Monday, August 12, 2013

~Tanana Valley State Farm

The fair was a lot of fun this year and it didn't rain!!  The older boys can go on most of the rides.  And Jett was more than happy to ride on the younger kids rides by himself.  We ate footlong hot dogs and bought a huge bag of cotton candy to share.  Super fun Family Home Evening.

The petting zoo is always a favorite.  These boys love animals!

~The second half of July and a bunch of randomness

Like I said in an earlier post.  It's fantastic when my kids become somewhat independent.  I heard Jett yelling from the kitchen, "MOM, I USED ALL THE JELLY!"  Afraid of what I might find, I entered the kitchen and saw this.  Jett tried to make his own sandwich.  Way to go Jett!
Blueberry picking is always a fun thing to do.  This year the blueberries were huge.  We went picking several times.  I made two batches of jam and we have about 2 gallons in the freezer.

To prepare the berries we sort and wash them.  Then let them dry.  After they are dry we spread them out in a single layer on cookie sheets and place them in the freezer.  Once they are frozen then we can pull them back out and put them in freezer bags.  If we just went straight to freezer bags without freezing them on cookie sheets first, we'd end up with one huge frozen ball of berries.  This way the berries aren't stuck together and we can pull out what we need.

My little climber.  Again, doing something he shouldn't!  Silly kid fits perfectly in the bathroom sink.  Last time I caught him in the sink, he had filled it and water was running onto the floor.  Good thing he's so cute!

This was a rough day for Jett.  He got mad when I asked him to get dressed.  Next thing I know, he had thrown all his clothes "away."  Sad thing is, it was raining that morning.  Due to the temper tantrum and his actions, Jett had to wear wet clothes most of the day :/
A few hours later we had to go to the church.  Adam signed me and the kids up to clean the church.  How nice of him when he knew he wouldn't be able to help.  Anyway, I head down to the church with 4 boys to clean the bathrooms.  I stuck all the kids in the gym to play and proceeded to clean the first out of three bathrooms.  Half way through the first, Simon comes in and says a woman needs to talk to me.  I am really confused and a little worried because we are the only ones in the building.  I stand up from kneeling over the toilet and a woman construction worker was standing there and said that they found my little boy outside screaming for help.  WHAT?!?  So we walk to the front the church and I see another woman construction worker with my car door open and Jett is sitting in the front seat.  Apparently he wanted to his gatorade so he went to get it.  Unbeknownst to me or his brothers he went outside to the car and couldn't get back in because the doors were locked.  So he started screaming, "HELP!  HELP!  HELP! HELP!"  The women construction workers were down the street and heard him.  So they went in search of the cry.  They found Jett and helped him.  The one woman found a side door that was unlocked (which it shouldn't have been) and that's when she found Simon because she heard them playing in the gym.  The other woman stayed with Jett.  When he saw me, instant tears started to fall and he wouldn't let me put him down.  I was very grateful to those wonderful women who helped Jett.  There are still good people in the world and he was so scared.  I am also grateful it wasn't 40 below (that could have been very tragic).  And next time Adam signs me up to clean the church by myself, he's dead meat!

This summer we've started to do something different.  Our mailbox isn't super close to our house.  So when we drive to check it, I have the boys get out and run the rest of the way home.  It's great exercise and they love running.  Plus it wears them out a bit!

The garden is nice.  We've been eating lettuce for a while now.  We've also harvested broccoli and cabbage.  The turkey is getting big too!

The sunflowers are getting huge.  The tallest one, is taller than Adam.  Still no blossoms though.

Simon got to have a special summer program with one of my young women.  On the last day, he got to do the zipline.  So fun!

My little climber, at it again!  This time in the car.  How did he get in there!?!

Another great Saturday project was painting the shed.  Look them go!  The boys were fantastic helpers.

Then after we painted the shed, we mowed the lawn.  Noah found that it's kinda hard work!

When Adam got home he had to get the places we couldn't reach on the shed.  I guess we were all a little distracted because no one saw tooty pants finger painting.  By the time I noticed, both hands were covered and his clothes were ruined.  By that smile on his face, I think he had fun though!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

~July - This years visit to UAF botanical garden

It was a fun visit again to UAF botanical gardens.  We went a little earlier than last year so the veggies and plants weren't quite as big.  It was still a good time, mostly.  Jett hurt his foot running with flip flops on so we cut our stay a little short.

