a kitchen full of friends

This morning I hosted our weekly Friday playgroup.

It was our first playgroup since all of our oldest (except for Reece…he starts on Monday) started Kindergarten.

There were only six mommies this morning, but it still felt so nice to have my friends in my house talking, laughing, and supporting (there may have even been a few tears).

There were stories of hectic first mornings, continued struggles after a couple of days, and some super scary bus stories (that make me glad my little ones may not be able to ride a bus until middle school).

In the future, I am sure there will be stories of success, happiness, and new skills learned…but this was the first week.

We’ve had to change our timing to accommodate  new school schedules, and are thinking of adding in a monthly Friday Afternoon Happy Hour so the older kids (and husbands) can join us!

Our playgroup is evolving, as it has ever since we met each other 5 years ago sitting on the floor of a conference room in a building across the street from where all of our babies were born in the summer of 2007.

And, it is as much for us, as mommies, as it is for our kids.

Maybe, even more.

photos from {m}iphone

*photos from {m}iphone were taken using the Instagram app and put together in a collage using Picasa

home is…a kitchen full of friends.

working on it

So, I said it in my about page…I’m a procrastinator.

Yep, still don’t have our summer list done.

Actually, the list is done, but the display is not…and I’ve got to have it all ready for a blog post, right?

We have already crossed two items off the list…

5th annual playgroup birthday celebration

The first year (when all of our oldest turned one), it was 30 adults and 15 kids.

This year we had 26 adults and 26 kids (with one more due this month)!

One of the families lives on 5 awesome acres near wine country, apple orchards, and berry farms.

They graciously hosted the crew and it was fabulous!

Lala found this jumprope…

…and wouldn’t let it go.

And, we lucked out with June weather here in the Pacific Northwest…sunny and in the 70’s!

Bobo had a great time playing with some of his buddies and ran all over the place until he got blisters from his Batman Crocs!

It’s always fun to get the dad’s together with all of the kids.

The dad’s play with the kids, and , after 5 years, I think they know everybody’s name!

They all looked relaxed.

She finally played with the other kids after following me around for almost 2 hours.

Isn’t this outhouse awesome?!

We did it all potluck…the kids love the homemade cupcakes!

We sang Happy Birthday.

The kids shared their cupcakes with me.

This hammock was a hit with all the kids…Lala even wanted me to change her diaper on it!

I gave it a try and decided we need to get one for our backyard!

pool

Today we “officially” went to the pool.

Bobo had gone in a couple of times before his swim lessons, but today we packed a lunch, brought our beach towels, and all had our swimsuits on!

The kids has a blast!

So did I!

Actually, I didn’t sit around.

I got in the pool, went down the water slide multiple times, and left feeling like I had been on a mini vacation.

Sometimes, the easiest way to take care of kids is to act like one yourself!

colton+cadence

I made a fun graduation gift inspired by the theme of the graduation party we went to over the weekend.

I’m thinking about making more to put in the shop…so check it out later this week!

home is…working on our summer list.

thankful

So, this month we celebrate Thanksgiving.

There are countless ways to show gratitude.

I see friends and family members posting each day on Facebook, some have a special place to write it down and display thanks in their home during this month, and some write it in a journal everyday.

I have decided that I am going to let people know that I am thankful for them with a handwritten note that they will receive in their mailbox from the USPS!

I used to be good at writing thank you notes.

I used to love to pick up a special card for friends or family at a specialty card shop or the grocery store.

I’ve lost my touch.

So, I am going to write one note a day to a friend or family member to let them know how I am thankful for them.

I have already put 3 notes in the mail this week, so I am on my way…27 more to go!

By the way, how are you choosing to be thankful this month?

{Please share your ideas in a comment on this post}

One last thing…check back tomorrow for my 1st blog giveaway!

THANKS!!

home is…a handwritten thank you note.

fall, football, and friends

We enjoyed a fall weekend of football and friends.

On Friday we celebrated our 11 year anniversary by taking the kids to the local high school homecoming game. We met our neighbors there and the kids had a great time!

