Thursday, February 28

People, not Color

Hi!  I'm late, I know.  Sorry!  Life you know...sometimes keeps me busy!

Here's Kelsey's new doll!  At first her name was Katie, though I'm told she has a new name now.  Kelsey bought her with her birthday money and I whipped up some clothes for her yesterday, lest she have to hang out in that leotard all the time!

shirt tute here, I made up the skirt
pants tute here

dress tute here

There's something that I just love about this doll though...I love that she's not Caucasian.  More specifically, I love that it never crossed Kelsey's mind when she was choosing.  There were 8 dolls on the shelf that day, 6 of them blonde Caucasian ballerinas, 2 of them (according to their labels) African-American gymnasts.  We are totally blessed to live in a very diverse community.  "White" kiddos are in the minority at our school, where 66% of our kids are Native, Samoan, or Filipino.  So when my kind-hearted 7 year old saw this doll on the shelf, she didn't see a "brown doll", she saw a doll that looked like her friends.  But better yet, she didn't even probably consciously think about it.  She saw her, liked her and bought her.  The end.

I remember when I was team-teaching first grade with my dear friend April and February rolled around.  We worked in a huge district in a predominately white area and it was mandated that we would "teach" Black History Month.  We both shook our heads and wondered why on earth we would point out differences that our kids didn't see.  Isn't there plenty of time for that later in life?  Don't kids already find enough differences on their own?  Sure.  There were some relevant lessons that year.  The most poignant being that without incredible people like Dr. Martin Luther King April and I would have never been able to teach together in the first place!  But still...we were both left with this bad taste in our mouths about the way we were told to do things.

So.  I know I have rambled a bit here, but  my point is that I am happy that my daughters are growing up in a diverse environment where we celebrate each others cultures of origin while at the same time coming together to create our own community culture.  I am proud that my daughters see people not color.  And I am delighted there are lots of dolls on the shelf to choose from!

Monday, February 25


decorations, reflected in the window
Happy Birthday, Kelsey!  I've been blogging for several years now, so you can look back and see my posts about Kelsey's birthday when she turned four, five, and six.  People always say that kids grow up too fast and that has always bothered me. Kids grow up and they should!  There are things I miss about my kids when they were younger, but there are so many things I look forward to as they continue to grow as well.  It's fun to look back at the pictures of when they were younger, but I don't want to miss the moments today because I'm remembering yesterday.  So with that, I present my very favorite 7 year old!

She (sort of) designed this dress.  Since around Christmastime she's been drawing things like this and giving them to me, complete with measurements.  She wanted elbow length sleeves and a side bow, that much was consistent from sketch to sketch.

So I made her this...

Which she was quite pleased with, thank goodness! I made her mini cupcakes for school and this tiny little cake for home...

And a larger cake for the night of her party.  It's shaped like a horseshoe and although I was planning to do more finish work on it she asked me not to.  She liked it the way it was, so I let go of the cake in my mind and plopped the 7 candle on it.  There were also 48 cupcakes for the party on Saturday.  Yeah.  We are keeping the cake mix industry in business over here!

Speaking of the party, it was lots of fun!  Of course we stuck with the cowgirl theme...

We made necklaces, got temporary tattoos, decorated cupcakes and played pin the tail on the horse

Then we thanked everyone for coming, cleaned up and headed home....

It was a fun Saturday afternoon for sure!

Friday, February 22

20 Questions for a 7 Year Old

I started this last year.  Fun to see what has changed and what has not!

1.  How old are you?

2.  Who is your best friend?

3.  What is your favorite thing to do?
     write about horses

4.  What is your favorite color?
     teal blue

5.  What is your favorite food?
     burritos with tomatoes

6.  What do you like to do with your family?
     I like to go swimming.

7.  What is your favorite toy?
     horse figures

8.  What do you want to be when you grow up?
     a cowgirl

9.  What makes you happy?
     Galloping on a horse without falling off!

10.  What makes you sad?
     When I think about my favorite horses in Washington.

11.  What is your favorite show to watch?
     Spirit (the Disney movie)

12.  What is your favorite book?
    Flutterby Fly

13.  What do you love to learn about?
     I want to learn more about galloping on a horse without falling off.

14.  What is the best part of your birthday
     the party

15.  Where do you like to go?
    someplace quiet to read a book

16.  Who is your teacher?
    Mrs. O'Brien & Mrs. C

17.  What is your favorite treat?
     my birthday

18.  What do you think about before you fall asleep?
     good dreams and what I will do with my new Build-a-Bear

19.  If you could meet someone famous who would it be?
    Taylor Swift

20.  What kind of cake did you have this year?
     She hasn't seen it yet, but it's a horseshoe!

{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, February 20


900 photos
20 days
6 beds
4 flights
1 road trip
8 suitcases

It's been a bit quiet around here because the girls and I snuck down to Washington right after my Juneau trip. Right after. As in I never even went home in between. We got back into Anchorage late last night but too late to catch the last tunnel into Whittier, so we came in early this morning so the girls could go to school today.  A huge thank you to my hubby who had the house all nice and clean, dishes done, and laundry caught up when we arrived!!

