Wednesday, March 30

Something to think about...

One of the things I love to do is to sit down in the morning with a cup of coffee and check in on a few of my favorite blogs. Something about reading their reflections and insights into their children's play, growth, and development puts me a good frame of mind for the rest of the day. When we're running late to take Kelsey to school, it helps me take a deep breath and let her try once more to tie Stacy's shoe for her without getting impatient. And of course that time it works, it's tied, she feels great about helping her sister, and Stacy is pleased to helped. Those are the moments I work for each day...when I could choose to be the crabby mom or the loving mom. I strive to be the loving mom.

Today when someone shared this link on Facebook, I immediately subscribed to her (Magicial Childhood) feed in my Google Reader for future morning reading. I love this article and how it brings us back to what really matters for kids. It was written 9 years ago, but is even more relevant today in the face of NCLB, funding cuts to education, and all of that.

So dear reader, here you go...What should a 4 year old know? I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did!

And just to make you smile, here are my two monkeys in dress up clothes at school last week. They were learning about different jobs people do, and the tools they need for those jobs.

Monday, March 28

The Preschool and The Tortoise

Last week Kelsey's preschool class learned about the letter 'T'. Lucky for them, the class pet in the primary class is a Russian tortoise! All 3 classes collaborated and made some tortoises out of paper bowls with little wheels underneath to make them go. The preschool visited the primary class to learn about tortoises, and the primary class visited the preschool to hear the story The Tortoise and the Hare. It was a week of turtles, trucks, tortoises, and trains!

Here are a few fun pictures:

preschool visits the primary room

Kelsey paints her tortoise shell

Stacy pains her tortoise shell

Kelsey's tortoise is ready to race!

Stacy's tortoise takes a break

Sheldon from the primary class--he's sizing up the competition!

Just two girls and their tortoises!

Friday, March 25

{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, March 23

And then there was more snow...

Our sneak peek at spring is over so it's back to our regularly scheduled programming...snow! We went outside to enjoy the fresh white stuff. We even brought some back inside to make snow ice cream with for dessert...yum!

It's hard to believe we were riding bikes down this street the day before!

This picture is a cute framing idea...too bad the lens is so dirty it makes the pic look foggy!

Another foggy one! This is the snow picnic that Stacy set up. The picnic table is in the picnic shelter at the campground. Last year at this time the whole shelter was buried...only the roof poked out of the snow!

So even after 5 months of snow and ice on the ground, we can still have some fun with some fresh stuff!

Monday, March 21

Spring is in the air!

I will be the first to say that it certainly may not be here to stay, but spring has been at least teasing us here lately. As I said to Scott, "I consider it to be spring when we have made it above freezing every day for two weeks". And we have! It's amazing the difference that a little direct sunlight can have on melting. There's still plenty of yuck to navigate around, but the streets were clear enough to bring out the trikes this weekend. That made for two very happy little girls!

heading out

Since it's been warming up, things are melting. Along the side of the road the water is running under the ice and the girls found that fascinating! They watched the "bubbles" under the ice all they way down the street.

Kelsey in a melted ditch--the best way to experience it is to be IN it, right?!

We ended up down at the harbor where the girls did lots of reminiscing about last summer. They were delighted to be able to throw rocks in the water again.

When we headed back up the hill, Stacy found some ice to break and pick up.

Peekaboo Stacy!

And then we headed on up the hill towards home!

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 18

{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, March 16

Spring Cleaning

Wow...nothing like living in a 900ish square foot apartment to make you continually reevaluate every item that you own! Let's back up a little bit...when we moved here it amazed me how much stuff I was able to glean from closets and cupboards. Even more amazing to me is how much stuff I put into storage that I've never missed. Granted, there are a few things in storage I went back for, and a few others I have purchased duplicates of or have really (really!) wished for. But for the most part it's amazing how much less stuff we have. And how happy we are!

With that in mind, I have embarked on a spring cleaning frenzy here this week. The sunshine has fueled me to haul it out, clean under it, around it, behind it, and decide if it needs to be kept. Most of it passes the grade. But some of it doesn't! The girls have had lots of fun helping me move furniture and make some decisions about their stuff. Some decisions that I wasn't ready for! (Turns out I'm more attached to a few toys than they are!) And it feels feels good to know that things are clean (don't get me started on what I've learned about glacial gets *everywhere*!!!!) and it feels good to know that the things that we have are the things that are important to us. We own this doesn't own us!

