Friday, June 3, 2011

2011 Week 22

Memorial Day weekend was a long and busy one for us. Sam got Friday off and we started right in on the last of our yard work. Lots and lots of yard work. On the last trip to Home Depot for supplies the truck decided to go on strike (otherwise known as blowing out a tire). Luckily Sam had gone on that run by himself and the blow out happened at the entrance to our subdivision on his way home. We jacked up the tire, emptied the back and finished our projects then Sam put on the spare and took the truck in for a whole new set of tires.

Here's the finished product - yay! Gravel and weed barrier under the deck, under faucets and any other place we needed weed/erosion control. Fully filled sandbox. New patio for the swing and fire pit. Overseeded with grass, fertilized, bug control, weed control. Finished off the last of what needed to be done on the rain gutters. We are now declaring an end to the yard projects for this year because it's HOT and we've spent enough time and money on them for a while.
We've been dealing with North Carolina rain storms here, some of which hit us in the middle of our yard projects. The storms are strange - you know they're coming because the clouds are out all day but there's no real indication of when it will start raining. But when it does hit, it usually hits pretty hard and just pounds down for a good 15-30 min. The yard instantly turns into a giant puddle and the rain gutters overflow. Plenty of thunder and lightning. It's actually pretty fun to watch. Then it tapers off and once the sun comes out the puddles dry up in no time.

(this one is just because he's cute)

Though it was really too hot to build a fire, Kaitlyn had been asking and asking to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. And when the weather forecast showed no signs of a cool day, we picked the best one we could and built the fire anyway. It was hot and we had plenty of flies for visitors. But Kaitlyn sure was happy and ate like a champ (totally worth it because the days either of our picky eaters gobble up the food are days that make us very happy). Tyler was into it until he had to sit down and eat a hot dog - and totally refused. We had a bit of a fight, sending him into his room at one point. But eventually he met our quota for bites of a hot dog, had a banana to fill out the meal, and we let him roast a marshmallow for smores.

Kaitlyn didn't have to wait for hers. She had so much fun roasting her own marshmallows or making us do it that she didn't ever want to stop.

On the final day of our holiday weekend, Memorial Day, we took the kids bowling. What a blast that was, for Tyler in particular. He was in the best mood and happy and chatty and dancing or jumping around the whole time. (Sam took a video of it with his camera, I'll have to see if I can somehow upload that to the blog) He was also a lucky little guy and got at least 2 strikes, bowling entirely by himself. Kaitlyn was having fun but after the first few frames and Tyler's score edging well ahead of her own she got a little down - or a lot down. She wasn't happy. Eventually inspiration struck and I announced that the winner had to buy the losers ice cream (the winner was guaranteed to be Sam, since he bowls weekly). That struck just the right note and Kaitlyn was able to be happy that she wasn't in the winner's seat.

School is winding down. Homework has come to an end (yay!) and you can tell things are being finished up and everyone is kind of marking time. Yesterday was the awards ceremony for the Academic All Stars - Kaitlyn being one of them. They gave the students that were receiving the award matching shirts and had this little parade around the track. They had written their dreams on some cards and attached them to balloons. They had a few of the kids read their dreams (some were funny like the kid who wanted to be a millionaire and own a monkey, some touching like the girl who wanted a cure for cancer because her mother had died from it in January (so sad!), and some were pretty typical like going to college and even a couple that were simply world peace). When I asked Kaitlyn what hers was she said she couldn't remember. At the end of the ceremony the kids released the balloons. Then we all went into the activity room for ice cream.

Have I mentioned how noisy it is around here lately? It's bad. Construction is in full swing. We're told 15 new houses are going into the subdivision as fast as they can get them done. Two of which happen to be directly behind us. The saws and hammering start up before 7AM. (I'd be annoyed and complain if I weren't already awake by then) Then there are the guys that are working on getting the phone lines, cable and internet (yup, we've been without landlines all this time. Now that we've managed without them though I doubt we'll bother to sign up for now). Add in the cement trucks and the delivery vans and the tractors and the landscapers out mowing the lawns on all the empty lots... It's a lot of noise.

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