Monday, March 14, 2016

The Playhouse and an Arrow

The kids playhouse took a teeny bit more work then expected. It's still not completely done - there are laminate floors to add (yes, you read that right...pennies for a box so why not?), a climbing wall for Zac to assemble, and also some monkey bars to hang. 

My poor husband was going to just build a platform with a slide...but then there was me and my "oooh, I know just the thing! How about a swinging bridge made out of pallet wood and old fire hose!" 
So he built it. it took him 8-9 hours. 
Then there was me "ooooooo, i know just the thing! How about a little house with a window...and shutters, and a window box with flowers?!" 
So he built it.
 Then there was me "Oh, we could hang curtains over that little space and it will be a reading nook (or in our case - a device playing cave) " - and this time I "built" it because he was gone. Yes indeed, he slaved away for two straight days making my dreams come true...and a sensory space was born. It's only fair. I had four kids...he can push out one play room. 
(love you baby....)

For the little reading nook I just reused an old Ikea curtain - lucky for me all of their curtains are like 10 yards long. Tristan loves to go under there and just be close to the ground. The bridge is my favorite part so far - he did such an amazing job and I love the use of the fire hose - he even used it for a little handle when the kids are coming up the ladder. 

Zac found all of the padded flooring on Craigslist - a gym was moving so we took advantage. Hopefully it will save some skulls, or some knees, or what have you. We also have some rings for them to hang on and I found that little trampoline at the thrift store so they can bounce as much as possible - let's hope it keeps them off my couch. We still have to paint the legs of the little platforms and also maybe the old ladder...we need a set of stairs on the far side for the house. All in all, the kids are very happy with it, I'm very happy with it, and Zac is happy to almost be done - depending on what his wife finds on Pintrest in the near future. 

Spring has been here the past few days. I bought these lovely little felt flowers at Hobby Lobby - I love that blue and how life -like they are. Daisies and peonies are my favorite flowers, so cheery and whimsical and friendly. I'm not a plastic flower lover by any means, and the weather is still too cold to have fresh flowers - so these felt ones are just the ticket.
 On that note, this just in...there's a cold snap coming in on Thursday so my felt choice was , indeed , a good one.

If the man's playhouse wasn't enough, today he has gone arrow making happy. Zac came upon several PVC pipe bows at Goodwill, a different color for each child. He and the kids spent the last two days combing the yard for that one "perfect" stick to use as an arrow. The ones they found worked pretty well but Zac told the boys he would go to the store and look for some little plastic ones. That's when my ears perked up.
 Well, story goes (you'll never guess) that I said "oh, I bet on Pintrest there is a DIY arrow tutorial" and low and behold...what do you know...there was!
Zac said he didn't need a tutorial...
I think he's fed up with Pintrest.
It's like the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie conspiracy 
"If you give your wife an idea, chances are...she'll need a pin to go with it"
and so on and so forth.

So, as men do...without directions...he created some little arrows for our kids. He started with some thin dowel rods and cut them in half. Then he made a little notch at the end so that it could "grab" the string. He put strips of duct tape ( of course - this is a MAN we're talking about) around that end to keep the dowel from splitting. He cut feathers right down the middle and glued them to the ends - pretty perfect. I would like to add here ... if you know a man that as a child loved to play with bow and arrows, pretend he was a hunter, or some type of "scout" ...the Hobby Lobby feather and leather section is a perfect place to take him. I mean, the man's face lit up like a headlight in fog and I almost detected a slight twitch. 

The kids got dressed for the occasion. 

Then, with 40 mph wind gusts at their backs, they took on target practice. Look at my sweet little man. Tristan is definitely our "outdoor" boy. The other day we were talking to Brady about camping and he's not very interested in the concept. He thinks the time will be dirty and boring ... to put it in a nutshell (I take this moment to remind all of my readers that our three boys have autism spectrum disorder ... because I think he's probably the only kid I've ever heard of that doesn't want to camp...and I don't want to view him in a negative light. However, if you also don't like camping, then that's perfectly normal and understandable. In his case, I don't think it's understandable but try to understand....) 
I forgot what I was saying.
Oh yes, so Brady doesn't want to go camping so Zac says to me "Fine, me and my little buddy Tristan will just go camping alone " completely forgetting that there are still three other family members that want to join - despite Brady's aversion to all things "nature."

Let me tell you something about these arrows - they work. Zac had a very long safety lesson with the kids but I think we may also get some little rubber tips for them. 
After Trinity's arrow went through the box target 3 different times Zac says "well Alyssa, if you weren't vegan we could have rabbit stew probably several times a week."
First of all, who wants rabbit anything several times a week? 
Second of all, I've been fattening up my little bunny friend daily on strawberry tops and apple cores and the hearts of lettuce just because I'm glad it's okay for him to be fat - not for stew. 

Happy Monday sweet friends.

“We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories. These are the moments when the world is made whole. In my children's memories, the adventures we've had together in nature will always exist.” 
― Richard LouvLast Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder


  1. Love the fort it's definitely kid tested and approved and those bow and arrows are so cute!!

  2. What a great play space, I am sure it will provide hours of fun for your kiddos. And kudos to Zac for turning your dreams into reality :)

  3. WOW! Your play space is wonderful! :) I also enjoyed Last Child in the Woods. Thanks for sharing.