Saturday, April 3, 2010

Winding Down Our Winter!

WOW!!!! I knew I hadn't updated in awhile, but I didn't realize it has been almost three months. Sorry everyone! I guess I can use my surgery as an excuse, but it would simply be that, an excuse.

Anyway, since the turn of the calendars at the new year, we have been enjoying the down slide of winter. We have so enjoyed the arrival of more sunlight, although we are soon headed to the days of the midnight sun, so we will surely get our fill before winter hits again.

Noah finished up his first hockey season at the beginning of March, and he really loved it. It was amazing to see him go from not really having skated before to actually looking and playing like a real live hockey player. His coach was very pleased with his progress and told us he has a natural talent. I am not sure how I feel about that, since I know the expense that can be incurred for him to play hockey. I guess we'll just have to see how it goes.
The boys played in a tournament in January against the next level of players,
and it showed in their size difference.

Noah & Coach Dima Kulmanovsky

As part of his commitment for fundraising for hockey, we had to work numerous games for the local NAHL hockey team, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. During the last game of the season, Noah was able to be one of the flag skaters. He was very excited for this opportunity and to meet the players after the game.
Getting autographs after the game!

Paige has continued to grow and change. She talks all the time, and she is definitely enjoying her 2 year-old status. She is very head-strong and definitely knows what she does and does not want. We have managed recently to get her to keep pony tails in her hair. She looks so cute when she keeps them in, which is about 75% of the time. Daddy loves it!

Earlier in the winter it had been quite cold and we were unable to get out much. Shortly after the new year, it began to warm up a bit and we were getting temps closer to the negative teens rather than the -20s and -30s we had been getting. It is amazing what a difference just a few degrees makes. Anyway, the "warmer" temperatures afforded us the opportunity to get out a bit more. So, we have enjoyed riding the snowmobile, building forts, walks on the nearby trails, and sledding, to name a few things. Of course, the natural beauty of Alaska is of great enjoyment as well.

In February, the Yukon Quest Dog Sled Race started from here in Fairbanks. It is a 1,000 mile dog sled race that runs between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Canada. In even years it starts here in Fairbanks and in odd years it ends here. I had a great time watching the start this year. It was fun to see world reknown dog sled racer, Lance Mackey, run his team at the start of the race. I am hoping that next year we can make it to the beginning of the Iditarod down near Anchorage. I really wanted to this year, but was unable to because of my surgery.

The end of February, my mom came to visit and help out with the kids so I could have a disc removed from my neck and two of my vertebrae fused together. It was a fairly standard surgery, and my recovery has gone very well. I am feeling almost back to 100%, but I still have certain things that I am not able to do.

While Grandma was visiting, we were able to take her to the World Ice Art Championship (ie the Ice Park). It is amazing what they can do with a block of ice or blocks and lots of tools.

We are now enjoying the arrival of break-up (spring) here in Interior Alaska. It brings much mess, but it also means that the beautiful Alaska summer isn't far away. We hope that everyone is blessed and having a good 2010. We miss our family and friends tremendously, and hopefully we will get the chance to see you soon. Our house is always open to visitors.


Fran said...

Oh Nicole your pictures are so pretty!! Paige is a lot like my little Pattie. She has also just started letting us put her hair up in a ponytail. I'm glad you are recovering well from surgery too. I can't wait to see pictures of the late Spring and summer in Alaska.