Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pretend like I wrote a whole bunch this weekend!

Let's pretend like I wasn't busy this Christmas. OK?!

Let's pretend that I didn't quit my job and not clean out my office, OK?

Let's pretend like my Aana didn't get admitted in the hospital and I didn't spend the night there the first night the twins came from Palmer, OK?

Let's pretend like I didn't stay up until after three waiting for Santa, cause we don't have a fireplace. And then my kids didn't wake me up before eight saying they were waiting for us to get out of bed so they could open their gifts from Santa, OK?!

Let's pretend like I got all my handmade presents done, OK?

Let's pretend like I am in a good mood.

That's all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The shortest day of the year in NW Alaska.

Yesterday we had 1 hour and 38 minutes of daylight. Today we gain 30-something seconds! And tomorrow we gain 1 minute and 30 something seconds!


Then by March we'll have a NORMAL day. And by May we'll be ice fishing at midnight in the bright sun!

Ahh, it pays to be optimistic!


Until then though, here's a great recipe that I got from my friend Trish . This is THE ONLY Hot Chocolate that we drink at our house. It is so creamy good, especially with Marshmallows or Peeps!

Homemade Hot Chocolate

4 C Powdered Milk
2 1/2 C Nesquik Chocolate Powder
1 1/2 C Non-Dairy Creamer
(If you want, you can also add 1/2 C powdered sugar, but we like it without)


Gather all three ingredients and a large container that can hold over 8 C of powder.


We use Tupperware EVERYTHING. See our Powdered Milk in that Tupperware container!? That's cause we have a 7 gallon bucket of powdered milk! ;)


Measure the ingredients into container and MIX WELL. I mix it up with a spoon, then cover it and shake yo money makah!!


It stores well on the cupboard. I don't exactly know how long it will last as we make this in 8 cup batches that seem to last about a month in our house, with all the below zero temperatures and playing out and all.

Mix 2-3 TBS of mix into a cup of hot water. Top with Marshmallows in the Winter and Peeps at Easter! :)

Yummy in tummy

It is pure bliss in a cup though.

Especially after a long hard day of decorating the Christmas Tree with all our handmade ornaments. (Yes, everything on our tree is handmade - except the lights and wooden garland)


And after a long evening of decorating a home-made gingerbread house with waaaay too much candy.

gingerbread house

Merry Christmas. Only 4 more days until the big day when you-know-who comes to visit!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sometimes its worth it to stay up late

I don't usually stay up too late because I like to sleep. A lot.

And because I do so much "stuff," I have to budget my time accordingly. Last night was an exception. We watched the Eclipse and it was very, very COLD. Oh, the moon was great too, but it's a good thing my friend wanted to drive around Kotzebue for a couple of hours!

I swear we are closer to the moon than anyone else because it is HUGE up here. Huge and bright.

These photos are not edited in any way. (which is why some of them look a little fuzzy, I blame it on the wind!)

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Phase 5

Phase 6

Phase 7

Phase 9

Phase 8

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cabin Fever.

Sometimes in the wintertime up here you get Cabin Fever. Really Bad. Like when its 45 below zero.

And you just have to play out after sitting on your lump all day watching Movies and eating Cookies from the Swap on Saturday.

being outside

And sometimes you just have to get out of the house after playing iTouch for five hours, and playing house, and hospital and dolls and Barbies and Cars and any your new puppy even gets boring. So you just play out.

But you wear a full on combat suit to shield yourself from 35 MPH winds and "snow and blowing snow" in your "blizzard for the Baldwin Penninsula until 8 pm tonight..." And let your brother bury you in the snow until you touch the actual ground.

playing out

And sometimes you just really want a soda.

So you have to dig your way out of the house so you can walk to the store holding the hands of two littles so they can get out too.

And then you go halfway, leave them at your friends house and walk the rest of the way yourself.

across the street

And man, sometimes in the wintertime, Dr. Pepper tastes SO GOOD.

Happy Five more days until Christmas from up here. Hopefully Santa can find our house buried in the snow!

going for a walk

Friday, December 17, 2010

Smells like Christmas

Actually it smells a little like Spring, Fruity and crisp but it LOOKS like Christmas.

Today my daughter dressed in her ELF BEST and donned a flashing reindeer headband to school for her last day before Christmas Break.

Among a .77 cent gift for each of her classmates (33% off my entire purchase of $1 gifts!) and her teachers, she brought THIS POPCORN and our house smelled of lime and strawberry jello for hours!

