Friday, September 30

{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, September 28

A Visit to the Sealife Center

It's certainly no secret that we love the Alaska Sealife Center!  We've been there several times and taken lots of visitors.  Last weekend it was Moo Grandma's turn!  We loaded up the girls into the car (with the portable DVD player!!) and headed out.  What a fun day we had!  Being a bit older this time the girls showed a bit more interest in different parts of the center and noticed different things this time around.  We still spent a great deal of time at the touching pools...twice!

harbor seal

sea lion

halibut
Stacy--a bit more confident this time around
Kelsey--completely in her element!
We wrapped up our trip with a picnic at the wonderful Seward park, and a stop at Sweet Darlings for some gelato...YUM!

Monday, September 26

Denali 2011--Part 2

We headed south to Denali on Saturday afternoon.  We stopped by the visitor's center, visited the bookstore, and checked in at the wilderness access center to get our driving permit and our campground spot.  Then we met up with some of my friends from Whittier and had dinner at Prospector's Pizzeria.  Yum! 

Denali  
The next morning we got up EARLY and left for the drive.  We drove to Kantishna (the end) and then meandered back, stopping frequently for pictures!

 

We got so lucky with the weather!  A gorgeous day.  It was raining when we went to bed the night before, but the day dawned clear and the clouds around the mountain mostly cleared out for some beautiful pictures!  Though we didn't spot any wildlife on our way in, we did spot two groups of bears on our way out and several flocks of sheep.  It was so much fun to share that experience with my sister and uncle!


As we exited the park we made a quick stop at the Murie Science and Learning Center.  We stayed one more night in our camp site, then headed out early Monday morning to take my sister back to the airport.  It was a whirlwind trip, but lots of fun!!

Friday, September 23

{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, September 21

Denali 2011--Part 1

Wow!  What a fun 4 days!  I could tell you *all* about it, but it would be the world's longest blog post!  Instead I'll try to share a bit about our trip over the next few days, breaking it up a bit to make it a bit more digestible!  Today we'll focus on our drive up to Fairbanks and our time in Fairbanks.


My uncle, my sister and I headed out on Friday morning on the 9am tunnel.  My sister and I had rented a 100-400mm zoom lens, so we were eager to try it out.  After using it to get pictures of the black bear across the street hunting rabbits, we used it the next day to take pictures of our resident bald eagle family.

 
From there we continued on to Potter's Marsh just outside of Anchorage, where she shot pictures of some swans there.  Swans in Potter's Marsh means summer really is over.  Boo.  There was little doubt, though...it's been raining for weeks in Whittier!


From there we continued on to Fairbanks, stopping whenever we wanted to take a few pictures.  In other words, often! After we got settled into our hotel and got some dinner we checked out the wildlife sanctuary behind our hotel that is also adjacent to the Alaska Bird Observatory.  The wildlife sanctuary turned out to be so neat that we also started our day off there the next morning!

Friday evening

Saturday morning
From there we went to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, Pioneer Park (formerly known as 'Alaska Land', and then the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum.  Needless to say, we had quite a busy morning!  I could write an entire post about each place we visited, but instead I'll just say that each was neat it its own way.  The Morris Thompson Center is still being developed, but is a neat place to visit with lots of information about the native people of interior Alaska.

display at Morris Thompson Cultural center

Pioneer Park was not in full operation when we visited, but looks like a neat way to preserve a bit of Fairbanks history while also creating a place for people to visit and play.

cabin/merchant space at Pioneer Park
The Fountainhead Auto Museum was phenomenal.  It truly is a world-class museum.  A must-see if you are in Fairbanks!

So many shiny (very shiny!) cars!
neat-o side view mirror
We left town after a picnic lunch and headed south to Denali National Park, which I'll tell you all about next time!

Friday, September 16

Goin' to Denali!

photo taken during 2010 Denali road lotto drive
We're off!  My sister and uncle are in town and we are headed off to Fairbanks and Denali National Park.  Stay tuned for lots of photos!

{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, September 14

Behind...

If you're reading this then you've noticed that I'm behind here in this space!

We have been up to lots of little things here, but the biggest deal has been helping our friends at our community school move back into their space.  Our school underwent a major renovation this summer.  We got new paint, new floorings, a new fire sprinkler system, and new lights and ceiling.  Our school is small, but has held upwards of 50 kiddos in its heyday and has been here since the late 50s or early 60s.  That's a lot of stuff!  Lots of accumulated good stuff...and lots of junk, too. 

As with any project, no matter how much you plan ahead, there's always one more thing to do.  Just when you think you've moved this stuff for the last time then you have to go and move it one more time.  We are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel though!  We held back to school night in our gym on Monday (we finished emptying the gym at 10pm on Sunday night!) and the kids played in it for the first time yesterday.  If you had looked in there a week ago you wouldn't have thought the kids would *ever* play in it again!

So I don't have much photos-wise to show off from the last week or so, but I've gotten a lot accomplished!

Friday, September 9

{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.
 
 

Alaska State Fair

Here's my quickie summary of the Alaska State Fair:
The Alaska State Fair...the only place I know of where you can see a 1200 pound pumpkin, a 1700 pound cabbage, kangaroos, a baby emu, a kookaburra, reindeer, and someone walking around dressed up like an Alaska Airlines jet!
The girls and I headed up to Palmer last weekend for our first annual trip to the Alaska State Fair.  The weather was fabulous compared to Whittier.  Whittier has been stuck in a long streak (we were granted a 24 hour reprieve from yesterday afternoon to this afternoon) of sideways rain, so when we got to Palmer and it was only windy we were thrilled!  

We saw the usual fair lineup of horses, cows, ducks, geese, chickens, goats, pigs, rabbits, etc.  The girls loved the petting zoo and would have probably parked themselves there for hours if they didn't have a time limit on your visit so that the petting zoo fun could be shared by all.  We also got to see Alaska's giant vegetables, the 'Alaska Down Under' exhibit complete with kangaroos, kookaburras and an emu, and ride our first carnival rides.  Needless to say, we had lots of fun and were TIRED at the end of it all.  We will most certainly be returning next year for sure!

Here are some of the *many* pictures I took...there are lots more over on Fotki!

rabbit in the petting zoo
chicks!
one of many sheep
hula hooper extrordaniare
hula hooper in training
riding the rides

Tuesday, September 6

Stacy's First Day of Preschool

Sheesh!  I imagine I'm not the only one with two totally different kids.  On one had I have Kelsey.  Some days I swear if she could climb back into my womb she would.  Anything new or different causes her major anxiety.  On the other hand I have Stacy.  Stacy who will talk to almost anyone and just may wander off with them too!  Needless to say, Stacy's first day of preschool went much differently than Kelsey's.  We all ate breakfast at school, the girls lined up with their classes and Stacy walked off.  No leg clinging, no tears, no looking back.  Just off with her classmates.  What a proud moment!

Here's my preschooler...


Happy, proud, and independent!

Friday, September 2

{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.