Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lack of faith?

Okay, I do trust Edward. Really I do. But the Breaking Dawn preface has me a little concerned. It doesn't sound like a good thing...

I will try to get a real post together, complete with pictures from our week with my family here by tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


This is a great article on women and their sacrifice. You might enjoy it especially if you have ever been pregnant or gone the route of adoption.

My family just left today and I have a ton of pictures, but I'll have to do it later!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Must see!

Okay, I am really bad about using my recipes the way I should, but these seem like great ways to aid in organization. They are 3x5 recipe card holder magnets. Watch the video, it is kinda amusing and you can really see how they could help out! They come in a pack of 5. And you can't beat free! You just pay shipping. I just ordered a ton, so if someone wants to split the cost of shipping with me, let me know! Check out the link!

Rest and help

Since Brad hasn't slept in ages, he decided to take today off from working on the yard and I happily agreed. I found out this morning while lifting C that I tweaked something in my shoulder, so I really appreciate the break. Hopefully having a day off will renew energy and desire and we can plug away at the other walls.

Okay, now onto the help part. I've been thinking of putting together a CD with some songs that I think go along with the Twilight books. Just for fun. So far, I want to put on Forever by Breaking Benjamin. My sister wants to contribute Stop and Stare by One Republic. Feel free to check out the playlists that Stephenie made and see what you think would go with it. Thanks for any ideas!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I'm getting sore. I've lifted more weights the last few days than I have in years. Unless you're counting my kids, but I didn't lift them 40 times a day. Well, sometimes I did...

I got some pictures of the wall today. But I didn't get any of it at the height we are leaving it at. And we put another much shorter wall around one of the trees. The 5 piles of dirt got spread around the front yard and made a berm along the ditch. The drainage pipes are mostly done, which will be nice. So, it was a very productive day. Yeah! We still have 4 trees to put retaining walls around and a long one along our property line. Poor Brad is already hating the thought more doing more walls. Maybe I'll make my dad and brothers do it when they get here next week.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Brad worked all day on Saturday, so the yard remained the same. But he had this morning off, so we got crackin' on the retaining wall. Once the wall is done, we can start leveling the rest of the dirt. The sooner we do that, the sooner we can get grass! It was soooo cold today too! I think the high was in the low 60's, but it didn't feel that hot. I was freezing! I had to put on extra layers. Of course, we have lots of shade still, even after taking down 20 trees.

I have to confess that I had no idea what a pain it was to build a retaining wall. Besides the digging, laying limestone and smashing it, laying the sand, laying the bricks at exactly the same distance and then leveling them all, it took pretty much all day, just to get what we did done. Of course, we did other things too, like lay down the drainage pipe that will be going through the wall. And digging up the bricks in the way of the drainage pipes. Holy cow we brought in a lot of dirt. I didn't realize how much until I had to dig down to the bricks. They had been under the stairs we removed, so they weren't taken out before the dirt was brought in. Once we got the initial layer of the wall down, the rest went a lot faster. But that first row took ages!

Brad thinks I'll be in too much pain from all of the bricks and such, so he had me take some Aleve (a benefit of not nursing!) and gave me more to take tonight.

Here are the pictures. The first 2 pictures are before we started the wall. No, I don't dress up to do heavy lifting, so stop laughing now. It is going to be a 2 layer wall since the basement window and the utilites prevent us from coming all the way across. It should look good when we are done. I just wish we had more time with Brad home so we could get it done sooner.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Black dirt

Last night while I was cleaning and Brad was cooking a fabulous recipe called Red Curry Chicken with Basil, the boys decided to play outside. And if you noticed, our yard is all dirt. BLACK dirt. And if you caught the quick mention, it rained ALL DAY on Sunday. Can you see where I'm going with this? There were black footprints through my house. Apparently the mud was so strong the boys shoes got stuck, so they left them in the mud and walked in their socks. And then acted shocked because we got mad at them even though they took off their shoes before coming in. Yeah. Lovely. Of course, I had to take pictures before starting the laundry. Did I mention J was wearing light jeans and D was wearing light khakis? And that they were pretty well covered in dirt? I have to say though, I was really impressed with Shout. I squirted the clothes like there was no tomorrow and honestly, I can't even tell they were ever dirty. I am shocked. And thrilled. We had already set up a carpet cleaning appointment before this happened. I wanted to cancel it until we get some grass because I know it is going to happen again. But Brad was insistent that we do it ASAP, and it wasn't worth the fight, so I didn't cancel it. They came today and it looks amazing! I love it! I'm glad I listened to him!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all of you women out there are having an awesome Mother's Day!

