Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's Done..........And It's Good!

Hot off the presses folks.........the official photos. Yes, it's true, our deck is finally (not said lightly) DONE. And here are the pictures to prove it..............
THE BEFORE.........
.........AND AFTER..........

I can hardly believe it myself to be honest. Not just that we finished, but that we finished so well. *ALERT-VERY GIRLY MOMENT AHEAD* It really almost brings tears to my eyes when I think of not only where this house was a year ago, but where I was. I am so amazingly grateful for my life and all of the wonderful people in it both new and old. Our God is good!

Okay, enough blubbering, please allow me to take you on a tour of our improved back yard, where I will highlight some of the great features!

Here we have our bamboo wind chime, that we found on sale at Canadian Tire for 40% off.
This is probably my favourite part........we got this awesome little fountain at Superstore for less than $200. Since Trev and I share a backyard fence with another townhouse complex full of screaming children, it really helps to tune the noise out, and it's so cute! This chimeroo (my own personal name for it) comes as a gift from Mum and Dad Mac and we are ever so grateful. The stones it is sitting on were actually recycled! We found them buried under all the pea gravel while we were in our digging stage and it was Trev's great idea to use them here and they work awesome.
This patio umbrella candle holder also came to us from Canadian Tire at 50% casts just enough light after dark so that we don't need our motion sensor light on that tends to be a little blinding.Another Canadian Tire Special (again, 50% off) that is a patio umbrella chandelier of sorts. We are using citronella tea lights in both holders to ward off those pesky skeeters.Alrighty......onto the flora part of our tour. We spent a little more on plants than we had planned but 90% of the plants we bought are perennials so they will keep coming back.

Here's a longer shot of the garden area. I didn't get an up-close of my hosta but you can see them in the corners of the garden. It used to be one giant plant that we uprooted and cut in two, and saved ourselves 50 bucks!
This is an up close of my favourite plant we got. It's called an American Red Lantana and it is beautiful. On top of the fact that it blooms red, orange and yellow buds, it blooms year-round! We ended up getting two because I loved them so much. They are also supposed to attract butterflies!
This is one of the 6 hanging baskets we made with my dear mummy's help and guidance. We've got this one in the back and 5 more lining the carport out front. They are full of bright orange and yellow flowers.
We got this cool planter at Superstore for my Blue Girl rose bush. It sits quite nicely in the corner underneath the living room window. Can't wait for it to bloom!
And my Tiger Lily, Save-On-Foods special. Just a simple terracotta planter and we're on our way.
I'd also like to thank a few people who gave a helping hand in this project that deserve a mention. First and foremost, my dearest Dad who walked us through each step and was the visionary and engineer of sorts for the project. My mom, for putting up with me while we flower-shopped and sharing her joy of gardening with us; we will think of you every time we look at our garden. We'd like to also thank my brothers Kevin and Ryan for giving of their time to come over and dig a hole; we love you both so much and you make us so proud! Trev's parents, for all the items that decorate our deck and make it beautiful that came from you, thank you and we love you. Also, our good friends: Tim, Nathan, Bodie, and Kevin, for coming over in the rain and dark and helping us track dirt back and forth, we own you a BBQ!
So there you have it, our deck saga is complete and we are ready to enjoy. As a matter of fact, I've brought the laptop outside and I'm sitting in one our comfy chairs as I type, listening to the gentle sound of water trickling. We've also already had Dan and Becca, Dustin, Chelsey and Sydney, and Kurtis and Natalie over to entertain in the past 2 days. We BBQ'd chicken for Kurtis and Natalie last night and it tasted that much better!
I don't know yet what is next for this house but one thing I can say is that it feels a even more like home now.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dinner With The Dollman's

Last night our good friends Dustin and Chelsey invited us over for dinner. They have a dear sweet 13 month old daughter named Sydney who's little chocolate covered face greeted us first thing.
So much for that bath hey Dust!
Sydney being her adorable self while mummy is cooking dinner and daddy is with Auntie Trevor (long story) trying to fix something. Syd's just starting crawling and man does she ever move!
She's just making sure that daddy eats all of his peas..........Syd and Auntie Christy having a cuddle just before our delicious dessert. I was being fed fishy crackers in between bites of whipped cream and fruit.........yummy.And who doesn't know that babies and whipped cream make for some good entertainment. And the more we laughed at her, the more she laughed. What joy children are! Auntie Trev having a sit with Sydney. They came up with a great little game of peek-a-boo that had us all in stitches.
Lounging out after dinner and having some good fellowship........Trev is telling a story, can't remember what about but it was funny!
Chelsey just after we all realized it was 11:00.............time for bed.
Thanks for the great dinner and even better conversation guys! Love you to bits...........and next time, BBQ on our deck!

Is That A Green Thumb I See?

