Saturday, August 26, 2017

School Starts

This year, we were all prepared for school. The plan was to have Violet ride the bus to and from school for the first month until it started to get dark and cold in the morning. At that point, I would see about maybe changing my work schedule to start a bit later and then have her go to a daycare place for after-school care until I get off from work and could pick her up.

This year, there is a new bus company on the peninsula. Fortunately, I had read in the newspaper that the day before school, the buses were doing a dry-run of their routes. Baboo took the kids out in the morning so that they would be able to verify when the bus stopped at the closest stop to our house. At noon, I called and asked Baboo how the bus run went. She said good and that they all waved as the bus drove past.

Wait. What? It drove past? It didn't stop? No. No, because they eliminated our bus stop. So, Monday, was a scramble as I called and had to leave a message with the bus barn to get them to add my bus stop back into the route (I never did hear back from them). Doubtful that I would hear back from them before school started the next morning, I was on a scramble to figure out how to get Violet to and from school. Thankfully, the girl I hired to take Violet to school in the mornings last year was available to do it again this year. A frantic call to the preschool confirmed that they still had room in the afternoon for Violet. So, a complete turn of events and several frantic hours later, we had a new plan for Violet. Talk about stressful! Other than that, school started without a hitch. Violet has several friends in her class and is happy to be back at school. Hard to believe Violet is a second grader!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dinosaur Self-Defense

One night, we were sitting around the kitchen table eating dinner and reviewing how our days went. When it was Oscar's turn, he showed us a picture of a dimetrodon that he drew.

This was the conversation that ensued:

Oscar: "Dad, if you we were along in the woods and you saw this dinosaur, would you be scared? I wouldn't be; I would just wap it!"

"Wap it?" we asked.

"Yes," Oscar relied, "and don't forget, knife it too!"

"Knife it too?" we asked.

"Yes!" Oscar confirms.

So, folks, those are the directions: if you met a dimetrodon in the woods, don't be afraid. Just wap it and knife it and all will be well.

We're pretty sure that he learned these life-saving techniques from his Christian preschool. :-)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Summer Adventures

Summer in Alaska is not complete without a trip to Homer. This year, it wasn't until the first part of August before we made it down to Homer. Before entering Homer, there is a scenic overlook with several gardens maintained by the Homer Garden Club. The gardens are gorgeous and very impressive. We took the opportunity to snap some pictures of the kids.


Afterward, we went down to the spit. We took pictures next to a large (wood) fish. We were walking along the boardwalks window-shopping when we came across a very large and hungry brown bear. Before we could stop them, the kids attacked the bear. Despite their best efforts, the bear managed to gain the upper hand and ate a few of the kids. It was a grim scene.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Categorized and Labeled

One Saturday, Violet carefully categorized and shelved all of the kids' books. Then she labeled each shelf so that we would be able to easily find the books we were looking for. There were a couple of shelves of "good books," a shelf of "dinosaur" books, and, interestingly, a shelf of books "Books Mommy does not like" "27 oly." I'm not sure exactly where she came up with this idea, but I loved that she decided that we could only read these books on the 27th of every month.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Violet's Birthday

Violet had her birthday while we were in Minneapolis, so my plan was to host her party shortly after returning. Unfortunately, coordinating the social lives of 7 girls during summer in Alaska is nearly impossible. After checking on the availability of 6 weekends, we finally found the golden weekend that all girls could attend - the end of July!

She wanted a unicorn party this year; we decided on a few activities for the girls - a painting party and a treasure hunt. I bought canvases from Joann Fabric and drew a unicorn on each canvas for the girls to paint. They did a wonderful job with quite a variety of end results.

Baboo organized a complex treasure hunt for the girls sending them all around the property to find painted rocks that, when positioned together, created a unicorn. The girls all had fun and we enjoyed listening to the complex and deep conversations that happens between 6-8 year old girls.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Beet it up!

It has not been a particularly warm or sunny summer in Alaska this year, but the vegetables in the green house managed to do all right. We were able to harvest our beets at the end of July; they were pretty tasty. I think we'll have to grow them again next year!


Even the flowers took off! I like to create clusters of color with flowers; this year I had white flowers at the front of the house, pink flowers in the greenhouse, and red, orange, and green flowers outside our living room. The red garden is my favorite; the flowers did great there and I loved being able to see this corner of flowers every time I looked out the window.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Let's Chat!

Simon definitely takes after his parents - he's a talker! The names he has developed for Violet and Oscar are the cutest - "Vi-lee! Ug-ee!" he'll yell as he runs around looking for them. Needless to say, these nicknames have stuck.