May 31, 2016


This morning I sent the kids upstairs to make their beds and get dressed, like everyday.  But on this morning the kids tied long sleeved shirts around their waists backwards so that they could wear loin clothes and be indians, bare bums and all.  Never a dull moment!

No pictures will be provided for this blog post.

May 27, 2016

Klynstra Beautification Project

It all started with the plan for the kids tree fort.  Josh was looking around the yard for the perfect place to start building for the kids.  His choice location just happened to be over a big stump.  So maybe it all started with the stump, not really sure.  We had talked about the fate of that stump.  Josh was planning on moving it this fall when he borrowed a skid steer from a co-worker who lived just a few miles away.  All of this seemed fine until I pointed out that he really couldn't build around the stump and then try and move it and we also really didn't want to wait until the fall for the kids' fort to be built.  

This conversation ended with a quick text to the co-worker and confirmation for use of the skid steer last weekend.  Friday night the kids and I dropped Josh off and he made the slow trip down the hill from one house to the other.  Thus started the weekend of the Klynstra's beautification project.  

Most of my pictures of my house and yard are on the south and east sides of the house.  The west side, our big yard, is all woods.  And as woods go there are areas of fallen and rotting logs.  We have over time worked on piling them together here and there but still they are in the woods. 

Josh spent Friday night moving stumps, piles of brush, leveling out ground and more that he had envisioned.  Saturday I helped by walking with him through the woods.  He would stop the skid steer by a pile and I would load up the wood and he would take it to one area where we built a berm along the property line as the "designated decay area".  Hopefully it will grow up and be beautiful in time. 
Taming natural and wild woods is hard work.  The past 9 years we have owned this land we have brought under wraps the portion of the land with the house, shed, garden, driveway and all.  Three summers ago we took on the area just south of the house.  Now the western woods are in our sights.  The work around here really is never done.  There is always another project to do.  I can say after last weekend we are one step closer to our future goals for our little piece on earth; that and the kids now have a good place for their tree fort to be built.

May 26, 2016

1/2 Birthday Dilemmas

If you know Abigail you know she loves sweets.  Maybe that isn't enough of a description.  Maybe it is better to say she lives for sweets.  At this stage in her life, and for the past five years, it is what has fueled her.  Say it is from her great-grandma or her father but this girl has a sweet tooth for sure.  With a holiday coming up next week my girl has been in quite a struggle for a month now.  

You see Abigail's half birthday and Naomi's full birthday (and then switch that in 6 months) are just three days apart.  So I have made the rule that yes, we have a special dessert for a 1/2 birthday, but no cake.  The person who's real birthday it is gets the cake.  The 1/2 birthday member gets something else special.  In the past it has been dirt pie, root bear floats and things along those lines.

Well, Abigail woke up in complete distress.  Seriously, I walked into her bedroom to say good morning and I am greeted with.  "Mama, I just don't know what to pick as my special dessert for my 1/2 birthday."  This was a month ago.  I looked at her in open amazement.  Seriously!  But she was, and is, serious.  She has gone through every single cookbook of mine and has finally declared, "Oh Mama, you just pick.  I can't decide."
So here I am.  A week away from making one little girl's second birthday special but also a week and three days out from a special 5 1/2 year old's 1/2 birthday.  Time to pull out the big guns because I better make it good.

May 25, 2016

Just Like You

When the kids got home from Texas there was a surprise for them.
Grammy and Grandpa Klynstra had sent them a wheelbarrow that was just their size.  The very first time they saw it they ran over to daddy's wood pile and loaded up all the small scrap pieces of birch wood.  It took some teamwork, but they move their little load into the house and were so proud to see it in the woodbox.  
As the past month has gone by things have been busy here.  That little wheelbarrow has seen a lot of miles already.  (It has been walked to the mailbox, 1.1 miles, several times so that rocks could be loaded up and then used to throw into the spring mud puddles.)
But the day Josh brought compost home from town made me smile, even with all the work.  You see Josh stayed in the truck to shovel out the compost into my wheelbarrow and then I would move it into the garden.
The kids watched us do just a few loads and then ran go get their own equipment to help.  Ethan took one load into the garden but then he needed to be just like daddy.  So he stayed in the truck to load and Abigail took over, just like mama.
Teaching our kids life and having them watch what we do is certainly intimidating but days like this, well it feels like it is going to be ok.  That and the garden was officially ready to be tilled up and planted.  Summer is arriving to Fairbanks that is for sure.

May 24, 2016

That Lovely Buzzing Sound

Even though the weather has been cool and a little rainy, the bee season here in Fairbanks is up and going strong.
My hive is doing great this year.  The bees themselves came in when I was in Texas so Josh go to try his hand in this bee keeping business as well and let me say, he is hooked.  So fun to watch them feast on the pollen around and already see the honey being built into the comb.  We are excited for year number two in the honey business.  

