Family Dinner

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with this new house, especially when it comes to having company!  Most weekends John and I invite our kids all over for a meal, sometimes in the evening, or sometimes for brunch.  Often John’s mom and my parents are able to come, and the kids are welcome to invite friends.  So almost always we have 20+ people here.

In the old house we put the dining table diagonal sending it out into the living room so that we could seat that many bodies at the table.  Then our 6 little grandkids would get out toys, and pretty soon it was difficult to even get around in the room, let alone find a good place to sit.  Here at the new house, I’ve chosen to leave one end of the living room empty except for the piano.  That allows us to add two 8 foot folding tables onto the end of the regular dining table, making it truly huge.  And still the living room is spacious, even after the kids have strung toys around the room.  We are so much enjoying all the space.  Here are a couple of shots of the table all ready for company this past weekend.  I meant to also get a photo of the table full of loved ones, but as usual, I was too much enjoying the time to stop and take a photo.


Longtable2This week we handed over keys to our old house which was a little sad  (such a good house it’s been for us) but mostly a relief.  We have put so many hours of work in there, even after moving– driving back and forth between the houses over and over and over — that it is lovely to just have the one place to focus on for now.

Today John is organizing the garage, and planning out the shop that he will be building in the back yard.  At the moment there are piles of tarped-off wood at the side of the house near the garage, as well as other random things that just will not fit into the garage.  It’s not terrible, but I am looking forward to having a bit more indoor storage for these things, as it will really make the area at the side of the house look more organized.

I have been doing lots of thinking about what we will be putting in our back yard to help with outdoor entertaining.  John got a new barbecue grill the other day– a key piece!  🙂  We are also hoping to cover the patio with something that looks trellis-lattice-work-ish.  (Then I can string lights!  🙂 )

Speaking of lights, (with a little help from Julianna, age 11) I installed those $29 Costco bargain lights on the exterior of the house, and we couldn’t be happier with them.

Here’s a picture of the new light side by side with the light that was beside the back door.


Here’s a picture of the house with the original lights.  Certainly the lights are fine, but definitely builder-grade and nothing memorable.


And here’s the front of the house with the new lights installed. At the distance that I took the photos, it doesn’t look all that different, maybe.  But in real life it is a fun upgrade.HouseNewLights

They are LED’s — very bright at night, and thanks to the wavy glass, they throw an interesting pattern of light out there.  It turns out they also come with a light sensor, which means they turn on automatically at night, and then off again during the day. Since I didn’t bother to read the packaging when I picked up the lights at Costco, that was a totally unexpected bonus.  So much fun.

Also in this pix is Em, having fun with her ripstick.  The two youngest girls are enjoying something they’ve never had in their lives– sidewalks for scootering and skateboarding.  What a concept!  They do, however, also miss the chickens, a fact that rather surprised me, since when we were living out in the country, feeding the chickens was NOT the highlight of their day, especially in the cold, cold winter.  I guess there are tradeoffs everywhere!

What’s new with you?  Are you looking forward to spring as much as I am?



  1. Andrea Masiewicz says:

    Mary….we have the same house!! We are off Middleton and Lonestar.

  2. I love the large dining space and the outdoor lights are fabulous. I want some!

  3. I had the exact same kitchen layout for a few years in a house in Boise. It’s a great layout.

  4. So wonderful to see your new house in use! It’s beautiful. Nice choice on the lights. They’re beautiful too! 🙂

  5. Love getting to see your new digs! Is a full house “tour” in the works for us? 🙂

    • Owlhaven says:

      Hi Melissa, I’ve been meaning to do a tour one of these days but somehow haven’t gotten around to it yet!

  6. Elizabeth K says:

    I read you all the time on FB – and come here to read in more detail. You are a blessing!
    So much excitement in your life (always) – I love your positive attitude. God bless you in your new home and being back at work! I wish I had some degree under my belt to get back to work with…