Monday, March 31, 2008

Sleeping with one eye open.

Daniel often sleeps with one eye slightly open. It's a bit creepy and kindof funny at the same time. We've often laughed and suggested perhaps because he has both a big brother and a big sister that he must keep an eye on his favorite things at all times! He was so funny when I went in to check on him. Apparently, he decided to bring a few belongings into bed with him during nap time today.
We went to a very fun party to celebrate our friend Gabriel's first birthday. It was very fun. The kids really enjoyed playing with the balloons. They are now all tuckered out and sleeping soundly.
I'm still getting prepared for my trip to Florida. I was hoping to catch the musical Wicked, but the dates/times conflict with other things, so I'll have to catch it another time.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

An exciting Saturday night.

We've had a quiet day of hanging out at the house. At one point, I rested on the bottom bunk of the boys' bed, while the kids make inventions from their tinker toys.

Keith suggested we get a babysitter and go out for tonight. But, I'm nearing the end of two big classes and have a small mountain of work to finish in the next 3 weeks, and I've somehow psyched myself up to believe I can get it all done in the next week if I really buckle down after the kids go to bed.

So our compromise was to take the kids out to dinner (something we rarely do), and then give them baths and let them watch a movie before bed. They were all WONDERFUL out to dinner tonight. I think the change of scenery did us all a little good.

So here I sit waiting for a presentation to finish downloading, so I can study for a few hours.

I bought my plane tickets to Florida, and because I am using my Alaska airmiles, I had to be very flexible with my dates and times, so I'm spending a few more days than I had originally planned to be there. But the extra time in the sunshine will be fun! Keith says thank goodness the house is already sold because he assures me that it won't be this tidy while I am gone for 10 whole days!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A day of chores

The kids and I got up and went to the grocery store this morning. Megan has been very sensitive lately, so I was bracing myself for her to misbehave at the store today. However, she was just a little darling. She sat up in the seat of the grocery card and held the list for me. Daniel road in the truck part (I have such a dislike for these carts, they are a monstrosity to try to push through the store). Everyone did great...until check out time. Daniel decided he wanted to get out of the truck just as I am handing the cashier our coupons, Safeway card and my debit card, so that I can go grab him. Daniel decided that he wanted to grab some batteries from near the service desk and he would not let go of them. I jerked them out of his hands to which he screamed like I was killing him. The cashier gave me my receipt and debit card back and then I was out the door pushing the truck cart with one hand and holding a kicking and screaming Daniel with the other hand and telling Joshua to stop walking in front of the cart as I run him over for the 57th time that day. Of course, this is Kodiak, so I had to pass at least 8 people I know on my short walk from the store to the car. I chuckled about it the whole way home. For the most part, they are great kids, I think the stress of the move is rubbing off on them.
The kids have been after me to make cookies for a few days now. Finally today, we had sugar cookies with M&Ms in them. That made everyone smile.

Joshua enjoyed the unique reflections of light from the cups on the table today. The sun comes through the windows at an angle this time of year.
I made some carrot-banana muffins tonight after dinner to have for breakfast in the morning. Tonight during Daniel's bedtime prayer, all I could hear was "mumble, mumble, mumble, I want to eat muffins, mumble, mumble, Amen". He's so funny, it more than made up for his little meltdown this morning.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

All About Bears

What else is there to do on a snowy morning, but to go back to the Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center for their amazing kids programs. Today's topic was all about bears. Daniel brought his Huggie-Bear along and listened very patiently.
Megan and Daniel enjoyed checking out the bear skin. Here they are holding the bear's hand.

Megan wanted the bear puppets to come home with us. I'm happy to report that they did not. They are beautiful puppets, but we are in the midst of preparing to move, so no more toys are coming into this house!!

Daniel was the only one that sat in his seat and colored his picture. Joshua hung out with a little friend and Megan wandered around the windows looking out at the snow.

Before we left, Megan went to say good-bye to the bear. Here she is touching his nose.

It ended up being a beautiful afternoon today. I got a chance to knock off quite a few things on my pre-moving checklist.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A field trip to the Military Police Department

Keith came home from work at 3:30am. They've been so busy lately. Originally, he was going to hang out with the kiddos and I was just going to take Joshua with me to get my fingerprints done today. But since Keith only had about 4 1/2 hour sleep, I decided I'd have mercy on him.

I loaded the munchkins into the minivan and we were off to the Coast Guard base, where I had an appointment at 10am to have my finger print cards completed. The finger print cards are just another hoop to jump through in getting my Florida Nursing License re-activated.

