Monthly Archives: June 2010

Tent-acular!

We have a camping trip coming up, and wanted to get a new tent to give the four of us plenty of room to sleep, play, get dressed, etc. We wanted one that was not too expensive, but had more room than our previous four-person dome tent (which was barely big enough for us when it was just Rebecca, Catherine and I camping). So we did some research, and ended up buying this Coleman WeatherMaster Screened 6 Tent. Luckily it was on sale for cheaper than it’s listed now, and we had a number of Amazon gift cards to redeem!

The tent arrived earlier this week, and we set it up in our backyard last night! Here is a photo of the tent mostly set up (without the rain fly):

The Tent

The Tent

One great thing about this tent is that, due to its “cabin” design, there is plenty of head room inside. I can actually stand upright and walk through the whole tent! It also has a room divider so we can have two separate rooms for sleeping. And it has a screen porch so that we can sit in the sun with a little bit of protection from flies. It also has a cool rigid, hinged door that opens and closes easily for quick entry/exit.

We are looking forward to putting it through its paces on our camping trip! You can see some more photos of the setup process in the New Tent gallery.

Father’s Day Weekend

It’s been a great but exhausting Father’s Day weekend! I have spent a ton of quality time with my family, doing all sorts of things!

Friday, after I got home from work, I went out and got some Thai food for dinner (Siam Delight, of course). After eating dinner, we drove up to Rockport to visit Halibut Point State Park. We had a nice, tiring time hiking around there and seeing the beautiful scenery.

The Girls

The Girls

You can view more photos of our adventure in the Halibut Point gallery.

On Saturday, after heroically rescuing Mama who had suffered a flat tire on her bike ride, Catherine and I went out to Home Depot and picked up some supplies I needed for a few projects around the house. One of the gutters had some spikes that had popped out, and I got a set of gutter screws and ferrules to replace them and create a better hold for the gutter. I also got a strip of metal to make a nice transition between the flooring in our laundry area and the flooring in our new family closet. When I got home, I worked on these projects (both successful) while the girls worked on making some strawberry jam and a strawberry rhubarb pie.

Saturday night, we ate dinner at Qdoba. They had provided a BOGO coupon for Father’s Day weekend, and while we’re much bigger fans of Chipotle, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for one free entree. At home we enjoyed the strawberry rhubarb pie that Rebecca had made. Mmmm… delicious.

Sunday morning, I received some great Father’s Day gifts! I got a Nikon DSLR Mode Dial decal for my MacBook Pro (by Suzie Automatic):

DSLR Decal

DSLR Decal

I also got a new tin of shaving soap (by Ethically Engineered):

Shaving Soap

Shaving Soap

And I got another book in the series of attempts to build up a library of children’s books that refer to fathers as “Papa:” “I Love You, Papa, In All Kinds Of Weather.” I have the sweetest and most thoughtful wife and kids! 🙂

Also in the “Papa” vein, I received a picture frame with “Papa’s Pride and Joy” printed on it, to be filled with a favorite photo of my favorite girls.

On Sunday after church, we drove up to Portsmouth, NH. We had lunch at Dos Amigos Burritos, a favorite of Rebecca’s from when she worked at Strawbery Banke. After lunch, we boarded the M/V Thomas Laighton of the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company for a Father’s Day cruise! The cruise lasted three hours, and took us around Portsmouth Harbor, and then nine miles out to sea to the Isles of Shoals, a group of small islands on the border of Maine and New Hampshire. We hadn’t been out to the Isles of Shoals before, so it was a very cool experience. The boat was somewhat similar to the Island Queen which we occasionally take to Martha’s Vineyard.

Isles of Shoals Lighthouse

Isles of Shoals Lighthouse

Of particular interest to me was Star Island, which is owned by the Star Island Corporation (which, frankly, sounds like something out of LOST or some other science fiction series). The corporation runs a conference center, mainly catering to religious groups such as the UCC and UU churches, but also open to other conferences (in particular, I noticed a digital photography workshop scheduled there later this year… hmm…).

You can see all of the photos from Portsmouth and the Isles of Shoals cruise.

It’s hard to believe, but this is my fifth Father’s Day! This has been the best one so far. I am so fortunate to have two great girls – funny, clever, creative, loving, caring. And to have a wife who is also a great mother and very supportive of my fathering. I’m looking forward to many more Father’s Days, and many more days, weeks, months and years with my family! I love you girls!

