Monday, December 30

The Weekend

I love when the kids are on winter break.  It's just like one big long weekend.  We have so much fun and it is just the right length!  On Friday the girls and I went to town with two major goals in mind.  One was for Stacy to pick out a doll with her gift card from Kelsey and the other was to see the current Disney film, Frozen.  We succeeded in both!  Here is Stacy with her 'My Life' doll roughly 43 seconds after we had purchased her and freed her from her packaging which we did in the store about 4 feet from the checkout line!  Someone was excited...


Her name is Katie and Stacy loves her very much.  My favorite part about this whole deal was that apparently Stacy has been wanting such a doll for a bit now, but neither Scott or I realized it.  Kelsey knew though!  Katie went to lunch with us and also got to watch the movie.  Spoiled little doll! Saturday I made Katie a skirt to match the one Kelsey made Stacy for Christmas.  Stacy was quite pleased to be matchies...Katie looks delighted too, huh? 


Just a side note here...yes.  Stacy always dresses like this!  She loves, loves, loves colors and patterns which is why Kelsey and I chose this fabric for her skirt.  Before we had made the skirt Stacy spotted the fabric and was *in love*.  She was so delighted to find out it was for her when she opened the skirt on Christmas morning!

Saturday also found us enjoying these yummy artichokes the girls begged for at the store on Friday...

 
...and trying our hand at duct tape doll shoes.  And duct tape little girl shoes, too!

Sunday we headed to Girdwood to meet Iditarod musher Nicolas Petit.  We took a lovely lap around Moose Meadows.  Nic had two sleds, one tied as a trailer to the other.  Kelsey got to 'drive' the trailer sled part way.  Happy girl!!  60 days to the start...but who's counting?  Besides Kelsey, I mean! 






After the ride we went with some friends to snowshoe a bit. 


The kids played in this meadow for an hour!


I guess it doesn't look like a meadow here, but it is.  The kids loved going in and out of the trees around the edges.

The views in Girdwood never disappoint!


After snowshoeing we went back to their house and sledded until the kids could barely stand up anymore.  Then I took them to Chair 5 for dinner and home to bed.  Needless to say, they went to sleep quickly!

Hope you had a lovely weekend, too!

Christmas Day

Oh Christmas Day!  Wonderful!  My favorite part hands down was watching the girls open their gifts from each other.  That was where the most excitement lay for them and therefore me.  Following tradition we did our stockings first.  Peanut got to go first!


Here is Stacy watching Kelsey open her gift...


And then her face as she opened Kelsey's gift to her...


That girl cannot hide her feelings at all.  The saying "written all over her face"...it fits this one perfectly!

Here's a blurry shot of their mutual joy over K's other gift to S...


We got to Skype with all of our Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles and cousins, so it was a great day, indeed!  There are more pictures of our fun over on Fotki if you want to see more of our Christmas Day.

Getting Ready for Christmas

On Christmas Eve eve we finished the last of the making...


On Christmas Eve we made (more!) cookies.  At this point we were all pretty much done making and eating cookies, but the girls wanted to make some gingerbread men so we did.  We had spent the previous week making oodles of cookies and other treats with our bible study group in Girdwood and our church group here in Whittier to give to workers at Alyeska and folks around Whittier.  So we took these gingerbread men to Christmas Eve services to share.



Scott was so excited to give me my gift that he insisted I open it on Christmas Eve...


Notice all that birthday paper under our tree?  Yeah...so funny!  Why do kids want to wrap birthday presents in Christmas paper and vice versa?  I dunno...

I wasn't so sure I wanted to open it early, but I went along with it.  Kind of.  I opened it with my eyes closed!


But I finally opened them...


New mixer!!  I made some bread right away to try it out, of course!  Before we knew it, Santa was arriving in his big yellow firetruck!






The first time they've ever both sat on his lap willingly!  From here it was off to church and then home to bed...where the stockings were hung by the birdcage with care...


Sunday, December 29

Twin Day

The week of school before vacation the kids had themed dress-up days at school.  There was 'wear red & green day', 'wear Santa hats day', 'silly socks day', 'holiday shirt/sweater day', and 'twin day'.  Obviously I didn't take picture of them every day or I wouldn't have to write all of this, I'd just show you cute pictures.  It was a busy week!  Twin day was on Friday though, and I did remember to grab my camera--I just gotta say folks, we knocked this one out of the park thanks to my detail oriented kids!  It was important that we all match from head to toe, so we all wore tennis shoes and jeans.  Then we wore our Color Run shirts and over top our school hoodies.  Layers of twin-ness (or triplet-ness, I guess!) there.  They were so excited!!


