Our Family

Our Family
Liberty, Heather, Glade, Ryan, Kim

Sunday, November 20, 2011

All Dressed Up

We spent Halloween this year Trick-or-Treating at the Hospital on-post. Who wants to trick-or-treat outside in sub-zero weather? Not I. Turns out there were a lot of stations for the kids to stop at and they made a big haul even though the hospital isn't that large.

The DENTAC's station. The kids got spider rings here.

One of the departments had Star Wars costumes. Love it!

Ready for a sugar high? They are! What a cute robot, ladybug, and scary witch! It was fun to have some friends with us too.

Fun in the Snow

We got our first snowfall in mid-October this winter and the kids have really enjoyed it. (At least until the 40 below temperatures we've been having this week anyway.)

Kimberly's favorite activity, since Fairbanks snow isn't that great for snowmen, is to make snow angels. This is one of her first of the year.

Glade is an all-around happy guy that is pretty much up for anything. Turns out it's hard to push Libby around in the stroller with snow on the ground.

Liberty is finally old enough to enjoy the snow this year. She always says, "Coldy! Coldy! Coldy!" when we go out to the van in the mornings to go to the bus stop. :)

Pumpkins Galore!

We had a great time carving pumpkins this year with some new friends. Here's a crazy picture of the kids!

What the jack-o-lanterns looked like in the dark.
It was a great evening!


I had the opportunity to travel to Arizona by myself in September to attend my sister's sealing. It was such a nice trip. It was nice to not have to worry about kids in airports and on airplanes. It was so wonderful to see my family and share the joy on my sister's happy day. I did take the camera, but didn't manage to take many pictures. It was fun to celebrate a nephew's birthday while there and stay a night with my brother's family. Also, I loved that my friend Karen took time to drive up to Seattle to see me on my layover there. Such a great trip! Thanks to my sweet husband who made it possible for me to go by keeping the kids happy and healthy while I was gone.

Oh, and by the way, it turns out September in Arizona is still very hot. I have forgotten what it is like, having not lived there for quite a few years.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

North Pole Fire Station

We have been doing a home-based preschool group with some friends this year. Glade has really been enjoying it. Today was no exception. Today was actually something extra special. We went to the North Pole Fire Station to have a tour and see what firefighters do.

Glade was pretty quiet and hesitant at first.
He wasn't sure he wanted to go see the man in the funny clothes.

He warmed right up soon though and had a great time learning about the tools carried on firetrucks, hoses with different colored valves, and actually getting to climb into a fire truck. In fact, he didn't want to get out. The firefighters were very kind and patient with our small children and it made a difference.

His second time climbing in the fire truck.
Here's proof that Liberty was there too. She mostly wanted to be with me, but did occasionally hold hands with some of the other kids and go to them.

The highlight of the visit? Must be this. Who showed him what those switches did? :)

A Project Finished

I cut this shirt out for Glade last year, thinking of getting it made for Christmas. I decided that it was a bit too big for him, but pulled it out and finished it up last week. It is yellow, one of his very favorite colors, which means he REALLY likes it. He even wore it to church on Sunday for the Primary Program.

The Last Adventure of Summer

Literally the last day before our first real snowfall, Ryan was able to take a bike ride up on Murphy Dome, down to the river and did some hunting and fishing. He had a great time.

A ptarmigan, which we ate for dinner the next day.

The river is starting to ice over, even more so now that we've had a week and a half of winter weather.

He had a little trouble with his fly getting stuck on the ice, and this was the result. No fish, just ice caught that day.
Still enjoying his mountain bike and being in the great outdoors.

Run, Kim, Run!

Look closely, she's the one in turquoise with both arms in air close to the right.

Kimberly was a member of the running club at school this year. They had practices two days a week after school and then a meet each week for a month. The runs were about 2 kilometers and she had a great time. They gave each finisher a medal at all the races, which she loved. We like it when she is involved in things that make her happy, and we also are glad that she is interested in activities that keep her healthy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


One of Ryan's latest projects has been designing and building a reloading center. He worked out the plans and made it fit together well. He's been able to use it a few times and we've even gone out to try out some of the rounds he loaded. What a smart guy (not to mention ruggedly handsome, maybe it's the reloading).
100 reloaded cartridges. Aren't the shiny and purty?

The Sunday Box

In an on-going effort to make Sundays more painless and spiritually-uplifting, I came up with the idea of having a box that the kids are only allowed to use on Sundays. The kids help paint the letter and stars that we glued on it and we put Sunday books, lacing cards, coloring supplies, matching games, etc. into it. So far, it has kept them busy for a few hours each week. I'd say that's an improvement.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn Time

We were able to have some friends over for s'more making during the glorious (but short) days of Alaskan autumn. You couldn't have asked for a more glorious day for it. The sun was making the trees glow.

The Other Two-Wheeler

Right after Kimberly learned to ride her bike without training wheels, she started encouraging Glade to learn also. What do you know, about 3 weeks after Kimberly learned, Glade could do it too! He needs a little help getting started because his feet don't reach the ground from his saddle, but he can turn around if he has enough space. We are really proud of him for learning.

