’tis the season

tis the season

We’re kind of confusing holidays around here.

Thanksgiving is really my favorite holiday.

I love what it is about.

Being thankful.

Family.

Friends.

Food.

Football.

However, there’s not much fun in the decorating.

I love to decorate for fall, but by the end of November I am ready for Christmas decor!

And, the kids get more excited about Christmas decorations and crafts than they do about turkeys.

So, a couple more days of confusing our holidays and then we will be in the full Christmas swing of things.

Of course, after we are thankful.

No matter what, we will be jolly.

home is…celebrating the season.

 

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fall backyard movie night

Our First Annual Fall Backyard Movie Night was a great success!

We showed the classic 1966 Peanuts special, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

Friends.

Fall decorations.

Hot chocolate and apple cider.

A blazing fire.

Lots of kids.

A basket of blankets.

The big screen.

Popcorn.

These faces.

A happy scene in my happy place.

home is…a celebration of fall with friends and neighbors.

super

We celebrated Reece’s birthday with friends on Saturday. It was a long awaited, talked about, and planned for party. We had a 1st birthday party for Reece in 2008, but since then we have not had a party for him.

This year, he wanted to have a party…

and, it was super.

As friends entered the house they were greeted by this…

I made the capes, they just added the decorations.

After the kids decorated their capes, the rest of the party was outside.

The tattoos were a hit.

It was so fun to see our yard decorated for the party and full of friends.

After some play and snacking it was time for the superheroes to save the day!

I love the look on Reece’s face as he’s watching the piñata be destroyed!

Everybody is ready to run for the loot…

The piñata was filled with superhero stickers, pencils, erasers, and fruit snacks.

The kids played for a little bit after the piñata.

One of the favorite places was the Batcave.

I threw some glow sticks under there for the kids to find. The girls took it over as their hideout…

Aren’t they all so pretty?

Cake was next on the agenda…

I have to admit, I did not cook a thing for this party. I bought the cake and put some of Reece’s superhero action figures on top.

Snacks were pretzels, popcorn, snack mix, and cheese puffs in buckets with paper bags for the kids to fill.

Drink choices were gatorade or water…and beer for the adults.

Finally, on to the gifts. The party was small enough that we could open the gifts during the party…and it was another “activity” for everybody to participate in.

Ryan was “warned” about the swarming that happens once gift opening begins…this is his reaction and description of actually seeing it happen!

Ryan was in charge of activities so I could take photos. He did an awesome job of keeping things under control.

Again, LOVED seeing friends filling our yard.

It was a super party.

Thank you to all the “Super Friends” who helped to make the day special!

I’ll be posting some of the details about the capes, bunting, invitations, piñata, and other homemade decorations in the coming days.

home is…a super celebration for our five year old!

gone fishin’

Ryan gathered some of his buddies and their kids and took them fishing on Saturday.

It’s one of our favorite morning activities during the summer.

The river is just minutes from our house.

Crawfish, Bass, Carp…it really doesn’t matter what you are catching.

Baby girl and I brought some crumb cake and coffee and just watched the action.

home is…sharing fun with friends.

so lucky

Oh, it’s been a week.

The good news is that right now everybody is resting.

This guy has been really sick…

emergency vet sick.

We’ll find out more when we go to our regular vet tomorrow morning.

I’m exhausted.

I was up 3 nights with Ben when he was sick…including Saturday night from 1 am on.

The good news is that we all slept through the night last night.

Ben is no longer vomiting.

I had a few hours to myself last night when the kids were at our health club for a party.

I got some things done around the house (one of which was cleaning up my craft closet).

It snowed for brief periods today…and was sunny…and rained…and was just cloudy and cold.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Despite all the rough stuff going on, we still managed to have some fun last week!

Spring is trying to show up around here…

So we play outside whenever we get the chance…even if it is snowing!

And, my friends have been amazing offering to help me out with Ben or the kids while Ryan is traveling.

Thank you all for your prayers, positive energy, and offers to help.

Did I mention I am…

 home is…a little luck.

impromptu idaho

I mentioned yesterday that we took a road trip to Idaho over the weekend.

Just about 12 years ago Ryan made contact with Mike Gould. Ryan was looking for a hunting dog and had read Mike’s book, The Labrador Shooting Dog. One night when we were having dinner at a friend’s house they pulled the book out, called information, and asked for Mike Gould’s number in Kamiah, Idaho.

Mike answered the phone and Ryan spent about an hour talking to him about a dog. Soon after that Ryan sent Mike a long letter about what he would like to see in a hunting dog. Ryan and Mike talked on the phone weekly, and by March of 2000 we were on our way to Utah on a quick road trip to pick up our Grand River lab, Ben.

Through the years we drove up to Idaho from Colorado multiple times a year. We spent hours driving the logging roads, talking about hunting, nature and dogs.

By 2004 we had 3 Grand River labs. At the beginning of May 2004, Oak (our female) had a litter of four puppies in our garage. We had 7 Grand River labs living in our small house near Cherry Creek in Denver.

One of the reasons we moved to Portland was to be closer to Idaho.

Something about our drives and visits to Idaho make it feel like home.

I’d have to say it is one of my happiest places on earth.

The little guy made his first trip to Idaho when he was less than 3 months old. We have spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with Mike and the friends we have made there.

Every fall Mike hosts a Grand River Seminar in Kamiah, Idaho. It had been 3 years since we had been to one. In fact, the last one we went to I was pregnant and we told everybody there before anybody else in our family knew…mainly because I wasn’t drinking beer around the campfire like I usually do. {I miscarried a month later, but that’s another story}

It was about time to make a visit to Kamiah.

Ryan had been trying to figure out how he could make it work. He was going to fly out there alone. He was going to drive out with Odyssey. He was going to fly out with Reece. Finally after we calculated how much time it would take to fly and drive (from Spokane or Lewiston) we figured we could drive out there in the same amount of time…and ALL of us could go.

So, on Friday night while I took the little guy to a birthday party Ryan packed up food and supplies for our road trip.

We left Portland for Kamiah Saturday morning at 5 am.

We arrived at the seminar (after checking into our cabin at the Lewis and Clark Resort) around 1:30 pm.

The little guy did NOT want to go to Idaho on Saturday morning.

On Sunday morning he did NOT want to leave.

The property that the seminar was held on was FULL of fruit trees…some wild, some planted on purpose at some point.

Apples, pears, plums (we picked 3 different kinds).

The kids and I drove back to the cabin around 9 pm…Ryan finally made it back after 1 am. I am glad he had the time to catch up with all the guys.

After eating breakfast by the campfire we visited with friends for a bit longer and then got back on the road.

The kids earned some new toys for being so good.

We could hear geese down on the river, so they guys started calling.

We left Kamiah for Portland Sunday morning at 11:30 am.

And, made it back home just in time for baths and a good night sleep.

It was well worth the 15 hours of driving for the time spent with friends…new and old.

And, here is my favorite series of photos from the trip.

Our good friend, Dr. Duck, made quick friends with baby girl by helping her with her shoe after it fell off.

home is…dropping everything to go on an adventure with our little family to see great friends.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that the little guy played baseball during a lull in the afternoon. Man, he was hitting the ball HARD and far. All the guys at the seminar were really impressed with his left-handed hitting skills…I think we have an athlete on our hands! I wish I had taken pictures of it…I think I was making a run back to the cabin for a diaper, or down to the store for M&M’s!