Friday, January 30, 2009

New Home, Sweet Home!

God is GOOD! We came to Fairbanks thinking that we were going to have to buy a house, because we had continually been told that their was not and would not be housing available for us. So, we had been in touch with a realtor and watching the market for months. The day after we arrived, I headed out and looked a few of our options planned to go back out the next day. Before I was able to go out looking again, we were told that we could look at a house that was available and if we wanted it we could sign for it. We took the keys and took a look and couldn't believe the blessing. It is bigger than any military housing we have ever lived in. It has more storage than I know what to do with. It is open and spacious and we love it. God is GOOD!

Here are some pics before our things arrived.

The Arctic Entryway - That's pretty normal here, and it keeps the outside mess mostly in one place. Mommy likes that!

The stairs to the bedrooms upstairs, the dining room (near the kitchen), living/family room (to the right) and kitchen.

The kitchen has so many cupboards, I haven't even filled them all.

The master bedroom with a huge walk-in closet and a double sink master bath.

There are three bathrooms in the house and two of them are much like this one.

This is what it looked like once all the boxes were here, and you'll have to wait to see the finished product, as we are still unpacking and trying to settle into our new home.

The One You've All Been Waiting For . . . ALASKA

For those of you that don't know yet, we did finally make it to Alaska. It is so beautiful here! There is no way you can be in a place like this and not KNOW that there is a Great Creator in charge!

So, we flew into Anchorage on January 8th. We spent the next day and a half picking up Sebastian (our almost 12 year old dog), picking up Jerry's truck and having it winterized. We then spent a day and a half driving up to Fairbanks. It is really only a 6 hour drive, but when we arrived in Alaska, they were only getting about 6 hours of light a day. The drive is almost entirely through the mountains and we weren't sure how the roads would be so we made a reservation to stay about 2/3 of the way up.
The drive itself wasn't too bad. The roads had some yucky spots, but the scenery was fabulous! Below are a few pics I took on our drive from Anchorage to Fairbanks. Enjoy!

Noah bundled up with his and Paige's hat. Isn't he a goof?!?

Little snow angel!

The morning sky one of our first mornings in Fairbanks!

It's beautiful here, and we have room for guests, so let us know when your coming up.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Visiting, Visiting, and More Visiting

After the holidays up north, we headed down to our old stomping ground and visited friend in St. Cloud. It was so nice to revisit the place we hope to retire to in 3 1/2 years.

The Jose Family
(Our old neighbors and still dear friends! It is always good to see you, and we can't wait until we live closer.)

The Rau Family

(Their house has become our home away from home in St. Cloud. Thanks for always being there for us. You guys are the best, and we hope you are back in St. Cloud by the time we move back.)

Then it was off to Pine River to spend some time with my brother and his family, as well as my dad.

Me and my dad!

Aaron, Samantha and Melissa

The boys went fishing in the dark house and caught a couple. It sure was nice to eat some fresh fish while we were back in MN.

They also managed to get a little bit of snowmobiling in with Uncle Aaron and Grandpa Joe.

Our little bobble-head!

The last leg of our time in MN took us down to the cities to visit with some more of Jerry's family. We spent some time with his aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as visiting with his grandparents.

Noah and Paige with their 3rd cousins on daddy's side.

(Paige, Noah, Bree, Jack, Mia, Haley, Alex)

Grandma & Grandpa Holtzbauer

We were also able to have dinner with Andrea and her family.

Nael and Pia

Happy Holidays with Family and Friends!

Once we finally made it back to MN, we still had a 3 1/2 hour drive up to the range to be with family for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We were so blessed that Jerry's brother, Ken, and his family were able to come in from WI for a few days to spend time with us. We also spent time on the range with both of our moms; my grandparents; some aunts, uncles and cousins; and a few friends. It was so nice to see everyone, especially since most everyone was seeing Paige for the first time. Here are some pics of our time with friends and family up north.

The Twins with Mom Snider
(Jerry on the left and Kenny on the right, for those of you that can't tell the difference.)

Noah and his cousin, Sydney, being goofs.

Noah and Grandma Pauline

My cousin, Cara; her husband, Aaron and their new beautiful baby girl, Natalee.

All of us with my Grandma & Grandpa Wirtz

The kids with Great Grandma Bea & Papa Hamilton

Me with my two best friends from high school, Andrea (left) and Kelly (right).

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Days Delay Offers One Last Day at the Beach...But We Still Had to Say Goodbye!

Hello Everyone! I know it has been awhile since I posted. It seems like a ton of things have happened in the space of the past 3+ weeks. So, I will make more than one post today.

In our efforts to leave Hawaii in time to get back to MN to enjoy the holidays with our families, the storms on the west coast delayed our flight by a day. Yeah! or Boo! We were able to spend one last day on the beach with friends enjoying the blissful warmth of Hawaii (which we did not realize at the time we would soon miss very much). So, the kids and I went to the beach and Jerry spent the day on the links for one more round with some friends.

Here are some pics of our last day of fun in the sun!

Fun, fun, fun! Yes, but it all had to end, so we could get packed, say our goodbyes and catch our flight. So, we said our goodbyes to our dear friends in Hawaii and off we went to brave the cold of MN to prepare us for the cold of AK.

Noah with Kimmy, Josh and Lizzie Ostberg

(Someday, they will probably be family. Noah & Lizzie)

Susie & I

(Laugh, laugh, laugh...girl you make me laugh!)

Noah with his neighborhood buddies, Timothy, Julius and Tristan in the back.

The Burke Family (Ed, Eddie, Martina and George)

Alaska is as beautiful as you said it would be. Thanks for all the advice!

Alex, Reese, Noah, Paige, Goose, Chachi and Tommy

(What a bunch of adorable children, and great friends.)

Becky & I

(Some friends we have to wait for, because they are worth it.)

Michelle & I

(Opposites do attract! Thus the reason I am married to Jerry(you) and you are married to Mark(me). I always wondered what Jerry would be like as a woman. Thanks for everything!)