Saturday, April 30, 2022

It's Hard to Believe!

Bella has turned six years old! We celebrated her birthday today as Izaak was home. Isn't her dress beautiful? 

Gideon loves to help open gifts! It was fun to listen to their comments as they opened gifts. 
📷via BreAnne

📷via BreAnne

📷Bre's Facebook 

Jojo (17 months)📷by BreAnne

It's amazing to think back to how much has changed in the six years of Bella's life. 

Friday, April 29, 2022


Thank God it's FROSTING Day!  Yep, one can only take so much moist, from scratch, chocolate cake and frosting sitting around the house. I am GLAD it's time to assemble and decorate Bella's cake. Last week was just a trial cake - to drive us all crazy with temptation. Just take a look at the huge amounts of buttercream frosting in that pan. 

It turned in to this.  A retro princess cake. 

Before the cake came Bible study with Stacia, followed by a quick run to Freddies for a few supplies. Stacia had just enough time to make all the frosting before we ran out to visit the esthetician. The girls and I got our eyebrows waxed. We've been looking for a place we'd like in Palmer, we found it. In keeping with Michael's car philosophy... I told them I'd start them out with a good set of eyebrows and they could pay to maintain them. ::Snort:: 

Our next stop was the bank and then we were home again. Stacia decorated the cake. Michael worked on a project in the garage. I'm not sure what Allie worked on, I know she asked me a few college questions so I suspect it had to do with the ongoing enrollment process. I made a couple of beds, folded a couple of loads of laundry and ran a load of dishes. Grandpa wanted another nap. 

We had planned to take the girls to Anchorage to spend the night with Krista and take Grandpa out to dinner. Grandpa decided he didn't want to go out. The boys didn't want to go out either. That worked nicely as they stayed home, and I got to ride along. We took the girls to dinner. It was great to catch up with Chaplain N and we know the girls love to spend time with KrUke. Michael and I enjoyed a mini date on the ride home. The girls went out shopping....

Stacia, Krista, Allie 📷by Krista

I've been told shopping makes one hungry for ice cream. LOL 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Chicks are Here


It's CHICK DAY! Our local chicken farmer has chicks. We seem to be 2 less than we ordered...but we have 20 new chicks. We had wanted 12 novogen and they subbed Bovans Goldline. I've not heard much about this breed, but he insists they are great layers, and he has lots of them on his farm.  We also bought 5 Barred Plymouth Rock hens and we had hoped for 5 "Colored Egg Layers" - these are some they breed for blue and green eggs. We only get 3 chicks.  I've been trying to reach them to either get a refund or get more chicks SOON....I wanted more color. LOL 

It's funny how everyone congregates when one has chicks in the house.  Michael made this wonderful brooder four years ago. Unfortunately, it didn't get put up in the rafters of the woodshed as we thought. The snow and ice cracked the bottom of the brooder. We were able to find another kiddie pool and Michael will fix this shortly. When it's fixed they'll have more space, it's fully enclosed and we can relax a bit about Millie. 

There's few things better than baby chicks!

Stacia gave Millie a look - she was curious. Then she began to train her. So far, so good. Millie is never left outside of her kennel if one of us are not right here with the chicks.  The chicks will soon be fully enclosed and then even if Millie jumps up she wouldn't be able to get to them. We'll move the chicks to the garage in a few weeks - it's still too drafty and cold. 

The price for hugging the chicks is one must then allow Millie to sit on one's lap and hug her! She's emotionally needy. 

Nothing says spring like a houseful of chicks!

Dad is amazed at how quiet they are - proof he needs to wear his hearing aids! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Millie's Home Cut

When we realized a couple of weeks ago, we couldn't get Millie into the groomer until June 1st, we made the appointment and began to research other options. We called another place in town and they can't get her in until August...but they suggested we watch YouTube videos on doodle cuts.  There has been a bit of skepticism about how she will LOOK if we groom her, and how much time it will take...but's $125 every time we take her in, and she is supposed to go in every 6 weeks or so. We TRY to keep her in good shape. We DO brush her daily. We bathe her.  She's just a mess. 

My thought is to find some clippers and give it a shot...I mean if we butcher it, they can shave her in June or August.  Right? And if we learn how to do it, we can keep her shorter as it won't cost $125 to get her fit and trim. 

