Monday, November 29, 2010

Home with my Girls

 It has been so nice being home with the girls again.  Saturday was a little rough trying to get back on the right time zone but Sunday was right back to normal. And today was just a really great day. We've gotten to cuddle on the couch, dance around the living room, read stories and make a run to Target. :) Tonight after Shane got home from work we went out for ice cream. We got the girls cones for the first time. Nat was great...she totally figured it out. Heidi LOVED having a cone but it got all over her face. Perfect ending to the day. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Last Day in Alaska

Today was such a cool day!! We left this morning around 8 when it was still really dark and drove 2 hours to the Chena Hot Springs. It isn't usually that far away but it was dark and snowing so we were driving slow! It was a beautiful drive and we had plenty of time to have girl talk before we leave tonight!
I took this one out the window while Colie was driving. I love how it looks!
This is my very favorite picture! It is so pretty!! The hot springs were in such a beautiful spot. Tucked in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by mountains and trees...totally gorgeous! 

When we got there it was really really cold. I was freezing on the walk from the car to the main building...not very far away and I was bundled up. :) We got inside and we had to take our shoes off and go into the locker room to change into our bathing suits. I did NOT want to walk outside in nothing but a bathing suit! It was soo cold! But I did. :) We walked to the water area and there was a ramp going into the springs. The water was so hot that it hurt my feet. It was freezing cold outside and super hot in the water...hard to decide whether to stay out or in! Once I got used to it it was amazing. Such a cool place! It actually got very hot while we were in the water, even with the snow falling on us! We stayed for about an hour, took a whole bunch of pictures and then headed back home for our Thanksgiving dinner.
Running from the building to the water, freezing cold but Colie wanted me to stop so she could get a picture!
Colie put her camera on a rock to get a picture of us together.
Isn't this an awesome picture of Mom??

So we come home and start making Thanksgiving dinner. Since we made the turkey yesterday it was soo easy! I really think that we should do this whole thing next year...make the turkey the day before. It just made it an easy stressing...not much cleanup. :) Anyway...Mom made mashed potatoes, I made green bean casserole, Colie made stuffing and gravy. Dinner was ready in less than an hour and cleanup was 15 min! Such a great Thanksgiving!
 All the yummy food. We were all ready to sit down and then we realized that we forgot to heat up the turkey! Pretty funny :)
 I confiscated all electronics before we ate. It was a quiet meal with no dinging or buzzing!
 Everyone gathered to pray before the meal. I had to get the picture first and then join them. :)

This has been a really great Thanksgiving! I talked to Natalie this morning and asked her what she was thankful for. She said her Mommy, Daddy and Mammy. :) I am thankful for so many things this year. Most of all for my amazing husband and adorable little girls. They are the best gifts ever! I'm also really thankful that my husband took care of everything at home so I could spend a week with my sister! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I know...crazy it from Luke. :) We were going to celebrate Thanksgiving today so that we could have the leftovers tomorrow before we went home. I really wanted a turkey sandwich...that's my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner! Colie bought a massive turkey and she put it in the over for 6 hours!! While it was cooking we ran around to a couple shops and when we came back we weren't really in the mood to do the whole Thanksgiving spread. So we decided to have leftovers today and Thanksgiving tomorrow. LeftBeforeHands. :) 
 Carving the Turkey
Let me just say...this was the best idea ever!! The turkey cooked all day in the oven, we used paper plates, added some avacado and some chips and it was the best meal ever. Now tomorrow whenever we are ready to eat we just heat up the sliced turkey, make the sides and eat dinner. No crazy all day cooking. Just a nice dinner and a day of thankfulness. I think it should be a new tradition!!

The weather here has been super crazy. It hasn't been this rainy in the winter since 1939. It's been warm and nice...not even a jacket today. But tonight it started getting colder and foggy. It looked absolutely beautiful. Colie and I took Daisy for a walk so we(she) could get some pretty pictures. I made her put the camera on an electrical box and set the timer so we could get a picture of both of us. She had to run through the snow before the timer went off. :) The hill behind us is their ski slope.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cabin Fever!

