Monday, December 26, 2011

Building Gingerbread Houses.

We make gingerbread houses every year. I see the kits in the stores and shake my head, thinking something along the lines of, "Sheesh, lazy... Just use some graham crackers and some icing and a milk carton and whatever toppings you already have". Well this year, I got off my high horse and bought two kits from Target. I justified it because they were on sale for $5.

What a moron I've been. The kits are awesome!!
And get this, they come with everything! Who knew.

Even though both kids needed my help to glue the pieces together, it was very easy going. After waiting the 30 minutes for the icing to harden, they got going on the decorations. I was so proud that neither of them copied the box. They each had their own ideas and if they need help with extra icing, they told me EXACTLY what they had in mind and watched very closely to make sure I wasn't confused...

Here they are, proudly showing off their houses.




And the side by side views


And the little details.
Frankie's is on the left and Grace's is on the right.


In other news, I love Christmas break.
It's as though the kids remember they are friends and actually do fun together.
For the past two nights, they've begged me for a sleepover in Frankie's room.
Frankie says, "Can we please have one room with two kids?"
He holds up his little fingers up to visually show me what he's talking about.

It's so stinking cute.
Of course I say yes. But the one rule is the room has to be clean for the sleepover to happen.
Last night, they started cleaning at 4:30p to ensure proper cleanliness.
Frankie sleeps with several flashlights, a sting of star lights from Ikea and a Lighting McQueen nightlight, among other things.
(We finally smartened up and started using rechargeable batteries.)
So they have a "light party" for a little bit. I let them mess around for 15 minutes or so before I go back in to shut the party down. Lights go right out and they snuggle down, no arguments.
Don't tell anyone, but last night I secretly went into Grace's room for the sole purpose of imagining it to be my craft room! Ha!!
I don't really think that would happen, but it was nice to think about it.

Over and out.




Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas!


Happy Christmas!
From a bunch of snow-crazed wackos.
Love, Kariane and two the short people





Thursday, November 10, 2011

Frank Noble in a Skirt.

I say this all the time, referring to Grace.
"She's Frank Noble in a skirt."
I mean, just look at them.
They are the same.

This was taken in the airport, on our way to Annapolis, Appolis as Frankie calls it.
We went back in September.

Here's my Frankie boy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reindeer Farm, Palmer, Alaska.

We went out to the Reindeer Farm in Palmer for the Halloween festivities.
There was a big hay maze, pony rides, a pumpkin patch
and hay rides pulled by TRACTORS!




It was cold and frosty, but we still had fun.
I was so grateful for my auto-start in my car.
It was lovely to come back to an already-warm car.


I don't have any pictures of our trick or treating.
I have a hard time getting into costumes for the kids because we have to wear jackets and snow pants and boots and hats and gloves in order to go trick or treating.
Takes a lot of the fun out of dressing up.

This year we had snow on the ground and snow coming down while we collected our candy.
Brrrr...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Grade and Preschool Pictures.

So here we are, finally.
I've felt so busy recently.
It seems like there are so many other pressing things to do other than to sit in front of the computer and edit pictures.


But as promised, here are their first day of school pictures.
Grace remembered taking them last year and was happy to pose and smile pretty.


Frankie on the other hand wanted NOTHING to do it me and taking pictures.
He wanted to get going and not waste time smiling for the camera.

What's funny is as he was sitting on my lap getting the pictures ready, he wanted to know why he wasn't smiling. And why he looked "like that". After I reminded him of his attitude that morning, he agreed that, yes, smiling for pictures is no fun. Boys.

I will try to do better about posting more regularly.

Seasons are changing. Most of the leaves are down (and my rake is calling my name...), the frost is getting thicker every morning, and there is snow on the mountain tops. Soon our activities will be shifting to spending more time indoors.
After a busy summer, it's always nice to get caught up inside.
Art projects, play-doh, painting...
This is the time of year, I SO wish we could go apple-ing. I would love to take the kids to an apple farm, pick bushels of apples, eat mile-high slices of apple pie and come home with some freshly pressed apple cider. I can just see Frankie sitting under an apple tree with an apple he picked himself, biting into it with the sweet juices dripping off his chin. Happiness, I tell you. If you can, go drive to an apple farm. Wear plaid or tweed or a big sweater. Pick apples and be happy with simple things. We would join you if we could!




