Monday, November 18, 2013

Landscaping Complete!

In order to finish planting, we needed to pick up some additional topsoil.  But in order to pick it up, Chris needed to fix the truck.  While he worked on that, Samantha helped me put together the cart he purchased for the tractor.  It took a little longer with her help but she had a good time putting bolts in the holes (and got to work on some fine motor skills in the process!).

Once Chris got the truck in working condition, he picked up the topsoil and we finished the planting in the retaining wall.  In addition to that, we cleaned up (i.e. moved old plants and debris) the side of the house so that we could put the last of the plants in the ground.  Here are a few pictures of the side of the house - from before we owned it, after we removed some trees, and now.


We still need to build the portico around the door, build a small retaining wall on the uphill side of the slab, and plant some flowers.  Of course we think it is a major improvement over the multiple trees (feet from the house), the ugly mudroom, the multiple rusty fences, "Beware of Dog" sign, and poison ivy!

When we weren't working outside, Samantha was helping me work inside.  A couple of the things we did this week included:

Scrubbing the oven...

...and shelling pecans.

Sadly, Samantha did a much better job on the pecans than I did (of course I gave her the easy to shell ones!).

And finally, Samantha has been showing a lot of interest in my sewing machine so I asked her if she wanted to learn to sew.   She said she did so I cut out a couple cardboard hearts and punched some holes in them.  With a large yarn needle and some yarn, she did a great job (with only a little coaching).  Her great-grandmother would be so proud! 

Up next on the house is hopefully some patio work (until the weather gets too cold/yucky).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wall Complete - Soil Needed!

It's going to get very cold here soon so we really needed to finish as much outside work as possible.  Fortunately, we were able to finish up the retaining wall this week.  Chris worked on it when he came home from work, I helped after Samantha was in bed, and we were able to finish it up on Sunday. 

The rest of the time was spent putting the drain tile in, dumping in very heavy loads of gravel and concrete debris, and covering it all up with soil.  We still need to buy some additional topsoil but we're pretty close to being able to plant this area. 

We had some fun this week - I went to a Pampered Chef party and a My Favorite Things party, Chris went to a work brewing party and played volleyball.

The big news of the week though was that we had the 20 week sonogram.  The baby is healthy and has Samantha's nose and large feet!  I was a little nervous going in but I'm so thankful that everything is as expected.

And I'll end with a picture of Samantha in one of her nice hats:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween, Bar Mitzvah, and Retaining Wall

I know I didn't post last week - there wasn't much to share (I didn't take many photos!).  We had guests last week - my mom, aunt, and cousin's son.  Little Jackson is such a cutie and Samantha treated him well - always giving him toys, his water bottle, etc.  I think she's going to make a great big sister!

We got a lot of materials delivered recently.  This will cover the retaining wall in the front and the large patio we'll be putting out back.  Unfortunately, these pallets are going to be here for awhile.

Chris was able to start on the retaining wall in the front of the house.  The hard part is that we need to step it up to match the contour of the yard.  It was getting a little dark so there are only two layers installed for now.  Once we have this wall complete then we can finish installing the landscaping (which is also sitting in our driveway). 

While my mom was here, I hoped to get a lot done on the house while I had a built in babysitter but the only thing I accomplished was making some curtains for the bathroom (so nobody can see us shower anymore!).  It's not too bad for my first try!

Samantha really enjoyed Halloween.  We went to many houses in the neighborhood and she would run up to get her candy (which Chris and I have been enjoying).  She makes a pretty cute pink poodle!

We went to our first Bar Mitzvah this weekend for our next door neighbor.  He did such a good job with the ceremony.  Samantha had a great time - lots of dancing and calling Chris' yarmulke a "hat." 

Of course we've been having some fun at home.  Samantha has become a very good "artist" and enjoys painting, coloring, and stickers.

She is still attached to her bear, BoBo.  I hope we never lose this guy!

Ride on toys are still a big hit as well!

And finally, we've had some very beautiful sunsets lately.  We try to enjoy them when we can.

Hopefully we'll be able to get a lot of retaining wall installed this week so we can finish the landscaping!