Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Catching Up

Hi all. I haven't posted much in the last two weeks, but I promise to be back to regularly scheduled programming too. I have been feeling anxious lately....not sure why...I think my normal anxiety and OCD may be raising its head. Hoping that it settles down soon.


Anyway, on to A. Besides being a pill the last 2 days, she has been doing great. Reading everything in sight, and exploring more and more addition all into her head. Yesterday I told her she had 5 more minutes of playing with playdoh and she told me "That's 3 mins and 2 mins because 3 and 2 is 5" She rattled off 5 addition facts to MeMom on the phone the other day. Oh and while watching the credits for Fox and the Hound the Tuesday while was in the restroom, she reads them and says "Mom, who is Ron Miller?" I say "Well he probably is one of the people who made the movie"....her response just cracked me up... "Well Ron Miller must have a very detailed imagination because this is a very detailed and good movie" LOL I really don't know how I keep up.

The major downside of this gifted thing is that her logic has been taking hold and I have a feeling the belief in Santa is going away soon. I don't want this. I want , really really want her to have the magic of childhood, so I have been trying to bring in some Waldorf inspired ideas. Now I love the beauty of the Waldorf methods, the ideas, fantasies, the beauty of nature, but my biggest hangup with it is the delayed academics. Which just won't fly with A because, well frankly she demands it. She asks for it, begs for it, and will learn it even if I don't teach her. Last night she begged me to teach her how to spell orthopedic surgeon.... (OK you may be wondering how this even came about, but on Monday we had a doctor that works with DH and her boyfriend over for dinner, and I was warning that if you wanted to say anything not appropriate for little ears DON'T try spelling it because she can spell....They asked A what she wanted to be when she grew up. Instead of just saying othopedic surgeon....A tried to spell it "O R T H" and the got stuck and said U. So Tuesday she asked me to please teach her how to spell it. So today I did. And she wrote it all out several times herself and was so proud of to show it to DH when he got home from work today.....anyway So clearly the delayed academics does not work for her. But the beauty and fantasy aspects I am trying to incorporate more of so that the magic of childhood is not lost on her. I don't want my 3 year old to be so completely logical that she doesn't believe in Santa and fairies, the Easter bunny, etc. I may be fighting a losing battle, but I am going to try.

We created a beautiful nature table today, and have been talking about fairies, and Santa and man I have been pushing it. Right now she seems into it....but I wonder if she still doesn't believe as she told me a few weeks ago and is just playing along with mama because it is fun. But does it really matter...she is enjoying weather she truly believes in it all or not.

Anyway, I am off to bed. I do have pictures to post, but not tonight. I need sleep :) Night all

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Bering Sea Weekend- beach combing, crabbin..nothing better

Ah, some pretty good weather this weekend after Thanksgiving...well at least not to much rain or wind LOL. Friday DH has to work, but A and I headed to the Church for the only Black Friday sale on the island LOL. It is a huge second blessings yard sale. And we scored. I will have to take pics to post of all our things, but we hit the jackpot on dress up clothes, found a treasure chest for A like she had been wanting, a ton of books, and The Learning Tower that I had always wanted to purchase but could never justify spending $250 on. All of this was donation only :0!

Anyway...on Saturday we headed out to what might be our last drive out to Summers Bay of the winter. As you can see it was cloudy and foggy, but no rain...so yea! A and dad found a crab leg washed up and A so wanted to take it home and cook it LOL. She didn't know that the next day she would have a chance to really bring some crab home.


We saw a ton of seals out playing. The water was calm and I just wish my camera could zoom better. These were the best pics I could get. But you can see the head bobbing up above the water.


Unfortunately A decided to play on some rocks and slipped and really busted her lip. There was blood everywhere and it scared me to death. She was pretty brave. It swoll up awfully, but she was a trooper. Today was still a bit swollen and a little black and blue. But she says it doesn't hurt anymore.

DH has started playing hockey with a group of guys here twice a week and A and I went to watch Sat. This rink is actually on the second flour of a warehouse. It's pretty cool.

On Sunday one of the guys Dh plays hockey with called and asked if he wanted to go crabbing. He called us on his way back and asked if we wanted to come out to the warehouse and watch them clean the crabs. A had a blast and well, there is truly nothing better then fresh crab that came out of the Bering Sea a mere hour ago. YUMMMMMMM! We now have some fresh crab in our freezer. DH had an amazing time. If you have ever seen Deadliest catch, Dh said it was just the same, but on a smaller scale. And yes, I have finally seen the show, and recognized quite a few guys from around town (seen them in the grocery store LOL) and have seen the boats docked.


"Hey! What you lookin at?"


