The Petersen Herd

The Petersen Herd

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Watch them grow - times 7!

I thought it might be time to recap my kids - so here we have each of them in a nutshell for now.  They change so fast it's nice to remember their "phases".
13 years old (yikes)
Lover of pinterest, decorating, fashion, and baking.
Piano skills are getting impressive.
Loves that she's almost as tall as Mom.
Struggles to stand up straight

Kabe - not Kabryn
11 years old
Avid reader of books 
Loves scouts, camping, fishing, knives, compasses and outdoorsy things
Wants to build things and experiment
Enjoys friend time and is a great leader
Doesn't like being told what to do.


10 years old
Lover of all things.
Enjoys friend time and being wild and silly with Brigham
Is great at doing storytime for Leisl and Darla
Wants desperately to learn to play the guitar.
Gets sassy when she is in trouble

7 years old (almost 8, he reminds me every day)
Can't WAIT to get baptised (and be a Dad)
Loves riding bikes, playing the wii, watching movies
Loves collecting rocks, sticks, shells, feathers and all other things that shouldn't go in a washer
Breaks things 

5 years old (almost 6)
Smart as a whip - loves math and reading and being a 'big girl'
Enjoys dress-up and babies and dirt and mud and being outside barefooted
Free spirit
Incredibly loud.  always.
Not overly concerned with being a contributing member of society

4 years old
Silly and sweet and still loves to give hugs and kisses - to everyone
Even strangers
Desperately wants to be heard, by everyone, at the same time.
Loves the center stage - particularly during FHE when she has to answer every single question (and take her sweet time doing it).
Tends to throw fits when she doesn't get what she wants.

17 months
Already started going to nursery because he "can"
Incredibly funny and a huge tease
Knows that he's charming and spoiled 8 layers deep
Speaks chinese - or something like it
Is great at waving, clapping, pointing and saying "NO" while smacking you in the face
Didn't want his picture taken
Doesn't do what he doesn't want to do
Did I mention he's spoiled?


I was raised in a fairly matriarchal family.  Not that the men weren't good patriarchs -they were, but there was a significant female presence.  We call it the "Guymon Woman Thing".  Watching my Mom and her sisters, and my own relationship with my sisters over the years, along with the ups and downs of raising these four hoodlums has taught me a few things about sisters:

1)  You don't have to BE the same.  Our differences make us magical.

2) You don't have to think/feel the same.  We don't have to cave to get along, agreement isn't a prerequisite for a healthy relationship.

3)  Another's strength doesn't make you weak.  Sisters can pool resources and be thankful.

4) Love is where it's at.  Doesn't matter how long it's been, what the circumstances are, the when's where's or why's of our interactions -  Sisters are all about love (unless we're fighting).

Sisters are something special.  I guess time will teach my girls that too.

Chubby Mancub

This little guy is not really a baby anymore, he's now entered the realm of uber-chubby toddler-man.  His expressions still crack me up and his hair is so weird (I need the hairdressing Aunt!)

He is a huge tease and loves to laugh.

He also has our family's genetic predisposition to food-loving.  He finished this whole piece after having eaten a hotdog and two other pieces of watermelon.  His stomach felt like a very tight bouncy ball for a while but he didn't get sick (I may have been a little surprised).  

He loves his toddler bed because it affords him so much FREEDOM.  I love it because when he falls off I know he shouldn't really hurt himself.  

This means he sleeps on the floor or in Brigham's bed a lot, which is fine by me.  

I try to cut his hair but it grows really fast and I don't know how.  To be honest, I don't remember cutting the other boy's hair but his just looks funny now and then.  

This is a picture I found on my phone courtesy of Noah.  Yes, my 1 year old knows how to take selfies.  Notice where we are?  That's right - we are in church.  See Dad's white shirt?  And there's my double chin neck and shoulder.  I didn't know he took this during sacrament meeting until much later when he started a playback of a video.  

Mr. Big stuff stealing someone's chair - deliberately, at a neighbor's barbeque.  Apparently "cleaning out the freezer" is a thing in Alaska.  Before a big fishing trip people will throw a large party and cook everything in their freezer.  It's good luck and means that there's room to bring home plenty.  

Sleepy boy after church.  Why didn't I have a cute tie t-shirt for the other boys?  How I love this little guy!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cotton Ball Adventures

In an attempt to reinforce the positive we've started a summer program called "cotton-ball adventures".  Tyler found the idea online somewhere.  Basically when the kids do something above and beyond - are especially nice or helpful or have a great attitude, they earn a cotton ball for their jar.  When their jar is full then they get to pick a date with Mom and Dad - anywhere they want.
 Leisl wanted to go out for an ice cream cone.  She was so stinking cute.  Here we are walking into McDonalds at 10 pm with a 4 year old.  The crazy things we do when it's light outside.
Brigham wanted to go bowling.  Thank you "kids bowl free" program for making it easy to say yes to this one.  He had to remind me several times that he beat both me and Dad (and then Dad reminds him he used the bumpers and we didn't).  

