Sunday, October 3, 2010

Winter is well on it's way!

I still can't seem to make it here every week. Don't know, just seems like life gets in the way.

At any rate, we have colder temps (30s and 40s), leaves are nearly all on the ground, and termination dust (snow on the mountains). Guess that means we are well on our way to winter. We are looking forward to it in our house, because that means sledding, snowmen and snow angels. I'm also hoping we can really get the kids skiing this year. DS#2 proclaimed his desire the minute he learned we were moving back to Alaska, so we really must make a point of it. Of course, it would have been nice to go a little longer before turning on the heat.

We have also had our share of mini-crisis recently. As summer drew to a close, we finally got sunny days and that meant some good scrapes and bruises while riding bikes. The worst, however, happened just last evening and inside the house. DD was getting a piggyback ride from DS#1 (even after my constant warnings that she was too big for him) and fell, hitting her head. At first it looked like she had merely bumped it and I could not even find a red mark. But I hugged her and came up with blood all over my face. She has a pretty good gash on the crown of her head under all that hair, but thankfully it looked worse than it was. Our makeshift compression bandage made her look like a pink pirate and she had a good headache last night, but she is fine today. I have to say, this goes down as one of the worst mini-crisis yet.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Yep! Two posts in one day!!!

We went to the State Fair this week. They had 2 special days that with the price of one ticket the second was free. The rides were the same. Well, who could pass up that price, right? The kids had a blast and I have tons of pictures to get scrapped, but that might take a bit. They loved the ferris wheel, DD was thrilled on the Merry-go-round, and you could not even imagine the grins on the real live ponies. But for me there was one other very special event. I had entered two knitted items and one took an honorable mention (my Entrelac bag) and I got a blue ribbon on my Sock Monkey. Of course, they weren't the purple division champ ribbons, but I got something on both. Since this is my first fair, I'm pretty pleased.

Then there was this one sign that I just had to have a picture of. It was on the horse trailer that the pony ride used as it's center.

Hmmmph! Two weeks without posting!

I sure hope you will forgive me. It was a real scramble to be ready for the new school term last week so I never made it here to post. I have some pictures to share and some tales to tell, so here goes.....
Our 4th of July

Birthday Notes

My Life (at a Potluck with Family)

Remember: all of this and more can be seen in my scrapping gallery at

Sunday, August 15, 2010

How time does fly!

It has been a very busy summer as is evidenced by my lack of adding anything to this blog. We have made so many trips to the library for books and events I can't even count them. Let's see, we played pirates and learned about Polar Bears. The kids participated in the reading program, and really did so well with it, we have started one here at home too. You should hear those boys go! And DD isn't far behind. July 4th weekend was packed with activities including a trip to Camp Conway (my BIL/SILs new weekend getaway) and the parade of course. By Monday of that weekend the kids were content to laze around the house. Then there was a fabulous air show at the military base. We had the Thunderbirds, Blue Angels and Canadian Snowbirds all in one day!

Although we did well on assessments in May, we were behind in math, so we went back to school in July and will be caught up this week. Added to that we have started some of our projects for this year. We will be studying states, countries and biographies each month so we started with one of each to study together. Starting next month, the boys will each do their own report and then share his findings with the family. And for added benefit, we get to have guest speakers for two countries as family members come and share information on where they grew up. We are also starting a family history which we got started with a bang when FIL was in town and personally came for the interview. There will be much more to come on that front I'm sure.

And we can't forget celebrating the boys 7th birthday! Big new bikes with no trainers were a big hit and DD got the hand me down which to her was the "new" bike.

I will try to add pictures for these events tomorrow. So check back! I'm really going to try and do better, posting at least every weekend.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My goodness! A month has gone by!

Hard to believe it's been a month since that incredible moment with the kids. It's not all been roses, but there have been highlights. The boys moved up a notch and are now officially Cub Scout Wolves. DD is showing some progress with the potty training since getting her on the meds (but still a lot of mental stubbornness to contend with). Spring has sprung and then left again as is normal for Alaska. And I'm sure it won't be long and mosquitoes will be taking over. And school is nearly finished (officially any way) for another summer.

