Tuesday, April 29, 2008

One 3-year old for sale!

For Sale

One 3-year old for sale!
One 3-year old for sale!
One crying and whining lil' 3-year old for sale!
I'm really not kidding,
So who'll start the bidding?
Do I hear a dollar?
A nickel?
A penny?
Oh, isn't there, isn't there, isn't there any
One friend who will buy this 3-year old for sale,
This crying and whining lil' 3-year old for sale?

Thank goodness for daycare. Only 2 days 'til it opens...and we're COUNTING...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Shhh...you didn't see me here!

Soo.....I am not supposed to be playing on the blog...there is a ton of work to do! Don't tell Jared I'm writing here...hahahaa....

But I wanted to let you know that we arrived safely as planned on Day #3 of our drive. We managed to hit the worst snow storm since February...although it really wasn't that bad (for me, at least...since I didn't touch the wheel as soon as that weather hit)! I will post photos later...

But since arriving a bit over a week ago, we have managed to lay down a new laminate flooring, build new displays, I have fought with printer drivers galore, and we are setting up an entirely new storage facility for our glass ornaments. There are many other projects on the list, such as installing a new small water heater for our back room, putting up humongous sheets of slatwall in our back room, so that our shelving will be more flexible (wahooo for free slatwall!), registering Ella for daycare (yay...I'm so excited for her!), receiving and pricing about 60 shipments (gasp...the sound of that is atrocious!), and clean up all of the sawdust that has covered every inch of our glass shelves and product (and we have a LOT of glass shelves)!

Oh yeah, and I need to act busy in case Jared pulls back up in the van...I'm supposed to be boxing ornaments to move to our storage :-)

I will try to post photos and stories soon, but to be honest, I don't know how much I'll get done this month, or even this summer. The nuttiness of this household is just beginning, as cruise ships begin arriving on May 5th!!

'Til then...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

On the road again...to Alaska!

For the next 3 days, we will be on the road to ALASKA!! Here are some basic questions people usually ask us about this trip:

How long is the drive? Approximately 2,000 miles from Washington State. We do the drive over three days, driving about 14 hours the first day, 11 hours the next, and 7 hours the last (a nice reward on the last day)! We drive through British Columbia, up into the Yukon Territory, and then back down into Alaska. The map on the right hand shows the very tail end of Alaska (the pan handle). The road we will be taking is the upper part of the green line, and the lower half of the yellow line, as well. As soon as the yellow line reaches the path just at the upper tip of Alaska (in a pale yellow color), we head straight down across the US border in to Skagway. Skagway is at the end of the highest water inlet you can see on the map on the panhandle. Did ANY of that make sense? It's so hard to find a good map!

Isn't it still cold this time of year? Yes! We are headed back into the winter, and are expecting snow on all three days of our trip. Road conditions last year were fabulous (despite the literal 10 feet of snow on the sides of the road), but in years past we have hit some pretty nasty snow storms. We've actually done donuts in the middle of the highway before, ending up on the other side, facing the other direction. Should I have mentioned that? Oh...keep us in your prayers! We always hope for nice weather this year! I got this photo of the wild bison in April 2006.

How do you get up there? There are only two roads that take you to Alaska--The Alaska Highway, and the Cassiar Highway. Whenever possible, our road of choice is the Cassiar Highway. It is an old logging road, far west of the Alaska Highway. It is very remote, and when we get on the highway, we know we will have limited access to any types of services. There are 2 places where we can spend the night, one costs about $180, and the other $120. While the $180 "resort" is quite nice (although not what you'd expect for the money, whatsoever!), the $120 is a hole-in-the-wall. Gas stations are few and far between, and often closed this time of year. So, you fill up EVERY TIME you can!

What are the roads like? The Alaska Highway is pretty nice the entire way. It is a two-lane highway, and quite windy. You only pass through one mountain pass, and the rest is just over rolling hills with evergreens as far as the eye can see. The Cassiar Highway is not quite as nice. It is mostly paved (they make improvements every year), but there are still some gravel sections. So...are you wondering why in the world we prefer the Cassiar Highway? We choose it mostly because the scenery is more breathtaking, and it is a slight bit faster and shorter than the Alaska Highway. The photo on the right was taken just 2 miles from our home in Skagway (we live down the mountain pass those two miles, so there is usually much less snow at our place)!

Do you see a lot of wildlife? Yes, and no. It depends on the year! Three years ago we drove up in a caravan with Jared's family, and we saw a ton of wildlife! My favorite was the cow that was walking in the middle of the street. We drove up right next to him, and I have a picture of Jared looking nervously at the camera with a cow staring at him through the open window. We also saw a bear eating a carcass of some sort (he wasn't too fond of us watching, and pounded his fist at us). We've had black bears walk up to our car and smell our tire before, and we've stopped for countless amounts of Bighorn sheep (we usually just drive on by, now)! These are some of my favorite photos of wildlife I've gotten on the drive in past years.

