August 31, 2011

Another View

And with requests for a few more views of the deck, I give you our beautiful new addition:

It adds so much to the house

Here is the view from the driveway.  Josh has done a lot of work at the base of the stairs.  He has made concrete pavers and then laid gravel around them to help with the sticky mud that we deal with.  We have been able to test it out a lot recently with all of our rain and it works great.

Josh also built one more addition at my request.  I asked for a gate that would stretch across the deck separating the arctic entry door and stairs from the rest of the deck.  The gate Josh built works wonderfully.  The way Abigail can be out on the deck playing and I don’t have to worry about her getting to the stairs but at the same time people can come up the stairs and in the house without hassling with a gate, it is perfect.


August 30, 2011

I'll Be Over

It has been so fun to have my parents living in Fairbanks for the summer.  With my dad working the evening shift and my mother working the days I have been able to spend one on one time with each of them when the other is working.  Abigail and I love to go to town and meet my dad during the days.  We go for walks, hang out at the apartment where dad makes me great omelets, we go swimming and run errands together.   It is these things, nothing extraordinary but so very special, that makes me love having them live near by.  It isn’t the monumental or “special” things we do so much as just share our day-to-day lives with each other.

In addition to going to town to meet dad, he comes to visit us at the house.  One of the big projects I have had before me this summer is moving all of the split firewood from the yard into the woodshed.  And with all the rain we have been getting, each piece of wood moved into the shed is a piece finally getting time to dry and ready itself for the cold winter months ahead where we will be needing the wood to heat our house. 

Something I will remember the most from this summer is what my dad tells me almost every week.  I hear, “I’ll be over sometime this week to help move more wood,” on Sundays after church as we leave to head home.  And true to his word my dad will come over one, or even two, mornings during the week and move wood for me.  With the baby I can’t be out there but I watch him with each load he moves and am so thankful.  Thankful to see that wood in the shed and out of the rain, thankful for my dad who is doing back breaking work for me out of love, thankful for being loved and so very thankful for the lunch we always share together after he is done hauling wood.  Thank you dad for coming over, for loving me and for all your hard work.  The pile is almost gone, I will think of you, your love and hard work, all winter long with each and every fire I burn to keep our house warm.


August 29, 2011

Garden Fresh - Late August Update

Around here summer is coming to an end.

What, wait, did I just say that?  Oh, No.  
Even as terrible as it sounds it is so true.  The leaves are starting to turn on the trees, Josh is gearing up for hunting season, and in the mornings the temperatures have been in the high 30's as we wait for the sun's warmth.
But the fall time also is a good time for the garden.  Things are tall, green, full and inspiring.  Here is a glimpse of my garden basket the other morning.  Hearts of celery, sprigs of parsley, two heads of cauliflowers, broccoli, green beans and peas.
Abigail declares it a good haul for one day, that is as long as she gets to enjoy some of the fresh produce.
And Zeke is getting out and enjoying the rest dirt on a day with no rain.  He does loves his broccoli leaves.
 And Shoeless loves a game of friendly chase on the opposite sides of the garden fence.
All in all, colder weather included, this time in the garden oh so super sweet.  

August 26, 2011

A LIttle Something Extra

Now that the deck is done Josh has been busy working on something extra that will provide storage but also a nice look for the house.

 The area under the arctic entryway is a great place out of the rain to store garden and yard/building tools and supplies.  But since it is visible as you drive up to the house we really didn’t want stuff just stacked there all the time.
 So Josh has used the extra wood from the deck to frame up that area, dug the dirt to grade, laid gravel for drainage and then…
he bough lattice that would close the area in.  With the area closed off the necessary stuff could be stored without being visible and cluttering the appearance of the house.


August 24, 2011

Life

The baby has a cold, it has been rainy, and Josh has been working super long days. So the days have been long but the nights with a congested baby have been longer. There are a bunch of things I want to share so there will be more blog posts soon when I can get a little sleep and feel like myself again. check back soon.

August 22, 2011

A Fun Start To The Day

On Sunday morning we started our day out a little different then usually and full of fun.



All dressed up and ready for church we all went out to breakfast at Popeye’s restaurant where they have a breakfast buffet.  In our life before children we probably would have gone to a Sunday brunch after church but now that we head home right away for Abigail’s nap time going out to eat before church seemed the better option for us.



And boy was it fun.  We laughed, we ate great food (I am in love with a made to order omelet bar), Abigail charmed everyone with her smile and the hostess (who knows dad) came and took her to carry her around the restaurant to show her off.  I have to say, it may have been my favorite morning from this summer thus far.  And with our bellies full the day was just beginning.


