July 31, 2014

Just The Girls

So yesterday Josh and Ethan boarded a plane and headed to the Kenai Peninsula to visit Josh's family for the rest of the week and weekend.  So here in Fairbanks are just the girls.  
Amazing how two kids can seem so much easier but at the same time the loss of a helping parent can be so hard.  So happy Josh and Ethan are on their first of many father/son adventures!  Hoping this mama has the energy to make this Fairbanks time just as special for my girls.  Yesterday afternoon was a good start.  

July 30, 2014

Fun For All

This summer our favorite song has been:
"Swimming, Swimming,
 in the swimming pool.  When days are hot, when days are cold, in the swimming pool.
 Breast stroke, side stroke, fancy diving too.  
 Wouldn't you rather be in a swimming pool."
With a swim pass for Josh and the kids this summer there has been a lot of swimming hours logged here at our local pool.  It is so fun to watch the kid's confidence grow with jumping, floating, swimming and dunking.  This has also become a special time for Josh to have with the kids and for me to have some alone time with Naomi where we run errands, see friends or just go home and get things done.  This summer has been ranked as a summer were we have received over 200% of your normal amount of rain.  Great for woodland forest fires but not so good for playgrounds and outdoor play.  For this I am all the more thankful for our pool.  

July 29, 2014

A Helper

Abigail is a good big sister all around, even to her (sometimes pesky) little brother.  

Most mornings when we get up I help Ethan get dressed and then beg, beg, beg Abigail to stop wandering around and get dressed and make her bed.  Well, I love what happened this morning.  I got a phone call shortly after we woke up and as I talked for a few minutes I stripped my bed since the activity in the nursery was pretty quiet.  When the phone call was done I went in and was so happy to see Abigail dressed (granted it was not a great outfit but still), her bed was made and she was putting Ethan's clothes on him.  "Buddy, stay still let me just pull these shorts up for you."

Yes, it is good to have a helper indeed and some days the help really is helpful.

July 28, 2014

Big Sister

Abigail loves her sister.  She tells me all day long, "Oh mama, I just love Naomi Cecilia."  (To her Naomi's name is not complete without the middle name attached.)  She also likes to tell every person she meets from friends to strangers that she has a little sister and her name is Naomi Cecilia.  Most just nod and smile politely having no idea how serious she is about this treasure in her life.
And she takes her role in being Naomi's big sister very seriously.  This day I put Naomi in the rocker to cook lunch and when I turn around Naomi has a blanket, pillow and small stuffed animal with her.
And just to make sure she was happy, Abigail read her a book and showed her pictures as I cooked.  She has also taken to singing to Naomi while in the car together.  I love going to town to the sound of Abigail singing softly in the backseat.
Abigail has always been happy sleeping with small stuffed animals but since Naomi was born she has slept with baby dolls instead.  She also begs me to let Naomi sleep in bed with her.  Much to her dismay Naomi is usually only happy in this position for a quick hug at night, but someday...
And just like any adoring fan, Abigail is sure to take lots of pictures of her baby sister.  Usually they are taken with her toy camera as her other camera has been misplaced but none the less, she is helping to document each of Naomi's smiles.

Often when she tells me, "Oh how I love my baby sister."  I will say, "And your baby brother?"  She will pause and respond, "Well, I do love Naomi!"  Ha ha

July 25, 2014

Keeping Dogs and Kids Happy

When my parents had their springer spaniel dog, my mother would sometimes throw him a magazine and let him rip it up.  I remember looking at this in confusion.  Oh, what a mess it created.  When I asked her why she would do such a thing she just smiled and said, "Because he loves it, it makes him happy and it keeps him busy, I don't mind cleaning up the mess after he is done."

I am finding this same activity works with young kids too.  I now understand.  I don't mind the mess to much if a magazine, a pair of scissors and a glue stick keeps the kids happy, they love it and they are busy.  Life brings such perspective. 

July 24, 2014

Look Alike

Everywhere we go I get comments on my children's hair.  Abigail is blond, Ethan is red, and Naomi has brown hair (that likes to stick straight up like a troll doll and it always makes me laugh).
But when I look at pictures I don't always see the differences, I also see how much alike they are.  Abigail's original picture was taken at two days old as she was getting dress to go home from the hospital.  Ethan's picture what taken in comparison to her's when he was six days old.  Naomi's picture, 6 1/2 weeks - life is a little busier I guess.
And all this talk of who looks like who, well, it just kind of bores Naomi.  Whenever we mention a feature she just likes to remind us that she is herself and that is who she is going to be.

