Thursday, December 23

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Sing along with John Denver and I...

We're on our way to Washington! Pardon the quiet on the blog the next few weeks...I'll try to do a few updates here and there, but no promises! We'll be busy visiting lots of family and friends, so stay tuned to hear all about our adventures when we return home in January.

Until then, wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Under the Tree part eight

Today I'm showing you the gifts the girls made (with a little help) for each other this year. Simple little skirts with a ribbon trim along the bottom. We followed this tutorial over at Oliver + S for their Lazy Days skirt. Quick, easy, and cute which made it the perfect project for little ladies to sew on mama's lap!


A neutral color for easy pairing with tops and a nice length, too! The girls love them...I can see more of these in our very near future!

Wednesday, December 22

Under the Tree part seven

Mmmm...fresh baked cookies! Some frosted yummies and some chocolate chip ones, too. I made these without a pattern...doesn't take a ton of skill to trace circles!

I promise I'll make some healthy things, too! There are some sliceable foods on my to-do list along with a peel-able banana!

Tuesday, December 21

Under the Tree part six

Mmmm! Watch out McDonald's...you've got competition now! I made up both the chicken nuggets and the fries after spending way too much time Googling, Flikring, and Etsying! These fries were done on the machine and were much faster than the fries pictured with the hamburger.

Monday, December 20

Under the Tree part five

Well, the gifts are all unwrapped in apartment 804, but I still have a few things to show you so here you go!

Hamburger and fries anyone? More felt food under the tree! The hamburger I made using this pattern, and the fries I made up after checking out lots of felt food pictures on Flikr and Etsy.

Sunday, December 19

Reading and Writing


Merry Christmas! We're celebrating in Alaska today. Lots of fun so far! These are probably some of my favorite Christmas pictures so far. This is the first year the girls were big enough to write their own gift labels. Stacy wasn't keen on having hers photographed, but here's Kelsey's handiwork.



And most impressive to me was the fact that they both were able to read all of the "tos" and "froms" from immediate family on their gifts this morning! Kelsey was able to figure out gifts from close friends as well...goodness, they're growing up!

Friday, December 17

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.


From the Holiday Program



Thursday, December 16

The Whittier Twelve Days of Christmas


Written by the high schoolers and middle schoolers at Whittier Community School and to be performed tonight! Props to be used are in red.

Whittier Twelve Days of Christmas
On the first day of Christmas, Whittier gave to me, a raven in a spruce tree.
(small Christmas tree, Mandy’s raven puppet)
On the second day of Christmas, the Mayor gave to me, two thumbs up and a raven in a spruce tree.
(Lester himself)
On the third day of Christmas, the school gave to me, three passing test scores, two thumbs up, and a rave in a spruce tree.
(student holding up his test scores)
On the fourth day of Christmas, the BTI gave to me, four working elevators, three passing test scores, two thumbs up, and a raven in a spruce tree.
(elevator poster)
On the fifth day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me, five feet of snow, four working elevators, three passing test scores, two thumbs up, and a raven in a spruce tree.
(two yardsticks taped together, white butcher paper cut to look like snow, 5 ft. deep)
On the sixth day of Christmas, the city gave to me, six hydroponic systems, five feet of snow, four working elevators, three passing test scores, two thumbs up, and a raven in a spruce tree.
(a bucket from the hydroponic systems)
On the seventh day of Christmas, the sound gave to me, seven pounds of shrimp, six hydroponic systems, five feet of snow, four working elevators, three passing test scores, two thumbs up, and a raven in a spruce tree.
(shrimp on the scale poster)
On the eighth day of Christmas, the D.O. gave to me, eight portable heaters, seven pounds of shrimp, six hydroponic systems, five feet of snow, four working elevators, three passing test scores, two thumbs up, and a raven in a spruce tree.
(heaters or heater boxes)
On the ninth day of Christmas, the tunnel gave to me, nine tunnel tickets, eight portable heaters, seven pounds of shrimp, six hydroponic systems, five feet of snow, four working elevators, three passing test scores, two thumbs up, and a raven in a spruce tree.
(nine tunnel tickets)
On the tenth day of Christmas, the railroad gave to me, ten trains to block me, nine tunnel tickets, eight portable heaters, seven pounds of shrimp, six hydroponic systems, five feet of snow, four working elevators, three passing test scores, two thumbs up, and a raven in a spruce tree.
(train poster)
On the eleventh day of Christmas, the pass gave to me, eleven days of howling wind, ten trains to block me, nine tunnel tickets, eight portable heaters, seven pounds of shrimp, six hydroponic systems, five feet of snow, four working elevators, three passing test scores, two thumbs up, and a raven in a spruce tree.
(wind poster)
On the twelfth day of Christmas the community gave to me, twelve big smiles, eleven days of howling wind, ten trains to block me, nine tunnel tickets, eight portable heaters, seven pounds of shrimp, six hydroponic systems, five feet of snow, four working elevators, three passing test scores, two thumbs up, and a raven in a spruce tree.
(smiles poster)

