Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We have eliminated fighter pilot from Calvin's career choices.

We traveled to Newport for our Memorial Day.  We visited the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum where they had a bridge that went through a rotating tunnel.  The tunnel was painted and lit up to look like a starry night.  The tunnel spun quickly and gave an optical illusion that you too were spinning.  Calvin went through and turned around to watch us come after him.  As he stood at the end of the tunnel looking back he began to lean until he got to about a 45 degree angle before realizing he was falling.  I'm not sure what tipped him off; it might have been that he began to feel gravity on one side of his face, or his eye spotted the now perpendicular handrail, or his upright parents; regardless when he reached a 45 degree lean his legs sprung into action.  He launched himself head first into the handrail.  He did cry but it was so funny Karla and I couldn't stop laughing. Tucker was appalled that we would laugh after Calvin incurred yet ANOTHER head injury, but seriously..... if you saw this little brown eyed boy looking up at you and start to slowly lean to to his left before jumping sideways- you'd laugh too.

This kid is a magnet for head injuries.  Of course there was the rock slide where he had a few, but once before that he ran to the front door to greet me home and as I opened the door, BAMM! His skin split open in the middle of his forehead (you can slightly see that scar in the picture below).  This baseball season (btw, Calvin wasn't even in baseball, he was a spectator) he got whacked 3 times in the head with a ball.  Once, he was just walking in the middle of a group of adults and as he walked through some kid threw a ball OVER the dug out and it hit Calvin smack center in the top of his head.  Another time I arrived at one of Tucker's games late and Calvin came running over to give me a hug.  With arms stretched out he gets flattened by a ball to the side of the head.  And look at the unicorn horn he has below.  He said he was jumping on his bed and fell on the corner.  Good thing we have good insurance.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bye Bye Buddy Buck DeLong The Sequel

Just like all sequels this is worst than the first.  Despite a 3 day search party Buck never returned.  I keep hoping that he'll suddenly dash across the lawn, but........ So last Sunday we drove to a pet store to purchase another "Buck". We found a tri-color Guinea pig that looked a lot like Buck but with medium length hair.  He had a funny cowlick in the middle of his head and was very soft to the touch.  He had been handled more than Sr. so he was very friendly and would purr when held.  I kept telling Gunner how impressed I was with the demeanor of the Jr. (which was re-named to Beethoven).  Today when Karla and the kids came home they found Beethoven dead on the living room floor.  Hopper had (FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER) opened up the garage door by himself and "played" Beethoven to death. Despite the obvious shock and sadness there also was an enormous amount of guilt.  We were one of THOSE people- irresponsible pet owners sending little critters to their death. I feel ashamed to show my face in the local pet store again.  I told her the story of Buck- how could I return and tell her about Beethoven? I won't; I can't; I will drive to Portland (1.5 hours a way) and purchase another Guinea pig in complete anonymity. However this time we will keep the cage upstairs and behind closed doors.  Do you think this will cause commitment issues for Gunner?  Is therapy expensive? BLAH.... not a good feeling!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Could you be.......


The most beautiful girl in the world
You're the reason that God made a girl
Oh yes you are...........

Prince- 1995

Fun With The Edsel

My Grandfather purchased (or traded- I can't remember) for this 1959 Edsel when I was in elementary school and I fell in love with it right away.  I remember sitting in it holding on to the ENORMOUS steering wheel and dreaming about driving it, but most of all I can remember that classic old car smell. He was going to sell it one year and I asked if he could save it until I had enough money to buy it.  He made me a deal; if I graduated high school with honors it'd be mine.  After high school I drove it a few times before ripping out the interior to "restore" it and with that one decision I sentenced it to 20 years in a rainy Washington field.  20 years later and my Grandpa pulled it out of that field brought back to life.  I picked it up a few weeks ago and entered it in show the next weekend.  It was a lot of fun and will no doubt enjoy this gift from him for the rest of my life.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sleep Talking

Calvin fell asleep on the couch tonight.  He started to talk in his sleep and Karla began asking him questions.  The answers were funny and made no sense at all.  I asked him who his favorite was and Karla and I both waited to hear, " Dad" or "Mom".  In a very soft voice we heard, "Scotty"- Apparently Dad and Mom take a back seat to American Idol.

