Thursday, February 27


We went skiing this weekend and it was so much fun!!  We tried out a place in Anchorage we hadn't been to before, Hilltop Ski Area. It was great...a bit more family-oriented than the big resort in Girdwood.  Here we are on our way...

I wrote last year about my change of attitude towards skiing, so I can honestly say I was excited!  Really excited!  We had a fantastic day.  We skiied the whole 5 hours our lift tickets were good for.  Yeah.  5 hours.  We all slept well that night!  Some pictures...

Towards the end, Scott and Kelsey turned in their skis for snowboards...

...turns out that snowboarding is, "...not as easy as it looks, Mom!"  Here's a video of her trying it out...

Meanwhile, Stacy and I stuck to skis.  She found this little jump that she liked doing so we did it over and over.  She even convinced me to try it!  Here's a video of her 'jumping'...

We had so much fun and were so tired that BOTH kids fell asleep on the way home!  That's rare.  Not only did they fall asleep, but they were racked out hard enough that neither of them woke when we stopped the car to wait for the tunnel!

A great day!!

Tuesday, February 25

20 Questions for an 8 Year Old

1.  How old are you?

2.  Who is your best friend?

3.  What is your favorite thing to do?
     play with Peanut

4.  What is your favorite color?
     lime green

5.  What is your favorite food?

6.  What do you like to do with your family?
     I like to go snowboarding when they go skiing.

7.  What is your favorite toy?
     My new jeep and horse trailer.

8.  What do you want to be when you grow up?
     I want to work at a pet store.

9.  What makes you happy?
     reading my books outside

10.  What makes you sad?
     That Dawson died

11.  What is your favorite show to watch?
    Little House On the Praire

12.  What is your favorite book?
    My Ultimate Treasury of Horses

13.  What do you love to learn about?

14.  What is the best part of your birthday?
     getting to spend time with my friends and family

15.  Where do you like to go?
    Hilltop or Alyeska (both ski areas)

16.  Who is your teacher?
    Mrs. C

17.  What is your favorite treat?
     getting Peanut

18.  What do you think about before you fall asleep?
     my favorite book and Peanut

19.  If you could meet someone famous who would it be?
    Dr. Seuss

20.  What kind of cake did you have this year?
     a round cake with a horse on top

The answers on her 7th birthday
The answers on her 6th birthday

Monday, February 24

8 Years Old

And now she is 8!!

Her birthday fell on a weekend this year, so we jammed all the birthday fun into one day!  Aside from the fact that Scott had a major work emergency and had to be gone all morning, it was a fabulous day!  He made it back just in time for the birthday party fun, though!

She (of course) opened her present from Stacy first...

Stacy made her a polar fleece blanket to snuggle under.  It's very warm!

The rest of the morning we spent opening a present here and there and playing with the presents.  Kelsey decided she'd like to invite some friends over for dinner, so she made some spaghetti sauce to put in the crock pot...

While Stacy and I made her birthday cake...

In the afternoon we had her birthday party.  We held it in the church room this year and had five stations that kids could rotate through. One station was canvas painting..

Another station was cupcake decorating...

The other three stations were games.  There was this 'thin ice' game...

we also played this game with straw javelins and a cup blowing game where 2 kids stand on opposite sides of the table and each using a straw they try to blow a paper cup past their opponent.  The games were a hit...the straw javelins were the most popular game.

After the party we had the spaghetti dinner with friends, cake and ice cream, lots of playing and then it was time to tuck a very happy and very tired 8 year old into bed.  It was a great day!!

Read about Kelsey's 4th birthday, 5th birthday, 6th birthday, and 7th birthday if you feel like a little walk down memory lane!  Also there are pictures of her 1st birthday, 2nd birthday, and 3rd birthday as well.

Friday, February 21

{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 19

Snow, Sledding and Sleepovers

It's been snowing virtually nonstop since last Thursday.  It's really piling up out's as if Mother Nature is trying to catch up after our warm January.  Here's a friend of ours' truck on Monday from our living room window...

Here's the same truck from ground level when I walked home from the city council meeting last night.


Yup.  Still snowing.  Looks like it might let up later in the week.  The good news is that we have been getting in lots of sledding!  The girls are super-excited because we have a friend of ours sleeping over at our place for a couple of nights while Mom and Dad are out of town.  Here they are last night before bedtime watching Disney's Jungle Book...

 It's a fun week so far...hope you're having fun at your house, too!

Monday, February 17


Well...what a weekend!  Saturday was a great day.  We made some cookies to take to church...

Because there was a painting party at the church...

Our church meets in a community room in the basement.  YEARS ago it was painted a charming variety of colors.  We painted it a much more neutral taupe.

Sunday on the other hand, was not so awesome.  More tummy bug fun.  We spent most of the day like this...

The good news is that it was a quick bug...seriously though.  I don't know how people with more kids do it!  How do you deal with one sick kid after another?  You know you get sick there in the midst of it all...I always do, anyway.  So to any mama reading this...hats off to you.  To mamas with more than two kids, hats off, high five, and a fist bump. You're amazing!! 

I'll leave you with this song because it is good and because it has been stuck in my head for days!!

