Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BITS OF THIS AND THAT

~REWIND, REVIEW, REPLAY~

I'm back to feeling normal after about 6 days of constantly blowing my nose, coughing, sneezing, and exhaustion.  I thought for sure my boys would come down with it, and they threatened with a sneeze here and a sneeze there, but never fully caught my bug.  Thank goodness for that!




On Sunday it started snowing.  The flakes were so beautiful, flitting around in the air.  It continued to snow and snow and snow though and it started to really break my heart. The roads had just finally cleared of snow, our piles outside were finally starting to reduce in size and now THIS!  We ended up getting another two to three inches of snow, and the roads turned snow covered and slick. 

A Special Weather Statement, I read, reported;

THIRD LONGEST PERIOD OF CONTINUOUS DAYS OF NO PRECIPITATION AT FAIRBANKS... THERE WAS NO PRECIPITATION...EITHER RAIN OR SNOW...AT FAIRBANKS FROM FEBRUARY 27 TO MARCH 26. THIS ADDS UP TO 28 STRAIGHT DAYS WITHOUT ANY PRECIPITATION. THESE 28 CONSECUTIVE DAYS MAKE THE THIRD LONGEST PERIOD OF PRECIPITATION FREE WEATHER AT FAIRBANKS SINCE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT RECORDS BEGAN IN 1930...A RUN OF 82 YEARS. THIS STATISTIC INCLUDES ALL MONTHS OF THE YEAR...NOT JUST FEBRUARY OR MARCH. SO...HERE ARE THE TOP 3... LONGEST...........33 DAYS MARCH 25 THROUGH APRIL 26 1993 SECOND LONGEST....29 DAYS FEBRUARY 2 THROUGH MARCH 2 1979 THIRD LONGEST.....28 DAYS FEBRUARY 27 THROUGH MARCH 26 2011 THE PERIOD WITHOUT PRECIPITATION ENDED YESTERDAY...SUNDAY MARCH 27 AT 6.49 PM.

So I guess I should be feeling thankful for the break that we had.  And after that snowfall, we received on Sunday, we haven't gotten any more. 

It warmed up to at least 45F today.  Tanner and I got out and enjoyed some fresh air.  I hooked both of the dogs up on their leashes, I strapped Tanner to my back and took them for a 50 minute walk.  Once we arrived back home we played outside for another 40 minutes.  When shuffled our way indoors Tanner was famished.  I guess with all that outside playing he worked up a hefty appetite!


Brandon cannot stop talking about camping this summer.  I have to admit, the more he talks about it the more excited I get.  We have already purchased a good portion of our camping gear. Our first camping trip is scheduled for mothers day weekend.  We are going to head down to Valdez, about a 268mi drive which rounds out to about a 5.5-6 hours in the car.  Why would we choose to go that far for our first camping trip you ask? Because of the Valdez Fly in and Air Show of course. "The Valdez May Day Fly-In & Air show isn't your ordinary Fly-In! Come experience the most unique Bush Plane competition in the Western United States.  It is truly the only one of it's kind and it's waiting for you!!!"  I guess we'll see what all that means!

New camping loot


I want to finish this off with the top three things I'm most thankful for at this moment... in no particular order they are;

  1. My health.  It is something I take for granted.  I am healthy and strong and my body is a wonderful thing.  
  2. My God.  My relationship grows and matures with Him everyday.  
  3. My family.  Brandon and Tanner are what keep me rooted.  Brandon lovingly provides and supports Tanner and I. He takes such wonderful care of us. Tanner brings a smile to my face sooooo many times throughout the day. Watching him learn and grow is such an awesome experience. I love them.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

MENU PLANNER | MARCH 27, 2011

On Saturday's I like to plan and now share the coming weeks meals (I always enjoy getting ideas from other people and am trying to return the favor).  Breakfast and lunch rarely vary and so do not need to be planned.  I am going try to add my family to the  Meatless Monday Movement.  I read that going meatless one day a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, not to mention reduce our carbon footprint.  


I didn't follow my meal plan at all last week. I was sick and opted for easy and usually not healthy meals. I'm feeling much better now so I hope to be back on track!  


