April 23, 2014

The Lucky One

When planning the kids' Easter this year Josh and I were planning baskets with one small bunny and those few jelly beans mentioned yesterday.  But as it turned out...things were going to be a little different.
 Last Friday I took the kids to our local Literacy Council where if they could find a small white bunny amongst all of the books they could enter their names into the drawing for a huge chocolate bunny.  Much to our surprise out of the hundreds of kids names in the big bowl our little Miss Abigail's name was pulled.  
 Since she won the bunny on Friday it meant that we had two days of looking at that beautifully boxed bunny before Sunday.  After all of our morning activities it was with great joy that the bunny box was opened.  As the lucky winner Abigail got to have the first bite.
Between the four of us we were only able to make it through about 1/2 of the ears.  This 20 oz of chocolate fun is going to provide a lot of sweetness in the days to come.

April 22, 2014

Season For Eggs

One of my favorite parts of this time of year is that arts and crafts get moved outside.
 Since I am still finding spots of dye on my walls for last year's egg dying I jumped at the chance to move this year's egg project out into the sun.
 And since the very hardest part of egg dying is keeping the kids happy and occupied while we wait for batches of eggs to actually dye, the crayons were pulled out.  Abigail got into the drawing but with Ethan it took a lot of patience for these parents too keep Ethan happy since all he really wanted to do was drop eggs into the pretty water.
 But in the end the eggs were dyed and it was fun.  I have now dyed eggs with both kids four times but this was the first time Josh joined us.  It made for a fun family event for sure!
 Come Sunday the kids enjoyed eggs of the plastic kind.  Earlier in the week we had a little egg hunt at mooseketeers group so when we handed them their baskets these guys knew just what to do.
 It was so fun to have an Easter late enough in April that we were able to have our egg hunt outside.  Josh did a great job hiding the eggs in and around the yard where the kids could get them without completely submerging themselves into the mud puddles.
They loved the hunt but really loved the discovery.  When we went to stuff the eggs Josh had asked me just what we were going to fill them with.  I smiled as I said one mini-jelly bean.  Just one Josh asked and I nodded yes.  How fun it was for the kids to get to open all their eggs and eat the discoveries with us not limiting it.  As Abigail went to bed Sunday night her last request was for another hunt soon.  With a bag 95% full of jelly beans I do believe that we might be having another little hunt in our future, why limit the fun.  

April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

Yesterday was a day of joy, fun, friends, and memories.
 There is a lot to share from the day but I first wanted to post these pictures.  As the snow melts our world is a little ugly right now as we wait for leaves to arrive on the trees and grass to grow on the ground.  In this in-between world it is fun to have a day to dress up in bright colors and celebrate the refreshed renewal of our faith.
We really have wonderful memories of our day together.  I am so thankful for this family that I have.  

April 18, 2014

In Just A Year

Right now in the evenings I am working on our family photo book for 2013.  
 And I just can not get over the pictures.  First Abigail is so little, I love seeing the pictures of her still looking slightly babyish. 
 And Ethan, well - I remember he was a fat baby but really.  I can not get over these pictures.  This boy was all chub and only living on breast milk.  At 5-7 months old he was wearing the same shirt he just wore yesterday.
(picture taken last week)
It is amazing what moving, running, and eating solid food can do to a little boy's image for sure.  Oh how I love pictures and all the memories they bring!

April 17, 2014

BIg

As a mom I am learning that any and all big equipment is worth slowing down for.  I have had many strange looks from the drivers of graters, dump truck drivers, garbage men and more.  I pull up beside them and drive as slowly as traffic will allow so the kids and enjoy the view.
 So you can imagine my excitement when I spotted and empty lot right near my in-law's house that had some big equipment on site.
 Letting the kids have a few minutes to climb up and check everything out for themselves was so fun for them and a joy for me to watch as well.
We all know there are many things that we enjoy as children but outgrow as we get older.  The fascination with big machines is one of these things that my kids won't always find so breath taking.  So for now I am enjoying this time with the kids.  A time when I can make their day great just by spotting a large truck or machine for them to admire.  There are certainly things that make viewing the world through a child's eyes fun.

April 16, 2014

The Beach

The beaches in Alaska are anything but tropical.  
 But when there is family, mountains,
 lots of sand,
 rocks to uncover,
 and plenty of head gear to block the wind...
It is a place filled with hours of fun.

