Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Fun

The carnival was pretty small this year. We just don't have very many kids. So to try to add a little something extra on top of the usual carnival games, we finished up with "pie the teacher". The kids LOVED it!! Stewart did well. He appeared to be having a good time even when he came out of it with a fat lip. If we do this again next year we may need to consider some protective head gear.
We had good weather for the first time in many years for trick or treating, it wasn't completely dry, but we got away with just a light mist of rain and no wind. I walked with the kids to all 17 houses in town. Here's the kids with their pumpkins. The girls had to share one because Liz's went rotten, but they had a great time designing and carving.
Here's the kids all dressed up and ready for trick or treating. Caleb the skeleton, Josh as batman, Liz as an old Cup'ik woman, and Sammie as a pumpkin.The loot! I have no idea what to do with all this candy. That's way more any of us should eat in the next 5 years.

Sammie was the most excited. I love this face!! If only I could channel her enthusiasm into constructive things.

Liz's Stitches

Liz tripped and hit a desk on Wednesday. She really didn't want to get stitches, but when all was said and done, I think she was just disappointed that her scare doesn't quite match mine and Sammie's scares on our cheeks. Her's is the same side of her face, just a little high. And the timing was great. What's cooler than REAL stitches on Halloween?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stewart's Big Bear

 On our way home today we saw a big bear in the road.  It ran up a hill and Stewart was able to shoot it right through the heart.  This first picture shows how far from the truck it ended up.  This is not zoomed in, but this is a clear cut area, which makes even small amounts of hiking difficult.

 This is when Stewart got it down the hill and next to the road. 

This is my favorite picture.  He's trying to lift it into the truck. But it looks more like a giant teddy bear.  He ended up getting it around the middle and Caleb and I each took a hind leg and we got it in - barely.

 This one is just the skin laid out on the floor.  Nose to tail it measured almost exactly 7 feet.  His other bear was only 5 feet, so this is pretty exciting for us.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Caleb gets a 2-point!! and some shrimp and crab

Caleb got his first 2 point this morning and was very excited to share the news!

AND Stewart got a nice trophy to go with it.

Here they are together.

Here are a couple pictures of the great shrimp/crab harvest we had two days after my dad left to go back home. Sorry Dad!! But I did freeze some of it for you.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Opening day of deer hunt 2011

Caleb and Stewart went out hunting all morning in the rain. They made a deal to take turns shooting at any bucks they saw. Caleb got a spike, then Stewart shot at a good sized buck that got away, and then Caleb got another spike. The larger of his two spikes is his biggest kill trophy so far. He's quite pleased even though he's hoping for something much bigger before the end of the season.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jen, Mom, and Dad visit

We had a very eventful week. I don't know why my video's don't have sound but I hope you can at least watch them. Jen got here most of a day before my parents. It was a beautiful day so we went out in the boat. This one is Jen and the girls exploring a tide pool over by Karta while Stewart helped some people pull in a sockeye net.
When Stewart was done helping they told us we could check the crab pot. This one was Jen trying to help me put some crab into the bucket. It was fun to watch!

This was right after the video when she finally got a crab.
We pulled the shrimp pot. It was a lot of work. Jen did most of the work but we were both sore the next day. Jen had a hard time ripping the heads off the shrimp - not because it's gross but because she didn't want to hurt them. They were yummy though!!

About two hours before Jen had to leave. Stewart took her and my parents out to check the shrimp pots and they almost ran into this pod of killer whales. Crazy!!

The day after Jen left we went on a salmon fishing trip on the north end of the island. We hung out all day and enjoyed the fishing and eagles. When the fishing got slow the kids went swimming for a while Then when we were almost done Josh spotted a bear about 50 yards up stream from us on the other bank. My mom and I walked closer to get pictures and discovered that it had adorable twins following it. After that bear family went back into the woods we went back to our campfire and watched Sammie pretend to fish. All of a sudden there was a bear strait across the little river from her. It very quietly walked right to the waters edge, grabbed a fish, and walked back into the woods. Then it came back later and wandered up and down the bank across from us. First we stood and took pictures and video, but it stayed so long that we finally got bored and went home.
Here's Liz with the bear. (I know the stream doesn't show in this shot. But it's there. I promise.) My parents with the bear.Here's the video of both bear sitings.

We did catch 14 silver salmon that day with Caleb catching more than his share. But my dad wasn't able to get any on his own. The missionaries were there fishing and one of the elders felt sorry for him and let him real a couple of his in. Hopefully the pink salmon will be in our bay soon. If it's anything like last year he will definitely catch some of those. We sent my mom home on the ferry today. But we get to keep my dad for at least another week - maybe more. He'd really like to catch some salmon before he leaves. I'll try to keep you posted.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Field trip to Old Kasaan

This week we went on a field trip to Old Kasaan. It's across and down the inlet from the current Kasaan. OVK (Organized Village of Kasaan- the tribal organization) took us. We packed a lunch and loaded 6 adults and 10 students in two small boats and went. I didn't time it, but I bet it was about 20 minutes in the boat. And I wanted to share some of my thoughts as we were in the boats. First I was a little nervous. Stewart took the older boys in the skiff, and while that boat was smaller, I knew the boys had the sense to hang on and the ability to laugh about it if they fell in.
I was in the "big boat" with the little kids and girls. The boat was not made to restrain students as much as I had pictured when we planned the trip. It had two seats, so most of us sat in the bottom of the boat. Here is a picture of my view as we went, there wasn't much holding us in. What you don't see is that as the boat speeds up it tips. I was nervous, but we all survived and nobody fell in. I was watching my girls as their hair blew in the wind and I started thinking about how different their field trips are than the ones I used to go on. I remembered some pictures of the kids on a field trip in Chevak, when they took the kids out by sled behind snow machines.
My kids miss the snow. It just looks COLD to me. Now they are going on a field trip by boat. The funny thing is that they think riding on a school bus would be really neat.

