Tuesday, May 31

Pictures of the Weekend

I got some pictures of the fun from Stephanie, so enjoy!

Monday, May 30

A Long Weekend

Whew! What a fabulous long weekend! Lots going on, but not a lot of pictures.

Saturday found Scott and I running to town to do our monthly grocery shopping sans helpers. Quick, easy, and fun! I even got a haircut!

Sunday I worked at the Anchorage Market at our friends' booth. Scott, Chris and the girls visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, the Imaginarium at the Anchorage Museum, the Anchorage Market, and Sears (we got a new washer!). The kids sure had fun, and I had a blast at market. It's sure fun to meet so many different people from different places.

Today we hung out in the morning, then met up with some friends to water the plants in the planters around town. We rewarded the kids for their non-whiny help with some ice cream then all headed back up to the BTI to gather up food and supplies for an impromptu BBQ at the Lazy Otter. The proprietors have a wonderful grill that they graciously share with us and we all chip in a little something to make dinner a really fun time. Steph had the camera--should be some great pictures!

And now...two exhausted girls are snoozing and mama's not far behind! It's wonderful to be so tired and to have had so much fun!

Friday, May 27

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, May 25

Busy Week!

It's been a little quiet here on the blog this week, but not at all quiet in real life! Here's our week:

Monday: pick up Moo Grandpa at the airport
Tuesday: Whittier cleanup
Wednesday: Whittier beautification and Scott and Moo Grandpa go fishin
Thursday: end of the year/farewell party at school
Friday: not sure yet...

So you see...we've been pretty busy! The weather on Monday and Tuesday was lovely, so we made the most of it by being outside as much as we could. Today has dawned cloudy and showery, so we'll probably be doing most of the planting in the school's indoor playground.

Here's hoping you're having a great week as well! I'd love to share some cute pictures of the girls a the playground with bubbles yesterday, but Scott took the camera out on the boat and I forgot to download them last night. Sorry.

Friday, May 20

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, May 18

Prince William Sound Explorers

Yesterday we had to opportunity to accompany our middle schoolers (and a group of middle schoolers from Anchorage) on the Prince William Sound Explorers cruise. What fun! Much of the information was over the girls' heads, but it is always surprising how much they do catch on to as well.

The crew on the boat were *very* informative and handled the kids well. The cruise schedule was as follows:

:: 9:30--depart from Whittier
:: while enroute to Blackstone Glacier, a 25 minute class in local geology and a 25 minute class in navigation
:: lunch
:: arrive at Blackstone Glacier...hang out and observe it calving
:: 3 short workshops in finding the volume of glacial ice, collecting and examining plankton under a microscope, and looking at the turbidity (clarity) of the water
:: while enroute back to Whittier, a 25 minute class about the formation and types of glaciers and their moraines and a 25 minute class in meteorology
:: a stop at the kittywake rookery across the water from Whittier
:: arrive back at the dock

As you can see, it was a busy cruise! I learned a lot and so did the Whittier kids...and we had fun, too! It's so neat to live in a place that offers such diverse field trip options for our kids.

Monday, May 16

Tourist Time

It's that time again! Our first cruise ship of the season is in today...these folks are halfway through a 72 day world cruise. Last year our cruise ships came exclusively from Vancouver BC with the exception of the first and last cruises which had originated in Asia. For most people however, Whittier marks one end of their trip as it's the end of one 7 day cruise and the beginning of another.

There's also a noticeable uptick in vehicle traffic. This year the Alaska Marine Highway is operating a weekly ferry between here and Bellingham. We also have daily service to Valdez and Cordova, so there are two ferries most days and three once a week.

With all of this activity around town, there are lots of funny stories to tell as we interact with visitors. Just a few...

:: Stacy pointing out to me how some of these people around us must not be from Whittier. When I asked her why she thought that she pointed out, "They're wearing hats and gloves and it's HOT out here, Mom!". It was a nice, sunny, 50 degree day after all!

:: Being approached by a stranger and asked if there's a bear "over there" behind the school. After we told him "Not right now!" he continued to ask questions as if he was under the impression we had a bear tied up out back for him to get his picture taken with.

:: Another stranger pointing out exactly what Stacy noticed. "Look! Those children aren't even wearing jackets and we're all bundled up. They must be used to this!". Yup...we sure are!

Don't get me wrong...it's fun to meet all of these folks and they're vital to our economy. But they do give us a chuckle from time to time as well!

