Our Family

Our Family
Liberty, Heather, Glade, Ryan, Kim

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wintertime, the First Stage

October brings snow. It's interesting to see the contrast between the pictures from September and October. The first part of winter is actually quite nice. The temps aren't too bad, especially once the sun comes up. The days are definitely getting shorter though. Glade has been noticing that it's still dark when Kim goes to school and it bothers him. Sorry Buddy, but it's only going to get worse over the next few months. The only pictures we have so far besides ones of the kids making funny faces are of Ryan's two big hikes.

The first hike Ryan went on was with a new friend he made at work. The hiked up by Mt. Prindle in the White Mountains. They didn't get as far as they would have liked, but still had a good time. Too bad the weather wasn't better though.

Look at that rugged Alaskan man. (Insert Tim Allen grunt here.)

There's just something about snow by water that I love. I love this picture of Ryan!

Can you see the moose in this picture? Me neither. Nice layering though!

Ryan's second trip: same place, a week later, nice, sunny weather, solo this time. We got a GPS finally and Ryan plotted himself a 15-mile hike to do.

The Jeep is still going strong.

You get ice again, just because I like it!

Look cold? It was. Ryan said up on top in the wind it felt about 20 below. His videos aren't much use since you can mostly just hear the wind blowing past the mic. His camera quite working it was so cold. Beautiful though!

Remember September!

With the rosy glow of a busy but fun August fading, we plunged into September, which wasn't nearly as busy as August. Or was it?

We made a quick trip to Anchorage. We picked a beautiful weekend and actually SAW Denali this time around. Here's the view from on the way down.

At a gas station where we had a picnic, the kids found a little tree that someone had cut down. It just HAD to come home with us. On this trip we also went to an indoor water park, that was a little too cold for our liking, and had a trip to the temple. Some very nice people that live by the temple kept the kids for us so we could attend a session together.

Denali on the way back.

Ryan went grouse hunting and came back with some fresh meat. In case you can't tell, those aren't grouse.

Ryan did an epic bike ride North of Fairbanks. I can't remember how long it was, but he was gone all day. He said it was strange to think that there was basically nothing in the direction he was riding when it came to people and towns.

While Ryan was gone, the kids decorated the house for Autumn. Oops, I mean each other. It's not Halloween yet!

We finally got ourselves a pet. She's the best kind! No feeding, watering, or walking to do! The kids love her and sleep with her every night, even Liberty! We just have one rule, if she gets fought over, she has to go stay in the garage. So far, it's worked pretty well.

Autumn came and went quickly. Here's the view from our dining room. The trees all get so golden and pretty. It doesn't last long though, only a few weeks before all the leaves are gone. Then we head into winter.

Chena Hot Springs

Our family finally made it out to Chena Hot Springs, a drive of about an hour. Ryan drove out early and ran the Angel Rocks trail to meet us at the Springs. We got a later start than planned, but still managed to get there just in time to see Ryan run up. They had an indoor pool that was nicely heated and a rock pool outside that was gorgeous, but too hot from the springs for kids. Other than the nice sulfur smell, we loved the pool and have been back again since. The rock pool is beautiful with all the steam coming off of it in the cold air.

School Days

Kim started First Grade in mid-August and has been enjoying it, for the most part. Her teacher just graduated from UAF and is a native Alaskan, which is kind of neat. The biggest challenge is getting herself up and ready in the morning. Oh, and keeping track of all of her cold weather gear, now that it's snowy out. The kids go out to recess until 20 below zero, so gloves, snowpants, and hats are a must.

The Reading Race

Ryan was gone for the first half of the summer and I decided that Kimberly needed something to help keep her busy without school to fill her days. We read a story in the "Friend" about a reading race and I decided that might be just the thing. We each got a marble in a jar when we finished a book. Kim had to read several small books to get a marble or one chapter book. All of the sudden, this girl took off. She LOVES to read and finished over 75 chapter books this summer! At the end, we went out for ice cream at Cold Stone.