Sunday, August 21, 2011

First Grade and Preschool.

Tomorrow everybody goes back to school.

Grace to the first grade and
Frankie to three day a week preschool!

Tonight at bedtime, Frankie asked me "if I was going to miss them in the house".
I said, "Yes, of course I'm going to miss you in the house".

Then he gave me "a great big squeeze and a kiss on yours nose".
I love how he always says, "yours".

It does seem so hard to believe that summer is over.
The days are getting cooler and the leaves are already changing.
Sigh.

Check back tomorrow for First Day of School pictures.

Until then, here's the Crazies.
Grace with the fish bonker
and
Frankie's pirate face, ARRRRAAAGH!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fun Family Biking.

Today was a great day.

About a month ago, Frank and I decided Frankie was totally ready to take off his training wheels. To the point where they were slowing him down.
He got the hang of it right away.

Then we thought to ourselves, Frankie is four, Grace should totally be doing this.
So we took hers off too.

We (Frank) had to "work" with her a little more, but she finally got it.



We spent some time practicing in parking lots, found a couple incline/declines for practicing uphill pedaling and downhill breaking...

Until...

Today, this was my view.


I have been dreaming of this day where we would all go bike riding together.
It was awesome.
The weather was perfect;
we went biking on Campbell Creek Trail.

One last shot of Frankie, resting off trail while he and I waited for Grace and Frank to catch up.

ps. At one point we were riding past a lake. Grace, being Grace, "lost control" of her bike and drove off trail, almost going into the drink. As I was helping her up, I told her I was so glad she didn't drive into the lake. Now, her reply was hilarious. Imagine her, 100% serious. She says, "Yeah, me too. I'm not wearing my swimsuit". I'm still laughing as I type this. Classic Grace.



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chicken Update.

I never could have dreamed I would enjoy keeping chickens as much as I do.
They are a delight.
They eat my weeds.
They eat my kitchen scraps/leftovers.
Happily.
My little lovelies hear me coming,
they know my footsteps.
They get themselves all worked up trying to get to the door first.


I love to sit and watch them.
See all the red around Sally's (the white one) face, that means she's growing up!
AND that means eggs are a coming!
Although my money is on Big Alice
(the black one).

All of the chickens are sounding more chicken-ish,
with cluck-cluck-clucking and less peeping.
I love it!

As lame as it sounds, they totally have a schedule.
They are up early, mess around for a few hours
eating and scratching
and then they all go "upstairs" to the coop to take a nap.

Then more messing around, a little sun nap,
more messing around and then another upstairs nap.

I have noticed that with the light changing up here in Alaska, so is their night time schedule.
Where they used to go to bed around 11-ish, they have now, over the past three nights, pushed themselves up to 10pm.


This beauty is named Nurse Ratched and rightly so.
She runs the show here at the Coop De Noble.
Tonight I watched all the chickens go upstairs for the night
and then this one did two laps around the run,
checked upstairs,
came back to the run for one last look
and then went to bed.

Very interesting these chickens.

I also picked up this little extra.
I couldn't help myself...
Darn you, etsy!

Espcially since Grace has an egg-collecting-outfit picked out,
complete with head scarf...

Seems so wrong for her not to have a basket, right?

Hopefully, just another few short weeks away.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sleeping Kids.


It's summertime, what can I say...?
We've been busy doing everything and nothing.

I caught the kids in these two pictures
and thought they were ultra cute.

*** Note: these pictures were lit by the light
coming in through their windows.

Summer nights in Alaska are bright.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Love and Homer, Alaska.

We've been in Homer, Alaska the past few days.
Frank and his friend, Glen, went fishing overnight.



This is Frank coming up the dock and reuniting with the kids.
It shows me that although "Mom" is great and needed for so many things,
nothing replaces "Daddy".
I can only imagine what Frankie's face looks like.
Happiness and love.
I am so blessed.

I found an awesome Homer find.
Wow. Love it.



I saw this chocolate bread in the case
and didn't think twice about grabbing one for my boy.
Everything we got was tasty.
To make the whole experience even better,
out back is an entire area devoted to kids.
Lots of toys and trucks (!)
and kid-sized picnic tables for short people...
It was lovely.

