Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm dreaming of a white...


I hope yours was as white and peaceful as ours. The day after, Eoghan and Jonas had fun being pulled on a long, cold sled ride. When we arrived home, to warm himself up, Eoghan did some sledding on his own.

Winter Solstice Sorbet

Here's to, dreaming up yummy names for new ice cream flavors.

Friends and family we have heard from lately are anticipating the return of the light. I must say, they have nothing on us!!! Where our 4-5 hours of light daily (if it isn't cloudy or raining or snowing) is oh so precious.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wanted: Birds for counting

After Tuesday's inspiring evening presentation (a photographic review of our wintering birds), given by our local Audubon Society, O and I prepared to join in on the annual Audubon winter Christmas bird count (to be held Saturday). We were going to participate as feeder watchers, as we have continuous feathered visitors dropping by our yard for nibbles as long as it is light out.
And so, we thought it best to add some mouth watering treats no bird could resist. The count for the day...5! As for what kind of birds they were...? The five stayed for such a short bite that we had some guesses, but we were so unsure that we could not even call in for a report.
I am sure that if we would like to do so, we could film a sequel to, "The Birds"...tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A soft house and...

The weather here has been nice, but with that sunshine, comes some very chilly weather. So what have we been up to? Building and baking of course. Eoghan's soft house covered the entire living room. Our living room is quite small, but still, the house was large (and fun)!

As for the baking, tomorrow is our Historical Society's annual cookie exchange. Papa is baking tonight! Tomorrow afternoon, mama's turn.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A perigee moon

Who knows what dwells in the forest during a full moon.

We ventured out into the woods Saturday night, as we heard the owls were out. We listened hearing nothing, but after a few very scary owl call attempts we had a Great Horned as our partner in crime.
For the rest of the night we were struck with the beauty of our moon. Did you notice that it seemed larger? Apparently it was the biggest full Moon of 2008, as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser Moons we've seen earlier this year. According to our science center friend it is what astronomers would call a "perigee Moon" because it occurs at perigee, (when the moon is closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit).

Its off to bed moon, or the sun will catch you soon.

I love the thought that as were are waking up, families elsewhere are in their jammies singing their children to sleep. Imagine hearing all those soothing voices.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Giving 2

Here is the second set, ready to be shipped out from our snowy woods and lovied up by new hands. Just leave your name with a comment here, by 8 p.m. (Alaska time) this Wednesday. Wishing you all, sugared snowy days to come.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Playdough family surprise

This being the second family O has made. The only bit of help from me, was to stir the dough when it got a bit too hard and sticky. The first family went to a sweet friend who had a 7th birthday this past week, she was happy to find out that he made the wooden people to resemble her family. This set will go in the mail to a best cousin for Christmas. O is hoping she will be surprised.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


We have found that the less toys our boys have around, the more they play with what they have. The more they enjoy them as well.

The boys have had these sweet wooden vehicles (from Germany) for some time now, and they have not been played with very much. The other day Eoghan and I talked about Christmas and the spirit of giving swirling about during this season, and we decided to cut the vehicle collection in half. The moment I got them out so that they could be divided up, the playing commenced with what remained.

And so, we would love to send some of these out as gifts to old or new friends. We will be having two drawings. The first of which is for the wheels, in the picture below. Just leave your name with a comment before 8 p.m. (Alaska time) this Wednesday evening. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A countdown

I have come across all sorts of Advent calendars, and I really just have not been interested in any of them. However...we have had the following book in our collection for some time now, and within its wonderful pages...the perfect Advent calendar to make! It has been with us all along, just waiting.
How we are counting down: This last Saturday we cut out 21 small golden foil stars and 4 large. We placed the stars in a small bowl (these representing the days left until Christmas) on our nature table, where we have our nativity set out. Every evening Eoghan lays a small star on the table, the large stars are to be laid out on Sundays. All these together will form a path towards the important person who is coming.
A wonderful book for observing family festivals
and establishing a year round rhythm
in a simple, gentle, and creative way.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

mittens for a snow girl?

Eoghan has been enjoying making snow people, this is his second of the season. She is pretty sweet isn't she? Her leaf pony tail really accentuates her looks. I will be anticipating all the others yet to be created, as I have a feeling the snow we have been given will continue to come. As for her mitts...well snow girls get cold too. Actually these mitts are going to be on their way to a brand new snow girl, we are eagerly awaiting to hear of her entry into the world.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The north wind came along one day...actually today

The north wind came along one day,
So strong and full of fun;
He called the leaves down from the trees
And said run, children, run;
They came in red or yellow dress,
In shaded green and brown,
And all that short November day
He chased them round the town.
They ran in crowds, they ran alone,
They hid behind the trees,
The north wind laughing found them there
And called: “No stopping please.”
But when he saw them tired out
And huddled in a heap,
He softly said, “Goodnight my dears,
Now let us go to sleep.”

from "Autumn" by Wynstones Press

The leaves are sleeping today.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

apples aplenty...apples galore

Every autumn our local schools hold a fundraiser for their music programs, by ordering and selling potatoes and apples. Even though we are a homeschooling family, it does not mean that we do not support public education (especially when it comes to the arts). This time around we ordered russets and honey crisps (50 pounds of each).