Obligatory First Day of School Pictures

Okay, so this one wasn't the first day of school, but you can tell that she really likes this outfit so far this year, can't you? This was one morning after I braided her hair in little braids. She thought it was so fun to have it all poofy and crimped-looking.
This one, however, really is from the first day of school. I neglected to get a picture in the morning, so we snapped one as she came off of the bus, complete with a pink sticker on her nose.

So far, Kimberly really likes second grade. She likes her teacher and does fine with all of the homework she brings home.

We Love the Outdoors

In August, we had a few fun outdoor activities. One Saturday we went fishing as a family. We haven't had a lot of luck doing this, but we have had a lot of fun.

Libby just mostly enjoys throwing rocks in the water and further harming our chances of catching anything at all.

Glade enjoyed an old vest that was Grandad's when he was a kid.

Kimberly gets very serious about the art of fishing.

We also took the opportunity to use our fire ring and dutch oven to make some peach cobbler. Ice cream, peach cobbler, and a fire: what else could you want?
I just had to put these two of Liberty up. She is so cute and fun!

Don't you love the too big boots?
Kimberly had a great time too.
Glade had a little trouble keeping his ice cream in his mouth or his bowl, as evidenced by the nice dribble down his shirt.
I always enjoy a fire outside too. It's great to spend time together as a family!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Wilds of Alaska

At the end of July, Ryan and I had the unique opportunity of driving up into the Brooks Range of Alaska. We dropped our appropriately named friend, Brooks, and his brother off for a backpacking trip in Gates of the Arctic National Park. It was a nice drive up into country that is wild and remote. It was gorgeous though. We saw lots of neat things and had a good time. Katie and her sister-in-law kept the kids so that we could take them up and drop them off. It was nice to have a little time with just us two.

We drove over the Yukon River. It was gigantic. Neat to see.

There is a Visitor's Center by Coldfoot, AK for Gates of the Arctic. It is a really neat place. We enjoyed looking at all of the neat displays they had. Here is a huge globe showing the Arctic Circle.
Another display of animal skins they had. Look at this enormous wolf!

One thing that is unique about the Dalton Highway (of Ice Road Truckers fame), which is the only one going into the Brooks Range that I know about, is that it is only paved on and off. After Coldfoot (about halfway to Prudhoe Bay) I think it is completely dirt. The mountains were beautiful and besides the big trucks driving by occasionally, it felt pretty isolated. We had a little rain and so the roads looked like this:
This is what happens when you drive several hundred miles on a dirt highway.

At the drop off location, Brooks, Jack, Ryan, and (of course) Jessie. She is a great dog for this kind of trip. We loved keeping her for a few days and were sad to see her leave.
The riverbed where we dropped them off. Cloudy, but beautiful!
They had to cross a river first thing. Looks a little cold, don't you agree? I think Ryan was a little jealous of them at this point.
The camp Ryan and I made up stream a bit. It was a glorious place to stay. So quiet and peaceful. We enjoyed a little fishing, but didn't have any luck in the blue crystal waters.
Not that many people can say that they've been to the Arctic Circle.
It was a nice little getaway from everything. We enjoyed being together and experiencing a new part of Alaska. Hopefully someday we can go see Brooks and Katie in the village where they are teaching, Anaktuvuk Pass.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Look Mom, No Wheels!

Training wheels, that is! Kimberly finally learned how to ride a bike without training wheels. It all started when our neighbors gave us a BUNCH of bikes that their kids had outgrown. We got all sizes and kinds! In the bunch was a pink bike with flowers on it. Kimberly loved that bike and REALLY wanted to ride it. Unfortunately, there were no training wheels. She was told that if she learned to ride without training wheels, the bike was hers, but we weren't going to move the training wheels from her other bike. Needless to say, this was sufficient motivation for learning. She just decided she could do it and took off! How exhilarating! We are so proud of her!

Hopefully he'll be next:

Two Feet, Two Hands,Two Ears, Two Eyes, One Big Smile, Two Years!

Our Sweet Little Liberty turned two at the beginning of August.

Blowing out her candles.

Enjoying her cake and ice cream.

She enjoyed her day so much, she didn't make it to bed before conking out.

Some snuggle time with Dad before going to bed.

We were lucky enough to have our friend Jesse in Fairbanks for most of the summer. We really enjoyed seeing him on a regular basis and were happy to have him for our celebration of Liberty.

Liberty sent some time riding bikes on her birthday. Love the tongue!

Looking deep into the bag. What did she find? A puppy pillow-pet!

Grammy and Grandad sent this Woody. She loves it. We found her like this the day we received the package in the mail.

We sure feel lucky to have Liberty in our home. She is such a cute little thing. She definitely has a mind of her own and doesn't hesitate to let us know what she wants. It has been fun to be able to communicate with her more and more as she learns new words.