July 31, 2013

In The Village

We did something very fun with our denali trip last weekend.  We spent the night, in a hotel.
 So in the evening after our hike we were able to check in, give the kids a bath, eat dinner and then head out to see what tourists see in Denali village.
 I often remind myself that I need to enjoy all that there is to love in Alaska since there is a reason millions of people come from around the world to visit where we live.
And where the winters can be hard, the summers are beautiful.
And when I take a moment to look around I realize yes, there certainly is a lot to love.

July 29, 2013


Last Friday this little family headed south of Fairbanks to take in the beauty of Denali National Park.
When we arrived we headed right into the park.
 We set out on a loop hike that ran along Savage River. 
 This wasn't really along the lines of hikes that Josh and I have done in the past but it was perfect for a two year old with little legs.
 It really was the perfect hike with amazing weather and so very much to see.
 We admired the river, the mountains, the rocks, the birds, the ground squirrels and watching Abigail run and run and run.
 We find life is easier if we just stay home.  There are projects to do, toys to play with, routine to maintain.  
 But when we do take the time to step away from that
And explore the beauty that surrounds us in this amazing place on earth
There is no end to the joy that is found.

July 28, 2013

Those Great Finds

Last week we checked out a few garage sales.
Found all of these cars for $5.  Oh yeah, that was a fun find.  For the next few years we have birthdays, good days, small accomplishments and stocking stuffers set.  Whoo hoo.

July 26, 2013

Family Days

We have been working on our house for six years now.  It is one of those things that ALWAYS has a to do list and with each project completed several more are found.  Even as the work continues we realize we are tired.  Just tired of every night and weekend being filled with work on the house.  This summer we declared the work would go on but more importantly we would take time for play.
So with that goal in mind we have worked hard when we have worked and then walked away to find other adventures when we could.  Today is one of those days.  Now that our chickens are gone we are free to be gone longer hours and we are taking advantage of that freedom.  Memories are set to be made!

July 25, 2013

Better Prepared

Ever since our first finger painting day, Abigail has been asking (begging) to paint again.  A year ago I made a painter's smock for my niece as well as one for my friend's daughter.  Since then the pattern has been put aside but with Abigail's new love of painting I realized we needed a little painter's smock of our own.   
Looking through my fabric stash I came across this one (mother do you recognize it?).  Not sure what the fabric was originally intended for but it was perfect for a little smock.
Since the pattern was for a six or seven year old I needed to make a few modifications to shrink it down to size but in the end it was a perfect fit.  How fun for this Mama to have a quick project for my girl.  With Grammie's help I was able to take 40 minutes and whip it up all in time for the much requested painting session.
Yes.  This mama was better prepared for this paint session (and those in the future).  A painter's smock for Abigail and a snack for Ethan.  Much less mess and a whole lot of fun.

July 24, 2013

Enjoying Days in The Gardens

As Grammie's visit came to an end we realized we needed to spend one more afternoon all together doing something fun.  We listed out some of what Fairbanks has to offer and Grammie picked a visit to the botanical gardens.
This decision was one we all were pleased with.  We love to spend time in the gardens where everything is green, beautiful and full of things to see and smell.
Ethan thought the chance to just crawl around in tall grass was wonderful
And we enjoyed getting to just step away to somewhere peaceful for a few hours.
Yes, time with Grammie, in the gardens, playing in the water, smelling the flowers and enjoying the sunshine was a great time to remember indeed.  It is so fun when a guest visits and reminds us all to enjoy the attractions we have in our very own town.

July 23, 2013

What They Think Of

The other day Josh and I were upstairs getting ready to go to town.  From the bathroom we could hear Abigail running circles around the main floor of the house.  Josh sighed and stated, "being a parent makes you realize just how old you are.  I don't have a fraction of that girl's energy."  It is true.  Our girl is full of energy, fun and curiosity (no accident that she loves curious george).
In short our girl is two and there is really nothing she doesn't think of and then try.  Lucky for her, her parents know this and keep a close eye on her.  For instance Josh was on hand to take a quick picture but then take the truck away from abigail before she could ride it down her slide backwards in her pajamas.  Just another way our crazy girl wanted to start her day.

