Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Birthday Weekend Begins!

It's been a very jam-packed week - and I am ready for some R & R!

Monday - Average day.  We did swim lessons in the morning and then worked on the backlog of laundry for most of the day.  Jordan and Dean went off to the scout meeting in the evening, and when they got home, Dean and I mapped out the family calendar for the next three months.  I post it up on the wall so I can see it all the time.  I like knowing when stuff is coming up - especially scout stuff.  There is always something to prepare for - and with only four weekends each month - you can bet that almost always two of them will contain a potential scouting event.

Tuesday - Swim lessons again and karate for Rylan.  Jordan sat out today because he leaves for OKC tomorrow, so we didn't pay for his lessons this month.  We attended a morning Park Day in Loveland with several homeschoolers in our group.  It was so nice to get out and see them - we have been so busy it feels like we are being anti-social.  One family brought some watermelon, which was a very nice treat for all of us!  Spent the afternoon working out a new blog - you can see the link over there in the sidebar.  A sometimes humorous look at money.  We don't have any.  Don't take my advice on how to spend it.  But I will be chronicling our painful climb out of the debt we are in.  Good times.  Spent the evening packing Jordan's suitcase for his flight early tomorrow morning.  He and Rylan have spent most of the day hugging.  I also encouraged him to spend a good portion of the afternoon outside enjoying the 84 degree weather we are having.  Because tomorrow, when he steps off the plane, it will be 110 degrees in OKC.  HA!  (okay, that was mean)

Wednesday - Enjoyed two hours of joyful quiet early this am, after Dean and Jordan left for the airport.  I spent that time tweaking this blog.  I made a few cosmetic changes, but Blogger fought me the whole damn way.  Some thing's up.   I do.  not.  like.  how every time I change the title picture, it blows it up and makes it absolutely huge.  DO YOU HEAR ME BLOGGER???  Please let me adjust the size of it!  Thank you.  I took the kids to swimming lessons, and friend Abbi met us there and kept us company.  She also brought watermelon.  You know... for whatever reason, Owen calls watermelon 'lemonade'.  I don't know why.  I correct him all the time.  He has watermelon flavored toothpaste, and every night he asks for lemonade on his toothbrush.  He is a complete mystery to me at times.  I picked the first tomato from the garden today - it was very delish.  Dean took the day off, so as soon as he got back from the airport, we went outside and spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon working on a clean-up project in the backyard.  Here is a 'before' picture... although we have already done quite a bit of work because I never remember to take the 'before' picture until after we have already started.  So, just imagine things much worse than they are here...
We had already trimmed the aspen trees - you could barely see the fence before...  Those landscape timbers were originally placed around the perimeter, and the whole area was filled with 6" of pea gravel.  We removed the gravel last summer and posted it as 'free' on Craig's list.  It was gone within a week.  All year, though, we have been at a loss as to what to do with the area.  It is riddled with the massive root system from the aspen - so a patio area is out of the question.  So is a play area because I do not want the expense of a playset - we can go to a playground anytime, and we have already constructed a massive sandbox.  Monday evening, as Dean and I were doing the calendar, Dean had suggested a deck out here.  YESS!!!!  That is the perfect idea.  It can be raised up a foot, and it will clear the roots, yet be in the shade of the aspen trees from early afternoon on.  Now all we have to do is figure out how to pay for it.  Did I mention we have no money?  It may be awhile before I can post an 'after' picture.  We arranged for my dad to come by with his trailer so we could load all of this 'stuff'  and take it to the landfill.  Instead, dad decided that he wanted to keep the timbers to use in his garden, and take the branches to a compost place.  Everything else we needed to be hauled away stayed behind.  So we are left with a massive pile of chunks of sod, rocks, and broken plastic sand toys that we will have to figure out how to get to the landfill another way.  We have a long history of this sort of behavior with my dad.  We REALLY want to get a small trailer and a hitch put on the van to solve this problem for us.  It is hard to depend on others in this respect.  Further strife and disappointment rounded out this day - I'll be posting about it to the other blog soon - although I doubt I can get it polished before we leave today.  I came home in a really frustrated mood, so I worked in the garden, pulling weeds (what else??).  It helped a little.

Thursday was a great day!!  We finished our swim lessons this morning!  Owen advanced to level 2, and Rylan advanced to level 3.  I feel like I have my summer back!  We went over to my moms and the kids played while I carried boxes down to the basement for my mom.  The boxes were filled with the rest of my grandma's belongings, and had been stacked up in the guest room since April.  We didn't sort through anything - maybe a couple more months and then we will be ready to take on that task.  I took Rylan to karate, and then just let the kids play for the afternoon.  I was extra productive.  I sorted legos.  I have about a thousand plastic baby food containers, and now I have a use for them.

Friday we were supposed to go to the fair, but plans never got off the ground.  Dean had taken the day off, so we tried to be productive.  It was payday, and in one short hour we blew through 3/4 of it paying bills.  It feels good, but it isn't any fun.

Saturday morning we took Rylan to karate, and then went on to the Boulder County Fair.  We had a great time!  I like going to that fair versus the fair in our own county because the fair grounds are a much more pleasant place to be.  It has been there for decades, and so the trees are massive and provide lots of shade.  I love, love, love looking at all of the 4-H projects.  Every time we attend the fair, I get wistful about raising chickens, ducks and goats.  I wish we lived where we could have some.  Here are some highlights..

Today, Sunday, we are off to go camping for just an overnight.  Tomorrow morning, on my birthday, I get to look out on a beautiful mountain lake and listen to the birds... bliss.

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