Friday, February 14

{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

I Caved

When Kelsey was 3 she started asking about getting her ears pierced.  I was so unprepared for the question that when she pressed for "When, Mommy?" I defaulted to the answer that my parents had given me when I was little..."When you're 8."  Well folks...8 happens next weekend.  Meanwhile, Stacy was just as (maybe even more) desperate to get hers done.  We go to a tiny school where every single other girl has hers pierced.  Even the preschoolers.  Even the 2 year old.  Which is an excuse, I know, but the end result is the same.  I let Stacy get hers done, too.  I justified it to myself this way, "There are other things that matter far more to me that I already have and am going to say 'no' to."  It wasn't a hill I needed to conquer that badly.  She would have been crushed and for what?  Kelsey really didn't care if it was her special moment at all.  So.  After a visit to the dentist yesterday, we went to Claire's and went for it.  Please pardon the less than wonderful phone pictures.

Kelsey went first...

Then Stacy hopped into the chair.  Stacy is usually a bit braver with things like this, but today she was the nervous one...

And now we're signed up for 6-8 weeks of cleaning and turning...which means by the time Stacy's birthday rolls around they can change their earrings!


Hiya!  I have a little catching up to do here...

winter returned last Friday
Last Friday my purple suitcase and I boarded a plane for Juneau (read about my other visits here, here, and here).  This was another great trip!  The legislators are all quite willing to talk to you this year...since they are all up for re-election thanks to re-drawing voting district lines!  The governor is also making education a priority this session (finally!) so that opens doors as well.  We had a great speaker at the training on of those days where time went by very quickly without constant time-checking.

Really the only bad thing about Juneau was that it was cold.  Really cold.  Alaska had a crazy-warm January while rest of the US froze their fannies off.  February cooled off and by the time we hit Juneau it was below 20* the whole time and windy.  Of course, this girl just threw clothes in her suitcase that she wanted to wear, without a thought to the weather forecast.  So...I was cold for 4 days straight!

Cute clothes, but chilly!  I did have pants for one day...and 18* was about the warmest we saw... whining aside, it was a good trip.  Even though it was cold, it was sunny most days...

I got to visit my favorite book store where there are books floor to ceiling everywhere...

And the Alaska state capital building is so pretty and historical...

One night I was even brave enough to go for a walk.  I lasted 30 minutes before I came back to my room and curled up in a blanket!

Thursday, February 13

Book Review--The Dancing Master


The Dancing Master
By Julie Klassen
I am a devoted Julie Klassen fan, and The Dancing Master did not disappoint.  As usual, Klassen's plot twists and turns had me eagerly turning pages right up until the end!
The story follows Alec Valcourt as he relocates with his mother and sister to the small village of Devonshire from London.  Alec has some personal hurdles to overcome as he and his family settle into life in Devonshire.
Devonshire has a few surprises of its own for Alec, not the least of which is the daughter of the village matriarch, Julia Midwinter.  Alec and Julia both have much to learn about themselves and their respective pasts before they can look forward.  While uncovering those secrets of the past they both find themselves drawn closer in relationship to Christ.  

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.   

Friday, February 7

{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 5

On Opportunity

Yesterday the girls and I had the opportunity to attend a performance of the play Sunjata Kamalenya sponsored by the Alaska Junior Theater.  It was fantastic!  Engaging performers and lots of audience participation.  Not to mention we sat in the front row!  This little video clip from their web site gives you an idea of what it was like.

While we were in town we also swung by the new Voyage to Excellence (aka VTE) school that is part of our school district.  This school is located next door to our district office.  It's an amazing program...I won't go into a lot of detail here to keep this from turning into a commercial, but I was honored to be invited to teach bread making to a group of high schoolers with interest in the culinary arts.  It was so much fun...and they were so welcoming and inclusive of my girls, too.

Of course, no trip to town is complete without some shopping.  In order to fit in the shopping, we left on the 8am tunnel.  Seems early, but I am telling you that no one was complaining as we watched this amazing sunrise unfold!!

As they were talking about the sunrise in the back seat I realized how my emotions can really run the gamut during a car ride.  I can be so frustrated that I and 10 minutes later I can be so overwhelmed with love for my kids that I am in tears.  Something about being all there together for an extended period of time with few distractions and zero opportunity for escape.  You hear all the time about how the car is the best place to have conversations with teenagers, but I don't think it is limited to teenagers.  I have truly had some of the most meaningful conversations with my kids in the car...everything from death to religion to civil name it, it's fair game in the car.  Honestly, I think it's pretty cool...and although some days I want to pull my hair out, I think my kids are some pretty cool human beings.

Monday, February 3

Our Weekend

sunrise on Saturday
We had quite a nice weekend, hope you did too!  On Saturday we stuck close to home.  In the interest of not doing it on Monday morning, we counted out the 100 things for the 100th day celebration at school today.  Then we forgot them at home when we went to school this morning and to run back for them! 

Yes.  I am the mom that let them take sugary stuff...

The sun is back.  Scott spotted it Friday and we spotted it Saturday...

On Sunday we raced down to stand in it...

It was so warm!  Today's it's cloudy again and there are snowflakes in the forecast for the end of the week.

The girls and I did a little art project yesterday as well.  In progress...

And now hanging on the wall in the playroom...

It's a Pinterest idea.  She had way cuter frames, but oh well.  I love the way they turned out and I love the way the girls accessorized the wall as well.  That's Kelsey's handwriting on the left there, and Stacy's on the right.

We also made a quick run into town to visit a friend's home for the Superbowl.  While the game wasn't much to write home about (though of course I cried at the Budweiser commercials) it was nice to catch up with and make new friends.  The kids enjoyed themselves, too.

So.  Hope you had a restful weekend, too!