Wednesday, 29 October 2014

a taste of fall

Well, since my last post, Fall has arrived for sure.  We've visited a pumpkin patch, new rain boots have been purchased, the garden furniture has been covered up, the grill cleaned and stored in the garage, and thoughts are turning to warm filling meals and cosy evenings home.  Goodbye summer - it was outstanding.  Welcome Fall and all the warm colors and equally warm dishes that you bring.




I love the colors of Fall (who doesn't?) but I'm not so keen on the rain that comes down in bucket loads here.  Walking the dog at 6.30am in the dark, enveloped in a layer of rain resistant clothing, Hunter boots and a scarf is not my idea of fun!

But on the upside, I'm loving the homemade soups and risottos, and red wine and hot chocolates - in no particular order!

Bring on Halloween (I say reluctantly!)

Thursday, 2 October 2014

endless summer

Just as we thought the summer was coming to an end - boom - we get a scorcher of a weekend and spent the whole day at the beach on Saturday, kids swimming in the Pacific ocean (which really was the warmest we'd ever found it) and squeezing out the last of the sun lotion too.  Playing Petanque and throwing a ball around.  Running along the beach with our dog and enjoying the blue sky and warmth of the sun.  Amazing and beautiful and we must have said 100 times "Wow, we are so lucky."

Last week with a few days of rainy grey skies I heard a number of Portland people say "How lovely, Fall is here".  "Isn't it great to have some rain."  Even "Let's hope summer doesn't return.".  Yes, Pacific North West people do love their Fall, changing of seasons, leaves the most amazing colors and the damp cool air.  But I am loving this elongated summer and I'm hanging onto every last one of those extra sun-filled days.











Monday, 8 September 2014

off to kindergarten


Back to School- Decor-Signs- 10 Free Kids Printables: The Creative Connections Features
Today was the day!  That first step out into the world of Big School.  She was so ready for this next step and all went smoothly and she came home just as happy as she did went she left.

The school bus, eating lunch in the 20 minutes they have, 3 recess breaks (quite the high-light!), music lesson, helping the teacher, writing out the month calender.  She did it all.

More than a few tears came to my eyes throughout the day thinking of her in her classroom.  Learning how it all works in class, listening, raising her hand, walking in line, waiting her turn, not burst into song every now and then (it can often feel like we live in an opera with this singing girl!).

She did great.  And I did great too!  Long may it continue!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

arty party

So my little girl is 'almost six'.  Not quite there yet, but good enough!  Her birthday falls on the back to school day and with Labor Day weekend just before, its not the best time for a birthday bash.  So this past Saturday we celebrated her 'Almost 6 Birthday' with 6 of her girl friends.

Arty Party was the theme.  Freestyle canvas painting to start with, then a color-by-numbers canvas painting followed with decorating little note books and bookmarks.  Arty activities were interspersed with bashing the life out of a butterfly piƱata (those girls are strong!), cake, photos and gift opening!  A fun (and not too messy!) time was had by all.

It's still beyond me that she is almost 6 and starting Kindergarten in a week's time!













Wednesday, 13 August 2014

summer road tripping part II - where there is water

As long as there is water nearby, my kids are happy.  Like 'Pigs in Mud' kind of happy!  When planning our summer road trip, these were the first things they asked.

"Is there a pool?"

"Can we swim in the sea?"

Well of course we couldn't have a vacation without it.

Here's a few photographs from our trip with them enjoying lakes, rivers, pools and the ocean, whether it was swimming, jumping, fishing or playing it it.











Happy Summer Days.

Friday, 8 August 2014

summer road tripping part I

Our family really loves a road trip.  A loaded up car.  Bikes on the back.  Box on the top.  Iphones with great playlists.  Movies loaded on iPads to keep kids going (eye spy only lasts a short time these days!). Not forgetting all kinds of snacks, candy and treats to pass those hours.

This year we headed to Northern California, coastal and inland.  Then to Southern and Central Oregon.  1800 miles.  4 overnight locations = 4 mini vacations.  A great mix of tent camping, a cabin by a lake and a couple of hotels (to ease that aching back from camping and to get a super hot shower and sleep in crispy clean white sheets - bliss!).

So much to see, do, experience and enjoy.  There is nothing like a road trip in the US.  The ease of driving makes such a difference.  Endless roads, many with just us travelling on them.  Amazing scenery - trees as far as the eye can see, crystal clear rivers, mountains, lakes and wildlife.  We've been swimming in lakes, rivers, the ocean and pools. The kiddos have tried to catch fish, crawfish, toad, chipmunks, gophers and tadpoles - the most successful was the crayfish when they caught enough for lunch on two days!

The kids have enough scrapes, bruises, blisters and tan lines to show they've really lived outdoors these past two weeks. Screens only during travelling time.  The rest of their days spent cycling, playing games in grassy campsites with newly made friends until the sun has set, trying to climb rocks or jump off them, making campfires, exploring rivers and lakes, toasting way too many marshmallows.  Great memories.

I hope you'll indulge me as I post more than enough photographs ….

First up…  A little town named Cottage Grove in Oregon.  Most well know for its six 'Covered Bridges'.  A perfect stop after 2.5 hours driving.  Lunch, a drive around the town finding the 6 covered bridges.  And a few rides at the fair ground.  There's also lots of murals painted on buildings which made turning every corner a surprise.

 

   

 








And then we moved onto the Redwoods and our first camp site at the coast…







To be continued ...


Hope your summer is going great and is filled with all good things.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

guest post over at The Bottom of the Ironing Basket




I was thrilled to be asked by Simone, who writes one of my very favorite blogs 'The Bottom of the Ironing Basket', if I'd like to contribute a Guest Post for her summer series 'Why I Live Where I Live'.

If you'd like to know a little more about me and my family and our moves between the UK, Netherlands and the USA, please pop over to The Bottom of the Ironing Basket.

Thank you.

Friday, 11 July 2014

summer in the city

So thankful that we have wonderful parks with fountains to cool off in.  With temperatures this past week are in the high 80s and hotter for the weekend and coming week, I think the kids will be spending plenty of time standing under these cool showers!




H A P P Y   S U N N Y   W E E K E N D

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

4th july rodeo and funfair



4th July at the St Paul Rodeo.  A real taste of Americana.  Even on the drive over, we had Bruce Springsteen on full blast and the Huzz and son were wearing their Stetsons in the car!

It's such a fun day.  The fabulous people watching opportunities, particularly the men, that wear their very best shirts, new boots, matching belts and of course a great Stetson.  Lots of rides on the fun fair for the kids.  BBQ'd pulled pork, ribs or spicy sausages.  And of course the rodeo itself, with those wild horses, brave riders, lasso skills and speed of the women riders.

Fireworks, stars and stripes everywhere and such a wonderful patriotic spirit makes this whole event such a feel good day.

We have so many photographs, that it was hard to pick which ones to post….  here's a few.















Hope you had a fabulous weekend.



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