Sunday

  • Fish Tacos made with Halibut, Corn Tortillas, Red Cabbage, Cilantro, Red Onion, some sauce

Monday

  • Tortellini Primavera
  • Green Salad

Tuesday

  • Jambalaya
  • Frozen Corn

Wednesday

  • Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers
  • Green Salad

Thursday

  • Colonel Mustard Pork Chops
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Couscous

Friday

  • Taco Salad

Saturday

  • Steak
  • Artichoke
  • Brown Rice

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

SPRING, IS THAT YOU?

~REWIND, REVIEW, REPLAY~

So they say spring is here.  If it weren't for over two feet of snow in my back yard I'd almost believe it!  We have seriously been getting close to the 40 degree mark here for highs, and that's above zero folks!  We've been getting outside more and more, which very well could explain this horrible head-cold that I've been suffering from for the last 3 days... should have bundled up a little more!  Anytime we head out the door Tanner now thinks he's going to go out to play.  When he is directed towards the car he flips out!  Same thing happens when he gets out of the car, he automatically assumes he's going to play out for a while and fights going back into the house.  He's definitely going to be and outdoorsman!

With the temps warming up during the day but still cooling off to below zero at night, there have been some pretty slick roads out there.  I've seen 3 cars tipped over on their sides in the ditch.  Two of those were in the exact same spot, but a few days apart!  I'll be so happy when there are nothing but dry roads to drive on!  It'll take so much anxiety out of driving for me!

Brandon and I can't stop thinking about all of the camping trips we want to go on this summer.  We've already been to Sportsman's Warehouse a few times checking out a tent we are in love with.  It's a nice  big wall tent!  Oooh-La-La! We've also been looking at big coolers, cooking stoves, air mattresses!  Starting to get some spring fever for sure!

Know how much gas is here in North Pole right now???  $4.22 a GALLON!!! I've got so many road trips planned for the summer.  Time to start saving so that we've got money to put in the tank!  (Don't know if that's spring related, but I had to throw it in here anyways!)

On to the week...

~We didn't do anything special for St. Patrick's Day, but I still dressed my son up in some shades of green.  I'm pretty sure I had some green on, probably my hair band or some such thing!

~We've been working on getting Tanner to wear sunglasses and wear baseball caps. He screams so much when the sun hits his eyes.  On Facebook last week I posted this as my status;
"Why can't my son and the sun just give each other a nice warm embrace and be friends?!? Sun, quit shining in my son's eyes. Son, turn your head and quit screaming at the sun. :)"  I love the sun and love it shining in my face, to have my little guy hate the sun so much, right now, is rough!


~Our niece, Catherine turned 12 on Saturday.  She called her uncle up and asked if we could take her brothers Isaiah and Lucas for a night so that she could have a slumber party and not be bothered by them.  The boys were packed and loaded into our car.  (We might need a bigger vehicle if we are ever able to expand our family!)


~First stop was McDonalds where the boys all got McNuggets and fries.  I had some leftover chili and after Tanner woke from his nap he had a PB and J.  I'm not a fan of fast food.  Especially nuggets!

~After naps and feedings were complete we headed out to base for some fun.  We started at the play area at the Community Center, that Tanner loves so much.  The boys had a great time there too.  Lots of running and chasing and hiding in the tunnels.  


~Tanner took a break from playing with the big boys to enjoy some toys more his size.  He raced around and screamed and hollered just like the big boys though. 

~After the Community Center we headed over to the gym and played there.  We started off with some basketball, tossing of the football and some volleyball.  When the football field opened up we raced up and down the field, kicking soccer balls.  I was too busy playing to take pictures of that though.




~Once back home, Brandon and the kids all played some Mario Kart on the Wii.  Tanner thinks he's playing and he's holding a remote of sorts, but he's not really in the game.  What he doesn't know won't hurt him though. :)  


 ~The boys all worked on a pretty big snow fort outside.  Lucas (5 years old) said that the fort was Duckie's house.  Duckie played along for a few minutes and then was back at the house scratching on the door to get in.



~Isaiah (9 years old as of today) made a runway for airplanes to land on.  Mostly Tanner walked down the runway kicking blocks every-which-way, or the dogs would lay down in the middle of it.  Pretty creative though.  Isaiah has a passion for airplanes, like his uncle.

