Sunday, June 30, 2013


Fun at the park with family...

getting adjusted at Whole Family Chiropractic; we love Dr. Jessica...

love getting text messages with pictures from Steve
he sent the seflie for Riggs to see him at work
it's his new favorite picture...

 how is this possible?
he feels so heavy to me!

finally, some rain...

playing at the river and the resulting giant fly bite

afternoon bike-ride
the bugs can't get him in there...

baking cookies with mama
he loved eating the butter
and the chocolate chips...

While we were biking and baking, daddy was out 4x4ing with friends...

Today we went down to the river to play on the beach
and throw the ball for Tutka...

 It got a little chilly so Riggs put on his raincoat.
There's just something so cute about a toddler in a yellow raincoat,
with his arms reaching out running towards his dadda...

Riggs was throwing the ball for Tutka.
He threw it in the water, but Tutka didn't get it fast enough.
(he was staying like a good boy till Steve said he could get it)
So Riggs decided he would go in and get it.
He fell face first into the freezing river
and came up sputtering, but not crying.
Once he caught his breath, he held up the ball
and yelled, "Ball!" very triumphantly with a proud smile.
Such a boy!
see the puddle at his feet? ha

What a lovely weekend. I'm so sad it's over, I feel like I barely got to see Steve! Good thing he gets a four-day weekend for the Fourth of July! I'm so excited for family time:)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Reading with Riggs :: Summer Reading Program Week 4

We finished our fourth week of the Summer Reading Program through the Palmer Public Library. I love our little routine of going to the Library first thing when they open each week on Monday. Riggs really loves it there and it's a great place for him to interact with other kids too. This week we were able to go to Baby Lapsit since we had the week off from Ladies Bible Study while VBS is going at church. It was fun but I can tell Riggs is ready for the older group now. It's crazy to think how much he's changed since his first time at Baby Lapsit at the Loussac Library in Anchorage.

One thing I've learned during these four weeks of reading new books to Riggs (that we don't have at home) is that he decides almost right away if he likes a book. He'll sit through almost any book being read to him once, but after that if he doesn't like it he'll close the book when you open it and try to read it. And you'll know the books he loves because he'll bring them to you multiple times a day to have them read to him. We keep his library books separate from the rest of the books, and each week there will be one or two from the pile of about five that he likes and wants to have read again to him. This week he liked Going on a Bear Hunt and I am a Bunny (which was funny because they were my favorites too). 

The Summer Reading Program has two different ways to receive stickers and prizes for the younger kids this year. You either need to read ten books (or have them read aloud) or you can check off activities from the list provided in the packet (or both). We try to do some of the activities each week, although some are just a little too advanced for Riggs to do. This week, we made an ABC book, which Riggs had fun coloring. I liked being able to make each page and draw pictures of things that I know Riggs would get excited about. His favorite page of all was "g", because I drew a picture of Goose from Duck and Goose - Goose Needs a Hug (his favorite book of all time). I am a horrible 'artist' but I tried really hard to make the pictures at least recognizable...ha. I actually really enjoyed making it and it brought back good memories from childhood - I loved to draw and trace things.  

Also Riggs received his second book from Imagination Library this week. We received one at our old house but then we moved and never got any more even though we had our mail forwarded. I kept forgetting to look into it and then about two months ago they finally sent us an email saying that the Post Office wouldn't forward the books and that since we moved we need to reregister with the Palmer program. I'm glad we're signed up again and that Riggs will be getting some more good books to read. His second book was the Little Engine that Could, and he is mesmerized by the pictures. He loves that book! 

Week Four - 12 books
1. Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
2. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes by Annie Kubler
3. Winnie-The-Pooh's Colors by A.A. Milne
4. Curious George's ABCs by E.L. Rey
5. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
6. I am a Bunny by Richard Scary
7. It's a Little Book by Lane Smith
8. We're Going on a Bearhunt by Michael Rosen
9. In the Garden with Van Gogh by Julie Merberg
10. Ten Tiny Tickles by Karen Katz
11. My First Songs by Tommy dePaola
12. Curious George Are You Curious? by E. L. Rey

Thursday, June 27, 2013

organizing my Pinterest boards and inspiration for home-improvements

I really love to organize things. This includes making lots of lists. Many times when I should be cleaning, I end up organizing...but I can't help it, I just love to sort through things and put them in order. It's so therapeutic for me.

I've been needing to go through my Pinterest boards and purge old pins I don't really love as well as renaming some of my boards and reorganizing some of my pins that somehow ended up in the wrong places. I finally got around to it this morning and I'm so happy to have that checked of one of my many lists.

