This Blog Has Moved

Filed under: Blogging — Amy @ 11:46 am | Leave a Comment

I’m taking a hiatus from the family blog posting and just sticking to writing my own.  If you’d like, please visit me over at

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Kaelinisms: This Little Light Edition

Filed under: Kaelin,Kid Quotes — Amy @ 8:52 pm | 1 comment.

The kids were watching the Go Fish music/concert video and “This Little Light of Mine” came on.  After listening for a minute, Kaelin suddenly became very concerned.

“No!  No, they can’t let it shine!  It will run out of batteries!”

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Best. Quote. Ever.

Filed under: People,ROFL — Amy @ 7:43 am | 4 Comments

Dr. Henry Lindlahr

(Well, best medical quote anyway…)

And you thought Advil was harmless…

(emphasis added by me)

Headache powders, pain killers, opiates, sedatives and hypnotics may paralyze brain and nerves into temporary insensibility; but, if due to constitutional causes, the pain, nervousness and insomnia will always return with redoubled force. If taken habitually, these agents invariably tend to create heart disease and paralysis, and ultimately develop the patient into a dope fiend.

…Each drug breeds new disease symptoms which are in their turn “cured” by other poisons, until the insane asylum or merciful death rings down the curtain on the tragedy of a ruined life.

This and other nuggets of medical wisdom are available in Dr. Henry Lindlahr’s book, Natural Therapies.

Other highlights include:

  • How white blood cells are actually evil pathogens and only look like cells because they are squeezed into that shape as they pass through the spleen.
  • How masturbation is the fault of parents for engaging in sexual activity while the woman was pregnant
  • How every ailment you suffer is a result of your own violation of the laws of nature
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Kaelinisms: On Toy Dogs Edition

Filed under: Kaelin,Kid Quotes — Amy @ 10:16 pm | 2 Comments

“Daddo, can this puppy be my supponsibility?”

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Birthday Recap

Filed under: Birthdays,Kaelin — Amy @ 3:25 pm | Leave a Comment

Kaelin’s birthday was a roaring success, even though there was no actual “party.”

We started the day off at Two Sisters bakery, where she got to have a brownie for breakfast.


The highlight of MY day was the old guy at the table next to us, who honestly mistook me for Kaelin’s sister and got all confused when I thought he was joking.

Next, Kaelin and Jens headed off to church while I stayed home to tackle a little surprise project.  See, one of the things Kaelin has mentioned that she really misses about Texas is her room.  And I can’t blame her, she had a cool room.  Her room in this house looks like your grandmother’s guest room.  The walls are a drab grey-green, and the furniture is a mismatched assortment of IKEA and stuff you’d find on Craigslist.  The bedding is green and flowery with golden-yellow sheets.


So while I didn’t have the means to completely make over her room, I did what I could with a new bedding set and window valance.  On a side note, do you know that it’s surprisingly DIFFICULT to find little kid bedding to fit a queen size bed?

I did realize a little too late that I was short a curtain rod, so I couldn’t put any window treatments on the big window.  Also, I wish I had gotten some wall decorations.


I also opened up this sewing table and put a shelf over the hole so she would actually have a place to put her books and toys. A place other than ALL OVER THE FLOOR, that is. We'll see how long it lasts.

I wanted to film her reaction when she walked in (we didn’t tell her about it beforehand) but I’m stoopid and had the camera ON when I was walking into the room and then turned it OFF when I was supposed to be filming.  That turned out to be ok though, because it was the most anti-climatic reaction to a surprise she’s ever given in her life.  YAY, Look at me making a SUCCEED out of two MOM FAILS!*

I think these monkey slippers were her favorite part. She wanted to wear them to bed.

After they came back from church, we headed off to a great lunch at Fat Olives, where Kaelin stuffed herself with pasta.


Then it was time to come home for cake…

Ah yes, the Red Wall of Hell makes another birthday appearance.

Why yes, I DID forget to buy candles. Again. Thanks for noticing.

I'm 99.9% sure she wished for a puppy.

Licking the frosting off the cake topper. This "cake" was actually 85% frosting.

And then, of course, presents…

One of the things I love about my daughter is that she is so much fun to give to.  Her excitement over receiving a toy or a gift is often, to me anyway, disproportional to the actual level warranted by said gift.  It’s awesome.

She starts expressing her “Thank you’s” before she has any idea what’s even in the package, and by the time she has it unwrapped, she’s practically jumping out of her seat.

The best present award goes to the FurReal GoGo My Walkin' Pup.

Finally she can have a "pet" to walk on a leash and be in charge of, and it won't mind being constantly dominated and held prisoner.

She dotes on this puppy. She coos and baby-talks to it as she leads it around and pretends to feed it real dog food. It has yet to leave her side.

The previously mentioned earthworm farm was also popular, but apparently you have to send off for your worms via mail.  So we’ll have to wait a while before delving into the joys of worm raising.