Wednesday, December 15

Under the Tree part four

Whew! I've been wanting to share this for awhile, but it's one of those projects you have to work on when the kiddos aren't around and there's not a lot of that time to be had around here! I suppose that's why it seems like I've been working on it forever, when really it's taken me only 4 Wednesday nights (Scott has fire meetings on Wednesdays, so I don't feel guilty working all evening!). Please pardon my less than perfect photos...daylight's pretty scarce right now!



I painted the roads, trees, flowers, etc. onto the canvas, then stitched clear vinyl pockets onto it. I solicited photos from family, took photos, and searched photos on the web. I plan to add to it as we go, but for now we've got everyone's house, the Camas DQ, Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Sam's Club, our local library, Kelsey's school, Fishie Grandma's school, and a few others. The pictures will be laminated and then the kids can customize the mat for playing by swapping out the photos or just rearranging them. After I hunt through my kajillion photos I can add some places we visited this summer (clam beaches, dog sled rides, the Sealife Center, etc.).

I hope they'll have lots of fun with it...

Monday, December 13

Under the Tree part three

These items aren't actually under our tree, but we've made them to put under some of our friends' trees. I bought the blank board books on EBay. Apparently it's been long enough ago that I can't remember/find the seller I used, sorry! Anyway, each of our little friends gets two books. One about his/her favorite things, and a counting book. The counting books are pretty basic...I wrote "1 one", etc. on the bottom of the pages and the girls selected the appropriate number of stickers to affix to each page. For the "favorite things" books, we brainstormed a list of the recipient's 10 favorite things, then I collected line drawings from Google which I then traced into the books, then the girls colored them using permanent markers. Here's an example of how cute they are!

Merry Christmas crafting!

Friday, December 10

Under the Tree part two

Here's another felt meal...pancakes and eggs anyone? I made up the pattern for the pancakes, and used the pattern from here for the eggs since it printed when I printed the rest of the hamburger pattern!


{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.


Wednesday, December 8

Under the Tree part one

Since most of the gifts under our tree this year are handmade by me, I thought I'd give you a peek at what I've been up to. One of the tings I've recently become obsessed with is felt play food. There are soooo many fun options out there! I've been working on several different sets, but this is the first one I've completed. The pattern is from Amanda at Snazzle Craft.
Makes you want to have a sandwich with some chips, doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 7

Family Photos

Ok...I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but this is the first official photo of the four of us since Stacy was born! She's 3 1/2 in this picture! You know I had great intentions of having portraits done each year near the girls' birthdays, but in the end I'm always pretty happy with the pictures I take and pronounce them "good enough". And I'm cheap...but you probably already knew that!

Soooo...last November a photographer friend asked if she could take pictures of the girls to broaden her portfolio and I jumped at the opportunity! They appeared on last year's Christmas card. So when it came time to make this year's Christmas card it only made sense to ask her again. She was so kind to come to our place to do and we got some really cute pictures...in spite of my kids being a little onery that day!

Here are a few of my favorites...and look for one to appear on a Christmas card in your mailbox soon!

Friday, December 3

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.
Our 'Jesse Tree'

Wednesday, December 1

Nothing to Post

This window's been open all afternoon while I've been trying to think up something clever to post. Obviously, inspiration hasn't struck yet! What I'd like to share with you are some pictures of the girls playing dress-up at school this week. As the result of a long chain of events, I'm substitute teaching in the preschool class all week this week. There are some wonderful role-playing outfits in the room this year and the kids have so much fun (and look so darn cute!) in them. Unfortunately my poor, addled brain hasn't remembered to bring the camera to school yet! Maybe you can cross your fingers for me to remember tomorrow???

Monday, November 29

More Sickies

Ohmygoodness! When we do sick around here we really do it up! I'll spare you all of the details, so let's just say that the stomach bug has now worked its way through our entire family.

Below is the picture Kelsey drew me yesterday to make me feel better. I'm outlined in purple (my favorite color) and if you'll look closely you'll see that I'm sporting a sports bra. Yes folks that's me, getting ready to work out! Of course when she drew this for me I was laying in bed, curled in the fetal position, but never mind that! It did make me smile though, and I hope it gives you one, too!
The day before I had a chance to play 'library' with Stacy while Kelsey snoozed. Here are some snapshots of me sporting a lovely 'new' silver purse and gold wallet that Fishie Grandma recently donated to the dress-up box. There were lots of library cards in that wallet, and check-out took a l.o.n.g. time, but we had fun!



