Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!!

We are laying low tonight. I had briefly considered driving out to see one of the fireworks displays (in case you didn't know, we do fireworks here in December instead of at the 4th of July) but it's negative 20 out and that doesn't sound very fun to me. We can hear (and occasionally see) the neighbors fireworks down the street, so that will have to do.

2009 was not one of my favorite years - especially since Andy was gone for almost 9 months of it. Things are looking up for 2010 though! We have a lot to look forward to: a cross-continental drive with lots of exciting stops along the way, a move to Savannah, hopefully a trip to Disney World, my little brother's wedding, and seeing our families once again!!

Now if I can just get through selling our house and finishing up the school year, I will be so grateful.

Here are a couple of pictures I took yesterday. Isn't she growing up so much?? Her hair is really coming in.
I can't help but think back to when Ellie was this age. She had a mullet. Thankfully, it has grown in since then.
Sisters. Ellie is looking forward to the day that she is 18 and Tori is 9. She already has great plans for driving her around town and taking her to do girl stuff. I guess part of her probably wonders what it would be like to have a big sister of her own.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What did I do???

I was really silly yesterday. I could kick myself.

I was trying to free up some space on our very full desktop computer and I decided to delete all of the mp3 files since we use iTunes now and many songs were duplicated in both formats.

Instead, I ended up deleting both types of files. There were too many for the recycle bin, so they got deleted. Completely. My entire iTunes library was gone. Everything.

I almost cried.

I plugged all of our ipods in and was able to transfer whatever I had purchased on iTunes thatt was currently on our ipods. That made me a little happier. The problem is that there were many songs we had bought that weren't on there. And I had painstakingly uploaded all of our CDs. It was very time consuming.

Luckily, I remembered that I had backed up much of the library onto and I'm now in the process of recovering it. It is going to take some time, but I'm hopeful that we can get most of it back!!!! :)

Hopefully I have learned my lesson.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Complete Randomness:

* We no longer have a Christmas tree. It is so incredibly dry here - even with the humidifier going. Our tree was dehydrated and shriveled and not very merry looking. I begged Andy to get rid of it and he did. I know it's very bah humbug of me, but it just annoyed me every time I saw it. So, now are presents are under the piano instead. :)

* Yes, it's almost Christmas, and yes we still have our pumpkins on our porch. They are very frozen. I have decided that we will put them to use when we get some good wet snow (if that happens - ours usually doesn't pack). I thought that they would make great heads for some snowmen.

* The realtor came over yesterday. I took the kids to see The Princess and the Frog and I let Andy meet with him. We are going to be putting our house up on the market really soon and I'm not looking forward to the whole house-selling process. We have about 4 months before we leave, so let's hope that we can sell it before then. I would really hate to be left with a mortgage payment while it's sitting empty.

*Here is our gingerbread house for this year. Andy built it and the kiddos did the decorating. It is about picked bare now. :)

*I have to comment on Lexie's reading ability again. I am so proud of her!! She is reading so fluently and effortlessly. She read 7 chapter books in the past 2 days (they are easy - about 64 pages each). Still, she's only 5. What an accomplishment!!

*Andy took Nick out for a sled ride today. We only have a very slight hill in our yard, so Andy ended up getting quite the workout running him around.

*There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We hit the winter solstice on Monday, so our days will now start getting longer again. Thankfully. I hate being in constant darkness.
*Andy and I are such Boggle geeks. We started out years ago playing the REAL game - you know the one you actually have to shake up?? Try playing that after the kids have gone to bed! It was a bit too loud. We have since moved to the computer version and we enjoying being a perfect Boggle team. Just a few days ago we figured out that we can compete against people online and we've had lots of fun doing that when we have the time.

*My treadmill has to be fixed AGAIN. I have never been so thankful for buying an extended warranty on something before! This time, I can start the treadmill, but as soon as I get about 10 minutes into it, it just starts beeping at me and all of the controls freeze. I can't push any of the buttons anymore - though the treadmill will keep going. It's annoying and I'm hoping that it gets fixed soon. :)

*Andy and I have decided that we're going to open Christmas presents tomorrow (the 23rd). He's on leave and we have no family here and no parties or dinners or anything to go to. The presents are calling us. We decided that it would be more fun to open them tomorrow and then we'd have a few more days that he could enjoy with them before he has to return to work. Santa will still come fill stockings on Christmas morning. :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Living in the Land of Perpetual Darkness

I really don't like this time of year in Alaska.

