Friday, December 17, 2010

A boy and his cat...

"Did it move?"

"Nope, don't think so."


"Let's keep watching. Shall we?"


Monday, December 13, 2010

At 40 degrees below zero, you find a new appreciation for staying home (and other news).

It's COLD today. I think it's the coldest that we've had so far, and just like you may guess, it's not fun to have to go out in it. This is our first winter here in Central Alaska, and I'm learning new things by the day. I absolutely LOVE to stay home now. Housework, reading, playing with toys, and trying to empty the DVR cache is our fun for the moment. (But, we do try to get out for a little while to prevent the winter blues.)

I've been bringing Gabe to school lately. Usually, he walks; but with the sun rising at around 10:30 a.m. now, the short walk to through the woods is a bit scary for him. I have him properly armed with a flashlight, cell phone, and enough winter gear to keep warm, but I can understand that bringing him the short distance in the car will put less stress on both of us if I continue to do it for the next month or two, or until we see daylight at the beginning of the school day again. I also see that a pair of snow shoes for him might be a smart purchase in the near future.

The kids and I were supposed to fly out to Lafayette tonight, but with Phillip coming home any day now from his latest mission, I decided that it was better to get our tickets changed so that the four of us can fly home together. Because Sarah and I have been a bit sick this week, I'm very glad that we're not leaving tonight!

In the past 12 days, someone over here has either gotten spayed, de-clawed (leather couches, and I can only put us both through the torture of nail trimming so often), micro-chipped, had a double-ear infection, sinus infection, a hole under the tongue where exposed salivary glands were inflamed, stuck his tongue to a basketball goal to see if it's true (and it is) that your tongue will freeze to it, caught the common cold, or had strep throat.

It's time for the husband to come home. Thank Goodness that this was only a short deployment (about 4 months). It seems as though it never fails that when he's due to come home, someone is on their last leg. I imagine it as a jet coming in for a landing with only one wheel down. When there is only one parent around, the kids need extra reassurance and attention, and I'm the one to provide it; after a while, that can take it's toll on me.

I do my best to stay positive, and not complain. I know that my situation could always be much worse. If I were not the wife of such an awesome man, I'm not sure what life would be like, but I know that I wouldn't have what I have now...and it is a beautiful life.

We all can't wait to have Phillip home. The weather and landscape sure have changed! And, in just the short time that he's been gone, Sarah has begun to hold complete conversations with us. Her vocabulary amazes me on a daily basis. And she is Conais (Cajun for mischievious) with a capital C! Gabe has gotten so much more mature. He and I had a short conversation last night about how when he was a "little" boy, he wanted so much to be a "big" boy, and now that he feels that he's there, he wants to be "little" again (that's how he put it). I had to remind him that he shouldn't want or need to grow up too quickly; his job is to be a kid, and he should leave the grown-up stuff to me or Dad. I do NOT want him to grow up too quickly...a kid should be a kid.

Oh, lovely...just got a call from the doctor, and this morning's strep swab on me came back positive. Well, that makes two of us since Saturday. Welcome Home, Babe! Here's a Z-pack!

I've been busy with lots of different things lately. I made some major changes to my blog. I've felt for quite a while that I needed a change. We needed a new look. And I wanted to do as much as I could to prevent certain invasions of privacy. Although I put lots of personal information on here, I do try to be discreet and not lead the common criminal, etc. to our front door, so I deleted some things.

Also, I've come to the realization that there comes a time in deployments (when I know the end is near), that I do extra things around the house to keep busy to make the time go faster. I also get into a sort of a "nesting" mode. And then I get tired and frustrated from the extra work, and then the kids get sick...

The roller coaster never ends!

Until next time,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I've added...

...some new photos to both albums, and some more blogs to my blog roll.

I've deleted some blogs as well, since there was no activity on them.

And that's about it for today, folks!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Not in any Particular Order Photo Story of When Pa-Paw and Ya-Ya came to visit.

...as told by Sarah (so don't believe too much of what you hear).

