April 30, 2014

Thank You Home Depot

While visiting my in-laws my mother-in-law and I had the chance to attend an art class put on by our friend Amy Adcox.   
While we ladies were working with beach glass, glass beads and resin the dads (and one grandpa) took the kids to the Home Depot free arts and activity day. 
Josh and I have no idea if our local Home Depot participates in this program but it is something we are going to have to look into it, the kids loved it.
And they came home with two homemade bird feeders that they created and are super proud of.  It turned out to be a fun art morning for all.  

April 29, 2014

That Place

Do you have a place in the world that you love?  A place that makes you excited, a place where you dream of being, a place that when you round the last curve gives you butterflies in your stomach because you just can't wait to get there?  
 I do.  It is my favorite place on earth.  A place where the volcanoes (like Augustine), rise up out of the clouds to greet me and make me feel home.
 To me this place is Homer, Alaska.  I did all of my graduate field work here, and on Augustine, and then have visited off an on in the years since.  But much to my dismay as of last month it had been 6 years since I visited this precious place.
 So when Josh and I were visiting his parents in Soldotna we decided to take part of a day and head south that extra 100 miles for a quick visit.  The really fun part was that my in-laws watched the kids so Josh and I took this little trip alone.  Those 8 hours were the longest I have ever been away from both kids but 8 hours with their grandparents were anything but a trial for them.  I do not believe they didn't miss us at all.
 Josh and I took a lot of time that day to be slow, quiet, peaceful and relaxed.  We did things we love.  We wandered through art galleries, ate at a "fancy" place for lunch where no food was thrown or smashed, and then walked on the beach.
I love the beaches in Homer but to Josh the 40 mile hour winds and mid-thirties temperatures weren't all that pleasant.
 But as I stood on the edge of the water, viewed the mountains, glaciers, the water and volcanoes I couldn't help but smile - and pull my hat a little tighter on my head.
Yes, there are many wonderful places in this world and I know I will love a lot of them but to me there is nothing like Homer.  Homer and my favorite glass house.  Maybe someday I will make it back there to stay.  We will see.  

April 28, 2014

Something Special

Yesterday was my sister's birthday.  To celebrate this special occasion I made her a doublish Shawlette
 It was my first attempt at such a project and I do have to say that I am very happy I had a deadline.  Very small needles and very small yarn makes for a lot of stitches needed in such an item.  
Without telling her what I was making I found out that her favorite accent color of the day is yellow.  So yellow I did.  I was nervous of the color at first but now I am in love.  It turned out so bright and fun.  If the thought of making another one wasn't so daunting I just might make one for myself.  I guess I do need to wait awhile so the memory of the work dies down a little before casting on those 300 stitches once again.  

The most important part is that she loves it and that makes the work all worth it.  It certainly was fun to make something new, challenging and special for the most wonderful person.  Happy birthday my sister, I love you.

April 25, 2014

Growth

Yesterday we reached 34 weeks with our new little lady.
 After a hard time walking when pregnant with Ethan we rejoice every single day that I am still able to move, walk, bend and lift each day of this pregnancy.  We did invest in a 4" memory foam mattress topper recently and I will say, that has helped this back of mine feel much, much better each morning!  But oh, the late stages of pregnancy.  A time when everything is big (feet, ankles, belly) and even though we know there are just a few more weeks to go it really does feel like the end will never come.  
As the days warm towards spring we are daily watching the snow in the yard melt away.  Even with an increase in my iron supplements I look forward to my daily bowl full of snow each evening.  Josh is so good to me and not only fills that bowl each night but the other day before the large portions of snow were gone he stored some up in buckets for me.  Those buckets in our freezer will hopefully get us through the next six (or so) weeks until we meet our little girl.  It will be here before we know it, lots to get done and days are flying by!

April 24, 2014

Doctors In The House

If you remember, on my sewing list was Abigail's request for a Doctor's coat.  She and I had a lot of fun going to JoAnn's where she picked out her favorite fabric.  I brainstormed for a long time on how to make the coat since I couldn't find a pattern for just what she wanted, that was until after I made Ethan's bathrobe.  I realized if I could just make a simple version of that and it would work perfect.  I pieced Abigail's coat together and she tried it on once before I finished.  It was during that try on that Ethan begged and begged to try on her coat too.
 It was then that I realized this coat was super special and needed to be treated as such.  So I finished Abigail's coat in the evening when she couldn't see it and after her's was done I put one together for the little brother.  With the bathrobe pattern in hand I made the robe with snaps and two big pockets and no belt.  
 Their Easter present from mama and daddy were the coats and Grammie Klynstra rounded out the day perfectly with a doctor kit.
 Let me tell you, these kids are in heaven.  
 Abigail has loved, just loved, going to all of my OB appointments and she has picked up on a lot of dr. activities.  
 Ethan has then picked up on all that Abigail does.  Between the two of them there are injections, band-aides, reflex testing, heart beat listening and blood pressures being taken.  
And where some of the pokes and prods do hurt a little, Josh and I don't mind being the patients too much at all.  A time when the kids ask us to lay on the couch while they play, why that is fun for all I say!

April 23, 2014

The Lucky One

When planning the kids' Easter this year Josh and I were planning baskets with one small bunny and those few jelly beans mentioned yesterday.  But as it turned out...things were going to be a little different.
 Last Friday I took the kids to our local Literacy Council where if they could find a small white bunny amongst all of the books they could enter their names into the drawing for a huge chocolate bunny.  Much to our surprise out of the hundreds of kids names in the big bowl our little Miss Abigail's name was pulled.  
 Since she won the bunny on Friday it meant that we had two days of looking at that beautifully boxed bunny before Sunday.  After all of our morning activities it was with great joy that the bunny box was opened.  As the lucky winner Abigail got to have the first bite.
Between the four of us we were only able to make it through about 1/2 of the ears.  This 20 oz of chocolate fun is going to provide a lot of sweetness in the days to come.

