Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fun Field Day at Central

Thursday, April 26th, was our school's annual Fun Field Day . . . It started out as May Day and for years was referred to as "May Day" even though for the past three or more years it was held during the month of April!  Ha!

This year the PTA decided to change the name of this special event to more accurately reflect when it's held! 

I was in charge of the Relay Races for the elementary school.  I have accepted this responsibility for the past 3 years.  The first year . . . I learned a whole lot of what not to do!  The Relay Races for the past 2 years have gone off without a hitch!  Experience does count in this instance!

The races included the K3 classes up to the 5th grade classes.  Each class competed in each race separately . . . not the whole elementary together . . . this allows for more winners and therefore . . . more ribbons!  We love us some ribbons in the Ferrell house!

The first couple of years that Zach and Alex competed, they each placed in some of the races and came home with various ribbons . . . but they couldn't tell me which event they had placed in!  Now this Momma wants to know these kinds of things!  So the first year I was in charge of the races, I made certificates to go along with the ribbons to tell how the child placed in each event.

K3 through 5th grades equals out to 8 separate classes with 5 different events with a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner . . . which equals out to about 120 certificates! 

The first year I didn't fill out any of the certificates until that day and I spent the whole May Day afternoon filling out the certificates and signing them!  Last year and this year, I learned from my first year and had all the certificates filled out and signed . . . just waiting on the winners' names to be written in.

I have so enjoyed watching the children compete in the Relay Races all 3 years I have been in charge. . . especially those sweet Ferrell boys!  This is the first year that Shane got to compete too.

Dave was off that day so he came out to the school to watch the boys in the races and help me coordinate all the events.  Here he is helping Shane get ready for the sack race:

 He was so cute all geared up for the sack races . . .

 Of course, he couldn't cooperate with me and wear some practical shoes for competing . . . nope he had to wear his blue rain boots!

 That picture is a little misleading . . . it looks like he won the 50 yard dash, but actually, he was racing over and over again to the finish line even when the race wasn't going on!

He and his best friend, Colt, were really having fun racing while the others were doing the "crab crawl" . . . which was the actual event taking place then!

 Just a little bit of chaos during the races . . .

Alex is in a small class and not many of the children participated in all the races.  But Alex wanted to do them all.

He tumbled to the ground during the sack race . . .

But he didn't give up . . . he still finished the race.

He came in third place in the sack race (only 3 participants), third place in the crab crawl (only 3 participants), and third place in the 50 yard dash (4 participants).

I love his enthusiasm!  The third grade boys participated in a tug of war game against the third grade girls.  The third grade teacher joined in to help the girls and had anchored their end of the rope making it impossible for the boys to move the girls' position.  Here are the boys getting ready to pull.

After watching the boys struggle to move the girls (anchored down with a grown woman), I decided to pitch in and help.  I mean, it should be a fair contest!  Nine girls with a grown woman versus nine boys with a grown woman!  With my help, the boys were able to uproot Ms. Lori from the "anchor" position and win the tug of war!  Yea boys!

Zach came in first place in the sack race.  He fell down almost to the finish line, but popped up and recovered his position in time to win!

Zach also came in first place in the 50 yard dash.  I love the expression on his face as he's crossing the finish line . . . notice the worn out, broken green crocs he's running in!

After the relay races, the actual Fun Field Day booths and inflatables opened for the children.  My boys had a great time.  Alex got on the bungee jump twice.

In fact, Alex probably enjoyed the day more than any of my other boys.  He loves to play!

Shane loved the bouncy house and the giant slide.

Oh, and let's not forget the mechanical bull ride . . .

Zach had fun too.  He loved the football throw . . . Zach loves anything sports related.

Zach got on the bungee jump too.  He doesn't like to be up high, so I was surprised when he wanted to get on it.

Of course, being super athletic, he got on the bungee jumper and flipped over several times while jumping . . . effortlessly . . .

Alex needed a little help flipping over, so Dave gave him an assist.

Alex didn't care that he needed a little help . . . just look at that smile.

We had a blast, but when the Fun Field Day ended . . . I was pooped!  All day in the sun and I was exhausted and sunburned!  So I went home and crawled into the bed for a nap . . . but not the Ferrell boys! 

They came home and went fishing!

Look at the monster fish that Alex caught!

And of course, what would a day of fishing at the farm be if they couldn't kill a snake!

A day full of Fun-Filled -- Fun Field Day -- memories for

                         the Ferrell boys and me!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Landscaping and Painting at Ferrell Farm!

