Saturday, January 31, 2009

Three Meese

Across the street at our mailboxes.

I always thought that the plural of moose should be meese. :)

This morning, while the house was abuzz with getting ready to leave for art classes, I noticed that cars kept slowing down or stopping in front of our house. I thought that was odd.

When I looked out the window, I saw that there was a moose in our driveway. So, I did what anyone would have done, and I grabbed my camera and stepped outside into the negative 20 degree weather (in flip-flops of course) to take a picture or two.

When I got outside, I noticed that there were two more moose near my fence. They like to hang out in groups :)

Until you see one in person, you can't believe how tall they are. It's pretty amazing.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tackling the Clothes Monster

We have a big, ugly monster living in our closet. The CLOTHES MONSTER. And he has to go!!

I'm having organizational problems with all of our clothing and it's really starting to get out of control.

First, there are the clothes that we are each currently wearing. This includes the summer clothes that need to be packed away and the winter clothes (which take up so much space!). This also includes leotards for dance and gymnastics, along with vests for AWANA and Girl Scouts. This alone is enough to handle, but of course there is more.

I have the clothes that Nick has grown out of.

And the clothes that Tori has grown out of.

And the clothes that Lexie has grown out of and Tori will grow into.

And the clothes that Kate has grown out of and Lexie will grow into.

And the clothes that Ellie has grown out of and Kate will grow into.

And the clothes that don't quite fit Ellie or Nick yet (but I bought them early or was given them).

And the clothes that I haven't worn in 5-10 years. (which I AM finally getting rid of!)

Do you see my problem? It's not just clothes either - there are shoes in various sizes that no one can currently fit into.

I can't get rid of them, because that would be wasteful. I don't think we're going to have anymore kids, but I don't want to get rid of them quite yet (you never know!). And I'm holding out to give them to my sister when I'm done with them (as soon as they are ready of course - no pressure!).

Theoretically, it would be easy enough to just put the kids' clothes in boxes labeled with the size/sex and pack them away. The problem is that the kids are CONSTANTLY growing in and out of the clothes. Between them growing and the changing seasons, it is so hard for me to stay on top of it. This is in part because I have packed the boxes in a very inaccessible place under the stairs.

I am trying to tackle the problem tonight. It is not fun. I decided that I needed a minute of rest (and the baby needed to be nursed) so I thought I would blog out my frustrations.

Wish me luck!! If you don't hear from me for a couple of days, then maybe I have drowned in clothes!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

So Busy

I have been so busy that I have barely been able to blog.

I decided to completely rearrange the house. I have given the older 2 girls their own bedrooms and made the playroom the bedroom for Nick and Lexie to share. That involved a lot of moving furniture and clothes. In the past 2 days, I have:

1. Moved my treadmill to my bedroom (which involved pulling it sideways down the hall and removing my bedroom door)
2. Moved a dresser and 2 beds downstairs.
3. Put together a full sized bookshelf (Making mistakes which I had to redo along the way).
4. Rearranged the living room.
5. Went grocery shopping at the commissary.
6. Went shopping at Walmart.
8. Went to the furniture store for the bookshelves.
9. Tried to keep my sanity while Ellie is spending the night at a friend's house. She is the one who watches Nick when I need a minute or two to do something. Kate was watching him while I was putting together the bookshelves. He took a butter knife to the BRAND NEW flat screen TV. It has been VERY hard not to loose my temper too much.

Tonight or tomorrow, I will be rearranging the closets and cleaning up my bedroom (which is pretty crowded now with the addition of the full-size treadmill.). Then, hopefully I will be done and we can all enjoy our new bedrooms :)

I'm also going to make our monthly trip to Sam's Club tomorrow. We got our paycheck and tax return in one day, so it has been nice to have some extra money!! Most of it is going to bills. I'm paying off our Expedition - it will be so nice to not have a car payment anymore!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


What is a normal homeschooling day?

Are we ever going to have one?

It seems like there is always something coming up. Holidays. Illness. Deployments. Moves. Appointments. Blah days.

Don't get me wrong. We have our "perfect" homeschooling days too. I just have to remind myself that it isn't going to happen every day and we have to go with the flow - without fighting it so much.

