the swing set

Hello dear blog readers! I have missed you. It has been a whirlwind of a week since I last posted. We were away for the weekend gathering food for our souls, and now we are back with unpacking to do, a house to clean, and a pile of laundry, and thus the cycle begins all over again. We have a family reunion coming up so the trailer won't stay parked away for long.

By the way, it has been so fun running into some of you the past few weeks and hearing things like "You've inspired me to Feng Shui my closet" or "When are you going to post pictures of that swing set already?" It is gratifying to know that so many read this blog and it makes me feel so connected, even on this isolated farm of ours. I could go for days and days without ever wanting to leave this house, but I doubt I would feel the same way without the computer to connect me a little to all of you.

So... the swing set. The title of this post should actually say "THE SWING SET!!!!!!!" because that is how excited we are about it. This thing is awesome and the girls have spent hours (yes, hours) every day on it. In fact as I write this post they are outside with swimsuits and a sprinkler enjoying their "water" slide. It has been worth every penny spent (since we no longer live down the street from the park)!

We first dug out the area for the swing set, and then set it up on the dirt.

The girls didn't waste any time trying it out that way, but we were anxious to finish the area and make it a bit safer.

If you are interested, the swing set is by Lifetime, and we purchased it from Costco online. It was a bit more expensive than some of the wood sets they often display, but in my mind a few hundred dollars was worth not having to ever worry about re-staining it or getting slivers. I am impressed with the quality of this set and it has great reviews.


From Costco (which was already a couple hundred dollars cheaper than elsewhere) we got the additional rope ladder, bucket swing (for the baby), and a little picnic table included for free.

And here it is with the edging and rubber mulch:

A huge huge thanks to my Uncle Lloyd and cousins Corey, Taylor, and Carson for helping install the edging and weed fabric. They made a big job go so much faster. (And of course a huge thanks to Rob and Brian, a.k.a. the swing set fairies, for finishing the swing set too!)

Eva absolutely loves to swing.

And the expression on their faces says it all.

Here is another look from above:

The piece laying on the ground is the trapeze bar that can swap out for the baby bucket swing. You can see the area beyond the swing set where I have started digging and installing more edging. (I have 300 feet to do!) The area behind the swing set will be gravel, rocks, and plantings.

The rubber mulch is awesome. It doesn't attract bugs like cedar mulch will do, won't cause slivers, stays put better, and lasts much longer. It provides a cushier landing for the kids, too. It is more expensive to begin with, but when you consider replacement costs of other kinds of mulch, it would not cost any more in the long run. It took 81 (1.5 cubic feet) bags to fill our area to the desired depth (3-4 inches)! That was 3 trips to Sam's Club, but I go there every week to get groceries anyway so it wasn't a special trip. (It was actually cheaper to buy it by the bag than to buy it in bulk and have it delivered.)

So, I understand that is a lot of to-do about a swing set, but it is bringing my kids a lot of joy right now, so there you have it! I'll keep you posted as we make progress with other yard projects . . .