Sunday, August 30, 2009

Whitehorse Sports Complex

We spent a couple of very long days driving so that we could spend a whole day at the sports complex. We had the multi-million dollar complex to ourselves which was kind of cool.
A track runs above the basketball and soccer fields on a balcony.

We played a little half-court soccer. Too bad we didn't have time to play a little more on the trip down. We could have played The Brendemuhl's vs. The Fowler's :)

Deborah dunking the ball (It was the little kids hoop...)
We pretty much had the pool to ourselves too... We played a rousing game of water basketball. Sarah had to hang on tight (she really seemed to enjoy it) as Paul and I had a good time guarding each other, much to the amusement of our kids.
We got pretty good at doing back dives off the rope swing. I even tried a flip and landed on my face.

Paul and David


Deborah and Sarah

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Liard Hot Springs

We saw nine bears on the way to Liard Hot Springs.

Herds of Buffalo...

Two moose; one of them walked right up to us...
We got to the campground at Liard at about 9:30 pm. We swam until almost midnight. We met the Walker's while we were swimming. They had been dorm parents at a Bible College in Alaska four years ago and now felt God was calling them back to Alaska. They lived in Wilmington, NC for the last four years and left from there the week before we did to travel back to Alaska. Who knows how many times our paths almost crossed over the two weeks and 3,000+ miles we traveled the same road. And then God brought us to Liard Hot Springs to fellowship together. Their grandson Caleb was traveling with them so we told them about the great swimming pool at Whitehorse and then we met them there the next night.We left for our last trip to the lower 48 in April of 2004. We didn't have a blog back then (did anyone?) so I thought I would include some photos from that trip as it was very memorable. It was extremely cold that day which made the hot springs feel even better. Our hair frosted from the steam and then when we changed after we swam, our swimming suits froze stiff as boards by the time we finished.
Abigail is racing for the water.


Deborah is holding Anna who can barely touch. Paul has Joshua, then Abigail and then a toothless Quentin.
The kids (including Paul) took turns getting out and rolling in the snow and then getting back in the water.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Matt & Natalie, Jack & Kelly and The Border

Next on our Montana tour we stopped at Natalie and Matt's house. They were teacher's in Nondalton a few years ago. Natalie's Mom lived with her for a while in Nondalton. Natalie and her Dad came to visit us after they'd moved.
We had a very nice visit, although it was too short and we got to meet their niece and nephew.
Next we visited Paul's cousin Chrysa and her husband Jack's house. Jack and their daughter Kelly were there for a good (too short) visit, but Chrysa was out of town. They try to spend most summers in Alaska so sometimes we get to see them there. I made sure I got a picture of Jack holding Sarah since Chrysa hasn't gotten to meet her yet.
We have made it a policy to have me drive instead of Paul when we cross borders. It must be the beard or something, but when he has been driving they've made us come inside while they checked our papers, they've had us get out while they searched the motor home, and once they insisted they'd given us back all of our passports when in reality they still had two; they finally found them. On the way into the lower 48 they took our oranges. We made sure we ate our oranges before we got to the Canadian border, but they didn't ask for oranges this time, instead they asked for apples, which we had several of... The border official offered to let us pull off and eat them, so we did and then we went on our way.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Andrea & Nathan's

Montana was a busy state, we had five families invite us to come visit. We missed Cam & Nicole's wedding (2 friends who teach in Nondalton) because we were on the other side of the country. After we left Ron & Linda's we went North to Sealy, Mt. where two more newlyweds live. We stopped and spent the night with Paul's cousin Andrea and her new husband Nathan. Nathan is a gifted cabinet carpenter and he's also an inventor. Below the kids are using one of his inventions. He made a cherry pitter that runs off compressed air and the kids thought it was very cool; Paul did too.
Andrea worked in Alaska for several summers before she married Nathan and she got to come visit us in Nondalton. The kids love her because she's still a big kid herself and lots of fun. The school playground is adjacent to their backyard and it was an awesome one. Sarah and I watched the kids and Andrea play freeze tag only they weren't allowed to touch the ground. The kids were happy to find that Andrea was just as much fun now that she's married as she ever was. They exhausted themselves climbing around on the rugged playground.
Sarah, smiling as always.

Sarah and Benjamin


Andrea is a talented musician. She's a percussionist including the keyboard and she's also picked up the guitar. We had a fun evening playing and singing worship songs together.

Ron & Linda Richter and Darby Montana

Ron & Linda Richter are teachers that live in Nondalton and fellowship with us there. They are a great encouragement to us. Paul & Ron share a love of all things mechanical, especially those things that are just now being invented and still need the bugs worked out. They live on a beautiful river in Montana during the summers with Linda's Mom and Dad and their daughter and son-in-law. We got to spend the night with them, play in the river, check out some of Ron's projects and inventions, including his custom bow-making shop ( and eat some of Linda's awesome cooking.Linda took us down to the river and we got to visit while the kids played.
The kids are helping Ron fill the mixing tank with recycled paper to make papercrete blocks.
We helped Ron with the shed he was building out of papercrete. It's turning out very nice. It's very hard but very light and you can smooth it just like cement.
Ron is showing the kids his Rocket made by putting water into a 2 liter pop bottle and then filling it with compressed air. It works great! Quentin took lots of pictures so he can make his own. In fact, Quentin took pictures of lots of things on the trip that he intends to make once we get home. If he gets them made, I'll post them.
Sarah loved the quick bath we gave her in Linda's sink.
It was great getting to see Ron & Linda on their home turf. It's easier to picture things they talk about and it was fun getting to know their family a little bit. They'll be joining us back in Nondalton in August.

