Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bring on the heat!

posted by Brian
A few people have asked about how we put a little water in our backyard jump.  Here's my 1st online tutorial and it definitely qualifies as crafty in my book...

When the kids wanted to play with water on the trampoline, they would put a sprinkler underneath it.  I found this an extreme waste of water as most of the water would not get through the mat.  It would soak the grass, but never really get the effect the kids were looking for.  I've seen some similar set ups online, but wanted to put our own uniqueness to it.  Plus, I knew I could beat the online price.  I'll explain what step I did and why, however this can be done many different ways.

Step 1...
Put on sunscreen.  I'm getting to be such a big boy, and by now you would think I would remember.

Step 2...
You have to get water to the trampoline.  We have a plant watering hose in the backyard and I didn't want the kids to constantly be changing out each hose when they wanted to use the trampoline.  So, I bought an additional cheaper hose and split off the water at the house.


Step 3...
This step is definitely an upgrade step.  I thought it would be cool for the kids to have 2 options of sprinkler heads.  If I was going to do the work once, it wasn't much additional effort to run 2 lines.  So that's what I did.  In order to do this, another splitter must be used to split the water from the hose to each water line on the trampoline.  The kids can control what type of sprinkler head they want to play in.  Each line can be used individually, or together as well, depending on your water pressure.  I used 1/2" garden tubing for the main water lines.  Shown here are 2 compression hose adapters.  All of the fittings in the project can be found in the pluming/sprinkler section of your favorite hardware store.

Step 4...
Before I finished off the ends with adapters, it's a good idea to run the line around the trampoline raw.  We have a 14' trampoline and our configuration, double hosed used a total of 200' of garden tubing.  With the helps of the kids, I stretched it out across the yard, around corners, etc. and cut 2 lengths of hose 100' each.  Unrolling it also helps you avoid kinks  and makes the tubing easier to work with as it comes coiled.  I then just followed the pattern of our trampoline outline.  Be careful not to cut corners too tight, large sweeping curves enables the best water flow when complete.  Wire ties are your friend.  I used them liberally to not only keep the line from falling, but also to keep the sprinkler heads stable when pressure was flowing through the lines.

Step 5...
Here is a closeup of how our trampoline is set up and the hose following the frame outline.  It really did have a perfect frame for what we wanted to do.  In our case, it was up the pole, across the top, down the pole, around the base of the trampoline, and then the same steps repeated.  Along the bottom, I tried to tuck the hose away from the springs, but also not on top of the frame to be stepped on.

Step 6...
After adding a compression cap at the end of the line, and adding a compression hose adapter at the front of the line, it was time to test for leaks.  Without the sprinkler heads in the hose yet, it should not leak any water at this point.

Now it was time to insert the sprinkler heads.  Remember we ran 2 lines, so the choice of sprinkler heads is up to you.  I wanted to run a mister line and a sprinkler line.  So carefully following each line to not mix up heads, poke a hole in the 1/2" garden hose and then insert each sprinkler.  You can see it in the picture here, on the top line I have sprinkler heads, and then the bottom line is the misters.  Take note of angles before you poke the hole, as I found out the misters have a funny angle to them.  I also found out the sprinkler heads can double as a water jets, but you have to unscrew the cap completely for that to happen and we found it out accidentally.

Step 7...
If the trampoline needs to be moved, the hose is the only external piece that needs to be accounted for.  All complete.  Turn it on, and let the kids get wet!  The water definitely works in a more efficient manner than before and the grass gets far less soaked!  It was a couple of hours a work and around $60 for all the supplies. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Sweetness of Briggs

I love how my children are always bursting with news when they come home from school. Briggs is the best with this. Bursting! The door is hardly open before he has started filling me in on his day.

The other day he jumped in the car and said, "Mom. I have 3 things to tell you. 1. I got to go to the treat box twice today! 2. I won a district writing contest! and 3. I love you!" So sweet. You can tell he had that little speech all planned out for me.

I noticed that Ty was rather quiet in the back seat. This is unusual for him. So I prompted him to tell me how his day was. "It was alright," he mumbled. "But in the morning, I had a few tears because I missed you." So sad.

After Ty said this, Briggs reached down and pulled out a ring pop from his backpack, one of his prizes from his double visit to the treat box today. "Here, Ty. You can have this. Since you had a rough day."

 Watching the Dodger game with Dad.
 Hanging out at the park. In this picture he is wearing Giants colors because of a deal he made with his friend. They have a friendly Dodger/Giant's rivalry, so they promised to wear each others team colors as a symbol of solidarity!
He just makes my heart melt. (how did those legs get so long all of the sudden?!)