Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thankful


Happy Belated Thanksgiving to everyone! 
We are all doing well - I little busy but doing very well. I can always tell when life is a little crazy because when I look back at the photos I've taken there are only a few. 




We had a fun Halloween as we had dinner and went Trick-or-Treating with our friends.  Momma and Papa say thank you kids for getting some awesome candy! So thankful to be doing life together with close friends!





Thankful for the kiddos! 
Sis got a hair cut! She's loving school this year and learning so much. I'm just amazed when she reads to us at bedtime.  I love watching her grow in all aspects of her life.  Brother is doing well too - never slows down as I realized all I have are videos of him and no still photos.  Ha!  Hard to believe that in just a couple of months he'll be turning five years old.  He loves his new daycare and she is doing amazing things to help him to be prepared for school next year.  The more wrestling, lego building, sword fighting in his day - the happier he is.  He's developed a true love for factual information - from size of animals to the details on a map.  This kid actually was content to sit and look at a large atlas of Alaska!  




Thankful for Dessa! 
This sweet girl often tries to participate when I do yoga. I end up laying down two mats, one for her and one for me - silly pup!  We've had several comments about how she's a much more relaxed and happier dog since her mountain adventure this summer.  We would agree!




Thankful for life!  
While busy with an evening commitment Monday-Thursday (sigh...), we are beyond blessed and thankful for life. Beautiful sunrises like this (man- the picture just doesn't do it justice) are a reminder of what a blessing each and every day is.  I can not promise it won't be another month before I write again - but please know how thankful I am for each of you that check-in on this little blog to see how we are doing. 


Friday, October 14, 2016

Life is Getting Back to Normal

Yahoo! Momma is doing so much better so off to the mountains we go!   We had a wonderful time hiking the Butte in Palmer last weekend. 

It's even more fun when we can share our adventures with good friends.

My favorite part of the hike was probably when I asked the kids to grab a handful of leaves and throw them up into the air.

The pure joy on their faces just warmed my heart. I love being in the outdoors and so thankful my children share the same joy.

Papa has been so busy with school and coaching both football and wrestling right now.  The football team plays tonight in the semi-finals.  Should be a very exciting game for them!!  I love that in this picture even the dog was snuggling - okay she really just wanted the blanket, but still so cute to see everyone snuggled up to watch a movie together.

This little man... where is the time going.  I snapped this picture as I looked at him and realized he's going to be starting school next fall.  He's growing and changing so much these past few months.  He is so full of deep honest emotion (i.e. - we've got a temper we are learning how to manage) - and his creativity in building with whatever he can get to stack on top of each other.  He definitely is the typical boy in the fact that the more wrestling we can do the greater love he feels.  He likes to look at car license plates and decide how fast they can go - basically whatever numbers are on the plate is your top speed! Ha...  At his daycare/preschool he has shown a new interest in the globe and geography.  So much fun to see him growing into this new stage of development. 

When your mornings start like this - how can you not have an amazing day! 
October skies are always so magical. 









Thursday, October 6, 2016

Shingles Stink!

This is me the past 3 weeks  - sigh... I'm too young for shingles, but the reality is that if you've had chicken pox, then you can have an episode of shingles at any time.  First week, felt like I was fighting the flu but never had a fever. Second week, painful rash appeared- so thankful I was seen by the doctor on day one of the rash and the antiviral medicine prevented the rash from blistering too bad. Very deep nerve pain all through the upper right quarter of my body - it even hurt to breathe.  Third week, fatigue set in and I was sleeping almost 15 hours a day!  Finally, today - my skin is still sensitive to touch and I'm achy - but I have energy back and the deep pain is gone.  Thank goodness because now I have a deep chest cold and I think I may have died trying to cough or sneeze with the initial shingle pain I had.  It's hard on the family when mom goes ill for so long - but so thankful for Papa and the kids taking great care of me.  Not to forget some amazing friends who have been bringing us dinner for the past week.  

I just have to show this was the inside of the doctor's office.  I went to a general family practice place and I thought how ingenious to organize medical supplies - tool boxes!  




