Thursday, May 8, 2008

Chocolate Moose for Breakfast

We had a guest for breakfast last week! The first moose we've seen in the yard all year. He or she ate the new buds from a fallen pussy-willow tree in our sideyard. The soggy ground was perfect for the moose to leave deep hoofprints in our lawn. It left a trail from the backyard to the road. The coolest part was opening the hall window to hear it chew, and watch it kneel down and crawl to get the good stuff. This was an important reminder to be safe in our Alaskan backyard!

Musk Ox Farm

David's K-1 class took a field trip to the Musk Ox Farm last week. Lots of fun and learning! The musk ox is related to the sheep- not the buffalo! The females live much longer than the males- their head-butting habit shortens their lifespan! The long brown hair of the musk ox is not the quiviut (sp?) that is gathered for knitting- the brown shaggy hair protects from cold and MOSQUITOES! In another week, I'll be wishing for some of that!

And yes, it was my son that raised his hand to ask, "When can we leave this place and go to the park?" :-) We finished up the trip at the A-Moosement Park in Palmer.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More ERA

A couple more pics. The blur in the scenery pic is the propeller. This is an unknown to me mountain in the Alaska Range.

Visiting Steve at ERA

A beautiful Saturday not too long ago, we hurried into Anchorage to join Captain Novak and his First Officer on a flight to Kenai. We have not flown with Steve as the pilot ever! It was sooo fun! Steve flies the Beechcraft 1900 now, a 19 passenger airplane. He was promoted to Captain last November, and he was the proudest, smiliest Captain I have ever seen watching his family come on board! He had a headset ready for the kids in the front seat, plugged in and on the same frequency as his headset. They couldn't talk to him, but they could hear him. We got to board early and tour the new plane, then it was off to Kenai- a 13 minute flight! The scenery was gorgeous- out over Cook Inlet, and over the tundra, then onto the Kenai Peninsula. We saw the rivers we fish on, and the beach covered in ice. We met the friendly ERA crew in Kenai, then returned to Anchorage. The kids enjoyed the flight so much. They got to sit with Steve in the cockpit on the ground, steer, push the buttons, and ask a million questions. Steve's mom, Debby, joined us. She noted that this was her second chance to fly with a Captain Novak- Steve's dad had also been an airline Captain (although his planes were a lot bigger- someday, Steven!). This brought a walk down memory lane, and reminder to Steven of how proud his dad would be of him. We are so proud of him too. Changing careers is not easy. He has stuck with it, excelled at it, and loves it. He is counting his Captain hours each day- getting ready to fly something bigger and faster!

Prom? Yes, we attended 2 this year!

Our Youth Group kids are SENIORS! Wowza! We have been hanging out with them since they were eighth graders- it's amazing to see them now- the braces are gone, they drive themselves places, and look how grown-up they are! We had so much fun watching their big nights. This isn't all of the kids, but the few we could gather for photos! Graduations happen in the next two weeks- we'll be snapping more pics then! In June we get to spend a long weekend in Alyeska with these awesome kids, and then it's good-bye to Youth Group for now. We are so grateful for the opportunity we've had to grow along with these kids- we've been blessed by them more than they will ever know.

Princess Tea Party

Abby planned a "Princess Tea Party," including 3 friends, dolls, fancy snacks, and a craft. She came up with the itinerary, the guest list, and the menu. Abby learned at her birthday party that she doesn't have fun with too many friends at a time. She chose a couple friends that she hardly sees anymore since kindergarten has started: Reese and Claire, and of course her bud, Mayah. She wanted strawberries and fancy cupcakes, and also peanut-butter and jelly tea party sandwiches. Each girl was to bring a dressed up doll, and come wearing a fancy dress. The craft was to make a princess party hat, and a matching one for each girl's doll. Abby had so much fun making her invitations, decorating the house, helping with the cupcakes, and setting the table with real tea cups and fancy silverware. She buzzed around the house for days beforehand! Her party was a smashing success, and she can't wait to plan another!