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Alaska Cruise - Skagway

Skagway is the Gateway to the Goldrush.  It's the cutest little town situated between beautiful snow covered mountains!  They keep it original to the Goldrush days of the 1890's.  You walk along boardwalks instead of sidewalks and there were so many cute stores with "kitschy" stuff!  There is alot of Russian influence as well. 

It was also the childhood home of Sarah Palin!

Skagway was also where I got to Zipline for the very first time!!  I can cross this one off my Bucket List!  The first part was the worst - suspension bridges!  But after that we did 7 ziplines and it was a BLAST!  It was done through Alaska Mountain Guides Climbing School and Michellsie, our ziplining guide, was from Flagstaff!  Go figure!



When the ship left Skagway we were out on the balcony watching the scenery go by and we noticed this drastic water change.  The water around Skagway is glacier runnoff and it contains silt.  This is the end of the glacier runnoff and the beginning of the ocean water!  It was so cool! 

Next stop......Victoria, British Columbia, Canada!

Alaska Cruise - Juneau

After the Tracy Arm scenic cruising we headed off to Juneau, the Capital of Alaska.  We didn't get there until 2 0'clock that afternoon so Mom and I only got to do our excursion - visiting the Mendenhall Glacier and a 4 hour whale watching tour.

The Mendenhall Glacier was magnificient to see!  It's amazing that Global Warming is making it melt at an exceeded rate because it looked HUGE!  Our bus driver had a picture of it in 1974 and it looked twice as big!  It has melted a lot since that picture was taken.

The Whale Watching tour was so worth the 3 and a half hours in the rain!  These creatures are amazing to see in real life.  Unfortunatly, because of a law, we couldn't get too close to them so I only got a few "fluke" pictures.  A lot of the whales appeared to be young because the flukes were small in size and didn't have a lot of barnacles on them.  The company that did the tour was Allen Marine based in Juneau and I would highly recommend them!  They have nice boats with heated inside viewing area and hot coffee and donuts!  But, of course, I hung out outside in the rain!

Next stop.....Skagway!

Alaska Cruise - Tracy Arm Fjord


The ship traveled down the Tracy Arm at a smooth pace.  The scenery was so breathtaking!  The water was this lovely blue-green color and the little "iceburgs" were a beautiful blue!  On the way we passed a mama seal and her baby sunning on some ice! 

At the end is Sawyer Glacier.  The Captain was suprised we were able to make it in as far as we did.  We saw the Glacier off in the distance and then turned around and made our way out of the Tracy Arm. 

Next stop....Juneau!

Alaska Cruise - Ketchikan


Alaska was AMAZING!!  And to think I was only in the Southeastern tip of the state! 

The above pictures were in the Tongass Rainforest in Ketchikan.  This was our first port.  After we toured the Rainforest Santuary we went to town and saw the many sites it had to offer.  From the misty tree tops to Creek Street, this was a very unique town. 


Next stop.....the Tracy Arm Fjord! 

Vroom, Vroom....It's NASCAR Time Again!

There he is....Joey Logano driving the number 20 Home Depot car!  Wait, that's not Joey, that's my Rowdy!  He just thought that was coolest to be able to get in that car!

Rowdy got to take $40 out of his savings to buy cars, etc at the Vendors.  Here he is with some of his "loot" that he bought at the "outside the track" vendors.  All of these were $2 or less so he was being very frugal!

The thrill of the "Hunt"!

Ahh Springtime.....time for sunshine, trees budding, and really windy, chilly, free Easter Egg hunts in Prescott Valley!  And what an interesting Hunt it was!  It was over in less than 10 minutes!  The town just threw a bunch of eggs on the lawn of the Civic Center and let the kids have at it!  Luckily Rowdy was in the "zone"....he found a little corner where no other kids were and scrambled to fill that basket full! 

And here is Rowdy checking out his "booty"!  He got some candy, a few tops, a compass, some rubber spaceships, Easter rings, and an eye patch!  "Arg"! 


"Let's make cookies, Mommy!", says the boy, so I got out my "Stephanie's Recipes" binder to look for a recipe and I completely forgot about this specific recipe I had for Chocolate Chip Cookies.  After you make this recipe, you will say, "Tollhouse who?"!! 

Years ago, I used to watch a PBS cooking series called America's Test Kitchen.  I got tons of recipes from that show (I still use their "Tuna Salad" recipe to this day!), printed them and tucked them into my binder.  I am glad I did at the time because now you have to join their site to get their recipes. 

So here is the recipe for these cookies because you HAVE to make these!  YUM! 

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies


If you make the cookies like it says you will get 18 big gourmet size cookies. I have also used my Pampered Chef cookie scoop and they turn out just as good (and you get almost 30 cookies out of it!). ~S




  • Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions.  Important - you will find out why later!
  • Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. (a trick my Mom taught me is to add the chocolate chips to the mix as well, this way the chips are evenly distributed)
  • Either by hand or with electric mixer (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this – Thanks Mommy!), mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla.
  • Now, add dry ingredients a little at a time; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.
  • Form scant 1/4 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball using fingertips of both hands, pull into two equal halves. Rotate halves ninety degrees and, with jagged surfaces exposed, join halves together at their base, again forming a single cookie, being careful not to smooth dough’s uneven surface on top. Place formed dough onto cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes). This helps the cookies to have that crunchy outside and chewy inside so don’t skip this step! Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container. 

Now that's a Cookie!

These cookies are "Rowdy Approved"!!

Enjoy!  And happy baking!

OMG....I can't believe you're 3!

I can't believe you are three already, Rowdy!  Where has the last 3 years gone??  The last I remember you were laying on your back and saying "Ah Goooooo" for everything from "feed me" to "change me"! 

We had a great birthday party for Rowdy!  It was all about Thomas the Train!  I got to give him his train table and train set - finally!  It was a hit! 

We have already changed the table a few times!  It's more for Mommy than Rowdy anyway.....LOL!

Delynn at my work did a fantastic job again this year on the cake! 

Rowdy had Lisa, Seth, and Alyssa at the party!  They all got goody bags with a train whistle, Thomas bubbles, Thomas tattoos (that takes weeks to scrub off, btw!), lollipops, and a Thomas train! 

All the family were there along with some friends too!  It was a great gathering!

Rowdy got a bunch of presents, of course, including some Vtech games, money, a Matt Kenseth racecar, Craftsman tool box, Welding set, Handy Manny motorcycle, race track, and Radio Flyer scooter (Great job Uncle Matt!)!  

So Rowdy, you stop growing right now!  This whole birthday thing is hard on your Mommy!  Just don't ever forget to stop and give me a hug and kiss sometime, ok?  I love you, Sugar Booger! 

Merry Christmas....and oh how Merry it was!

This is one happy boy Christmas morning!  The first thing he said was "Open?"!  He finally got to open those presents he had been eyeing under that tree for some weeks!  He was a little disapointed in Santa when he didn't bring Rowdy his trash truck he asked for. 

Of course, Santa already knew that Aunt Holly had that under control!  This trash truck was all he wanted to play with after that.....LOL! 

Mommy was happy that Uncle Mike got Rowdy a Vtech Motion game console and a game!  Eventually he will get the hang of that and LOVE it, I am sure!

There was one thing that Santa did bring Rowdy that he was excited about at first....but then he decided that Seth coming over and riding him around was better!  Here they are in the Power Wheels Jeep Rubicon:

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  Next stop....Rowdy's 3rd Birthday Party!  Oh how time flies when you are having fun!