Saturday, February 21, 2015

The power of a box

We had conferences this past week and then 1/2 day of in-service on Friday. It was a very busy week and I found myself tired and short on patience most evenings. My brother shared the above image with me. It made me smile and made me remember to look for the little things in life when things are super crazy.  To take time to smile and enjoy the chaos. 

Then, Mother Nature blessed me with an amazing sun rise. I'm so thankful for the view I have from my classroom window.

Finally, with all that was going on this week, I watched Sister and Brother transform a box into a train which soon became a ferry boat and then a house and finally a couch. I love watching their imaginations and I was remind of the importance of play.  As an adult, the pressures to work, pay bills, take care of the house - can leave one feeling like they don't have much time for anything else OR we are simply too tired for anything else. I've been reminded (again) this week to take time to play.  I hope you all can find an activity or two to simply enjoy this weekend. 

Friday, February 13, 2015


I love this view from my classroom. We had about an inch or so of fresh spring snow fall this week - it was so lovely to see everything white again - especially with our brighter days!

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day - I'm not a romantic and I will spare you from reading my true thoughts on Valentine' s Day - but I will say that Valentine's Day does remind me to be thankful for the many blessings in my life - especially the people.  If you are reading this - then you are one of those people that I love and cherish our relationship. 

Valentine's Day also make me think about my little ones... Sister and Brother show their love and accept love in very different ways.

Sister is my "please-er" - she loves to do things around the house that she views is a way of helping Momma or Papa. Recently, she's enjoyed sorting the socks for me. She's also a kiddo who needs to hear words of affirmation. She just beams when she's been told that she did something right or made a good choice.  I'm just amazed at what the little girl she is now and not so much a toddler or really even pre-schooler.  In fact for Valentine's Day at her daycare, she wanted to color each friend a picture. Here's a picture for her teacher/day care lady...  not too bad for her age.

Brother is my snuggle-bug. He feels loved with physical touch - if he's not hungry and still a little cranky - I can give him bug hug, snuggle on the coach for a few minutes and he's happy and ready to go again.   He's also very much 'boy' in showing his affection with rough and tumble play. He just loves to wrestle his sister, much to her dismay.

Here he was giving me kisses on the cheek and then making this big goofy smile - I'm so surprised I actually captured a good picture.

I just love these two so much - I love that with the help of Papa, they come to visit me when I'm working late at school (which was a lot this week now that Papa is done with wrestling season) - and like to pretend that they are doing paperwork also.  
I'm so blessed to have these two in my life!

Happy Valentine's Day

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bubbles, Light and Fur

Sister is reaching an age where she really only needs 15 to 20 minute power nap or quiet time and then she's ready to go again. As a working mother, I'm just not ready to give up the quite time for my own selfish reasons. So, we are getting creative these days on how to keep Sister independently entertained so I can have a least 30 minutes of not being called mom or someone needing something.  Bubbles... the dish soap bottle was empty so I asked her to rinse it out - knowing she would have a sink of bubbles when she was done.  Mission accomplished - she was independently entertained - singing songs, pretend play and more.  

At a stop sign leaving my neighborhood, my breath was taken away with this view. The glow of the rising sun surrounding the mountains on this freezing February morning.  I'm so thankful we are gaining more and more sunlight each day.  

We had a Miners and Trappers Ball theme dance for the middle school kids this week in celebration of Anchorage's Centennial. The students thought we were crazy wearing our fur hats - we are, but that's the fun in working with middle school aged kids.  

I've been reminded several times this week in various situations to embrace the moment, make the most of it, and spread the positivity.
 Life is too short - love and take care of one another. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fresh Snow!!

We still are fighting the colds in our house this week, but we couldn't resist getting outside and playing in the fresh snow.  

We met up with our friends at a local park that has a great sledding hill. We had a blast!!

When we were stuck in doors due to some single digit temperatures - what could be more fun than Papa's bag from traveling on a wrestling trip?  Now that I know he fits I'd happily ship him to you!  Just kidding - well... no seriously - he's feeling much better which we are so thankful for. The one downer about the medication is that it makes sleep difficult and can create irritability. Check. Check. Brother decided that 4:30 would be the time to start our days this past week - even that's a little early for a morning person like myself and I do believe he has figured out every single way to annoy his sister.  He's done with treatments now, so hopefully we'll get back on track with some decent sleeping hours and back to our easy going little man.

