Saturday, May 30, 2009

instant yard

We have confused the poor robins who have frequented our back yard this spring. They have thoroughly enjoyed all the worms and bugs they could feast on in our dirt, now they have to look a little harder in our grass. Sorry robins, but Hooray for us!!! I am so thrilled to have grass in our backyard!!

It has been a long road and a ton of work, mostly for Wayne, but it is so worth it to see that lovely green carpet in the backyard. Even staying up most of the night waiting for the delivery was worth it. The sod company had one truck break down which put them way behind in their schedule. Then another truck blew a tire which pushed them further behind. Long story short, our sod was delivered at 4 am this morning. But like I said, having grass to enjoy all summer made all the work and lack of sleep worth it. It is going to be awesome this summer!!

This is about the 1/2 way point. We started laying the sod at about 6:15 am with the help of our home teacher. Other friends and family joined us as the morning progressed. My dad is raking out the dirt just a bit more to even out the bumps. My dad also brought us 3 trees and 2 bushes to plant as well, he's so great!!

Because of the hill on the side of the house, we decided that a 4-wheeler with a trailer would be the best option for transporting the sod from the driveway to the back. A few men did use wheel barrows, and I laughed every time I saw them running down the hill with a full load of grass. Impressively though, none of them ever lost their load.

These are our uninvited guests. They came with the grass. Only a thousand or so, mostly babies about 1/4" long. I told Wayne that it is too bad that Lizzie isn't around anymore. We would have had food for months with these little guys.
Bradley and his friend Braydon had the job of catching as many as they could and they will take them to the pond later to feed the fish. I asked Bradley at one point how many he had in his jar, "oh, 200 I think" was his reply. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he was right. There really were hundreds of them hopping all over our front yard.

This is the last stretch on the hill. Wayne was finishing this up on his own because we weren't quite ready this morning to do this spot. He still had lots to rake up, holes to fill in, and bumps to level off. We ordered almost exactly enough sod. We ordered 5500 square feet of sod, and were only short at the top of the hill by about 5 feet deep and 15' wide, which isn't too bad. And since it is at the top of the hill, we will just prepare that spot for seed this fall.

It's a bit of a patchwork quilt right now, but in a few weeks it's going to be a lovely soft green carpet. We have flower beds and stone paths to finish, but the most important part of the backyard is now complete. Thanks Wayne, and everyone else who came to help us this morning.

Elli is really going to love the yard, or is it me who is going to love being able to have another place to escape with her?
(She is riding her new Clifford bike that her therapist brought over on Thursday. It is to help her start using her legs more, and she caught on immediately. She only goes for short rides, but she does it herself. I think down on the patio she will go even farther.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Capitol Reef

We spent an afternoon in Capital Reef a couple of weeks ago, and had such a great time. The weather was great, not too hot or too cold. Wayne's parents and youngest brother joined us. Even though it was a quick trip, we really had a wonderful time!

This is a view of the Goosenecks. I have to admit that I was a nervous mother. I made Bradley hold Wayne's hand while walking along all the edges. I'm just a bit over protective I think.

This is the look out at the Goosenecks. These are Wayne's parents Keith and Mikki, and his little brother Rhett.

This pioneer home belonged to the Behunin family. They had 8 children. The parents and their 2 small children lived in the cabin. Up the hill behind the cabin was a cave that they dug out for the boys to live in, and the girls made a bed in their box wagon. Quite humbling isn't it?

This photo shows the river cutting fairly deep into the sandstone. We are looking south in this photo.

This was taken from the same spot as the previous photo, I just turned so we are looking north. This is just before the waterfall.

We didn't realize that you could swim here. There were about 4 families enjoying the sun and the water here. I think it would have still been a little cold for me though.

Elli and her daddy watching the waterfall.

Bradley found the stinkiest mud and began a rescue project for the water skeeters. Leave it to him to do the dirtiest thing around. He had fun though, and that's what counts!

What a cute kid!

