Winter comes early in Alaska

On Friday, as the kids left for school it had just started snowing. The twins were excited to see the beginning of the snow.

Little Boy went out and touched it. “It’s like frozen water!” he said.

Now before you say, “DUH!! It IS frozen water, kid!” realize that this child (along with his twin sister) has lived on a tropical island as long as he can remember. They have never seen actual snow. They have never seen winter. These concepts are TV fantasy to these kids.

Or they were, up until this weekend. It snowed quite a bit on Friday, as you can see from this series of photos.


The twins enjoyed playing in the snow.


I thought it seemed awfully soon to start winter, since it’s not even October yet, but everyone said it would be a short-lived snow.

This turned out to be true. The temperatures went up a bit and all the snow melted by the end of the weekend.

I was beginning to think maybe we’d have a bit more fall before winter came for real. Then I went out this morning.


Yeah, I think it’s winter for real.

Isn’t this Alaska?

Before we moved to Alaska I was worried about the extreme cold and snowfall, and how it might affect the kids’ schools. (Namely, I wondered if I’d be stuck with them in the house driving me crazy every day for weeks on end.)

But everything I read and heard told me that Alaskans DON’T cancel school for snow. They just push through the snow and go to school. 

So imagine my surprise when I got this email last night. (I circled the parts I found the most shocking.)


Ok, I repeat:  WHAT?!?!

You guys slog through six full months of frozen-solid below-zero winter here, and you’re already threatening to cancel school on September 25th?! This bodes ill for the rest of the year, I’m afraid.

The good news is, they didn’t cancel it after all, and my kids went to school.

The bad news is, I received an automated phone call at 5:20 a.m. informing me of this.

Yes, they actually called me in the night and woke me up, to tell me school was NOT cancelled.

I can’t wait to see the rest of the school year….

Second Grade Rules of Politeness


Little Girl told me she was not going to pick her nose anymore.

I commended this decision, but her brother doubted she could maintain such a resolution.

“Well, I’m going to try,” she said.

I reminded them that public nose-picking is impolite, but that you can always go to the bathroom and get get a Kleenex if your nose is stuffy.

Little Girl said, “Yes! A Kleenex! And if the boogers won’t come out,” she went on, “my teacher says you can make a booger ghost.”

The things they learn in school!

booger ghost

I thought this outfit looked good


Last night I was wearing my new navy shirt with my brown skirt.

I thought I looked quite nice as I headed out to go shopping.

I forgot what my friend Megan had told me about those being “Wal-Mart-colors.”

(I had replied, No they’re not! They are neutrals.”)

But there I was in the craft section at Wal Mart, and a man said, “Do you work here?”  

No sir. No, I don’t.

I’m just a regular person who wears NEUTRAL COLORS.


I think I’m turning my kids into hoarders

I’ve been extra-vigilant in the past few years about getting rid of extra stuff. 

When you move around a lot, you can’t hang on to things. Plus, it’s a trend right now Simplify Your Life and all that.

image from $18.00+ USD

But it seems to have backfired a bit with the twins. They are suddenly afraid I’ll throw away all their stuff.

Little Boy in particular is feeling extra-protective of his things, carefully shielding them from the Marauding Throw-Away Mommy.


This is kind of sad, that he feels he needs to write “Do No Throw Away” twice on his artwork.

In my defense, he wants to save some crazy stuff. The other day he came downstairs in the morning yelling “Where’s my stuff? It was RIGHT HERE last night!”

“What stuff?” I said.

“My stuff I saved!” he insisted. “I had an empty chip box with a plastic wrapper in it right here by the couch! Where is it?!”

When I told him that was trash and that I threw it away, he reacted as if I’d tossed the crown jewels. “WHAT?!” he screamed. “That wasn’t TRASH! That was my STUFF!!”

My new policy is, if you don’t want me to throw it out, put it away in your room.

This may backfire….

Alaskan Activities

Everyone has been telling us that Alaska is great… as long as you can survive the winter.

Which is kind of most of the year. But I digress.

Photo by Angela Croll Bergeron

Supposedly the best way to “get through” Alaskan winters is to find something to do outside.  

I’m skeptical about doing anything outside in negative-forty-degree weather, but that’s what they all seem to recommend.

(Can I just insert here that most places you live there is not so much emphasis on literally SURVIVING any particular season? But Alaska is a different sort of place.)

So when I was at a party and a woman was telling me about outdoor activities that can make Alaska winters fun, I paid attention.

image from

“I love snowmobiling,” she said. “It’s great for the whole family.”

“Oh really?” I said.

“And it’s perfect for dates with the husband,” she went on.

My husband was standing next to us and he looked interested.  

“Yeah,” she said. “We drive all over on the snowmobile and it’s great. We both have so much fun and don’t even have to talk to each other. Best date ever!”

I laughed. My husband looked slightly offended. I stopped laughing.

She kept it up. “Yeah! I mean, when can you ever spend quality time with your husband and not even have to make conversation with the man? It’s great.”

I said, “Ummmm,” and changed the subject. 

Honey, I wanted to tell her, you forgot that we’re supposed to talk about them like that ONLY behind their backs.