After this past month of holidays, and vacation time with Andy, I'm finding it hard to get back into the swing of things. We'll get there. I know that I shouldn't expect to jump right back in where we left off. We're working our way back up to full speed. I'm hoping to be there by Monday!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY January 26, 2009:
Outside my window... it is snowing very lightly. As much as I don't care to shovel snow or drive in it, I love watching it snow. There is something so calming about it.
I am thinking...that I am so glad I will be getting my tax return at the end of this week!!
I am thankful for...having Andy here for 2 weeks. We got to spend a lot of great family time together. He is now back to Iraq for the next 8 months :(
From the learning rooms...We're starting our studies on Ancient Greece (which I love!) We're studying Rocks and Minerals in science.
From the kitchen...Andy is gone and we're back to a much different eating schedule. No more pancakes and sausage every other morning for breakfast. It was plain old cereal this morning. Not exciting, but easy :)
I am wearing...sweats and flip-flops. I will eventually get dressed!
I am creating...a mess!
I am the grocery store for milk and some fruit and veggies.
I am reading...Smithsonian magazine
I am hoping...that we can get all of our schoolwork done today.
I am hearing...the sounds of the children's feet on the floor upstairs and I am wondering what they are doing...
Around the house...making beds, cleaning up the office, putting the laundry away - nothing very exciting.
One of my favorite brand new apron I just bought from etsy. It's so cute!!
A few plans for the rest of the week: dance classes, Girl Scouts, grocery shopping, schoolwork. I wish there was something exciting on the calendar, but there isn't! Maybe it's better that way. We could use some rest as I think a couple of us are starting to get sick.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

From my deck this morning. We really have some beautiful sunrises and sunsets here :)
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Daily Grind

Tomorrow morning we start back with our "normal" schedules. School, classes, chores etc. We've had such a break from real life between the holidays and Andy being home for 2 weeks that I fear it's going to be quite a struggle to get stuff done tomorrow. I will try my hardest though to jump right back in where we left off. I'm staying up tonight, getting progress reports done and turned in to the school (online), preparing schoolwork for this week, and printing out chore charts for the kids. I just hope I can get it all done in time to get a decent night's sleep!! We'll see :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Derby Cars

Andy helped the girls put together their cars for the races they will be participating in during Girl Scouts and AWANA. I just love their little drivers :)

Alone Again

We dropped Andy off at the airport this morning and I am single parenting again.

4 months down and 8 months to go...

It was so nice to have him here for 2 whole weeks - especially since he didn't have to work. We went bowling, watched movies, ate too much food, and just spent time together.

But now we're back to reality. He's on the other side of the world and I'm alone with 5 kids again. I know that we'll be all right. I just have to get used to the fact that I don't have help anymore- or adult conversation in the house. :)

I let a lot of things go during the past 2 weeks and I have a lot of catching up to do this weekend. I have floors to mop and laundry to do. I also have to get the girls' progress reports done and turned in and I need to prepare their schoolwork for the week. They also have classes to go to and did I mention that I only got 2 hours of sleep last night? I'm still running on the cup of coffee that I drank this morning (I normally don't since I'm still nursing Tori, but I didn't think I'd make it back from the airport without some caffeine!). I didn't let the kids go back to sleep (except for Tori), in hopes that they will go to bed at a decent hour tonight. We need to shift our sleep schedule about 3-4 hours anyhow, so I figured today was a good day to start!

Well, I had better quit typing and get to it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Time is dwindling

Our time with Andy is dwindling away. A few more days and he will head back to Iraq for another 8 months. I'm trying not to think of that too much and I'm trying to focus on the fact that he is here now.

We went bowling yesterday. I'm not sure if I should call it bowling though. Maybe kid juggling would better describe it. :) We were handing off Tori and Nick back and forth, in between helping Nick and Lexie on their turns and taking our own also. We had a lot of fun, but one game was definitely the right length. Any longer than that and I think everyone would have started getting cranky.