Christmas Program

In case you don't follow the girls' school on Facebook, here are a few videos from their holiday program on the 19th...









Sledding, Snowmen, Snowball Fights and Smiles on the Solstice


Hmmm...I am a bit behind here!  Hope you had a very Merry Christmas!  I'll pick up last weekend on Saturday, the winter solstice.  It's the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight...Anchorage had 5 hours, 27 minutes, 41 seconds of daylight that day.  We had slightly less here in Whittier, since the sun never makes it over the mountaintop this time of year.  Last year we celebrated the solstice with an impromtu skating party.  It was c.o.l.d.  Much warmer this year, but no less impromptu!  Gotta love a party that is set up at 10am via text messages flying around the building.  No worries though, at noon we were all out enjoying some hot dogs, hot chocolate, chips, sledding and a giant snowball fight!






Kelsey and Scott left at the tail end of the party to go to town and go Christmas shopping.  Stacy didn't last much longer...it was a super-fun afternoon, but she got tired...


There is a large group of kids holed up behind two sleds behind her head and a group of 4 or 5 adults also taking cover behind sleds just past her feet.  Snowballs are flying overhead.  Though this picture makes her look like she's napping in the snow, I promise to took her home *before* she fell asleep!

It was a very fun afternoon.  That evening we whipped up some Rice Crispy treats to share and headed down to the church Christmas program to watch and then out to dinner.  Stacy somehow stayed awake all afternoon and evening. Scott and Kelsey shopped, shopped, and went out to dinner, arriving after Stacy had crashed out for the night.  A good day!

Wednesday, December 25

Friday, December 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
 
 

Monday, December 16

Snow

After a slow start to winter this year we got our first real dump of snow this weekend...I'd estimate it to be about 24 inches or so.  As is often the case around here, it came with a helping of gusting to 45+ mph winds...light winds for here!  It is a recipe for a busy hubby though...snow and wind = plenty of plow time.  Scott was out twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday.  People still got stuck.  It seems to go this way every year.  The first couple of dumps have people scrambling. By the time this same weather pattern rolls around in March though, people are just going on with their lives. 

This is what it looked like out my window when it finally got light Sunday morning...


The girls had school this Saturday.  It sounds like a punishment, but really it's a celebration!   We kicked it off with fancy hot chocolate.


To make our school calendar work we usually have one Saturday school day in December.  The kids get to wear PJs to school and they do all kinds of fun activities.  They came home smiling, so it must have been OK.  We decorated our tree (still in jammies, of course!) Saturday afternoon.



Sunday morning Stacy and I spent some time working on a gift for Kelsey.  It is so much fun to watch them come up with ideas for each other.  Now that they're older they need less help than ever to make things!

 
After church we braved the wind and went out to lunch.  Kelsey ordered clam chowder which she polished off in no time, along with my fries.  Stacy ordered a burger...


The girl loves burgers!!  That afternoon Scott went out to dig out the car (pictured above) in his new snowsuit he bought a few weeks ago.  He left it lying on the living room floor when he came in and next thing we knew, the girls had climbed into it.  Pretty funny!


That was pretty much our weekend!  Hope you had a great one, too!

Friday, December 13

{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, December 12

Decorating

Isn't Christmas decorating a funny thing?  Some of us start before Thanksgiving, some are adamant about doing it after turkey day.  Some of us have huge boxes of stuff, some of us have two.  Some folks decorate every inch, some folks keep it to the main living area.  Some people like it to be the same every year, some people like to mix things up.  I guess I fall somewhere in the middle...absolutely after Thanksgiving, but after that, it's all up in the air.  Last year it looks like I pretty much had it all together on December 3.  This year is a bit slower.  Today's the 12th and the tree just went up!  I am OK with that though...still gives us 13 days to enjoy its pretty lights!

