Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!

Here is a link to my photo album if interested.

Not so good at this blogging

So, I guess I'm not so great at this blogging stuff. So, since I am so behind I guess I need to recap. Going back to the post before this about rain, it rained for 3 weeks with the exception of 2 of 3 days. The sun rarely comes out in Alaska, but when it does, IT"S AMAZING!!! Ok, now to what we've been doing. Last week the girls and I went on Glacier Cruise to Portage Glacier and to the Wildlife Conservation Center. The cruise was amazing! It was COLD, RAINING, WINDY, and BEAUTIFUL!! I'll post pictures of some other neat things we have done. Shane has been working like crazy, going in at 4:30 am and getting home at 9pm. They are training for their upcoming deployment. I decided the girls and I have to go out and do stuff, even if we have to do it alone.

Shane and I have been talking about the girls and I staying here or going home. We have decided that we think it's best if we go home. I am excited about this but very sad at the same time. It hurts me so bad to think about the pain he is going to feel when we leave. It hurts me that we are not going to be together as a family. It just hurts. This has somewhat become my home. Several things have helped us make our decision. 1) My Dad is not doing very well right now. Thank our AWESOME LORD his ct scan came back with good results but he is having a lot of fluid build up in his stomach. He had 2 L drawn from his stomach last week and is having it done again tomorrow. They are going to place a port in his stomach which will allow him to draw the fluid out himself. He is also suffering from depression again. Mom says he is very weak, not eating, not sleeping, crying a lot, not wanting to do anything. He is on medication for the depression/anxiety, but his body does not react well to medicine so I personally think it's probably making him worse. I know the girls will be the perfect medicine for him. 2) Shane is not home very often and when he is home he is so tired. He comes home from work, eats, sits down for a little while, and goes to bed. He is going to be gone 2 weeks in Aug. and the entire month of Nov. There are a few other times he will be gone also. The girls and I are here by ourselves ALL THE TIME. And due to the fact it rains A LOT, 99% of the time it's GRAY (cloudy), and we have no car (I didn't bring my car so we only have Shane's), it's kind of lonely sitting in this apt all day. 3) The public schools here are really bad, especially the one they would go to. 4) We were going home in Dec anyway so this will keep us from having to take the girls out of school here and put them in school at home. That would be hard for a kindegartener. 4) I can get a career. 5) Many more. It is going to be so hard leaving, but we both think it's for the best due to circumstances. Shane is going to get a roommate so this makes me feel a little better. We are planning on going home around Aug. 10 or 11.

We had this big camping trip planned for this weekend that we were all so excited about but guess what...Shane has to work on Sat. How crazy is that? I was so upset. Anyways...I'm gonna post some pictures. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Rain! Rain! Rain!

It's rained for 4 days now, and looking at the 10 day extended forecast it's scheduled to rain the next 10 days!!! They are saying this is the coldest summer Alaska has ever had. Most days the highs are in the high 50's. I think we've had 2 days since I've been here it hit 70. I sure do miss the warm sunny weather back home. Besides the crazy and unpredictable weather, Alaska is truly an amazing place that shows God's amazing work. we took the girls swimming. Here are a few pictures of them jumping off the high dive.

Here she goes

In the air spit off the diving board

Friday, July 18, 2008

In Need of Prayers

I talk with Mama today and she was telling me Daddy isn't doing too well right now. His nerves are really getting to him once again, he's not eating, he's not sleeping, and he doesn't want to get out of the house a lot. She said his stomach is really swollen from the fluid and he continues to loose weight, even with the fluid. The doctor gave him some medicine to help him sleep and some medicine to hopefully calm his nerves a little. He goes on Monday to have some of the fluid drawn out and tested to see whether or not it has cancer cells in it. Please keep him in your prayers. It's so hard being so far away from him right now. When we first came to Alaska, he was doing very well. I feel like us being gone has him depressed also. The girls gave him hope and gave him something to fight for. Even when he felt bad, he tried not to show it in front of them. They always made his day brighter and had a way of making him feel better. I want my family to be together and am loving every moment of it, but yet I worry so much about my dad and almost feel guilty for being here. I am in a position where I don't know what's best. I tend to think the worst at being, if I stay here my Daddy may get worse and not be here on this earth very much longer and I have taken then girls away from him during the few months he was feeling good. Then I think, if I go back home now and Shane deploys to Afganistan in Jan., he may be killed and we will never see him again. AHHHHHH!!!! You know, I could scream right now. My heart is torn on what to do. I am worried about both my daddy and my husband dying. I know all of our lives are in God's hands and none of us are promised another breath. Please pray for all of us. GOD BLESS YOU ALL! I'm gonna try to go get some sleep considering it's 3:30 am. Good Nite.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

