But my six youngest and my friend's three youngest children (the littles in their respective large families) tackled the back yard today.
The garden was a mess. If you look carefully at the following picture, you'll see the garden fence, with lots of stuff that needs to be raked:
There was paraphernalia left over from finishing off the siding last fall. There was an old door, tossed aside when the back door was replaced. There were weeds and dry old vines and rocks and bits of glass and screws and nails. Lots of junk to clean. UGH.
Here you can see that the fence has been removed, and the garden area has been raked and cleaned.
Elena is rejoicing...we're almost done:
Josh, Dan & Pat took turns driving the tractor around. Here's Joshua taking a turn.
They gathered garbage, taking it to the burn pile. They pulled out the fence, which we plan to re-install after we till and make our garden about 50% larger than last year's. They pulled out two posts that used to belong to our old wooden swing set, which collapsed a couple of years ago under the weight of a fallen maple tree.
Linda, Elena, Tiana, Jessie and Joy used rakes and shovels to get rid of weeds and debris. They worked tirelessly for hours, making a dreary task fun by working together.
Christopher did lots of running for the older kids. He picked up some nails and screws. He ran and got buckets when we needed them.
"Job well done, kids! Now it's time for a tea, but just let me get a final picture of the back yard. C'mon, everybody line up so I can get your picture."
"Aww, do we HAVE to?" (Half the kids had already made it inside...)
"Naww... it's okay...I know you're tired. Snap."