For everybody that gets this emailed to them, Abigail updated the background and it looks nice. You can click on and check it out.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Saying Good Bye to Old Friends and New Friends

After we left Paul's Mom's house we stopped by Tom & Raquel Ehmer's to say good-by. We went to the pool which they assured us was heated. The pool was warm enough, but that North Dakota wind was whipping and made the air feel cold. Everyone in the pool stayed low with their chins to the water to keep their bodies in the warm water and out of the cold air. We were already missing that North Carolina Beach...

We cherished the time we got to spend with the Ehmer's. Our friendship is a timeless one, built on unity in Christ, and besides that, they're just a lot of fun!

Good-Bye... Come see us in Alaska!!!

When we left the Ehmers we traveled due West 200 miles to the other side of North Dakota to stop by the Lorentzens. On the way, a duck managed to hit the center of our windshield. Because it was the weekend, we ended up traveling all the way across Montana until we got it fixed.We only met John, Madison and Amanda Lorentzen in April as we were getting ready to leave on our trip, but we feel like we've known them for quite some time. Unity in Christ is a theme that keeps popping up...
We met John's Grandmother when we passed through the first time. She was living with them and was very sweet. She passed away while we were down South, ending a chapter in their lives. Madison, their oldest boy beat us back to Alaska and worked for the summer less than 20 miles from our house in Nondalton.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Leaving the Farm in North Dakota

Paul's sister Debbie, her husband Ross, and our their kids Eric, Jared and Rachel, came to see us at the farm before we left to start back to Alaska. They've been up to Alaska twice to see us which is a huge blessing for us. Below we've got everyone out playing a game of touch football. Paul was impressed by how far his nephews could throw a football. It reminded him of his younger years...Ever since I joined the family, we always have a group hug when the Monsebrotens leave Grandma's house. The circle keeps getting larger...
As we left the farm and Paul's Mom Effie, Paul commented that it seemed harder this time. I suppose five years ago we were so excited by the unknown (we had just moved to Nondalton) that it covered up the sadness of leaving the farm. But, we left feeling confident that we are where God wants us to be and that's what really matters. Effie comes and sees us every year in Alaska which is another huge blessing that we are extremely grateful for.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Uncle Merlin and Aunt Irene and Grandma O.

After we left Rachel's we headed North to Paul's Uncle Merlin and Aunt Irene's place. They ran a dairy farm for many years and are now retired. We had a very good visit with them and Irene fed us some delicious spaghetti.They have an awesome tree swing that the kids still talk about.
We also left two pairs of shoes that day, one at Rachel's and one at Irene's. We had been doing so well on that score...
We left Irene's and let my brother's GPS he loaned us take us the back way to Perham, MN to see Paul's Grandma O. again. We had a very nice visit with her and Paul's Uncle Butch and Aunt Cheryl. Paul's cousin Matt & Sarah's girls were there too, so the kids got to play with them.
Sarah entertained Grandma O. and the other ladies that live with her, by walking all the way around the room, going from one hand hold to the next.
Grandma O. is 97 the same as my Grandad will be this year. She doesn't get around much, but she still enjoys listening to you and still has a sweet smile and a twinkle in her eye.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Perrys and The Meyers

Paul and I met in Omaha Nebraska. Paul had gotten out of the Air Force and was on Associate Staff with the Navigators. He moved to Omaha from England with Duane and Ana Perry and their six kids. Paul lived with them for a time and got a priceless education in studying God's Word and raising kids who love the Lord. Their living witness convinced both Paul and I that we wanted to home school our kids. The Perrys are still ministering in Omaha at Offutt AFB and all over the Midwest. Most of their children are grown and serving the Lord all over the world, but we got to see Rebecca, Emily and Amy. Amy is on the right in the picture below with Abigail and Deborah. She was born while Paul was living with them in England.
Things haven't changed much for Duane and Anna, they are as busy as ever. I didn't get a good picture of them before they had to go help Rebecca house hunt for a place for she and her sister Rachel to live in while she is working on her master's in music. So, I dug very deep into the files and found this family photo of the Perry's, Paul and I and Abigail, and Paul's sister Debbie's boys Eric and Jared. They came to visit us on the farm in North Dakota. Abigail can't be more than a month old at the time of their visit and tomorrow she turns 15. Ana is holding Amy from the picture above in her arms.
Then I dug even deeper and I came up with some pictures from a wedding shower that our friends from Bible study threw for us. Duane and Ana put on a skit pretending to be Paul and I. We were going to move to North Dakota to farm after we got married so Duane dressed up like a farmer and Ana dressed up warm to represent me staying warm in the North Dakota wind. They pretended that they were newlyweds buying toothbrushes. Ana (Susan) said something to the effect of , "How about these toothbrushes Paul? They look very nice and they're the perfect color." Then Duane (Paul) said something like, "We can't tell just by looking at them. We've got to do some research first and see which toothbrush works the best." As I found the pictures to put on the blog, I told my kids about the skit and they rolled laughing. Deborah said, "That is so just like you guys." I guess we haven't changed much in 16 years.
Below Paul and I are watching the skit. Paul laughed till he cried, it was so funny and so right on.

Rachel Meyer was a part of our Bible study in Omaha (she was at the wedding shower) and a very good friend. Her parents live in Watertown, South Dakota which is right on the road between Omaha and Paul's Mom's in North Dakota. Rachel teaches college biology and was living with her parents for the summer, so we spent the night with them and got all caught up.
We helped Rachel's Dad put their paddle boat in the water for the summer.They live on a lake with their own little island tucked into a cove. The kids had great fun paddling around.Rachel with her Mom and Dad, Betty and Bob Meyer.
I got Betty's permission to take her picture with rollers in her hair. She said that when you get to be her age you don't care about those things.
I thought the bridge might make a cool family picture.