Friday, July 29, 2016

Not much

Not much to say these days.

I am working a few days a week. Liking the job more now, thankfully.  And it's because I have gotten to know the people and I like them all.  I look forward to seeing them.
The job itself is ruining my feet...still.  They hurt all the time and I'm pretty sure I'm getting (have gotten) plantar fasciitis. So much hurt.
Going to the doctor.
We shall see what happens.

Carter has been in the MTC for a month now.  Time really flies.
His emails are getting shorter and have less information each time.  It's not really surprising because
a. I'm sure the days are all very similar there.
b. None of my kids are big talkers/email writers/letter writers
Still, I can't help but wonder if he puts more energy into the letters he writes his girlfriend over the letters he writes me.  Seems likely.
So, Harley, if you read this and you are getting more info than me, please let me know! HA!
I miss having him around because he was always a nice and funny kid overall.

I have started the redecorating of Carters room into an official guest room.
Paint is done.
New ceiling fan. (How did I never notice how awful the old one was?)
New quilt.
Our firsts guests come next week--Amber and the girls! Yay!  Her sister is getting married so she is coming out for that but we will get to see them.  I'm so glad!
Pictures of the room in a different post, when I actually finish.

I have been having insomnia lately again.
It sucks.

We've been watching the political conventions here, which is unusual for us.  I hate politics and usually can't stand to listen to any of them talk.
But both Ryan and Frank enjoy talking politics so we are watching.
I feel like the world is coming to an end soon when I look at our options.

Redecorating the guest room makes me want to paint the whole house.
Frank loves it when I get like this.

That's all for now.
It's 7 a.m. and I have to leave soon for my appointment in Salt Lake with the headache clinic
followed by volunteering at the Temple
followed by a doctor appointment for my feet
followed by whining and hoping for takeout rather than cooking
followed by going to bed and not sleeping (most likely)
Look at me--my day is all planned out!  I'm so organized.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Alaska! Summer 2016-Post 3

The original reason for the trip to Alaska, as I mentioned previously, was that Frank had a business trip there. He was part of an event that included meetings, speeches and a booth at the hotel we stayed in. On the last day of the event there was an activity that all of the people were invited to participate in and they told Frank that he could bring me along as well.

We drove about 2 hours north to a little town called Talkeetna.
The group was to meet up at the Talkeetna Lodge for a ride up the river in a jet boat.

We went out onto the deck of the lodge to see this amazing view:

So much more amazing in person.  
I wish I could really show you but I only brought my iPhone camera so this is all I've got.

I have never been on a jet boat, didn't even know what it was and didn't know anything about the planned activity but it turned out to be really great!

The boat took us over 50 miles up river through amazing, uninhabited areas of Alaska...really out in the middle of nowhere.  Our captain grew up in Talkeetna and his parents were homesteaders in the 70's.  We went past their old homestead as we went up the river.  He told us about how they lived for 5 years as a young couple in a 14x16 log cabin that they built themselves with no running water and no electricity! It was only after she got pregnant with her son (our captain) that they moved into town.
It was really fun to hear his stories of growing up and living in Alaska, where bear sitings are treated like a normal you should be prepared for and not treat lightly, but normal nonetheless.

Here is the inside of our boat.  Windows all around for great views!

The views along the river were spectacular.

I know you can't tell, but there is a bald eagle sitting on that piece of wood.

Here is a clear water river coming into the river that we were on.  The smaller river was a clear green/blue that was so pretty!  The main river was pretty muddy looking due to glacier run-off. It was a pretty high and fast flowing river.

He then took us into what is called Devil's Canyon.
This canyon has world class rapids all the way up to Class VI
(I-VI is the ratings for rapids with VI being the highest)
this Canyon has never been successfully rafted because it is so violent.

Only two people have made it all the way through in a jet boat and that was his father and one other person.

So the jet boat was specially made to handle rapids and is a very powerful boat.
I was glad to be in such a powerful boat as he took us into the level 4 and 5 rapids!

Then he stopped the boat right on the edge of a level 6 rapid.
Again, the pictures just cannot do justice to the sight.

It was amazing and crazy.
The water was rushing by so loudly, quickly and violently that it was scary.
He had to do a lot of maneuvering to keep us in that spot as we all took pictures and oohed and ahhed and, if you are me, imagined what would happen if someone went overboard.

After the rapids, we turned around (which was pretty amazing as well considering where we were) and headed back down the river.
Along the way we stopped and did a little nature hike.
Our guide brought a big rifle along in case we ran into a I said, they are prepared.
We didn't see any, thank heaven!

Here is our boat tied up to the dock as we went on the nature walk.
Doesn't look like much, but it was an impressive boat!