May 23, 2016

A Semester Together

Abigail had a most wonderful time in ballet last fall that she continued on in ballet once again this spring.  
Being the big grownup five year old that she is we could have moved her into the "blues" class.  The blues is a class of 5-8 year old and they wear blue leotards instead of pink.
But by staying in the pinks class, ages 3-5, she was able to pick up on more of the introductory skills and also be in a class at the same time as her brother.
Watching these two in class together for a semester did bring a lot of issues to light and did remind me how much a little three year old boy needs to move.  Abigail had the most wonderful time but we think Ethan needs to take a break for now.  He picked up on the skills faster then even Abigail but sitting still long enough to listen to everything the teacher had to share wasn't a strong point.  Maybe in a year or so.  Not sure how the break the news to him next fall though, because he really did love his class, his teacher and being one of three boys with 17 little pink girls to hug.

May 20, 2016


The other day at mooseketeers the kids all ran out to play.  We were done with our craft and book reading and the weather was beautiful.  As big kids ran off to play in the yard I sat back and relaxed just a little enjoying it all.  Naomi cuddled in my lap, a few friends to catch up with and Abigail and Ethan playing with friends.  Next thing I know the kids came back and Ethan looked like this.  
When I asked him just why he thought it was a good idea to color himself with a blue marker he replied with all seriousness, "Well, I wanted to be spiderman but I couldn't find a red marker."

Oh this little boy of mine that I love so much.  He just might make me go a little crazy but he is who he is (this picture doesn't even show how much of his arms were covered, sigh).  Ethan, our little smurf.  

May 19, 2016

Guest Room / Toy Room / School Room / Craft Room

When we were in Texas Josh was home working.
Number one job on his list - Finish the murphy bed.  It was all built when we left but the polyurethane need to be put on.  Thus, Josh had to take the cabinets all apart once again.  But since that sealant makes me have migraines he waited until then to finish up the work.  Not only did he get that done, he also put the drawers in place and put on the chalkboard paint we had talked about.  I love it all.
This guest room (but really needs to be more room) is now complete and we couldn't love it more.  The floor is open, but guest can come and be comfortable anytime.  The toys are there but there is still room to play when they are pulled out.  The shelves are bare now but school and craft supplies were on their way.  All this goodness right next to the kitchen where mama is often working.  Perfect!
After we got home from our trip I not only worked on unpacking our bags but I also worked on tearing all our closets apart and move things around.  My favorite was taking all of the craft/school supplies out of the kitchen cabinet, sorting through each thing and move it into its new home.
The picture of the empty shelves looked nice but this picture, this looks like home.  Games, books, crayons, play dough and more.  But even though it looks full I promise you that bed is free and available, as is a drawer or two, if anyone wants to come visit.  We are ready for just about anything.  

May 18, 2016

Enjoying The Little Moments

The other day I taught the kids how to make homemade lemonade.  We don't have a juicer but we massaged those lemons first and then squeezed with all our might.  The kids had so much fun with it.  
 And at the end of the whole process we realized it was just about time for daddy to come home for work.  We all had a lot of fun greeting daddy with a fun surprise on the deck when he came up the driveway.
And he wasn't the only one who came to the little party.  It seems like our mama moose and her two babies are back in the neighborhood.  It is nice to see familiar faces as we celebrate spring time fun!

May 17, 2016

Homestead Guests

Since things have been so busy here at home, and on the blog, I haven't yet got to introduce you to our new batch of 8 week guests.  
 This year we brought home 47 new babies that will soon be called our "fat ladies."  We are super excited to report a week and a half later that we haven't lost any (usually one or two chicks can't make the transition well) and all are getting their adult feathers.
 Even thought the past few days have been cool we see them leaving their brooding box today or tomorrow to be in the large pen.
And as they grow they loose their baby cuteness but continue on towards their practicality.  We are excited to be in our third year of raising meat birds.  

May 16, 2016

No Pictures

Blogger won't let me upload any pictures for some reason.  More blog posts to come tomorrow, hopefully.

May 13, 2016

10 Years

10 years ago two naive kids stood before friends and family and took an oath to God to love and cherish each other for all our days.  10 years has changed a lot of things in both of our lives but that oath stands as true today as it did ten years ago.  
Happy 10th Anniversary to my dear Josh.  The man I love so much more now then even 10 years ago.  I am proud that we have made it 10 great years.  I look forward to reporting on each and every additional year that God grants us together!

May 12, 2016

After Hours

I am way behind on blog posts.  Programming ahead for when I was in Texas was great, except for now when I am behind.  I know I shouldn't put up these pictures because all of the prep work pictures haven't been posted, but I was too excited to wait.
 Josh worked super long yesterday so that when the kids went to bed he still wasn't home.  Coming downstairs I just wanted to shut down for the evening but oh, there is so much to do this time of year.  
 So I headed out to the greenhouse and what a productive three hours I had.  I am so excited to share that all of the beds in the greenhouse have been hand tilled and fertilized.  Then I was able to get all cucumbers and tomatoes transplanted into their new homes.
Josh rototiller the garden Tuesday night and last night I raked it all and set the sprinkler up to start the replanting soak.  Today I hope I will be found out putting down the plastic and possibly planting some of my outdoor plants.  It is an early spring I know but the weather has been so good I am ready to go for it.  Planting week is tiring and intense but such a great feeling.  

