Tired Kids

The kids flew a 1900 with Frontier to Huslia and back where they participated in a softball tournament. I'm showing my age, 30 (i know, ha ha), when I tell the kids, "I had to wait until 9th grade to enjoy the priviledges of traveling." So, as much as I could withstand holding my large 1950's camera, I mean balancing the laptop using photobooth, here is the essence of what it captured on a cloudy cold day.

Tomorrow we're off to Anchorage, via Fairbanks, to meet up with family and friends for a wedding. Meryl Towarak marries James Bonelli (sounds like a film), well, has a nice ring to it...Meryl Bonelli, pretty exciting to meet up with them and just to think how I'll contain my extreme excitement to see familiar faces.



Typically, when a special event happens around our household, Jay and I go to work preparing some sort of special food. We have a rhubarb (thanks to the Kortas' for dropping off a huge bundle of it) pie and what get's me is that there aren't two kids around to gobble it up with us as they are in Huslia for a softball tournament. So, for our 5th wedding anniversary, we decided on T-bone steaks and a pie that would have the local bakery jealous, which we don't have, but I'm just having fun imagining...To make the day perfect, we headed out to the lot to hand saw a few more birch trees and clean up some of the brush laying around, it's amazing to see space cleared with muscle power and no gas powered engines! I do imagine we'll buy a chainsaw here soon, we just wanted to try out the ol' fashioned lifestyle and give it a go to test our limits. Sometimes I laugh to myself, people will drive or walk by and have no idea we're a few feet in the trees with the minimal noise we make. I'm getting giddy just thinking of that First Day house planted in the birch...


The Back .45

Myra and I have dreamed for quite some time of having a little piece of earth to call our own, and as of today, we can call ourselves land owners. Money changed hands as we were given the paperwork showing us to be the new owners of a lot Louden Loop... a full .45 acres worth.

Myra and I can not say that we were working the back 40 today, but working the whole .45 kept us quite content. After all, we live in the bush, and though we don't have a small farm worth of land, we have a trail that you will be able to see from our kitchen window that will lead to a back 4000 worth of wilderness to play in.

The pictures can help you get and idea of what our lot looks like. There is a good stand of birch, a little crest to build on that works back to tundra-esque landscape in the far back. You can also see the tools Myra and I had fun with while the kids were either at softball or vacation bible school. Yeah, not as dramatic as a pair of Stihl chainsaws, but once in a while the little boy in me would kick out with a brrrrrrnggggg...nnnnnnnnn and I would let the saw vibrate as it "idled" after felling yet another tree.

So... the bonus of a pair of loppers and an old bow saw: 1) good gas milage 2) no-one will be calling us nubby any time soon 3) peace and quiet 4) you still get to knock really big things down.

Tomorrow we will take the kids to help clear some of the brush (all of the wild roses of Alaska seem to have originated from our lot), and Kemper to pee on every tree he can see on our property (he'll need to drink a lot of water tomorrow morning in preparation).


Talk Amongst Yourselves...

"I'm getting beclempt, talk amonst youselves," if you don't remember Mike Meyer's and his skit on SNL, Coffee Talk, then I'm truly sorry. Once I heard, rumored, that he was making an allusion to his mother in law in this skit, which makes it all the more humorous. Here is some of the table talk, in our household, lately...

Don't let this mannered dog fool you, he literally will barge in on you while you're doing your business in the bathroom. This pose, I'd like to say pose just because it appears he has mannuerisms, can be misleading, cute, but try cute in a tiny bathroom and "clifford the yellow dog" in there...we constantly talk about Kemper's nuances, make sure you know your behind is covered when you enter, you'll feel a distinct poke that sends kids (and adults) squeeling, while we either laugh or scold, depending how the person takes it.

BUILDING. Our dream house, the First Day cottage. This has two great benefits that fit my idea of bush living here in Alaska: no drywall and lots of beautiful tongue and groove wood that completes the interior finish...essentially, it is built from the inside out, rather odd you might say, but knowing Jay and I, we're modest at best in conforming to any standard idea of most anything, different is good...

BUILDING. AGAIN. *Sigh* Want it....Dream it....Monday, Lord willing, is the day, that hopefully we become land owners. Jay is taking out his saw blade tomorrow (Sunday) and replacing it, needing that sharper edge to "git 'er done." Shall we name the saw, "widow maker?" LOL. When we went to see muttin bustin' (rodeo stunt where kids ride sheep), there was a sheep by the name of that, thinking that the saw might carry that same name, not that I don't TRUST Jay with his handy saw...



(This book is helping us coach our kids...those upcoming adolescent years, after we read this together and discuss at night and the kids head off to bed...Jay and I will stay up and rewind back to our junior high and high school years, how we wish we had these insights)

It suddenly dawned on me today, while going for the long run for the week (why do all the prominant ideas gush forth as these moments?), as if it fell from the sky, the thought and reality of raising kids having so many parallels to the kinds of decisions and thought processes as coaching...basketball in particular, for me. Before we had Ethan and Romay, years of playing the sport and having 7 years of coaching experience built confidence in understanding the many dynamics and scenarios that can happen in the game, I feel that I can interact with other coaches and help players develop as they grow to learn and appreciate basketball. In short, over years, I felt I had become specialized in what started as a hobby, or love...Now, when Ethan & Romay happened upon our household, you can imagine the fear I internalized, mixed with excited feelings, a responsibility, the opportunity to raise healthy kids as they discover their God given abilities, disciplining, training for a future job, laughter, memories, and so on and so on...in one short summarized word, coaching..."oh, I get it...now"...Often, lately, I have been reflecting about the day, what was said, how it was said, did I do this...what was neat..how can it be improved?...

