Saturday, December 19

Visiting

Well, we survived the overnight travel and have mostly recovered from the sleep deprivation of that ordeal. The girls did very well, both sleeping on the plane some and doing well at the hotel. Stacy was not at all pleased to find that I had booked us in a cheapie hotel with no swimming pool ("Why you do dat, mom? I WIKE to dwim!"), but she seems to be surviving. Kelsey informed me at Sea-Tac that it was hot (50!) and she sure hoped grandma had a fan to blow on her so she could get some sleep! Of course she was wearing her AK winter coat at the time...

So far we've enjoyed a great dinner with the Korbes, Peacocks, Godwins, and Pauls as well as a trip to Burgerville with Auntie and the Korbe Christmas. Yesterday the girls had lots of fun with Grandma and Grandpa Moo and Auntie Shelly crafting a gingerbread house and a gingerbread train. I ducked out and spent some time with friends from my school last year. Of course there have been many trips outside (much quicker to get dressed to go outside here!) to the chickens, cows, and to ride bikes.

Scott says it's been snowing like crazy in Whittier. Thursday he was greeted by 5 foot drifts in front of his shiop door. Sounds like it's been pretty windy, too!

Well, that wraps up this "catching up" post...:-)

Tuesday, December 15

Travel Day

Let the excitement flow! Today is 'trip day' as it's been dubbed in our house and the girls are EXCITED! Too bad our flight isn't until 9pm tonight...

We're all packed up and are doing the last minute laundry to leave Scott with clean towels and leave clean sheets on the girls' beds for our return.

Meanwhile Stacy's packing around her backpack and is wearing her tennis shoes, frequently reminding me she's "READY TO GO!!". Ever the responsible older sister, Kelsey suggested we should return our library books on our way out of town so that other kids could read them while we were gone. Good idea--it will save us the fines, too! :-)

Sunday, December 13

A Snowy Picnic

When we moved up here I vowed to myself that we would all continue to go outside to play. So far, so good. The girls are outside to play almost every day that we don't go to school to play and I try to go hiking on the weekends with a group of friends. Last weekend while we were out we walked up to Salmon Run, a developed picnic area at the end of town. We dreamed up this idea that since the weather was so nice (translated to no 60mph winds and thus no blowing snow) we should go for a picnic. Of course at this time of year that means we have to go for lunch because it's dark for all other meals.

So today was picnic day! We bundled the girls up, and headed up with a bunch of friends. The girls and I played in the snow and the girls went sledding with Scott and Joey. We all feasted on bbq'd brats, burgers, chicken, homemade beans, chips, brownies, and hot chocolate. What fun! The girls had a blast and were exhausted...and so was I! But we got outside for some fresh air and fun.


Monday, November 30

Wish me luck!

We're getting our first "Whittier Winds" tonight! Sustained winds at 77mph and gusting to 90 in town, 116 on the harbor. Girls are sleeping through it...will Mommy? Scott should have no trouble since he's been at work since 6am and isn't home at 9pm! He was home for a few hours at dinner time, though...

Sunday, November 29

Big Deal Bath

It's funny, the things that are big deals to little girls! Our girls have always bathed together, but last week Kelsey had the idea of taking a bath by herself. We discussed it and planned that on Daddy's next 'stay home day' we would give the idea a try. Lucky for her, it was the week of Thanksgiving so she didn't have to wait long for Daddy's 'stay home day'! Of course I had completely forgotten about it, but clearly she had not--she asked me about it Thursday morning before she even got out of bed! They worked it out with Scott that they would draw straws to see who would get to go first and then henceforth we'd take turns. It was our first whirl at drawing straws and by some miracle, Stacy did not have a fit when she lost. Knowing she would be first only heightened Kelsey's enthusiasm.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving dinner...scarfed down so that we could take "our own baths!". If you've ever eaten with our family you know that fast eating is NOT something that happens at our table! Anyway...the seperate baths was a huge hit. Of course whichever sister wasn't in the bath was sitting on the stool right next to the tub! It was a repeat hit last night with Stacy delighting in her turn to go first, so I'm sure tomorrow's return to sharing the bath on 'Daddy's work day' will bring plenty of talk about taking seperate baths again next weekend!

Saturday, November 28

Lately

Nothing lately has struck me as "blog worthy", but I thought I'd post quickly to let you all know we're still here!

It's been snowing a lot lately...our temps have been just above freezing so it's mostly slush. Scott spent most of Thursday and Friday out plowing with his crew. What a great way to spend Thanksgiving! It seems the investment in Alaska raingear and footwear is paying off, though. He's come home mostly dry and warm both days...of course there are the heated cabs to thank, too!

The girls and I have been busy doing this and that. Wednesday found us preparing our turkey for Thursday and baking our contributions to the community Thanksgiving potluck at the school. The potluck was a great success--a good turnout and good food! Thursday I wrapped up a few Christmas gifts I'd been working on while the turkey roasted (our turkey turned out AWESOME, btw...can't say the same for our dressing, though!). Yesterday we made a birthday present for Moo Grandpa and worked on our Christmas tree. I bought a little 18" tree at Michael's since the girls and I will be out of town for the holiday and we don't really have room for anything bigger anyway! I didn't bring any ornaments up with us and that's turned out to be a great thing. Kelsey is turning every scrap of paper in our house into a Christmas ornament! She's having a great deal of fun making, hanging, and rearranging her creations.

That brings us to today...at the moment the girls are coloring Christmas pictures to hang on our friends' doors. It's quickly become a tradition around here!

Sunday, November 22

Anchorage Day

Yesterday was our 'town day'. We had lots to do and since both girls have colds, we had a shorter time than usual to get it all done! They were real troopers though and we managed to get everything done on the list.

And now a quick bit of background before sharing my kiddo funny moment of the day. Stacy often wants what she can't have, so my standard response is , "Sorry, that's not a choice." Usually followed by me offering her choices she can have. Sooo...read on...