Today is a quiet day at home. Andy is going to help the girls make their derby cars. They are racing them at Girl Scouts and AWANA this year. I can't wait to see how they come out! I am thankful that he is here to help them with it :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Homeschool Memoirs - ABCs Describing Me

Air Force Veteran and Army Wife
Defense Language Institute Graduate
History loving
Island girl
List writer
Nature lover
Queen of the house :)
Russian speaking
Saxophone playing (well, 20 yrs ago!)
Volleyball player
Xmas loving
Young at heart

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Writing is one of the subjects that I have the hardest time teaching and grading. Math, grammar, spelling - they are all so cut and dry. I never quite know what I should expect from the girls for their age/grade level.

Whenever I give Ellie a writing assignment, she usually groans and says that it's too hard or that it's no fun. I am hoping to make this subject more exciting and to instill in her a love of writing.

Here is a story that Ellie wrote during our school break. It is a rough draft and I have typed it - mistakes and all (and no paragraphs!) - to show her work before proofreading/editing. I was impressed with her choice of descriptive words in her writing. I am hoping that I can encourage her to keep at it!
Ballet Slippers by Lipson
Ballet Slippers

Pointe by Ellie Woods (age 9)
Chapter One
Sakari sighed as she slowly dragged herself out of bed and onto her feet. She was very excited but tired. It was summer break and today she was going to try out for the summer ballet show. Even though she was almost at the highest rank of ballet, she still was nervous. She walked over to her dresser, put her tights and leotard on and her street clothes on top. She threw her water bottle, pointe shoes, and her hair kit in her flower-embroidered bag. She walked out her door and into the kitchen. Her mom was there making bacon and pancakes. Her dad was at his last day of work. "What's wrong honey?" her mom said in a worried tone. "I'm just nervous" she mumbled as she plopped down some pancakes and bacon and started out the door. "Bye honey!" her mom yelled as Sakari ran down the street. She waved to Sarah her best friend who ran up to her. "You're trying out too?" Sakari panted. "No, I'm trying out for the butterfly - not the sun princess" Sarah panted back. Finally, they reached the dance theatre. There was already a small line forming for the tryouts. "Hi" a sarcasticly sweet voice said. "Oh brother!" groaned Sarah and Sakari together. They spun around and there was the snotty and stuck-up Mikenzie. "good luck losing" she said in a snotty voice. Sarah glared at her and Sakari stamped on her toe and pulled Sarah to the line. "All Sun princess tryouts line up in front of me" said a loud squeaky voice. Sakari waved goodbye to Sarah and got into thelong line. Sakari looked at who was talking. Suddenly, she gasped. It was Miss Manel, her old ballet teacher. She lead them over to a fancy dressing room door. "go in and change". You have 10 minutes said miss Manel. When Sakari walked in the room she snorted. there were 15 cubbies one overflowing trash can and a single toilet. "Why does the dressing room look so small?" said Mikenzie looking disgusted. "Well maybe this was all they could afford" said a beautiful little girl around the age of 11. "you don't even have pointe shoes yet, so stop talking" "actually I do and I won't stop" she snapped back. Sakari walked over and said "What's your name?" "Jamie" she replied in a freindly tone. the girls hastily changed and did their hair. They scamper out into a line. "Exellent. Follow me." said Miss Manel. She lead them to a huge red door. She opend it and they walked in. It was a slightly large theatre. Jamie and Sakari jogged down to the front row while Mikenzie sniffed to herself about how ugly the theatre was. By the time Mikenzie got down, Miss Manel wheezed "When I call your name you will come up and perform your routine your teacher taught you." "Jamie Glider" she said. Jamie breathed a slow calming breath and walked on stage. Smiling, she performed her dance. At the end only Miss Manel and Sakari clapped and Mikenzie snorted. "Mikenzie Zilech" she said again. Mikenzie hopped up and started doing her dance but she couldn't balance long enough on her arabasque and toppled on the floor. She got up and sniffed and screamed "I'm outta here!" and ran up slamming the door behind her. "Sakari Anderson" she said. Sakari ran up and started her dance. She held her arabasque for 20 seconds instead of her usual ten. She almost flew off stage with pride. "Good job!" exclamed Jamie "and the part goes to....Sakari Anderson" said Miss Manel. "and the role of moon princess goes to Jamie Glider". Sakari and Jamie with exitement and triumph hugged and laughed.

