Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve

We were running to pull it together - but we did. Our typical New Year's Eve consists of activities hidden in brown bags - one opened each hour. We skipped the bags - but did much the same.

 Uncle Cy is a favorite with Gideon. He does have a unique way of quieting crying babies. LOL

We began the night with a ham dinner and then progressed to family gift exchange. This year, we drew names. That relieved stress and was still fun. I suggested throwing in a dirty Santa element - but Noooooo.....they liked their gifts. LOL

Lassie is willing to help
 Yarn gets this kind of reaction

Josiah was trying to get this from Craig's list. Jared aced him out and got it for him for Christmas. 
ice auger for ice fishing

Moose call???? or some such thing

I bought all the girls an apron from Tanzania. A friend's daughter is working at an orphanage there, and this helped to support one of the gals there. 

Michael and I had already purchased the aprons before everyone decided to draw we got the guys gift cards....but we tried to be sneaking with Jared and Cory. 

Trying to get a photo - that did take quite a bit of time

Sad Larissa was home with shingles

Benny - not so sure about New Year's Eve

We opened our time capsule from 2011 and added things for 2017.

fishing frog  - symbolizing the AK move

Note letting the kids know Gideon was coming unexpectedly....and info from
the hospital when Benny was born.
 Krista included maps of her travels in 2017  - I can't hope to get it right...but LOTS of states and 2 countries....and maybe rank to symbolize the Air Force 

I had made a book for Michael during his deployment and it was in the 2011 time capsule. The kids enjoyed seeing themselves 6 years later. 

Making and then decorating the Gingerbread villages took a couple of hours.

We all headed outside to watch the FIREWORKS. Wow. Someone had climbed to the top of the mountain and was setting them off from the top of the mountain! There were some impressive fireworks. We learned that the borough makes an exception and allows fireworks on New Year's Eve. We will be prepared next year.

We rang in the New Year with sparkling cider, toasts, memories and prayers. 

2017 was a year of hard losses for us, but it was also a year great of joy. Krista is pursuing a long-held goal. We moved to Alaska. Gideon and Bennett were born healthy. We bought a home we love - with a bit of land and a view we love. 8 of the 9 Gherkins and their families are nearby....

Friday, December 29, 2017

Our Little Boys

These little ones are such fun to have so close by.  The girls took some cousin shots of them in Gramps' chair. I believe Gideon would have been 7 months old and Bennett would have been around 6 weeks old.

The End of the Tree

Josiah and Jamin stopped by to see Krista. Unfortunately, the kids, she and Michael were out shopping. They graciously agreed to help me remove the tree from our living room. There was no way it was making it through the 12 Days of Christmas.
Guess this won't make their advertising campaign

It's new home in our fire pit. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Krista's Home -Who is that Masked Man?

Krista flew to Anchorage late on the evening of the 27th. Jamin picked her up and she spent the night at their apartment in Eagle River.  On our way to retrieve her, we saw this young man out running. This is AFTER he'd started to thaw.
I think frost on his eyelashes is a great look for Jamin! 

We ran a couple of errands and took Krista home. 

Krista settled in to Stacia's room. We caught up in person and ended the night with a scavenger hunt!

Yes, these are our Advent scavenger clues - we didn't get them all done. Plans changed.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Guys Go on an Alaskan Winter Hike

Jamin convinced Nolan, Alex, Cory and Dakota to go on an Alaskan winter hike. Jamin routinely runs in the sub freezing weather...and hikes the mountains.

It was 15*. They insist they had fun and hardly noticed the cold when they were moving. The boys and Cory spotted a wolf stalking Jamin and Dakota. They made noise and it lost interest. I had never contemplated wolves getting hungry as bears go to sleep.

I guess there is no really safe time to hike around here. I'm going to have to learn to shoot a gun. At this point I'm asking the boys to figure out what would be easy to hike with and would provide a bit of protection for Stacia and I.

Today, I opted to stay inside and participate in another winter tradition called tea time. Arielle tried to convince me it isn't really freezing untles it is 0* or so as it isn't really cold.  She didn't convince me.