September 30, 2014

Indoor Days

Cooler days of fall are turning into the beginning days of winter.
Indoor days have started once again.  Time for this mama to be pulling out my bag of tricks.  The way things are now it is hard to leave the house.  Naomi is getting old enough that she really likes to nap in bed, not on the go.  The freedom of a newborn is lost to the routine of a baby.  We aren't able to give her this ever day but most days we stay put.  That and a little two year old who is learning the lesson of how to listen.  He is at the point where he doesn't quite understand the consequences of running away and the danger he could be in, sigh.  The long winter ahead has begun.

September 29, 2014

Word Book

Back in July Josh was working some long days and not coming home until after Ethan and Abigail were in bed.  I found with all three, and Naomi needing to be held a lot in the evenings, that story time was a real struggle.  How to hold three people in your lap when one is just a baby.  So with that we stared what Abigail likes to call, The Word Book.  I would put Ethan and Abigail to bed and then sit in the rocking chair and read to them from a chapter book.  That way I could rock/hold/nurse Naomi and still read to them as they settled down for the night.  

I have to admit that to me this was a dream come true.  Kids books are fun but chapter books, I love them.  I have been waiting for years to have kids to read chapter books with.  And what better books to start with then the Little House on the Prairie series.  Now at night, with Josh back at home to help out, we read two picture books (one for each to pick) then the word book after they are in bed.  At first Josh would read the picture books then I would come in for the word book but slowly Josh has taken that over.  It makes me smile to hear how interested he is in the books as well since he never read them as a child.  It is the only way I am able to give this job up, to see how much he loves to read to the kids - a treasure!  So as of date we have read Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie and are now onto Farmer Boy.
As a result of these books, and thoughts of Pioneer days, Josh and the kids built a little log home the other day in the yard.  I also ordered this movie and we are slowly watching through it in the evenings as a family. 

Do the kids really get all that we are reading?  Ethan, no and Abigail, a little.  But it is good for them to learn to just listen to the stories and they do seem to really enjoy this time.  We have started this evening tradition at a younger age then I ever thought but I am pleased with how it is going.  The question is, what book will be next, oh the possibilities.  If you wish, please share with me your favorite chapter books from when you were young.

September 26, 2014

Laughter


Abigail and Ethan's new game these days is "make Naomi laugh."
Brothers and sisters are so much fun.

September 25, 2014

Winter Days Ahead

 We live in a climate and situation were we really can't afford to live without wood heat in our home.  
 But the reality of that situation means that Josh must be on the job year round making sure we have the wood we need to heat our home.  Lucky for us our friends let us borrow a wood splitter and Josh was able to take a few weekends and split the 5 cords of wood we had in the lower portion of our yard.
And now that it is split he has been working in the evenings to stack, stack and stack.  The area under the deck is all full and he has moved to pallets in the driveway.  We used to stack wood in the woodshed but once the basement was finished into a family room the woodshed became an all season storage/work shop for Josh.  Thus the wood is outside but stacked and covered...ready to burn.


September 24, 2014

Work needed of Play

Every children's book that talks about seasons
shows autumn as a time when children run and play in leaves.
The reality of that isn't always so.  I remember as a child wanting to jump in a pile of leaves and being told not to since it would then just have to be raked back up again thus doubling the amount of work it too to get rid of the leaves.
So for me it was especially fun to see the kids running and jumping and running and jumping in our fall leaves the other day.
Because even though it meant all the leaves would have to be cleaned back up again later
their dad doesn't mind.  How fun for a fall leaf adventure to be enjoyed
with a daddy who loves it as much as the kids do.

September 23, 2014

Garden Days

When we were in Texas there was a hard frost that hit part of our garden.  But since we came home the temperatures have stayed above freezing (33 F last night so barely but still).  
So even though we lost part of the vegetables some have survived but stopped producing anything.

So we went through and picked most of what we could and are slowly closing down what is left.
The previous pictures were from two weeks ago, this picture was from last night.  Last week the kids "helped" me harvest the carrots.  Josh and the kids found more peas last night but for the main garden that is about all that is left.  This week's agenda includes harvesting our potatoes.  The greenhouse is still giving us some green beans but the green bean plants in the main garden are gone.  Summer is gone, fall is here and winter will be arriving soon.

September 22, 2014

Once Again

When Abigail was a baby aunt Hillary mailed her this cute little sweater dress.
(picture of Abigail taken January 2011)
But then the dress was outgrown and passed on to a friend.  A few weeks ago my friend mailed back a bunch of baby thing for Naomi.
And it was super fun to dress up another one of my babies in this cute sweater dress.  The memories, oh the memories!  

