Saturday, August 25, 2012

Brotherly Kindness

I wanted to post some pictures of the kiddos playing together. I love to watch them interact, it makes my heart happy! Josiah is so sweet and most of the time gentle. He asks her questions, tells her stuff, and hugs on her all the time. Joanna's face brightens every time she sees Josiah. I hope they will always be this loving but for the days they are not I will remember these pictures with fondness. :) 
 Do please excuse the laundry, its life.

 Josiah was tickling Joanna and making her laugh.
 Josiah said that they were camping in the forest.
 These are my twins... only three years apart!

 These next few pictures just crack me up!

I think they are smitten with each other. I know Michael and I are smitten with them both. We are so blessed!

Friday, August 24, 2012

There's a First Time for Everything

Joanna getting ready for her first bite of cereal.
 Jo trying to figure out what on earth is inside her mouth.
 Our 'after' eating pic
 Our first family night with the Wii.
 Josiah getting to play with his new mighty machine toys and dirt inside the house for the first time...
 while watching his "Mighty Machines" movie. It was raining outside and I had already promised he could play with them outside in the dirt so I improvised. :)
 Joanna rolling over for the first time!!!
 If you look really close in this shot, you can see spit up fixing to come out of the side of her mouth. Nice, huh?
 She is having fun rolling back and forth!
 Josiah helping with laundry. Its not the first time he has helped but its the first time I've ever seen him bury himself inside the basket. :)
 The little lady falling asleep while playing. I've NEVER seen her do this before and then it dawned on me that Josiah wasn't home to keep her awake.
 Our first feather in our bird bath!
Since finding the feather I've spotted three different birds drinking from it while I wash the dishes! I have the bath right outside my kitchen window so I can watch it. :)
I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Handy Dandy

We are lovers of BBQ-anything sandwiches at our house. You name it- beef, chicken, pork, turkey- we love it. When possible, leftover meat becomes shredded for sandwiches. My hubby loves it when I make a big roast because he knows what is for supper the next night! (It might also have to do with the fact that we love Sonny's Sweet Sauce.)

It can be rather tiresome though to shred the meat in preparation for our sandwiches. {Enter new handy dandy trick} I read about this on one of the blogs I follow, so its not something my genius mind came up with, but it has forever changed the way I looked with dread upon shredding meat. I am now a believer and just in case anyone else out there loves to make bbq sandwiches I am posting this for YOU and the fact that I am so excited that this actually worked!

This was the meat I intended to shred.
 Out of all the kitchen appliances that I have this is most definitely my favorite, my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I turned that bad boy loose on my meat for about one minute and it gave me the most beautiful shredded meat I've ever had.
 What used to take me at least half an hour to get that meat mostly shredded now takes a minute! Insanity! I love it!!
 Add a little butter and Sonny's sweet sauce to the meat then simmer for an hour. Spoon that heavenly and purely Southern concoction over a slice of homemade bread makes happy tummies (at least at my house).

The next thing I tried from a blog (or maybe it was Pinterest) was using baking soda to get stains out of your counter tops. We HEART sweet tea at my house. I make two gallons at a time so I don't have to make tea three times a week. :) And, well, sometimes I get a little sloppy or distracted by a random airplane sitting on my counter or perhaps I just tripped over a stool that magically appeared with a three year old fireman on top and I spill that precious liquid on my counter. Unfortunately sometimes it stains. And sometimes it won't go away with my regular dish soap or any cleaner that I have on hand.
 I made a paste using the baking soda and a little water and after a little elbow grease... TA DA!!!! No Stain!
I know this isn't like my normal posts, but I really liked the fact that these new tricks worked! That annoying tea stain had been on my counter for about two months so I was thrilled to say goodbye to it! :) I hope someone else will find these tricks helpful.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Our Grand Adventure!

 Last Friday, the last day we spent in Alaska, we went on an adventure! Ok, so the two hour bus ride wasn't really adventurous but everything else was fun!

Here are the only two scenic pictures I took this year... from inside the moving bus no less. We were in the city the whole two weeks so I didn't have a whole lot of opportunity to take "pretty" pictures.
 Anyway... Adventure!

So there is this bridge that is right before you get to Denali. Under said bridge is a cat walk-type bridge. These people think its fun to walk across that two foot wide plank with only a hand rail on one side. NOT THIS CHICK! I stayed firmly planted on the solid rock, my friends.
 These are the *crazies* making their way to the catwalk.
 This is the view *DOWN*! Umm.... No Thank You!
 My Nut of a Husband.... ("Dear Lord, PLEASE let our children have my common sense!")
 Again. These people are NUTS!
Do you see those specks on the other side? Whew, everyone made it. Talk about extreme youth activity.

After we left the bridge we went on in to the city of Denali, we ate lunch and then went and got suited up for our white water rafting trip!!!!

We had to wear this incredibly flattering 'dry suit'. (Could you feel my sarcasm?) Although I felt really awkward in that thing I was so thankful for it! It kept me moderately warm and best of all... DRY! That was really important considering the temperature was in the 60's and the water was in the 30's!

The raft Michael and I were in contained 10 people including our guide whose name was Fragle. I have no earthly idea if I spelled his name correctly. :) He was a great guide, even though he kept using his ores to splash us with water.

We rafted down the Nenana River for about 2 hours! I LOVED every single minute! Alright, I didn't love the exact moment when the dude behind me grabbed me to keep himself from falling overboard. He almost put me in but other than that I LOVED it! The scenery was BEA-U-TI-FUL!

The rapids were class three and four. Our guide was awesome at maneuvering the boat so everyone ended up being beaten up and drowned splashed by the rapids. They had names like The Hammer, The Knife, and The Coffee Grinder.

I think what made it even more fun was that everyone in the boat knew each other. We laughed at each other and made fun of each other the whole time.

Everyone was worn out on the bus ride back to Fairbanks. Michael and I had just a couple hours to shower and finish packing before catching our plane ride home. Totally worth the long day.

I hope we get to raft again someday. :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Teen VBT

A few pics from Teen VBT...
 "Gangster Soccer"

 Indoor games
 "Find the gummie bear in the bowl of flour" game... hilarious!
I'm sorry... but that is funny! He is COVERED in flour!
 They did "The Chicken Dance" while the flour was being cleaned up off the floor.
 Bro. Luke Bishop from Arkansas did the preaching this week. I didn't get any pictures of the preaching time but the messages I was able to listen to were soul-stirring.
 We got to help a couple nights with counting the pennies from the penny offering. I enjoyed helping until they all started making fun of the way I was lining up my pennies. Sheesh! Try to help and I get made fun of. :)
 "The Faithful Four" who were there every night counting and rolling a ton of pennies.(AKA the ones who made fun of me!)

The Church also feeds the Teens after the message and invitation. I think I would be correct in saying there was well over one hundred teens there each night. One boy brought over 20 visitors throughout the week and won an iPad! It was definitely a great week!

Tomorrow, Michael and I are heading to go white water rafting with a group of people! Grandma Case and Cousin Amy are keeping Josiah and Joanna for us. Once we get back, we are zipping up our suitcases and hopping on an airplane headed South! 

We have had a great trip but I am looking forward to being HOME! :)