My absolute favorite moment of the day came at McDonald's, though. The girls were tired and hungry and we were on our way to Mickey D's when the girls would have liked to have already been halfway through their Happy Meals. We were playing the ever-popular alphabet game and I called out that we were looking for a purple M. As I said this the famed golden arches came into view and Stacy replies "Sorry mom, that's not a choice. We only have yellow Ms!". It was hilarious in person--I'm not sure it 'sounds' so funny in the way that I've written it out, though! :-)

Plenty of snow today--some pics over on Fotki!

Thursday, November 19

Daddy Turns the Day Around!

The girls have a cold. Blech! It's certainly nothing serious, but the girls aren't feeling 100% and as a result, neither am I! Yesterday was the first day that they were really acting differently, although noses have been running since Monday. By the end of the day we were all tired--and I was quickly running out of patience. Enter Daddy the Hero For the Day!!

He began by teaching the girls to play hide and seek. It was so much fun and *totally* turned my outlook around. The girls were giggling and Scott and I were cracking up, too. Stacy didn't quite grasp the idea of hiding, but we all had a blast.

Soon it was PJ time. Scott took over that duty while I did the dinner dishes (some days I REALLY miss the dishwasher!!) and he was soon brushing their teeth. At our house the girls brush first, then we follow up with a parental brushing. Usually I do this and I sing some silly made-up song about brushing teeth. Of course, Stacy requested that Daddy sing while performing this duty, too! Next thing I know I hear Scott singing, "I like clean teeth and I cannot lie..." to the tune of Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot. Needless to say, I was rolling on the floor!!

So--thank you so much Scott, for changing my outlook on the entire day!!

Sunday, November 15

Kelsey's Plan

Well today is day two of wearing the new dresses. I don't often cave to the plea to wash something tonight so we can wear it tomorrow, but last night I gave in. They wanted badly to wear the dresses to church today so we washed.

Meanwhile, Kelsey has hatched a plan involving her chickens and her new dress. As you can see from the picture posted a few days ago the skirt of her dress is flowered. Kelsey imagines that the chickens are going to be quite taken by this dress. So taken in fact, that if they should escape the confines of their pen they'll just follow her right back into the fence because they want to peck the flowers on her skirt to see if there are any bugs in them! She's probably partly right. The chickens love her and do follow her around. Whether or not they will hunt for bugs on her skirt remains to be seen. I guess I had better make sure the dresses get packed for our trip down south next month!

Friday, November 13

Two Twirly Dresses



Whew! After being asked at least 3 times every minute since yesterday afternoon "Is my dress ready yet?" Finally I can answer "YES!!". Now after all that fuss they don't want to wear them. Instead they're saving them for tomorrow...go figure!

Aprons


More goodies for Auntie JJs bazaar! Made from this pattern. I love the way it has the side velcro closure and elastic neckband so that little ones can put it on and take it off by themselves. It also takes very little fabric, a bonus! All of these (and the book covers and lunch bags) were made from my stash! Might have to make a few for my kids--they have very cute aprons I made them a while back, but they tie in the back, so they need me to put them on. And take them off. And put them on. And...well, you get the idea! :-)

Thursday, November 12

A Day Late...


I took this along our walk yesterday. Maybe they should have taken the boat out of the water yesterday???

Lovely Day!

What a great day we had yesterday! The snow started drifting down mid-morning and in a rare sequence of events the wind was not howling. It was a postcard Alaskan day!

Scott had the day off in observance of Veteran's Day, so he began by sleeping in a bit. Then he and Kelsey went to his office for a bit to sort out some information needed before the tow truck arrived to tow the ambulance into town for repairs. Meanwhile Stacy and I picked up a bit in preparation for our friend (and City Comission Clerk) Becky to arrive for the great event of the morning: The Tea Party. The Tea Party was a big hit--the girls had lots of fun with their guest and she went home with her head spinning from their frantic level of excitement over the event.

Next on the agenda was lunch at school. I don't know if I've talked about lunch at school on the blog before or not. Just in case, here's a quick summary to catch you up. Breakfast is served at school, but lunch is not. I assume it's due to the level of staffing, but lunch is a 45 minute break where everyone comes home and eats, then heads back to school. Except for occasional Wednesdays where the kids and staff prepare lunch and serve it as a fundraiser. So far we've been to a hamburger lunch and a baked potato lunch. Yesterday was the Mexican lunch. Yummy! There's also lunch next Wednesday (menu TBA) and then Thanksgiving lunch the following Wednesday...yummy! Anyway, lunch at school is always fun for the girls as they get to see all of their friends and it's something different and therefore is a BIG deal!

In the afternoon we ventured out into our fresh snow and Scott and I pulled the girls on their new sleds down to the Inn at Whittier, home of the "fancy hot chocolate". It's served in clear mugs with whipped cream and is viewed as a big treat in our family. We enjoyed some of the fancy hot chocolate before venturing home to play on the little patch of grass in front of our building. It has a little hill that is just right for little people to sled on by themselves.

After we came in and warmed up, I left for Girdwood and a quilt binding class offered through the Four Valleys Community School by Denise Gallup. I had a wonderful time and met some very nice gals. The drive was snowy but not too bad. Well worth it for the fun I had!

Sunday, November 8

Portage Pass Trail



Well, today I ventured out for my first Alaskan hike! What a great day for it, too...29 degrees, sustained winds at about 20mph, gusting to 30ish, blowing snow. What an initiation! Thankfully the trail (although not the walk through town to get to the trail!) was out of the wind until you hit the top. I went with two fellow BTIers, Joey and Patrick. Joey also works for the city.

This gives a little description of the trail. If it had been a clearer day the views would have been fantastic. Given the conditions the views were still beautiful, but left me wanting to hike it again on a clearer day. Here are a few more pics:




Saturday, November 7

Today's Production


In addition to the usual stuff, I managed to whip up these 8 items for a bazaar Jaiden is organizing to raise money to buy pet food for pets in need this winter! 3 paperback covers and 5 lunchbags. Not too bad for having two little ones to tend to as well! :-)




The girls got creative this morning, too. Here we are finger painting right after breakfast...yes, some paint also got on the paper!

