Friday, February 3, 2012

The Fort

Did you have a fort growing up?
I had a real one, an awesome little playhouse built by my grandfather with real working windows and a door, cute pitched roof and painted just like our real house. I loved that playhouse! Since having my kids I have thought many times about buying a playhouse kit to make one for them like the one I had when I was little.
This Fall Zander got Fort Fever. He started drawing elaborate schematics for forts, dying to build one with his dad. So, as Christmas was approaching I told Lance that what I really wished we could do for the kids was build a fort. My wise husband pointed to the unfinished attic over our garage in the backyard and declared, "We have a 500 square foot fort way better than anything we could build sitting right there". So, we decided to go for it!
It started with cleaning all the stuff out of the attic. Ug. It was painful. Here are some cell phone before pictures (please note I took these after I had cleaned out most of the stuff!).

We wanted the fort to be all about pretend play and fun. So, we hired our contractor to build a stage, install a huge blackboard, and make sure the electrical system was all safe. I made some curtains and rigged a rod system to hang them. Then we basically moved a bunch of toys and things we already had up from the garage where they were not being used to their full potential. The result is this:
Come on up the stairs, try out the pulley system and be warned to KEEP OUT!

We have a stage for putting on performances:

A huge chalkboard and a whole corner devoted to making art:

A tent for boy and girl camping adventures:

And an area to set up your stuff and engage in some good imaginary play:

The fort was a huge surprise and an awesome Christmas morning reveal! On rainy days off of school like today it is totally priceless!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It is Groundhog Day

I have to post on the namesake day for my blog! Getting back into the swing of blogging is not easy. I have thought about blogging a number of times, and even taken some pictures. Somehow that has not magically translated into a completed post. In honor of Groundhog Day being about making the most of each and every day, here are moments from the past week or so...

1. Pinewood Derby
A boy scout right of passage. This was Zander's first derby and he had a ball. He actually did the whole car himself with the exception of the base coat of white spray paint and taping off the arrow shape on his car (dad helped with that part). He drew his desired shape, completed the paint job, pounded in the wheels, and added the weights all by himself. He actually made the finals and had a fast car! He loved the experience.

2. Dance Class Buns
I have never been good with hair. My daughter is about 4000x girlier than I am, so this inability of mine to style hair is a big letdown for her. She is required to wear a bun in dance class and is always put out that my bun making style is pretty sad and messy. So, I went to the beauty shop and bought a contraption called the bun maker. I used it to make a bun for her and it looked perfect. Ok, so maybe it was a little too big. Zella was not buying it. I had to take it out and make a normal one. Oh well, back to the drawing boards.

3. Sewing
I got a sewing machine for my birthday. I am playing around with it some, and used it to make Zella a doll sleeping bag. My dream for my first big project is to take the 25 free XL Thunder T-shirts we have gotten from the playoffs over the past two years to make a T-shirt quilt. So, consider this the before picture. Look for the after sometime next year:)