Sunday, June 29, 2008

It is Sunday!

Can't stop taking pictures of the beautiful landscape up here.
It is just amazing and I could stare at it all day.
Oh and this was Moose # 5 on our trip!!! Cute little baby.
This is my new little buddy Logan. He is just the cutest little guy and he even called our room this morning to say good morning. He is all of 4 years old and has been such a joy.
Hey I found the place to wear my Hat! It fits right in up here!!

And I know this because everyday that you get in an elevator on the ship it has a plate in the floor that tells you what day it is! I just find this really funny. Because you do loose track of what day it is sometimes when you are on vacation, and especially when you are out to sea. So I am so glad they keep us informed with this plate in the elevator that tells us.

We have just docked in Juneau, Alaska the state capital, and where we will be taking a river raft down the river thru the Mendenhall Glacier. We are very excited about this trip, and a little adventure.
Josh has made a few little buddies, and He finally was ready to come back to the room about 12:30 am last night. They have such a great program on this ship. There are 350 kids on this boat and you would never know there are any sometimes. They are all up in programs playing with kids their own age and having fun. They have been playing dodgeball, and Josh's new favorite Gagaball. They also have arts and crafts and other fun things. It is really great. Yesterday we saw him at lunch and dinner, besides that we got ditched and he was all smiles and telling us about his day.
Kate and I spent a good hour on the deck yesterday just staring at the Hubbard Glacier, it is such an amazing sight. We saw some small calving and just heard the booms from inside the glacier. The ice was amazing in the water around us. You get a better sense of what the Titanic must have gone thru, and we were still 1/2 mile from the glacier.
Not much else to report, the food is fantastic and we relaxed all day while we were out to sea. Today in the glacier I am not taking my digital, we bought disposable cameras since we will be on a river raft. So not sure I will get to share the pictures from today anytime soon.
So off to breakfast and then some adventure!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 4 Denali National Park

Yesterday was beyond words, We got to see the Peak of Mt. McKinley the whole park at Denali and we got to meet Jeff King and play with the puppies. We have met two Iditarod Champions and we go to one more Musher Camp in Sagway, and I could visit every musher camp here and not get bored. I find it unbelievable the relationship with the dogs and the mushers, it is their life. But they all have to do something else to make the money, because they will spend over 100,000 dollars to do this race, and the top prize is 70,000 if you WIN! It is a hobby, a passion, not a living. So alot of them do these excursions to earn money. What amazing people and the dogs just love what they do.
The rest are pictures of our day....I don't think I could put into words the beauty we saw, so I will leave it in the pictures. We are heading to the ship today after an afternoon in Anchorage.
Enjoy! Thanks for all the great comments so far and glad you are enjoying.

Jeff King, 4 time Iditarod Champion
Denali National Park
Denali National Park
The View from our room at Grande Denali Lodge
Mt. McKinley , which only about 3 out of 10 people who visit alaska get to see the Peak this clear. We had one of the six beautiful days they will have this summer. We kept getting told by the locals and the tour guide how lucky we were to have a day like yesterday. I believed them.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 2 Alaska

I am very very just blown away on this trip already.... I am sitting here trying to still absorb everything we saw and heard yesterday. There is so much to learn about this great state and even more to learn about the people here. I was never into history that much, but this place fascinates me to no end. These people are the true modern day pioneers. The Indian tribes, the mushers they have such amazing stories. We got to go to Susan Butcher's Dog Kennels, and hear her husband talk about what Susan loved. I got all teary eyed when I was leaving, she was such an amazing woman, someone I would have loved to meet. Alaska seems very full of great woman. We also got to meet Jesse and she is following in Susan's footsteps. We plan on following her on the Internet as she does the Iditarod this time. We got to meet her team of dogs and she is another amazing woman! The stories they have of being out there on the trail just them and their dogs, they are just unbelievable.

We also met Betsy and she is a native to Alaska, her family has been here many generations, they have fishing camps and use a fishing wheel to fish for salmon, they smoke it too. This lady also has some of her work in the Smithsonian Institute, her sewing and beading is just WOW! It takes over 6 months to make a Parka, and they are valued at over 16,000 dollars. The men kill the game, but after that the woman do all the dressing and cleaning and then use all parts of the animal. There is so much more about these people, I am still trying to absorb it all, it was so educational and just beautiful yesterday. We also went to a working gold mine and met too HOOTS!! This lady has gold running thru her veins, she just LOVES what she does, she has been prospecting with her husband for over 40 years and now they educate others about what they love. They are still working their claim too. I never knew they only would dig in the winter for the gold, then all summer they would do the panning. It is very interesting how they do all this.