Chapter Two
The next few days were tiring. Sakari, Jamie and the other cast worked every day on the play and got what it seemed like to Sakari, a jazillion corrections. "all this practicing is so hard" groaned Sakari rubbing her extremly sore feet. "Well practice makes perfect" said Sarah and Jamie at the same time. "Oh, stop being like Miss Manel" Sakari said, although grinning. Sarah pulled out a green apple and started munching. "Girls" said miss Manel "you need to got to the costume room and try your costumes" "Cmthing" said Sarah still eating. Sakari and Jamie rolled on the floor with laugheder. A couple of minuets later the girls were in their coustumes. Jamie's was a silver tutu with a matching crown and shoes. Sarah's was a hot pink and electric green tutu with wings and oen pink shoe one green shoe. Sakari's was like Jamie's exept it waas pure gold. After they admired one anothers coustumes from every inch the girls went upstairs changed and went into town for some ice cream. They walked into Breandes ice cream parlor. They ordered cones and sat down. They looked around and gasped. Mikenzie was sitting behind them with her gang of girls. "Sakari is so mean" she wined. "I need that part! My mom says I need to be in 5 plays before I turn 16 but I've only been in 4 and I'll let down my mom" she droned on and on for minutes untill finally they left. "Wow! Mikenzie's mom is harsh!" said Sarah "Yeah" said Sakari. They said bye and went home, thinking of the show tomorrow.

Chapter 3
Sakari woke up the next morning feeling scared to death. She got out of bed put on some clothes and slowely walked into the kitchen. her mom and dad were busy. She ate a bit of toast and said " bye mom and dad" "Bye honey! Break a leg!" She zoomed as fast as she could into the theatre, upstairs into the dressing room and sunk to the floor. "I'm so tired!" Sakari gasped as Jamie and Sarah were rushing over with worried looks. "I'm fine" said Sakari in a firmer voice. "I've just never run that fast." She pulled herself up and started putting on her costume. The orchestra began to play. the play was starting. Jamie went down a secret staircase to the wings on the side of the stage. She gracefully lept out of the sides and started dancing. Suddenly Sakari got a swoop in her stomach. What if she fell in front of all those people? "What's wrong?" said Sarah in a soothing voice. "Stage fright" said Sakari. Sakari heard clapping now, it was Sarah's turn. She went down. Now Sakari's dance was almost starting. Sarah rushed up and Sakari ran down. She took a calming breath and walked on stage and started. She dance for what seemed like forever then with the most beautiful arabasque. Sarah and Jamie grasped one of Sakari's hands and took a deep bow and a huge burst of applase followed they were each presented with a boquet. As Sakari looked at the crowd she felt like she could jump up to the sky.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, January 19, 2009...
Outside my window...a fresh coat of snow on the ground and cooling temperatures. The heat wave was nice, but reality has hit. It's still January and we have a lot of winter left to get through before we will see our yard again.
I am thinking...that I wish my kids would get to sleep at a decent hour!! I'm having the bedtime blues....
I am thankful for...having my husband back from Iraq to visit with us this week. He has to return this next weekend :(
From the learning rooms...We are still taking this week off of schoolwork so that we can spend as much time as possible with Andy. We'll be back at it next Monday.
From the kitchen...lots of great food cooked by my loving husband. This past week has been great - enchiladas, spaghetti, tuna noodle salad, steak, pot roast, and even an apple pie. Yum!
I am wearing...PJs of course. I will get dressed when I need to leave the house :)
I am on
I am let the girls go to the movies with Andy today. I had considered going also, but a 2 yr old and 8 mo. old make it hard :)
I am reading...I just finished 3 books this past week and I now have nothing to read. Hopefully I will make it to the library this week (maybe by myself so that I can peruse the shelves!).
I am hoping...that Andy has safe travels next weekend and that it's not so hard for the kids to say goodbye to him this time around. He still has 8 months left on this deployment, so we're sad to see him go again for such a long time. :(
I am hearing...the sounds of the dryer. It seems like it is always running...
Around the house...not much. Just family time!
One of my favorite things...having my family together.
A few plans for the rest of the week: taking the kids to the movies, bowling, eating out at a restaurant, dance and gymnastics classes, and I have a hair appointment on Friday
Here is picture thought I am sharing...(add your picture here)
Taken near my house a few days ago.

