{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.

march madness

the adorable bunny garland below {i know it’s blurry in the photo…but it is awesome}, my friend kelly made it. she has an etsy shop and you should go check it out! {she also made some awesome tooth fairy pillows that the kids LOVE}
IMG_9380 we are looking forward to a visit from my parents over spring break…hoping we get some dry weather for some fun adventures! IMG_9333 these monkeys sit in a tree in our neighborhood. no, they are not real. someday, it would be interesting to find out the story behind why they are there. IMG_9336 the grass is free, trees are getting leaves, and flowers are blooming! IMG_9362 baby girl loves her puppies. IMG_9368 i was privileged to sew a special birthday shirt for a little boy who turned one year old yesterday. {you can see more about the baby shower i co-hosted for him here} IMG_9398 the little guy started baseball this month…single a baseball. this year he will also play lacrosse…he’ll have to pick one spring sport eventually. IMG_9424 i made lip balm with organic coconut oil,  organic beeswax, and young living essential oils. i made 21 tubes…and still have tons of supplies (beeswax and coconut oil) leftover to make more! thinking i might host a “make and take”  with young living products at my house…anybody local interested?! IMG_9449 rainbow definitely adds a lot to our lives…fun and messes! she is the first to wake up every morning and when she hears the kids voices she races up the stairs whining for them. she adores these kids…and they adore her. it is so awesome to think that she will be the dog that they grow up with.  IMG_9477 ryan brought home jelly beans, and i thought they looked pretty in my vintage chicken bowl. IMG_9496 baby girl and i set up an elaborate leprechaun trap the other night, but he was a sneaky leprechaun… IMG_9497 he tried to get away with the gold, played with the play dough we left, and brought the bunny and turtle into the trap with him! IMG_9498 he also made himself some hot chocolate! IMG_9499 we made a ladder out of xylophones…we figured he would like the rainbows and think there was gold at the end! IMG_9500 he did leave breakfast and goodies for the kiddos, though! we hope to get to the coast, mt. hood, and the tulip farm next week! stay tuned… home is…an update with blurry photos from my iPhone.

for the love of the world

ryan’s mom is great at sending the kids postcards.

most recently, she sent a postcard to lorelai with a beautiful poem.

yesterday, lorelai drew a fabulous self portrait with rainy and hobbes.

i felt like the poem and the self portrait belonged together.

for the love of the world

home is…kids artwork.

pinning for love

This morning I’ve been pinning ideas for valentine’s day crafts and homemade valentines for the kids to give to their friends.

I am not sure what we will end up going with this year, but I thought I would share the ideas we used the last two years…

2014

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2013

color my world 8{click on the photo for the original post}

You can also visit my valentines day pinterest board for more no candy valentines ideas.

home is…getting the creative juices flowing.

the perfect mason jar tumbler…and a coupon code

If you know me in real life you have probably seen me carrying around one of these…

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My friend, Erin, {@tweetpotatopie on IG…go follow her feed…it’s gorgeous and she is so creative} has created the perfect vintage mason jar tumblers complete with glass straws and lids.

These are NOT the reproduction mason jars…they are the real vintage jars!

Her etsy shop is now FULL of tumblers perfect for holiday gift giving. Think hostess gift, teachers gift, or a gift for yourself!

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For this new batch she has teamed up with the mason bar company who is now supplying the lids!

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She has even added gorgeous hand-decorated burlap bags perfect to use for your gift giving.

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And, even better?! She has given me a coupon code to share with YOU! Use the code “stephanylove15” to get 15% off your order of $10 or more!

Go, now. Shop. Give handmade. And, buy one for yourself, you won’t regret it!

homeis…using stephanylove15 at tweetpotatopie.etsy.com to save 15% on your order of $10 or more.

first friday of fall

Just a bit of random for this first friday of fall…

their personalities

This photo captures their personalities perfectly…

  • she: little miss happy
  • he: mr. serious

their personalities

glow

I leave the blinds open and the lights on in our front room a little past dark these days. I love looking in at the warm glow of houses.

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in print

You can find  my Globe Pendant Light tutorial in the October 2014 issue of Old House Journal. {just click on the link or photo to see the online version}

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little guy & mommy day

We don’t get a ton of one-on- one time, so when he has a day off from school when baby girl is in school I try to make it extra special.

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We visited the brand new Cabela’s store just a few miles from our house. Believe me, he was more excited than he looks in the photo…just a little overwhelmed by all the stuff to look at!

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Then off to the farms.

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We stopped for apples and pumpkins.

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He is a super cool kid to be around…especially one-on-one. I am really having a fun time watching him grow up.

31 days

Next month I am joining a writing challenge that was started by The Nester. For 31 days I will write everyday about second hand, created, or thrifted items in our home…that you can create or find for your home, too!

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Join me beginning October 1st everyday through the month of October!

We’re headed to the local high school Homecoming Parade and Football game tonight. A little Friday Night Lights on this First Friday of Fall.

home is…some random fun on this first day of fall.

{milestones} baby girl is five

We celebrated baby girl’s fifth birthday recently.

Five.

My BABY is FIVE.

She is full of life.

One of the most positive people I know.

For instance, at a recent family vacation to the oregon coast she said, “Good thing it was a great day for flying kites at the beach!”

