Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beach, Fair and BBQ - Sounds like Summer

We've gradually been checking off the the old summer to do list. A few weekends ago we made some progress. We were able to head out on the boat with some friends and get to "Dump Island." Sounds amazing, right? Actually it's quite nice for kiddos. Pull your boat right up, tie it off to a tree and let the kids out to play in the sand. Perfect. The sand was so soft and silky. Grace had a great time even though the water was a bit chilly.

Here she is warming up to the water.


The next day I had Cody tasked with yard work. Equals not so fun for a 4 (almost 5!!) year old! So, we got the pool out, and typical Grace complained she didn't want Remi anywhere near her pool because she'll get dog hair and leaves in it. Really? And really, you're going to expect the black lab to stay out of the pool, especially when you're chasing her around the yard with a bucket full of water and dumping it on her head. Good luck kid.

As you can see - keeping Remi out of the pool didn't last long. Keeping a sweaty Daddy out didn't last long either. She allowed them both in after some debates. 



These are the things I hope that Grace remembers about her Dad when she grows up. He'll jump right in the pool with all his clothes on, run through the sprinklers with her with clothes and tennis shoes on, play silly games, play princess games, and more.

Oh, and I'm having flash backs from last summer...
Those might actually be the same shorts and note, even the same grey t-shirt. Classy boys. But non the less, memories for Grace. 


And we went to the fair...Grace had "4 bucks" of her own to spend from "watching Lola" while I was in Los Angeles. Originally the deal was "8 bucks," but when I got home she confessed she didn't take care of her, so instead, wanted just "'4 bucks' for doing nothing." I gave in. Typical. Guess what she all got for "4 bucks?" The small bag of cotton candy - which I threw half of it away.


She had a good time on this little ride



She also was able to ride ponies, go on the big slide and other typical fair stuff.

Then later we had a BBQ with friends, and Grace was able to hang out with her newly named "best friend" Elliot. She was all in her glory.

I suppose we really could cross off "go to the beach" but I'm waiting until the "a lot" portion has been fulfilled. 

Next post - more items crossed off the "to do list." We were able to camp in the yard and go for a gator ride.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Yard Progress

Yard work. Gardening. Both things that I love and can despise at the same time. Luckily, my hubby does 95% of the yard work on his own - mowing, sucking up/blowing junk and leaves, and general lawn care. We of course tackle the large projects together. I like gardening - however, this year has been a bit trickier being pregnant. Gardening isn't so friendly on my back, and it's not so much fun to be bent over. Again, I'm lucky to have my hubby, he's been a great help this year in the garden planting, weeding and watering.

We had quite a number of repair projects in the backyard to take care of this year. Remember last summer when we had 10 puppies running around? They weren't so easy on the lawn or the garden. We took the basketball hoop down in 2011, and replanted before the pups - the new grass didn't survive the pups. We replanted this year along with several other pee spots from Remi. Then we've been working on the part of garden near the fence that you can't see in the first two photos - the left side where the concrete runs off the photo. There were evergreen bushes there that were torn out, roots removed, weeds destroyed and now this year planted with lilies and petunias. Always something. Here's the progress...

2009

I believe the above photo was taken right before we purchased the house. Check out the overgrown Monkey Grass and Snow on the Mountain in the middle. Both a HUGE pain to remove. We must have done a heck of a job because neither attempted to come back.

2011

Not sure if we have a photo like this from 2010, but we'll skip forward to last summer. This was after the snow on the mountain had been removed, mulch laid, and stepping stones put in the middle. Must cleaner. This was also shortly after a fresh paint job on the fence.

There isn't as big of a change from 2011 to 2012 as there was from 2009 to 2011, but enough things to make us happy.

2012

And this summer. So far back here we've moved some plants around, added some hostas to the middle part, and here you can see the mulched and planted area I referenced previously. This was shortly after a freshly stained deck. The circle where we had to replant some grass from where the basketball hoop came in nicely this year - hopefully it's the second and final time that we have to plant this!

Next on the project list...we're looking at taking out the chain link fencing (bottom right of these photos) and finishing off the fencing with the same style wood that surrounds the rest of the back yard. Seems like a no brainer, but we'll have to dig some holes for cement posts so we can add a few sections of wood fencing.

Just a quick update, more or less for my own records I can look back and see the progress we've made! Refreshing!

Dance Recital - Part 2

More dance pictures! Michele (Cody's mom) took these for me - thank you! These were right before her last performance, you can see her tired eyes! Sweet girl. She's showing off her roses from Grandma and Grandpa (Cody's parents).



 Love this one - she was a pretty serious dancer!



She's got some jumps on her! Not sure why she's the only one jumping, or if she is even supposed to be jumping.

Tap...tap...tap!

Maybe there will be a part three if I ever get the video uploaded. We'll see!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Fresh Deck

One weekend in May my parents came with intentions of me putting them to work. Props to them, they even knew that I'd be putting them to work and they came anyway. We had to get the deck restained. Cody and I  certainly could have done it ourselves, but it was such a relief to have a few extra set of hands! Grace and my mom hung out most of the time, which was also a big help.

Here are the befores of the deck...a little deceiving because it was after we scrubbed it a bit, which took off more of the stain than was actually missing, however, it was looking pretty naked.


A good look at the whole thing all naked and bare. The "off" colored board is one that we replaced, and put a coat of stain on first. You can tell from this picture how "mauve" colored the whole deck was looking because of first of all just the previous color, and secondly I'm sure wear, tear and discoloration from the sun.

Notice, no gate.



After scrubbing it down it was really looking rough.

Railings

Progress!


We of course brush painted the railings and spindles. We broke out a roller for the floor - worked so great! Went on smoothly and seamlessly. 

