April 27, 2012

Happy Birthday

Today is my sister's and Abigail's Aunt Hillary's birthday.
 This is such a special day that we are celebrating to the fullest even if we can't be together.
 Aunt Hillary we love you, you are wonderful, amazing and so very much fun.
We miss you tons and hope you have a wonderful birthday.

April 26, 2012

In Need of An Apron

Awhile ago I posted about how Abigail is enjoying baking with me more and more.
 Well, our time in Soldotna was no different except for the fact that Grammie was there was tons of patience and fun.  Abigail loved cooking with Grammie and thought it was great that she got to help cut out the biscuits for dinner.
Always one to taste test everything, Abigail was in her element.  Thanks Grammie for such fun, oh and the biscuits tasted good once cooked as well.

As The Weather Warms

As spring progresses around here so does the work on the greenhouse.
 Josh has been super busy and finished all of the main framing of the building, except for the left end, that won't be put in until after all of the dirt has been moved into the flower boxes.
 Most greenhouses have clear plastic panels, and ours will mostly, but the back will be covered for now with a dark growing fabric.
 Since it isn't wind/weather proof Josh put up one layer, put in a layer of plastic and then topped it with one more layer of black fabric.
 Then it was time to work on the roof.  Josh needed to put 1x4's across the rafters for stability and for mounting the greenhouse panels.
And as daddy works he always has a crowd watching.  Abigail loves to stand at the edge of the deck calling out Da, Da and waving.  She loves her daddy.

April 25, 2012

Vertical Freedom

 Josh wrote a post last Friday about how well Abigail climbs, and man is he right.  Our girl is all over the place these days.  Back in January we started working on her ability to climb stairs knowing that she would encounter them where ever we went and that they could pose a threat.  
 Well, the months of lessons have paid off.  Our girl is an expert at climbing the stairs and at coming back down them.  We originally taught her to turn around backwards and come down that way but as she has watched us she realized she didn't want to be different so she now comes down the stairs facing forward one at a time by holding the wall.  She has gotten so good that about two weeks ago I took the baby gate the was at the base of the main floor stairs down.  Now Abigail has easy access to upstairs and the main floor.  She mostly stays where we are but it is so nice not to climb over a baby gate every time we need to run upstairs.  
But as much as she loves that freedom the baby gate that blocks the stairs to the basement will stay in place.  Someday when the basement is refinished into a family room this gate can come down.  But for now, the basement full of tools, wood and unfinished dirt will stay off limits to Abigail's random wanderings.  At least we are one more step closer to growing up.

April 24, 2012

Family and Friends

One of the fun parts of visiting Soldotna these day is not only do we get to visit Josh’s parents but we also get to connect with good friends.  While there last week we visited our friends James, Amy and their two boys.  Unfortunately we didn’t get a good picture of our time with them but know we had a wonderful time.  

 Then that same evening we went over to Ben and Kari’s house for dinner and time to just catch up.
The miles between Fairbanks and Soldotna are long but it is so fun to have arrived.  And just for fun, a picture from a year ago: 
We love that friendships cross the miles.

April 23, 2012

Recently, Abigail's hair has been getting fairly long. She still has the short hair from birth that makes her hair look thicker than it really is.  The long hair is fairly thin and in the dry climate of Fairbanks is not usually this flat.  I think she'd give Einstein a run for his money.
Since her hair is so thin and is generally sticking up, we have never seen the need to cut it.  But while visiting Grandpa and Grammy in Soldotna her bangs were constantly in her eyes.  Thus, when we returned home I got to cut her hair for the first time.  This was probably harder to do than for most children as Abigail does not stop moving unless she is asleep, and sometimes not even then. None the less, she has, at 16 months old, received her first hair cut.

April 20, 2012

"Mini Me"

As Abigail has grown into toddlerhood, Kathleen and I reflect on the origin of Abigail's personality and physical traits.  For example: Abigail's facial features markedly resemble mine, but her eyes are hazel like Kathleen's.  Another trait that has recently come to light is Abigail's interest in climbing.... everything.
 And she is surprisingly good at it, much to Kathleen's dismay.  As a father and former climber myself, I am nothing but proud.
Kathleen is however more practical and mature in her assessment of the situation.  With Abigail constantly climbing onto the coffee table, up her highchair to the counter or the sink, and the dining room chairs to get to the table, there is little time to rest.

April 19, 2012

Experiencing Spring

When we left Fairbanks last week it was still winter.  

