Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

Today was a great memorial day!! I have been wanting to geocache but not sure how to do that with a small child - so today on the way to a bar-b-que at Ashley's I asked Tina if we cold take a scenic detour and do a cache on the way. She agreed so we did Pink Panther - a cache Alicia had done earlier this week. It was a nice short walk from the car to the site with quite the view. I have included pictures for your viewing pleasure. Then we headed out to Mirror Lake for a cookout hosted by Ashley. It was so much fun - she had a kayak and canoe for us to use along with a slip n' slid. We partied from noon until 10pm and now we are really tired but it was worth it. I can't wait until next year when Jon is here to go to parties like this - I know Brian, Alicia's husband, would have loved another male adult - if not for company at least to share the burden of canoeing 15 kids around the lake.
The view on the way to Pink Panther - that is some inlet in Alaska
Sam (the oldest Lewis child) re hiding the cache - I found it though!!
Me with Pink Panther
This is the view from Ashley's house
Judith and I with William (my friend Valerie's little boy) in the middle. He stayed seated the entire ride but you could tell he really wanted to go in the water a few times.

Wyatt patiently waiting for his mom - the kids were not allowed to take a boat out by themselves they had to have an adult - they just couldn't understand why.
Slid n' Slide competition with the kids
Me, Ashley and Alicia
We could not be out done by the kids so we had our own competition. There was a verbal agreement to go on our knees - Ashley did not comply so she was disqualified (or so I say) so that means I won!! Three competitive ladies on a slip n' slide is pretty funny especially with two that are trying not to get soaked. Ashley just went full body sliding since it was her house she was able to change though.
Molly even got in on the action

She however did not enjoy this ride. No sleeping through this experience. Don't worry she did not go down without adult supervision - and only went once. We went back on the porch where she could supervise and enjoy her self a whole lot more!

It is 11:58 so I am going to bed - Molly is fed and in bed and I think I have officially tired out Dakota after being stuck in the kennel for 10 hours - what a trooper. Tomorrow we will go on a long walk for her!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary and other random things

Today is the day Jon and I celebrated our 6th anniversary. We got to talk twice - yesterday when it was our anniversary in Afghanistan and today when it was our anniversary in Alaska. It was really nice to get to talk to each other since that is all I really wanted this year for our anniversary. I know that Jon did buy something though since I am not allowed to check our bank account until his package arrives. He loves doing surprises but that is a little limited when you are half way around the world in a war zone. I however had it much easier since I was able to get a little bit of cash each time and buy his present with cash. He won't be getting his present until later though because I really enjoy it and am using it right now. He will have it by father's day though. Jon is the most amazing man ever. I am thankful everyday that I am married to him - even though I don't get to see him much this year. He is so funny, caring and fun to be around. I am jealous of the soldiers that are getting to hang out with him while Molly and I are stuck here.

My month long house guest - Dakota.
Yep - the big ferocious dog is hanging with me for a month. She was just playing with Titan in the house. Praise the Lord for Titan - last night Dakota was so tired she zonked out and is still trying to recover from the nonstop chasing of each other. I really enjoy the fact that Dakota helps me make sure to get exercise - I take her on at least one walk a day since my yard is so small just to wear her out a little. I know that when Jun 19th comes I will miss her.


Alaska and it's weird festivals! So we have had Fur Rondy and the Iditarod and I will be going to the Moose Dropping (poop) festival in July but this weekend they had the World Beard Championships. I kid you not men had some outrageous beards and dressed up to show them off. I made the silly decision not to pay $20 to see this but my friend Ashley went and showed me the pictures. From the looks of it - $20 would have been nothing to watch this. They actually had a catwalk for the men to strut down to show off their beards. If you would like to join the USA Beard team just google it. They have over 15 categories.
And last but not least - biking!!!!! My friend Gloria let me borrow her bike trailer and I put Molly in her car seat in the trailer and went for a ride with Ashley. We rode 12 miles on Saturday and it was so fun. The few hills we did encounter were not too bad. Going up with an extra 30 lbs isn't so fun but flying down with the extra weight wasn't so bad. I am going to borrow it a few more times b/c it was so much fun. One day Jon and I will buy our own but those things are more expensive than you would think. I can't wait until he is here next year to do the pulling!!
In the garage before the ride
starting out - her hat is already over her face but never fear - Molly enjoyed the bike ride so much she slept through it.
On the long straight stretch - at least we didn't see any moose or bears maybe another time.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Tea Parties and Quilts

