January 31, 2012

Future Equality

Growing up in a family of three children my parents tried very hard to make most things equal amongst us.  The main area where they failed was our Christmas stockings.  You see my older brother and sister had their stockings made for them before I was born.  When I was added to the bunch the family friend knitted me a stocking as well.  Unfortunately for my siblings but luckily for me the friend had misplaced her pattern and my stocking ended up twice as big as the other two.

So after I knitted Abigail’s stocking at Christmas time I figured that since I had the yarn out, the pattern on hand and no pressure of time this would be a good time to knit another stocking or two.  That way future guests or future Klynstra’s will have stockings of similar size to Abigail’s.

Well, my plan to knit a bunch of stockings has sort of died out as two seems like just enough for this year since there are other projects that I would like to put on my needles.  But the thought is there, the pattern has been established and I do believe that the Christmas’ in our future will be filled with big and equally sized stockings.

January 30, 2012

Dreaming is the First Step to Planning

Even though it is set to be -35 again tonight, and the fact that the yard is covered in snow, I am dreaming of summer inside.

And with all of that dreaming has come preparations for this year’s garden.  Remember one of my new year’s goals was a bigger and better garden.  That has to start with good planning on the seed front.  Plus the stores have seeds on sale in January so it is the best time for me to get the simple seeds I usually get in town such as lettuce, radishes, zucchini and so on.  Meanwhile this week has also seen an order go out to Johnny’s for the additional seeds we need like our tomatoes, broccoli and carrots among others.  I did throw in the order a few extra packages of “new” to me items that I can’t wait to grow as well.

To my fellow gardeners out there, what new things are you looking to plant this year?

January 27, 2012

Complete Once More

Last week’s loss of my old and trusted crockpot was very hard to take.

But luckily my new, white, big and ready to cook crockpot arrived in the mail the other day.

So yesterday I found myself with dinner cooking in my new crockpot and some chicken for the next day cooking in my small crockpot and it made me smile.  Yes, everything is good in the Klynstra kitchen once again. 

January 26, 2012

What Clothes Can Do

The other day I was in the church nursery with Abigail.  She was so very happy because a bunch of new baby dolls had been donated.  As she trotted around the room with this one or that one tucked under her arm I kept noticing the one cabbage patch doll that had no clothes.

Even though Abigail didn’t mind this one bit it made me a little sad so we brought the doll home.  With no pattern to go with and a few tank tops and t-shirts from my donate pile to use I decided to make this doll a new outfit.

I started by making the doll a white shirt black legging but then realized this made the doll was looking like a male ballet dancer.  I needed something a little extra.

So with a red shirt I made a jumper to go over the leggings and shirt.  A heart was added to give it something extra and tada, our poor dolly had a new outfit.  Not the best sewing I have ever done but since it was all free handed with knit fabric I feel pretty good about bringing this doll back to the nursery where it will be loved for many years to come.  As a side note I have no idea what the marks on the dolls face are.  I think since its mouth is open it must be an eating doll of some sort.  

January 24, 2012

The Need For Clean

I clean the house a little bit everyday it seems.  There are always bathrooms, floors, dusting and picking up to do. But sometimes there is a need to put those aside for the day and go a little deeper.

Maybe it is the return of some daylight, the need for a break from the bathrooms and floors, or just the fact that it is so cold we aren’t going anywhere these days and I am home so very much.  Whatever the cause, I find myself cleaning a little more intensely recently.  

So as a result of this cabin fever usually neglected cabinets, pantry shelves, storage bins, neglected closets and dressers are getting an overhaul.  The items found are being repurposed, organized, or added to the free market pile.  It is a good feeling to at least be able to say “spring” to at least the cleaning part of my life when the temperatures are still -20. 

January 20, 2012

Good Help Is Hard To Find

If you know me you know I love my Crockpot.  I view it as my own personal kitchen maid.  I give her all the ingredients in the morning when things aren’t too busy and she gets right to work cooking all day long.  Dinnertime arrives and we have a nice meal all prepared for us and I haven’t had to work on it for hours. 

Well, recently my wonderful Crockpot has become unreliable.  We aren’t sure if it is her heating coils, just the settings or what but where 10 hours on low used to make a wonderful meal we are coming to dinner and part of the meal isn’t cooked all the way, tragedy folks. 

So where I am still limping along with my now unreliable kitchen maid I am in the market for new help.  Time to check references, scan the paper for advertisements and check out just what will work for us.  After eight years of constant help I am feeling so very sad but hopefully new help will be on the way soon.

January 19, 2012

Words With Friends

Up until last year I never liked to play scrabble.  I am not sure what exactly changed last year but Josh and I started to play all the time and I started to really enjoy myself.  With his iphone for work Josh downloaded one app for me to enjoy with my family and friends, Words with Friends.

In the evenings when he is home I am able to compete against my family and friends who are too far away to play on our real scrabble board.  It is a fun game that makes me look at words a different way.

