This will be brief, but there’s news to share so I have to post it!

Friday evening kicked off with Brooke’s 8 year checkup (see previous post), and we went out to dinner for her birthday (she chose Izzy’s in Beaverton), and the rest of the evening was spent making cupcakes for the girls to decorate at the party the following day. The cupcakes didn’t work out so well, I didn’t have my cupcake wrapper template (got deleted off my cutting machine due to lack of use and a hard reset needed), so had to go the old fashioned route with cupcake liners and a regular cupcake pan. Oh well.

I had a sub cover the daycare for me so I could work on the decorations all day long- I even had the room all decorated and ready for Brooke when she came home from school!

Here’s a sneak peek:



Check back in a couple days for the birthday party post (I’ll update the link here when it’s ready).

Saturday morning I whipped up a batch and a half of frosting- kept some of it white, tinted some a golden amber and the rest a teal color (although it came out much greener than I wanted). I got the house set up for the party- and it was a wild 4 hour long party. Let me just state that home parties should really be kept to 3.5 hours exactly. Three hours and we would have been rushing our activities, four hours was too long, though.

Anyway, I was exhausted after the party and all I wanted to do was take a nap (at 4pm), but Jim made me go to Costco instead. :( Actually it was sort of a date night for the two of us, the kids wanted to stay home.

We saw that Liquid Art Fountains was having their roadshow and we decided to check out their fountains. After all, we have one of their fountains in our backyard and LOVE it.

And we’ve contemplated putting a smaller one in our front yard at the entry, but we don’t have an outlet nearby to plug it into, so we’ve always poo-poo’d any serious thoughts. Until Saturday night. Costco always has the best prices and when we got home we measured out the space and found that the 2’x2′ base would be perfect, and a 36″ tall fountain would be perfect, and they are also $200 MORE outside of Costco….so this was our chance.

Sunday morning Jim had to work, I slept in until nearly 8:00 (unheard of!) and took Trevor with me to Costco at 10:00 when they opened. We talked to the guy- he loaded our cart with the fountain- and they had someone help me load it into the Expedition. The ceramic piece weighs 80 pounds and although Trevor and I likely could have lifted it ourselves, the guy suggested I use their assistance.

Jim came home about 2:30 and I had already partially dug the hole and saturated the ground. The kids helped pick rocks out of the dirt (there’s just a ton of fist-sized rocks deep in the ground all around our front yard, no idea what that’s all about but it’s sure annoying when you try to dig holes!). It didn’t take long to get a level hole dug, and the base installed, and the fountain assembled, and even the ground cover all finalized.

Step one: mark where it’s gonna go!


Step 2: start digging!


Be sure to pull out all the stupid little rocks in the way:




Step 3: make sure your hole is the right depth and it’s level!


Step 4: fill it with water and insert the pump:


Step five: make sure Brooke can get her photo-bomb in


Really, step 5:  put the grate back on, and the screen, and set the fountain in place, screw the connections in, and cover the grate with rocks and backfill the barkdust to it (sadly no pictures taken, I was the one working on all of that!)

And here’s the reveal:



Once the fountain was in place, we decided to make more stepping stones. I borrowed a few more forms so now we can make 6 at a time.  The first six that we made didn’t turn out- we’ll probably sell them in a garage sale for a buck or something (to recoup some cost), or just bury them deep in the backyard where nobody will really see them.

Here’s what it looks like when we’re making them:


Yep, they line our front porch (it works best to have the lip of the form slightly off the edge of something so you can continually shake/drop/jar the forms to get the bubbles out).

Anyway- that puts us to about 8pm Sunday evening.  A busy busy afternoon for sure, but oh so worth it in the yard beautification department!