Noah took this picture of his favorite flower.  He really has an eye for capturing nature and he likes photography.  Several years ago we were out in the woods and there were beautiful flowers.  He asked for my camera to take a few shots.  When I got home and loaded the pictures he had taken, they were amazing.  It's really fun to see talents come out in my kids.

Simon's arm in the air cracks me up.  He also tried his hand at photography.

This nice looking red flower was Simon's favorite.  He did good too!

I'm not sure how this happened, that they were all looking at the camera, but I love this picture of my boys.

Noah carrying Jett because his foot hurt too bad to walk.  Good brother :)  Those purple flowers in the background are called "fireweed."  They are sort of known as nature's calendar here in AK.  Once the blossom get to the top of the plant, winter is just around the corner.  You can also make jelly out of them, but I hear it takes a ton of flowers.  I've never tried it, but want to.

I love when the little ones get themselves dressed, I really do.  I kept looking at Jett thinking his shirt looked weird though.  When I finally checked the size, it was 24 months...Levi's shirt.  lol  That's why it looks so short!
Changing subjects, Jett IS wearing a monkey backpack (harness).  Usually we've used it for when he and the other boys were younger, but Jett gave me a quite a scare.  We were at the lake and I said it was time to go.  He ran away from me, all the while I was chasing him, yelling "stop."  A woman nearby saw what was happening and tried to grab him as he ran by.  She slipped and fell all the way to the ground and missed him (It was so nice of her to try and I felt super bad she fell).  He ran into the parking lot between some parked cars and out in front of a truck that was passing by.  I swear the front grill of the truck was inches from Jett's head.  It stopped just in time.  I was instantly sick to my stomach thinking of what could have happened.  So, a few swats to his behind and he was strapped into Levi's carseat until I could calm down.  So...the monkey backpack will be his friend until he can obey his mother and not run away.  I've had people make nasty comments about how unkind and down right cruel it is to treat my kids like animals on a leash.  It's about safety people!!  I love my children enough to keep them safe.  And if they'd like to spend a few days with my children to learn why I sometimes do this, I'm happy to let them.

Monday, August 5, 2013

~July - Valdez, AK and Independence Day Celebrations

This summer Adam decided not to go salmon fishing so he could do something with the family.  I've always wanted to go to Valdez, so we did!  It was a great drive down and so beautiful.  We drove halfway the first night and camped (which I didn't sleep at all because I was scared of a bear attacking our tent).  Then went the rest of the way.  Once we got close to Valdez we had to stop and take pictures of the waterfalls.  They were amazing.

The boys loved looking at all the boats.  We even saw some of the boats that are on Deadliest Catch.  Love Alaska!

Before we made reservations I had called and asked what types of festivities would be kid friendly for the weekend.  They said that the kids could ride in the 4th of July parade with their bikes.  Sounded great to us so we took their bikes down.  The city of Valdez had a bike decorating station where the kids could get creative.  It was awesome!  The boys loved it.  The weather was very rainy/misty the entire time we were there.  It didn't bother us though.

The parade was so much fun.

Adam and I walked with the boys while they rode.  Jett was very entertaining, as usual.

After the parade we toured the fire department.

Then played games.

Ate at the free bbq down at the Ferry Dock and listened to live music.

And right before fireworks started we had S'mores...provided by the city with a bon fire.  It was totally fun!

This is what our cabin looked like.  Very small.  We won't be able to fit in something this size next year, unless somebody sleeps on the floor.  We squeezed 3 kids into a twin size bed and Levi slept with us on a double.  Very cozy!

The day after the 4th, we did a little fishing off the shore.  The ocean was beautiful.  I keep saying beautiful, because everything in Valdez really is...BEAUTIFUL.  And it was rainy.  I can't imagine what it looks like when the sun is shining.

We tried fishing at Robe Lake also, but no luck.  It was very scenic though.

Tired boy.  He spent a lot of time in his car seat.

That afternoon we were driving around looking for bears and came across this glacier pond.  It was amazing too!  You can kinda see the glacier at the top of the picture.


Bald eagles were everywhere.  It was really fun to see them and we also saw some babies eagles too.

More fishing and exploring during low-tide.  The fish hatchery is there in the background.  The salmon werent' running yet, but the concept is still amazing to me.  Someday I'd like to go back to Valdez to see it.

This field is really pretty and it's the ONLY time it wasn't raining.  If you look real close you still won't see it, haha, but there is a bear in the high grass.  It was a little one, but we watched it for a while. 

I had the best weekend with these people!  Love my boys!  I think we'll do Valdez again next year for the 4th.