It looks like we'll be using our tax return to put in a sprinkler system and really overhaul the front yard. It'll be slow going at first since plants can be expensive, but within a year or so, the outdoor space surrounding our yard will be transformed!
Nate spent the first weekend of April finishing the fence on the north side of the yard. After our experiences with our neighbors and their dogs, we decided that having some privacy was probably advisable. I'm not one to advocate for throwing up six-foot fences all over the place, but I think it was appropriate in our case. Considering that one of the dogs was getting big enough to jump over the chain-link fence, we didn't think it was safe for the kids. And it affords a nice benefit in that we don't have to listen to the dogs barking whenever we go outside (since they can't see us opening the back door, they don't rush out and start barking at us any more). It also affords the nice benefit of not watching our neighbor stumble around her backyard in her pajamas at four in the afternoon as she attempts to pick up dog poop. Win/win/win. Three cheers for spring!