Monday, November 23, 2009

The Moose Poop Winners!

And the winners of the "Name That Head Baby" contest are: Mimi, Miss Rina, and Aunt Sheryl! Watch out ladies moose poop is headed your way in the near future:)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Viking Halloween Party





For Halloween we went out to the valley for our friends annual Halloween bash!!!
The theme... norwegian vikings. Surprise. Surprise.

Minnesotans stick together and there is most definitely a strong representation of this norwegian influence. Its pretty much if you were not born here in Alaska... you are either from Minnesota or Oregon.

Every few YEARS I meet a fellow Floridian.

So as you can see by the pictures... pretty much everyone from Minnesota REALLY does look like Paul Bunyon. For a second I really did feel like I was back crusading with Lief Erikson and plundering land and seas for steins of brew.

You gotta love all you Minnesotans... I love you guys so much I married one and now I talk like one.
You betcha.
Fer Sure.

Happy Halloween

By the way... this is supposed to be a Viking.
Yeah... I didn't win any pumpkin carving contests on this one.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who is that baby?

OK everyone... are you up for a challenge? Can you name each Head baby? List your guesses in the comments and number 1 to 6. The winner wins moose poop earrings!!!! If there are multiple winnings you will just win regular moose poop.
Choices are: Cora, Keenan, or Lyla!
This is just the first round... so it is an easy one. The next round will include multi- generational pics and will be more challenging.

Testing






Testing the new camera...

the only willing subjects... Cora & Budda.


Picture Perfect

Yes. We. Have. Purchased. A. New. Camera.
This really is a monumental occasion... many stars, planets, and budgets had to align in order for this to happen. Pretty much it means that Mike and I had simultaneous moments of splurging. When the tightly wound purse strings and clenched cold frugal fist of cheapness miraculously decided to open at the same hour on the same day and off to Costco we went before the prudent and miserly ego awoke.
30 minutes later and the Canon SD1200 was in hand.
No more dangling from the rafters while holding the cord in place as we try to download the pics to our computer.... and 1/2 the time we lose them anyway.
No more embarrassing moments of ...the perfect shot... and oh the batteries are dead (they pretty much held charge for 3 minutes), SD card full (max held 8 pics), oh wait where is the camera? And yes I am aware that this can be fixed with a new SD card, new battery... but really it was an exhaustive search to find replacements for the Gateway camera of the 90's.
No more will we be the laughing stock of the picture taking community. We will be prepared. No more will we hear....
"Oh what a surprise the Head's camera is (dead, SD card full, frozen, covered in peanut butter and/or lost at the bottom of the diaper bag) .....AGAIN!"
OK so we all know the last statement is baloney. I will still forget to charge it and lose it in the massive Head bag where it is probably making out with my elusive cell phone.
Come on people... lets be real here... its a new camera.... not a new personality.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sweet Seeds


Mike came up with a new recipe for pumpkin seeds. Season as usual... then add his secret ingredient...brown sugar. Bake in oven and you will soon have these salty, crunchy caramelized bits of goodness! Almost better than kettle corn. Almost.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Community



I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this old 70's poster. 
It is so Spenard. 
And I love me some Spenardism:)

Mike and I have a dream of one day living in the woods - off grid. 
In the meantime we are in the city... and in an amazing community of neighbors. I never would have imagined that this scenario is exactly what I needed while staying home with these wee little ones. Being a stay at home mom is sometimes so isolating and lonely. I now know that being in a beautiful house in the woods with nothing but the bears to converse with would have been extremely unhealthy for me. I love the hustle and bustle of our home and community. It keeps me sane to hear the school bell ring, watch the bus drive by, and have daily chit chats over the fence with my neighbors.
One day we will find our lake house... but right now striving for  urban homesteading is a pretty good thing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Papa and Grandma come for a visit

 
Mike's parents came for a visit for the last two weeks in July. We had such a good time. It was sooooo nice to have family here.... it really does get lonely way up here away from everyone. Check out the bottom few posts of some of our fun doings:)
Thank you to Joy for all the pics!
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The Mural

 
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It's a jungle in here...

