Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fun Monday

This weeks Fun Monday comes from Robin at Pensieve

Shoes tell a lot about a person and we wanna delve deeply into your soul (sole). Photograph your favorite pair--or pairs--of shoes and tell us a little about why they're near and dear to your toes heart (I can't wait to see how Swampy ties this in to Breast Cancer Awareness!). Follow in Jenny's footsteps and make a foot-family us your baby bronzed booties...let us see the shoes YOU HAD TO HAVE (but have never worn)...or all those grotesquely dyed-to-match formerly white satin bridemaid's shoes that were worn ONCE...the reinforced steel-toe boots that saved your big toe from being hacked off in that industrial "accident"...or, just take pictures of your nekkid feet--gnarly bunions, twin toes, or perfectly OPI-pedicured tootsies.

Okay so first off I'm not your typical girl. I don't have a lot of pairs of shoes to begin with and the shoes I do have are my favorites. Below is a picture of my 3 favorite pairs that I wear all the time. You have my skechers first those I use for whenever we are in the woods especially when hiking. I have had a pair like this for years, I just buy a new pair when one wears out. Skechers are wide in the toes which I have wide feet so they have to be to be comfortable to do a lot of walking in. These shoes also have a lot of tread on them making walking in mud and muck in the woods where is can be slippery is a must. The last pair are my flip flops and I love them they are very comfortable! I don't use those as much here in Alaska but they are great for when I'm stepping outside on the back porch.

These are my converse same as the ones in the middle on the picture above. Right now they are my favorite because they are comfortable. Also yes I am one of those people who doesn't tie my shoes, well not these kind anyway. I'm like the kids and teens who tuck their laces in. It makes getting my shoes on an off a whole lot easier.


As you can see they are getting kind of dirty though. I love these right now and wair them all the time they have pictures on them but it is hard to see and they are really cute in my opinion. Like I said I don't have normal girl shoes. My shoes are more like boys styles or teens. Really though folks I don't have an interesting collection of shoes. Kenzie on the other hand has a ton of pairs of shoes that any girl would kill for but most of those are still boxed away. Yes I hear complaints about it every. single. day! Geez the girl is only 8 and has a shoe thing going.....My kids are far more shoe consious then I am though well Izzak and Kenzie anyway. Izzak will only wear Vans normally or boots for when he is in the woods. He also has a pair of those Heelys shoes that kids go skating around in. Actually those are a lot of fun until you fall and land on your rear. Those shoes are a lot harder to skate in then it looks! Yes I'm talking from personal experience! Kenzie will only wear Skechers for tennis shoes, don't know how that got started but she is extremely picky!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ferry Photos part 3 arrival in Ketchikan!

Okay so the last morning of our trip for some reason Kelly and I both woke up really early, like 4:30/5am. We went out on the deck and were talking to other people on the ferry. Some were getting off in Ketchikan and many were going farther up the narrows through Juneau and stopping in Haines, Alaska. Honestly I really enjoyed the company on the trip being on a boat like that you just start talking to people to pass your time more. We met all kinds of interesting people, we probably will never see any of them again but it was still nice to get to know them.

About 6am I noticed that in the distance you could see signs of life....something we hadn't really seen much of other then the pilot house in the last ferry post. Sure enough it was Ketchikan. I was really excited since this was my first real view of it other then a picture off the 'net. Honestly there are tons of pics on the internet if you google it but they really don't show the actual city or surounding area. They seem to focus on one tiny part of the city. Here is the first sight I noticed of Ketchikan. Do you see the white cruise ship in the left of the picture? They are there every day from April until the last day in September up to 7 a day!
View of the south end of town from the ferry

About 15 minutes before we tied to the ferry dock. Honestly the picture makes it look a lot bigger then it is there are only about 7 streets going up from the coast and the streets go straight up!
Of course I don't live in the city I live outside of the city and this is my beautiful view....I know you've seen it before but I really like it.

And this is the house itself again.