So I am going to leave you with a few favorite shots of the day, we are about to leave Fairbanks for Denali today. I know I just wrote alot of words, but I also know I can't even express everything I want to say about the trip so far. I get choked up just thinking about it quite a few times during the day. Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! If I was going to sum up Alaska so far in one word, I would have to say GENUINE! The people, the land, just so pure. Ok off to an another adventure...enjoy the pictures!

Bush Pilot landing in the river.
The mountain range in the back is just amazing.
Susan Butcher's Kennels
The wedding of the Rivers, that is all rock particles that the water breaks up.
This woman can fillet a salmon in about 30 seconds! And Bead that beautiful coat too! This is just amazing art work!
Josh compared to a Caribou Skin
The Alaskan Pipeline, WOW is this an amazing thing to see only if a piece of it.
The Prospector...what a great guy!
We got to hold this, they just let you pick it up and hold it, they figure there aren't a whole lot of ways out, so they really don't worry about anyone stealing it. It was kind of cool that it wasn't just in a glass case.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 1 Alaska

I am not sure if I will ever get on the clock here.
It seems to be the same anywhere I go tho....guess I am getting old!
I just don't sleep that well anywhere anymore.
It is ok tho, my body must get enough, I am up and ready to go!

Today we get to pan for gold and go on a riverboat ride. Then a good
ole Salmon bake with Alaskans!!

Yesterday we did some wandering, we came in a day early so we wouldn't be
rushed. It was nice to just wander and have some fun talking to the locals.
We grabbed the hotel shuttle for the day $5 dollars each for the whole day and they
would drop you off and pick you up where ever you wanted to go. It was a great service.

Oh and Gas is $4.32 a gallon here!!!

We checked out the University of Alaska, beautiful place.They have a museum about the
history of Alaska and it is just beautiful and wonderful. Lots of great information, and we
learned alot. I never knew about all the very powerful and strong women that helped pioneer this great state. The story boards were just so informative. I just couldn't stop being amazed by the art work also, the beading alone I could have stared at for hours. Each little bead sewn into
the hides, you know their fingers had to ache!!

We strolled downtown and found the Fudge Pot...yummy! Great fudge!!

Then of course we found a Scrapbook Store, that just made me smile!

We had dinner at the Pump House....let me tell you...OMG GOOD!!

We have a wonderful couple as our tour guides for the land portion. This is thier 112th trip and

they love it so much! We are on Fred's bus...this man greats you with his homemade fudge. There are also about 6 kids Josh's age on this trip, which I was glad to see...he might have a few new buddies when we leave here. They will all be on the ship too. So I will leave you with a little picture show. Just a few of my favorites of the day! I tried putting it to music but didn't quite work this morning. Hey it is 5 AM here!!

This is a REAL Live Reindeer!!!
Grizzly at the Alaska University Museum
Statue in the center of Fairbanks.

He is so HANDSOME!!
and a little GOOFY!!
Sun in our eyes, at 9 PM at NIGHT!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We are in Alaska!

and Kate has had her first Alaskan Beer so hence the smile!!

Josh made the first 16 hours of travel like a trooper!! Then that last hour flight from Anchorage to Fairbanks he fell asleep and it was not pretty when I had to wake him and get him to walk off the plane. He hit the chair at baggage and if it was a video you would see the head bob that was happening as he kept falling asleep! It was just too cute. I don't think his head even hit the pillow at the hotel before he was out.

Now we landed at 11pm Alaska time, which is 4 hours difference from home, but it is so weird to see the light like it is mid day. They have about 21 hours of light right now so that is about the strangest thing to get used to! I have to say the air is so clean and crisp, the people friendly as can be and we are just enjoying every minute of it!

So just a short one today, hope to post more later today. We are heading out to see Downtown Fairbanks and see what we can see!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

1 DAY!!!!

Ok so do you think I will sleep tonight???
I would take bets NO!
I am so very excited, and that doesn't even describe it at all.
This is a trip of a lifetime for me, and us. Not in my wildest dreams,
did I think I would be going to Alaska to share this with Kate, Josh and
Our Moms. It still hasn't sunk in.

