A Big One

I don’t know if this was THE Big One, but Friday’s earthquake in Anchorage was certainly A Big One.  The boys and their mom were at the school where she teaches and they are in second and fifth grade. Miles, the fifth grader was at his before school bell chime class, and Henry was playing in his mom’s classroom before school started. Their mom, Caitlin, was down the hall in another teacher’s room when the earthquake started. She remembers getting under the door frame and having trouble standing as she was bounced up and down by the quake. Ceiling tiles and other things were flying around, as her teacher friend dove under her desk. Caitlin remembers yelling down the hall to Henry to get under a table. The lights went out and the shaking continued. When it stopped, she found Henry under a table piled with debris in her classroom- and they all headed to the gym. Their emergency team sprung into action, gathering children and staff and accounting for everyone- but then a huge aftershock made everyone realize this was an ongoing event. The school was evacuated when a gas leak was discovered and the children were taken by bus to a street in the neighborhood- and eventually to another school in the area. Caitlin and the kids drove home to find a very scared Penny, the golden retriever, in a house filled with open cupboards, tipped over furniture, and broken glass and debris everywhere. The big screen TV was broken on the floor, and the wood stove had been moved forward out of the fireplace. Soon afterwards,  Justin came home from his job in Anchorage. There was no power for several hours, and the boiler which heats the house was broken. 

The children were pretty traumatized as the aftershocks continued and stayed close to their parents as they cleaned up and assessed damage. Eventually the power came back on, dinner was prepared, and the family bedded down (in their clothes and with backpacks full of emergency supplies)in the office downstairs close to the door for a quick escape if necessary. No one slept much.

Aftershocks are ongoing, but the boiler has been repaired, and the family was able to get some actual sleep last night. There will be no school for at least a few days, and life will slowly return to normal. Or a new normal.

And we grandparents are beginning to calm down as well- and are so grateful that everyone is unhurt!

North to Alaska

We’ve just returned from a wonderful 10 day trip to Alaska! The highlight was spending time with our daughter’s family in Eagle River. Here are the boys at the Alaska Botanical Gardens in Anchorage- they are growing up so fast!

Summer in Alaska is endless daylight, intensely green trees, flowers everywhere, tall peaks, and glaciers! Photos from this trip will be dominating my blog for the foreseeable future!

C A L E B ! ! !

I’ve had a request for more baby photos! I’m happy to oblige- so here is Caleb, chilling in his favorite baby seat.

I didn’t do any formal baby portraits- he was either fussy, asleep, or we were on our way somewhere. But here are some fun shots I managed to get over the weekend.

Who does he look like? From straight on, I see some Matt- but in general, I think he favors his mommy!



We have just returned from a quick trip to Southern California where we spent a few days with our son and daughter-in-law and two and a half month old Baby Caleb!

Our hearts just melted seeing our boy with HIS boy.  Such sweet moments!

Our Descendants

Coming from a small family, I’ve always wanted MORE PEOPLE (hence my passion for genealogy and family history). This new baby, when we were already content with the adorable grandsons we have, is such an unexpected joy to have in our lives. We are so happy for Matt! And so I am thrilled to present this photo of our descendants!


The Meetup

Both my kids and their spouses and all 3 grandchildren in one place!!! Who knows when that will happen again?

Caleb couldn’t take his eyes off his Aunt Caity, the experienced mom and charmer of all children. Caleb’s proud daddy couldn’t take HIS eyes off Caleb.

The boys were excited to meet their new cousin (a boy- FINALLY!) and were excited to hold him.

It was a wonderful day!

These Guys

How sweet it has been to spend time with our daughter’s family this week! We had four days with them in a lovely resort in Indio- just swimming and hanging out. An added treat was having our son-in-law’s parents with us as well- we always enjoy our times with them. We leave today- and it will be sooooo hard to say good-bye to THESE GUYS:

Miles at TEN- so smart, full of facts, and an avid reader. At home he is an outstanding skier (on a ski team with older, bigger kids) and mountain biker. This week, he made a major leap in his swimming skills. And he is still the sweet, loving boy he always has been!


Henry at SEVEN- what a great reader he has become! And he continues to be the friendly, helpful, outgoing little soul he has been since birth. Like Miles, he is a good skier and biker- and is becoming a good swimmer as well. Always Papa’s boy (like Miles), he chose a Hawaiian shirt to meet us on this trip, because he wanted to be like Papa.

These photos were taken one evening while I was watching tv with their daddy (their mommy was at the store with her dad). They were supposed to be in bed, but came out for a few extra cuddles and giggles.

Stay tuned for photos for when the boys got to meet their new cousin, Caleb!



Sweet Baby Caleb

Since Caleb was born, my mind has turned to mush, but my heart has expanded!  We are so thrilled to now have THREE grand-boys! We are spending time with our beloved older two now before heading back to Arizona. Life is good!

Brand New!

This is an exciting time in our family- we have a brand new grandson! Caleb is less than two days old- so far he looks like our side of the family but with his mommy’s hair.

Here is our beautiful daughter-in-law with her brand new son.

There is something so touching about seeing your son as  new father!



The Sweetness of Little Boys

A sweet Alaska memory- Miles showing me some wildflowers

The Reasons

Here are the two main reasons we visit Alaska:


Miles at age 9: bookworm, lego-builder, adventurous skier and mountain biker

Henry at age 6: friend to all, gardener, adventurous skier and mountain biker

These two grow and change so fast- we don’t want to miss a thing!

Lite Brite!

One of our children’s favorite toys when they were little was a Lite Brite. When I taught preschool, I had one for my students as well. You can imagine how excited we were to find a WALL of Lite Brite at the aquarium. I think Miles would have loved to play there a lot longer.

Wearing of the Green

Life has been too busy and full of fun to do blog posts! We are just home from taking the boys to the airport in Phoenix, and the house seems very empty.

I did post these on Facebook, but never got around to putting them on the blog.  Treasure hunts have been a tradition in our family since I was a little girl. This time, a leprechaun upstaged me and borrowed my treasure chest to create a treasure hunt for Miles and Henry on St.Patrick’s Day.

The festivities continued on into the evening with a non-traditional St. Patrick’s day Chinese fried rice dinner and hot fudge cake and ice cream to celebrate the birthday of their 2 year old golden retriever, Penny, who is back home in Alaska. Tons of fun!

The Boys and Friends

The boys are here, and life is good! We are busy with outings and play and just hanging out. I’ll share photos when I can.

My pig collection, probably only about a quarter or less of what I had when I was teaching, has been supplemented with Bun Bun, Ottsie, and Fro Fruie. I’ll be so sad when the boys are too old for stuffed animals!

Alaska Kids!

We have just returned from a weeklong trip to Alaska, where we had a wonderful visit with my daughter’s family in their beautiful new home.  Alaska is everything we heard it was and more- majestic peaks, glacial waterways, wildlife, and an abundance of wildflowers. We can’t wait to go back!

Of course the reason for our visit was these guys! They are settling into their new life and were eager to tell us about the otters and other animals they had just seen, as well as the wild berries and mushrooms growing in their yard. They will be starting school in a couple weeks, so their lives will quickly become very busy.

The photos below are from a walk we took at the Eagle River Nature Center, just a few miles from their house.

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Next week, I will share some of the photos I took of our short trip to the Kenai Peninsula and our all day boat trip to the Kenai Fjords.