Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pool Update, Family Vacation...lots of pictures!

On the 18th of March they plastered the pool, and then we began to fill it. They said it would take approximately 24 hours. We thought it would go faster because "we have good water pressure"....ahh no! It took over 30 hours....one of the pool guys who gave us a bid said it should only cost approximately $60 to fill the pool....I am not so sure that it will be that cheap considering the water shortage....I guess we will see when we get the bill. We enlisted our youth labor once again...leveling dirt, and laying sod!
The reward!!! A week of skiing in Mammoth! After a 6 hour drive the kids were excited to get out and do some sledding....Ellie was ready to get geared up.

And off they go....it is so nice to have an older brother!

The next day off to skiing/snowboarding. This is the second year we have stayed in the same condo....and it is within walking distance. We can even come home for lunch saving lots of $$$$.

These pictures get a little out of order, but you get the idea. As you can see we put Ellie on skis! She loved the chairlift....kind of like the buckets at the zoo. She was quiet as a mouse on the way up. She even fell asleep on my lap in the afternoon! I guess that means she was very relaxed...or we wore her out.
On the way down the moutain, she was chatting the whole way. When I would stop so I could bend down and hear what she was saying, she would say, "Mom why are you stopping? Go faster mom!"

I really just guided her down the slopes....but she had fun anyway...one introductory day for Ellie this year. She had fun! Next year she can take a little class....or maybe I will teach her we will see.

We travel with another family. This is the rest of the crew getting ready to hit the slopes.

The kids switched to snowboarding last year and really like it. This year they made a marked improvement on the boards and could go on alot more runs.

The first day of skiing was warm and sunny...in the 50's, each day got progressively colder and windier, this was day 3....it didn't stop us though.

Me, Ben and Madeline.

We came back to 80 degree weather and a full pool in San Diego. Unfortunately the pool is only about 67 we may need to invest in the solar panels. The kids went in anyway....although they didn't stay in a long time...alot of in, swim a bit...and back out for a bit.

We have company coming on Thursday, we have been working on the yard. We planted some more sod....and added some plants and trees.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pool, Birthday, Decathalon Competition

It was a busy week here at the Mendler's. Last Sunday we went to Sacramento to watch Ben and his high school team compete in the Academic Decathalon SuperQuiz Relay. The questions for the SuperQuiz were all centered around the French Revolution, very hard questions they only had 7 seconds to answer!! This is what it looked like...with more teams to the left and right. There were approximately 61 teams with 9 kids on each team. If you look carefully you can see Ben, he is in the second row up from the bottom, the middle guy in the turqouise shirt. The following day was the awards. Unfortunatley my camera ran out of battery....but Ben took 1st in his division in math, which placed him 3rd amoung 549 kids not bad for a 10th grader! (The number one and two guys were seniors.) This was a ton of work...but he is already excited for next year!!

Happy Birthday Madeline!
As of Friday Madeline is officially a teenager!!
To celebrate she had a couple of friends over for dinner and then we went to Extraordinary Desserts! If you are ever in San Diego and want to see and eat some fantastic desserts this is the place to go!

Happy Birthday Maddie!

On Friday, they also plastered the pool, and we began to fill it Friday night around 6pm it was not done filling unitl 1am Sunday morning!! Look out for that water bill! I will picture full pictures of the pool and grass in a later post.

Before water.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I found two of these light fixtures for the patio at the Habit for Humanity Store. We hung one just to see how it looks...and we like it. I think it may need to be a little lower but I am excited about the overall look. I probably would not have chosen this on my own, but my friend Shannon gave me some gentle encouragement plus the guy at the store took an additional $50 off each of them!!
We are going to update the table with a new tabletop....one of the many things on the to-do list.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Here it is. The concrete. Never thought I would be so excited to walk on concrete. I have a correction to make from yesterday, I thought we had a salt finish we have an acid finish. It is a little hard to tell in the picture but it ends up having a speckled look, and it won't be splippery! Ellie was very excited to run around out there....she loved jumping off the steps!

What's next? Well, it is a little hard to tell in the picture but we are not super happy with the coping edge along the steps so we need to see what they can do to fix that. Then they will be putting some of the ledger stone underneath the lip of those steps. They will be putting the smooth coat finish on the bench wall, and painting it. There is still the finishing up of the concrete, some saw cuts, and mastic. Then they can plaster the pool and fill it up. The rest of the yard is up to the "in-house" landscapers. We (meaning Don and me....and whatever child labor we can harness) will be putting in some new sprinklers, bringing in some good dirt, mulch, we have a little patch of sod to lay. After that the fun part....some new plants to spruce up the place. Then we need lighting, furniture.....ok we still have alot to do, but it is nice that we can start walking around out there without tracking in so much dirt!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

We have concrete!

So Friday they came and covered the yard in plastic. They had already framed and done the re-bar for the concrete but with the pending rain decided to wait until this week to lay the concrete. The plastic did it's job, they pulled it up on Monday to let it dry all the way out, and were able to lay the concrete yesterday.
Yesterday morning before they poured the concrete!

Here is the first look at the concrete! It has a grey look because they put an acid wash on it to give what will ultimately be what is called a salt finish. It get's sprayed on, they let it dry, today they are power washing it off. The color will be sandstone, which is maybe a shade darker than the coping. They will also be putting saw cuts in the concrete to prevent cracking. I will post more pictures tomorrow so you can see the finished color.

We are looking forward to going out in our backyard once again...in fact we are going to barbeque tonight! Woo! Hhoo!