Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The last two weeks in pictures...........

My niece, Rylee, curled up with her dog, Roxie.

I was a little ba humbug about the holidays this year and Kev was bummed that I didn't make cookies. I came up one night and this is what I found. Kev is vegan so he had to find a recipe online for vegan cut cookies. I think they are beautiful!

Calista's birthday. She wanted ice cream sundaes instead of cake so here are the creations of her and her girlfriends. Maija is missing from the picture because she was in the car driving down from Fairbanks. She arrived a couple of hours later.

Uncle Tony was giving the girls a hard time about make-up so guess who got a make-over? He was a good sport about it and the girls had a great time. The room vibrated with the giggles.

And Maija arrives to a VERY happy Calista!! Calista and Maija, aka Betty and Veronica have been bosom buddies since the womb. Her mom and I are very dear friends and we shared our pregnancy. They have been attached at the hip ever since, at least when they are together. We try to see each other at least every other month. This last spell apart was a long one so they were pretty excited to see each other.

But OH SO SAD when they had to say good-bye. Makes you want to cry!

Our Solstice Party. Tristan is walking on FIRE!! We burned an old coffee table that was really trashed and unsalvageable and Tristan had to walk on it over the fire. Just so everyone knows - it was Martin who was outside supervising!

One of Tristan's Christmas presents. He is a big gamer and spends lots of time on the couch so this was appropriate.

Daddy's "princess".

Martin and I on Christmas Eve.

Kevin and me on Christmas Eve.

Rylee and Calista on Christmas Eve.

I love this picture. I don't know what I was telling them but look at their expressions of disgust on their faces. We were opening some Christmas gifts.

And my HIGHLIGHT of the week- visiting my new baby cousin, Porter, who is in ICU at Providence. Jason (on right) is my cousin. His wife delivered two months early, due to some health issues she has so they knew he was going to come early and were prepared and living at the hospital a week prior to delivery. They will probably be in the hospital until around Feb.10 so I will get lots of visits in before they get discharged and head back home to Fairbanks.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I am currently having some computer issues; my fan went out due to the kids leaving it on the couch ALL the time to overheat. I have to order a new fan today so I can replace it. I would like to post pictures today of our marvelous week but I can't because I'm using Calista's computer. Maybe I will post pics next week.

Last Thurs. we celebrated Calista's 10th birthday! Hard to believe that I have no children in the single digits anymore. As the years go by it just speeds up faster and faster. I spent that morning looking at pictures of the day of her birth. My mom was in most of the pictures holding Calista and shshing her as she snuggled her closely. I spent the morning in tears, missing my mom horribly and smiling as I remembered her absolute resolve to be at every one of her grandchildrens births. When Rylee was born she was extremely ill but was determined to stay up through the night with Robin until that baby came. I remember so clearly watching through the window of the door, anxiously waiting Rylee's coming into this world and seeing mom fly through the door with a big grin on her face annoucing to everyone that she was finally here. You would have never guessed that she was only 7 months away from her death. Birth and death..............the cycle of life.

We had a wonderful day though! We took Calista to Chili's for her birthday dinner and gave her our gifts. Friday she celebrated her birthday with the rest of the family and her girlfriends. Uncle Tony was giving the girls a hard time about one of Calista's gifts; a little case full of make-up. So Uncle Tony got a makeover from all the girls (I will be sure to post pics later). He was a good sport and the girls had a blast.

Back up to Thursday night; when we got home from Chili's there was a package in the mail from my aunt. It was two ornaments; one with a picture of my mom and the other was the cancer ribbon. The tears came quickly! Funny how the universe just knows, all that connected energy. I think my mom was just letting me know that she was there.

Sunday night we had a Solstice Party but hardly anyone showed up. We still had a good time with a big bonfire outside, s'mores and all. Sunday we had 5 hours and 28 minutes of daylight so we are definitely celebrating the return of the sun. Fairbanks only had 3 hours and 41 minutes so I don't feel too bad. And Barrow (a village way up North at the top of the state) hasn't seen the sun since Nov. 18 and won't see it's return until Jan. 23 so try to imagine living in that kind of darkness. I would go crazy!!

We were also really excited because we have been working with the dogs on some off leash training, taking them up Matanuska Peak where they can't run off except to go up the mountain where they will dead end eventually. So Sunday night was our first night letting them outside to hang out without any restraints. They stayed right with the crowd around the bonfire and had a grand time. It's finally paying off!