September 19, 2014

Fall

Fall, my favorite season of all.  These days the house isn't being cleaned, meals are very simple, indoor projects aren't all that important.  We are home so much but if you call you just might never reach us.  We are outside.  Outside where the most of the bugs are gone, the colors are vibrant, the sky is crystal blue and the cool breeze makes a cup of warm tea feel comforting.  Fall, how I wish it lasted longer!

September 18, 2014

For The Baby?

When you get rid of all your baby gear after two kids and then find out your are pregnant with your third...you are able to be a little more selective in what you reacquire.  By number 3 I know what works and what doesn't and just what I might need.  One thing I really wanted to get was a new exersaucer.  Abigail and Ethan had loved theirs.  While in Texas I heard of a friend's garage sale and the exersaucer she had.  I sent her a note that if it was still around when we got home I would love it.  Luck for us it was.  
And the first time I put Naomi in it she was in love.  Well, in love for very short periods of time.  When your muscles are mostly built up for laying down it takes some time to really grow into being upright.  But when she is in her new toy she love to talk to the baby in the mirror!
And as soon as Naomi got tired and went down for her nap in went Ethan (the scrunched up knees make me laugh so hard)
And then Abigail.  Because you see, to them a new toy for Naomi means a new toy for them. 
Naomi is not too sure about this.  To be right at the same level as your big brother and sister is good for laughing at them but dangerous because they can reach you.  If I look away at all Ethan loves to try and spin Naomi around and around.  Not so fun when you are just learning to hold our head up straight.  But we know from experience that kids are tough, siblings are curious, and all will work out.  Remember this:
Yes, exersaucers are fun for all ages!


September 17, 2014

Hunting Season

Hunting season is in full swing here in Alaska.  That doesn't mean a lot to us this year as Josh didn't go out.  
But it does mean that we got a quick overnight visit from Grandpa as he came through town after his week out in search of the ever evasive moose.  The moose might have got away this time but the kids got to play with grandpa in the morning and Naomi got to be held by grandpa for the first time.  Those are both successes in my mind.  They might not fill the freezer but they do matter more!

September 16, 2014

A Letter For Me

This summer was cold and rainy, a lot.  But this fall has been amazing.  
And in fall I mean this past week, but still.  We are loving our time outdoors.  
And each day we have been outdoors waiting for daddy to come home from work.
 So that we can take our family walk.  
 It is just a simple walk to the mailbox.  But that 1.1 miles is such a fun time for all of us.
 The running, rock discoveries, animals to spot, discussion about the day apart and most importantly - seeing just what the mailbox might hold for us each day.
We then turn around and head home together.  Winter will be here before we know it, so right now this is one of the best parts of my day for sure.



September 15, 2014

Sundays

Sundays, such busy days and such good days. 
Even though it makes night time a little harder, there is such joy in a Sunday nap on the couch.  (that is until your little brother comes and climbs on your head, but still!)





September 12, 2014

Her Many Faces

It is customary for the oldest child to have a lot of pictures, the second gets less and the youngest has almost none.  I know as a teenager I looked through albums and found 6 pictures of me by myself from the birth to 3 years old.  Just the lot of being the youngest and not having digital cameras back in the day.  But Naomi, she isn't going to have that problem at all.
 You see this girl has the best faces.  She seriously gets Josh and I laughing so hard.  (add in her wonderfully vertical hair and the laughter never stops)
 So, when she really gets going we can't help but pull out the camera to try and capture just a few of her great looks.
 So even though she might be the youngest...
She very well might end up having the biggest photo book!

September 11, 2014

Bugs

Our Mooseketeers group started up again.  For the month of September the kids are learning about bugs.  Last week they studied, made (mini oreos and chocolate frosting), created (thumb prints), ate (peanut butter on celery with raisins for ants) and looked for ants in the woods.  This week is spiders.
 Their homework was to get out and see if they could catch a spider.  The kids were super excited about this.
 Every bug that was discovered was an adventure and boy do we have a lot of bugs in this wooded land of ours.  When Josh came home and found us digging through the underbrush Abigail told him, "I have good eyes daddy, the best eyes because I can find the spiders."
 And so until mooseketeers meets this afternoon I have four jars and seven spiders sitting in my basement.  I think the most disturbing thing to me was how easy it seemed to be to find spiders, and only two the same kind, around our house.
But the best part was watching the kids get super excited about the world of bugs around them.  Maybe next month they will study flowers or clouds, something with less legs at least!