In the last post someone asked me if I would take the ferry again. The answer is a resounding YES! I loved it actualy. The ferry is cheaper then taking a plane although it is of course a lot longer since flying is only a few hours but where else do you get to see all that scenery? It changes all the time, with the seasons and storms and just with time. I loved seeing it all and I never tire of seeing whales and eagles, etc.

Of course where we are now I get to see that almost everyday. Yesterday I was watching 2 seals playing in the water just outside my house in the water. Today a pod of Killer Wales swam by blowing and diving. Sunday I watched the eagle in the tree next to my house drop her eaglet into the water near the beach to learn how to fly. It was awesome to see. Especially the concern she had for him. She was above in the tree but with her "eagle eye" zeroed in on him the whole time. I got a few pictures I will share. They could be better and if they are larger you can see him better but I'm not sure if blogger will let you do that, sometimes it doesn't work.

He did this alot standing on the rock with his wings open but took a long time before he tried to fly and at first only flew a few feet at a time.

In this picture he doesn't look so much like and eagle but apparently it takes awhile for them to get their "bald" heads like the eagle in the picture below this one.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fun Monday favorite recipes.

This weeks fun Monday is brought to us by Lisa at The Food Snob. Guess what she asked us to blog about food. Here is her challenge to us for this Fun Monday.....

"My challenge:

I want to see your favorite recipe, be it either because your grandmother wrote it, it's the easiest thing you can slap together that everyone likes, it makes you feel healthy, it's cheap, etc. You don't have to make it (although you could if you want) but let us see the index card, cookbook, printed paper from the web, and why it's a favorite in your house. If you have a lot, just pick one, I know I'll have to!"

I have to say that I really am not a big cook, I'm not a bad cook just don't like to do it. I use some recipes but mostly I just kind of throw things together. I decided to post a simple recipe that I got from my mother though that has been a favorite kind of "comfort food" since I was younger. I don't have any pictures though because Kelly doesn't like it I don't get to make it when he is in town......we had it quite a bit when he was in Alaska and we were in Oregon still! Like I said its a simple recipe and I'm sure you all have had it before.

Macaroni and Cheese.......the homemade kind not out of the box.......those are just gross!

Ingredients: 2 cups Elbow Macaroni (I like to use the medium size elbows)

1/4 cup butter (half a cube)
1/4 cup flour
1 can of canned milk
1/4 of a block of Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese (actually I use 2 cups Colby Jack, in my opinion it isn't good without Tillamook cheese but you may not be able to get that)
Bread Crumbs for top - seasoned or plain (the kind that comes in the container already crumbled unless you can make it better, I don't have the patience)

Instructions: Pre heat oven to 350

Boil Macaroni until cooked and put into a casserole dish.

In a sauce pan, melt butter slowly. When butter is melted add flour and stir until smooth. Add milk and stir until smooth and thickens a bit. Cut cheese into small chunks (I like to use the already shredded kind though) and gradually add to butter, flour, milk mixture. Stir continually until all cheese is melted.

When cheese is all melted and mixed smooth, pour over Macaroni and mix well. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top. How much is up to you. This adds a crunch factor. Cook in 350 oven for 35 minutes.


Like I said though, I'm not a big cook. I much prefer to bake goodies and such like that. My cooking is good though unless I'm making rice.....for some reason I always burn it. I need a rice maker.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ferry Photos part 2

Sorry for the delay in posting again its been a busy week. Izzak and I have enrolled in a homeschool gymnastics class and when they found out that I was a gymnist (and pretty good) they enlisted me as another teacher for the class so I am going through their book to figure things out for teaching. I should be able to lose some weight this way 2 days a week for 2 hours each! I'm actually pretty excited about it and Izzak can use the workout as well.

Anyway on to day 2 of the trip. Oh and some asked how long the ferry ride is. It's 37 hours you get on the first day at 6 pm and have a full day on the second and get off the ferry at 7 am on the 3rd day.

