Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Dickie!

We're back to the blogging world! It's been so long I wasn't sure I'd be able to figure out the new format!

Sunday was Dick's 55th birthday and we celebrated in style. After a 6am high council meeting, followed by a wonderful breakfast, we headed to church for meetings and then home to enjoy a a few hours alone celebrating and talking to kids on the phone before an afternoon of meetings.

The birthday boy chose seafood for lunch. We steamed clams in a wonderful broth, followed by steamed shrimp, lobster, and Alaskan (is there anything else?) king crab legs. We had made a Caesar salad and some rice, which we totally forgot about. Obviously we didn't even miss it. Dessert was, you will never guess, chocolate cake with a whipped chocolate frosting and chocolate ice cream. Wow! It was a "sweet" day! Now to the gym to work this off . . .

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Alaska State Fair 2011

Welcome to the fair! It's been raining all month and on Thursday afternoon the sun came out and Dick and I took off and headed north. Holiday service stations were running a two-day Buy One Get One Free coupon and we stopped by and grabbed one! I truly love the fair! I'd never heard of the Chocolate Dipped Bacon (on a stick of course) but the kids informed me it was a real thing! 
The prize winning pumpkin weighed in at 1735 pounds - that's a lot of pies!
This lovely llama wasn't too interested in me because I wasn't holding out any food - the animal food vending machine was at the over end of her corral. But she was a sweet thing.
The petting zoo had two adorable calves - this one was more willing to look at the camera. She was so adorable I wanted to bring her home with me.
Other highlights: the quilts, the baked goods - although I think I could make a good show myself there and plan on entering a few things next year - the flowers, 4-H exhibits, pulled pork sandwiches, a gourmet ice cream bar (which we shared) and the gourmet popcorn. This years choice was the Coconut Almond Pecan! Yummy!
The afternoon  turned out to be so sunny and nice that I had to splurge on a pair of $10 designer knock off sunglasses - which is my limit on sunglasses anyway. It's much the same thing every year but I still love it - this year there were two sets of piglets! So cute!
Can't wait for next year!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sewing 101

Last summer Savannah poured over the fabric and played with the colors and watching her stack them into piles and rearrange them was so interesting. She has a very good eye for color and design. This summer we decided to make some quilts for her dolls.
She selected 12 different fabrics, we cut them into strips and then into squares and pressed them.
Savannah proceeded to sew the squares together in sets of two, then four, then rows. After more pressing and layering with the batting and then backing, she quilted them on the machine. One is a diamond pattern and the other was quilted in a squares pattern. They both turned out beautiful.
I helped with the binding and she did some of the hand stitching on the back. They were so pretty that now I want to make a big one for me! Savannah's dolls are very lucky!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just Some Sweet Photos

As I've been blogging I've run across some photo's here and there that have touched my heart and caused me to ponder how lucky I am to have such a wonderful life. Here are just a few of the reasons why! This is Meg just before we took her to the MTC in April.
What a happy guy! And he's mine!
Precious little angels. Until they wake up - and then they are still pretty amazing!
Together again!
The Brayton's on 4th of July in Seward. Krystal was one of my seminary students in Seward.
The cutest little villain ever!
A perfect day! Biking and treats! Wish I had been there.
A babe and her dog! Does life get any better?
Playing in the sand! With a head balloon!
True love!
I am so blessed!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Belgian Waffles

When we ran out of cold cereal we had to come up with another idea for breakfast that four people could agree on. It was Belgian waffles. While Savannah was cooking bacon and Grandma was heating the hot chocolate, Ethan was mixing up the batter.
The recipe is from the original Better Crocker Cookbook complete with whipped egg white blended in to make them nice and fluffy! They turned out very good!
Hence the smile only Ethan can make!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy!

While Dave was here getting ready to go into Trooper School, we were lucky enough to get an invitation to go out on Fred's boat with Fred and his dad, who was visiting from Virginia.
Dave was the best dressed of us all. Total state of the art fish-killing wear. Or just killing wear for that matter.
Waiting for the fish with his smart waterproof all weather hat.
The boys docking the boat.
Silver salmon.
Mom's prize, a small king salmon, my first for the year. It was a beautiful day - warm and sunny - we caught our limit. Dave's fish are being babysat in our safe little freezer until he returns to collect them. Looking forward to lots of yummy fish dinners!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ethan Learns to Pack Fish

Ethan wanted to help vacuum pack the smoked fish.
So we showed him how and he was a pro!
It's so nice to have help in the kitchen!
Nice job Ethan. Savvy helped too!

Killin' on the Kenai

I've always wanted to dipnet on the Kenai and this was the year! We we decided to camp and fish a couple of tides to increase our chances of getting some nice fish. Usually we go to the Kasilof because it's more user friendly and we just sleep in the car or not sleep or whatever, but with kiddo's we decided to officially camp. Here's our sweet little set up on the beach of Kenai river along with about a million other people.
It was a long trip for a little guy.
Grandpa filleting the fish he had caught on Friday evening.

Grandma on Saturday morning during the century old record breaking fish count frenzy of 2011. I've never seen so many fish in my life! They were literally jumping out of the water all around us. It was great! Savvy was chief fish bonker!
I got a little sunburned as you can see. And the trek from the water to the beach was killer. I am so glad I didn't have a heart attack! Ethan and Savvy were terrific and played on the beach in the sand most of the day. Except when Savannah took breaks to bonk the fish!
Altogether 18 beautiful red salmon. Lots of salmon dinners and some smoked ones as well. I love subsistence fishing. So glad we are residents and get to participate along with those who have been doing it this as a way of life for a very long time.

Downtown Seward AK

After riding the train to Seward and walking over to Grandpa's office, we got our free tickets to the Sealife Center. The flowers out front were so pretty this year. Someone refused to be part of the photo shoot. He shall remain nameless.
Woody the sea lion. He just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Ethan was so put out that Woody wouldn't get out of the water and and climb up on the rocks for us. But he would swim by and peer at the kids.
A fish.
Ethan literally fell asleep waiting for his pizza.
Finally, the dynamic duo together at last in front of the sealife center.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The McKinley Explorer

Grandma, Ethan and Savannah rode the Alaska Railroad McKinley Explorer from Anchorage to Seward on one of the most beautiful days this summer.
One of the most spectacular scenes was upper Trail Lake. It was almost a perfect, windless day and the reflection was beautiful.
I'd never seen Spencer Glacier because it is behind the mountains that lay between the glacier and the Seward highway.
The area near Cook Inlet.
The train in Seward.
Breakfast in the train. Very nice.
Getting on the train in Anchorage.
Our dining car.

Cranberry and custard stuffed french toast. Again, the photos are out of order and I have decided it was because they are coming in number order and not the order we select them. Things to remember the next time. It was a beautiful day and the trip was amazing. I'd love to do it again. After arriving in Seward we met Grandpa for lunch, visited the Sealife Center and played at the park.