Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Winter Carnival

We had our winter carnival in Nondalton a couple weeks ago.  We all had lots of fun.  The boys love the shooting tournament.   Paul hit the bullseye and was in first place for a long while.  The last carnival Paul led for two days, but Paul won't shoot more than once or twice (you get three shots for $5).  There is a guy from Newhalen who comes up every year and keeps shooting until he wins.  This year his boys came too.  They're all really good shots.

Quentin is getting to be a pretty good shot like his Dad and Grandpas.
This year they had targets at 300 yards and 500 yards.  Paul and Quentin shot at the 300 yard target. 
Everyone loaded up on the Honda to check where they hit the target.
Below all the kids are waiting on the lake for an airdrop.  The Nondalton Mayor has a Supercub and he usually makes the carnival airdrop.  But he couldn't this year, so Paul flew while Abigail dropped the paper tickets out the window.  Some of the tickets had amounts of money written on them which the kids could turn in for cash.
Susan, Abigail & Deborah played 3 man volleyball together.  I did okay as long as the ball came right to me.  I think I need more aerobic exercise.  Paul refereed the basketball games.  Below Abigail & Deborah are facing off against each other in the kids basketball game as Paul throws up the ball.The other big draw at the carnival was poker.  We decided spoons would be a good alternative for our family.  Sarah didn't get to stay there for long because it got a little wild.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Joshua's 8th Birthday

Joshua turned 8 on March 20th.  The boys were quite excited about his gift.  Below they are staying up after Joshua went to bed and are wrapping his present.
Paul had to fly fairly early on Joshua's birthday.  Joshua didn't want to wait till he got home to open his present, so we all gathered around to watch him open it before Paul left.

He was excited  to get a pistol BB gun.
Later that day he got a Battleship game from Josh & Lavonne.
Joshua is a joy and a blessing.  He is a hard worker who loves to roughhouse with his brothers one minute and play tenderly with his baby sister the next.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trip to Iliamna

We took a road trip across our frozen lake to go to the store in Iliamna and visit Mike & Jeannette Clark and their 5 kids.  Mike is the pastor of the church in Iliamna.
There are 18 of us piled into our mighty little truck.
We didn't get very far before we ran into a HUGE snowdrift.  It was 15 feet long by 4 feet high.  The 4 wheelers traveling that way went around it over a snowbank, unfortunaltely our truck would have sunk right into the snowbank.We figured there was no way we could shovel through all that snow but we might as well try for awhile.  The kids could expend some energy and the adults could get some exercise.The kids had a blast making like otters and sliding down the hills when it wasn't their turn to shovel.  It was a beautiful day and the snow wasn't too hard-packed and before we knew it we were through!
Right after the snow drift came "the hill."  This picture doesn't do it justice.  It is straight up!  From there on out it was a wonderfully smooth ice-packed road.
We had a lovely visit with the Clark's who didn't know we were coming until 5 minutes before we got there.  They warmly  welcomed all 18 of us and gave us hot chocolate.  We stayed a little longer than we should of and it was starting to get cold as the sun was going down.  Mike had mercy on the kids in the back of the truck.  They all piled in his SUV and stayed warm as he drove them almost to the top of "the hill".  It was a short drive across the lake from there, even so, little kids kept crawling into the cab with the adults.  By the time we got home there were 10 of us in the cab.
We've made this trip about once a year since we been here and the store in Iliamna always seems really busy.  I suppose it could have something to do with our 11 Brendemuhl's plus friends we always bring with us:)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Volcano and Running Water

Mt. Redoubt blew for real last night.  It's blown five times in the last 12 hours sending ash 60,000 feet up and around.  The last time it blew in 1989 it kept blowing on and off for 5 months.  We just heard a report on the radio from guys living at the head of Lake Clark (nearest the volcano), they said they could smell sulfur.  
They just announced on the radio here in Nondalton that they are rationing gas and oil until they are sure they can get another shipment flown in soon.
The water situation is worsening.  We are back to no water running into the house at all.  The teachers always have water because they are near the source and they are now out also....  The school is threatening to close.  They have a well but it's not safe to drink.  They were talking about flying in drinking water but now nothing is flying.  Life is certainly interesting, God is helping us build our character.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mt. Redoubt Volcano pictures

Abigail, Sarah, and I flew to Anchorage last week for Abigail's orthodontist appointment (she's scheduled to get her braces off on April 13th).  I had my camera at the ready in case Mt. Redoubt erupted.  I got some pretty good pictures.  It wasn't a full blown eruption, but it was the biggest the pilot had seen since it became active about a month ago.  I just got a breaking news report that they have upgraded its' alert status back up to orange because it is rumbling again.

Lavonne had a doctor's  appointment in Anchorage so she and Josh came in too.  Below is a picture of us leaving Costco.  Dima who loads the airplanes for Lake Clark Air and is a master at filling every available space, would have been proud of how much we fit into our little Sidekick.  Sarah is holding the eggs in the left of the picture.

Paul got to stay home and spend some quality time with the rest of the kids.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Running Water

We always keep a good supply of jugs on hand filled with water.  Every winter we've been in Nondalton we've lost our water supply.  The longest we ever went without water was a month.  The village lost power and after a few days the generators running the pumps quit.  After three days of no water running, our pipes in the yard froze up.  Last week we lost our water totally for three days.  We've got half the pressure back now which is not enough to fill the toilet, but enough to slowly fill the tote we keep in the bathtub to scoop water out of to fill the tank for the toilet, which is much better than driving out on the lake, chipping a hole and hauling water.  Because the apartments are lower than us they have more pressure so we can always go down there to shower.  Most of the problem comes from leaky pipes.  The whole system in the village is past its life expectancy.  We are scheduled to get a new water system road by road over the next three years.  It is difficult to find leaks in the winter because the water can travel for a long ways under the ice making it hard to find the source.  This time there seems to be a problem with the pumps also.  Apparentely they need purging, but they'd have to shut the whole system down for two days and with temperatures -20F in the last week everyone's water might freeze up.  So... we could be low on water for quite awhile.

There is not enough pressure to get hot water to the kitchen so the wood stove comes in handy.
Here the guys are chipping holes in the ice to get water.  Our neighbors are still using the hole because they are up the hill from us and still without any water.
Sarah is helping Anna do the dishes.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sarah - The Princess at six months

We had fun taking pictures of Sarah for her six month picture.  Since her name means "a princess" it didn't take us long to decide to use this picture with the dress Uncle David and Aunt Misty sent.  It makes her look like a little princess.
The quilt in the background was made by hand by Grandma Rogers.  She has made one for each of the kids.  I'll have to post a blog showing each of the kids with their Grandma blankies.