Monday, May 31, 2010

Swimming Lessons.



The kids have been taking swimming lessons.
Grace LOVES it;
can't wait to get her swimsuit on in the morning and hit the pool.

Frankie was excited on the first day, but had a little mishap after he got in the water, (he accidentally dunked himself) and has been a little apprehensive since.
He doesn't want to get his eyes wet.
Anywhere.
Even in the bathtub.

So his second lesson, he wore his sunglasses.
My little Stevie Wonder.

For the level they're both at, the lessons are pretty basic.
Back float.
Front float.
Kicking.
Blowing bubbles.
Jumping in.
Dunking head underwater (I hope!).


This is Frankie "holding" onto the wall. He's still a little worried.


Grace waiting for her turn to jump in.
She loves it.

Frankie "jumping" in.



I thought this picture was so cute.
Grace had scouted out this mirror in the locker room on our first lesson.
She had planned on combing her own hair with her own HelloKitty! comb.
She was so thrilled there was a "big girl" doing the same thing at the same time.
Meanwhile, Frankie was being a wackadoo, running around, jumping in and out of the lockers.
Typical.

Frankie is three.



My boy is three. He's always been such a big baby/kid, I've never really felt like he's my "baby", just, "my boy".
For the past six months, when asked how old he was going to be on his birthday, he's say, "Thomas for my birthday", then "chocolate cake".
But the day after his birthday, when asked, he "three" without any hestitation.
-Sigh-
Growing up.
It truly is bittersweet.


I love so many things about him;
his ease of laughter and goofiness,
the way his hair flips out on the sides,
his need for crashing, thrashing and dashing,
his crocked smile,
the way he'll make ANYTHING into a trailer,
his sensitivity and love for his family,
his need for juice,
his soft, soft cheeks.

Just to name a few...

We didn't do much exciting for celebrating;
opening presents + eating cake...
Just the good parts.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sightseeing Via Train.


Look what I found for the kids and I to see the sights!
And kids under 6, are free!!
I do believe Frankie is going to pass out with sheer excitement.

Speaking of Frankie, tomorrow is a big day.
Finally, the loooong awaited day of Thomas and Chocolate Cake.
Oh, and he's going to be three.
But that's merely an excuse for Thomas and Chocolate Cake.

Beach Bound.



This is Grace's first trip to the beach.



Frankie's first trip was when he was just four months old.

Now we are going back.
To the beach.
In Florida!
So excited.

We are basically going to be stowaways for a conference that Frank has to go to. (Poor Frank, right?!) So while he's in class or lectures or training, the kids and I are going to be poolside or beachside (or IKEA!! ha ha).

This trip came together pretty last minute, so it was been List City around here.
I'll keep you posted.



Monday, May 24, 2010

Esther Island Whales, #2.







Here they are.

These animals are truly magnificent.



Anchorage Hanging Baskets.

{image found here}
This is what I have on my mind.
Hanging baskets.
The kids and I put some together and we just have to wait for them to fill in a bit.

Did you know that the city of Anchorage puts up over 100,000 of these babies all over town?! Wow. The Anchorage Daily Newspaper says they cost about $135 to grow and maintain each basket. Yowza. In fact, it was recently voted to reduce spending on all the flowers by $159,000, bringing the total DOWN to $2 million.
Doesn't that seem crazy?!
I know I love all those beautiful baskets and they are EVERYWHERE.

In other news, boating did not work out for us this weekend. When Frank came back to the dock to pick us up, the motor was making some kind of knocking noise. We left the harbor anyway, but after some floating and tinkering, we discovered that the engine wasn't shifting gears. So we had to use the 9.9 HR engine to slowly, slowly make our way back into the harbor. We were so fortunate that it wasn't windy and we didn't encounter any problems along the way. There is little to no control with the little bitty motor.

Even though boating didn't work out, it was nice to be home. The weather was lovely so we messed around outside all weekend. Frank completely buffed and polished every inch of the 30 foot boat. She is literally gleaming now. I washed the outside of the windows and together, Frank and I cleared some property to make more room for growing stuff.

Frankie and I have a spring cold. Blah.
I think we are getting better...



Saturday, May 22, 2010

Esther Island Whales



Frank went took the boat out a day early, without me and the kids and he saw whales!
Two whales.
And they were eating!!

So cool.
Here's the best video we have and I'll look through the pictures and put up some good ones.

Enjoy!



Friday, May 21, 2010

Pretty Vegetables.

{image found here.}

I wish I could tell you how much I love this picture.
The colors, the greens left on, the ties on the carrots...
Doesn't it just make you want to grow something?!

