Sunday, March 5

Kelsey's Birthday

We had a birthday here, folks!  We now have an 11 year old in the family!  Her birthday was on a Wednesday and we had a built in birthday party because we had a community kickball game at the school that night!

She opened her present from Stacy first...

Stacy made her a blanket "finally big enough to cover me up!".  Of course, her old blankets were old enough to cover her up one point in her life!

Scott and I got her this throw run for under her loft bed...

She liked it!

It was pretty nice that day, so we got to play outside!

We had a birthday dinner for her the weekend after her birthday and she had a sleepover with a bunch of friends.  We had 7 kids sleeping in our living room.  It was a pretty full room!

She and Stacy made the cake and cupcakes for her celebration dinner.  They really like doing that right now, so I am all for letting them enjoy it!  Birthdays are supposed to be fun!

Happy Birthday, Kelsey!!

Saturday, February 18

Snowy Sunday

We get a lot of snow around here, that's no secret or surprise.  What lots of people don't realize though, is how crummy our snow often is.  We're coastal, so when it snows it is often right near freezing and it often turns to slush within a few hours.  Every once in awhile though, we get good snow that lasts a bit longer and is really fun to play in! Such was the case on January 22.  It snowed and snowed and snowed.  After church the kids went up to a friend's cabin to play and I followed on foot a bit later.

As I look at these pictures I am reminded of how much daylight we have gained since this day!  It is so much brighter out there now!

It was so beautiful!  8 winters later and I still get excited when we get good snow!

Happy Winter, everyone!

Christmas Part Three: Christmas in Battle Ground

From Washougal we went up to Battle Ground to Scott's parents'.  They have this wood stove--we were there less than 5 minutes before I parked my fanny in front of it.  There is something about the heat of a wood stove--it's a different kind of warm!

One of our first nights at their place we headed over to Scott's sister's house to make cookies with her.  We all had a good time!  They have an unfinished bar that they have covered with paper.  When they entertain they put out  a bucket of markers and people write all over it.  The girls had fun there this summer and again this winter!

Another huge attraction at the farm is the cows, specifically S2 aka Fred whom we purchased this summer to fill our freezer. Scott's dad put a lot of time into socializing him so that the girls could get close to him. They had so much fun feeding him (and the rest of the herd) every day.

My kids love to play games and they found Grandma and Grandpa to be willing participants.  Some cribbage, some checkers, and a little backgammon for good measure!

We celebrated when Uncle Jimmy had the day off and had lots of fun spending the afternoon and evening of the last day of 2016 together and celebrating Christmas all in one night.

It snowed that night--just a dusting, but enough to turn things white.  My Alaskan darlings wowed everyone by running around in the white stuff barefoot...

We had lots of fun in Washington, but we were ready head home to Scott and our own beds.  This was my view on the plan ride home...

It was great fun to celebrate with everyone!  We arrived home and had a day to unpack and recover before school started up again. I was really patting myself on the back for that foresight back in July when I bought these tickets!

Saturday, February 4

Christmas Part Two: Christmas in Washougal

This year, for the first time in years, we celebrated Christmas in Washington.  We spent nearly our whole winter break down visiting family.  Our first stop was Washougal, where my family lives.  We got to spend our first day there hanging out and making cookies with Grandma and cousin Kirstyn.  My kids love to make cookies, so they were happy to get to share that fun with everyone in Washougal.

We visited, played, petted puppies, walked, saw Christmas lights and had a great visit!

The girls helped my brother and my dad build this elevated food dish for their dogs.  There's another one they built that nests inside.  They loved having Grandpa's wood shop right downstairs!

My dad was so indulgent and drove us all over the neighborhoods surrounding theirs to look at Christmas lights one night.  We had walked all over their neighborhood each evening and seen many, but in the car we got to visit Washougal's "Christmas Lane" which was pretty impressive!

Christmas Day we were joined by my brother's family and my uncle.  We opened presents in my parent's full basement because it is so big and open!

Those cookies are a Godwin tradition.  My grandma always gave them to us kids, so my mama continues the tradition.  It's not Christmas without some butter cookies!

We cooked a HUGE turkey and all the fixings and were joined for dinner by my sister in law's brother and their parents.  It was such a great Christmas Day!  I think my parents were still eating turkey leftovers when we flew home a week later!

Although we missed Scott, it was fun to spend Christmas with our extended family again.  We made lots of memories, told lots of stories of Christmases past, and are excited for our next visit!

Wednesday, January 25

Christmas Part One: Alaska

Christmas is such a special time of year!  We have spent Christmas in Whittier for the past several years.  We wanted to build holiday traditions here in our home with our little family all together.  They have been great holidays, but this year we decided to do it a little differently.  Scott stayed here in Whittier and the girls and I headed south to spend time with family.  Before we flew out, we celebrated here in Alaska.

We decorated our tree...

We made the traditional Korbe Christmas arrangements...

We baked for our community with our church family.  We delivered handmade lotion bars to friends around town and the four of us exchanged gifts.

Stacy made Kelsey this quilled paper cross...

It was a great gift for Kelsey and it was fun to watch the years of gift-making stretch this year.  Stacy knew what she wanted to make for Kelsey and she knew who to ask to help her.  It was fun to watch her take such joy and pride in her gift to her sister.

Kelsey chose something she knew would be a hit with Stacy.  It was a bit beyond her skill level so I ended up doing much of the sewing for her, but the thought she put into what Stacy would like was so sweet.  She was right--Stacy loves this shirt that we added lace insets to!

Scott and I got the girls helmets for snow machine and quad rides.  We gave them sort of gift certificates for the helmets, then we picked them out the day we landed back in Anchorage.  We need to take a good picture of them--they're bright colors, that's for sure!

I'll be back soon (or later!😊) to tell you about Christmas Part Two: Washougal!

Thursday, January 5

Thanksgiving Weekend at Amber Lake

smiley face the kids found in the lake ice 😊
We spent the long Thanksgiving weekend with our friends up at Amber Lake.  It was the best weekend we had had in a long time.  What's not to love about a four day weekend?

The weather was great--cold and clear but not too cold and not too snowy.  There wasn't enough snow to snow machine, but the ice was perfect for skating.  We spent lots of time down on the lake skating.

One night we set up some lights, made a thermos of cocoa, lit a bonfire and skated after dinner.  Bonfires make everything seem more special!

Scott even "skated"...

It has become our Thanksgiving tradition to make Gingerbread houses with our friends.  The girls always have fun and it is neat to see how they progress from year to year, adding more careful details each year.

The best part about the cabin is always the pace and the people.  The views aren't bad either, but it is so nice to slow down a bit and visit with people you care about.  That's the good stuff in life!