31 August 2009

First day of 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th grades!!

My house is amazingly silent this morning.

It took me a good two weeks (or more) of summer break to get used to having my four little people home from school...the elevated noise level in the house and little someones was always needing me for something. This morning, I miss the noise.

All the kids got up at 6am, and dressed in their new school clothes. They ate breakfast without me (I was showering and getting dressed during that time) and then ran around the house, letting out some of their nervous energy. I made four lunches, combed hair, and took their first day of school pictures. We left the house at 7:40 am, and walked to the elementary school. We found Isaiah's classroom, and then London's. They were happy to be back. Isaiah was put right to work by his teacher...she needed to plug in a computer to take attendance, but couldn't fit under the table the computer was sitting on to get it plugged in. Isaiah happily volunteered for the job. =)

At 8am, Brooklin, Caleb, and I walked out of the elementary school, and down the road to the middle school. It was nice to spend some extra time with them. Typically, I walk with (or drive) Brooklin most of the way to school, and then she would walk the final distance herself, but since it was Caleb's first day of middle school, I walked all the way to the front doors with them. I asked them how long I should stay. They both said I should stay until they at least found their friends. Brooklin was quick in finding her group, and went off to greet her friends. Caleb saw a group of kids from his elementary, but didn't go over to them. I asked him if he wanted me to stay or go, and he would just shrug his shoulders and say, "I don't know." Then the nerves got the best of him, and tears squeaked out of the corners of his eyes. His emotions have always been right under the surface. Brooklin, who had been visiting with her friends, came over and said, "Hey Caleb! Come over and meet my friends!...wait...what's wrong?" I told her he was just nervous, and she gave him a big hug, wiped his tears, and told him it would be ok!! I was so proud of her, I almost cried. She gave him another hug, and told him a joke so he could laugh. She stayed with him, until he had control of his emotions again, and then he went over to meet her friends with her.

The doors to the school were finally unlocked, and kids started to go inside. Caleb looked a little nervous again, but just then I saw his good friend TJ, and said, "Caleb! Look! TJ! Go get him!" With a big smile on his face, he ran off to meet up with his friend. I took that moment to step back...and walk home alone.

23 August 2009

London is thankful for...


I was ironing everyone's clothes for church this morning, and London was watching me. She marveled out loud at how before, the clothes were "bumpy" and how the iron made them smooth. Then she said' "I forgot to write that down."


I asked her about it. She said she forgot to write down that she was thankful for irons at school. She said that they had a paper and she was supposed to write down things she was thankful for, and she forgot to put down irons. So....I guess she appreciates freshly ironed clothes!! It was just too cute.

London always comes to church with scary hair, because I leave early with Brooklin to go to choir practice, and she comes with the boys an hour later. I don't ever seem to have time to fix her hair before church, so I spent an hour or more curling her hair this morning. She really liked the end result, so we took a few pictures of her with curly hair.

20 August 2009

Just an update, I guess...

We are all good here in Alaska. Summer ended abruptly this week...last Thursday it was hot and sunny, like in the 70's, and then it all went downhill. Sunday and Monday it poured rain...really poured. The Mendenhall River broke out of it's bed, flooding some areas right off it's banks. It hasn't made it above 60 this whole week...mostly it has been hanging in the mid 50's.

Darwin has been gone a lot this past two weeks as well. He went to do inspections in Gustaveus on the 12th and 13th and then was in Sitka for some training from the 17th to the 19th. He came home last night, but is leaving with Caleb on the ferry at 3pm to go on a rafting trip with the scouts in Canada until Sunday afternoon. Darwin was called to be the Scoutmaster 4 weeks ago, and this trip was scheduled before he was called. Caleb isn't technically old enough to go...but both Darwin and the Young Men's president have 11 yr. old boys, so they both get to go because their dads are going. Caleb is really excited.

I finished up my summer English course on Aug. 1st and ended up with a 96%! I really hate writing papers...especially for English...but it isn't reflected in my grade. I started one of my fall classes on July 23rd...piano lessons. The teacher is wanting to get my class done early since she has another commitment coming up and won't be able to teach during the end of the fall semester. I have signed up for 10 credits in the fall. I will be taking Math 107 (the last math class I am required to take for my degree), World History, the piano lessons, and a Spinning class. I thought that maybe if I was getting a grade for exercising, I may actually do some! ha!! I am still really having fun going to school, and like the challenge.

I am ready for the kids to be back in school. They begin on the 31st (and I start classes on Sept. 3rd). I can't believe I'll have two kids in middle school this year! So crazy...and next year I will have a high school student!!!

Well, I need to go. I have to go have some blood drawn this morning. I had my cholesterol checked last month (and it was great) but they found that my calcium levels were low, so they are going to check them again and see if something needs to be done. Have a great weekend!

***I got the results back from my blood work, and my calcium levels are normal...so everything is good. ***

15 August 2009

Playing with angles...look up!

While my brother and his family were here, we went out to visit the Shrine of St. Theresa. It is always beautiful out there. We were playing with our cameras and Micah has some video of Cori and I taking pictures of each other and a lot of laughing! We decided to take pictures of everyone from up high. They turned out to be pretty fun pictures.

Micah and Teagan



He and Brooklin stayed behind, so we took theirs at the house.

