Our Family

Our Family
Liberty, Heather, Glade, Ryan, Kim

Friday, October 30, 2009

Country Living

We are really enjoying our new place. This week, winter set in full force. It's a month later than normal, which I won't complain about. We have had snow starting Sunday night until Wednesday. We didn't get too much accumulation though. I have been enjoying the snow tires on the van. They make driving a lot nicer.

I have taken some pictures of what our views look like that I think turned out well. You can see the Aurora from our bedroom window at night when they are out.

I took this one from the Dining Room window the beautiful, clear morning after the snow stopped.

This is a picture from our porch. It shows some ice fog.

All in all, a satisfying and beautiful place to live.

She Talks!

Sort of. This post is for the Grandpas and Grandmas and Aunts and Uncles who haven't gotten to see Libby at all or not much.

Our little Liberty will be 3 months old in two days. Where does the time go? She is getting fun. She babbles and smiles and even laughed the other day. We love having her as part of our family.

Conjunctivitis: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Kim got conjunctivitis (pink eye) a couple of weeks ago and was unable to go to school. As luck would have it, Ryan had the day off. So, although she was extremely sad about missing school with her beloved teacher, she was compensated by a family outing.

We went here. There was a trappers cabin and a fun little trail. Kim found some shiny silvery rocks that she insisted were gold or silver and worth a lot of money.

We did a short hike that everyone enjoyed. The river valley was really nice.

We even did a little Jeepin' and found a rusty old pipe (surely not the Alaskan pipeline?).

On the way home, Ryan spotted this fun little shed next to a little outpost/bar/grocery store. It shows what avid sportsmen live around here.

Speaking of which, someone got a new gun today. Doesn't he look great? I'm biased, of course.

So although Kim got conjunctivitis (we had to go to the ER since the clinic was closed for Columbus Day, fortunately there was no line) which was bad and the day threatened to be ugly, it turned out to be a good, no make that GREAT, day.

Guess who came to our house

You Too Can Take Amazing Aurora Photos

Ha! This is Ryan hijacking the Happy Trails Blog.

Last night Heather and I had a great time being wowed by the Aurora Borealis from our bedroom window. It was the first time we could see it moving and with orange added to the usual green. We took some 15 second exposures of it and they actually turned out really neat.

It doesn't really look as bright in real life as in the photos, but it was still impressive. And the movement was really exciting. The light formations 'travel' what must be hundreds of miles in just a few seconds. They form all kinds of patterns. Usually they go across the sky like a rainbow or in striations like clouds. For a little while they seemed to be rising like smoke from the horizon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why We Need a Big House

I thought I posted this one already, but saw it saved. So here you go.

After staying in hotels for several weeks, we discovered several reasons why we need a bigger house. Don't get me wrong, having a hotel room with a fold out bed, separate bedroom, and kitchenette was great, but there were some hard things too. Like this . . .

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Alaska Fun

And oh what fun we had. A few weeks ago we found an activity that we thought the kids would enjoy and decided to go on Saturday afternoon. The afternoon outing started eventfully as we were driving on the freeway toward its first stoplight in town. I spotted a moose right alongside the road (the first for the kids and I). It was fun to finally see one. There was just one problem. It had a projectile hanging from its side. Yes, some wily hunters had decided to pull over on the freeway and shoot it with their bow. I actually saw their cars before I saw the moose. Then we saw them climbing out of the gully. I think they were probably going to go after the moose again. Interesting start to the day.

After that we drove over to Pioneer Park to watch the pulling contest at the International Sled Dog Symposium. They had some neat dogs there. One lady even got her three dogs out so the kids could pet them. We cautioned the children that these dogs weren't really pets and that they shouldn't try to pet them without permission from mom and dad AND the dog owner. They LOVED petting the dogs. I was surprised to see the variety of dogs they had there. I guess the husky in my mind is the representation of sled dogs. Not so.

The kind lady and her biggest dog.

Her Siberian Husky named Shadow. She was really nice and spent quite a bit of time talking to us and letting us pet her dogs.

I just loved this picture of Kim and the dog looking at each other. Both of the kids thought the dogs were really cool.

We got in on viewing the mid-weight dog weight pull. Two dogs made it to the end. The dogs had 60 seconds to pull the weight a certain distance. They also kept time. Each round they added 120 lb. to the wagon. By the last round, the wagon weighed 2,240 pounds. After that, both dog owners called it. Can't blame them, the dogs must have been exhausted after pulling and pulling with more and more weight. It is impressive how much weight these dogs can pull.

Here's the winner, Minnie, because she took less time to pull the last load.

Here's the runner-up, an Alaskan Husky named Dozer. It was fun to watch him with his owner. They seemed to have a good relationship.

After that, we decided the kids needed some fun, so we walked around the park and found the playground. We thought this swing was cool, especially considering the episode at the beginning of our day.

Busy Kids

Happy (and Busy) Children = Happy Mom

What's that noise?

Click to find out. (Please ignore boxes and general clutter as we are in the process of moving in!)

Love the smile at the end! That's totally Glade.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


We have really been enjoying our woodstove. There was quite a bit of wood when we got here, fortunately for us, but we still needed more to get us through the -40* weather that everyone tries to scare us with. Sooo, how about this? This is what 3 cords of birch looks like after coming out of a dump truck. The kids thought it was really cool to see the dumping action. Notice the pretty lighting on the trees next to the airstrip. That's from the pretty sunsets we get around here.

Kim thought it made a great throne.

Here's me and Libby with the sunset behind. I was able to pick some low-bush cranberries in the area behind me. I have them in the freezer and will enjoy making muffins and bread with them.

Speaking of woodstoves, you should check out woodheat.org That's where this cool firewood sculpture came from.

Outside Fun

We have really been enjoying our new house. We built a fire ring out back and have had several fun nights out there roasting marshmallows and sitting around the fire.

A couple of big pine trees in our yard. If you look closely, you can see Glade at the base. You can also see part of the airstrip in the background. It's the flat, mowed, grassy part past the natural vegetation alongside the trees. You can hear and see planes and helicopters all the time around here. Glade loves it and Kim is always afraid WWIII is starting.

Friday, October 2, 2009

First Day of School

So we're a little late with this post, since Kim's been in school for about 3 or 4 weeks now. It's been a little crazy around here. It was a little different too since all the other kids had been in school for like 3 weeks before we got here. We didn't want to put her in school until we knew for sure where we were going to live so we wouldn't have to move her. Here she is getting ready to leave for her first day. She goes in the afternoon, so I have to take her each day at 11:00.


Glade was a little sad to have to get back in the car after we took her into her classroom. Too bad buddy, a few more years and you'll be there too. As for Kim, she absolutely loves it. Her teacher is great. She told me one day last week that she didn't want to go to school. I was a little confused since she usually loves school. Then I found out that she was supposed to have a sub the next day. She was just sure she wouldn't like her as well as her regular teacher. Fortunately, she survived.

Baby Update

Here's Libby at one-month.

Kimberly, like I said, loves her. She wanted to have her by her in the hotel hide-a-bed.

Not to be left out, Glade was enjoying reading her a story, too bad she was out.

Here's Libby at two-months with Dad in our Living Room. I actually managed to get her with a smile. She coos all the time now too, which is really fun and cute. Don't you love the log walls? I really like them. They seem really homey and fun.