Pa-Paw and Ya-Ya came to visit in mid-October (and that's another reason why Mom hasn't gotten around to working on this blog), and they arrived on the day of Ya-Ya's birthday. I was excited about them being here, and I wanted to show them everything; especially how safe my ice-skating helmet is, because sometimes, cinnamon rolls can be dangerous.

One day, during their visit, we went to see downtown Fairbanks, because it's the largest city in interior Alaska, and we wanted to show Pa-Paw and Ya-Ya how huge and modern it is (compared to life in the bush). I took some time to reflect on my life so far...

...and how I was going to get Pa-Paw to pick me up because I was tired of walking and thinking.

We also took them to see the Museum of the North at the University of Fairbanks. I'm not joking; this place is impressive. Gabe liked it. See?

At the museum, there was a butterfly exhibit. Now, it's by no means as cool as the one that they had in New Orleans a couple of years ago (Gabe told me all about it, because I didn't get to go), but there were some really pretty things to see. Living...

and pretending to die.

During that week, we drove Dad's truck up an icy hill north of Fairbanks to get lunch and pie at the Hilltop Truck Stop.

It's a popular place for the truckers going up to Prudhoe Bay, or wherever those guys traveling the Elliot Highway are going, and so they have their own smoking and eating room. See?

Chena Hot Springs was hot on the list of must-do's for that week. And the ice carving people even made a pumpkin for me! (Mom mentioned before not to believe anything you read, people!)

We saw the pipeline...

...and an old man in a red suit, that my brother was especially nice to (I wonder why?).

And even though Mom was very disappointed that the moose that makes tracks in the snow almost every day in our yard, but we can't seem to catch her at the right times (I think she's invisible) we were able to see Denali Mountain a.k.a. Mt. McKinley before they went home to Louisiana.

I wish they didn't have to leave. We miss them very much.

But...we should see them around Christmas time. And hopefully, Daddy will be home around that time too!

Keep your crossed.

THE END

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Winter time is coming up on us!


Winter time is coming! Winter time is coming! Winter time is coming!
(now, ask me in a few months how I really feel about it...)

For now, the kids are excited, and I'm liking the difference in the landscape. The lowest temperature that we've had so far is about 17 degrees, and would you believe me if I said that it really isn't so bad? It's not like the Louisiana, bone-chilling, damp cold that you experience there. It's more of a "dry cold", and I can go outside for a few minutes wearing a t-shirt and I'm fine with it.

It's starting to get darker earlier, and waking up at 7:30 am in the dark is a bit weird. At night time, when the sun is completely down, it's darker than a witch's lair out here!

As for the Aurora Borealis, I've only seen it once, though my neighbor texted me at 10:30 last night to say that she could see it outside of her bedroom window (which faces our house)....I peaked out of my window, and didn't see what she was seeing. Gabe was upset that I didn't wake him up to see it last time...I must not forget to wake him on the next time I see it. I hope it makes an appearance next week for Pa-Paw and Ya-Ya, who are flying in tomorrow night (we're so stinkin' excited...our first visitors!!!).

In other news:
  • Rumor has it that Phil and his friends MAY be home for Christmas, but like anything in the military way of life, we don't count on it, but hope it happens.
  • The kids and I are flying home to Lafayette for 3 weeks around Christmas. I purposely scheduled a red-eye flight; we get to Houston in time for lunch, and then board a plane for Lafayette. WhooooHooooo! There's so much I want to see and do while we're there.
  • And if Phil is able to come home for Christmas, he may be flying out to "Laffy" on a separate flight...we'll cross that ticket-buying bridge when we come to it.
  • Gabe is doing well in school. Making friends; and one of his best friends is our neighbor, Rebecca...they walk to and from school together and she usually stops off at our house for an afternoon snack and playtime.
  • Sarah is good friends with Rebecca's little sister, Kendra. They play so well together! Sarah also goes to daycare for about 5 hours on Mondays and Fridays to play with her friends there, so I can run errands, etc. She loves it! Such a social butterfly, she is.
  • And Pichou the kitten is spoiled...that's all I have to say about that!
Take care, everyone!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Some Angels don't have wings...

...they have fur...

...and multiple toes...

