Thursday, January 31, 2013

Random thoughts

We have been in Alaska almost a year now, it has flown by.  I had been thinking about some of the things I love here, some of the things that are a bit strange here and a few things I am not so fond off.

People here drive crazy, and yes I know that happens everywhere but I really notice it here a lot, you can be going down a dirt road and they will fly past you swearing as they go, so much for a nice drive.  They spend far to much time talking on their phone while driving so I have had many near accidents with people who simply are not paying attention to where they are going.  It makes me a little nervous to have kids learning to drive with these drivers on the roads.

Also my biggest pet peeve is the trash, you see it all over, especially when we go hike, people just leave their trash like we have miles and miles of wilderness so we do not need to take care of any of it.  I get terribly angry when I see it and always take a bag to carry out not only our own trash but what we can pick up as well.  A few weeks ago we took some of the kids from work to the park and it was full of garbage, I was so surprised and happy to see one of our little kids (she is 6) get a box and start picking up trash rather than playing, and then see several kids and adults pitch in and help.

The daylight took some getting used to, when we got here it was light almost all the time, we went down to about 5 hours of light a day and are slowly moving back up.  Neither really bother me, I just have to pay closer attention to the actual time since it throws your body clock off.

It is the end of January and my neighbor still has his Christmas lights up and on, he is not the only one, lots of people still have them on, that is strange to me, we always turned ours off about New Years.  I heard someone say they do it to "cheer up" January since it is usually the dark and cold.  I don't know if it is really true, maybe they just like lights?

One very strange thing I have found is all our toilets run warm water in them, I guess it has to do with cold and condensation, I do not really understand it and still find it a bit odd, but ours are set up that way too and we have no problems with them so I guess there is a reason.

I love that we have very low taxes here, it makes things a bit more affordable.  Many things are comparable with other places I have lived, but some are a bit more expensive.

I love that we have very lax gun laws and in return very little gun crime, the biggest gun crime we really hear about is illegal hunting.  From time to time you hear of something, there was a shooting in Anchorage a few weeks ago, but it was a fight between two people does not make it ok, but at least it was not a full out shooting strangers attack.  We have no concealed weapons permits, everyone carries, a lot of it has to do with the need to protect against wildlife.  I saw a outdoor wedding last year while we were hiking, it was 2 miles back in towards a waterfall and one of the bridesmaids had a built in spot on the back of her dress for her pistol, I wish I had gotten a picture it was clever.  I believe our law states we have  a couple minutes from being pulled over to inform the officer if we have a weapon in the vehicle, but it is legal to  have them.

We have lots of water here, numerous lakes within minutes, we have a program called kids don't float, at every lake you go to, even the ones way up in the mountains there is a lifejacket loaning spot, they are just hanging there for people to borrow and then put back so all kids who go in the water have a life jacket on, I think it is a great program.

Our elementary schools teach sign language with all their lessons, I think it is so neat, during singing time or reading time they sign as well and the kids learn it and join in, it is really pretty impressive to see these little kids learning so fast.

Of course it goes without saying that the scenery here is breathtaking and it is so nice that there are numerous places to hike, camp, or just spend the day in the wilderness.  We went out several trails last summer and still did not even begin to see them all.

The wildlife is amazing, I see big bald Eagles almost daily, and even got to see a nest and baby ones last year, we have an abundance of moose that just randomly walk down the streets, it is really neat to see.

The Northern lights were one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen, you cannot always see them, but when you can it is a show worth watching.

We live in a small town, on the outskirts actually so we are in what they call the borough ( I thought they only had those in New York lol) rather than town itself.  It's a very community oriented place and they have lots of festivals, get togethers parades ect.  It seems there is almost always something going on someplace close.

The cost of housing here is considerable cheaper then one might think and utilities are comparable so we are pretty happy with that part of the move.