And I'll leave you with two cute quotes from the last few days.

Kelsey: "I can't ballerina dance Mom! I have a band-aid on my finger!"

Stacy: "Can I have more milk please? Just a splash!"

Can't help but smile now, can you?!?!

Wednesday, November 4

Snow and Rain and Snow and Rain

The title pretty much sums up our weather this week so far! The temp is hovering in the mid 30's and we have precip. When the temp drops it's snow, when it's a tad warmer it's rain. Yesterday afternoon it warmed up to around 36 and rained a bit. It cleared the road mostly off although the sidewalk is a different story! Our few inches of snow last week had turned to solid ice over the weekend, so walking was challenging. With the clearing streets we ventured out to the Inn at Whittier yesterday afternoon for some "fancy hot chocolate".

Monday we just hung out here at home, doing some laundry and taking Grandma to gym time. Sunday the girls played with Grandma while Scott and I spent a day together. We went into Anchorage and did some shopping, some browsing, and hit some tourist spots on the way home. It was so nice to have some time together!

Saturday, October 31

Our First Visitor and Our 'First' Halloween

Moo Grandma is here! Quite an exciting event for the girls to pick her up at the airport and then show her all around our building and apartment.

If you know me at all you know that I hate Halloween. There's a number of reasons and I won't go into all of them here. Anyway, as a result of our secluded home on Rocky Top and my dislike for the holiday my girls have never really celebrated. We've carved pumpkins, but that's been the extent of it up to now. Now that we're living a bit closer to other folks and Halloween's a *big deal* here in Whittier, I am not able to just pretend Halloween doesn't happen.

Halloween was first celebrated last night at the school carnival. I bucked the costume tradition and just sent the girls to the dress up box to pick something. They both emerged dressed as ballerinas complete with ballet slippers and tu-tus. Tonight we made a short list of places to visit and Scott and Moo Grandma took the girls (dressed in dress-up dresses, flip flops, carrying purses and wearing a crown for Kelsey, and a stocking cap for Stacy) visiting. They practiced at our house and then went to visit a few friends. I'm not even sure they made it to everyone's house, they were back soon, both lugging purses full of candy! We picked a few to keep, and put the rest in a bag to send home to Moo Grandpa.

Happy Halloween, everyone! :-)

Wednesday, October 28

The Snow is Here!

Much excitement in our house today after Scott pointed out to the girls that it had snowed last night! We were outside at 7:30 this morning, playing in the small yard area in front of the building. I'm sure most of Whittier knew we were up and outside!

The girls were delighted to come in and have some hot chocolate after their fingers got cold and then we were outside again just before lunch. We hit the tire swing at the school...even more fun in the snow somehow! The slides were also a big hit--pretty quick, too! I had to catch airborne girls at the bottom.

I know the day will come when we're all tired of the snow, but for now it is new, bright, and beautiful so we're enjoying it!

Monday, October 26

New Vinyl

I've begun! The upholstery batting I needed to get started arrived in the mail today, so yipee!!

Here's the 'before' and here's the 'in process'.





I did just one seat during naptime today. The seats will go much more quickly than the backs, I know that much already! I think it turned out quite nicely and I'm excited to do the others!

Sunday, October 25

Knotted Tu-Tus




Now isn't that cute? And boy was it simple! I followed (mostly!) this tutorial.
Basically you cut the tulle into strips, knot them onto the elastic waistband and before you know it, your would-be ballerina is twirling around the living room!


These will make a lovely addition to our dress-up box. Perhaps they will even be selected for Halloween!


Pumpkin Carving and Swimming!

A guaranteed recipe for happy and exhausted little girls!

After a 5 year hiatus, we rejoined our friends the Abbeys for their annual pumpkin carving party. Last time we got to attend they were living in Bremerton, Tammy was pregnant and Scott and I had been married just a few years. Fast forward to 2009. The Abbeys have been in Anchorage for 5 years. The baby that was in-utero 5 years ago is now in preschool and now the Korbes (now 4 of us instead of just 2!) live in Alaska, too. As for the pumpkin carving it's evolved, too. Now a family event, there were at least 10 kids elbow-deep in pumpkins and seeds last night. All of them having a blast!

We spent the night in Anchorage at a hotel that's WAY nicer than our apartment...complete with a dishwasher (the hotel, not the apartment!)! The kids made excellent use of the hotel pool and I got the shopping done that we needed done!

Many pictures over at Fotki!

Friday, October 23

At the Breakfast Table

Due to their natural 'morning person' tendencies, my girls are often at their best before most people are even up. Case in point--breakfast today!

7AM at our table, *totally* out of the blue:

Stacy (right hand out, head cocked to the side as she does when she's very serious about something): Kewsey, dometimes I just want to be awone. Pwease don't talk to me when I want to be awone. Dometimes I want to pway with you, but dometimes I don't.

Kelsey: Ok sweetie, I know that sometimes you want to be alone. Sometimes I want to be by myself too.

Stacy: Danks, honey!

Sooo grown up! And yet so funny, too! I love their use of "sweetie" and "honey" with each other--it just cracks me up! Kelsey started it this summer and Stacy's picked it up too.

I'm such a lucky Mama!

Thursday, October 22

Town Day

Today had an early start. And why is it that the ONE day you need your kids to be up and at 'em it is the ONE day that they would sleep in???

Anyway...the girls got up, got dressed and had breakfast AND we managed to catch the 7am tunnel out of town. Our destination today: the dentist. Blech! Scott and I got our teeth cleaned...I could go on and on, but suffice it to say--we won't be taking the girls to that dentist!

Our big success of the day was finding a McDonald's with a playland! I spent some time on their website. I would have thought that given the weather in Anchorage for a good 6 months of the year that every Micky D's would have a playland, but there's only 3! BK offers no such info on their website, so we'll just have to keep driving around! I'm thrilled to know where to get some free exercise in town, and since we're in town so rarely, I don't mind the fact we're eating fast food on most trips.

