Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Mother's Mantra.

After yesterday's post, I saw this pinned by my sister-in-law on Pinterest and it fits perfectly:

If I have learned anything from motherhood so far, it has definitely been how to pray ....

Friday, June 28, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Anchorage Photo Journal.

We spent five days in Anchorage last week -- appointments, shopping, errands, special time with cousins and Ever got to go to ballet "camp".  It was five days in a row of two hour classes.  She had never been to any kind of classes, dance or otherwise, so it was a real treat.  I didn't know how she would do, but thankfully she loved it.  She made it the whole week, excited to get to class.  She even got to take a short 30-minute music class each day after ballet.  It was a super special time.
:: Glacier View has quickly become a necessary stop on our trips to or from Anchorage ::

:: Everbody is getting bigger ;) ::

:: We got to hang with Grampa and Grama in Anchorage too.  And she loved that they came to watch her in class. ::

:: Little Ballerina ::

:: Trip to the zoo with cousins ::

:: Sportin' love from her Nebraska cousins ::

:: Tell and I had special bakery dates at 'The Flying Dutchmen' while Ever was in class ::

:: My friend Ashley stopped by one night to take some photos of the kiddos.  Look at poser there ;)  ::

:: Ever is getting handy with the camera -- she shot this of Ashley and I. Pretty good! ::

:: Getting the hang of things on Day 4 ::

:: Final Day.  I've been catching her winking in lots of pictures, must take after her Aunt Stacey! ::

:: Another Ever photo of her handsome little brother ::

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's good to be home ....

We spent last week in Anchorage and had such a wonderful, wonderful time but it sure is good to be home.  It has been unusually hot here, and without having a well we aren't able to just turn on the hose and play in the water.  So last night, to beat the heat, the kids and I took Diesel down to the river to take a little break.  Ever found pretty rocks to bring home, Tell threw rocks, Diesel got to cool off, and by the end of the trip both kids were naked and playing in the mud and puddles.  Such a good time ....

Tell found a new flavor of Sun Chips -- 'Gulkana River Mud' 

Today has been trying, as a lot of days have been lately.  Not sure if it's the heat, or the kids, or the baby that is wearing me out so, but I'm plum worn out.  Thinking I need to tattoo "RELAX" or "PEACE" or "CALM DOWN!" onto the backs of my hands.  As my energy decreases, so does my patience.
Is there a trick to being a calm, gentle, happy mother?  
Do I need to set the alarm and do yoga every morning?   Hmmm, I could see that backfiring ...
Is there a bracelet you can wear?  Or a book you can read?    
Somebody help me out here.  
I love them so much and want that energy to overcome my tiredness and impatience.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wild Orchids in Alaska.

To say my little girl loves wildflowers would be an understatement.  She gets SO excited to find flowers in the woods.  When the first lupine bloomed here at our house, I honestly thought she had found a real live fairy or something.  She just could not contain her excitement.

Luckily, Grama and Grampa are pretty knowledgeable about the local wildflowers.  Last summer they showed Ever a small patch of "Lady Slippers" growing behind the sawmill at their house.  That is the only place they have found them growing, one very small cluster.  They are in bloom right now and every time we go up there we have to peek at them.  They are truly exquisite, so it is no surprise that they are in the orchid family.  I think they are called the "Eastern Lady Slipper."  Apparently 25 different species of orchids grow wild in Alaska.  Just incredible and so special to get to see one.

When trying to find the exact name of this particular one I found this written on a website:

Most orchids in Idaho rely on soil fungi for germination and growth because orchid seeds lack the food reserves found in ordinary seeds. The microscopic seeds rely on the fungi for nutrients but the seeds and plants also need certain soil moisture and sunlight/shade conditions. Because of the specific requirements needed for orchids to survive, finding an orchid can be extremely rewarding, whether in Alaska or Idaho. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Spaghetti Squash.

22 weeks along and baby is about the size of a spaghetti squash ....
and moving around like crazy ;)

Love you already little one.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

What a week.

Since summer finally decided to arrive in Alaska, it has been an almost comical hustle and bustle around our little rural community.  Everyone has been in frantic mode to get planting and outside/warm weather projects started and done.  We have been no exception.  Couldn't even tell you that it was very deliberate.  Little ideas flutter across, decide to land, and before you know it you are surrounded by heavy equipment, tools, wood, shovels, mosquitoes, dirt deliveries, dying plants, hungry new pets to take care of, hungry kids .....

