8:10 p.m. — Sunday, March 23, 2014
Life's been busy at the Ranch, to say the least. We've continued updating the house here and there, but mostly we've been busy filling up all the bedrooms. Elliot Grey joined our family in the Summer of 2012, and baby #5 is slated to arrive this Fall.
Phew, be fruitful and multiply, indeed!
Lest you think we have neglected the homestead, rest assured big plans are underway. Remember that garage/4th bedroom we planned to build way back when we originally started construction almost 10 years ago...? Well, our garage plans are currently with the town zoning department awaiting approval! So hopefully sometime this Spring or early Summer, after the plans make it through the building department, we can break ground and get going on our garage with fourth bedroom over top.
But before we can come in with the bulldozers, we have to deconstruct our very lovely garden / patio / shed area. This is a little sad because it is by far the most well-used and interesting part of the yard, and it's hard to see it torn apart, but I keep having to remind myself it will worth it in the end.
So Ryan and the kids got started with relocating the gray pavers in the middle of the patio to make a base for the shed in its new location. Here's how the whole space looked before we started:
The kids were eager to get in on the big adventure:
Each time they filled the little red wagon with a layer of pavers, they wheeled it down the hill (wheeeee!) and unstacked it by where Ryan was working.
Lily was a GIGANTIC help — she worked super hard alongside Ryan ALL DAY — and Jacob also pitched in more than we expected. As they worked, we couldn't help remembering how tiny Lily was when we first BUILT the shed six years ago, and how I was super pregnant with Jacob.
(Seriously, click on that link and take a look...I'll wait.)
My, how things have changed in six years!
Our construction crew...happy to be paid in lemonade and goldfish. The foreman, the entertainment, the jokester, and the taste tester.
I love this next picture of the kids hard at work in the foreground, with Ryan preparing the new area down the hill in the background:
After Ryan leveled the new area and put down a layer of stone dust (gathered from the old area), he showed Lily how to carefully lay the bricks in the correct pattern they established. I think this was one of her favorite parts of the job — putting the puzzle together.
By the end of the day, all the gray blocks had been removed from the patio and put into position in the new space. Perhaps the shed will get moved to its new home next weekend. And by then, we should know whether or not our plans have been approved by the zoning department.
P.S. So Ryan just pointed out that today, March 23rd, is Raise The Ranch's 10th anniversary! How ironic is it that after being away for almost three years, I randomly chose TODAY to pick up where we left off?? So happy Blogiversary, Raise the Ranch! Who could have guessed we'd be here today way back when we started 10 years ago?
9:45 p.m. — Friday, March 28, 2014
Yesterday, we got the call from the Zoning Department that our plans were approved (YAY!), but then we weren't able to submit to the Building Department, because we hadn't completed some paperwork that they never told us we needed to include (ummmm BOOOO!). So now we have that all ready, and will hopefully be submitting to Building on Monday. From there, it could be another +/- four weeks until we find out whether or not we're approved and can start construction (YAY!), or whether we need to modify the plans and resubmit (BOO!). So now we wait some more... We should be pros at that by now.
In the meantime, here's how the side yard (that we are tearing up) has looked for the past few years. Ryan put in a beautiful arbor (that we will be taking down) and a sweet picket fence (that we will be relocating).
See why this whole garage project is a little bittersweet?
Um, no, we do not still have our Christmas greens and lights around the arbor and fence. And no, it's not almost April. Polar Vortex, anyone?
Looking over the fence, down the patio, to where we've taken up the pavers and moved them all the way down the hill to the back of the yard.
How the old patio and new paver area looked after our family workday:
And remember that picture of me super pregnant with Jacob back when we put the shed in its original spot almost six years ago...?
Well, just for fun, here's a picture of me standing in the NEW shed spot a few days ago:
Pregnant yet again. You can't make this stuff up, people.