Friday, June 27, 2014

More Eagle River Hiking

 Fireweed is blooming so it must be summer!

We made the most of our weekend and early part of this week, knowing the weather forecast showed rainstorms moving in.  So, glad we took advantage of the nice weather, because we've been experiencing cool temps and rain for the past 4 days.  Okay- my Cordova followers, I know, I know,  I sound like a whiner now not able to handle some rain for few days - but the kids and I really had a great routine going with playing at the parks all morning and then good naps in the afternoon.   Oh well, we are going to go to Whittier this weekend rain or shine and do some fishing/shrimping and camping.

Back to the week...

The kids, myself and some teacher friends hit the trail at Eagle River Nature Center. We took about a 3 mile hike and I must say, Sister walked the whole way!  What a trooper!! 

Half way through the hike the kids needed a snack - Sister's idea was if they sat lower to the ground, the mosquitoes wouldn't bother them! 

Best part of the hike was finding the hollowed out tree - I could have left the kids there for they were so excited to play INSIDE the tree. 

A few days later, our next adventure was to South Fork Falls, right here in Eagle River. Literally about 10 minute drive and 1/2 mile hike from my house is this beautiful waterfall. 

The kids of course did not understand why the railing was holding them back.

But, still had fun listening to the waterfall.

Brother wasn't too happy to squish so close to Sister for a selfie.

I'm reading a book called, The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon, which is a movement regarding becoming better neighbors. I remember growing up and my parents knew our neighbors names, lent a hand with projects and just genuinely cared for their neighbors. We've lived in Eagle River for a year now, and I didn't know a single neighbors name.  Well, this was heavy on my heart and then our church pastor is preaching through this book.  Anyways - in the book, it suggests moving to the front yard - be visible so your neighbors can see you and you'll no longer be a mystery.  

So - we did just that - made an effort to play in the front yard. Sure, it's next to the road, but we taught the kids they have to stay in the grass and when they hear or see a moving car, they need to immediately sit down.  One of the vehicles in the neighborhood is a very loud truck - literally sets of car alarms in the morning with its loudness.  Following directions - they stayed in the grass, sat down - but then I loved how they both have their ears plugged as the loud truck went by.  Ha, ha...  maybe not the impression we want to make - oh well.  We tried.

Hope you all can find ways to get to know your neighbors this week.  Can you believe it's the last week of June! Ah - slow down summer!!  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Happy Papa's Day

Happy Father's Day!
Here's a picture - I think a true 'selfie' before they were even called 'selfies'.  Anyways- my dad and I out fishing at Shadehill in South Dakota probably 4 or 5 years ago.  I'm so thankful and proud of my dad.  He's taught our family the true meaning of being a good neighbor, working hard to get the job done and most importantly how to relax and have a good time.  

Speaking of relaxing...

Oh, how I know when my mom reads this, she will think, "That looks like Mike when he's done eating a good meal!"  Okay- my dad will actually get down from the table and go relax in his recliner, but I just had to giggle and snap this shot of Brother when he finished his lunch the other day.  

So to celebrate our Papa's day, Sister wanted to take her Papa bowling.  What a great idea! Here the kids are trying so hard to be patient while Papa is setting up the score card.

Papa taught the kids the true stance while waiting for your ball to return.

The kids did great and we had a wonderful time as a family.  Sister was able to do everything herself and by the end Brother was doing everything himself too!  

The highlight of the evening had to be when Sister knocked all her pins down on a Spare. 
She was beyond excited as you can see.

After celebrating Papa's Day on Sunday, we enjoyed our week of sunshine by heading to a variety of parks and getting some hiking in. The goal is to wear the kids out each day!

Yep, that's Sister telling me she can climb this 'mountain' all by herself. By golly- she did!! So of course not to be out done, Brother had to climb the hill too.  He needed some help, but the view from the top was amazing.

We also had fun playing on the playground equipment.  I do believe Sister has turned into a monkey these days! The girl will climb anything and everything.

I love this picture- especially since Sister has dirt stuck on her face because of the sunscreen and Brother's running nose - ha, ha... true faces of summer!

Like I said, the goal is to wear the kiddos out everyday.  Brother has decided that he does not like his bed anymore and would much rather sleep in the rocking chair during quiet time.  Oh well, the kid sleeps and he sleeps hard - so I'm not going to make a fuss about it!

Once the kids are asleep, I've been trying to escape to do my own exploring.  This week our ladies hiking group did a flat trail called South Fork. It was a beautiful night and great getting to know more ladies in Eagle River.

South Fork - midway at the bridge

I was in awe of these purplish/pink cones on the trail. A friend later told me the cones were pollinating, that's why they looked the way they did.  They were so breath taking! 

This weekend, we plan to catch up with some friends and hope the weather stays nice so we can go explore more.  A little over 2 weeks and we'll be starting our road trip to Montana for a family reunion! I'm starting to get anxious/excited and welcome any comments/suggestions on how to keep a 4 and 2 year old entertained in the car for a week's worth of driving!  
Have a wonderful weekend!  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Birthday/week to Momma!

What a crazy birthday week it has been!  We kicked off the birthday celebration by attending the Luis Palao Love Alaska music festival this past weekend.  The weather was great and the music was awesome! 

Luis Palau - sharing the good news!

Toby Mac on stage!
 Lincoln Brewster on stage!
proof that I was really there- ha,ha... 

It made for some late nights - not getting home until after 10:30pm, but the kids did great! Even Papa enjoyed the music :o)
This beautiful rainbow is literally over our house as we drove home Sunday night. 

Papa is teaching summer school, so it's just the kids and I to entertain ourselves during the day. 
 No worries to find something to do...

like playing with Momma's UNO cards and make them into a swimming pool...

or we can head to the park - such a difference a year can make with Brother being able to do just about everything Sister does now!
 Let's not forget that we can play dress up!

or just take a good nap

But, this week was special as we celebrated Momma's birthday on Tuesday.  Sister is all too excited because that means her birthday is next!  

The kids helped bake a cake and enjoyed the best part

 licking the beaters!  We decided to make a German Chocolate cake.  A friend was making one while we were in Cordova, and I thought, that sounds good! 
After we went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants we came home and enjoyed the yummy cake.

I had to giggle that I couldn't find the birthday candles and Sister was not about to sing Happy Birthday without one, so a tealite will do! 

It's been a wonderful birthday week and now we head into the weekend to celebrate Father's Day!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Quick Trip to Cordova

Last Saturday, I had just returned home from Wisconsin and Leif and I were talking about our plans for this summer.  We started discussing if we were going to make a trip to Cordova and decided that yes, we'd like to make a trip.  Well, we opened a calendar and realized between Leif teaching summer school and our big trip in July, we had to go this week!  So, we booked our tickets, left Sunday morning and returned Wednesday afternoon.  We are so happy that we went and reconnected with our friends in Cordova.  The picture above was the morning view from our friends, the Cave's, that opened their home to us.  

We had tea parties 
horses to corral. 

We were treated to wonderful meals each evening at different homes.  I should have taken pictures of the wonderful food!  
We were even lucky enough to meet the newest member of Cordova.  This sweet 11 day old little girl is just precious.  Sister was delighted to hold the baby and beamed all day long about her experience.  I'll be honest and say, there's something heavenly about holding a new baby. 

It was such a quick trip, but we were blessed with sunny skies and warm weather.

This picture is coming into port in Whittier.  The waterfalls were breath taking.  

We love you Cordova! 
Thank you all for your hospitality, great food, excellent conversations and time to reconnect with you all.