And the finished product with our furniture and pots back in place.


One of our two new gates that the hubby built! Impressed!
This one was built with  next year in mind, keeping the moving baby on the top deck and away from the stairs.

Side seating area.


A look at the backyard and lower level gate...to keep the dog off the deck if we want.

Progress on the yard and garden is coming along! So much better than where we were two years ago.

Remember those pots that Grace helped me plant on Mother's Day? They are growing along nicely!




These are beautiful!

Better view of the fresh stain job.


Ahhh, no more naked boards!



We've always spent a lot of time on the deck, but this year we are especially loving this space with the fresh coat of stain, gorgeous pots, and nice swing on the deck. It's the place to be in the evening! We've already had several get togethers out there and have not wanted the night to end! Not pictured is a fun gas powered fire pit that is awfully nice to get going in the evenings also - don't have to worry about finding logs, putting out flames, or dealing with smoke in the eyes!

Thanks Nana and Poppa for helping us stain the deck, and thanks to Grandpa Kevin for helping us get the swing put together back in April-ish! Cheers!

Love this space!



Monday, June 11, 2012

Making the Most of the Weekend

We had a BUSY weekend at the Richter house!

Cody was able to take in golfing on Friday night (we didn't go together, so it didn't get crossed off the list yet), and Grace and I were ale to get to a movie with a few friends! Madagascar 3! It was cute, and admittedly pretty good for a 3rd go round at a movie - usually they lose my interest after two. So, "go to a movie" got checked off the list. I should have had "have popcorn and soda" for supper on the summer list also, because that's what we had. Apparently it was a night for "p" foods, because when we got home Grace and I enjoyed a Peanut butter & jelly sandwich, Pickles, and Pink lemonade (after Pop and Popcorn at the movies). Hooray for junk food for supper nights.

After that, the rest of the weekend was strictly business. We finished up in the bathroom (thank goodness!), fertilized the lawn, planted some petunias and impatients, laid some fresh mulch, installed a new scarf organizing system in my closet, painted our bedroom ceiling and walls, painted a fresh coat of white on the doors and door trim, cleaned two closets (including Grace's, crazy how much she's grown!), and of course, played in the water in the backyard and roasted marshmallows (that's strict business for a 4 year old!). 

Needless to say, we needed another day in our weekend, as usual, and were tired when we woke up this morning. Always something to do around the house.

Here's to knockin' two items off the old summer to do list! While Cody painted the ceiling of our bedroom, which is no job for a prego Momma, Grace and I went on a lunch date and picked out wall color for the bedroom. 

Grace has been asking lately, "Mom, why are we making our house look different." Cody quickly responds with "because Mom's to do list never ends." He's such a trooper, and I don't know how'd I'd get anything done without him - LOVE him. 


We're still working on putting some of the pieces back together in our bedroom and throughout the house. Perhaps there will be and update toward the end of the week on those project items as I'll be traveling to California for a few days for work the middle of this week.

I'm looking forward to crossing many of these items off the list...in particular "visit Jen & family," "go to Aunt Linda's pool," and "baby!" Grace is most looking forward to "go to the beach," "ride horses," "waterpark," and "camping in the yard." She really is anxiously awaiting when we can camp in Poppa's tent in his backyard...I'll be in the AC in the house with my momma. Maybe we can watch chick flicks while Grace and the boys are doing nature adventure activities in the backyard. Apparently there are some strange animals making some strange noises (likely coons) at their house, so Poppa is curious to see how Grace will react to that.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dance Recital - Part 1


This is likely the first of a few posts that I'll have on dance recital. Grace went all year not really so sure about dance. She liked it, but she didn't love it. Until it came to recital time, I don't think she realized what a princess she was about to become. 

My mother never had me in dance, could have been partially my choice, or likely my Dad's, because I'm sure one of Grace's recitals was enough for him for a lifetime. Perhaps my mother new I really wasn't that coordinated, or that much of a princess. Luckily, my friend Tasha came to the rescue. She lived for dance in high school. She knew all the tricks for hair and make-up.

Here's getting ready.

What a diva, doesn't miss a beat, checking it all out in the mirror.

And the up-do from the back. Tasha helped me on Friday evening, but I was on my own for Saturday afternoon and evening. Grace gave me WAY more grief than she gave Tasha. Why are they always so much more sassy with their mother?

Dolled up, make-up on and ready to go! Other than the slippers of course. Hey, a princess has to live a life of "cush" before the big show.

Hello beautiful! I didn't hardly recognize her when she was all done up and hair pulled back. What a pretty face!



Not a great photo, they were moving too fast down the stairs, but these were her tap shorts. So stinkin' cute on.

A portion of her classmates! Cuties!







"Showtime!" Tap routine. Geez, Grace is tall and has quite the reach in this photo!



And for the finale photo for this post. She had a brief meltdown (she missed like 15 hours of sleep over the weekend) after the afternoon performance. I also helped backstage during this performance. Everything about Grace's face is exactly how I felt and how I wish I could look. Just let it all loose! Luckily we were able to have some time to clean her up and reapply her makeup before the evening performance.

Many thanks to all the friends and family who were able to make it to Grace's performance. My parents, Cody's mom and sister, and Cody's grandparents were all able to attend. Countless friends were able to see her perform, and it just lit up her little life to know that so many people she loved were in the audience!

Thanks for all the gifts of flowers, balloons, bubble bath, treats, candy bouquets, frames, toys and fun items that were left on her gift table or brought to the house! She seriously felt like a princess! We didn't know what to expect for her first year, but she absolutely had the time of her life.

I'll have more photos to post I'm sure as my mother in law was able to get some photos of her also. Can't wait to see them. I also took some video that I'll try to get up here so that you can see her in action!