Friday, December 30, 2011

This Moment New Red Bike

(This moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. An idea from Soulmama.

Monday, December 19, 2011


A Spiritual Journey
By Wendell Berry

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.

For some reason this 4th birthday of my son has left me reflecting on the journey that we are on.  It is all a journey of inches, not miles.  Each inch is growth and many inches lead to miles.  I look back and recall how long it took him to learn to blow.  Something that is so simple for other children was difficult for him, and inch by inch he learned and now... the inches led to the mile of blowing out his candles on his cake.  It is a journey, every inch of it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Look Who Is 4!

I can't believe my son is 4.  He is the most wonderful kind of 4.  He just discovered tops and is on the quest to find the ultimate spinning top.  His research includes anything he can reach, plates, lids, forks.... you never know what might spin.
I received a grant from the Alaska School Board to start a World Drum Ensemble.  We have been holding homeschool drum circles every Wednesday.  It has been so much fun.  The little guy has been joining in.  I love that he can come and enjoy it with me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


When we married my husband and I had a very small wedding, consisting of his father and 4 friends.  We chose a spot 3 minutes from our house, at the edge of a meadow across the street from our house.  It was winter, and my husband went out before the ceremony to make a wedding chapel in the snow that consisted of an aisle and a huge circle patted down with snowshoes.  It snowed 5 feet the weekend we got married.

Every winter my husband surprises me with recreating the wedding chappel.  I took a snowshoe last weekend and there is was again. I always forget that it will be there and always giggle when I see it. I wonder what others think when they see it.  So very sweet.

Friday, November 25, 2011

This Moment- Sled

(This moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. An idea from Soulmama.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winter is Here

Winter is here, and it is a record breaking one.  We have already had a few below zero days.  It is a bit early for that and our woodpile is feeling it.
The little guy is loving the snow. He was inspired to make snow angels after reading, and re-reading the book The Snowy Day by Ezra Keats.  He has been exploring in different ways this winter which is fun to see.  Rather than give up he is trudging through the deep snow to help our neighbor brush off his car, or to go see if the creek is running.  So much fun to watch.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Drawing With Children

I am using this book to teach the Middle and High School beginning drawing.  Just can't seem to make that photo larger.  It is Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes.  This is an area I am totally not gifted in.  I love art, but drawing is just not my area of strength.

We had a great time learning about the 5 elements of shape.  I used the same activity with both classess at different levels.  Each student followed the same set of instructions and came up with unique creations. It was interesting to see the personalities come through.

We are still havign a blast with art.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spiders and Quilting

Five busy spiders jumped across the floor.......  We have been studying spiders in our K-2 classroom.  Creepy, cool, hairy spiders are appearing all over the room.  Bendaroos are perfect to make spiders with because they are sticky.
I might be seeing spiders in my sleep tonight.

Last year I started a log cabin quilt.  I took a class, but really was just so crazy with life that I never finished it.  In fact when I took it out again this fall I laughed because some of the squares were sewn out of order.  I decided to not fix it out of lazyness and  as a testament to how crazy busy I was a year ago.  I am retaking the class, starting from where I left off.
 I think I will be able to finish it this time. I am determined, and life although still crazy is a bit calmer than last year.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Paint Chip Art

I volunteered myself to be the 3rd-12th grade art teacher this year.  I did this because I just love art not because I am an artist.  So not being an artist means I need to come up with a flow that I can actually demonstrate with my no art training.  I love it and the kids love it.  I suppose I can't go too wrong since we have never had an art teacher.  We are a PreK-12 school with 2.5 certified teachers and an aid.  I love it!

 I found some really great ideas for using paint chips for art projects on Pinterest. I found lots of amazingly fun ideas   Last week I raided the Home Depot and Lowes paint chip dislpays and introduced the concept of color harmonies.  The lesson was to choose a color harmony to create a piece of arts using repeated shapes.
Here is one example from highschool.  I need to take photos of the rest of the projects.  Some of the students really "got" the concept and some created projects that were fun, but did not meet the goals of the assignment. I just let that go because I want art to be fun.  I am going to think about a way to help those along who do not quite "get" the goal at the same time as allowing them their artistic freedom.  I am going to try this with the 2-5th next week using just value in the same color.  Teaching art is just so much fun.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Sun, The Sun, The Beautiful Sun

The sun came for a vist this weekend and it was welcomed with open arms.

