James: May 2005 Archives

05/22/2005 Newsletter

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Picture of the yard before grass

Before

Picture of the yard after sod is installed

After
View more pictures from April
View more pictures from May
View more pictures from our Landscaping Project

5-22-05

Well another long stretch has past and we have been so busy that I haven't been able to sit down and write this letter until now. I really need to get back into the once a month pattern, but it never seems to work out.

I have been working like a mad woman in the yard ever since the weather has gotten semi-nice. I've laid down over 3000 sq ft of weed barrier cloth and with James' help moved about 12 cubic yards of shredded bark mulch from one spot in the yard to another. I've (with my sister's help) also planted about 40 irises in the park strip in front of the house, about 150 bare root plants in the various flower beds, and created a patchwork type garden on the south side of the driveway using different colors of mulches and various plants. This week James and I plan to get the vegetable gardens going and I'm going to plant several flats of annuals to round out the flower beds. It's been a long haul, but the results are worth every sunburn and sore muscle.

We finally have grass in our yard. It's been hard to look out the windows on a dirt yard for soooo many months. We had the sod delivered on Saturday the 14th. We had friends and family over to help and we started laying it. Somehow I had grossly miscalculated the amount of sod that we needed (a stupid math mistake) and we came up short in both the front and the back. Unfortunately since it was a Saturday the Sod Farm closed before we could try and get more sod that night. I was sick to my stomach for making such a dumb mistake. So we had half of our sod laid that night and had to wait over the weekend to see when we could get the rest. Luckily, the sod farm had the grass for our front yard in and ready to go on Monday. James picked it up in our little truck and it took several long trips to get it all home. My sister, Marrisse, came over and helped me lay the sod while James was making the trips and we got the front lawn finished in about 2 hours. We had to wait until Tuesday for the backyard sod and thankfully Marrisse was able to come and help again. I totally owe her some manual labor now!! Despite all of this we now have beautiful green grass. We can't walk or play on it for another week or so, but it is wonderful to see the difference that it makes in our yard. We have gotten several compliments from neighbors and complete strangers. I think our yard is one of the nicest in the neighborhood now, but I might be a little biased...

Seth had his first real Easter egg hunt this year. He and his cousin, Sophie, hunted up plastic eggs filled with candy. Sophie ate her candy as she went. She's a pretty skinny little kid so it was funny to see her cheeks stuffed as full as they could get. Seth didn't realize that there was candy in the eggs at first so he had quite a stockpile before he started his binge. Everytime he found and egg he would hold it high above his head in triumph. It was fun to watch them scurry around the room trying to find the eggs that were hidden in plain sight.

In April, Alannah (my first roommate at BYU) and her family came to visit. They have an adopted little boy named Jonah. He is just a little older than Seth. Alannah came for a conference for her work so while she was in classes her husband, Ky, and I took the kids out. We went to Liberty Park one day and played on the slides and the swings. We also went to the Zoo. Seth's favorite part this time was the ride on the zoo train. He loved the "Choo Choo". The giraffe was especially memorable too. It came right up to the edge of the fence and was licking people. We also went to the Treehouse Museum in Ogden. The kids were so tired that they both fell asleep on the way home. I got to spend a little time with Alannah too, but not as much as I would have liked. It was really great to see them and to meet Jonah.

Our digital camera fell off a shelf and the LCD screen cracked. We were relieved that it was still under the extended warranty and took it back to the store. The lady at the store told us that even though we had the warranty, it didn't cover accidental or intentional breakages. James got pretty upset with her since the reason we bought the extended warranty was because the original salesman told us that the LCD screens have a tendency to break and we would need the coverage. The girl reluctanly sent the camera in to the repair shop telling us that they probably wouldn't fix it and that we should expect a call telling us how much the repairs were going to cost. We were on the verge of deciding to buy a new camera when the old one came back to us good as new. So they fixed it for us, but we are going to be very leary about buying extended warranties from now on. James has been very busy working full time and doing a lot of the heavy yardwork. I am glad his job has been so flexible and that he can choose his own hours. He has been trying out several new chairs for his work station, but none seem to be better in all aspects than the one he already has. I think he might give up and just go back to the old chair. He was also able to go see the new Star Wars movie for the midnight showing on opening night. He has some friends who are in a Star Wars costume club and they lent him a costume and they all walked around the theater entertaining the other movie goers waiting in line. The theater had reserved a section of seats for them so they just walked right in when the movie was about to start. He can't wait to take me to see it so that he can talk to me about it. I think we are going on Tuesday.

Seth is really starting to assert his independence. His temper tantrums are coming more often and are getting more aggressive. Generally though, he is happy as a clam. His last baby teeth (until the third year molars) have come in and his outlook has been much sunnier since then. He motors around the house getting into all sorts of things. He can reach the top of the counters now and we have to be careful what we leave near the edges. His favorite movie right now is The Incredibles ("Bedibles") and he loves the two short films that are on the bonus disc ("Jack-Jack" and "Bound"). He was really into Nemo for a while, but I guess he got sick of it or something. He is also glad that he can go outside and play now. I bought a slide and a teeter-totter from the DI and he loves to go "Wheeee" on the slide. The teeter-totter is only fun if his cousins are over to play on it with him. We need to get his swing tied up in the swing tree and I'd like to find a sandbox for him (more DI searching to do) and then I think we will have a pretty good play area until his is old enough for a full sized swingset. It's fun to watch him grow and learn. He loves to repeat words that I say to him, although sometimes he gets a little mixed up (pepperoni is "neenu"). He's always working on his vocabulary!

That's it for this letter. Check out the yard transformation in the photos section you'll be amazed, I know I am. We love you all!

Love James, Miekka and Seth

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