Papa, Catherine (and Esme!!)

Papa, Catherine (and Esme!!)

Family Closet

Some time around the new year I got it into my head that we should have a family closet. One space for all our clothes, nicely organized, easy to access and, most importantly, close to our washer and dryer. Inspired by the Duggars, I set to work planning such a space in our house. Fortunately for me, we had a bit of space that would be perfect- the back corner of our basement, currently being used as a storage room. Unfortunately for me, the room was a) not a ‘finished’ room and b) was full of ‘storage’.

We spent the first few months of the year discussing and dreaming and researching the idea of a family closet. There’s not a whole lot out there on the topic, but we did find this site as well as checking out photos of the Duggar’s closet. We don’t need to store as many clothes as they do, but I’m sure you get the idea!

As we researched we brainstormed reasons that we wanted to rethink our current clothes storage situation

  • Our bedrooms are small and the bureaus are taking up precious space better used for other purposes
  • Getting clean clothes put away was bothersome due to varied sleeping schedules and distance from the laundry area
  • Collecting up dirty clothes was tedious
  • Clothes were disorganized and hard to access in too small closets and too dark bedrooms
  • Laundry for four people was multiplying and taking over, we had no clear plan to manage the piles.

In May we took the plunge and started the remodel. We took everything out of the storage room and piled it in the living room. It was an embarrassing amount of stuff. Over the next week or two we went through each and every box and pile and consolidated, freecycled, donated, tossed, or moved to the attic every last bit of it. Phew!

My Dad and Corey came at the beginning of June and put drywall on the wall that needed it, put down subflooring and flooring and cut and installed the baseboard trim. Peter and Catherine primed and painted the room white. I served as forewoman making important decisions and making helpful comments like, “I would sure help with all that heavy lifting, but, darn, I have this baby to nurse and this backyard wading pool to lifeguard…”

We’ve just finished moving everything in. The storage items that made the cut have been put back on the shelving unit just inside the door. Paint and other tools and such are tucked under the staircase. The two bureaus from the bedrooms have been tucked into their own corners and filled with our, recently sorted, clothes. There’s a rack (and a pipe in the ceiling) for our hanging clothes and some other organizers here and there. With the addition of a braided rug from my parent’s attic, we now have a cozy little place to get dressed and fold laundry.

Though we’re still in the honeymoon phase, we’re optimistic about our new setup. Some of the benefits we’re hoping to reap from the change

  • Dirty laundry all in one place
  • Quick and easy transfer of clean laundry from line or dryer to drawers
  • Brightly lit room means it’s easier to find what you want
  • Peter can dress in the morning without waking anyone else
  • We can see all of our stuff clearly which means we won’t buy duplicates and can easily purge what we aren’t wearing
  • Room upstairs to shuffle some other furniture around and some ‘breathing space’ in our bedrooms

There are a few more photos of the room and it’s progression in this gallery. Check them out and come back here with your questions and comments. We love a good discussion here at World Wide Wood!

Memorial Day and Catherine’s Birthday

Over Memorial Day weekend, we visited Martha’s Vineyard and celebrated Catherine’s birthday. Rebecca’s parents have a cottage on the Vineyard, and having a celebration of Catherine’s birthday there has become a tradition.

While we were staying on the Vineyard, I did a lot of reading, Rebecca did a lot of bicycling, and Catherine and Esme did a lot of playing. I took the girls to the playground a few times, Rebecca and I went out for lunch at the Plane View Restaurant, we had some delicious home-cooked meals and enjoyed great hospitality thanks to Ken and Dianne.

The highlight of the weekend was Catherine’s birthday party on Sunday afternoon. We had some friends from the campground come over. There were balloon animals, rocket balloons, bubble wands and bubble guns, butterfly cake, and many laughs.

Catherine at her party

I also enjoyed a ‘digital vacation’ of sorts, thanks to inspiration from Leo Babauta of mnmlist.com. I didn’t access the internet at all while I was away, from Saturday morning through Monday evening. It made the weekend much more enjoyable – gave me more time to think, more time to take in my surroundings, and more time to relax and slow down. I’d definitely consider doing it again. I had decided to take this ‘digital vacation’ in advance of our trip, but it didn’t hurt that it just so happened the internet connectivity at the Lowes’ cottage wasn’t working while we were there…

To see all of the photos from our weekend, check out the gallery.