Sunday, October 21, 2012

September 29th

 What were you doing on September 29th of this year? I bet you weren't playing in snow! We got our first snow of the year VERY early this year.
Normally snow doesn't come until the end of October or first of November. It didn't stick and we've had a bit more since then but nothing to stick long. Any day now the snow will start and it won't be gone until spring...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Calleen's Newest Creations

I have been very busy crocheting lately. This pattern is called the Savanah Belle dress. I made a matching one with opposite colors too, and I think it was my favorite of the two as the purple was such a beautiful color. I forgot to take a picture of before I gave it away though. Hopefully the person I gave it to will oblige me with one with her baby in it.



This one is called the Pemberly shawl. It took me about a year to finish. I did take it out a lot as Paul can attest to my frustrations, but moving and other projects just got in the way of finishing it. It's finally done though and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Coming soon... This year's birthday dress for Reagan. She's totally psyched.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Paul Got a Bear

If you follow me on Facebook you already know this, but for all those not on Facebook and in my continuing quest to catch up with blog posts, here is Paul with the Black bear he shot last month. I told him he can now cross that off his bucket list. He couldn't have been prouder I think by the look on his face.
 He's having a bear rug made of it (to the tune of $1000) and we gave some meat away and froze some. About half of the meat we kept we had made into peperoni sausage.
Not being a fan of bear meat. It's not bad tasting if you take off all the fat but it has so much gristle I'm just not keen. So I usually make it when I'm going elsewhere for dinner. But the pepperoni- now that stuff is good! If he ever gets another bear, that's what we are doing with all of it. Come visit and we'll feed you some bear meat.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Project for Dad and Son

Daniel has been driving us crazy asking for a Pirate boat. Paul decided to make one for him after he couldn't take the incessant requests. This was a joint effort and still continues to get things added to it. The steering wheel really turns and the spindle that holds the thread for the anchor does too causing the anchor to drop. Daniel added the ladder from his Legos and made the sails. We are still deciding whether to paint it or leave it. But they sure had fun making it!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pyrah's Pioneer Peak Farm Fall Festival

 
There is a farm in Palmer Alaska that used to be a church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) farm. It's now rented to a family and they have a U-Pick farm there. It's where we went to the winter festival last year and Reagan and I had our hair done like the Who's from Whoville.

 
Every year they have a Fall festival as well and this year they added an extra day just for kids with special needs and made it free just for that day. What a blessing! We were also blessed with good weather after having horrible rainy days preceding it. Unfortunately it wasn't well advertised so not a lot of kids were there.

 
But that just meant my kids were able to enjoy it more and not have to wait in any lines which was fabulous for us. We were there for about an hour and a half  until Daniel decided he couldn't handle any more.



 
 They had so much fun bumping into each other doing this. They were laughing so hard they could barely stay on their balls.

 
Cabbage bowling anyone?


 
They also loved the bouncy toy. Since no one was there they got an extra long turn and I was able to just sit and enjoy the beautiful day.


 
It took a lot of coaxing for Daniel to ride any of the rides. Anything that moved he wanted nothing to do with. But Reagan and I persisted and he enjoyed it once it started.


 
These are cool tractor trikes. As it was something to ride Daniel wouldn't get on but he was more than willing to help Reagan do it.

 
It was a fun beautiful day. We picked up some pumpkins and brought them home. Enjoyed some pumpkin custard from them. I hope they do it again next year!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Drawing to Get Excited About

Looks like not much right? Well for Daniel it is a huge step forward. There is more than one color in this drawing. This is the first and only one that we have seen of this kind but hope more will follow. It's a developmental step for him. He has to think further about what he is drawing and plan the different colors. It's not so linear.
Daniel says that it is a picture of him driving a 4 wheeler with a trailer hooked to it. He's holding onto a shovel so he and Daddy can dig for pirate treasure. The trailer is full of camping gear for them and the flag is a pirate flag of course.
Just have to shout hooray when something like this happens.

Monday, October 8, 2012

video videoFor school this year part of Daniel's school work is poetry, and for each term he has to memorize one poem. This term it is a A Child's Garden Book of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. Reagan also joins in on the poetry. Here are their poems for this term, picked out completely by themselves.
Reagan is now learning a second one called Auntie's skirts as it reminds her of Aunt April. I was going to wait to post this until exam week in which we have something really fun planned but I couldn't resist sharing.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Random Pictures

 
Reagan was begging me to take her picture this day.

