Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cub Scout Carnival

Wednesday evening was the annual Cub Scout carnival. The children were excited to go because they had good memories of last year's carnival. Kara was baffled by their enthusiasm because the carnival is a real low budget affair with activities like a bean bag toss and a fishing pond. There was no cake walk this year, but there were a cotton candy and popcorn machines! The kids enjoyed the event.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Early Summer Marches On

The weather continues to amaze us longtime Alaskans. The trees are leafing out--two weeks earlier than usual. The basketball hoops came out for the summer. And...unfortunately, hay fever season has hit our home hard. I've been on allergy meds since we came back from D.C., so I'm doing okay, but Viva and Bentley are not doing well at all: itchy eyes (Viva is worse than Bentley) and a hacking cough (Bentley is worse than Viva), both victims are woolly-headed during school time. Lincoln and Evan are coughing now, too. Kara finally called the doctor's office to ask when allergy meds are okay for children and she's starting them on some.

Regardless of the awful symptoms of hay fever, the kids are enjoying being outside more.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Evan is an expressive little guy. If he's excited, he tells you. If's he's disappointed, he tells.

When you play a game with him (for example Rat-a-tat Cat), if he wins he's very vocal about it. "I win!" "You lose!" He says it with such gusto that you feel like you've lost twice--once when he won and again when you lost.

Evan is very close to his mommy. There are times when only she can make him happy. Then there are the times when he tells her: "I am not happy with you." "You are a dummy." (Yes he is reprimanded for using the word dummy, but he still persists.)

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Branded Home

My kids love Star Wars.  And that's okay with me.  It has a message about good and evil, a point to the plot, and is relatively clean fun.  I'm not a fan of letting kids watch the same movies 100 times until they can recite back the dialogue word for word in their sleep.  But, I will admit that we've watched the Star Wars movies more than few times.  It's part of our birthday night traditions - popcorn, the tent, and some Star Wars!  I'm hopeful that when they're grown they'll look back fondly and remember sibling bonding time over something they all enjoyed.

The kids have, of course, been quite excited about Episode 7 (The Force Awakens) that came out recently.  And the Star Wars marketing machine has cranked up to full speed churning out many treasures - we've focused on the clothing and music so far.  I hear the CD music daily from the speakers in the house.  The boys play it on the piano.  We've just picked up some trumpet and cello sheet music.  Fun times!

And, of course, all the kids can coordinate now.  :)  I love it!  A bit too much, perhaps.... 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Barrow Adventures: Part 2

It was a quick weekend trip to Barrow, but there was still time to squeeze in plenty of fun!  Jake & Matt headed out on a an expedition to see the northern most point of North America.  They worked on election results at the office.  They went swimming.  They cooked and watched a movie.  They toured some local landmarks.  They visited with office family!  They bonded.  And last (but not least??!) they ate whale.  :)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Newest Marble Run

I have a bit of an obsession/fascination with marble runs.  I'm not sure what it is about them, but I think they are great fun.  Some of my finds have been more fun than others - my newest one is a white board magnetic set of marble run pieces, and it has been quite enjoyable.  I find myself wishing my white board was twice as big (which would be quite the feat since it is already 4 feet x6 feet!), and that I had three sets of the marble run pieces.... but as I know I'm a creature of excess I'm going to just go with what we have.  We're having fun and it's all good.  :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Off to Barrow!

He went to Vegas, he trekked to DC... now it is off to Barrow for Jake!

Last year Bentley headed up to the top of the world to check out what Daddy does for work, and now it is time for Jake to have a look around.  Day 1 of the trip was a big hit - thanks to a very welcoming reception from great coworkers!  There was sightseeing, work at the office, and some school - a full and fun day.  :)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring Karate Demos!

The boys had the chance to participate in a few different karate demos this spring.  It has been a fun experience for them - and I love watching, because I am impressed at how sharp they look.  :)

This spring Jake has been the "star" of the skit about the kid who gets picked on by the bullies, goes to karate, and then kicks butt.  Last year Bentley was the star of the skit, so I'm glad they've both had a chance to do that!

Sunday, April 17, 2016


The Magformers are stored in a bin under the play table. They are out of sight and therefore not played with every day. Then someone pulls them out and builds a structure or two. Before long half the play room is covered in Magformers. (And then grandma we need more?! No! No!)

That last photo Viva wants you to know is all her creation.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Post Vacation Chaos

Today is April 15th and neither Kara or I have posted to the blog for two weeks. We went on a joint vacation the first week of the month and we haven't been able to get back into a routine that includes blog posts. I started to write about our vacation trip, but I don't have access yet to the hundreds of photos that Kara took. She promises me that she will get them ready to use soon. HA! She is taking advantage of the fact that it's her birthday week!

I will be backdating the vacation posts to fill in the first part of the month and we will try to post regularly again. So check back in soon and look at posts from April 1st onwards, not just the post with the most recent date.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Alaska Summer Has Arrived

As far as I'm concerned Alaska has two seasons: summer and winter. In summer we have long hours of daylight and we want to be outside as much as possible. In winter we have short hours of daylight and we want to be inside as much as possible (unless you are winter sport enthusiast). We had a very mild winter and so this year summer has come early. It's still chilly outside, but the children demanded their bikes and balls be brought out and pumped up. Matt has already taken the younger kids to a city playground. Opa spends time outside every day playing with his drones. The grandchildren often join him in this pursuit. 

Saturday, April 09, 2016

D.C. Trip: Cathedral

The Washington National Cathedral is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. It is of neo-gothic design and very cool to visit. Construction on the cathedral begin in 1907 and 83 years later the final finial was put in place. Until January 2014 it was free to visit the cathedral, but now a fee is charged to help offset the high cost of maintaining a building of this size.

The cathedral is one of my favorite places to visit in D.C., but it's not easy to get to because it is a mile or more from a metro stop. We visited the cathedral the day before we left and the weather had turned cold and windy. It was a long walk to cathedral. 

The exterior of the cathedral is awe inspiring with its flying buttresses, towers, spires and gargoyles. The interior is just as impressive with its stained glass windows, tapestries, mosaics, and paintings. We did not take the tour but instead wandered around on our own.

D.C. Trip: Zoo

Our rental house was two (very long) blocks from the back entrance to the National Zoological Park. The children visited the zoo at least three times with different adults. Because the zoo is located in D.C. it is compact for a zoo, but still quite a bit of territory to traverse if you're chasing down that elusive giraffe...who no longer resides at this zoo! We did find the panda bears (four of them), the monkeys, the elephants, the reptiles, the sea lions and a smashed penny machine!