Welcome to North Pole, Alaska!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

It is a beautiful, sunny Mother's Day in North Pole! I am hoping it is the same weather where all of our favorite mom's live! Today is our relaxation/catch-up on everything that we have needed to do around the house but have not yet done day! As I speak/type Andrew is reading a book for work, I just threw in a load of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and am now taking a break to write a blog.

Yesterday was an eventful day as Andrew and I decided to build 1 of 2 fences. Our townhouse is great but the backyards are just a little too close for comfort. A little privacy boarder was all that we needed. We built it in a way that when we move we can just take the wood with us (or I say, quickly build something before moving day). The posts are attached to spikes that Andrew hammered into the ground about 2 feet. We were both nervous about the possibility of puncturing the septic tank that is neatly tucked in our backyard (all the random black posts in our backyard are a constant reminder). All worked out and there have been no holes yet...but we still have our another fence to put up for another day.

Thank goodness for citronella candles...saving us from the evils of West Nile carriers. Perfect resting place = septic tank poles :-) Now that is classy!

Just need to cut the last board, screw it on, and add some lattice to the top!

I am looking forward to tiki torches, a grill, plants, and a colored umbrella to finalize our outdoor area! With constant daylight, the backyard will surely become another room for us to enjoy.

Speaking of daylight, we were at the Wardwell's house (just four doors down) for a cookout last night. It was a great evening and it had everyone looking forward to the summer gatherings. Take a look at these daylight, I mean, night-time photos!

10:30 PM, sun is still there!

11:30 PM, enjoying the fire, and the camera flash was NOT used, promise.

Lots more daylight to come! We are also very excited by the fact that we have made it through one Fairbanks winter! Only two left! If the winter flew by I can only imagine how fast these warm months will go!

Andrew had a soft pretzel craving this morning. Yep, no Auntie Anne's unless you make a 7 hour drive to Anchorage (not anytime soon). I decided to look up a recipe and by luck we had all the necessary ingredients to make soft pretzels. It was quite the baker's experience and they turned out very tasty even if they were misshapen with extra growths.

Baker Andy, Boiler Extraordinaire
No pictures of me since I was still in pajamas with morning hair and all.

Before baking...

The final products...cinnamon sugar, garlic and onion, italian seasoning, and regular old salted. Who knew we could really make pretzels...it was always that type of food that I always bought frozen or at Auntie Annes!

I am headed home THIS Thursday! I am very excited to see our family and friends! VERY EXCITED! Andrew will be well taken care of and he is headed home in August so my guilt level is minimal right now! Goodbye Alaska for 2 weeks! Hello hometown state of Pennsylvania :-) ALSO, Congratulations to all my friends who are graduating college!

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 5th Snow Squall!

Hello! Happy Thursday! As I walked to school today, the sun was shining, and it felt like a mild 45 degrees...not bad! Yesterday we had a few hours of SNOW! Lots of wet, gross snow on May 5th...ew! To top it off I had recess duty and of course I picked a cute outfit of capri pants and loafers with no socks...YIKES I was freezing! Apparently the latest date it has snowed here is on June 9th so we'll keep our fingers crossed that it stays away until October or November or even December (doubtful!).

Since we are a one-car couple FOR NOW, Andrew surprised me with a bike! I actually had been asking for one for awhile. I found a decent-looking one on craigslist. I sent Andrew to check it out after work yesterday and he came home to tell me that it wasn't worth a dollar. He told me the woman selling it said she had only crashed it once and the handle bars were bent. I just laughed, believed him, and went back on craigslist to see if any more bikes were posted. Then, on our way out to dinner, I see a bike lying in the back of the car. Ah-ha he was pretty convincing and I was tricked! I haven't had the chance to give it a pedal yet but from the looks of it, it will be perfect!

Most of our friends live within a walk/bike ride away and Fort Wainwright is only two miles down the road. I'll be like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz minus Toto, and probably in a more secluded area than Kansas...ugh!

The school year is winding down (only six more days, and three of those days are 3/4 days) so there is not much to do in the resource room! That is exactly why I have found the time to type this entry now! Back to work :-)

Monday, May 3, 2010

May, May, All the Way!

Wow...May 3rd ALREADY.
Wow...over 20 hours of light!
Wow...green grass beginning to show in our backyard.
Summer is almost here and life is good.

Over the weekend we had a cookout at Stefanie's house...conveniently located in the woods for some great moose sightings! A baby and a mama moose were waiting for us in the side brush.

Eight more days of school and I'll be headed back to the home state! Unfortunately Andrew will be staying in Alaska but he'll make a visit home in August. We'll have our family visiting here in June, July, and August! It's going to be an amazing summer! We have tentative plans to travel back down to Anchorage/Kenai, visit the fishing paradise of Valdez, and take many visits to Denali (only two hours away!). We'll have to see if we are the "camping couple type." It all sounds good in theory but you never know how you'll feel when you're being eaten alive by bugs, sleeping in a cramped, wet tent, and unable to enjoy the comforts of a modern bathroom. I'm up for trying it though!

Fairbanks will soon hit high temperatures of 80 and our vegetables will soar to new heights, literally. The interior of Alaska is known for its award-winning extra-large veggies because of the constant sunshine. I will definitely take pictures at the Farmer's Market, which opens this Saturday!

I know I've previously mentioned all the children that run through our neighborhood. Have I also mentioned that they enjoy knocking on my front door a few times each week? They are usually selling stuff, just saying hello, or asking if I need help with anything. Andrew bought a beautiful rendition of a Dr. Seuss book cover, handmade with originality by our eight-year old neighbor. Cost...$1.00, Chuckles...Priceless. Our friend, Greg, was about to leave the neighborhood on a run, when he overheard two of our neighbor girls talking. They said something along the lines of this: "How can we make money?...I think we should ring peoples' doorbells and when they open it we should sing and dance...We gotta go to Mrs. O'Neills because she buys anything..." Ughh...Andrew and I are softies when cute kids come to the door.

Well my two favorites visited my doorstep on Friday and I put them to work. They asked if they could help me with anything and I handed them two plastic bags and asked them to pick up all the litter that has been buried under the snow for the past 6 months.

Operation Child Labor...Success! I paid them in candy of course!

Here are our curtains and I am in love with them! I will admit they are an at-first-glance ugly pea soup color, but they compliment the duvet cover so well and they add some color in our room!

I am currently watching the news about the flooding in Nashville and I just cannot imagine the live footage that they are showing. Despite all the craziness that is going on in the world, we hope that you are staying healthy and happy. Enjoy the first week of May!