Monday, March 10, 2014


One of the best things about the weather warming up is the opportunity to get outside and work in the yard. I absolutely love spring! It is definitely my favorite time of year. Although I love the change of seasons we get here in Utah, I think I love spring best because I am so ready for sunshine again after a long, cold winter. I love the blooming of tulips and spring bulbs and the grass that starts to green and the hope that I feel as I watch the earth begin to change from grays and dingy whites to yellows and bright blues and greens. And I love breathing in the fresh air! After being cooped in all winter long, it feels so good to get outside again and walk and play and work.

Saturday was a beautiful day, so we prepped the kids for a day of yard work. We told them how great it was going to be to work together as a family. We had a huge pile of compost delivered the day before and had plans to beautify our flower beds and get our yard in tip-top shape by the end of the day. We were soooo enthusiastic, we could hardly contain ourselves, let me tell you! Ha! We got our work clothes, cranked up our favorite tunes and got busy.

That cute little girl in the background is a neighbor who couldn't resist stepping in to help.

Can't you just feel Hallee's enthusiasm as she smooths over the compost? Ha!
We worked and worked, and after about two hours, that huge compost pile was down to this:

Hallee assured me it was not getting smaller! I assured her right back that it was, but I must admit, it didn't seem like it.

We had another little neighbor who stopped by to help. This little guy was sure he needed sunglasses like the rest of us so the dirt wouldn't get into his eyes. Regyn accommodated him with the funniest sunglasses ever. They had eyes painted on the front of them. I am so sad I didn't get a picture of him in those sunglasses!

Boston only lasted about 10 minutes before I realized he had run off to play. Regyn worked for about an hour. She recruited one of her friends to help trim our day lilies (a job that should have been done last fall). They pretended they were barbers giving the plants haircuts, and they did a mighty fine job, I must say. When they were finished they jumped on the trampoline for at least an hour. I loved listening to the two of them play! They were so full of life! They laughed and laughed as they made up routines and cheers and little plays. It made my heart soar just listening to it all. I love being privy to the imaginations of youth. They are truly so creative and lively.

Hallee was the only one who lasted nearly the entire afternoon. It might have helped that she rested between loads.:)

Either way, she was quite the trooper. She worked hard and long, and I was grateful for her (mostly) positive attitude, especially as the afternoon wore on and we were more than ready to be finished with the project. I kept thinking how I sure wished we had chosen a weekend when our 12-year-old son wasn't out of town playing baseball in Arizona! We definitely could have used Nate's help, but I assure you he had a huge grin on his face when he arrived home late last night and learned we had done the entire yard without him. I just smiled inside, thinking, there's always next year, son!

I personally felt I earned the "Hardest Worker of the Day" award (that's if you don't count Dan, of course:). I told myself I would only help for a short while since I have a really bad back and technically shouldn't do yard work at all, but I have to say, there is just something contagious about the sunshine and working together as a family and seeing a yard begin to take shape, and once I started, I just couldn't stop.

No, I don't usually dress this fancy to do yard work. I only planned to really supervise the whole affair, but then I worked like a dog all day and never stopped to even go change my clothes. It's the best I've ever looked while raking leaves and spreading compost--too bad I didn't smell as good as I looked!
The best part about work is that it gives you lots of time to think. Breathing in all that beautiful fresh air and sunshine cleared my head and my thoughts, and my mind just ran from one thing to another. It was like therapy. One thing I couldn't help but think was how grateful I was for two arms and hands. I wondered how I would possibly be able to do the work I was doing without both of my limbs, and I couldn't help but offer a silent prayer of thanks for all my working body parts. I thought how grateful I am for a strong, healthy body that can work. Yes, my back ached like crazy by the end of the day, but I was strong and able to spend the day working alongside my husband and children (while they lasted), and that was so fulfilling.

The other thought I couldn't help but muse over was how much I wish my children were better workers. Work is such an important aspect of life, and although I have tried very hard to teach this skill to my children and even to help them understand how to value and enjoy work, I don't think I'm succeeding. My children really love to play--and that is good. But man alive, helping them understand that play and satisfaction come after the work is done is not an easy thing to do. Teaching them how to work hard is not an easy thing to do. Teaching them how to stick to something until it is done is not an easy thing to do. And apparently, I am not so great at teaching these principles because I don't think my children are so great at doing them. And it saddens me. It's definitely something we are going to be working on in our household.

At the end of the day, I looked at some of our flower beds and smiled with joy. They looked so great! This rock bed was one of my favorites.

To me, there is just something beautiful about rich, brown earth dripping over rocks and piled over flower beds. Anyway, it was a great day. Not one I care to repeat any time soon since my back is still trying to recover, but one I am happy to have experienced.

I am definitely thankful for the principle of work. I never end a day full of work and feel like the day was wasted or unfulfilled. And if I could spend every workday right beside my husband, well, life really couldn't get any better than that!