December 22, 2014

Reasons Today Is A Good Day

Today is this wonderful man's birthday.  How thankful I am that he is part of our family.  I find our lives are richer, fuller and more full of potential each and every year we grow older together.  I am so thankful for him, the life we have made and the children we are raising together.  We are a team each and everyday and I know I wouldn't rather be any other place. 
  Happy Birthday Josh, I am so thankful that you were born on the first day after winter solstice.  The first day of the year when things take a shift for the better.  Starting today we get a few more seconds of daylight back to our days.  Just a few seconds but since we have only been loosing daylight for the past six months, those seconds are so important to all of us who live up north where life is very, very dark.  

December/January are super dark months in Fairbanks but not so much July.  Thus, we have large firework celebrations on winter solstice and new years eve but never on the fourth of July.  
 Because of this we have never taken our kids to see the fireworks.  It is usually just too cold, they are too young and it is too late at night.  But Saturday we decided to switch things up and try it out.  We all loved it.
We are having a mild winter and it was only -8 F and so with a lot of blankets, snow gear and a peppermint steamer we were set for a new experience.  Poor Naomi, she is deep into the third child stage of life already.  The point where we would never have taken our first born out at 6 months to something like this but the third, she goes along for the ride.  Being the third born myself I know that it isn't all that bad of a place to be.  
Today we have a birthday to celebrate as the earth turns back towards the sun.  Yes, it is going to be a good day indeed.


December 19, 2014

A House To Go To

Yesterday this sister of mine bought a house.  I am just so excited I had to dedicate the blog to this event today.  I was lucky enough to get a peak of it when I visited last month but oh the changes they are going to be making.  I just can't wait until I can visit again!  Congratulations Hillary and Drew, we are all so very happy for you both.

December 18, 2014

Checking Our List

The kids are so excited for Christmas.  And no holiday season would be complete without a visit to see Santa himself.  
Just a week left to wait and Abigail was sure to tell Santa she was going to leave him cookies, warm milk and a carrot for his reindeer.  

December 16, 2014

Celebrating Those We Love

Abigail loves birthdays.  This is something I might have mentioned a time or two before.  Each day she makes a "cake" out of this or that toys and we all sing and enjoy.  Well, last week we decided that her most beloved doll, Anna, needed a real birthday.  And since she is a doll that was mine as a little girl that I passed on to Abigail after she was born, I guess it is safe to say that her birthday would correctly be right after Abigail's.
It became an all day affair with a pie being made in the morning.  Cards being created midday.  Presents being wrapped and everything set up for when daddy got home and we could really celebrate.
Anna's present was a Christmas outfit that matches Naomi's christmas outfit.  Lets just say I had a lot of fun last January with the after christmas sales and at the point in my pregnancy when I had just found out I was having another little girl.  Abigail was very excited and she loves taking Anna with us to show off her new clothes, especially when Naomi wears the same.  

And on the birthday note, Ethan is hopping on this bandwagon as well.  The other day when I lite the candle on the dinner table he broke out into song singing Happy Birthday.  I laughed a little and then had to explain to him why I really didn't want him to keep blowing out the candle before we even started our meal.  The kids think this is a festive house for sure.

December 15, 2014

The Art Of A Thank You

I was raised to write a thank you note.  As a result the kids and I always try and write thank you notes for things we are given.  Usually for the kids this means a painted hand print, a few stickers on a card, or some coloring.  But with turning 4 this month I thought Abigail could do a little more.  So the day after her birthday we set out to write Thank You and her name in the cards as a thank you to those who gave her gifts.  
Let me start by saying I think for a 4 year old she did a great job.  We started and stopped throughout the day and by the end of the day the letters N and Y weren't as intimidating as they were that morning.  But the patience, oh the patience it takes.  Lets just say I am thankful for a mother who stressed the importance of thank you notes or it would be something I would easily let slide.  But hey, we have started.  And you know what has come out of this, Abigail is more confident in her writing, she knows the letters in her name better and we have been able to thank those we love.  Kind of like childbirth, just forget the pain of the actual event and look at the results, right:-)

December 12, 2014

Carpet

A little bit ago I wrote a post about doing the extra things that need done.  One of those extra things was acknowledging that our carpets are dirty.  I vacuum twice a week and get on stains as soon as they happen but still.  It has been 6 years since they were put in and three kids later.  It was time for something a little more heavy duty than just my dyson on those wool fibers.
The two rooms upstairs were my main concern.  So one evening Josh and I emptied those rooms down to just the beds in preparations of a cleaner coming in the morning.  It is always fun for me to put everything we have together in one spot to see exactly what we do have.
And it was fun for the kids to have empty rooms to run around in and mama and daddy's bed so low to the ground.  First thing the next day we cleared these beds out, the steamer came in and the carpets were cleaned.  I am so very pleased.  Josh was understanding of my wanting to clean the floors but didn't understand all the frustration I had at seeing those stains everyday.  I am so very pleased they are gone.

December 11, 2014

Touch Of Christmas

We hold out on Christmas in our house until after Abigail's birthday.  But on Saturday we got right to the yearly transformation of making our house into a Christmasy one.
 First out was our advent basket.  I love this tradition.  I wrap all of our Christmas books and each day leading up to Christmas the kids each get to open one to read.  
 Also necessary was Naomi's hook.  I knitted her stocking last year when I was newly pregnant but her hook was never hung.  Now we have our five stockings hung in a row.
 This year we ran out of time for Josh to take the kids into the swamp for our yearly tree.  Instead Josh harvested one from beside the driveway and it is a beautiful one.
 After putting on the lights and the highest ornaments we lifted it up onto our armoire that is in the living room.  We have done this the past few years and it always works out great.  Josh suggested that this year we leave it a little closer to the ground but honestly it is a lot of work to keep an eye on it in addition to everything else we have going on.  Plus I love that by putting the tree up high it fills the entire room with light.
The next day the kids helped us put on all of our decorations and we were set.  The feelings of this holiday season are upon us.

