Thursday, August 14, 2014

Second Grade

I meant to write this post a few weeks ago but....hey life got busy!

In order to register the boys for school again this year you could do it electronically and fill out all the forms via the internet.....which made life so easy because it re-populates the standard information for the other child from the first form you fill out....wooohoo score!  Jason and I were up late one night doing it and we were laughing....we couldn't stop thinking about how long it will take to fill out the forms for 5 kids hahaha it will be a full days work!

With that being said.....I admit I had a little cry when we were done.  We now officially have two boys in the second grade....how did this happen.  Please time slow down.  I'm sure this year will be a fantastic school year and the boys will thrive with the new lessons, activities, friends etc but geesh slow down little guys.....don't grow to fast...mama isn't ready for it!

How can these two be in second grade?
Crazy side note.....if the new twins are in fact born a few weeks early as we predict they and Josh will only be 1 year apart in school....so when they start Junior Kindergarten back home he will be in Senior Kindergarten.....crazy we will have three kids in kindergarten at the same time!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cheese

Our little Joshua has recently learned the art of being a ham for the camera.....he now proceeds to make the funniest smiles every time you ask him to take a picture while he exclaims...cheese :) 

Our pictures for the next little while will have the scrunched up little nose of his and his eyes squinted but when we look back I hope to remember the happiest grin ever as he proclaims "Cheeeeesssee".

He has also started incorporating his "please" followed closely by a huge smiley "cheese"...which I think is his way of winning us over to get what he wants hahahaha.  Love the little things that pass quickly but you don't ever want to forget!

So to everyone out there.....good morning and cheese :)




Monday, August 4, 2014

Starting to feel real

July 30/14....up until now it has always felt like flutters and little movements here and there.  I find it a lot more stressful carrying twins then a single baby.  When you have one baby and you feel movement you feel re-assured that everything is okay.  The tiny flutters belong to that baby.  When you have two and they are still tiny, I am not able to distinguish who is making the flutters between the two babies.  You feel a movement but aren't sure if it's one baby....both.....did I feel the other baby move today??  Well today was the first time that I actually saw....like from the outside... a movement from the babies. My stomach moved out as a leg/foot shape moved.  Finally we are entering into the stage of seeing the movements which will soon be followed by being able to distinguish between the two babies arms/legs......and stress decreases :)

As a little side note from an ultrasound I had last week.....people ask why do twins seem to get along so well??  Well perhaps because they have had to put up with each other from the very beginning.  In the ultrasound picture you can actually see the side profile of one baby who has no where to put their legs so they are resting them on the others ones head!!  For all those medical people who want to know...these babies are in their own sacs and they can still do this!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A boy and his dog

video
Joshua and Jasper can frequently be found hanging out together.  In the middle of playing tonight, I looked over and saw them sharing a snack!  No wonder our toddler grocery bill is high and the dog food bill is almost non existent these days.  Hahahaha

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Water Fun

We are always look for ways to add a little extra fun to our backyard play.  This particular day was starting to warm up so we decided to have a little water fun.  We had water balloons that we had filled up with water and decided to hang them like piƱata's from the climbing equipment.  That way everyone get's a swing at it and every once in awhile they explode.  At first the boys were quite cautious then then realized that if they wanted to avoid getting wet they actually had to hit it hard enough that it would swing away from them.  Even little Joshie gave it a try........I was scared it would explode on his turn....but hey it's just water right!




Any quick prep backyard games that are favorites at your house?

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Husband Writes a Post!

For a long time, a real long time, my wife Stacey (the author of all but this post) has asked me to contribute to her Blog.

Sticking to my guns, for no good reason except maybe laziness, I've resisted all attempts. Until now...

So why the change of heart? Why have I decided to change my steadfast refusal to participate? It's simple really. I've been beaten into submission. Like so many other things in life, it's just a matter of time before you give up. My own personal battle of Shiloh! After being pressed and backed into a corner, finally, exhausted both body and mind, with no new excuses formed, I have given in.

Ok, that's not actually the case.

The truth is that I've found something that I want to write about. Catching fish!

First thing to note is that I didn't say 'fishing'.

Because what is fishing after all? It's the act of attempting to catch fish without the actual implication of success. Place your line in the water, baited or not, and see what happens.

Fishing can kind of suck. Sorry for my crude language but let's face it. Fishing without success is good for wasting time and getting away from your spouse (trust me she doesn't want to sit on, beside or in water while shooing mosquitos away). One day I will retire and then and only then will I take up fishing. For now, I'm into catching!

Catching fish is the act of getting that fish in the net, pulled up on shore or even scooping it out by hand. Regardless of how you catch the fish, until it's landed, then it's fishing. Lucky for me, I am in Alaska and I am a quick learner.

Coming to Alaska I will admit that I didn't know much about fishing for salmon. My experience at the time centered around what I thought was normal. This most often included a boat on a lake with some form of bait either jigging, trolling, casting and let's not forget praying to the fish gods. Ok, don't take that to heart. I wouldn't actually pray to any pagan god of fish. I'm still a catholic, albeit flawed (but aren't we all?) so maybe my prayers were to God to make those stinking fish bite my line!

Anyway, fishing here as I quickly learned (first time I got skunked) is in fact very different.

As I write this, I am now realizing that I am far too verbose! The accusations I have suffered for a long time may in fact have merit. In light of that, I am going to break this into several blogs perhaps (hopefully not months in between). For today, let's stick to the first catch.

Yes I remember it like it was yesterday... The day I first landed that big, beautiful, tasty beast! YES I AM STILL TALKING ABOUT A FISH! If you're still actually tuned in and reading this, keep your heads out of the gutter.