Now that Abigail has grown into refrigerator letters we are teaching her the joys of Words with friends as well.  In the interest of our sanity we only have nine letters to work with but those letters, one being a “j”, has brought words with friends home to the kitchen once again as Josh and I try to out think each other in words we can come up with using only those nine letters.   Oh, and Abigail likes to play with them too.  

January 18, 2012

An Exciting Second

It is so fun to read a good book, the plot that draws you in, the characters you can relate to, and the anticipation of where the book is going to go and how it will effect me, the reader.

I recently finished a great book.

And now I am in the place that I hate.  The place that no matter what book I seem to pick up to read just isn’t “good”.  Like the other one was.  I find books that would have been enjoyable and fun to read before now cloud in comparison to a great book. 

So I am at a loss.  I have started and not finished three books recently and am getting discouraged.  Anyone have any good suggestions of another great book that I could find?  Otherwise I just have to wait, wait for the good book and the thoughts it provoked to fade from my memory.  Until then I guess I can catch up on my magazine pile.

January 17, 2012

Fun In The Mail

Sometimes, especially in the winter, it is easy to start to feel cut off from those we love. But a surprise letter in the mail always makes our day and cheers us up.

The other day Abigail received a fat envelope from Cousin Gigi.  She had colored for Abigail a beautiful picture.  We spent a long time admiring all of the colors, how big the picture is and how good of an artist Gigi is.

From there the picture was hung on the refrigerator to enjoy some more.  Thank you Gigi for sending so much color and joy to us on a cold winter day.

January 16, 2012

Ready for Some Paint

I mentioned to you last year that we had found a small rocking chair that was in need of some work.  While pregnant I asked Josh to fix it up.  He glued and screwed all of the pieces back together and covered it in a coat of wood primer.  Since then it has sat, and sat, and sat in a corner of my laundry room, not necessarily neglected, just not needed yet.
That is until the other day when Abigail found it.  Clutching a stuffed animal she climbed on up and started rocking.  The time has come for this chair to be moved out of the laundry room.  My to do list now includes putting a coat of paint on this miniature rocking chair.  Our girl is now old enough and eager for a seat of her own.

January 13, 2012

Dream House

A month or so ago a friend I used to work with called me with an interesting offer.  He has two girls and years ago had been given a dollhouse.  When it was given to him only the walls had been put together.  They had stored the house for years and never had gotten around to finishing it and now his girls had outgrown that need of a dollhouse.  Would Abigail like it?  We said yes.
And went I went to pick it up it most certainly was just walls.  Well, this week Josh has decided that even though Abigail isn’t going to be ready for this house for years it would be better to store it finished rather than in pieces.  So in the evenings he has been putting on the roof, the porch, windows, doors, stairs and now the last part, the shingles.  We talk of the day when Abigail will be old enough that we can build and sew her little furniture to fill the rooms and make a little family of her own to live in her house.  What a fun image of the days to come.

January 12, 2012

Mama's little shopper

Just in the last week, newspaper is no longer for ripping into tiny shreds and eating.  The grocery ads now merit inspection.  Abigail likes to carry them around the house and 'talk' about what she is going to put on the grocery list.  And here she is explaining to Kathleen and I  what she wants from the ad.

January 11, 2012


Recently, Abigail has taken to being afraid of sitting on the counter without anyone holding onto her.  This has turned into somewhat of a game.  I have even been teaching her to free fall into my arms.

This is also an opportunity to snuggle, since most of the time she is too busy moving to be held still for more than a few seconds.  There is just too much to do and see. 

January 10, 2012

The Story of the Traveling Toys

When Abigail was sitting up and crawling we have a few toys in one basket for her to enjoy on the carpet in the living room.

(picture taken in July)
Well, the other day I looked around and laughed.  My alarm clock was stretched under my bed, a tea towel from the kitchen was under the sewing machine, Abigail’s xylophone from the living room toy basket was by the kitchen sink and the Tupperware from the kitchen cabinet was on the couch in the living room.  Thus the days of the traveling toys has begun.

(picture taken in December, same basket but slightly tighter fun)
In each room/area of the house there is an area for Abigail’s toys.  Yet with her being so mobile and since she walks so well the toys get carried from here to there and back again.  Why is it I seem to have the need of keeping everything separated I don’t know but at the end of the day I find myself moving her stuffed horse back upstairs, the little people grandma back downstairs and so forth.  As much as I find myself putting things straight I love watching Abigail pick up a baby doll, tuck it under her chin and trot to another part of the house with her new friend.  I know once she gets where she is going she will find a new friend to keep her company on her next step in the days journey but how lucky she is to have such flexible friends who don’t mind the sporadic relocation that occurs each day.

January 9, 2012

The Lights of Winter

December is a dark month up north and every year I am so thankful for our Christmas lights.  Each night they twinkle and shine.  We have icicle lights on the deck, the tree in the living room and the candles in each window.  I laughed as I would go on my evening walks because as I came back home I couldn’t miss my house if I tried, it practically glowed.

