Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday Fun

Our family has been enjoying playing on our VERY steep and long driveway every day during our short 4 1/2 hours of daylight. I have been walking the hill to get some exercise and enjoying the snow covered trees, & stumps. Today we experienced typical Fairbanks winter temperatures of 32 below, so we bundled up with an extra layer to keep warm. Yep, that's right we still got know Alaskans are just least that's what I like to tell myself. Ben ended up coming in with some very red, cold hands, but was able to warm up by the wood stove quickly. David stayed out the longest chopping a tree down and dragging it up to the house with the snowmachine. Here are some pictures from our adventures:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all & to all a good night.....

Last night Zoe woke David & I up by crawling in our bed saying, "My tummy hurts". Of course our first response, just like every parents' was "Do you feel like you need to throw up?" "No she said snuggling between us....about 10 minutes later she sat up & promptly threw up all over the bed luckily David heard the gurgle coming and sprung out of bed before the chunks landed....I haven't see him move that fast in a while. Anyway, our day was spent relaxing with a late morning, bagels and games, lots of cuddle time for Zoe, the boys all headed outside to play in the VERY large snow piles while Zoe helped me clean up my junky, clothes strewn room...guess that is what happens when you work in retail before Christmas.... David took his $50 snowmachine out for a drive, yes, you read that right....he picked it up at a garage sale this summer. It's a Polaris Trail Touring and it runs like a top, now he's got the fever again, but at least it's not CABIN FEVER:) I thought I would leave you with some of my favorite Christmas items since I've been a little behind on posting them....

This table is located as you come in the house on the right is an Eskimo Santa my mom sent me one year, and on the left are some fluffy snowmen and David's Granny Moore passed on to us

Musk-ox & her baby from Rich Hum

The last year I taught in Teller, Cora, the bi-cultural teacher & I
helped the students sew these keepsake pillows.
The best part was visiting all of the homes to take the pictures!

Alaskan seal skin Ornament also called a crispin
by the ladies from Brevig, Alaska

My Favorite seal skin ornament from Shishmaref

Avdent Calendar, handmade by Nana Nana Hum

Christmas tree pen made by Brenda Pushruk

Zoe's favorite Christmas item, also purchased by my mom.
In fact every Christmas she would purchase a Little People set...
we have most of them including the "antique" styles
from when I was a little girl, but they stay at Papa's for when we visit!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday....early

Looking out over the Tanana River

Alaska Range in the background

Photo by Jake

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fill-In

1. Friends make me laugh & help me through the tough times.

2. I am grateful for my families' health; it's something we shouldn't take for granted.

3. I'm ready for SPRING, but I would settle for ABOVE ZERO!

4. Patchouli(although I don't wear perfumes) is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells.

5. The oldest ornament I have is a multicolored ball from David's Granny Moore, probably at least 20 years old.

6. Take some birch logs, a wood stove, a glass of wine, and a knitting project or good book mix it all together and you have the perfect afternoon.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to David's staff Christmas party & a babysitter (it's RARE) tomorrow my plans include working, a birthday party, and possibly snow tubing and Sunday, I want to
sleep in, but I will be crafting 'cause I'm behind on that 6 weeks of crafts project I promised....ooops!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Call Your Mom

The conversation I imagine would go like this:

Me: So what are you up to today?

Mom: Oh daddy and I just went shopping and I picked up the cutest outfit for Zoe. It has a matching coat with fur trim and it was already marked down a third! Do Ben and Jake need underwear and socks?

Me: Yes, they can always use socks and underwear. I'm sure Zoe will love the outfit. You know she's a clothes horse just like her Nana.

Mom: I was wondering what to take to eat for the Birthday Group Christmas Party. Are you going to any holiday parties?

Me: Oh my knitting group is having a get together at the Dredge and we're having a cookie swap too. I think I'll take a pasta salad. I tried that yummy sugar cookie recipe the one with the pumpkin dip that Tiff sent with the card swap and it was SO good. Do you have that one?

Mom: OOOOhh that sounds good. I don't have that one. Let me get a recipe card and you can give it to me. Maybe I'll take that to the party.