To join in the fun or read other posts, go to:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Good Job Ellie!

Just a quick note to congratulate Ellie on completing the AWANA T&T Book 1. We have had a long break from AWANA with the holidays, flu, and cold weather causing it to be canceled. The kids were excited to be back at it again. They sure are doing a great job of memorizing verses!! I am so proud of them all.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Art Classes Resume

Kate's magical igloo.
Ellie's ruby-throated hummingbird.

Art Classes have started again. Hooray!! Ellie is moving up into a more advanced class (the beginning one she was in is pretty full). I think that the challenge will be good for her. I personally think that I am the one that needs classes though. You probably wouldn't want to be my Pictionary partner. I'm a good guesser, but when it comes to drawing, there seems to be a malfunction between my brain and hand! I hope that the kids get Andy's drawing abilities as opposed to mine. Of course he has told me that he draws so well, because he doodled instead of listening in school. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Record Highs

The sunrise from my deck this morning. Isn't it glorious?

After one of the worst cold snaps in decades, where we had temps hovering around -40 for weeks, we now have record-breaking highs. It's almost 50 degrees out as I write this. According to the newspaper, we had an 88 degree difference in just 3 days. How crazy is that? Only in Alaska :)
I went out onto the deck this morning to take a picture of the beautiful sunrise (at almost 10:30) and all I could hear is water - dripping everywhere. I wonder how long this will last. I am definitely not complaining!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Homeschool Memoirs: School Days

Theme: This week I wanna YOU to post your school photo, whether from the 90’s, 80’s, 70’s, or do we have anyone from the 60’s? lol I know you should have one for every year so find your best one and post it. Make sure post year and grade!

Ok, here they are:

7th grade (late 80s) Wow, did I use a lot of Aqua Net!! That hair was crunchy :)

Luckily, by the time I graduated, I had thrown out the hairspray and gone for a more natural look. This is the same hair I have today - 15 years later. I think it's time for a haircut. I have been tossing around the idea of doing something different - not too drastic mind you, but different. We'll see if I gather the courage to actually do it next week :)
Oh, and I promise I AM wearing a dress in this picture. A bit risque, I know. What possessed me to wear that, I'm not sure....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Heat Wave!

Tori, my little snow bunny :)
As you can see, Lexie was having some color-coordination problems today. But, at least she was having fun!!
Look how close Nick's feet are to the ground. The snow has made the swing very low :)
Kate, my little snow princess.
We are having a heat wave! It's about 20 degrees outside and I think it's getting warmer by the minute. The snow is starting to melt and fall from the trees in clumps.

We bundled everyone up and headed outside to play in the yard. The snow was pristine. Can you believe that it's January and the kids hadn't ventured out to play in the yard since October? Pretty sad, isn't it? They had a blast riding on the sled, swinging on the swingset, building a snow fort, and just playing in the fresh air. They're still out there as I write this. I came in with Tori since she was hungry and tired. She's now peacefully sleeping in my arms. I guess it's time for me to go and make some hot cocoa - with marshmallows of course!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Polish Forest

I have a thing for Polish Pottery.
I have a huge cabinet of it, but you can never have too much, can you?
I was at the PX the other day and they had some of their Christmas stuff on sale. I found little Polish Pottery Christmas trees on sale for $1.74 a piece and I just couldn't pass them up.
Andy teased me that I now have a "Polish Forest". :) I think that they will be perfect Christmas decorations next year...

Family Time

This is what many of the signs look like when it gets super cold out.
You'd better know where you're going :)

We missed going to Christmas in Ice this year.
It was just too cold to walk around outside with the kids.
Driving in the bitter cold and ice fog last week- notice the sign says -39 out.

The view of the mountains today from near our home. We could probably see this from our deck if there weren't so many trees in the way...

Our house as we were driving home today.
The sunset near our house a few days ago.

Girls being silly, as usual :)

Nick sure missed having Daddy around.

We sure have been enjoying our family time!
Lots of food, a big mess in the house, no work or school, no schedule, and good times.

