Friday, April 29

20 Questions for a 9 Year Old

1.  How old are you?

2.  Who is your best friend?
     Epiphany & Charity

3.  What is your favorite thing to do?

4.  What is your favorite color?
    pink, blue & purple

5.  What is your favorite food?

6.  What do you like to do with your family?
     go fishing

7.  What is your favorite toy?

8.  What do you want to be when you grow up?
     a vet

9.  What makes you happy?
     when people are nice to each other

10.  What makes you sad?
     when people argue and are rude

11.  What is your favorite show to watch?
     Miles From Tomorrowland and Girl Meets World

12.  What is your favorite book?
     anything Oregon Trail

13.  What do you love to learn about?

14.  What is the best part of your birthday?
     getting presents

15.  Where do you like to go?
     places with my family and friends

16.  Who is your teacher?
     Ms. Erk, Mrs. C, Ms. Mandy, my mom

17.  What is your favorite treat?
     going swimming

18.  What do you think about before you fall asleep?
     What I did good and what I could do better the next day?

19.  If you could meet someone famous who would it be?
     the people off Disney Descendants

20.  What kind of cake did you have this year?
     I made a rainbow cake!

The answers on her 8th birthday
The answers on her 7th birthday
The answers on her 6th birthday
The answers on her 5th birthday

Thursday, April 28

Happy Birthday, Stacy!

Our one and only Daisy Mae had a birthday this past weekend.  Kelsey called Stacy "Daisy" when she was learning to talk and it stuck.  We have used it interchangeably with Stacy for the last 9 (!!) years!  I imagine one of these days she'll grow out of it, but until then we're hanging on to it.

Stacy picked these cake mixes out at the beginning of March and has been anxious to cook them ever since.  She laid them all out on Friday night and came up with the plan to bake them from purple to red so that she could stack and frost the layers as they cooled.  We only have two circle pans, so we had to cook them in 3 rotations.  I thought she was pretty clever.  I would have gone from red to purple and been trying to store them all along the way.

Scott and Kelsey were up at Amber Lake for Saturday, helping with a roofing project, so Stacy and I baked, shopped, and a had lots of fun on Saturday by ourselves.  We kept the cake in the cupboard while we were working on it to keep Peanut out of it (he has a sweet beak!) and to keep it from being damaged.

Six layers makes for a tall cake....

Stacy had planned to wait to open any of her gifts until Scott and Kelsey got home, but in the end she couldn't hold out.  She tore into her birthday dress first...

And then opened other gifts while Face-timing with other family members.  I did make her hold out for her gift from Kelsey, though.  Stacy and I went out for a birthday breakfast at the Inn at Whittier.  She chose her favorite, biscuits and gravy.  She later confided that eating at restaurants would be more fun if the food tasted more like it does at home.  Poor kiddo!  Apparently I have spoiled her.  Or created her to be a hermit.  Or a food critic? was still fun to do something special.

Scott and Kelsey got home right after Stacy and I got home from church, so Stacy finally got to open that gift.  Kelsey nailed it...again.  They were both so excited!

Kelsey's video goes just up until Stacy opens it and then she quit recording!  Don't you just love Stacy's face when she *finally* realizes what it is?!?! So sweet!  It's a new comforter for her bed.

We took her birthday dinner outside with some friends.  It was nice to be able to enjoy some time outside before it started to pour.  She chose lasagna as her entree, and then there was her amazing cake she had made...

It was delicious, though hardly anyone was able to eat their small sliver...

It was a fun day, and she still has her party to look forward to on May 7.  It's going to be a pool party!!

Sunday, April 10

Sunny Sunday

It was *very wet* outside this weekend, but last weekend we got a surprise sunny Sunday!  After church (and my after-church nap) the girls and I hopped on our bikes and took off.  We rode down to the harbor where we played until Kelsey slipped on a rock and fell in the water.  We came home and changed clothes, then went back out for a ride to Smitty's Cove.  We met up with friends down there, so we all walked/rode/strollered home together to gather up the necessary supplies for a bonfire dinner. 

We met up at the head of the bay, the best place for springtime bonfires because it gets sun for the longest period of time. 

Kelsey recently described our barbecues like this, "Typical Whittier barbecue.  We look outside and it is sunny so 10 minutes later we text all of our friends to invite them.  We all bring whatever food we can find, wrap it up in tinfoil, put it on the fire and then share it when it is done cooking."  That's a pretty accurate summary!  It's all about the sunshine and the friends...the food is not generally the focus.

The sun held on through Monday early afternoon, but by the end of the school day it was pouring again.  Monday run was pretty though!

The weather forecast doesn't look real promising for more sunny bonfires this week, but you never know.  Mother Nature has a way of surprising us!