And the best news of all.................................my cousin Jason just welcomed his first child into this world last night!! Welcome to this world Porter Layton Tinsley!! They are in Anchorage so we will be going into town on Christmas to see them and give them big hugs. The baby is in NICU so we may or may not be able to see him yet. Molly has some kidney issues and was a high risk pregnancy. They new she would deliver early and were actually expecting her to only make it to between 26-29 weeks gestation. She made it to 31 weeks so we are happy about that. The baby is 3 lbs. 1 oz so it's all looking pretty good. Baby cried and is breathing on his own and I guess Molly was actually able to hold him for a few minutes before he was whisked away. I'm really glad that I went into town last week and spent the day with them before all this craziness and am looking forward to meeting my new cousin! So exciting!!

Christmas morning we will be sleeping in, being lazy all day and playing our new Wii that we will be opening up on Christmas. We will probably try to make it into town to give the new parents a big hug too. We may even go see Marley and Me. Happy Holidays to everyone! However you celebrate.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Day two of 20-40 mph hour winds with gusts to 70 mph. It sounds like our house is going to fall down. I love the wind!! I know, I'm one of those strange creatures that LOVES the wind. I'm not sure what it is about it; the way it feels when it blows my hair away from my face, or the way it takes my breath away, or maybe it's the way I feel all cozy in my nice warm house while it is banging away outside. I just love it!

We lost some sleds that blew away, probably sitting in some neighbors yard. I'm sure there are a few other things missing from the yard too. The one bad thing about the wind is all the trash that gets blowing around, makes for a big clean-up day in the spring.

So here is to a beautiful, gray, windy day!! :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wow, that was a long dry spell! Kelli just posted at her blog about not blogging also, writers block she said. Or is that bloggers block? She mentioned that just because her blog was quiet didn't mean her life had been quiet; ditto!

It seems like we've had a real good balance of busy/fun to quiet/chillax. We have had plenty going on but plenty of down time to wander around in our pajamas.

Kev is busy with his usual activities; swimming, youth court, teen political talk, model UN, etc. He keeps himself pretty busy and all I can say is thank goodness he is driving himself now. I thought it a privilege to take him to all his wonderful activities but driving taxi took up a tremendous amount of time so I'm thankful for the relief.

Tristan and Calista are thankful also, as they were tired of either being in the car or at home waiting for me to get home. They started a homeschool open swimming session once a week. Calista is also doing swim lessons three days a week for the next few weeks. She has decided to join swim team and the coach is encouraging her to learn the techniques of the strokes before she starts. So she is hoping to be on the team within the next couple of months after she gets the strokes down.

Kev, Calista, and I are continuing with our guitar lessons and having so much fun with it! Martin is talking about maybe taking up bass guitar and with Tristan playing drums we might just have a family band coming up:) We've been going to the weekly concerts at Make-A-Scene. Our guitar teacher and good friend, Josh Fryfogle, owns a music venue for local (and some non-local) musicians. He holds weekly concerts that are great fun.

I'm starting two new yoga classes come January; one is a teen/parent partner yoga class - encouraging trust and harmony in that particular relationship, and a kids yoga class for 8-12 year olds. I'm really looking forward to it, especially the partner class. I'm also looking forward to some advanced training workshops that are coming up after the holidays.

Our family vehicle finally bit the dust, for good, here last week. We have a Windstar that has gone through 4 transmissions in the last three years and it gave up again. We aren't going to put any more money into it so we are sharing Martin's car and the Cadillac that my grandparents gave us. Two days after Kev got his license one of his friends backed into him in another friends driveway so that has to go in the shop this next week to get fixed, which takes us down to one car. It's a little inconvenient, especially the days Martin is commuting into Anchorage, but we will manage until there is enough cash to buy a new car. Next summer we will be enjoying our bicycles more than usual.

On the plus side, our year-long remodel project in the basement is finally coming to a close and if everything goes right the kids should be in their new bedrooms before the holidays. Yay!! It's been a slow project, as Martin only has so many hours in a day, but we are at the end of it now. The kids have a pretty nice setup down there to hang out in, just keeping our eyes open for a decent priced sectional on Craigslist and it will be complete.

We've also been planning a Winter Solstice party for all of our friends. We aren't big on all the commercial holidays and Christmas seems to get worse every year, with all the consumerism, so we are making our own holiday traditions. Getting back to good old pagan traditions, the roots of which Christmas actually grew from. If most Christians new what they were celebrating they would be horrified but then again most religions wouldn't exist if people knew how to think for themselves. Anyway, we are having a party into the night with LOTS of candles and a big ole bonfire. I may even try to talk Josh into some great live music:)

Hope everyone is enjoying life as joyfully as we are!!