 ~We have a little ritual, when the boys are over, where we end the day with a movie and homemade popcorn and Shirley Temples.  Brandon, about two years ago, made the mistake of putting seasoning salt on the boys popcorn instead of just regular salt. They hated it and refused to eat the popcorn.  Each and every time they come to stay with us now, they always remind Uncle "Bourbon" not to put that nasty stuff on their popcorn!

 ~We woke up to Miss Moose in our backyard.  We think it may be the moose that lost her calf in the slough a few weeks ago.  Poor momma.




~After staring at Miss Moose for a while, Brandon made us homemade pancakes and bacon for breakfast.  There was some play inside and out and then lunch and then Tanner's nap.  While Tanner napped the boys got to go to the gas station with their uncle to get some ice cream.


 ~Tanner woke up in time to snag a few bites of daddy's cone.  He couldn't take his eyes off of his cousin's scarfing down theirs!




 ~After ice cream we all loaded up and headed back out to base to go swimming.  The water was chilly. Tanner screamed and cried and shook for the first 15 minutes of it.  He finally calmed down enough to play a little.  After the swim we took the boys home.  It was a fun, action packed weekend.  If this is what it's like having older boys I'm going to be worn out all the time! :)



 ~Brandon is back on swing-shift after being on days for 2 weeks.  I have such a hard time finding motivation to make dinner for just Tanner and I.  Last night we had quinoa, fried cabbage and a green smoothie.  I'm so lucky that my son isn't a picky eater yet!




I hope the temps continue to rise, the snow continues to melt and the sun continues to shine in my face (but not my sons)!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

MENU PLANNER | MARCH 20, 2011

On Saturday's I like to plan and now share the coming weeks meals (I always enjoy getting ideas from other people and am trying to return the favor).  Breakfast and lunch rarely vary and so do not need to be planned.  I am going try to add my family to the  Meatless Monday Movement.  I read that going meatless one day a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, not to mention reduce our carbon footprint.  


Brandon is back on swing shift.  So these meals will actually be eaten at Lunch time.  


Sunday 
  • Pecan crusted chicken breast
  • Green Salad
  • Sweet Potato
Monday
  • Veggie Pizza
  • Green Salad  
Tuesday
  • Taco Salad
Wednesday
  • Pork Chops
  • Red Potatoes
Thursday
  • Turkey sausage
  • Pasta Salad
Friday
  • Steamed Salmon
  • CousCous 
  • Green Salad
Saturday  
  • Pizza/Pool party - Niece and Nephew's birthday party!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

BLANK

~REWIND, REVIEW, REPLAY~

I have no words of wisdom.  No titillating thoughts.  I'm drawing a blank and am just going to post the blog anyways.  Some weeks are just like that.

On to the week...

~Tanner and I made it to the Big Dipper to walk a few times this week.  We met up with my friends Liz and her kids Bailey and Brody.  Brody and Tanner are about 5 months apart and already Tanner is the same size as Brody.  

RUNNING!!!
After Liz and I walked a mile we let the kids get out of their strollers and we all walked two laps.  Those two laps took as long to complete as it did for Liz and I to walk our miles, but were a lot more entertaining.

Brody fell, Tanner tripped and fell on him, Bailey just had to pose with the boys!
Overlooking the ice rink.  

~ Lots of sunshine this week made for lots of playing outside.  Brandon borrowed a snow blower when we had that big snow fall.  He had made a few paths in the back yard so that he'd be able to haul wood from the wood pile to the house.  Also paths for the dogs to go out and do their business.  At any rate Tanner and I made use of the paths.  

There was lots of tripping and falling into the banks and then just eating snow from those banks.  Tanner throws the biggest fits when it's time to go in.  Screaming, crying, kicking, slapping.  I wish it was warm enough just to let him play outside all day long!
Poor, cold little Duckie 


Drip. Drip. Drip.
~I had some leftover sauce from last week's lasagna so I made some spaghetti with it.  Tanner had THREE plates full.  He had a nice tight little drum belly by the time he made the sign for "all done".  


