Friday, September 24, 2010


it has been FOREVER. life has been a whirlwind of craziness since july. we are in utah with my parents. the kids are in school and mike and i are traveling all over the west looking for a place to land. i think we may have found it, after logging 3000 miles since we got here from alaska. so that's 6,000 miles give or take since july. that's why i haven't posted. and why it might still be awhile. but stay with me people. update soon.

Monday, June 28, 2010

diving for golf balls

we've been taking advantage of the midnight sun around here. bike riding is our chief "nighttime" activity. last week the kids wanted to throw rocks in the river by our house, so we hopped on our bikes and took off! our usual rock skipping spot was occupied so we went a little further on down the trail, where someone spotted a golf ball in the pond. that's another of our favorite pass times, golf ball diving. so of course quinton wanted to go in and get it, and of course being the awesome parents we are, we let him.

no that's not pond scum! it's those little cotton thingies from cottonwood trees. they'll factor in later on in our story.

quinton dove for it, couldn't find it, and came out fast and freezing!! he was totally bummed to go through all that and not come up with the prize. we told him if he got it we'd give him 4$. he was way too cold, so we promised we'd come back the next day. meanwhile:
austin gets a bloody nose. but we can't do much about it......or can we? so mike gathers up all the cottony stuff and smooshes together tight and ......wahlaaaa!!

"i'm okay, hello everyone"

and on day two: quinton came prepared and.....he conquered!! and so we gave him 4 bucks (cause it was a titleist pro-v) and a slushy and lots of back slapping!

Friday, June 18, 2010

signs (a slightly tall tale )

,10 years ago, when i had my first baby, there was not much emphasis on cocoa butter. it was just a generally excepted fact that part of the exchange for one deliciously chubby baby, was purple slash marks on the various stretches of land that make up a person's person.
I have spent some time over the last 10 years lamenting the fact that no one bothered to tell me that these scars were avoidable, simply by coating my self in smellygood, lotion. but alas, they are starting to prove useful.
I have two boys who currently reside in the stage of "you can't tell me what to do." hA HA HA!! that's so funny. (big sigh after hardy laugh) anyway. for example here is a recent conversation.
me: austin it's time to turn off the wii and go outside.
austin: WHAT? i didn't get as long a turn as quinton blah blah blah......
me: (interupting, you just must do this as a mother sometimes) I don't know who you think you are, but when i ask you to do something, you say "yes mom!" and then you do it!
me: (having an epiphany and pulling up my shirt to reveal just my train wreck abdomen) see these stretch marks? i grew you in here and YES I CAN!!
no 7 year old wants to see his mom's train wreck belly, let alone discover the cause.
he very humbly clamps his mouth shut. and turns off the wii.

all this trauma for austin has me examining my stretch marks again to see if they really are that horrendous. i discover that they are worse from the side then the front. i'll remember that next time i need to bare them and turn slighty askew as i do so. it'll be even more effective.
while i'm examining i swear i begin to see an odd pattern in my war wounds. you know how you look at something long enough and it starts to morph and expand before your eyes?
"could it be?," i think, " is that really what i think it is?"
i rummage through the toy box until i find what i need. an ancient kid magnifying glass shaped like a sea turtle. i grip the green plastic handle and take a breath, peering at the suspicious area. and what i see makes me gasp out loud. my suspicions are confirmed. the long hideous scars are formed by tiny grotesquely, artistic, graffiti. the message they spell out takes my breath away. it reads:

austin was here

a smile forms on this mother's face. and i start the search on the sacred landscape of miraculous birthing history for signs of the other three.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

what is up?

