An Arctic New Year

Arctic fireworksI have never had any big New Year’s Eve Bashes or parties. I usually just celebrate the New Year with family and close friends after watching the Crystal Ball drop in Times Square. In the past we have shot a few fireworks at my parents’ house since they live outside city limits. This year, we celebrated the New Year in the Alaskan Northwest Arctic and, thankfully it was a very mild one. The temperature was around 20 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind was calm.

Eskimo New Year

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Celebrating Christmas in the Arctic

Family Crhistmas
Family members all gathered at my parents’ house to have a Christmas celebration with us before we left Alabama to come back to Kotzebue.

This was the first year I have ever been away from my family during Christmas. We went down south for Thanksgiving and spent two weeks visiting everybody, because that was the only time we could arrange to be with some of our extended family. So, we decided our Christmas would be here in the arctic.
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Baby’s Second Birthday!

birthday teddy bear
Anneliese opening her gift from Great Grammy.

WOW! two years have flown by already, and my precious little bundle of joy has grown into a rambunctious toddler. We just celebrated Anneliese’s second birthday, but it was a little bitter sweet for me. Not only is my baby no longer a baby, but we are far away from our family too. Our families were sweet by calling Anneliese to wish her a Happy Birthday and sent plenty of gifts.
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An Arctic Independence Day

arctic july 4 festival
Anneliese loved the 4th of July festivities.

One of the great things about living in a small town is getting to know everyone who lives there and having fun as a community. I was surprised with all of the extravagant festivities that were planned for the 4th of July. This small town goes all out for their Independence Day celebrations.

It was cool and a little windy, but the mosquitoes were kept away by the wind. We started the day off by going to the Independence Day parade, where we got tons of candy and goodies. I tried to take a video of the parade but then I started bending down to pick up goodies causing the camera to sway whenever I did. Since I am not a great videographer, I decided to spare everyone from motion sickness and didn’t post the video.

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Saint Patrick’s Day with the Family

saint patricks day family fun
The following is an excellent guest post from Megan with great tips on making this St. Patrick’s Day extra fun for the whole family. Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to NYC ApartmentsHamptons Homes for sale, home improvement and the latest architecture, design, fashion and travel.  Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

Saint Patrick’s Day Family Activities:

St. patricks Day family activities

Saint Patrick’s Day doesn’t just have to be for the Irish. Who doesn’t love the stories of little magical leprechaun’s, pots of gold at the end of the rainbow and shamrocks that bring good luck? Here are some ways to make this Saint Patrick’s Day full of fun-filled activities and surprises for the whole family.

When we think of St. Patrick’s Day, the color green is usually one of the first things that come to mind. So, on March 17th, be sure to wear your green. Whether you put on a green shirt, special socks or just some green ribbons in your hair; dress up for the occasion. Add a little more green to your day with some special desserts, such as pistachio pudding or lime Jello. A few drops of green food coloring can turn any cup of milk into a festive treat for your child too.

St. Patricks Day Family activities
Shamrock Sugar Cookies with Green Icing

Whether you are just celebrating the holiday as a family or throwing a kid-friendly party, there are some great Saint Patrick’s Day crafts you can try. Make a shamrock out of paint, a potato and a cookie cutter. Cut a potato in half then, using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, press it into the potato half and cut around the cutter. Now, dip the heart-shaped potato stamp into green paint, making the three leaves of the shamrock. Add a stem and you are done.

Having your children decorate their very own treasure box is a great way to surprise the little ones with a treat. Legend has it that the night before Saint Patrick’s Day, the leprechauns come out to play disguised as leaves and grass. If they find a decorated treasure box, they must fill it and hide it. Have the children decorate an empty shoe box any way they like. When they go to sleep, fill the box with small treasures, such as candy or costume jewelry. Hide the box, but make sure to leave a trail of shamrocks to the treasure.

St. patricks Day family fun
Make a Leprechaun Craft with the Kids!

Other games you can play as a family or in a party setting are: find the coin or scavenger hunt. Hide a coin and play a version of hot and cold until someone finds it. If you choose to have a scavenger hunt, hide a pot of gold with some chocolate and write some clues on shamrocks. Have the children read the clues all the way to the treasure.

Make Saint Patrick’s day fun for the whole family this year. Try some of these craft ideas and games or come up with some of your own. After all, leprechauns aren’t the only ones who get to have fun!