And here are the next chapters of previously started stories:

Lex Luther has fully recovered. His tensioner system broke causing his serpentine belt to snap. And, no, I don't know what I just wrote. He was fixed that same day, so Brad was able to go pick him up and pay for him before going back to work for the night.

Volleyball was fun this week. I didn't have any scary ankle incidents, which is reassuring. I didn't even have bruised knees! That is in a large part due to the fact that the people playing this day were actually really good. It is hard (embarrassing) being the worst player on the court, but at least you don't end up diving for shanked balls because either they play too good to shank balls, or someone else is already diving for it. And I finally did some jumping without having a heart attack after. I even won a couple of jousts. Not as many as I lost, but still, the fact that I even jumped was a victory for me. I did do something not fun to my index finger joint. I don't know what. I don't think it was a jam because it was on the outside of the knuckle. Maybe I accidently bumped a ball with my hands instead of my arms? Either way, it was pretty painful and resulted in a lovely purple bruise. It made it difficult to set because that finger pretty much guides the ball along with the thumb. And my team wanted me to be the setter for the big hitters. Quite intimidating. But, I managed to get the sets placed and we actually won that game. Brad is going to be working during volleyball the next couple weeks and I'm really going to miss it. I hope I don't revert back to my fears after taking some time off...

Saturday was busy. Brad and the boys went to see Speedracer and I put C down for a nap. I love that he has someone to go watch those kind of movies with so I don't have to go. ;) I went outside and worked with Ken (the dirt/ditch guy). We spent quite awhile putting sand under the pipe from the house and compacting it so it wouldn't move when driven on and such. Then I watched for rocks and branches, etc while he dropped dirt on it. I tried to gather wood left from the downed trees, but I couldn't get the wheelbarrow back over the ditch. Then I drilled holes in the bottom of the large pipe until the battery ran out. Now I have a blister on the right side of my thumb knuckle that matches Brad's. How romantic. While waiting for Brad to get back, I got on the computer for a minute. I noticed something large and dark moving in the dining room. I just about peed my pants. When I finally saw what it was, I was shocked. A stray cat had wandered in from the basement and come up the stairs. I had left the door open down there when I ran in to answer the phone. When Brad and the boys got back, just as C woke up, we worked on getting the pipes down and ready for the rocks to bury it. I finished drilling it, with a different drill and an extension cord, and then we attached the pipe from the house. Then we gathered large branches and stuff in the dirt and helped with the rocks getting dropped. So, to summarize, both the ditches are now covered. YEAH! I have oodles of boring pictures if you are so interested.

And here are the slide shows:

This first one is pictures when we very first looked at the house a year ago this week. You can see all of the trees we took down. The last pictures are ones the appraiser took. I didn't take any of the back before we dropped about 5 trees back there.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Good indication

You know you are officially broke when the money is all gone and then a car breaks down. Why does it always happen like that? It must be a conspiracy.

Brad was driving to work yesterday when Lex Luther started smoking. Lex is our 1992 Lexus with nearly 180K miles. Our Odyssey is Odie, an '06 who just got a 30K check-up last week, which wasn't cheap. I take total responsibility for the fact that our cars have names. It is my family's tradition. Brad thinks it is loopy, but plays along. Anyway, Brad managed to get to a shop that was within a 15 minute walk to his work.

The is no news on the yard. It looks quite the same as Brad has been working an insane amount of hours this week. I am really excited for the big massive ditches to be filled and the huge piles of rocks to be spread. And it will be great to finally have a sidewalk and a porch so people stop going through my garage to knock on the door. Oh, and grass so that my carpet isn't coated in dirt being tracked in. It is going to be awhile, but I'll take more pictures when something changes!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Stop whatever you are doing and check out this Twilight trailer.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Pictures and videos

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I am thrilled. Just thrilled! We worked really hard on the yard today. Brad and his dad got the pipe connected to the sump pump and ran it to the ditch. I got some video and pictures of it. It was pumping out so much water into the ditch! I can't believe all that water used to be right next to the house! Okay, I can. Our pump was running constantly. Probably because the pump would pump out the water which would just sink right back into the basement system. But now we are getting it away from the house. I am really hoping that will give the sump a break.

