Monday, December 8, 2008

11 Days to go!

In eleven days we board our plane (well, not our personal plane, but a plane) for Utah and Christmas time! Our Christmas festivities have been a little slim this year. We missed a few things already due to conflicting schedules, but this week is looking up for attending Dick's Christmas party in Seward, the temple on Friday, and enjoying Colony Christmas out in the Mat-Su valley with some friends and a dinner with them afterward. Hopefully there will be some nice pictures to post afterward. It's too bad I can't take pictures of the Christmas decorations in the movie theatre in Seward. They leave them up all year. My favorites are the neon candy canes that hang by the movie screen. So cool! We have gotten a couple of cards and my dad sent us a gift already. I am behind on the card mailing/letter writing tradition and need to get on that. I'm behind on the homemade gifts I plan to make, although no one ever fusses about the store bought ones, so in a pinch, I think I'm covered.
But, we were right on for decorating our house and putting up lights. It was accomplished the day after Thanksgiving and will stay up quite a while because it's so dark. It's normal to still see lights up in February! So nice! A fresh wreath adorns the door. The nativities are in place; candy jars full. My shopping is mostly done. Treats for neighbors and co-workers line the kitchen counter. Since we have scaled back on purchased gifts and shop mostly online for the ones we do buy, it's been such a pleasant change. I even have holiday crafts and activities planned for family time in Utah. I hope everyone is enjoying the season and not feeling so stressed; I am happy to have made the change to do less and enjoy more. We watched the Christmas devotional on TV last night and it was so nice - we even recorded it in case we need a reminder of what the holidays are all about. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Denali Park...Take Two.

I just couldn't resist adding a few more photos of the trip. We had so much fun.

Grandpa at the cozy cabin.
Grandma in front of the mountain. It was just the most beautiful day.
Grandpa inside the newly opened visitors center.
The "shopping district" across the street from the Denali Princess Lodge. The Lodge has good cocoa. We sat and watched one of the hurricanes on the TV there. There was a great bike trail from this part of the area to the entrance of the park that crossed some water. Very nice. I think we ate at the Salmon Bake. We have a weakness for restaurants named "Salmon Bake". There is one in Seward as well but way better.
Farewell to fall!

These are a few of my favorite things!

Who wouldn't want to run out and pet one of these cute little guys, or maybe pass them a carrot? Well, anyone who wants to make it home alive, that's who. These moms are bad news.
One of my favorite Alaskan travel destinations (I use that term a bit loosely) is Denali National Park. In the almost 15 years we have lived here, we have visited the park numerous times and are never disappointed. Most people come to see the mountain, but due to the weather conditions, the best views are usually from the road a distance from the mountain. We saw these moose in the park, however.
This is the new visitors center. It's beautiful inside, very nicely done, with many interactive displays and photos. It replaces the old one near the entrance which has been turned into something else, I forget what. Probably a generic Starbucks or something. Anyway, the park has built a small complex here with this center, another large bookstore, which is very awesome and an extremely overpriced cafe. But it's all good. Especially when you are biking, as we were and sort of forgot that it's all uphill, and very steep, from about two miles after you enter the park. So our biking was a bit limited. But the trails are awesome and the cranberries were ripe and Dick and I were able to pick a large bagful in just a few minutes. They are now residing happily in my freezer until it's time for cranberry treats!
The "Great One" from the highway. Top that!

There should be a cute picture of our cabin here, but something went very wrong. Also missing is a very hot photo of Alaska man Cooldad. So just pretend, I guess.

The Perch restaurant, just a short invigorating hike up the hill. Hot breakfast comes with the room. Hot guy is extra.

Kiss the Big Fish!

I came across this picture of post-mission Coolboy and couldn't resist the temptation to let everyone know who is true love really is!
Every July our family goes dipnetting, an Alaska tradition of standing out in near freezing water wearing very tight waders waiting for scores of red salmon to come swimming upstream into your nice big net. Sounds easy? Well, describing it is about where the easy part ends. It gets very cold and when the current is coming in or going out, it can get rather hard on the old arms! But we go anyway because we love fish! As you can see, the scenery is quite nice and standing out in the water you get the opportunity to meet other Alaskans and hear their stories, some of which are very interesting, and get a different perspective on why people love to live here or why they don't. But most of these people are in love with Alaska! And with fish.

And Coolboy is such a good sport to help out Mom and Dad. He said it was definately one of the highlights of his summer vacation!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Anyone For a Christmas Apron?

