Monday, November 10, 2014

"I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory." Ps. 63:2

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

life these days

So the Routon's have entered into a new stage including new kinds of fun...  Our days are mostly full of survival training.  Do we have food in our pantry? Veggies in the fridge? Clean clothes in our closets? Gas in our cars? Sleep?  Forget luxuries like naps, free time, activities after 7 pm, we have a 15 month old.

And although life is full, I can say with 100% honesty, it has never been better.  Aaron and I never seem to lack enthusiam or excitement for our days ahead and we don't take them for granted either. Squeaks is now on the move.  1 1/2 weeks ago in the gym in front of a stadium full of admirers she officially started walking.  I missed it, but my students made sure to let me know it happened.  It occurred right when I passed her onto her dad so I could head back to my classroom for Spanish 2.  When the bell rang my students piled in eager voices shouting "Mrs. Routon, Mrs. Routon you missed it, Squeakers started walking!" "Don't worry Mrs. Routon Aaron got a video."  "No, he only got a few seconds Mrs. Routon, it took him awhile to get out his phone." Well Aaron didn't even get a few seconds recorded on video b/c he hadn't really pressed record.  I was heartbroken to miss this monumental occasion, her first substantial trek.  Since then she hasn't looked back.  She is walking, and she also now has her first tooth. 

Other news is less exciting, I had a birthday and got a year older.  Below is a picture of the outing.  We were supposed to go up a hill, but because of soggy and windier weather than normal and a crew of sick folks we took a leisurely river hike.  We left Squeaks behind with a baby sitter, something we are becoming more and more familiar with.  

Also, just recently we have sadly had to said goodbye to a dear friend.  We had a nice send off for him, and then put him on the ferry the next day.  Patrick, a.k.a. Fowler (his last name) has moved to Petersburg.  Petersburg is a neighboring community in southeast Alaska, but for us to visit it requires an Alaskan Airline flight and then a ferry or another flight into Petersburg.

We are also already more than 1/2 way finished with the 1st semester.  My students are absolutely incredible.  I enjoy each moment with them.  Friday morning Young Life breakfasts have been up and running this past month, and we have a regular crew of girls that come for breakfast each week.  Squeaks LOVES attending because she is smothered with love and affection!

Also below is an disproportionately large number of pictures of Squeaks, angel baby of the universe (like any smitten momma would say).  Thanks for taking time out of your busy life to read what is going on in ours...

Squeaks does cry after all, rarely but it happens, here she is right after giving her teething meds, she's better now.
But mainly all smiles for this happy easy-going baby!

Squeaks LOVES music and you'll often see her tapping her foot or shaking her head to the music.
She also enjoys books and loves her most favorite very tolerant puppy dog...

Fowler is featured on the far left.
Us putting Fowler on the ferry.
YL girls breakfast!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

busy season

Squeaks giving her "dadda" kisses!
Things haven't slowed down AT ALL in the Routon household this last month.  My first day back at work officially began on the 14th of Aug., the students appeared 1 1/2 weeks later, putting 2 weeks of classes already behind me.

In the meanwhile every Routon (even Puff dog), on a happy note, joined the MEHS Cross Country team (70 kids!) and then, on an unfortunate note, continue to come down with illnesses.  For Ruthann and I its been colds that keep appearing.  For Aaron it was a long week of temperature and chills ending in with prescription for giardia. Squeaks has been adjusting to life again with papa in the morning and at Sydneys and Braydon (our neighbors) in the afternoon.  The transition has been much harder this time for her momma.  Squeaks is endless fun and laughter.  Even when sick she is ALL SMILES ALL THE TIME.  At 13 months she's never gone though a clingy to mom stage and she knows that all people are her best friend.  If we laugh at something she does, she just does it again and again squealing with delight.  She is a charmer to the inth degree.