 
When we left our old little house I was most sad to leave our orange tree behind. No it was not in the backyard... but on the wall of the kid's bedroom. Joy had painted the orange tree on a visit after Lyla was born. So on this visit we decided Keenan deserved to have his own jungle...because he is my little monkey. We are so lucky to have such a talented artisit in the family. We love the mural and every night we say good night to all the animals on the wall (which he has creatively named ALL of them Keenan) Goodnight Mama Elephant Keenan, Goodnight Giraffe Keenan....
Oh and did I mention that Joy painted this masterpeice sometime in between...
recovering from bronchitis, flu, and much more
going to the zoo, hatchers pass, the airport beach, the park
baking pies, cookies, and apple struedel
entertaining 3 wild children
and
doing dishes, doing dishes, doing dishes!
Thank you Grandma:)
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Trip to Hatcher Pass

 
A fun day trip to Hatcher Pass... including: blueberry picking, jumping in FRIGID water, family photos,  and a crackers & cheese picnic. Hmmmm.... could a day be anymore perfect? Well minus the bit of screaming by the kids during the road trip:)
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hercules


I just sat down to enjoy "my time"  - when all chickies are in their rooms for nap time - when I start to hear a gentle banging coming from "that corner" of the house. 
Meaning ... Keeny's room. The gentle banging becomes more and more boisterous and this is when the big question of my day arises - Do I go in his room?
I'm gonna be pretty honest here - in most cases I don't go in there. I just let him bang away and I horrifically imagine all the destruction he is causing. Eventually he bangs himself into exhaustion and surrenders to sleep mid destruction. This is always most amusing to me as I have found him in many odd postitions when I eventually check on him after nap time.
 - Buck naked with butt in the air asleep backwards on his bed. Clothes, diaper strewn everywhere.
 - Sleeping right next to his door with little fingers still pushed under the door. This one really is a favorite... I love walking down the hall and seeing 3 tiny little fingers wedged under the door - as if they are saying "help me please... break me out of here..."
-Asleep in his closet (did I mention that his closet doors are "supposedly" baby proofed with a latch). This one sent me on a panic hunt around the house - "Keeny where r u?? He eventually wakes from his slumber and I hear a tiny voice, "Here I am"... which sounds more like "Heeh I wam" I had to literally use force to get his head unstuck from between his closet doors.
- The last few episodes have been poop related. Involving poop in the carpet, books, bed, clothes... I really don't want to rehash these.

So today I decided to go in there - the banging was really becoming a bit scary and I thought maybe he is trying to tell me he pooped in his potty. We are attempting to potty train this week.

So I opened the door and I found little peanut Keenan holding his 8ft curtain rod (including curtains) over his head and jamming them into his closet doors. Just imagine Hercules with a javelin/spearing type motion - again and again.
Yes he had torn down his very large, long, and heavy curtain rod and curtains.
When I came in he promptly looks at me - lowers his spear and says, "Look Mommy bwoke." This statement is accompanied with a very convincing bewildered look that suggests he has NO IDEA how it could have broke.

I akwardly attempt to take the curtain rod and remove it from his room (did I mention it is really long) while trying to be very stern with my "No." The only thing I could come up with in the quickness of the moment - "Just wait till your Dad gets home - he is going to be VERY upset that he has to hang this back up. Now go to bed." All the while I am still trying to manuever this long spear out the door and not very gracefully. Upon completion I promptly shut the door with one more stern - "No."
Ahhhh the banging has ceased. 
Two seconds later the loud crying begins.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sweet Tea, Sweet Tea... We All Scream for Sweet Tea

My family came up for a visit last month... the first time meeting the new little one. A tradition we have started when Dad & Johnnie visit is hosting a Southern Sunday Brunch. And this visit was no exception. I just love it. When you are 8,000 miles away from family and home there is nothing better than food to help savor those memories.  And what could be better than Southern food. 
Ummm hello can we say biscuits and gravy. 
Oh no it gets better... fried okra, pork chops, black beans, and collard greens. 
Yes it gets even better... sweet southern iced tea. Oh baby a tall glass of heaven on ice. When I first left the south I was shocked that places in the world don't serve real sweet tea. But for some bizarre reason they think they do.
Me: "Do you have iced tea?"
Waitress wearing flannel and Sorrels: "Sure do."
Me: "Is it sweet tea?"
Waitress with baffled, dazed, and confused look: "Ummm... sure."
Me: "Great... I will take the biggest glass you have!"
Few minutes later I am presented with tarry looking liquid with two sweet n low perched alongside. Or worse yet a glass of "liquid-powder-rasberry-peachy-nestle-chrystlelight-ish-should-of-stayed-in-powder-form-I think-my-name-is-tea" tea.

