August 31, 2017

A Little Extra Frill

Earlier this summer I set aside some time for a little sewing.
The kids were in their fort and using it to the fullest for the summer months.  Time for a little extra beauty.
A few curtains to add extra love to their little home.
They were pleased!

August 30, 2017

What A Honey Harvest

This year has been the year for honey.  How blessed we have been.
Our original hive of 5,000 bees has grown to a hive of over 40,000.  Busy bees and happy flowers have blessed us with honey and I am thankful.  The hive is now closed down for the year.  Josh's poor hands are thankful and hopefully the sweetness in his winter teas takes away the memory of the stings.

August 29, 2017

Because He Cares

Josh works such long hours in the summers.  Yet when he comes home he is willing to step right into the chores I have laid out for each evening.  
How thankful I am for a helper here at home.  The summer days are long without him but winter will be here before long.

August 28, 2017

Right Here

We set up the school room this year with each child having their own desk.  It has worked well but, in order to make room for that change, the little white table has been moved to the living room.
For a couple weeks the table was put in the corner of the living room but it has moved, right into the kitchen.  It seems that no matter how old the kids get their need to be close by hasn't changed.  Thus this white table has become the coloring table.  I gave the kids this new carousel of crayons in June.  Already most are worn down to little nubs.  Needless to say, this table to occupied by one or more kids all day long.  It works well that the fridge is within arm's reach.  Easy to display all of their beautiful work.

August 24, 2017

A Party

Ethan and Naomi put on a birthday party the other day.  
Their stuffed animals were very pleased!

August 23, 2017

Science Time - Geodes

This year I am going to be sharing a lot of our "science time" experiences.  Little demonstrations with the kids that are so fun and are introductions into this big wide world of science.  
Our friend at the children's museum introduced us to the idea of making our own geodes.  The geologist in me jumped at the idea.  The entire experiment was a great success and thus our weekly "science times" began.
We made the geodes out of egg shells, borax and glue.  An experiment in which the kids could do most of the work.
And an experiment that had great visual results.  Someday the kids will understand molecules, saturation of solutions and the changes that occur at the molecular level to create crystals.  For now they have fun.  That is a great start.

August 22, 2017

August 21, 2017

This Happened

Earlier this summer I told you about how we needed to fix our window.
But the timing was all wrong.  
Well, a week ago Josh woke up with his first Saturday off in "forever".  I approached the topic of fixing the window when he was all snuggled in the covers, sleeping in and relaxed.  What originally looked like a weekend of nothing soon became project mode and he was off and running.  A trip to town bought the supplies and by lunch time the window was out and a hole was in the wall.
So in one weekend we went from a cracked window and tyvek for siding to this.  Such a nice improvement.  The inside - yeah that isn't quite so nice.  But Josh did only get that one weekend off.  This past weekend has seen him back working the long hours and the days ahead don't show much relief.  But the outside work is down and the inside can be heated.  A winter project it will be.

August 18, 2017

Friday - Garden Update

This week has been cold and rainy here.  I don't have a full garden picture for the post today because last night was once again - cold and pouring rain.  I love my blog but not that much.  I stayed inside.

But even with the weather, and the fact that the trees are turning yellow and leaves are falling, we still had an ok garden week.  This week our big producer was the cauliflower.  Nice big heads are finally coming together for us to pick.  The kids LOVE that I grew purple cauliflower this year.  So fun and colorful at the table for meals.  Our broccoli wasn't as great this year due to the heat but we are thankfully blanching and preserving a bit of the cauliflower as well and that will help round things out for the months ahead.
The green beans have continued to produce.  This weekend I will probably be able to can another 7 quarts and add to the 30 quarts we already have canned and in the pantry.    Some of the bush beans have slowed down so much that chances are I will pull them this week.  Pole beans are still growing and producing great.  

The zucchinis have been doing ok but, due to my diet of just fruit, veggies and meat, I am eating it as fast as it grows.  Talked to Josh and he is ok with the lack of zucchini bread and cakes.  We still have a few bags in the freezer from last summer so there are bound to be a few sweets in the future.  

Love this season of fresh food so very much.  The clearly evident arrival of fall weather this week has made me sad.

August 17, 2017

Fairbanks County Fair

Last week the kids and I took on the county fair.
 The time wandering around looking at the animals is always our favorite part.
 This year enough bunny owners were willing to take their bunnies out of the cages for kids to touch. This made Abigail's day as the only thing she hoped for in the fair was getting to touch a rabbit.
 And while we enjoyed the rabbits a lot, the sheep, goats, pigs and more made us all pretty happy as well.
The midway was pretty overwhelming but we did give the kids each one ride and they loved it.  A fun afternoon for all.

August 16, 2017

Waving Good-Bye

Yesterday we sold our Jeep Compass.  Bitter sweet.  The first car Josh and I bought together a decade ago but, also a car that has given us so very many problems.
This car carried us for over 96,000 miles but now we have moved on.  Yeah for bigger cars that fit our family of 6.  