Elli and her Grandma. We haven't been able to go down and visit Wayne's parents since last year because of RSV season, so I was a little worried about Elli warming up to them. I should have known better. She is our little socialite. She took her normal 5 to 10 minutes to warm up, after that she couldn't get enough of them, or them of her.

This is Sunset Point. It was out last hike together. The day was just a little too short. We really wish we could have done more. It was a good test for Elli though. It gave us a good idea of what she can handle. I think we are going to be able to do some fun things this summer.

Monday, May 11, 2009

all about Bradley

This whole blog is dedicated to my sweet Bradley. He has been having a lot of fun lately.

We will begin with the pinewood derby. Bradley chose his design from Star Wars IV. His car is suppose to be like Luke Skywalker's speeder. We had my dad help with the cutting, Wayne helped with the sanding, and I helped with the painting. He had so much fun, he is already planning what his car will look like next year.

That's Bradley's car on the 2nd track. He came in last or 2nd to last on every race, but he didn't care. He had a really good attitude and just enjoyed himself.
On this race he did take 2nd place. That's his friend Tommy from kindergarten. (We combined our pinewood derby with a neighboring ward.) Tommy was a great cheerleader, oh, I mean yell leader. I guess you don't use the name cheerleader for boys.

This is Bradley on the left and his friend Braydon with the dark hair. By this time the boys were just having fun while awards were being prepared.

Bradley and Braydon

Bradley was really excited about his award. He thought it was perfect for his design. (He got a little carried away with the graphite. He ended up with graphite on his face, clothes and his car of course. But it did help the car go faster, so I guess it was worth the mess.)

In the photo we have Ben (my cousin Abbey's little boy), Bradley, Ben (Kim's), Noah (Marianne's), and Aaron (Kim's). They all worked very hard on creating the best sand castles at my parents on Mother's day. They really worked for hours on these things.

This kids are pointing to their own castles. Bradley's is the one you see below, but I didn't get this picture until it was dark, so it's hard to see.

Tonight after working out in the back yard trying to level out the dirt for sod, the boys went fishing. Bradley was so excited to go, and he really wanted to be successful. He told me that he had said a prayer that he would be able to catch a fish, and well, you see the results.

He outdid his dad a little.

Bradley caught this fish all on his own. He was bursting with pride, and couldn't wait to get home to show me. I was at home trying to get a little laundry done, but now I see that I should have been there with the camera. I will have to go with them next time to get some action shots.
Bradley is such a sweet, imaginative, and adventurous boy. We have so much fun with him and are so glad he's a part of our family!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ahhh, country life!

Elli and I have a new daily ritual. We load up the stroller with water for me, snacks and milk for Elli and we explore all the little roads around our house. I know when it's time to leave because Elli will ask me for her hat. She would spend every waking minute outside if I let her.

I just can't get over the beauty of spring, so yesterday we took our camera on our walk. I hope you enjoy what we get to see everyday. It really is a lovely place to live.

These are the acres and acres of apple, cherry and peach trees. It's hard to see, but this row goes on for at least a mile. The blossoms smell yummy too.

This is one of the views as we walked. While Elli and I were out we had a few cars drive past us, 2 tractors, and 2 4-wheelers driven by sweet old farmers. Everyone waved to us as they drove by, and we only knew 2 of them. I think it's an unwritten rule that everybody waves to everybody in small towns.

Elli has discovered what fun dandelions are. Blowing is a new skill, and she could still use some practice. But she has the face down!

After trying to blow and having nothing happen, she resorted to tapping it against the stroller. She was very pleased with herself for finding a new way to get the seeds to fly off.

One more vista during our walk. Elli really loves going by the red barn. There are about 6 cows and just as many, if not more, horses.

I love spring! We have had a really lovely one this year too. It usually ends up that we have maybe a week of upper 60's and lower 70's, and then suddenly it's summer. It has actually been spring for a while now, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it at our house.
I took this picture of a field full of dandelions because I think they are so pretty when there are millions of them like this. I know they are weeds, and I don't love them on my lawn, but there is something about this many together that just makes me smile. Happy Spring everyone!