After this long process, we were down to just a few more steps to getting our backyard done.
Over the past couple weeks, Jared and our neighbor have worked diligently to install sprinklers. This morning we leveled and raked for hours (that's why my back aches - hours of raking up rocks and digging around to get a large area level will do that to you!). Then we spent the afternoon installing sod (which went quite quickly since several kind relatives and friends pitched in to help).
Seeing that lovely green move across our formerly weed-infested and trashy-looking yard was extremely gratifying!
Even little kids helped - scooping up and getting rid of all the rocks we raked out of the dirt was an important job.
With everyone pitching in, the sod went down quickly - such a satisfying project with such immediate results!
And here's the mostly-finished product! (For now anyway, we'll be adding a couple fruit trees scattered about in the middle of the yard and some boulders plus a variety of different long grasses to make the hill an even more interesting place to play. Plus there will be lots more plants around the edges in the current dirt areas and and expanded vegetable garden on the left. But for now, we're really pleased and this back yard has come a LONG way!)
Here are the awesome guys who did the lion's share of the work - what an accomplishment! (see the really happy kids in the background?)
The kids have visions of sledding down the hill in the winter and building a climbing wall on the steep back side of the hill. We're going to put in some balance beams and other fun things in the back area as well. It's so fun to take all these ideas the kids have had (like wanting a trampoline and digging tunnels through the original dirt hill) and combine them with ideas from Pinterest and happenstance (like that the hill had to be there because the dirt from the trampoline hole had to go somewhere...) to create a backyard everyone is really excited about!