This won't read as funny as it was..... but here it goes.

On the way to the beach the kids wanted to play "the quiet game".  Calvin started it by quietly saying, "Ready, go". 
Gunner asked, "What did he say"?
Tucker said, "Pause, Gunner's out he talked. Ready, go".
Gunner yelled, "Pause, No I'm not out I didn't know what he said. Ready, go".
Tucker replied, "PAUSE! Calvin ignore Gunner, he's out. Ready, go".
Calvin said "Pause. ACHEWWW!!! Ready, go".

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bye Bye Buddy Buck DeLong

Sometimes good days can turn so fast.  We began our day clamming and had a good time. 

Since we had to get up so early we decided to put the kids down for a nap, and when we did Hopper came in through an open door and tipped over Bucks cage.  We are unclear if Buck ran outside or if Hopper got him and.... did whatever a dog would do to a Guinea pig.  There was no evidence that Buck was killed so we're assuming he made it outside, but we can't find him.

What makes this very sad is Gunner has asked for his own pet for a few years now.  Every Christmas and birthday his first request was a pet.  I would always waffle and say we'll see, maybe next year, and other time buying phrases.  Before his last birthday broke it to him that we are just to busy for another pet and he should just be happy with Hopper. 

A few weeks later we found a newt on a gravel road.  He immediately asked if it could be his pet and I agreed.  He was so excited; named it immediately (Spike) and built a make shift aquarium.  He said I  can't believe I finally got my own pet!  Karla got on the intranet and learned that this particular newt was poisonous and carries salmonella.  He overheard us say we'd have to let it go and started to cry; and we buckled.

We welcomed Buddy Buck in our house a few weeks ago and he's been a fun pet to have.  I came home today and Gunner said Buck is gone and started crying.  Poor guy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The coast

This is one beautiful area.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Raegan- Go get yourself dressed.

Raegan can make a mess faster than any one of our children.  The funny thing (if there is such a thing) as I'm pointing out the mess and scolding her she looks at me like "What..... I don't see it".  It's as if the mess is a figment of my imagination and she'll just look at me with her big blue eyes and smile. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rebuilding last fall's Hunting Trip

Karla drew a cow permit last year 14 (ish) miles down the infamous Rex Trail.  I had been on this trail once before. See picture.

That was about 5 miles in....needless to say I was a little nervous about the days ahead; I actually had nightmares.  I thought for sure I'd be draining oil, changing spark plugs in the middle of a swamp.  I also had real fear that if we did miraculously make it back 14 miles and got a moose we'd never be able to haul it out.  My plan was to go in light however the day before we left I was frantic and doing the last minute packing(let's throw that in the trailer too). Before I knew it my "going in light" theory was replaced by "where can I fit the kitchen sink"? We had decided that it was time for Tucker to have a little one on one time with just us (thank you Sarah) so he was off to shoot his first moose.  We arrived to the trail a little later than expected so we spent the first night in the Suburban. Let me tell you- If you haven't slept in the back of a Suburban with another adult and a 10 year old kid..... you're not missing much. While Karla looks remarkably put together Tucker better represents the way we all felt.

Off we went for our first trip, loaded to the hilt, cautiously optimistic about our adventure ahead.
Our first day started off great.  We cruised past those horrific puddles that just two years ago swamped my four wheeler, and before long we were past the bad spots and on the "good" part of the trail. 
Tucker got his second spruce chicken and was really proud of it.  Before every picture we had to wait for him to get it and pose with it.  Oh and by the way he was equally excited about finding a frog seconds after retrieving his bird.

But our good moods were dashed after 3 hours of four wheeling riding with no sign of moose and absolutely no where to pitch a tent.  A fire had riped through the area the year before leaving millions of tree sized toothpicks on the ground.  There was absolutely no place to pitch a tent.

