 minutes playing bingo, 3 minutes playing pin the beard on the pirate, and 2 minutes playing duck duck goose before they were ready for the treasure hunt.

Pin the beard on the pirate – Anne drew the pirate

The treasure hunt involved several picture clues and took them from one side of the yard to the other. The X marking the spot was out behind the rocks along on the back fence. The treasure was a sack of party favors for each boy and what turned out to be the hit of the party – squirtguns!.

Having a blast

After a quick bite of cake and ice cream, Nancy filled the squirtguns and sent the boys out in the back yard to have at it. They spent the last 40 minutes of the party squirting each other and running back inside to get their squirtguns refilled. We should have known that no organized game could possibly be as much fun for six year old boys as simply as running around with squirtguns. Happy Birthday Sam.

The Ugly Duckling

Texas has been excited the past week or so because her second grade class has been getting ready to perform the play about the Ugly Duckling. She is constanty reminding me of the day and time that it is to be so I won’t forget. I have tried to get her to sing some of the songs she has learned, but she says that I just have to wait until I go and see her play. I guess she wants to heighten my curiosity so she can be sure I will be there. Of course I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

So on Wednesday April 9th I arrived at the school about fifteen minutes or so before the play was to begin. Diana and I got pretty good seats and we sat and waited. All the kids came walking in and took their places and luckily Texas, who was playing a pig in the farmyard, was on the side where I could take her picture without any other parent in the way. The bad news was that the kids who sat in front of her blocked a good view of her instead. Luckily when she had to say her lines she got to go up in the middle by the microphone so I could see her well. She remembered all her lines and she sang all the songs very well. I was really proud of her.

Next time any of you family members see Texas, make sure you ask her to sing the song the mean farmyard animals sang to the ugly duckling before she turned into a swan. I wish I remembered the title.

Some Art

Anne loves to draw and I thought this drawing was cool. What do all of you think?


Sam on the bus

I just felt like taking a picture or two of Samuel getting on the bus. I barely got there in time for him to catch the bus today because Emily got done with the orthodontist just ten minutes before I had to get Sam to the bus stop. Luckily the bus was a tad late so I didn’t end up taking him to school myself and I had enough time to feed Emily lunch before she had to go back to school.



New Braces

Today was the day that Emily got her braces put in. She was definitely apprehensive about getting braces put in in the first place. She thinks she looks funny. The thing is, most of the girls in her class at school and at church have braces too. I think she looks really cute in her new braces and I hope that she will brush and take care of her teeth so they will look good when the braces finally come out.

This is when the technician was showing Emily the proper way to floss with braces
I had Emily give me a big smile as we were leaving the orthodontist


Texas is our first child to have cavities and yesterday we went to the dentist to get them filled. I got her ready before hand by telling her that the only pain she might feel would be when the dentist gives you medicine so you won’t hurt so much and that it would not be as bad as a shot that she gets at the doctor. So I picked her up from school about 1:30pm and on the way up she questioned me further on about what would happen at the dentist and what would happen after she was done. She was pretty nervous but when push came to shove, she came through like a trooper. She sat in the chair and did not fuss one bit and the dentist got done in no time. She got to choose two prizes when she was done which made her happy. She even felt good enough to go to piano lessons just an hour later. It just goes to show you that our children can show us that they are braver and more capable that we ever thought.