Levi and Vivian's big gift this year was a new slide. The slide cost enough to make me !gasp! and so I decided that we'd build the playstructure to go with it. Actually, the plan since I was the only one "on board" at the time, was for me to build the playstructure. I was nervous, but you know me; it's for my kids, I'll figure it out!!
So we started out with the swingset they already had. That, and an idea in my mind. The artist in me: I can always picture things so well in my mind but bringing them to fruition isn't always such and easy task...
Matt and his friend Brian were totally willing to help, even waking at 7am to do so. (no small feat for these night owls!) Monday was my frist day of vacation, so I got the kids to PreSchool, and started planning, thinking more. I went to Vancouver Parr Lumber and got wood from the Farm packs. This is wood that's sold at a discounted price because it is damaged or in some way not suitable for normal construction uses. Not reclaimed, but definately a responsible use of resources. Which means the playstructure will not be square at all angles. This posed a bit of a problem at some junctures, but we worked with it.
After seeing Matt and Brian's willingness to take part, Eric joined in and got interested. You have to understand: my family knows me. I get big ideas. Sometimes they are not that easy to accomplish. Eric get's, um, gun shy? Nothing is unreachable in my eyes if you're determined enough. So, Monday Matt and I picked up wood... Tuesday we got started.
By the time I walked down to get the kids from the bus, we were almost ready to slide from the top deck. Um, almost ready to let the kids slide from the top deck... Vivian came home and asked why we took apart her swingset because she saw the a-frame from one side on the ground. I explained that we attached it to the new tower. OK, she wrapped her mind around that. By bedtime, we could look from their bedroom window and see an almost finished project:
The clear picture is the view from Megan's room, the second is a view from Levi and Vivian's room. Gotta fix the screen in megan's room...
So Matt and Brian will help me today get pickets and handrail installed, and Matt wants to put panels up to enclose the bottom where the sandbox will be. The kids will have a blast with their new toy, and we'll be able to add-on as they grow and their interests change. Vivian is already asking for a climbing rope, and Levi wants a rock wall. The finished project this week will have a two-tier deck, one at about 2 feet; with a ladder to get to the top deck at 5'5". It's 5' square, and we'll put a lap roof on it for semi-rain coverage. Due to the mixed materials use I think i'll paint it fun colors. The sandbox will be the bottom of the tower, with a depth of 10 inches.
And, I mustn't forget to give Fred his props: he helped too. And he was such a good dog, while th egate was open, he never strayed from the house, staying close to where we were working all day!