This week I have been able to go to 2 Tea Parties. One I was the co-host for and the other I just got to be apart of. The Mad Hatter's Tea Party was with the Women's Bible Study from Chapel. It was based on Alice in Wonderland - it was so much fun. Molly was awake for a part of it but not the whole thing - that is why she is not in the group picture.

The ladies from Chapel
Molly wearing her hat for the tea party.

The second Tea Party I arrived in my t-ball cap and batting glove because I came late due to the Blue Dragons game. I looked a little out of place with nice china set out but they let me stay anyway. I have never been comfortable around breakable things and this was no different - I was sure I was going to break the very nice china with gold silverware (or goldware I guess). I almost did but I recovered and nothing broke. I know if I was at the Sealey's I would have broken something for sure - I always loved going to their house wondering what I was going to destroy next. I broke a pepper shaker, plate, cup and I am sure other things - I guess Lisa can be glad that in Alaska I can't destroy her nice things:) I am just thankful that my clumsiness seemed to have been isolated to their house.

Quilts!
My friend, Gloria, is getting ready to have baby #2 and asked us to make a friendship quilt for her. Terry who is putting it together gave us the instructions that it needs to be primary colors and 9.5x9.5. Let's just say quilting is not my fortee - I can not seem to get a square to measure 9.5 for the life of me. Here are my three attemptsThis one is 11 x11 - I got the template off the Internet and didn't even think to look what size it was going to be until after I finished.
My second try I decided I would just make squares - that should be easy enough - this one is 10.5 x 10.5.
Last but not least my third attempt which was 10 x 10. I modified the Internet one but was still off by 1/2 inch - argh!! Terry said she would work with it though. When it is all done in late June I will take a picture - I am pretty excited to see how she will take squares made by others and make them look like they belong together.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Combat Race and Blue Dragons

One great thing about the military is that the bases never lack in outdoor activities. This summer they are holding a Combat Challenge Course series. You have to run/walk the 4 courses with your ACU's (military outfit), combat boots and a 35lb rucksack. Some friends and I got a team together and we got a waiver on the ACU and combat boots b/c we would have to go and buy those. Yesterday we had participated in our first of the four part series. It was a 5k trail run around Otter Lake. We woke up to a rainy and cold morning and by 1pm it was still rainy and ugly out but that did not stop us! I put Molly's raincoat on and we drove out and met up with my teammates for a fun adventure. The trail was pretty muddy but was so much fun. Molly and Lars cheered at the start with Tina and then got to go to Tina's home since it was so ugly out. Here are some pictures from the event. Our next event is a 5k up and down a mountain!
Our competition


My team!
Ashley, Harriett, Valerie, Me, Dory, Lars, Melanie and Shawna
The bags on our backs weigh 35lbs. It is pretty funny to see what all you have to put in a bag to get it to that weight. For some it was weights and others is was a trip to the grocery store with canned goods and what not.
Pre-race instructions
Dory and I finishing!!
Brian got 2nd place. He is my co-teacher for Kids church.
His wife, Alicia, is going to do some of the future races with us but she had to pick her kids up from school - so sad! Alicia is the reason I can do kids church because she graciously watches Molly for me each week during church. I just can't put her in with 20 kids from 0-5 years old but one day I will.

T-ball!! We are now officially the Blue Dragons after having a team vote. One look at the Blue Dragons and you will wish you hadn't crossed us. Our first victim found that out the hard way - the Green ??. OK maybe not. In this league you get 6 strikes, the coach pitches and you go through the batting order before an inning is over. Even with all that there were still tears shed at the game. But the kids are learning the fundamentals of baseball and having a good time!