.
And here they are decked out in all their glory one Sunday after church after they got presents from my friend Colleen Kigin who loves to drop in and say hello.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Finger Knitting

One day about a month or two ago Reagan really wanted to do something with my yarn. So I pulled out some yarn I didn't really care about and worked on teaching her how to finger knit. It takes some dexterity. She was very happy to do something with yarn like Mommy does. We haven't revisited it yet but hopefully soon as I have found memories of sitting with my Grandma Lyman and her teaching me how to crochet, I think this is a good first step.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Alaska State Fair



So if we ever leave Alaska, I got to cross of one thing off my Alaska bucket list this summer. The Alaska State Fair! People come from all over the world to see our State Fair. And why not, we have vegetables the size of people! Unfortunately we kept missing that building so I didn't get any pictures of it.
 This is probably one of the only chances kids up here get to ride a Carousel. There aren't any up here permanently.  Reagan was all for that. The trucks are the only thing we could get Daniel to ride and only with much coaxing. Unfortunately the picture with him won't load for some reason.
 If you look closely you can see a seal out of the hedge.
We saw all kinds of animals, this was a baby Tiger. The Zoo up here doesn't have  a lot of different animals so this was a good chance for my kids to see different animals they don't usually see. The zoo here though was were I got to see my first camel with 2 humps. They are a cold weather animal.
 
This clown was from Calgary Canada. We get a lot of Canadians here in Alaska. Small wonder. The kids really enjoyed her show.
There were lots of music shows from all over but I couldn't get the kids to stay in one place to listen. We enjoyed the farm animals though Reagan couldn't wait to get out of there as she was not keen on the smell. She loved parts of the crafty building, all the dolls  on display and clothes. I loved seeing the quilts. The were absolutely amazing to me.
Hopefully next year we'll see the vegetables and you'll get to see the pictures as they really are amazing.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Applesauce

Early one morning the kids and I went and picked apples at a friend's house. It took us all of half and hour to pick 2 large baskets and a box brimming with apples. Bet you've never picked apples with ice on them have you? It was a bit cold. I couldn't find anywhere in Anchorage that carried a Victorio Strainer so I ended up buying a food mill which worked pretty well. The main thing was to not have to peel and core all those apples. As I was cutting them up some of the seeds were still white. Obviously not quite ripe, but hey we live in Alaska. They were also VERY sour! I don't usually put sugar in applesauce but this needed sugar. We spent 2 days making applesauce and got about 50 quarts. Lots of yummy applesauce to add to the winter stores.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Daniel's Pirate Dresser

 
Since we moved in Daniel has needed a dresser as in our last house we just used his built in shelves. I have been looking for one on Craig's list but they either were falling apart or  looked like they were high fashion in the 70's. I was talking to a friend at church and happened to mention that I was looking for a dresser and he said he happened to have one in the back of his car he was getting rid of for a friend if I wanted it. Worked for me. This is the before picture of the dresser. The top looks shiny in the picture due to the sun but it really wasn't.

 This is the top of the dresser. We burned the edges of one of Paul's old hunting maps and put an "x" on it to mark the buried treasure and then I modge podged over it.
This is the front of the dresser. I decided to go with a weathered look as it's a 6 year old's dresser, that way if he scratches it up it doesn't matter. I actually liked it better without the pirate stuff. The blue is a beautiful shade that the picture doesn't do justice to. One thing I've learned as I will show you soon with Reagan's bed I just repainted... I hate painting furniture! Walls are so much more forgiving! I'm planning on painting his nightstand the same color as the paint job is getting pretty battered and so that they match. I may put a big compass on the top of it. We should be redoing his room later this month so more pictures to come later.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Harvest 2012


 We had a good harvest this year. This is what we brought home after one trip home from the garden, I literally ran out of places to put stuff to bring it home and had to go back another day to finish.





The celery I just cut up and froze to add to soups this winter.


