March 29, 2017

Cooking

Last Friday our church hosted a passover dinner.  I volunteered to help with the cooking.  Thus I woke up from my days in bed to lots of ingredients on the counter.  
All hands were on deck for sure!  We managed to crank out a hundred servings of both Matzo toffee and Meringue cookies.  Proud of my church and all the work and volunteers that went into this event but when it was all over I wasn't sad!  (on a side note, if anyone is ever in this place, kids are great matzo cracker crushers!)


March 28, 2017

District

Abigail and her search to understand wild rabbits went on to district this past week.  Due to my migraine Josh, Ethan and Naomi were with Abigail instead of me.  It worked out well since I was the one that got to enjoy the first fair with her earlier this month.  The district fair was huge with a couple hundred projects on display.  Abigail's project was the third one in from the door, a perfect spot for easy access and viewing.
When she came home that night I asked how her talk with the judge went and she said, "Mama, I rocked it."  Last November when I considered having Abigail start into this project my biggest concern is that she is shy when talking to strangers and is asked questions.  I see now that having her pick a topic she loved and having her invest so much of her time and effort into the project gave her the courage and confidence to share her project with others.  She received first place once again but regardless of the color of her ribbon Josh and I are so proud.  Hard work is never something that disappoints!

**On a side note, anyone else so happy with a judge who gets down on a student's level to ask questions.  Thank you to this lady I never met but will always be thankful for.  Your interest in what my daughter loved has made a difference!** 

March 27, 2017

Get Well

Last week I had one of the most dreaded parts of pregnancy, one of my migraines.  When not pregnant I deal with these weekly but can take medicine.  While pregnant I am blessed not to get them as frequent but, when they do come, there is nothing I can do to make it go away.  The lay in bed waiting for it to be over can seem endless to say the least.
But Josh took off work and ran the house, friends helped, offices gracefully canceled appointments and the kids colored, drew and decorated my room to bring me back to health.  The kids were given 5 minute visiting rights during the days I was in bed and each visit included little gifts, pictures and usually one of their stuffed animals to keep me comfortable and happy.  It wasn't a pleasant time but I was certainly loved!

March 24, 2017

Comes Back Around

When I was a child, my mother found my father sitting in a pile of puzzle pieces.  I had taken it upon myself that evening to dump out every single wooden puzzle we had and he was trying to put them all back together.

Well, I have heard that when you are a parent you learn all the pain your parents went through, personally.  We had friends over for dinner the other night and Naomi was super happy in the school room.  When Josh went to check on her we found that she had used that uninterrupted time to dump out every single wood puzzle, card game, dice game, shape game, magnet game and more into one big bin.
Yes, it is true.  You don't know what it is like to be a parent until you are one!  Many thanks to my parents for letting me make it to adulthood so I could experience this wonderful lesson.


March 23, 2017

Inspired

Josh took the kids out on a snow machine ride the other day.  The second they got home these two ran for paper and pencils.  They had seen a rabbit and couldn't wait to write it down!  Now Abigail has done this before but this "writing a story" was new for Ethan, and he was so excited!  Letter by letter he slowly wrote out his two sentences with dedication and focus.
Workbooks, curriculum and assignments all have their place in school and life I know.  Yet, nature inspired stories from seeing, touching and experiencing - those are our favorite. 

March 22, 2017

That Favorite Time

I mentioned last week that we have pushed bedtime back a little.  Oh the return of the sunshine, even if it is still so cold!, has been wonderful.  This extra time at the end of our day - it is becoming my favorite.  Not each evening lets me have one on one time but I try.  I try to put the dinner dishes aside and find the one child who is close by and we enjoy something together.  The other night it was Naomi hanging around so while we colored together I asked her some questions and want to remember her answers.
Naomi at 2 1/2:
What is your favorite things to do? - play with her grocery cart, go to the children's museum and go get things (shopping) at Fred Meyer.
What is your favorite food - dog food ("really Naomi, dog food?"), ok no I guess it is ice cream
What made you happy today? - Going to see the play at the children's museum ("what about the play?"), the bangs ("what about the bangs?") the bangs! ("well, ok")
Are you my buddy? - No I am a girl, the new baby will be a buddy
What will you call the new baby? - Jumper, blah ("really? What will I call him?") Zachary ("But you will call him jumper, blah?") No, hehe, I will call him Zachary too.
Will you take care of the baby? - Oh, yes and if I go out  snow machining I know the way home and will show him.  
As I sit here late at night remembering that 1/2 hour with this girl I smile.  I don't remember all I asked or all she said but hold on to the connection that the time brought.  Life is so busy, days go by full and fast; I am thankful for these moments.


March 21, 2017

Family Stories

Every family has their stories.  That time the kids were left somewhere, or someone hurt that person, or the school project that went wrong.  Regardless of the topic, those stories are woven into the family and told and retold over and over to friends, future spouses, and to each other.  

Last week we got to add one of those classic stories to this generation of our family.

Ethan and Abigail went outside to play.  Two minutes later Josh and I were getting our gear on ourselves and Naomi when Abigail came running back inside covered in blood and screaming.  It seems that Ethan was swinging a stick and smashed her in the face and her tooth had been completely knocked out.  Fat lip, covered in blood and screaming we didn't get the full story but went into response mode.  