We didn't end up doing any shopping since we'll be in town this weekend to attend a Halloween Party and see some sights. We're spending the night, so we have a little more time and flexibility. And a hotel pool! :-)

Friday, October 16

"When I a baby..."

It seems that if you're Stacy, all the good stuff happened "When I a baby". It's her most commonly used phrase lately. She applies it to all sorts of situations. For instance while playing dolls she'll tell me "When I a baby, I weared diapers," or "When I a baby, I used this bib." She also applies it to situations where she's been told 'no'.

I say, "Stacy, please don't jump off that."

She replies, "When I a baby, I jump off dat." Well, not really, but...:-)

Kelsey's new word is "apparently". She can *almost* use it correctly, too.

I say, "Kelsey, would you like butter or Miracle Whip on your sandwich?"

She says, "Apparently I'd like Miracle Whip." Hmmmm...

Tuesday, October 13

Fun with Trikes


Last Thursday I was caught by surprise as we headed over to school to play at gym time, only to remember when we were en route that the school was in Anchorage on their field trip to see The Lion King. If you're a mom, you know that I had to exercise my best quick thinking to prevent major meltdowns when telling the girls we couldn't go to school after all. Enter the tricycles!

Scott brought the trikes up with him and until now they'd been sitting in the storage cage in the basement. I'd been hesitant to get them out since all of Whittier is on a hill sloping up from the harbor, with the school being at the top of the hill and the BTI next to the top. The hill isn't huge by any means, but I judged it to be just enough to make pedaling a trike challenging for a tyke! Nonetheless I was desperate, so I suggested we grab our trikes and head outside. Crisis averted!

Since then, we've been riding every day! The hill is challenging for Kelsey (and quite frustrating if she's very tired!) and a bit too much for Stacy. My mom shared the solution she used for me back in my tricycle days--a bit of a 'leash' of sorts to lend a little aid. We fashioned something similar and I'm now able to give Stacy the gentle tug she needs to keep going while still able to push Kelsey with one foot if she stalls or gets distracted and stops pedaling.

We've had a bit of a wet spell last week and until yesterday had done most of our riding in the rain. Thank goodness for the Alaska Railroad Pedestrian Tunnel! We're able to ride down the hill in the rain, ride laps in the dry tunnel, then ride home in the rain. On nicer days our destination is the basketball court. We even ventured down to Scott's office toting our lunch last Friday!

Overall, the trikes have been a hit and are getting well used again!

Friday, October 9

Pajama Perfection


Ahhhhh! Check one off the to-do list. Remember those PJ pants I blogged about back around Labor Day? Well they're done! The girls and I can now sport matching PJ bottoms. I have shirt plans, but need purchased shirts so that project's in the distance for now. I'm including a pic of the completed kiddo pants. PJ pants, like shoes, are cuter when smaller! :-)

Bagels--YUM!


I'm a little behind on posting this, but the good news is my bagels are getting better! My last batch used this recipe and turned out so well that Scott ate 3 off them right off the cooling rack! They were a little paler than store-bought but oh so yummy!

I'm also making our bread...and I think I'm getting the kinks worked out of that recipe as well! Now--watch out English muffins! Here I come!

**update 6/5/10**
You've gotta use the bread flour! Look at poor example #1 above, made with all-purpose flour. Yummy, but sort of flat! Now check out example #2 below, made with bread flour. Doesn't that look more like what you'd expect out of a bagel from the store?

My other tip is to use a tiny bit of water to wet the ends of the dough as you form the bagel. It really helps them stick together better for a nicer, rounder looking finished product.

Wednesday, October 7

Banking Day

The girls are playing bank right now...adorable!! Kelsey is 'the bank' and Stacy is on her (much too small) Dora car driving up to the 'window' (a square Kelsey drew in the air with her finger). K then asks if S would "like any money?". Of course, S answers in the affirmative and some Memory game cards change hands. Then K asks "Would you like a sticker for your baby?" and again S returns that she would. Another Memory card changes hands and then S drives off, turns around and returns to the bank.

I need to find a bank like this--gives out money over and over again with no need for an ATM card, picture ID, etc.!! :-)

Saturday, October 3

We've Given Up

I've been meaning to post the news, but keep forgetting! Anyone who knows Scott well, please sit down...don't want you to fall down in shock! He's given up soda!! He didn't buy any when he arrived and I haven't purchased any either! We're both still drinking it at restaurants, but not paying the big $$ to drink it at home any more.

For my part, I've given up shampoo! I've tossed the idea around for awhile after reading about lots of people using just baking soda and an occasional vinegar rinse. My hair has always been SUPER oily, but right away I noticed it was much less so. It also has *lots* more body. Overall I'm pleased with the results!

After a beautiful week, the rain returned today. I went to Anchorage today and completed 'Operation Stock Up' and even did some shopping for fabric for Christmas projects.

The girls continue to have a blast at gym time at the school and were quite taken with the harbor when we explored it on Friday. They loved all of the various floats, chains, ropes, etc. that decorate the sidewalk edge of harbor towns and Whittier is no exception. Of course there's also any number of rocks down there and since rocks are among the favorite items at the moment they both hauled home pocketfuls of them!

Another big hit Friday was taking lunch to Scott in his office. The girls really were impressed with themselves. Later that afternoon after he was off work we all met up and walked home together, which they also enjoyed.

Monday, September 28

A Good Weekend

A good weekend here in Whittier! Sunny and beautiful...cool and a bit breezy, but sunny!

Saturday found us putting snow tires on my car and the girls riding trikes. In the afternoon we all went to both the city park and the school playground. Saturday evening Scott left for a fishing trip on the Kenai Peninsula, so the girls and I popped in to the 2nd annual Whittier bonfire. It was chilly and nearly bedtime, so we didn't stay long.