Blue Dragons on the field. This was a rare moment - everyone is standing with their gloves ready. Most of the game I was having to highly encourage one or two kids to get up off the ground, stop throwing dirt, let them know the glove goes on your hand not your head, etc.
Getting ready for the game to start!
Gilligan or the Blue Dragons number one cheerleader? You decide.
I got Molly her first sunhat so she won't get burned at all the softball and t-ball games in the next few months. Not my favorite but it is better than burning Molly.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sunburn at 5pm??

Today I was out from 4-5pm with Molly in her carrier and she kept throwing her head back while sleeping so I just let her. At 5pm when I went in guess who had a sunburn? That 's right Molly did. The sun here in Alaska is mighty powerful is all I have to say - of course it is 10:20 right now and it is still out but finally in the setting stages so we are starting to hit dusk.

This is Molly at 10pm 5 hours after the sunburn- her cheeks are so rosy. I am going to have to be a better mom and start making sure she get no sun!!
My friend Beth's little girl in her summer stroller. Yes is is a radio flyer but they are using it as her new stroller. We have walked to bible study the past few weeks and it is so fun. Watch out this will be Molly next year.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Me, Molly and my mom
Let me just start with saying I have the best mom in the whole world! She has always been there for me even through those fun years were I told her I hated her for making me a girl - why couldn't I just be a boy like my brothers. She didn't make me pay back two years of college even though I went against the one thing they asked me not to do and got a tattoo. She has dropped everything in her life to come help us move, come for major celebrations and most recently stayed 6 weeks to make sure I was not lonely or going crazy with a newborn when Jon deployed. I know not all moms are able to be that flexible but I am so thankful that she is able and is willing (thanks dad for working so hard so mom can come and work harder). My mom is the most giving person I know - she is always first to volunteer and gives it her all be it time, effort or money if needed. I am thankful for the many years I have had with her and can't wait for the next few decades as I get watch her more and more and become a better person because God gave the most amazing mom to apprentice under. I love you mom.

Now onto Molly and me.
I celebrated my first Mother's Day with Molly today. We had quite the day. It started with a late night were I was afraid that Molly would want to spend every moment of mother's day with me - luckily that only lasted for less than and hour but it was one rough hour! She woke up this morning in all grins. After a brief conversation with Jon and a pre-church nap Molly and I decided to get up and face the world. We went to chapel were all the children gave their mom and other moms in the congregation roses. My friend Alicia's husband Brian took Molly and helped her get my rose. She looked really cute giving it to me. After chapel we had a lunch date at the Bolin's house. It was great fun and crazy entertainment. They have machine gun like nerf guns that shoot 16 bullets in just a few seconds - one for everyone in the family!! I want those! They also have these foam swords that looked like so much fun - at least all the kids had a blast with them. When I got home there was a flower arrangment waiting for me on the deck - it was from Jon and Molly.
Molly and I ended the day with church and an Applebee's dinner that is not sitting too well in my stomach:( Tomorrow we are going to take our belated Mother's Day nap since we don't have to leave the house until 1pm.

Molly and me
The pink flower arrangement from Molly and Jon. I will have to let Molly know for future reference even though I dress her in pink all the time it is not my favorite color - but they are beautiful.

Molly and the rose she gave me at chapel
Molly AKA Pebbles Flinstone
Today was the first day I attempted to put a rubber band in Molly's hair for a ponytail. Since her hair already sticks up in the back I figured I might as well make it look like we wanted it to right??

The ever talented Molly McP!!! She is able to accomplish so much at such a young age - or maybe she is a tad predictable.
video
We are still working on the blinking but 4 out of 5 isn't too shabby.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What a day

