Saturday, November 28, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello Family and Friends - We are alive!  I can't believe it has been almost a month since my last posting. Crazy?!?  If I'm really honest with you all, I would say that I have been dealing with some mild depression which has taken the joy out of doing the things I enjoy such as taking photographs and writing. I'm thankful that the depression I deal with is mild and can be managed with some easy strategies as long as I'm willing to make time to follow them.  That is why with this Thanksgiving season, I'm thankful for friends and family who love and support me through all the different seasons of life.  Even while I deal with the depression, life does continue to go on and boy is it keeping us busy!!

Papa finished his football season as state champions! We are so proud of his dedication to assist the head coach and young players.  Now he's in full swing with wrestling season and looking forward to a much needed coaching break over Christmas as track season doesn't get started until March.   We did enjoy an unexpected snow day this month!

What started out as a delayed start for school turned into school being cancelled due to extremely icy roads. We were perfectly happy to stay home and enjoy some family time playing in the fresh snow!

Dessa and I also enjoyed the fresh snow by breaking trail on our early morning walk. Such fun to have a dog in the house again! I love that she is my alarm clock to get our morning walk in. One of the ways I keep in good spirits is by having daily physical exercise.  Early mornings may be dark - but the peace of very little traffic is worth waking up to enjoy our walks.

In addition to our fresh snow, we also had a very deep cold snap for this area. Below zero temperatures showed us real quick some of the quirks of our new house - such as how drafty the windows are.  Yep - that's frost growing from the inside screen to the outdoors due to the warm air escaping.  Sigh... thankfully we have new windows on the way to be installed over Christmas break. 

As we moved into the end of the month, we were so thankful to have Grandma Julie come up for a week long visit. So special to spend the holidays with family.  Grandpa wasn't able to come up this time, but we hope he will next time.   We loved wearing our Packer gear to cheer them on Thanksgiving night - we'll just need to cheer a little louder next time and hopefully get the win!

The kids loved having Grandma read to them, play games and bake some Thanksgiving goodies. 

We even had a little dance party one night!

It was a wonderful week full of special memories. 

With Grandma safely back in Wisconsin, we resume the craziness of our life. Bath tub crayons are the best and super easy to clean up by the way.  Ha, ha - these two crack me up daily!
  Looking forward to enjoying the rest of the weekend - even if it has rained and took all our snow away - sigh... winter is not over yet!  
Thankful for so many blessings in my life and looking foward to the Christmas season. 
Much love to you all

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Happy Halloween!

No spooky skies this past week - all amazing sunrises and sunsets. I had to pause my lesson and just allow the kiddos to take in this view one morning this past week. I love this time of year - we have some pretty amazing skies. 

With Papa's crazy coaching schedule (the football team won state - yahoo! and now it's wrestling season) we found time to carve our pumpkins and it was before Halloween (ha,ha...)

Sister loves getting messy

Brother on the other hand is still not too sure about pulling the goop out of the pumpkins. At least this year he tried - last year he wouldn't even consider it.

We (the adults) had fun carving an owl for Sister and

scary tree for Brother.

We had a great Halloween full of Trunk or Treat at church, a yummy dinner with our friend and then some trick or treating around the neighborhood.  
Dessa continues to adjust to her new life. She's feeling more and more at home each day. So thankful we rescued this sweet pup and also thankful for our dog trainer who is working with us on helping Dessa not have so much fear/anxiety around other dogs.  She's making great progress and I look forward to the days when we can have friends and their doggies come visit us. 
Happy November 1st - 18 days and counting until Grandma Julie comes for Thanksgiving! So looking forward to her visit!  Until next time - be present in every moment, for these moments will make lasting memories - love you all!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Our family is growing

Good morning from my back yard! 
We have had our first snowfall of the year, however it quickly melt and we returned to the season of fall.  Temperatures certainly are dropping and the snow will return before we know it.

Until the white stuff flies again, we'll enjoy the beautiful leaves falling to the ground 


 and make leaf angels instead!  This happy little soul just warms my heart each and every day

and bedtime too!  I use to sleep perpendicular to my mattress too with my feet on the wall. So to walk in to turn the light off and see her sleeping this way with a book open in her lap, oh I had to tell my heart to be still and just take a few moments to soak in the moment. 

Not to be out done with cuteness - Brother has had his moments too, which we are thankful for because we were beginning to wonder if after turning 3 our sweet little guy disappeared.  Terrible 3's is no joke in this house - but it's fun to see him having moments of complete silliness.

Look mom I'm a baby -

 Yep - totally wrapped himself up in the blanket - how he did it so perfectly - who knows...

Or moments of 

I think I'll try to wear Papa's snow boots to play outside.  

As these two continue to grow so quickly before my eyes, we decided our family was missing a member.  

Meet Iridessa - Dessa (for short)! Her given name was Dazzle, but could you honestly imagine Papa with a dog named Dazzle.  So, we were thinking Maggie, or Chloe, when Sister spoke up and said, "I like Iridessa and we can call her Dessa for short."  And so it is...

Dessa loves everyone

and everyone loves her.

