At the beginning of the summer, I tried to head off the inevitable claims of boredom (as if that's possible!) by suggesting that the boys build a little shed in the one fenced field lacking shelter. I was embracing the 4-H "learn by doing" philosophy, perhaps a bit too naively.
They enthusiastically ordered me to take them to the Home Depot, picked out their own lumber and supplies with great excitement, and assured me they (mostly Primo) had it "all planned out in their heads."
A few days later they marked the boards and got their father's help to cut them up.
There was much enthusiastic hammering and drilling and such, and they managed to get three sides up in pretty short order... and then they hit a brick wall, planning-wise.
In other words: the roof.
It sat there for a few months, and as the end of summer approached, I started to panic a bit. I suggested they consult our building guru, aka my father, to get some advice on getting a roof on the darn thing. My dad, initially thrilled to be asked, had no idea what he was getting into.
He came and took a look at their first effort and told them to take the entire thing apart. Because he is their grandfather and not their parent, they obeyed without one word of protest. Plus I think they realized that they really, really needed his help.
He returned for quite a few days to guide them in the proper construction of a little shed.
They even shingled the darn thing!
Today the weather was finally dry and warm enough -- and more importantly, we weren't running all over the state from activity to activity -- that they were able to get it painted before winter hits.
I even caught Kali and Kevyn in it the other day when it was raining. I wouldn't swear by my kids' ability to build another one on their own, but I sure am grateful for my father's rescue on this one.