August 19, 2011

Finishing Up

Josh had some time at home the other day and was able to work on the deck.
There was really one last piece of work that needed to be finished up.  It was the front piece that had to be cut around all the posts.
But with that last piece in place the deck is done.  What a wonderful thing.  I am so thankful for this extra extension of our home.  Thanks to Josh for all your hard work, it is wonderful.

August 18, 2011

Alaskan Fresh

Josh's mom came up north to Fairbanks last week for another summer time visit.
And with her she brought fresh Alaskan salmon that she and Josh's dad had caught in the Kenai River.
 And with all of that salmon I was given a lesson on canning meat.  14 pints and 13 quarts later, I think I have it down.  What a thing of beauty canning is.  Those of you who do it know.  The sight of fresh jars of salmon ready to go into the pressure cooker and the sound of the jar sealing as it comes out are both very satisfying things!
And even though the corn isn't fresh in Alaska, it is summer time and thus time to eat corn cooked on the grill.  Fresh grilled salmon and corn on the cob matched with a salad made out of garden ingredients are some of our dinner favorites around here.

August 17, 2011

Afternoon Chat and Snack

After Abigail's afternoon nap the other day 
she and her dad enjoyed a snack and chat out on the deck where Abigail found something new left from her Popeye
We are just happy that at this stage Abigail just loves the can, no need for anything that usually is in it.  Remember, in this house, everything is a toy.


August 16, 2011

Summer Beauty

There are many things that I love about summer
 and one of them is the natural beauty that is all around us
and when the chance always, we can just stop and smell the flowers.  Ahh summer we love you so.  Please don't leave too soon.

August 15, 2011

New Things

Some new things to share:
1.  Abigail now claps.  It is so fun.  When she gets excited those hands start going.  Not hard enough to make sound yet but it is super fun to see.
2.  We are moving more and more towards one nap a day.  I am only letting her rest for about a 1/2 hour in the morning and then waking her up.  Hopefully this transition continues to go well and thus sleeping at night will improve.
3.  The big news, Abigail is crawling.  On her hands and knees, and forward.  Right now it is still slow, still amazing and still manageable.  But we need to take this as a wake up call since our little lady is going to be on the move, all over the house, before we know it.

August 12, 2011

Dreams of the Future

Abigail and I often talk about the future.  Things she will do, see and become.
 And then the Olivetian, the alumni magazine from my college days, arrived in the mail.  Abigail was fascinated by all of the news, stories and pictures from Olivet.  I told her lots of stories about my years there.  The fun, classes, the friends, teachers and dorm life.  It made her all very excited.
But then I told her she had to wait a good 18 years before she could go herself and it made her sad.  Sorry little girl, this mama needs you to be her girl for awhile yet.  The future will come no matter how hard we try or don't try.

August 11, 2011

Alaskan Berries

The berry season is ripe in Alaska right now.
 And where Josh was working on the military base there were a ton of Raspberries.   He would come home each day and tell me about them.  So during one of his really long days Abigail, Shoeless and I packed up, got a visitor’s pass and went to visit Josh and the berries.
 When we arrived we saw Josh about 5 minutes before he had to move to a different part of base but we stayed in the berry patch ready to go to work.  Lately Abigail has been great at playing in her pack and play in the kitchen while I work so I brought that along with the thought that she could play, Shoeless could run and I could pick berries.
Well, all plans sound good but don’t always work.  Abigail lasted about 3 minutes in the pack n’ play.  There were tears folks, crocodile tears.  Thus I picked berries and Abigail rode in the Ergo.  Needless to say, it was a fun day.  Time was spent outside, Shoeless ran and ran, Abigail grabbed leaves and tried to eat them, I picked berries mostly on my knees and in the end we were all ready to head home.


August 10, 2011

The Art of Discovery

One thing I find so very rewarding as a parent is the chance to watch Abigail play each day.  Her play grows, matures and expands with each new experience she has.  Abigail is great at playing independently.  With her toys she will sing, laugh, sit, roll, wiggle and talk to her toys for 20 minutes or so by herself.  Granted this doesn’t work at all times of the day, but it is nice when I am working on a project that she is usually happy right next to me playing away.   My main role during her play is help her out of situations, like her wiggling into corner, and refilling her toy basket since one of her favorite pass times is the chance to empty her toy basket. 

