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6.28.2011

How To Build an EXTREME WATERSLIDE

 If you have a slope anywhere on your property or know of a park that has a hill you need to do this!
I was watching my kids power down our little hill out back on their Tonka trucks one day and got a bright idea. Why not build a huge water slide? We have had a few of those store bought slip and slides in the past but they would only last a week if that.  I wanted something an adult could play on.
So here is what I came up with, and maybe you want to make one too!
First you find your hill of choice.  Make sure you have enough running room at the top so you can get up to speed to slide.  And think of where you are going to land, make sure it is safe at the bottom. 


Next use some sort of material to make sides.  I used wood chips because that is what I had an excess of at the time.  you could use sand, soft dirt, or dig a trench wide enough to slide through. Keep the middle of the run free of large rocks and sticks.  


You are going to need some old carpet remnants or rugs.  I got all this for free through my local Craigs List.  People are more than happy to give away old carpet.  And it can be old and ratty, it doesn't matter because you are going to cover it up.  


Lay all the carpet down the run, the more the better because this is your padding.  This carpet also helps to keep the form of the run by holding everything in place. 


Now get out your HUGE roll of black construction plastic. It is a little pricey but you are going to need to get the large wide roll.  Roll this plastic down the slide run and secure it on the sides with landscape staples or pegs.  


The top of the run is a little tricky.  You are going to need to keep the plastic from sliding down and you can't use anything that you can trip over.  We rolled the top of the plastic in a 4x4 post and stapled it on securely.  We then buried the post at ground level. We even added some low posts at the top so the 4x4 doesn't dislodge.  Now you can't trip over the top and the plastic doesn't slide down. 


Now you have the think about water.  You could run a little sprinkler at the top or simply have a hose on low trickling down.  The possibilities are endless.  One word of warning: the black plastic can get very hot if there isn't enough water running or you are the first one to slide down the run. Don't let kids slide alone.  THIS CAN BE DANGEROUS!  We had someone almost break an arm on this thing last year!




My son is using a blow up pool matress to slide down here.
Using varrious blow up toys will make the slide more fun!


Add a little dish soap to your water once in awhile to cut down on the friction.

6.22.2011

Summer Flowers

I LOVE flowers, the color, the smell, the butterflies and bees they attract.  I was thinking about flowers and heaven a few days ago and since nothing dies in heaven all the flowers are going to be at their peak, at their most beautiful and most fragrant stage ALL THE TIME.  Since the flowers won't have to put out seeds they can put all their energy just being beautiful for God!

Here are a few pictures of my flowers in the garden around the house at their peak. 







 
June 2011

Just look how fast these flowers are growing!  Each season a new flower takes the place of the old. 


May 2011


6.20.2011

Anniversary # 13

It has been 13 wonderful years with my husband.  We feel like we have been married longer than that and I don't know if  that's a good thing or not.  The kids certanly make time move faster.  Over the years we have grown closer through the good times and bad times.


Engagment

Wedding


First Year


After kids (see the wrinkles starting to form)


The whole family
 I feel blessed to have Robb as my husband.  He has stuck with me through my mood swings and crazy home improvment ideas.  He is a wonderful father and provider, I love him.  Here is to many many more years together. 


6.17.2011

Early Summer Garden


The Summer weather isn't so summery around here.  We had a frost a few weeks ago that almost took out my entire pepper and tomato crop.  All the cooler weather plants are LOVING it though. Just check out the Kale and lettuce!

 The kale is so happy with the cooler weather.  I hope to harvest through the summer heat.
The boysenberries are ripening!
 This is a view of all the boysenberries and sunflowers in front of the tomato bed.

 My poor struggling tomato plants.  I am building a greenhouse around them and hope to extend the season so I can get all the tomatoes I want.  This will be an interesting process.  I will keep you posted on the progress or lack there of.

This is the garden overview as I walk in the gate.
 The lettuce under my pear tree is going to seed.  The garlic and cilantro is growing as tall as the tree!
 The grapes are recovering from the frosty nights a few weeks ago.

These are my baby Granny Smith apples, they make the BEST applesauce when they are ripe!
Butternut squash 


6.11.2011

Kale Chips

You can eat kale and like it!  All you have to do is make it into a salty chip. 
Start with your fresh picked kale (the flat leaves work the best.)
Gather your ingredients:
olive oil
salt
garlic powder
kale leaves with the stem cut off


Add your olive oil to a shallow pan and sprinkle on some garlic powder and some salt.  Use your fingers to massage the oil mixture on to each kale leaf.  Place the oiled leaves on a baking sheet ( I used some foil on top of my baking stone) 
Bake for about 25-35 minutes or until the kale is crisp.
I ate about 4 kale chips while setting up my picture!

These are addicting
Make more than you think you will need because they go fast! They have a nice thin crisp texture with a garlicy flavor to them.  They are virtually carb-free, so have some more!