October 30, 2015

Halloween 2015

The big day tomorrow just might include a UT (university of Texas) cheerleader, spiderman and strawberry shortcake. But today we are just a dancer and engineer with our trusted strawberry shortcake!
Being someone else is so much fun, as long as it is just for a day.  

Happy Halloween to you.

October 29, 2015

Color Me Orange

The other night was pumpkin night at this house.
Josh had to work later then usual but I am not one to attempt this task with three little people alone.  So the pumpkins, tools and kids were ready the second he walked in the door.
Naomi was super excited that she got to carve the last of our garden pumpkins.
As usual the kids were taken back slightly by the feel of the guts.  Abigail groaned a little but Ethan is the one who had the fits.

He just did not want to put his hand down inside that pumpkin.  After a few attempts he gave that task over to Naomi.  So generous of him.
Daddy is our resident artist, so after the cleaning was accomplished the designs were deeply thought out.  Ethan liked to look at Josh, make a face and then say, "daddy make my pumpkin look like that."
This was the part our like guy was excited about.  The chance to carve something and not get scolded, ha ha.  
Meanwhile Naomi was keeping herself perfectly happy digging in, flinging, and exploring in the pile of guts.  What is it about having multiple kids and even though they come from the same parents, they are so very different in so many things.
But each one is special in their own way.
Pumpkins 2015 (L-Ethan, Middle - Naomi, R-Abigail)

October 28, 2015

A 3-Year Old Costume Change

Last night was the first of our busy Halloween week.  How has this holiday gotten so busy?  We are doing very little but the kids are so excited.  For MONTHS Abigail has wanted to be Strawberry shortcake and Ethan wanted to be Spiderman.  One hour before the carnival last night Ethan was in tears over not wanting to be spiderman, huh?  Thank the Lord for our dress up drawer.  
Because in the end I had the very happiest strawberry shortcake AND train engineer.  They even called each other by their character names all evening.  What a party it was!  Nope I don't love this holiday but the kids think getting to dress up outside of the house is the best thing EVER.  Now we just need to wait and see what Ethan decides to be at the party on Thursday.  We never know.

October 27, 2015

A Time Of Peace

Last week I hosted a small dinner party for a few girlfriends.
It was quiet, expect when full of adult chatter, restful, full of foods we love but kids don't, had a white table cloth and fancy dishes.  Yes, we love our kids but these few hours - they were nice.  The next party is already on the calendar for next month.  This is certainly something we can get used to.

October 26, 2015

What Happened

So making dinner, writing a letter, sorting laundry, or really anything that isn't staring right at the children usually means something is bound to happen.
Like emptying the entire silverware drawer all the while munching on a carrot.  Nothing makes you feel better about making a home cooked meal then going on to clean all of your dishes before you can eat.  So if you come to my home to share in a meal and your spoon has some carrot droll on it, please don't judge.  You are getting a home cooked meal after all.

October 22, 2015

A New Hobby

I read an article the other day that stated Alaskans were some of the happiest in the nation.  
One of the reasons, supposedly, is that people polled had said they learned something new everyday.  
I don't know if I can say I learn something new EVERYDAY, but I can state I did at least one day this week.
Making baskets, very easily one of my new favorite things to do.

October 21, 2015

Those Seasonal Favorites

The colors, garden, harvest and feel of autumn is almost a month past us here in Alaska.  But the rest of the world seems to just be getting on the big fall bandwagon, thus we extend ours a little.  
Even if the world outside is grey I can still be cooking up my favorite fall foods.  Number one on the list:  butternut squash soup.  Nothing warms me more.  When getting the trays ready to roast Abigail commented, "Oh, mama that is so pretty."  I can't help but agree completely. 