July 23, 2014

Consequences of Being Adored

Something I have learned as a mother is that by the time the first of your children has a runny nose that child has infected all of your other children no matter what you do.  Oh how Ethan and Abigail love Naomi, they love her so much that at just 7 weeks old my baby has her first cold.
Sometimes washing our hands until they are raw are just not enough, especially when the previously mentioned child accidentally sneezes in the baby's face.  So where this mama doesn't get much sleep with her newborn, the past few days there has been even less sleep.  I hope that this little family of mine mends soon so that we can enjoy the bit of summer we have, no matter how rainy these days seem to be. 

July 22, 2014

The Less You Plant the Less You Harvest

What a summer we have had in the garden.  Not one to make many blog posts about that is for sure.  Between getting ready for Naomi and being really pregnant we didn't plant a ton in the garden.  Then the weather has been cloudy, cool and rainy most days.  The combination has lead to a very pitiful place for growth indeed.  I am not sure the green bean plants will even flower before the fall's first frost, the pumpkin plants have only grown an inch and forget about actual pumpkins, and even though it is July 22nd we have yet to eat our first zucchini.
As sad as it all is I try my best not to be too depressed that my freezer is going to have next to nothing in it this fall.  I try really hard to focus on what I just might have.  In the past I have planted 40+ tomato plants in the greenhouse.  With not starting any of my own plants this year I instead bought three tomato starts from the local greenhouse and in the empty space I planted basil seeds.  A lot of basil seeds.  
Combine that with the parsley I am growing in the main garden and we were able to make a quadruple batch of pesto the other day.  No, we might only have a couple of bags of broccoli to blanch but we are going to have plenty of pesto to last through the winter.  Our first batch made almost three pints to freeze and there are plenty more basil leaves growing.  For these I am thankful but I do look forward to next year when just maybe I will larger harvest to feed my family.

July 21, 2014

7 Weeks

Naomi first smiled when she was four days old.  We have since loved each and every smile she has given us and most were the I am sleepy and content smiles.
But today marks our girl's seven week birthday.  And with this has come the smiles - all day long.
We love how she is growing.  Her face is getting rounder, her hair sticks up more and more, she is awake more during the day, she holds up her head and she smiles.  All milestones that we note, rejoice in and that make us all excited.  Already I am begging her to not grow up too fast.

July 17, 2014

The Contest

Our electric company has a monthly magazine.  Does anyone else's electrical company have this?  I don't know but was surprised by this monthly mailing when I moved to Fairbanks.  Along with the magazine they put out a yearly calendar.  Each year they have a photo contest to see what pictures will be chosen for each month.  Last year was the first time I submitted a picture.  I didn't get chosen for the calendar but my picture was chosen for one of the magazine issues.  

This year I have entered the contest once again.  Since I can only submit two pictures I submitted two under Josh's name as well as it is so hard to pick a favorite image.  The following four are what I entered.

We will have to wait to see what they think.

July 16, 2014


The other day all three kids woke up from their naps at the same time and all were hungry.  Thus all were in tears at the same time.  So there I was trying to nurse a crying Naomi while I had a crying Ethan trying to climb on my lap and a crying Abigail sitting on the floor with tears running down her face holding her arms up to me.  As I looked at all three kids I was surprisingly calm and in my head I was thinking, how am I ever going to do this.  
But here we are, a family of five.  Even though there is a lot more to balance and the end is no where in sight I know we will get through.  Also, food is a good way to make crying kids happy once again.

July 15, 2014

Deck Days Of Summer

Oh, the deck.  It is my favorite place to be every single day of the summer.
 Toys and water - lots of water - to play with.  Snacks to eat and stories to read.
We all enjoy this wonderful place.  And after having a fall baby and a winter baby I do have to say a summer baby is the best as well.  Sun with a little shade, a cool breeze and a mosquito net all makes for the perfect place to take a nap.

July 14, 2014


As Naomi continues to grow we continue to adjust to a new little person in our lives.  And even as we have arrived at week six we are amazed at how Naomi is still the center of attention.
 There isn't a nursing, diaper change, dressing
 Or bath time that doesn't draw a crowd 
We keep wondering when the "big kids" will just get used to their sister and she becomes old news.  But for now she is still the center of attention and really, she doesn't seem to mind.