Yesterday was such a long day, being stuck in the house without being able to leave even if we wanted to. Today I was totally ready to get out of the house. I don't know what I would do if I had to live in Alaska!! I like getting out of the house every day...even if I'm just going to the Y. Anyway...this morning the roads looked like this.
That's not's ice!! The afternoon brought warmer weather and rain. It made all the snow melt away...well...not all of it. But enough to get out of the house!! Yay!! The roads were really clear but the parking lots were really slippery. Pure ice!
Doesn't that look cool?? Sure glad I didn't have to drive on that! They threw down gravel too so there would be something for your shoes to grip onto and not fall. It froze into the ice and really looked awesome.
Nice huh?? They didn't throw it everywhere though so we still had to walk really slow. The whole reason for even going out in this crazy weather was to get stuff for Thanksgiving. We are celebrating tomorrow and we needed to get all the good stuff for a yummy dinner.  We made it back to the house before it got dark and then settled in for the night. I made my third batch of cookies...the biggest Monster Cookies ever!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Lazy Lazy Day

We must have brought a bunch of warm Georgia air with us on our trip! Alaska is having a heatwave! It melted the snow and then froze again hovering between 30-35 degrees. Then there was freezing rain. The boys took the bus to school but Gracie's school was canceled. By 10 o'clock the boys were calling for Colie to come get them. They saw 5 accidents on the way to school and a bunch of cars in ditches. The buses weren't allowed to take anyone home cause they weren't safe enough. Colie and I went to get the boys in her car. Thank goodness she is a good snow/ice driver!! She went really really slow and still slid around. It was like driving on an ice rink! It took almost twice as long to get there and back so once we were home we didn't go out again. Gracie didn't get out of her pjs all day, the boys vegged in front of the tv and we all just kinda hung out. I made more made taquitos and we ate them all!
 Happy to not be in school! Even though it might not look like it. :)
 Momma's yummy taquitos!
Rolo right out of the oven!

I've been talking to Shane and the girls on iChat since I've been here. It's so nice to be able to talk to my girls even though I'm in Alaska. Heidi isn't too sure about the computer. She talks to me a little bit but not too much. If Colie gets on, Heidi get's really shy and hides under the computer desk. :) I just love being able to see her. I feel like she is getting bigger every day that I'm gone! Nat is so funny. We'll get on and she'll ask..."Where are you Mommy?? 'Laska?"  We talk about her day and make silly faces. She is growing up so fast. She understands so much and I love the conversations we have. Tonight she was showing me that she got to wear Daddy's t-shirt to bed. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Sun Came Out!

It is so weird here! It doesn't get light until around 10 am and then it starts getting dark around 3. It makes you not want to get out of bed in the morning and then at 4 o'clock you think it's time to get back in bed!! But the strange thing is that even though it's light outside there still is no sun. Today we actually saw the sun!! It was so exciting. :) Not until 2 though when it was almost behind the trees. We were downtown, looking in a few cute shops. Colie wanted us to walk around outside in the snow cause it was such a warm beautiful day...30 degrees! We must have brought some Georgia heat with us. :) It was still too cold for me but Colie did a few pictures. 
 These are downtown overlooking the Chena River.

 Can't believe Mom actually sat in the snow just so Colie could take her picture!
 We drove over to the ski slopes on base to say hi to the boys. The sun was setting behind the pretty!! They were at the lodge so we were able to say hi and take a picture with them before they took off for more snowboarding.  Can't believe I used to watch these guys when they were babies and now they are both taller than me!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Alaska Pipeline

 Colie drove us out to the Alaskan Pipeline today. It was freezing...again. :)
 I wanted to try to touch it but I couldn't jump high enough. :) 

So today we got to sleep in. I slept till 9:30!! So nice! When the kids got up, the boys went snowboarding and the girls went shopping. Shopping, shopping, shopping. We are trying to help Colie get her Christmas shopping done so that we can bring it back with us instead of her having to mail it all. Colie wanted to take me skiing today but I'm too scared. I have never been skiing and I just know that she will ditch me once I'm on the hill. :) She also wanted to make me walk to the shopette to get some milk while it was snowing!! Thankfully the kids talked me out of it. :) Now, after a day of shopping we are home and warm, waiting for the boys to get back from snowboarding. I'm getting ready to make some dinner and bake some cookies. Yummy monster cookies. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

