Sunday, July 27, 2014

Backyard Project

In April we decided to do some upgrading to our backyard. When we first moved in it was just a large plot of grass. Watch the progress in action!

Before - under deck

Before - yard behind house

Phase 1 - the equipment arrives! We have a very happy boy.

He was a very good supervisor.

Phase 2 - base for the patio

A wall!

 Patio finished with stone mulch on the sides.

 Phase 3 - Creating a screened porch under the deck.

Phase 4 - Some new landscaping!

(Notice the back of the house with no door)

Phase 5 - Adding a French door in the basement (this is our second guest room and it had no windows or door before). 

We also put in a nice water fountain.

The finished project - time to enjoy! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ainsley's Adventures

Our little girl is finally old enough to spend the week with my in-laws and her cousins. Every year Skip and Reva have what I call "Grandparent Camp", where they take the older kids for two weeks of fun. This year Ainsley joined them for the second week. Reva and Carolina (7) drove up to our house last weekend. We did some fun things with the girls and it gave them a chance to get settled with each other (we hadn't seen them since Christmas).  We went to the zoo, and in the afternoon the girls went to the pool while Parker napped.  

Pretty Princesses

Fun at the zoo

Saturday night we all went to a Flying Squirrels baseball game. Parker and I left early, but the girls got to stay for fireworks and running the bases.

Running the bases after the game (Ainsley is in the blue dress, giving everyone high-fives)

On Sunday Reva, Carolina, and Ainsley piled into the car and drove down to North Carolina. Parker cried in the driveway as the left. "My sissy! My sissy!" he called over and over again. But five minutes later he had forgotten that she left (although he has asked for her occasionally throughout the week - I think he's secretly enjoyed being the center of attention). 

Ainsley's first night at Grandma and Grandaddy's house. She and Carolina had a bath in the BIG tub!

Drying their hair before bed.

Cousin Maddie reading stories to them before bed. Ainsley was so excited to sleep on the screen porch!

On Monday Reva took the girls to the local children's museum. They had a great time! 

On Tuesday they went to an amusement park. The girls rode roller coasters at least two dozen times and had a blast! They spent all day at the park and she quickly fell asleep on the way home. 

On Wednesday and Thursday they got to swim. Every day that she was there, the whole family would wake up in the morning and go for a long walk with the dogs (2 miles a day!)

I picked her up on Friday and she couldn't stop talking about how much fun she had at Grandma and Grandaddy's. What a great week for my little girl!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wherever You Are

My DH doesn't understand why I constantly take pictures of the kids when they are sleeping in funny places. I just like to capture the moments when they are quiet and peaceful. And when I've had a day when they're driving me nuts, I go back and look at their angelic faces and remember the reasons why I love being a mom. 

One of my favorite stories to read to them is by Nancy Tillman called 'Wherever You Are'. Watching them sleep reminds me of this book. 

"I wanted you more
than you will ever know,
so I sent love to follow
wherever you go.
It's high as you wish it.
It's quick as an elf.
You'll never outgrow it... 
it stretches itself!
So climb any mountain...
climb up to the sky!
My love will find you.
My love can fly!
Make a big splash! 
Go out on a limb!
My love will find you.
My love can swim!
It never gets lost, 
never fades, never ends...
if you're working or playing
or sitting with friends.
You can dance 'til you're dizzy...
paint 'til you're blue...
There's no place, not one,
that my love can't find you.
And if someday you're lonely,
or someday you're sad,
or you strike out at baseball,
or think you've been bad...

just lift up your face,
feel the wind in your hair.
That's me, my sweet baby, 
my love is right there. 
In the green of the grass...
in the smell of the sea...
in the clouds floating by...
at the top of a tree...
in the sound crickets make
at the end of the day...
'You are loved. You are loved. You are loved,'
they all say.
My love is so high,
and so wide
and so deep, 
it's always right there,
even when you're asleep.
So hold your head high
and don't be afraid
to march to the front
 of your own parade.
 If you're still my small babe
or you're all the way grown,
my promise to you
is you're never alone. 
You are my angel,
my darling,
my star...
and my love will find you,
wherever you are."