I started planting all my pots and baskets last week.
My tulips are coming up and so are my peonies!

This week I have to transfer my parsley outside and plant my potatoes.
I hope you have some green coming up somewhere!



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pretty Printable.

Isn't this just lovely?
I found it over at Creature Comforts.
She always has beautiful things to look at.

It's free!!
Click here to download it now + send a friend some happy mail.

We are off to boat again this weekend.
Hope you have sunshine.
See you Monday, friends!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reading Rendezvous!


What a great start to any Saturday when this is what's looking back at you from the rear view!

We went to the Reading Rendezvous hosted over at the library this past weekend.
Packed down with a picnic lunch and a blanket, we were ready for a great day in the sun.

This event is the annual kick-off for the summer reading program here in Anchorage and let me tell you, they do not mess around! There were booths everywhere, a stage, balloons.
It was so much fun.

Grace has become obsessed with the microphone. She literally ran up to this lady so she could answer the questions she was asking any of the passersby's.


The lady asked her what her favorite book was; Grace answered, "Ramona".


Then we walked around for a bit, hitting the booths.

Frankie found this one right away!



These giant balloon things were all over; I thought they were so great looking.



Next was the mandatory lunch, but we started eating right when the music started so Grace wasn't that into sitting around. She was up and out, right in front, dancing and singing.



Frankie was pretty mellow about the whole thing. He sat with me and ate his lunch. At one point he got up and danced around with Grace, but he mostly just laid in the sun, on the blanket with me and watched. I loved every second of it. I could see Grace enjoying herself, being super independent while I got some good snuggle, quiet time (IN THE SUN!!) with my boy. I remember thinking, "I am so blissfully happy". Sunshine will do that to an Alaskan, you know!




After all the music and dancing, I made Grace finish her lunch and then we walked around to the rest of the booths. We made bookmarks, drew pictures of favorite books, got to pet some animals, all great stuff.

Then the magician was starting his act. So back onto the blanket for me and Frankie and Grace hit the front row. She was one of the first volunteers.

She got to "talk" through the canned phone.


and send a "fax"!




She thought this guy was hilarious!

Now, let me tell you something I loved.
One of the big sponsors was Target.
Look what they were giving away!!!


Super cute CANVAS bags!!!

I have no idea how I ended up with two of them...
Love those rope handles and the rivets.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What's Cooking: Biscotti



So. I don't entirely remember where this recipe came from. I do remember it's from a little book that has a whole bunch of biscotti recipes in, probably entitled, "Biscotti". But since I can't remember, I can't accurately disclose whose recipes this actually is.

But I like it. It's very simple to make; messy, but simple. AND, my favorite part. There's no fat in it. Ha!! Now, I'm not saying these are fat free, per say, I'm just saying you won't find such things as butter or Crisco or oil on the ingredient list. Not bad, right? I think they are excellent dipped in coffee or tea and are great for breakfast or snack time or any time you need a little pick me up.



Biscotti serves yourself!

3/4 c Almonds or Walnuts
3 Eggs
1 t. Vanilla
1/4 t. Almond Extract
2 c. Flour
7/8 c. Sugar (1/8 c Raw sugar) ((I know, right?! Whaaaaa? See below))
1 t. Baking Soda
dash of salt

Place nuts in shallow pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

In a small bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and almond extract with a whisk. In larger bowl, combine flour, sugar, soda and salt. Add egg mixture and mix until blended. Will be VERY sticky.

Chop cooled nuts and mix in. Divide dough in half, forming two logs about 1/2" thick, 1 1/2" wide and 12" long, spacing them at least 2" apart. (They will not look pretty at this point; don't worry, they bake up beautifully!)

Bake in the middle of a 300 degree oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer from baking sheet to cooling rack. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing at a 45 degree angle.
(I remember it was at this point in the book that they tell you to put the sliced biscotti back into the oven to make them crispy, I want to say about 3-5 minutes... I like mine slightly chewy, so I skip this step and start eating!)

***As for the sugar, I take a 1 cup dry measuring cup, eye ball it to about three quarters and then add raw sugar on top of that until it looks like there's only 1/8 of a cup left... Very scientific, I know. But I haven't had any problems.



Monday, May 17, 2010

Mother's Day Gift.


This is what I got for Mother's Day.
Isn't she beautiful?!
I love that it's white and simple; one switch, low, high, off.

She works wonderfully.
I make the kids fruit smoothies just about everyday.
I've even started throwing in some spinach and they still love it.

Grace will tell Frankie what's in the smoothie everyday. It goes like this:

Grace:
"Frankie, today we are having peaches and strawberries and orange juice. There's a little bit of lettuce too, but that's okay."


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