Monday, March 14

Spring Break

Funny, huh? We're on spring break here this week, but it's not even spring yet! Regardless of what the calendar says it is in fact spring break and we've been blessed with fabulous spring-like weather. It's been amazingly sunny and nice here the last week or so, and we've been taking full advantage of it. This weekend we gave our sleds and snow gear a full workout and celebrated the sunshine with a BBQ at the harbor.

So, if I'm a bit slow in posting here this week you'll know our weather is holding and we're kicking up our heels outside. :-)

Friday, March 11

{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, March 9

Ruffle Shirt Refashion

Refashioning seems to be all the rage around the internet. Also referred to as upcycling it generally involves altering a ready-to-wear garment or making a new garment from an older one. I've taken things in, but that's been about the extent of my dabbling until today. Today I took one of my favorite shirts that had shrunk in the wash so the sleeves were too short (I have long arms!) and made it into an elbow-length shirt.

Here's the original shirt :
(ignore the stains...I've treated then and it's in the wash again!)

Here's a close-up of the cuff, one of my favorite details on this shirt!

Here's the shirt after my re-do:

And a close up of the sleeve:

So I chopped off the cuff, cut a little length off the sleeve, rolled up the sleeve and attached the cuff vertically. I am super excited to wear this shirt again...after I get those stains out!


We've been enjoying a several day stretch of decent weather! Little to no wind and *sunny*! Monday we headed outside and met up with the primary class for an afternoon of sliding down the hill behind the school. It's pretty fun...I tried it!

Tuesday, March 8

Another $0 Dress

Yesterday turned out to be pretty busy! Kelsey's preschool teacher was sick, so I filled in for her. Our weather has been fantastically sunny and balmy (upper 20's, low 30's!) so we dashed outside to catch the sunshine before it set behind the mountain. It's light here until about 6pm now, but the direct sun is gone by 3ish.

Here's another $0 dress for Kelsey from my stash. That fabric was originally intended for capris for me (I know...*cringe*) and the buttons are from Gma Paul's stash. I know that looks like a lot of buttons, but that's what happens when you are being a mommy and sewing at the same time. You end up with oddly spaced buttons! The only easy way to fix it was to add more buttons. Oh borrow a phrase from the aforementioned Gma Paul, "You'll never notice on a galloping goose!" And Kelsey is always on the move, that's for sure!

Saturday, March 5

The $0 Dress

There reaches a point in any sewist's life when she realizes, "Wow! I have a lot of stuff!". I realized it last fall when I was able to sew a whole bunch of stuff for a charity event without a trip to town. This fall I did something similar. Today I whipped up a jumper for Kelsey! The pattern was given to me, the blue fabric we purchased last fall because I liked it, the pink is scraps from Stacy's 2nd birthday dress. The buttons in back are from my stash, as well as the interfacing. Dress done! I had fun and she likes it...which makes it pretty much perfect in my book!

PS--whomever at McCalls titled this the "2 Hour Jumper" did not attempt to sew it with a 5 year old and an almost 4 year old around!

Friday, March 4

{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.

Thursday, March 3

Cricut Patches

Sorry for the less than ideal photos...this was an 'after kiddo bedtime' project, so the pics were after dark, too. Here are the patches applied to K's pants. I used Heat-n-Bond (which is my favorite new product discovery, by the way!) and then my Cricut to cut those hearts. Then I hand-stitched around them to make them even more "stuck". We'll see how they wear...this 5 year old is hard on pants knees!

Now...will she like them? Wear them? And will 'lil sis be jealous?

Wednesday, March 2

Why I had kids...

To clean back here! You can see all of the things they pulled out from behind the freezer sitting there on top.

Of course, if I didn't have kids I wouldn't have have all that stuff behind the freezer, but let's not get tangled up in the little details...:-)

Tuesday, March 1

Kelsey's Birthday Dinner!

Hello! I know this post a bit late. We've been under the weather up here in Alaska...ugh! Things are looking up though, thank goodness!

Saturday was Kelsey's birthday dinner celebrating her 5th birthday. What fun! The menu was chosen by the birthday girl and included oven-fried chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, green beans, and of course, birthday cake. Each year I try to make the girls each a fun cake and Kelsey has decided that she likes surprises, so I was tasked with making a surprise cake for her. Since her interest in all animals only grows, I chose a horse cake. I found the basic directions over at Family Fun. Although I decorated it while she was awake and around, she chose not to look until it was time for dinner. Funny girl! She was pleased with it, which made this mama happy. It was a fun evening for everyone.

Happy Birthday, Kelsey!