And that's all I can think of, now. Feel free to post questions, and I'll answer them! For now, stay warm, and enjoy the coming of Spring! We expect to see Spring in Alaska in late May, but you are more than welcome to send it our way sooner!

P.S. Wish us luck with TWO kids in the van for 3 days straight!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Jayhawks WIN!

Okay, not that I ever really care about who wins what when it comes to basketball...but....Wohooo!!! Go Jayhawks! National Champs! Too bad that I doubted them in my brackets this year...and showed them losing to Duke...who went out a looooong time ago! Hehehee... Shows how much I know :-)

P.S. In case you didn't know...I'm from Kansas!

What a cutie...

Gotta love this girl...she is the sweetest, EASIEST baby in the world!

This is me avoiding work...

So...do you realize that when I am posting on this blog, I am simply trying to avoid work? I am becoming quite skilled at making business projects drag on and on...

But check out how cute these kids are! One of these kids isn't mine...can you guess which one?

Oh, and most of these kids aren't mine...

I lopped off my....

HAIR!Without a hairstylist that I like to visit in Skagway (since there is only one choice!), I have resigned myself to chopping my hair really short before leaving for Alaska this year. This way, by the end of the summer (when 6 months have passed), it won't be so dreadfully long and impossible to deal with! Besides, shorter hair is so much easier to wash during my short-lived showers (before I run out of hot water every morning)!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Grandma & Grandpa and the Oregon Coast...

My parents visited over their Spring Break this year, and we had a blast with them for almost a full week! First off, we picked them up at the Portland airport, and drove to the Oregon Coast for 2 nights. We had a great time window shopping downtown in Cannon Beach (getting some great ideas for our store), and we loved walking out on the park trails to the beach.
Our hotel was directly on the water, and had a great swimming pool that we enjoyed each night. Unfortunately, we managed to get our usual fare of hotel rooms. We were awakened at 9am by a POUNDING above us. I thought that someone must be hanging pictures, but it just kept going and going! I jumped out of bed and called the front desk, and was told that they were re-carpeting above us. OH...OKAY....SOO....UMM....WHAT?!! Were we just supposed to roll over and ignore the pounding directly above our room? I said, "So, what are you going to do about it?" They said, "Oh, nothing. It's routine maintenance, there's nothing we can do about it." So, hmm...how routinely do hotels re-carpet rooms when they are guests staying directly below? What lame customer service!

We were staying for another night, and the next morning we figured they certainly wouldn't be re-carpeting since it was a Saturday. OH...did we think wrong! They started at 6:30 am on Saturday!! I called the desk, and they said they'd look into it. I asked them not to call me back, hoping that Ella might sleep through the pounding this time. The next day at checkout, the hotel strictly denied that they were re-carpeting, and said there couldn't have been any noise. So...what the heck was that pounding that went on and on for hours? And why didn't they look into a customer complaint? Luckily, my parents stayed in a different building of the hotel, and they had a wonderful visit. I don't want to sound completely ungrateful, because other than being woken up early in the mornings (yes, 9am is super early by our clock...), it was a nice stay in a beautiful location.

But, overall, Jared rated that as his worst hotel experience ever (probably because he is a light sleeper, and he was absolutely miserable). I, on the other hand, rate our Victoria B.C. hotel door being busted down as my most terrifying hotel experience ever. Of course, I'm scarred for life, and am seriously tempted to move large pieces of furniture in front of many hotel doors as a safety precaution. And at least that 4 Star Hotel apologized, and gave us 3 free nights overall, 2 of those being in the top floor two bedroom $350+ suite...but that's another story for another day...

Anyways...as I said, our trip with my parents was fabulous, overall! We loved seeing them, and Ella was absolutely smitten by her Nana and Papa! We celebrated Easter early by dying eggs, having an egg hunt in our apartment, and then rolling the eggs at the park. The Saville Family tradition is to roll the hardboiled eggs so they crash into each other, breaking them up, and making it easy to peel and cook them up at home into a Creamed Eggs over Toast meal. When we were older, we'd toss them in the air, with the goal to hit each other's eggs, and other similar egg-cracking games. It was wonderful to have the traditional meal for the first time in a loooooong time!

We also had an early Birthday party for Ella with both the Saville and Lybbert grandparents! Ella had great fun trying on all of her new outfits...she's such a cheese!