I think the funny thing about Christmas is how much we look outside of ourselves for validation about if we're doing it "right" or not.  Culture seems to have a lot to say about when and how to decorate, what traditions to start, keep, and jettison for your family, what gifts you should buy and for whom...and the list goes on.  Then there's the whole "keep the Christ in Christmas" movement as well.  At the end of the day I think we (me) so often feel like we're not doing all that we "should" be doing and we make ourselves feel bad about it.  Fake tree...are you serious??  No snowman garland...how can it be Christmas?  You don't like to frost a gazillion cookies...what kind of mother are you?  All of that is garbage!  We had a truly wonderful Christmas last year and I know this year will be no less wonderful...but it will be different.  Not better, not worse, but different.  I am not falling into the trap of trying to top last year's gift for so-and-so or making even more cookies than last year or any of that junk.  I am enjoying this season.  One day at a time.  If that means some things don't get done, so be it!  If it means that something I want to do gets set aside by something someone else wants to do, that's OK.  It's a Burger King Christmas...have it YOUR way! ;-)

With that I will leave you with a few pictures from last night.  Last night where I served my kids the awesome menu of hot dogs, toast and applesauce for dinner so that we would have time to keep up this Korbe tradition of making arrangements of greens.  Scott's mom sent up the stuff, so we made some pretty arrangements and the girls chose to give them to some of the teachers at school...it was very fun and very sweet!

Monday, December 9

Preparing


On Saturday we did a bit of supply shopping to make our Christmas crafts and gifts.  Yesterday we wrapped some Christmas gifts.  Right now I am listening to one of my favorite Christmas albums.  I got the Christmas boxes out of the basement this morning. I put the bulk of my Christmas cards in the mail this morning.  I guess Christmas is right around the corner!  We are waiting to put up our tree this year since we now have Peanut, aka The Professional Pest.  He's a great bird and a fun pet, but it is also like having a flying toddler in the house.  Right now we are letting all of these projects in process be our main Christmas decor.  The girls are excited to hang up their stockings, so we are going to do that this evening.  I am trying to slow down and enjoy the season.  Trying to put aside the "shoulds" and focus on the "want tos".  To keep the focus right where I want it...Merry Christmas preparations to you!

Wednesday, December 4

::right now::

Hello!  A bit late today as I pack and prepare for a few days in town of meetings but right now I am...

:: listening to a city council meeting--I am glad they are televised so that I can save $$ on a sitter and multitask!

:: missing my bible study friends.  I love Wednesday nights with you!  I have an amazing babysitter...I guess her time spent at driver's ed this week and next is good for her future...;-)

:: planning our holiday celebrations

:: excited to shop for Scott's gift with the kids this weekend!

:: listing the groceries I need to buy this weekend

:: thankful for friends that help us refill our tanks

:: grateful for most amazing gift and the reason for this season

:: looking forward to celebrating His birth...truly a special season! 

********************
 This past weekend on our way to the cabin we listened to one of my favorite kiddo books, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  Thank you Anchorage Public Library for your awesome downloadable audio book collection!  If you haven't read (or listened to it) it, you should.  I cried at the end of course.  My kids are used to my tears by now, but I still had to do a bit of explaining and I summed it up something like this, "Lots of people didn't want to include the Herdmans in the pageant, but it turned out to be their best performance ever because they included everyone.  Including people is always the right thing to do."  The girls are asleep or I would find the exact quote, but towards the end of the book the kids are practicing the pageant and Grace Bradley (mother of Beth, the narrator of the story) answers a question from her husband about how practice went and she answers by saying something to the effect of, "Imagine you have never heard the Christmas story and you hear it for the first time.  What do you think?"  Such a good question...really, it is appalling, heart breaking, inspiring, heart warming, and amazing to name a few!

Monday, December 2

Thanksgiving Weekend


We had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend!  Hope you did too!  We went with friends to their cabin in Trapper Creek.  We had a great time playing inside and outside, visiting and feasting.  Our family took part in 4(!!) Thanksgiving meals this year.  One with our bible study group, one with our church, one community luncheon at the school, and this final one with friends.  We are a well-fed bunch, that much is for sure!

The kids had lots of fun with their friend.  Lots of playing, singing, chasing, giggling, and the creation of this beauty.  The happiest gingerbread house in Alaska!


They also decorated this sea of cookies...


We did some sledding and some snow machining as well...









And man...do I wish this picture was in better focus...


This is what happens when I attempt to be artsy...


As always, it was wonderful to be unplugged and take a break from the to-do list.  Especially heading into advent when people often feel so pressured and rushed.  I try hard not to let that be a part of our celebrations.  The girls and I are taking a break for the Jesse tree this year and are instead taking the advice of a friend a doing this Truth in the Tinsel program.  It's aimed at kiddos slightly younger than mine, but it has a craft every day which almost guarantees it's success with my kids.  So far, so good!

Hope your week is off to a great start!  Can't help but end with the obligatory breath-taking picture of Denali...;-)