It's been very busy at Ferrell Farm the past two weeks!  Too busy to update my blog!  Mostly because I've been soooooo pooped!  All the work we've been doing on the front yard has worn me out!  Let me show you what we've been doing . . .

Here's the "Before" picture:

Yes it looked unloved for sure.  We had never painted the rails or columns.  We had never stained or painted the front door.  And obviously, we had never landscaped the front yard.

I have a theory.  Sometimes when you see something everyday, you start to not actually SEE it.  Like our front yard. . . . I saw it everyday, but it wasn't until I met the stranger and his mom driving down our driveway one day did I really look at the front of the house . . .

You see . . . he and his mom had driven up the driveway to look at the house because they thought it might be for sale since it looked DESERTED! 

When he said that . . . I looked up at the house and saw it for the first time in a long time . . . really saw it . . .

I moved the ferns to the front porch and told Dave we've got to finish the front of the house!

Dave has been off for two weeks . . .using up some vacation days that are going to play out in July.  Did we go on vacation?  Nope.  We worked like a construction crew with a deadline!

Everyone had to help.

Dave did most of the truly hard manuel labor while I painted the rails.

Dave tilled up the areas around the house that I had marked with the garden hoses for our front yard beds and dug a trench around the beds.  He also moved some black top soil from another area of our property to mix in with the soil around our house while he tilled it.

He laid out the black landscape fabric.  Before laying the fabric, Dave sprinkled some weed product (Preen) that's supposed to keep the grass and weeds from re-seeding.

Looking good :)

Hey!  Leave me alone!  I'm working!

We bought some mulch from Penick and started adding it to the beds.

Dave had some help with this step.  I lost my painter at this point.

Shane had so much fun!

Once Dave got the beds ready for plants, he started working on the brick walkway.  He leveled the area with his box blade and tractor, then he got Zach to start spreading sand on the walkway for the base.

While Zach was spreading the sand, Dave started hauling bricks from behind the storage shed. 

We decided to use bricks left over from the construction of our house instead of having a concrete sidewalk poured . . . since we had the bricks left over and we thought it would save us some money.  Ha!

Dave started laying the bricks . . .

And this is where we were at this point in our project . . .

 The walkway was halfway done.  The rails on the South side of the house were primed, and one rail on the North side was partially primed.  The front yard beds were ready to be planted. 

We chose to spread the mulch on the beds before the plants because we haven't decided what plants we want to use and our money is a little slim at this point.  I did pick up a few plants while we were at Lowes buying the side rails for the walkway, but I plan to buy the rest of my shrubs from our local businesses.

Dave nailed the side rails down and left the bricks on the edge for last . . . since we were going to have to cut those bricks.

Alex found these tall cedar trees at Lowes and wanted me to get them for him . . . He thinks they are Christmas trees.  :)

My painting job at this point . . . while Dave worked on the sidewalk, I painted.

He had some company while he worked.

After a couple of days of working on the walkway, Dave got some help from Zach.  Notice the bricks on the trailer . . . we ran out of extra brick and had to purchase more to finish the walkway. 

Poor Dave's back gave out before he was finished, so I laid the last couple of feet of the walkway.  The next day we started cutting the brick for the edges.

Dave has a wet saw from when we laid the tile in the house, so that really helped to make it go fast.  I marked the brick for cutting; Dave cut the brick; and I then placed the brick in the walkway.

Cutting the brick was a very messy job.

 I placed all the brick along the walkway and later went back to set them in with the mallet.

 I continued to paint while Dave cut the brick.  I'm slowly making progress  . . . it will take me a couple of more weeks before I get finished painting and caulking, I think.  :)

 Shane continue to "help" us with our work.

  The walkway ready for the sand/concrete mortar.

 Dave poured the sand/concrete mixture over the bricks . . .

It was a long process getting the mixture down into the cracks of the brick.

 Then Dave used the garden hose to wash the concrete into the seams and get it ready to set up.

 We are not finished with the walkway, but here it is today:

 The rails are primed on the front and the hand rails on the North side of the steps primed.  You can really see the difference the paint is going to make when you compare the other side of the steps where the hand rail is still unpainted.

Today I'm going to start planting the shrubs and roses I bought at Lowes last week.  I'm very excited about the progress we've made on the front yard and on the front porch!  I don't think anyone would see our house now and think it is deserted!  Ha!

I'll post more pictures as we continue making progress on our summer project.  Thanks for all your encouraging words on facebook and in person!

Hopefully, Dave will get finished soon . . . with help from 

                       the Ferrell boys and me!