Which brings me to todays news. The boys were assessed today and I'm proud to say they are 2nd to 3rd grade level! We will be having a special dinner to commemorate their promotions and then take a break from the daily grind. (Only because Mom needs some prep time!) Although there is no official assessment for DD, her reading places her in late kinder level and I'm sure she will be testing into late first by fall. That is in most areas, she is still progressing with the writing at a much slower pace than the reading and math.

Well, I do need to get busy: always more to do than time to do it in!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Proud Mommy Moments!

Some days you think you are really beating your head against the wall (kind of like Monday when something as simple as how to write the date can totally escape the boys)! But then there are days like today. One which totally surprises you! One that makes you feel like you can really do this home school thing. Not only, did the boys remember how to write the date (something that they should have been able to do because they have been doing it for, oh, about 6 months or more) but DD proudly wrote her own name. She did it by herself. For those of you familiar with it, this is no small task for a 4 year old. Not only is it a long name to spell, but it is not a usual spelling. She has traced it many times, but today she did it twice, all by herself. I only wish I could share the photo with you all, but as you know, I have a policy of not publishing my children's names here. So, if you would like to see this feat, please leave a comment or send me an email and I will happily email you a copy of the photo (sorry, only family please!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Too many days...

It's been way to long since I've posted anything here and sooooo much has happened that the other night when I found myself having trouble sleeping getting it all down here was all I could think about. Isn't that sad?

Well, first - we are finally a 2 car family again. Turns out DH's car is just fine. The battery is getting old and will need to be replaced soon (and definitely before next winter), but it's charging just fine. He thinks that having tires in the back prevented the rear hood from latching which made some circuit or other stay on, draining the battery over night. And to think, it only took him 4 months to investigate and find this out. At least now the kids and I have the freedom to go when we want/need to without having to drag him to work and back.

DD has been undergoing tests on her bladder and kidneys. So far, nothing has been found wrong but we will continue this process by visiting a Pediatric Urologist soon. She simply has no bladder control.

I have been scrapping my brains out over the last week and a half. My favorite scrap site, DSP, celebrated their 6th birthday last week and the challenges and freebies just got my juices flowing again. Well, that and giving up on one or two commitments that were just taking way too much of my time and energy. I even made DH take the kids out to play so that he could get some new pictures for me while I worked on other things this last weekend. Gonna have to find some very special things to go do with the kids (now that we have a car) and get even more. One big event coming up is the boys Derby Car race for Cub Scouts. That should provide some picture opportunities.

I'm going to try and get a new tutorial up soon too, but still no time to get it written. In the mean time here is a great video of a little used tool (at least by some of us) that helps align elements in your page.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Of course, this holiday is a big hit in our house. It's now almost dinner time, so I am off to color the dinner green. We will be dining on Green Vanilla Yogurt, Green Beans (wish I could have convinced them to add some broccoli) and for dessert, Pistachio Pudding. DH and I will add some hamburgers (yogurt just doesn't hold us thru until breakfast). I'm going to try to take pictures. We have enough sun I might just get some decent shots.

Quick weather update: Sunny and nearly 40˚F. Although the sun is supposed to disappear again in a couple of days, we are supposed to continue with these temps into the weekend. Hmmm.... a small sign that spring is on it's way?

Friday, March 12, 2010

In Loving Memory

Denali's Alaskan Dreamweaver (Chaos)
April 22, 1997 - March 11, 2010

He was a good friend, but when his kidney's failed we just felt it was time to say good-bye. I seem to be having trouble saying more right now. What can you say when you have lost your best friend. He was truly loyal, and yet he was a friend to all who entered. Not the typical Sheltie at all. No matter how I tried, he would jump and bark not so much when you came to visit, but when you started to leave. Because, in his eyes, once you were here, you were meant to be here forever.

He will be missed more than anyone could know!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Olympics are over!

We have cheered our athletes until our voices are hoarse. We stayed up late and got up early to catch all of the games physically possible (and taped those that weren't). We've graphed the medals and studied a little of the host country and city. We cried when we lost and jumped for joy when we won. But now it's time to come back to Earth.

Oh, wait: The Iditerod starts this week! Oh well, more to learn and more to cheer about!

Ain't life grand?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hmmm... over a week and no word from me!