When did this kid get so tall?  

Ksenya's adventure was to go out for dessert.  We got ice cream at the Little Miller's and took a drive.  Kabe is still waiting for his archery adventure and both Ayvri and Darla picked a playdate with a friend.  And now we are on to round 2 of cotton ball earning.  I love that they have to nominate each other for cotton balls and can't report on themself.  Makes it a little more outward oriented than inward.  And if nothing else we are having fun adventures one-on-one.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Hello Teenager

What in the world!  My baby girl is a teenager.  It's official and she's quick to remind us of it.  
Everyone says she looks just like me at that age, but I honestly don't remember being beautiful and graceful and smart and funny and kind and good like she is.  I tried to explain to her that strangers stop us in the store to tell me how beautiful she is, not because of her body - or at least not just because of that, but mostly because her spirit, all her goodness just eeks out of her face.  I'm not sure she got it, but I tried. 

She wanted a lime green zebra striped official teenager cake.  She's so easy to please.  

Keep on keeping on kid - you're pretty incredible and I can't wait to see where the next few years take you (just so they don't take you too too too far from me).  I'm sure it's hardest with the first and last, but I feel the bittersweet-ness of each milestone keenly.  She's only "all mine" for 5 more years.  I didn't think middle age would come so quickly.  And I remember my Mom saying that. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Camp Time

Ksenya was a 2nd year for Girls Camp and they take camps seriously here in Alaska!  Her camp was 5 days and boy was she excited.  

While she was gone her bed got turned into the sleep-over bed.  Ayvri didn't want to be alone and the little girls thought it was great fun to invade the "big girl" space.

Who was the most excited to see her (besides her mother of course?)  Noah!  He wouldn't let her go for nearly an hour and kept checking on her throughout the rest of the day. The feeling was mutual as she almost cried when she picked him up.  Everyone else was pretty excited to have her back too.

Kabe was a super lucky duck and got to go to the big scout camp even though he's only 11.  He had to be driven up and back each day but it was worth it for all the amazing things he got to do. Since he was home with us every night there wasn't a lot of time to miss him, but I sure did.  He's such a great young man and I can't believe he's almost 12!

I love that the church provides opportunities like this for my kids where I feel that they are safe but at the same time very stretched.  I'm also thankful for the baby stepping out of my Motherly comfort zone and hope it helps prepare me for my little chicks when the time comes for them to leave the nest.  I want them to leave - eventually, but I know it's gonna hurt too.  #momproblems.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Matanuska Glacier

Daddy has been wanting to drive up to the glacier for a while so we decided, why not today?  We piled in and drove the hour and a half up a beautiful piece of road and there it is - a glacier.  The bummer part of the trip was that we thought we could walk right out onto the glacier, and we could have, if we had wanted to pay $100 to the guy who owns the private property next to it.  Bummer, but that wasn't in the budget today.  

Still we got to do a fun little hike and see some beautiful places and learn a little more about this fascinating geography!  

Now if we could just get Noah to enjoy driving.  He screamed the whole way home and ended our trip on less than an adventurous high.  Oh well, babies grow.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


We have the best neighbors who have been so awesome to make us feel loved.  One night while visiting with them in their backyard I got an idea - they have a HUGE grassy hill.  I could just picture this:  
I asked if they'd mind us setting up a little slip-n-slide and they were such good sports and even helped with the whole affair.  

This is a 75 foot piece of painters plastic that we staked into the lawn and sprayed with vegetable oil.  It was so much fun and we all slid and played until we were incredibly sore and tired.  

What a blast!  There were a few things we may tune-up for next time.  If we didn't kill the grass?  Even Tyler - who was at work, got to go down.  I did a facetime run with my phone and he got to see the whole thing.  I couldn't walk for nearly a week after as I messed up my knee again, but I guess time heals all wounds because my old body recovered.  

Midnight Drive

We've developed this bad habit of going for drives after the kids are asleep.  This one took us way up a road we'd never been on before (but plan to return to).  We kept trying to get out of the trees for a panoramic view but this is as close as we got.  Yes, it's midnight in this picture (no flash).  We also saw (and maybe chased) a mama moose on this drive.  This guy is the best adventure ever.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer Smiles

Late bedtimes, late wake-up times, make for little girls in their pajamas a lot.  I love these two buddies and how they are always arm in arm.

Time to break out the squirt guns.  Thank you Aunt Jeri, for yet another awesome package.  

My freckled buddy catching dragon flies.