Familes are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts

Family Fun

We went swimming at Green Canyon on Memorial Day. Our three sons, Kyle, Brett and Todd, and their families joined us. Even I went swimming. We had lots of fun.

We picked Green Canyon because it is a warm indoor pool and even has indoor picnic tables. The day outside was rainy and cold so we needed indoor activites.

We all had a good time and the kids did great!

Announcing another precious grandchild

Sweet little Alena Mary was born this morning. Kyle says they will call her Lena, with a short 'e'. She is beautiful and Mama and baby are doing well. She has lots of pretty red hair and dark eyes. She was awake a lot while we were there today, but she didn't like the camera flash so I couldn't get a picture with her eyes open all the way.

Of course I had to get a picture of the proud grandpa. He was already helping Lena "connect those synapsis to say 'Grandpa'"

Things we did on our cruise (a very long blog)

ALong with being totally spoiled by the food and the service on the ship, we also did some other fun things on our cruise. We saw some spectacular scenery and visited 3 different towns in Alaska. At Juneau we saw Mendenhall Glacier and visited a fish hatchery and aquarium. I got to pet a star fish and a spider crab and saw an 8 foot eel come out of hiding to eat.
From Sitka we went on a sea otter tour where we saw lots of sea otters floating on their backs with their pups sitting on their stomachs. It was really cute but I couldn't
get good pictures of them. To the surprise of the tour guide, we also saw lots of hump back whales and several gray whales. He did not expect to see any and had told us so, but we saw dozens of them. We saw several mother and babies together (at left). We could find them very easily because they were spouting water all around us (below) and often would flip up their flukes after they spouted. Even knowing this, it was hard to get a good photo. They are up
for only a second. Dad took over 200
photos on this excursion!
I took these last two!

Also in Sitka we visited a raptor rehabilitation center and met "Sitka" the eagle - their mascot. Because of an injury he can never be released back into the wild.

In Ketchikan we visited Saxman
village, a native Alaskan village. We saw their lodges and totems and learned about their culture. We watched them dance and visited with a carver as he carved a new totem.
When we were there 6 years ago, David danced with them. This year he refused, so Laurel Willis danced with them. It was great! We also went to a real fun Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan. We were on the Canadian team - and we won!! Gay and Laurel were on the American team. A little friendly competition spices things up!
While in Alaska, we were also in the Juneau newspaper. This is the beginning of the news article about our ship.
Holland America's cruise ship Westerdam sustained non-critical hull damage after striking ice near Yakutat Bay on Tuesday. The Coast Guard is investigating the incident. Sector Juneau's public affairs office Lt.j.g.James Dooley said the hull was mildly indented about 15 feet below the waterline while maneuvering through ice during high winds while sailing near Hubbard Glacier. There was no reported hull breach and so the ship proceeded to its Sitka destination where it was met by investigators. "They reported the incident and what was happening on scene, so the Coast Guard here in Juneau coordinated and decided there wasn't a reason to prevent them from moving on to Sitka," Dooley said. He said the next move was for divers to conduct an underwater inspection in Ketchikan Thursday. He said there were no injuries or pollution reported. So, you see, we are famous!

Our Alaska Cruise

These two young men, Yudi at left and Andrian at right,
always served our table, table #56. Andrian always served the dessert and after meal coffee. I ordered milk the first night instead of coffee and every night after that he always brought me a glass of milk. Everyone talks about the food on cruises, and everything they said is absolutely true. I gained weight but totally enjoyed doing it. I only got this picture of David's desert and he had them leave the berries off (mine looked and tasted better), but every part of every meal was a work of art as well as scrumptiously delicious.

We had a very nice stateroom. It was a bit larger than usual because they gave us a handicap room. We didn't ask for one (didn't know they had them) but it was really fortunate we got one because it had a sit down shower and room to store the wheelchair I used for part of the cruise.
The stewards for our stateroom (and Willis') were Made (pronounced MaDay) at left, and Ayu (pronouned Iya)at right. They were sweet and very friendly. We got to know them quite well because of the handicap room and also because their workstation was just across from us. Made always folded us a towel creation and left it in the room each day. Others would come by our stateroom just to see our creation for the day. We started with the ducks and swan,followed by the puppy, the elephant, the monkey and the ape. Everyone on the cruise was great and we had a good time being spoiled.

Cruising with friends

We enjoyed our cruise to Alaska. At left, Dad and I are in front of the Mendenhall Glacier which we saw outside of Juneau. At right we are in front of the Hubbard glacier which we saw from the ship.
We traveled with our friends Laurel and Gay Willis. They are a lot of fun. Left:Gay and I on our Sea Otter tour (Gay is holding some sea
otter fur which is very soft.) We saw many many otters with their cubs, Humpback whale with their calves and even a few Gray Whales. Gay bought us matching sweat shirts for the cruise and we even had our names put on them. Aren't we all soooooooo cute beside the Beaver Clan totem pole? We thought standing by such a "pleasant" looking totem would make us look better.
We had a super time and I'm so glad the Willis' were able to go with us (and even wanted to go with us!)

April Birthdays

We celebrated 4 birthdays in April. Brett started out the month followed immediately by Mark.
If you can't tell, Brett's candles write "31". My how the years sneak up on us! I don' have a picture of Mark's beautiful blue elephant cake, but he was very interested in Daddy's cake.
Mark loves his new sleeping bag.
The next birthday was Kyle. Tiffany made his age very obvious. (Why do I feel so old?) I got a family photo on Kyle's birthday. I think it turned out pretty good.

Last was James birthday who turned one. Leslie made another beautiful elephant cake, this time orange. I don't think James cared about the color, but he did enjoy the cake. He also liked opening gifts while Mark enjoyed playing with the gifts. James is very good at giving hugs. Great Grandma enjoyed that.