Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Visit from Grandma

Grandma Lois flew in for a visit last week and we had some really excited kids to see here. She didn't get to the house until about 11pm so they had to wait until morning to see her. Daniel graciously gave up his bed so Grandma would have a place to sleep. (Really though he was excited about sleeping in his Lightning McQueen sleeping bag so he didn't mind.)
We spent the next day driving around Anchorage area and showing her where Paul works. The next day was Sunday and Stake Conference. No one ended up going. I was going to go but I had a combination cold and allergies and I took Benadryl and went to bed. We had a quiet day with just playing around the house. Paul later took Lois and the kids out for a drive up to Palmer and Wasilla area, on which Lois got to see her moose. Daniel fell asleep in the car about 5pm and didn't wake until 5 the next morning.
Monday was a special treat. We drove 2 hours down to Seward which is really a beautiful drive and took a 6 1/2 hour cruise on the ocean. Here are the kids getting ready to start.
 And the boats in the harbour...

 I believe this is an Orca whale. Also known as a killer whale. We saw several of these as well as Humpback whales, Porpoises, Sea Lions, and Mountain Goats (these weren't in the water but climbing the sides of the mountains). I have never seen a Humpback whale before and I think we saw about 4 of them. It was awesome! We were told that these whales are the same whales that you see in Hawaii. They come up here to eat and swim back down to mate. The Porpoises would race the boat and it was really exciting to be on the bow of the boat look down and watch them racing by under your feet. The Sea Lions are brown up here and massive! Lois said they looked like giant slugs and really, they did.
 Our table was on the first level but Reagan and I went up to the 2nd level (there were 3) and would sit at the bow of the boat and ride the waves. The second level you felt it more and she would just giggle and say, "Mommy that makes my tummy feel silly!" No matter how rough the seas got she loved it. (We had about 6-7 waves that we were experiencing through a couple parts of the trip.) She needs to do something on the sea when she grows up as she loved it. Daniel on the other hand spent most of the trip asleep. He slept 19 hours that day. We are still trying to figure out if its the medication or something else.

 Here is Miss Reagan modeling the hat I'd bought that morning. My coat doesn't have a hood and it was cold and overcast and the wind was blowing before we got on the boat, so I decided a hat was necessary. They had a Junior Ranger program which they are also working on here. They had to complete several of the pages and at the end they had a special ceremony where they made Daniel and Reagan Junior Rangers of the Kenai National Fjords Park. The Ranger asked Reagan where she was from and she replied, "California". Wishful thinking on the part of both of my kids!
Here they are watching for whales.

 This was the Glacier that we had lunch by. It was probably about 100 ft. tall and you can't see it very well, but the ice is actually a beautiful blue. (About the color of the kids newly painted bathroom.) I've forgotten why they said it was blue, but it really was beautiful. Lunch was delish. The Prime rib was excellent and the Salmon wasn't that bad either. But I had to laugh, they would serve Salmon and alcohol on a cruise that got a bit rough... At least a couple of people lost their lunches...
 Here is Grandma Lois and the kids at the Glacier.
And Paul.
The next day we took Grandma to the Anchorage Museum, the kids played in the Imaginarium and Grandma and Dad got to go upstairs to the Alaska exhibits and learn more about Alaska. We then took her to a very good restutaunt called the Sourdough Mining Company. It has the best corn fritters you have ever tasted. Later that night we also took her to one of Paul's hockey games.
We had a fun time with Grandma Lois and hope she comes back soon.

What has Paul been up to?

In March Paul was gone to California and Nevada for his annual National Guard Training. I've been married to him for going on 9 years and this is the first time he's actually gone on the training as he always transfers into a new unit just as they have finished it or they are either deploying, or just got back from deploying. He was gone about 3 weeks. They spent a lot of time shooting... Which Paul loved and unfortunately I can't seem to find pictures of. They did some rock climbing and some skiing. This is where they skiied. It's called Sqaw Valley I believe.
 This one suprised me. Who would think that when you live in Alaska, you would go all the way down to California to build a snow cave and sleep in it? Paul said they dug about 8 feet down in the snow to make this snow cave and then they spent the night in it. I thought it was pretty cool.
 A couple of weeks ago Paul was invited to go on a fishing trip into the prince William Sound with our friends the Darringtons. Another friend of theirs went with them too (as he owned the boat). Here is Mr. Lowell Darrington.
 Paul said they caught Red Snapper, Halibut and Cod. He was a little disappointed as he was hoping to see a bear and take one while he was gone but he did see a full whale breach which is pretty cool.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Conversations with the kids...

The other day, Daniel came up to Paul very excited.
"Daddy, I want 1,2,3,4,6 things (carefully counting his fingers to make sure he had 6 of them up, and he did). I want 1 blue light saber, another light saber, a red light saber and another little light saber, and a purple light saber, and a pink parasol for Reagan."
I couldn't help but laugh it was so cute and carefully thought out, but he has definitely learned the principle of quantity!
Today we had to leave a friend's house early because she got a call that her son was sick at school. Reagan wanted to know why Asher was sick. I explained about germs and how they get into the body. She replied," But Asher's Daddy came home and he's Germy!" --- His name is Jeremy. Leave it to a little kid to make that connection. She was really worried then. I just tried to redirect.