I had lunch with my friend Deena the other night and she went to Alaska last
year. She still has that starry glaze look in her eyes when she talks about it.
Very excited to share info with me and tell me about different things to look for.
Just got me even more excited!
So I made a travel journal, I did get thing done and it was so easy with the new
Passport Line from Making Memories. All Available in the Corner Store. I plan
to journal each day.
So need to pack the last bag, get the lawn mowed and just finish up a few thing around here.
ONE more SLEEP and we are heading out!
Have a Great Sunday!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Longest Zipline in the World

And I have Black Cherry in my cup! This is pretty darn tasty. I like my flavored creamers.

We have been busy around here, 72 hours till we leave for Alaska! Just in case you didn't know!!!
So I have been getting out all the orders for the Corner Store before we leave. Josh has been a big help, He has been so great going with the flow the past couple days. I have really tried to balance out some play time with work time. It has been so great having him home.

3 bags are packed, the 4th one almost and we will see if #5 comes into play. With the new restrictions we get 1 bag each free and then it is $25 dollars each way for the extra bag. So we are looking at probably $50 dollars extra. How the heck you suppose to pack for 2 weeks in one bag!!! Ok that is all I am going to vent about that, cause there is nothing I can do about it and it is what it is.
There has been no scrappy time, and I am missing it so much. But I do hope to work on my travel journal this weekend, and am going to take a few things with me if I need to. Josh is also going to have a journal and we are going to write about our days each day on the ship. Probably in the morning. I got a note from the future 3rd grade teachers that he should practice cursive writing this summer. I have heard that 3rd grade is the big transition in elementary school. A lot of writing. Luckily Josh loves writing. He brought home a great report card, excelling in Math, and Reading, and improving his "Puts forth effort" which I think in some ways is his shyness. We are having many talks about how it is ok to be smart. I know it is hard to be funny and cool in school and be smart at the same time. You know what I am talking about in an 8 year olds world!

So off to get a few more things done today, I did get a great camera bag last night, it is a backpack shape and will fit all my lens and also my flip camera. It is nicely padded and I am so excited it will fit everything. We are off to the beach tomorrow after wrestling. I love that my Sis will be coming over for the day too!!

I leave you with this.....We will be doing this very soon! Longest Zipline in the world

Thursday, June 19, 2008

And the winner is............

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-06-19 13:18:36 UTC

Sometimes it pays to be the early bird!!! Of course she has probably been up since 6 am checking for the winner!

Congrats Denise :)

Josh and I are off for a few errands this morning, that is as soon as I wake him!
More blogging later.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Giveaway, and School is out for Summer!

Ok so I am just LOVING these little flocked brads from Doodlebug...the colors are awesome and there is just something about fuzzy goodness! So I wanted to share some of my favorite colors with you and let you in on all the flocking good time you could have without getting arrested!!
So this is the Wednesday giveaway, just leave a comment today and you will be entered into the drawing tomorrow morning. Yep it really is that simple! Also note this is the last giveaway for a few weeks. I am leaving Monday for Alaska so the Wednesday giveaway will be taking a break also ! Don't worry tho it will be back!

So do you remember that first day of summer vacation when you were a kid? Did you get to sleep in? I don't recall, but imagining that I probably didn't. I am sure there were chores to do or something that had me up at the crack of dawn.
But this is my son this morning, and it was just too cute to not photograph! I let him stay up as late as he wanted to last night, he lasted till about 10:30 pm I think. He actually fell asleep on the couch with his DS in hand the game still playing. I had asked him probably about 5 minutes before if he was tired and I got the loud "NO Mom not at all" , you know the one where they are trying to convince themselves?? I could see the glazed eyes and knew he was just about to go. Then when I was trying to remove his DS game from his little hands and as his grip tightened, his little voice said, " I am just going to rest for a few minutes Mom " (He is still resting) shhhhhh. Now right about Now Kate has a big grin on her face, holding back the roaring laughter because she is probably in her office as she reads this. Why you ask? Well because she is just saying quietly to herself....Like Mother , like Son!!! It is a bit of a joke in the house about how I will hang onto the remote even if I am sleeping away. So yes I did chuckle a bit last night as I saw my little "mini me" fade into dreamland.

Have a great Wednesday and Enjoy your children this summer!!!! I know I like having my little pal at home and can't wait for all the adventures we will go on.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Sis!

Happy Happy 43rd!!! You are still just as cute!!
This is a layout I did for you! You can read the journaling when I give it to you :)
Hope you have a great day....and hope you can come on Saturday! Miss you!

Yesterday was Josh's last full day, today is just a 1/2 day and goodbyes for the summer.