 But 8 ½ hours of driving later and we had arrived in Soldotna that was in the middle of spring.
 It was such a wonderful time, those frozen mornings that slowly thaw as each day warms.
 What fun it was to stop and see, feel and taste winter and spring all in the same outside adventure.

Sinking our feet into “break-up” is just what we like to do.

April 18, 2012


Last week the three of us took a little trip south. We headed to the Kenai Peninsula to visit Josh's parents for a few days. While there we had a wonderful time and I cannot wait to share pictures with you. But as much fun as we had there was also the unexpected that occurred. I hurt my back, badly. So home we have come so I can be cared for by my drs and so that we could start the long road to recovery. I don't have pictures today for you because of this. But check back tomorrow, there will be some up then.

April 17, 2012

A Place to Grow

Last week I hinted that there was some work being done on the greenhouse and I am excited today to show you just all that has occurred.

 Last fall Josh started framing up the structure but then was hurt when he went out moose hunting and wasn't able to finish the framing.  Over the past week he has been working hard by finishing the rafters, strengthening the walls and frame up the ends for their windows and the doors.
After the main structure was ready Josh started the work on the planter boxes.
The planter boxes will run the entire length of the front and about ½ of the back wall.  Two cabinets, that were my kitchen cabinets way back when we were building the house in the beginning, will be placed along the back wall of the greenhouse for storage, a work surface and a place for pots and planters to sit.
There is a lot of motivation for Josh to keep up all of the hard work on the greenhouse.  You see our little seeds are growing into wonderful little plants.  This picture is of our grape tomato plants but next to them we also have our celery and cucumbers growing right along.  In the next day or two they are going to be joined by broccoli, squash (includes pumpkins, zucchini, butternut and acorn), broccoli and cauliflower seeds.  A our living room is taken over there is a lot of motivation for Josh indeed.

April 16, 2012

Moving Right Along

Last week I showed you pictures of Josh and Abigail packing up the basement.  It was the first step in renovating our basement this summer.

 And the other day the second part of the plan arrived.  A new snowmachine sled that Josh help build was just what Josh needed to continue with the cleaning of the basement.
 You see these woodworking tools are heavy, and big.  The sled was just what Josh needed to move the tools to the shed and he needed the snow to use the sled. Thus before we get too far into our spring the biggest tools need to be relocated.
There is a lot going on around our house these days that is for sure.  The arrival of spring, the chance to get a move on all we dreamed and planned during the winter, and the longer days to do that work makes for busy days indeed.  Even with the tools in the shed you can be sure that the work will not be slowing down or ending any time soon, instead this just helps keep us going faster towards the next thing.

April 13, 2012

Come Back to Me

The following is a short little video of a fun game Josh and Abigail like to play in the evening.  Unfortunately they had been playing for awhile by the time the camera came out so Abigail gets the distracted by me.  Hopefully you will get the idea.  With Josh’s ideas and Abigail’s enthusiasm there is always new fun around these parts for sure.

April 12, 2012

Playing in the Sun

Last summer when Josh and I went to our local Free Market we came away with a wonderful jungle gym for Abigail.

 But at the time she was just a little too tiny to really get the fully effect of how much fun it could be.  So we took it apart and put it in the shed for a time when our little girl was bigger.
 Now that our days are getting sunnier, the deck is getting warmer, and Abigail and I itch to be outside, the jungle gym has reappeared.  This wonderful toy has become a deck time favorite.
It didn’t take our girl long to figure it out either.  Within the first hour Abigail had gone down the slide normally, headfirst on her stomach and feet first on her stomach.  Always up for an adventure we are sure to see more fun come out of this treasure as the summer goes one.

April 11, 2012

Baking with Mama

We have started a new little tradition in my kitchen recently that I am so excited to share with all of you.

 You see up until recently Abigail was more than content to be my “helper” in the kitchen by just playing with her toys on the floor.  But more and more these days she doesn’t want to be near me, she wants to be with me.  As soon as I start working on something at the counter she wants to be picked up so she can see just what it is I am doing, perfect for Abigail but not so great for her mother who needs two arms to cook with.
 So the other day when I had my flour and sugar bins out to bake I lifted her up to stand on one and it ended up being just the right height for Miss Abigail to see all that her Mama was doing.  Since our girl is never one to just stand around watching she set out to “help” me by sorting all of the items in my baking utensil drawer.
But no matter how exciting measuring cups, candy thermometers, and baking accessories are Abigail is always willing to stop sorting to taste just what it is her mother is making.  
You see this girl is a quick learner and after letting her have one lick of the beater weeks ago she will now come running whenever she hears the mixer start up, for whatever is in there is going to be good for sure.

