September 19, 2014

Fall

Fall, my favorite season of all.  These days the house isn't being cleaned, meals are very simple, indoor projects aren't all that important.  We are home so much but if you call you just might never reach us.  We are outside.  Outside where the most of the bugs are gone, the colors are vibrant, the sky is crystal blue and the cool breeze makes a cup of warm tea feel comforting.  Fall, how I wish it lasted longer!

September 18, 2014

For The Baby?

When you get rid of all your baby gear after two kids and then find out your are pregnant with your third...you are able to be a little more selective in what you reacquire.  By number 3 I know what works and what doesn't and just what I might need.  One thing I really wanted to get was a new exersaucer.  Abigail and Ethan had loved theirs.  While in Texas I heard of a friend's garage sale and the exersaucer she had.  I sent her a note that if it was still around when we got home I would love it.  Luck for us it was.  
And the first time I put Naomi in it she was in love.  Well, in love for very short periods of time.  When your muscles are mostly built up for laying down it takes some time to really grow into being upright.  But when she is in her new toy she love to talk to the baby in the mirror!
And as soon as Naomi got tired and went down for her nap in went Ethan (the scrunched up knees make me laugh so hard)
And then Abigail.  Because you see, to them a new toy for Naomi means a new toy for them. 
Naomi is not too sure about this.  To be right at the same level as your big brother and sister is good for laughing at them but dangerous because they can reach you.  If I look away at all Ethan loves to try and spin Naomi around and around.  Not so fun when you are just learning to hold our head up straight.  But we know from experience that kids are tough, siblings are curious, and all will work out.  Remember this:
Yes, exersaucers are fun for all ages!


September 17, 2014

Hunting Season

Hunting season is in full swing here in Alaska.  That doesn't mean a lot to us this year as Josh didn't go out.  
But it does mean that we got a quick overnight visit from Grandpa as he came through town after his week out in search of the ever evasive moose.  The moose might have got away this time but the kids got to play with grandpa in the morning and Naomi got to be held by grandpa for the first time.  Those are both successes in my mind.  They might not fill the freezer but they do matter more!

September 16, 2014

A Letter For Me

This summer was cold and rainy, a lot.  But this fall has been amazing.  
And in fall I mean this past week, but still.  We are loving our time outdoors.  
And each day we have been outdoors waiting for daddy to come home from work.
 So that we can take our family walk.  
 It is just a simple walk to the mailbox.  But that 1.1 miles is such a fun time for all of us.
 The running, rock discoveries, animals to spot, discussion about the day apart and most importantly - seeing just what the mailbox might hold for us each day.
We then turn around and head home together.  Winter will be here before we know it, so right now this is one of the best parts of my day for sure.



September 15, 2014

Sundays

Sundays, such busy days and such good days. 
Even though it makes night time a little harder, there is such joy in a Sunday nap on the couch.  (that is until your little brother comes and climbs on your head, but still!)





September 12, 2014

Her Many Faces

It is customary for the oldest child to have a lot of pictures, the second gets less and the youngest has almost none.  I know as a teenager I looked through albums and found 6 pictures of me by myself from the birth to 3 years old.  Just the lot of being the youngest and not having digital cameras back in the day.  But Naomi, she isn't going to have that problem at all.
 You see this girl has the best faces.  She seriously gets Josh and I laughing so hard.  (add in her wonderfully vertical hair and the laughter never stops)
 So, when she really gets going we can't help but pull out the camera to try and capture just a few of her great looks.
 So even though she might be the youngest...
She very well might end up having the biggest photo book!

September 11, 2014

Bugs

Our Mooseketeers group started up again.  For the month of September the kids are learning about bugs.  Last week they studied, made (mini oreos and chocolate frosting), created (thumb prints), ate (peanut butter on celery with raisins for ants) and looked for ants in the woods.  This week is spiders.
 Their homework was to get out and see if they could catch a spider.  The kids were super excited about this.
 Every bug that was discovered was an adventure and boy do we have a lot of bugs in this wooded land of ours.  When Josh came home and found us digging through the underbrush Abigail told him, "I have good eyes daddy, the best eyes because I can find the spiders."
 And so until mooseketeers meets this afternoon I have four jars and seven spiders sitting in my basement.  I think the most disturbing thing to me was how easy it seemed to be to find spiders, and only two the same kind, around our house.
But the best part was watching the kids get super excited about the world of bugs around them.  Maybe next month they will study flowers or clouds, something with less legs at least!

September 9, 2014

A Celebration

Monday was a fun day of celebration.   
 I love how birthdays can be so exciting for everyone in the family.  
 Balloons, cupcakes, candles and being the center of attention makes a 2 year old's day.
 Of course the presents and cards from family helps too.
 Even when you get your very first paper cut.
 We kept things simple for Ethan's day and it was perfect.  A small family gathering after Josh got home from work.  The fall weather was so beautiful that we opened all the gifts outside.  Then while I made dinner Josh and the kids got to play with new things.
But I do believe one of Ethan's favorite part of the day was when people would call.  He got to hold the phone and always had the biggest smile on his face when he would hear Happy Birthday sung to him.
Happy Birthday Ethan, we love you.