we've already had our 80 degree day here in AK. it's a rare thing, so we turned on some sprinklers, as evidenced by austin's shirtless state.
mike and i had our first night time bike ride. this pic was taken at about 10:00 p.m. about five minutes after mike took this shot of me, we were riding and mike said, "i've never seen any wild life on this trail. (all the while i am talking loud and non stop to scare away bears) and then about 6 minutes after mike took this picture of me, (which i gotta tell you piggy tails are not my best idea ever) we saw a BLACK BEAR running down the trail!! He was about 100 yards away, and running fast, so mike wouldn't let me turn around and run. which i am glad for. cause we didn't get eaten, and i have a good story to tell. man it was awesome.
princess avery and her daddy were invited to the neighborhood "princesses and daddies ball" avery had the time of her life. there was dancing and food. Mike said that avery combined both into her experience by dancing with one hand and holding delicious crackers in the other. 1,2,3...twirl... and eat....
austin and Mike have taken in some golf. they couldn't wait. it's golf day today and it's windy and rainy. so say your prayers that the sun comes out for them. it's important.
sunday was beautiful! we bbq'ed and ate outside and wrestled dad on the grass. jace loves a good grass eating.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

top ten books...sort of a rehash. forgive me. and the reason i'm giddy today.

thanks for all your book suggestions, my summer reading cup overfloweth! all the book love reminded me of other favorites on my top ten list. which made me think: "i should post that" and also: "will you post yours?" i'll go first:

top ten:
Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns
To Kill a Mocking Bird, by harper lee
Dark Angel, by Robert Kirby
The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusack
The Power of One, by Bryce Courtney
A long way from chicago/a year down yonder, by Richard Peck
Peace Like a River, By Leif Enger
Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse
tie (cause i can't decide) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith/A River Runs Through It, by Norman McClean
Tie(because, again, i can't decide): The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie society, byMary Ann Shaffer/and The Ladies of Missalonghi, by Colleen McCollough

so i cheated a bit. but i allow cheating here.

And the most important news of all:

this is were mike has been living the past 6 months. he's not there anymore. he is on his way HOME! and i can't wait, and the suspense is killing me. Hooray!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

burning question of the week

it's summer reading season!! time to vacay and read at the beach or while your camping, or herding cats, i mean kids, to various parks and hikes and other errands. so the burning question is this: what is the best, the best, book you've ever read? i mean numero uno! my time here in alaska will end soon, and i'm gonna need a few good books to get me through the 10 day road trip through canada and the u.s. (although british columbia is so beautiful there will be no time for reading. only staring and sighing at beautiful country) so keep 'em coming! Here are a few of mine:

Richard Peck is one of my favorite authors of all time (2nd only to Roald Dahl) technically these are two books, but the both of them together make a wonderful story. it's the story i wish i could write. it's beautiful. but it's not my favorite.
I love robert kirby. he's a rebel and he is irreverent, and lots of times he's wrong, but he hits the nail right on the head with this wonderful story of love. it's not mushy and filled with cheesy one liners, it's about real love, in it's many forms and also about an 11 year old girl who swears alot. it's hysterical. i've read it three times. but it's not my favorite.

this is:

for so many reasons. 1. i've read it at least 5 times, maybe more. 2. i cry, i laugh, i yearn for fried chicken and coconut cake, 3. i swear i can hear miss effie belle and her wart coming. the characterization is that good 4. and i love the voice of a coming of age kid. ( i used to wish i was a boy, this book was at fault.) everyone has that coming of age moment. when you finally shake yourself of childhood restraints and make your choice. it's that moment when you look down a path to see "where it bent in the undergrowth," (thank you robert frost) and you know where it is you are going. and it's scary but your free and the air is suddenly full of wonderful, and possiblity. if you haven't read it. i obviously recommend.

you can thank my good buddy mary for reminding me about the burning question! i totally forgot about it!

oh it's so hard to choose: eeny meeny miney mo.......

Thursday, May 6, 2010

early mother's day

austin refused to ride his bike to school today. which is really confusing to his poor mom whom he has BEGGED for 2 cold alaska weeks to do that very thing. but when he came home and presented me with the most beautiful flower and said, "now ya know why i didn't wanna ride my bike today," i wasn't confused anymore. but i was a little teary.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

bears in trees

i've spotted this momma bear and her cubs in trees three times this week. i managed to get a pretty good shot of it today. this tree is no less than 400 yards from my house. mom and babies are eating about the only thing available during spring time in alaska.....budding leaves. hence, the incessant climbing. too cool.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


For the first time in nearly 10 years...we are a diaper free household.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

5 things...sorta

1. to read: my sister recommended this gem to me. loved that the author had 3 characters share the narrative. you just assume you know which one is the heroine and by the end your mind is changed. page turner.

