Saturday, January 30, 2010

Find It Friday!

Welcome to a new feature I will do every Friday. Or until I forget. Or until I don't even remember what Find It Friday was, or what I was talking about.

But for now, its all the GOODIES I find at the thrift store on Fridays. I love going to the thrift store. I always have an idea about what I need, but end up finding treasures I didn't know I needed until I am trying to stuff them in my car and drag them home. Good times.

I bought six new dining room chairs! That I really needed, and they even match my table. Thanks to my sister, her good eye, and her cell phone to alert me.

I found this adorable purse! You can see why I love it, for the initial of course.

Had to take a picture with my bb and send it to taunt my Facebook friends. Its just so stinkin cute, don't you think?
After that, I found an Addie costume for our next American Girl History Club party, which will feature the "Addie" books and character. Its Addie's pajamas, but that works, right?
Then I found three shirt for Chena, and she picked out belts to match. Belts were two for one that day, only because there were too many to stay on the rack. When they start falling down, time for a sale I guess.
One thing we actually came in for were more winter boots for Chena. She outgrew and wore out (which came first?) her Sorels. Sorels are wonderful boots. They are water-proof, bullet-proof, and can handle our winters and crazy conditions. Well, we actually found some more Sorels for Chena! And only $8.75 as opposed to $69.00 new. Sweet!
I found a .50 straw hat for another American Girl doll outfit. Actually Penelope found that, but was too shy to ask the price. I asked and got it cheap. Fits too. Not me, the doll. :)
Well that's our Find It Friday. Sure was lots of fun!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Musical Miniature Horse...Look Out Mozart!

This is Mukluk. This is Mukluk on his piano. Any questions? :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Duvall, Spirit of the Wind

If you want to take his picture, you had better be fast!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset!

Its pretty exciting that we are getting more daylight now. I watch each night to see what time the sun is setting. Its almost past five o'clock now, and that's a milestone as far as this girl is concerned!

The other day my girls had basketball practice and book club, so I dropped them off and raced to catch the evening light at the mouth of the inlet. It was so peaceful, so beautiful, so welcoming with its warm and yet cold evening show. The sun seemed to linger, as if teasing me with its long slow dance.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oh What a Week

Monday, we started new units in school, and its been a ton of fun. I wanted to dive back into school after the holidays, with a bit of fun and a detour. I thought it would be neat to see where the girls' interests lay right now, so I let them choose any topic they wanted to do a two-week mini unit study. Chena chose Rainforests and Penelope chose Bears vs Pandas. I will have to post some of their projects on the blog, after I take a few pics. I had them design a chart, with pockets on them. On each pocket or lift-the-flap, I wrote a subject area. So we had Social Studies, Math, Art, Language, Writing, etc. Then Monday night I wrote an activity for each subject area and tucked it, hidden, behind the topic area. So each day they can choose whatever subject area they want, but they have no idea what the task or project will be. They get so into it, its pretty neat. They don't get to peek, so all they know is they are going to choose Art, because they are feeling crafty, or Math, hoping to make a graph, or Social Studies..hoping it will be a history movie..etc. They have had some surprises but they have loved all of it.
Monday night was our 4-H dog club, "Puppy Power", and it was the first night for the club members to bring a dog. We met at our local kennel club where we have done agility classes, obedience, etc. We did a mini clicker training demo for our club, and we took our Rat/Fox Terrier, Pluto.

Tuesday, Chena had her piano lessons. It especially exciting for her right now, because..guess what?! We bought a piano! Chena takes lessons from my mom, but we have only had a keyboard for her to practice between lessons. We have been impressed with her enthusiasm for it lately, so we decided to buy a used piano..and we found the perfect one! Its in great condition, which was important to me because its a piece of furniture I will be looking at and dusting for many Its really pretty! Both of the girls have been having lots of fun with it, playing and singing together. I never learned to play, but Michael says I should go back and give my mom another chance to teach me. :)

Wednesday we had to go into town for errands, and I had things to pick up from the library. The girls have a monthly book club at the library, so they talked to the club leader about how they were doing on the current book, etc. Then we had to go to the feed store to buy food for the bunnies, and we had to get some horse feed too. SO many errands!! But when we go into town only a few times a week, things pile up. I went to the thrift store and got a few dowels to use for clicker training (making "targets" with tennis balls glued in the end), and was looking for a few other things. I always get things while "thrifting" that I never set out to find! I love it. While I was in town, I decided to splurge and buy some king crab for dinner. Oh what a rare feast! Not something we buy very often, but we all love it.