September 8, 2014

Look Who Is 2

 Tonight I am full of emotions.  As my little boy is asleep upstairs I sit looking through pictures from the the past two years.  How is it he is two years old.
 His arrival into our lives changed us, stretched up, blessed us, and brought us such joy.
 So today I want to write a post to Ethan, my chubby baby who has grown and grown to be a boy and not a baby any more.
Ethan, what a difference one year can make.  Your daddy and I sit and think back to last September.  In one year you have done so much.  Where then you couldn't even walk now you run, climb, and jump.  Your favorite time to run is when you play hide and seek.  Your legs are still short and for the most part trudging along suites you just fine.  
 There are so many things you love and do.  Now you talk to me and express yourself to share just what you do want and need.  I really cannot get enough of the way you say NO and Yeah.  There is a little attitude put into each of those words.  I have to say, even though I still hear NO so much each day I am thrilled that saying yeah has begun.  So much easier to see what you really need/want.  As you learn to say more and more you have also started to ask for things instead of just responding to us offering you something.  Yesterday you asked for a cup of milk.  The arrival of these conversations is wonderful.    
 You love to play and your best playmate is Abigail.  If she isn't around you ask for her and look for her until she returns.  
 You still love to be outside and now that you know how to open doors you have taken to heading out on your own.  Since you still need help with shoes your favorite thing to do is just put on your rain boots, open the door and explore.  Just recently you have developed the typical boy love of sticks.  No need for much out there besides a stick and something to smack.  
 You do love Arts and Cracks time but in a different way.  Coloring is ok, you prefer colored pencils over crayons, but what you really love it getting yourself into things.  Clay, finger paints, shaving cream and gluing pictures on paper rank much higher for you then drawing and stickers right now.  You love order and if you do get messy you like to be cleaned up soon after.  
 This year you have learned to walk, talk, feed yourself, drink in a big boy cup (no more sippy cups) and most wonderfully, learned to use the potty.  It is interesting as a mama to hear people around you give their opinions on why you were able to potty train as early as you did.  I just smile and let people think whatever they want for I know you and you just knew.  Those things were just what we needed to make it work.
 You love to play with little thing.  Little action figures, which you call men regardless if it is a ninja turtle or a GI-Joe, matchbox cars, blocks, balls and small board books.  You love puzzles and we weekly go to the library and play with the puzzles there since they have a big selection.
 You are a very tolerant little brother and love watching everything Abigail does.  Thus, you enjoy playing dress up with Abigail even if it means wearing a dress.  As you grow you do express yourself more and put your foot down.  For instance I found Abigail in tears the other day because you wanted to play with cars instead of putting on fancy clothes to marry her.
 You still love to play in water and will find it anywhere we go.  If we are ever having a hard day I just fill the kitchen sink and you will stand there and play (as well as drench the kitchen) for a hour.  And in the kitchen you also love to help me cook.  Abigail likes to help me cook just so she can lick the spoon but you really enjoy the cooking process.  You also don't have as strong a sweet tooth as your sister does.  You will take fruit, any kind, over cake any day.  Your favorite dessert is rice pudding.  Cookies and brownies are mostly just for smashing.  
 You are developing more and more a love of big machines.  Your favorite books to read are truck and machine books.  We get the book Demolition from the library all the time.
 This year you went from being a little brother to also being a big brother.  You love Naomi.  Where ever we go you need to be close to her and like to show her to people.  All day long you love to touch her, kiss her, say Hi to her and then bop her on the head.  It is a balance for sure.  Your love language is very strongly touch and you love to climb in my lap and cuddle.  You really are a charmer and enjoy hugging and kissing us all.
 You have very red hair and everyone comments on it.  You love clothes and get very excited when I give you something new to wear.  You love to go up to strangers just to point out your new shirt or shoes.  Your very favorite thing to wear is hats.  You do have a big head like your mama so where you wear 2T clothes you must wear 4T hats or bigger.  Your bike helmet is for a 5 year old but it fits.  A head full of brains!
Ethan, you are two.  What a big boy you are.  I just can't wait to see all that you will learn to do in this year ahead.  We love you so very much.

September 5, 2014

Beautiful

I love to take pictures because they capture the things that are beautiful to me.  


At the end of a rough day that was fun but also hard I love to look at these pictures of the beautiful things in my life.  May it be the smiling faces of my kids or the seriousness of my baby, they are beautiful to me.

September 4, 2014

Texas In August

With family living in Texas we visit every year.  Our choice time to visit is usually February or March.  But this year my brother was getting married and so August it was.
 Our week was full of sun, family, sweating, laughing, water, trying to stay out of the sun, and ice pops.
 Just like all parts of the world, each season is different and it was good to see Texas at this time of year.
 Where my parents live kids can't go to the big pool.  But my parents set up a little pool in the shade of the back yard and that was the kids heaven each day they were at the grandparents' house.
Our week away was busy celebrating in the city of Austin.  But the days we were at grandma and popeye's house there was a lot of quite play, relaxing, recouping from travel and events, and time to soak up some summer after our cold and rainy Alaskan summer.