...and a phone number on a name tag, just in case they get lucky
in the never ending quest to sneak out of the garage door.
(while on a break from duties, such as door greeting, purring, being a loyal friend and playmate, bed warming, shower and bathtub clean-up, etc....seriously, this cat is a gift from above; she's helped us all get adjusted to the recent major life changes.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oh, My!



Gabe came home one Wednesday afternoon and told us that he was running in the schoolyard for recess, landed wrong on his ankle and heard a small "pop!". The school nurse checked him out, and said that he should be okay. He was able to walk on it that afternoon, and so we went on ahead with a planned ice-skating trip. By the time we got to the arena, we learned that we couldn't skate because the local semi-pro hockey team was holding practice and try-outs (turned out to be a good thing!). Later on that night, Gabe started to complain about pain in his ankle, and so we looked at it, looked at each other and said "Hmmmph! Not good.".

By the next morning, it was really swollen, hot to the touch, and red. To the E.R. we went, he and I. And a few hours later, we left the hospital with a splint covering a small evulsion fracture.

The good news is that he only had to be splinted for a week. He really hated those crutches! The Ortho doc told us that had he been an adult, she would have casted him, but since kids are so resilient, she was confident that his fracture was small enough to heal nicely on it's own, and actually wanted him to exercise that ankle.

Poor Baby!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Moments that make my heart turn to absolute Goo...



This was taken the night that we thought he was heading out to Pakistan, but asked me to pick him up because of problems with the aircraft that he was to go out on. We picked him up, and then returned home to a tea party.

In time, he'll get over my posting such a moment. Because it's so darn sweet. And I'm pretty sure he knows that we love him so very much for the man that he is!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chena Hot Springs

Just a short post...

Phillip left last week to go to Pakistan to help with relief efforts out there. We dropped him off on Sunday, and 8 hours later, he texted me to ask if I'd go pick him up (Did I mention this before? I think I did...). His flight finally left at 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

The kids and I are getting along much better than we thought we would. We miss him, it's true. But, we have a routine and that helps.

This past Sunday, I took the kids on a small road trip to visit Chena Hot Springs Resort. The pictures are included in the Alaska album for your viewing pleasure.

It really is a nice place to visit. The ride to and from is really beautiful (especially with the fall colors coming out). And the resort itself, is really peaceful. I hope to go back once it snows to go dog sledding!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kids! Gotta love em'!

The setup -

Phillip was supposed to leave to go on his mission. We drop him off at the appointed time. 7.5 hours later, I get a text message from him asking if I can go pick him up at the same location that we dropped him off at 7.5 hours earlier. (the outgoing aircraft was having issues and so we are not quite sure when he'll be leaving)

The conversation goes like this -

Me: "I told Gabe that we were going out for chocolate chip cookies." (to surprise the kids)
Phillip: (looking at Gabe with disbelief) "And you fell for that?"
Gabe: "Well, I know that when a woman is depressed, she wants chocolate!"

Monday, August 30, 2010

As it turns out...

Sarah did have a small Urinary Tract Infection for my birthday (and I think she had something else, virus-wise, working on her system too). The doctor who examined her that night, called on the following Sunday to tell us that Sarah's test results/cultures came in positive for a UTI, so we started her on antibiotics.

She was also teething...4 molars were trying to work themselves out of her gums. As I write this post, I think it's safe to say that those few weeks of torture are over with.

It's amazing how a child's character can change when they start to feel better!

Choo! Choo!

video

Phillip will be leaving soon to go on his humanitarian mission, so he's spending a lot of time at home with us (just waiting on the word "Go"). This past Friday, he, Sarah, and I were running errands when we came up with the idea of going down to Denali National Park on a train for a fun Saturday trip.

We'd planned to surprise Gabe (since he loves trains), and were gonna tell him that we were going to drag him out shopping for truck tires, but ended up telling him anyway about the trip when he came home wanting to make plans for a sleepover with a new school friend.

He kept telling us on Saturday that he was glad that he didn't press the sleepover issue.

Enjoy the video above of little sister helping herself to big brother's ice cream. Don't forget to watch for the little dance of attitude at the end. And, I've posted pics in the Alaska album too.

