Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Week night adventures.

August 2010 012
Heidi and I
August 2010 027
Jeremy and I
August 2010 051
In front of the glacier at Lake George

The family at Thunderbird Falls

The past two evenings I have had the chance to go hiking. I am so blessed to be able to take a 20 minute car ride or a 15 minute plane trip and have the luxury of hiking and goofing around in some of Mother Nature's best wsettings! Monday night after dinner we were antsy and so we decided to hop in the car and drive to a local hiking trail about 20 minutes south of our home. The entire family went including our very dear friend Heidi. We had a BLAST! Yesterday evening the kiddos were at Nana and Papa's house so Jeremy, Heidi and I decided it would be a good night for a picnic up the Knik Valley.

Early birthday excursion to Katmai.

Jeremy took me and Heidi down to Katmai this past weekend in anticipation of my...GULP.... 30th birthday. It was probably one of the most amazing excursions I have had this year. It was a spectacular 3 hour flight (yes we flew) down there and on the way we must have seen 200+ bears scattered about. We arrived on a beach and decide to camp next to this salmon stream that emptied into the ocean right there. We hiked up stream and photographed many bears right close and the later sat by the fire while they would come mosey down the beach or bluffs behind us. We were even able to lie in our tent and see them fish in the river. Amazing weekend! Thanks Babe!

The Spot...Home Sweet Home and our ride!
Our view from the campfire...Mt. Saint Augustine
Mr. Bear

Spot Mr. Bear in the background.
On the way home , landed on the beach to stretch our legs a bit a take a few more bear pics.
Me - Jeremy -Heidi


Friday, July 16, 2010

Look Who's Back!!!!

Howdy all!
My absence has come to an end! Shortly after my last post my computer took a turn for the worst. It was sad but I as an advocate of limiting the amount of technology and electronic entertainment. I decided that I would not get in a huge rush to purchase a new computer just to see how my family would fare. I am happy to report that we all fared "OK". I say OK because really we didn't mind to terribly bad not have a desktop computer but we did use our iPhone's to supplement our love of the Internet. I realized that I have gotten accustomed to the web and the ease and efficiency it provides when taking care of everyday business. I didn't realize just how much the Internet has integrated itself into our everyday lives. After my little experiment I figure I'm not as addicted as I could be and the Internet and all it has to offer is here to stay in my life! So look forward to lots of catch up posts and adventures.....after all we did have more time on our hands!

*Above pic was taken up on the mountain at the cabin by yours truly.... I love it!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sledding in June?

Last year when we hiked up to the top of the mountain behind the cabin there were some small snow patches. This year we wanted to go check the out in early June to try to get some sledding action in before it all melted. It was dangerous a blast!!! We all took a ride down this icy slope and let me tell you it was FAST really really FAST. We did everything we could to slow ourselves down and we still crashed pretty hard at the bottom. The kids each took one trip and that was enough for them... They really did have fun despite the pictures but these pictures are just too funny not to share!

Headed up....

 Lainie, Landin, and Heidi

Lexi...she looks thrilled!

Now these are the post sled pictures.... Before you all comment about me being an unfit mother, know that sledding was actually their idea and they willingly got in the sleds. The also recovered quickly and had fun the rest of the day!


Thinking about it.....

Letting us know what she thinks about it.....

When she's mad.....she cries...

The adults had fun too! All three of us made repeated trips down while the kids cheered us on and ate Doritos.

See... I told you they recovered quick!


Heidi....she always lost her sled!


There were a few wipe outs too!



Three adults in ONE sled.....this did not end well! :)

Awesome Day! *Lainie was the photographer that is why she's missing*
Definitely a yearly tradition now! Can't wait to go again next year....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Commitment, I don't like that word much. I usually trick myself into thinking I like it and that I am committed...but really am I?

That hurts, to sit down and really think about my life and my commitments. Sure I am committed to the things that I HAVE to be committed to. I am committed to cooking dinner, clean clothes, picking kids up from school, brushed teeth and hair, basically the day to day tasks that wouldn't get done unless I did them. I look at these things like taxes and the IRS... they have to be done no matter what, serious consequences occur when not done. Don't get me wrong, I do a pretty good job at all of these things, my family is fairly functional, I have amazing kids and a wonderful husband. We enjoy life and all of the activities Alaska has to offer. Life looks pretty good.

I am talking about a totally and entirely different realm. What I have recently begun to struggle with is that when a day is done and everyone is tucked in and sleeping peacefully, did I really go any further than I promised myself I would. Did I go above and beyond my basic call of duty? Do I require, desire, or deserve more out of this life? Does my family? Even bigger question.....Does God require, desire, or deserve more than I am giving him or my family? OUCH!!! That one stings a bit.  I know and accept the stage of life I am in now, I am happy with raising kids, building lives, and feel that as of now this is my calling. This is what I am supposed to be doing. The question is, should I be giving it more gusto? Am I satisfied with my efforts and my fruits? NO, not by a long shot. I was created to be and do so much more than what I settle for and make others settle for on a daily basis.