Everyone deserves a real glass of Southern Sweet Tea. You need to brew it perfectly and spoon in the real sugar. Oh I am sorry did I say spoon... I meant to say dump in cupfuls of the real sugar. And just when you can feel your waistline expanding and your cavities screaming... you dump in one more cup for good measure. Then you sit back in your lawn chair and take a long sip from your canning jar glass of iced tea. That's right - the only real way to drink sweet tea is from a jar. And in that one sip a rush of memories flood your senses... sun tea sitting on the back patio brewing the natural way, the smell of orange blossoms, and sand spurs sticking in your bare feet. I guess its a lot more than just a few bags of tea leaves and sugar - its pretty much your authentic childhood poured into a jar. 

Thanks to my family for bringing a little bit of the south to the last frontier.

I am linking this to Scribbit - Write Away contest. Check it out:)

I'm Back

I know, I know...  I have been a neglectful little blogger. This I can guarantee... if the words aren't ah flowin' it must mean the sun is ah shinin'!
It has been a true Alaskan Summer - BUSY. Trying to cram everything from camping to visitors to weddings to construction into 3 itty bitty months.
Where have we been? What have we been doing?
I will try to catch up over the next few days.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

The last of our snow pile in the back yard has finally melted. According to the calendar it has been Spring for quite awhile now... according to our back yard Spring just arrived this week. The grass is still brown - but you can actually see it now - it is not covered by snow. We have recently been enjoying the most balmy, perfect weather I have ever experienced since living here. It has been in the 70's. In May!

I want to remember each and every glove, hat, and coat Mike and I had to wrangle on just to venture outside for 15 minutes.

I want to remember those below zero days when your nostrils and eyelashes freeze just by running out to the car.

I want to remember slipping on icy roads and sidewalks.

I want to remember the dark days, the pasty white skin (OK I confess that is pretty much year round for me), and the longing for the sun to warm your bones.

I want to remember being stuck in the house with three small children for endless days at a time.

I want to remember all of this so each and every day for the next few "warm" months the kids and I spend each and every waking minute outdoors. I have packed a tote of "fun in the sun" that will sit in the garage so I will not need to take many trips inside to fetch the necessities. Complete with: sunscreen, bubbles, first aid kit, drop cloth (for lazing in the lawn), books, art supplies, sidewalk chalk, water bottles, hats, and sunglasses. Yes... I am being extremely optimistic that are summer will be better than last year's 5 days of sun... But just in case the tote also carries rain jackets, rubber boots, shawls, and sweaters. 

 Thanks for a long  7 months and many good memories.
Goodbye Winter!
 


Hello Spring!
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Comment Issues

OK so yes we are having comment issues. If you have tried to leave a comment and it did not go through - you are not alone. Please try again and I am trying to fix in the meantime.
Not so happy with blogger at the moment....

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Life


When I have changed too many diapers to count, stared at the endless stack of dishes, and folded one too many onsies I sometimes think back to those days when I felt a bit more free. I am so thankful for each and every one of my experiences in this life. 

When I find myself in the routine of family and children and fear creeping slowly in... afraid to watch the news because every story whittles away at the small piece of hope left in your heart, afraid to drive on ice, afraid to try something new... I like to think back to my time of crazy, unedited living and traveling.

These memories become gentle nudges and whispers in my ear to let go of fear, to find spontaneity in this current life, and to model and encourage a path of unfiltered emotions and passions to our children. 

There are small blips on the parenthood radar of once again feeling lofty and liberated. When I am going to crumble or explode (or both) from the trials of motherhood and wifehood… I crank up the stereo to my favorite 80's CD (the kids always look at me like I have lost my marbles) and we just dance.  The best thing about kids is they don't judge… they just look up at you in pure adoration and think you do the best sprinkler and kid'n'play they have ever seen. Watching your 4-year old daughter do the robot probably ranks right up there with the high of jumping out of an airplane.

It is a constant job to fight against the beast of monotony and limit those things that hinder vivid experiences - TV, perfectionism, computers, consumerism… they are different for everyone.

Let life in. 