Sunday the girls and I headed for Anchorage to continue on 'Mission Stock Up" for groceries for the winter. They were great helpers, so after a much too short nap in the car, we stopped in Girdwood at their phenomenal city park on the way home. After we unloaded all of the groceries and other stuff (3 trips in the elevator with a cart + 2 very tired little girls = FUN) into the apartment we had to put it all away!

Today tried my hand at making bagels...not a total flop, but not a huge success, either. I used the recipe from my trusty BH&G cookbook. They're a little rubbery. The recipe had me broil, boil, then bake them. I think they may have boiled a little too long. A few of them came out looking like shrunken heads...others looked more like bagels. I'll have to look at a few more recipes and do some tweaking! My next experiment will be english muffins...

Thursday, September 24

Falling into a Routine

As I was puffing away on the treadmill this AM I realized we've fallen into a little routine here. The girls have been getting up between 6 and 6:30. It works out well since Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on at 6:30. After watching Mickey Mouse we get dressed, have breakfast and play a little, then Scott leaves for work around 7:50. After he goes the girls play (usually babies) until 9, then I suit up to hit the treadmill and I get them going with play dough or watercolors. They play and/or watch Sesame Street while I run and then I get a shower--usually with no one else in the bathroom!

Next we run down to mail any letters for the day, and then we either go out or back home to play a bit more. Scott's home for lunch around 12:15 most days and the girls go down for a nap around 12:30 or 1. They're up around 2:30 or 3 and then we play outside or go over to the school if it's a gym day (the roller skates are still a big hit!). We begin fixing dinner around 5, Scott's home around 6 and then it's dinner, baths, and bedtime.
The days pass quickly as you can see! I am finding that ages 2 and 3 are great for being a stay at home mom. They're finally old enough that they can play together for more than 5 minutes at a time!

On another note, Scott went fishing last night after work. He caught two silvers (salmon) in the first ten minutes. He and a friend also hitched a boat ride, then his buddy took our salmon home to smoke them for us.

Tuesday, September 22

More Sun!

Wow--I'm in awe of how lucky we've been with the weather! A few days of rain and then a day or two of sun, then more rain, more sun...well, you get the picture!

Lucky us, the girls slept until 6:30 today! And the girls were DELIGHTED to wake up and discover that Mickey Mouse Club is on here at 6:30...what more can you ask for?

Today we skipped storytime at the school in favor of playing outside. The girls have been wanting to play on the school playground so we headed over there. It has a tire swing which guaranteed it would be a hit! Tomorrow we'll venture over to the school for lunch. They're fundraising to go see the Lion King performed in Anchorage. The lunch tomorrow is one of their fundraising efforts, which we'll gladly support!

Saturday, September 19

Catching Up

My computer has been somewhat moody lately, so I've had trouble posting. I'm going to give it a try again today though!

Thursday we ventured over to the school to meet up with the high school teacher. We had perfect timing as we arrived at the beginning of play time in the gym, unbeknownst to us! Turns out playtime is Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 3:30-4:30. The girls had A BLAST! All that fun school gym stuff plus roller skates (a *huge* hit!), trikes, cars, etc. Apparently sometimes it also includes crafts and/or organized games. We had fun just having fun...toddlers on rollerskates sounded scarier to me than it turned out to be. The girls loved it and although they fell, they were never going fast enough that it was a big deal.


Friday dawned sunny and clear, so we hit the park twice to soak up the sun. The sunrise was beautiful. In the late morning we went to play and packed along our picnic lunch. Scott's office is half a block or so from the park, so he joined us at lunchtime. After naps we headed back down with our sand toys in tow to make the most of the giant sandbox down there.

Today we headed into Anchorage to run errands and stock up. Of course, with the kids in tow we only got half of our list accomplished! Oh well...we can always head back in another time. We did purchase a freezer, so that increased our storage capacity greatly. Not knowing exactly what winter brings we felt like being stocked up would be in our best interest.

On the way home from Anchorage we stopped by the park in Girdwood and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation (pics, see link above). The girls had fun at both which was good, since they hadn't had much fun in town.

Girdwood park, big kids play area

Girdwood park sandbox

Elk at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Oddly enough I learned today that one need not show any sort of ID to transfer the title and registration of one's car to Alaska, but I cannot get my AK driver's license without my current license, my original SS card, my proof of residency, my birth certificate, AND my marriage license. Needless to say, I didn't have all of those documents with me! As a result, Dusty is adorned with her new Alaksa plates commemorating 50 years of statehood, but I am driving her with my WA license! Go figure!

Thursday, September 17

Day Three

This morning we hit the laundromat on the first floor. Of course I am using the term laundromat loosely...it's 3 washers and 2 dryers. The good news is that 2 of the 3 washers are those great laundromat HUGE capacity washers, so you can do almost 2 standard loads at once. At $3/load to wash and 25 cents/10 minutes of drying it was an expensive morning. Certainly kept us busy, though!

Afterwords I even hauled my butt onto the treadmill. I have to run looking out over the harbor...a great hardship! During my 30 minute stint I got to watch the ferry leave, a barge leave, and a large fishing boat return to dock.

This afternoon the girls and I are going over to check out the school and introduce ourselves. Hopefully we can make some friends!

Wednesday, September 16

We're Here!!

At last we're here! The weather on our first day was BEAUTIFUL, although the rain rolled in overnight so today's looking a little wetter. The girls were great on the airplane. K told everyone who would listen that we were moving to Alaska and we'd get to see our Daddy pretty soon. We rented DigE Players and Stacy actually fell asleep for about an hour. The scene at the airport was from the movies--Scott on the bench reading the newspaper, Kelsey spotting him and taking off at a sprint, Scott looking up and seeing her and his whole face lighting up. Priceless! Stacy was a bit grumpy about being awakened for the descent, so it took her a little longer to tune in to what was going on. We hit the last tunnel into town and had to wake both kids up once more to show them their "Alaska Home". After a brief tour, we all settled in for a late night to be followed by an early morning!