The hubby did a crazy Vertical Climb Challenge up the North Face Trail.  He did 9 laps which equates to 19.8 miles uphill, which is just amazing to me.  I on the other hand hiked the same trail with the little guy and our good friend.  It took us a few hours because the little guy wanted to hike much of it on his own.  I see a future in long distance climbing.
It was a beautiful day.
A weekend of sunshine puts me right back on track.  Thank you sun.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I spent 7 years teaching the multiage K-3 class in the school I work in.  Just like any teacher I dropped a lot of cash creating a creative environment.  I had plants I loved, cute baskets, special books, and lots of resources.  When I left the classroom last year I thought I would be out of the classroom for a few years so I left many things there to stay with the class.  Good bye Amaryllis that blooms an amazing amount of times in one year.

Now I am back in a huge room without all my old comfort items.  It is kind of nice for someone like me who has a gift of "inquiry".  Seriously I took a strength finder test and that was one of my strenghts.  People who have a strenght in inquiry like to collect things that might be used in the future.  The exact translation for this might be "clutter".  Goodbye clutter.

Our classroom is pretty sparce this year.  It will slowly become more comfortable, but for now it is big and sparce.  I am kind of liking it.  All the cool  items I ordered in the past now sit in the 3rd grade room (my old room).  Darn those were some good resources.  As we rebuild our classroom I am loving watching what the students are coming up with.  Oh by the way... did I mention I only have 4 students right now... soon to grow to the huge size of 6.

American flag built out of City Blocks.

Monday, September 5, 2011

So Much to Do So Little Time To Do It

Oh the times they are changing....

I have been missing in action due to lots of fun travel.  We went to a wedding celebration, to our land in Homer, and then to teaching inservice.    I found out the last week of August that I was heading back into the classroom.  We had to hustle to recreate our family schedule.  Now I have the funny combination of teaching part time in a classroom and part time as a homeschool coordinator.  I thought it would be an odd mix, but after 1 week I am really liking the combination.  They both fit well together and the in classroom time keeps me fresh and excited about how young children learn.

Our school was renovated this summer, well I should say, it is still under construction.  I was able to get into my classroom the day before school started, and had to hustle to get things moved back in.

Here is a photo of my clean slate.  The windows were not even installed yet.

The room used to be a highschool room and now it is my multiage K-2 room.  All the bulletin boards and white boards are too high for the kids to reach.  That is a bummer, and even more so since the construction crew rehung everything without asking for our opinions as to height etc... I am going to make some stepping stools so the kiddos can reach.

We are kicking off the year with a David Shannon Author Study. I love incorporating author studies into our day.  It is such a great way to learn how to analyze books.  I am amazed at the level of analysis that even the youngest child can do when they compare books by the same author.  David Shannon has some hysterical (well K-3 hysterical) books.  My students are loving them already.

This is one of my favorite books to use for author studies.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

To the Sea

By The Sea Emily Dickinson

 I started early, took my dog,
And visited the sea;
The mermaids in the basement
Came out to look at me.

And frigates in the upper floor
Extended hempen hands,
Presuming me to be a mouse
Aground, upon the sands.

But no man moved me till the tide
Went past my simple shoe,
And past my apron and my belt,
And past my bodice too,

And made as he would eat me up
As wholly as a dew
Upon a dandelion's sleeve -
And then I started too.

And he - he followed close behind;
I felt his silver heel
Upon my ankle, - then my shoes
Would overflow with pearl.

Until we met the solid town,
No man he seemed to know;
And bowing with a mighty look
At me, the sea withdrew.

Our Alaska summer is coming to a close.  Termination dust has already been reported in the mountains and work will start in two days.  I am so thankful to have this time off in the summers, but each year it gets a little more difficult to return to work.   Heading down South once again for work and am looking forward to the little one having the time of his life in the firgid surf.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Trip South

I love saying we took a trip South because it sounds warm and really it was a bit warmer.  We went to visit our yurt and land in Homer.  I found some white lupine.  It seemed the tips of all the lupine were turning white.  Not sure if it was a disease or what, but interesting.
 I love Homer because you can drive down a dirt road and come upon this.
 The view from our land is amazing.  Why don't we live there?  The view from our house ain't bad either.
 Our land has an amazing amount of wildflowers so I picked myself a bouquet.
 Jonathan found a heart coal which is way cooler than a heart rock, but much more breakable especially when a toddler drops it on the ground.
Amazing weekend of beach walks and kite flying.  Perfect Alaska holiday.