By the way, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We are not sure how long Phillip will be gone for, but we do know that when he's not here, time can really drag on. Loneliness can really get to you, if ya let it...and it's a constant fight, I tell you. Most importantly, we want Phil and his friends to be safe until the mission is complete.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This week's news and media.

Gabe started the 3rd grade this week. He says that his teacher is strict, and he does things the correct way in her class because he's too afraid not too. We met her; and Phillip and I like her. I sent him to school with $10 on the first day to pay for his lunch (just in case his lunch account was not updated in time); he didn't have to use it, so he kept it in his backpack..."Mom, I still have the money you gave me. I'm gonna use it to buy a recorder for music class okay?" he says.

(He's growing up way too fast)

Though he's the new kid at school, he's making playground friends slowly but surely and with no doubt, he'll have fun this year.

My 35th birthday was yesterday. Here I am, modeling part of the gifts that I got from the kids. Gabe said he picked this one out, because the others were "too dull".

Yum! Chocolate cake with Bavarian creme filling!!!

Pichou jumped into the tub with Sarah twice this week. I'm not sure, but I think she is part puppy; she didn't really mind that she got wet. She's so playful and so sweet, and she's getting quite spoiled too. Wherever we are, she is. I'm so glad that she joined our family!

To get an idea of how tiny she is, compare the size of Sarah's pacifier to her.
(she's only about 11 weeks old right now)



The two video's above are of Felinas Deathicus, a.k.a. Pichou, putting the hurt on one of Sarah's dolls, and of Sarah talking to her Ya-Ya earlier today.

Instead of having an early birthday dinner last night, we were at a First Care clinic with Sarah. She has been a little sick for the past couple of weeks; first with a small cold and head congestion, and some mystery fever that she spiked yesterday afternoon (about 104 degrees). The docs seem to think that she has a virus that is trying to work it's way through her system, because her ears, throat, and chest all looked and sounded good to them. We even hooked up a small "urine catcher" bag to her to get a small sample to check for a urinary tract infection (she told me yesterday that she hurt...pointing down below). She got sick again in the middle of the night last night, and still is a little feverish now; though you can't really tell by the video. If she's not better by Monday, I'll bring her back in to see the pediatrician. Thankfully, her fever goes down when she has Motrin or Tylenol "on board".

But after the clinic, we had dinner, came home, and cut into that awesome cake you see above.

Oh, and a funny thing Gabe did last night:

Phil and I were trying to explain what the old show "The Fresh Prince of Belair" was, because Jaden Smith (from the recent "Karate Kid") is the son of Will Smith, the main character on TFPoB. In explaining rich and snooty (the Belair type) to Gabe, Phil says "You know...people who don't have to cut their own grass". A moment of silence follows, and then Gabe pipes up with "But...YOU don't cut your own grass.".

Ohhh, you would've had to have been there to appreciate the humor! (We've been having someone else cut our grass for the past few years due to deployments, MTP school, and moving)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lazy Saturday...




















Phillip has to work today. He is preparing to leave on a short humanitarian mission, so the kids and I decided that we would go explore a place that we've had on our to-do list for a while now.

We went to the Fairbanks Ice Museum! Cool! (no pun intended)

And to prepare for the cold weather that is slowly creeping upon us, I will have an auto-start installed on my car this upcoming Thursday (about $600, Thank Ya very much) and will have it winterized (block engine heater, etc...another $350) on the 27th...FUN! FUN!

You can see more pics of the museum if you go to my Alaska photo collection to the right of this page.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Updates and Notes...

We've been in our new house for about a month and a half now. Like any new place, the surrounding area and the house itself is taking a little time for us to get adjusted to.

