Friday, April 30, 2010

Running.



This week, I have been running. Not actually running, just running around. Like a crazy person. I normally don't plan a whole bunch of stuff, for the sole reason that I don't like to have too much going on. I like to keep things loose enough so when I need to fit unplanned errands or fun, spur of the moment kid activities into our day, I can.

This craziness all started when I switched up my gym routine a couple weeks ago to start going in the mornings on preschool days. The weather is warmer now, so I like to take the kids outside in the afternoons instead of hitting the gym. The only problem with that is that time used to be for my errands. Now, I have to use other time for the errands.

On the upside, nap time is over, so over and quiet time for Frankie is a joke. Hold on, I'm getting to the actual upside! Because of this, I have my afternoons again. I am no longer tied to the house. But, it's soooo strange. For the past five years, my schedule was, home for lunch, nap for about three hours, a little play time, dinner, bath and bed. So, I've always felt this haired rush to finish any and all errands/activities before lunch time because the day was basically over after that. But now, it's not. I'm constantly looking at the clock, feeling stressed because the time is going and I'm not home yet. Then I have a little mental talk with myself and remember it's okay, this is the new norm.

What have we been up to this week?

Monday
playroom at the gym
lunch and play date with Gaga

Tuesday
open house at Grace's new kindergarten
birthday party shopping
fishing and shrimping permits at the Fish and Game Dept
playroom at the gym
Frankie passed out on the couch

Wednesday
playroom at the gym
picnic at Potter's Marsh (a local bird observatory)
play date at Bounce!
Grace passed out on the couch

Thursday
host a craft play date (read: quick pick up of the house!), outside picnic
trip to Costco, this is where I started to crash...
I passed out on the couch

Friday
playroom at the gym
Bouncing Bears with my boy

After I put the kids to bed last night, I took a little rest on the couch and later went to bed at a normal time. Thankfully, this morning was the first time I woke up without feeling like I was back in college and it was finals week. I felt like myself.

And tomorrow's the weekend! WhooHoo!

I have no new pictures for you, other than to enjoy the kids in their cowboy and cowgirl boots. They look so cute in them.

Tomorrow we are going to a party.
How about a weekend post to make up for the couple days I missed this week?
Sound good?



Monday, April 26, 2010

Appearing Nightly.

video

{please excuse the loud background noise; Frank was power washing the truck}

Frankie is such a physical kid. Where Grace will learn by observing or being taught, Frankie picks things up via trial and error or falling over until he doesn't fall over anymore. Ha ha.

This is a small and quick glimpse into his "learning" process.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunny Saturday.

This picture cracks me up. Classic Grace and Frankie.



Saturday was perfect. Perfect I tell you.

We played outside with minimal sweatshirts.
I cleaned up the kids picnic table and we had hot dogs OUTSIDE for lunch.

It was sunny all day long.
The kids were wiped at the end of the day.
Grace said she was so tired and basically put herself to bed at 710p! Ha!

I was so happy. Come on Summer!

11:30p
This is just one of many reasons why we endure the six long months of winter in Alaska.

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Shoes.


I bought Grace these shoes today for her upcoming preschool graduation. All she has are boots; snow boots, fuzzy boots, cowgirl boots, rain boots. I thought a pretty, all-girl pair of shoes would be something nice for her to have for her BIG day. We tried a bunch on and she decided on these. The girl is in heaven. She put them on as soon as she got home and has been "click-ity-ca-lack-ity-ing" all over the house ever since, just like Ramona did with her new shoes. She hugged me sooooo tight when I bought them for her and has said thank you about ten times.
This is one of the things that I love about little kids. It takes just so little to make them so immensely happy.

The sun is shinning and we are heading outside to help those six inches of snow we got yesterday melt.
I hope you have a great weekend!

See you Monday, friends.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sliding Barn Doors.