While I was going through my boards I was inspired all over again by some of the things I found. One room I've been really wanting to spend some time making beautiful and comfortable is our master bedroom, which can sometimes just feel really plain and boring. I've done a little bit of work since we moved in just rearranging and adding little elements here and there, but I'm still not happy with it. One of the problems is the fact that we still haven't purchased matching nightstands or a headboard for our room, and the dresser and bookcase are two different wood tones. 

I'd like to get our dresser painted white, and there's a really great place to have that done in Palmer. I just need to actually do it. And then there's the big blank space over our bed. My plan is to take some photographs of various things in nature that inspire me, edit them to give them a vintage look, and then find some wood frames for them. I'd like to do six separate pieces arranged symmetrically like in two of the pictures in the collage below. 

Then there's the whole curtain issue. I thought I loved the curtains I got from Target. But I don't know if I do. I just can't get the white curtains I've always wanted out of my head. So I think I'm just going to bite the bullet and get black-out shades installed in the frames and then add bright, white curtains like the middle picture below. I just love how clean and airy it makes the room feel. I think I will even redo the hardware and mount the curtain rod higher up to make the ceiling look higher.

I'm pretty sure just doing those few little things would make the room look much more inviting and cozy. Plus I'd love to get some actual nightstands, preferably with drawers to hide all of Steve's stuff he keeps by the bed. You can see my home board here on Pinterest where I took these photos from:

I was also really inspired by the pins I've collected over the last year with ideas for our kitchen. We have one wall with cabinets on it that we plan on replacing with open cabinets. I just need Steve to get the lumber cut and buy some hardware and then they'd be up. It's really only like an afternoon project for him, but I just need to remind him! We always get so caught up having fun on the weekend we forget to get any projects done.

Eventually we'd also like to replace our counter tops, which are formica right now, with a nice, warm butcher-block. Steve wants to redo the island as well, so we'd probably do both at the same time. Not sure when that will happen though, there's so many other priorities to get done first. But I would like to get the shelving done a bit sooner, since it's so easy and relatively cheap. 

I also like the idea of painting the lower cabinets a blue-green and the (remaining) upper cabinet and shelves white. We already replaced the hardware to black on the bottom and crystal-look on the top, which I love. The old square, brushed-stainless were not our style at all. 

Oh and I'd LOVE it if we could get a bench for the wall-side of our dining area, with bright, cozy pillows to make it more inviting. I really like bench seating in a breakfast-nook/less formal dining area, I love the country-cottage feel it gives off. 

Steve and I really like trying to make our home as comfortable and inviting as possible, so we're happy here instead of always wanting to go somewhere else. We want to vacation to see new places, not to escape the living situation we've set up for ourselves. That's why I slowly want to make these little changes to make our lovely little home even lovelier.

What are some home improvement plans you have or some projects you have recently completed? I'd love to see some links if you have them! Click here to see my plan for (eventually) updating our guest bathroom.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

learning to share and fun in the sprinkler

It's been another sunny, hot week in the Valley and we are loving it! There are still lots of bugs at our house, but we've found lots of ways to get outside despite the bugs. Riggs has a swollen hand again today from a bite he got while playing in the sprinkler yesterday evening, but I've just gotten to the "what can you do?" point. I just can't worry too much about it, otherwise we'd have to spend every moment holed up in the house. And they get in the house anyway, I swear at least 5-10 mosquitoes ride in on Tutka every time he comes back in the house after being outside.

We went over to Sarah's parents yesterday to hang out for the day and Riggs made a new friend in 2-year-old Ava. They were so funny playing together, they both would share, but wanted the item they were 'sharing' back right away after the initial hand-off. It was a really good learning experience for Riggs in how to share and take turns. He actually did really well and I was proud of him.

When we got home we played out in the parched yard for a while with the sprinkler going and a bucket full of water for Riggs to play in with his little stacking cups. He really enjoyed it and had fun doing laps through the sprinkler. As I mentioned before he did get a new bite on his hand that has swelled up pretty big, but I'm keeping an eye on it and using essential oils (lavender for the swelling and tea-tree for the itching) to help keep him comfortable. This summer will definitely go down in the books as one of the warmest and buggiest that I can ever remember. Supposedly mosquito repellent and box fans are sold out in nearly every store across the state, which I find hilarious for some reason. We stocked up on the natural repellent for Riggs before the bugs came out in full force, so we have plenty, luckily. But it only helps so much, these bugs this summer are just brutal!