Wednesday, February 11, 2015


We have this patch of nothingness next to our house in our backyard. It has driven me crazy from the day we moved in. When we first bought our home it had half a chopped tree and some poorly laid lava rocks that I have very strong feelings against! LAVA ROCKS ARE THE WORST!! 

So over the past 2+ years we have been trying to make this space useful and have failed miserably. 
The first thought was to make it into a garden. So Dan and I dug out all the wretched lava rocks and Dan dug up the tree with nothing but a plastic shovel and his bare hands. Ya, I married such a man! 
We filled it with proper soil and began our attempt at this garden... Well, in reality neither of us wanted to grow a garden, neither of us enjoy gardening and we live in modern America where I have a grocery store less than a mile from my house and can buy produce anytime I want, anytime of the year I want, with little effort. But for some reason we went ahead with the garden. It failed. It was awful, but at least it was dirt and not lava rocks. (positive thinking!) 

The unused area sat for a while. 

Then we built the gate between our house and our pool, which made that area even more valuable since it was more room for the kids to play around and use without me having to be hawk eye and making sure no one falls into the pool! 
So our next thought was plant grass. Have it as a play area and a place to sit and enjoy. 
What I failed to mention in the garden portion of this post, is that this little section gets about an hour or less of sunlight a day. So that was another reason why nothing grew. But we had our sprinkler system replaced last year and figured that the grass would be fine. Nope. It failed. The grass died. Well it actually survived a lot longer than we thought. It never got watered because our sprinklers don't hit that far, and for the first half of the poor grass life, the people who mow our lawn didn't know it was back there, so it grew and grew and grew. We are pretty sure thats what killed it. So like I said, it failed. 

So we had this muddy dirt pit, that was COMPLETELY USELESS! Until now. 

I told Dan my idea of wanting to turn that area into a large sandbox. It is the perfect place since the sun hardly hits it, the sand wouldn't ever get hot, and it's behind the gate so sand most likely won't get into the pool. Plus the kids can play in it while I'm doing things in the kitchen because our windows are right there. 
He liked it and we ran with it! 

The before... 

We dug out all the weeds and raked all the dirt to make it smooth. June loved helping by adding water (to feed the worms) and made it kind of a mud bath, but she was in heaven so we just let her be. 

Owen loves the water table, but he hasn't been able to play too much. Poor little guy just can't get better and now has a double ear infection. 
So since he's been sick he hasn't really had a chance to play. 

After cleaning it out, Dan went to Lowes and got fresh lumber ready to be cut and stained. My original plan was to just build the whole area as a box of sand, but Dan and his brilliant mind knew we would want a place to sit, so he calculated out a little bench for the sandbox. 

Building it was easy and hard. We have no power tools. So all the nails were hammered in by us, and Dan used the manual saw to cut all the wood! He's awesome. Once we got the wood into place we laid down garden fabric. It's supposed to help let the moister go in and out, plus keep the weeds away!

Dan's nifty little bench. It's perfect!

We had a few extra wood scrapes so June got to paint them. 

We stained it and then Monday night we filled it with sand. 
June had gymnastics so while Dan took her, I gave Owen a bath and then we headed to Lowes to pick up our 40 bags of sand. 50lbs each. My car would only hold 24 on the first trip, so I headed home and unloaded all 24 bags on my own. Dan pulled in right as I was finishing up and came with me to pick up the second load! I was SOOOO HAPPY! I was a bit worn out. We got home and put the kids to bed, then we both started hauling the bags of sand and slicing them open. It took all 40 bags. It actually worked out perfectly. Power of Math! and also Dan's super Math skills. Guys I don't know if you know this, but Dan is SO SMART! I think I take that for granted sometimes, but this man of mine knows his math. I was so impressed with him! He chuckled at me and said "it's just basic trigonometry." hahaha I know he does A LOT harder math at work, but I could barely solve a basic geometry question, so major credit to him! 


We are super pumped at how it turned out! It's a perfect spot for it, since it's 90 percent in shade and behind the pool fence so the kids can just play, play, play. It's big too, so we can have friends over and there is plenty of room to play! 

She has been in the sandbox as much as possible! She loves it. Owen still hasn't quite played in yet, because he's been so sick, but hopefully soon!

The bench was a perfect idea! It's right outside our kitchen window, so the window can be open and the kids can play while I'm doing other things! And if sand get's inside, it's no big, because it's tile and super easy to sweep. We set some ground rules, so hopefully that helps keep the sand under control. 

I'm really excited about it, and how much June has loved it. It's nice to not have the space feel wasted anymore, and have it used for something the kids can enjoy! 

First thing in the morning we have been in the sandbox. Hopefully we enjoy it, because it's a pretty permanent base! haha 

We are proud of ourselves from building it from scratch. I know it's just a box, but it wasn't as easy as you would think! It really turned out awesome! 

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