Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Yard Project

This is what has been consuming our lives for the past couple months!  I would love to act like it's something we have contributed to equally, but it's been all Aaron.  He has worked his tail off taking our yard from a sloped hill of weeds to what we have now (I bet you can't wait to see pictures!).

I wish I had taken pictures from the very beginning before we killed all the weeds and rototilled (sp?).  It was a mess!

Then we got our first dumptruck load of dirt.  Aaron moved the dirt with many loads in the wheelbarrow to various places in the yard and then raked them out to try to even things out and get rid of the major slope in the yard.

Our next big project was to get some cement poured.  We got 9 yards of cement delivered and hired some guys to pour it for us.  Of course, Aaron was out there just about the whole time anyway.  He likes to "observe" their work.  He just can't help himself.  It was fun to watch them work and see the progress, but Elsie and I just did it from inside the house. 

We really wanted a patio that was big enough to use and enjoy and store things.  We never did it up at our Nampa house, and we always regretted it.  So we may sure to do it right away!

We also poured a big slab for Charlie's kennel.

I forgot to mention that Aaron and his Dad busted out the walkway and steps that were in the front because it was sinking.  That was hard work!  The cement was so thick.  So we replaced that as well.
The next project was to plant a few tress that we got from Costco.  We have a bit of a junkyard in the lot behind us, so we wanted to get some trees planted and hope they grow really, really fast.  Okay, so it may take a few years before they do much good, but it's sure been nice having some greenery in the backyard.

Because the yard was still so sloped, we had another dumptruck load of dirt brought it.  Which meant many more piles to move and spread out.  Fun for Aaron!

He also started digging (by hand!) out an area in the yard that would be completely flat.  We want to put a firepit in there and have enough room for chairs and such.

Once the area was all dug out, he started building a retaining wall on the taller side.  We originally were going to wrap the wall around the side also, but scratched that idea once we realized how many blocks it would take. 

This wall proved to be quite the task for Aaron.  He had to redo it about three times because of changing plans and needing to make it straight.  It was the most frustrating part of this whole yard for him.  There was one particularly bad afternoon where the wind was blowing like crazy, and he thought he was done...only to realize as he was walking inside that wall was crooked.  Yeah, he wasn't too happy with life right then!!  But, he got it done and it looks great!

(The two blocks sitting on top were added to to the ends of wall once we got a little more dirt.)
There was a lot more spreading of dirt, raking out rocks, etc.

Oh, I almost forgot...we put in sprinklers in the back.  Aaron did some law work in exchange for help with the sprinklers.  The guy came up with the plan and picked up the materials, and then they (including Aaron) got to work.

I didn't get any pictures of the front yard project that he started as well.  He killed off some grass along the edge, dug it out, and added a bunch of dirt to raise it up a bit.  We'll plant some decorative stuff in that area and dress up the front a bit.

We realized we needed more dirt.  So our third load of dirt was delivered.  I even helped spread this pile!

On to the next step...curbing.  We had some curbing poured around that area in the front and then all along the sides in the backyard.

After a week of letting the cement set, we finally got sod!!  Aaron, Pete, Merv, and Gary spent a couple hours laying sod, and it was so exciting to see it go down. 

Pete wanted me to get a picture of the sweat on his back.  It was a really hot morning.  I enjoyed sitting in my chair under the umbrella and cheering them on.  Courtney and the kids came for moral support.
The finished far!!

We had an area over by the kennel that we flattened out enough to put a swingset for Elsie.  We'll be getting that this week. 

We are at a good stopping point now and so happy!!  We're going to wait (maybe this summer or next year) to plant around the edges of the yard and put up a fence.  Now, Aaron's got to get back to his real job!