August 15, 2017

These Days

These are the days where I try not to notice the dirt on the floors, frantically clean a bathroom when Zachary is content, rock a baby while teaching math, clear the kitchen counter for science time, feel thankful daily for all of the "before baby" freezer cooking I did and am now using, enjoy that Zachary likes watching me fold laundry due to all the colors of the clothes, and spend most evenings processing garden goodness with lesson plans being worked on as I wait on the pressure tank to finish canning the beans.
These are tiring days, good days, sad days and happy days.  

August 14, 2017

Colors of Summer

Ahh the fun and colors of summer.  This picture was taken midweek last week when I was in the middle of preserving.  Last night once again saw two more gallon bags of cauliflower and an additional 7 quarts of green beans preserved.
Ahh the sights, smells and tastes of a successful gardening season.

August 11, 2017

Memorable Moments

Walking home from the mailbox and Abigail says to her siblings, 
"We might be dirty, messy kids but at least we have each other."

August 10, 2017

Practical Art

When we started school last week the kids noticed right away that they were in need of bookmarks to go in their phonics, math and reading books.
 When it comes to school fun projects, I am all about using what we have to make things happen.  So out came the craft basket full of odds and ends that have been leftover from other projects and items gathered overtime.
The end results were great.  The kids had a lot of fun, the books now have markers to help us know where we are at and bits and pieces of art supplies have been used.  Yeah for a win.  Mama's kind of art class - spontaneous, practical and allows for a lot of "self expression" without being too messy.  

August 9, 2017

2 Months

Just like that our newborn is 2 months old.  
How we love this little man to bits!
Taking a deep breath and hugging him close.  These days go fast!

August 8, 2017

A Little Summer Fun

Josh has worked a lot this summer.  We manage ok at home but one thing I am not up for doing solo is summer adventures.  This past weekend we were blessed by getting to have him home when we didn't expect it.  We spent the morning doing chores but by the early afternoon I was ready to take on an adventure.
 We packed up and were out the door in about 20 minutes.  Nothing like the present to enjoy a beautiful day.  We headed out to the campground/river area that we had gone to with my mother on mother's day. The kids were in the river enjoying the summer sun within minutes.  Why I didn't see that coming I don't know.  Nice that is is a pretty secluded area.
 And as the time went by I felt the responsibility and pressure from the last four weeks fall off my shoulders.
 To be a complete family.  To have another set of hands to hold the baby.  To have someone come along side me and agree life is fun.  It was so good.
And it wasn't just me.  We all needed this little break.  
Home days and simple town days are what this mama can manage.  But I do keep a few packs of hot dogs in the freezer for the times we can be spontaneous and enjoy the summer months we have.
Since we are heading into mid-August I am feeling the pressure of fall coming.  How I love that we got the chance to soak up a little bit of summer with this new baby boy while it is still here.

August 7, 2017

Why We Have Play Clothes

After a few rainy days I was super excited to send the kids out on a dry morning.  Less mud!  Well, these kids certainly know who to find what they love.  With the help of the garden hose they were making their own mud within minutes.  I love how the kids play in the summer, how they get dirty and create wonderful things.
And on the other hand how very tired I am of mud.  Mud everywhere.  What ragamuffins these three can be.  Certainly glad that they clean up well.  Today I am also thankful that the sun is out to dry another load of laundry on the line.

August 4, 2017

What Brings Joy

It has to be documented that one of the best parts of entering 1st grade is that you are now old enough to have your own pair of scissors in your pencil box.
These are the big joys in life when you are six and I never want to forget that.

August 3, 2017

Summer Business

Green bean canning and broccoli blanching were big activities this past weekend.
 Our kitchen is very well used but it is times like this that I am so very thankful it is a big kitchen.  I use every single bit of surface on big production days!
And this is how the work gets done.  A baby that doesn't want to be put down and stays up late, well he is along for the journey with me.  We do what we have to do!  A lot of work but a good feeling to see the vegetables make their way into the freezer and pantry.

August 2, 2017

Sweet Harvest

Ups and downs of growing food based on weather is that some things do better on different years.  This is a hot and sunny year.  The broccoli and beets aren't doing great but we can for sure say it is a honey year!
We have already had one spin of some of the frames to keep the hive from swarming.  This weekend the queen will be caught as the hive is into its home stretch before fall.  Thankful for the beautiful jars of sweetness.

August 1, 2017

A New School Year Begins

Yesterday started a new school year at the small Klynstra school.  (my mother recommends we name our school but we have never come up with a name we like.  Any ideas?)
This year Abigail is entering 1st grade (and says, "Now that I am a 1st grader I am going to learn so much more.") and Ethan is signed up for PreK.  Naomi loves to be along for the ride and I am sure will pick up more than I can even imagine from watching her big brother and sister.
Knowing Ethan likes to clown around I actually cleared the table out of the school room.  Sitting around a table might work well when he is older, and calmer, but for now he needs his own space.  It also is fun for them to all have their own books in their desks where only they have access too.  Creating pencil boxes for each of them was a big hit!
Naomi won this little desk from the Fairbanks Children's museum earlier this summer.  It is now put together and perfect for our little girl to join in the learning fun.  

Here is to new ideas, new lessons, new adventures and the new school year ahead.

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...