He's Safe

Thanks for the prayers! Shane made it to the ground safely, with only a minor injury which was due to his parachute harness being too small. The girls and I have just been hanging out most of the day. I'll share a picture of our daily moose sighting. We see at least one almost everyday. They amuse me more than they do the girls.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If you could spare a few prayers for Shane

If you have a moment, PLEASE say a little prayer for Shane. He is Airborne and has his first jump today in almost 2 years. Please pray his parachute opens, he makes it to the ground okay, and lands without breaking any bones. They didn't jump during the 14 months they were in Iraq, and he had Elbow surgery soon after returning back to Alaska so he has been on "profile" the past few months, meaning limited activity. Let's just pray he remembers the proper techniques. I'm a nervous wreck. The girls and I were going to go watch, but they said this jump they are having some type of training exercise and no civilians were allowed. Thanks for your prayers.

A Planned Trip turns to an "Unplanned" Adventure

Shane and I have a bad problem of not planning anything, especially our little trips we take. We are never prepared. We just get in the car and we go. That usually leaves us without proper clothing, shoes, water, girls more clothes in case they get wet or dirty which they always do, etc. This time was to be different. We had our little backpack packed with snacks, water, girls extra clothes, our hiking boots, sweatshirts, etc. We were prepared, so we thought. Our trip to Matanuska Glacier should have taken about 1 1/2 hours to get there. Needless to say, it took us about 7 hours. You may be wondering WHAT?? Yeah, that's what I said when we stopped at mile marker 102 and saw no mountain and no glacier. What happened? What did we do? So we drove a little farther and finally found a store. Surprise Surprise! We had taken the wrong way when the interstate split. We were 2 hours away from where we should be. So, we laugh it off, get back in the car and drive the other way. The girls in the back, "Mommy, are we there yet?" "Mom, please let's get out of the car!!", "Mama, WHEN ARE WE GONNA BE THERE?" Then, I say, "GIRLS!!! PLEASE BE QUIET!!!" Anyways, Shane thought he was gonna be smart and take what looked like a little short cut on the map through Hatchers Pass. I told him, "Shane, this says it's a dirt road." We turned on the road which was paved for ohhhh....a mile or so maybe. And guess turns DIRT!! And you wanna know how long it lasted? 50 MILES!!!! Yep, 50 miles on a dirt road through mountains, up mountains, and down mountains. I have never in my life seen anything like it. I can not describe it and the pictures do no justice to the beauty of this place and how actually in the mountains we were. This little dirt road was a little scary at times, especially considering we were not in a 4 wheel drive car. Finally, after 50 miles a paved road and a tiny restaurant were in sight. HOW EXCITING!!! We were starving. We go in, get a menu, and look at one another. A grilled cheese sandwich was $9, a PB&J was 6. So, we order a plate of nachos which was $14. After this, our journey continues, determined to find Matanuska Glacier. We finally got on the right road, which lead us into a construction site. We had to sit 20 mins. waiting on a pilot car to lead us. After another 2 hours after leaving the restaurant we finally made it to our midnight. We go in, and the guy suggest we come back in the day time, but Shane insisted we go out on the glacier. So, here our crazy family goes out on the glacier at midnight. But not before we get in the car to drive down to it to find I had left the lights on and the battery had died. We sucked it up and laughed. We finally got to the glacier, walked on it for a little while and left. It was way to slick and we didn't have ice spikes on our shoes. Shane was going to camp out in the car and tried to "flint nap" to start a fire using some rocks we had picked up from the glacier. Needless to say it didn't work. Around 2 am we begin our journey home. We again, get stopped by the construction site to wait on the pilot car. Then Shane ran over a fox and a huge moose ran out in front of me. Shane pulled over on the side of the road in a tiny little hole in the woods and was gonna sleep there for the night. I was a little spooked and told him I would drive home. In Alaska, people do this. Pull there campers, tents, or cars on the side of the road next to a river and sleep. We finally made it home around 4 am Sunday morning. Shane and I were talking about everything that went wrong and my little Kaley made the trip by saying, "Mommy, I'm gonna tell my Na Na that we went on a FAM-A-LY trip" For those of you that know my girls, know they have a very strong southern accent and the way she said it was priceless. What a wonderful end to a crazy but amazing day!