April 10, 2012

Signs of Spring

The other day we had one of our first and sure signs of spring around the Klynstra’s home, Josh went out and snow-blowed the garden.

 This is something that always makes me sister laugh at me.  She thinks it is hilarious that someone would snow-blow his or her garden but when you are eager as us to have your ground start to warm up, that and you don’t want your garden to turn to mud as the snow melts, you will do just what you have to do.
And so it shall continue, the first start of preparing our garden.  But I have good news, this year this snow-blowing has come with a little more urgency since the snow must be removed first so that Josh can start working on our greenhouse once again, more updates to come soon.

April 9, 2012

Easter 2012

Easter is a day that fills us with joy, hope and thankfulness for the grace and love of Christ.

 On this Monday it is fun for us to reflect back on our yesterday, the traditions, fun and memories we now have from our wonderful Easter.
This holiday could not be official without participating in a Sunrise service. 
There, even in the cold, we watched the moon set, the Alaskan Range mountains appear and the sun rise in the east as we celebrated the fact that our Lord has risen. 
 We headed home to enjoy some homemade caramel sticky buns before dressing up in our springtime best.
Celebrating with our church family fills us with such joy but is tiring for our little girl indeed, we are just thankful for a family picture even if it isn’t perfect.  As we head into our week full of the promise of Christ I pray you too are full of the hope for today and the tomorrows to come.  Christ is Risen Indeed.

April 6, 2012

Expanded Play Room

The sun has been so nice recently.  We don’t see it every day but the days that it does shine makes this heart of mine so glad.  Last week I shoveled the snow off of our deck and after one “warm” day the rest of the snow melted away.  Now, even though the ground is still covered with signs of winter our play area has now been extended just a little bit.  

April 5, 2012

Abigail at 16 Months

Abigail is so much fun right now.  Here are a few things that we are seeing and stuff to remember on the day that our girl turns 16 months old.

Abigail loves to get into things, this is nothing new, but she is becoming more and more of a helper in terms of putting things back.  The other day I had my socks for the day laying on the floor and before I got to putting them on she had put them back in my sock basket in the closet.  Even though she doesn’t have too many words she understands so much and will go get a book, canned food item, toy or any item we ask for as long as we are pointing and clear with her what we are specifically asking for.

Our girl is growing tall.  However, she is still struggling with the weight portion of growing but she is getting bigger.  Just the other day I moved her 18-month clothes into her drawers.  Where a lot of it is still a little big her 12-month items are starting to be a little short.  Ahh, that iffy in-between time, we have arrive once again.

Abigail loves discovery and she is learning about ears, eyes, belly buttons and so much more these day.  The other morning I was giving her a few “free” minutes to run around without clothes before getting her dressed for the day.  She discovered her own belly button and proceeded to run around upstairs naked with her finger in her belly button laughing at the top of her lungs.  Oh what a wonderful new toy, now if her Mama would stop covering it up with clothes the fun could go on all day long, alas clothes are a must.  Needless to say, the start of 16 months, the stepping officially into “toddlerhood”, and the beginning of new discoveries are all things we are looking forward to.

April 4, 2012

Abigail’s World

The other night after dinner we were just relaxing while Abigail worked at getting out some last minute energy.  I grabbed the camera and recorded a little of Abigail’s world.  A simple, fun, imaginative world that is so fun to watch.  Although I will admit if you aren’t related to, know her well or understand some of her quirks you might find this video boring, to those of us who know her, we just find it fun.

April 3, 2012

Packing For The Next Big Thing

Recently Josh has been super busy in our basement workshop.

But unfortunately he hasn’t been busy on making anything with all of his woodworking tools.  Instead he has been busy packing, sorting, labeling and organizing his whole world down there.

We all love Josh’s workshop.  Josh loves it as a space to be creative, Abigail loves it for all the fun things to play with or hide in or tear apart and I love it for it makes Josh happy and all that comes out of it fills our home with beauty.

Because as much as we love that he has this space to build and create the time has come for a change.

You see this space is scheduled to become something different over the next few months and in order for that to happen most of Josh’s woodworking world must be set aside, for now.  As sad as it is, it is a step in the direction that this house is headed, ready or not, a change is coming soon.

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