But Christmas is over, we have passed the shortest day of the year and just this week the radio announced that we were going to have four hours of daylight again.  Yes it is still cold, dark and just January but the warmer, brighter and longer days are just a few months away.  So where we love our Christmas lights it was time to pack them up for another year.

And of course, I can’t back up anything without my helper who found the light bulbs on the candles tasted so very good.  We were at the library the other day and a worker commented that maybe Abigail was teething because I couldn’t keep the library’s blocks out of her mouth.  I just smiled but what I really wanted to tell the lady was nope, my daughter just likes things in her mouth 24x7.  I guess it just makes life a little more fun.

January 6, 2012

The Cold Days of Winter

Winter has arrived in Fairbanks with force.  The cold days we are known for in Fairbanks have settled in around us. Once again my best friends are wool and every day this week I have found myself wearing Smartwool, Ibex and Fox River wool clothing, all on the same day.  All of these wool clothes are then layered with fleece 

Fleece pants, jumpers, vests, hats and more.  We love where we live but where we live means we have to work with the cold days this time of year brings us.  It is a good reminder that I am not crazy for spending my June birthday money on wool clothing every summer when it is on sale.  I will pull my arms in more on my wool shirt, that is tucked into my wool pants that cover my wool clad feet and go about enjoying my day.  No matter if it is -40 degrees or colder.

Here is an outtake picture for those of you who think Abigail just poses so nicely for pictures every day.   In order to get a blog picture I usually get about 10 of these as well.  Oh my fast little girl, you are always a challenge.

January 5, 2012

Favorite Entertainment

Two things about Abigail:
1.      Her number one word is Baby and she loves seeing pictures of herself.   We often play picture slideshows on the computer of her pictures for her to enjoy.
2.      She loves music.  This girl moves to piano/classical, show tunes, rap, dance and as you will see, country music.
This video shows you a little glimpse of both of those things.  Please don’t mind my hair, we were having a simple day at home.

January 4, 2012

Random Thoughts

The days have been cold here recently but we have been finding a lot of different ways to keep busy and warm.  The following are just some random thoughts I thought you would enjoy.
One thing I love is seeing Abigail run around during her “diaper-free” times.  Those little baby legs get me every time.  The one time in our lives where fat rolls are so very cute.  
Abigail is a small (perfectly on schedule) little girl.  When she was born so many people told me she would wear 9 month clothes at 6 months and so on.  But with Abigail that hasn’t been the case, at 12 months she is right at 12 months in clothes.  The other day I put an 18-month sweater on her just to see and it was huge.  Good thing we have cool summers, that sweater just might be perfect at 18 months.
Abigail hasn’t outgrown her love of sitting in things.  Every day she is climbing in and out of baskets, boxes, and in this case, my kitchen colander.   It makes me laugh so much and these days she also doesn’t do it alone.  She seems to always have a doll, stuffed animal or something with her to keep her company.  She loves music so much.  Her animals that make music are by far her favorite. 
Abigail is such a sweetie these days.  She greets us with huge smiles, has learned how to hug our necks and she babbles on with us as she tells us long stories.  No, being her parents is not always good.  The times where I have to walk away to take a big breath have gotten more and more frequent it seems, but I am always thankful for her.  She has a mind of her own and tries so hard without words to express it to us.  

January 3, 2012

Just Her Size

The other day I was able to find a bunch of small cans of tomato sauce on quick reduction at Fred Meyer’s.  As I am always excited about a sale I purchased a few to have on hand.  Well, Abigail found the cans the other day and was so excited that there was something in the pantry just her size.  She is such a thinker.  She played with these cans for about 20 minutes, taking them out of the pantry, putting them back in, stacking and unstacking.  Such a fun new “toy”

January 2, 2012

Starting 2012

Two years ago I wrote our some of my goals for the start of 2010 on the blog.  I then had the chance to look back at them through the year and see just where I was in my year, if my goals were the same, and if I was accomplishing what I had set out to do. I am happy to do this again.

Kathleen’s Goals for 2012
(In no particular order)

A bigger and better garden.  I have big plans for my garden but need to stay motivated, it is easy to be motivated when I haven’t even gotten to the buying seeds part of the plan.

To find joy each day in being a mother to my bold, energetic, and determined little girl.

Don’t lose focus of our budget.  It is in place to help us get to our goal of being debt free.  Don’t fight its restrictions.

Have Abigail sleeping through the night by the time she is two.

Be a more supportive, attentive and appreciative wife to Josh.

Raise meat chickens.
(we have wanted to do this for years, this will be the year!)

Not to be scared of new opportunities, embrace them.

Take the chance to travel with Abigail as much as possible as she is still free until age two even if riding on my lap is hard.

Potty Train Abigail

Eat as many meals on the deck this summer as possible!

Don’t lose the ability to dream.

Tree Disaster of 2017

We had quite the tree drama this year.  After years and years of real trees from the woods I was done with the needles.  DONE.  Last year A...