Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas card

I love getting Christmas cards in the mail. I, however,  did not send out a single Christmas card this year. At first I was feeling wonderfully freed from the burden of forced correspondence. I like to say that I simply had too much going on this year with an increased workload, scouts, the kids' gymnastics, and my most recent adventure in learning to knit (I'm slow meaning that it takes me longer than the average knitter to finish anything. Also, I often find that I've forgotten that I have this new hobby and find myself perusing Pinterest instead. Then I see something fabulous on Pinterest that someone else has knit and  I feel guilty for spending my down time pinning instead of knitting.). But the truth is, I simply did not make time for Christmas cards this year. I really felt guilty when my cousin, who has two small girls and recently birthed twin boys all while in the midst of starting their own dairy farm, sent me a beautiful Christmas card. Compared to her I am a slacker of epic proportions. I have no excuse. Next year I promise to try harder. In the mean time, pretend these are photos on a Christmas card in your mailbox.
So Merry Christmas from DH and I, (not pictured. If I didn't take the time to get cards, you can safely bet I also didn't make time to figure out the self timer on my camera.)
and Sonny Boy,

and Princess Blondie,

and this guy too.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This morning

The kids and I didn't make it to church this morning. Totally legitemate excuse though today. I lost the keys and locked myself out of the house. Again. I'm thinking it's time for one of those keypad thingies that you put on your garage doors and punch in a code to get in. People like me clearly need those things. After a quick yet thorough search through my purse and pockets I declared my keys lost and then checked all the doors to the house to see if I did in fact lock them all. I did. Sometimes I wish I weren't so thorough about that. Usually about once a year when I lock myself out I wish that.
This time I had my phone in my coat pocket so I could make an emergency call to my sister. Thank goodness she is always late for church so I knew I would catch her on her way. Her tardiness was a lifesaver today. The last time I locked myself out I wasn't so lucky. That time I got to meet some of my neighbors as I knocked on doors looking for someone to be home and willing to share their phone with me. Dennis, or "the blue house neighbors" as my kids like to call them, was my lifesaver that day. 
While we waited in the cold truck for my sister, Princess Blondie informed me that one reason she doesn't like winter is because we always get locked out of our house (She was lucky enough to get locked out of the house with me the first time too). I tell her there is no correlation between the two other than her mother has crappy timing and a knack for misplacing things.
My sister and her family soon show up and let me in my house. They hurry off to church. I go in the house and still can't find my keys anywhere. I go out to tell my kids to get out of the truck because we aren't going to make it to church or anywhere else and find them screaming at each other with Princess Blondie in tears because her brother is copying her. My day just keeps getting better and better. 
Now, my keys are always in my coat pocket so this is the time when I start to blame my husband because clearly he took my keys. It's always the man's fault. But usually if he takes my keys he at least takes my truck key off the ring so I can, you know, drive places. So now I think maybe he didn't actually take them and that I dropped them in the new five inches of snow that showered on us this morning.

I go out and start digging around in the snow hoping I will somehow spot them. I don't. I try retracing my steps. I could have sworn they were in my hand when I walked out of the house this morning. Then I remembered I had also carried out a bag of broccoli and hotdog buns in that hand for lunch at my sisters after church. I had set those in the passenger seat. I go and check under the broccoli. There are my keys. Sitting there in the truck the whole time. I think I will try retracing my steps first next time. And I maybe owe my sister an apology for making them really, really late for church today for no reason at all.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Seeing things

A while ago I painted my bathroom. I wasn't very happy with it at first. I was a little stumped about how to deal with the Aquafresh color that had appeared instead of the breezy turquoise blue I had imagined. I didn't want to live inside a tube of toothpaste, even if it was a bathroom. I contemplated stripes but made a last minute game plan change and did a stencil instead.

It seems I was on to something.

Check out this bedding from Z Gallerie that I found while perusing their site. It's the exact color and pattern from my bathroom! Who knew I could be such a trend setter? I was ahead of my time and didn't even know it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Tonight my little girl begged for just one more hug as I left her room after our goodnight prayers as she usually does. Then she told me: 
Mom,I love you to the moon and back (as per usual, but then it got even better) a thousand times!

I love you aaaallll the numbers in the world two million times.

I love you all the things in the world, two hundred aaaaand fifty thousand times.

And then the kicker.
I love you as much as the dogs!

I laughed at first, but that's actually a pretty big compliment coming from her.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My muse

I'm nearly exiting my third Alaskan autumn and it is by far the most beautiful fall we've had since we moved here.   

