Monday, May 25, 2009

Visiting the Ehmer's

I am really quite terrible at keeping up with people, even some of my best friends (if any of you have noticed). I always have great intentions, but the letters that I write in my head often never get written and sometimes halfway written but not sent. But there are some people that I can see for the first time in years and it seems like only yesterday. I suppose our hearts are knit together by the Holy Spirit.  It has been fun renewing those friendships and creating those bonds with new friends.  One of those friends are the Ehmers, we got to spend some time with Tom and Raquel while we were in North Dakota and it was great fun catching up with their lives and meeting the kids born after we moved to Alaska.

Katia Ehmer is a month older than Sarah and they had fun "playing" together.

Jessica Ehmer, Deborah and Quentin are getting pulled behind the Ehmer's golf cart with their roller blades on.
We went to the Pizza Ranch together.  Below Paul and Tom are visiting over pizza.

The kids had fun playing games together.

Abigail and Deborah are already missing Jessica....
The girls and Paul went over to the Ehmer's on a few Wednesday nights for Youth Group that Tom & Raquel lead in their home.  Below Tom and Austin are borrowing Raquel's wheelchairs and are playing wheelchair basketball.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Visiting the Rekken's

On our trip one of the things that continues to amaze me although it shouldn't is how much all the kids that we are seeing for the first time in 5 years have grown. Below is a picture of Deborah, Abigail and Mikayla Rekken. Mikayla has just shot up, well, as much as Abigail and Deborah have... duh...
It was great fun to visit Blaine & Judy and their two kids Aaron and Mikayla and see how well they are doing. They were out to Nondalton to visit us I think 4 years ago. Driving home after we had a delicious supper and visited for awhile, it was late and it reminded me of all the times we would drive home from their house after bible study. Many times it was near midnight by the time we got home and we would have to carry the kids in to their beds. The stars were always so bright driving through rural North Dakota. I can remember one night we could see the Northern Lights like we never had before or since. Red dancing lights stretched all across the sky. God's handiwork is awesome!
The Rekken's are all very musical. Aaron has got among other instruments a nice drum set in the guest room. The kids had great fun playing it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Visiting the Monsebroten's

We left Perham and headed for Grafton, ND to visit Paul's sister Debbie her husband Ross and two boys Eric and Jared and daughter Rachel.
Below Jared is letting Uncle Paul try out his compound bow.
Jared is showing off his great strength to his two little cousins David & Benjamin.
They've got two horses and the kids all got a ride on Buddy.

They'd just built a beautiful new house and Paul helped move the piano from the old house to the new.

The Monsebrotens all came down to Grandma Effie's for Mother's Day.
Below Rachel is rocking with Sarah.
Eric is teaching Sarah how to text on his cell phone.Eric is graduating on Sunday the 24th of May so we are heading back to Grafton on Saturday to go to his reception.

The kids are having a great time reconnecting with their cousins.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Perham, MN

We went to Perham, MN to visit Paul’s Grandma Olstad and his Uncle Butch and Aunt Cheryl. We had a wonderful visit with Grandma O. We are grateful the whole family got to see her again. She had a stroke four years ago and the doctors didn't think she would live very long. Paul flew down from Alaska to see her then, and here she is four years later looking great! She’s a wonderful lady who loves the Lord, we miss living near her.
Paul’s Aunt Cheryl is introducing Grandma O. to Sarah. She enjoyed meeting Sarah, Benjamin and David for the first time.

Paul’s cousin Matt & his wife Sarah and their three girls met us at Grandma O’s and then we all went out to Butch & Cheryl’s.
We stayed up late talking and the next day Matt & Sarah left to go back to Duluth, MN. After they left the day just kept getting nicer and nicer. Pretty soon the kids had their swimming suits on and were playing in the lake.

Quentin, Abigail & Deborah are playing Norwegian golf.

We started helping Butch put his dock in the water.

Lots of hands made it easy work.

Paul put on waders to secure the legs for the dock. In the picture below, he just found out there was a leak around the waist and it was cold!

