Wednesday, March 28, 2012

kids updates

He is talking up a storm. New words every day. He likes when Jeff "crushes his skull." He loves to read. He doesn't cry when he's mad, he does the angry roaring noise. He climbs and jumps just like Sydney did at 2. He jumps off his crib, screams at us to watch him, laughs and then does it all over again. He sleeps from 8:30-7am and takes a 2 hour nap (1-3pm). Levi loves building with his blocks and legos. He loves reading books just as much as playing. I truly love and adore his laugh. He gives me kisses freely. He doesn't eat as well as I'd like him too, but he'll drink healthy vegetables that we juice...go figure. I love when he says, or tries to say, "1, 2, 3, sshh." Instead of saying duck he says, "buck." He's very handsome. He takes whatever he wants from the girls, which undoubtedly causes havoc.

Starts ballet on Monday and has been asking me every hour if it's Monday yet. She is a character. Jeff is in Dallas this week, when she talked to him she said, "I want you home. You left me with mom." I find her playing with her toys and I love hearing her talk with her toys and singing to herself. She brings both love and joyful frustration to our family. She continues to use "potty words" on a daily basis. I've noticed her drawings and letter writing are more legible and detailed. Today she drew a picture of me with a normal size head and huge big eyes. She bears her testimony by herself on a monthly basis. She is a very sweet and tender hearted little girl.

Starts karate on Tuesday. She is a very obedient and loving. In school she's been working on the Idita-read. She had to read 975 minutes in the month of March we have 65 more minutes to read. She's gotten several rewards along the way and students will get a special luncheon when they reach to Nome. On Friday she's receiving another award at her school assembly. Her reading abilities amaze me. It's fun to hear her read signs around her. In the car she read, "this is not an ashtray" and then asked me what an ashtray is. I love teaching my kids their world they explore. Sydney is a special girl with a bright future.

Job is still uncertain. He's trying to get a lateral transfer. The waiting and unknown is difficult at times, but we try to stay positive. Our faith keeps us strong and in the end we know that 1. things will work themselves out and 2. Jeff's job doesn't define him or us. He could be a trash man for all I care. As long as he is honest and doing his best at what he does is what matters most. How much or how little a person make a person better than another. (I'll get off that soap box now). When Jeff isn't working or thinking about work he X-country skis, hangs out with the family, and fulfills church commitments.

Looking forward to Jeff and mine's Kuaui trip in May. Jeff won an award trip so it's just the two of us. My mom, sister, and niece are coming to watch our kids and have some fun. I'm busy with raising 3 kids and my church commitments. When I'm not working in one way or another, I'm either exercising, sleeping, taking a shower, on a date w/ Jeff or girlfriends, or catching up with my mom. I don't really have a hobby like photography, crocheting, sewing, or something else. Sometimes I wish I did. I wish I was good at one thing, but yeah, I'm not. That's kinda my personality though... I don't like being strapped down, because that might mean I might miss something I spontaneously want to do. Now that it think about it, I don't have much time to do "extra" things. I'm looking forward for Easter. I have some fun things planned.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Over spring break we went to Maui. My parents met us there. To make a long story short, we had an amazing time. How could you not if you're coming from a cold, dark place like AK.
Here are some highlights. Beware: lots of pictures ahead.

Family Shots:Very windy. At the blow hole off the Honoapiilani Hwy. We drove all away around it. Exciting narrow and curvy road. Levi threw up. He must get that from me.
At a look out on the way to Lahaina. Saw many whales. Also very windy.
At the Iao Needle. Nice hike and scenery. Surprisingly, Jordyn took a great shot here.
On my b-day, Jeff and I went out to dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise alone. Awesome b-day...Beach in the morning, mom took me out shopping and to lunch, and Jeff and I walked around Lahaina. I recommend the fudge place besides the cheeseburger restaurant we ate at.
Levi celebrated his 2nd b-day a few days before mine. Here's a shot of us right before we ate our cake pops. Levi loved being sang too.
Our family at that one point.
Kapalua Bay in Kaanapali

Paddle Boarding:
We rented a paddle board for the week. We loved it! Jeff went surfing just about every morning (really early) and night. The kids loved getting rides on it. I surfed and actually caught some waves too; not as many as Jeff.

Levi playing on the board.
This beach wasn't a "catch a wave" kinda beach, but it was very relaxing to paddle anywhere and everywhere.

Sydney loved to surf.
This picture borderlines on one of those "awkward family photos" you see in a calender. Don't worry this won't be on a x-mas card.
Sydney had to try it too.

One of those shots where no one is looking or cares for that matter.
Lots of playing with sand and making things w/ the sand toys we had.
At night watching Jeff surf and the sunset.
More sand. Levi couldn't get enough of the sand and water.
Doesn't need a caption

Cooling off

Sydney and Jordyn liked to snorkel in the pool just as much as the ocean.
I know, doesn't look that excited about it. She came out of the water freezing.
Jeff and Jordyn saw a sea turtle at Ulua Beach

Climbing Trees:
The Banyan tree is always a favorite for the girls. The girls found some other cool trees to climb too.

In front of the condo we stayed in.

Pool Time:
"Tropical Pool"
Levi getting thrown in the air. He loved it.