July 11, 2014

Our Shrubbery

 Seven years ago when we were just putting in the foundation of our house I found a beautiful lilac bush that someone was going to throw away.  I took that dug up bush, loaded it into my friend's truck and then planted it in a shallow hole I dug on our new land.
Since then this beautiful lilac bush has grown and grown but it has never ever produced a single lilac.  Thus instead of being called a lilac bush we have always talked about it as the shrubbery.
So you can imagine my joy when I saw this itty bitty small lilac blossom the other day.  We have no idea why it has not produced any for seven years and so we also have no idea why one suddenly sprouted this summer but it does make me happy to see.

July 10, 2014

One Reason We Have Three Kids

Having multiple children is tiring, that is for sure.  But when I think of my brother and my sister and the love I have for both of them, even when we don't get along... 
I am so happy I have three children.  It is my strongest hope that the relationship that Abigail, Ethan and Naomi have together will be one of love and friendship their entire lives.  Siblings are a thing to be thankful for sure!
As we left the house yesterday I asked Abigail if she wanted to bring a doll along.  She calmly replied, "Oh no, I already have my favorite baby, Naomi Cecilia."  This made me smile for sure. 

July 9, 2014

Ann Getty - Alaskan Style

Naomi is a daytime sleeper and a night time owl these day.  So much so that when Hillary and I were on the tour last week we were able to put her however we wanted where ever we thought too.
 And thus we began our Ann Getty photo shoot with spruce branches and caribou furs
A beaver pelt and an old scale from the pioneering days in Alaska
And best of all, Naomi taking a rest on a bear skin bed at a fishing camp.  We had so much fun and Naomi was the best model we could have asked for.  Too bad I already made her birth announcements.

**This post is dedicated to my friend Kevin Riley.  I thought of him the entire time we did these pictures and each time I look at them since he cannot stand Ann Getty.  His distain for her pictures always makes me laugh.**

July 8, 2014

A Day on The River

One fun thing about company is that as a local I get the chance to be a little bit of a tourist.  The world of tourism is so fun and always the town's best foot is put forth.  As a local it is fun to sometimes step into that world and be reminded of how it is fun to live in a place that many people travel thousand of miles to visit.  
 Hillary, Naomi and I spent one afternoon together on the Riverboat Discovery.  A fun tour that goes up and down our Chena River and talks about the history of Fairbanks and all things Alaskan.
 Hillary's favorite part was the dog mushing demonstration 
 and my favorite part was the hour we walked around the tourist village that the riverboat company has built
 It was a fun afternoon of beautiful things
 Time on the river and
 showing Hillary different things (and watching her pose for a picture even though it grossed her out)
but the best part of the afternoon had nothing to do with Alaska, the tour company or what we saw.  The best part was that Hillary was in town and we were together to pose on someone's random porch together.  With Hillary making memories is always a fun time and involves a lot of laughs.  

July 7, 2014


When company visits a few things happen
 friendships are built and strengthened as day to day lives are shared
 new things that mama doesn't do are done and thus become a daily activity, even after the company leaves
New memories are made.  It is so wonderful to have family visit and so hard when they leave.  We are thankful for all the love a family can share and for the phones, email and skype time that we have until we are together again.

July 4, 2014


I am loving having my sister here with me this week.  There is something so special about the relationship I have with my brother and sister.  Siblings are a different relationship than any other we have in life!
As tiring as it is to have a new baby in the house I am so thankful that these two girls are sisters.  The relationship they will have together and with Ethan makes me smile and makes the tired nights worth it - usually.

July 1, 2014

Caveman Style

The other day we had a turkey dinner.  The kids haven't loved turkey dinner in the past so when I gave them their plates I made sure to cut the turkey up really small so it would be easier to eat and things would go smoother at the dinner table.  Well, to my surprise Ethan wasn't at all pleased with this small pieces of meat.  He sat in his chair and complained and complained.  At the end of the meal I was about to clean up his untouched plate when he reaches for the serving plate.
 There he picked up the big turkey leg with a smile and went to town.
I was wrong, our little guy did like turkey, he just wanted it caveman style.  

Let Me Tell You A Story

Years ago my mother bought the kids a bear that reads them The Night Before Christmas.   It is a favorite every year to everyone, but Josh....