We are finding that in Anchorage cross country skiing is very popular. The city has numerous parks with large trail systems. The trails are groomed for cross country skiing in the winter and biking in the summer. We happen to live about 1 mile from Russian Jack Springs Park. We rented some cross country skis from post and decided to try them out. Joelle went in the backpack and we were off! It really is a lot of fun! We skied for about 30 minutes and Joelle was so comfortable she fell asleep! We will definitely be going more before spring hits.
We got a second shot with Santa and it seemed to go better! Our neighbor is a fireman and he brought the Santa Truck into our neighborhood. The kids in the neighborhood got all bundled up to see Santa on the firetruck and then slide down the firetruck slide. It really was so cute!
Joelle visited Santa Clause for the first time at our Battalion Christmas Party. It didn't go over too well. I was holding onto her hand and she walked towards him....slowly....and the closer we got the slower she walked. For a second it looked like she wasn't going to make it to him but then I had Justin go next to Santa to see if that would help. It did for a couple more steps and then......crying! So I picked her up and we got a picture and called it good. Yes, we officially now have a coveted baby crying with Santa picture. We will treasure it always!
This Thanksgiving we were able to have my entire family up from Spokane, WA. It was great having everyone here! The best part for us was getting to be with family in our own house. We did start the holiday with Thanksgiving. Everyone in the family contributed to a dish or two for the meal, so our kitchen was packed! It was a lot of fun. And Justin grilled a turkey again...so yummy!
My nephew Xander as a Thanksgiving turkey :-)
It was a lot of fun getting the cousins together. Joelle is two months older but she is the smaller of the two. She is almost walking (she has taken a few steps by herself) and Xander is sitting up on his own. They really liked playing together. Mostly sticking their hands in each others faces.
We went into Downtown Anchorage to attend a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. It was so sweet and innocent. It was outdoors (ok, a little cold at 12 degrees) and we saw soloists singing Christmas songs, youth putting on the play "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and then Santa came with his reindeer. Yes, REAL reindeer! We got to pet Prancer. It was so much fun! We also celebrated Christmas with the family. Joelle and Xander got to open their first Christmas gifts. I thought both of them would be a little more excited about tearing apart wrapping paper, but they were both very delicate about it. They seemed to get a bit of stage fright with all of us staring at them. Xander got an Alaska souds book (push the button and you hear the sounds of animals in Alaska) and a hand carved wooden Army tank! Joelle got The Velveteen Rabbit, a play vacuum and popper and some baby DVDs. My sisters, their husbands and my nephew left Alaska on sunday and my parents stayed until Wednesday. Sunday evening we went with my parents and bought Alaska King Crab legs and had a big crab dinner. It was a lot of fun! It ended up being a little too much fun for Joelle as she fell asleep in her highchair. We all had such a great time! Hopefully we'll be able to do it again before we move from Alaska. Here's some more fun pictures from the weekend:
This was such a hard week for me I'm so glad it's over. Joelle got sick with the flu bug....vomiting, fever, diarrhea, etc. I felt so bad for her. But then two days later I got the bug! I never realized just how hard being a mom is until having to take care of a sick baby while being sick. I was practically bed ridden having to change diarrhea diapers, take temperatures and feed Joelle. Oh it was awful! By day 3 we were starting to feel better and by day 4 we were back to normal.
While being sick I also had to deal with some FRG yuck (rumors!) and that was a terrible thing to have to deal with while feeling yucky. We did seem to get it all resolved and squash the source of the FRG yuck, but through it all I sure felt like Satan was lurking waiting for me to give up.
Today was my first FRG meeting. On my way to the meeting I had a few butterflies in my stomach because of what had happened during the week. I had to stop by the PX to buy a few items and wouldn't you know it that my total comes to $6.66!!! I looked at the total shocked, started to laugh and asked the cashier if he could add a penny to make it $6.67. With the week I had it was a huge sign that Satan was still there waiting for me to fall. But the cashier laughed and I paid the correct price. I then called my mom and said "PRAY FOR THE MEETING!".
My meeting went very well! I am blessed with a great co-leader who has the same goals as I do. We had 10 ladies come out and some great conversations were made. So take that Satan! I won after all! The Lord was so faithful to me tonight :-)
So that has been my worst week ever. Of course I did spare you all of some details. I feel like even through the muck I continue to look to the Lord and He will prove Himself faithful and guide me to success. I defeated the week!!!
1. Justin and I have been married for almost 5 years and we've lived in 4 states and had 6 houses. 2. I love holiday foods. Bring on the pumpkin and eggnog! November 4th eggnog lattes are at Starbucks! 3. I just started leading worship at our PWOC, which means I play the piano and sing at the same time. It's really hard, but I'm getting better at it each week. 4. I hate dry hands! I constantly put lotion on my hands. 5. I can't eat without a napkin. It's pretty rare you'll find me eating without a napkin in hand. 6. I enjoy cooking and baking. I don't think I'm great at it, but I really enjoy it. It's hard when Justin is away but that's when I end up cooking for all my friends. Actually it usually turns into a big potluck and a big recipe exchange :-). 7. I'm obsessed with clean floors. I usually vacuum my floors 2-3 times a week. I know it's having two dogs that does this to me.
Yesterday at 8:30am I was driving onto post and noticed my car thermometer read 3 degrees. This morning my car read 2 degrees. Yes, 2 DEGREES! It's getting cold here, but it honestly doesn't feel like 2 degrees outside. It feels more like 20 degrees....I know, odd statement. The mountains are covered in snow and the sun is shining bright in the blue skies. It really is beautiful! Our days are now 9am to 7pm. I hear they eventually go from 10am to 3pm. That will be a little bit of a change, but not too bad.