We adopted her from a local rescue organization called AARF (Alaska Animal Rescue Friends). Her back story is that she is from San Fransisco and the rescue place there loved her so much they couldn't bare the thought of having to put her down because she wasn't be adopted.  So they flew her to Alaska to our local organization to see if she could be adopted up here.  

Dessa is a 2 year old Husky Mix (we think maybe some white shepard).  She definitely needed the right home to help her with some of her behaviors.  She is amazing with people - even strangers can pet her and she's as happy as can be.  However, if a dog approaches her on leash, she goes a little crazy with barking and aggression towards the dog.  So we've got a little work to do with her on that, but otherwise she is a pretty special dog.  Very trainable -  after only 2 dinners, she learned she is not allowed in the dining area while we eat and only one potty accident in the house and she learned to tell us when she needs out by going to the door.  So we are hopeful with the love and security of her new home, she will overcome her dog aggression. 

I have to laugh because I deal with behavior modification all day long at school, come home to a 3 year old in need of behavior modification and now Dessa.  I'm destined to be a behavior modification specialist this year I guess! Ha, ha!!!   All joking aside, its so nice to have a dog in the house again and now I have a walking buddy on these dark mornings.  I'm hoping to get her out for her first hike this weekend - so we'll see how that goes. 

Until our next adventure - we wish you all a wonderful week! 
It's the end of the 1st quarter of school for us - how can that be?!?! 
Cherish the moments - life is going by too fast!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Loving our community

Every fall our church does an outreach called Impact Eagle River.  We cancel, yes cancel church for the day and go out into our community to serve one another.  Our church parking lot turns into a free oil change station for families' with unique needs such as caring for foster children or having a child with disability.  Other team members from the church go and rake yards or help local agencies like the Pregnancy Center, organize donated items.   When I asked Sister what we should do for Impact Eagle River she said, "Momma, there's a lot of trash by the school. Maybe we could go clean it up."  So, with a friend and her children, we bundled up and picked up trash in the rain.  We had a great time and I love that our church gets out and demonstrates our belief of caring for one another in a very visible way. 

With this event being on Sunday, 2 days later we had...

our first snow fall!!

Oh my the kids couldn't wait to get out and play.  It's already all melted as the temperatures warmed up and we have rain again.  However, this was a glimpse of the fun to come this winter. One thing I'm enjoying very much about the kids being a little bit older is the cooperative and imaginative play they engage in.   Warms my heart to hear them create a game or situation and play it out. 

Not much else to share from this week - Papa has finished his football season the same day his wrestling season started.  So we make the shift from football fields to wrestling mats without a break.  Thankfully there's a little break after wrestling before track starts.  This Momma is continuing to find healthy ways to balance the demands in her life.  I'm so thankful for friendships I have and the quirky little gifts that mean so much - such as...

 The design of these socks holds such a special meaning and I love being able to wear them under my boots because we all know 7th and 8th graders would not be able to focus if these were in plain site ;) 
Wishing you all a great start to a new month! Hard to believe it's October! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Fall skies are beautiful

All the seasons in Alaska hold such their own unique beauty to them.  Yes, it's noticeably darker in the morning and evening, the sky puts on an amazing show with each sunrise and sunset.  I couldn't even finish my drive to work without pulling over to a near by park to snap the photo of today's sunrise.  The photo does no justice to how amazing the sky was.

I'm learning to take some time for myself these days and enjoyed a fall sunset on the bluff's at Kincaid Park this week. 

So beautiful to just sit and not be called "Momma" or see the mess in the house or pile of school stuff to do... I guess getting older does mean some wisdom comes with it... 

And after moments of being recharged I am able to give a 100% to those around me!

Love these little monkeys - It was a chilly night at Papa's game, but we braved it as long as we could to show him our support. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The seasons are changing yet again...

 Fall has definitely arrived in my part of the world!

We've been busy helping our elderly friend Ms. Ruth clean out the garden and get things ready for winter.

We even found a blueberry patch unpicked on a mountain side. Yummy!

Fall also means it's time for "friendship in plaid" (ha,ha...)  and 

seasonal beers!  

More importantly, at least for myself, it's time to take a break from the busyness of school and get out and enjoy these fall days.  

So thankful to be able to get out and enjoy this beautiful day!
Eklutna Lake along the Twin Peaks trail

With fall in the air and

winter on the mountains - I can't help but stop and look around at this amazing place I call home. 

As the seasons change, I think it's a great time to reflect on where you have been and where you want to go.  I love this picture of the fall fireweed and all the different stages - green leaves left from summer, yellow leaves from the change to fall, red fireweed in between seasons... just simply beautiful.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Just another week

 Just another week for us - no hiking for Momma as the weather has been cloudy and rainy (I bet your glad you don't have to read about another hiking adventure - ha, ha...)

We did get a break in the clouds one evening and headed to the park to play.  Notice Brother's forehead in the picture above?  Yep - fell smack into the corner of our speaker while playing with Sister.   A nice goose egg and scratch... but then....

Brother took a header with his helmet on his bike Sunday evening. Poor head... Don't you love that he's still smiling?

We also had fun this evening playing with kinetic sand! It made a huge mess but the kids were happily playing while Momma and Papa worked on some school work.

We also had fun learning to play new board game with Papa while Momma was making dinner. 

Like I said - just another week. We hope you all had a great Labor Day Weekend!