On the way out to the base, there was a deer just standing in the road, as if it were a traffic cop. The three cars in front of me each slowed down until we found ourselves stopped, wondering what this deer was thinking. I pulled the camera out, but ended up getting a shot of the C-130 on the runway instead. Yes, that's the road we are driving on in the foreground of the picture. It still seems unreal that we drive that close to the runway. And don't even ask me about the first time Keith and I drove on base, where you have to actually drive across the runway after making a stop to check for passing aircraft. I yelled at him and told him I didn't think we were supposed to be driving across the runway! It's a very interesting set-up out on the base. Needless to say, after about 30 seconds, the deer was gone and the kids were thrilled to see the plane take off. Daniel kept yelling, "bye, Daddy" and I kept trying to remind him that Daddy was home in bed sleeping.
We finally reached our destination at the Military Police Department, where a very nice officer did my fingerprints. It took us a few tries to get perfect looking prints done. Joshua really enjoyed talking to the officers. All the kids got stickers.
The fingerprint ink is a red ink that turns black once it is developed on the card. So for the rest of the day today, I walked around Kodiak with my hands looking like Lizzy Bordon from the childhood jump rope rhyme (not a pleasant rhyme, but a popular one for kids growing up in and around Boston).

The kids played outside while I shoveled some snow in the driveway. Then we all came in and they took a nice warm bath in my big tub. Joshua has been wanting to go camping, so I compromised and let them play in the tent in the livingroom, where I served dinner of sandwiches, popcorn, cheesesticks, dried apricots and banana chips - a mini-picnic of sorts.

We accepted an offer on our house today. We'll be closing the last Friday in May. Funny how checking one thing off my to-do list, now adds a half dozen more things!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!

What an amazing day!

We woke up this morning to a beautiful blanket of snow covering everything. Our fantastic neighbor was plowing my driveway this morning while I was getting the kids ready for church. I put everyone's snowboots on and threw their church shoes in my bag and out we went.

The church was PACKED today. This was Megan's first week in the 4/5 year old room. When I sent her in with Joshua, the teacher announced they would be making resurrection buns today. Joshua announced in return that I am the best cook ever and had helped him make some yesterday. He cracks me up. So needless to say, between Megan's anxiety about being in a new room, and Joshua's faith in my cooking, I stayed to help the teacher today.

Now that Megan is four, she goes into the main sanctuary for the initial part of the service and then goes down to Junior Church with Joshua and the other 4/5 year olds right before the message is started. Well, she was being a little difficult before the song service had even started. I hated that I had to give her a time out, but I knew she needed the break from the environment for a minute to know how serious I was about her misbehavior. So, it was my turn to do what my friends and I jokingly call the walk of shame all the way from the third pew down the side aisle of a packed, packed church with a crying child on my hip. Fortunately the song service had just started and everyone was standing singing anyway. We did a time out in the bathroom and then returned a few minutes later with a new bouncing up the side aisle, happy Megan. Sometimes I think kids just need to know that even though the environment is different, the rules are the same. I really believe that kids seek out their boundaries to feel secure. Perhaps it's because I have such spirited children. Keith assures me he has been walked to the back of the church more than once as a child. So I will blame this on him. :)
After the service, we came home to find the eggs that Keith had hidden all over the livingroom. He was up last night most of the night with a migraine, so he stayed home from church lest the noise and lights trigger him again, and boy was it loud in there today during the song service, I can't blame Megan for melting down.
All the kids enjoyed finding the eggs. Keith hid 19 eggs. Some of them were the eggs that had come in the box that grandma sent and some we had filled with mini-packs of M&Ms. Eight of them had clues in them. The clues were squares of paper with a number and a word on them. When Joshua lined them up in number order, he read the clue to find the baskets.

There is Joshua trying to figure it out. The clue said "look where kids go to get clean" when all the squares were put in the right order. So Joshua ran to the kids bathroom to look in their tub, with Daniel in hot persuit.

Daniel is kneeling peeking into the tub. There was another clue that said, "not in here, try again". Which sent the kids running into the master bathroom to find their baskets in the garden tub.

They each got a few cute little things in their baskets and were just thrilled as can be. Then they all excitedly gave Keith and I hugs and kisses. They know we are the suppliers of the baskets and eggs and all that stuff. I never even had to tell them, they just picked up on it on their own a few weeks ago.

The big kids did floor puzzles in the livingroom while Daniel took a nap. I sat out on the back porch for a while just to enjoy the silence.

It was one of those days when you can see that old man winter is trying to put up a good fight, and it looks like spring is trying so hard to get here.

The sky was amazingly blue and clear today. The snow everywhere reflected the light and made everything just look spectacular! I really will miss the beauty of Kodiak. I'll miss sitting out on our porch. I hadn't expected this most recent snowfall. Infact, the kids and I left some outside toys laying around in the yard and I had started to weed the rhubarb bed during our little stretch of warm-ish weather. So today after naps were done, all of us geared up for the snow and searched out all the toys in the yard and put them away. We had a blast playing outside for a couple of hours.

