Klondike Gold Rush Experience//Alaska

While in Skagway, Alaska, we met a couple that owns/runs the Klondike Gold Rush Experience. Basically, it is a big tourist attraction where they teach you all about the original gold rush to Alaska, when people came to Skagway in hopes of finding gold.
They invited us to come tour the place and since it fit in our schedule we were able to go.
It was very interesting and we had a marvelous time. They gave us our own special guide and were so kind to us!
Above-enjoying the scrumptious dinner that they gave us at their restaurant.

this picture was taken overlooking the village. The big machine to the back right is the gold dredge that was used to dig down and search the river for gold.
It rained for part of our tour and we were thankful for the umbrellas provided.
The guides all dressed in period costume, which made the tour seem very real and authentic.
an animal way of saying "no smoking". =)
A highlight for all of us was learning about the Alaska Iditerod Dog Sled Race.
This guy who told us about it has competed in the Iditerod seven times. 
Above, he showed us the boots that he wears during the race. They were HUGE!
next we got to visit his dogs, and watch them race for a bit.
we put on coats that they provided and spent several minutes inside the "40-below" room, to get a little taste of the temperatures in which people panned for gold in the winter. brrr...
We watched a demonstration of the process used for panning for gold during the Klondike. 
The guy explaining was quite an actor and he had us all in stitches with his very unique accent and jokes.
we panned for gold..and each ended up with about $10 worth, give or take.
enjoying the homemade root beer that they make there.
with our kind host who invited us.
Rebecca was so worn out from the day that she fell asleep as we were driving back to the bus afterwards.


World's Largest Chocolate Fountain//Anchorage

We had a little spare time on our way from Anchorage to Homer two weeks ago, so we stopped by to see the world's largest chocolate fountain. =)
As is typical, most of us ended up crowded around the book display. =)


Anchorage, Alaska//Concert

We were in Alaska for fourteen days and gave ten concerts in that time. 
One was at this lovely church by the ocean, very fittingly called "Chapel by the Sea".
The breathtaking view of the ocean & mountains, from the side of the church.
Liz, Mom, & I took a few pictures during the concert.
"Heaven came down, and glory filled my soul! When at the cross the Savior made me whole!"
(I was quite in love with the church's gorgeous grand piano, even though for some reason I look really serious in the above photo. =) In reality I was having so much fun playing such a great instrument! I love my keyboard but it really can't compare to a good grand!)
"Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King...
...hallelujah, hallelujah, we're going to see the King!"
"Jesus tender Shepherd hear me, bless Thy little lamb tonight..."
"This is my Fathers World"
the church was packed and they were such a fun audience. There were lots and lots of young families and many babies. We LOVE that!
Mitchell sharing a very humerous story about Denver. 
If you haven't been to a concert of ours lately..well, let me tell you-
you need to come just to hear this story. 
Its a classic. =)
Sibling Cooperation.

 "I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, mercy shall be built up for ever: Thy faithfulness shalt Thou establish in the very heavens."
Psalm 89:1&2



Alaska had many "firsts" for us to see.
One was at a very cute little country church we sang at in Slana
....complete with this charming little outhouse. {smile}


Of Siblings & Rubberband Wars

this may sound to some like a recipe for disaster.
for those other sibling groups out there who are crazy enough to prefer rubber band wars
over almost any other form of entertainment...
you understand. 

Taking you back to July 6th....
We are in the large and very populous town of Whitehorse.
{large by the standards of town sizes up here)
It's the parent's 24th anniversary in two days so they are going out for a date on the town to celebrate.
that leaves the ten home along.
ahem, "in the bus" alone.
after brother dear maneuvers all over the place to please sister who is unsuccessfully TRYING to find a free and unlocked wifi hot spot
{basically non-existent but hey, doesn't hurt to try!}
we finally give up and park the bus along the side of a random street.
Whilst consuming our delicious dinner that sister#2 & bro#2 had prepared,
we all discuss what to do with the remainder of our evening. 
We like to do things that are wild and unusual when the parents are gone. 
But we are rather low on options tonight, being contained in this 45 ft long prison entertainer coach.
{FYI. whoever came up with the idea to call this an entertainer coach...well, they obviously didn't have 10 kids. or they would've much more appropriately called it something quite different. just sayin}
Various options are named.
Voting begins, sides are taken, and everyone wants a say.
Before fifty seconds have passed this bus is beginning to represent a Civil War battlefield.
In our house whoever talks the loudest gets heard. 
So nearly everyone is attempting to talk the loudest.
Peacemaker bro #1
(what WOULD we do without him)
brings silence and order to the chaos. 
Some brilliant soul suggests a rubber band war.
For the first time all evening, everyone is in agreement!
Imagine that.
So preparations begin. 
Brothers #3, #4, #5, & #6 bring out their "hoarded" rubber band supplies and divvy them out.
Bro #1 gives instructions and sets the rules and boundaries.
Various siblings change to appropriate clothing 
(as much of the body needs to be covered as possible because bare skin is the biggest target)
Everyone is "mounted" in their various bunks and ready to start.
Sister #1 remembers that the second and third generations will want to see pictures of this someday.
So she leaps gracefully descends from her top bunk and flies to the back room where 
she attempts to balance the camera on the back of the couch, get everyone in focus, hit the button, and return to her top bunk in the 10 seconds before the timer is up and picture is taken.
After several unsuccessful attempts of one or all of the above mentioned, a successful shot with EVERYONE IN IT
is finally taken.
(see top of this post)
Now the lights are dimmed.
Well, actually, eliminated altogether.
Everyone draws their curtains shut and await the signal to be given by Bro #1.
"Ready, Set......GO"
May I leave you to imagine the rest?! 
The frustrating part is that these ten are so competitive that they can't stand to let anyone know that they've been hit. 
So finally, part way through, a rule is made that if you get hit, you must say "ouch".
or something to let your opponent know that they have good aim.
From then on it is even more fun as now you can know if you hit someone. 
"Ouch's" are heard quite frequently.
The brothers think themselves so tough, that when they are hit they say
"ouch...but that didn't hurt".
the sisters are tough too but they don't feel the need to make sure everyone else thinks they didn't get hurt.
To summarize the story...well, everyone lived!
Although the next day there are various small tender spots on various people from particularly well-aimed rubber bands. =)
But it was worth it!
And such fun! 
Just goes to show...
it doesn't take fancy/expensive toys/games/movies to have a fun sibling party!

posted by chelsy