Friday, November 26

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama.



Wednesday, November 24

Thankfulness

Goodness! There's so much to be thankful for, isn't there? As we gathered in the cafeteria today for Thanksgiving lunch at school, the head teacher asked us to go around the tables and share one thing we're thankful for. Here's what the Korbes had to say:

Kelsey: She's thankful for Daddy. He works hard to help a lot of people in Whittier.

Stacy: She's thankful that after Thanksgiving it will be almost Christmas and therefore almost time to go visit her Grandmas and Grandpas.

Andrea: I'm thankful to be a part of the community of Whittier, and especially to be a part of the the community of the Whittier Community School.

Scott: He's thankful to be a resident of Alaska, and for the opportunities that living in the state has offered our family.

Of course there's so much more, but these were the things we came up with when we were put on the spot!

What about you? What are you thankful for this season?

Monday, November 22

10 Things About Stacy

art by Stacy
Now that you know 10 things about Kelsey and 10 things about me, here are 10 things about Stacy!
  1. She's determined. If she decides she wants something or she's going to do something, stand back. It's going to happen!
  2. She loves to play pretend. Right now it's Fisher Price Little People...she can play with the farm and the house for hours.
  3. She's good at figuring out how things work.
  4. She loves to color.
  5. Like her sister, she's a dedicated helper.
  6. At the park she'd rather be on the tire swing than anywhere else. Luckily they like to swing together!
  7. She loves to ride her trike. She'd ride it everywhere if she could!
  8. Not a hiker! Taking her on a long walk is torture for everyone. But if she could ride her bike...
  9. She's an enthusiastic, expressive storyteller. If you've ever been privy to one of her tales, you know exactly what I mean! Head cocked to one side, hands gesturing, and talking fast.
  10. She loves to be read to. She'll stop everything if you offer to read her a story.
Up next...10 things about Scott!

Saturday, November 20

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama.



Tuesday, November 16

A Fun Weekend

sunrise along Turnagain Arm
November 13, 2010

What a fun four day weekend we had! There was no school here on Thursday and Friday as the teachers were in Anchorage for inservice, so the the girls and I had a few days at home before our weekend in Anchorage. On Wednesday I asked them to help me make a list of things they wanted to do on our "extra stay home days". Here's what they said:

  1. play Candyland
  2. play computer games
  3. get out the big play tent
  4. play with playdough
  5. make cookies
  6. paint our toenails
The list seemed do-able to me, so on Thursday I made sure we incorporated a few things off the list into the usual play. Computer games, painting toenails (and fingernails, too!), making cookies and play dough all happened on Thursday. Friday brought the play tent. And more computer games! Their favorites right now are free games from the PBS website, Curious George in particular at the moment. Sesame Street is also a favorite, but their games take longer to load and we get tired of waiting!

Saturday was "go to the hotel day" because Scott's flight left Portland at 10:05 and arrived in Anchorage well after little girls go to sleep. We stayed at our favorite Homewood Suites. They're our favorite for a number reasons 1) the pool, 2) the pool, 3) the hot tub. Wait...that's the girls' list! Really though, they do have a lovely pool and hot tub, nice 1-bedroom suites with kitchens, an excellent breakfast and in the winter they're very affordable.

Before the hotel though, I took the girls to the Imaginarium at the Anchorage Museum. FUN! The kids were not that excited about it to begin with. In their mind it was one more thing to cross off the list before they got to the hotel pool. Once they got inside and saw what the Imaginarium was though, they had a blast! The Imaginarium is the kiddo portion of the Anchorage Museum. The Museum is a very cool place from top to bottom. You could spend at least a full day going through it all. With two kids it tow I focused on just the Imaginarium portion.

First up, the BP Kinetic Space. Where the girls could have played with this interactive marble maze for two hours straight!

The marbles fall down and bounce, roll, etc. through the various paths. On this side there's a spot where they build up and you flip a little lever to let them through so they continue on down. On the back side they come out through a chute and you get to start them going again by placing them into one of two holes.

Next up were several air blowing things to play with. There was one that blew a beach ball up into a cage quickly or slowly depending how the kids adjust the airflow. Then there were these smaller blowers. If you can get your kids to keep their hands out of the way, it will keep the ball up in the air like this:

Of course, you've also got to try putting your face in the air, don't you??


And then the infrared display. We took Kelsey's coat off and on to show how it was keeping her warm inside and how she changed colors on the display...pretty neat!

There are many other things going on in the BP Kinetic Space, but I'll spare you more pictures. Lots to do, that's for sure.