She can be moody, but she always finds the good in things.

I hope she never loses that.

She loves to play games that she makes up. Recently, its been “family” with dolls, but she makes up all kinds of games to play on her own, with friends, with one of us, and especially her brother.

She adores her brother and loves to play the games that he plays. He’s not always interested in playing with her dolls, but she is always up for playing Minecraft, Mario Brothers, or any of the games that her brother loves. 

She is strong and sensitive.

She’s silly and loving.

She is social when she feels comfortable, which means she talks my arm off all day long.

She has become a lot more independent this year and doesn’t cling to my leg everywhere we go, but can still be very timid with the unknown.

She’s always been my girl and tells me all day long how much she loves me.

She humors me and poses for all the photos I ask to take of her. Goodness is she is photogenic.

She loves to draw pictures and do all sorts of crafts.

Recently, on one of the games she plays on the computer, she has figured out how to use the shapes to create cards for us…she created a Minecraft card for her brother and many cards for me that, in her words, “tell you I love you”.

She swims, scooters, climbs, runs, digs in the dirt, skis, plays sports with her brother, twirls, dances, and sleeps ALWAYS in a skirt.

Everyday she wears a skirt. This year has been the year of the long dresses and skirts.

She is all girl, but in her own very special way.

She will ALWAYS be my baby.

I love you baby girl.

baby girl is five

I asked her the same questions that I asked her brother this year on his seventh birthday to get a feel for how SHE feels at five:

  • favorite color: all the rainbow colors
  • favorite toy: puppy and peppa pig
  • favorite t.v. show: peppa pig and tom & jerry
  • favorite game: mario brothers and candy land
  • favorite snack: fried cheese sticks
  • favorite animal: puppy
  • favorite holiday: christmas and easter
  • favorite book: little house in the big woods, my bible, and goodnight moon
  • favorite song: let it go
  • what do you take to bed: puppy
  • favorite food: fried cheese sticks
  • favorite thing to do outside: swim at the pool
  • what do you want to be when you grow up: a kid that has real wings that can fit through the door
  • what are you most grateful for: mommy and puppy
  • favorite part of the day: when reece comes home and playing with all my toys
  • what makes you happy: my family
  • what are you scared of: the dark
  • what makes me special: because i’m thoughtful

To be part of her life EVERYDAY and watch her become her own person is one of the biggest joys of my life.

home is…five of the most rewarding years of my life. 

baby girl said

We are playing Candyland, which Lorelai always wins, so we call her the “Candy Queen”.

In the middle of our second game Lorelai asks, “What are you the queen of?”

I say, “I don’t know.”

She yells, “I know! You’re the “Queen of drinking wine and coffee!”

 

eating a rainbow

this is not a foodie blog.

HOWEVER…

we like to eat.

we like to eat healthy.

we like to cook.

we like to try new things.

now that our summer has slowed down a bit, we are enjoying slow mornings, unplanned weekends, and finds in our garden and the local produce stands.

which leads to trying new recipes and, although the days are warm, time spent over a stove for canning of fresh produce.

first things first, we are trying to introduce our kids to more adventurous foods…meaning vegetables.

so, i tried feeding them a rainbow.

they love earning a treat, so they had to try every color to get ice cream.

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i made sure to include some foods that i knew they would eat, but some that they would need to “try”.

it ended up that baby girl really loves avocado, and the little guy was willing to try everything on the plate.

so, i tried it again…

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i knew baby girl would eat her newly “liked” avocado, so i added it to her plate along with the strawberries, carrots, mango, pineapple, broccoli, and blueberries (along with chicken nuggets) that she would eat.

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the little guy, a little bit more set in his ways, received blackberries, which he requested, added to his plate.

once again, they did great eating some of each color and asking for seconds of their favorites.

another key was small portions. if there is just a couple of bites of each food on the plate it is not as intimidating…and they can always ask for more.

while i am not going to serve their dinner like this every night, it is a fun way to get them to try new foods.

i’ll be back soon with a garden tour, and some of the canning recipes i have tried!

home is…ROY G BIV!

 

a day at the fishin’ hole

today i got to spend the morning fishing with a bunch of kindergartners and it was perfect…well, almost.

there was one kid who fell in the water. he was in our group. luckily, he just got wet. the teacher wasn’t surprised.

the little guy rode the school bus for the very first time and liked it. he was nervous, but got right on and waved from the window when we arrived at the fishing hole. {although, he did tell me that he will only ride school buses on field trips until he is in college}

sunshine and blue skies overhead, jumping fish, and happy kids.

our group of three boys each caught a fish.

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the mom leading our group was, obviously, a fisherwoman. between the two of us we had no problem baiting the hook, casting the line, holding the fish, and getting the hooks out of the mouths. so much fun!!

the boys were as patient as three kindergarten boys will be. luckily, there were salamanders to look for, osprey overhead, and other groups to compare fish with!

they eagerly watched the fish get cleaned and were excited to take them home. {the pond is stocked with trout and there is no catch and release}

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baby girl came along and had just as much fun watching the boys and playing with all the kids. i can’t wait to go again with her in two years!

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i absolutely love being able to be a part of these opportunities with them. i am one blessed momma.

home is…a sunny day at the fishin’ hole.