October 20, 2015

The Right Thing

Over the weekend there was an event in town that was up the right alley for my crew.
At pioneer park there is the small train depot that houses the small train that goes around the park in the summer.  But for this night it was open to kids of all ages.
 There train books were read (and Ethan and Abigail were right up front with no prompting at all- see the grandpa hat and ballet bun?)
 Of course the snacks didn't bother my little lady one bit.  Actually keeping her from wandering the room snagging food off other children's plates was a full time job.  What makes someone else's half eaten food so much more interesting then the food on a plate your mother prepared for you?  I will never know.
 Coloring trains
 Checking out the 1905 restored steam engin
And of course ringing the bell.  The perfect kids evening for sure.

Many thanks goes to the Alaska Railroad club and the Imagination Library program for putting this evening on.  

October 19, 2015

Hungry, Hungry

There is an area of our town's river where the ducks love to hang out.  When Abigail was at ballet I took my little two there with some stale bread.  Always a fun thing right...
 During the summer these birds are fed a lot and sometimes won't even come anywhere near you when you visit with food.  But with kids back in school and cold weather all around us these guys were HUNGRY.  So much so that Naomi stood there with her first piece of bread and before she knew it the ducks were reaching up and taking it right out of her hand.
So, needless to say she spent the rest of her duck feeding experience up in mama's arms.
 Ethan on the other hand found this experience great.  We didn't even have to do down the river.  Nope, the ducks met us right in the parking lot.  Ethan couldn't feed them fast enough.
 Naomi, not realizing how hungry the ducks were, fought off her nervousness of being near the duck by eating the stale bread.  Oh no, stressful eating starts young with this one.
 Being a little kid is fun, feeding 200 ducks, and playing in the sunshine.  All makes for a fun afternoon and one this little man did not want to leave.  Don't worry little ducks, we will be back soon.

October 16, 2015

The Setting Sun

The thing about those shorter days in Alaska, we never miss the sunsets or sunrises anymore.  
In the summer the sun set and rise both occur when we are usually fast asleep.  So this time of the year when the days aren't too short, but short enough, we get theses views twice a day, so fun.

October 15, 2015

Where To Find Me

So often the things on my to do list, and those things that don't even make it on there, are repetition.  Clean bathrooms, wash clothes, make dinner (every day), and so on.  This isn't unusual to any of us,  I know.  But some days I look at that list, to the little people running around and realize I need something at the end of the day to say - I did that.  
So yesterday I stepped up my game and did something that should be repetitive but honestly hasn't been done in 7 years since it was instated.  With lots of "help" I emptied the pantry shelf by shelf, scrubbed down each shelf, threw out items that very well have been there for those seven years, organized and put everything back into place.  During the process all of my little helpers made me complete my project.  At the end of the day the kids went to bed and Josh found me standing in front of those clean shelves smiling.  Sometimes all a day needs is a little something different, something that says - I did that. 

October 14, 2015

Time Away

Oh my little Naomi.  She loves Ethan and Abigail so much.  She has gotten to the age where she is where they are, plays what they play, tries so hard to run, jump, spin and be what they have become.  Abigail will spin with her, Ethan will play cars with her.  They both will give her toys to carry.
But sometimes during all the play she disappears.  My little Naomi who loves to be with those she loves and with whom loves her is also like her mama - an introvert at heart.  When she heads off on her own I love to look around for her.  Peeking around a door, or couch, or bookcase to see her reading a book, playing with an animal, or car.  This girl loves her family but she also loves her space.  

October 13, 2015

The Unexpected Of Today

Yesterday Ethan informed me that he was now to be called Roger, not Ethan.
Parenting is hard, I stink at it so much.  I get tired, oh so tired, I scold, I make toys be cleaned up, I fuss about beds being made, chore charts being completed, sharing and oh - would the bickering ever end.  But days like this, when I look at my three year old who has learned to scrunch up his face in thought whenever he is asked a question (and how it almost always makes me laugh), decides he wants to be called Roger.  That moment of that day, things are good.  Parenting is joyful.  I pray I forget the time outs, the need to be on my game all the time, the sorrowful sighs as I struggle to be what three little kids need and instead remember the day that my Ethan became Roger.  Because who they are, special little cars lined up on a stair and all, is what makes today work.