That's one big crab! LOL

Into the pot they go!

Ahh! Enjoying the results!

















Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rain, Romance, Fairies, and Dresses

LONG weekend.

A was a pill. Not sure but I think it stems from not feeling 100 percent, being cooped up in the house for the last 4 days due to Gale force winds and rain (Welcome to Unalaska in the winter I guess LOL) and just a 3 year old sassy personality. But there have been a lot of time outs here. GAAH. I am praying for a better week this week.

Some interesting quarks going on right now....

-She is very into Romance...however she gets her idea of romance form Phineas and Ferb. Unfortunately she has decided "Daddy does not show mommy enough romance" and has thus made it her mission to see that I am getting romanced LMAO. The other night DH kissed me. And she said "Daddy is giving mommy romance. This is coming along well!" Uh oh LOL. She is on him like white on rice to Kiss mommy more, Hug mommy more LOL. Well I like it, but can't say DH is to into being bossed around in the relationship department by a 3 year old.

-Fairies are not real. This is her latest kick. She has announced Fairies are not real, thus neither is the tooth fairy. She said to me the other day "I don't believe in Fairies, or flying things....well I do be believe in birds cause they fly in reality, but I do not believe in flying horses or flying elves." So I asked about reindeer and she said "Yes, I do believe in Randee and Santa." .....but I am not sure how long she is going to keep believing. She is on a kick right now about how so many things in books, tv are pretend. Even when she is pretending with her toys she will announce to me that "This is just pretend. This toy can not actually talk." I am biting my nails anxiously and hoping we can at least get through this Christmas with her belief in Santa still intact.

-She only wants to wear dresses right now. And well I don't have enough dresses for her. And of course, we have no stores here, so if anyone can tell me of a good online source for dresses in 4T that are not to expensive...seriously I am cheep. I would like to pay $15 or less for them. Please alert me. You would make one precocious 3 year old very happy LOL.

Alright off to bed. Have a great Monday everyone.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Our week in review-School, Crafts, a Mouse, and Sickness

Hmm...our week has been a fun one....where should I begin. I guess with last Sunday and the FABULOUS crab and asparagus quiche my wonderful husband made. OH my. I was in heaven. And while I am bragging on the culinary skills of my husband I have to say that the She Crab soup he made with the left over crab Tuesday night was AWESOME. It amazes me. See I can cook, but I need a recipe. He on the other hand throws things together, no recipe to even go off of, and the turn out ridiculously good. I am blessed. I'll let y'all drool over some pics now LOL. I also found some time to work on a painting Saturday. Not sure where this is going. Somewhere in the guest room I think, but I definitely liked how it turned out.
A worked on some art for a present we are working on. I am not telling what it is because the person receiving this might read my blog LOL. But we had a good time on this mystery project LOL

Okay, and Wed I was totally able to get her hair into pony tails. I know this does not seem like a big idea, but this child HATES to even have her hair brush. So the fact that she let me is a miracle! LOL. As DH said when he got home "don't let the cuteness fool you. There are horns hiding under those pigtails" LOL. The mischievous look says it all don't you think? LOL


Yesterday we spent the afternoon working on a Thanksgiving Kit ala Nana. (Thank You Nana! A loved it." I do have to say that the instructions said...just add glue. Well Elmer's glue does not cut it for this project. Luckily I pulled out the Tacky Glue and things went much smoother.



Thursday afternoon, A spiked a fever and has officially caught Dh's cold. Boo. So today we did manage a quick trip to the library and grocery store but then headed home and spent the rest of the day curled up watching movies. We can't go out anyway right now. The wind and rain moved in 2 days ago and have sat. It was blowing about 50mph sustained and 80mph gusts when we headed out to the grocery store. So neither of us minded spending the day on the couch.

We did do homeschool this week. I just didn't take many pics of us. We are loving RightStart Math. She loves it and is finally enjoying a math curriculum. She loves to use the abacus. We also have been studying forces in science and did some 2nd grade language arts worksheets, and are continuing with handwriting without tears.
Oh and did I mention we had a mouse visitor...or a rat...or a vole...I never really got a good look at it. Sunday when I cam home from church I opened the door and saw out of the corner of my eye saw something run across the kitchen floor, and heard the scritchity scratch of little feet! (Shudder) I of course slammed the door shut and made Dh go in after it. Of course, by then it was long gone. Over the next day or two I thought I would occasionally here it and then we found the proof, one of our dish towels under the sink had been shredded! ICK. So off we went for mouse trap. Dh set one up under the sink and right in the living room on the entrance. Night one nothing....but on the second night the wind was howling and I couldn't sleep. Suddenly SNAP. Yep the one in the living room snapped. I wake Dh up, and chicken me stays in the bedroom on the bed, feet up, as he went to see what we caught. Suddenly I Thump Thump Thump Thump as the (mouse, rat, vole) tried to run across the floor dragging the trap along with it. I hear DH yell "IT WAS SUPPOSED TO SNAP IT'S NECK!" From my view in the bedroom I see him run into the kitchen and back out with my big stock pot and lid. He proceeds to corner the thing and scoop it into my pot! OMG. Well, the mouse, rat, vole is now dead. And my house is now rodent free. I never did get a look at the thing, and when I asked DH to describe it to me he said "I didn't really look at it!" LOL. I love my husband. Can kill the rodent for me, but won't look at it LOL.
Anyway....On to a wonderful weekend with my family!













Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Where we live...

Alright so some of y'all have been asking for more info about where we now live. Unalaska is remote, a bush community, as defined by Alaskans. It is in the Aleutian Chain of Islands. The Chain of islands that separate the Pacific Ocean from the Bering Sea. It is often better known by the name of it's international port, Dutch Harbor. Dutch Harbor is actually in the city of Unalaska, but has been made famous by the Discovery Channel show Deadliest Catch. Dutch Harbor, is often applied to the portion of the Unalaska located on Amaknak Island, which is connected by bridge to the rest of the community on Unalaska Island. Unalaska's economy is based on commercial fishing, fish processing, fleet services, and transportation. Because it is centrally located in the North Pacific directly on shipping routes between the West Coast and Pacific Rim nations, the city enjoys a strategic position near the center of the nation's most productive fishing grounds and is the hub of the transshipment of cargo between Pacific Rim trading partners.

Alright, back to Unalaska. It is pretty much isolated from the rest of the world, 800 flight miles from Anchorage. Unalaska is farther west than Hawaii, and closer to Russia than the continental United States. There is travel to the outside by air (usually about 3 hours to Anchorage, often with multiple fuel stops via a small 30 seater prop plan. Oh yeah, did I mention they ask your weight when you sign in so they can arrange seating by weight, and you are really lucky if your baggage is on the same plane, as often it has to all be bumped for weight), and by water (three days). Air travel is very expensive, close to $1000 just from here to Anchorage, the only mainland air destination from Unalaska. Ferry travel is less expensive, but it comes to Unalaska only once each month, and not at all in the winter, which is the longest season. Air travel is unpredictable. You need to plan travel with at LEAST a one-day cushion, especially if you need to meet a predetermined schedule.

Okay, Weather … LOTS of fog and low hanging clouds and ferocious winds often prevent access to landing and departure. The sun does shine, but it is often brief.....Many days you will have Sun, Rain, Snow, Clouds, Sun, Rain....all within about a 2 hour period. Right now the winds are about 60mph outside our window, and this is normal. Last year it was sustained above 120 and knocked over a HUGE crane that is stationary and the size of a sky scraper. We don't get really cold here unless you count the windchill. Average highs in the summers are in the 50's and in the winter our average highs are actually in the 30's with some days in the 20's. But then add some 50-60mph winds or higher up to that and well...it can feel pretty cold. Snow and rain blow horizontal!

Travel on the island is limited. There are few paved roads on the island (about 6 miles total); the longest is about 3 1/2 miles in length. Most of the streets in the village are dirt/gravel, but generally in good condition, although at time the pot holes could swallow a car LOL. There are some one track, four-wheel drive roads on the island; the longest loop is 13 miles. Others are out and back roads of the same quality, and most of these roads outside the village are closed in the winter because of snow.

Generally people do not live here long term. The majority of people who come to this island are here for the summer, or a fishing season of 6 to 12 months. They work in the fish processing plants 7 days a week, 12 hours per day, for minimum wages. Most of these people live in dormitories furnished by the processors. The commercial fishing industry is the biggest employer by far and most other jobs on the island are somehow dependent on the industry or the people brought here from the industry. It is not a large town, but very few people who live here are FROM here. About 4,000 people live here year around, but our population swells to about 15,000, although most of those are centered near the processing plants. During fishing seasons when the boats come in and restock, the grocery store shelves can become bear.

But it is BEAUTIFUL. Windswept beauty in every direction. Volcanic mountains rise right up from the cold, clear, blue sea. In the summer it is the greenest green you have ever seen. There are Eagles and Foxes every place you look. Berries are abundant, there are hiking trails which many of which are thousands of years old established by the Aleut people. The land is scared from WWII, as this is the only other place on American soil besides Pearl Harbor to be bombed by the Japanese. It is amazing. Everyday is different, and so far...I love it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A'isms!