I gave a friend some cute Christmas fabric last year and she made an adorable apron to wear at our Friday lunches at the Institute. I liked it so much, I made one for myself. It looks better on of course, instead of hanging on the bathroom door, but doesn't exactly match what I am wearing at the moment! I plan on making a few more for gifts. Happy Upcoming Holidays!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Who Says Bears Can't Climb Trees

This guy was seriously wanting up the tree outside Dick's AVTEC Seward office today. It's the big bear hot spot! I guess the view is better from up there or he wanted a hand out from Dick's lunch! Anyway, what a big guy. I guess he's not sleepy yet either.
This little fellow was more subtle and tried to just walk in the front door, but no luck!
And this was the cute baby from last year who just found himself up the tree and cried all day for his momma. He eventually figured it out and found his way out of the tree and off down the street.
What a cutie!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Conference Traditions

Without really meaning to I've discovered that I have some Conference Traditions. The main thing is to get out of bed, turn on the TV, grab pen and journal, pay attention and take good notes. I know it's all going to be online, in the Ensign, etc. but taking notes helps me to focus. These are two of my most favorite weekends of the whole year. I love hearing the prophets and leaders of the church give us timely counsel for our day. But in addition, I have found that there are some other things I look forward to during the weekend. One is quilting. A few years ago I purchased some old unquilted quilt tops and decided to use these weekends as an opportunity to finish one of them. I've also finished up a few for family members. Below are the results. I even have one ready for April 2009. My first top - baby size. Purchased in University Mall while shopping with my friend Randi.
Savvy's for her first big girl bed.

And old top for Uncle Mike's bed.
And this weekend - an old lap size top. There are some other traditions we have but that is another post. I hope your conference weekend is great. And if you are not able to share it with others, at least make the best of it for yourself.

Here's the Scoop

Dick and I have decided that if we are going to spend the next 8 years in Alaska then we would like to be a little more adventureous. Our goal was to be able to spend more of our time in Seward during we summer. So after thinking and looking for a while the idea evolved into starting a Bed and Breakfast. But the house we finally made an offer on was a bit more than we had originally planned on so we are going to put our house up for sale and see what happens. Our contract on this house is contingent on the sale of our house in Eagle River. So we aren't packing yet, but we hope too. We've checked the market and everyone tells us there is enough business for everyone. So we will see if it's our destiny to have a business in Seward. Here are a few shots of the new place. From the beach.
The kitchen from the front of the house.
The back. I am visualizing a garden, green house and some fruit trees. And lots of flowers.
The downstairs and upper hallway from the living room.
The kitchen, the most important room in the house. We will keep you updated!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Beautiful Downtown Dillingham, AK

Okay, because I am new to blogging and especially new to posting photos, who would've thought that the pictures show up in reverse of your selection order. Hm... anyway, Cooldad and I had the privilege of traveling to Dillingham AK for some church business. It was an awesome trip. I think about three different families came to collect us from the airport. We felt so loved! Here is a picture of the branch meetinghouse. It's very nice inside, with the chapel area, a small kitchen, bathrooms (of course) and some smaller rooms and offices. It even has a small library because how could we mange without the library! I watched the Woman's Broadcast here with three other sisters and then we had a dinner of soup made with cauliflower from a sisters garden, fruit and rolls and a box of Belgian chocolates I toted over from Costco. I might add here that gas in Dillingham is $6.49 a gallon and milk is $8 a gallon. In general, everything in the (two small) grocery stores is 2 or 3 times as much as I pay here in Anchorage.

As I mentioned, the narrative will be a bit in reverse as I become more familiar with the formatting process. We have some friends in our ward, who are very cool, who lived here for a few years when their children were very tiny. His parents still live here. The following is a picture of an old graveyard the same friend camped with his brothers as a young boy. Nice! I was told by the parents than they loved to put their sleeping bags in the indentations of the graves.
And this was our sweet ride during the weekend. I can't remember the year but it is old.
The old school has been converted to offices. Very pretty building. I love the bell on top. New modern schools have been built along with a public library but I didn't get a picture of it. I am impressed in all our travels that every town no matter how small always has a library. Nice. We are a country of readers.
Our newly adopted Oma and Opa in front of one of their two homes. This is kind of an interesting story. Oma cared for the sweet lady who lived here until she died and the sweet lady left Oma the home. So now it's used for a special place for visitors, lady friends, or for when Oma is miffed at Opa. How could she be miffed at such a cute man!
The view of Dillingham from the air. The view on the incoming flight was much better but Cooldad had the window seat! Actually it was supposed to be mine. As you can see, it's a small town on a huge river. I was told by the young man working at our hotel that some years almost 5 million fish swim up this river. Only 2500 people live here year round.
Our plane. I told Cooldad this plane would be a perfect size for our family. It would hold all the kids, spouses and future grandkids so I think he should get his pilots license and get going on that!
Another cool thing about PenAir. No security. I couldn't believe it. I actually felt a little bad getting on the plane without showing someone my spare underwear but no one wanted to see it. You could literally take ANYTHING on this flight. But all went well. The terminal in Dillingham was about the size of our house and I think they had just as many employees as Alaska Airlines. And they were all very friendly and nice. And the service was great. We got the same snacks they usually reserve for first class on most flights. All for free. Of course I could've almost flown to Utah for the same price. I look forward to visiting more of these bush towns!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hot Fun in the Summertime!

This weeks slideshow features Jackie and Ralph's trip to Alaska in the summer of 2007. Enjoy!

Welcome to our Blog!

Welcome to our blog! It is our goal to post family news and other interesting events to keep us all a lot more connected. For more details on individual family members, I urge you to use the links under "Other Places to Visit" on this page to visit the other blogs. They will both shock and delight you, depending on the day of the week. I claim no responsibility however for the content of anything that doesn't appear on this page. Feel free to post, I only ask you keep your comments positive and uplifting, or to yourself! Thanks! Happy reading!!