DIY patio progress

Have you been wondering what’s happening with the patio we’re making?  It’s been a really big project due to the size of it and because of hauling all our own materials.  It’s been lots cheaper but lots more work!  It’s ended up that most of the time, we work one day, rest a day, which I didn’t purposely schedule but worked out well.  It kept everyone from getting totally wiped out.

We were hoping to have it finished by last night when the Nine Days started but didn’t make it.  For the last couple of hours in the evening, the kids were working fast and furious, trying to get it done, and realizing how close they were (earlier in the day everyone was feeling like it would take forever and there was no possibility it would be done in time, so they were moving in slow motion).  In case you’re wondering, I do actively participate in these projects even with a small infant (he’s 8 weeks now) – I spent hours chipping the mortar off hundreds of free bricks, and hauled lots of bricks and gravel.  We still have two or three hours of work on it but it’s going to have to wait until after Tisha B’av.

Midday they went to our monthly homeschool gathering, while ds16 went shopping for last minute camp things (more socks, undershirts).  If they had stayed home we’d easily have finished, and though they didn’t realize how close it would be, I knew we wouldn’t finish if they all went out. But I encouraged them to go anyway.  As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Actually, we easily would have been done by now but after two days of working on it and having it half finished, ds16 decided to pull it all up and start over.  It wasn’t an easy thing for him to choose, after putting in so many hours and so much work.  But he wasn’t happy with how it was turning out – the pattern was irregular and it was a bit uneven.  He told me he thought about how he would feel to have it all done and and after so much work for the final result to look like that, and realized there would be very little satisfaction in it.  I would never have asked him to redo it, but was glad he chose to because I felt the brick pattern looked somewhat haphazard.

(Parenthetically, he wanted a certain style of glasses, and a while back I jokingly told him I’d buy him a pair as payment if he made a patio for us.  He asked me if I would really do that, so I said, sure.  That was definitely a motivating factor, and I ordered them from zennioptical for him a couple of weeks ago.  He’s very happy with them, and I’m glad they came before he went to camp since that was important to him.  It was a definite win-win situation: he was happy to do the work and get the glasses, and I was happy to have it done and the glasses cost me under $30.)

Today we started our morning by going to a local art exhibit.  The artist is a friend who offered to come down and give us a personal tour of the exhibit, which was really nice of her.  The littles were very fresh from a full night of sleep and weren’t interested in standing around and listening to someone talk, so that made it a little harder.  And the baby who rarely spits up, spit up several times and naturally it was one of the rare occasions that we didn’t have a burp cloth with us – isn’t that always how it goes?  But in spite of that I enjoyed it and so did the older kids.

After that we took the littles to a local playroom where we stayed for an hour and a half.  It was very pleasant to let them run around and enjoy all the new toys.  While they did that, the middles signed up for a summer reading program.  When we finally came home, we had lunch, put the littles in for their naps, and the middles spent time studying their reading club materials and then spent the rest of the afternoon with a new bead kit, making keychains from plastic beads, kind of like macrame.  They’re pretty complicated and look really nice.

And my dh got a call from a friend in Israel today who he hasn’t spoken to in years, who called to say mazel tov on the baby.  How did he know we had a baby?  This is something fun about having a blog!  It seems one of you in another country said something to a friend in yet another country about me and my blog, and that person realized she knew me.  So she called me two weeks ago to say mazel tov.  Then that person told her best friend, who is married to a friend of dh’s from twenty years ago, that we had a baby.  That’s the friend who called today! 😆  Dh enjoyed catching up with him today.  And my blog was the catalyst for the connection – isn’t that nice?


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