September 9, 2014

A Celebration

Monday was a fun day of celebration.   
 I love how birthdays can be so exciting for everyone in the family.  
 Balloons, cupcakes, candles and being the center of attention makes a 2 year old's day.
 Of course the presents and cards from family helps too.
 Even when you get your very first paper cut.
 We kept things simple for Ethan's day and it was perfect.  A small family gathering after Josh got home from work.  The fall weather was so beautiful that we opened all the gifts outside.  Then while I made dinner Josh and the kids got to play with new things.
But I do believe one of Ethan's favorite part of the day was when people would call.  He got to hold the phone and always had the biggest smile on his face when he would hear Happy Birthday sung to him.
Happy Birthday Ethan, we love you.


September 8, 2014

Look Who Is 2

 Tonight I am full of emotions.  As my little boy is asleep upstairs I sit looking through pictures from the the past two years.  How is it he is two years old.
 His arrival into our lives changed us, stretched up, blessed us, and brought us such joy.
 So today I want to write a post to Ethan, my chubby baby who has grown and grown to be a boy and not a baby any more.
Ethan, what a difference one year can make.  Your daddy and I sit and think back to last September.  In one year you have done so much.  Where then you couldn't even walk now you run, climb, and jump.  Your favorite time to run is when you play hide and seek.  Your legs are still short and for the most part trudging along suites you just fine.  
 There are so many things you love and do.  Now you talk to me and express yourself to share just what you do want and need.  I really cannot get enough of the way you say NO and Yeah.  There is a little attitude put into each of those words.  I have to say, even though I still hear NO so much each day I am thrilled that saying yeah has begun.  So much easier to see what you really need/want.  As you learn to say more and more you have also started to ask for things instead of just responding to us offering you something.  Yesterday you asked for a cup of milk.  The arrival of these conversations is wonderful.    
 You love to play and your best playmate is Abigail.  If she isn't around you ask for her and look for her until she returns.  
 You still love to be outside and now that you know how to open doors you have taken to heading out on your own.  Since you still need help with shoes your favorite thing to do is just put on your rain boots, open the door and explore.  Just recently you have developed the typical boy love of sticks.  No need for much out there besides a stick and something to smack.  
 You do love Arts and Cracks time but in a different way.  Coloring is ok, you prefer colored pencils over crayons, but what you really love it getting yourself into things.  Clay, finger paints, shaving cream and gluing pictures on paper rank much higher for you then drawing and stickers right now.  You love order and if you do get messy you like to be cleaned up soon after.  
 This year you have learned to walk, talk, feed yourself, drink in a big boy cup (no more sippy cups) and most wonderfully, learned to use the potty.  It is interesting as a mama to hear people around you give their opinions on why you were able to potty train as early as you did.  I just smile and let people think whatever they want for I know you and you just knew.  Those things were just what we needed to make it work.
 You love to play with little thing.  Little action figures, which you call men regardless if it is a ninja turtle or a GI-Joe, matchbox cars, blocks, balls and small board books.  You love puzzles and we weekly go to the library and play with the puzzles there since they have a big selection.
 You are a very tolerant little brother and love watching everything Abigail does.  Thus, you enjoy playing dress up with Abigail even if it means wearing a dress.  As you grow you do express yourself more and put your foot down.  For instance I found Abigail in tears the other day because you wanted to play with cars instead of putting on fancy clothes to marry her.
 You still love to play in water and will find it anywhere we go.  If we are ever having a hard day I just fill the kitchen sink and you will stand there and play (as well as drench the kitchen) for a hour.  And in the kitchen you also love to help me cook.  Abigail likes to help me cook just so she can lick the spoon but you really enjoy the cooking process.  You also don't have as strong a sweet tooth as your sister does.  You will take fruit, any kind, over cake any day.  Your favorite dessert is rice pudding.  Cookies and brownies are mostly just for smashing.  
 You are developing more and more a love of big machines.  Your favorite books to read are truck and machine books.  We get the book Demolition from the library all the time.
 This year you went from being a little brother to also being a big brother.  You love Naomi.  Where ever we go you need to be close to her and like to show her to people.  All day long you love to touch her, kiss her, say Hi to her and then bop her on the head.  It is a balance for sure.  Your love language is very strongly touch and you love to climb in my lap and cuddle.  You really are a charmer and enjoy hugging and kissing us all.
 You have very red hair and everyone comments on it.  You love clothes and get very excited when I give you something new to wear.  You love to go up to strangers just to point out your new shirt or shoes.  Your very favorite thing to wear is hats.  You do have a big head like your mama so where you wear 2T clothes you must wear 4T hats or bigger.  Your bike helmet is for a 5 year old but it fits.  A head full of brains!
Ethan, you are two.  What a big boy you are.  I just can't wait to see all that you will learn to do in this year ahead.  We love you so very much.