And please excuse my iPhone photo, its dark like 22 hours a day here now, so we have to make due with bad kitchen lighting and iPhones sometimes!

But it looks very Christmasy, and tastes AMAZING so whatever works right!?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Have yourself a Merry BIG Christmas!

After attending the local Elementary School's "Christmas Program" on Monday night, I had to add another I-should-do-this to my ever growing list of ideas. A drama club. Or at least a PROGRAM club.

Seriously, folks. It seems like the school is just getting cheaper and cheaper in their lazy attempts to have a "program" of any sort. Parents get off work early, bake dozens of cookies, buy expensive dresses and suits (or in my case $15 dresses and $7 shoes), curl and cut their childrens hair, bundle them up in warm winter gear to get from the car/snowmachine/house to the school all so we can watch the music teachers backside while our kids SIT quietly, file up to the front, sing ONE song (in ENGLISH only) and then file back to their seats.

silent night song


When I was growing up, you know back when "extra duty contracts were done by Volunteers after school and by kids who were interested in glittering trees and reindeer headbands. I remember Phyllis Booth and I sung, "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" while our classmates behind us sang the chorus. Then we went on to sing at LEAST two more songs, always singing "Jingle Bell Rock" (thanks Mrs. Peacock!) and always singing at least ONE song in Inupiaq.

Kaisas program dress

There were blow up saxophones (Mrs. Williams) and Neon sunglasses and Fat Santa's and Eskimo dancing.

Oh well, at least with the extra time I got to finish the slippers I've been working on.


And I guess at least my baby got to wear her "pageant dress" as she calls it.

Merry Christmas, next year, we're doing the Nutcracker Ballet at the school, I don't care if I have to choreograph it, paint the backgrounds, and force kids to dance it. We're doing it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So begins our cold spell...

Darn, I thought we would get warmish weather until at LEAST January. Seeing as though January and February are our "cold" months, hovering around -10 below zero for six week stretches.

But its cold. COLD out. Looks a LOT like winter up here. Sheesh.

Don't believe me? Just look up at my weather widget and check out what the wind chill is. Funny though, our kids play out for recess until it is minus NINETEEN or lower. So today, they're out enjoying the crisp cold air! Good thing we have FUR coats, and FUR gloves and FUR boots right?! (I'd like to take this time to invite any and all PETA members to come up to kotzebue for the next two months. Go live in a tent please, and then tell me you still think animal fur has feelings. Guess what...plants have feelings too!)

windchill factor

Alapaa! (Cold)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Good kinda food

I miss eating good food in Hawaii.

seared ahi

I miss all the super fresh fruit and the super fresh seafood. Not that I can't get super fresh seafood here, its just much colder to harvest it compared to Hawaii.

Eating shrimp

And we don't have shrimp. Which is cheap. Cause we love shrimp. LOVE it.


And we don't have tuna either. But we do have super fresh salmon and super fresh shiifish and super fresh moose.

Dean's moose

Yup, that's my husband with his compound bow and a moose he got the other day while I was at the State Wrestling Tournament in Nikiski. He's very excited. I'm very excited that we don't have to eat beef anymore! Yay!

I'm not the only person who misses the good Hawaiian food.

Kaisas plate
Kaisa's plate.

Kaisa loves shrimp, and tuna, and sushi, and sashimi, and... Pretty much she'll eat whatever we put in front of her at least once. Allee too, she was all up in that Seared Tuna!

real torture

But in Hawaii, we didn't have Rea. Or our dogs. Or our camp. So, I guess we will just eat our moose roasts cooked in the slow cooker, and in the smokehouse, and canned with homemade BBQ sauce. And save money for our next Hawaii trip!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hard to shop for?

People think I'm hard to shop for. I'm not hard to shop for!

Well, maybe I am. I have sensitive skin. I mean, like don't touch me or you'll give me hives with your grubby oils on your fingers. Like, please use oil-free, soap-free, fragrance-free, everything-free laundry soap, hand soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, or I turn into one big hive. (Yeah, seriously, don't touch me unless you want to have hives in the same position as your fingertip!)

And I don't wear makeup. Or brush my hair. Or wear designer anything. Most times I don't even condition my hair when I shower! (With luke-warm water cause hot water gives me hives...) And no perfume, unless its on the outside of my clothes either.

Here's my Santa Wish List for this Christmas/Birthday/You're-Cool-Day!

