Friday, June 29, 2012

the best museum EVER.

after several years of NOT going here, this is yet another milestone in our lives - a year makes a difference!  finally, everyone is old enough to keep their hands to themselves at the appropriate times; know danger (owie); and know to stay together.  these are simple tasks for you and me, but toddlers?!  oh, goodness.

we headed over the the transportation museum.  it's right by the wasilla airport, and as a crow flies, behind our house.  it's only open seasonally, but we bought a membership as we're sure to visit again, like, next week.  we were there for close to 2 hours, but we skipped an entire section of small machinery, aircraft and farming equipment.  

at the entrance, the kiddos spotted a large pile of extra extra large tires and the whole way around the grounds, all i heard about were those damn tires.  but oh, so many fun rigs to admire.  can't wait to visit again.  

this made me smile.
my grandfather worked for the dept. of the interior.

 the original tow mater

 already traumatized by the lens.

jack will be 5 this fall, and as much as i can't believe that much time has passed, i also think, man, this has been an incredibly long 4 years and 3 months of naughtiness!  for as sweet and loving as he can be (and now, most of the time is) he also has this defiance to him.  he's strong-willed and sure of himself and his thoughts.  we've come a long way, and i'm so very happy to see such maturity in my little boy.  he cares about his sister and what she's getting into.  he wants so very much to be a part of whatever is going on, whether it's picking up toys in the evening or setting the table for meals.  he shows a huge desire to be responsible.  ben and i are so blessed to call him our son. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

i scream. {or rather, dylan screams.}

on an unusually hot summer day, we journeyed down to our local coffee shop that also stocks 15+ flavors of ice cream.  jb, the kid after my own heart, chose mint chip and because of dylan's sneaking desire in our pantry, forever plucking oreos without asking, i chose cookies and cream for her.  i asked for the smallest size, not realizing there was really only one size.  can you believe those waffle cones?!  goodness!  i don't think i could have finished one...  (but 16 oz. of iced coffee - yes, please!)   

we sat under an umbrella that provided no shelter from the scorching sun.  but, you know what?  i live for these alaskan days.  with the sun beating down on us, i couldn't help but smile.  and, i guess watching my brood devour ice cream cones (just not quite fast enough!), frolic in the dandelions - that also helped my ear-to-ear grin.

this may sound odd, but sometimes, i can't believe they are mine.  i can't believe we were so blessed to have one of each.  they are healthy.  they are (usually!) happy.  they're ridiculously cute, so very smart and they give the best hugs and smooches.  


it can't always be grand.  there are times when someone steals a seat.  especially the coveted one next to mama.  and, that just doesn't fly.  the chairs around our kitchen table are constantly fought over.  NO, MINE! is heard quite frequently.  every meal.  and snack.  as happy as i am to see dylan growing, i kinda miss the high chair days...  sigh...

oh, sad face.
 can't you just hear it?!
dack, mooove!

before the soggy cones made an utter mess, i distracted, i tossed.  don't judge.  you do what you gotta do.  the kids ran around for a bit, then we made our way back home, just in time for naps.

bean bags

papa frank came for a long weekend.  it was great to have him at the finish line of my 1/2 marathon, but it was even better for the kids to have their papa in town!  

dylan and i picked him up from the airport, and to my amazement, she recognized him as he was walking through security - and ran into his arms.  one of those hallmark moments!  ok, yes, so it was only march since we saw him last, but you never know how much information is held in their tiny brains.

she loves her papa.  she loves his mustache and tickling him.  she loved cuddling, but i think she loved standing on his tummy even more.  and because she's two and wants attention, when she wants it, i can still hear her saying, over and over: 

PA PA, yook!  YOOK, PA PA!  PA PA, PA PA , yook, YOOK!  

{so it isn't just the mama's that get that - you know, if you don't respond, they'll just keep on and on?!}

during this bean bag excitement, dylan was just a wall away, snoozing up a storm in her room.  we must have checked on her every 10 minutes, for 2+ hours, thinking she'd be up any minute and want to join in on the fun.  no such luck.  she didn't wake until nearly 7 (and went down around 2!) but it gave jb and papa some much needed bonding time.  just as it's hard for us parents to get that one-on-one with the kids individually, it has to be hard for the (out-of-state) grandparents!   

jb ate up the attention, naturally.  they enjoyed pizza dinner on the deck, and then we broke out the bean bag game.  they had so much fun and so many laughs together.  come back soon, papa frank!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


t1-11 (the vertically-lined siding) is shown here and is also on the backside, facing the woods.  osb lap-siding is on the garage side (front) and the side facing our driveway.  the whole building will match our house, reflecting the same paint color and roofing shingles.  i don't think we'll do the same red doors though...  umm, yeahhh... that wouldn't fly.

