Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chicken Packets and other random things

Before going into the oven

On the dinner table - with our elegant salad bowl:)

Chicken Packets are one of my favorite meals my mom makes and since she gave me a recipe book when I got married with most of my favorite recipes I thought I should probably start to use some. A few weeks ago I sat down and planned out what was supposed to be 2 weeks worth of meals - little did I know the recipes my mom gave were to feed an ARMY so I have frozen half of everything I have made and made groceries last twice as long! But back to the meal - While living in Waco I didn't prepare many meals at home or by scratch b/c there was no time - well here in Alaska I have plenty of that on my hands so we eat homemade meals most nights. I figure I only have Jon another 5 months so I better perfect this so he is excited about coming back to my cooking after eating in a chow hall for a year (in case you forgot he deploys in March for a year)!! I have made my Mom's peanut butter balls, Aunt Julie's Lasagna, Aunt Terry's chicken, Grandma Rumbaugh's fruit salad and other family favorites. This week we get Mrs. William's Chicken Pot Pie. See the recipe book my mom gave was filled with family favorite collected over the years - you know the ones that you only got when you were at these people's house (but wanted again). I have added a few of Jon's family along the way. So no longer to I have to travel to Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Maryland I can make them where ever we are stationed - and sooner or later they will turn out just like they are supposed to OR no one else will know and think I did things just right!! Sunday I made my first pot of Chili - I got the recipe off the Internet since there wasn't one in the cookbook and it was pretty good!

Other random things!
*Army life is good but they sure have some funny rules. They have specific gear you can wear and it depends on date NOT weather so the other day in 25 degrees outside Jon had to wear shorts, a long sleeve t-shirt and gloves to run. He could not wear a jacket or pants because it was not October 1st!!! Tell me that makes any sense??? So needless to say he is excited tomorrow is October.
*The weather is not supposed to get above 47 this week but most mornings for Jon's PT it hovers around 20/30- oh boy!
*We start kids church this week at chapel and I am SOOOOOOO excited
*I am still wearing my Adidas flip-flops with no socks - holding out as long as I can:)
*We finally got Big Brain Academy for the Wii and have a blast playing it!! We were introduced to this by our friends Kelli and Paul right before we left Texas and have been holding out but broke down Sunday and bought it. It is totally worth it - you can play up to 8 players - great party game!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Our Walk Tonight

We took a walk on Mt. Baldy tonight. I went up this afternoon with a few friends and saw the view for the first time and they said it was beautiful at sunset so Jon and I venutred up there tonight for a walk. Here is what we saw while walking around - we are going to go another day and hike to the top of the mountain! In the first photo you see what is called termination dust coming down the mountains - that means we will be getting snow in a few weeks. The weather was a brisk 45 degrees but it really didn't feel that cold - you will notice I am in shorts and wasn't freezing!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

And HER name shall be . . .

After we found out we were having a little girl we then got the fun time of deciding a name for her. You may be asking yourself where did they get Molly Frances from - well a little from the internet and a little from family. Jon and I looked names up online for a day or two and it was a tad bit overwhelming to say the least!!! But each time we kept going to names that started with M - like Meagan, Mackenzie, Madison, Molly, etc. One night we put our top names down and after trying them out a few times - you know the I love you style, the get over here now style and the plain old everyday style we really liked how Molly McPherson sounded in each category. Now Frances on the other hand was one of the we decided once we knew we were having a girl we would like to work it into the name somehow so we needed a first name that would go with Frances. Jon and I both have grandmothers whose middle name is Frances and we both liked the idea of somehow incorporating a family name it into our little girl's. All of our grandmothers are wonderful women and we hope that Molly gets a little of each of them in her but Frances was by far the easiest to use trust me - we had Donnie Mae, Hattie Frances, Mary Frances and Jean. So after 3 nights of testing it out we decided that we are going to name our little girl Molly Frances McPherson!!
You might say that she is already a bit spoiled and she hasn't even come yet. For my birthday both my mom and Jon's mom sent me a present along with Molly. I got some great scrap booking supplies from the McP's which is how I got to make Molly's first sign and we have already hung the gender neutral outfits both mom's gave us before they knew that they got to be grandmothers to a little girl. The picture to the right is one of Molly's first girly outfit that Jon and I both love(!!!) my aunt Terry brought it to me right before I fly back to Alaska from Tennessee. While I have never been a fan of pink on myself I will be dressing Molly in the occasional pink outfit for those wondering- I don't want people to think she is a boy - however her entire wardrobe will NOT be pink (I am all for diversity of color).
We have a little over 5 months to go now until Molly will make her appearance (YEAH) but that also means that Jon will be leaving in a little over 5 months (BOO).
Life is Alaska is getting settled now - the mountains now have snow on the top of them working its way down to us! The temp stays around 50 degrees and it rains on and off all week long.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

First Time for Everything

This is my (Jon) very first time ever to post on a blog. I can't quite put the experience into words- exciting, stupendous, exhilarating. Enough with the sarcasm.
This past weekend, while living it up as an Alaskan bachelor, I decided to go on a hike with a friend of mine. The 26 mile trail runs from Girdwood to Eagle River rising from 3,500 ft. to somewhere near 500 ft. It took us a long and arduous 9 hours to complete, but in the end I count it as one of my greatest accomplishments as an Alaskan.
There were three highlights of my expedition through the frozen tundra of Alaska: bears, cold, and dogs.
Although we never actually saw any bears we did come across several piles of fresh bear scat. There were several areas where the brush had overgrown the trail and it was shaded from the sun. Sam told me that these type of areas were favorite napping spots for black and brown bears. I clutched tightly to my bear spray like a fat kid holding on to his last candy bar. I was ready to spray at anything. Sam's two dogs had come along for the hike and I failed to notice that one of the dogs had double backed behind me. I saw this animal pounch out the bushes and I almost soil myself, that is, until I realized it was Sam's dog. As a former Baylor Bear you can be assured that as long as I live in Alaska I will NOT be yelling, "Sic em' Bears"- just not going to happen.
Since we have been in Alaska, I have not felt all that cold- until my hike. Standing at Crow Pass, shivering as the cold wind came down from the glacier helped to remind me that, "we're not in Texas anymore." At the half way mark we had to cross the Eagle River, a glacier fed river. Before I put my watershoes on I mistakeningly thought to myself, "It can't be that cold." It was fffffreezing! After only a few steps I couldn't feel my feet touching the rocks on the bottom of the river. I've never had frostbite before, but I'm hoping that this experience is the closest I ever get to having it.
As I stated before, Sam brought his dogs with us- Jack and Jasper. They are Alaskan huskies who love the snow and the cold. I was glad they came because we sent them ahead of us to scare off the bears. It didn't work all that well, but it was nice to have some canine company along the trail. It seems like everyone has a dog or two in Alaska. One of the first questions people ask after your name is, "Do you have a dog?" At first I thought it was wierd, but now I see dogs as a means of true Alaskan survival. While the bear is growling at your dog, it gives you just enough of a head start to make your escape so you can live to hike another day.
So when you come to Alaska bring some bear spray, bring a nice warm coat, and bring your dog.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Field Training and Tennessee

Jon is getting to camp in the woods for work for 2 weeks and I am in Tennessee for 2 weeks helping my family take care of my grandmother with her chemo and radiation. Our updates my have to be help off for awhile.