It helps me to remember that once upon a time I had the strength and bravery to solo backpack through Europe, create art with little fear of judgment, and skydive with a crazy little barefoot man strapped to my back. Those experiences and memories help me get through my days of wiping hinies, making mac and cheese, and doing dishes …those days when its hard to recognize this slight version of yourself.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
Eleanor Roosevelt

What have you done today to break out of your rut?
What have you done today that scares you?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Read Along

I have always loved reading. I have my Mother to thank for this gift. Ahem... I guess being a librarian/media specialist/tech coordinator (whatever the going title is right now) helps out a bit. Memories growing up include: trips to the small Citrus Park library by our house (which is now relocated and HUGE), bedtime stories, and even potty training while sitting backwards on the toilet so we could prop up a book. The beautiful thing about reading is that anyone can get into it... because there is a book about everything. 

If you like collecting garden gnomes... 
there is a book about it. 

or 

If you like converting your engine to run on vegetable oil... 

there is a book about it. 

or

Wondering if Jem is still "rockin" it...

Yep...there IS a book about it.

My brother is also an avid reader... his affection has always been historical fiction and war stories w/ a little Calvin @ Hobbs mixed in. I have always loved the dreamy and romantical (that was for you Tasha) books - Anne of Green Gables, Secret Garden, Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre.  As the years have gone by my interest in book subjects has changed and stayed on course with my life events. Political/Social/Environmental activism in my early twenties... and now in my...ahem... "thirties" my books revolve around parenting, cleaning tricks, cooking, and crafting. I also mostly enjoy Non Fiction for the simple reason of self preservation. If I start a novel of Fiction... I CAN NOT stop reading it. I would be up all night impatiently devouring every word. Which I have now learned a mama that does not sleep makes for a not so good Mama the next day. A few years ago I read Real Food. 

A great read.. I recommend it. Mike and I are always on a constant road of trying to eat and live simply. A rocky road. I am always battling the local vs. organic vs. my own "cheapness" issues. But we will save this for another post:)

After hearing a lot about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I decided to take a break from parenting books and dive in. 
So far it is addictive. 
So far I am showing some self control and I did go to bed early last night... although I cant make the same promise for tonight!
 
It is essentially about a family who chooses to live one full year eating only things they can find locally... to learn where their food comes from and who grows it. 

Has anyone read it?
Do you want to read along? 
I will post my progress and thoughts on the book... feel free to do the same.
Happy Reading!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring

 
As we wait for the snow to melt we anxiously look for the signs of Spring. Everyday Lyla says to me...
"What is taking Spring soooo long?"
I tell her you have to look closely and listen intently because it is already here. The birds are visiting our front porch, the snow IS slowly melting, and soon we will see some green poke through the cold brown earth. While we wait we have been busy with bunnies, crafting, planting, baking... and a little coughing and sneezing thrown in as well.
Happy Spring Everyone!
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Crafty

 
Lots of fun creating the past few weeks... chickie nests, birthday gifts, nature bags, planting seeds. 
And lots of coffee too:)
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A visit from some bunnies

 
Our neighbor Cindy was gracious enough to bring over her baby bunnies for the kids to see and play with. How brave of her to venture into the wild kid crazed house with her cute, timid, little bunnies. The kids LOVED it... I thought for sure we might end up with a pet bunny after the visit. Maybe....
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Earthquake

So we just had a little shaky shaky going on. The kids were eating lunch and I was nursing Cora when I felt a little tremor... I thought... oh it must be the train or a semi (yeah our street is that peaceful)... then we got a REALLY good jolt. Enough for the kids to notice. Lyla says to me... "Mom.. I was sitting there and now Im sitting here"

Really I am not the best at this whole earthquake thing... even though we get little ones here and there I am never quick enough to get under cover. By the time my brain registers it is an earthquake it is usually over. So the kids and I just sit there... thinking it is a semi rumbling by. Quite the brave, courageous, protectant mother I am.

It was a 4.7 and 15 miles from Anchorage. The online info said they do not expect a tsunami from it. Hmmm... comforting.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ashy Housekeeping

So I was just trying to sweep and straighten the back entry and while I am cleaning I am griping to myself... "oh geez the kids tracked volcano ash all through the house". 
And then I stopped and realized how absurd and bizarre that statement was. 
Life in Alaska... the weird becomes normal so quickly.
Anyhoo this was one housekeeping day that didn't bother me too much as I swept up the fury of Mt. Redoubt. 
And yes mom I collected you a sample for your library.
Check out our friends blog who have some cool pictures of the ash... click here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Milestones