Thursday was our Nikiski Homeschool Fellowship meeting. The girls each had a presentation prepared to share with the group, and we had lots of fun with our homeschool friends. Then we headed over to pick up one of our horse club buddies to come and spend the night. Michael was headed out of town to drive an airplane engine to Wasilla, to our mechanic we decided to have a sleepover. We made mini pizzas and played board games until quite late!

Friday was a great day to just play outside with the horses. We didn't have to go to town, we had nothing we HAD to do, so we did a few errands just here and there. I walked over to my neighbor's house, and had a cup of coffee and a visit with her, while the girls sledded with their friend. Then I worked with Mukluk, clicker training, and working on some new tricks. He learned how to spin! I'm excited about this, as it will lead into other tricks I hope to teach him. He was getting so excited, since he learned to "bow" he will follow me around, bowing and bowing until I distract him with a new job. Friday night we were going to go to a concert, but the roads were so icy, we decided to just listen to them on CDs at home instead, and order out for hamburgers and shakes to be delivered. It was so cozy just to hang out, and wait for Michael to get back home from Anchorage. He took Charlotte with him, so we missed both of them, alot! Chena helped me work in my scrapbook nook, with an overwhelming task of organizing layouts into albums. I have done about 25-30 12x12 albums, but often just threw the pages in as I completed them, and they were not in chronological order. So we worked hard, and got a lot done. Sometimes we played detective, trying to figure out the dates of the photos, etc. I usually write the date on every page I create, but there were soo many where I forgot to do it.

Saturday we were up early and headed to town, with Pluto with us. It was our Peninsula 4-H Rally Day, a yearly event where all the kids come together for a day of various "classes" on all kinds of topics. For example, I taught a clicker training class, using Pluto for demonstration, while Chena was in another room teaching "Pop Up" cards, and our friend taught "Geocaching..Hiking with Purpose". We had Pluto go through a small tunnel, jump on his mini trampoline, and do a few other of his tricks. The kids loved it, and I gave them a chance to try out the clickers, and see how they worked. There were classes of all sorts. I usually teach a class or two, but in between that I like to walk around and see everything that is going on. Its a blast!!

We headed home after that, and I was tired. But, did I mention it was my birthday? I kind of forgot myself, with all of the Rally Day events. So when we got home the girls pampered me, let me rest, while they did chores and took care of some laundry. Penelope even gave me a pedicure and a foot massage! She painted my toes pink with purple flowers. Then we all got ready, dressed up, and headed out to town to take me out for my birthday. We ate gourmet pizza and homemade root beer at my favorite spot, then went to Coldstone to get icecream to take home. I don't like cake, but oh boy...I love sweet cream icecream with Resees mixed in. We bought two quarts, but since we were still 40 minutes from home, my silly (and very practical) husband TIED the icecream to the top of the car to keep it cold. So all the way home, we kept begging him to pull over so we could check on it, and see if it was still there!! He was enjoying the suspense, so he made us wait. Oh what joy and relief when we got out and saw that it had held on all the way home! :)
We spent the rest of the evening until quite late playing board games, eating the icecream, and opening my presents. Yes, he made me wait for that too! I had spotted a package that came in the mail, and it was from my miniature horse tack I had some idea, but was not sure. I was hoping for a harness for Mukluk..and it WAS!!! I am so excited! My goal is to teach him to pull a cart by summer. Michael said he will build me a little cart or sleigh!! I was so jazzed, I wanted to try the harness on him or the kids but they said no. :)

Well today we skipped church because we had a pool party for my niece at 1 pm, and it would have been hard to get there on time. We went to the pool party, and all the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents had a ball there. Its a wonderful pool, with a 300 ft slide. Its even free for residents of our tiny town, so its a popular place in the winter.

Tonight my mom is having some of my friends over, along with my sister and sister in laws, for a game/snack night for my birthday. I better go and get ready. While I'm gone, the rest of the family is going to take the Christmas tree down. Yes, you read that right. Grin. I told you we have been busy (and its kind of a silly tradition to leave it up until my birthday, because I love it so much.) In fact, I think I had better go sit and admire it one more time, before I head out.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mountain View Ski Trip

We bought the girls new ski sets for Christmas. Although they both have skied a little bit, it was only with my gear. We could never go together, because they always had my skis and poles. We wanted to go out as a family and ski, so we are looking forward to it. We have trails behind our house, and we also ski on our lake and at our cabin.

