Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Good Friends::Good Food

Well, you know someone must be coming to visit if I am baking bread!!! I don't know what got me out of the habit, 'cause I baked every loaf of bread we ate when I was staying home with the kids and not working in Teller. Convenience of shopping at the store where bread of all kinds and flavors is right at my finger tips has spoiled me I guess, but there really is nothing like the sweet smell of bread baking. It is such a welcoming aroma.

So Zoe helped me mix and measure to make a few loaves of Focaccia bread from one of my favorite cookbooks. The Tassajara Bread Book. If you are a beginner this book gives wonderful instructions on kneading the dough and includes fabulous pictures. And if you have experience with bread making and want to try something new, this book includes 113 recipes from yeasted breads to desserts and everything in between!

Everyone needs a little something to get them going in the morning with their coffee, so we also whipped up some raspberry muffins to grab on the run. Of course Jake was helping and started saying, "Raspberry Jazzberry, Razzamatazzberry," so we had to go find the book Jamberry and read it while we ate our muffins. The raspberries have been in our freezer since last summer when we picked them from our bushes on the property, but they sure made yummy muffins!

Donna Pushruk was also able to take time out of her busy schedule at UAF to visit with Cynthia! Here they are trying to figure out some rather challenging math problems....yikes! Cynthia and I have been getting in some great visiting time even though she has conferences during the days to attend. Zoe is enjoying an extra person to read to her and I am LOVING catching up with my wonderful friend!

I just has to include a picture of the housewarming present Cynthia picked up at If Only a groovy little store in downtown Fairbanks. These are Original Clay Handwarmer Mugs created by Bob & Corina Neher in Milton-Freewater Oregon. Just slide your hand in and drink up! Thanks you Cynthia, we love them.

Monday, April 28, 2008


We have had some very exciting reading going on in the house lately. Zoe has learned to read! Well, it may not be the "traditional" kind of reading that we know and love, but to her there is no difference. She has been reading to anyone that will listen including Spencer the dog who is actually a very good listener. Her favorite books lately are The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy by Jane O'Conner, and Alice the Fairy by David Shannon. But even when you can read, you still LOVE it when someone reads to you. Thank goodness for sweet big brothers!

Well, snow is falling in Fairbanks as I blog.....or is that rain???? As you can see by David's message he is really feeling fed up with the snow and I had to clear our project table and move everything back into the shed again. Will spring time ever come?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Warm Days

This weekend we had some great warm weather here in Fairbanks. Temperatures reached 60 degrees both days so it was perfect for outdoor fun and spring projects. Here in Alaska if the temperature is above 50 degrees we consider that "t-shirt" weather"! In the picture below the boys actually have jackets on, but that didn't last long. They ended up on the ground after the fun started. Usually the snow around this area is not great for packing into snowballs, but with warmer temperatures melting the snow just a little it makes it ideal! Jake's friend Tane joined the fun as they created a zany alien snowman. They also entertained themselves by building a snow fort and then David joined them for a snowball fight, with a little help from Spencer our dog. Spencer didn't like the idea of throwing snowballs, so he just attached with his paws and was able to take down much of the fort.....the boys retaliation........"guess we'll have to build another one". Nothing can break your spirit on such a BEAUTIFUL day!
I was able to work on refinishing some cabinets. A friend was getting new ones in her kitchen, so she gave the old ones to us. I hope to use them in my laundry room for extra storage! Although stripping and painting cabinets is no picnic, it does make me feel good to be able to refuse items that others have discarded! David also hung one in his shed so that he could organize his tools a little better....aaaaahhhh the joys of Spring.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Game Night::Games we heart

I grew up in a house full of relatives who loved to play games. The card game that I remember them playing most was called "pitch", it involved bidding, catching tricks and calling the suit. I recall my aunt Naydine saying, "Are we going to eat, or play cards?" She was a pretty serious card player. My mom once told me that she wouldn't play with my Papa because he was too lucky. Later my cousin Jean introduced Canasta and that became the favorite card game. Just about every holiday at my house centered around cards, games, and of course food!

Well, needless to say, I LOVE games and I am quickly passing my love of games along to my children. At least once a week we try and have an official "game night" where everyone in the family gets to choose a game to play. For most birthdays I make sure the kids get a new game for us to try out and I thought I would share some of our favorites here.

Zoe's chosen game is called Hiss. This is a prize "card game" because the kids don't have to hold the cards in their hands, you know how frustrating it can be for little ones. The object of the game is to create snake according to their color and orientation on the card. A terrific spacial game, since you have to place your card so that it matches up with the rest of the snake! Every player adds their "puzzle" piece until each snake has a head and a tail.

Another favorite it Don't Make Me Laugh Jr. We played this game at our friend Deb's house and of course it was SO much fun we just had to have it! This is one of those "great for all ages" games. There is no real strategy to this game and pretty much everyone wins.....'cause you're all laughing! During Ben's turn he was asked to act like a fairy godmother, Ben raised his invisible magic wand and said, "Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo turn this box into a fox." This game lets you run WILD with your imagination. Board game, Ha Ha Ho Ho cards, dice, clown nose, game pieces included, but you must add your own giggles!

