summer 2015: 82/89

tomorrow is the first day of fall…in meteorological terms.

back in the day, meteorologists split the calendar up by months to distinguish the seasons.

meteorological summer is june, july, august.

meteorological autumn is september, october, november.

kind of logical, huh?

cooler temperatures are finally here in the pacific northwest after out hottest meteorological summer on record!


yesterday, i spent a lot of the day cleaning up the backyard from the windstorm that hit over the weekend. i also trimmed back my hanging baskets and would like to add some pansies and other flowers/plants that might make it through the winter.

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i cleaned off the outdoor chalkboard to get it ready for our annual first day of school photos which will happen in one week!


i am also preparing lists of all the projects that i have put off and really need to get done once both kids go back to school. i am sure i will find plenty of ways to fill my days without them!

although, it gets me a bit choked up knowing that i will be alone for almost 6 hours everyday for the first time in over eight years. i have had at least one sidekick with me everyday since july 2007!

the other day i told baby girl that i would miss her when she was at school. she looked at me funny and said, “But you’ll have Oddy and Rainy!”

she is super excited to start kindergarten at the same school as her brother. when i asked her what she is most excited about she said, “Making new friends!”

her brother, on the other hand, is not thrilled about going back to school, but i know he will be once he sees all his friends!

we have school supply drop off ton wednesday. we will also finally find out who they have for teachers. woo-hoo!

{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.

play outside every day

As you know we have been working on making our yard kid and family friendly this summer.

Our backyard was a clean slate as far as kids toys and activities were concerned. Up until this summer we got by with a few riding toys, a hose, some balls, and the dog water buckets.

This summer it changed.

I saw it coming last summer and had a plan in place. I knew what I wanted to do, but also knew I couldn’t get it done by myself.

You can see the progress of the plan here, here, here and here.

We have some professionals coming in a few weeks to finish the job, and I will post an update when they are done. I think it will take until next summer to really see how things turn out, but we are happy with the progress.

Our latest addition was an easy one that came from an idea I saw on Pinterest.

As I told you in this post, we don’t have a chalk friendly sidewalk or driveway at our house, so I have had to come up with other ideas.

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So, along with the sandwich board chalkboard, I also made a large 4′ x 4′ chalkboard that we hung up on the fence.

I bought a precut 4′ x 4′ piece of plywood, primed it, and painted it with chalkboard paint. Ryan hung it up on the fence with screws (we also added some extra blocking with a 1′ x 4′ where he attached it to the fence).

All we had to do was add chalk.

I think I will also hang some of the buckets of chalk like I did with the sandwich board.

It adds some fun to the backyard and is definitely nicer to look at than the fence. I also think we will be able to use it for some fun photo opportunities in the backyard!

home is…family friendly backyards!

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