Friday, May 31

{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, May 29

Sunny Days


Hi!  This will wrap up my Memorial Day weekend recap and spill over into a terrific Tuesday.

Monday started off a bit wet and cloudy, but dried up and turned quite nice!  The same negative tides that make for great clamming also make for decent tide pooling around here.  We don't have great tide pools, but when the tide is out on a negative tide you can usually find something cool to look at!  So Monday we met some friends at Salmon Run and hiked out to the point.  We missed the lowest tide by a bit, but still found some fun stuff.




Yesterday we tried to fly kites (epic fail...too windy!) and ended up back at Smitty's Cove in the sun.  Fabulous!  We hit the low tide this time and found all kinds of cool things by flipping over rocks.



They dressed warm for the wind, but Smitty's is very protected so it was very calm and warm.  By afternoon it was 68 degrees and we were making our own fashion statements!



The sun is out again, so we're headed outside to soak it up while it lasts!!

Tuesday, May 28

Memorial Day Weekend

First of all, I'd like to start by sharing my sincere thanks to those who serve this country.  A day in May is not enough to thank you for your service, not enough to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.  Thank you.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

It just so happened that the three day weekend coincided with some crazy low tides in Cook Inlet (-5.5!), so we packed up Friday night and headed off clamming.  So fun!  We made a very similar trek at the beginning of June last year as well.  Last year's clamming was an epic fail.  This year's was marginally better.  We got some...enough for chowder.  Certainly not the hundreds that we have gotten in the past, but perhaps we appreciate them all the more because of it.  The weather on Saturday was amazingly beautiful, so even after Scott and I were done digging the kids continued to completely muddy themselves.  The biggest messes always seem to bring the biggest smiles to little faces, don't they?  I didn't want to deal with cameras or phones in the water and mud, so there's no pictures, but trust me...it was truly head to toe.  This load of laundry brought to you by sand, sun, mud, LL Bean rain gear, Xtra Tufs, and duct tape.

view from the Ninilchik beach
We had started our day at the Ninilchik EMS pancake breakfast and after the muddy fun on the beach we played a bit in Ninilchik, had a picnic lunch, and headed south the Homer while the girls dozed.



Homer was, as always, fun!  We hit our favorite ice cream shop on the spit, Spit Licks and then headed up to the Homer playground...always a hit with the backseat gang!


We stopped on our way out of town to take some pictures...


That night we had dinner at the hostel where we were staying and played catch in the yard there for a long time.  A lovely evening!

The next morning we loaded up and headed north to Kenai where we played on the beach a bit.


Then we visited some friends and picnicked at the Soldotna playground before heading on home.









We swung into Hope on the way home, remembering a sweet ice cream shop there.  The ice cream shop has closed up shop, but we did see this sweet ride...


When we got home I heard some of the best words a mama can hear..."What can I do to help?"  It was awesome!  What took me all day Friday to get packed was unpacked and put away in 30 minutes on Sunday night.  4 pairs of hands is a very good thing!

I'll tell you about Monday in the next post...and there are tons of pictures that aren't here over on Fotki if you're looking for more peeks into our weekend!

Friday, May 24

{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, May 22

Our Hummingbird

After seeing all of the hummingbirds around town, we finally got a hummingbird feeder last spring.  I tried to get pictures of the birds in action last year, but never had any luck.  This year...I'm luckier!  In matters of fast-flying birds, at least!  This little guy has been joined by a friend in the past few days, but for the last week or so has been a frequent visitor.  He often comes and sits on the perch as well.  I felt so bad for him during our crummy weather over the weekend that I pulled my feeder in to de-ice it for him!  Needless to say...we're getting lots of entertainment out of him!

Don't mind the crummy quality of my pictures.  The seal on our big picture window is broken, so as soon as things thaw out in the spring and moisture returns to the air the window always has condensation between the panes.  It's a pain and annoying, but our landlords are not planning to fix it anytime soon so we just do our best to ignore it...to see the pictures larger, just click on them and you'll be taken directly to the album on Fotki!  Happy birding!

Tuesday, May 21

Hi.

Hello there!  I was totally absent on Friday and late with yesterdays post.  Yikes. 

