summer list 2015

here it is…

summer list 2015

{oh, and i should add “finish painting walls white” to the list…the wall looks like an ugly beige/pink/something in this photo!}

i decided that i liked meg’s chalkboard list, and since our dining room chalkboard has been empty for a few months it was time to fill it up!

for now, i am still in reset mode.  i canceled our trip to sunriver for the weekend…i want to ease into summer.

yesterday, we managed to cross one off the list…

summer list 2015-water balloon fight

after  the little guy’s last day of school we went down the street, and the kids had a huge water balloon fight with some friends. myself and the mom hosting the party filled over 300 balloons! it took me at least an hour to fill two five gallon buckets with balloons…within a few minutes the balloons were gone!

totally worth the smiles and celebration to kick off the summer!

home is…happy it’s summer break.

the return of the summer list

it’s been a few years since we did an official summer list.

there is always one in my mind, but i thought it would be fun to have one in writing somewhere in the house since the kids can read (well, the little guy can and baby girl wants to learn this summer)!!

i was originally inspired by meg’s summer list

whatever | the summer list

in 2011, our summer list it looked like this…

Scan 28in 2012, our list looked like this…


in 2013, i didn’t make a list because our summer was so busy we didn’t need one!

in 2014, i just didn’t make it happen.

this year, the summer list is making a return!

while baby girl is already on summer break we have a couple of days to work on the list before the little guy gets out of school for the summer.

we will need to come up with a list…and a fun way to display it!

until then, i know i would like to implement these summertime rules

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stay tuned…

home is…planning fun!


first feature of the backyard movie season

we had out first feature of the season in our backyard on monday night.

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the cousins from new york had not seen big hero 6, so we watched it on the big screen in the backyard. it was a bit cool, so they bundled up with blankets while the adults sat around the fire.

outdoor movie 2015

last summer, i wrote a post about the basics of our backyard movie set up. i have included it below with some changes that we have made…

big screen basics 2015


1. projector…ours is about 7 years old…it is an optoma ex530. you could use 

2. laptop, iPad, or iPod…we have only connected our macbook pro to the projector…we may try streaming from the iPad now that our speaker situation has changed

3. speakers…we used to have wires connecting the speakers to the laptop, and it was just a disaster waiting to happen with kids running all over the place..we now use this bluetooth speaker

4. movie screen…i updated our movie screen by purchasing blackout curtain fabric and sewing it to fit over poles (8 ft. tree stakes) that we pound into the ground… it seems to work better as the light from the sun setting behind the screen is blocked, which means we can start our movies before it gets completely dark

5. extension cords…we plug one into the projector and one into the speaker

you’ll want to get a feel for how everything needs to be set up…do you need a table for the projector? how far should the projector be from the screen? what connects to what (i.e speakers connect to the laptop, laptop connects to the projector)?

we always do a test run by ourselves or with neighbors for our first movie of the year…there are bound to be some minor glitches and you want those worked out before you invite the entire neighborhood!


1. snacks: i purchased this popcorn maker and not only does it look cute, but it keeps ryan from spending the entire night making popcorn on the stove!

2. drinks: just like the snacks…keep it simple, BYOB, or provide something that goes along with the theme of the movie

3. blankets: thrifted quilts are awesome for backyard movie nights…i have a stash of them and put them on the grass. in the cooler months i stick a few thrifted afghans on the chairs around the fire pit and in a basket on the deck in case people need one.

4. chairs: use what you have or ask everybody to bring their own

5. twinkle lights: twinkle lights just make the whole scene magical. we have ours up year round in our backyard and it just sets the scene for a festive evening.

backyard movies have become one of my favorite things about summer in our backyard. we hope to have a lot more movie nights well into the fall…as long as the rain stays away!

have you tried a outdoor movie in your back (or front) yard? do you have any additional tips or ideas to share? please comment below!!

home is…making memories for our kids.

a day at the oregon coast

last sunday we got up early to head to the coast with ryan’s sister and her family.

we made a breakfast stop at camp 18 and explored some of the additions they have made to the grounds to showcase the history of logging in the pacific northwest.

i could have walked around for hours taking photos of the old rusty stuff.

this train car was particularly fascinating to me…
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wooden doors…rusty metal…chippy paint…

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the exterior was beautiful turquoise bead board…

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isn’t that rust spot just perfect?!

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i can just imagine the stories that the old walls could tell…

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there was a swallow nest on one of the walls, and the mom and dad were eagerly waiting to return to their babies, but were keeping an eye on the stranger peeking in at their home…

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not sure what this was used for…transporting animals was my guess…

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the ferns and moss seemed to find it a good place to call home…

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we decided to take a drive to ecola state park instead of just driving to cannon beach.

our kids had never been there, so it was a first for them, too!