On the second day we woke up to some rougher waters as the biggest portion of the trip that runs in open ocean goes through Queen Victoria Sound which is about 4 hours long and very rocky even in nice weather. Not so sure how I feel about going through when the weathers bad! It was interesting trying to walk around the boat since it rocked so much. We went up to eat and Kenzie and Kelly's problem with motion sickness got the best of them so they took some dramamin and went back to the cabin and slept half the day away. The boys and I were okay so we walked around and enjoyed the views outside. It was also very windy outside and the boys thought it was fun to stand in the wind see photo below.....

Here is a view from the front of the boat when we were almost out of the sound.....

Here is a video from the front of the boat. Notice how noisy it is from the wind. Sorry about the shakiness of it also I was trying hard to stand still but you can kind of get an idea of how much the boat was rocking and it was a pretty big boat so it had to be pretty rough.

Untitled from my4kidsdunn on Vimeo.

Here is a picture of what it looks like as we were comming out of the sound. After that we are in the what is called the Narrows basically we are in between islands the whole time partly through Canadian water until we get into Alaskan waters. It was interesting to watch as sometimes we were headed in the direction of islands until they make sharp turns to go through the Narrows between them. It's gorgeous area and I took over 150 pictures but can't share them all!

While you are on the ferry during the summer hours they have a person from the forestry department who does talks and shows during the day to teach you about the area and animals in the area. Kenzie, Kelly and Madison where sleeping during this part of the day and the boys and I decided to go to the talk for kids about Eagles. One of the things they did was use one of the kids and dress them up in different things to signify parts of an eagle. Izzak got chosen to do it and we had a lot of fun. He wore a pair of boxers to portray the down feathers a clear poncho for the waterproof feathers. Well just check out the pictures and you get the idea. It was pretty funny and I took a lot of pictures of this as well!

Obviously she was enjoying it as well. Izzak was being a pretty good assistant for her and was making a lot of jokes which helped her laugh at him quite a bit as well.

Here is a close up of what was on his head. Notice he insisted on wearing his baseball cap the whole time.... funny kid.
Here is another picture from part of the Narrows on the Cananadian side for you Canadians out there. It is called Pilot House. Yes this is one home and a family actually lives there. There is nothing around here so you wonder how they get anything for themselves.

Also during this day Izzak spotted a whale and was really excited he pointed it out to other crew on the ferry and they announced it over the loud speaker that he had noticed it and where it was. Of course I wasn't very quick with my camera so you can't really see it. I need a camera with more zoom on it for the next trip!

And last I will leave you with a few more pics from our second day....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ferry Photos part 1

Okay we've been here for a few weeks not and I've had my internet for awhile as well I figure it is time that I tell you about our trip up here to little old Ketchikan Alaska. Like I have said there are only 2 ways to get here, fly or on a boat of some kind. Kelly's company paid for us to get here on the ferry so that was how we did it. It is still quite the journey to get here that way though as the only port for the ferry in the lower 48 is in Bellingham Washington which is about 8 hours drive from Portland when you consider you have to drive through Seattle traffic which took us 2 hours to get through! Anyway we drove from Portland to a little place in Washington frist where my friend Cori and her kids live so we could visit with them before we left. We spent the night there and left early the next day to get on the ferry.Here is Kelly waving from the sun roof as he is driving in front of me. The company also paid for a large trailer to come and pick up all of our stuff (which we are still unloading by the way, you can see a picture in the post just below this one). We put certain things in the car and my Durango that we didn't want to worry about getting broken in the trailer while it was on a barge to get here. You know important things like my computer! Of course the cats and hamsters rode up with us in the cars as well although they had to stay in them while we were on the ferry.

Our first sighting that we were almost at the ferry. It was actually quite exciting to me and the kids that were in the car with me.

Here is a picture of all the cars waiting to get on the ferry. We had to arrive 3 hours early to get on the ferry though. Some of it was so they could bring around the bomb and drug sniffing dogs to check all the vehicles before we get on. Then the loooooong wait till we could get on.

Here is Joshua sitting on top of the Durango while he is waiting "patiently" for us to actually move.

