Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Holidays

We hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a great New Year. We didn't get a Christmas card out this year and I didn't take any pictures at Christmas... We've spent the last couple of weeks really sick. So we are wishing you all the best and hoping that sickness will soon leave our house and we can get back to normal.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thanks Aunt Kim

I guess when you see this Kim you will know that we did get your package since I've been bad and neglected to call anyone to let them know we did get their packages. Kim supplied Reagan and her friend (boyfriend really) with a good solid hour of fun playing with "Ghost Poop" as Paul's family calls them (packing peanuts as the rest of us know them by). Cyrus was a trooper when it came to cleaning up. Reagan... well she looked the other way and didn't get the reward of marshmallows for cleaning up. (She also got in trouble as she kept changing into the dress you see here.) Cyrus is Reagan's favorite person. I'm told she steals kisses on the sly. Which he isn't too keen on.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Conversations with Reagan

I was on the phone telling my Mom about what a girl Reagan is. She has to carry a purse anytime we leave the house, chap stick is her constant companion, clothes changed multiple times a day... You get the picture. I said to my Mom, " I don't know where she gets it from. It wasn't from me." Reagan replies to me, " I know, from Daddy!"

Last night we were watching t.v. and the people on there weren't being very nice to each other, so Reagan commented that they didn't love each other. I asked her who loved her. Her first response was a resounding " My Daddy!", quickly followed by... "Santa Claus!"

Friday, December 3, 2010

Create!

Note: Lots of blog updates below-
For Christmas this year for the first time in a long time I'm making some of the presents. I had forgotten how rewarding and fun it can be. Reagan is modeling hats I made for my nieces (Jamie I'll make you one too if you want one.).












Reagan of course had to have one too.It was so much fun crocheting that I started a sweater that I'm almost done with for Reagan. Pictures to come soon. But I feel like I'm accomplishing something when I'm watching t.v. and not just wasting time. Soothes my guilty conscience.














I've also had a lot of fun making things like this board. I saw what this board says and had to have one too. I've made a couple of similar things for people for Christmas but I don't want them to see their presents yet so I'm not posting them on the blog. A lady here in Anchorage has all the stuff and can print about anything up to go on the boards etc. Check out her blog. I've got an order in for several more things. I'm not a huge crafty person. Things have to have a purpose for me to make them, so I need a lot more reasons! This has been so much fun!

Reagan's 3rd Birthday

She may be 3 but she says she's 5. Reagan's wish for her birthday was to have a birthday party, cake and chips. So the weekend before her birthday we had a party with all her friends and she had a blast! Unfortunately I didn't get one picture of the whole thing. I did however get pictures of her actual birthday.
That night we went downtown to the AT&T Christmas Tree lighting. Here are a couple of the pictures from that. It's a bit hard to take pictures when you are holding onto a 3 & 4 year old and there are lots of people around. But I think it's pretty cool that we live in a place where Santa actually gets pulled into town in a sled pulled by Reindeer.















Daniel insisted that we wait in line so that he could sit on Santa's lap. So we braved the line in 15 degree weather and they got to sit on his lap. Daniel had the biggest smile on his face. He had a laundry list of things he told Santa of the things he wanted. Reagan said she wanted pink bows for Christmas and Santa misheard her and thought she said that she wanted a pink boat. He asked what color of fish she was going to catch with that pink boat. Red Salmon?














We finished the night with yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting for my chocoholic girl. Happy Birthday Reagan!

First Sledding of the Season

And Daddy got to come!!! I think this was Reagan's first time ever sledding. Last year she couldn't handle more than 5 minutes outside during the winter. She was much more game now that she is older. Daniel didn't even use a sled half the time as he would just slide down in his snow suit.


All I want for Christmas is Shoes...

My little girl is a true girl and she doesn't get it from me. I recently went through and got rid of all her shoes that don't fit. Before I did so I took a picture of all the shoes that literally stretched from one end of the room to the other (and she has a good size room). There is even a pair or two missing. She went from about 20 pairs of shoes (far more than I own, but still less than Dad :-) to two pairs of shoes, one of which was her snow boots. She has since acquired a couple more pairs of shoes. But Santa Claus... A little girl with a sense of fashion and style would LOVE to replenish her closet full of shoes for Christmas.

ASD Family Fun Fair

I am SO far behind on my blogging... Here is the first Saturday in October. The kids and I went to the Anchorage School District Family Fun Fair. It was for all the families with kids in Special Education classes, and frankly if that's the kind of things we get to do with Daniel being in Special Ed. classes, we won't mind it too much. The kids had a blast!

Here we went on our wagon ride. Reagan had no intention of ever leaving the playdough table. That's her in the lime green shirt and Daniel is there at the end.
We came home with a BIG shopping bag full of stuff. Probably 20 new books, bouncy balls and slime the kids made, math toys, and much more. They had a mad scientist that they got to do all kinds of crazy science experiments. Here is Daniel riding on the hover craft. video

Monday, November 22, 2010

And the new calling is...

