Well, lemme give y'all a little background first. First, we've have these passes to the Dells for weeks and had planned to all go to Mt Olympus on Sunday (24th). Kids were all jazzed about it, and we were really looking forward to blowing $6 on hotdogs, getting a nice deep red sunburn, and a hot sweaty crabby ride home. Well, then this weekend (just passed) my DHs mom wanted to take our kids and of course, being summer we simply could not say no! So, we packed them off, and away they went! lol We had planned to drive up early Sunday morning to get them and head off to the Dells. DH and I settled into our very first weekend ALONE in YEARS! We had a romantic dinner, saw a new movie, walked around the mall, drove through town and window shopped (lol), and jsut had a great time. Ok, and there is some stuff I'm leaving out, but I cant post it all here because this is a "family friendly" forum. (Those of you married with kids who haven't had them ALL gone at once for YEARS will TOTALLY understand where I'm coming from here! Hehe) Anywho, we were having a great time. Until Saturday... We were getting ready for dinner Saturday, and getting everything ready for the drive up to the Dells and the waterpark. I laid the passes out while we packed our swimsuits and towels and whatnot in our bags. Then, I looked closely at the passes. They'd expired! Oh no. We're not by any means broke or anything, but we hadn't budgeted on having to pay for it all either. So, what to do. Go anyway and worry about money the whole time? Or not go, and have 2 severely disappointed kids? Then DH had an idea. He wanted to build them the playset they've been dreaming of for months. Our kids are by no means spoiled. They work for what they get and things they want. They are rewarded for things like no beating the crap out of their brother and good grades on their report cards. We look in our yard and see the old, "rustic" one swing swing set they share and cringe knowing they should have something much nicer. Well, both kids had done really well on their report cards, and both had been good all week (in anticipation of the weekend in the Dells) so they had earned something. Well, DH moved some things around and pulled a few extra bucks out of hiding and we set out on his plan. First, we had to call his mom to let her know the kids would be riding back with her, and explain the situation to her. She was OK with it and then we had to tell the kids, without telling them. We just told them about the passes being expired, but not to worry that we had a HUGE surprize waiting for them at home, and they were happy and excited, though a little bummed about missing out on the waterpark. So, then the work began. We had exactly one day. Talk about pressure! DH is quite gifted in computer animations and such so he drew up his plans in his 3D Max program, printed them off and we headed out to the store. Bought what we needed, set it up to be delivered later that night, and headed home. Early the next morning (Sunday- 6:30 am) we began the task at hand. Now, DH is good, but I guess we just didnt realize how BIG this thing was! The over all size of it as it went together was astounding! lol So, here's photos of the whole thing as it went up. If anyone would like a parts list or plans, let me know and I'd be happy to share! We ended up building a $2400 retail valued playset for just under $400! The wood arrives... Framing the tower... Putting the tower together.... Tower frame upright (and THAT was tough!)... Attaching the first A-frame (for swings)... First A-frame up and tower framed.... Framing the monkey bars... Auging the holes for the monkey bar pipes... Cutting the pipe... Completed monkey bars... Preparing to raise the monkey bars into place... Attaching monkey bars.... Attaching second A-frame... Laying the decking floor and sides of the tower... View from the side with both A-frames up (one on each side, though hard to see at this angle), monkey bars done, and decking/sides done... Framing the pitch roof... Roof tarped... First side of swings hung... And then my cam ran out of batteries. It's all done now and the kids LOVED it when we showed them when we got home! The finished parts not yet shown (I'll upload more pics in a little while) are a rope climbing ramp on the back side with 2 ropes (so 2 kids can climb at the same time), a fireman pole in the front on the other side of the monkey bars, the other side of swings so there's a total of 4 swings, and 2 sets of rings, and the safety handles on the back for those using the rope climber. All in all, the set has over 12 things to do! Plus, we're putting in benches and a little sandbox under the play tower. Overall size is massive! The tower is 5' x 5' with a 6' pitched roof! Each swing side is 8' long, and the monkey bars are also 8' long, making the whole thing 21' long and 13' wide (give or take). Its so big in the corner of our yard, that I will have to cross the street to get a picture of the whole thing! lol So, how did we do?