Monday, August 31, 2015

Building a Tree House!

The kids worked really hard this spring to earn enough money to get started on the tree house they have been wanting to build.  Then, they worked even harder (with a lot of help from Dad!) doing the building.
 
We found this cute little gopher in one of the post holes one day:

 
Top level going up....
 
 
Bottom level....


 
Slides, railing, and steps finished:
 

 
 
That is enough for one summer.  The plan for next year is to build a house on the top level.  Then, monkey bars........ and a tire swing..... and a zip line......  I'm sure this will keep them busy for years.
 
They are already having lots of fun:
video
 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Camper Mods

I always love seeing ways that others have improved their campers to make them more livable.  So, here are a few of the modifications we have made to our travel trailer in the last year.  We have a 2006 Crossroads Zinger travel trailer with quad bunks in the rear.  Just enough room for all 10 of us.  :) 
 
 
The owners before us had replaced the flooring in the camper and did a horrible job at it.  There were gaps everywhere.  We ripped everything out and did it right.  It looks so nice.  We haven't decided yet if we will also do the carpeted areas on the slide and in the master bedroom. 
 
Here is our new vinyl plank flooring:
 
 
Brett added in some shelving next to the medicine cabinet including spots for toothbrushes and a towel bar.  We also put in a toilet paper holder. 

 
This has been one of the best improvements.  We changed our dinette into a U-shaped dinette so we could fit more little bodies around it.  It's not nearly as big as the U-shaped dinettes in those nice new campers these days, but it works for us.  Brett added a bench across the back (which has a pillow for a cushion at the moment), built a new table with a drop leaf, and adjusted the position of the table legs a bit.  It works out great.  Currently all of the kids (minus the baby) can fit around the table for a meal.  We also found a mini pack'n'play which fits great in the corner and makes a world of difference over the standard sized ones in such a tiny space.

 
The previous owners had also tried to redo the back splash with peel and stick tiles.  They were not lined up right and some had fallen off.  So, we replaced the back splash with a piece of vinyl flooring.  We added a roller shade to the kitchen window (and plan to replace the rest of the blinds with these soon).  I covered the oven door with adhesive shelf liner with a wood grain print.  We removed the cover from the stove since it only got in the way.  And finally, we hung some hooks for all of our cooking utensils.  A complete kitchen makeover.  :)

 

 
Brett added a shelf to this big open cabinet so that we could use it for all of our school books and supplies.  Everything stays put when we are driving.  We just switched this year to zippered binders for each child instead of the magazine files.  It is working out much better since we have been moving school stuff back and forth between the house and the camper.  Everything stays together and nothing can fall out!

 
This is Brett's favorite mod.  No more cups on the counter!  That is all the counter we have and it was getting really frustrating to use it when there were 10 water bottles sitting on it. 
 
 
 


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Arkansas Part 2

More fun times from our trip to Little Rock and Hot Springs in April!
 
The Old Mill.
Beautiful minus the fire ants and the gazillion people having pictures taken there....  We didn't stay too long.
 


 

 
Burns Park.
They had many different playgrounds, so we tried out a couple different ones.  One of the playgrounds had this fun tank to climb on.  We also drove on a covered bridge and saw an old log cabin.
 

 
Our favorite thing to do in every city is find a splash pad if they have one.  This one was at Peabody Park.

 
 
A ride on the River Rail Electric Streetcar!

 

Riah was a bit exhausted after the splash pad!

 
Fun by the river at our campground. 
 



 
And this little guy gets extra pictures just because he is so darn cute! 
 

 


Arkansas Part 1

In April we took a 10 day trip down to Little Rock and Hot Springs, Arkansas. 
Our home away from home.

Everyone packed in!
 

Our first full day down there we decided to explore Hot Springs.  We took a tour of one of the bath houses, explored the shops, bought some fudge, sampled the spring water, and took a drive up to the tower.
gymnasium at the bath house



stained glass ceiling at the bath house
 
The next day it was off to Little Rock.  
We visited Heifer Village where the kids spent time learning and exploring.
 


Abby filling out her scavenger hunt checklist to earn a pin at the end.
 
A quick stop at the Nature Center.


 
 
And some campfire cones after dinner.  Yum!  I think we just started a new tradition.