So blessed to view this sunrises from my classroom this week.  I knew I'd eventually catch the cold my family was dealing with and it hit hard on Wednesday.  I am still playing catch up from being home with the sick kiddos the previous week.  Then my dear friend back in South Dakota suddenly lost her father this week.  My spirit was low and my heart was heavy... I love how God speaks through nature.  I literally stopped my frantic planning and grading papers and just took a deep breath and watched the sun come up. My spirit was lifted as the promise of His faithfulness was evident in the sunrise.  

Then to be blessed with direct sunlight into the living room today! It only lasted about 20 minutes before it was back behind the mountain - but that little bit was a strong reminder to keep on shining brightly. The kids were even dancing around the living room in the sun beams.

Here's to the end of January already?!? Wow - and looking forward to what's in store for February.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Boogers, Boogers, Boogers

Yes, so the lovely three day weekend I was looking forward to, turned into a weekend of taking care of sick kiddos.  I made it to work on Tuesday, but the rest of the week I was home looking after sick kiddos.  Brother has cold induced asthma, so when he gets the common cold, it takes on a whole new meaning.  We didn't get on the treatments right away so that meant a pretty sick kiddo. Every time his nose would start to run, he would use his robot voice and say, "Boogers. Boogers. Booger."  Sister caught the bug too - we are all blaming Papa as he started it.  I told my family, I was going to move out for 7 to 10 days until everyone was healthy again - no one thought that was funny.

Almost 2 years ago we learned about Brother having cold induced asthma. So thankful that he recognizes his breathing treatments as a helpful thing. When we first started it was quite traumatic to try and get him to do the treatment.  Now, he knows how to put everything together and turn it on.

I just love this sweet girl's smile  - even though she's feeling pretty crummy, she wanted to smile for Papa (as he is away on a wrestling trip). 

After three days home with the kiddos, I'm feeling a bit behind on school work - but I know my role as a momma was priority this week and my students I'm sure all survived without me. 
Hoping you all are staying healthy! 
(By the way - it's actually snowing here today! We Alaskans were a bit depressed with the lack of winter - Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cheeseburger Smiles

Since the return to school 2 weeks ago, I have been a bit overwhelmed with regular duties of teaching, an additional 12 IEP meetings, my 2nd formal observation and other commitments - plus Papa has been super busy with coaching wrestling and had 4 nights in a row of meets.  Needless to say, by Thursday night - the monkeys and I just needed a cheap reward...

Cheeseburger smiles it is!

1) Momma didn't have to cook!
2) The monkeys eat all their dinner because they want to go play.
3) After eating - engaged in playtime for a good 10 minutes - Momma can have a break!
4) Monkeys are worn out and ready for bed!!

We have a three day weekend - so thankful for a much needed extra day of rest. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Year Goals

With the first week of the new year complete, I find myself reflecting on my goals for the year.  I have a variety of goals written down for the new year ranging from spiritual, physical health, financial, marriage/family and personal goals.  

One of my goals for 2015 is to take time to do some kind of craft at least 2 nights a week.  This past summer, I finished a scarf I was knitting on our adventure to Montana.  I loved that I had time to just sit and knit while the kids were napping in the car.  With this new year, I asked myself what was stopping me from knitting again.  My answer was exhaustion.  I'm so tired by the time school is done and then switching the hat to being mom until the kids are in bed, that I don't have much mental focus to knit a specific pattern.  So- when my mom was visiting over Christmas and I watched her crocheting, I thought - yes! That's something I could do in the evenings...  So with a quick refresher lesson from mom, I made a wash cloth.  When my mom saw how much scrap yarn I had she suggested I make Granny Squares.

And so it began... I'm up to almost 40 Granny Squares and have only 4 balls of yarn left to use up. I love that it takes me about 15 minutes to make one square. I feel accomplished because it's finished and I'm loving practicing a new skill.  When it's all done, I plan for it to be a big ugly beautiful blanket. It feels so good to be crafting again.

Monkey 1 and Monkey 2 still continue to keep us busy...

We are about 90% potty trained with Monkey #2 - will be so glad to have this accomplished! 
Here the little monkeys are riding the stick horse together.  They actually gallop together and then take turns holding the reins.  So fun to see this new stage where they can play together. 

Who doesn't love a good old fashion balloon fight?  I love the smiles on their faces!
Another goal of mine - under the category of family - has been to make sure that I'm giving my kiddos my full attention after work - to engage with them and have fun with them. They will only be this age once and I want to embrace it! 

We hope you have set yourself some goals for 2015! 
Have a wonderful week!!