Friday we took the kids into town and to H2Oasis for Kelsey's birthday "thing".  I've talked about it here before, but I'm too lazy to find the links today so just to refresh your memory we don't buy our kids birthday presents, we give them birthday experiences.  They get to choose a family activity to do together.  This year Kelsey wanted to go to H2Oasis, so off we went.  No pictures since we were all in the water, but trust me...a good time was had by all!

The weather was the main topic of conversation around town over the weekend and here's why...


Saturday was the first cruise ship of the season and the weather was absurd.  It snowed and the wind blew all day.  By the time it was over there were five or six inches of slush.  Scott had to go out and plow because the tourists were getting stuck.  It was ridiculous!

Saturday we also took our first run at t-ball.  I've signed the girls up to play in Girdwood over the summer, so on Friday we hunted down mitts, balls, a bat, and a tee.  Saturday we took it all to the school gym and gave it a go.  It was so much fun!  Scott joined us which worked out really well so we had a 1:1 thing going.  The kids had lots of fun and learned a bit as well.  Lots of pictures on Fotki, but I'll share just a few here...





Sunday Scott kicked off the 2013 halibut season by being a substitute deckhand for a friend of his.  He always has so much fun doing that and since the weather was 500 times nicer on Sunday it was a great day for him all the way around!  The kids and I had a *ROUGH* morning...one of those days when you just want to go back to bed and start again, which is essentially what we did.  We all took naps after lunch and our afternoon was so much better!  We headed out on our bikes for some much-needed fresh air.


It rejuvenated us all!




The sun has stayed with us and we sure are making the most of it!  Trying not to waste the gifts given to us...

Sunday, May 19

Book Review--These Are the Days of Elijah






These Are The Days of Elijah
by R.T. Kendall

I wanted to love this book, I really did!  I love the tagline on the cover, "How God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things, " it makes me want to crack the cover and dive right in!  Once I was in though,  I found it tough to read.  To me, Kendall's writing reads like a boring sermon.  I feel horrible writing that...I am sure that there's a great huge audience who love Kendall and loved this book.  I simply wasn't among them.

I did find some nuggets of information that resonated with me and I did learn about Elijah as I read, so all was not lost!

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.   

Book Review--Jesus Is ______________.


Jesus Is ________.
by Judah Smith

I really enjoyed this book!  I like the concept and I like Judah's voice as a writer.  Reading this book felt like having a conversation with an old friend: thought provoking, encouraging, and sometimes hard to hear!

What started out as a billboard in Seattle turned into a great book.  There seems to be a lot of buzz out there about this book...many people are quite critical of it.  Sure, there are parts of it that are less entertaining to read than others, but for me there were many more parts that resonated.  If you are looking for a book to help fill your spiritual gas tank, make you think, and help you be a better person this is it!

Thank you to Thomas Nelson 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.   

Friday, May 17

Book Review--Prototype



Prototype
by Jonathan Martin

I love this book!  It has been a slow read for me, not because it is poorly written but because it is so well written and thought provoking that my brain can only process it in small pieces!

Prototype is all about knowing Jesus better and understanding God's love for us.  Sure, we all have the rudimentary understanding that we are loved by our Heavenly Father, but do we truly understand how deep that love is?  How complete?  As Martin says in his opening chapter on identity,

     "...what's interesting about believing in Jesus is that it has a whole lot to do with believing like
     Jesus--believing that you are beloved as a son or daughter of God; believing what God says about
     you..."

Truly understanding our belovedness by God is so challenging, yet Martin points out that if we can at least begin to grasp it so much about Jesus and our own personal walk with Him becomes more clear and meaningful.

Want to know more about Jonathan Martin?  Here's a Q&A sent to me by the publisher that I thought you might be interested in.

Want to take a sneak peek at the book?  Check out chapter one for free!

I hope you enjoy!

Thank you to Tyndale 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, May 15

Mother's Day

To put it simply, I had a wonderful Mother's Day!  My sweet hubby had orchestrated a plan with the girls and my little ladies delighted in helping it play out.

The day began with me lounging in bed while Scott and his junior chefs made me breakfast.  The junior chefs and I then dined in bed while we watched cartoons.  I opened some sweet gifts made at school including special cards, necklaces, and these two bright and cheerful masterpieces.

by Stacy

by Kelsey

Then I was treated to a pink bubble bath as the girls kindly shared their Crayola bath dropz with me!