Okay, I didn't realize how nervous I was about getting a calling in our new ward. I was so worried that they were going to stick me in Primary or more specifically Nursery as that is what the last 2 wards have tried to do. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn that all Primary callings were filled- They even have a permanent substitute. For a long time I've really wanted to serve somewhere besides a music calling, it seems I have to move out of a ward to loose one. I've been known to have 3 at one time, but I have finally resigned myself to serving in music for the rest of my life.
I was called instead to be second counselor in the Young Women's Organization (For those not familiar with what that is I will be working with 12-13 year old girls.) I looked at Paul and said are you ready to watch the kids?
I'm excited for this new challenge and am hoping for the best. It was Paul's first week there so he has yet to receive a calling, but I'm sure one will be coming in about a week or so.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Conversations with Daniel

"Mom, the t.v. thinks my glasses are dirty."

"2 and 2 is 4, but when you're old it's only 2."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Party-

We had a Fall party this weekend with the kids. They really enjoyed dressing up, and they say that necessity is the mother of all invention- I was amazed at what I could make with 1 pillowcase, 1 container of bias tape, a lot of hot glue, a box and a toilet paper roll could make. Reagan was easy for a costume, a princess and we already had the princess dresses. So it was simply making her a crown out of a hanger, ribbon, parts of left overs from my wedding dress, beads from a necklace and a couple flowers and buttons. Daniel however... Robin Hood was his costume. We only had the bow and arrows of his costume. So I set to work. I made him a shirt, a hat and a quiver for his arrows all from the items listed above. It was my first hat ever so I made a few mistakes and now know a little better how I would make it. But when your winging it... The quiver was probably the easiest. I just cut out a circle of cardboard and glued it to the bottom of the paper towel roll and then covered it with remnants of the pillowcase. Then I attached a sling to it made of bias tape. I used like5 or 6 sticks of hot glue on the whole thing. But I think I did a pretty good job and he looks like Robin Hood. And he now has a dress up outfit so maybe he'll stop wearing Reagan's princess dresses.
One of the things I really appreciated with this Alaska Kids party was that it wasn't a disguised Halloween party. So many times people say they are having a "Fall or Harvest Party" and really it's just another name for a Halloween party. I don't celebrate Halloween. I think it's a horrible holiday- If you want to find out more about it click here-(Halloween)and it will give you some idea of the origins of Halloween. I have chosen not to since I was a teenager. So it was very nice to enjoy fun food, good friends, beautiful if windy weather and just look at my beautiful Princess and handsome Robin Hood!

Update on Daniel

After trying a couple of medications for his ADHD- The first of which made him VERY sleepy and the second of which made him stay awake for 20 + hours a day for a couple days in a row... Then the doctor on vacation and I could get anyone to return my calls... I took him off meds for 2 weeks and wow! We don't want to go through those two weeks again! Long story short, not only does he have ADHD but he also has a Mood disorder. As of yet we haven't categorized the mood disorder but it's likely something along the lines of bi-polar. He's now on medication for each of these and is doing fairly well. Time out worked for the first time ever this week! We are still fine tuning and he will continue with his therapy. But he is doing SO much better. We were sad to hear of another diagnosis added to this little guy who already deals with high cholesterol, asthma, vision problems, speech problems. But we are glad that he is getting help so that he can function and be happy.

We also had his hearing retested and found that while he hears alright he is right on the edge of not being able to hear well enough. Since he is going through important stages of development, has fluid in his ears, and has speech problems the audiologist thought we should follow up with an ENT doctor. We did that and decided that Daniel would get tubes. He goes in for surgery this week for that and we are hoping that that may make a difference with his hearing and speech.

So that's the news on our big little boy.

The Harvest

This was not a good year for garden's anywhere in Alaska I think, but I did get something for all my hard work though and to that this post is dedicated.














My potatoes all 15 lbs. There was about 1-2 potatoes per plant. We were worried there wouldn't be any as we never saw them blossom.














The carrots- 2 gallon size bags of normal size carrots and 2 quart size that are only good for throwing in soups but I still saved them because they are perfect for soup. I just throw them in, don't have to cut them or anything.














I had to show you this zucchini. I have been growing zucchini forever but I never knew there was such a thing as "globe" zucchini. Paul says they look like little green apples, and this one is a little more oblong than the other 2 we got this year. But it was a little fun. I think I like the regular size better for cooking just because slicing these they are just a little too big.














Also in the harvest- A few very small onions (most of them were picked by others), 4 small celery plants, a total of 4 very small peppers, dill, oregano, parsley, basil, a hand full or two of green beans, a few peas (I would have had a lot more if the moose hadn't eaten them.














And yes I did get tomatoes. This is a crappy picture but it was the first of many very small (grape tomato or smaller) tomatoes. I have one plant I am keeping in my bedroom seeing how long it will last. There wasn't enough, nor were they big enough to do anything with but we enjoyed them.

