Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Glacier Quest Cruise

We've had some visitors come into town and had a blast with them! We love when family visits! Grandma Weston and uncle Mike flew in late Friday (July 19th) night. We didn't give them much chance to rest though. Saturday morning we drove out to Whittier to go on a Glacier Cruise in the Prince William Sound. It was a first for all of us, and we were just as excited as they were. It was an absolutely gorgeous day (we've been having the best weather this summer!) the sun was out and the clouds cleared up and we had a great time. We didn't get to see any wildlife (except 2 seals), but we did see some pretty awesome calving. That's when some chunks of ice crack and fall off the glacier, into the water. It was awesome. It was just beautiful scenery everywhere we looked and we loved soaking it all in.

Our girls especially loved Uncle Mike. None of them really remembered him because he's been on his mission and they were too little to remember before he left. So it was great for them to get to know him. While waiting in line to go through the tunnel they all got out to play on the rocks on the side.

To get to Whittier you have to drive through a long tunnel that's only one way. So you wait in line until the designated time. It's a cool tunnel :)

The little boat (next to the cruise ship) is what we were on


There was a forest ranger on the boat giving us a descriptive and informative tour as we rode around. There was a Jr. Forest Ranger workbook that kids ages 6-12 could complete while on the boat. If they did at least 4 pages, they got to go up and get a badge and recite the little pledge. Tyler was the only one on the boat that did it, and he was SO proud to go up in front of everyone (he loves opportunities to be in the spotlight) and was beaming when he walked back to us with his badge :). It was pretty cute.

From there Grandma and I came home with the kids and Kenny and Mike went salmon fishing. They brought home 8 salmon (6 from K, 2 from Mike for his first time!). They didn't get home until after 3 in the morning, but they had a really fun time and seem to be willing to sacrifice anything for more fishing time :).

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dip Netting/Halibut Charter

Fishing season is definitely in full swing around here. On Thursday, Kenny and his work buddy left after they got off work and drove down to Kenai to go dip netting. He slept in the truck and the next morning they got up bright and early and were out on the boat all day. His friend, Louden, owns the boat. We borrowed the Reed's dip net, which was very nice of them to lend it to us so we didn't have to buy one. They are really big (5 ft. round) nets that you just dunk into the water as you slowly drive the boat around. When you feel a little vibration on it, you have to hurry and pull it up so they don't swim back out. It's just the kind of fishing challenge that Kenny LOVES. They caught a lot of flounder, but he didn't keep any. He did come home with 6 salmon though. He didn't get home until about 11:30 p.m. on Friday, but since we were going to be gone all the next day he had to filet and bag them all that night. He plopped into bed around 1:30 a.m. totally exhausted. (As soon as I find Kenny's phone I'll add pictures of his trip) *Update*: and now for the pictures

Tough guy :)

One of the flounder

Serving up fresh fish for lunch right there on the boat

Saturday morning we left around 7:30 (wanted to leave at 7 but our babysitter was late and I lost my fishing license so we had to quickly stop and get a new one) for the 3 1/2 hour drive down to Ninilchik. We got a groupon for a 2 for 1 deal on a Halibut Charter a while back. We've had this set for a couple months and were excited to finally go! Kenny went on a few last summer, but it was my first time. We were with Bottom Line Charters, and thought they did a good job. It was a pretty small boat though, and the waves were super choppy which made for a pretty rocky day. There were 4 other people on the boat with us vacationing from Maine (plus the captain and his helper guy). One lady couldn't stop throwing up or just dry heaving. It was disgusting, and I felt so bad for her. By the end of the day I think everyone was feeling pretty sea sick and had bad headaches. It was just so choppy! We were definitely ready to go home. I was catching a lot of fish, but kept throwing them back in hopes that I would get a bigger one--with confident reassurances from the boat guys that I would. You're only allowed to keep 2, so it's hard to know if you should keep it or not. But I never did get any bigger fish, and I was so worn out by the end I didn't care. Reeling in those big fish with the 5 pound weights on the line too, is harder than it looks. Especially when my hands are frozen. It was so cold and my body was like non-stop shivering which wore me out faster. I'm not trying to sound negative, because we did have a good time overall. Mostly I'm glad we got to do it together. Between the 2 of us we came home with 23 pounds of halibut that is now looking so good in our freezer. We still had a long drive back home and didn't get back till 11. We had LeeAnn (Lamby) babysit for us and she did a great job. She took the kids to the Bear Paw festival in Eagle River and they had a great time. I was grateful for that day with Kenny, and that we were all kept safe while apart from our kids.