Here's the lowdown:
  • The restaurants around here are mostly non-chain. Our favorites so far are The Base Camp, The Cookie Jar, Mambo Grill, Sunday brunch at The Pump House; all have something unique that make it a special place. There are many more restaurants in the area, these are just a few of our favs.
  • We got a new kitten! The guy who owns the house that we're living in, found some strays. We've chosen a female creme colored kitten with Balinese markings. Her eyes are the most beautiful blue! And she's soooo tiny. I'm guessing that she's about 8 weeks old at the most. I truly believe that she is an angel in disguise; she's playful, cuddly, and she purrs! (our old cat, Pandora, did not)
  • I think I've mentioned before that things happen around here at a much slower pace. I'm still waiting on some service people to give me a call back...
  • If one more person says "Welcome to Alaska!" (if there is a problem with something, like waiting for service) or "Have you been salmon fishing yet?", I'm gonna scream at them.
  • Gabe participated in Cub Scout camp a couple of weeks ago at Birch Hill recreation area. It was a cowboy themed camp and I think he loved every minute of it. Camp gave him the perfect opportunity to make new friends.
  • I put Gabe in another camp this week; a non-denominational Bible camp with a high reputation for fun. We pick him up tomorrow after having dropped him off on Monday. He said that he'd sleep over on the first night to see how it goes...so far, we've not heard from him...I think he's having way too much fun to miss us or his new kitten!
  • Sarah had her first Alaskan ear infection in both ears a couple of weeks ago.
  • Both of the kids' allergies have gotten 100% better since we left Texas! No more allergy meds!!!
  • I'm ready to get back to work. I think it will be the best way for me to adjust to being here, and it will be nice to get out of the house. Fortunately, one of the little scouts from BSA Camp has a mom that is the recruiter for one of the local hospitals, and after we got to talking....well, you know.
  • Living here after being in Texas is like going from 90 mph to nothing...it is a whole new lifestyle that can really be lonely and isolating. We are all trying to get used to it, yet glad that we will be able to tell stories in years to come about living here. As the days go on, it gets easier to adjust to the slower pace, but I admit that in the beginning, it was a shock to my system.
  • The weather has been a bit dreary and rainy...the locals are calling for a harsh winter.
  • We still need to winterize our cars and were told that we need to "jump on it".
  • On Tuesdays, we go swimming with Ruthanne and Katie (her grand-daughter)...Ruthanne is a total sweetheart and really energetic...we look forward to spending time with her. If I haven't mentioned her already, she and her husband, both retirees from Pennsylvania, spend the summers here with her daughter...then they go back to PA for a couple of months and then winter in Florida. I met her while she was watching Katie take soccer practice in the schoolyard...and now, when Katie has practice, Ruthanne will walk on over to the house to visit, and drop off homemade cookies.
  • Gabe will be able to walk to school from our house in about 30 seconds.
  • I've posted some new pics in the "Alaska Bound" album to the right of this page...look for the link and click on it.
  • We've been doing some exploring when we get the chance; last weekend, we went to the World Eskimo Olympics hosted every year in Fairbanks.
  • I have been asked to post pictures of the inside of our house, and I will do that as soon as I get a chance to take the requested pictures...I'd like to clean up a bit first. We were lucky enough to find a nice two-story to rent out here in North Pole, AK.
  • Berry picking seems to be a huge thing out here.
  • So far, we've only seen 2 moose...one in the schoolyard and another bathing in a creek on the way to Chena Hot Springs.
  • I've already warned Gabe on what to do if he sees a moose while going to or from school. Encountering one who is protecting her babies would not be a good thing...at all.
  • Haven't seen any bears yet, and that's fine with me!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our new edition


Meet Pichou; pronounced PeeShu, which is french for Bobcat. We got her this afternoon from the guy who owns the house we're renting.

We've got two really happy kids over here!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'm BACK!

We just got hooked up to the internet yesterday. Over here in Alaska, things can take a while; it's kinda like "island time". AND, it's taking a bit of time to get our boxes unpacked etc...it would have really helped if the house we're currently renting was actually cleaned for us BEFORE we got the keys.

I will post as soon as I can to fill you in on what's going on with us.

Right now, I'm just posting to tell you that I'm back in business.

In a few minutes, I'm going to take the kiddos for a swim with a new friend(s) that we've made (a retiree and her husband from Pennsylvania who spend the summers here with their grandchildren)...she's quite a fun character and I consider her an Angel, because on the day that I met her, I really needed to make a new friend...

For me, adjustments can be a challenge.

Later Ya'll!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hurry up and wait!

I'm writing to tell you that I have not much to tell you.