The following little video was from this weekend.  I was cleaning the house and Abigail was exploring a few new toys handed down to us from some friends.  The banging in the background is Josh hard at work; noise is always present in a house under construction.  Also, Abigail is significantly quiet in this video; I will try and take one for you soon where she is babbling away to her toys.




August 8, 2011

Pearly Whites

There have been some requests made recently for pictures of Abigail’s new teeth.  So the other day I set out to take pictures of those new teeth and faced a few challenges.  One being I couldn’t get a picture of Abigail with her mouth open wide.  But she loves to smile and squeal while in her swing so outside we went. 



But I made the mistake of giving Abigail a treat from the garden first and that was more fun to chew on than opening her mouth for a picture.



And when the pea was finally gone she was a little bored.



And kept asking just why her swing wasn’t a swingin’. 



So after a few good pushes Abigail was ready to give me a really big smile and tada, teeth.  They give her face such a cute and grown up look.  Josh can no longer call our girl the toothless wonder; she is often just referred to as the sleepless wonder these days. 


August 5, 2011

A Family Day

There is no big post today because today is a special day. After working so much recently, Josh has finished the current project he has be working on. Thus in celebration he took today off of work to home with us. Work will arrive swiftly on Monday so for now we enjoy today.

August 4, 2011

The Rainy Days Are Here

August days in Fairbanks tend to be on the rainier side.  Even with those colder/wetter days upon us we are still having fun.
We fill our days with a lot of activities.  Abigail is enjoying her Johnny Jump Up and story time, as you can see from the book pile in the background.
And we still get out for our walks, even if we get caught in the rain a few times.  Once home we dry off, warm up and settle in for afternoons of play.  
And the toy basket never gets boring for sure!

August 3, 2011

Things To Remember and Note

Here are some thoughts on being a mother, Abigail's growth and life in general for the first week of August.

1.  Each day I find I am having to wash my eye glasses several times and they are often covered in little tiny finger prints.  
2.  I am still loving Abigail's cloth diapers.  Only two have small stains and those are from Butt Paste brand cream.  Abigail doesn't have, or ever has had, a diaper rash but I have used the cream a few times but now that I realize that is what marks the diapers we will use it no more.
3.  Abigail is now completely out of her 3-6 months clothes and a lot of her just 6 month outfits.  This week I wash and organized all of the 6-9 month clothes and put them in the closet ready for use.
4.  Abigail started saying Da Da the other day.  Does not yet associate it with Josh yet but it is fun to hear.
5.  The biggest accomplishment of the week was that she voluntarily opened her mouth for a spoonful of applesauce.  I cheered for a long time.  It hasn't been as good since but it is a step in the right direction for sure.

August 2, 2011

2011 Harvest

As we start into August the chance to put food up for the winter months has really started.  So far for the 2011 season we have:
3 gallon bags of blanched broccoli
4 gallon bags of blanched cauliflower
Plenty of Zucchini in shredded form in the freezer
1/2 a gallon bag of cut up sweet peas (and more is added daily)
8 quarts of homemade pasta sauce
and the start of a bag of green beans.

In reality the green beans aren't doing all that well this year but we will be patient, hopefully things will get better.  I have more tomatoes so in addition to the pizza sauce and pasta sauce I have made and canned I think I will next make some enchilada sauce.  


Blueberries are ripe but I have tried to do it with the baby and it hasn't worked so well.  Josh has been working 11-13 hours days for two weeks now but as soon as he is here to watch the baby for a hour I will head out to pick some berries for the freezer.

Josh's mom is coming up to visit next week and I have jars set out for a big canning project that will occur when she is here, you will have to check back then to see just what it is.

August 1, 2011

A Rainy Day at the Park

This past weekend we had fun at the park thanks to my mother.  The hospital she works at holds a family picnic day each summer at the park.  There is food to enjoy, ice cream, cotton candy, toys and a lot of activities.
 Even though it was a rainy day we all headed out to enjoy this day.  Abigail loved getting to ride the train with Grandma and Popeye.
 And she took a little pony ride on Rosie at the carousel
 I am not sure what my horse's name was but he doesn't seem too pleased to have my riding on his back, I guess I am a little bigger than the kids he is used to carrying.
The best treat for the day was the very random appearance of the storm troopers.  Even though they were there to enforce whatever they wanted Abigail wasn't too scared.  The one storm trooper actually laughed and said, "I guess she is just too little to be scared."  It was fun for sure.  Thanks mother for all the work you do at the hospital that gave use of the park for the day.

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