I thought I would end this weekend with some A'isms from this week. I love my child and the things she says! I try to write them down on my iphone when she says them so I will remember. She makes us smile.

While laying in bed reading together.....
A-"Hey mom, Your legs are scratching me." I had not shaved that day (blush)
Me- "Yes Nutter, I need to shave."
A- "Well your a mammal, so you can grow your hair wherever you want on your body"

While coloring pictures together at the table.....
A- "Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars are the smallest planets because the other are the gas giants. I am going to call the small planets the gas babies."
Me- Well those planets don't have a lot of gases sweetie, just some in the atmosphere."
A- Well then I will call them the iron babies, because Mars has iron at its core."

A- "Mom, Pluto is still there but it is now a dwarf planet, because well planets don't just go away. The astronomers just decided it wasn't a planet anymore."

While driving in the car today after earlier having told dad that tomb raiders are really smart.....
Tom-"A are you smart enough to be a tomb robber?"
Ansley-"No dad. I am smarter"

While sitting on the potty.....
A- "Venus is so hot because it is so close to the sun"

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Saturday in Pictures

What a GREAT day with the family. We woke up and Dh fixed a wonderful breakfast of omelets, little smokies, and grits. Then we headed out for a drive and a walk at the beach.

One thing you may not know about our little island in the Bering Sea.....we have one of the highest populations of bald eagles in North America. Just on these 2 cranes, there were over 30. On the building next to it...I counted 55! It is truly an amazing place to live After Our drive and walk along the beach at Summers Bay we headed to one of the local parks.







Then we headed home to relax. While I was cleaning I heard A say to dad from the other room. "I bet mom will say...Wait! There's two dads!" Then she comes out in dad's clothes! Awesome. She was so excited because I said exactly what she wanted LOL ! I love my family.
We came home and Dh made a wonderful snack of homemade potato chips and blue cheese. They were so yummy. And for dinner he made homemade fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn and I made from scratch biscuits. I have the best husband. I really do.And some beautiful sky scenes after dinner.
Then we all sat down together and watched Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. I hope y'all all had a great Saturday too!













Friday, November 12, 2010

No plain leftover here- One of my fav recipes.

I thought I would start this post with an amazing sight I saw as we headed to the library today. This is why I always carry my camera with me on this island! Alright...on to the rest of this blog post....

So I love recipes that use the weeks left overs without just being a meal of leftovers. You see I am the person who used to throw food out because I HATED leftovers. Now I just try to find a way to use them in a completely new meal. Saves me a ton and lets me eat yummy meals on Fridays. This weeks left over meals was one of my favorites. Chicken Enchiladas with a Sour Cream Sauce. For those of you from LA and TX y'all know El Chico's....this is as close as you can get to there sour cream sauce. YUMMM!!!!!


First off, find a helper to grate some Cheddar cheese....or buy it already shredded. Since moving to AK I never buy shredded cheese as it is just to expensive. Instead I buy a large block every other week, and use it for all our cheese...shredded or sliced. A loves shredding the cheese for mommy, and eating any she can grab too. LOL

The ingredients for this left over meal.

-Left over chicken...chopped (this is from the crackpot chicken I cooked earlier this week)

-Left over beans...(I usually use either pintos or black beans depending on what we had that week. We had pinto beans with rice with our pork chops last night) On a side note...I typically cook using dry beans now... huge savings.

-Shredded Cheddar Cheese

-Chopped Onions

-Flour tortillas (we have been having some of these as wraps this week for sandwiches at lunch)

-Flour

-Butter

-Chicken Broth

-Sour Cream


Melt 1/4 cup butter in a sauce pan. Stir in a 1/4 cup flour....make a roux....(which means stir until thicken...about 1 min.) Gradually stir in 2 cups of chicken broth and stir until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in 8oz of sour cream. (if you have jalapenos add a few slices chopped...I didn't have any this time, but it was just as good)

Poor a bit of the sauce in the bottom of a greased pan...saving the rest for later.
Next...take your tortilla and spoon on some chopped chicken, beans, cheese, and onions....Roll up.
Place rolled up tortillas in pan, and then pour on the remaining sour cream sauce. Place in oven and Cooke 25 mins.

Remove from oven and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake 3-5 mins more.
While these were in the oven for the last 3 mins, Dh looked out the kitchen window and this is what he saw. We had 2 fox kits playing outside. A was tapping on the glass to get their attention and they just sat down and looked at us for the longest time. It is so amazing living here.


As I was taking the pictures, Dh pulled these out of the oven.
Yumm! The finished product. I also used some of the left over pintos to make some refried beans, and we had some salsa left over as well. The perfect meal on this snowy day!

Enjoy!