Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Town

The Puget Sound, the ferries, the train, the beach, the woodsy wet GREEN woods, Mt. Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, the Mariners, the Pike Place Market, every touristy part of Seattle is a little part of me. I love the place. It will always be my home. My trips home have taught me to soak it all in. Not to miss anything when I'm there, family-wise and Seattle-wise! This summer we had one of the best trips ever, take a look!

Summer Continued

More of our Homer adventure...we visited this wonderful hidden treasure of a spot up on the hillside of Homer, The Win Nature Center. It took a map to get us there, but it was way worth it! We had a chance to talk with two naturalists about the wildflowers of the area, and then we went on a partillay guided, partially self-guided 2 mile hike with wildflower identification charts. Abby and I were very pre-occupied finding and photgraphing every type of wildflower. We got over 20 kinds! The entire hiking trail was marked with interesting notations about moose tracks and trails, fire information, and just general info about the flora and fauna. Another great thing about the Win Nature Center is that they are connected with schools and other groups interested in tours, like Girl Scouts, etc. As we were leaving one of the naturalists was setting up a GPS scavenger hunt for a Girl Scout group coming in later that afternoon. I think it is neat to discover this kind of place to tuck in my memory as a resource for later. This one was a keeper! The most interesting fact I can recall is about the stinky smell of the beautiful chocolate lily pictured below. The smell is meant to smell like rotting moose carcass to attract the flies who can pollinate the lily. What an awesome and creative God we have!

This Sand-Hill Crane was wandering in a neighborhood we drove through

More Summer Fun

The Islands and Oceans center has such a wide variety of activities... we were there just in time for an open science lab focused on crustaceans. The kids made bookmarks, used microscopes, observed all kinds of crustaceans- dead and alive, and even experienced a touch tank. On hand were many summer interns who are working on their master's degrees in marine biology. It was so neat. We spent 5 hours looking at exhibits, taking the trail to the beach, watching films about scientists and how they research, attending the lab, and listening to a wildlife talk from a ranger. David took the camera for a while in the lab to record his favorites...
A starfish (or seastar as it is supposed to be called- we learned this) eating it's lunch.
Photo by David.
Steve on the beach.
Sea Otter poop. Another photo by David. This has been cleaned of course, but was a fascinating part of the lab. These are all mussel shells and crab parts... what do you think that sea otter had for dinner?
The Homer 4th of July Parade... wow... it was a candy-fest. I have never seen more candy distributed- the kids had more in their bags than 2 Halloweens combined. on bikes, all the fire trucks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Summer Highlights

Here's the beginning of our summer. I actually made a summer photo CD- the first CD I've ever burned ever!- and thought I should put a few of the memories on the blog. I did forget that I need to upload the photos in a different order, so the top should really be the bottom... These couple are from our 4th of July camping trip on the Homer Spit. We had a fabulous time camping in the sand and cooking over the fire. We spent hours looking for treasures, playing catch and chasing games, and visiting the Islands and Oceans center. More pics of this on the next posting...
This is of a fun hike up to Gold Cord Lake in Hatcher's Pass. The lake is crystal clear and FREEZING! The day was so warm, we all peeled off our shoes and rolled up our pants to cool off.
The training wheels still haven't come off permanently, but we're trying. And yes, it is the pinkest, sparkliest, girliest bike ever made. It even has attached to the handlebars a mini-bike for a Barbie doll to ride on. Only Abby...
A family bike ride with friends on the Gird to Bird trail along Turnagain Arm. 5 kids and 4 adults... lots of fun, and we only found out later at the ice cream store that bears were an issue...
This is the true David. Animal with a squirt gun. No mercy. No fear. Ruthless. Born sniper.

Our Sand Castle cake. The kids picked this idea out of the Family Fun magazine. We made it for a dinner with some fun favorite friends. Such a fun project with a major sugar high afterward! Went to 3 stores looking for Rock Pebble candy...

Our slip and slide rides again! We got some great video of this particular afternoon. The favorite position for the slip and slide this summer was attaching the hose to the top of the swingset slide with the slip and slide at the bottom. Lots of momentum going on then! By mid-June I had to duck tape the corners of the crash-landing pool and the hose connection. My mom sent this up a few summers ago, and last summer was so wet I don't think we even got it out!

Our annual trek to the Butte. Another gorgeous day in the Matanuska Valley. No band-aids this year, amazing!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Boy Extravaganza! Camp Carlquist

The Mosquito Knights! The theme of camp was Knights of Carlquist Court- so as you can see, most activities related to knighthood. Very fun!

Sword fighting on the playground duing free-time.
BB Guns, David's favorite.

The National Guard visited and let the Scouts try out the Hum-V.

Water Bombs and catapults!

Scooter Jousting.

Tying the Clover Hitch.

A friend sawing his shield.

Bows and arrows.