So I guess this is a little weather update from Anchorage, brought to you by the Pritchard household. :-)
On Wednesday October 22 Justin took command of Alpha Company. It all happened very fast....two weeks notice! We quickly put an order in at Costco for sandwich platters, fruit and veggie platters, and three crockpots of meatballs. It was yummy and we had SO MANY LEFTOVERS!
For those of you that know Justin's military past, he has ONLY been a part of Alpha Company! It's funny that we can't seem to escape it. And within the first four hours of being a commander he chaptered two guys out of the army (that means they were kicked out)! Of course this wasn't really his doing, he just happened to be their commander.
As for me, I'm excited to start back up with FRG. The previous company commander and his wife did an amazing job with the FRG and that makes me so happy! Life really is about to get busy again...I hope I'm ready for it.
Since we've received our piano I have been putting Joelle on my lap while I play. She usually bangs on the keys and I play songs around her. Her new discovery is that she can pull herself up to the piano when I'm not with her and she can bang on the keys herself. She really thinks it's fun! And sometimes she sings along....too cute!
Even when I only knew her for 7 months and then moved away she has proved to be a priceless friend. We used to live across the street from each other and we both had baby girls born two months apart. It was great to have a friend going through the same thing at the same time. We bounced so many mothering questions off of each other. Thank you Erin Crowe for still being there as a great friend and thinking of me! She put this in her blog and nominated me, now it's my turn to answer and pass it along:
Things I value:
1. My relationship with Jesus Christ. I wouldn't be who I am without Him.
2. My relationship with my husband. I love him so much and I'm so thankful for all he is and all he does.
3. My daughter. She has brought so much love as well as challenges into my life.
4. My friends. I love having friends all over the world and I am still able to call them close.
5. Service. Whether it's getting involved at church, with the Army, or in my neighborhood, I find it important to give back to those who serve me.
6. My family. Of course I wouldn't be here without them.
Things I don't:
1. Negative people. Learn to love life!
2. Complainers. If you don't like it, learn to get involved to fix it!
3. Heirlooms. The person means more than the thing. I'll take a picture over a silly object.
4. Coupons. Why should I have to buy two boxes of kleenex to save 50 cents when I only wanted one box?
5. Wealth. I value staying at home with my daughter way more than going to work to make a few extra bucks!
6. Advice that wasn't asked for. If I want it, I WILL ask for it. Otherwise you're really just bothering me.
*Whew! I was really hard to think of things I don't value.*
I nominate Danielle Boateng! She is newly pregnant with a little girl to add to the Army Engineer group (go girls!). She now lives in New Jersey while her husband is in Afghanistan.
It snowed today for the first time in this winter season. And how strange that today is only October 3! I drove to Fred Meyer to do some grocery shopping and noticed that the rain was looking like it was trying to become snow. As I was leaving the check-out stand and heading to the doors I saw the snow falling. It probably snowed for 10 minutes, but it's not cold enough for any of it to stick. We ordered my snow tires last weekend and get them put on tomorrow....just in the nick of time! I sort of feel like I need to change my blog background to a winter theme, but that could be there for a long time. I hear winter lasts from October to April....I guess I didn't believe that until now!
Fall is in full swing, and actually could be over by next week (at least that's what we hear)! Yesterday was a beautiful day with the sun shining and the temperature was 47 degrees (yes, that's a beautiful day here). So Joelle and I bundled up and we raked a ton of birch leaves in the front yard and planted flower bulbs. Of course once I got a huge pile of leaves I had to throw Joelle in and get a few pictures!
We just bought a baby carrier backpack for Joelle. It really is a necessity for living here since a lot of activities are outdoors. We took her out in it the other day and she really seemed to like it. She even fell asleep towards the end!
We went walking on a gorgeous day and we really discovered the beauty of Alaska and where we live. We are surrounded by the Chugach Mountains. We can see them out the front window of our house. Over the past two weeks we have seen snow at their peeks and it seems that everyday the snow creeps lower down the moutains. Winter is coming! These are pictures taken from our walk in our neighborhood and just outside the neighborhood on trails that connect all throughout the city.This one was taken down our neighborhood street:
And here's a picture of Justin with Joelle and Ben and Ellie on a trail just outside our house:
I can now add mowing the lawn to my list of skills. Justin taught me how to mow the lawn last weekend. Since we no longer live on post and have a lawn service mowing our lawn we now have to do it ourselves. Naturally, that's Justin's job. However, he is leaving for Afghanistan in the future and so that changes his household job requirements to....well, not much at all. I was left with the dilema of who to mow the lawn. Of course I can hire a neighbor kid to do it, but since the oldest is 6 years old I don't see that happening. So it boiled down to me. Justin taught me how to check the oil, clean the bottom out, put in gas, and then of course...mow the lawn. It really was a lot easier than I thought. Here's proof that I did it:
As you can see something has happened to my blog and everything that should be on the right side is now at the bottom. What has happened? I was trying to upload my slide show when I got a few errors but thought I fixed them. Does anyone know how to fix my problem?
Ok, I fixed my own problem! Yeah for me! An FYI for everyone else....if you upload pictures that are too wide for the column it will bump your sidebar down so it can fit your picture.
Our family has recently moved to Anchorage, AK for Justin's career in the Army. We have one daughter, Joelle, and two golden retriever dogs, Ellie and Ben. We are lovers of the Lord, each other, music, coffee, The Office, and so much more!