May 3, 2016

And We Are Off

After I got home from New Jersey life picked up in speed.  March had been a busy month for our family but April was going to be as well.
 Just over a week after I arrived home from my solo trip, I had all the bags packed once again.  Mama and the kids were headed to Texas.
And although the flights are super long and hard on little people we were super blessed with amazing pilots.  Not only did they get us to our destination safely but they also helped to make the ride a little more fun.  Although they were still too scary for Naomi she did enjoy a small handshake.  Alaska airlines is the best!

May 2, 2016

Tiny Seeds

After my time in New Jersey I came home to Alaska on the verge of spring.  In all the years I have lived here, this is the earliest spring I have yet to see.  I think the combination of not having much snow to start with (less to melt) and nice warm temperatures has put us into a wonderful season.  In early April there still was snow around but more seeds needed to be planted.
 I always start my seeds inside and have to contend with the soil getting on my floors.  But this year I found myself drawn outside the day I needed to plant my next big batch.  The deck, how I love it.  A great place to make a mess.
 And how fun to have a helper that can write.  I remember the spelling of broccoli on my freezer bags as I harvested last fall.  There has been a lot of improvement in the letter writing.  So fun to see the progress in this way.
Here I am weeks later and these 100 or so starter cups of broccoli, cauliflower and romenseco all hold little plants 3 inches tall.  My living room these days is bursting with green and just last week I planted the last of the longer growing "need to be planted inside" seeds.  The next big batch will be seeded in the greenhouse.  Spring is here and we are loving it.

April 28, 2016

The Next Generation

The other day the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) hosted their annual science potpourri.  A day where the science building is filled with tons of displays for kids to learn to much about science.  We built buildings and then tested them to see how they responded to an earthquake.  Played with a water table, robot, and a bike that creates electricity.  We ate ice cream frozen with liquid nitrogen and watched a chemistry show where things were blown up.  There was so much to see and do.

12 years ago when I was a graduate student at UAF I worked the science potpourri.  It was a fun time for me to be there with my own kids.
But what was really fun was the moment when we passed through the stairwell.  You see when I met Josh I was a geology graduate student on the third floor and he Josh was a chemistry student on the first floor.  We would meet in the stairwell, sit on the window sill and eat lunch together several days a week.  
To put our three kids on that windowsill where our talks and lunches lead to our love, marriage and these three smiling faces brought me so much joy.  How blessed we are with God's plan.

April 27, 2016


My relationship with my big sister is my favorite.  I am so thankful for her.  My visit to New Jersey was a wonderful time for two sisters to connect.

Today is my sister's birthday.  Even though we are not together in person today we celebrate.  As I spend time with my sister I think of Naomi and Abigail and pray they will have such a relationship as well.  I am blessed by this lady!

April 26, 2016

On Being An Aunt

My aunts are all wonderful ladies.  I have also loved seeing my sister be an aunt to my children for the past 5 1/2 years.  And after all Hillary has given to me and my kids I now get to give back to her.  My time with Matilda was so super sweet.  A time when I could love her without the obligation to getting the day to day chores done.  As a mother there is always so much to do.  As an aunt my role was to love the child while my sister, the mother, ran around.
And to make my visit to NJ all the more special my dear aunt came for one afternoon to visit.  She lives in New York but came down to see Hillary and I, as well as Matilda, and brought us lunch.
As I said yesterday, it was such a special time I will never take for granted as long as I live.  This week away from my daily obligations to relax, serve, love and in turn be loved so greatly as well.

April 25, 2016

Springtime And Family

The day after Easter, how is this almost a month ago, I did something amazing.  I boarded a plane alone and flew to New Jersey for a week. 
Josh was home from work, my in-laws were on hand to help out and I was going to be a sister and an aunt.  Baby Matilda was 4 weeks old and I was about to meet her.
Leaving snowy, muddy and chilly Alaska for spring time in NJ was heavenly.
As was uninterrupted time with my dear sister and her daughter.   Oh, a time when I could be the help they both needed without being a mother or wife at the same time.  It was an amazing gift to all of us!

April 22, 2016

Daddies Are Funny

When I was all packed to head to New Jersey to see my sister a volcano erupted in the Aleutian Islands, a part of southwest Alaska.  Thus my flight was canceled.  But since Josh was home to take care of the kids and I hadn't left, we got to have a family day.  Part of this involved going to the library for story hour all together.
Daddy helped the kids with their craft.  And while Ethan and Abigail made small feeders for the birds, daddy used the craft supplies to make Naomi a halo.  Daddies are so fun to have around!

It was good Josh stayed home from work as well.  My flight back east departed just 24 hours later then planned and I was off to NJ.  My visit with my sister and her new baby girl was about to begin.

April 21, 2016

Date Night

After our state cabin trip Josh's parents came to visit for Easter but also so that Josh would have some help.  You see we were switching things up a little bit.  Josh was taking time off work to spend with the kids and I was boarding a plane to New Jersey.  My sister had her baby in February and I was finally getting to go see them, help out and enjoy being an aunt.  

But, while Josh's parents were in town we took the chance to go out on a date.  Target range was stop number one.
I freshened up on my skills with the 380.  Feels good to be out with my love for an evening of fun, dinner and a movie as well as being a little more confident with how I can protect my kids as well.  

April 20, 2016

From Grammie

When Grammie and Grandpa arrived they came bearing gifts.
Grammie made Abigail and Naomi new dresses with matching ones for each of their baby dolls.  What lucky girls I have indeed.  

April 19, 2016

I Do It

Abigail can "fix" her own hair these days.  Mostly a low pony tail and then a clip for her every growing out bangs.  But still it is brushed and fixed.  She is proud.
Naomi just wants to be like Abigail.  She came to Josh the other day and declared, "Look I do it."  Hmm, baby girl I do believe I will help you just a little bit longer.

April 18, 2016

Heading Home

The first night in the cabin, as I was putting the kids to sleep, Abigail panicked and said, "I don't want to sleep here, I just want to go home."  Well, 36 hrs later when it was time to pack up and head out she was singing a very different song.
We all had a great time.  March and April for our family has been especially busy and slightly odd with our schedule.  These two days away were so special for us all to reconnect and relax before it all.  
When new things are experienced with such positive results we all know, we will be doing cabin life again soon.  So thankful for the beautiful state we live in and all the opportunities that we have to enjoy it all.

April 15, 2016

Evening Fun

One of my very favorite parts of camping/cabin vacations is the ability to complete the "home" type chores so quickly.
Part of visiting a state cabin is the expectation that there will be wood there to burn when you arrive and that you will leave wood for the next person behind you.  One morning the boys did a wood run and had so much fun.
But really, besides that and sweeping out the floor (2 minutes) and make your sleeping bag (5 seconds) the day is open for fun.  And my favorite is the after dinner fun.  When everyone is full, tired but has just a little more energy to burn.
Hiking in the woods to the sound of the evening birds, the coolness of the air, the sky as the sun sets.
It brings out a silliness, a honesty, and a pure joy within all of the kids.  No big expectations, no agenda and no plans.  Just playing follow the leader, running down the hill pretending to be an airplane and filling our boots with snow.  These moments are the ones I always hold close.  These evening times of play are so very sweet indeed.