~ My sister-in-law Bridgett and a bunch of her charges came to play for about 30 minutes Friday.  I don't think that they've ever really played with Tanner's toys... he's got lots to share. 

This little guy, Brian, is about 3 months older than Tanner.  He stays with Bridgett on the weekends.  Tanner used to really enjoy beating up on Brian.  The push down, scratch-'em-up type of beatings.  This day Tanner did great.  He shared toys and didn't touch Brian once, in front of me... I guess when he was out of my sight the two fought over Tanner's new 4-wheeler, but much better than just attacking him out of nowhere.  

~I made some granola bars. I'm on a "homemade" kick.  I never have been one to make or buy much pre-packed stuff, which sometimes drives my husband insane.  Since having Tanner I think I've kicked it up a notch... I just like to know what is going into my sons body. I like to control the sugar and use whole wheat flour instead of the all-purpose flour a lot.  These little babies sure looked good, but were rather dry.  I'm going to keep looking for a good granola bar recipe.  I also plan on making gold-fish crackers, and yogurt in the coming weeks.
Too bad they resemble sawdust in my mouth!
~Bridgett and her boyfriend Charles bought Bridgett's two oldest kids a snowmobile to share for their birthdays.  Over the weekend there was a snowmobile rendezvous out at a lake near our house.  We met the family out there and Brandon borrowed Bridgett's snowmobile and went riding with Isaiah for a little bit.  Bridgett is a lot braver than me about letting her kids ride motorized vehicles. I get nervous watching Brandon ride around, I can't imagine what it'll be like watching Tanner out there!  YIKES!

Some lovin' from Auntie!
Hangin' out with cousin Lucas on a snowbank
~
Scooting on his tush down a snowbank


"I can do it all by my self"

The "Backseatagains"

Gotta love a boy and his frozen blueberry mouth

Next week I'll have a subject to chat ya up about... this week just pictures.

Monday, March 14, 2011

ACTION SHOTS

Here are a few little videos taken with our iPhones.  Tanner is always in action.  Sometimes still images just don't do him justice!


~I'm amazed at how precise he is when he stacks his blocks.  
video

~He can't resist dancing to The Itsy Bitsy Spider.  Today he was dancing for Grandma Florence as soon as Skype was turned on.  
video

~Grandma Minty sent Tanner this 4-wheeler.  We can't get him off of it!
video



Sunday, March 13, 2011

MENU PLANNER | MARCH 13, 2011

On Saturday's I like to plan and now share the coming weeks meals (I always enjoy getting ideas from other people and am trying to return the favor).  Breakfast and lunch rarely vary and so do not need to be planned.  I am going try to add my family to the  Meatless Monday Movement.  I read that going meatless one day a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, not to mention reduce our carbon footprint.  


I haven't decided if I want to use pictures in these posts or not.  It'll be fun to see how this evolves.  I went grocery shopping today and bought so many bags of produce, fresh and frozen.  It was great!  I think that produce is my favorite thing to buy.


Sunday
  • Tacos - Instead of using lettuce I'll be using cilantro.  Both of my sisters made them like this for me. Delicious and fresh! 

Monday
  • Stuffed Bell Peppers - Our Best Bites
  • Green Salad
Tuesday
  • Three Amigo Chili - The New Abs Diet Cookbook
  • Cornbread
Wednesday
  • Turkey Kielbasa and Pineapple
  • Rice
  • Steamed Broccoli
Thursday
  • Steamed Salmon
  • Couscous
  • Edamame
Friday
  • Steak
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Green Salad
Saturday
  • Pizza - Jiffy Pizza Dough
  • Green Salad

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

FEELING THE CHANGE

~REWIND, REVIEW, REPLAY~


I was too exhausted to finish my weekly blog last night, so I'm playing catch-up during Tanner's nap today.  Brandon got moved from swing-shift to day-shift and it's messing with the original routine that we were all used to.  Now we ALL get up at 5:30am, when Brandon gets up, because Tanner wakes up with every little noise.  Before the shift change we were all sleeping until 7:00am.  Instead of getting to hang out with Brandon all day, Tanner and I are now trying to keep busy so that the day doesn't drag on until he gets home.  So far we have been successful at not letting boredom beat us down.  Our days have been looking a little bit like this;