This time of year always displays some amazing sunrises and sunsets.  The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are definitely cooler!


We've had a few visitors in our yard as the seasons are changing...




It was very exciting to listen to the bull try and call in the cow. They must have hung around our house for a good 20 minutes before moving up through the neighborhood.  It was all amazing until the bull starting eating on my rose bush - then I had had enough - ha,ha...



Thankful for these fall sunny days - so the kids could get outside and burn some energy while I was able to rest and recover.

For my mental sanity - I did get out to Eagle River Nature Center and took a short, flat hike on the trails. What a beautiful place we live and I'm so thankful to call it home. 







Monday, September 19, 2016

Extra Curriculars Begin





 Papa and I both strongly believe in being involved with extra-curricular activities. This past Friday, sister participated in her school's Jog-a-Thon and with a goal of running 6 laps in the allotted time, she ran 11! She was one lap short of running 2 full miles.  One of the reasons I switched careers this year was so that the kiddos could be more involved in after school activities.  So - Sister has been participating in running club and her efforts definitely paid off. 


It felt amazing to be able to attend without the crazy stress of having to prepare my classroom to be gone. In fact, her Jog-A-Thon was on a Friday - my day off!! YAHOO!!!





She was pretty proud of herself to be awarded a medal for being the top girl runner from her classroom.  So - seeing how much she enjoyed running, we decide to allow her to participate in a family-fun cross country run. 




She wanted to participate in the 5K, but we settled for a 2K for this first race.


Again - she did great!  Didn't stop once and had a smile on her face the whole time!



Everyone got a medal for this run, but she was still very proud of herself. You can see Papa in the back of the picture- he had a football game to go get ready for - but we just love that he took time to be at her race even though it made him late to his pre-game meetings. 





We've had a busy week this week - with our special friend, Shannon, visiting from Cordova as well.  As you can see by Dessa's pose- it's been hard work trying to keep up with this family!  We won't be able to attend this week's race as the kiddos are continuing their swimming lessons and when given the choice, Sister said there was no way she was missing swimming.  Let's see - she learned to ride her bike without training wheels this summer, is enjoying swimming lessons and loves to run - we may have a future triathlon on our hands!









Friday, September 9, 2016

Firsts...


 Such an odd picture to start with since I haven't written for almost a month. I thought for sure once everyone was back to school I would spend my Friday's catching up on all of my projects (I work Sunday-Thursday).  Instead, I find myself doing a "First" with buying close to 400 hamburger buns as part of our fall kickoff for work!  Crazy- right?!? But so cool to be part of church that truly loves and serves the community.  

Not to worry though - I have been out hiking on the weekends!  So much fun to be at a stage where they can hike right along side of me.  This was a "First" because everyone is actually smiling - ha, ha!!

It's views like this that I'm in awe that I am able to call this place my home!

"First" hike with new friend and her first time on this trail.

A "First" - they actually look like they love each other - ha,ha... We are definitely into the stage of brother and sister picking on each other. One minute having a grand time playing together - next you would think war was breaking out.  Sigh... I remember this all to well with my own brother.  

Happy "First" Day of School!

Ha - ha... I was shocked that she wasn't excited to wake up and actually did this and said, "I need 5 more minutes of sleep before I'm ready to start this day."  What a crack up!






She's growing up all too fast and had a wonderful "First" Day of first grade.  Her picture says, "When I grow up I want to be a cop and when I'm off duty a yoga instructor."  


"First" - Momma being able to drop Sister off at school each morning.  I LOVE having a relaxed morning without the stress of a long commute to work.  I still wake up early to walk the dog before Papa leaves for school, but then I have almost a full hour to myself before I need to wake the kids up.  I try hard not to use this time to do chores or something not done from the night before - but truly use this time to read my Bible, journal and take time to sending encouraging message to people on my heart. So much fun to see Sister off to school each day without all the frustration and stress of the early mornings and commute from last year!