Here we are finally getting to board the ferry. We had to drive our own vehicles on which was kind of scary for me since it was pretty tight spaces in between the cars beside me and I get a little claustrophobic!

When we finally got on the ferry and started moving it was kind of interesting because we were excorted by the Coast Gaurd until we were out of US waters and into Canadian waters. They were on both sides of the boat.

After that we went up to the deck and just watched the water and the beautiful scenery surounding us. Honestly it was beautiful and I had a hard time taking myself away from the decks to watch everything we saw. Here are some view of the kids and the view

Kids all standing watching the the water....

I actually really love this one of Izzak....

Just the water....

First evening sunset
The kids and the sunset...

I wanted to post more pictures but blogger won't let me post anymore on this post so I will leave you here these are all pics from the first day and evening on the ferry.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fun Monday what would we save in a house fire

First I have to say I'm back for Fun Mondays! Yeah I'm really happy to finally have things together enough from our move to be able to participate again.

So this weeks challenge was from Sayre and here is her challenge........

"Brush off your interview skills. Talk to everyone who lives in your house. I want to know what their, and your, favorite piece of art is in your home. Photographs do not count. If there was a fire in your home, everyone would grab photographs, but what is the non-photographic piece of art you would grab on your way out - and why? (Edit: These don't have to be paintings - these can be wall hangings, statues, lumps of clay by your child, anything that is artistic expression of some kind EXCEPT photographs.) "

First off this is something that scares the crap out of me, the thought of my house burning down. And really the first thing I would do is make sure the kids where out of the house and the pets before any material items. I do have some idea what it is like to have it happen as I have a friend of mine who has had her home burn down twice both electric issues on things that had been recalled but she never had been informed, so people keep your eyes and ears open for that kind of stuff! She fortunatly was never home when it actually happened which also means she didn't get the chance to try to grab anything and she has always had a lot of really nice things. That and you really don't want it to happen anyway because insurance is a pain in the butt to get them to pay for things. Its been a year since her house burnt down and they still haven't gotten the house rebuilt or any work done on it yet. Not to mention the other items that they needed to get replaced especially with 2 children.

Hmm I have to say that we are not at all an artsy family. Sayre said we could cheat though just not with photos. Honestly the only things in our house artsy wise are our photos so I let the kids have free reign on what they would save on their way out. I will try to come as close to art type things as I can though so it may not actually be things we would save in a fire.

Me: For me it would probably be this picture if I had to choose a peice of art. My mom bought it for me when the girls where still very little. The angel in the back has curly hair like Kenzie and the baby in the front has straighter brown hair like Maddie. The picture made me think of them and still does.

Kelly (the hubby): First of Kelly gave me a weird look and said the only thing he would worry about getting out would be the family and the cat oh and maybe his wallet if he had enough time. Although the only art type thing he owns in the house is this elephant piece. It's actually from Africa. A girl I used to babysit, ages ago, brought it back and actually gave it to my parents although Kelly has always liked it because he is elephant obsessed! So when we moved here to Alaska my parents gave it to him to remember them by. He kept it in the car with him on the drive to the Ferry to make sure nothing happened to it.

Izzak age 12:Izzak has a pocket knife collection (yeah I know a bit weird for a kid). He said if he could only grab one it would be his knife with the wolf carved into the handle. No picture though its still in the moving carton we have which is how all of our stuff was shipped.

Joshua age 10: Joshua is difficult he doesn't really get to attached to anything only what is new to him at the moment. Right now it would probably be his trumpet. He thinks its pretty cool right now.
McKenzie age 8: Kenzie first would only say her dolls and barbies but when pushed to say something that was art she said this Its a picture she got from her dads things once and insists on having in her room. I'm not a big fan of it but she likes it.

Madison age 6: Madison also said her dolls but then said she would have to take her Grandma quilt. Which is art since someone handmade it. My mom actually made blankets for all my kids Madison has always been quite attached to hers.

Anyway that is all we have. Of course though like I said the family would be my first priority then this weird thing here

Not sure why though. He likes to unmake my bed to sleep like this.............