An oldie but goody around our house is Stratego. This is of course a great strategy and for younger kids who aren't sure if it is a general, or miner they can use the numbers instead. Of course it is best to play while you are wearing a crown and your sister is serenading you with a tune on the recorder!
Here is a list of other games on our shelf
The aMAZEing Labyrinth
Alaska Monopoly
Uno Attack
4 Way Count Down

And of course you don't have to play the games by the "rules". Below Jake, Ben, and Zoe have made a maze with the pieces of Quoridor. The object of "their game" try to get your knight out of the trap. Don't you just LOVE games, I learn something new every time I play. So tell me, what's your favorite game?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Soccer Champions::Winter Fun

Well, it was another winning season for Jake, for those of you who might not have kept up with us during the summer, Jake's football team the Saints went undefeated and won the rookie Championship. Not only did his indoor soccer team have a undefeated season, they also won the soccer tournament this past weekend! There was a conversation after the games on Saturday that assured me that Jake understands winning isn't everything. David, "Well Jake what if your team had lost or you play for a team that loses next time." Jake, "It still would have been fun and I learned a lot." Jake's skills did improve greatly during the time that he played, but he is still choosing to play football again this summer instead of outdoor soccer.

Monday morning we woke up to 6 inches of new snow....ugh...and we thought spring was just around the corner. That evening after dinner David took the boys outside for a much needed, and equally exciting romp in the snow. Even Spencer got into the action, although Zoe decided she would stay indoors.

Yes those are icicles "stabbing" Jake...YIKES!

As for me, I was at my last knitting class, (boo, hoo) working on the "finishing" for Zoe's sweater....stay tuned for some photo's of the "premier" sweater, coming to a blog near you soon!"Come on out and join the fun, so I can deck ya with a snowball"

Friday, April 11, 2008

Gigantic Ginger Cookies, books, and some journaling

We all just love ginger cookies, but the ones in the store always seem to be hard instead of nice and moist like ours turned out, using Martha's recipe. Who can resist curling up with a good book and a cup-o-joe when you have a scrumptious cookie in your reach! Also outside the snow just continues to fall, now all we need is a nice warm wood stove!

On another note, the kids painted some very colorful and detailed pictures to put into our garden journal.

Ben included brussels sprouts his favorite veggie, don't ask me how I got him to LOVE them, I just introduced them thinking I would get the standard, "Yuck, these are gross." But instead they are his favorite, steamed. I tried to dress them up with bacon, and butter and he said, " No thanks, I just want them steamed." The kids asked if I would make a cover for our journal, Zoe decided she would illustrate the back and Grandpa sent more flower stickers, just in time to make the journal complete!

Last night Jake found our sunflowers drooping, so we gave them a drink and set them in the laundry room to keep them warm over night and presto this morning they are reaching for the sky again!

Birdhouse break-in and other crimes....

Yes it seems we are having a crime spree here at the Foshee household. A few days ago we discovered that someone had broken the front off the birdhouse and although we have some VERY large crows in the area, I am pretty sure they aren't the culprits.

The unlawful acts don't end there. One of the favorite red cowboy dress-up boots was found tattered along with Zoe's bike helmet, chewed into pieces.
The final straw came when I found some of my yarn scattered on the floor, and it was in my knitting bag!!!! Now who was able to get in there?????? I have a sneaky suspicion about this bandit, since most of the items had teeth marks, and there were distinctive black hairs near all of the crime scenes.
I conclude that it is one spoiled puppy names Spencer. I guess we'll just have to take him back to Golden Retriever Rescue.......but I don't think I will be able to convince the kids. They just love him too much, and after all they are the ones who paid for him with their Christmas money. Guess we'll be making another trip to Cold Spot for some more pigs ear bones. That may or may not stop the offender, but what else can you do?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Let's just say that our Spring has gotten pretty busy. Jake's soccer team decided to enter a single elimination tournament this week so he has games Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and they will play on Saturday for the championship if they win all of their games during the week. His team the Silver Surfers, won all of their regular season games and they won their first game of the tournament last night.....but it was a nail biter....2-0.
Ben is taking swimming lessons at the Alaska Club and learning to put his face in, jump off the diving board, and float on his back. He is a little more shy when it comes to being in the water, so we thought it might be a good idea to take a few lessons before we head to Oklahoma this summer to visit family....where we will probably LIVE in the pool at Granny and Grandpa's. Sorry I don't have any pictures of Ben swimming, our camera doesn't take great shots indoors where there are high ceilings.

And finally, my new obsessing...knitting. Yes, to all those friends who tried so patiently to teach me to knit, I was finally able to take a class and I am making a sweater for Zoe. After my first class she wanted to know if it was finished....two months later she is patiently waiting for me to get it off my needles. Like with any new knowledge, there is a great new website, Ravelry that I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. You can make friends, view pictures of other peoples finished projects, and queue things that you just can't wait to knit in the future. I joined a group called the Fairbanks Fiber-ist, who meet up every Wednesday night at the Alaska Coffee Roasters for coffee, treats, dinner, and of course the latest knitting buzz. It has been a great way for me to meet friends and learn about knitting. Well here is a shot of the sweater, by the time I get it done it will be too warm to wear it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mary, Mary quite contrary, How does your garden grow?

Well, ours is sprouting with sweet corn, carrots, beans, broccoli, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peas, basil, pumpkins, peppers, radishes, brussels sprouts, zucchini, and some rapidly growing sunflowers! We put our seeds in the planters about three weeks ago and the kids excitedly check them every morning. At night we are adding a "blanket" of visqueen to keep them warm.

During the day the starts get some wonderful sun through the window, but as you can see in the previous picture the snow is still dusting our deck.....and I thought we were done with that.....guess Old Man winter is not done with us yet....April blizzards are "not uncommon" here in AK.

The kids are hoping to make a sunflower house like the one in our favorite gardening book, Roots Shoots Buckets & Boots, by Sharon Lovejoy. The books is filled with wonderful activities for kids, such as planting in fun containers like old boots, the book also includes information on composting, using herbs from the garden, and my favorite keeping a garden journal. Which Zoe, Ben, and I are making today!