Thursday, April 30, 2009

Treehouse Love

I've always wanted a treehouse. I grew up wanting this particular treehouse. Mike and I went to Disney World on our honeymoon (cheesy, I know, but fun) and I was almost in real tears upon discovery that THE treehouse was no longer there. A word of warning: this is a long clip, but totally worth it for the end when they open the skylight.

Little Tate has apparently caught the bug. He talks all the time about HIS tree house. He has parents there (his tree house mother is rather permissive) and 100 brothers and a fridge full of his favorite foods. Here is one of my favorite drawings, even after Ellie scribbled on it.

Then, earlier this week, Tate caught a glimpse of the new, husband-built, tree house over at The Old Red Barn Co. and said "That looks just like MY tree house!" Dana claims it is for her girls, but I know it's really going to be a guesthouse for me.

Then, doesn't Melissa go and stitch up a Hoop of Dreams on, like, the VERY NEXT DAY?

(This one is for sale, by the way, and if you have never been over to Little Pink House now is seriously the time to do it. 'Cuz if you don't want that one, you might want this one. Or you can just ask her to make you one of your own. You'll like Melissa. Not only is she talented, but her name rhymes with mine and I am pretty sure we're going to rock a GRRRL band together in our retirement. Although, don't ask me what I am going to be retiring from.)

And THEN, Mike sees an article in Family Fun Magazine about this place in Oregon.
Out'n'About Treehouse Treesort LLC
& Treehouse Institute© of Arts and Culture
Takilma, Oregon

This has quickly risen to the top of my "I want to go to there" vacation places list. Um, a TREEHOUSE RESORT??? Probably the only kind of resort you'd ever catch me in!!!!!

Clearly, someone is trying to tell me something. I've been wanting to purchase this book by Jeanie and David Stiles for quite awhile now.

What, we don't have TIME to build a tree house right now?


Well, maybe I just need to go rent Swiss Family Robinson from the library. SIGH. I gotta get my fix somewhere.

Dana, is my bed ready yet? ;-)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Springtime Giveaway

So, my friend Summer, over at Artfulife, is hosting a little spring giveaway. There is a darling "package" up for grabs with some loveliness from Summer and TaMs and Mt. Rose 431 Shop and Art Nest. It's some good stuff people, so go check it out. Just don't go thinking you're going to win, 'cuz it's mine, all mine.

Walking Mad Lib

Tate's gem this morning: "I can't control the pants (insert some robotic noises here); the pants just control me!"

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Warrior

The weekend was good. After a cold and rather miserable week and a lot of running around taking all three kids to free Splash Week at the local YMCA, the weekend was just the thing. Warm, mostly sunny with a bit of rain (The grass seed in the front lawn needs help. Please, oh please grow and cover the dirt and moss) I could hardly complain about a thing. And somewhere along the way, Spring REALLY arrived.

We were outside all weekend.
Getting dirty

And getting things done.

I believe I can safely say that Laundry on the Line season has officially begun.

Really, this was all just what I needed after a bit of post-vacation letdown. I am even okay with the mess inside today because I feel like we got so much accomplished OUT. I did begin to worry that I was developing some sort of OCD for pulling maple seedlings though. For every one I pulled, there were ten more I spotted nearby. I pulled HUNDREDS of them and there are still more waiting. In fact, there is a lot of outdoor work waiting. But I now have a decently picked up breezeway, a somewhat raked up lawn in the back and Mike cut down some more of the ugly bushes along the side of the house. Thankfully, I believe that is helping with the ant "problem" and the guys are coming today to quote about the glass block basement windows. Why is NOTHING in an older house a standard size??? Yeah, there is a lot to do. Sometimes I get really caught up in what ISN'T done and really worried about how we will ever do any of it and really impatient for it to already be a gorgeous outdoor oasis, but not today.

Today I'm off to a good start and I'm off to enjoy this hot, sunny day and to get my sheets hung out on that line.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Some More Things to Not Forget

Before we took off on our journey, my sweet friend Kelly brought these treats by for the whole family.....aren't they cute? We saved them and indulged when we got to the beach house and when I say indulged, I MEAN it: thick fudge brownies, covered in caramel, covered in white chocolate! Ooh MY! There is no way I could even eat my whole flower, but the kids CHOWED.

We stayed at a hotel in Virginia on the way down. We thought a stop about halfway wasn't a bad idea, as we didn't really know how the kids would do. I don't know if it was necessary. On the ride home, we just drove straight through. But the kids LOVED every minute of it. A building full of rooms? Fantastic! A room with it's own tv and bathroom? Double fantastic! Our own coffee maker and microwave in said room? Ridiculously fun in spite of the fact that they don't drink coffee and no longer know what a microwave is! You would have thought we were hanging out at the Ritz rather than a Holiday Inn Express. What? You say there is a POOL inside the building??? LET'S GO! The kids wrestled and jumped on the beds and were just generally giddy.

My Easter-basket pencil rolls were a big hit. Somehow managed not to get a picture of Tate's (darker stripes with dinosaur liner), but they are still using them.... especially Cal who is really starting to dig drawing. Fun, I love it. I filled them with Crayola twistable colored pencils, even though the idea of the wasted plastic kind of annoys me, they are perfect for little ones as they don't have to be sharpened. I did decide that were I to make these for an older child, I would add a spot for a sharpener, because nobody likes a dull pencil.