3 and 3/4 gallon bags of carrots. They should last me into 2013.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Winter Ballet/Tap

Grandparents here you go- Reagan in all her glory at her tap/ballet lesson. Once a month we are allowed in to watch them, otherwise as you can see in the video they get a little distracted with all of us there. video video video video video

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pirates

 
People with Autism have things they fixate on. For Daniel right now it's Pirates. He LOVES all things Pirates.
 But was is really fun and exciting for me as a Mom is that this time last year at the beginning of Kindergarten,  it was like pulling teeth to get him to write/draw anything. 6 months later it was like a light switch went on and he was drawing everything. Then suddenly at the beginning of this year he's gone 3D. He makes everything out of paper. Above is a pirate hat he made, below are his "hook" and his peg leg. He gets frustrated as he can see what he wants in his minds eye and tries so hard to duplicate it. He wants to make the jump to wood but he just doesn't have the strength to handle a saw or a hammer.

 If anyone wants to get him something for Christmas send lots of tape and paper. We go through tons! We have to ration it out. But we don't want to stifle this developmental leap for him. He still won't color anything and pictures are drawn with only one color usually black but hey, we're making progress.

Fishing the Kasilof River

As usual I am way behind in blogging, so to start catching up here's a post.
This summer we went again with our now neighbor Lowell Darrington dip net fishing on the Kasilof river. Let me just say I was not looking forward to it... Last year it rained, we got the trailer stuck in the sand and spent several hours getting it out, we were just starting to figure out all of Daniel's problems and he would just scream and cry the whole time. I was really dragging my feet about going but I am SO glad we did.
We hit 3 beautiful days in a row of glorious sunshine which is rare up here. I stayed in the sun as much as I could trying to take in my yearly dose of Vitamin D for the year. We went not only with Lowell but 2 other neighbor families as well and it was good to get to know them better.
Reagan found this rope on the beach and decided it was her Rapunzel hair. That's one of the neighbor kids behind her. Unfortunately this was the only picture we took while there. They had a blast playing on the beach. When the tide came in one day I took Daniel and Reagan down to play in the water- talk about a mud fight. I should have gotten pictures. They were covered in mud.  Daniel has spent the last year in physical and occupational therapy which made a world of a difference this year. They worked with him on the sensory issues and feeling the sand wasn't an issue this year and he's stronger now so he can handle walking through the sand which took so much out of him last year. It was really good for me to go with him again this year and to be able to see the difference  between the two years and the progress he has made.
We came home with about 15 fish per family which is fine for us as we aren't huge fish eaters and I still have some canned from previous years.
It was a beautiful, wonderful trip with sunny weather, 3 volcano's in the distance, the ocean, sand at our feet. Here's hoping we can replicate it next year!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Flat Top Mountain

 Those of you who know me well know that I think exercise is a 4 letter word. I don't mind it if it has purpose, but just to exercise for the fun of it? No thank you! I'm definitely not a hiker, heck I'm not an outdoors person. Give me a book and a kitchen and I'm happy.
Well, some women in my new ward hike Flat Top Mountain every Monday night after the kids are in bed. (Remember, we have extended periods of light right now.) For some crazy reason I got it in my head to hike it with them. Now you need to understand that in Alaska as I said in the last post, hiking usually means you are going straight up. I mean hugging the mountain straight up and this was no exception. I can hike but going like that is more than I can do. So I'm very proud of the fact that I made it (with lots of stops to catch my breath!) at least 3/4 of the way up the mountain. This was my view from where I rested while the others went to the top. At the top of the picture is the port of Anchorage, it's a long ways away from up there.
Not sure I'm going to make it back this week. We'll see if I'm up for more torture

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thunderbird Falls

 
Not the greatest picture of the Falls. But I'm thinking I'll take my Dad's cousin Vern here when he comes to visit next week and we'll get some pictures of the falls from below. This was taken pretty much directly across from the falls.

 
The extra kid is a neighbor who lives down the street named Everest who insisted on being in the picture with us. It was raining off and on, which is the reason for the rain coats.

 This was a fabulous hollow tree the kids found to play in. Why do you need toys when you have hollow trees?
One of the cool things about our hike in was that directly across from us on a cliff ledge Reagan pointed out a Bald Eagle just sitting there. We got to spend some time observing it in the wild. It was pretty cool. We also got to see Salmon swimming in the stream from the waterfall. I'm looking forward to going back again soon. It's one of the easier Alaska hikes. I say easier because here in Alaska pretty much all hikes go straight up. and while this one does too, it quickly even out a bit.