1. Duh, I want an iPad! Cause I never did get one during dividend time. We went to Hawaii instead!

2. I have to constantly carry my camera around town, you know..."just in case." So you know one of these would be nice. Or THIS one is actually my favorite cause I don't carry a purse generally, unless it fits all my sewing stuff and my wallet...and my camera in it.

3. Since I don't have any boots, except a pair of hand-me-down bunny boots that are too small, I would VERY much like a pair of Tall Lobbens, in RED but I'll take gray too!

4. And since I love to make a mess in the kitchen... ANYTHING from this store would be nice.

5. And I really want my stinkin' washer and dryer I ordered and had shipped in NOVEMBER. Ugh. I have so many dirty clothes ready to be washed before the Christmas Holiday. Sigh...

6. Oh, I almost forgot, I want Peach on Earth and Goodwill toward man!

That's it. See....not at ALL hard to shop for! Psh!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crafty Tuesday Nights...

reindeer candy

As I was lurking around some crafty blogs last night, I came across Anna's Gingerbread Ornaments at Noodlehead and thought this would be the perfect craft to do with the girls before Glee!

gingerbread men 4

Cause you know, I need them to be quiet during Glee. And Raising Hope!

gingerbread men 1

And for the most part they were. Nice and quiet.

gingerbread men 3

I had them do everything themselves and it worked to my advantage except when I had to thread and rethread needles countless times.

gingerbread men 2

But it is a wonderfully easy and cute ornament that we'll be putting on our tree (whenever my husband goes tree hunting up here) this Christmas.

finished product

It also gave me a little time to work on MY Christmas presents. MY, as in, the presents I'm making for everyone. In the most procrastinating way, I finally have one and a half presents done. Only four and a half more to go. Sheesh.

sneek peek

Sneak Peek. Here's a preview just in case someone who's getting these reads this.

sneak peek

My fingers are raw from skin sewing, but it WILL GET DONE! I promise!

Monday, December 6, 2010

19 days of Joyousness...

Ack I have SO much to say.

I mean, I have been out of town so much in the last month and a half, I feel like I missed Winter here. I mean, obviously I didn't MISS it, but I missed the nice, warm winter weather and now I'm stuck with cold-as-antarctic-until-March weather. Cheap.

We had Thanksgiving at my Mother-In-Law's with my parents, sister, etc. And it was good. Weird to not be home in Kotzebue, but really good!

mom rea

Rea started to crawl while we were there and now she's all over the place...worse than a puppy! haha. AND my other sister got ENGAGED. To her Boyfriend of too many years, John. Without us. But we were there in spirit and my Aana was there crying while she giggled her way through the proposal!


My freshman son got hurt on Thursday while I was out of town and was brought to the Emergency Room after practice. He was told he couldn't wrestle the Regional Tournament here in Kotzebue this past weekend. We were all bummed cause my sisters and I wanted to make shirts and lots of signs like "GO KOY PICKLE!" And "Let's Go Koo-koo Boy Koy!" Cause that's what we used to call him.

(See the girls and their sign!!?)


There was a large storm that hit Kotzebue and no planes made it in or out of Kotzebue for a day or so, so the tournament was pushed back. When I got home, he was able to get to the doctor to be re-evaluated, given the Go-ahead to wrestle and ended up placing third, which gives him a berth to State Wrestling this weekend in Nikiski! (My mother-in-law and I are going to go on a road trip with our shirts and signs and watch him and the other Huskies wrestle!)


My husband the knifemaker has been working hard this Christmas to get knives done. And Christmas Presents too. (My list!) He even made a Finnish Cup, a Kuksa for my dad. (Who doesn't read my blog EITHER, what's up with that!? Oh yeah, he's a hermit who lives in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, I'm just happy he has a PHONE!) And now I decided that I want one for Christmas! So he might even be MORE busy cause I NEED ONE!


And lastly there are ONLY NINETEEN more days until Christmas. Why do I procrastinate things and do them last minute??! I don't know. If I knew the answer, I would be able to stop myself. Shoot, what am I saying, no I wouldn't! I'd still procrastinate! Anyway, I have five in my immediate family, then my sisters, nieces, nephew, brother-in-laws, other in-laws, and grandparents to MAKE presents for. Sigh...


I did manage to at LEAST start and finish ONE sealskin slipper last night though. And I'm not worried cause the recipient doesn't read this blog, she just recently discovered Amazon.com and that'll keep her busy for at LEAST a month!


Only 19 more days to make someone feel special. To do a random act of kindness. To smile at a grump. To cook and deliver a meal for a family who needs it. To be kind to one another and remember the true spirit of Christmas!