Wednesday, May 30, 2012

8 State, 2 Province Road Trip

My little sister and I embarked on a very long road trip this month.  Her husband will soon be back in the US after being gone a year with the US Army.  Since he is stationed at Fort Hood, we needed to get her and their car back to Texas from it's little spot in Alaska.

So, we drove.  I mean, what else would you do? 


Thus embarking on a long, snowy, hot, fun trip in a car driving 12-14 hours a day. 


Starting in Anchorage, AK, we drove with their baby up to Fairbanks so she (Rea, aka Noodle) could go spend a few weeks with her grandparents in Fort Yukon while we drove, and Elsa got her and Zach's house ready for his homecoming. 


From there we left to Canada.  The weather in CA was inclement to say the least.  It snowed and snowed and snowed on us.  Luckily, we are both from Northern Alaska so the 26 inches it snowed on us over the 24 hour period was just a minor hiccup in our otherwise well thought out trip.


We really only saw snow in the Yukon.  Snow, slush and accidents.  Although we did catch a moose here and there.


British Columbia weather was a bit more manageable, but the windy roads on the sides of cliffs was not fun for us.  Wind up a mountain, wind down a mountain.  No thanks!  Not even the sun beating down on us made us feel better.


Especially when we saw things like this. 


The border crossing into the US took a little time, but once back in the USA, we were ready to rock and roll.  And drive fast.


Except that I-5 won't allow you to do that on a Friday afternoon heading into Seattle.


So we took in the sights instead and made a customary stop to the Space Needle.  Elsa and I were both 1. too scared to ride the elevator up, and 2. too broke to pay the fee, so we got a starbucks and took outside photos waiting for traffic to die down.


On our way down we were able to stop at a friends house in Portland, do some laundry and visit a blue eyed Eskimo baby.  Wet kisses, hugs and dirty diapers allowed us both to have our baby fix so we could head on down.


Idaho, Utah and Colorado were pretty much the same.  Drive all day, sleep at night.  We did get to see another friend in both Vernal, UT and Denver, CO which broke up the long drives. 

We passed several fun towns with cool names like Rifle and Dinosaur.


And eventually, after surviving the town where Texas Chainsaw Massacre was made (FOR REAL), and sleeping in some sketchy motels, we made it to Texas.


I literally jumped out of bed in Kileen at 2:00 a.m. and drove back up to Dallas to catch the 7:00 a.m. flight back to Alaska.  It took us nine days to drive from AK to Texas, thanks largely in part to a two day wait due to severe snow storms.  And it took me just one day to fly back from Dallas to Seattle to Anchorage to Kotzebue.


My sister turned 22 on the trip and we celebrated with flowers from her husband (WHO literally found our hotel, called a flower shop and had them deliver to our hotel room) and a shopping spree at the Round Rock Premium Outlets. 

And my OTHER sister got married right before we left, but more on that later!  :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bassaba Joooones

When I was a kid and had a Lions Club Basketball game, my dad would sing to me, "I got da Bassaba Jones, I got da bassaba jones, I got da bassaba jones, OOoooOOOOO!" 

I always wondered what the Bassaba Jones were.  Or who that was. 

My girl, she has the Basketball Jones too!  The Basketball program is done and over with this year for our elementary aged kids.  My mom ran the program and the awards banquet Sunday showcased all the awesome players we have. 


Both my daughter and my niece were on the Red Salmon team, coached by my mom.  I wrote a story about growing up in her basketball shadow for the local paper HERE.  Sarah Palin has NOTHING on this Basketball mom.  And she does NOT wear lipstick either.

Anyway, I was so proud of the girls this weekend.  Kaisa took home the "Three Point Shot" award for third grade girls.

three point

Here's the story as my mom tells it: 

She took the ball and stared at the rim for a bit, then paced back and forth a few times, carefully measuring the ball to the rim.  She checked the wind speed (yes they were indoors) and position of the sun while pacing a little more.  The coaches were a little impatient when she measured with one eye the distance from the three point line all the way to the rim, but they waited.  Eventually, she took a deep breath, and closed her eyes.  She swung the ball from under her legs (GRANNY STYLE) and threw the ball up.  Up.  Up... and into the rim.  I don't know who was more surprised, her or us!  With that one shot, she WON.


Clara was a part of the All-Tourney team.  One girl and one boy from each team were chosen by the other coaches and we were so proud when Clara won.  She has done amazingly well this season and doesn't even put her fingers in her mouth nervously anymore!  She's been a scorer under the basket for the team all season.

All Tourney

 All the kids had fun, all the parents enjoyed the stories.  All in all, we had a great season! 


For more photos, click HERE

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Long Week

Pretty long week for us.  Spring always makes it seem long.

But I took photos anyway with my iPhone.  So, here goes:


Deadman's Reach Coffee from Raven's Brew.  It'll wake you from the dead.

Koy's Mom.  That's me.  Spirit Day at work, show your school colors.  Go Huskies.

Spinach Dip in Sourdough Bread Bowls.  That's all I really have to say.

They are pretty cute when they're watching Tangled together, and are quiet.


Went to the store for some junky food and left with bullets, propane, and rope.  Totally Eskimo.

Heart.  It's what's for dinner.

Look what my husband found running around outside.  We might keep it!

Seafood Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl.  A glass of wine.  Great night.

Of course...aside from all THAAAAT, I painted faces for a good four hours on Friday night.  My arms are sore, my shoulders hurt, but the kids were happy so it was all OK.




Catch you on the flip side.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bready Birthdays

About a week and a half ago we were finally able to celebrate my baby turning 9 years old.  She had spent her actual birthday in Anchorage with family going to H2Oasis and returned right during the Spring Festival.

 Girls bread

I was so busy that I had to tell her we would do something grand next week!  Luckily, she complied and we had a grand time, after I was able to rest for a bit after all the fun community stuff. 

 Rea Bread

She decided that she wanted to make Bread and Jam for her birthday.  I had seen on a website a birthday party for American Girl Frontier Parties and thought we could use that as an idea.  The idea of momma sewing up 15 aprons for her friends was enough to send her into giddy land.


So, that I did.  Sewed up 15 aprons from some excess fabric I bought here and there.  (Who am I kidding?  I have so much fabric, it's ALL excess!)  I thought for sure there would be enough aprons to go around, but little did I know that 9 year olds just tell people to come to the party.  We had 6 or 7 extra girls so we had to quickly get all the adult aprons out so everyone could match.


They followed a simple recipe for wheat/white bread, kneaded in a ziplock bag.  After the huge flour mess on the table, they played a bit while their bread rose (or didn't rise, luckily I made three extra batches just in case). 


My favorite quote of the night, "My aana and me make bread.  She tells us we have to CALM DOWN so our bread will RAISE UP!"  Yes.  That's exactly it.  Be quiet, calm down, no screaming!

Some of the girls went outside for a bit to scream and run and play while a few stayed in and made Strawberry-Cranberry Jam with me.  We used the recipe on the Sure-Jell box.  After a thorough licking of the pot and spoon, we set them out to cool. 


A Zucchini Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting was enjoyed by all at the end of the night as well.


Of course, while the bread baked, the girls played Eskimo Bingo.  (What's a party without Eskimo Bingo!?) 


After several presents of Money, and an awesome shirt that says, "Moose, it's what's for dinner!" the girls went home with their aprons, a loaf of hot crusty Bread and a jar of Strawberry-Cranberry Jam in a basket.  (Which I didn't get a photo of.)

Good enough till next year!

PS Thank you all so much for your generous donations to Blake, Kristen and Shaun.  His radiation treatment starts on May 14th.  I'll keep you updated. - Maija