After my bath I got a fancy pedicure...








Then we went out for bagels and coffee.  Mama loves some coffee!  A special Mother's Day nap, a family movie of the couch (How to Train Your Dragon...I know I'm far behind the times, but what a great movie!!), a trip out for a special snack and a yummy breakfast casserole for dinner followed by ice cream with peanut butter and chocolate. 

 
Fantastic!  I got to eat breakfast for all three meals and if you know me (clearly my hubs and kiddos do!) you know that I *love* breakfast foods.  My fave!!

To all my mama friends and family...I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day, too.  Special thoughts to my own mama who was sick and miserable on Mother's Day.  Feel better soon!!

Monday, May 13

Daybook

Inspired by this.

Outside my window...it's light like it's 5pm.  But it's 10pm!

I am thinking...that I am a different person than I was five years ago and I like that.  I feel more comfortable with who and what I am and that's a good feeling!

I am thankful...for my amazing husband and kids who gave me a very memorable Mother's Day!!

In the kitchen...the dinner dishes are still sitting in the sink because I went to a poetry workshop tonight instead of staying home and doing my chores.

I am wearing...a fair trade necklace

I am creating...gifts!  Secret gifts!

I am going...clamming on Memorial Day weekend, woohoo!!

I am wondering...just what it is that makes some people tick...

I am reading...books for reviewing.  I will be posting reviews this week...

I am hoping...that something I do today makes a difference in someone's life

I am looking forward to...bible study this week!  We've been on hiatus for a few weeks with our leader traveling, but I have missed my friends!

I am learning...to be more patient, more present in the daily moments.

Around the house...are things that matter to me.  Artwork by my kiddos, snapshots of our daily lives...our stuff tells a story

I am pondering...poetry and the writing of it.  That stepping out of my comfort zone.

A favorite quote for today...


One of my favorite things...hugs!

A peek into my day...how about a peek into my Mother's Day?


Friday, May 10

{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, May 8

Flying

I flew out to Tatitlek yesterday.  Last year it was a bit sunnier when I made the trip, but this year's trip was pretty in its own way.  The middle and high school students from our school are out there right now for Cultural Heritage Week which is an amazing event.  It is so fun to go see kids from around the state participating in a variety of activites and having so much fun learning about native cultures.  Here are some of my pictures from my visit yesterday...




Monday, May 6

A Play and Some Sun

What a great weekend we had!  We started off by celebrating Scott's birthday on Friday night.  Scott likes to keep birthday celebrations low key, so we followed his wishes.  No big celebration, just a little special dinner here at home.  The girls chose the menu for him according to what they thought he'd like, so we sat down to a dinner of Spam sandwiches on white store-bought bread and apples.  They were right...Scott loves Spam and he likes apples a lot, too.  For dessert we made this lovely peanut butter pie in lieu of cake, since Scott's not a big fan of cake either.  It's a peanut butter/cream cheese/Cool Whip filling in a crushed Oreo crust.  Seriously...you can't go wrong here!


For his birthday the girls and I gave him tickets for the four of us to go see a production of Charlotte's Web at the Alaska Fine Arts Academy.  I know many of you are reading this and thinking "WHAT?!?!" so let me back up a bit.  On New Year's Eve this year we made a list with the girls of things we wanted to do in 2013.  Scott's additions to the list were 'a family snow skiing trip' and 'see a play or concert'.  Since we had already been skiing the girls and I decided the play would be fun.  We were right!  It was a great production, totally capturing the girls' attention for two hours!  If you want to see a great performance that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and is kid friendly, Alaska Fine Arts Academy is the place to be!

Sunday the girls and I made our first trek of the season to the Lazy Otter Cafe(As  side note here, some of the images on their website were taken by little old me!)  It was lovely to be back in their sweet little cafe, catching up after the long winter!  On our way home we noticed the wind had died down, so the girls and I took a detour and headed to Smitty's Cove.  The girls had hours of fun playing on the rocks, wading, finding washed up treasures, smashing shells, etc.  We were so grateful for a few hours of sunny, calm weather!  These pics aren't the best since they were taken with my phone, but you'll get the idea.







An absolutely lovely afternoon!!