We took a half school day learning some serious life skills, along with some math, chemistry, and physical science.
You see, this past Spring, we decided that the area just outside our garage, that I not-so-affectionately call a MUDPIT, was due a little facelift.
We've been wanting a concrete pad outside of our garage. (Actually, we'd love to pave the whole driveway, but we can settle for the pad for now!)
We've been wanting to do this project for 10 years now...so we've all been pretty excited!
So, after months of contacting people and doing research (and continuing to save $), we came to the following conclusions:
1. Getting concrete poured and finished is EXPENSIVE.
2. Not every business owner that says he will do the job, actually shows up to do it.
3. When someone doesn't show up, it gives you the opportunity to find someone else much better in which to do business.
4. It generally costs as much money to have the concrete leveled and finished as it does for the actual concrete (in some cases, it costs much more).
5. With the help of a few basic tools we already have, a few tools that we could purchase, and advice from a few youtube videos (yeah, you really can find just about ANYTHING there, can't you?), we came to the conclusion that we could DO THIS OURSELVES.
So, after some serious dirt-moving from a friend with a bobcat business (Thanks, Ben! It was worth every penny, b/c Gregg would've taken WEEKS hauling all that stuff by hand!), Gregg and the boys set to work with framing the area to pour concrete.
Calculations, calculations, calculations...Can you say homeschooling at its finest?
Today, we had the first truck of concrete delivered...
And, we worked non-stop for 3 hours!
The good news...we did a fairly decent job with the 2 sections we finished today!
The bad news...we made some mistakes.
We learned from them.
We are confident that the next 2 sections will go quicker and more smoothly. We hope to have the concrete delivered for those sections in a few days.
We're going to change some job assignments for us and the kids, and we will definitely get the the trimming and cutting done earlier.
We let it get a little too dry this time (we needed to work FASTER!)...it was almost REALLY BAD...definitely not good for my perfectionist mentality. But, sometimes, I just gotta let it go, you know?
Yes...I'm still trying to convince myself!
Besides, my dear husband (who is also a perfectionist) is trying to make us both feel better by saying it will look better when it dries - less likely to see all the imperfections. :)
And, well, we knew we weren't professionals!
Considering we saved ourselves around $700 this morning (based on the LOWEST bid we got), I should be able to get over a few little quirks in the concrete, right? :)
So, here's some pics of our biggest family project yet...
The kids (except baby Kedesh) all dressed and ready for instructions and fun work time!
Gregg going over the general "game plan" and final instructions.
Eva, dressed and ready with her brother's shoes and her skirt (couldn't convince her she needed long pants), and her gloves.
Silas wasn't so sure about the holes in his gloves - or exactly which hand it was supposed to go on :)
The truck is here!
Everybody is getting pretty excited!
We had the best "concrete man." He was a wonderful guy who thought we were the Duggar family - hahaha! (ummm...sir, we only have 8 :) ) When we told him we had never done concrete work before, he quoted Phillippians 4:13 for us., and encouraged us greatly as he poured the concrete for us. He even gave us a few tips along the way that helped so much! Thank you, Lord, for your working in EVERY SINGLE DETAIL OF OUR LIVES!
Everybody was watching intently...
I didn't know it would have so many "rocks" in it!
Gregg said, "You didn't? Really?"
"Yes, Honey, REALLY."
Screeding the first section...everybody had a job to do...
First section ready for cutting and rounding the edges
2nd section ready for final touches...
We realized some of our mistakes...it was too dry to cut and trim properly. We learned. Next time, we will work the details on the first section before moving to the 2nd one.
The little ones taking a break and watching the "cement man" clean his truck.
Clean up time!!
2 Sections done and 2 sections to go...
Nathan said, "Momma, it might not be perfect, but at least we worked hard to do it. And we can be proud of that!"
It was an amazing learning experience for all of us. The kids can't wait until the next truck of cement comes...
And, me...well, I can't wait until we can mark this project off our "to do" list!