Me...and my camera! =)





06 August 2009

East Glacier Trail Hike

We went on two hikes yesterday! The first one was the East Glacier Trail. The East Glacier Trail is a loop trail starting at the back of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors center. It is 3 miles around, and it took us about 3 hours to hike it...with stopping to eat, rest stops, taking pictures, and waiting for those who lagged a little. (we were all guilty of this!)

I am really scared of bears, so I made sure to let the bears know we were coming...I wore a set of bear bells on my backpack! It worked! The only bear we saw the whole trip was a small bear sticker on the ground. Isaiah took a picture with it, and pretended to be scared. =) This hike is really beautiful, and took us up right over the top of Nugget Falls.

One of the last pictures is of Isaiah and Aria at AJ Falls. Micah and Cori thought it was pretty funny...AJ...Aria Joye Falls! They said she does fall a lot. =) Aria and Isaiah were just the cutest on the trail. They held hands most of the time and had on matching hiking boots. They really are a lot alike in many ways, and have been playing and talking each other's ears off! If you know either of them...they both have A LOT of really interesting things to say, and it was funny to listen to their conversations. Micah said at one point on the fishing trip yesterday, Aria had gone on so long, Isaiah was just kind of at a loss for how he was going to break into the conversation! They are quite the pair!

Hike to Boy Scout Beach

We got to rest for about an hour, and then we got back in the car and drove out to the trail head for the Boy Scout camp. The trail to the camp (where Brooklin is attending Girl's Camp) is 1.5 miles out...so we hiked another 3 miles this evening. Brooklin was in a skit with some of the other girls. She was the "star" of the skit. She was the new girl at school and was trying to figure out where she fit in. She played the part well, and it was cute. We gave her a few hugs and then hiked back out to the car.

On the way out, we got to see two porcupines. They were kind of cute. They heard me coming (bear bells again) and were scurrying up a tree. They sat still so I could take their pictures. A little further down the trail, Darwin started pointing and waving us over. He had spotted a bear out in the water catching fish. I really didn't want to see the bear, but he was a good 100 yards and a river crossing away, so I took his picture too, but it was a little nerve-racking. Then I decided that since we were close and it was 9 pm...we should try to see another bear at Eagle Beach. We drove another 2 miles down the road and parked. Within a minute we spotted a bear jumping around in the water. He was also quite a ways away, so none of the bear pictures are very close up...but I did not want to be any closer to them! I just wanted Micah and Cori to be able to see a bear.

When we got home, we were all completely wiped out. We had ice cream for dinner (since we didn't eat lunch until 4:30 pm because of the first hike) and then we all crashed.

04 August 2009

Fishing with the Strassers

Darwin took Micah, Cori, Aria, and Isaiah out halibut fishing today. They caught 10 halibut and 3 quillback. Aria caught the first halibut and also the biggest halibut. While they were out they got to see tons of porpoise and a pod of 12 or so killer whales came right up to the boat (within arms reach) and gave them a show! Micah, Cori, and I bagged the fish after they got back, and they ended up with about 40 lbs of halibut!

While they were out fishing Caleb, London, Teagan, and I went to the park, to Costco, and later on...out for a walk. We had fun being outside in the 80 degree weather.

If any of you were wondering where Brooklin is in these latest two posts...she is enjoying herself out at Girl's Camp. She left Monday morning at 7am, and will be out there at the Boy Scout campgrounds until sometime Saturday afternoon. Darwin hiked out last night and tonight to sleep (the program requires a priesthood holder to stay in a seperate cabin over night...incase anything goes bump in the night) and told us she is having a lot of fun. She is a little bummed that she is missing out on visiting with her cousins and aunt and uncle, but she will get to spend some time with them this weekend.

Caleb liked to make Teagan laugh but making funny noises and faces.

Teagan swingin'.
He was a little nervous about the swing, but he had fun.

I took these off of Micah's facebook...

Micah fishing.

Cori fishing.

Aria with her quillback.

Aria trying to lift up a halibut...too cute!

Most of the days catch

03 August 2009

Visiting DIPAC with Micah's family

Micah and his family are here visiting for a week. They arrived this afternoon and after moving all the suitcases into the house, we drove down to the DIPAC (Douglas Island Pink and Chum) fish ladder. The fish ladder is 450 ft long, and is the longest in Alaska. Most of the salmon that return to the hatchery are Chums (or Dog Salmon) and Pinks (or Humpey Salmon)...although they do have a few others. Chinook (King Salmon), Silvers (Coho Salmon), and Reds (Sockeye Salmon) also have an occasional appearance. It is really amazing to see the water literally boiling and jumping with that many fish all in one spot.

Many Chum

Caleb and Aria in the cutout...Aria was too short, so Micah was hiding behind the cutout and holding her up.

Isaiah was too short, so he stuck his face in the hand hole.

London and Teagan

Teagan watching the salmon in the ladder window.

Aria decided to go rock climbing at the fish ladder.

The kids posing in front of the bear statue in front of the visitors center

London and Teagan

Inside the visitors center (London pushing Teagan, my brother Micah, and his wife Cori)

Teagan checking out a baby king crab

Aria with the baby king crab

Aria and Teagan


ummmm...Aria....there is a big brown bear behind you!

Kids at the touch tank

Teagan loves to point...a lot