Thursday, April 30, 2009

End of School Hoopla

I have to say - it's near impossible to get a picture where all of them are looking at the same time. I must have taken 20 and this is the best I got!

We are done with school, and I somehow promised the kids that I would take them to Chili's this week as a celebration. Did I think this through before making the promise? Of course not.

So, it was me at Chili's with all 5 kids. It could have been nightmarish. I had visions of me running from the restaurant throwing a large tip behind me.

Luckily, it went perfectly. Seriously. They sat like little angels. No yelling or fighting. No running away (which Nick likes to do) and Tori sat happily in the high chair. It was wonderful.

They even got all dressed up in their matching dresses so that they would look nice. (We don't eat out much!)

They were so good and it was so warm out that we stopped for hot fudge sundaes and went to the park to run around afterward.

Now we're back home and the kids are complaining that there are too many mosquitoes outside. The second the snow thaws, the mosquitoes are biting. Off! is definitely at the top of my shopping list for tomorrow.

Ok, so as I was writing this, Ellie came running inside, because Nick got himself stuck in the greenhouse.

Even though it's 75 degrees out, there is still a big chunk of ice in front of the door and we haven't been able to get inside. He apparently opened it up just enough to squeeze himself in, but then he couldn't get back out. I couldn't help but laugh.

So, we got the hammer out and I started chipping away at the ice. He was rescued and now we can open the door and start planting :) I'm off to go outside and enjoy the good weather while it's here...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


So very, very sore.

It was a beautiful day and I started in on raking the leaves up.

I am usually really thankful that we have such a large yard. We have a lot of trees though - and they drop a lot of leaves.

I worked for a few hours this morning and I haven't even finished a quarter of it. It's going to take a very long time.

I actually enjoy raking leaves (except for the blisters). It's a good workout and as long as I remember gloves, then I'm fine.

What I don't like is the leave removal. Bagging them up is so hard. There must be a better way to do it. I'm sure there is. Oh, I remember what it is - I usually make Andy bag them up. Seeing as he's not here, I suppose that won't work this time.

I would be feeling a bit sore, but fine, if I hadn't done so much bending over. My back went out on me a little bit and I think it's going to need a day of rest before I can get back at it again. I'm sure that they will be there waiting for me when I decide to work some more. Unless the leaf fairy comes in the middle of the night. That would be nice...
Here is Kate, relaxing after some bike riding. Doesn't it look like fall?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The birds are out

I'm not sure what they are. I really need to practice my bird identifying skills. I caught a picture of one this morning, hanging out in our front yard.

Monday, April 27, 2009

More Reflections

I love this one, because you can see the snow in the background. Ellie is peering into the greenhouse, wishing that we could get in there. (There is ice packed down in front of the door).

I was going back through the pictures I took yesterday and I found some that are probably better than the one that I entered in I Heart Faces. If I took the time to fix them up a bit, they might be even better. :)


Today's trip to Wal-Mart involved bubbles, hula hoops, sidewalk chalk, and much begging for new bikes. Need I say more?

I will say more though. The forecast is for 70 tomorrow and 75 on Wednesday. How crazy is that?? Even if it only lasts a couple of days, I will be very thankful for it.

I might actually be able to get into my greenhouse tomorrow!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I Heart Faces: Reflections

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is "Reflections". If you would like to join in the fun or just see everyone else's entries, then head on over!

I tried and tried and tried to get some decent pictures of the kids in the reflections of the mud puddles today, but it was really hard to get a clear shot where I could actually see their faces. Then Nick came along and stirred all the dirt out of the bottom of the puddles and I was done for the day :)
Here is one of the best ones that I got. I wish I could see her face a bit better...

And here is one from a few years back. It is my sister, having fun at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. She's always so much fun!

Spring is REALLY here

Yes, today was it. The first day of really good weather. The end of the snow and cold.

It was over 60 degrees out. We were in T-shirts and shorts. Tori was in a sundress.

And I was chipping away at the snow and ice on the driveway and in front of the greenhouse. That felt a bit weird - it being so warm out yet there still being so much snow. It will be gone within the next couple of days though.

We saw a butterfly. We heard a small plane flying by (there is a little neighborhood airfield down the street). We even got the bikes out. How exciting!!

Unfortunately, with the melting snow comes mud. Lots of mud. And it has been tracked through the house - from one end to the other. I have to admit that I did a bit of the tracking. Now I have a bunch of floors to clean. Darn!

Here is Ellie, swinging. You can see her reflection in the mud puddle:

Art Class goodies

Here are the goodies that Ellie brought back from her last art class:

A beautiful, painted card that says she loves me. How sweet!

A small piece of pottery.

And this is an earring holder that she made.

Presents from Iraq

The kids were so happy to get a package from Daddy yesterday.

He sent us some goodies from Iraq.

Here is a "puzzle box":

You slide the front piece to the left:
Then pull out the little piece and find the hidden key:
Slide the whole thing forward, and a small piece of wood drops out, revealing the keyhole:
And voila! Open up your secret box :)
And here are some more boxes he sent. The man he bought them from said that he gets them from various places (Iraq, Turkey, Syria), so I'm not sure exactly where they were made. They are neat though!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bring on the light

Today was the first day that I really noticed the change in our amount of light.

