Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Treehouse Dedication

Papa K and the grandkids have had a special project going on all summer long: building a tree house.  I'll admit that I was a little skeptical when Mr. Anonymous first came home from the library laden with books on tree house construction.  When he pointed out the apple tree he had in mind, I just couldn't see how it would work.  Obviously Dad's vision was greater than mine.  Well done, Papa K, well done!

On August 14th we held an official tree house dedication. I was so lucky to have Callie in town to help me pull it together since we switched the date at the last moment in order to catch the best weather.

On the menu: ants on a log, strawberry ladybugs, veggie patch pizza, pretzel branches, and of course apple slices in honor of our very own Giving Tree.  (We made deviled egg spiders too, but accidentally left them in the fridge.)

Let's not forget our wormy dessert!  Dirt never tasted better.

A candid shot of our man-of-the-hour: Kay LeGrand Andrus.

Eli climbs up to show off the treehouse's special features, such as the changeable flag and magnet board.

Despite its new age, this treehouse has already gone to the dogs.  (Sorry we couldn't find a pug, Zoe!)

The dumbwaiter is perfect for shuttling toys, books, and apples: just not siblings.

Talia likes the hammock.

Annika loves to climb up and down the repurposed wooden ladder.

Solar lights!  We think this treehouse totally deserves an EnergyStar and LEED certification

The treehouse may not look that large, but it's plenty sturdy.  We managed to squeeze five adults and four kids up there for the dedication ceremony without much trouble.

At the dedication, everyone had a chance to share a favorite memory, song, or poem.  Brooklyn and Talia wrote this great poem:

Trunk of a Apple Tree
Recyclable Wood
Energy Efficient
Epically Awesome
Hidden in the branches
Owned by the Andrus's and the Wheeler's
Unbelievably Fun
Super Safe
Enjoyable for all ages

Papa K turned to a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for his inspiration:

I hear the wind among the trees
Playing the celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downware bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.

Finally, we renewed our commitment to live by the Treehouse Oath that Brooklyn composed several months ago.  (A laminated copy hangs in the treehouse.  If you come and visit, chances are that you'll be asked to sign too.)

After the ceremony was over, the munchkins decided to stay up high and read.  What a perfect book nook!

Best of all, the fun lasted all night as the kids got to sleep in the treehouse while Papa K dangled below in his hammock.  Once they finally fell asleep, the munchkins rested well, despite the fact that a squirrel likely kept them company, as evidenced by the half-eaten apple on the treehouse floor.

Brooklyn and Talia show off their different sleeping styles--Talia catches flies while Brooklyn buries herself deep beneath the covers.

A treehouse is even the perfect place for dumping buckets of ice water for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Next time we'll have to explain to the munchkins that they're only supposed to dump the water, not the bucket.

In case you missed it, Uncle Justin, Kestutis, and Uncle Adam--you've all been nominated to either donate to ALS or dump your own bucket of ice water.

Thanks Papa K, for the marvelous treehouse, and thanks to everyone for continuing to combat ALS.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Kara, Callie & Bumpette, Cathy Ann, Jason, Brooklyn, Talia, Eli & Annie:

Thank you very much for arranging, and attending, our terrific Andrus/Wheeler/Wilhoit Treehouse Dedication! It was wonderful and tasty, until I decided it would be better to actually sleep, instead of merely lie curled up like a grub inside the hammock. The youngsters were sound asleep at 4:30 a.m. when I finally sneaked away into the house in search of my flat, soft, comfortable mattress.

In short, the treehouse project has been a joy--a bruising one on at least one occasion--but a good bonding time for Papa K. and family. We should not forget that Callie (aka as Eggnog) shared this classic Shel Silverstein poem at our dedication:

A tree house, a free house,
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house.

A street house, a neat house,
Be sure and wipe your feet house
Is not my kind of house at all--
Let's go live in a tree house.

After Nomi Ann offered the dedicatory prayer Eli concluded our official ceremony by vigorously ringing the tree house bell. Brooklyn has already suggested that we plan an annual treehouse dedication renewal ceremony. Keep smiling!