Forgive me, I've been busy. The kids and I are thoroughly engrossed in the Winter Olympics. We have studied everything from the host city/country to the sports themselves. We have watched hours and hours of the fascinating goings on. We are even graphing the medals to see which countries do the best (with a great deal of cheering for the US and their standings). It's been a pleasure to preview each evenings tapings so that I know which sports are on and what will be good for the kids to watch the next day. Our little miss is fascinated with Figure Skating (entirely predictable with such lovely costumes and graceful motion) and the boys, who I thought would love things like snowboarding seem most enthralled with Ski Jumping! Of course, being all boy, they have to look at one of the most daring of the sports. I guess I can be thankful they are not speed demons determined to Luge, especially given the tragedy these games began with.

We also celebrated the boys Blue & Gold banquet for Cub Scouts. Being the official celebration of the Boys Scouts 100th birthday made this a slightly bigger deal than normal. The boys helped with the flag ceremony and did a wonderful job presenting their piece of the history of Scouting. They also received their Bobcat Badge along with the rest of the group. I am still very proud that they were the first to qualify. DD occupied herself with a new friend while there. It made me really wish we could find a girl playmate for her.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What's the Buzz!

OK, so I'm kinda stealin' that from Google mail (for those with gmail, they have added an almost Facebook type system right inside your email), but it does seem appropriate. There has been quite a bit going on.

On the Home School front, Dinosaurs are finally completely done including all decorating of the lapbooks. (Photos still needed so I guess I will have to add those later.) We are now diligently studying the Olympics. Our little miss is working on some new Math and Science activities I found over the weekend and enjoying them heartily. She needs to work as hard on her reading as that is turning out to not be a favorite most days. I think the reason is that it goes slower than she would like. She is picking up more than she realizes, but not during "lesson" time.

On the technology front, we have added a couple of new devices lately. I think I mentioned that my wonderfully sweet BIL donated his old computer to the kids. It could not have come at a better time because the one we had been using was just not working well. Other than trying to get around the whole needing a CD to play all their programs, the computer is great. We had decided to place it in the boys bedroom, but I am rethinking that, and believe we might better put it up in the loft. Well, with that new computer came a real dilemma about the old scanner. I have started using it nearly weekly, could no longer use it with it hooked to the kids computer, have constantly been fighting it on that old computer because it locks the computer so badly that I have to reboot several times each session, and really just needed to replace it with something I could hook to my machine. After a great deal of debate we decided to go ahead and purchase an all-in-one printer scanner. And after even more research, have ordered an Epson Artisan 810. It has a fax, which we didn't really need, but it has one of the best scanner resolutions available, high print quality and inks (for about the same price as the inks I've been buying), and it has WiFi. Yep, every computer in the house will be able to print to it! How nice not to have to copy files onto a jump just so DH can print them out!!!!

Well, then to top it all off, we were given another gift by DBIL and DSIL! They won a BlueRay player at a charity auction and gifted it to us. It's not a fancy one, but man, what a gift! Brand new, in the box! They of course, loaned us a stack of disks as well. We have now finally seen last summers Star Trek, which we thoroughly enjoyed and The Proposal, which I highly recommend. I don't think we have laughed that hard in years. I know I was nearly in tears from laughter and DH (who had not really been interested in it) has declared it as one to add to our own library. I think the last movie to get us laughing so hard was Waking Ned Devine.

So, we are busy, busy, busy and thoroughly enjoying life!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I do love my kids!

OK, so some days lately I have questioned my ability to be a mother let alone teach any thing. But two things have happened this week to help me feel a bit better. First, was a break through with the boys that came much earlier than I would have expected. The boys math skills, although not truly behind, are lagging when compared to their reading. We are working on simple addition, and have begun the addition of double digits ending in zero. But I had this math sheet that was related to our Dinosaur studies (very loosely, but it did have dinosaurs on it). It was adding numbers like 9 +14 and 13 + 12. They were struggling and I was too, until all of a sudden the way of using the blocks to get the answer suddenly clicked for one and then the other. Before long we were adding things like 86 + 54 and getting the correct answer. We were jumping up and down, getting very loud and excited. We were having so much fun, it was hard to stop when the doorbell rang (we had a planned visitor).