If you are ever up near Anchorage, Alaska, we highly recommend this tour.
Mahay's Jet Boat Adventures

Alaska! Summer 2016- Post 2

On Branden's day off we decided to go to see the glacier south of Anchorage.
We went on a really pretty hike and it was a fun day together.

We started out with the stroller but soon Isabelle wanted to walk 
and then Kaylee also wanted out (and she was really ticked off about it).
So we ended up carrying Kaylee,  occasionally carrying Isabelle and pushing an empty stroller!

Alaska is just so beautiful!
It really is hard to describe but it's different from anyplace else.

That bluish ice is the glacier.

The hike ended at a beautiful off from the glacier.

The girls threw rocks into the water and just had a good time being near the water.

There was a lovely cool breeze coming off the glacier.
If I had a lawn chair, I could stay there all day.

 Branden hopped on some rocks and made his way out into the middle of the river to relax...but of course the girls wanted to go out there with him.
So Amber sacrificed her shoes and waded the girls out to sit with him out there.
The water was SO COLD.

It seemed like such a perfect spot for a family picture that  I decided to sacrifice my feet for the cause.
I wore Amber's shoes since they were already wet and waded out to try to get a good family picture.

I stayed out as long as I could, which wasn't very long.
My feet were totally numb in no time.

I can't say that I got a super fantastic shot with everyone looking my way and smiling...but the view is amazing.
and they still look cute even when not everyone is paying attention.

We hiked back to the car so that Frank could get back for an evening event for work.

Another great day!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Alaska! Summer 2016

Frank had a business trip to Anchorage and I was super jealous.
Until I realized that I should just go with him.

I'm an empty nester after all.  I should be able to take off on occasion.
Luckily, my job is flexible and no one freaked out when I asked for a week off. Again.

We were on separate flights because I used miles and Frank booked with his company.
He arrived about 12 hours ahead of me.
He got there when Kaylee was at her physical therapy session in Anchorage so he joined them there and got to see the therapy that Kaylee is getting.

He bought one of his favorite treats, dried Mangos, for them to share.
They loved these last time he visited so it was fun for him to remind them...
Kaylee had a firm grip on the bag, she loves them!

Then they went and spent some time at the local fair called 
The Bear Paw Festival.
It takes place right down the street from Branden and Amber's apartment so that was super fun!

Kaylee loved the Pony ride!

On Saturday we went straight to the Festival for a parade and carnival!

Waiting for the parade to start. 
Parades are Frank's favorite!

The kids entertained themselves by putting rocks and grass on Frank's chest as he lay on the sidewalk...
this became a theme for the trip.

Later at the park, they urged Frank to lay down again and they had a great time covering him in grass

Lucky mom, got grass on her head.
Surrounded by swings, slides and merry-go-rounds and they entertain themselves by throwing grass on the adults! 

Isabelle wasn't crazy about the carnival rides,
but it turns out that Kaylee is a fan of the adrenaline rush!
So she went on the big slide over and over and was still mad when we left.

Isabelle gave into peer pressure and tried the big slide once...she hated it.
They both enjoyed the Carousel but Isabelle was happy to get off when it ended.

The "little slide" at the park was more to Isabelle's liking.
She said to me, "Kaylee likes the big slide but I don't like it.  I like the little slide!"

Later in the week we went to the zoo.  This zoo is on the small side but has lots of interesting animals in a nice setting. You feel like you are sort of wandering through the forest or something and then just happen upon the animals.  I liked it a lot.

The animals are all from areas that have this same climate and from what I could tell, they are mostly animals that were injured or orphaned.
I wasn't always able to read the various signs but they did have signs that would tell what happened to cause this animal to need to be in the zoo.

Isabelle enjoyed the gravel path more than the animals.

She started putting pebbles on Amber's feet and said she was "planting Mom"
Of course Kaylee joined in, because what Isabelle does, Kaylee does.

Kaylee used her walker at the zoo and she did a great job.
I had no idea she would be so fast and good with it!
She also used it later to walk around a store.
When she is walking around, she is so happy and she gets a lot of positive feedback from people who see her.  I was impressed with the people who would just say, "You are doing so great!" or "What a strong girl! Way to go"

The girls remembered us right away, which was so great!

And we really enjoyed every minute with them!

Fun Fact:
Isabelle now calls me "gramma"
Kaylee still calls me "baka"

Sometimes Isabelle calls Frank "grampa" but more often he is "nother gramma"
Sometimes she will say (addressing Frank) "gramma..." and then stop for a moment and say "I mean, grampa" so she does self correct but it's just not the first thing that comes into her head.
Kaylee calls Frank "baka" as well.