Projects GALORE!! and Cement Pavers

We have been working on a few projects around the house.  We decided that we would tackle the outside in the summer and get to the inside in the winter.  So smart! Danny is a genius!

We'll get to these in a minute...

But first, we have so many other projects that are also going on that I'll be sharing soon.  
Like the deck...

the fence...(which finally got finished today!!!  SO EXCITED!!!)
don't mind the parts without grass, we have plans for those.

the garage...(small, small addition that makes a HUGE difference)

the pergola...

and the play room...

So far, out of all these things, the fence is the only finished product.  Is it just us, or does anyone else have unfinished projects all around the house??

Now onto the main event.
Right now we are trying to tackle this "cement-paver-patio" idea under our deck.  (that's what I like to call it)
This is what we're starting out with.  Danny has leveled out the dirt.  As you can see, the patio will start just to the left side of the post on the far right.  

 We bought this Walk Maker *template to make our own cement paving stones.  (*We should also count how many times I use the word '*template' in this post.)  It was cheaper than other ideas.  We also thought it looked pretty easy and seemed like it would be quick to do.  Easy?  Yes.  Quick?  Not so much.  (For us anyways.  We have 3 children to deal with and limited time when Danny is home.  Also, we have quite an area to fill.)

Only one of these bags are supposed to fill the 2'x2' *template.  So how ever many times you need to use your *template, that's about how many bags of cement you'll need to get.  We just a few for now.  

 First you lay down the *template (easy).

Mix the cement.

Pour the wet cement into the *template.  Make sure you get any air pockets out by moving the cement around a bit.

When the holes are filled, smooth out the top and put any remaining cement back into the bucket.

We were hesitant at first to move the *template, thinking the cement will all just mush together.  It didn't!  The good thing about this project is that you can almost immediately remove the *template and place it where your next set of rocks will go.
Also, something we didn't notice at first, (which we would have if either one of us had read the instructions on the label), is that the *template can be turned a few different ways, 
 depending on which side you're working on.  So our first three rock patterns were all the same.
Oh well, no big deal. Still looks good to me.

If you take a look at this picture again, at the top there is a space that we couldnt just put the *template back down and fill the couple of rocks that we needed.
So, what we did was put down a piece of wood big enough for the *template and did the exact same thing as we did on the dirt.  
 After the cement dries, you're able to pick up each rock and lay them where you want them.  We added a couple of stones to the edge and voila!  (sorry, didn't take a better picture of it.) 

I think I'm going to really like how it turns out.

but, for now, here is where we stand.
Oh, and we also ended up taking out the pathway that was there.  You can see the stones stacked against the house.  We'll end up using those for another project down the road.

So, what do you think??  Better or worse??
*Template = 11 times...unless you include this last one, that would make 12!