October 20, 2017

Love This

Whenever people said their kids play games together, without the parents, I always would look at them with wonder.  I couldn't imagine the day when my kids would play a board game on their own.  Let me say folks, it is slowly arriving to this house.  I think part of the issue is Abigail doesn't love board games.  So as the oldest she isn't inclined to seek them out on their own.  Ethan on the other hand would spend all day, every day, playing a game.  Now that Naomi is getting old enough to join him these two are finding their way in the worlds of games without a parent.
No, the rules aren't always followed but you know what - that is OK.  Sibling game time, it is here.

October 19, 2017

Colors Of Fall

The snow may be here to stay in Fairbanks.  Sledding, snow gear and car ice scrapers have resumed this week.  But before we were covered in white, we celebrated fall a little bit.
The kids and I spent one afternoon getting "lost" in the woods for a couple hours.  Abigail kept trying to go home by herself as the walk went on and on but she didn't know the way.  The powers of parenthood and what we do to encourage our kids to find joy in the outdoors.  It wasn't all complaining as we did spend the two hours looking at, and collecting, our favorite leaves and colors of fall.
Once home we soaked our leaves in glycerin for a couple days to help them retain their color and flexibility.  Then we made a mobile out of a great stick Ethan carried home from our walk.  Hard to take a picture of something in a window but it does help us remember what leaves falling looked like as the outside world turns white.

October 18, 2017

Aunts Are The Best

A little video from our time in New York with Aunt Hillary.  Sometimes aunts do things that mama's would never do.

video
No one was permanently hurt in the making of this film.

October 17, 2017

Science Time - Dirty Hands

The other day, after being in town all day, I had the kids rub their hands on a piece of bread as a little science experiment.  
 
A week later we discovered who had the dirtiest hands and the answer sort of surprised us all.

Science is so fun, and a little gross at times too.

October 16, 2017

Columbus Day

Four weeks of studying the life of Columbus ended perfectly with last Monday, Columbus Day.  In that four weeks we had learned where he was born, what his father did, how he was ship wrecked, his life with his son, how he studied maps, astronomy, and geography, his search for someone to fund his journey, his 7 year wait for the funding, and of his four journeys across the Atlantic ocean.

After all that study I am not sure how much the kids really were going to remember.  So I decided to make Columbus day a fun day to help our memories.
Part of the celebration started early with our friend Jessica.  She came with all of the art supplies and made ships and spanish crowns with the kids to be worn at our dinner.  What an amazing friend she is.  She is so talented. 
We cooked all traditional spanish foods.
And invited a crowd to join us.  

Columbus Day 2017 - Spanish food, 3 boats as the center piece and good friends.  So fun to celebrate someone who was willing to take a chance to do something when no-one else believed he could.

October 13, 2017

4 Months

Last Sunday our little man turned 4 months old.  This has arrived along with a ton of milestones for him.  It seems he was watching the calendar because as soon as he turned 4 months he hit a growth spurt, became more aware of his surroundings, has started grabbing for toys, found his feet, and loves to babble and giggle.
I held off posting this 4 month picture until I had his statistics.  Yesterday was his well child check.  At 4 months and 4 days:
Weight: 15 lb and 1 oz (45%)
Height: 24.5" (45%)
Head: 44cm (99%) 

Yes, I do believe there are brains in that head!  How we love this little boy.  So many changes, adventures and milestones are before him.  But today, we hold him close!

October 11, 2017

More Wall Space

This summer I mentioned that one of our windows had a crack.  
 During the sunny days of summer Josh took the window out, framed up the wall and resided the outside of the house.  The inside, that could wait a little longer until Josh had time.
 Slowly the work was accomplished and soon the wall looked like this.  While we were gone on our trip Josh was going to finish it all up.
But we came home early and Josh worked a lot of hours.  Thankfully I can now tell you that the wall looks like this.  Such a difference and improvement.  It is nice to have a wall for a table or couch without blocking the window.  The window still has tools on the raw window frame but trim will come.  At least the drop cloths are picked up for now!!  Josh works so hard and so many hours in the summer.  House projects just have to wait for the winter months ahead.

October 10, 2017

We Have Found What Works

Audio books.  This girl loves them!  


October 9, 2017

Still Fresh

I have more September photos and events to blog about but want to take a quick minute today to marvel at these October pictures.
 I cannot believe that we are still getting fresh vegetables from the garden.  The snow might come this week but as of yet, a big freeze has yet to occur.  In all my years of gardening here in Alaska by October the garden is pulled and shut down for the year.  This year there is no need to pull and preserve the carrots and beets.
Nope, we are just pulling them and eating them fresh whenever we want.  They go great with the few tomatoes I am getting from the wilted plants in the greenhouse.  "Pull all garden plants" has been on the to do list for weeks now.  Yet it is hard to pull something that is still producing.  I know winter will come sometime soon, for now I am enjoying this last bit of summer that has stretched into a late fall.

October 6, 2017

Science and Art

This week a friend asked me how school was going.
 I was very pleased to be able to answer, "really well!"  This is not always the case and so my quick response made me stop and think about how life is going right now that makes it such a positive answer.  The kids still fuss and fight, Josh is still working a lot, I am still tired and balancing the needs of a newborn.
 Then I realized I am enjoying school more with the kids because we are doing a lot more of the "fun" school things.  Our schedule is pretty open and I find we have 4 mornings as week at home.  We are busy in town some afternoons and one morning but with a lot of mornings at home comes more time for the "fun" stuff.  Math, reading why those are necessary evils in the kids minds.  But this year we are fitting in art, spanish, history and science experiments frequently each week.
I look at friends that have their kids out a lot more and wonder if I am making the right call.  But I know I can't do it all and as I watch the kids enjoying science experiments each week, I realize a more relaxed schedule right now is fun for all.

First two pictures are the kids discovering liquids with different densities. 
Last picture is of art class where the kids drew on sandpaper and the image was then ironed onto another paper transferring the image.

October 5, 2017

Best Gift Ever

It is always fun for this geologist when my son gets a rock for his birthday.
 A rock from my dearest friend who knows me and knows that pulling my rock hammer out of storage makes for one great day.
 A gift that involves a talk on this history of volcanoes, lava, gas bubbles, evaporation and all of kids pounding and swinging rock hammers.
Geodes for the win.

October 4, 2017

A Love Of Reading

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 
— Emilie Buchwald