Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Helpers

Swedish Pancakes for Breakfast.
This was Eleanor's first solo attempt, she did great!Oscar making "waffles" on peanut butter cookies, our first batch.
He's my Cookie Monster: I think he ate more batter & sugar than actual cookies!
And here is the proof!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Martin Luther King Weekend

Deer Mountain as seen from the Tongass dock.M/V COLUMBIA moored at the Ketchikan cruise ship dock for the winter.Eleanor in the "breathing hole" of the Snow Fort.Mikayla & Eleanor did a great job digging out the Snow Fort & even made a "bedroom!"
Big enough for Momma Bear to fit!Snow much fun!Cold winter sunrise
Oscar moving snow with his dumptruck.
Jasmine attempting to get in on the sledding action.

Winter Wonderland

Snowy Afternoon facing southwest from our driveway.Jasmine loves the snow! She could sit & sniff for hours.Oscar playing on the front deck.

Dance Recital

All smiles after her first StudioMax Recital!Grandma Judi & the girls Mom, can we please stop with the paparazzi already?The 2nd & 3rd grade group did a wonderful job dancing to Take me to Rio. Their costumes had feathers & they made flying motions with their arms.
Madisen & Eleanor are both in the 2nd row, 2nd & 3rd from the left respectively.

Eleanor's Bling

Eleanor asked for a feather in her hair all fall & I decided it would be a good Christmas present & reward for swim lesson willingness & attitude.


The 110' Coast Guard Cutter NAUSHON passes in front of the house on the morn of a freshly fallen snow.Jasmine out on the deck to greet the sun.

Swim Lessons

Both children took swim lessons over Christmas Break.
It was an intense daily 45-minute lesson for two weeks. Initially Eleanor was quite upset that I had signed her up but did come around to the idea that taking lessons to refresh ones memory was a good iead. Especially living on an island & knowing that boating will occur this summer.

They both did well & progressed to the next level. Eleanor is swimming & diving independently & learning strokes. Oscar is doing well jumping in by himself & can go underwater. One of his favorite games learned at lessons was swimming through ("blasting off!") a hula hoop on its side partially submerged in the water. He also was a pokey little puppy in the locker room, always the last child in the shower & hiding in the lockers.

Oscar is seen here with his instructor. Yes, those are pink goggles. I was so proud of him as we misplaced his green ones and couldn't find them in time for lessons. He borrowed an extra pair from big sister & didn't put up a fuss that they were pink! Eleanor can be seen in the upper right hand corner, second from the right, her instructor has a black swim shirt on.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesus!

The children sang Happy Birthday Jesus on Christmas morning.
They did a great job & it was very touching. They also lit the Advent Candle & read scripture. Eleanor is the middle angel, second from the left, and Oscar is a sheep, second from the lower right. I thought the lighting was neat in this photo from the blue on the music screen.Mikayla (Mary), Eleanor (Angel) & Grandma Judi.Oscar in his sheep costume.
Probably the only time he'll wear a headband in public. Although this one has ears!

Christmas Morning

Rain Boots for Eleanor's American Girl Dolls are a must in Southeast Alaska!Oscar was thrilled to find that Santa brought him what he had asked for. Eleanor playing her new guitar from Santa.
She really wanted a kitten but Daddy said No. She is very happy with the guitar, saying that she didn't ask Santa for it b/c she didn't know whether or not he would actually bring it if she asked. We'll have to get her signed up for lessons!
Both children are taking swim lessons over Christmas Break and have improved much over the last week & a half. Oscar is diving underwater after rings and Eleanor is doing the front crawl & backstroke along the wall unassisted! Today I watched her jump off the diving board into the deep end, something she has done during school swims but I hadn't seen her do. I'm impressed, I know I could do it but wouldn't choose to do so for fun. So thankful that they are enjoying the lessons, Eleanor originally balked at going. Being a good swimmer is a must especially living on an island. Santa didn't forget Jasmine!
She got a new squeaky toy & special treats with glucosamine for her hips.

Christmas Eve

Kristian couldn't wait. He gave me a .44 Magnum Smith & Wesson pistol for Christmas! Welcome back to Alaska! Not that I would take it running with me, but I did see a bear this fall. I will be taking a class to become familiar with it as with this gift comes a huge responsibility, especially with children in the house. Summer hikes & berry picking will be its primary use. Now to find the perfect holster!