July 22, 2013

Fun with Grammie

We have a small park in Fairbanks called Pioneer Park.  In that park there is a carousal, playground, and train.  (There are more interesting things for adults but for the kids these three things are the big attraction)  Abigail has been begging to go on the carousal and I have promised her that when her Grammie came to visit we would make a special day of it.
So on Grammie's first day with us that is exactly what we did.  Abigail was beside herself with excitement and ran around the carousal wanting to ride all of the different horses.  In the end she picked the one reindeer to ride on.  
The day in the park with Grammie didn't end on the carousal.  Oh no.  We went on to play in the park, have snacks, visit the original train car President Harding rode on, let Abigail show off her great scooter riding skills, and most importantly...
Grammie took the kids on the train that rode around the park.  (Ethan did have a good time too I promise).  It was such a fun day, doing fun thing, and getting to spend time with Grammie was the best part.

July 19, 2013

Into The Arts

Over a year ago I bought Abigail finger paints.  Up until last week I have been too afraid to use them.
 But then reality set in and I realized if I am going to use them, I might as well in the summer where we can take our mess outside.  Learning a new art like finger painting inside in the winter is even more scary to me than learning outside. 
 And as for the learning part, I guess that was just my issue.  The kids too no time at all to dig right in to all the fun.
Yes, finger painting is messy and yes, I do believe I now know why the box says for kids over 3, but it sure was fun.  Good thing this mama has learned that lesson because the kids can't wait to do it again.

July 18, 2013

An Evaluation

Yesterday we was our "chicken day."  Now that I am on this side of the hours of work I get the chance to look back on it all and do a little evaluating.  It was certainly harder than I anticipated and it was 11 pm that we finally sat down and said, it is done.  But even through the very emotional, physical and visual day it was a good day.  I want to respect my reading audience by not going into any more detail than that.  As we finished up we did declare that we will for sure be doing this again.

I also declare all of today's success on my mother-in-law.  She was willing to take care of both of the kids all day today so that Josh and I could work.  She then went into town and picked up dinner so that I wouldn't have to cook.  After the kids were in bed she then stood in the kitchen with Josh and myself cutting up the chickens as we got them ready for the freezer.  Yes, many thanks goes to Linda.  Thank you, Thank You.

And since all posts should have at least one picture, and I know none of you wanted to see us butchering today, I leave you with this great picture of my little people.  

July 17, 2013

July 16, 2013

A Roommate

Abigail sleeping in her little/big girl bed has worked out so well.  
When we set up her bed we set up the rest of the room to fit the crib and a future roommate.  But then we waited to be sure her bed was working out for her.
But we only had to wait two days before we moved into her old crib car sheets, the bumper pads I made last year when pregnant, and Ethan's big stuffed frog.  And just behind all of these changes came Ethan himself.  They are both loving being together (Abigail just has a serious face because I asked her to stop jumping).  The emotion I didn't expect was how wonderful I would feel after both kids were asleep and I walked in and saw them both in there together.  When Ethan was born I never anticipated that he would sleep with us for 9 1/2 months but he did and it worked out just fine.  But the time for change has come and we are all excited to see how it fits for us.

July 15, 2013

Visiting the Fat Ladies

This week at the Klynstra's is going to be chicken week.  We aren't sure of the day yet, as that depends on Josh's work, but we are gearing up (and cleaning out the freezer) in preparation of chicken day.
 But this girl doesn't know all of that.  
 What she knows is that it is fun to put on our work boots and run down to see our "fat ladies" as Josh likes to call them.
Yes, I am not exactly sure how I will do with Chicken day but soon it will be here and we will find out.  We are very happy that all 20 of our fat ladies have grown fat, are healthy and going strong.  The weeks have flown by since we got our little bitty chicks.  This new experience for us has been a good one.

July 12, 2013

Making Summer

Abigail loves ice cream and since ice cream makes things so fun in the summer...
we thought we would let her in on our usual "after the kids go to bed" activity of making our own ice cream.
It was a family affair when it came to picking the flavor (strawberry since for Abigail it had to be pink), pouring in the ingredients, adding the ice and salt, watching it mix until
it was time to taste the results.
Yes, our girl doesn't mind if we mix up a batch of summer fun all year long.

July 11, 2013


This week I have been sick.  Oh how hard it is to be a mama and be sick.  All I want to do is go to bed, and even though I am up with the kids they seem to know this.  The house has become slight chaos, greenhouse is drying up (good thing for rain to take care of the main garden), laundry hampers are overflowing, and leftovers in the fridge are quickly disappearing yet I feel no desire to cook something.  But sometimes this happens and I am just thankful that my little ones aren't sick too.  