Kites on the beach were a big hit with the little boys... and the big ones (by which I mean both the teenagers and the Daddies and Uncles)

If you look closely at this picture, there is a small paper airplane caught in the bottom of the rails. It was incredible the amount of time that making paper airplanes and tossing them up into the loft and back down kept the boys (again, I am referring to ALL ages here) amused. I admit, I threw a few myself.

In my opinion, a "bubble tub" required a few more jets than this one had hitting my neck and back. Calvin, Tate and Ellerie could have cared less.

Oh, and Mike and I went too.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oceanside Withdrawal

We've been back for a few days now and I must admit I am going through a bit of withdrawal from communal living at the beach. The week was wonderful and, in spite of the fact that I could have stood it to be about 10 degrees warmer, was quite a little slice of Heaven. Family all around to share the fun and the work, time to relax and play and to enjoy each other and the view. Really, what more could you ask for in this world?

Our days were cool, but lovely and they all ended with a sandy sort of goodness. The kids were all almost unbelievably good and were in love with all their big cousins and aunts and uncles and Grandma and Grandpa, so we hardly needed to even take care of them. Even the car rides were tolerable.

On Easter Sunday, we were bushed and didn't make it up in time for the sunrise service down the beach with the rest of my family. But Tate and I watched the sun come up from inside the house and I think that was just as important and meaningful to me.

I have way too many pictures and all of these are jumbly... a little like the thoughts in my head right now of what I want to take away from this, what I need to remember.

Walks on the beach through the sand or letting the cold water slip over our toes.

Chilly wind blowing off the waves and driving us to blankets in the dunes to toast in the sun.

Time with Daddy making things in the sand and archeological digs to China (or at least to sea level) with the big boys.

Searches for shells that littered the beach like jewels each day scattered by God's own hand. A daily treasure hunt for whatever appealed to each of us: color, shape, perfection, broken bits of something intriguing, followed by a lesson from Uncle Shawn at the microscope.

Crosswords with coffee in the morning and later for a break from the outside.

Mini-golf: a discovery by my boys that was dubbed Cal's favorite part of vacation and has since become a daily whine of "You HAVE to take me to mini-golf!!! PLEEEAAAASE!!!!" Tate, ever Mr. Independent, shunned our help with his grip and developed his own handling of his putter that lead to a sweeping technique rather more like curling.

Beautiful, peaceful sights and sounds, dolphins and surfers and fishing boats in the distance.

A sweet pace to our days, played out to the rhythm of the surf and

the sun on our faces and

happily tired days that I did not want to end.

Thank you so much to my generous and incredible family and to my sweet nieces and nephews who hung out with the little ones and gave us all a time that we won't soon forget. I am savoring this for now, but a little part of me is itching for that again. A happy goal and sweet plans for "somedays" that dance in my head when I let them are enough for now, but I miss the sand in my toes.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Going on Holiday

Well, we are off on our beach holiday in less than two days.  To say that I have some stress is a small understatement, but I work well under pressure.  Or, at least I actually work under pressure....  Today I am continuing to try to pack for us all and create a pile of stuff to be somehow crammed in the van and organized in some slightly accessible manner.  Yeah, I'm stressed.

Tate, however, has been packed for DAYS.  Here is his suitcase:

Shirts?  Check... 2.
Band-aids? um... oddly, check.
Underwear? Check... 2.
Sunblock?  Check... 1 stick.
Homemade cardboard TV?  Absolutely, CHECK.
Water-bottle? Check.

I'd say unless he feels a need for pants at some point, he's good to go!

Let's just hope with my EXTREMELY organized packing methods, we don't all end up with no pants!  Happy week (or so) to you all!  I'll be back.

I think.

Oh... this is going to be GOOOOOOD!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Little Bird

Really, I do not know how our kids got so incredibly gorgeous.  I mean, Mike and I are alright, I guess, but these babes are just as perfect as can be :-)

Over the weekend, we celebrated Elliebelle's birthday at Nana Sue and Papa Paul's with the Great-Grandmas as well.  Ellerie was darling as can be, happily wearing her crown for, oh, at least 5 minutes so we could get pictures, and taking her job as birthday girl quite seriously.  

She was, of course, incredibly spoiled with gifts and love... which is a rather good way to spend a birthday, I'd say.

The boys got in on the action too and helped her by only STARTING to rip the paper for her.  Really.  They were actually very good.  

Elle,  you really are such a funny little girl.  Meg once compared you to Lucille Ball, and more and more I think she was on to something.  You are very funny, animated and interesting, even at two.  I can't wait to see where that takes you!

One of Ellerie's gifts was some dress-up tub animals, so Tate decided that he was VERY dirty in the middle of the day.

Speaking of very dirty....  somehow the pics of before cake and after cake are not in the right order, but I am not going back to try to fix it now.  

Happy Birthday Ellie!  There's more to come today :-)

Along with Ellerie's birthday, Nana snuck in Easter as we will be gone with the other grandparents by next weekend.  Drat, some more of my pics are missing, oh well.  The 131-egg hunt was a grand success.

Even Ellerie held her own!

Oh Ellie, dear, enjoy being two... it all spills so quickly into the next year.  Happy birthday, Little Bird!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Foolin'

I'm not really a fan of pranks (or, at the very least, I am too lazy to pull one off), but April is National Poetry Month so I will greet it with my very favorite poem.

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white 

by William Carlos Williams