A family picture on the glacier at 1 am

The menu

Our $14 Nachos

So excited we finally made it

The amazing drive through Hatchers Pass

Can you see the dirt road down in the valley that we traveled on for 50 miles?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Update on Daddy

Please keep my dad in your daily thoughts and prayers. He got the results back from his scan today. The tumor in his pancreas still shows no sign of growing or spreading which is awesome. However, he has some fluid in his stomach which they say is coming from something. He is going on Monday to have the fluid drawn out and tested. Dr. Yee said it could be just from the stint or it could be carrying cancer cells.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's snowing Dandelions

The girls said, "Mommy, it's snowing!!!" and were so excited. I said, "'s snowing Dandelions .." It's crazy! You walk outside and it really looks like it's snowing. Dandelions are flying around everywhere and it looks like big fat fluffy snowflakes. Just thought I would share.

I couldn't resist the budding daisy and the bloomed one

Friday, July 11, 2008

Prayers for My Dad

For those of you that don't know, My Dad is battling inoperable pancreatic cancer.Praise the Lord he is doing very well right now. He went for a follow up scan today and will find out the results on Monday. He has been very distressed, worried and anxious about it. Please pray for him to be comforted during these next few days and for good results, Lord willing.

Here's the story...He was diagnosed on Dec. 26, 2007 and given about 6 months to live. It has been 6 months, and he is doing GREAT!! In fact, on his last CT scan, the cancer appeared to be dead. He has been to doctor's at MUSC and Duke for more opinions and those doctors as well as his doctors and nurses are in amazement at his progress. They can not medically explain it. One nurse hugged him, and with tears in her eyes said, "I think I am looking at a miracle. When you first started coming in here we didn't think you would be here with us very long." So, GOD IS AWESOME!!! Prayers and faith in our wonderful Lord has gotten him where he is today. It has been a hard road and he still has his bad days, but we are so Thankful God has given us a little more time with him. How long, we don't know. But none of us know how long we have left on this earth. We all need to cherish every moment we have with our loved ones and not take them for grantit because we never know when we may not have them with us on this earth anymore.

Daddy before he got sick on left and after he got sick on the right. You can see his jaudiced eyes and skin.

Daddy with Sarah in May

Daddy at the fundraising even we had for he and my mom...DOESN"T HE LOOK GREAT

Missed Photo Opportunities

Just the other day, Shane was laughing at me because I never leave the apartment without my camera. For those of you that know me, I have an obsession with photo opportunities I guess you could say. Anyways, I told him, "You never know what you're gonna see!". So this evening we go to take the girls swimming, and guess what, I didn't take the camera. I realized it as I was getting in the car, but thought to myself, "The pool is a half mile away and I've already taken pictures of the girls swimming. I think I'll be okay without it." We get to the pool and I'm watching Shane and the girls swimming, jumping off the diving board, and going down the slide just like always. Only today, they decided they would go off the high dive platform, with no hesitation and no fear. They went right off the thing. I was sitting in amazement that my 5 year olds were going off this thing when I sit and watch rough and tuff Army guys afraid to jump off. And guess what...I didn't have my camera. I was SO MAD AT myself. The girls continued jumping over and over. Then my crazy husband must have told poor Kaley to do a flip. Well, lets just say she tried and landed flat on her belly OFF THE HIGH DIVE!! The came up crying...the life guard was ready to dive in after her, but Shane got to her first. After about 5 mins. she was back up there ready to go again. Her tummy is still red and it's been hours. So that was the first missed photo op. On the way home during the 1/2 mile drive, I look on the side of the road, were 3 HUGE Moose, which included 2 Bull Moose (male), which are rarely seen. And guess what, I didn't have my camera. I made Shane bring me home to get the camera and go back, but by the time we got back they were gone. I'm sure to most this is no big deal, but to me, being the crazy person who has to take pictures of everything, It's so disappointing.

So, is that ok for a first blog? I needed something to do at night, or lets say early morning hours, when I can't sleep. The girls and I have really got on a bad schedule since being in Alaska. We sleep till 1 pm so we stay up late. I am fighting with them right now to go to sleep and it's almost 1 am. It's so hard to go to bed when it isn't dark