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goonies never say die…

{random fact about me: did you know that goonies is the movie that put a move to oregon in my mind? when i saw the movie in 4th grade i remember thinking, “i want to live there someday.” here i am, many years later living my dream.}

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beautiful haystack rock at cannon beach just after low tide…

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there was a spring of water coming off these rocks…the moss was like a carpet…

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we ended up setting up a spot at indian beach and exploring for a while…

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it was a perfect day for the coast.

i really liked visiting indian beach again. it’s small, not crowded and has tide pools to explore and surfers to watch. the last time i was there was with oakie.

i hope to make a handful of day trips to the coast with my kids this summer. if you live in portland and want to meet us there, leave a comment and i will put a list of e-mails together to let you know when we plan to do another day trip!

home is…at the oregon coast

strawberry fields and good beer

ryan’s sister and her family are visiting us this week.

they drove here all the way from rochester, new york!

you can see more about their travels on their blog halfway to somewhere.

on tuesday we took everybody out to kruger’s farm on sauvie island to do some strawberry picking.

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after working up an appetite (although, there may have been a few strawberries eaten) we headed over to hopworks urban brewery {i wrote about the hub in one of my very first blog posts} and ended up having the banquet room all to ourselves.

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to say that these cousins have fun together is an understatement!

when the kids have been at school and the cousins have been doing their own exploring, i have been busy making jam from the 20 pounds of strawberries we picked!

so far, i have made strawberry vanilla {from the book food in jars}, strawberry thyme, and strawberry basil!

this is my first time making strawberry jam and it is a lot of fun…i may sneak away to go strawberry picking by myself before the kids get out of school for the summer.

speaking of summer,  this is where we will be exploring…

  • sun river, oregon
  • rochester, new york
  • lake pend oreille, idaho
  • bella beach, oregon

stay tuned…

home is…adventures with cousins!

it’s the middle of may already?!

just a few photos of what we have been up to lately…

IMG_0441i am going to miss my days with her when she goes to school all day in the fall…

when she was an infant and the little guy was only 2 i remember thinking, “how am i going to get through everyday with them?”  and that the day would never come when they would both be in school full time. now, i am wondering, “how am i going to get through everyday without them?” and how did it get here so fast?

IMG_0452he still loves coffee…especially when i drink it outside in my favorite spot in the backyard…

IMG_0500the clubhouse is still a big hit…in this photo she was the police commander and they had a crime to solve…

IMG_0517the mild weather has been perfect for evenings filled with baseball…

IMG_0530also, due to the mild weather, the garden is going crazy…the elusive artichoke…

IMG_0535my happy place…

IMG_0538rhodies in the front garden…

IMG_0541i lightened up the mood in the playroom with this white granny square afghan…a thrifted find from a couple years ago…i also rainbowtized all the books…

IMG_0572fridays are for lacrosse…

DSC_0732he’s so tired by the end of the week, but he really likes lacrosse…

DSC_0739i can totally picture him as a goalie…

IMG_0582our first fishing morning of the season…the pink pole caught the first and only fish…

DSC_0769the little guy is so helpful…it’s amazing how they can actually fish on their own now…

DSC_0792there was a huge bullfrog under the dock…

IMG_0586we also saw two bald eagles defending their nest across the river…

IMG_0577baby girl had her mind set on a lemonade stand, so we made it happen…

IMG_0589it was a successful day…friends from the neighborhood (and all the way across town) came to get some…

IMG_0602i call this the best seat in the backyard…and it’s mine…

IMG_0630trying to get out with the dogs…this was the first of two runs on monday morning…odyssey is the best running buddy…

IMG_0633and, here’s crazy, i mean, rainy! she has some manners to learn and will be heading to “summer camp” in idaho soon!

we’ve got some special visitors coming in a couple of days…stay tuned!!

home is…full of springtime fun!


{spring break} operation bigger clubhouse

My parents came out to visit us over Spring Break. It was the first time my mom was able to travel on an airplane after having BOTH of her knees replaced last year! She has recovered amazingly and we had so much fun being active over the break!

One of the main highlights of the trip began after we all went to watch the little guys baseball practice on the morning after my parents arrived. Shortly after we got home, there were multiple trips to Home Depot to get supplies…to fix our large deck near the house…and upgrade where the old playhouse used to sit into a new “clubhouse” for the kids!

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We removed the railing from around the existing deck between the trees and started building walls on Saturday afternoon!

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Between Ryan’s deck project on our large deck and the project my dad and I were working on it was a flurry of activity in the backyard. My mom was helping out by keeping the kids entertained…which was so amazingly helpful.

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By the end of the day on Saturday, the walls were framed.

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By Monday morning, the roof supports were taking shape and we were measuring and cutting cedar fence boards to put on as siding!

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By Tuesday, Topher was putting the roof on and nailing the last finish pieces of trim onto the clubhouse.

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It was so much fun to work with my dad on this project for the kids.

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We made fires in the firepit almost everyday as we worked through the changing Oregon weather.

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We celebrated and played in the clubhouse the rest of the week after we returned from our other adventures.

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I have plans to paint the interior ceiling white and the interior walls a turquoise color.

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I will also add canvas curtains to the front entry and to cover the windows and the slide door.

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Until then, it’s ready for play!

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I am not going to write up a post about how we built this…it was a labor of love. However, I will say that I was inspired by and The Handmade Home’s Handmade Hideaway. Their posts were invaluable in showing my dad what I wanted to accomplish and helpful for us to figure out how to get it done.

Thank you, Topher, for helping me bring my dreams into reality. It was so awesome to work on this project with you!!

I will be sharing more details in the next weeks as I add more finishing touches…in fact, Ryan added an awesome touch last night that I will need to share with you!

home is…a labor of love.