One-Yard Wonders projects

Monday, September 2, 2013

Three Great Days of Fun and Laboring!

Well, so long Labor Day weekend 2013. It was a great weekend -- beautiful weather, lots of fun, even quite a bit of laboring on the house and yard. I love three-day weekends.

Yesterday we spent the morning chopping down the gigantic jungle of weeds behind the garage... That was quite a workout. I can't believe how overgrown it was. The weeds are now down, but still in large piles that we will need to remove next weekend. After that, Shawn took Violet inside for a nap and I painted the final handrail of the front entry and part of the brick foundation of the house. The boys helped me. In fact, I think Bo still has some paint in his hair from his exuberant handiwork.

After showers and making a quick fruit salad, we headed west for an afternoon at the farm. My parents were gone for the weekend at a wedding, but we met up with a couple of my aunts and uncles, cousins, one brother and his family, and my sister and her family. Oh and grandpa Keith stopped by for awhile, too. Aunt Jean brought a ton of fried chicken for the main course, and the rest of us brought side dishes to go with it. It was a great afternoon!

This morning we started the day with a 45-minute family walk through Union Park. It was .... kind of enjoyable. The boys are just not big on walking, and let you know that every 13 seconds or so. So on top of the walking workout, we got the added bonus of working out our lungs as we yelled at them. But they shaped up halfway through it and it ended up being mostly fun. After showers, Shawn and Violet dropped me and the boys off at Pizza Ranch for their long-anticipated lunch there. They've been trying to earn it all weekend but kept losing it for being mouthy and/or fighting with each other.

For the past couple weeks, they've been earning quarters for every time Shawn or I say a bad word... And they lose quarters every time they say a bad word. For the record, bad words include "shut up, stupid, dummy" and of course the wide variety of cuss words heard in our home. I can assure you, the boys are excellent listeners when they have the opportunity to earn a quarter... Not a single "damn" gets by them.

Anyway, we met my cousin Jenny there and had a very nice lunch. They each spent 8 of their quarters in the prize machines there. They were very excited. Shawn and Violet did not have such a nice time at Walmart. Apparently Violet hates that store as much as I do and she decided she would let that be known to the world. By the time they picked us up, Shawn was ready for a break.

So this afternoon while Violet slept, the boys and I watched movies and Shawn read. It was really nice. Oh, also this weekend we made the boys' terrariums! They are so excited by them. I took pictures of how you do it, in case any of you are interested.

Supplies: glass bowl or container (with or without a lid), pea gravel or aquarium rocks, moss, charcoal, potting soil, mini plants, toys or decorations

First layer: pea gravel or aquarium rocks

Second layer: then pour in a thin layer of charcoal. It looks like little black rocks.

Third layer: use some of your moss to cover the gravel. This helps keep your soil from washing down into the rocks. 

Fourth layer: potting soil. You need a couple inches of it in your container.

Now plant your plants, pack down the soil and water them.

Final layer: cover the dirt with your moss. Add decorations or toys, like our dinosaur-themed terrariums. 

The boys had so much fun creating the dino vs. soldier scenes in their terrariums. We now have three terrariums as the centerpiece on our dining room table. It's awesome!
 I took my first terrarium to work, so I could enjoy it there. It's been a big hit. 

Most of the supplies can be bought at a craft store. But you'll need to go to a nursery or specialty store to find the little plants, moss and charcoal. 

So that was the weekend. Hope yours was fun as well! Tomorrow I head to South Carolina for the week. I already miss my boys and Violet. I'll get to drop them all off at school and daycare before heading to the airport. Shawn and I just figured out Skype on our mobile phones so I'll be able to see them all each night, and read the boys our new bedtime book, "Tentacles." It looks like an action-packed thriller! 


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