Wednesday, January 27, 2010


There is nothing that the kids love better than to have Mom & Dad take the time to play with them. We sat down and played a game of spoons together and it was great fun.

The little kids didn't last too long because it got a little wild.
Deborah didn't have any letters so Paul took off his sweatshirt for better mobility and sat next to her to make sure she didn't end the game without any letters.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Camping while hunting for Moose

It's been incredible how much snow we don't have this year. I'm sure the moose felt very safe during this hunting season. Paul flew around a few times looking to spot a nice moose to fill the freezer, but it was almost impossible to see their brown hides against the brown ground. He did find a few but without any snow to drive a snow machine on they would have been extremely difficult to get to. The temperatures were hovering around the 40's and not dipping below 35 at night, so Paul and the older kids decided to go hunting and get a nice camping trip out of it even if they didn't find a moose. They traveled light so they would have room in their sleds to haul home a moose if they saw one.
Below they are loading up their gear and checking the gas and oil on their Honda 4-wheelers.

Paul, Abigail, Deborah, Quentin, Joshua and Josh A. headed up the mountain. Even though it was very icy and difficult to follow at times, they had fun helping each other up the trail. As it started to get dark, they picked out a nice spot to camp.
They set up camp while it was still light. Below Josh A. is collecting pine boughs for his bed. He must have done a good job because he was the only one to get a good hours sleep.They got a fire going very quickly and had fun boiling water to make hot chocolate and add to the instant meals they took along with them.

It was a very dark night. The stars didn't come out till early morning and it was almost a new moon so the sliver that showed in the early morning didn't cast much light. Paul had to use a flashlight to see what he was stirring even though he was sitting close to the fire. (The flash from the camera sure brightened things up!)


As the stars came out, the temperatures dropped. It had been warm so long we'd begun to believe that it would never get cold again. It did and it made the night miserable for the light traveling campers. It got down to 17 degrees at the house and they were a few thousand feet higher up the mountain, so I'm sure it was colder by a few degrees. They hugged the fire all night, trying not to melt their clothes as they tried to stay warm.
Below Abigail is collecting fuel for the fire. They cut down every dead tree for 50 feet around their campsite. It kept them busy and a little bit warm as they waited for it to get light enough to travel. It was only a couple of weeks beyond the shortest day of the year so the night was very long. After they'd finished all the chores they needed to to get ready for the night, they sat down around the fire and looked at their watches and realized it wouldn't be light for sixteen more hours. Because it was so cold the time seemed to creep by. They would wait for seemingly hours and then look at their watches again and five minutes had gone by.

It finally turned light and they made their way down off the mountain. They called me from a lodge up the lake to let me know they were all well. A friend of ours caretakes the lodge every winter. They seem to end all of their expeditions at John's, drinking hot chocolate.

I'm sure they will look back at their trip with fondness in a few years and the temperature will probably drop with each telling. (Of course now we have this blog to refer back to.) But as of this writing, a few weeks after the trip, they still remember the cold too bitterly to think fondly of it. As I'm sitting here writing, I asked Joshua, the youngest to go at eight years old, if he enjoyed the trip. He had to think for a while and then he said, "not really." I asked him if he was glad he went, he thought again and replied "not really." Quentin chimed in and said that although parts of the trip were not fun, overall it was a good time. I'm sure it won't be long before Joshua forgets how the cold felt and he'll look at his grinning face in the fourth picture of this blog and think, "that was a fun time." By the way, he or anyone else, never complained. We never did get our moose:(

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Living Room Football

We don't watch much TV around here. We got a new TV last year when the 13" Sony Trinitron I'd had since 1987 finally died. The new TV can also plug into your computer and act as a second monitor. That's how we usually use it, but on Thanksgiving my sister called to say hello and she asked if we were watching the Macy's Day parade. We don't have cable or satellite and I told her I didn't even know if our TV would pick up a broadcast signal since they switched over to digital last Spring. Of course now I had to try and sure enough we got a decent signal. The parade was over, but the football game was on. That led to more football on Sundays and the boys turned my living room and kitchen into a football field complete with blue tape for the yard lines. At one point they even had mattresses laid out for the end zones. They got away with that while Paul and Deborah were in Anchorage as Paul is not as tolerant to the house being turned into a football field as I am (unless, of course, he's playing with the boys.)
Wanting to be as authentic as possible the little boys made helmets and stuffed their shirts for pads.

I suppose the Olympics will be next...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

We were getting pretty low on groceries so Paul headed to Anchorage with a long list. Deborah got to go with him so she could go take the written test and get her Driver's permit. Anchorage has lots of snow (as opposed to us here in Nondalton with none). So the first order of business was to uncover the sidekick from its' spot in the remote parking area where it stays tucked in with our motorhome.Deborah passed her test and got her permit, but she didn't drive very much because the roads were quite icy.
It didn't turn out to be the smoothest of trips... It started with a flat tire on the sidekick and then they had to stay an extra day when the airplane wouldn't start for the trip home. It turned out to be a bad magneto. They replaced it and flew home the next day.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Rubber Band Bungee

The school had a family fun night so we went and joined in. They asked us to bring an action figure and they supplied us with ten rubber bands. We measured how far the action figure would fall each time we added another rubber band. We graphed the results of our ten rubber bands and then they told us to figure out how many rubber bands we would need for the action figure to drop 196 inches. The object was to get our action figure as close to the floor as possible without touching the floor. Our family with Lavonne and Josh, split up into three teams.
Paul and Anna and a couple of little boys gathered the data with their ten rubber bands and Jay Jay the jet plane.

Abigail, Deborah, Lavonne and Josh worked together.
Quentin, Joshua and I carefully measured the jumps taken by our blue teddy bear.
Sarah helped Regina take photos of the event (by posing several times).

After we collected our data we analyzed it by graphing it and doing the math to figure out how many rubber bands we needed.

Quentin is adding the rubber bands we calculated we needed. (We were too conservative and came up too far away from the ground.)
One at a time Cam made the action figures walk the plank while we watched from below. Abigail, Deborah, Lavonne and Josh did the best from our crew as they came in second place.