Fall has always been my favorite season and it was what I missed most about Michigan during our time in the south.

The fall this year almost compares to Michigan, but our color scheme is limited to dark golds, bright yellows, and browns,

at least when it comes to trees,

and I miss the orange and red hues that Michigan has to offer.

I was waiting for a sunny day off of work to head down to my favorite spot,

the hayflats,

which has become my muse of sorts.

It seems that I was not the only one with that idea.

I've never seen the place so busy.

Everyone was out to enjoy the beautiful weather and gorgeous views.

I can't blame them,

although I kind of like having the place to myself.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

For my mom

Ah, where do I even begin? It's been a short summer with a lot packed in it and now it's over. The kids are back at school. I had my first day of class with my preschoolers today and my first Scout meeting tonight. The kids have both started gymnastics as well. Let the crazy school year begin! 
Since I don't even know where to start with posts about everything that happened this summer, I decided to make my mother happy and put up some pictures of my garden like I promised her I'd do. So all who don't get a big kick out of flowers, I'm sorry. But my mom will be thrilled. 

My hanging baskets have nearly recovered from my month long absence. DH told me he'd water them if I reminded him to. I remembered to remind him once. Can't say he didn't warn me. 

I came back to find the rest of my garden had really taken off. That tends to happen with about 20 hours of daylight. 

I threw some wildflower seeds down and they exploded! I had to weed about half of them out and my garden still looks like this. It's quite fecund. I think that's my favorite new word. I've been dying to use it. And I'm not sure that I used it properly, but hey, I gave it a go.

This is the first time I bought snapdragons. I think they are a definite yes for next year. The kids loved them. And look, the pansies I started from last year's seeds actually grew. 

 Except for this one. This one I bought. I have a hard time walking by flowers and not buying them. It's genetic. Thanks mom.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Leader (un)extraordinaire

I have suddenly become the new Cub Scout leader to Sonny Boy's den and I'm not quite sure how that happened. Our leader had been threatening to move if her husband ever got a transfer back to the lower 48 and I just kept praying that it would never happen because: a. She's one of my best friends here and I really don't want her to go (wasn't all this friends moving away business supposed to stop after we left the military life?), and b. That meant one of us remaining parents had to fill in the leadership gap. Lo and behold he finally did get that new job and three weeks later he's moved to Nebraska and their house is on the market. Loose ends are being tied up and soon the whole family will be gone for good. All signs are now pointing to me.  Honestly, I've been groomed for this all along. Never volunteer to help. It only causes trouble. And this people pleaser has a hard time saying no.

What scares me the most is that I hate going into new situations not knowing every bit of information I could possibly know (and wearing the scouting uniform. Ugh. I thought my uniform days were behind me when I finally hung up my waitressing apron years ago.). I don't like feeling like I don't know what I'm doing and not knowing what the expectations are of me. I like it when things are the same. Change is scary. Good thing I've got DH to push me into new things or everything about me would be the same, same, same, and I would be the most boring person ever. I may still be the most boring person ever. I watch travel shows on PBS and documentaries often find their way into our DVD player. I'm in a book club and I blog in my free time.  Every once in a while we actually have people who are not related to us come over for dinner. This is a big step forward in our attempt at having a social life. I think I'm secretly an 80 year old in a 29 year old body.

However, if I've learned anything from this year of teaching preschool it's that most of the time you just have to wing it. I'm getting used to the idea that I will do this Cub Scout leader thing. I don't have to babysit my nephews come fall so that should open up a day that I can plan (and maybe even do some laundry). I've got plenty of great parents in our group to help me and I'm taking full advantage of that, so consider yourselves warned. This may be a great success as long as no one expects me to actually know what I'm doing. I can wing it with the best of 'em. Lets just see if everyone can survive camp this week first.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Another season is over.

Spring concerts have been sung.

 Kindergarten programs are complete.

 Awards have been handed out.

 Graduation ceremonies are over.

 End of the year pictures have been taken.

 Goodbyes have been said.

 Young moose appear on a daily basis to eat my garden and trample the new grass that has been planted.

The slip and slide had it's christening while a naked nephew joins in the fun.

Summer is officially here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Worth it

My nephews are napping. I have a limited amount of time here. There are many things I should be doing instead of writing this.
Like folding the mountian of laundry in my living room.
Washing the dishes.
Planting my garden. That's a big one.
Mowing the lawn. Another biggie. 
But I just had to share these pictures. Never a dull moment around here.