Her face is a mess. They leave it long....and since she can't see and we are not getting her in until August....I figured it was worth a try. 

Millie is smart. We let her get used to the scissors...she quickly learned if she came in close to cuddle, I couldn't cut her hair. 

Working together we figured it out.  We realize the cut isn't EVEN but she can see again. LOL 

This was all from her face. 

I am going to see if they have dog clippers at Animal Warehouse and we'll give her body and a leg or two a try next. I can tell it will be a rolling cut. LOL  As in it will take several days to get it done. 
She's already much more mannerly with just the face trim. LOL 

Pay No Attention

 Pay no attention to the young woman signing on the blog. LOL This is the simplest way to load a 4th quarter work sample for IDEA for Allie. LOL 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Very Full Tuesday

I began my morning by throwing chicken and a few ingredients into the instant pot. It would slow cook all day and be ready whenever we were ready for dinner. 

Next up was a run by my favorite coffee hut on the way to CoRielle's home. I purchased a drink and scone and got a surprise drink for Arielle. Benny ran outside as soon as he saw the van, "Baachan, did you buy Mama a surprise?" 

What a sweet boy. I had debated and was glad I had. We snuck it onto the hood of her car and waited (somewhat patiently) for her to discover her surprise. "Honey, I got you a surprise. Baachan brought it." ::wink::  Benny loves to give gifts, and it's a joy to help him bless the people in his life. 

While Arielle attended the weekly staff meeting at Farm Loop Christian Center and worked on Children's Ministry things afterwards...the boys and I had a blast together at home. Hey, we're proud of Arielle for making her first church announcement in front of 400 people on Sunday. 

The "ham" gene is very strong

We cuddled inside while everyone finished a snack and Benny watched the end of a movie he "loves."  He gave his mom a bit of a start when he told her he and Baachan watched a movie with a "big axe." We watched Moana - it's a big fish hook. ::snort:: 

With cuddling and the movie done, we headed outside for adventure. I thought they may want to go on a walk, but they wanted to ride bikes. Their driveway was the place to be as the road is gravel. We tried riding around the block before and it ends up with Baachan carrying bikes, and chasing kids. LOL 
Danny loves his bike - "but he doesn't pedal!" 

Working on directional control LOL 

We cleared the back of some twigs and branches from "the big wind storm," and Danny LOVED playing soccer. 

Benny hiding behind a Birch tree.

We did NOT get Danny's nap in or lunchtime done this week, but we had FUN OUTSIDE. 

Arielle got home and I had enough time to drive to the other side of Wasilla for Wholesome Food Co-op.  I spent four hours supervising the sorting and such of produce. I picked up a Click List order and Dad's meds on the way home. 

At home the girls helped unload a very packed van. We made a salad, and pasta to go with dinner. CoRielle showed up to pick up Josiah's old BBQ grill. We discovered Danny is quite the climber and doesn't seem to be a bit afraid of new things. He climbed up the ladder on the play structure. He slid through on about the 3rd rung and was holding on for dear life. Arielle ran across the yard, but he dropped to the ground before she reached him. He landed upright, to our cheers, and went on about his play. It's a blast to have the yard melting. I believe we'll have the trampoline up soon.  We still have snow in the garden and along the back edges of our property....
The face of spring - ignore last year's leaves

It's about time to move the picnic tables and toys out into the yard...and Wibbly Wobbly Park will be in business for the 2022 season. 

Benny gave myself and the Aunties our first dandelions of the season. Oh, it really IS spring! CoRielle went home to their dinner. We came inside and had our diner. 

An idea HIT me. I have been trying to find a way to work walks back into our routine since Dad's surgery. I wanted to do this in a way which wouldn't inconvenience the whole family. I've tried early mornings, but Gradpa seems to wake up the minute I get my shoes on - regardless of the time. This means Michael has to rise at sunrise so I can go for a walk. Not a great plan. I can't go out with the girls in the afternoon, because to do so would mean Michael needs to break from projects and come inside to be with Grandpa. Honestly, Michael breaks a LOT to help out with the schedule and we each try to be considerate of the projects each of us are trying to accomplish. 

I don't feel right saying, "Would you come inside so I can go for a walk?"  Arielle posted photos of their family walking after dinner yesterday and I have been fondly remembering our after-dinner family walks when we had a house of young ones.  It was just a small step to realize a solution to the morning walk situation.  