Well, you can guess what kind of a tone it has set having that many apples around our home. A new favorite book has emerged from all things apple as well. "The Apple Doll" by Elisa Kleven. We highly recommend this read, but please be warned that you will need to have some apples on hand for munching and for making your own apple dolls.

Eoghan winding yarn around pipe cleaner legs

Our elderly apple couple, they love each other so.

(Eoghan lovingly stitched the apple on the apple lady's skirt.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

there is HOPE on the wind...

"...we are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. "
-our President-elect Barack Obama

Jonas (16 months), picture taken by his brother Eoghan (7 years)

What a time we are living in...
I am filled with hope, for a better world
in which our children will live.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

for Magda

Magda, thanks so much. It snowed here this morning, and I am dreaming of weather like that in the picture. All my best to you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

stamp stories

We have just finished the last chapter book in the Poppy series, "Poppy's Return". The entire series was great. Our favorite character was Ereth, a lovable porcupine who makes up his own string of curse words (he is so funny). Well, he inspired some fun stamp stories. From here things progressed, and my kitchen table got quite chaotic right up until supper time. What are your chapter books inspiring? We would love to hear all about it.

YEAH (A very happy boy on Christmas.)

Oh, and by the way the stamps (hedgehog & bird on boy's head) came from, Thank you Magda, you have a lovely shop!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Celebrating Autumn Part II

we all participated in a fun game of helicopter catch

a lovely ride home

and as the boys were brushing their teeth,

Solin (our summer fairy) left the boys departing gifts under their pillows:

cozy pajamas to keep them warm, until her return home on her friend the robin

Celebrating Autumn

On the day before the official first of Autumn we headed out for a chilly picnic. It was raining in town, but we figured if we got out of the bowl of mountains that surrounds the town it would be a different picture. It truly was. It was chilly, but the sun was out and it seemed as if we had just woke from a long, rainy nap. It was just what we needed, a crisp breath of fresh air.

a wee walk in the woods

a square toothy grin


on his own

lessons in smoring

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

splashing autumn in

Jonas has discovered with joy,
that not only can one can splash in the bathtub,
but outside as well. Yes!!!

Jonas really gets into this finger play.
He "ooooooo's" his own version, sways his head,
and makes a very sad/serious face.
Autumn leaves are falling down.
They make a soft bed on the ground.
Then "whooooosh" the wind comes whistling by,
And sends them dancing to the sky.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

24 on the 24th

Happy birthday Ben! Twenty four years ago, I remember coming to see you in the hospital and holding you for the first time. You were long and red, and everyone was in a tizzy over you. I was sure that my charmed life as I knew it was going to go downhill from there. However, whenever I was away from home and especially during my time away at college, you were the one I always missed the most. I hope that wherever you are, you are having a good time and are taking care of yourself. I love you.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The longest railroad-highway tunnel in North America

The longest railroad-highway tunnel in North America leads to... Whittier? Yep, the tunnel connects the port city of Whittier on Prince William Sound to the Seward Highway and Southcentral Alaska. The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel or the Whittier Tunnel (as we call it) is 13,300' or 2.5 miles long. That is pretty darn impressive. I also understand, that one of its landmark accomplishments is that it is the first U.S. tunnel that is designed for -40° F. weather and 150 mph winds. Yep, we get some of those. Traffic shares the tunnel with the Alaska Railroad, and so we often wait an hour or less to enter. Just recently, as we were waiting to enter the tunnel to continue on our trip home, we marvelled about what it took to build this tunnel so long ago (the original tunnel was completed in 1943). It boggled our minds. Pioneers everywhere had to be tough, but Alaskan pioneers...well they must have been a rough bunch.
Happy boys, anticipating our entrance to the tunnel.
Maynard mountain and the tunnel looming ahead.

Going in...

and just about through.

The weather was quite fair at the Alaska State Fair

We are back home, and are just now recuperating from our travels. Eoghan was just at the right age to really take in and enjoy the fair grounds in Palmer. He had not been, since I wandered around with him in my belly seven years ago. As for Jonas, well, he had us sweating on a warm Alaskan day. We saw part of a livestock auction, Eoghan dug the rides with his cousin, we all enjoyed the food, and Jonas enjoyed the rainbows cast by a souvenir crystal.

Jonas thought the goose was great until it started honking.



and more rides.

Very tired boys, on our drive back to Anchorage from Palmer.