Sunday, March 27, 2011

Recycling Musicians

The other day I was attempting to cook dinner with Declan underfoot as usual and he saw that I pulled out the recycling to take to the garage. Of course he felt the need to dump it and said "I can use this stuff!". I wasn't really sure what he was up too but I knew I should get the camera. I'm so glad I did. He turned over all the cans and began to play the bongos!

He's so fun! And as usually "hey Ian, come here" was shouted. Ian found a bottle and started making music his way before he dropped it and took off when he saw the camera!

Kids have such great imaginations and I love to watch it happen! And I'm glad I clean out my recycling before I put them in the bin!

Ian's Learning

So, I'm so very proud of how Ian is doing in preschool and I love getting reminders (like this one) about how much he really is learning. He's writing phonetically which is the first step! I love my boy!

"He throws snow balls."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ryan's Big Project!

Ryan and I have been looking for a new setup for the playroom/family room because the current one is just a little shabby (not in a chic way either). Apparently I was so embarrassed about the set up this was the only picture I could find with some of the furniture in it. We still have the little table and chairs for coloring and such but the scribbled chest of drawers and pathetic tv stand are GONE GONE GONE!

Ryan found what he wanted in a Pottery Barn Kids catalog and so the search was on in local stores here for the same idea. We found one that kind of fit the bill but it would definitely be "settling" and my mom didn't raise me that way! Ryan felt like he could build it for less than they were asking and we could stain it whatever color we wanted. With two boys that are rough on furniture I was willing to let him do it and the words "less expensive" were music to my ears!

I was a tad apprehensive due to the fact that the last thing I saw him build was this desk that was a little "over built" in my opinion, but what the heck! I didn't know if he would have the time to finish it but boy was I wrong! One thing about my husband that I'm constantly learning is that if he puts his mind to something, he's going to follow through every time! He's so awesome! Ok, that's enough of that. I don't want him getting too full of himself. ; ) Anyways, here was some before the stain look.

With the stain. I got to pick out the color and I'm super pleased with how it came out. I did want it darker but this was a good compromise between Ryan and I. It's very similar to our living room furniture color!

The whole set up just brought in from the garage! I'm so proud! We got a new tv too on killer deal with built in dvd player! It looks a little dwarfed surrounded by the shelves but it's still bigger than what they had before and way more safe!

I have special made bins on order for the upper cubes from and I can't wait to get them! I love!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The many looks of Declan

So lately Declan has been really into imaginative play and dressing up in whatever he can find. And "fishing like Grandpa" is a very common past time here in AK!

I had no idea that Grandpa fishes with measuring tapes. ; )

In case you didn't know...he's THREE!

Training Week #8

This week I have been really enjoying running outside! That says a lot when it's still in the 20's or colder here most of the time! It's the amazing sunshine that I feel so excited about! I didn't realize how much I love sunshine even if it's still cold outside and it's a major mood booster for me lately! I guess that's good considering I ran 15.5 miles this week and a personal best for a 10k (6.2 miles) at 77 minutes! I'm sure for you super speedy running friends of mine that's nothing but for me it is amazing!

The photos for today's post is from my run on Saturday. I'm sure it's some sort of training party foul that I'm taking pictures but I just can't help myself. I'm making it a point to enjoy this training experience instead of being too serious about it. Having fun doesn't mean I'm not trying my hardest, it just means that I am determined to appreciate the beauty of my surrounding and being thankful for every mile I'm able to run!

(along the Glen Hwy. heading toward Ft. Richardson)

(leaving Ft Richardson on Arctic Valley Rd.)

Northern Lights

So this was from the other night when I saw them but I had to repost this picture just because I think it's so beautiful and I'm so blessed to live in Alaska right now!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Training week #7

I can not believe I've been doing this for seven weeks already! I know I've come a long way but I still have a hard time calling myself a runner. I have noticed that if I don't run I get a little antsy! I guess that's a good thing considering that I'm due to run a marathon in June! With more running comes some different issues. I'm learning how to dress for a run in icy, snowy, and freezing weather. I'm learning that if you don't start out with hot water in your water bottles when it's 0 degrees then when you need that drink it will be frozen! I'm learning that it does matter what you eat and drink before a run. It's amazing what you learn about yourself when you're running!

It's amazing how a team seems to keep me going strong especially on the longer runs! This includes my friends and family that have been a constant encouragement on my posts and Facebook! Speaking of long runs...I surpassed my previous record of longest run this past Saturday! I ran just under 8 miles and I didn't die! It shouldn't amaze me still, but I am every time! It's such an awesome feeling!

