Friday, November 30

{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 28

Crafty Girls!

Well.  Here we are on November 28 where we have just 6 hours and 15 minutes of daylight...so welcome to the season of less-than-ideally-lit photos!

The girls and I have been feeling rather crafty lately and it's a good thing since most of our Christmas giving is of the handmade sort!  Lots of it I can't share here but here are a few things that I can share...

On Sunday Kelsey pulled a chopped-off leg of a pair of jeans from the scrap pile and had a vision.  A purse for a friend of hers.  She knew exactly what she wanted, so we were off.  She did most of the sewing on her own, though mama stepped in a few times to do some of the trickier work.  Here she is attaching the velcro closure.


And here's her finished project!


The recipient is 15 months old and was quite pleased to have Kelsey "hide" toys in the purse for her to find.  So sweet, the spirit of giving!

The girls and I have also been working on these fun fabric flowers.


We are making them as gifts for their classmates and babysitters.  They chose the fabrics and button for each with someone in mind.  It was fun to hear them talk about what people liked and how those bits of their personality showed up in the flowers.

Stacy and I had some fun yesterday afternoon with this project, as well.


Later we added faces to the snowmen and some ornaments to the trees.  A fun way to add a bit to our sparse Christmas decorations.  It's hard to decorate this tiny place for Christmas.  Not a lot of empty space and easy to make me feel claustrophobic.  Less is more, I guess!

Monday, November 26

Thanksgiving Weekend

Wowza!  That was a weekend that will probably live on in our family for years to come..."Remember that Thanksgiving we were all sick?"  I'll spare you all of the gory details and just say that yesterday was the first day that no one was ill at our house since Tuesday.  Yup...it was *that* much fun! 

Saturday morning the girls and I were feeling pretty well, so we tried out this crystal growing  activity I spotted on Pinterest.  What fun!

We made pipe cleaner shapes...


Grabbed our Borax, water, and jars...


Measured...



Suspended our figures in the Borax & water solution..


And waited...


While we waited, the kids played with our new magnetic nativity scene I made with printables from here, also inspired by Pinterest.


And I tried out this recipe I had been eyeballing (also on Pinterest, of course!) for awhile...


Around lunch time, Kelsey decided her ornament was done...

Kelsey's

And after quiet time, Stacy and I decided ours were done...

Stacy's





Mama's
They look even cooler today after the whole thing has dried!  In the afternoon we headed over to one of our favorite spots, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, to take advantage of their free day.  It was beautiful in Portage but crazy cold, so we did most of our looking from the car.  -2 seems so much warmer later in the winter!



That was our Saturday!  Sunday was an elving day...we worked on several Christmas presents.  You'll have to read about that later, though...don't want to ruin anyone's surprise!

Friday, November 23

{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, November 22

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well...this day didn't turn out quite the way we thought it would (the tummy bug is moving through our family), but we're thankful nonetheless!  Here are a few things we brainstormed for a school project this week:

Scott: thankful for healthy kids and good friends
Stacy: thankful for her friends and her sister
Kelsey: thankful for food
Andrea: thankful for the ability to help people

And although we spent our Thanksgiving mostly camped out on the couch watching a movie marathon we are thankful for each other and for our extended network of family and friends.  Here's hoping your Thanksgiving was a little more traditional than ours!

Book Review--Taming the Wind





Taming the Wind
by Tracie Peterson

This is the third book in this series 'Land of the Lone Star'.  This story follows a young widow, Carissa Lowe, as she learns to trust God, herself, her heart, and a man.  Her first husband was a terribly cruel man who attempted to kill her.  Her life was saved by Tyler Atherton.  Tyler's been away at war, but when he returns he hears that the lovely widow is living nearby.  Atherton goes out of his way to befriend Carissa and her young daughter.  Carissa is unsure of accepting his affections, but they both have plenty of time to think about it while Tyler is gone on a three month long cattle drive.  When Tyler returns he and Carissa have to work out if they want to have a future together or not.

