Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Conference weekend

Becky and James brought their family to Kasaan for Conference weekend. We love any chance to get together. The kids really wanted it to be spring and enjoyed a picnic Saturday afternoon. I did not think it was spring yet. And that is why this is a terrible picture taken from my kitchen window instead of being outside with the kids.
Sunday afternoon we went beach combing. We enjoyed the walk and visiting. The boys chases a few mink. The girls found shells. Stewart fell in and got a big bruise. All in all we enjoyed each others company.
The kids spent a lot of time during the weekend painting shells. I meant to get pictures but I didn't. Trust me, they were very cute!

Liz's friend

Iris came to visit for a week last year while her mom worked for the village. Her and Liz became good friends. So when we heard she was coming back again this year Liz was very excited. The girls get along great and had a wonderful week together. Her mother also brought us all kinds of fresh produce from Anchorage and we enjoyed fresh green and fruit salads with them every evening!!

Beach combing with Westfalls

Sister Westfall has a very extensive shell collection, but she mentioned that she wanted moon shells. Stewart happened to know where she could find some, so we planned a day to go beach combing. The weather even cooperated!! It was a little chilly, but not to windy or rainy. :) Here's the crew arriving on the beach. See the heron standing in the water?There were some whales way out in the fog. I tried to get pictures but it was too foggy and too far. There were also about 9 or 10 seals playing right off shore. Here is Caleb out next to the water. Each black spot in the water behind him is a seal's head.
We found a ton of the moon shells that Sister Westfall was looking for. Most were empty and free to take home. But we did find one that was still occupied. These things are really gross looking!!
Sammie and I mostly enjoyed looking at the sea stars and these things that we can sun fish. I don't know what they are really called, but they get big and colorful.
Sammie had to pose for a picture on this rock that was completely surrounded by sea stars.
Liz found this clam shell with a tiny squid inside. Pretty cool!
Everybody had to stop and compare treasures. It was a very successful day!!

Girls Night in Ketchikan

Over spring break Becky and I took Liz and Britt to Ketchikan overnight. We really enjoyed wandering through all the little tourist shops, eating out, and relaxing. The hotel we stayed at had a tram thing that took guests to and from the shops down below. This is a picture of the girls in our hotel window looking down on the shops.
We enjoyed riding the tram. Liz liked climbing the pole in the middle.
Becky preferred holding on and NOT looking at the view.
I have to say, the view - while beautiful- bothered me a little too.
The girls got their nails painted. This was Liz's number one priority for the trip. She really wanted her nails done.
And we ate as much wonderful - not home cooked- food as we could in 24 hours. This is our room service, dessert picnic. YUMMY!!!!
Once again I'm thankful for Becky helping me remember to stop and make some memories along the way!

State Archery

Caleb, Liz, and Josh all participated in State Archery this year. It's a pretty exciting event in our district because the top five shooters in each of the 6 catagories (high school, middle school, and elementary, boys and girls) get to go to nationals in Kentucky in May. This first picture is the first flight (or group) lined up ready to shoot their first round.
I have a very hard time getting good pics in the gym, but I did get at least one of each kid. Here's Caleb pulling back.

Josh was far away, so his pictures aren't as good. Here he's waiting for the signal to shoot.
Liz is taking aim.
She ended up with FIRST place for elementary girls in the state!! Here is what one of her 6 rounds looked like. I know the picture is terrible. I couldn't get close - against the rules for safety - and my camera has terrible zoom.
When both flights were done, they allowed the spectators to try it. Not many did, but Becky and I had to try.
Here is what OUR target looked like. I don't think we would have placed as well as our children did.

Sammie also took a turn.  She loves it when she gets a chance to shoot.  It doesn't happen often, because the target has to be extra close, so she can't shoot with the other kids.  She's getting there though.   In this pic she's all pulled back and ready with her eyes closed.
She's getting another arrow ready.  She taught me how to position it properly.  When she develops the muscles, she'll be all set.  Don't you love her outfit??

Spirit week 2012

The kids enjoyed participating in spirit week this year. Sammie and her twin planned everything needed for twin day all by themselves. They were very cute!!

Crazy hair day was the favorite. I didn't get pictures of Sammie and Josh. I thought I did, but I can't find them. Sammie had tons of tiny ponytails and Josh had a double Mohawk. Liz and Caleb enjoyed posing for a picture though.
My favorite was Liz's hair the next day. Super Cute!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ode to Becky and James and Family

OK, so this post really isn't to meant to just praise James and Becky, but as I was out enjoying the beautiful snowy day with Sammie yesterday I was thinking about how nice this winter has been with them here. First of all we all enjoyed (or endured) middle school basketball together. This is Oaklee and Sammie decked out in Black and Gold to cheer for their team.This is Britt, Liz, and Caleb after their final tournament. Most of the girls team couldn't make it to the games, so they formed a mixed team and played in the boys bracket. It actually made for some very exciting games and gave Caleb a chance to play on their team. These kids were really fun to watch. Because the tournament was on a Friday and Saturday in Craig the Westfall's offered us their house for the weekend (they were out of state for a couple weeks). We nicknamed it the beach-house and really enjoyed our mini vacation there. This is a picture of the crew playing rock band.
Somewhere in the middle of basketball season, we enjoyed Thanksgiving together. That was the first time that we had spent Thanksgiving with family in 6 years. It was very nice. In fact I think I made it clear through the holidays without the usual twinges of homesickness.The only picture I have of our actual Thanksgiving activities is Becky posing with a couple pecan pies. But the kids all enjoyed sledding at some point in there. So here's a fun picture of all the girls on a sled (with an extra non-Hughes girl in front).

Then came Christmas break. I have come to dread Christmas break in Alaska because we get three weeks off and it's cold and dark and the house starts feeling VERY small. This year it flew by. We got together with the "other Hughes' " quite often.
On one of our get togethers we made gingerbread houses. I cheated. We used gram crackers and I even used hot glue to get them to stay together. But we had fun!!
Here are the finished products. Nothing too fancy, but we had a good time.

And now for the day that sparked my desire to do this post. Yesterday we woke up to a couple inches of new snow and the sun was out. Both are quite rare around here. Stewart had to go to Craig for the day and took the older two kids with him. And the new snow made it easy to get the younger two out of the house. As I was enjoying the peace and quiet I thought about conversations with Becky that I've had in the last few months about how much effort she's making to spend more time with her kids and I started feeling guilty. SO, I got dressed up and went to find my kids. Josh was with friends but Sammie was happy to see me. I spent a good chunk of the day out playing in the snow with her. And as I admired the scenery I realized that I had to thank Becky for that too. I haven't lived here very long but I seem to forget how beautiful it is very easily. Becky hasn't forgotten yet and she's helping me remember how very, very beautiful it is. I like this picture but it doesn't come close to doing it justice. It was so much prettier than me or my camera are able to capture.

Now I have yet to decide whether Becky gets thanked or cursed for this last picture. Whenever our families get together it includes their two little dogs Pippen and Boozer. Stewart has fallen in love with them and decided that he really needed a Shih Tzu. I have sworn off puppies forever. I don't have the patience to train them. But on facebook this week somebody was looking for a new home for a 6 year old shih tzu. So, meet Lacy, the newest addition to our home. So far I don't hate her. And everyone else loves her. I think she might end up being a really good dog for us.