October 12, 2015

Our Backyard

One of the joys of living in Alaska is the entertainment we can receive by simply looking out our window.
 An no matter how common it is to see a moose in the yard, it is still something we all stop to enjoy.  
Especially if it is after the garden is gone for the year and the moose are simply visiting to eat the brush from the trees that had been knocked down in the storm.
And this little lady, she loves her animals.  All of the kids love them but Naomi was hard core.  It was a cold morning our visitor stopped by and long after the rest of us retreated into the house Noami stayed.  A moose might be a little bigger then a dog to us but to Naomi all creatures are loved and called Pup Pup.  Yes, a morning visited by our wandering neighbors is always a fun one.

October 9, 2015

Because He Loves Him

Finding things that fit each of the kids is something Josh and I work on daily.  She likes coloring, he likes matching, she likes dolls, he likes trains.  From this likes/dislikes we think of activities, lessons and more.
 Ethan loves his cars and I saw an idea online.  Oh how many resources there are to find.  From there I shared my thoughts and ideas and as always - Josh, the artist, took it from there.
And made Ethan his very own village.  The water tower on the top stair says Ethanville.  He loves it and so I.  How this boy loves his daddy and his daddy loves him.

October 8, 2015

This Wasn't Planned

Our snowstorm last week took down more trees then the ones the electric company had to deal with.  It knocked over a few in our yard as well.  So while the kids and I played in the yard last night Josh set about to cut those trees up and haul the rounds to the shed for future firewood.  
Once the kids heard Josh's chainsaw the project we were working on was abandoned and we all wandered over through the woods to where he was.  The far side of our land holds our fire pit.  The lone fire pit that cooked hundreds of meals when we were building the house and didn't have a kitchen, but is often abandoned these days.  In the summer the bugs are just so bad over in the woods so it is used less now then we ever thought it would.
I commented to Josh that these late sunny afternoons would be a good time for a camp fire in the pit.  You know, one of those nights...we should do that. 
 His response, "do you want to have one tonight?"
I quickly responded, "Oh, no.  Not tonight.  Just thought it would be a good idea, for sometime."
 But when I paused and looked at the kids, the setting sun, the minimal snow, and the fact that it was already bath night, I realized no time as the present for such things.
 So a little fire, hot dogs, marshmallows and time together was had.
 After all, it already was bath night.  What could a little camp fire smoke hurt?
And those dinner ingredients that I had defrosted?  Well, they made for a great date night for Josh and myself after we were all bathed.  
Yes, those spontaneous adventures are always best.  The spur of the moment removes expectations and anticipated traditions to be upheld and leaves plenty of room for random and relaxed fun.

October 7, 2015

Being An American

Yesterday was local elections here in Fairbanks.  In preparation the kids learned what the word democracy meant and the words to our Alaskan song.  
 Then we trucked ourselves off to the polls to put in our vote.  We love being American.

October 6, 2015

Outside The Box

I went to a great talk last spring on teaching young children.  One thing the speaker spoke on was using resources to teach/entertain over and over again by thinking above and beyond what the instructions in the game/toy say.  Using one set of game pieces to come up with 50 activities.  This is a hard skill for me as I am an instruction and rule follower.  
 Back when I was pregnant with Abigail I found a great set of lincoln logs at a garage sale that has been set aside until the kids were old enough.  These days of early winter has found me pulling out the hidden treasures to be used to help us all pass the time.  So, the lincoln log bin has appeared.  And here we are a week later and we have yet to build a house.
 They have been sorted into different sizes, used as drum sticks, made into cars, pretended to be rockets, swords and so much more.
 All little hands have enjoyed these treasures and even though I did show them how a house could be built, I have enjoyed sitting back and seeing what they could create out a new bin of toys.
Ethan was particularly happy with himself for making a bird out of the roof pieces.  A little log cabin hasn't been built by the woods yet but that day will come.  For now we are enjoying these toys "outside the box" and that works.

Tree Disaster of 2017

We had quite the tree drama this year.  After years and years of real trees from the woods I was done with the needles.  DONE.  Last year A...