Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Past Week

I know that I haven't blogged in a week. I have been spending every free minute working on the yard. It was a mess!!! Lee and I spent the past year focusing on the inside of the house and hadn't done anything on the outside. My goal is to get the outside fixed up, and, so far, I am happy with the results. I'll post yard pictures soon.

Here are a few pictures of the boys from the past week:

Caleb is very good about sharing his schoolwork with Graysen. Graysen loved this hat that Caleb made.
I found Caleb napping with his firehouse and space station one day. It didn't look like a very comfortable nap to me.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sweet Friends


Lee made it to Vienna last night and is currently on a plane from Vienna to JFK. The boys and I will pick him up sometime after 11 PM tonight. It will be great to have Daddy back home!

On another note, grass has sprouted! I am very happy since I put a lot of work into it. I have seeded 75% of our yard and figure that I will be done in three more work days. Then, onto fertilizing and working on flower beds.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Yet Another Plan...

The plan has changed again for Lee to try to get home sooner. He is booked on a flight from Brussels to Vienna tomorrow. Then, he will fly from Vienna to JFK to Atlanta to GSP on Thursday. Lee and his boss cannot get on a flight together due to a shortage so seats, so his boss will go to Madrid tomorrow and flight out from there.

The big question will be if Lee's flight to Vienna leaves Brussels. Lee said that most of the flights out of Belgium today were cancelled. Hopefully we'll get to see Daddy soon!

"Change of Plans"

I received this email from Lee this morning:

"Someone cancelled our Rome flight and rebooked us out of Brussels; we're not sure who. I just happened to check the computer this morning. I'm scheduled to fly out Monday, Cassidy Tuesday. They're going to start flying again today in Belgium so it may be okay. We can't get the Rome flight back. "

So, it looks like the earliest Lee will be home is now Monday...

The boys and I are doing well. We have our daily routine down and the boys have been absolute angels while Daddy is gone. However, we miss Daddy and look forward to seeing him soon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Caleb's European Geography Lesson

I am pretty sure that Caleb understands everything that is happening. He is familiar with Europe from our past trips and understands that Daddy is trying to get home.

I printed a map for him and we talked about how Daddy is going to get home and about the volcano that is causing the problem. When I told Caleb that Daddy arrived safely in Paris tonight, Caleb said, "Yeah!" It was very cute and caught me by surprise. Graysen still thinks that Daddy is at the airport where we left him last Monday.

Lee needs to get to Rome by Wednesday in order to catch a flight to Atlanta on Thursday. He is with his boss, and tomorrow they will start the drive from Paris to Rome. They are going to try and make it as far as they can, and are tentatively planning on stopping in Milan for the night.

Caleb is an absolute angel. He entertains himself outside while I work on the yard project of the day. I told him that he had to be outside in the back today, so he brought out a bin of cars and played for hours at the table. He is such a sweet boy.
Today's project was to seed the "Dustbowl." This project took me longer than I expected. First, Graysen woke up halfway through the project. Managing two boys, one of which is Graysen, while trying to work is much more difficult than just keeping an eye on Caleb.

Second, I came across a black snake two different times!!! The first time it was by the air conditioner and the second time it was under the deck stairs. I screamed for a while. Unfortunately, it was mid-day, so I couldn't beg any of our neighbor's husbands to help me. I was really wishing that Lee was home at this point. I was determined to finish seeding, so I went ahead and seeded even thought the snake was under the stairs most of the time (very close to where I was working).

The "Dustbowl."
As part of ground "prep," I am removing any rocks that I find. Here are a few examples:
My "hand aerating" tool.
Seeded "Dustbowl." (I probably just turned it from a "dustbowl" to an expensive "dustbowl." I used $225 worth of Scotts "EZ Seed" in this area alone.
The boys love spending time outside. Lee and my parents will be glad to hear that the F-150 is getting used every day. Caleb loves to drive it around the cul-de-sac.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lee's Adventure

It looks like Lee has a bit of an "adventure" ahead of him. Right now, he is booked on a seat out of Rome to the U.S. on Thursday. The travel agency was able to book the flight for him, but it is his job to make it to Rome in time for the flight.

Tomorrow's plan is to rent a car, drive to London, catch a train to Paris, and stay in Paris Monday night. That is the first leg of the journey. He'll figure out the next step tomorrow night.

We miss you!!!

On to my daily update for Lee... The main project for today was to seed the grass area between the two houses. I ran into a frog doing this and, after an initial panic, continued calmly with the job. The next step is to seed the "dustbowl."
P.S. I know that I am putting more pictures of grass than our boys, but they haven't been very photogenic lately. I will try to get some pictures of them tomorrow.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Emily!

Today we went to Gastonia to celebrate Emily's 4th birthday. The boys had a great time at the party. We have known Emily since before she turned one year old. It is amazing how fast time goes by! Happy Birthday, Emily!

Update on Lee:

Lee was supposed to fly out of Manchester to Brussels today. He showed up at the airport and said that it was deserted. He said that there weren't even people around to answer questions. The earliest that the airport is schedule to open is Monday. He was able to book a seat on a flight out of Manchester to Brussels Monday night. Then, he is booked on a flight from Brussels to the US Tuesday morning. So... If there are no more cancellations, Lee will be home on Tuesday. In the meantime, he is enjoying Manchester.

