Today is a busy day but these pictures make me smile.
June 18, 2013
This past weekend was an eventful one for our chickens. They officially moved out of the house.
Josh spent a long time making them a great "home" down inside the lower garden. Double fencing them in against predators, putting chicken wire below and above their cage, covering the top of their new home with a tarp to protect against moisture and getting their food and water set up. Before getting these chickens we did a lot of research and learned that they have the ability to eat so much they can cause a heart attack. So we only feed them twice a day for a limited time. We also want to make sure they build their leg strength as they can break their legs from their fast weight gain if they don't move around enough. So Josh put their food bucket on a strap that we are able to raise and lower during the day making sure they stand up to eat.
And once our chickens were out of the house the kids and I got to work. I was reminded yesterday that nothing makes a toddler much happier than a rag with a bucket of sudsy water with a wall to clean. Boy are we happy to have our arctic entry back!
June 17, 2013
June 14, 2013
When I was growing up, the smell of lilacs always represented Mother's Day to me. It was early/mid May and my mother would fill the house with these beautiful flowers as we celebrated the coming spring.
Life in Alaska is a little different. May comes and goes with not much in the way of fresh flowers. But Mid-June comes, my birthday arrives, and the air starts to smell fragrant.
So tomorrow we will be celebrating the end of one year and the start of next. Fresh flowers will be picked from the yard to enjoy inside, a hike will take place for us to admire the freshness of summer and we will celebrate a birthday but also the arrival of summer days in Alaska. What a fun time indeed.
(please note that these lilac pictures are from Michigan. Even though I have bushes in my yard they are too young to produce much. Someday I will have bunches of lilacs in my own house like I did growing up but for now I must go to town for that wonderful scent.)
June 13, 2013
There is a lot of growing happening around our house these days.
These chickens are for sure less and less chicks each day and are becoming much more grown up. Their lofty size and age means that tomorrow they are moving out, out to the chicken coop outside that is. Oh how excited I am to take a scrub brush to my arctic entry way!
And the growth continues outside as well.
Even with the colder/rainier days that we have had the greenhouse is the perfect place to grow.
From baby tomatoes to fresh cucumbers there is hope and promise of fresh veggies not too far away.
And where the actual produce from our main garden will take a little longer the plants themselves are thriving. June, what a wonderful time of the year where there is new growth to see each day.
June 12, 2013
Josh had the chance to cut all 10 cords of our long tree logs into rounds this spring/winter before the snow melt. So now that summer is here it is time to get all of that wood split so it can have a good bit of drying time before next winter.
We are moving the last of the dry wood from the shed to the house to be used first but that newly split wood needs stacked as well. The moving and stacking portion of the wood business is usually my job and I help in the evenings after the kids are in bed, but when the work needs done during the day I am not as free to spend as much time at it as I used to.
But we work with what we need to and when stuff needs to get done, the kids need to be occupied nearby. So, with the trailer full of wood hitched to the Jeep Josh can move the wood up the driveway easily. Once he is at the house, the Jeep is opened up, a mosquito coil is placed on the tailgate then the kids and toys fill the Jeep. That way we work, the kids play (and hopefully not eaten too badly by the bugs), and the wood gets stacked.
I smiled the other day as I watched Ethan playing in the jeep with his toys. One of the last times I was hauling wood was the night I went to the hospital to have him. Last fall we were doing the same job but with only one small tot in the Jeep playing around. Oh how much more fun it is now that Ethan is here with and how much easier it is for me to move around to get the job done!!
June 11, 2013
Right now Ethan's favorite games to play is Mama pick it up.
It doesn't matter where he is - highchair, exersaucer, in my arms, or out on the deck (he really loves throwing things off the deck). He will drop his toy and then wait.
And wait with a scream here and there to remind me, and others, that his toy has yet to be picked up. Where is the balance between teaching him cause and effect by returning the toy and saying enough is enough. I am not sure, for me it depends on just how far my patience is being stretched at any given moment. With that in mind...I better get back to my noisy little man. Soon he will know how to crawl and then he is on his own for toy retrieval.
June 10, 2013
Last night after the kids were in bed I did it, I finally finished planting the last plant for our 2013 garden. You must be thinking, really? didn't you start weeks ago. The answer would be yes, it is a long process folks. But last night the last tire of potatoes was filled and the peas, cauliflower and green bean seeds that were all started in the greenhouse were moved outside.