But this week we went about five miles away, to my parent's house. They live on a hill with a fantastic view of the inlet and mountains, and they have wonderful ski trails. My dad goes out and breaks trail with the snowmachine.

So Mom, me, Chena, and Penelope had a wonderful time skiing!!! It was a crisp, clear day, but quite windy at times. Mostly gusts. We had a lot of hills to negotiate, and I was glad when we all made it back in one piece. There was one hill, and when we got to it, my Mom told my girls "When your mom was young and crazy, she would always ski down this hill. I thought she would break a leg!" Well, that was enough to get me going. I was determined to take on that hill! I knew if I looked at it very long, I would be afraid to do it, so I closed my eyes, shoved off and ZOOOOOM whooshed down the hill. I cannot believe I did not fall. Seriously, thank you Lord for steering from behind and keeping me standing. It was the greatest feeling, and pretty darn good for my ego too, since I had not skied a hill like that in years.

Here I am on the hill. You can see Cook Inlet and the mountains behind me. I didn't have a camera, so my blackberry pics will have to do.

What a great day! Can't wait to go again. I want to scare my mother some more. :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Scrap Happy

Wanted to make a collage of a few favorite Christmas moments, so I decided to do it digitally and share it here. I am going to enjoy printing it and maybe just hanging it on my wall for a while to relive all of our fun over the holidays.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday This & That

We are off and running in the new year! Getting the girls back into school and sports, 4-h, history club, math club, leadership council, piano lessons, etc. The list goes on. Before all that started though, we decided to take a short trip out to our cabin. More on our cabin trip later, but for now a few quick pics.
In flight:
Our lake, plane, and Mt McKinley in the background.
Mt McKinley, on a very clear day, from our cabin porch.
My parents celebrated 45 years of marriage on Christmas Eve!! Way to go, Mom and Dad. You are an inspiration for and an example for all of us, and we are so proud and happy for you. I took this picture, but had to get mom to quit kissing his neck for a minute. Crazy in love, after all these years.. (and don't they look young?)
We did a clicker training clinic for our horse club, and took our miniature horse, and our Arab, Duvall along. Lots of the girls brought their horses to ride. It was great to get together and ride, because its hard to do in the winter. Chena is on your far right, riding Duvall. Everyone is bareback using just halters and snap-on reins or leads.
Yesterday on the way to a friend's house, we saw an eagle feeding on a carcass in the woods. I had my camera with me, so I could not resist a shot of him.
Happy New Year, everyone!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Watch Out! Look Sharp! Porcupine!!!

We were out sledding the day after Christmas. Since it was so icy out, the runner sleds were going extremely fast, and would even jump off of the roads and make it down onto the lake. It was wonderful sledding conditions! But even so, I was making sure to take turns, so there was always somebody down on the runway, looking for both planes and vehicles before telling the sledders at the top of the hill to take off.

We had been going for awhile, and it was my turn to be look out. The girls were riding double, sitting up on their runner sled, poised for take-off. I looked right, then left- did a double take and shouted "STOP!!" to the girls. They stuck their feet out, slid a bit, and stopped, yelling "Car?" But it wasn't a car. Directly in their path around the corner where they were headed was a HUGE HUGE porcupine!! He looked like a dark round ball as he scuttled across the road. We trotted down and over to him, staying a safe distance of course. He walked into the woods and then ZIP, he skillfully shinnied up a tree.

Well, I couldn't let this pass by. I sent one of the girls to get my camera, as I watched him closely. He stayed in that tree for a long time, so we wandered off. He was too far up for me to photograph him.

But then, he came down. He padded through the woods and up onto the bank near us. Then back up another tree, but a much smaller one. I got some pictures, and then hid until he came down and crossed again, and came up to our house.

He was amazing to watch! His colors were beautiful, with blond tips on the end of his quills. He had the roundest eyes, and looooong sharp claws. I love nature up close!

He went under our horse trailer, then scooted back out, crossed under the bunny hutch, and ambled along beside the hangar, then up another tree. The next morning, he was gone.

Here's Chena, and the porcupine:

The porcupine:

And a few more pictures of the prickly passer-by