I love the Christmas season, don't get me wrong. And I like having a white Christmas. I just don't like how incredibly dark it is.

The sun rose at 10:57 and set at 2:39. That is not a whole lot of daylight. To add to that, it was below negative 30 today. Not exactly snowman-making weather.

I like being outside. My body needs sunlight and fresh air to be happy. :)

I guess I just start feeling cabin fever this time of year.

Not only is it dark and cold, but it is also really dry. We have the humidifier going, but it doesn't stop the static, chapped lips, and dry skin.

Our poor Christmas tree was beyond dead. Shriveled and dehydrated - and it had water. It was not very merry. We actually took it down this evening - can you believe that? I didn't want to, but I really hated looking at it in that state. Now we have a beautiful piles of presents under the piano instead. :)

Monday is the Winter Solstice and then the days will begin getting longer again. I am looking forward to some more sunlight.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ballet Recital

The first 2 weekends in December are always so busy! Between an Army ball, AWANA, ballet recitals, dress rehearsals, and Christmas parties, we have barely had a second to rest and relax. Next weekend is the beginning of Andy's leave and we will have a couple of weeks with nothing to do but hang out at home and celebrate Christmas! Thank God for that!

Last Saturday was the girls' ballet recital and it was the first time that I used the movie setting on my new camera. I found out that it does NOT have an auto focus. It would be fine if the girls were stationary, but it was quite hard to keep them in focus while they were flittering about from one side of the stage to the other. I've only added a picture here, because the videos ended up being quite long.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Reading Progress

I am so proud of my kiddos!!!

Nick now knows all of his letters and can spell his name (but not write it).

Lexie finished her fist chapter book this week and is reading quite well independently now.

Kate has caught the reading bug. She's reading mostly "fluff" for now, but she's reading and asking for more. It's hard to get her to sleep at night because she wants to finish her book before she shuts off hte light. I'm just so happy that she is finally interested in books!!!

Ellie has always been quite the reader. She read her first Agatha Christie yesterday and is now ready to zip through all of them. I can't blame her - I did the same thing a couple of years ago. :) There's nothing like a good mystery!

China for Kids

We spent last week studying China : Wu Zeitan, the Great Wall, silk, the Forbidden City. It was hard to fit it all into one week, but we did it. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The REAL Santa Claus

Living in North Pole has its perks.

One of them is the fact that we have the "real" North Pole Santa Claus here. :)

We took the kids to see him this past week. The older kids did great, but Tori wanted NOTHING to do with him. I should have tried to get a picture of all of them together first, before meltdown hit. Oh well. Live and learn.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Learning About Cnidaria

(Ellie's Jellyfish picture)

It's weeks like this one that I really miss living in Monterey. It's hard to study something like cnidaria when we are landlocked in the middle of the largest state in the U.S. I really miss having an aquarium just down the road - and tidepools to explore.

In lieu of a trip to the aquarium, I surfed the internet to find some information and videos on cnidaria. Not quite the same, but it will have to do until this spring, when I'm hoping to stop in Atlanta and visit the Georgia Aquarium.

Aren't Jellyfish cool?? I could spend an hour alone in the jellies exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There is just something so soothing about watching them.

Here are some sites that I found in my searching:

Jellyfish videos and information
Jellyfish Coloring Page
The Jellies Zone
Sea Anemone printout

I can't wait to be near the ocean again!!! Savannah, I hear you calling my name. Only 5 more months of waiting....

Saturday, December 5, 2009


My little ballerinas are gearing up for their Christmas recital. I was able to go into their classroom and take some pictures the other day. They aren't as clear as I would have liked, but I didn't want to disrupt the class by turning my flash on (and I used my old camera since that's what I had tucked into my diaper bag!)

I can't wait to see their show!!