“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists. ” ~Charles Dickens
That’s how I felt about this project. Constant chaos, lots of mess. Now I absolutely love it. We’re still putting our yard back together. We need to plant grass in a few areas. But- we now have a tidy spot on the side of our house for trailers, our front stairs aren’t separating from our porch, our walkway doesn’t have a big crack, our drain pipe drains out into our lawn instead of onto the walkway (so we shouldn’t have that problem again) and if there is a Jeep in our future we will have a place for that too.
PHASE ONE: DEMOLITION
First we had to take our side fence down. It was strange to see this big fence arranged in little piles on our back porch. It was Megan’s favorite place to play. If she was ever outside playing I always knew where to find her- on the pile of fence slats.
No fence meant that the neighbor’s playground was practically attatched. They gave full permission for us to use it whenever we wanted and the kids took them up on it. They were constantly playing over there- even Alison. She’d brave the chance that there could be a dog over there if it meant she could play on the slide!
We took out our clubhouse/playground a few years ago (that was Matt’s project the day I came home from the hospital with Alison) but I am tempted to find a place for another one- it was just so fun!
Part of the demolition involved grass removal. Matt rented a sod cutter, knew of a family who could use a lot of sod and the two Matt’s went to work.
This whole project has been a kid magnet! And frankly, an adult magnet too 🙂
We had 2 or 3 trailer fulls like this one. I love this picture though because of how happy Matt looks in the background. A productive Matt is a happy Matt.
Even jumping off of the sod piles became a project event! (I think my kids are in their soccer clothes- full attire in almost every picture in this two week period)
Meet the first Lund baby that isn’t afraid of dogs!
PHASE TWO: LEVELING AND GRAVELING
This involved quite a few construction-type trucks, much to every family member’s delight- because they all got to take turns “helping” the crew.
My neighbor got ahold of my camera and took pictures of my kids while we were at soccer games. Sweet! Here’s Ashlyn looking quite pleased to be involved in the demolition.
After Jackson’s game, he got a turn too! No kidding- lots of soccer apparel 🙂
Saturday was the dirt excavation day and ripping out old cement day.
It was also the day that a huge load of gravel was delivered. It wouldn’t be used until later in the week so we had the whole weekend to play in it! My kids went from wobbling up the gravel hill (which was pretty high when you’re coming up from the street side) until their genetically predisposed mountain biking genes kicked in and they were up and down those hills the whole weekend!
Even in flip flops they could ace these hills.
Soccer gear… and flip flops
PHASE THREE: CEMENT
Bright and early- 7am- the big cement trucks from Geneva arrived and started dumping. I have to be honest- it looked so ugly coming out of the chute. I was worried. That lumpy grey stuff might actually look smooth and perfect? Hard to believe.
The boys were out in minutes- I think all boys know the sound of heavy machinery. They were up and racing out the door, “The cement truck is here! The cement truck is here!”
It took two cement trucks to deliver the amount of cement that we needed!
It was pretty interesting to see how they framed and smoothed everything. It made all of the difference! Let me tell you- spending a week without a front porch made me really appreciate it! I came home from book club one night and was glad it was dark so that no one could see me trying to heave myself up onto the porch! I would have used the garage… but our garage door motor broke the same week. The repair man was an older guy and when he came over one morning to repair it I felt so bad to see him up on our porch, knowing how I had to flop up there the night before. The kids thought it was great fun though- every change is an adventure! Even Cayden’s friend Jacob said that he liked it better without our front steps.
I had to get on a big tall ladder to get all of these handprints in one picture- and I still couldn’t squeeze them all in! After several tries and the ladder almost tipping over (My first thought was- “Oh no! My camera!” The second, “I could really break a bone!” I decided to leave it at this. It is sure cute to see all six handprints out there!
I realized that I didn’t have any pictures of how it all looks now that it’s finished- so I stepped out, jammies and all, to show off our finished walkway and porch! (See what I mean about needing to plant grass? This will also give me an excuse to redo the front flower bed, which I’ve never really loved).
And here is our beautiful cement strip that goes to the backyard. See, already in use! Ashlyn said something to Matt the other day, “I’m already used to the new cement” and Matt replied, “When something is right, you don’t have to get used to it.” There it is- we are making our home/property a little more ours! Every little project turns it into something that we love a little more!