Scott had worked very hard and had the whole kitchen unpacked and set up, the girls' bunk beds assembled, and our bed assembled. It was great to walk in and see the big pile of flattened boxes that he had already unpacked.

Yesterday we spent our morning unpacking a few toys (I figure a few at a time...it's like brand-new toys again!), finding the girls' bedding, cleaning the kitchen, etc. In the afternoon we hit the city park...it's rustic but the kids didn't seem to mind at all! There's a play house, monkey bars, some loader tires for climbing, swings, rocking toys, and the biggest hit was a sandbox.

Today I am hoping to unpack some more, clean some more, and maybe do a little laundry...

kitchen and dining area

play room/craft room

living room

master bedroom

girls' bedroom

Monday, September 14

Alaska Day is Here

Well today is the day..."Alaska Day" as the kids dubbed it weeks ago when we began this process. What a day of mixed emotions--delighted to be reunited with my husband and have my family together. On the other hand, so sad to be leaving all my family and friends in Vancouver/Portland behind.

Keep in touch everyone, and I'll post as soon as I get my way cleared to a computer setup in Alaska!

Friday, September 11

Friday

Wow...what a busy week we've had! We've gotten to see some friends and family and gotten some last minute things wrapped up. Now to celebrate we're off to the beach tomorrow morning for the weekend. We're going to stay in Tillamook and pay a visit to the Tillamook cheese factory. We have to pay homage to the makers of one of the girls' favorite foods!

I've made some progress on the PJ pants...all 3 pairs are nearly done. The girls' need waistbands and hemming, mine just hemming. Hopefully I can finish them up tonight!

Monday's the big day...we're so excited to be all back together again!

Sunday, September 6

He's Got the Keys!!!

To my heart...and to a 3 bedroom apartment in the BTI in Whittier, AK!! :-) Now he's planning the great trailer emptying...great fun using the two elevators on our end of the building. We're all excited and looking forward to being together again soon!

A picture would be great here, but I don't have one! Scott's hoping to upload some soon...stay tuned!

Saturday, September 5

A Hard Day's Work

Not easy to get this all canned (even with 3 adults!) with two toddlers in the house!


Friday, September 4

Quick Update

Thought I'd take a minute to sum up our week--busy!

I finished up two Elmo & Zoe nightgowns for the girls--they're HUGE (and I made them in a smaller size!) but the girls love them regardless. I also purchased flannel today to make the 3 of us matching PJ pants. Sort of goofy I know, but also cheaper as the good flannel is from Craft Warehouse and by making them matching I got to use the 40% off coupon on 4.5 yards instead of on just a yard or two.

We've also had several playdates, visited the Washougal library, and the girls spent a day and a night with Gma and Gpa Moo.

I also bday shopped for a few people with bdays in the next few weeks, and tried to help out a little around the house!

Scott started working this week, so he's been fairly busy between that and trying to Skype with all of us down here!

Sunday, August 30

Alaska Day is Set!

The tickets are purchased, so it's official! The kids and I will be leaving PDX on September 14. With any luck our flight will be on time, our checked bags will be ready when we arrive at baggage claim, and we'll be able to hit the last tunnel (11pm) into Whittier. If not, we'll have to crash at a hotel in Anchorage for the night. Either way the 4 of us will be in the same state for the first time in almost a month!

Friday, August 28

An Official Whittier Resident

Well folks, after much preparation and traveling Scott is now an official Whittier, AK resident! He's temporarily staying in a 2 bedroom apartment (furnished) on the 14th floor of the BTI. Our 3 bedr0om will be vacated by the 29th, and then our landlord will be cleaning, painting, etc.
He's off to grocery shop today--I guess he's not up to sorting through an entire trailer's worth of stuff to find a few boxes of food! :-)

As for the rest of us here in WA, we're getting along nicely. I finished the bulk of the work at Rocky Top yesterday. One more trip with my dad to put up some molding and we should be done! I should probably do some weeding, but I don't find myself at all inclined to do so. Maybe I'll find more motivation next week???

Monday, August 24

Anchorage at Last!

Scott called today--they hit Anchorage at about 3pm this afternoon. He was relieved--he mentioned his back end being a *bit* sore after 5 days straight in the truck!

Apparently his first stop was the DMV to try to get his AK license. He said he got there too late however, as you need to take the written test.

Tomorrow he's off to Whittier to iron out a few apartment details, pick up mailbox keys, etc. Then he and his dad are planning some sightseeing and some fishing.

Back here in WA, we lunched with Auntie Wendy today after hitting a few consignment shops in our search for a 4T raincoat and some size 8ish rubber boots. We're a little early, I think...people are still in shorts and flipflops around here!

Sunday, August 23

Sunday--in Alaska!

Scott and Chris hit AK today. They're staying in Tok, AK and then will hit Anchorage tomorrow. Scott will then head into Whittier on Tuesday and get some final housing details ironed out. He's also planning to get a driver's license, license the car and truck and go fishing.

As for us here in WA, we hit the sandbox, the park, and the pool today!

Saturday's Trek

Sounds like progress was slow yesterday for the Al-Can highway. They stopped for the night in Teslin in the Yukon Territory. About 450 miles for the day. Apparently they spent some time unloading and reloading the trailer in an effort to stop one wheel from rubbing on the undercarriage and smoking.

Always an adventure!

Saturday, August 22

Day Two of Driving

Ok...so I'm a day behind posting this, but on Day Two of Scott's drive (Friday) they made it from Prince George, BC to Fort Nelson, BC today. We got to Skype with Scott this morning which the girls really enjoyed.

Life goes on down here in the Lower 48. I went up to Rocky Top this afternoon for a bit while the girls played with Fishie Gma. They walked to the park and had lots of fun. I scrubbed the deck and gathered up garbage...hmmm....betcha can't guess who had more fun??

Friday, August 21

Prince George and Truckin'

The email from Scott last night said that they'd made it to Prince George (730 miles) yesterday. No other details included, so I assume the border crossing went smoothly.