Tonight, I taught Daniel how to Eskimo kiss. He calls it "monkey-mo kiss". It's the cutest thing ever!! We are so looking forward to being near family for next year's Easter. But somehow this year, it just seemed like a perfect day for just the 5 of us.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter Eve!

What an amazing day before Easter. They sky was a dark gray this morning. And just when Keith and I were entertaining the idea of hiding some plastic eggs outside for the kids to find after lunch - the sky let loose with snow, snow and more snow.

For lunch we made lots of little snacks, including deviled eggs from our eggs we had colored the other day. Then after naps, we made resurrection buns, and ate bunches and bunches of marshmallows. Here is Joshua spreading the butter inside the biscuit.
Daniel got a little over-enthusiastic with the cinnamon sugar mix. It made the buns taste very similar to Cinnabon buns.

After a thorough investigation of the "empty tomb", we all enjoyed our buns. They were so tasty, Daddy ate two!
Then, the kids enjoyed digging into some adorable packages that Grandma and Grandpa sent. They are cute little chinese take-out boxes with fun little trinkets inside. The notepads and the 5 one dollar bills were a big hit!

Then the kids called Grandma to say thank you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Coloring Eggs

We woke up this morning to snow flurries coming down giving everything outside a soft white dusting. The kids and I spent the morning playing around in their rooms, clearing out some clothes that they have outgrown and listening to some Dan Zanes CDs.

The irony is that Megan's closet looked fantastic when we were done this morning. Then right around lunchtime someone that had looked at the home last week wanted to come by to measure the closet in that room. I kept thinking to myself, thank goodness she didn't want to measure the boy's closet - that room was covered in piles of clothes! We've got some decisions to make about the house in the morning when Keith gets home.

The big kids and I played out in the snow for a bit while Daniel was napping. Then we decided to color some eggs. We talked about how in the past people colored eggs and gave them to their friends in the spring time as gifts. It seemed fitting since today is the first day of spring.

We had a great time coloring eggs. No, that's not a dirty window - that's snow coming down.

My little helper

This morning was a beautiful morning. The sunshine made the lily pond look so crisp in the morning light, I actually stood out on the porch for a little bit just taking it all in before the kids woke up. A quick glance at the thermometer hanging on the porch told me it was about 22 degrees outside. That was definately my cue that it was time to head inside and make some tea.

I returned a few phone calls while the kids were eating breakfast and then I was off to my 10am class. Fortunately, class is on-line because I sat on the floor in the livingroom with the kids in the midst of a mountain of every blanket we own (we had just stripped beds for washing the linens) half watching Herbie the Love Bug, talking to Keith on the phone and following along with the chat session for school. Not the usual way I attend my chat sessions, but I can tell I have a raging case of senioritis and I'm just counting down the final weeks. And incidently, it was the classic Herbie movie, one of my favorites. And the kids loved it.
After class, the laundry was finished and it was time to put sheets back on beds. Megan wanted to help. She did a great job helping me with her bed and then we went in to do mine. She instead decided that she would jump on the bed instead of put sheets on it. But, the joke was on her, she's not used to the new mattress, and it doesn't bounce, so she jumped once and then just stood there looking dumbfounded. So then, she improvised and danced on my bed while I cleaned up the bathroom and put away some laundry in the back end of the house.
We brought all the remaining laundry into the livingroom to fold so that we could sit in the sunshine. It felt so good to do our chores in the sun. Megan picked her clothes out of the pile and folded most of them. It was hard for me to NOT reach over and re-fold them, the control freak that I can be sometimes. I want her to be proud of her work and to be encouraged to take care of her belongings.
Tonight I took the kids to see Horton Hears a Who. They all behaved wonderfully, and we used the carseat trick again with Daniel and he was happy as can be to just sit there with his M&Ms, sucking the candy coating off of them before eating the chocolate. Overall, it was a cute movie.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Birthday trip to the Touch Tank

Today the 5 of us went out to the Touch Tank. This is a great place to look at different sea creatures and even enjoy some hands-on learning. Daniel enjoyed peeping at the octopus.
Daddy and Megan checking out sea cucumbers and anemonies.

Daniel and Daddy checked out the fish that were darting in and out of the sea anemonies.

Megan got to hold a starfish. She picked out a pink one out of all the orange ones.

Even Daniel got brave enough to hold the starfish for just a second.

Joshua scooped the starfish right up with no hesitation.

A shot of our little starfish.

Daniel checking out the touch-tank part of the aquarium.

Daniel up close and personal with a starfish.

Daddy and Daniel checking out the big observation tank.

The wall-of-fish. The kids love this wall.

Megan and me at the touch tank. It was nice to be the only family in there. We had a really good time.