I found this book to be well-written.  I like Tracie Peterson's style of incorporating faith into her characters.  It feels natural to me.  Not an afterthoughts like it often feels in Christian Novels. 


Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.  

Wednesday, November 21

Daybook

I found this set of prompts over here while surfing around today and since I am totally unable to come up with any fresh material on my own I thought I'd give it a try!

Outside my window...the sun is setting...at 4pm!

I am thinking...that having the stomach flu right before Thanksgiving is no fun!  All that good food that I cannot enjoy!

I am thankful...that I got sick first, now I will be able to nurse everyone else without being sick at the same time.

In the kitchen...there are a lot of dirty dishes!

I am wearing...my favorite sweats.

I am creating...nothing.

I am going...to stay home.

I am wondering...if the wind will slow down enough to get the kids outside over the long weekend.

I am reading...Taming the Wind by Tracie Peterson

I am hoping...Scott gets home soon.

I am looking forward to...decorating for Christmas!

I am learning...to make the most of every day.

Around the house...the girls are doing a great job of entertaining themselves.

I am pondering...the specifics of our Jesse tree for the season.

A favorite quote for today..."Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day."

One of my favorite things...is sunshine! 

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Thanksgiving!  Christmas decorating! 

A peek into my day...I have spent most of it on the couch, buried under a pile of blankets and dozing.

Tuesday, November 20

More News!

We are becoming quite the popular little town here!  Click here to see a news clip about Whittier that was on one of the local Anchorage evening news programs last night.

Monday, November 19

Potluck!

Today was one of those days where I had a million little things to do...and I even got most of them done!  Here's my to-do list this morning...can you find my spelling error?  I even got most of it done...hurray for me!



This week is a week of baking!  Yesterday we attended a memorial service {potluck} and a birthday party {potluck}.  I did some baking today for a bake sale tomorrow; there's also another {potluck} birthday party tomorrow night.  Of course there's the community {potluck} Thanksgiving lunch on Wednesday and our bible study {potluck} Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday night.  Oh yeah...Scott smoked a bunch of pork today, so we had people over for dinner tonight.  Yup...we like to eat around here!!

I had a few other photos of miscellaneous moments throughout the day, but my computer ate them...as it did the bottom half inch of the one above.  Ugh.  Oh well...at least they weren't pictures of someone's birthday or the school play, right!?!

Friday, November 16

{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.



image source

Wednesday, November 14

Cool Stuff Happens Here!

Cool news story about Whittier Community School here!  Be sure to watch the video in the upper left hand corner...see if you can spot all four Korbes!

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to chauffeur the star of this video to town to present at the Alaska School Health and Wellness Institute. He did an outstanding job (and was the only student to present!).  This reporter contacted our head teacher about doing an interview and here are the results!


Those Moments...

As parents we have lots of moments...some good, some bad!  Sometimes we lose our cool, other times we feel so lost, and yet sometimes there's that moment where you know you're doing something right.  I had one of those moments this weekend...

When we walked into our hotel to check in on Saturday we were greeted with Christmas decorations.  Yikes!  Front and center when you walked in was a lovely Christmas tree decorated with giving tree angels from the Salvation Army.  The girls were curious about the ornaments, so I explained that each one represented a kiddo whose parents didn't have any extra money to buy them a present for Christmas.  The girls and I have been saving money to donate to the food bank and talking lots about that, so they immediately made the connection to those conversations--people who work hard, but their jobs don't pay enough money for them to buy everything they need.  The girls immediately wanted to choose a child to buy a gift for.  They gravitated towards very young kids, so we ended up with tags for a 1 year old and 2 year old.  My heart nearly burst when Kelsey asked me if she could do extra jobs to earn extra money to buy these gifts.  I promised that I would indeed help them find jobs to earn the money.