Such a great trip. In the mornings we go to the beach, come home for lunch, then go to the pool while levi took a nap in the condo, at night go back to the beach or sightseeing, playing UNO and then crashing pretty early.
Great kid beach: Launiupoko Beach (surf and natural lagoon)
Great restaurant: Beach Bum Bar and Grill
Great snorkel: Ulua beach saw sea turtles
Want to do in the future: Molokini boat and snorkel, Jeff would like to spear fish, try the surf tank thing, stay a night in Hana, Grand Wailea pools.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fur Rondy 2012

The Fur Rondy Festival is a 77 year tradition. It is a significant part of the history and tradition of Anchorage. In the mid 1930's, Anchorage was just a small town of about 3,000 people.

Vern Johnson, the father of the Fur Rendezvous, was a likeable, outgoing Anchorage citizen with a keen understanding of social conditions. He and his friends decided to establish a 3-day Festival to coincide with the time that the miners and trappers came to town with their winter's yield. It began as a three-day sports tournament on February 15, 16 and 17, 1935 and featured skiing, hockey, basketball, boxing and a children's sled dog race down Fourth Avenue. Nearly the entire population of Anchorage turned out for the bonfire and torchlight parade.
Since then, the Fur Rendezvous has earned national and international notoriety, and visitors from throughout the world descend on Anchorage every February.
Fur Rendezvous remains a highly anticipated time of year.

This is the first year we've been and participated. We LOVED it! We did and saw many things.


The World Championship Sled Dog Race debuted in 1946 and has become the cornerstone event of the Festival bringing teams of sled dogs and mushers to Anchorage from across Alaska and all over the world. The World Championship Dog Weight Pull began in 1967 as a bet between two dog owners to see whose animal could pull the most weight. Four decades later, dog owners are still competing against each other for the cash, notoriety and the illustrious World Champion title for the event.

To kick off the beginning of the Iditarod, the mushers and dogs race around Anchorage. The race really starts in Willow, AK. What is the Iditarod? It is an annual 975 mile sled dog race run in early March from Willow to Nome. Mushers and a team of 12-16 dogs, of which at least 6 must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance in 9–15 days. The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams but evolved into today's highly competitive race. The current fastest winning time record was set in 2011 by John Baker with a time of 8 days, 19 hours, 46 minutes, and 39 seconds.
We saw about 5-6 sled dog teams.
Everyone cheered as they came by.
They have a big carnival. Let me clarify, it's big for AK. It's not the OC Fair or anything.
We did not go on the rides. It was snowy and windy. Doesn't seem fun to twirl around on a ride when it's already freezing out.
There are still many Fur Rendezvous events that have withstood the test of time and continue to maintain their unique character. The Official Rondy Fur Auction has been a staple of the Festival since the beginning and the Festival was named in large part to the economic importance of the Alaskan fur trade. Given that the fur trade was Alaska's third most valuable industry in those days, incorporating the industry into the celebration was a logical idea.

Umm, no thank you. I think this was a fox, with legs and tail still in tact.
At least they're warm. We saw another guy with a fox head as a hat.
True Alaskans, or maybe just wanna-be-s. My snow pants, jacket, and boots keep me plenty warm. It looks pretty cool though.

The Blanket Toss, an ancient Native Alaskan tradition, joined the Festival in 1950. Native Alaskans were flown into Anchorage from Nome and the Little Diomede Islands to participate in the Blanket Toss and to showcase their captivating tribal dances.
The "blanket" is made from walrus and breaded seal, at least that's what the guy told me. If you're native Alaskan you can kill any animal. They do use everything for something, like this.
So fun. I wish I could've done it too. I'm glad the girls got a chance.

In case you can't tell, the girls both loved it.

This year was the 5th Annual Rondy Running of the Reindeer! This internationally acclaimed event is a fundraiser for Toys for Tots and is a great way to help Alaskans! We ran 4 blocks in the middle of the street and 8 reindeer chased and passed us.
This was a highlight. I went with my friend, Kirsten. We were in the women's heat. We stayed toward the back of the group to try and get better pictures w/ the reindeers running behind us. The crowd watching was CRAZY. Thousands of people lined the streets. People on second story bldgs taking pictures and waving, people yelling, all sorts of participants dressed up. It was such a fun environment to be part of. I've never been to mardi gras, but that's how I would've pictured it--minus the snow and cold. It was difficult for Jeff to take pictures or video because not only did he have 3 busy little ones to keep an eye on, but the mass of humanity was nothing we've ever seen.
You can't see me, but it's just a picture to see the tons of people. This just shows a glimpse of it. We didn't even get a picture of us w/ reindeers behind us, but trust me there were. There was one reindeer slacking behind and came right past us.
After the race. We went with a St. Patrick's day theme-clover socks, green shirts, necklaces, and leprechaun silly hats.
This is also a huge activity/competition they have. It stays up for a long time. The kids enjoyed playing around all the sculptures that were made.
Sydney behind a see-through sculpture.
Kids and their friend, Ila in a ice car.
Me and Levi on part of a train. He's all about trains and planes right now.
All of us in front of the train car.

As if our day wasn't busy enough we fit in a hockey game. We love going to these games. Our friend hooked us up with tickets.
When Jordyn saw the mascot, the sea wolf, she said, "I'm gonna give the monster a hug."
Between the periods the girls were thrown a Sea Wolf T-shirt and each got a water bottle and puck. I love having kids, they get all the cool stuff. If Jeff and I had been to the game alone, they wouldn't have thrown us that stuff.
Love these guys! Yummy. One's hot the other is cute.