Alaska Airplane Museum

A month (or two) ago not long after the Elmendorf Airshow, we went to the Airplane Museum. It was another one of our rainy summer day's this summer and I was looking for somewhere to go with the kids. We had free passes from the library's summer reading program so that made it even better.
Alaska is the home of airplanes in the U.S. We have more airplanes per ca pita than any where else in the U.S. Why is that? Alaska is HUGE. It's like 3 times the size of Texas and only a couple of roads. To many places in AK you still can only get there by boat or by plane. The skies about Anchorage are filled with airplanes at anytime of the day. There are 4 or 5 airports in Anchorage alone (we live across the street from one). The only way to get things up to remote locations is to fly them in- Caribou for instance. Or we saw another picture of a cow being led out of this tiny airplane. It really is incredible.
This one was fun. Daniel and Reagan got to move the tail and rudder about.














Daniel liked this one until Reagan sat down to fly the plane on the other side. Because the plane can be flown from either side she could do anything she wanted with it and when she pulled back on the handles and he wasn't watching it would scare him to death. This is one of the trucks that they use to guide the planes in and out of where they need to park. Daniel decided that he needed his fireman's hat for the job.

Anchorage Museum

About a month ago the kids and I checked out the Anchorage Museum with our kids group - Alaska Kids. They have a whole kids section called the Imaginarium as well as a regular museum and planetarium inside. On the first day we only made it into 2 of the rooms. We've since explored other parts of the museum but there is still much more to see. We bought a year pass as it will be a great place to take them during the winter when we need to get out of the house.
Reagan's favorite place is the first picture. It's like a water bed and supposed to be the ocean and they get to jump and play on it. Since her favorite thing to do (after singing) is jumping this doesn't surprise me. And it reminds me of the many hours (Oops, did I say hours?) I spent as a kids jumping on Mom and Dad's water bed. Remember Erin and David?
One of Daniel's favorite places is this little boat area. What kid isn't going to want to play in the water? There is so much to see and do here. They have Jelly fish and a turtle named "Chomper". The kids learn about how volcanoes are made and make them out of wax. What happens to houses in an earthquake? How to make a hot air balloon rise. Daniel wants to go every week.

Last post about April's visit to AK



I've been a real slacker about posting so I'm going to try to attempt to catch up today. So starting where I left off at... On April's last day with us we went down town for the evening and she took me out to dinner. I introduced her to snow crab and my sister who is allergic to everything including shell fish decided she loved it. Luckily she had her EPI pen nearby but thankfully she had no need for it.

And then what could a current and a former Nanny do but go to see the new Nanny McPhee movie on opening night? It was really good and had us rolling with laughter.

We were SO sad to say goodbye to April later that night. Paul was at drill so we had to take the kids to the airport at midnight to drop her off. Daniel is already asking when she can come back to visit. We love Aunt April.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good News

Yesterday we received good news. Paul is being called back to active duty with the National Guard but it's right here in Anchorage. He will only be on active duty for 6 months. But while on active duty he brings in double the money from what we have been living on with his normal job at CBP. (Great news when the bills are piling up!)
We are also moving at the end of October to a new place. It's much bigger and I'm trying to decide what my favorite thing about it is? The 3 bedrooms so Reagan won't have to sleep in the living room anymore? (The two kids just cannot share anymore.) Or is it the big kitchen and dining room? Or maybe the laundry room (7 years of having your laundry in the kitchen is about to end! YAY!) Or maybe the garage to store all our "stuff". Whatever it is we are really excited and really grateful to a wonderful Heavenly Father who answers prayers.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Trip to Homer

While April was here we took a great trip down to Homer AK where our friends Charlie and Donette Anderson live. They are friends from Missouri but they are both from AK and had recently moved back. The trip down was so gorgeous. Sorry for all the scenery shots that don't even begin to do Alaska justice. Alaska scenery is really breath taking. It's kind of fun when you are driving down the road and you see the ocean, mountains, and volcanoes all in one glance.
Just look at how green everything is after all the rain we've had. I think it must be what Ireland looks like.














This is at Bishop's beach in Homer. It was nice and sunny but still a bit cold with the wind coming off the water. April and I were not your typical tourists. We didn't stop in at any of the shops but rather just drank in the scenery and let the kids play.


























Homer has a stretch of land that looks like someone spit it out into the Harbor and it's called "The Spit". A road goes out to the end of it and that's where all the touristy stuff is. This houseboat was grounded there on the spit. I'm sure being AK even though it's old and run down someone still lives in it. This next one is driving out on the spit. Absolutely gorgeous!














We don't have much "beach" up here in Anchorage but we really enjoyed the sand in Homer. The kids were REALLY excited to see this small lighthouse. The week before Paul and I had introduced them to the movie Pete's Dragon. They wanted to know where Pete was.






















Charlie and Donette's log cabin built on stilts. They just built it this summer. Obviously they have been hard at work. The computer isn't letting me separate the pictures, so I'm having to write this at the bottom. But as you can see Reagan and Daniel really are best friends and were troopers spending 8 hours in the car that day.