Most of our fence is done! It's been a long process that started about a month ago, and Ryan and some generous friends have been working hard to get our fence built. We hired someone to set the posts (which happened the weekend Ryan and I went to Vegas) and the weekend after that Ryan and our friend Michael added the rest of the frames and started on the slats. The following weekend Ryan spent finishing up the slats with a friend from work (along with his son), then the next weekend Ryan worked with his dad on the small gate on the right side of the house. We are now completely sealed off from the empty lot next door, which in theory means the deer probably won't be in our backyard. Or so I thought... I started to fix up the little gardens we wanted to have on that side, which including planting a potted redbud tree... Two nights later, wouldn't you know most of the leaves had been chewed off?! By deer- we saw their tracks left in the mud from the storm that night! Rotten animals!
So, the only part of the yard that isn't closed off is the left side, near our driveway. This will be a small gate, more slats, and a large 10-foot gate. This is a lot of work for Ryan, and our weekend schedules have gotten busy so he's not have a lot of extra time to work on it lately. It will be done soon though!
Our side project while working on the fence was a landscaped play area for the kids. This started as "my" project while Ryan was working on the fence, and he finished it up by drilling the landscape timbers into the ground. It's turned out fabulous and we are so happy with it! There are several reasons we decided to landscape a specific area for them, but a big part of it was because of our low-lying, poorly-draining yard. The part we've landscaped with wood mulch is built up a little higher than the rest of the yard (using the free dirt we got last year), and I covered it with high-quality garden fabric before we dumped the wood chips all over the area. The point is so that when we have a soggy yard, the kids will still be able to go play outside, which- since we're homeschooling and since they're all little and have tons of energy- is very important to me! We purchased the fort from a neighbor and we wish it had more swings, but overall the kids are very happy with their new "big kid" playground!