can't wait for the trusses.  to be delivered thursday.

i hadn't been up since saturday, so after we put the kids to bed, we climbed up.  ben pointed out the bathroom to me, so naturally, i had to jump in there like a moron.  actually, where the sawhorse is, the tub will be.  but anyway.  there's the bath, and eventually, there will be a window to my left.  once the trusses go up, they'll cut away at the plywood to place the window opening just so.  ben is standing in the kitchen, where the sink will go, and also, you can see where the french doors will be.  fun!  the three windows face the road, but more importantly, the mountains.

just as i was taking ben's picture in the kitchen, something caught his eye, down below.  what do you think it was???  the buster.  look how cute.  naughty but cute.  before we knew what was happening, bubs was climbing the ladder.

it's hard to resist him when he's being so sweet.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

bullydog love

they really love their bulldog.  there was a time when it was just so hard to squeeze another being into our mix, but she's finally wormed her way back into our hearts.  i remember a time before jack was born, a friend of mine warned me about dogs getting pushed aside once baby came.  i really couldn't imagine - those dogs were ben and i's children!  but.  it happened.

sorry, bean.  we've always loved you, though!    

nowadays, there isn't much time that passes when she isn't inside, cuddled up on the sofa or on the kid's tiny sofas... or nestled on a pile of clean, warm laundry, much to my dismay.  if you happen to find yourself sitting on the sofa, well, she's gonna inch her way over and plop her head on your lap.  or likely, her whole 50-pound body.  as much as we've butted heads throughout our years (always vying for that alpha female role), it's great to now see her take a little beating from the kiddos.  but, oh, she's so patient with them...

bella has always been quite the terror.  she never left the other bulldogs alone.  always the instigator.  always getting everyone else all riled up.  it's funny to see such a shift; she's an old lady now.  we celebrated (ok, not really) her 8th birthday in march.  there's gonna come a time when she leaves us and as much as it's gonna be sad for ben and i, it's likely the kiddos that will take it the hardest.  dylan's been beanie's number one fan for as long as i can remember, tummy time was also bella's favorite time - perfect chance to get at all that tasty drool!  (oh, ick.)  and jack, well, he tells me weekly that bean's my best friend.  i didn't even know he knew such a thing existed!  i love that a pooch has taught him that.


floor joists & sheeting

i said it before, and i'm gonna say it again: it's really starting to look like something!  the bens got the floor joists and the sheeting done and are starting to lay out the walls.  holy moly.  benji pulled me up the ladder (eeek!) and i was able to snap a few shots of the view from waaay up there.  so gorgeous.  i can never get enough of the chugach.  

at this point, they weren't quite finished laying the plywood down, so i couldn't get too far out.  ben #2 said from the edge, you can see a bit of the inlet.  

 carpenter ben, getting it done.

the shop will have two separate rooflines, as you can see by where the floor joists end and the open space below that is the shop.  another week or so, and this will make more sense...

my cute boys.  this was jb's first climb up the ladder.  he since scaled it a few more times on his own, (much to our dismay) and not without me shrieking in fear!  he doesn't want to miss a thing!

walls go up tomorrow...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

colony days

for me, colony days kinda marks the start of summer.  technically, it was two weeks ago, but still.  the valley starts to have more and more sunshine than overcast gloominess.  and, even on this day, we did get dribbled on, it was nothing that would have kept us home and away from the fun.  we all had some laughs, the kids wore themselves out (and snoozed on the way home) and everyone was brave enough to have their face painted.   

 jack participated in the pony rides, 
 while dylan did not.

just a perfect way to spend a day with some friends.

what happened in two weeks.

we got beams!
get excited.
 well, jack's excited.

looking a little like something.
hello, garage doors.

the pictures below are of the back of the shop, looking at ben's future mezzanine.  here, he will be able to drive a snowmachine or a four-wheeler (or likely, both) onto it, from the back garage door.  (as seen in the bottom left picture.)  but, with all the framing,  it's kinda hard to tell, huh?  there will be a second man door at the top of those stairs, and the framed in area (bottom right picture) will be the bath/utility room.  his work bench will be under the mezzanine.  there's additional storage under the stairs, but this will likely be jack's area since i can't keep him out from under there!  ben and the carpenter, ben, will likely be sheeting (plywood) this weekend, with trusses to follow next week.

jb and i walked across the street to our neighbor's house for, like, 20 minutes.  when we came back out, the beams were in place!  we missed the best part!  but oh, look how puuuurdy.