...with a husband and 5 sons, I am truly outnumbered....stories and thoughts on life from a mom in a houseful of little men!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Official "Sourdough"

My deck thermometer reads 46 degrees on April 25. The sky is the usual and customary shade of gray and gloom. It's official--my love affair with Alaska is finished. Rather than whine, here's a stream of consciousness list of
Some of My Favorite Things
sleepy newborn babies, cuddled in softer-than-soft blankies
brand-spankin'-new, striped, SmartWool socks
hot sand beneath my bare feet
fields of tall grass and wild flowers, and the sound of the breeze blowing through them
coconut body butter
the smell of wool yarn
old red barns
white Lilies
white roses
purple roses
beach combing
long walks in the country with no destination
sipping iced tea on a front porch
chubby, bare baby feet and their pitter-patter
the smell of a new book
old, heavy, hard-cover Classics
dormer windows
sea glass
walking through a greenhouse at the very beginning of spring
chocolate haupia cream pie
the smell of fresh-cut grass
stories that "old people" tell
my Bible--it's been with me for 23 years and becomes more alive every year
fresh, just-opened Birch leaves (have you ever FELT them??!)
Siberian Husky fur, warmed by the sun
hugs and kisses from my sweet Kaleb
spiritual conversations with my sweet Nicholas
the rare times when my sweet Noah will cuddle in my lap
alpaca fiber
playing my violin
seeing the baby lambs frolicking up Twin Peaks in the spring
blueberry picking in Hatcher Pass
canoeing on a clear lake in the heat of summer
tea in "real" tea cups
Jane Austin stories
dreaming of exotic travels
the crunch and swish of fallen Maple and Oak leaves beneath my feet in fall
reading with a cat on my lap
Alba products
Glad Heart Acres soaps
clean flannel sheets on the bed
fresh organic strawberries
star-gazing on a warm, summer night
the sound of ocean waves rolling in
fresh pineapple
Anne of Green Gables series
the sight, sound, and smell of canning jam
outdoor swimming pools
garlic cheese bread from Evangelos
neatly filling out forms with a perfect ink pen (weird, huh.)
silhouettes of trees
giant, old Cottonwood trees; they look like gnarled old men, don't they?
the clicking sound I make walking down a long corridor
Dutch Blitz

These are obviously in no order whatsoever, and I know there are many, many more things to add to this list. What are your "Top 5 Favorite Things"? Now we all want world peace and we love our families...I'm talking the simple or not-so-simple details...the stuff of life..."raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" stuff!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Oh Warm Spring...Wherefore Art Thou?

WARNING: There is very little cohesive thought in the following:

I've been pulling out all the stops: buying fresh pineapple and copious amounts of green salad, grilling kabobs, working on indoor gardening projects (most of which have died or look truly sorrowful,) doing a spring unit study for our home school, sitting in the sunshine with my eyes closed--pretending that the outside looks different than what it actually looks like....which is like this:

April 9, and it was 18 degrees this morning. My "weather bug" at the bottom of my computer says there is snow expected again on Sunday. Guess I should have warned you at the beginning that this was going to be a rant-sort-of-post...and for that, I apologize. Sometimes it's just therapeutic to get my thoughts out on paper, or in this case, my computer screen.

For the last ten years or so, March and April have typically been difficult months for me. Being raised and living so long in the Midwest, these months, to me, mean the first green shoots, even the first flowers, the first lawn-mowing, sunshine, and refreshing spring rains which cleanse the earth and make her ready for summer. They mean nearly endless sunshine, baby frogs peeping in the pond, and birds, and honeybees waking from their sleep. Ok, in all honesty there was the occasional snow, but it came and was gone--boom!

In Alaska, March and April mean snow falling, slooooowwwwly melting snow, more snow falling, MUD, some more snow, lots more mud. I do see the beauty around me, and I will dedicate the remainder of this post to such signs of hope. The sun makes its appearance comparatively often in Alaska's March. For that, I am truly thankful. It's a gift which keeps me from totally losing my head. Daylight dramatically increases and gives us more energy. The sky starts to tout some shades of blue, rather than the endless gray that plagues us for so long. There are pussy willows bursting out, and the tips of the Birches have a red halo about them--buds waiting for their time to shine. It is during this season that life-long Alaskans get out their flip-flops...and those of us who were raised in other areas wonder why. But of course, I know why. It's because being "Alaskan" is more than where you live. True Alaskans are optimists. I'm not sure that after nearly 12 years I can yet be considered a true Alaskan. Do true Alaskans dream of moving back Outside? Do they waste their blog reader's time with on-line rants about the weather? Do they promise to devote "the remainder of this post to such signs of hope" and then revert to another rant? Sigh.

All this to say.... I know better days are coming. It's like this every year. It seems the snow and cold are endless, and suddenly, that glorious spring-green surrounds us from every angle. Every summer is a marathon for us Alaskans--so many things to plant, so many yard projects to partake in, so many mountains to climb, so many outdoor miles to run and bike and walk! So much daylight! I ask you, who really needs to sleep?? There is a day coming at the beginning of June, where I will raise my arms to the sky, with a smile on my sun-kissed face, and I will tell my husband, "If I EVER tell you I want to move away from this place, remind me of THIS moment!" So, I'll just keep grilling my fresh pineapple kabobs until that day, and though I shiver in the cold, I will be thankful the snow has cleared from the grill to permit such an undertaking. So maybe, just maybe, I am a true Alaskan after all....

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

"Pennies To the Rescue", Part II

We've been busy in Boyland this week, counting out oodles of change and rolling coin. THANK YOU to all of you who have donated change to our service project, Pennies To the Rescue! So far, we've got just over $71 ready to head to Compassion International for on-going Haiti relief. This is "last call"....so if you've got change that's looking for a home....let us take care of it for you! We can even pick it up at your convenience either tomorrow (4/8/10) or Friday (4/9/10.) Let us know...and thank you again for helping us out.

As they were counting and rolling, Eaglet and Spunky kept mentioning "how happy the people in Haiti will be to get this!" Precious.

Upon counting up the total, Eaglet was concerned that $71, even though it's a lot of money, just doesn't seem like it will be enough. I explained that it is nowhere NEAR enough...but it will go along with money that lots and lots of other families, individuals, and companies are giving. Together, we can provide for A LOT of needs.

Praying that God will multiply these funds and allow them to go further than we could ever imagine. You know...He has a knack for that type of thing. :)

Friday, April 02, 2010

All For the Love of Us

A friend posted this link on her facebook today. It's not the type of thing that is fun to meditate on...but oh how important and necessary. This is the reality of what my Jesus did for me. This is the reality of how much He loves The Father--who is also my Father--all because of this sacrifice:

Tony Cooke Ministries - Medical Description of the Flogging and Crucifixion of Jesus

May you know today that this was all for you, too.