When Andy showed up, it was still about -40 out. It has steadily been warming up - it was above zero today and it might even get to 20 degrees out tomorrow (above zero!!) It's amazing how warm it feels. The car and house are now both very toasty and warm. These past few weeks, the car was never warm - even with the heat blasting. The kids might actually go outside and play this week. Maybe we could get a snowman built in the front yard like last year :) All of this, as I notice that the cold weather seems to have moved to many of you in the lower 48. Sorry!!

Last night, Andy bought a new TV - a nice flat screen one. He has been trying to talk me into one for years now. I guess it took us long enough! I gave in to him - he very rarely buys anything for himself and he deserves it. Maybe we'll actually have to get cable now to enjoy it :)

This week, we plan on maybe taking the kids to the movies, going bowling, playing outside if it warms up, watching old home videos (We also bought a DVD/VCR that records VHS to DVD so we can transfer our old videos), and just spending time together.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fewer Posts

I won't be posting as normal over the next couple of weeks. We are off school and spending time with Andy while he is back from Iraq. I will try to post some pics in the next couple of days :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Welcome Home Dad!!!

Yes, Andy is finally home for his 2 weeks of R&R and we couldn't be happier! Well, I guess we could be happier if he was staying home for good, but 2 weeks will have to do for now. We could definitely all use some excitement in dark and dreary January.

What a whirlwind couple of hours.

We picked him up from the airport. When we got home, he took a quick shower (sitting in various airports for days without clean clothes made this a necessary first stop!). Then the kids finally got the chance to open their Christmas presents - which they did as quickly as humanly possible. I didn't even get a chance to take pictures. Yes, it was that fast!

All of the Christmas present unwrapping (and subsequent package opening - who designs those things anyway?) was enough to wear Andy out. He spent last night on the floor of the SeaTac Airport, so he was ready to hop into bed. He has promised to be up in the morning to make pancakes for breakfast though. We are looking forward to spending a couple of wonderful weeks with him.

Added bonus: the forecast says that it might possibly get up to 10 degrees by next week! You probably won't believe me, but that actually sounds kind of warm at this point in time (50 degrees warmer than it was today) We'll be out in our flip-flops and shorts! Ok, maybe not, but I could probably do without the bulky coat and long johns and wear a sweater instead.

*I have to add that I actually made it to Sam's Club today. I couldn't let Andy come home to a fridge without fresh meat. The shopping was fine, but imagine pushing a Sam's Club super-size cart (overflowingly full of course) and trying to help Ellie with the double stroller over an ice-skating rink of a parking lot with huge ice ruts in it when it's -40 degrees out. I was glad when we made it to the vehicle in one piece without freezing!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Girl Scout Cookie Season

Girl Scout Cookie Season starts this Saturday!! Both Ellie and Kate are in the same troop and will both be selling this year. Wait, does that mean I have to buy twice as many??

The 2 years that Ellie sold while we were in Monterey, it was pretty easy. She went door to door in military housing and cleaned up. Everyone likes Girl Scout cookies, right?

This year is going to be much harder though. Andy is gone and I don't work, so there goes selling to co-workers. They don't go to school, so out goes selling to teachers/parents of friends. Did I mention that it's negative 40 out? Going door-to-door selling cookies doesn't sound like a very viable option to me. It looks like I'm going to be buying a lot of cookies....

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cold Snap

Wow it's cold outside!! We're having quite the "cold snap" here in Interior Alaska. It's making it hard to get out and about with the kids. The temps are extremely low and the ice fog is thick. Here are some websites to check out:

Coldest Places in the World (This doesn't have ALL weather stations in the world)

No end in sight to Interior Alaska Cold Spell from the Fairbanks News-Miner.

Here is a You Tube video taken a few days ago here in North Pole, Alaska (not by me or anyone I know but I found it online). It shows what happens when you throw water up in the air when it's this cold out and it also shows ice inside the windows (which I have at my house also). I might have to try this experiment myself...