This is my husband. No, he has not learned to walk on water.

He is standing on top of his atv. 
He got halfway across this bit of water when it started to float and then boycotted this particular adventure and quit. Right smack in the middle.
 There he sat swatting away mosquitoes until he was rescued. All those things you hear about the giant, bloodsucking, prehistoric mosquitoes in Alaska? They're all true. 

Can you throw me a line?


Maybe I should take my boots off for this.

Luckily, we were on our way home when this happened. Some of his friends winched him out and then I towed him the 10 or so miles back to the truck and trailer. And somehow he managed to stay dry through the whole thing. That in itself is downright miraculous.

So what took us on this treacherous journey to begin with? Forty miles round trip through dust so thick we couldn't see (or breath!), water so deep we drowned a fourwheeler, and terrain so bumpy my muscles were aching. All so we could see this.

The Knik Glacier.

These views are definitly well worth the tired muscles, sunken fourwheeler, and the pound of dust I inhaled.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Feeling feisty

I witnessed my first moose fight the other day. I use the term fight here very loosely because it was mostly just a "go away, you're in my space" kind of a thing and not an all out brawl. It was still pretty freaking amazing though. And it all happened in my front yard.

First DH spotted a moose, a bull I believe, hanging out in the backyard. I got the camera out because he was really close and I wanted some more pictures. Then that bull was really interested in something in the woods and another bull comes out to the yard. They regard each other warily with their ears pinned back like horses do when they're pissed off. The first lets the second pass with a glare. They wander to the front yard to find something to eat since our backyard is nothing but a giant dirt pit now that the mud has finally dried.

I cut through the house and go out to the front porch to spy on them and see a third moose, this one female. One male saunters up to her. "How you doin'?" (imagine my best Joey, from Friends, impersonation here). She was not nearly as nice as the two meeting in the backyard were. It is not mating season and she most definitely was not in the mood. She pinned her ears back, and then I was praising Jesus that I had my camera because she actually charged the bull and tried to kick him. He ran off and eyed her from afar while peeking out from behind a few trees. AND I got it on film. It's one of those moments that I can't believe that I was actually in the right place at the right time. It is my greatest feat to date aside from, you know, giving birth to my children and stuff. It. was. awesome.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Easter has come and gone already. It comes faster and faster each year. Maybe one of these years I'll actually remember to give something up for lent, but I have to say, I feel like I'm setting myself up for failure with that one. Unless I give up lima beans. In that, I could be a great success. But I suppose that is sort of missing the point of it.

We started off Easter Sunday at church, and between the kids not having Sunday school and all the extra folks that come on Easter, the place was pretty packed. Sonny Boy was none too excited to have to sit through the adult service. It's just a warm up for summer when the kids will have to sit with us all the time when Sunday school is out until fall. It is not a great time for a very fidgety eight year old. Nothing makes the kids love Sunday school quite like sitting in the adult service all summer!

After church we had a great dinner with friends and my sister and her family. It was really nice finally having people over, but I've got to brush up on my hostessing skills. I have none. People who come over here pretty much need to learn to fend for themselves since the only ones who are ever here are family, and well, they just fend for themselves the way that families do. You want a drink, well, start hunting around, you'll find something, because I surely won't remember to offer one to you. I think maybe I'll just call myself laid back instead of terrible hostess. It has a better ring to it. 

After lunch another friend and her kids came over for an Easter egg hunt. The kids were chomping at the bit to get after the eggs. My friend and I were warned to stop chit chatting when we were supposed to be hiding the eggs. The youngin's were getting a bit hard to contain inside.

 We finished hiding the eggs. DH opened the front door and there was a mad dash for the treats.

 This was my nephews first egg hunt, but it didn't take him long to figure out what he needed to do. To say the kid loves candy is a bit of an understatement. 

It took all of about 3 minutes for the kids to find all of the eggs and to start mowing down on the candy. Notice Sonny Boy's already stuffed cheeks and Princess Blondie's protective posture. Bob won't be getting that candy, although he did try to steal a few of his own eggs during the hunt, of course. I would expect nothing less from Bob.

And then my favorite shot of the day. I can't lay claim to either of these two little cuties, but I wish I could. How sweet are they? Watch out for that little guy on the right. He's already a little ladies man. He'll have his game perfected by the time that he's a teenager. I know I'll be locking my daughter up. 

All in all, this was the best Easter I've had in a long time. I'm feeling thankful for friends and family to share it with.