David and Steve spent last week at Camp Carlquist in Chugiak at Cub Scout Day Camp. I was fortunate enough to volunteer on Thursday (thanks Smiths, for having Abby over) and witness this incredible experience firsthand. Check out this list of activities: canoeing with NERF ball wars, Capture the Flag, catapults with water bombs, dodgeball, jousting on scooters, bb gun shooting, obstacle courses, skit performances, campfires and marchmallows, archery, knot tying, carpentry with saws, hiking, fire building, pocket knife safety, sword fights, crazy loud camp songs, hmmm... what am I missing... the list of jam-packed, super-organized, 100% boy acitivities goes on and on! This week at camp sold David and the rest of his den on staying overnight next year. He came home each night so tired and excited all at the same time... I am thrilled that my boy loves camp just as I did (well, and still do actually!).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's "Satur"Day

Our day began early with a trip into Anchorage to watch Steve pursue his latest passion: road bike racing! We set out at 8 a.m. with our fingers crossed that it wouldn't be raining in Anchorage like it was in Palmer, the van packed with kid activities, movies, and snacks and met up with the Kroons to view the guys in action. The rain stopped, the guys raced, and the kids had a blast cheering on their dads and playing in the dirt! Rachel and I needed a latte to chat over, but as it was between bikers and 5 kids next to the road we didn't finish a sentence! Steve's gift of new bike shorts and jersey don't arrive at REI until Tuesday, I was bummed he didn't have them for the race. It was so fun to watch him work so hard! The course had a major long and steep hill up Old Rabbit Creek Road, and they had to climb it 10 times! Yikes! Steve clocked 19 something miles going all out today. I am way impressed. The guy is doing a fabulous job for just entering this competitive sport this year! Kep was amazing too- he came up from behind due to a technicality, and ended up passing most everyone! Way to Go, Steve and Kep!
We all celebrated over Happy Meals (thank goodness for Subway next door!), and then Steve and I took the kids to play mini-golf for the first time ever. So fun! David was a natural with at least two hole-in-ones over 17 holes! The course was Alaska themed, with many holes decorated and set up like different parts of our state. Well worth the $5 per person. To top it off, we visited REI and got a Moose's Tooth pizza to bring home. We have our fingers crossed that Steve will not be called in to fly tomorrow, and we can continue to celebrate what an amazing dad he is!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The 5 Tag

5 things I was doing 5 years ago...
*Shopping for my baby girl's first Easter dress
*Teaching at WHS part time- slope style- a week on, a week off- that was crazy!
*Starting my seeds- although not many- I had two kids under two years old!
*Touring the toddler activities in the Valley
*Selling Pampered Chef- that didn't last long!

5 things on my "To Do" list today...
*Finish last minute shopping
*Finish packing for Hawaii- only 3 days left!
*Apply for a tax extension- I can't possibly get that done by Wednesday!
*Clean my house
*Attend a Mad Science birthday party with the kids

5 things I would do with $1,000,000...
*Pray, and then donate.
*Buy my husband his boat and truck today.
*Pay off the house and finish the upgrade projects we dream about.
*Invest and save for retirement and college for the kids.
*Wait with the rest- I wouldn't want to make a bad choice!

5 places I've lived....
*Seattle, Washington
*Bellingham, Washington
*Skagway, Alaska
*Sanford, Florida (it's the former celery capitol of the USA, you know!)
*Palmer, Alaska

5 jobs I've had...
*waitress (retirement home and Macaroni Grill)
*garden shop/ nursery worker
*YMCA before/ afterschool care provider
*copy machine technician
*teacher (I'm on year 14!)

5 things I'd like to be doing in 5 years...
*I'd like to have run a 1/2 marathon every one of those 5 years (with Stacy!).
*Still teaching at a school where Abby attends (David will be in middle school!).
*Gracefully and prayerfully parenting my pre-teens.
*Planning a fabulous vacation to Australia, or somewhere equally as interesting.
*Downhill skiing regularly with Steve and the kids.

5 people to tag...
Well, Stacy tagged almost everyone on my blog list, so Rachel K. and Mandy, you are it! I look forward to reading the others on Stacy's list!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

David is the Pinewood Derby Champion!!!

Our Tiger Cub Scout has won the Tiger Cub Division of the Pinewood Derby for Pack 360! Woo Hoo! Could it be the cool car design with the black paint and gold shimmery stripe? Could it be that he sanded it and carved it with his new pocket knife? Could it be that he prayed every night for a week that he would win? Could it be that Steve researched ancient Pinewood Derby secrets on the internet? I don't know, but the combination worked! David came home with a whopper of a trophy, and an even bigger smile! His car had to be confiscated until the final race-off at the Scout-a-rama next month- we wouldn't want to send it home with a chance for modifications.... In the photos, David's car is painted black with a gold stripe running down the middle of the car. Go, David, Go!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Iditarod Fun

A close up of Lance Mackey's dogs.

A photo of the winning team: it's Lance Mackey, 2009 Iditarod winner! Way to go, Lance!

A team in action! For all of you in the lower 48, this race is thriling to watch! The dogs are so happy and you get to be right there!

Climbing trees between mushers. Tree climbing is David's latest favorite outdoor activity.

David petting the "display" dogs at the Campbell Creek Science Center. This was the best place to view the race- no fences, woods to play in, and hot chocolate and bathrooms in the science center building. The kids loved the trivia games and Iditarod history dislays there too. David won an Iditarod trail marker, and Abby won a poster.

Abby waiting for a high five from musher 27 (not sure who it is). She was tossed a dog booty for her dedication to cheering on the mushers and giving high fives!

Playing on the train. (While I waited in line for the dog sled rides!) What a beautiful day!

Fur Rondy Snow Sculptures in Anchorage, followed by hot chocolate. We skipped the carnival rides, and went for a dog sled ride instead to keep with our Iditarod theme!
The dog sled ride around the Park Strip was so fun. David was in tears when he found out he couldn't be the musher. The smile gives it away, he had a great ride afterall!

Abby has a dream come true! When she was little, she wanted to ride in a kangaroo's pouch, this is as close as she'll get in Alaska!