A family gathering of the Paul siblings here at Fishy Gma's house this evening, so the Korbe girls will be in baby heaven with cousin Evie around!

Thursday, August 20

He's On His Way

Well, as of 8am this morning Scott is on his way to Alaska! Not sure how far he's made it...as of 1:30 he was in Canada, though. Here's a shot of the girls kissing the truck good-bye.




Since yesterday was my birthday, Scott took me out to dinner and then to the arcade to play games. We had a lot of fun. We also went to my going away gathering of friends from school. It was very nice! I am now armed with a nerf pistol (for the bears!) and a lovely flower-adorned pink flyswatter for those giant Alaskan bugs we keep hearing about!

We're now residing with my folks in Washougal until our 'Alaska Day' as the kids have dubbed it.

Tuesday, August 18

Almost There

Really, we are! The trailer is loaded but for a few last minute things tomorrow morning (kids' beds, etc) and I've been working hard to get as much cleaning done as I can before we go. I'll have carpets to clean, caulking to do, and some painting to do after we move out, but hopefully it will go fairly fast. Many thanks to everyone who has lent us a hand in the past few weeks or who will be in the next few weeks...we've had so much help and every bit of it has been appreciated.

Now--better get myself back to work before Scott finds me taking a break! :-)

Family Reunion

Just a quick little note to update y'all! We spent the weekend relazing at Mounthaven campground by Mt. Rainier for the Godwin Family reunion. We all had fun, the girls especially! Fishie Grandma pushed those swings until her arms felt like spaghetti and we had our monthly (yearly??) allotment of marshmallows.

It was great so see everyone and sooooo wonderful to take a break from the craziness back home!

Thursday, August 13

21 Dozen Hangers

That's right, folks! The Korbe family owns 21 dozen hangers! That's not counting pants hangers, skirt hangers, etc. Just plain old (white in our house) plastic hangers. 21 dozen.

How many should I take?????

Monday, August 10

The Party

Wow! I will not attempt to thank everyone by name who put their efforts into our wonderful going away party last night--the efforts were monumental and shared by numerous people. Instead a genuine and heartfelt THANK YOU from both Scott and I to any and all who helped plan, put together, make food for, or attended the shin-dig last night at Scott's parent's house. We value your friendship and appreciate all that you have done for us!

The bounce house was a tremendous hit. I was assured last night by Kelsey that it wasn't Grandpa's bounce house to keep, he just thought it would be a lot of fun for a party! He was right--kids big and small (not to mention Grandma and Grandpa Moo!) were spotted having a blast. I know my two bouncers slept like rocks afterwards!

And now...back to the boxes!

Saturday, August 8

Garage Sale Done

Whew! All that sorting, pricing, packing, unpacking, setting up, taking down, and repacking is done. At the end of it I had less stuff and more money, so that's a good thing! MANY thanks to my mom and dad for picking up and delivering my kids and to my sister for helping to entertain them. Oh yes, and to the guide dog in training (Lottie) that my sister was caring for this weekend--she provided quite a bit of entertainment, too!

After the sale I cleaned my beloved table which M&D delivered today. It's looking much better, I must say! Got all the paint and gunk off the top and steel wooled the legs. It's so shiny and nice now! I've got some tabletop cleaning/restoring stuff that's supposed to help make the laminate all shiny again. The chairs still need a lot of elbow grease...

Off now to play with my new webcam and Skype and see if I can get it all working!

Friday, August 7

Are we there yet??

Gosh I'm tired! As I write, Scott's dragging all of the garage sale (field sale?) stuff down the hill. I'll start setting it up bright and early tomorrow AM. The signs are hung, the ad's on Craigslist, I've got change...what am I forgetting??


Thursday, August 6

Please Return!

Do you have my tape? My scissors? My permanent marker?

Why does it seem that no matter how hard I try to put them back in one place, each time I start or finish a box and need tape, scissor, or the marker they're nowhere to be found?

Ahhhh, the trials of moving!

Should have been done

What a day yesterday was! It was spent finishing up those projects that should have been done a long time ago. Scott trimmed out the doors we replaced this spring, trimmed part of the craft room we "finished" after Kelsey was born, and installed some kick boards to cupboards we installed long before we had kids! I took on a painting project to finish off the water heater cupboard and then also packed the pantry, disassembled the fish tank, and picked up my teaching stuff from school.
It was the first of several productive days of home improvement around here. Still on the list is fixing gutters on the house and barn, repairing furnace duct work, etc.

As we do this all, I am trying *very hard* to remember that we'll get to enjoy the fruits of this labor when ever we move back from AK. These projects have been on our "to do" list for ages and it's a little hard to see them completed just in time to move out of the house. Bittersweet!

2 days until the garage sale--I'm hoping it's at least minimally successful to justify the effort I've put into it! I don't really care if we make a lot of money, I just want the stuff gone! Since the sale is over at 4pm and the Goodwill drop off is open in Battle Ground until 9pm, I guess it will be a certain success!! :-)

Friday, July 31

Dads and Daughters

This has been rolling around in my head all week!

Last Sunday I walked the Lacamas Lake 1/2 Marathon. Since the temperature that day was well into the upper 90's I was glad that the walk began at 7. Of course, that meant leaving my house at 5:30 allow for a trip to Starbucks on the way! The girls are usually up between 5:30 and 6, so I left at 5:15 to avoid being 'caught' leaving. Of course I had the usual mommy guilt about not being there in the morning. I envisioned upset girls and Scott at his wits end. Silly me!

When I got home that night and caught up the the girls, I realized that often my fear of leaving them and my guilt about doing so prevents them from really having that fun time with Daddy. No, they didn't obsess for hours about my not being there first thing! Instead they conned Scott into making them fresh pancakes and letting them eat said pancakes in the kitchen at their picnic table in their pajamas! Nobody cried for hours, in fact all week I've heard little tidbits about how "when you were at work Daddy..." (note: to simplify explanations, we often call wherever someone went 'work'--fewer questions from Kelsey, ourprofessional interrogator!).

