Our Family

Our Family
Liberty, Heather, Glade, Ryan, Kim

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Alaska Night

Tonight Heather noticed two moose sleeping in our yard. We took many pictures of them from our bedroom window. Here is a 15-second exposure of one with the planet Mars.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

'Tis the Season!

We had a great Christmas together as a family, made bittersweet by the upcoming deployment. The kids are great and make Christmas even better. We started out the day VERY early. After a story from her teacher, Kim decided to get up early and jump on us to wake us up. So up they both came at 5:00. This was a little surprising since she usually doesn't want to get up until 7:30 or 8:00. After trying to get them to lie down and be quiet, we gave up and started the day.

After the gifts we enjoyed a pretty quiet day as a family enjoying gifts and each other.

I just had to include this picture from Christmas Eve since she's just so dang cute! Plus, she managed to sleep through all of the gift part of Christmas morning.

Kim was excited to get this nutcracker on Christmas Eve. She really loved the ballet we attended.

I had the good surprise of a serger from Ryan. I have played with it a little bit and think it will be great to have and fun to experiment with.

Grammy sent a neat gift for Glade. An Army bear complete with beret and tan shoes. So cute! The great part is that Ryan can record a message for Glade on a little box and we can listen to it while he is deployed.

Grammy made this hat for Glade, but I think Ryan was a little jealous! She better make one for her boy next year I think!

Glade did finally get his hat back from Dad and used it riding his airplane. He did turn into a bear later in the day (from getting up so early) and had to have a nap.

I think we have an organizer on our hands. Glade has always been good about putting toys away and wanting things where they go. Here's how we found his stocking and the candy he had left. Yellow is his favorite color so all gold wrapped candy was gone.

Kimberly must be growing up. She didn't get too many toys for Christmas, mostly clothes and things like that. Here's a wonderfully soft blanket made by Grandma. She loves it and Dad has been tempted to steal it. The crib set she made for Libby is adorable too, but I didn't get any pictures of it yet.

Very cute jumper for our Princess.

More handmade creations on our girls from Grammy.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mt Aurora

I was tempted to head down to Alyeska ski resort this weekend, but it was threatening about a nine-hour drive and five total days by the time we satisfied all objectives of the trip. We decided to simplify and stay home, so I visited Mount Aurora Skiland, 30 miles north of Fairbanks, this morning. It was to be the opening day of the season. They bill the hill as "The Farthest North Downhill Ski Area in North America!"

I arrived about 9:30, before dawn, and found only a few other cars in the parking lot. Most everybody was teen or college age. We milled around waiting for some sign of life from the proprietors.

Rumors started to circulate that they weren't opening after all, so I walked over to the Ski Patrol shack and chatted with the lone patrolman there. He let me know they weren't opening, either due to thin snow or high winds--he hadn't heard which. I told him I was a dentist and thought I might be interested in doing Ski Patrol. He encouraged me to come back next year, after my deployment.

Disappointed, I considered packing up and heading out like the other people in the lot. But then I thought, "Aw, what the heck. I don't have anywhere to go." So I stepped into my skis and took a run down to the base of the lift.

It was a lot of fun. I would go back when they are open. Of course all the fresh, untracked powder helped.

I listened to Handel's Messiah hiking back to the top, and it made for a spiritually satisfying experience. I stopped to jump off a big rock that was beckoning (sorry, no video; I sure miss my brothers). Views of the sunrise on the White Mountains to the north were really gorgeous. I took another half run after reaching the lodge at the summit.

The moon rose low, near the horizon.

I finished up around 12:30 or 13:00. It was a great morning. Since the lifts didn't open, I got some extra exercise and saved twenty-five bucks.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Birthday Time!

Glade has been convinced that it is someone's birthday because of the gifts under the tree. He kept asking me whose birthday it was. So on Monday for Family Home Evening, we talked about the birth of the Savior and how we celebrate his birthday at this time of year. The next day I heard him singing "Happy Birthday to Jesus." He is so darn cute!

4 Months Already?

Liberty is getting so big. She is four months old as of December 1st. She grabs onto toys, binkies, and hair (unfortunately for me!). She is also starting to sit up by herself. She is a happy baby and we love her so much!

Sporting her snowsuit from Uncle Reed and Aunt Katie. Love it guys!

I put her in the bouncer and she wouldn't sit back! Getting to be such a big girl!

Hansel and Gretel

We decorated a gingerbread house for Family Home Evening this week. I emphasize decorate. I didn't get around to actually making the gingerbread this year, but I did buy a pre-made house. Cheap, huh! Oh well, the kids still loved it.

It didn't last very long though. Hansel and Gretel ate most of it last night. At least it was gratifying to see that the gingerbread wasn't nearly as good as the candy on it. Homemade wins for that!

Living in the Old Days

I guess we're living in the old days around here. This morning Kim commented that it looked black and white, like an old movie or picture. I had to agree with her.

It's not always like that though. We had this gorgeous sunrise last week. Although it was at 10:45!

Tired Snowman

It is so cold around here that the snow isn't really that great for playing in. It doesn't stick together that well for snowballs, or snowmen. That is Kimberly's biggest complaint.

One day it actually got a little above freezing and I told Kimberly it was her chance to make a snowman. She headed out a little before it was time to leave for school. It was too hard for her to make a standing up snowman, so she made one laying down. I couldn't get out there to help since I was trying to get everything and everyone ready to get her to school on time (a process, let me tell you!). She dropped rocks into the middle part to make buttons (or holes).

Very creative little sweetie! Glad you had fun and could at least build one snowman this year!


Gracious! I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted!

Ryan was nice enough to forgo hunting or skiing to go the the matinee of the Nutcracker with us. The kids really got into the first half (more like a play). I was a little surprised at how much Glade enjoyed it. After the intermission was more ballet and Glade got a little tired. Kim seemed to really enjoy it though. She leaned over in the middle and said, "This is awesome! Thanks for bringing me!"

After the performance, they had a little tea party with cookies and punch. They handed out little autograph books that the kids to take around to the performers and get their signatures. Kim said, "This is my first time getting the signature of a famous person!" She was sooooo excited.

As you can see, she wanted to wear her leotard and tutu. Here she is with the Dew Drop Fairy.

With one of the sugar plum dancers.

Don't tell her, but we got her a nutcracker for Christmas. I hope it doesn't turn into a prince, we're not quite ready for that yet. :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kid Smarts

Dad: "Ah, food never tastes better than after you exercise."
Kim: "Or watch a movie!"