The next day we stopped by WalMart to grab a few groceries before we headed home.  The subject of the gifts for these kids came up again.  Now, in my mind I had hatched this little plan that we'd go home, set a budget, earn the money and come back to town and shop for the gifts.  After we got our groceries though, it became clear that this was one of those times where I needed to let go of my agenda and follow their lead.  They asked to walk down the toy aisles and find toys for our angel kids.  There was lots of conversation between the girls about choosing toys that were age appropriate and safe for these younger kids.  As we wandered the toy aisles and they made their selections I felt so proud of the generosity they were displaying.  Later it hit me though...the entire time we were in they toy and book areas of the store, not once did they ask for anything for themselves.  There wasn't even a comment about how cute a baby doll was.  They were completely focused on giving.  And when we got home the very first thing they did (after showing off their choices to Daddy) was go count out the money they owed me from their piggy banks.

Honestly, this story has brought me to the verge of tears more than once.  In my life walk I strive to be generous, kind and helpful.  I try to talk to my kids about why I do the things I do.  I want them to know why it is important to me to help people, friends or strangers; why it is nice to do things for people and why it is nice to do them anonymously sometimes.  Moments like these let me know that they are getting those messages.  And that despite the sibling bickering, they are growing up to be incredible young ladies!

Since I'm already teary, I'll leave you with these pictures from 5 (!!!) years ago this week...Stacy is 6 months old and Kelsey is 20 months old.  Such sweet babies they were!



Monday, November 12

::weekending::

What a weekend we had!  Friday night I went to town to hang out with some of my lady friends and listen to one of my favorite Alaskan groups, Pamyua.  What a fun way to spend an evening!  I met up with Scott, his mom and the girls on Saturday morning.  We all went to lunch with a group of our friends--it was great to catch up with some folks we haven't seen in awhile!  After lunch hopped over to our hotel to enjoy an afternoon in the pool...as we all know, my kids love the water!  Turns out they love horsing around with Dad in the pool, too!

Daddy "throwing" Stacy

Daddy "throwing: Kelsey
After the pool, we ordered pizza for Grandma and the girls and Scott and I got all gussied up to attend the Governor's Alaska Council on Emergency Medial Services award banquet at the Egen Center in downtown Anchorage.  The Whittier Fire/EMS gang was awarded the 'Outstanding Ambulance Service Award' at the banquet...what a proud accomplishment for our small community!


It was a fun evening with some of our friends from Whittier!  We tiptoed back into the hotel room, knowing we'd all be up bright and early to eat breakfast and take Grandma to the airport.  After another dip in the pool we packed up, ran a few errands and headed for home.  It was a great weekend!

Friday, November 9

{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.


Monday, November 5

My Brain!

My brain...it hurts!  I attended a school board conference this weekend...a great conference!  My thinking was challenged--that's the best feeling, I think.  A little bit uncomfortable and inspiriting, all wrapped up together.  Stepping outside of the comfort zone...


I have loved the above graphic for a long time...it so clearly communicates something that I need to be reminded of often.  Something I want to be reminded of often.  So thank you to those people who continue to challenge me as well as those who stand behind me while I face those challenges!
 
It was a great weekend to be in town, that's for sure!  The skies were ahhhhhhmazing!  I watched two beautiful sunsets and enjoyed countless breathtaking views out of my huge picture windows.  Here are just a few...





Here's to learning...and to loving life!

Friday, November 2

{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, November 1

Halloween!


 Wow!  Maybe I should resume my long-held tradition of not dressing up, huh?  That's my fab "purple spider" costume that I picked up at WalMart for $5.  It was a slam dunk since purple is my favorite color!  Moving on to cuter subject matter...

This 'butterfly princess' outfit was given to us by another family in town and little sis snatched it right up.  She loved the fingerless gloves...who knew?!?!


 Big Sis teamed up with a family friend and went as Jake & Izzy from the Disney TV show, Jake and the Neverland Pirates.


The carnival was as usual, a lot of fun and a lot of work!  The fun is what we choose to remember, though!

Hope you had a Happy Halloween, too!