Yard work AGAIN!

February 28th, 2011

So thanks to Brandon we were able to get a lot more work done on the yard yesterday and after reading a lot about concrete bag retaining walls we decided to give it a try… We had some good and some bad come of it so far.

What we were told to do:

– Look up city guidelines to see if a permit is required.

– Level the area for the retaining wall roughly making sure it is wide enough for one cement bag a 3″ drain and gravel.

– Lay out the concrete bags end to end tamping down to make them even.

– Backfill with drain pipe and then gravel for each level of the wall.

– Layer in a brickwork pattern and wet down the bags every two rows (we only built a 2’tall wall so it wasn’t difficult.)

– The top 4inches behind the new wall should be soil compacted down to make sure water rolls off the wall and doesn’t pool behind it.

– Water the bags until the paper is completely soaked and continue soaking for 20min (as a tip we also are keeping the bags wet for the next few days)


What you are not told:

– If you use the bags that are “water resistant” from a big box store you can cut slashes in the tops of the bags to allow more moisture in, but MAKE SURE YOU DO IT BEFORE ADDING WATER!!! Cutting into a semi wet bag of cement will cause the cement to stay in the grooved cut.

– Do not put ANY pressure on the top of the bags for some time and do not try to adjust the bags once wet. This will cause the front rounded section to separate from the rest of the block being created…. I do not know the actual result as we are going to wait for the bags to wilt away, but I will post pictures when I do.

Annual Baking day 4 Generations!

December 21st, 2010

Yesterday was a great day of baking. Great Grandma Helen, Nana, Me and Carleigh made all sorts of sweets: Snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, peanut butter with Hershey kisses, funfetti, oatmeal craisin, ornament shaped rice krispie treats, stained glass windows, snowballs and new this year we added mini red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frostung and pumpkin butterscotch mini muffins! Carleigh had a ton of fun decorating all of the sugar cookies and by the end of the day everyone was exhausted.

The pumpkin butterscotch muffins were by far my favorite and will be included every year. I have written the recipe below for anyone interested.


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 (6 ounce) package butterscotch chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sift together the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, butter, and pumpkin in a separate bowl. Mix the flour mixture with the egg mixture. Stir in the butterscotch chips; pour into each cup of the muffin pan to about 3/4 full.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes.

Luke is 1

November 18th, 2010

So this is quite delayed, but Luke is now 1! He is quite the opposite of his big sister… He is walking across the room by himself now and even tried his hand at running today. He is definitely the typical boy – he loves cars, balls, blocks and puzzles. He is a whopping 31 3/4″ tall now and weighs 22lbs. His only word is Hi, but it is hilarious to hear him say it when he waves. He continues to amaze me every day and I love spending time with my kiddos.

Chef-like Adventures

November 18th, 2010

Hopefully this is the first of many cooking endeavours in an attempt to find a new selection of dishes for the family. I have been collecting cook books for some time, particularly the Pampered Chef Cookbooks, and I have decided it is about time to put them to use. Today I tried my hand at Italian Meatloaf. Essentially it is a meatloaf with various Italian seasonings and marinara sauce. It was a welcomed change to making meatloaf that I normally soak in ketchup. I should have taken pictures but I had my hands full with the kids and I just wanted to eat. I made mashed potatoes and steamed some fresh green beans with garlic. As an added bonus I found out that the kids will eat the green beans whole when steamed with garlic. Yipee!

Adventures in Potty Training Relapse

November 4th, 2010

So we were doing great for a while. Then for about a week now Carleigh has decided to be afraid of pooping on the toilet. Then the last few days she doesn’t even want to pee on the toilet. It is literally taking every fiber of my being to not yell and be mad. I don’t know what to do everyone online says to not make a big deal it is just a cry for attention. I really don’t know how they can say that she is peeing and pooping on everything and I have had it. I put her in a pull up today just to not deal with it. Hopefully it gets better… and soon.