Three Kids in a Boat

In mid-August we decided to take a trip to Quartz Lake. Ryan picked out a rod for me and we headed out pretty early in the morning. Too early, it turned out. The boat rental stand didn't open until 10:00. We had quite a bit of time to kill. We walked around by the lake and enjoyed the misty day.

Maybe this was the reason the boat rental place wasn't open. You couldn't even see across the lake to where the houses were.

Kim and Glade found some sticks to use as fishing rods. Later Dad put some fishing line on them and Glade actually caught a fish on his!

The kids also enjoyed throwing rocks into the lake. You could definitely see a reason for the name "Quartz Lake".

We finally got a boat and spent the next 4 hours fishing and riding around the lake in the boat. The kids actually enjoyed it. Ryan was a great organizer for this trip and made everything work out really well.

Our catch for the day. I think we finally decided that they were arctic char and young rainbow trout. Not real big, but it was still fun to catch them.

Kim was a little sad that they weren't alive any more.

It was a wonderful day. We all enjoyed the outing tremendously and hope to do it again next summer. Now that we have two rods, maybe we will start earlier in the year and get more out of it!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

When the Abbotts Came to Town

In my last post, I mentioned that Ryan's parents flew in on Liberty's birthday. We had them all to ourselves for a week and we loved having them. We stayed very busy and did lots of fun things. Here's a selection!

Grammy enjoying a beautiful day and getting to know Liberty.

A rare picture of Ryan and I together.

A salmon grilled dinner enjoyed on the porch.

One day we took a riverboat ride on the Discovery. It was a lot of fun.

The riverboat included a stop at a native Athabaskan village. There were some sled dogs there and Susan Butcher's husband was there signing books about Granite, her famous lead dog. Here's the kids next to a statue of him.

A very impressive fur coat with a full ruff. Very gorgeous. It also looked very hot!

Ryan and his dad went fishing for Arctic Grayling, and caught quite a few.

We took a train ride (Glade's favorite) and visited a gold mine.

We all enjoyed panning for a little gold.

We HAD to have a fire and make s'mores. Even Liberty got a real s'more instead of just marshmallows this time. I think she kinda liked it, what do you think?

Everyone enjoyed the treat.

Thanks for coming Grammy and Grandad! We really enjoyed it and hope you come again soon!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Finally One!

Our sweet little Liberty is finally one! We started the day with pancakes.

She's getting to be quite the stair climber!

That evening, what better way to celebrate than to welcome Grammy and Grandad for a week-long visit! We were so happy to see them.

The next night we had a real party! Cupcakes made by Kim and Grammy.

Balloons are SOOOOO fun!

I didn't have anything particularly special in mind for her birthday, so I let the kids choose a gift for her. Glade chose a microphone. I think the other two have enjoyed it at least as much as Libby (and probably more).

Kimberly chose a tip and topple friend. It's just about bigger than Liberty.

We sure do love our Liberty. She is a sweet, smiley (most of the time) little girl.

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

I tried my hand at an Alaskan garden this year. It seemed to work really well. Turns out up here you aren't really safe to plant things in the ground until June 1st. I started quite a few little things in small containers, then transplanted them to the garden, which was prepared by my Visiting Teacher's husband. It was awesome that they did that for me! I also planted some things straight into the ground. We are reaping the harvest now. I have only ever had a square-foot garden, so it has been really fun and exciting to get quite a bit more produce than a small garden provides. Most of what we have harvested has been snap peas, regular peas, and a few little tomatoes thrown in.

Kimberly smelling some fireweed. She told me she looked like she was covered with dew. Actually, she was running in the water spraying out of the hose.

Glade is washing one of his peas in the hose.

Kim was trying to fill up her bowl with peas. Getting there!

Even Libby was getting in on the action, although I think she enjoyed eating the dirt more than the peas!