I have been working here and there over it the past few days. During the day when I work Abigail loves to come "help" and as much as I do love watching her dig in the dirt the work goes a lot faster after she is in bed. Plus these long Alaskan days make evening working not so hard (picture is taken at 10pm), as long as the bug spray is lathered on. So that is that, time to watch it all grow.
**On a sad note, my camera died. It has had an error for awhile but really died two weeks ago. I am working now with a small point and shoot that will work ok until we can replace our big camera. Until then, pictures will be what they are.**
June 7, 2013
June 6, 2013
As I sit to write this post, I am thinking of yesterday's long day. I glance over the posts from earlier this week and can't get Monday's weekend post out of my mind. We were going strong, tired and happy after the busy, sunny weekend and I wrote of carrying that glow into the week. Then the rains started. I love a rainy day just like anyone but rainy days one after the other are harder to brave through. Yesterday the kids and I kind of reached a slight breaking point. They wanted out, I wanted out, and the rains didn't let us. We did attempt a walk when there was a break in the clouds but ended up getting soaked through and through by the time we got back home.
By 5 pm they were ready for daddy to come home, I was ready to scream. Abigail was racing around and around the kitchen as I worked on dinner, with Ethan on my back in the Ergo. I knew I had to do something. So we put on our mud boots and trucked out to the greenhouse. There Abigail painted with a paint brush and water all over the plant boxes. She dumped water on the ground and jumped in the mud puddles she had made. I watched but also tended to the plants, bracing those that were falling, pull off sucker branches from the tomato plants and slowly untangled the ever growing pumpkin vines. Ethan, still in the Ergo, had fun trying to grab and pull on anything he could no matter which way I turned and all the while we listened to the rain pounding on the greenhouse roof. After a half hour Abigail was begging to go back inside and I was at a loss as to why we shouldn't, plus dinner did have to be made, and that was the end. Inside life was busy again with hungry, tired kids but I was thankful for that time away. Oh how I do love the chance to get away without having to go anywhere! To me that is just what my greenhouse always is. A sanctuary.
June 5, 2013
Today Abigail is officially 2 1/2 years old. I will do her age post with Ethan's next week but I can't write a post today without mentioning that. 2 1/2 seems so old yet so young for how old she acts.
This picture might not look like much to the uneducated eye but to me it makes me smile so much. On this day Abigail wished to go on a school bus. So I told her we would make the couch our school bus. She picked up on that idea right away and gathered her backpack full of books, her dolls and plenty of snacks for our ride. And it was a ride for all of us indeed. After I took this picture Ethan and I joined her and we read all of the books she had brought with us. As the "bus" time came to an end she wandered off and played somewhere else but this time stays with me. I love seeing how Abigail's mind grows and thinks of so many things she loves.
Ethan too has found things he loves around the house. Whenever Josh starts to work on a project both kids get so excited. Abigail loves to just be near her dad but Ethan, he just gets excited by the activity, the noise and most of all the tools.
Yes, Josh might just have a future buddy when it comes to woodworking for sure. I try not to hold my kids to gender stereotypes but the excitement this boy has over tools even at 8 months old makes me laugh. Even now I know Ethan likes to imagine the day when he has his own power tools to play with!
June 4, 2013
When we were in Michigan we tried to get out of the house a little bit each day to give Josh's grandma a little break from our invasion of her house. These daily outings found us exploring different parts of western Michigan.
One morning we all headed out to Lake Michigan. (Abigail was recovering from a double ear infection on this day, so she wasn't up for smiling at any camera regardless of how much fun she was actually having. But these random ladies were willing to take our picture and I will take any picture of the four of us that I can get. Attitude just adds to the memories I guess.)
It had been four months since we had put our feet into warm sand and we all couldn't wait.
Ethan didn't have any memory of our trip to Hawaii so this feel of sand was new to him. It really was the perfect time to go. There was us and maybe 20 other people, mostly morning joggers, on the beach. I have to admit the sands and beaches of Lake Michigan are my favorite. You get the breeze, the sand, the dunes, the views and it is all fresh water - yeah.
Yes, it was sure a fun outing indeed. One of those experiences that makes you come home with sand in every crack and cranny.