I depended on what I knew (still do) of a sport, to what status I was as a parent, a rookie. What I know of basketball is fairly comparable, in principle, to raising children...I'm okay at coaching basketball, yet still fairly new at parenting, preparing them for the game of LIFE...

No wonder, 9:00 am, when the hat haired, sleepy eyed children roll out of bed, the "coaching" begins...9:30-10:00-Reading (a non-negotiable, they enjoy reading, quiet time...they read the classics, Dracula by Bram Stoker, or Beowulf, kids versions...but not for long, both the kids are starting to dip into a few of the unabridged versions!)...10:00-11:00-Visiting and eating breakfast (they can make their own meals here, French Toast...Egg Sandwiches, etc...independence) 11:00-1:00 or so (finishing up home schooling...preparing for the future...) LUNCH (eating balanced meals, drinking water, etc) Well, the day goes on, you get the picture...this is so simplified...but by 9 or 10 pm, your coaching is coming to a close (granted they don't wake you up in the middle of the night)...and no wonder...just think...you might be a little...fatigued...frustrated over something that happened, maybe some sort of failure...but usually, satisfaction, a note of success, the little celebrations and awe in the ability for children to learn as you guide them daily...I'm happy to be a mom, really, in other words, a coach for my children...I can't wait to see what kinds of directions this will continue to go...

10:30 am this morning

A new era has dawned on our family, the go cart years, as with any dad or mom might guess the new levels of training, rules and bit of added stress that comes with a 4 stroke engine...IT WAS A BLAST...Romay and I rode together, I got to enjoy a cup of coffee as we talked and cruised...it is only day one, I'm guessing we'll be constantly going from now on...and no longer having to give them rides to the softball field :)


King Salmon in my freezer...

This is what I've been wishing for in the late afternoons (taken in Vail), considering it has been in the high 70's here. Our pool is being repainted over the summer, looking forward to those Sunday swims with the family. We live in the upstairs apartment, heat rises, so does our body temperatures...our method of survival...fans, fans, fans...

Sunday-Jay, along with Romay and Glenn (friend from church), took advantage of the 24 hr. opening near Koyukuk and brought home a teaser of fish, which is two. Heck, if it has to build slowly, I guess it will.


Zany Photobooth

Romay...in the 80's (bangs finally growing back from her self hair cut)

Molly and Dylanne...this is what the HSGQE really does to you...

Kemper with a face lift...

Who needs dress up dolls when you have Kemper...

Looking Back

A blog without pictures just isn't the perfect blog, so, we're going to post old pictures...this past year, 2 years ago, pre kid days..until we get our new camera.

Vail, Colorado...June 2008. Notice Myra isn't in any pool pictures, she always has the excuse that her knee is recooperating...

Koyuk, AK...2007. This picture was taken when we believed Koyuk would be our home, that seems like a world away, that's why pictures have a history in helping me remember. Here Ethan is in 6th and Romay in 4th, homeschooled, while Dad earns the bread.


Real Cheap

We're without a camera, again, temporarily, I hope. Jay went with a friend to help move lumber up to their camp, somewhere in between, our screen was smashed, so there goes camera #2 in the last 2 years. Yeah, all the problem solvers that are reading this know we're getting a replacement under warranty, thank goodness. :) Happy 4th of July, there would've been some neat pictures, but bear with the insufficient summaries of the days activities.

-Jay and I baked a pumkin pie for our special 4th of July dessert, before it got too hot, this morning (sipping coffee, yum)
-Games in front of the snack bar, married vs. unmarried ladies in the tug o war...good thing the married ladies have their
laurels to rest on for one more year, it was a close one, but the married ladies prevailed...even in fancy sandals
-Jason won along with the married men against the single men in the tug-o-war, they made it look easy
-Ethan and Romay looking through a huge pile of sawdust, a mini scavenger hunt for change, Romay made out pretty good
with a ziplock half full of money
-Relaxing, reading through the classic, Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, even though I am rereading passages (any
modern book will be considered a calk walk, vocabulary wise)
-Jason playing catch with Ethan, softball constantly on the little boy's mind
-Kemper running away right before dinner as we had visitors, door was open, he got too hot and came home :)


Super Hero Identities?

Myra mentioned to me that it had been a couple of days since we have been able to post anything on the blog... we just got back from Colorado and though we have been doing a lot, have not really taken any new pictures or taken any time to sit down and compose anything. She suggested that I come up with something and so I have decided to take on the task of figuring out the identity of the super hero who seems to be everywhere when she is needed... who is this woman?

Strangely enough, she is always present when the need is the greatest... wherever there is injustice, she is there, wherever there is... why do I feel like three guys in sombraros are going to come riding out and ask me to tell them they will die like dogs... I'm getting off subject. It just always seems like she shows up just in the nick of time to save the day.

I know what you are thinking, perhaps she is not really a super hero, but just a normal person in super cool shades... but get this, when we lived in Koyuk, she showed up and saved the day. Now that we live in Galena, she is still able to show up and save the day. These are places separated by hundreds of miles with mountains in between. If that is not super, I don't know what is. I now can empathize with the befuddled members of the daily planet as they bumble through trying to figure out that Superman is truly Clark Kent. What a great disguise!

I think that I have stumbled upon something though... this picture looks extremely similar... maybe Myra has a twin sister and they were separated at birth?