It was a fun trip! I kept it quiet because I wanted it to just be a family trip this time and so many of our friends were in school while we were down. I felt very guilty pulling the girls out of school, but we did some homework every day and took in some educational experiences while we were down as well. We visited the Oregon Zoo, OMSI, and the Portland Children's Museum as well as doing a bit of horseback riding and making a quick trip with my side of the family to the beach. We visited my mom at her school (which my kids think is a HUGE school with 80 kids K-8) and celebrated some birthdays. It was a fun filled trip for sure!

Wanna see pictures?  Click on the links above and it will take you directly to the associated photo album for each event. to make a birthday dress for a certain someone turning 7 on Friday!

Sunday, February 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.

Wednesday, February 13

Happy {almost} Valentine's Day!

image from Jackson & favorite rose from Grandma's garden!
 You know...I really like Valentine's Day!  It comes during what is often a dark/wet/snowy month that has been preceded by months of dark/wet/snow and for me it is the month that turns the corner into spring.  The wet/snow might (will!) continue on for weeks (ok, months!) longer, but March is warmer, lighter, and happier!!  So right when I need some cheering up comes Valentine's Day.  A holiday centered around being nice to people, love, and happiness.  Perfect!!

In honor of Valentine's Day I am sharing a list of things that I love and are making me happy right special order!

:: bits of blue sky
:: retro rainbow tchotchke from the 80's
:: belly laughs
:: the wonder and boundless curiosity of children
:: glimpses of sunshine
:: warm blankets to snuggle under
:: fuzzy socks that keep my tootsies warm
:: a crochet project that makes me smile each time I pick it up
:: visions of sewing projects dancing in my head
:: great things to read

I hope this Valentine's Day finds you with a bit of time to celebrate those things which make you happy...and those people who bring happiness to your days as well!

Monday, February 11

I am

I am the daughter of chainsaws and burn piles,
of fix it and do it.

I am the daughter of sewing and flower beds,
of books, knitting needles and waffles on weekends.

I am the granddaughter of gardens, birds, hard work and Louis L'Amour novels,
of quilts, volunteering and home-cooked meals.

I am the granddaughter of cornflake crusted chicken and baked half potatoes,
of crochet, sewing, cross stitch and roses.

I am the sister of aluminum bats, afternoons in the pond,
of Legos and used bookstores.

I am the wife of quads, boats, tools and sets of plans,
of pancakes, turnouts and fishing poles.


I am barbed wire fence and tree farms, frozen mountains, and glacier fed streams.
I am music on the radio, dirt under my fingernails, and projects in progress.
I am colorful, rainy nights and snowy tomorrows.


I am all of this.
I am me.

Friday, February 8

{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, February 6


a door in the back of my favorite Juneau bookstore
Inspired by this.

Outside my's dark and rainy

I am thinking...that I am tired!  A busy, high energy weekend in Juneau paired with a night of crummy sleep makes for a tired mama

I am thankful...for an awesome hubby and a terrific group of friends who cared for the girls while I was in Juneau

In the can actually see the countertops!

I am watch...I rarely wear it since moving to Alaska

I am afghan.  I know.  Apparently I will be celebrating my 83rd birthday soon??

I am write a whole lot of legislative thank-yous tomorrow.

I am wondering...if the girls might sleep in a bit tomorrow...please???

I am reading...The Love Season

I am go shopping all by myself sometime soon

I am looking forward to...Starbucks and fabric stores

I am learning...that I like stepping back into the professional realm a bit

Around the house...the kids have wreaked havoc, as usual!

I am pondering...Kelsey's birthday.

A favorite quote for today..."Sometimes you don't know the true value of a moment until it is a memory"

One of my favorite things...a smile from my kids!

A peek into my day...Starbucks, suitcases, excited girls, hugs, and smiles

As always, thanks for stopping by...I am honored that you spend a bit of your day here in my space!

Monday, February 4

Hello from Juneau!

Hello there!  I am in Juneau this weekend for some school board work and to lobby our legislature on behalf of education.  I am so glad to live in a state where the population is small enough that people can sit down 1 on 1 or in small groups with our elected officials and have a chance to tell them what's important to us and why.  What a fantastic opportunity!

Yesterday I had an hour or so to walk around town and of course I took some pictures...

mural at Juneau Community Charter School

Juneau really is such a neat city--or at least this historic downtown part that I get to visit when I make these trips.  It is very colorful...

It is hilly...

And everywhere you look there are lots of stairs to get up and down those hills...

Today the sun even peeked out for a bit...such a treat!  I have to share this picture just for fun...I love macro photography and this image from yesterday just makes me happy...

We are visiting with legislators again tomorrow and then headed back to Anchorage tomorrow.  It has been a busy four days, but there's been lots of fun moments.  It is amazing how quickly a group of such great people becomes like family.  Every time we get together we have such fun catching up on what's going on in different parts of the state and in people's lives.  I really am grateful for such a supportive and inclusive group of like-minded colleagues!  And it's fun to have an excuse to dust off the dress clothes and heels too! ;-)

Friday, February 1

{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.

photo by my friend Alyssa