Once we got to Old Kasaan, our OVK tour guide showed us around. Without a guide I don't think I would have noticed a single piece of the old village. I was very glad to have someone along that could point things out. First he showed us the one remaining support beam of a house. The kids all posed near it but not under, as it looked like it could collapse at any moment.

Then he showed us a watchman totem pole that was almost gone, except for the very distinct face at the top.
Then we climbed over a log that turned out to be an old totem that is completely covered in moss and was only recognizable because of the way it was hollowed out on the back side and rotted away very unevenly on the top (where it was carved deeper was rotting faster). On the other end of the village there was a small collection of memorial totems. They looked like big bare logs with a big chunk of moss on top. I'm sure the chunks of moss were beautiful carvings at one time.
Then back out on the beach we discovered a very new little fawn hiding in the rocks.

Everybody had to have a picture with it and then we moved farther down the beach to avoid scaring it too much. There we discovered a second one. The mother had run away as we were pulling up to the beach. When we discovered these two tiny fawns (one was still wet from birth) we decided it was time to go home and let these babies get back together with their mom. So off we went in the boats again. It was a beautiful day. We even saw a whale as we were traveling.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Josh's baptism and a Halibut

This Sunday was Joshua's 8th birthday. He was baptized at the church right after church. He was very excited and everything went well.

When we got back home the weather was beautiful and Caleb and Stewart have been dying to get out in the boat. So they went fishing. They spotted a bear straight across the inlet from us and came back for the gun, of course the bear was gone when they got back. But Caleb was still pleased when he managed to catch this halibut all by himself. It took all he had to hold it up for a picture.

We got 10 pounds of meat off of it. Not big for a halibut, but perfect size if your going for quality meat.

Then all the kids had to get in the boat while Stewart took it from the dock to shore to load it back on the trailer. It was such a beautiful evening that I had to get a picture.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Archery and Elementary Basketball

The kids have been busy lately. They had the state archery competition last month. Archery is a really hard sport to get good pictures of. But the kids did great! If Liz improves as much next year as she did this year, she will easily qualify for the national competition. And if Caleb keeps up with her, he'll qualify too. Josh doesn't get to OFFICIALLY compete for 2 more years. But he's getting an early start on practicing. He did great for his first year. Stewart also got the training to coach them last weekend. So he can help them get more practice time now. This is a pic of Josh in the yellow shirt at a practice shoot in Thorne Bay.
While the older kids did their practice archery shoot, Sammie took the opportunity to go to Kindergarten with other kids. She's been in Kindergarten this year, but she's the only one at our school. So to go to class with 5 other kids her age was really fun for her. We're going to try to take her into Thorne Bay for school more often next year. This Picture is of her with the kids in the classroom.

Then they got to go outside to play. She really loved that! She plays outside at our school, but kids her age and a different playground were both very fun.

This month is Elementary basketball. It's supposed to be for 3rd-5th grade, but we only have 5 kids in that age group, so we pulled in our 2 2nd graders so that we have a couple subs. Which means that Sammie is the only elementary student that isn't on the team. Here's a team picture. Doesn't Caleb look big? He's looking forward to middle school sports next year.

Of course the kids favorite part of elementary basketball is getting to try out the different playgrounds wherever we play. Our playground in Kasaan doesn't have a merry go round. The kids can't get enough of them whenever we find one.We have a ton planned during these last two months of school. I'll try to remember my camera and share the fun.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Whale Watching

First you see the spouts.Then if you watch closely you might see their backs as they surface and go back under.

And if your really lucky you'll see their tails as they go for a really deep dive. But seeing two dive together AND have a camera ready, that's REALLY lucky!!

I have never seen the tails in person, Stewart and Liz were down on the dock for these pictures. This time it was my own fault too. I knew there were whales there and I could have gone with them, but we never see anything cool when I go, so I stayed home. At least they got good pictures!!

clam digging

This week is Spring break for us. And thankfully the weather decided it was spring also. We've had a beautiful sunny week. Stewart's been busy building a deck with the high school kids for a guy here as a fundraiser for a senior trip. We've all enjoyed being out in the sunshine helping on the deck. But we did find time to do a few other things. On Monday morning the the tide was REALLY low. So we went clam digging.

The boys were eager to get started. Stewart says it's a lot like digging potatoes. Dig a hole, look through the mud to find the clams.

This reminded me of the movie "Holes". Stewart and Liz made lots of holes.

But apparently it was working, because they filled up their bucket very quick!

We also built a fire on the beach for a hot dog roast, but since it was early I decided sausage links might be better. I was right, they were really good cooked over the fire!

We also found a lot of other interesting creatures hanging out on the beach.

This thing Stewart is holding, is a huge worm thing. It was even worse looking in person.

I'm not sure what this is called, but I'm sure it's a relative of starfish. I had Caleb put his hand next to it for a size reference.

This is a large starfish and a weird sea anemone thingy. There were tons of starfish!

I'm told these cool little things are snail eggs. If you pick them up they feel really rubbery but look like mud. If you dry them out- they crumble very easily.

I bottled the clams. Anyone have a good recipe for bottled clams?