Anyway, last week this little corner of our world went from this:

to this: 

 Our new house for the chickens and ducks.  It isn't quite ready for them to move into, but I'm hoping it will be in the next few days.  
:: Bry and Ever working on the inside ::
 In other bird news, I have learned about a new facet of hen-keeping.  The doomed egg-eating chicken.  Unfortunately, one of our hens was eating not only her own eggs, but the other hen's as well.  I had hoped that this problem could be fixed, but after consulting my local chicken expert (where I got the birds from), he advised that I eat the chicken for dinner.  From what I described, this hen was pretty "into it" and was not going to be healed of her addiction.  And apparently it can be a contagious behavior, so it needed to be resolved quickly.  Lucky for me, I have a sister-in-law willing to go on this adventure with me as it was definitely a two-rookie job:
:: Step 1 - Catch chicken.  Step 2 - Kill chicken.  Check & Check. ::

:: The kids getting a science lesson on chicken anatomy.  Me holding the egg we found inside.  So very interesting. ::
Johana came over armed with her Guide to Raising Chickens and a can-do attitude (she is also embarking on chicken keeping for the first time this summer too).  
Let me just also say, I was not anticipating killing any of our birds when I got them.  I am a soft farmer :)  I just wanted to enjoy them with the kids and have eggs here at home.  And just in case you were wondering, the kids were sent inside for Step 2...
Anyway, to make a longish story shorter, between Johana's book (which included seven ways to kill a chicken), a quick call to Dad & Maggie, and the internet, we accomplished the task.  It was challenging and a bit gross, but super interesting as well.  Did you know chickens, similar to humans, are born with the exact, finite number of eggs that they will lay during their lifetime?  We found not only her next intact egg, but multiple yolks at varying stages and sizes.  I was so thankful to have help in this endeavor, and I'm sure Bryan was so thankful that he was not home for the circus of it all.

It had been such a full day.  These photos were from earlier in the morning.  It's that time of year again already ....

:: It's good to have a friend. :: 
:: Low buzz ::

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Special Day(s).

Last week Ever and I went on a super-special-just-us trip to Anchorage to see Mary Poppins at the Performing Arts Center with my very good friend, Nanette.  We left at about 7 a.m., dropped Tell off with Grama and Grampa, did a teensy bit of errands before and after, and got back home at midnight.  Phew, it was a full day.  

It was so special.  It was Ever's first time at the PAC, and actually only my third time there as well.  Her Aunt Jo had already warmed her up with an enchanting description of her first time there and how very special it would be and, "Be sure to notice the ceiling!"  You can't see in the pictures, but the ceiling is beautiful, almost like a giant sunflower.  

Ever described the show as "magical."  We were in the balcony and she kept looking back to see where the spotlights were coming from and going to.  The sets were incredible.  The show opened up with a huge dollhouse-like creation that moved from the back of the stage to the front and slowly opened up to show the "house" stage.  There was incredible colors, dancers, tap dancing, children on stage... It really was magical.  
At intermission I was worried she would want to leave, because it was a long show, nearly three hours. I was so glad when she said, "Is there going to be more songs?"  She did so good all day, my girl is growing up on me.
I'm so thankful for the time with her and being able to share it with a good friend too.

:: Ever and Nanette crackin' up.
Notice her new bling from our thoughtful friend that knows what this little girl loves. ::

:: silly girls ::

:: of course we had to hit up a bakery for a cupcake afterwards ::

:: the never-flattering-self-taken photo, but Ever looks so happy I had to include it ::

:: thanks for snapping this one, Nanette :)  ::

::Tuckered after a long, wonderful day together ::

Oh, and today is a very special day too -- Bry and I's anniversary.  The big 8!  I looked for a photo of us, but my iphoto is a mess and I couldn't find the one I had in mind .... 
Loving this guy more and more every day.  Last night we were able to have dinner together at the Gakona Lodge while watching the river run by.  It was perfect.  Maybe a cake today to let the kids partake in the celebration too ;)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tell Turns Two.

May 2011
In the blink of an eye, somehow this little bundle (and his big sister) have grown into bonafide "kids".  I don't know when it happened, but there it is ....

We celebrated his birthday with a little party here at home with family.  We enjoyed the incredible sunshine and fresh air.  Tell was showered with love from near and far, and given the most perfect gifts -- thoughtful cards, a tower of trucks, a kite, a horse from sister, new shoes, a cozy jacket.  Opa even sang 'Happy Birthday' to him over the phone.  (By the way, about three times a week Grama and Grampa tell me how "he is just like your Dad!")  It was all so perfect for him, fitting just right with his little-big self and what he likes.  I know without a doubt he had about as much fun at his party as a two year old can take and felt so very, very loved -- what more could a mother ask for on her little one's birthday?                  

My friend had a good idea, so I spray-painted some "nuggets" and the kids had a little gold dig in the sand pit to burn off some steam and make room for birthday cake ...

Fun with cousins and new "equipment"; Asher posing for me :)

Campfire Cake

October Baby is starting to make themselves known, as you can see in this lovely picture ;)  And below is a picture of Tell in Johana's VW bus.  He could've spent the whole evening in there -- driving, making turns, opening, closing, locking, unlocking ... He was on his own birthday adventure...

"When adventure lives in your heart, everywhere you go is a party."

I could write a book on my little bow-tied boy.  He is such a joy and a true blessing of the utmost kind. He is a light and energy that anyone is lucky to be around.  He knows what he likes and his joy is radiant.  His smile is contagious and his love is big.  I pray you hang on to that, little one.
Here's to you Tell Wilder ....

 "You will never have this day with your children again.  
Tomorrow, they'll be a little older than they are today.  
This day is a gift.  
Breathe and notice.  Smell and touch them; 
Study their faces and little feet and pay attention.
Relish the charms of the present.
Enjoy today mama.  It will be over before you know it."
-Jen Hatmaker