So... there I was (all good fish stories start like this), on the side of the river wearing chest waders, fishing in salt water at the mouth of the Resurrection river in Seward Alaska. Using what can only be described as a hook that has absolutely no chance of attracting any fish at all, that is where I caught my first Sockeye salmon!

First things first. Watch what the locals were doing. They seemed to be hooking into fish so who better to study from? Ok... now my turn and after only a few casts, Bang! FISH ON! How many anglers have used that cheesy yet perfectly descriptive two word sentence that has brought heart racing joy and adrenaline to so many people?

Say it out loud to yourself. Do it for real! Do it now...... Oh boy... just writing this is making me want to ditch work tomorrow and head out to Ship Creek and catch some fish.

FISH ON!!!!

It's the signal for all others to watch out! Get your stinking lines out of the way! Someone, anyone GRAB THE NET and be ready! I'm the man, I've got a fish on my line, this beast is mine and I am the master that will bring this prized trophy ashore!

If this doesn't give you a shiver or at least a respectful up and down nod of the head, then you've likely clicked this blog by accident. Sorry, this is not Stacey's blog today, we are talking about a big fish on a line in a river in Alaska and this beast is not wanting to be conquered!

Before I tell you how it ends, let's discuss in more detail what fishing in Resurrection river entails.

Fishing as I mentioned earlier is usually about casting a baited hook in hopes to attract a fish. Well, much to my surprise, this IS NOT like that at all. In fact, I was out salt water snagging. Sinful right? To those that fish regularly in Canada and most of US, I'm sure the mere idea of snagging and keeping fish is just plain wrong. Illegal in fact! All that I could hear in my mind when I heard about this was "Fish and game will cease everything I own, even my soul perhaps, if I keep a fish that I have foul hooked". Right? You know what I mean. This is a fishing cardinal sin.

As it turns out, it's actually not. Not if you are in Seward, casting in salt water for sockeye salmon.


In fact, when you use this psychotic hook with no bait, the intention is to literally snag the fish. Doesn't matter where, as long as you hook it, reel it in, bring it up on shore or in a net, it's good to go! Hook in the mouth, cool! Hook in the belly, cool! Hook in the tail, hey that works too! Salt water snagging is where it's at as long as you are in salt water (beyond the posted sign) and there is no emergency order preventing you from doing so. Why snag them instead of making them bite? That's another story for another time...

So let's go back to the catch... there I was... line in water, flipping a crazy weighted treble hook along the bottom and bang FISH ON!

The one thing that I can't really describe is the fight. I'm not actually good at this writing thing so I can only hope to express some of the craziness that ensues as you hook into one. So, it's not like you don't know you got a fish. This is not the subtle tug of a walleye slowly tasting your bait to see if it's interested. This is a small truck or medium size SUV hitting your line with absolutely no intention of cooperating. The fish has one intention and that is to snap your rod, take your line, and to be truthful, spawn. See this is the odd thing I didn't know about salmon. They are going up river to lay or fertilize eggs and then die. This is a one way trip. They want to get to their spawning grounds, spawn and then they turn into what we call zombies (that is again another story so stay tuned) and then they simply die. Regardless of all that, they are champion fighters. Fierce gladiators in fact! Hooking into an 8lb sockeye salmon in a river that's knee deep is about as fierce a fishing battle as you can imagine. These fish will go upstream, downstream, jump, leap and perform acrobatic death defying stunts in order to get free. Your rod had better be sturdy, your line strong, your knot true and your determination razor sharp! Keep your tip up, let your drag work for you and be ready to run up or down the side of the river if you want to land this badass.

So there I was... fighting the beast. It fought like Rocky (the original thru Rocky 4. After that did anyone watch or care???) Anyway, my heart was racing and my line was being stressed. After what seemed like an eternity, mostly because of the terrifying fear the fish would come off (you know what I mean if you've ever fished) I conquered the beast! I got the monster up on the shore. In a final pull of the line, with the fish struggling to go up stream, I steered her straight up onto the sandbar. I outsmarted the creature and used her energy to finally land her. I did say she was like Rocky so maybe it didn't take too much brains to outsmart this foe? Regardless, it was mine! The fish was caught! One of many to come but at the time, the thrill, that first catch... The feeling was ... well I simply can't describe it but I will say that hours later, laying in my bed, arms tired, adrenaline rush gone and subsequent exhausted lull firmly in command, I was still unable to let go and let sleep takeover. I day dreamed of the fish that got away, the one's I landed and more importantly than all of that, I plotted. I analyzed my mistakes, planned, prepared mentally for my next adventure. What could I do differently? How I could have kept my line just a little tighter at times, how my rod tip could have been up just a little higher or leaned a little more left or right depending on the way they were running. It ended up a great day with several fish landed, success by any definition but now it was like a drug and the only way to seek refuge was to come to grips with the idea that I will go back out again and fish on!


You can catch salmon many different ways using many different techniques. Rods, reels, roe, lures, spin, fly, bait caster, high tide, low tide and the list goes on and on... This truly is an art and for the last few weeks I have been a student. Instead of posting a hundred pictures now, I will keep this post as is and only give you a couple snapshots of what has truly become a passion here in Alaska.

People sometimes wonder why we chose to take this posting to Alaska. For anyone that loves fishing, this is the Mecca. Although the truth is that there were many reasons why we came here, if you fish (or catch like me), you really don't need any more explanation do you?


  


 



Friday, July 25, 2014

Mighty Mini

I love passing on cool things when I find them.....so for anyone who has a toddler or buys a toddler treats I came across these mini popsicles in the ice cream section.  They are crazy tiny like maybe 3 inches big but the perfect size for little hands and they are super slow melt.....which means still a little mess but way way less then with a regular popsicle and he get's to feel like one of the big kids with his own.  Going to look up on pinterest now for slow melt popsicles we can make at home...if anyone knows one please pass it on :)