Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Warm June Afternoon

I have a serious love/hate relationship with the easel. I love giving the kids a outlet to paint and create art. They love it. However, it's so much work. Frankie would be happy painting anything except the paper; Grace, the sidewalk, his shoes, even the cat if she walked by slowly enough. This activity gives him access to four paint brushes, thick with paint and he sees the whole world as his canvas. Another downside to the easel is that everything has to happen at once. More paint is needed, a new page is needed, paint spilled and needs to be cleaned up... Frankie is mixing up the paint brushes again, Frankie is painting on Grace's side... Grace is using Frankie's favorite color and he now has to wait... The roll of paper towels has just been dunked into the rinse bucket. The rinse bucket has just been dumped out. AGAIN.

I have day dreams of being able to set up the easel, sit back and observe. We are not there yet.

But...

I painted Grace's name for her and then she painted over it. We do this all the time. The letters under her name her painted completely by herself. I am so proud.
She made a T, a J, a X and an O.


Frankie only painted with the color blue; very interesting. When he wasn't "painting" he was messing around. He loves to blower wishers.



What better way to re-group than to have a homemade Orange Juice Popsicle?
These are a real favorite around here.

I can't believe tomorrow is July.
Summer things are starting to go on sale around here.
We only have about six real weeks left of summer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Around the House

These pictures are just of our normal, day to day activities.

This was still pretty early after break up; you can still see some snow. It was pretty windy and cold, but I had promised to take the kids to the park after they got up from their nap. Those kinds of promises cannot make allowances for weather. They were happy to be out...


Last summer, Grace devleoped a fear of going down slides. However, now she LOVES them again. She likes to find the tallest, swirly slide there is. Frankie has learned the joys of climbing up them. Why do kids do that?


This was a HUGE puddle that they were both having too much fun in. I kept waiting for them to walk too deep and fill their boots up. Again, happy.

I had to get a picture of this. Grace totally dresses herself these days. She likes to pick a color and dress completely in that one color or a print. The combinations are hilarious. This was a classic selection. Her hat is a witch hat left over from Halloween.


Matching Big Wheels.
Both of them are still Fred Flintstone-ing it. Neither one of them get riding a bike. I don't understand it...


The first day it was warm enough to eat outside. We LOVE to eat outside.


They are both in their undershirts. So cute.


These last few pictures are of the kids and their birthday playhouse.
At first it was hard for Grace to share. There is a sign on the outside of the cafe section that can either say "We are open" or "We are closed". She put the "We are closed" sign up so Frankie wouldn't come in. When he tried, she would yell, "Frankie, the sign says we're closed!" Not very nice, but pretty smart. Nice try anyway... Now they play nicely in it. Grace is always harassing everybody into putting on a puppet show. She really loves to sit and listen to the puppets.




Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grace is Four



I forgot I took this viedo and after watching it, I thought you'd like to see it.

I'm Celery



This is Grace singing a song from one of her shows she watches. Just in case you can't understand the words, here they are.

Look at me, I'm celery.
I'm tall and green and crunchy.
Use me chopped up in soup
or in a dip, I'm a scoop.
Hey World, I'm celery.

She can do a broccoli one too.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Boating, Again.

For Memorial Weekend, we went out and as Grace says, "lived on the boat" for another perfect boat trip. We went out of Whittier again, but we also took the shrimp pots. This was our first attempt at shrimping and we had high hopes. I'm pleased to say we were not disappointed. We did three "soaks" (which is when you drop the pots in the water and let them fill up with greedy shrimpys) and came away with over NINE POUNDS OF TAILS! Wow. But before I show you any shrimping pictures, lets take a tour of the boat.

The Galley
The grill on the left is a combo grill/burner/oven, if you can believe it. I'm thinking of moving the oven out of the house and replacing it with one of these...
The white fillet table you see is my food prep area. Very handy. I keep the cooler to my left on the floor and I have a giant water container with a spout on it for "running water".


The Master Stateroom



Stateroom One and Two

Isn't it spacious and ultra-luxo?! We couldn't be happier with it. Both the kids were only too happy to finally go to bed.

Now. On to Shrimping!


This is our first buoy on our first drop. We didn't hope for shrimp to be in it. We only hoped it would still be there when we came back for it.


