We had a working weekend, trying to get ready to build a climber for the kids. We cleared out some of the land behind the pond--took it back at least 10 feet into the woods. We were also able to dismantle the neighbor's wooden climber, which we're going to use as the base tower and recycle some of the lumber.
The kids and I have been designing the climber for a couple of months now, but this weekend we began doing some hard design work--measuring, lay-out, lumber and angle calculation. We're going to build a climbing wall on the underside of the climber, which ought to be really cool but is kinda tricky to figure out. We've been sketching things out, and Sunday put everything to scale on graph paper. Then dh and the kids made a 3-D model out of paper and straws to figure out how the walls will overhang underneath the tree fort.
We were outside all weekend long, and it was great! My mini irises are blooming down by the pond, and everything is starting to green up. We did have some fun time inside, too, though. Julia spent some time writing with her quill and learning to make envelopes. She and I opened up an envelope to use as a pattern, and she traced, cut and folded her own envelopes to send notes, pictures and gems to her siblings.
Sunday night, we all crashed in bed and watched Scooby-Doo, then The Secret of NIMH. Julia fell asleep and Sam and dh got bored, but Em and I ended up watching The Colosseum and True Gladiator on The Discovery Channel. They were really interesting reenactments of a gladiator's life, showing the different styles of battle and training. The second show used forensic evidence found in bones from a mass gladiator grave outside Turkey to piece together information about gladiator life--death wounds, medical care, diet. It was really interesting!