I look back over my life and think of all the promises I have made to myself and others over the years. You know the ones I am talking about.... the I'm gonna lose 10 lbs by my birthday, the I'm gonna get totally organized by the beginning of the year, the I'm gonna run a marathon this summer, the I'm gonna take my kids on more day trips and outings, the I'm gonna keep my blog updated, the I'm gonna read the bible all the way through this year, the I'm gonna establish a daily devotional and prayer routine .....the list could go on and on and on.... These are all desires of my heart, that is what a promise is right? It's something you want so badly at the moment that you make a promise meaning that you will stop at nothing to get or achieve it. Something always gets in the way of my nothing. That something is commitment. You are probably thinking by now where is all of this coming from, it is a concept that I have struggled with for a while now. When I stumbled across this blurb on the internet the other day it hit me HARD...

"COMMITMENT, Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions and the actions which speak louder than the words. It is making the time when there is none, coming through time after time, year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of: the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism."

Do my actions speak louder than my words....NO, Do I make time for the other things in my life....NO, Do I come  through time after time....Definitely NO......BUT do I have the power through God and my commitments to change the face of things.....YES!!!! Thank you Jesus for that! Can I change my life......YES, Can I bear more fruit....YES!!! It all begins with me...and so here I am committed to rectifying one of my promises and  updating my blog.

Thanks for listening...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Costa Rica: Kayak fishing

So some of you are probably thinking, Danielle in a kayak....again???? Yes I know, I even doubted it, but reassured myself that this was in a tropical location, it was a double kayak, we would only be out for four hours, and someone had to take pictures of the adventure.  We have been out twice now and the first excursion was great! Perfect weather, no wind, and a few fish even. Jeremy is on the hunt for his elusive roosterfish and so we paddled one beach over to Potrero bay and fished for bait and caught a few barracuda as well. After we had caught a couple bait fish we paddled out a ways and hooked our live bait up. It was a gorgeous morning and while sitting out in the middle of the ocean the silence strikes you. It was so serene and peaceful....until we decided that it was time to "troll" our live bait. We had to reel it in, hook it up a different way and use nothing but our own strength to "troll". Great arm, ab, and back workout! The hunt for the roosterfish was unsuccessful. 

The second trip out was not as peaceful OR serene. The wind was blowing...HARD. If the water hadn't been so warm I may have started having flashbacks of Prince William Sound. The morning started out great, Jeremy had two fish on the "Walter"  fly before we even made it to Potrero bay. One was a Bonita, which he lost right next to the boat and the other was a Jack Crevalle.

We paddled around Potrero Bay for a while trying to catch the small bait fish so that we could "troll" for the roosterfish. I use the word troll in quotations because I was the motor that kept the boat going!!! Jermy was fishing of course and it was my job to "TROLL"!!! The wind was blowing away from the beach so when we finally caught our bait fish and headed out to sea to "troll" we actually didn't have to do anything but steer. Now this means two things: One.... You are way out to sea before you know it and two.... You are forced to paddle into the wind and the waves in order for your family to ever see you again! It was blowing so HARD and the waves kept splashing up over the bow of the kayak directly into my face....My $10 Target sunglasses really were worth every penny out there. We made it to shore finally, roosterfishless, and tired but we had yet one more adventure to tuck into our belts. That is what fun is all about anyways, the adventure, good or bad.

Headed home....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Costa Rica: relaxation

Sorry about the lack of daily posting, but our daily routine was getting pretty mundane and boring but oh so relaxing. Jeremy and I are taking every advantage of no schedule and no responsibilities. Our days have consisted of a morning adventure and then back home for lunch, sunbathing, reading or napping. Pretty exiting huh.... We have enjoyed every minute. Settling in and just enjoying time with each other was exactly what we needed. 

Our trip has included a few adventures and new friendships as well. A man in Alaabama, David, replied to the add that we posted on Craigslist. He and Jeremy shot emails back and forth about a man here by the name of Walter. Walter and David met here in Potrero about a year back and after meeting Walter and his family David decided to help Walter out and equip him with the gear to be able to guide small fishing trips from kayaks. David sent us the directions to Walters house and after getting just a little bit lost we found him, and set up a fishing trip. We went out in the kayaks a couple days later early in the morning and while fishing he asked what we were doing later on that afternoon. Obviously we have no plans and so he asked if we wanted to go spear fishing with him later that day. We of course took him up on his offer and Jeremy had a great time. I sat on the beach and perfected my tan, while Jermy tried his luck under water. Every day since then we have had a daily adventure with Walter. Jeremy even taught him to tie flies at his home.

