It's been over a year since I first posted about our backyard project ( part II) and I'm happy to say that the bulk of the project is finally finished.
Ryan spent the last three weekends hard at work in the backyard -- first lifting the old patio stones and getting rid of the ant problem; then digging out the big pile of dirt in the corner and spreading it around (with Austin's help, I might add) and finally, this past weekend, tilling the whole yard, leveling it and laying sod. (Notice how I'm not even eluding to the fact that I helped during these last few weeks. My help consisted of taking the kids to the park or keeping the kids out of the way every weekend.)
So yes, almost four years after we moved in, and one year after we started the project, we now have a backyard that although is physically the same size; appears a lot larger. But more importantly it's useable and is a place I would actually hang out with family and friends and not just say 'oh yes, and there's a backyard out there...would you like to sit on the front deck?'.
A few minor things still need to be completed in the yard, most importantly the gate needs to be fixed so that it locks. What's the point in taking your two-year-old out back to play if he can easily escape to the street through a broken gate? And there is a small patch of dirt that has not been sodded that I intend to plant a garden in.
But really, the main thing that's left to do now is to water the hell out of the lawn to make sure the sod takes and build a sandbox!
I'll post before and after pictures as soon as I download the camera.