2. for the kiddos: grandma got all of our kids one plasma car to share. my kids buzz all around the house on it. it's big enough for two of them and easy for even jace to drive around.

found this dress for little miss. perfect for easter if it didn't cost 69$. so i'm gonna try and sew one. i know, i might be screaming in frustration come saturday night. anyone out there with sewing expertise wanna give me some tips?

3. to watch: netflix is the greatest invention. i will never have to set foot in creepy blockbuster again! 500 days of summer was a really good movie. I loved the artsy feel of the direction, the unique storytelling perspective, and the unorthodox ending. a few little uneccessaries in there, like the naughty word shouting match (he he) but by far the best "chick flick" i've seen in literally years.
sidenote: (i really can't say that i like chick flicks, and don't watch many (excepting pride and predjudice, kiera knightly version, which i watch as much as possible.)

took the kids to this awesome dinner theatre here in anchorage to see Fantastic Mr. Fox and it was wonderful. love the weirdo son, the sarcastic and understated wit, and the patient and soothing voice of meryl streep. i thought it was a little over my kids heads, but they claimed to have really liked it!

4. to eat. ever since i hit 30, the old calorie burner has slowed down. so out with the sugar, in with the veggies. and veggies are good. especially when you eat 'em up with the help of these little snackies.
laughing cow cheese, 35 cal. and very grubbin'.
and organic blue corn chips. seriously very delicious, makes my homemade salsa taste even better (it's possible)

5. to wear: these jeans. i love them, and they were on sale.

lands end canvas is a new little shop a "spin-off" of lands-end. sorta j. crewish i think. i really need this dress and cardi, but it's like 5 inches too short, and i'm at a loss as to how i would remedy that.

so there you have it. 5 things.....sorta that are on my radar.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

grandma is a genius...and other stories.

let's get a little hypethtical. say your a little boy. about 9 years old. and your grandma and grandpa came to visit and they took you to the store and told you to pick out a toy. and say you loved that toy and you took it outside and threw it in the sky (because miniature halo guys like to fly) and you had a big smile of joy on your face until you realized that the miniature halo guy hadn't come back down. your prized treasure is now stuck on the roof. what would you do? your mom might say something like: i don't have a ladder, you'll have to wait until i can call the maintenance guy.
and then if you're really lucky, you might have a fearless grandma, who sees a little problem like a lost miniature halo guy as no big woop. she might gather up things like: a big plastic spoon, a toy badminton racket, a broom, a rake and some red duct tape and fashion a little rescue mission.
and then when she sticks it out the window, she might just see a little hole in the snow, about the size of a miniature halo guy, and she might just be able to reach it with her genius contraption. wouldn't that make you the luckiest kid around? to with a grandma who also doubles as a hero resucer of lost toys? i submit that it would.

in other news, me and my pops went for a nice cross country skiing day! we were so busy talking and skiing, we almost ran into this momma moose and her two offspring.
a momma moose with two babies is rare, not because they don't have twins but because typically the 2nd baby gets eaten by a bear! so i'm guessing this lady is one great mom.

see those skate tracks? i made them.
dad on ski's by the ducks!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

grandma and grandpa are here!

sadly quinton lost his head today. we're going to carve a pumpkin for him after church tommorrow.
love this picture of my mom
mt. redoubt (the volcano) at sunset above and below

mt. mckinley as seen from across the ice chunky cooke inlet.
this is right before we missplaced quinton's noggin.
this picture is now a treasure
austin on turnagain arm

Saturday, March 6, 2010

it's that time of year again......

one of the coolest things about alaska is iditarod. while the rest of the world has croqus' and daffodils beginning to sprout, and warm weather, shorts, and flip flops just around the corner, we in the frozen north are just that, froze. so we tie 10 or 12 dogs to a sled and go for a 1012 mile race! it's fun. it helps us to not feel so bad about the fact that we are still sportin' snow suits instead of spring dresses.
so i hauled all the kids down to 9th and Cordova, to see the ceremonial start to the 2010 Iditarod. the real things starts tommorrow 40 miles away around the Knik arm of the Cooke inlet, in Willow Alaska.

we got there a little early and to kill time they put a pop can in a tree and tried to hit it with snow(ice)balls. can you see it?