I gave his teacher the gift I made her yesterday and she just loved it so much. She took it with her to show other teachers at lunch time, and it was funny because now there are 3 teachers that have got a creation of mine and there is some joking as to who is jockeying for Josh to be in their class to get the good stuff at the end of the year. I love it that they love their gifts. This one was my favorite so far, I just loved doing it and my head is spinning (pun intended) to put together some kits for this in different themes. I don't see any desk or coffee table that wouldn't just love to have this on it as a conversation piece. I uploaded alot of the supplies into the Corner Store yesterday. More to come soon. I can't wait to get the 4x6 Carousel to work with too. The teacher quotes were a big hit. Kim said I had her favorite one in there.
I just loved the transparencies too, they just add such a cool dimension.
And here is the "Schools out for the Summer" pose. Course that just seems to be the 8 year old pose for just about anything these days. I look forward to the summer with Josh, last year I was working in the store so much I didn't get alot of time with him. This year we are going to do day trips, camps and enjoy time together. I just love having the online store and being able to be home. Life is good!!! Now back to packing, cleaning and getting ready to go....only 6 more days!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A-L-A-S-K-A one week to go!

It just screams peace , beauty and vacation to me. I have been reading about this great state and it is really amazing that this is a piece of our United States.

We had a great weekend, I love a weekend mixed with lots of little pieces of goodness. We had wrestling, which as you can read from my previous post was fun and productive. Then on Sunday it was just the 3 of us and we cleaned, we played, and got everything accomplished we

needed to. Also on Friday I cropped with some great ladies. My dear friends Edie and Nancy brought me a birthday cake and a jug of Margaritas! Love those girls!! My cake was a crown of course! Purple of course and great pictures on top. I will be in alaska boarding the cruise ship on my birthday so it was a surprise when they arrived with cake :) Thanks so much ladies for making me feel special, your friendship is very special to me.

We also got the pool open! YEAHAW!! So we will be having those margaritas poolside! So today is the School picnic and move up day, where Josh will meet his 3rd grade teachers. I will also give his teacher her gift. I really like this one and can't wait for her to see it. Lots to do this week. Getting ready to go for 2 weeks. I am hoping to video blog from Alaska. So it is Monday and time to Get going! Here's to a good week!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sometimes you are the windshield!

Yes as you can see from the video below we had a better week on the mat. Josh had lots of fun this week he went 2-1 and learned some great lessons. Like Hard work does pay off, Leave it all on the mat, and as long as you give it your best then losing doesn't suck so much. That last one is so hard, but it is what keeps you going to practice. It is what reminds you there is always someone better out there. You have to keep working. It is a great lesson for anyone, and I love what Josh is doing with these lessons early in life. I truly believe it will help him later in life. He is a hard worker and he knows how to achieve goals, and what it takes to get there. Those are lessons you want to learn now and not later in life.

Happy Dad's Day to all the Dads out there! Hope everyone wishes their dad a great day, spend sometime with them. If they are too far away by miles, spend sometime talking to them on the phone, or write them an email, you know it has been to long in some cases.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Natasha Bedingfield-Pocket Full of Sunshine

Friday Recap

Ok so it is Friday, it kinda creeped up on me this week. Today is the 13th and it marks 10 days before we leave for Alaska!!! How did 2 years of planning come down to 10 days?? I am just giddy with excitement. I love cruising and I can't wait to have my breathe taken away by the beauty of this State. I see a few people read my blog from Alaska, if you care to leave a comment on anything I should see while in Fairbanks, or Anchorage let me know.

The picture above is the Teacher's gift I am working on. I am very excited how it is coming out. I have been wanting to play with ATC cards and now have dived in full force and LOVE these little gems. I can't wait to finish it. I am hoping to do that tonight while I crop the night away with some wonderful ladies.

Today I need to run a few errands, then it is off to school to get the kids to do their part for the teacher's gift, I am putting info on the back of each of their pictures...should be fun! There is also an awards assembly today , Josh will be getting some awards for Race for Education. I also have a little thank you book I made for the lady who headed the whole thing. Hope she likes it.

Oh and exciting news, the liner is in and there is 5500 gallons of water in the pool and the liner didn't fall in!!! (Kate you smiling?) We have one more load coming and then we will have fun in the sun all summer. Can't wait to play in the pool this summer, a good book and my float and I am all set. (well and maybe a Cosmo)

So off to face the weekend, wrestling , swimming , packing and cropping! Have a great weekend and check out my new favorite song in the post above :)