5:30am -Rise and Shine ~ play in Momma and Dada's bed until breakfast
6:00am-Breakfast ~ Oatmeal or Scrambled Eggs
6:30am -Say goodbye to Dada ~ Play with toys and watch cartoons
8:00am -Everyone locked in the bathroom while Momma showers ~ Water going everywhere, toilette lid slams continuously along with toilette flushing, Momma's makeup and hair pretties all end up in the shower too.
9:00am -Out the door in search of some adventure ~ Walking, Playdates, Shopping, Errands, Have a snack somewhere in there
11:00am -Lunch ~ I'm raising a little human garbage disposal, he eats everything I put in front of him
11:30am -Nap/Catch up on chores, do bible study, treadmill time
1:30-2:00pm -Wake up from nap ~ Have a snack, Play indoors and outdoors until Dada comes home
4:30pm -Dada gets home ~ Squeals emit from my son when his Dada walks through the door
5:00pm -Eat Dinner~Play and bathe until bedtime
7:00pm -Bedtime for the babe, relaxing and cuddle time for Momma and Dada
9:00pm-10:00pm -Bedtime for Momma and Dada ~ both exhausted, we work hard

It's taking Brandon and I a lot longer to get used to the change than Tanner.  I love how my son adapts so quickly.  We love having Dada home during the day, but we are doing great without him as well.

Onto the week...

~We have had some pretty awesome weather lately. It feels like spring.  It's almost better than spring because it's still cold enough that our snow isn't melting into giant muddy messes.  During the day it's been reaching between the mid-teens, all the way up into the 30's.  At night it's still dropping below zero.  You won't hear any complaints out of me!
We've been getting out and breathing the fresh, crisp air.  Tanner loves watching the dogs.  Nothing gets a bigger laugh and smile out of him than seeing the dogs zoom past us.


~On base, last Friday, there were some winter games going on.  Tanner and I went to go play since Brandon had to be there.  It's such a hassle getting Tanner suited up for the temps, he fights every layer we put on him.  This day it was really blowing outside so he needed those extra layers.

~Big ol' sled hill. They had a great time until the bottom of the hill.  Brandon had to stick his feet out to stop them and it kicked a bunch of snow into their faces.  

~There were some sprint dog races going on in North Pole over the weekend.  Another great excuse to get out and enjoy the sun... 
I love a good fur hat.  I'm going to have a spotted seal and sheared beaver one before I leave Alaska.
Ready to run
~These past few days are really the first time that Tanner's been able to walk around in the snow.  He hasn't had to be rushed to and from a vehicle.  He can just get out and poke around in the snow, rolling and eating it at his leisure.


~Tanner has discovered the PB&J, and loves it.  His grandma Florence made the raspberry jam last summer.  Luckily Tanner only gets a really thin layer of it so it'll last us until she decides to send us another jar.

~Tanner has a great Baby Einstein book called What do Fish Do? That he got for his first Christmas from his Auntie Bridgett.  With each turn of the page you are prompted to push a different button that plays background music while you read the page.  It's Tanner's favorite.  I was telling my mom about them and she was able to find some similar ones for Tanner.  They're a great addition to Tanner's ever-growing library.

~I bought a step to workout on in front of the TV.  Tanner thinks I bought him a new toy... I have to workout on it when he isn't around because he isn't very good about sharing.


~I love chopping carrots. There is something about the sound they make when I slice through them. Their bright color.  They truly are beautiful. I threw these into a pasta sauce which was used for a delicious lasagna.

~Another fort was built.  Our comforter needed a little extra drying after being washed at the laundromat.  Tanner thought it was great.  I actually got to sit inside this one for a bit.  He likes to play peek-a-boo with the walls, or simply just sprawling out under his temporary shelter.


He's watching the door, waiting for his Dada to come play with him.
~Duckie is enjoying some sunbathing in the comfort of the dog's toy box.  I love to curl up on the floor in a sun spot too.  It's not very relaxing these days with my little Buckaroo running around, disrupting the peace.


Here's to praying for more sun in my face!