 
I feel so connected to this little one. Not sure why... maybe you get more intuitive with each kid... or maybe pushing her out with no drugs couples her to your mom psyche FOREVER. I have felt it coming for some time now... the drooling, the fussing, the chewing. I swear my gums swelled and throbbed right along with hers. Everyday I have been feeling with my finger the slowly approaching milestone. And then over the weekend I ran my finger once again along the bottom gum and there it was...
the jagged little white tooth had emerged. 
Her first tooth. 
So proud.
Trying to slow down and appreciate this milestone.
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Week from Dante's Inferno




Monday 
While I was changing Cora, Keenan decided to paint himself, the wall, the table, and the carpet with his oatmeal. How do you get oatmeal out of carpet?!?!?!
I dropped the jelly jar at lunch... shattered everywhere in tiny bits of glass and jelly.
Lyla had a bedtime accident.
Keenan didn't nap. Keenan has rotavirus (for those of you who don't have kids this is the most putrid, stinky intestinal virus ever imaginable)
Get a little too experimental with dinner and end up with some weird wild rice and beat casserole. Not so good.
Twist my back wrong. Pain.
Doing Laundry, doing laundry, doing laundry.
The house stays a mess... I stay in my pajamas.

Tuesday
While changing Keenan he pees all over me. I won't tell you exactly where - because it is way to disturbing  - but it is somewhere between the region of my new haircut and my neck.
Keenan doesn't nap. Keenan and rotavirus.
So preoccupied with conundrums of the day I forget it is St. Patty's Day (my favorite holiday... isn't it supposed to be lucky?) and forget to cook corned beef and cabbage.
Back still hurts.
Doing Laundry, doing laundry, doing laundry.
The house stays a mess... I stay in my pajamas.

Wednesday
While making pasta salad I get called away to a waking baby Cora, when I return "I didn't do it" poured a box of Cheerios into the bowl of pasta salad.
Keenan didn't nap. Tears apart his room into little itty bitty pieces all over the floor.
Lyla had a bedtime accident.
Doing Laundry, doing laundry, doing laundry.
The house stays a mess... I stay in my pajamas... squeeze in a shower... put the same pajamas back on.

Thursday
While balancing a plate of quiche (slathered in Tobasco sauce), a big glass of water, and talking on the phone to Brook I fall down the stairs. I was trying to be a dutiful wife and bring my husband a snack after work -  instead I went from the top step to the bottom step at the speed of light... quiche, water, phone, and Teresa in jumbled mess at the bottom of the stairs. Tobasco on my face, water in my ear, quiche smooshed in the carpet, and me yelling to the phone on the floor... "Um Brook I'm gonna have to call you back." I now have an ugly, large bruise on my bum.
Keenan didn't nap.
Doing Laundry, doing laundry, doing laundry.
The house stays a mess and at this point is beyond any help I can give it. We might need to rent a forklift.
And yes I am still in my pajamas.

Friday
Load up and haul all the kids to the Dr.'s office. Check on Lyla for possible UTI for all the accidents she had. Check on Cora for a stuffy nose she has had for three weeks. (Good news - everyone is fine:)
March Radness - By Friday night I am #24 in the boards. Ummm... #24 out of 26 people. FSU loses.

The good news is that the week is over and we all survived. The kids survived, I survived, and Mike survived through me complaining about my WORST WEEK EVER! Where was my Virgil?

Lessons learned: Don't balance too many things while walking down our scary stairs, GET OUT OF MY PAJAMAS, and through all the poop, pee, and snot our kids are still pretty cute.




Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mr. Winky

Growing up in Florida I always thought all snow was the same. 
Snow was snow.
...an enchanting, natural element used for snowball fights, building snowmen, and creating snow angels. That could not be further from the truth. 
Here in our part of Alaska the snow is very dry. No matter how hard you try the snow refuses to pack together tightly to make the perfect snowball to lodge at your husband.
It simply falls apart... it reminds me of fake snow... almost like confetti snow.
Really it is not very much fun. The only thing you can do is make snow angels. 
So we make A LOT of them.

However every once in awhile all the needed weather ingredients come together and we have a few days of wet, sticky snow! We have been blessed with this snow the last few days. So with Mike's building skills... Mr. Winky was born.



And then Mr. Winky was knocked down by two lil' hooligans
Who were determined to eat Mr. Winky's face. And yes that is a potato... a raw potato.
Bye Bye Mr. Winky. See you next winter.