December 10, 2014

Toys

Naomi has reached the stage where she loves her toys.  Squeaky, rattling, crinkly, soft or hard.  As long as it can be gripped, dropped and chewed on she loves it.
The world is before her and she wants to play with it all!

December 9, 2014

Party Entertainment

One thing Abigail has really wanted for her birthday has been a pinata.  She has talked about it for months now.
 I agreed that a pinata would be great but if she really wanted one she had to help me make one.  She requested a minnie mouse one and so with that I set out to make my first pinata since 5th grade.  
 I made it a project for just me and Abigail, working during nap time or when Josh was home, since it was super messy and I just wasn't ready to bring Ethan into that just yet.  Abigail helped me shred the paper and then paste on the layers (no pictures of that because well, it was SUPER messy)
 And a few days later we finally had enough layers.  We popped the balloons and then Abigail worked at painting it all black.
 That night Josh set to work.  A paint brush and a picture from the internet.  
 And he made this.  He is so amazing, I am so thankful to be married to such an artist!
 We loved Abigail's reaction to her minnie mouse pinata, it was just what she had wanted.
 And with that she and Ethan took to beating, and beating, and beating it
until it finally broke and she got what she REALLY had wanted, a floor covered in treats.  It really was a fun project that brought in a lot of new skills, helped lead up to her birthday and was rewarding at the end.  I do see pinata making in our future for sure!

December 8, 2014

In Celebration Of Four

Abigail had a wonderful day on Friday.  It felt, as a mom, that this was the first year of traditions.  It was a wake up, you don't have to make your bed, special requests for breakfast all the way to the end of the day kind of birthday.
 And let me tell you, this was one very excited girl.  From presents to cards to phone calls.  She loved it all.  
 There was the special crowns made by daddy (the third year of this tradition)
 The opening and admiring of all gifts (and maybe Ethan just had to try some of them out too)
 She had her requested dinner of pancakes with strawberries and cool whip
 A heated game of candy land (and another little bit of entertainment I will talk about tomorrow)
 And of course the cake.  I have to say, this was the first time I have ever successfully made a frosted layer cake.  I love to bake but I am much more a pie person.  Being a mom makes me stretch out to the area of the unknown.  She was very excited about her cake but really when it came down to it, she only ate the ice cream.
I worried about the no friends just family birthday we had planned.  I worried it just wouldn't be enough.  But you know what, it was wonderful.  Our girl was happy, felt special and was adored all day.  To me that makes for one successful birthday.

December 5, 2014

Look Who Is Four

Four years ago today we were given the most wonderful of gifts.  
A little baby girl and they even let us take her home, thus making us a mother and a father for the first time.
 Amazingly we have made it through year one
 two
 and three.
 And then just like that another year has flown by.
 Even though this girl is small she certainly has grown in so many ways.
 She grew as a big sister and every day tells Naomoi, "oh, I love you so."
 She grew in her tenderness towards others around her, in her imagination of wonderful worlds and in her love to boss those around (and if her brother won't put up with it her baby dolls work just as well (and are a little more obedient.))
 She has grown in her humor and makes me laugh so very, very hard.
 She has grown in her dreams of the future.  Not one to really know what she wants to be when she grows up but more what she wants when she grows up.  Number one on the list, a pet!
 She remains our bundle of energy girl who has only grown in stamina.  This girl loves to spin, jump, bike, leap, dance, run and then repeat all day long.
And just like that another day has arrived, another milestone passed, another day of sameness ends, until amazingly I stop and realize that those simple moments have all added up to another year gone.  Happy Birthday Abigail, you are so very loved each and every day.

December 4, 2014

Celebrations

Tomorrow is a big day in this house.  So big in fact that we have been getting ready for it for weeks.  Tomorrow Abigail will be turning 4.  Amazing that 4 years have gone by already.  This daughter of mine LOVES birthdays.  She loves them so much that there are pretend parties each and everyday in our house.  Everyone from her baby dolls, to Ethan, to Josh and myself are celebrated over and over and over.  So the thought of her actual birthday is amazing to her.  There is a fear in me that with all this birthday love that no matter what I do she will be disappointed but I pray that by keeping things simple and focused on her she will feel loved and the goal of her day will be accomplished.  And I have seen over the past few weeks how simple celebrations are what she loves.
Because you see we have already celebrated at her great aunt's house.
And with a cupcake at my sister's house
And with grammie and grandpa when they were here.  This girl loves to hear the song Happy Birthday and to blow out candles.  Each time she is presented with such one round of this favorite song is never enough.  But relighting candles and singing once again is not hard.  After all, you only turn 4 once and shouldn't we all get as excited about birthdays.  It is a day to celebrate that person to the fullest indeed.

So far the request for tomorrow is pancakes topped with strawberries and cool whip and mini hotdog sausages for dinner with a BIG pink cake and purples frosting.  A cake big enough that all of our names can be put on it.  When I asked why she wanted everyone's name on the cake she responded that she wanted to be sure that everyone shared her cake and shared her party.  There are signs here that Abigail just might grow up to be an event planner, this girl loves to do things up right!