Koren, meanwhile, started his descent into the depths of toddler DOOM because he skipped his nap.  Suddenly in late afternoon, he went from:



"What? I can't take Kaelin's toys away from her and order her loudly to listen to the Doodlebops CD with me 500 times? Then behold, I will detonate your skulls with the sheer force of my screaming!"

Kaelin remained in good spirits throughout the evening and ended her Birthday sugar-and-carbs high by consuming a bowl of ice cream.  Blame her father, I had nothing to do with that one.

*as it turns out, she really does like the new room, she was just preoccupied with her puppy.  The new room got more kudos when it was time to go to bed.

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Filed under: Health...or Lack Thereof,Makes Me Grumpy — Amy @ 10:15 am | Leave a Comment

Good: Doing a bunch of sit-ups

Bad: Contracting some kind of head-congesty coughing syndrome

Ugly: Having sore stomach muscles from too many sit-ups so that each time I descend into another coughing fit, it feels like someone is kicking me in the gut.

Make it stop…

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Alaskan(s) of the Week

Filed under: Current Events,POTW — Amy @ 8:51 pm | Leave a Comment
Wagon Truck

Alaska couple converts pickup into Radio Flyer car

Fred Keller and Judy Foster worked on the vehicle for 11 months, using the base of a 1976 Mazda B1600 pickup truck.

Ever miss your childhood days riding around in a red wagon?

A Wasilla, Alaska, couple has the answer: A full-sized pickup that has been converted into a giant red Radio Flyer.

I suppose there are worse ways to relive your childhood.

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If I Have to Tell You ONE MORE TIME…

Filed under: Koren,Parenting — Amy @ 8:18 pm | Leave a Comment

You know that mom thing where you use the kid’s first AND middle name to signify that they are ABOUT TO CROSS THE LINE INTO SERIOUS POOPY?

I am totally guilty of that.

In fact, my son actually thinks his name is Korenjames.

Which is either a testament to how often I am THIS CLOSE to stringing him up by his feet, or a testament to how often he deserves it.

No No Bad Dog

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Kaelin: 5 Years

Filed under: Birthdays,Kaelin,Milestones,Newsletters — Amy @ 4:30 am | 6 Comments

Dear Baby Girl,

You are no longer anything resembling a baby, but when I complain about that, you still reassure me that you will always be my little girl no matter how big you get.

Today, you are five years old.  FIVE.  I do not know how this happened.

I mean, I get how this:

Kaelin Baby

turned into this:

Kaelin Sailor Dress

But how this:

Kaelin Shoes

turned into this:

Kaelin Beachis a complete and total mystery to me.

(Insert the obligatory “WaaaaahMyBAAAAAYYYYYBEEEEEisGrowingUpTOOOOOFAAAAAST” mommyhood rantings)

You are active and friendly, setting up play dates with the kids at the library behind my back, and inviting the grocery store cashier to your birthday party (which, um, is going to be in Texas, so I hope you didn’t offer to pay her airfare).

Your main love at the moment is bugs and all things creepy-crawly.  In Texas, bugs are scary because of the huge variety of stinging, blood-sucking, biting ones.  But here?  You are thrilled beyond belief with the moths and other little winged creatures that make their way onto our porch and into our house.  Your teacher caught a butterfly for you and let you bring it home one day, and you would have thought he’d given you the moon.  We have to have daily conversations about how bugs aren’t pets and that you can’t bring them into the house, EVEN if they’re in a container.  I know that sounds cruel, but the container is inconsequential because of the fact that the bugs never stay IN IT.

You don’t know this yet, but you’re getting an earthworm farm for your birthday.  Because worms?  I can handle worms.  They’re still creepy-crawly and icky but they’re not bugs.  So when you’re talking to your therapist in a few years about how your mother restricted your childhood experience because I wouldn’t let you keep bugs, JUST REMEMBER THE WORMS.  I GAVE YOU THE WORMS.

(Please, please, please, please don’t let them loose in the house.)

You’re learning to read and write and do some math.  I have no doubt that you’re behind many of your Texas friends in these areas because your preschool seems to place little to no emphasis whatsoever on academics.  So the only academic environment you have is, well, me.  And the measly little homeschooling lessons we do at the kitchen table.  Which I will go ahead and apologize to you for because your Mama?  Was not meant to be a homeschool teacher.

You enjoy reading and your own progress as you begin to recognize and sound out more and more words.  You have begun to try sounding out words you see on cereal boxes and in magazines.  Also, you pick words and try to spell them in your head.  I often get random questions like, “Mama, what letter do you put in a word to make the ‘a’ say its name?”

Your writing needs some work because it bores you and I have to heavily reward you to keep you focused for 15 minutes a day.  Also, the concept of telling time is challenging and can be frustrating for us both.  You do enjoy math, because we use chocolate chips to demonstrate addition and subtraction. You’re pretty good at our little addition flash cards and can occasionally do the math in your head without the use of the chocolate chips.

You are becoming more and more independent and can play on the porch (catching bugs, of course) or in your room for long periods of time.  You have also developed the occasional ‘tude, which gets you sent to your room.

You are developing an interest in jokes, but don’t quite get the concept of a punchline.

“Why did the crayons color by themselves? Because they wanted to draw their owner!”

You have started a movement/dance class and are loving it.  I look forward to letting you try all kinds of extra-curricular activities this next year.  You have informed me that you wish to do ice skating and gymnastics when we move back to Texas.  Oddly, they don’t have any figure skating lessons available in this part of Alaska.

You have started thinking about the concept of marriage and are concerned about your lack of candidates.  You told me the other day that you couldn’t decide whether you wanted to be a boy or a girl (the concept of whether or not you actually get to MAKE that choice didn’t appear to be relevant).  It was good to be a girl because girls are better and more fun, but it would be a nice to be a boy because boys get to marry girls.  And it would be better to marry a girl than a boy because boys are mean and throw things.  And if you have to marry a boy, then you should be allowed to marry your Daddo.  Mama can just go marry someone else.

You are tenacious and think you can debate your way around any answer.  You are your father’s daughter.

You have a really selective memory.  You can remember a promise we made to you three months ago, but forget that I gave you a set of instructions within 15 seconds.  You are your mother’s daughter.

Little girl, you’re getting less and less “little” every day.  You’re tall and lean and love to run and jump and climb.  Your hair is getting long and we’re going to have to take care of that soon because you have inherited your mother’s tender head and brushing your hair in the morning is akin to ripping your fingernails off with a pair of pliers.

“Mama, which laugh did Tinkerbell come from?”
“I’m not sure, hon.  The movie doesn’t say and I don’t know very much about fairies.”
“Maybe she came from one of my laughs.  Because I laugh a LOT.”
“Yes you do.  Maybe she did.”
“I think you’re beautiful.”

You are precious.  And charming.  And sweet (when you want to be).  You have my heart.



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Unalakleet: People

Filed under: Culture Shock,Friends,People,Travel — Amy @ 9:21 pm | Leave a Comment

One of the noticeable pieces of Eskimo culture is that there’s a strong history of storytelling.  When folks get together, they tell stories of funny things that happened last year, 10 years ago, or when their parents were young.  And no matter how many times a story has been told and retold, it gets the same uproarious laughter when the punchline is reached.

When Jens’ family gets together, approximately 50% of the conversation consists of stories or updates about people from Unalakleet.  Having no visual or experiential point of reference whatsoever, when the conversation veers that way my eyes typically glaze over and I start thinking about whatever project I’m currently trying to muddle my way through, while half-listening with one ear.

So I was really pumped about finally MEETING some of these people and being able to put faces and places to the names.  Here are just a few…

Joel and Olga

Joel and Olga, our hosts while we were in UNK.

Joel is the pastor of the Unalakleet Covenant Church.

Inside the Covenant Church. The recess behind the pulpit used to be curtained off, and when Jens was 1 he would run back there during the sermon to poop behind the curtain. I hope he doesn't mind me announcing that to the world.


This is Joel Jr. and his family - wife Sarah and two boys, Jonas and Lucas. Joel Jr. has been Jens' friend since they were 2. We call him Joey to avoid confusion, even though he doesn't really like it.


This is Sarah, Joey's wife. She grew up in the lower 48 and moved to rural Alaska after college to teach. She picks berries and fishes and combs qiviut out of musk ox pelts and smokes salmon and helps with the children's ministry at church. She raises two boys in a 400 square foot house and keeps them from killing each other while her husband works long hours as a pilot. She's sweet, classy and totally awesome.


Joey and Sarah's boys, Jonas and Lucas. They're good kids.

Eva and Family

This is Joey's sister Eva and her family. They have been living in Anchorage but have just moved back home to Unalakleet.


This is Eva and Jason's little 1-year-old, Emma. She's very quiet (all kids are quiet compared to mine, but still...) but she can wrap you around her finger pretty quickly.

Sarah and the cousins, who play really well together. The boys just can't give Emma enough love and she's a trooper and doesn't complain when the occasional toy bops her on the head.


This is Kris, who knew Jens when he lived there as a kid. It really surprised me how many people still recognized Jens, since I personally think he looks totally different than he did as a kid. Kris teaches at the high school now.

Like most small villages, there are a few prevalent family lines, and everybody seems to be related in one way or another.  Also, everybody knows everything about each other.  A person’s last name says as much about them as a resume.  And people seem to have very long memories.  Many of them even remembered Jens’ grandparents, who were teachers in the village for a few years back when Jens’ dad was kid.

(to be continued … )

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About Me

Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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