So there we were . . . brand new owners of a 4-bedroom house and we didn’t have any children – in fact we didn’t even have a television! But life was full, and between our jobs/careers and our involvement at church, we didn’t think we could get any busier.
But we did! In May of 1985, Jonathan was born – a few weeks early, and just before the time that Dale was scheduled to take the brutal architectural exam. In spite of being sleep deprived, he passed and became a real Registered Architect. As a Physical Education teacher, Stephanye had the summer off with our new boy and we began the process of making adjustments to our lifestyle and our house to accommodate our growing family.
Five years later our second son Joshua came along and we wondered what we used to do with all our spare time before we had kids!
Over the years we never really made any substantial changes to the house, but we did spend a considerable amount of time and effort on the yard. Applewood Subdivision was built on a piece of property that was previously cleared for livestock. In fact I think the two large oak trees in our back yard may have been the only trees on the entire property before all the houses were built and landscaped. There was originally a stream bed on the the property that went right through our yard between the big oaks. When the subdivision was built, the old waterway was incorporated into the stormwater sewer system which was mostly piped underground, but was open in our backyard to allow surface water to flow into it.
The resulting ‘ditch’ was a real eyesore to say the least when we first moved in, but we had a vision for what it could become – knowing it would take a lot of sweat and tears. Dale was able to salvage some left-over stone, cross-ties, plants from several developments that he worked on. Then some of our best friends ‘volunteered’ to help us out and we organized a few ‘Work Parties’ where we got together on Saturdays to work up a sweat and then grill out together afterwards. Before too many years, we started to see some return on our labors, and the eyesore became a real asset.