"But I'm not tired Momma."  A "First" for brother is attending his new day care.  WE LOVE HER!! She is absolutely amazing and we are so thankful to have found her.  Brother is learning so much and he is able to go outside almost every day! She's even hung a tarp out so they can play outside when it's raining (which there's been a lot of these past few weeks).   

Fall is upon us with the "first" signs of snow in the higher mountains.  Before too long, we'll be writing about our "first" snowfall.  Until then, we are enjoying the fall season! 
Love and Miss you all!





















Tuesday, August 2, 2016

August already?




With fall in the air, yes I realize it's only the beginning of August, but we have entered into our cooler, rainy days and I can't help but to think about the changing season.  No longer do I need my sunglasses to walk in the morning as the street lights are staying on longer.  We even have the typical cold going around right now.  As the season is changing, I can't help but to think about going back to school and the reality that I will not be returning to the classroom this fall.  I truly enjoy my new job as office manager at the church, but it some ways I think I was treating it like a summer job and not a career change.  Well, time to face that reality and embrace this new season.




The kids enjoyed going to a week of vacation bible school at a local church.  I think Papa enjoyed more of having a 3 hour break from parenting each day - ha,ha...  The kids really enjoyed the program and keep asking when they can go back to school.  Sister will be entering 1st grade this year and Brother will be receiving care from a new provider this fall.  Both are equally excited about the start of school and the new routine.  I'm already enjoying the fact that the kids will be able to sleep in until 8:00am if they need to before I will need to get them up and going for the day - that's a huge difference compared to 6:00am last year!



Another new change is that I'm enjoying running and completed my first race this past weekend.  Those of you who know me - I only liked to run if I was on the court - all other running was just painful and pointless.  Well, I'm finding now that running is rather enjoyable as long as I remember to rub icy-hot on my knees before I go - ha, ha,ha.... Seriously, running hasn't been about how fast can I go, but more about the confidence and strength I feel in myself after I've finished.  



Running Free - 4 miler
From the Running Free Alaska website, "Running Free Alaska (RFA) is a non-profit running program for female prison inmates at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River, Alaska.  RFA was founded in 2012 by Anchorage runner Tim Alderson with 25 inmates who volunteered to be part of a graduate research study of the impact of structured running on inmate mental health.  From this genesis the program has grown to provide training services to approximately 150 inmates annually. Our runners participate in training sessions 3 days per week throughout the spring and summer. Each session culminates in race held inside the prison fence at distances from 5k to half-marathon. Additionally, we have built a capable staff of 15 volunteer coaches, who are supervised by a paid professional volunteer coordinator funded through a grant from the Alaska Ski for Women." (read more at runningfreealaska.com 

It was very powerful to be allowed access to run around the outside of the prison and to have women cheering us on from inside the prison.  You could feel the hope and excitement from the women that they too would be running free in the future.  


So, as we enter this new season we also remember to take time to rest.  Summer can be very busy in Alaska as we try to enjoy every possible moment of the long days and warm weather. Dessa has been back with us almost 2 months now - we are still amazed and so thankful she made it home.  

Until next time, be present in the moments that surround you!! Much love to you all <3 br="">





Friday, July 22, 2016

July Activities



After Sister's birthday, we've been up to our typical summer activities with hiking and camping. It sure has been warm for us the past few weeks (80 degrees is too hot in Alaska!)





Momma was able to get a few hikes in with friends.  A new one pictured above is looking out from the North Face of Alyeska. As with any mountain top, I always feel like I could just sit up there for hours and days soaking in the beauty. 



A few friends and I conquered Harp Mountain before I had to go in to work.  The picture in the heading of the blog is a 180 view from the top of this hike. Again, we live in such beauty. I'm so thankful I can literally go out my back door and be in the mountains.  




After a few hiking days, it was time to head to Whittier again to go camping and shrimping.  This time Uncle and his family were visiting.  




Such fun to have all the kiddos together again and 




to spend quality time with family we maybe get to see once a year.



All these adventures sure to make us tired.  Some days we don't nap at all and other days we don't even make it into our beds.  





Until next time - take some time to be outside!