Thursday, September 28, 2006

this and that

When I blog I realize how different our lives are now than they were on the road. Doesn't seem quite as exciting! :) I read about my friends that are on the road right now and get a little sad, as I am really missing the lifestyle. My kids are extremely happy though so I am good. My Dad and his wife hit the road a few weeks ago also, in their fifth wheel. They are in Oregon now and seem to be enjoying it as much as we did.

We made it through the first week with new puppies. Pheewwww! This is hard work, I think more tiring than having a baby. Things are going really well. We had a couple small issues come up so I called my "dog lady", Claudia, owner of Better Companion, and got some great advice that has made a difference. The boys start puppy class with them on Oct. 12. We had the puppies together in the same crate and that was causing some issues. She told us to keep them as separate as possible, as much as possible, so they will make a stronger bond with us than with each other. Last night was their first night in separate crates and they were having some separation anxiety. I was up at 5:00 practically rocking Billie to sleep. After 15 minutes of that she calmed right down.

Haven't made it up to Fairbanks yet, to see all my friends there, but hope to in November. Kevin's schedule has tied us down a tad bit. He has choir on Friday and Youth Court on Saturday, and is trying out for a play this week, so it makes it hard to go on weekends. He is bugging me to get a work permit for him so he can get a job and also ready to get his drivers permit. He is growing up fast! I am enjoying this stage of his development tremendously, he is such a joy to be around and has so many interests and passions it is hard to keep up with him sometimes. I love all the stages though, they have all been my favorite.

Tristan is starting to settle in also. The first couple of weeks in the house seemed to be a hard transition for him. Go figure! Sometimes it is hard for me to determine what is going to set him off but transitions are always difficult. Two of his friends knew what neighborhood we had bought a house in so they biked over and spent 1/2 hour searching for a house with a big motorhome in the driveway. They found us and rang the doorbell. Tristan was feeling pretty good that they would spend that much time searching for him. He is taking the puppy care very seriously and I have hardly had to do much with Dante, as he is right on top of it. He was also very excited to find out that our local bowling alley opened back up after being closed for a few months. We all love to bowl, especially Tristan, so we have been spending a bit of time over there. He has been happy to have his drumset back and is getting quite good on those too. Somedays we have to put up with a lot of noise but it is actually good to hear it again.

Calista is keeping fairly busy keeping Rylee entertained and vice versa. Rylee is attending public school so we don't see her as often as normal but enough to suffice Calista. She bought a pretty fancy, working cash register with her PFD (Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend), that us lucky Alaskans get every year (this year is $1100.00). We have had a bowling alley, a store, and a few other things. We are directed to purchase things so she can check us out. She had our friend, Mary, renting bowling shoes and a ball and bowling in her homemade alley, which consisted of cups, plates, and anything else she could find to stack up in a triangle. She even had bumper pads (wall shelves). She is feeling a little left out with the boys getting puppies. She wants a Pomeranian and actually made arrangements to get a puppy from a breeder that has two females ready to breed. I am hoping that the training with Dante and Billie go well enough that I feel up to bringing another one into the home but I am being cautious. She did a good job of "babysitting" a friends Pomeranian and I think it was a good match for her but I don't want to have more than we can handle either.

Martin is as busy as ever. He continues to love the realty thing and is selling a bit of property. Apparently he is really good at the people side of things, according to the those who have seen him in action. He has gotten compliments from clients who are impressed with his knowledge! lol. So far no one has asked how long he has been doing it and he hopes it stays that way. He has been busy trying to get Kevins room completed. We are to the sheetrocking stage now and had a friend offer to do the mudding and taping for us. Yaaaaa!! Martin hates that part of the job! We will have to trade for something else for him. His room should be done in the next week anyway and I am sure Kevin will be glad to have a bed to sleep on again, as he has been sleeping on the couch. I will be glad to have the living room back too!

I have just been trying to get the house in order, which is no easy task having two puppies! I had my "old lady friends" over for lunch on Tuesday. It is nice to be back surrounded by all these wonderful people! My "old lady friends" are some older ladies from church that, for one reason or another, I have bonded with. They are like my adopted mommies. They uplift and encourage me and I am lucky to have them in my life. I am also back to clogging. For those of you who don't know what clogging is, it is a dance that could be likened a little to tapping. The shoes and steps are different but there are some similarities. I didn't get to clog at all while we were traveling and was just itching to get my shoes on again. It is so much fun!!

Again.............................Life is Good!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Well, I feel like I am back to a calm and centered state of being now. I just needed to slow down and take a few breaths. Monday was so beautifu,l and we know that our "warmer", sunny days are slowly coming to an end, so we took advantage of the weather and drove to Talkeetna. We ate lunch at a little Italian/pizza place and then went down to the river and played. My friend Tanya has been making Talkeetna zen gardens so we collected more sand for her gardens and found some pretty rocks to add to them also. Rylee insisted on collecting quite large twigs, which she could barely hold in her arms. She had quite a pile and it took a lot of convincing to get her to leave some of them behind. It was so calming just to be down by the water, relaxing with the kids. It was exactly what I needed and I was fighting a case of the sleepies on the way home.

I met Tanya through the theatre camp that Kevin attended. Her daughter, Sarah, attended also and we just hit it off immediately. It is so good to have a friendship again that has flow and doesn't seem like we are working at it. I feel like I have known her for a very long time and we have been having so much fun. We had Sarah for four days last week, while Tanya went to be with her husband, who was working up in Fairbanks. She brought along their little Pomeranian dog that we babysat too. We had a lot of fun and it was kind of our test to see if a dog would work in our family with Socky (our cat). The cat couldn't of cared less so that was a good thing.