We are really enjoying being here, exploring's, finding new things and setting down roots in our town.  We are excited that a few people are planning trips to see us, we love having company and hope more people will come as time goes on.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sock Monkey quilt

Stevie decided she wanted to do this babies layette in sock monkey's.  When I started looking for material to make her quilt I was not able to find any locally, I did find some on line but it was pretty expensive. 
While I was thinking about how I wanted to design the quilt I got the idea to do an applique quilt, I looked up some pictures of sock monkey's and drew up a pattern, I bought some bright material that I thought was fun.  It is hard to see from the picture but the material around the side is colored monkeys.
This quilt  came together pretty fast, and I quilted it on my new frames that Richard just made me.  I like the way it turned out.
I put the babies name on it, because Stevie really liked the one I did for Conner that had his name on it. 
Her name will be Layci Dawn, Stevie went back and forth on what she wanted to name her, I guess Layci was what she and Daniel could agree on, Staci is thrilled she says she will have a niece named after her.  Layci has grown on me, I suggested Dawn as a middle name and she agreed, that is my Mom's middle name and Grandpa's name so Stevie liked that.
I am designing a owl quilt now for my nieces baby, I think that will be fun as well.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Christmas gifts

I received some really nice gifts this year for Christmas.  Every year I say I want a doll house and every year Richard says really, and then we do it again the next year.  This year when he said really, the girls laughed at him and told him he always says that.  I guess he decided this was the year, he found a doll house kit and built it for me, I was really excited and am looking forward to doing the inside of it now.

Richard also decided I needed a new smaller hand gun so it would be easier for me to carry when we go hike ect.  He picked out a 40 cal Smith and Wesson, I love it, we went shooting last weekend and I am very happy with the way it handles.  Along with my gun he bought me a Pandora bracelet, I am a jewelry fanatic, and have admired these bracelets for awhile now, I like that the beads on this one, and have already worn it several times.
He also got me a couple more nutcrackers, I have been trying to rebuild the collection I lost when I got divorced.
Santa brought me some slippers, fuzzy socks and Starbucks gift cards. 
My Mom sent me this gorgeous black and white shawl/scarf, I love it  and the ways to wear it are endless.  She also sent me these two pictures of the new Brigham City temple.  The temple they just built in the town I grew up in.  One is a nice framed picture of the building and the other is a handkerchief with a picture of it embroidered on it,

My brother Clint had my name this year, he always gives the neatest gifts.  He sent me some books on local trails to hike and also some gorgeous wind chimes, I hung them outside the dining room window, they sound incredible as I am sitting at the table.M From the kids I received some perfume, lots of bath stuff, a very pretty necklace and a Clarisse (from Rudolph) ornament, Rudolph is my favorite Christmas special.
My secret Santa at work got me a small nutcracker and a very pretty scarf.
My sister Mandy sent us all bath and body works stuff and My step Mom sends Richard and I Hickory Farms every year, we love it, we cut it up and enjoy it on one of our date movie nights.
I was so happy with my gifts and felt truly blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Christmas 2012

I have been terrible at updating on here, things have been so busy with the Holidays, school, work and so on. 
We had a wonderful Christmas, I was sad that Stevie and her girls and Levi were not here, that is the first year I have not had all my babies home with me.  Levi did go to Saint George with Sage to spend it with my sister, so that made me happy and Stevie had her little family with her, we talked on the phone, so it was nice.
We were a little nervous that we would not have a white Christmas, but a few days before we got a couple feet in one storm.  Conner had such fun playing out in his first real snow.  He played nice while I shoveled snow off the deck. (Richard was in Seattle so I got to do it :)
The kids had a great Christmas morning, they got up very early, Conner was still tired.  The girls seemed to like the gifts they got, they received many items from their "wish list"
Love this picture, he was so excited about everything, made me miss my other two little ones a lot,  Christmas is such fun when they are small.
We had a really nice dinner after all the gifts were opened up, it was nice to just spend some fun family time together.