Friday, May 13

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, May 11

A Baby Quilt

I know, I know! You see such lovely photos of completed craft projects on other blogs. Children modeling things in the green grass, quilts flapping gently in the breeze on a sunny day, that sort of thing. And then you come here and see this quilt, clipped to a children’s easel.

Sorry folks! That’s life in an apartment in Whittier, Alaska! It’s been fabulously sunny outside the last few days. The wind has also been blowing…30-50mph. So even if I wanted to try to take my quilt outside to drape it artfully over some part of the playground, I couldn’t. It would end up in the middle of the sound! Ah well…it’s still fun to go out…you just have to be mindful of what you bring along.

I just finished up this quilt for a friend of mine who is expecting…any day now! So we’ll package this up along with a dino pillowcase for big brother and send it off…hopefully we’ll hear soon that little brother has made his debut. And hopefully mama and baby will find this snuggly little quilt to their liking!

Monday, May 9

Mother's Day

Whew! What a weekend we had here...a stomach bug made the rounds of the four of us Friday through Sunday, so we spent our weekend camped out on the couch watching various Disney cartoons and movies and reading a stack of books.

I admit, I felt a bit robbed on Sunday morning when I could barely drag myself out of bed after being sick all Saturday afternoon and evening, then sleeping (to use the term loosely) with a still sick 4-year old who somehow managed to hog a king-sized bed with all 41 or so inches of herself. Scott had spent most of the night sleeping on the couch to accommodate Miss Sideways Sleeper, so he wasn't bounding out of bed to bring me pancakes and coffee in bed. I logged onto Facebook and read all about everyone's breakfasts in bed, flowers and other surprises and was feeling pretty low. The day passed without much mention of Mother's Day at all...Kelsey had made me a card and a gift which she gave me first thing and my mama wished me a happy one too. At the end of the day Kelsey mentioned that maybe we should try to do Mother's Day again a different day when we were all feeling better.

The whole thing made me think a little bit. That's what motherhood is. It's ups and downs, good times and bad. It's having your heart feel so completely full when your child brings you flowers and having your heart break when she cries in disappointment. It's feeling so proud of your child you could burst, and 5 minutes later being so embarrassed by them you want to be swallowed up by the floor.

So if I could go back in time and change this weekend, would I? Nope, I don't think so! Because in-between cleaning up vomit and running for the bathroom myself, there were lots of cuddles and snuggles. Because all of a sudden, those daily tasks that occupy so much of the day didn't seem so urgent. It was OK to not worry about what was for dinner and just sit there and enjoy each other's company. Suddenly *right now* became the most important thing. It was a good reminder of what's important (my husband and kids!) and what's not (breakfast in bed). I choose to be grateful for a slow weekend, just hanging out with my favorite people.

So Happy Mother's Day to all of the mamas out there! Hope you had a fabulous (and vomit-free!) day!

Friday, May 6

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, May 4

Whittier Creek

Whittier Creek runs out behind the BTI, down next to the campground, the paid parking lot, under the bridge and out into the sound. During the summer it's difficult to access because the easiest place to walk to it is a through a campsite which is generally occupied. We visited on Monday when it was nice and sunny. Like all kids, mine *love* water. Kelsey has a bit of an issue with depth perception, though. I think we need to find her some kiddie hip waders!

It starts off well enough...

...but before you know it there's something in her boot.

Look closely...see the water dripping off her sock?

And the water running out of her boot?

Stacy preferred a different route, stomping the edges of the snow into the water. Luckily she avoided falling in!

A great way to spend a sunny Monday, eh? Too bad it was followed by showery Tuesday and rainy Wednesday. But we won't get into all of that today...

Monday, May 2

Birthday Craftiness

I had intended to share these with you last week, but the week just got away from me!

This is Stacy's skirt/shirt combo I made her for her birthday/Easter. I mentioned on Kelsey's birthday that I had given up on the birthday dresses for the time being, since they never get worn. I have to say, the skirts aren't getting much wear either! Kelsey's worn hers once since her birthday, Stacy hasn't touched hers. I guess next year I need to ask for some input from them! I'm still holding out hope that they'll fall in love...

And this is the doll quilt that Kelsey "made" Stacy for her birthday. More accurately, this is the doll quilt that Kelsey wanted Stacy to have for her birthday, so she directed me on how to make it and what color it should be. There really wasn't much of an opportunity for it to turn out otherwise, however. We had a very busy week leading up to Stacy's birthday and then Easter on her birthday. Not much time for sewing on Mama's lap. Oh well...a bit more prior planning next time, eh?

Either way, the birthday girl was happy and that's what really matters, isn't it?