The sun set at 10 p.m. Convincing the kids that it was in fact time to go to bed was hard.

I don't think that I will ever get used to the extremes here. From cavelike darkness in winter to perpetual daytime in the summer. It is so strange.

I am however thankful that I am now in the middle of the lighter (and warmer) time of year!!

Nothing to do

I am looking forward to having nothing much to do for the next couple of months.

We had our last art classes today. Saturdays are empty again. Everything else ends within the next few weeks.

We're done with schoolwork and I'm just finishing up our quarterly report.

It will be nice to spend the summer at home. I'm tired of having to be here or there at a certain time. I want to be able to jump in the car and head to the park if we want - or stay at home for a week without leaving the house!

I know that much of the U.S. is already enjoying warm weather, but we're not quite there yet. Our forecast says that it is going to get up to 60 degrees this week. I can hardly believe it! The snow will surely be gone by next weekend and I can't wait :)

So, the next month will be filled with raking up leaves and planting stuff in the greenhouse, spring cleaning, planning for next school year, and most important of all - getting some much-needed time off!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pics from Today

Oh, the sweet smell of....


Yes it rained today in Fairbanks. It seems like it's been ages since I've smelled rain on the pavement and the dirt.

Maybe it's the Washingtonian in me, but I really love that smell. And I actually like a slow drizzle. Call me crazy.

The snow isn't gone yet, but its days are numbered.

Each day, a small portion of it melts. It's almost completely gone from my roof. Soon we will have a yard again. A yard full of leaves that I need to rake. The funny thing is that we raked in the fall - a couple of times. Unfortunately, the first snow came in September, before all of the leaves fell, so now there are tons of them that have been hiding under the snow for the past 7 months. I'm just glad that I don't have to clean up after the dog this year. Wow, was that a mess!! The only think I need to shovel out of the yard was left by the moose...

We planted more seeds today in the mini-greenhouses inside. Tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, wildflowers, lavender, mint, basil, thyme, rosemary, chives, and various flowers. The kids picked them all out. As soon as we can get into the greenhouse, I will move them in there. I don't have any garden area in the yard, so the greenhouse will have to do. It has large raised beds, so I think that it will work through the summer. I just hope that we can actually get some things to ripen before it gets cold again!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We're done!!!

We're done with schoolwork!!!!!!! The kids were in a mad dash through the final lessons and I was cheering them on!! Now I just need to finish up our 4th quarter reports to turn in and then I can look ahead to next school year.

We have been studying weather and natural disasters in science:

And the Celts in history:
And now it's break time. A couple of us have a cold, so we're taking it easy today.

Hello Sprouts!!

We planted some seeds a few days ago in one of those indoor mini-greenhouses.

Wow, are they coming up. I obviously put too many seeds in each one. I suppose I will have to thin them out if I want them to survive!
Lexie chose corn to plant. I don't know what we're going to do with it. I'm not sure how well corn will do here - especially in my greenhouse! It is fun to watch it grow though.

The kids have been absolutely amazed at how quickly everything has sprouted up. I think we're going to have to start some more this week.

Now if only I could get to my greenhouse!!

Most of the snow is finally melting. You can see how much work I'm going to have raking up all of the leaves that fell right before the snow came last September.
But there are parts of the yard that still have pretty deep snow in it. There happens to be a very big "dip" right in front of the greenhouse door - and it's frozen over so that we can't open it. I think I'm going to have to put some ice melt out there this week so that we can get in there and start working :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Pictures from Today

I was going camera crazy this afternoon. The kids thought I was insane, trying to take pictures of myself :) I had to take some of the them also, because I just can't help myself!

I still haven't sat down and read my Photoshop book. I have been using Picnik and Picasa 3 a little bit. I'm still learning...

I Heart Faces: Self-Portrait

This week's theme over at I Heart Faces is Self-Portrait. Yes, I was dreading this one. No tripods allowed. No remotes. I had to be the one pushing the button.

Here is my entry for adults. As in - yes this is me.
Yikes, do I need to pluck my eyebrows or what??

And here is my entry in the kids category. It had to be me and a child. In this case, I'm giving Tori some love. She's such a sweet baby...

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY April 20, 2009...
Outside my window...the snow is really starting to melt. I love to see patches of grass in my yard. Unfortunately, there are a lot of leaves under the snow. I'm going to be busy when it all melts :)
I am thinking...that I'm ready for summer break!!
I am thankful for...Springtime. Birds. Flowers. Grass.
From the learning rooms...finishing up our last week of school!! Yes, I'm doing a happy dance.
From the kitchen...I'm going to set Ellie loose in the kitchen today. She was gathering recipes last night, dreaming of what she might like to make.
I am wearing...exercise pants and a T-shirt. I had to get on the treadmill this morning.
I am creating...lesson plans/curriculum choices for next year. This has kept me busy all week!
I am dance class
I am reading...Favorite Poems, Old and New
I am hoping...that the snow will be gone by the end of the week
I am hearing...silence, sweet silence
Around the house...same old, same old
One of my favorite things...a sleeping baby
A few plans for the rest of the week: taking Ellie to buy a digital camera. She has saved up $100. I'm so proud of her!!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

To join in the fun, visit: