IMG_6384Jack-O-Lanterns come and go so fast that I almost don’t think they are worth the trouble (though the kids do love it). However, I do love to pick all the pumpkin seeds out and roast them up! It’s a super simple thing to do and my son often helps me pick all the seeds out of the pumpkin guts (for a few minutes at least).

First you simply pick out all the pumpkin seeds and wash them off. You want to do your best to get all the slime and bits of pumpkin out of the mix. The less pumpkin guts left mixed in, the crispier your seeds will end up!

We have been using Oaki rain suits for a few years now. They are pretty much the unofficial uniform for small children in Alaska during the spring, summer and fall. However, much of the year Alaska is covered in a good deal of snow. So when I heard that Oaki had begun offering snowsuits in addition to their rain suits I was excited to have Jasper try one out!

Alaska is rainy, some areas more than others. We have tried many different types of rain boots since moving here. My son’s love of splashing in puddles is ever growing. Inevitably he will always throw himself into a knee-deep puddle, and that was the extent of any protection his old rain boots provided. Our hikes and outdoor excursions usually ended with me back at the van, stripping my son down, because his shoes and pants were soaked through. This simply wasn’t a good mix as the Alaskan summer quickly turned into fall.

When I first saw the FlyingKids Maps I thought they were so fun! They are brightly colored and have little images that show things or places different regions/states are known for. I have been working with my son for awhile now to locate the 50 States on a map. The FlyingKids Maps is a great tool to help him learn his US geography!

If you follow me on Instagram or have read my previous blog posts, you know that this is not my first pregnancy. However, when I was pregnant with Jasper we lived in southern Illinois. In addition, Jasper is a July baby, so the majority of my previous maternity wardrobe consisted of shorts and short-sleeved tops. July in southern Illinois can easily reach the upper 90’s, if not breaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Since we moved to Alaska, in January of 2017, the hottest it has ever gotten was 82…

Jasper seems to love all holidays (what child doesn’t). Especially the holidays that include presents and candy. For Valentines Day we generally get Jasper one of those $1 boxes of chocolates that Walmart sells. Then sometimes we also get him a small Valentines themed toy. So that means Valentines Day is among Jasper’s favorite holidays (along with his birthday, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc). I personally enjoy Valentines Day because there are lots of fun Valentines themed projects you can do!

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Maternity clothing can be tricky. Sometimes it makes you look like a walking tent, and other times it can be so tight that is shows every lump and bump you don’t want the world to see. However, with PinkBlush you can find stylish maternity clothing that is flattering to your shape (even as that shape gets bigger… and bigger).

Yesterday morning I was woken yet again by another aftershock. This one was a 4.2. This 4.2 followed two that registered around 5.0 earlier this week. It is interesting how much you learn about earthquakes after going through one as large as a 7.0. The main thing I have learned is that earthquakes often come with a warning. A few seconds before the world starts to shake, you hear the earthquake coming. The noise is similar to the heater kicking on or an airplane flying past. So sometimes you experience that jolt of fear for no reason. Other times the noise is the reason you are woken at 6:16 am. Then you get to wait with bated breath for a few nerve wracking seconds to see how large the aftershock will be and whether or not your child will wake up crying.

Where I grew up, in the Midwest, if there were solstice celebrations, I was unaware of them. However, here in Alaska, celebrating the summer and winter solstice is a much bigger deal. This is for the obvious reason that the solstices have a real effect on every day life here.

Alaska is known as the last frontier. It is beautiful, and yet very dangerous in many ways. The largest earthquake to ever hit North America happened in Alaska in 1964 at a magnitude of 9.2. It is known as the Good Friday Earthquake or the Great Alaska Earthquake. This is the second largest earthquake ever to be recorded worldwide. In addition it is considered a mega-thrust earthquake. It is believed that Alaska has had 9 mega-thrust earthquakes over the last 5,500 years with an average time span of 630 years between each earthquake. The 64′ earthquake reworked the landscape of Alaska and, along with the two following tsunamis, took the lives of 139 people. Most of these deaths can be attributed to the tsunamis. 13 of these people didn’t even die in the state of Alaska, but from one of the resulting tsunamis that reached California! Thankfully the earthquake that Alaska experienced on November 30th, 2018 was not as strong as the earthquake experienced in 1964.