All was cleaned up, the tooth was found from the snow in the driveway, talk of the tooth fairy coming that night was encouraging and inspection of the now other loose teeth in her mouth were noted.  The next day the other top front tooth that was 80% knocked out was removed and in the course of one day my little girl went to a big girl singing "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth."
As days pass more has been added to the story.  How maybe Abigail wasn't so innocent in the whole deal as it appeared initially.  But as family stories go the details will get fuzzy and blurred overtime.  The one thing that will remain will be the conversation starter, "remember that time that Ethan smashed Abigail in the face with a huge stick and knocked out her front teeth."  Oh, yeah, family stories are unique to each of family but then that is what makes us all special.

March 20, 2017

Spring Break

Last night I talked through with Josh all we have going on this week.  Awana, district science fair, doctor appointments, mooseketeers, gymnastics and more.  So busy.  The week after, not so much but this week we are going to be in for it.  But last week, ahh last week was spring break for the public school kids.  This meant that everything was canceled, and that I rejoiced.  We left the house one morning to go to town.  Otherwise we were home!  I told Abigail that since everything was canceled it was a week to focus on school.  At first this didn't sound super pleasant to her but really it was perfect.  Time to do math and then play, lots of art projects and lessons, a whole spanish unit was covered because we had the time to work day after day on each step.  It was good!  
And when you are home for day after day there is time for the extras that we all love.  Like the day I declared leftovers for dinner and thus all our time in the kitchen could be cooking lessons one-on-one.  Ethan started the day with homemade chocolate pudding.
Naomi was super excited about cracking eggs into cookie dough with me.
And since we don't have a 4-leaf clover cookie cutter, or green food coloring - opps, we made green sprinkled sheep dogs and sheep for St. Patrick's day.  The Irish are shepherds right?  Went with my theme of shepard's pie and green milk for dinner on St. Patty's day.

Abigail, how in the world did I not get a picture of you cooking that day?  But I promise it was a three for three day - amazing.  Abigail rounded out the day with making Hot fudge sundae cake.  The promise of fresh cake made eating leftovers a little more enjoyable for the kids!

Yes, being out and about to all good things are fun.  We learn, we grown, we see friends, and we get things done.  But a week where we are given the green light to just be, that is the best!


March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's day.
May luck, joy, love and lots of green fill your day!

March 16, 2017

Up A Little Later

With the arrival of daylight savings, the return of the spring, and the realization that the kids are a little older...a shift is taking place.  For years we have eaten dinner and then put the kids right to bed.  But as we move into this new season a change is needed.  After dinner time is becoming more and more a time of contented play.  A little school work one on one, an art project or two, the start of a family movie or a game is taken on.  Time when we are full, content, all together and relaxed.
No, this slight shift of a half hour later in bedtime hasn't made any different with wake up time but it has been good for us all.  A little more time to be together, that is never something we mind at all.

March 15, 2017

Planting And Prayers

Over the weekend I planted the first of our 2017 garden seeds.  Tucking little tomato and cucumber seeds into soil is always a huge leap of faith each year.  Faith that the water, sun and soil will provide what that little seed has waited for and plants will grow.  

This time of year is cold in Alaska.  The sun is returning so there is the thought of spring and warmth but it is all a tease.  -20 greets us most mornings when we wake up and more snow falls by each afternoon.  Snow tunnels, shoveling, scrapping ice and navigating slippery walks are so boring and common.  Talk of the elusive spring fills talks between friends.  The kids beg not to need their gloves and hats and then regret those decisions right away.  

But spring and summer are coming!  We have faith that this will happen.  To do list and supplies lists fill the "non-craft" side of our fridge.  Any extra cash is being tucked into envelopes for dirt, fence, gravel, and outdoor wood projects.  The snow is deep but faith is strong that the sun will be stronger then the cold and melting will happen.
And with all this comes the promise of our baby boy.  He is with me always, kicking and nudging me to remind me that with summer he will come too.  I tucked these seeds into the soil the other day and prayed over the garden we will have, the summer we will have, the baby's arrival, the shift and change our family will experience, the joys, the hardships, the projects, our focus and all of the promises God has for us.  Gardening and pregnancy, situations where faith and a trust in God's plans for our lives are so evident to me.  Days go by, will we be ready for all that is to come??



March 14, 2017

On The Road

Our library has a great system with our local University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaskan Museum.  They have a single family pass that can be checked out for a two week period.  It isn't something advertised so, it has to be an item I remember to ask about.  Once in a rare while I am lucky enough to find it "checked in" when I ask.  Last week was one of those lucky times.
 Thus, the kids and I took homeschool on the road last Wednesday for some fun.  It is really a wonderful museum and I love seeing how much more grown up the kids are each time we get to go.
There are kids activities but a lot of big kid/big people learning goes on too.  It is fun for me to see how their interests and questions grow with each time we visit.
The morning of our outing I was tired and really considered just returning the pass and staying home. There would be no harm done, right?  But after a few hours of this crew exploring, learning, touching, and loving I am so happy we made a day of it.  What fun we have together!