After dinner, while the kids cleaned up and Michael talked with a friend on the phone, I left for a walk. Grandpa talked on the phone in the living room. Everyone was in the general area and could watch him without breaking from their activities. I got 1.67 miles in rather than 5 miles, but it was heavenly!  I focused on establishing a habit of walking and not the distance.  I did not apologize for prioritizing my goal. I will continue my morning work out routine, but I am excited to add the habit of walking back into the mix - even if it's only enough for mental health and not fitness goals. 

We ended the night watching the first episode of The Chosen. We are going to enjoy this. 

Monday, April 25, 2022

Midnight Shopping

You know the stereotype about little old ladies addicted to QVC shopping? I'm not there...

BUT it appears I've been ordering things from various online vendors, at night, from my phone.  I first got wind of this when PayPal sent notification, I'd sent $98 to a company for eco-friendly planters...four of them. I would have dearly loved them but since the company never emailed to give me shipping info and nothing arrived...I cancelled the payment on Pay Pal...but now I'm dreaming of those eco-friendly, high rise planters....

Then THIS arrived from Amazon a few days after the first incident. THIS is going to be great. It's for planting seeds. I don't NEED it, but I KEPT it because fun is this? The chart tells you which color to use for various plants for perfect spacing in the garden. The orange stylus measures soil depth and makes holes in the soil...and there is a little funnel for pouring seeds? 

BUT when I woke to find THIS on my screen, I knew something drastic had to be done. I no longer fall asleep browsing on my phone. ::snort:: 

It looks like I was planning to purchase some serious Got Goals Girl Merch. 

Sunday, April 24, 2022

More Glimpses From This Week

 It's been a slower paced week than last as we've finally "caught up" from being quarantined.  While it's been slow, it's been full of memorable events and time for family connection. 

Alex and Jared conduct a bit of business in the Panda Lobby on Allie's birthday. Alex had agreed to buy JaRissa's truck months ago. Title and money were exchanged. 

Benny enjoyed this month's kiwi box. This is a jelly fish he made. He told me Danny broke it. 
I love this expression! 📷by Arielle

I find it hard to believe this face of innocence is guilty of any wrong. LOL 
Danny - 17 months at Auntie Allie's party

Most of the chicken yard is now free of snow and greening up. The chickens heartily approve of this state. 

We have 22 new chicks coming next week.  The girls enjoy the days I clean out the fridge! Or the day before food co-op when I chuck any less than fresh produce. LOL 

Look what CyRi built in their new back yard. Their own fire pit. The tradition continues...may you make many happy memories around the fire! 
📷by Carrie

Stacia is practicing how to make a Princess Cake. Bella's birthday party is coming on the 30th. 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

To the Top - First time this Season

 Jamin sent a text out to the Gherkins early Saturday morning. He wondered if anyone would like to hike up the Butte. The girls took him up on the challenge.  I was tempted but knew it would be good for the girls to go, Michael was working outside, and I spent the time with Grandpa. 

The first hike to the top this season! Well done. 

Jamin, Stacia, Allie 📷by Jamin 

Garden Work Begins

Michael was outside today working on extending the footers on the greenhouse foundation. I enlisted the girls to watch movies with GG and headed out to see if I could shovel snow away from the garden beds. The beds were covered in black plastic last fall.  I removed the plastic and began shoveling. 

Nolan's desk looks out the window. He decided to come join us outside. He helped shovel snow. I pulled the few weeds starting to pop up in the bed. Nolan brought over a load of the home grown compost and we spread it on top of the bed. Then, we added a load of the organic compost we purchased last year.  

This one bed is ready to go.  The planting chart for our zip code says I could start carrots, spinach or beets outside - 6 weeks before the last frost. I'm debating what to start, if anything. 

At this point I covered the bed with corrugated plastic. I'm hoping it will warm the soil up a bit. I did find a few spots that are still icy as we turned it over. BUT we found worms and that's a good sign. 

Nolan went on to taking apart the compost bed. It's now totally moved and a flatbed trailer will be able to back up to the foundation Michael is finishing. Michael's tooth is still not feeling great, but much better than it has been. 

Some are saying summer is here. I'm not sure about THAT, but spring is certainly here. I am hoping for green in a couple of weeks.

I am brainstorming how to turn pallets into a garden fence....