This weekend saw some glorious Winter sunshine and it was all about working in the backyard and Daddy of course as we celebrated Father's day here in Australia!
His patient self has nearly finished his rock retaining wall in the backyard now but we are still to do the planting...at the moment the toddler twosome are having fun climbing up the rock stairs but we plan to block them off with plants until they are older. In the meantime they are absolutely loving their new outdoor challenge....don't worry they were being closely supervised but i think it is still important to let kids explore the skill of climbing and discovering the outdoors in new ways too!
I tried to keep the girls busy with lots of little things out the back over the weekend so we could make a start on getting this backyard child friendly and a nice place to be. It has been in the too hard basket since we moved here but now that the toddler twosome are a little older we can get back into the landscaping while they 'help'!
Tara's favourite activity was sitting perched on a little rock with mixing bowls, spoons, flour and dirt...oh the joy of 'cookings'!
Hmm....much as i love letting them play in dirt i do hope the grass grows back quickly!
Ruby tried to interest Emma the dog in a little outdoor cooking but she wasn't interested!
A little cotton bud painting also kept them busy......
I'm not sure Daddy has ever seen his excavator bucket painted with a cotton bud (Qtip)before!
There was a little rock painting with simple water paint and brushes.....they wandered around for ages with their cup painting rocks!
And then helped paint and plant our new pallet planter boxes/fence!
We decided to recycle some pallets and use them as a temporary wall to keep the girls safe while young from the drop off to the lower level of the backyard. This has always been a worry and a big reason why we haven't let them use the backyard but slowly we are making it child safe.
Daddy has been turning them into planter boxes by nailing some extra pallet boards underneath and lining them with plastic before filling with potting mix for the toddler twosome and i to plant out!
We have planted some flowers that will hang down over the edges as well as some little herbs and salad vegetables......
The next job is too paint the 'fence' to tie in a little more with the house and landscape. I think once we have some flowers and greenery there they are going to look great.....a much nicer solution i think than having to erect expensive fencing for now!
I'm hoping the toddler twosome will enjoy using their watering cans with me in the afternoons....they are only very shallow troughs so when our harsh summer weather arrives they will need to be watered often. We shall see how they go!
Ruby never passes up an opportunity to steal someone's boots!
The frangipanni tree got a little paint treatment too!
More rock painting...you can see why we needed to fence this level!
For Father's Day Daddy got to work in the backyard again!!! He did have a little helper the whole time though who enjoyed picking out just the right pallet wood for daddy to hammer on!
It really is a very simple and frugal activity...just takes a little time to get the wood cut and hammer into place. Lining with plastic and filling with potting mix is the only other time consuming task. He has wanted to get this completed since beginning the excavation and rock wall building months ago so in a way it was a great Father's Day present!!(Not sure he felt the same way but hey that's real life for you!!)
Unfortunately we didn't get out for a Father's Day family day as Miss Teen needed to be driven to work and back at odd times but we did spend a lot of time together anyway and i think that's what counts and what will be remembered...just look at that little helper!
There was a nice roast dinner though and a special little pavlova made by Miss Teen for her Stepdad!
And a special present from the toddler twosome! These are simple salt dough plaques with their handprints pressed in firmly. I first pressed the dough onto 2 plates and made sure to let them go over the edges to create a bit of a border...then flipped them over onto a floured tray and the girls pressed their hands down onto the dough.
I then added their names using dots with the end of a skinny paintbrush...and into the oven for 4 hours on 100 degrees celsius. You may need to flip them over to really get the bottom to dry out also.
Although i made ours a little differently (and used hands not feet obviously!) i got the inspiration and idea from the fantastic The Imagination Tree Salt Dough Keepsakes blog post. You can get the recipe for the salt dough and wonderfully detailed instructions for this activity by popping over for a visit...although i warn you that you will probably be looking around at all the great activities there for ages!!
The girls painted them the next day and sprinkled glitter over them. You could add a hole at the dough stage (before oven drying) if you wanted to hang them but I'm just going to prop them on a shelf as i never fully trust salt dough in our humid summers...it can resoften and go a little crumbly so i won't risk it! I was quite pleased with them...they aren't perfect but they were made by love by (mostly) little hands and i think they make the best father's day present really!
The end of the weekend saw two very tired little girls (sporting new colourful dresses from their Grampie who is visiting Darwin at the moment!)
And lots of hugs and giggles with Daddy.....a simple Father's Day i guess but looking at those 3 faces i know that simple was just fine!
Thankyou Daddy for all that you do xxxx
I hope you had a lovely weekend too.......