We celebrated Christmas Eve with family over for a ham dinner. Mark had only a few hours to spend with us before heading out to work on the ferry so we were thankful for his presence. We had a wonderful relaxed evening & everyone ate way too much. I am wearing an Eleanor original necklace. She made it for me using three pink stones that I chose from her collection and taping them to a chain. Poppa Ronnie & Grandma JudiThe children were very excited for Santa to visit them in Alaska.
Madisen & Eleanor checked the NORAD Santa Tracker all evening & even spent time outside on the deck with flashlights searching the sky for Santa Sightings!
Shortly after this photo was taken Daddy read The Night Before Christmas.

Snow Deck Trucker

Oscar had his Road Crew out on the deck for snow removal one afternoon after coming home from school. Boy played out there for over an hour driving his trucks back & forth!
(Disclaimer: true the deck has no rails, but the drop-off isn't what it looks to be. About 4 steps down and you are on gravel. It is safe & actually better without rails to obsturuct the view!)

Oscar's Gingerbread House

Oscar's preschool class had a Gingerbread House making party.
Grandma Judi was able to attend & help him decorate. He was very excited about the red gumdrop atop the chimney as it represented flames. Also the two children jumproping with red licorice like sister. Naturally he had eaten the entire creation within a day! Boy has a sweet tooth! OH, which reminds me of another story I don't want to ever forget. I told him he had a sweet tooth and being Mr. Curious he asked Which tooth was the sweet tooth? He seriously thought there was one tooth in particular that was HIS sweet tooth! Love that boy!

Breakfast with Santa

Santa arrived in style to the Coast Guard Base to visit with the children.Along with a pancake breakfast, there were plenty of sweet treats to enjoy. These heart-shaped cookies turned Santa were my personal favorite.

Christmas Card Attempt

This is one of our attempts at capturing a family Christmas card photo. Eleanor's outfit included her cloche & Oscar was insistent on wearing a hat too. He chose his Tri-corn & HAD to have his tie on the outside as well. Very much the trend-setter!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Phew, I think we are finally up to date! Eleanor encouraged me to post photos from our move from DC to Ketchikan. I was feeling overwhelmed as we took our time setting up the home computer and didn't have access to our hard-drive and thus the photos. How spoiled we've become with our iPhone & netbook!

We are settling in quite nicely and enjoying living near family again after six years in Virginia. Though we miss our friends dearly, we don't miss the traffic! At our new home, we have different traffic, on the water in the form of cruise ships, barges, boats, ferries & float planes. And the airport is across the Tongass Narrows so we see the Alaska Airline jets coming and going throughout the day. We also see eagles & deer every other day, if not daily. I've been trying to keep up with exercising, and have a friend that I run with at least once a week. We had a black bear encounter that got our hearts racing, but thankfully her dog chased the bear back up into the woods so all we saw was bear buns!

The children are enjoying school & even though Oscar is in preschool it is located in the same building as Eleanor's so they get to see each other periodically. He gets to ride the short bus as there is door-to-door service for Preschoolers! I am working two mornings a week and really enjoy using my dental hygiene skills, meeting new people, seeing old acquaintances & my co-workers. Kristian is enjoying his new job as well. The pace of life seems to have slowed down a notch in a good way. That being said we are still on our toes!

We had a scare in October with my Mom going in the hospital for a week with a partial bowel blockage. The radiation treatment she had three years ago after her tumor removal damaged her intestine. She went to Seattle for surgery but her Dr felt she would be doing more harm than good so Mom is back home on a soft food diet. She had an incidence after Thanksgiving but otherwise is doing well. I think it is hard for her with regards to her diet, especially this time of year as there are so many wonderful things to eat. She was told she could slowly reintroduce but the green beans on Thanksgiving are proof that she must remain cautious. I am thankful to be here, close by her, should she need me.

The Nutcracker

We had a Girls Night Out and went for a nice dinner at Cape Fox and then to our local Nutcracker performance.

Merry Christmas!

Is it just me or does it look like she is ready to go off to college? Maybe the cloche is aging her before my very eyes. Regardless, she is beautiful inside & out!