Home and Country: Plans for 2014

thegrommom.com  living room

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Home and Country update.  This is probably because there isn’t a whole lot of new stuff going on.  I mean, there are always more bananas and papayas to talk about, and the coconuts are falling again…(look out!) but we don’t have anything brand-new at the moment.

I thought that for accountability sake, if nothing else, I might share some of the projects that Dave and I are HOPING to accomplish in this new year.

swanson home, NS Oahu


Coconut water...ahhh! coconuts!  www.thegrommom.com

home grown bananas, Oahu

Papayas, NS Oahu

thegrommom, home and country--beginning sport court/skate ramp
grommom, skate ramp part I
1.  Finish the skate ramp/sport court/extra parking area (see above,) with hopes that the new rock walls (which I am so-far not fond of,) will be made useful.  Then I can quit with the weekly wife-nag-duty of asking “WHY THOSE?”  and “WHY THERE?”  and WHY WHY?

2.  Plant a vegetable garden.  This is harder than it sounds because we need to track down a rototiller attachment for Dave’s tractor…Which most likely will have to be shipped from the mainland.  So many vegetables grow well here in Pupukea.  Many of the best restaurants on island boast of “Pupukea greens,” or “Pupukea tomatoes.”  The neighbor above us has a 16 acre Onion farm, and you can find every sort of veggie up here.  I want to get in on the action!

3.  Start a compost bin.  Dave has done a little bit of composting at the very top of our property, but I want to make a compost bin that we all use.  Which of course means I’ve begun a Compost board on Pinterest.  (Come, join the fun!)

4.  Chickens?  There are plenty of wild chickens around, but we’d really like to try raising chickens for eggs.  Except we have a problem called Oscar and Lulu.
Anyone have experience combining chickens and dogs that ends in anything other than blood and feathers?


We haven’t taken many pictures of the inside of our house.  It’s a challenging house to photograph because it is so bright! (which is one thing I love about the house!)
Here’s a few Josiah took recently…So you can see it, literally as it is lived in…


living room at thegrommom.com

(Dave’s Christmas gifts, from The Captian Surfs Art:)

The Captain Surfs art at thegrommo.com The Captain Surfs art

NS home, from front lanai

front lanai at the Swansons home.

view back into Swanson home

thegrommom, living room/kitchen

PROJECTS on the list:   

1.  Wndows!  We NEED new windows in all of the bedrooms, and the whole back area (rec.room/school area) of the house.  Need.

2.  Organization:    I’m on a mission to get much more organized in this house!
This calls for sub-categories:

A.  Classroom stuff:  Recently I bought some organizing doo-dads  for my “teacher-desk” area which was making me crazy.  Being organized helps SO MUCH—don’t you think!?  But there is more…always more, and I really want to find some systems that WORK for this very busy family.

B.  Master Bedroom/closet:  Not sure how it happened, but when we moved in, Dave and I inherited all of the leftover furniture!…On one side of our bed we have a stool, and on the other side–a hand-me-down-from-kids (originally from Craigslist) tiny table.  (it’s a super narrow space, hard to find bedside tables that fit.)  I don’t love our curtains or our bedspread, and I’d love a Master bedroom redo!

Closet Organizers:  we have a decent-sized walk-in closet, which has so much potential!  But for now, it’s pretty pathetic.  You’ll find the baby dresser we bought for Josiah 15 years ago! (the kind with attached flip-down changing table– Yes.)  as well as other odds and ends of shelves which do not exactly make me feel like a legitimate adult with a big walk-in closet.  My ideal would be to have an actual custom closet system put into our Master closet! In our last house we had a closet system in our guest room/office (with a wall-bed unit that we loved,) and I still day dream about how nice that was!

3.  Kitchen:  I don’t think it will happen in 2014, but I am still dreaming about the kitchen remodel we have on our minds…Expanding the kitchen out into the back lanai…creating a dining area…and a big pantry, and so on.  Let me dream.

What is on your family’s list to do inside or outside of your home in this coming year?   Any big projects?  Remodeling?  Gardening?  Dreaming?  Tell me about it in comments!

**This post was sponsored by California Closets, a company I love!

With Aloha,


sunset view, from Swanson home

Aloha, Monica

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  1. Jess P says

    Gosh, I just love your home! I dream of an open floor plan with high ceilings like that. Even better if it is in Hawaii 😉 We have a split level house in Maryland. We’ve done so much work and I still feel like there’s tons I want to do! The joys of being a homeowner, right?!

  2. Sandy says

    Well living in an apartment means I don’t have to worry about remodeling. But I did just sign up to be a 31Gifts consultant, which I am super happy about cause I mean getting to talk to other women about purses!!! But their other big thing is organization and I am really excited to to start getting better organized this year, and having a home I can show off and entertain in, with less than 2 weeks notices. Cause I mean I am 30 as of tomorrow which I figure means I need to at least pretend to be an adult and should do those “responsible” things like keep a clean home.

  3. says

    You have a lovely home! Our plans include building a play set (large, wood structure with swings, slides, climbing wall, etc.) for our boys–especially for our very active outdoor-loving 7 year old. Hubby started clearing the ground and hauled in some sand for the base last summer, but then hurt his foot so couldn’t continue. He’s healed up…we just need the snow to go away. Which won’t happen for a few more months. :( But that’s our big project planned for this year!

    • says

      Stephanie–Thanks for commenting…Your project sounds awesome. My boys would have loved that when they were younger, but we never quite got to anything like that. (They just climbed trees, haha.) Where do you live that has snow for months? THAT sounds like fun to us! Much aloha-

  4. Wendy says

    Wow! Gorgeous photos of your lovely home! First, on a logistical note, I read your blog on my iPhone and it seems like you have a new setup for mobile readers–looks great! Very easy to navigate. As for our home to-do list: I need to do some organizing and I just checked and saw there’s a California Closets in our area so I’m thinking I’ll contact them to see what they can do to help! On the outside, I want to expand our vegetable garden, we’ve been so blessed to have rich, composted soil that produces delicious veggies. No such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to veggies! Please keep us posted on how your home projects are progressing!

  5. says

    Your home is absolutely lovely and just feels inviting, even across the computer screen. :) Good luck with all the projects this year…I’d love to read about them if you decide to share. This year, I’ve actually already started with our bathrooms. They had (hideous) wallpaper which I’ve torn down and one bathroom is already painted. Well, minus the ceiling. The other bathroom has a little more work to be done before painting (patching up drywall seams etc.) but it’s thankfully smaller. The only other main goal is also revamping our master bedroom. The word I keep coming back to is SANCTUARY. I want it to truly be a place I look forward to going into at night. :)