Last week I came home from the gym with the kids, all sweaty and gross, and I was getting them fed for naps so I could go shower. In the middle of our lunch Patrick asked, "who's in our backyard?" He asked so innocently it didn't occur to me to freak out until I am fully STARING at the STRANGER in the backyard who is not simply checking a meter or something! I mean, he's not LEAVING! So I began to panic until Mr. Total Stranger turned to the side and I recognized him - a missionary! His companion was just around the shed. Whew.... things were about to get crazy, we DO keep guns in the house. (Am I serious or not? hard to tell... don't show up in my backyard unannounced!!)
I remembered I had jokingly recommended they could help us pull weeds in our overgrown backyard, and apparently you don't joke with the elders - they take you seriously. They hopped the fence using a ladder from the house getting painted next door (note: none of the painters who lent the ladder seemed phased at all that two high-school-age-looking guys are jumping the fence next door) and got to work, using gloves and shovels and rakes and even our string trimmer (until they ran out of string). It already looked great by the time I saw them, they had been hard at work while I was hard at working out, and with a couple hours of my labor combined with their it looked AWESOME.
We've cleared the backyard of weeds a couple times but never so thoroughly, and it would be a SHAME to let those efforts go to waste, so we took advantage. We bought some rocks. We bought 15 tons of rocks, to be exact, plus 2,000 square feet of ground cover cloth and 2 jumbo-size bags of ground sterilizer, just to be safe. We're maybe 1/3 of the way done with the rocks, but that wasn't the hard part. The missionaries did the hard part, which was to jump the fence and get STARTED. The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step(ladder). Joe laying the fabric down. Rocks on the driveway, so we're all parked on the street (thankfully not stuck in the garage!). Patrick and Eli like to sit at the top and be kings of all they survey, a la Yertle the Turtle.