Recent Milestones:
* She knows 4 words: baby, momma, dadda, and hi
* "Hiiiiii" is her favorite and she always ends it on an up beat, often moving her head up too as she says her hellos
* She is a sassy crawler, moving her hips and smacking her hands as she goes at a quick clip, hello Olympics 2024
* She LOVES standing and can "walk" unassisted if holding onto cabinets and walls
* This girl can sleep!  She went to bed last night at 8pm and is still sleeping now (9:01am), though her napping has been less dependable
* She's also a serious chatterbox, she loves reading to herself, humming as she crawls and makes noise essentially all day long
* She still has no teeth and has started drinking some cow milk during the weekdays
* She is a ferocious eater and likes everything under the sun, especially if it is sweet like roasted carrots and sweet potatoes

Aaron is also working more this year (3/4 time) so our house looks like one with a busy infant all the time.  We are still trying to figure out how to maintain optimal health and to stay active.  Anyone with any advice on the matter?  .... We'll take it!  Time seems as if it has grown wings! No blinking during this busy season.

Monday, August 11, 2014

photo session

naked time
A mostly clean face, it's a miracle!
Puffin lick attack, these happen all the time at our house, fortunately RA LOVES it!
Another one of RAs loves, MUSIC, here she's on the xylophone... the jembe... (though my favorite thing about this photo is the thunder thighs)
... and last but not least the shaker egg.
Now it's time to walk around the house in my wheely cart.
Got to love these gummy smiles!
Here's another.
Here you see her wave good-bye right before she takes off around the corner.
I get this smirk all the time. 
Moving on to books.  Here she is reading one of her favorites. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

a full heart

Aaron often says he wants our house to be full of praise.

He wants us to wake each morning with a song in our heart.

Aaron seems to have come by this ability to see the positive so naturally.  I've always admired it.

Frequently, either out of the blue, or when I have worked myself up, he asks me to say three things that I am grateful for right now, in this exact moment.  And ridiculously enough, sometimes I actually find this activity to be hard, I have blinders on, instead my mind is full of frustrations.  It seems easier to focus on my longings and desires.

But this past year, a bit, I do hear my heart praising more.  Often even, I feel an overflow, finding myself in a place of overwhelming gratitude.  My heart is more full, more content, love pours out from an excess. 

Aaron and I just celebrated our 4 year anniversary on Wednesday.  It was one of those days.  Aaron voiced his wealth and abundance all day.  My heart listened and smiled.  The words didn't flow out like his, but they were there. 

What three things are you grateful for, right now, it this moment?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

blowout birthday bash

"Oh, great I've just been invited to a 1 year old birthday party!  I hope I'll have a legit excuse of why I can't attend."

The only people that would really want to attend a one year olds birthday, other than the parents, are the grandparents.  I thought about not having a party for RA, but it was out of the question!  Aaron and I had survived year 1, and we NEEDED to celebrate.  If not to celebrate her life, to celebrate us still being alive through it all plus celebrate all the SUPPORT we'd had weathering the storms and celebrating the joys!  We had to have a party!  My thought was if we had delicious snacks and cocktails then there was no way people couldn't have fun.  For those who felt like they were stuck in their worst nightmare they could have a martini and forget there were dozens of wild hipped up on sugar children running around in a way too small house because you can't throw an outdoor party in Sitka because it WILL rain.  Then Aaron asked if we could make the party alcohol free, we had a wide variety of friends coming with different alcohol backgrounds and he thought it would be more respectful of them to just serve punch.  Ok, no drinking your blues away. 

Somehow, because I have GREAT friends that are willing to give this 1st birthday party thing a shot, I think the party might have been a success.  Sadly we had no blood family there, but it felt like everyone there loved us in the gracious way family does, even when your house is too small and the kids are too loud and the cake isn't gluten free. 

Ruthann was such a joy to watch at her party.  By looking at her trucking around on all fours, it is as if she knew the party was for her, she knew she was the host.  She was so kind making her way to greet everyone that entered, smiling and cooing and sitting in the middle of the room clapping her hands and watching the bigger kids zipping around doing cool bigger kids things.

However, when it came time for her candle to be lit and the birthday song to be sung she did look like she wanted to hide in the other room, decided she didn't want to blow out her candle after all, decided Puffin was way cooler, so were her friends and this socializing was WAY better than cake!  Plus, candles are dangerous and will singe your eyebrows (that is what happened while practicing blowing out candles, oops).