Do have a part of your house that just bugs you?!
You think to yourself, "this just does not work for me"?
I do.
I have a funny extra door in my master bedroom. I'm somewhat glad I have it in the summertime because it does help to block out the extra sunlight we get in the middle of the night, but mainly, it's just in my way. It can't open all the way because of the bed and there's not another place to put the bed due to closets on opposites sides of the room and then the lone window taking up the final wall. So to recap, I have a closet on two walls, a large window in the middle of the third wall and a door, basically in the middle of the fourth wall. Sometimes I think, I'm just going to lose the door. But then I think agian and I decide that sometimes I'd like to have it... I would love to solve this problem, if you will, with a sliding barn door. I just think these babies are so beautiful.

Here's some of my favorites:

{image found here}
Love how rustic this looks against the white.

{image found here}
I love that lime door with all the white. So clean.

{image found here}

{image found here}
I really like how this one is over a stair; interesting.
The galvanized metal hardware is cool looking too.




Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Birthday Book.


I found this great cookbook for Grace.
I can't wait for her to open it.
Just wait until you see how cute it is...


Cinderella Cake.
Are you kidding me? Perfect.


I love that this book as written instructions as well as picture instructions.

I think she's going to love it.

What's Cooking: Everyday Food Strawberry Bread


With strawberry season here (!), I love to bake some of this up for a lovely breakfast, tea time or after nap/quiet time treat. Spread a little cream cheese, this bread is delicious.

Ingredients serves 8

  • 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled, quartered, and mashed with a fork
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan. In a small saucepan, bring strawberries to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, and eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with 1/3 cup water, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in reserved strawberries.
  3. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour (tent with foil after 45 minutes if top is getting too dark). Cool in pan 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges; invert onto a rack. Reinvert; cool completely.
From Everyday Food, July/August 2004

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Silly Question.


me: "Grace, what are you up to?"

grace: "I'm sitting on the most giant snowball I've made in my life!"


Friday, April 16, 2010

Feeding of the Geese.

Yesterday morning was lovely.
The sun was out, the sky was brilliant blue and the geese were hungry.
We went equipped with a bag of unwanted Multi-Grain Cheerios.
Fortunately these geese were all too happy to eat them.



The kids had a great time throwing out their Cheerios. Grace kept calling them with her geese talk, "Honk, honk, honk". Then Frankie picked it up because he must have figured that's what you do when you threw Cheerios. So for every throw he said, "Honk!". It was cute.



Today is gray and cold and blustery.
It was Pajama Day at preschool, so both the kids are in their jammies.
Not a bad idea...

Have a great weekend. I'll see you Monday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15th


I totally forgot what I was going to tell you today!

Today is a big day.

To everyone else (non Alaskans, that is...) April 15th is Tax Day, but to us, today is a great day.

Today, the small boat harbor re-opens!

Which means, we made it!

Made it through another winter and we are READY, SO READY to hit it.

Whittier, here we come!

Stripes, You're French, Aren't You?


Sorry for the lack of post yesterday. It snowed all day long. We got about six inches of snow all over my lovely driveway and on top of the remaining three feet or so that's still left to melt. It put me in less than a cheery mood. Not a bad mood really, just more of an enough-already type of mood. You know? So I ironed and looked out the window with disdain.

But... Today the sun is shining and we have a playdate with the geese and story time at the library. We will trudge through the snow (and hopefully slush!) and have a great morning.

In the meantime, I will admit I am longing for one of these shirts from LLBean. I know they are super popular right now and I usually stay away from fad fashion, but I have always loved these shirts, so they're more of a classic piece, right?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Socialist Geese!

{Grace feeding the geese from a couple years ago}

Last year, the kids were riding around in the car with Frank and Grace spotted some geese and said something to the effect of, "There's some Canadian Geese". Frank then proceed to inform her that those were actually Socialist Geese. (And yes, if you're wondering, I fully anticipate making several trips to the school over the coming years to deal with the outcome of having little Frank Nobles.) Ha ha, right?! Well that has totally stuck with her and now that it's spring time and the geese are coming back, she is constantly yelling, "Socialist Geese! Socialist Geese!".