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY January 5th 2009...
Outside my window...snow, FREEZING cold temps (-40) and darkness
I am thinking...that I wish that it was summer and I could let the kids play in the yard.
I am thankful husband coming home from Iraq on R&R soon!!
From the learning rooms...We're busy, busy, busy, trying to get as much done as we can before Andy gets here. That way we can have 2 weeks off with him :)
From the kitchen...Still need to make a Sam's Club run, so we're very low on meat and produce, but we had pasta tonight and I'm cooking up some beef I found in the depths of the freezer.
I am wearing...PJs
I am second quarter reports to turn in to the school.
I am few places as possible this week. It's just too cold and I don't want to risk breaking down on the side of the road with the kids.
I am reading...sadly not much of anything at the moment.
I am hoping...that it starts to warm up some. Negative 20 would be nice.
I am kids listening to drawing instructions on the Pirates That Don't Do Anything DVD. They are drawing Robert the Pirate and Eloise.
Around the house...We're cleaning up the house and getting ready for Daddy :)
One of my favorite brand new diaper bag :)
A few plans for the rest of the week: gymnastics, Girl Scouts (cookie sales start this weekend!), Sam's Club if I can make it!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
To join in the fun go to The Simple Woman's Daybook

Counting to 100

Lexie is becoming quite the little student. She is starting to read pretty well and she enjoys math also. Here she is counting to 100 - not bad for a 4 yr old!!
She sure has a lot of energy. I wish that I could bottle it up and use it on days where I am lacking (which would probably be pretty often).

Poem Memorization: Results or Roses

Wow, are we behind where I wanted to be in poem memorization.
Here are the kids reciting the poem "Results or Roses", by Edgar Guest.
Better late than never!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Better Days Ahead

Today shaped up to be a better day than yesterday.

Before going to bed last night, I cranked up the heat (over 80!) and left the cupboards under the kitchen sink open and the cold water faucet on (with nothing flowing out of it). I awoke at 3 in the morning to the sound of water blasting out of the faucet. It worked! The pipes are thawed and I don't have to spend the money on a plumber - hooray!

Instead, I went to the store and spent the money on groceries and a brand new vacuum cleaner.

What a trip that was! It was still negative 40 out, but there doesn't seem to be any warmer weather in the near future and we were going to starve if I kept putting it off. I bundled them up and headed out. My was I cold trying to get a cartful of groceries and a vacuum into the truck. I couldn't move fast enough. At least I had left the truck running, so it wasn't completely freezing for the kids when we were done shopping. The worst thing wasn't the cold though. The ice fog was so thick that I could barely see a car length ahead of me - and it was already dark out. I'm happy to be safe and warm at home again.

So, what is it about a new vacuum that can make you feel like a domestic goddess?? I swear that it works 10 times better than our old one ever did. I spent a good hour and half vacuuming the entire house - under furniture, in furniture - and I enjoyed it :) I got the "All Terrain" model. I'm not making that up. It's an all-terrain vacuum cleaner, whatever that means. I have a strange visual of my vacuum cleaner 4X4ing in some far-off place. It sure works though and that's all that matters in my book. The kids think it's cool because it has a button that puts the cord away instead of having to wrap it around the outside. It's the little things in life...

So, we now have clean floors, cold water running out of the tap, food in the cabinets and fridge, and I have a better outlook on life in general. Andy isn't here yet, so we will be continuing with schoolwork tomorrow and every day after that until he arrives. I don't want to get too far behind by taking 2 weeks off while he's here.

Another wasted day...

Saturday was another day wasted.

We did some science. We're talking about earthquakes right now.

But then I noticed that there wasn't any cold water coming out of our kitchen faucet. The hot water works fine, but when you turn the cold on - Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Not even a drop.

So, I spent a couple of hours on my dirty kitchen floor blow drying my kitchen pipes. Not how I imagined my day. It didn't help any either. They are frozen and the hair dryer isn't cutting it. I will be calling a plumber tomorrow.

Did I mention that while I was spending all of this time looking at pipes to try to figure out which one was which (there are zillions of unidentifiable pipes in the garage) and while I was blow drying them, the kids were eating massive quantities of crackers in the living room? (Because they were hungry and I was too busy to cook something). Crumbs everywhere - in, on, under, behind the couches.

All of that would be simple to clean up - if my vacuum cleaner was working properly. Which it isn't. No suction.

