Monday, August 9, 2010

Kaylee is THREE

Yes, KAYLEE is THREE. Today is her birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAYLEE! Aimee and Trent had a birthday party for her on Satuday. It was a beach party. Fun huh! And in Utah in August you wouldn't think there would be a problem with weather. We went a little early to help put up decorations and the sun was out and it was great. The kids were in their swimming suits and everything was ready. Just as the doorbell rang and the guests started to arrive...guess started sprinkling. Kaylee who had hopped in the pool with both of her brothers before the party started, greeted her guest shivering....They played all kinds of games...decorate your beach ball...find the candy under the seashells...a relay running back and forth with water...Until Kaylee decided she had run enough and carried the big shell over and dumped all the water in...They did another relay and put all the leis on Trent...and, of course the pool was ready...and the sprinklers. With all the running the kids seemed to stay warm enough.
Finally we went in...everyone got sunglasses for winning the games. Kaylee opened presents...Kaylee gave big thank you hugs...Then it was time for the cake. Aimee made a darling sandcastle cake...each of the kids got a cone turret and ice cream...It was a fun party (even with a little rain) and guess what Kaylee was turning 3 and only had 5 guests that were her age. Aimee is getting closer to the "only invite as many kids as the age your child is turning" rule.

Stone patio

As Reid says, "we took out a perfectly good piece of concrete to put in a stone patio." It was a lot of work, but I had this wonderful idea to replace the small concrete slab just off the back door with a stone patio. Of course BIGGER is BETTER right! So we made this very large 12x16 stone patio. It really was a lot of work.

We rented a jack hammer for which Reid nicknamed me "jackhammer Sallie" (I was hoping that the jackhammer would work like those old exercise machines - nope). Then we hauled all the concrete pieces up the stairs to Reid's truck and to the dump - it took three loads to go to the dump. We purchased the stone and had it delivered (unfortunately they would only bring it to the driveway in the front). So we started hauling bricks to the backyard. Jen and I could carry 4 at time...everyone else could take more. It took a lot of trips to the back (we had almost 500 stones). When the kids came over for Sunday dinner, everyone had to make a couple of trips to the backyard with bricks. The Pattee's even came over one day to help...they did the last bit and FINALLY all the bricks were in the backyard.

Then we started taking out the sod by hand with a little sod cutter kinda like a shovel that is flat -- that didn't last long. It is totally worth renting an electric sod cutter.
Next we marked off the area and then started hauling dirt out. Then we got out the level and found that to make everything level we had to bring the dirt back in. Reid had a gig in Montana and so Jennifer and I would get up early in the morning and make a few trips back and forth to bring the dirt back in (we had taken all the dirt up the stairs to the side of the house and put it under the trees) and then at night when it cooled off after work -- we did it again. By Thursday we thought we had enough dirt in the area and tamped down.
We put PVC pipe in to level it and started putting sand in and then screening the sand with a board. When Reid got home we still needed more sand. Mike and Melissa came over and we put more sand in...It seemed like we put sand in forever. Finally everything was level....
And they helped us put the bricks in. Good thing they came too...cause Reid could not get the pattern. So Mike laid every one (I still don't think Reid can see the pattern). It looked good... but as we had anticipated the level at the far end was 10 inches lower so we needed a retaining wall border. Reid and I went and got more bricks and we finally finished on Saturday just in time to go to Kaylee's birthday party. I think it was worth it to take out the "perfectly good concrete."

Hooray the tams are gone!

The original owners of our house put tams all across the front, under the trees. They also put wonderful big rocks that have been covered up by the tams. We had finally had enough of the tams and decided to tear them out. A couple of months ago, Reid and Mike started taking them out with a chain on the back bumper of Mike's car. Our neighbor came over and said, "why didn't you say you wanted these out? I can come and take them out in 5 minutes next time by _____(whatever kind of machine this is called) is here." So, Friday he came over. It was great! One big scoop and 1/3 of the tams were gone.
The next big scoop and another good portion was taken out.
The next big scoop and ... oops! We hit the water pipe.
Reid got the water off and a couple more scoops.....
All the tams are out...YEAH!!!!