So here's my vow--next time I'm invited/asked/required to do something that involves leaving the kids at a time that's out of my comfort zone, I'll remember what a special opportunity it provides the rest of my family!

Thursday, July 30

The Table is Mine!


Well, today was the conclusion of the great table search! I purchased this one from a family in Camas who had just moved it across the country from the midwest. It'll be one well-traveled table by the time it gets to Alaska!

The vinyl doesn't all match and is particularly icky on the captain's chair, but the table has two leaves and furthermore, I love it! I drug it as far as my mom and dad's house with their car where it awaits an empytish truck headed to Yacolt. Now keep your fingers crossed for me that there will be room for it in the moving trailer! You'll be hearing and seeing more about this table this winter as I embark on the reupholstering journey!

Good news from the North today! They will indeed have a 3 bedroom apartment available in a timely fashion. It becomes available on 9/1 and (drumroll please!) it's a harbor view! It's on the 8th floor, so the view will be something like this, although this webcam is on the 14th floor http://whittierak.yukontel.com/. Now I'm awaiting the measurements of the place so I can make decisions about what other furniture goes and what gets stored.

In other news, I'm pleased to announce that for the first time in 4 days we were able to begin the cooling off process of the house BEFORE 9m! It's 84 degrees inside and outside at 8:11 today. That's a record for this week! Our hottest in the shade has been 106, 111 in the sun! Many thanks to Uncle Carl for pointing out that the temperature in Whittier yesterday was half of the temperature here! :-)

Tuesday, July 28

The Table Search

So a bit more on the BTI. If you haven't already heard this story, the BTI is one of two apartment buildings in Whittier. The BTI was built by the army in 1953 and is 14 stories tall. There are few (if any) houses in Whittier--everyone lives in either the BTI or the other building, the Manor. Since it was built in the 50's, many apartments still sport the original metal cabinets, pink bathroom tile, etc.

Now for a very long time I have wanted one of those 50's dinette sets. The ones with the formica tops, chrome legs, and vinyl chairs. The style would have looked silly though, in our Yacolt house. Now I am seeing Whittier as the perfect opportunity to procure one. But there isn't one to be had at a reasonable price! I'm scouring Craigslist daily and will continue to do so in hopes that the perfect table and chairs become available at the perfect price...of course with my luck I'll find one and then move into one of the apartments that's been remodeled! :-)

Sunday, July 26

Success!

I consider any day in which I walk 13.1 miles and then home come to tackle packing the craft room to be a success! I doubt I'll have any trouble falling asleep tonight, that's for sure!

The walk turned out to be quite fun. I had not been looking forward to it since the forecast today was for HOT and I don't really do HOT. Fortunately much of the route was shaded and it was quite pleasant. I walked with a friend of mine from school and a friend of hers. We all agreed that up to mile 10 was no biggie, but after that it was hard work. Good thing I wasn't looking to set any records because it took us a ridiculously long time to finish...almost 4 hours!

As for the craft room, one garbage bag, one recycling bin and several boxes later I have it mostly whittled down to what I hope to be able to take with me. The major thing left to do is go through my fabric--no small job!

I suppose I should attempt to get off this stool and back to work--I'm afraid if I sit too long I won't get back up until tomorrow!

Saturday, July 25

Out of the Kitchen

Out of the kitchen I managed to fill 5 boxes of 'non essential' stuff that's staying here and not making the trek north. To begin with, anything used only when company comes over didn't make the cut. Next it was anything we have more than one of. The set of 3 nesting colanders we got as a wedding gift? Only 1 goes. 2 serving bowls the same size? Only 1 goes. You get the picture.

Amazingly enough I still had energy after that to venture into our master bedroom closet. If you've seen my closet you know that's no small feat! We've been totally spoiled in this house by a closet that's bigger than some people's bedrooms. It's all great until you have to pack it up. Luckily I had tackled the closet earlier this spring, hauling 2 big garbage bags of junk to Goodwill, so it wasn't quite the task it could have been.

After all that it was time to head over to our friends' house, let the girls play with their buddy and cool off in their new 'big enough for moms too' pool. Scott didn't join us in the pool, but did enjoy lounging on their deck after a day of running tractor and roller helping them get ready for their new shed. Now the girls are in bed and I'm off to contemplate why I signed on to walk a 1/2 marathon tomorrow!

Friday, July 24

3 Weeks

Well, we have three weeks to pull this all off! Started packing today--we've planned a garage sale for August 8. This is a great opportunity to get rid of some stuff. It seems like as soon as you have a more space you accumulate more stuff.

The huge push has been getting all of the appropriate documents for Scott and his dad to cross the border on the drive up. The girls and I will be flying, so that's not nearly so demanding. Through lots of web surfing and talking to people we've found that the enhanced driver's license seems like the way to go, so Scott will be heading off to the DMV tomorrow AM to take care of that. The EDL takes 2-3 week versus the passport's 4-6. You can expedite a passport to 2-4 weeks for a fistful of money.

We haven't talked to the kids about the move yet, but given Kelsey's exceptional questioning abilities (read: her favorite word is 'why') I'm sure it won't take long for them to wonder why the boxes are piling up and our stuff is disappearing. Don't worry, I'm sure Stacy will be happy to answer Kelsey's question with her favorite answer, "Why? Because I want to!". :-)

Thursday, July 23

North to Alaska

Well it's official everyone! This post marks the beginning of our journey to Alaska. We won't actually start the journey until the end of August, but the cleaning, sorting, packing and such has begun!

For those who haven't yet heard, our family is relocating from Yacolt, WA to Whittier, AK. Scott has accepted the position of Director of Public Works for the city of Whittier. Whittier has quite and interesting history--there's a bit about it on the city's website http://www.whittieralaska.gov/
if you're interested in that sort of thing!

Sooooo, stay tuned here for the latest about our progress on deciding what stuff from our 2400 square foot house is important enough to take with us to our 950 square foot apartment and new about our new life in the north!