One of the "going in light" ideas was to bring in empty water jugs and fill them with filtered water once we got to our spot. The rivers were beyond filters and we were down and out. Hungry (no time to stop and make lunch), thirsty, lost (well.... we knew how to get back we just didn't know where we were going) and cranky.  Spirits were down; especially mine, and after a half hearted attempt of finding a camp spot we decided to go back to the suburban. Honestly I was about to pack everything up and head home, but I knew I wasn't thinking straight.  We headed to a restaurant a few miles away, ate dinner, gathered our thoughts and stayed another night. Day two came with bluer sky's and lifted spirits.  On our way through the sometimes spooky muddy trail Karla spotted two cows.

Our work began at 11:30 AM. 

It was the first time that I was the "leader" of the pack and didn't exactly know what I was doing.  But like every other hunter in the world- I dug in and leaned on what I had learned from watching others.
8 Hours later I carried the last leg out of the woods.  We were ready to go home- kind of.  We had hoped to spend quality nights with Tucker, somehow knowing it was going to be our last fall in AK.  We were pleased with our success, but sad that it had to end so quickly.  We hope Tucker will remember this trip as much as we will- only with much more grandeur. 

I'm miss'n

A thin piece of fabric, on rocky ground, a cramped bag, a cold night, stiff morning joints, regrettable missed early morning opportunities, and the satisfaction knowing that no-one; absolutely no-one can get a hold of me. Like the sirens of Greek mythology Alaska hunting season is calling me back!   I CAN'T WAIT!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Where's Gunner?

  Chicken Little
   Mad Scientist
80's Flash Back

I don't know why, but I forgot to snap one of Gunner- I'll regret that some day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Good ol' days

While looking for a picture I ran across a file named "Unknown photo's on card".  In it was about 7 photo's of a weekend trip we made to Amy and Geoff's cabin on lake Louise about 6 years ago.  It must have been a hot summer because other photo's show all 3 boys had very blond hair.  This picture, while at first just another in the series made me laugh after I examined it.  There's Tucker, making sure he's posing for the camera for that good shot, Hayden attentively listening to his fathers stories but at the same time not really buying what fallacies are being spoken, and then Gunner in the background.  He doesn't care about the camera, Geoff's stories or anything else that might be going on. He's intently focused on those marshmallows and I can almost hear his thoughts.  Dude, can you shut your pie hole so I can fill mine?  Ok, I wonder if I could sneak one without Geoff even knowing?

If I remember right I think this was the very first time Geoff had ever had a smore and Amy tried her first moose taco- with rather luke warm reviews.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Things my children said today

I wish I did a better job of writing down some of the things my children have said over the years.  I guess I'll start now.

Today on our way home from church Calvin was singing.

Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to him belong
They are weak but He is strong
Yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me
The whino told me so.

Lunch at Camp 18 (old logging museum and restaurant). Out of the blue Tucker asks, "Can a toilet blow up"? Karla said, "Yes". Tucker paused, siged and said, "Well.... that's going to give me nightmares".

Today at Camp 18 Calvin pointed to a log carving of a sasquach and said, "Look, Big Feet"!

I love those moments.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rae Rae Turns 4!!! Happy Birthday Sunshine!

I wish I could push the pause button on life sometimes. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sunset, Moonrise in Oysterville

What a great day! It started with a little Bike ride in Longview- Raegan's first.  It took her a while to understand how pedaling worked.  Her little legs would go one or two revolutions forward and then that darn kid coordination thing would kick in and she'd peddle backward halting all progress.  It was a lot of teaching, but after a while she started getting the hang of it.   
One thing we love about this area is the deep history.  We run into it everywhere we go. That's me and Mr. Clark by the way in front of one of the many 10' sturgeons he saw left on the beach from high tide. After that it was off to Oysterville.  On the way we spotted this little creative/ old chowder house. What you are looking at is a flat wall sided with cedar shingles in a way to give it a 3 dimensional look.

Oysterville was cool! It's a street tucked away from the main road, and has about 15 houses on it. Most were built in 1800's and every one has a ton of character. It still has the original school and an old church.

And yes since I was in Oysterville, I did stop in their one shop and learn how to shuck a oyster and eat one....raw. 

Now that's dedication!

After that we watched the most amazing sunset...... amazing.

Then on the way back we were treated to a full moon rise, although my little point and shoot camera couldn't capture the the mountains.

It was a great day.