Grace and I set up an obstacle course with the different sized
hula hoops and Frankie busied himself
with the wide variety of cars and trucks.
The sun was shining and we were happy.
Lattes, baked goods, trucks galore!
What could be better?!

I was too busy drinking coffee
and basking in the sunshine to be bothered with pictures!


We stopped to grab some shots of this beauty.
Such an amazing creature, isn't it?
I was super lucky to get this shot.
So cool.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grace's Last Day of Kindergarden.


Look how far she's come!


Just hours away from being a first grader!

So proud.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Last Days; I need a tissue.

Tomorrow is the last day of kindergarden for Grace.

I am so emotional about this.
I can't actually label the emotion, but it's overwhelming.

Kindergarden still seems so small, so little, so young.
First grade does not.

Today was the class picnic and as I was looking around at everyone, I got all teared up.
Again!
I'm like the Mommy Who Wouldn't Stop Crying!

I am currently taking a break from writing my "thank you" letters to the amazing women we were fortunate enough to have as Grace's first teacher and her equally amazing TA.

How do you accurately express how grateful and deeply appreciative you are to the people who not only care for your child the majority of the day but help teach and mold her into to a promising person?! Are you sensing my emotions?
They are plentiful.

I plan on taking some "last day of school" pictures and posting alongside the "first day of school" pictures so we can all compare (and cry into our coffee cups!) together.

See you tomorrow.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Boating and Whales.

The four of us went out boating for the day.
We dropped the shrimp pots
and messed around for a few hours.

On the way back to the harbor, we saw this beauty.



She was so active,
breeching four times
and slapping her fins on the water.


So amazing.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Grace is Six. And a Garden Fairy Party.

Shocking, I know.
She wanted a fairy party.

For decorations,
I hung balloons upside down from the ceiling
(read: no $$$ helium necessary. Thank you gravity!).
For the walls,
we made paper napkin flowers from pretty napkins,
and Grace and I cut and colored butterflies.





The party started with all attendee's adorning bright pink glitter fairy wings for the girls and a fairy-catching net for our one boy.


Then the kids colored a cut-out picture of a fairy
which would later be used in our game,
Pin the Fairy on the Flower.


After the fairy was colored,
the kids colored/decorated their own
goody bags and flower pots.


Finally, they made fairy crowns with
beads,
pipe cleaners
and flowing ribbons and tole.


(love the bed head. That's after water and a brushing!)

After all the decorating,
we trouped outside to actually plant
the blooming petunias in the new pots.
This turned out to be a much slower process than I expected.
It wasn't a problem,
because they just ran around until it was their turn
at the tub o' dirt.

Things got a little crazy here, so no pictures.

When the pots were planted and water,
we made a visit to the chicks.
The kids LOVED seeing and holding all the chicks.
The chicks didn't.

Eight kids, eight chicks.
The chicks were happy to be left alone in their big blue tote.

Following a quick hand washing by all were,
FAIRY CAKES!!



We also had freckled lemonade
(lemonade with muddled strawberries).
I was surprised all but two liked the strawberries.

More handwashing...

Game time.
We played Pin the Fairy on the Flower
and everyone got a prize.



The other game we played was Musical Toadstools.
I've been grabbing the big sheets of plain cardboard from Costco (you know, the ones that separates the levels of paper towels and TP)
to have around the house for the kids to color on
and thought they would be perfect to use
for homemade toadstools.
I used a big lid as a guide,
cut them out and spray painted them red.
Then I used a big 2" punch
to get white paper circles,
which Grace glued on.

Presto, change-o,
Toadstools!

I searched around iTunes until I found
a few fairy-ish songs I liked
and that was our music.
We played the game twice.
The kids really got into it.
And surprisingly, no one minded when they were out.
The winners got a prize.

After the games, came presents.
Lovely, fairy presents.

Then I kicked everybody outside to wait for their parents.
Ha!
They were all too happy.

No one wanted to leave and I wasn't exhausted.
Win, win.
I basically had the cupcake crumbs to clean up and that was it.
Easy, easy.

Grace was super happy.


I'll spare you the annual
weepy,
my-baby-is-six-where-has-the-time-gone? routine
and just say,
I love my girl
and I'm so blessed that she's mine.





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