Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Garden photos and plans!

This year, I've endeavored to double my garden space, and to grow more things! So we started by disassembling half of the garden boxes, and rebuilt them longer and larger, so that they have more space to grow. Here is the horrible before photo:

Oh, the horror. Old cardboard, dirt, weeds. Very sad.

And here is the after photo (with wood chips added):

Much prettier!
We also spread 12+ cubic yards of wood chip around the backyard. It really needed it, as the naked dirt/weeds looked atrocious. Here are some before shots:

Sad picnic table. Weeds. Tree droppings.

The playset looks like it landed in a bad neighborhood.

And some after shots:

Picnic shot from the other direction. Much prettier, yes?

At least the ground looks better!

The yard to-do list is still terribly long, but at least it no longer looks like a bloody disaster area. I'd love to re-do the fence, but I doubt that expense is in the cards this year. We need to talk to our neighbors anyway, as it is a shared fence.

With some irrigation work, I can also add a few planters and small garden boxes in the back. I'll get there. This weekend I plan to work on my still-very-sad side yard area. More photos soon, I hope.

I'll also post more photos as my garden boxes get filled with plants. We've already planted more strawberries, black/raspberries, onions, leeks, cabbage, carrots, beets... waiting for consistently warm weather before my tomatoes, peppers, cukes, and squash go outside. Come on sunny days!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Summer Things

I've been trying to come up with some ideas and plans for the summer.

Some definite ideas I have are to get the kids into some swim lessons this year (finally), potentially purchase one of the summer kids movie programs, try out a summer program dance class (hip hop for Hank- seriously), and piano lessons.

Maybe a bit much, but I will aim high and see where that settles for me.

Camping definitely sounds like a must this year. I do want to check out the aquarium. I'm not certain on the Natural History Museum, and unfortunately I work on May 31st, so no city library for me that day.

Oh, and hit up the farmers market at least a couple of times.

Do you think we can finally make it up to Timpanogos Cave this year? Would the kids just hate us?

I haven't been to Tracy Aviary in a while.

I'm not sure when to suggest going to the aquarium if you want to go together. My kids will still have school during your break (Lorraine) but on Monday the 26th Hank is out, and Morgan gets out of school ~1:30. Don't know if that is enough time. Any other weekday (that I don't work) I can meet up after 2:45 when Morgan gets home.

Oh yeah, Lorraine, are you planning on doing anything for your birthday?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Boys Desk Redo

With the warm days of spring, I've been trying to work on a laundry list of projects. You know. The stuff I was trying to ignore all winter.

One of the projects is to give the boys a new, better desk/Lego building area. They've been using these trapezoid tables that dad picked up at the school surplus sale. They've been great but they weren't giving enough space for the Lego Obsessed Boy (Chy), or the nitpicky kid (Q).

The before shot:

Chy waving from his old desk.

 So, I looked at a bunch of pinterest/DIY blog thingys, and we came up with this:

The boys at the new desk (now with Storage(TM)!)

One long desk. Drawers beneath. Space for both boys to sit and work. But we still had that blank wall. I love Ana White, so I finally decided to try this project with my Kreg Jig.

Shelves on the wall! And lights!


The build part was crazy easy. In fact, it took much longer to sand and paint than it did to assemble the pieces.

We added some wall-mounted lights from Ikea, a clearance garbage can from Target, and Viola! New desk area.

(Notice the green stripe down the middle - this is the separation between Q's space and Chy's space. Because, unlike in the 'after' shot above, Chy's space is always covered in Legos. And paper. And trio toys. And rocks. And whatever else he was working on/collected that day.)