Today was a busy morning (we left the house at 8am!) of running around; gym first, then on to a quick stop at the dentist for Grace, Costco and another quick stop at the library to pick up some books that were on hold. The lawn at the library is always a hot spot for geese, so when we saw them, Grace wanted to stop and feed them Cheerios. I'm sure it will come to no suprise that I carry all manner of snacks in the car for the kids. However since I no longer bring Cheerios, I had to promise a day of geese feeding for Thursday.

Should be fun. I only wish it will be warm enough to include a picnic lunch.

Just a few more weeks...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Georgia, The Wacko

inside the art cabinet

being of no help, whatsoever

inside Frankie's dump truck


This cat cracks me up.

She is a sucker for boxes, small totes, and any kind of luggage.
If you're bent over for too long, she feels entitled to snuggle down.

She even went through a time where the bathroom sink was the naptime spot of choice.

I am so happy the kids have a pet.
Grace loves her and calls her a friend.
Frankie is starting to understand that Georgia has feelings too.
He will now go and get a string and together they run around the house.

When he does that, I wish I could get him a dog.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hooky

{waiting in line for the fish pond}

Where have I been all day, right?

We blew off the whole day! And it was great.

After I dropped off Grace at preschool this morning, Frank and I went to the gym.
(no, that's not a type-o).

Then we got a cup of coffee, picked up Grace and went to a drive-thru car wash.

Grace asked if we could go out to lunch, at the totem pole place (Arctic Roadrunner) for hamburgers. We said YES!

Then we went to the Sportsman's Show.
We looked at boats and fishing poles and animal skins and boat engines.
Every booth had something to give away. The kids were in heaven.

And we went to the kiddie fishing pond, where Grace caught a fish!

The sky was completely clear and the sun was shining so much I didn't use my coat past 10am.
I think it made us a little delirious.
We even had the sunroof open.

We skipped nap/quiet time.
No one had fruit with lunch.
I loved today.
Frank was with us the whole time and we were just for each other today.
Grace said it was THE BEST DAY EVER.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring in Alaska Part Two

One of the benefits (maybe the ONLY benefit...) of spring time snow is that it's great snowman building snow.
This is the second snowman we built;
the first was sacrificed to the signature body slam move that Frankie has perfected.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What's Cooking: Everyday Food Macaroni and Cheese

{image via here}

With all the leftover ham I have from Easter, I thought this was a great way to use some of it up. (Sadly, I still have A LOT more...) But even if you don't have leftover ham, this mac and cheese recipe is so good you should go out and get some. Just good comfort food, that goes together easily, freezes great and is excellent leftover. You can't go wrong.

Ingredients serves 8

Course salt and pepper
1 lb elbow pasta, cooked and drained
4 T butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 c. flour
4 c milk
1/8 t cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/4 c (5 oz) cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/4 c (5oz) white cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz ham, diced
2 slices white bread

If you like, use just one type of cheddar or mix with another melting cheese, such as pepper Jack, Muenster, Swiss, or mozzarella.

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cook pasta, and drain; reserve. Meanwhile, in a 5-quart heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in flour to coat onion. In a slow steady stream, whisk in milk until there are no lumps.
  2. Cook, whisking often, until mixture is thick and bubbly and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in cayenne, if using, and 1 cup each yellow and white cheddar cheese. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  3. Toss pasta with cheese mixture; fold in ham. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or individual dishes. Set aside.
  4. In a food processor, pulse bread until large crumbs form. Toss together with remaining ¼ cup each white and yellow cheddar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Top pasta with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until top is golden, about 30 minutes.

Note: This recipe makes enough to fill eight 12-to-16-ounce baking dishes. Divide the macaroni and cheese evenly, sprinkle with topping, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.

Spring in Alaska Part One


The pictures from earlier were from yesterday.

This is a picture of what greeted me this morning.

