Hi everyone, I’m still here.  Just super busy with end of school stuff — field trips, volunteering, baking for class, doing laundry for class, school picnics, etc…  Gwyneth finished up school last week and just before we brought in some simple teacher gifts – two for her teachers and one for Connor’s.

What I've been up to

I got the idea here.  The little flags say “Thank you for quenching my thirst for knowledge.”  Each teacher got a re-usable cup with some iced Starbucks VIA packets inside.  Simple easy little gift, but all of the teachers seemed really excited to get them.

I haven’t forgotten about the winner of the Lovely Lil Bunny Pattern giveaway.  So . . . (drum roll please) . . . the winner is:  ThreeOldKeys.   Congratulations!  You should be getting an email from me soon.  Thanks to all who entered.

The rest of my time lately has been spent outside in my garden.  I don’t have a green thumb, by any means, but I try.

Wave Petunia and Phlox

What I've been up to

Wave Petunia and Sweet Potato Vine

What I've been up to

Violets planted in an old birdbath, surrounded by giant hosta

What I've been up to

Coleus surrounded by cocoa bean mulch  (great, colorful shade plant)

What I've been up to

Impatiens and Morning Glory Vine

What I've been up to

Beans (planted and grown by the kiddos) and some herbs

What I've been up to

Little Veggie Patch (tomatoes and cucumbers) with flowers

What I've been up to

OK, here’s quite possibly the only gardening advice I will ever give::   Planting a thick row of marigolds around your vegetable patch will keep out most pests (rabbits, squirrels, deer . . . ).  They don’t like the smell of the marigolds.  I love using this natural border instead of a fence.  Looks much nicer.

What I've been up to

Over Memorial Day weekend, we were very busy as well.   We had a friend from ND come stay with us and he and my husband built a patio/porch.  The kiddos and I got involved too (as much as we could without getting in the way too much).  Connor helped load up the old rocks that were there.  There used to be bushes there, but they were infested with bugs that ate them away when we first moved in.  They looked so bad that we just cut them off at the ground and left the roots in.

What I've been up to

Once we got all of the rocks and extra dirt out we had a 7.5″ deep hole that was almost 5′ wide and 20′ long.  I didn’t really think about where we’d put all that dirt.  It ended up all over the back yard here and there between the hostas and ferns.

What I've been up to

Next we layered three inches of crushed gravel and two inches of sand.

What I've been up to

Finally, we started laying the pavers.  We started with the curved area first, cutting the few that needed to be cut.

What I've been up to

Then it was laying, leveling, and more laying.

What I've been up to
What I've been up to

Connor really liked this part.

What I've been up to

The pattern we used was very simple and we used two colors of brick:  tan and mocha.

What I've been up to

When my husband was all done laying the pavers, I swept sand into the cracks.  All done!

What I've been up to

Well, I think there is a trip in my future to Ikea for a few more things besides the glider bench we have here.  I’ll show it to you again when it’s all finished.

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