Friday, September 24, 2010


Growing up in a dessert I was raised to appreciate a good rain storm. During the last 5 years in Alaska I've lost a large part of my ability to enjoy the rain. However, today was a GREAT rainstorm. It actually started yesterday, so I fell asleep to the sound of rain beating on the window (a sound I love, even if Liz isn't so fond of it.) Then when I woke up this morning, the house was quiet other than the sound of wind and rain, and when I looked outside the trees were dancing in the wind. Now I don't mean the leaves or even the branches. The trees I was watching are really tall, skinny pine trees. The whole trees were swaying. (A little scary, but they are far enough from the house and skinny enough anyway, that I think we're safe if a couple decide to fall.) After 4 years in a completely treeless village, I really enjoy watching the trees dance in the wind. Then on the way to school this morning it dawned on me that all this rain was going to make the stream between the house and school run deep and fast, thus pushing all the dead, extremely smelly, salmon down the stream and out to sea. I have high hopes that this rain storm will last at least a week and that when it ends the stinky fish will be all gone!!! In the mean time I'm going to go curl up in front of the fire and read a good book. I love the rain!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

First Cross Country Race of 2010

Yesterday we went into Craig for the first cross country meet of the year. Caleb raced side by side with the same kid that he competed with last year. But when it came to the end the other kid came out in front. Caleb did great though with 4th place
out of about 20 3rd-5th grade boys (1 mile).
Liz did great. She placed in the top ten for the first time with a 9th place finish out of around 20 3rd-5th grade girls (1 mile). I was so busy cheering her to the finish that I forget to take pictures. I asked her to rerun the final stretch so I could get a picture but she didn't want to.

Josh crossed the finish line so close behind his friend that he doesn't show in any of my pictures. He did great with 8th place out of 47 kindergarten through 2nd grade kids (1/2 mile).
Sammie got to compete for the first time. She runs in the same group as Josh. She's been back and forth on whether or not she wanted to race. She decided to try as long as I ran with her and brought a water bottle. When we lined up, she looked around and was VERY excited to see other little kids. There were at least 10 kids her size. She was so excited that she decided that she didn't need me after all. She did the whole race. She finished 44th out of 47. She thought it was great to be 44th because she's 4 and it's the same numbers.
This last pic is Sammie coming up the final stretch as part of the last 4 runners in the race. She managed to pass the little girl right in front of her - probably because of a lot of great cheering from Caleb.

Friday, September 3, 2010


We've got this stream that runs between us and the school and then turns and runs through the trees in front of our house. A month ago we were told that the pink salmon were waiting for the waters to rise so they could get up that little stream. I though "yea right, that stream is way to little."
But sure enough, a good rainy week and the salmon are running right up that stream. It's not deep enough for them to stay under water all the time, but there are some pools they can hide in. Unfortunately there's something about water that kids can't resist.We did have a few days where the temperatures were probably in the 70's and the kids thought they were dying of heat, so they convinced me to let them join their friends swimming at the dock and beach. Caleb enjoyed jumping from the dock ramp, but the rest of the kids were happy to play in shallow water by the beach.

While they were playing I got some cool pictures of this jellyfish. They are all over around the dock, but I was amazed at how good the pictures turned out.

First Day of School

This year Sammie officially gets to go to school. Last year she hung out there a lot with the rest of the family, but this year she started kindergarten. I debated if enrolling her in kindergarten at 4 years old was pushing her to grow up, but she was going to be hanging out at school anyway and this way she gets supplies and lessons. And it's such a laid back setting that anytime she needs a break, she can go play. I've never taken pictures of my kids with their teachers in the past, but I couldn't resist this year.

Sammie was still a little nervous at this point, but she settled in. We have 11 kids in the school. 6 elementary students - mine plus 2 others, one 8th grader, and 4 high schoolers. We had a great first day and first week. I've slept better this week than I had in quite a while. You'd think 11 kids would be easy but with such a variety of ages, we're always on the move to keep it all covered. So far we haven't had a single discipline problem though, so that's a VERY good sign!!

Hunting and Fishing w/Travis

Travis came over from Ketchikan a couple weeks ago to try a hunting spot with Stewart. They hiked a lot farther than planned but did eventually find the deer. Travis got a four point and a two point. And Stewart got a three point. Travis had a decent pack but even after boning out his two deer he had plenty of weight to pack out. Stewart went in with only a day pack, planning on minimal hiking, so packing his meat out was also quite a chore. They shot the deer between 8 and 10 am and didn't get home till about 10pm. They were sore and tired but very pleased. Travis even ended up with one more little spike right before going home.

They didn't do a lot of fishing, but Stewart managed to catch this monster silver salmon on a quick stop to see if the silvers were running yet. They weren't really running but apparently there was at least one hanging out.