quinton scored some fantastic seats.
jace thought he was real funny hugging the parking meter.
kids on the berm. they didn't last long this year. We only saw the first six teams. (there are around 72 teams in the race including a guy from jamaica whose legit and whom i didn't get to see cause the little ones were freezing) See the little booties on the dog's feet? one of the mushers threw a used one to the kids and said, "here's a dog bootie for ya!" it is the single most awesome alaskan souvenir i have.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Emotional Rambo

Remember my annoying rug? i'm still working on it. Last night i decided to put my nose to the grindstone and crank it out. i had just checked on all the kids, they were sleeping and austin and fallen asleep in Quinton's bedroom. went back down stairs to finish BBC Persuasion and get this stinkin' rug on the floor and outta my hair. So Persuasion ends and i'm flippin' channels and i hear some noises. with mike gone, and uncle gunther on a date, i am missing that he-man bulk. you know, that decidedly masculine quality that makes scary noises mere explainable trifles, and the lack there-of turns the trifles into insurmountable hurdles. so i'm trying not to freak out, and i decide maybe a wayward moose is just trying to mate with my outside wall. austin's room has a good view of the source of the noise, so i go upstairs and peak between the blinds warily. nothing. no moose, or big hairy bad guys. i'm beginning to shrug it off when i hear the unmistakable sound of a door closing. i try to be cool and calm, but someone is coming up the stairs, slowly and then more rapidly and then that darn feminine hysteria takes over and i shout, "whose in my house!" ...........
......just as poor little austin rounds the corner of the stairs, hear's my crazed shouting, bursts into tears and runs to me certain that hairy bad guys are chasing him up the stairs. I feel two things. his heart beating so fast it could burst, and total relief that the insurmoutable hurdle, is merely an explainable trifle. austin had to pee, and i hadn't noticed because of that increasingly pain in the bum rug. and i scared my 7 year old nearly to death. high-five maggie.

All of this has got me thinking. my best friend and i had a mantra in high school. it is as follows: men are good for 2 things: manual labor, and kissing.
I've learned since then to add more to the list. (although the kissing, and manual labor thing were dead on) I've mentioned before how i never cry. it's one reason i love the olympics, because when i'm frustrated after months of not being able to expell all the stress and frustration of life into palpable watery manifestations, i can count on sports battles and national pride to get the water works going. seriously no matter what, i'm teary during the anthems.
but since my man has been in Iraq, crying is a daily thing. or maybe i should say tears are a daily thing. And i've figured out after 10 years that not only do i need and relish mikes big protective muscles, but he's also my personal, Emotional Rambo. His easy going manner carries me through all the puke, and the 9 year old with attitude, and the 7 year old who is as slow as cold tar, and the little girl who can make a mess like a professional hoarder, and a sweet little toddler with a concussion. He takes all of that weight and says something like, "well, we can either laugh or cry!" who can argue with that. he flattens emotional rollercoasters' with his proverbial giant clown foot.
I can't wait until my big, muscley, hairy, and clown footed friend gets back.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


mike sent the kids books from iraq. the cool thing is they come with a dvd of him reading the books. so they get some special one on one time with dad, even though he is miles away. he reads them the stories and interjects with comments about the parts he thinks they like the best, or how crazy the picture of the author looks, or a promise he will read the story to them for real once he gets home.
when we are done watching the dvd's austin turns to me and says, "you made a good wedding choice."
yes, i did.

Friday, February 12, 2010


these two monkey's wanted to "shovel" this afternoon.

look at that snow fly.
jace resorted to using his hands. shovels are heavy.
then (thanks to drive-way salt) they resorted to spring time activities. Jace learned how to go forward on his bike!
"greetings brothers!" can i tell you how awesome it is that they can walk home from school. i like to imagine the adventures they have on the way home. they like to complain about the distance (2 city blocks) and the weight of their backpacks. it makes good practice for when your a parent and you need a story to top the misery of your children's current situation. for example: when i was a kid we braved bullies, deer poop, and wind on the way to and from school and we even walked home and back for lunch. ha!
.someone wrote, "ur cute and caring" on one of this kids valentines.
be mine funny valentine.
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