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Joshua's in the band!

My kids have decided to get all involved in things this year. It's odd to me because they have never really been into that kind of stuff. At their school they start band in the 5th grade, Joshua decided he wanted to join and when they had him try a few instruments they decided the trumpet would be good for him funny because my dad played the trumpet and my brother took lessons for a little while as well. Kelly's sister Gloria tried it but she was more of a flute and clarinette play, and Kelly played the alto sax for 6 years in school and the clarinette for one of those years also. Kelly's oldest sister played the flute. Apparently he has a lot of band people in his family. I never did although I took piano lessons for a couple of years but drove my piano teacher insane with my knuckle cracking!

Here are pictures of Joshua trying the trumpet on our back porch. Notice he is also wearing his glasses! He tried to leave them behind in Portland at a friends house but we got them sent up here (that was part of my issue with the Post Office). His teacher and the playground monitors at school know he is to have them on all the time, his teacher even called me the day he managed to get out of the house without them on.

And a couple of videos....

Untitled from my4kidsdunn on Vimeo.
Yep he needs lessons!
and then him sounding like an Elephant....hehe

Untitled from my4kidsdunn on Vimeo.
I still have a cold so I sound kind of nasaly. I really wish I could get over this stupid cold!
Maddies impression of Joshua on the trumpet!

Untitled from my4kidsdunn on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Re a comment

Okay folks I received a comment yesterday from someone concerned that I put Maddies picture, name and a school address up as they were worried that something could happen to her with that information being posted.

I understand the anonymous persons intentions. Although saying I wasn't being very smart hurt a bit. I am going to assume though that the person who wrote that does not read my blog normally and address that issue.

I discussed wether or not to post that information with my husband other family members and several people in town. The thing is I really don't have anything to fear that someone could use that information to get to her. In previous entry's I've noted that were we moved to in Alaska is an Island. First there are only 2 ways off or on the Island, boat or plane and to fly you have to take a boat. Honestly this is not an easy place to get to or cheap. Secondly really its a small town even though it is called a city and a very small school less then 200 kids and about 60 families there are 3 elemetary schools we are out of town though. Everyone already knows everyone and I pick the kids up and take them to school everyday. If I lived anywhere else like in the lower 48 or maybe Anchorage which is bigger I may have done things differently but really I don't feel any concern. The next closest island is a bit away from here and its even smaller then we are. So if you are worried that I posted this information trust me. It was well thought out I did think smart actually its not the school address just the mailing address which is public knowledge and if I had posted a picture of the kids on their first day of school in front of the building someone could look it up easy. Also finding your way around here isn't easy unless you know the place and where we live is even more difficult. Also Madison? Uhm she doesn't go or do anything she doesn't want to and she is almost irritatingly vocal sometimes. She is also the type of kid who is in the middle of everything. all. the. time. usually because she started something.

So please don't be worried she is extremely safe, the only thing she needs to watch for around here is bears and we take many precautions for that. I don't know if some will consider me being naive but really I'm not. I did a lot of searching into wether we moved into a safe town before we lived here so I'm very comfortable with it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Bloggy favor for my little Madison!

Okay so I have a big favor for all of you. And I'm begging if I have to!

Yesterday Madison came home from school with a paper telling us that the 1st graders are doing a project this year to help them learn about maps. We are supposed to ask anyone we know who lives anywhere else to send in a postcard from where they live.

So I decided that since Madison is one of the 3 new kids in this little tiny school this year I wanted to make sure they knew just how special she is and how many people know about my little firecracker! I think it would be really fun for Madison to have the most postcards, don't you? So I'm asking you all a favor, I'd do it for you I promise! Will you send a postcard to my Madison?

It's really easy and I'll even post the schools address on here in case anyone wants to pass this message along. It needs to have Madison Dunn on it like this

Madison Dunn c/o
Pt Higgin's First Grade
981 N Point Higgins Rd.
Ketchikan, AK 99901
If you do send one I'd love for you to leave me a note to let me know so I can kinda keep track for us here but you don't have to.