Next up...bubbles!

There were several different bubble stations, all of them fun!

Next is the kids play area. There are tubs and tubs of various scientific exploration toys (gears, magnets, magnifying glasses, etc.) here as well as a tree house, puppets, a water trough, a train table, a magnetic wall marble maze, x-rays and a light table. There was even a water bed to play on!

There's lots more to see and do...more pictures of us over on Fotki. After we hit McDonald's for lunch, we headed to the hotel for naps and swimming! Of course, the swimming was a hit!


In the middle of the night, Scott arrived via the hotel's airport shuttle. Two little girls were *very excited* to see Daddy in the morning and take him swimming, too!

Friday, November 12

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama.



Wednesday, November 10

Circle Skirts!

Guess what the girls will be wearing this Christmas season! And their favorite Cabbage Patch Kids, too! I made them using this tutorial from Dana over at MADE. What a breeze! They were very quick and easy, especially since I opted to finish mine with a rolled hem courtesy of my serger. Hurray for quick projects that look terrific when they're done!

Happy sewing!

10 Things About Kelsey

art by Kelsey 11/9/10

You already know 10 things about me, so Kelsey's up next!
  1. She's the most generous kid you'll ever meet. She'll give anyone anything if she knows they want it.
  2. She's athletic. And competitive! I can see her enjoying some sort of organized sport later in life.
  3. She loves books. Fiction or nonfiction it doesn't matter. She's never met a book she doesn't like.
  4. Her favorite thing to do at the park is swing on the tire swing. Long after I'm tired of pushing it!
  5. She's an adventurous eater! We're talking about a 4 year old who likes oysters here! She'll try anything.
  6. She's a fighter. If she thinks she's right about something she won't give up. Ever.
  7. One of her favorite things to do is cut and glue things.
  8. She has an amazing memory. She remembers things from when she was 2 1/2. I'm not even kidding.
  9. She's helpful. The kid will do anything you ask if you frame it as helping out.
  10. She's got endurance. She'll walk and walk and walk and then run! I'm hoping to take her snowshoeing this winter.
Stay tuned...10 things about Stacy is coming up next!

Monday, November 8

The Quilt is Home

Thanks to my personal delivery guy, the quilt is at home on the back of my sister's new couch! That's her kitty Buffington checking it out. If the kitty likes it, it's got to be a keeper!

Missing Daddy

Scott's down south this week, visiting friends and family. So far the girls and I are faring just fine, but there have been a few moments of tears and "I just want my daddy" cries. As sad as these times are, it also serves to remind me one of the big reasons why we moved here. So Scott could be the kind of dad he wanted to be.

Remember when we lived down south and Scott's work week was Monday through Friday, 6am to 7pm with many Saturdays, too? The girls were lucky to see him daily, as he often left before (or just as) they got up and he was often home after they were in bed.

Here in Whittier, life's a lot different. Even if Scott has an evening meeting he usually pops home for dinner. He's home almost every day for lunch, and the kids see him every morning. Unless he's plowing snow he's nearly always home on weekends, making pancakes and hanging out.

So, although we gave up a lot of people and things to come here, we've gained some things too. And so have the kids.

Saturday, November 6

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama.



Wednesday, November 3

Moose like Pumpkins!



Did you know that? Now you do! Luckily for the moose at the AK Wildlife Conservation Center, Whittier carved a lot of pumpkins. Yesterday some of the school kids, teachers, and the Korbe girls loaded up into the school van and headed over to the Conservation Center to drop off our pumpkins. When you donate a whole bunch of icky pumpkins, you get free admission to the Conservation Center which is a great deal for the school. Off we went!


The animals have been moved around a bit as they work on some of the habitats over the winter. As a result the moose were where the caribou were all summer. I'd be willing to say that the moose like their new location, especially the one pictured below. From now on I'll be referring to him as 'Mr. Friendly' because he was so social yesterday! Apparently he has a history of being an atypical very social moose. So much so that back before the Conservation Center was so popular it was common for folks to pet him. They don't allow it anymore, though.

Mr. Friendly was also very camera shy! He loved following our group up and down the fence line (maybe he smelled the pumpkins in the van?) but any time we tried to get a group shot in front of him he wandered off! Finally we got the following...I think he's trying to hide behind us!


He and Kelsey walked a few laps afterward. Hopefully he had as much fun as she did!

He is freshly out of velvet and there were just a few lingering traces, so he also spent a lot of time rubbing his antlers on a post near the fence.

Mr. Friendly would have been happy if we stayed all night, especially Demetrius. They really hit it off!

Unfortunately we had to catch the next tunnel, so we left Mr. Friendly and the pumpkins. I hope he enjoys them!