April 22, 2014

Season For Eggs

One of my favorite parts of this time of year is that arts and crafts get moved outside.
 Since I am still finding spots of dye on my walls for last year's egg dying I jumped at the chance to move this year's egg project out into the sun.
 And since the very hardest part of egg dying is keeping the kids happy and occupied while we wait for batches of eggs to actually dye, the crayons were pulled out.  Abigail got into the drawing but with Ethan it took a lot of patience for these parents too keep Ethan happy since all he really wanted to do was drop eggs into the pretty water.
 But in the end the eggs were dyed and it was fun.  I have now dyed eggs with both kids four times but this was the first time Josh joined us.  It made for a fun family event for sure!
 Come Sunday the kids enjoyed eggs of the plastic kind.  Earlier in the week we had a little egg hunt at mooseketeers group so when we handed them their baskets these guys knew just what to do.
 It was so fun to have an Easter late enough in April that we were able to have our egg hunt outside.  Josh did a great job hiding the eggs in and around the yard where the kids could get them without completely submerging themselves into the mud puddles.
They loved the hunt but really loved the discovery.  When we went to stuff the eggs Josh had asked me just what we were going to fill them with.  I smiled as I said one mini-jelly bean.  Just one Josh asked and I nodded yes.  How fun it was for the kids to get to open all their eggs and eat the discoveries with us not limiting it.  As Abigail went to bed Sunday night her last request was for another hunt soon.  With a bag 95% full of jelly beans I do believe that we might be having another little hunt in our future, why limit the fun.  

April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

Yesterday was a day of joy, fun, friends, and memories.
 There is a lot to share from the day but I first wanted to post these pictures.  As the snow melts our world is a little ugly right now as we wait for leaves to arrive on the trees and grass to grow on the ground.  In this in-between world it is fun to have a day to dress up in bright colors and celebrate the refreshed renewal of our faith.
We really have wonderful memories of our day together.  I am so thankful for this family that I have.  

April 18, 2014

In Just A Year

Right now in the evenings I am working on our family photo book for 2013.  
 And I just can not get over the pictures.  First Abigail is so little, I love seeing the pictures of her still looking slightly babyish. 
 And Ethan, well - I remember he was a fat baby but really.  I can not get over these pictures.  This boy was all chub and only living on breast milk.  At 5-7 months old he was wearing the same shirt he just wore yesterday.
(picture taken last week)
It is amazing what moving, running, and eating solid food can do to a little boy's image for sure.  Oh how I love pictures and all the memories they bring!

April 17, 2014

BIg

As a mom I am learning that any and all big equipment is worth slowing down for.  I have had many strange looks from the drivers of graters, dump truck drivers, garbage men and more.  I pull up beside them and drive as slowly as traffic will allow so the kids and enjoy the view.
 So you can imagine my excitement when I spotted and empty lot right near my in-law's house that had some big equipment on site.
 Letting the kids have a few minutes to climb up and check everything out for themselves was so fun for them and a joy for me to watch as well.
We all know there are many things that we enjoy as children but outgrow as we get older.  The fascination with big machines is one of these things that my kids won't always find so breath taking.  So for now I am enjoying this time with the kids.  A time when I can make their day great just by spotting a large truck or machine for them to admire.  There are certainly things that make viewing the world through a child's eyes fun.

April 16, 2014

The Beach

The beaches in Alaska are anything but tropical.  
 But when there is family, mountains,
 lots of sand,
 rocks to uncover,
 and plenty of head gear to block the wind...
It is a place filled with hours of fun.

April 15, 2014

Break Up

In Alaska we have different seasons than most of the country.  Well, we at least call them something different.  Instead of spring we have what we like to call break up.  This season can go on and on with everything freezing at night and then thawing during the days.  You never know when it might snow or be 50 degrees during break up season.  And I am here to interrupt our vacation pictures to show you what is going on in our world this week.
 This picture was taken on Sunday afternoon.  Our super dry snow had finally reached the perfect packing abilities for just a day.
 And then this was yesterday.  Puddles, puddles and more puddles to play in.
And the chore of getting all of the hard pack snow off of the driveway so that the cars can drive up the slush.
Yes indeed, it does appear that break up is here.  Winter gear is soaking wet, our break up boots are out of storage (mud boots), and I am eating as much as this precious snow as I can before it is gone.  But then again, you never know...we could get another snow storm in a few days.  We will have to wait to see.


April 14, 2014

The Next Best Thing

If you remember, Josh's dad came to our house in February for a snowmachine trip.  The kids learned to love the snowmachines.  When they found out they were going to grandpa's house they asked after those snowmachines.

But southern Alaska warms up sooner than the interior and so even though there was snow there wasn't a ton.  (envision me with a shovel digging into small snow piles looking for clean snow to eat those few days we were there).
So the snowmachines were put up for the summer but lucky for the kids the 4-wheelers were out and ready for use.
 This spot, in front of his driver on a 4-wheeler, became Ethan's favorite place to be.  No matter how long or frequent his rides were he always was asking for more.  He would point to the door of the house and say voom voom as a way of begging for each ride.
 Since the rides were on the back roads, not trails, the baby and I were able to also able to get out with Abigail on several rides.  Not sure if I should feel bad but whenever we would get back from a ride she would ask that her next ride be with grandpa instead of me.  Humm..
On one ride with Abigail she stopped me to pat the 4-wheeler she was riding to say, "Mama, we need to get one of these."  Well my girl not today - maybe someday.