Friday, July 22, 2011

This Moment

This moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. An idea from Soulmama.
Pretend the finger is not there:)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Salmon Running

Happy days in Alaska.  The salmon are running and dip netting is hopping.  We travelled down to the Kenai River on Sunday to catch our fill.  We had just a bit of time, drove more than we fished, but we were rewarded with 9 beautiful salmon in 2 hours.  Thank you salmon.
Dip netting is when you take a large net on a very long pole and "dip" it into the water.  It is a bit more complicated that than, but the fish swim in or near your net and you scoop them to catch them in the net and pull them in.
Here is the little guy checking out the first catch.  I did not fish on this trip. It was cold, and raining so the little guy and I played on the beach, warmed ourself in the car, and played some more.  Lots of fish waste to dodge on the beaches, but we had a blast regardless.  Now "fish head" is part of our vocabulary.  Lots of processing and we now have a freezer full of fish.  We hope to go again in a day or two to catch some more.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Muffins and Beaches

I made some yummy rhubarb muffins this weekend using this recipe.  I googled healthy rhubarb muffins and well, I am not thinking these are really healty, but they are for sure yummy.  Let's say they are healthier.
The little guy and I went to the beach today.  I have never seen a beach this clean. There was not a shell and barely a stick to be found, just beautiful sand, water and mountains.
Life is beautiful right now here in Alaska.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This Moment- Toddler Hike

This moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. An idea from Soulmama.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Little Guy that Could

We have had such amazing weather this summer.  My veggies are rocking, and our son is sprouting and in good health.   I am amazed at how far a 3.5 year old can hike.  We went up one of the trails to the top of the ski hill (mountain) and he hiked about 1/3 of it on his own.  
I can tell he is proud of himself with all the new things that he can do.
He had to ride in the pack on the snow because he had his Keen sandals on.  Love those sandals.
 This is the view that overlooks our town.  It was chilly on top, but the tram ride down was nice and cozy.  I have had no time to be creative.  The summer is all about sun and recreation to me.  I am a summer gal at heart.

Monday, July 4, 2011


We were back at the Forest Fair yesterday and the little guy became instanly hooked with the workings of a spinning wheel.
Watching him explore and help Beth spin allowed me to see the spinning wheel in a new light.  The little guy is really into gears right now.  Not only does the wheel act like a huge gear there are also many connected moving parts.  He explored each part studying how they moved back and forth, up and down.  He got to try the foot pedal and hold the wool.  I am so thankful for our patient friend Beth who allowed him to be a young scientist.  This is what it is all about. Slowing down and really looking. Thanks little guy for the reminder.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Forest Fair

Every year we have an amazingly fun festival in our town called the Forest Fair.  Our town is small, but the festival draws folks from all the surrounding communities.  It is a weekend filled with art vendors, food, music, friends and good times.  I got to play with my new IPhone I received from work.  The photos were taken with the  Hipstamatic application.

The little guy was amazed by the fire engines.  "Weee wooo."
All our friends were at the festival.
We watched in awe the fire performers as they swung and juggled the fire.
Its the kind of weekend that makes you love your hometown.

Friday, July 1, 2011

This Moment

This moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. An idea from Soulmama.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


The little guy and I went on a day long adventure yesterday.  We went to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center where we got to see two orphaned moose calves being fed, two bears playing in the water, caribou and a sleeping porcupine.
More importantly we saw puddles, sticks, rocks, a tractor, and shadows.

We then went to Portage to the Trail of Blue Ice which is a 6 mile hike that was just perfect timing for the little guy to take a nap.  He called the glacier lake the "big bathtub."
I really can't complain at all during the Alaska summers.  Well maybe I could say the day is too short with the sun being only up until dawn.  Hope your days are as fun filled as our have been.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Laura's House

Here is Laura Ingalls Wilder's house.  Almanzo built the majority of it.  They had a cute little library and a stairwell that I could probably not fit my fanny up.  The rooms were simple and practical and the stones on the chimney had fossils in them.  I am in love with Laura Ingalls.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Loving Summer

I love that life is so active in the summer that computer time comes last.
We have been so busy gardening, traveling, and soaking up our vitamin D.  Living the good life in the summer is what I wait all year for.
We went to see Laura Ingalls Wilder's House while we were in Missouri visiting grandad.  Did you know she wrote her books at the age of 65?  Very inspiring.  Her husband Almanzo was quite the creator of beautiful things.

Right now house is being painted, veggies are growing, son is thriving.  Life is good!!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

Happy belated mother's day to all the mamas out there.  It is so nice to have a holiday that is based around honoring mothers (and fathers) with love.  I was given so many gifts in the form of beautiful moments.
The little man has been exploring the "woods" next to our house.  He loves his walking seesaw "up,up, up, down, down, down."
We went to the Waldorf May Faire, not on May 1st, but a great celebration.  The little man and the big guy made a boat out of Pushky reeds (cow parsnip) and sailed it down the river.
I just love the intrigue that every new things brings a 3.5 year old.  I so want to build this fort.
The day could not have been better.