Bison Run Wild 5K

Last weekend the girls and participated in the Bison Run Wild 5K with some friends of ours.  It was a fundraiser for our friends over at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.  The first male runner across the finish line was awarded the right to name the first male bison calf of the season, likewise for the first female finisher and calf.  Rest assured...we're weren't first across the line, but we did all three cross the finish line!

It was rainy in Whittier last Saturday, but not over in Portage thank goodness!  It was a bit breezy though, so after arriving early to a) pick up our race bibs and b) get a good parking spot we waited in the car for the race to start.  Here we are with our friends, just before we started the run. 

It was a lot of fun!  Kelsey took off with her friend and Stacy and I hung back.  Stacy ran about half of the run, alternating with walking...not back for someone who didn't train!  She was alternately hot/cold/hungry/thirsty as we made our way around the route.  When we finished she fueled up with some water and pretzels.  Kelsey was happy to run with her buddy and finished a ways ahead of Stacy and I.  I am proud of both of them for sticking with it and finishing.  The route consisted of basically two laps around the center and then a shortened third lap.  It was a bit windy, so warm when you were running with the wind and chilly when you were running against it.  They were very happy at the finish line!

After the run we headed on into town to give away their old bikes and get new ones.  They're big enough now for bikes with gears!!

We hurried home so they could ride the rain.  I offered to stop in Girdwood where it wasn't raining, but they wanted to come on home so I could be on my bike, too.

rainbow in Bear Valley at the tunnel staging area

Our ride wasn't long as the girls were tired and hungry, but they enjoyed getting out and trying out their new wheels.  A surprise sunny day the next day gave us another opportunity to practice shifting as well.  Hard to believe they're riding adult bikes now...summer here we come!!

Wednesday, April 6

Spring Break Part 2

Scott met us at the cabin at Amber Lake.  It was actually pretty great timing...we arrived about 20 minutes apart!  We unloaded and the kids made good use of the trampoline to make up for the 5 hours we had spent in the car.  Scott got some Garmin Rino radios as an early birthday present, so we played with them over the next few days while we were out riding.  We took a couple of shorter rides and one l-o-n-g 90 mile ride one day.  It was lots of fun to explore!  The radios are a pretty cool combo of radios and GPS units.  When we got home Scott played around with the program that came with them.  You can put in routes to follow as well as track your own routes.  Here's where we went over those few days....

Pretty cool, huh?  Here are a few shots from along the way...

This was one of my favorite moments when we were out exploring.  We found this random bench and swing out along a side trail.  The bus that the seats apparently came out of was sitting at the bottom of the hill...

Sitting here you are looking at Denali and Shulin Lake.  Breathtaking!

Our last day we made a point of finding a nice wide open space where the kids could drive...

Sunday morning I woke up to find this out in the living room....

They don't always get along...but they don't always fight either!  It was lots of fun to spend some time together as a family.  We all love these times together when we can just enjoy time with each other.  We're soaking it up!!

Friday, April 1

Spring Break, Part 1

Hiya!  Our internet hasn't been the greatest lately, so I haven't posted.  It's like dial-up days...waiting and waiting for a page to load. So frustrating and yet...such a first-world problem.  We had spring break March 14-18.  It was so much fun!  The girls and I left bright and early on the morning of the 13 to drive to Fairbanks.  It's become an annual trip for us, to visit Nana and take in the World Ice Carving Championships.  If you would have told me that I would actually look forward to an 8 hour road trip by myself with the kids I would have laughed at you, but I really did!  It was a good trip, very smooth and not much squabbling.  There was lots of talking, some reading, and some listening to audio books.  A good way to spend a drive!

Our first day Nana had some commitments, so the girls and I ventured out on the town by ourselves.  We went to the Morris Thompson Cultural Center.  We had been there before a few years ago, but I knew the girls would appreciate it more now.  I was right...they read every. single. sign to me!

This year was the first year that the girls got to go at night--they were generally impressed, but it stretched poor S to her limit.  She doesn't handle being tired very well, poor kid.

We toured the sculptures, headed down the slide a few times and then headed back to Nana's house to go to bed.  Wednesday morning we played at Nana's house with her grandson.  It was 7 degrees out, but they were out there for over an hour!

It started snowing on Tuesday and snowed all day on Wednesday.  We left Fairbanks after lunch and headed south to Trapper Creek.  It was a lovely drive...if you love going 35 miles an hour in snowy  and windy conditions that is!  We arrived there safely though, so that's all that matters!  The craziest part was coming down the hill into Trapper Creek, turning onto Petersville Road and seeing this...

It was crazy how fast the clouds cleared and it was so pretty and sunny!  I'll be back soon with a post all about our time on Amber Lake...