January 19, 2009

Babies, babies everywhere!

My sis Cortney and my sis-in-law Maren were both due with their first babies around the middle January.  Well, they've finally both arrived.  Cort had hers on the 6th (I think!) and Maren had hers this morning.  They are both so cute and adorable.  Can't wait to see them in person!

Maren and baby girl Sundahl (that's her last name...they haven't had time to name her yet :)  She was born 8lbs 14 oz!  I wish I could see her so I could compare her to my little munchkins who were only 5-10 and 5-12 lbs.  Tons of hair...we expected it to be red though! Way to go Maren!!

Cort and baby boy Ari Jackson Skolnick.  You say it "R-E".  A good choice of a name...it's Mark's middle name; and you can't lose with the Jackson middle name! :) Besides, he looks like a Jackson baby (sorry Mark) He was born 7 lbs 13 oz.  Not too shabby either.



January 17, 2009

Beautiful Saturday Weather

I couldn't help but smile as I watched Hayes and Chase drive off into the sunset with their trusty dog Lucy trotting close behind.  It was the perfect end to a great Saturday.

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But before the perfect ending, Spence rode Baby Bell.

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And tried a little cutting on some uncooperative new steers...looks pretty good here though.

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Chase and I watched from the stands.

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While Hayes relaxed on top of Rosie.

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Even though I cuss Spence all of the time for having four dogs, she really is a good little pup.

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Hayes was killing time while Spence kept promising to quit and let Hayes ride.

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He finally got his turn.  Not quite the same as Sonny Boy or Miller Genuine, but it'll have to do for now.

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He's a natural.

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After we finished with Bell, the boys jumped in their Jeep and got ready to head home.  Bell had to check things out first.

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Off they headed while Spence rode Smoothie and I stood around holding Bell.  I did take her up to the barn and unsaddle her and put her away, but I skipped town back to the house leaving Spence to finish riding another horse by himself.  I'm a lightweight and my house really needed cleaning.

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When I got home, I found Hayes and Chase safely inside after their drive.  Hayes is such a good brother. 

January 5, 2009

Attempt at a Platt Grandchildren Photo

Jay and Trish have 8 grand-boys and 1 grand-girl currently (maren's baby will give us another girl).  It makes for a wild bunch and makes it almost impossible to get a good picture of all of them.  I thought these pics were really funny if you look at all of the things going on in them. Before I explain, here's who everyone is

Hayes and Chase:  Kellie and Spence's boys

Parker, Charlie, Briton and Jane:  Kristen and Chuck Humphery's kids

Harvey and Colten:  Harvey Jay and Kimberly's boys

Treyharne (little T):  Trey and Brindi's baby boy

Below: (left to right) Hayes is pulling away from Harvey who wants to hold his little brother Colten.  Parker is holding his baby sis Jane who looks worried.  Briton is interested in the Christmas tree.  Charlie and Chase look lovingly :) down at little Trey who also looks worried.

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More kids are looking at the camera although some of them are yelling.  We can now see the permanent marker-mustache that Charlie drew on Brit earlier that day.

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Most are looking quite angelic....even Brit with the mustachio and baby T with the devil sign sucking of the fingers.  Jane is smiling!

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I can no longer see Harvey's kids.  Brit is unhappy about something.  Hayes is trying to smile, but says he can't "fake smile"!

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Kids are smiling.  NO one is looking at the camera.  It's starting to unravel.

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We've lost Harvey, Colten, Charlie and Chase at this point.  Jane has had enough.  We'll try again next year! :)  Still a cute bunch of hooligans!

January 3, 2009

What's This White Stuff?

I just had to change my background to a shot I took  out my front door of the snow falling the day after Christmas.  I don't know when we'll see it again, so this is my way of holding on to it a little bit longer.

On an entirely different note, I'm so behind on my blogging that I'm just going to try to catch up the best I can.  The timeline will probably be mixed up (does anyone know a way to move posts around so that I could put them where they really should go chronologically?) but oh well.  It's been a wonderful Christmas break!

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The dogs couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present...they were all acting like puppies again. (Well, Rosie is still a puppy, Daisy's barely past being a puppy, but Lucy and Rosco are definitely no longer spring chickens...they're 10 now)

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Winter Babies

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The BIG Surprise Visit

Fairbanks, Alaska

     20 degrees below zero here I come!

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I took this picture at 12:00 noon when the sun is at it BRIGHTEST.  It's about as bright as our light in AZ around sunset.  It gets light at about 10 am and gets dark around 4 pm. The weirdest thing is that the sun never comes "overhead", it just comes up in the east and kind of slides south. 


A few months ago, my brother-in-law Mark called me with a proposal.  He wanted to know if I would be game for flying up to Fairbanks to surprise my baby sis Cort with a visit.  She would be 8 months pregnant when I got there and I would be there for the baby shower.  I told him of course...as long as I could arrange babysitting for Hayes and Chase.  My mom and Trish agreed to watch the kids, so Mark got the tickets and the plan started to take shape. 

Mark was convinced the whole time that I was not going to be able to keep the secret and I was sure he wouldn't be able to, but somehow, I arrived in Fairbanks, AK airport at 11:00 pm on December 3rd, with Cort none the wiser.  Mark told Cort he wanted to go rent some movies and came to pick me up and take me back to their apartment on the UAA campus.  When we got there, he left me out in the parking lot to freeze (just kidding, he had brought Cort's cold weather gear to the airport for me to wear) while he went inside.  I was supposed to call Cortney on my cell phone and talk to her until Mark said the code word in the background and then come inside.  As soon as I heard Mark loudly asking about Hayes, I knew it was my cue and Cortney was wondering why Mark was talking so loud in her ear.  So I snuck in the door and up the stairs where Cortney was snuggled into bed to chat with me on the phone.  When she saw me all she could say was "What are you doing in my room?"  She was confused as much as surprised...we'll blame it on the pregnancy.  She couldn't believe that I had just shown up in her house from AZ.  It was a great surprise!!


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I have to admit, for the first 3 or 4 days, I was COLD.  Even in their apartment I was cold.  I wore Cortney's thermal gear to bed I was so cold.  But I finally acclimated...just in time to come back to Arizona. 

Cort and I set up her enormous tree.

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I just had to take a picture of Mark doing the dishes to show Spence. 

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Mark is a flight instructor and he took me flying. (Cort didn't go due to her delicate condition) While we were up in the air, he offered to let me do some of the flying.  I was a little reluctant, but ended up trying my hand at it after Mark so tactfully put it to me like this: "Do you want to just be a tourist, or take advantage of this opportunity and do some flying?!?" (OR something close to that) I told Cort later he had bullied me :), but I'm glad he did.  He even gave me a flight book with my first flight logged in.  You never know, I may become a pilot someday. 

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Looking back down at the airport

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University of Alaska - Fairbanks (where Cort and Mark live)

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That wide, white road that runs through town is not actually a road, but the Chena River. (I think)

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My co-pilot Mark

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The Alaska Pipeline.  You know, the one that's ruining the environment. :)

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Apparently Alaska doesn't have any trees to spare.

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This was my attempt at taking a picture of another plane while we were in the air. Can you see it?

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Safely back on the ground...and yes Mark, your landing was smooth...I returned my puke bag to Mark empty.  I'm going to have to try a boat next.

The Skolnicks. You can't even tell Cortney is pregnant.

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We also went to watch Mark in court. He's a

.................I'm going to post this now......I'll finish it later! (sad I know)