So now we have a crumby house, no cold water in the kitchen, no food in the cupboards since it's too cold to go shopping and I'm ready to move somewhere warm or at least not cold :)

I might be in sunny Florida by the time Andy shows up...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cabin Fever!!!!!!!

I know that I haven't been posting much about schoolwork. To be honest with you, it hasn't been all that awe-inspiring or exciting in the past few weeks. The kids are rushing through their basics (math, grammar, handwriting, etc) and we've been struggling to get more than that done.

We've been trudging through our pitch-black days in a state of drowsiness. Our internal clocks are way off and I can't seem to reset them. I have an overwhelming urge to stock the cabinets (and my belly) and just hibernate through the rest of winter. Wake me when Spring has arrived. When the snow has finally melted and there is green grass in my yard. When the birds are chirping and the light of day has decided to grace us with its presence again.

I know, everyone is sick of the weather-related posts. I apologize. I should just get over it and move on with normal life. I wish I could. We've had a couple of weeks of excruciatingly cold weather. I woke up to a balmy negative 52 degrees today and it could get to negative 60 tonight. The forecast for the whole next week doesn't get above -35. It's depressing. My body is longing for a breath of fresh air and some daylight. The only outside air I breathe in is at the store parking lot and it's nothing but fumes from everyone's running cars.

We've gone weeks without having anywhere to go. No outside activities and no events. A break is good and it's nice to not have those obligations for a while, but without Andy here, I'm alone in this house with 5 kids day after day. It's hard to stay sane.

We're still waiting for him to arrive home for leave. Then we will be doing our Christmas festivities. (We still haven't opened presents yet). Maybe that adds to our sense of melancholy right now. We're not together as a family and we haven't celebrated Christmas with all of our normal traditions. The gingerbread house and present-opening are on hold until Andy gets here and that feels strange.

When he gets here, it will be 2 weeks of happiness. I will have help and we can easily get to the store. We will open presents and play games and go bowling and just have fun as a family. I won't care about sitting at home and not doing anything, because I will have someone to do nothing with :) Hurry home Andy!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

My new diaper bag!

You would think with 5 kids, that I would have found the perfect diaper bag years ago, but I didn't find what I wanted until just now. C'est la vie!

I went to If Only, a little gift shop in downtown Fairbanks - the day I had a babysitter. This is not a store that you would take a gaggle of kids into. It would be a disastrous - and very expensive trip! So, I went there in hopes of finding some Christmas presents (which I did), but I also ended up finding gifts for myself!!

Recently, everything turquoise and brown keeps jumping out at me. It's a bit bright, but I like it! The bag zips at the top, which is very important! It has pockets all along the inside, and it is big enough to fit loads of diapers, wipes, extra clothes, and the kitchen sink! I also got a matching wallet/purse that I can wear and a zippered make-up pouch. It is made by Vera Bradley - they have a wonderful website with some things on sale right now if you want to check it out. I now have everything I need wherever I go and I love that. I will be adding to my collection in the future with a matching sunglasses case and coin purse. I feel so hip :0)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!

I hope that everyone had a very happy New Year's Eve!

I spent mine at home this year (I usually do). My friend, her sister, and her daughter came over to celebrate with us. Unfortunately, I got myself dehydrated (which is so easy to do here) and I got a horrible headache. It made me dizzy, which in turn made me nauseous. I ended up throwing up a few times - not how I wanted to ring in the new year. I drank a bunch of water though and woke up a new woman. :) Thankfully I feel fine and I am carrying my water bottle with me wherever I go!

The kids got to see a few fireworks which the neighbors were letting off. I personally think they are crazy. I don't know how you would stand outside in negative 40 degree weather doing that. It just doesn't sound pleasant to me :) We can't do fireworks at Fourth of July here though because it doesn't get dark enough to see them. This is such a strange place to live!!

Our TV doesn't come in well, so Olivia made her own ball to drop and we had our own countdown.

It's too cold for words...

Yes, this is the real temperature outside!!! It takes your breath away!

This ice has formed on the INSIDE of my bedroom window. Not good. I'm not sure what I should do. I'm living in an igloo....