 I enjoyed looking around the room and feeling love.  I truly FELT it. 

Ruthann did too.

So to those of you who came, thanks.  For those of you who couldn't, well if you're reading this blog I know if you would have if you had had a telaporter. 

And you can still participate in our one fun party game!  So grab your uncomfortable party hat, blow your party favor and get ready to play....

(Answers to follow... they will not be upside down though)

Q1:What would have been RAs name if she were a boy?
Q2: What is RAs nickname?
Q3: Where was RAs first trip?
Q4: What mnts. in Sitka has RA climbed?
Q5: Name 3 places outside of Sitka that RA has visited?
Q6: What was RAs first solid food?
Q7: What is RAs most prized possession?
Q8: How many teeth does RA have?
Q9: When did RA begin crawling?
Q10: What percentile, for weight, is Ruthann?

A1: Isaac Rutherford, Aaron liked Isaac, Rutherford was my grandfathers name
A2: Squeaks or Squeakers, she received this nickname week 1
A3: Juneau, Aaron had a YL conference, RA was 6 weeks old.  We ferried over
A4: She's climbed 2 mnts.: Verstovia was her first at 10 weeks, she's climbed that twice and Gaven several times!
A5: Juneau (month 2 and a month ago), Anchorage (month 2), Oregon (month3),  SC (month 4 and month 10), Brazil (month 10)
A6: Avocado, the only food she doesn't like now.  Her second food was sweet potatoes.
A7: Her water bottle, yes, weird.
A8: 0, this was a trick question sorry.
A9: month 11, she scooted for a week before she began crawling and still crawls happily today.
A10: Her parents had no idea on this one either!  But RA is in the 75th percentile at 23.0 pounds on her actual birthday.  Until recently she has been above the 90th percentile.

Pre party festivities... Thanks Grandma Oregon for the clothes!
Thanks SC abuelita for the books!
Braydon I'm so glad you're my neighbor!
Here is the food spread!
The sunshine cake for our sunshine baby!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

learning to be alaskan

Ruthann smelled the yummy smoked salmon, so did Puffin!
belly meat... this is red salmon, my favorite type to eat smoked!
Ruthann learned how to pick berries from our yard this day.  She also ate lots of leaves. 
Here's me teaching her the ropes.
Here's all the chicks, can you find the rooster?  oops!
Here is Ruthann naked on a warm warm Sitka day, (we're drinking milkshakes) those do happen every now and again.
We were going to go out to Barnoff Warm Springs to soak in the hot tubs but the bad weather kept us away.  Ruthann was actually singing in this picture.  We keep her in a cooler when we go out on the boat. 
Here is Ruthann on her first trip out to Pirate's Cove, she loved the dirt!
She's been hiking on the trails nearly everyday!
Here is Ruthann on her 2nd summit of Verstovia
This is the Routon family out on a boat ride on a sunny day!  Can you imagine a happier baby? 
One mornings catch... my mouth is drooling just looking at it.
Alaskan sized burger.... don't worry we split it 4 ways!
IT has been so fun introducing Ruthann to the Alaska I first fell in love with 8 summers ago.  Ruthann hasn't missed a beat.  She gladly joins us in all of our crazy endeavors.  We have yet to find an adventure that she hasn't loved.  She doesn't even seem to mind crazy rainy boat rides.  While hiking up mountains she just sings tunes the whole way.  We typically climb Gaven Mnt. every week and when her dad joins us for hikes we like to go up Verstovia.  Every day Ruthann goes and hangs out with our newly acquired chickens and she can't get enough of the berries.  She has eaten her weight in salmon and even shares her leftovers (which their is rarely any of) with her favorite puppy dog.  Puffin puts up with her as she is learning to pet her and not pull her fur.  Often times their time ends with RA getting licked to death.  Ruthann laughs and laughs.  Her 1st birthday is Saturday.  I can't believe it!  We've got so much more to do, learn and experience together in what I can already tell is going to be time that passes too quickly!

