Saturday, March 28, 2015

Happy 3rd Birthday Brother

 Happy 3rd Birthday Mister, Buddy, Brother...

Yep - he survived! He made it to 3 (ha,ha,ha...)  
We are choosing to call the this next year the "Terrific Three's" instead of what I have heard from most parents of boys in their 3's. I'm sure we'll have our phases of good and bad choices... no matter what - this little man cracks me up.  He gives the deepest, most heart felt hugs and then will pull away and make some crazy face and sound.  He's perfected the art of annoying his sister and yet can be her best friend 5 seconds later.  He still loves to snuggle after a nap and pancakes are his favorite food. 

In fact, we had some friends over for a pancakes, sausage links and fruit salad for dinner tonight. Along with presents and cupcakes of course!  The kids all had a great time playing, while the adults enjoyed each others company and March Madness of course! (Wisconsin in the Final 4 -YAHOO!!)

Brother loved his cupcake

and Mama and Papa loved an easy bedtime - he was so tired.  He did such a great job of sharing his new toys and just had a great time with friends.  

In other news... sorry we missed a few weeks...

This was Sister and I after spring break.  We came down with a stomach bug and missed going back to school for a few days.  It was a bummer too, because our friend from Cordova was visiting. Thankfully she did not end up sick and the sickies didn't last long.

And we were back to enjoying this amazing spring we are having!!  

 As we enter Holy Week - I can't help to be so thankful for the many blessings in my life.  I pray and hope that each of you are able to find something to celebrate each and every day. 
~ Much Love ~

Friday, March 13, 2015

Momma Staycation - Hatcher Pass

Hatcher Pass - March 2015

This Momma treated herself to a little staycation during spring break this year and traveled to Hatcher Pass with a longtime and dear friend. Yes, no children, no husband... just fresh mountain air and friendship.   This trip is exactly what I needed mid-week of spring break. We left Tuesday evening and returned Thursday morning. With Hatcher Pass only 45 minute drive, it was the perfect little get away.

  We were greeted Wednesday morning with moose having their breakfast outside our cabin.

After the moose cleared out, we bundled up and headed up the mountain.  We started at the top, snowshoeing around Independence Mine.  It was amazing.

We could have spent all day up here - the sunshine, cold mountain air, and miles and fresh snow.

But, we headed down the mountain and hiked the Gold Mint trail for about an hour and half. Afterwards, we found ourselves content and ready for some food!

The trip was exactly what I hoped for. Time to find me again and reconnect with my dear friend. I'm so blessed by our friendship and also by my amazing husband who took on the kiddos so momma could get away.  I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the remainder of the school year. 
1 more quarter to go!

It was also nice to come home to this...
The dog and cat images are part of the paper, but Sister wrote the letter herself with Papa helping her spell the word 'dear.' My heart is definitely full.  

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Glasses? How would one even know where to start with a 4 1/2 year old needing glasses.  Well, we were actually at our pediatrician's office for Brother and his asthma when the doctor looked over and asked if we had had Sister's eyes checked recently. Her left eye lid has been lower since birth, but she passed her vision screening at 1 years old so we never thought more of it.  When she's tired or not feeling well, her lid droops noticeably.  The doctor told us to just make sure the lid wasn't covering her pupil.  So, that got me thinking and at home I started asking Sister questions about what she could see and not see.  She flat out said, "Momma, my eyes don't work very well. They never have."  Needless to say, we scheduled the appointment. 

She did great - even with having to have her eyes dilated - sure wore her out though.  

Turns out - she needed glasses.  She has difficulty seeing far away and astigmatism in both eyes.  Our doctor was great and recommended only doing half the prescription, since her vision is still developing and to revisit in 4 to 6 months.   She loves her new glasses and has said that she can see so much better now. 

In other news- we are kicking off our spring break!  My students were exhausted Thursday afternoon, so we had a game day justified by social emotional learning standards of course!  

  And our first order of business for spring break, was to get outside and play in the Thursday afternoon sunshine! We hardly have any snow, in fact they had to bring in 500 truck loads of snow for the ceremonial start of the Iditarod today(Saturday).  Crazy weather - 41 degrees and rain today.  We are looking forward to our spring break.  Papa will be starting to coach track and field - throwing events this week and Momma has a little girls trip planned mid-week.  We also look forward to our friend from Cordova coming in for a visit towards the end of the week. Promises to be a busy week - but thankful to be able to have quality time with friends and family.

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.