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This is the story of our nanny, Bonnie.

May 15, 2012: Leaving Pittsburgh. Mommy met Bonnie on the internet. She used a website called GreatAupair to find the best match for our family!

Brandon Vatter photo

The view en route to Pittsburgh International Airport, May 15th 2:30 pm

Brandon Vatter photo

Welcome to Anchorage!

Hey, look! Its Mommy!

Anchorage, Alaska

Kiernan and his blue blanket cape We took Bonnie to the beach for her first look at Anchorage.

Anika, age 8

Mount Susitna, Sleeping Lady

On the way home, Mommy told us the story of Sleeping Lady. Mommys stories are the best. She is an anthropologist. She studies the stories that Alaska native people pass from generation to generation.

On the way home, we saw Nannys First Moose!

This summer we had many play dates with Aaron and Meme. At our first play date, we fished for minnows with plastic baggies during our picnic at West Chester Lagoon.

Anika vs. Kiernan, Round 1: We made a few friends at the air hockey table @ Pump It Up.

Kiernan shoots and scores!!!

We loved exploring the outdoors at Eagle River Nature Center.

Anika snapped this photo of a mother duck and her ducklings.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz -- a Puppet Show @ Eagle River Library

The Alaska Public Libraries hosted many fun events for kids! We had never seen the Wizard of Oz before.

Todo was our favorite character.

This puppet show featured hand-carved wooden marionettes. After the show, we were allowed back-stage to sneak a peek at each one from close range.

Making friends at Jewel Lake Beach was a weekly activity.

Hey, its Aaron!


Zander loved story time with Anika and Kiernan.

Every week, we biked to the public library. Sometimes, we stopped to feed the geese and ducks.

Kiernan loved to feed the babies. He figured out how to get them out of the water.

Nanny learned quickly that ANIKA LOVES BUGS!!!

And dont forget the SLUGS!!! (We love slimy gooey things!)

When Daddy came home from his fishing trip, we spent the whole day packing up King and Red Salmon. He caught over 100 fish, and shared them with the neighborhood.

At the end of June, we discovered a carnival being erected near the library. Daddy gave us each money for ride tickets and caramel apples. It was a fun day!

Nanny Bonnie took this photo of us at the Iditarod. JUST KIDDING!! We were at the carnivalit was too sunny to look at the camera! What a beautiful day!

Whenever we saw animals, we loved to make new friends. This is a photo of Scruffy, a specially trained Yorkshire terrier. His job was to cheer up patients at the local nursing home.

Anika met this corgi at a library concert on the lawn. He was thirsty, so Anika and Kiernan poured him some water from their bottles into an empty hot dog tray. His owner said Thank you very much!! She was busy running the sound board for the musicians.

Sometimes we were in charge of cat sitting for our friends, Anne and Jeanette. We gave Gobi snuggles in exchange for free Jelly Belly jellybeans. Aloo did not want snuggles, but she LOVED chasing the laser pointer!

Gobi, the cuddly one.

Aloo, the silly one.

Then one day, we got a new kitten!! Mommy brought home this cuddly little kitty who was rescued at 4 weeks old.

Kitty loved to hide in Nannys room. His favorite spots were inside the fuzzy guitar case

and in piles of CLEAN laundry!! Bad kitty!! No!!

Mercedes, Kelly, Leo and Allie were friends we made at St. Marys Episcopal Church. Their nanny was called cousin Luke. Luke was THE BEST at pushing us on the swings!!

Hold on tight when Luke is pushing!!!

Nanny also learned to bring extra clothes for play dates at Valley of the Moon! We loved to get wet in the creek!

Valley of the Moon?! Valley of the MOOSE!! One day, our play date was cut short when this large male decided he wanted the playground to himself.

One rainy day, we went to the Natural History Museum. We rode a wooly mammoth! We created our own prehistoric creatures with plastic skeletons. We made fossils with play dough and shared them with other children who were visiting the museum that day.

Nannys friend, Loren, bought us a pass to the Anchorage Museum and Imaginarium. It was one of our favorite places to go. We learned about the science of things: bubbles, floods, quicksand, stop-animation, energy, sound, light, and weight.

Kiernan and Leo would make bubbles ALL DAY LONG if nanny would let them.

One day at the museum, the volunteers let Allie, Anika and other children pet the critters.

When Luke or Bonnie could not find Kiernan and Leo, they knew EXACTLY where to go

Allie and Kiernan were best friends!!

This man made his wheelchair with recycled bicycle parts!! We met him at the park.

Nanny Amanda lives with Zola and Rowan. She was our nanny in 2011. We had many play dates together. Rowans face was almost always painted.

We loved reading stories with Zola and Rowan and Nanny Amanda at Title Wave Books!!

Nanny Amanda always said, When the ice cream mans truck plays music, that means hes out of ice cream. We knew she was trying to trick us. One hot day, we got to try Superhero Popsicles!

Here we are listening to the Air Force Cover Band at Peratrovich Park in downtown Anchorage.

Live music was one of Nanny Bonnies favorite things. We heard many live bands at the parks and the library concerts in Anchorage.

One day at Jewel Lake, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game released fish into the water from a tube connected to a large tank on a truck. They asked us to help guide the beached fish back to water. What a fun way to volunteer!!

The fish were a little stunned, which made catching and releasing them by hand unusually easy

When a fish swam onto shore, we snagged it and released it toward the deeper water.

Our favorite stores in Anchorage were Classic Toys and Blaines Art Supply. Here are some of the brightly colored tie dyes we made using a kit we found at Blaines.

Sometimes on Mommy and Daddys date night, we played games. Kiernan loved to play on teams. One night, we played Dominion, BOYS vs. GIRLS. Kiernan and Loren won with the most provinces, but Bonnie and Anika had the most treasure!

This summer, we helped Mommy and Daddy plant a garden. We planted peas, carrots, beets, zucchini, broccoli, and potatoes. Yum! Fresh food is so delicious!!



Playing with Legos was our favorite rainy day activity.

When Anika built with Legos, she designed her own creatures using her imagination. When Kiernan built with Legos, he followed the directions and meticulously assembled every piece.

When Bonnie played with Legos, she liked to tear them apart and sort them into piles before starting something new. Together, we made a great team!!

Yummy! Costco is having a sale on Kiernans!

HELP! HELP!! IM BEING ATTACKED BY A GIANT BEAR IN THE VEGETABLE AISLE!! When Anika went back to school, Kiernan joined Bonnie on her shopping trips.

Now it is September. Kiernan has started first grade at Aquarian Charter School (in 3rd grade math!) and Anika is studying Japanese at Sand Lakes Tomo No Kai.

Mommy returns from her trip to England on Tuesday morning. We are sooo excited for her to come homethree weeks was a long time with no Mommy snuggles or suppers! Things were getting silly

this photo was taken after we made onigiri (or rice balls) with our Japanese house guest, Wakana.

Its a healthy habit, laughing and loving life, isnt it Daddy?Anika, age 8, climber of trees

These photos were taken by Anika, Kiernan and Bonnie (using a mobile phone) during the Summer of 2012. Anika was 8 years old and Kiernan was 6. And Bonnie was 6 times 5. (Thats pretty old.)