Here is a picture from Lee's hotel room. He is staying at the Radisson at the Manchester airport. The view from his room is of the tarmac with all of the grounded planes.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Picnic and Yard Work

The boys and I spent the morning at Stoneledge Park with Alisha, Katelin, and Abi. The kids had a great time and ran off a lot of energy! Here are a few pictures from the park:

Abi and Katelin

I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the yard. I am working on the lawn in sections. Today I finished two more sections. The process is long and tedious:
1. Rake (pick up sticks, remove large rocks, hand week crab grass).
2. Hand aerate.
3. Spread lime.
4. Spread seed.
5. Water

Hours and hours and hours of work and our yard looks basically the same. Hopefully we will see results soon.
Front yard b/t houses... Done!
Front yard... Done!

Update on Lee: I posted his travel plans incorrectly. He is supposed to fly into Belgium around 10:30 AM tomorrow, but it is not looking like it will happen. His plan is to head to the Manchester airport in the morning and see what happens. Most likely, he will be staying near the airport tomorrow night.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stranded in Manchester?!

It looks like Lee's travel plans may change. His original itinerary called for him to fly out of Manchester tomorrow to spend time at facilities in Belgium. However, that is looking doubtful since UK airspace is closed. I (nor he) do not have any idea what his plans are for tomorrow. He is supposed to fly home on Tuesday from Ghent, Belgium. I am curious to see if he makes it home on Tuesday. That is still several days away so a lot can change before then.

The boys and I miss him, but are doing well. We have a standard routine down and are enjoying lots of time outside.

On to the daily recap... (I know that these recaps may seem boring. They are mainly so that Lee can see pictures of the boys and our activities while he is gone.)

I took a break from yard work to go on a walk with Lisa at King's Mountain. I am not sure that pushing 75 pounds up and down hills is a break, but I enjoyed the walk and catching up with Lisa.
After the "hike," we went to dinner with Alisha, Katelin, and Abigail at Denny's. Graysen is in love with Abi. I have never seen anything like it. He talks about her every day and loves seeing her. I decided to style his hair for his big date. Caleb wanted his styled too after he saw how awesome Graysen looked!
Caleb checking out his new hairdo in the mirror.
BTW, contrary to what you may think based on the new blog background, I am not obsessed with grass. Apparently, Lee has been messing with the template from England.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Progress (Laura) and Anti-Progress (Caleb & Graysen)

I started working in the yard at 9:30 AM this morning and finished up around 5:45 PM. The main goal was to put seed down in the area in the middle of the old bed. I am learning that lawn work is a lot of work, especially with manual raking and aerating. Also, my two little "helpers" are turning out to be more of a hindrance than actual help. There is still so much more work to do! I am, at most, only 10% done. Oh well. At least I am learning a lot and it is good exercise.

Today's progress.
I had to wash a significant portion of the driveway which was "seeded" by Graysen. The seed is powder gold (6% seed; Scott's EZ Seed). He probably put $20 worth of seed down. The seed is guaranteed to grow anywhere and there is even a picture of it growing on cement on the bag. However, I really wish that he would seed grass, not cement.
After much raking and sweeping, I was able to get the straw back into a reasonable pile. My nice bales were hit first by a Harley and then by a F-150...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Barbie is Cool

The boys and I had a nice day today. Caleb and I spent the afternoon working on our yard project. I finished the mulch bed around the second tree and am now starting the process of seeding. I started removing rocks and sticks, but didn't make it very far. I plan to spend tomorrow removing more rocks and sticks and may be able to get down some seed?!

This evening we had a neighborhood "Power Wheels" playdate. It was good to spend time with the great girls in the neighborhood, enjoy some wine, and catch up. For some reason, the boys really enjoyed the Barbie vehicles!?! That left the girls to ride the F-150. It was a great evening and everyone had fun!

Here are a few pictures from today:
This is a picture of today's "progress."
The plan for tomorrow is to rake, pick up sticks and rock, aerate, seed, lime, and straw the barren area. I am using Scott's "EZ Seed" for this, which is the equivalent of powdered gold. I will be happy if I finish the barren area. Raking and picking up sticks and rocks is A LOT of work!
Most of our yard looks like this. There are lots of sticks and rocks.
The boys crusin' in the Barbie jeep.
Caleb loved Maggie's Barbie Four-Wheeler.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Letters to Lee

Lee left this morning for the UK and Belgium. He will not be home until next Tuesday night. I told him that I would try to blog every day so that he could see pictures of the boys and our activities while he is gone.

Most of our activities will be centered around revitalizing the "dustbowl," otherwise known as our yard. We have lived here one year and haven't done anything to take care of the yard because we were so busy focusing on the inside of the house.

Lee and I spent the weekend fixing and planting the mailbox flower bed. I am happy with the results and look forward to more flowers in the future.
Today, Caleb and I focused on redoing the center bed. It is A LOT of work. Here is a picture before we started, followed by one when we stopped at the end of the day. I know that it doesn't look like a lot of work, but it took me almost three hours!!! I had to remove old dirt and mulch, remove old liner, put down new landscape fabric, put down dirt, put down new mulch.
Of course, here is a picture of my yard assistant. Caleb LOVES to work in the yard and does not tire. He fusses when I tell him that it is time to go inside, even though we had been outside three hours.
My plan for tomorrow is to work on the other tree tomorrow. There will be even MORE dirt to shovel tomorrow than there was today!

So, that is pretty much our week; missing Lee, working on the yard, and few playdates later in the week.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Viernos Santos

It is absolutely amazing to be here on Viernos Sanctos. There are religious street possions throughout the center of the city. I feel like I have been transported to an earlier time. I have thoroughly enjoyed our last night here and have enjoyed the festivities and a good Galatian dinner.

Here are a few other highlights from today:

Archeological Museum
My favorite piece of work: An intricate carving of the fallen angels being expelled from heaven.
Casa y Museo de Sorolla.
View of Madrid.
Parque de Buen Retiro