Sunday, August 26, 2007

"sweet" lessons learned

our friends gave us some fresh cow's milk so we decided to try to make homemade ice cream with the cream. we learned a few valuable lessons (besides the fact that we should probably just invest in an ice cream maker!).
  • cream makes ice cream... not milk. because we used the milk for breakfast this morning and shook it all up, it didn't have time to separate.
  • all the recipes we found call for the "double ziploc method" - way too cold for little boys' hands! we ended up putting our ziploc bags inside these chocolate milk powder containers which were perfect with handles and all!
  • always have a back-up plan! cold sugary milk just didn't cut it after all the talk about how yummy our homemade ice cream would be.
but the most important lesson we learned was this one: new experiences/experiments (whatever you want to call them!) are so much fun! the crazy loud noise of the ice jiggling around, the frost that formed on the outside of the container that we could scratch with our nails, and oh, the anticipation... wouldn't trade the experiment for anything!


i guess i have to face the truth as alaskans know it... summer is really over (and there's no talk of the beautiful two-week-long fall season... apparently, we go straight into winter). here's some of the evidence i've encountered just in the last couple of weeks.
  • the other day i was talking to the maintenance guy here at the apartments and he said something about really having to hurry with some new window installations "before the snow gets here."
  • about a week or so ago, ammon and abraham were up at night much later than usual. abraham asked, "why is it dark?" what a question! i realized that because my kids go to bed by about 9 p.m., they haven't seen true darkness in a really, really long time. abraham has recently been complaining about being scared at night. his "enlightening" question made me realize that his young mind may not even remember what darkness is, yet here it comes!
  • one of my friends recently moved into a new house and the heaters are not working. she's stressing about this because it won't be long before the really cold weather comes.
  • jacob was at a church meeting just this morning where the bishop made some assignments for snow removal.
  • while my mother-in-law was here visiting, we had a week straight of beautiful sunny weather. it was incredible. as soon as she left though, the rain came and stayed for another week. i heard several comments (at the grocery store, my neighbor, etc.) about how that was the end of summer and we all need to be bracing up for winter.
all of these comments initially made me laugh... but then i almost broke into tears in the very next breath. i attended a women's retreat a few nights ago and lots of tips were given for avoiding the winter depression. ai, ai, aieeeeeeeee!!! it's only august, people! must we really start talking about this so early?

stay tuned for my reactions to another alaskan winter.

jacob's photo collage... he calls it "end of summer"

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Friday, August 17, 2007

what does OIA mean?

as i sat at 11:00 p.m. (yes, that's p.m.) with the sun shining down on us stranded with my one-month-old baby, my two boys, two friends and a dog in a beat up old truck that didn't quite make it up the rocky beach, nicole explained the term OIA. it means "only in alaska." it's a term that she and her husband use when experiencing wacky things that could only happen in alaska. this was back in may. jacob and i have since adopted the term.

only in alaska can you take a picture of your kids with a moose so close in the background!

only in alaska can you walk up to a glacier and touch it!

only in alaska are 25-pound halibut called "chickens" because
they are considered small!

only in alaska can you take a short hike, have a picnic on the beach and then play in the mud when the tide goes out at night.

only in alaska can you sip hot chocolate with your children while watching killer orca whales swim in the ocean.

only in alaska do you not think twice when your kids stomp salmon heads on the beach.

only in alaska can you watch salmon leap out of the water as they make attempts to jump
up a waterfall.

only in alaska can you fall in love with such a doll of a girl!

only in alaska... need i say more?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

my good friend becca the blogger

you know those people who randomly pop into your life and really make a difference by teaching you cool things? well, for me right now it's becca. so in this, my first ever blog post, i pay tribute to my good friend becca the blogger. (she's moving away tomorrow). where to begin?

the poor girl came to kenai on what was the coldest day of winter...i believe it was negative 20 degrees. she and her family pulled up to the church parking lot just seconds ahead of us so we walked up the sidewalk together. my first thought about becca was "she's either crazy or she's really tough!" (see, becca wasn't wearing anything to cover up her legs under her skirt- even in my thick tights, i thought my legs were just going to freeze and snap off! it almost made me cry, it was so cold.) i've learned over the past 8 months that it's the latter... she's tough - in a very good way, of course!

i learned early in our "neighborship" that i couldn't go to her door and ask for a top ramen when i was just too pooped to make lunch for my kids. when i did ask, she offered me noodles and chicken bullion! along this vein, becca taught me to grind my own wheat and make five loaves of whole wheat bread at a time... without a mixer! (i don't think i'll ever be able to walk into a grocery store and buy a 99 cent loaf of bread again!). she patiently taught me to crochet edges on baby blankets, pack a nutritious lunch instead of spend $5 on yucky hot dogs, win auctions on e-bay, entertain children without t.v., make my own play dough, let go of some of the constant guilt i put myself through and let the Atonement work for me in my mothering, and so much more. sounds kind of melodramatic, but she taught me to just relax and enjoy being a mother.

she says i helped her survive the long winter and her pregnancy... i say i'm a better person for having known her. for that i am grateful.

it has happened to me my entire life... i make a good friend and then one of us has to move away. sometimes we stay in touch - sometimes we don't.
the difference this time is that one day before moving away, becca has taught me one more thing. she's convinced me that creating a blog is the way to keep connected. she wants to see my kids grow and one day i need to be able to tell my little ziya where the inspiration for her name came from (becca's daughter's name is zina). let's see if i can actually become a blogger! and let's see how many people i can stay connected to because of this cool thing becca taught me.

my best to you and your family, becca!