Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to a special guy!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Mark. It shows the great husband and dad that he is.

Just a little post to acknowledge that yesterday was my sweetie's birthday! I think he had a really nice day and felt loved. We gave him a DVD he's been wanting and of course, a new book. Mom and Dad Bishop watched our kids and we went out for a fun evening (thanks Mom and Dad). I met him after work and we went to Chinese food. We ate at Yen Ching downtown because we love one of their dishes. The Moo Shu Pork was indeed heavenly and tasted just as good as we remembered. We then went to Edwards (downtown also) and saw Iron Man. Besides a few parts we could have done w/ out right at the beginning, it was a decent show, but not as good as Mark had heard and was hoping. My expectations weren't too high from the start, but I wanted it to be a fun night for him. Our final stop was the Cheesecake Factory where we got some b-day dessert, he loves cheesecake! He got a slice of key lime cheesecake and I got fresh strawberry. It was a super fun night together.

The kids and I love and appreciate Mark so much. He means the world to us and we're so glad that he was willing to step into our lives and to let us be a part of his. He is just perfect for us in so many ways. Mark and I have an ongoing disagreement on who the lucky one is in the situation. We've decided to agree to disagree, but I (along w/ all of you), know who the lucky one really is. The kids and I of course!

Happy 39th Mark! Enjoy your last year of being in your 30's. YIKES!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I like to look for rainbows....

The other night we saw a beautiful rainbow. It was actually a double rainbow, which I've never seen before. It was one of the biggest and prettiest ones I've ever seen. Rainbows always amaze me. We tried to take some pictures of it, but they don't do it justice at all. I thought I'd share anyway.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Labor of Love

It's grass! Not weed free and full quite yet, but it's coming along!The back patio table and grill.
The retaining wall, trees and flowers.
A view from the other side.
The teeter totter in its final resting spot in the backyard.
Our old (new again after a year and a half absence) trampoline.
Our OLD swingset. It can mostly only be used by toddlers. We were going to get a new one, but there seems to be a swing set shortage in Boise. The tether ball we had built for Cooper for his 8th b-day and the stone walk way.

Our backyard has been Mark's "baby" for the past year and a half. From the beginning, he really wanted to do EVERYTHING himself. I was all for paying the money and hiring out the work so it would get done more quickly, but he'd have none of it. Our backyard was an unleveled (kind of shaped like a bowl) plot of dirt and weeds. Mark began by building the fence the first fall we were here with the help of family and friends and then began the daunting task of leveling the backyard w/ nothing but a shovel and his muscles. That's when he built the little stone retaining wall, which I couldn't get the vision of at first, but turned out very nice I think. I think he next moved onto digging the lines for the sprinkler system and laying the pipe (with some more help from a wonderful neighbor) and that's when the backyard looked the worst, it was a dug up mess! After the sprinkler lines were covered it looked much better, although still dirt (which the kids tracked into the house constantly). I think, at that point, we bought the perma bark for the retaining wall and the stones to build the little walkway from the front side of the house to the back yard. We were then ready to plant some grass seed, rather than laying sod, to save some money. It was fall again by this time, making one full year that we'd lived here. This Spring we had a little grass come up, but have had to reseed several times already. It's actually starting to look like a lawn now. We still have a ways to go though. Then a while ago we bought these non producing cherry trees from CostCo and planted them and for a FHE recently we all planted flowers along the back fence. With the grass well under way, and just in time for summer break, Mark decided it was okay to put some of the backyard toys on the lawn. So we put back together our old trampoline, Mark built the airplane teeter totter I posted about previously, we put the tether ball where the kids could actually play with it and also put out our small old rickety swing set where it could get more use. With all of that behind us we were able to give the patio a good cleaning and set up the umbrella for our patio table. Add a pot of flowers and wala - it looks like a nice place to be along w/ being a full functioning backyard for our whole family! We even used our grill for the very first time and made some hamburgers for ourselves last weekend! Unfortunately, our garden didn't make it in this Spring. I guess everything takes time. That's on our list for sure for next Spring and we've yet to seal our fence. There are lots of other projects we'd love to do one day which include: planting more shrubbery, extending the patio (it's quite small), building a patio cover, etc., but for now we're very happy w/ our backyard and the progress we've made. Mark has really had a vision from the beginning, and has done a really great job! Thank you from all of us! I actually enjoy opening the blinds on the back side of the house now! Saying that the kids have also enjoyed the backyard is an understatement. They have practically lived out there the last week or so and so have the neighbor kids. It's far from fancy, but they seem to be having fun w/ what we've got. Here are some pictures. Sorry if they're too many, it's for my journaling purposes also.

Chalkboard Paint

I'm a little behind the times, and have just recently started to hear about chalkboard paint. Ladies in my ward have painted walls in their homes w/ it and their kids love it. My sister-in-law, Janice, has used it in her son's room too. So, last week I got ants in my pants and decided that my kids would love it also (they all like to draw). I went to Walmart and bought all of the supplies and decided which wall I was willing to give up and this weekend Mark went to town on the project for me. What a great hubby I have, don't you think?! It turned out great, we did do a primer coat and three additional coats, but thankfully it is a half wall. I decided on the wall off of my landing coming up the stairs by all of the kids bedrooms. It's kind of hidden, which is perfect. After the drying (all day Sunday) and I think they call it conditioning (this morning) they were finally able to draw on it today. We had a good time! Hopefully it's just the beginning of hours of fun for them. John has been gone on a trip to Yellowstone w/ Grandparents Bishop for a few days and comes home tonight, so we decided to first decorate it w/ a Welcome Home John message from the kids. I'll be sure to post any negative aspects that come about, if any, just FYI. Or maybe you all already have done this?? We did buy some throw rugs to put against the wall that can be thrown in the wash to try and avoid ruining the carpet too badly w/ colored chalk dust. We'll have to see. Here are some pictures of the finished project and the happy chalkboard artists!