It kept getting hotter and the kids talked us into launching the paddle boat.
Pretty soon Paul and the kids were daring each other to jump in. Paul told the kids he would jump in first if they would follow. He went and got his swimming suit on and strode swiftly down the dock, determined to dive in without thinking about how cold it was going to be.
He dove straight in as several of the kids were yelling, “Daddy, you forgot to take your shoes off!” It was a beautiful dive though, hardly any splash.

It was cold!

After he got out, he found out that Deborah and Quentin had beat him to it and had already jumped in. Not to be left out Abigail, Caleb, Joshua and Anna jumped in too. They all jumped out as fast as they got in because it was so cold.
We had a wonderful day and then we headed up to Grafton to see Paul’s sister Debbie and her family. By the time we got there we were all quite red from sunburn. It was gone by morning and I’m sure it was a good thing because we all need to start tanning our white Alaskan bodies before we get to the beach in North Carolina.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Grandma Effie's

As we approached Grandma's house the kids had a contest to see who could see her three silos first.

Grandma Effie had hot soup waiting for us.

We've been having fun doing all sorts of farm chores with Grandma Effie.  Effie is an expert loader driver.  She's lifting Paul, Quentin and Joshua up so they can bring down a dead limb.

Quentin is having fun dragging the driveway.
...and rototilling the garden.
After Quentin dug the garden with the tractor and then rototilled it, the girls helped Grandma plant potatoes.

Sarah is using Paul’s old walker.  It's in pretty good shape for being 47 years old, but it definitely wouldn't pass any safety inspections.  She's getting pretty good in it.  It is so lightweight that she can get right up to anything including trash cans where she finds all sorts of exciting things.

This has been a favorite stool for all the kids learning to walk.  You can easily slide it all over the living room.

Visiting the Lorentzens in North Dakota

After we crossed the border from Canada we passed right by our new friends the Lorentzens on our way to Paul's mom's house. So, of course we stopped to visit and meet the rest of the family. We stopped in Minot to pick up some food to bring along with us. We bought some donuts for a treat and it was all Caleb and Benjamin could do to keep their hands off them as they sat drooling over them on the way to the Lorentzen's house.

Abigail and Amanda are taking pictures of each other.

The kids enjoyed all of the animals at the Lorentzen's: dogs, cats, chickens, turtles, cows, and about 25 horses.
Below Deborah is helping Sarah pet one of the horses.

The kids played cards while we visited over tea and coffee.

Anna and Caleb jumping on the trampoline.

Paul went with John and Madison to Nate's, a gunsmith friend of theirs. He has a reputation for making guns very accurate over long distances. Paul absolutely loved it. He was able to consistently hit an eleven inch target 1080 yds away.

In fact they were gone all day. They had so much fun that I think they were feeling guilty by the time they got home. The Lorentzens live between the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan. So, the guys decided to round up the kids and take them to Fort Mandan which adjoins their land. They piled 18 kids and 3 adults into their van for the short trip to the Fort.
Here's the whole crew gathered around a statue of Clark's dog Seaman.

We had a great time, Thanks!

Family Conference at Tanalian Bible Camp

We went to the spring Family Conference at the Tanalian Bible Camp in Port Alsworth.  We always have a wonderful time reconnecting with friends and hearing good preaching whenever we go to Family Camp;  this year was no exception.
Below the teens stayed up really late after their bonfire playing music in the church.  
They've got great climbing trees in the front yard of the church.  Joshua, Anna and Caleb are up in this one.

For three years Glenn Alsworth and his team of mechanics at Lake Clark Air have been refurbishing this Beach 99.  They have done a beautiful job and all the kids wanted to ride in it for the flight to Anchorage on one of its first passenger flights so we could begin our trip to the lower 48.  Glenn had room for all of the kids but two.  Since Benjamin and David didn't exactly know what everyone else was clamoring about, they got to ride with Paul.  
Quentin, Abigail, Deborah and Joshua in the Beach 99 headed for Anchorage.