After taking down the recipe

Me: Mom how did you afford to send me to dance lessons and piano lessons? Did Brent and I drive you crazy with our constant arguing? What was I like when I was a little girl? Did I ask you to play with me all the time? Sometimes did you just want to run away and hide? When did you ever take time for yourself, I remember you being up at the crack a dawn. You already had a load of laundry done and breakfast on the table before 7:00 AM. Mom, thank you for giving me such a stable home life, where dinner was on the table every night and I always felt warm, safe and loved.

Mom: You do what you have to do. I did all of those things because I loved you. You and Brent mean the world to me. I just sent you to your room when I needed a break. I wasn't perfect and sometimes I yelled and got mad just like I am sure you do with your kids and then I regretted getting upset with you and I would feel terrible. You are a wonderful mother Stacy and your kids will grow up to be wonderful, caring adults, because they have loving, caring parents.

I wish I could call my mother, but I can't. She passed away almost three years ago and this time of year is always tough because I think about her even more....if that is possible, 'cause I already think about her every day. I don't have any regrets about things I did or didn't do or say. I was there when she passed away. I sat on her bed talked to her, slept in her room, helped her to the restroom, bathed her, and gave her her medication. There is an emptiness left by her passing that nothing can fill. Even my children's tight hugs and kisses can't cure call your mother...just because you can....for no reason at your mom.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thanksgiving....a little late

What happened to my Thanksgiving must have gotten lost on the way home from Valdez where I choose to knit instead of write(which successfully got me one of Zoe's leg warmers finished), or maybe it went down the toilet along with Jake's sickness on Tuesday of last week....needless to say this post is better late than never. I just had to blog about our wonderful Thanksgiving 'cause it was the best one the Foshee's have had in a long while!

As we made the drive down to Valdez to visit some of our "Alaskan Family" David & I discussed how we really hadn't established our own family Thanksgiving traditions. For the nine years we spent in Teller, we always joined the community Potluck dinner, which has a very interesting story of it's own...... I'll save for another time. Then in Koyuk we celebrated with just our family, which since we're social people...... it was a little lonely. Last year we enjoyed catching up with some frined in North Pole, but this year we decided that driving to Valdez to spend time with the Shidner's was a MUST on our TO DO LIST!! And we are SO grateful we did!!!!

Our journey began Wednesday after school was out, and of course we were running on "Eskimo Time" as folks in the village would say, not really getting in a hurry to get there. That's why Robert greeted us at 1:00 AM with "Finally, we wondered if you would EVER get here". You know the Shidner's HAVE TO BE like family 'cause who else would welcome guests into their home at that ridiculous hour!!! Lucky for us, our friends were still glad to see us even if they were yawning and rubbing their eyes. The road was a little hairy at Summit Lake and then again at Thompson Pass. Of course I was telling David to slow down when he was only going 40MPH...., but the kids stayed occupied with movies for most of the trip and I thought ahead and purchased a book LED light so that I could knit during the entire drive, while David and I listened to The Last Lecture on CD.

Thanksgiving was a causal affair for us, which was SO relaxing....we threw in the turkey, whipped up a couple of side dishes, Cynthia kneaded some of her Grandmother's rolls, we sucked down some coffee and headed for the hills to ski, snowboard, and sled at 37 degrees!!!!! It felt like a heat wave....since we had just come from -10!!! We were all shedding layers of outerwear while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

After some fun in the snow we headed back to have our meal "Happy Belly Commune" style (that is what Cynthia and I dubbed the shared apartments where we lived together in Teller, Ak for 4 years & it holds true for all of our gatherings). Everything was yummy and tasty..... but the company...... well it was nothing short of superb. In Alaska you aren't always able to gather together with your immediate family during the holidays, because most of them live so far away, so you create your own family with friends. After dinner we let things settle for a while and then headed over to the neighbors for dessert, tea, and great conversation.

Friday & Saturday brought more fun times: Talking during short walks with Cynthia on the well groomed trails, popping over to check out their local library, David & Andy tried to catch up with a friend, but missed him, so they enjoyed some cocktails instead, playing ping-pong at the rec center next of Cynthia's office,(felt like old times, we had a make-shift table set up in Teller in the basement of our apartment, but we always lost the balls in the pipe fittings), teaching Robert to knit an icord, checking out a new bakery, making music on the xylophone & keyboard, computer time, lots of board & card games, many laughs, shared memories, wine and great food.