After everyone left from the first major home improvement project, I was inspired to do a little work myself (partially to continue procrastinating dealing with paperwork).
The previous owners had some landscaping bricks piled behind the garage. Since the landscaping borders were currently half brick and half rocks in the front and back yards, I decided to make it all brick since I thought that would look more consistent and compliment the ceramic tile roof nicer.
There were curved pieces, and straight pieces - some two feet long, and some one foot long. I made many trips back and forth with the kids' wagon from the back to the front to put them where I wanted them, and back and forth to make a little rock garden in the back yard. It was a ton of lifting - lots of manual labor, and boy did it feel great! The workout I got from it was so invigorating, and it really seemed to boost my upper body strength (which really needed it), as well as my appetite. The kids had a lot of fun helping me out, too. In fact, Jacob did one whole load of rocks himself - picking them up from the yard, piling them into the wagon, and pulling the wagon into the back yard. I know how heavy those things are, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw him pulling a full load that he did himself into the back yard. That kid is WAY stronger than he looks! He was very proud of himself, too, and he loved helping his mama. Such a good boy.
The other thing I thought was so awesome is that Jacob really appreciates beauty in nature, and in other things. So when I picked him up from school the one day just after I had finished up putting the landscaping bricks where I wanted them, I asked him if he wanted to check out what I did in the yard. He replied with a very enthusiastic "yes!"
When he saw what I had done, he actually said, "WOW!! COOOOOL!!!" and looked all around at everything I had done. He loved it. Not many five year olds would take such an interest in that sort of thing. Not only is it a thrill for me to be able to share stuff like that with him and have him sincerely appreciate it, but I think it means as much to him for me to involve him and ask him what he thinks about it. Such a good boy!!! My kids make my heart bubble over with love.
A few days after the first round of Rows left, a second round came out to finish the job. Greg, another brother-in-law with skills showed up with two of his kids, Heather and Trevor. They are older than my kids by several years, but they are so genuinely good with the little ones, and so much fun to be around! Greg patched the holes from the plumbing work, and then installed an access door on the side of the garage.
The way it was before, the only way in and out of there was through the garage door. It's an automatic door, so if the power ever went out, there's no way to open it since the pulley to manually release the lock is on the inside. More importantly, I store my beer in the fridge that's in the garage. I'd end up having to break the window (that doesn't open) to get in there. I have my priorities, you know!
The kids are particularly drawn to Uncle Greg since he and Matt bear a striking resemblance to each other. I even catch myself sort of staring at him to catch glimpses of Matt. Their facial features and expressions are a lot alike.
They were only here for about a day and a half, but the kids and I will be driving down to San Diego to visit them again in a couple of weeks when Ginny and Roy head down there. I LOVE living within driving distance from my in-laws!