And now it's snowing again.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Play Date with my Boy


Frank's truck has required some babying so it's been hanging out in the driveway until the parts arrived. Yesterday morning, he opted to shuttle Grace to preschool so he could have my car all day. This left me with the rare opportunity to stay home, alone with my Frankie Boy.

We messed around in the morning, playing inside, switching laundry, emptying the dishwasher, changing sheets, then after a quick shower, we headed outside for some playtime. Every year, I am so grateful to have the waterproof pants. They extend our outside time and save me from so much extra laundry.



We had a great time riding the Big Wheels (race cars), wagon rides, jumping through hula hoops, splashing in muddy puddles and playing in the little house.

Easter!

So. On Saturday night, I hung the kids' Easter bags on their doorknobs and told them that the Easter Bunny would come in the middle of the night and leave a surprise inside. They loved that idea, very similar to Santa... Flash forward to Sunday morning, where I am woken up by a tearful, heartbroken little girl, carrying an EMPTY bag. "Mommy, the Easter Bunny didn't come last night. The Easter Bunny forgot me. The Easter Bunny didn't leave me anything in my bag". She's saying all of this while she's looking between her empty bag and into the depths of my soul.

I totally forgot to put any of the Easter stuff out.
I didn't hide the eggs. I didn't put their new stuffed animals into their bags.
I just completely forgot.

So I told her that the Easter Bunny was tricky and while she snuggled with Daddy in bed, I would look around and see if I could find where the Easter Bunny "hid" her Easter loot. After about five frantic minutes of hiding all the eggs and "hiding" the stuffed animals, I gave Grace a hint on where she should look. She was perfectly happy after that. In her mind, this incident just furthered concreted the fact that the Easter Bunny was indeed, tricky.

The rest of the morning was pretty typcal. We had to wait for Frankie to wake up and then they hunted. At first the hunting consisted of Grace checking the house like a mad man with Frankie following behind her. When she would find eggs, she would give one to him and keep one for herself. I thought that was very nice. Then Frankie caught on to the point of the egg hunt and the niceness was over. It was very man for himself. There weren't many eggs left by then so the drama didn't last too long.


After all the eggs were collected, they went to their separate corners and opened their eggs. Frankie opened all of his, all over the floor. Grace opened all of her eggs and sorted the eggs and their contents by color. Their behaviors are so inline with their personalities. Always interesting to see how different they are.

For breakfast, I used MY loot from my basket or in this case the brown box that nice UPS man delivered! Isn't it so thrilling to get a box with your name on it from a store you LOVE without having placed an order? Well, I think it is. Thank you, Mom and Gigi!

I got this!
An Ebelskiver Pan (filled pancakes)

{image via here}

And made these.



I thought they were great. I used lots of different fillings: Nutella, lemon curd, peanut butter, and my raspberry jam. All tasty, but I liked Nutella the best. Next time, I'm going to dice up some apples and make a little apple pie filling to put inside. Should be tasty.

I thought the kids were going to love them too; that they would be like another Easter surprise. I was wrong. So wrong. The way they carried on, you would have thought I filled them with mushy peas.
Oh well. I'll keep trying.

The rest of the day was pretty easy going. Frank and the kids worked on the boat, putting in a new heater and running hoses to get the heat to different parts of the boat. I went out there for a bit and played Go Fish with Grace. It was so relaxing. I love the boat. Can't wait to get back out on the water.

We had ham, twice-baked potatoes and broccoli. Grace made decorations for the table.
A cut out bunny for the middle and bunny place mats.
All very nice.
I hope you all had a lovely day as well.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Bones Dance

Do you mind another video?
I love this. I'm so happy I have this memory on tape. I could watch it all day.

Frankie has a pair of skeleton pajamas leftover from Halloween a couple years ago. I don't know how or why he made this up, but we call the pajamas his Bones pajamas and the resulting dance his Bones Dance. He's a little camera shy (that's why there's two, it took two tries to get the full effect) because he will do this little dance all over the house, over and over.

I. Love. It.

video video

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