Walter has a wife, two daughters, and his brother in law, who live with him in this one bedroom home. His home and his belongings are quite humble but his love for hs family, friends, life,Costa Rica, and of course fishing are extremely apparent. I am honored to have met such a man and have been reminded of what really counts in this life. He told us that he has no worries, he may not have many physical belongings but he is very rich in the things that matter, his family and his friends, and his faith in God' s provisions for him and his family. I am thankful for this new friendship, God's reminders, and this entire trip.

until next time....Pura Vida!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Costa Rica: day 5..... Llano de Cortes, monkeys, lizards, and a cattle drive!

Our day began with, yep you guessed it, coffee on the balcony, and a whole lot of nothing tranquil relaxation. We were both a little pink from the pool so we figured a day with less sun would be wise. There is a Costa Rica travel guide here in our condo and I saw that there was a waterfall about an hours drive from our condo that does not cost to see. ***Just about everything to see and do here costs $, something free is a rare find from what I can tell. We hopped in the car and sett off for the falls.

Our SWEET ride.  Thanks Jeremy for driving me all over Costa Rica! You are too sweet, I know you hate driving but you do it ya!

One thing we have found is that since everything costs here, the tourists just expect to pay for all sorts of services. There are security guards in many parking lots here, they are supposed to make sure your car does not get broken into. When you park and leave it is pretty standard to tip them. I am all for tipping when it is neccesary but we have found that random people will "act" like security guards or say that you are parking in a national park and therefore it costs to park there. Not so...just little scammers! We turned into the "free" waterfall road and a woman standing at the bus stop with her daughter waved us down and tried to charge us to drive down the road. HA..good thing I had my travel guide with me, pointed and said. "no dinero", she then smiled and walked away. When we got into the parking lot a guy walked up to the car, stood there and waited for us to get out, and then tried to charge us. He was a little mor official though, he actually had a small receipt book with him so it looked more legit. I said the same thing to him and he smiled and walked away. Twice in ten minutes!!! Pepperds 2/ Scammers 0   When the book says it's free, it's free gosh darn it!!!!

After all that was taken care of, we hiked down this little trail down to the falls. They were so big and wide. It was an awesome little find.

Llano de Cortes

I figured this would be a great time to do a little foolin with my camera and all of it's settings. I wandered around and took pictures changed the settings and took more pictures. I love this one of Jeremy sitting in the sun admiring the falls. He is just so stinking handsome!

While exploring I came across these guys.....

When I started to see creatures, Jeremy took interest and the camera and started snapping away. He kept telling me to stand here and there....

After a while we were both silently thinking that we had seen all that we had come to see and that maybe we should make our way back up to the car, and then we saw these.....up above the waterfall in the trees.

Lots of them, it was like they were migrating through, there were probably at least 50+, one right after another hopping from tree to tree.

This guy was a bit of a showoff, he stopped, looked over the edge at all of us tourists, and then proceded to give us a show. He kept jumping tree to tree closer and closer to all of us. The rest of the monkeys stayed up top, but he came down and around...the long way!
He's getting closer!

This one is blurry (they are fast little guys) but it shows you just how close he came. No editing done.

After all the exitement a local guy saw how many pictures we were taking and offered to take one of the both of us. Definately a downfall of vacationing just the two of us, only one person at a time in the shot! I am absolutely in love with this picture though! It came out great!!!! Thanks local guy......

After he took a few pictures for us he told us that the monkey would come around and be in the trees on the trail back up too the parking lot or up above by the parking lot. We decided to go on a monkey hunt!

Headed back up the trail.... on the lookout for monkeys!

Going bananas for MONKEYS!!!

WHen we got all the way back up the trail and into the parking lot without seeing any more monkeys a little girl pointed us in the direction of this trail....

Where are the monkeys?

 We never found them, but we did end up at the top of the falls. It was pretty spectacular from this vantage point too.

We called off the monkey hunt and headed home. The drive home was nice, long conversations, beautiful
sunsets and CATTLE in the middle of the road!!!

On our way home we stopped in Flamingo for a "Happy Hour" drink and an appetizer ceviche. After the long day we decided to make one more stop in Brasilito for dinner. Il Forno was the restaurant choice tonight and we were more than pleased! It was actually reasonable prices, (everything here has been as expensive or more than home) cheaper than home, good food, nice people, and great atmosphere.  We will definately be going back. While waiting for our food, the couple at the next table interrupted our conversation and said that they had a personal bet going whether or not we were newlyweds! HA!!!  I am so thankful that after 11 yaears of marriage and three kids we love each other enough to be mistaken for newlyweds!!! Love ya babe! Finished off the night at home.

Jeremy posted an ad on Craigslist asking for fishing info and he has been corresponding with several boats, and local fisherman, we shall see what happens! Here's hoping! Where there's a will there is a way!

Miss you all

until next time....Pura Vida!