April 15, 2014

Break Up

In Alaska we have different seasons than most of the country.  Well, we at least call them something different.  Instead of spring we have what we like to call break up.  This season can go on and on with everything freezing at night and then thawing during the days.  You never know when it might snow or be 50 degrees during break up season.  And I am here to interrupt our vacation pictures to show you what is going on in our world this week.
 This picture was taken on Sunday afternoon.  Our super dry snow had finally reached the perfect packing abilities for just a day.
 And then this was yesterday.  Puddles, puddles and more puddles to play in.
And the chore of getting all of the hard pack snow off of the driveway so that the cars can drive up the slush.
Yes indeed, it does appear that break up is here.  Winter gear is soaking wet, our break up boots are out of storage (mud boots), and I am eating as much as this precious snow as I can before it is gone.  But then again, you never know...we could get another snow storm in a few days.  We will have to wait to see.


April 14, 2014

The Next Best Thing

If you remember, Josh's dad came to our house in February for a snowmachine trip.  The kids learned to love the snowmachines.  When they found out they were going to grandpa's house they asked after those snowmachines.

But southern Alaska warms up sooner than the interior and so even though there was snow there wasn't a ton.  (envision me with a shovel digging into small snow piles looking for clean snow to eat those few days we were there).
So the snowmachines were put up for the summer but lucky for the kids the 4-wheelers were out and ready for use.
 This spot, in front of his driver on a 4-wheeler, became Ethan's favorite place to be.  No matter how long or frequent his rides were he always was asking for more.  He would point to the door of the house and say voom voom as a way of begging for each ride.
 Since the rides were on the back roads, not trails, the baby and I were able to also able to get out with Abigail on several rides.  Not sure if I should feel bad but whenever we would get back from a ride she would ask that her next ride be with grandpa instead of me.  Humm..
On one ride with Abigail she stopped me to pat the 4-wheeler she was riding to say, "Mama, we need to get one of these."  Well my girl not today - maybe someday. 


April 11, 2014

The Way One Is Loved

My very favorite part of visiting family these days is watching my kids be loved.  I love them to pieces but it is such a joy in life to know that there are other people who do too.
 We did fun things while visiting Josh's parents but the very best times were at the house watching the kids interact with their grandparents.  Ethan was his grandpa's best friend.  These too loved to hang out together and we did discover that grandpa's garage is anything but child proof.  But that only means to Ethan that there was more fun to find.
 Abigail thought Grammie's craft cabin was the best place in the world.  Every single day they were found out there doing some sort of craft.  Beads, jewels, pretty colors and things to enjoy were discovered.  Abigail is so in tune with design, colors, textures and such that this was just up her alley!    
And on the rare morning when Abigail slept in a little, Ethan got to enjoy one on one arts and cracks with Grammie as well.  What a wonderful time it was for him to glue, paste and rip to his heart content with no big sister taking over.  It was just him and his creative grammie all set to create.  

Yes, I do love my kids but the love they get from family and close friends fill their lives in a way I can't do.  How thankful I am they had four days of this special kind of love.

April 10, 2014

Great Days

The thing about blog world is that you can trick it a little by programing blogs. You see the past few days when you have been seeing great posts about our life in Fairbanks we were actually 500+ miles south in Soldotna, AK.  We went for just a few days to visit Josh's parents.  
We had a great time and I have a ton of blogging material to show you over the next few days.  We are so thankful for family, clear skies, dry roads, and for the most part good travelers.  Denali was out in all her glory yesterday on the drive home and it sure does make us smile.  
When we left it looked like spring was arriving but while we were gone we got a snow storm.  I have to admit I don't mind that we missed it but my crazy snow eating habits doesn't mind the fresh powder at all.


April 9, 2014

Those Dry Days Of April

I grew up with the saying - April Showers Bring May Flowers - but in Fairbanks, AK life is a little different.  
Even with the sound of dripping snow outside our windows each day it has never been so dry.  Maybe the melting snow will be enough to bring us flowers.  Until then all we need to really figure out is how to manage Abigail's wispy hair that certainly has a mind of its own.

April 8, 2014

What Are You Going To Build Next?

Ethan is a wiggly little guy.  He is doing better and better at naptime/nighttime story time but for the most part he really doesn't want to stay still for too long.  If we are reading a story that he finds too boring he begs to get down and we have to convince him that story time means quietly sitting for those few minutes.
But as a mama who is teaching this and working at instilling the love of reading into my boy I find great humor in this picture.  You see when you combine daddy and a woodworking magazine Ethan will sit forever.  He loves to look at the pictures and "talk" with his dad about all the things they can build together.  Maybe instead of reading kids books at story time we need to start incorporating in more floor plans and woodworking cut lists for projects.