The boat ride back to the shore, Kenny was so worn out. After 2 nights of not much sleep and very physically exhausting days, he was just gone. We were getting yanked around and bouncing a lot from the waves, but he stayed asleep even with his head bobbing around, and his body almost falling off the seat several times haha. I was truly amazed. Wish I had that sleeping talent  :)

Ours are the 4 small guppies we're standing by. Those others were caught by the people from Maine.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Little About Madison

Our sweet (and sour) 2 1/2 year old. She is a great friend to all of her siblings. Kelsey loves to hug her :)

 Below: She was so nervous for Ty to climb that thing. She stood like that under him as though she were ready to catch him if he fell. She kept saying "Don't fall Tyler! I don't want you to slip! I love you Tyler!"

Always a good mommy. She just HAS to bring her "babies" on walks with us. So I push Kelsey and she pushes her babies.

-The other day I made this for dessert. The counter had flour all over it from making the pie crust. Madison comes in and says "Look at that big, fat mess you made, Mom. That is your big, fat mess!"

-I was putting dinner on the table and she was sitting at the table waiting to eat when she blurts out, "I'm very disappointed in you Mom."

-Ty and Bryn both have a little shoe box in the garage for little things they find outside and want to keep. Always wanting to be like them, while we were at the lake yesterday, she reached down and grabbed a handful of rocks and says, "I'm going to keep these for my diwection!" (She meant collection)

She is SUCH a big tease, which you wouldn't expect coming from such a little girl. Kenny says, "If you want to know what I was like as a child--that was it." Meaning, a relentless tease (he still is) and laughs when you try to discipline because they think it's just a big joke. Very frustrating. :) She also looks a lot like her daddy, which I love. Here he is at roughly the same age.

She is very smart, but of course all my kids are ;). But I do think she is very good at communicating and speaking for her age (unless I'm just remembering my other two wrong).
She is a very good eater and will pretty much eat whatever we give her.
She LOVES books and has lots of them memorized.
She has a sweet and simple understanding of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and she often refers to them in regards to attitudes and actions. For example, "Heavenly Father doesn't want us to be sad!" one of her favorite scripture stories is about the birth of our Savior. She loves Mary, and the animals too :).
She loves to go to nursery and see "her friends"
She often describes things as "pinkatastic!" even if they're not pink.
We love our Madi Cakes!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Our Week Backwards

 Saturday night we headed out to Eagle River to go on a hike. We looked in the Nature Center they have for a few minutes, then set out on the Abbot Loop Trail. It was a little chilly, but it was absolutely beautiful. We weren't able to complete the trail because it was totally flooded. But I think we were about halfway there, so I guess it was about the same distance we would have gone (3 miles). We just love summer time!

Beaver home

That should have been the trail
Kelsey cracks us up. This is her preferred way of travelling it seems. She always wants to hold your hand, then she picks her feet up and wants you to just drag her like this.

 Friday we went down to Girdwood for the Fair with the Reeds. I'm not a huge fan of fairs, because there's not much for kids to do and I'm a cheap-o so we don't buy anything (and where's the fun in that, right?). But they had a super cool playground that saved the day and we had a good time with friends. We also babysat the Reed kids that night--we traded babysitting for date nights.

When we were leaving the fair, Brynlee was crying because she didn't want to go. Tyler was hilarious as he tried to help her. He was saying things like "I know it's hard, but we all have hard times and we just have to face them!...How about we focus on the happy times we had at the fair instead!" etc. It was super cute.
Thursday was 4th of July. But it was pretty uneventful, just like last year. We didn't do anything patriotic, because there wasn't anything to do and I was a little grumpy and missing family. They do have some fireworks, but they don't start them until midnight, and it's illegal to do it yourself. We tried to go see a movie that night (Despicable Me 2) but it was sold out. So we got a Redbox and stayed home.

I love our bouquet of flowers that grow wild at OSP
3 little monkeys swinging in a tree
They were so excited and giddy to see Kodi the Bear from the Alaska Aces as a special visitor at story time. They also claimed their half-way prizes for the reading program.

Playing behind our house. The brush is so tall and full! They were out there playing while I was grilling and I couldn't see them at all! I would just listen to their cute voices to judge how far away they were getting. It's so crazy to think of how drastically different it is in the winter.

 Checking up on our house again. I believe this was Wednesday(?). The kids love to play on the big dirt mound in the backyard.

 Playing at OSP for FHE on Mon.