The Deadliest Catch
(ha ha)


The kids loved the shrimp. They thought they were hilarious. Every pot we pulled up, Grace wanted to have a shrimp to sit and talk to and pet.



Look at Frankie's face; he just touched the shrimp and thought it was so funny!


Look at this Mama Jamma. He's one of the bigger ones...
Can you say, pass the cocktail sauce?!

Here's just a random smattering of other pictures throughout the weekend.

Lunch after dropping the pots.


An ultra-cool cove place we stopped at twice. There was a back lake-ish type place that filled with salt water at high tide. Lots of mussels and shells covered in seaweed.


Frank checking for bears.



Shovels and buckets





Four weekends in a row. Perfect weather, perfect water, excellent time had by all. Man, I sound like a Master Card commercial...

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Tunnel is Open!

The rock slide area is cleaned up and the tunnel to Whittier is open for business! So great. That means that we are a mere 45 minutes from being out on the water.

We shot down there for the day. When we were readying the boat for the water, it was very windy. But once we got out of the harbor, the wind completely died down and we were left with another beautiful day. That was the third weekend in a row!

Frank let Grace drive the boat. She loved it! She took her job very seriously.


Frankie and me; before he fell asleep...




Otters.



I'm digging up mussels. Yum. They were tiny, but I was thrilled to be getting fresh mussels.


Playing "Skip Rock" has become a must-do activity when we pull over.


Frankie loves to sit here on this little step.


Soaking in the sun. Lovely.



Glacier.

You can see a tour boat on the bottom left. We felt pretty great that we could go where the big tour boats go.


An unplanned stop at the Bake Shop in Girdwood for dinner. Soup and buttered bun, seriously buttered, by the way. Delicious. The kid's grilled cheese even looked perfect. I think we should make this a scheduled stop on the way home.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Boating: Homer, AK

For our second boating trip, we went down to Homer, AK. I love Homer. It feels like such a different part of Alaska to me. We met a friend of Frank's down there. He brought two of his kids so they all had a great time together. The pictures are limited because I was the human pillow/kid-holder-onto (the waves were very bumpy) most of the time.

There are Bald Eagles everywhere down there. It's crazy to see them all over the place. This one let me get so close to him.
We went down for two nights. Even though I wanted to camp out on the Spit, Frank said he didn't want to smell fishy. We ended up staying in this amazing bed and breakfast (they have another website here, better pictures but it's in German...). This place was so incredible. So much better than camping. What was I thinking? Even though her flowers weren't really out yet, you can just imagine what it would look like. It seems like what I picture a country European place to be.

This is on our way to the boat ramp. All the way down the Spit are these little clusters of buildings, mostly offering something in the way of fishing options. Not very tourist-y, which was nice. The day we got there a new coffee shop had just opened; delicious. Called something like Coal something or other. They had a nice doggie out front; Grace was in heaven....



No matter where we are, if there is a broom or a shovel around, Frankie will find it and drag it around with him.

I loved being behind him, watching him look across the bridge where the turkey and chickens were, but knew at anytime things could go bad...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First Boating: Seward, AK

Ever since we got our new, bigger boat in January, Frank and I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for it to be warm enough to fix it up and go out. The month of May was wonderful weather-wise. We went out the second weekend and we couldn't have asked for a better start of the season. It was more warm that weekend than it was the entire summer last year. We were down to our shirt sleeves, our SHORT shirt sleeves that is and soaked in every second. The water was perfect too; nearly flat. Normally, we would go out of Whittier, but due the the rock slide, the tunnel was still closed, so the next closest option was Seward. The boat did great and we all had a wonderful time. We even saw Dall porpoises. So great.

Here's Grace and Frankie, holding hands while we walked back for the bakery with tasty boating treats...


Boat Ramp
Beautiful, Wish you were here...




Happy People


Grace was "jumping with the waves"

Here is Frankie in what we have dubbed his "boat coma". Almost as soon as we leave the harbor, he curls up with this must-have blanket and zones out until he falls alseep.



Here is nap time for everyone. Grace just said she was tired, grabbed her blanket and laid down.

Lunch time in the sun... So wonderful.



See how flat the water is? That's the OCEAN! Can you believe it?


The mandatory boat picture... Can't seem to stop taking them... Looks pretty good, huh?


Frank was beyond thrilled with the trip. We all wished we didn't have to turn back... It was a perfect day.

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