Saturday, June 28, 2014


I wrote an acrostic poem yesterday while Squeaks was napping on SUMMERTIME.  I should never become a poet but it was fun... here is what I got:

Stay up late and wake up early just cus... or not
Unplanned days
More time
More energy
Evenings with seemingly no end
Running trails and ridges, reading or perhaps resting
Time for self, friends, little baby Ruthann and my sweet husband
I can't seem to get enough
Maybe I'll change plans, again just because I can
Each day with fun surprises

Last week our fun surprise was little baby Ruthann army crawling.  The first time unfortunately we weren't able to catch on camera, here is her second attempt. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014


I've got to be honest, wasn't looking forward to my trip to Brasil.  Not only were we leaving less than 48 hours after my last day of the school year but I have long since abandoned my love of traveling and it seemed like too much of an undertaking!  Bring a 9 month year old across the world, were we mad!  Why subject yourselves to something like that if you don't have to?  However, if we were to spend time with Ruthann's cousins, Samara (7), Noelle (5) and Aliya (1 1/2) as well as Micah (Aaron's twin brother) and Marla in the next 5 years this was our opportunity, it was important. So off we went.

To my surprise the trip down there with baby in tote was a BLAST.  Ruthann got into the routine of entering and exiting the plane making endless friends as we went.  Boarding was an opportunity to be admired and she was a natural.  She made eye contact with as many folks as possible and then would start the gummy, teethless smiles.  She was a little peacock as she showed folks how she could stand and make funny sounds with her mouth by pulling her fingers over her bottom lip.  After a bit of time meeting everyone around her, as if on cue she would cuddle up in her dads arms and fall fast asleep.

The welcoming committee was Micah, Marla and Aliya.  Video cameras were out as we watched the two cousins try to figure out who was their dad.  However, they were more interested in one another than their Papi (Portugese for dad) at the time.

From that point forward Ruthann was mesmerized by her older cousins.  Each morning when she awoke she would reach her neck up as tall as she could make it and look all around wondering who would greet her first.  Often times in the morning I would hear youngest cousin Aliya shouting "Nene" (Portuguese for baby) repetitively, equally excited to hang out with her cus. Ruthann feasted daily on fresh Brazilian fruit and produce and had more stimulation than ever before.  The Brazilian public LOVED seeing a blue eyed, blonde haired baby and she was continually sniffed (traditional custom for greeting a baby) and called "fuerte" or strong instead of "fat or chubby"for her sizable checks and thighs.

Micah and Marla were fantastic hosts and took us to 4 different beaches and endless tasty eateries.  Olinda, where they currently reside was the first settled community in Brasil.  The sun went down at 5:30 each night and came up at 5:30 each morning. The weather was HOT, even though it was winter and rainy season, but there was always a nice breeze.  We were the only bedroom with an AC, and boy were we grateful for it.  There were bugs and critters galore. The market was just down the street as was everything else you could possibly imagine.  The women were fancy and the style was gaudy, but they took pride in what they wore.  By the end of my 2 1/2 weeks there I was beginning to feel more and more like a bum, with my athletic gear and chao sandals. 

All women and children wore bikinis which had remarkable less fabric on them than my conservative American counterpart.  The beach culture was delightful there is a reason they are some of the most talked about beaches in the world.  I could have spent a substantial amount more time on them, had there only been more hours in the day. 

Needless to say last night, a month after departing on my trip (I also spent some time at home in SC) it was weird to come home, not weird bad but very different.  No longer 85 degrees ocean breeze, but 52.  The sun didn't go down until well after I feel asleep in my bed and I no longer can comfortably walk around in my swimsuit and take outdoor showers.  Ruthann is now clothed in long sleeves, verses her diaper, and her house full of admires are far away.
Happy family

You are allowed to use the umbrellas if you order beach food!


This beach had a crazy backdrop of the city!

Notice the coconut!

Rockin' cool sandcastle, with even more rockin' cool cousins!

The girls meeting each other.

Ruthann did this the entire walk :)

Ruthann had a special attachment to this boat!


Day 1

Top of Olinda, oldtown.

Their street

Their home


The whole crew

What a gift it was to spend such quality time with a quality family.  Hurray for the unexpected!