Then today: well, let's just say they did something that I bet 99% of kids out there would never think to do, and yet mine seem to do it all the time. We had a math project that included graphing those little candy hearts that are available this time of year. Rather than investing in the little boxes that probably have like 20 candies, I bought a bag and poured them into a bowl. Not realizing it, I had given each of them over 50 candies. Once the math was done, of course they were given permission to eat them and I figured that lunch would be somewhat of a bust. Instead, each child ate maybe half of their candies, declared they were full and wanted to save the rest for later. Yep, all 3 kids, left half or more of the candy for another time.

Yep! I love my kids!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yeah! My Card Store is now open!

Well, it's really been open for about a week and a half, it's just taken a while to get the first cards approved. But I now have 4 in the store ready and waiting for sales, and twice that waiting for approval. You can see my cards or visit my store by clicking on the new widget off to the left or stop by at LMC Designs at Greeting Card Universe!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Been trying to do this all week!

With dinosaurs coming out our ears, I haven't even taken time to post. But I have some of the cutest shots of my fam's ice fishing adventure from last weekend. So, without further ado:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wow - Way too long since I've been here!

My only excuse! Doing too many other things to think about telling you all what they are! Hmmm... and what are they? I'm knitting a project for DDs upcoming birthday, I've shopped till I dropped getting bargains for school projects with the kids and a little project for DHs birthday (of course, it won't be done in time and he knows it!). I've joined the local knitter's guild, Knitters of the North, thanks to a new friend who insisted on paying my dues because DH and I have now fixed her computer a couple of times. I've done so little scrapping that you could hardly say I've done any at all, but I have designed a few greeting cards (I'll hopefully have them in the store this weekend and will let you all know so you can go and order some for your sweeties). And I finally got the entire Book of Centuries printed for the boys. DDs will have to wait a year or two, but she isn't ready for it any way. Of course, then there was the regular school days stuff, the online chats, the bill paying marathons and the meals to be fixed and housework to be done (oh, I know, those are both dirty words aren't they, sorry).

So, that is life in a nutshell!

And for those of you scrappers: we now have a new challenge for the Sunday Scrappers. Come and join us as it looks like it will be tons of fun!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Yeah! My 2 week project is now printing!

OK, I know it will sound silly to many of you, but this project better pay off with the kids! In preparing to start the boys on a much more ambitious reading program I ran across a thing called the Book of Centuries. It is used by many who teach with the Charlotte Mason method (very long so won't try to describe it here). Any way, I also found a little game on the web site for the books we will be using at least part of the time and it included placing the books you have read on the timeline. Hmmmm.... how can I combine the two. And off I went to research the best way to build the timeline so that the kids could record which books have been read and where they fit in history. As of now, the book timeline is printed (yep, it finished while I was typing) and now all I have to do is the blank pages they will fill in as they do the actual historic records too. This is a project that will hopefully follow them throughout their school years and I for one am excited to see how much we can learn!

In the mean time, you all can enjoy a little of what I learned along the way. There is now a timeline widget here on my blog. Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I got brave today!

And signed up for Facebook! I don't know if I will keep it or not. It just doesn't seem secure enough to me. But will give it a try. I do know some of you that are on it. Problem is I've had the account for an hour and already have a request from a total stranger. OK, so I don't mind making new friends, but it does seem a little odd that total strangers want to connect when they know nothing about me.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Look what my boys are doing!

I'm so very proud of them both. With just a little help they are both knitting away! DS#1 is especially excited and seems to have taken to the project with gusto! DD is having a bit more difficulty making a crochet chain, but she isn't even 4 yet! Practice, Practice! (And just a little help from Mom!)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's been a whirlwind week and yet slow as can be. We have visited libraries and attempted to see a lunar eclipse. The boys have worked hard and finished their reader. I'm confident that they could easily test at a second grade level at this time. DD is working slowly and only does her lessons when she wants to, but is absorbing more than she realizes by playing while the boys and I work. She pops up with recognized words at the oddest moments. All in all, the year ended quietly and well.

There were a couple of conversations though that really should be recorded:
DS#1 to DH: "Daddy, how long are you dead?"
DH: "Permanently"
DS#1: (small pause) "That's a long time!"

While watching New Year's Fireworks
DD: "Mommy, are those fairies?"
Me: "Well, they might just be!"
DD: "If I could go over there, the fairies could teach me to fly without wings."
(Isn't that a lovely dream!)