Right now, we're waiting on housing. We've just closed on the house in Texas, and are both hesitant to buy over here for many different reasons. We are really low down on the waiting list for Post housing, and the benefits to living on-Post FAR outnumber the cons of living off-Post. Finding a house to rent out here is like looking for a needle in a haystack! And by the time a decision is made on what we'll do about buying or renting, if the "perfect" alternative to living on Post comes up, then you can bet that they'll be calling to tell us that something has come open on Fort Wainwright.

I'm about to go crazy after living in hotels for at least a month now...
The kids and I are doing a bit of exploring and getting to know the area while Phillip is at work.

And that's about all I have to say about that.

(But...however glum this post may sound to you, things will get better after the dust settles...they always do. And I really like Alaska!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How to Pan for Gold!

We went to the El Dorado Gold Mine just north of Fairbanks this past weekend.

If you look to the right of this post, you can find pictures from our trip to the Mine in the collection of "trip to Alaska" pictures.

I'm really glad that we took the tour, because it was quite informative and just plain fun. We spent some money (it wasn't cheap) to tour the Mine, but got it all back when we panned for our own gold. Phillip and I had so much fun during the panning process, that we used our pans to scrape the bottom of the panning troughs to get more residue to look through, and sure enough, we found more gold!

Enjoy the video below!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A work in progress...

I've just put all of the pictures in the "Alaska Bound" photo album to your right, in order of which they took place...

I still have to work more on captions.

For now...Enjoy!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Old Faithful

Here she is...
(5/17/2010 at about 12:30'ish pm)


Now, how cool is that?

Photo Collection

I've added a link to the right of this page titled "Pictures from our trip to Alaska" that will bring you to a Shutterfly page that contains pictures and info. about our recent trip.

It is a work in progress; I need to add captions to pictures so that you will know what is where, etc. So far, I only have about 25 captions posted (but we're about to go do some more sightseeing, so I'll have to come back to the project later).

But for now, please enjoy...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gabe's Special Day...

So, we've been so wrapped up with moving and road trippin', that we didn't post any pictures about Gabe's special day. On the morning of May 8, Gabe made his First Communion.

I admit that I cried a bit. I was a bit stressed about all the recent changes, but I was more upset about the fact that our little boy is growing up...


Just look at him! I'm biased, of course, but he was so handsome in his suit.


And Sarah was so pretty in her Strasburg sundress.


We love you, Gabe-y Baby!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Alaska Bound: We are DONE!

Well, here we are...in Fairbanks, Alaska!!!

We got here a little after lunchtime (we stopped in North Pole, AK to eat), went straight on Post to see if we could get lodging there, but we couldn't, soooooo we're staying at the Holiday Inn for...I don't know how long.

Tomorrow, we go back to Post to sign into Fort Wainwright, and then sign into Housing to get onto the waiting list for housing. Phillip doesn't have to sign into his company until after he "in-processes".

So far, we like what we see. (There's a Barnes and Noble here, so I'm happy.)

As far as the drive....We're TOTALLY glad we did it, because we saw so many beautiful things and got a whole new perspective on the lay of the land, and life in general, but next time...I'm flyin' out! Two weeks in the car to ANYWHERE is just a little too long for me!

Thanks to all who've wished us well, and a safe journey.

We are safely...home.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Alaska Bound: Day Fifteen


3,579 miles (with just a bit more for side trips) so far...
And remember, that's only 11 days of driving, but I say it's 15 (AK Bound) because we've been out of our house since May 9th.

The above map reads...Harker Heights, TX to Dallas...to Raton, New Mexico...to Englewood, CO...to Dubois, Wyoming...to Butte, Montana...to Calgary, Alberta...to Edmonton, Alberta...to Dawson Creek, British Columbia...to Fort Nelson, British Columbia...to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory...to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory this evening.

Tomorrow, we will hopefully be in Fairbanks, if not, then we may stop in Tok, Alaska or somewhere near there. We have until May 28th to officially report to Fort Wainwright, and we are way ahead of schedule, so we have been taking some short days/drives to give ourselves some rest from the road.