Which brings us to yesterday. Tristan and Kevin have been scanning the internet and newspaper for a puppy. They really wanted to rescue one instead of going through a breeder. Yesterday morning when they checked the Puppy Rescue website there were three of them!! We went and looked at them and ended up coming home with a heeler and a husky mix. Martin and I have been reading up on dog training and behavior because we feel like we have failed a couple of dogs and we really wanted to make this work. So far, so good. The potty training is a lot of work but, surprisingly, I feel quite relaxed about the whole thing. We are pretty determined, as we see this as a lifetime commitment. We love dogs and want a few as permanent family members. To top it off, Socky seems to be fine with it. He is not hanging out with the dogs or anything but hasn't hissed or swatted at them. He is more like, "You little twerps, I think I will go hang out upstairs, thanks."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

beautiful fall!!

What a beautiful week it has been! We went from a soggy summer to an absolutely sunny, beautiful fall. There wasn't a cloud in the sky yesterday which just makes the mountains surrounding us magnificent! Yesterday we walked down to the lake (we have lake access in our neighborhood) and collected things to look at under the microscope. One of the things that we ended up looking at was a piece of Lucky Charms cereal (not from the lake :)). All you could see in the microscope was sugar crystals. The kids were really grossed out. And to think that is the "healthy" part of the cereal.

Last week I was feeling quite stressed and wishing for my life in the motorhome again. Owning a house has its benefits but it is just so much more to keep up than our motorhome. Then I was reading about friends that just hit the road and remembering all the fun times we had and wanting to start all over again. Part of it I'm sure was the chaos that was happening around me. Not only are we still not done unpacking but we are in the middle of a construction project and I was finishing up some painting downstairs so that we wouldn't have to move the hundreds of books we have off the shelf to paint later. The kids were also bickering at a new all time high level. And I also spent a lot of time sulking because I wasn't at the Live and Learn Unschooling conference with the rest of my unschooling tribe! So now the painting is done, the unpacked boxes are neatly in one room, the construction project is coming along, the weather is beautiful, the kids seem to be settling down a little bit and I am not so stressed anymore. Although, I am still sulking about not being at the conference, especially looking at everybody's pictures. :)

Oh, and Martin is starting to sell houses!! He wrote up an offer yesterday and looks like he will be writing two more today so it appears as if we won't be worried about starving, at least not this month! He is really enjoying the realty thing. He makes his coffee in the morning and leaves practically singing and comes home all chipper. I haven't seen him like this in a long time..........actually maybe never. He was able to find a car for himself and we paid $2,000 less than we had budgeted for so we were happy about that. He isn't home much and that has taken some getting used to but seeing him happy makes it all worthwhile. The kids and I have adjusted our schedules a little so we can wait until he is home to eat dinner. We like sitting down at the table as a family for dinner. We sometimes don't sit down until 9:00 so I have been leaving lots of snacks on the kitchen island for the kids to nibble on throughout the day.

Happiness is not a destination it is a method of life. Life is good!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Getting settled

Got to catch up on the blogging I see. I will back up to my birthday on August 23. We had been having a ton of rain and some horrible flooding just north of us. I woke up on my birthday to the sun shining; what a wonderful change of scenery. My friend Tanya and her daughter, Sarah, met us at the motorhome so we could go on our favorite hike up the Butte (see photos on our website She brought me a zen garden that she had made out of Talkeetna sand and a rake made out of local branches; too funny! Later that night Robin brought me cozy slippers, that I had been eyeing from a local store in Palmer, and a cake. The night before Martin and Calista brought me a funky purse and a cd player for my car. I have a van that has auto doors but no cd player and I have been wanting one for a while. It was a great day!!

On Thursday we closed on our new house and met the moving vans there early Friday morning. It has been an exhausting week with all the unpacking and in the process we are also building a bedroom for Kevin and doing some painting so we can put the bookshelves in place and not have to worry about taking books off later to paint behind the shelves. I like to save myself the time later. As I was watching all of our stuff get unloaded I was really wishing we could just stay in the motorhome. I saved WAY too much stuff and here I thought I had done so well getting rid of stuff before we left. So I am weeding out more as we unpack. I LOVE my house though and it is nice to have more space again. The kids are really happy and it is especially nice to see my Tristan boy back to his normal, mostly happy self.

The kids have gotten so used to being packed like sardines in the motorhome that they are not liking being spread out at night, all in different areas of the house. We have never had a problem with co-sleeping, since we have done it their entire lives, but Martin and I are really craving alone time so have been encouraging them to sleep somewhere besides our room. One morning I woke up and they were all curled up together in the living room. Another morning they were all in Tristan's cubby hole of a room. And some nights they curl up in our room too since we love having them nearby. I should actually back up and say that it is Tristan and Calista; Kevin is quite independent at 14 years old and does not need us very often and certainly would not sleep with us at night. He would die if I was telling everyone that he needed to sleep with us. He has been very tolerant of the other two curling up with him at night though. We are all adjusting to our new lifestyle quite nicely.

Martin passed his real estate exam and his licensing came in last week. He spent last week going around with Kevin Crozier and some buyers, observing how things are done. He will be on his own this week showing houses. He is really enjoying his new career and is happier than I have seen him in a very long time. He is in Anchorage today trying to find himself a car. It is not easy finding a cheap car that looks decent too. We are determined though and he will find what he is looking for. No car payments for this family!

Yesterday we took advantage of our still sunny weather and hiked up Thunderbird Falls, with our friends Tanya, Allen and Sarah, in search of a letterbox (go to for more info). Unfortunately the letterbox was gone but we had a wonderful hike. It was beautiful out!! The leaves are starting to change and the air is crisp and cool. We are planning a bonfire on Friday to burn up all our moving boxes and scrap wood laying around. Great weather for a bonfire!