Yesterday I decided that Jon needs to quite the Army, come home and never be deployed again. Since that is not going to happen I did the next best thing and hung out with a bunch of friends all day long.
I was practicing softball with a neighbor friend Kate yesterday for a few hours. We found a nice open area behind our housing area (not in the bear invested woods - just near it) and hit the ball and threw around for awhile.
Ashley and the Lewis clan came out a little later and we had a quesadilla night and then went out for some more softball. Walking to the field we picked up a few more kids so it was adults 4 kids 6. We all took turns playing the field and hitting with moderated base running (those who wanted to could:) )
Never tell Ashley to just let loose - swing your heart out because by the end she will! I hit Tina in the leg and Ashley hit me in the chest/hand with a hard hit ball. Needless to say I now have a softball tattoo - can't wait until that is gone.
Then we came back to my house and had my version of Applebee's cookie dessert. Gloria, Will, Judith, Dory and her clan joined us for this. It was so fun . We had ice cream, cookies, brown bites, fudge sauce, magic shell and cool whip and everyone made their own.
With so many people to hang out with the day flew and today I will allow Jon to stay in the Army.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Beautiful weather!!

We had beautiful weather here in Alaska the past few days so Molly and I took full advantage of it. Friday we had our 5k Fun Run/Walk. It was so nice - I got a little sunburned and Molly's cheeks were definitely much more pink after an hour in the sun. There was a contest for the dirtiest shoes at the 5k - when we had finished and I noticed no one entered their shoes I threw my leg up on the table (I did not take off my shoe I really just threw my leg up on the ballot sheet) and voted for myself and got a few of my friends to vote for me. I tied with another lady in our group we each got 3 votes so they declared a tie and we each won! We got one adult ticket to H2Oasis and indoor water park around here. Who knows when I will go but at least I now have a free admission right?
Saturday we spent the whole day outside. It started out with softball practice at 10am which Molly slept through and then we went with my friend Katherine to play tennis. Let me tell you the internet can be deciving at times. I typed tennis court Anchorage, AK to find some closer than the ones Jon and I played on last summer. The courts I found sounded so nice. Well I took Katherine to the GHETTO! You know it is the ghetto when the tennis court net is a chain link fence! I am not joking it really was a chain link fence. Needless to say we were watching each others backs and Molly who was sitting by the fence (fence around the courts not the net). And that night my neighbor who I share a drive way with was having a bar-b-que which she invited me to so Molly and I were out for that also. Who would have thought you can get sun burned in Alaska but you can! More like Molly could - I just broke out in a rash since my body doesn't always like the sun. The back of my legs and arms looked really cute!! Luckily the hives are gone.
Sunday Molly and I went shopping for a hat for her but I could not find one I liked so I will be out again because I don't want to be the mom that burns her child. We saw a bear on our way to the store right outside our neighborhood. One of the things I am love about Alaska is the random wild life that you run into at the most unsusal place - like bear in my neighborhood.
Tonight I had my first softball game (which was AWFUL!!) I didn't pack a hat and the wind was a little more than I thought it would be so she did get a little wind blown until we covered her up with a blanket. She survived. Why was the game awful you ask - well I was the picther and let's just say it was ugly. The 6-12 foot arch didn't happen like it was supposed to and when it did the ball was not near the plate - oh boy!
I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST THOUGH!! I know you are really wanting the pictures of Molly but one more quick story and then what you really want.
I learned tonight why you put a child in the highchair and not the car seat on the floor. After my game I went to Denny's with some friends and put Molly on the floor. Right before our food was to come out I got Molly out of her car seat so she wouldn't fuss to much and because Tina and Ashley help her get her human touch time in. She likes variety and I am just not enough for the child who loves everyone. Tina and Ashley were taking turns holding her and when our food came out the waitress dropped one of the plates on the floor and it shattered. One large chunk went right where Molly's head would have been in her car seat and a lot of little pieces flew in there also. Let's just say I am thankful that I had pulled her out because that would have been really bad.
Now what you really want pictures!
Molly smiling in the outfit cousin AnneMarie got her
The full view of her German outfit
Some of the ladies I walked with at the 5K
When I was at the Lewis' the other day Mason got a few good pictures of Molly. Isn't she the cutest!!!
She is starting to smile a lot more - it is so fun. I just wish you didn't have to talk like an idiot to get a grin out of her.
I just love overalls and what could be better for a girl than an overall skirt. Since cousin Taryn gave us hers I had to put Molly in them even though they don't fit quite yet and really it was so she could wear the shoes on Sunday - mini converse with lacey laces!

video
Random video for the grandparents!