So I got a phone call from my mom on Friday night wondering about my plans for Saturday afternoon. Because she is still unable to walk properly, she was wondering if I would be able to go with her to Dinter's (a local nursery) and help her buy all of her plants for her hanging baskets. I said yes because I wanted to help her out but wasn't really REALLY looking foward to walking around buying plants. But once we got there I started to catch the garden fever and by the time we were at the till, I had bought two plants of my own and my mind was reeling with ideas for my garden.
I can't remember now what these are called but I loved the color and the look. I'm going to plant them in the front garden in front of the shrubs.And this, this is what I am super excited about. We were in the rose section and I was just perusing through looking at the different colored Hybrid Tea Roses when I saw this tag.........
I remeber the first time I a Blue Girl rose bush was at Buchart Gardens. I've never really enjoyed the smell of roses (or most flowers for that matter) but the cool thing about this one is is actually smells pleasent. Not only that but the flowers are a beautiful purple blue color.
Can't wait until it blooms! We're going to get a great planter and put it on our new deck. I got this guy at Save-On-Foods. Just a basic Tiger Lily but is it ever beautiful and colorful.I've got it on the kitchen table right now but once it stops POURING RAIN, I'll get in planted in a great clay pot and have it on the deck for the summer and bring it in in the winter.
So I'm feeling pretty good about this whole gardening thing and with my horticulturally wise mother by my side I think I have a summer full of blooms and greenery ahead!

Concerto Pour Une

For some reason, ever since I was little, I have loved classical music. I still have the tapes that I used to fall asleep to when I was young. So when I saw the fliers around town for an orchestra from Germany coming for a performance, I was there. Turned out I had to go alone but it was well worth it to hear Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' live and in person. It was really amazing how full and deep the piece was even though there were only 8 people in the group. It was such a great experience, even being the youngest there and the only one sitting by myself :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Half Way There........

Hey Ya' here's what we've got done after a couple more nights of work. Hard to tell here but we're about half way across the footings.Another angle........I never realized how much of a workout drilling was.
We're out for a BBQ tomorrow and Sunday is a no work day so my dad is coming over on Monday because it's a holiday and while I'm off shopping and getting my feet prettied up, Trev and my dad will hopefully get things finished up.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

We're Still Decking

So here we are again. I know it's been a while since I've blogged about our decking adventure but it's been awhile since I've had something substantial so blog about. But no longer! We have our lumber and after a quick shopping trip to pop's hardware store we were on our way. First we had to measure and construct the footings that the actual deck boards would lay on which was quite a challenge and without my handyman extraordinaire father to help us we certainly had a learning experience. But none the less, we got the job done in just a couple evenings.
Here's Trev measuring out a board to be cut to size.

There wasn't a lot of measuring twice and cutting once.......................but I sure loved the cutting part! What there was a lot of, was use of the level. It took more trial and error than we would have hoped to get the footings to sit flat and even in the deck blocks, so we did a lot of digging.

Here's what we had done but the end of Monday night, only one more to go. I got a little bored on Tuesday night and ended measuring, cutting and putting together the last footing (not shown here) all by myself. And the best part, when we took it out and laid it in the blocks, it fit perfectly. I felt pretty good to say the least! I took this last night at about 9:15. It's a little hard to make out, but what you can see in the foreground (aside from my daddy's back) is the first five boards in place.
This here is out very cool Rona find. Trevor really wanted some kind of solar lights in the backyard but hated everyone we looked at because they weren't bright enough to be useful and not nice enough to be decorative. So this was my alternative.
They look just like tiki torches and are solar powered. The cool catch being that the light
inside is an amber LED and flickers like a flame. So once is gets dark enough, they come on and look like they are actually burning. This is a really crappy dusk picture but you can kind of get the idea of what it looks like.
So our backyard is coming together and we are very excited to be able to get our great patio set off of the lawn and have friends over and entertain. The rest of the wood is on it's way over as I type and we're going to get as much done tonight as we can, if not finish it completely. I will try and post a quick picture tonight of how far we got!

And a decking I shall go...............

Monday, May 14, 2007

Let's Celebrate Our Mothers

This is what the day is all about. About these women who nurture, care for, raise and love with all they have. We spent the evening at my parents house with my brothers and had homemade pizza. All of us pitched in and got a family photo from the wedding blown up and framed for mom.
Here's me and my dearest mum at our wedding.......
We also made a quick trip over the mainland to surprise Trev's mom at a Mother's Day brunch in Fort Langley. To say the least she wasn't expecting us and we had a wonderful time with the family.
The newest mother in the McClelland clan, with one almost a year and one on the way due in October.
Happy Mother's Day to all our mothers, grandmothers, sisters and auntie's; we love you so!

Congradulations Jordan!

On Friday May 4th, Trevor headed over to the mainland for Jordan's graduation from the Justice Institute of British Columbia. I was not able to be there myself but Trev took some great pictures and video for me!
Jordan on stage receiving his badge from Dad, and retired Vancouver City Police Officer, which made the day that much more special.
The men and their wives after the ceremony.

The third and second generation VPD, as Jordan's grandfather was also an officer.

Jordan having a cuddle with is favourite little nephew Jacob, what a couple of handsome fellows!
Paul, Shawna, Jacob (and baby too) posing for a little family photo in front of the gardens.
We love you and are so very proud of you Jordan and pray for a long, safe and successful career with the Vancouver Police Department.