In Alaska

We are finally here! Well, we've been here for a few days now. Our flight here was soo long! We almost missed our connection in Seattle and ran to get there. The flights were really full and uncomfortable so we weren't able to sleep but I did read almost an entire book. :) We got here super late and we were exhausted but we switched time zones pretty well. The first day here we went grocery shopping. I brought a ton of recipes to make while I'm here. All desserts!! I made a chocolate cake last night. And hopefully I'll make a bunch of cookies the rest of the time I'm here. 
Today we had so much fun. We went to the north pole!! How awesome is that?? We saw Santa and the reindeer, we went shopping at Santa's Village, we took crazy pictures in the snow. We went to the "mall" funny. It is the area between Safeway and Micheals...maybe 10 or 11 stores. Probably smaller than the Micheals store itself. Pretty funny.
 We were driving to the North Pole and Colie just pulled over to take pictures. Everything is so pretty...there are photo opportunities all over the place! Love the one of me and Gracie.

 The North Pole!! They could totally build this way up and have more stuff around. All the light posts are candy canes though...that was pretty cool.
 We went to Santa's Workshop and got to see Santa! He was so friendly. We all got to sit on his lap. :)
 They have so many moose things here! Had to take a picture with the giant moose. My goal for my Alaska trip is to take a picture with a real moose though...we'll see how that goes. :)
My favorite picture! That is Santa's reindeer!! Wish they weren't behind so much wire!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two Days Left!!

I can't believe I'm actually going to Alaska. I've been trying to get so much done before I leave. I've been decorating the house for Christmas so I don't have to when I get back. I've been running around all week, making sure I have everything I need and everything Colie wants me to bring her. :) I've been to Target, the mall, CVS, and Target over and over. I go out and then come home and then realize I forgot one of the things on my list. Thankfully I start preparing way early...helps with my forgetful baby brain that I got with Natalie that never went away! I also wanted to bring their Christmas gifts with me so I wrapped those tonight. I have to say...I got THE CUTEST wrapping paper ever! I love love love it. :)  I also decided to use raffia this year as ribbon. I don't know why I did that. It's so messy and so hard to use. If there is anyone who knows a good way of using the stuff, please let me know!
 For those of you who don't know...I have a thing for reindeer/moose. I love them. I have a bunch all over my house.  Mostly just at Christmas time. I love them all year but I can get away with having them all over my house at Christmas. :) Here are just a few....
 This is my very first moose. I painted it when Shane was in boot camp our first year of marriage.
 I guess technically this was my very first one even though he is a reindeer. My best friend Hollyann gave this to me when we were probably 14. Funny thing is it still smells like her perfume. :)

 I painted this moose a couple years later to give away as a gift but I liked it too much and kept it for myself. I think that is when I realized that I liked them so much. :)

Then I started getting them as gifts. Colie bought me this cookie jar that is always filled with Monster Cookies whenever I start baking my Christmas cookies. 

 These are our stockings. I made them too. Wow...I really look craftly don't I?? :) The reindeer one is mine. :)
This is my newest arrival from Aunt Marilyn. Totally cute. But really this does not even cover them all. I have a BUNCH!
But back to Alaska...I'll get off my craziness for all things moose! It hit me the other day that I am leaving for 10 days. Now, while I am massively excited to see Colie, Luke, Matthew and Gracie, having 10 days of peace and quiet, 10 days of doing whatever I want, 10 days of mommy free time...I can't believe I'm leaving my girls for 10 days! Isn't that crazy? I want to go so bad and I am so excited to leave but I am already feeling so so sad about leaving. My girls are so cute and cuddly and sweet. Natalie and I are having real conversations now. We can talk about things and she asks questions and listens to my answers. She is so smart. I love how she thinks! She makes me laugh all the time with the things she comes up with. Today when I went to get her from her nap she hadn't slept and when I asked her why she said, "Naps are just weird, Mom."
Heidi is the cutest thing ever. She makes my heart smile! The looks she gives are so angelic and sweet and mischievous all at the same time. She is at my favorite age right now. I don't want her to move to the next one...she can stay right here forever! I'm going to miss them so much!!