Prep pictures are sure to come soon.  

May 11, 2016

Tis The Season

It is allergy season here in Fairbanks.  This means 1 tsp of this and drops for each eye in the morning, pills midday and rounding things out with squirts for each nostril at night.  Just to be on the safe side we have puffs on hand during the day, as needed.    

This has been going on for a few weeks but last night's emergency run to the clinic brought things to a whole new level.  Not only are we well prepared on our meds but we are also taking special care in prevention.  Extensive bathes are now needed nightly to wash off all dirt and pollen out of hair and clothes must not be dried on the outside clothes lines.  New bedding is in place and the bedroom has been dusted and vacuumed daily.    Oh how we hope the pollen count goes down soon.
We all love spring so much but how it makes 1/5th of us not so wonderful.  My poor girl will get through but it is hard for sure.

May 10, 2016

Those Family Moment

Since arriving home from Texas we have been so very busy.  Spring has arrived to the interior of Alaska and with that comes so many things.  
 The list of chores to do around the house is so long.  Always more to do but my request for mother's day was to step away.
 To laugh, relax, enjoy, play and be a family.
 And at the same time be reminded of what a wonderful place Alaska is.  A half hour drive, a river and a gravel bed.  That was all we needed.
The kids dug in the dirt, Josh skipped rocks, I helped the kids find the pretties ones around and we made collections of all that we loved.
That teamed with dinner around a fire pit really made for the best day.
 Because when the end of the day comes no gift bought at a store or meals served at a restaurant could mean more to me than this.
My three kids, watching them grow, seeing what they love, getting their hugs and kisses and being part of their lives each day; that is my gift - always.  The special coupons Josh and the kids gave me are wonderful as well.  

May 6, 2016

Running Barefoot

On the drive to Grandma and Popeye's house from the airport Ethan's first request was to take off his shoes and run in the grass barefoot.  I laugh because all of the pictures do show him with his shoes on.  But regardless we did enjoy our first taste of warmth and grass in 7 plus months.  
 Our visit to Texas was busy.  Grandma had projects for us to do.  But in and amongst those we did get a lot of summer play in.  Playgrounds, swimming when we could, Austin's children's museum, dinner in restaurants and lots of backyard fun.
 We helped Grandma feed her backyard deer that come to visit each day.  Ethan helped to make sure some of that good and fresh Texan fruit wasn't wasted on them at all.  When I would send him out with cantaloupe or watermelon rinds he made sure absolutely no fruit remained before he left the skins for those deer.  They get that good fruit year round from Grandma, Ethan doesn't.
 We also went to the park to feed the ducks.  And it is a fact that those Texas ducks are much bigger then our Alaskan ones.  They must not have to fly thousands of miles to migrate each year.  They were big, hungry and very comfortable with kids.  Some were even eating out of Naomi's tentative hand.
 But running, biking, scooting, stroller riding without snow, ice or mud was our favorite part.
That and finding each and every drop of water we could to cool off.  Those days in the Texas sun were hot.  It was a good time but did make us look forward to the cooler spring days we were set to come home to.

May 5, 2016

Happy 90th Birthday

One thing is for sure.  My grandma loves a party and that is what my mother and aunt gave her.
 It was full of beautiful decorations.
 Almost all of her family in attendance, 6 of her 8 great grandchildren where able to come in their finest.  
 There was amazing food and a cake that can makes all little people's dreams of colored flowers come true.
 So many friends who love her, and that we love in return.
 And even though this was an adult party the kids found they could enjoy themselves too.
 Eating, dancing, laughing and more was how we spent our afternoon.
Until some of us just couldn't party anymore.  Happy birthday grandma, we all love you.

May 4, 2016

Reasons for Travel

There are a lot of reasons for us to visit Texas.
 There is the chance to put our feet in Grandma and Popeye's fountain.
 We always love that the bikes and scooters fit right inside a suitcase and come with us.  Biking on safe streets and sidewalks all around Grandma and Popeye's house is definitely a reason to go.
 Sundresses.  Now that is top of the list.  We bring them all and wear them everyday.  Sunny Texas definitely means a lot of good wear out of our sundresses that are too cold for Alaskan summers.
 But this particular trip to Texas was for many other reasons.  One was that Aunt Hillary, Uncle Drew and baby Matilda were already waiting for us there.  The kids were going to get the chance to meet their new little cousin that they love so much.
But most importantly we were all in Texas to celebrate one very special lady.  My grandma is turning 90 tomorrow.  In celebration of that, almost her entire family came together to put on one big party in her honor.  What a trip this was going to be!

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...