I have a couple of videos and a lot of pictures to put up. I hope I have the energy tomorrow!

Friday, May 2, 2008

31 years ago

31 years ago today the most amazing guy I know was born. I sure love you Bradley Mons!

Brad had taken vacation days yesterday and today, so he was home all day. We spent most of it outside working on the yard. We got a lot done, which feels nice. The fun part was that we got the boys' Jeeps out and they had a blast. Our house is at the end of a street, so we are the only ones who drive on that section. And there is a dirt path to a cul-de-sac with only 2 houses. So, those were the parameters I gave them. They could go on our street, across the dirt path and around the cul-de-sac. They were soooo happy. They loved offroading on the path. Jaden stayed on the street in front of our house for awhile so C could ride with him. He is such a sweetie.

While the kids were riding in their Jeeps and Brad and his dad were invading Lowes, I grabbed a folding chair and my Twilight book (what else?!). C came over and started signing that she wanted something. I realized that she wanted a chair too, so I got her a child's foldout chair. She settled in the chair and looked me and got a look on her face. She started signing again. She wanted a book too, so I ran and got her some of her books to read. She was so happy sitting in the chair with a book. What an adorable baby.

After getting the kids to bed, I went to the Stake Center for some volleyball. Since last week was my first week playing since breaking my ankle a year ago after a spike, I still had a lot of trepidation. Last week, I pretty much avoided jumping. Obviously, that couldn't be a permanent solution as it would not only make me a bad player, it is quite difficult to fight the natural instincts to jump after years of practice. I went and purchased 2 ankle braces with the hope of rebuilding my confidence. It still took me a little while to convince myself to try jumping again. And the first time I did, I came down wrong. Again. Dang. At least it wasn't my previously broken ankle that I tweaked. It hurt bad enough that I needed to get off the court. I decided to try walking around the building in the fresh, crisp air. I cried for awhile. Slightly out of pain, but mostly because I was frustrated. I didn't want to give up on volleyball, but I didn't think I could handle it mentally. Or physically. Breaking my ankle is not an experience I care to repeat. I eventually convinced myself to go back in and just not jump, like I had done before. And ever so slowly I convinced myself to try jumping again. My knees are pretty bruised from going for wild balls as I don't remember how to dive. It ended up being a really fun night.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The deets

I guess I should clarify what we are doing in our yard besides making a huge mess.

We removed the brick from the front sidewalk and moved it to the backyard. There was previously a brick patio back there, but with a massive cottonwood growing in the middle of it, most of it had been pushed up by roots. We brought in loads and loads and loads (I could keep going) of dirt to raise the ground and level it. The front yard was uneven and sloped towards the house. We brought in dirt to level it and slope it away from the house. This required removing the porch steps as well.

Now Brad and his dad are building a retaining wall on the side of the house, so we can keep the ground flat near the house, and slope it to the backyard. They are also taking the brick from the previous patio and the brick from the dismantled sidewalk and making a new patio in the backyard. We cut down and ground the stump of the cottonwood, so that shouldn't be an issue anymore.

The ditch has been dug in the backyard and it now needs to be lined with rocks and to have the pipes laid to connect the drains and the sump pump drain to it. That has kinda been the whole point, to give the water a place to go (the huge ditch in the backyard and not our basement).

When my parents get here in a few weeks, we will be pouring cement sidewalks to the front and backyard from the driveway and the street. At some point we will be adding the grass, cute bushes, greenery, and a cute little wooden fence.

Can't picture it in your head? Me neither. Brad has amazing grand schemes and he sees it all in his head. I totally trust him and think he is doing an amazing job bringing it all together. It already looks so different. We have a lot of work to go on it. Thankfully with my family coming to help for a few days, and all of the work Brad's dad has done, we hope to have it mostly done by September, which is when it will probably start snowing here. ;)