All that being said, a picture from a cruise Josh and I took before we had kids flashed up on the screen saver today.  At the time I was in the kitchen cleaning yet another dirty highchair tray and it gave me pause.  Inside of me my mind screamed, I WANT TO BE THERE.  I WANT TO GO ON A CRUISE, BE WARM, BE FREE TO NAP, BE ANYWHERE BUT HERE.  But then I shook myself, reminded myself that someday I would be there and wish to be here so I better get on with it.  

So here I am.  Happy another day has passed, and since the kids have gone to bed well I can call it a success.  As fevers go mine has returned this evening to give me the chills so I need to just crawl in bed.  I do wish to be somewhere else but for now I will just choose to embrace what I have here.  
And to help make this blog post a little happier, I have included this fun video of my brother having fun with Ethan.  We have a video of Uncle Drew playing with Abigail when she was about this age and it is fun to have one of Jonathan as well.  Uncles can be so much fun.

July 10, 2013


 Last week when the crawling thing was a little new, Ethan needed some motivation to practice getting around.  His favorite was a trail of puffs.
In the few shorts days it has been since I took this video my boy is crawling all over the house with the only motivation being, "Hey, Ethan come here."  

July 9, 2013


Since my camera broke I have been using a small point and shoot.  Abigail loves to get a hold of it and I have been teaching her how to take pictures.  I took this video the other day of her taking the picture of her dolls in the doll house.  Before she even got the camera she posed them all just right.
How this girl makes me laugh.

July 8, 2013

More the Merrier

This past winter I blogged about how during Ethan's nap Abigail and I would do fun things just the two of us.  Well, for the past month the kids have taken naps at the same time, YEAH.  Abigail and I still love to have tea parties but we have realized that they have to be a little different now.
When Abigail requested a tea party last week I asked who she wanted to invite.  She replied, after deep thought and a lot of hummms, Big Baby, Anna, Violet, Mama and Ethan.  Ethan, I replied.  (I usually try to keep him occupied across the room) Yes, Ethan, she answered.  So just like that Abigail invited Ethan to his first tea party under the table.  Granted she made sure he was on the other side of the bar and couldn't get to her special tea party snacks, but he was still there.  How fun it is to watch these to grow up and "play" together.

July 5, 2013

Face Time

Between the kids and I going to Texas and busy days for Josh at work, the kids haven't seen much of Josh in the past few weeks.  
So when it came to a day off for Josh to stay home you can imagine the joy there was in the house.  We are so thankful for all Josh does, and for the work he has that lets him provide for us, but the time at home is what we love the best.  

July 4, 2013


When it has come to moving Abigail into a real bed I have been hesitant.  Our girl can sometimes take a hour or more to fall asleep at night and the thought of her not have bars to keep her in has caused some concern.
 But the time has come.  Our girl is ready and she let us know.  We originally had a big plan for Josh to build bunk beds and all but we realized that wasn't what we needed for right now.  
No, right now what our girl needed was a small, Abigail sized, bed that was her very own.  This transition has been wonderful.  How thankful I am for that, and for watching her grow and become more independent.  

July 3, 2013


We love our trips to Texas since we get to see so much family.  We love the days and activities that involve Abigail and Ethan's uncle and cousins.
 The older Abigail gets the more and more she adores her cousins.  From them she learned how to ride a scooter, jump in a pool, be bold and adventurous.
Life is sweet when cousins can be like older siblings to learn from but without the sibling rivalry.  

July 2, 2013

Key To Texas Sun is Water

We wanted to make our last day with both of my parents special.  So all together we headed to a local splash park.
 The park was so fun as it was built out of a rock quarry and it was big, full of waterfalls, water cannons, spouts and fountains.
 The fountains came on and off via a sensor for different zones.  This meant we really had no idea when the water would start or stop. This confused Ethan to no end and he received a face full of water more than once as he looked down the hole in wonder.
 Yes, my kids were a little small to get into the more aggressive water that was all around in the spouts, shoots and such but they still had a ton of fun, as did the grandparents.
 I laughed because not only did this park have a splash park but it had a huge shaded sand box as well.
 The kids certainly had a great time there but the combination sand and wet little bodies meant we were dunking the kids in the fountains before we left, ha ha.
And as most great days end, ours ended with ice cream.  Yes the Texas sun was hot but there was plenty of ways to make fun out of the heat.

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