Thursday, December 20, 2012

Project "Playground"

When our nephew, Mikey, heard we were building a "playground", he asked, "Are you building a playground because you know that we like playgrounds??" (haha, yes... we're building it just for you...")

Truth be told, we're just big kids who like to climb things.....

The project began as the sadness of winter struck home, with the first chills and snows. I for one despise being cold - in fact, to me it is the worst feeling in the world, 2nd only to the feeling of guilt! Last year we bought a pass to a climbing gym to train and stay in shape in the winter. This year, we wised up a bit... we figured we could build our own climbing wall for less cost, and invest in the beginnings of a future gym in our sweet future home. :)

Besides, who wants to deal with the crowds and yay-hoos of the modern gym world anyway? 

No, thank you.

So after many sketches, weeks of research, and attempts to remember trigonometry (who knew we'd actually use it in life!), the workings of a masterpiece began...

Step 1) Materials - we are proud to be bargain shoppers ("you know what they say, wood doesn't grow on trees...")
Step 2) Drill holes, hammer in t-nuts, and frame with 2x4s. It was freezing out, and luckily Landon knew what he was doing... I was mostly the moral support on that part - "Wow, looks good, I'll uhh... be inside if you need me." :)

 Step 3) Paint! My specialty.... we got our paint at Sherwin Williams for super cheap in their leftovers pile. If someone else hadn't been so picky on the color, we wouldn't have scored lifetime warranty paint for $2/gal!!! Also, we put some "shark grip" in there for some added texture, making the wall feel more rock-like. 

Step 4) Connect the pieces: the base is 4ft tall x 8ft wide. The top is 8x8 and hinged to the base so that we can adjust the angle for people like me who can't keep themselves on the wall with too much of an angle! (gotta work on those core muscles!) Home Depot quickly became our most frequented store... 
....after putting the hinges on, we decided to do it the other way so we would maybe have a chance of getting the heavy section up without casualties... I only have a few bruises from dropping the 8x8 section on my leg... no big deal :) Built a tent with a tarp to work in the rain and snow! (takes me back to Aina Painting days). 
Step 5) Get the 8x8 section up....good luck! Took us several ideas and trials, and lots of buff muscles...
Until finally.....

Step 6) Bolt in the cross beams... You can't tell because of the tarp, but on the cross beam, there are holes drilled every foot for when we move the angle. We improvised and used the water storage jugs as our ladders

Step 7) Bolt the holds onto the wall - so much better than the chalky/smoothed out ones at the gym.
Step 8) Bring in the king size mattress to catch falls, the radio for jammin, and the space heater, and CLIMB! (is it bad that I kinda like falling? The mattress is so soft and springy!)
***Such a fun project, and we are definitely enjoying the fruits of our labors. Recently (w/help from our friend, Jeff), we were able to get it up a couple more notches so it's at about a  40 degree angle and quite roomy inside... Come climb with us!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baked Goods and Backpacks

It has happened... we are rejoining the blogging world... or maybe I should specify: I am rejoining the blogging world, to fill you in on the latest with us, since we all know blogging is something Landon wouldn't be caught dead doing. And that is just one of the many reasons I love him!

Funny story though... Last week I made cinnamon rolls and took this picture because I was so excited they came out smelling nearly like Sis. Christensen's who used to always bring them over when I was a kid! Landon laughed hysterically because he thought it was a pretty funny and ridiculous that I was so excited... UNTIL....

...Tuesday Landon made German Pancakes which tasted wonderful. He watched that thing like a hawk in the oven, becoming giddy when he saw it nearly done and thrilled that it was bursting up on the edges like he'd never seen before.  And guess what he did when it came out of the oven??? :)

He took a picture! haha. He's funny. A year later and we are finally beginning to understand each other. :)

Speaking of which, our one year anniversary just passed on October 7th! WOO HOO! We made it! And we still love each other! Here's what we did for our anniversary:

Backpacking for 3 days in the high Uintas. Best of everything - beautiful scenery, great weather, no crowds (til the hike out....TONS of hunters), and the man of my dreams. Oh and of course FISHING! This is a place Landon's Dad, Uncles, and Grandpa use to take them backpacking when he and his cousins were kids, so he was dying to show me a bit of his childhood. He told me all sorts of stories and showed me spots where they used to camp and how they built a bridge with fallen logs to cross the stream. He sure loves his family - and so do I! What a sweet tradition!

Red Castle - Hiked in 9 miles to this lake, then went up 3 more to the upper lake....

 Pretty chilly up there...but awesome

Look at that whopper I caught! haha. I don't even care how big the fish are, I just like catching em! And yes, my right hand is temporarily out of order for 2 more weeks, but that's another story.
That 2nd day we hiked about 12 miles and I was starting to feel the burn - thank goodness for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! Landon is a pro at eating cookies and I caught him in the act - who needs one when you can have 5? We were meant for each other!
Thankfully they have recently lifted the fire ban in that area, so I was able to witness proof that he is an Eagle Scout. Not only can he start fires, but he can also build a bear-proof contraption for our food - good thing too cause I'm pretty sure I saw a bear track in the mud close by. Actually made me think of my Dad when he said at one point setting up camp, "Maybe I should've brought the tarp." And so it begins....

The last morning we woke up and about froze - I think I put on every piece of clothing I had brought. Landon had gotten up extra early in teen temperatures to start a fire so it would be raging by the time I left my snuggly sleeping bag. How nice! He was rewarded however to see a huge bull moose galloping up the hill only 40m away from our camp! I'm a little jealous... Anyway, Landon went to get water from the creek (moving water), and had to crack the ice to get it... then it froze in the pump! Yikes.  Funniest moment was definitely our attempt at fishing in the streams on the hike out. It had gotten so cold that there were ice chunks everywhere... This is the result of our first cast of the day. If you look hard enough you can see the lure/hook caught in the ice! hahaha, let's just say that one was from pride. Good ole karma :)

Had a great time though and we love having adventures together. Stay tuned...

P.s. this is my favorite pic of the entire trip. He's just lovin it!