I know that I said that I'd post everyday if I could. The truth is, by the time we get into our hotel in the evening, we are a bit tired and I don't have the desire to tell you all that we've seen and done; and trust me, there's a lot to tell you! This has truly been the trip of a lifetime! I never thought that Gabe would be as excited as he is to see what there is to see; Sarah is so young, that she won't remember this, but I'll have lots of pictures to show her in the future. Both of them have been real troopers and we've only had a couple of very minor meltdowns from Sarah toward the end of a day.

When we get to Fairbanks, and I have more time, I will tell you more about the trip and post more pictures...

Until then,

Janet

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Alaska Bound: Day Eleven

We are in Edmonton, Alberta tonight.

We left Calgary this morning and drove about 3 hours to the largest shopping mall in North America!

We're staying at the Fantasyland Hotel in the West Edmonton Mall; I sprung $50 more on our room reservation to surprise Gabe (and the rest of the family), and upgraded to a "Canadian Rail" room. We have a gigantic jacuzzi tub smack-dab in the middle of the room, and bunk beds for the kids; even the shower looks like it belongs in a sleeper car. The guys walked the lower half of the mall with Sarah and I, and then we separated so that they could enjoy the water park (in the mall).

Tomorrow, we stay in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and then wake up Friday morning to get our start on the ALCAN Highway...

We are a little more than halfway finished with the trip.

I'll do my best to post something tomorrow night.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Alaska Bound: Day Ten

Well, we are in Butte, Montana at the moment.

Yesterday was a FULL day. We woke up in Dubois, Wyoming (a charming little town in the middle of nowhere, it seems) and headed straight for Old Faithful.

I am keeping a small written journal in the car, so that I won't forget what is what...it's kinda all running together for me now. I will try to get back to you tonight with a more detailed description of what the past two days were like. Hopefully, we will be in at least Calgary, Alberta by this evening.

Oh, and the pictures from the road are amazing, if I do say so myself. This side of the United States is just BEAUTIFUL, I tell ya! I'll also try to post some more pictures so that you can see.

Wish us well!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Alaska Bound: Day Seven

We are just below Denver tonight.

We left the hotel in Raton, New Mexico this morning and headed north on I-25. My friend, Melanie, was not expecting us until late this afternoon, so we killed some time touring Fort Carson, Colorado and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Wow! What a day! Gabe barely played with his Ipod Touch or watched the DVD player...he was loving the sights outside.

As for our visit, with Melanie and her family, it was so good to see all of them. We spent the afternoon at her house, drank some Shiraz, and had dinner at a nearby restaurant...I really do miss seeing her on a regular basis.

Tomorrow, we drive on toward Yellowstone National Park, about 550 miles from where we are now.

Here's some pics from the trip so far:

A bird outside of our hotel in New Mexico.

The Garden of the Gods.
(there's a whole lot more to it...)

Balancing Rock at the GOTG.

The view from the road (just getting into Colorado).

The Big Texan Challenge.

I'm off to bed now, and hoping that little Miss Sarah does not wake up at 5 am again tomorrow...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Alaska Bound: Days One and Two...and Three and Four...What day is this anyway?

We've arrived safely in Raton, New Mexico for the night.

Tomorrow, we push on toward Highlands Ranch, Colorado (just below Denver) to see my friend, Melanie; I'm so excited to see her, as she has been truly been a great friend for fifteen years now.

Our adventure started on Sunday night, when we checked into the Shiloh Inn in Killeen. I wanted to make sure that everything that was being packed up on Monday was clean and ready to be stored for however long it will take to get to us in Fairbanks (I'm thinking that we will be without our household goods for at least a month).

Sarah's allergies have been doing a number on her, and so I took her to the doctor on Monday to make sure that she was clear for take off, so to speak (we called Phil's parents an hour after they left our house on Sunday morning, and asked if they could come right back to help us, when I realized that she was sick enough for a doctor's visit; it turned out to be a very busy Monday... they were visiting for the weekend because Gabe made his First Communion on Saturday).

