Picotte Chronicles ~ Moving Day

We are coming up on our one-year housiversary of moving into our new house! It’s an exciting time of reflection to look back on all of our accomplishments and improvements we have made this last year.  At this time last year, we were still in our RV trying to survive 100 degree weather with an air conditioner that wasn’t making the cut. I had every day off from school thinking of ALL the things I could be doing at the new house with the beginning of a new school year quickly closing in.

 When the kids first saw the trampoline in the ground.

When the kids first saw the trampoline in the ground.

Having the opportunity to move into a house we got the chance to design was a process I’ll always be so thankful for. That also means moving into a house with zero landscaping done. We built our house in the desert and as I have shared before, there is so much sand. So. Much. Sand.

Our number one priority moving in last summer was getting the inside unpacked and organized. That took the remainder of the summer and then the kids and I started school. I was teaching kindergarten again which is quite the adventure all on its own. Brock was starting his senior year (I’ll be rehashing that coming up soon; cue tears), Brody was going into fifth grade and Emi was starting third.

We spent weekends trying to organize the storage shed that was still over half full and a conex box my husband found that we stored most of our things in while waiting for the house to be built. I don’t know how it seemed to refill itself each time we closed the doors, but it did. Finally, weeks into that and countless trips to the dump, we got it organized.

 Very first tree!

Very first tree!

Number one priority for the outside was getting some fence up so the dogs could have somewhere to be turned out without being on a leash. My husband spent a week off from work in the fall getting the dog run fence put in along with fence along the front of the house. That was stage one of the fence installment.

We took a much-needed break over the winter and just spent time organizing the inside, but it still needs more work!

March hit and suddenly the projects ramped up big time. Typical of us to wait until the kids were all busy with sports and activities! We put up stages two and three of the fence (with Brock’s much needed help), which resulted in almost 400 linear feet of fence. I’ll be happy if I never have to put in another fence post. We also installed the kids’ trampoline in the ground (read about that here). We lucked out when my uncle came through town at the end of the month and took the time to pull sprinkler pipe in the ground in both the front and back yards. He saved us so much time!

 RV parking

RV parking

April brought sprinkler system time! We lucked out again with this project because my dad has spent some retirement summers working with my uncle and his landscaping business. He helped us design the sprinkler system and get it all laid out. We also got landscaping bricks to encircle the front yard to keep out the sand. We got the front yard seeded for grass (that’s another story) and finished putting in the sprinkler heads in the backyard with the help of another friend. (Mandy had so much fun laying pipe!)

In May, Mandy also helped me purchase our very first tree (so fun!) and some shrubs for the front planter. Paul dug out the back for the concrete patio and I helped him frame it all in. We got our patio poured and some loads of rock to make the pad for parking the RV in the backyard. I also designed another flowerbed under the front window and bought some late Mother’s Day plants to fill that in with.

May was our crunch time because we had Brock’s graduation party the last weekend of the month. It was good to have a goal, but boy were we tired.

In June we made a fire pit in the backyard, and started the brick border. Finally in July Paul added a few more water faucets so we have one in the dog run and also one near the RV.

Living in the desert sure makes landscaping difficult because everything needs so much water and leaving it natural as just sand makes keeping the house clean impossible. We still have so much to do, but looking back on this reminds me just how much we have done!