Saturday was filled with friends at our house to watch the Oregon vs Colorado game. There was a lot more fun going on outside than football watching going on inside.

Check back this week for the 1st giveaway on my blog!

Also, I hope to update you on the changes we made to our yard now that they are final…until we add more next spring!

Stay tuned…

home is…fall, my favorite season of all.

the farm chicks show

I didn’t write over the weekend because I was busy here

…having a lot of this…

…with my friend, Melissa.

We left Portland at noon on Friday and drove 6 hours to Spokane.

The sun was shining.

We stopped once to pee, once to get gas, and chatted the entire time.

I think it was the fastest 6 hours of my life.

We stayed at the historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane.

{The hotel deserves it’s own post, so I will write one later.}

We got our room, went downstairs for cocktails and dinner and went to bed so we could get up early to get in line for the show.

On Saturday morningwe were up and out of the hotel before 8 am with coffee and scones in hand.

There were already people lined up when we arrived at 8am.

Here is a map of the show and vendor names. {click on it to see it larger}

2011
We bought our tickets and stood in line for 2 hours until general admission was let in. Serena came by and handed us a map and said hello. I should have asked her to take a photo with us, but I am never good at that kind of thing.

Here she is talking to some men who were filming her at the show…

The show was huge, the vendors were great, displays were beautiful, and the other people from all over the country (and Canada) we so friendly.

I usually just bring my camera and take photos on one of these adventures with Melissa, but this time I planned to look for a couple of things…one of which was cowboy boots for the kids.

I found ’em.

I also found an old sign that reads “sunflowers” and an old chalkboard (you can see part of the sign in the photo below before I snatched it up).

I thought about buying this guy for Ryan…it’s a Blue Grouse. I didn’t. When I showed Ryan the photo he said I should have. I shouldn’t have second guessed myself. Next time I will be on the lookout for a Blue Grouse mount!

And, for some family in New York (you know who you are), if this sign hadn’t been $125 I would have bought it for you to put in your front yard(s).

We took one 3 hour cruise through the entire place in the morning, stuck our purchases out in the car, and went through again without our hands and bags full.  It took another 2 hours…and our hands and bags were full again!

Our feet were hurting from walking the concrete floors in out boots. {Of course we wore our boots!}

By 4 pm we were ready to head back to the Davenport for a cocktail and some dinner.

The rest of the evening was spent exploring the hotel and reading about it’s history.

After dinner we headed to the room to get some sleep to get back on the road to relieve our husbands from daddy duty.

We did stop at Chaps, which Serena highly recommends. I understand why. Super cute place with amazing food. We just got pastries and coffee to go, but it was worth the short drive out of our way to go!

 

On the way home the weather was perfect, we made awesome time, and we chatted the entire way. We discussed what we would do differently the next time…that topic deserves it’s own post, too!

In a nutshell, the weekend was well worth it. It was fun, inspiring, rejuvenating, and I will definitely be making future trips to Spokane for the Farm Chicks Show and otherwise!

Did you know that 5 years ago, in 2006, Ryan went to the Farm Chicks Show with me?!  I wonder if Ryan would rather stay at home with the kids alone for the weekend or go to the Farm Chicks Show? Hmmmm.

Hey, if you were at the show, leave a comment to let me know what your favorite part was, where you came from, and where you stayed! Also, if you have a blog and wrote a post about it, leave a link to your URL!

home is…a girls weekend at the Farm Chicks show!

{tuesdays with lola} lunch with the girls

This week it was actually a Wednesday with Lola.

I only took one photo.

We met a girl I knew in college who has recently moved to Portland for lunch in the Pearl.

Baby girl sat for 2 hours while my friend and I chatted.

2 HOURS!

In a high chair.

She was amazing.

Besides the 3 or 4 sugar packets that she poured out all over the table and the crayons on the floor she was an absolute angel.

She was just one of the girls out for lunch.

It was fun.

home is…lunch with the girls.