So, we packed up on Monday, and loaded up on Tuesday. By 4 pm on Tuesday, we'd cleaned out what was left in the house (stuff that the movers couldn't pack, etc.) and said our good-byes to what had been our home for the past five years. I tell ya, it wasn't easy to drive away.

Wednesday was a day for us to tie up loose ends. I spent what was left of some massage gift certificates, and Phillip got his truck serviced for the trip. For dinner, we went down to Round Rock, TX to eat at the Saltlick one last time.

Yesterday, we checked our mail, one last time, at the house, turned in our house and mail keys, checked Gabe out of school early, and were in Dallas by 2:30 to get my car shipped (Military Vehicle Processing Center). We met Connie at Aunt Wendy's house. While waiting on Wendy to finish an important meeting, we ate ONE LAST TIME at Campisi's and brought the leftovers home to Wendy.

This morning, we left Wendy's house at around 7:45 am and drove toward Amarillo. Our plan was to make it out to Palo Duro Canyon (south of Amarillo), but it rained all day so we decided against seeing the canyon. We had lunch at The Big Texan, canceled our hotel reservation in Amarillo, and pushed on to where we are now.

All in all, it's been an exciting, yet exhausting past few days...
I will do my best to post something every night. I realize that tonight's post is a little "choppy", but jeeeze I'm tired.

Wish us a safe journey, please, and take good care of yourselves, as well.

Janet

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A little story...

We went with Gabe's Cub Scout den to tour the CTC Flight School campus this past Saturday.

Here's Phillip and Gabe posing for the camera...


and Sarah, not to be outdone, posing too.


Here's Gabe checking out the view on a flight simulator.


But Sarah had to see the real thing (or as close to it as she could).

We all learned quite a bit; had lots of fun.

We met some good friends for lunch at The Dead Fish Grill on Lake Belton, and then went together to an airshow in Temple, TX afterward. Sarah told Clark about how much fun it was to run around the hangar, to see how many times Mommy and Daddy would tell her "Don't run, Sarah!". And then they watched the planes fly overhead and clapped at the appropriate times.


The End.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Oh, What a Night!

We had a post-birthday sleep over for Gabe this past Friday night.

We had pizza and ice-cream cake.

We watched Avatar until past 11 p.m., and the boys whispered until midnight...

And then woke up at 5 a.m. to play some more.

It got kinda noisy that morning until...

Phillip threatened that the person who wakes Sarah changes her morning diaper!

(It got very quiet after that.)

All in all, I think everyone had fun.

Bedtime was quite early for all of us on Saturday!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Remember Two Things...

Remember Two Things is the title of an album from the Dave Mathews Band.
And we are HUGE fans.

I'm doing this one for your entertainment value, as well as a way for me to remember some recent events involving Little Miss Sarah.

  1. I did something for her; I don't remember what. And she looked at me and said (in her sweet little toddler way) "Thank you, Mom." She walked away and came right back (in an afterthought), and SHOOK MY HAND and said, "Very much", then nodded to confirm what she just did! I guess to get the full humor of it, you would have had to seen the look on her face...
  2. We always tell her that she's a mess. As in, "Girrrlllll, you're a handful". You know what I'm trying to say? Anyway, this morning, as her Daddy is trying to load her up into her car seat, so that we can run errands, she runs from him and yells "I'm a mess!". And laughs..
Children: They bring such JOY! And make us shake our heads with disbelief at what funny stuff they can come up with.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our litte birdhouse...

...which we had to build to complete in order to earn his Boy Scout Wolf badge.

(All achievements have been completed now....whoohoooo! I bought a kit at Walmart and secured the sides with tiny little nails. Ta Daaaaa!!!)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to YOU....

On Tuesday, April 20th, our little man turned a whopping 8 years old!

Sarah goes to a daycare nearby on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Gabe thought I was coming to meet him for lunch at school, since I would have free time, but I decided that I would surprise him and check him out of school early so that he and I could spend time together (just the two of us). I took him to a movie (his choice, of course) and we did a little shopping...

Here he is, on the phone with his Daddy while he opens presents.



It seems like just yesterday, I was popping a couple of Tums every 20 minutes because of the awful heartburn that I had while I was pregnant for him.

Ahhh, where does the time go?
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