The 2011 Iditarod in Willow, AK

Yesterday we decided to check out the start of the Iditarod in Willow, AK for the first time since we got here. It is quite an event and something we just had to experience! I'm so glad it was an amazingly beautiful day and warm for this time of year (27 degrees!).

It was quite a hike from the car to the starting point of the race so we opted for the sled for the boys. They loved it! Made for much less whining!

The characters there were fun to watch! Check out the guy behind me with the fur hat! I'm sure the anti-fur people would have had a nervous break down here! And check out the next picture! That is what I thought was Chewbacca but it's just some guy in a fur suit! Oh Alaska!

Of course...the dogs!

Riding in style. The limo of snow machines.

This was the only musher I could get a good picture of. It's #3 Ray Redington Jr. from Wasilla AK. He's currently in 6th place.

They boys squeezed a spot to watch the mushers go by.

Did I mention that this is all taking place on a giant frozen lake! I think that's so cool!

Nothing like some hot dogs to make the day even better for the boys!

The mountains of snow in the parking lot were totally irresistible to the boys!

Gorgeous mountain view on the amazingly clear day! BEAUTIFUL!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Eagles in Eagle River, AK

So we were leaving Eagle River (where we live) to go watch the start of the Iditarod yesterday and at the VFW they had been feeding the eagles and WOW was it a sight! I'm pretty sure there were about 50 or so of them! I love the eagles here and like the mountains, I never get sick of seeing them! I finally had the good camera with me when I saw them and we stopped to get some pictures! Such beauty and power in a bird!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Training Week #6

This week, to be honest, did not go as planned. One of my coaches recently lost part of his family to Burkitt's Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (I'll include some info on this if you're curious) and I didn't think it would affect me the way it did. For those of you that don't know, we lost my step-dad almost a year ago to this same disease and it's amazing how a simple email to share with the team about her story can still effect me so. The lost feels so recent yet so long ago. I'm blessed to know that he's in a place with no sickness and no pain! I know I'll see him again someday, but until then I will live my life in a way that would make him proud!

On a more uplifting subject, I am that much closer to the halfway mark in my fund raising! That means that if I can raise $470 more by March 19 I get a really nice Alaska Team In Training hooded sweatshirt! I am so grateful for those who have already helped me on this journey and those of you who are planning one help me reach this awesome milestone in the upcoming weeks! You are all appreciated! I'm just really having a lot of fun with this training and really excited about this summer! Thanks for your support!

Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma - Burkitt's

Burkitt's lymphoma is a very fast-growing non-Hodgkin lymphoma that originates from B lymphocytes. Burkitt's lymphoma can develop at any age, but it is most common in children and young adults, particularly males. Unlike other lymphomas, Burkitt's lymphoma has a specific geographic distribution: It is most common in central Africa and rare in the United States. Infection with Epstein-Barr virus is associated with Burkitt's lymphoma.

Burkitt's lymphoma grows and spreads quickly, often to the bone marrow, blood, and central nervous system. When it spreads, weakness and fatigue often develop. Large numbers of lymphoma cells may accumulate in the lymph nodes and organs of the abdomen, causing swelling. To make the diagnosis, doctors do a biopsy of the abnormal tissue and order procedures to stage the disease.

Without treatment, Burkitt's lymphoma is rapidly fatal. Intensive chemotherapy, which includes chemotherapy to the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord to prevent spread to these areas, can cure 70 to 80% of people.

Fun with the boys!

I feel bad about slacking on the blogging lately but we really haven't been up to much lately. Most days I'm really happy to make it through without anybody killing someone! Cabin fever has been a bit of an issue if we stay home more than two days in a row. I'm very thankful for the abundance of indoor play grounds up here! I am also thankful that the temps have been a little warmer (I'm talking above 10 degrees) so we have been able to do some xc skiing too!

School has been a big focus for us. Ian is doing amazingly and Declan can't wait to go! We do workbook stuff at home and it seems like we are reading a lot more, which is awesome! We purchased an egg from Michael's the other day and it was to sit in water for 48 hrs and see what would hatch! Ian was so excited and watched it intensely! It was really slimy and weird when it was fully hatched but Ian didn't seem to care. I love having kids!

The boys decided to make things with my canning jars since I wasn't using them at this moment. They put something different each one and built towers with them...

Used them as musical instruments...

And they made awesome monster sounds when they growled into them! These boys are so much fun!

Dry erase markers are a wonderful thing in our house! Ian is practicing writing his name and Declan's name. I love how these things are getting easier and easier for him!

This was him writing his "doctor list". Apparently he already knows that doctors' writing is illegible.
And one last funny! My little ham or Captain America...JUST LIKE DADDY!